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Fandom Kimetsu No Yaiba; Who...and what we fight for.

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  2. Adventure
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kakemha

Junior Member
< sakura aka >

She was slightly confused, she watched as he grabbed three of his medals that was pinned to his hat and watched as he threw it in his hat then on the ground. She wasn't really sure what it was for, but she new he wouldn't do it for nothing, so she trusted his decision. The next thing you know, she was surprised. She stood in slight awe as Erwin ( Maxxob Maxxob ) perfectly calculated the distance she moved when she was running. She never really went to school or learned advanced maths, this lead her to the assumptions that all foreigners were just educated to that degree. She listened very closely to him, since he spoke at a whisper. Listening to his plan, she got the jist of it pretty quickly. It sounded pretty simple, but she knew it wouldn't be that easy to actually pull off to the point to where they could grab the ribbon. "I consider myself advanced in two areas of combat, one is speed, and the other is spatial awareness, I'm quite nimble. Or at least that's what people used to tell me, just not in that friendly of a manner." She told him, when he asked how good her spatial awareness was. It reminded her of that time she dodged the stones that would fly at her, thrown by the village children, they called her freakishly fast for being able to do that. "The plan sounds good. Nice job for thinking about it on the fly, Erwin-san, I probably would never be able to do that." She praised him, she always made sure to keep her voice in a whisper so that only Erwin should be able to hear. "Will we have some for of signal, or will the other person start running when they see Akimine being chased?" She asked him, making sure she had all the details she needed to execute this to the best of her ability.
 

Phayne

[▬▬(ஜ۩۞۩ஜ)▬▬]








Interacts: Those that were left behind

Renji couldn't help but scoff at the futility behind Erwin's actions; the thunder users attempt to repeat the initial strategy of the prior round proving to be just as fruitless as it had been the first time. Had it not already been made abundantly clear that her speed outmatched that of his own? What did he expect to be different this time around when he was clearly more fatigued than he was previously? Was it arrogance? Was it disillusion? Perhaps pride? Did having his ego stroked a little for his previous success already go to his head? Regardless of what it was, It was all simply infantile in its execution; the sheer audacity of the foreigner to attempt even trying that same engagement was just ridiculous. A flash of energy expended with little reward to show for it afterwards. All the while, Akimine was pushed further away from those that lacked the explosive speed to cover that much ground in seconds. All his action had accomplished was the seperation of himself from his allies and to increase the distance between said allies and their opponent.

If that wasn't bad enough, it seemed that another had chosen to follow suit; to chase after the lone wolf charging ahead without any attempt to strategize with the rest of the group; as if two head were going to suddenly tip the odds into their favour. Energy wasted and for what? A mere discussion on tactics? Could that not have been done atthe beginning with the rest of the group? Could they not formulate a strategy that would work to the groups advantage? Tilting his head skyward, Renji with his left hand now keeping his mask firmly in place had no other option but to laugh, to openly ridicule just how blind the pair of them had been to everything thus far. In the mere span of two training sessions, Renji's concerns had already been brought to light; the fundamental flaws of the demon slayer corps and their tendency to forsake actual team work for the mere prospect of selfish desire.

Pure strength, Pure speed and pure dumb luck were not going to cut it, not against a Kinoe that vastly out skilled them and definitely not against a demon worthy of the name. Sure the small fodder would pose no threat, but the true monsters; the true behemoths that have their roots intertwined with Muzan's very genetics would prove to be another level entirely. They would not simply evade a direct frontal charge and invite a second. No. They'd punish the foolish demons slayer blind enough to believe that a straightforward strategy would prove profitable. Had Akimine been a 12 kizuki, would Erwin and Sakura still be alive?

Renji doubted it. Food delivered on a platter.

Why was it so hard for them to realize that coordination was key? Had it not been for Tatsuo's actions back in the forest then it was highly unlikely Erwin would have attained the ribbon, yet even with that fact blatantly obvious, again the same mistakes are being made. It took a minimum of five slayers to corner her earlier, yet now after a twenty minute rest period they are attempting to defeat her with just the two of them?. How could this not be an act of arrogance?

"Foolish... is this the level that they are at?. To charge in blindly and without even sparing a thought for the rest of us. Is his desire to be the standout far stronger than his desire to achieve the goal at hand?" asked Renji, ceasing his laughter as he took a more serious tone. "... it has been less then a day and already the fundamental flaws of our organization are being brought to light... to charge in recklessly...alone... and to abandon his comrades behind..." Renji sighed, and instead glanced sideward towards everyone else unfortunate enough to be left behind in the dust.

"Anyone else feel like rushing in without a plan? Or shall we attempt to foster some semblance of actual teamwork?" he questioned almost rhetorically. "Restricting her movements is pivotal to our success... but with every passing second the duo that charged in are forcing her further and further away from us... I for one would rather not charge in blindly... to willingly expend energy without reward is a fools act."

Beneath this controlled façade was a growing anger towards the situation; Renji's subconscious breathing becoming increasingly deeper as he continued to seethe with growing frustration. Had someone attained the ability to see within his soul then they'd witness a growing storm of red, a vortex of inner emotions being contained within himself and in essence the foundations of his school of breathing. Without realizing it, Renji had begun to subconsciously enter a pseudo state of total breathing as he attempted to control the swirling rage growing inside of him.

 

ManofManyRoles

Fantasy and Sci-fi Enthusiast
Tag! You're all it, again! Keep trying!
The Demon Slayer Corps Headquarters; Barracks
Sakutsuki Akimine


Despite Erwins best efforts, every approach he had simply came up short, the Kinoe avoiding him with equal amounts of grace and prowess, every attempt only serving to drag him further and further out from his place of rest he had been at but moments ago. Not to say he never came close, she could hear his breathing just as much as she could smell...oak? Interesting. As soon as his hand had lashed out she'd moved again, dashing away in the blink of an eye. Again he came at her, only managing to damage the ground and most likely meaning some poor Kakushi was going to have to till the soil and level it again to make it proper. Once again she had dashed away, a good sum of distance away, hand gripping the hilt of her blade and watching them silently, lips tugged into a calm smile, like an elder sibling patiently watching the younger try to grasp a concept they were being instructed in.

The chase would not continue, instead it all seemed to break down as parties began to discuss and plan...or in Renji's case, to openly trash talk the other Slayers who he seemed to think he was a degree above, one way or the other. Unfortunate, for a number of reasons...mostly for all of these Slayers though. "Interesting. Are you all so bold to believe a Demon would simply let you plan ahead in the middle of combat? You must show unity and cohesion even as you fight, even if it means faking it. Never stay put in combat." As she spoke she flourished her blade at her side in a single motion, the Nichirin sword a brilliant flash of blue as she pulled it from the scabbard, the metal ending at the hilt and crowned with a water lily at the end of it. Did she seriously intend to engage them with the actual blade? No, it would seem not, the scabbard yanked from the housing in one go as she quickly shifted her stance, the scabbard in hand. "Water Breathing, Third Form: Flowing Dance."

Like a shot she streaked forward, straight towards both Slayers closest to her. Though it was far from a straight shot, her footwork and body curving and weaving forward towards them both, a brilliant streak of water following her as she moved. Alas, she moved fast, far faster than she had been going previously to the point she may have well been walking last time. Was this the speed of her actually putting in effort for an offensive, or had she been going easy up until now? Questions one would not have to answer as that streak of water soared first towards Erwin's right, only to just as quickly curve around and reveal it was a faint at the last second, swerving left as she brought the butt of her blade towards his solar plexus. As typical of the Third Form, this wasn't were it ended, only where it began. In but a blink she had moved towards Sakura, the scabbard swung towards her chest as the Kinoe looped around, the sound of rushing water ringing in the two Slayers ears before she stopped between where the two had once been and Renji's group, glancing over her shoulder to check her handy work. Provided the two were now soundly on the ground her attention would go to Renji's party...and if the two Slayers had managed to avoid her attacks the Kinoe would sprint off again...though she would not be on the floor of the Barracks grounds. Rather, one would have to look up towards the roof of the Barracks, where the Kinoe now stood in challenge.

Maxxob Maxxob Phayne Phayne Nenma Takashi Nenma Takashi Sopranos Sopranos Archdemon Archdemon DipDapTheSlap DipDapTheSlap kakemha kakemha qingwa qingwa
 

Maxxob

Junior Member
Grin and bear it = 2D10 with a difficulty of 7

CODE / ARKNIGHT
Erwin Kott
Location: The Demon Slayer Corps HQ

A plan to make Schlieffen proud

While not saying anything about it, the ‘trap’, if one could call it that, the man had set in his hat had the sole purpose of detection. Despite all the explosions from artillery barrages, piercing sounds of gunfire, death shrieks, or any other musical instrument that were always present in the grand symphony called war, his hearing was undamaged and still worked fine. Had the ( ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles ) Kinoe rushed pass it, he would certainly pick up the rattling of his medals and be able to calculate exactly where she would stop, snatching the ribbon once again. His plans were not without its faults, but he studied enough human behaviour to know that they were prone to being beasts of habit, and she would keep up increasing the distance travelled by a steady 15 meters. He also had confidence that the ( kakemha kakemha ) pink-haired girl would hear the sound and, since she admitted that she had good spatial awareness, she would be able to capitalize his on simple trap as well.

When the girl praised him, there wasn’t a single change in his demeanour, not even a slight smile. Flatteries, regardless of being honest or not had absolutely no effect on the man and, while his display of his military honours could be taken as the opposite, he didn’t care for it - “With experience, you will come up with ideas just as fast. When it comes to demons, I will be relying on you, Tsuchinoto-sama” - he made a point to remember the girl of her own rank, the rank he had heard as soon as she introduced herself and, while they were exactly at the same rank during training, she outranked him as his superior. In a way, if felt a bit like a soldier strategizing for a colonel, but then again, hadn’t the blue-haired woman remarked on the little use what he had learned during military college would be when facing against demons? Was that why he had seen some many young teens, just as old as she was, having their lives robbed away during the selection process?

Regardless what the truth of the matter was, Sakura asked an important question: should they wait for the others, or one of them should kick-start his plan? Looking at the other Slayers, while he couldn’t exactly make it out what was being said, he heard the ( Phayne Phayne ) masked-man rambling about something, with a laugher being thrown in between. Apathy, was the only thing he could think of and, just as they say, apathy and inaction is as good as being dead - “Unfortunately, we can’t rely on any of them at this moment. We need to do this ourselves. I start the p-” - before he could finish, his sentence was cut short by their tutor. Listening, the unmistakeable rasp of the scabbard, the man had his focus directed at her, once again. There simply wasn’t enough time, he had to act that instant. Breathing in, his lungs were filled with air, breathing out, the static began to fill the air. And, just as he was starting his dash towards her, a blur was all that he saw, before the sharp pain right in the middle of his chest. That forced every bit of air inside his lungs to be expelled. The static fizzled out from around him, his face contracting in pain, eyes getting wide open. His mouth forced open with a cough, and yet not a single moan from pain left him. And the only reason it didn’t was because he lacked the air to do so. Erwin’s vision got fuzzy, and he began to fall down.

The blurry vision and the ringing of his ears was the only thing the German felt. With his back against the hard, concreted ground, he blinked: one, twice, thrice. He moved his body, without finer control of it, only knowing that he was indeed in control of his motions, because he saw them move. Something slowly dribbled on his face, first touching his forehead, descending to the side of his eyes, finally touching his chin. It was warm, comforting. His hand moved towards it, to check what it was. Rubbing his fingers tips against it, the liquid stuck against it, all gooey. Moving in front of his face, Erwin saw it: its colour was a dark crimson. Bringing it to his nose, he smelled it. The iron-like scent was something he could never forget: the scent that announced death was nearby. Looking around himself, left and right, he simply couldn’t recognize where he was or how he got there. Soldiers, lying on the ground, some not moving, being really still: were they hiding from someone or just trying to sleep? Some, with trembling hands, trying to grasp the skies. Oh, how silly they were, did they not know how far the clouds were? And, amidst all that, a voice rang inside his head. It had a shrilling, mocking tone, that one would certainly rather not hear it - “SlEeP aNd ReSt PeAcEfUlLy. StAy AwAkE aNd FaLl InTo DeSpAiR”

His left hand firmly clasped his sword by its sheath. He felt his weight, shifting from his right knee, to it, while his right foot gave him balance. A coughing fit, followed by a wheeze, while the man starved for oxygen. His lungs did their past to coarse his nose to keep breathing more and more air, but it wasn’t that much avail. Taking a great deal of his own strength, the man forced his head upwards, seeing the blue haired woman with her back turned towards him. His right hand, trembling, tried to reach for the ribbon. It was so close, he wouldn’t allow himself to let such an opportunity go to waste. He couldn’t even move a few inches from where he was and, the sight of his attempt must have been truly pathetic. In a moment’s notice, the woman had left that place and was now somewhere else. Where? The effort he had put forth in her search was simply Herculean, his neck turning as minimum as possible, letting his eyes move around and do most of the ‘heavy lifting'.

It was then that he saw it, just on top of the barracks, the woman stood. His body cried, pleaded, for the man to just lay down on the dirt and let his faint conscious simply disappear to nothingness. To let the whisper of oblivion take him to undiscovered lands, why did he reject such unique proposal? He should… no, he HAD to give chase. But could he? He needed to gather his breath, didn’t he? What could he do in such a sorry state? …. Was he allowed to rest? The raggedy breathing continued, the pain in his body from the previous activity came back in full force, certainly as a punishment for his refusal to simply go along with his body. The trembling left hand gripped the sheath with even greater force, his right hand made its way to the top of the handle and, with his palm open, he forced himself to stand. His vision was still blurred, each time he breathed, the wheezing got worse. With uneasy steps, appearing to be more like a ghost of the war, he walked towards the direction of the woman, step by step. His body move unsteadily from left to right, threatening to fall down at any moment.
 
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Enjirou Rikitsuki

At least someone was having a good time. Karasu usually sustained herself on her Slayer's leftovers and whatever she foraged, but this time was different. A whole onigiri, all for her; it was nearly as big as her entire body. She was neck-deep into the feast when a Kasugai's cry alerted the Slayers that round two was beginning.

Enjirou withered when he saw the Kinoe take off again away from the barracks with two of the trainees in pursuit. He let out an exasperated sigh and stared at the sky, willing one of the crackles of thunder produced by Kott's power to strike him in the chest. He waited. Nothing. Unlucky, he thought.

Somewhere back in the realm of reality, the red-haired Slayer was waxing combat philosophy again. It was true that to this point the lot of them had each acted of their own accord, hardly waiting to strategize with each other until it became abundantly clear that they couldn't hope to face this challenge as individuals. It was also true that they had no hope of facing the demons responsible for the Flame Hashira's death the way they were now. Something had to change.

...

"If at first you don't succeed-"

"Try again," Enjirou finished. He promptly clotheslined himself on the log obstacle, turning over once, twice, then landing with a face full of knees in the dirt.

"Adjust," corrected Bull-Eye.

...


He ( Phayne Phayne ) had asked if anyone was willing to put their heads together. He seemed to seethe with the question (but then again, had there been a time since his arrival that his mere presence hadn't impugned?), suggesting that expending energy without reward is "a fool's act".

Enjirou blew out a breath, more measured and precise than his previous sighs of exasperation. He relaxed and focused on his lungs. Seven seconds in...hold for three...five seconds out. He spoke directly to the red-haired Slayer. "The only fool's act is thinking there's no reward to this." In...out. "Getting the ribbon, cornering her, strategizing, they're just distractions." In...out. "We're not in combat right now, we're training. This isn't a final exam, it's literally square one - development."

His breathing was slow, precise, each push and pull a cycle that rotated the wheel of his body's equilibirum. Bull-Eye was silent in his head, watchful. The seconds passed by like viscous fluid, each one a drop-tick in Enjirou's temperature. Nothing else existed.

Outside him, the training ground was awash with a river - quite literally from the blue - and Akimine-san ( ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles ) was upon them.

He didn't have much time. "Hey, redhead. I can tell you're almost on fire over there." His heart-rate slowed to a steady, even meter. In...out. "Let's say you watch my back and I'll watch yours." The breath from his lungs condensed in the warm air. In...out. "Whatcha think? You go hot and I'll go cold?" And finally - stasis.
 
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kakemha

Junior Member
< sakura aka >

Sakura stood there shocked, Erwin ( Maxxob Maxxob ) said he would be relying on her during missions. It only hit her then, she realised that her rank was higher than Erwin's. How? She didn't know, from his amount of experience and tactics, it would make more sense that he should be considered a higher rank than her, but that thought left her head relatively quickly, she would have more time to think about it later, they had more important issues at hand, their sensei would make her move soon. But what caught her attention next wasn't their sensei, it was Renji ( Phayne Phayne ) laughing. She didn't hear exactly what he said, but she did hear enough of it, he was making fun of her and Erwin. Some memories starting coming back to Sakura, ones that she didn't want to remember, ones that make the insecure voices in her head stronger.

She's a fool, there's no way she can survive, she's weak, why is she even here. Sakura heard that on a daily basis, both in her village and during her training to become a demon slayer. She may have been somewhat confident before, but she always had that voice in her head, making her feel weak and behind everyone else. Renji's comment only added fuel to the fire. If anyone could hear her breathing, it hitched, stopped in her throat, and when she finally let out a breath, it came out shaky. She felt that voice nagging at her 'what if he was right, why are you so foolish, what do you think you can do.' It started to fill her head, blocking out most other thoughts. Fortunately, Erwin's voice puller her out of those thoughts, but they never really went away.

She nodded as she listened to Erwin's answer to her question, but he got cut short as both of them got interrupted by their sensei ( ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles ), rushing to attack them. No matter how much she wanted to block, she knew she couldn't, she was too fast. She tried to dodge, but hadn't been fully successful as well. She felt Akimine's scabbard strike her in the point where her chest and shoulder meet. She grabbed her katana as she knew which form she could use to avoid falling or hitting her back on a tree. "Second Form: Honorable Shadow Plum" She said as she prepared to execute the form. With this form, she shifts her weight to help her land on her feet. Once she lands on her feet, she glanced over at Erwin, he look very hurt. She was hurt herself, but she had worse injuries, she once at to fight with her stomach slashed. She felt sore from the constant use of Concentration Breathing, but she pushed the pain aside for now. She made her way to Erwin, "Erwin-san, are you alright, I'm so sorry." She said as she rushed to his side to make sure he was alright. She noticed that he wasn't looking down or else where, his eyes were fixed on a specific location. She followed his line of sight, and her eyes fell on Akimine, on the roofs of the barracks. She could probably still give chase but she would have to leave Erwin behind and it felt useless to even try. 'It's no use, there isn't anything you can do, you're weak, you will never be able to catch up' The voices were coming back to her now, why couldn't they just leave her be. But in the end, she ended up staying with Erwin, some part because she didn't to leave a comrade behind, but mostly because the voices just wouldn't let her move. Her breath was shaky, and she lost her Concentration Breathing, even breathing properly showed to prove a difficult task. Most people would be able to see her struggling, the closer you were to her the more evident it was.
 

qingwa

they/them
Screen Shot 2021-11-14 at 7.18.11 PM.png
tomi tennoji

What is going on here, I wish 'baekfest' was the answer. Tomi probably does too. The break's end, the training's continuation, Kott and Aka's pursuit, Hisagi, Rikitsuki. All these events seemed to process slower than usual in her head, or maybe they were too fast for her. She'd never been faced with a challenge of this difficulty before, after all, it low-to-mid demons' blood on her paychecks. Upper moons, lower moons, she seldom considered them.

Running headfirst in pursuit of the target was definitely not smart, but sitting around planning isn't either, worst was waiting idly like she was. See? If Hisagi were to accept Rikitsuki's offer, she'd be two steps closer to being left behind. It seemed like everyone was forming their little teams. 'This is stupid.' And what about the other two? What were they doing? And more importantly, what were they thinking of doing? Tomi took a deep breath.

The thought of just following someone else's orders flashed through her mind, I mean, it's the all she can think of at the moment. She shot glances at each of the remaining slayers, Mori, Yushimashi, Rikitsuki, Hisagi. Exhale.​
 

Phayne

[▬▬(ஜ۩۞۩ஜ)▬▬]








Mentions: Basically everyone // Interacts: Those left behind but primarily Enjirou DipDapTheSlap DipDapTheSlap

"Development...if only to further bad habits is nothing more than a waste of time" replied Renji, glancing in the direction of Enjirou as he spoke. "If we are to truly develop ourselves, than we need to learn from the mistakes we make. Not repeat them" he continued, glancing back at the direction in which the others stood.

"Mistakes were made and now they have been repeated. To run, and fall. To stand and fall again only to stand once more. Some might call that heroic, inspiring even. That never say die attitude to rise again and again in the face of adversity..." Renji paused momentarily as he reminisced for a bit. "... the mere thought of it sends a cold shiver down my spine.. truly.. it does... but not because I find that sense of idealism to be a wonderful thing.. but because of the countless and pointless deaths that have resulted because of it. We despite our training are only human and one mistake out there on the battlefield could be all it takes to get ourselves or our comrades killed.. or worse.. those we have sworn to protect." Renji had begun to go on a tangent now as he spoke, the experiences of his own past beginning to surface. "As an organization in the business of death, we require results more than anything else. Either we Die, the demons die or the innocent die. Thus to repeat an act that has already proven to fail is little more that a childish ideal one that will either result in us getting ourselves killed or innocents that we could have otherwise saved" Renji stopped, his head now returning towards the direction of where Erwin and Sakura now struggled, the duo easily overpowered by their Kinoe instructor and still at a distance where Renji and probably the others would struggle to assist with. "While this may be training, I am fully intent on engaging Mrs Akimine as if she were a demon herself. Out of everyone here, she is the closest representation to what a full fledged demon would be, if not a pale comparison to those rumoured to be the closest to Muzan himself. We cannot simply rely on the belief that we can rush in and achieve a miracle each and every time...one day that miracle wont come and all that will be left is pain, bloodshed and death"

Returning his attention back to Enjirou, Renji could sense the change in the mans demeanour; his breathing completely different to how it had been previously. While he previously felt more whimsical than reliable; the man standing next to him had changed completely, taking a more serious attitude to the situation. "Since our advanced party have currently been rendered near immobile perhaps it is our turn to step in" replied the red haired slayer as Enjirou invited him to team up, though before they would engage the Kinoe, Renji would turn to the direction where he could roughly sense everyone else.

"We won't be enough to overpower Mrs Akimine.. I doubt that fact would even change if we all engaged simultaneously.. not when she has complete control over this 'Total breathing constant'. I suggest that rather than attempting to overpower with strength and speed, we aim for attrition. We attack at intervals, switch out when it begins to look dire for the group presently engaged with Mrs Akimine. Conserve our energy whilst the other group engages, rinse and repeat. If our aim is to learn to master Total Constant breathing, then our aim should not be to end this game of tag as quickly as possible, much less charge in recklessly only to find ourselves isolated. Let us watch and prolong the fight, take it in turns to spar with her. Work smarter, not harder. This way not only will we be able to learn this Total Constant breathing, but perhaps we can work on coordination as well" Renji paused.


"Since the two of us have yet to expend any energy, allow us to engage her first" he stated, beginning to walk forward next to where Enjirou stood. Sighing as he stopped. "Guys.. you don't have to listen to me... but without actual team work and coordination, there is little chance we have against a foe vastly superior to us. Whether you use us as decoys or work with us... or rush to aide our weakened comrades, that is up to you. I merely suggest we use one another to our own advantage in order to grasp this total constant breathing."

With that said, Renji would begin to unsheathe his obsidian black blade; his right hand firmly grasping the jet black hilt of his Daito. "Well then Enjirou, shall we?"

 
Enjirou Rikitsuki

The methodical rhythm had taken over, a meticulous plunge into Total Concentration. Constant wasn't it - he hadn't yet tested this form to its limits, but he certainly didn't expect to maintain it all day. It was a matter of stamina and how much he was willing to put into it. Being him, that meant very little, so he relied mostly on what he already knew he was capable of: Thermal Breathing, Freezing Form two-fold. It would take time to work up to eight-fold, his current known maximum, at which point his body would enter temporary hibernation, his heartrate slowing to a mere beat per minute, a virtual cryogenic freeze. At two-fold, his senses were dulled to distractions so he could aim his attention at precise points without wasting energy - in this case his temporary partner, and ( ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles ) Akimine-san. As if listening through heavy wind, he could just pick up ( Phayne Phayne ) Renji's voice.

Attrition...a slow game. Conserve energy and use one another to the advantage...

"You got it." It didn't matter if Akimine-san heard them. It wouldn't change the tactic. By now, Enjirou was nearing three-fold. The air around his body was cooling into a thin veneer of condensation. As Freezing Form sank his temperature, his muscles hardened. He made his way to where their tutor was poised on the roof and stopped. He braced himself on one knee and drew his nichirin sword in tandem with the other Slayer. "Drive her towards me. We'll play some badminton."

Then with a grunt, he launched his sword in the air like a heavenward javelin, the double-edged tip pin-pointed at Akimine-san's core.
 
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Phayne

[▬▬(ஜ۩۞۩ஜ)▬▬]








Mentions: // Interacts: Enjirou DipDapTheSlap DipDapTheSlap Akimine ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles
"Very well" replied Renji, who was still seething within himself; his breathing controlled yet hiding a growing tempest within himself. Breathing styles as they were called where a form of swordplay that varied between schools of thought; these esoteric techniques often described as being able to conjure up visualizations of the 'branch' they aimed to imitate. For example, the school of water was often depicted as being able to conjure the illusions of water in all its various forms, from crashing waves to tranquil rain. Quite often those who excelled in their particular branch of swordplay would find their movements being a subconscious replication of what their chosen element was.

For Renji, who in his isolation had developed and honed the controversial art of Demon Breathing, his mind and soul must have first had to experience pandemonium, to have undergone a level of mental mind fucking so severe that he'd be insane or desperate enough to even attempt to imitate those responsible for causing him such grief. Rage, insanity and desperation where the three foundations that Renji had used to develop this style of swordplay; the desperation and resolve to repay the demon's twofold for the generosity they had once shown him. His style; an anarchistic mockery that ridiculed everything the demon slayer corps stood for was a style designed to turn predator into prey; to flip the tables and make those at the wrong end of Renji's blade beg for mercy. Alas, there was no mercy to be given to those Renji had set his sights upon.

While some breathing styles evoked an image of calmness like that of the water style, Renji's style would evoke an image of someone on a cliffs edge; someone at the limit of their own humanity and staring deep into the dark abyss of nothingness. To truly resolve to master the art of demon breathing, one must resolve to sacrifice their humanity; to throw themselves into the darkest depths of chaos and hope that they'd survive the journey back. Renji was one of those survivors, yet the price he paid was the price of living on a wires edge. One small push and he'd succumb to the madness that drives the demons to do what they do.

With Enjirou's grunt the signal, Renji launched himself forward; his movements nowhere near as fast as that of Erwin's engage, yet fast enough that he'd make his way to the roof where Akimine stood; the blind swordsman utilizing the footwork and explosiveness of 'Oni Break' to make his way behind the blue haired instructor; Renji sliding to a halt as he grasped the hilt of his Daito with both hands; his blade raised above his head as he inhaled once more. "2nd Form: Descend into Nakara" whispered Renji; the obsidian black blade now engulfed in the illusion of a viscous black flame as he swung the Daito downwards, a wall of air being generated from the swing creating a wall of pressure that would begin to crush down on anyone caught blocking the swing from beneath, effectively rooting them in the spot or sending them flying backward. [x] Would Akimine block, run or be driven towards Enjirou?

Despite Enjirou's words of badminton; Renji had his own ulterior motives to the situation. In an ideal world their plan would go without a hitch and everything would be fine and dandy, yet considering Akimine's superiority displayed thus far there was reason to suspect she'd find a way to evade and if that was the case, Renji would be sure to pay attention to the rhythm of her breathing; to discover exactly how she was performing total breathing constant. He did not care for the ribbon. He simply sought to steal and make total constant breathing his own.


 

ManofManyRoles

Fantasy and Sci-fi Enthusiast

Tag! Things are getting serious, now!
The Demon Slayer Corps Headquarters; Barracks
Sakutsuki Akimine


The Kinoe stood silently at the edge of the barracks roof overhang, observing the 'class' with an ever-watchful gaze. They were trying so desperately, but they had to keep pushing even harder. They had to become stronger and faster, hone their skills to their maximum and then some. Every day more innocents died, more Slayers were killed, more demons were 'born'...they needed to be able to face that reality. Erwin and Sakura were slowly making their way towards her, the Westerner bound and determined to not stay down. She had to admire and respect such tenacity, just as she admired his ability to avoid landing on his back, much like Sakura...they all just might survive to an old age if they further their skill sets. Young Tomi appeared frozen in time, having made absolutely no effort to get involved it would seem...hopefully, she would change that approach soon.

Out of the corner of her eye she saw Enji's approach with his blade before disappearing right beneath her, both losing sight of each other. As if anticipating his next move she casually stepped to the side in a quick flowing motion, Enji's blade striking only air as it went up through the overhang of the barracks, the Kinoe glancing towards it with a mild look of confusion. Was that his approach to this situation? Or was it a distraction? The sound of footsteps landing behind her confirmed the thought in her head, distraction it was. Spinning around in a quick motion her eyes landed on Renji, quickly analyzing the situation in mere seconds it required. She had heard of Renji, but solely because of his form...and seeing it in action was concerning. She'd have to keep an eye on him she supposed before he lost himself so thoroughly to his desires that he became what he hated. As soon as Renji swung the instructor shifted again, body bending and flowing out of the way of the blade and just as quickly trading places, going right behind Renji as the massive air current barely was avoided, her hair and ribbon blowing from the nearby pressure change.

For one so skilled with the rest of their senses as Renji, being this up close to Akimine, he could hear it clearly, the way she breathed. Interestingly enough...it seemed no different than his own concentration breathing. It was the same inhales and exhales, the same rhythm and esoteric styles as every Slayer used. But no matter the efforts she made, the movements, or even the massive burst of speed she had used, she didn't sound winded in the slightest, nor did she look as such to one who could still see. She had maintained a breathing style that was outright painful for most this entire time, and perhaps most frustratingly of all, it was no different than the one they were all taught. It was as the trainer had said when this lesson began. It was a simple art, but one's body needed to be painfully molded to accept it. "Water Breathing First Form: Water Surface Slash." In a single smooth motion, the sound of rushing water could be heard as Akimine swung her scabbard in one quick and brutal motion towards the back of Renji's head, a large wave forming as her scabbard moved before she just as quickly leapt back, landing dead center on the barracks rooftops. "You seem focused on something other than the lesson at hand, Renji-san. You made no effort for the goal."

Maxxob Maxxob Phayne Phayne Nenma Takashi Nenma Takashi Sopranos Sopranos Archdemon Archdemon DipDapTheSlap DipDapTheSlap kakemha kakemha qingwa qingwa
 

Maxxob

Junior Member
CODE / ARKNIGHT
Erwin Kott
Location: The Demon Slayer Corps HQ

A plan to make Schlieffen proud

Step-by-step, each time the tip of the scabbard was forced against the ground as a crutch, it looked like the Westerner could move slightly better. His eyes were madly focused on the prized ribbon, until a soft voice called him back to reality, apologizing for something unknown to him. His wheezing was thoroughly ragged still and, to answer ( kakemha kakemha )her, he had to put quite a bit of effort in it. From his lips, escaped a stifled laugh, clearly in self derision - “You…. you shouldn’t apologize” - he coughed, while he tried to continue speaking, his movements towards the ( ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles Kinoe never stopping - “I am… am not your responsibility here” - at the end of his sentence, he gasped for air. Was it worry that filled Sakura’s mind and made her stay by Erwin’s side? Even though it clearly looked like he wouldn’t be able to get back the tag so soon, or even not at all?

Through his desperate breaths, the man heard the girl’s own breathing. Even after she was hit by their instructor, and sent flying backwards, she still kept using Concentration Breathing. The German was surprised, thinking about how resilient the pink-haired girl actually was. That only made him wonder how resilient their previous allies, ( Archdemon Archdemon ) Tatsuo, was also. That just showed what a superior position she was actually in, certainly coming from the training she further received because of her own rank.

Still waving, back and forth, he saw ahead, looking at other people from the group started making their play: the ( Phayne Phayne ) red-haired man and ( DipDapTheSlap DipDapTheSlap ) the blue-haired one. He thought it was curious how both of them looked almost like contrasts of each other. One thing that brought a serious frown to his face was how there were still three slayers standing still. Why were they not joining in? Why all the five weren’t coordinating an attack together? All of them were close to Sakutsuki and, as such, the man saw that there was no excuse for inaction, passivity and apathy - “You should leave me and join them. They could make better use of another set of hands…” - the Westerner said, his breathing appearing to have got much better than it was moments ago.

It was only after his suggestion, he noticed that Aka had come to a full stop. Sharpening his years, he could hear it: her breathing was laboured, inconstant, showing a horrible form. Was she panicking? Turning his face to look at her over his shoulder, he noticed something was troubling her mind. His expression hardened, and he proceeded to deal with such situation with the only way he knew of - “Sakura! Why did you stop?! Do you want to be attacked by the Kinoe once more?!” - he was bellowing with whatever breath he had. It was a furious scream, clearly coming from one’s very core. He continued still, his voice getting louder and graver. His eyebrows were furrowed, the muscles on the corners of his face contracted, showing his teeth, which were grinding against each other.

“Your brethren need your help, and you just stand there, gawking?!” - the trembling hand raised, slowly but steadily, the lonely index finger extended, pointing towards the rooftop which, at the moment, was the place of combat - “You go there and show them what you are made of!” - and he came to a full stop, pointing at the fight, while his head was turned towards the girl. There was no malice in his expression, but his voice and actions were stern. It was just like he was chastising a soldier that had refused his charge orders. His sincere hopes were that those words would bring her back from whatever trance she was one and put her back into the fight. Of the two, he knew she was the only one that could have a chance of continuing the exercise.

Or at the very least, that is what he wanted everyone to think. Deception is a huge part of war: smoke and mirrors.
 

kakemha

Junior Member
< sakura aka >

They were getting louder, all the sounds of the fight going on at the rooftop were drowned out, they were muffled. She heard Erwin ( Maxxob Maxxob ) speak, his voice sounded softer than before when he told her not to apologise, did he move farther away, she wouldn't have been able to tell if she didn't have her eyes open. He was telling her that she should join them. You would only slow them down, you'd mess up their plan, they're better than you. That was all she could hear, that's the way the voices wanted her to respond, but she didn't let a word slip out, she stood still, her breathing still shaky. The voices continued on, having no intend of shutting up, but she heard something even louder than the voices. It was Erwin, he was yelling at her. Why was he yelling at her, Sakura didn't know the answer. He tells her to go, but her legs won't let her. She was sure he didn't mean any ill-will, it was quite evident on his face, but the voices twisted his words in a way that made it sound like he was blaming her.

He thinks you're gawking, he probably think you are a weak little girl, he's mad at you. That's what they were telling her, and that kept repeating in her head. "I-I-I ca-an't, Erwin-san. I'm w-weak and fragile. W-what can I possibly do to help?!" She said, the words the voices were saying were starting to come out of her mouth. Her voice came out cracking slightly, it was loud as well. "You would be a much better asset, Erwin-san! I would just slow them down, I would be a hinderance! I couldn't even dodge or counter Akimine-sensei's ( ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles ) attack!" She was rambling now, letting it all out, there were tears welling up in her eyes. "What I'm made of, I'm made of nothing! It looks like Renji-san ( Phayne Phayne ) was right, I'm just a foolish little girl who can't think properly!" That was the last straw for her, the tears slowly fell down her face as she screamed out her last sentence. Anyone could hear it, the people fighting on the barrack rooftops could probably hear her as well. Her eyes widened, a hand flew to cover her mouth, she didn't mean to let that out. She knew she couldn't train or fight in this condition, she wasn't even sure if she could swing her katana. She ran past Erwin and the group at the barracks and ran inside, before anyone else could see her cry. She leaned against a wall, slid down it, and brought her knees to her chest.

Senbi flew through an open window and grabbed the ribbon from her hair before he landed in front of Sakura. "Why are you crying Sakura? Was it the voices again?" He asked her. She didn't have the voice to answer, all she could do was nod. She just prayed that no one would follow after her, or remember that embarrassing event. She just sat there in silence, in the company of Senbi who had flown onto a windowsill, knowing she needed some space. She would have breakdowns like this a lot, but this might've been the worst one so far, she didn't know when she would be able to come out again.
 

Maxxob

Junior Member
CODE / ARKNIGHT
Erwin Kott
Location: The Demon Slayer Corps HQ

And such is the end plan

And so, the last thing the man expected came to happen: the ( kakemha kakemha ) girl had an emotional breakdown. The self-pity, the screaming and, finally, the tears streaming down from her eyes as she tried to justify herself to the man, something he hadn’t asked for nor did he require. Sakura had noticed one important aspected as she started to answer Erwin: his face was immutable. The cold, blue eyes pierced her, and she said her piece. Not a single gesture had sprung from the man, not even a twitch. He silently watched her say all those things, before storming off to the barracks. His mind would, once again, be brought back to the test he had been gone through. And a comparison was made with those who attended it and the girl, who the German watched getting smaller and smaller, before finally disappearing into the building. She wasn’t an adult.

What kind of treatment should be offered to her? Certainly, demons would try to kill her, regardless of how old she was. The common folk would look to her for protection against the sordid creatures. Could a different treatment even be afforded towards her? The answer came quickly to his own mind: no. It didn’t matter who was in her place, the Westerner would have shouted and commanded them the same. While her action of staying behind could be considered noble, not letting the man by himself, it made her impossible to act where she would have been best employed.

The thoughts flooded his mind for an instant, while he kept his limping and slow movements towards where the battle was still raging on. In truth, if he wanted, he could have picked up the pace and followed her. It would have been a cost for it, however, and everything he had done to that point would be for naught. With great difficulty, he strained his eyes to try to capture every movement both ( Phayne Phayne ) Renji and ( ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles ) Akimine were doing it. Hopefully, the pink-haired girl’s screams actually had served as a useful screen for the man, drawing their attention to her and, after it, dissipating it. Suddenly, Erwin noticed it: the red-haired man tried his attack, which missed his target. That was his cue to act.

All his raggedy breathing, up to that point, had a purpose. The mask he had put on, apparently, worked perfectly, not even failing to fool those that were just a few feet from him. He had been enduring great pain, from the moment he got up from his knees. The pain of keeping Concentration Breathing active had been a useful disguise, after all, who would guess that it wasn’t the Kinoe’s thrust with her handle that caused him all that excruciating pain? After all, comparing his ranks, he was basically a nobody next to her: their abilities, speed, strength, technique and capacity for quick thinking truly unbalanced. The man was glad, truly glad, that all the endurance that he had served him, as he doubted he would have endured the pain of his façade otherwise.

Crouching, putting every ounce of strength into his legs, as speed would be the determining factor there, he felt the painful energy of his very core, that he had kept torturing his lungs and stomach, suddenly shoot out to his own legs which made him disappear, at least for those with untrained eyes. Curious enough, the thunderous-clap had a noticeable delay from when he started to move, being heard at the same time the Kinoe probably noticed the roofing of the barracks being dislodged and rattled by Erwin’s speed. It could be said that lucky was on his side, as he and the woman almost occupied the exact same place as soon as she landed back at the centre of the roof, after finishing her leap - “Second From: Rice Spirit!” - once more, the five, lightning fast attacks came shooting from the man. His empty hands aiming for her ribbon. That was the only goal the man had in mind.
 

ManofManyRoles

Fantasy and Sci-fi Enthusiast

Tag! Keep trying, push harder!
The Demon Slayer Corps Headquarters; Barracks
Sakutsuki Akimine


Just outside of sight she could hear something, her mind registering what it was after but a moment. It seemed Erwin had lost his temper and snapped off on someone...but who? The cries and vocalized self defense came in short order, Sakura. Interesting, she wondered what had caused such a situation? Whatever it was, it was something she would address after sundown, when their training ended. And provided they could still move, let alone speak, it would certainly be brought up for review and discussion. The sound of a thunderclap, the roofing being disturbed...the Thunder Breather was on the move again. Erwins hand lashed out, it looked like he may have it, how could he not? And then, as if the gods conspired against him, the woman jerked her head in a swift motion, the ribbon dodging just out of his grasp. And again her head shifted, her body twisting and bending as if she was more fluid than solid in nature until she had completely spun around, the German lacking his prize. "Good of you to join us." The woman's voice was soft and pleasant on the ears as ever, but that look in her eye spoke otherwise. There was a soft glint there, an eagerness of challenge that had been absent the first go around. It seemed the trainees were finally making the instructor actually try to a degree rather than it all being effortless. "Water Breathing...Improved Sixth Form, Escoceteric art: Naruto no Uzushio." For any seasoned slayer who knew of water breathing, the Sixth form was common enough...though its name was solely 'whirlpool', and it certainly wasn't overly secretive of an art. Then what did that mean for this particulars Kinoe wording?

All would be revealed in a quick and brutal display, the Kinoe fiercely twisting her upper and lower body in a brutal revolution. The howl of the air being sliced quickly gave way to the sound of rushing and roaring rapids, the massive water vortex manifesting as she spun her body, the scabbard she swung, the air turned against the entire roof of the barracks as the whirlpool was given form, manifesting itself in a twenty-meter wide monster, reminiscent of the Naruto straights themselves. Thankfully, the kinoe had used a blunt scabbard rather than her blade proper, otherwise, the effects could have been lethal. For the two Slayers who were giving her chase however, would be subject to the blunt force trauma manifested by such an attack rather than cutting, the effect likely enough to push them off the roof or send them skidding back to the edge as the woman came to a halt after her revolution, stepping back once from where Erwin had likely previously been standing. Was this the power of a Kinoe, the power of Concentration Constant...or solely the power difference present in Akimine herself? Questions for now, or another day, remained to be seen.

Phayne Phayne Archdemon Archdemon Maxxob Maxxob Nenma Takashi Nenma Takashi Sopranos Sopranos DipDapTheSlap DipDapTheSlap kakemha kakemha qingwa qingwa
 
Enjirou Rikitsuki

Despite first impressions, Enjirou wasn't a true idiot. This was known by everyone who had the (mis)fortune of being acquainted with him for long enough to realize that he was wasting his talents. His parents had known it since he was a child...

"Riki-kun, why won't you show your uncles and aunts how good you are at darts? Hm? Why, just last week he beat his father with a nine-dart checkout without even trying! Go ahead, Rikkun, mommy's got a bet against her sister that you'll win!"

"Rikitsuki, why are you like this? We know you're capable of more, and yet you continue to skip classes, you blow off your exams and worst of all, you don't even care. A boy with your talents could do great things...why won't you just try?"


...and had disinherited him for throwing away his genetic jackpot. Unbeknownst to them, it was their very meddling and constant idle encouragement that sowed the seeds for their son's apathy. He wasn't a "hard worker," after all, but a "gifted child," and he'd internalized that. They sent him into the real world to "learn some discipline" - the very same discipline they themselves hadn't taught or enforced. Four years later, he was in the Slayer Corps.

Disciplined or not, Enjirou knew when his skills were required, and Freezing Form happened to require very little movement which suited him just fine. At three-fold, what movements he did make were precise, not a single one extraneous or misjudged. To the unacquainted eye, he'd thrown his only means of attacking or defending himself, his nichirin sword, off a great distance into the air in a desperate and unplanned move to distract their tutor ( ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles ). She'd dodged it without any effort at all. Renji ( Phayne Phayne ) and Erwin ( Maxxob Maxxob ) were both making valiant, concerted efforts which made Enjirou look comparatively incompetent. Buying into that look, however, would be a mistake.

In Freezing Form three-fold, Enjirou didn't notice a single thing outside of what he was focused on. Not Erwin's harsh yell, not the ( kakemha kakemha ) pink-haired girl's upset - even as she ran past him into the barracks - and not Akimine-san's modified Water Breathing technique. He didn't need to notice these things, after all. His plan had gone as it needed to.

In dodging the rapidly ascending nichirin sword, their tutor then had to contend with Renji's attack. The demonic Slayer had taken the opposite side of Enjirou in a double-edged assault. It perfectly forced Akimine-san into countering his aggressive attack; there was no need for a Kinoe to dodge a Kanoe in this situation, no matter how intimidating the latter. She now occupied the only open space on the barracks roof as Erwin joined in the offensive. As Akimine-san countered the two on the roof with a modified technique, it was as if Enjirou had been forgotten. Not unexpected, but dangerous.

As the nichirin sword followed the arc of his calculated launch, he maintained Total Concentration and poised to follow it. It streaked through the air, an impossibly sharp icicle descending rapidly towards where the Kinoe was now standing. Would she notice it in time to avoid becoming kebabbed? Or would she be privy to the sword's real target? Under these myriad circumstances, Enjirou felt no pressure to execute his plan perfectly, no matter how well it seemed to be going now. No matter what, his goal was different.

Maintain Total Concentration at all costs.
 

Maxxob

Junior Member
CODE / ARKNIGHT
Erwin Kott
Location: The Demon Slayer Corps HQ

And such is the end of the plan

It looked like, once again, the German would fall short of his own target and be left without his prize. A click of his tongue in utter annoyance was all that was heard from him in that split second. And, just as he landed, things would start to change, drastically. Erwin had just a few seconds to prepare before having to deal with another attack by their ( ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles ) instructor, but even if there was more time, he doubted there would be much he could have done. He body still screamed with pain from having kept Concentration Breathing for this short while. And, while a counter-counter-attack was impossible, the man thought he could, at the very least, lessen the blow he was about to receive as much as he could.

The vicious whirlpool, which started in the middle of the roof, and quickly expanded towards both himself and the ( Phayne Phayne ) red-haired man, was clearly unexpected. The Westerner had just enough time to move his sword in the path of the current’s destructive power, managing to move both of his hands to the hilt at the nick of time. The clash with his sword was not a pleasant one. The quavering his sheathed sword suffered when the twirling wave hit it was immense. His bones felt rattled, the joints of his fingers felt like they would burst from his own hand at any moment. A loud grunt of pain was left out of him, only not being a yell because of his closed shut jaws. So great was the contraction of his teeth, that his gums bled. One simply doesn’t block a metal hammer with a sword without any consequences.

As he kept blocking the attack, he was pushed back more and more. His mind didn’t even compute that, at the moment, he could fall backwards. His leathery boots creaked loudly, their friction against the barracks roofing clearly did no favours for the material. And, as much as he put his strength in his legs, trying to force himself to a stop, it was simply futile. At one point, he was lifted slightly from the ground, which made him lose any sense of balance, launching him in the opposite direction of the blue-haired woman. The violence in which he was pushed backwards was so great, that when his touched the ground again, he skidded. His boots against the roof of the barracks left a trail of destruction on the tilling. He couldn’t concentrate himself on his breathing anymore and, actually, he had probably lost the rhythm quite a while ago.

Erwin acted by instinct, feeling that, if he kept moving at that exact speed, he would simply end up off the room and fall on his back. Quickly unsheathing his sword, losing the scabbard in the process, he plunged it into the roof, blade first, just like he would any demon that were distracted. His arms were flexed, his fist so tightly closed around the hilt to not let it go, that his fingers nails sank into his palm, leaving a thin trail of blood, which flew at full force against the blade. Droplets of it fell on the tiling all around.

His mind, at that very moment, was a jumbled confusion, the only thing that he cared about was stopping his own movement. Thankfully, his efforts were rewarded, his involuntary movement stopping just shy of the roof’s edge. His leg, that was a bit backwards, had it heel raised the whole time. When he stopped, if his heel descended, there would be no tilling to support it. He stood in that position, practically at the edge of the roof, for quite a time. The man was afraid that any sudden movement would make him collapse, as a good part of his body was already numb from how much he had forced it in that single day. How would he even get to the end of it?

He stayed like that for a good few minutes or, at least, how much time he was allowed to. There was little, if anything, he could do if his unauthorized rest were interrupted for the woman. The best thing he could hope was that, if it happened, he would at least be knocked out unconscious. His blurred vision stared at the Kinoe, at the centre of the roof. Something had changed on the man, for now he watched her with burning hatred.
 

Phayne

[▬▬(ஜ۩۞۩ஜ)▬▬]








Mentions: Enjirou DipDapTheSlap DipDapTheSlap Erwin Maxxob Maxxob Sakura kakemha kakemha // Interacts: Akimine ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles
"The goal..?" replied Renji pretending to be confused, "You seem to be the one confused Senpai. I couldn't care less about the ribbon" he continued smirking as he turned around swiftly so that he was now facing the Kinoe head on. "The goal is to master total concentration breathing constant, is it not?" he asked rhetorically, still wearing a grin filled with ill intent. "...thus grabbing your ribbon would incur another break and only prolong this whole charade" he added before raising a free hand to wipe the trickle of blood that was starting to make its way down the back of his head from where he had been struck. "A quick and precise counter attack, yet I sensed no difference to the rhythm of your breath nor the amount you've been inhaling and exhaling..." stated Renji, though he was talking more to himself at this point rather then at Akimine. "...I'm starting to see the true essence behind this technique. It really is so simple..." he added, readjusting his grip on his sword as well as lowering his centre of gravity.

Composed and raring to go, Renji had a general idea of what the secret behind Total concentration breathing constant was. Up until this moment, Renji had imagined total concentration breathing as a 'switch'. Something that he had to turn on and turn off whenever he performed one of his sword forms, yet what would happen if you left the switch on indefinitely, what if you never had to turn if off?. Renji smiled upon this realisation, realising that he may have been unconsciously working towards such a goal during his prior travels. "3rd Form: Breath of Garuda" he thought to himself, a technique developed to imitate total concentration breathing and surpass the limits for that duration. Without a doubt it was a double edged sword, one with a recoil unafraid to bite back in exchange for going plus ultra past ones limits. Whilst he had yet to achieve a level of being able to constantly maintain total concentration breathing, he had become aware of his ability to prolong its duration over time, his heart and body forcefully being made to take in twice the limit whenever he performed the 3rd form. It was like he was always blowing air into a balloon and forcing it to expand to the point of bursting. What if instead of trying to forcefully expand his limit to allow for a short and potent explosive burst, he instead streamlined that same energy and maintained it, so rather than trying to 'pop' a balloon, he instead maintained that shape at a limit that didn't threaten to explode. It was worth a try.

It was during this minor epiphany that Renji's ears had caught wind of the duo beyond where Akimine stood, the pair of them in horrible shape. Physically was to be expected considering their diminishing stamina and recent attack from their blue haired instructor; yet it seemed that the pink haired tsuchinoto was also suffering mentally. A result of what on the surface appeared to be a berating from Erwin, though Renji suspected there was some underlying trauma that had instead been brought to light as a consequence of Erwin's words. Whilst he could only hear the tone of Erwin's words as opposed to actually making out the sentence, he did in fact hear the pained and anguished cry of Sakura; though it did little to cause Renji to feel any guilt. He has meant every word he has spoken thus far and if that was enough to cause someone to falter, then perhaps this line of work was not for them after all if the words of someone a rank lower was enough to affect her then it was only a matter of time before the chaos of the battlefield would consume her.

That being said, Renji's allegiance to the demon slayers cause and his knowledge of their diminishing power did mean that they needed each and every single soldier for their goals. That was after all the underlying reason as to why he himself was reluctantly accepted into their numbers. No matter how much they may detest his style of combat, it was an undeniable truth that they needed to replenish their rapidly decreasing numbers. Sighing Renji heard the movements of Sakura running into the barracks. "Weak... absolutely weak...both in mind and soul..." he thought to himself as she disappeared inside. Despite that, it was still a fact that she outranked him and if she was weak, what did that make all those who have yet to achieve the same rank if not surpass it. That thought annoyed Renji, who gripped his blade even tighter, though there would be no time to react to it as the familiar sound of thunder echoed around the area; the roof he stood upon shaking as a result of Erwin's sudden arrival to the space shared between Renji and Akimine. Though perhaps it was a good thing that he had arrived and attacked the Kinoe, it would keep the ruse going as the man down below continued to act. After all, The thrown sword had yet to fall back.

Alas it seemed Erwin's attack had missed its mark again and had only served to ripple the calm demeanour of their instructor. As if spurned on by the god of water, the Kinoe's swift spin had summoned forth the image of mother nature herself; the ghostly illusion of the tempestuous vortex that she had woven into their space had been as ferocious as the real thing, the whirlpool an immediate cause for concern as Renji swiftly adjusted his standing position. Renji wasn't about to retreat.

"6th form: Ashura Stance" muttered Renji, his breath deep and his concentration reaching its peak as the man planted himself firmly upon the roof. Whilst Akimine had summoned forth a natural disaster with her attack, Renji had begun to manifest the stuff of nightmares; the demonic aura emanating off of him creating the illusion of a three headed, 6 armed monster standing over Renji; the illusionary spectre moving in unison to the quick swordplay of Renji as he slashed away at the consecutive attacks from Akimine's attacks. Whilst this was Renji's ultimate form of defence, the sheer difference in strength between himself and Akimine had meant that he was still being pushed backwards, the red haired slayer unable to control the insurmountable force that was being thrown at him. Like bullets being slice in two, Renji's attempts to slash away at Akimine's attacks had caused them to split either side of him; the remaining momentum causing a trail of destruction behind of where Renji stood. If those who had yet to act had been caught in the attack... that was their own problem.

"To be expected of a Kinoe.." spat Renji who was now walking on a tightrope between remaining composed and just going flat out ham on their instructor. "Though it seems both myself and the foreigner are still here..." he continued, his tone borderline 'goading' now. "Listen up everyone... you in particular you pink haired brat!" shouted Renji as the tempest eased and the demonic presence began to dissipate from behind Renji. "If you want to piss your pants, run and hide then so be it. I honestly couldn't give two shits about weaklings like you... you'll be completely useless in a fight against the demons... worse yet you might end up getting one of us fucking slaughtered with your inability to act" Renji was almost salivating as he spoke, his mouth forming a wide grin as he arched forward with a new found bloodlust towards the one standing ahead of him; though it was probably safer to say that his change in demeanour was being ignited by that of the man standing at the other end of the roof; a resonation of hatred being formed between the two of them and directed at the one who had unleashed such a devastating attack; yet at the mercy of not intending to kill them in the process.

Long story short, the Kinoe was taking it easy on them. Looking down at those beneath her and while no ill intent may have been meant, it was without doubt a slap in the face for Renji at the very least. Renji began to slowly walk forward, the tip of his blade dragging along the damaged rooftop and causing a blood curdling screech akin to nails on a blackboard. "All of you pissants probably have a fucking sob story... some nightmarish past that ended up with you finding solace in this organization with some false sense of pride or justice" Renji's tone was again mocking. "...well who the fuck cares? Who the fuck is going to acknowledge some weakling that allows themselves to be walked over, that allows simple words to break their confidence, that allows some overpowering monster to be a reason for them not to act... who the fuck cares about someone destined to be buried ten feet under, to be forgotten and to disappear into the void of history. You are all imposters, children playing at being a hero of justice, infants pretending that they have the resolve to save others... well piss off. If you cant rise to the occassion if you can't break your own soul and body in order to achieve your goal.. then get the fuck out of my sight. You are not a hurdle but a distraction.. " continued Renji, his body tensing as he prepared to launch an attack.

"My goal is to make the demons feel our pain, to make them scream, cry and beg for my mercy. I do not simply seek the distruction of demons but I seek to make them experience the horrors of my fallen comrades, to be the ones to scream, cry and piss their pants in anguish as they stare at the tip of my blade" Renji momentarily glanced downward to where he sensed Sakura in the building below. "If you don't have the strength and resolve to overcome your own darkness and let those you care about rest in peace... then you might as well join them in that void of nothingness, otherwise all you're gonna do is get one of us killed" Renji paused.

"Are you happy to prove this asshole right? Are you happy being a helpless little girl who can only scream and cry when things get tough? Nobody is going to come save you just because you cry, there are no knights in shining armour, no heroes to save the damsel in distress. Just those with the resolve to act and those without it. So I dare you to prove me wrong! otherwise for the sake of eliminating a weakness that might end up getting us killed... I might just end you myself. That way you could be useful... nourishment to make me even more stronger" this was directed more towards the pink haired tsuchinoto breaking down beneath them.

Arched over and gaze now returning to where Akimine was standing, Renji smiling had launched himself forward towards her. "8th Form: Demon's three part act" snarled the red haired slayer as he quickly closed the distance between him and Akimine, his blade swung in a flurry of swings yet hidden behind the swings were two feints in the form of after images; each appearing to strike at Akimine, only to disappear as Renji closed the distance even more with three consecutive swings, each aimed at the neck of the instructor. "Senpai... I'm beginning to understand this technique" he snarled once more, a grin spread across his face. At this point he had forgotten Enjirou's incoming attack, Renji's goal now to simply see how far he could hold his total concentration breathing while simultaneously taking down their instructor. Only in a true fight could he really see what his current limitations were.

 
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kakemha

Junior Member
< sakura aka >

They wouldn't stop, they just kept falling down her cheeks, they were getting louder and louder the more she did nothing. Are you going to leave them to fight by themselves, are you not going to help your comrades, they said. She wanted to help but they would find something to say about the too. What can you possibly do, weak girl that is what you are, it useless to try, they would say. It was a lose-lose situation, they would say something that wants her to go and help, but they would also say something to keep her from helping. She felt like they would just consume her, they had not intention of stopping or going away, it was like her out personal hell. She could barely hear the fight going on above her, it was all muffled. Her eyes would be red, her cheeks would be tear-stained for a good while, she probably looked horrible to anyone who looked. She contemplated just never going outside again, to just leave and hope no one would notice, but she hear something louder than the voices. The sound of Renji's ( Phayne Phayne ) voice, it almost completely drowned out the voices in her head. He was yelling at everyone not fighting, but she could tell it was directed towards her, he even called her out. He was yelling for a long time, why though, why would he do this. Renji, she didn't think he was the kind of man to do something like this, but she kept listening to his words, hanging onto the words that he said, it was the one thing that kept the voices muffled. But she found herself feeling something listening to his words, something he said resonated with her; "There are no knights in shining armour, no heroes to save the damsel in distress. Just those with the resolve to act and those without it. So I dare you to prove me wrong!" That reminded her of all the fairytales she used to hear around the village, she thought it was absurd how the princess always had to get saved and why she couldn't save herself. The girls there would make of fun of her for thinking like that, saying that they would give anything to be saved by a prince. It light a fire under Sakura.

She focused her breathing once more, the voices came back however, she couldn't stop tears from flowing down her cheeks, that was her subconscious listening to the voices. Her conscious however, didn't listen at this moment. She regained her Concentration Breathing in a surprisingly fast, the pain in her limbs were non-existent to her at the moment, she didn't want to feel the pain so she ignored it. She didn't know what was going on on the rooftop but that didn't matter at the moment. She dashed up to the rooftop with incredible speed, she was pushing her body past her own limits. She landed behind Akimine ( ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles ), a few feet away, she knew which form she would use, she just needed to tweak it a bit. Dashing forward, she prepared herself for her improved form, she hoped it worked, it would be her first time using this. "Flower Breathing, Improved 3rd Form: Cherry Blossom Grove" She said softly as she sprung into actions. Using this form, is would create a distraction for the target, making them see cherry blossom petals all around them. She darted around Akimine very quickly, it was vary hard to see Sakura due to her speed. She was moving her katana, but her intent wasn't to strike, it was to get the light to reflect off of it. It was a very precise sequence of moves, it would be hard to recreate if people tried. If anyone could see Sakura, she was moving gracefully, it could be compared to flowers swaying in the wind. But they could also see the tears were still sliding down her cheeks slightly. But this was her chance, and a chance for anyone to grab the ribbon. She hoped Akimine would be distracted enough as Sakura reached for the ribbon in her hair, she really wanted to prove that asshole wrong.
 

ManofManyRoles

Fantasy and Sci-fi Enthusiast
Tag!...But who got it!?
The Demon Slayer Corps Headquarters; Barracks
Sakutsuki Akimine


The Kinoe's eyes landed on Erwin, focusing on him in silence. His eyes, oh how they burned with fury. Because he had failed? Because she had retaliated? Because as they all continued to prove themselves she gave it a bit more effort with every passing moment? What had earned such a furious look in his eyes, what evil had she done in his eyes? The soft whistle of wind being sliced, a blade cutting air so subtly that one would need improved hearing to hear it could be heard to the Kinoe...but from where? She looked around, eyes quickly landing on Enjirous blade coming down from overhead. Was it coming to skewer her? Another distraction? In a quick sidestep motion she avoided the falling weapon, the blade but a hairbreadth away from nicking her cheek. They were all giving it their full attention now...good, they had to keep at it. How long could they keep this up?

Attention darting back to Renji as he started his spiteful tirade, the woman adjusting her footing as she gripped her blade in her hand, eyes on him. "Interesting. You see without your eyes, better than others might with them. And yet, you remain blind in other ways, Renji-san. I hope to help you see the pieces of this puzzle you've misplaced." There was no venom in the Kinoe's words, no harsh and berating tone or demeaning notes. No, what she said was simple and cool fact. This Slayer, so eager for vengeance and to prove himself, had gone blind in a way that few recovered from. You could pluck the eyes from someones head, and their other senses could compensate. But what compensates when you turn your heart to stone and blind yourself to your own righteous zeal, when all one can think of is proving their own might? "Understand? I think you're failing to grasp it, Renji-san. Not the technique, the entire picture." The Kinoe's sword moved in quick and deft movements, footwork utilized to step and sway around strikes. The Kinoe's face was perfectly neutral as she ducked the first two swings, her katana raising at the third to block it. Much as Erwin had found out, so would Renji...the instructor was petite and lady-like, but her blade barely budged when he struck against it, nor was there struggle in her blocking. "Your striking to kill, you know."

While the Kinoe had his blade locked against hers her foot quickly shot up to connect towards Renji's solar-plexus, enough force present to send him skidding back, if not tumbling back, should it connect with the intended target. Before she could follow suit in her attempts to disengage, the sounds of rushing steps across the tile of the barracks caught her attention...Sakura had returned to the fray, it seemed. Her eyes followed the assailant, mind racing...Cherry Blossom Grove? What form was that? As she followed Sakura's movements with her gaze, this would be her undoing...The Flower Breath user had conjured an illusion of cherry blossom petals all about her, making it impossible for the swordswoman to identify where her target had gone. The ribbon...that's her target.

In a quick motion Akimine's hand lashed out as she dropped the scabbard it held, her slender fingers finding Sakura's wrist...and in the hand that was attached to her wrist? Was the Kinoes pink ribbon, proudly fluttering as a breeze blew by. Akimine blinked her eyes a few time to get the sensation of cherry blossoms away and break the illusion, her eyes on the young distraught girls face. "...Well played. You got your target." No sooner had she proclaimed that the girl had torn the ribbon from her hair did her Kasugai appear again, flying out from above. "Twenty minutes! Sakura-san has taken the ribbon from Akimine-san! Twenty minutes of rest!" The Kinoe released her grip on Sakura's wrist as she picked up her scabbard, stowing her blade in it before letting it rest at her hip again, holding her hand out. "Quite a useful technique...did you take inspiration from Muichiro I wonder? May I have that ribbon back?"

Phayne Phayne Archdemon Archdemon qingwa qingwa kakemha kakemha Sopranos Sopranos DipDapTheSlap DipDapTheSlap Nenma Takashi Nenma Takashi
 

kakemha

Junior Member
< sakura aka >

She was able to get it, it was in her hands, she actually got it. Although she wasn't able to get away, Akimine grabbed her wrist before she could get away from her, but luckily for her, it was still counted as a success. She heard Akimine ( ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles ) praise her, it felt nice, not soon after Yasu flew around announcing the group's 20 minute break and stating that Sakura had been the one to get the ribbon. She heard Akimine ask her two questions, well one was more of a request. "Oh, yes I did, his technique was unique and it would've been useful in this situation so i tweaked my 3rd form of make it similar to it. Also, here is your ribbon back." She answered Akimine's question about her form and fulfilled her request by giving back the ribbon. Only now had she noticed the pain in her limbs, it was worse than before, but yet again she ignored it, she'd deal with the consequences later. She still maintained her Concentration Breathing after all that, she was surprised with herself, it was amazing what the human body can achieve. She also noticed now that her hair wasn't tied, so her cherry blossom hair was blowing in the wind, some could compare it cherry blossom petals flying in the wind. She also noticed her tears were slowing down, though a few remain to be spilled. [reference] She wiped the tears from her eyes and walked over to Renji ( Phayne Phayne ). "Sorry for being a pink-haired brat, a pissant, an imposter, a child playing a hero of justice, an infant pretending that I have the resolve to save others, a distraction, and a helpless little girl who can only scream and cry when things get tough, Renji-san." She said to him, listing off the names she called her. "Sorry for also not giving you the chance to kill me for your nourishment." She added at the end. Before she could walk away, Senbi flew around shouting something she wish he didn't. "Sakura overcame the voices, she overcame the voices." No one knew about the voices in her head, she told absolutely no one, but now thanks to Senbi that knowledge was free to the public. 'Well there is no use in hiding it now.' She thought, she couldn't take back the words he said. "Don't be ridiculous Senbi-san, they're still there." She told him as he began to fly away again.
 
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Maxxob

Junior Member
CODE / ARKNIGHT
Erwin Kott
Location: The Demon Slayer Corps HQ

The true victor

( ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles ) Akimine was quite right about one of her guesses on why Erwin sported such as livid, untamed rage in his expression: it was a mirror on how he felt at that moment about his own failings. But, being physically incapable of directing his odious look towards himself, he directed it at the blue-haired woman instead. It felt as if everything he had learned to that point was utterly pointless if, at the moment of his greatest need, it served him for nothing. Deep inside, the man fooled himself into believe his unspoken fury would be of any use in that situation. The truth of the matter was that he hated his performance with every fibre of his own body.

In this matter, his own age and experience aggravated what the man felt even further. How could he allow himself to accept that he was an amateur? A beginner? Why his experience translated to absolutely nothing? The fact that he was, in a sense, nothing more than an infant in that world, the world of the Corps, was rejected furiously by the Westerner. To let go of his old habits, to forget about his own past, to understand that wasn’t a war he knew. That would take intense hammering into his own head. Possibly, failure time and time again would do it for him, preferably during training, rather than a single time in a real situation.

And, as if resonating with his own feelings, he saw the ( Phayne Phayne ) red-haired man mutate, change. Was that actually correct? Was the changing to become a beast, or was he just revealing his true identity? Looking how differently he was able to handle the Kinoe’s attacks, while he was still left standing, instead of pathetically barely holding himself together like the German, filled him with envy. Envy that just kept intensifying the burning ire he was feeling. It would have been better if the woman had struck them with full-force, rather the meek, regulated strength she was showing. The man wanted to act, how pathetically would he be if he didn’t?

It wasn’t easy for Erwin to force his right hand open, to let got the guard of the sword, but he managed to do it. Moving to the side of his hips, he unconsciously tried to grab a pistol that simply didn’t exist. His eye twitched nervously when he noticed his actions, letting a quick gust of air leaving his lungs. What was he even doing there? He started putting strength in his arms to get up, while Renji viciously attacked against Akimine, with no avail. The desire to treacherously attack her, with the same murderous intent the blind man was showing, simply filled his mind. How quickly was he to discard the notion ‘honour’, invented by some to make others predictable.

He wasn’t, however, able to convert that baleful feeling into strength. Nor during the red-haired man’s fiery and vile speech, nor during the blue-haired woman’s perfect defence and counter-attack and not even during the surprising, witty action from the ( kakemha kakemha ) pink-haired girl, who he thought wouldn’t be seen so soon. Seeing the ribbon in her hands, he laughed in a low voice, to himself. While, a few moments back he chastised her, harshly, for her own inaction, calling her to do something, anything, and there she was, doing so much more. With that imagine burned into his mind, he used the little strength he had to himself to the side, while still kneeling, making sure he would fall on the roof, with his back to it, his boots dangling from the edge. He was already drained of everything he could offer and, yet, in 20 minutes, everything would start over...
 

Nenma Takashi

Terribly Terrible
Sadaka Yashimushi
823482.gif

'How beautiful,' Sadaka thought to herself, referring to the beautiful woman and her equally beautiful crow. Very much the opposite of herself who had only ever been called scary or creepy. As much as she liked Kosho he certainly wasn't cute let alone beautiful, but she wasn't resentful nor jealous of the woman she was simply admiring her. Sadaka also couldn't help but admire the others for their speed, their strength, and their techniques. They were all so beautiful. Sadaka released Kosho letting him fly off into the darker woods that he preferred, a smile every present on her face as she waved very lightly to her avian companion. This twenty minute break would be the perfect moment for Sadaka to make friends, the other slayers had to of seen her go after Akimine. So perhaps that would help her bond with the others, though what could she possibly talk about with them. Of course the weather was always an option as a conversation starter, or perhaps she could inquire about their breathing techniques.

Sadly while she was in a daze trying to figure out what to talk about, the break ended and they were to resume training. That was fine Sadaka would take this moment to watch carefully. She'd find a opening and strike at that moment, Sadaka was typically good at finding openings to strike. Her late master once asked her about her habit to wait for this openings asking for what Sadaka would be looking for exactly. Usually one would suspect a foe looking away, or blinking to be when they are most unaware or perhaps the moment a foe throws an attack of their own. These all were obvious openings, but Sadaka never understood that mindset. After all if that was the case, demons wouldn't be such dangerous foes. For one demons had no need to blink, how did Sadaka know? Because as a child she often forgot to blink, a silly thing to forget some might think, but they would be wrong. It isn't as silly as one might assume the reason being, Sadaka can not tell when her eyes need to blink, since she can not feel them stinging when drying out. She can't feel pain when being hit, or slashed, or stabbed, nor attack can inflict pain on her. So to call her own attack an opening simply because it means she open to take damage that she herself will just shrug off didn't make sense. So of course demons who unlike her can heal these wounds easily, obviously don't have a need to blink, or a need to fear any attack with the exception of ones aimed at their necks. Sadaka often fought the same way, only defending against attacks she believed would out right kill her. So again the question remained what was it that Sadaka was looking for, and so Sadaka answered her master,
"I'm waiting for you to make a mistake." It was so simple her master couldn't help but laugh. Of course someone was most open when they were making that opening themselves. The ridiculous thing though was how long could Sadaka possibly wait for such an opening to present itself.

Her master found the idea interesting so she proposed a challenge for Sadaka, she was to attack her master when the moment arrived. She set no rules as such Sadaka was free to attack even if her master was busy bathing, eating, or sleeping. Her master called off the training though after she almost killed Sadaka. The reason she almost killed her? Because Sadaka attacked her while they fought against a demon, her master easily fended off both Sadaka's attack as well as killed the demon. But she learned that moment the true scary thing about Sadaka's method of finding a weakness was how long she'd wait and how she held no mercy inside of her heart. As such Sadaka stood still watching Akimine's movements closely, waiting for a moment to strike, yet the moment did not present itself to Sadaka. A few times she thought she saw the opening but one of the other slayers would act on it first, showing her she wasn't the only one paying attention. Before she could even join the fight it ended of at least that's what the crow stated. Sadaka was confused why the fight was over, after all. "But she's still alive?" She mumbled then suddenly she recalled this wasn't a real fight, they were just training. Funnily enough Sadaka had forgotten such a simple thing, she must of been thinking too hard.

Now that they now had another break Sadaka could take this moment to actually talk to some of the other slayers. Yet now that she wasn't in her own little world, she realized the air around everyone was a bit off. Was it perhaps because she was not the only one who had began to view things from differently. Whatever the reason was she found a need to clap her hands together as if she crush the dire mood between her hands. "Wow everyone moved so well just then, I didn't even have time to act." Sadaka added making a show of just how impressed she herself was with everyone so far.
 

Phayne

[▬▬(ஜ۩۞۩ஜ)▬▬]








Mentions: Sakura kakemha kakemha // Interacts: Akimine ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles
"Enlighten me Sensei" he spat as Akimine took aim at his blindness. The instructor's calm words implying that Renji had somehow missed something vital thus far, "What piece of the puzzle have I yet to see? What hidden truth have I failed to discover?" he snarled, still relentless in his attacks towards the instructor, the pair of them entwined in a dance of swordplay as they maneuvered across the rooftop. All the while Renji's muscles were beginning to strain, such was the continued use of Total concentration breathing. Whilst the theory behind it was simple in nature, the application itself was a completely different story.

"You lament my aim to kill, so must I aim to strike and tickle? or do you suggest I ease up and foster sloppiness instead?" barked Renji rhetorically in response to Akimine's comment to his strikes. Without pushing himself to the limit he would never find progress and without pushing the boundaries he would never discover the disparity in strength between himself and the Kinoe. Thus he had no intention of slacking off in his assault, nor did he see it benefitial to take it easy on the Kinoe instructor. It was a simple fact that despite his over zealous attitude at this moment in time, he had yet to even make her break a sweat. It was not lost on him that his attacks were having minimal impact on the instructor and that fact was only serving to feed into the tumultuous storm within himself.

The longer this fight continued and the longer Renji clung to his breathing style, the more he lost himself to tunnel vision, the world around him growing blurrier only to further sharpen the image of his target ahead of him. The instructor who thus far had been doing little more than toy with the students. So much so that he hadn't even noticed Sakura's resurgence until it was too late, the sword stance she took momentarily entering his field of blind vision, only to serve as enough of a distraction for him to completely miss the Kinoe's attack, a kick right to the center of his chest; the force and him being completely unprepared had been enough to send him back several yards; the red haired slayer coughing up blood in the process as he struggled to stay afoot. "Gaah!! that hurt Sensei... that wasn't very ni...." Renji paused as he glanced up to where the Kinoe stood, the pink haired Tsuchinoto near her with ribbon in hand; thus signalling the start of another break period.

As if a switch had been turned off, Renji still reeling from the attack to his chest had forced himself to stand up right; his sword re-sheathed into its scabbard as he watched the pink haired woman approach. Had Renji still had his normal sense of vision, he'd have noted the watery look to her eyes, yet since he no longer had that luxury, he had been rather unfazed by her expression and merely glanced down at the shorter girl as she returned some of the sass he had been giving out so freely only a few moments ago. "Foolish child... did you honestly think I would sully my blade with the blood of a little girl? Did that thought scare you into action? " he replied to her attempts to goad him. Though before anything else could be exchanged between the two, the woman's Crow would begin to caw a fuss above them, Renji's signal to head off of the roof and clear the blood staining his mouth and back of the head.

Descending to the ground beneath, Renji would offer the smallest of smiles in response to Sakura actually overcoming whatever it was that had caused her to falter. If she couldn't handle that much then she really didn't deserve to be here.
 

ManofManyRoles

Fantasy and Sci-fi Enthusiast

A game of tag, until sundown
The Demon Slayer Corps Headquarters; Barracks
Sakutsuki Akimine


Akimine nodded gently at Sakura's input, carefully taking the ribbon from her and fixing it into her hair again, carefully tugging and adjusting it this way and that until it was tied properly once again. As Renji started away, he'd have a chance to hear the input of his instructor to his question on the subject of the 'hidden truth' he's missed. It was a simple response, short and direct to the question at hand. "The piece of the puzzle you fail to see, Renj-San. Is what truly separates the Corps from the Demons, and why we've survived so long as we have." She made her way over to Erwin in short order, sitting at his side and curling her knees in front of her, arms wrapped around her legs. "Keep pushing, Erwin-san. You are the only Mizunoto here, so you are also the least experienced in this field. But it also means you have the most room to grow. You were assigned to me for good reason, someone has a belief you will become a strong Slayer if given the proper tutelage. I believe you, and the others will prove him right. I look forward to seeing what you can accomplish. One foot in front of the other, one breath after the last." The Kinoe stood up and stretched, dismounting from the roof and walking away after her little 'pep talk'.

----------------------

Sundown, the exhaustion sets in!

With the end of the twenty-minute break training would start anew, the Kinoe proving to be more difficult to have her ribbon stolen than last time. As the day wore on, the breaks became more and more infrequent, the last two hours of the day devoid of a single break for the training Slayers. Each time they managed to achieve a break, the Kinoe became more impossible to 'defeat', countering her students with mounting amounts of ease, more and more effort put in until she found what she had been looking for. A small window that existed between the realm of comfort and discomfort for her students, where they would be forced to grow but not to unachievable heights. By the end of the day, the class's limbs would ache their muscles would scream, their hearts and lungs would burn, and their heads would be swimming. Well, perhaps save for Sadaka who may have simply pushed her body to exhaustion as she could not feel pain or register when her body was telling her to stop.

And the Kinoe? Finally, after an entire day from Sunrise to Sunset of running and striking back against attacks...finally she was starting to look like she was beginning to grow a bit tired, a glow of perspiration upon her brow. It was faint, and hardly noticeable, but it was proof enough that she was still human and that she could still tire. If she were a Hashira, perhaps it would have taken her far longer to even show signs of a degree of fatigue given their legendary status and superhuman capabilities, but one could not be certain. Akimine gave a low bow to her class before standing upright, smiling gently to them. At the last minutes of the lesson she had helped them into the barracks proper, the smell of food heavy in the air as the Kakushi worked unseen further in the building. "Excellent work, all of you. We will start again tomorrow, when the sun peeks the horizon. Until then, rest and eat. The Kakushi have been requested to prepare meals and baths for all of you. I will remain to speak with you should you desire, before I retire for the evening myself."
Phayne Phayne Archdemon Archdemon qingwa qingwa kakemha kakemha Sopranos Sopranos DipDapTheSlap DipDapTheSlap Nenma Takashi Nenma Takashi
 

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