Little ManaLocation: A rooftop?
Current Weather: Clear
Mana tilted her head, "Cursed like you? Some Spirits would consider being a Spirit a curse you know. The mortals look at us like we're a threat when all we want to do is be friends with them. We want to live peacefully with them and yet they want to kill us simply for existing. It's gotten to the point where Spirits began infighting among themselves because we're all playing the blame-game with one another." Mana lowered her head, her hair covering her eyes in deep reflection, "You said I could reveal that I'm a Spirit to them if I wanted to, like I could just kill them if they didn't like me but that assumes I'd want to kill them if they did attack for revealing myself. You're not the only one who lives in constant fear, you know. Daddy does, Mei and Jin do... I do too."
Mana looked up at Cora, "Cora understands... doesn't he? With him being a Spirit and all. He took the leap of faith with you, not knowing if you would turn on him or not and yet... here you are." She gave a light smile at Mateo, "I took the leap of faith with you too. That tells me alot about you already, Mattie. You just gotta take the leap of faith with your friends too. I'm sure they'll still accept you for you, like I do. Like Cory does."
Kiko MateasLocation: Finch's Room
Current Weather: Overcast, Rain predicted
Kiko looked the rookie up and down, honestly, he didn't seem like much to her, "Mr. Finch... ARROWYN! YES! I REMEMBERED!" Kiko seemed like a child when she finally remembered the last name. She quickly cleared her throat and recomposed herself, "It's your lucky day, Rookie. You're going on a mission with yours truly. Specifically, we're going to investigate recent vigilante sightings." Kiko put a hand on her chin in thought, "Though, I don't know why Cyan chose you specifically..." She shrugged, "Regardless, finish getting ready and meet me around the around the corner in 5 minutes, yeah?" She turned around and began walking away, "Oh and don't keep me waiting, Kiko doesn't like waiting!" She waved a hand as she walked away.
"It's not the same." Mateo muttered, barely audible. At least spirits understood their existence. At least they had people they could depend on. Mateo had his adoptive family, until he found out they'd lied to him about his entire existence. They couldn't help him control the curse, control the stages. It got progressively worse and traveling meant he was around people. People he could hurt. Then there was Cora. They'd met on a complete whim. Back then Cora was snippy with him like he was with Mateo's friends. He'd been convinced the kid was some kind of human spy or assassin, because he'd been watching through his window as his tutor explained to him a new technique. But all he did was run his mouth about how cool his ice magic was. It was obvious Cora was a spirit, but Mateo showed little care. And Cora returned that gesture when he'd found out about the curse, remembering the sweet kid who was so passionate about magic that he'd run his mouth for hours with little care in the world.
Then they'd made a promise that would last a lifetime.
But that wasn't really the point. Cora had people before him, awful people, but people who had raised him and given him a safe environment. It just rubbed him the wrong way that Mana was comparing struggles, saying they were the same. Did she know what it was like to be afraid if he touched someone, he would literally make them wither away? Did she have to deal with her body bursting into sludge? Literally changing before her eyes? He didn't think so.
Besides, he wasn't even remotely implying that Mana could just kill his friends should they attack her. It would be wrong for them to do such a thing but killing them wouldn't be right either. Two wrongs don't make a right and all that jazz. Besides, Mateo wouldn't let her kill them, just like he wouldn't let them kill her. He would look for the peaceful solution. He did understand how mortals viewed spirits, that being the exact reason him and Cora were so cautious about telling people he was a bakeneko. He wasn't that naive. He just didn't believe the plight of spirits were in any way remotely the same to his life and problems. Sure, they both lived in fear, but those of the curse and spirits had different lives.
Cora was starting to become a tad bit defensive here. He hated that some small demon child was trying to paint the narrative of their friendship and Mateo's curse. He understood what she was trying to get at more than Mateo. He had to hide away in a satchel when they visited mortal towns because he'd be attacked simply because he was a spirit. Luckily, he was immortal, but magic users knew how to sever spirit ties. Which meant his immortality could come to an end pretty fast. Sometimes Mateo just didn't get that, but Cora didn't pretend like he understood his curse either. They accepted that they had different problems and worked to better them together. Mateo respected every spirit they came across and tried to tell spirit hating mortals they were wrong about spirits in the politest way possible. While Cora helped Mateo get through curse attacks through emotional support and defended him from mobs of angry villagers. That's why they worked well together.
But he wouldn't expect a child to understand. That's why she was making such points.
Mateo did appreciate the sentiment, especially about leaps of faith, but she just didn't understand the situation. Cora hadn't gotten the chance to take a leap of faith, and neither had he. It just worked out in a way where they both accepted each other. "Listen, I appreciate the thought and all, but your wrong. Me and Cora revealed our identities because there was no other way. I was having one of my, I guess, 'episodes' when my curse got revealed to Cora."
"And I thought this one was spying on my family. Went out to fight him with my spirit identity revealed. Little did I know he wasn't a threat at all." Cora interjected to tell his part of the story.
"Hey, I'm plenty of a threat! Especially with my new book." Mateo argued back. But you could tell it wasn't arguing really. Playful banter coming from his light tone.
"Which you have little idea how to use." Cora gave him a dead stare.
"I- that's not the point. Listen, first off, no one's killing anyone. That's not at all what I was implying. The whole point is peace. And I'm not letting anyone innocent get hurt, like I said. And second, you don't know my story. Just like I don't know yours, or your father's, or any other spirit for that matter. I'm not trying to compare their stories to mine, and mine or Cora's shouldn't be compared to theirs. Everyone has a different story to tell."
"Yeah, and listening is the best way of showing you sympathize. Also reading social cues and body language is kind of an important part of understanding people's boundaries. And when you've overstepped them as well." Cora said with a hint of annoyance in his voice. He was trying to hint at the lecture without being explicit so that Mateo didn't catch on a scold him for being more unfriendly. But Mana needed to understand that this was a hard thing to talk about for Mateo, and she was severely overstepping.
Mateo kind of gave him a look, definitely catching on. He wasn't trying to lecture Mana or anything, he just really thought she was jumping the gun on comparing situations before she really understood them. "I think you've got a good point with the whole leap of faith thing, it's just hard. Me and Cora just kind of mutually accepted each other on complete accidents. I guess maybe it is better to tell them before an accident does happen. I trust them, its just-" He took a sigh. "Scary. Really scary." He shook his head. "I just- have to do it in my own time. When I'm ready. You can understand that, right?"
The woman in front of him looked him up and down. He just kind of stared at her with an eyebrow raised. He suddenly started feeling self-conscious about his pudgy baby face. He wasn't too short or too tall, a perfect mediocre mix of the two. Probably because of his heritage with him being half human half elf. He was regular sized for a human male of his age, but shorter for an elf, a race which boasted tall figures. Also from his heritage were shorter ears. Well, smaller not shorter. They were like humans with a slight point to them. They weren't elongated like some elves but kept the signature point of elvish ears.
Despite his face being pudgy with what seemed to be residual baby fat, his body contained none of that. But that didn't mean he looked full of muscles. No, his body seemed lithe and agile. He may be smaller with less strength, but he had the agility and acrobatics to fly after a criminal in pursuit. His body was built to withstand chasing down criminals for miles. A quality not always appreciated in guards. People expected guards to be flashy and strong looking. And despite him being young for a guard and not muscular, he was good at his job, and he wanted to prove that to everyone else.
Kiko screamed out his last name saying she remembered which didn't really make him feel too good. The captain of the guard had forgotten him. But it also made her seem much much less scary. This woman didn't seem to be stoic like his stepmother, which he really appreciated. And what was better, she announced that he was going on a mission with her. The captain of the guard. He wanted to scream and jump up and down, but he knew that wouldn't get him respect among the ranks or even with Kiko herself. It really was his lucky day.
She explained they were looking into recent vigilante sightings but didn't go into much detail. But something she mentioned got his attention. She mentioned in passing that she didn't know why Cyan had chosen him specifically. Cyan.. chose him... specifically. He was absolutely giddy to hear that. Maybe the captain of the guard hadn't remembered him, but Cyan had surely taken notice of him and his work.
Kiko finished briefly, saying to meet her around the corner in five minutes and to not keep her waiting. Finch closed the door, waited for the footsteps to fade and then exclaimed "Yes!" while pumping his fists in front of him. His smile was etched deep into his face and his eyes shone. He couldn't wait to brag to Skylark about this. He realized he needed to get his stuff and meet her immediately. Thinking about Lark would come later.
Luckily, he was almost ready. He quickly took a comb to his hair and brushed it to a slightly messy point, but at least he didn't have bed head anymore. He threw on his fingerless gloves, leather boots, and grabbed his bow from off the floor. He searched for his quiver and slung it over his shoulder when he found it. It was pretty big, and he also had to sling his bow over his shoulder which conflicted. He always felt like he should get something smaller so he wouldn't have to bring so much equipment since he also carried a sword. But he was incredibly good at aiming. He just had to find something that felt like him.
Finch scampered out of his room with three minutes to spare, turning the corner early as to not make Kiko wait. He figured he might get brownie points for that or at least make Kiko like him a bit more. "So, can you fill me in on the details of this mission?" He said, with a tone that indicated he was all for this.
Little ManaLocation: Heading to Luminosa
Current Weather: Clear
Mana's ear twitched at the 'it's not the same' comment. Kinda made her mad that he just kinda dismissed how bad Spirits actually had it. Mana kinda tuned out everything after that but then tuned back in towards the end, noting Cora's defensiveness, "Wasn't trying to force you or anything of the sort. Just trying to give you a confidence push." Mana turned her body away, her toned flattened a bit, "I know how to get Luminosa. I'll meet you there, Mateo." Before they could say anything, she jumped off, 'Not the same he says. He's not a Spirit. He wouldn't understand what it's like to be hunted down everyday for your whole life. To have your mommy killed in front of you. To be scarred for life... to be immortal... and having to live with those memories forever... if he knew that then he would understand why...'
Progress - ++Positive
Bond with Mana
Kiko MateasLocation: Streets of Ironshire
Current Weather: Raining
Current Time: 12:07 pm
Kiko noted Finch's cordiality and his eagerness about the mission. Kiko kicked herself off the wall she was leaning against, "Alright, Rookie. Basically, we're investigating a masked vigilante. Goes by the name 'Joker'." Kiko waved him to follow as she began walking in a specific direction, "Typically, we don't really mind Vigilantes. Makes our job a little easier but this particular one has a tendency to 'accidentally' kill innocent people. Our job is to confirm whether these rumors are true or not. Makes sense?"
Mateo immediately noticed the shift in mood, Mana's tone becoming flat. It was so noticeable because it was usually upbeat and full of excitement. He didn't know Mana well, but he'd experienced mood shifts with children. Particularly when he was discussing medicines. More specifically, oral medicines. They were often bitter and disgusting on the tongue, especially if they were made with herbs. Its why he liked to add things like honey to the recipe, which gave it a sweeter taste, or give the child an incentive to take it like candy or a toy.
He thought maybe he should do that, make his voice, tone, and words sound sweeter like honey. Then maybe Mana could understand his side of things. It was just hard when talking about this. And it got messy and hard to explain how he felt in a cohesive way. Especially when the sludge was threatening to take him over.
But before he could even attempt to soften his speaking, Mana told them she knew the way to Luminosa and that she'd meet them there. He put a hand out and opened his mouth to speak, but before he could she jumped off the building. He got worried real fast and ran to the edge, but she was completely fine. Of course, she was immortal and a demon. Duh. But his healer's instincts didn't go away just because someone was immortal. He worried over Cora constantly.
"Wait! Didn't you say you wanted to go with us?" But she looked pretty intent on leaving. He sat on the edge and watched her go, swinging his legs while he rubbed his temples and let out a heavy sigh. He'd obviously done something wrong.
Cora jumped off his shoulders to sit beside him. Mateo went to lay on his back, still swinging his legs, and spread his arms on the rooftop like he was making a snow angel. "Was I too harsh? Even if she is five hundred years old, she does seem to act like a child."
Seeing as it was just the two of them on a rooftop, Cora decided to turn humanoid for the time being. With a curl of light, there was suddenly a fourteen-year-old boy in a cloak sitting next to Mateo. He was considerably shorter than Mateo, but that was to be expected because he was younger. And also, Mateo had hit puberty way too fast, being almost at adult height. He was just maybe an inch or two above Skyla's height, the smallest adult among their group save for maybe Nia. But Nia herself looked pretty young, while Skyla was definitely an adult.
"It's not your fault Mateo. Your curse is a hard thing to understand, and even you don't fully grasp the limits of it. How could one child hope to understand? Being a spirit isn't like the curse placed upon your family. I fear nothing quite is like it." Cora said in a more cordial voice. He liked to act regal when he was human looking.
"Wow, thanks for the vote of confidence, Cory." Cora's face was enough to get Mateo laughing. He really was not a fan of that nickname.
"Don't call me that, ever." Cora looked to the sun in the sky. He wondered if it burned that bright in Luminosa. Mateo had talked about it before, telling him it was the birthplace of light magic. If it was, the sun's intensity must've been ten times worse. He turned his gaze to Mateo. What must he be thinking? What with finally going to the place he was really born. Cora knew the story of how his father basically pawned him off to his adoptive parents, saying it would be safer. That seemed like a ridiculous notion to him. What could be safer than being with a relative who could actually explain the curse? But Mateo wasn't all too bitter. He dreamed of getting to see his father for the first time, even though the guy had abandoned him. That's what he wanted most in the world, despite all of it. Cora really hoped he could get that closure in some way or another, but maybe going to Luminosa wouldn't just help cure his curse, but his heart ache as well.
"Listen, yeah its hard. But none of it is your fault. Not the curse, not when people can't understand or except it. The responsibility of that is on the one who started this all those years ago. You're not alone anymore. I may not understand it as well as someone from your family can, but I won't leave you. Never. We made a promise remember." Such sweet words would've been weird to hear if Mateo didn't already know the true Cora. Maybe he acted a little snippy, but he'd defend anyone he truly cared about.
Mateo sat up from his position and held out his pinky. Cora took it in a mock gesture, mimicking the moment they made their promise. "I promise I'll show you the ins and outs of the world on our travels. Every inch of this terrain you will see alongside me, as my partner and equal."
Cora then took up the promise. "And I promise to forever stay at your side and to traverse this land together. No matter what threat comes our way, I will protect my ward from the dangers of the mortal terrain. Cursed or not, I will stay by your side."
It lasted a second longer, before they both lost their composure and started giggling like little kids. Mateo gave a snort and then spoke through his laugh. "Hey, why am I the ward? I'm older than you."
Cora cocked an eyebrow. "Yeah, by two years. And let's not kid ourselves, you get into more trouble than my being a spirit does."
That got a couple more laughs out of the two. They sat and smiled for a moment longer before Mateo gave an audible gasp. The sludge was on the move again. He pulled up his sleeve to watch the sludge become thinner and completely wrap around his arm. He tapped at it, and suddenly he could see the color of his skin again as the sludge somehow merged back into his arm. Him and Cora met eyes. They weren't completely sure what it was, but they both estimated that it was a good thing. Mateo had been calm and relaxed enough where the sludge went away.
"Well, I guess we should go back now." Then Mateo remembered Cora's leg injury. "Let me see your leg for a second. Remove the frost."
Cora did what he was told, raising a hand over his leg. Cold frost sucked upwards to his palm and dissipated in a fit of cold air. Immediately, Cora gave a low groan, now actually feeling the injury. Mateo quickly got to work on it, hovering his hand over the injury. With a soft glow of green, the cut closed up until it was a thin stretch. "Your muscles may feel a little sore, but it should be good now. Just don't pick at the scab."
After that, Cora shifted back to his cat form and climbed up to Mateo's shoulder. Mateo carefully picked his way down from the rooftop, with Cora helping him find holds for his feet and hands. Soon they were off to rejoin the group, not knowing how far away they were or even where they were going. But luckily Cora helped to pick up their scents and ensure they would make it back to the group in a short while.
Finch showed consideration for all the details Kiko gave him, eating them up like a hungry hyena. Finch liked knowing all the details of a situation before acting. Despite that, he seemed rash. He was ambitious, hungry to climb the ranks and prove himself. That led to some problems, and he wanted to make sure to seem competent in front of Kiko. He carefully considered everything, taking a moment before responding to Kiko.
Finch nodded, "Gather evidence, figure out if we're dealing with town gossip or something plausible and dangerous. Seems simple enough." He followed Kiko, matching her pace without much concentration. "But to me it sounds like this Joker fellow is more of a criminal than a vigilante. You can't be helping the innocent if you're accidently killing them. I don't know, maybe it's like a ruse. A mask he puts on to hide what he's really doing. You said it yourself; the guard doesn't mind vigilantes. So maybe he's a criminal pretending to be a vigilante to sneak around the guard." Finch gave out a simple theory to Kiko, brainstorming a bit.
Skyla Junia and Mika YunaraLocation: Iron Bridge
Current Weather: Clear 10 minutes prior...
Skyla still was kind down-troddened about the whole deal with her uncle and Mateo, "Hey Mat--" She looked around, "Wait, where'd he go?" Mika perked up a bit too and looked around, "Mateo!" Mika called out... no answer, "This is strange..." Mika looked at Skyla, who was clearly worried, "Hey, let's just wait here, yeah?"
Skyla fought back a bit, "But what if he's in danger??" Mika shook his head, "I get that but what if he's alright and comes to find us but finds we aren't here anymore?" Skyla looked away for a moment then back at Mika, "You-You're right." With that, they decided to wait.
Skyla and Mika are sitting, leaning against the bridge wall, Skyla is fast asleep against Mika's shoulder. Mika on the other is deep in thought as they waited. He briefly looked at Skyla then back ahead of him, 'What's taking him? Should we start really worrying now?' He thought.
Kiko MateasLocation: Kiko's Quarters
Current Weather: Raining
Current Time: August 26th, 1337. 1:00 pm !!! Choose your next words carefully !!!
Kiko listened to Finch's theory, "That's a sound theory, Rookie. However, seeing as you don't have any solid evidence to back it up. I'm afraid we can't jump to that conclusion." As they turned a corner, they arrived at their first destination. Kiko's Captain's Quarters, "Wait here. Be right back." She opened the door and entered her room. A little time passed and she re-emerged donning a new weapon, a special-looking standard issue guard long sword, she tightened the sheath to her hip, "Right. We have a potential next target. According to an anonymous tip, Joker's next target is a business, one apparently known for... shady practices."
Kiko crossed her arms under her chest, which slightly pushed it up, "So tell me, Rookie... based on what we know so far, what do you think Joker's motive is right now? We know his next suspected target is a shady business. Apart from that, we know he wears a mask to preserve his identity, so whoever this is, doesn't want to be identified by the general public. What are your thoughts, Rookie?" She asked, intently waiting for his answer and thoughts on the matter.
Current Weather: Overcast. Rain Predicted.
Current Time: August 26th, 1337. 11:45 am
"My family tells of an ancient legend about two great Dragon Brothers... the Dragon of the North Wind and the Dragon of the South Wind. Together, they upheld balance and harmony in the heavens."
A masked man in a black long coat, black loose pants and black knee-high boots with red gloves is seen sneaking around the rooftops, using their Shadow Jump ability. The figure looked up, noticing the overcast sky, "Hmm.. looks like it's about to rain. I wonder when though..." They looked back down at their target. The Blacksmith's Shop.
"But the two brothers argued over who could better rule their land, their quarrel turned to rage and their violent struggle darkened the skies. Until the Dragon of the South Wind struck down his brother, who fell to earth, shattering the land."
The figure stood up, "Time to investigate." The figure disappeared in a shadow...
"The Dragon of the South Wind had triumphed... but as time passed and he realized his solitude. The sweetness of victory... turned to ash..."
They snuck around, 'This is what...? The hundredth time I've done this and yet... nothing's changed...' They thought as they scouted the location.
"For years, the bereft Dragon's grief threw the world into discord... and he knew only bitterness and sorrow. One day, a stranger called up to the Dragon and asked; 'Oh Dragon Lord, why are you so distraught?'. The Dragon told him; 'Seeking power, I killed my brother but without him... I am lost.' The stranger replied; 'You have inflicted wounds upon yourself, but now, you must heal. Walk the earth on two feet as I do. Find value in humility, then you will find peace.'."
The figure finished scouting and jumping away. Shaking his head, he thought, 'No, now's not the time for that. The scouting is done. I need to focus.' The figure slapped his cheeks and jumped away on final time to prepare for the infiltration.
"The Dragon knelt upon the ground, for the first time he was able to clearly the world around him and he became human. The stranger revealed himself as his fallen brother. Reunited, the two set out to rebuild what they had once destroyed."
That's what Rai felt in his head as he began to sway a bit from his exhaustion. He'd exerted himself too much, and by now, he was well approaching his limit. All of the fighting, anxiety, and traveling he had been doing over these past few days had finally caught up to him. Countless injures were sustained, and he had swung his blades so much, it felt like his arms were going to fall off.
And now here was an exposition dump. Mika had overpowered the Knight, which caused him to surrender and reveal who he was. Then...it all got fuzzy for Rai. His fatigue absolutely demolished his cognitive ability for a bit, and he only processed two things. Uncle, and run away. The run away part clicked in his mind when he saw some new Knight appear. Uncle, however? It was just a word he had heard someone say, and he couldn't decipher who.
(Once they had escaped)
What the hell just happened? Rai thought to himself once they were safe. He sat down on the cold ground and put his katanas on the ground next to him. The throbbing intensified as he attempted to put bits of the encounter together.
It was like his head had its own heart beat. The rhythm was constan at first, but it only seemed to get faster with each painful movement he made. Rai had never experienced magic fatigue before, so he couldn't really tell if that's what was happening or not. But one thing he was damn sure of was the fact that he couldn't keep doing this to himself. He had been so focused and fixed on everyone else's safety that he forgot to incorporate his own. And now he was facing the consequences of those actions.
Rai took a slow glance at Mika and Skyla. They didn't seem to be in pain like him, and they definitely weren't questioning their life choices, and it put a small smile on Rai's face. That means he did well protecting them. Well, probably just Skyla. Mika was capable of defending himself.
He then looked around him for Mateo, so that he could check out his condition. But surprisingly, he wasn't clinging to the group like a fly on horse shit. In fact, he was no where to be found. And just as Rai noticed this, Skyla seemed to at the same time. And with her asking where he was, Mika noticed too.
Rai slowly stood up and began to scout around him. He had been so dazed by his exhaustion, that he hadn't even noticed Mateo stray away.
"Hey, let's just wait here, yeah?" Rai heard Mika say.
"Wait?" Rai murmured to himself. What was waiting going to do? Someone could have taken him, and if they waited, they'd be long gone by then.
Then Mika explained why he wanted to wait. He said that they should wait because he could be alright, and if they leave, once he comes back, no one will be here with him. Rai couldn't argue with that. He could've just went to take a piss. So with that, and skyla seeming to also agree with Mika, Rai sat back down besides his blades, and went back to being lightheaded.
10 minutes later...
Alright. Maybe listening to Mika was a bad choice.
Skyla was sleeping on Mika's shoulder, Mika seemed deep in thought, and Nia was busy being a background character. Rai on the other hand was scouting the area for Mateo, as he began to become worried. No one takes a 10 minute piss unless they're dying.
Where the hell is he? I'm not doing this again. We just found Skyla, and there's no way I'm losing someone again.
Rai rubbed his temple and let out a light groan as his head throbbed even more. He leaned against the bridge wall and slid down to a sitting position. He couldn't keep walking around looking for Mateo anymore, so all he could do now was hope that really was a 10 minute piss.
1331, Ikari Residence --- Flashback (16yo Rai)
Insantly. The fight was over instantly.
Young Rai was sprawled out on his family's expensive carpets, which were now stained with blood from his body. The intruder had defeated him immediately. A flurry of impossibly fast kicks assaulted his body and left Rai coughing up blood as he crumbled to the floor.
"Seriously?" The scarred man asked. "I would've expected you to be a bit more durable, since you're Mustang's son and all."
The man stood over Rai with a disappointed facial expression and shook his head. Almost as if he was expecting a challenge from a teenager.
"Well then, I guess my work is finished here." The man began to make his way to the door but suddenly stopped for a moment. He stared deeply at the wall, as if he was trying to see through it. "I have a better idea. One much better than leaving you here in pain."
The man walked back into the kitchen and observed Aurora closely. His warm, yet cold eyes studied her from head to toe, almost as if he was a scientist study a specimen before doing harmful experiments. And after what seemed seemed be 2 minutes, he ran a finger through Aurora's white hair and smiled, which made her whimper a bit.
"You look just like him, little one. From the cloudy white hair to the curious, obliviously eyes." The man smirked at her."I wonder how much I'd get on the market for selling Mustang Ikari's daughter."
After hearing the man utter those words, Aurora began to let out muffled screams as she squirmed around, attempting to free herself from her binds.
Rai twitched a little at the sound of her screams. They were a bit more muffled at first, but as he began to wake up, they became clearer. That's when he remembered the situation he was in..
Rai quickly scrambled to his feet, which sent a sharp pain through his body, and charged at the man again. He began to throw a fist towards him, but the attack was quickly stopped when the bottom of the man's foot connected with his face. Rai stumbled back a bit, but quickly dismissed again and tried for another attack. This time he got even more of a beatdown.
Once again, a bizarre flurry of kicks came at all angles towards Rai's body. His ribs, his jaw, his knees everything. The way the man fought was absolutely brutal. Every single attack had the full intention of bringing its target to the ground as quickly and painfully as possible. Rai even attempted blocking some of them, but they just found their way past it and hit vital places.
"I see you're just as persistent as Mustang, though." The scarred man told him.
Rai's head hung down and he stumbled a bit as he began to feel the pain from the attacks. adrenaline was subduing most of it, but it was still finding some way to affect him.
"I'm getting sick of you now." The man took a few steps towards Rai and lifted his head by grabbing his hair and yanking it. "I think I'll finish you off, put you out of your misery."
Then, the scarred man lifted his right leg and drew it back to his side. A roundhouse kick was going to be the final one. The one that would either kill Rai, or make sure he never functioned properly again.
A small bolt of electricity shot from Rai's hand and into the intruders's body, causing him to jump back and little and cancel his attack.
"What the-" The man shook himself a little, trying to get over the sensation. "What was that? Was that you?"
Rai groggily lifted his head a bit as small sparks formed around his body. He slowly put his hands in an X over his chest and looked up at the intruder.
"Oh lord. Don't tell me he raised a sparky." The man said as he began to take a few steps back. "Don't do this, alri-"
With a loud grunt, Rai broke the X on his chest and from his body emerged a wave of electricity that spread across the entire house, shocking the intruder, as well as Rai himself. And because Rai was so desperate for the kill, he had forgotten about his sister who was tied up on the kitchen table, and she unfortunately was affected too.
A move that Rai still uses to this day,
Omnidirectional Electric Waves.
(Going to color tomorrow. Also, this post most likely doesn't make sense, sorry.)
Mika's Death and Skyla's Descent into DespairLocation: Iron Bridge
Current Weather: Raining
Current Time: August 26th, 1337. 12:25 pm
About ten minutes had passed since Skyla fell asleep on Mika's shoulder. Mika gently shook Skyla awake, "Hey, I need to get up and walk around." Skyla groggily nodded and let him get up before eventually getting up herself. Apparently she was exhausted, "What's up, Mika?" She asked, stretching.
Mika shook his head, "Nothing. Just needed to--" Mika felt a sudden and sharp pain coming from his chest. Skyla gasped and quickly covered her mouth as she noticed the obvious sword jutting from his chest, "Mika, no..." Mika groaned, grasping around the sword before he was pushed aside by the culprit. The Death Knight had come in quiet as a ninja and stabbed Mika through the chest with the Headless Horseman's sword. Once Mika was on the ground, gasping for air and reaching up at the Death Knight, who stood above him. The Death Knight made one final plunge of the sword into Mika's heart, killing him instantly.
Mika's arm fell lifelessly to the ground and his head turned to one side, "...Why?" Skyla asked, weakly, too stunned and shocked to actually do anything. The Death Knight gave but one response, "Because I felt like it. I wanted to kill and he just so happened to be the closest one." With that, the Death Knight vanished in a cloud of darkness. Once he was gone, Skyla ran to Mika's body and put a finger to a vein in his neck, disheartened to find out there wasn't a pulse.
Skyla knelt beside Mika, her eyes covered by her hair. She made no sounds or seemed to be sad or anything. She slowly reached over to grab Mika's Lance, once she had it within her possession, she clutched it close to her heart and began softly sobbing. This seemed to awaken something within the Lance as it began to lightly glow, "Mika..." She clutched it tighter. The glow grew brighter but then faded after a few moments, "I'll... I'll avenge you... my love... I'll make... sure... they know...about you..." She said between sniffles and gasps of air, however for now, she remained on her knees, softly sobbing over Mika's corpse and his Lance.
The brief meeting with Kumii, and then sort of dispute with Mana had been rather quick. Quick enough for Mateo and Cora to have their small chat and then begin their travels back. While they traversed the ground at impeccable speed, coming from their experience with travel, they discussed about how best to break the news of a small child waiting for them in Luminosa. And how best to propose the Luminosa journey as well. Mateo had already thought of a really good idea that wouldn't give away his secret. The Festival of Light. He heard it happened around this time, and he thought it would be great for the whole group to have fun. Meanwhile, he could break away and investigate the curse's origin and how to cure it.
They both decided that was best for Luminosa. Now the Mana thing was a little trickier. They were both stumped until Mateo eventually proposed the idea of saying she was a relative, maybe a younger cousin who'd written to him about the festival.
The mood was lighthearted, each taking turns in poking fun at each other. That's how their travels usually went. But suddenly Mateo felt a wet sensation on his hair. One, two, three. A fourth dropped on his head, and the wet substance trickled down his face. He could feel the wind stir with a new element, water. He looked up and sure enough there was rain. He pulled up the hood of his ruana. "Huh. Didn't know it was gonna rain. Better that it happened now rather than the fight on the bridge. That could've been tricky, especially since none of us know water magic. Rai probably would've electrocuted as all, right?" He said with a giggle. "Wonder if I should learn water magic next. Luminosa is all light magic though. Cora?" His gaze shifted to the cat on his shoulder who was sniffing the air with a troubled look in his eyes.
"Mateo, speed up."
"Speed up!" He yowled, which got Mateo going. Cora said nothing more, since he didn't want to trouble Mateo further. Though, if he was right, he sensed Mateo would be in a lot of pain. The rain was slightly mudding up scents, so he couldn't tell who's it was. All he knew, was that there was a putrid scent in the air. The distinguishable scent of blood.
Mateo wasn't too far from the site, seeing familiar trees and rocks from where he'd strayed from the group. He came to the area he met Mana, noticing the small dots of sludge and the slightly withered undergrowth from his decay ability. He picked up his speed and eventually got to his friends, but it wasn't a pretty sight. He stopped just beside the tree line to take it all in. Skyla giving soft sobs over a body. Mika's body. He looked to the ground, the rain making the pool of blood around his body diluted.
Something told him the truth right then and there. The hair on the back of his neck stood up and his body felt warm despite the cold rain. His legs shook uncontrollably. He couldn't move or think. His whole body tensed. If this was one of his patients, he would've run up to them immediately. So, why? Why couldn't his body just move? Why was his mind betraying him? He had attachment to Mika. Was that why? His feelings were complicating things, and he just couldn't move. Because Mika was too important to him for this to be true. All he could do in that moment was utter one word. One silent question.
Kiko seemed to seriously listen to his theory, which Finch appreciated. Not many people actually took him seriously, so he liked that Kiko was sort of recognizing him as an equal in that sense. Though, she still referred to him as rookie rather than Finch. He supposed he'd just have to prove himself in this mission so that she'd really see him more as an equal than an ordinary rookie. But she was right in the end. They couldn't come to a solid theory without investigation. He was mostly just throwing it out there, since to him Joker seemed like a standard criminal. Finch was trying to fight to protect the innocent, even from the somewhat unfair clutches of the guard, so hearing about someone killing people, even on a supposed accident, seemed like the standard definition of an evil, heartless criminal.
They turned a corner and Kiko told him to wait before entering a room. He didn't mean to peek, but he saw hints of the room as he watched Kiko disappear inside. The room seemed to be in the dorm wing of the building, but a little way away from his room. Plus, he saw some telltale signs, pillows and bedding, blankets. As well as other personalized aspects of the room that were tailored to a certain woman's interests. He realized with a start that he was waiting outside Kiko's bedroom. He'd taken a peek inside the captain's quarters. He felt wrong about that because, one, he was invading someone's privacy, even if it'd been on accident. And two, that was his boss's room. It wasn't very professional to sneak a peek into his boss's room, even if she seemed very down to earth. It made him feel like he should've been named Weasel instead of Finch.
Two other guards came by in light conversation. He could tell they were older than him and had more experience on their belts. They stopped and just stared at him, clearly recognizing that the strange rookie Finch Arrowyn was hanging out beside the captain's quarters. He just gave an awkward smile and small wave as they passed, slightly hearing whispers from them as they turned the corner.
Finch's gaze went back to Kiko as she emerged once more from her quarters. He noticed her new weapon, a standard issue long sword much like his own. But unlike the one hanging from his hip, this one looked special. He wasn't exactly sure how, but something told him that sword didn't get handed out to the whole guard. It was special to Kiko, and Kiko alone.
She got right back to business, saying they had an anonymous tip. His expression seemed to brighten as she got him thinking about Joker and this case. She told him Joker was targeting a business known for having shady practices, and how he wore a mask to conceal himself from the public.
Finch looked up, deep in thought. "Motive, huh?" He murmured. "Well, the motive sounds like this guy wants to take down a shady business, but it's never that simple. If it was, then we wouldn't have to do our job. We're investigating this guy because he has criminal tendencies, because innocent people are getting killed by him. Until we know more, I say we treat him as a criminal. Or at least a suspect to these killings." He went silent, thinking more for a second and connecting some thoughts in a lose series of threads. "What kind of shady business is this? Like what do they deal in? Depending on what it is, there's a possibility Joker could want something from this place. He wears the mask, so people don't see him, like you said, because he's planning a heist. Maybe he's even having back door dealings with this place. We don't have any evidence now, but I know there's something more to this story than just a vigilante." His voice rang through with confidence in his last statement. Finch truly believed in the possibility that the full story with Joker wasn't there. There was definitely something else, and he was going to find enough evidence until he could prove it and protect the civilians.
SkylaLocation: Iron Bridge
Current Weather: Raining
Current Time: August 26th, 1337. 12:56 pm
Everything around Skyla metaphorically darkened as Mateo arrived, from Skyla's perspective, time had froze. In Skyla's mind, she had blocked herself off, to represent this, chains swirled around the lone Skyla and tightened, locking with a padlock. A shield had been put around her heart too, time resumed for Skyla as Mateo said;
With this, the shield cracked a bit, showing she was willing to open back up, given time. "I'm fine." Her voice was significantly more monotone then before. She got up and walked a few steps before feeling a sharp pain in her head, 'No!' She heard a voice in her head, it was hers, the shield cracked further.
'This ISN'T you!!' the voice in her head exclaimed, 'They deserve better then that!!' Skyla groaned in pain as she held her head.
In her heart was a dark room, only Skyla was there. Another figure emerged, one with a distorted image, almost like a flame, "Open your heart..." It said, "Let me in..." Skyla looked away, "How can I trust you?" The figure walked closer and took the form of Mika, "Mika, trusted me did he not? Besides, would the man you loved really be okay with you being like this?" It returned to it's fiery form, with this, Skyla realized it was the Lance talking to her, "You're..." She thought for a moment about it had said, "No, but..." The form stopped her, "Then don't. Live on, not for his sake, but for yours. Spark the Flame of Resolve in your heart! Trust in me!"
Try and time this in your mind, it'll make it more epic c:
Skyla decided to trust it, "Okay... If he did, then I will... maybe you can help me..." The form appeared to nod and disappeared. About this time, the red gem on the lance flashed then shattered as fire spewed from it and into Skyla's chest where her heart was. At the same that this happened, the shield around her heart and the metaphorical chains shattered and broke. It stopped and things went calm for a minute until fire energy flared around her. Skyla didn't make a noise though and just watched as it happened, her hair remained its raven color but the purple tips turned red-orange and became surrounded by a permanent transparent fire that was harmless. After everything had calmed down, Skyla checked herself out, "Sweet."
She turned to Mateo and gave a small smile, "It'll take some time but... really... I'll be fine. After all... he wouldn't want me to be sad, would he?" She stated.
(See Character Sheet for changes shortly...)
Kiko Mateas and the CommanderLocation: Streets of Ironshire
Current Weather: Raining
Current Time: August 26th, 1337. 1:22 pm
Kiko listened to his theory, "Hmm..." Kiko looked at Finch, "We don't have all the answers. If we did, the business wouldn't be operating right now, would it?" Kiko shrugged, "Well, at least you're confident." Kiko turned away, "You're right about one thing, this is more to the story but we don't know how much more. That's what we're here to investigate." Kiko turned back to Finch, "Alright, so the location--" Kiko felt a presence behind her, a familiar one...
"Did someone say investigate?" The voice was stern yet feminine, think sultry. Kiko turned around, "Commander! You're back!" Kiko paused for a moment then jumped and hugged the woman in front of her, which seemed to be highly odd. The Commander hugged her back though, they seemed to be on good terms at least. Kiko let go of Nikki and turned to Finch, "Finch, this is Commander Nikki Eversteele."
The Commander stood with her hands behind her back, staring at Finch, "Ah, so you're the unfortunate soul who has to deal with Kiko, hm?" She said in her sultry voice.
The response from Skyla was monotone, no emotion showing. She got up, taking a few steps before she groaned in pain. But even at that point Mateo's healing instincts weren't kicking in. His legs still shook, his body transfixed to the spot. His eyes seemed far away, looking straight through Skyla to the corpse of Mika. His lance emanated fire energy, flaring a bit of hope in him. If it was active, then that meant Mika must still be alive. But that hope sank when it erupted into Skyla. Much like how his book bonded to him, he knew the lance was bonding to its new owner. He could feel the extra presence surrounding Skyla, making her warmer against the cold rain. Usually, he would've congratulated his friend, but this wasn't cause for celebration. No, this was much, much worse.
Skyla spoke to him, and his eyes widened. "Why would you be..." His small voice trailed off. The reality set in. The lance, Skyla's words, and his knowledge finally broke him from his spot. "Mika!" He yelled, his voice breaking. He ran to the body, stumbling in the mud briefly.
"Dios, Mika!" He exclaimed as he slunk to the ground beside the body and pulled his hood down. His hands glowed with a familiar green energy. He hovered his hands above the wound in Mika's heart, but nothing happened. No movement came from the body, no semblance of the wound closing or the body trying to repair it. The green light flickered and faded. Mateo knew what that meant. He couldn't heal fatal wounds. But it was worse than that. There was no soul to heal. Mika was gone.
But Mateo wasn't willing to give up. The green light flooded back to his gloved hands. This time he pressed his hands right up to the wound. "Come on! Heal, dammit!" He yelled as tears rolled down his cheeks. He checked the wound, but nothing changed. "No. Please, no."
Cora jumped down from Mateo's shoulder and pressed against his side. Despite not having as good of a relationship, Cora still felt the tug of sadness. He could feel how much pain Mateo was in and sympathized. He remembered how Mika protected Mateo, even when he thought the teen was a spirit. He showed acceptance to spirits and treated Mateo like any other person, even when he was under the impression Mateo was a spirit. The only difference that seemed to matter to Mika was that Mateo was younger and inexperienced. He needed protection and that's what Mika gave him without any prejudice. Cora dipped his head to Mika, a silent goodbye and thank you for everything he'd done to help Mateo and for his stance on spirits.
Once again, the green light from Mateo's palms fizzled and faded. "Mika..." He murmured and looked up to the sky. Suddenly, his eyes started fading in color. They took on a silver color with hints of blue gray. At the same time, his vision started getting weird. Everything lost color, his vision turning monochromatic. It was like he was going color blind. Or maybe more like he was actually turning into the animal he was. Most animals couldn't perceive colors after all. Was he really slipping that much? He couldn't feel the sludge. Or maybe it was there, and his mind was too numb to realize it. The rational part of his brain wasn't perceiving anything.
But color tingled on the edge of his vision. A shimmering form of blue developed onto his vision like a polaroid, ever slowly appearing until his face could come into view. Mika. Or rather, what was left of him. His soul, leaving his mortal capsule and going off to join the rest in the afterlife. The spirit world awaited him, tugging at him to leave. But for now, he regarded the only one who could see him with a warm smile.
Mateo watched as Mika's blue form wandered to Skyla, giving his love a parting kiss before he made his way to the afterlife. He regarded her new look with his usual silence, but it showed on his face. He seemed proud that she was able to move on through the pain, and that his lance had given her some form of comfort.
Next it was Rai's turn. He gave Rai a nod of acknowledgment. He acknowledged the man's strength and how hard he fights. How much of a good samurai he was, and how he would protect the group with everything he had. He was leaving things to Rai; sure the guy could handle it.
Mika's form gave Nia a goodbye wave, then looked back to Mateo and Cora. He maneuvered back to his body, back to where Mateo and Cora sat beside it. He looked at the usually cold cat, now showing respect to his fallen comrade. Mika gave a small bow to him, one of respect. Mateo couldn't tell if Mika realized the truth about Cora or not, but he didn't seem mad if he did realize.
He looked back down to Mateo, the last of his goodbyes and the only one that would be realized. Tears streamed down Mateo's cheeks as he looked up to Mika's spirit. Mika wiped it away, then gave him a pat on the head. It was a soft pat, unlike Rai's which totally messed up his hair. There was a small disturbance to it, a tuft suddenly going out of place, but that was all that showed of Mika's presence. Now that his business was done, Mika started glittering away. He was moving on now. He turned to the skies, the rain shifting straight through his blue form. Mateo reached out for his hand, but it fell through. He couldn't hold it, but he felt a strange warmth as his hand passed through Mika's. Like he was there for a second, but Mateo wasn't strong enough to pull him back. "I'm sorry.." One apology for a million things. He couldn't say everything, so he thought maybe that would be a good summery. He was sorry about lying so much and about how he was useless. About how Mika always had to protect him from everything. He was sorry about it all.
Mateo watched Mika fade away, and his eyes went back to normal. His vision gained color once more. He brought his hand back down, noticing sludge clinging to the edge of his glove. Sorry didn't feel like it cut it.
Kiko didn't seem too impressed with his answer, but he honestly didn't know what to say. He didn't know much about this situation. Finch only knew that there was something up here. Something that would be dangerous to the general public. But Kiko knew more about this assignment than him, which didn't help. He liked to have all the information displayed right in front of him. He didn't like surprises, and yet he acted super rash. Hypocritical, yes, but he wanted to climb the ranks fast.
Kiko turned back to Finch, ready to tell him the location they were scoping out. But Finch tuned her out as he saw a new figure loom over Kiko. The new woman seemed a couple years older than Kiko, and much more stern too. Her voice reflected that, and Finch had to do a double take. She reminded him of his stepmother, which was not a good thing. His stepmother had that same stern gaze, and a similar appearance. The white-ish hair, the white and blue-ish clothing, the stern look and voice. The only difference was that his stepmother looked older than the woman in front of him, and her gaze always made you feel off. Or at least it did to Finch. It always felt like she was inspecting him.
But Kiko warmly accepted her presence, exclaiming that she was back and then going into a hug. Finch liked to see Kiko's unprofessionalism. It made him feel ok about his own actions, as well as make Kiko seem more like a person rather than a mean, scary authority figure. She seemed to be one of the good ones in the guard, as he knew there was plenty of corruption within.
She'd also called this woman 'commander', so he knew she was of higher rank than even Kiko herself. He wasn't sure what he should do. Maybe bow or salute. Though, she accepted Kiko's hug which made her seem less scary. Even so, he still didn't know a lot about this commander. Finch remembered Kiko from his test to get into the guard, but he'd never met this woman before. Not in person, at least.
Kiko introduced him to Nikki Eversteele. He knew her. She had quite the reputation after all. She'd joined when she was only twelve and climbed the ranks till she was commander. Nikki was an inspiration for him. He'd gotten at a lot of flak for being nineteen in the guard, imagine what it was like at twelve. The flak he got was mostly from being rash and doing stupid things in an effort to climb the ranks, but also because he'd passed the test with flying colors. A lot of people had been jealous because he seemed like he didn't know a lot. Not being from Ironshire didn't help his cause either. But he'd helped his father go after the bad spirits for years. Hunting down criminals was literally in his blood. No wonder he'd passed. He respected Nikki so much that seeing her be like his stepmother was kind of a let down. But she seemed sort of down to earth around Kiko so he'd just give her a chance.
Nikki's stance and her tone didn't really help her case though. Finch decided to do a little salute, bringing his hand up to his forehead. He put it down to answer Nikki, surprisingly going against what she said. "On the contrary, ma'am. I don't think I'm unfortunate at all. I'd say I'm quite lucky to get to shadow someone as experienced as the captain when I'm fairly new and don't have much to my name yet. What's more, I get to be her partner in this case. It's quite exciting to be given this opportunity." Finch gave his best to use more put together sentences in front of the captain. Despite that, his voice rang clear and true, as if he actually thought what he was saying, which he did. His cheeks were edged with pink at the statements.
SkylaLocation: Iron Bridge
Current Weather: Raining
Current Time: August 26th, 1337. 1:00 pm
Skyla looked back Mateo upon hearing him cry out, the grip on Mika's Lance got a little tighter as she watched Mateo try to heal him. She stood in silence and looked away, holding back tears of her own. She tried to be strong when she said what she said but seeing Mateo try to heal and revive Mika almost broke her again, "Mateo... stop it..." she said quietly.
Just as she was about to make her way to Mateo, she felt a strange warmth on her lips which caused her to stop in her tracks. She instinctively put a finger to her lips, "Wh--" She shook it off and continued to Mateo, kneeling down next to him, placing the Lance on the ground. She grabbed his shoulders then pulled him in for a tight hug and didn't say a word.
Kiko Mateas and the CommanderLocation: Streets of Ironshire
Current Weather: Raining
Current Time: August 26th, 1337. 1:25 pm
Kiko crossed her arms in a pout as Nikki made that comment about her, "Heey! I'm right here!" Then Kiko heard Finch's comments and made her blush slightly, "S-Stop it." Nikki saw Kiko blush and smiled slightly. She turned her attention back to Finch, the brief, momentary smile fading, "Private Finch." She turned to Kiko, "Captain Kiko. Per command of Lord Cyan, I will be joining you for this mission. He thought you could use an extra hand so.." Nikki bowed, "Thank you for having me."
Kiko waved her hands in a dismissive manner, "Wh-- N-No! We're honored to have someone of your renown accompanying us on this mission. Thank you for joining us!" Kiko bowed back. Both stood back up, "So, let's get underway shall we? I have new information." Nikki stood before the two, seeming to have taken command from Kiko, "As you know, you'll be heading to the suspected location which is the Blacksmith's Shop run by Jon Half-Borne."
Nikki looked between Kiko and FInch as she spoke, "As it turns out, Jon adopted a daughter. Her name is Serana. The mission is unrelated to her though and if she attempts to engage us in battle, we are under strict orders to only incapacitate her. Our target is Joker, though Cyan informed me that we should recruit him, if possible." She said, "Maybe do the same with Serana too, I'm not entirely sure."
10 minutes. 10 minutes had passed and Mateo hadn't come back. Rai had become more worried in that time period, and was actually questioning if he was still alive. No. He's fine, Rai. He has to be, right? Rai thought to himself. He could only reassure himself for now, because it was the only thing his body could make him do for now. He was in too bad of condition to get up and look for Mateo, so he has to stay complacent and hope for the best.
Rai looked over to his right when he heard movement coming from Mika and Skyla. Mika had woken her up, and they both stood up and stretched a bit.
"You good, Mika?" Rai asked. If Rai knew what was going to happen next, he would've said something else. Because little did he know, those would be the last words he would ever speak to Mika.
As swiftly and quickly as possible, a sword was suddenly stabbed through Mika's chest. In that moment, Rai could only let out a quick and quiet gasp, because it had all happened too quickly. Mika was pushed to the ground and gasped for breath as Rai finally processed the situation. The new knight that had appeared earlier had came back for a kill, and he chose Mika as his target.
Attempting to save Mika, Rai quickly stood himself up, which gave him a blinding migraine for a moment, but he staggered over to where the Knight was, his walking uncoordinated and slow.
"WAIT!" Rai called out as the Death Knight began to lift his sword into the air for the kill. Move faster! Rai thought to himself. He tried as hard as possible to speed up his limp, but it was useless. Please, body! Just one more time! Don't fail me now!
A light thud.
Rai knew it was over when he heard the thud from Mika's hands lifeless falling to the ground. The Death Knight had plunged his sword into Mika's heart, killing him instantaneously. Rai stopped his useless running and looked down at Mika's corpse in shock. He wanted to scream. He wanted to cry. But that wasn't going to get him anywhere.
Rai redirected his emotions towards the Death Knight and began to charge at him once more as he spoke to Skyla. Once he was in range, Rai leapt from the ground and attempted to tackle the Knight. But he just ended up crashing into the ground as the Death Knight vanished in a cloud of darkness.
Rai quickly stood up and turned back around, expecting the Knight to still be there, but all he was left with was the corpse of his old friend Mika, and Skyla sobbing over it.
"M-Mika..." Rai slowly sputtered out. His legs shook slightly as he fought back to urge to crash to the floor and cry. Seeing the pool of crimson red blood around Mika's body and the sobs of Skyla was too much to bear.
"Sky-la?" Rai suddenly heard in front of him. Mateo was back, and he looked just as distraught as the others upon viewing Mika's lifeless corpse.
Skyla spoke to Mateo with a bit of monotone in her voice. It was dry and uninteresting, almost as if she didn't care that Mika had just died at the moment. But after a bit, and a significant change in the details with her hair, she gave Mateo a smile and spoke kindly to him.
Mateo on the other hand was in denial. He denied the fact that Mika was dead. He crouched next to his dead body and began attempting to heal the wound on Mika's chest. He cried and begged for Mika to wake up, but as expected, there was no use in doing so.
Rai couldn't bear it anymore. They find Skyla, but lose Mika. Why? Why couldn't they just be happy? Why did they deserve to lose what they had just found? Rai turned towards the walls of the bridge and balled up his fists. From there, he punched the wall with the full force of his hands over and over again. He gritted his teeth as blood emerged from his knuckles and scolded himself.
Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? With each punch, a question formed. Why weren't you paying attention?! Why didn't you keep an eye out for any threats?! Why did you let yourself get injured in battle like that?! Now look what happened! You couldn't even make it there in time! Why?! Why?!
No answer to his question ever formed, but he asked anyways. From the tournament all the way to this day, he had slipped up and got himself hurt badly in battle. And both times, he wasn't in good enough condition to save someone.
Rai's bloodied and bruised hand fell back to his side as it could not function anymore. Vermillion colored blood dripped from his exposed flesh and onto the bridge floor. The metallic and uncomfortable smell of his blood filled his sinuses and spread across the area. Rai's breathing became ragged and delayed, and he found himself biting his bottom lip to hold back a whimper that was begging to come out.
The physical pain Rai endured was intense and harsh, but not even close to painful as the emotional and mental strain and struggle he went through at the moment. But he couldn't let that pain show. Because right now, he needed to be strong. Not for himself, but for the group. If the versatile, "strong" Samurai broke down, then all hope really was lost.
So, to calm himself and cope with the pain he felt Rai closed his eyes and pressed his forehead against the blood stained wall, taking a moment to himself.
Unknown FigureLocation: ???
Current Weather: ???
Current Time: August 26th, 1337. 1:00 pm
The scene shows a large, open area filled with blackened vined thorns. A few seconds pass before a misty portal forms and a figure steps through. They stand for a moment, blood dripping from the sword they carried. They dropped the sword and it made a clanging noise as they brought their hands up to their helmet. They took it off and revealed their face, at least the bottom half and the demon-ish grin they had which was full off sharp teeth, "Everything is going according to plan." They said, in a deep and husky voice, "Thanks to that traitor, they'll make their way to the Desert Nation, until then..."
Their eyes flashed red with the demon-ish grin plastered across their face, "It's time to have a little fun at Ironshire. My pawn is set there..."