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Hayate_Amatsukami
05-27-2018, 11:45 AM
The sun had finally set for Hayate Amatsukami, and as the darkness of the Akashima bathed everything in blackness the young naïve found himself yearning. Yearning for some kind of excitement in his mundane life, the kind of excitement that the young clan’s men hadn’t felt in many years. From the fourth floor of the Amatsukami manor he could see the streets of the city begin to clear out as all the residents filed into their houses getting ready for the night. He’d noticed that around this time the only persons on the streets were either the shogun’s soldiers patrolling or roaming gangs of the underground criminal scene here in Akashima.

Tonight was like every other with one soldier, followed by a pair of them not long after. It was normal for the shogun to send his men over to the Yukon district of town to look out for the more generous families. The Amatsukami were one of the four noble bloodlines that had lived here in Akashima for a number of generations, and were some of the only clans still lining the shogun’s coffers regularly. As the three men passed by the archway to the estate they turned and shined their paper lanterns down the pathway up to the mansion. After a few moments they moved on down the street and disappeared into a nearby alleyway.

Hayate was pleased to see that Lord Yami was still keeping his supporters happy and holding up his end of the bargain. It wasn’t like the Amatsukami house wasn’t capable of defending their own, but bureaucracy was a better means of defense in times like these. Appearances were everything when dealing with the noble clans in the shogun’s court so it was better if he and his men didn’t sully their own hands and leave the dirty work to the soldier they pay.

Quickly the young clan’s men felt a wave of regret wash over him as he remembered last week when he found a cat burglar attempting to scale the outer walls of his estate. He still kicks himself for allowing the shogun’s men to come handle the situation for them. It would have been very simple to just make the man disappear and keep it quite yet if the shogun, or anyone, had begun to ask questions their operation would have been in jeopardy. It had simply been too long since Hayate had gotten his hand dirty.

Days passed Hayate had decided enough was enough and he needed to see if he still had the skills that got him the position he holds as Head of the Amatsukami. With some instructions left behind for his retainer the young lord left the comfort of his estate and made his way to the hustle and bustle of Radasanth. His destination was the Citadel, rumors made this place sound like it was run by some monks able to revive the dead. It seemed like the most fitting place to flex and see how rusty he had become.

It wasn’t long before the registration process was over and Hayate was escorted to the large doors of the arena. The monks reassured the man that nothing that happened within these walls was permanent and any injuries he sustained would be healed by them at the end of the match. With this information the young lord pushed open the doors and was instantly teleported to world like he had never seen. Inside he found himself standing on a large stone tablet suspended in the air. As if by magic the large circulate stone defied gravity making a very solid surface for him and his opponent fight. All around him was a deep black void of nothingness, yet the platform seemed to be visible. It was as if the arena was the only thing that mattered and the only thing this strange world would allow him to see.

Strange… Hayate thought as he began stretching his arms. Strapped to his back he had a large Katana that compared to him in size. Along with his devilish mask to keep his identity hidden he had everything he needed to have some fun, now all he had to do was wait for his enemy.

Shinsou Vaan Osiris
05-27-2018, 01:32 PM
To be back in the Silver Cup meant only one thing to Shinsou Vaan Osiris; he'd finally returned home. Not a physical home, of course, for he owned a very handsomely valued apartment a couple of streets away, but instead the home of his ideals and ambitions.

This was the place where he and Storm Veritas had originally agreed to intertwine their destinies; the spot on which the Brotherhood, in its current format, had been planned and conceived.

The upmarket Radasanthian tavern took a certain type of patron. The politically powerful, the wealthy and the influential were the usual clientele. A lot of money exchanged hands in here, usually with Soap, the landlord, being directly involved. You could tell, too. Thick, shag carpets from Irrakram in Fallien covered the lounge. Brass lanterns from Alerar hung in the vaults. Ornaments from Raiaera's ancient past were placed neatly in rows on floating shelves. There was chirping of clean leather shoes on fresh planks cut from the best trees in Underwood. It all created an atmosphere of importance and snobbery around the place to attract bigger names and even bigger purses, and yet most ironically the tavern was the dirtiest capital of Radasanth's black market, criminal underworld and assassin's guild.

The lone Telgradian was the first through the door this morning. As a short ginger man stretched across the counter, he placed a tumbler in front of him and perched on a large stool.

"A little bird tells me you came back to Whitevale. Am I hearing correctly?"

“Oh? Who told you that?” Shinsou stood by the lip of the bar top, clutching the glass between finger and thumb. The question insinuated that by Shinsou returning to the town of the Brotherhood's HQ, he was once again part of the hierarchy. Calmly, the barman's hands slid a piece of paper across the table. His eyes stayed straight, never averting from the spellsword for a second.

“No-one in particular. If it's true, though, you should check this guy out. Soap thinks he'd be a good fit for you.”

The charming smile of the barman broke Shinsou's gaze, and as the Telgradian flashed the note open he screwed up his eyes.

"Yeah, well, if it is true you'll know soon enough. So, this guy. Hayate Amatsukami? Never heard of him, and what exactly does Soap mean by "a good fit"? Unless the guy is a jacket or looking for love in the wrong places, I don't see how he "fits"."

As Shinsou crossed his arms across the bartop, he peered into the murky whisky as if divining tea leaves. If Soap was dishing him names, it could only mean that there was something in it for him. It begged the questions what and why. It was then that the landlord himself, dressed as if he were the Radasanthian representive of the House of Lords, strolled in from the back and clapped his Telgradian associate on the forearm.

"Go to the Citadel, my friend, and find out for yourself. This name has been handed down by a very powerful connection who reckons the boy has potential." Soap picked up a fresh bar towel from under the counter and began polishing glassware, whilst Shinsou raised a sceptical eyebrow.

"What's in it for you?" Came the inevitable question from the Telgradian's lips.

"The well being of my benefactors, the Brotherhood. You guys keep me in business, and I like to throw you a bone every now and then to keep that business coming in. If he's any good, you'll try to recruit him and, of course, pay me a finder's fee. If you kill him, it's training. Win-win, right?"

The Citadel may have been the gathering place for Althanas's pool of gifted fighters and wannabe heroes, but there was no use plucking a name at random if you wanted to scout for talent or train in a specific way. That's why the Brotherhood kept Soap around - the man called to the next gifted generation of warriors and passed on their details to interested parties. Due to the beautifully crafted contract they had, the Brotherhood always had first refusal on talent.

"Fine. I'll assess him, and see what happens. You'll have your money later."

Whether or not this would qualify as recruitment or training was somewhat irrelevant to the Telgradian. Recently, Shinsou had been a regular at the Citadel, and much like his most recent opponent and reunited partner Storm Veritas, there was no question of his own power. That was beyond debate. But there was a lack of sharpness and an insatiable appetite for improvement that kept dragging him back to the arena.

So, four hours later, the grandest stage in the world once again hosted the spellsword.

Stepping gently from the hot membrane of the portal, Shinsou Vaan Osiris felt his feet flatten against a stone floor. The first thing he noticed was an infinite void, surrounding the disc shaped stone platform he stood on, that seemes to stretch on forever. It reminded him instantly of Telgradia's "Kokushi" prison and it's maddening seventh floor; nothing but emptiness and cold for all eternity in all directions. The disc platform itself seemed suspended in the air and was devoid of features; a classic gladatorial arena.

Turning sharply, the golden eyes of the spellsword tightened into a glare as he stared at the form of a person at the other side of the disc opposite. The fact he had to use his eyes to see the man told Shinsou a lot already - namely that either the man could hide his power, or he simply didn't have enough of it to sense.

That could be a problem. If I can't sense him, he could still catch me off guard if he hits a blind spot. Be vigilant and figure out early what his skillset is.

"The name is Shinsou Vaan Osiris," The Telgradian shouted across the distance by way of introduction, "and if I have my information right, your name is Hayate Amatsukami. Am I correct? If so, I'm here to answer your challenge. Don't let me down, kid."

Hayate_Amatsukami
05-27-2018, 06:25 PM
Hello, thanks for joining. I love the set up you gave us. I'm very excited.

The young lord watched as if out of nowhere a man, a stranger, appeared from the void as he did moments earlier. Hayate finished stretching his arms across his chest and as the man turned to face him was struck with a jarring revelation, the stranger knew his name. Instantly he grew concerned, it wasn’t often he was permitted outside Akashima alone. Hayate was the leader of one of the four noble families of the Yukon District of Akashima. Sure his name was out there and many people knew him but to be formally addressed in such a place made him uneasy.

Who was this Shinsou? The young lord thought to himself as he brought a hand to his mask. It served no more purpose as it was and he casually lifted it up until it covered only his right eye and the top of his head. It was made of ivory ornately carved to resemble the upper jaw of a canine, the canine was the insignia of the Amatsukami and they wore it proudly.

His skin was pale, almost like snow, contrasting sharply with his dark hair. Hayate wore a multi layered white robe that hugged his slender frame allowing for a free range of motion and quick movements. On his back rested his partner Yamato, the Corpse King Blade, as long six and a half foot katana. He was ready for whatever situation he found himself in and in his opinion the man looked relatively regular in terms of regular. At least he wasn’t a dragon…

“Pleased to meet you.” he said as he gave the man the slightest of bows. It still remained very important to the young lord to keep up his appearance even in a place like this. “But may I ask,” he said as he returned to his upright stance. “how do you know my name?”

He didn’t leave the man much time to answer before Hayate violently reached for Yamato. He drew his blade in a crescent arc over his head before entering an aggressive fighting stance. Along the length of his blade are a myriad of runes that seemed to pulse with every beat of Hayate’s heart.

“And if you know who I am that means you know I’m not present in Yukon. That’s not something I can allow you to go spreading around.” If any of the other houses found out he wasn’t there to defend his estate then they would make moves to force him out of the Shogun’s court. That was something that he simply could not allow, so this would have to be a very quick trip to Radasanth. He couldn’t take any chances with this man and needed to fight smart.

This didn’t mean he would go all out immediately rather Hayate would start by testing the waters a bit first. Swiftly he made about fifteen strides forwards closing the gap between himself and Shinsou with his blade aimed to cut the man from his right shoulder down across his chest. He knew that this would most likely be countered and he was prepared to react if necessary. But no matter what happened this was going to be a hell of a lot of fun.

Shinsou Vaan Osiris
05-27-2018, 07:27 PM
Thank you, and my pleasure. PM me if you need anything.

The swordsman was deceptively quick, but also frustratingly predictable. The nobleman closed in quickly but from the front, which made a defense all too easy for the experienced Brotherhood leader. As the deadly edge of the seven foot long no-dachi style blade Hayate wielded screamed down, Shinsou snapped his own katana, Enpera, to his side to parry. A metallic chime pierced the cacophony of conflict as the blades met on the upswing and the infinite vault of void sang to the whisper of battle steel.

Just like the night of his first fight in the Citadel, when he had crossed swords with Ioder, this kid had emulated Shinsou's first ever mistake. Was this an early sign that Soap had made an error in judgment? The two cutting edges bit at each other, vying for overall control, but Shinsou stood confident and quiet with a single arm keeping the deadly Enpera firm against its counterpart.

An obvious frontal assault could be a ploy for something more dangerous. Let's shut this down, quickly.

Enpera Kurohitsugi.

Shinsou's free hand pulsed through shadow and dust, rising though the air to begin summoning his most monstrous creation as the swords continued to grind and compete for leverage. With a horrendous noise akin to the tearing of a thousand sheets of flesh, The Telgradian conjured five abyssal spears of dark matter from a rift torn in reality, and as they manifested through heat and haze, they appeared wreathed with amethyst arcs of lifeforce.

"I'll answer your questions later, Hayate," Shinsou reproofed, "For now, focus."

Arcane energy, sour like raw citrus, flowed through his body. Hot, thick air pushed back against him from the force of the void. The world slowed to his mind. He calculated the trajectories of the spears and the exact point where they and Hayate would collide.

The world sped up again, scrambling all his calculations. Hayate's heavy anti-cavalry sword was starting to push Enpera back. No matter how strong Shinsou was, the clash was a simple matter of physics, and the boy had strength that the Telgradian could feel reverberating through the hilt of his sword.

It was time.

Three spears left the spacial rift behind Shinsou, the intention being to stab Hayate through the shoulder, the hip, and across his left thigh. It wouldn't be long before his feudal outfit dampened in arterial blood. Arcs of dark energy coursed through his nerves as electrical spastic contortions accompanied the trail of spears.

Hayate_Amatsukami
05-28-2018, 10:34 AM
Hayate hadn’t time to loose, he had miscalculated Shinsou’s strength the man’s counter attack seemed more deadly than the young lord anticipated. With their blades still locked Shinsou summoned from the void chaotic spears attempting to skewer Hayate and kill him out right. The young Amatsukami simply couldn’t allow it and by sheer force of will began to call out.

“Rise Yamato!” Hayate screamed as the three spears spiraled towards him. A pool of dark purple energy began to swell beneath his feet and near instantaneously something miraculous occurred. A shadowy forearm appeared between the two breaking their blade lock, and in the process Yamato disappeared. It moved in a violent arc to quickly defend its master intercepting two of the three spears of dark magic Shinsou launched at him and sending the last ricocheting off the edge of the arena. There was a distinct sound of crunching and scraping metal as the spears impaled the massive disembodied arm of Hayate’s partner. A dark liquid began to flow from the wounds on the Avatar, and in turn in the exact same spot on Hayate’s right arm the color of his garbs began to turn crimson with his own blood.

Sweat began to pour from Hayate’s forehead as the pain transferred from the Avatar to him. He wondered how long it would take this man to notice this connection. He had to make this quick.

The young lord quickly shuffled his feet backwards as the rest of his Avatar took shape. Fist it appeared as a lumbering skeleton standing roughly ten feet tall lurking just behind Hayate before a suit of spectral armor covered it. In its left hand the Avatar wielded a katana that matched Hayate’s in proportion but far exceeded his in raw strength. It seemed to sway and move on its own as its movements didn’t match up exactly with its creator. This was the power of the Amatsukami, this was the Avatar of War.

Quickly and without any warning the lumbering spirit behind Hayate launched itself forward at Shinsou. It moved independently of the young lord allowing Hayate to begin setting his finishing blow. The clan’s men used this opportunity to retreat further towards the edge of the platform the fought on. And as the lumbering Avatar used it’s sword to engage the enemy Hayate began to search through the folds of his vestments.

Of course he had to be a magic user, he thought to himself knowing that his magical resistance was on the weaker side. On first glance Shinsou wasn’t an imposing figure but things had quickly begun to look bleak for the young lord.

“Don’t mock us!” Hayate cried as the Corpse King brought his great sword down upon their enemy. If the Corpse King's blade were to strike Shinsou unchallenged it would easily cleave the man in two.

Shinsou Vaan Osiris
05-28-2018, 02:40 PM
What in the seven hells is that?

Weaving back a few steps into his side of the flat, featureless chamber, Shinsou tried to gain perspective of this goliath that managed to stop his assault. He spared one last glance towards Hayate before turning to face this embodiment of carnage. Carnage was exactly right; while there was nothing at all to sense before, the Telgradian could feel it all now. It came in the form of an intense, angry power burning away at his gut. The sensation rose from the shrivelled depths of his stomach and he could feel the giant's murderous impulses seizing control. This thing, this suffering clad in the armor of the Akashima nobles, wanted nothing less than to give the Telgradian an overwhelming and final death.

Now I see, Soap. There's that raw, untamed potential you were talking about. But...

He exhaled his frustration in a stream of hot air. As he did, his eyes caught something; a patch of crimson on Hayate's arm. A blood spatter followed him to the end of the platform, where he had chosen to hide away.

...odd. I don't remember my attack connecting. Did I imagine it? Hang on, wait a minute. The injury is coming from the same area-

The Telgradian was interrupted by what sounded like a hurricane as the giant unleashed its katana upon him. For something that size, the arm moved remarkably fast and as Shinsou attempted to roll out of the way, the edge of the steel sliced through his bicep and cleaved a slab of flesh from the Telgradian's left arm. Smouldering pain warred in his left side. Silence shuddered beneath his flaring screams as a maelstrom of thunderous cacophony resonated through his own ears, before the screams died into a quiet seethe.

Son of a BITCH. That's IT.

Words of power slipped past his lips as crimson flooded from his terrible wound. Clearing his mind of the pain, he finished weaving his incantation and watched as the rift still open from Enpera Kurohitsugi became a swirling cocoon. Twelve spears of dark matter converged to melt into a single object, reforming to create a chain of five interlocking plates.

Enpera Kurohitsugi: Phalanx

At the touch of Shinsou thoughts, the chain woven about his limbs carried itself to his desired destination: the injured arm of the giant armored bone golem, hoping to wrap, constrict and eventually tear off its wrist. As it left Shinsou's body to strike, the ground at his feet cracked and sent splintered shards of granite fizzing through the shadows. The power contained in his Phalanx form alone could have melted flesh from bone, but how would it fare against such a force?

Regardless, some of the world's greatest evils, even the Thayne Draconus, had not fazed him. This one would not, either.

Hayate_Amatsukami
05-28-2018, 03:36 PM
The Corpse King seemed to cry out in joy as its blade slashed through the tender flesh of Shinsou Osiris, if it wasn’t obvious before this being did have a mind of its own. Hayate watched anxiously from behind the two and as Shinsou began to stagger backwards from the impact of the attack the young lord made his move. With considerable speed and finesse he retrieved the item he had been searching for revealing a hidden chain weapon from the inner folds of his dress. He had planned for this, the moment that would allow him to press this man for information.

As Shinsou began chanting his mystical limerick Hayate found his resolve and pressed forward with all the speed he could gather. In a matter of seconds he had rejoined the fight spinning his chained grappling hook ready to launch it at his opponent in tandem with his Avatar’s next attack. Though it appeared he was not quick enough as from the rift behind Shinsou appeared as similar construct a chain but forged from multiple of the projectiles he launched earlier. It was clear that this was far more troublesome than his previous attack and Hayate hoped that his Avatar would be able to withstand it.

As the man before him guided his attack it began to whip violently towards the Corpse King and Hayate took note of that. The lumbering titan didn’t seem to react much other than brace his arm for the guided attack and the moment the astral chain took hold of its target the pain began to spread. Hayate could feel a phantom chain begin to constrict tightly around his right forearm. He felt the awful tears of his weak flesh as the grip grew stronger but luckily for Hayate the Avatar had skin that could withstand heat and the melting effect of the attack didn’t transfer from his partner.

The pain was almost surreal as Hayate fought to ignore it. This wasn’t the first time he has had to endure, and it definitely wouldn’t be the last. But still Hayate hadn’t experienced this level of torture in a number of years and Shinsou’s attack began to get the better of him. Luckily for the young lord the Corpse King seemed less than effected by this attack.

The composition of the Avatar left it susceptible to armor piercing attack but in terms of strength the golem had flesh like iron and wasn’t so easily torn like his weaker partner Hayate. It seemed to lift its arm up to its face observing the strange magic attempting to snap its wrist and began to let out a low ominous laugh. But the same could be said for Hayate as the pain of Shinsou’s magic had stopped their synchronized attack dead in its tracks, he hadn’t the strength to continue to use his weapon letting if fall from his grip.

Is this all you can do?... a voice echoed in the back of the young lords head. We have been through far worse.

The Corpse king focused once again on Shinsou who surprisingly only disengaged a few steps away from the giant. With another mighty sweep from his katana the Avatar continued his attack. Hayate couldn’t do anything other than try his hardest to get Shinsou off balance enough for The Corpse King’s attack to land properly and kill the man. The young lord mustered up some inkling of strength and leapt towards the man attempting to use his remaining arm to grab hold of Shinsou’s wrist and restrict his movements just long enough for his avatar to cleave his sword arm cleanly off. In the moment he hand touched Shinsou’s the pressure from the spell sword's attack considerably worsened and Hayate couldn’t completely focus, wincing through the feeling of his wrist beginning to snap he foolishly risked his own like and limb to ensure a victory.

Shinsou Vaan Osiris
05-28-2018, 06:11 PM
Though the Phalanx chain smouldered nauseatingly against the wrists of this armored juggernaut, all the giant could do was laugh. The malodour of burning flesh and the sheer gravitational force of his spell had been enough to defeat even Thaynes in the past, and yet amidst it all Shinsou found himself wanting.

Each time he had tried to resolve matters with his dark matter. Each time he had failed. Now, he had to go to places he didn't want to. The question was...

What?

The severed nerves and obliterated tendons on his left side screamed at him to stop. How much more would he bleed? How much longer before he bled no more, before he caved in?

Stop thinking and get your shit together.

The armored golem’s soul throbbed, almost bursting through its monstrous form. Through heat and haze, that black Phalanx chain was wreathed with amethyst arcs of lifeforce and still caused it some discomfort, but not as much as-

The thought faded from his mind as ragged nails dug into his right arm. Pinned and bleeding, he turned to see a weakened Hayate clenching onto him for dear life as the giant prepared to cleave him in half. He had neither the time to redirect him, nor counter the hold, but he did have one card he could play, an ace up his tattered sleeve. He still had the power for an act of defiance.

Arcs of magic coursed through his nerves as Shinsou channelled crystalline, dehlar strength ice to his right arm. He could feel the thick, glass like substance seeping through his skin, welding Hayate's palm to Shinsou's arm with a solid patch of unmeltable, unbreakable permafrost. Before long, it had crept up as far as the samurai's shoulder. He shot his opponent a glare, and gestured to the giant waiting above them.

"It took me a while, but I understand now. You feel his pain, and vice-versa. Well, as long as I have you attached to me, he'll have a hard time missing you with that sword." He fought to make his voice heard. He wanted Hayate to feel it tremble through his bones. To fear it.

As he felt Hayate try to tug away, the jolting only disturbed the frayed ends of his destroyed nerves and his mind blanked with agony. In the darkness behind his eyelids, he cursed it all. Yet, one final sentence poised on the tip of his tongue.

"Learn from this."

Hayate_Amatsukami
05-29-2018, 01:42 PM
The young lord could only watch with utter fear in his eyes as the permafrost enveloped his forearm. As it coursed up towards his shoulder Hayate could feel him losing control over his limb. Even still he tried to pull away using his body weight but it was simply no use. His eyes widened as this Shinsou Osiris began to scream at him. The spell sword claimed that he had figured out their connection and countered Hayate but that was the farthest from the truth.

As the Corpse King lumbered over the two it also lost use of its left arm and its sword returned to the nothingness it was conjured from. It did appear that Shinsou had halted the two of them dead in their tracks but he didn’t count on one thing. Hayate’s Avatar was named the Corpse King for a reason. Soon this man would know exactly why no one had opposed the Amatsukami family in generations.

The Avatar let out a blood curdling scream and the armor that covered the Corps King’s face began to separate to reveal two rows of sharp teeth. Violently and without hesitation the avatar leaned in over the two men driving its vicious teeth into the fleshy part of Shinsou’s unguarded neck. It would latch on and slowly chew until it took out a chunk large enough to end any mans life. As it did Hayate had only the capacity to smile at this point. He watched the confidence drain from the eyes of his enemy. Shinsou couldn’t have seen the blind willingness to protect its master that fueled the Corpse King . What could this man have felt as he watched it slowly drive its fangs deeper and deeper into his flesh.

“Learn from this,” the samurai scoffed shouting just as loud as Shinsou did only moments earlier. “What could you have possibly taught me? You’re the one who let your over confidence get the better of you. Shinsou you came here for a reason, you came here knowing who I was when that information shouldn’t have been available to you. Tell me, who the hell are you?”

Based on the looks of things Hayate, thanks to the help of the Corpse King, has ensured victory lest his opponent have yet another magical failsafe that would protect him. But even if this was the case and the bout was over their business was far from finished. He had to get to the bottom of exactly who this man was and whether or not his house was in jeopardy with his absence.

Shinsou Vaan Osiris
05-29-2018, 05:44 PM
A lot can happen in fourteen seconds.

Shinsou had taken care thus far to use what he had available to him in order to make himself as dangerous as possible for his quarry. Even for a man of his power, it hadn’t been easy, bounding from technique to technique in an attempt to stifle not only the wily samurai but also the lethal behemoth that loomed above.

Just when the Telgradian thought he had gained the upper hand, disaster reared its head.

Instead of cleaving them both in two, the avatar raged and simply brought his huge, tooth riddled maw down onto Shinsou's neck. As the gargantuan manifestation of death bit down hard, the Telgradian could only think to do one thing to stop himself from being devoured like the world's lousiest burrito. As two of the teeth sunk into his already annihilated collarbone, Shinsou screamed in agony but just managed to summon the strength to form a plate of dehlar ice over the flesh of his neck. Two of the four teeth immediately collided with the thick ice, and with a sickening crack! fractured apart. As the monstrosity raged, furious about his broken teeth, the air seemed staler and the smell of mildew grew in his nostrils. Hayate, still attached to Shinsou's good arm, still tried to break free.

This is escalating out of control, Shinsou thought to himself as he tried not to pass out from the pain. Finish it.

It was then that Shinsou’s brain went into overdrive through the pain, assessing all of the available options to him now that he had been crippled. Drawing Enpera was out of the question entirely. That sword would do the Telgradian more harm than good if he tried to fumble about with it here, with an arm that looked as if it had been through a meat grinder.

It was then he remembered that the Phalanx chain was still active. The edge of the stale-smelling skull of the avatar hindered the Telgradian’s view of the wrist that had been tied, but he had a feeling it was still there.

“Enpera Kurohitsugi: Phalanx!"

Above Shinsou, a few feet above the crest of his oaken hair, mysterious arcane energies began to meld together and forced the dark matter scales to liquidate. As it dripped from the bone of the golem like tar and converged once again, forking tendrils of black and purple convulsed around each other to form a fifteen foot chain. It was smaller in scale but longer, and the sheer corrosive force of the dark magic chewed into the grimy stone either side of the Telgradian.

Without even having to motion, Shinsou commanded the chain forward. It shot out of the pool of dark matter and wildly tore towards Hayate's throat, the samurai still bound by the ice on Shinsou's arm.

Hayate_Amatsukami
05-29-2018, 07:30 PM
With every breath the spellsword took he tirelessly defied the young lord and by the looks of things Hayate’s time had run out. He felt his own teeth crumbling behind his tight lips as the Corpse King broke his off against Shinsou’s impenetrable defense. The pain was unreal, it felt like Hayate had just been roundhouse kicked right in his face. Tears threatened to pour from his eyes as he fought to keep his composer.

What was there left for the young fighter to do?

This man’s skill was clearly leagues beyond that of his own and the young lord knew it. He wouldn’t have been surprised if Shinsou knew this also as he basically had been toying with the boy from the start. It wasn’t a matter of speculation at this point whether or not Shinsou had ulterior motives but Hayate had to know what they were. He had to know exactly why this man was playing this game with him.

Stand down my friend, you’ve done well. Hayate thought allowed knowing only his avatar would be able to hear him.

Don’t give up now master. the avatar answered defiantly.

Stop there is no point in you enduring this anymore than you have to my faithful companion. Please allow me to learn from this mistake and improve upon what we have learned. You have done more for me here today than you may know. Hayate had decided to spare his partner the pain of enduring Shinsou’s final attack and without warning dispelled the magic that kept his blade in its avatar state. The monstrosity of a creature near instantly faded from existence and returned once again as Hayate’s blade Yamato sheathed on his back.

In that very moment the young lord felt the spellblade’s last ditch effort to kill him land on its mark. A much more slender chain of the same magic as before soured though the air before it wrapped tightly around Hayate’s neck. As the links of his dark matter touched him the samurai could smell his flesh charring as it not only tightened greatly but melted his skin. At this point Hayate had been used to pain and didn’t give it much of a second thought as he stared down his assassin.

He would remember this face for as long as he would live.

Shinsou was a regal man who was not only able to keep up with Hayate but simply out classed him in every way imaginable. It pained Hayate to admit this but this man was easily more powerful than the Shogun of Akashima. This man was who stood before him currently draining every ounce of his life was someone more worthy of the support of his clan than the man they fallowed now. The question still in the back of Hayate’s head killed him and filled him with more anxiety than ever.

Who was this man?

“Who are you…” he managed to say just before he passed out.

Shinsou Vaan Osiris
05-30-2018, 10:57 AM
As the Phalanx chain delivered the coup de grace to Hayate, the world tumbled and swayed violently before Shinsou’s eyes. There was no cause for celebration, and there wasn’t time to think, react or even speak. The Telgradian was suffering from a devastating trauma wound on his left hand side, and the blood lost from the sheer effort of remaining in the fight had reached a critical point. As the motor neurones and synapses in his body shut down wholesale, Shinsou crashed to his knees and with him dragged the lifeless corpse, still fused to him, to the floor. The tangle of battered bodies was now only fit to plummet into the infinite void below.

There was a rush of air, then absolute darkness. A few minutes passed before Shinsou Vaan Osiris’s golden eyes opened, peeling the oblivion of death away to reveal the frigid, miserable greys of the ceiling of the Citadel’s medical wing. His limbs felt heavy and cumbersome, and as he rolled over, a monk hung over him for what seemed like an eternity. Another man was by his side, although he couldn’t yet distinguish him.

“Welcome back. Please, do not move too much. We are still healing your wounds.”

The voice was muffled, as if spoken underwater. It was always the same with the Citadel after a fight. The Telgradian hated this part of the process the most, where the Citadel’s unique magic messed with his brain and made it struggle to make sense of anything. He’d always look down upon himself, stunned to see there were no wounds. Checking himself twice, thrice, and once again after, it would take a few hazy minutes before Shinsou realised he was completely clean of any cuts or blood thanks to the the Ai’Bron attendants.

"This is most unusual," A familiar voice sailed over the bed as a pair outstretched palms hovered inches from Shinsou’s body. "I can’t remember the last time you got this badly beaten.”

Osiris’s face contorted with confusion, before finally realising he was listening to Soap. “To be fair, you weren’t there to see what Rayse Valentino did to me in Radasanth.”

"So, what did you make of him?" Soap continued in a substantially hushed tone. "He’s a tough one, isn’t he?"

Shinsou turned his head entirely, staring the Brotherhood contact in the eyes. His mouth tightened into a smile.

“He reminds me of a younger version of me. Brave, full of heart, but rash. His decision making needs some fine tuning, too; he was far too quick to close me down without assessing my capabilities. That being said, if I had bothered to fight at full power, he would last longer than most. Especially with the ability to summon that giant bastard, too. Which, by the way, you could have warned me about.”

“Hey, I know how much you like surprises,” Soap muttered, “Who am I to stifle your training?”

Shinsou shook his head and sighed. “But yes, he impressed me. By the way, Hayate seemed extremely irritated that I knew who he was, and wouldn’t explain myself. The truth is, even if I wanted to, I couldn’t tell him. What’s his deal?”

"He’s the head of one of the four noble families in Akashima," Soap responded, rising to his feet. "He didn’t get there by accident, either. He’s tough, he’s smart and he’s dedicated to his duties. The reason he was irritable was probably because you wouldn’t explain anything to him, and he was worried that you’d probably go around blabbing about the fight. He comes from a proud culture. Hayate was supposed to be on the family premises, in the unlikely event the house needed defending. It wouldn’t do him well being in the Citadel if something unfortunate happened.”

The Telgradian straightened his neck, drawing back his head before brushing down his white coat. The monk hung precariously over him, putting the final touches to the healing process. “That explains quite a bit. He’s got some rough edges, but I’d like to see if I can turn his head. The kid has a bright future, as long as he gets the right guidance, of course.”

"Well, good luck," Soap continued as they exited the room together and continued down a sloping, torch-lit hallway. "He’s still here, just down the corridor, if you’d like to speak to him."

With that, Soap nodded before waddling off to other duties more suited to a man of his shady disposition. Silence once again descended over the one of many labyrinthine Citadel corridors as Shinsou pondered the day’s events. The Citadel, the proving ground of Althanas, had revealed much to him. Hayate Atsukami had given the Telgradian cause for further thought. The warriors had left the arena, but there were questions to be answered and futures to be decided.

What had started as a training session had left Osris with the machinations of destiny to contend with.

Hayate_Amatsukami
05-31-2018, 05:09 PM
Are you okay master?

Hayate woke up suddenly surrounded by a team of monks bathing him in a thick radiant white light. The magics of the citadel were far beyond anything the young lord had ever seen before in his native Akashima. He had come to in the middle of the healing process and could feel his wounds stretch and tear as they repaired themselves. His match with the mysterious Shinsou had ended with leaving Hayate humiliated and defeated. In retrospect he hadn’t even given the man a decent exercise.

As the healing process finished the monks quickly thanked Hayate for his participation and left him with a parting gift. Hidden behind the lantern beside his bed was a little small felt pouch bound in twine. Hayate quickly grabbed it and undid the ties before he gazed inside. A pit formed in his stomach as he saw a sizable chunk of his blade in the sack. He quickly turned to see his weapon leaning against the wall in the corner of the room. Hayate studied it briefly before seeing the damage to the blade near its tip.

The young lord leapt out of the bed before grabbing his sword and making his way to the door. He was filled with a mix of emotions ranging from anger to curiosity. In one foul swoop Shinsou had rocked the young lord’s entire foundation. How could Hayate ever go back to leading the same life as before knowing that there were people as capable as Shinsou. How could he go back to living to fill the Shogun coffers know without a shadow of a doubt that Shinsou would be able to end The Shogun’s dynasty at any time.

Hayate knew what he had to do, but didn’t know if he had the strength to do it. He had to swallow his pride and honor and meet this man and get to the bottom of things. He had to make the man who could break his mighty Yamato and bring shame to the entire Yukon district divulge all his secrets to the young lord. He’d make sure of that one way or another. As he entered the corridor he could see another set of monks leaving the next room far down the hallway.

Are you sure about this? his partner asked once again chiming into Hayate’s conscious.

This isn’t up to discussion. If meeting this man can bring me strength then I have no choice. If he would have me I plan to study directly under him. The young lord sternly said.

As you wish…

Philomel
07-01-2018, 09:36 AM
Thread Title:
Judgment Type:
Participants:


Plot:
Hayate: 21/30
Shinsou: 22/30


Story-
Hayate: 8
Shinsou: 7

Hayate: What seems to be here is a story of Hayate and a journey he goes on. It is introduced beautifully, with a good background, and then has a fight that builds as time goes on and allows for some back and forth fighting, where both of you take blows well. You manage to keep a hold of who Hayate is and build on his awe of Shinsou throughout, and so do character development in the fight, which is both dramatic and strong. This is often hard to do, and you have brought your character in Althanas very well. What was missing in some terms was more of an exact way of how this fits into the overall picture of Hayate, and the story of the fight itself, though this was touched on.

Shinsou: What would have been good is to have some explanation as to who 'Soap' is. You simply have Shinsou consider “If Soap was dishing him names, it could only mean ...” in post one, but do not explain or hint why that means what it does in terms of Soap, even though he is very present as a character in the last post. The story you build itself is powerful, with a lot of twists and turns in the fight, from winning, to almost losing and then gaining the upper hand again. It is exciting and enticing and does not disappoint. There is a small amount of character development here, which is good, though balancing this with the overall fight may be something to think about for future.

Setting-
Hayate: 7
Shinsou: 7

Hayate: In terms of setting your character, you do this amazingly. You introduce Hayate very clearly, of where he comes from and why he is in the Citadel, what his background is and not in too many or too few words. This forms a strong basis for your story within and plot. What would have been good, however, is more detail into the arena at the beginning – you touch on it very lightly. You stagger back a few times in the thread but do not seem to come across the void, which would have made the thread interesting. Try to remain conscious of your surroundings and also describe it through your thread more.

Shinsou: Opening with the comments over the Silver Cup is powerful, and you reflect on how important it is for your character, and add things such as the personality of the barkeep. Though there is not much physical description it is a good overall setting. From there you go into the arena, and again as similar to Hayate it would have been good to see some more depth into it, but you did connect it with your character's history which is good. You also continue to mention and describe the arena (post 6 with “flat, featureless chamber”), though more here would have been good, and using it to your advantage.

Pacing-
Hayate: 6
Shinsou: 8

Hayate: Pacing is jarred at times by odd sentences that, although connect to the general idea of what is going on, distract from the action of the thread. For instance in post three you comment about what the mask looks like as Hayate lifts it up, in a full sentence and in the middle of first intruding your characters to each other. Here the description could have been more intertwined into the previous sentence, or elsewhere. In some places this does work, however, such as the end of post three where your character gets ready for fighting, and you describe exactly the movements of what he does. What is common in your writing is using a similar paragraphing length and it would be good to see you experiment with variety going on from here.

Shinsou: Your pacing starts off very fine, with a steady build up to your character entering the arena (“four hours later” in post one) with no over-explanation of anything here. Paragraphing is a great skill of yours and you show it off – they are varied in length and use it for power more than anything. You build at the right points, and lose tension at the right ones; a way you could improve from here though is delving into the idea of single and multiple syllable words for precisely this technique.



Character:
Hayate: 19/30
Shinsou: 24/30


Communication-
Hayate: 7
Shinsou: 8

Hayate: There is a very definite politeness of Hayate, that links to your shogunate background, and the nobility and honour linked therein that is good to see. You also keep this constant, with very little deviation from it. There are some odd parts such as, “Don’t mock us!” in post five where it is unclear as to what you are responding to, or if it is simply a statement. You also could have done with perhaps more communication, even between Hayate and his avatar, which you only pick up on at the end.

Shinsou: There are some good strengths of your communication from the start, with such notes as, “Never heard of him, and what exactly does Soap mean by "a good fit"?” that give your character a definite voice from the opening post. This continues well, and you have poignant words that add to the build up of the fight, such as simply, “For now, focus." in post four. You also have a fine balance of persona, action and persona, and merge them well together. There are not many weak points here, though consistency does slip a couple of times, in terms of tone, for instance in the last post.


Action-
Hayate: 6
Shinsou: 8

Hayate: What you do very well in your writing is strongly show personality through action, using adjectives to punctuate exactly how he does things. In post 3 you write that Hayate, “violently reached for Yamato” and describe how he brings it over his head and gets into a fighting stance. Further actions such as taking some of the blows and knocking some of them show that you can balance your character in terms of being powerful, but also able to take hits. Small descriptions such as the “sweat” in post five works well. One thing to think about is reactions from here, of how your character emotionally and mentally, not just physically reacts to hits.
One thing you definitely need to watch is bunnying, also known as god-moding. It is not clear in places, but at times you do use words such as, "would latch on" instead on "might" which is directly stating that the hit will land. For combat this is generally frowned upon and you need to think about this.

Shinsou: There were some really nice pieces of intricate personality within your actions, such as the description of, “clutching the glass between finger and thumb” that shows personality of your character through it – there is a sense of a determined man who knows his own strengths. Action during fighting is definitely used to your advantage and it is good to see, even though you are considerably more powerful a character, that you take some hits and strive against the might of the other character. In post 6 also you have your character being surprise about the avatar of the Corpse King. This judge would have liked to perhaps seen some slower development of the fight building up; some sword stokes before going straight to Enpera Kurohitsugi. What is very good is the reality of losing blood, and the physical effects that you use as well as the possible threat of the Corpse King coming down on Shinsou's head that is very real in post ten.


Persona-
Hayate: 6
Shinsou: 8

Hayate: You have some excellent small bits of personality that shine through, from your character's internal thoughts (post 3, “Who was this Shinou?”) and what he wears (post 3, “a multi layered white robe”). Being in awe also of Shinsou is continued well, and is developed through the posts as they go on, especially in your conclusion posts where Hayate talks about him as some sort of sensei. There is a lot of power through your actions and the connection to the Corpse King that you reflect on and show well. One thing to think about though is using internal thought a lot more, which you touch on at the end but could really add to your posts, which does not specifically need to be speech, and also merging this more with the actual action that goes on (see last comment in action).

Shinsou: Persona can be seen through your writing – which is a difficult thing to do. What is precisely meant by this is that it is in the way you write as well as in the thoughts of your character: a good example of this is the area of post 1, 'It begged the questions what and why.' Here you do not specifically say it is Shinsou's thoughts, and merge with the general storytelling. There are also multiple examples of internal thought process – i.e. talking to one's self, which is a classic but always good to include. The persona also is brilliant shown in post six where Shinsou realises the connection. At some points you do lose the persona in favour for action, such as in post eight, but this is only a minor issue.

Prose:
Hayate: 18/30
Shinsou: 22/30


Mechanics-
Hayate: 6
Shinsou: 7

Hayate: There were no obvious spelling mistakes in your writing, which is always a strength. One issue that did come to sight, however is sometimes a strange mixture of punctuation. In post 1 there are a lot of either major or complex sentences with little commas. A comma would have, for instance helped between 'Quickly' and and 'the young,' and also 'last week' and 'when he' as the start of the fourth paragraph. A string of sentences can work, but variety is as powerful as correction. This latter point ties into technique. You also need to careful with capitals as they are missed every so often: post three you miss the capital from the first word of, “how do you know my name?”

Shinsou: Similar to Hayate you do not have many spelling mistakes, noticeable anyway, which is great. What can be seen as well is some impressive use of punctuation, such as semi-colons right from the start. You do have some small capitalisation points, such as “The Telgradian” in post 4 where it should strictly be a small 't' for “the”, unless Shinsou's title is 'The Telgradian.' Overall however you are fine and have some good mechanics.

Clarity-
Hayate: 5
Shinsou: 7

Hayate: Overall you are very clear and precise in what you write, without any confusion anywhere. The only areas where you can improve here are in trying to make things smoother (see pacing) and explaining more what is meant by, “Don’t mock us!” in post five (see communication). You also lose yourself in the action sometimes and this can lose effect, not being easy for the reader at all. These are the only major issues and you are mostly clear. These can be worked on by reading over your posts as a collective before submitting for judgement.

Shinsou: The major issue with clarity, as mentioned already, is with the introduction of Soap, who you mention more than once in the thread, but do not fully explain who this character is. For those who have not read your character before it can be confusing. Questions arise such as, 'why is Soap interested in Hayate?' Consider writing a small background history in one of your posts for this use. The rest, however, is good. You have no issues in explaining yourself clearly or getting carried away in the action and letting it rule your writing, but rather have a balance of it alongside technique and story.

Technique-
Hayate: 7
Shinsou: 8

Hayate: All in all you have a good strength in your technique. The judge here though was a little taken aback in your first post and in your first line when you use 'naïve' as a noun, rather than what it is actually – an adjective. It is an interesting stance on it, and is not unique, but something to research a little perhaps. You do have a good hold of repeating words for effect, such as in post one where you end a sentence with 'yearning' and then begin the next with it also. There are some odd bits of description, such as that of the mask in post 3 that do not seem to fit (see pacing). Some great sentences exist such as in post five with,”This was the power of the Amatsukami, this was the Avatar of War.” that add a lot to your character overall and let the reader know more about your character and his values and background. From here try using some more advanced imagery.

Shinsou: You have some lovely little pieces of description such as from post one, “nothing but emptiness and cold for all eternity in all directions,” that set a good tone. You have some great moments of showing how to use paragraphing effectively, with a small, single sentence one in post four that helps tension to rise: “It was time.” There are some excellent small other gems such as the description of your abilities: “forking tendrils of black and purple convulsed around each other “ in post ten. What would be good to add here are some similes and metaphors, though there are examples of personification.


Wildcard:
Hayate: 6/10
Shinsou: 6/10

Wild card here goes to a thread that has depth and power, and is definitely going to lead somewhere in terms of the story for both of them. It is a great introduction thread, as well as a great fight that did not disappoint anywhere. The reason for not more points is because there could maybe have been more suggestion for where the story might go, which has been established now – even one more post of them meeting after.

Final Scores:

Hayate: 64/100
Shinsou: 74/100

Hayate (http://www.althanas.com/world/member.php?353-Hayate_Amatsukami) receives:

750 EXP!
50 GP!

Shinsou (http://www.althanas.com/world/member.php?7-Shinsou-Vaan-Osiris) receives:

3125 EXP!
95 GP!

Congratulations!

“But remember, boy, that a kind act can sometimes be as powerful as a sword.”
― Rick Riordan, The Battle of the Labyrinth

ALL REWARDS HAVE BEEN ADDED