Trails of the Afterglow II

A call of worry, and resolve.
Last call before Raiding Iris' supposedly lair.

After Jackie and Shuu left to prepare for battle. Luce stared at the rubble of the ruined conference. 

There was so much death and impending war's looming over. If only she was good enough, if only she was stern enough. Then more lives would've been saved.

She would've thought of more if it weren't for a call.

It was Tris.

Picking the call up Luce sighed  "Sorella, You called?" In reply there were cries of relief.

"Oh thank Vattos, you're alive. Where are you now, do you need us to pick you up? We saw the news earlier. Why didn't you picked up?" Tris bombarded her with questions.

"I was preoccupied, sorry. No thank you, I'm okay here. I need to help them. They need me here"she mumbled.

"Luce, none of these are your fault. Okay? No one is going to fault you if you want to bail out."

"I love you, you know that right, mia sorelle? You and Nem  are important to me, please take care of yourselves. I have to do what I have to do"

"Elly don't be like that-what Nem no-" Tris worried tone was replaced by a more serious one. "Elysia, you take care of yourself. Alright? Once you're ready and done with what ever you have to do, come back to us okay? You are our little sister. I- no, it's better to talk about it later. We love you too, mia sorellina."

"Thank you."

"May you walk light, Elysia. Whatever you're going to do give them the worst time of their lives." And with that, they said their goodbyes.

Leaving Luce alone again, but this time, Luce's eyes burns brighter with resolve.

She gave a prayer for those who have fallen to find rest and peace, where as the injured to have a speedy recovery.

Then moves out to prepare what she can.

'I will not falter, no more!"

 

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Eternal Tales 8
A Gunner's Tale

On a rainy forest where gunshots engulfed the battlefield. Adamson Military fights to reclaim a captured Military Facility in an island east of Etran. I commanded these soldiers for my personal gain. I must pay the price. So I charged in with my barrier up and head on facing them alone. No more comrade would die today. It was terrifying. You see them firing at you where any moment. A bullet could kill me anytime. Suddenly, there she was, my boss. Dancing gracefully as she fire her revolvers at the enemy with pin-point accuracy. She attracted bullets away from me, but none touched her smooth white skin.

I met her at Adamson Military. Back in the day, I am only facinated with guns. I just wanted to fire them, but not all of us are blessed with it. My eyes have problems that I need glasses to see cleary, but since I am a wealthy youngster with wealth that I don't know where to spend to, I had help to get me in. I trained so hard, but to no avail. I was about to give up my dream of being on a battlefield and firing a gun, but then she came in like an angel in my eyes. So white and bright that it is almost blinding. She showed me tricks on how to hit my target just by mere glimpses. It was the happiest day of my life. I have made up my mind, I will follow this person. She is now my "Boss".

I always take up missions that involves the intelligence team so much that I wanna join them. But like I said, not everyone gets their way. I was in strike team that their goal was to kill key targets in mission. I have killed countless men. I never regretted the missions I took in. I even sometimes question myself if there's no other way. I just think that as long as I can shoot and kill targets for service is enough. There is this one mission that I regret. Not very long, I got promoted to Second Lieutenant and got my own rights to be a commander of a platoon. As my first mission, I went on arranging Operation: High Tide. The plan was to surround the island keeping the whole island in perimeter as we close in on the military base in the middle of the island.

It was a very dangerous mission, hence why the plan was to divide enemy forces and create an opening for the strike team to come in. The Strike team was led by Intel Division's Enishi Setsuna and Eldo Ordano. The main forces led by me is at the front of the base where the heaviest fire will be brought. Boss was with me that time as a sniper from the back. The operation commenced and everything was going well. We shortened the perimeter that opponents start to scramble. That's when I thought it was the perfect time to strike. Boss is with me, so I have nothing to be afraid of. I ordered the main forces to advance, breaking the perimeter we carefully set. The enemy forces regrouped and lets out their biggest machines at us. I underestimated them. With the main forces struggling to not get surrounded, my men died one by one. The other forces tried to help the main forces but they are either at the other side of the enemy camp or getting funneled by the enemy. I realized my mistake.

I can't stand to watch my men getting killed. I activated my Gravity Barrier and started charging at the main gate. Opponents opened fire at me in full force. I know the barrier wouldn't last, I was ready to die that time. Then she came to my help. As the two of us draw fire, all forces had regrouped and advanced through the first wall. The inside of the wall was crawling with enemies. With nowhere to maneuver to, Boss hid near me as we faced them. It was then that the strike team arrived. The team informed us that Enishi was already inside the facility. They had insisted that we go on their behalf. And so, boss and I entered the facility with the Strike Team's cover. As we went in we faced enemies on the way of which didn't put up much of a fight. To capture the facility, we have to either destroy the mainframe controlling every mech they have, or eliminate the commander. Not very long, we encounter the target but then he is not alone. We are facing against two other fighters of which is empowered by Mana Boosters.

We suspected that our enemy is an Akashic Order member and hence this old facility is being used for their experiments. We must capture the man if we can. Though, the two fighters made quick work of us. We are no match for them, or rather, I am pulling Boss down. I got shot twice. Boss then went on trying to shield me from them but to no avail. She got knocked down. At that moment we are saved by Enishi. He fought the two fighters by himself and almost lost. This is the first time I saw Boss terrified as En transformed into a demon. The two fighters got beheaded and killed. Their corpses burnted to nothing. It was a nightmarish scene. We didn't see what he did to our target, but we heard his scream of pain. Everything was over and Enishi collapsed out of exhaustion.

Up until now, I am in regret. One regret that I can never take back. At least, it made me the person I am today. I'll never forget what I'm fighting for.


Little Boss is on her way to Kingsfall. I hope for your safety as you face on the challenges ahead. If you ever lose your way again, I'll put you right back. The least that I can do for Boss.

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Eternal Tales 7
The Brain and the Brawn 2

While walking around the camp, the troubled Knight saw a certain Rory Dumas sparring with squad of Eternals. Devoir, saw how Rory tossed around the smaller opponents aside with ease, as he noticed, he is a big man like him. As the brief sparring came to an end, they went off. Devoir approached Rory who looks to be up for more

Devoir: that was a one sided sparring match in your favor Sir Dumas.

Rory: one sided, mainly because some of them weren't used to unarmed combat. But I do believe that everyone in the eternals ought to have some form of unarmed training, in the event of emergency situations

Devoir: that being said, you can see the respect they have for you.

Rory: Respect for me, huh? Not sure what I ever did to deserve such respect.

Devoir: hmm, aren't you afraid people might get scared a little or be intimidated by you because you are a big person?

Rory: yeah, I get that some times. And by some times, I mean most of the time. Especially ever since leaving the military. Why you ask?

Devoir: when I was younger, people tend to get intimidated by my size. That's partially why I became a Knight, hoping that my armor and my shield change that image that I have. That they see me as a hero instead.

Rory: mmm, that’s some reason you got there. But a valid one at that, I suppose. As for me, I’m just thrust through almost all the circumstance I’ve been through so far.

Devoir: that sounds like you. Do you have any secrets on what keeps you going?

Rory: secret? I don’t think so. I’ve been a misfit most of my life. And been wandering around without a purpose, until I was conscripted to the military. There, we were put through hell. All I had to do to get back up is put myself through the same hell each and every day once more.

That moment, Devoir found the best example of manliness. This man had been there and experience had built this man up to where he stands now.

Devoir: so you went through the hard way. ( he starts removing his outer shirt leaving him with an undershirt ) Say, Sir Dumas. You still up for another round?

Rory: Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I like putting myself in a rigorous discipline each and every day. ( looks at the other younger eternals crew ) but I’ve gotta be who I am now, people are counting on me.  ( Rory smiled a little )  You haven’t shown me your unarmed combat prowess. I’d like to find out myself. ( stretches neck muscles )

Devoir: I am curious about the man who wrestled with Tyr himself. ( he goes to the middle of the training field and limbers up )

Rory: ( smirks ) it was only a shell of man that tackled me that day. ( Goes in front of Devoir and stretched his shoulder). I dont think I would've stood a chance against that man's brute strength. But I'd likely be able to use old tricks to hold him off if it ever got to it.

Devoir: you ready sir Dumas?

Rory: good form, yeah, looks like I am for a hell of a workout.

Devoir does a stance and is ready to start. Rory imitates the stance he is doing. With that, they started the match with a fist bump.

As they bump fist, Devoir went on for the first strike, he goes forward swaying and delivers swift straight jabs. Rory ducks and weaves but recieves a few glazed strikes to the head in the process. He's still assessing Devoir and sees that Devoir is probably doing the same. Devoir tries to surprise Rory by delivering a quick jab and does a backhand after he weaves. Rory's forced to barely block, seems to be stumbling out of balance. Devoir sees this opportunity and does a Spear tackle. Turns out he was only "seeming" to stumble, Rory was expecting him to do the spear takedown, wraps his arms wide around Devoir's neck under the chin, and they slam to the ground, Rory doing a Guillotine Choke on Devoir.

After getting choked by several seconds, Devoir pushes forward, pulls Rory's leg so that they tilt to the side opposite of the arm Rory's using to lock him, then pushes of his leg, moving perpendicular to slip off his head.

Rory: haha, impressive!

Devoir: that was an honest mistake on my end.

Devoir tries to recover and tried delivering hooks at Rory. From a Butterfly position, Rory tries to kick off Devoir hitting him on the abdomen. As he got kicked off, Devoir gave off the ground play and side tumbles to standing as he thought that he better off take him on a striking fight.

Rory: my turn!

Caught by surprise, from crouching, springs forward pushes but then and grabs Devoir's and pulls back and up with his entire weight for a Leg Takedown. Devoir got surprised but he took the takedown and readied himself on half mount. Rory rapidly but carefully drops his right fist repeatedly on Devoir's face ,as he slowly scrambles his leg out of the guard, going for a full mount. Devoir got hit by several punches but he timed one punch, it missed, he grabbed Rory's left wrist with his right, uses his left hand grabbing his neck shirt collar, pulls it, uses his right leg to push Rory's left arm for a Kimura Lock.

Rory lets out a grunt of pain, biding his time, but then Devoir can feel Rory readying up something. Devoir tries to hold up on the Kimura for as long as he can, but then, as the expected comeback was about to spring and Devoir feels it, Rory tapped out.

Devoir: ( lets go of Rory's arm ) hahh… hahh… I thought I would lose it on that one.. hah…

Rory: ( gets up and helps Devoir up with one arm), if you so chose to, you could've tried breaking my arm. I wasn't careful enough and got caught. Haha, if it were a real fight, I'd be fighting you with just one usable arm right about now. Hahaha!

Devoir: I don't even think that I would get to the point of locking you down. But it was a good sparring match Sir Dumas. I know I won, but I still think I can learn much more things from you. ( and he whispers ) And maybe someday, I'll be a man worthy of her.

Rory: worthy!? ( Slaps Devoir's back ), I think I've got a good idea who you're referring to. And I don't have a clue!! As to why you deem yourself unworthy!?" ( Slaps Devoir's back again )

Devoir: !!! Sir Dumas!! It's just that…. I just want to be more of a man for her… I mean.. I don't want to disappoint her in the future..

Rory: ( faces Devoir ) Listen, in this line of work, who knows what the future brings!? If you wait till the future, who knows what might happen ( looks to the distance )

Devoir: I guess you are right Sir Dumas..

Suddenly, they heard clapping.

???: well, that was a great sight!!

A light grey haired woman wearing a fedora, glasses, and smoking cigaretts walks towards them.

Rory: ( looks at her from top to bottom ) and you must be Arison? The one they refer to as Miss A?

Arison: wa…… have we met?

Rory: I'm still getting used to it, but my comrades have been feeding me info from time to time. And no we haven't met yet. ( offers hand shake ), Ex sgt Dumas.

Arison: ( shakes his hand ) Colonel Arison Rain. Please call me A. I bet that bastard Ragnar told you about me?

Rory: Ha. He could've. You'll have to ask him that, yourself. Anyway, what's your order of business? Or is it personal?

Arison: well.. since you are that knowledgable, you must be in charge of something here. Then I'll make you an excemption. I'm just actually visiting this camp as a reward and well, I happen to see this youngster with a troubled heart that I decided to help him.

Devoir: s… so I am talking to a high-ranking officer earlier with that attitude? Please excuse my rude behavior then.

Arison: haha, that's not a big deal, I would rather have you talk to me casually than formally.

Rory: youngster? ( slowly turns to Devoir ) , with a troubled heart?

Devoir: miss A here is just telling me about this Oriental Event called White Day…. and just like in Valentines Day but opposite, a boy must give a girl chocolates as a thanksgiving and or appreciation

Arison: I offered my help by trying to know her girl's taste on it, but, alas, I failed..

Devoir: I see…

Arison: though, I can see it. As long as you made it, she will cherish it dearly. Just man up and make some and be sure to give them yourself when the time comes!!

Rory: oh! It's reverse-Valentines, ( scratches head ), damn, if only I'd known sooner. Oh well. Buy yeah, I've seen how she looks at you, Devoir. I think she'd probably be as clueless as me when you give her those chocolates, but she'll most likely cherish it after she finds out what they mean.

Devoir: thank you both.. I'll do my best! Thank you so much. I'll take my leave now. ( he bows, went and get his stuff and went off )

Arison: ( she looks at Rory ) I have been in the army for more than 20 years. I can tell that you threw that spar earlier. You could've taken that boy apart with your skills.

Rory: I'm getting really rusty.. and careless. He deserved to win that. He did manage to hold out for that long and I guess the power of his love for her is just that strong too. Hah!

Arison: ahahaha I see. Well, you are a good man, Rory. This camp is lucky to have you here. ( she puts out her cigarette ) Well I am off to find my white haired princess. I guess till next time, Ex Sgt. Dumas.

Rory: yeah! Send her my regards too , when you see her. See you around, Colonel "A".

Arison: ahaha!! So you know who I'm looking for huh? Well then, I'll say hi for you. ( the Colonel merrily walks away in search of the "white-haired princess" )

Rory proceeds to appoint Devoir as unarmed combat head trainer among the Eternals. No one is excluded. Mages ought to learn in case of emergencies too.


Arison: this camp is just like ours in Adamson, Boss…. I miss the old days…

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Black Records II - The Great Alerian Civil War
by R

I would like to write down here details about the Great Alerian Civil War – one of turning points in Alerian history. While this happened over 70 years ago, its effects and repercussions could still be felt today. 

Great Alerian Civil War

350 A.R – 355 A.R.

Way back then, Aleria was ruled under one central superpower centered around the country of Brindtsong; known as the Theserian Kingdom, led by the royal Theseria line of kings.

Unhappy about one country basically ruling an entire land, the east nations of Alerian sought to make a rebellion against this system. In this way, Soldat and all its eastern neighbors(save for Vinland) allied themselves to Aleria's longtime enemy: Kislev. This in turn gave birth to what was known as the "Kislev Federation" – an allied coalition between rogue Alerian nations and the incredibly massive Kislev army.

Known as one of the bloodiest wars in history, this gave birth to many grisly tales of war crimes committed during the time. None of these tales however were as feared – and known – as the Ominous Incident.

That isn't to say that it didn't give birth to tales of a few heroes that served on both sides of the war either. The most famous one to date is the life and heroism of a man only known as Seiren, the Hero, whose life story is as glorious as it is tragic. Details about his life are still up for debate to this very day.

In the end, 5 years after the start of the Great War, the Theserian Kingdom won the conflict after a decisive victory at the border of Gaur and Soldat a year prior, thanks to the efforts of Hero Seiren and his motley crew.

While the Theserian Kingdom as a whole is no longer a thing today, the division sparked back then has permanently changed the socio-political climate of Aleria as a whole. Fortunately, things today have taken a turn for the better… that was until the Brindt-Gaur conflict arose as of recent – a huge backstep in repairing relations.

Ominous Incident

September of 354 A.R.

At the latter end of the war, Brindtsong decided they would turn the tide of the war with their "trump card". This happened to be a massive superweapon called the Ominous: a floating landmass the size of a small town carrying a giant ether cannon with unspeakable power.

In a show of power, the upper arm of the Theserian Military "tested" this weapon on their opponent's territory. They fired upon a vast, relatively empty plain at the heart of Helenia. As a beam of light curved throughout the sky, both factions watched as almost 10 kilometers in diameter of land was reduced to a barren crater.

Both sides of the war took offense to this action and prompty took action towards it. For half a month, the rest of the Theserian Kingdom and part of the Kislev Federation made a coalition to take the Ominous down, led by the Hero Seiren and his group.

History took the course and the coalition eventually took down this machine. In an attempt to save grace, King Theseria VIII claimed that the military arm responsible for its operation were "rogue" and "a mutinous chain of command only out for blood". Whether that is true or not is still contested today – and a major cause of strife between Gaur and Brindtsong… as we all know.

The Hero Seiren

337 A.R -  399 A.R. (Died Age 62)

The Hero Seiren… there are countless books that revolve around this hero. Known as one of the greatest contemporary heroes of Aleria, Seiren is a celebrated entity from the Great Alerian Civil War.

This man led a group who, prior to his leadership, called themselves the Battlemaidens; an all-female platoon under the Theserian Kingdom's banner. He told the Battlemaidens to not change their name despite their leader being a man. Anecdotes from survivors say he didn't want history to remember him and wanted only the legacy of the Battlemaidens to go down in history books… an ironic statement today, unfortunately for Seiren.

Seiren was described to be a highly tactical-minded, charismatic, and strong individual. He wielded only his blade and simple fire magics to battle, instead working his Battlemaidens to become a formidable force through the use of unconventional strategies and close-knit unity between each other. He and the leaders of the Battlemaidens won battles for the Theserian Kingdom that, by the hand of any other platoon, should have lost.

Official accounts claim that during the war, he had fallen in love with one of the Battlemaidens; a Cestian-Sudanian girl named Shimana. However, it is said that Shimana had succumbed to her battle wounds and died halfway through the latter part of the conflict. This event would cause Seiren to change his outlook in life – an integral part of events later in his life that baffles scholars today.

Near the end of the war, one of his closer Battlemaiden compatriots – a beautiful Orient woman by the name of Maaya – had taken mutual interest in Seiren. At the end, this did not come to pass either, as Seiren eventually took a promotion to become an acclaimed general of the Theserian Kingdom, and Maaya went back to the Orient to partake in an arranged marriage to carry on a certain tradition of her family.

What happened to Seiren afterwards is an often evicted part of history.

He had become a general of the Theserian Kingdom until his final years, where he was known among his peers as Seiren the Bloodletter. This former hero led multiple expeditions where he would quell and exterminate bubbling rebellions across the land, without mercy nor remorse. Some say that he even went as far as to massacre the families of these rebels.

Grisly tales were born from his so-called "exploits" – and even more surrounding the man himself. Nobody knew much about him that weren't Battlemaidens who chose to remain mum about their former leader. Some stories even encroach in realms of horror and the supernatural, as accounts even described his existence after the Civil War to be nothing but a "curse". I would write about those sometime else.


-R

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Eternal Tales 6
The Brain and the Brawn 1

When I was a kid, I dreamed of becoming a knight. Someone that save other people from danger. They are my inspiration. They told me I am already qualified from the day that I am born. My size, my body mass, they enabled me to train as a Knight. I studied at a Military Academy hoping to get along with my fellow students. Yet, my size intimidates them, specially the girls. I thought if I can be a Knight, I don't care what they say to me. I don't care if they don't like me. They don't have to. I just want to be a Knight. Until one girl decided to look my way. The first words that she say to me. "Wow, you're so tall. Awesome." She said that and smiled at the end. She broke the ice. She also became the bridge of me reuniting with my fellow students.

I shared my dream of becoming a Knight to them. Trained with them to become stronger. It went all like a breeze to me. I tried many things, many clubs. I spent my youth to the fullest. But I am starting to forget something. I skyrocketed upward. I forgot someone down there. She was a bookworm of a sort. She likes to study, yet she is mediocre with magic and poor in fighting. She is a plain girl. She is being left behind by far talented students, and I am one of them. How could I forget that girl that jump started my journey? With that realization, I went back. I pulled her with me. She is very smart. It took long, but she graduated with me. She stayed with me up til we actually went on in a Military squad. She became important to me. I wouldn't be a man like me today if it wasn't for her. I want to make her proud.

Devoir: but how could I?…. How can I be more of a man for her? How can I improve myself?

???: what's the problem, big man?

Devoir: huh?? pardon me, but…

Arison: sorry to bother you. My name's A. I'm just curious about your little dilemma there. What's the problem big guy? In my eyes, you are already a tough man in an armor.

Devoir: all of this is because of a certain girl that I like….

Arison: interesting….

Devoir: !!!! I mean uhmmm!!!…..

Arison: haha, too late, you already slipped.

Devoir: anyways… sorry to trouble you, but….

Arison: you think that you owe this girl and that you think she is a big part of what you are right now. Correct?

Devoir: okay, you are starting to creep me out… You are a new face around here in camp… who are you, really?

Arison: so hostile. Don't worry, I'm no enemy. I am actually nice enough to even help you.

Devoir: help me? How?

Arison: on May 14th, there is an Oriental event called White Day. If you are familiar with Valentines Day, this is the complete opposite of it.

Devoir: opposite? In what way?

Arison: in Valentines Day, girls give boys chocolate. Mainly, they give them to boys they like or boys they want to show appreciation to. In White Day, boys return the favor by giving chocolates to the girls.

Devoir: okay.. let's say I believe you, but how can this help me?

Arison: mainly, boys and girls use these events to tell their love ones how they feel. If you give your chocolate to your beloved. You'll be a lot manlier than you are now. You also have a chance to tell her how you feel, which is double points for you.

Devoir: that's a good plan. But….. Outside of what I know from her combat prowess and abilities, I don't know much about her taste in chocolate.

Arison: leave that to me. Just tell me her name and I'll find out what chocolate would be a best gift for her.

Devoir: that would help a lot. Her name is Celestine. She has ash blonde hair, wearing a pair of glasses.

Arison: expect a result by evening.


When I was a kid, I am hungry for knowledge. Books are what's on my hands and what my eyes only gaze upon. I am very studious as such that I skipped past the kids my age. On what would I use this knowledge for? That's a question that had bugged me back then. One day, I saw an arcane duel at a festival in our town. Since then, I've got fond of the Arcane Arts. I studied at this Military School in hopes that one day I might use what I know for the benefit of others. Though a dreamer and a studious girl like me were no match for these talented people. I felt like an outcast. No one wanted my knowledge as I share them. They are talented enough to not care. I just focused on my dream that one day, they might acknowledge me. Then I saw him.

He was a big tall guy. I recalled he wanted to be a Heroic Knight that would protect the people. Although he was talented, he is like an outcast like me. I am curious with this boy. I want to know him. Maybe share my dreams with a dreamer like him. I talked to him. His expression was priceless. He was overjoyed when I talked to him. I'm glad that we think alike. It was fun and inspiring when I look at him. Though I feel that I can't follow him up to the skies. I might drag him down. Someone who's not talented as I am. I am just happy that he is fulfilling his dreams. But then he returned. He came back for me and he lifted me up. He went with me in hardship. Not very long, we both graduated and went in the same Military Squad.

It's funny sometimes. He still soar high to reach his dreams. But that moment of my youth, in my eyes, he is already My Hero.

Celestine: though I still see that he thinks too much…. Dear oh dear.

???: dear oh dear indeed.

Celestine: huh?? excuse me?

???: thinking about a guy who think too much. That's a loop you got there. You'll ruin your cute face.

Celestine: thanks for your concern, but… who are you?

Arison: you can call me A. I can help you with anything… uhhh.. miss?

Celestine: you can call me Celestine.

Arison: Celestine…. huh….. well then. Let me ask you, what do you think about sweets?

Celestine: what I think about them??…. uhmmm… I don't have any opinion of it.

Arison: huh? what do you mean?  Come on, don't be shy?

Celestine: r… really.. hehe…

Arison: ( she goes closer to her ) come on! surely a cute girl like you would want sweets.

???: Is there a problem here? Is this girl bothering you?

Celestine: Miss Luce! ( she goes near her )

Arison: ehh?? Celestine I'm….. ( she looks at Luce's chest ) whoa! it's huge!

Luce: hey, my eyes are up here. Unless you state your name and your purpose, I'll be the one you're going to deal with.

Arison: ahaha, a feisty girl I see. You can call me A. And for a purpose? Let's just say I am here for a cleanup business on a later date.

Luce: okay, then. Let's say I believe you. Now what? Is Bothering Celestine part of your clean-up business?

Arison: hey, I'm just having a girly talk with Celestine, ain't that right?

Celestine: ( sweatdrops ) ahhhh uhhhhmmm… sort of?

Arison: I'm just asking her about if she likes sweets… hmmm… now that I'm looking at you…. ( she looks closer at Luce )

Luce: can you please tell me what really happened here? If she's talking about what sweets… hmmm.. what date is today?

Arison: ( she hangs her arm at Luce then whispers ) you look like someone who is in love.

Luce: okay, that doesn't really answer the question though?

Arison: ( she then stops whispering ) come on, lighten up! Let's go shopping for some sweets, girls!! ( grabs both their hands and pulls them )

Luce: merda….

The trio went on to a small sweets shop on Belphas.

Luce: you seriously not going to tell me your name though?

Arison: I already told you, my name is A, missy.

Luce: fine then. ( Luce then proceeds to fiddle with her phone ) By the way, you have some good taste for a sweet shop.

Arison: experience my darling. If you spent your time on sweets, it will reward you.

Celestine saw herself looking at the sweets. There were a wide variation from gums, candies and chocolates.

Luce: I guess we got off the wrong foot here Miss A. Sorry about that. It's kinda a habit of mine to make sure my friends and acquaintances are not uncomfortable.

Arison: I guess the sweets got your nerves all calmed down. Go on, you two can get some, my treat!!

Celestine: I still don't get why are we in a sweet shop

Arison: less complaining, more sweets!!

Luce: you can drop the missy. Luce Clementine, a pleasure to meet you Miss A.

Arison: a Clementine huh? By any chance are you related to a certain Natalya?

Luce: she is my mother.

Arison: well, that woman saved a very important person of mine. ( she looks at Luce ) Don't ever stop saving lives, okay?

Luce: Don't worry, I don't plan on stopping. I'm glad that important person was saved by my mother. It's nice to hear about how they help people. But enough about this, lest you want to be drowned by issues. ( she leaned closer as Celestine was busy ) what is this all about?

Arison: I just want to give you girls some sweets, okay?

Arison went to the staff at the counter to barter and it is evident that things aren't looking too good on the staff's end.

Celestine: Miss Luce, sorry I dragged you in to this, but I think she means no harm. I guess this is just her gesture of cheering up someone…

Luce: I see. By the way, you know it's March 7, right?

Celestine: huh? What about it?

Arison, with her glasses in full glare as she hangs her arm at Luce

Arison: it's a good day for sweets, right doc?

Luce: y.. you know it did you know that they have those pink chocolates hidden?

Arison: then lets go to those pink chocolates!

The girls merrily bought some sweets and went out of the store

Arison: so, what did you buy, girls?

Luce: besides the pink chocolate, I bought some unrefined chocolate and dark chocolates.

Celestine: I bought this plain ones

Arison: ehh?? You didn't go all out even though it is my treat?

Celestine: I really don't have a preferences on sweets. Even if it just a plain chocolate, it is sweeter and delicious because of the thought of that one that gave me this. So thanks Miss A. I really appreciate it.

Arison: you two are good girls, really.

Both smiled as they got a pat to the head by Miss A

Luce: how about i treat you two for with drinks? I can whip up for the two of you.

Celestine: sure miss Luce

Arison: that was a great offer, but first, I have to find a certain white princess

Celestine: a white princess?

Arison: yes, I should get going. See you later if you two still up for it.

Luce: if my guess is right please tell the white princess to go to my tent for her weekly check up later. I'll be at my tent with Celestine here if needed.

Alison: hmm? So she really went for it huh? Alright, I'll do that. See yah doc.

And so, Miss A left with a content look on her face. Not actually sure what her agenda is, but if it is to cheer me up. She did a job well done. And so I went on with Miss Luce while we eat some chocolates on the way.


At the Training Field in the camp, Rory is on the other side of the field while there are a squad of Eternals in a fighting stance. Rory then started walking towards them as the squad charged at him.

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Black Records I - Moonfall and Storm Wall
by R

Before I begin, I think it would be best if I gathered everything I know at the beginning of these records before rambling off with my crazier entries. In case my Stigma kicks in and I forget everything, it's best that I write down important pieces of history as to jog my memory should I pick up these records again.

The Storm Wall

Unknown Era – 412 A.R.

The Storm Wall was an unending stretch of permanent storm clouds around 800 kilometers visible from the west and southwestern coast of Aleria. Sailing through the Storm Wall was impossible, and so was flying through via airship. For as long as modern history remembers, this wall of storms had always existed as simply a force of nature that inhibited exploration to the west of the land.

This had Aleria instead establishing relations to its eastern neighbor, Kislev, and its southern one, Sudan.

This state of affairs changed, however, come the April of 412 A.R.. As people observed the Moonfall Incident, so did they behold the simultaneous disappearance of the Storm Wall. Because of this the wall's disappearance, this finally opened up Aleria's doors to western nations – Corseria and New Iesland.

The reasons as to why the Storm Wall had disappeared alongside the falling false moon is still unexplained up to this very day. Hopefully I will clear that enigma soon.

Moonfall Incident

April of 412 A.R.

Simply the most iconic disaster-cum-historical event in mankind's history; the Moonfall Incident occurred on the April of 412 A.R. Man observed a false moon dislodge from the original moon's position in the sky. Over the course of an hour, people observed this moon to become bigger every minute… until the realization set in – this moon was falling towards the earth. As the Storm Wall disappeared, the west coast observed the moon fall way westward… until a large, booming sound echoed throughout the world.

A shockwave then shook the entire planet. At this point, everyone expected complete annihilation… but that did not happen.

The crash was gentle. Perhaps the only real material objects destroyed were the ones directly below the moon's landing site and some places buried under loose debris from its descent. Its shockwave however came with a life-changing event: humans started losing their natural attunement to environmental mana. Over the next years, humans had a difficult time attempting to use magic in any form without the heavy use of catalysts.


I should write down something about the last 100 years later. At this point, I need to rest from my pilgrimage around Corseria…

-R

 

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Eternal Tales 5
A Bullet for a Life

On a sunny day. Team De-Dogs embarks on their mission. The white-haired girl is travelling onward their mission with Devoir and Johnny. She looks up to the sky with her hand on her chest, reminiscing on a recent event that had taught her many things. An encounter with experience.

Ragnar: Schicksal, you would be joining a squad of gunners from Adamson Military. Your mission is to help them capture this certain outlaw near the Northern Guardpost. He’s been loose and running and giving the guards there a slip. There had been reports that there’s a total of 20 men that tried to take him. 20 men also died in the process. He is swift with a gun and deadly accurate. They need someone skilled with a gun as well.

Luna: these squad of gunners can’t handle him alone, why am I any different?

Ragnar: these gunners are lead by Colonel Arison Rain. A sharpshooter that is oozing of influence and respect. People treat the Colonel like a gangster.

Luna: sounds like someone who you don’t want to mess with. But that doesn’t answer my question.

Ragnar: indeed. You would soon know why they need you.

Luna: well, I’ll get this done Commander Ragnar.

Luna went out to prepare for her mission. Several minutes later, Rory arrived on the command center.

Ragnar: oh, Dumas. I just sent out Schicksal.

Rory: You did, did you? Your keen sense of observation hasn’t failed you. I can’t see anyone better suited for the mission. I just hope she’s gotten over all those traumatic experiences over the past few months though. Well enough to take the lead in this mission, at least.

Ragnar: don’t worry, I got some special people accompanying her for this mission. This might be a good experience for her. This might be a good time to pay you some at least.

Rory: pay me back for what?

Ragnar: screening 04 and 05 for my army is somewhat that big of a deal, not only for me, but for them.

Rory: Ah, those two. Nah, we’re even. We did it to win your favor and get the right of way. And seeing those two now is already good enough for me anyway. I appreciate the gesture though, Luna’s probably got a lot on that mind of hers. It’s good you gave her this distraction. Might help her to cope somehow

Ragnar: that madman is still on the loose. We need every bit of help we can get.

Rory: and you probably sent out the single most capable person available. She’s a crackshot with a straight moral compass.

Ragnar: then is it safe to say this mission is in the bag?

Rory: No. She might be very capable. But, with everything that’s going on. I’d say the chances are improved significantly when you decided to choose her.

Ragnar: heh, that outlaw better watch out.

And so, Luna went on with her mission. Her first task is to meet the gunner squad that she is going to be with. But as she went to the meeting spot, she heard a rattle on the bushes and a shot was fired. Luna dodged the shot and points at the bushes. But then suddenly many men who are dressed casually appeared all pointing their gun at her.

???: you had every chance, yet you didn’t fire your gun.

A light-gray haired woman appeared wearing tinted glasses, a long, slender, cigarette on her mouth and wearing a fedora approaches her.

???: Schicksal, right?

Luna: C… Colonel… Arison? I thought you are….

Arison: a man? hah! Ragnar that bastard. Call me A from now on.

Luna: y.. yes ma’am!!

Arison: well anyways, I see you are holding your gun, but I feel hesitation. Afraid to kill?

Luna: w… well…

Arison: hah!! nonsense!! You must be prepared to kill when you carry a gun, or why carry one at all?

Luna: how can you say that straight when it is killing you are talking about?!

The gunners suddenly aimed at her more. Arison looked Luna straight in the eye.

Arison: you are talking to me straight while my men here can kill you at the snap of my finger. I don’t give a fuck about your ideals. I killed many pieces of shit back in my day. How many have you killed?

Luna looks down and frustration is evident in her grasp of her gun.

Arison: for the remainder of this mission, I forbid you from firing even one single shot.

Luna: w… why?! I thought you need my help for this mission?

Arison: a gun that can’t fire is useless. If you want out, go home. From here on out, the choice is yours kid.

The gunners lowered their gun and then they started on heading out. Luna paused for a while as they walked away. She decided to follow them anyways. She is kind of an outcast as they camp out for the night. Separated from the gunners. Arison is taking a smoke on a cliff. Luna then took this chance to approach her.

Luna: Colonel A…. look…. I’m so…

Arison: you still can’t fire a single shot till I say so.

Luna: eheh, that’s not what I want to apologize for… but… I’m sorry… it’s just that…

Arison: that outlaw would definitely kill you if you two went face to face. If that happens then that blood is in my hands. So I’m sorry but you are not of use to me.

Luna went on and sighs. Feeling disappointed, she went back to her tent. As she did, Arison looks at her with a worried face. Several minutes later, they heard a loud bang and a beam of light streaking from across the cliff. A large sparkling dragon flies around the area and beneath, a swarm of Fae. A gunner scouted it out and it happens to be a group of people fighting a special Fae.

Luna secretly looked herself. She saw Dara, Chase, and Orga fighting. She suddenly rushed to a tall tree, sets up her rifle and aimed. With a quick gaze on her scope, she took a shot and flawlessly hit the Fae on the head. She didn’t even hit confirm and rushed over to Dara.

Dara: you almost hit me.

Luna: almost. But, what are you doing here?

Dara: well originally I was looking for y……

Arison: Schicksal!!

Luna: I’m sorry, I’ll contact you later.

Dara: are you gonna be alright?

Luna: yes.

Luna went back to the camp, she saw a frustrated Colonel Arison.

Arison: you just disobeyed my orders!! When I say don’t fire a single shot, don’t!…..

Luna: I don’t care about your orders!! My friends needed me!!

Arison’s cigarette falls as she jawdropped from her reaction.

Luna: you know what?! I don’t need you gunners!! I’m gonna go on my own.

Luna started packing her things. But then she heard Arison laughing hard.

Arison: AHAHAHAHAHAHA!! oh my!! that was some outburst!!

Luna: (blushes) what’s so funny?!

Arison: and I thought you are just some melancholy girl who likes to brood over things.

Luna: ehh?

Arison: for someone like me who doesn’t give a fuck about things to strictly giving you an order. Don’t you think that is already out of character?

Luna: w… well…. you are still my superior… so..

Arison: huh?! who told you that? Superior? hah!! You went to this mission to just join us. Ragnar didn’t tell you who’s in charge, right?

Luna: ….. y… yeah… he didn’t.

Arison: hehe… you are very amusing kid. You really surprised me.

Luna: are you making fun of me?

Arison: look kid. We are not heartless. Specially me. Don’t think that killing people gives me joy. It does hurt in fact. Everytime I kill a person, it adds a scar to my heart. Though, why do I carry a gun in the first place is to save lives. I don’t give a damn if my heart dies out. I’ll kill if that would be a necessity of saving a life. A shot that is not fired means a life that is not saved.

Luna’s expression lightened up and she finally saw what Colonel Arison was teaching her.

Arison: you just felt the feeling of saving someone. Savor it. That is what should be your satisfaction. Hold that gun because you want to save a life, not necessarily to kill.

She gave Luna a pat on the head. Luna smiled.

Luna: I think I finally understand you Colonel A. Thank you.

Arison: ahahaha!! Don’t get mushy on me!! Come!! You want some smoke?

Luna: n… no thank you.. hehe..

Luna joined the gunners who happened to be jolly people as well. They went on and talked to Luna about guns and weapons as some of them are fans of the Schicksals. Dara, who had followed Luna saw her fine and happy. Dara smiled and decided to just go home as he is satisfied he saw her alright.

The night passes and they went early in the morning towards the Guardpost. But as they arrive there, the guards told them that the Outlaw retreated to a Canyon between Adamson and Rosevine. They quickly went on and followed the outlaw to a small town named Warm Waters. They camped on a cave near the town.

Arison: Schicksal, the reason why you are called for this mission is that. The gunners cannot take the outlaw out. Even I can’t.

Luna: it’s hard to believe.

Arison: I am past my prime as to not make a mess just taking this outlaw out. But you can. I have complete faith in you.

Luna: r… really? why?

Arison: enough questions. Schicksal, the town is in your hands.

Luna then nodded and she went on. With complete focus on her mission. She went on to a tavern. No one dared to asked her business and she heard whispers from each lip. She then asked the folks around her that she is here to take an outlaw alive or maybe dead. She said she will wait at the middle of the town hoping that the outlaw isn’t a coward for a shootout.

She then waited outside and went to the middle of the town. Not long ago that it was relayed to the Outlaw. With a cocky attitude he went on and meet Luna at the middle of the town. Folks where watching from the window and they held their breath. They knew this pretty young lady was about to meet her death.

Outlaw: heh!! So I heard you wanna challenge me on a shootout. For a little girl, you sure are cocky.

Luna: afraid you’ll lose to this little girl?

Outlaw: (spits at the side) fine then.

There was twenty feet between them when they stopped to make their play. As they went on for the draw, the outlaw didn’t even cleared leather when a bullet fairly ripped. Luna shot the outlaw at the wrist of his left, unused hand. The outlaw stumbled down and was shocked at what happened. He then, in frustration, shoots Luna many times, emptying the rounds of his revolver. Luna shot the bullets out keeping herself unharmed. The people was amazed at Luna’s feats. The outlaw tried to reload quickly, but to no avail as he can’t reload with a single hand. Luna then points her revolver at the outlaw making him surrender.

It was over at that moment and the crowd all gathered ’round, there before them lay the outlaw cuffed on the ground. The gunners went on and apprehend the man and the towns people thanked Luna and the gunners that went before her. Arison then hanged her arm on Luna.

Arison: that was some awesome shooting! You are the real deal!! ( she suddenly took a selfie of her and Luna )

Luna: !! W.. wha!!..

Arison: just a remembrance. Okay?

Luna: f.. fine then.

Arison: by the way, your weapon is amazing. A transforming arsenal of weapons.

Luna: wait… you can already tell that much?

Arison: it was just a hunch but you just confirmed it now. One being with weapon nuts often, I can see that mana manipulation is the root system of your weapon. Well, if I would make a suggestion, I wouldn’t be putting that thing just hanging outside. Judging by the description of your Arcus, you should put it somewhere safe and at the same time, enhancing your own abilities as well. You know what I mean.

Luna: … uhhh.. okay? ( she smiled and nods )

As the day went by, they went separate ways as the gunners went straight to Adamson. Luna then went home and arrived at morning. She, however, is still thinking about what the Colonel had said. She went on thinking all morning and suddenly she found herself near Luce’s tent. She then decided to visit her.

Luce: -atase, I swear to Vattos. I’m fine already okay? Sto…

Luce sighed as she looks at the person who opened her tent.

Luce: oh, Luna it’s you. Come in. ( She points at the empty chair in front of her ) Sit please, and oh don’t worry about any contaminants. I had this room sterilized as soon as I got back to full health. So what can I do for you?

Luna: am I disturbing?

Luce: eh not really… uhhh, you’re not here to pester me on resting some more right? Because I’ll have you know, I can tell you that resting too much is bad.

Luna: ahh no, I trust you. If you say you are well, then you are.

Luce: so…. what can I do for you?

Luna: I was just thinking about something.. I think maybe you can help me.

Luce: hmmm.. go on.

Luna: Well, I went on a mission and this Colonel said to me, judging by the description of your Arcus, you should put it somewhere it can be enhanced and for you to not easily lose it. You know what I am talking about. I nodded but I really don’t know what she is talking about

Luce: ahh!

Luna: you have an idea?

Luce then went on scanning her files while muttering about. Then she showed the data about Loki and Rory of which implanted their Arcuses on their body.

Luce: I think this is what the Colonel means. Though, I don’t know how would you lose your Arcus.

Luna: well, it is just hanging in my belt. You and Shuu did took my belt off when I was drunk

Luce: that’s because you got a bit too trigger-happy for my liking. With safety or no, it’s not nice to point guns at any direction where there are friendlies everywhere.

Luna: I still lost that belt. This weapon contain a massive amount of superweapon blueprints. Meaning implants would really make it alot safer.

Luce: implants? You sure about that? Hmmm, well it’s a bit risky to do it. Mind you, a strong EMPs will affect you a bit." ( She searches at her data pad a bit more. ) You did once tell me about the metal you got there is only vattos knows where you got it kind of metal. So, how does this one work.?

Luna: well, this Arcus is called White Rose Catalyst, it is basically the brain behind the weapon system. This contain the Project: Railgun blueprint set. Now this catalyst forms this unique metal to the gun that I want to. The metal responds like a magic circuit and it forms. Actually, we don’t completely know how or why the metal does that as of yet or the very nature of this metal.

Luce: I see….no physical or even mental side effects or whatsoever?

Luna: none so far, but I feel like it is becoming a part of me.

Luce: hmmmm… it’s worrisome….

Luna: maybe so, though I think it is me more than it. I feel adapted to it. Kinda like how you are used to something more than anything else

Luce: okay, but read these stuff first, okay? I’ve been taking into an account on stuff like these for quite some time now. If you really wish to have an implant, read it first. ( she forwarded her data pad )

Luna: ( she went on and thoroughly scanned the data ) yep, I think I still wanna go through this.

Luce: alright then, hmmmm, I assumed that your here not to ask me to recommend you a list of doctors who can do this, correct?

Luna: hey, if you can do this, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Luce: I can, but I’ll have to warn you. You got to be extra careful after the first 2 weeks of recovery. That means no over-working, well not to my level of over working at least. You will also have to get check up every now and then. ( she is looking at Luna straight in the eye )

Luna: y…. yes maam…

Luce: good, when do you wish to get this done though? because I’ll have to ask you to fasting for the day before the surgery. Anesthesia will also be taken care off.

Luna: today?

Luce: hmm… when was the last time you ate?

Luna: hmm several hours ago. Now that you mention it, I am hungry

Luce: well too bad, you’re going to do fasting.

Luna: ehehehe, guess I have to… it is just for the day.

Luce: moreoeless…give this also to the any personel in the trauma center. They’ll prep the table..

Luna: off I go then!

Luce: don’t stress yourself, okay?

The surgery went on and it was a success in the hands of Luce. The Catalyst are now implanted on Luna’s chest and it was styled to resemble a cresent moon on a sun. She now calls it Juno Catalyst.

She stayed for how a few weeks, but as she recovered, she already went out prepped and fired up to finish another mission for the Eternals.


Somewhere which happens to be Arison’s office. She is fangirling on her phone which she happens to be looking at her picture with Luna.

Arison: I still can’t believe I get to teach your daughter a thing, Boss!!. She will be a fine Gunslinger just like you someday.

In a distant, there’s a portrait of a younger and wimpy version of her together with a young and shy Maria Oberon both holding a rifle.

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Cooking with a Fox
Revelation on why Luce's food is Inedible

After being coddled by the medical staff Luce decided to retreat to her safe house every night. Today however, made her want to stay at her house and not get out.

She was feeling a bit off by the fact that she can’t cook without poisoning people. “Uuuggghhh, I’m a failure as a Cestian if I can’t cook at all!” She groaned in dispair. Hermes huffs and tugs her hair.

“Owowowowowow, Hermes, no!”she cried while her fox ignored and continued on.

“Okay, okay, okay, I’ll try, Vattos, almighty please stop tugging my hair!”
Only then Hermes let go and went to her bed.

“Sometimes even I forget that you’re a Spec Ops dog, especially with how you’re acting around me.”
Luce sighs as she took out some ingredients and made some food.

She did everything right, everything was good.

However… Once she tasted it, she immediately drank her universal antidote.

“Sure it looks good, but why is it still that bad?” She groaned.

It took several tries and all failed.

To the point her personal condiments are empty.

She had the wasted food go straight to the flames. No one needs to die anyways.

“Uggghhh welp there goes my…” she then looks at her stuff and realized something.

“Oh, my ingredient for my poison. Oh…oh dear.” Then it dawned to her.

“Have I been using that as salt for food????!”

Then and there. Luce took every single poison out of her place.

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OFF-DUTY 2
Paperwork

As per protocol, Luce was given two recovery days before getting involved into heavy shifts again. So as compromise, she just finished her paperwork, and stuff needed for the upcoming meeting.

The reason why she wasn’t able to rest as much as she wanted for the past few weeks beside her nightmare shift was because of the full autopsy report on Tyland Tyr Forrester.

It’s something Luce would rather not repeat ever again.

‘Even in death, the eerie emptiness makes me feel fear and sick. Neither of your so called elite war dogs beckoned to your call. They weren’t there, with you in the battlefield. That’s what makes me curious and nervous.’ In between writing down her work, she began to tap her pen to the table just to collect more of her thougths into something coherent.

‘What are you up to this time Iris?’

It brought back memories from her meeting with Ms. Arclese after the Battle against Tyr. She just took all of the information Luce gave all in. From day one that she’s been with their team up until now. Of course, she said the things on what’s going on instead of the personal stuffs. Hashing out other informations that she thinks are too important to talk about at the moment.

She also reported about Iris as well, Ms. Arclese just nodded at the information with a gleam on her eyes.

Luce thought her mentor was going to reprimand her for joining the eternals but no, she seems okay with it. The sadness stayed but she didn’t count on that immediately fading away. She did lost her friend from this after all.

After that she asked if she could check on the records about other stuff. Never really specified why but she was cleared to do so either way.

She asked if they could look for Luna’s godfather. Enishi.

She had them be as cautious and careful to not engage the man unless they want to spook him and die. Just observe where he’s going at. She just told her mentor that she needed to do find him and all was good.

Drunk or not, Luce will still do what she can because she promised to her sorellina.

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Eternal Tales 4
Clash of Steel

On a winter day, at the moment of war and death where cold corpses lie in waste. Tyr the Mad Dog on his final stand, wreak havoc around Belphas. But on the other side, beyond the mountains. Contrasting those terrifying cries, flows a silent winter breeze between the two swordsman. An untold story of which these two warriors had their duel that sliced even the winds itself and set ablaze creating an imagery of hell around them eliminating the winter cold. A place where blades, steel, and blood, talk to each other. None had witnessed this fateful encounter, or it would automatically means death to a normal person.

Saya: not one step closer.

En: you again.. ughhh… get out of my way… or die.

Saya: death is a thing that I would bring you.

In a blink of an eye, En already closed the gap between them, but as he delivered a slash, a clash of steel echoes around the field and En was sent flying back by an unknown source. Saya didn’t move an inch, or rather, her movements are too quick to be seen by the naked eye.

En’s movements have hasten. He tried many attacks and different angles, as he gets faster and stronger after each attacks get deflected. Yet Saya isn’t moving an inch.

En: so that’s how fast you are.

Saya was surprised, En was instantly at her front where her invisible slashing would have reacted instantly. En slightly unsheathed his blade, but when a streak of sliced wind was about to deflect the attack, the slash only hits an afterimage and En gets ready to go for the kill, but alas, that attack was also deflected, although this time around, Saya flips back from the clash.

En: made you move.

Saya: don’t get cocky. You already strained yourself to reach a speed that your body aren’t used to just so you can out match mine. That doesn’t change the fact that you are going to die.

En: kill me then

This time around, Saya goes for the offensive. The two swordsman danced around murderously. En was using a feint tactic so much that it looks like Saya is fighting 2 Enishi, leaving afterimages as he clash around with Saya.

As they progress, the place was steaming up. En’s blade now somewhat glows. Saya breaks the exchange by using En’s attack as a launcher upwards, then she does a diving spinning vertical cutter. En steps back to avoid it, but as he did, Saya quickly attacked the out of balanced Enishi. En tries quickly to block and got knocked back. It was evident that En is getting exhausted as he stumbles.

Saya: now, you die.

Saya didn’t let the opportunity go to waste and attacks En. But then suddenly a burst of flames made her stop and step back. En now transformed to a monstrous demon with flames streaking out of his body. His blade completely glows from the heat. The surrounding snow turns quickly to vapor as the demon instantly goes to Saya and attacks. For the first time in this fight, Saya now is on the defensive and being pushed back by a more faster Enishi. Each clash of blades leaves embers flying out. Flames dance around where they fight. One wrong move and Saya would’ve been burned, yet, a master of her caliber showed that she cannot be defeated that easily. Saya finally keeps up and then again, they dance around in a stalemate.

Then Saya realized that En’s movements are different than before. His calculative, speedy but precise attacks have turned into raw power and speed. She thinks that he is now more of a monster rather than a warrior. As her experience quickly made her adjust to the demon’s attacks, she now gives him the slip from time to time. En’s rising power and speed means nothing as Saya still gained the upper hand.

Saya: such a shame, given more time and experience, you could’ve become her.

En was getting rattled as Saya now play mind games.

Saya: you exchanged technique for power. You are now just a monster that needed to be slain.

En: stop…. stop!!!..

Saya: you disrespect your master, you disrespect Master Shirokaze Setsuna.

En: stop!!!…

Saya: you gave in to a power that once almost killed your loved one and recently, your godkid. You will kill them one day.

En: SHUT UP!!!

Their stalemate draws to a close as their blades clashed they both stepped back. A burst of flame suddenly engulfed the enraged En. Then the flames turned to deep blood red.

En: JIGOKU TENSEI!!!

A loud cry from En and he disappeared, and as he did, it is like space got distorted itself and an air vacuum stops the winter winds from entering this infernal dome. A massive amount of rippled wind and space distortion quickly engulfs Saya. But, Saya already anticipated the move and as the flames engulfed the two, there was a sudden burst from within the flames.

The vacuum disappeared and the two swordsman stumbled from exhaustion, but it was clear that En lost that clash now with his demon form wearing down, the drawbacks and the strain kicks in along with the wounds he sustained from Saya’s unknown counterattack appears.

Saya: now…. hah…. you die…

Saya attacked the defenseless En, but he showed that he isn’t that defenseless, a last resort feint as he also tries to attack Saya and feinted it. Saya was surprised. En spinned and slashed very hard that even Saya blocks it, her right arm flails away. Saya saw En preparing another big move at point blank.

En. graaaaaaaahhhh!!! Jigengiri!!!

Saya was overwhelmed as she foresaw massive amounts of distorted slashes coming at her at full speed. She tried quickly to block every slash and almost succeeded except from a few slashes to her arm, leg, and the last slash hit the flesh between her thumb and index finger and got disarmed in the process. She quickly used her other hand to swiftly retaliate as En appeared after the move, she still managed to cut his ring finger off as he tried to struggle from the drawbacks of forcefully using Jigengiri without a break.

En: ughhhhhh!!!!!……

The severely wounded En quickly retreats. Saya decided to not pursue him as she noticed that the flames had curses on them. Her wounds won’t heal like his wound does. She went and get his finger and removes the ring of which Rory gave before he disappeared. Saya then meditated in this hellish scenery as she await her comrades.

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