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Everything posted by scorri

  1. Bladen really just wanted to stop talking about zombies, so he just accepted what Asami was saying and tried to not think about his arm. It still ached, but for all he knew that could just be in his head. It probably was. Just nonsense his brain was trying to convince him of... And then Asami was tugging on his hand as she started to stand up, so he followed her lead. "Yeah, sure, heading back..." Information would be good. Though it seemed like this was something he should be learning from his family and clan, not from an outsider. But half of the people that he could have learned it from were dead, so he had to go with what he had. "I just... Talking some would be nice and then I just want to sleep. Sorry. I'm just tired after everything that's happened today. It's been a long couple of days. Sometimes it feels like I should have never left home..." The last sentence was a whisper, something that escaped without him really being conscious of it. But it was true at the same time. What was he doing, tagging along with this hero trying to make amends? He should be home, sharing in his clan's grief, being there for his mother... Not pretending to be some sort of protector of the land.
  2. Bladen couldn't help the slight flinch as she touched his hand, before letting his shoulders sag a bit and taking her hand. "Yeah, Lavinia said the same thing. Let the General look at me, just in case something was missed. It shouldn't be a problem, but just in case. Always just in case. The polite way of saying 'Well you might turn into a zombie but we don't want you to panic.' Because that would be worse." He frowned, knowing that he was lashing out at the wrong person. But he was scared. And while that wasn't an excuse, it was certainly a reason. And then the magic... "Y-yeah, sure, whatever. It's not... It wasn't scary. I mean... The magic itself wasn't. The fact that I had no control over it and it came out of nowhere wasn't great, but the actual magic was, well, warm. It pushed things back, gave me a few seconds of peace, I..." He shook his head. "I don't know. I probably sound like I'm talking nonsense. Maybe getting away from everyone would be good. Some peace and quiet..."
  3. The battle had ended almost suddenly, the leader incapacitated by Agni of all people. To Bladen it floated by in a haze. He left the tree, settling onto the ground, followed the others into the arena, making sure to keep a distance between him and Jade as he did, and finally half collapsed against a wall, feeling like a puppet with cut strings. It registered when the villagers started talking about Marina being the hero, but not enough to cause him to stir. His should still ached, despite the healing, and there was a nagging voice in his head reminding him to talk to the General about it. But she was being called somewhere else and... Asami. "Wrong..." He echoed her last word, trying to collect his thoughts enough to punch through the haze. "Well. It depends on how you define wrong I suppose." There it was. A defense in sarcasm, let that mask his confusion and worry. "For starters, we seem to be very casual about all of using a cursed sword that steals your energy and life force. That would have been fine though, really, if it hadn't been accompanied by Jade going feral and biting me. Oh and apparently I can use magic? Despite my being sure that those stories were just bed time fairy tales told to make young Fallen go to sleep. No, I can just... create swords of light now! Not that I know how I did it. Couldn't do it again if you asked me to. But I sure did do it! So mostly I'm just wishing that I had stayed back to guard the inn. Or that I had never woken up. You know? Just avoided all of this nonsense?" He would maybe stop talking eventually, but it was easier to just say words than it was to actually try and process what all had happened tonight.
  4. Now Xal showed up. Asking questions. He couldn't... He couldn't deal with all of that right now. There was too much. Too much going on, too much to think about, too much! "J-Jade. She... she bit me. I don't know. I can't... Enemies. We should focus on them." And then he took off again. Less of a sprint this time, but still moving quickly. There were a few trees up ahead. He could hide there. Launching himself up, thankful that his wings saw fit to behave, he settled in on one of the higher branches, trying to not panic. Bladen to 8-1
  5. The sword swung down, almost seemingly to demand blood, and then... time seemed to slow. A warm feeling swelled up inside Bladen's chest, pushing back the cold and fear he had been feeling, even if only for a moment. It filled him up, a strange warmth, unlike anything he had ever felt before. Suddenly, his wings burst back out into their full size, flaring behind him. His other arm raised involuntarily, reaching for the sky. Four bright lights streamed out of his hand and settled beside the wings, forming into the shapes of swords. And then everything sped up again. Requiem descended, cutting into the thief's chest. And as it did, the four swords of light twisted, spiraling down around him, leaving trails of light as they did, before plunging into the thief and then shattering in sparks of light. The man dropped, and Bladen dropped his arm, staggering slightly before falling to his knees, drained, tired, cold and scared again. He wanted to blame the sword for what had happened. That would be the easy explanation. But that didn't fit. He could sense the energy of the sword. Dark, hungry... Maybe even evil. That wasn't close to what he had just felt. But then what was it? The sword fell from his grasp and he stared at his now empty hands. It was just too much. Only a little while ago he had been content, asleep in his bed. Why couldn't all of this just be a nightmare?
  6. The drain from the sword had been expected. He had seen Xalrei use it enough times at this point to know that the sword took from its user in exchange for being used. It was part of why he had been hesitant to use it before now. But it was something he could withstand. He didn't want to use it often, but he could use it. He started to turn, ready to return the weapon to Jade with an apology for the abrupt taking of the weapon when suddenly... Pain. Tearing. Scratching. His arm afire with sensation. The scream was involuntary, the striking out against his assailant deliberate. It couldn't be the vampire. He saw him on the ground. Was there another one? Finally free, with a horrific cracking noise, he twisted, flaring his wings in a show of force, ready to strike... Only to find... "Jade? What the..." She was gone, feral, taken over by instinct. And she wasn't stopping. As she grabbed at his ankle, he pushed off the ground, taking a quite literal flying leap back, only to land, stumble, and fall as his wings reverted back to their miniature versions. Scrabbling on the ground, he continued to back up as Jade turned and started devouring the corpse of the enemy that had attacked her. He could barely control his body at this point, panic setting in as the pain in his shoulder continued to grow. A soothing force appeared out of nowhere, and he looked up to see Lavinia with her staff patching the wound. She was saying something to him, but the words weren't processing. He needed to get away. Far away. That... monster could decide to target him again. Go. Now. Away, somewhere else. Anywhere else. Clumsily, he pushed himself to his feet, turning, almost sprinting away, trying to forget the worry that he could be infected, trying to forget the worry that his comrade had turned on him and could again, trying trying, *trying*. But it wasn't enough. Would it ever be enough? A distraction, an enemy, anything. Forgetting that he still had the cursed sword in his hand, he lashed out at the thief, looking for any sort of escape from this horror he had found himself trapped in. Bladen to 10-3, attack the thief with Requiem
  7. A vampire. That was dangerous. With it being night, who knows how strong he would be? This one was going to be tricky. Someone was going to have to help. He looked to the general, but quickly realized she was going to be needed to chase after the thieves fleeing the nearby houses. Xal was almost collapsed nearby and this wasn't something Bladen could leave up to a human. The Hero was too far away anyways and he didn't trust the other one to do the job well enough. That left one option. As he dashed towards the Vampire, his small wings suddenly burst into their full size. A few flaps and he was airborne, staying low to the ground for now. As he reached the zombie, he flared his wings, slowing down enough for him to grab the gun she held. He didn't want to do this. It wasn't his weapon to wield. But right now he needed every advantage he could get. "I'll return this soon. I promise." With that, he took to the air. A swoop up and then he plunged down. A move his father had always preferred, he'd never been confident enough to try it before. But if it was ever going to work, now is when he needed it. Closing in on the Vampire, faster than ever, he pulled the now transformed sword back and swung, letting gravity help pull the sword down faster than he could have managed on his own. 13-2, borrow Requiem from Jade and stab Richter
  8. A kiss gone by in a heartbeat, and then out into the dark night he went. He moved almost automatically at first, barely focusing on where he was going. She was staying behind in the inn, that was good. A flash of magical light lighting up the General knocked him out of his daze. They were fighting elves, zombies, but what stood out to Bladen was the fact that there seemed to be cyclops using light magic. Dangerous indeed if they could even wound the General. As others quickly and easily dispatched those in his way, he darted forward, sword drawn. He would take out the danger, and let the others focus on those trying to escape with the goods of the town. Bladen to 13-6, iron sword Cleric #2
  9. The arena had been stressful. It was one thing to watch Asami in the first rounds. It was almost like a dance, beautiful, all silk and steel, wheeling about, her opponents powerless to stop her. And then came the sixth round. An opponent she couldn't out speed. An opponent, in fact, who easily out stripped her speed. Her dance suddenly seemed useless, the silk and steel unable to keep up... In fact, there had been a moment there where it looked like it was all over. His hands had grabbed onto his upper arms so tightly, he honestly wondered if there would be bruising. But at the last second, she'd cleverly managed to escape, dodging the follow up attack, and finishing the man off. A sigh of relief had escaped as she declined to take on any further opponents. The walk back to the inn had been light, cheery, with him hiding the fear he had felt in the arena, and her playfully flirting. Flirting that suddenly felt all the more real when they got back to the inn and found out they were now sharing a room due to the addition of their new party members. She'd teased him mercilessly when he'd chosen to sleep in the extra bed rather than join her, but no matter how red his cheeks got, it just felt too fast to do anything else. He'd just managed to kiss her, after all. His courage existed, but not that much. He'd tried to start the letter home to his mom. He'd even gotten one draft done. But it felt so... empty. He didn't want her to worry, but he still needed to tell her things that would make her worry. His father's death, his joining up with the Hero... Well he certainly couldn't tell her that part. Not after his father had died fighting Marina. The draft ended up as bare bones. He told her of how he snuck out. Of how his father and his companions were killed. And that he'd joined up with a group trying to do some good in the country, help set some things right. Nothing about the hero, not even anything about how his group was sent out by the Demon King. There was nothing untrue in the letter. But still it felt like a lie. Eventually he had given up, tossing the letter onto the nightstand between his and Asami's bed, and curled up to sleep, dark thoughts in his head. It hadn't been a restful sleep, the thoughts he'd had before tainting his dreams, and it was almost a relief to have them cut short. Almost. Stumbling out of bed, pulling his shirt on, then pants over his underwear, he struggled with his sword belt for a few seconds before finally getting it settled. Boots were next, another annoyance, but finally it was settled. He stumbled over to Asami, rubbing his eyes. "R-right. I'll uh... I'll head out there then." A yawn escaped his lips, before he lightly smacked his cheeks, once, twice, good. "You just... stay here, ok? You already fought a lot in the arena, I don't want you getting hurt out there..."
  10. That was... more truth than Bladen had been expecting from Asami. True, only a tiny bit of it was about her (something that did manage to make him stumble slightly as they walked), but it gave him pause all the same. What would it be like, if he were doing all of this to try and win Asami over, seeing her flirting, teasing, playing, and then when he'd gone to try and kiss her, she'd pulled away, said they were just friends and he'd misread it? The thought brought him tumbling down to reality, and then down further, his heart hurting even at the thought. Intentional or not, having his heart played with like that would have destroyed him. Even if Asami wasn't overly serious about him, even if it wasn't a long term thing, she did still have interest in him. What sort of relationship could you have with someone that led you on like that, intentionally or not? But there was another side to all of it too. Lavinia was hurting. Holding on to this pain from so long ago. That wasn't exactly foreign to him either. His people, while not the longest living creatures in the world, lived longer than many. He only knew of dragons and undead living longer on average for sure, and something he knew for sure was that their memories were long. The Fallen did not forget easily and did not let go of loved ones quickly either. 'Remember Bladen, a heart alone longs for company. And a heart that has lost a love too soon is the loneliest a heart can be.' His mother had told him that, a few years back, when he asked why an older female Fallen joined them at least once a week for dinner. She wasn't closely related to them, but still his parents had treated her as a respected elderly family member. Lavinia... "I... see. It's a terrible situation, no matter how you slice it. But... I suppose it's good to know you care about more than just yourself," he commented with a smile grin at the end, hoping to lighten the mood a bit. "Still, I wonder if there's a better way to handle it. I honestly was worried she was going to try and take your head off if she stayed much longer. It seems like there has to be a middle ground between letting her carry on as she is and directly poking what is clearly still an open wound. Perhaps when you have a theoretical infinity in front of you, seventy years doesn't seem like that long to have moved on from your grief..." He trailed off, thinking again of the elderly Fallen woman. Was that the future his mother had in store? Her husband was dead, news that she may not even know yet, and her son gone, disappeared with only a note and no more information after that. For all she would know, he could have died in the battle. "I... need to send my mother a letter..."
  11. His kiss didn't have the devastating effect that the first one had, but it was ok. He wasn't trying for that right now. He just wanted her to be careful. A wish that he maybe should have applied more generally, as he watched her teasing of Lavinia end with her lifted off the ground a good foot or so. He didn't even have time to react before she was tossed down, but she hardly seemed disturbed. He was slow to follow her, still trying to process the scene that had just occurred, when the Hero stopped by him, saying hello and... "Uh... yeah, sure?" His response was mostly to her back as she quickly headed off again, leaving him to give a small shrug to Jade and Agni and then chase after Asami wondering what in the world the Hero wanted to talk to him about. Catching up to the fox, he raised an eyebrow at her. "You know, I wouldn't have thought I needed to worry about your safety among our group... Must you poke at the weak spots of everyone? I worry that if you push Lavinia too far, you may end up with more than a few ruffled clothes..." He shouldn't be worrying about her this much. She could clearly hold her own and yet... He had been too slow to try and help her. She didn't need his help, clearly, but that didn't mean he still felt a lingering sense of failure after all of that...
  12. Bladen was bright red by this point, but for once he let her comment go by without comment, figuring his face was enough of a tell that her comment had hit. Instead he stared up at the arena, before quickly grabbing her hand. "Dance with them well, but be careful, alright? I... I don't want to see you get hurt out there, so you need to do a great job. A-and here. For good luck." He quickly leaned in and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek and quiet whisper, "I'll be cheering for you."
  13. "I, buh, huuuuu...." Whatever protests he'd been making were ruined by the twirl, tail flicking his way. "You... You cheat. This really isn't fair." He grumbled under his breath, following after her. "If your fighting style is anything like your flirting style, you'll make a mess out of all of them..." He was going to have to find a way to get the upper hand again... Though honestly, there was a part of him that was worried about all of this. She was just... Well fragile looking wasn't quite right, but she certainly didn't look like a trained fighter. And she'd be going up against some of the best. He just hoped that she was quick and smart enough to last out there...
  14. This was really getting out of hand... Now there were two of them? Thankfully the arrival of the second oni seemed to almost calm Ayane down some, or at least stop her for a few seconds, but it certainly did not do that for Asami. She stormed off and Bladen, grateful for an excuse to get away from the fire setting oni, quickly chased after her. Managing to catch up, he settled into a calmer pace next o her and gave her a hesitant smile. "So... Arena time, huh? It should be good, getting some practice in, right? I'm looking forward to seeing you fight. Seems like most of the time we've been fighting together, you've been on one side of the fight and I've been on the other, so I haven't gotten to see much from you. I'll make sure to cheer you on from the stands, don't worry." Hopefully she would bite at the topic, move past the frustrations she clearly had with their newest group member. Members? It seemed likely the new one would join too, seeing how focused on her he had been. Trouble ahead, that's all he knew.
  15. Bladen glanced out, seeing only the oni and what looked to be a butterfly and chuckled. "Important business? You know, if you don't want to talk with Ayane, you can just say so. You don't need to-" His words were cut off by a yell and then what sounded like flames catching on wood. Quickly looking back outside again, he found the tree on fire and Ayane yelling for help. "Well, whatever your reason, we have bigger issues now. I don't suppose you can do water magic?" Without really waiting for an answer, he quickly turned and headed back deeper into the inn, aiming for the kitchens. As he passed by the front desk, he called out to Geoffrey, urgency clear in his voice. "There's a tree on fire outside. We need to get water out there quick. Where's the best place for that?"
  16. He closed his eyes for a long second, briefly rubbing his head as he followed after the fox. She flipped between hot and cold in a second, leaving him on the defensive at all times. This is what he signed up for though, he had to admit that. She was clearly the type of person who enjoyed playing with people, and he'd made himself an easy target. But as she giggled and swished her tail at him, followed by that smirk, he couldn't stop the small smile that broke out across his lips. It wasn't the easiest thing to deal with it, but she was always going to be interesting. "Hmm, well, if you beat those heads well enough, I suppose I'll have to give you a reward, right? Something in exchange for the entertainment you give me? Perhaps I'll give you a kiss again... Or come up with something new~" That was something she'd say almost. He wouldn't deny that most of this sort of thing was new to him and he was just going off of her cues. But if it worked, then that's what mattered. He had to put up a fight somehow, and if it meant copying her then that's what he would do. Even if it felt a little bit like cheating.
  17. And she was out the door, any chance gone. He slumped fully back down into the chair with a groan. "I just don't understand her..." It seemed like any decision he made with her was the wrong one. Except the kiss, but now he was even doubting that one a little bit. It was stupid, he knew that, but had he gotten himself in over his head here? It just didn't make a difference what he did, make a move, don't make a move, she was always going to expect something else. She'd wanted privacy but when he'd given it to her here, she'd seemed upset walking out, tail swishing, huffing... Ugh. And now he needed to move, go catch up with her, or she'd be coming back to find out what was wrong. Pushing himself out of the chair, he grumbled to himself, "I'm just useless with girls, aren't I?" But there wasn't time for that now. He headed out of the room, following after Asami. The arena, huh? Well, if nothing else it would be interesting to watch her fight. He'd only seen a little bit of her in action, and one on one didn't really seem like her style. But she probably had a few tricks up her sleeves, if he knew anything about her at all.
  18. She kept leaving openings but then the way she was acting, heading for the door... "Yeah, that... That's it. We've got a plan for moving forward, we have a new ally... Guess we should tell the others though. So they know. And let Marina know that Ayane knows who she really is.... Did they say where they were going? I uh... Wasn't really paying attention to that..." It was better this way. If she wanted to tell him, she could, but he wasn't going to pry. Not when she clearly just wanted to get out of there.
  19. And here it was. A lull in the conversation where he could ask about Asami. Find out about her past, the secrets she was offering up. And yet... Even though the moment was here, the words were not. What even would he ask? There was so much he didn't know, it was impossible to find a place to start. And even if he found the words, could he really ignore the quiet voice reminding him that only a few hours ago, she had wanted to do anything but talk about her past? He slumped even further in the chair, staring at his hands, waiting until Ayane had left. It seemed she still had a bit of a bite to her, even if she was willing to work with them. Not surprising, even if she was trying to threaten one of the worst possible targets. He didn't expect her words to phase Asami much, but still, he glanced at her retreating back and shook his head. The door closed behind her and he pushed himself up, finally looking back at Asami. "She's a unique one, to say the least. But I think we'll be glad to have her on our side nonetheless. What did she mean by the warning comment? Did she do something while you were shaking hands?" That was safe. Talk about other things, not Asami. He was doing the right thing by letting her keep her past to herself. Right?
  20. Bladen chuckled. "Ah, you're asking the wrong person, probably." It all made sense, her questions. Asami had come out with the plan to track this threat through Ayane, but had thrown enough extra in there to leave things confusing. And given all the information that had been given to her, looking to someone else for some answers wasn't unreasonable. Still, even though he was the only option, he wasn't exactly a good one. "You see, I just recently joined up with the group as well. I've got the story, but if you don't trust a story, I could have been fed the same one." He turned serious though, considering her question and his answer. "I suppose... The best way to explain it is to say that we're here to bring order to the country. We recently suffered a grave attack from the human armies, due to someone they call their Hero. It's the second time this has happened, and it leaves the country hurting. We have stragglers from her army, we have rebels who are upset with the way the country is being run taking the opportunity to try and steal power... As well as other threats, such as your enemy. We're doing our best to set things right. To help those hurting from the attacks and to take down those trying to profit from a tragedy." He left out the identity of Marina, feeling that was not his place to tell. But everything else... Well that was what they were doing, right?
  21. It seemed like they were facing a truly despicable character. Not only did she bewitch and transform people, she turned their dead against them. A weakness to dark magic... How ironic. The witch who twisted people was weak to dark magic, the type that some of the world viewed as evil. Everything else was just worrying. The fact that she was likely to target the King... The fact that it seemed Ayane hadn't burned her dead... "So what do we do then? If we can't get her to come to her, we'll need to go to her, but how do we find her? Is there some way to track her magic or something?" The only thing he could think of was if people started being turned into oni or the dead started to be raised, but that was something they were trying to prevent, not use as a way to find her. Asami seemed like their best hope for finding her, even though he suspected that was going to be the thing she least wanted to do...
  22. Bladen carefully settled down into an armchair, twisting sideways so his wings weren't crushed against the back, and ended up almost lounged, feet hanging over one armrest. The options presented to him were all of varying interest, but the one that caught his attention the most was why Asami ran. But... The hint of sadness was lingering in the air. He couldn't shake the feeling that he shouldn't be here, that he shouldn't pry. He could feel a heaviness to all of this, like one wrong move and it would all come crashing down. She was offering something that he wanted, sure. But he wasn't sure he was ready for the consequences of taking her up on that offer. Thankfully, Ayane settled the issue for him. Speaking up, asking about this Ouka, she made the problem simple. "Sure, that sounds good to me. She's going to be our enemy after all. Better to learn everything we can about her." It was safer ground. Something he could, and would, face with his blade. That much, at least, he felt confident he could handle. A fight, win or lose, had a known outcome. Dipping into Asami's past... For some reason, right now that felt more scary than any battle he could face.
  23. Their dinner was rapidly dispersing, not long after it had started. Bladen wasn't overly hungry, thanks to the lunch he'd had with Asami, but still. But... The invite Asami had made, however reluctantly, hung out in the air between the two of them. A choice. Take her up on the offer, learn more about her, about her past, about the strange land across the ocean where this threat had originated. Or refuse, let her have her privacy and take the time to finish his dinner, maybe talk to some others in the group. It seemed so easy at first. She had made it clear at points that she didn't want to talk about her past. Whatever was motivating her now didn't make all of that talk null, did it? And then... She asked again. With less hesitation this time. Maybe he was being dumb, maybe she would regret this tomorrow, maybe there were things to be discussed that he would regret learning. But as she looked back at him, he found himself pushing away from the table and following her, almost without realizing that he'd made his decision. So long as you're sure you want me, I'll go wherever you ask...
  24. That was... a lot. An enemy that could turn people into an oni, something Bladen still only had one data point to work off of, was the head of a cult, and apparently had landed here in his homeland. It seemed like the method of transformation was some sort of alcohol that could also keep their new acquaintance in check, whatever that meant. None of this sounded like good news to Bladen, and it was made even less good when Asami made it the Hero's problem. Because that meant it was his problem too. He still wasn't even really sure why he was a part of this group, though Asami was making a pretty good case for sticking around, but adding in a cultist that had apparently destroyed an entire kingdom by herself? "Ugh..." He frowned down at his plate, his appetite gone. It wasn't fair that this was being shoved on their group. ... Shoved on the Hero. Not that she deserved fairness, not after what she'd done, but still. This sounded like a messy history transplanted here and now Asami was just dumping it into the Hero's lap. Which meant it was being shoved in all of their laps. And of course Asami had only hinted at her past with all of this. Being mysterious was her thing after all. He couldn't even get anything interesting out of this new task. It wasn't like learning that Asami didn't want to talk about her past was especially new.... Things had been so simple just a few weeks ago... Maybe the freedom he'd found in leaving his village wasn't worth all this headache... Warm hands rubbing his back... An arm wrapped around his... Companions found in a dragon, a kitsune, and others... And even the tears of the Hero... No... He couldn't start regretting his choices now. He'd made his mind up when he followed his dad and the other warriors. They hadn't backed down even when their lives were on the line. He couldn't give up just because of some unexpected work being placed in front of him. He had answers he needed to find. There was no way to go but forward.
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