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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 12:07 pm 
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Ikkitousen
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:04 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Liminality
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“Wait a second and you'll settle down
I'm just waiting till you really let your guard down”


-Slipknot “Virus of Life”


It didn't seem to matter how fast or how far she ran away from the shadows; they always caught up behind her, ripping, tearing and licking at her ankles like bladed flames, like hunting hounds closing in on their prey and waiting for her to make one fatal error so they could devour her. Panic stricken and with her blood and heart pounding in her ears, her footsteps rang out in the abandoned stretch of unfamiliar labyrinth-like alleyways that never ended and always threw her into the path of a dead end. Her lungs burned with the lack of air, chest tightening and the cramp in her side growing, spreading out from the left and arching upwards to stab fingers of agony into her muscles. She had to keep running, couldn't stop, wouldn't look back for fear of what she'd see behind her; for fear that if she looked behind her that he would be there waiting to devour her, never to release or allow her escape as she had before.

As she continued to try even now.

A street lamp, like the one in a post card she'd bought in a bookstore that represented a road in London, England, flickered on a head against a wall to offer her salvation from the shadows closing in on her. Exposed, yet secure in her belief that the light itself would save her, the girl raced for it the way an animal of prey with a fleeting shard of hope that it would escape the predator would flee. She could hear it getting closer, chills racing down her spine as the howls from hell mocked her with their laughter, hands reaching and grasping for her legs and ankles to knock her down for the predator to devour and destroy. Something was coming and she didn't dare look behind her to confirm whether or not it was who she feared. She stopped and whirled around to face the shadows behind her, panicked defiance on her face as she looked feverishly for the nightmare following her. Where was he? Why hadn't he shown himself yet? Why did he keep toying with her like this?

Why wouldn't he leave her alone?!

Nothing. Not even the laughter and sounds of things scraping toward her were audible; she was all alone in the middle of the most exposed area in this hellish nightmare. Everywhere except the ten feet radius around her was drenched, rain falling all around her and sending a heated copper smell into the air that made her want to gag. She knew that scent all too well; the only thing worse than being stuck in this world was being stuck in it with not only him following her, but the woman she could have sworn she had pleaded to find rest and peace in the afterlife bringing that field back to her at the same time. Frustration and unease took hold of her as she waited, the sound of the bloody rain almost soothing in a disturbingly normal manner as the weather moved around where she stood, and looked almost frantically for any sign of life besides her own. Shifting a little, she whirled around once again to look for him, for her, for anyone around to be there.

In the middle of the light was where she kept herself; being in the middle meant safety, meant that nothing would reach her here that was weak against the light that she nearly cried after spotting. Why had he suddenly abandoned the chase? Had... had Ko suddenly shown up to defeat and beat him back to the abyss itself? Or had someone caught him on his way into the Hideout and annihilated him on the spot before he could even take a physical step in her direction? Hope began to bloom within her heart and mind, light beginning to return to the haunted, shadowed eyes as her posture moved from cowering, defensive and hunched in an attempt to protect herself to being straighter, almost incredulous as the rain stopped around her and the bloody steam from the cobblestones faded completely. Tears of joy, of gratitude rose in her eyes and threatened to fall as she smiled honestly for the first time in a long, long while. The light had been her salvation, someone had been looking out for her, to protect her and she only wished she knew who they were so they could thank them properly.

A presence behind her went unnoticed, hands stretching over and above her shoulder with the palms facing her cheeks as the figure loomed over her. A slow, deliberate smile formed on his face, tongue ran along the top row of teeth and slicked his upper lip in anticipation as he waited for the perfect opportunity to spring the trap. So naive, so easily fooled and led into the illusion that she was safe and secure in something so inane as a circle of light that he almost pitied her.

Almost.

All too easy to catch his prey when the prey made itself so easy to figure out; so easy to read that it was laughable that she even attempted to escape anymore. He could predict her next action even before she would realize what she needed to do, so predictable was she that it was more of a game of cat and mouse. Only, the mouse still didn't realize the cat had it by the tail the entire time and humored it. His hands descended, cupping her cheeks almost lovingly and stroked the shell of her ears with his thumbs as he tilted her head back to look up at him. Watched as her eyes grew large, her breath caught in a sob and stuck in her throat, and the way her face went gray beneath his touch.

“Do you know what you are little girl?”

Pupils shrank to pinpricks, shadows from the light absorbed into the face and eyes of the man staring down at her. No, this wasn't a man; this was some sort of, of demon sent from the afterlife to plague and haunt those around her and to make her suffer. He would take everything and then take her life slowly, watching her die a slow, miserable and more likely than not painful death at his hands. Her lips parted, a shrill breath whistling through her mouth as she inhaled, the air somehow thicker, heavier somehow than usual before she slammed her eyes closed and let loose a scream of terror that she couldn't even believe could come from her lungs. High, shrill and with the kind of force that ripped her vocal cords and her throat raw and bleeding, the scream continued on and on and on, not stopping until black spots danced in her eyes and the blood drained from her head, threatening to make her pass out and leave her at his mercy.

Fear permeated the entire area and his smile grew, eyes indistinguishable from pupil and iris as he absorbed the fear, the flavor of it and let it fill him, let it expand and revitalize his strength back to how it was. She was trying to fight him, sobbing as she attempted to pry the death grip he had on her face off, trying to bite, scratch and everything she could to remove his being from her. Bruises formed beneath his fingers as he dug his nails into her flesh, blood welling up and trickling beneath his fingertips as the broken flesh gave into the pressure. Slight surprise caught him in mid-breath, curiosity replacing the urge to finish his feed from her as he watched the crimson flow down the ash pale flesh, through and over his fingers and to hit the ground or drip down her throat and body.

Blood.

Terror that was purer than any he'd tasted before, how she writhed beneath his grasp and the way the scarlet liquid hit the ground without disappearing as was the norm for the players....

She knew the moment he'd figured it out, fear and the sense of impending pain sending her almost outside of her body as he threw back his head and let loose a roar of laughter that had haunted her day in and day out wherever she went. The sound surrounded and echoed just as the streetlight flickered, the chorus of hell's laughter shrieked into the air to join with his and the light completely vanishing from the-

Choking on her own bile with tears streaming in a heated, constant rush down her cheeks, Sekai thrashed and fought violently with an enemy that wasn't there. Her actions threw her out of the bed, jarring the small body against the ground to snap her awake after the terror and agony filled scream ripped itself from her throat. Her legs and most of her upper body had been restrained by the blanket and sheets she'd twisted around herself in the throes of her nightmare as she struggled, panic settling in as thoughts of being captured, of being found continued to race through her blood, to free herself from the confines. Exhausted by the fight not even a few minutes later, she curled her knees to her chest and sobbed brokenly, throat raw and the taste of copper and iron in her mouth from the screaming all through the dream.

There was no telling how long she had stayed there, weeping as if her very existence and soul pained her, like someone broke the news that everything that had happened in the last two years was all her fault. Shaking madly, barely able to get herself functioning enough to get her arms wiggled free and then remove the twisted bed stuffs from her legs, Sekai near crawled to where someone had tossed a trash bin, likely decorative when placed there for the time being, and barely managed to grasp the edges before she emptied the contents of her stomach. Choking on the sour taste and bursting into humiliated sobs after, the white haired girl stayed their, damn near curling around the bin as she tried to ease the gnawing sickness in her stomach and wished desperately for the strength to resist dumping every organ in her body into the trash via her mouth.

Someone needed to be there, someone, almost anyone; she just needed the comfort of someone's presence nearby. Someone who's strength she could draw off of until she could stop shaking and the chill that permeated her flesh and bone would leave.

Until she wasn't scared to be alone anymore.

Shakily getting to her feet, the trash bin set back right where it was, the pale girl braced herself and leaned heavily against the wall for support to make her way through the Hideout. Desperation and loneliness ripped sharply through her heart and bones as she found the place empty, Sheena-san off...somewhere and she knew Raine-san would likely be somewhere in the training ground or with the group elsewhere. No Raquar anywhere, no Zan-san or Silverblade-san, no Nighthand-san... as scary as he was to look at sometimes, no poor tempered red headed Blademaster storming down the halls and yelling left and right about something she didn't understand... not even a Nulus-san to talk to.

No one was there and she had no idea where Kira had gone off to for the third time since she'd been at the Hub. A flash of insight, of a place she'd gone to before when she'd been so desperate for somewhere to go, some place she could calm herself and rest without worrying about being attacked, found by someone she didn't want to.

Some place that was sacred ground and holy in nature. There to comfort and to soothe.

That one place she'd gone to where she and Kira's bond had near exploded in intensity back when... when that whole thing had happened. She needed to go there, a cathedral was supposed to offer solace, warmth and comfort to those lost and suffering, wasn't it? Her legs shaky beneath her feet and a heart filled with residual terror and anxiety, Sekai stumbled her way through the Common Room and into the room that housed their Chaos Gate, warping to Delta server before she collapsed in front of the Chaos Gate. Desperation drove her to frantically checking the online list of the people she'd met and quested with's presences and availability.

No one was available.

She needed to get control over herself and go to that place. Safety and comfort and warmth would be waiting for her there and Sekai could practically feel the light covering her, washing away the fear from where she was just by picturing the cathedral in her mind. Bringing up her keyword history, she sorted through the names of places she'd been, places she would avoid for the rest of her life and places she didn't want to think about due to the pang inside her heart and finally found the one she was looking for and entered it in with barely a whisper loud enough to get the gate itself to respond. Rings fell around her in a soothing bell like chime, the noise gentle, almost soothing to her ears as she was whisked away.

Temporarily taken to a place composed of nothing but a white wave and silence. Suspended from everywhere but nowhere at once, nothing but the color of purity was around her, her heart and soul heavy as the feeling that she was tainting, polluting that sacred space of nothingness started to close in around her just as she was taken away once more. This time when she opened her eyes, the dusky landscape of a torn, desolate wasteland where only a holy place had remained untouched and whole ahead of her. The land around the cathedral was shrouded in mist, the bloody sun or moon, she couldn't tell which it was hanging heavily in the sky and cast a sunset tinge around everything in the area but, she knew it was war torn somehow. It had to be, nowhere should be this abandoned and forgotten feeling without some specific reason as to why it was that way.

This place could symbolize her state of mind and heart at this point in time; desolate, abandoned, ravaged and damaged...

Forgotten.

It took her a long while to manage to enter the blessed building, her feet weak and her will even more so as she forced herself to keep moving until she dropped like a heavy stone before the gate protecting the statue in front of her. What should she say? What could she say in this place where God was supposed to pause and listen when someone spoke or needed something? Sitting as only proper for a Japanese girl of her... despicable standard and upbringing was supposed to, she bowed deeply and let her head touch her hands in a show of utter submission and apology.

“God.... Goddesss... someone, whoever is listening. T-This insignificant and weak one before you begs forgiveness.”

Sekai choked, eyes squeezing shut as tightly as she could as her breath hitched, the ache in her chest becoming a burn that was unbearable to hold to herself.

“I-I know o-only people of f-f-faith should b-be he-here b-but... I-I just,”

Her resolve and strength completely left her, the girl's face crumbling into grief and despair as she buried her face in her hands and wept before the statue, before the eyes of God, Goddess, whoever was the presence people would go to in their time of need.

“I don't want to be alone!”

Heart wrenching sobs burst forth from her, the loneliness and the fear washing out of her in an endless sea of tears that tore her aggravated and burning throat to glisten in the sunlight like small gems. Everything poured from her in those incomprehensible words that came brokenly between fits of sobs as she shook her head and trembled beneath the silent eyes of God.

“This pathetic me, I hate her... I hate her!”

She didn't care what she was doing to her throat, only that the screams that burst out of her on occasion were words she'd struggled to lock away, to bury them so that they would never see the light of day and would never be spoken.

“Why?! Why God, why?!”

Her fists pounded against the marble tile, arms jarred and bones bruised by the impact against the hard stone. Anger roared up within her, unbridled rage coursing through her blood as she threw her head back, eyes closed and let another scream, this one primal and anguished in nature, rip from her throat before she choked and curled back up on the floor. It wasn't fair! What had she done to deserve all of this? Sure, there were always things she could have done differently but... what of the things outside of her control?

“Why...”

Tears fell once more, sparkling on her cheeks as she looked up pleadingly, searchingly up to where the golden light poured through like ambrosia for souls who were purer than her own tainted, diseased one was. So pure and so beautiful; why couldn't just a little of that holy light purify her and be kept within her heart to encourage her when she was so lost?

“Why did you abandon me?!”

It took an unknown amount of time before everything she'd needed to say had been said, had been cut from the bonds of the prison she'd made of her own heart and that she was able to lie there beneath the statue, lie within the warm, soft light and actually feel it's blessing and comfort start to touch her heart and embrace her. That soft amber light could be seen even when she had her eyes closed, a sense of quiet regret brushed against her heart, as if the cathedral understood and gave her the acknowledgment of her trials and difficulties that she hadn't felt before. This light understood what had been sacrificed; with and without her consent and knowledge, letting her know that it was not completely in vain.

Just as she'd decided to try and get a little more sleep, perhaps God or the Angels who may be watching over the sacred place would protect her from the shadows of terror that plagued her dreams, voices raised in agitation over some kind of disagreement floated in through the permanently cracked open door leading into the building itself.

“--supremely selfish by coveting such a prize from the eyes of the Council-”

“--give three Goblin asses about the Council. Sekai isn't going anywhere and you ain't doing sh-”

She scrambled to her feet, eyes confused and heart pounding in her chest as Kira walked through the door with a woman dressed so exotically that she could scarcely believe her eyes. Long twilight blue-violet hair had cream colored flowers tucked beside each ear, gold tear drops hung delicately from her ears as the vibrant moonlit water blue eyes sparkled in fury at the taller woman beside her. Crimson and cream were her garments, golden vines around her wrists and ankles and the delicate bells on her skirt and moved with her as she and Kira continued their heated debate. Perfume filtered the slightly dusty scent of the cathedral and the salt of her tears, something that hinted of exotic promises and floral seduction wrapped around her in the breeze that followed the force of their entry. That woman was absolutely breathtaking.... and here she was, sick in more than one way, sickening in a few others and utterly plain and unremarkable in comparison.

No wonder Kira was sneaking away to see this woman; with someone like her, how could... how could she even possibly compare?

Those beautiful eyes landed squarely on her, one gold decorated arm reaching out to halt the Long Arm Sekai was so familiar with in her tirade and to physically stop her from moving any further. For a long moment, Kira took the liberty to liberally cursing and insulting the woman beside her for her nerve to just pull a stunt like that while she was talking while said woman's eyes caught and held her own. Something within her reacted, wanted her to go down on one knee and kneel before this important person before her and pay her respects in the proper manner. Frozen in place, she could only stare back until the woman blinked and turned her head to Kira's glaring form to speak in a voice that reminded Sekai of some capable of supporting herself and whoever else was in need of support and protection. A voice of power and of strength unmatched.... of what she knew someone with true and pure heart and spirit.

Someone who was her superior and her opposite in all ways.

“Krake must be granting fortune upon me Kirayne; is this not the girl you are so eager to keep me from meeting?”

Kira's head whipped around, staring directly at Sekai with a kind of... fear that the Archer had never seen in the AI's eyes before. Lost for words and unable to say anything at the shock of seeing the tear swollen and reddened eyes and the flushed, confused and hurt expression in her little one's face, the silver haired woman looked helplessly over to the woman watching the girl with practical interest and calm patience for who would speak first. Shaking and with another kind of emotion all together cracking her voice, Sekai broke the tense and awkward silence around the area.

“W-What are you doing here,”

Anxious, dread filled tawny eyes glanced over to the unnamed woman beside her friend and ally before returning back to the amber eyes of Kira.

“and who is she?”

_________________
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Name: Sekai
Level: 54
EXP: 0000/1000
Class: Archer
Clan: Army of Darkness
HP: 835
SP: 347

Currently Equipped:

Einherjar: Kira, December, Zorya

Head: Bat Earrings (Ola Repth 40, Rip Maen 40)
Body: Saint Cross (Rue Zot 10, RaJuk Zot 30)
Arm: Protect Ring (Ap Vorma 15, MeJuk Kruz 20)
Leg: Ninja Anklet (BiVak Rom 20, GiGan Zot 30)
Add-Ons: Forestlore, Wood Magic (permanently raised Wood Offense/Defense by +3 total)

Wishlist: Levels, Summon: Wood, Archer Weapons, Light Armor


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 2:44 pm 
Offline
Ikkitousen
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:04 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Liminality
[Chapter 2: Patroiophobia]

“ I remember what they taught to me
Remember condescending talk of who I ought to be”


Linkin Park “Lying From You”


Mouth and throat drier than the old bastard and hags that ruled the Council, it took everything Kira had in her at the time being in terms of will and strength not to attempt to destroy Rohana on the spot, grab her little one and take off to figure out some way, without going to Ciar, to wipe the meeting and this incident from the younger girl's mind permanently. Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit; this wasn't going to be pretty and that smug Juk bitch knew it by that odd look in her eyes. The entire argument had been started in the first place by said bitch because of the small detail Kira'd been leaving out on the occasion she felt like sharing some of her past with Sekai. Oh sure, her little one knew that she'd served Merrows at some point, though she'd assured the girl that there'd be no more clerical work of any sort from then on other than an exasperated prayer every so often.

It was the Council and the Courts that she'd neglected to mention.

Sure Sekai had been suspicious and even a little bewildered at the violently negative reaction she had to getting dressed up in frippery and finery but had written it off as against her tomboyish and rowdy, rough-and-tumble behavior and attitude. The urge to start pacing back and forth was almost overwhelming, anything to get her blood moving and, in addition to blood moving, her brain back to functioning so she could try and come up with some bullshit excuse before something bad happ-

“I am Krake's High Priestess dear Sister, please call me Rohana. I have been rather... curious about you.”

The midnight gaze slid from Sekai to the frozen form beside her and back as a smile touched her lips.

“Though Kirayne here has done nothing to quell the curiosity that the rest of my little Sisters and my Sisters themselves have. Especially when it comes to the one who's managed to not only somehow cross some unusual border but as also managed to keep the Da-”

Kira snapped into action, hand clamping down over Rohana's mouth as a rather unsettlingly cold and violent expression masked the usually good natured, if a little ornery, AI's eyes. Her tone was biting and the threat clear in her voice as she spoke.

“Finish that sentence and I'll gut you where you stand and make you into an example for the Elders and the damn Council; do you understand?”

The sound of metal escaping the sheath didn't slip past Kira's focus, the amber eyed woman jumping back as the whistle of a steel blade sliced through where her elbow had been, the twin cutlasses in Rohana's hands trailing an emerald light behind them as she settled into a defensive stance. Kira's spear formed in her hand as well, the blade trailing sapphire light as she slipped into her own battle prepared pose as well. There was an air rising between the two of them that didn't promise anything particularly positive, especially with the contemplative, almost feral and cunning expression on the Twin Blade's face. Kira's eyes hardened, icing over as she rolled her shoulders in a practiced gesture of subtle warning of what she'd do once she let her blade find the woman's throat or heart.

Her own heart was trying to climb out her chest and escape, nausea thick and spiraling in her stomach as her eyes quickly flicked over to where Sekai stood, looking about as confused and lost as she had been when Rohana and the other five had shown up to drag her by force, binding her with manacles of power like some cheap, low ranking prisoner and threw her before the Council themselves. Enough power was being channeled to her right then to sustain a physical form and to form her weapon for protective purposes, though she didn't know when it would end and really didn't have the desire to use a second burst of self-stored power to end this bitch if she didn't have to.

“Don't make me kick your ass after what was technically a civil conversation and interaction.”

She warned the Juk Priestess in front of her, frustration lingering near the surface with a kind of pleading at the same time. Why the hell Rohana wanted her little one to get caught up in that ridiculous display of power, corruption, mind games and battle was beyond her; but her little one wouldn't survive it. Not even a day would go by before they'd break and destroy her from the inside out. Being a protector, a guardian wasn't a task she was used to doing; more suitable to playing assassin or being on the field and front lines with the rest of the Rue soldiers when the wars came and the usual games were played... that was where she was used to being. But... dammit, this was her little one she was talking about; small, little, naïve and trusting Sekai who needed someone to watch her every step of the way to make sure no one would take advantage or hurt her anymore.

“You are being rather difficult right now Kirayne, I'm sorely tempted to give this girl the knowledge of your true name and the meaning behind it; she is rather intelligent, if a little shy, I'm certain she would draw the connections.”

A jagged burst of ice ripped up through the sudden gouge in the marble where Rohana's form had only just stood not even a moment prior and quickly vanished in a shattering of blue-white shards and light a moment later. Kira's breathing was ragged, furious as her lips curled back from her teeth in warning as she slid her form lower to the ground and prepared to leap and strike at the precise moment that she saw an opening in Rohana's guard. She tossed her hair over her shoulders, curved blades gleaming wickedly as she stepped into a patch of sunlight and gave the Long Arm a rather scolding look that held a minor dose of exasperation within the dark eyes.

“That was utterly unnecessary Kirayne; as impatient and irritable as you are, someone as highly regarded as yourself should know better.”

“What's unnecessary is your thrice damned mouth flapping in the air like Merrows' bedclothes.”

She lunged forward with her spear, swinging down with as much weight as she could throw behind it in an attempt to cleave the smaller woman in two. One blade held her assault off, sending blue and green sparks of the warring blades as molten amber met icy navy in a locked visual war of dominance between the two of them. As the taller and physically stronger of the two, Kira lashed out with a foot aimed at the woman's wrist, successfully knocking one of the blades from Rohana's hands with a satisfying crack of the bone being broken and the screech of metal scratching at the marble as it spun away under one of the pews.

Startled by the pain of having her wrist broken and her guard dropping for a mere second, Rohana forced herself to dodge the spear- a wound opening up from the serrated edges and curved underside of the blade on her shoulder and arm- and lunged for her second blade. Enraged, she knew that Merrows' daughter was ruthless in combat and held a Warlord's tendency towards vicious cruelty when the limits were tested and the boundaries pushed a little too far. Eyes narrowing in fury, she bolted forward, her speed her playmate and to her advantage as she dodged one swipe of the blade and then another, close enough to draw a line of warning across her former sister's abdomen clear around to the small of her back. She'd have gone up and performed one of the skills of her class but, the crackling in the air and sudden temperature drop warning her against risking the gigantic burst of ice magic about to manifest.

“I will not allow this Rohana; do you understand?!”

Kira snarled at the woman about to dart past her, swiping angrily with her spear in warning, watching as one of the fragrant flowers that adorned the woman's hair dropped to the ground and lie there. She'd learned to despise the scent of a camellia; the perfume of a scheming, underhanded bitch who sought only for her own reclusive God's increase in territory and power. The two exchanged blows twice more, blood splattering against the pews and the ground as each blade bit into the other woman's flesh and their eyes locked again from across the room and where they both waited in tensed caution for the other to strike.

“This is something out of your control; the Council, and your Sisters, thought you dea-”

Rohana panted, her low, musical voice tinged with anger and... was that some kind of hurt beneath the harsh tone? as her grip on her blade tightened.

“And that was the truth! Shit happened that I don't have to explain to the Council of bastards-”

She fired back in retaliation, knuckles whitening on the pole and her voice filled with an almost defiant pleading as Rohana interrupted her once more.

“At the very least let Ciar know that you weren't dead!”

What had happened to the quiet, warm sanctuary?

Sekai thought to herself, held in place by fright and confusion as Rohana-san had directly attempted to communicate and introduce herself and Kira's near furious interruption that had led to a full scale miniature war over something she didn't understand. Who was this Council that Kira's voice spoke so viciously against and... why did Rohana-san refer to the both of them as 'sisters'? Who was Ciar in the first place and why was she so important that Kira should have let her know that she hadn't died?

What was it that Kira wouldn't allow?

A tightening in her chest along with a dark whisper along her mind informed her that Ciar was more likely than not Kira's ex-lover; not the crazy, obsessed man who'd been destroyed back in Δ: Nameless Hot-Blooded Feeling. How... how many lovers had Kira been with anyway? Her gut clenched in emotionally caused nausea at the thought of the AI in the nude and in the middle of-

She shook her head frantically to clear the images from her mind and her soul for the time being. There would be questions for her, of that there was no doubt, but this wasn't the time for her to go waltzing up as if she had any right and demand to know if this Ciar-san was an ex-lover or if she were perhaps a relative of some sort to the woman... she really knew nothing of. It was a painful realization to make at such an inappropriate time, Sekai thought with a small, barely audible choked sound that escaped without her notice, but... it was true.

She knew nothing of Kira's past, of who the AI had been before that hacker had nearly destroyed her forever and had done something awful before doing the same thing to Torvald-san. Desperation clouded her heart and judgment as she bolted out between the two of them, trying frantically to figure out a way to keep the two from fighting with each other any more than they had to and pleaded with Kira herself to end it. Maybe she could break through, get her to open up to her and tell her about these people who came to see her, why she didn't tell this Ciar-san her un-death and where she'd been.

And... maybe in return... she'd get an answer from Rohana-san about why she was here and why she had such a curious interest in someone so unremarkable such as herself.

“Please stop!”

Tawny eyes begged the two to cease their antics and their fighting as she continued, every drop of pleading in her voice available without throwing herself prostrate on her knees before them in typical and very dramatic physical display of, well, what she was trying to get them to do verbally.

“This place is supposed to be sacred and peaceful; a place where those troubled go to ease their hearts. Please don't destroy that with violence that isn't needed! There is a way to talk this out, truly, there must be!”

Kira jerked visibly at the pleading in the younger girl's voice, throat visibly working against the words she was so tempted to spit out at both her and Rohana, as she tightened her grip on her spear for a long moment before letting it fade away and glaring at the Juk Priestess herself in silent demand. Understanding the message in the hostile look, Rohana too let her weapons disappear and rubbed her wrist thoughtfully, green light racing from her palm to heal the damaged limb before she looked from Sekai to Kira and back again.

“Since you asked in a proper and polite manner, I shall grant you that particular request without charge of my own. Kirayne, I wish to be able to get to know the one I'm supposed to; even we did not deny you the ability to train those who held a split love for each God and Goddess when we had one born to our ranks. I wish of you to bestow the same courtesy.”

Kira snarled in response, hand twitching like she was about to summon her weapon once more and deal with Rohana once again, the motion and eventual action halted by the same look Sekai'd given her the first time. Dammit, she thought, turning her head to face away from the both of them and glared death at the stained glass panels inside the cathedral. What the hell had she done to deserve this?! All that she'd done was go out to tell Rohana to go fuck herself with those blades of her, and ask Jadin to help her fit them in each orifice, and she'd not only gotten ganged up on, but now her little one knew something bigger was up.

Not to mention the Council wanting to see the girl who'd been her host from damn near the beginning since her 'untimely' demise.

The thought of bringing her little one before the Council was bitter in her throat, though not as vile as the acrid, sour taste rising from her stomach at the very real command she'd received from her mother to bring Sekai before her so that she could thank the girl for keeping her wayward daughter alive as long as she had. Probably wanted to embarrass and belittle her for having to rely on a pathetic human for so long before the Courts and everything before rewarding the girl in some insulting manner before sending her away. By sending her away, it meant forever; not seeing Sekai again because she'd likely be on a literal chain on the woman's wrist until she was able to be trusted again to leave her side.

Fuck that shit, she wasn't going anywhere and there was no way in hell she'd let Sekai go meet that bitch either.

“I don't trust you or the others not to sneak around behind my fucking back like you did earlier. Protocol and courtesy be fucked.”

She spat at Rohana in response, venom dripping from her words as she waited for Rohana's next action or choice of words. Much to her surprise, Sekai was the one who spoke up next, though rather than upset, her voice had dropped dangerously low, tone quiet and unsure as she responded to the tension in the air.

“I... I just,”

Oh hell.

Kira groaned, rubbing a calloused hand over her face in agitation before taking a deep breath and, in a voice as calm and reassuring as she could muster at this particular moment, proceeded to explain a little of what was going on to the girl... and who she was pissed at.

Though, Sekai did have some explaining to do about why she was here and not safe back at the Hideout where she could find her easily.

Where no one else could find her.

“Little one, I'm not pissed at you, though you 'n me're going to have a serious talk when I get rid of this pain in the ass on our way back to where I left you.”

At the confused, questioning look in the Archer's eyes, she sighed and rolled her eyes. Rohana and Ciar were pains in the ass when it came to this stupid 'no lying' rule.

“Rohana here's an old....”

Rohana chose to interpret that as a sign she should begin her own explanation, neatly cutting Kira off and proceeding with her own plans to get the girl to request from Kira that she be allowed to train under someone who knew the Juk element very well.

“Friend. She and I usually worked the battlefields against Jadin and Cassiel whenever we had a chance, though more effort has been spent on Ciar in the last two wars we've had between us. However,”

She held a hand to stave off the questions Sekai looked as if she were about to ask... and the look on Kira's face that, quite simply, had the rather obvious message of 'speak wrong and you die' practically screaming towards her.

“There have been disagreements and, in the while before she became acquaintances and more with you, young Sister, had quite a bit of a falling out with her mother, and the curren-”

A chilled wind raced through the open door and whipped around the snarling woman in blue and gold as a burst of spiked ice shattered several of the pews behind her. Sighing with the temperament, she waited for Kira's verbal threat to come before she would continue.

“Finish that sentence and you die!”

She gave Sekai a rather exasperated roll of her eyes, as if to say, 'see what I have to put up with?' that, in some amusing way, the girl herself seemed to understand very well. Well then, the girl must have a better understanding and connection to the fiery tempered little ice princess than she'd once thought and been made to understand. Even more interesting than she'd initially thought to begin with.

“Honestly Kira, you're acting more and more like Jadin than ever, do recall which Priestess you are, will you? It is a little embarrassing to see Rue act so much like Vak.”

Apparently that was an effective enough comment to send the woman spluttering in protest and denial about the matter. Once satisfied, and somewhat over her amusement, Rohana gave a light cough into one hand, smiled and continued.

“As I was saying. Kirayne had a bit of a falling out with her mother and, as a result, took her leave from her post and for the most part, her stations of responsibility in return. After a little while, all contact suddenly ceased and we had one of the Rue handmaidens, each High Priestess has two who serve her eternally unless destroyed forever as their right and left hands, come to the meeting the other five were having and announce, in tears, that the contact was gone.”

Kira flinched. Shit. Onida... she wondered why Onida had been chosen rather than Maren to succeed her when Garvix's whip had destroyed her and nearly left her for dead. She'd only managed to find an odd light when she'd been able to because of the surge of energy that had thrown her completely away from where, well, where all went when they were destroyed forever and tossed her directly into a place where the light had embraced, held and examined her before quite frankly forgetting all about her. That safe place had been a true gift from the Goddess, she'd sworn that much and still did on it, and in return, when fear began to lock the girl down, she'd sent a burst of anger through and let her primal instincts remove the fear to turn the control of the blades to her.

At least, until that fucker'd really put the strain and fear into her with one twenty to thirty minute interaction.

No wonder Onida looked so overjoyed to see me alive; she's... not the type who desires to rule or to lead. She was happier just to follow and serve.

But she couldn't return. Not to how she was, not to what she was.

Because her little one had done enough damage to the old Kirayne to make her damn near nonexistent.

The flinch hadn't gone unnoticed by the other two in the room, Rohana's eyes particularly sharpening a little at the sight as she tucked the reaction away for later examination and dissection. The Juk Priestess fiddled with the flowers bunched at her right hip and sighed a little, looking around the eerie area where no AI felt particularly safe but didn't feel particularly unwelcome either before continuing. Perhaps it truly was a holy place for someone; if it soothed whatever darkness troubled her little Sister's soul and heart, well then, she could stomach it for a little while longer.

Though she would put in a request to Ciar to check what kind of darkness seemed to trouble the girl.

“It was... a blow to all of us, though Jadin took it the hardest next to Ciar; the latter didn't show it as much as the former I must say.”

Even Rohana seemed to be troubled with that particular memory.

“We trained Onida as quickly and efficiently as possible... though the girl has the potential and then some when it comes to power,”

“She doesn't have the will or the drive to truly be what's needed in a war.”

Kira finished flatly, weariness in her voice as she rubbed a hand once more over her temples and the back of her neck. This wasn't good news and she didn't like where this was leading.... much less the questions she'd be facing from Sekai here once Rohana finally shut the hell up and went away for the good remainder of the time. Whatever, what was done was done; she couldn't, wouldn't be the High Priestess anymore.

Hell if she knew that she possessed the cruelty and drive needed anymore either.

“What do you want with my little one Rohana? I know you're not here to tell stories and then take a bow, that's more Cassiel and Ciar's line of work.”

Rohana took a bow to spite Kira, a particularly lovely chuckle escaping from both her lips and from Kira's own despite herself, and rose again to let her gaze settle quite interestedly on the pale, green garbed girl between Kirayne and herself.

“To be honestly and terribly short but to the point; I want to put her through one of my tests and, should she pass, I desire the opportunity to train here where you cannot help her. You know which area I am referring to as well Kirayne; had she been of your Wave....”

Kira sighed heavily and rubbed her eyes for the fourth time with her palm, looking distinctly older and more tired than she'd been seen as before as she looked from Sekai to Rohana and back again before finally speaking up.

“You and I need to have another talk before I make a decision on that one Rohana.”

Sekai looked rather indignant, ready to interject between the two's conversation despite how rude it was in order to assert her own opinion that they should be consulting her in this matter, not each other, until Kira spoke up again.

“Before that though, I'll talk to her first. She's probably got a shit ton of questions about the test and shit. I'll deal with that and with her before I come to talk to you, sound fair?”

“Fair is a rather human way of putting a question and option together but, yes. It is an acceptable term.”

Rohana replied rather blithely, picking up the flower that had been removed in combat and examining the creamy blossom with a bit of mild interest before walking over to Sekai and pausing in front of her with a warm smile on her face.

“I am most sorry we didn't get a chance to speak further today, but, as per Kirayne's request, I shall let her explain things to you. That which is not properly explained, however,”

Dark eyes settled sternly on the weary ex-Priestess' form.

“Will in no way not be properly explained if seen in the training or conversation itself. I assure you that much little Sister.”

She reached over and tucked the blossom behind one of the girl's ears, smiling at her and clapping her hands once in front of her in delight at the positively adorable sight the flower and the girl made together and pinched the girl's cheek when she could no longer contain her glee.

“You truly are an adorable little thing, all big gentle eyes and finely structured face with a small little body. I will enjoy seeing what you are capable of in training and if that spirit of yours manages to match what houses it. I will come for you myself little Sister, you are a bit too much of a prize to let my handmaidens get to know before I do.”

She turned to Kira and walked towards her, pausing a moment in front of the tired looking woman and embraced her, much to the shock and dismay of both Sekai and Kira herself, before looking up sternly at her and pinching her cheek firmly.

You on the other hand. I am going to let Ciar know you live and do expect a visit from her, likely one from Jadin and Taima as well. Cassiel sends her greetings and will likely attend the training as wel-”

A startled, panicked yelp from Kira at the name 'Cassiel' sent Sekai jumping about a foot into the air in surprise, the AI frantically looking around for any sign of the woman before glaring slightly at the woman in front of her- and still pinching her goddamn cheek.

“What the hell is Cassiel going to be doing there?!”

Rohana wordlessly rolled her eyes and pointed to the leather that wrapped around the upper half of Sekai's body and the dusky golden-brown that trimmed the hip armor and gloves.... and to the girl's eyes.

“Some of her belongs to Cassiel as well, though most of her is mine. I do admit in a most shameless manner that I am pleased most of her belongs to myself. Anyway, my time here is done, the two of you must talk and arrange things. You know how to reach me Kirayne and you had better treat yourself, and this lovely little darling,”

Even as Kira gave a mix between a snarl and a hiss at Rohana, the woman ignored her and blew a small kiss to the rather taken-a-back girl with white hair-and matching flower accessory now- before finishing what she was saying.

“well or else I will be back here and be most displeased.”

Rohana left, sweeping out the door with a merry, delighted and much satisfied laugh as Kira groaned and proceeded to beat her head into one of the walls of the cathedral several times with varying degrees of intensity. After the... sixth to twelfth head into the wall cycle, Sekai hurried over and put her hand between the stone and Kira's head, the AI's flesh coming into contact with hers for a moment as Kira looked a bit surprised, going cross eyed to see what was holding her head from smacking into the wall before she looked at the worried girl full of questions in front of her.

“....can I just do it a few more times to make it an even number? It's kind of an obsessive habit at this point.”

Sekai seemed to consider it for a moment before nodding a little and removing her hand from Kira's forehead and stepping back. Kira's head beat into the wall three more times, each smack harder than the next until she collapsed on to one of the broken pews leaning to the left and looked at Sekai with a raised eyebrow and a currently bloodied forehead from where her skin split from the impact.

“I'm not unconscious, right?”

Her little one shook her head rather fast, confirming her lack of unconscious state as she groaned and let her head fall back and hang over the pew itself. This was going to suck, so much for Plan A of beating herself stupid so that she wouldn't have to explain anything to her. What on earth was her little one going to ask first anyways?

“....I'll make you a deal; one question for now and then I'll answer the rest back when we go to the Hideout. You're exhausted- don't shake your head at me little one, you had a nightmare again, I can tell and I want to hear about it later on- and I want some rest as well. Now ask your question.”

There was a long stretch of silence, Kira's eyes closed of their own accord as she sighed a little. She didn't much care for the contrary feel of this place; like she was being observed by some guardian of the place but being protected at the same time but, hell, it's where she'd gone in her own past life time to get some serious work done when it came to thinking. And anything that made her little one feel safe... well, it couldn't be all that bad in the scheme of things.

“What...um,”

Sekai fiddled a moment with something on her hakama, fingers tightening in the fabric as she bit her lip and tried to find the words that would ask the right question without getting a bad response from the AI in front of her.

“What happened between you and your mother?”

She asked, voice small and timid, filled with caution and probably not a little anxiety that she'd said or asked the wrong question.

Kira's eyes stayed closed, her body tensing up as she let out a long, tired and bone weary sigh of frustration. She actually should have guessed that her little one would have asked such a difficult and complicated question all things considered. Hell, if only Sekai knew just how much she related to her about the bitch of a mother thing.

“I'm sorry... I asked the wrong question... didn't I?”

Sekai sounded miserable, her voice quiet in the way that had Kira want to both grab her and tell her it was okay... and to shake the ever living daylights out of her and yell at her to be a little more goddamn assertive in her questions and attempts at communication.

With a long suffering sigh of... well, several things in one, Kira cracked open one amber eye and stared right at the girl staring down in shame at her feet, shoulders hunched and ready for some kind of retaliation that'd be some kind of painful later on.

“My mother... and I don't get along to say in the least. She has her way of doing things and I have mine; they don't match up in the least at many, if any, points at all.”

Sekai nodded a little, her eyes still downcast as she waited quietly for Kira to continue.

“She wants me to take her place and to rule as she and those she's ruled over are used to. I'm not like her; sure I like to tease and I act like I'm amorous as all hell but,”

Kira's voice trailed off for a moment, frustration in her tone as she closed her eyes and scowled a little at memory floating through her mind.

“Making alliance contracts to the person who gives you the most expensive shit or the prettiest bauble... or even who the best fuck is in between the sheets,”

She shook her head.

“that ain't me. That ain't how I work or how I want to work. Even if I had any desire to rule, it wouldn't be in her way. And she hates that I defy her and oppose her at every turn when the subject's brought up.”

Sekai watched Kira's face carefully, troubled by the random surge of emotion in the woman's voice and across her expression but... in a lot of ways, she understood, she really did understand what she was talking about.

“I was brought back when I was about... fourteen years old in human age from where I'd grown up only to be thrown into a restrictive society with rules, responsibility and all that wonderful shit all over the place. They tried to turn me into her,”

Amber eyes open and blazed furiously at the ceiling, her fists clenching tightly as she bared her teeth at the ceiling.

she tried to turn me into her, to make me into a fucking puppet she could control. It took me a long as hell time to realize it, damn near too late when I finally did though and that's when the fight happened and I left.”

A wry smile touched Kira's lips as she closed her eyes again, slouching lazily a bit in the pew to get comfortable despite the odd angle of the seat.

“I called her the whore of whores, let her know she could continue to let the alliances be signed and drip from between her legs but that I'd have no fuckin' part of it and never would. So, I stormed outta there and severed my title 'n shit like that to go start m'own life.”

She didn't bother to add the other words she and her mother had thrown at each other, the way she'd had her first 'ceremony' and the experiences and duties she'd been expected to perform every time a meeting with a foreign elemental representative and/or his/her son or daughter would show up. Fucking system and protocol, Kira scowled at herself, no, she wouldn't have her little one exposed to any of that if she could help it.

“...the thing that really pissed me off was me being in the room, right fucking there and have 'em discuss who I was going to be, what I was going to look, act and dress like. They had all these plans on who I was going to be and they didn't even fuckin' bother to ask my opinion of it all.”

Kira spoke up after a while, her own voice a little hushed and quiet, frustrated but weary and exhausted from everything that had happened during the entire day so far. All she wanted to do was sleep in one of those damn beds back at the Hideout for a little while and make sure nothing bothered her or her little one for that time. Speaking of her little one, she cracked an eye open, noticed the girl looking uncomfortable and lost, like she didn't know what to say or do after hearing that. Little shit always thought of someone else before herself, she thought with a bit of a mental rolling of her eyes before she whistled a short note to catch her attention and motioned over with one hand. Told her to come over with a crook of her finger and watched her approach nervously, looking like she wanted to offer some kind of words of comfort or reassurance but didn't know quite what to say.

“C'mere.”

Patting the seat next to her, she watched as Sekai offered only a little protest before trying to figure out how to angle herself so that she wouldn't be falling off the pew or leaning heavily on Kira herself.

“But it's broken.”

Kira helped the girl settle herself, lying against the angled side so that, much to Sekai's pink cheeked show of embarrassment and shyness, the small girl's head rested on her thigh- basically in her lap and had her looking directly up at Kira. Talk about your typical run of luck, both of them thought, one wryly and one in embarrassed and secret denial. For a long while, the two sat there in silence, looking at each other, Sekai's eyes seeming to roam a lot more and searching her face for something she didn't quite get as she herself noticed small changes in the girl's expressions and the way her eyes would move. After a while, Sekai looked over the statue and quietly yawned a little, reaching up to scratch her head and was beat to it by the AI's fingernails already at work at easing the itch. Kira ruffled the girl's hair, teasing her a little silently before massaging the girl's scalp with her fingertips to watch Sekai's eyes grow darker with sleep and her eyelids get heavier and heavier until they closed; and remained closed while her breathing deepened and evened out.

Letting out a carefully held breath, Kira looked over at the statue bathed in perpetual gold light and frowned a little, shaking her head and glanced down at Sekai's sleeping face, noting the worry and the effects of strain and stress taking their toll on her young face.

“So am I little one, so am I.”

She murmured softly, resignedly as she tucked a tendril of hair behind her ear and leaned down to let her lips brush softly, then linger against the girl's slightly parted ones for a long, stolen moment of peace. The light seemed to intensify, though Kira didn't notice in the least, eyes closed as they were with a pained expression on her face before she pulled herself back up and away from the intimate gesture. Thankful for the fact that her little one, once asleep, slept like the dead and shifted the girl, pulling her closer for more selfish, intimate contact as she pulled the girl practically on top of her and wrapped her arms around her. Both of them slept that way, feet resting against the ground and Sekai's head pillowed on Kira's shoulder, the older of the two of them knew the risks she took at being seen, at the girl waking up while she rested but chanced it for selfish reasons.

Because there wasn't much time left that she could do things like this and she had to make it count while she could.

_________________
Image

Name: Sekai
Level: 54
EXP: 0000/1000
Class: Archer
Clan: Army of Darkness
HP: 835
SP: 347

Currently Equipped:

Einherjar: Kira, December, Zorya

Head: Bat Earrings (Ola Repth 40, Rip Maen 40)
Body: Saint Cross (Rue Zot 10, RaJuk Zot 30)
Arm: Protect Ring (Ap Vorma 15, MeJuk Kruz 20)
Leg: Ninja Anklet (BiVak Rom 20, GiGan Zot 30)
Add-Ons: Forestlore, Wood Magic (permanently raised Wood Offense/Defense by +3 total)

Wishlist: Levels, Summon: Wood, Archer Weapons, Light Armor


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 11:32 am 
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Ikkitousen
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:04 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Liminality
[Chapter 3: Atychiphobia]

“Look into my eyes
You're killing me, killing me"


- 30 Seconds to Mars "The Kill"



Warmth and light gently teasing her eyelids roused the girl from the deeper layers of sleep, each veil in her mind unraveling little by little until the tawny eyes opened slowly. Blurry vision and sleep filled haze clouding her thoughts, for a moment she believed she was back in the spare bedroom in Mika's house. All just a dream, she thought dazedly, no one had been wounded, there were no such things as coma victims trapped inside of a game. No oppressing shadow bearing down on her from behind and certainly no one who'd sacrificed themselves to a personal, soul torturing hell embodied in the form of a crystal. A small, soft sigh escaped from her lips as she turned her head to slip back into slumber, away from the gentle golden light that illuminated the faded marble and stone walls around her and warmed the velvet fabric beneath her cheek.

Stone and marble walls.

Her eyes opened wide, hands beneath her as she pushed up into a semi-sitting position and looked around in mild panic. Where was sh-. Realization hit as Sekai looked around, blinking sleep and cobwebs from her mind before recognizing where she was; and what had happened in the untold number of hours prior to her slumber. Fragrant and nowhere near beginning to wilt or brown at the edges in the least, the white camellia fell on to the red padding in front of her, glowing softly in the light that filled the holy ground. Some part of her wanted to cry, disappointed that the temporary belief that the entire field that led to Tiral's noble but horrifying sacrifice and Raquar and her own decision to defend those they cared for that threw them into a coma wasn't just a terrible but wonderful dream. The other part of her quietly accepted this disappointment and placed it gently with the others in the long list of such shattered dreams and promises broken by reality that made up her life.

Such a depressing thing to realize once she sat there and thought about it.

“Kira?”

She could hear the timid hesitation in the inquiry as it echoed softly in the open space around her. Reaching for that place in her mind once again, her heart sank and another disappointment was added to the growing list as the knowledge that, once again, the suddenly elusive AI wasn't there and she wasn't responding to any attempt to contact her. Alone again, Sekai thought as she pushed herself into a sitting position and stared dejectedly at the marble floor for a little while. She frowned, looking at the pew she was on and then stood up quickly; someone had moved her during her rest from the broken one to one closer to the statue. Had... it been someone she was familiar with or...

Her heart froze, breath caught in her throat as she wrapped her arms around herself, shoulders slumping and her eyes widening in terror at the very idea of him coming anywhere near her while she'd been so vulnerable.

“Ahh, you're awake. Good, I can take you to where you need to be right now.”

Sekai jumped, startled by the unfamiliar voice, and whirled around, hunching her shoulders around her and body posture going purely defensive and self-protecting. She prepared herself for it to be anyone, anything at that since she didn't know what was and what wasn't possible in The World at this point... and suddenly found herself standing face to face with someone she hadn't expected to see at all in this world. Reddish-brown hair with a slight wave fell a little past her shoulders and the bangs fell into clear gray eyes and over the top of the wire framed glasses sitting upon the small nose. Hands clasped behind her back and the collar of the navy blue with one red stripe of red sailor uniform fluttering slightly in the light wind coming into the church and the knee length pleated skirt brushed against her body. With the embarrassingly... ample chest and the small curve of the hips leading to legs that were somewhat long for her small frame and the small shoulders, the woman in front of her gave a rather mischievous wink and imitated the shocked girl's current stance and expression.

Sekai was looking at herself as she was outside the game.

The look turned pouty, expression almost sultry in the motion as she sighed and shook her head at Sekai's frozen form. The voice wasn't hers, for that much she was eternally grateful, and spoke with a slightly wary but teasing edge as their eyes met and held.

“Ooh, don't tell me you're going to faint on me now! We haven't even been properly introduced to one another.”

“You're, me, I'm,”

Sekai stammered out, looking like she wanted to collapse where she stood or go curl up somewhere and try and change the dream that must be happening. The person who had her actual appearance's eyes had no pupils, she realized with surprise and stared, knowing deep down and ashamed at how very rude she was being with her gaze but, unable to help it nonetheless.

An AI who looked just like her. No, not just like; exactly down to nearly every last little detail. Sekai was afraid to ask her if she had a scar on her left side too and placed a careful hand against the side that had pained her so before she'd gone comatose. The woman giggled, a hand pressing in an innocent gesture that, somehow, didn't look half as much so as it should have been before she responded to the flabbergasted girl's incomplete thoughts.

“Hmm, maybe this was a little too much for you to handle. Should I change into something a little less disquieting?”

Dumbfounded, Sekai could only gape in wondrous surprise, or was it surprised wonderment, either way it was supposed to be said or described, it was amazing that her actual self seemed to blur and morphed into something a little less... surprising. About two or three inches taller than she was with an ash colored high necked knitted sweater and a long smoke colored skirt that brushed against dark brown boots with thick black hiking socks on her feet. She carried a rather... unusual satchel in both hands and beamed out at her from long brown bangs with eyes the same color as her skirt. Twirling around for Sekai's inspection, she bowed and looked up with a wink at the lost looking Archer and a cheerful smile.

“There! This is a little more fitting for our fateful encounter. My name is-”

“Cassiel; are you trying to steal one of my recruits? You know the written code against that; it's embedded in our very being not to steal those who have already been given a contract by another Priestess.”

The extraordinarily pretty woman with the scent of camellias was back, the flower suddenly back in Sekai's hair as Rohana smiled reassuringly at the nervous looking girl and returned her attention to the pouty woman beside her.

“If you keep that behavior up Cassiel, the Council of Elders will make an example out of you as the Elders of the Elders of the last Council made an example out of the First Rebel.”

She was pleasant, almost friendly and teasing about the warning, though there was something dangerous, predatory in the way the Twin Blade moved and watched the simply dressed woman in front of her. Sekai couldn't help but notice the subtle way that Rohana-san had placed herself rather strategically to prevent Cassiel-san from approaching without some sort of interference. The brown haired girl gave a shrug, coy and promising, and bowed in respect to the older Priestess.

“It isn't me who'll be called the Second Rebel Rohana, you and I both know this and know what must be done.”

Gray eyes landed on Sekai's small form, a slightly predatory hint in the sweetness of her smile, and peeked around the flower adorned skirt to speak directly to the Archer herself.

“It is something you should look into little cutie, after all, who knows what the Council will do to K-”

A crackling roar emerged from nowhere; flower petals, leaves and thorned branches the length of Sekai's arm raced through the cyclone that attacked Cassiel. She froze, watched as the brown hair was tossed and the flesh ripped through like nobody's business until the spell was destroyed. That... that was a level of power she'd never seen before... so horrifyingly destructive... and she had that element as one she favored. Blood dripped from the wounds, gray eyes gleaming in malice as she responded once more before beginning to leave.

“You'll be the Third Traitor if you protect her from knowing the truth; unless you cherish humans now Rohana.”

Marble twisted like it was made of water before a bone rattling groan warned of the spell being cast, several runes glowing large and bright where her feet stood behind Rohana's as the strange woman vanished. Cursing softly and wrapping both arms around Sekai's waist and hoisting her up into her arms, the midnight eyed woman leaped backwards from the spell, using the momentum from the spell to propel the both of them further away and landed with a skid on one knee. The spires of earth nearly reached half way to the ceiling before they faded, leaving jagged sections missing in the cathedral.

Gently letting Sekai down off of her shoulder, Rohana's eyes flashed nearly neon green in color for a moment, a sure sign of her temper ready to go off as she looked at the damage to the area and bowed her head a little in apology to the girl staring wide eyed and pale at the destruction.

“My apologies Little Sister. I'm afraid I cannot fight against what I am supposed to do when she speaks in such a manner.”

Maybe this Council had something to do with the way Kira was acting so strangely... so distant lately and so stressed out. Yes, that had to have been it and why would Cassiel hint otherwise than to let her know in a subtle way that someone she cared for needed help? Swallowing back her fear, Sekai tried to stop her hands from trembling as she gently removed Rohana's hand from where it was grasping her shoulder and looked up at the woman.

“We need to go then, don't you think?”

Something odd happened, Rohana's eyes flickered a little and a strangely blank expression and neutral tone of the soft, musical voice responded to her in return.

“I do apologize, I do not understand Little Sister, would you mind repeating that?”

Sekai blinked, slightly unnerved by the sudden formality and almost-

'Computerized? Alien? Take your pick; she's both and all three. So is Kira and you know it. She's not any different than they are, no matter what you say or choose to think.'

She flinched inside, that harsh, cruel realism snapping the part of her that cautiously believed that AI were their own people with their own souls' neck with all the sadistic glee of a cat snapping the neck of a mouse or biting the head off of a bird. Rohana was watching her almost expectantly, waiting for her to clarify what she had said before. Though, now that she thought of it, maybe it wasn't so much their racial difference than it was that, well, she had lapsed back into her habit of confusing people when she spoke.

“I...I'm sorry Rohana-san,”

She pointed toward the door where Cassiel had exited.

“We need to go see Kira, Cassiel-san... I think she was telling me that Kira needs help.”

Something flickered again, the stiffness receding as Rohana shook herself, as if she'd spaced out for a little while and nodded once. She wasn't pleased about something, what that something happened to be was beyond Sekai's knowledge but, all the girl could tell was by the way she seemed to look around and move around, that she was definitely displeased. Sekai followed along, unsure of how to break the silence as she was added into Rohana's party and warped clear back to Carmina Gadelica, a place she'd not had the opportunity to explore as of yet, and was whisked away with a few keywords she hadn't caught the name of before she could ask any questions.

A grand hallway greeted their entry, Sekai's eyes widening and suddenly feeling very glad that she had someone capable of strong spell casting and speed on her side as she cowered beneath the icy stares of the paintings that adorned the halls. Such lore in a game, she marveled to herself, it surely must have taken a very long, long time to find and create all of it in such detail. Rohana herself paused before one of the doors, frowning to herself as she tilted her head in her usual quiet way and straightened up immediately. Anger flashed in her eyes, a muttered “so that was her plan all along” unexplained as she turned to Sekai and placed sturdy, calloused hands on the girl's shoulders and looked the girl in the eye.

“Little Sister, regardless of what you may overhear from your place here, please do not move from this place. My protection will only go so far and if it is broken... I cannot guarantee your safety.”

She didn't bother waiting for an answer, skirts and hair whipping sharply behind her as she opened the door and strode in with her head held high and her eyes snapping fury and closed it behind her. Unseen by either of the women, a black tendril paused the door open enough to let the conversation, or fragments of it, drift through the crack. Arguments, loud, soft and in between echoed through the room and into the hall. Voices raised in anger, in protest and in defiance and defense reached her, forcing the girl to keep every fiber of her being from going in and interrupting when she heard a very familiar near scream of rage that usually accompanied some kind of physical blow being received. A rush of heat mixed with cold blasted out of the crack in the door, causing her to step away and shiver. Silence reigned for a few precious moments, Sekai daring to hope the discussion was done and over with; hopefully meaning that Rohana or, more favorably, Kira, would be coming through that door to leave this cold, eerie and soulless place. It was beautiful... but in the way painters and sculptors crafted images of pain, of suffering and apathy into something that didn't understand the emotions.

It took Kira's defiant snarl of something that made Sekai pale and gasp with horror to get the girl's blood moving again. About to reach for the door despite what she'd been requested to do in order to reprimand the AI for saying such a thing, a woman's voice within that room stopped her more effectively than if she'd been physically struck. It made the hair on the back of her neck stand on end as the chillingly bored and careless, like nothing mattered and was boring the hell out of her, tone of voice reminded her all too strongly of her mother.

“Asorain. While I am willing to be generous and actually waste my time praising a human for keeping your worthless existence stable until the High Priestesses found you-”

“That's Kirayne to the likes of you; you traitorous, self-serving, vindictive, open legged whor-”

A scream of outrage followed by the sound of flesh connecting against flesh ringing out in the room, murmurs of surprise and disappointment accompanied the second burst of mixed heat and cold stopped the conversations once again. Until that comfortingly furious voice raised the hope back in Sekai's heart and brutally slaughtered it less than thirty seconds later.

“My host ain't coming here bitch and that's that; get the fuck over it. She doesn't deserve the honor of seeing you and besides, I'd have been gone in half a season's time. No reason for you to meet her.”

I shall be the judge of that; you are still my Daughter-”

A derisive laugh that hurt Sekai to listen to more than a blade piercing her flesh.

“Is that what you're calling attempted brainwashing now?”

“-and as Protocol dictates, you will stop this foolishness and take your rightful place as Asorain at my side before I retire to the Council and you become Merrows!”

There was a command in that final word, something that had Sekai reeling back, clutching her head as something raced through her mind, flash-freezing until she felt it start to lash out towards that place where their connection, hers and Kira's, was the strongest and where they'd spent all their time connecting during sleep, during idle hours and during the fiercest, bloodiest and toughest battles they'd seen in each other's company. Pitifully, futilely she pushed back at the power attacking her, breath in bursts of white and her teeth biting through her lower lip from effort of trying to stop it in its tracks. Something wrapped around her efforts and supported her, black tendrils almost caressing around her until she could physically feel them.

Ani.

Trent.

Fear made her power stronger, bursts of forest green energy shooting through the black and into the death-pale blue that was being slowed down, resisted. The black energy increased as well as a physical pair of arms wrapped around her from behind and held her against a distinctly female body that was much taller than she was. A calm, soothing voice spoke in her ear, filled with urgency in her words as she opened herself to the bond she shared with Kira and offered the terrified girl her strength for the time being as well. After all, her nature was supposed to be conflicting and contrary to what the stereotype of her personal element usually represented.

As Darkness could Harm; so could Darkness Shield and Heal.

“If you truly want to keep that intriguing bond of yours with Kirayne, you must do as I say. Trust me, I am not your enemy.”

Long hair brushed against the bared skin as Sekai winced from fingernails digging sharply into her biceps, fear weakening her legs as she found herself being shoved forward and led towards the suddenly wide open door. Power was all over the room, Kira's spear was attempting to divide the energy blasted at her with little success and suddenly, all too suddenly, Sekai could feel that bond between herself and Kira growing brittle, fragile and ready to shatter if she didn't do something and soon.

'If this fails... '

The grip lessened and they both stopped just past the entrance, somehow going against the flow of Merrows' power and angering the woman standing before an eight winged ice throne. The woman with hair the color of snow shadows and eyes of white in ice blue throwing power through the ornate scepter in her hands screaming angrily at Kira's defiance, at the force that was blocking her from deleting that virus in the Long Arm's code slowly turning something... more that was allowed. Merrows would not let her successor, the Fourth Merrows, slip from what Protocol and Law demanded; even if it meant burning out the viciousness in the girl's personality and turning her into some spineless, brainless thing like Onida was.

“You will lose her forever.”

Ciar turned the girl in Kira's direction, violet eyes narrowing as she channeled her power into the room and called upon Wryneck's messenger to disturb the room. Her own time to become Wryneck, as unusual as it was for a female to take the Ani throne, would soon come. The whip would be cast aside for a scepter much like Merrows currently held; and what Kirayne would hold should she permit herself to be used, and one of her handmaidens would become the new High Priestess. Rue's Throne belonged to the Wavemasters, as did all the Thrones; but Rue especially favored those under the magic wielding class; not a physically based fighter as Kirayne had developed herself to be.

And as the High Priestess, the one who taught that defiant and strange child everything she knew, and as Kirayne's former mentor, lover and friend; she owed her that ability to force the woman to make her own choice.

“If you do not try, you have already failed.”

After all, Kirayne's life was a rather tangled web and it intersected and wrapped tightly around this small girl's life web more than she'd seen in her life.

'If I fail...'

Sekai knew the answer. Knew the consequences and with the overwhelming amount of Ani energy behind her and touching her skin, she let her fear speak in one absurdly loud two syllable scream that sent everything she had into that connection she'd nursed so carefully, that Kira'd taken such care in teaching her how to strengthen. If she didn't try, she would automatically fail Kira, fail this new terrifyingly strong stranger and fail Rohana... the latter of the three suddenly watching her rather intensely to see what she would do.

But most of all; she would fail herself.

“Kira!

Less than fifty-seven heartbeats had gone by and it was all over.

{It took root in both of them, as you predicted once again Ciar.}

The Juk Priestess' eyes landed on the tall midnight haired woman's stern form and met the woman's violet gaze.

{It isn't over yet; Krake's chosen had made her decision, even if she doesn't necessarily realize this yet. Kirayne... has a decision to make and there's many a path she may walk.}

Amber eyes narrowed, brightening in color at the two standing beside her little one and at the panicked, pale and bewildered expression on Sekai's own face. Those two traitors; damn them both to their respective hells and may their Gods torment them until even the Council declined to have them. Glaring over her shoulder at her mother, not even realizing that half the fucking Court was suddenly staring at her back as she whirled back to attention and stormed over to where Sekai was currently standing.

“Kirayne-”

“Fuck you Ciar, I'll deal with you and Rohana later.”

Her hand reached out and seized Sekai's wrist, dragging the protesting girl behind her roughly and slammed the door to the room behind her after yanking Sekai through in time to prevent getting blasted by that bitch of a woman on that throne. Whatever the hell those two idiots had told Sekai was going to get pulled out of the girl in any way she had to get it. Never had she been this furious before in her life, not even when she'd stood there in cold blood with that pipe in her hand, ready to finish off that son of a bitch who'd nearly killed Sekai in the first place with his whore of a wife as an accomplice.

Because she'd fucking told Rohana to stay the fuck away from the Council and the subject of the Council when it came to Sekai. The near overwhelming urge to bare her teeth and snarl, much like her rumored to have been recently defeated familiar often did in a show of temper, was looking rather tempting to give in to at this point in time. Either snarl or break something that preferably could and would bleed and scream and do all kinds of antics while she killed it. Rohana and Ciar would pay for the danger they'd put Sekai in; and Kira was going to settle that just as soon as she took care of a little business with the girl herself first. Amber eyes turned molten with rage as she felt the finger nails dig into her flesh, scratching at her to release her death grip on the small wrist she could feel shifting, waiting to crack beneath her hand.

Oh yes, there was definitely some unfinished business to attend to.

_________________
Image

Name: Sekai
Level: 54
EXP: 0000/1000
Class: Archer
Clan: Army of Darkness
HP: 835
SP: 347

Currently Equipped:

Einherjar: Kira, December, Zorya

Head: Bat Earrings (Ola Repth 40, Rip Maen 40)
Body: Saint Cross (Rue Zot 10, RaJuk Zot 30)
Arm: Protect Ring (Ap Vorma 15, MeJuk Kruz 20)
Leg: Ninja Anklet (BiVak Rom 20, GiGan Zot 30)
Add-Ons: Forestlore, Wood Magic (permanently raised Wood Offense/Defense by +3 total)

Wishlist: Levels, Summon: Wood, Archer Weapons, Light Armor


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 10:23 pm 
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Ikkitousen
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:04 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Liminality
[Chapter 4: Tropophobia]

“God, don't you know that I live with a ton of regret?
'cause I used to move you in a way that you've never known
But then I accused you in a way that you've never known
but you've hurt me in a way that I've never known”


- Savage Garden “Break Me, Shake Me”


All she could think about was the feeling of bones moving beneath flesh. The pressure exerted and the bruises she knew would accompany the grip strong enough to make the girl protest and fall silent immediately when she squeezed in warning. The sight of the long legs on her small body tripping, stumbling in an attempt to follow along behind and not get dragged, of how her throat convulsed when she choked back a sob and pried at her hand. How her hair fell over her shoulder and was jerked back in just the right alluring way despite her distress, the color of it against the skin already white with fear and the stark contrast between the girl's eyes and the rest of her.

The satisfying thud of the smaller body shoved up, forced against and pinned to the wall only served to heat her blood more so than it had been seeing her in the Council next to Ciar and Rohana.

Not to mention the cry of pain and shock sent a thrill up her spine like no other in the past two to three months.

Drums called out to each other in her ears, messages pounding from her heart and sending cries of an oncoming storm to the rest of her. The Wild, that nameless, formless energy that never left her, that continued to leave her restless and searching for something, was rearing its head back and roaring in rage that the authority had been challenged.

Had been deliberately disobeyed.

It demanded that the slight be fixed, that the offender be punished and dealt with according to protocol and to the rules It had put into place. Most of all, It wanted the point to be driven home that she was never allowed to disobey her command and her order again. Amber eyes flared in the shadowed alcove she'd tucked the trembling girl into for privacy's sake, glowing against the darkness as she forced the her wrists to one side and pinned her between the stone wall and her body. The harsh sound of ragged, choked breathing was the only sound for a long, long while, though she could nearly hear the frantic beat of her heart against the fragile ribcage, of the blood racing through the veins and taste the fear and confusion in the girl's aura. So easily crushed beneath her hand if she let her control slip a little.

Perhaps a taste of what she was capable of would teach her not to disobey again.

“You were at the Council.”

Her voice was almost silky in sound, the edge in her voice inflicting a wound as she crowded the girl in further, the heave of her chest not going unnoticed as the first of the tears welled up and threatened to spill over down the gray tinged cheeks. She feared far too quickly, too easily for the likes of her to be satisfied. Those who succumbed to fear lived in a constant average state of it; lessons were harder to teach that way.

How fortunate that she was particularly good at getting a message across.

“I distinctly recall telling you to stay away from the Council.”

Her hand tightened, the bones beneath her fingers beginning to bend, to crack under her grip as a strangled, choked cry escaped in protest, in pleading defense of her innocence and her reasoning behind her actions.

“But Rohana-”

“Shhh,”

Kira whispered softly, lovingly, her free hand smoothing back the disheveled white locks from Sekai's face. Fingertips brushed gently over the soft, unblemished and pale skin as she gave a smile that wasn't entirely unkind before her hand pulled back and connected sharply against the Archer's cheek. The resounding crack and force sent her head whipping violently to one side as blood welled up from the area where the AI's nails dug into the flesh. Time stopped, her heart stopped as shock swarmed her system and the numbness in her face only began to whisper what had just happened.

-strong calloused fingers firmly forced her head to turn, to look up into two fathomless jet colored eyes and a smile that more than hinted at the future cruelty that would be-

Scalding and sour liquid rose in her throat, threatened to spill out as she took the risk of being struck again to twist herself painfully away from Kira and emptied whatever remained in an empty stomach. Clear with a light greenish tinge emptied itself out and splashed on the cobblestone street, heaving and choked with sobs as her memories clouded with events, with fear and sent her to her knees. She hung by her agonized wrists, chin against her chest as she strained against the hold, trying to move herself so that none of the foul body fluid splashed back on her and the scent surrounded her. Lungs seized, heart tripled in speed and white spots danced threateningly, tauntingly in her vision as she felt herself being pulled back up and shoved back against the wall.

-cheek stinging from the blow as she landed hard amongst the books she'd spread out along the carpeted floor, her notebook open with a couple idle doodles at the top of the paper filled with complicated translation paragraphs from Japanese to English as an assignment. Metal spirals bit into her flesh and the unyielding corners of the school books dug into her back and ribs as she curled up defensively with a hand on her cheek.

Rage, screaming fury directed at her as several books struck her huddled form. Unforgivable to try hard and to dare call attention to herself.

Unforgivable to
dream of a future for herse-

Those eyes.

Sekai slumped bonelessly in the unforgiving hold, nothing came out save choked, gagging sobs with the occasional heave of an empty stomach. No bile, no nothing. Terror, pure and simple, in her expression as she felt the walls crumble in around her at the sight of the eyes in front of her.

Those eyes.

They were coming closer, leaning in unblinkingly, never once leaving her gaze and continuing to hold it captive as her throat worked convulsively to try and get some sort of plea, some sort of word out of the desert dry mouth. Oh God, she thought to herself, wanting desperately to shut her eyes and look away. If she didn't look, she couldn't see what was coming, she could brace herself, shut down and let herself go limp, let the lack of reaction discourage any other kind of assault on her person.

She could escape.

And she did. Her eyes shut tightly as she forced herself to go completely and utterly limp. When the grip tightened, not loosened as she'd thought it might, her mind raced for something, anything to say that would get her out of there. Tears stung the open furrows on her cheek as she flinched away from the AI, pressing her back hard against the wall and finally managed to get two words out in a rush. Unfortunately, it was the only two words she could say and repeated them as if they were a mantra to save her life.

“I'm sorry! I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry,”

Something about the choked, sobbing words and the entire, pure show of fearful submission satisfied that Wild within her. Wanting to make it clear that there was more than one kind of punishment, she spoke in that same soothing, calming voice she'd used before, almost amused by how the girl jerked as if shot or electrocuted and continued to babble her apologies over and over again

“Sekai.”

She drew out the last syllable as if it were a note on the singing scale, lengthening it and almost putting it into song in the way she spoke, drawing closer to the girl flattened against the wall as far as she could go.

“I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sor-!”

Sekai's eyes flew open as the words were silenced by a possessive mouth sealing over her own. Fingers with nails still slightly tinted red with blood tilted her chin up and slightly to one side for better access as it took the stunned girl a few moments to realize that she was being kissed. One knee forced itself between the girl's legs, settling against the wall and supporting her weight as whatever had gotten into the usually easy going AI released her wrists and cupped her uninjured cheek gently in hand.

Slow, taunting, deliberate; she used the one area that the girl had no true experience with and used it to her advantage against her. To promise the girl things she couldn't even begin to imagine and to light a fire, to brand the girl as her own.

To make Sekai know who she belonged to.

Pulling back when she felt the girl's legs begin to weaken, amber eyes gleamed ever so slightly in smug satisfaction at the flushed, breathless and dazed expression on the younger girl's face. She licked her lips slowly, deliberately making the girl watch and realize what she'd done and what the suggestion meant before leaning her head to one side to murmur into the girl's ear.

“I know of a... different punishment that would be most enjoyable for the both of us, should you disobey me again.”

At the way the girl stiffened nearly immediately at the suggestive purr of her voice right next to her ear, Kira knew the message had been delivered accordingly and chuckled to herself.

“I disliked having to strike you, little one of mine. That kind of punishment is... too harsh for someone like you.”

Her head ducked, as if ashamed by what she'd done.

“I do hope you will accept my apology for my loss of temper. You should not have been the one I struck.”

Maybe... maybe whatever had so upset her could be talked about. She did just offer an apology, though it disturbed her that she'd been about to hit someone the same way... but that was besides the point and not important. Slowly the tension began to leave her body, the stinging of her cheek coming through as the adrenaline stopped pumping through her system and her stomach began to settle down. Kira wasn't an irrational being; she usually had some kind of plan or another, usually kept herself in control and always kept things, well, okay.

Stress must be the answer, Sekai told herself, after all, the AI was rather beaten up looking. Burn marks on her skin, cuts that had already scabbed over peppered all over her body and the silvery-blue hair usually worn up was loose and fell in a slight wave past her hips. Somehow, despite how... frightening she'd been, something about the way she looked physically didn't make her seem more than a year or so, in appearance, older than she wa-

Something warm and slick ran along her throat before a sharp pinch of teeth on flesh followed by a gentle suction against the same spot sent her jerking in alarm. Her tongue managed to gently soothe the spot for less than a moment before Sekai was nearly breaking her neck in haste to get the hell away from her.

“What the hell did you just do?!”

She shrieked, eyes the size of dinner plates as her hand clamped firmly over the spot, cheeks flushed a brilliant scarlet and the pulse in her throat beating rapidly in sync with the way the girl's ragged breathing had the AI using every bit of control she had to keep from bursting into laughter.

“Nothing much, it isn't too visible.”

“What, then, why, how, that's-”

“None of your concern, just like the Council business I know you want to ask about. Take my advice and drop it before you upset me again.”

Some slight change came over Kira, the eyes and expression going into a familiar scowl instead of a pleasant fake expression she'd been wearing ever since. Snarling something in that unfamiliar language, Sekai managed to catch a tail end of it as she lapsed back into the normal speaking language she usually talked with.

“Fucking hate that open legged, greedy, ambitious and vindictive,”

Quite a few words spoken that had Sekai's ears the color of the mark she currently covered on her neck. She didn't even know that what Kira'd just sworn was even anatomically possible, perhaps her mother was double jointed?

“Bitch always pulls that shit, messes me up into remembering what the Protocol was and then gets pissed when the Court Bitch comes out that she wants so bad for a daughter-”

Did Kira even realize she was ranting? ...rather loudly at that?

“-wonder why they call that side they hit with the Protocol command a Sadist, fuckin' oughta turn her loose on the Council and-”

She finally stopped, noticed several things very, very out of place about Sekai; including the nasty bruises on the girl's wrists- totally her handiwork and goddammit was she pissed about losing her control and getting sucked in by the command Merrows had slapped her with- and the neatly fingernail lines on a bruised cheek on her face in addition to...

Oh fuck no she hadn't.

The AI stormed closer and shoved her face not even six inches from Sekai's, eyes crossing a little as she looked at the girl's face and lips, started swearing up a storm before gently, but firmly, removing the girl's hand from her throat to see the every so lovely calling card and bright red mark on the girl's throat.

God.dammit. all.

She had.

Shit.

Letting loose a stream of curses more inventive and colorful than the last batch had been, most of which the meaning and intention of flew directly over Sekai's head, Kira whirled around and started storming for the secret entry to the Hideout. After realizing Sekai wasn't following her, and feeling the energy start to rapidly drain out of her from using the physical form too much, she glared over her shoulder and pointed in the general direction of the destination.

“Get. Going. Now.”

Something welled up within her, hot and surging through her veins as she felt her cheeks and ears burn with something she wasn't familiar with at Kira's blatant and rough examination and then the ordering around as if it weren't a big deal.

As if nothing had happened that she needed to explain. Her voice was sharper than she'd intended as she stormed after Kira, emotion blazing in fawn colored eyes as she carefully tucked the sprained wrist close to her side and yelled after her.

“Just what the hell was that?!”

Darn her soul, she was already going into the Hideout without her. Sekai fumed and raced over to get in without Kira getting too far ahead of her. There was no way in hell she'd let Kira off the hook for this one, not when her behavior had been completely unacceptable and she was already tired of all the secrets she was keeping and thought that, since Kira mostly knew all of hers in the first place, it was only fair that her trusted friend and companion spilled some of her guts out for her to see.

“I said, what the-”

“None of your damn business!”

Kira yelled back in response, cluing Sekai in on where the AI's current position was and locating her quickly... and then proceeded to follow the irate woman around the Hideout. The two moved quickly, argument building in volume and intensity as one continued to try and dodge the subject while the other one held on tenaciously to her insistence that she start talking. The smaller girl was positively livid, tawny eyes nearly the same color as Kira's as she managed to get her to stop in one of the rooms for one reason or another to have the discussion.

“It is my business because whatever upset you enough back there had something to do with m-”

A low growl of frustration as Kira tossed her hair back and nearly threw her hands in the air with exasperation.

“Just fucking drop it little one; unless you want a fuckin' audience for a repeat performance.”

Kira gestured sharply at her own face, glaring in warning as she watched Sekai fume, ready to reply with a tart comment before she took notice of where they were at and who happened to be in the room.

Zan, mid-sentence with Raquar about how much stress the duo quest had relieved, stopped at the sudden entrance of Sekai and her AI. For a second he was just confused at their state, at the fact that Kira was solid, but the wolf in him suddenly paced the cage of the Heavy Blade's sternum, the prison of his skin at the realization that his lumen was so badly injured. Tossing an Ol Repth from his quickly-equipped Life Sword to Sekai, he added another to Kira in afterthought. Standing before her, he did the best to keep his volume down, to keep the Beast under his reigns. "What the hell happened to you? Who did this?"

A rushed but thankful smile was sent Zan's way before the rather indignant look that tended to serve as a sign that she was rather angry with someone returned and she pointed, despite how rude it was, at Kira before responding accordingly.

"That isn't important, she is being completely unreasonable and stubborn!"

Kira scowled in return, fighting off the annoyance threatening to turn into guilt and made a rather rude gesture in response to Sekai's finger pointing. Unreasonable and stubborn? Little wench hadn't seen a damn thing yet when it came to those two words. She was a bloody damn saint compared to the Council!

"I'd say getting your ass kicked when you deserved it is important and I already told you,"

She tossed her hair behind her shoulders again, scowling and muttering to herself agitatedly about stubborn humans who didn't let shit go when they were supposed to as she rummaged around for something to tie her hair back with.

"It's none of your fuckin' business, so drop it already."

Apparently when it came to Kira, Sekai didn't take well to being ignored or brushed off like the AI was attempting to do. A screech of indignant fury, sounding more like a whistling tea kettle more than anything exploded from the young girl as a rather uncharacteristic word of frustration burst from her mouth before she could really think about it.

"Bullshit! It is too my business and if I have to sit on you to make you talk, I'll do it!"

Zan had been the first to rise and the first to act, as usual, and the healing he took care of seemed to suffice for the moment. He arched an eyebrow at the two bickering females, the lycanthrope placed somewhat strategically between the two females. He figured the elder had it under control and was content to let the three of them sort it out amongst themselves until he heard a word come from a mouth that shocked him. He was up in a hurry his back to the wolf and his dominant hand on the shaft of his weapon. As Zan focused his attentions on Sekai, the boy turned to his fellow Long Arm, and arched another eyebrow.

"You wanna explain exactly what's going on here? Or is somebody gonna have to force it out of you like everything else?"

Zan listened to the interaction between the two with a need for information, with a desire to find out not why they had been fighting, but who had hurt Sekai. With Raq's arrival coinciding with the female Long Arm's revelation of her part in Sekai's injuries, the werewolf suddenly found himself pushing Raq roughly away and replacing the player's position with his own. The Ghostdancer drawn, both eyes flared to the amber of the wolf, the Heavy Blade put his face not a milimeter from Kira's own, rage seething through his clenched teeth. "You. Fucking. Touched. Her? HER GUARDIAN?!" Only respect from Sekai was keeping him contained, was keeping him from giving the bitch what she deserved. Because of that, his knuckles were blotching white around the handle of his weapon with restraint. If she said even one wrong thing...

Oh for fuck's sake already, Kira thought annoyed, glaring down the amber eyed male in front of her and bared her teeth in response. She wasn't made to be submissive; she'd take an ass kicking over submitting any day of the week. Dammit, they just had to stop in a public area and not somewhere that Kira could knock her out and somehow wipe the conversation from her brain. ...damn, that meant she'd have had to go back to Ciar asking for the woman to block that conversation or lift it. Fuck. Anyways, not the damn point. Important thing being, getting Fangy McPMS out of her face and getting off the subject entirely.

"I'm only going to say this once; get the fuck out of my face. I don't feel like wasting what time I have left like this on the likes of you."

She looked at Raquar, clearly about ready to kill something or another... or start breaking things, whichever came first, and responded to his question directly.

"As for you, well, both of you really. Put the digital extensions of your missing cocks away; it's got nothing to do with you and everything to do with her,"

Kira jerked her chin in the direction of Sekai's furious person.

"and her ridiculous need to know everything. She's being flippant."

Sekai's voice interjected quite heatedly with an insult of her own.

"If I'm flippant, you're a pain in the ass!"

White hair whipped out behind her as she stormed closer to where the two boys and Kira were standing, fully intent on getting what she wanted, this being information, out of Kira even if she had to start acting like, well... one of the boys about it and take an aggressive stance on the matter.

This was starting to get irritating. Here the two of them had been, having a nice pleasant conversation, and then the two girls had to come in with a storm. Trust them to do this. His left hand shot out, stopping the smaller of the females in her tracks, while his other hand shot downward, still grasping the spear until its point rested against her jugular.

"I don't care if you disrespect me. But you will under no circumstances disrespect this man, or your host, I don't give a damn about your huffing and puffing, or fucking angry excuses, enough is e-fucking-nough. I'll give you a choice here, the both of you,

Eyes shooting toward Sekai as well.

"The two of you can both calm the fuck down and explain what's going on, or I can go beyond both of you, and I'll get my mistress to explain what happened, as well as garner the authority to bring both of you before her. Do we want to play nice now? Or do I have to get royally bitchy too?"

The last remark was directed with a glare at Kira.

The lycanthrope found himself a little surprised at how readily Raq had taken up to defending him. Oh, right, they were friends now. Rather than wallow on the fact that it was sad he was so surprised to have another friend in 'The World', Zan chose to be distracted by this 'Mistress' thing. What the hell was he missing? Ah well, that part they could let him in on if they wanted. What mattered to him? Both hands convulsed at his side for a second, the Ghostdancer discarded for the long, two-inch lethal claws capping his fingertips. One set was placed at the other side of her neck, where Raq's spear wasn't, while the other rested lightly against her stomach; two killing spots.

"Now you two, like Raq said, are going to calm the fuck down. You in particular, Kira. I trusted you, more than anyone else, to protect her. Now, until this is settled? If you so much as take a hesitant step towards her, I'm going to turn your throat into ground beef and play 'Beethoven's Fifth' on the lute of your motherfucking intestines." He suddenly smiled, fake and wide, his face still mere fractions of space from her own. "Sound good? Sound about square?"

Both of the women were absolutely, one hundred and eighty seven percent, completely and utterly pissed off at this point. Both for different and similiar reasons of course but still on a related wave link in terms of emotion and thought process. For someone who could easily get ghosted, slaughtered in her position, Kira looked rather calm, as if she were there every damn day putting up with claws at her throat and neck. Amber eyes narrowed slightly, her chin raising in defiance as a slow, distain filled smirk touched her lips as she looked from Zan to Raquar and back again. Rather than dignify anything they said with a response, she spat in Zan's face. Pride goeth before a fall, bullshit, pride was still there even after a fall, Kira thought to herself and masked her expression once again.

Sekai on the other hand, didn't take to having the object of her frustration blocked off from her and threatened. Hands balled into fists, it wouldn't have been much more of an insult had Raquar's hand not landed square against her breast to block her from moving any further forward. A long, long moment of silence filled the room, she knew Kira'd more than likely spit in the face of death, and not even ten seconds later had indeed done so. She bit down on her lip and restrained the urge to, to, oh hell she didn't even know what she wanted to do anymore except probably break something. With her teeth clenched and her hair hiding her face from sight, Sekai's voice came out almost strained and definitely a few degrees short of burning the hell out of someone if she chose to use any insults.

"Put. your weapons. down. and back. away."

There was calm, for a second, then the spit came. With the Beast so close to the surface, his eyes still aglow, and recent events having occurred...something in him snapped. Sekai was suddenly Lowen and Kira was the motherfucker that had hurt her, that had shot her. There was no reason to his actions beyond that, no logic that was anything apart from pure, animal rage. With a howl of hate that was definitely not human, the claws on her throat jerked across, spraying a fountain splash of blood across the floor and turning her neck into so much meat. The other, the one setting idly against her stomach, suddenly slid into, the thick crimson liquid flowing down his wrist as he curled his fingers and jerked his hand back out...holding onto a good portion of her blood-soaked intestines. As Kira's body fell, Zan spit on the glob of innards and heaved them back to hit the downed form with a wet plop. Turning to Raq, his face still...wrong...and his own body soaked in red, he cracked a comment from their recent adventure together.

"You see? You lose your balance, you lose." Only then, the death and the humiliation given, did the Beast settle with satisfaction and leave Zan with the dread of his own actions. He found himself staring down at the crimson-soaked claws, at the blood dripping from his shirt and his trenchcoat, and found the images of his butcherings in the facility rushing back. He hated Kira then, hated her for making him see it again, hated her for making him feel what he had done again. There was no sound, no tears, just the bubbling guilt and dark distaste for the now-dead AI.

She didn't make a sound, been killed in several ways other than this rather... effective and gruesome one, she'd have to ask for tips next time she needed to kill someone. Okay, spitting on her innards was a little much but, whatever. Groaning as she watched the body dissolve, felt Sekai's attempt to pull her back to the corner of her mind she usually stayed in and resisted. Ghost form came into being a rather annoyed looking AI tapping her foot impatiently as she waited for the rest of her mangled corpse to finish dissolving. Turning to the lycan himself and giving him her best 'oh get the fuck over it' scowl, she finally spoke.

"Something says I almost deserved that. Half that shit wasn't directed at me. Whatever, not my business."

The slaughter in front of her, blood splattering against her cheek had her surging forward, ready to go over and try and get the two away from each other. An animalistic sounding snarl-scream combination loosed from her throat as Raquar continued to restrain her from going any further. Fury was about to blind her, all she'd wanted was to get Kira to start talking to her and it escalated into this. Part of her swore she should have been in terror, that she should be screaming, wanting to wipe the blood off her face and run away. But, for some reason, that side of her wasn't there right now. She couldn't feel it.

In it's place was some kind of emotion more potent than anger, more primal than rage and she couldn't put a name to it or why on earth she even had it in her system. Or why she was so consumed by it. She snarled at Raquar, fighting to get free as he restrained her from going further with both his hands, the threat gone for now and the focus on keeping her away from the AI's ghost form or from Zan, whichever it was she was trying to go for at the moment. When he didn't relent, Sekai did the only thing in her clouded mind she could think of to do. She sank her teeth to the gum-line into his arm and slammed an elbow into his stomach once, twice, three or four times. It probably wouldn't have worked half as well had she not had the advantage in levels over him. After what was probably the seventh to tenth hit and with a well timed stomp with her heel to the instep of his foot, Sekai managed to twist free, nearly wrenching an arm out of her socket in the process but breaking free nonetheless. Ducking an attempt to grab her by Raquar once again, Sekai bolted, taking the long way around the room to where the ghost of Kira was slowly starting to look a little... less transparent.

"You should have just told me what I wanted to hear!"

She yelled at the AI, giving a glare that promised a lecture in the future for Zan and keeping a wary eye out for any attempt to grab her again.

Kira snorted, the body fully vanished from the floor, save for the bloodstains on the walls and shit and focused, her body forming back into a solid material even as she felt her strength drop to an all time low. Shit. If she got slaughtered in this one and had to go full form again.... dammit, she cursed silently to herself and at her weakness. One more time and she'd not come back. She'd be lost to, well, where ever the AI go when they're killed off permanently. There was no heaven or hell, she didn't even think the Gods were real either. Lovely. Just. fucking. lovely. Now she was thinking like a damn human.

"And let your ever so attentive self appointed defenders and bodyguards miss a chance to slaughter me? Tch, I'm not that selfish."

Zan was too disturbed by the images, by the memories, and found himself busied with denial. Neither Sekai's charge nor the banter between the duo stirred him from his hollow shuffled out of the room and to the kitchen where, hopefully, he'd find a place to wash himself off.

“Leave them out of this, it has nothing to do with them and everything to do with you being selfish and stubborn!”

Kira let out a short laugh, ripping off a strip from the blue hem of her overskirt, wrapping it around the bun she'd formed to get her damn hair out of her face and shook her head at Sekai. It was pathetic, she thought bitterly to herself as she secured the knot to keep the bun secure and prevent the irritation from happening again. How the hell Sekai, Jadin and the others could keep their hair so damn long and loose was beyond her. She didn't even like taking it out of the bun to sleep and didn't want to cut it since, well, one of the biggest beliefs they'd had was that the length of their hair tied in with how long they would live and how powerful they were.

“You really are naïve and childish, aren't you? Blind and stupid half the damn time,”

Raquar started to move forward, spear back in hand and a grim expression on his face, they weren't going to stop on their own and Zan... well, probably better if Zan wasn't involved anymore than he had to be. The bite in his arm still oozed blood, still stung from where Sekai's teeth had broken through the skin. Part of him was still somewhat amused he'd been bitten, Torvald laughing like hell despite the situation, and the other part concerned about her unusual, uncharacteristic behavior. No sooner had he gotten another three feet from reaching them when a gold haze filtered over his body and vision, small blue sparks setting off every so often as the Suvi Lei took hold and anchored in his system.

Rage filtered, bleeding red into his eyes as he snarled, the only thing he was able to do since every muscle in his body was locked down and held by the paralysis spell. Kira's fingers glinted slightly with the after effects of the spell as she shook her hand slightly and glared at him.

“Stay out of this. I'm the one responsible for

His body tensed, he wanted nothing more to spring forward, to rip that conceited bitch into as many pieces as he could, yet it was all to no avail. His body was rigid, muscles straining against an invisible prison. Was this it? He had already failed to keep Sekai out of harm's why, and now he couldn't even get to his intended target. What kind of bullshit was this. His mind raged, and in the process struck up the tune. The darkness swirled around him, the humming growing increasingly louder and more violent, the wisps around him severely agitated. Now, he could do it this way. They stirred angrily, shuffling about pausing just about to be shot off . . . and they dissipated. A long harsh breath was forced from his lungs.

No, not this way. He turned his glare toward Kira.

"Fine. But you've pushed the limit here. And I will find out what's been going on."

Kira smiled sweetly over at him, a shudder rippling through Sekai at the expression on the AI's face, and raised an eyebrow at him before speaking in a low purr of a voice.

"You know nothing of what limits are little soldier. If you weren't Ciar's property, and I have a few... things to take care of when it comes to her as well, I would teach you a few things when it comes to being a proper soldier.”

Amber eyes flared briefly, icy power rising in the room for a moment and, Sekai interfering by stepping in between the two of them with a slightly nervous glare on her face directed at Kira, the faint image of glyphs appearing on the ground faded completely.

"You'd best stay out of my affairs little soldier; you might be burned if you pry too deeply."

He snarled, body visibly shuddering against the restraints that held him. "You have no right to call me that! You don't know what you're talking about. I'll do what I need to do, and you are the one forcing my hand." His voice had escalated, the anger filling it, and oddly enough, he just didn't care anymore.

Kira smiled sweetly over at him, a shudder rippling through Sekai at the expression on the AI's face, and raised an eyebrow at him before speaking in a low purr of a voice.

"You know nothing of what limits are little soldier. If you weren't Ciar's property, and I have a few... things to take care of when it comes to her as well, I would teach you a few things when it comes to being a proper soldier."

Amber eyes flared briefly, icy power rising in the room for a moment and, Sekai interferring by stepping in between the two of them with a slightly nervous glare on her face directed at Kira, the faint image of glyphs appearing on the ground faded completely.

"You'd best stay out of my affairs little soldier; you might be burned if you pry too deeply."

He snarled, body visibly shuddering against the restraints that held him. "You have no right to call me that! You don't know what you're talking about. I'll do what I need to do, and you are the one forcing my hand." His voice had escalated, the anger filling it, and oddly enough, he just didn't' care anymore.

Amber eyes were icy in response, the smile all too friendly and cunning as she stepped closer, blocked off by Sekai's physical barricade to prevent her from going any further, possibly to strike him and leave a matching set of marks on his face.

"Because of your actions, your words informing a certain shadow wielding priestess and then some of my continued existence? Oh I do believe it's my business little soldier."

The smile turned twisted, dangerous, as did the sweet note to her voice.

"If it hadn't been for your actions and your words? No one would be in the situation they are today. As High Priestess? It does give me the right to call you that and anything I consider to be appropriate as well. I may have forced your hand just now little soldier; but you forced mine a long time ago."

Her hand moved, tapping gently in a caress over Sekai's uninjured cheek for a moment, eyes softening ever so slightly as a true, almost possessively small smile touched the woman's lips before she glanced back over at Raquar.

"Here's a little food for thought; those wounds on her cheek and that wrist? All of those injuries stem back from your actions in the past. In essence? Anything that would have happened, could have happened, might have happened and most likely,"

Her thumb glided over the girl's cheekbone.

"will happen to her is your doing. You have only yourself to blame for what condition she winds up in."

"That's uncalled for and not fair Kira!"

Sekai exploded in response, glaring up despite the way her entire body tensed, memories flashing past of the alcove and what had happened there. Almost enough to make her hand rise and cover the mark Zan hadn't seen and the healing magic hadn't touched.

Kira's response was short, though the voice unusually patient and gentle, as if she were explaining things to a child.

"No, what isn't fair, as you so eloquently put it, is that the peace I'd discovered was ruined because another Priestess came along and at the sight, his mouth drops open and all blood leaves the brain."

Her eyes glittered oddly as she tilted her head and smiled down at Sekai. Voice slipping into a bit of a croon as she teased her, tracing the shell of the girl's ear with a fingertip and making the girl shudder in response.

"If you continue to defy me in such a manner little one, I may have to punish you again."

Sekai's face did something rather impossible; skin going grey before brilliant crimson colored her cheeks and entire face as she jerked away and stepped back from the woman's touch in response.

Kira's eyes flickered over to Raquar, the smile still on her face.

"If you only knew how much danger you've put her in and how in over her head she nearly had herself."

A laugh that sent Sekai stepping back another step warily burst from Kira's mouth.

"You likely would have wished to punish her as well."

There was no way he should've still been on his feet. Had it not been for the paralysis holding him in one place, he would've collapsed long ago. And collapse he did when the spell wore off. He didn't know what to do. What to say. Images and memories came flooding back of that field, how he hadn't forced her to turn around and go. He knew what he was getting himself into. He had made that choice. But not her. Why? All the anger melted away, replaced by guilt and misery. She was completely right. And she knew that. He couldn't . . . He didn't . . . Her taunts and teasing just made things worse. His body shuddered, his mind threatening to break down as the boy fought it with every ounce of being possible. Something slipped from his lips at Sekai's protest. Something that might have sounded like 'No she's right,' but delivered without force. He was responsible. And now Kira was the one taking him to task for it. How . . . appropriate.

Kira laughed, shaking her head and pushing back a stray strand behind her ear as she watched the emotions flicker on the boy's face. Pity really, Ciar hadn't gotten to him before the mind had shattered, before the shell in front of her had given the woman a chance to see the brilliance that might have been.

And shame that Torvald hadn't warned him of the other side of the High Priestesses; the one where Protocol was enforced. But then again, she thought bitterly, eyes narrowing at the shaking form, soldiers didn't have to go through that ridiculous surge of command that wiped most thoughts save for what Protocol's rules of order were.

For that, there was no sense of sorrow, of any kind of regret that she had spoken perhaps out of turn.

"And the second so called protector goes down by his own feelings and mind."

She taunted viciously, hand on her hip as she glanced about the room, as if bored now by the lack of promise that she might have seen at one point.

As if smug that she had been correct in quite a few assumptions.

"What good is a protector who can't even keep himself together?"

She couldn't take it anymore, the barbed insults, the taunting, the pain that she kept inflicting. All of it. It was all complete and utter bullshit; they shouldn't have been fighting, they should have been talking things out.

Should have been finding a way to fix the issues at hand rather than attack, assault, and point the finger again. The spell wouldn't last much longer, this much she knew.

"Shut. Up."

Sekai gritted out from clenched teeth, glaring up at the smirking AI she'd called a friend, had let into her life and had cared so much for.

Something changed in Kira's expression, something darker, more sinister as another something clicked into place and she leaned forward, crowding Sekai and tilting her head with one hand to one side to show off the crimson mark against the side of her throat.

"Are we upset because I told your potential little fuck toys the truth? Because by all means, they more likely than not like being lied to. Just like all of you humans; lies and deception. One big game to you all. Are you going to lie about where this came from too?"

Her finger traced the mark on Sekai's neck, amber eyes landing on Raquar after the final word had spoken, the girl's throat in plain view for him to see.

That same smug, sinister little small twisted smile was on her lips again.

There was no way in hell he would let her win. The boy returned to his feet, gaze soft and seemingly emotionless. His voice sounded different, a different quality. It seemed to be stripped bare except for one unplaceable aspect.

"It amuses me that you play me for an idiot Kirayne. It amuses me, that your deep seated hatred of all things human in quality you display so deeply ingrained in yourself. It is amusing that you find no one and nothing to thank, and that you wrap yourself in such bitterness."

He smiled, the gesture cold and slightly darkened. "I'm perfectly aware of what that mark is, and I am aware of some things that go on." The smile deepened and became more vicious.

"I'm also aware that you who detest humans so much are no better than one. The queen of lies and deception. Trying to hide and mask who you were, that you don't get along with your family. That is where your wrong. Everything I have done for her,"

A quick gesture toward Sekai.

"has been with her best interests in mind. I'm not the one consumed by jealousy or anger. Typical human qualities. And that will be the reason that I am the one that frees her from this prison, and not you. This is why I choose to be her friend instead of her abusive lover. You've filled that spot already."

The easiest part would have been to throw the girl to the couch, turn him into a ghost and proceed to torment him more with her actions; and those she knew would hurt him the most when it came to Sekai. It took a moment of careful, almost curious examination of the boy standing in front of her before she responded.

Blunt and aimed to cut to the quick.

"So damning Tiral to an eternal Hell and sending Sekai into a coma were in their best interests?"

She snapped.

There was really no other way to describe what happened inside Sekai's mind other than it snapping and years of abuse, of memories, of situations that she was ashamed of, and of things that weren't her fault that she'd blamed on herself and others on her.

All her restraint and control dissolved at the sound of Tiral's name and the reference to her condition coming out of Kira's mouth. She'd gotten teased by swatting Mika a few times, both she and Kira had told her if you meant to have an impact, you used a fist; not the flat of the hand to do the most damage and the longest lasting impression.

Two gloves dropped to the floor, gemstones clinking against the ground as a small fist came flying and connected fiercely with Kira's jaw to send the woman stumbling several steps back to hit the wall. Breath harsh and ragged, shoulders heaving and eyes that matched Kira's in color with pupils the size of pinpricks, Sekai stood there and glared at Kira's form with several emotions flickering through her face. She'd taken it too far. Part of her had been willing to forgive everything that had been said by the both of them, by all three of them.

But it took that 'abusive lover' and 'best interest' comment from both of them to drive her over the edge.

Once she'd managed to catch her breath, she glared over at Raquar, turning her back on Kira for the moment and opened her mouth to give him hell herself.

"You had no right to say tha-"

A hand gripping her shoulder, turning her around and giving her the same kind of hit she'd dealt out sent black spots into Sekai's vision as she stumbled and fought to keep her balance. Blood trailed from a split lip as her head reared up to see Kira wiping the blood off her own lip and breathing just as heavily as she was.

Oh that was just it.

Swiping a wrist across her mouth, wiping the blood off and a frighteningly tense sense of rage with an undercurrent of hurt swept through the room and swirled almost tangibly around the two women as they stared each other down and began to walk calmly towards the other.

On an identical wave link thought wise, both of them glared in Raquar's direction, the same tone in two very furious voices as they spoke the exact same thing at once.

"Stay out of this."

"Stay out of this."

Turning back to each other, both their feet left the ground as two fists came flying and connected with each other's faces. Kira's struck Sekai's cheek and Sekai's hit Kira's eye as the two grabbed a handful of the other's clothing or hair and went down and in a snarling, cursing pile.

He almost laughed at their commands. He had never been good at listening to women, probably why he got in trouble so often. Still, he was content enough to let them go at it for quite some time, the pile at his feet a snarling, clawing mess. He wasn't sure how long it had been, long enough certainly, before he stopped down and separated both women by the necks of their respective clothing, holding them each at arm's length. "We done now?"

Still trying to get at each other, glaring and breathing hard, the two paused at the sound of Raquar's voice and glared up at him. Both of them looked like they wanted to tear him apart for interfering with their personal fight and looked at each other. Two sets of furious amber eyes met, wordless understanding passing through their link as they put the plan into action.

And by 'plan into action', it meant Kira aimed high and Sekai went low with a powerful blow aimed to knock him somewhat senseless, though their opinion that men had a complete lack of said sense was running through both of their mind.

It was a little too bad the two women were on bad terms and wanted nothing more than to get back to beating the hell out of each other; they made a fairly damn good tag team when it came right down to it.

He knew he was going to get himself into trouble. The two blows knocked him backward, dragging both the women with him for a couple feet before he was forced to release their garments. The breath was driven from his lungs as the two went back to beating each other. Leaning against his spear for the moment, the boy waited until his breath returned, and the stars disappeared, before he slammed the metal into the ground, the ringing accompanied by his own thundering voice.

ENOUGH

The two women ignored him, focused entirely on trying to kill or make the other one submit to the other's hold with little to no success on either side. Though at one point Sekai'd gone for the typical dirty girl move and had grabbed Kira's bun to try and get her off, tearing the fabric that held the bun as a temporary tie and spilling the silver-blue locks into the fight.

In retaliation, there'd been a loud rip of fabric and the snap of elastic as the shoulder strap to Sekai's top tore on one side. Male amusement would catch how one of the girls would be on top, trying to strangle or pin the other one down and then the other would manage to wrest control back and do the same thing in a repetitive battle that wouldn't end.

The boy rolled his eyes. Fucking women. As a result, he would probably end up dead. But it was better than the two of them killing each other he supposed. He waited until Sekai had managed to get herself of top, before he picked up the smaller woman, and forced her backwards against a wall. Pinning her there with his back, he unslung his spear and pointed it forward at the other one who would be intent on ending his life he was sure. "I don't take kindly to being ignored. I said enough was enough."

Struggling and knowing she definitely caught between a rock and the proverbial hard place, Sekai said quite a few unfavorable things regarding the distinct unfair advantage in height and about the male thought processes in general in response.

Kira on the other hand, let herself lie there a little longer, catching her breath before pushing herself roughly into a sitting position, now completely transparent as she dropped the physical appearance completely. Once upright, she shoved the heel of her hand into the ground and rose to one knee with her hair falling disheveled all around her face and side.

She glared at Raquar, at his spear and at the girl struggling pinned against the wall.

"Release her; this was never your fight to begin with. It had nothing to do with you."

It was definitely the Kira people were accustomed to, not the sweet voiced, cunning and manipulative bitch who'd shown herself and had acted quite... odd when it came to the usual behavior.

He laughed at Kira's remark.

"That's where your wrong. As you so kindly pointed out, it is my responsibility that she is in the position she is in. Therefore, as soon as any harm befell her, it has everything to do with me."

Something that looked almost like... shame and regret flashed briefly across the AI's face, hand on the ground balling into a fist as she had the decency to turn her head sharply away from the Long Arm standing in front of her. Dammit to hell and back, she thought to herself as her mind whirled and the room began to blur as she glared at something off to the side, Torvald had better keep his damn mouth shut or better yet; not even be around.

"Let her go, I'm not going to touch her."

She bit out, hair falling slowly back into place and hiding her eyes as she dug her nails into her palm, squeezing her fist tighter as the sharp surge of pain snapped through her system.

The Long Arm complied, walking forward a step to let the Archer drop to the ground behind him.

Sekai'd been a bit too busy trying to find a way to free herself, dropping like a stone when he stepped out of the way with a yelp of surprise and again of pain as she winced and rubbed her bruised tail bone. She'd kick him for that later, the spiteful side of her snarled in a solemn vow, and turned her attention to Kira's tensed form looking pointedly at her.

"Why did you have to start a fight? Is it really that hard to answer a stupid question?!"

Sekai demanded, starting to walk forward to confront the AI now that the chance of getting hit physically and any possibility of another fight was gone.

The immediate threat defused, the boy removed himself from the immediate vicinity and plopped back down onto the piece of furniture he had been sitting on when all this transpired.

Kira didn't say anything for a long time, irritating Sekai into nearly repeating herself, knowing how much that would annoy the AI before she finally responded while she rose to her feet.

"Choose which guy you're going to fuck and I'll answer that question of yours."

She snapped in response, refastening the loosened garment around her chest and dedicating her full attention to that task.

Sekai jerked as if Kira'd slapped her from across the room, cheeks filling with indignant color as she fumed for a moment at the blatant insult and responded accordingly.

"Wh-what the hell gives you the right to say that?!"

"The fact that you act like such a fuckin' victim and have people fawning all over you because you're little and had shit happen to you; that gives me that right."

Kira shot back over her shoulder, cursing when the knot came undone and redid it in a matter of moments.

"Get over it,"

She continued.

"if you keep acting and treating yourself like used goods; people're going to take advantage of that and treat you like it."

Damn her. Sekai's face lost all color, legs swaying as she struggled to come to terms behind the, probably right, assumption but the insult behind it was very very clear in her ears.

"How,wha. why do yo-"

Kira snapped, just lost it and whirled around, glaring at her and let her have it.

"You're fucking pathetic!"

She yelled, snapping a hand out to one side in a visible show of her temper as she glared from Raquar to Sekai and back again several times.

"Just beat around the fucking bush until there's nothing left save the subject itself. You fucking piss me off with your bullshit!"

Shaking with anger, with hurt and the attempt and determination not to let Kira or Raquar see how it affected her. Swore she wouldn't be pathetic and weak like she so apparently was in Kira's eyes. Probably in the others' as well now that she thought of it.

"You said you understood."

Her voice betrayed her, shaking like crazy as she watched Kira's reaction, the way her face almost fell, the mask that slipped into place and the way her fists clenched at her sides.

"Didn't you hear what your fuck toy said?,"

Kira responded coldly, could feel that sliver of control starting to slip rapidly away from her. She needed to get the hell out of there and soon.


"I'm the Queen of deception and lies. I don't give a fuck about anyone and drop 'em when they piss me off or annoy me. Even ask Torvald on that one; he's had that experience before; didn't effect me in the least."

Any human or otherwise God that existed better prove themselves now, Kira thought to herself, teeth clenched and transparent blood vanishing into code, into the nothingness that would await all AI when they died.

What awaited her at the end.

_________________
Image

Name: Sekai
Level: 54
EXP: 0000/1000
Class: Archer
Clan: Army of Darkness
HP: 835
SP: 347

Currently Equipped:

Einherjar: Kira, December, Zorya

Head: Bat Earrings (Ola Repth 40, Rip Maen 40)
Body: Saint Cross (Rue Zot 10, RaJuk Zot 30)
Arm: Protect Ring (Ap Vorma 15, MeJuk Kruz 20)
Leg: Ninja Anklet (BiVak Rom 20, GiGan Zot 30)
Add-Ons: Forestlore, Wood Magic (permanently raised Wood Offense/Defense by +3 total)

Wishlist: Levels, Summon: Wood, Archer Weapons, Light Armor


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:01 pm 
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Ikkitousen
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:04 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Liminality
[Chapter 4: Tropophobia; Continued]

"Not this time, I won't lie to keep you near me"

- Evanescence "Lacrymosa"



The shock was evident in his eyes, as he left his previously relaxed position. To say he was shocked would be an understatement. He was downright floored. He took a hesitant step forward, eyes bouncing from one female to the next in an attempt to figure out something. He had no idea what was going on or what should be said. Why was Kira acting like this? And fuck toy? What the hell was she talking about? He took another hesitant step forward.

Kira's eyes flashed in warning, looking like she wanted to attack and knock him away before a flash of an internal struggle showed itself and she locked it back down. Locked back behind the stoic mask.

Sekai didn't want to believe it, couldn't believe that Kira was doing this without some reason or another that wasn't planned out. But... this wasn't her, it couldn't be her. Was she infected with a virus? What the hell was going on with the AI that would make her act so erratic?!

"You pretended, didn't you? This whole time,"

Her voice cracked, tears starting to fill her eyes. Maybe... maybe they'd been right, that AI weren't able to think on their own, that Kira'd been leading her along all this time. That Kira'd lied to her because it had been beneficial at the time.

"You lied to me this whole time, didn't you?!"

She screamed, demanded a response from the temporarily taken aback woman in front of her.

All. Too. Easy.

Kira thought to herself, ignoring the spread of pain through her chest and snarled back a response. If she broke it enough now, she'd survive in time, she'd heal and there wouldn't be anything to concern herself with later. She had the people here and that was all she needed.

"I told you before; you're pathetic. I don't need anyone. I was meant to be a lone wolf and I'll stay that way."

She smirked in their general direction.

"Besides; only a human can understand another human. You're a fool for thinking other wise."

He snarled slightly. He wanted to scream bullshit, to call it right then and there. But if Kira wanted to play that way. "Both of you stop it." His voice rumbled. "I know you're both full of shit. Kira if you mean what you last said then..."

There was a brief shimmering in the air as a man appeared by the boy's side.

"Only an AI can understand another AI." Torvald moved, not toward Kira, but toward the exit.

"You will not leave this as it is Kirayne. I will burn myself out here and now if necessitated, but you will not leave."

Sekai's body jerked at the sound of the boys speaking up, looking away from Kira and clenching her teeth so hard she feared they might crack. Always had to turn out like this, she berated herself, it always had to turn out like this and with a fight and someone leaving and not coming back.

Her heart froze.

She'd promised Mika she'd come back. And she lied.

"You have at least two left, don't give me that burning out bullshit. Jadin wouldn't let you and you know it."

Kira retorted in response. Dammit all, he had to go ahead and show up, didn't he? Swallowing hard and glancing at the exit to the common room; more than one way to leave a room; some more tangible than others too at that.

"You didn't understand back then and like hell if you're going to understand now Torvald."

There was almost a sense of quiet disappointment in her voice as she spoke. Looking around, the blocked exits and the three in the room who'd more like than not stop her and made her own decision. If they wanted to call it a bluff, so be it; she'd make it the final one she'd ever call.

Her eyes landed squarely on Torvald, matching and holding his gaze as she gave her ultimatum without regard to who else was in the room or what the response would be.

"You don't have a choice in this; you'll get out of my way or you'll see me disappear. You and I both know what that means."

The man hesitated, the struggle obvious in his eyes. Those eyes of his, they glinted once, before flames stretched from his body to the doorway. "You will not leave."

The Long Arm took a step toward Kira before stopping, his hand half-way reaching out to her. "Don't do this Kira."

"Don't you fucking touch me with those hands of yours."

Kira snapped at Raquar, eyes flaring as she began to gather power to her. Might as well go out with a bang if she was going to. Torvald would feel it, the sense of energy gathering in one place, of the strength and the transparency about to start to fade away. If he didn't move? It was his ass that got the brunt of the rage of the Council and the Priestesses then.

"Call the parasite off the door. I'll tell you that once. You don't make him move..."

She left the result unfinished, for them to acknowledge and force them to accept. Ice didn't move; and neither would she, Kira thought grimly.

Raquar's eyes glinted harshly. Torvald himself burned even brighter, he would not move from that door. The Long Arm's voice took an a very strange aspect, seeming hollow and very formal.

"Kirayne, former High Priestess of the Goddess Merrows, I beseech thee in the name of my priestess and my god with two tasks. You will not kill yourself here or now, and you will not leave this room."

Darkness swirled around him in a field, rising and falling and oscillating around him as he reached out, calling for the assistance of his mistress.

The power in the room, the formal requests, all of the absurdity made her, of all things, smile. She shook her head slowly, as if all of their planning were simply something to entertain her as she played them as the fools they were in her eyes.

"Your God, your Priestess and you, all of you,"

Kira laughed, a dry, cruel and humiliating kind of laugh as she rubbed a hand against her forehead, looking at them with eyes reflecting a hatred, a malice that hadn't been there and hadn't been seen since the fallout between Merrows and herself.

"I don't give a shit about any of that."

Her eyes landed on Raquar.

"Ciar won't come to a human territory."

She looked over at Torvald, cruelty in her smile.

"I'm no longer the former High Priestess; Onida stepped down and I am to return to take my proper place."

Her eyes narrowed slightly.

"Merrows' temper is already severely tested, if you want to be the one as her new bitch, then stay were you are by all means, not like it's any skin off of my back if you get slaughtered and Jadin loses you."

The darkness around the boy dissipated as Kira's statement rang true. He stood there in anger, feeling useless once again as all eyes rested on the flame in the doorway. For the first time in a long while, it faltered. The flames receeded gradually, until only the man stood in the doorway, his face a mask of hesitation and struggle. Slowly, very slowly, he stepped to one side. He shook his head sadly.

"You do this by choice, yet it is against your will. You don't want to return to the chair."

He shook his head again.

"But it is not my position to stop you. My apologies."

And he did something that nobody in the room ever thought he would do. He got down on his knee, and inclined his head to Kira.

"You told me you'd rather die than submit."

Sekai spoke up finally, eyes shining overly bright with tears she was fighting to hold back and her hands clenched tightly at her sides, blood already starting to fall in drops from her fists.

"You said you weren't someone would could do that position."

Kira stopped at the statement, turned so that she faced Sekai enough to make the girl look at her and stared at her for a long moment. Took in the appearance, blood stark against her pale skin, bruises already showing up purple against her flesh, torn attire and mussed hair that never did stay out of her eyes. The tawny eyes she knew were holding back tears that would fall in less than two or three minutes, the stubborn tilt to her chin and the small air of desperate determination she always had around her.

You're not half as pathetic and weak as I make you out to be. You'll figure that out in time.

She finally answered, two words and two words only that directed itself to everyone around her; and at herself as well.

"I lied."

Quiet words with finality in them were spoken as she turned back around and walked out of the room. Passing by Torvald, she closed her eyes for a moment, clenched her jaw and forced herself to keep going even as she listened to the sound of Sekai break into loud, broken sobs when her knees hit the floor.

Tears of her own had fallen the moment she'd passed by the Vak Soldier and stepped out of the threshold to leave them all behind. She froze that place she'd been connected to Sekai at, forcing herself to completely encase it in a way nothing she though or felt would break through.

And nothing that Sekai was feeling or thinking would come through either.

She exited the Hideout and headed to the Chaos Gate, hair blowing back in the icy wind, imagined she could hear the sound of her mother's victorious laughter and the snide approval of the Council ahead of her. Amber eyes turned to the sky as she allowed herself a single moment to grieve the loss and covered her face with her hands for a moment.

When her hands removed themselves from her face, the eyes were icy, the smirking little smile on her face and no trace of tears were left in her eyes or on her face. Only the slight glitter of liquid on the cobblestones signalled that she'd even wept at all.

It was time for the Sadist to return to the court once again; and this time they would pay with more than just their blood.

Raquar stood thunderstruck in the room. He wanted to stare in disbelief. That couldn't have just happened. He needed . . . He didn't know. He turned to gaze at the girl on the ground before him. He shuddered. What the hell had happened? He knelt down by her side, when there was a hand on his shoulder, and drops of liquid falling onto the ground before him. He looked up into the crying face of . . . Torvald?! The man spoke once, and not to him.

"Little one. She did that because she loved you." And then he too was gone. The Long Arm sat there for a long while, staring first at his hands, then at the sobbing girl on the ground. He would do what he could to comfort her. He had to. That would come first. Then . . . Then he would find a way to fix it. He would go to Ciar, the Council if he had to, but this would be fixed.

"Don't!"

She screamed, hands covering her ears as she crumpled, forehead against the ground as grief, of loss and pain wracked her entire body. Even still she was reaching for Kira mentally, trying to get past the block, the sense of emptiness that she wasn't used to having.

"Don't call me that..."

Sekai sobbed, not even the pain of her kidney, the pain of the dread code and the nightmares that plagued her at night hurt like this. How could it have ended up like this, that she'd have been willing to die rather than stay inside that room and talk things out? Not only did she feel like she was being torn apart from inside out, but it was still there; that reminder that wouldn't fade. The physical memory of what had occurred in that alcove. It ached in a different way, stung and ripped away at her worse than anything else. She didn't know why it did as it was doing, a brand upon her flesh, reaching deeper than the surface to lay a tattoo against her soul. Her hand, the one nearly broken by Kira in a fit of rage, reach up and clutched the mark on her throat as if it were the answer to what she was seeking, eyes widening as she realized where part of that pain came from.

The place where Kira's lips had rested against her skin still burned.

_________________
Image

Name: Sekai
Level: 54
EXP: 0000/1000
Class: Archer
Clan: Army of Darkness
HP: 835
SP: 347

Currently Equipped:

Einherjar: Kira, December, Zorya

Head: Bat Earrings (Ola Repth 40, Rip Maen 40)
Body: Saint Cross (Rue Zot 10, RaJuk Zot 30)
Arm: Protect Ring (Ap Vorma 15, MeJuk Kruz 20)
Leg: Ninja Anklet (BiVak Rom 20, GiGan Zot 30)
Add-Ons: Forestlore, Wood Magic (permanently raised Wood Offense/Defense by +3 total)

Wishlist: Levels, Summon: Wood, Archer Weapons, Light Armor


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:01 am 
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Ikkitousen
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:04 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Liminality
[Chapter Five: Autophobia]

“And it's so amazing 'cause that's just how you are
and I can't turn back now, 'cause you've brought me too far”


- LeAnn Rhymes “I Need You”


Merrows' Court and Council were on edge.

Her wayward daughter, the one rumored to have nearly become the Second Rebel, had returned with what many suspected to be some kind of hidden agenda, perhaps even infected by a human made virus and become a living bomb to destroy them all. They waited for the rebellious Kirayne to lash out, to unleash her temper upon them all and to confirm their beliefs that she truly had become that which they'd been waiting for the entire time and to execute her to prevent the threat.

Once she'd entered the Court, interrupting the middle of a rather serious discussion regarding her fate, they'd all seen the change, Merrows herself couldn't have looked more delighted as she welcomed back the daughter she'd seen beneath the surface of the 'silly little defiance'. It became quite clear that there was a major difference between the poisonously sweet and deceptive Lady Asorain and the defiant rebelliousness of Kirayne.

They began to fear the wrath of Lady Asorain more so than they did Merrows herself.

It was in those eyes of hers, those of another element all together that burned with a hatred that was nearly tangible when she turned her gaze on one of them. In those eyes they swore they saw their doom in them and people, servants and Council alike made themselves unavailable and scarce when she was around. All except for the three handmaidens that still served at her side faithfully as they had when she had been Kirayne and nothing more.

Most of her time, save when she was summoned by Merrows to be a trophy to the other representatives of the other Wave Rulers, she was permitted to wander about the field and the 'palace' they called an overly elaborate dungeon and generally left to her own devices. Though she had her sneaking suspicions Onida reported directly to Merrows since the poor girl could be brow beaten into doing near anything.

More and more of her time was spent inside her “room” and being fussed over by Onida and to a lesser extent, Maren as well. In her absence, there had been a new handmaiden added, Maren informing her that she was training the woman to be a proper servant in any way she was able to instruct her. Vesica, relaying the information of her defeat at the hands of a very unusual Wavemaster at her Mistress' request, was content to be at Kira's side or lounged around at her feet. Merrows didn't care for the familiar that had chosen her daughter, finding her distasteful and inappropriate companion for her distant but powerful child and often told her so.

The new girl was a bit unusual even in Kira's eyes and experiences in more than one world. She wore her hair longer than Jadin's, unbound and wild around her as the fiery gold eyes looked sharply for a chance to, well, shirk her duties or mutter something particularly unladylike that had the 'Lady' fighting hard to restrain the grin that wanted to come out. A red insignia, one that had her eyebrows raise in mild curiosity over this one's parentage, marked the center of the girl's forehead and, when Onida inquired about it, had forced Kira out of the room before she broke into laughter at the sassy remark that had been the response.

Strapless lace up vest in a pastel blue-green with the matching top beneath it was worn, exposing the navel and the toned stomach and lead to a form fitting skirt with a large brown belt holding it to her hips. The skirt itself was short enough to catch the soldiers' interest and, she admitted without a bit of shame that it combined with the long shapely legs that it accented had caught her eye on more than one occasion as well. Tall teal boots with no heel and a sea green ribbon tied three times around her throat completed her outfit, all in all one Kira highly approved of, with the odd little set of brass metal things with four holes through them.

It took her a little while to realize that Morgan, as she declared her name to be, was a Fist Fighter. Her comment of being rather dressed like Jadin, in a somewhat disgruntled fashion, provoked Morgan enough to throw one hell of a Jadin-like fit as she swore she was nothing like her ridiculously short tempered, brain dead and vain older sister.

Older. Sister.

Guh.

Well that was just seven kinds of suck, not to mention about several times more of a pain in the ass now that she figured out exactly why the Rue affiliated girl irritated the ever living shit out of her half the time. Apparently she had another Taima, this one big enough and more than likely strong enough to give her one hell of a fight if pressed to, on her hands and the mere thought of it made her groan aloud. For the most part though, they stayed the hell out of her way, especially when something about the Council pissed her the hell off. Well, Maren and Onida would scatter, the former more bowing out gracefully than the outright bolt of terror the latter would do.

She had to respect a Vak turned Rue handmaiden with enough brass to stay in a room when she was in the middle of one of her rages to annihilate everything in sight. The first few sessions with the Council and rest periods had gone rather well, uneventful save for a handful of said destructive rages.

What she was not looking forward to were the interactions with the other Priestesses themselves.

Here she was, in her room and finishing letting Maren and Onida prepare her for the meeting with the other five. Her silvery-blue hair was unbound, a sapphire ribbon around her throat as the blue lined white robe fell to the ground behind her and covered her bare feet; the one rebellion she hadn't given up. A wide navy sash wrapped around the gold bolt of cloth wrapped around her waist and trailed behind her as the long, transparent bolt of cloth with a pale blue hue was wrapped accordingly around her arms and shoulders. The billowing sleeves that covered her hands and tied at her forearms were in place and the final adjustments on her jewelry were set into place.

“There you are Lady Asorain. You are fully prepared to greet the others now.”

“You're all dismissed, tell them I'll be out in a few moments.”

Bowing and leaving the room, the three handmaidens shut the door quietly behind them to leave Kira to her thoughts. Once the sound of footsteps faded, she swung around to face herself in the full length mirror in front of her. An icy beauty stood in front of her, aloof exterior and a bored expression already slipped into her eyes. Power was wrapped around her and she was regal, untouchable, unmatched and unreachable as she was. Above all of the them, she who destroyed without a single thought, could lie without batting an eyelash or halting in place.

She who build such a wonderful, convincing web of deception around her that even she had fallen prey to it, tricked into believing that this was who she was, what she was meant to do and where she was supposed to be.

Glass shattered and flew in shards around her, silvery hair whipping around her person as she followed the hit the to reflection in front of her with a powerful kick and watched the frame slam into the back of the wall, glass clattering in a shrill, high sound against the marble floors and grated against her ears. Chest heaving and trying to catch her breath from her outburst of temper, Kira stiffened at the sound of footsteps crunching against the glass and swung around to deck the intruder into her private quarters.

Ciar's pale hand caught the fist neatly, as if it were nothing more than taking a piece of meat from a plate, and folded her fingers around the bleeding limb. Violet eyes met startled, guilty amber as a sympathetic smile faintly touched her lips. The full length black gown was in a traditional European style, low at the neckline with faint lines of violet and silver embroidery along it and the pointed sleeves that ended at her wrists and the thick ebony tresses were bound up in a simple, onyx and hematite jeweled hair net.

Fuck. This was the last Priestess next to Rohana that she wanted to see.

“You're in pain.”

She said softly, black and violet energy washing over the wounds and sealing them without a trace of injury remaining. It would take a complete and utter idiot to miss the double meaning behind Ciar's words, her eyes falling sharply away as she tried to move her fist out of the Ani Priestess' grasp and gave it up when the bitch held on and sent her a rather disapproving and reprimanding look. Resigning herself to the fact that, out of all of them, Ciar was the one who knew her the best and dammit; the woman knew more than she needed to.

“Been spying on me again? You'd think someone like you would have better things to do.”

Kira muttered bitterly as the wounds healed and the older woman tugged on her wrist towards the bed.

“Really not in the fuckin' mood; I meant the double entendre too.”

She added with not too little of a sulk in her voice as the violet eyed woman seated herself primly on the bed and, with Kira's wrist still in hand, patted the seat next to her with her free hand expectantly. With a great exasperated sigh and moving that pain in the ass length of hair out of the way so she wouldn't sit on it, she complied and sat next to the woman who'd been... quite a bit to her back in the day. Uncomfortable silence had her restraining the overwhelming urge to fidget or make some witty comment or direct a barb at either her army or one of the other Priestesses'.

“You never were very good at sitting in silence.”

Oh good God, she was in the mood to reminisce. Someone kill her now.

“You fared as well in silence as you did and still do beneath the Council's and the Court's eye in hiding your façade.”

She continued without missing a beat, sending Kira into a heart attack as her head turned sharply towards the serene woman in shock. Mouth gaping open at the bold statement, she looked around warily for any sign of a trap, reached out with a tentative tendril of power to find herself and her room completely locked in by the surge of power wrapped around the entire area. She noticed with a bit of dry humor that the coiled whip was nowhere in sight and put two and two together when she noticed the glyphs around the edges of the walls with an irritated huff.

“OrMeAni Kruz? Seriously Ciar, what the fuck? Plan to assassinate me or something?”

Bluffing was fun, considering she could only fucking cast a second level Rue spell right now. Hell, even Onida would be able to throw more of a challenge up against the Ani Priestess than she could right now. But then again, Kira reminded herself with a heavy, almost melancholy sigh of defeat, Ciar had been around longer than any of the others had by quite a few seasons. Rumor had it she'd been around when the First Rebellion had begun and had ended rather badly for Wryneck's side of things.

Been around since the very beginning. She'd seen it all more likely than not, small wonder when the High Priestesses and Handmaidens were in training that they were sent to Ciar. The blasted woman knew everything.

More uncomfortable silence.

...

...

...

She gave in and fidgeted.

What?? You're giving me the fucking creeps already just sitting there and not saying anything.”

“How long can you lie to yourself Kirayne? Or,”

The elfin face looked her straight in the eyes, something astonishingly close to compassion and sympathy... even pity in the amethyst gaze as she reached up and smoothed a tendril of hair out of the younger woman's face, tucking the blue tinted lock behind her ear in an almost maternal gesture. After a long moment, her hand slid back up and held Kira's cheek in hand, head tilting a little to one side as she dropped all pretenses and shields to show the concern she felt for the young Rue Priestess.

“Shall I call you Kira now?”

She should have been angry at the liberties being taken, should have killed her- or tried to, for the invasion of her space and the not so minor threat circling her room and ready to go off at any second. Instead, fear, icy hot shot through her veins and sent a wave of nausea through her stomach.

Shit.

Ciar's smile was soft, if not a bit regretful as she let her hand fall to her lap and stared off at the door, a contemplative yet sad expression on her still youthful face as she waited for her former student to finish struggling within herself and come to a decision. When the decision involved staring as if she had grown wings and a pair of horns, like she was about to have her throat slit and the assassination slow and painful, she spoke.

“You confirmed my suspicion with such a response.”

Now the fear really struck as she kicked herself for falling into another carefully woven trap set for her. Dammit, dammit, dammit, dammit! Tears threatened her vision as she felt her shoulders hunch and slump in on themselves in defeat. Ciar'd definitely caught her in a place she didn't want herself to be in; could very easily fuck her over in the worst of ways right then and there if she wanted.

It wasn't enough. Dammit all to hell and back; her best still wasn't enough.

“How long do you plan on torturing yourself little one?”

Kira's reaction to the term of endearment was unexpected. Her hand caught the older woman's face before either of them knew what was happening, the amber eyes feral, cornered animal about to be taken prisoner as she snarled in response.

“Don't fucking call me that you interfering bitch.”

She didn't move, turned her head back to face the furious woman and watched the rage in the girl's eyes, looked past it and saw desperation, loneliness and the slow process of the girl's soul, her spirit and will to live dying. Those eyes haunted her from the moment she'd shown herself to Merrows' new and unified Court the day Kira, no, Lady Asorain had returned. She herself and Wryneck had refused treaties, unions with Merrows under the impression that they would be the ones stabbed in the back; not that they would be the ones with the knives.

After all; one had a good deal of arrogance to name her heiress after herself; reversed.

Lady Niarosa certainly had enough vanity, arrogance and ego to topple even the Vak kingdom's soldiers and ruler in one sure sweep of her gown's sleeves. It was certainly a pity, Ciar thought to herself with a hint of a rueful smile, that the student had to follow in her mentor's footsteps in matters of the heart.

Such a tangled web they wove their lives into.

“Of everyone Kirayne, you alone should have known that there is little, if anything you can hide from me.”

“No one fucking asked you! Get out!”

She yelled, pointing at the door as Ciar rose to stand toe to toe, looking down upon the smaller, enraged Priestess before holding her face in both hands before the woman could blink or react.

“Do not discard this as if it were nothing; I will not see you become your mother, do you understand me Asorain?”

The shadows seemed to rise up, drowning the light outside the window, the stars and the moon that lit the perpetual frozen night and nearly becoming a physical presence that choked and surrounded her. Darkness thicker than any she'd ever seen or felt before, power that surrounded and threatened to both embrace and tear her apart wrapped around her muscles and her heart. Violet eyes were the only light in the entire area, the light spreading from those eyes to cast a soft amethyst light around the both of them as Ciar pulled the girl forward and held her close. Kira's hands were trapped at her sides, too stunned to move at the unusual sign of affection and at the way the Priestess was acting in the first place.

The embrace lasted for far too long and Kira swore she could feel the older, stronger woman actually start to tremble against her. Now alarmed by more than the fury she'd been hit with and the use of her actual name, she struggled to pull away, to try and look up and see what in the hell was wrong with her former teacher only to find the hold on her tighten as she caved in and let her hands move up and hold Ciar's arms.

“C-Ciar?”

Kira began to ask what on earth was wrong with a series of shrieks, an angry bellow that could only be from one individual and a room shaking explosion and impact that nearly sent Kira down on the ground with the midnight haired priestess. Alarm flooded her, who the hell could possibly be invading the palace? And why the hell was Jadin attacking already and she hadn't been called to defend her own fortress?!

“What the hell was that?!”

A rather shaky, dry chuckle came from the older woman as she extracted herself from Kira's arms and straightened herself up, pressing something into the Rue Priestess' hand and turning her back on her despite the look of surprise and confusion on the young woman's face.

“That would be Jadin's infamous Double Mortal Scorcher.”

Kira found herself embraced from behind, something tight, sharp digging into her throat as she choked, air supply cut off as Ciar's voice, black as pitch murmured dangerously into her ear. Black spots danced in front of her vision as the faint sounds of whatever was going on was spreading, coming closer to where she and whatever the hell had bitten the Ani Priestess were located.

“Remember my warning Asorain; it is up to you to accept what you deny. Do not make yourself into a fool as I did. Give that item in your hand to the Long Arm when you see him next; he will receive my message once he dons it.”

Another series of explosions and a message that nearly scalded her mind from the amount of pure fury and heated annoyance sent to her from Jadin hit her, sent her reeling and clutching her head just as the door exploded off of its hinges and the burst of flame, thick, choking smoke and several somethings that were burning flooded into the room. The wards Ciar had put up were suddenly very much, well, nonexistant, had the damn woman been fucking with her head again and made her only think there was such a strong magic ready to be activated?

{You'd better be thankful you ungrateful bitch. You'll owe me an explanation later. Don't find me, I'll find you.}

A figure stumbled into the room, breathing hard as a familiar, charcoal smudged face came dashing into the room with a white long bow clutched tightly in hand. Arrow loaded and ready to fire, the orange light from the flames glinted on the girl's pale hair as she whirled at a sudden sound and aimed in the direction of the noise behind her. The bow clattered to the ground, arrow vanishing from sight as her hands dropped to her side in shock, a flurry of emotions racing across her face as she stared directly at the very person she'd come, with Rohana's assistance, as well as someone she hadn't met but briefly before who'd asked her to let her handle things, to talk privately to get things settled between them once and for all.

She was standing right there in front of her with an identical expression of disbelief, dressed in something so... unlike her that, for a moment, Sekai thought she'd made a mistake, had run into the wrong person until she saw the pendant around Kira's neck and the tattoo she'd proudly given herself on the cheek. But she just looked so... so...

Feminine.

No, that wasn't the word she was looking for, even in the middle of a ruthless fight there was that grace only a woman could achieve and move with. Her eyes narrowed slightly, studying the woman in front of her as realization of two things struck her at once.

The roles between them had quite suddenly been reversed and Kira looked so much younger than how she usually appeared.

She was there, guns blazing, as the saying went, and ready to take her out of there if that was what it boiled down to and dressed to fight. Kira was dressed in something that quite reminded Sekai of something her mother had forced her to wear during one of the many parties and had the same trapped look in her eyes and she had back then.

Something was... wrong about that; Kira being the one in need of rescue.

Kira looking the weakest out of the two of them.

Bright violet runes along the walls and the floor suddenly lit up, Sekai's head jerking up, meeting Kira's eyes and froze as there was was a flash of understanding between the two of them.

And then everything was plunged into darkness and they knew no more.

Kira woke first, wincing at the headache as she lifted her hand and rubbed her temples, wincing at the moonlight drifting in from an open window as it struck her eyes. Last thing she recalled was the exchange of information, of regret when Ciar's damn spell went off and they'd had a moment to say anything between herself and the girl crumpled on the floor next to the closed and sealed door.

...closed and sealed door.

Goddammit Ciar.

She swore viciously to herself, once again she'd been duped by the woman's ability to reach in and screw with her mind. Hell, that whole thing probably hadn't even happened and she was stuck in some form of unconsciousness from that spell going off. Maren had better get in there with a Rip Maen soon or she was going to kill someone once she got back to strength.

“Nn,”

Kira's head nearly snapped off her neck as she looked sharply over to where the Archer was pushing herself to her knees, white hair falling over her shoulder as she looked around and found herself pinned beneath the disbelieving gaze. So it hadn't all been an illusion, she thought bitterly and felt anger, unjustified but anger nonetheless surge through her at the ridiculous amount of risks Sekai had thrown herself through to get here.

“What the hell were you thinking?! Don't you know you could have been killed?!”

Sekai's cheeks heated, eyes defiant as she turned her head away, letting her eyes drop first out of the two of them and gritted her teeth against, well, a lot she wanted to snap out in return.

“That dress is pretty on you, it's,”

She swallowed hard and forced the words out despite the bad taste the memories of her past gave her.

“very flattering.”

Feeling her cheeks flush in response to the honest compliment, Kira snarled and paced back and forth beside the bed. She'd fucking told that skinny little shit who housed Torvald to keep an eye on her or else he'd get her killed in both worlds.

Sekai's temper snapped, still angry and hurt that Kira'd taken off like that and against her own judgment, she'd gone to go find the AI to settle things once and for all. To give herself some closure when she really wanted nothing more to talk it out and reconcile with the stubborn, snarly woman in front of her. Sure the marks on her cheek, the nearly broken wrist and that whole... fight and then some back at the Hideout had been one of the worst things she'd ever experienced in her life.

Plus, she wanted that explanation for that damn hickey on her throat.

“Are you going to ignore what I went through to get to you or are you actually going to be the adult out of the two of us and talk to me?”

She bit out at the AI pacing back and forth in front of her.

“You keep rubbing your neck like you're expecting me to do somethin' about it.”

Kira retorted in return, continuing her pacing to keep herself from going over and doing... probably one out of several things racing through her mind at the moment. Throttling her was one of the most appealing, though the urge to drag her to the bed and renew it, to have her mouth against the soft flesh and-

Son of a bitch that brat still effected her this strongly even through all the guilt she felt for everything she'd said and done.

“Unless you're here because you want me to be the first one in this world to fuck you senseless, I suggest you get the hell out of here before you get your pretty little ass killed.”

Come on, she pleaded silently with the girl, glaring at her from the corner of one eye, take the bait and the insult and get the hell out of there while you still have the chance. Her control was slipping, she wanted to possess that little bitch, wipe the words she'd said out of the girl's head and show her that there was more than one place she could mark her in that way. Some less than decent as a matter of fact.

Her jaw clenched, fists tightening as she counted to twenty in the two languages she knew and turned herself back around, standing up completely and glaring right back in Kira's direction. This must be one of the stupid games she played with people and the ones that got her the reputation for being so... well, Kira. Well she didn't lose at these kinds of games and was going to call this bluff of Kira's at any point in time.

“You never would do that and you know it. Want to try another lie that I'm stupid enough to maybe believe? Or is that the best you've got?”

Spending far too much time with the boys, Kira thought bitterly and sneered over at the girl, plopping on the bed with her arms folded over her chest. So she wanted to play it this way? Fine. Let her see the truth in the matter herself. Her mind opened for the girl, directly flooding her mind with the feelings and images of what she could do to her, of what she was capable of making her do.

“I could fuck you any time, any place and any way I choose if I wanted to. And there'd be nothing you could say or do about it.”


[Those of you who own the song Sarah McLachlan's "Possession" should play it starting at 3:00]


Satisfied with the taken aback, almost frightened look on the girl's face, Kira smirked and turned her head to look outside. That should take care of that, she thought to herself and barricaded her mind once again; prepared herself for the pain of hearing that door slam close as the sound of Sekai's footsteps would fade and be no more.

Her mouth opened, closed and her face burned scarlet from the barrage of lewd, indecent acts that paraded through her mind. Blood heating as the emotional aspect of all of them came in and forcing her heart to speed up and mouth to dry out at the unfamiliar emotions that warred within her in response.

The intensity, the strength and pure power of that emotion that rang out with every act shown to her was suddenly clear; there was no violence, nothing abusive in the least and there wasn't even a struggle in sight in any of them. All willing. All consensual and all of the actions taken by the woman lowering her down on to the sheets were nothing but gentle and loving.

So that was the human secret that Ciar had told her Kira possessed; why Kira had changed so much and acted so erratically. Love was what was killing the Ani Priestess, or rather, the inability to be with the one she loved, and it was love that was making Kira hurt everyone around her. For how sharp and intelligent the woman was at times, she certainly was a complete idiot when it came to the strongest of the most powerful emotions.

'There's not turning back now; not after I've come this far.'

Taking a deep, shaky breath, she found the fasten to the leather armor, carefully, quietly setting that on the floor before looking around her, at the room itself and at the woman softly glowing in the moonlight against the white bed covering and in the white garments trimmed in blue. What she was doing, she didn't have a clue, didn't know if she was allowed to be doing this. It felt forbidden, like there would be some sort of grand, unavoidable sin placed upon her soul for pushing herself forward to do this.

She didn't know for sure if it was Kira she truly loved or if it were Raquar or perhaps even someone she hadn't even met yet. But she was only sure of one thing, as she felt the rest of her clothing loosen thanks to her unlacing of the hip armor and the hakama beneath it and fall to the floor to leave her bare to the cool room.

A world without Kira there with her was a world that was unbearable.

The sound of something crumpling softly to the floor brought her attention away from the window overlooking the field the 'palace' dungeon was in. Blood drained from her face at the sight of the determined, almost fierce expression in Sekai's eyes as the girl stepped out of the pile of clothes pooled at her feet and walked towards where she sat on the bed. Shadows caressed her form, bathing certain parts of her in darkness but leaving no doubt in anyone's mind that the girl was wearing nothing but her skin.

Her mouth went dry, throat seizing up as she watched the light from the night time sky and the full moon outside slowly reveal the girl's small but fully grown body completely to her gaze. Pale skin touched with a soft glow in the moonlight and the moonlight turning her hair into a living light of its own as one hand reached down and softly, slightly hesitantly turned Kira's chin up to look at the brilliant golden-brown gaze that somehow had gained the quiet ability to look right through her.

Soft lips parted and her tongue moistened her lips out of the nervous habit she'd have when she wasn't completely sure about what she was doing as she spoke Kira's doom in two words. The irony wasn't lost on the AI, after all, it took only two words for her to destroy the foundation around her world and around those from the Hideout's who'd witnessed it. At least, she'd thought she'd managed to destroy it beyond repair.

Her breath was stolen from her as the young woman, once so filled with anxiety and uncertainty that it was painful to look at, stood before her with absolutely no defenses up and exposed in more ways than one, spoke only with a quiet kind of command to her.

“ Prove it.”

_________________
Image

Name: Sekai
Level: 54
EXP: 0000/1000
Class: Archer
Clan: Army of Darkness
HP: 835
SP: 347

Currently Equipped:

Einherjar: Kira, December, Zorya

Head: Bat Earrings (Ola Repth 40, Rip Maen 40)
Body: Saint Cross (Rue Zot 10, RaJuk Zot 30)
Arm: Protect Ring (Ap Vorma 15, MeJuk Kruz 20)
Leg: Ninja Anklet (BiVak Rom 20, GiGan Zot 30)
Add-Ons: Forestlore, Wood Magic (permanently raised Wood Offense/Defense by +3 total)

Wishlist: Levels, Summon: Wood, Archer Weapons, Light Armor


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:26 pm 
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Ikkitousen
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:04 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Liminality
[Chapter Six: Philophobia]

"Nothing stands between us here and I won't be denied"
- Possession by Sarah McLachlan

Warning: There is some adult content in here, I've made it as subtle as I was able to while still stressing the importance of the scene and what happens.


It was a physical blow in verbal form, each word striking her in vital areas and in a place she'd sworn nothing resided in because of what she was. Kira's stomach lurched in a visceral response to the sight in front of her and the way absolutely nothing was being hidden from her in that moment. Everything Sekai was, everything she would become and just everything in general, as much as it annoyed Kira to use that one word so many times in a row within her thoughts, was open and offered selflessly for her to read if she chose to look.

And for that long moment of shock, she did look, stared so long her eyes watered before the fear ruthlessly reared up from twining around her spine and sank its fangs deep into her mind. Hearing the joints and bones in her neck pop from the violent movement of turning her head away so quickly, her voice came out sharper than she'd intended it to as she managed to find something to say.

"Get your fucking clothes on! What the hell is wrong with your head, are you fucking crazy?!"

She wouldn't admit that what the girl had offered, what had been presented in front of her, terrified the living hell out of her. Her ears caught the movement of soft hair moving against bare flesh and she felt the girl's body heat as keenly as she felt the way the air was suddenly too stifling and how her throat was closing up in panic. Her resolve was rapidly dissolving, the girl dealing more damage by just standing there and being nearby than any Vak magic could, and that was half the fucking reason she'd run from her.

It wouldn't be right to expose the girl, her personal weakness and vulnerable point, to everything that happened within the madness of the world she had been born into. No, she had to be strong about this; had to get her the hell away from here before someone found her and got a hold of what was left of her heart that hadn't been damaged by the past human year and a half.

Kira refused to be responsible for allowing any more scars on that girl's soul than were there already.

Sekai watched the emotions race across the AI's face, noticed the panic and fear flash in her eyes and, in her usually concerned and caring nature, instinctively moved closer to offer the woman what strength she had and the comfort she could give her.

And forgot that she was naked in the process.

She didn't see the hardened resolve in Kira's eyes when she felt something grip her wrist- the same one that had nearly been broken before- and nearly throw her on to the bed with one sharp pull. A yelp escaped despite her best efforts as she hit the cold sheets and found herself on her stomach before she could so much as pull herself into a sitting position.

Something soft but heavy prevented her from moving and, instinctively, Sekai tensed up completely with a surge of fear racing through her system as a rough palm reached beneath her and moved down her stomach and paused when she'd flinched. Her breath caught in her throat and she froze as she her a bitter laugh above her.

"You automatically tense up if I even go near anywhere remotely sexual; my hand is right between your hips, on your lower stomach and you've already gone into panic mode."

The hand removed itself, much to Sekai's relief- and anger, as surprised as she was about the latter of the two emotions, and so did the heavy weight atop of her. Warmth disappeared to be replaced by the chill of the room's air and of the brush of long hair against her bare skin as Kira slid off of her and stood, back turned to her, and spoke again in a weary, almost disappointed tone of voice that could have been mistaken for gentle.

"Go back to the Hideout Sekai, there's nothing left for either of us."

She'd done that on purpose, Sekai realized with a surge of indignant rage heating her face and sending a flush of color down her neck and shoulders. Kira was trying to brush her off, trying to mess with her head to make her think she wasn't serious and that she was only here because she... well, whatever Kira thought she was there for. Everything she had been through, all the thinking, the anger and the tears she'd shed and felt... there was nothing that Kira would understand about all of that because she hadn't been there. Hadn't seen how hard she'd fought just to prove herself worthy enough to be able to plead with those who knew her to give her a chance.

She didn't know just how much she'd offered of herself to have the chance to bring her back.

Eyes flashing in a way that would have reminded the viewer very much of the temperamental AI staring off into nothing, Sekai reached out and caught Kira's wrist in her hand, tightened her grip and using as much as her physical weight as possible, yanked back to knock the woman sprawling on her back on to the bed. Unfortunately, despite the success of that action, she'd pulled a little too hard and wound up letting go and the momentum sent her falling off the bed's open side with another yelp and a smack of flesh against ground.

Kira didn't know whether to be too surprised to laugh or to groan and put a hand over her eyes in embarrassment that she felt the way she did about the clumsy little pain in the ass.

Ciar's riddle was in her mind, rising unbidden as she closed her eyes a moment, not hearing the soft, humiliated curses muttered under the girls breath or the way her bare feet slapped against the floor as she stormed around the edge of the bed, and instead recalling exactly the kind of pain she'd seen in the Ani Priestess' eyes when she'd recited it for the first time. When she had heard it first, much younger than she was now, she'd thought the older woman was being stupid and vague on purpose despite the riddles she usually liked trying to figure out. Almost subconsciously she murmured the riddle aloud, blinking suddenly when she realized she knew the answer to it and what Ciar had been trying to warn her about back then.

Dammit but she wished she'd have figured it out sooner.

"Gentle at first glance
fiercer than the fang
They search since birth
but know not what to look for
Given away thoughtlessly
and eventually turning hollow
This word the solemn and desperate speak
is what We cannot choose to follow."


Sekai's face loomed above hers, surprise and curiosity mixed with annoyance and chagrin as she noticed the way her face had gone grey and alarm started spreading through her small boned features before she spoke uncertainly.

"Kira?"

Suddenly the girl froze, tipped her head slightly to one side as a thoughtful look crossed her features, eyes skimming nothing in the air in front of Kira's face- must have gotten a Flashmail from someone- and looked sharply back down at her with the same kind of realization in her eyes that the AI's still contained. Instead of being angry, like she had been not even two minutes before, she had a look of such heartbreaking sympathy and understanding that it felt like a physical knife into her heart.

Somehow, Sekai had put the pieces together and had come to the same conclusion she'd come to such a long time ago. It should have made her vindictively happy that she'd finally realized it after so long but, the look on the gentle face, in the soft eyes was just too much and shame rippled through her in a wave more powerful than she'd ever thought capable. She closed her overly bright, burning eyes and hunched in on herself, no longer caring that she was on her back and in a submissive position, misery written over every line on her face and in her body.

Kira hadn't expected this to hurt as badly as it did.

A painful lump lodged in her throat as she turned her head away from where she could feel her gaze lingering, could feel all the worry coming from, and sank her teeth into her lower lip viciously enough to rip through flesh and draw blood. Dammit, she couldn't do this, not now, she couldn't fall apart right now in front of her. Pride demanded she be alone when she let herself grieve, let herself mourn what she couldn't have.

Why couldn't I have been born in a world where I had a chance?

Stupid, stupid, stupid AI, she scolded herself, she wasn't human and she needed to stop fucking thinking like one. She never was and never would be human, no matter how she wished and longed for it to be so on occasion. Reality was a cruel mistress and all Kira wanted was somehow, just a little, to have it not be so much so sometimes.

A gentle touch against her cheek, something soft brushing against her closed eyes and something hard leaning against her forehead startled her and caused the pain to be all the more intense as she jerked at the contact, trying to shove it away from her so that she could fold in and deal with this the way she should have dealt with it in the first place. It retreated for the moment before something that took away the chill of the world around her curled beside her, what was definitely a head rested gently against her shoulder as she felt an arm hesitantly wind its way around her side to rest against her back.

Kira didn't have to inhale to see who's scent it was, but as masochistic as she'd somehow become, she did so anyways and felt her teeth dig a little deeper into her abused lip as a result. Sure she smelled more like wood smoke and sweat than the faint soapy but clean one she wore naturally but, it was still her scent all the same. No one else had it and no one else but her would in this world.

"That answer hurt you."

Sekai spoke quietly after an unknown amount of time had passed, it wasn't something she needed Kira to confirm, the way the usually cocky to frighteningly furious woman's agony was shown in every angle of her body told her enough. Why this pained her so much was something she didn't understand, the reason behind her actions was what she did get, even if she didn't exactly approve of the way Kira had handled it. But, maybe the realization process for someone else was more painful than she was aware of. Maybe... maybe it wasn't so easy for someone to handle hiding it for so long that it turned into something painful, unwanted even.

So... was that.... was that why Kira acted the way she had and said what she did back at the Hideout?

She could smell the blood on Kira's skin, watched it wind around her throat to hit her hair and the sheets beneath her, from the way her teeth were embedded so deeply into the flesh that her gums were even stained crimson. Blood was something that made her slightly queasy, she didn't like seeing it and the smell always reminded her of her hated but frequent trips to the hospital for her health and her kidney problems. Even now, with all her concern and the decision she didn't even realize she'd made to begin with, the sight and smell was getting to her.

There were tears running over the bridge of her nose to land on her cheek and hair, trickling into her ear as she refused to give into to her urge to completely and utterly let herself be vulnerable in front of another person. Especially someone she'd tried to protect for so long it became second nature to look out for her well being before her own. Showing weakness, it was the way to get killed the easiest and the way you got yourself betrayed faster than a Twin Blade could stick the dagger in your back. A soft hand with fingertips only beginning to get callouses from weapon use smoothed her hair out of her face, tucking long strands behind her ear before wiping away tears with the tenderness of someone soothing a wounded animal.

Gentle but insistent fingers turned her head in another direction against her now weakened will, teeth removing themselves from her lip as another hand smoothed her hair away from her face, removing strands that had gotten caught in the blood and stuck to her skin before holding her face with both hands. Blood still leaked from her bitten lip, welling up in the tooth indentations and beading to fall into her lap and stain the white silk that covered her body and she refused to open her eyes, didn't want to see the pity and regret she knew would be in the eyes of the girl she didn't want the feelings she had to see.

She knew that no matter what; there would be no more hiding it from her, just as she couldn't hide it from Ciar.

"I'm sorry,"

Soft, regret tinged apology in a quiet voice reached her ears as she felt her head tilted upwards, a cool skinned forehead resting against her burning one and the soft pressure of her breath stinging her wounds from barely an inch away. She felt the tears before she tasted them, as sharp a pain as they were when they hit her open bite mark and felt her eyes slowly resist and open on their own accord. There was regret, certainly and they both knew there was no getting beyond that particular emotion, though what she was regretting was something that Kira was afraid to ask, that she didn't want to hear the answer to.

In case it was even having the misfortune of meeting something like her in the first place.

But there was no pity in her eyes, in some ways, the silent apology made things even worse than if she had seen pity but, at the same time, it also hurt less than if there had been something else as well. Sekai bowed her head, still the taller of the two of them because of the way they were positioned- Kira's head only a little below her own- and closed her eyes as she felt Kira searching her expression for something that she didn't know if she could give, the question being unspoken but asked anyway. She didn't know what answer to give her when she didn't even know what it should be in the first place. Of course, all she knew were her feelings on having to go through The World without Kira, as painful and heart wrenching as they were, and now of Kira's reason behind her behavior and her feelings as well.

No one sane would have made the decision based on pure feeling alone, would have taken time to talk things out and let things calm down instead of doing something that would be seen as foolish, dangerous even as what decision began to make itself known.

Then again, after all she had gone through and experienced in her short life, Sekai knew she wasn't sane and was, if anything, definitely a very foolish girl. Her mother would be proud of her for finally admitting that.

Her eyes opened, no longer regret tinged but apologetic all the same, and she inhaled shakily, the smell of silk, of blood mingled with tears, shame and of whatever incense the clothes had been exposed to filling her senses, as she took her destiny, her future and her very life completely into her own hands for once-

And in one move, threw them into the wind to be carried wherever it would take them.

Hesitantly, timidly she let her lips brush and linger against Kira's own, no demands made from the contact but a small test, an inquiry of if she were welcome and if she were accepted. Dry lips were moistened, spotted with red in places as she started to draw back, a shaky breath escaping from her as nerves began to settle in, to tell her that she'd made a big mistake and needed to give some space before things really, really became bad and she screwed up more than she had already.

The iron grip, of fingers digging harshly into her shoulders, stopped her from moving as desperation fueled by the relief of no longer having to bear the burden of such a secret alone connected their mouths once more. Experience meant nothing to either of them, Sekai's hands shakily reaching up and clutching on to Kira's shoulders, covered as they were by the soft silk, to try and anchor herself as the blood seemed to rush into her head, making it throb and pound within her ears. It was dizzying, terrifying and she couldn't stop herself, couldn't stop Kira as emotions she didn't understand, unable to identify, wrecked havoc on her mind.

Clouded and with no sense of judgment or responsibility whatsoever in her thoughts, it felt as if she were watching from a distance as her thumbs slipped beneath the opening of Kira's oriental styled gown, likely Chinese or Korean based in design, and slowly began to slip the navy blue lined white silk off of the broad, toned shoulders.

Shaky breaths and a choked whimper rushed out as Kira's lips traveled, tracing her jawline and gently against her throat and the side of her neck. Trails of fire, of burning ice left in the wake as rough palms gently glided up and down her arms, over her shoulders and massaged softly before repeating the motion over and over again. She cried out wordlessly when Kira found the place she'd bit, had branded her flesh prior to the fight inside the Hideout, again and settled her mouth there for a moment before moving up. The sound of fabric tearing didn't snap her out of it when Sekai jerked, whimpering when her teeth found the girl's ear and the silk tore beneath her hand off of her shoulders.

It didn't matter how badly her outfit would get ruined, there was always another piece of shit gown to wear and impress the piece of shit Council with their piece of shit Queen with anyways. What mattered was this girl, this brave, stupid and wonderful girl making those soft, breathless noises beneath her mouth and hands that she'd only fantasized and daydreamed about in private moments. Tiny, dull fingernails bit into the skin of her back, sending a delicious shiver down her spine as Sekai's head leaned back, her lips tracing down the pale column of her throat to stop at her collarbone and removing themselves from the girl's skin completely.

Her hands slowly touched Sekai's, easing between the fingers gripping the fabric of her robe as if it were a lifeline and assisted her in removing the garment from her body until she was as bare as the sparsely decorated room around her. Her ear cuff, the pendant around her throat, her Wave markings and the long hair she found completely obnoxious and reached up to pull and twist into a bun to get it out of her way. Sekai's hand against her wrist stopped her, the silent question in the tawny eyes causing her to give in, to pull the girl closer and shivered where soft skin brushed against and lingered in contact with her own.

There had to be something wrong with this, Kira thought, dazed and reeling as Sekai tentatively ran her fingers over the corded muscles in her arms and shoulders and with a little hesitation, places a butterfly's wing beat soft kiss against the edge of her shoulder and neck. Something was just bizarrely out of place about this whole situation, so unreal and so, so- her hands traveled, marveling at the toned, athletic body that belonged to the Archer class. She kissed the palm of her hand, lips moving softly, gently against one of the most sensitive parts of the body and watched the reaction as the tawny eyes closed and a slight intake of breath sent her own heart skyrocketing in pace.

Poison and slow hallucinations that came before death, Kira realized with a slow smile. She'd been poisoned and was hallucinating this entire thing, poison hadn't been a favorite of Ciar's as far as she had known the woman but, maybe her distance from her former mentor had caused a few changes that she hadn't been aware of. Sucks that she wouldn't get to tell Sekai anything and that she'd be taking her secret to the grave but, hell, even this illusion would do for someone like her.

Because there was no way in hell she deserved the real thing.

Either way, this was definitely one hell of mind trip, she thought to herself as she moved a little closer, slowly lowering the girl from her hands to her elbows, and then to her back as she shifted her body to straddle hers. The contact was ridiculously charged wherever her skin touched this dream-Sekai's and she even heard herself whimper- her! the one and only Kirayne, rebellious daughter of Merrows, the feared Asorain the Traitor was whimpering as if she were some starved creature just begging for a kind hand to reach out to her. It was insanity beyond belief and utterly ridiculous but, at the same time, she craved that kind hand to reach out, even for a moment, to embrace her and to hold her.

Her mouth lowered and she could hear a cry of some kind from the hallucination, hells bells, she should have asked Ciar to kill her sooner; even if it were painful at the end, at least this dream world was something she could bear, something she could live with and not regret taking her last breath in. Back arched beneath her, she could feel fingernails running gently through her hair and felt her body writhe beneath her, lifting her head, she let everything show. Even if this really was her last vision, her last thing she'd see in a world that wasn't real and wasn't her own anymore; Kira was going to make sure that, maybe someday, the dream-Sekai would visit her actual self and give the memory to her.

Because she wanted nothing more than to take back what she'd said and done.

“I don't know how,”

She murmured, lips grazing against sensitive skin as she shifted her position and leaned up to kiss her after the spoken apology. The way she moved caused Sekai to cry out, hands gripping her hair and pulling her forward to meet Kira. Tawny eyes held little fear as Kira moved again, widening in shock before she dropped her arms to grip the broad shoulders and strong arms with a shakily spoken version of her name. Her hands settled on the girl's small waist, easily lifting her and sliding her up, still straddling her leg, to pull her closer to her body. Pushing the long white hair from her face and tugging playfully back on the gathered bunch and to one side, she leaned forward and met the girl's mouth while she shifted her leg ever so slightly.

That kiss was the one that turned her entire world upside down, Sekai realized as she found herself teary eyed, clutching desperately on to Kira as something strange happened to her, as the woman took away every bit of control she had over her own body and mind and threw it into the wind. She didn't even realize the sounds she was making or that Kira was guiding her,showing her what she needed to do, what she wanted to do. Every time she thought she'd reached a new high, she'd be viciously, mercilessly brought back down gasping and nearly begging for something she couldn't quite name. Sweat made their skin glow and touched their hair with a brilliant fire from each strand that landed in the moonlight. Kira's held a touch of blue while her own just echoed the hue of the snow outside the window, she loved Kira's hair when it was down, it made her so much more... vulnerable, gave her a look at the side of this miraculously strong woman that she'd never seen before.

Blessings came in all forms, she thought to herself as she gasped, fingernails digging sharply into Kira's arms as a strangled, hoarse cry burst from her throat. Whatever Kira was doing, it was driving her insane, she wouldn't be able to take much more before she'd lose her mind completely, be lost to the wind herself.

“K-Kira,”

She managed to grit out, desperately searching the still softly smiling face before lying her head against the shoulders that carried far too much weight on their own. Kira's next move had her entire body lit from within, gasping until that high, the one she'd sworn had come and gone hit and sent an explosion behind her eyes. Someone screamed, a high thin wail and a taste of blood suddenly filled her mouth and choked her. Who was screaming? She thought to herself faintly as the world ceased to be and someone else screamed what seemed ages later and seconds after the first, a wild, feral sound that almost dragged her back from wherever she was being taken to.

Almost, but not quite.

She woke first, feeling someone's body against her own and opened her eyes. Curled up against her, almost like the feline rumored to be Kira's guardian, was the AI woman herself. A look of peace and serenity like Sekai had never seen before on her face had her troubled but smiling at the same time. Almost as if... she'd found something or had gotten something that had long been troubling her off of her chest and could finally relax and let herself sleep in peace. Sekai smiled tenderly, tucking a strand around her ear and smoothing away the tangled strands from Kira's face. Somehow, the white silk robe Kira had been wearing had found its way on to her person, she smiled and pulled the sheets... well, the ends that weren't damp anyways, and tucked it around the slumbering woman before leaning over and placing a gentle kiss against her forehead.

There was something she needed to check on before she could let herself fall asleep as well, and then resume the talk between herself and Kira. Swinging her legs over the edge of the bed, Sekai barely managed to clamp a hand down over her mouth to muffle the yelp as her feet went out from beneath her and she landed awkwardly on her side and rear. Apparently her body was stiff and her legs a bit weak still from the, ah, excursion. Wincing as she rubbed the bruised area, she frowned at the marks on her body and wondered if they'd heal up before she and Kira returned to the Hideout.

She didn't want to have the meeting and managed to make it a few more steps before she felt her legs threaten to give out again and carefully lowered herself on to one knee for a few minutes. Once she felt she was ready to give it another go, she slowly stood back up and managed to get her way out of the door and into the abandoned, unusually dark hall outside of the room. Reservations began to take over her, nervous beads of sweat began to appear on her forehead as she looked one way and then the other, unsure of which way to go before a pair of arms wrapped around her from behind and a familiar, older woman's voice spoke soothingly into her ear.

“Shh little one, it's only my cover to create further confusion. You and Kirayne certainly took your time, did you enjoy yourselves?”

Her face turned as red as the polish on Ciar's nails, positively delighting the woman into holding her closer to her shadow shrouded body than before. Turning her around by force, the tall woman tilted her chin up and, much to her surprise, noticed the tears already forming and threatening to fall.

“Oh dear, what went wrong? Tell me little one, what has you grieving as you are?”

Strong arms enveloped her, a different feeling from being in Kira's arms for sure, Sekai thought hazily to herself as she cried into the woman's chest and shoulder. This was more open, a different kind of protection than the one Kira offered and gave to her and it was definitely different from the kind Zan gave to the others in battle, and the kind he'd given when that poor Blademaster... she believed his name was Dien, had been assaulted by Kira. And it was definitely different from the kind that Ko had given her on so many occasions now... and the only time she'd been able to repay him... was when she'd knocked him out of the way and took the hit herself.

The one that would have comatosed him and forced him to live a life that wasn't suited to him.

Not that it suited her either mind you but, she sniffled and hiccuped, she would still rather it be someone as she was- someone who didn't truly have someone to go home to, someone that she needed to return to immediately. Mika wouldn't wait for too long, she thought sadly to herself, reflecting briefly on the good times and shook her head, pushing the memories to the back of her mind. Now wasn't the time to mourn on what she'd lost, it was time, however, to look at what she had to gain and what she could achieve from here on out.

She sniffled again and looked up, the smiling face above her almost... seemed too friendly, too helpful for a moment before a red tipped nail reached out and wiped away the tears from the corner of one eye. She closed that eye and flinched a little as the ebony haired woman scrubbed her face with part of her sleeve with the same cheerful, almost delighted smile on her face she'd worn the entire time. The black and silver fabric of her gown swished silently, the unbound hair falling a little past her shoulders and into her face, like she'd come out of a bath or something of the sort as she moved to peer into the room Sekai had just left.

“Well, you seem to have tuckered her out, it's been quite sometime since I've managed to see her so restful and at peace with herself.”

Amethyst eyes landed on the uncertain girl in front of her, speculating as an idea began to form within her mind and was tucked away for careful examination later on. Yes, that might very well work to both her advantage and to Rohana's if done properly, though she would have to be careful about how this would work considering how Kirayane would most likely react to the whole thing. But for right now, she would ask what she could do to help the girl in whatever she so wished for at the moment.

“What is on your mind little one, something seems to have taken hold of you and you don't seem to know where to turn first.”

“I...”

She looked down, biting her lip as she pulled the robe a bit closer around her person, as if the knowledge that Kira had worn the garment was going to give her the strength she needed to say what she needed to say. Closing her eyes and praying to the Gods of this world and of her own for the courage and the ability to follow through with what she was about to do, Sekai opened her eyes and stared up determinedly at the powerful Priestess in front of her.

“I- I need to know how to restore Kira back to herself; I'll do anything it takes... just as long as she can fight again as she used to be.”

The shadows seemed to wrap around her, caressing her wrists and ankles softly as they wound around her waist and throat, terror already building in her heart as she looked at the woman softly illuminated by the outline of violet spirit fire and her smile almost chillingly similar to another Ani user she knew and feared. She walked forward, bringing the shadows trailing obediently along behind her and reached for her, tilting her chin up and leaning in close so that there was no mistake of who she was looking at. Her voice sent a knife down her spine and around to her stomach, gutting her quicker than any monster she'd seen taken out and making all the blood drain from her face as the blood red nails tapped against her cheek in a steady, dangerous rhythm she realized matched her heartbeat.

Anything, you say?”

Sekai swallowed hard as she forced herself to incline her head. There was no turning back, she had to help Kira.

“I-I'll do a-anyth-thing.”

Another smile, this one darker than the last touched the Ani Priestess' lips as she looked into the room where Kira slept and then back at Sekai and tilted her head a little further up, exposing the girl's throat with a look of satisfaction on her face before she leaned down and murmured into the terrified girl's ear.

“Then I believe I may know a way.”

_________________
Image

Name: Sekai
Level: 54
EXP: 0000/1000
Class: Archer
Clan: Army of Darkness
HP: 835
SP: 347

Currently Equipped:

Einherjar: Kira, December, Zorya

Head: Bat Earrings (Ola Repth 40, Rip Maen 40)
Body: Saint Cross (Rue Zot 10, RaJuk Zot 30)
Arm: Protect Ring (Ap Vorma 15, MeJuk Kruz 20)
Leg: Ninja Anklet (BiVak Rom 20, GiGan Zot 30)
Add-Ons: Forestlore, Wood Magic (permanently raised Wood Offense/Defense by +3 total)

Wishlist: Levels, Summon: Wood, Archer Weapons, Light Armor


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 1:38 pm 
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Ikkitousen
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:04 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Liminality
[Chapter Seven: Mnemophobia]

"Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne'er succeed"

- Emily Dickinson



Ciar watched the girl begin to fight against the urge to break down, to weep and cower beneath her eyes as the embodiment of what she feared closed in around her. Whispers of cloth against the icy tile signaled the way the girl was starting to physically sway, though she'd find it hard to breathe if she fell due to her fingers placed ever so carefully and strategically against the little Archer's throat. She was a stubborn one, the Ani Priestess would admit that much as her eyes watched the war between trying to fight something more powerful than she and the desire to give up and curl into a ball where she could be safe from anyone wage on within her mind. What was it about this girl that intrigued her and had ensnared such a wild thing such as Kirayne?

AI by nature were oblivious to what they truly were, knowing themselves and each other as an existence slightly different than that of the human players. Emotions were simulated or very accurately imitated if one of them were to interact with the humans enough that they could try to pass off as one before they were caught and simultaneously executed by one of the humans who had that ability to do so. No loss on their part, there were always about two or three more who would arrive within the span of what was probably a good four human months and would balance things out again.

But there were exceptions to the AI, those who truly learned beyond the ability to emulate.

Those were the ones who suffered the most and wound up, as humans tended to put it, insane. Knowledge was a burdensome thing and not all who sought it were capable of handling it. Kirayne... could have gone either way when Ciar realized the beginning signs of the girl becoming slightly, oh how did one put it tactfully, erratic in the usual mannerisms that accompanied a being born to a world that had no place for them but a temporary one. It was a difficult decision; to assist the girl and guide her however she could or to leave her to be sentenced in the corruption that had slowly, but steady begun taking place before that strange influx of data so long ago.

Niarosa would have destroyed the girl, turned her into a distorted version of herself and snuffed out any sign of possible hope or change for their dwindling societies. The damn woman never should have managed to lay hands on her from the start; that had been her own fatal error and lack of proper judgment. As much as she regretted not stepping in sooner, her actions her own undoing now that she stood in a position she didn't desire in the least but accepted anyway, the 'bad' was finally becoming balanced by a tiny seed of 'good' that was beginning to sprout. Violet eyes flickered over to the sleeping form in the other room and lingered for a moment, something almost resembling regret mixed with relieved acceptance flashing across before she looked back at the girl ready to collapse in front of her.

Not that she needed to ask the question but, that small pull from somewhere within that void of neutrality that she tried to keep herself in persisted enough for her to feel the need to ask anyway.

"Why?"

The words cut through the haze of terror clouding Sekai's thoughts, dim eyes regaining their clarity and her expression turning puzzled, then wary as she stared nervously at the intimidating woman in front of her.

"W-Why wouldn't I?"

She countered shakily in response, fearful of the retaliation and eyes darting around at the shadowy restraints that locked her in place, unable to move an inch before her gaze locked with the one in front of her. Being defiant wasn't in her nature, had been something that had literally been beaten out of her during the years both physically and emotionally, and in this case, it was hard to try and even fake that kind of front.

"You owe her nothing, offering yourself freely without a set of conditions of what isn't allowed to be taken from you is a move only a true fool who held no value over themselves would make."

That certainly got a reaction, Ciar mused to herself with a bit of surprise as the girl's face filled with fury and seemed to forget all about her predicament- and with it, her fear. Tawny eyes tried to match those of her fiery tempered lover lying in the bed in the room they stood in front of, failing but no less expressive as she defended her decision.

"I owe her everything!"

Her voice snapped out, a pink flush rising in her cheeks and sweeping over to turn her ears the same shade as she lashed out at the woman daring to underestimate the sacrifices that Kira had made for her sake.

"You weren't there, none of you were there to see what she's done for me. Where were all of you when she took over in battle, felt every single wound inflicted because I was too weak to do so?"

It was almost amusing to watch her get so fired up over a simple question and statement, the ebony haired woman thought to herself and carefully kept her face neutral in appearance so as not to betray herself.

"You don't know her, don't tell me that I don't owe her anything when I owe her more than I owe anyone else in my life in both world. Don't belittle her sacrifices!"

"You are a fool."

She responded simply, clearly and injected the impertinent tone used to belittle others, despite her immense distaste for using it in the first place.

"Would she ask you to sacrifice and give anything to help her?"

Her chin managed to raise a little bit, though there was a slight flinch where the edge of Ciar's thumbnail dug into her throat and chose to ignore the obvious answer.

"I maybe foolish, and... and while it is true that I don't see much value in who and what I am, but,"

She turned her eyes, barely able to see the room out of the corner of her vision before she glared back at Ciar, silently challenging her with every fiber in her being and ready for some kind of blow for her lack of courtesy and respect.

"There are people who see something of value in my being alive; that's why I'm still here. And that's why I'm here; I see value in her life too as she did with mine."

Silence for quite some time before she finished it off, going ahead and saying what was in her mind recklessly without bracing herself for the consequences.

"And so, if you don't find that acceptable then, I'm sorry, but you will have to bite me and just... just deal!"

Breathing hard, face flushed and eyes brightly animated, looking a little worried but more defiant and proud of herself for using a basic slang term without managing to stutter too much, Sekai mentally tried to prepare herself for whatever kind of retaliation would come her way.

And it sure as hell wasn't that Ciar's face would dissolve into a fit of hysterical laughter.

Confused as she watched the woman brace herself on what looked like a solid part of the shadows as the laughter continued to rip its way through her system, Sekai felt her cheeks heat with embarrassment and indignant annoyance at not being taken seriously yet again and glared in a rather childish response to being mocked openly. When Ciar managed to gain control over herself, wiping tears away from her eyes, the darkness receded and left Sekai shivering at the way the shadows retreated, wanting to itch her skin until the tingling sensation vanished. Amethyst eyes sparkled with mirth as she shook her head and fixed the state of her gown and her hair before responding to the confused looking girl.

"I believe I am starting to see why Kirayne would wish to have you for her own and why she was so conflicted."

She chuckled at the wary, almost conflicted look on the girl's face as she tried to puzzle out if that were a compliment or an insult.

"Relax little one, you'll need to go in there and wake the sleeping princess,"

A choked sound of strangled protest and embarrassment nearly sent her into another fit, every once of control needed to continue lest she insult the girl more by laughing at her.

"I have a list, simple but needed, of items I need you to collect for me and come back here. Rohana and I shall wait here for you and proceed once you have done that much."

Sekai looked at the list sent in the flashmail, frowning and looking up before nodding hesitantly and looking into the room, and back at Ciar.

"You gave her that riddle, right?"

Ciar inclined her head, expression returning immediately to the neutral, stoic one she assumed when something was potentially dangerous subject wise and needed to be handled with great care. The girl tilted her head a little as she lingered in the doorway, unsure of how to word it before simply giving up trying to be too terribly polite and unobtrusive.

"The answer was love, she and I both knew that. Did you create the riddle because you wanted to warn her because of-"

Ciar's hand covered her mouth, a slight smile playing upon her lips as she looked the girl kindly in the eye and ushered her into the room after a few moments and shut the door behind her. When the sound of footsteps moved away from the door, the tall woman wrapped in shadows and moonlight quietly slipped off to go collect the Juk Priestess, to tell the woman that their plan was succeeding very well.

And to remember when she had, at one time, been as honest and clean of spirit as that girl of Kirayne's was.

She bit her lip, leaning over Kira''s sleeping form and found herself reluctant to wake her up. One hand moved of its own accord, fingers carefully touching the soft flesh of the woman's cheek tenderly and brushing away the lingering evidence of the tears she had shed. Movement beneath the eyelids warned her briefly before a pair of sleep hazed amber eyes stared right into her own. The confusion and disbelief vanished quickly as panic settled in and the all but naked AI jerked up into a sitting position, face to face with Sekai as the sheet slid off her body and a pair of rough hands reached out and jerked the robe wide open.

Yelping, Sekai's face reddened as she slapped Kira's hands away and closed the robe back up, glaring indignantly before scolding her as only was proper.

"Ask first! You have better bedside manners than that, I know you do. Shame on you."

"That wasn't a dream."

A high, strangled voice that sounded very, very wrong and lit a few warning candles in her mind as Sekai watched Kira's face turn white. Amber eyes looked up at her, horrified as she lunged forward, dragging Sekai down and pinning her to the bed before forcing the robe open- and ignoring the protests made- and looking at what she'd done.

"That actually happened. Why the hell didn't you attack me and run?! I could have seriously hurt yo- did I?"

Sekai leaned up and kissed her gently on the forehead as the busy eyes roamed over her body, a blush starting to travel down her neck and body at the heavy scrutiny of her body before she tilted Kira's head up and looked her in the eye.

"You didn't hurt me and it was consensual, please don't look at me like that, it was."

Her hand came up and touched the mark on the curve of Kira's shoulder, faint trace of embarrassment in her voice as she mumbled a rather witty response in return to the question Kira's eyes poised.

"I think I hurt you though, that couldn't have felt good."

Kira frowned down at the shoulder and raised her eyebrow at the perfect set of teeth marks in her flesh before looking back down at the girl in front of her, closing her robe and getting off of her before wrapping the sheet back around herself.

"Never thought you'd be a biter, bruised as hell right now but, nothin' worse than a bite from a Hell Doberman."

Sekai spluttered and tried to protest against that comparison, fretting and trying to rub the soreness out of the area while Kira sat there, not knowing whether to start laughing or crying at everything that was coming back to her. She looked over, blinking as she saw Sekai putting on her gear and tilted her head to one side slightly before walking over, holding the sheet around her and hesitantly rested a hand on her shoulder.

"What's going on?"

Sekai looked over her shoulder, smiling and angling her head so that her cheek touched Kira's hand for a moment in a show of affection before struggling to do the clasps on her armor and speaking quietly.

"We need to go and get a few things before coming back here, okay?"

She raised an eyebrow but dressed herself anyways, might as well since there wasn't really anything she could do other than follow her at the moment. Besides, private time would mean she could clear her head and probably grill the hell out of Sekai on what the flying fuck happened besides the fact that, well, they wound up having sex.

Kira frowned, that term usually fit the deed but, somehow, what she remembered and how she felt made it seem like she was cheapening the experience, belittling Sekai in some way and tried to figure out another term for it. She followed Sekai out of the palace, didn't even notice how eerily empty it was all of a sudden and out to the Chaos Gate to warp out to a town.

Mac Anu's calming atmosphere echoed in her senses, somehow echoing what she was feeling for the first time in her existence. It was almost as if she were at peace with herself, like some great battle had been fought, won and celebrated all at once with the same weariness she still felt inside. They crossed the bridge in silence, leaning over the edge to look into the water and at their reflections side by side. The subject, the events of the night before were hanging in the air between them, unspoken and undealt with even though Kira waited for her to broach it, to ask what it meant to her if anything... and wanted direly to ask the same of her.

Something caught their eyes- ears really but, the sight of a familiar green clad Heavyblade out of the corner of one eye and a white clad Twin Blade was more than enough to send the both of them scrambling willingly over the edge of the bridge and plunging into the waters below.

They hit the water with a series of splashes, sinking to the bottom before swimming along the water's edge towards the second bridge, surfacing only to grab a lungful of air before going back under and swimming as fast as they could away from the two unwanted visitors. Once beneath the bridge, they surfaced, gasping and shivering before exchanging matching looks of guilty relief and bursting into quiet laughter. They were two high leveled warriors of decent caliber and experience; and yet they ran at the first sight of old flames like they were the embodiment of the plague themselves.

Sekai was the first out of the water, letting Kira have some time to relish the water against her skin as she wrung her length of hair out and tried to do the same for her hakama and boots. It was a darkly lit area, one perfect for coming to take a rest, she'd have to remember it later on when she wanted a nice place hidden away to sleep away from the Hideout.

"We should go soon. There're still the items I need to get before we go back."

When the sound intruded on his consciousness, his eyes snapped open. Not because of the sound itself, but the voice that it had belonged to. Just his luck that he would come here to try and relax, and have her come around...as well as the AI who would be asking far to many questions for his own good, especially when he was a little unbalanced. That was when something else struck him. She wouldn't have anyone else to talk to unless...shit. Kira was solid, and in the water. That meant far to many things, but most of all it meant that she could physically stop him or do something unpleasant.

Even still though, he didn't have anywhere to run, because if he moved they'd notice him. Which meant that he had to bite the bullet and start talking right now. So he got up from where he had been laying on the ground, taking a few steps forwards as his voice took on a slightly amused expression.

"I have to say, you two have the best timing, or I have the worst luck, one or the other. Hello Sekai, hey Kira."

Sekai jumped, whirling around with a splatter of water from her hair and clothing as she looked around and searched the darkness for the familiar voice. Her eyes were wide and expression startled as she managed to locate something heavier in shadow than the rest of the darker areas and gave a tentative, shy and embarrassed smile in his general direction as she heard Kira pull herself out of the water behind her.

"A-Ah, sorry to have intruded, um. It is nice to see you again, have you been well?"

Kira walked forward, into one of the few beams that let in enough light not to be totally shrouded in the dark and walked forward, squeezing the hem of her skirt-pant whatever it was thing that covered her from the waist down and raised an eyebrow at Sekai. Her hair was still down, falling in a night-grey gunmetal mass down her body and clung to her body from being soaked. Amber eyes blinked as she stepped forward a couple more steps and looked over at Sekai and tried to squint into the darkness.

"Hey, that the Wavemaster from the AoD that you're talkin' to? Sounds like him."

That was when something happened that hadn't really ever happened before. Later, or very shortly, he would curse Vesica with all of his heart, and with considerable vehemence. The crystal that she had buried in his hand, the icicle that she said had held a few surprised, started to glow blue, lighting the area around him softly...and making it pulse with Rue for a second while he was frozen with shock. The element reached out and tapped Kira's senses softly right before Takua clamped down on it, using control that he hadn't known was there. He paused for one second, trying to find words as he softly swore and came out of the shadows. Sour amusement colored his voice as he spoke about a certain Familiar who was far to...everything for her own good.

"Yes, it's me. And Kira, I swear that I'm going to wring Vesica's neck for that little surprise. Anyways. I'm more or less fine, although I'd be better if a certain feline hadn't attempted to pin my heart to a wall about eight hours ago."

Kira tilted her head to one side, eyebrow raising in mild surprise at the mentioning of her familiar and shrugged carelessly and leaned forward to look at the boy under Sekai's command in her little group clan thing, whatever it was.

"That's her job, not my problem if you get tangled up with her and she swats your face off. I'm guessing that was her work too."

She pointed to his arm, a smile trying not to form on her face as the AI clearly found the situation entertaining. Sekai shook her head and reprimanded Kira with a look before gesturing up towards the surface, as if saying they should go up to get their things dried off and to get what they came there for.

Takua smiled a bit, but underneath it he felt hollow. After blatantly lying to Sekai about how he was, his condition in life, he didn't feel that good, and that was only heightened by an odd feeling that he got, something that told him to run. He could only tell that something was wrong, or that something had changed drastically since he had last seen the two girls. However, even though he was lying, his lips twitched a bit and he wondered just how much he could manage to shock Kira. So far she hadn't remembered the planned "interrogation" that she had wanted to do, and if his luck got better suddenly, it'd stay that way. He grinned wryly, voice a bit sarcastic.

"She didn't manage to swat my face off, and that is her work, although I still managed to get her. Coincidentally, Maren said that you'd be the only one who could get this off of me."

Kira rolled her eyes and gestured for him to come up with the two of them, walking behind Sekai as the smaller Archer led the way up to the eternally sunlit city around them and looked expectantly behind her to make sure everyone came out. Kira emerged next, squinting a little in the light and stood a little in front of Sekai and turned around to wait for the little bastard to come out so she could fix his stupidity inflicted injury caused by a certain pain in the ass snow leopard of hers.

"Sekai, why don't you go get the stuff you needed to get while I take care of this thing the pain in the ass has gotten himself into."

Sekai chuckled softly and agreed, walking off to her first destination and disappeared from sight before Kira reached out and took the ice covered arm with a raised eyebrow.

"So, now that you're at my mercy and need my help, you start talking while I blow this thing up; sound good?"

Takua smiled a bit, but underneath it he felt hallow. After blatantly lying to Sekai about how he was, his condition in life, he didn't feel that good, and that was only heightened by an odd feeling that he got, something that told him to run run run. He could only tell that something was wrong, or that something had changed drastically since he had last seen the two girls. However, even though he was lying, his lips twitched a bit and he wondered just how much he could manage to shock Kira. So far she hadn't remembered the planned "interrogation" that she had wanted to do, and if his luck got better suddenly, it'd stay that way. He grinned wryly, voice a bit sarcastic.

"She didn't manage to swat my face off, and that is her work, although I still managed to get her. Coincidentally, Maren said that you'd be the only one who could get this off of me."

Takua could have cursed when Kira made a motion to come up with them. He could have sworn to whatever God was listening, or, since he was in The World, ask either Merrows or Lanceor to intervene with startling swiftness. Since neither of them decided to answer his plea, the boy followed her up, rubbing his eyes slightly in an attempt to get rid of the slightly haunted look that followed a recall to the nightmare. When Kira got Sekai to leave, he suddenly felt very alone, and very scared. Sure, she said that she was going to get rid of the ice on his arm, but something about the words "alone," "Kira," and "safe" didn't seem to go very well, especially when followed up by her next words. The air felt thick, as if someone had decided to turn the humidity up to near where it would rain. All he could do was hold out his arm and look at her, hoping to hell that she wasn't talking about what he thought she meant.

"About what, how I got myself into this mess or something else?"

The lie was thick on his tongue, he knew exactly what it was that she wanted to talk about, and he started to gather exactly what it was that he wanted to say.

Her hands tested the ice, fingers pressing into it with a rather professional look on her face as her brow furrowed, eyebrow raising for a moment before digging her fingernails into the ice and concentrating on the inner spring of energy within her own body. It'd take a few hits to crack the sucker and a nasty one to superheat it to crack it completely off. Gave her enough time to chide him for trying to bullshit and fail miserably at it.

“If you're going to try and bullshit a bullshitter, you should at least make sure you bullshit better than the other person or it makes you look like an idiot. You damn well know what I'm talking about so, while I'm doing you a favor, spill your guts or I dump 'em for you.”

"So sue me, I could have some optimism for once."

It was almost funny, he knew how badly it was going to fail, but he had tried anyways. A shrug later, and he got the rest of what he wanted to say down, and hoped to hell that she wouldn't ask too many questions that he couldn't handle.

”Alright, fine. I…collapsed while on that field because I couldn’t take the memory of what I had done. I locked it away to finish the Gan field without impairing my performance, or what I needed to do, and kept myself from thinking about it. So…when it came back, when I realized that I had killed again, I couldn’t take it. Sure…they were horrible, despicable people, and they should have died or been gotten rid of, right? They had set up a laboratory in that field, a place where they could experiment on human kids that they had trapped, so that they could produce monsters to comatose people. Nasty researchers here…but to me, they’re human, they had lives of their own, and they deserved to live them. I don’t like killing…no, let me rephrase that. The last time I killed someone, I broke. So when I started to kill in that field, I started to break down again because it was something that I had thought that I refused to do.”

He looked away, glancing at the wall for a moment and trying to organize rapidly devolving thoughts. When he spoke again, it trembled slightly, as if it were unstable on the inside, as if his thoughts were twisting and breaking.

”I know, it was war, and it was for survival and a much bigger purpose. A few lives versus a few thousand is nothing. But that doesn’t seem to make it any easier for me, especially not with the other things that I did.”

She made a few inaudible noises under her breath, frowning at the ice when it didn't response and sank her fingernails into it a little deeper before taking a moment to look up from her work at the expression on his face. Damn kids getting themselves in over their heads, she thought to herself with a shake of her head and whistled one low note to see how the ice reacted.

Still no reaction, son of a bitch Vesica.

Kira frowned at the ice again and tried one more time, a slightly higher note before a scowl came over her face as she rolled her shoulders back and spoke up.

"Just like there's more than one way to skin a cat, and trust me I can be quite inventive,"

She hit it with a burst of power and felt a satisfied smirk touch her lips before she struck it again. All the while, she gave out her opinion on the entire stupid human matter to another silly human child who didn't know when he was over his head or not. The hell was it with her world attracting people like that anyways? Most people she met had some issue or another that drove them here, hopefully he wouldn't be one of the ones that ended up like the Eventide Crescendo members or the Freedom Fighters.

"Look. You did what had to be done and you've begun learning the ways of my world. You kill first and ask questions later, it sucks but you know, unless you want to get fucked over, you don't hesitate when your life is on the line or someone else you care for's life is on the line. To you, yes, they were human but they're also the enemy who wouldn't have blinked twice at slaughtering you if it meant their own gain."

Another strike of power and the first of several, tiny cracks began to leech outwards from the center.

"Not that much different from the way you humans play your games with each others' lives outside of my world; whether you choose to recognize it or not. Ah ha, found your trick you little bitch, definitely going to skin you for this."

Kira muttered with an annoyed note in her triumphant voice and slammed against whatever it was with a few surges of her power. Large spiderwebs began to form, cracking and hissing with trapped air before she glanced up and spoke again.

"Look. This world around you is one that makes you carry a burden atop another burden; you either learn to take on that weight and grow stronger to bear more, or you break beneath that weight and you die. Yeah, you can mourn for the choice you felt was wrong and the life that was lost because of it but, you grieve for one moment and one alone and then you keep going forward."

Readying for the final strike, she finished up her little lecture and impromptu speech.

"You manage to learn that lesson and put it to use, you'll survive anything these bastards throw at you. Don't be stupid by thinking you're going into something and there's no chance of being hurt; you'll get hurt somehow so brace yourself for it and be ready to lick your wounds on the run."

A flash of her eyes went along with a high piercing note that shot from her mouth, from between pursed lips and had the ice glare hotly in the light before it simply exploded off his arm. She frowned at the steaming appendage and released it from ehr grip. Blue-black patches warred with bright scarlet, bloody ones from where the ice had touched and lingered the longest.

"It's not permanent damage, but it'll hurt like a bitch if you could feel it. Lucky you that you don't, and I mean that. Vesica did a number on you like I ain't seen in a while."

Kira couldn’t have known how much those words cut into him. That was what he told himself over and over again as she sliced apart the arguments that had, truthfully, been causing him harm. Even if they were human, they were the enemy…and they would have killed him. He could take killing them, he thought. It would take few days, but with thought, and a bit of repeating what she had said, he might be able to let go of what he had done. However, when she said he had begun to learn the ways of her world…he disagreed with that. Her world did not consist of power-hungry evil researchers who experimented on their own kids. Or maybe it did now that Sekai was comatose. Either way, he knew that the world was a place to kill or be killed, he already had that experience before, and didn’t want to go through it again. He kept putting himself in that path, and wondered just why he kept on doing it.

Only he knew. He needed a purpose, a reason to live. The Eventide Crescendo managed to give him that purpose. Apart from that though…she was also correct when she talked about how he needed to grow stronger. He would become stronger, it wasn’t like he had collapsed before now, right? A bit more and he could bear the weight that he needed, and with more he wouldn’t collapse so easily. His lips twisted slightly as he tried to speak, only to be unable to. That was right before the ice on his arm exploded. He stared at the damage, patches on his arm that would undoubtedly have hurt like a bitch had he been comatose.

”Thanks…for both really. I’ll try, and see how far I can go. As for feeling this, it should be all fixed up by the time Juk rolls around, so I won’t have to endure it while I’m walking through there. I suppose too that it wouldn’t have affected me as much had I not been leading the damn group through half of that place. Granted, I survived, but I’d pass on trying to do that again.”

Desperate to change the subject, and perhaps get some other answers, he bent his arm and reveled in actually being able to bend it. Vesica, he decided, was going to get it when he got back to that field.

”Oh…while you’re here, can you tell me what I managed to get myself into? I have a icicle that Vesica gave me in one hand, a crystal with some sort of gift in the other, and this robe once I got through that temple…or fortress, whatever you want to call it. I managed to single out Rue and Rai affiliations…but they wouldn’t really tell me what it meant other than I was in their army. Oh, and you might be somewhat pleased to hear that all six of them got pissed off at a hacker who was following me…he’s dust. Also…that’s a nice field that you designed there, it’s very peaceful.”

A slight smile accompanied his last words, slightly wondering how she was going to take that. Or that she might think that he’d been an idiot because he didn’t have a clue what he signed up for when he did so. Either way, it’d be interesting.

Kira merely gave a slight upturn of her lips, an incline of her head and looked to where a rather unhappy looking Sekai was walking back. Her eyes narrowed as she didn't even spare the Wavemaster another glance before smacking him upside the head and departing with a few last words.

"Get it together before that field or you're fucked. I already figure she talked to you about it. Figure out the crystal yourself as well, not my problem since I ain't the High Priestess any longer."

She reached Sekai within a few long legged strides, burnished silver hair glinting in the orangey sunset's light as concern visibly took over her expression as the younger, smaller girl refused to look at her, said something quietly that had Kira lunging to go somewhere near the Weapons Shop. Sekai caught her by the arm, shook her head and again said something, pleading with her to 'let it go' before slumping against her weakly, as if all the energy had been drained out of her. Carefully, hesitantly wrapping and arm around the girl's back and shoulders, the Long Arm pulled her close and began to walk with her back to the Chaos Gate and out of the Wavemaster's sight.

“If I see her, I'm going to beat her ass into the ground.”

Kira told her quietly and knew Sekai pretended not to hear her. Whatever Mika had told her, it obviously upset her enough that she just wanted to leave and get away from the usually peaceful area. That damn bitch had always gotten in the way, trying to worm her way between the two of them and royally fuck up the girl's progress by trying to be the typical knight in shining armor. Stupid bitch even donned shiny bluish armor and a blade to match her idiotic ideal fantasy of her being the knight to save the princess in the evil clutches of a wicked dragon.

Well that suited her fine; like a dragon, she didn't fucking share and wouldn't. Especially not with that damn woman.

Speaking of damn women, Kira froze at the sight of the two women in their formal gowns and looked at the pale but determined look on Sekai's face. Something had gone down while she was either away at the court playing the part of Sadistic Bitch or asleep; judging by how the three of them seemed to be familiar with what was going on and less inclined to tell her what was going on, she was about six kinds of not happy.

“You brought it all?”

Sekai shook her head and walked forward to give the bundle suddenly out of her inventory to the blue-violet haired woman, much to Kira's dismay and silent protest. She looked a little frustrated about the entire matter, a regret tinged bitterness in her voice as she answered the inquiries of the two High Priestesses in front of her.

“No, I couldn't get any of the magic based ones. I'm sorry. Is... is it still....”

Rohana smiled at her and kissed her forehead, amused at the demonic looking glare Kira gave with and returned it with a sweet natured smile and a gentle pat atop the smaller girl's head in reassurance.

“It will do dearling. Come, it's time for us to begin, would you like Ciar or I to keep Kirayne out of the room or have her sit with you?”

Kira's face was stricken as the two Juk based women turned in her direction, only to see Ciar nod at each of them, take the items from Rohana and walk into the palace itself to wait and prepare for their arrival.. Looking from Sekai to Rohana and back again, the Juk Priestess sensed a need to assist Ciar, to let these two talk things out on their way to have the ritual done and made her quiet exit as the two stared at one another.

Sekai wondered what the Ani Priestess had told her to make Kira look like that, uncertainly taking a step forward and hesitantly reaching out for her, she tentatively spoke to the woman who looked like she'd received a gut blow in the middle of an unfair fight.

“I just... I wanted,”

Kira watched the hand outreached towards her, everything in her screaming to slap it away, to bite that hand and reject it with every fiber of her being. Eyes sharply looking up, looking for any sign of deception inside the girl's eyes, probing deeper into the girl's mind than she'd ever gone before to make sure. What scared her the most was that, other than a token shudder and shifting of her weight, Sekai had done nothing during the assault on her mind and just let her look.

Let her see that there was nothing in her that wanted to deceive, to control or to conquer.

She looked down at the hand offered, now palm up in the middle of a snowy field, at the entrance of the most hated place she had and with people inside she didn't trust worth a lick and that wanted to use her, corrupt and destroy her in the end. To make her what they wanted instead of letting her become what she wanted.... even if that goal would never come to pass. It was a 'dream' that she couldn't attain, but, according to most humans... dreams were usually things unattainable because they were unrealistic so... did her having such a dream mean she was becoming even a little human?

Kira reached out slowly, fingertips softly brushing in an accidental caress against the small palm before she lowered hers to match with Sekai's. Amber eyes stared into darker, tawny ones as the wind whipped their hair and snow all around them in a cyclone that raced into the palace. Sekai's hand moved, fingers curving gently to trap their hands together in a soft grip that the AI could easily rip out of, as she turned back towards the palace and with her small shoulders straightened as far as she could manage, began to walk into the elegant but cold structure. If she had enough courage to come this far, she wouldn't stop her now, Kira decided to herself and walked along side her to their room, where the memories and emotions still rang high and tangible in the air around it.

Undressing herself from the waist up, Sekai carefully lowered herself on to the bed and reached out for Kira instinctively, gripping her hand tightly and looking into the AI's eyes. She was scared, they both knew it and she wouldn't deny it to anyone watching. Rohana caught up the thigh length mass of white hair, deftly braiding it loosely before removing one of her daggers from its sheath and slicing cleanly through it with one swift, powerful movement. They burned it in the fireplace, collecting the ashes and mixing them into the Bloods that Sekai had purchased and then mixing those together as well. The last, smaller and empty bottle was offered to Kira, along with the steady dagger in Rohana's hand. Gritting her teeth against the bite of metal against her flesh, eyes flaring defiantly, she let Ciar collect the scarlet liquid from her body and nearly flipped her shit when they did the same to Sekai. Their blood was mixed, united, as one as they had that night before.

Something was stuck in her throat and stung at her eyes, she couldn't explain it or name it, but watching as Ciar inclined her head and ran a hand over Sekai's back, as Rohana's dagger dug into her flesh, opened up line after line and dabbed the blood away with the sheets before Ciar mixed the Blood potion into the open wounds and wiped the excess away each time; Kira knew something big was building within her chest. And it was something that her little one, the timid but loyal human girl in front of her, was offering and enduring freely to try and do anything to repay a favor Kira would have accepted again and again if it would only keep her safe and away from harm.

When it was done and over with, each cut more agonizing than the next and with the thick, semi-solid clumps still left within the open wounds to pack it, to make sure it would scar, Rohana reached within her own store of inventory and smoothed a spicy scented salve over the injuries, ignoring the way Sekai shuddered and gasped, already having cried out all the tears and only able to sob breathlessly as the cold took away the fire on her back. Ciar began to cast the spell, Kira reaching out and stopping her as she chanted the healing spell herself; watching the wounds close up, scar over and turn the same color as the salve slathered over her back. A never ending twist of vine-like designs crafted a magnificently patterned butterfly that stretched over her entire back, the tips of the wings arching gently over her shoulders to her collarbone and down to caress each hip.

A butterfly for a maiden of the forests; somehow it was suiting, even if she thought the creatures nothing more than silly, empty headed little flower tenders compared to her own feline nature of hunting in stealth. Kira settled next to her, carefully letting the girl wrap her arms around her, pulling the tender skin of her back to the point that she began to cry all over again, and rested her head against Sekai's to comfort her, to protect her.

Because this time, this damn time and all the times ahead of them; she could no longer take Sekai's pain for her, couldn't share it with her for the first time since she could remember. Being a protector, a guardian of someone so small, so precious and fragile with such a strong will and heart wasn't easy and it was as painful as watching her in agony.

But damn if the way the girl would give one of her true smiles, the ones she fully meant, were more than worth going through that pain.

Tear swollen eyes in a red faced, short haired face looked at her, and despite the dried tear marks on her face, the way she wiped her nose on the sheets and looked miserably embarrassed by her low pain tolerance only made her seem like something real. Like something she could touch, could hold and keep with her forever... however long an AI's forever lasted anyways. With an understanding and gentle smile, she tilted her head and kissed the young girl softly. The sacrifice had been great, terrible and painful for her, for them both. But they'd gotten through it and what her little one was already planning in her mind was going to be more painful, more difficult and dangerous than anything they had faced together or apart. The bitch had power over her, so much so that she couldn't sever the ties when she needed to, so that she could truly be free for the first time of her life from any duty but the one she chose.

Sekai was going to confront Merrows and release Kira from the hold the woman had on her.

_________________
Image

Name: Sekai
Level: 54
EXP: 0000/1000
Class: Archer
Clan: Army of Darkness
HP: 835
SP: 347

Currently Equipped:

Einherjar: Kira, December, Zorya

Head: Bat Earrings (Ola Repth 40, Rip Maen 40)
Body: Saint Cross (Rue Zot 10, RaJuk Zot 30)
Arm: Protect Ring (Ap Vorma 15, MeJuk Kruz 20)
Leg: Ninja Anklet (BiVak Rom 20, GiGan Zot 30)
Add-Ons: Forestlore, Wood Magic (permanently raised Wood Offense/Defense by +3 total)

Wishlist: Levels, Summon: Wood, Archer Weapons, Light Armor


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 6:04 pm 
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Ikkitousen
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:04 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Liminality
[Epilogue: Soteriophobia]

“When everything's made to be broken,
I just want you to know who I am.”


- “Iris” by The Goo Goo Dolls



“You don't have to do this, you know that, right?”

This was the fourteenth time that very same question, worded in the exact same manner, had been asked of her in the past fifteen minutes or so as the two of them waited in the hall way leading into the impressive chamber where the entirety of the Council and Merrows herself made themselves available.

And it wasn't helping Sekai's nerves by any means.

She swallowed hard against the nerves, the butterflies if she wanted to be ironic, causing mayhem within her stomach. What had gotten her so bold as to confront someone who could wipe her out like an insignificant insect within the span of an eyelash batting against someone's cheek? The way Kira's mouth was drawn tightly, lips almost white as she pressed them together, refusing to say anything until another long minute would pass and she would repeat the question once again for her to refuse to respond to. Already some form of courtly game was being played out, though she didn't know the rules and thus believed it was entirely unfair of her to be playing because of such a handicap, and it was making her sick. Sekai hated the kind of games 'royalty' would play with each other, themselves and with those 'beneath' them.

Unfortunately, her experience in playing other kinds of these games gave her a slight edge in dealing with potentially dangerous people who could ruin and even end a life without a care or second thought.

Her armor, clothing and newly shortened hair were in place and cleaned to perfection. She almost swore that her skin was still missing a layer of skin after the 'treatment' in the spring over in the main halls of the Vak Priestess' home field by Ciar, Rohana, and Jadin. Sekai had sworn she'd seen Kira grinning at her as the woman bathed herself off to the distance, the sadist. The doors opening gave her a start of surprise, sending her heart into her throat as she looked up at Kira, expecting the woman to slip back into that frighteningly icy spirited being she'd seen her turn into before- and was pleasantly surprised to find the warm, but troubled and worried amber eyes of the AI she knew looking back at her.

Unspoken agreements were sent between them; Sekai would run and Kira follow behind her if she were able to fight off Merrows long enough to get out. If not, Sekai would go to Rohana and stay in her care until Jadin could bust her out or cause a distraction long enough to give her some time to escape. Ciar's role in things weren't clear, though the Ani Priestess had given Kira a couple of things to give to Raquar, much to Sekai's surprise and curiosity, and asked her to deliver a message while she was enjoying herself. The timid Archer stared into the eyes of the unfamiliar Rue servant in front of her, the sneer and distaste for what and who she was unmistakable in the colorless eyes.

Sekai wouldn't let Kira know about her guess, one that proved to be right when she'd managed to ask, about why Ciar had created the riddle for Kira and had given it to the both of them. If Kira ever asked... she'd hope the positively lovely, if a bit eccentric woman would confide in her charge enough to maybe ease some more of that burden. Small wonder the two managed to give off a similar feel but could still be so incredibly distant from each other at the same time; one managed to find out in time what the other couldn't.

You going to stare at that servant until she blinks or are you going to move any time soon little one? I don't think you'll intimidate her when your thoughts are elsewhere completely.

Sharp edged humor edged Kira's voice as it cleared the silence, slicing through the worry about the mentor of one of her dearest and most beloved people and snapping her back into attention as she bowed in a show of respect towards the servant and looked beside her with a smile. Things were getting easier between the two of them, well, mostly anyways. The whole... night had been rather awkward, the one they'd spent together that is. It was to their mutual agreement, eventually, and with Kira's insistence, that they start out back at square one so that they could try and see if they could be equal, dependable partners before progressing to anything more.

Somehow, Sekai suspected there was something else on Kira's mind when she'd made the statement, but, there wasn't anything she could do to pry it out of her if the woman refused to yield to the information. Plus, she didn't want to add another damn dare to what Kira'd declared she had to 'pay' her for disobeying her wishes. Oh but it didn't matter that she'd done it out of mutual interest and out of her feelings for wanting Kira to come back with her and gain the freedom she wouldn't have here, she thought sourly and made a face at Kira when a questioning thought turned into one of amusement.

Somehow, having Kira know her place as someone who was deeply cared for, wanted and cherished and thought of as a protector was as big a pain in the ass as it was comforting.

Mental communication between the two of them was so much easier now that there was something completely solid to the foundation they'd built, as if that odd combination of items and their blood had cemented something that had previously just taken root into the ground and stubbornly remained frozen there. It was... nice, to be able to reach to the place they joined at, where Kira had taken residence and be able to feel her there and feel the surface of her emotions and of her thoughts.

I just got lost in thought, and something about her makes me uncomfortable. Are all of the Rue servants this.... um, predatory?

An eyebrow raise was her response as Kira took a critical look at the servant in front of them, waiting to guide them into the room and let Merrows deal with their impudent behavior. Nothing out of the ordinary really for a servant's appearance; dark blue hair with lighter blue highlights streaked here and there throughout the hip long mass, a gown so pale in hue that it nearly shone white in the lighting around them and a sapphire bracelet clasped to her left wrist. Probably one of Merrows' personal spies who'd reported a human girl in the area, no use freaking out or getting paranoid about it until she spotted something completely off or she made a move to attack. Sekai's hand slipped into her own, a still soft and gentle strength that always managed to surprise her at the strangest moments, and she looked into a pair of worried but quietly determined and stubborn eyes that revealed the true nature of the girl behind them.

Kira's eyes flashed a moment as she glared at the snide servant before her, letting her body language and a subtle show of the woman lingering beneath the surface, the one they called Lady Asorain, speak in words to the servant what she refused to dignify by letting fly out of her mouth. Slightly surprised but looking more on the amused side, the servant bowed in an all too mocking manner before escorting them into the room carved from sapphire, alabaster and ebony.

Glacial eyes in a face that matched the stone beneath her feet and hair with the hue of shadows on snow pierced through her like nothing she'd felt before, stealing her breath with the sheer amount of disapproval and disgust as the carefully cradled scepter in the woman's hands glittered with a dangerous light.

“So you have changed your mind about showing off your little... pet?”

Fighting against the urge to bristle and claim insult, Sekai squared her small shoulders, lifted her chin in a way that was all too common to see in the younger members of the court when they were about to try and do the typical posturing expected of them. The way Merrows' eyes narrowed in intrigue and mild surprise only signaled that she was doing something correct in the game the woman established.

Sekai only hoped that it was the right game she was playing...


“I don't think I want to know what the hell kind of bullshit you had to learn in order to survive; you are never going to pull that kind of shit again, do you hear me?”

Sekai frowned at her, displeasure sending itself through their link at the use of foul language and the biting edge to the AI's tone as they used the Chaos Gate to teleport back into the Lamda Server and headed for the Hideout. This whole taking the 'protector' and 'guardian' role thing way too seriously was going to need to stop; she hadn't gone after Kira to be coddled and protected from every little thing. And she most definitely hadn't gone through all she'd been through just to get completely and utterly shoved into a corner while someone else did her fighting for her.

“If you're referencing the fact that we barely escaped that MeRue Kruz, I'm going to remind you that you all but gave her the middle finger when she finished being dreadful and acting like she won.”

“You just sat there and let her attack you like that, you think I'm going to stand for it? That Vak loving bastard'd never forgive me for it. Especially now that, well, you know, and he'll probably shit a few bricks when he find out. Give me a little more credit than that Sekai, I'm not going to stand there and let you take it like a-”

“Leave Nii-san out of this and I don't want to have that visual in my head of him doing such an action, thank you very much. Yes, some of those names were rather hypocritical of her to call me and I couldn't quite tell whether or not one or two of said terms were supposed to be a joke or a grave insult. I managed to annoy her by not responding to the right ones, that in itself is a small victory. You can win more with silence and proper responses than by flying off the handle and flipping your sh-”

People in the early morning hours glanced at one another and at the couple as they continued their rather... light hearted appearing bickering. Well, they thought it was light hearted bickering by the way the two would occasionally smile at each other or scowl good naturedly at a point the other one would bring up. But the tone of voice and occasional heavy footstep and violent movement of the hand seemed to say other wise.

“I wonder if he'd shit a brick if I called him Nii-chan, think I should try it? And I'm not flipping my shit thank you very much and don't curse, isn't ladylike and don't give me that look; you were raised to be a lady,”

“And what does that make you raised to be as if I'm a lady?”

“A devastatingly beautiful warrior princess unrivaled by any in the six elements who can sweep the timid and innocent lady off her feet and ravish her in a secluded corner-”

Sekai choked back a peal of laughter, nearly stumbling over a small Grunty's hooves and apologizing profusely before turning back to Kira and trying to cut her off before the woman made herself any more absurd and ridiculously egocentric with her description.

“More like a pain in the-”

“-just as easily as she can toss her cute little ass into the river below.”

Sekai and Kira paused in front of the entry way to the Hideout, staring at each other for a long moment before they both broke out into a series of hysterical laughter coming from the nerves wearing off, adrenaline levels returning to normal and the ability to make an honest joke out of each other and with each other without worrying if either were going to take offense or have hurt feelings. Kira leaned down, hand gently touching the girl's laughter flushed cheek once they'd entered the safety of the private area and looked into her eyes with a silent question lingering in the surface of her own.

How the hell she'd managed to become so... affectionate was completely beyond her realm of understanding. She'd been the Ice Queen, the bitch who never gave and only took from those she felt like playing with before leaving them high and unsatisfied. But somehow, this small, timid thing with an inner strength and sharp intelligence one wouldn't expect out of her had managed to get through that interior and turned it into something softer, more acceptable amongst her race of people. A corner of her mouth quirked up as she leaned forward, unashamed of her bold and more likely than not presumptive actions, and softly kissed the girl full on the mouth.

She was very, very tempted to tell Sekai to just shut up and come with her for a little while, delay the return and the awkward silences that would hang in the air because of how things had been left during their last encounter. Besides the awkwardness she didn't want to deal with at the moment, Kira wanted what she and Sekai had to last just even a little longer than the one night they'd had.

Wanted to show Sekai how much she appreciated and cared for her now that she knew it wasn't a dream or illusion.

Sekai's head tilted up and a little more to one side, accepting without a word what Kira asked of her and rested her head against the older woman's chest and rib cage after they pulled away to breathe. Kira's arms wrapped around her, just holding her close and closed her eyes as she leaned against the wall and let a sigh loose to signal her opinion on the matter.

“Someone broke something over there, shit ain't supposed to break that easily here.”

Sekai chuckled and looked up at the woman with a small smile in her eyes and gestured at the uneven strands around her neck, the still healing skin on her back, and the necklace around Kira's own neck before speaking.

“Everything's made to be broken. Doesn't matter if it's magic spells, someone's defensive position in battle, an unjust ruler's reign or even if it's just as simple as something material or not material. If it's been created, it can and likely will break eventually.”

Kira groaned and managed to push herself off the wall, tucking Sekai's hair behind her ears and studying the new appearance with a critical eye. Merrows hadn't taken the girl seriously, her mistake naturally and one born out of sheer arrogance that even the jackass Vak morons she knew didn't have, and it had cost her quite a bit in front of the Council and in front of the Priestesses. Especially in front of Ciar, though why she'd gotten the impression that the mistake made in front of the Ani Priestess was such a grave one was something she didn't understand, though she had a suspicion Sekai knew something more about the items the woman wanted her to deliver with the message to her, well, competition for Sekai, than she was letting on.

Reluctantly letting go of the smaller girl, Kira chose to stand at her side as a silent but subtle statement of possession, of warning that she could, and likely would strike if anything happened. A grin almost took over her face; wouldn't Torvald, Raquar and Ko just shit themselves when she revealed her new little ability thanks to her bond and pact with Sekai? Dammit but she could hardly wait to watch the looks on their faces when they realized she was able to maintain a solid form outside of any battle situation without having to be summoned.

And once she was actually summoned in a battle...

The shitting of bricks was going to be positively spectacular; and she barely contained the urge to go barging through the Root Towns and fields hunting the bastards down.

Sekai smiled fondly at the predatory gleam of anticipation in Kira's eye, silently sending a prayer to all six of the Gods within this world and to those who'd patiently listen to yet another outside in her own world for them all to have mercy upon whoever gave Kira that particular look. Things... had been unexpected, unwelcome and all in all, it was a pretty difficult path she'd had to walk and one she'd wished several times along the way had been much easier.

But, she thought as she reached out and took Kira's hand in order to lead her into the Common Room to make her apologies if anyone were in there still, that road she'd traveled, that they had traveled together... it had been one needing to be walked, even if it was just once.

And that, Sekai thought to herself with a reassuring smile to the suddenly uncomfortable Long Arm who tried to pull back, made all the difference that she could have asked for and then some.

Steel colored eyes narrowed as a pair of sensuous lips folded themselves into a pout that would have had someone of her choosing swooning to their knees and begging for a chance to relieve her in any way they could. Heavily protected by a bunch of human hackers, the Council would get a rather vested interest in that little unmentioned fact, and in an area she couldn't breach unless invited into as little traitor Asorain had obviously been. Disgusted at the sapphire bracelet around her wrist, she flicked the clasp and carelessly tossed it over the bridge as she turned on one firmly booted heel and sauntered off to amuse herself until she came up with the next stage of her plan. That servant had been ridiculously easy to eliminate without so much as a hint of a struggle or a bit of suspicion from the bitch queen.

A whisper of her long skirt and the satchel banging softly against the charcoal fabric covering her hip as she flipped the plain color of her hair out of her way and strode purposefully back to the Chaos Gate. Back at her home field is where things would be completely thought out, she thought with a smile as she removed her axe from the accessory in her hand and swung with both hands to cleave one of the monsters attempting to assault her in her own field in two. It wouldn't matter who Asorain or that little human brat had for an ally; the Earth watched, waited and was everywhere. Nothing would escape her notice unless she was careless, or that bitch Rohana showed up to interfere and challenge her again as she'd been doing every day now. Although, the matter of Ciar was still very, very troubling and troublesome to her. The Ani Priestess had passed along her position and was now Wryneck, no longer the woman supposedly named Ciar.

“How long has she been Wryneck and we haven't managed to notice?”

She frowned as she passed along the jagged spires of earth, ignoring the pleas for help those caught in her traps threw her way, and settled in a throne of collected bones and other assorted matter from within the earth. Holding up a skull in one hand, she pouted at it and spoke as if it could hear her. And for all she knew, it could considering the way the foolish idiot had been ensnared all too easily by his senses and her illusions. As far as she could tell; Ciar was none the wiser about what had happened to her obnoxious pet; something she intended to repeat with the little protégé of Asorain's as well. It would be a sweet victory to watch the bitch fall to the ground, to be swallowed up and devoured by the earth until there were nothing left but the bones she could make ornamentation out of and decorate her throne with to prepare for her ascension to Yarthkins.

“Humans have no place in our world, but you had to learn that the hard way, didn't you little pet of Ciar's?”

She cooed sweetly at the skull in her hand and threw back her head to listen to the sound of her own laughter echo in a desert landscape from hell

- Owari

_________________
Image

Name: Sekai
Level: 54
EXP: 0000/1000
Class: Archer
Clan: Army of Darkness
HP: 835
SP: 347

Currently Equipped:

Einherjar: Kira, December, Zorya

Head: Bat Earrings (Ola Repth 40, Rip Maen 40)
Body: Saint Cross (Rue Zot 10, RaJuk Zot 30)
Arm: Protect Ring (Ap Vorma 15, MeJuk Kruz 20)
Leg: Ninja Anklet (BiVak Rom 20, GiGan Zot 30)
Add-Ons: Forestlore, Wood Magic (permanently raised Wood Offense/Defense by +3 total)

Wishlist: Levels, Summon: Wood, Archer Weapons, Light Armor


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