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    Heavenly Trials & Tribulations [Job/Dmitry]

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    Benjamin
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    Character Name: Dmitry Kazakov
    Primary Magic: Nature spirit Invocation
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    Re: Heavenly Trials & Tribulations [Job/Dmitry]

    Post by Benjamin on 4th February 2016, 12:40 am

    As his opponent was recovering, Dmitry noticed Mao's flying about in the air, grinning like some kind of retarded bird-man. Displeased with this, the mage slid his foot underneath the sword that was now lying on the ground and flipped it through the air with a jolt of his leg, catching the grip as it moved upward. After that, he flung the weapon in the direction of the flying man with a good deal of force before turning back to his own opponent, hoping that the throw was good. Unfortunately, he wasn't used to throwing something so large, so there really wasn't any telling if the blade would hit it's mark or not.

    However, Dmitry had other concerns, as his opponent got back to his feet, making the medium wonder if his diversion had been worth it. Still, at least the angel swordsman was now sword less, making one wonder if they could call him a swordsman at all. Deciding to leave that conundrum for another, less violent time, Dmitry sprinted towards his foe, ducking under the predictable right hook he threw and slinging a right uppercut straight into his chin. The gray-hair followed this up with a jab to the throat, disorienting the target even further, before jamming his foot into the poor bastards knee and causing it to bend the wrong way.  As the man/bird looked down at his mutilated joint and cried out in agony, Dmitry took the opportunity to grab his enemy by his face, rush forward, lift him up, and slam the back of his head into the ground. Before he could get back up again, the mage sent him back down with a kick to the face. Surprisingly, it took about three more of these before the angel stayed down, almost impressing Dmitry.

    As soon as Mao finished up with her own opponent, the two were addressed yet again by the good captain. "It seems fortune favors you this day," she said with a strange tone that Dmitry couldn't quite put his finger on. "Your time of rest will be a bit longer for this round. Beleive me when I say you will need it." With that said, the mages were escorted off the field and into their waiting room, where they were given a bit more food, as well as enough water for the two of them. As much as he would have liked to speed through this menagerie, Dmitry realized how important it was for them to take whatever rest they could get.
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    Mao

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    Re: Heavenly Trials & Tribulations [Job/Dmitry]

    Post by Mao on 11th February 2016, 2:38 am

    A bit too low, the warrior was able to kick the sword aside as he focused on keeping the cloud of gemstones at bay, only half-noticing as Mao caught the blade before it could clatter to the ground. It might give her all the leverage she needed after all with how well he seemed to parry her blows or dodge away from sneak attacks. ’Compared to the ones from earlier he’s got more moves…but what goes up must come down eventually.’

    Twirling in the air, knocking back the cloud as it tried to close in on him with gusts of wind circling the angel charged her, their blades clanging with the ring resounding around them as she blocked his blow. The sword rattled in her armored hands as clawed fingers gripped both blade and handle. Slowly her back began to bend as she braced the large, flat tail against the ground and used the stability to quickly knock him back and away, the fellow merely rocketing back into the air with his eyes trained on her. With another charge however he managed to break the sword, Mao wincing as she ducked to the side and still felt the kiss of cold steel biting through flesh.

    Blood dripped down her sleeve, gluing it skin as she glared at the man now smirking above her, clearly pleased he’d gotten the first real hit between the two. Well that was just fine with her, the cockiness taking its hold and blinding the man to everything else including the losing brawl one of this teammates. The shattered sword remained in her hands as the shards again moved to entertain the man and keep him at bay, Mao not sure her gauntlets could handle blocking his sword without suffering and she’d require them later. As simplistic as it seemed to the crowd, the woman chucked the two pieces and watched as the now lower flying man deflected them with ease.

    And then he noticed how the world darkened just a little around him…

    As he turned it was too late, the beast was upon him now, oversized paws slamming into him and breaking a wing even as the other smacked his face before resting properly on a shoulder as they plummeted. Nocshanks had used the momentum of his rolling to roll up a wall and fling himself into the air, coming above the angel as Mao enticed him low enough for the great beast to soar above him and bring the full fury of his weight upon the unfortunate man. The mage sincerely did not envy him as the snapping of a bone or few tickled her ears and a low, long groan left him as the dark canine removed himself from the barely conscious angel.

    Again they were ushered off the field, though this time with words of congratulations from what amounted to their “enemy.” It was hard to decide what to think about the angelic woman considering it was thanks to her they were in this mess in the first place, but Mao couldn’t hear a mocking tone in her voice either merely…warning. This time at least their meal came in better form than prisoner’s bread and water, both Mao and Nocshanks giving a few sniffs before heartily digging in: they were famished. As they slowed from some of their vigor though Mao swallowed, unable to keep the question contained, ”What else do you suppose they’ll throw at us, and how much more? I understand it’ll only get harder….but how much must we prove we’re not demons?” Mostly she wanted to get them all out of there, Dmitry especially.

    [607]
    [27]
    [Wave 3 - defeated]


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    Benjamin
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    Re: Heavenly Trials & Tribulations [Job/Dmitry]

    Post by Benjamin on 11th February 2016, 12:26 pm

    Dmitry was relieved to see the food in front of them as well, regardless of how bland and saltless it might have been. However, at Mao's question, the medium sighed. 


    "I don't think they expect us to keep winning." He said, somewhat frustrated at the situation himself, especially given his lack of spirits to wield. "I think they wanna see how long we last, keep us goin' till we can't go anymore, somethin' to that effect." Dmitry took another bite of food and kept talking, ignoring the rudeness of a full mouth. "Least they're givin' us somethin' decent to eat." After the meal was finished, he simply sat there for a while in silence. 


    "So," he finally said, feeling the need to finally address something. "You gonna tell me about that spirit you got with you or am I just gonna have to wonder about it?" It was something he'd been wondering about since before they arrived in this place, even through all the fighting up until now. And it certainly wasn't something he could ignore, much like a pebble in your shoe that wasn't big enough to hurt, but just enough to catch your attention. The fact that it was with her now told him that it wasn't bound to Earthland like his were, something he wasn't exactly sure what to make of. On the one hand, it might have been a good thing that he was the only one without his spirits, a fact that should ease his mind a bit in regards to Mao. But on the other, he wondered how tightly this spirit was clinging to psyche and what might occur if they were ever separated.


    "Look, if you don't wanna talk about it, that fine." He said, hoping he was leaning a little to hard. "I get that now might not be the best time for it. But if you ever need to know something, you can always ask. There probably ain't a person alive that knows as much about spirits as me and I can tell you things that it might wanna hide from you. So just gimme the word if you need to know somethin'." It was all Dmitry could do right now, not wanting to alienate her, but at the same time feeling as though he had to say something. If he couldn't use his spirits to look out for her, he could at least tell her something useful, so long as she wanted to hear it.
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    Mao

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    Re: Heavenly Trials & Tribulations [Job/Dmitry]

    Post by Mao on 11th February 2016, 9:56 pm

    That made a lot of sense, unfortunate as it sounded. Long ears drooped a bit as she accepted the reality of that assessment, curious if they truly would keep the trio going until the last one standing finally gave way. ’If those are the intentions…we cannot let it reach that state,’ she decided, determined to concoct some escape strategy in the meantime. ’Though if they truly wanted to watch us fall they wouldn’t be feeding us, or even allowing rest unless this is all to keep us going a little longer…’ The thoughts continued to swirl around her noggin as she finished to her fullest, eventually pushing the plate away and patting her belly contently.

    Dmitry eventually broke the silence as the dark haired girl allowed her mind to wander down possible avenues for escape, ears perking up as he spoke up. Eyes opened as she stared at him in dulled confusion, trying to figure out what he was talking about at first. As he went on to reassure her that she needn’t talk about it if she didn’t want, but that he’d be there for her and if she had any questions she could go to him, it slowly clicked what the medium was getting at.

    Sorrow.

    Surprise etched her features, eyes widening as ears were now ramrod straight: he could sense Sorrow’s presence?

    While some part of her shouldn’t have been surprised it was still…well, surprising to her. ’Perhaps he appears as a spirit on this plane to those sensitive to such things?’ It was the only thing that made sense as the shock of Dmitry being able to sense the ancient Barghest continued to sink into her mind.

    ”He is…an ancestor of mine,” she finally pushed out, slowly coming back to the present, ”In all truth he is neither alive nor dead now, but I suppose by the rules of this plane he would be considered closer to a spirit since he cannot affect anything without a conduit of power either. By rights he shouldn’t even be bound to me as by societal standards I’m not worthy to wield one of the ancestors…but then again he’s not the only who refuses to play by my society’s whims either.” It was hard to fully describe it, also not knowing when they’d be interrupted for another round of fighting or if the people would hold off, perhaps hold a “half time show” of sorts with the fourth bout, allowing the duet to rest in the meantime.

    ”But, if there’s anyone from my people I can trust to help me with a task it is him. I may only have theories of why he chose me over my sister, but I will accept any help I receive if it means freeing even one person from the bounds of my people.” Mao’s hands tightened around each other under the table as determination welled up, the task of protecting one of her sisters more and more prevalent as she recalled the desire with each regained memory. ’Though there are still so many who suffer…all for what?’ A sigh escaped as the animalistic woman forced herself to let go of that idea and notion, unable to do anything at present. If she couldn’t save one or two people – especially here and now – then how could she hope to save an entire race?

    Instead for now she offered the gray-haired medium a smile, ”If a question does come to mind I’ll be sure to seek you out: I don’t think there’s anyone I’d trust more in such knowledge.” Truth be told it probably wasn’t too far from what he did, though Dmitry definitely held far greater experience than the gem user. Though…he had piqued her interest a bit as she furrowed her brow a little, ”What do spirits normally try to hide from people? Have they ever tried to hide things from you? Are they even capable of hiding them from you?”

    [660]
    [29]


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    Benjamin
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    Re: Heavenly Trials & Tribulations [Job/Dmitry]

    Post by Benjamin on 12th February 2016, 11:26 am

    Dmitry put his hands together, thinking about what Mao had said.


    "Nature spirits don't really think that way." He said, explaining his own spirits before moving on to her's. "They usually don't get the concept of secrets. The only one who could even think in those terms is the old man and he usually sticks to brutal honesty." He then looked at Mao, a seriousness in his eyes as he was about to be as clear with her as he possibly could. "But what you're dealing with is very, very different. You're connected to an ancestor spirit, somethin' that thinks along the same lines as me and you. It's got interests to protect, goals, ambitions. There isn't any way for me to tell what exactly it's gonna hide from you, but I don't think you should trust it so much until you know what it wants from you." After that the mage leaned back against the wall, eyes closed. "Be careful you don't free one person just to trap yourself..." He probably sounded like Hati now, a thought that almost made him cringe.

    Still, he couldn't expect her to understand right off the bat, considering how long it took him to learn what he knew today. Instead, he decide to change the subject to something equally, if not more important.

    "So, I'm guessin' you've learned a good bit so far, judgin' from what you said about your people." He said, addressing something that had actually been troubling him for sometime now. "Guess I got some catchin' up to do on that subject." Dmitry leaned foreword again and looked back at Mao. "So what the hell is it that these people want outta you? Why do you gotta lose your memories over it?" Dmitry then let out another heavy sigh, remembering himself. "Look, you don't gotta talk about it, but this seems like something important and I might be able to question the old man about it when we get back. He tends to know about crap like this." 

    After that, the two would have a bit longer to talk over the situation, whatever Mao decided to divulge. It wasn't until the door slammed open again that the two were interrupted, leading Dmitry to believe that they were going to have to fight again.

    "You, gray hair! The Captain wants to see you!" The guard said, surprising medium. "Again?" Dmitry questioned before he was shown to the Captains office once again.
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    Mao

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    Re: Heavenly Trials & Tribulations [Job/Dmitry]

    Post by Mao on 13th February 2016, 1:25 am

    It made sense as why would nature have reason to lie? Such was a human concept, though she couldn’t help wondering if they could eventually come to understand it and perhaps implement it…if things became bad between them and humans someday. The warning held merit considering she knew Sorrow held goals as well, though she wouldn’t presume to know them all or the extent. The only thing she’d accept as full honesty was Sorrow’s dislike for the isolation of their people for the sake of power, the ancestor doing what he considered a kindness to other ancestors when he came across them in that strange, other realm. Anything else however he certainly failed to bring up with her, only noting that it was his wish to abolish the practice and in the meantime he’d continue to help the other ancestors (new and old alike) find “death.”

    At the foreboding warning about trapping herself Mao gulped. Considering her standing within society it was highly unlikely they’d decide to use her, the woman more likely to bring dishonor upon either or both households with her coming plans and goals than honor…and she certainly hadn’t reached any powerful tiers compared to those who did go through the “honor.” However the long-eared woman didn’t fancy being shoved off into some realm forced to watch life like some endless movie.

    ”I’ve learned more, yes,” she answered softly, sighing. Locking eyes with she braced herself both mentally and in case of his reaction like earlier, ”As I…in a roundabout way explained earlier…I am little more than their tool. I am just an observer to them: something to collect information. While interaction is expected as only so much can be gleamed from texts, the problem starts if bonds and emotional connections are made to people so…on occasion my handler has to alter them as a complete purge would lead to other difficulties so if they’re just different then the idea is to try and steer me away from those people and continue with my mission.” Mao cringed saying all this, feeling awful, like some spy in a novel she read, yet continued, ”And at the same time it’s a form of being able to cover for me because the more frequent wipes and such are required the more…”broken” an observational tool is considered. We aren’t meant to be “people” anymore, not after we’ve grown enough to begin training for this role.”

    A few laughs escaped her lips, mirthless as they were as shadowed eyes stared at the wood of the table. ”Even worse: being conscious of all of this is a worse sign and would be immediate grounds for destruction. But I can’t claim to be innocent either, not with all the tricks I’ve employed to ensure I someday remember, and certainly not with what I plan to do.” Beneath the table she summoned one of her emeralds, the gemstone giving off only the slightest of glows. She’d obtained it from a creature she’d saved, a “failure” of her people’s machinations, and yet forced to kill it in a dreadful act of mercy as the thing carried this burden for her. ’Did it not deserve a proper life? Monsters are made, not born…’ The thought filled her with sadness as she recalled how grateful it’d been to have the misery ended even as a soldier demanded Dmitry’s presence for the Captain.

    As he left another guard wandered in, informing the remaining two that they’d be ready to face the fifth wave soon – the previous having indeed been treated more as a halftime show than a battle. ”Who are we waiting for?” she asked, and before the man or the other two guards could utter a name or mention the emerald glowed brightly, reflected in their eyes as the thought…vanished.

    “Ah…yes, we shouldn’t keep them waiting I’m…not sure…I guess it was to let the crowd simmer down a little?” The fellow was quick to rationalize, the instinct to fill in gaps causing a swift recovery as he ushered the two out.

    ”Are you sure that was wise? He’ll be upset…”

    ”I don’t doubt it…but if it’ll help this move along faster then I will have to bare his anger in favor of getting him out of here. Hopefully by the time his little meeting’s done we’ll have already emerged victorious and either a step closer to leaving…or I’ll have found a weak spot with which we can escape.” Even now her sharp ears could pick out the muffled cheering through the walls, the light slightly blinding as her eyes adjusted and took note of the opponents across the way.

    [772]
    [31]
    [Wave 5]

    Mao carried out 3 launched of one Monster Dice (Image not informed.) :
    , ,
    Mao carried out 3 launched of one Monster Dice (Image not informed.) :
    , ,


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    Benjamin
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    Re: Heavenly Trials & Tribulations [Job/Dmitry]

    Post by Benjamin on 14th February 2016, 12:34 am

    As Dmitry arrived at the door of the Captain's office, he groaned and prepared himself to entertain the musings of the captain who was holding this little trial by combat. When the door opened, he strolled inside without a hint of propriety, causing the guard to huff.  


    "We gotta stop meetin' like this, Cap." He said nonchalantly, drawing the attention of the woman who had been turned around. "So what did I do now?" The Captain turned around and sat down in her chair, motioning for Dmitry to do the same. "I'll stand, thanks." He said, crossing his arms and leaning up against the portion of the wall next to the door.


    "So whadya want now, huh? Want me to sign an autograph or somethin'?" The Captain responded with smirk. "I might just except, given the circumstances. You two are doing quite well, more so than expected." She stated, betraying more than she intended to. "So you really don't expect us to finish, huh?" It was both a declaration and an accusation, all rolled in to the form of a question that caught the angel in front of him off guard. "I see you figured out on your own, eh?" She said with an impressed tone. "Your a clever one, that's for sure."


    "Save it. You can't just drop us off after we can barely stand!" Dmitry stated directly, shouting a little at the end. "You'll send us back just to die on Earthland, that is if you even send us back!" He had now made it clear that he wasn't having this and the Captain shot him a look of impatience, showing that she wouldn't be yelled at in her own office. "Listen here, outsider, you've invaded the heavens one way or another, there fore you must meet our customs and practices regardless of your intentions." She said curtly. "Like it or not, you are in my world now and you'll follow my rules." Dmitry was about to respond when a guard barged in, panic in his eyes.

    "Captain! Something's gone wrong!" He said a little louder than needed, causing the addressed angel's demeanor to change. "What is it soldier?" She asked, concern on both her face and Dmitry's. "It's the trials, Ma'am, there continuing!" The Captain's jaw all but dropped at the statement. "How is that even possible?" Dmitry got up from the wall and pushed the guard aside as he began sprinting for the arena.


    "Damnit Mao!"
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    Mao

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    Re: Heavenly Trials & Tribulations [Job/Dmitry]

    Post by Mao on 16th February 2016, 12:57 am

    ’They really don’t want us making it out of here alive.’

    Quite the crowd stood opposite the duet, a few more shovel-wielding fellows standing amidst warriors. However one stood out in particular, his armor more decorative and intimidating, helm obscuring his face. She suspected he must be a commander or captain of some sort, anything higher than what must’ve been mere foot soldiers. ’Maybe this is a chance for the shovel bearers a chance to become soldiers?’ It was the only explanation she could think of to bring those men in as they appeared varying in terms of confidence: some determined while others looked to be rethinking their life choices.

    The horns went off later than usual, as if awaiting the other member before shrugging it off and signaling the round’s start. Even the cheers came with a near question mark at the end, the people no doubt curious what’d happened to her potentially demonic partner.

    Nocshanks charged ahead, the beast putting all his strength into those four limbs as jaws locked down onto a foot, the man giving a pained cry and dropped the shovel in surprise. Around his body flew, smacking into another of his comrades and sending him flying as a warrior leapt forward to free the man. Only starting his bucking bronco routine, one of the large, curved horns slapped the sword from his hand and caught his body on the back swing, forcing all the air from him. As if to add further insult to injury one of his leather straps caught on the tip, flinging him up and over to land with a dull thud in the dust. Orders flew from one of the remaining warriors, directing the rest of the shovel wielders to follow the other man while he’d distract the rampaging demon. Mao caught the words and how they hoped that taking her down would force its calm as if she held true control over it.

    They didn’t understand anything other than control. It boggled the woman how close-minded they could be, knowing they’d look at her in disbelief if she attempting any explanations because Nocshanks wasn’t her minion: he was a pack mate. Like Chesha, the mage considered him like family and like her the canine would protect his family.

    Filled with an animalistic fury of a cornered animal Mao yelled, metal-covered hands latching onto the charging warrior’s sword and slamming it into the ground, a leg stomping onto the blade to force it from his hands. Grabbing his sleeve and yanking him towards her, Mao paid no mind to the widening of his eyes as she pivoted, pulling his arm over her shoulder and then putting all her might into tossing the man. He managed to right himself to avoid landing on his back, but failed to avoid landing on a wing as the bones crunched beneath one of his braced arms: she could hear his pearly whites gritting in pain from where she stood feet away.

    Narrowed pupils turned on the other two, only one continuing the charge with reckless abandon as he gave a wailing war cry…though if she’d been in a regular state of mind the woman might’ve believed him already in pain. Tingles shot through her thigh as he slammed it on her leg, the limb sliding a bit in the dirt floor, blocking another blow with her gauntlets. The other hand ripped the shovel from his hands and slapped him upside the head with it, the sound reverberating around the arena and some of the audience “ooo”ing in pain, levels of wincing varying. When she turned to his shivering companion the woman stared him down, eventually gesturing her head for him to toddle off, a silent signal “If you don’t want to get hurt like the rest,” and the man gratefully took up her offer.

    ”So this is the combat of demons?”

    The voice rang from the metal helm, the voice braced with a steely calm. Surveying the scene of bodies currently scattered and one of the revived warriors joining his brother-in-arms against the armored beast, the helm shifted back to stare at the lone woman.

    A snarl escaped her, ”Call me what you will, it’s no worse than what others have called me in the past, but I will protect my family. I can only pray you haven’t destroyed other innocent lives with your barbaric antics.”

    [732]
    [33]


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    Benjamin
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    Character Name: Dmitry Kazakov
    Primary Magic: Nature spirit Invocation
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    Re: Heavenly Trials & Tribulations [Job/Dmitry]

    Post by Benjamin on 17th February 2016, 12:46 am

    Dmitry came sprinting out of the gate of the arena, causing one of the warriors to take notice and even attempt a swing at him with his sword. Using his Arc of Destiny, the gray-hair instantaneously appeared behind the angel, knife drawn. Before said warrior could react, Dmitry plunged Dark Fang into the back of the enemy's right knee, forcing him to drop down on it. As the angel screamed in agony, his comrade came to his aid, raising his sword over the top of his head and swinging it down at the medium. Anticipating this, Dmitry had already moved to grab his victim's helmet, pulling it off just in time to parry the blade coming for his head. After the weapon was successfully deflected, the mage threw the headpiece at the face of his current adversary, using the distraction to remove his knife from the knee of his previous opponent. 

    Though the helmet was smacked away by the angels sword, Dmitry was able to sprint forward and slash the wrist of the sword's wielder, effectively disarming him and opening him up to further abuse. After this was done, he stabbed the angel in the right leg, removing the blade and immediately plunging it into his enemy's right arm. Dmitry then grabbed the angel's chest plate and swung him into his comrade, removing the knife as he did so, the collision knocking both warriors to the ground. Without missing a beat, he turned and unleashed a blast of darkness from his knife at the remaining opponent. However, from seemingly no where, a shield of pure light formed on his left arm, allowing him to take the hit head on. Naturally, the attack only dealt minor damage to the guardian, only slightly grazing him in the areas that the shield could not block.

    Dmitry then realized what exactly he was up against, causing him to back up to the slumped forms of his previous two opponents. As he got close to the barely conscious angels, he placed his knife between his teeth and grabbed their swords in both hands, not taking his eyes off the opponent in front of him. Meanwhile, the guardian formed a large sword in his right hand, preparing for the mage's inevitable assault. After a few seconds, Dmitry took off like a shot, slinging each sword one after another on his way their, both of them blocked with ease. Exploiting the slight opening this presented, he leaped in the air and kicked off of the light shield, dropped the knife from his mouth to his hand, and flung it at the angels eye. However, it too was narrowly avoided by the angelic knight, allowing him to knock Dmitry onto the ground a few feet away.
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    Re: Heavenly Trials & Tribulations [Job/Dmitry]

    Post by Mao on 17th February 2016, 11:47 pm

    Things didn’t go quite to plan as Dmitry burst in, someone apparently sounding the horn before she or Nocshanks could fully deal with the group. The two her companion had been dealing with broke away in an attempt to blindside the gray-haired man only to find themselves stricken with pain as he quickly put them in their place. Any words the higher ranked angel might’ve spoken vanished in the face of defending his comrades, managing to force the man into stealing a few blades.

    She didn’t wait as her friend charged in for another attack, racing towards the angel herself. The openings wouldn’t be in vain she decided, mentally promising herself to heal him after this was done as a gloved hand reached out to grab his shield arm, the other trying to do the same to the sword hand only to miss and come into contact with the light-born blade. Metal gave way, weakened from the earlier rounds already and she quickly pulled her hand away, stepping aside to avoid the rest of the slash as metal chunks clinked against the ground. Eyes locking, she could see the smug victory in his eyes with proximity on his side and part of her defenses down.

    Mao growled.

    Something inside snapped, finally breaking through a barrier she hadn’t been conscious of until then.

    Air near her hip crackled to life before it ripped open and something purple shot out. Slamming into the angel it sent him flying, the surprise of the blow forcing him to drop his light sword and the thing vanish into particles of light. All was silent in that moment as he slowly got up, people staring at the odd, snake-like thing floating near her from the tear in space. Whispers about her demon hood rose from the crowd as the angel surveyed her again. ”So you finally reveal your true colors, demon.”

    Panting with the effort of that breakthrough, Mao merely glared at him as a new strength slowly filled her, Sorrow reassuring her of the change. When air was no longer a priority – the man opting to give her a moment’s rest for reasons beyond her understanding – Mao shook her head, ”Again, call me what you will, but I know what I truly am, no matter how much my people try to subdue it, try to control it. Even if you think me a demon I am simply a predator: nothing more and nothing less. As I told you I will protect what’s important to me with the weapons I inherited from my ancestors."

    ”Very well, then show me your resolve as an animal fighting to survive rather than a demon seeking to deceive.” Again the sword came to hand before he raced forward with a war cry, shield manifesting on his other arm. In turn Mao took off, seeking to meet him head-on.

    The swing of his sword was met by the tendril, the new appendage swirling around it and his arm even as the blade started cutting into it. Blood dripped to the ground but Mao seemed oblivious to the fact as the sole gauntlet-clad hand sunk the sharpened tips into the man’s shoulder and pulled the shield-covered arm over her shoulder. Filled with animalistic fury and the combined leverage/strength of her and the tendril’s hold she flung the man over her shoulder and away from her with a harsh thud against the ground. Two seconds was all the time he had to attempt rolling over before she was on him again, the smooth limb sliding under him all too easily and flinging the man into the wall with enough force to cause cracks on the stone.

    ”STAY DOWN!” she commanded, yelling at the man as he shifted a bit, ”Anymore and your recovery won’t be a swift one! Fight for your people, not for a mere victory!” Whether the words struck something or he’d taken one too many hits from them his form slumped finally. People seemed confused even as they cheered, the volume not what it’d been during prior rounds as they continued to ponder whether the two were demons or not. Breathing heavily again, Mao moved to exit the stadium again, though this time the guards seemed to keep their distance a bit more.

    [715]
    [35]


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    Benjamin
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    Re: Heavenly Trials & Tribulations [Job/Dmitry]

    Post by Benjamin on 19th February 2016, 12:42 pm

    Dmitry pushed himself off the ground and got back up to his feet, not exactly sure what he just saw. Up until now, he had known her to be a gemstone mage, yet now it seemed she was capable of much more than that. 


    "Well done," came the voice of the captain once again. "Despite the rocky start, it seems you've both come out victorious once again. However..." Dmitry's eyes narrowed at the end of her speech, wary of what was about to happen. Sure enough, as soon as Mao walked out of the arena, the gates slammed shut. Even the medium was a little surprised, not expecting them to purposely trap him inside.


    "What's the big idea, Cap?" He asked with an alarmed, yet seething voice. "Fight's over, let me outta here so can get ready for the next one!" The Captain simply lifted out of her seat with her wings and floated gently down to the arena, landing without a sound. "I'm afraid I can't do that." She said, a barely audible tinge of remorse in her voice, one that wasn't likely detected by the audience. "Your companion has violated the rules of this trial and as such, you will pay a price." Now Dmitry was fully enraged.


    "To hell with that shit! We didn't get anything outta that!" However, his complaints fell on deaf ears. "Irrelevant. As she fought for half an hour alone, you must do the same. And, as this is the final round of combat..." A flash of light occurred, subsiding shortly to reveal the Captain wearing chest plate, greaves, and gauntlets. She was also wielding a longsword in each hand, showing that she was ready for battle.

    "...I, Captain Gabriella the Archangel of the Heaven's Guard, shall be your opponent!" Without any warning, Gabriella dashed forward at blinding speed, propelled by her shining wings, and slashed with both blades. Dmitry, despite his own heightened reflexes, was only able to avoid the full brunt of the attack. As he leaped out of the way, he still sustained a shallow, but long cut across his chest. Ignoring the pain, Dmitry rolled after hitting the ground and faced his opponent the moment she turned back to face him. As the distance was now shorter than before, she closed in on foot and began a flurry of thrusts with her two swords. While Dmitry was able to duck, dodge, and weave himself out of the way of the first five attacks, the following three were able to put rather deep gashes in the left side of his abdomen, right leg, and left shoulder.

    A final strike came straight at the mage's chest, taking advantage of the previous wounds and piercing clean through his heart. As the blood gushed from Dmitry's mouth, Gabriella withdrew the blade and let his body slump to the ground, a pool of blood soaking the sands of the arena as his eyes rolled back into his skull.  

    As the vision passed, Dmitry craned his back as far as he could behind him, the sword passing just above his face. Taking the opening, he rose his foot and kicked off of the overextended angels ribs, pushing both of them apart. Not wasting anytime, Dmitry got back to his feet and began racking his brain for a way to beat this woman.
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    Re: Heavenly Trials & Tribulations [Job/Dmitry]

    Post by Mao on 21st February 2016, 1:58 am

    Behind the dark haired mage the gates slammed shut, people filling the gap between her and it all too quickly. Alarm bells went off in her head though, knowing Dmitry hadn’t enough time to make it through as she immediately slammed into armored bodies. ”Let me through!” she demanded to no avail. Fists slammed against their armor plates even as she occasionally tried to shove them out of the way. Those ahead of her turned to pull her away from their comrades, threats of bodily harm and commands to calm down shouted, falling on deaf ears. She would not hear of it, angered that her attempts to protect the man backfired drastically as she heard the declaration of their final opponent.

    Being stuck behind this gate only infuriated her further, blinded to the sensation of another bond snapping even as her hands glowed. Landing on the heads of the two in front of her even as the pair behind started dragging her off, their comrades’ steps slowed as the gate guardians gained masses of blue crystals on their heads. ”Wha-?” The question never reached fruition as needles struck them both, knocking them out from the searing and sudden pain. She’d kept the puncture and length low, but blood still ran down their heads in the copious method that head wounds couldn’t seem to help. Feeling the slip of their grips, the thickest part of her tail slammed into one guard, smashing his head into the wall and leaving the man to slide down the wall it slapped into the other. As he fell forward Mao shoved her elbow back, breaking his nose and perhaps cheekbone as consciousness gave way.

    And then her focus shifted to the gate.

    The gate went flying, the woman ducking as it zipped overhead like a wild Frisbee.

    ”Let instinct guide you. It will be your greatest ally next to experience.”

    Tears in the air manifested around the archangel, the woman jumping into the air to avoid the attack. She hadn’t counted on what kind, able to avoid one tendril even as the other slashed through part of her side. Grazed badly, her sword found no targets as the tendrils vanished soon after their attack. The onslaught forced her further away from Dmitry as Mao sought to give him further space now that she’d regained entry to the arena. Standing in front of the door she affixed the woman with a hardened expression, unwilling to allow the other female to control the battle as she saw fit. Her stance however faltered a little, the effort to use the last attack draining from fighting through the barriers to use it.

    [443]
    [37]

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    Re: Heavenly Trials & Tribulations [Job/Dmitry]

    Post by Benjamin on 22nd February 2016, 12:06 am

    Once again, Dmitry's eyes bore witness to whatever it was that Mao had been keeping hidden up until now, making him a little woozy to be honest. However, he could see that she was obviously pushing herself and he worried that she may not be able to control such a power at her current level of skill. As these thoughts ran through his head, Gabriella recovered from the earlier attack and prepared to make a pass by the two. Everything began to slow down for Dmitry as his opponent came honing in, the world screeching to a crawl as his mind raced faster than it ever did. He had to beat this woman and he had to do it now if they were to make it out of this place. 

    His will reached out as far as it could in the split second moment, desperate to protect one of the first friends he had ever come across. A silver aura began to pour out from Dmitry like a geyser, interrupting the angel's flight path and causing her to circle back for fear of whatever force was emanating from the mage. The pupils of his eyes were now glowing a bright green as he looked up at his enemy.


    "I invoke the Spirit of Wind: Sylph!"

    From almost nowhere, a massive cyclone enveloped both Dmitry and Gabriella, taking the Captain by surprise to say the least. 'About time, boy.' Came the voice of Hati in the medium's head, a welcome sound for once. As the woman in the air struggled to keep herself steady in the middle of the maelstrom of wind, Dmitry held his hand out in front of him and formed a silver magic circle. 


    "I invoke the Twin Ravens: Huginn! Muninn!" The two smoke-like birds flew out from the circle and into the air, speeding past Gabriella as she mistakenly dodged them. When they were behind and above her, the ravens morphed into a pair of knives and pieced clean through both of the angels wings, causing her to cry out and fall to the ground. 


    "I invoke the Great Wolf: Hati!" The massive wolf immediately charged from the circle that produced him and leaped for the grounded angel, giving her only enough time to grab one of her swords off the ground and defend herself. Fang clashed against steel as the Captain barely managed to block the jaws of the predator spirit, his teeth locked onto her sword as his weight kept her down on her knees with his paws on her shoulders. Before the wolf could progress, the blade became awash in flame and sliced through his head, dispersing his form entirely. However, as she turned around, she found Dmitry in front of her, his knife retrieved and a ring emitting sparks on the hand that held the weapon. As the malevolence of his opponent fueled the blade, darkness intermingled with electricity as he swung the knife in his usual reverse grip, unleashing a blast of black lightning and malice that collided with the sword Gabriella feebly used to block. 

    The wave of mixed elements broke clean through the blade and slammed into her armor, sending her out of the storm and into a wall directly next to the gate Mao was standing in front of. As she hit the ground, the wind around Dmitry slowly dissipated until it was no more, leaving the mage to slump to the ground as the side effects of this spirit took hold. As the presence of a tempest emanating from his own body engendered a sense of weightlessness, the sudden absence of that sensation left the medium feeling extremely heavy. After struggling to place his knife back in the scabbard he had tucked into his boot, Dmitry pushed himself up and slowly stood to his feet. He then staggered over to the quite literally fallen angel until he was about three feet away from her, his breath heavy as he struggled to stand.


    "We win."
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    Re: Heavenly Trials & Tribulations [Job/Dmitry]

    Post by Mao on 22nd February 2016, 6:46 am

    Though the spirit wasn’t one she was familiar with personally, Mao breathed a small sigh of relief internally even as she gasped aloud. It was unlike any that she’d ever seen as the pair became enveloped in a rush of wind, the thing quickly turning into a giant tunnel that obscured everyone’s vision. Worry blossomed even as she silently cheered for Dmitry, though she couldn’t very well walk into that and hope it’d avoid affecting her. ’If I could just see then I could perhaps use the blood diamond shards…but they’d be more likely swallowed up in that storm. I wouldn’t have any control over them…’

    Desperately she wanted to help as Nocshanks returned to her side, having dispatched the remaining guards that’d rushed to the scene to try and pull her back. In the tiny confines of the hallways however it’d been pitifully easy for the hulking beast to plow through them, sending the guys squandering out of the way and floundering on the ground before suffering the fury of his weight. Neither were sure what they could do.

    ”Stop trying to see with your eyes.”

    ”Everywhere is your hunting ground, everywhere is your domain. That is the gift we’ve both bequeathed.”

    Hazy as it might’ve been, Mao tore at the air near a target, one who felt…wider than the other that she could only hope meant the wings of the angel. A tendril shot out, latching onto an ankle and gripping tightly enough to grind bones against one another as birds turned to daggers. It vanished before the birds returned to take out her wings.

    Moments later a figure shot out from the eye of the storm, slamming next to Mao and kicking up a cloud of dust. Even as she shielded her eyes Mao could smell who it was, smiling a bit beneath her raised arms shielding her from the dirt. Turning to Dmitry as he reappeared she worried as he seemed to have issues regaining his footing, but a part of her couldn’t move to help…she had to let him have this moment of victory, of triumph. It would’ve been almost an insult as he delivered those words to the beaten archangel.

    And then a deafening roar rang out.

    The people cheered, sad for a favored protector and yet it’d been quite the battle. They couldn’t believe the trick he’d pulled out there, curious about the happenings within the cyclone and yet amazed at his show of strength and skill before and after that moment. Strength returned that her steps didn’t falter – though her leg still stung from earlier – Mao patted him on the shoulder and offered a small smile, ”That was truly impressive: you’ve earned these cheers.”

    Her attention shifted towards the wounded woman struggling to sit up. It was hard not to regard her with some distaste, annoyed at this flurry of barbaric trials and subsequent attempts at their lives. Yet surprise filled her as the woman smiled, albeit with a hint of chagrin, ”Well done…if I didn’t know better I’d say you’ve been holding out this entire time…spirit medium.” As more guards filtered into the arena, weapons poised at the trio even as Nocshanks snarled at them, she waved most of them off. One helped her to her feet as the others lowered their weapons. ”No…those were definitely not demonic entities, but spirits of nature itself…I’m surprised however as they cannot normally cross into this realm as it’s not their domain. It must’ve taken quite a toll to bring them through. Even if you’d been tainted by demon spirits…my attacks would’ve done more…” her voice suddenly boomed across the stadium, reaching the people as she declared, ”if my attacks meant so little, then so it must be: you are not demons!”

    More cheers came from the crowd, the audience relieved to know they weren’t applauding enemies despite the show being something else.

    ’I hope this means we can finally go home,’ Mao thought as she surveyed the people up above. It’d be a relief to finally be back where they belong, though the woman could only sigh internally again as she realized the next trial that likely laid ahead: getting Dmitry to a healer.

    [703]
    [39]


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    Re: Heavenly Trials & Tribulations [Job/Dmitry]

    Post by Benjamin on 22nd February 2016, 2:22 pm

    Dmitry's eyes widened as the cheers of the audience began roaring throughout the coliseum, surprised by the sudden noise. What surprised him even more was the strange feeling in his chest at the applause, something he wasn't familiar. Was it Pride? Not likely, considering he had never been concerned at what others though about him. Yet the cheering of the crowd sparked something in him he had never experienced, something he didn't understand. What was it?


    'The joy of a battle won,' said Hati, picking up on his pupil's confusion. 'You set your mind to accomplish a goal and now that accomplishment has been reflected by these people. Come to think of it, you humans always seem to do better when you feel you are supported by someone, like your not alone. You may not care what any of these people think of you, but like it or not, their cheers magnify the gravity of what you have done today. You've endured a trial of combat using your wit and skill to out fight opponents that should have very well been the end of you, surpassing what most would see as unbeatable odds. And when that wasn't enough, you broke boundaries that exist on a dimensional scale with nothing but your will to live and protect those you hold dear. Truly, if that does not deserve applause, then I suspect nothing does."


    Dmitry looked around at the cheering faces, then to Mao as she patted his shoulder. Upon her words of endorsement, he let out a large, toothy grin, something he almost never had on his face. As the Angel got to her feet, Dmitry let out a sigh of relief at her proclamation, glad he could finally get some rest after the fighting thus far. While such a spectacle was nothing for most caster mages, the gray-hair was exhausted and was quite ready for a nice long nap. "I'd like to say it's been fun, but it wasn't so I'm just gonna say take me home already." Dmitry said, though he was still grinning. The angel merely smiled back and held her hand out in front of her, emitting a white light that seemed to engulf the two mages until they found themselves back in the forest they started in. Dmitry inhaled deeply, taking in the Earthland air as if it were a rare commodity, happy he was back where he belonged. 

    Shortly after that breath was released, the young man fell back and hit the ground, out cold before he landed.

      Current date/time is 26th July 2017, 3:45 am