Holy fire burns again
the magic circle is all around it, burning like the innocence of love
The wind grazed along ashen hair, twisting it in its wild dance through the empty atmosphere as it spiraled away. Silent feet carried an elegant, young woman over coarse masonry, dirtied and beaten from years of no shoes. She was a shadow among shadows, a dark silhouette masked by the unlit space that surrounded her slender form. From time to time, she would stop, hush something at her feet, then dash forward again before pausing once more. As she ran along the bridge between keeps, the woman stopped only when she reached the other side and stood before Blacksteel Keep. Now standing in front of a large, wooden door, she reached forward and grasped the black iron handle, opening the gateway. It harshly creaked open at her touch, the sound of the door slamming against the stone wall echoing into the empty darkness.
Glancing away from the entrance, she darted over to the edge of the wall and peered down, staring at something below. Extending an arm forward, she beckoned with her wrist for whatever it was below her to rise up and perch on the roof of Blacksteel Keep. A heavy beat of wings sounded in the silence, mimicking that of thunder rolling through the sky shortly after lightning having struck. Another figure peeled itself from the shadows, barely noticable with its black bodice enveloped by the dark gray skies. It twisted backward and swooped toward the keep's entrance, only to roost on the block cutouts of the circular building. Ruffling the contents of its body, one could soon make out that it was a giant bird resting on the rooftop of the keep. Unexpectly, the creature let out a sound that embodied a terrified woman's scream mixed with nails on a chalkboard.
Harshly, she shushed the bird but left it there to roost while she slithered into the shadows of the keep's belly. She crept down the long stairway that spiraled to the first level, where she was met with another staircase that led farther down. However, this staircase had a rather strange appearance, as it looked as if it had been lifted by unnatural means. How was she meant to get down there when the stairwell was nearly blocked by its own self from unknown workings? Shifting her feet along the ground, she felt her way around the tiny room, getting a feeling of what was around her. Unfortunately, it was all empty space, nothing that could help her proficiently in removing some of the stair's steps. Sighing, Kanix moved back to the entrance of the stairs and shifted her right foot forward, then brought her right hand own in front of her.
Ice slithered from the tip of her right foot's toes to the stairwell that was encased by its own steps as a means of blockage. The ice grew in small spikes as charged toward the entrance, slamming into the closed opening and freezing what was there. When all of it was frozen, Kanix straightened her stance and raised both of her hands above her head. A series of light beams shot up from the ground around the staircase until it struck the entryway and broke a hole. As soon as an opening was heard crumbling away, Kanix cancelled the spell and leapt forward, disappearing down the newly made rabbithole. She landed heavily onto her feet, kicking up dust that had been settled on the stone flooring and entering the battle scene. Voices rocketed against her eardrums, where she could pick out two unfamiliar voices beside a familiar voice and many other unknown ones.
Standing in the back, she listened as a battle ensued between the Pergrande knights and Mashyuu, Hoseki, and Davey. A loud crashing sound emitted in the air, forcing her to cover her airs to mute the deafening noise of Hoseki's roar. Gritting her teeth, she breathed in deeply once the roar ended and looked back to the fightening at hand. Her senses went wild with what was going on, unable to pick out magic power from the next as they mixed and mingled. Mashyuu's magical essence was the only one that she was capable of plucking out of the crowd of magic users. She did not want to interfere with the current situation, standing off to the side as they battled the mix of Pergrande men. However, the second that a majority of the battle was over, Kanix found her feet working on their own to rush the leaders.
The paladins were quicker on their feet than she had expected, sidestepping her attack and sending her skidding to a halt. She had stumbled to her buttox, dust kicked up from her sliding across the ground and a raw back from the action. Groaning, Kanix rolled to her side and weakly lifted herself back to her feet, only to have one snagged out from under her. A surprised cry released itself from the depths of her innards as she now hung upside-down by the hand of one of the paladins. Her broadcloth fell over her bodice, covering the center of her torso, down to the tip of her forehead, and her necklace slipped off her chest, clattering to the ground. Blindly, she swung a fist in any direction that she could until it connected with the one of the paladin's crotches. As expected, the one holding her captive buckled at his knees and released his grip on her, letting her drop to the ground.
She coughed the second her body connected with the floor, but rose to her feet in a matter of seconds, so as not to be taken advantage of again. With one paladin down for a bit, she focused her attention on the other, who was standing there, now in fear. One fell swoop of her feet and the paladin was on the ground like her partner, but grappled to her feet once she fell. Drawing out her sword, the woman charged Kanix, only to have her attack thwarted by the guild master as it came baring own on her staff. Using both her hand, she shoved the staff up and over her head, pushing the sword off it and out of the paladin's hands. The weapon clattered to the ground with a noise of metal hitting stone, leaving her opponent now defenseless against her. Kanix drew out her water whip, sending it flying toward the woman and entrapping her in the clear liquid.
A flick of her wrist and the paladin was brought closer to her before being quickly thrown to the side and into the wall. The room emitted with a loud crashing sound as her opponent collided with the wall, sliding to the floor below her. Her head lolled to the side, remaining unmoving and left Kanix wondering if the paladin would get back to her feet. When no move was made, she turned around to the paladin, who was still gripping his groin out of agony. She grinned wildly at the man, then rammed her foot into the man's chin, flinging him backward and crashing into the wall as well. Feeling the vibrations of the man's landing allowed for her to sense where he had crashed into the wall and for another attack. Stepping forward, a blaze of fire was sent from her fist as it came slamming toward the paladin's helm and set it afire.
She huffed lightly and dusted her hands off on her thighs, smirking as the two paladins were now unconscious on the ground. Crossing her arms over her chest, she would spin on her heel to face Mashyuu and his two companions on the mission. "I guess I came in the nick of time," she chuckled, teasing the Sabertooth mage and sticking her tongue out at him. "They should be knocked out for a while, so if you want to get going and head down to the dungeon area, I suggest we go now. To be honest, I don't know how much time we have before these two bimbos wake up and notice that we're gone. On top of that, I'm surprised they haven't sounded the alarm on you yet. . . you do know taking this job will mark you as a criminal? Isn't that like a taboo for those Rising Stars that you are? Might leave a bad mark on your reputation and all."
With that being said, Kanix let her head roll around on the joints of her neck, as if she was looking for something specific. A shift of her feet and it was like a spark had ignited in the single blue optic settled on her features, and she turned on her heels again. Leading the way down the corridor, the woman searched for the door that would lead them down into the dungeon. If any luck, nothing would run by them and they wouldn't run into anymore Pergrande army men as they had earlier. Well, she had been lucky enough to say she hadn't run into any, as she had encountered Mashyuu with them first. "Stay on the down-low, stay quiet, and make sure that whatever you do does not draw attention to yourself. This place has to be jam packed with guards, considering the fact that this is a prison for all those who went against Pergrande orders."
Her hands trailed along the walls of the hallway, fingers scraping along the stones, feeling each of their curvature. Doing so allowed for the blind magus to get a feel of her surroundings, to make an image in her head as she moved. No vibrations in the ground meant that no guards were coming, which made her curious to know if there were any down there. With the amount of guards that had been upstairs, perhaps there wasn't a single one down in the dungeons at all. A jingle echoed into the air, breaking Kanix's concentration and as she realized that her fingers had touched keys. Yet, when she listened more and used her senses to feel her surroundings, a doorway wasn't even an option. It was as if the keys were some sort of decoy, like the guards knew members of guilds would come to save their own kind.
"Hey, Mashy, do you ever get that feeling that this place is far more trapped than you think it's going to be?" she inquired. Her hand wrapped around the outlandishly sized key loop, pulling it off its hook and storing it in her deerskin pouch. "I understand that it's just an empty hallway, but I can't help to get the feeling that something's not right here." A tingle ran down her spine, like her instincts were telling her the hallway was not the place to be at the time. However, this one time, she disregarded the feeling, kept the keys, and continued on down the corridor to the dungeons. It had to be in her head; otherwise, what was meant to happen to them in the empty hall if nothing did when she grabbed the key? Just like that, a groaning sound could be heard and from underneath Kanix's feet, the floor was swept away, revealing a trap door.
A scream of terror irrupted from her lips as she slid down the ramp of the trap door that led down into the exact place they needed to be. Her ass landed on the ground with a harsh thump and she let out a groan of pain, moving to rub her butt sorely. "Damn, I wasn't expecting that to happen," she muttered to herself, clambering to her feet and walking forward. However, as she walked forward, she was not entirely aware of what was in her surroundings and rammed into bars. Scrunching her eyebrows together, the woman reached a hand forward and wrapped slender fingers around cell bars. Her arm pulled back, jangling the metal to see how tough it was, and realizing that it didn't budge if at all. "Well, this is wonderful. . . How the hell am I supposed to get out of this when I can't even bend metal at all?"
Kicking her foot forward, the magus sent a blast of fire in the direction of the cell bars, only to have it skim through them unharmed. The bars were made of a type of metal that didn't easily melt at the touch of blazing fire, which concerned her. She didn't know if Mashyuu had fallen down with her either, as it was pretty silent after she had fallen down the hole. Gripping her other hand around another bar, she shook the bars as harshly as she could, resulting in a slight budge. "All right, so they aren't as sturdy as I thought they originally were, so that's a good thing, I just have to figure out what to do." Pulling one of her hands away from the bars, she summoned a small pool of water into her palm and coated it on the bar. After which, the magus changed the temperature of the water until it froze on the bar, the curled her hand into a fist, shattering the metal.
@Mashyuu , 2,189 words , NOTES