Job Deets wrote:Clicky.
"Remind me how I got here," Kotomi muttered to herself. Before her was a creature roughly twice her size, a grey, winged monster with a snarling beaked maw and beady eyes that hid within its stony skin, only visible for glimpses when the moonlight hit it just right. She found herself on top of a castle, an old one that she'd never been to before. As the creature inched forward, claws glistening with what could very well have been some strange poison, she took a defensive step back.
Of course, the request for a reminder had been rhetorical. She had no one to ask, first off. Second, in her pocket was the exact reason why she was there. A mysterious letter had been hand delivered to her by a courier who, with a tip of his cap, had left before she could question him. The letter had explicitly said that the author had been watching her and had a challenge for her.
According to the unmarked letter, a creature known as a gargoyle had been terrorizing the village near an abandoned castle. The unknown author had tracked the creature to the castle itself, upon which the creature had created a sort of a nest. Kotomi could see the nest now, she was standing on it. It seemed to be a collection of stone from nearby areas and was littered with human and animal bones of various shapes and sizes.
The letter had included a boat ticket and a challenge and therefore she had everything she needed to take it on. Clenching her fist, she watched the creature closely waiting for it to attack. It moved fast, kicking clawed feet off of the ground with enough force to crush the stone beneath its feet and rushed at her. The claws were definitely a problem, whether poison or not, and she swung her body back just in time to miss the clawing attack that would have pierced through her shoulder. As a result of the angle of the swing, the creature took part of the bright blue bow that alighted the front of her shirt, tearing it to just random cloth. "Hey!" She shouted, "I liked that bow!"
As the creature overextended its arm due to the reach, she shifted the upper half of her body, grabbing the creature at the wrist with her right hand and slamming her left elbow down on its forearm. It should have shattered under the pressure. Instead, the creature's stone-covered showed impressive resilience and the force versus protection ended in a perfect stalemate. This was the limit of Kotomi's natural strength when at rest, enough to endure solid stone. Thankfully she wasn't limited to just that. She jumped backwards with incredible speed and left an echo of herself, a shadow lingering and grasping the creature's arm in the exact position she had been.
The gargoyle, probably less than sentient, clawed at the shadow thinking it was her. A mistake. The shadow moved of its own volition, leaping seemingly into the gargoyle and attacking it from within. With the creature distracted by her spiritual attack, the real form of Kotomi rushed at her adversary. Her fist began to glow with spiritual energy and she punched into it with such force that she created a new hole in the creature's chest. The gargoyle gasped and, rather than collapse, immediately turned to stone.
She watched for an instant as the creature began to reform. The hole within its chest started to close up. It was healing! "Oh no you don't," She murmured. Pulling her arm back out, she ignited the energy in her other fist and slammed both of them into the stone creature. From within, she turned her palms outward and gripped the stone. With a battle cry that would deafen a dragon, she bifurcated the creature from the center outwards. The energy driving outwards from her body tore the monster into stone shards. If it could revive from that, it would truly be a remarkable creature. She watched for a moment.
Nothing. Apparently it had limits in its stony regeneration.
She turned and left. The next day a tidy sum of money had been deposited into her account. An odd relationship, to be sure, but she got paid and she got to fight something new. A win-win.
Meanwhile, a week later, as the stone pieces and nest were being cleaned up by an unnamed sanitation crew, a single claw began to twitch.