Those Who Remained

A continuation of Trouble in the barrier Garden, wherein the two who stayed behind fight further and also escape!

Date: 2018-11-04
Pose Count: 24
Pyrne Mikhael 2018-11-04 23:24:29 99799

    Many of the heroes had escaped and retreated, recovering the injured Princess Runealy! Left behind were the two brave souls who opted to cover their retreat! Or ... just missed their chance to escape. BUT WE WILL ASSUME THE BRAVE SOULS PART!

     Seriously though, they're in an awful situation. Two people remaining against the monstrous Thorn that had thus far just seemed to ignore attacks against her! When we left off, they had squared off to begin fighting again! Jiaying having just been thrown away from Thorn while Akari had been charging up a spear attack to unleash against the Thorn!

     Meanwhile, Thorn has resealed the vine dome over the barrier garden, leaving the garden almost completely dark; save for the arcs of magic coming from Akari's attack. Luckily, at least one of the two here likely has night vision! It seems most of the glowing flowers have mysteriously... disappeared? And those mushrooms are still lurking in the darkness, just waiting to burst and unleash even more of those irritating dark energy spores!
Akari Hayabusa 2018-11-04 23:43:14 99800
Even in a mundane vision, Akari's glowing eyes are visible; her skin-markings, slightly less so. Her double-ended polearm is also visible, thrumming with energy. "Y'know, I could swear we've met each other before," she calls out to Jiaying. "Maki-san, right? -- Oh, right, it was at the Crown! In ... my other form." She sounds relieved that these were the circumstances, rather than the alternative. "How well can you see in the dark like this?"

She's just a little bit reluctant to just jump right into a fight; apart from anything else, all she needs to do is clear out the spores by hook or by crook, and then drop the barrier around the garden.

Cartridges remaining: 4; she just fired one of them.
Jiaying Maki 2018-11-05 00:01:09 99801
Jiaying Maki sways to the left, moving like she's about to lash out from that angle, then suddenly she jerks to the right and brings her heel up in a vicious kick. "Eyes forward, don't worry about her right now." Her eyes are also glowing, but not from the magic, but from the minimal light left behind reflecting off of them. Pulling her leg back, she turns the momentum into a twist and a hop away from Pyrne.

At Akari's comment, resists the urge to look over her shoulder and calls out, "I didn't have my ears out there right? I hope not, I don't want them thinking I'm the weird otaku playing fighting games there..." She trails off, watching Pyrne's feet and shoulders, ready to react to her attacks. She's also trying to avoid the more obvious mushrooms.

There's a moment's hesitation and she calls out, "Can you leave on your own, or did you need help?" She's not fully sure who Nightbell would be offhand, but she's not surprised!
Pyrne Mikhael 2018-11-05 00:13:09 99802
     From evidence of how things have went so far, the Thorn hasn't really let conversations just happen. In fact, she really seems intent to not give anyone a breather. Ever. As Nightbell is talking, the Thorn's foot stomps the ground, and what was a large dome suddenly compresses down, moving quickly enough it might actively knock Akari to the ground; while leaving the area only about 10ft tall!

     "Do you really think you have time for this conversation?" The Thorn comments towards the two as they talk, hesitating briefly as that kick comes in. The stomp meant that she couldn't easily mitigate the damage, so Pyrne opts for a different tactic. She moves her arm quickly into the way of the kick, attempting to catch the ankle with one of the thorned brambles wrapping her arms. Of course, this would drive the thorns into herself, but she doesn't seem... too upset about that.

     Thorn's actual 'attack' becomes obvious as Jiaying leaps back, that stomp was only partially to bring back the dome. Those brambles are now rapidly attempting to wrap around the two that had opted to remain! Which would make it much harder to evade if they can't dodge out of the way of them, especially with Pyrne coming in towards Akari with that giant flail of hers!
Akari Hayabusa 2018-11-05 00:23:37 99803
Akari shakes her head. "No, I didn't even realize you weren't huWAUGH!" She dodges downward, and as a result, she only gets lightly bumped on teh head. She goes horizontal so that she has more room between roof and floor, and she does her best to dodge the vines closer to the ceiling. "Can leave whenever through the Dusk Zone!" she says hurriedly. "Need to keep this barrier up so the spores don't hit civvies!"

And the Thorn, as promised, isn't letting up. Her eyes widen in the darkness, but then, realizing that her eyes are part of the reason she's visible, she closes her eyes, dodges to the side, and swings the polearm at the Thorn, following through with a stab from one of the ends.
Jiaying Maki 2018-11-05 00:33:56 99804
Jiaying Maki lashes out at the brambles with that guandao, using the blade to slice and dice, dancing away from Pyrne. If Pyrne looks away, or even if she thinks there's an opening, she'd lash out though, the polearm aimed low at the ground where it seemingly bends and bounces back up at Pyrne. Where Jia's moving, she's leaving behind a trail of mist, thicker and thicker as she's been moving around. The next strike seems to come from that thicker bank of magic, but trying to parry it, dodge it or even getting hit by it would reveal it's true nature as nothing more than an illusion.

"You're like Lacrima then." She calls out in response, punctuating it with another attack at Pyrne, trying to move to blind spots, the illusions starting to become more prevalent. It's almost looking like a series of after images now.

"How long would it take to clear it all out?" She hesitates then adds, "Maybe fire?"
Pyrne Mikhael 2018-11-05 00:44:57 99805
     Quick evasion. Seems like that's the theme of both of her enemies. So really... the worst kind of people to be facing the Thorn. Dodging to the side is very effective, but it also means that Akari is dodging through a mixed bed of brambles and more of those mushrooms, which burst and unleash more of those choking spores and dark energy! Meanwhile, Thorn's defense is... somewhat lacking. That initial strike is missed, but Pyrne's still in motion flail is moved into place to block that stab!

     Swinging low doesn't work very well for Jiaying, the mix of brambles and mushrooms on the ground, at best, slows down the swing enough that it's hard to make it connect! If she's unlucky, she pops one of those mushrooms much like Akari has! Those continued attacks are... clearly annoying Thorn though, as a low growl is beginning to escape her. A sudden CRACKING noise can be heard.

     Which was the flail breaking off in half where it had blocked that spear, and Thorn moves her grip, her flail suddenly spinning widely in an arc to attempt to catch both of them in the wide(Though slightly shortened) arc with those vicious thorns! And if they dodge out of the way, well... then they might just have to contend with more of those brambles and mushrooms. Which would just make it much harder to clear out those spores.
Akari Hayabusa 2018-11-05 00:59:30 99806
Akari is still immune to the Dark Energy, but once or twice she begins to cough from the thickness of the spores, and her eyes are starting to water.

She lets out a squeak of alarm at Jiaying's comment! "I-I ... guess?" she says nervously. But then she's too busy dodging as the flail swings towards her, and she lets out a yelp as she gets tangled up in the brambles and comes crashing down to the ground!

"... Right, then," she mutters, struggling to get her hand over to the gun-trigger handle. "Rubindorn? Rosenform!"

Ping! <<KARTUSCHE BEREIT!>> announces her Device. Akari manages to pull the trigger, and once again there's a thunderclap. <<ROSENFORM!>> Rose Form. The spontoon-blades begin to glow blood-red, and then they extend huge scythe-blades counterclockwise, each one extending out ninety degrees in a circle around the center.

However, her Device is now letting out a distressed-sounding whine, and puffs of dark energy keep wafting out of the seams. Even so, Akari begins swinging the scythe in a circle like the world's deadliest whirlwind, simply slashing through the surrounding brambles as she makes her way back towards the Thorn!

Cartridges remaining: 3.
Jiaying Maki 2018-11-05 01:11:12 99807
Jiaying Maki is trying her best to avoid the dark energy, using a mix of the whole dodging away, ignoring as much of the scratches and general pain from the thorns and trying not to stumble. A good center of balance from years of flexible kung fu have definitely helped. Also nice clothes that are getting shredded. And stained red. Jia's getting steadily more grim looking as she's trying to resume putting pressure on the girl and... suddenly a lash from the broken weapon. Falling to the ground, she rolls forward and tries to turn that momentum into a double kick from below. She's not happy, she's starting to bleed, there's some pain from the dark energy. There's an aura of menace about her almost.
Pyrne Mikhael 2018-11-05 01:48:04 99808
     A solid hit. Finally. The way that Nightbell seemed to just shrug off the dark energy was... beginning to annoy Thorn, and it was showing more and more, her form seeming to almost become darker! Or... was that just that black viscous fluid that seems to come out of her wounds? Well, whatever. Regardless, there was a whirlwind of force coming in towards Thorn! Who... rather than taking a hit for once, seems to actually have finally opted to dodge!

    A half-seed appears under Thorn's feet, carrying her away from the spinning scythe blade and the spinning fox both. This was beginning to be a waste of energy, the investment of energy was getting towards a loss of what she'd already gathered. "Goodbye." Pyrne states.

     And then... the dark energy that was filling the area seemed to be gathering, and the spores in the area were beginning to magnetize themselves towards the regrown flail. "Rotten Nature: Pestilent Flail." Well, on the upside, the air was clear of those spores! On the downside, Pyrne was now coming in towards the pair again, and the energy surrounding that flail feels AWFUL. Corruptive, rotting, in fact... that dome of brambles seems to be rapidly DYING just from the presence of the attack. Which was now swinging in an impossibly wide arc towards the two! On the upside, if they care to take it, it probably would be easy to break through the bramble wall at this point...
Akari Hayabusa 2018-11-05 02:11:07 99811
Ping! <<HERRIN, DAS BALDACHIN WIRD SCHWACHER!>> Mistress, the canopy is getting weaker!

"Right!" Akari basically doesn't have a plan at this point. However, she does have a double-bladed scythe.

She jumps straight up and starts spinning in a circle, leaving a wide open gash in the canopy and revealing the red and black fractal sky of her barrier, then simply flies up and out of the bramble wall -- out of reach for the moment. "What's the status on ... ergh!" She winces suddenly, and starts staggering in midair, then starts coughing. "Wh ... what the hell!?"

Ping! <<DU BIST VON DER DUNKLEN ENERGIE BETROFFEN, HERRIN!>> You are affected by the Dark Energy, mistress! And then, <<SCHWERTFORM!>> Sword Form! There's a surge of darkness, and Rubindorn transforms back into a sword. With ... noticeable cracks in the blade.

Akari tries to right herself in midair, grimacing. "... Scheisse ..."
Jiaying Maki 2018-11-05 02:22:43 99815
Jiaying Maki rolls back now that the evil one is trying to escape and... jumps to her feet. Simple enough. She's not feeling great, the smell in the air's not great, there's that dark energy stuff all over. She looks up, starts to reach back to throw that spear of magic, then slows down and instead runs forward, trying to get under the lashing attack. Which also means, in this case, that she's leaving the area. Head first of course, arms crossed across her face, through the dead and weakened brambles.

Laying on her back outside, she looks at the hole, then calls out to Akari, "The whole point was to get all the mushrooms and leave, did we get both!?" Trying to make sure A, that the girl's escaped and B, that there's no horribly evil stuff lingering about.
Pyrne Mikhael 2018-11-05 02:28:13 99816
     The Thorn... doesn't seem intent on following the two. Evidently, it has decided it's spent enough energy. In fact, as if to punctuate the 'get off of my lawn' feeling going on, several vines fling a ball of ...something... at Jiaying, that turns out to be some of her damaged clothes, and after being certain that any remaining things from any of the heroes have been ejected (In the direction of Jiaying and Akari), the vines then grab the gates to the garden and slam them closed several times until they finally latch. And then... as if nothing had happened...

     The garden reverts to how it was before the heroes had arrived, and The Thorn is once more nowhere to be seen.
Akari Hayabusa 2018-11-05 02:42:43 99821
Akari looks over the garden. "Rubindorn, is there anything left we need to worry about?"

Ping! <<NEE.>> Nope.

"Okay, good." The barrier fades, and then Akari lists downward and flops onto her back next to Jiaying. "That's, um, that is basically a yes, I think. Rubindorn? How much power we got?"

Ping! <<SO VIEL.>> This much. She and Rubindorn are engulfed in a surge of dark energy, which glitches out and becomes pale blue, before dissipating to reveal Akari in her human form, that she met Jiaying in all those months ago, and Rubindorn is hanging around her neck in pendant form. A couple of strands of her hair are still purple, however.

Akari sighs softly, staring up at the sky. "Yeowtch, who could have expected that dark energy would've affected me that badly," she says flatly.
Jiaying Maki 2018-11-05 02:44:13 99822
Jiaying Maki brushes herself down for a moment and looks at the tatters of her outfit nearby. "You know, you go into this sort of thing expecting your clothes to get messed up. Guess I wasn't expecting to fight a garden."

Slowly sitting up, then standing up, she brushes herself off for a few moments, checking over the scratches, scrapes, energy marks, whatever. "It was like kicking a training dummy. I should start practicing with the big clubs instead." Finally though, looking to Akari she asks, "Are you okay?" Hesitating ,"Why were you trying to just tank it? I was expecting you to have... energy balls or something. Lacrima throws them often enough at least."

She stops, sighs and adds, "Sorry. You're okay right?"
Akari Hayabusa 2018-11-05 02:48:49 99823
Akari sighs. "I ... don't really want to throw around dark energy willy-nilly," she says. "Rubindorn's weaponry is more effective than that stuff, anyway. At least that way it's contained. Mostly I'm sort of whiling away until I can get purified, I guess."

She pushes herself up into a sitting position. "Probably, I guess," she says. "... Wow. I'm only supposed to be forty percent Dark Energy in that form, it didn't occur to me that there might be, like ... bad effects from --" She coughs. "... getting my lungs filled with dark energy spores ..." she says weakly. "In other news, ow." She shakes her head. "Another reason I need to get purified, I guess!"
Jiaying Maki 2018-11-05 03:04:07 99828
Jiaying Maki looks over at the girl, then shakes her head and says, "Why wait? Or is it getting the right person? I'm... no good at purifying anymore, I've stepped away from doing that sort of thing for now." She pauses for a moment and adds, "Well, you know, aside from a shrine, but that's something different."

She claps her hands together, the mist from before appearing briefly around her. She then sticks her hand out from within that fog and waves it away, revealing her normal clothes again. "You don't carry a purse with bandages do you? I don't want to make too big a mess."
Akari Hayabusa 2018-11-05 03:18:25 99831
Akari shakes her head. "It's been about finding someone who can purify me," she says. "The darkness goes right down to my Linker Core, and I only just left Eclipse, so I ... don't really know how to get in touch with anyone." She looks up at Jiaying. "Any particular reason why you don't purify anymore?"

She pauses. "No bandages, sorry. Only my weapon Rubindorn, who is kind of damaged from the strain of using her double-scythe form." She shakes her head. "Another effect of the darkness, ugh ..."
Jiaying Maki 2018-11-05 03:24:43 99833
Jiaying Maki sighs and looks around in vain for some kind of first aid kit maybe. Not that she fully expects it or anything. "I have no idea what a linker core is. I honestly didn't even know who most of you were. It just seemed like I had dark and angry distracted and figured I could slip over to the Night Harbor with a bit of time."

At the question, she shakes her head and doesn't answer right away. "I live with those that don't... need that kind of magic around. I don't want it lingering and I don't want to risk it."
Akari Hayabusa 2018-11-05 03:32:08 99835
Akari blinks. "Oh, it's just the source of magic in a magic-user's body, so to speak," she says. "And mine actually produces dark energy, which is the problem." She's starting to put two and two together; so, Jiaying immediately thought of Lacrima when Akari mentioned dusk stepping, and she lives with 'people' who don't like purification ... She's starting to think she shouldn't tell Jiaying where she lives.

She gets unsteadily to her feet, clearly a bit worried now, and worse at hiding it than she thinks she is. "I'm sorry, I should probably head home," she says. "I, uh, I don't mean to leave you hanging, it's just ... there's people who are going to worry. Do you think you can get somewhere else where mundanes won't ask too many questions?" She hesitates. "Or, uh, is there someplace I can help you get to?" She stops herself short of saying 'besides your home'.
Jiaying Maki 2018-11-05 04:06:45 99842
Jiaying Maki shakes her head and doesn't know where Akari is, she's been out of touch for a while too, to make things easier. She rolls her shoulders a few times, then glances back to her, "I can make it home if you want to head out yourself. I'm good."
Akari Hayabusa 2018-11-05 04:08:26 99843
Akari sighs softly. "Okay, I'll just say it outright," she says. "If you live with Lacrima-san ... it is not a good idea for me to help you get there specifically." She shakes her head. "She might tell you why. But ... for now, I guess I'll see you around, then." She turns to leave. "See you later, I guess ..."
Jiaying Maki 2018-11-05 04:23:49 99845
Jiaying Maki hesitates, stopping midstep. "What did you do exactly?" Not really the sort to worry too much. "I don't... really think it will matter too much unless you tried to do something particularly nasty?" She shrugs while adding, "Not that I mind. But, that's fine. Do you need help getting home?"
Akari Hayabusa 2018-11-05 04:27:34 99846
Akari shrugs, without turning back to Jiaying. "The shadowy figures in Eclipse don't want me to leave, and she can't disobey them directly," she says softly. "... I'll be fine heading back on my own. Just ... not if someone who hasn't been hurt in a fight comes after me." She starts walking away without another word.