Punch the Messenger

Cure Shield finds Stahlritter to warn him about the Wolkenritter, and receives some training in return.

Date: 2018-11-25
Pose Count: 40
Millie White 2018-11-25 23:57:54 100903
The sun began to set on Tokyo, promising a new day in the morning as the city was bathed in an orange glow. Downtown Mitakihara bustled as it always did, the skyscrapers towering into the sky as trains came and went even at this time of night. Alive as it was, Mitakihara was notorious for shady characters and youma attacks, so it made perfect sense to be patrolling the area. Not only that, but the skyscrapers made it almost ridiculously easy to get around.

Cure Shield leaped from skyscraper to skyscraper as the dying light of day slowly disappeared. Even if Mitakihara downtown was dense, the taller buildings also gave her a good vantage point to carry out her task. The green knight came to a stop on a tall building overlooking Kikoku Street, her emerald gaze quickly scanning the skyline before moving downwards. The Cure was looking for someone in particular... the problem was she had no idea where he usually hung out. He struck her as the kind of person that showed up when trouble did, so she figured she would give downtown a shot. If there was a place where trouble was to occur, in general she'd place downtown pretty high on the list.

"I swear, if I have to find a youma just to get you to show up..." Cure Shield grumbled to herself, gently blowing silver bangs from her eyes with a sigh. The Cure's thoughts shifted back to the warehouse and why she was looking for Stahlritter to begin with. The Wolkenritter were bad news, it felt wrong not warning him that there were Belkan knights draining people's linker cores. Besides...their magic smelled similar. Maybe he knew something. At the very least, she needed to warn him to guard his linker core. Nanoha's face when Signum had reached through her chest flashed across her memories and she winced. Yes, she definitely needed to warn him.
Stahlritter 2018-11-26 00:24:39 100907
    One would think that a figure as large and distinct as Stahlritter would be easy to spot. But somehow, Cure SHield might have gottne the sense from him, too, that he isn't the kind of person who lets himself be seen if he doesn't want to be seen. WHich just complicates matters all the more.
    But as it happens? Just after she's grumbled those words, something attaches against the edge of the rooftop she's standing on with a quiet, but just audible enough *clink*. IS... is that an end of a chain sunken into the stone? What th--
    Before she really gets a chance to study it enough, it jitters and tenses as if something was pulling on it. Retracting. And when it suddenly detaches, something else appears over the edge.
    Past the rooftop and above it, a large, dark figure is launched over. And when she looks up, it's coming back down again. A certain armored, helmeted Knight, with his sleeveless longcoat spread out wide from the wind and air pressure behind and around him, like dark, ominous wings that collapse in on him again once he lands surprisingly smoothly down onto the sturdier surface of the roof.
    "Looking for me?" The augmented rumble of his voice asks, as that fiery-orange, t-shaped visor turns to peer towards her.
Millie White 2018-11-26 00:39:05 100909
The click of something attaching to the building had the Cure immediately taking a step back and raising her shield in case she had to defend herself. That didn't appear to be necessary as none other than the dark knight in question rocketed over the edge to land smoothly a few meters from her. Cure Shield couldn't stop the relieved smile that flitted across her features.

"Stahlritter." Her voice was equally as relieved as her smile as she quickly closed the distance between them while leaving a respectable space. Her smile slowly became wry in nature. "I was starting to think I'd have to find a youma just to get you to show up." She chuckled before her expression turned serious. "We've got trouble. Do you want to hear the bad news first, or the bad news?" If she was joking, it didn't show on her face as it remained the serious mask of calm.
Stahlritter 2018-11-26 00:45:18 100911
    "It's a large city, unfortunately," the male Knight murmurs with a faint bit of apology in his tone, as he turns to fully facing her, with just one step taking towards her, hands slightly enlarged by his gauntlets held at his sides while he looks on down at her.
    And at her more worrying words, that helmet-clad head tilts to the side. "I am a realist. Just give it to me, in the order of importance."
Millie White 2018-11-26 01:05:54 100913
Right to the point, eh? She could deal with that.

"Around four days ago, an Eclipse warehouse was attacked. Everyone inside was rendered unconscious and the only people we found besides them were two unidentified magical warriors, and a girl named Nanoha Takamachi." Her arms crossed over her chest. "Takamachi-san tried to speak to them to figure out why they had attacked Eclipse but..." she paused, her hands dropping to her sides. "They attacked and drained her linker core. There was a large magical tome and I think they drained her linker core to power it, but I can't be sure since I couldn't get close to them."

The Cure subconsciously gripped her shield tighter, remembering how they had tried to break it. "They introduced themselves as the Wolkenritter. A tall woman with pink hair and a sword appears to be their leader; her name is Signum, General of Raging Fire. With her is a silver-haired dog-eared knight with a shield named Zafira." Cure Shield paused for a moment, her expression darkening. When she spoke next, her voice was soft, almost ashamed. "It wasn't even a contest, Stahlritter. The two of them are incredibly powerful, I don't think we landed a single hit before they took us out. They are after linker cores and no one is safe. So just... keep yours secure, yeah?" She finished, finally meeting his 'gaze' again.
Stahlritter 2018-11-26 01:16:53 100915
    The large Knight remains respectfully silent while she is imparting all that information. Halfway through, however, his thickly-muscled arms are brought up to fold together over his chest, and a thoughtful "Mmmmrrrrhhh" can be heard rumbling from underneath that helmet.
    "I recognize that word," he says then. "Old Belkan. 'Knight of the Cloud'. ... Though I suppose in that context, it would be a plural, wouldn't it?"
    His arms uncross, and his visor turns down to one of his gauntlets, quiet again for a few seconds. "Krieg doesn't exactly have an extensive history archive in him, so I can't say more than that. I think I know one or two people who might be ablo to say a thing or two about it, however."
    His gaze turns up to the Cure again, and another quiet grunt comes out. "That'll be an actual fight for once, then, won't it? Tell me everything you can. About that tome. About the way they fight."
Millie White 2018-11-26 02:01:43 100919
Cure Shield nodded, letting out a small sigh. "The tome was huge, brown, with I think golden patterns on the cover. I didn't get a close look at it before everything went down. The energy from the linker core went right into the book, and I think it was filling the pages. They were turning pretty fast during the drain, it's hard to tell." It was a little infuriating that she couldn't give more than maybe's and possibly's. She had been there, after all, she should know more than this.

"My companion that night spoke of them as if they were legends, like there were written records of these beings. I don't have a reliable source for magical books, but I've been keeping an eye out for these legends." The Cure shifts her weight slightly as she tried to think of a good way to describe their fighting styles.

"The way they fight is.. well it's hard to gauge since we were defeated so soundly. My companion fought Signum while I distracted Zafira. Signum didn't even need to unsheathe her blade; she blocked attacks using just her sheath. But she was extremely disciplined." She noted. While the other knight was far more experienced, even the Cure could feel it. "Zafira is a shield knight who has defense-buster abilities. Just one punch had my shield threatening to break. He's not as aggressive as Signum, but he's no less of a threat." She finished. "That's...about what I know."
Stahlritter 2018-11-26 02:22:43 100921
    "If they are Belkan, then somehow I doubt any Earth literature would have anything written down about them," notes Stahlritter, giving a few taps against his gauntlet with his left hand before lowering both hands down again. "Mmmh. Unless some Belkan Knight slipped on Earth centuries ago without anyone noticing. That's a weird thought."
    He lets out a heavy sigh, and looks off to the side for a moment. "...Bothersome that there's not more information available. I can't make any battle plans with this. But we can make some manner of preparations, at least."
    He looks back to the Cure with that, and the visor almost seems to widen for a moment. "You didn't come looking for me just to warn me, did you?"
Millie White 2018-11-26 02:30:28 100922
The Cure frowned at his comment about the lack of information. She knew she shouldn't feel responsible for it, but she did. It was understood that she had only been doing the whole magical warrior thing for a very brief time, but such a sound defeat had left her feeling inadequate. She wasn't foolish enough to run off seeking vengeance, but she could train so that next time, things would turn out differently. Lost in thought, she almost didn't hear his final question. Cure Shield blinked, staring at the visor silently for a moment.

"Of course I did. Is that a problem?" She didn't understand the question. Was it wrong to want to warn him about a potential threat so that he could protect himself? There was something else that she felt like she could mention, but she hesitated, unsure if it was worth bringing up.
Stahlritter 2018-11-26 02:51:54 100927
    "Not even a little," assures Stahlritter. But in spite of that, he suddenly takes a step closer to her, lifting a hand up with two steel fingers extended out to point right at her eyes. "But I know that look. I know it all too well, Cure Shield."
    "Tell me what's on your mind."
Millie White 2018-11-26 02:57:17 100929
His step forward surprised her, and it took everything in her not to step back out of reflex. Instead, she blinked and looked away, as if she had no idea what he was talking about. What did he mean, he knew that look? This was like, what, their second time meeting? The Cure frowned and let out a soft dismisive grunt.

"The Wolkenritter's magic. It smells like yours. Similar, but different. I'm not sure if that is relevant or not, but it was something I noted." She said truthfully, her shoulders raising and falling slightly as she shrugged.
Stahlritter 2018-11-26 03:12:14 100933
    "Suppose that would make sense," Stahlritter says, arms coming crossing up together over his plated chest again. "My magic is originally of Belkan make. These Wolkenritter you speak of-- like I said, the name is an Ancient Belkan word, so I can only assume they originate from the same place. I might be able to read that to some extent."
    "But nevermind that." THe visor turns down to properly meet her eyes again... or as far as she can tell he's meeting her eyes anyway. It's not easy to make out fully because, you know, eye-concealing visor. "What are you going to do about it?"
Millie White 2018-11-26 03:24:12 100936
There seemed to be a lot of these Belkan folks kicking around, if her nose were to be the judge of it. When he asked his question, the green knight doesn't answer right away, almost like she was just thinking of the plan now.

"The Wolkenritter told us not to pursue them, that greater warriors than we had fallen to the likes of them." When she looked up, she could feel that she was indeed looking directly into his eyes.

"So naturally, I'm warning everyone I know who could be at risk and then I'm going to pursue them." Her expression was calm, as if this was the most natural course of action. Of course she had to go after them. Not for some petty revenge, but to stop them from doing to someone else what they had done to Nanoha. Her emerald gaze sharpened. No, she wouldn't let that happen again.
Stahlritter 2018-11-27 14:26:48 100973
    "And what will you do when you find them?" The rumbling, booming voice of Stahlritter asks. "If you, Nanoha and the others were defeated so quickly? What will you do, on your own?"
    The tone of his voice isn't really of the accusatory or even chiding kind. But he did say he recognized the look on the Cure's face. All too well. It was something he knew from experience.
    He takes a step closer to her again, but the visor never seems to leave her eyes.
    "You wish to be stronger, don't you?"
Millie White 2018-11-27 14:57:17 100974
Even without the accusatory tone, the Cure's eyes narrowed. Technically, yes, she was new to this, but that didn't mean she was an idiot. When Stahlritter stepped forward again, Cure Shield refused to move, refused to back down. The top of her head barely reached past his shoulders, so she had to tilt her head up slightly in order to continue looking at his 'face'.

"If I find them, a big if at this point, I'm not going to go after them and demand a 1v1 if that's what you're insinuating." Her tone almost held a joking lilt as one eyebrow quirked. The most she had done besides train was try to warn folks to keep their linker cores safe; no risky revenge missions for her.

"As for being stronger, I've barely stopped training since I hit the floor of the Warehouse that night. I can't let what happened to Takamachi-san happen to anyone else. I won't." Her voice was like steel, confirming Stahlritter's assumption that yes, she wanted to be stronger and she was actively pursuing it.
Stahlritter 2018-11-27 15:03:30 100975
    Without even allowing a second's worth of pause, Stahlritter immediately offers, "Let me train you," the instant she's said she's training herself. "If this is the kind of fight I think it's going to be, we're going to need all the allies we can get. And those allies need to be as strong as they can be."
    His arms uncross, and one large, steel-clad hand is offered to her, palm up. "You can say no, if you wish, but I know Belkan Martial Arts, and I have effectively been bred for war. I will not be gentle, but I will make damn sure there are results."
    "What do you say?"
Millie White 2018-11-27 15:28:39 100976
Stahlritter's suddenness was a bit surprising. So much so, in fact, that Cure Shield didn't respond right away. Even with his sudden offer, Why did she feel like she could trust him? Everything she knew about this man could be counted sparsely on one hand, and yet she could not detect any hint of deceit in his voice. It was a bit hard to gauge the man in general since she had never seen his actual face. The Cure's calculating emerald gaze flickered from his offered hand to his visor, as if she were quickly trying to come up with a solution to a problem. After a moment, the green knight let out a small sigh.

"Incorrigible, aren't you?" She asked with a grin, her arm extending. Instead of her hand closing around his, she grasped his forearm instead, her grip just as firm. The gesture was one of camaraderie, a warrior's handshake. "I accept your offer. I don't expect you to go easy on me. If you do, there will be consequences." It sounded like she meant every word.
Stahlritter 2018-11-27 16:13:09 100977
    The grip from the Cure is mirrored in like, if not even more firmly so, by steel fingers curling about her forearm. And even with that helmet, she can somehow tell, that underneath it, he is grinning widely. "I would not expect any lesser of an attitude from you," the voice of The Knight of Steel rumbles.
    Especially since we are starting *right now*."
    With that, he suddenly uses that grasp on her forearm, pulling on it to swing her to his side, and off towards the other end of the rooftop, while he lowers his stance slightly.
    "Krieg! Engargiere barriere!"
    The next instant, the world changes. A wave of energy is sent out in an expanding circle from Stahlritter, washing over Cure Shield without any obvious effect-- but instead changing the world around them. People and vehicles down on the streets bellow disappear. Much like at the docks on their first meeting, all those who are not of magic make have been left behind from this mirror dimension.
    "Bring up your shield," the Knight all but orders of the Cure then, while his tightly-clenched steel fist is held at his side and just behind him, vibrating visibly with red arcs of energy gathering around it, a glowing, translucent triangular rune forming about his wrist.
Millie White 2018-11-27 16:28:59 100978
He was grinning. Cure Shield couldn't see his face, but she knew it anyway. Strange, how expressions and body language worked she mused to herself. The fact that Stahlritter hand't let go of her arm yet indicated that he was planning something and she tensed. Not a moment later she was flung towards the other side of the rooftop the two stood on.

Honestly she should have been expecting it and it seemed a part of her had been; Cure Shield landed neatly, unfazed as she quickly straightened up. The order was given and she didn't question it. The heater shield was brought to bare in front of her, her stance shifting to a defensive one while her emerald gaze flickered to the red arcs of energy.

"Emerald Guard!" The green barrier around her shield flared to life as the Cure made sure her stance was solid. She had an inkling about what Stahlritter might be doing, but she remained silent, simply giving the imposing man a nod.
Stahlritter 2018-11-27 16:38:16 100979
    He doesn't actually wait for her to give that nod or any other signal. Rather, it's the flaring of the shield materializing that brings the Knight into motion.
    Not that she might be able to tell, immediately, since in a split second, he is suddenly dangerously close in front of her, almost as if he hadn't so much stepped up as he had just suddenly phased through space.
    But more distressingly, that now-glowing fist is launched into her shield, too, with an explosive shockwave rocking through the several city blocks around them.
Millie White 2018-11-27 16:57:59 100980
That was the kind of teacher he wanted to be? The Cure could deal with that. Having said that, the towering steel knight's speed was incredible. One would think someone that huge and imposing would move slower, but that would be a very fatal mistake to make. Thankfully, the shield bearer was far too cautious to make that mistake.

Her entire stance stiffened the moment Stahlritter disappeared, immediately readying herself for the impact. Even so, the energized fist hit her shield with the sound of a thunderclap, the shock wave exploding outwards and traveling through the surrounding city blocks before dying out. The force if it drove her back as her boots struggled to find purchase on the concrete, teeth gritting as she felt the shock wave travel all the way up her arm and into her chest. The green barrier of her shield flickered for a moment but she didn't have time to worry about that.

Instinctively she leaped away and to the side, away from the edge of the building and away from her assailant. If Stahlritter was going to train her the way she figured he might, she didn't have much time. The green knight poured more of her magic into her barrier, the green becoming more vibrant as it regenerated from the damage of the first strike. The Cure was already prepared for a second strike as her eyes tracked Stahlritter's movements.
Stahlritter 2018-11-27 17:12:12 100981
    "Good," the Knight's voice booms out-- from the left, first, and then on the right. He keeps moving, rapidly, from point to point. A veritable blur of instantaneous steps that seem to practically teleport him from one location to another. "I truly don't have to hold back with you, don't I? Fitting for someone holding the word 'Shield' in their name."
    His armored boot slams down onto the ground of the rooftop, then, hard enough to crack the cement and rock underneath, just in front of the Cure, violently vibrating fist held well far back behind him. "PANZER--!"
    Like a missile, the fist is launched into the shield once more, with dangerous air of violence looming about the whole figure of the Knight.
    Truly, he isn't intending to simply *test* the shield. He's fully planning to *shatter* it.
Millie White 2018-11-27 17:47:51 100982
Tracking his movement was actually easier said than done. Trying to do it logically wouldn't work, so she would have to rely on her instincts and maybe just a little bit of help. Each time Stahlritter disappeared, the Cure took a quick sniff of the air and the scent of his Belkan magic betrayed him. There was a moment of lag between the 'teleports' and the Cure detecting the knight's new location, but her reaction time was fairly quick as she herself tried to keep moving. She tried to stay away from the edges of the roof as he spoke about not having to hold back, and internally she figured he might be giving her too much credit too quickly.

As if to prove her theory correct, the scent of his magic was suddenly extremely to close and it was only that scent that saved her. The Cure reacted immediately by pouring a burst of magic into her shield, the barrier flaring up in vibrancy just before the steel fist made contact. Her gaze flickered to his fist for only the moment just before impact, making up her mind.

Cure Shield knew that she wouldn't be able to block it using brute force. Instead she did her best to deflect at least some of the violent strike, pivoting slightly so the blow would be more glancing. For the most part it worked, but even just a glancing blow was enough to push the Cure back and left her arm rattled with the impact. Still, the shield held, at least for the time being. The barrier flickered and faded in colour but she poured more of her magic into it. The shadow of fatigue was starting to creep up on her, but she ignored it for the time being. It was taking all the green knight's concentration just to keep up with her opponents movements, never mind blocking his strikes.
Stahlritter 2018-11-27 17:59:38 100983
    The deflective motion comes as a bit of surprise, perhaps, seeing as Stahlritter actually seems to briefly stumble in the wake of it-- even if he seems utterly unaffected by the shockwave ripplnig through the air that one would think would belong to a bomb of couple dozen kilotons instead of a fist.
    "GOod instinct," his voice rumbles with some approval obvious in his voice, suddenly kicking at the ground to launch himself away from the Cure, over to the next rooftop over and perched upon the edge of it. Somehow, his booming voice is still able to carry without any apparent extra effort even from over there.
    "There's a reason boxers intercept punches they can't dodge out of the way of by knocking their arm into their side instead of putting their own limb directly in the way. Manipulation of momentum and force into a different direction damages you much less. Even with shields, that has to ring through when enough force is in the equation-- and more importantly, it can open up the opponent that threw that strike in in the first place."
    It's only when her shield seems to have recovered fully when he finally moves again, leaping high up into the air. "But that was going to be saved for the next lesson. QUick quiz!"
    The Knight's form flips around in the air, to direct his feet pointed slightly more upwards, his front pointed straight towards the other knight as if he, himself, was a projectile. And by those feet, a large, triangular shape of a rune forms there. "How does muscle grow?"
    The runes underneath his feet suddenly *explode*, and that force launches him with, indeed, missile-like force and speed towards the Cure. And there's that horrendously powerful fist again.
Millie White 2018-11-27 18:34:32 100984
There was a lull in activity and she latched onto the opportunity to get her breath back as her shield regenerated from her magical energy. She looked up as the steel-clad knight began explaining specific boxing maneuvers. It made sense. While she didn't know any specifics for boxing, momentum was extremely important to wielding a shield effectively. Her shield was once again its vibrant self and Stahlritter wasted no time in leaping into action. Literally.

Cure Shield hated quizzes. She knew why they existed and even suffered through taking them, but that didn't mean she had to like them. So when Stahlritter announced a quick quiz, the narrowing of her eyes was very real. How did muscle grow? The Cure watched as the runes expanded beneath his feet. What kind of question was that? They grew by--Oh. Her emerald eyes flew wide as the steel knight exploded towards her. This was going to hurt.

Cure Shield poured as much mana into her shield as she could but she knew it wouldn't make a difference, not at her current mana levels. Once again the steel fist collided with her shield with the sound of a mountain falling. To her credit, Cure Shield gave it everything she had and for a second it looked like she might succeed. Then cracks began to splinter throughout the green energy of her barrier. In a few moments her barrier was completely obliterated and the shock wave hit the Cure like a tank. The force if it blew her back and off her feet, a pipe she caught with one hand the only reason she wasn't blown clean off the roof.

She sat there for a moment before she let out a groan. "...Muscle is repaired tissue. The tissue needs to be damaged before it can be repaired stronger than before." Having said that, she was just... gonna sit there for a moment. Maybe she'd try standing when she could feel her arm again.
Stahlritter 2018-11-27 19:07:14 100985
    In the wake of the devastating attack on the Cure's shield, the rooftop is an absolute mess. Chunks of the masonry are cracked up, pieces and chunks blown off. It's a wonder there isn't just a giant crater where they used to stand at this point.
    And on the opposite end of the rooftop, Stahlritter lands into a low crouch again, steel-clad hands draped over his knees while he watches Cure Shield try and recover from that blow. And there's a slow nod at her words.
    "Correct," he confirms. "Tear it up under strain, and protein will be used to fill those tears with fresh tissue. Again and again, bringing them to grow larger and stronger over time."
    He stands up slowly then, head tilting from one side to the other, illiciting faint cracks from the joints popping. "Get up," he tells her then. "ANd bring the shield back up. We're doing that again."
    He wasn't kidding when he said he wasn't going to be gentle.
Millie White 2018-11-27 19:17:56 100986
Cure Shield was already getting to her feet by the time Stahlritter gave the order. She rolled both of her shoulders and took a deep breath before calling forth the barrier again.

"Emerald Guard!" The green energy flared to life, flickered, but held as she took up a defensive stance again. These time-space barriers that the device-wielders had access too were indeed very useful. Training like this could be difficult otherwise if not downright impossible.

"Don't hold back. I'll know." She said flatly. Although she didn't exactly have a reason to believe he would hold back, she felt like she needed to vocalize it just to make sure it was on the record between them. What she had said wasn't a lie either; she WOULD know.
Stahlritter 2018-11-27 19:29:29 100987
    "Just so you know, I'd rather not kill you," the Knight growls through his helmet, bending his knees slightly to ajdust his stance lower, fist clenched tightly again as energy gathers into it. "But besides that..."
    And just like before, he's suddenly right before her once more, but this time, his fist is raised up high, above his head. "Let's see how you deal with secondary damage this time! PANZERFAUST!!!!"
    And down the fist comes, striking into her shield from an upward angle-- one that would push her down and *through* the roof. And with this direction of force? The upper portion of the building isn't going to last, this time.
Millie White 2018-11-27 19:52:39 100988
"I'm too stubborn to die." She responded without missing a beat, tensing the moment he disappeared. Once again he appeared directly in front of her, but this time there was a twist. With his fist raised, there was no doubt about his intentions. The Cure's gaze flickered around her surroundings as if making an assessment, and the steel fist made contact with her barrier as she made a decision. The impact itself had already driven the green knight through the roof of the building, but the resulting shock wave obliterated the top of the building and caused an explosion of debris.

"Shield Spike!" Cure Shield rocketed from the centre of the debris cloud directly up at Stahlritter shield first, the green energy forming a spike on the face of her shield perfect for slamming into opponents. The ambitious rookie put her upwards momentum behind the strike. 'Training' didn't mean she couldn't defend herself, right? It was better he knew what she was capable of.
Stahlritter 2018-11-27 20:56:11 100989
    From amidst the dust of the debris, down descends Stahlritter at--
    Cure Shield's counterattack?!
    The fiery visor actually seems to widen up like eyes would in surprise, with him trying to reach one hand out towards her just before the emerald shield slams into him with a loud, metallic *THONK!*, causing him to bounce off it and flip over the Cure in a moment of utterly lost control.
    "THAT'S MY MOVE, DAMNIT!" he roars out, of all things, just as he manages to gain some manner of control and flips himself around mid-air and pulls on a length of chain. Wait, where did that come from?!
    "Next lesson!"
    A chain tugs at the Cure's torso. Oh. Oh, so that's what he was reaching his hand out for earlier.
    "Prepare for weapons beyond the obvious!"
    Spinning around rapidly in the air, he brings the chain to tighten up, and uses the momentum of his feet coming to stomping into what remains of the skyscraper's wall, pivoting with that leverage to send her swinging outwards, only to allow the chain to de-materialize at the apex of it to send her flying smack into the wall of the next building over.
Millie White 2018-11-27 21:26:02 100990
The fact she had actually hit him hadn't registered by the time the chains tightened around her waist. Well, at least this way she wouldn't have to worry about what gravity had in store for her. Stahlritter's booming warning resounded in her ears as she was flung in an outward arc by the chain, straight towards the side of the neighbouring skyscraper. The Cure had time to brace for the impact and not a lot else. The force of the impact sent her spiraling through the wall and into the building proper, creating another explosion of debris with an accompanying debris cloud.

There was a moment of silence. Was she hiding in the debris cloud again? Surely that trick wouldn't work twice. She seemed to think so because instead of popping out of the perfect smokescreen, Cure Shield burst through the section of wall higher up and launched herself at the steel knight with a shout.

"Jadesteel!" A green knightly blade materialized in her hand as she rapidly closed the distance between she and Stahlritter, slashing three times in quick succession at his chest and side. Her sword form was surprisingly good, but it was hard to hide the sweat on her brow.
Stahlritter 2018-11-27 21:51:11 100991
    When she comes sailing down, she finds Stahlritter right there, waiting amongst what remains of the dust clouds of the earlier destruction. There's only one step taken back, to help brace for the coming onslaught of her blade.
    And of all things-- he meets it with raised fists, like in the stance of a boxer. But unlike a boxer, he literally has fists of steel. The gauntlets covering his forearms all the way up to the elbows meet the green of her blade, finding amble resistance as he brings each hand up, one at a time, in a small sweep to parry and deflect the arc of the blade. Once, twice. ANd then, on the third time, he leans into the parry a bit more and turns his own stance to the side, arm slipping up after and down again to catch hers. In that instant-- she will probably sense it. He could do any number of things in counter. Turn the elbow of his other arm into her face, lift a knee into her midsection, toss her into another wall-- or god knows what kind of magical tricks he hasn't revealed yet.
    But instead of any of that, his other hand simply shoves on her shoulder, and his form spins around her, forcing her momentum further forward to stumbling past him a couple paces over.
    "That's enough," his voice commands firmly, and when she turns over, she finds his hand held up in the universal gesture of 'stop', palm open and held towards her. Once he's certain that she's bringing herself back to pacing herself, too, he slowly straightens himself up in his stance, and allows himself to relax.
    "You make for quite a workout too, you know that? Not a lot of people who keep going after the first twenty seconds of that. Get some rest for the rest of the night, and find lots of something full of protein to eat. Tomorrow, I want you to go for a run in your civvies, and meet me here again in the evening. WE'll focus on straining your shield some more then, and the day after that, you can come at me with the blade. The day after that, we can talk tactics and techniques."
Millie White 2018-11-27 22:15:17 100992
Something shifted in her gaze when Stahlritter deflected her blade with his gauntlets. It reminded her of how Zafira had caught the same blade with his gauntlets, and then shattered it in a single punch. That half second of frustration was enough of a distraction and she fell into the steel knight's trap. The Cure felt herself being tugged forward and she instinctively tensed her torso, clearly expecting a knee, but it never came.

Instead she was pushed forward by her own momentum, carrying her past Stahlritter a few paces before she stumbled and fell to one knee. He called for a cease and she nodded, taking a few moments to catch her breath. Unlike Stahlritter, she didn't have a mask to hide her enervation, and it showed. Though she would never admit it, she was glad he had stopped them.

"See? Too stubborn to die." Cure shield grinned weakly as she got to her feet, listening to him lay out the schedule. She nodded to show she understood, but didn't respond right away. When she did, her expression was searching.

"Not to look a gift horse in the mouth or anything, but why are you going so far out of your way to help me like this?"
Stahlritter 2018-11-27 22:19:22 100993
    "Don't be too eager to say that, or Death might actually come collecting," rumbles Stahlritter, hands turning down to wipe some dust off of the lapels of the coat framing his figure.
    All that pauses at her question, though, and he turns to regard her silently for a few seconds.
    "Because I can't be everywhere at once," he says. "Ever hear the saying, 'give man a fish and keep him fed for a day, teach man how to fish and keep him fed for the rest of his life'?"
Millie White 2018-11-27 22:24:47 100994
"Just an expression." The Cure wasn't fool enough to throw her life away. Didn't everyone think that before they go and do just that? Oh well. When he mentions the old fish saying, she nods. Of course she had heard that phrase, it was pretty common after all. Cure Shield crossed her arms over her chest.

"Yes, but how do you know you can trust me? Do you just train every person you bump into during a youma fight?" Her tone had a joking lilt but it didn't hide the legitimacy of her question.
Stahlritter 2018-11-27 22:29:10 100995
    THe Knight's helmet-covered head tilts slightly off to one side at htat question, obviously looking her over. A couple seconds pass in silence like that, and then...
    "No particular reason."
    That statement comes with a slow roll of his partially bared, broad shoulders, and him turning towards the edge of the rooftop. "You have somewhere to be in the morning too, don't you? Remember to get plenty protein to fill up the tears."
Millie White 2018-11-27 23:05:28 100996
No particular reason? That sounded like an excuse to her, but she didn't question him farther on the top. At least for now. Cure Shield nodded when he mentioned protein.

"I will meet you back here in the evening tomorrow. After eating plenty of protein, don't worry." She assured before shaking out her shield arm. She was definitely going to need that protein. Hiding how sore she was gonna be would be difficult, but doable.

"How long have you been doing the whole hero thing anyway, if you don't mind my asking?" She asked suddenly.
Stahlritter 2018-11-27 23:17:45 100997
    He wasn't about to stop, initially. But it's that last question that she sends his way that brings him to a pause, and peering back at her over his shoulder.
    It's obvious enough that he can't come up with an answer for it immediately, either. Something's conflicting with him, there.
    "Depends on who you ask," he eventually comes up with, though he is not entirely happy with it. "A long while, either way."
Millie White 2018-11-27 23:40:42 100998
For the first time since meeting him, Cure Shield wasn't sure about Stahlritter's answer. What did that mean? He could have only started at one time. Then she realized she was wrong. Technically speaking, she had two different times herself. When she first awoke was over a year ago, but she hadn't technically started BEING a Pretty Cure until... well, a month ago. She let out a sigh.

"You don't like talking about yourself. That's fair, I'm the same way. Sorry, I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable." She apologized. Her question had been far too sudden and rude.
Stahlritter 2018-11-27 23:53:04 100999
    "You don't have to worry about it," Stahlritter tries to assure her, though his tone of voice doesn't really change in spite of it.
    "Just meet me again here tomorrow."
    Very matter of fact, as always. IN the next instant, he's leaping off the edge of the rooftop-- and the BArrier disappears, filling the city blocks nearby with life once more. And he's gone.