Mokkō (120)

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Mokkō

The natives of Mokkō live simple lives in the areas more densely forested sections in notoriously reclusive communities. A number of Senju settled the area long ago and built small towns along the banks of Mokkō’s largest river, taking advantage of the open and fertile land there. Here woodworking of all sorts are considered artforms of their own and mastered religiously by the majority of people, both among the natives and the Senju descendants.
 

Goetia

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Continuing from here: [ ]




Entering the treeline, blood trickling down his back where he'd been struck, Richard continues onward deeper into the forest. With his sword in his right hand, the Lionheart notices a brief glint in the distance ahead of him. One rogue kunai, which Richard swiftly slashes away with practiced ease, and soon enough, he reaches a clearing in the forest, where a small skirmish is taking place. Standing on a branch above, Richard observes the one he was supposed to be escorting stuck in the middle of three attackers who had him surrounded, each one armed. To the right of the group, Richard noticed a couple of bodies, missing a limb or two each. He'd surmised that the man had no qualms about killing his own kin. Richard found it distasteful, but this was not the time to worry about such a thing. After he'd accomplished his task, that would be the time for conversation. Pushing his personal feelings aside yet again, the Lionheart descends onto the battlefield, landing crouched with his sword in hand. The noise of his armor gives away his presence, and one of the attackers breaks off from the circle, facing Richard with cold eyes that betrayed no emotion whatsoever. Gripping his sword with both hands, Richard prepares to face yet another opponent, this one also armed with a sword. The two hold each other's gaze, silently daring each other to strike. The first to waver, the first to show a sign of weakness, would be the loser of this bout. Making the first move, Richard leaps towards his enemy with his sword raised over his right shoulder, aiming to disarm his opponent. As the Lionheart swings to knock his opponent's sword from his hands, the man hops backwards and out of the blade's path, drawing his own weapon past his right hip. Richard realises his mistake and attempts to bring his sword down to waist level to defend from the blow, with his rushed defence barely working as the opponent's weapon cleanly slams against his, the power of the attack forcing Richard's weapon and arms upward. Drawing his weapon around his left hip for a follow-up, the opponent slices at Richard's waist, aiming to cut him completely in half.

A spear slams straight into the sword that would bisect the Lionheart. The weapon is knocked from the opponent's hands, and he is left unarmed. Resuming his normal combat stance, Richard and his opponent look to the direction the spear came from, the ninja carrying the peace treaty standing between the bodies of the attackers he'd been surrounded by. Without a weapon, and against two, the enemy would surely perish. Kneeling with raised arms, signalling his surrender, his clanmate walks over to him, with Richard keeping his sword pointed towards the man's head.

"Spare me the sermon, Hōzōin."

"Your actions today would destroy the greatest, maybe the only, opportunity of peace we would have in our lifetime, Nobu. And for what? So you can appeal to the elders and their archaic traditions rooted in war? We can end this senseless conflict that continues to take the li-"

Hōzōin's words were cut off from a sharp interjection by Nobu, whose words dripped with venom as he knelt on the ground.

"Our brothers are dead, Hōzōin! Do you not care for their sacrifice? For the lives that were lost in order to protect ours? To make peace with their killers is to spit on their memory, and I cannot bring myself to do that, even if my livelihood is sacrificed."

"Those same people who killed our brothers are now offering peace, Nobu. It will not bring them back, but it is the first step of making amends for the damage they've done."

"Tsk. You're too soft!"

[video=youtube;ZyrrxjtQV8E]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyrrxjtQV8E[/video]

Whipping his hand up, Nobu draws a hidden kunai from his sleeve, slashing against Richard's sword and turning to draw it on Hōzōin. His brother was ready, and lowered himself out of the way of the strike, though it left him open to a staggering kick which would launch him a few meters back. Tumbling for a moment, Hōzōin was back on his feet in moments, whilst Richard swung down on Nobu's head, now aiming to kill. It was clear at this point to him that there was no stopping this man from getting in the way of peace other than to take his life, or at least to leave him severely disabled. Nobu turned to smoke as Richard's sword neared his head, the blade slicing the smoke apart as it traveled towards the ground, the edge slamming firmly into the earth. Rematerialising, Nobu raises his foot and steps on the blade, keeping it firm within the ground, and forcing Richard to relinquish his grip when he raises his wrist to slash at Richard's face with his wrist kunai. Drawing his head back, Richard whips it forward again, slamming it directly into Nobu's face, crunching his nose. Blood pours from his nostrils, an expression of anger being observable through his face mask. Drawing his sword from the ground, Richard immediately leaps towards Nobu once again, aiming to smash his weapon directly into Nobu's cranium. The latter raises his left right arm, and catches the blade with a metallic thud sounding as the weapon comes to an abrupt stop. Having hardened his skin through a technique, Nobu then forms his other hand, which had been cupping his nose to stem the bleeding, into a fist, and delivers a strong punch to Richard's chest. The blow leaves a large dent in the armor, and flings Richard backwards by five meters. Landing hard, the Lionheart is left winded by the blow. Nobu stalks towards his downed enemy, but hears kunai being thrown by Hōzōin. Turning his body into a thick mass of smoke, Nobu prevents the weapons from injuring him by allowing them to pass through him. However, the miniature explosives attached by string to the kunai go off, with enough force to knock him out of his smoke form and onto the ground.

Frustration builds within Richard, as he rises to his feet, dusting himself off as Nobu and Hōzōin clash. Channeling chakra to the seals on his palms, he converts a portion of his natural reserves into Dark chakra. Releasing it from his right hand seal, he uses shape manipulation to bestow upon it the shape of a . Running towards Nobu, who was currently locked in combat with Hōzōin, Richard raises his weapon to slice his head off. Nobu drops to the ground, allowing Richard's conjured weapon to pass safely over his head, and kicks out Hōzōin's shins, collapsing his clanmate and dropping him to the floor. Nobu attempts to slash at Richard's stomach with his wrist-mounted kunai, but the attack doesn't build enough momentum to slash through the armor, simply glancing off the white metal. Raising his right leg, Richard attempts to deliver a frontal kick directly to Nobu's head, which knocks the latter to the ground. Nobu quickly turns on his side and points a palm directly towards Richard, sparks of electricity briefly crackling around his fingers and arm. Richard's eyes widen in alarm, as he raises his blade overhead to strike at Nobu as quickly as possible. Too little too late, as a massive torrent of electricity is unleashed from Nobu's palm, directly at Richard. Though the Lionheart manages to bring his blade down, it smashes directly into the Lightning Release, the blade of pure chakra attempting to assimilate the entire mass of lightning being unleashed at point blank range. None of the energy directly reaches Richard, having been drawn in and absorbed by the blade, but the pure kinetic force sends Richard flying backwards by several meters, his body slamming straight into a tree behind him. His weapon lays beside his prone body, though he cannot muster the energy to pick it up. Barely having enough to lift upright his body using his arms as support, he watches as Hōzōin and Nobu quickly stand to resume combat. Nobu had hardened his body once again, as evident by the kick delivered to Hōzōin, which sent the latter flying as well. Coughing blood, Richard's weapon flickers briefly before disappearing, the extent of his wounds making it too difficult to sustain without feeding chakra to the construct through direct contact. Nobu looks over to Richard, and walks menacingly towards him, with pathways of blood from his nose and the side of his temple streaming down his face. He cackles with glee, his victory seemingly apparent. The blood in his eyes from the cuts on his forehead gave him something of a demonic look, though Richard was too exhausted to be intimidated by it. Though, he took note of it, using it to inform his next move.

Meiton: Jigyaku Keikō - Dark Release: Masochistic Tendency
Type: Supplementary
Rank: B-rank
Range: N/A
Chakra: 20 (+20 for double usage)
Damage: N/A
Description: Masochistic Tendency is an invention by a Dark user in need to be more resourceful of his Dark Release chakra in certain cases. This is considered a passive technique and does not affect the time frame. The process of this technique unfolds like the following. Borrowing a small portion of his original raw chakra inside his body (exactly 20 chakra points), the user will deliver it into either of his dark marks. The mark will absorb this chakra and automatically convert it into dark chakra, which is then stored inside of the mark, unaffected. The user can alternatively send his chakra into both of his dark marks simultaneously, thus he spends 40 chakra points. The absorption of 20 chakra points will enable the user to perform one dark technique (up to A rank) which requires it and whereas 40 chakra points will allow the user to perform one S rank technique.

- Can only be taught by Klad
Meiton: Kuroi Ken – Dark Release: Phantom Blade
Type: Offensive / Defensive
Rank: A
Range: Short - Mid
Chakra: 30 (-10)
Damage: 60
Description: Gathering Dark chakra from their stored reserves, or by manipulation of pre-existing Dark chakra on the field, the user will conjure a series of weapons composed of light blue chakra. Each construct is tangible, and possesses the same absorption capabilities exhibited by Absorption-Type Dark Release jutsu. The creation of a lone construct would be A-Rank in strength, whilst multiple creations would possess a cumulative strength of A-Rank. These constructs range from swords, lances, shields, maces, axes, scepters, throwing stars, and tridents, of various shapes and size. Remaining stationary around the user, at a radius of 5 meters maximum, they can be mentally commanded to violently rotate at high speeds, forming a defensive perimeter. The constructs will naturally follow the user as they travel around the field, allowing the user to move safely and discourage enemies from approaching. The passive mental command exerted over the constructs allows the user to defend from smaller projectiles with individual constructs, or to form a larger defensive wall against a large-scale attack. In terms of attack, the constructs can be sent forth to attack a target(s) in individual numbers or as a collective. Unless the constructs have been destroyed, the user is capable of recalling them from anywhere on the field, allowing the user to establish a sustained offence or defence. Upon impacting a surface, such as a technique or an enemy, the construct(s) in question will release a short-range, concussive blast of flames equivalent to B-Rank strength. In cases of clashing with other techniques, this jutsu will interact with them according to the S&W of Dark Release.

⇒ Lasts 4 turns
⇒ Usable 3x per battle

"No good deed goes unpunished."

Removing the kunai from his wrist mount, Nobu raises it above his head and throws it directly at Richard's face. Quickly moving his arm up, the gauntlet of Richard's armor deflects the weapon, causing it to fly past his face and bounce off the tree he was leaning on. Knowing that any attempt to form seals, or even to try and change his current position, would be intercepted and likely result in death, Richard channeled more chakra to his palm seals, slightly recharging his reserves of Dark chakra. Placing a hand on the ground, he coats the earth with a near-invisible layer of chakra. Richard makes no other moves to protect himself, more so by way of exhaustion rather than choice, all he can manage to do is keep himself upright and watch as Nobu approaches him, eventually standing over him. Hardening his fists yet again, Nobu lets out a sadistic smile as he raises them, eager and ready to beat Richard to death. As he attempts to deliver the first punch, two arms of solid chakra emerge from the ground, specifically from the layer of chakra Richard had created. The arms burst straight through Nobu's chest and stomach and emerge from his back. Nobu's expression turns from one of sadistic excitement to complete shock, as his body stops in its tracks. Blood drips from his mouth and onto the ground, some of it landing on Richard's chest armor. For what feels like an eternity, the two stay still, as if time had frozen them in their respective prone and standing positions. The arms eventually fade, dropping Nobu's body to the ground, a dull thud sounding as it impacts. Painfully and slowly, Richard lifts himself to his feet, walking in the direction he last saw Hōzōin flying off in, picking up and sheathing his sword. Entering the thicket, he soon finds Hōzōin sitting on the ground, cradling an injured arm.

Meiton: Mōtaru no Naitomea - Dark Release: Nightmare of the Mortal
Type: Offensive
Rank: B-rank
Range: Short-Mid
Chakra: 20
Damage: 40
Description: A technique which is controlled by the user and considered to be very fast in performance, the user activates either dark mark on his palm and sends a near invisible dark layer to reside on the ground. It is 2cm thick and the size of this layer is usually up to the user, but it cannot be larger than the short range radius from any target. The mechanism of this technique lies within any sudden movement done by a target with his feet. Be it a jerking movement in order to run, or simply a foot stomp, the dark layer will trigger and a total of two black, adult-sized and with elongated forearm arms will emerge from the layer and capture the target in mid-movement, restricting their movements. The way the hands emerge is dependant on how the user describes them in his move. These hands have the ability to absorb chakra, and as they start sapping, they gain a slight blue hue, and this will further increase their grip on whatever body part of the target. With the performance of one handseal, the user is able to set these hands aflame; creating a sea of full of blue flames which can cause 2nd degree burns to the target.

- The dark layer can stay only for three turns in the battlefield.
- Usable only thrice per event/conflict
- Can only be taught by Klad

"Are you alright?"

"Better off than if I were alone on this task."

"Ahah...I suppose so."

Offering a hand to Hōzōin, Richard lifts him to his feet, the two taking a moment to catch their breath.

"I suppose that's all of them. No more should come after you."

"I believe so. You have my thanks, erm..."

"Richard. Richard the Lionheart."

"Yes...I will remember your name, and the service you have done for me and my people today. And the lives of the clan who will receive this document."

Nodding his head with a cheerful smile, the moment of victory is made sour when Richard remembers Nobu.

"I'm sorry about your brother. If I ha-"

"You don't need to explain yourself, Richard. It was better you did it than me. I would have failed. And I'd be dead for it."

Richard is left silent for a few moments, the guilt of having taken the life of someone's brother, as well as the earlier occurrence on the hills, weighing down on him like stones on his shoulders. Hōzōin places a hand firmly on Richard's shoulder, trying to get the solemn knight's attention.

"Don't be harsh on yourself. The benefit of your actions today far outweigh the consequences. That is what the world is all about, finding the best possible way with what you have. Not everyone can be saved."

A few moments of silence pass between the two, and Hōzōin eventually relieves Richard's shoulder of his grip. Turning away, the former jumps high into the trees, standing on a branch and ready to set off for the settlement of the other clan. Taking one moment to look down behind him at Richard, who was still standing silently and staring at the ground, he turns back to face ahead of him and leaps from the branch, quickly fading from sight as he moves further into the forest.




Mission complete​
 

Never

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This Post marks the beginning of my mission using these storyboard elements:
  • Explore the history of something (3)
  • Experiment with very advanced ninjutsu (5)
Summary: Lena & her friends decide to take a moment to rest and set up camp in the Dense Forests of Mokkō. And would probably decide it be better to go further on foot as to not draw too much attention their way, however Lena felt a strange feeling about the place she had set up camp and decides to go for a wander in the guise that she is scouting the area. This was until she stumbled upon an old hermit who had much to say to her...
Coming from Kokkyō (043)

Songbird swooped down through a gap in the trees and landed within the dense forest with precision accuracy. The bird adjusted it's footing for a second before lying down and letting everyone off, when they were off him he got up suddenly and flapped his wings, Songbird's head twitched from left to right. Lena helped Lorelei & Smith to set up camp, and also something to cook. Though ever since Lena had landed here she had felt a strange feeling, like she was being watched - one of her hearts was having an off and it just so happened to be her new one. Not because it was new to her body or anything, it was a different feeling.

"I'm going to go look around."

She had walked off before any of them could say anything. She went in the direction her feet took her and disappeared amongst the trees. As she marched through the forest, moving passed all sorts of flora and fauna - her chest hurt and she had her hand clutched upon it, her eyes narrowed slightly as it became more overwhelming what she was feeling. She just seemed to be walking now, he vision blurred and her breathing became raspy; she was just walking to gain progress but she had no idea where she was going. Her vision basically black at this point and then suddenly she was hit with a flash of light which erupted all around her - and her vision cleared up. She had found a large area in the forest that was amongst the trees; she looked around and took in what she was seeing.

The intricacy, delicacy and craftsmanship that was on view here was something everyone should see. The very way the wood had been utilised and put together for the purpose of building a home was near perfection. What she was seeing looked more like a temple with surrounding buildings, all consistent with the beautiful design chosen. Though this Temple looked like it was well kept and homely, it was very quiet and no signs of life around her. There was just... one figure, hunched over and short, dressed in dusty robes with golden patterns, thin wrists with large jewelled bangles and a walking staff; even that had attention to detail in it's craft.

The hunched figure perked up and turned around, it was an elderly woman and she had a beaming toothless grin from ear to ear. Her eyes were blue and her skin was dark.

"Lena! Of Shinramoto, Threaded Woman & Uchiha with a Kaleidoscopic Eye. But you wouldn't know too much about that would you?"

She was quite quick for an Old Lady. She was already on Lena before she cold register, checking out her muscles and her figure, how she was built and her hair - examining every aspect of her. Before shambling to a halt in front of her. Lena was taken by shock at how much this jolly Old Lady knew about her and was kind of spooked.

"Who are you?"

"Now that is a boring Question! But you can call me Grandma!"

"G...Gran?" Lena let out a sigh and looked around again, "Where am I?"

"Mokkō, well - this place isn't what it used to be. I look after it where I can. A Temple that the first Senju who settled here built, great craftsmen of Wood that embraced this element and made it their artform, woodwork that had no rival. This is where those who wanted to master it religiously would come, but I rarely get visitors anymore - the people of the lands are starting to lose interest in woodwork and go to other forms of creation, like that of steel, technology and industry."

The Old lady began to walk away, her staff stabbing against the ground as she walked with some form of aggression. Lena followed gracefully behind her, they walked amongst the Temple, surrounded by the beauty and design.

"They do not understand the power of nature of anything of what Man is actually capable of. We live upon a globe that we should respect and worship as it has allowed us to live amongst it's nature. The old Senju have mostly gone now, but their ideals are living on - and I sense that a part of that has found it's way inside of you."

The Old Lady had made her way up the stairs to the entrance and into the main prayer room of the temple, she stood in front of a sculpture, made entirely of wood. It was that of a sage, a monk, a craftsman.

"I want you to show me what you can do. I know you're capable of tapping into the power of the hearts you take. Yes I know all about you, and even with so many hearts you feel such anguish and heartbreak, five times over. I want to see if you have the same craftsmanship of the first Senju descendants."

The Old Lady was right, Lena could tap into the power of the hearts and utilise the elements and abilities bound to them. That's how she could use Dark Release. She just didn't want to try it out straight away, after the anguish she had been through which caused her to have it.

"The Bliss family, they are strong. It's a shame that you had to cross them, they'd have been much better as allies than enemies. But your paths were conflicted from the beginning, and now they're apart of you. The DNA they have, is sought after by many and now you have it... an Uchiha too. A Bliss used to live in Mokkō, but they had much bigger aspirations and goals that could only be sought outside of this place. He was very skilled, but easily manipulated - a woman captured his heart and took him away to find these goals she had embedded in his mind. Probably where Angela got it from, no? And then her power from the man. You have these skills inside of you now, show me what you can do."

Lena was learning quite a bit from this old lady, more about the Senju's history in this landmark than anything. Though it wasn't her Uchiha heritage she was learning about, or anything from before she woke up in a prison. Even though that is what she craved to know about, she wasn't just going to push to the side this knowledge of the new side of her she had inside of her. She respected it and would add it to her resolve. It was what Angela wanted. Lena shed a tear as she placed a hand on her chest and used her chakra to envelope the heart of bliss inside of her. Using this chakra she made the DNA of the heart apart of her own body, it swiftly took form and flooded her biological structure.

"AAAAAH!"

Lena winced and jerked as her body changed once again. She took control of the element that was now unlocked within the heart and channelled it, her spiritual and physical energies exerted from her body as she thrust her arms out to the side. Chakra erupted from around her like a flame, burning up as she forced the heart to work under her mind. It was a foreign heart, but it soon made itself apart of her as it moulded to her will.

"Mokuton! AAAAH!"

Her stretched out limbs muscle's tightened and her hands clenched tightly. She let out another scream as the chakra burned around and inside her, before it took a hold of the wood around the temple, it's walls, floors, designs and ceiling - the pillars, the sculpture and anything made of this element. The chakra now fitting into this source as if it was apart of it, recognising it as one in the same.

"Yes. A Talented Shinobi you are. You are already getting the hang of this. Keep going! Take in the craftmanship around you!"

Lena pulled her arms in slowly, with intensity and struggle, like she was pulling on something really tough that was not there. Her veins popped as she drew her arms in which caused the whole of her surroundings to crack and creak, the wood began to change and it exerted all of her will as it all twisted and spiralled and produced more of itself in towards her. The wood splintered and made a terrible noise, cracks and twists, the whole room came in towards her condensing itself upon the Threaded Woman and the old lady. It grew quicker and quicker, spiralling around each other, disfiguring the walls and the floors, the ceiling and the statue. Until suddenly a flash of white and the sound of a wooden explosion send Lena into a spiralling haze.

Her ears stopped ringing as she slowly opened her eyes, uncurling herself as she had got into a crouching position to brace herself. She slowly stood and took in her surroundings. The temple was gone and she was in the forest, she was surrounded by trees that had been manipulated, with the wood spiralling in on itself towards her, the sharp tips almost reaching her.

"What the hell? Granny!?"

Was there a temple at all? Was there a granny at all? Lena touched her chest and felt her one heart beating quicker out of all of the others. She then examined the wooden spirals that she had grew to point and protrude out towards her. They were perfectly created and had intricate, detailed patterns on them exactly like those at the temple but with a twist of originality. Lena was a bit in awe, of her own work... she didn't think she was capable of utilising her wooden ninjutsu like this. She couldn't take all the credit, this was a Bliss' heart. She had another quick look around, but she couldn't see anything or signs of anything she was just apart of, it was all so strange, was she hallucinating from the grief? Though somehow she had a feeling of satisfication and decided to just leave... for now.

Lena headed back to the Camp, it was quite a way away, she didn't realise how far she had walked. She was looking at her hands and clenching her biceps. She had definitely been tensing her body up, it wasn't in her mind and that wood - it must've been her too. She saw the fire between the shrubbery and showed herself to the others.

"Hey, was I gone long? I'm sorry if I was..."

Songbird tilted it's head at Lena and she smiled back at him before walking over and giving him a pat.
 
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Never

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After a short rest and the consumption of food. The three of them set off, Lena doesn't really explain what happened to her and remains in awe and slight confusion of her experience.

-Leaving Landmark with Smith and Lorelei in Tow-
 
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Goetia

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The pharaoh materialises in a golden flash, re-entering the world from the ethereal space that was the Throne. His time with Hokusai at an end, it was time to return to more practical pursuits. Looking around the forest, which surrounded the mountain in the landmark's center and stretched outwards for miles, he noticed the approach of several cloaked individuals. His bright, muscular figure was of total contrast to them, who revealed nothing of themselves. His eyes darted between each figure, cautious of any weapons potentially concealed beneath their ragged garbs. Six surrounded him in a circular formation, with a seventh dropping from the trees above. This one landed kneeling before Ozymandias, and unlike the others, she wore no tattered robes. They were of far greater quality, befitting those of royalty. He couldn't think of a reason for which someone would have approached him, much less with what was presumably armed company. The short woman stood, looking up to the taller pharaoh, her face partially concealed by a mask.

"Was it you that caused the flash of golden light here?" There was a moment of silence as Ozymandias briefly considered the possible events that would follow once he answered the question. Though he was prepared to fight, wandering aimlessly and exploring was preferable to sullying his hands with the blood of a lesser royal and her pitiable retainers. "Yes, it was I." the pharaoh responded with a tone of certainty. The woman's azure eyes narrowed behind her mask, as Ozymandias stared back, allowing his words to hang in the air slightly before responding in a gentler tone, "Then, you must be a Surgebinder?" The pharaoh knew without needing to ask that she was also one possessing Prana. Perhaps, she knew Hokusai. "That I am. My name is Ozymandias, the King of Kings." The girl's eyes widened slightly at his mentioning of his title. She took a single step backward away from the pharaoh, now slightly cautious of him. "A k-king? Then...are you one of the Fallen?" As she inched away from the pharaoh, the cloaked figures shifted slightly, standing less upright and adopting a more defensive stance. Maintaining composure, Ozymandias speaks to the girl calmly, her hand now resting on the handle of her sword. "Indeed. But make no mistake, I am not some simple-minded ruffian who pursues destruction for its own sake, after rescinding oath to the Knights Radiant. I was never one of your order. And I do not seek destruction." The girl narrows her eyes once again, skeptical of Ozymandias' words. Her training in Avalon and few experiences with other Fallen taught her to show caution against them, even if their words and tone were gentle. Straightening herself, though keeping her hand on her sword, she speaks again in a stronger tone, akin to when she had first spoken to him. "You look and sound more noble than your other compatriots. What makes you think that I should trust them over my instinct to simply cut you down?" Her words were bold, but reasonable. The pharaoh chuckles, pleased that the girl was not totally naive. "Hah! You are right in being cautious, young one. All I can offer is my word, but it is the word of the pharaoh. I do not deal in lies and deceit."

The girl appeared to be unconvinced, her expression conveying her scrutiny and caution. After several moments of staring down the pharaoh, focused on his face for any signs of deceit, the girl sighs gently. She raises an arm and waves an open hand down, signalling the cloaked ones to lower their arms. They promptly lowered their hoods, revealing their faces to the pharaoh. They stared at him with scrutiny, just as the girl had, silently conveying to the pharaoh that they had not lowered their guard. He paid them no mind, and broke the silence with a question to the girl. "Why is it that you approached me? Did you assume that I was a Radiant?" She replied with a tone of confidence, relaxing the grip she held on her sword. "Your Prana is golden. Fallen do not typically exhibit such colors in theirs. You are an oddity amongst them." Ozymandias' expression relaxed, his voice becoming softer but still maintaining its natural depth, "One of many things that separates myself from them. Would you have approached me still, had you known that I was not one of you?" The Radiant knight didn't know how to respond at first, staying silent for a moment to consider her answer. Raising her free hand to her face, her fingers straighten and bend accordingly to grip the mask on her face. Removing it, she revealed the rest of her face. Though her features were soft, her expression didn't convey any warmth whatsoever. "Come with me, we'll speak more along the way to our village." Tying her mask to the sash which fastened her hakama to her, she turned away from Ozymandias, walking slowly into the woods. Following suit, the pharaoh walked alongside the Radiant, her retainers following closely behind. "I'm male, before you ask."

LLM​

The winds blew gently on the group as they walked through the countryside of the Land of Fire, leaves riding the currents under the gleam of the midday sun. Few words had been spoken since they left the forest that surrounded the mountain of the dragon, only between the cloaked guards and the Radiant leader, whom Ozymandias had mistakenly assumed was a young girl. Though his eyes didn't meet theirs, the Fallen Surgebinder could feel the gaze of the Radiant's followers on him, maintaining vigilance despite giving his word that he sought no conflict. They were wise to remain cautious. The boy spoke to him without turning to face him, keeping his eyes on the path ahead, "What were you doing in the forest?" Ozymandias answered plainly, somewhat displeased at remembering the disappointing turnout of events with Hokusai. "I'd just come from the Witchwood Arena." The Radiant boy's head turned slightly, his curiosity piqued at the Fallen's reply, "Oh? You were at Witchwood? You participated in the Doubles event?" The pharaoh's silence was answer enough, and a smile curled on the Radiant's lips, slightly amused at the thought that nobody wanted to partner with him. This was untrue, but any extrapolations made, true or false, were of no value to the king.

After moments of silence, the Radiant knight speaks again to Ozymandias. "You don't look like you're from around here. From what land do you hail?" Though it was small talk, he preferred it to the conversation about Witchwood. "Egypt. Another country far from here." The Radiant seemed unsurprised by the revelation, the appearance of his fellow Surgebinder indicated such. "You are that land's monarch? Why come so far, and all alone?" His curiosity was not unreasonable, it was a good question to ask of any ruler, the reason for which they would leave the country they govern. "I had a vision. The spirit of a man who appeared before me, asked me to travel from my home in search of him." The boy's eyes narrowed slightly, the pharaoh's reasoning not quite satisfying him. He would ask more of it later. "I realise I forgot to introduce myself earlier. I am Gao Changgong."

Finally, the group had reached a small village that overlooked a large lake that stood at the center of a lush prairie. "We are here." Gao announced. Waving a hand, the cloaked guards bowed slightly, and dispersed promptly. The Radiant and the Fallen strolled through the village, the latter paying no mind to the civilians bustling around them, while Gao greeted them all with a soft smile. By Ozymandias' own standards, this small, isolated village was rather destitute, but it seemed sufficient for its inhabitants. Eventually, the two reached a small cottage at the end of town, appearing no different to the other buildings in the village. Walking slightly ahead of Ozymandias, Gao opens the wooden door, allowing the pharaoh to step through into his home. The interior was rather plain, befitting of one who thought of themselves as no higher or greater than the common man. "Have a seat." Gao beckoned the Fallen to sit on one of the chairs before the fireplace, going to the kitchen to prepare beverages. Ozymandias sat silently, staring into the small, flickering flame that licked the brick walls of the fireplace, wondering what would come of his time with the Radiant. Hokusai seemed much more naive and clueless compared to Gao, he appeared to be much more diligent with his duties as a Radiant.

On that thought, the boy came out holding a wooden tray with two cups of tea, lowering it for Ozymandias to take one. The pharaoh gently took one, bringing it to his mouth to sip the beverage, as Gao lowered the tray onto the small table in front of their chairs, taking her seat and sipping on her tea. "What do you think?", he asked the pharaoh. "Not bad. Naturally, it doesn't compare to the food and drink of my homeland, but I shall accept it, as a token of courtesy if anything." Made somewhat speechless by the pharaoh's ostentatious statement, his mouth hung open slightly, before regaining his composure. "Well...we are a common folk, here in the countryside. We do not have great wealth or luxury, nor do we wish for it. We are content with the quiet life, so long as there is peace in it." His words were what Ozymandias expected, and where he would have once scoffed, he simply remained silent, uninterested in treading down that path of conversation. "So, what kind of country is Egypt? I imagine its very different from this one." The question brought a small smile to the pharaoh's face, as memories of his home, his people, his loved ones, came rushing to his mind. "Very much so. It is a country of great sand dunes, for as far as the eye can see. But the civilisation that was born there, thousands of years ago, built by my ancestors and steadily improved and made stronger with each generation of rule, is the greatest that anybody could ever see." Hearing Ozymandias speak so highly of his home brought a smile to Gao's face as well. For as arrogant and self-absorbed as it was, it warmed him to see someone speak with compassion, and a Fallen Surgebinder at that. After all of the conflict he'd come into with others of that faction, his hopes for peace with the Fallen had dampened. "So then, what did the spirit say to you that compelled you to leave Egypt?" Ozymandias' smile faded, and his tone went cold once again. "It was not only what the apparition had to say to me. I also thought that it would be prudent to explore other lands, so that I may spread the influence of my country, and secure new horizons for the civilisation that I have helped to prosper." While he did answer the question, Gao wished to know more of the spirit, and what became of it. "What exactly did it say to you? I assume it wasn't anyone you recognised." Ozymandias gave no immediate answer, for he was unsure how Gao would react to the revelations that his response would carry. Taking another sip from his tea, the pharaoh sighs gently, steeling himself for what may follow.

"You are correct. I did not recognise the spirit. He told me to travel here, to seek him out. I later learned that he was Galahad. The founder of your Order, and the sworn enemy of the one from whom I obtained the power of Prana." Gao's eyes widened, stunned into silence by what the Fallen had to say. "I do not seek war upon your Order. As foolish and naive as I find the Radiant Order, I do not care for the conflict between them and the Fallen. I am above those things." Though the profession was intended to be one of reassurance, it only agitated the Radiant sitting opposite from Ozymandias. "You seem no better than the others that I've met." Gao snarled coldly. "I care not for how you see things. I gave an answer to the question you posed,nothing more." Disregarding his statement, Gao spoke in a raised voice, "Your cold indifference to the plight of conflict disgusts me, Ozymandias. You would see the people I watch over, in this village, one day suffer from the ones who would call you 'brother', because you're apathetic to a war you're a part of, whether you like it or not." Gripping the arms of the chair tightly, incensed by Gao's tone, Ozymandias retaliates. "It is because I know everything of the war between the Radiants and Fallen that I do not care. I would sooner see you all burn before I consider joining either of you in your foolish conflicts over mistaken ideals and weakness of character." Gao rose from his chair, the speed of his movement fueled by his anger at Ozymandias' words. His ideals, what he fought for, the lives of his friends and the people of the village, being mocked and demeaned, because of the king's apathy. His words were blades that cut through everything the Radiants held dear. Gao speaks to Ozymandias, his words dripping with venom, fueled by sadness, "I see you for what you are now, King of Kings. You are not benevolent. You are not kind. You do not care for the world around you. You only seek to enrich yourself. You who have power, but use it for your own gain. You tread on the lives of those poorer and powerless, even if you do not tread on their bodies." Ozymandias rose from his seat, tossing aside his beverage, and raising an open palm to Gao. Releasing a blast of black flames, the energy smashes Gao directly in the chest, sending him through the wall of his cottage and rolling into the street.

Type: Offensive, Defensive, Supplementary
Rank: D – S
Range: Short – Long
Chakra: 10 – 40 (-10 per turn)
Damage: 20 – 80
Description: This technique encompasses the flame-like, wispy, energy base of Mystic Fire Release and allows the user to concentrate chakra in an area, whether it is from their body, through the ground, or even in the air. In the case of the flames being produced from the air they are unable to be created within short-range of the opponent, unless the user is within short-range as well. Flames produced from the ground possess an audible queue giving slight warning to the target should they emerge from beneath them. These flames can be manipulated to a high degree allowing the user to produce a wide variety of constructs and shapes, generally limited by their own imagination. Alternatively Primordial Creation can also be used to create simple streams, fireballs, blasts, and waves of flame. These flames can be, at the user’s volition, concentrated to effectively solidify allowing them to punch through physical obstacles and cause explosive damage. The flames of Mystic Fire by default adhere to the violet spectrum but can be manipulated to fit any color in the visible light spectrum. Alternatively they can seal their light entirely causing them to appear akin to the black flames of Amaterasu. Applications above A-Rank require a single hand seal. Sustaining this technique requires the user expend ten chakra per turn. S-Rank can be used four times per battle and cannot be used in consecutive turns.



The commotion attracts the attention of nearby civilians, who approach the prone Radiant. Taking a moment to catch his breath, Gao brushes himself off, untying his mask from his hakama and putting it back on. Ozymandias steps out from the hole the Radiant made in the wall of the cottage when he'd been thrown off by the Mystic Fire. Small embers of black flames linger on Ozymandias' left hand, which he observes upon stepping into the sunlight. The flames were not usually black, but an azure color when used. As the monarch wondered what caused the anomaly, the whispers he heard earlier returned, far louder. They clawed at the edge of his mind, repeating itself constantly.

The power of Betrayal.... your greatest undertaking. Raze their lands, destroy their dreams...this grief, anger, sadness, and hatred...will fuel the Betrayal necessary for this strengthening.

Betrayal... Betrayal... BETRAYAL... B E T R A Y A L...

His head began to ring from the whispers. Ozymandias lowered his arm, forming a single seal. Gao had drawn her sword, raised it into the air, so that he may strike down the Fallen Surgebinder where he stood. He was too slow. An aura of azure energy gathers around the pharaoh, and it is unleashed before the Radiant knight can reach him. The energy blows him back, the power contained within causing severe electrocution to his body, as well as the civilians around them. The energy continues to expand outwards, its power augmented by his gauntlets. It destroys the buildings and stalls as it ripples outwards from the pharaoh, eventually reaching the outskirts of the village.

Type: Offensive / Defensive / Supplementary
Rank: D - S
Range: Short - Long
Chakra: 10 - 40 (-10 per turn)
Damage: 20 - 80
Description: Primordial Abyss encompasses the most basic applications of Dendera Light Release in its wispy, intangible state of matter closer to that of flames. Through it, the user is capable of forming basic attacks of varying shapes and sizes, including constructs and even cloaks on the body. What the user creates through this technique, for whatever purpose, is limited only by imagination. This energy can be released directly from the user, or through the ground, or in the air. There is no restriction to where this energy is created, except that it cannot be manifested within short-range of the opponent, unless the user is also within short-range. The crackling sound of the energy where Dendera Light is being created serves as a warning to anyone who is within that same area. The energy can be compressed at will to the point of being able to punch through solid matter. At its weakest, it will cause minor electrical burns, and at its strongest, can cause lethal electrocution and scorching of the body. B-Rank and higher usages will require handseals (B - 1 , A - 2 , S - 3), and all usages of this jutsu will last for up to four turns at maximum. The S-Rank usage can be performed 4 times per battle and cannot be used in consecutive turns.



Upon dispersion, Ozymandias looks down at the Radiant, his clothes singed and body ragged from the power of the Dendera Light. Gao looks up to the Fallen, his expression contorted into one of hatred and fury, knuckles turned white from the clench of his fists. Ozymandias speaks gently to the prone Radiant, "What I do, I do for the good of all. As the pharaoh, there is no fate for me, other than to rule the world." Turning away from Gao, Ozymandias leaves the razed village, passing by the many fallen people that his blast had left. As he sets out, Ozymandias remarks to himself internally, "This core is a sinful object...to think it would try to seduce me. I, who strike fear into the almighty gods, even this very Ozymandias..." The core he carries faintly hums, as Gao lets out a hate-filled howl, one that echoes throughout the land, crying out to the world in a terrible union of sorrow and hatred.

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Chihaya

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Coming from Chilli Pepper Pass

Rebekah keeps strolling, humming to herself silently. Her three tiny birds circle above her, keeping her on the right track, while her tiny cat Carla prances in front of her, taking in their new surroundings and smells. There's a long way to go.

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