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Abalia. That name was enthralling for the male. Even now he was allowing her his time of day to conduct her training. The like minded woman was absolutely falling into the category as a future leader of Vastime, including a friend. But he was her superior thus he had taken it upon himself to personally oversee her training, she required a more involved hand to craft her budding morals and ideals of Vastime.
If she could survive, if she could find that which would strengthen her resolve she would find her power increasing exponentially. But should she fail to find that resolve, to let his expectations fall flat she would only find a glorious death. If one could call it that. But all that was null for at this moment they stood within the Savanna of Vastime, the heat beating down upon their forms as FOR MILES nothing but grass and the nature surronded them.
"Today we start the first day of your regime. You know what I expect, but I look forward to seeing ou exceed those. As you know, failure is simply not an option." The male commented as he looked around, he was wearing his traditional shinigami robes which where not quite as traditional as one might expect, they where vibrant and colorful. The design of a water stream with a koi traveling on it among other floral designs was a unique contrast to his bronzed scarred skin.
However, with the heat the man would grip the upper portion of the cloth undoing it so only the lower half remained. His feet beginning to kick of the sandals which he wore as he looked at her. If they where to be training with the earth, he wished to be as close as possible.
"A small history lesson, our nation beginnings begin from a small greek tribe. The Macto clan which I am an original descendant. This clan in the ye olden days where granted supernatural abilities to interact with Mother Earth, their technical pagan god. All modern Vastimians derive their power from the Vastimian gene, which allows them to tap into the fundemental forces of nature among other things." The male would explain this as his hand outstretched and an orb of lighting crackled around his fingers tips before dispersing.
Lightning. It was a fitting element for the king to use.
"I will grant you this gene, but you must first commune with the land before us. You must survive it. This tradition has long been since abandoned for quicker means, but this method allows one to truly begin to understand their powers and their will." He explained as his eyes closed taking a deep breath, for the male he could feel the multitude of energies and lives within the area- not humans but from the trees to the beetles within the ground.
"So Abalia, your first lesson is a simple one. Survive. Here. I will act as your faithful observer. Once I deem you have learned something of importance I will move to the next stage. Listen to the world. Commune with it. Gather your mind. Mediatate. Think. Act." The words became increasingly simple as the male closed his eyes crossing his eyes, it was up to her what to decide next on this sprirutual and physical pilgrimage.
"Lead us. The sun is rising and soon it will be at full height. If you don't find shade soon or water you may find your journey stopped short."
Thus the first test of the ancients begin. Should she prove worthy she would learn of her Vastimian nature along with perhaps unlocking ancient secrets of Vastime. After all, she didn't even know of the Gates of release yet.
There were many places in the world that Abalia had been, and many more that she had often envisioned herself seeing. Why, it was only just a few short days ago that she had been all the way in Italy, and that had certainly been quite the day. However, that trek was, all things considered, rather less remarkable than the one she was currently on. The middle of the African savanna was, frankly, not where she had seen herself today, but it was perfectly acceptable.
Listening intently to Hayden's words, Abalia did her best to wrap her head around what was, all things considered, a fairly foreign concept. The idea that the body could become so connected to the Earth in such a way, or that such an ability could come from that connection, was peculiar to say the least. “I will do my best in this, sir.” She looked out at the wide horizon before her, and as she did removed her coat. That would certainly not be necessary out here, and in all likelihood she was probably too overdressed in the first place. Nevertheless, she would persevere, for she had been told to and, rather obviously, she had no intention of dying out here.
With no particular direction in mind, Abalia simply began to walk. She had no reason to go in any particular direction, and if that was the case, she saw little purpose in wasting any of her valuable time on thinking about such a pointless endeavor. “This way, sir.” She knew her place, of course, but he had been quite clear about the nature of this exercise. It was her moment,and she would achieve everything she could in it.
The male would almost fade into the background as he began to follow her, this was her moment and chance to prove what she was capable of. The one good thing about being so new and fresh to this extraorindary world was the chance to distinguish yourself, each action raising the stakes higher and higher. Just as she took her first step into this grand unknown, the wind to her back and the sun beating on her, this would lead to greater actions down the line.
Thus the male would gaze at her offering no advice as his own spiritual aura poured into the world noninvasively. His connection to the earth beneath his bare feet powerful, years of experience built upon a bedrock foundation of faith and hardship. It was almost like communing with the earth was some second nature to the male, a forgotten ability from a bygone era. It was ancient history that had resurfaced, molded and strengthen so it may last the test of time.
As they traveled the world around them began to react, animals shifting away due to their foreign presence. Her foreign presence. The wind rustled as grass was blown down by the elements, the earth warping around them- no that wasn't right. The earth was warping into them, it yielded not to them and it would be interesting to see if she fought this unyielding force of nature.
"The world shifts around us, into us. We are it's sworn protectors but how can we protect something we can't even begin to fathom?"
The man questioned this as they marched onward his hazel eyes pouring over the land scape as he took a deep breath. His chest rising as he exhaled, the shifting of grass around them being pushed down and around them. They where moving through the landscape but with each step they left tracks, small steps which gradually built a path.
"Each step taken is a new path into something grand and unknown; for once I am following into this instead of leading."
It was food for thought as they marched onward, Hayden was not leading her but the other way around. It may be a simple notion and not as grand as leading a nation but showcased a simple ideal; people could be led in all types of situations. The stations of rank one had earned does not always enable them to lead, sometimes even the lowest soldier could brave the unknown which not even a king dared to venture.
"Be bold, be cautious. It is up to you to decide. Will you fight and submit the earth beneath you? Or will you let it sweep you up in the surrondings; will you chose to become one and enter into this grand system- this ecosystem?"
There wasn't a right answer, the only answer required was to act. And Hayden held a feeling she would choose to act rather than inaction.
Artist: Miles Davis - Song: Génerique - Word Count: 432
This was all so...alien, to Abalia. She felt every bit out of place as the creatures that skittered away from her clearly considered her, but she knew that was simply something she needed to overcome, or rather, adapt to. She glanced back at Hayden as he spoke, and found herself studying him as she listened. He was in his element here, as if he scarcely even thought of this place as anything unusual.
Kneeling down, the silver-haired maiden removed a glove from her right hand and touched the earth below. She didn't think about it, didn't make any attempt to analyze it or force thoughts into her mind. She cleared her mind of any wayward thoughts, did her best to connect, and aftr a brief moment, found herself imitating Hayden, removing her boots and setting them aside without much thought.
The earth...what was it, both in itself and to her? How was she to attune herself to it in that very same way her liege seemed to so effortlessly? This was totally beyond her scope, but even so, she took a seat, closed her eyes, and simply listened. To most, it might have seemed as though she was doing nothing all, but it was anything but that to Abalia. She had opened every bit of her body and soul to the world around her, and she sought now any connection.
She sensed many things around her, then, and they were certainly not the sort of things that she often found herself thinking about. The wind blowing across the plains, the faintest movements of the grass around her, the slightest deviations in the layout of the ground below her, even the chittering and faint tapping of the insects that scurried about both above and below the dirt. Was this the connection she was supposed to be seeking out? She doubted that, but nevertheless she waited, and listened, for just a bit longer.
After a few more minutes in total silence, though it was anything but silent for her, Abalia stood once more, her eyes now filled with that fire and purpose that Hayden had seen before when they spoke of their shared dream. Where before she had simply committed to a direction, this time she felt an actual meaning to her every stride, a reason behind the decision she had made. She couldn't describe it, but it was definitely there, a profound drive, telling her that was most certainly the way to go. Perhaps it was nothing at all, but Abalia had no doubt in her mind that it most definitely was something.
The girl certainly seemed more motivated, well motivated wasn't the right word in this circumstance. She seemed to have some guidance driving her movements as she stood up, his own eyes opening as he slowly got to his feet. The dry air of the savanna smacking against his calloused and scarred skin, his hazel eyes following her curiously. None the less, this was her journey and he was the simple administrator of it all; offering insights and guidance if needed.
"I'm curious, any goal with this movement or are you simply allowing the wind to take you- going as you please?"
The king's voice was measured and thoughtful as if conteplating his own reasons for being here, in two long steps he was beside the pink hair'd woman. He'd shift his head slightly as he lifted his arm across his chest stretching the muscles out, the highly defined mass showcasing years of training and battles. As they walked he'd perform different movements rotating his joints and making his movements more limber.
"The sooner you find what you seek, the sooner we can move onto the second portion of this. I'm excited. Are you?"
"I feel that there would be no purpose in following my own goal, sir."
Abalia's voice was calm, collected, and she continued to walk forward with purpose as she spoke to her king. She did not so much as look back toward him, not out of any disrespect, but only out of a far greater commitment to this course of action. She knew that pursuing this was the reason the two had even come here in the first place, and to distract herself from that would only be to waste not only her own time, but Hayden's as well. Such was a thing she simply would not do.
"Excitement is not the word I would use to describe this, sir. I look forward to it, certainly, but I would not call myself excited. I simply wish to improve myself, that I might be of use to others."
Each step she took filled Abalia with more resolve, and she felt that, yes, something was pulling her in this direction. There was a call, not simply idle hope or expectation on her end. If she continued, she would succeed, and that was enough for her. One might have normally attributed such a belief only to overconfidence, or ego, but Abalia knew herself quite well enough to know that she did not have such things in anywhere near enough of a quantity to be this overcome by them. Whatever she was pursuing here, it was well beyond her.
Abalia would find herself wondering, for hours at this point with nothing but the firm resolve of her choice guiding her. Her king, her friend, followed wordlessly occassionally stopping to examine the landscape or the wildlife which seemed plentiful in this protected land of Vastine. The man himself would never wander too far but as the sun began to set and the chill of the night air would begin to nip at them.
"You.. feel that?"
Perhaps he was speaking of the air but no there was something darker afoot, something older than Abalia which roamed these plains. As the twilight plain between night and day was met, the thin veil of the afterlife which laid over the plains was even more pronounced. At first they had only seen the beasts at the corner of their eyes, but now as night set and Hayden energy remained hidden they grew bold.
In dark shapes some would dart across the wide plains of the area, almost as if to spook them. A laughing was heard ocassionally, something akin to a twisted birth of Hyena and man. It caused Hayden to smile as the almost suffocating negative of the air began to thicken- for Hayden this was nothing for Abalia it was clearly something which outmatched her in raw power. And as the sun set- as night approached so did it.
This was...well, something of a problem, and Abalia knew it all too well. She watched as the creatures made their presence known, and carefully began to consider her options. If they attacked, she had a great deal of doubt that she would ever be able to genuinely fight them off. There was no hard evidence for this matter, and she had seen nothing to suggest they could kill her, but it was best to err on the side of caution, particularly when one was in a dangerous environment such as this. Placing violence off the table, then, she opted to instead consider alternatives, which would almost certainly have more success no matter how normally outlandish.
As she thought, however, she continued to walk forward, refusing to allow herself any sort of hesitation. Of course she was concerned for her well-being at present, only a fool would feel otherwise. But this was not a matter of self preservation, it was a matter of her obligations, her duty to Vastime to better herself for the sake of its protection. If she was injured here, or even perished, then so be it. Such was the way that the wheel of fate had turned for her, but she would hardly allow herself to say that she did not do her very best.
It was then that a thought occurred to her. As she walked, eyes forward and head held forward and proud, she collected herself internally, and prepared for the decision she had made. Mustering all the confidence within her, and strengthened by the knowledge that her king was present, Abalia spoke. It was not to anyone in particular, nor was it particularly meant to be. She knew that beasts responded to shows of force, and did not care to aggress upon one that seemed to be stronger than themselves. She was not, of course, stronger than them, but she would certainly do her best to convince them otherwise.
It was sharp, short, and to the point. Abalia was, admittedly, faintly irritated at having to keep track of these creatures as she moved forward, and this had come through in her choice of words. Nevertheless, it was a bark of undeniable command, one which echoed across the plains for a short while and, to Abalia's slightest internal shame, startled even herself. She had not expected her voice to carry such weight, even having knowingly focused on that exact facet. Perhaps her king had influenced her more than she realized.
Artist: Origa - Song: Inner Universe - Word Count: 511
It seemed that every moment which passed just brought more and more trouble to the table for Abalia. As this clinging feeling of complete and total dread washed over her, it took every ounce of her willpower not to fall to the ground and simply cry, or scream in fear. But she knew that doing so would just get in the way of her duty, and so she took a single deep breath, thought back to what she had learned with Mirja, and cleared her mind of that fear. It would do her no good in this place, and anything which stood in the way of her duty was to be discarded, like the garbage it was.
Now, with a better presence of mind, Abalia slowly drew her zanpakuto. She knew that her mastery of it would hardly be as effective as she would like, but she had most certainly not simply given up on learned after her single session of training with Ryuzaki. No, she drilled herself every morning upon waking up, using that as simply another facet of her ever-growing training regimen. Though she found that she had less and less time for it in the mornings, she was rather exceptionally glad to have not abandoned the pursuit, for now it seemed that her efforts would be put to good use.
It was clear she would receive no assistance from her king against these foes. Well, to word it that way would be inaccurate. He was assisting in perhaps the best way she could have asked in this circumstance, considering that the foe he had focused on would undoubtedly be able to end her in a matter of seconds. Still, she could no longer focus on analyzing the situation. Her zanpakuto in hand, she took up her proper stance, hands placed perfectly on the hilt of her blade as she thought back to her training.
“I will not die here, when I still have yet to serve to my fullest.”
Perhaps it was a foolish thing to say, given the circumstances. It hardly meant anything to her current enemies, but Abalia took a certain comfort in speaking these words aloud and hearing them with her own ears. Her voice was filled with conviction, that much was true, even if inwardly she could feel the claws of fear tearing at her. This was, however, not the place for that. She considered taking a defensive approach, waiting for these creatures to attack her and working from there, but she could hardly say this felt right at the moment.
Instead, despite her lack of experience, or training, Abalia stepped forward, sword held firm, and swung cleanly, with as much strength as she could spare on a first strike toward the nearest Hollow. If she was to make an attempt to intimidate them, she would need more than merely confident words to cow these feral monsters. Of course, if her aggression did not frighten them,which she hardly expected it to, her strike was no feint, and would do the job quite handily.
Song: Inner Universe - By: Origa - Word Count: N/A
Despite the earth-shaking force with which her king was battling his foe, Abalia paid him no mind. It was not a matter of disrespect, of course, but one of survival. If he died, she would as well, and if he survived, then he would have no trouble dispatching these trifling creatures before her. It was in her best interests, then, to simply pretend that neither Hayden nor his foe were present and to consider only the battlefield, and her current foes.
Speaking of the battlefield, it appeared that there was a rather dangerous-looking piece of debris flying her way. While in the back of her mind she understood the potential applications of perhaps redirecting this, or using it as some sort of weapon against her own enemies, consciously Abalia was all too aware that she had absolutely no chance of doing such a thing. Instead, she simply ducked under the tree, and though a more skilled swordsman might have used this as an opening to move and gain the advantage, Abalia simply took a single step forward as soon as it had passed her, swinging her blade downward once at the hollow which first approached her. She had little confidence that she could easily dodge the blow and maintain any sort of advantage, and so she instead simply accepted that it would strike her, moving just enough that it would at least be lessened a bit.
Abalia's words were not spoken with energy, or with conviction. No, she had even accepted that her words would not ever convey the pure authority to frighten these creatures into submission. Instead, she simply stated it as though it were a formality, a matter of fact command that had all of the kindness and warmth of an Arctic glacier. The time for anything other than clinical removal of these cancers was long past now, and a good enforcer of the law worked first and foremost for the removal of tumors like these from the world. Perhaps this was merely the wilderness, but it was nevertheless a part of the nation she had sworn to protect and serve. Scum like this had no fitting end but to be wiped away.