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Subject Post 1Subject: The Pen and the Sword [Hayden] Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:26 am
Artist: Carrotwine - Song: Dark Side Of The Road
”A tour map please.”
It hadn’t been long since she had arrived. The remaining funds of her noble family easily enough to cover all sorts of expenses within the realm of logic. A visit to the lands of Vastime had been long overdue. The Wandenreich and the the Vanguard were in good term, and it was in part due to the meeting Radioactive, Hayden, and Sofia had over a year ago that led to an established alliance. In that time, the Quincy prodigy had done a lot of thinking, and a lot of changing. Beyond her encounters with Deveta’s Shell, and a needed exposure to the darkness of the Demons, Sofia was able to analyze all sorts of matters through very different lenses. And after ridding herself of the darkness that had plagued her heart, purposely, she had been rewarded with a more refined understandment and outlook on the world around her. Her convictions were largely the same, and she still maintained the same beliefs she possessed back during the first attempts to have their people united. Now, she was simply better.
At the same time, there was a lot of turmoil in both fronts. On the side of the Wandenreich there were rumors about a potential shift in leadership. Some rumors indicated that perhaps Sofia would become a co-elect alongside Niflheim to learn whatever she had to offer, and take up the mantle. Other rumors simply went on about the idea that sooner rather than later, Sofia would simply challenge the current elect for the title. It was difficult for those within the ranks to truly define what was going on, or where the rumors would lead to. To those outside of its ranks, truly understanding what was to come seemed like hardly a possibility. What was clear to both her people and Sofia herself was that she had long surpassed the current elect in terms of battle potential despite the jarring difference in their ages. Whether one rumor came to pass or the other was yet to be seen, and it would be dependent on how certain events unfolded down the road. What was for certain however was that sooner or later Sofia would lead, as she believed she had the right mindset that was needed to usher her people forth and flourish as the Vanguard had throughout the last few years.
To be fair, had Sofia not been a Quincy to begin with, and as such devoted to her people and their cause, there stood no doubt that she would have joined the Vanguard. The ideology they possessed and the values they represented were very alike her own, and she agreed to most if not all of their mandates. From their stalwart position as defenders of the Earth, to the level of discipline and commitment that was needed to lead and maintain a largely military organization; it all clicked with her. It was certainly something she was fascinated and proud about. In essence, Sofia would aim to recreate the same level of commitment and discipline for her people as the Vanguard had for their own. And if her plans ever went south, then at the very least she found comfort on the fact that there were others that shared the same values and beliefs as her.
But, there was a problem. It seemed as though rumors abounded not just within the Wandenreich but within Vastime as well. Certain rumors had come to her ears about some kind of disagreement with the current leadership of the organization, or rather the conquest of ideas to who was truly deserving to rule. There wasn’t much to go by, as the rumors she had heard were not very detailed or concrete. And from the looks of it after she arrived, most people were not even aware of it. Sofia had no idea just who the challenger for the throne was, but she didn’t care. There was a pretty old saying that still held a lot of meaning in this day and age, Better the devil you know, than the one you don’t. That wasn’t to be taken in a literal sense however as she did not believe Hayden to be of ill intent. Still, things were fine as they were. The Quincy maintained their alliance with Hayden and what he stood for, and their goals aligned with each other with perfection; specially with Sofia’s. And while she didn’t know the exact set of beliefs of the challenger, there was no need to change what did not need changing. Why fix what wasn’t broken to begin with. In essence, her visit was rather multifaceted. She had arrived in part as a form of goodwill passing, to enjoy her time in the region, and to provide her support as need be. It felt like the right thing to do. Of course, deep down, she wanted to have a chance to test herself against the man, but those were deep desires that were not likely to resurface unless prompted or given the chance to capitalize on.
This is it, she thought to herself as she stood outside a rather large building. From what she was told, Hayden was within. Still, she would make no attempt to enter or call out for him. Sofia was the current representation of the law, of discipline, and of the military for her people, and as such, her manners were nigh impeccable. Standing still in a form of parade rest, she eyed forth. Her feet were about shoulder width apart, hands at the small of her back centered on the belt, with fingers extended and thumbs interlocked in a way so the that palm of her right hand faced outward. Her uniform was indicative of her position and the dedication she maintained. It consisted of a largely white Wandenreich uniform with plenty of gold accents. A matching white skirt, about upper thigh length was offset by the dark earthy look of thighs underneath. And to finish the look, the contrast between a white silky ribbon, and the ebony black locks of her smooth locks completed the appearance that projected elegance, commitment, and beauty all in one.
Subject Post 3Subject: Re: The Pen and the Sword [Hayden] Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:12 am
Artist: Carrotwine - Song: Dark Side Of The Road
The lady had certainly assumed a position of attention moments before. Standing upright, chest out, shoulders back, chin up, stomach in, and with an assertive and powerful look. Sofia didn’t just embody the hope of the Quincy and their survival. She was the personification of their discipline, their commitment, and their prowess. Despite being one of its youngest members, and likely the youngest Captain to ever be appointed, it looked as though she would sooner than later become the youngest leader to guide her people. And while the moniker of prodigy did define her, from her stern but fair behavior, to her impetus and firm grip, and adherence to the rules, she was still young. Despite her power, and her achievements, most tended to forget that at the age of 23, she had already surpassed the leader that stood for her people for over a millenia. And in her latest encounter, she had even managed to reach a stalemate with a man that had claimed the title of emperor years after the progenitor, Yhwach.
She could understand the pressure, and the weight that was likely levied on Hayden’s shoulders. She wasn’t vastime, but she didn’t need to be to understand. While there were certainly much less Quincy than people within his ranks, the concept and duties were still highly similar. In positions of power, especially those where the well being and direction of the many directly depended on the will of its leader, it was very simple to break down and destroy any work that had been done. Most people couldn’t handle the pressure. Some just became so anxious that it simply ate away at them. Sofia did not meet that definition, and from what little she knew of her ally, neither did he. As Sofia had explained to Ghislain, to lead meant more than just winning battles. After all, power could only earn you so much respect. At a certain point, people started to confuse respect for fear, and eventually, everything spiraled into a chaos that could only bring destruction. No. To lead required a leader that was as strong mentality as physically. To lead required a force of will that was only matched by the tenacity to do what was needed. It required the effort to exert discipline to maintain the state of your people, and be the reflection of prominence and commitment one ought to be for them. She could only hope she would always meet said requirements, and as for Hayden? Her best wishes were that he never forgot about what was truly important; that he never lost sight of his light.
”The pleasure is all mine. Nowadays everything is business, but frankly, I’m here just for pleasure.”
With a quick but perhaps just the slightest bit playful grin, the girl would extend her hand towards his for a handshake. Though they had already greeted each other, there was a big difference between the level of respect and closeness of the two greetings. One was rather formal and impersonal, and the other was much, well, personal. Hands smooth as silk, appearances were likely to be deceiving. After all, she looked as though a rougher than usual grip on her hand would have broken just about every bone. But as Hayden likely already knew, that would not be the case. In any case, as she eyed the building he had exited from, and even the guards he had saluted earlier, there was a very simple connection to draw between them. For the most part, they were both buried with work. Frankly, work wasn’t something that bored her, as everything having to do with her people was well worth the invested time. Still, any wise men would know that to truly function and improve, there certainly needed to be times of relaxation and enjoyment with things besides work related activities. Of course, that didn’t mean they needed to go drinking and dancing. There was nothing wrong with it, but if they did, she would imagine it would need to be somewhere more private and secluded. While Sofia no longer cared about what she was seen doing outside of her working time, within logic and reason of course, she imagined his figure would need a bit more care in the sense that more people would be looking out for what he did, and judging him for whatever they deemed he did wrong. It was an unfortunate byproduct of leading. All promising and positive decisions were seen as normal and expected. But any even condemnable negative action would see repercussions and defamation that threatened the decision making and wits of that in the leading position.
”I noticed I had yet to visit. A bit overdue I think. I might’ve needed the time off. Maybe you do too, but if you’re busy, I can wait. I’m not leaving anytime soon.”
The only real problem was that fun and enjoyment were highly subjective, and certainly up to the interpretation of that to whom its definition was asked of. While Sofia didn’t mind drinking and dancing at all, it was far from being one of her favored ways of killing time. There were plenty of things she enjoyed more, even if most would see them as trivial, boring, or depending on the choice, outright dangerous. She loved art: either listening or watching someone create it, or better yet, doing it herself. Primarily, she enjoyed playing music. It didn’t have to be her violin, as being a musical prodigy entailed being proficient in a wide variety of them. She simply enjoyed it more. On the other hand, one of her most loved practices was sparring in a form of combat. Especially those where she was at a disadvantage, and where she had to pool her power, wits, and skills together not just to win, but to survive. Whether on the battlefield or on stage, Sofia always placed art above all things. But it was in the heat of battle, when the odds were against her and her mind raced to try and tempt her into acting too quickly, or thinking too quickly, and making the wrong decisions; those were the times she loved. There was simply a rush of the purest of adrenalines as she tried to overcome the obstacles and fight back in the smartest and most artistic way she could fathom for the time being. It was sublime, and just like art, depending on its rendition and its delivery in battle, it could project either temporary or ever lasting effects. In hindsight, its meaning was much deeper than it was often given credit to, or rather much more than people cared to think about. However, while she knew Hayden was an avid combatant, he likely had different reasons for sparring. Regardless of whether he enjoyed it as much as her or not, it was likely he had different means or methods to commence it, and perhaps would not be as willing as she was. In any case, it was a welcomed possibility. Would it actually come to pass? Time would tell.
Subject Post 5Subject: Re: The Pen and the Sword [Hayden] Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:59 am
Artist: Carrotwine - Song: Dark Side Of The Road
Once their hands had met and Hayden spoke to his hearts desires, it was her turn. Taking a step back and away from him, pensative, the girl seemed to want to take a second to think, and recollect. However that was far from the truth. In reality, the woman was just trying keep her emotions in check, of which she did a marvelous job as usual. She was excited at the prospect. By then not only had she surpassed the power of any living pureblood Quincy, but she had tested herself against the might of a former emperor and a former captain commander, and done very well. By the time she turned to face him once more, there was a good bit of distance between them; maybe five meters, ten at most.
”Yes, Ghislain, I know that name. I faced him, cornered him, and pushed him until he stopped the fight claiming a stalemate. Don’t get me wrong he is powerful and with potential, but I was looking for more.”
That was the cold truth. In terms of raw energy potential, the former emperor and her were very closely matched. However as far as actual battle display, Sofia had completely dominated the encounter. The man was forced to go on the defensive time after time, and in her mind he had chosen call it a stalemate to avoid calling it what it truly was. It didn’t bother her however. The Quincy wasn’t one to talk, she was one to show, and her power and her reputation preceded her. She didn’t take the time to mention the battle she held against the former captain commander, the one that had thus far pushed her the most. There wasn’t really a need, even if she did very well, perhaps coming closer to the definition of a stalemate Ghislain so desperately seemed to want to cling on to.
”It looks like we are on the same page. Lead the way, and allow me to show you where my place lies in answer to your question.”
The temptation was great, and the excitement was beyond absolute. Had she had her way, the battle would’ve started already and the man would have likely be forced to draw his weapon. With a moment of better judgement however she knew that was not a good idea. They were in an area where too many people could get hurt. Surely Hayden had access to a location where they could go all out without holding back in fear of placing innocents in harm's way. The man should take caution though not to take the girl lightly, for he could fall victim to the same mistake Ghislain did, as he watched his incredible power be pommeled, and rammed, and driven to the ground with an even greater and unyielding might.
Subject Post 7Subject: Re: The Pen and the Sword [Hayden] Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:36 pm
[PLAY POSTING MUSIC]
THE QUINCY PRODIGY
Artist: N/A - Song: N/A
Walking down the streets of the city offered a very familiar view, and one Sofia was acquainted with. Everywhere she looked there were soldiers training, and doing their very best, as it should be. There were very few Quincy who loved training, battle, and combat improvement as much as she did. Amat Victoria Curam. It had many different translations depending on the point of view, but in the end, it simply stood for a very well known time tested fact: victory loves preparation. It was the same way back in the City of Light. All of the Sternritter under her leadership trained day in and day out in a variety of specialties, pushing their boundaries every time. They were already good soldiers. They trained their hardest not to meet a mark or to please her or others. No. They trained with the motivation and purpose that they would be the hardest person someone ever tries to kill.
”I appreciate the courtesy, but I’d prefer if the host had the honor.”
She would very much appreciate if Hayden began. Not only was she much better at reacting than initiating an advance, but she was also curious. And besides, she never for a second thought the battle would be easy; it would take all she had and more. She expected it to require as much effort as she endured against the former Captain Commander’s Shikai, or more depending on his resolve. Regardless, the girl would draw her weapons. On her left hand, a violin bow materialized out of light blue energy. It soon took the look of a modified real violin bow that was obviously made to look and function like a blade. On her right hand, the glow of her silver and gold ring created a bright aura that resulted in a beautiful and ornate blade. Unlike Hayden and seemingly some of his men, hand to hand combat was not her forte and certainly not the first thing she relied on, nor the last. Simple swordplay was her very first and easiest of tools, though it was far from simple.
”Do you have a preference for music? If you don’t, I’ll pick for myself.”
As she stood, the edge of her Geigenbogen [holy violin bow] drew rather close to the edge of her Rona blade. It was more than a rumor that the Quincy could control music, hence her namesake and schrift of The Melody. With ease she could easily bring forth a wave of musical tunes that could accompany in the rest of the battle as they drowned their surroundings. The choice of music could of course be altered, and if he failed to pick, she certainly wouldn’t. It was quite clear the man she was fighting against was mighty, but the notion did nothing to alert her in a manner that would make her act differently. She fought against everyone the very same way, treating them the same, and he was no different. Despite her leadership position she was down in the mud and in the heat of battle every time with her men. Beyond a leader, she was a soldier’s soldier.The fun was just about to begin.
Subject Post 9Subject: Re: The Pen and the Sword [Hayden] Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:54 pm
[PLAY POSTING MUSIC]
THE QUINCY PRODIGY
Artist: N/A - Song: N/A
There was a certain look on his eyes that unsettled her. It wasn’t his optimism, desire, courage, or anything of that sort. It was something more common, mundane, and dare she say, sad. The girl couldn’t claim to be a prophet or a mystic of any sort, but it didn’t take one to put two and two together. She could have easily been confused about her assertion but it seemed as though the man had some sort of inner trauma or inner conflict that fueled his will to battle her, more so than what they let out. So be it. To be fair, it wasn’t very different than Sofia’s own motives. Beyond what she had proclaimed, she was always in need of trophies. Surpassing all living members of her organization, the defeat of a former Quincy Emperor, pushing back the might of Deveta’s Shell the Goliath, and surviving a battle against a former Captain Commander of the Gotei. Hayden was as close as she could consider someone she esteemed, but he was also a trophy. Acquiring trophy didn’t necessarily require a victory, the circumstances were analyzed case by case.
The man had made no mention as to his choice of music so she’d say no more, and chose for him. The touch of the two blades would elicit vibrations that surged and drowned their surroundings in a low volume but melodic mix of classical music and metal. The Quincy Prodigy wasn’t one for the trivial notions of holding back power or reserving certain moves or styles for those deemed worthy. In combat, she valued art and grace of movement above all else in the heat of battle. To her, it was the way that art was manipulated, in her case, with melody, to create a show that was as appealing as it was as beautiful as it was deadly. Assuming there was a goal to be met, the girl would not care for it. She wasn’t there to prove anything to the man, and frankly she didn’t care if she could. She was there to prove something to herself, and not speak with words, but to show with the weight of her actions.
Had the Quincy not had the experience of constantly battling against superior opponents the battle would already be over. Alas, the girl knew better, and had long ahead devised the very best strategy to use against the man. From the very start she had been analyzing the heft and copious amounts of energy that engulfed him. Luckily for her, he was no Quincy, and his energy was very distinctively different from hers. Despite its rambunctious and destructive effects there was a very clear and obvious difference in the way reishi moved when affected by his will, and when wind or kinetic energy simply panned out as a result of his incoming actions. There was no doubt that despite her own masterful speed, she couldn’t fight fire with fire. As blindingly fast as she was, simply trying to outspeed him and his attacks would not work. That much was obvious when she fought Tsubasa. Luckily for her, she never intended to.
With the same movement of her Geigenbogen a surge of musical energy was created as her Melody impacted her surrounding and fired off away from her. At the same time, the Rona blade would use one of its musical blasts and fired on a different direction and away from her. Both blasts were of very different speeds, with the music blast from the Rona blade being much faster. What they both had in common was that they could travel far faster than Sofia ever could unassisted. But there was more to it. While the speeds generated by the attacks meant she had the tools to stay at a distance and get away from his speedy attacks, there was yet another issue. What happened if and when Hayden sped up? It was a gamble she wasn’t ready to partake in, and she didn’t. The girl wasn’t known as a prodigy simply out of being gifted in battle. She was a renowned tactician that stayed several steps ahead, thought throughly of all her available options, and never acted without reason.
The act of wanting to move somewhere, or trying to get to certain place already in mind would mean she’d be a little too late. The very best chance was to make her extremely fast getaways as aided by her attacks to random locations in such an unorthodox fashion that Hayden couldn’t predict since not even Sofia could guarantee where she’d end up. That of course meant that she could as easily end up out of harm’s way as right against it at one point or another. But that was an issue she’d deal with when she came to it. The Melody from the Geigenbogen would push one way, and the Musical Blast from her Rona blade would push another at such a speed that she sped up, and diagonally away from her assailant while spiraling in motions that resemble a top or a drill. The display was as fitting in a battleground as in a stage. Her combat style was a thing of beauty, it was art.
With a swing of her Rona blade a multitude of light silvery white feathers would rain down towards her opponent. From a distance they couldn’t have seen as more than feathers made of light given the reflection. That’s assuming he could even tell they were feathers given their size and the speed at which the attack was fired. A good 500 or so feathers were fired, all of them about four inches or so and sharpened on both sides. He had options in what he chose to do. What exactly he’d choose was impossible to figure out at this point. But regardless of whether he chose to fight them head on with an attack, block, or even run away he’d notice something rather peculiar about their nature. So soon as he made a move to attempt to gain the upper hand, the feathers would move and try to circumvent, being under the direct control of the Quincy. With yet another slash, another 500 feathers would be fired off out and away from him, but not before her Heiligen Torspiegel created a large white Quincy pentacle, not much bigger than her own size. The pentacle would swallow up all of the blades for some unforeseeable reason that was soon to be uncovered in a split second, at most.