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 Hey, You, Whatcha Gonna Do? (Murasaki, Stefan)

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Subject Post 11PostSubject: Re: Hey, You, Whatcha Gonna Do? (Murasaki, Stefan)   Hey, You, Whatcha Gonna Do? (Murasaki, Stefan) - Page 2 EmptyThu Feb 21, 2019 12:18 am


THE BLADE MAIDEN




KAGAYAKU NO MURASAKI




“I don't see a lotta reason to wait on a release. It's not a big deal, ya know? I don't try to make a secret of 'em, no reason to hold out. 'Specially when I'm not doin' too hot.”

Indeed, “not doing too hot” was exactly how Murasaki felt about this bout. Was this how behind she was? It seemed like he was barely even trying, but she knew that she was already well past what she normally needed to pull off in a fight. Big problem... Taking another deep breath, she studied Stefan carefully, her eyes looking over his every action. There weren't many of them. In fact, she wasn't sure if there were any. That was an even bigger problem. Geez...

“I'm not gonna hold onto it if it's in the way. That'd just get me killed.”

That was obvious to her, and while she felt a faint panic setting in, she pushed that out of her mind for the moment. She'd be alright if she kept it together, she just had to keep studying. He was playing with her here, and Murasaki knew that if he wanted to he could just cut her in half. That was part of why she'd come after all, but still. She'd have to be able to handle that.

Oh no.

She knew this was gonna be painful if she took the hit. Heck, it'd probably be lethal. She didn't have time to think about what to do here, and she knew she was overthinking it. As Stefan swung at her, she noted that it was gonna be coming straight for her side. She could have just jumped away, but staying on the defensive the whole time would put her in a terrible position. So instead, she lowered herself and moved toward Stefan's right, directly under the path of the blade, and rather tragically noted to herself that at least some of her ponytail probably wasn't gonna make it through that unscathed. In the same motion, she brought Keifu downward for a slash of her own, a low strike that moved with her rather than requiring much extra action. If it was genuinely effective, all the better. But she simply wanted to hit him for now.

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Subject Post 12PostSubject: Re: Hey, You, Whatcha Gonna Do? (Murasaki, Stefan)   Hey, You, Whatcha Gonna Do? (Murasaki, Stefan) - Page 2 EmptyFri Mar 08, 2019 7:47 pm


Hey, You, Whatcha Gonna Do? (Murasaki, Stefan) - Page 2 JCRrxmK

Artist: Final Fantasy 13-2 OST - Song: The Last Hunters (Battle Theme) - Word Count: N/A

Stefan's deductions about his challenger rang true: Murasaki's in-the-moment intuition and confidence to act on it was impressive. Possessing both would allow her to continuously evade and overwhelm her enemies for years to come, assuming no serious changes during that time. However, there was a clear issue with relying on skill and decision making: Without speed and power to back it up, at the end of the day she was still a small fish in a very, very large pond. Instead of responding to Murasaki's reaction with continued meek attacks frivolous compared to his true strength, Stefan sought to make the gap between them all the more obvious. As such, Stefan's left arm shot out as his thumb pressed against Keifu's left side and his other four fingers on it's right, his grip strong enough to crush steel as if it was papier-mâché.

Acting quickly enough to hopefully reduce his foe's response window to nil, Stefan launched his left knee like he was firing a cannon, aiming to strike her square in the abdomen while leaned down. As this attack would connect, or if she managed to avoid it somehow as it came closest to her body, Stefan would release his grip on Keifu and potentially allow both the Captain and her blade to be sent reeling backwards. While his intent may not have been to end the fight in a single instant, Stefan did use a considerable amount of power in his hit to test Murasaki's limits and durability. Whether she impressed him in that regard as well was mostly irrelevant as Stefan rarely cared much about purely physical feats, focusing more on skill and overall ability instead.

"I'm starting to think all your Shikai does is make your sword a little prettier."



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Subject Post 13PostSubject: Re: Hey, You, Whatcha Gonna Do? (Murasaki, Stefan)   Hey, You, Whatcha Gonna Do? (Murasaki, Stefan) - Page 2 EmptyFri Mar 29, 2019 9:12 pm

Since I've had no luck trying to contact you through PMs, was wondering if you still planned on continuing this thread. @Rawk

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Subject Post 14PostSubject: Re: Hey, You, Whatcha Gonna Do? (Murasaki, Stefan)   Hey, You, Whatcha Gonna Do? (Murasaki, Stefan) - Page 2 EmptySat Mar 30, 2019 2:03 am


THE BLADE MAIDEN




KAGAYAKU NO MURASAKI




Murasaki already knew that her options here were incredibly limited. In fact, she might have even dared to say that they were none. Such a thought was only amplified further as Stefan's knee slammed into her abdomen. To describe it as “like a truck” or anything wouldn't have even been remotely close to accurate. It was, give or take, the single most painful thing Murasaki'd ever felt in her life. And she'd felt a whole lotta things in her life, let her tell ya.

It was correct that Stefan's strike sent Murasaki reeling back, and as she finally came to a stop, she took a quick little mental moment to think about things. Actually, she didn't think about too many things. Mostly just one thing. Maybe this hadn't been such a good idea. With a great effort, she stood back up, gritting her teeth and holding her sword as carefully as one could manage after that. She was pretty sure that quite a few somethings were broken in her torso. Geez...

“Well... That wasn't a fun one at all.”

She knew this was already a lost battle, but she wasn't going to go out without a fight at least. She kept her ground, mostly because she didn't want to move much after how painful that had been. But she focused on Keifu, quite intensely, and after a moment she simply spoke one word.

“Bankai.”

Even in what was a monumental release, Murasaki's nature did not seem to change much. It was, perhaps, an underwhelming Bankai. She doubted it would help her much here, considering exactly what she needed right now was more raw power. But if nothing else, she was going to lose this giving it her everything.
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Subject Post 15PostSubject: Re: Hey, You, Whatcha Gonna Do? (Murasaki, Stefan)   Hey, You, Whatcha Gonna Do? (Murasaki, Stefan) - Page 2 EmptyWed Apr 03, 2019 7:05 pm


Hey, You, Whatcha Gonna Do? (Murasaki, Stefan) - Page 2 JCRrxmK

Artist: Final Fantasy 13-2 OST - Song: The Last Hunters (Battle Theme) - Word Count: N/A

The calculated strike hit home as Stefan's challenger reeled, seemingly barely able to withstand the force he'd unleashed upon her. It was true the Vizard had used quite a bit of his ocean of strength in his latest attack, but he also wasn't aiming to kill her. Still, her ability to not just stand back up after receiving such a powerful blow, but recover quickly enough to both speak and prepare to continue fighting was impressive to Stefan. Though hardly a weakling, Murasaki was as of yet still like the ground to Stefan's sky and closing such a gap would be no easy task. For this reason his opinion of her rose to match her fighting spirit and determination to not go gently in the night.

"I applaud your ferocity, I do. But you should learn when enough is enough." Despite his taunt Stefan still very much wanted to see what else Murasaki had in store for him, and would quickly be rewarded with her next step: Bankai. A Shinigami's second release was sacred and powerful, a display of strength of a mature and fully-fledged Zanpakuto. Even in it's infancy a Bankai is a force to be reckoned with, and no matter the distance between two fighters something always worth treating like a game changer. Still, despite the explosion of Spiritual Pressure from Murasaki and her blade very little changed. Obviously absence of clear and present danger did not necessarily mean a lack thereof, but on the surface there was little to be afraid of.

Before Stefan continued battling his beleaguered foe, he took a moment to walk calmly over to her other sword still laying on the ground nearby, bent over and picked it up, then gently tossed it to Murasaki. Whether or not possessing Kagayaku would improve the Gotei Captain's chances in this clash of blades was unclear at the moment, but it was something Stefan would be willing to bet on. "They say an animal is most dangerous when cornered, but I'd argue you're probably even scarier with access to every tool at your disposal. So show me what you're truly capable of, Captain Murasaki. With every tool, weapon, and ability available to you. Or, die."



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Subject Post 16PostSubject: Re: Hey, You, Whatcha Gonna Do? (Murasaki, Stefan)   Hey, You, Whatcha Gonna Do? (Murasaki, Stefan) - Page 2 EmptySun Apr 07, 2019 11:28 am


THE BLADE MAIDEN




KAGAYAKU NO MURASAKI




“Well, the way I see it, enough's not enough just yet. If I can still stand up, I've still got a little more left ta go, ya get me?”

Murasaki, of course, understood the gulf she now faced. She knew there would be no crossing it toda, but that didn't stop her. If anything, it just mae her a ittle bit angry. She'd worked a long time to get where she was. She'd thought it was imressive. But it seemed more and more like it honesly wasn't much worth talking about at all. The more that thought seemed to ring through her head, the more firmly she settled on her net step. It didn't matter whether she won or lost now, and she knew that relying on Bankai wouldn't do her any good. So instead, she took a long, deep breath, focusing inward.

“You want everything? Well, I can't use everything all at once, sorry to say. But I can give ya my best.”

If she had to, Murasaki knew she could escape with this. She just didn't want to.

“Musonzai.”

Her voice seemed to hollow as she spoke that word, her usual cheery demeanor simply falling away and replaced by...well, nothing at all. Though her zanpakuto's form remained that of its Bankai, it exuded no spirutual pressure any longer. Nor, for that matter, did Murasaki herself. This was not so much a trump card for her, but was rather simply a final gambit. If this didn't work, nothing she had would.

Stepping forward with all of her speed, it was genuinely impressive just how uick she was even without any of the boons one might gain from spiritual energy. Musonzai had cut those away, but her own body still had trmendous capabiliy in its own right. This time she stopped at Stefan's left side, positioning such that she would have even a hair's breadth more of a window to dodge whatever response came her way.

Readying both of her swords, Murasaki then swung both in as calculated a manner as she could. The setup, in theory, should have been something Stefan could read, due simply to his mstery of the blade. Two strikes with both blades, a feint with the main hand and a genuine attack with the offhand. Murasaki's technique, of course, was impeccable, and in all likelihood this in itself would have been perfectly effective on any normal opponent. But Murasai knew this was far from a normal opponent, and this was why there was a second layer to these strokes of her blade; that both were far more than normal attacks, but were her Suzuran brought into action. If either struck Stefan, the blades would not need to carry tremendous physical force, as Suzuran was nothing short of the platonic ideal of a cut made manifest. If she so much as grazed her opponent, no matter what happened afterward, Mursaki knew that she would have hurt him.

And that, right now, was good enough for her.

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Subject Post 17PostSubject: Re: Hey, You, Whatcha Gonna Do? (Murasaki, Stefan)   Hey, You, Whatcha Gonna Do? (Murasaki, Stefan) - Page 2 EmptySat Apr 13, 2019 12:10 am


Hey, You, Whatcha Gonna Do? (Murasaki, Stefan) - Page 2 JCRrxmK

Artist: Final Fantasy 13-2 OST - Song: The Last Hunters (Battle Theme) - Word Count: N/A

For just a short, brief moment Stefan was reminded of his elder brother in this Gotei Captain who couldn't be any more different from the man. The lack of emotion and utter absence of any kind of Reiatsu or energy were both calling cards of Mifune Soan, a swordsman Stefan had spent much of his life in the shadow of. As a Shinigami in the Gotei, forever chasing levels of power he could barely even fathom at the time, and now as a fully matured Vizard warrior still knowing his brother was the only person he could even consider a rival to the title of greatest swordsman in the world; the rivalry that had long dictated Stefan's life was a thing of the past, a relic of a time when he was not the man he is today. Or was it? His opponent's change in demeanor and Spiritual Pressure sparked something inside the Free Union leader, a fiery torch of disdain and wrath which had long since been put out by the level of control Stefan had over himself. Despite being as different as she was, this passing and momentary resemblance to this forsaken Soan could not go unaddressed.

To almost any other the speed with which Murasaki burst forth would be startling, shocking even. But to Stefan Soan, a man with considerable speed of his own and, more importantly, had a long standing rivalry with perhaps one of the fastest men in the world, Colin Washi, such a thing would not strike any fear into his heart. There was no longer any room for him to be impressed by this challenger, no thought spent on her current capabilities. All that remained in the legend's mind was displaying exactly what she put on the line by risking and changing herself in such a stark way. To him it was folly to forgo everything and revert to such an emptiness as she had, a belief one could find a bit strange coming from a man who literally controlled Void as his primary power. Perhaps only the one closest to absolute emptiness could see the truth in avoiding it where possible.

The Gotei Captain's brisk pace would be met by an explosion of speed from Stefan himself as he set off like a bullet, cutting his foe off before she could close the gap entirely. Seeing the opening in her stance he brought his Zanpakuto from below, allowing him to strike the tips of first her main hand blade and then that of her offhand; the resulting CLANG reverberating throughout the massive training room as the swords were forced upward and away. Instead of dropping the parry and attacking in Murasaki's opening, Stefan merely followed through with the arc with which he swung his blade so that it continued past her head. However instead of a swishing sound from slashing the air, the precise moment Stefan's blade stopped touching Murasaki's, a cannon-like blast of sound exploded out from the motion. This was a result of the Vizard choosing to multiply the force of his attack by over twenty times once he was sure the parry completed.

The initial intention of his response was to defend from and push away his attacker, and thus only used a microcosm of the strength available to him; the second was to send a message. The true strength of Stefan Soan would be put on display for Murasaki to witness as wind and pressure would whip up around his blade like a jet engine running at full speed, likely resulting in her being swept off her feet or made unsteady enough to make a follow up attack from the Shinigami irrelevant. Unfortunately for his bank account, this increased force would also result in a massive slash of air hitting and splitting everything in the direction of his Zanpakuto's arc, cutting directly through to the building's roof over a dozen stories above, and all the way to the street in front of it. As if an earthquake had suddenly broke the structure apart, chunks of stone began falling from the shattered ceiling and alarms began ringing usually reserved for indicating an attack or natural disaster.

Whether Murasaki would be left in shock or still ready to continue desperately battling was momentarily irrelevant to Stefan as he spoke loud enough to be heard over the continued collapse of the building he called home. "I can imagine how much it hurts to know no matter how you try, you could not even cut your opponent. Truly, I can. But just so we're clear, abandoning yourself and throwing away your power won't get you any closer to drawing my blood. At first I thought you resembled me, in a way...now I see you go down the path of my brother. Nobody has seen it, but I am capable of entering a state not entirely unlike what you are right now...with one key difference. Instead of simply stripping away all that you are, mine empowers the best of what I am. In this state I still feel the blood of a warrior who's put everything on the line boiling in my veins, pushing me forward and to new heights. Whatever you've done to yourself now is...empty. I can feel it. It's not the way, young one. Abandoning what makes you who you are out of desperation just makes your sword ugly and stained."



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Subject Post 18PostSubject: Re: Hey, You, Whatcha Gonna Do? (Murasaki, Stefan)   Hey, You, Whatcha Gonna Do? (Murasaki, Stefan) - Page 2 EmptySun Apr 14, 2019 2:53 pm


THE BLADE MAIDEN




KAGAYAKU NO MURASAKI




In the absence of any emotion to exert control over her, Murasaki could intellectually understand that Stefan had only widened the distance in their abilities even further simply by deciding to. She noted that only this change had incited such a reaction, and while now was not the time, she committed that thought to memory for future reference. It could, in theory, be useful one day.

However, the strike she had entered into Musonzai for had failed. The captain had suspected it might, and she had suspected as much might happen. Thus she exited that form near as quickly as she had left it, her energy returning and the full power of her release once again exploding outward. Yet, even as the emptiness left her soul, it had not left her heart. Her expression was unchanged, a cold gaze that seemed so very far from the cheer she had brought to the room.

Murasaki looked upward to the falling ceiling, and stepped out of the way of a piece of debris that had come just a touch too close for her liking. Her gaze returned to Stefan, and while her attitude seemed undaunted, it was obvious from her stance, and the weight her blades now seemed to carry in her hands, that what he had done had shaken her unbelievably deeply.

“Musonzai is as much a part of me as anything else. I'm a sword, Mr. Soan. I'd have thought you of all people would know that a sword, no matter what you can do with it, is made to kill. It's not throwing myself away, not to me. It's making myself the only thing left. But it doesn't matter anyway, does it? No matter what I have or don't have, I couldn't ever kill you, no matter how long I stood here and tried.”

Though her voice was unchanged, and and her expression stayed as dead as before, it was obvious that the emotion behind her words was still genuine. Her Musonzai had ended, after all. Below this mask was still the girl she was. And as she continued to speak, though her face did not change, her eyes grew misty, and after a moment, tears began to trickle down her unfazed features.

“You asked for everything I had, and I've given it to you. So what now?”

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Subject Post 19PostSubject: Re: Hey, You, Whatcha Gonna Do? (Murasaki, Stefan)   Hey, You, Whatcha Gonna Do? (Murasaki, Stefan) - Page 2 EmptySun Apr 14, 2019 3:38 pm


Hey, You, Whatcha Gonna Do? (Murasaki, Stefan) - Page 2 JCRrxmK

Artist: Final Fantasy 13-2 OST - Song: The Last Hunters (Battle Theme) - Word Count: N/A

The immediate return to normalcy from Murasaki was what he had been gunning for anyway, so even though the battle now seemed over it was not entirely disappointing for Stefan. The ending of combat was always the worst part of his day, but perhaps this would be different. After all there was still plenty to be said and plenty still lingering in the air between the two. For this reason he sheathed his Zanpakuto and returned it to his hip then immediately did an about-face to now look directly at the woman as she responded to him. Apparently she disagreed with his judgment of the situation, though at least he could tell her words were sincere.

Having never been one fully equipped to deal with the emotions of others, Stefan was caught off guard by the Captain's tears; yet, such a reaction was not fully unexpected. As someone who reveled in blood-boiling combat, the idea of being entirely unable to even scratch an opponent revolted him. At that point it's no longer about pushing past boundaries, it's being forced to accept an entirely unwelcome and frustrating fate of inadequacy. Though hardly one to suffer from insecurity, such a situation would certainly make Stefan feel as close to it as possible. He could understand just how frustrated and hopeless Murasaki must feel, even as someone who did not entirely share his own attitude towards battle.

As both large and small concrete chunks fell from the sky like a man made meteor shower, Stefan's gaze bore directly into Murasaki's soul. He could see what this fight had done to her; though short in length, repeatedly displaying the gap between them had apparently struck her to her core. In a firm, but not aggressive, voice Stefan spoke to her truthfully "Everything you had was not good enough to kill me. Did you expect to? Do you dip your hands into magma and expect not to get burnt? That's no way to live, as if in a dream."

In an attempt to connect with the distraught Captain on a more personal level Stefan placed his hand on her left shoulder, contact usually reserved for their blades, and continued speaking "You are already far stronger than I was just a decade ago, do you realize that? Not to mention what I can only imagine is hundreds of years I've been around longer. I do not pity you, Kagayaku no Murasaki. Nor should you pity yourself. The skill and strength you've shown me today prove there's no reason to." Releasing her shoulder, Stefan grasped one of her two swords, lifted, and pushed it into her chest only with enough force to emphasize his next point "Now you take this weapon and polish it further. You do not wallow in this loss; instead, focus only on the new heights still available to reach. After all, unlike yourself I fear I am quite near my limit...and that is worth pitying."

With a sigh Stefan acknowledged the reality of his own plateauing strength shortly before continuing his speech to the younger Shinigami "Our deal is still on the table. If you can beat me, I will be your Lieutenant. So until then I need you to keep fighting and growing so that I, someone without much left to see in this world, may live vicariously through you. You've only showed me what you're capable of today. "Everything you have" is so much more than that, I want you to prove it. I'm sure we'll be seeing each other again sooner rather than later, Captain."



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Subject Post 20PostSubject: Re: Hey, You, Whatcha Gonna Do? (Murasaki, Stefan)   Hey, You, Whatcha Gonna Do? (Murasaki, Stefan) - Page 2 EmptySun Apr 14, 2019 4:13 pm


THE BLADE MAIDEN




KAGAYAKU NO MURASAKI




Having not expected such an interaction, even Murasaki's blank demeanor softened just a touch as Stefan placed his hand on her shoulder. There was something comforting about it, though she knew that the fury she might have felt would still massively overshadow it if she let it. She knew that what he was saying was true, and it wasn't even that she didn't want to accept it. It was just that it hurt to do.

“Yeah. You're right, Mr. Soan.”

There wasn't any pain or difficulty in saying that sentence. After all, the girl knew fully that it was true. But she didn't have any better way to respond, and she felt that expressing that first, in such absolute and basic terms, would make clear the tone that she wanted to convey.

“But I don't pity you, either. You could do anything you want to, nothing would stop you. I've tried to come anywhere close, but I'm nowhere near that. It's almost funny, you know? I'd give a lot to be where you are, and I think you'd do the same to be here, to have all this room left to grow. But trading spots like that isn't doable, so I guess we gotta just work around it.”

There was almost an audible click from Murasaki's mind as the gears turned into place for her. She was not hugely bright, and it seemed as though what Stefan said had only really fully impacted her now. Sure, he was not someone that worked for her. But he did live on Earth, and that was her job, to help people on Earth. So if nothing else, she had that.

“I'll impress you one day, Mr. Soan. I promise. That way I can show you how much more you can still do.”

Everything, ultimately, seemed to come back around for Murasaki. She accepted the push of her blade into her chest with affirmative nod, ending her releases and sheathing both of her zanpakuto. She had come here with a goal, and it was true she hadn't met it yet. That hurt her deeply, but at least in this moment, she clung to what she had still left here with. No, it was not the same, but it was infinitely better than nothing at all.

“Thank you.”

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