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Murai was very interested now... If Steiner couldn't prove entertaining enough for her, the sight of him getting his ass handed to him by Duster would be just good enough. Murai had to make a mental note of not killing Steiner, as she could definitely toy with him later on in the future with more 'training' sessions. Hey, at least the dude was benefiting with the information Duster was giving out. He seemed to be listening enough, and letting something build up within him. Rage. Anger. Resentment. All strong emotions that fueled many actions within this sick, cruel, twisted world. These emotions would be what Murai would always play upon if s he could ever see Steiner again... And it would definitely be something that Duster would focus heavily on.
At the sight of Steiner's rage starting to boil over, the skeleton seemed to almost grin. Facial features were impossible to tell on something without any flesh, but the was the jaw moved upwards rather quickly from it's relaxed position was enough to simulate a cocky smirk. Duster already knew how to keep the kid entertained for a good, long while. Get him angry. Get him pissed. Let emotions guide one's blade, not an arm. With the quick adjustment to Steiner's stance, Duster prepared himself for what the human would try now. His disarming trick couldn't work if there was nothing to disarm, so let's see how he would react against someone trained in martial arts?
The approach was something that surprised even Murai a bit, along with Duster and Knuckle. The three of them had thought Steiner to be a simpleton without much ability to think in a positive, insightful manner. The quick leap forwards into a dash back was rather impressive, Duster falling for the bait as the skeleton let loose a poewrful blow jsut inches away from Steiner's face. A quick step was taken forwards as the skeleton's right arm shot forwards, fingers curling into a fist mid-strike as all of the skeleton's weight was thrust forwards. With Steiner's lucky leap back, he was able to avoid the quick retaliation, left with a fist a few inches away from his face... Even though the blow missed, Steiner could tell that he would definitely have gotten pretty hurt from the fact that his face was blasted with a small gust of wind. Even without a full swing, this skeleton did pack a punch.
But now, it was in the open. It's swinging arm extended outwards fully as it's body was in a hard position to recover quickly from. Steiner had done something impressive to the skeleton, and soon, something that would in fact harm it. The sharp, powerful blade of Excalibur slammed against the rib-cage of Duster, strike fueled by Steiner's anger of being called weak. A strong, broad strike against a skeleton like Duster would be extremely detrimental, blade slamming into the red bones and nearly tearing a few off, cracks forming along a majority of the lower ribs as Duster's body was forced to be pulled along with the blade, tip latching in between the ribs and bringing Duster's body downwards. He was now hunched over right infront of Steiner, a loud grunt given out to simulate a sound of pain as he was wide open...
A small, pointy object would smack against the back of Steiner's head. Murai had been getting antsy enough that she wanted to up the difficult, and that was through distracting him. If Steiner turned to look at her, he'd see that she threw a small finger bone to get his attention. If, and only IF Steiner had turned would Duster strike quickly, back of his skeletal aim aiming towards the back of his head to roughly and almost painfully slam against it to remind him that this was serious and to always pay attetention to the target.
Subject Post 12Subject: Re: Home Sweet Home (Open?) Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:26 pm
Artist: Archangel - Song: Two Steps From Hell - Word Count: 946
He was moments away from victory! The feelings that he felt were surreal as his sword slash cracked ribs and then his follow up slash brought his opponent to the ground hard. He had taken someone on who was miles ahead of him and had come out just enough to be considered to be on top and inside of his mind he felt like this was the first time that he had actually accomplished such a feat. He had always been the underdog, always been the one at the bottom of the ladder looking up at what seemed to be an un-achievable goal, and now instead he stood above his foe, sword in hand, realizing that that goal wasn't so distant from himself anymore. He had grown, taking huge leaps from nothing special, into something worth mentioning in little under a month and a half, and that was an insane amount of growth for one boy to have undergone in so little amount of time. Yet, he wasn't so much a boy anymore, no Steiner Franz was a man, and the fact that he now stood towering above his foe with a face that scream satisfaction was proof that he was now worthy of being deemed the Hero of Honor.
As he closed in, wondering how to finish this particular training exercise without killing the skeleton who had been teaching him, and at times goading him into fighting with his anger and emotions. It wasn't like he held any ill will to Duster, instead he respected the skeleton for what it was, and didn't want to destroy him for the sake of his training exercise. So as he began to examine the situation, trying to decide on what the best course of action would be to put Duster down for the count, but not out of the race, he would feel a poking at the back of his head. It was bony and cold, causing him to instinctively turn to face the direction of this bony force that had been poking him, and interrupting his train of thought. He looked down, seeing that there was a small finger bone that had been thrown at him, and then back at Murai. The realization that he wasn't sparring with some friendly individual ran through his mind as he remembered that there was an Arrancar nearby who at any moment could easily end his little post-victory celebration.
It was all that the skeleton needed, a minor distraction that had easily derailed Steiner's thought of victory. In an instant the skeleton known as Duster had back handed Steiner with his bony arm, causing him to spin rather comically, and then land flat on his face. In that moment, Steiner Franz felt woozy, and his eyes felt heavy. He felt like he was going to pass out and knowing the nature of the creatures he was dealing with, if he did manage to pass out then more than likely he would end up dying right then, and there. However, as he tried to fight off the sleep, he found himself falling under the spell of a pain induced coma, and as his body shut itself down, and he went limp. As his mind drifted into the void of nothingness, another mind would make itself present, cradling the boy's spirit as it faded into slumber, and whispering to it that things would be alright.
For a few moments nothing would happen, the wind would blow through the field disturbing some grass, and the cold wind rustling Steiner's brown hair slightly. That is when the temperature began to raise around the area, the cold and brisk wind turning as hot a scorching summer time wind, and the grass wilting a bit around Steiner's unconscious body. Well, the body wasn't so much unconscious anymore. Picking itself off the floor, eyes still closed, and steam seemingly coming out of every single limb and body part, the body would turn to face Duster, and for a few moments would stand calmly. The body would then open its' eyes, the blue pupils of Steiner's eyes now replaced by a dark shade of purple. Something had fundamentally changed and as the steam faded away the body of Steiner began to clench its' fists as if doing a mental check of the physical traits that it possessed. "The body isn't ready for what I had intended to do. Yet, I can't just let Steiner get killed either.", a voice that sounded distinctively different than Steiner's normal voice echoed from the lips of the body that had once belonged to Steiner.
"He is sleeping now, knocked out by your attack, and I would like for him to sleep this one off. So I will finish this training session with you instead.", the voice said, deeper than Steiner's original voice, and much more confident sounding than the man who had stood before Duster before. There was little hesitation as it held up its hand in the direction of the skeleton and with a smile began to channel the natural forces of the Earth's core through its' feet into the palm of its' hand. "I am Valus, it will be a pleasure to defeat you.", the Ziamichi spirit said launching a wave of super heated steam directly at the skeleton. If the skeleton were to dodge, Valus would stand firm, watching, and prepping itself for whatever the skeleton had to offer him. If the skeleton would come in for an attack, he would play defensively, using steam jets from his other hand to propulsion himself away from harm, but all the while he would be watching his foe intently. Watching and learning.
Subject Post 13Subject: Re: Home Sweet Home (Open?) Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:32 am
Artist: MGQ NG+ OST - Song: Battle with the Spirits Theme - Word Count: 885
Was Steiner truly this naive in his skills? A simple tap against the back of his head managed to distract him long enough for Duster to take a shot. Honestly, Duster had let himself be dragged down that far by Steiner, his own strength able to take the blade easily... But as Murai wanted, the difficulty was too ramp up the longer the fight went, so weakness had to be feigned in order for Steiner to have some motivation to keep him going. Of course, this wouldn't mean all too much if the boy was still foolish enough to end up getting hit hard on the back of the head. The sight of the boy spinning and spinning comically before falling down brought a haughty laughter to the field, Murai's own as she found it oh so hilarious.
But now, the body seemed to be stirring. Of course, she hadn't expected him to pass out from that, they had so much more training to do! Murai's joyous attitude had remained as she smiled towards Steiner's body rising, only for her head to tilt curiously to the side... His eyes were different, a new type of energy was emanating off of him. Duster could easily sense this as the skeleton quickly took a proper fighting stance, left leg thrust out just slightly ahead of him, fists brought up with left in front, right behind it just below eye level. This wasn't Steiner, this wasn't the person that they had agreed to train. Something had awoken within him, and it was something that probably knew how to fight.
A name was given, a long with a goal in mind. Murai's mood had been utterly and abysmally ruined, eyes staring towards Valus with a dull look within them. Her smile had faded, left only with a look of melancholy upon her pale flesh. "I had agreed to train the boy, not whatever odd spirit you are that wanted to take over. It's no fun at all if the other person knows how to fight already, since I can't have fun making you look like an idiot... However." A rather twisted grin began to form upon the arrancar's lips, bittersweet smile visible as even a bit of her teeth were shown, canines especially sharpened. "Tormenting someone who can actually fight can be just as fun... Go on Duster, put on a grand show~! Oh, don't worry... We won't kill ya, only hurt you enough so that you know to -never- interrupt me and my training sessions again!"
A haughty chuckle was given out once more, Knuckle doing the same with her to fill the area with the sounds of rattling bones. Duster kept his stance strong, eye sockets staring straight ahead to the old body of Steiner, but the new being of Valus. Valus could already tell that the skeleton was no longer holding back -anything-, his full power released. He had the same strength and spiritual presence of a 3-5, energies laced with hints of those being demonic from long ago, the original owner of these bones. Valus had perhaps chosen the wrong words to make this still seem like a training session, but at least the death of his host wasn't ensure, right?
Already, Valus seemed too ready to fight. An incredibly hot burst of steam was shot forth towards the skeleton, obscuring it's vision entirely and coating it's boney body with the steam... If it were made of flesh or weaker bones, perhaps it would have started to take damage, but this blast didn't effect it at all. Duster had already taken a strong approach, right foot swinging forwards to stomp against the ground and kick him forwards, right fist reeling back to his side as he already prepared to go into a swing the moment he left this burst of steam, this cloud that would be much better against something actually -living-.
"FIRST MISTAKE! DON'T USE SOMETHING AS WEAK AS STEAM AGAINST BEINGS WHO HAVE TORN THROUGH LIGHTNING ITSELF!" These words were shouted forth from Duster as he emerged from the thick steam, charging towards Valus. Luckily for him, these skeletons were only faster than your average human, just a bit slower than one who had the assistance of actual powers to boost their mobility. All of Duster's momentum had been thrown into a single post, just barely sailing past Valus' face by mere inches due to his quick movement.
Through watching the skeleton, he could already tell a bit more about it. Duster valued pure strength and durability, bones seemingly much thicker than before with the powerful blow leading to a small gust of wind to smack against Steiner's body. This was certainly a being one should avoid facing head on. Another thing he should have noticed was the fact that there was a blur coming from the corner of his view, entirely red in coloration. It was knuckle, a skeleton made for speed and accuracy rather than raw strength, making up for what Duster lacked. This skeleton took a running leap, moving much faster than the first skeleton and already leaping up into the air, both feet being brought up with it as it's body sailed right for the center of Valus' mass, aiming to kick it's feet out when close enough to drop kick him too the ground.
Subject Post 14Subject: Re: Home Sweet Home (Open?) Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:13 pm
Artist: N/A - Song: N/A - Word Count: 991
Odd spirit inside? Yes, Valus could be considered for most intents and purposes to be an odd spirit of sorts, after all he was just a menagerie of other Caliber spirits sewn together to create the form that he had inside. It was true that he had intervened in this "training session", but to be honest the real reason he had stepped in was to test something. Could he take control of Steiner if he was unconscious? It seemed like that was a possibility, it would definitely help him save Steiner if he pushed himself too far, but at the same time he couldn't harness the energies of the anima stone inside of Steiner, he had very little knowledge of how to use it due to how long they had actually been one. She was talking about making Steiner look like an idiot and torturing him, to which Valus would ignore her, he had no time to waste on a being that had nothing, but time to torment those that were walking the path to power. It irritated him and he felt for Steiner, who had actually thought of it as a training exercise, and had embraced the Arrancar in hopes of learning.
"Shame on you for picking on the boy and his desire to get stronger...", Valus said as he blasted the steam at the foe with his open hand toward the foe. As he began to discern the image of his foe in the steam, he knew that it was ineffective, and in that moment knew that his foe was going to come at him, launching himself out through the steam. He didn't know what sort of attack the skeleton was going to do, but he knew that the frail body of Steiner Franz would not be able to take an attack of any magnitude from this skeleton if it was going all out. All out was yet to be seen or understood, but still Valus was weighing its option on the possible strengths of his three opponents. So as the slow moving threat exited the steam, looking to attack the Ziamichi spirit within Steiner Franz, Valus would simply increase the speed of the steam, and launched himself a far distance away from Duster. Instead of choosing to fight straight up, he would elude his foe, and test its' strengths, but all the while he would have to keep an eye on the Arrancar.
The skeleton wasn't so much a threat as it was the Arrancar playing the puppet master behind him that was the threat. If she wanted she could have the other join in, even more so she could make herself evidently a part of the battle herself. He stopped himself once he was a safe distance away and began to reevaluate himself again, piecing together just what his body was capable of before beginning to speak to the three enemies again. "Its good you have decided to not kill my host, I can respect that, but what I can't respect is you toying with him in any sort of way. You must understand that you knocked the boy out cold, I am substituting myself to make sure that you don't do anything too viscous to my host. Now that I have made that clear, I am going to do what I can to give you the challenge you deserve.", he stated as he played around with his Excalibur, which had been fading to black ever since he had switched places.
It resembled his version of the blade and he took a deep breath as he began to think about what it would mean to fight this fight without Steiner in control. He had never really been free to do as he pleased, walk around and do as he pleased, this was chance, but he didn't want to take advantage of Steiner's catatonic state right now. He rubbed the non-existant stubble on his chin and then looked at the skeleton, the skeleton was moving about as fast a normal human, and if he continued to use his steam propulsion he could continue to fly around him with ease. How long he could do that would be another story, he grunted with the realization that fighting this foe for a long time would be out of the question. Steiner had limits, his body could only handle so much of Valus' own abilities and even at that if he could handle them, there was only so long he could continue to operate before passing out. "Physical forms have limits...got it.", he murmured under his breath.
He looked at the skeleton, Duster was his name if he remembered, and then said: "Something hotter than steam? Alright." Valus gave a grin, it was something he was used to giving to people he valued as adversaries, but also friends, and in that moment he would reach down covering his fists in dirt. The act would probably seem bizarre to the skeleton duster, but to Valus it was just the catalyst he needed, and as he finished coating his fists in a decent quantity of dirt, he launched himself forward with steam, and came at his foe. "How about liquid magma then?", he said with a grunt as he dropped one foot to the ground on purpose, slowing his acceleration, but also channeling the heat of the core as well. The dirt on his hand igniting into flame, but then turning into a fist of magma which Valus aimed directly for the face of his foe. Hopefully he could use the element of surprise here to knock his foe back and maybe even put a dent in the Arrancar's plans to torture Steiner by proving his own worth, and that Steiner's potential as a warrior would also be judged on how strong their bond would become as well.
He hoped the Arrancar was watching, because the show was about to get interesting.
Was he... Did this -thing- have the audacity to speak back towards Murai in such a tone? Honestly, she should have just torn him to shreds where he stood, but she had a bit more decency than that, having more than someone who would go on to insult a wonderful being who offered their training to someone who needed it. Bull shit asides, Valus had already struck a nerve with Murai, and he was now pulling upon it again and again. At this point... She honestly wouldn't mind killing him, the being eventually going to have to learn to watch it's mouth in the presence of power.
Eyes stared towards Valus, a smile visible upon her lips as rage fueled up within her eyes. She wasn't going to act yet, no, she was going to wait and watch for the most opportune of moments to arrive to her. Her skeletons were left grounded as the being soured up into the sky, using their affinity with steam for the better. And now a monologue, great. Would this guy ever shut up? Talk talk talk, honor, respect, not killing the host, really now? Who gives a flying fuck about what happens to Steiner? Murai certainly didn't, Duster didn't, and Knuckle didn't. The three most important people right now didn't care if he died here, all it would mean is a lack of a toy to play with for a while, that is, until another if found.
Oh? A challenge? For her? Awww, Valus shouldn't have! The smile upon Murai's face only continued to grow and grow, eyes starting to widen as she watched the being already begin it's assault. Energy starting to build within it, a product of it's power as the once dirt coated fist had burst into flames. The strike was obviously heading towards Duster, but that wasn't going to be the end result. Duster wasn't the type to just stand there and take it if it was actually gonna hurt, a lesson he tried to teach to Steiner just moments before. Always. Stay. Moving. Now, Duster wasn't fast enough to entirely avoid the strike, but he was still quick enough to step back far enough that it wouldn't hit anything vital or needed for the animated skeleton.
The fist slammed against it's rib cage again, molten magma burning through a fair portion of the hardened calcium as... Duster didn't even flinch, still taking steps back and... Going, and going, and going, Knuckle following him soon behind. That was an odd sight, why were they running? They could have taken on this new being, but instead chose to run. Perhaps something is nearing, perhaps something is preparing to strike at the most vital of moments? That something would soon make itself known through loud laughter, giggling, even. The creature was Murai herself, smiling wider and wider as she approached Valus on foot, each step hitting the ground hard and roughly, showcasing just how hard she intended on going.
"Alright, so, I'm a little bit annoyed and now I'm not gonna play around anymore. I was gonna train him, not take -sass- from you, alright fucker? Wah wah wah so what if your host gets hurt or tortured, he's gotta learn to man up some day! Awww, is his feelings hurt? Tell him to grow the fuck up!" Murai's much more brash nature was starting to come forth now as she honestly held true to the one thing that always stayed true within her mind. Do what you want... And right now? She wasn't really caring about what she said to Steiner earlier, she was caring more about how she was going to fuck this guy up horribly.
No actual strike was made at first, only silence kept within the area as Murai continued to approach, slowly getting from quite a while's away to fifteen feet, ten feet, five feet.... And soon, in front of him if not stopped. She wasn't really planning on absolutely destroying him just yet, no, she wanted to try something else. She remained perfectly still for him, standing in a singular spot as eyes trained forwards. Her body remained still, as it became apparent that her energy was seeping off of her. It far surpassed Valus' own energy, hell, it might even be able to force him to the ground through spiritual pressure if she willed it to do so. But for now? It simply seeped off of her body, almost lashing out in tentacles from how she chose to emit the power she held within. Her reiatsu of course couldn't actually harm him... But it could definitely fuel the things that would.
"Go ahead. Strike me if you wish to truly impress me, show to me what power you have in store. You have my attention, now keep it piqued if you wish to even keep your host another day. Bah, you want to call me bad, but your the parasitic freak that clings unto a being for survival. If they died, hell, you would probably die too... Is that why you actually care about him and how he is? Not for him, but so you don't end up hurt~?" A twisted grin began to form upon her lips, head tilting to the side as long, black hair bounced off to the side, trailing down almost to her legs. With the smile, came a wink towards him, taunting him even as her one open eye stared forth at him.
Just how strong could she be? Physically, she didn't seem powerful at all. Her arms seemed almost thing, legs following the same trait as she seemed physically weak, lacking any real foundation to herself. Valus however? It was already easy to tell how strong he was just through a bit of watching. He took some of the lessons Steiner had learned and instead mastered them, to a degree. A ranged assault would have done better against Duster, but he kept to the previous lesson of always moving, of always avoiding a threat in order to counter-attack. With someone who focused on moving... Murai already had her assault in plan, and an easy way to kill him if he didn't occupy her time well enough.
Subject Post 16Subject: Re: Home Sweet Home (Open?) Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:08 pm
Artist: RecordLadel - Song: Ascendance - Word Count: 1,101
His hit connected, but only just enough to make slight damage as he melted through the rib cage of the skeleton like a microwave oven melting a stick of butter. Yet, both skeletons began to flee for some reason or another, and it was surprising to Valus as they had seemed ready to fight him, but now were running in the opposite direction of the fight. That is when he remembered that they were not the only one's fighting right now and as he turned to the sound of some laughter to see Murai descending closer to him, he knew that things had just got more difficult.
Had he angered the puppet master from her throne of bones to come down and mingle with him, the commoner? She seemed angry, but more or less excited by the prospect of a challenge, and Valus for all intents and purposes knew that his earlier assessment of their differences was indeed true. To the arrancar he was probably an ant, the amount of power that Steiner's body could handle would not allow him to put his full energy behind anything, not yet, and now that the arrancar with all of her energy stood before him that vast difference was apparent. It was like comparing an emperor and a peasant in terms of royalty, they were just that far apart. The difference was what they were fighting for and to be honest, the reasoning behind their conflict was what would drive Valus to push the limits that Steiner's body had. "You didn't hurt his feelings, but you did insult his pride as a warrior.", Valus said as he flipped Excalibur like it was a toy, catching it each time on the hilt perfectly.
To Valus, Excalibur was like an extension of his body and as such his experience with the blade was much vaster than Steiner's, and as such he knew its weight and its properties fairly well. Valus continued to listen as she neared him, her energy coming off like tentacles around him, and Valus paid close attention to these tentacles. It was a weird thing for her energy to be doing this and Valus knew there had to be much more behind the energy than what was being seen. He also knew that she could have crippled him right then and there with the energy at her disposal, it would be quite easy to completely make this fight lop-sided, but she was giving him a chance. "Playing with her food" was the saying that came to Valus' mind as he glared holes into the black haired arrancar female. Could he fight the puppeteer? Valus really didn't know as he wasn't used to being on the outside and being the dominant personality, no he was used to being the inner voice, somebody who could guide his host to victory, but now the roles were reversed. Save for Steiner being completely unconscious. This fight would be less about their communication and syncing up, but more about just how much Valus could push Steiner's own natural limits.
"Are you trying to goad me into attacking first?", Valus asked as she brought up him being a parasite. Even the shit eating grin was more than enough to constitute the meaning behind her words. They were jabs at him to get him provoked, to get him to go on the offensive first, but why exactly did she want him to strike out at her? It didn't make much sense as she had closed the distance with him, her frail frame could barely survive a stroke of Excalibur, at least that is what he thought as he began to assess the situation from multiple angles. "Let me get one thing straight. I'm not a parasite and as far as the relationship between my host and I? I chose him, I didn't latch on to him for survival, nor did I choose to reveal myself to simply save myself. I don't think a emotionally absent freak show of an arrancar would understand the difference between protecting something you care about and trying to simply survive.", Valus spoke, his face not losing an ounce of seriousness, and his senses on red alert. He was speaking, but more so he was also trying to buy himself time, and trying his best to assess the course of action that he should take. She had closed the distance on purpose and that meant she had a "trump card" as the saying went. Just what that trump card was unknown to him, but Valus had a few tricks of his own if need be, after all he also had access to Steiner's Judgement Energy, and he could also possibly transform if he pushed himself hard enough. The issue was that the power would be harder to control for him, after all it wasn't his power, but Steiner's own natural gifts that he would be drawing from.
Then again he could also force himself to transform into a form that was almost purely his own, but that would probably kill Steiner from the mere exertion of morphing into that stage. So, instead of worrying about transforming for now, Valus would instead stay on alert as he stopped flipping his blade, and clenched it tightly by the hilt. A lot of this fight would be decided not by spiritual power difference, but by the physical tools at their disposal. Steiner's frame was much more built and fit from years of physical training even before Valus had come to link with his host. The arrancar's frame was less so physically built, though outward appearances could be deceiving, and that was worrisome for the spirit. Things would be easier if Steiner was awake, as Steiner could fight, and Valus could observe, helping from the inside like a sport's coach prepping his star player for the big game. But due to the state of things, Steiner was out cold, and there would be no coaching him into how to defeat the bad guy in front of them. Though Valus felt that it would be good to run, he knew that even though the skeletons had ran, one of which had been burned by his fist of lava, he knew for a fact that they were still around.
So even if he managed to ditch the arrancar, there was still a chance of the skeletons stopping him, and putting him down like a dog. So, instead Valus would fight, and as he came to that conclusion, he tensed up, his body becoming like a coil, ready to react if anything happened.
Subject Post 17Subject: Re: Home Sweet Home (Open?) Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:40 am
Just as a notice, I -will- be posting in this thread, I am sorry for the delay, please don't think I left ya Steiner. Murai still has more Valus to play with~!
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Subject Post 18Subject: Re: Home Sweet Home (Open?) Tue Feb 16, 2016 3:09 am
Artist: ??? - Song: Regicide - Word Count: 1131
Pride? As a warrior? Well that was just silly, now wasn't it? Having pride in something that's already barely a thing. A warrior is someone who fought battles and went through wars, this kid was swinging his sword around in the woods with a spirit trying to guide him. That isn't a 'warrior', that's just a kid with dreams. And that's all he ever would be to the Arrancar, a kid with dreams. Dreams that are just that, fake, unreal, unable to truly effect anything... So until Steiner and Valus were able to change her mind, and prove to her that he was a warrior, and wasn't just someone who thought they should pick up the sword, her view upon them would always be negative, and entirely based upon looking down on another person simply because they seem... Well, weak!
She barely took notice of the fact that Valus seemed to be able to use Excalibur and actually toss it up and down with ease. That was something that... Well, she just didn't pay any mind too, her ego was already inflated enough, and she definitely felt as if she was in complete control here. She had always been in control, in all battles she had taken part in. In the war with the Vanguard, she wretched control from Lydia's troops, and managed to lead the Shadowfall troops from their home to the shores, to decimate the Vanguardians that had landed upon them. Already, she had more experience under her belt than Steiner could hope for, already, she was -better- than Valus. The spirit may have had years and years of training, but this Arrancar was much more than a sadistic, twisted pretty face. The two skeletons she had with her were even the bones of fallen demons, demons that had fallen due to one of her own contraptions. She didn't feel a shred of sadness or regret, as it gave her a new fighter that could take her very far with it's strength.
Oh, wait! The spirit was talking, and he had a bit to say... Well my oh my, he could understand the basics of taunting, that much was down, but here came the little monologue. Blah blah blah, these all sounded like excuses. This being was forced to have a host, or else they would be left alone forever, only having themselves to speak with. Sure, a bond is possible, and maybe he did want to help Steiner... But he was still a parasite, one with benefits. He had to latch unto this boy to even advance as a being, to even progress in his story. He offered Steiner a weapon and help, in exchange for him even being able to 'live', in the sense of not being a boring weapon trapped in some rock that no one would ever touch.
No matter the case, Valus had brains. He could tell that Murai had something planned, something in store for him... And he was reacting rather well. He hadn't taken the first strike, and he hadn't done something that could be impossibly stupid. With waiting, came knowledge, and with knowledge, came power. With his senses on high alerts, he would be able to spot that her hands were at her sides, palms fully exposed with fingers slowly curling and uncurling, showing she was ready to grab at something. What that would be? Why nothing but Excalibur of course! She said she wouldn't kill the boy, but nothing about Valus, or his weapon, or really anything else! If he had taken the strike, Murai would have happily reached upwards to grasp at the blade and shatter it with pure force, if applicable. In the scenario that she couldn't shatter it... Well, having a nice trophy or a weapon for Duster would always be a nice thing. This woman, no, this being wasn't the type to show mercy or give any reprieve from her actions. She was the type to toy and play with her targets, to tease and abuse them... And that was what she was going to do just now.
As time continued to pass, and Valus seemed all the more reluctant to take the first blow, Murai's lips parted once more to speak.
"Wooow, real interesting dude. Nice conversation. Yada yada, without him, you'd be fucking alone, bored, and with no one to talk too. You need him if you don't want to go crazy and lose your mind~! And uh, for the goading thing, glad you're not a dumbass. Woulda broke the stupid sword if you thought it could even scratch me. I'm sure that you can tell, but I'm pretty strong myself~"
A cocky smirk only began to grow upon her lips, eyes lighting up with interest once more as she stood as straight as she could, staring towards the boy with hands still at her sides. What were once open palms soon tightened and curled into fists, bony knuckles poking through her skin to reveal that... Well, she was pretty much all bone! With knuckles at the ready, her plan slowly began to unfold. It wasn't a big movement or gesture, but her foot tapped against the ground only once. Since she had responded, that meant that the gentleman known as Valus had to respond... Hopefully taking enough time to speak in order to allow her attack to go through. It wasn't going to be devastating, but it was going to show him that he was gonna have a bad time. As the dress shoe upon her foot struck the ground, the earth right between his legs had shifted and soon burst. The hole left in place was only about as thick as a finger, no, a thumb. But what came forth would be the important part, a long, narrow bone shot up straight through the ground at an incredible speed, almost reaching bala levels as the flat head aimed to slam right between his legs. The impact was aimed towards the family jewels, aiming to crush them...
With the strike taken, hopefully, Valus would be bent over in pain. Wether or not this was true, Murai quickly took her next plan of action. What was once a smirk turned into a smile of child-like glee, feet kicking off the ground to let her jump up in the air, high enough to be above Valus' head as her fists quickly slammed against one another, fingers interlacing to hold them together as she let the momentum of the fall and her fists swinging downwards to do all the work. Her fists felt like the hardest bones in existence, as they both slammed against the top of Valus' head if no defensive action was taken. The force wasn't devastating, but enough to slam the being into the ground without proper defense.
Subject Post 19Subject: Re: Home Sweet Home (Open?) Sat Feb 20, 2016 5:22 pm
Artist: N/A - Song: Legend of Dragoon Medley (Metal Cover) - Word Count: 1,762
Valus, in his limited time that he had spent wandering the world, had never encountered an entity like this before. Much like Steiner, he was new to the whole dynamic of there being creatures such as the young lady who was assaulting him, and as he watched her utter every word, Valus remained calm. Resolute, in the face of oppressing power that he had yet to even see, nor had true scope of. No, Valus stared hard at Murai, his purple hues piercing through her being as he watched her getting closer, and more than notably he paid close attention to her hands which she seemed to be fiddling around with slightly. Curling and uncurling each individual finger for some unknown purpose that the Proto-Ziamichi spirit could not truly gauge. Yet, something told him that nothing good could come from her fiddling fingers, and even more so he began to tense up, he had to focus now on counter attack, and play around with the thought of what her play was.
He had no idea what she could do and even more so, no idea of just how strong she truly was, but to Valus that didn't matter. All that mattered was that his host was in danger and that, though he had flung himself in to this situation himself, this threat was not someone that Steiner needed to be trained by. Valus listened to her words, she seemed to always want to pick at him, and bring up the fact that he was a leech on this boy, yet she didn't understand the dynamic. How could she understand something as complex as the relationship between Steiner and himself. They both drew strength from each other, in fact as of right now he was fighting a losing battle because of that fact. Steiner was a conduit for both of their powers and when he was unconscious it was much harder for him to draw out his own latent energies. This was due to the fact that though he had been living in this body for a couple months, he still had no idea how it truly worked, in fact this was his first time actually "taking control", and fighting with it. He groaned as she babbled on as she relayed her intentions to shatter Excalibur.
Excalibur wasn't just some clunky sword from a stone, no Excalibur was a blade crafted by a divine figure, and as such it would be hard for the dainty arms of his opponent to do as she said. Valus remained quiet as he listened to her, testing his own-self internally to discover to just what extent he could push the young body, and seeing just what sort of limits Steiner had. During taking that mental inventory, his eyes would go wide as the young lady's gloves shredded, revealing underneath bones, and nothing but bones. Valus glared at her confused and bewildered at the spectacle of her tightening her hands into fists made of pure bone. Yet that bewilderment turned into caution as the female arrancar put her foot down on the floor. For a moment nothing happened, but it was quickly followed by a little hole opening in the floor, no bigger than a thumb, and from that hole came a long pole of bone aimed for Steiner's genitals.
If it had been someone who had been reckless at this point, he would have more than likely been cradling his ball sack, and screaming at the top of his lungs, but Valus wasn't reckless. Unlike Steiner he was thinking with his head and planning what he would do if assaulted, Steiner was more about relying on his natural talents, and the skills he had honed. Which was fine for someone who knew the body he was in, but for Valus this was a new experience, and as such he had to use his centuries of experience to bridge the gap between not know his host's body, and not really knowing Steiner's own limits. So, in reaction, Valus jumped back slightly, dodging the bone thumbing just barely, and feeling a gust of wind inches from his own face. If he had been any slower and had not been on high alert, he probably would have received some rather painful punishment.
"Nice try, but you will need...to...", Valus said confidently, but had that confidence shattered as he looked up to see his threat now airborne. It wasn't like he had thought the arrancar wasn't truly physically gifted, but now he was seeing that she had just enough athleticism to jump taller than him, and in that moment of surprise, Valus would receive a pounding. Receiving a rather hard slam across his head, Valus would fall to the hard dirt of the grassy field where they were fighting, and grunt in physical pain as he lay motionless in pain. For a few moments he would lay there, but deep inside he felt something stir, no, not something, but someone. Ugh, the hell is going on? For a moment time stood still, this would be their first talk since they had been at the top of Cirno's mountain, and it was clear that they had a lot to talk about, but for now things were extremely serious.
I took over for a moment so that the arrancar wouldn't rip you to shreds, but now that you are up it is time to get to work on beating this bitch. As Valus spoke to Steiner inside of his head, Steiner lifted up his own head, his eyes blue once more, and looking around in a daze. How did you...what happened to the skeletons? Steiner asked internally as he began to get up off the ground, holding his head as a bit of blood trickled down from the top of his head over the front of his face. No time for that, Steiner. She is getting serious and if we don't work together to stop her, we are going to be taking a dirt nap. Valus shouted into Steiner's mind causing him to snap out of his daze long enough to take grasp of the current situation. He stared at Murai, realizing the situation was dire as he saw her there, grinning with childish glee at the fact that she had just knocked him down.
Furthermore, her fists were made of bone, and that was more than likely why he was bleeding from a huge knot up on top of his head. For a few moments Steiner was frightened, what he had been afraid of was happening, and there was no way to turn back now. He had been afraid of Murai getting involved in this fight because he felt that she would more than likely put him down if things went south. She was way stronger than him and that much he could sense, if she had wanted it, he would have easily been dead by now. Stop thinking in absolutes! Power isn't everything, what is everything is accepting defeat before it has come. Look, I understand you are afraid, but you are powerful now...you have potential and Cirno was the one that told you that. She believes you, hell I believe in you otherwise I wouldn't have chose you, and now it is time to make this Arrancar believe in you. So, snap out of it, and get ready to square up because you are not alone in this...I am here with you and together there isn't anything that we can't accomplish.
Steiner nodded his head as he grabbed Excalibur from the dirt and pointed it toward Murai. It was true, alone he would have been overpowered, and over-run by this being in front of him, but Steiner wasn't alone. He had an ally, someone on his side that would never leave his corner. He had Valus and by that line of thinking, Steiner had one of the greatest allies that a young warrior could ever ask for. Now dig deep, Steiner. Pull out that power that you have yet to draw upon, pull out that hidden potential that Cirno saw, and show that arrancar what you are capable of! Show her the power of a hero! Steiner roared from the encouragement, the two voices belonging to Valus and himself mixing together to form one voice, and in that moment Steiner was engulfed by a bright white light. For a few moments the light surrounded Steiner until it began to equip him with armor, divine armor that he could only weild, and as the light faded Steiner stood before Murai, evolved. One eye's iris purple and the other the familiar blue of Steiner's original form.
"Now we fight as one!", the combined voices shouted at Murai as they both launched at the creature in front of them with the might of their Soul Dash combined with the augmentation of their Steam propulsion. It would be more than enough speed to catch his opponent off guard and in that moment, the both of them decided to show Murai that she could indeed be cut by the blade of Excalibur. As he neared his opponent he began to dance, much like before his dancing was part of his self-taught technique Danse Divine. His blade glowing faintly and oscillating different colors into Murai's eyes, the effect would make it appear as though Steiner was attacking from multiple directions, but these multiple attacks were merely a few flurries of sword swings. In fact, most of the attacks were hallucinations caused by optical illusions that the oscillating colors of his blade, and the faint glow of his sword created.
In essence, Steiner was assaulting Murai, but not aiming for lethal attacks, his purpose was to main, and injure her to the point where she would need to make a retreat or she surrendered. Two things that probably wouldn't happen, but none the less, Steiner had to try, and as such he would dance with his sword, aiming to take her down a few pegs. Internally, Valus knew Steiner couldn't push himself too hard, or he would exhaust himself, but the best course of action was to tire her out, something that Valus didn't think Steiner could do. Not at his current level or understanding of his own powers. It would take time for him to grow stronger and as such there was great deal that he would need to, but for now he needed to take Murai down a few pegs, and win this fight. Both of their lives depended on it.
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Subject Post 20Subject: Re: Home Sweet Home (Open?) Sun Feb 21, 2016 3:45 am
Artist: Jisho 23 - Song: Super Skeleton Brothers - Word Count: 1745
This was getting really interesting... As time continued to pass, the more and more she learned about this once seemingly normal being. At first glance, he seemed weak and powerless, but he was far from it. Instead, his power stemmed from the being inside of him, and actually, everything inside of him. His determination was something that she hadn't seen in a while, and with the work of Valus aiding him, he could definitely make it far. He made it far enough to survive training that she was certain would lead to more injuries for completely average people, so it also meant his base form had already began to grow to start participating in the arms race. The struggle to obtain power in this cruel twisted world... The challenge that all beings took when they entered their first battle with another living being, to survive.
It was a feeling that always gave Murai a reason to live, a purpose to even exist. The world's rules, the one of where the strong survive, and the weak perish. Even when she was alive, it was something that she took too... But there was no point in mentioning any of it, since Murai was still absent of the memories that led to a life such as this own, no memories of the single mistake she made that started her spiral down into depravity and hunger. What had truly mattered was here and now, a being in front of her who would accept her challenge of training, and would give her entertainment. She was definitely entertained... But at this rate, and with what Steiner had, he could grow. He had the potential to get stronger... To really become a threat to Murai in the future.
Because of this, Murai had to at least instill enough fear that he would avoid her for when he finally reached that pinnacle of power. Killing someone like this would bring more harm than good, someone needs to get rid of her competition, and it wasn't going to be her. That's just too much work. The Arrancar held herself back from striking while Valus had fallen unto the ground, solely for this reason and only this one alone. She needed him, she needed to use him for her own goals in the future, even if he would never know of them. He had the potential to grow, the potential to become a puppet for her schemes... Even the potential to become a hero.
She wouldn't fall prey to believes of heroism and fate, for now, she had to focus on the task on hand. And that task was something that definitely sparked her interest. Steiner was rising now, blade in hand as the weapon was pointed towards her once more. A direct threat? A -challenge-? The two of them were asking for it, and soon enough, a release was accomplished. Light had begun to engulf the area, only leading to Murai's eyes lighting up with intense interest. He had to release just to even handle her weakest, what a wonderful fight this was going to become! As moments passed, Steiner changed, no, the being that was Steiner and Valus changed. The two of them had begun to intertwine their energies, fusing together as one to further hone their skills.
All Murai was left with was a fighter in front of her, a being fully clad in armor with the potential for great things. Despite just the appearance, something seemed off. This being seemed to irradiate a certain type of energy, one that the Arrancar wasn't foreign too. This energy seemed hostile, almost vicious against the very presence of her own energy in the same room. Dark, corrupted reiatsu meeting Steiner's Judgement Energy... Let's see what this delightful mix of powers would lead too! The violence! The drama! The -fun- that would be had! All of it would be great, great enough to truly entertain Murai long enough that perhaps she wouldn't need to go out looking for trouble so soon.
This being slowly began to advance towards her, their energy brimming with absolute power, absolute ferocity, brimming with so much potential! With Steiner standing tall and firm with armor adorning his body, he might actually have a chance of surviving her stronger strikes. The harder Murai could go, the more fun she would had, and the more fun she had, the better out Steiner would become, and the greater his chances of walking out alive would be. With a release already used, maybe Steiner could cause some permanent damage. Maybe he could actually teach this spoiled brat a lesson that she should hopefully remember for a long time to come... Or perhaps he might only further fuel her destructive, selfish desires for amusement and a reason to even exist on this planet.
Her weapon formed within her fingers, seemingly delicate (yet fatal-injury inducing) digits wrapping around the base of an object that didn't even seem like a weapon. It was a femur bone, a hardened piece of calcium that reached outwards for a total of 18 inches to allow her a weapon to contest Steiner's. It was her zanpokuto... A weapon meant for shinigamis, meant to bring peace and order within this world. Instead? It was in her grasp, a weapon for her to abuse and wield for any purpose or reason that suited her. A weapon that would be considered holy to some was being tainted and corrupted through just being within her grasp, through just being in contact with her grubby little fingers...
As Steiner approached, the weapon was held up in front of her, spanning the length of her chest horizontally as her free hand shot up to grasp the other side and hold it tightly. Fingers seen gripping the bone tightly as it was used as some form of shield... It wasn't a very good shield, but it would serve it's purpose. With the weapon held in front of her, she allowed Steiner to continue on his offensive. Each and every step would lead to him advancing forwards, but she made sure to angle her own weapon in front of her to take a singular blow. A single, quick blow to shatter the weapon. It came at a surprise for Murai as in that split second, Steiner could see the horror upon her face. His blade had cleaved through the bone almost effortlessly, sliding along it and coming out the other side as Murai was forced to hold both pieces. Everything seemed to almost slow down, almost go into slow motion as in that split second, Murai's devastation was easily seen upon her face, as her lips finally moved...
"Did you... Activate... My Resereccion...?"
Everything seemingly went silent as the objects held between Murai's fingers had faded away, turning into dust and being swept away through the rest of Steiner's violent attacks. Each swing leading to a collision against her body, tearing through the white dress she wore in order to strike upon her body, only to result in a dense knock that he could easily hear. The blunt of the force behind each strike only lead to the same sound over and over again, the tip of his weapon even unable to leave a permanent mark upon her body, every little scratch soon being mended just as quickly as they were made. He wasn't dealing damage, and nothing was being done to her, but she seemed happy. Lips curled upwards higher and higher, eyes widening as she stared straight towards Steiner.
Steps were taken forwards, body moving ever so slowly -through- his assault. With the combination of not only her hierro, but her natural durability and passive abilities, someone of Steiner's strength would never be able to cause true harm with just a singular blade. Every step only led her closer and closer to him, the strikes of his blade now starting to bounce off of her very own body as she wasn't even slowed by the assault, no, she even thrust her chest out against him to bounce the blade back harmlessly a few times. She was taunting him, she was toying with him, she was further proving that she was on top, and even with his release, he had no hopes of doing any true damage to her being, at least not with strikes meant to only induce minor wounds instead of grievous injuries. If allowed, she would get close enough that he was unable to swing anymore, no more space for his arms to move as chests were pressed against one another... Despite the hardened body that could take blow after blow, all Steiner would feel was something soft slide along his own body, teasing him before all of it began to change.
Something sprouted forth from underneath her clothing, a black suit that began to spread all along her body in an instant, completely encasing her as if she were in a skin-tight diving suit. With her outfit done, bones began to erupt forth... Forming through the black suit, starting to collect upon one another as bones of all shapes and sizes came forth in order to create something. Armor. A suit of armor that resembled Steiner's own, down to every last detail. The only difference was that Murai had a helmet, a helmet that resembled a knight's own. To cover her face, there was even a sliding piece of metal with lines along it to allow her sight, as Steiner could see amber eyes staring forth... A glowing yellow that almost peered into his soul.
"Come on now... It's time to take part in this dance of death~!"
Her chest was thrust forwards, bony armor slamming against his own body to knock him back a few feet, to cause him to stumble as Murai struck a pose. A single arm raising itself high up into the air to point towards the sky... The sun that was once high in the sky had become dark, only the moon left to illuminate their battle. Her free hand had found itself placed upon her hip, the same hip that was thrusted out to the side as her body stood at a slant, eyes focused not on where her finger was pointing, but Steiner. During the pose, music began to play... . Her skeletons, Knuckle and Duster, had done a fine job of getting her phone and starting to play the theme of their battle, a theme that would inspire the both of them. A theme to make this night gorgeous.