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Fear didn't quite cover what she was feeling. Swallowing hard as she slowly stepped through the forest. It didn't matter that she had dealt with hollows many times before. It didn't matter that she'd gone unscathed time and time again. There was something she hated about having to do this, and yet something that compelled her to do so. Swallowing hard, she narrowed her eyes when she felt it behind her. Not daring to stop moving as she couldn't let it know that she could feel it. That she could smell it. She waited, expecting to have some sort of warning when that barb fired from the beast. Her body suddenly shifting to the side as she spun about, her quincy cross glaring as she brought to light, that bright weapon gleaming as she spun about and swung.
Surprise was visible on that masked expression as the monster reeled back, the arrows that blared out from the blade going wide, only nicking the hollow and eliciting a sharp cry as it was subjected to sudden pain. More barbs whistling from it's prickly shoulders as it lashed out. Immediately Ritsuko brought that weapon up to block, staggering back a little as she swallowed hard and backed off. She wasn't brave, that sudden burst of needles turning her yellow as she cowered behind her weapon just a bit longer. When she peeked out from behind it those claws were ready to meet her, her eyes going wide as she only barely avoided a slash across the face, her heart pumping . That smile suddenly opening as 'She' emerged. The surprise on the hollow's face was quite visible when that extra arm emerged from the weapon and brought down a replica of her knife, it's mask being chipped into her body suddenly failing her as she toppled to the ground, panting heavily as her heart raced, watching as the hollow roared out, suddenly hissing as it began barreling in her direction, snorting streams of steam from it's mask as it began to charge.
She leapt to her feet, her heart pounding away as she and the duplicate shifted to the side, avoiding the flurry of those long, needle-like claws. The sensation of pain spiking in the back of her mind as she turned her body, the feel of a cut rushing along her shoulder. Blood staining her shirt as she spun about, dropping down to a squat as the duplicate swung, that blade sweeping out, biting into the needles, the hollow's own blood rushing from fresh wounds as the woosh of air met the quincy's ears.
Rolling off to her left, she barely avoided the hollow's massive foot as it slammed down where she had been standing but a moment later, panting softly and rolling up back to her feet. From the corner of her eye she could see more needles heading her way, swallowing as her rushed in the path of them, deflecting several of those stabs while the rest pierced through it's body, blood gushing out to the ground as it suddenly went limp.
Ritsuko grip on her weapon suddenly tightened, and with a sudden grunt she twisted, a rush and burst of reiatsu surging out from her weapon as she let out a cry, bringing that blade down in an overhead arch, dashing toward them, carving through those needles before she slashed downward, tearing her way down the front of the Hollow's lower body, another loud roar escaping as it dropped down beside her, screeching in pain.
Immediately she twisted, her eyes shut tight as she swung with all of her might, the sound of that Pendulum axe chunking into it's skull was all she could sense before suddenly she felt it begin to fade. The adrenaline still surging through her as bit by bit, those eyes opened up, staring at the spot that hollow had been moments before.... she finally let the weapon drop to the ground, swaying from left to right before finally dropping to the ground, tears in her eyes as she slowly laid on her back, swallowing hard, clutching tightly to her weapon as she kept her eyes closed, staying there on the ground.
If only she wasn't so alone.
Even with her puffy eyes, Ritsuko was more than able to see the chunks carved out of the tree, her stance a bit shaky, but solid as she began to spin her weapon, slicing into the bark as she repeated the same move over and over. A Spinning slash, followed through. She didn't try anything fancy. Even all alone out in the woods she had no self-confidence to risk nicking herself. With the basics in hand she kept chopping and slicing away, those eyes tired as she worked.