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Artist: N/A - Song: OldDale Town Theme - Word Count: 1,229
It was summer and it was hot. These two things had crossed Steiner's mind as he had hopped the border from Russian into the lands that had belonged to a new rising power known as Vastime. He had fun with Ritsuko in Russia, but that short time in Russia had given him the want to continue to fight the disease that was plaguing him, and to continue to walk forward steadily with his head held high regardless of what threat he was facing. The people at the border had been handsy, checking through every single bag, and asking about past affiliations. They had scoured his backpack, questioned him on his sword, and had done an extremely thorough background check on him, but after the green light had been given, Steiner was welcomed with open arms into a rather vast country that had formed rather rapidly in the time that he had been away. "They grow up so fast.", the sick young man jested as he made his way into the country's interior to see just what this wonderful new nation had to offer him. Over the course of a week, Steiner meandered from one place to the other, taking in the budding culture, and seeing just how different it was from the rest of the world outside.
In truth this was a place of martial excellence and Steiner could see that from all the academies, the dojos, and the training centers that he walked by. Everywhere he looked there was a clash of martial styles, but those clashes were not something that detracted from his surroundings, they only added to his fascination and wonder of this beautiful country. Loving to train and to learn new things, Steiner found himself picking up a plethora of detailed pamphlets that people were handing out, and found himself pausing to observe training exercises and sparring drills. He could pick up a few things from observing, but in essence he knew it wouldn't stick until he actually began to participate, or learn from someone who actually had combat experience. So though he managed to sit through quite a handful of drills and sparring sessions, Steiner didn't feel anymore learned than he had the moment he had began.
However, he did feel quite a bit more healthy than he had since he had began to travel through this land. The black veins across his body had faded away and his coughing fits no longer ended in a need to cleanse his mouth and hands of blood. It was odd though as the more he traveled, the more he began to feel some kind of strength returning to him, but it wasn't like he was completely healthy. No, he still felt a bit groggy and his reflexes were no where near what they had been before the disease had reached its Apex, and had began its slow crawl into destroying his life. Still...he was better than the day before or the day before that and with each passing day of marching from town to town aimlessly, Steiner felt better, and his mind seemed to sharpen. Hell, maybe in a week or two I will be back to my old heroics. Steiner thought to himself as he came across a beautiful city near a vast forest which he had spent the better part of two days hiking through.
He had remembered this cities location from a flier that he had found during his many stops over the course of the week. The flier claimed that there was some great teaching wolf within this city and that to learn to become a greater warrior that anyone that found these fliers should come to this city and seek them out. Steiner, who had been feeling rather healthier with each, and every passing day looked upon the city in the distance and made a quick decision to seek this great wolf out. What could it hurt to learn from someone with a vast knowledge of combat and someone who was willingly looking for students to teach their ways? Without further hesitation, the Hero of Honor found himself making way to the city with a great deal of wonder in his mind as to the identity of this great wolf teacher, and what they could possibly offer a guy like him who had all the potential in the world, but had yet to full realize said potential.
That wonder gave way to another wonder as he walked through the streets of the city, seeing its structures, and its people up close rather than from afar as he finally entered into the city after an hour of walking from the forest's edge. It was a rather huge city from the outside, but from the inside it was even more grandiose, it reminded him of some cities back from where he had used to live, and not just from the structures but from the diversity of the people and the vibrancy of the culture around him. Much like every other place he stopped, there was a feel of martial excellence, but that feel was further escalated beyond anything Steiner had seen before on his journey here. There was a much vaster line up of different fighting styles, ranging from the complexities of Krav Maga to the simplest of basic kung fu, there was everything here. But Steiner's mind was fixated on learning from this great teaching wolf, he had to know what mysterious techniques the wolf could teach him, and just how much he could improve with that wolf's guidance.
Pulling out the flier once again, he would locate the general location he needed to go from the flier's directions, and began to make his way past all of the exciting training complexes filled with different people training to hone themselves into fighting machines. It was with similar purpose that Steiner approached what looked like a cafe. For a second Steiner stood there confused outside of the wonderful looking cafe near the center of the city. He had thought the location on the flier would be a grand training complex, filled with hundreds of disciples all looking to study under the powerful wolf, but instead it was just a cafe filled with customers enjoying themselves. "Looks can be deceiving, I suppose.", said the hero as he entered the cafe only to be hit by the vibrant smell of multiple types of brews. The aromas and fragrances of brewing tea, coffee, and a multitude of things that Steiner couldn't even begin to describe invigorated the young man bringing a rather broad smile to his face as he walked up to the front counter.
He lay the flier down on the counter and then began to look around for whoever was manning the helm of this cafe before uttering out loud so that people could hear him: "I'm looking for the great teaching wolf? I'm here to learn from a true master." Silence fell over the store which had once been loud, causing Steiner to turn around, and look at his surrounding as people in the store had began to stare at him. Judging him by the looks of it and that was fine with him, he didn't care if they did. He was there to learn and he didn't care what sort of trials he would have to go through to reach his goals.
Mirja skated jubilently through the cafe. She had a lot of people today, and that was great. She liked serving so many people that came to her cafe for their lovely fooding and drinking and occasional date spots. It really warmed her heart that she was seen as a spot people could go on a date in. And they were so cute as well, the sickening look of love plastered on their faces and the disgustingly overt shows of affection. It was so nice to see. And it was pretty evident that Mirja was of two minds with the actual people.
But, just as she was getting out her last batch of orders, a guy came in asking for her. She really needed to get new fliers out because 'great teaching wolf' was kind of on the nose for her these days. She wasn't feeling it all that well. And he wanted to learn from a 'true' master as well. Which was not something she bought into but a tongue-lashing would wait. But, before he could order, she smelled something. Her nose was sharper than most by a considerable margin, and she could smell what most people would miss.
So she came out from behind the counter, picked Steiner up, and dumped him in an empty seat. "Stay" she ordered, before skating away. Her ears and tail, swishing softly behind her and looking like the fluffiest thing in the world, made it rather obvious that she was the wolf part of the great teaching wolf. She came back out from the back room a minute later with a cup of tea and a small cake. They were both blended with her more powerful restorative herbs, designed to kick the arse out of any illness that he could be suffering from, and in turn getting a smell of an ill person. "Drink, eat. And hello. Mirja, I'm the wolf you are looking for for teaching. Although, I don't get what you mean by 'true' Master. The whole, true thing is stupid. True speed, true strength, true baking. It is an insult to everyone else, claiming that their skills are fake. When they are not. It is just a smaller degree of skill due to less age or effort" She told him, staring at him with rather creepy eyes. Both iris and pupil were a startling silver.
Artist: N/A - Song: Relaxing Cafe Music - Word Count: 1,114
When he had heard of the "great teaching wolf" many different thoughts had gone through his head about the identity of the person in question. His mind instantly jumped to the image of a strong, ferocious manly man who could cleave people in two with little to no thought behind it, and that when he met this man he would be intimidated instantly by his presence. The second that he met Mirja, he didn't assume much of the young looking female wolf, but in his mind he knew that his original image of who the "great teaching wolf" was, were destroyed, instead replaced with images of the lean, mean fighting machine who had forcefully picked him up, dumped him in a chair, and told him to stay. "So this is what it must feel like to be a puppy...", Steiner said to no one in particular as he sat there by himself at the table looking around at the customers who were now looking at him. He felt a tad bit of embarrassment at being handled in the way he had, but none the less he was sure that other's had been treated in the same way. After all, he had just barged into this place looking for her, and she probably had better things to do than babysit a powerless guy like himself.
When she returned with a cup of tea and a cake, Steiner wondered just what she thought he was here for. Maybe she thought he was another customer, after all a powerless guy him seeking knowledge from a master such as herself was probably laughable at best, but none the less he intended to make his intentions known to the Wolf as soon as he could. As he opened his mouth to speak as she sat the tea and cake in front of him, she silenced him before he could speak, and began to receive a tongue lashing for the comments he had made earlier. He listened to her talk about how the "true" in his statement earlier was distasteful to other people who were with less skill and merely lacked experience. He found it quite inspiring that she was a person like this, someone with so much power who didn't look down on the people who had less experience or less skill. For a moment there was an awkward silence between the two of them as Steiner's aqua colored eyes met with Mirja's silver eyes. Steiner nodded his head finally, closing his eyes as he reached for the cup of tea on the table and casually drank from it. The aroma was strong and the flavor indeed matched the aroma, but none the less he would drink it after all she had offered it to him in the first place, and who was he to decline such hospitality.
"I meant no offense, I would like to apologize first, and foremost for what I said earlier. I may have gotten ahead of myself and was quite a bit excited to finally receive some formal training from someone who wasn't a paid military man.", Steiner spoke with poise and the tea which he had been drinking seemingly made him feel a great deal better. The sickness inside of him seemingly slipping away with each passing second as the tea began to work on him much like a fast acting pharmaceutical drug, but much stronger. "I would never in a million years look down upon anyone, I mean look at me? I'm no where near half of the people in Vastime's level and even more so...", Steiner stopped speaking as his eyes lowered. He grabbed the piece of cake and took a big bite of it, chewing it diligently before finally looking at Mirja with an air of resignation. "I will understand if you don't want to train me. I'm not too strong and ever since my powers were ripped out of me I've been experiencing great pain. Also, I've insulted every one who strives to power without even truly thinking before I act...I'm such an idiot.", he said reaching into his pocket to retrieve his wallet with some money in it.
"Just tell me how much I owe you and I will be out of your hair. I'm sorry if I wasted your time.", Steiner said in frustration, but it was clear he wanted to get stronger. He was determined to train twice as hard to make up for his ignorance and his slighting of everyone and if that meant training into the long night hours then so be it! "Do you know anywhere I can train, I'm gonna sweat out all my weakness and ignorance.", Steiner said this looking Mirja dead in the face. His face displayed the emotion of a man who had spent many a year training to improve only to reach a brick wall that he couldn't climb over or break down. Yet, he was still determined to train, even if his powerless human body could only get so strong, he would still try to improve upon it, and get stronger. That was his level of determination and if Mirja could even see an ounce of the willpower and the heart that Steiner had, she would understand the type of person he was. He wasn't a quitter, he had a mission, and he wasn't going to allow his own weaknesses to slow him down.
The path of the hero, after all, wasn't laden with gum drops and ice cream. It was a path covered in the bones of those that failed to live up to those ideals or were broken by the madness in the world. Steiner walked this path every day, even in his current state of sickness, Steiner's resolution to be a hero, and to have no regrets for walking that path was what got him up in the morning. He trained hard and he studied harder to walk this path than most people with powers did and it was because he was powerless that he did so. He had no crutch to lean on, if he wasn't skilled enough or smart enough he would die and he was willing to die for that ideal at a second's notice. That was the man that Steiner was. He casually reached into his wallet and placed some money on the table. "For what it is worth I once again apologize. You do look like someone who is really strong and I really want to learn from you, but I also don't want to sully your name by being an ignorant disciple.", Steiner said calmly as he finished the tea in front of him with a satisfied sigh.
Mirja sat down to listen to him and quickly grew more annoyed at him. He was like Henrex, and being reminded of Henrex pissed her off. The effort it took to keep the Beast of Gevaudan from rearing it's head meant that she missed most of what he was saying. It wasn't a major problem, Hvit filled her in on the basics, and so when he was done, Mirja stood up and - using Wundang-an-han to make sure she didn't break his face or snap his neck - punched him in the chops. It was a fast punch, and a sudden punch, so unless the man had some sort of trick, he would be thumped.
"Idiot. Stupid, brainless, foolish idiot! To say 'I will fail' is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Whatever you try in life, if you believe you will fail, then you have already failed. You should never believe yourself a failure, believe in yourself and drive forward to succeed at everything you attempt. Temporary setbacks are part of life, but if you allow that to become permanent and believe that you have failed, then you have. The World is created by your thoughts and desires, so be mindful of them" She told him, before picking him up like he was no more than a single potato, and carrying him out of the shop, changing the sign to closed as she did. Sucked that she had to ditch on such a busy day, but this idiot needed headbutting mentally.
For a moment, he would be shown what it would be like to have the power that Mirja had, as she crossed town in a handful of seconds to get to the Training Ground. Such eminent speed was quite impressive, after all. And despite hitting near mach eight, the wind resistance was negligible, and for a moment there seemed to be a bubble around them. And then she dumped him in the center of the training ground and scowled at him. "Sit down. And think. Think of your best memory, the brightest, most brilliant thing you have in your mind. Find the thing that can drive you onwards regardless of the situation, find the thing that, when lying in a field with two broken legs and one eye missing, you can think on for the motivation to get up and go find help, instead of just staying, and dying" She ordered, looming over him and not being her usual calm and serene self, but Steiner had irritated her.
Artist: Efisio Cross - Song: All Heroes Suffer - Word Count: 1,393
Steiner had always been a man with impressive reflexes and in truth he had spent a long time honing them and training them to become exceptional tools for his own style of fighting. You see, Steiner had never been a strong man and though he was toned, and had the physical capability to fight with foes much stronger than himself by using his skill-set, he was still no match for beings of exceptional strength. Steiner had thought speed his ally and for a while that had been true. Until today. Steiner's reflexes instinctively tried to move his head out of the way, but instead he found himself receiving a high octane and quite shocking punch to his jaw line that would cause him to spin momentarily in surprise at just how much wallop this wolf woman had behind her fists. It even caused him to spit out a bit of the cake that he had been munching on moments before, a young couple gave him the death glare as they were now covered in a bit of saliva, and cake.
Mirja then gave him a verbal lashing in quite a harsh tone, calling him a few names before beginning to deliver a well welcomed message of encouragement in the form of brash words. He listened intently to what she had to say, much like he did with everyone he met, but this time he seemed to absorb it. Accepting it fully with out a single regret in listening to someone who so avidly believed in what they were saying and had probably walked a path of great difficulty to get to where they were at. This form of talking to gave Steiner a bit of hope for his own future, inside he knew that if he could believe in anything as half as much as Mirja believed in herself then maybe he could do something with himself, but it was after the tongue lashing that Steiner received humiliation. He was picked up much like a sack of potatoes being brought to the kitchen to be cooked for a good meal and then carried toward the door as Mirja closed up shop. Once again, Steiner felt the death glares of a few people who were now forced to abandon their food and drinks because of him.
" What are you...woah!", Steiner didn't finish his sentence as he was dragged through town at an unbelievable speed, things blending together in a blur as they did so. Though it felt like they were moving at incredible speeds, he didn't feel much drag, nor much resistance from the air around them. It felt as if Mirja had some how created a pocked of normalized air around herself that merely cut through the surrounding air to allow her an unresistant dash through the city. To him, he wondered what it was like to have so much power, and even more so why someone with so much power wasn't out saving people or using their powers to win fights against those with wicked intents in their hearts. Why was Mirja running a cafe? He supposed it suited her just fine and she probably enjoyed it in some fashion, but to him if he had this level of power he would be running around the world saving as many people as he possibly could. That went without question for him, but what was he to do? He was a powerless being with out any powers of his own to show for all those painful years spent training, all that abuse, and all of that pain he had gone through had yielded him a few natural gifts, but nothing in the ball park of what Mirja was doing right now.
Mirja was like a Goddess of speed, tearing through the city as if it were a stroll in the park, and it was impressive. In that same vein it didn't take them long to reach the training ground that Mirja used to train her pupils and Steiner was once again humiliated by being tossed to the floor, literally dumped on to the grassy fields. Steiner let out an "oomph" before falling face first into the ground, but instead of anger he felt a great deal of shame in being treated as he was. He had trained hard and had traveled a long way to get here only for the "great teaching wolf" he had heard about to treat him like some snot nosed kid. No, Steiner had done so much with so little and yet it didn't matter to the Wolf in front of him. It didn't matter that he had fought ten, thirty, or a hundred Hollows with everything that he had at his disposal. Mirja could do that in a blink of an eye, he thought, and probably wouldn't even break a sweat. That is when she began to coach him a bit, making him feel more like a child with each, and every passing second that she talked down to him with a look of irritation.
Steiner had heard the "Will to Survive" speech a lot and he had lived through his fair share of near death situations. Did Mirja know that? Could she tell with her sharp senses just how many times Steiner had taken to the field of battle with no idea if he was going to make it back alive? Did she know that ever since he was a young boy he had trained to survive the physical and mental abuse provided by his parents? Or better yet, even if she knew those things did she even care? "Do you want to know what helps me get back up when my body tells me to quit Mirja? Fine...I will tell you.", Steiner directly defied her by moving himself from the ground and standing to look her in the face.
It was his first act of showing her backbone and in a way he was intimidated, but a part of him knew he had to earn her respect. She already had his, now it was time for him to earn her respect by telling him what drives him to keep going. "It isn't a memory that drives me...sure I could gush about the first person I saved or the nice time I spent with a girl who cried for me...but that isn't what make me get up with my legs broken, my ribs cracked, and my eye missing from my head. No...what drives me is my will to become somebody who can stop others from dealing with the shit that I dealt with. I didn't have an easy time growing up...not that you would care, but that gave me fire...that gave me passion to make myself stronger so that other people wouldn't have to deal with what I have had to deal with. I get you may think I'm some idiot from someplace that you could care less about, but I am not here to play games or jump through hoops...I'm here to train. I'm here to become the hero that this planet deserves because this place is fucked up on a monumental level and you can sock me again for good measure...knock me to the floor if you like, drag me around by jacket, and hell you could probably kill me. Because I am on a path that I want to walk and if that path leads me to train with you so be it, but if it doesn't...I'm gonna keep walking around and make my own way. Because that is who I am and that will never change.", Steiner stared her dead in her eyes with his aqua blue eyes never faltering and unblinking.
He didn't know what she would think of his defiance or his declaration, but to start a student/teacher bond, both of them had to be on the same page. Both of them had to understand what made each other tick. He had learned a bit about her philosophical approach and now she knew a bit about him. The ball was in her court now and he hoped she wouldn't react with disdain to his display. After all, if she could move this fast casually he didn't want to see her in a more serious setting. Or maybe he did?
Uhh, Monologuing! Mirja pondered the pros and cons of pulling his head off just to get him to stop with his heroic spiel but that would not go down with Hayden well so she just got a play by play from Hvit. Apparently, he was a lot more astute than Henrex, or she had become a lot less subtle with her true nature since they met. Either way, he clocked on that Mirja didn't give a crap about his before life, pretty dam quickly. Good for him, have a fishy stick. It would make all of this so much easier and quicker.
He was so cute as well. Wanted to become strong so that he could save others from suffering, to be the usual hero type, which was nice. She was going to crush his dreams, and leave him destitute, but it was nice. "So, you want to be a hero. That's cool. You'll dart about the world, stopping villians, righting wrongs, saving the innocent. And then stopping villians who were the innocent last week. Getting tricked by people into crushing what looks to be an evil gang only to find out they are people working for the freedom of people, the man who just manipulated you an evil despot. You misjudge a situation and kill an innocent that had just managed to gain the upper hand.
How long can you live with the weight of your failures? Because you will. Nobody is perfect, everybody fails. How long can you save people from themselves and fight those you once saved? Ten years? Fifty? A hundred? It's a gallant task to want to help people, but you need to be prepared for what comes with it. Can you handle the ever growing chains of your desire to be hero to an entire world?"
Artist: N/A - Song: Confidence - Word Count: 1,016
After she finished speaking her mind and telling him what lay before him, Steiner thought about things a bit before replying to her. To be honest it wasn't from him rethinking his life-goal or him turning his back on his ambition. In fact, Steiner still very much wanted to be a hero, and protect the weak and somebody who he had just met wasn't going to challenge his ideology and make him doubt his pursuit of his dream. No, Steiner had paused because he wanted to think of the proper response to Mirja. To simply state yes was not enough to make her understand his dream or understand his vision. He could tell she didn't really care for his monologue even though he was being earnest and honest with his answers. After all, the first step in bonding between a master and a new student was understanding where they each stood.
And Steiner stood very clearly where he was and he was happy to be standing on the side of the fence that he was. No amount of treachery or failures were going to stop him from doing what was right and trying his best to protect people who needed to be protected. "I suppose yes would be the simplest answer, but that doesn't really give your response justice does it?", Steiner queried as he looked upon the wolf that stood before him with a confident look in his eyes. She had laid out what could happen in the future for him, of what sort of toll the life style he was leading would give him if he kept pursuing this task, and not once had Steiner felt disheartened or dis-enthused about his choices. He knew in a world where people abused their powers to do what they wanted, there was always someone like him to be the counter balance, and that he was a necessity that could not simply be thrown away by mere words alone.
"I suppose the more complex answer has to do with not backing down regardless of what people say or do.", Steiner said honestly as he tried to read her facial reaction as well as he could. "I started walking this path when I was young, I got abused, and treated poorly and when you deal with that and see that happening around you...well you just can't sit and watch it happen you know?", once again he was honest and to the point about how he felt about things. The young man had grown up through such harsh conditions, beatings, stabbings, and verbal abuse was just a normal day for the man who wanted to be a hero. Yet, he didn't let those negative family bonds destroy his dream and what he hoped he could accomplish in the years to come. It was in spite of that negativity that Steiner had rose above the bindings of a horrible youth to become what he was at that very moment.
"Besides, no one said being a hero was going to be a walk in the park. Hell, no dream is perfect. Still, that doesn't change what is right, and what is wrong...and I'm tired of seeing the bad guy walk away with the win.", Steiner said politely as he crossed his arms across his chest. He had nothing to hide from Mirja, regardless of how she viewed his dream. Whether it be silly to her or just some child's dream in her eyes, he didn't care. No, Steiner wanted to protect people, and he knew that in the end of things that meant he would have to fight the naysayers and the violent evils that crossed this world. Sometimes he would mistakes, sometimes he would lose people he loved, and other times the very people he would save would become the people he would have to fight in the future. Such was the nature of the messed up world they lived in and even more so that fact alone was just another reason that Steiner continued to press forward with his ideals and his hopes for a bright future.
It had become something more than protecting people or selfishly wanting to hone his skills to protect himself. It had become about making a change for the better and to be honest he didn't know where to start, but stagnating in one place talking about if he had the resolve to follow his path was not going to do anything for him or anyone. "So will you train me or not, because if you outright refuse to train somebody who is going to give their all to do the right thing and follow their dream with no looking back...well then I can find some one else.", he once again spoke clearly and with confidence. It could have been a combination of the tea and the delicous cake, but Steiner was feeling more and more like himself from before he got sick. The pain had faded and his body seemingly had almost made a full recovery in a matter of minutes. "So...will you help me?", Steiner said as he reached his hand out as a formal sign, a hand shake would be respectful in this situation he supposed.
He wondered of course just what the wolf's thoughts would be on his willingness to risk everything on his dream and though he wasn't too worried of being judged harshly, he did wish to train with her. In fact her willingness to question him was a good thing in his mind, sure he would keep pursuing his passions, but to have her question him meant she was inquisitive in some regard as to what type of person he was. Hopefully she would find him a good student because he truly didn't wish to spend all of his time being a self-taught fighter and he knew if he was ever going to take the next step that he would have to find a professional to learn from. This wolf was that professional. He just hoped that she thought she was the right one to be teaching him.
Steiner was slow to respond, there was a lot to take in after all, but then he eventually spoke and said yes. That he could hold the guilt of a thousand, thousand unjust murders as he progressed down the path of the hero. He said it didn't do the question justice, but she didn't need justice, she was long since past that part. "I don't need-" she started, but he carried on talking. More depressive exposition that pissed her off. She just wanted one person without an existential crisis or a depressive backstory or their bloody puppy getting crushed under the wheels of the school bus. This world pissed her off. There was ample reason for annihilation.
Listening to him, he was exceptionally well driven. Which was sad, those people fell the hardest when it came down to the weight of the world. "I can see talking to you is not going to change anything. It would be like regaling you with stories of World War Three. No matter how effluent of speech I was, you would still not really be there. So I am just going to let you figure it out yourself and then be in my cafe for cake and tea. However, until that point, you have demonstrated a very solid degree of determination. So I want you to focus that in your mind. Grab your desire of Heroism and fill your mind with it. And then let it go into the abyss of nothing. Discard it from your mind" and because she would probably get more whining if she didn't, she told him the second part. He had already done the test, after all. "And then, I want you to use the sudden influx of....you know I don't even know what it is, but it's very obvious. You'll know exactly what I am talking about. Use that to tie your memories to your body, lash them down and make them power you physically"
Artist: Maria Rubel - Song: Infinite Strength - Word Count: 711
He looked at her for a while, he could tell for the most part something about him irritated her a bit, and it could possibly be what he wanted to do with his life. She was trying to dissuade him and it irritated him. He had been smiling this whole time, but that smile had disappeared over the course of the conversation that they had been having. She viewed the world negatively, at least it seemed that way to him, and had tried her damnedest to get him to rethink his life long goal. She had used thoughts of betrayal, the weight of innocent lives being taken, and the potential of becoming a jaded cynical man to try and swerve him away from being a hero. He wondered just what had happened to her to think in such a way, just how much she had lost was not clear to him, and he knew that though whatever had happened to her had happened, it did not mean that every single person pursuing this path ended up like that. He wanted to ask her what happened to her to make her think in such ways, but he wouldn't be able to do so as the wolf began to speak about what he needed to do.
He remained silent, focused on the words she was uttering to him, and trying his best to absorb the necessary actions that he needed to take to do as she said. After she finished, Steiner stood silently for a few seconds trying to wrap his mind around what was suppose to be accomplished by what she had said. She wanted him to turn his heroism into power, but to him that didn't make much sense. In what way was he not already using heroism as a power? He blinked a few times and then used a breathing technique that he had learned from a book in a library he had once frequented back in Karakura. He used this technique to steady his mind and knelt down on the ground, much like a knight from medieval times, and then allowed his eyes to close. He focused on what heroism meant to him and moreover just how important it had been in shaping his life and making him the man that he was today.
It was silent as the wind blew and all thoughts of heroism seemed to bundle up into a single ball inside of his mind, everything that heroism was to him was there, and in then in one act he let it slip away like a feather on the wind. He had done as Mirja had asked and in that instance he felt empty, unburdened, and it felt...wrong. He didn't like being this empty and through pure force of will he would not be this empty for long. His want for heroism, his need to protect people, and save the weak became tethered to his will. He breathed in and then out as he used that force of will to tether that to him. He didn't know how to make it power him and in that moment he opened his eyes to look at Mirja in confusion, he felt like there was power that he just didn't know how to fully realize or manifest. "I feel the power...but what do I do with it?", he asked breaking the silence feeling some sort of buzz from some unknown energy associated with his desire to commit heroic deeds.
The thought of having this power from a memory, from a desire, was something joyous for the hero, and a smile spread across his face as he looked at the wolf. "Teach me what to do with this! It feels great!", Steiner said in absolute bliss. It had been so long since the young man had felt anything close to powerful. He had lost so much of himself a year and a half ago, but right there in the training field he finally felt like he had made some kind of progress, and that he was finally making strides in the right direction. Still, he didn't know what to do with this "buzzing" power inside of him that was looking for someway to manifest itself. Hopefully Mirja would have answers.
Mirja waited for a few moments, sighing to herself internally. She really hoped that Steiner would be able to survive. But, having had the Abyss come out and stab her with needles and scalpels and really vicious drugs. Her blood was fire and so was her libido, both of which sucked. And now they were so ingrained that even her Territorial Tulpa couldn't fix it. So she was stuck with it. And that really sucked, but such was life. He'd have to become someone's pet project before realizing the life ahead of him if he wanted to be hero.
And then, finally, Steiner managed to nail the working of the Array and was feeling the buzzing within him. Few had such energetic reactions to it, but he seemed like the kind of guy that would notice the power of the Earth-Defying Array a lot more than most. When you had a million dollars, it was harder to notice the addition of another thousand, than it was when you had three dollars. "Well, you don't actually do anything with that energy directly. That's yours to keep. Go mad. And if that is what you want to take away then that is fine, but I do have something else for you. This is sort of the same, but it's more physical and kind of abstract" she told him, before stepping up and spawning six thick, black arms from her body. Four from her shoulders and two from under her breasts.
"The Tulpa. This is the manifestation of your thoughts. Your desire for heroism will be brought out through this. Don't worry if you don't understand the form. Thoughts are not as coherent as you believe them to be. And like flexing a muscle, you just have to focus on the best, brightest, most powerful thought in your mind, and you will spawn your Tulpa. Usually, this requires a great ritual, twenty people, clarity-inducing drugs, and the whole nine yards. But what I just taught you is a sort of battery for that. All you have to do is believe in yourself. And it shall appear"