Stage 96: Water versus Stone.The idea of fighting one of your teachers is more than daunting; it's frightening. Unfortunately, he's forcing the issue. He's stronger than Akari, but he might not be tougher; you couldn't tell how badly you might have injured him with your punch, mostly because he literally shattered the skin of your sapphire hand with his weapon trying to block you. Pain doesn't make for a good information source outside of “don't do that.”Currently you're up in a tree over a clearing filled with branches and leaves you cut from the grove you are in. Akari is also in a tree nearby, while the Stone dragonne Ryuu Sakomu is moving through the earth beneath you somewhere. You have been explicitly warned that the wood you covered the ground with isn't a threat to him unless you actually use it as a weapon; otherwise he'll simply plow through it since it's no longer truly living. You have the blade gifted to you by Ryuu Wakaba, Yama-no-Musume-no-Okurimono, and she's very thirsty for blood. He's a weapon-smith though, so it wouldn't do to presume he doesn't have weapons equally powerful in his arsenal, possibly even more so given his status as Oba-san's bodyguard.Another plus is that your family – almost every single one of them – prayed to you, and you've been reinvigorated, your Shen returned to full strength. It's not something you can rely on, and you suspect there may be a price or a cost for it somewhere along the way, but for now, you're going to need every edge you can get. Such as that two hundred years stuck in an alien Barrier, trying to return home. You learned a few very nasty tricks in there. You also have a lot of trust in Okurimono-sama; it stands to reason a Stone dragonette's blade would be built to withstand the attacks of others as well as her wielder's strength.
>>42718141And finally, you have Akari with you. You'd take her at your side over any number of magical weapons and tools. Not that you're going to give a single one of those up in this fight. You trust her, but you're not suicidal either. Scanning the ground with Water Eyes, it occurs to you that you haven't explained to Akari-niji-chan that you're going to take him into a Barrier. You ~could~ try and exclude her but she's just break in, and probably kick your ass after she kicked Sakomu's. Which has a certain appeal, now that you're immortal, actually. They don't have to be quite as careful in bed....ANYWAYS. Sakomu was avoid Barrier Combat. You're certain it has to do with the changes he knows you've gone through; it makes you an unpredictable problem, and you've already managed to surprise him once. Unfortunately the stolid Stone dragonne isn't going to underestimate you twice. You trained under him, and you wouldn't underestimate you after the first blow either.  Put up the Barrier and exclude her anyways. Put up a Barrier and take a time out while he breaks in. Put up a Barrier and immediately enter Barrier Combat.  Put up a Barrier and wait to see how he reacts. See what he's going to try, and the put up the Barrier.
>>42718165>Put up a Barrier and wait to see how he reacts.
>>42718165Wooo, Ryukuza!Uh, fuck if I know.> Put up a Barrier and take a time out while he breaks in.
>>42718165> Put up a Barrier and take a time out while he breaks in.
Twitter: @XsQuestmistressPrevious Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/42578698/Interlude: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/37879167/Threads in Chronological Order, including writeups by XS : http://pastebin.com/Z53TyK0Nor search for Title: Ryukuza on SuptgBarrier Combat Guide: http://pastebin.com/rZLwzvGxAme-no-Omukade-no-Musume – Ryukusa's mukade possessed wakizashi; a kami. “Daughter of my Centipede of Rain.”Yama-no-Musume-no-Okurimono - Gift of the Daughter of the Mountains, a kami nodachi given to Ryukusa by Wakaba.Matagama-no-Shitoki - Kiku-chan's gift, to protect you from other's magic.Nyoi-ju, the Wishing Jewel which gives enlightenment.
>>42718165>[x] Put up a Barrier and immediately enter Barrier Combat. Shouldn't let him comfortably control the fight.
Kiku is 5' 1" for ever and ever. Lesbian submissive.Akari is 5' 3", and has another few inches to grow. Sexuality is weird, switch, cosplayer.Yui is 5' 6" and will only grow due to circumstances beyond her control. Dyke, switch.Kiki is 5' 6", and is at full growth. Bisexual bottom.Ryukusa is tall at 5' 8", but this becomes 6' in her true form. She is fully grown. Lesbian top.Er Yin is the tallest at 5' 10" and is fully grown. Lesbian dominant.Jinyuu is 5' 7" but persistently hovers an extra three inches above the ground or floor because of her nature as a seer. Straight.Hinata-hakase is 6' 3". Sexuality is terrifying.Hidesato is 5' 5". Straight.Kushinada is 5' 8". Straighter.Taisho Ryoga is 5' 9". Who knows.Hyun Chisato is 5' 4”, and is fully grown. Lolicon with plausible deniability.Rie is 8” tall or 5' 5”, and is fully cat. Her sexuality is cat.Hagyu Genso is 12' 5” standing upright. He is by and large gay.Mizumi Shoko is 7' 2”, is fully grown. Bisexual top.Yuuhi is 4'11” and is fully grown. Yuuhi a cute.Tokei Isusangi, Inau-kun is 5' 3” and still confused.Reiha is 5' 5 1/2”, and is milfy.Peta is 3' 2”. Peta is \>.</ aka Her Most Imperial Highness Patanjali Piri Yokuhime Kuronogitsune PaDetective-san, aka Mugon Chujo is fully grown at 5'11”, and straight.Kenji Soomi is 5' 4” and gothic lolita.Musumi Kanako is 5' 6.5”, and is pretty straight.Hebiki Naoto is 5' 9” and belligerently omnivorous, sexually. You hope only sexually.Kodachi Umetsume is 5' 4”, and fully grown. Practicing asexual.Melinda Blitzenberg is 5'10”, fully grown and horrible. Maybe confused.Ryuu Wakaba is a head shorter and also deceased.Margaret Steinhausen is gratefully dead.
Hi, XS! How are you?Ryukuza Quest! Yoohoo!>>42718165> Put up a Barrier and wait to see how he reacts.> See what he's going to try, and the put up the Barrier.
>>42718141>Oba-san's bodyguard.Would have thought its a bit early to warrant someone like that, though I guess this means sadly we won't be seeing the family enjoying some much needed downtime for a long time...
>>42718307He's here on his own, or at least he's not here because Oba-shit want us back or dead just yet.He seems to take upon himself to destroy renegades of the Clan, because he wants stability.
>>42718165> Put up a Barrier and take a time out while he breaks in.I presume this means also letting Akari in first.
I don't like this "cost of prayers" thing. I mean, it's certainly not something only Ryukusa will have to pay
>>42718346Doesn't change anything I said though...
>>42718417Yes, it does change something. If he's the only one directly after us, we can get downtime after we dealt with him.
>>42718564>after we dealt with himSomeone of his calibre means that this fight won't be a short thing, nor will we be able to enjoy much of anything for a while afterwards, which doesn't even begin to address merely getting reunited with our family in the aftermath of this fight
>>42718625Getting reunited with our family will be somewhat easy due to Yui coming to help, and Ryukusa can have and had enjoyed downtime even after a tough fight.
>>42718735I thought that having Yui come to help after the prayer didn't get enough votes last time.
[X] Put up a Barrier and take a time out while he breaks in.Putting him in a Barrier gives you a large number of advantages, but he gains a number as well. While training in Barrier Combat is all but impossible, every spirit-child is taught about Barriers in the most basic manners. They're the next step over from the world of mortals and the world of spirits, and within one magic works much more easily and....well, you'd say safely, but there's a whole lot of danger in some magic. You've experienced that from both sides. More importantly, it gives you access to more abilities and strengths that it does him, in the form of surprise and things he has no way to plan for. Improvisation is not the strong point of a Stone dragonne, but a warrior might be another matter. Matagama-no-Shitoki assists you, and you send out a smaller barrier than the last few; enough to double the size of the grove you mutilated. The sensation of the Barrier sliding around him is a little strange, and you feel his irritation momentarily, and echo out of the Void. Akari-niji-chan is alarmed at first, but her voice calms significantly as she sees he is not in the Barrier with you. “Aniki! He....ah, sorry, aniki. What is the plan?” She drops out of the tree and quickly clears a place to look though the ground, using her Stone Eyes to check where he might be. “It won't be long for him to enter, if he chooses to do so.” She looks up at you, her eyes softly glowing in the dark of the Barrier. “Well, that depends on you, somewhat. What would you do if you were facing us in a Barrier?” You already asked her about her techniques, but this is different.
>>42718803“Well, I would not wait long. Patience is all well and good if you and your opponent are n the same place. He has no idea what we'll be preparing for him.” She looks back into the ground, and you can see the faintest hints of worry on her otherwise stoic face. Water Eyes tell you as much, but your familiarity with her tells you more. Akari is no less bothered by the idea of fighting your teacher than you are. “Against me, the only choices would be Scales and Claws or Strength and Movement; against you, he would be best with Impenetrable and Inscrutable.” The blush that comes to your cheeks is easily controlled, but you're not proud of being so horrifically effective at destroying the minds and spirits of your enemies. On the other hand, it has been really, really effective. It's a very confusing sort of situation.“Against us both, Strength and movement would be the technique that would serve him best. Two on one, and we are both good fighters, so it plays to his best strengths.”“The only thing is that he has weapons. But that is similar to my Sword and Style, your Strength and Movement, right? So....it might be a Strength and Weapon, or Power and Weapon.” Whatever he used previously was definitely a valued weapon, possibly a lesser kami, like yours. “Would you use a named weapon against us? No, that would be a bad idea.” You shattered his last one, and-
>>42718811The thrum of your Barrier being struck from without is unsurprising, except perhaps in how quickly he decided to come in after you. Some discussion is a good idea, but you don't actually have to decide just yet. Suggest she use her strongest technique and you match that one. Suggest you both use the most powerful techniques. Coordinate based on the styles of the techniques rather than the strength of them. Trust in his clearly misplaced but obvious tendency towards honor and face him with Scales and Claws on both your parts. Let her choose her technique after he's chosen his.
>>42718846[x] Coordinate based on the styles of the techniques rather than the strength of them.
>>42718846> Let her choose her technique after he's chosen his.Would give us the theoretical advantage, and also mean likely little reason to worry about Akari in the fight.
Hebiki Akari's Barrier Combat Techniques >>Impenetrable and Inscrutable.You are stone given life, unbreakable and invulnerable. Your mind and heart are the darkest secret the earth can keep.>>Scales and Claws.Your scales are as sharp as razors, and your claws rend the very fabric of of the world, oh dragon.>>Stone and Earth.The earth itself will swallow your enemies, and it's bones and teeth will rise up to smite your foes as your Elemental nature demands.>>Strength and Movement.You are the immovable object, the unstoppable force. The strength of the world is infinite in scope and marvelous in breadth.Ryuu Ryukusa'a Barrier Combat Techniques>>Razor Wit and Cold Heart.Physical attacks are nothing compared to the malicious words and cruel thought. Pain and suffering are meaningless when you have no heart.>>Scales and Claws.You are a dragon; your claws can slice through steel and your scales are impenetrable. The air and the water are your battlefields.>>Storm and Wind.The purest form of your elemental self - the power of wind and water to utterly destroy all before you.>>Style and Sword.You are swift and your panache unmatchable. Your weapons are invincible and you can bring down the stoutest of foes with grace.The Deadliest Smile>Your love is pure, unassailable, and generous, even in battle. All that would harm it shall be destroyed utterly if they will not yield.
>>42718846> Coordinate based on the styles of the techniques rather than the strength of them.
>>42718846>>42718846>Examine the feng shui of the battlefield with the Void and determine which style would be the best to take advantage of the environment. He is of Stone, after all, and there is dozens of living trees with their branches at our disposal.Fighting him with the Wood around us seems to be the safest.Do NOT trust his tendency toward honor. He is a pragmatist first and an honorable warrior second. After all, he sneak-attacked us earlier
>>42719003Is this feasible XS? Seems like a decent idea but dunno.
>>42718953Do we vote for those right now?If so, I think Style and Sword would be good. We might have an easier time with Razor Wit or with the Deadliest Smile, but as a swordsman, his first instinct will be to focus on our kami weapon, not on all the surrounding Wood we can also use to wound him, not to mention all what we learned in Lovecraft Space.Beside, beating a fighter of his caliber at his own skill would be epic
>>42719003Wouldn't that only have worked if we are still outside the Barrier?
>>42719021We probably should thanks the spirits of the trees and compensate them for the damages, in any case
>>42718846> Coordinate based on the styles of the techniques rather than the strength of them
>>42719075Always wise to do in any event.
>>42718846> Coordinate based on the styles of the techniques rather than the strength of them.I don't really know which is best, but this seems good at least
>>42719061>They are reminders more than necessary votes.>>42719003>Added as an option to work towards - though it is worth noting, chi does tend to flow around Stone as well as other objects, so using feng shui works as long as he doesn't directly counter it.>42719075>It was a given.
>>42719140Thanks for the clarifications.
>>42718846I dunno, it's all about predicting what he'll do and I'm sure other anons picked up more than me about his personality. 2v1 we should be at an advantage as long as we can match our styles well with what he picks, hopefully. As long as the wait-and-see approach isn't too slow.
[X] Coordinate based on the styles of the techniques rather than the strength of them.[+] Work with the world around you and with what you do best with each other; the Tao will be your guide this time.You know, while your not much of a philosopher – in as much as any Water dragonette can avoid being one by their nature – and you really haven't that much of a head for religion, it strikes you that regardless of what technique he finally chooses, it's going to be based on his element and his nature. You might not have a solid grasp of it, but he is, and cannot help being anything but, a Stone dragonne. So in the end it will be about strength and invulnerability against your more vulnerable bodies. With that in mind, you close your eyes and open your Void Eyes.Despite the appearances, this place isn't entirely naturally grown. Your haphazard cutting of branches only serves to make it more obvious that this is a replanted forest, and that the trees are a little too orderly, a little too organized in how they were placed. Nonetheless, they've been allowed to grow mostly unmolested otherwise, so you can easily track the flow of Chi through the area, along with the strength of the trees and the lay of the land. The earth below is not as strong as it could be, but the density of the trees gives it strength, supports it. Knocking more than a few down will seriously degrade the integrity of the gentle slopes and hillsides.The trees also serve another purpose: platforms for movement. Despite their strength, neither Akari nor Sakomu is going to be able to knock one down directly no matter how hard they hit it. That means the trees are going to be useful to both of them in terms of enhancing their movement. You, of course, can work around and through them easily, both in flight and without. The difference is you CAN knock the trees down through main strength if you used Wind and Water or your left arm to support your strength. It's an interesting situation.
>>42719788While you had planned to make more of a ceremony of this, the heavy thrum of another strike against your kami-enhanced barrier warns you that time is almost gone again. “Ryuu Akari.” She looks up at you as you land lightly on the branches she moved out of the way. “You are my second in command, my good Left Hand as Ryuu Yui is my right. You will command in my stead, take counsel in my place, and never hesitate to inform me of my errors and misdeeds.” You pull one of your hair-pins out of ~Nowhere~ and quickly bend and mold it into a choker similar to that of Yui's. Not the same, but very close, sapphire and silver gleaming in the grey-lit Barrier. “If I am Shogun, so you are my Daimyo, and our family is Kuge and Samurai alike.” Aristocrats and warriors, essentially. “I may never serve the Emperor himself, but I serve an Empress, and through me, so serve you and ours. Will you accept?”She reasons out who you mean, even if you do not speak her name, and she goes to one knee before you, head bowed. Her voice is soft, and thick with emotion. “I accept, Ryuu Ryukusa, with heart and spirit as one.” You place the jewel about her neck and bend it into place – not fastening it, because it isn't meant to be a collar in this instance. But it is something just as binding.
>>42719803“All right. He's going to be using strength. Whatever his techniques are, they don't really matter – it's all about hurting us and not being hurt by us in the most basic, brutal face of it all. So we're going to use what works best here for us, regardless of his technique.” you quickly point out the facts you've discovered, including the fact that he won't be bothered by the branches you cut down, but they'd make good weapons against him. “It going to all be about the trees and the spaces between them. You two can't knock them down except from below, and I can only do so from above; I have the air, and you two have a lot of pachinko pins.” And just like that it all becomes clear to her, and she smiles. “If too many trees go down, even in the barrier, there's going to be an earthslide of some sort – the ground here isn't stable.” “I noticed that, but the roots make it unlikely he or I could do anything to move the earth without using Barrier Techniques.” “Exactly. So we're going to have to play hard and fast with quick hits. He has the most strength, but he's not as fast as we are in a close area, and that's going to be our winning strategy, I think.” “Do not fight the Tao, work with it,” she agrees and you give her an odd look. She shrugs and smiles sweetly at you. The feel of your barrier being broken is potent and harsh, and it's obvious the time for talk is done as you take to the air and she leaps into the branches.  Razor Wit and Cold Heart. (Unwise – he does far too much damage with his strength.) Scales and Claws. Storm and Wind. (Least effective against a Stone dragonne or dragonette.) Style and Sword. The Deadliest Smile (His powerful body will make using this technique hard at first.)
>>42719819> Style and Sword.Let's give it a shot.
>>42719819> Style and Sword.
>>42719819> Scales and Claws.
>>42719819> Style and Sword.This will be a clash of legend.
>>42719819 Storm and Wind.He won't understand until ir is far too late.
>>42719819>[x] The Deadliest Smile (His powerful body will make using this technique hard at first.)
>>42719938He's naturaly resistant to it, it'll give him the time to understand.>>42719977We gotta go fast
>>42720063Fast is overrated anon!Mindgames can be good too.
>>42719819Something occured to me after rereading from the beginning a while ago. We could call lightning from storms but we couldn't direct it because only Horobi could do that. But can we still call lightning? Because it's closer to the void than it is Water and it might hurt him if we can figure out how to hit him with it without calling on Horobi's power.
>>42719819>[X] Style and Sword.
>>42720136Even if it's not more effective, we should still clear this up because motherfucking lightning fuck yeah.
>>42720136>Ryukusa can call lightning from a present and active storm or from present storm clouds. It is wholly natural lightning which means it's about as obedient as a stray cat with rabies, and as predictable as a squirrel on meth. In trees you'd have to give it a really high potential strike target.
[X] Style and Sword.With Omukade-sama at your back, you take Okurimono-sama in your right hand close to the base of the hilt, and hold the blade in your left hand, right next to the hilt. While you keep most of your fingers – er, talons – upright, you press your thumb next to your pointer finger – TALON. Talon, damn it. This you curl around the edge of the blade....and pull with your right hand as you draw your left away. The bright singing noise that fills the Barrier could be a single agonizing note of pain or a wavering, tremulous note of beauty. It would definitely shatter glass, and your right hand talons are vibrating in sympathy. That single note climbs as you draw the blade past your finger and a shimming fall of dust swirls around your hand as you fling the blade up and take on the power of Style and Sword by honing the edge of Yama-no-Musume-no-Okurimono to molecular sharpness with your indestructible sapphire hand. “Akari-niji-chan, can he hear me?” Her voice trembles, even through the mist you use to cloak the locations of your voices. “I wouldn't be able to, but he probably can.” she's not yet good enough to sense vibrations from air to earth yet. She's probably not that adept at the void. You wonder if she has any capabilities in the other elements at all, but put aside that thought in favor of another.  give him his three chances one warning only no warning, no quarter try diplomacy one last time ask him how he likes serving as bodyguard to an evil sorceress
>>42720411> one warning only
>>42720411>[x] no warning, no quarterThis guy is too dangerous.
>>42720411>[X] try diplomacy one last timeOur appearance in the barrier should give him pause.
>>42720411 try diplomacy one last time> Just because he serves someone despicable doesn't mean he wasn't your sensei. Be gracious to him. ask him how he likes serving as bodyguard to an evil sorceress give him his three chances
> One warning only
>>42720411> no warning, no quarter
>>42720411> try diplomacy one last time> ask him how he likes serving as bodyguard to an evil sorceress>Be ready to give him one last chance if there is a pause in combat.Always give a chance
>>42720411>[X] ask him how he likes serving as bodyguard to an evil sorceress
[X] one warning only[+] He was once your teacher, even if he serves evil now.[+] If he wants to withdraw mid fight, consider it. You hold the blade down in an all too familiar position as you stand on nothing, your tail lashing the air slowly behind you in massive waves. It occurs to you that the long tail might be as much liability as weapon in this peculiar instance; it's something you'll bear in mind. Still, you don't feel right not giving him any chance to withdraw. It just feels wrong to not allow him the opportunity. So you speak aloud, not bothering to disguise your location.“Normally, I give several chances to call for quarter, surrender, or withdraw....but you're not like the others. So I will only ask you this once, Sakomu-sensei: will you withdraw so that we may fight on equal terms, on equal ground, for whatever cause you chose at least? I know you won't simply back down....and I can't. So at least let us arrange a proper duel, with appropriate surroundings.” You don't have high hopes for an answer. A dart flicks out of a tree, and strikes the ground some twenty feet away. Then another, still the same distance but further ahead. Another, as Akari pinpoints his location, if not his depth for you. He was circling around, but that idea seems to have faded as she cuts a few leave from the tree he is under....leaves falling as he rises.
>>42721210He emerges from the ground like a ghost, his golden eyes glowing and his body sleek and powerful, belying his strength. He drops the cleaver-like Chinese sword into nowhere and clenches his fists, ligaments and tendons cracking threateningly. You recognize it as the beginning of his Barrier Technique, rather than a threat....but it's a pretty fuckin' effective threat anyways. He steps back, one hand rising, the other close to his waist as he takes a karate stance.To your surprise he tugs at the heavy golden beads around his waist and they part at his hip. When they collapse, the reconnect at the breakpoint, becoming once more a whole circle of massive golden beads. “I must say I am surprised at you, Ryukusa-chan, offering the enemy quarter. I thought I taught you better than that.” Sinking low, you stand some 20 feet away from him. Even if he charges you can escape the initial movement. The thing that worries you most is your not seeing any of the normal danger zones with your Danger Seeing Right Eye; at least, not from him. You can see the threat lines from Akari's dart....wait, it's not 'danger', it's 'destructiveness'. And right now, he's either concealing how destructive he can be, or he's not planning to attack. Still, his words are surprising.
>>42721233“You did teach me that. A dead enemy can say nothing to anyone, be it good, bad or indifferent. And I don't see you as an enemy, only a misguided ally.” You take Okurimono-sama in both hands and slowly bring her up to your left ear, turning to the side and pointing her at his eyes in a classic iado defensive stance. Your Water Eyes blocked by his Stone eyes, it's still mighty obvious in his frown that you said something irritating. He sweeps the ring of heavy beads over his left wrist, palm turning out to you, and then you see the golden swath of destructive force emanating from him; a sweeping movement of the beads towards the ground, to send a tidal wave of deadly debris at you and obscure his movements. Something like weapons style and strength it is, as you expected. Shield and Sword Mean Nothing to Your Skill. All Things Bow to the Headman's Sword. The Sword in the Stream Parts All Before It. As the Wind Driven by the Blow, You Strike First. Bend as Wood Before All that Should Strike You.
>>42721255[x] As the Wind Driven by the Blow, You Strike First.Speed, right?
>>42721255> As the Wind Driven by the Blow, You Strike First.
>>42721255> The Sword in the Stream Parts All Before It.
>>42721255> Bend as Wood Before All that Should Strike You.
>>42721255>[x] Shield and Sword Mean Nothing to Your Skill.
>>42721255>[X] Bend as Wood Before All that Should Strike You.
>>42721550I figure the skill one is skill at least. Since it mentions it.
>>42721255>[X] Bend as Wood Before All that Should Strike You.It will be interesting to see how this choice works.
>>42721550It's the improved version of the elemental abilities in our Barrier Combat. they're all elemental based, and onced used thye don't show up until next combat. It changes from choice to choice, from wood to fire to stone, and that's as far as we've gotten. Presumably 4th is void and absolute last is water (which means it's our 5th tier and bad things are happening).
>>42721255> Shield and Sword Mean Nothing to Your Skill.
>>42721255> Bend as Wood Before All that Should Strike You.He's Stone. Having the Skill doesn't mean anything against someone who has the skill and the toughness to take it. He won't bow, he can instinctively counter Water-like techniques, and striking first won't work if we can't damage him.We need Wood.
[X] Bend as Wood Before All that Should Strike You.Sakomu draws both arms back and up, holding onto the ring of heavy golden baubles with his right hand and the other hand palm out and held even higher....he shouts, a deep, basso profondo kiai that reverberates through the grove. He drops his left arm, and swings with his right, stepping far forward and low to the ground. The beads slam into the ground before him and the earth EXPLODES in a wave that threatens to swamp you. Rather than try and cut through the massive tidal wave of rocks, dirt, and branches, you Lower your sword and fall back, traveling with the tsunami of earth-borne detritus. As it reaches you you step onto it, following it's movements like one of the branches, or the stones carries with it. Dodging trees doesn't even need to be an option; you let the wave of earth carry you around them. When the tidal wave sinks into the freshly overturned earth, you're not that much further away from him, but there's a new light in his eyes, a jut to his jaw that wasn't present before. You can see the question in his eyes, a less guarded moment as he realizes....that was no Water dragonette technique. Which is when he turns to deal with Akari hurtling at him from the side, A sweeping blow of his golden belt to smash her aside and ruin her body, the hammer of an angry kami. Leaving him wide open to you, of course.  Three Cuts to Three Centers. Palm of Broken Bone and Shattered Heart Sharpening Pencils With a Knife. Where the Eyes Are Not, Your Body Is.
>>42721730Wood this early means we lose it later. Read the barrier combat guide,Irma actually fairly complex. >>42721255 The Sword in the Stream Parts All Before It.
>>42721913> Where the Eyes Are Not, Your Body Is.
>>42721913> Three Cuts to Three Centers.Not sure what this could be. Let's find out!
>>42721913> Three Cuts to Three Centers.
>>42721913> Three Cuts to Three Centers.>>42721914But we wouldn't have access to Wood later on. Wood is only available in the first tier.>The fourth one is based on one of the five Elements, and they will be presented in order – Wood, Fire, Stone, Void, and Water.>Should her opponent survive her first onslaught, she will then be offered one less choice, usually more of the kind she did not use before and less of the kind she has, and they will be significantly more powerful than her previous choices. For example, if she were using Scale and Claws, her second tier choices against a half-demon might be Rend to the Very Bones, Coiling Scales of Sapphire and Diamonds, and Boundless Strength of the Ancestors, along with an ability of Fire instead of Wood. Needless to say, this will usually seriously fuck up an opponent while giving her much better defenses.
>>42721913> Where the Eyes Are Not, Your Body Is.Sounds perfect for taking advantage of a distraction.
>>42721913> Three cuts to three centers
>>42721913> Sharpening Pencils With a Knife.If only because I used to do it. Shit is finesse as fuck
>>42721913>[X] Three Cuts to Three Centers.Use an offensive technique now.
>>42721914Isn't it one different element per tier, be it used or not?>>42721913> Sharpening Pencils With a Knife.>Make SURE Akari is out of the way before using this technique. Remember how the fight against Hidesato and Kushinada went, when a similar move was used.Maybe I'm playing too safe with going for what is likely "attack with sharpened wooden objects", but it's the best of the selection, from what I see.Breaking him won't work, "Three Cuts" is probably related to cutting trees, and while the "Eyes" one is tempting, he has proven he can track us without much difficulties by vibration and sound only, so it most likely won't be that effective.
>>42722133>>42722038>>42722057>>42722068I'd advise against the "Three Cuts".I would bet it's related to the "cutting trees" possibility we thought about earlier.>>42721998>>42722113>>42722089He doesn't need eyes to counter us.
Really, guys, sharpened wood is more likely to do a number on him than any others.
>>42722374I don't think it has to do with cutting trees, more like 3 special spots on the body or something.
Fair enough guys, switching >>42722089To > Sharpening Pencils With a Knife.
>>42722413Stone doesn't have vulnerable vital spots. It's all about being a whole, very strudy thing
>>42721913 Sharpening Pencils With a Knife.> Be mindful of our precious treasure.
>>42721913 Sharpening Pencils With a Knife.
>>42722448>>42722483>>42722510I dunno if she'll count these, XS is probably halfway through the update by now.
>>42722471Like, remember this Stone anonimous guy? He could keep fighting despite how damaged he was, because precise strikes don't damage the rest.Stone guys are basically "your typical tricks don't work" foes. So, no precise, deadly hit for maximum damage to the vitals, no overwhelming them with storms in fury, and no breaking their mind by pin-pointing their doubts and self-loathing.
>>42722534>>42722583XS is best QM, anon.
>>42722573But remember, Ryukusa won't choose a technique that isn't capable of hurting him. It she has it as a choice, there's a good chance it will do something.
>>42722583Tally ho!Sorry, couldn't resist.
>>42722583so I revote?> Sharpening Pencils With a Knife.
>Currently tied. Help Akari? Not Help Akari?
>>42722676Mmmm...> Help Akari?
>>42722676> Not Help Akari?I trust her to be okay by herself.
>>42722676> Not Help Akari?I trust her
>>42722608She is.Thanks, XS!>>42722609Of course. But remember that "hurting" and "hurting enough" isn't the same thing.
>>42722713That's too much responsibility on one poor anon XS!
>>42722741Did you forget what the 'X' stands for, anon?Xiombarg.
>>42722741I would have voted the same.Though I'm not sure if "avoiding friendly fire" is the same as "helping"
>>42722609This, Ryukusa is Deadly, Thoughtful, and Clever.
>>42722676 Help Akari?
>>42722767Harsh mistress indeed, sheesh.
[X] Three Cuts to Three Centers.[+] Help Akari.Your nodachi's blade is almost as long as you are tall. To anyone but a Water dragonette, that would leave the blade less than useful as a weapon of finesse, much less one usable in a single hand. Fortunately, you happen to be, whatever else you have become, first and foremost a Water dragonette. As he sweeps the parallel lines of massive golden beads at Akari, she doesn't try to block or dodge or twist with the blow – she sticks her hand into the opening and twists her arm around, wrapping it in the belt. Forced to turn with her movement he swings her around, so that she doesn't tear the belt of golden orbs out of his grasp, but that plays into his technique as well.Fully intending to hurl her away from him with the force of a cyclone – which given his unnatural strength he could easily do – he neglects to consider you or your blade a threat. As he turns you allow Okurimono-sama to strike a glancing blow at the center of his forehead, the tiny nick nothing in the scheme of things. Nevertheless it steals the slightest bit of his momentum away, unbalances him that tiny bit as you slide past him through the air like a serpent through the ocean. Which is why you nick his solar plexus with the edge of your blade, no more than a paper-cut. He immediately draws breath in pain, stealing more of the strength with which he plans to hurl your niji-chan afar. You turn around, your blade sliding wide, harmless to him.
>>42722862Which is when you bury Ame-no-Omukade-no-Musume an inch deep in the center of his back as you turn, your left hand driving the blade though his nearly impenetrable skin. The agonizing pain of tiny cuts was irritating, as it is to all your kind, but blood and black poison spurts out of the wound as you turn past him. Unfortunately – or perhaps fortunately – he continues his whiling movement and your subordinate is forced to let go. You haven't much of a choice; you push away from the ground and hurl yourself backwards and to the side, placing both arms in front of your bowed head and hunched shoulders to let her smash into your arms rather than your blades or the tree she was being aimed at. The tree you crash against shudders and cracks; it's badly damaged, but neither you or Akari are too badly hurt. Bone bruised and breathless, yes, but not actually hurt. Sakomu on the other hand, Is glaring at you, his grey skin pale, his eyes alight with unholy hatred and pain, the beads a blur in his right hand as he spins them. He probably hasn't suffered an injury that bad in years, maybe decades, and it's poisoned to boot.Akari falls to her hands and knees and digs her heels into the dirt, looking for all the world like a track star ready for her sprint, if track stars had glowing jade pearls glistening from their chests and gleaming horns of chipped jade.  Seven Star Strike. The Blade Is Not the Weapon. Ruination and Blood At Your Hands.
>>42722891> Seven Star Strike.
>>42722891> The Blade Is Not the Weapon.This sounds promising, so.It went pretty decently all things considered.
>>42722781It doesn't prevent her from making mistakes or not choosing the optimal solution.Thoughtul means she will thinks of a thousand solutions in an instant, and Clever that she'll select the best ones in another. Yet, it's Fire which is associated with speed, not Water. Why? Because Water spirit-children will spend too much time thinking WHICH of their ever-so-clever plans is the best.
>>42722891>[X] The Blade Is Not the Weapon.
>>42722891>[x] Ruination and Blood At Your Hands.
>>42722891> Ruination and Blood At Your Hands.
>>42722891>Offer him one last chance> The Blade Is Not the Weapon.Seven star strike, eh? Is he already dead?
>>42723085We used this one on the mukade. It involves leaping from place to place and hammering the opening with your blade each time. We went through the mukade with each hit. We probably won't get that lucky this time, but with Akari helping he's going to get the shit hammered out of him anyways.
>>42723200Well, I was too cautious last vote, maybe, but I don't think that'll work very well against him
>>42722891> The Blade Is Not the Weapon.
>>42722891> The Blade Is Not the Weapon.In the nick of unreliable connections!
[X] The Blade Is Not the Weapon.You can't signal to Akari, largely because he knows everything you know as far as that goes, but you don't need to. (I'll blind his Stone Eyes.)She sinks into the ground without acknowledging. At first his eyes follow her movement. Then you turn on the full power of Water Eyes on him, and Sakomu is forced to lock his eyes on you, knowing the slightest bit of information, the merest sign of weakness will leave him at a disadvantage. What he doesn't know, of course, is that he's operating at one already. With Akari only having used one technique, she's fairly fresh. You've matched him technique to technique, and While he's burned off half his Shen, you have three-fifths of yours. Still, this is always where things become very unpleasant for everyone involved. But if Akari's second technique gets through even a little, that means your even further up on him. The poison is doing it's work, but slowly; he's not immune by any means, but his heart rate is slower and his body simply stronger. That doesn't mean he's not in agonizing pain, though you suspect the paper-cut and the poke hurt even more. Worse is the injury to his pride. He's trained the very best of Clan Ryo, and you've chumped him and humiliated him. The fact that you're a woman makes it even worse. The earth-surfing he can forgive for using unknown magic, but managing to stab him in the back and poison him? One handed? Yeah, he can't let that slide.
>>42723737You keep his gazed centered on you, and then he whips the orbs around, as well as his body, in a complex series of maneuvers. The lines of destruction shift and change around you, but your Water eyes MUST stay on him. The loud bell-tones tell you everything you need to know – he's hitting the orbs at you at high speed. Not as fast as a bullet, but incredibly fast and possibly faster than you can dodge safely. But with Water eyes on him and Okurimono-sama out and ready? Sure you could survive a hit or two, but momentary weakness might be more dangerous than anything else. On the other hand, you have no idea what those things are made off – it's not gold. Time to prove your worth, Jed....uh, right, block. Dodge dodge dodge dodge! ….catch one left handed and block with it instead! Use the Barrier Technique, to heaven with it all. You've deflected attacks from Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi before – this is no fuckin' different.
>>42723770> ….catch one left handed and block with it instead!Sounds fancy.
>>42723770>[x] Use the Barrier Technique, to heaven with it all.
>>42723770> Dodge dodge dodge dodge!
>>42723770>[x] You've deflected attacks from Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi before – this is no fuckin' different.
Anons excellently achieving consensus as usual!
>>42723770> You've deflected attacks from Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi before – this is no fuckin' different.
>>42723770> Time to prove your worth, Jed....uh, right, block.
>>42723770We're floating on soil right? use that to juggle them out of the way.
>>42724025Floating on sunshine no doubt!
>>42723770>[X] You've deflected attacks from Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi before – this is no fuckin' different.A precedent has been set. For a dragon to deflect the attacks of THE DRAGON SLAYING SWORD is nothing short of miraculous. Surely some supersonic marbles will be simple enough to manage.
Does the Barrier technique go to waste if we don't use it now?
>>42723770> You've deflected attacks from Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi before – this is no fuckin' different.> Use the Barrier Technique, to heaven with it all.
>>42724112No it gets used later. She usually manages to include previous unused chocies in later sections.
[X] You've deflected attacks from Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi before – this is no fuckin' different.Compared to blocking the Grass-Cutting Blade, this should be relatively easy. It's not going to be of course, but you're going to do your best to make it look like it is. You can't rely on your right eye, but you need Water Eyes on him with absolute control. So you start swatting the spheres that come directly at you out of the way, going into a crouch to do so. The first one is like swatting a cannonball aside, even though they're only a little larger than....wait, that's probably how big cannonballs were. The pain is agonizing, but the orb sinks into the earth with a dull thud that shakes the trees nearby. Even as it does so you're backhanding the second aside, and the third right after. Dark blood spatters on the grass and trees around you as well as the shining orbs, the impacts cracking your sapphire talons, palm and knuckle. The numbness sets in after number ten, and after number fourteen your not certain you can actually flex your talons at all. Which is when the fifteenth and sixteenth come at you simultaneously, one at your head, the other at your belly. You don't have time for both. You don't even have time to pray for forgiveness for what you're about to do.You backhand the one that was going to pulverize your face, and keep your eyes fixed on Sakomu-sensei. He is turning towards you, a smirk of triumph in his eyes as the last orb crashes into your midriff. Well, your arm, actually, crashes into your midriff. And between your arm and the rob, the ringing blade of Yama-no-Musume-no-Okurimono, Wakaba's gift to you, as the orb falls to the ground at your feet with a dull thump. The blade is cracked, a section actually shattered, revealing a core of dull brownish metal and the kami is screaming, singing inside your head.
>>42724614Sakomu starts towards you but there is a black blur between his legs and he gasps, falling to his knees, his eyes squeezed tight and one hand clutching his manhood though his silk pants. Akari performs a perfect no-hands turning flip and smashes her foot into his back after her ball-busting eruption from between his legs and he hurtles towards you at high speed. Your niji-chan looks tired, but he looks stunned and is in flight, which makes him a perfect target.He manages to lift an arm as you raise your blade and step aside, but you keep your focus on his tear-less golden eyes, timing your strike to sever his head from his body perfectly.. He shifts his weight with tail and torque as you lift the damaged blade up and bring it down towards him. Sakomu-sensei's look of triumph as he grabs the damaged blade is priceless, only to be matched by your wry smile as he realizes his mistake when you let go of it.All this in the space of a second. Then you are covered in gore and brains, not to mention poisoned blood, as he smashes into the trunk of the tree you were standing in front of. Sometimes the essence of style is in believing you really are all that while convincing them of the same thing, and then just letting what happens happen instead. “Zen style, Sakomu-sensei.” You bow to his half-pulverized corpse and then collapse to your knees. “Akari-niji-chan, the next time we decide to fight one of the elite, make sure we have backup.” With a glance you call down the rains, partly as an apology for wrecking this grove. You'll say the appropriate prayers and penances later.
>>42724636Your niji-chan is laughing softly, sweet, melodious laughter that you love to hear. “It's Yui-chan's turn next time, aniki,” she claims, as she collapses against you, half-laughing, half struggling to breathe. You hold her and stroke her hair, ignoring the pain from your shattered and broken sapphire hand. No, not quite shattered, but cracked and chipped, most certainly.Akari has cracked ribs, from a blow you didn't catch you suspect, and some internal bleeding, but nothing you can't help her with. As you start tending her wounds, you murmurs softly, “Next enemy that appears, we're running the heaven away.” She giggles breathlessly. “That never works, aniki. Haven't you played any video games ever?” The injured dragonette draws a sharp breath as you tape her ribs. “....no?” That makes her laugh again but she stops quickly. “Oh....oh aniki....” She picks up the now silent Okurimono-sama, looking at the exposed core of the nodachi. “I am so sorry....”You sigh and take the weapon from her, and study it carefully, the kami quiescent in your hands. “It was all I could do....” You run your fingers along the broken steel, a piece of it falling away, exposing more of the strange brown metal at her center. “What....what is this?” You know the basics of katana construction, of course – schoolgirl stuff. But you slide a ruby talon against the exposed core, feeling the sharpness of it's edge. “....aniki?” You caress the brown metal....and feel the kami stir to life once more. ….but not the ~same~ kami.>To Be Continued....
Thank you for reading and playing. Only a very short time for any questions. Yes, you will be rejoining the rest of your family shortly, and no one is going to be stupid enough to try for you for a while.Not after that anyways.
>>42724659>….but not the ~same~ kami.See what trying to look cool against a non-scrub gets you?
Oh dear. May your spirit be forever venerated in Ryukusa's family, Okurimono-sama.
>>42724659>….but not the ~same~ kami.Wait, the nodachi was actually a seal for another sword?
>>42724694Thanks for running XS
>>42724694Thanks for running!
Awww.Thanks for running XS!
>>42724721Point of note Shinto is big on transformation. It might be Okurimono-sama but not as we knew her.
>>42724694Thanks for running!You know, Ryukusa has fought foes who were foolish, horrifying, tragic, pitiful, good persons in bad situation and scumbags of the worst kind, but, oddly enough, Sakomu is the first one that I can only qualify as "unpleasant".
>>42724734Thanks for running, and for dealing with us when we're so indecisive!
>>42724734Jesus, the seal was old enough to become a kami, I wonder who the new friend is.
>>42724796Most likely because he was what he was: a dedicated, straightforward warrior doing his job. They're often the most difficult kind of opponent to fight.
>>42724809I almost did have to rewrite several paragraphs. It wouldn't have been the first time though. I expect it will happen again. Early on there were several people who tried to force ties so I tend to be slightly more abrupt when resolving them than previously, while striving for fairness.
>>42724779Well, it's the same this that happened to us, in a way>>42724863A somewhat different, freed Okurimono-sama, I hope.Note that the weapon qualified as a kami anyway because of our space trip
>>42724863It's probably not a friend if someone thought it needed sealing. It might be a Muramasa blade.
>>42724909Well, we've faced or met dedicated warriors doing their job and straightforward persons before, and we had difficult fight, but I think it's because I get the weird impression he was, I don't know, too detached? As if it was just a formality to keep the clan's mechanism well-oiled>>42724940I didn't notice the tie-forcing
>>42724952Er Yin was sealed, anon.
>>42724659Good run, XS.Can't never seem to catch these things early.>>42724721We may be getting a more exotic kami out of this. The japanese model appears as far as India.
>>42725054Yeah, by Kiku, to protect her from the old snake.
>>42724952You'd better hope not.>>42725033There wasn't any this thread, it just happened that way. That was a long time ago, however - back around thread 30 or so.We're past 100.
>>42725079The point is that it's not because the kami was sealed they're not a friend. There is more than one reason to seal someone or something.
>>42725116Feels like it's gone by in a flash!
Man, I hope Rie wasn't foreshadowing when she showed us the blade, in hell.
>brown metalbrace for brownfu
>>42725168It's been a while, what happened?
I am off to sleep. Thank you all again for reading and playing, and with the coming of autumn there should be less hectic days and smoky hell.
>>42725175She's a sword, not your brownfu!
>>42725236Have a good night XS and thank you for running.
>>42725168The upper floor of Emi's domicile has a room filled with dangerous things that have been forgotten. There was an unexploded bomb, and a katana. Ryukusa asked about the katana, and Rie responded, "Oh, the bomb?" When Ryukusa ttried to clarify, Rie said again, "Right, the bomb."It was a Muramasa, and apparently a specific one.
>>42725215Well, on the way out of hell, there was this very impressive sword, crafted by a master and with a long history, if I remember correctly, and Rie told us we could steal it
>>42725240>>42725175Second brownfu after Shoko?
Man, Ryukusa needs to find a way to cuddle with all her loved ones at once.The best I came up with was to have the oni-children grow big and hug, with everyone else between them.
>>42725358Is Shoko brown enough to qualify for brownfu status?
>>42725398That's powercuddlingJust make the daily rounds around the house and it will be fine
>>42725404Looks pretty brown to me.
>>42725287Specifically "Sword Which Demands All At Once To Die." That is not a name which inspires confidence. Or basically any positive emotion.Of course, it couldn't be that one since it was still in Yomi, unsealed.Unless that was only a reflection or representation of the real sword. In which case we're turbofucked.