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Shade
5th October 2004, 04:51 AM
Reserved for Shinriko. No death!

IC: Mantis, a visored, green figure with antennae, enters a dark and dank graveyard. Several tombstones are cracked and Mantis trips over some as she approaches a dark figure. This figure, Mantis knows, is Shinriko. She has come here to "train"--fight until she or the demon is knocked unconscious, having somewhat of a score to settle. However, she doesn't wish to hurt the demon more so than what is necessary. She draws her bronze sword, the sound of it being unsheathed echoing in the darkness. "Shinriko," She calls across. "I know you're there. I wish to fight you so we can settle this. Will you accept?"

Mantis pauses. Perhaps there is another way. But then again, Shinriko DID threaten Shade. He had no right to! But still...she sighs.

"On second thought...how about we just train instead?"

Pustolio
5th October 2004, 02:17 PM
A misty fog in the distances looms gently and slowly moving across the fields, blocking out some the landscape behind it. It was night-time, a particularly warm night in fact, a soft breeze blowing through the stones that lightly stood hairs on end. The graveyard area was not in a glamourous state... as many of the marble tombstones were cracked in several locations. A few statues of angels and cupid-like figures were under the influence of sacrilege as well. One angel statue is particular, had its wings broken off, the parts of the statue laying a foot beyond the stone base. Another statue's head was decapitated... as many other parts of statues littered the sacred ground for the dead.

Shinriko sat upon a tombstone, his distinct features hidden in the shadows of the trees and the night... the reason of which he was their in the first place not sure. Perhaps the Oni was drawn to the land of death, where many demons and spirits were spawned... or perhaps the silence of the graves was the perfect place to be alone. However, this night was not the case as Shinriko spied from afar a form traveling towards his location. He gave a sigh, and propped his left hand under his chin his back slouched forward wondering who the figure was know. Seems I could never get a minute to myself these days... he thought, as he waited for the person to come into proper line of vision.

Not much time was elasped as the figure stepped before Shinriko's dark abode. The figure was a visored, green figure with antennae and the demon knew this woman well by the name of Mantis. The demon sighed again knwoing immediately what was the reason as to why Mantis stepped forth in front of the warrior. "Shinriko... I know you're there. I wish to fight you so we can settle this. Will you accept?" Mantis said boldly, as Shinriko kept his eyes closed at the moment remaining quiet and still like the shadows around him. "On second thought...how about we just train instead?" "A fight to settle what... I have no quarrel with you...," the demon spoke, "I thought you would know already that the dark one and Lucas were possessing me to say those things and attack your friends. I would never do those things... However, you don't seem to accept the fact so easily. I do enjoy a good fight now and then..." Shinriko finally opened his crimson eyes, shooting forth like tiny rubies in a dark cave. He spied that Mantis had drawn her sword already... as Shinriko melted within the shadows, then rose up from a shadow of a tombstone so that his full form was 10 feet away from Shade, his murasama drawn as well while slipping through the shadows.

"I did not intend to harm the mind nor body of Shade... obviously you do not believe that," he said, raising his blade in front of him, his left hand gripping the space right under the tsubss while the other gripped softly on the end of his hilt. "I will have to show you then..."

Shade
5th October 2004, 03:11 PM
"Well," Mantis says cryptically. "I intend to find out whether or not it was you or not. And the method by which I go about this will not be revealed to you." Mantis grins calmly beneath her visor. She is testing Shinriko. If what Shinriko says holds true, then he will not try to kill her. THAT is the test. But she is going to make sure that the demon doesn't find out.

She charges Shinriko, running with all her might and coming off into a spin, taking a slice at the arm which holds the murasama. She controls her strength, making sure that the wound inflicted will not be deep at all.

And now the test begins...

Pustolio
5th October 2004, 04:21 PM
"I intend to find out whether or not it was you or not. And the method by which I go about this will not be revealed to you." Shinriko was slgihtly puzzled at first at her little cryptic phrase but shrugged the feeling off. He sighed again, knowing he had no choice but to fight... and as much he loved to duel, he did not want to duel for this purpose. "Fine... we shall fight. As long as this is training, I feel no need to use true blades," he said, sheathing his murasama and deciding to just fight with the sheathed blade unless Mantis pushed him to the limit so that drawing the blade was absolutely necessary... grasping the hilt so that only his left hand held it. "Let's get this over with."

Mantis charged off, sprinting quite fast at Shinriko, taking a spin and letting a slash to his left hand. Shinriko pivoted on his back foot, turning his body as Mantis turned in the air and the red bracer latched upon his forearm clashed with the bronze blade, sending sparks from the initial impact. He felt the bracer quiver against his skin... as he jerked his right arm upwards to ward away the blade as he took his left hand a gave a straight jab heading for Mantis's chest. The end of the sheath will only knock some air out of her, the damage not quite severe.

Shade
5th October 2004, 04:29 PM
[ooc]It's MANTIS. ONLY MANTIS![/oooc]

Mantis takes the jab to her chest, unable to avoid it, and staggers back a few steps. She sheathes her blade as well. This is going to be interesting. If Shinriko truly didn't mean to do harm to Shade--which he did by threatening her (emotionally), she intends to find out if it was intentional or nor--or at least, he could have taken advantage of her quite easily. And then he attacked Tim, Shade's husband. The memory brings a flash of anger to her mind and she lashes hard out at Shinriko's head. If it hits, she might inflict a cut, but nothing too serious. Mantis truly doesn't want to injure Shinriko, but he must pass the test first.

Pustolio
5th October 2004, 04:41 PM
OOC: aw man. sorry bout that. all edited

IC: Shinriko moved into a defensive... still curious and not completely sure of Mantis' fighting style. She is quite serious... I'll have to keep my guard up at all times he thought, still surprised a bit at the strength of his opponent. He watched carefully as she sheathed her own sword, the demon feeling a bit relieved since he would not have such a grand disadvantage... Shinriko's only weakness was his will to fight, since this fight felt wrong for the demon. Mantis lashed out in a fit of rage, letting loose another strike towards his head. He had little time to react but his reflexes forced his body to turn to the left, the tip of the sheath grazing a few millimeters into the top of his head spraying dabs of blood from the wound... Shinriko finishing the turn so that he was at Mantis' diagonal right side as he thrusted another jab towards her neck. The tip was not sharp like Mantis' blade was, thus no puncture wounds. Shinriko let loose his stength in the jab, slightly irritated at the slice, so that the jab had more force than the last one.

Shade
5th October 2004, 04:56 PM
Mantis instinctively brings the sheathe up and blocks the weapon.
Hmm...even though I hurt him--which I didn't mean to do, he still hasn't shown any sign of intent. But he could be bluffing

Mantis does a few handsprings backwards, making a large gap between herself and Shinriko. She nearly drips on the head of one of the statues, but manages to keep her footing. She goes within herself, finally finding the spirit of what one calls nature. She focuses on everything, Shinriko's breathing, to the statues on the ground, finally finding some wind. She holds bolth of her hands out, and wind begins to form in her hands as though it is attracted to them. She eventually forms a ball of wind and throws it at Shinriko. Should it hit, it will spin him around and disorient him, maybe knock him off his feet.

Catch!

Pustolio
5th October 2004, 06:55 PM
Shinriko's recoiled his sword arm bringing it back close to his body... placed horizontally and parallel to the ground, held at the middle of the hilt with his left hand. He felt the tingling sensation of the small river of blood flowing down his forehead moving over the surfaces of his nose, his cheeks, and over the parts of his eye. A bit of blood slipped into his mouth, its taste lingering for a moment as it sucked into his taste buds. The demon did not bother waste his time and attention to wipe away the blood, he needed no distractions...

The warrior moved forward a step, tilting his forearm and wrist forward so that the middle parts of his fingers were now parallel to the ground as well, the edge of the sheathed blade pointing at Mantis' throat... however, she was no where it range for the blade to be able to actually touch her. A slight breeze blew by which was strange since Shinriko did not feel the breeze before for the long time he had been brooding in the graveyard. Hmm... wind magic? he thought, recalling the effects of another warrior he had fought before a long time ago. A ball of wind concentrated in the palm of Mantis, the orb thrusted at him. SHinriko did not bother to dodge, as he voluntararily leapt into the air the wind orb sending him falling into the air... his body twisting and turning in the air for a moment, his head a bit dizzy but he cleared his head. The winds dispersed as SHinriko floated mid-air for a second then plummeted to the ground... then landing straight into the shadow of the tombstone below sinking into the shadow's depths...

Shade
7th October 2004, 04:41 AM
Mantis raises an eyebrow in confusion. She swings blindly at the air. He was just standing there are minute ago. How is this even possible? She sighs heavily and begins to look around for Shinriko. A chill arches down her back as she realizes how unprotected she is. Is this a mistake? No. She pushes the thought away, refuses to listen to it. She must conclude this test! She assumes a basic defensive position.

Hmm...let's see what he does. He has passed stage one of the test, but there are several levels of this test that he must pass for me to believe him...

Pustolio
7th October 2004, 07:01 AM
The last of Shinriko's head disappeared into the darkness, his eyes no longer glowing in the night. Shinriko's plummet into the shadows made it hard to see that he went into the shadows in the first place, since the fall made his transferrence to the shadows qicker than normal. Usually, the demon would make a dramatic entrance going in slowl and onimously, but right now it was not the case. Shinriko kept silent, the graveyard quiet as well, except for the occasionals breezes in the distance and the chirping of insects. Keeping in the same position he notices the confusion on Mantis face. Hmm... if this were a real battle I could cripple her greatly. However, this is only training... he thought, looking towards his side to see another shadow connected to his own, casted by a line of organized tombstones, slithering over each shadow. His shadowfom was a bit darker than the other shadows but that could be easily missed if he stealthily moved.

Stopping so that he was at Mantis' left hidden inbetween the second row of gravestones... he decided to see what Mantis would do in a situation like this. Looking towards his side and concentrating on it, the from quivered for a split second then split off from te tombstone itself. Focusing on the dark energies, the shadow elongated and distorted to form a silhuotte of Shinriko's form right down the extremely minor details, such as the ends of a slighly tattered cloak. This shadow form had limitations though, it could not speak nor make sound however it was limited to the flat surfaces before him. It did not attack physical or corporeal forms, instead, it attacks a shadow of the target... and the real target would feel those aftereffects. However, Shinriko had commanded the shadow so that it also attacked with blunt jabs instead of sword slashes. Go...

The shadow slithered quickly, passing through the legs of Mantis, and circled around her for a moment then sped off to Mantis' right. Hopefully, that will distact her... he said rising slowly from the shadows, keeping low within the masses of the tombstone, and steathily moved towards Mantis stiking in a diagonal down slash hopefully hitting her wrist... that is, if she is distacted like originally planned.

Shade
7th October 2004, 07:10 AM
Mantis falls for the move, hook, line, and sinker. She watches the shadow with interest. But it is only a shadow after all, and it can't do much of anything, or so she thinks. A sharp pain juts through her wrist as Shinriko hits it. Whirling, she strikes out at the nothingness before her, hoping to do some form of damage or something. She pants heavily. She is beginning to tire, but she still has many, many more "test questions" for Shinriko.

Interesting...he is starting to pass my test...but let's turn the notch up a bit...I think I can trust him enough...

Pustolio
7th October 2004, 08:56 PM
Shinriko's side of his murasama struck hard into Mantis' wrist. hopefully the strike was not too intense for it to be broken, yet, it will slightly hinder Mantis' ability to hold the sword with that wrist. Mantis' swung her arm around, blindly striking in all directions to hit anything. Shinriko simply ducked down, yet again, the tip of the sheath again grazes another part of his forehead spraying more blood off from the front of his brow. His body was bent down, his knees bent so his eye level was at the same as Mantis' back of her waist. Panting rang through his ears, She is tired... I am beginning to tire as well. Those wounds had more power than I thought.... he thought, flipping his blade around to the opposite side so that the end faced the back and hilt to his front, taking his left arm and unsheathing the blade so that the speed caused by his quick-draw would increase the force of the hilt strike at her waist. As soon as the attack was finished, he would resheath the portion of his blade.

Shade
8th October 2004, 09:34 AM
Mantis continues to pant, but her antennae twitch and she jumps back uncontrollably from some unseen force. Her panting quickens, fear beginning to take over her mind. One hand, if Shinriko is who he says he is, her life is safe. On the other hand, if Shinriko is in fact the one who threatened Shade, her life is in danger. Out of pure fear and actually trembling some, she unsheathes her blade. She has no desire to strike, deciding instead to use it only in self-defense. She has an idea. She resheathes her blade and swings in the direction of where she thought she heard a sword unsheathing. She then unsheathes her sword. Her grip wavering, she is terrified out of her mind.

Pustolio
10th October 2004, 07:34 PM
"SHIT!!!!" Shinriko cried, withdrawing his sheath attack as he he jerked his weight towards the left, slipping into the shadows to get a fair distance away, then popiping out from the below perching on top of a large tombstone. The unsheathed attack of Mantis was incredibly close, slicing a bit of hair off from the demon's scalp... the demon panting with exhaustion. He sheathed murasama held tightly under the tsuba, and sheathed he will keep it. So unsheathing my blade even to increase the power of my hilt strike, without intent to use slash, is a bad idea. Seems Mantis is very keen in her senses... and perhaps a bit jumpy. THe demon hled out his murasama, his lungs burning with pain, his lungs gasping for breath. Drips of sweat flowed down his face, making the dry blood seep down his face again. A sweet smell of blood incited the demon's fighting spirit, but still he kept the blade sheathed. "That was close..." Shinriko said with laugh, wiping the swaet from his brow. "I suppose you want to use real blades?" looking upon Mantis' unsheathed sword.

Shade
10th October 2004, 08:03 PM
Mantis shakes her head, her sweaty hand losing grip of her sword completely, the swordfalling down and sticking out of the ground hilt-side up. Her teeth rattle together, her entire body frame shudders, terrified suddenly of Shinriko. If he can do steath attacks like that, then he can easily kill her. She stands still, petrified by her fear, and says in a small voice: "D-don't h-hurt m-me..."

Pustolio
10th October 2004, 08:34 PM
Shinriko cocks his head to the side, examining Mantis erratic emotion of pure fear in her face and pretty much in her whole head. The demon looked on at Mantis hand, trembling and from the looks of it probably sweating and dampening the hilt. The sword fell from her grasp and landed into the ground quivering from side to side, until it stood still the ringing of the blade ceased to echo its song through the graves. "D-don't h-hurt m-me..." Mantis said in a small and timid voice. The demon sighed in exasperation, wiping another drip of sweat and blood from his forehead. "Dammit... why are so afraid? It was a mistake to do that last attack. I can see that... But I guess you don't believe me do you?" he said, rubbing his forehead. "I guess I have to show you for myself." Shinriko lifted his right hand, his sheathed murasama at a horizontal angle as he left hand grasped the part of the hilt right below his golden tsuba. A loud smooth fluent sound came out as the demon unsheathed his blade, the moon shining on the mystic blade. Giving a smile, he swung his arm back and thrusted the sword right in front of the ground of where Mantis sword was placed. "There... now I am unarmed..."

Shade
10th October 2004, 08:42 PM
Mantis cringes and braces for the worst as she hears Shinriko's blade unsheathe. She squeezes her eyes shut and...nothing happens. "W-what?" She stammers. Looking up, she sees that Shinriko has disarmed himself. When she sees that, then she knows. "A-all r-right," She says, still shaking and nervous, still fearing for her life. "I-I b-believe you n-now...i-it w-was L-lucas who d-did t-that, and n-not y-you." Her shaking continues, increasing rather than decreasing, unable to keep focus on the task at hand. A single tear slides down Mantis's face and out through the helmet, landing on her suit. "I-i'm s-sorry. J-just...p-please, l-let's s-stop."

Pustolio
11th October 2004, 12:11 PM
The murasama emitted a mystic song, the volume of it slowly decreasing as the energy from the throw transferred in the cold ground below, eventually stopping the blade from moving back and forth. It shimmered again in the bright moonlight reflecting the beam onto a random surface of a marble tombstone. Shinriko looks on at Mantis who was still trembling in fear, the demon sighing to himself again as he jumped off from the stone perch his boots crushing a brush of grass beneath his soles. "I-I b-believe you n-now...i-it w-was L-lucas who d-did t-that, and n-not y-you." Mantis stammered, her body shaking violently. Shinriko said nothing approaching his blade, and pulling it out of the earth, sending bits of soil out a few inches... landing on his boots. With his right hand, he turned the blade over so that the hilt faced forward pushing his sheath up the blade's surface ending in a soft chink. Mantis sobs still commenced in the background, the demon still not responding, as he picked up her sword from the earth and motioned Mantis to take the sword, the blade pointing in Shinriko's direction. "Please do not cry. We can stop now..."

Shade
11th October 2004, 01:32 PM
I wasn't to the point of crying yet, but okay...

Still shaking, Mantis nods and takes the blade, her poor shaking arm just barely able to line up the blade so it would fit in the sheath. She blushes, thankful that Shinriko can't see that through her visored helmet (unless somehow he can see through it--think a helmet like the Power Rangers). She sighs, placing her head in her hands, shuddering. "I--I'm s-sorry. It's just--y-you c-could have killed me, but the fact t-that y-you d-didn't proved to m-me that it was L-lucas, and n-not y-you. P-please d-don't t-tell S-shade about t-this." She sits down on the floor, still shaking violently.

Pustolio
11th October 2004, 03:04 PM
OOC: sorry bout that. i assume you were starting to when you posted the tear down your eye. but its not too big of a deal.

GO POWER RANGERS!!!!

IC: Shinriko felt a wave of pity and anguish, seeing Mantis in her troubled state, upset the demon as well. He did not want to make anyone cry or depressed. A pang of guilt lurked in his mind, telling him he was partly responsible for making Mantis this upset. "I--I'm s-sorry. It's just--y-you c-could have killed me, but the fact t-that y-you d-didn't proved to m-me that it was L-lucas, and n-not y-you. P-please d-don't t-tell S-shade about t-this." Shinriko placed his murasama upon his shoulder and sat down beside Mantis, hesistating for a moment on what he should do in such an uncomfortable situation. "It is good to know we can trust each other now... I won't mention any of this to Shade...."

Shade
11th October 2004, 03:11 PM
"T-thank y-you." Mantis says. If she had been seeing herself, she would have blushed, and blushed greatly. Shinriko has touched upon a nerve that she can often hide: fear. But this fear isn't as normal. Instead, it is an overwhelming fear, a fear of dying. She has, as she calls it, "pulled a Shade" and something inside of her is scolding her for doing such a thing. But yet, sometimes she needs to do this, for it helps get it out of her system. Her "Shades" don't last as long as the sorceress's, yet she scolds herself nonetheless. With Shade as her "daughter," she must be prepared to protect such a nervous child. And do this, she constantly tells herself, she mustn't show fear.

She shudders again, chills running up and down her spine. "Y-you k-know," She says, still scolding herself inside. "I-it's a l-lot h-harder than it looks to k-keep things such as...s-such as fear h-hidden. S-sometimes, it's impossible. But I c-can't do it in front of Shade; she'll think me to be s-so m-much lesser than s-she."

Pustolio
11th October 2004, 08:56 PM
Shinriko grasped the sheath and dug it into the dirt, twisting it around clockwise turning it into the soft earth, so that it stood by itself. THe demon did not need to use hold his blade so close to him at the moment, wielding a blade in front of Mantis might calm her down a bit. Of course, Shinriko did not know any other way to calm her down. He looked over to her, her body movements suggesting the fear in her still... despite the helmet that hid her face. Again Shinriko felt just as uncomfortable as Mantis. He had never had to comfort a woman, nor, did he never made one so fearful. It was an enigma to the crimson-eyed warrior... and it stressed him out. "Y-you k-know... "I-it's a l-lot h-harder than it looks to k-keep things such as...s-such as fear h-hidden. S-sometimes, it's impossible. But I c-can't do it in front of Shade; she'll think me to be s-so m-much lesser than s-she."

"A strong wrong is not afraid of anything. A woman of strength shows her courage in the midst of her fear..."

Shade
12th October 2004, 04:46 AM
Mantis continues to shake, yet not nearly as much as before, somewhat consoled by Shinriko's words. She shudders again, still very much shaken up. "W-well, I suppose y-you're r-right," She says. She props her head up with on hand, looking at the floor, ashamed of what has happened. "B-but it's s-so hard s-sometimes...it's just--you can't believe how hard it is. Half the time, I want to run away with Shade, but I know that Shade will think lesser of me if I do. It's h-horrible."

Pustolio
13th October 2004, 11:08 AM
Shinriko watches Mantis with concern, relieved to see Mantis' quivering and constant trembling has lessened in magnitude. [I]I suppose she is still feeling the aftershock. I guess she will calm down completely in the next couple of minutes. He listened to her reply, some of her words slightly stammered but the demon could pick out the main idea of the phrase. "So... you hide your fear in order for Shade to feel secure when the situation becomes serious. Dealing with fear in that manner does not sound too healthly, mentally, I mean. A person could become insane if all that fear would be bottled up, never being expressed. Stress could build very easily, as well..." He paused for a moment, reorganizing his thoughts staring briefly at the sky... still dark and lit with the white glowing of the stars. "Honestly, I do not how to help you with your fear... that, my friend, relies solely on you."

Shade
13th October 2004, 12:53 PM
Mantis shudders and trembles some more, finally calming down to a wavering voice. She is almost over it, yet not quite. She shivers, suddenly feeling cold, most likely from the fear. "Stress!" She exclaims. "You have no idea. But if I became a Shade--like I just did, and now I am scolding myself for doing so--the real Shade would think so much lesser of me. See, she's like my daughter, and I don't want to damage that relationship..."

Pustolio
17th October 2004, 08:37 PM
Shinriko listened with silence to Mantis response, a strange reaction erupted from the demon. A soft chuckle, turning into a louder laugh, then into hysterics... obvisously what Mantis siad was not supposed to amuse the demon. He slowly quieted himself down, knowing Mantis would be quite appalled at his reactions thus he explained himself. "Stress! HAHA! I have no idea... that is quite funny of you to say Mantis. I know much about stress. I have two spirits... two voices in my head... a voice that always speaks of death, destruction, its past killings, urging me to kill, scorning, sneering, insulting... It is always taking and it takes quite an effort to silence it. Having two voices is stressful.... I am surprised I have not gone insane in the past year..." He smiled to himself, returning to a dark mood then continued, "Sorry for that... it just rare to escape it all these days ,for me. I can understand how hard it is for someone to look up to you... especially one as fragile as Shade... I am a wanderer, so I do not stay around long to from such relationships. I think you are blessed."

Shade
18th October 2004, 03:43 PM
Mantis shoots Pustolio a glare from beneath her helmet as he begins to laugh. She shudders, almost being reduced to tears once more. But she maintains her composure, yet responds in a weak voice. "I know how it is," She says. "Shade, if you remember, once had a sword possessed by a demon. She, too, had to go through what you went through...and exorcism cleared that up...not that I'm suggesting anything..." She looks Shinriko directly in the eyes. "I once had a dark side to me, too, but I have conquered it. And I appreciate that anything said here will be kept here." She sighs sadly. "But you, you can express this dark side. I, I cannot express my sadness in front of Shade, which is practically all the time."