Description: Following a liberation from the (perhaps desirable?) clutches of the kitsune Kiyomi, a few days into their voyage Amy and Walter finally find the time to test one another's abilities. What ensues is an awakening of several kinds, a vigorous and empassioned back-and-forth that ends in the only way it can: no winners, no losers, just a union of warrior spirits that may form the backbone of the world's most unlikely team...
Their escape from Norway might not have been the easiest, in terms of either physical effort - in light of Walter's injuries - or the emotional repercussions of passing once more through the shattered, burning remnants of the village ravaged by Kiyomi and her Children of the Night. The Templar has tried to keep matters as light as possible, however, as easy in playful jest as philosophical discussions regarding their conjoined purpose and the nature of their Lord. It's a bonding experience, she reasons...
Hopefully, then, the journey to their current location has been pleasant enough in spite of the difficulties. And where are they now, knight and priest?
A large, privately-chartered transport vessel named the Sea Boar. The captain is a jovial, swarthy fellow who likes to banter away in his native Scandanavian with little regard for the nationality of his passengers. Amy seems acquainted with him, managing in some halting words of her own to haggle a good rate and have them away to a more familiar, less-icy destination. It's not the fastest way to travel...
But it's more relaxing than a commercial airline, and certainly SAFE.
The Templar is out on deck a few days into the voyage (because who cares about the passage of time, right?), clad not in the weighty style of her uniform but a simple pair of jogging bottoms and a navy blue hoodie, the hood drawn up around pale features. Steam pours from her lips with each breath, as she watches the waves roll calmly by in silence, only the slosh of the ocean and the gentle creak of the deckboards keeping her company. Mist hangs around her, and it's uncertain if this is the environment alone, or the looping tendrils of her own Dragon's Breath. Perhaps it's both.
In any case, she's relaxed, her guard down and thoughts free to linger where they please. A sea voyage is good for the soul; rarely does she feel so unburdened, with nowhere to go and nothing to do but make the steady, sure journey across the depths.
Walking through the graveyard of his failure is hardly a pleasant experience indeed, and would bring out more than a few growls of pure rage. He might not be able to bring himself to hate Kiyomi and her group, but there's animalistic desire for blood in every movement and word as they leave the now barren place.
But with his Templar compatriot's easy words and philosophy offered to the fore, he's kept his sanity and the inner beast chained for now. It's soothing, to lose onesself in the company of comrade and friend, and eventually the Priest is relatively back to his warm and polite self. No more growls and rage, only renewed purpose.
The Sea Boar proves acceptable as a waterfaring vessel, and the dragon-priest has taken to several of the crew. Between keeping his companion company, resting to heal his injuries, and sharing drinks with the crew, the priest seems happier than he's been in months.
Eventually, however, desiring a bit of solitude the priest makes his way to the deck. By now clad in a fresh cloak and vestments, he simply refuses to wear anything else. So far as he's concerned, a priest is a job that never gets clocked out of.
Spying Amy, he notes the mist about her, those tendrils bringing a smirk. He raises a finger, using his own golden chi as an impromptu flashlight before joining her.
"Lovely, hmm? Being out on the sea, away from the rest of the world...I can see why these men enjoy it so. Isolation from its trouble. Picked well, my dear." Then, the priest gives a little stretch. Gone is the favoring of his side. He's been looking much better, and his fever well gone. He offers a cup of coffee to the woman beside him absently.
Less gregarious, on the whole, than her erstwhile ally and - by her own judgement - temporary ward, the raven-haired Templar has spent little time amongst the crew. She's pleasant enough when cornered, or encountered at dinner, but for the most part hers has been a solitary ride, only checking in with regularity on Walter and then fleetingly. Determined to allow him the rest he needs, to the point of underestimating him, she's been an odd combination of fussy mother hen and retiring loner.
She has truly overlooked how rapidly the scaled Darkstalker has recovered. Consequently, he's the last person she expects to disturb her revery, but the telltale spiritual shift in the environs as he focuses his chi through the gently-tumbling field of her own tells her with immediacy who to prepare for.
His draconic attributes notwithstanding, Amy's made no attempt to hide her relative comfort in the presence of Walter Bardsley. So she doesn't really DO anything to prepare, merely shifting her muscular form toward him, a hip cocking and her chin lifting back across her shoulder. Pale, unpainted lips, numb from the sea-breeze, tug into a gentle smile at his approach. Stormy blues regard him with an even blend of concern and friendly warmth, whilst remaining just a little distant...
Whatever she was thinking about, it takes some seconds to leave the thought behind.
"When I can't walk, it's my favourite way to travel. Rarely does man feel so helpless as when he's afloat - but it's a situation that -can't- be helped. What more can one do but relax," she shifts her shoulders in a loose shrug, "And hope for the best?"
She lifts an elbow from the rail separating deck from churning ocean, and reaches out to take the proferred coffee. Taking a testing sip, her caution is mirrored in the care with which she gauges Walter over the rim.
"You look well, Father. Oddly well, even."
A smile, and she looks toward the horizon then back.
"I'd argue better than I've seen you, yet. How do you feel?"
The priest is most definitely a people person. Indeed, in defiance of his blood, he very much enjoys the energy, drive, joy, and ambition people possess. To bask in that rather than endlessly hoarde and kill for no reason other than greed? It gives him a certain measure of self control even in that which he has a tenuous grasp upon at best. The priest's nature tends to draw in people with his manners and curious ways. Best of all, it's an excellent deflection from his inhuman qualities.
But he's hardly turned down the mother-henning. Strangely he seems to take joy in it. Having admitted he's an orphan, it may be fairly obvious why.
That warm smile sits on his face, as if the act of smiling alone might banish the slight chill in the air. "Barely better than the seamen of old. The wrong storm and the Lord calls us to his side! Though I do not fancy a swim right now. Pray, keep faith, and perhaps the Lord shall favor us with luck. Otherwise, let us enjoy it! Poor crewmen there were going stir crazy." They've been playing poker almost nightly. It turns out Walter's pretty good at it.
Arms folding, he leans against the rail as he regards his compatriot. His head tilts slightly, and he smirks.
"Better than years, my dear. Though I wish the...cost had not been so high, I feel as though a fog has been lifted from my mind. You know, I always obeyed. Never /thought/ about what was asked of me. And what I want." Starts off the male, his recent encounters still fresh in his mind.
Arms stretch and fold behind his head.
"...And I still have no bloody idea what it is the person Walter Bardsley is, nor what he wants, nor whether he should live every day in self-hatred, shame, or give eternal thanks for my...'talents'." His face falls a bit, showing all of that conflict in an open manner. The look of an inner crisis fills him. For a moment.
"But you know? I have been given a lot of advice as of late, and I think I agree: if I keep treating myself as a damn leper I shall be quite bloody useless in defending others. Then /that/ will happen again. And I cannot risk that. I have to become stronger." He vows, nodding.
Then he smirks. "But it seems we both underestimate my talents. Do not think that I heal as you do, my dear." Those eyes peer, a little too inhuman even with the contacts meaningfully.
"It must be hard..."
Amy's expression is thoughtful, measuring, as she watches the dragon-priest with those brooding, endlessly-empassioned eyes. Sipping again at the coffee, she lowers the mug only to swill it gently, watching at once the lapping fluid and the sea framed beyond its outermost edge. Allowing her words to hang, she takes her time savouring the mouthful of warm liquid, drawing and releasing a breath before looking back to Walter with a faint, considerate smile. He worries, the priest, his faith challenged far more than hers - but perhaps that's for the best, in his role. Constant questioning.
It makes him all the more apt to be holy, to advise others. But what's so hard?
"I was given this life when I'd already lived another. I know who Amy is, what she wants and where she's headed once all my faith and purpose is stripped away. The truth is, Father, she was little more than an animal - and that's what most people are, just living their lives without concern for the future or the past. Living now. Once you've grasped the greater whole, it's almost impossible to even recall that..."
She puts her lips to the cup again, slurps dark and bitter comfort.
"But to never have known it at all, I wonder. Perhaps I've underestimated you only because you underestimate yourself. You've been accelerated to a strength I was forced to adapt to, in the same way that modern man knows not how to live in a tree and peel bananas." She's teasing a little, of course, her freckled cheeks dimpling as she smirks widely. "I have to admit, I'm curious which of us is stronger. Where we'll end up, as well. Is it better to be born a warrior, or become one against all odds?"
With a gentle 'hm' of pursed lips, the Templar pushes herself upright, easing away from the tail only to bend at the waist and nestle her cup beside it. It's almost empty now anyway, her sips and slurps soon divesting the vessel of coffee. With the warmth in her veins, the caffeine quickening her thoughts, she strides out onto the deck proper.
"Why don't we both meet Walter Bardsley? Push those limits. See how well you've healed, -and- how much you've learned from this experience. Of course," she tosses her head, and then raises her arms in a loose, relaxed grappler's guard. Her feet, clad in scuffed Doc Marten's, scuff across the boards, stance widening and dropping. "You'll have to go easy on me. I've no basis for comparison, and I'm just a girl."
Stormy blues dance with daring mirth, and the Dragon's Breath intensifies around them, the mist drawing deeper and yet... warmer, too, with the emboldening of the Templar's unique aura. Whether that's a side-effect of her feelings for the priest...
In any case, she seems to be alarmingly ready. She doesn't even need to stretch.
COMBATSYS: Amy has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Walter has joined the fight here.
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Amy 0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0 Walter
That considerate smile and her expression has the dragon-priest chuckling lightly. "We all have our trials my dear. This just happens to be mine." He states humbly. Even so, the show of support doesn't go unappreciated. There's a renewed swish to his tail under that cloth of his.
His head tilts. "No caring for where your feet land. I suppose, lost in a haze of servitude as I was, we are similar in that. But. I cannot recall living as an animal. Quite the opposite. I lived as a tool. A weapon, whose only purpose was to follow orders. An unwieldy, spiteful weapon that turned to its own devices at every turn...but a weapon. I need to be more than that. Perhaps I should learn, first, what it is to be an animal, then a man, then a knight, if that is what people are in the end."
That teasing, and he's grinning widely.
"Could be. To be honest, that is a question I want to know myself. Heh. Let us see who is greater then. And besides, I think you need to learn how to fight those of my kind, if we are going to Crusade against my little vixen and her friends." HIs voice takes on a hint of the beast, that anger and hunger within. A glance towards the cabin. By now? The crew are asleep. He'd seen to that, after supplying them with a boat's load of booze.
"And given our caretakers are asleep...no need to hold back."
A hand reaches over, and all but rips an iron pole from the ground. The metal simply /tears/ in the animalistic motion. Even now, he seems to prefer a pole in his hands. SLiding aside his cloak, those wings stretch, flapping hard enough to cause a back-draft behind him. As the woman's aura intensifies, warms, his own body glows with a subtle touch of golden light that cuts the darkness. Then, he takes his stance. It's looser than normal, slightly more flexible as he mentally loosens those inner chains just a bit. His scaled tail lashes, and he even gives low growls. Worst of all? Amidst the gold, a subtle feeling creeps from around the dragon-priest. It's light, particularly against one such as Amy. But the touch of the fear of the old, the ancient, the fear of dragons that clashed with valiant knights creeps from him as he lets his Darkstalker soul come forth.
"Let's. I am curious to see what he is capable of. And you, who would call my breath upon you." A smirk, with so much teeth, that frightening aura dampened by amusement, respect, and pure warmth of friendship amidst it all.
It likely, however, won't make the sudden burst of movement to her side and the rushing metal pole aimed for her legs any less painful as he spins it about above his body before swinging low. Those legs move in an utterly inhuman way, seeming to almost slither about rather than walk. It's effortless, and yet his strike is a textbook spearman's leg-sweep. "En garde, Dame Amy!"
COMBATSYS: Walter successfully hits Amy with Quick Throw.
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Amy 0/-------/----===|-------\-------\0 Walter
"I never do," comes the quietly-defiant response to the very idea that she'd hold back; it's not entirely true, of course. She holds back from maiming, or even killing, where a friendly match is concerned - but that's far from the intention he pleads against, and in the context of -that- she speaks true. Perhaps she'll take a risk she might normally not, experiment, or otherwise act less than optimally...
But never hold back. Never give her opponent less than a full test.
That rising terror within the figure of Walter, that primal force surfacing, it only excites the Templar's passions further - she's an adrenaline junkie at heart, her fearlessness in the face of all danger only compounding an enjoyment for the painful rigours of combat. It's perhaps why she engages less readily than some, proposes fewer open challenges. She knows that beast, albeit a subtly different iteration, in herself. Battle is serious, to her. It invokes a history of bloodshed. Exciting, yes--
--but not necessarily wise to play with. Walter's initial assault is successful, such as it is, the swipe at Amy's balance unhinging her enough for the totality to come, sending her crashing down upon a well-muscled back. A grunt escapes her, but she rolls with it, one of her legs extending past the other so that she ends up in a low, deep crouch, one knee tucked beneath and the other foot pointing toward the dragon-priest. It's almost a kung-fu stance, though she otherwise shows no affinity for the style.
Thrusting herself from this low point, she rises with a palm leading in a feinted strike, coils of mist exploding between her fingertips only to ravel rapidly -down- her arm and dissipate off the crook of her elbow. Her jab goes past Walter, and then her fingers bend around, looking to seize the back of his neck.
Her other hand brushes his flank, and she strives to use the momentum from his reaction to pitch him facefirst toward the deck. It's an oddly elaborate manuever, relying heavily on his initial ill judgement. But deceptive, for certain. And how; if he falls, he'll meet a suddenly dense carpet of mist, thrusting upward to add opposing force to the impact while behind, Amy drifts comfortably back into her opening stance.
If it doesn't pay off, she'll just be giving him a good playground shove.
"Interesting. I expected a thrust, not a trip. Yours is an old style."
COMBATSYS: Walter dodges Amy's Improvised Throw.
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Amy 0/-------/-----==|-------\-------\0 Walter
"You are truly worthy of your title, then! Honor kept! I am pleased." Comes the wyrm, smiling wide. A slightly too-long tongue licks his lips in a moment of feral desire. If he just let go a little more, he could take this one, break her, be the dominant creature between the two...
His pleasure fades at the nearly all-consuming thought. He visibly reigns himself in from that look. Another piece of evidence. He needs control, or he'll slip one day. Grasping his reigns of the soul tighter, he forces that beast to calm.
A fearless woman, truly worthy of being called a knight. Both his conscious mind and his inner beast sing in joy. A dance between those who have fought since long ago. It gives him speed and strength, and he uses it all in tripping up the poor woman.
She deftly comes up, the man already drawn his improvised spear back for a stab. A touch too slow, attention split between beast and fight. It hampers his potential, split as his soul is. And a weakness that Amy very nearly capitalizes upon as she drops into a fighting stance and thrusts a feint. His too-flexible body leans back in a way that would break the spine of a normal human. But the wyrmkin is too flexible, spine with too many extra joins and body able to twist in ways that would be impossible otherwise without very specific martial arts training. But she never meant it to strike, and only supernatural senses save him from being pounded by the unraveling mist-chi. The dragon's breath tries to strike him, to send him down. The wyrmkin breaths, and his own draconic heritage flares as he quite simply flaps his wings in one powerful, arrogant strike. The force of the wind carries him aloft out of the way of that gathering mist upon the ground and her shove. It in fact may help him be carried upwards.
"Most curious! I cannot wait to see what /else/ this power of yours is capable of." Then, with a flap of his wings, Walter is a speeding flash of a wyrm as he crashes back down from that seemingly trivial ten foot leap. Worst still, he seems to dart about in his fall like a hummingbird, changing trajectory at the last moment as, rather than stabbing his compatriot, he simply seeks to bring his weapons' shaft down upon her shoulder.
"Nothing so grand. A bastardization of ancient training manuals and what little I could draw from old arthurian tales. The rest, I just follow the good old addage of place the pointy end in my opponent." There's a grin, even as he's hitting her with a stick. A little like a playground game of knights and orcs, only with a lot more supernatural shenanigans. Strike down, hit or miss, he leaps back to keep his precious distance from his opponent, landing in a wary style where he watches and moves, tail soon swaying. It's not quite hypnotic, but it seems he's picked the trick up from a certain vixen.
COMBATSYS: Amy blocks Walter's Jump.
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Amy 0/-------/----===|-------\-------\0 Walter
Though the Dragon's Breath aids and abets her, at the core of the Templar's style she's a traditionalist, soft-style grappler with a distinctly modern improvisational attitude; try saying that five times really fast. Regardless, her stance is solid yet yielding, easily to adapt to a circumstance without betraying the nature of her attacks - primarily because most of those rely on interaction with her opponent's momentum. Kinomichi is closely related to judo and aikido, an oddly-complementary companion to her instinctive chi manipulation. She's not the only unorthodox here, though...
Walter's rise is observed with an upward flick of stormy blues, Amy reorientating one foot outward, sinking into her heels to better brace for impact when it comes. The incoming shaft is met with a twist of the torso and a sharply-angled arm, the elbow crooking to allow the spear to impact against taut muscles with a heavy smack.
She barely seems to notice it, smiling past her raised limb.
"That's the trick, isn't it? They say the spear is the easiest weapon to use," her tone is conversational, even as she flexes her arm out and drops into a swift roll, coming up beside Walter in the instant that he lands. Her hood falls away, revealing tangled raven locks falling across her now-wild eyes. She's thrusting herself toward him--
--but then appears in a curiously ebbing flash of undulating tendrils on the other side. As if consumed and displaced by her own manipulation of energies, it resembles teleportation; but it's hard to track, if only because that same inward-sweeping mist then continues through itself, lashing out in a harsh burst to impact Walter from head to toe with a few dozen stinging whips of energy, all amounting to a hefty blast when all is done. Upon the other side, Amy sets her footing and spins away, arms dismissing the mist with a sweeping gesture that sends them back to slow, lazy looping.
"But once you can master it, you might just be unstoppable. It's the ability to move with instinct that frees a warrior's mind; allows them to maintain control without effort, to be the best they can be unfazed by the subtleties of advanced technique."
COMBATSYS: Walter just-defends Amy's Stormwitch!
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Amy 0/-------/-----==|-------\-------\0 Walter
Walter is all but faced with a wall made or rubber. Solid, strong, but also able to bend and flex without showing the very capability. It puts a grin on his face. Instinct. The one thing that he's always fought against, even reviled...to fight a woman using a style so able to react without formal styles amidst that strange mist technique? It might as well be a training ground for the wyrmkin who's coming to realize he cannot afford to /not/ use his power as a darkstalker. The woman before him is a very real, equal opponent. He feels utterly honored to fight Amy.
It shows as he grins, those slitted reptilian eyes revealed as her bracing catch of his weapon knocks out his contacts. There's joy in them, the thrill of a fight, alongside ever-growing respect.
Ahh, the spear. His chosen weapon. Originally taken out of equal whimsy and his superior's realization that a beast fights best with what is simple. And yet, for all that its strikes are simple, pure dedication and hard work can yield strength with a spear. Walter, for all his faults, has that in spades.
It helps too when you're a scaley abomination. Amy rolls away, and Walter instinctually takes flight. Leaping to the air, he floats lazily, grinning.
"You see, I am not exactly intelligent. Good with words, with people, conveying ideas...but originality and complexity is not my forte. Perfect weapon for an idiot such as myself. Right to the heart, my dear! It offers distance, power, and a flexibility to react not unlike your own martial art. Nevermind what your Mist brings. A wildcard. Not unlike my own talents. We are evenly matched, I would say. It comes down to skill, the Lord's favor, and good old reactions."
By now he's on the ground again, the serpent-wyrm finding himself teleported upon by the power of chi! His senses, superhuman as they are, fail him as he's left to simply fight on pure instinct. The blows are taken upon the hardened scales of his form. A strike to his chest, near his recent wound, has him flinching but otherwise unharmed. The next intercepted with a tail. And then he simply shields himself with his two great wings, weathering blows almost effortlessly. It's a bit like tossing chi at a solid steel wall as those wings glow with abundant light-based golden chi.
"No one is unstoppable. Only through harmony and allies can one truly be called 'invincible'." With that, he lashes out, that building bright sun-like chi on his wings augmented by the powerful muscles in those two appendages as they seek to slice into Amy. It's a little like being sliced at by a very, very hot knife.
COMBATSYS: Amy fails to interrupt Twin Claws from Walter with Wyrm Waker.
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Amy 0/-------/=======|==-----\-------\0 Walter
"Play to your strengths," murmurs the Templar, drawing her powers inward, the outlying field of chi seeming to drawn inward as though upon the very motions of her breath. A glance goes to the building waves of Walter's own, golden energy, and she just breathes all the deeper. When he strikes, she accepts it, goes with it, her teeth gritting as she's battered by twin blades - and she refuses to go down immediately, windmilling her arms through the morass as if to seize onto the ineffable; it should be impossible...
It is. She goes down hard, gasping. She said she wouldn't hold back, and she's not - but to the point of a flaw, straining her body and soul, the mists receding in spite of her will as she takes a knee and struggles to regain her composure. Forcing herself upright with what amounts to a snarl, she shakes her head and tosses Walter a hard grin, the pain apparent on features that refuse to show it to no avail.
"...It's what I've been trying to tell you," she gasps out, restoring her guard with a slow, meditative grace that goes some way to delivering her focus back. "You judge yourself too much. You need to relax. Release. The moment you do that-- and, I fear, you only do it with me," her smile is cooler now, and she beckons Walter toward her. He's winning, for certain; but it's not so much about victors. She wanted to see him at work, and wanted to know he was well. She's getting precisely what she desired.
"This is when you're strongest. Always be like this, my friend."
Walter allows a deep sigh. The indrawn chi is battered by his own, and it well seems that pure physical force wins out. Walter stands tall and proud for a moment. Not arrogant, but at both seeing /success/ and yet endurance and pride in his compatriot's form as she takes the attack with more than admirable fortitude, it lends him a certain strength and confidence. Bad for the spar, perhaps, but indeed it's not about victory. What Amy is doing is well healing the good draconic Padre. Giving a damn and facing him without holding back while offering honest appraisals and advice. It's just what he needs.
Walter laughs. Relax. How could he possibly? A startle, and her words almost seem to surprise him.
Then he laughs again. It's easier this time. "Maybe...maybe you are right. /You/, my dear, are just far too brooding and easy to be honest with. I...suppose too that your powers call out to my own. Heh." He flushes a bit. Pauses, and /relaxes/ with visible effort.
"Is this what it is like to have a sibling?" There's a tear in the corner of his eye.
Clawed feet flex, muscles propel him in an easy leap towards her right. Those same claws offer resistance to steel, cutting it, and then he back-pedals in an odd movement that has his upper body twisted backwards and feet planted firmly before her. More strange, inhuman movements borne of instinct. It's accompanied by a simple thrust towards her stomach, and should it hit, a follow-through to thrust her entire body right into the nearby railing. He's trying to make an Amy-sized dent in them, it seems. A pure, two-handed thrust that ends with his upper body slumped oddly forward, and wings ready to flap out of the way of her counter-attack. No human should be able to maintain such balance, but the erratic movements are coming ever more naturally to him.
COMBATSYS: Amy blocks Walter's True Thrust.
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Amy 0/-------/=======|-------\-------\0 Walter
Bad for nothing; testing herself against the total fury of Walter's draconic nature was a fine test, and a fine signifier of his abilities to the Templar. Perhaps it's selfish of her to take such risks, but more than anything she needs to know the capabilities of those who battle alongside her. Whatever else she might be, she takes her responsibility as a leader of men seriously - as an Officer, she must know her troops. She's gaining valuable insight into the priest, and if he gains confidence with that...
So much the better. She's smiling through the pain and the focus. This is -good-.
"I wouldn't know," she admits with a tilt of her had to his wonderment, her tone distant with compassion, a bare breath on the seabreeze. Through the diminishing tendrils of the Dragon's Breath she watches Walter approach, her breath quickening rapidly as she realizes just how much that last assault not only rattled her-- but awakened something in her. She's felt it before, an indication of the ferocity they strangely share. When he comes in with a thrust of his weapon, she meets it.
Her stomach tenses, and turns aside, abdominals redirecting the spear as her left arm snaps across its width, angled steeply to seize control. She only seeks to hold him in place for a moment, grunting as she keeps turning with a view to staggering him sidelong and then releasing him from her defensive ministrations.
No attack is hidden in the motion, it seems-- at least unless he looks past his own shoulder, where the tendrils of mist have gathered anew, thick in but one place upon the deck, coalescing with a gentle snaking twist of her free hand into a simulacrum of the Templar herself. It's a shadowy figure that dives toward Walter from behind, a faint and ghostly howl emitting at the last approach as the mist intensifies to strike; pounding against him with a curious warmth, spreading out as it does to lose shape but gain a wider, broader striking surface. It's like being punched by a huge fist.
"But I feel it too! You make me..." She hesitates to use the word, smiling as she steps through a tight spiralling path, akin to a Bagua circle-walk, coming up close to Walter whether she's succeeded in surprising him with her energy-clone or not. "Better."
Maybe not better at fighting, but she doesn't mean that. She means in every sense.
Even in that fearsome, animal near-rage she feels.
COMBATSYS: Walter blocks Amy's Night Errant.
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Amy 1/------=/=======|=------\-------\0 Walter
Animalistic rage meets rage, Walter's grin never giving way. A test or not, the weary priest throws himself against Amy with all of his might. It's a pure contest of strength without permanence or purpose aside from testing and truth. After all he's been through, so many questions, he cannot help but enjoy the conflict. Pure and honest, this is a show of strength and an offering of capabilities from one warrior to another. Walter revels in the chance to be honest, and he feels very little judgement from Amy.
His strike is met with pure muscle, and it brings a further grin and lash of tail. Templar Amy, though a human, is strong. He enjoys the contest of dominance and control, wyrm soul growing brighter. Then a shadowy figure impacts from behind. He bears it well upon scaled back, a fist to pure steel, and yet the flexibility of muscles beneath. Forced to stagger, to balk, he regains his balance with another claw-assisted groove laid upon the metal of the ship.
"Truly? Then let us never fail such. Let us clash evermore, until our dying breath, as comrades in arms. Let me be blunt. I dream of a day where Darkstalker and human join hands in brotherhood! That is my purpose, what I strive for, that /ALL/ of God's children know peace and safety. Should my blood, my pain, my toil and suffering be sufficient to point the world to that path...what say you, Dame Amy? What is your dream!? Show me your desires with your power and fists!" Then, the wyrmkin relaxes for a moment, and takes up a guarding stance as he awaits her strike.
COMBATSYS: Walter gains composure.
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Amy 1/------=/=======|-------\-------\0 Walter
That need for judgement? In short order, they have shared darkness in their pasts and in their souls, confessed their sinful failures, and supported one another through loss and adversity. Though Amy herself may not yet have needed that support so strongly as her newfound friend, it's only a matter of time... and here, now, he proves that his strength is capable of equalling or even surpassing her own. They're past the need for the suspicious motions of due caution. Past anything but simple honesty.
And there is nothing so plain as that. What is the Templar's dream?
"A world where we need never lie." Her stormy blues lift, a smile dancing across her lips only to quickly vanish as her mouth pulls taut and her brow furrows. "It's deception that drives would-be allies apart, forces enemies to arms because they cannot share their goals. The cause of all strife is that we fail to say what we want-- but constantly succeed," suddenly she moves, darting toward Walter only to fall back into that circular step from moments before, moving quickly around him as her arms shift with each twist-turn of her torso, forming satellites to ward off imagined attacks. "In the act of reaching out take it. To snatch desire from the grasp of others."
She stops as quickly as she began, and yields to greater distance, the mists buoying wildly around her as if stirred by her passions. Because they are. They absolutely are, one with the Templar; her breath quickens, and tendrils dive in a lazy helix. She steps rapidly, and they whirl in the wake of her path. It's subtle within the fog, but each motion is echoed. Her intent, and her emotions, too. The Breath has thickened considerably.
"A world without greed is a world without lies. We only lie to be selfish."
She draws in a long breath, her eyes swimming with a thousand emotions but one intention - to make herself plain, to impart to both Walter and herself the message that she holds dearest. The mist is drawn toward her, and by the line of her sight, toward Walter, in a giddy rush. He can feel the nearby tendrils touch him, as if embracing, a sensation that begins almost pleasantly and then grows stronger. Fierce.
A lover's desperate embrace. A fist closing to snatch and claim.
"Confront yourself and confront truth. Open it -all-. Passion, hatred, love."
She hisses the next breath, and the mist closes in with a devastating finality, pressing upon Walter with delirious strength. Not just crushing but invading, tendrils creeping into every orifice, her chi violating his body and his aura, diving into the very soul in an attempt to crush from every angle. It's quick-- almost instantaneous, for all the buildup, and over a second later. Like being entombed in sand.
Amy doesn't move throughout, the rhythm of her lungs doing the work.
"That's my desire," she says quietly, calmly, in the aftermath, "Because the day we can all be honest is the day those things are the same, and it all ceases to matter. I don't want to hide, and I want to love all men - all things - as I do you."
Her stance remains, the only real clue that she's still in a fight. Her style goes beyond that.
Her voice is small, tightly-controlled, as she finishes:"It's why I often prefer to be alone."
COMBATSYS: Walter endures Amy's The Dragon's Breath.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////////////////// ]
Amy 0/-------/------=|====---\-------\0 Walter
A pair of souls entwining, offering friendship, challenge, and support. Walter grins with a strange confidence afforded him not through victory, but through the words and feeling of the knight before him. They clash well as equals, but more importantly, as newfound compatriots. Skill meets skill, and the priest holds not back his own denied heritage or his human skill of polearms.
"That's the bloody sorrow of it. We all desire, all thirst for dreams. And yet to realize a dream, one must crush a dream often times. God save us all, but I fear that none are more worthy than others. So many dreams of the end, where peace reigns. But means of that peace remains paramount. A fox who believes that piece comes through the death of humanity. A human who believes that peace comes through the death of all who are not human. A wyrm who believes that both should embrace in love, kinship, friendship and suffering...and a knight who would share that dream." Walter pauses, and for a moment, all of his frustrations mount. The resulting roaring scream, inhuman and filled with pure suffering at the world, will haunt the dreams of many humans for years to come. Nevermind the poor crew.
Walter slinks, and sighs.
"Fuck lies. I do not know how to fix our world. But if we must kill, then let us kill honestly. FUCK OUR GREED, WYRM AND HUMAN ALIKE!" Offers Walter to heaven and knight alike, utterly letting go of his pain and suffering to a woman he respects.
Walter takes the strike to his body. That giddy, tendril filled rush of pure power beyond the gold-clad wyrm. For all the pain her mist causes, crushing and devouring his body and soul, the man slinks weakly to the deck of the ship amidst an eternity of oddly rewarding pain. His ears listen, amidst physical suffering. All throughout as he's pinned by her mists, Walter listens to Amy.
"Love. That, in the end, is what shall save us Amy. You desire solitude. Do you do so becuase you are afraid of kinship, or because you fear your power shall harm other innocents?" Questions the wyrm-priest.
And then the Dragon Breath pinned wyrm holds out his improvised spear, and golden chi builds. An unfocused ray of light thrusts towards the knightess as he scrambles gracelessly to his feat, breath coming quickly as that golden light seeks to burn her flesh.
"God be praised. The world needs knights. And if I can make /YOU/ better...then I shall give every drop of my blood for the cause!"
COMBATSYS: Amy just-defends Walter's Blinding Light!
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////////////////// ]
Amy 0/-------/------=|===----\-------\0 Walter
From the heart. From the soul. Walter's scream touches the Templar and rouses her, far more than it terrifies her. She's afraid of so very little-- although, in a sense, by the same token she is nothing but afraid, wrapped in the need for bravery and conviction at all costs. It's the coward who fights the hardest, the one who ultimately fears the loss of all things, the knight who runs into battle lest battle be lost in the running away. Courage is just cowardice that refuses to buckle or bend.
"For all that I've seen and done..."
Amy's voice is still small, the frailty at the core of her being exposed even as her mists press deeply about them both. Her power on display as well. The most brutal dichotomy she embodies; weakness and strength, brought together and forged as one. Stuffed in her hooded jumper and jogging bottoms, she's the most unlikely hero at this moment. Moreso than the howling dragon, even, whose montrosity makes him more a distillation of man's struggle than she could ever hope to be.
"Everything is a contradiction."
Her chin lifts boldly, the Dragon's Breath tumbling away from Walter in buoying strands, looping as if they never attacked at all. So much tension and aggression results in something dissonantly peaceful and calm. Everything, indeed.
The stave is extended and light spills forth toward the woman wrapped in so much darkness, her raven hair and stormy eyes gifting her a countenance that seems more villain than heroine. The lady knight's aura howls in response, and she darts -toward- the blinding light, two long steps carrying her into it with a wordless scream, taut and hoarse, to mirror and oppose the wyrm's own. From the earth itself, far from the ship rolling on ocean currents, she calls upon her power. The mist thickens. Closes.
In a twisting sheet, an opaque windshear, it rushes past her fore and sweeps away the light, cloaking it in shadow and quenching it utterly. Her onrush continues into a martial sprint, her motions controlled and tight despite her haste, a lash of strong arms dispelling what remains of Walter's assault into glistening motes of angelic fervour. She smiles in spite of her ferocity, the Templar, surging forth and then blurring to the eye; lost, momentarily within the looping confines of the mist.
"We'll all bleed for our belief, my friend. Even as we refuse to. Even as we stand against everything set against us, we resolve to be destroyed by it."
Her voice comes from behind him now, distracting in its clipped clarity. It seems to echo, beset by the same power-- that sweeps to Walter's fore side, the mist fiercely following her into the motion so fast as to seem impossible. It concealed her final rush; and in the process, concealed itself. A hundred whipping strands pound toward and -through- Walter, eager to follow their mistress to his aft. They will not be denied.
"That's what it means to be a knight. To be a priest. To be a Warrior of the Lord. We sacrifice so that we might succeed; find victory in defeat. Save man by damning him. More than just man..." She twists about, raising her guard as she turns in the wake of her own assault, greeting the mist with gently clawing fingers, stroking it. "We save the world. I need you to save it with me, Walter. Father. I need your honest soul."
COMBATSYS: Walter endures Amy's Stormwitch.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////// ]
Amy 0/-------/-----==|======-\-------\0 Walter
Walter's own bravery is not so strong. He's seen some of the worst that the supernatural has to offer. Horrors and tragedies beyond the sanity of most mortals. Only the beast he chains and his solid shield of faith has kept him sane. Worst still, he knows in his heart of hearts that the greatest threat to his dream could well one day be himself should he ever truly lose control. Or perhaps, should he never /find/ control. The fear of losing everything and betraying everything drives the Father towards a desperate headlong rush into danger, and more importantly, other people's lives. To change and make the world better is the core of a priest and knight both. Fearing and hating what he is, only now has he stopped to consider that perhaps he too may be worth loving.
Walter laughs at Amy's words, a wild and savage thing as they strike his very heart. So too does the pain from their battle help, particularly as she turns aside his chi with her own powerful aura. Her great skill rises, that thickening mist enveloping and cutting off most of his vision! Unseen strikes come at him, striking his chest, what little he tries to see utterly failing amidst her mist-enhanced speed.
But Walter, for all of his looks, is a tough bastard. The many tendrils of her mist strike into and /through/ his very body. It's a horrid feeling of being violated by another's power, though perhaps not maliciously, and it sends him into a roar of rage and confusion. He's never encountered something like this. Instinctually, wings fold about his body to provide a curtain of protection. When they fade enough for him to see? His wings flex, the man wobbly on his feet at best. His shirt is shredded almost utterly, cross remaining, showing great welts from her strikes and the scales amidst his flesh. Muscles tense and flex as he slowly calms down, her words once more coming to him as he slowly removes himself from the rising feral rage.
"Then let us sacrifice, kill, save, and bleed the world dry if we must for our dream! I am tired of living in shadows and denying what I am, when it could be used for a higher purpose! Let's change this world, so that there doesn't need to be any more sacrifice or hate or war, even if we are reduced to dust and cast to Hell itself!"
Once again, the dragon leaps forward! He lands on a single foot, before leaping another ten feet to the woman's side. The pattern of leap, followed by a feinting jab is repeated in a star-like pattern, testing Amy's...and her Mist's...guard with every calculated strike. It's a pattern, and he'll stay only long enough to leap back to the air. Until finally he stops, a foot in front of her, before ramming his spear towards her feet!
But it, too, is a feint. Pushing up, he uses the makeshift weapon to leap into an overhead jump! There's a pair of feet being aimed right for Amy's face. Instead of a kick, the wyrm simply perches atop her face with his weight backwards upon her. Then with a flap of his wings, should she not escape, he'll leap off towards the sky and all but stomping Amy into the ground!
"We're both still weak, Dame Amy, but I believe we can grow! Our powers, all but infantile, shall crash and break upon each other and mend until all shall bow before our combined will!"
COMBATSYS: Amy fails to interrupt Perching Dragon from Walter with Wyrm Waker.
[ \\\\\\\\ < > //////////// ]
Amy 0/-------/--=====|======-\-------\0 Walter
Skill is to be pushed like anything else - taken to its limit and broken if necessary, to find the flaws within, to sense what must be improved upon or outright abandoned. Whether a battle is for simple enjoyment or to be taken to injury or death, nothing changes the goal for the Templar; to be everything she can be, at any cost. That means taking great risks. Life is no different. Without being prepared to throw caution to the winds, to put faith in the Lord to see one through the most recklessly-challenged circumstance, one cannot become better. Least of all best.
It's an attitude echoed by the dragon-priest, in his words and actions, and Amy feels further compelled to meet him on these terms. There's no loser here, no winner save them both. As much a contest of wills and realizations as skill or power alone... yet in this instant, it's Father Bardsley who proves himself the deadlier combatant. The Dragon's Breath parts before him in a lazy sway, his feint disregarded by the keen gaze of the Templar as she instead cants her gaze up in perfect pursuit of his motion.
"Whether we burn or not," she hisses, focusing her all into a singular attempt to snatch the assault from the air, a hand clinging onto clawed feet and the other preparing to windmill. Snicker-snack. She'll call the mist to her then-- but it's not to be, and his weight plows through the deft attempt at diverting in her favour. Amy is driven down, smashed from standing to immediately prone. She can feel her bones creak, feel welts open upon pale skin. She gasps, catching herself with a desperate surge of physical effort and indomitable will. Back to her feet with a dizzy sway.
"It's where we stand, when we fall, that defines us. What we accomplish before the end. If God's judgement is harsh, so be it-- my will will not break even before Him." She's speaking in a rush, her words only evading becoming garbled because they come so fiercely from the heart. Lifting her guard, her form wavering and the mist starting to fade as its mistress nears her last gasp, she focuses widened pupils onto the dragon.
"We're as weak as we believe ourselves to be. Strength is within, as well as without. Judge not yourself; it's not your place, nor mine. Just be the best you can be. Honestly and without regret." A smile brushes her lips, momentarily bittersweet before it becomes a wild grin. In spite of the pain, and the bruising, the rending of claws and the shaking of her very soul, she's enjoying herself. "Show me. Don't hold back. Let me glimpse your totality before I bend a knee. /Finish this chapter/."
She clenches a hand to a fist, and the mist re-emboldens, clouding the deck.
"We'll both be stronger in the next."
Walter lands in an almost lazy glide from his leap from Amy's face. There might just be shoe-imprints in the poor woman's skin. Hopefully no one on the crew asks exactly /why/ they're both so battered and hurt.
"Give ourselves to our faith and our goals, and to piss with everything else? I like it! Enough with being so self-important! My doubts, my trials of faith...I may make them break me, or strengthen me! This /life/ is a test, even our allies as much as our enemies! WE shall not be found wanting! The best? Bloody hell, Amy! Do you know what you ask, /HUMAN/!?" His voice once more takes on that terrible, feral quality. The chains creak within, a raging beast, both at himself and at his opponent.
"...What you are asking is for me to accept myself. To let go. Well...you, Dame Amy, are worth that. Worth the risk. If I do not come back, I demand you cut me down here."
Chains snap. Walter visibly shudders, as his eyes grow sharper. His talons just a little bit longer, those teeth sharper, and the whole of his being /moving/. There's constant motion in his tail, his entire body as he stalks towards the woman. There's very, very little human intelligence in those eyes. Only the smallest spark, bouyed by faith as he lets out a roar that echoes over the water. The crew of the vessel will have nightmares for years, and stories of a great sea-serpent will arise from their tales.
Only Amy and Walter will know the truth. He's the monster. /They/ are the monster. Without another word, rushing forward in a slithering fashion that has his body very nearly touching the ground and his impromptu weapon carving great gouges of the deck, he simply rushes Amy. It's not subtle, but the pure speed and hunger for blood and flesh requires neither. It's pure, raw, unbridled fury and the release of his whole being to the woman who demands it. A clawed hand slashes out, seeking to cut open her stomach brutally. His makeshift spear aims straight for the chest, aiming for her heart. His entire body glows like the sun with radiating chi.
Worst of all? If he gets close enough, he tries to sink his teeth into Amy's shoulder and tear.
COMBATSYS: Amy breaks through Twin Claws from Walter with Rebound Throw!
[ \\\\\\\ < > ///// ]
Amy 0/-------/-======|=======\=------\1 Walter
If asked, they'll be honest... won't they?
Amy's globe-trotting allegiances are sturdy enough and her reputation - amongst those to whom she extends trust - given enough to bruises, welts and scars from her recent endeavours that they'll likely be treated no differently to previous. Those are the relationships worth keeping; if an ally or friend judges, they do so with care, not with the eye of the critically-damning. In short...
...they're either worth the risk, or not worth a damn. Take the risk. Take the shot.
"Deal," murmurs the Templar, signing away both their lives with a simple word that could mean so much or so little, from the right or wrong mouth. Her gaze tracks Walter with a cool, intense efficiency, the dizziness pounding through her skull and reflected in the narrowness of bleak pupils threatens to overwhelm but is denied. The monster approaches-- but it's already there, inside, screaming and rattling at the cage in which she confines it. Everybody's a beast, inside. Nobody's innocent. Their sins are myriad, singular only at the very point of birth. It's denial to deem another more monstrous, without first experiencing what they bring to bear. To judge, by appearance, is to make the gravest mistake in defining others and oneself. Sentence...
...sentence only what you KNOW.
She knows the dragon-priest now, and doesn't blanch at the horrific image driving toward her, nor at the claw lashing for her breast with intent to pierce the beating life's blood within. To drain her dry. "I know what I ask."
She twists into it, accepting the slash with a diverting motion of her ribs, allowing steely claws to rake against bone and tear sinew and flesh away, like a can peeling open. It hurts, god it hurts, but she doesn't bother to acknowledge bar with the most instinctive -hiss-, her eyes suddenly blazing now and no longer lost in the nearness of passing out. She's more alive at this point than she ever is away from it, breaking beyond the confines of a mere, outer shell. She meets the monster with her soul.
The spear is seized by an in-coiling arm, her elbow slamming against the haft as her fingertips curl in toward that raking claw. She seizes Walter's fearsome hand tight, her own grip harsh with inflamed callouses. Controlling his weapon with her upper body, as before, she bucks tightly, off-balancing him. Her other arm twists through his, and up through the triangle formed by the totality, locking them together.
It's a whisper, beset by violence and love at their equal utmost. Her smile yields to a roar, however, and she's immediately twisting to the left, sliding a leg out long and bending the other at the knee, hauling upon knotted limbs to drag Walter over her elbow and shoulder. She doesn't release him at the apex, maintaining her grip until he's slammed -brutally- into the deck of the ship, upon a cushion of rising mist that hardens upon impact and then thrusts against dragon and Templar both. It's this impact that all but -forces- her to yield the grip, but the brunt is absorbed by him.
For her part, she braces and launches on what remains, leaping backwards and upwards, bent over him in mid-air. Stormy blues blaze, and her hands outthrust, clawing inward and up. Beckoning. Beckoning to the mist layered below. Tendrils surge to join their mistress, punishing Walter with drilling force as each powers through him, adding pain to pain, compounding the Templar's unorthodox counter-assault. A moment later, she's consumed by the Dragon's Breath, carried aloft and then released from its embrace to fall with an animal's abandoned grace nearby. She's breathing hard...
But she's alive. So very alive, her stare riveted upon Bardsley.
There's nothing more to say.
Thoughts of sin and pain and love are utterly absent in the mind of Walter, if one can even call the creature trying eat Amy that. His entire world is instinct, freedom, to be unchained and released for what is likely the first time in his life. Even as she seizes his weapon, accepts his strike with aplumb that would be worthy of the finest of Arturian knights, her great skill has him fully at her mercy. A strike without human intelligence, though brutal, is turned aside so easily. Men, after all, can use their intelligence and pure training to defeat even a monster such as released from the well-meaning priest.
Slammed brutally, spear ripped from his hand, the wyrm lets out an almost submissive gasp and hiss. It's like being slammed into the hardest of metals. And then the tendrls come, horrible drilling tentacles that break through scale and flesh with ease. Pain, rage, and terror are ripped from the wyrm's mouth until the animal is subdued.
But not by Amy. Seizing all of his faith, all of his desires and purpose, Walter Bardsley crawls up from the swirling morass of freedom and pure instinct with will. It's a first step, but an important one. He'll need a guide, a teacher, but that small action by Walter and Amy alike sets him firmly upon the path. When the beaten, battered animal rises, there's still that wild fury. But keen human eyes lurk beyond. From his breathing, to maintain it is a struggle inward beyond most. He could devour himself in an instant. His strike comes slowly, almost weakly. He's exhausted. But it might just be enough, as he leaps to the air propelled by all of his strength. Instead of a spear, the male leaps up and downwards in an arc. Mindful of her Breath, claws slashing at any tendrils that seek him, he simply seeks to slam a draconic-powered kick to the back of Amy's head.
COMBATSYS: Amy dodges Walter's Spineshatter Dive.
[ \\\\\\\ < > //// ]
Amy 0/-------/-======|-------\-------\0 Walter
Both moving with instinct at their back, these two Warriors of God are united in every sense - in their darkly-heroic natures, in their conviction to succeed at all cost, even in the beyond-human blaze of their twin gazes. The dragon's fearsome stare is met with the fervent oceanic abyssi presented by the Templar, her chin lifting to send her gaze aloft. Once more she's tracking that singular leap, prepared to meet all that Walter presents with the resonant same in herself. They're beyond words now, beyond anything but the motions of a combat they both need. Both desire.
It's just possible, however, that Amy has held more in reserve. Unless her 'all' is just so total that she is tireless, which may be the case - even after taking so much abuse, throwing so much and failing to connect with so much more, all that seemingly drained effort remains with her as she draws breath and then releases it in a slow, cooling sigh. She's moving as she does so, and to her it's in slow-motion, her feet sliding into a circular triple-step, her arms whirling outward partly for balance and partly because she's too relaxed to hold them where they are. This is...
This is her kinomichi, stripped of the Dragon's Breath, all grace and composure. Her motions aren't fast, precisely, but perfectly-timed. She passes beneath the strike and around it, never more than inches from Walter Bardsley. The mist follows her in a lazy loop, pirouetting in a curious, otherworldly dance with the Templar...
...and then she stops, facing Walter as he makes his landing. Her hands pull inward, completing their own spiralling path, one held just below her jar with palm presented and fingers curled about it. The other is similar, but extended, forming a flat striking surface with which she seeks to simply, deftly clip the dragon-priest in his jaw. She smiles past the strike, but it's without anything but the simple, natural joy of life; as if she were in a meadow, lying in the sun and hearing the birds.
If it lands, it's with deceptive power. She has that in spades.
And behind her, the mist completes the final twist in this three-step tale, soaring as if on a brisk breeze, myriad tendrils diving through the Templar's tense fingertips to embody her strike with the true force it presents; a good, hearty and indeed myriad smack of diving chi-whips, to drive Walter back and, perhaps, finally drop him.
Sometimes, to break through so much passion, to stop something so tough...
One needs simply focus, and simply be. It's another lesson for them both.
COMBATSYS: Amy successfully hits Walter with Stormaiden.
-* CRITICAL HIT! *-
[ \\\\\\\ < > ]
Amy 1/-------/=======|==-----\-------\0 Walter
It's both bloodletting, and an outpouring of passion. The human part of Walter is as free as the wyrmkin. To let go, to experience, to simply /exist/ in primal combat...a stray thought hits him even as he's struck by Amy's fury. Perhaps, in this, Kiyomi and Amy both were right. He needed to command himself. Or forever be lost amidst a simple, driven knightess' strength.
Walter's leap is met, the landing set, and then she comes for him. That moving, triple-step is beyond the spearsman's skill. The man is used to fighting monsters and monster-hunters. /Not/ such pure martial artists. Her kinimochi strike hits him perfectly in the jaw. It sends him back, and then chi-whips crack into his body. The male's form smashes into the rails, denting them as he spits up blood.
He lingers there for a moment, vision swimming, and all that draconic fury goes out of his eyes. Without a weapon, without the ability to stand, it seems as though she's beaten him. Eyes close...and jolt open. A growl, pure instinct, and he raises his hand. A flick as a sharp shard of chi forms. It's all he has, but he promised to give his all. For her to know his deepest depths, and /this/ single shard of golden light is it. His love for a comrade, and his hunger for life at once. With a flick ti's sent flying in an erratic path, bouncing about as any other ephemeral light beam. Rather than her heart, he reveals his most precious gift of all by God.
Mercy. Even in the throes of the demon of a dragon within, he simply will not fell an honorable companion. It streaks down suddenly. Right in the foot, if she doesn't move! Someone will owe a foot massage after this, most likely. The the wyrmkin slumps, unconscious.
COMBATSYS: Walter can no longer fight.
COMBATSYS: Amy interrupts Blinding Light from Walter with Roundhouse Kick.
[ \\\\\\ <
Amy keeps her palm extended following the hit, retracting it just enough to loosen contact, watching the dragon-priest over her own arm with that gentle, soothing smile. She's been pushed to a sort of limit here - though the Dragon's Breath is oft so easy to control as to prove physically effortless, the wages upon spirit and soul, and the damage upon her body from weathering Walter's assaults...
...this has been a hell of a fight. His savagery, his fury, and his unrelenting bravery in the fact of both a worthy opponent and his own nature have been more than merely impressive. To wait this long made it more of an honour, to go through something so deep and affecting and then unfold with -this- magnificent display, she's thrilled. Adrenaline fills her veins, controlled but controlling, and as he releases his final burst of defiance - in respect, in pride, but ultimately in mercy - she is still lost in the motions of battle. Stormy blues trace the expulsion of pure light. When it comes toward her, she reacts upon the same, graceful honed instinct that imparted the last.
Her foot lifts, her knee turning inward, and before the light can fall upon her it's met in the air by a snap kick. Her shin strikes Walter's last remaining totality, cleaving it in twain with a spreading, heady warmth imparted to the Templar that drains her energy and almost brings her to her knees. But it doesn't; she has just enough left, and pulls the blow from the falling dragon-priest to instead spin through, a three-sixty turn washing the searing light from her pale flesh, throwing it away to join with the tendrils of the Dragon's Breath. Together, where they belong.
The mist is already fading as she releases a breath and stretches her striking limb as she lowers it to the ground. A glance down at Walter, and her smile regrows with new warmth, the Templar sinking beside him to rearrange his limbs for greater comfort, then nestling his head in her lap and brushing his brow with tenderness.
Her hand is shaking, however. The battle has taken its toll.
Allowing the heat of battle to ebb, dismissing it as she did the final blur of Walter's harnessed energies, she sinks her forehead over his own. Placing their flesh together, warm and cool, dry and damp. Her lips curl just a few inches from his, the closeness of being surpassing anything beyond exactly that; it's not the action of a lover, but a sister, a fellow in purpose and spirit. Closing her eyes, she remains there for long, cooling minutes, the creaking of the deck and the sloshing of the ocean below their only companion as the mists fade. Peace is restored. A taste, perhaps, of things to come; what they might bring upon the world, through this holy union...
The future is brighter than ever before.
COMBATSYS: Amy has ended the fight here.
Log created on 20:05:37 02/13/2015 by Amy, and last modified on 23:47:30 02/16/2015.