The Descent - Round 2 - Under His Eye

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Description: In a place of lingering strife and vengeful grief, pyromancer faces mentalist for the stakes of the continuing tournament path. They find within one another reserves even beyond what was anticipated-- and respected-- up front, finding as much challenge as either kombatant can krave.

The place is as quiet as it usually is. Unknown to it, a big battle is about to take place in the second round of The Descent Tournament. The great Kain and the Assassin school girl Edenlith.

Edenlith seems to arrive first. At one moment, she's not there. The next she is. Not teleportation, but simply really fast. Once she comes to a stop, one can see she is wearing a black leather suit, covering her from neck to toes. Of course, she also has her two Karambits knives on her person.

She takes a look around the place, her red eyes scanning the area. "I feel like I was here before." She says to herself.

She can feel the people around as well as something else that's not quite human. "This is going to be a fun place to fight. Now if my opponent can be as fun as Kongou was. This will be grand." She says to no one in particular with a grin. Then she waits rather quietly for Mr. Kain to show up.

Quiet, yet not precisely peaceful. The scars of this land, its violent struggles and ongoing exploitation, reverberate into the spirit realm, tinge the channel between life and death, between matter and metaphysics with a certain air; some would call it haunting, eerie, unnatural.

Unlike the discordant notes now surging out of the wilds of the Japanese mountainscapes however, there is indeed a worldly causality to the vengeful and unresolved presences here-- and Kain takes his time to soak it in, to pensively consider the multifaceted anger, grief, regret, resentment... alongside the softer resonances of such unfulfilled dreams and ambitions. Far from the avaricious gluttony that drives much of society lies the desire to simply //eat//. To live. To actualize one's will.

So it is that Kain walks at a leisurely pace through the surrounds, towards this next totemic battleground. Are they part of some greater ritual, even now? Or being directed to these points as test-- or testament? The statuesque blonde assures that the panhandlers along his path have a very good day-- on a scale both focused enough to make a difference, and wide enough not to provoke even more resentment and reprisal among one's peers. It's easy to scoff at weakness, at failure-- but when the world's foundations are weak and ravenous, even the best and brightest can be cast low without remorse.

The Germanic pyromancer arrives dapper and pressed, wearing a suit hued in darkest pitch, accented by brilliant crimson-- a few shades brighter than blood. The cloth fitted beneath jacket and lapel hugs his chest in starkly contrasting white, his hands covered by crimson gloves. His hair blows free in the breeze as he approaches the designated arena casually; too calmly. Kain strides to a point opposite Edenlith, drawing a deep breath as his own dark red eyes seek out hers.

After a moment, Heinlein smiles, ever so slightly. "Ah, another youth touched so fiercely by power that you are inexorably marked by it; but does it serve your purpose, or are you also bound to its?" The musing, too, rings too casual; a gentle breeze across a placid lake. Too detached by far for the importance the blonde pyromancer places upon it.

"In this age, like so many before it, corruption seeps through every crack-- and compromise is the only path many can see towards ascension." And what have you compromised, Kain Heinlein? For it is a ragged edge -all- must walk-- and no one has such a brilliant collection of personally tailored suits without making their own hard, questionable decisions.

COMBATSYS: Edenlith has started a fight here.

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Edenlith         0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Kain has joined the fight here on the right meter side.

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Edenlith         0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Kain

Edenlith seems lost in her thoughts as Kain makes his way into the area as well. But she always has to be aware of such sounds as someone's walking. Whether they are trying to be discreet or not. Her eyes soon enough move in that direction.

Once her eyes sets on him, she can see he is well dressed. In the real world, well-dressed people are wimps. In the fighting world, you have to be careful of that type. Another interesting fight is on the horizon it seems. At least at first glance.

Then, her opponents talk to her. Oh yes, in this body, she looks young. It even helps at times. She isn't sure she wishes to talk to this guy yet. She can make an effort though. "If all you have is power, and you are its slave. You are very weak indeed." She smirks after saying that. Bullshit wisdom, that doesn't help anyone but works out right now. People love wisdom. It gives them a reason to grow old, an excuse. 'Oh look, I am old now, can't do much of anything, but! I am wise! I tell tidbits no one wants to hear about.'

Of course, Edenlith is compromised. Compromised by friendship. It can make you do mistakes, but right now, she has no friends around, so... "Give it your best. Cracks are fun!" Yea that didn't make much sense.

She then runs toward Kain and then around him rather quickly. Then one illusion of her appears, then a second and a third, all going around Kain. If she has her way, they all strike at him at different times and in different areas. The illusions do more of a psychic kind of damage. Compared to her very real physical one.

COMBATSYS: Kain blocks Edenlith's I am here, here, here and here.

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Edenlith         0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0             Kain

Strange. The power he faces is -not- precisely this girl's, not at all -her- will-- but neither do the strings on this particular thrall tangibly extend beyond her. "Ah." Kain intones simpy, enigmatically-- as if her attempt at profundity did indeed illuminate some deeper truth. In fact, it traces back more to the well-dressed man's keen senses, his familiarity with the flow of energy through this world-- and beyond it.

"What matters, I should think, is a question of source, will, and //purpose//." The kind of shortcuts and compromises that tempt far too many; that turn the greatest power into crippling weakness. Into loss of life and absence of agency.

Edenlith moves quickly, darting around Heinlein and deploying her psychic doppelgangers. As she strikes, a flame-wreathed arm sweeps through the illusory copies, their painful sting considered, analyzed intently in those passing instants, before his limbs come together before him, twisting to deflect the 'real' attack with a bruising impact.

In the next moment, Kain launches forward into a well-practiced flying kick, his anchoring foot scarcely above the ground as the other strikes outwards, his shoe wreathed in fierce chi-flame of indigo and purple hues that pour voluminously forth from his inner reserves. The pyromancer seeks, deceptively simply, to deliver that fiery payload squarely to Edenlith's midsection in answering reprisal.

COMBATSYS: Edenlith dodges Kain's Schwarzer Stob.

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Edenlith         0/-------/-----==|-------\-------\0             Kain

Kain is not someone to take lightly. Not that she did, but now able to blow the only real strike shows he's attentive to details if nothing else, and she can feel the strength into it as it is deflected. It makes her smile. Goody, another fun time.

On the next moment, he's already launching his attack. A flying kick. Not amateurish either by its execution. His striking leg is in a fierce flame. Purplish is a very beautiful color for such a thing, all things considered, but she would rather not be in the way of such a strike. So before it strikes its intended target, her midsection she spins out of the way to the right before it makes contact. However, it has been very close, as she didn't have a ton of time to move.

Then it's her turn again. "If it's not that weakness, it's another." She finally answers Kain as she throws her knives into the air. Then if she has her way, she sweeps his legs from under him so he gets on his back. She then grabs his ankles and pulls him back into the trajectory of the knives as gravity calls them back to the ground. Gravity can be a bitch, but you can count on her to do what she does best, pulling things back to her.

COMBATSYS: Kain blocks Edenlith's Here let me help you.

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Edenlith         0/-------/----===|=------\-------\0             Kain

In such contest, only a fool discounts the potential of their opponents; which is to say, plenty certainly do underestimate their counterparts. For others, such a tournament is a matter of proving something, or demonstrating their mandate and truth. In conflict their is crucible, in any trial lies truth to be //discovered// rather than dictated. Edenlith continues to show her impressive alacrity, and Heinlein's mouth quirks in a half-smile full of mirthless approval.

Heinlein does not miss a beat in his own answering steps, dropping into a low, braced crouch to leave her sweeping powerfully against a much more stable center of gravity than intended, unable to down or fully budge Kain into his own impalement. As the knives fall, his left arm sweeps high, taking shallow cuts in the sleeve of his fine suit jacket that raise lines of crimson beneath the black that have little to do with the fabric's own hue. With clear intentionality, those weapons are deflected back -towards- Edenlith, not in attack-- but in sporting offering.

Of course, even as he does such, his right fist lashes out for the possessed girl herself, lining a red glove lined with multifaceted blue fire in a ragged-edged bloom directly with Edenlith's face. Once more the technique is honed to a point where the simple, straight jab delivery is duplicitous in a way-- belying the danger in the gracefully casual assault. "Each of us has weakness to know, and to burn away; there are no shortcuts to true strength an purpose."

COMBATSYS: Edenlith dodges Kain's Medium Punch.

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Edenlith         0/-------/---====|=====--\-------\0             Kain

Kain shows his awareness once again, as he's able to anticipate what Edenlith is going to do and find a way to stop it short. Edenlith has respect for this. At least in such a fight. If he was a target, it would be another matter entirely. He even sweeps his arms in such a way to give her her knives back. Either that or he meant to attack her with them but failed. She is pretty sure it's the former at this point. But she doesn't have time to think about it, as she also has to deal with a powerful, enhanced punch coming straight for her too. She jumps into the air over just over the fist, feeling the air passing by, and catches her offered daggers among the way, before intending to land behind her opponent. She still says. "Sorry for the suit." Did he care about clothes that much? One should expect to have damaged clothes in such a fight, but who knows.

As she speaks, she also prepares her next attack. She has to keep striking. She's not crazy enough to think she will not get hit for the whole fight. At one point, he will strike his mark and it will probably hurt. She simply lashes up toward his back. It is not a hard strike but a quick one. She speaks as she does so. "Sorry for your suit." She is curious if the suit matters to him. Probably not all things considered.

COMBATSYS: Kain dodges Edenlith's Quick Strike.

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Edenlith         0/-------/---====|=====--\-------\0             Kain

"The perils of cloth or personal pain are of little concern to me." Kain admits, a more eloquent varation on 'No worries'. This violence, this test, it's what they are both here for; it's the next step on a carefully selected path, for Heinlein himself. Apparently unconcerned with Edenlith's continued acumen at evasion, the statuesque blonde falls right back into the rhythmic flow of the unfolding fight.

This time, it is his turn to glide clear of the onslaught with expert timing, and as Edenlith lashes out towards his rear flank, Kain more flows than strides forward, turning a sharp, smooth rotation to face her sidelong once more. His control over the flow of chi is on more subtle display, there, as his mass is shifted as much by will and current as by sheer technical proficiency.

When Kain's eyes fall on Edenlith once more, his crimson orbs are lit by multifaceted flecks of glowing blue and gold, a window to the seemingly distant starlight far above them. "You understand the heart of planning, of playing a particular dealt hand of cards better than most." Heinlein observes with some certitude-- more an incisive observation into the witch's nature and clever glib deflections than any authentic, straightforward flattery.

Many martial masters trace the subteties of muscle movement and posture for predictive purposes-- and Heinlein may be no different there. But the eddies and swells of psychic energy, the interaction of this opponent with the flow of chi around them, the emotional and psychic tells in her eyes and aura-- these are of far greater intrigue.

COMBATSYS: Kain calculates his next move.

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Edenlith         0/-------/---====|=====--\-------\0             Kain

She nods her head. Both in respect and to answer his dismissal. He's a formidable foe. That's why he's here, after all. It's to early to know if she will lose or win. No one can know./ until one is left unmoving, unable to fight. Edenlith isn't a pro of Chi, not like it seems to be the case for Kain. Or perhaps a natural. The mind, that's where it is at. Master your mind, and you can master yourself.

Then, she feels observed. He wishes to understand her better, and to be able to anticipate her better. Then it's time to let him see. If she needs to observe him better later. Then she shall. For now, it's time to give him something.

Her eyes flashes red a moment as she prepares a new illusion. Then the illusion comes, as the ground opens under them, sending them to hell. If things goes as she wishes, he will burn for some mental damage. The flames might not be real, but the pain, if it strikes... Then as swiftly as the illusion came, it is gone. They are back on the ground of the Voodoo Town. They never left.

COMBATSYS: Kain dodges Edenlith's A hell of a time.

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Edenlith         0/-------/---====|=====--\-------\0             Kain

In a surge of mysticism and psychic might, the landscape around the fight transmutes suddenly to one of archetypal, subterranean hellfire. As the assailing spell unfolds, Heinlein's form also shifts with the transition. His inner reserves are expressed in brilliant aura around him, as if the statuesque blonde were entirely engulfed in his own indigo flame, its central core touched by more brilliant, gleaming hues of light.

The conjured psionic flame surges around this aura, even as the pyromancer takes a lingering moment to appreciate the artistry; and its threat. To stride forward between the eruptions of flame as if precogniscent of their bloom. Neither of them would be here without unusual levels of ability; without being cunning, or outright dangerous, or a sizable portion of both.

They never left, but that does not mean reality did not shift; for what is reality but the perceptions, the electrical signals of limited organs discerning the nature of things around oneself? As the illusion fades it's Kain who's abruptly in Edenlith's personal space, reaching a hand for her collar-- or her neck-- and seeking to hoist her aloft in a display of remarkable strength.

Then, that onslaught would compound in an instant, and it could become Edenlith's turn to be subsumed by that flaring dark starfire, Kain's opposite palm grasping for her face as a plume of Promethean fire sufficient to consume her entire upper body erupts nigh-instantaneously from Kain's grasp. Should he get his way, this flame, burning at once searing hot and impossibly cold, would see Edenlith all but exploded clear with a sidelong heave of his gripping arms.

COMBATSYS: Kain knocks away Edenlith with Schwarze Schleife.

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Edenlith         1/---====/=======|=======\-------\1             Kain

Edenlith's psychic attack doesn't seem to get the effect she wanted on him. That's fine. If something doesn't work, do something else crazier. Besides, it is instructive as she sees the Chi and how he's able to control it very well too.

That chi, she also about to tastes it first hand. First, she is picked up by her neck. Before she can do something with her legs to move away, she is lifted from the ground. "I am flying!" which comes out strangled as her neck is still captured, and not like originally intended, in an excited manner.

Then the real meat of this attack comes as her body starts burning and freezing her into a burn as well. It makes her scream ,and she loses her skin. Such is the strength of Kain's fire. Before long, she is sent flying in the air to land hard on the ground.

If Edenlith was a normal girl the fight would be done already. But Edenlith is not a normal girl at all. She stands up slowly ,and her body handles enough healing to bring back skin over her body. She is hairless on her head, however. "I have to give it to you. This is amazing." She has a bit of trouble speaking, but she still could be heard. "But not good enough yet.". Of course, the top of her suit is gone, and instead, bare breasts, if we can call them that, with their tiny sizes, are on display.

She will and forces her legs to run. Along the way, she lowers herself to grab the knives she lost along the way. Still quite hot, but not impossibly so, and as she passes by Kain, she slices without stopping. Not until sometimes later, when she skids to a stop and turns. "Bring it. Hurt me Kain. I want more!"

COMBATSYS: Edenlith successfully hits Kain with Evasive Strike.

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Edenlith         1/--=====/=======|=======\=------\1             Kain

If Edenlith were a normal girl... it's unlikely that Kain would have sought to incinerate her at all! The exercise of power over the powerless is a pursuit of only ego, for many in the world. Without purpose or vision-- an expression of malice and rejection. All too often, the self-image of such tyrants is tied up in victimization, not accomplishment. No, the mystical entity sealed in that form is no simple girl, much less one untrained in the arts of combat; she is a dangerous opponent, indeed one that might quickly seem overpoweringly deadly to most, even other skilled warriors.

She is not the only one on the field of a rarer tier, however-- it's on display even as Kain's sidestep proves too scant and slow to evade the rushing cuts. The knives dig in, but not deep enough to call 'normal' with such lethal implements. These cuts are deeper, but the statuesque blonde's musculature proves resilient, dual lines of crimson rising along side and shoulder as another injury is inflicted-- and weathered with poise and grace.

Edenlith streaks past, and Kain rotates to track her, scarcely missing a half-rest of beat for his pain. His right arm shoves forward, stretching outwards as twins flame of indigo fire roar down that limb, orbiting about one another in his grasp and surrounding the harsh gravity of a roaring, miniaturized star between his fingertips.

The swirling twin comets rush about that central fireburst, coruscating in intense and building fury as the blast, rather than Heinlein himself, pursues his opponent in a flaring, air-distorting course of celestial conflagration.

COMBATSYS: Kain knocks away Edenlith with Schwarze Flamme.

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Edenlith         2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\====---\1             Kain

"So you can be hurt." She says soon after skidding to that halt. "If you can hurt it, you can hurt it more." Though she is aware, she didn't do any life-threatening or match-winning damage. Maybe later, it will be part of it, but not now, with just that move.

Then, she has comets on her ass. Big purple fiery comets tracking her. She tries to dodge, but they follow her as ducks, and it only serves her to be hit to the ground and burn again in explosive pain. At least she got her to wish. He did hurt her more, as she requested. Again. Her body picks up the healing, new skin to replace the one lost. But She's still heavily hurt by this, perhaps even more than she is letting on. Yet she laughs. A hearty laugh.

A moment later, she says "Oh wow. You're a pita. A delightful pita!" She gets up. Then she hits her right fist into her right hand, and her eyes glow a harsher red than before. Then everything goes black. Completely black. A void of darkness. There is nothing everything ceases to exist. If she has her way. Then he would hear her whispers. "It's time, you did your best, but it wasn't enough. You failed." Then he would feel stabs, all over his body. She uses her speed to do multiple stabs, before the void illusion leaves and things go back to normal.

COMBATSYS: Kain blocks Edenlith's This is the end.

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Edenlith         0/-------/---<<<<|=======\======-\1             Kain

Kain offers no reprisal-- an overwhelming force, a magnificent adversary, a deadly foe-- these are things he strives to be, and there is no offense at it being rightly noted. Instead, the ghost of a respectful smile returns, alongside a simple, singular inclination of Heinlein's head. He senses the surge of psychic power, and as reality around him goes preternaturally black, the statusque blonde's own crimson orbs lid closed.

Kain breathes deeply, he centers himself, he tightens his guard. It's innumerable, the angles of attack and the stabbing strikes; there's no point in even trying to count them. Yet, impossibly, Edenlith finds a braced guard in the path of nearly every single stroke, seemingly in absolute tandem. There may be a hair's breadth of time between each of the onslaught's cuts, but to any onlooker-- who could penetrate the darkness-- it would be a blur of contrary motion.

A flexed arm on one side, high; then the other, low. A rising, resilient leg deflecting a cut wide with a knee that would have taken a punishing impalement otherwise. A low, weaving crouch below a sudden triplicate of stabs aligned with Kain's eyes, a sidelong stamp of one foot carrying 'another' blade aside. It's all resolved in that same scant moment, in a flurry of defensive acumen rising to match the fervour of Edenlith's assault.

"Impressive." Heinlein admits-- and indeed, despite his keen response, the bloodied wounds that now rise on him more than redouble what had existed there before. Still the pyromancer does not slow. He slides in low, snapping a sidelong kick for Edenlith's ankles-- but once more the greater danger is likely the waist-high burst of ragged flame that erupts along that limb's path, conjured by Kain with an ease and intensity most can scarcely imagine. The dagger-edged wave threatens to wash the psionic entity under its sudden crest, a patiently unrelenting barrage of continued pressure defining Heinlein's approach to this fight.

COMBATSYS: Kain successfully hits Edenlith with Medium Kick.

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Edenlith         1/------</<<<<<<<|=======\=======\1             Kain

All those strikes. Basically all of them are blocked. Perhaps she should be angry, frustrated. She is not. He is not an assassination target. If he wins, he's the better man in a tournament. That's all. Not to diminish how awesome of a fighter he is. She has respect for him in this context.

Once it's all done, she breathes deeply and answers back at him. "Right back at you. Few take it so very well as you just did."

Then, she gets ready to move out of the way of a simple-looking kick to the ankle. Simple if you omit to take into account the ragged flames coming for her waist section. She moves her ankles enough, but not her waist. Her body is too tired to function exactly as she desires and Kain's attacks are too precise to be anything less than 100%. The fire pushes her body almost to its limits, or so it seems. Blood can be seen this time before the heat of the wave cauterizes the wound. It also makes her back up more, but she stays upright.

Maybe she should just concede. But the fighting spirit in her would never do that. If Kain wins, and he probably will, it will be because for that moment, Edenlith's body can no longer carry her.

Again, she has to try more illusions. Maybe one will go through at one point. Her mind is stronger than her body at the moment anyway. Her eyes glow red once again, and she catches Kain's eyes for a moment if she gets to do what she wants. Then she sends him visions of horrors. Horrors personalized for him. Maybe this is the ace in her (now gone) sleeve. Or maybe it's a futile attempt, but she has to try something. Then she goes to him, forcing her body to move, and she tries to use her dagger to try to carve into his chest. She wants to leave a mark on him. Perhaps a little bit of ego in there.

COMBATSYS: Edenlith successfully hits Kain with It's already too late.

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Edenlith         0/-------/------=|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2             Kain

Edenlith careens clear-- down, but not out. Her crimson gaze seeks Kain's own, and the pyromancer readily meets it; in this case, to his substantial detriment. Nightmares flood his mind; there is no shortage there to draw from. The perils and pains of a youth growing up alone in the poorest, most violent subsections of society. The terror associated with Heinlein's only positive mentor figure taking a lethal shot meant for Kain; Grant may have survived, mostly, but the branching horrors of that moment remain etched in trauma.

And then Marie. Beautiful Marie. The pyromancer's lost, long absent sister. Kain doesn't know where she is, doesn't even know for sure that she's dead-- but in his nightmares, she suffers a thousand such fates, often more horrific than the last. At the hands of mobsters, at the hands of their elite captains, at the hands of a smug, hatefully chuckling figure garbed in darkness. Somewhere, perhaps she still decays in the ground; perhaps suffers in incarceration.

For all that is within his power, delving the truth, taking restitution from the man who -must- be responsible has stayed beyond his grasp. Edenlith's knife digs into his chest cutting deeply, deflecting only off the unexpected hardness of something placed over his heart; something resilient, powerful in its own right, and angularly faceted in a way that makes it difficult to dig out, much less stab through. A flaring, crimson glow erupts in protest, as Heinlein staggers backwards and presses a gloved hand over his wound.

For just a moment, he gazes downward, dazed. When the pyromancer's red eyes snap upwards to lock on Edenlith anew, however, he all but translocates from his position-- to hers. It's a lunging, flying launch driven by one elbow, its flexed arm braced by the other, seeking to drive the bony point as a flame-wreathed warhead directly into the psychic's jaw-- and ideally, send her lurching through the air less gracefully to the ground below.

COMBATSYS: Edenlith full-parries Kain's Schwarze Rakete!!

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Edenlith         0/-------/----===|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2             Kain

She has hurt him, with her mind and with her dagger. He can be hurt, really hurt. It gives her hope and a bit of adrenaline too. It helps clear the pain for a moment. Of course, she knows the fight isn't won at all. She probably won't win this round, but she will be remembered. At least, she believes so.

Then a miracle seems to happen as Kain attacks her. He comes so fast toward her position. This should hit, especially with how damaged her body is right now, but instead. She does a powerful jump high up in the air at the right moment. Not too soon not too late. When Kain is supposed to strike, there is no one there. Eden has been very lucky with this one.

Once she falls back to the ground, she lands in the tarantula stance a little bit behind him. She then walks that way and then slashes at his ankles, trying to damage him a little bit at least. Grateful for the little reprieve she got right now.

COMBATSYS: Edenlith successfully hits Kain with I am coming for you EX.

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Edenlith         0/-------/---====|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2             Kain

Up, over, and beyond Edenlith glides across the tumultuous chi of that charge that was intended to end her fight. On that opposite side, she finds Kain's ankles indeed vulnerable before he can reorient and adapt, slicing across resilient flesh once more. While few of the blows were decisive, it's a harrying accumulation of injuries, of each bloody cut and every bit of himself that Heinlein has already poured into his own nigh-relentless pressure.

As fast as he moves, as strong as he strikes-- she paces him. As the moments of trauma fade, nightmares he was already intimately acquainted with, the pyromancer redirects his focus to the fight at hand; to finishing it. His arms outstretch, his aura surges, and Edenlith's proximity and keen strike may suddenly become a liability as his clenching grasp forges together before him, and the hurricane of gathering chi coalesces into an abruptly, voluminously expanding blast of chi.

The fire is secondary here to what seems to be the conjuration of a miniaturized, pulsing blue star. Its breadth quickly exceeds either of them, crackling edges surrounding a fusion core of celestial fury as the man-sized blast is propelled sharply, forcefully forward in a blurring torrent of self-sustaining energy that tears a deep rut in the ground along its path, consuming earth and stone and-- potentially-- the adversary in the way alike.

COMBATSYS: Kain knocks away Edenlith with Himmlische Macht.

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Edenlith         1/-----==/=======|>>>>>--\-------\0             Kain

Edenlith seems to have a bit of gas left in the least enough to do the successful ankle attack.

But now Kain is doing something. Something even more powerful, and she knows she is in trouble. What can she do against this? She at least stands back up, but this looks so deadly and dangerous. Honestly, she wishes to dodge this, but she takes so much time in her head to think of the best way, and her body is still tired. In the end, she doesn't get out of the way in time, or any hint at all that she would. The energy does heavy damage to her. For a second, the pain gives her a boost. Enough to do one last thing.

She gets back up, the healing not even able to catch up fully right now. A burned mess of missing skin and blackened muscles. She is suddenly at a distance on his left side and throws her first dagger toward his chest. Then she's at his right side and throws her second dagger toward his chest. She then runs very quickly toward him, even with wobbly legs, jumps to slam both feet in his chest, and takes the opportunity to remove the knives from him. That's if everything works as she desires. After that, she falls to the ground and is unmoving from the impact.

COMBATSYS: Edenlith has reached second wind!

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Edenlith         0/-------/-----==|>>>>>--\-------\0             Kain

COMBATSYS: Kain dodges Edenlith's Try to keep up.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Edenlith         0/-------/-----==|>>>>>--\-------\0             Kain

But then despite all expectations there might be, she stands back up. Her skin is back. "Bring it, Kain. I am not going down this easily." Not that anything has been easy. Kain has hurt her many many time, harder than a lot of people before him.

"Easily..." Kain muses; a less stoic man might outright scoff. Little about the engagement has been easy or predictable on either end; and Heinlein rides that roaring current with the tenacity of any with the profound heart of a warrior. These are the crucibles of the tournament at hand. These are the struggles that temper a soul, that forge and re-forge the path forward.

So it is that despite his pain, despite the rigours of the fight thus far, Kain is quick on his feet when weaving around one, and beneath the other thrown dagger. In backpedaling a short, measured stride to allow Edenlith to careen to the ground-- much as he had initially planned, if with a substantial twist. She rises, she challenges, and for just a moment it looks as if Heinlein may help her up-- but the hands that reach for her are not nurturing, but threatening.

Should his leverage be found at arm and shoulder, a forceful twist would send Edenith careening to the side as a razor-edged plume of blue-tinted starfire bursts around her, appending ample acceleration to the hurling momentum. "One way or the other-- we have both given /far/ more than it will take to //end// this."

COMBATSYS: Edenlith dodges Kain's Medium Throw.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Edenlith         0/-------/----===|=====--\-------\0             Kain

Of course nothing has been easy. Edenlith is giving it her all, her body pushed to the maximum and then some, it seems. Kain still manages to evade it all, and she ended up on the ground before her 'big' come back. She even takes the end. Because sometimes good girls take candies from a strange's car. Well, bad girls take a hand from another fighter and pay the price too. Or not..

She gets thrown away with force, and the chi energy makes it even faster, but Edenlith is used to speed. She is used to going so fast and stopping on a dime. She flies to the side as wanted by Kain, but she manages to land on her feet and slides to a stop. Even as she digs through the ground a bit as she does so. It seems things are not quite over between the two.

She doesn't have her daggers right now, but she doesn't care. She grabs a medium rock from the ground and throws it toward Kain's face. as it flies through the air, it transforms into a face hugger. It seems it's trying to grab his face and gets there. But in truth, another illusion to be destabilized. The rock, if it hits, is very real.

COMBATSYS: Kain blocks Edenlith's Everybody can hear you scream.

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  ////////                      ]
Edenlith         0/-------/---====|======-\-------\0             Kain

Edenlith lands poised, rather than harmed, and a hurtling rock sails back in just as the upsurge of chi and alacrity leaves Kain-- but only in part. While caught on his back foot, there is still no hesitation, no sign of doubt-- he steps /into/ the throw, whipping a hardened fist into the air to shatter it in flight.

The impact nearly breaks his hand, bones rattled, flesh shorn through the glove. The shrapnel showers his face painfully, several chunks caught in his flowing mane. Still he stands, still he brings the fight, damaged limbs meeting in front of him to draw an outwards arc to each side, an arc that's immediately filled with a torrent of dark fire.

Kain launches -through- this fire-- or perhaps more accurately, into it, surfing that wave forward in a bodily wave carrying his weight behind the leading surge of rampant maelstrom. His will is not unfaltering, the man indeed far from immortal-- but resilient, stalwart, ambitious and defiant regardless of how hard he's pressed, -that- much is well within Heinlein's wheelhouse.

While that is being amply demonstrated, much of it applies in similar measures to his alternately mystical adversary; the psion has far more fight in he than even Kain had anticipated-- and Kain's predictive acumen is normally profound indeed. There is little to do but fight on, to the last-- perhaps they WILL have to draw deeper still, yet; he has been surprised before. It is one of life's dual edged glories.

COMBATSYS: Kain knocks away Edenlith with Schwarze Panzer.

[                                < >  ////////                      ]
Edenlith         1/----===/=======|=======\=------\1             Kain

the rock didn't exactly cause the pain she hoped for, but it doesn't surprise her. It also does look like it did some damage, so she's never going down without a bang. "Earn your victory Kain." But she says that playfully. She tired. It is no disrespect. Kain has earned his victory, and then some as soon as she collapses if she can't make it. That might happen sooner than later.

Fire is around him, dark nasty fire, and then he rides it to her. What can she do at this point? Her body is still tired, and she isn't nearly fast enough to get out of the way or stop the crashing into her that seems to destroy her further as it sends her to the ground, barely moving at the moment. More damage from an extraordinary opponent.

But she lifts her head. Her body doesn't quite want to move much, so she needs the same trick she used earlier, just a little different this time. Her eyes glow red, and she manages a grin. The void comes back. But this time, she doesn't come to attack. Instead, the void is trying to crush Kain to a point before the illusion disappears again. Some say it's crazy to try something that didn't quite work the first time. Well, point proven. Eden is crazy.

COMBATSYS: Edenlith can no longer fight.

                                  >  ////////                      ]
                                  |=======\=------\1             Kain

Her head after her move falls back to the ground and she lays unmoving.

COMBATSYS: Kain blocks Edenlith's This is the end.

                                  >  /////                         ]
                                  |=======\==-----\1             Kain

Defiant. Stalwart. Perhaps Kain could shove aside the crushing void, perhaps he could indeed swiftly relocate and stymie its coalescence. He does neither. Instead, the pyromancer steadies his stance, focuses his lingering inner chi, and weathers that storm. It presses in all around him, it seeks holes in his mind through which to pour searing, venomous agony. It hurts, it seeks purchase in every wound, mental and physical.

But Kain stands firm. Kain pushes back. Kain refuses to so much as drop to one knee-- and in the wake of that final, psychic onslaught, as he sees Edenlith fall away and surrender consciousness-- or at least conflict-- it is Kain who staggers forward, still on his feet. The hidden, hardened corer over his heart pulses red, demands blood, demands sustenance; but its power has long since been subsumed, channeled within Heinlein's own, and the demands of that magic draw only a dark, wry smirk to his lips.

"Purpose even beyond death is a rare enough thing; what shape will -yours- take, I wonder..." The musing is rhetorical, for his own benefit; Kain neither expects nor demands an answer as he turns to stride once more through the ritualized nexus, the eyes of more than one Loa drawn to him; to them both.

COMBATSYS: Kain has ended the fight here.

Log created on 12:20:55 07/17/2022 by Kain, and last modified on 20:34:41 07/17/2022.