Ayame - Mission #4: Beyond One's Own Power...

Description: Huntress turns prey, target turns victor. Ayame's first foray into solo demon hunting does not go nearly as well as she had hoped. Of course, she might have been aiming a bit too high!

What a glorious day it has been, taking in the sights, sounds and attractions of Minato Mirai. Yokohama's tourist-rich business and shopping center has been living up to its name. Sunny, blue skies, just the right touch of warmth streaming down on the throngs. What is one more Westerner among the masses?
She is the type that attracts the eye. Shining blonde hair, the latest fashion trend and from all accounts the type of savvy woman who is able to seem more energized at the end of a day spent walking from cafe to shop to park in high heeled boots. The astute may have noticed that she never truly lingers. There's never a camera or a phone taken out to capture a moment in time. In one shop she tries on a number of outfits which border toward the 'gothic' trend, though doesn't buy any and no one really seems to mind that. At another cafe, she enjoys a small confection, flirting outrageously with the waiter, but leaving just slightly before he would have been completely reeled around her little finger. Through a park she travels at slow pace and wandering route.
One that intersect with a burst of excited friends or tourists just before she became too isolated. For that entire day, she spends her time getting tantalizingly close to prey... but drawing away, diverting her attentions elsewhere and generally avoiding confrontation by apparent happenstance.
Evening. Lights flicker on timers, turning the shadowed city into a neon and flourscent study. Music, the sound of evening traffic, the drabble of voices drift across the waters of the nearby port, but that is becoming muted. Slowly, heeled boots on sidewalk are becoming discernable on their own. A last couple rushes by, giggling to each other, holding hands as one pulls the other back toward the city center. Maybe they plan to ride the Ferris Wheel.
Once they are away and gone, the blonde woman slows her pace, casting a glance around her with a sly smile. A hand comes to rest on her hip, the other raised to flip a few wind-blown locks back over her shoulder. "Well?" she asks to the air around her. She seems to expect an answer.

The woman is an engima. But the trail has never been hotter than it had been this day. Reports had been coming out of Yokohama. Rumors of a force at work within the populated city, a hungry predator was supposedly on the loose. But nothing could be substantiated. A request reached the remote Ichijo compound in the far off Valley of the Dawn. City officials, flummoxed by the reports coming in, were hopeful assistence could be provided.
Ayame had left that same day.
"If this truly is the work of a Darkstalker... it is time they learn this is not their time."
Works spoken over her shoulder as the lone daughter of this generation of the Ichijo family set off from beneath the torii guarding the main entrance to the family shrine. Her parents were not thrilled with her going off alone. While she had been born and raised to this end, she had never actually gone so far from home. Her first challenge had been to face the God King Anakaris, Pharaoh and Lord of Egypt, as he tried to carve out a new Nile on the soil of Japan. There, she, and over ten other brave, powerful souls, managed to drive the ancient blight back into the Underworld...
But that was not a solo mission. And it was still close to home. This new mission would serve as her final exam, requiring investigation, observation, and, if the rumors proved true, defeat of the unwelcome creature of the night. If she did her job right, no one but her family and the officials who submitted the plea for aid would be the wiser. People would be able to go on about their lives with one less dark creature hunting them down. Or so Ayame hoped when she embarked on her journey.
She has been in Yokohama for over a week. As days slipped by, spying, scouting around, meditating, and spending hours in rituals of discovery, she was beginning to feel that there was nothing really to be found. Just the usual mundane problems any city this size would expect to have. The family fortune could afford for her to stay here for a while, but Ayame was not one to waste time. If she decided there was nothing to be found here, she would return home immediately to resume her training, disappointed but glad to be back to what she was familiar with. That was until two days ago.
An ofuda left under an awning triggered a reaction - something of interested had passed nearby. Responding quickly, she expanded her network of detecting talismans, trying to create a cage through which no unnatural creature could pass without being detected. Nothing for a day, but then...? This was her moment. A rush to the first public area had her lurking on the outskirts, watching for any signs. Nothing was obvious to her eyes but she couldn't engage in a complex detection ritual without being painfully obvious about it.
In the end, it came down to observation and instinct, her sharp mind, nearly perfect memory, and keen sense of what most people should or shouldn't be about, helped her slowly narrow the large crowds down to a few suspicious individuals. One turned out to be a simple con artist. Another a pickpocket. She watched him swipe a wallet with a snort but otherwise paid him no heed. Petty crime was not her jurisdiction. She was here after bigger fish...
Finally she had her target. The woman was perfect. The more she saw her in action, the more Ayame marveled. If she didn't have the detection ofudas already scattered around the park when the woman passed near she might not have picked her out at all. She was /good/. Now she just had to wait for the right moment...
When the challenge comes, several seconds pass by before the wouldbe huntress steps out from behind the brick corner. A girl in her late teens of slight figure stands there. In her left hand, a six foot long wooden bo. In her right hand, a paper ofuda already glimmering with a pale ghostly flame easily visible in the shadows of the alley. Her hair is long - by day, it would be strawberry blonde though at night it seems closer to dark red or auburn, with only a red ribbon tied into a bow at the back of her head to keep it in check at all. Her attire is that of a white kimono top with long, oversized sleeves, met at the waist by a red skirt worn over white stockings and red shoes. Her expression is severe, judging, as if looking upon something strongly detested, brown eyes staring at the woman, mouth pressed into a thin, straight line.
"This city tires of being your playground. Your time here is at an end, creature."

When Ayame emerges, the woman needs only to turn her head unerringly in that direction. Her stance is aligned perfectly by sheer luck - or more likely skill - in discerning where her stalker would appear. Eyelids lower halfway over the emerald gaze with lazy contemplation of the hunter. The smile never wavers. Indeed, it curves as a sign of growing pleasure and open amusement. The fingers of the hand which had recently played through blonde locks comes to rest against chin and lips. There is certainly no surprise. And perhaps surprisingly, no pretense or denial in face of the accusation.
"Oh?" The fingers slip away as the woman lets both hands drop to a relaxed state at her sides. Her next words are delivered in a most teasing way, "I'm not ready to move on, though. However, if you want to insist on playing for a while, I wouldn't mind taking a little break." Just a little, one that is emphasized by a hand raised to pinch a bit of air to show just how much time she might be willing to spend away from Yokohama proper to enjoy a game with the young Ichijo representative.
Both hands stretch above her head. That gesture seems to draw the woman's shadow off the ground, causing it to slide up her body from the points of her boots to the tips of her fingers. In the wake of the unnatural wave comes transformation. Fashionable pants become deep purple stockings patterned with darker hued bats and a shirt that hugged and flowed in all the right places melts into a black and barely decent leotard with white feathers. A wind seems to ripple through the blonde locks, bleeding them to green in a matter of moments. The eyes though, those stay the same.
Some of the shadow splashes back to the ground, seemingly mundane in shape from the way the limited streetlights shine on the Darkstalker's body. But some of that substance remains in the curve of four elegant devil's wings; two smaller sprouted from her scalp, two larger from the small of her back.
Morrigan laughs, "Shall we begin?" she coos, extending a hand, palm up, to Ayame as though inviting her to hold hands so as to be guided away.

The young demon hunter stays rooted. Charging in like a maniac when she isn't even really sure what it is she's up against is not her style. But she isn't about to back down, either. The Darkstalker would easily see the resolve in the girl's eyes. But she isn't just standing there staring passively, either. She's studying. Analyzing her target, evaluating the environment with occasional flicks of her eyes to memorize key details about their location, making keen notes about the mannerisms and behaviors of the creature in the guise of a normal human while being anything but.
Her jaw tenses a little at the succulant tone with which her own threats are so casually dismissed, right eye narrowing slightly at the indication that this diversion will only satisfy the mysterious woman for a insy tinsy moment. She should expect this kind of talk, she tells herself, steeling her mind against being riled up. What kind of warrior miko will she be if mere words can get her flustered. Her fingers do tighten on her staff, however.
"This isn't a game."
She's been preparing for this moment for as long as she can remember! An expert in boujutsu, onmyoujutsu, and rituals for fighting the dark forces of the world... what was it all if she can't take down a single demon on her own? She leans forward a little, right foot sliding in front of her as the girl adopts a more aggressive posture. The talisman in her fight hand continues to flicker with its pale blue, ghostly flame. She'll put her skills to the test against this fiend!
Then Morrigan takes her own moment to prepare and the miko's eyes widen a little, eyes glancing over the movement of shadow as it takes the forms commanded of it. Her heartbeat picks up a little. This woman is even more than she expected. And then the wings unfurl out of the darkness, two primary ones and two that seem to be decorative. A succubus?
"I am Ayame Ichijo, and I will be your end," she snaps back, her tone just as severe as when she first appeared. She might be feeling a bit less sure about this now, but her training will surely see her through!! Her right hand snaps back, the talisman bursting into larger flame, before girl flings it out like one might a playing card.
The rune enscribed paper darts through the air, actually picking up speed as it surges toward Morrigan. Should it manage to come in contact, the energy contained within it would be unleashed and several pristine, white cables of pure energy would surge up and try to entangle, ensnare, and bind the succubus tightly. Even a cursory exposure to the spell might leave her having to rip them off of her if she isn't able to avoid it cleanly!
Even after flinging it, the self-proclaimed 'End' of Morrigan darts forward, right hand shifting to the staff in her left hand, as the girl seems to be preparing to engage her in melee combat with the wooden weapon any moment now!

COMBATSYS: Ayame has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Ayame            0/-------/-------|

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

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Ayame            0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0         Morrigan

COMBATSYS: Ayame successfully hits Morrigan with Binding of the Condemned Soul.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Ayame            0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0         Morrigan

The young lady is impressively quick, Morrigan must admit. Having started to surge forward a split second before the ofuda was thrown, the burning charm speeds under the Darkstalker's guard, for all the succubus is quick to start folding her wings in as a shield. A girlish gasp escapes as the energy explodes into condensed lines and starts to wrap tightly about her extremeties. There's pain that comes with it, oh yes.
"Oh, you like it rough, do you?" Morrigan never stops smiling.
Her wings scissor outward once again, breaking some, though not all, of the bindings. Just enough to free her for an assisted flight, a powerful downbeat of wings sending her into the air angled at her charging opponent. But it becomes dreadfully clear that she doesn't need them to navigate the air, for in an instant they withdraw close to her body, splitting and reshaping into a series of serpentine spears that encircle Morrigan's body to aim for Ayame. Four? Five? Well, it certainly might be difficult to count specifics in those moments, especially when greeted by the succubus' enthusiastically delighted expression admist the volley.

COMBATSYS: Morrigan successfully hits Ayame with Medium Strike.
- Power hit! -

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Ayame            0/-------/--=====|====---\-------\0         Morrigan

Success, the girl thinks to herself, as she sprints forward, shifting her staff into a more readied position. The chi bindings of the talismen are designed for this express purpose - to lock down a target so that she can pummel them into submission with her staff, making it possble to unleash the sealing rituals needed to contain the creatures of the night. She doesn't allow herself a smile as the white bindings surge into being, entangling and wrapping wherever possible, but she can't help but feel a surge of satisfaction and confidence.
"You have," Ayame's hand tightens on her staff and the wooden weapon begins to glimmer as crimson hued chi flames course along its surface as the girl prepares to unleash additional techniques against her target.
"No idea."
Rough? She hasn't even started yet. She'll show this creature how serious she is! Or maybe she needs to worry about the fact that in that moment, Morrigan is casually snapping the energy cables apart with those damnable wings of hers. Wait, she's lifting off? She can't be allowed to get away so easily! Ayame sprints faster, closing the distance between them, eager to engage the woman before she gets too flighty all of the sudden. That would be problematic. The priestess can do no such thing!
It doesn't even register in her mind that the wings are also weapons until it's too late. Eyes widen, staff shifting up at a defensive angle, the girl skidding to a stop about two meters away. Not close enough to strike with her staff yet, but it also means she should be safe from immediate- er, wait, what are /those/??
A volley of spears surges out from behind the ancient succubus' back, stabbing outward toward the girl desperately trying to defend herself. Her staff twists into position, hoping to smack away the shadowy weapons but to no avail. The first two to get through her defenses are grazing hits, slashing across the top of her shoulder or along her left forearm, cutting the long white sleeve open in passing.
Ayame turns and twists, avoiding two of the spears that are centered on her, but the last is a problem, as her movement brings her sliding right into its trajectory. A gasp of pain escapes the girl's lips as she glances down to see where the spear is jutting into her upper right arm, blood already beginning to stain through her white kimono top. "Nn," she grunts, clenching her teeth, looking back toward Morrigan then, cheeks flushed a little in a mixture of pain and frustration at being hit.
She can still move her arm though, she tests, which is why she decides not to hesitate in swinging out with her shimming staff, attempting to bash the side of it into Morrigan's torso with as much force as she can muster.
"Lucky hit!" she snaps irritably.

COMBATSYS: Ayame successfully hits Morrigan with Power Strike.
- Power hit! -

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Ayame            0/-------/--=====|======-\-------\0         Morrigan

Yes, this is the type of pleasure Morrigan seeks! The thrill of battle, no matter how trivial- as long as it's challenging. She had sensed the hunter so early, she had wondered about skill. But it had been a fun diversion leading Ayame in circles around the Yokohama shopping district the entire day, taunting her with a tantalizing glimpse of opportunity for confrontation before closing it again and moving on. When it had been proven the lovely little stalker was determined to follow the succubus to the ends of the Earth (or at least down a dark alley), she had decided to see how much fun it would be to entice the foe closer. Even when the staff connects with her side, Morrigan doesn't regret a moment of it. Surprised? Yes. She doubles over momentarily as the deadly spears wobble in loose incoherency about her body, a loss of mental focus making the shadowy substance seem almost comical.
Though the Darkstalker hits the ground like a landed fish, mistaking her for impaired would be foolish. Her body remains prone but it seems to glide across the ground as the wings break up into a cloud of bats to aid in the transition. Rolling to her feet when she gauges sufficient clearance, Morrigan rises again, the strange appendages reforming only moments before she extends her arms, one bracing the other, and unleashes a formidable concentration of energy.
"Soul Fist~!"
Energy that shimmers in semi-transparency as it speeds toward Ayame. Its center is a little more solid, wielding the form of some bestially shaped skull enshrouded by a prismatic flame. The succubus' foe's binding charm still enshrouds her body, but she seems frightfully quick despite it all. One can only imagine how it might be had that not occured at the start of the conflict.
"Having fun, yet?" Morrigan calls out in a sweet voice, outright laughing with glee as she follows behind the projectile, her own pace boosted by a blast of... was that a jet pack, those wings transfigured to? Regardless, it appears the succubus wants to keep this a close quarters fight as well. Perhaps she IS considering what would happen if Ayame had the advantage of another of those charms.
Or maybe she just likes the tactile difference between close... and really, really close.

COMBATSYS: Ayame fails to reflect Soul Fist from Morrigan with Midsummer Fantasy.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Ayame            1/----===/=======|=======\===----\1         Morrigan

The staff thunk lands with a satisfying impact, crimson chi surging as it does so, adding a bit more umph to the magnitude of the miko's strike. It isn't clear if she has quite figured out that she's fighting something she has no business facing on her own just yet. Though that will become abundantly clear momentarily! As Morrigan crumples, Ayame thinks she's got her opportunity. Another good smack with her staff, she thinks, shifting her grip on the weapon into a more offensive posture, thinking to give Morrigan another thwack, maybe this time to the head, just for good measure!
But that's when she bears witness to just how much control the woman has over her environs. Even prone, she isn't stationary, her body sliding back out of reach a little before the woman has levitated up to her feet again, looking hardly phased by the attacks she's weathered thus far. It's the first clue the young priestess has that she might be in over her head.
The second comes when the call of Soul Fist sends a shimmering sphere of vibrant energy her way all of the sudden! Ayame slams her left hand out, keeping hold of her glimmering staff with her right. Palm forward, fingers splayed, she falls back on her most defensive art of all - a burst of chi shaped as a shimmering discus of rose hued energy meant to ward off the power...
A sound plan until it actually splashes into her barrier and shatters clean through, the magnitude of its strength unlike anything the girl had prepared for. The impact knocks Ayame clean off her feet, upper back smacking against a nearby wall as she slides down to a seated position, gasping for breath, her hand lifting to her chest, the girl's eyes wide with a new understanding of just what kind of power this creature can bring to bear.
Sucking in her breath, she's just starting to push herself up to her feet as Morrigan closes in again, surging forward with incredible speed. Right now, it's all the beleagured girl can do to brace behind her staff, needing a second to force her lungs to be able to breath again before she can even hope to fight back.
"J-just how old are you!?"
This doesn't seem like any spring chicken Darkstalker - one of the many that have been getting repeated around the world. By all accounts, dispatched demon hunters are able to handle them with relative ease, yet here she is, having trained all her life for this moment, facing something that is able to smash right through her own defensive arts as if they were nothing?
"Who /are/ you?" she demands from behind her staff, bracing for the worst.

"To think you'd ask such a thing!" The pretense at dismay is painfully obvious. Just as it is also clear that Ayame will not get an answer on the matter of age out of the succubus. At least not in words. Actions? Power? Those speak for the Darkstalker in spades. She continues to speed forward, eyes widening in delight as the projectile shatters the hunter's defense. A potent burst of energy seems to flow through the woman, of all thing increasing her the rate of her charge.
The green-haired beauty reaches out, meaning to grab Ayame by the collar of the white coat, her expression full of conflicting promises of delights and no mercy. A rush of wind spills around Ayame... no, it's energy, surging pass in a deceptively harmless form. But if her eyes follow it even the slightest, she might catch movement from the periphery of her vision. And when the succubus speaks again, even what might be missed in a glimpse becomes fully revealed as her voice is echoed.
From right...
%b %b%bbehind...
"I'll tell you mine, if you tell me yours." The duality of the giggle that follows is unpleasantly creepy. Another pair of arms are reaching for Ayame, identical to the Darkstalker's own. "If you can survive, mmm?" The latter is spoken by the shadow behind the girl. Or is that the real one? The flurry of attacks meant to follow will be meant to prove that it's hard to tell which is the true shape.

COMBATSYS: Ayame fails to reflect Darkness Illusion from Morrigan with Final Solstice.

                                  >  /////////////////////         ]
                                  |===----\-------\0         Morrigan

COMBATSYS: Ayame can no longer fight.

                                  >  /////////////////////         ]
                                  |===----\-------\0         Morrigan

It's clear now that the succubus has the upper hand. The energy blasting through the wouldbe demon hunter's defensive barrier was a pretty bad sign for the girl, only just able to start getting up to her feet, nerves still pained wby whatever Eldritch Blast the soft green-haired beauty was able to conjure up with such ease.
But as she closes in again against the girl trapped by the wall she can't escape from, Ayame is already preparing, her right hand slipping to her left sleeve, drawing forth another one of her talismans, no doubt planning for something else particularly tenacious to slow the woman down and buy herself time to regather her wits.
But Morrigan is having none of that
The lashing out of her hand is too fast for the young miko to respond in time, pulled forward by her collar, forced around against her will. In this close proximity, even her staff is a challenge to put to use but that doesn't mean her mind isn't working feverishly overtime to try and figure out any means by which she can get out of her predictament. Losing to a monster like this? Did she come so far only to fall now? She had not even accomplished a fraction of what she felt she was destined to do, how can she die here??
If only her staff could split in two, she thinks to herself, then she could use it even in this point blank conflict. But the wood is solid and shows no seams - such an option will not be available to her. She has to free herself some other way! The wind brushes past her, tousling her long, strawberry blonde hair, though the menace it represents is lost on her in the moment, staring as she is into the face of the succubus, eyes widened as a new sensation grips her heart.
Is this fear? It feels so foreign, that paralyzing sensation, that inability to think clearly for the first time in as long a she can remember. "N-no-" she stammers, her resolve melting, face paling, even before the voice is heard from behind her.
'There are two of them!!'
Is the first thought that goes through her mind, before she realizes that the voice is identical, the tone unerring. No, not two separate beings, but two copies of the night creature? She tries to twist free, attempts to wriggle out of the grip on her robe, anything to escape the fate she senses coming for her now. There is another card prepared for this, she remembers, left hand darting into her right sleeve as she drops her staff all together, the wooden weapon in the process of freefall even as the second image closes in behind her.
Slamming the two cards together, one in her right, one in her left, will unleash a point blank detotonation of shielding chi; a desperate fallback weapon, her only hope-
The blows start landing then, even as she tries to clap her hands together to unleash the seal. But one of the stray strikes slices right through the card in her right hand, dispelling the energy stored in right before the priestess presses them together. An unfortunate accident or deliberate act? Everything is happening so fast, she can't really tell! The despair in her eyes is easily read as she realizes the chain reaction she had meant to set off to explode against the twin images of beautiful nightmare has been rendered completely inert.
Still gripped, she is unable to ward off the blows that follow. She tries, for the first few, swinging her sleeve-clad arms, trying to twist a leg into the way, or kick a shin or knee out of despration, but it isn't long before the whirlwind of attacks rob the fight from the girl and she's no longer able to even try fending them off.
Coughing, she crumples, and will drop to her knees unless still gripped by the delicate looking yet jarringly powerful hand of the succubus. The dazed look in Ayame's eyes reflects a certain shock above and beyond simply the pain she must be in - the thought that she was defeated by a Darkstalker so handily is so appalling she can't even begin to process it!
Her staff clatters against the alley floor, having finally finished its descent, while the girl's arms go slack at her sides. She's still conscious, if only barely so, attempt to clear her mind enough to think of something. There must be another talisman, another prepared weapon somewhere... if only she could think straight!

There IS a way to tell the two apart, for the real one still is still wrapped in the power of the original binding talisman. But the copy matches her pace, lashing out at Ayame's back with a series of punches and kicks, slashes and... perhaps it was just the confusion, the -pain- of the brutal array, but even the green locks of the succubus seem to lash out like a sharp whip. The spears were there again, oh yes; though they never seemed to strike at anything vital, even if the young lady is in no mood to appreciate such consideration. Words. The succubus speaks, sometimes as the copy, other times as the real one, asking her how it feels. Did she like that?
A little more roughly, perhaps?
And laughter, sweet and delicate and horrible.
Ayame is left to drop to the ground in the sudden silence that follows the attack. There is no sound of the copy's dispersion; it simply ceases to exist in a flash of its base energy. There's probably the smell of blood, staining not just the pristine robes from that first painful spearing, but now it's on the ground in splotches.
Footsteps, the sound of heels on concrete as the Darkstalker approaches Ayame. A last gesture of her hand disperses the remaining flickers of power that were once the binding ofuda. And with that, any visible traces of the few shots the hunter managed to land on the succubus were removed. No flaws, nothing to suggest that she had engaged in battle.
Except a little spot of blood dotting her cheek. Using one finger, she swipes at it, lowering the digit to her mouth and sucking it clean. She doesn't kneel.
"Still alive, darling?" The sultry tone offers no indication of just what would happen, if the answer is favorable.

The ordeal is a blur. By the time she's allowed to drop, Ayame falls easily, landing on her side, propped up by her hands, her breaths rapid pants, her legs tucked at her side, bent at the knees. Her head bowed, her long hair drapes over her shoulders. Somewhere along the way, the ribbon that adorned her hair lost its form and now just dangles askew to one side, no longer taking on the shape of a bow.
Her once-white kimono top is smeared with blood and dirt, torn along her back and with large gashes through her sleeves. Her hair is matted, perspiration rolling down her cheeks as she simply sits there, trying to keep from falling the rest of the way over, trying to force her breath to calm. Fighting against the encroaching darkness threatening to overwhelm her vision and leave her knocked out is a conscious endeavor... but then again, she always had a knack for precision control over her own mind. For just a little longer, she might be able to keep it going.
She needs to get care for these injuries, she thinks to herself, attempting to force rational thought into a very, very irrational situation she finds herself in. There's a sound that catches her attention even in her distressed state. Is that- is that the creature's footsteps? Desperately she tries to drag herself forward, but all she manages to do is finish falling the rest of the way over for her trouble, releasing a soft gasp of pain in the process, and finding her vision bluring further.
The question is posed and even manages to register with her thoughts. The Darkstalker. The succubus. Are they all this strong? Is the problem that for all her efforts, she just wasn't prepared for what they could do? "Y-yes, you monster..." she stammers, proving the fact by lifting her hand and trying to drag herself an inch further.
Another mental inventory is taken. Her staff has rolled off somewhere uselessly. The shreaded paper on the ground is all that remains of some of her emergency talismans. Though there are undoubtedly a few left undamaged in her torn up sleeves, she lacks the energy to activate them even if she could get her fingers on one...

There is no denial of the claim. Only, "Those who live grow stronger. I would like to taste your power, when that time comes." The succubus seems satisfied about Ayame's condition and makes no move to help her, though neither does she seem to intend further damage, either. Her wings scatter into a flurry of bats, though these collect into a small pile, upon which she sits.
"A bargain is a bargain, however. You owe me your name, hunter."

Rolling onto her side, Ayame looks back up at Morrigan with wounded pride, defiant, not cowering, but very consciously aware of her limits against a creature of such power and that at any moment, the succubus might claim her life for having the audacity of thinking she could defeat her.
Instead she speaks of a future engagement, another contest of power, when the miko has grown stronger than she presently is. Ayame stares up at her quietly, lips pressed together, cheeks flushed with pain. This is the worst she has been wounded in combat to date. Only the gifted psychic artist, Alma Towazu, had managed to best her in a fight thus far. And at least he wasn't the very kind of monster she was training to defeat!
The succubus certainly looks comfortable enough, Ayame thinks dryly to herself. Oh, good, her sarcasm is seeping back into her thoughts. That must mean she's getting a better grip over her conscious state. The demand is the least that can be expected, however, and she cannot deny it.
The name is stated with pride, no reservation.

Oh well -done-, Ichijo. The Darkstalker leans forward, folding her hands across her knees and looking even more delighted than before. The pride, the defiance and the courage. All are what the succubus hopes to see. Not that it would prompt her to help any more than before. No, no.
Ayame will have to survive and heal on her own.
But as promised, the beautiful creature lives up to her side of the deal. "I am called Morrigan," purrs the succubus. "Morrigan Aensland." Three fingers are placed to the Darkstalker's lips, lifted away with a flicking motion in Ayame's direction with all the promise of a metaphorical kiss. The bats reform into wings, but Morrigan never touches the ground.
"Until we meet again, Ayame Ichijo~~." With near quiet passing, the woman raises into the sky. One last jaunty wave is given to the fallen hunter before she rolls her body to face the stars and the moon and flies away.

She can't help but recoil in spite herself with Morrigan leans forward. Everything she's studied about succubi, all the facts, legends, myths committed to memory... they have nothing on how imposing it is to actually have tried to attack one and be left not knowing with each passing second what might happen next. The look in her eyes is so infuriatingly easy to read even as much as Ayame wishes it wasn't. She's clearly amused at this entire situation. Ayame's mouth twitches a little but she holds her tongue.
Morrigan Aensland, she notes to herself. This name will not be forgotten. She will be studying everything she can. She will hunt down this creature and... well, vengeance has little to do with it, she tells herself. But she WILL get her!
With the blown kiss, Ayame gasps, finally unable to keep herself even slightly upright and the girl flops onto her back, arms sprawled out at her sides, staring up at the night sky above. She's tough enough to recover from this... though it's more likely the longer she lies there like this that someone will come by and call for help. "Tch," she spits to the side at the sickeningly friendly wave given in parting, the succubus leaving of her own volition instead of running in fear like she was meant to be if everything had gone according to the priestess's plans!!
She closes her eyes halfway, lifting her hand to rest across her stomach. "We will meet again." she whispers to herself. But perhaps she needs to reconsider her solo hunting career. Maybe she really should take her mother's warning to heart and find allies. The girl snorts a little. Dealing with other people?
What a bother.

Log created on 21:51:54 11/16/2014 by Ayame, and last modified on 12:53:40 05/27/2018.