Kiyomi - The Vixen and The Wyrm (part 1)

Description: In a secluded village in Norway, a group of hunters have chased down a large humanoid bear looking creature -- after the death of some of the villagers, Walter comes to investigate the matter. His investigation leads him into the woods, where he meets a vixen and warns him about the near future of the village's habitants. Refusing to heed her warning, the vixen and the wyrm fights each other. (Note : forgot to log, so the CSYS messages are a bit whacky)

Darkstalkers have lived amongst humans for all eternity -- they have just adapted and learned to live in the shadow on humanity, hiding and lurking. Constantly chased and hunted for their monstruous and 'inhuman' appearance, most have learned to survive by casting themself off into secluded places... Legends and mythical beasts often born from Darkstalkers who were active too close to humans.

One such a legend was born in a secluded village about a hundred kilometers north of Tromso (a bigger city in Norway). Rumors of a cunning bear man that lives in the forests not too far away from their small village. Many stories about hunters who went there and never returned, or some who saw the beast... Enough old stories to strike fear in the heart of the old ones, but not enough for everyone to truly believe it was real...

At least until recently, as another encounter happened by one of the young hunter who swore he saw a terrible beast in the woods and tried to organize hunts to chase them the fiend into the forest... So far, with little luck...

The resolve of the hunter who saw the beast the first time did not wither with the passing weeks... Until he managed to get his hands into one. All the traps that were laid in the forest eventually allowed him to catch the beast. The humanoid bear like creature was a force to reckon with, a hulking behemoth that fought and killed a few of the hunters before it was taken down.

The news quickly spread about it, of the beast they had caught, half-man half-bear of sort, it was hard to tell... And just a few weeks after the death of the monster, dead villages were found, eviscerated, as if attacked by some beast... After the second victims, the hunt started anew...

To stand between two worlds is a strange thing. Not a day goes by that one Father Walter Bardsley does not contemplate his inner nature: a faithful man of conviction ever warring with his tainted wyrmkin blood seeking to dominate, crush, and /own/ all that it can. Only through the discipline of his upbringing and far too much time kneeled before the altar keeps him from being the monster he appears.

And it's before the altar of a small church in Norway when the Church's hunter gets the news. Approached by a kindly nun with keen eyes, the news of first a dead monster reaches his ears. Certainly something to put on the travel list, but not an immediate danger. The suspicion of succubi-like infiltration elsewhere remains much higher.

And then innocent people die. Walter arrives in the village not a day later. Dressed in his (thankfully heavily dry-cleaned after Zack Island's mermaid adventures) vestments and that concealing white cloak, weapon-case in hand, the smiling priest begins investigating with the locals over the course of a few days. He even has a few sermons, generally being a helpful soul to those in need despite his odd looks.

Walter, notably, seems burdened during the investigation. The deaths of those villagers weigh on him. If he had just been there earlier...

Such thoughts fills the hunter's head as he finally travels out into the countryside. The weather is somewhat cold for the season, and over his cloak, he's donned a thick second white jacket. The Darkstalker tugs it close over his body as flesh and scales alike shiver. His tail is tucked, not out of submission to fear, but for sheer warmth. His eventual destination? The rumored dead beast's last known whereabouts. Perhaps the creature isn't as dead as was presumed. It wouldn't be the first time.

"...Ye are with me, oh Lord. Your cup, your staff, they comfort me." Mutters the preach to himself as he travels, moving with measured grace and purpose so natural to his proud dragon-blood.

The small village was everything you'd expect out from a town so far away from civilisation. Few roads lead to it, most of the buildings were in the main street and the town people lived from farming, hunting and other artisanal jobs, having a few business in town. It around three hundred souls counting the youth and elders, a small church and an inn. Rumors in this village hardly exists, the words spread out quite fast considering how tightly knit everyone is, and Walter's presence was soon known by everyone, considering how they don't see strangers often.

Walter had been warned not to wander into the forest by the villagers -- some believe there might be more beasts like the first lurking in the forest, and going out there would be suicidal. The snow in the forest and all didn't seem all that suited for a man of faith like Walter seemed to be, but who are they to stop him if that is what he wanted? He was given enough information to pursue his investigation in the forest.

Fortunately for Walter though, the only thing that might have spared him from a gruesome death might be his different aura, his different smell... He was unlike the other villagers, obviously a stranger, and perhaps even a bit more than that. It was enough to draw the curiousity of those who were in the forest.

He might catch some faint noises, like animals brushing the leaves of bush, or the wind making them sing into a natural symphony. Perhaps some animal was lurking him, stalking him in the forest. A snow white vixen, a perfect cammouflage in this whole setup that studied him.

It takes a moment, but once Walter has ventured deep enough from the forest, a feminine and warm voice calls out to thim, "It is dangerous to wander alone in these woods... Especially for a foreigner," A quick scan of the area would reveal the woman -- her crimson kimono making her stand out in the snow-covered forest. Her attire and physical appearance obviously showed her asian descent, definately not a native from the region. "Why did you come here?" She asks, lifting her gaze up, assessing and staring at the man.

Were Walter not a Darkstalker, this is the kind of place where he might live. Spending quiet days tending to the faith and health of hard-working, isolated people where often his services are needed most. A small wistful smile comes over him even as he's stalked in the snow by that perfectly stealthy vixen. Keen senses or not, wyrmkin are far too /open/ to play in the shadows. It's why there are so few. And exactly why his parents died.

Not to mention a snow-white vixen in the snow is bloody good at hiding, even when /not/ a supernatural creature. That wistful smile ends as wind sings a gentle song, and the snow-covered brush moves. He gazes over, barely catching sight of a tail. The hunter relaxes slightly. Probably just an animal.

After more trudging through snow, and wishing he had bought some boots or a scarf, the feminine, warm voice greets his ears and a stunningly beautiful asian woman stands before him. The clasp of his weapon case is already flicked open. It's been that way for the last five minutes. Paranoia is a good thing in his business.

"I would turn the selfsame question upon yourself, dear Lady. Respectfully, you seem as dreadfully out of place and...surely you are cold. The hunter is already sliding over his jacket. The action has him shivering, but chivalry is in his blood.

His free arm takes the jacket, half-wrapped about it. Even as he's being appraised, so too does the priest's contact-bearing eyes roam. The vixen of all people may well be able to see beyond that, to the proud, inhuman stare behind it.

It's calculating and searching, as if deciding whether this woman is a danger, an oddity, a victim, or some mixture of both.

The arm is held out, for the woman to take.

Walter doesn't answer her question immediately. After a long stare, it's to her eyes he gazes.

"But I will not be rude. Father Walter Bardsley, oh snowfaring maiden. It has been most dangerous as of late for the kind people of the nearby village. An...animal has been harming them. I seek to find this beast, that no more innocent lives are taken." Honesty, too, is something that's been instilled into him when he can get away with it.

"What is your name, my Child? Come you upon the same duty as I? This is no place to idly wander. I would escort you to the local church if you are lost and in need of shelter." Something about Kiyomi seems /off/ to the hunter. Even as his face holds warmth, the rest of his body holds that tenseness. He's not about to assume the woman isn't a threat, for all of his kind words.

The mature woman's appearance made her seem like a delicate flower. Her alabaster skin, her calm demeanor, her soft voice... There was obviously something unsettling about her, and to see her appear out of nowhere like this might only enhance that unnatural aura around of her...

Not to mention her garments, which seemed a bit off for the winter and cold weather. Under this form, it was harder to bear, though the thin veil of illusions around of her hid the myriads of tails that swayed behind her and offered her some kind of warmth and comfort that could be hardly described to someone who lacks a dozen tails.

His chivalrous offer when he reaches for his jacket causes the woman to smile : a warm smile. She tilts her head to one side and stares at him with the gentle expression akin to a mother whose son would have said something silly yet cute at the same time.

Kiyomi slowly strides closer to him, perhaps to accept the offered jacket. Once she draws close enough, the woman unfolds her arms and reaches out for Walter's arm, gently pushing it back to him, respectfully declining his jacket. Odds are she will not remain in this form for long, after all.

"You are kind and brave, Walter. I do not need shelter, for I fear neither cold neither harm from this beast you seek," She replies. She leans a bit closer, tilting her head to one side, locking her gaze with Walter, staring in his eyes as she carries on, "Those who knows me knows me by the name of Renard," She replies, "I am a Children of the Night, and have heed the call of a brother, felt and heard his pain and loss.."

The woman slowly lifts her hand up, with no hint of malice or sudden movements in her actions. If he lets her, the hand will cup Walter's cheek, caressing it gently, her palm still warm. "Tonight, the wolves will howl at the loss of their brethren... And great catastrophe will befall on this village,"

The woman takes a step back, her hand slowly pulling away from his cheek, "Leave now, before it is too late, Walter... You are not one of them," The woman says with a slow shake of her head.

Anywhere else, he would be offering this woman dinner and tea. She's beautiful, delicate, and mature in a way that is warming to the soul. Even that strange aura does little to deter a warm, appreciative smile. He can't help it. The cunning foxess is simply charming, and he's not so self-righteous as to deny himself a moment's enjoyment. As she approaches, denying the jacket, the hand upon his cheek has him closing his eyes. All of the burdens, the self-loathing, the stress and pain of a duty that often torments vanishes. For all that he is a hunter, so too is he a Child of the Night. Being in the presence of another, without that horrid isolation his existence brings even with all of his deeds to help humanity, is a balm to the soul.

One not fit to continue. When he opens his eyes, silent as he listens to the kitsune, there is no condemnation of the woman and her pack's intentions. There's simply sorrow, deeply held. The kind of sorrow a priest can know, fearing for the souls of all involved.

He still doesn't refuse her presence. He's brave, if perhaps a bit foolish. But neither does his guard, nor the resolve in his face waver.

"I am honored to be in your presence, Lady Renard, if I may. Rare is it that I meet another of our kind. And for good reason. You and your compatriots wish to avenge the fallen. Though revenge leads only to ruin, there is some honor in bringing justice to those whom have brought their end. And if the villagers speak truly, this rumored creature did them no harm." He shakes his head. Another sad tale in this war in the dark, completely without saints. His free hand goes to his cross, clasping it as he mutters a prayer to steel himself. There's no deception in the priest. It all is simply too much some days.

When he looks again to Kiyomi, that resolve is all the greater.

"Were you and yours to strike at the hunter responsible, I would have little cause for complaint. Indeed. Were you instead to offer your wrath, your hatred, your pain and suffering at the cost of my own blood, even my life...God is forgiving. And as a priest, I would do all that I could to alleviate the suffering of his Children, be they human, or of the tainted blood of my own veins. However..."

"The ones I have helped bury, the ones who now know the pain of losing those most precious to them, they were not the ones to slay your companion. And yet it is these innocent souls who now reside with the Lord, may He comfort them and keep them."

The holy man flexes his wings, and his white cloak falls away in the wind and snow. His wings stretch, golden scales and powerful, tight muscles beneath settle.

"What sort of a priest, a person would I be were I to simply leave, knowing you intend to kill more innocent souls? I swore an oath to defend and save the lives and souls of innocent people, Lady Renard. I cannot stand before you and say that I am without sin, without fault in this war that consumes so many. By the Lord, I beg you, call off your quest for vengeance. If you require blood, take mine. I shall gladly give myself to the pain of yourself and your pack. I only ask that you leave the village alone." Implores the priest.

"We can stop this. One day, this shadow war will end. This act will only fuel more suffering, human and Child of the Night alike. If you refuse, I will have no choice but to defend them. What is your answer?"

That weapon case flicks open, and deft hands draw out a long and shortspear. There's not yet any agression, a wary, defensive stance taken with the short spear held before him, and the long spear gripped at the side.

The gentle smile lingers on Kiyomi's face, her expression warm and welcoming. She folds her arms against her chest, as they used to be before, her hands hidden underneath the puffy sleeves of her kimono.

She listens to Walter's words, her smile never fading away. A sudden weariness though seems to lie heavily on her shoulder : it was obviously not the first time someone must have given her a similar speech. She maintains her gentle smile though, as if amused by Walter's youthful naivety, as if the only reason he would hold such a speech would be due to his lack of experience in life.

She does remain silent though and smiles back at Walter, though her expression was more eloquent than any words : like a mother who listens to her child's delusions and who doesn't correct him solely to preserve his dreams while he can still believe, as if Walter was trying to convince her that Santa Clauss was real.

She closes her eyes and she feels the man's conviction and his resolve, the faith he has in his words and her smile slowly fades away. The weariness that seems to weight upon her makes her appear older than before, as if the radiant smile she flashed before had been enough to cut off a few years from her actual age.

While she shared some of his beliefs in certain areas, Kiyomi knew, from his intonation and what he said that an abyss existed between their ideals, one that she doubts they could overcome. And alas, she was one of the more gentle and tame Children of the Night...

"A noble oath... One that I cannot hold against you," She says with an obvious hint of disappointment in her voice. She tilts her head to one side and says, "However, I have an oath of my own I cannot break either..."

The woman calmly stares at Walter as he reaches for both of his spears. The woman narrows her eyes into a frown : it seems he had chosen to fight for humanity, to betray his own kind. "Humanity will oppress us, for as long as it exists. This war will cease the moment one or the other cease to exist," Kiyomi replies sternly, her voice cold, lacking the previous warmth and honey tone it had.

One leg slides back into the snow, a flick of her arm allowing to reveal the sheath of a blade at her waist that didn't seem to be there before. Her knees bend slightly but Kiyomi doesn't draw the blade, she merely rests her hand on the pommel, ready to perform a quick draw if necessary, the other hand is holding the scabbard.

"It saddens me to fight a brother," Kiyomi admits, "But I have lived long enough to know that this planet will never be big enough for us and them to coexist..."

COMBATSYS: Walter has started a fight here.

COMBATSYS: Kiyomi has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////////////]


Kiyomi 0/-------/-======|-------\-------\0 Walter

And thus slips away the possibility of teatime with kitsune. A small sigh. Why must his life always end this way?

That gentle smile, the silence, that chiding look of a's something he's never experienced. His heart aches. Were he human, would he have known the love of a mother so? Were he to give up his oaths, could he find solice in his own kind? It's a horrid temptation, and not the first time. Walter's path is one of self-sacrifice, one foot in both sides of a horrid civil war playing out in the darkness. His eyes close once more. The dragonkin does no doubt her words. It is conviction, equal to his own. That tail of his sways outward, balancing his form as his legs bend into an easy fighting stance. Even before the warmth and love leaves Kiyomi's voice, the priest knows that today will end in blood. No, were he to let her escape now, there will only be more victims. The shortspear-holding hand reaches for his cross. Bringing it to his lips, he kisses the small icon before letting it fall again to his chest.

"The fear and ignorance that causes this seemingly eternal conflict is not something that God will allow to continue forever. Though you may be correct, in that humanity cannot so easily overcome their hatred of us, there are souls amongst both that seek such a true miracle that it consumes them. I cannot say that your own hatred is not unjust. But God's love and forgiveness are eternal. Your rage will one day run dry. Then there shall be nothing but pain for you."

Another sigh. Those few steps may as well be a yawning abyss into hell. Walter knows that somewhere in Kiyomi, there is a good woman. His eyes steel, gazing upon her, taking in her stance, her form, every single detail with his keen eyes.

"And I to fight such a woman of strong convictions and faith, even if only in her purpose. Honor is so rare in this world. If nothing else, should today be my end, to fall by such pure steel is an end I may rejoice in., /Dame/ Renard, I am unworthy of such. In my left pocket is an address. You owe me nothing. But if you prove the victor, please have my body sent there. May God forgive us both our sins, and put an end to this tragic fate. Amen."

And then he springs. This is no cat-like pounce. Like the knights of olde, it is a charge worthy of the greatest of cavalry. His feet hardly seem to touch the ground, wings flexing as the agile priest bursts towards the warrior-vixen with enough speed to blurr his form. What he lacks in weight, he makes up for in pure velocity. But rather than charge through her, shoe-clad feet dig into the snow and his charge halts just within the range of the tip of his shortspear. The strike is rapid, straight for the neck, as though he simply means to overpower and slay her outright.

Against a normal opponent, it would seem without telegraph. But this is a fellow Child. To Kiyomi, it may seem almost obvious. Too obvious.

Particularly, should blade meet spear, when that longspear's haft is gripped downwards, and brought with brutal purpose right towards her dainty legs. A strike for the calves, right at an artery.

COMBATSYS: Kiyomi blocks Walter's Pierce the Darkness.

[..\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////////// ]

' ~~~~~~~~~~~'~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~'

Kiyomi 0/-------/-======|-------\-------\0 Walter

The woman keeps her adamant stance and stares intensely at the man of faight before her. She makes no motion to strike him down, keeping her blade in her scabbard. She watches his very movement, ready to fight if she must. Her intentions were clear though, if he did not attempt to strike her down now, letting her go might result in the death of dozens of humans in the nearby village to quench the thirst of vengeance they had.

"My strength is the sword of the oppress," The woman replies coldly, eyes closed in contemplation, as if attuning herself to her surrounding with her othre senses, "Neither guided by rage or hatred, only by justice," The woman corrects before she lifts her gaze back up at Walter.

The woman remains totally motionless : only the twin locks of hair that frames her visage dances in the wind and she maintains her intense glare at Walter. She doesn't say a word to his last request : nothing in her expression hints whether or not she would respect it or ignore his plea for the return of his corpse to his home.

It was rare to see another fighter who seemed to live an honorable path like she did, even though their convictions were different, they both had their own code of conduct and honor in their very own way. They must have similarities in their code of conduct, but their obvious different origins intrinsically made them different.

When Walter charges her, Kiyomi's stance does not falter, nor does her resolve. She remains still, her eyes fixed on the man, as if waiting for the last moment to react properly. She draws the blade at the last moment : lightning reflexes, an excellent display of Iaijutsu as the blade goes up to meet the tip of the shortspear, deflecting the blow away from Kiyomi's neck. Steel against steel -- sparks burst by the dozens from the grinding of the two steel.

The spear still draws the first blood, cutting through the crimson kimono right at Kiyomi's right shoulder. The color of her kimono makes it hard to see, but the shortspear is dripping with her blood. The kitsune manages to avoid the second blow though, turning on her heels as if she was dancing along with her opponent. She forces herself against him, using left hand, the one holding the sheath of her sword as she attempts to shove it underneath Walter's forearm to get a grip of his body that way. She pushes on the sheath to shove Walter around, a quick turn of her waist and clever use of her legs to trip him and make him flip over so he falls on his back in the snow.

COMBATSYS: Walter fails to interrupt Ruse du Renard from Kiyomi with Light Kick.

[ `\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////////////////////////// ]

' ~~~~~~~~~~~~'~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~'

Kiyomi 0/-------/=======|=------\-------\0 Walter

Some part of the wyrmkin feels that tingling sensation of animal fear as he meets the steady, intense gaze of Kiyomi. The frightened animal of humanity yet lurks within him, and instinct and keen eyes know well that this vixen is a predator. One that, by her strikes and the hard conviction as deeply held as his own, may well devour him. Rather than let that feeling overwhelm, Walter lets out a breath. Discipline asserts itself, fear turned to adrenaline as confidence and purpose rage amidst an undertone of joy. It's savage, a combination of mortal fear and the joy of two monsters clashing for dominance in a dance immemorial that his wyrmkin blood knows too well. It only lends a sense of competition, of values and simple power to the fight.

"...Is it so? Can you truly say that the slaughter of those whose hand held not the knife that slew your brother will be justice? Or do you blame their terror of things far beyond their strength lending power to that knife, bloodying the hands of all?"

Blades clash. Kiyomi proves to be everything he imagined, and more. His own brutal, legendary grace and disciplined strikes are turned aside by a blade even his eyes cannot detect. The man reacts instantly, foot sliding back and leg pulling up as his spear slices through a shoulder and sparks fly. For a moment, it's strength against strength, leverage against leverage. For all her appearance, he's not certain he can overpower her so easily.

But her grace saves her the more worrying blow. The priest makes to regain distance, briefly losing sight of her in her dancing sway. There's a glance of fluffiness, battle-honed eyes finally piercing that veil if only for a moment. It only helps to distract the man for a mere instant that's more than enough for Kiyomi to capitalize. That shortspear pulls back into a guard a fraction too late, longspear overextended and that guard all but an embrace to his disadvantage.

Then the sheath clings to his forearm, and the vixen is upon him. He spins, raising his left leg in a side-kick aimed for her midsection. Which lets his other leg entangle with hers and he gets flipped hard enough to slam into the ground. The flesh of his shoulders bruise, and he coughs and gasps as air escapes his lungs. He doesn't bother trying to get up, his position poor. All he can do is try to pull his shortspear closer to his body, and legs up to defend himself from a strike he can all but feel coming. But how, and from where?

The frail and tender appearance of this blossoming woman certainly did well to hide the feral strength, agility and precision she was capable of. The woman's experience proves to be a valuable assets in this fight, a cunning move to make it harder for him to use his lance by pressing herself against him. Alas, it also prevents her from using her own blade, but as soon as she has performed her sly little trick and tripped him down, he'd be vulnerable for a true counter attack.

The woman gracefully spins on her heels once Walter is down, the hand hold the scabbard quickly going back to her side to slide it within the piece of cloth around her waist, just where it used to be before.

"I do not seek vengeance," Kiyomi replies sternly with a no-nonsense intonation. She then reaches out the pommel of her katana to hold it with both of her hands, lifting the blade atop of her head. "Only salvation of the Children of the Night... And if the price to pay is the damnation of humanity, than so be it!" Kiyomi replies with conviction.

The woman then swings her blade into into a mighty cleaving blow straight for Walter's midsection with her blade, hoping to be fast enough to catch him before he can react and block the blow or roll away.

Focusing on the battle at hand, Kiyomi's trickey and veil of illusion over her true form slowly fades away. It first seems like a disruption of reality, like heat waves behind Kiyomi, like a soft translucid sheet that covered something behind her that is slowly taken away.

A myriad of white swaying tails become apparent -- long, fluffy and bushy tails, like a large windfan behind of her that moves in a tantalizing and almost hypnotic pattern. Another monstruous feature is obvious about her, two animalistic ears atop her raven hair, those ones the same color as her hair though.

COMBATSYS: Kiyomi successfully hits Walter with Crushing Strike.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////////////// ]

' ~~~~~~~~~~~~~'~~~~~~~~~~~~~ '

Kiyomi 1/------=/=======|=====--\-------\0 Walter

Walter's eyes take in the whole of Kiyomi, knowing far too well just how /bad/ of a position he's in. The woman has deftly exposed the fatal flaw to his style. While equally adept at range and within the distance of his spears, he has /very/ little to defend himself with once drawn close. Her advantage up close is simply enormous, even when her own attacks are hampered. The blade is almost beautiful as it raises atop the vixen's head, light glinting off of blade and snow alike.

"As a priest, and a warrior, I cannot accept that. Even though it shall cast me down into the fires of eternal torment, so long as I live, my spear shall ward your claws Dame Renard. God give me strength!" His conviction does not waver in the face of beauty, strength, the justice of the night, or death. Eyes narrow. The grip on his shortspear grows a fraction looser. There's his weapon case within reach if he can just move fast enough. Even with her strength, it may just be enough to take the attack. Unmoving, Walter waits for the exact moment to strike.

Down the blade falls, and Walter's spear falls from his hand. Time seems to slow for the priest, that deadly weapon hungering for his life. The speed of his own body very nearly matches the vixen's own in his desperate gambit.

His hand clenches the handle of the case before the spear hits the ground with mere moments left to swing. It's actually a little embarrassing, the swift fighter's usual grace lost amidst animalistic survival. Something of a brute technique, but then it's hard to wield a carrying case with anything close to skill when you're prone and about to die.

And it would have worked, too, if that veil didn't lift. The sight given to Walter Bardsley is enough to pause his heart, and consume it in awe, adoration, and fixation. He may as well be looking upon an angel as he's graced with the hypnotic, swaying brushes, adorable ears, and fluffy fur that looks very warm and comfortable from where he's laying right about now. His hand slips as his muscles go slack for a moment. The only thing that saves his life is discipline and faith. If he dies to this heart-achingly beautiful fox, so much blood shall fall of kin and man alike. But he can't stop the amazed smile on his face even after he masters himself and the shock fades.

That hand of his catches the handle with a single finger. The blade slices right through the case as though it were made of paper and the priest has only the time to turn to his side.

Right in the midsection the blade clashes. Blood spurts upon her blade, tainting the snow once more crimson. A pained cry exits the priest's mouth, almost a roar of a wyrm in suffering.

But she doesn't cut him through. There's no sound of flesh being rent. Instead, a hard grinding sound can be heard as scales harder than steel give way, but not before stopping the powerful blow from reaching so many fleshy organs.

Cornered like prey, he does the only sensible thing one might do. He laughs, loud and warm.

"God is truly great! That He would gift the world with such unparalleled beauty! There are no flowers to compare. Dame Renard, though we fight for different causes, you would be fit to steal my heart and soul if it was not already pledged to the Lord God. Faith be my shield. Such a pity that the sin of all prevent this flower-beyond-flowers to openly be known. Curse us all, every single one of us!"

But all throughout, the man isn't staying idle. She could easily cut him asunder now that his armor of scales is cut. He /has/ to get away. Those wings tense as he drops the remains of his case. He, too, has monstrous features that are nothing but an advantage in this contest of strength.

Blood paints that blade nearly to the hilt as a single flap of his wings forces Walter from the ground to press against Kiyomi in a way that has him looking slightly apologetic. His fallen spear remains in the snow.

Thankfully, he is hardly trying to seduce the woman. Unfortunately, he does not have her best interests at heart. Even as he forces her weapon to cut further into him, one eye squeezed shut in pain, a deceptively powerful hand tries to close around her throught. Legs snake back, his tail rights his body, and Walter quite simply tries to grab Kiyomi's throat and lift her off the ground. That hand squeezes should he catch her, and even through his gloves, those sharp talons barely able to be called nails are enough to rip into the back of the woman's neck should her skin be as delicate as it appears. Crushing someone's throat isn't the most pretty of ways to end a fight, but he's willing to break the vixen utterly for the sake of innocent lives.

"May we find forgiveness in each other in the next life, should we somehow prove worthy of Heaven to the Lord rather than Hell. If not, I would be honored to burn beside you."

COMBATSYS: Kiyomi dodges Walter's Strong Throw.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////////////// ]

' ~~~~~~~~~~~~~'~~~~~~~~~~~~~ '

Kiyomi 1/------=/=======|====---\-------\0 Walter

The distraction her true form causes to Walter is enough to earn a tight smirk on Kiyomi's lips. His awestruck expression, enough to distract him and to allow her blade to slice through his priestly garments. The sudden fling of his wings that causes him to fly in her direction snuffs that smile from her lips though as his hand extends to reach for her throat.

Obviously, the Kitsune did not expect such a bold and dangerous maneuver which only seems to wound him more deeply. Fortunately, Kiyomi acts instinctively to slip around Walter's grasp. Instead of staggering back, she gracefully ducks down and slides her blade around his midsection. She kneels down and turns on her heels, circling him and pushing herself away from him. Some of her tails brush his robes, leaving a lingering sensation of softness and light pressure where they touched her clothes. After her little roll, Kiymi takes a few steps away from him so she can recover her bearings, which also gives Walter enough time to turn back and face her.

A quick flick of her wrist is enough to splash the blood away, leaving the blade totally clean, the edge glistening with the light. She sheathes the blade and gets into her stance, knees bent and hand ready for another quick draw, the initial stance of most of her techniques, most likely.

When her eyes rest upon Walter, the girl's expression is one filled with pity and sadness and she shakes her head, "Why would your God demands you to deny your very nature, your very own heritage? It is truly sad that you believe your instincts and nature should be repressed and should be severely rebuked,"

The tails behind her sway once more in the similar enthralling movements. Her foot shifts in the snow and the woman rapidly dashes in Walter's direction, covering up the distance and drawing her blade out to deliver a precision strike right for Walter's midsection once more.

Though the Kitsune's powers tried to affect his senses : his eyes would see her charge a second before she really does, the illusion fading the moment it lashes out at her, allowing her to see the true vixen charging and drawing the blade right after the first one : a trickery meant to break through his guard by deception.

COMBATSYS: Walter dodges Kiyomi's Estoc Chimerique.

[ ``\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////////////// ]

' ~~~~~~~~~~~~~'~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ '

Kiyomi 1/------=/=======|====---\-------\0 Walter

His hand clasps mere air, the slippery vixen sliding out of his grab and around his back. She's too fast, and that horrid wound only slows him down. This time, he doesn't even feel it as Kiyomi twists the proverbial blade. Tail slide across vestments he suddenly finds far too thin, leaving that pressure and softness that could steal a man's very being. Scarlet blossoms on his flesh, and the wyrmkin breathes out a breath that's not due to the exertion and pain of the fight.

At least he isn't cold any more. His spear rises defensively, once more too slow, but no blow comes. He turns to face her, and pain reasserts itself. He breathes, hard. The blow Kiyomi has struck is one that begs a question: retreat, and risk it all. There's a very real danger of bleeding out, and the elusive vixen has proven powerful and skilled. She could very well hold him off enough that he dies from lack of blood.

A question that's tossed aside with all of the pride his tainted blood offers, the wyrmkin part of his mind greedily desiring more and more of the awe-inspiring skill of his opponent. For once, his knightly human mind is in agreement. For all of the pain, he would not retreat for conviction and sheer enjoyment. Pointed teeth show as a savage smile lurks on his face, the priest not able to fully hold in his inner nature.

The keen sensed Kiyomi might also pick up on why he seems far less concerned for the possibility than even most Children of the Night would be. The horrible bleed, in the time from when they've clashed, has not only slowed, but stopped entirely. Though the wound has yet to seal itself, already, the smallest amounts of rended scales are already regrowing, veins mending, blood staunching as his unholy body starts to fix itself.

"Look at me, Dame Renard. What worth is there in /my/ blood? It is a heritage of greed, death, and sin. My parents were being worthy of the title 'monster'. And it is all that I can do every day to pray, to beg God for the strength to not give into the beast telling me to rend, tear, and break the innocent as my playthings. I, too, possess that same monster. You are a creature of beauty, my Lady, a temptation and gift to all who would view you at once. I am but a lowly serpent, only duty and this damnable strength giving my life meaning in saving others. That God would offer me this path despite my sin of beast and man is proof that He is loving beyond any other." That savage smile fades as he speaks, eyes filled with a rare zealous fury turned inwards. Walter hates this shadow war, but he hates that blood within him all the more. It might explain part of why he so finds refuge in a forgiving divinity and suffering for duty.

Those tails sway, pulling him in, beauty and revelry the dragon would love to indulge and be lost in. But this time, the calculating spearman is ready. Veins upon his eyes bulge, and those contacts utterly fail to hide his draconic eyes as they widen and focus.

The illusion comes for him. Walter does not even move, his entire body tensing hard as steel as he pushes every single instinct, supernatural sense, and draconic trait to their utmost. His bleeding starts again, the man opening his own wound once more as he levels a predatory gaze of a wyrm ready to devour the prey before it.

"Your illusions shall avail you of NOTHING! God's gaze pierces all falsehoods to the very soul!"

Her true strike is met by solid steel. The silvery lance's head catches the point of her blade and works it aside. The man doesn't give ground this time as pure physical strength and his second hand redirecting the momentum of their now combined strength away from his body as he turns, braces the weapon with his elbow, and shoves the blade aside. With a visible grunt of effort, the male gracefully dances away. Should Kiyomi not manage to right herself, the combined power of such would be enough to shatter one of the centuries old trees of the forest they fight within into mere splinters.

The two Darkstalkers are mighty indeed. There's no more words this time. His foot catches his fallen shortspear. Kicking it up, he swings it in defensively in case the vixen tries an attack. Then he settles his weapons. Legs bend once more, and he launches forward with a flap of his wings. Wind kicks up from the motion, blowing away snow as he streaks towards Kiyomi. One spear aims to impale her swordarm. The other seeks a blow to her chest, right in the heart.

Light fills the area, by now with the sun fallen. It utterly obliterates the dark as golden chi erupts from the points of his weapons and spreads along their lengths. The brilliant, beautiful light not only blinds, but burns with the intensity of faith and fury, making those already sharp weapons into true horrors of death.

It's a trademark of the Church's Golden Lancer, their pet monster. Though not whispered often, it's one that Kiyomi might have come upon, should she keep tabs on the more pious of hunter circles.

COMBATSYS: Kiyomi fails to interrupt Twin Claws from Walter with Riposte de la Lune.

[ ....\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////////////////// ]

' ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~'~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ '

Kiyomi 1/------=/=======|=====--\-------\0 Walter

The Kitsune's attack did not rely on pure strength -- it was an attack of precision, meant to leave disabling wounds should she manage to perform her deadly attack precisely. The illusion was meant to give her the chance to perform her attack digilently by surprise.

Unfortunately though, the wyvern man manages to pierce through the illusion, not fooled by her projection. When her katana meets his spear, Kiyomi seems rather surprised -- for only a second, before he manages shove her away by redirecting her charge. Kiyomi staggers not to lose her balance, for the first time, her movements not quite full of grace and poise. She quickly turns on her heels once she recovered her balance, to face Walter once more. "You are not your parents," Kiyomi replies, panting softly from the sudden movement she was forced to make. She lifts her blade up, bracing for the next attack. "If you wish to control the beast inside of you, you need to understand it -- if you keep repressing your true nature, how do you think you can control it? You will forever fear what you are, yet you cannot deny that you are what you are... Why do you mutilate you so,"

A shiver runs down the Kitsune's spine, her expression filled with saddness as she adds, "It pains me to see such a thing," Her voice sounds honest, filled with melancholy, though who knows if it is a ruse with those sly vixen.

When Walter comes charging at her, so does Kiyomi -- she intents to interrupt his attack, leaping upward with her blade in a powerful rising blow. Alas, the spears impale her chest and swordarm before her blade can slice through the wyrm's scales. The piercing strike makes her squirm in pain -- the flying knight's charge overpowering hers and carrying her a short distance in his flight before he unleashes his burst of brilliant light out of the tip of his lance which knocks the vixen away from his deadly weapons.

When the blinding light vanishes, a trail is visible in the snow -- easily a dozen feet. The trail of Kiyomi's body once she had been knocked by the blast and slid into the snow. A few crimson spot stains the immacuate snow here and there. The holes on her kimono shows she had been injured, but her blood is the same crimson color than the kimono, making it hard to see how much blood she is losing.

The woman braces herself, the katana tip planted into the ground as she uses it for support to force herself back to her feet slowly, recovering from this powerful attack that most likely left her dazed.

Walter, as well, is definitely hurt. His regeneration isn't enough to stop the exhaustion and growing difficulty in standing. The dainty kitsune is more than enough to force the lancer to fight with everything he has. If she's any indication of her compatriots, he alone can't save the village from attack. He'll need allies.

And the list is depressingly low right now. He'll need to appeal to something baser. Greed. And that means the Hunters Guild. There's a sudden look of extreme distaste at something, and Walter lets out a pained sigh. Whatever is bothering him, it's clearly not so much his vixen opponent.

Walter hmph's at the vixen's words. Anger courses through him for a moment, before the woman's melancholy soothes the rising rage.

"No, I am not. My parents gave into that very thing within. Little more than animals. My mistakes and sin are not wholly of my blood. There is more than enough within my human side."

She speaks of fear. He shakes his head, tail lashing with promised violence.

"Pandora, Dame Renard." He states simply.

"Once opened, once fully realized and that very repression is let go, shall I truly be strong to close that box once more? This is not just about myself. Any person has their limits. What if I reach mine? Better to walk trembling in terror, consumed within and without, than to risk harming those I am sworn to protect in a moment of blind rage and hunger. That would be an ultimate betrayal. Weep not for me. This is just punishment for my own weakness."

It's a long path, and others might feel proud at he destruction wrought with the clash of his opponent. But the priest frowns. Gazing at his lances, he sighs.

"...Still imperfect." Too much excess energy. The attack itself seems to have him tired. And it's still bleeding gold on the twin weapons. He's no master of his talents yet.

A sound enters the battlefield. Walter pauses. It's his cellphone. He knows that ring tone.

"My apologies, my dear." He concentrates. The golden excess energy flows to his short spear and lingers. With a casual flick, he sends the weapon flying at Kiyomi as the remaining chi energy bursts once more into life.

This time, it's aimed for her right leg, as though trying to either destroy her limb, or simply pin the evasive fox to the ground. With his free hand, other spear still held defensively, he takes out his phone.

"I need to take this one." A pause. "Mercy. Well timed. Not just one. An entire pack. Their leader is strong." There's honest admiration of the vixen in his voice.

"Do it. Yes, even those bastards if you must. I do not care who you have to bribe or threaten. If I do not return, send for my replacement, and tell the children that I love them."

Then he flicks the phone shut, once more fully concentrated on the vixen.

"You have put me in an awful position. Relying on those knaves...your pack can hunt. But can they fight a war? Choose carefully. At the least, you now have an opportunity to cut down those truly guilty in taking your friend's life." Even Walter can be a bastard sometimes.

COMBATSYS: Kiyomi slows Blinding Light from Walter with Lame Spirituelle.

Glancing Hit

[ ..\\\\\\\\ < > ////////////////// ]

' ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~'~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~'

Kiyomi 1/-----==/=======|=====--\-------\0 Walter

The Kitsune finally manages to get back to her feet, though her stance does not seem as gracious as before. Her tails that once were displayed proudly behind her were flat behind her, sweeping low at the snow behind her. Though once she recovers her stance, the tails sway back up and the woman calmly stares at Walter.

The woman meets his anger with surprising tranquility and serenity. She slowly shakes her head, her voice soft and gentle, "Long have I been taught by humans to repress my nature -- to rebuke my very core and ignore my true self. They taught you naught but to be ashamed of yourself, to suppress what makes you yourself,"

Kiyomi tilts her head to one side and argues, "When you spend so much time ignoring what you really are, it becomes terrorizing -- there are people out there, attune with their nature, who can help you understand and control yourself. Is it their doing? To make you fear yourself so much?" Kiyomi asks, arching a brow.

When Walter throws his holy lance at her, Kiyomi attempts to overcome it with a spritual blade of her own : she slashes the air in front of her and hurls a wave of energy in the lance's direction, though it grazes the lance just enough to deflect it slightly from its course. It slices through the woman's leg, not planting in it but leaving a gashing woud on her right thigh.

Kiyomi growls in pain and she staggers backward, her free hand reaching out for the wound on her thigh. She bites her lips hard, visibly trying to make the pain more tolerable in her thigh and the rest of her body.

Once Walter closes his phone, the woman lifts her hand up to brush away stray locks of hair from her face. She tilts her head back, a pristine and feminine laughter escaping her throat, "Sir Walter," Kiyomi replies, her lips curling into a faint smile as she gives him the same smile as she did before, shaking her head in his naivety, "Why, oh, why would you believe that I am the pack leader?" She says in a slightly amused tone. By the amusement in her intonation, Kiyomi makes it sound like she's not the one in charge...

A scowl forms on his face. There's a far away look on the dragon's face. He remembers every nun, every priest that preached of his sin. At the time, it felt crushing. Only once he began to fight did he truly start to believe those words.

There's no answer. Kiyomi might be able to see conflict in that face of his. It's such a temptation, to join with those like him. The priest, by now, is utterly lonely inside. A deep breath, and slowly he lets go. It may be more telling than any words he could give.

"I will not abandon my duty and faith." He states simply, that iron conviction returning. The scent of blood has his own pumping. The man looks far less winded by now. If anything, he's growing stronger as time passes, if glacially slowly.

What a powerful opponent. That she still stands is a testament to skill and power. Admiration sinks in once more, and he smiles. Until she speaks.

"There with skill and power enough to tame even a warrior as yourself?" Pause. Smirk.

"Though I suppose 'tame' is not a word that could ever be used for such a wild beauty. I look forward to crossing blades with this person. Unfortunately, that means I cannot delay in defeating you."

Then, he's on her once more, pressing her moment of weakness as he enters a run. HIs single spear is twirled as he comes in for a low sweep of the longspear, hard enough to cause snow to fly from the ground as he tries to take her off her feet this time.

COMBATSYS: Kiyomi blocks Walter's Light Kick.

[ ...\\\\\\\\ < > /////////////////// ]

' ~~~~~~~~~~~'~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~'

Kiyomi 1/-----==/=======|=====--\-------\0 Walter

Kiyomi closes her eyes in an attempt to regain some vigor : her breath comes into heavy pant, showing the fatigue her fighting prowess and the draconic lancer's assault have pushed her into. His conviction was strong, and Kiyomi doubted she would be able to shake his unyielding faith...

Though if she manages to plow the seed of a doubt into his mind, it might eventually blossom with enough patient and time and shaken the fundation of even the most sturdy temple.

"No matter how hard you try to 'redeem' yourself, you can never change who you are. There should be no shame or no fear about who you are, only pride, once you give in and tame which you have caged like a beast inside of you. Always remember this, Sir Walter... You are only as much of a beast or monster as you believe you are or others make you believe you are,"

As if to prove her point, her swarm of tails spread out behind her in a majestic display as Kiyomi manages to regain some poise in her regal bearings.

His choice of words make Kiyomi smiles gently. She fights with all her might, though it was obvious she did not wish to fight someone of her kin, one who had been manipulated into doing the dirty biddings of humans, made to betray his own kind. The more she talked with him, the more she seemd to have pity for the him, her expression caring and benevolent. If only she could truly help him...

The sly vixen's silver tongue carries on though, "I was once like you. Ashamed and frightened of what I was... Punished for no other sin than being who I was, something unnatural humans could not understand, until He taught me to understand myself, and love myself for what I am, and who I am,"

Kiyomi braces for impact when Walter comes in, narrowing her eyes as the snow dust is kicked up close to her face. His low sweep strike with his lance does knock Kiyomi off her feet, though the vixen, through the use of her tails, manage to tumble on one hand and recover her balance quickly.

Her lips then curl into a grin and she says, as she quickly retaliates with a vertical slash of her blade, "It requires more than brute strength to tame me, Sir Walter -- a feat I fear you might not be able to pull of," She says with an hint of playfulness in her voice.

COMBATSYS: Walter fails to interrupt Power Strike from Kiyomi with True Thrust.

[ .....\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////// ]

' ~~~~~~~~~~~~'~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~'

Kiyomi 1/---====/=======|=====--\-------\0 Walter

Increasingly, some small seed of regret worms its way into his heart. What would it be like to run free with this woman and her pack? To truly be in tune to one's inner nature. Yet another horridly powerful temptation at his feet. Before Kiyomi, no other has managed to push him so hard, physically and spiritually.

Even if she's working quite well on killing him, there's constant majesty in the vixen. Walter's exhaustion is catching up with him as she comes, striking and slashing through his chest even as he raises his spear to impale the fallen woman. He gives ground just in time to avoid death, vestments definitely ruined, scales and flesh alike peeking amidst blood.

"You have a silver tongue, oh white-tailed flower, however turning piety upon a preacher as a weapon is useless. I am my own jailer. What was given upon me was mere truth. In the end, it is my choice to not sink to base survival and wildness."

His Church masters have done an impressive job of raising and causing the young dragonkin a powerful loathing of himself. A perfect soldier and pet. But who knows what that small seed may blossom into.

For now, the wounded wyrm makes to charge...and stumbles just a moment. He's clearly weakening, exhaustion rearing its head, and that warm tone is hardly helping the fight. All he can do is be ready.

"I will howl this moon," Replies the vixen, "For the death of a comrade... One who has let humans tame his nature and chained him, who is contempt in his own bondage and self mutilation. I will grieve and mourn you," The Kitsune replies with a solemn nod of her head. It is true that temptation can take many forms -- Kiyomi is one incarnate both in flesh and in words.

"I had no desire to fight you -- but one who has been raised by humans to fight his own kin..." Kiyomi averts her gaze away, as if caught by sudden revultion at the thought and disdain, "You leave me no choice..."

Kiyomi continues to press her advantage -- using the wyrm's exhaustion against himself as she presses her assault and continues with her flurry of cuts. She circles him, like a predator, striking with deadly precision to disable him and wear him down while leaving herself ready to react should he attempt to counter.

COMBATSYS: Walter just-defends Kiyomi's Random Strike!

[ .......\\\\\\\\ < > /////////////// ]

' ~~~~~~~~~~~~~'~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~'

Kiyomi 1/-======/=======|=====--\-------\0 Walter

He can't help it. Walter smiles. "No matter what else shall pass, that honor still breathes in this world is joyous. Name any rite, any place of rest, and you shall have it."

She comes, and the priest is ready. The flurry of stabs is met by serpentine eyes and spear strikes that snake out a flexibility and pure timing beyond most mortals. Sparks fly, his own weapon visibly chipping with enough clashes, the pole bending, the wyrm's armament very nearly giving out beneath the furious exchange.

Her last strike is met not with spear, but air. The man ducks, grips his weapon tight, and leaps for the kitsune. Should he manage to charge into her, he'll then leap upward to carry her with him into the air. HIs wings flap, and higher her goes as his body twists to aim right at the female fox. Then those golden scaled muscles flex, and he rockets back down like a falling arrow aimed to smash into, through, and crash down with her to impale her into the earth.

"My chains are of faith, Renard. They leave me more free than any beast."

COMBATSYS: Walter successfully hits Kiyomi with Jump.

[ ...............\\\\ < > ////////////// ]

' ~~~~~~~~~~~~~'~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~'

Kiyomi 1/-======/=======|=======\-------\0 Walter

Everything had been said between them, unfortunately -- they will fight as enemy for today, as two opposite : a defender of humanity against a protector of the Darkstalkers. Yet both had their similarities... Perhaps they could hope for a chance to be united and fight as one, though Kiyomi would never betray her kin and Walter seems unlikely to betray his vows.

Her approach seems to have been rather unsuccessful so far, alas : Walter deflecting her series of slashes. When he finally lunges at her, the Kitsune attempts to roll away but alas, the wyrm is faster than the vixen. The sudden leap seems to knock the wind out of her throat, but Kiyomi clings to her blade tightly as he leaps up in the air with her and carries her off.

He then slams her down into a soaring descend and the vixen arches her back in pain after the harsh landing. The snow did little to cushion the impact thanks to his velocity.

Kiyomi attempts to ignore the pain and fatigue though, the tails quickly flailing furiously at Walter's face to offer a momentary distraction as she rolls back away from him afterward. She staggers back quickly, sheathing her katana. She glares at Walter and lets her swarm of tails sway behind her hypnotically, allowing their serpentine dance to alter Walter's sense, attempting to veil his senses and trick him.

Her next attack requires utmost perfection in its execution, and she will use all her powers to deliver her swift, deadly blow against him. She then kneels down and charges at Walter with lightning speed. She draws the blade at the last moment, performing a powerful thrust straight for Walter's midsection, into his vitals organs, a blow meant to cut arteries and leave a deadly wound behind.

COMBATSYS: Kiyomi successfully hits Walter with Attaque Mortelle.

[ ..............\\\\ < > /////////// ]

' ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~'~~~~~~~~~~~~ '

Kiyomi 0/-------/=======|=======\=------\1 Walter

Damn those fluffy visions of heaven. Man or beast, Walter is a male. And those tails are fluffy, hypnotic, and he just can't stop watching them. It seems the vixens tactic works, lost in the veil placed over his senses. It would have been a perfect block, if only her lightning-swift blade was truly aimed for his right. No, he parries air. Then he's hit.

The charging kitsune rams the wyrmkin straight into a tree, piercing him right through. The tree shudders with the skill and prowess of the woman, Walter's face screwed in agony and that inescapable reaction to iminant death.

Only the smallest of movements has saved him, pure instinct causing the blade to carve right into, and through a rib. The strike misses impaling his lungs by a hair's breadth.

His hand clamps down on the kitsune's own. This time, he simply tries to crush wrist and fingers alike with brute,desperate force.

Succeed or fail, he still has his spear. Gripping it, and raising it like an overly long knife, his leg and tail snakes out to try to squeeze the vixen close to prevent her escape. Putting all of his strength into arm and chi, the dragon-man blazes with burning golden light that eats through the tree that he's pinned to, leaving nothing but falling ash behind. That same, brilliant force is applied to his weapon, like now a physical object and more a force of nature in his hand as he seeks to stab the vixen in the neck and burn her alive with the sheer force of chi-based radiance.

COMBATSYS: Kiyomi interrupts Holy Thrust from Walter with Enfants de la Nuit.

[ .................\ < > // ]

' ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~'~~~~~~~~~~~~~ '

Kiyomi 0/-------/---====|=====--\-------\0 Walter

Even if Kiyomi's strike did not hit exactly where she wanted, the keen edge of her katana would leave a bleeding wound that will surely slowly sap away Walter's strength. Perhaps too little too late for the Kitsune but still -- she has him now impaled against the tree, his blood dripping down her blade.

Her expression is stern, betrying no hate or anger toward him, only excessive focus and concentration on her technique. She twists the blade slightly, as if to shove Walter that she had cornered him, that he would be at her mercy now.

The wyrm though finds the strength to fight on though, one of his arm going on to grip the Kitsune's hand. Her hands were small and delicate -- no match to resist his crushing grasp. She refuses to let go of her blade. The pain makes her wince and she bites her lips to hush down a groan of pain.

The tail that wraps around her waist and draws her closer though, and then the leg that locks her into place might prove to be a good idea at first : from this close, she would not be able to escape, nor able to use her blade that was already lodge in Walter's chest.

Though she's far from being defenseless : when Walter musters his remaining strength to summon his brillant light that threatens to engulf and burn down the tree and Kiyomi, the Kitsune has to rely to her own spiritual energy to defend herself but also to overcome Walter's assault.

She closes her eyes, and Kiyomi's own energy struggles against the burning light, clashing against it and returning the fierce burning sensation back. Her spiritual energy swirls into dark magenta waves that partially protects Kiyomi from Walter's holy light will scorching him in his own way, showing her the fooly of keeping her within his grasp.

The only reason the hold is broken is due to Walter's thrust with his lance against the Kitsune's neck, which hits the woman's collarbone and easily shoves her away with the blast of his energy, though not without the powerful recoil of Kiyomi's dark backlash.

When she's pushed away, her blade is pulled out from Walter's body. She still clings to the katana, but her grasp on the pommel is weak. This fight had its toll on her, obviously, and she is panting loudly from the exertion.

She lifts her gaze up and stares at Walter, her eyes narrowing a bit as she tries to assess his condition. She knew she wouldn't be able to last much longer after Walter's holy thrust... But him? She wonders if he would remain conscious even if he struck her down, thanks to her previous deadly attack.

The twisting blade has him crying out in agony, his breathing uncontrolled. Both that great spiritual power of the kitsune scorches into him, burning away his shirt to reveal now-scorched scales and skin alike. The heat, and then the burst of dark energy upon him is enough to burn the symbol of his cross into his chest before literally melting away from the clash of chi.

Then the blade is removed, and he collapses down the tree. The wyrmkin is wounded, near death, and bleeding enough to where even his healing is hardly a balm. Faith and conviction, as well as pure stubborn refusal to give up are the only things sustaining the battered priest.

While he can't quite get his legs to work, his now lead-like arms /do/. One hand grabs a fallen piece of wood, the edge brutal, but pointed enough. His wings give a seemingly pathetic flap. It's still enough to launch himself bodily at the kitsune, the preacher letting out an animal roar. Some small part of him, in his weakness, lets the horrid beast not emerge, but flex its claws.

Chi blazes as he flap-flap-flaps towards her, seeking to pierce her neck and chest once again with wood and spear alike, hunger and power lurking, barely chained in his rabid attack.

COMBATSYS: Walter can no longer fight.

COMBATSYS: Kiyomi dodges Walter's Twin Claws.

[ .................\ <|

' ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~'

Kiyomi 0/-------/---====|

It would be just a matter of time before her deadly wound will sap the remaining strength in Walter's body. The kitsune shifts into an elusive stance, letting her previous blow finish her work while she tries to remain alive.

When Walter comes flying at hime with his newly crafted spear, Kiyomi leaps foward and she rolls on the ground to Walter's dive with his spear. She rolls to her knees and quickly straightens himself up and turns on her heels, blade draw up and waiting, ready to continue to dance with him if he still has some strength left in him.

COMBATSYS: Kiyomi has ended the fight here.

The priest is out of strength. As Kiyomi dives, spear and wood stab into the ground as his hands let go. The man tumbles into a limp roll, barely keeping from breaking his neck as that chi finally fades. Around them, a once beautiful section of wood is marred with blood, splinters, ash, and broken ground.

A stubborn bastard to the last, he manages to slowly turn his head to the vixen. The monster within Walter recedes. He smirks.

"At was a battle worthy of two knights..." He gasps out before finally closing his eyes, falling unconscious and fully limp.

Bleeding horridly, the tough hunter yet breathes for now.

When the draconic man finally succumbs to his wounds, Kiyomi slowly approaches him. She stares down at him and she gives a flick of her wrists to swipe off the blood from her katana, before sheathing it.

She watches him for a moment. Had it been a human, Kiyomi would have left him there for dead -- he will not hinder him, nor the plans the Children of the Night had. Or at least, a minir hinderance at most. In her current condition, she would not be of much help either to her pack.

"I hope one day you will be able to understand your true nature," The woman whispers.

Log created on 10:20:10 02/08/2015 by Kiyomi, and last modified on 10:30:22 02/08/2015.