Description: Youthful exuberance clash against old wizened experience when Mimiru attends her first drilling session in the Holy Order led by none other than Kliff Undersn. Also, stuff explodes and it's all Mimiru's fault.
SACRED ORDER OF HOLY KNIGHTS' HEADQUARTERS.
There's never a moment of true rest in the Order, not while there is evil afoot. The wicked know no rest and so neither do the Just Warriors that forever hound their steps. Although the Order has dealt a series of decisive victories against the forces of darkness, Darkstalkers and other monstrosities are ever in constant motion in the world, prompting the Holy Knights to keep their instincts sharp, this includes their old general, Kliff Undersn, who has postponed all plans to retire in lieu of recent events.
He leads a cadre of knights now at the courtyard going through basic defensive drills. Parrying, thrusting and twisting their weapons into the air, preparing themselves for the likely coming onslaught, all while chanting the hymn of the Holy Orders.
"We are the guards of the new world order!" Block! Parry!
"We are the soldiers! The legion of light!" Thrust! Twist!
"We are the center! The death of the sun!" Cleave! Slice!
"Fire and flame, we are one!" Spin! And reset!
There has been a few new recruits amongst the ranks of the Holy Knights -- at least, one new recruit. It's hard not to have heard about her, she's definately not fitting into the mold and usual stereotype of Holy Knights. In all honesty, there's nothing 'holy' about her and she's most likely faithless.
In her first few days around, she burnt down a part of the grand hall, broke some old furniture and captured a Darkstalker! That's quite some feat to accomplish for someone after all... Except that said Darkstalker happened to be a member of the Order.
Mimiru Kasagi joined up with the other knights for the defensive drills. She had no experience but there was something exciting to learn to become a knight like that. Clad in similar outfit and protective gear than everyone else.
The pink haired lass fights with her polearm (though the helment probably prevents others from noticing that) and she clumsily blocks, barely parries and sluggishly thrust. Rough to fight but she's learning -- Mimiru always had a thing for physical stuff and it reminds her how to use a stick in various sports she used to play.
Once she's gotten comfortable enough though, Mimiru goes out of the usual routine. She swings the polearm around, channeling her chi and flames through it, "Kyaaaa! Fire and flame, hell yay!" She shouts as she sends a shower of flames that dissipates in the air, "Mighty Flame Cleaver!!" She shouts as she swings the halbarde she had against the ground to send a wave of flames across the courtyard, with a few knights barely having the time to duck out of the way.
Mimiru grins and beams, proud of the little display she did.
"Fire and flame--AAAH!! FLAMES! FLAMES!!" The chorus of mighty knights practicing their drills is suddenly interrupted when a couple of the knights burst into flames and start rolling on the ground to put the fire out. This leads to literal chaos in the ranks of knights as everyone gets tripped up, with others following suit by falling flat on their faces, swinging their polearms wildly and hitting others also taking them down to the ground. Many of them also get their weapons knocked clean out of their hands. They go flying up and breaking a couple of windows, which hit Holy Order attendees and squires mulling about inside, who also trip and run into each other causing a terrifying domino effect that ends in disaster inside of the Holy Order stronghold.
After what seems to be only a couple of seconds, the only ones left standing are Kliff and the culprit of such a mess, the rest of the knights either down on the ground, running in circles trying to put the fires out, or fumbling to try and retrieve their weapons.
That's certainly one way to end a practice.
"What is the meaning of this!!?" Shouts Kliff Undersn, who doesn't look too thrilled about the sorry state that his knights are now in. The old man surveys the wreckage of what once was a proud cadre of knights which has now been reduced to a pile of knocked out groaning men, his hawk like gaze locking in on the one short trainee that is still standing.
The old general rests his massive Dragonslayer bardiche on his shoulder and approaches the similar sized girl with a deep frown on his grey eyebrows. "You! Recruit!!!" He doesn't sound happy! "Take off your helmet and identify yourself!" Kliff doesn't think he's ever seen this trainee in the Order before.
Seems like Mimiru got carried away a little -- after all, Mimiru is used to the heat of battle, fighting other martial artists and giving her all! How could she fathom that channeling her chi flames that way could wreck such havok and break the formation of knights so easily?
There's no guilt or shame on Mimiru's face, she just stares and glances at the groaning men who just all seem to act like some catastrophe had hit them. For all she's been used to, she expected more resilience out of them...
She thinks again. No. Mimiru didn't expect anything out of them, really.
That's her problem, really -- she never thinks ahead or about the consequences of her actions. When she hears the deep roar coming from the old general, Mimiru stiffens a bit. It felt like being back in school when a teacher found out you were doing something prohibited. The girl glances around rapidly and notices everyone dashed off, leaving her alone in the middle of the courtyard.
Despite Kliff's hard gaze, Mimiru beams and manages to get a straight posture. She reaches out for her helmet and takes it off, shaking her head some to free her pink locks. "Hai! Mimiru Kasagi, sir!" The young woman replies. She glances around and chuckles a bit nervously, "Oh, hum, I can explain this, really!" Mimiru says, a wide grin on her lips. Then she thinks, "Well, huh... Not really but...! You gotta admit, that's the kind of flames you want to spew in their faces, right?"
She has that wide grin on her face -- like she was proud of herself. Well, at least she tries to be!
It was totally awesome and worth it, definately, no matter what they'd say.
She glances around at the other knights and gives them a helpless shrug, "I mean, come on! It's not worse than some dragons breathing their fire at us! Right? Right?" Noticing no one seems to agree with her, she just waves her hand dismissingly, "Ah, pffft, wussies,"
Might have gone carried away just a little, yeah.
The commotion and grumbling going on in the courtyard silences as soon as Kliff rests the butt of his bardiche on the ground. It makes a soft 'thunk' noise and its like switching off a light switch, just like that, all of the knights grumbling grow quiet and stand on full attention, even the ones that still have flames clinging to their armor. It is as if there's no one individual knight here, everyone moves like a single unit.
Except of course, the one pink haired loud mouth.
"Hmm.. I see." Says Kliff, rubbing his white beard as Mimiru introduces herself, then fails to explain her actions. The knights around her show different reactions despite all remaining silent, some of the younger ones look at her with clear spite on their eyes for daring too show off like that and hit them while they were unaware, but some of the more veteran ones mimic Kliff's exasperated expression. The old man just sighs and shakes his head slowly. He's seen this countless of times before, the arrogance of youth, and it never gets any easier dealing with it.
"Mimiru Kasagi, I've heard of your interesting record with us thus far. I apologize that I have not personally welcomed you into our hallowed Order as our newest sister in arms. I'm Kliff Undersn, general of the Sacred Order, and if you could just listen to an old man's musings for a moment.."
Kliff's gentle talk stops abruptly, his eyes grow fierce and it is as if a literal dragon appears behind him to loom down on Mimiru and similarly its like there's fire coming out of his mouth when he starts yelling.
"YOU DO NOT BREAK FORMATION LIKE THAT YOU INSOLENT FOOLISH WHELP!! DOING THAT IN BATTLE CAN GET YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS KILLED!! I WILL NOT HAVE DEATHS IN OUR RANKS BECAUSE YOU THOUGHT THIS WAS A GAME AND WANTED TO SHOW OFF! UNDERSTAND!!!?"
It was a bit to show off, but also try out to mix this new stuff with something she's more familiar with. Like most of her ideas it ends up backfiring but Mimiru never learns.
It's not malice or insolence, nor really the desire to show off : it was part of her personality and nature to crave new experience and thrills. It's obvious she crossed the line and the inquisitive stares are enough for her to realize she shouldn't have done that.
Mimiru blinks and arches a brow when she hears Kliff's gentle words at first, "Huh? Really?" She says, sounding genuinely surprised. Though the moment he bursts out in anger and shouts at her causes Mimiru's eyes to widen and stiffen, gritting her teeth a bit.
The young woman seems shaken for a moment. It was frightening, but then again there was something awesome about the dragon that appears behind Kliff and looms over. Something exceptional! When he repeats the question she nods her head vigorously and beams, "Yes sir, understood!" It was an honest answer and she knew the importance of team spirit. She had been enough on sport teams, though errors were definately more costly here.
She rests her polearm on her shoulder and lifts her hand up to scratch the back of her head, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to... I got carried away a bit, you know, adrenaline and all, trying to fight my best..." Still no words going to sound like good excuses so... She takes her helmet and puts it back on. "Well then! Lesson learned, Formation time then!" Mimiru says.
She'll make sure to practice flame throwing with her polearm for next time.
Mimiru's response, though apologetic, was still very lacking. Enough to get dragon figure from Kliff's back to quiet down and return to the shadows, though not enough to wipe that disapproving glare from the old man's face. Kliff continues to stare as Mimiru apologizes enthusiastically, and yet he senses that the enormity of her error still doesn't dawn on her. What is this girl even doing here? She has wielding a spear before but not for too long as far as Kliff can tell.
The old warrior shakes his head when Mimiru puts her helmet back on. He raises his bardiche and whacks on the top of the helm with the flat side to secure it on Mimiru's head. "Keep it firmly there on your nogging but raise the visor so you can see." He says and pushes on the tip of the helmet with his bardiche's blade to raise it over Mimiru's eyes. His control on that massive blade is rather amazing since the sharpness of the weapon never comes close to brushing Mimiru's skin even though Kliff is basically rubbing it on her face.
"Make a good stance, your shoulders are all slacked." He continues and whacks Mimiru again on the small of her back with the bardiche's handle, forcing her to straighten up and remain attentive. "What made you want to join the Order, cadet?" Asks Kliff after a moment of examining her. He's seen plenty of hot blooded youth's like Mimiru before and only very rarely do they ever shown any inclination of following the Order's strict set of rules.
What the young woman lacks in skills and wits she makes up in perseverance and vigor. Whether or not those qualities are better than the former is up to debate though, but it was obvious she had little to no experience with polearms or formation fighting. At the very least, she was eager to learn and she had been more or less trying to clumsily blend in and learn through mimicry.
Until she decided to give it a little twist of her own.
Seems like they're more conservative about things than she expected. The young woman groans and flails a bit when Kliff taps the top of his head to secure the helmet on her face and then poke the helmet with the barbiche, "Heh!" She complains silently as he adjusts it, "Okay! I'll be careful," She says with a nod of her head.
The few more smacks make her groan but she adjusts her stance accordingly. She didn't complain much this time -- this was just like the coach she used to have when she was in Taiyo in the basketball team. At least, both him and Kliff are taking their art seriously and like she did back then, she offers him at least her attention and does her best to learn correctly.
She spares a glance at Kliff, as if waiting to see if he'll approve of her new stance and she stays still. Lack of reprimands indicate she must be good. She grins to herself.
"Oh, it's Dame Amy," The young woman replies without a second thought. She blinks and then feels the need to give more information, "I mean... Not in I've got a secret crush on Dame Amy creepy stalker sort of reason but, you know... Arg..." She coughs and blushes, lowering her gaze as she realizes she's going nowhere. "Huh... The new experience," Mimiru admits after she took a moment to actually think about her answer. She smiles and says, "I may not be a faithful zealot like you guys, but I know I've at least got what it takes to help you and fight by your side,"
They both have their strong points and if it were up to Kliff, he'd really have both in a person. Experience and skills can only get you so far if you don't have the drive to pursue your goals, and in Kliff's particular case, he'd prefer that his back wouldn't give him so much problems nowadays, it really affects his fighting.
With that said, the old commander waits patiently for Mimiru's response. Although it looks like he's just standing there in front of the new recruit, Mimiru might be able to tell that he really is like her old coach, as he is carefully analyzing everything about her, being able to tell her personality simply by how she talks and stands. Goofy, laid back, quick to show her emotions with facial gestures, Mimiru is probably a terrible poker player, that's for sure.
First things first though; Kliff raises his hand forward and presses his gloved palm on Mimiru's mouth as if to shut her up and slides it to the side. "Wipe that grin off your face, you foolish girl. I'm scolding you in front of your entire battalion, you're not supposed to be enjoying it." Because presentation is also an essential part of a knight after all!
And speaking of presentation, the moment Mimiru blurts out that she might possibly have a crush on Amy Johnson a few giggles and snickers can be heard from the other knights. There's always been.....well... at /best/ rumors of Amy's promiscuity, but whether or not they are true is a thing Kliff doesn't know nor he cares. He shoots a glare to the rest of the cadet knights who instantly shut up.
And then back to pink haired girl. "Lady Johnson is a good role model to follow." There's another snort from a knight but no one dares to publicly argue it with Kliff.
"I would advise against call us zealots too, cadet. Zealots by the very definition are blind followers of a cause, idolaters that can tolerate no other path but their own. The Sacred Order is here to protect humanity from those who seek to destroy it, not to govern over nations. That is our first and foremost principle."
"Never let faith blind you, cadet. For it will then turn to hatred. That is the first lesson to learn here in the Order."
Although Mimiru deeply hating something seems to be, for now, the least of Kliff's worries. "What say you, cadet? Do you have sufficient love of humanity to swear your entire existence to protect it? If your intentions with us are to simply impress Lady Johnson, the I am afraid you will be solely disappointed in what you find."
This has gotten Mimiru into trouble more often than not -- she can't help it though, it's in her cheerful and optimistic personality that makes her smile so often. When he slides his hand on her face, Mimiru blinks in surprise and she straightens herslef up, "Right, huh, urg... Sorry.."
Not that she forgot about the fact she's being reprimanded for what she did or meant any disrespect, though she figures now is not the best time to argue with Kliff on the reasons why she had been smiling. The chuckles she hears fro mthe knights behind causes Mimiru to frown and blush even more, "No, no! Don't get me wrong or anything! It's Dame Amy who brought me and, you know, made sure I had what it needs.." She felt more like she had to justify herself to the other cadets more than Kliff about that part.
Mimiru nods her head solemnly and lowers her gaze, "My apologizes..." She says, "I meant no disrespect," She adds with an honest tone in her voice. She figured most knights were pious and all, unlike her, but she didn't think the distinction made that much of a difference.
Kliff's last words leave Mimiru thoughtful though. She lowers her gaze, a gentle smile spreading on her lips. All of her life she ended up running away and never devoting too much time in one place, she wonders if she'd truly be able to stay with those knights long enough. This thought is eclipsed with the one of being a protector of humanity. Her expression brightens up at the thought : she'd follow in her brother and mother's footsteps in her very own particular way...
Mimiru shakes her head slowly, "I don't know," Mimiru admits, "But the only way to find it out is trying, eh?" Mimiru says. "Like the only way to see true courage is in the face of real danger," Mimiru beams and she adds, "I swear though, I'm not here to impress Amy!"
It seems the more Mimiru talks the further she's embarrassing herself in front of the other knights and Kliff. A very common trait amongst these upstart whipper snappers that really don't know where to go just yet. It seems their to-go tactic is always to throw as many things out and which sticks, no matter how many of those thrown things ends up being thrown back at them.
For his part at least, Kliff doesn't offer any facial expression that might betray his exasperation. He is far too old to be victim to the whims of his emotions. His body controls him in very different ways, namely the fact that his back starts acting up every now and then, but at least he doesn't have to worry about pesky hormones anymore. You gain some you lose some, he guesses.
At the very least, there is something that Kliff can count on with people like Mimiru, and that is an honest answer. Most of the knights look down right offended when Mimiru's answer to Kliff's question of she's ready to lay down her life to defend humanity is a wishy washy 'I don't know.' Faithlessness of such magnitude is unheard of in the Order, every knight there has already sworn to give their all to protect the world and their fellow knights, and they demand the same kind of dedication from their fellows. Judging by the scowls Mimiru gets from some of the battalion, she might as well be kicked out right there and then.
But it seems the old commander has another idea in mind.
"I suppose only time will tell if you have what it takes to be a knight." Then a scoff of disbelief when Mimiru reiterates that she's not here to gain Amy's favor. "We'll see about that." Kliff is no fool, he knows many a young man and woman have joined the Order specifically for that very reason, and perhaps to a lesser extent Alma too. He might as well consider those two their best recruiters.
"That's quite enough of swearing fealty and such, we're wasting daylight." Grunts Kliff and walks off to the front of the line again, his voice returning to that commanding tone. "MAKE FORMATIONS! We'll be starting over and you can thank our newest recruit, cadet Kasagi for that!"
There's no audible response from the knights, but Mimiru will be able to tell that many of them are wincing and looking at her from the corner of their eyes.
"TESTUDO FORMATION!!" Kliff's next order cuts any ill thought from the knights short as they scramble to make a circle with their polearms pointing outwards in order to resume their drills.
It's easy to swear something when there's no temptation to break your vows. The real test will only come when she'll be faced with it, and this is when Mimiru will be able to tell whether or not she has what it takes to be a knight. Anyone here would have been eager to swear their lives for the Order, but Mimiru lacked the conviction to know, without a shadow of a doubt, if it is something she could do.
She has also grown mature enough about herself to know her own nature and personality, and with her previous experience if things end up being as harsh as Kliff says, she might not stay around long...
Only time will tell if it was worth it, though the aspect and thrill of fighting off evil beasts and other things like that was enough to outweight the rest for now.
Mimiru straightens up and nods to Kliff, "I won't disappoint you, you'll see," She reiterates with a smile. At least for now, no more fancy moves. She'll practice in secret for that part. Mimiru winces a bit when he hears Kliff demands them to start again from the beginning. She has been training hard enough to know what it meant : especially since it's all due to her. The other knights won't be happy about her. Mimiru's going to earn herself quite a fame! Though not sure it's the sort of reputation you'd want.
She goes back in line, twirling her polearm and getting readied. She doesn't complain but she trains seriously this time.
Kliff has been through too many disappointments and failures to put full faith in newer recruits, no matter how passionate, ready for battle, and prodigious they may seem. Some do break their vows and leave, others grow disheartened with the organization and never raise above squires, and others.. die. Kliff won't get attached, he can think of only two people that dived into the Holy Order with wild abandon, and proved themselves dedicated enough to maintain faith in the order from start to very finish; himself.. and Ky Kiske.
He has been proven wrong before though, and who knows, maybe this generation will show that there are still people with enough dedication that they can remain faithful for all their lives. If not Mimiru then even Amy or Alma, Kliff is certain at least one of them will rise to greatness, if not all.
And if not, well, as long as he lives, the Holy Order will never falter. At least on that much he is certain.
But only time will tell as he said to Mimiru, that is one of the many lessons that Kliff has learned in his long life. He offers no answer to Mimiru when she says he won't be disappointed, for now all he cares is finish the bloody drill already. He's grown to be a man of routine more than he ever was in his younger years.
The commander gives the order and soon all knights start going through their drills again, chanting all the way.
"We are the guards of the new world order!" Block! Parry!
"We are the soldiers! The legion of light!" Thrust! Twist!
"We are the center! The death of the sun!" Cleave! Slice!
"Fire and flame, we are one!" Spin! And reset!
Log created on 13:59:17 03/23/2015 by Kliff, and last modified on 18:23:17 03/23/2015.