The Hunter - What Hunts The Night

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Description: Making her way through the depths of the Dark Forest at night, Azumi is ambushed by a creature that was once a hunter of monsters. The battle that follows is vicious and bloody, pushing the young werewolf past her furthest limits. Play time is over, and Monsters are very, very real.

For a night with a bright full moon, it's a still pretty dark in this forest. The tree cover is somewhat dense, with only small slivers of moonlight actually touching the floor. The pleasant but melancholy chirping birds of the day were replaced with an eerie stillness that made passage through here an exercise in tension. A small breeze trickles in through the trees, making it just unsettling enough to where it wasn't exactly clear what was the wind and what was an intruder.

Azumi is traveling through the forest, her ears and tail pointed taut and her fur standing on end. She hated traveling through here and the night was even more unpleasant. Even with her ability to see far better in the night than most humans, there were still creatures that could lurk here that gave even ninja pause. Choosing to walk along the ground she keeps her footsteps light, not intending on causing any more noise than what was necessary.

Nature or creature. Beast or man. Friend or foe.

The soft sounds of rustling night life drift around Azumi. Shadows shift at the corners of her eyes, hinting at movement, But there is nothing truly there.

These dark woods give off a feeling. A sense of oppression. The darkness is heavy and suffocating, lying heavily across her fur.

And then a sound reaches her ears. Alert for danger as they are, this singular sound stands out sharp and distinct against the general noise of the forest. It is not an animal sound, but one that is distinctly man made.


The metallic, vibrating thrum of a heavy crossbow being fired rings out through the dark forest. It may be just enough warning for Azumi to defend herself, as a silver-tipped bolt comes humming out of the darkness above, aimed precisely for the meat of her left thigh. Not a killing shot, but a wounding one. Meant to slow, and to bleed.

There, balanced 20 feet above the werewolf on two swaying branches, the crouched form of a man is silhouetted against the light of the moon. Even to her enhanced wolf's sight, The majority of his body is nothing more than a darker shadow in the night. However, his right arm glows like pure silver from wrist to elbow, and the faint reflection of steel outlines the heavy crossbow cradled in his hands. But above that weapon, bright as golden flames, burn the eyes of a demon. Fiercely focused and full of concentrated anger.

COMBATSYS: The Hunter has started a fight here.

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The Hunter       0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Azumi has joined the fight here.

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The Hunter       0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Azumi

COMBATSYS: The Hunter successfully hits Azumi with Out For Blood.
- Power hit! -

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The Hunter       0/-------/------=|===----\-------\0            Azumi

Azumi is quite used to darkness. She lived in it for many years. But even when it was on your side, you were never quite sure what could be lurking through it, waiting to end you, without a whisper, without a struggle and without a trace. Azumi gets enough time to turn when the silver bolt impacts her leg. An explosion of pain causes her to sink down to her knees, the silver burning her flesh somewhat severely. She yanks the bolt out immediately and tosses it aside, looking back up towards the man in the trees with a feral growl. Just as soon as she gets a visual on him, the ninja leaves behind an after image that simply disappears before the Hunter's eyes. She remains unseen for a few seconds before she reappears, directly behind the Hunter and with her claws fully extended, coming down for heavy slash that would not only attempt to cleave him, but completely destroy the branch he was using as leverage.

COMBATSYS: The Hunter parries Azumi's Aggressive Strike!

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The Hunter       0/-------/----===|===----\-------\0            Azumi

Azumi is fast, and skilled in methods of fighting that the man before her is not. He has no energy to call upon. No mystical techniques.

But behind those demonic eyes is the mind of a veteran hunter. One who was once whispered to be the next great. The next saint of the hunt, come to lead his brothers in a bloody crusade against the darkness.

How wrong they were.

The man's long tangled hair whips out behind him as he dives straight down from his perch, unloaded crossbow being swung up and over his head to dig barbed hooks into the leather harness that crosses his back.

With his weapon secured, the Hunter's hands are free to snap out and grab a thick branch as he falls past it. The wood groans, bowing forward under his weight and momentum. At that exact moment, Azumi appears above where he used to be standing, lashing out in a downward strike with her vicious claws.

The branch the hunter is hanging from snaps upward and he flings himself effortlessly back the way he came. Twisting neatly through the air to avoid the wolf's strike, his left hand slips from his tattered black rags with a long curved knife clutched comfortably in his grip.

AS the two monsters hang their in mid air, one falling and the other rising, the Hunter lashes out with three lightning quick slashes at Azumi's chest and stomach. Then, as they move past one another, he turns an effortless front flip over the top of her head, both booted feet lashing down in a vicious stomp to send her hurtling through the branches toward the ground below.

COMBATSYS: Azumi parries The Hunter's Bleeding Hearts EX!

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The Hunter       0/-------/----===|=====--\-------\0            Azumi

The ninja wasn't used to fighting this way. In her time as a werewolf, she's had time to contemplate, spar, and fight as a friendly way to engage another person in a physical activity. This...was something else entirely.

This was a hunter hunting a Darkstalker to kill. Something she'd done over a hundred times in the past, but now, the situation is reversed. There was no talking. No subtle jabs. This was dark violence, only halting when whoever won could get up and walk way to live another night.

Azumi is surprised, for such a decently large man, he not only had acute senses but practiced movement. He was an old hand at this, the type of guy who outranks her in experience by the sheer fact that he was alive. She cleaves through the branch effortlessly, severing it as her downward momentum carried her towards her opponent. Picking up on his likely formidable hand-to-hand combat skills she retracts her claws slightly so she could deal wit him. His first blow is smacked off course by a deft hand. His second was met with a harsh hand, stopping the attack just as it began. As they pass by one another she performs a few hand signs, her body wrenching towards him to face the Hunter.

As he stomps for the final hit, he would find that his boots hit an empty hoodie, the ninja having vanished before him yet again. A shotgun blast of air ruffles the top of the trees as Azumi reappears, wreathed in a glowing blue energy. She comes down like a bolt of lightning on top of the Hunter, in a mighty shoulder charge intended to carry the both of them into the ground in a painful fashion.

COMBATSYS: Azumi successfully hits The Hunter with Tempest Cannon EX.

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The Hunter       0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\0            Azumi

The Hunter has just enough time to twist once more through the air, left foot kicking to fling the discarded hoodie out into the woods. Facing up toward Azumi, he throws both forearms up, silver braced by black, and accepts the full weight of her chi-infused tackle.

The two fighters are launched downward, their struggling forms combined into a single comet of brilliantly glowing flesh. The ground rushes up to meet them, and the Hunter shoves upward hard, attempting to land feet-first and direct the falling werewolf off to one side. However, the timing is off and he strikes heels first, too off balance to go any direction but straight backward. The crossbow on his back is smashed into the earth as he falls flat, X-ed arms accepting the weight of the girl as she piles down atop him.

Beneath a scarf wrapped loosely about his lower face, the yellow-eyed hunter's breaths come in ragged but controlled gasps. Up this close, with the moonlight falling across his features, Azumi has a much better idea of just what she is fighting.

A man. All in black. His clothes tattered and smelling of charred ash and blood. His long sleeve shirt is nothing more than tangled black rags, matching the long cobwebs of black hair that hang across his face. Two bandoliers cross his chest in an X, studded with small pockets and the jutting tips of various crossbow bolts. He is not large. Both slightly shorter and lighter than she is in her current form, if a bit broader in the chest. But he has the lean build of an expert predator.

The blade of the Hunter's knife glows softly in a moon beam, still clutched tightly in his left hand. Violently uncrossing his arms, he attempts to hammer Azumi across the face with his chain-wrapped right forearm, knee coming up as he struggles to roll them over and put himself on top. If he can get the upper hand he will drive his right knee into her gut and bring his knife down in a reversed grip, driving it deep into the meat of the young wolf's right shoulder.

It seems he wants to stay in close, where that knife of his is best suited. But she has seen his skill with the crossbow, and that is likely not the only trick at his disposal.

COMBATSYS: Azumi blocks The Hunter's Armed Combo.

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The Hunter       0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\1            Azumi

Azumi knew a good hit when she saw one. She properly connected with him and solidly at that, driving both of them down in a clatter of noise that likely scared away the more feeble creatures of the night and caught the attention the others. She gets a good look into the face of the man she was fighting, her elbow pressed hard into his gut. His yellow eyes, his tattered clothes, his hidden face and his disheveled, unkempt hair. But more importantly, in his eyes, she ses a reflection of herself. Her eyes were glowing blue with ferocity, her lips are pulled back into a heavy snarl and her ears are furrowed back into a feral position, looking like any one of the dozens of werewolves she'd ended in her previous job. Seeing this causes her to pause for a moment and look momentarily remorseful.

This man...this man could have been her. Afflicted, succumbed to disease and ruined, all for the job of being a hunter. She felt bad for him. And her looking like she was...was not her. She's better than this.

That same second was all the hunter needed. She blocks the forearm with both of her own, but she's put beneath him in the tumble thanks to the shift of balance. While beneath him she blocks the knee, but the dagger only manages to graze her thanks to his efforts. Forming a quick one-handed hand sign, she reaches forward to grab at the Hunter's face, it being sheathed in chi energy that looked almost like a whirlwind. Once close enough her hand explodes with wind chi, hopefully blowing the man off of her and creating some proper space.

COMBATSYS: The Hunter dodges Azumi's Gust Shock.

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The Hunter       0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\1            Azumi

This close, wrapped around one another in a way that only combatants or lovers ever manage, it is impossible for the beasts not to lock eyes. In both lies the ferocity of a monster. In both the steely determination to come out on top. The refusal to die here. But only in Azumi's eyes is there a hint of regret.

Having only managed to graze his blade through the fur on his prey's shoulder, the Hunter twists the knife in preparation to jerk it across her throat. But before he can, the kunoichi's hand flashes up from between them, pausing just before his burning eyes.

There is very little time to react. If he were a normal man, he might not have had any time at all. But he is no man. Not anymore.

A hiss of breath escapes from beneath his scarf as he hurls himself off to his left, the burst of wind rushing through the space he had occupied only moments before. Tumbling across the leafy ground, the Hunter flattens his right palm against the earth and springs upward in a one-handed flip. As his boots crunch to the ground, his left hand brings his knife slowly across his body, fierce gaze locked on his wily opponent.

A soft snort escapes the man. perhaps it is a sign of respect, but there is little time to ponder it.

Snapping his hand out in a quick, backhanded motion, the Hunter sends his curved knife whizzing through the air toward the ninja wolf's center of mass.

COMBATSYS: Azumi parries The Hunter's Blood Letting!

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The Hunter       0/-------/--=====|=======\==-----\1            Azumi

Azumi has to brace herself for the blast of energy flying from her hand, because this attack was generally used away from herself and not in her face. Even though she didn't hear a solid hit, it did it's intended purpose; getting her out of being grounded like that. She twists her body up with her feet in the sky, using her hands to push off of the ground and get back to her feet. From here he could see what she was wearing beneath her hoodie. The werewolf is wearing a ninja gi, meant to be light and effective as opposed to proving much of anything for protection. It's dark blue in color and has an insignia on her back, although what it actually meant would be lost to him.

As she lands on her feet, she soon finds herself immediately under attack again, the moonlit blade whipped out towards her at a high speed. Utilizing her chi yet again she shoots out a hand just underneath the knife and uses another burst of wind similar to what she'd just done. This knocks the blade up and away from her, cancelling most of it's momentum. The blade slams into a trunk of a nearby tree solidly, likely waiting for it's master to return it with it's brothers.

Wasting little time she closes the distance with the Hunter again, the ninja leaping from tree trunk to tree trunk, her claws digging into the bark to give her a hold to jump off of. She comes down on him with an airborne axe kick aimed straight for his head, intending on grounding him and finally getting the upper hand.

COMBATSYS: The Hunter blocks Azumi's Heaven's Claw EX.

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The Hunter       0/-------/-======|=======\===----\1            Azumi

His knife imbeds itself quivering in the trunk of a tree, and the Hunter stands firm. With his scorched boots braced and gloved hands open, he studies Azumi's acrobatic approach through the tangled mess of his hair.

When she comes flying down from above, heel descending toward his crown, he swings his right arm up to meet it. Wolfish foot meets silver chain with a meaty 'THUD,' and the kick is deflected away.

While Azumi is still in the air, recovering from her deflected strike, the hunter takes a darting step past her. His right hand, still held above his head, twists, and the length of chain that had been wrapped about his arm comes cascading forward past his knuckles in a silver wave.

Weapon freed, the Hunter whirls around, long chain whipping about in a heavy downward lash aimed squarely for the center of her back. As it flies through the air, the tricky weapon extends ever longer, a clump at the end remaining bunched up in a tangled ball that will likely add an extra bit of bang to this attack if it manages to land.

COMBATSYS: The Hunter successfully hits Azumi with Intercepting Strike.

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The Hunter       0/-------/-======|=======\=======\1            Azumi

Normally, an opponent would shrug her away and she'd be able to land and deal with whatever they had in mind. Not this guy. This guy was something else. Packing weaponry specifically to hurt her and a tenacity to match, she looks on in surprise as he reacts far faster than she anticipated.

She tries to follow where the chain was going to hit and attempts to swing herself out of the way, but the banded metal hits her cleanly, knocking her out of the air and into the ground in what could only be a crushing blow. She lets out a low cry of pain as she forces herself to recover, despite her body's protests. She rolls back to her feet and begins making hand signs unlike whatever he'd seen before. At one final clap of her hands she is filled with an aura of chi that rises from her like a flame. In nothing short of a blur she moves straight towards the Hunter, the ninja throwing off the occasional after image leaping in a slightly different direction to hide her true direction.

Her claws extend outward as she starts to slash like a true beast, each blow aiming straight for his chest. She brings her claws around again and again in a flurry similar to that of a certain Wolverine. After each swing, the chi coating them produce a cutting wind that essentially duplicates the effect. After nothing short of a series of blows, she caps it off with an uppercut that will likely put both of them in the air. Her opposite hand comes around with a palm slap to the Hunter's chest, followed by an explosion of air intending to send the poor man rocketing away from her. With any luck he'd hit a nearby tree.

COMBATSYS: The Hunter parries Azumi's Cyclone Slash!

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The Hunter       0/-------/=======|======-\-------\0            Azumi

The impact of Azumi with the ground overlaps with the sound of clattering metal as the Hunter jerks his hand back, causing the gleaming silver chain to crack back through the air toward him. A simple quirk of his wrist forces the knot at the end of the weapon to slide apart, gloved left hand catching the now fully uncoiled weapon part way along its length. Deftly he directs the momentum up and over his head, releases the end in his right hand, and twirls the entire 8-foot length of chain once around his body before snapping it into readiness before him.

For a moment, the two fighters face off.

Moonlight glitters off of the silver weapon in the Hunter's hands. The entire length of it is masterfully crafted. Each link is about as thick as his thumb, and pristine. Unlike the rest of his equipment, not a single mark of battle scars the beautiful piece.

If Azumi were to know anything of the American monster hunting clans, she might recognize this weapon. The silver chain is the signature implement of the Brotherhood of the Silver Lash, a monastery of monks that have devoted their entire lives to the slaying of monsters. But whatever this man, this Creature is, he is not a brother. No brother with eyes such as his would be allowed to live.

A cool breeze swirls between them as Azumi springs back to her feet, hands flashing through mystical symbols almost faster than the eye can follow.

Then, she vanishes.

Such is the werewolf's speed that even the fastest opponent would be hard pressed to keep up. But the Silver Lash are men. Men who hunt monsters. And never before has that handicap stopped them.

What follows is a display of martial excellence that can only come to the most focused mind, when pressed to the utmost limit, and having no options but to succeed or die.

Her initial charge is met by a flickering block of the chain, her chi meeting the blessed silver and being shunted along its length. As the wind blasts from the end of the chain, the man wielding it harnesses the force and sets the weapon to spinning.

And another blow is blocked.

With each blow, chi rushes down the length of the chain, causing it to whip about ever faster. Soon it is nothing more than a blur, the man wielding it flickering his hands and fingers in deceptively slow motions, while the wolf's own chi powers the manic speed of the weapon.

Twisting his body lithely around the rising uppercut, the yellow-eyed hunter clamps his gloved fingers hard about the base of the chain and spins it, the ends whipping in to try and batter the rising wolf from all sides, weapon a blur of hammer blows that rise , descend, and cut across from the sides. Everywhere there is silver and pain, and behind it, the burning eyes so full of focus and mettle.

Once he was Benedict Scorpium, brother of the Silver Lash.

Once he was a true hunter.

COMBATSYS: Azumi blocks The Hunter's Bad Blood EX.

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The Hunter       1/-------/=======|=======\-------\1            Azumi

The werewolf is losing. Every impact that silver had against her fur burnt, but it didn't seem to stop her. In fact, it drove her to fight on. She throws every single possible blow she could manage from this angle, and each hit cause a clatter of sound and the sparks of claws against metal. But that wasn't the only way she was losing. Azumi was also losing control of herself. Her beast. As the fight continued and it became more and more obvious that this man was of a skill that rivaled or surpassed hers when she was a proper Red Cloud ninja. And as such, that meant that she could easily die here. Alone, in the woods, her story could end. Not at some grand battle, not for some greater cause, but slain by a monster that was greater than she was.

Her many years of ninja training had honed her senses. She practiced for hours on that mountain side, practicing Psi-magic, proper weapon usage and how to evade attacks. Every scrape, she learned to adjust. Every bruise was a chance to improve. Every broken bone was a lesson. All that was tossed out the window now. This was a fight for survival against an opponent that seemed to have her outclassed.

And that didn't happen very often.

That chain weapon comes in again and rather than try to evade it, Azumi seemed content to either visibly block or flat out smack away the blow, ignoring the stinging pain of silver against herself. Beneath the fur of each blow sat badly bruised skin, the likes that would persists for days on end. But she still stood. And she wanted survive.

As soon as she spots an opening in the metallic onslaught, she sneaks her head in and aims a bite directly onto the Hunter's shoulder, piercing it. Once that was done, she rips her teeth out of him in a fashion that'd force him to reel from it, forcing him to either spin or side-step almost in place. She follows up with a brutal looking haymaker directly to the side of his face, a blow that could crater any opponent who caught it poorly.

COMBATSYS: The Hunter endures Azumi's Fang Over Fist.

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The Hunter       1/-----==/=======|=======\-------\1            Azumi

Fear. The Hunter can see it as it enters the wolf's eyes. See the desire to live bubbling up to the surface, along with her pain and frustration. It is a natural instinct, able to infuse a fighter with desperate power.

It is an instinct that was beaten out of the Hunter during childhood. In his own yellow-eyed gaze there is no fear. No concern. Only focus and will. The chain spins through his hands, whipping between their bodies before impacting his left forearm. Blurringly fast it begins to spin around his arm, coiling tighter and tighter around his flexed limb.

Providing just the opening Azumi needs.

The werewolf's teeth dart in over the chain as it finishes winding its way back into an armored sleeve, descending upon the man's left shoulder with all the vicious ferocity her kind can muster. Cloth and flesh part beneath her fangs, oddly bitter blood spurting across her tongue.

But the hunter does not retreat.

The weight of a silver-wrapped arm locks itself around the back of Azumi's neck, clenching her face to his shoulder even as the haymaker swings up to pound him in the side of the head. But still he holds firm, skull rocked hard to the side by the blow but grip tight as ever.

The reason for his gambit becomes obvious as the large, cold barrel of an oversized handgun slams into Azumi's stomach. There is a split second to take in the weapon. Broad barreled and compact as a sawed off shotgun, but with an ancient-seeming flintlock firing mechanism. It must be some sort of black powder contraption that he made himself.

"Boom." The hunter whispers, voice a hoarse rasp conveyed directly into the werewolf's ear.

The trigger is squeezed.

A spark is made.

Silver shrapnel explodes out of the barrel in a roiling cloud of smoke, aimed point blank into the stomach of the kunoichi.

An average werewolf would likely have no way to stop such an insidious ploy, but Azumi is much more than just a werewolf. Will it be enough?

COMBATSYS: The Hunter successfully hits Azumi with Blood And Thunder.

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The Hunter       0/-------/------=|=======\======-\1            Azumi

Azumi's heart stops. She drove her fist into the hunter as hard as she could, but his willpower was stronger than any metal she'd come across. For most people, this attack was enough. Most fighters who ate this dropped like a stone, unable to continue or too rattled to continue. But by this point, as soon as the fist failed to dislodge him, she knew this might be the end of her life. She feels the barrel of the gun pressed up against her stomach and she clenched.

She'd never been shot before.

The gunshot's sharpness echoed far through the dark forest and any remaining creatures of the night left the area scattered. Blood billowed from the wound as Azumi has only a fraction of a second to realize the intense pain coming from her gut. Her whole body starts to shudder as she slowly bring a hand down to her belly, only to see the silvery red coat her pads. Her fur bristles uncontrollably as she looks up towards the Hunter. For a moment there was an intense fear, like she wanted nothing more than to run and hide. Nobody had ever managed to scare her this much throughout all of her time, not even Nightwolf or Raiden. And the latter half of the pair was a literal god.

But rather than fall, the ninja simply stands in the cloud of gunsmoke that likely still surrounded her, her fur still bristling. As she looks back towards the Hunter, her eyes began to glow. And glow so fiercely that what she had before was like a candle against the sun. With an almighty grimace, she rears back from him and howls, her hands shooting to her the sides of her ears, clutching them down painfully. She ducks out of the chain, letting the searing metal simply slide away from her. Tears stream from her eyes as the chi she usually kept under tight control explodes outward from her in a shockwave of force that completely leveled all of the trees in a fifteen foot radius around her. Some of them went flying into other trees, splintering them or impaling them, and others simply ceased to be. The werewolf howls in pain and fear as loud as she can as she crouches down, her whole form convulsing in front of him. The hurricane-like winds are constant, stripping the trees on the outside of that radius of bark, leaving them bare. Thousands upon thousands of leaves are torn loose from their foundations and the ground is scarred and cracked beneath her from the sudden removal of so much dirt.

But the whole while, the werewolf is on the ground, confused and scared at what seemed to be happening to her. This wasn't death...what was happening?

COMBATSYS: Azumi can no longer fight.

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The Hunter       0/-------/------=|

COMBATSYS: The Hunter dodges Azumi's Zephyr's Domain.

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The Hunter       0/-------/------=|

For a fraction of a moment, the two beasts look each other dead in the eye. One with the body of a man but the soul of a monster. The other with the body of a monster but the soul of a woman. So similar, yet so vastly different.

Gun smoke drifts around them, the Hunter stepping back automatically and releasing the wolf as he holsters his gun at the small of his back.

Her look of fear passes from her to him, washing over the killer without visible effect. He does not reach for a knife, but nor does he step away. He simply watches. Watches as the glow fills her eyes, her head is thrown back, and she howls.

The Hunter's body is struck by the shockwave, hurled backward through the air amidst shattered trees and dirt. But beneath the monstrous man there still lives the hunter.

As he flies backward through the air, he snags a dangling branch and uses it to swing himself out of the path of an oncoming log. The log smashes the trunk of a much larger tree and explodes into fragments, while the black-clad monster rebounds foot-first off of a toppling sapling and dives behind the trunk of a swaying giant.

The giant in which his knife is imbedded.

Gripping the hilt of the knife, he tumbles backward under the fierce push of the wind, blade coming free from the trunk in a spray of splinters. But after only one backward flip he drives the knife deep into the earth, rooting himself to the ground in a hunched kneel as leaves and branches tear past him in a wave of dust. His long black hair flaps in the wind, collecting sharp twigs and other bits of foliage.

But when it is all over, and the werewolf lies huddled on the scarred ground, the Hunter jerks his knife from the earth and stands. The blade gleams in the abundant moonlight, the shadows of bare branches stark against the rocky ground.

it is through those shadows that the man stalks, approaching Azumi with the soft sound of boots crunching gravel. His knife is held in a low guard at his side, eyes alert for movement from the badly wounded girl.

"it is not a killing shot." He states once he is less than 12 feet away. His voice remains soft, not much more than a whisper. it is rusty and hoarse as if not used often, or used far too harshly, giving everything he says the rasping quality of flint on stone.

COMBATSYS: The Hunter takes no action.

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The Hunter       0/-------/------=|

COMBATSYS: The Hunter has ended the fight here.

The sound of bone cracking was a distinct one. The hollow crunch was unmistakable against all the sounds of damage one could get used to in battle. And from Azumi's form, the Hunter could not only hear it, but could hear it happening several times. She passes an eye over him as she growls, the ninja utterly failing to keep the beast in check within her. She lets out a snarl as bones start to shift and contort, working beneath her skin in a manner that is almost distinctly unique to werebeasts. Her hands grow in size beneath her, her finger shifting in size and shape to become more canine like. Her upper body shifts entirely, her ribcage elongating with several bone crunching cracks. Her head grows in size several times over, turning more and more feral, her teeth glimmering in the moon's light. Her whole body convulses uncontrollably as her muscle mass expands greatly over her own. The sounds of shifting and scraping bone are so loud that her own throat can't seem to stifle it with guttural groans escaping her. Azumi's tail grows rapidly out behind her, fur thickening in density and toughness.

When it's all said and done a mere moment or two later, a seven foot-tall-at-the-shoulder, quadrupedal wolf stares back at the Hunter. The woman's eyes look about the same as she had before, though the tears had stopped. Tendrils of smoke rise from her form in particular spots. The hunter would recognize them as every single spot she had taken damage. The blood stops flowing from them, the new form seeming to heal them back, albeit slowly. A metallic clinking is heard beneath her belly as the bullets he'd used a moment before had fallen back into the earth.

Azumi the exiled ninja was gone.

Azumi the True Lycan is here now.

"You think yourself a monster." The Hunter rasps as he stalks toward the transforming wolf. The sounds of snapping bones and writhing muscles seem not to effect him at all,nor does her steadily increasing mass. Still he approaches, pace steady.

The black rags that hang from his lean form rustle softly in the light breeze. That, and the crunchign sounds of his footsteps are the only noises that do not come from the werewolf. After the extreme conflict of their fight, the woods are unnaturally still.

"Remain down, wolf. You do not wish to meet that which lives within me. He is less forgiving than I." Within the battered man's words is a level of solemnity and pain that is difficult to grasp. Perhaps impossible to grasp in Azumi's new form. Within the golden eyes that meet hers so unflinchingly is a soul deep weariness, and a grinding, indomitable will.

While the wolf continues to heal, the man steps up in an attempt to drive a vicious kick into her side and knock her onto her back. Expecting this action to meet with gnashing teeth and slashing claws, he rams his chain-wrapped arm hard toward her mouth, attempting to force away her paws with his knee so that he can get at the stomach wound that still oozes bloody silver shards.

Sheathing his knife, he reaches to slip free a small crystal vile from his bandolier, stooping down beneath the likely struggling monster to begin collecting her blood. He seems, oddly unwilling to try and finish her. There is no move made to do anything lethal. No attempt to bring his full skill to bare against the hulking monster.

Azumi's mind isn't all the way there at the moment. Wisps of it are present. Fleeting memories of who she once was. She stands before Hunter and seems legitimately surprised that he still wished to walk towards her, despite her new form. She takes a few steps back from him, reluctant to attack the Hunter, but not losing her edged. She doesn't expect a kick to the side in manner and slides to the side, this new form still ran by a weary mind and instinct. While she's on her back, the fist comes in, though rather than let it hit properly, she reaches up with her mouth and bites at his hand, attempting to crush it for his constant disrespect of her personal space.

The blood trickling from her belly is slow and healing but if he's quick, he can likely capture it, though while that close, he can feel the winds shift around him again as the wolf seems to be quite through with his presence and was likely preparing another blast of wind to force him away for good this time.

Rather than hand, Azumi's powerful jaws clamp down on the silver chain wrapped tightly around the Hunter's left forearm. Using the bit of armor like a dog trainer might use padding, he forces his arm into the back of the wolf's mouth, using it to hold her head back and refusing to let her shake those deadly fangs free. There is something very practiced about the motion. The backward shove of the arm lifts the wolf's throat, exposing it for a killing slash. But the slash never comes.

With deft precision, the black-clad man maneuvers his vial into place beneath the trickling gut wound. it takes very little time for the crystal vial to fill, and he caps it with his thumb while pressing down hard on the werewolf's ribs with his knee.

With leverage and skill on his side, the yellow-eyed beast manages to tear his arm free of Azumi's jaws and leap clear of her sharp paws, boots impacting the ground a good 15 feet away from the wolf.

It is there that he waits, crouched and alert. Past the curtain of matted black hair, in the glowing gaze of the man, there is no fear. No retreat. That gaze seems to challenge the wolf to try and claim its place as alpha. Both a warning, and a promise of pain if she chooses to press the issue further.

At his left side, smooth metal links trickle down to armor his knuckles in silver. While simultaneously, His right hand works to cork the blood vial and slip it safely away into a pocket of his bandoliers.

"Go, wolf. Do not test me this day. He hungers for flesh, and your blood is sweet. Go now into the woods, and do not stop to rest. Your form will return. Be careful lest you lose it forever." The man's tone is full of harsh promise and bitter experience, but no craving for violence. He seems to have no desire to harm her further, despite what he might say about flesh and blood. But often, people are not what they seem.

The wolf is gnashing her feet at the hunter's fist, though the silver was not helping in it's retention. One unfortunate side effect of this form's size and shape was that attacks directly beneath her, where vitals are exposed and her paws couldn't reach, were enormously hard to deal with. She is trying quite hard to kick and claw the hell out of the hunter, but isn't managing to maneuver herself well enough to do so. Still though, the jaw pressure on the wolf is impressive, and he'd likely need to see about getting some bandages for it sooner rather than later.

When he rips his hand off of her and draws back she rolls back to her feet in a blast of not terribly harmful wind, the werewolf shaking her head profusely as she couldn't quite figure out what was wrong with her. What'd he do? Nothing? Her mouth hurt. Was that normal? Was this...normal? She stands before him yet again, her eyes meeting his own and seeming like she might attack him for real this time, but even the beast recognized that he could have killed her, but chose not to. Between that and his general toughness, a second fight here would certainly spell doom for her...but maybe only possibly for him. Living was far more important here.

His words touch her though, forcing her to draw backwards a step or two. Her pupils widen a little bit as she seems to have some scrap of self-consciousness burst forth. What form was this? Was she actually seeing this? Did this last fight just happen? The giant wolf shudders. She wants to look at her hands but she can't. Her muzzle moves like she wants to speak to him, but she can't. She wants to cry, but those feral eyes won't let her. She just looks back towards him fearfully, unsure of what to do exactly, her tail cowering between her legs.

After a moment of consideration she flees from him, leaving behind an impressive gust of wind. She bounds away through the forest, disappearing quickly with the inherent speed she gained.

It was going to be a long night.

Log created on 14:49:30 06/21/2016 by The Hunter, and last modified on 22:12:01 06/21/2016.