Mortal Kombat - MK: The Swordsman and the Sage

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Description: High upon a mountain in the land of death, two survivors of Mortal Kombat meet to discuss the future of Earthrealm. Uncomfortable truths must be faced, but even in the darkest times, life shines true.

The primary route across the wastelands that occupy the Eastern half of the island runs right through the center, exiting from the carpet of black and green in the center out toward the edifice towering over the Eastern limits of the large island. It is along that route that those who have obligations to meet on one end of the island or the other typically travel, though with even how populated the island is, chance encounters along the dusty road are rare. Most of the island's guests prefer the accommodations afforded by the sorcerer king's lavish palace after all.

A ways north from that central lonesome path, across a plateau of lifeless ruin, rises steep mountains, sentinels that rise up higher than anywhere else on the island. And among these mountains towers one higher than all the rest, a stony peak, bald of vegetation, its higher elevation affording the intrepid climber a view of the entire water-encircled arena that is Shang Tsung's island in the Lost Sea.

The peak of this mountain comprises a space of only about ten square feet. To the North a steep plummet to the ocean below. To the East and West, steep slopes, and to the South, the a difficult yet attainable climbing path that zigzagged up the surface of the summit. There, atop it all, a young woman in white kneels before a small altar arranged of stone collected further down on the mountain's broken, rock-strewn slopes. The wind is present but not fierce, blowing enough to inflict a slight lean on occasion, but otherwise not threatening. Raven-black hair drapes down her back, tousled about her shoulders from the occasional gust only to be brushed back by her hand. She faces South, overlooking the land, a spec of white in an otherwise chalk grey hellscape.

Her ankle length robe is trimmed with red and blue geometric patterns, and her long hair is adorned by a crimson ribbon tied into a sizeable bow. Steel grey eyes are closed, head bowed, mouth moving to utter the quiet prayer. At her back a thick coated large Siberian Wolf stands guard, unceasingly wary and suspicious, the creature tireless keeps an eye out for would be threats to his time lost ward. On a rock nearby a great hawk perches, her talons dug in, securing her in place against the occasional feather-ruffling surge of wind.

Wedged into the small stone altar are four wooden sticks of intricate carving - prayer sticks of the Ainu people, representing honor and devotions to the unseen gods that may or may not be the ultimate puppet masters of this entire deadly contest.

This is not the first prayer she has offered in desperation for the plight of Earth, but if it goes as unanswered as the rest of her pleas throughout the trials of Mortal Kombat, it could potentially be her last. The silence from the skies has been answer enough - it has been left to the mortals themselves to wrestle with Outworld for their sovereign right to exist. The gods will not help them more than they already have.

To those sensitive to the energies of the world, the first sign of the newcomer's presence is a sudden ripple through the weave. it is as if the air is abruptly charged, or full of the pressure of unseen eyes gazing in from an unknowable place. A weight, spiritual, chaotic.
At the southern edge of the platform, the sensation gathers into a thick ripple of force. This ripple twists in on itself and bursts alight with color, whirling into a vortex of misty purple energy. Within this contained storm can be felt the souls of warriors honorable and evil, raging in battle even as they are guided, forced to obey the will of another.
As abruptly as the sensation arrived, it departs. The purple vortex funnels in upon itself, channeling down, down into a central point. An object.
A sword.
The last of the energy lingers as a faint glow around the crimson-wrapped hilt of a rather simple katana. The blade is sheathed in crimson leather, held in the gloved left hand of a rather tall man.
Standing upon the very edge of the platform, the newly arrived wanderer bows his greying head in quiet respect. The wind whips his sleeveless coat dramatically out to his right, ruffling playful fingers through his messy hair and toying with the tails of the tattered crimson blindfold tied tightly across his eyes. But still he stands quiet and composed.
Does he bow in reverence to the gods? Does he pay his respect to the girl before him, or one or both of her familiars? Though solemn respect can be read in the lines of his shoulders, the tilt of his head, the set of his jaw. His intent is his own.
"Have I arrived in time to answer your prayers?" The question is offered in a tone both rough and light, playful perhaps, but with a certain wry twist to his lips that implies understanding. Understanding of the gravity of their situation. Understanding of the mysterious ways of the gods. Understanding of things left unresolved from their last meeting. Of things they have done in the interim.

At the first hint of an intrusion, the wolf's ears snap up, his head lifting, head pivoting toward the enter of it. The fidgety bird does likewise, talons repositioning on the stone to give her a more direct view of the disturbance heralding a new arrival. Whether the young woman in white feels something is off or is alerted to the shift in energy by her vigilant companions is uncertain, but her eyes are open, her expression bearing open surprise for a fleeting moment as she looks at the rippling energy.

She really wasn't expecting an answer.
If anything, she was counting on there being none.

But when the veteran swordsman is left in the wake of the collapsed vortex, her expression shifts from surprise to brief confusion followed by a blink. She opens her mouth as to speak, but then closes it again, as if deciding after the fact to cede the opening move to the swordsman in red she had met before in vastly different circumstances. His actions in the arena would suggest he is not a threat to her, but this island's propensity for changing, for breaking even the strong cannot be casually ignored either.

Tense, quiet, but still kneeling, she watches as her companion wolf moves more to her side, standing taller than his kneeling ward for now. The wolf bears his teeth, releasing a warning growl, his protective nature no secret to perceive. Approaching the girl will be at his discretion, his snarl seems to say.

But when Kenshi speaks, his words elicit a soft smile, eyes averting for a moment as they seem to be weighed, considered alongside their last encounter for a moment, before the young woman finally stands, resting the fingers of her right hand in the thick fur atop the wolf's head. She takes a while to answer, studying the gripped sword. It is sheathed but clearly something he could draw in an instant. But his positioning has him at a brief disadvantage as well. This does seem the furthest thing from am ambush.

Little by little, the tension melts from the girl's shoulders.

He would notice differences from their last encounter. That he is in the presence of the one who's blade he stopped in the arena would be of no doubt. Yet there is a distinct difference in presence as well - the person he saw in the arena had a certain ferocity about her and not one simply brought on by the thrill of battle. The figure standing quietly before him now radiates the same intensity in an aura of peace and restraint. There was unbreakable conviction before and gentle, reflection and uncertainty now. These shifts are greater than simply catching the warrior maiden in a different mood or more calm circumstances. She is very much the same person as before, yet the signature of her psyche bears a different fingerprint than their last encounter. Of that the gifted psychic could be certain.

"Once again you turn up where you are not expected," comes her answer finally. The wolf shows no signs of lunging, but between the trio the swordsman faces, it is evident that he has yet to be trusted by the fierce guardian. "Twice now, I find myself curious as to your agenda." Her left hand lifts, fingers tracing hair back behind her ear before it can blow over her cheek. Her smile lingers still as she speaks, her voice reserved but not shy nor lacking in sureness. "As to my prayers, well... I suppose that remains to be seen."

Her gaze shifts to the landscape below, the vast nothingness of an obliterated civilization where only dead stone and broken monuments remain. "I cannot help but be curious as to how you found me here. Your tracking skills must rival the sense of a hungry bear. I hope to know to what end they have brought us together this afternoon."

The sky above is clear though in the horizon black storm clouds thunder. By her expert eye, they will miss the island all together, serving now only to cast shadow over the distant sea, and to portend the pending calamities that could await Earth's few champions in the final rounds ahead.

"Kenshi, was it?"

He had never offered his name at the arena. But she of all people knows the names of those who fight for Earth, of those who have fallen, whether or not they still live. "Do you come with a request an offer? As one of our last remaining champions, I hope to be accommodating either way."

Lifting his chin slightly from its bow of respect, the blind man turns his hidden gaze on the growling wolf, tilting his head as if to observe while the girl in white stands and strokes fingers through its fur. The expression on his face loses a touch of the wry humor, lips pressed into a line of contemplative regard. He does not seem frightened by the rumbling display. In fact, though he stands at the edge of a long fall, with three potential enemies arrayed before him, he exists with a simple sense of belonging. It is no psychic trick.No subtle suggestion. it is simply the acceptance of himself within the moment, earned through long years of life.
"I am Takahashi Kenshi, a wanderer." As he speaks, the ronin lifts his hidden gaze as if to look into the eyes of Nakoruru, though he offers in return only the faint impression of depth behind the stretch of tattered crimson fabric. "We stand in a place of death, but you are a beacon of life. Sight I may lack, but I am not blind." Again the aging man seems to find amusement in his own words, lips twitching in a wry little smile. It is a friendly expression. Self deprecating, and seeming to share some component of the man that is deeply rooted.
Taking a single step forward, Kenshi claims a small slice of the platform for himself, though he advances no further. Instead he lowers his sheathed blade to rest the tip against the ground, both gloved hands folding together over the pommel. Still though he examines the girl before him, thoughtful.
"I am a champion of life. When last we met, I preserved it. Today," he pauses, searching to match heart to words, "we must discuss your chosen. I must know what you saw that I did not."

As he offers his name, he receives a slight bow in return, head lowered, torso bent at the waist - a Japanese gesture though lacking formality or stiffness, simply regard for another and a gesture that seems to indicate that she harbors no resentment for his previous interference. Her own weapon is at her back, sheath affixed to her belt by loops of leather, the pommel of her kodachi a swift shift of her hand away.

"My name is Nakoruru." No family name to offer - such was never her people's way. His face holds her focus though his sword seems the item of interest of her defensive four-legged company. "I suppose it could be said that I too am a wanderer in search of answers to the problems that besiege us."

He comments on the deathly nature of the war torn land and how she seems to stand as an antithesis to it all. The observation provokes a blink at first, followed by lowered eyes, her sad smile lingering as she contemplates his assertion. "At times it can feel as out of place as the fisherman who finds himself in the heart of a desert. But I am not so different than yourself." He lowers his sword and the wolf seems to relax - a living presence but without a doubt, certainly not a normal animal of the Northern forests. Its blood howls with a hunger for vengeance rather than meat, and its wariness is born of human-like concern over the young woman's well being. In some ways, the greying warrior might have more in common with the one-eyed, battle-worn wolf at Nakoruru's side than the young maiden herself.

He touches on their last encounter, when he stopped her sharp blade from finding the heart of a defeated warrior. "Yes," she replies calmly, seeming to accept his stance on her decision at the time. Still no judgement for having interfered in what could not have been an easy decision. She steps back, affording Kenshi more room to move away from the edge of the summit. She lifts her left arm from her side, holding her hand out, palm up, her left shoulder offering something of a half-shrug. "You acted nobly and in good conscience. Your intercession offered a second possible outcome where at first existed only one. It's possible that were our positions reversed, I may have done the same."

He brings up the purpose of his visit this day, in line with being a champion of life, invoking mention of the young woman Nakoruru gave her backing to. Her chosen.

There is a quiet flare of surprise mixed with curiosity. The Scarlet Dahlia. The woman seems to be at the heart of countless mysteries... the restless dead answer her call to arms while the very fragments of one man's soul fiercely disagree as to her worth and valor.

"Hmn..." she muses softly. The response is metered, reserved, contemplating his request with a quiet meditation upon the heart of the question. "I remember a young man in a village near the one I grew up in. As son of the chief, one summer he was asked to build a guest cottage so that there might be a roof for travelers to rest beneath in safety for the night. The young man inspected his father's tools and found that they were worn and imperfect. Lamenting the state of the tools, he complained that the job would be so much easier if only he had tools without flaw and so he delayed. Day after day, he stalled in his labor, day after day he said he would get the job done once he had the perfect tools. Summer turned to Autumn and the shelter was never built. When Apasam Kamui, the traveler's warden, happened upon the village in the guise of a man, he saw there was no place for a weary traveler to rest his head. Disappointed in the inhospitality of the village, the god continued on his way, taking with him his blessings."

She falls quiet for a moment, taking another step back, giving him more space in which to move, provided he doesn't step into the small pile of stones itself. The wolf backs up as well, staying at Nakoruru's side, a protective creature if any were. The bird, on the other hand, stays perched on her stone, seeming neither aggressive nor defensive, merely observant. Indeed, focusing in her direction would feel like peering toward a mirror that reflected back only what it saw.

"We must work with what we have. I could speak to you of what I found in her heart, of her potential to lead, of the endorsement of my fallen comrades from centuries past... but I am not sure that would matter as much as you helping me understand whether I have any choice and whether questioning it could possibly make any difference."

"A flawed chosen is better than no chosen." Kenshi quietly agrees, though he does not move further into the shrine. Hands folded atop his sword as a wanderer from myth might cradle a walking stick, the aging man lifts his blinded gaze from Nakoruru and turns his face into the wind. "I am not so skilled with stories as you, but I have also spoken to your chosen. With my teeth out, you might say. Not unlike the wolf. I needed to feel her. To understand what she could be. But where you saw the potential to lead, I saw cunning and jealousy, and a desire to have. Not greed, But a void to be filled. She did not feel like someone I could trust."
The playful wind plucks at the aging warrior's coat as he shakes his head once, slowly, and lets out a sigh. it is the sigh of someone tired. A sigh of mingled frustration and spiritual exhaustion. His lips purse in a light frown, left ear cocked toward the girl in white.
"I have great reason in wanting to fight Shang Tsung myself, but if age has taught me anything, it is that we rarely get what we desire, and that out of these denials we can grow bitter, or learn. I am trying first, to learn." For just a flash, only a fraction of a moment, that wry little smile is back, "Maybe bitterness will come after." All trace of a smile leaves him after his quip, however, and he seems to look briefly inward, gauging himself. tracing the ragged edges of his battered soul.
"if I were to gather the power of all those not pledged to her, there would be a chance at victory. But one of us would die, and this feels wrong. We should not be fighting. Not now. Our chance of victory shrinks with every needless death." Delivering these words with quiet resolve, the swordsman straightens, grip tightening on the hilt of his sword. he does not seem angry. In fact, he continues to stand centered, but where once the world around him seemed to flow in to an accepting void, now it feels harnessed, as if the strings of fate had been sliding through a loose fist that has suddenly decided to clench. "I wish to show you the omen sent to me. Delivered by the gods, perhaps you will see what I have."
With that, Kenshi slides his left hand to the sheath of his sword and begins to slowly draw the weapon free of its confinement, aware of the displeasure that this is likely to kindle in the wolf. Still, with a measured movement he draws inch after inch of the shattered blade free.
As the weapon emerges in its entirety, the extent of the damage is clear. Where once there was a single dark curve of wavy metal, the forging patterns subtle but beautiful, there is now a jagged mess. Though the weapon does curve to a point, the length has been shattered in four places, the shards joined unevenly by a network of crimson crystal. The crystal glows with its own inner light, radiating red power that traces up the blade, mingling with the pure energy native to the weapon and becoming misty and purple.
Calmly Kenshi drives the weapon point-down into the stones, standing it upright beside its sheath as vaporous energy swirls along its length.
"This is Sento. Contained within are many spirits of my ancestors. It shattered upon my arrival to the island."
The rest is left unsaid, the Ronin allowing Nakoruru to come to her own conclusions.

She is quiet as he speaks, having had her say it seems, and now willing, wanting to understand more about what has prompted this one to seek her out on the highest corner of desolation. She nods slightly when he mentions having met with the young woman behind whom Nakoruru has placed her support. Met, confronted perhaps a better phrase? It's good to challenge and healthy to be challenged. She seems not troubled that he took it upon himself to do so.

She is thoughtful as he expresses what he saw in the Scarlet Dahlia. Cunning, jealousy, emptiness, untrustworthiness. Another slight nod is offered as he expresses personal desires to face their deadly host in battle though he seems to already accept that opportunity may simply not present itself no matter what he hopes for.

He speaks of gathering power himself, from those who remain and Nakoruru cants her head slightly as of contemplating that direction. A rival champion, as it were, an alternative to carry on the cause of Earth to the bitter end in place of the Ainu sister Nakoruru has put her backing into? He would sense no judgement of his consideration. Not yet, at least. She is letting him express all he has to say without interruption or interjection, her mind open to these new thoughts being provided.

He speaks of an open and his hand goes to his sword. She watches him thoughtfully as he slowly draws it and he would be acutely aware of the increased tension in the wolf as the weapon slides free of its leather housing. Only the young woman's touch against his head seems to check the fierce animal's over protective nature. Eyes widen slightly at the weapon as its shattered form becomes apparent. A step forward is taken, her focus on Sento now.

Only after several seconds does her focus return to his sightless eyes, the band wrapped around his face. "The weariness I see in you I have observed in the others who's ordeals upon this island have not yet come to an end. This place saps the strength from each of us, dragging us down, forcing us to weather the endless ennui of likely death and potential failure while the weight of an entire existence grinds against our shoulders. That you have lasted while others have broken is testament alone to your strength, Kenshi."

She glances to the side again, eyes out over the island below as wind rustles her clothing around her legs. "You speak of the potential of gathering power, yet that is something she has already done. Even without my support, others turn to her to lend the strength they have... this is what makes her such a threat, and... right now, our greatest hope." She leans her head to the side slightly, eyes tracing over the ominous blade once more. "A curious manifestation of the Elder Gods boon... I recognize that crystal, but why it would have fractured your sword is difficult to..." Her voice fades out, something seemingly coming to her mind. "It does seem a message. Remove the crystal and the blade will be no more. Even if we are victories, when we leave this island, I would imagine the talismans will not journey with us. Will this place be your last chance to put it to use, I wonder."

She turns to the side then, folding her arms across her stomach, eyes closing for a moment. Her guard seems down, displaying nothing but trust for the warrior, but with the two alert companions watching the swordsman, could she ever truly be caught flat footed?

"I understand you find yourself with the prospects of facing the Dahlia and I am not unsympathetic to this pending conflict. What is it that you are asking of me? Would you have me withhold my support? In the end, every drop of power not pledged to our final champion is a chance that this tournament goes to our Destroyers..."

"I feel the crystal to be my vengeance, my flaws, while the blade is my soul. In this way, what you say is true." Kenshi replies quietly. And though Nakoruru's guardians remain alert at her approach, the tall swordsman makes no move to attack. "Perhaps my path of vengeance will shatter and ruin me, or taint me. I can not know. I can only guess. This omen could be a warning to avoid the path, but it could also be a simple cautioning of the possibility. I feel that it is the former, but the will of the gods is often unknowable."
"To fight your chosen," Kenshi muses, continuing to rest one hand lightly upon the hilt of his sword. "it is possible. If I choose to force this issue, it will come to pass. But that is not why I am here. Not to request help in that fight. I am here, to determine if this fight should happen at all. I do not trust who you have chosen, but as I have said, this is not the time for fractured alliances. I will only push my fight further if I see no other path."
All of the words having left him, Kenshi focuses the whole of his attention upon the youthful girl before him. Youthful in appearance, but wise. Not only do the blind man's eyes turn to focus on her own, but the weight of his regard, the mind and will behind him, seems to brush against hers. It is not a probing sensation. Not the feeling of someone baring down upon her, but more as if he had reached out to take her hand. Brought them somehow closer together.
"Nakoruru. I see purity within you. I have seen it before, but only rarely. But there is also fire, and sadness. You hold the four seasons in your heart, and the ability to change. You are a better champion than I, or her. I can sense why it is you have retreated from that path, but now I need to understand why you have chosen her. You must make your trust, our trust. Out of these broken tools, why her? If I must fight a hopeless fight only because I think it is right, I will."

"That seems..." Nakoruru muses as he comments on the inscrutable will of the gods, "Especially true as of late." A side glance is cast toward the attentively assembled small pile of stones that had served as a prayer altar at the time of his appearance. "Everywhere I look, I have found circumstances that could be taken to be a sign, or could be simple happenchance, and it is getting harder to decide with certainty. Concrete answers seem to be in short supply these days." A flicker of a smile is offered, audible in her tone of voice, a friendly, wistful expression, a warning and admission at once - there will be no easy answers to the questions on his mind.

She inhales then exhales softly, stopping a few feet from his planted sword, looking from it to its wielder, the wolf trailing at her side, always in lock step with the trusting swordswoman. Her right arm lifts, crossing over her chest, her hand gripping her left arm above the elbow as she considers the question posed - should they even fight each other should the tournament lead to that outcome? Or should he simply yield and forfeit the battle?

As his mind, his presence stretches out to support, to reinforce, Nakoruru closes her eyes, head bowed, her soul locked wrestling a storm of conflicted emotions within while maintaining a mien of serenity without. But the master swordsman speaks more of what he sees in the lonely warden, she looks up again, eyes resting on his bearded face. He has seen the fierceness with which she fights, sparing one opponent from falling to her nimble blade. He has found her in her moment of quiet retreat from the onerous burden of the world's fate.

Her mouth drops into a half-frown, eyes snapping to the side as the rushing wind continues to play at her clothing and hair. "I cannot claim to see as well as you the hearts of others. In the end, my eye is toward the only outcome that matters in this abominable contest. For once, Earth needs a champion, and for whatever reason, the gods have placed in our hands a means of narrowing the gap in power between our best and the strongest Outworld has to offer. Nothing else that transpires on this island matters but for the matches that play out according to the edicts... There must be one that we can rally behind to pour our collected power into. I have selected the one my heart tells me has the best ability to draw others in to following her, the highest chance of accumulating the strength necessary to defeat legends."

Steel-grey eyes close as she releases another soft sigh, shaking her head for a moment before continuing, "Unfortunately, all other issues simply do not matter. Our individual hopes, our personal vendettas, or even ethos... no matter how powerful and core they are to our own identity... none of those matter if Earth does not win this tournament." Her voice catches, a struggle to keep her tone steady passing after another moment of concentration.

She opens her eyes, looking up again, lowering her arms to rest against her sides. "My only focus is the outcome of this tournament. I wish this could be a war of ideals, of merit, of... trust." Her shoulders fall a little, the girl turning to the side now to stare along the mountain range the summit lords over. "This was one of the mistakes we made before... it is in our nature to focus on trust, on honor, and on what we believe to be right. But this impossible challenge before us will not be won by those things. I do not understand the wisdom of the gods in forcing us into a contest of strength, of power, but that is truly what we face, and the sooner we realize that, the better our chances of being ready for what is still coming."

Clasping her hands together over her lap, she turns to face the man in leather armor once more. "So you see, Kenshi, I cannot convince you on matters of trust. I have reason to believe your sight in such matters surpasses any I have encountered before. And you are not the first to warn me of the Dahlia's nature. But the path I have chosen is the one I believe will give us the best chance to win. If you understand there to be another way to secure Earth its best chance to survive, I am eager to know of it." Unfolding her arms, she bows her head in quiet respect, "Otherwise, I have to stick with the path forward I see."

A soft breath gusts out from Kenshi to mingle with the wind, the bearded swordsman standing quietly before the white-clad spirit from another time. Linked mind to mind, heart to heart, the swordsman can feel her own conflict. Feel some of his own fears mirrored within her. Tilting his head up, he closes his eyes. it is not a thing that can be seen, but something felt through there link. An impression sharp and crisp.
"I can grow bitter, or I can learn. It seems that my sense of honor has become a crutch. Something to lean on when the path ahead is distasteful. But as you have said, we must set aside what is just for what is necessary."
The blind man's eyes open as he lowers his face from the sky, tilting the scabbard in his left hand and sliding Sento back into place with a soft 'shhhlk'. Only then, with the sword housed and his gloved hand free, does he step forward to close the distance between himself and Nakoruru. His right hand extends, fingers attempting to gently grip her shoulder as he fixes her with a look of solemn resolve.
"There may be rocks enough in my head to ignore an omen of the gods, or the wisdom of a sage. But I am not so stubborn as to turn away from both. If I am able to earn my place in the final trials, I will support your chosen. All I ask is that you heed the warnings we have given, and guide her where she will listen. I believe you may be the only one among us with that power."
Cocking his head, the aging man then offers a final flash of that wry, twisted smile. The grip on her shoulder opens, and he moves his hand away to motion down toward the sticks of her altar.
"It is time for you to come down from the mountain, and bring wisdom to your people."
The words could be taken in bad taste, but something about his tone, the very nature of Kenshi, leads one to believe that he is laughing with, not at her. he is still smiling slightly as he steps back, a vortex of souls rising up to engulf him. Soon it will be only she and her spirits upon the windy platform.

This close, sensitive as he is, and as unguarded as she is, he would feel the nervousness she keeps suppressed within. This is not a dispassionate being he faces, without concern or worry. Nor does he stand in the company of one who has lost her mind to self-conviction and certainty. She has voiced what she sees, what she understands, from her heart, unfiltered by duplicity or pride, for that is all she can do.

"No," she cautions as he speaks of his honor being a crutch, her voice soft, strained, almost pleading. Shaking her head slightly, her eyes snap back to him. "Do not toss it aside. It's just that for now... in the face of annihilation, hard choices must be made. I pray times such as these never come again."

She is still at first his hand comes to rest on her shoulder, the wolf at her side tensing, but seemingly comfortable enough with the man's presence as to not bare his teeth or growl at the approach. Finally, she lifts her own hand to rest atop his, face lifted to his sightless eyes. "If it is you who stands in the end, you will have my backing. I will wait and see."

Her hand slips away as he backs up, distance between them now as he prepares to take his leave in the same mysterious fashion with which he arrived. "I promise to do my part. The world I knew may no longer exist, but I will devote all I am to the preservation of the one that exists now. I will not abandon this course."

He invites her to descend from the mountain and at last a sincere smile breaks into her expression, the solemnity of the moment giving way for a moment of playful yet heartfelt levity.

"Yes, I suppose it is. I will find my own way down. I believe we will meet again, Kenshi." she offers with a glance toward the feathered sentinel perched behind her now. Mamahaha stretches her great wings, preparing for the flight back down the mountain, a scree echoing along the mountain ridge as the trio is left alone a moment later.

Exhaling softly, the girl in white turns to collect her small chiseled sticks from the stone alter. A quiet glance is cast toward the heavens above. Did her prayers to the divine continue to go unanswered? Or has she been getting answers she hasn't caught? A grunt is her final thought on the matter as the great hawk takes to flight at her side with a powerful beat of its feathered wings. Nakoruru turns to sprint to the edge of the summit and leap into the open sky.

Log created on 15:37:28 12/21/2016 by Noboru, and last modified on 10:23:08 12/24/2016.