Description: "Never be the only one, except, possibly, in your own home." - Alice Walker
There are no busy highways leading into this section of Southtown Village; no major thoroughfares full of traffic passing through this corner of the city. Rather, this Northeastern section of Southtown is a maze of smaller, less traveled, residential roads connecting properties only affordable to the more well off residents of Southtown. In the northern area of Southtown Village rises a gentle slope.
The higher one traverses up the hill, the more expansive the properties and the larger the homes situated on them. Near the top of the hill, one can find the estates of wealthy elites - be they the new rich of the modern era, or families who have amassed wealth and influence over the history of this land.
About halfway up the hill is a turn off into a quiet neighborhood of homes anyone would consider large without quite crossing over into the point of becoming extravagant. The style and size of the homes in this neighborhood are fitting for a well-to-do community that exists somewhere between upper middle-class and the wealthy higher up the hill.
There are no shops to be found here, no places of business. Though as one navigates the winding road, they would find religious institutions - a Shinto shrine here, a Christian church another block along the way. As most of the lots are gated off, it's easy to imagine that residents in this area appreciate their privacy, expectingly only those invited to cross over onto their properties while the rest are expected to keep out.
Hotaru Futaba certainly has it better than most orphans in the world when it comes to being taken care of. Following her mother's passing away, her father vanished without warning. But before he left, the Futaba estate was placed in a trust for the two children left behind with enough money put away to see to its needs for many years still. When eventually, Gato Futaba left to follow the Champion's Road he believed his father to be on, Hotaru found herself alone with a large, empty home. A small support staff managed the yardwork and keeping the large house presentable. But come night, they retired to their own homes, leaving the place quiet but for whatever noise the lonely heiress made.
Equally well-maintained, even if markedly less used is the Futaba dojo adjacent to the house. The last time it had been used for training had been before her father vanished. Now, it sits neglected, only opened up for a periodic dusting pass by the cleaning crew. In the past, it had been the place of brutal workouts, stamina-testing trials, and exhausting training routines under the severe eye of Hotaru's father. Nothing had ever been good enough for that man, no matter how hard she or her brother tried.
Now that both he and her brother were gone, the only remaining member of the family trained elsewhere, never venturing back into the building that housed a checkered array of memories, some good but many bad. The closed off dojo was home to several trophies collected by the Futaba family over the generations. Theirs was a legacy of great fighters stretching far back into the history of Japan and the interior walls of the dojo were decorated with proof of their history.
From more modern victories were trophies and plaques earned by victory in tournaments where only the fiercest of Kung Fu practitioners battled. But other mementos of great fighters in bygone times were decorative swords granted by powerful rulers for victories hard fought, a spear dating back to the Sengoku era of Japan, and even one full suit of samurai armor that was awarded to Hotarus' great, great, great grandfather for his service to the Emperor centuries ago.
It is late evening, a warm summer night. The property is softly lit by small lights that illuminate the stone walkway up to the front door. Only two lights appear to be on in the house - one bedroom window upstairs and the lobby just beyond the front door, visible through the narrow glass window adjacent to the door. It, as well as the neighborhood as a whole, is a peaceful, idyllic scene that seems so far removed from the endless bustle of the major city centers only a few miles away.
For one who has spent decades of his life in relative solitude, the last few weeks of Ejnar Valgrimsson's journey have been full of strange and frustrating new experiences. but it is only now, with the scents of cut grass and home cooking wafting across his nose and the soft scrape of his boots scuffing the cement, that he can truly look back and appreciate his journey. With every step he grows closer to his ultimate destination, each circle of lamp-lit sidewalk marking another completed section of his ever shortening walk. Hands shoved in his jacket pockets, chin tilted down, he contemplates the weird and wonderful events that have lead him to this moment.
Several Weeks Earlier
Ejnar's eyes snap open in a hazy panic, body buffeted through the air as wind tears at his limbs and hair. Disoriented, he flails his arms, kicks his legs, but there is no purchase to be found. His eyes register only a swirling miasma of glittering lights sparkling in a sea of black, followed by pitch darkness, then sparkles. He tries to scream, to shout out his defiance at the hell in which he has arrived. The wind steals his voice, his guts twist up into his throat, and the ocean rises up to bludgeon him back into unconsciousness.
Wincing in remembered pain, the young Viking rolls his tongue within his mouth, probing at the spot where the force of that impact had knocked out several teeth. They're back now, but the thought only serves to sour his mood. And so he picks up his pace, following the winding road passed row after row of carefully tended yards, pausing only to glance both ways before crossing a quiet residential street.
Surely his adventure hasn't been all bad. After all, there was that time he spent on a tropical island...
Two Days After Falling From An Exploded Airplane.
Clothes having burned away to ash, mouth still throbbing with the pain of newly grown teeth, Ejnar squats in the minuscule shade offered by a crooked palm tree, directing his cool grey stare out over a blistering landscape of shimmering white sand. With only a skimpy leaf loincloth to protect his modesty, his already tan skin has grown dark with a faint red tinge, long black hair plastered to either side of his face with sweat. It is only his work that keeps him going. braid and knot, braid and knot, his callused fingers transform separated plant fibers into rope with deft efficiency. he will not die here on this sun-baked hell of an island. This will not be his end.
Seeing no cars in either direction, the much more darkly tanned man skulks across the street with an ever-growing glower.
But surely it couldn't be all bad? At least he's gotten to try exotic foods. He even went on a cruise.
Several Days After Escaping A Desolate Desert Island In the Middle of the Pacific Ocean
Amidst a near endless sea of sparkling blue,a tiny shape bobs and wobbles upon the waves. the sun beats down from overhead, illuminating the sturdy yet simple outline of a small seafaring canoe, its hull constructed of wood, and a large sail of woven plant fiber billowing in the breeze, braided ropes humming. Around the ship, dark shapes circle beneath the waves, one of them near enough to the surface that a wicked fin parts the glittering water. As it does, there is a streak of dark tan, a sudden explosion of steam and foam, and a blurry shape leaps from the tiny boat to attack the sea borne creature with all the ferocity of...well...
A necklace of large, triangular teeth clacks and clatters against Ejnar's chest as he continues on his way, face having fallen into an ever-deepening scowl of dark intent. Turning off of the street, he steps up to one of many closed gates and pulls his hands from his pockets, clambering up and over to land upon the pavement beyond with the heavy thud of sturdy boots. Tossing a long black braid back over his shoulder, he turns to stare up the drive with eyes so cold, full of the ever-burning anger of someone who just hasn't been having a very good week.
But why hasn't he? After all, he made it to Canada...
In the dappled shade of a towering forest of trees, bare trunks stretching skyward all around him, Ejnar stands staring into the cartoonishly ugly face of the largest four-legged animal he has ever personally seen. Despite the fleece lining of his newly borrowed jacket, and the cozy warmth of his newly borrowed boots, his breath fogs the air between himself and the creature.
it doesn't move.
He doesn't move.
Why, exactly, did he need to come to Canada?
Trudging walk having transitioned into a purposeful stride, the deeply tanned Viking with the black braids and brown woodsman's jacket storms right up to the heavy front door of the Futaba estate. Shark teeth clattering against his white T-shirt, face a mask of barely contained rage, he lifts one hand as if to knock, then pauses. Staring straight ahead, grey eyes unfocused, he allows the last several weeks to wash through him one final time, really sending home just how varied and nuanced each experience has truly been.
The front door of the Futaba estate explodes apart into so many expensive splinters, the room beyond showered with bits of smoldering debris carried in upon a brief-lived wall of hate and fire.
"FEGH! Canada Is Shit Place To Live!"!"
A studious pupil of Seijyuun High, no night was entirely free of the looming threat of homework. Not even Sunday nights, the trailing hours of the weekend fading fast into the beginning of a new week of classes. The all girl's school is no stranger to having hopeful fighters in attendance, so it is actually quite accommodating to giving her time away from class to attend competitions, even providing a limited allowance for longer trips for a few events around the world each year. But the trade off means classes year round and a few weeks of especially aggressive catchup courses at the end of summer as to not start the new school year already behind.
With a house far too large for its lone occupant, most of the bedrooms are only opened by cleaners going in to keep them dust free. Her room is one on the end of the upper floor's hallway, window facing out toward the street, glass panes framed by curtains on either side. Her desk, piled with school books and occupied by a laptop in the center, sits off to the side of the window - close enough that she can look out over the property and see the street beyond, but far enough away that she isn't easily visible from below either.
As the wandering craftsman trudges his way across the property, the dim white lights along the walkway begin to glow brighter, likely triggered by motion detectors. Glancing up from the book on her lap, Hotaru notices the shift in light outside but makes no move to investigate. It is not unusual for rabbits to come out and play on the lawn by night, or for a neighborhood cat to wander past... nothing to think twice about, really.
Lifting her hands, she types rapidly on her laptop, committing another sentence or two to her homework. Another hour or so and she'll retire for the night, ready to face another day of school on the morrow. She wasn't really sure what relevance the biology report she was writing had to her future. After all, she was clearly going to make a living as a professional fighter, just like her father and brother! Buuuuut... the trust funding her comfortable lifestyle also stipulated which school she was to attend and what grades she was to maintain if she wanted to receive the allowance that afforded her the opportunity to travel to competitions too. Neglect school and getting out to events to help build her name might become impossible. Perhaps the schoolwork was relevant to her future after all.
Yawning a bit, she turns the page on her text book.
And then an explosion rocks the house. Decorations on the walls rattle, the floor beneath her rumble, and the echo of the most apocalyptic knock downstairs thunders throughout the house. A short shriek of surprise has her leaping to her feet, her textbook slamming to the hardwood floor at her feet as she whirls around then ends up looking down as if wondering if the very foundation beneath her was about to collapse.
Sapphire blue eyes blink as she waits, breath held for a moment. Seeing her standing in the middle of her room, staring at the floor as if it might come alive and attack her, she hardly looked like one with any hope of a future in competitive fighting. Slight of build, the hopeful fighter possessed neither large stature nor great height. Her black hair is tied off in a twin pair of ponytails sticking out of the rear sides of her head. While her feet are bare, the rest of her body is covered in pink pajama bottoms and a matching lighter pink top with Chinese stylings of short, poofy sleeves, small, raised collar, and black threaded clasps running vertically down the front of it. Black flower embroidery decorate the right side and upper left front, but such details would not be immediately visible beneath the sky blue robe hanging open over her shoulders.
Breath held, she finally moves toward the hallway outside her bedroom, fingers fussing with the rope belt of her robe as she ties it closed around her. A turn to the left would take her toward the central stairwell - an ornate, curved wooden structure straight ahead of the uninvited house guest down below. The closer she gets to the banister-guarded landing at the top of the stairs, the slower she steps, trying to creep forward and see if a wild bear has somehow wandered in through her front door from the forest a few miles north of Southtown Village.
That's really the only explanation she can come up with. Already, she's trying to figure out if the police will respond to bear reports or if she's supposed to call animal control?
The lobby Ejnar has forcefully entered is large and welcoming. Decorated with darkwood floor, the matching furnishings are covered with potted flowers or expensive looking decorations from around the world. Paintings hang on the walls, including a family portrait secured in the curved wall around the large staircase to the second floor. A grandfather clock ticks off to his left, seemingly unperturbed by the disturbance and the chandelier overhead sways in the aftermath of his violent entrance, causing light and shadow to move around the room in wave-like motion.
Somewhere to the right, behind closed doors, something is making a steady beeping noise - the home alarm set off by the improperly opened front door. And as the dust settles from his violent arrival, there is some question as to whether the wanderer from the distant north would even notice the lone occupant peering down at him from above, peeking around the wall at the end of the second floor hall.
So it isn't a bear at all. Is it a homeless man then? Maybe he thought the home empty and decided to see what he could smash and grab quickly? Hotaru grits her teeth, hands clenching, not pausing to think about how some stray vagabond would have absolutely pulverized her secure front door just like that.
In a city with fireball throwing highschoolers, one expects even the hobos to be tough.
The gentle tick, tock, tick of the nearby clock causes Ejnar's shoulders to relax slightly as he steps through the empty doorframe, though the irritating beeping coming from the other direction isn't really helping his mood. With the swaying chandelier casting wobbly shadows around the room, and a light haze of smoke fogging the air, he could be excused for missing the little slip of a girl spying on him from the top of the stairs.
A quiet grunt works its way free of the dark man as he moves further into the house, boots thumping firmly against the wood flooring. Not even polite enough to take his shoes off before entering, he circles around the devastation he has caused and strolls quietly over to the clock, pausing momentarily to give it a long, searching look. Man and machine seem to share a moment, face to face, heart to heart, and the grumpy expression on the stranger's tanned and weathered face relaxes just a touch. Lifting a callused hand, he pats the old thing companionably on the side, producing two soft thumps.
"Maybe was bad idea to blow up door." Ejnar admits to the clock's reproachful ticking, words escaping him as part of a long, exasperated sigh. Still, that constant, relentless beeping rings in his ears, and he casts an annoyed look over his shoulder, before taking a moment to absorb the room he is in a little more fully. Nice furniture, portrait of a family of four. Oddly European for a Japanese dwelling, but then again, the girl's eyes are blue...
The dismissive grunt is offered toward the family photo with a little less fervor than his arrival, Ejnar turning away from it with a final jerk of his head. Cool grey eyes cutting across the room, he just misses noticing Hotaru for a second time, whirling around with an annoyed glance shot across the room toward the door that shelters the beeper.
"Is like feral screech of mother-in-law..." the young Viking mutters bitterly to himself, choosing another direction at random to take him further away from the alarm and deeper into the house.
under the mistaken assumption that anything valuable would likely be held in the main keep rather than the fancy fighting shed, likely on display in some public room, he bypasses the stairs entirely and takes a side door at random. Passing up any number of fine silks and expensive pots, sparing not even a second glance for bits of glittering silver or fine art, he pushes open the interior door and makes to step through and out of sight of his curious peeper, forging a path deeper into her home.
In his wake is left the smoldering remains of her front door and the annoying beep of the alarm. Surely the cops are already on their way, but thus far the man hasn't stolen anything, and what self-respecting fighter would let someone else kick a creepy clock-talking weirdo out of their house?
The viking wanderer's tour of the entrance of the house is watched from above. All the while, the beeping alarm panel one room away continues to chime, urgently reminding the new arrival to enter the door code to let it know that all is well.
But all is not well. Not well at all. Hotaru is silent as he moves around, lurking the unlit upper hallway overlooking the room below. To venture into the home without exchanging his filthy boots for the house slippers available adjacent to the entrance is only adding more affront to his list of unforgivable offenses.
The side door ventured through opens into a long dining room. A table occupies the center, long enough to seat twelve to a side comfortably. The wall opposite is occupied by a number of large windows that open out onto the estate's back yard, though for now curtains cover them obscuring any view of the dark outdoors. More paintings occupy the walls - mostly of environments from around the world. A cabin in rustic woods, a snow swept mountain peak, a crimson painted array of toriis stretching out into the ocean from a rocky shore... An ornate vase with an array of flowers decorates the center of the large table but the rest of its surface is otherwise empty.
Without the use of the lightswitch near the door, the room is dark, lit only by what light makes it in from the entrance and the silvery moonlight through the windows. Atop tables and shelves lining the walls, more of the sort of decorative accouterments are to be found, though none of the books, small statues, or tiny carved dolls from cultures around the world are likely to be of much interest. Even a normal crook would know that most of them are knickknacks from trips to various places in the world with no particular value beyond the memories they might recall to those who made the trips long ago.
With bare feet, Hotaru steps quietly down the stairs. The hard wood doesn't creak under her light step as she follows the curvature of the staircase around and down to where it ends on the ground floor. With a frown, she glances toward the now open space where her front door once was then looks off toward the door the intruder vanished through. Eventually, the beeping alarm panel goes silent followed almost immediately by a faint, almost inaudible musical chime emanating from somewhere upstairs. The alarm company is no doubt trying to call her to verify the situation... she's glad she neglected to bring her phone with her though it wasn't by conscious choice.
This really has gone on long enough. If the man was just down on his luck, as his rough appearance and haphazardly assembled attire suggested, he could have simply knocked at the door and perhaps she would have sent him on his way with some money to fend for himself. But his search seems to be for something specific, not helping himself to anything in sight as he moves off into the dining room, which seems stranger still.
But she isn't some helpless flower, either. She has a good track record of sanctioned fight appearances, with a number of rookie league victories to her name. Hotaru Futaba isn't to be taken lightly! The thought of this man wrecking any more of her house is something she simply can't abide by. Tying off her robe with a huff of steely resolve, the young martial artist picks up the pace, no longer cautiously creeping even if she is still trying to maintain a quick step as she hurries toward the door.
This intruder is about to learn he broke into the wrong house!
Momentum picks up the second she spies Ejnar's coat-covered back. She's never had to fight someone out of her home before, but what's the point of developing all these skills if she can't lay down some hurt on random door busters!
Speed gained, she leaps at Ejnar from behind, snapping one pink-covered leg out, attempting to catch him in the upper back with her heel. She'll knock him over and quickly take control of this situation!
"YAA!" she belts out a battle cry a moment before pending impact!
COMBATSYS: Hotaru has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Ejnar has joined the fight here.
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Hotaru 0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0 Ejnar
COMBATSYS: Hotaru successfully hits Ejnar with Medium Kick.
-* CRITICAL HIT! *-
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Hotaru 0/-------/------=|=====--\-------\0 Ejnar
Hardwood creaks quietly beneath Ejnar's boots as he makes his way slowly through the dark dining room. Taking no notice of his pink and blue clad shadow, he scans the arrangement of prayers and statuettes, taking in the various knickknacks gathered from all parts of the world. Stopping part way along the sideboard he reaches out to touch two rough fingers gently against the side of a carved bone mermaid, the unpainted creature lounging atop a rock with her chin in her hand as she stares wistfully off into the middle distance.
Ears pricking at the sound of light footsteps rushing up behind him, the Viking is already half turned around by the time Hotaru's girlish battle cry echoes off of the walls. Right forearm lifting to intercept, corners of his mouth just starting to twitch down, the muscular man completes his turn just in time to receive a sharp little heel squarely in the solar plexus. Forearm bumping uselessly against her calf, he stumbles backward beneath the 90 pound torpedo of outraged girl, breath driven from his lungs and balance shot.
Boot catching the ground wrong, the wayward Viking topples over backward with Hotaru atop him, back striking the floor with a solid thud that vibrates the surrounding knickknacks on there shelves. The end result is Ejnar, grey eyes wide, staring up at his surprise ninja attacker in baffled astonishment while his brain and lungs struggle to catch up with what just happened.
Fortunately, though his brain might not be up to the task of reacting, his body is. Countless years of training kick in, and Ejnar reacts on instinct. Caught prone with an enemy above him in a superior position, he does what any self respecting Viking would do.
orange light flares to life behind the girl, throwing her ponytailed shadow large across the wall before her. At the same moment, a wave of heat washes across her back, the Viking's now flaming right boot rocketing up in an attempt to kick her as close to the fork of the legs as possible. All things as they are, he's more likely to punt her in the butt than anything, but maybe that'll at least force her off of his chest so he can breathe again.
COMBATSYS: Ejnar successfully hits Hotaru with Random Strike.
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Hotaru 0/-------/--=====|======-\-------\0 Ejnar
Her ambush works out even better than she expected, well committed to the attack by the time her target has turned into it, her right heel snapping out, her left leg tucked up under her, arms raised in an expertly executed flying kick. Bowling him over onto his back, she corrects nimbly, left leg snapping down, foot pressing against his stomach as she rides the toppling man down to the floor, arms out at her sides for balance, twin ponytails bouncing as the heavy crash landing takes place.
Everything is playing out pretty close to how she imagined it! A surprise jump kick, a quick incapacitation, an opportunity go give him a piece of her mind, and then she'll graciously let him see himself out with only a mild threat of additional flying kicks if he seems like he's going to do anything shifty while departing. It's so good to see everything go perfectly according to plan!
"Hey you! What do you think you're doING-!" Her voice raises in volume before cutting off when she realizes that the braided man isn't howling in pain or begging for mercy but instead retaliating almost immediately against the pint-sized combatant standing on his body like he's some kind of conquered beast. Making the prudent, snap decision that her perch is no where nearly as defeated as she originally anticipated.
Deciding the smart thing to do is hop off so that she can give him another dosage of flying kick to make him reconsider the mistakes in his life that brought him to this point in time, the Kung Fu artist bends her knees and springs backward without quite understanding the vector of the incoming attack.
The intruder's shin catches her between the legs while his flame encased boot slams into the petite fighter's backside, the combined forces more than enough to launch her the complete opposite way she had been attempting to disengage.
Flying forward over the craftsman's head in a careening tumble, Hotaru lands in a rough roll against the floor somewhere up past his head. Pushing to her knees quickly, she leans forward, face scrunched up in pain, cheeks blossoming pink only barely visible by virtue of the fire the wanderer has brought to the engagement. "Ow, ow, ow!" Hands between her legs for a moment, Hotaru grits her teeth as she glares back at Ejnar. She needs a second to get up still, and then she'll get irght back to flying kicking him right out the door!
In the meantime, she lifts her right hand, hand tightening into a fist as she draws it back, a surge of bright, bold blue coursing up from around her elbow as it surges along her slender limb. "Why you...!"
Whipping her hand forward, opening her fingers to execute more of a thrusting palm, the Kenpo artist hurls a blue oblong shape of energy bolded into a ball of concussive force. Should it hit, it will splash against the point of impact almost like water as it transfers the full kinetic potential into him. If it misses, on the other hand... well, Hotaru hadn't stopped to think about the risks of that before hurling a chi ball in her family's expensive dining room.
They weren't using it anyway.
COMBATSYS: Ejnar endures Hotaru's Hakki Shou.
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Hotaru 0/-------/--=====|=======\=------\1 Ejnar
Not until this very moment did Ejnar realize just how satisfying it could be to punt a schoolgirl. Perhaps the warm feelings radiating through his chest stem more from the fact she had just ambushed him, and therefore deserved it. Or, possibly it is the rush of air returning to his lungs now that he doesn't have 90+ pounds of crime fighter perched upon his chest. He'll have to think more on that later. For now, abs tense beneath his shirt as he crunches up into a seated position, casting a quick look over his shoulder to check on the girl. %T Still up. Kneeling with both hands between her legs and an accusatory look on her face, but up.
Grunting his way to his feet, he shakes the last of the flames off of his quickly charring boot and rounds on her, handsome features set in a look of grumpy discontent. A single step is taken before her palm flashes out, sending a blue ball of energy careening into his chest. But rather than fold a second time, he leans into the attack, striding right on through as the energy splashes across his torso. The force of the blast tears open his T-shirt from chest to left hip, sagging it open to reveal a shadowed glimpse of well-formed pectorals, braided hair waving out behind him from the residual force of the splash.
"Stupid girl!" Ejnar snaps back in growing frustration, lips pulling back slightly to reveal the gleam of perfectly white teeth. "Have come to reclaim artifact from greedy family!"
The tone of the mans' voice, so blunt and direct even through the rough pronunciation, is openly exasperated that she'd even have to ask. What else would he be here for? How many other random Vikings has she met?
While the rest of the room remains pleasantly cool and air conditioned, the area around Ejnar's approaching form has grown oddly warm. That warmth only increases as he closes the distance, transitioning to toasty, sweltering, and finally piping hot. The smell of scorched fabric fills the room as smoke rises from his clothes, the raging inferno of his power boiling just beneath the surface, just shy of creating outright flames.
The last of the distance between them vanishes beneath a final purposeful stride and the craftsman lunges down at Hotaru with his arms wide, attempting to wrap them around the slight girl and pluck her up off of the floor. Beneath his stolen shirt and jacket, muscles developed by years of fighting and forging flex, attempting to draw her in and crush her slight form in an ever tightening embrace against the solid wall of his chest. In her travels, she has likely fought men much larger than the smith. Hulking brutes that would put his solid 6 foot frame to shame. But out of the two of them? Getting into a grappling match is probably unwise. Especially as that raging heat piles in upon her, threatening to ignite the protective outer layer of her robe.
"Can't believe am having to fight little girl!"
This last bit is growled with a mixture of plaintive outrage and further exasperation, just another tic in the list of weird and uncomfortable situations his life has become.
COMBATSYS: Hotaru blocks Ejnar's Grímnismál.
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Hotaru 1/-------/=======|=======\=------\1 Ejnar
If the flying kick that martial artists around the world would be jealous of wasn't enough to deter this intruder, then certainly the demonstration that she can also, through great effort, hurl energy blasts at him certainly will. Even if she misses from her awkward place on the floor, no doubt this ne'er-do-well will be intimidated by her projection of power and begin backing down-
Okay, he's not backing down at all. Instead, he strides right into her azure blast with nary a hint of being slowed down in the process. What was that about reclaiming something from her family? An artifact?! How come no one told her about any artifacts? And how come she's the one stuck defending it - whatever it is - from being stolen!?
Clearly recognizing that no, the man is not remotely thinking of running away or pleading for mercy just yet, Hotaru sucks in her breath, forcing herself to start to stand up. "Yeah? Well, you can't have it! You can't just break in and take things!" she helpfully provides as a counter point out as she draws her arms up in front of her, clearly getting ready to guard against whatever strike he levels at her next. The spiking heat of his presence is impossible to miss though. Any idea that he was an unprepared vagabond quickly melts away under the growing intensity of his burning aura.
She'll have to take him down fast, she tells herself. But first she has to contend with his aggressive momentum rather than trying to counter strike into an incoming strike. If she can see it coming, she might be able to push herself around the blow, sparing herself the bulk of the force while also positioning herself perfectly for a flanking-
Except he isn't throwing a kick or punch at all. Instead, he attacks with a hug. A big, hot, crushing hug. His arms wrap around her, lifting the diminutive fighter with ease and holding her fast. Pulled in tightly, her body squeezed, the air is forced from her lungs as she is compressed against his chest, the burning heat of his indignant aura serving only to make the situation even worse.
Fortunately for her, while her left arm is squeezed tightly against her side, Hotaru did manage to lift her right arm as the unwelcome embrace was secured. And that would be the critical difference between being seized helplessly and having a fighting chance.
With the last of her breath escaping as a hiss between her teeth, the Kung Fu grimaces, drawing her right arm back, then slamming it right toward the viking's face, targeting his nose with the heel of her palm. It's clearly a strike intended to force him to reconsider his embrace - after all, how is he going to protect his ruggedly handsome face without letting go of her?
COMBATSYS: Hotaru successfully hits Ejnar with Aggressive Strike.
-* CRITICAL HIT! *-
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Hotaru 1/------=/=======|=======\=====--\1 Ejnar
As the slight girl struggles and squirms in his grasp, Ejnar glowers off over her head, increasing the pressure around her with slow inevitability. He'd really rather not hurt her, despite her attacking him, and this way, if he's careful, he might be able to squish the fight out of her without--
Grey eyes having been focused mostly toward the shuttered windows, mind already moving ahead toward the continuation of his search, he notices the flexing of pale fingers out of the corner of his eye and ducks his head forward. The intent is to take the slap squarely between the eyes, accepting it on his forehead where it can do little real damage. Unfortunately, as his chin comes down, piercing eyes narrowed in frustration, the heel of her palm crashes squarely into the tip of his nose.
The young Kung Fu can feel the sick vibration up her arm as his nose crumples beneath her palm, warm blood squirting out across hand and wrist. An only slightly nasal grunt escapes the man with the pain of it, wintry eyes squinted and watery as they stare down at her through her spread fingers.
He does not let go.
He does, however, burst into flames.
Shaking his head violently back and forth, Ejnar splatters the floor and dining room table with little droplets of blood, the frustrated exasperation he had been feeling finally giving way to anger. The rough hands that had been crossed behind the girls back twist and attempt to grab double handfuls of her robe, to drag her away from his body and lift her yet higher off of the ground, feet dangling.
"You Will Stop." the craftsman orders, blood bubbling from his broken nose and face deathly serious. Cold grey eyes stare up into hers with all the unyielding force he can muster with the pain still throbbing in his face, backed up by the fact that his jacket has caught fire across the shoulders, tongues of white hot flame licking at the collar and just now beginning to spread down his arms. To punctuate the thought he gives her a disorienting shake, then another, before seeming to decide that talking probably just won't work.
"Fegh. punish is what you need. learn proper way to greet stranger."
This grunted half to himself, half to the girl, he decides to treat her like he would a young Viking girl. If she's tough enough to break his nose, she's tough enough to get thrown out a window.
That in mind, Ejnar reverses the force holding Hotaru up, attempting to swing her down out of the air by his grip on her robe and smash her into the floor at his feet. Flames continuing to roar out of his body, clothes catching light and spreading, he then hauls upward and around, doing his best to swing the girl in a full 360 degrees, fire spreading up his arms and raging across her robe as he circles her once, twice, three times, then releases, sending her streaking off toward the windows with a tail of spreading flames and a rough grunt of satisfaction.
COMBATSYS: Ejnar successfully hits Hotaru with Lokasenna EX.
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Hotaru 1/--=====/=======|=======\=======\1 Ejnar
On one hand, the Kung Fu artist certainly expected that he would release his tight hold in order to protect his face from her vengeful wrath. On the other hand, it would be wrong to say that she didn't feel a certain smug sense of satisfaction that he didn't, allowing her to deliver a crushing palm slam right against his nose. It's the least he deserves for getting scorch marks all over her favorite robe, its soft, sky blue fabric not holding up well under the intense heat of the marauder.
But rather than releasing her like any sane individual would do when his nose just got slammed, he just stands there, continuing to hold her tightly, her palm pressed against his face as blood smears against her hand. Even through the pain of her compressed body, she blinks, eyes widening with alarm at the unexpected reaction. Mouth opening in surprise, she immediately closes it the moment he starts shaking his head, sending droplets of blood all over the place, crimson speckles decorating the front of her robe and scattering across her cheeks.
Immediately, the smaller fighter begins squirming, trying to force her way free as the heat around the two of them ratchets up to another level all together, but her attempts to force an escape proof irrelevant a moment later as he hauls her up even higher by the back of her clothing.
Arms flailing and legs swinging in vain efforts to strike him, the Futaba heiress has recovered from her alarm at his rising anger and circles right back into fuming umbrage. "Let go of me or I'll quit going easy on you!" she exclaims while held aloft by his powerful arms.
After a few seconds of helpless attempts to reach him, she clenches her right hand, drawing her arm back similarly to how she had done earlier, clearly intending to follow up her palm to his face with a fireball to his face, but Ejnar will have none of that as he begins shaking her with enough force to scatter her focus enough to prevent her from channeling the necessary energy. The quick thinking fighter doesn't give up though, left hand going to the bow tied into the cloth belt around her waist, clearly intending to pull it loose so that she can slip free of the robe by which she's currently being held hostage.
She doesn't quite get the chance, being soundly introduced to the hardwood floor with a dazing slam, barely managing to mitigate the impact with her arms and knees. The pain hasn't even registered by the time she's hefted right back up and her wild flailing resumes.
By now, the heat is getting positively oppressive. Even with her own well honed aura fighting back against the enveloping flame, the viking warrior's fire cannot be entirely kept at bay. Taking another swing at him, she misses entirely as suddenly the room is spinning way too fast. Around, around, the world becoming a blur of fire and shadow, before finally the girl is sent flying, careening without any control right into the curtains covering one of the center windows, a ninety pound flaming comet.
The curtains do little to cushion her fall, but they at least protect her from the shattering pane of glass that she hits and flies right through on the other side of them, vanishing out into the backyard of the estate with an alarmed cry, taking the curtains through with her.
Tumbling out of the now flaming curtains across freshly cut grass, Hotaru comes to rest on her back, staring up at the sky, arms sprawled out at her sides. Lying there, looking up at the dark, moonlit night, she allows herself to wonder if simply staying put is for the best. Someone will be along eventually, since she never answered the call from the alarm company, why not let them sort it out?
That's when she notices the smoke rising up around her and the flickering light of fire. That's when she realizes she's still on fire. Or, more specifically, her favorite robe is on fire! Panicking, she pulls loose the knot, scrambling up to her feet and shedding the outer layer of now burning fabric to the grass. Gritting her teeth, hands clenched, Hotaru turns back toward the broken window.
No way is she letting that guy get away with this!
Conviction restored, the pink-clad avenger springs easily back through the window, dead set on running Ejnar down again. And, in an echo of how she greeted him before, taking to the air for another attack. This time she's leaping up higher, flipping forward into a dive, her left knee leading the way as she aims to smash squarely into Ejnar in what might be another attempt to tackle the man, confidence fueled, perhaps, by her earlier successes.
"You ruined my favorite robe!"
Impact with her knee would lead to her swinging her right leg forward as a follow up kick, aiming for the side of his head with her bare foot, her heel targeting his temple while her left leg would unfold from beneath her to try and plant against his chest, allowing her to kick back off into a backflip in an attempt to finish with a perfect ten point landing on the dining room floor a moment later!
COMBATSYS: Hotaru successfully hits Ejnar with Rengeki Shou.
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Hotaru 1/=======/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2 Ejnar
The vengeful girl's exit from the dining room is accompanied by an incredibly satisfying crash of breaking glass, leaving Ejnar alone in the dining room in the aftermath of their short but wild confrontation. Spiritual fire burning within him, nose throbbing with pain, the Viking draws in a slow, deep breath in an attempt to reign in his mounting fury. He has a mission. There is a reason he came here. First the sword, then he can go find one of those Japanese hot springs he's heard about and forget this ever happened.
The flickering flames that now coat the entirety of Ejnar's body from shoulders to knees begin to fade, large tongues of fire winking out. The overall light level of the room begins to drop off, each of the craftsmen's breaths helping to ease his eager power back into line, to sooth the restless beast within.
All of that is shattered in an instance as a pink-clad slip of a girl comes bounding back through the window, leaping into a high flip that sees her descending toward him for the second time today. every ounce of calm that he had been gathering explodes outward in an overwhelming rush of rage and frustration, left hand swiping up at the girl in an aggressive attempt to grab her right out of the air.
Rough fingers swish through Hotaru's trailing ponytails as she collides with the Viking's chest, bowling him over to smash heavily into the wooden table behind. Their combined weight is enough to send the heavy construction scraping noisily across the floor, but it holds their weight, Ejnar's muscular form caught propped against it for the snapping kick to the side of his head.
The following flip is an impressively showy maneuver, stylish and slick. The effect is only slightly ruined as her target lets out an enraged snarl and literally explodes to his feet, shadows fleeing the room as brilliant white flames roar to life along every part of the wrathful man's body. the raw force of his ignition sends the heavy table flipping away to crash against the wall, scattering chairs and knickknacks in all directions. Where once he had a jacket, shirt, and shark-tooth necklace, there is only a spreading cloud of ash, the vast majority of his clothing flash incinerated by the epic amounts of heat he had been working to contain.
Fortunately for Hotaru's innocence, the flames that now wreathe the intruder's body are too bright to see what might lie beyond, the man within having faded into a faint shadow at the heart of the inferno. Unfortunately, the floor around him has already burst into flames, the sprinkler system engaging but immediately evaporating into super-heated mist as it nears the spot where he is standing. The air itself is hot enough to singe away eyebrows, and only growing hotter by the moment.
There are no further words. No attempts to reason with this pest. Only the flaring of his power, then the sudden dimming as he focuses all of his will into channeling it into one, singular spot. The flare itself took only seconds, and the transition takes only seconds more. The raging conflagration seems to shift, flames flowing together into a point in space roughly five and a half feet off of the ground. As the flames withdraw, they reveal the shadowy outline of the man within, then his muscular silhouette, and finally a very naked but mostly unharmed Viking standing barefoot on a charred circle of floor, right arm bent and fist held at the level of his chin.
Where his right hand should be there is instead an incandescent orb of purest white, its essence having gone beyond heat, beyond fire. A warm breeze blows from within the heart of the energy, lifting the stranger's long braids and fluttering them against his back.
Cool grey eyes meet Hotaru's above a straight, unbroken nose, face set in an expression of solemn focus. Whatever rage he had been struggling with seems to have fled him for the moment, abandoned for this one, singular moment in time.
The corners of his mouth turn down.
As if that has broken the spell holding him, Ejnar throws himself forward, right hand cocked back, muscles flexed and stark beneath the blazing light of his fist. Closing the distance between himself and his girlish nemesis with startling speed, he launches one, singular punch aimed squarely for the center of her chest. But more than knuckles to bone, more than heat or pain, if his fist makes impact she will feel the jarring impact of soul against soul, a resonant gong of power that vibrates through the entirety of her chi as if struck by the hammer of god, that which forged the very essence of her being. And along with that blow comes a booming command, will and intent made manifest in a soul-deep order.
COMBATSYS: Hotaru instinctively blocks Ejnar's Voeluspa.
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Hotaru 2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|>>>>---\-------\0 Ejnar
The transformative conflagration of his rage has already illuminated the entire room by the time Hotaru's bare feet land lightly on the floor, her arms extending out from her sides for balance until she is properly stable. As the confrontation had been in the only partially lit room followed by her taking several seconds to lay in the grass beneath the night sky, the intense glow forces her to squint, lifting her right hand, palm out to partially shield her eyes.
Just what had she awoken in him now? She had faced plenty of martial artists in her young career, and had even been stuck fighting an actual Karate Bear in the ring once, so she's certainly seen her gamut of opponents. But none had ever erupted into such a volcanic display of raw power before. Just manifesting chi into a visible spectrum is a tough enough accomplishment. To generate something this brilliant and then sustain it is a tier beyond by far.
By the time her eyes have adjusted enough to allow her to look toward the corona of flame without being blinded, his form is already a barely visible shade behind the maelstrom swirling in the Futaba family dining room.
"Uh." the Kung Fu artist blinks, "Oh." There is a flicker of a thought that the property damage caused by the inferno might be worse than whatever trouble he would have gotten into before she heroically jump kicked him, but she'll leave such concerns to the insurance companies to figure out.
Right now, she has a more pressing problem - the issue that he is undoubtedly going to redirect all of that power somewhere, and at the moment, she is clearly the most obvious target. Blue eyes flick to the door to the side, but to get to it would require getting closer to the center of the living forge that has replaced the brutish Neanderthal that had invaded her home. She looks to her other side, eyes picking out the window that she had been ejected out then came back through only moments before.
But before she can make her move, the exiled Viking collects the sum total of that manifested firestorm into a singular point. And then he moves. Or, rather, launches himself into the kind of strike that can settle just about any altercation in a single, decisive blow.
There is no thinking when it comes to withstanding an engine of raw destructive potential like the punch thrown her way. No amount of trying to predict, anticipate, or react with cleverness will be of any help here.
Instead, she allows her years of practice to take over, her thoughts empty as she braces herself, feet planted on the floor, body turning her left shoulder forward into the path of his strike. Her left arm crosses her right, protecting her body as best she can from the potentially pulverizing blow. And, a split second before impact, a shimmering barrier of that same rich azure she had flung at him manifests. Pure physical skill alone would never be enough to withstand the power behind his blow. But then there is the matter of her aura - a pure, honed inner strength of one who had the will and drive to stand in the brutal world of fighters. Her spirit would be her defense where her strength was not alone enough.
The blow sends the diminutive fighter flying back every bit as fiercely as if she had been cleanly struck, her body smashing against the solid interior wall causing wood paneling to splinter and dent inward. All around her, the wooden wall burns while the area directly behind her is free of flame, the worst of his fearsome power having been deflected off to either side of her.
The young fighter's are still held in her blocking position, the skin of her forearms scorched painfully red by the flame that washed over her, eyes squinted closed as she fits off the disruptive energy daring her soul to keep her standing after that.
Forcing her eyes open, she exhales with a pained squeak before sucking in a much needed breath. Her eyes are back on him in an instant, the girl blinking once as she suddenly realizes that the stubborn man's clothing was certainly not immune to the destructive nature of his inner power. With cheeks already flushed from the pain she had already been put through, the sudden onset of blushing is all but invisible.
Uncoiling from her braced position against the wall, she goes from awestruck to bashful to angry in the passing of a second, launching back at Ejnar. Hopping in, she pivots, arms sweeping up into a pair of windmilling strikes. Numb as her limbs feel now, she can still move them to deliver the rapid, quick smacks against his chest before landing. "What kind of-" She hops again, attempting to drive him back further with a second round of quick, light strikes. "Ridiculous power-"
On her second landing, Hotaru lunges into him, switching from attacking with her arms into an attempted slam of her shoulder into his stomach, every muscle in her body attempting to deliver a shoulder slam to be remembered by.
Unless stopped, the combination assault finishes with her launching herself out of the shoulder slam into a low hop, whipping her body into a spin kick right for his jaw! He can't just come into her house and burn his clothing to ash and expect to not get jump kicked again for it!
COMBATSYS: Ejnar blocks Hotaru's Tenrenge.
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Hotaru 1/---<<<</<<<<<<<|>>>>>>-\-------\0 Ejnar
At the precise moment of impact, before the explosive release of heat and flames, before the crushing force of fist against bone, there is an immeasurable stretch of time in which the raw force of Ejnar's will comes into direct contact with that of Hotaru. The spoken word can be twisted into lies. Expressions can be hidden. But the earnest intent of Hotaru's soul is undeniable. There is strength there. A simple purity that shines through the tainted conflictions that naturally come from being human.
Moments later, the young girl's blue eyes blink open to find the Viking staring at her with an odd expression on his face. Lips still tilted down into a slight frown, the lines around his eyes and brow have relaxed, eyes slightly widened. If anything he looks surprised, but even that doesn't completely capture the look he is giving her.
Ah well. At least his hand isn't still on fire.
Supremely unconcerned by his utter lack of clothes, Ejnar falls back a step as the black-haired girl springs forward into a windmilling flail of tiny fists, managing to bat the first blow away with a backhanded swipe of his forearm before the next three thump into his muscular chest with the meaty WHAP of flesh on flesh. Grunting in irritation, moving with the clumsy slowness of an ox in comparison to her nimble jumpiness, he brings both hands up just in time to catch hold of her shoulders as she throws herself at him, digging his heels into the charred hardwood and dragging her acrobatic display to a halt. Even now he is strong, but behind the strength of his hands she can feel a tremor run through his body, arms shaking, shoulders swaying where he stands. Whatever the rush of flames might have done to heal his flesh, there was clearly some sort of cost. His body may not be broken, but he is only barely managing to keep his feet, muscles twitching and shaky beneath bronze skin.
"Am Ejnar Valgrimsson," the man grunts down at his pint-sized opponent, fingers tightening for a better grip on her narrow shoulders. "Artisan of gods, barer of the Flames of Creation."
Forcing his spasming muscles to obey, heat still radiating from his skin, he heaves upward on Hotaru's shoulders, attempting to haul her off of her feet and hoist her high overhead, before turning and bringing her crashing down back-first into the center of the still steaming circle of char her floor has become. Then, with a complete lack of shame or modesty, he comes piling down atop her, driving his right knee forward to try and crush her beneath his weight and kneel upon her stomach.
"Have come to reclaim artifact given long ago. You will not stop me, stubborn girl."
This pronouncement given as he leans over her, left hand still tightly gripping her shoulder, he rears back, heat shimmering around his right fist, then brings it crashing down toward her pink-clad chest amidst a wave of roiling white flames.
COMBATSYS: Ejnar successfully hits Hotaru with Harbarthsljoth.
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Hotaru 2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|===----\-------\0 Ejnar
That he doesn't seem too menaced by her initial swift strikes is no reason not to press on, she reasons, gritting her teeth as she resolves to press on into the second volley, only to to be caught short with two vise-like grips on her shoulders. Blinking with surprise, the young martial artist tries to twist herself free, lifting her arms up and wrenching her body left or right against the strength of his hold. Teeth grit, hands clenched as fists, she leans into the pressure against her, looking up at him with defiant temper.
"Let go of me, or-!"
He speaks up, offering his name, an assemblage of syllables that sound utterly alien to her ears. She wouldn't be able to repeat his name back to him if she was given a dozen tries. She twists again, trying to pull back now, as he continues. Something about the gods? And Flames of Creation? All of that sounds pretty damn important and completely insane.
If it hadn't been for the brief contact of his flame refined aura only moments before, it would have been easier to dismiss his declaration as the ravings of a lunatic. But there was a directness to his voice, to his nature, and a single-minded purpose to his intent. It was enough to make her second guess. Almost.
She isn't given much time to consider the assertion, however, as she is once more hauled clean off her feet, hefted closer to the ceiling above, before finding herself slammed back against the scorched, hard floor, gasping out another breath. Light as she was, getting thrown around like a doll was not an entirely unfamiliar experience from her matches, but that didn't make it any less painful when she lands.
Already, the martial artist tries to scramble free, bare heels digging against the floor, palms pressing out from her sides as she tries to twist free.
That struggle is cut short as the naked warrior's knee slams into her unprotected stomach, eyes going wide as she folds against the impact, a breathless gasp forced from her open mouth.
She still tries to move then, but her frantic thrashing is nothing compared to the energy she had displayed before. She barely hears a statement about an artifact the flaming reclaimer has come to take back, eyes more focused on his right hand as it rises up, heat pouring off from it as his fist is readied.
There is a quick attempt to bring her arms up to ward off the blow, but her arms simply smack against the side of his muscular forearm as the Viking's blow hammers against his pined nuisance's chest. If her diaphragm wasn't already being compressed by his knee, her lungs would have been happy to eject any remaining hint of air left in them as Hotaru is slammed flat against the floor, her arms flopping against her sides as she stares up at the intruder with breathless confusion.
For a moment, it would seem the fight was finally punched out of the stubborn Futaba girl. But if he was paying attention, he would notice the shift in her expression. Rather than acceptance, rather than surrender, a mask of fierce resolve locks in.
No. She's not going to just lie there and let this Eshnar Bagarnsoun just walk away and take something his delusions claim belongs to him!!
It would be easy to sense the swell of energy as Azure energy builds around the pinned girl, her aura ignited with fury at his stubborn insistence that he's entitled to just walk in here and take what he wants!
Curling up beneath his strength, the pink-clad warrior makes one final attempt to dislodge herself, twisting hard to the side, her physical strength augmented by such a heavy pull from the energy around her, it would be impossible to miss that broiling aura of sapphire blue is moving from the outskirts of the room into the Hotaru herself.
She wouldn't be trying to run, however, just twisting to a low, tightly wound crouch, her body ablaze with blue light.
And then she would launch herself right back into Ejnar, testing the limits of his remaining strength with a reckless tackle.
here is no grace, no agility, no exercise of Kung Fu practiced over the years of her young life. Instead she attacks him like a blue meteor, trying to push the divine craftsman back to the floor on his back!
COMBATSYS: Hotaru can no longer fight.
[ \\\\\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Hotaru successfully hits Ejnar with Tenshou Ranki.
A collision of kinetic force augmented by a fierce fount of energy the fighter pulled hungrily into herself smashes into Ejnar's chest. The strength makes even her heroic jump kicks pale by comparison as she takes him to the floor of the desecrated dining room. Upon landing on his back, he would find that his little assailant has ended up perched on him, kneeling on his strong, bare abdomen. She is leaning forward, her pony tails draped against the sides of her neck to dangle down below her cheeks. Trembling, she's holding herself up only because her hands are pressed against his chest, arms braced to keep her from simply falling over. It wasn't as if she could pin him there, even though it almost looked like that's what she was trying. No - the true threat is that aura around her, building in its intensity, a whirlwind of blue power gathered from the Earth itself.
Hotaru's voice rises, her lungs finding their strength to empower her for this last attack, her ponytails flailing behind her back, her scorched, pink pajamas whipping about her small frame from unseen winds. Her eyes are locked on his face. She would have him know the price to be paid for his trespass!
And then she allows all that energy to collapse through her, funneling down through her back, down her arms, and into the Viking's chest with a sudden surge of force. Chi - that breath of life shared by living things - crashes against and then through him, blasting out from behind his back with a shock wave that slams the already disheveled room's contents against the walls.
For her part,her fighting spirit finally spent, Hotaru exhales, lowering her head, sapphire blue eyes slowly closing as she simply crumples forward, collapsing against the chest of the Viking exile.
COMBATSYS: Ejnar takes no action.
COMBATSYS: Ejnar can no longer fight.
Knelt astride the young guardian, Ejnar can feel it as the last of her breath exits her lungs beneath the hammer of his fist. Feel the limpness of her limbs as the fight is finally knocked out of her. it is better this way. The fight was hard, but clean, and he doesn't think he's left any lasting damage. Some minor burns, some bruises, but thus far he's mostly avoided doing any real harm to her head or internals.
Letting out a breath, he plants his left hand beside her ear and pushes down on the floor as if to stand, only to glance down and notice the sudden hardening of her expression, solemn resolve replacing the stupefied look of near unconsciousness that had fogged her features.
Heaving his weight hard to one side, the Viking attempts to dive clear of what he knows his coming, to flop over and roll away from the gathering storm of energy that rushes in toward the pink-clad nightmare, filling her with that one, last desperate burst of strength. Still a bit shaky from the shockwave of his own power, however, he manages only a sideways tumble before she springs up from beneath and crashes into his chest, carrying him over backward to slam heavily to the ground. upon impact, a faint flicker of white flame begins to lick across his body. A solo tongue rolls across his left shoulder, a single spark springs out of his knee. Deep within him, the ancient gift stirs, coaxed toward the surface by the brilliance of the azure comet now perched atop him.
Cool grey eyes gaze up into blue with world weary acceptance, faint creases appearing around their corners at the shared understanding that what is about to happen will likely hurt. A lot. Still, he tries to stop it. Both hands lift to grab the first things he can think of, hard fingers digging into her hips as he makes to throw her off, muscles tensing along his neck and arms.
The thunderous impact of chi pouring through his body puts a stop to that plan. Beneath her wisp of a form the Viking jerks once, eyes and mouth going wide, cracks spider webbing out where his back is driven deeper into the floor. His grip on her hips goes slack, hands falling limp to his sides in a near identical pose to the one she had held just moments before.
Dazed, reeling, Ejnar does not notice as the battered girl collapses atop him, forehead smacking him in the chin as her face comes to rest against his neck. Unfocused eyes stare up toward the sky, brain whiting out, thoughts flickering.
At the same moment, the flames dancing across the reclaimer's body flicker, flicker, brighten...Then die.
Eyes sliding closed, Ejnar lapses into sprawled-out unconsciousness beneath his foe, arms and legs slightly spread, braids fanned out across the battered floor beneath him. As he is a completely naked illegal immigrant with a battered teenage girl curled unconscious atop him, he is likely to make quite an interesting case when the police finally arrive.
Log created on 18:44:09 07/21/2019 by Ejnar, and last modified on 02:51:24 07/24/2019.