Description: Things got a little heated the last time Lyraelle ventured out into Southtown but she can't say it didn't do wonders for her viewer count. But now she's riding high on some holy energy, curtesy of a strange priest, and she's feeling weirdly altruistic. Maybe while she's out here trying to grow her image she can do some good for the besieged city. Couldn't hurt to try, right? With that thought in mind, the demon queen scours the ongoing conflicts until she finds a fight that offers the perfect mix of publicity and charity - a massive minotaur in the process of tearing it's way into a building to get at the cowering citizens inside!
The first day of the siege has been a trying episode in Southtown's storied history of misfortune on a grand scale. The once bustling city has been reduced to little more than a ghost town throughout most of its sprawling expanse. The lively throngs of businessmen and tourists moving along the wide streets like orderly schools of fish have been replaced with the ominous silence of emptiness. Only the sounds of distant of battle, echoing like whispers of a forgotten civilization from the frontlines of the ongoing conflict, drift lightly on the wind.
Dozens of empty cars lie strewn across the road, their doors hanging ajar and their headlights still burning, abandoned in the panicked rush to escape the horde of monsters as it descended like a plague of locusts. Every couple of blocks the evidence of carnage is made manifest in the form of dried smears of blood and other less pleasant things. The remains of mangled bodies lie strewn across the pavement, sometimes recognizable as such, sometimes little more than piles of festering meat and gnawed bones.
Every so often the silence is broken by the sound of soft footsteps, loping beasts wandering in scattered packs through the alleyways and across the rooftops their predatory eyes searching for signs of foolish scavengers picking through the remains for supplies. Sharp screams of terror punctuate the oppressive quiet at intermittant intervals each time they find their prey. Mercifully, they usually don't last very long.
Yet, despite the knowledge that death awaits them beyond their doors, there are those who simply cannot manage to remain in hiding for long. Perhaps is it through terror-addled minds that they are able justify the risk. If they can only make it the half a dozen blocks to the west or north they might be able to cross the defensive checkpoints, take shelter behind the stalwart soldiers fighting to drive away the nightmares. No one has succeeded thus far, but they don't know that, and such thoughts are banished by the need to cling to hope.
So it is that the most recent of those brave and foolish enough to try their luck emerge from their hiding spot. A heavy metal door swings slowly open in the alley between two skyscrapers. The portal widens by inches, seeming to move at a glacial pace, the trembling hands guiding it open filled with terror at the thought of creating even the slightest sound. Eventually, a figure emerges from the darkness of the doorway, revealing itself to be a young man in a tattered business suit.
Carefully, he peers up and down the alley, lifting a hand to push a pair of wireframe glasses up onto the bridge of his nose. For several minutes he watches and listens, head jerking around towards the slightest hints of noise like a skittish rabbit. Only when he's certain that the coast is clear does he step out into the open fully, motioning quickly with one hand at the door. Two more people join him, a young woman and her daughter, eyes wide and searching the morning gloom.
The businessman places a hand on the woman's shoulder and nods towards the north end of the alley. She very nearly jumps out of skin at his touch, hand flying to her mouth to smother a yelp of surprise, but after a moment she nods and the three of them quickly move towards the street, doing their best not to step on the scattered trash lining the ground.
The group pauses at the edge of the road, warily scanning for signs of the monsters. Again, they remain still and silent for several minutes, as if too terrified to emerge from the protection of the shadows, but eventually the businessman leads the way and his two companions quickly scamper behind. They move cautiously despite the lack of obvious danger, darting from cover to cover, using the abandoned cars to obscure themselves from anything that might be further down the road. They make good progress now that they're actually moving, hopscotching their way across the wide boulevard towards the alley on the opposite side.
It's only when they are almost as their destination that they notice the trap. The shadows in the alleyway ahead of them seem to congeal into a single mass as something horrifyingly massive takes a step forward. The ground thunders from the weight of the hidden monster and all three of the refugees skid to a sudden halt, eyes going wide with abject terror as the creature emerges into the open.
Towering over them by nearly twice their own size, the minotaur stares down at the three humans with a pleased look, his wide bovine snout twisted into a wide smile. He lets out a snort of contempt, fingers the size of summer sausages tightening around the haft of a gargantuan battle axe with an audible creak from the wooden handle. He turns his head to the side and with a slow twist of his neck, grinds one of his long curved horns on the wall of the building next to him. A shower of red hot sparks fly up from the tip of the bony protrusion as it it were a sword being sharpened against a whetstone.
"Run... little manlings," it bellows with a voice like grinding gravel. "Run... if you can!"
Taking that as rather sound advice, the monsterous command seems to break the spell of fear holding the three humans in place. They let out screams of panic and turn, stumbling over themselves in their haste to flee from the titan. It laughs at their pitiful display and starts to slowly march after them, its huge strides covering half a dozen feet with every step. It doesn't bother going around the cars, simply batters them aside with its tree-trunk legs or stomps them flat beneath its hooves, filling the air with a great cacophony of squealing metal and shattering glass.
The man calls out to the others as he takes the lead, spotting the door of a nearby shop hanging open. With a mad dash, he runs for the promise of potential safety, holding it open for the woman and her child only through sheer force of will. The heavy metal door slams shut with a resounding boom mere moments before the minotaur stomps up to it. It gives another contemptous snort and kicks the door with one hoof, putting only a half-hearted effort into it. Even so, the metal slab dents inwards, bending ominously.
"Come out, little manlings! The game is not yet over!"
Somewhere in the nether recesses of FightTube, user account DemonQueenLyraelle blinks to life with an unscheduled stream. The last that FightTube users saw of the Demon Queen was a brutal battle with an aged demonic biker in the alleys of Southtown, one whose broadcast had been cut short by a fiery inferno engulfing Queen and camera alike, leaving the fate of the former unknown. There had been no messages since from the rising fighting-cosplay crossover star, and to many, she's been presumed dead - if not worse, given the grim threats made against her.
As the stream goes live, then, the most diehard of the Demon Queen's 'minions' are quick to channel hop over, the chat slowly filling with usernames. Within the space of a minute, the first message appears:
Before long, more pertinent messages start to follow:
darkxsephiroth: OMG lyraelle r u alive :kofchamp:
slamfan93: did any of you guys hear about this??
battlehobo1987: Not me, but it must be her, right?
The feed shows an aerial view of the rows of darkened skyscrapers and wrecked cars that line the streets of downtown Southtown. It seems to be a first person perspective.
darkxsephiroth: OMG its her
"So, the good news is I found a replacement for my Eff-Pee-Cee, but the bad news is the white balance is totally off again and I can't actually see the stream or the chat right now. Anyways, as you can see, things are pretty bad here in Southtown, but I'm back in action and patrolling for - oh, wow! Look at that!"
The shot swings down to the trio being chased by the bull through the streets, capturing their narrow escape into the building.
"Look at the size of that thing, minions!! I'm gonna take a closer look."
hadouken69: omg dont he gonna kill u
* * *
A few seconds later, the pale, pink-haired and purple-clad form of Lyraelle Darkheart drops down to the street behind the minotaur with the sound of leather heels clicking on asphalt. The demoness' hands move to her hips, her spaded tail swishing alertly behind her as her green eyes look the bull-man up and down.
"You know, if there's one thing that I can't stand, it's a bully," Lyraelle says with a confident smirk, half a second before her nose crinkles. "Oh, no. That was bad, wasn't it? I was totally being the Pun Police just now. I might as well've said 'Bullova, I gotta axe you a few questions,'" she adds, putting on a thick Metro City accent that sounds ridiculous in her girlish tone for the last bit as she gestures lightly. "I swear, I'm not here to be funny. I promise, I'm just here to kick your butt at hide and seek." She folds her arms up under her chest. "Or, just kick your butt."
COMBATSYS: Lyraelle has started a fight here.
Halfway to delivering another contemptuous kick to the already damaged door, the minotaur pauses, turning ponderously to peer over his shoulder at the sound of the unexpected voice. The creature's bulbous eyes narrow as he takes in visage of the succubus in all her stripperific glory, his bull-like face contorting into an obvious scowl as his heavyset brows attempt to merge together in consternation.
It isn't hard to discern the nature of Lyralle's identity, not that she's doing anything to hide it. As the ruling class of nobles among the denizens of Makai, succubi tended to be regarded either with warm generosity and simpering platitudes or vile disgust and bellicose defiance; which one largely depended on whether or not said noble was within earshot. It isn't that an individual devil is much of a problem, though their strength tended to be quite formiddable, but rather that rousing their anger usually brought down the wrath of an entire noble clan.
But that was in Makai. This is the Earthrealm and the rules are different here. It's been nearly two years since one of her kind had shown its face openly other than the crazed zealot Jedah. The minotaur's master is not fond of these creatures and she has done little to make that a secret. That is a matter on which many of the subjects stolen away from their homes are in tacit agreement with the mercenary queen upon, regardless of their feelings about being enslaved. Even being conscripted as a foot soldier into the human woman's war is much desirable to being toyed with by the cruel demon kings and queens.
Turning to face Lyraelle fully, the minotaur lets his hoof settle back onto the road with a rumbling thud. He squares off with her, body language exuding hostility and defiance and a low growl rumbles from within his cavernous chest.
"Get thee gone, temptress. This prey is rightfully mine. I shall not yield it to you."
The massive axe is hefted up over one shoulder, its wickedly honed edge shimmering in the morning light. Another hot snort blasts steam from the towering beast's nostrils, spattering the pavement at Lyraelle's feet with something wet and vile.
"Thou art alone in this world, little devil. And thy forked tongue, no matter how clever, shall not spare you the bite of my axe."
It's eyes squint for a moment as it tries to recall some of the parlance of the modern human world, something that might have a little more sass to it than it's archaic mode of speech. It thinks back to the times that the Dragon has been annoyed, digging through the jumble of memories until it finds what it needs.
Lifting one meaty arm, the minotaur holds a massive fist out towards the demoness and extends its thick middle finger in a gesture that holds no ambiguity as to its meaning.
The appearance of the self-styled Lady Darkheart is brazenly and openly demonic. To the world at large, it's a costume; an elaborate lie designed to conceal the identity of its wearer, allowing her to play the role of something that she is not. To the world of demons, those familiar with Makai, it is yet a lie, allowing the wearer to play the role of something else that she is not.
It's a faultless costume, because the person wearing it believes in the lie absolutely. The fact that her fellow darkstalker regards her as a known quantity reinforces that lie on some subconscious level, and it brings the briefest of smiles to the vile temptress' face.
"My name is Lady Lyraelle of House Darkheart. I'm the last of my line, first of my kind, and the rightful ruler of whatever I lay claim to. And, I hereby declare my self liege-lady of the souls behind that door."
Dark wings beat, and Lady Lyraelle is lifted aloft, hovering high enough above the ground to put her at roughly eye level with the towering bull-man. Her arms remain crossed over her midsection, her expression even, cool, and composed. To her followers watching online, she likely seems either a consummate LARPer or utterly mad.
"And, eff-why-eye, my tongue isn't forked. See?"
The demoness' pink and entirely human-looking tongue pushes out from between her lips, sticking out at the minotaur in what most would recognize as a childish taunt, wiggling around for a moment for emphasis.
"So, whatcha gonna do about it?"
The spaded tail flicks sharply and challengingly as the green-eyed gal asks the question; the transition from domineering royal to petulant millennial is seamless. It seems that the royal ball is in the minotaur's court.
The minotaur's already sour expression twists into a grimace of hate, his lips peeling back from grimy stained teeth the size of soda cans as they grind together like blocks of concrete. His tribe had suffered under the villainy of the demon nobles for centuries, unable to fight back despite their famed strength and warrior prowess. They had casually toyed with and killed countless of his fellows for nothing more than sport. And now this winged floozy dares to mock him openly while so far from her home?
Fresh steam rises from the beast's flared nostrils as it stamps at the ground, kicking up sparks and chips of asphalt in agitation. The massive axe is lowered back into the minotaur's hands and it reasserts a firm grip on the weapon, clearly preparing to use it. If Lyraelle was attempting to try her hand at being a matador, she's certainly started off on the right foot because the hulking brute in front of her is clearly seeing red.
"Then perhaps I shall remedy that for you when I cleave thy skull in twain!"
The ground shudders as the monster surges forward, its hooves thundering on the pavement for the half a dozen strides it takes for him to close the gap between them. A warbling bray of fury erupts from its mouth in challenge as it leaps, sweeping the humongous axe out in wide swing. It angles the flat of the double-headed blade sideway using it like a paddle to try and swat the demoness out of the air.
COMBATSYS: Minotaur has joined the fight here.
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Minotaur 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Lyraelle
COMBATSYS: Lyraelle blocks Minotaur's Medium Claw.
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Minotaur 0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0 Lyraelle
The succubus simulacrum regards the boiling-blooded bull with an expression devoid of remorse or even acknowledgement of the hundreds of years of suffering that those of her seeming have inflicted on his kind. As he bellows his intent, her green eyes flit slightly to one side. There, a flies buzzes inches above her face. Lyraelle snorts disdainfully, and when that fails to drive off the bug, she flicks her fingers across her bangs, smacking the insect away.
It appears to be a foretelling scaled in miniature of the fate about to befall the Demon Queen herself; the beastman's blunt-sided bash crashes toward her. The dimensional disparity of the darkstalkers suggests that she should be slapped from the air as easily as a fly.
Rather than buzz away, though, the demoness stands her ground - or rather, hovers her airspace. As the axe comes arcing toward her, she raises both of her gloved hands, catching the side of the axehead with them. The force of the blow pushes her backward, and for a moment it seems that she may be caught up in the axe's course, but when the moment passes, she sends it continuing on its way with a forceful shove. She rubs her palms against each other after the effort, pulling a face.
"No need for that! I like to think I've already got enough cleavage, thanks."
The demoness flits backward, putting some distance between herself and the minotaur.
"I'm not sure where all this spite is coming from, you know. I mean, look at these horns. We're practically cousins, aren't we?"
As she makes the claim, Lyraelle raises both hands to either side of her face, thumbs and index fingers extended, framing her eyes and pointing at the black horns that are on either side of her head. And then, a moment later, her eyes flash a brilliant green, beams of wicked green fire unleashed toward the bull-man. It seems that the demoness' eyes are as capable as her tongue of trying to get the minotaur hot and bothered.
COMBATSYS: Minotaur endures Lyraelle's Balefire Gaze.
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Minotaur 0/-------/----===|===----\-------\0 Lyraelle
The axe's mighty swing carries it all the way around, smashing into a nearby car with a noisy crunch. Alarms start to blare a noisy cacophony as the machinery inside goes ballistic at the heavy impact. Fortunately, the audial assault is short lived, dying into a whimpering warble as the minotaur tears its weapon free from the wreckage with an annoyed twist of its arms. It turns back to glower at the demon, unamused by her attempt to render them as related spirits if the look of disgust is anything to go by.
"Thou art no kindred of mine, harlet!"
Stomping forward, the beast looks as if it plans to take another swing at her. The searing blasts of etheral flames that erupt from the dark stalker's eyes foul those plans, however, causing him to recoil in surprise and pain. Snarling, the creature pushes forward despite the expanding patches of burned flesh on its chest. It abandons its first attempt at an attack and instead reaches out with one of its massive mitts, attempting to snatch the flitting hell fairy out of the air with a sudden burst of enraged speed.
COMBATSYS: Lyraelle dodges Minotaur's Bullrush.
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Minotaur 0/-------/---====|===----\-------\0 Lyraelle
The pink-haired hell-maiden's horned head tilts a little to one side as the green fire in her eyes goes out in a puff of sulfur-scented smoke. She has just enough time to put the question in her expression to words as the minotaur takes to the air:
"Are you sure?"
Just before the massive man-bull's mitt can grab hold of her, the demoness darts infuriatingly to one side in a dizzying display of sudden speed, leaving nothing but a whiff of brimstone for the bull-man to capture. Lyraelle sucks in a deep breath through her nostrils before exhaling, her hands pushing up over her face and brushing her ruffled bangs out of her eyes.
"I guess that's a relief for both of us. I don't have to feel bad about punishing you, and you're not related to a harlot."
As she runs her mouth, she also gives a snap of the fingers of her right hand, causing a flicker of green flame to appear in her fist. The initial hint of hellfire grows rapidly, maintaining a strange cohesion for a bit of flame; within seconds, it's elongated into the shape of a whip, yet despite its appearance of pure energy, it seems to have a certain tangible nature similar to that which it resembles.
"The rest of your family tree notwithstanding, of course~"
Spinning on her vertical axis, the demoness twists backward through the air, her arm swinging out as her infernal whip snaps at the minotaur's centre of mass with a crack.
COMBATSYS: Minotaur blocks Lyraelle's Imperious Scourge.
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Minotaur 0/-------/--=====|====---\-------\0 Lyraelle
Being denied the opportunity to vent his outrage on the annoying tart, the minotaur stamps his hoof on the ground in frustration. That familiar arrogance pouring out of the girl's smug face makes his blood boil, his fur bristling with indignant rage. Like all of her kind, she cares little for those other than herself and seems to take perverse pleasure in hurling insults designed to get underneath his skin.
The beast lifts his axe as he turns to follow the agile woman, intercepting the flickering lash of green fire with the shaft of the weapon. It wraps around the steel like a coiling snake but the tip still manages to score a thin line of fire across his hairy chest before he can completely deflect the blow. He hardly pays it any mind, just a minor injury to his thick hide, though the brief moment of pain brings another snarl to his throat.
"As if your foul brood were capable of empathy. I shall certainly feel no remorse when I crush thee into the dirt beneath my hooves!"
The minotaur lets out another sonorous bellow as he rushes forward once again, trying to keep Lyraelle in range to strike out with his weapon and fists. He brings the shaft of his axe up in a horizontal thrust, attempting to check her with it across the chest and knock the girl off balance long enough to make another grab for her. This time he doesn't bother trying to go for a solid hold, instead swinging his hand in a hard slap meant to send her crashing into the wall of a nearby building.
COMBATSYS: Lyraelle parries Minotaur's Cast Aside!
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Minotaur 0/-------/---====|======-\-------\0 Lyraelle
Invisibly, Lyraelle's heart is pounding like a drum in her chest, her pulse racing at a hundred metaphorical miles an hour. There is something human there, under the surface, drowning in adrenalin as she toes the line of trying to survive the onslaught she's provoking from the raging bull. There's a thrill of challenging herself against an unprecedented foe, of testing which of them is the more monstrous. Deeper still, there's a hunger for the sort of raw, primal power that the mammoth-sized manbull represents; a desire to make it her own and an anticipation of the right moment to do just that.
On the surface, though, she's wide-eyed and smiling like a stone-cold fairy-bitch, even as she holds her arms against her sides and edges aside through the air so subtly that the minotaur's fur brushes against her skin as he passes.
"No need for the rude 'tude 'bout my brood, dude!"
The words come from behind the minotaur's back an instant before a sharp knee strike is aimed at the base of his spine. A moment later, the Demon Queen will attempt to wrap her arms and legs around the minotaur's trunk; if she can manage to do so, she'll give a mighty full-body heave, wings and her inner force surging to propel her upward in a display of unholy supernatural strength to carry the bellowing bull as far up as she can muster.
If she gets that far, she'll then shift her weight and grip to let gravity pull the minotaur and herself into an inverted hold, before driving him horns-first into the nearest car before a hellish green inferno would erupt to engulf him.
COMBATSYS: Minotaur dodges Lyraelle's Demondriver EX.
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Minotaur 0/-------/---====|=======\===----\1 Lyraelle
COMBATSYS: Lyraelle has left the fight here.
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COMBATSYS: Minotaur has ended the fight here.
Unable to land a solid blow on the floating demon, the minotaur seems to go ballistic, letting out a furious roar as his hand once more swipes through empty air. Normally, goading a brute into a rage makes them easy prey as they abandon their sense of danger out of a desire to do harm, but the towering creature's anger proves oddly fortunate in this instance. Instead of coming to a halt when his swipe misses, he continues to stomp forward at a trot, leaving nothing for the agile succubus to connect with when she goes for her acrobatic assault from behind. This time it is her turn to whiff at thin air, her target sliding out of range by the barest of margins.
Perhaps unaware of how close he came to being planted into the street like a lawn dart, the enraged bull stomps his way to the far side of the street in a tantrum. Vehicles are kicked aside as he marches away, crunching and squealing as they go spinning into one another like bumper cars. For a moment, it seems as if the fuzzy titan is simply going to up and leave, tired of dealing with the frustrating interloper and her taunts. But when he reaches the far side of the street, the minotaur's true goal is revealed.
He stomps up to a large van, some sort of bright delivery truck that was overturned at some point in the last day's chaos. Tossing his axe to the ground, the brute moves around behind the massive vehicle and kneels down, gripping the edge of its boxy frame in both hands. With a loud grunt of effort, the dark stalker slowly hoists the multi-ton contraption up into the air. The metal of its superstructure groans under the abuse, buckling by degrees as its powerful fingers sink into the surface. It holds together long enough for it to serve its intended purpose, however.
With a wild roar of challenge, the minotaur flexes his arms and sweeps them out towards the floating demoness sending the truck sailing through the air. It flies across almost the entire street in a single arc, coming to an ear-splitting crash only a dozen feet shy of its target. The momentum imparted into the thing doesn't allow it to simply fall still - instead, it bounces and rolls, tumbling wildly at Lyraelle like the world's largest bowling ball.
COMBATSYS: Minotaur-34 successfully hits Lyraelle with Hurl Weapon.
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Lyraelle 1/--=====/=======|======-\-------\0 Minotaur-34
The hard part, one would have thought, would have been to get the monstrous giant off of the ground. Failing to get a grip on the mountain of meat in the first place is particularly vexatious, and the Demon Queen's expression sours as she finds herself wrapped around nothing. She rights herself in the air, arms moving to her sides, fingers flexing and clenching into fists.
"Don't wander off now, I'm not finished with you yet!"
Lyraelle's petulance manages just barely to carry over the sound of steel and glass being crushed; public speaking, it seems, is not one of her weak points. When it seems that the axe-toting titan has turned tail and is quitting the field, she shouts even louder.
"Don't tell me you're that easily cowed!"
One could almost consider what comes next to be karmic.
The green eyes of the Demon Queen widen as the truck hurtles toward her end-over-end, her mouth dropping momentarily agape. Whatever claims of familial glory Her Infernal Majesty may make, it would seem that this is a novel experience.
The demoness' wings tuck as she corkscrews into a dive, trying to zip past the vehicle and propel herself closer to the beastman. An error in judgment is made, though, and the back of the truck clips against one of the Demon Queen's wings, sending her into spiralling off to the side to smash into a glass office window, horns-first. Awkwardly, though the surface remains mostly intact, Lyraelle's black horns lodge in the glass. Pressing her hands and the soles of her boots against the pane, she pushes and struggles, grunting with indignation. Spiderweb fractures spread rapidly through the glass, though, and a moment after she manages to wrench her head free, the entire pane collapses into fragments.
As she turns around to face the minotaur again, standing in the empty office, an orange glow from the blazes below serves to make the Darkheart heiress' gaze all the more fiery.
"Touche," she declares with a vengeful tongue. Then, mercurially, the Dark Queen's glare transforms into a defiant smirk. "But is that really the best you can do?"
Then, swinging her limbs together like a gymnast, the pink-haired hellion turns around, bounces on her toes, then throws herself into a backflip off of the building and toward the bull-man. As she flips once vertically, she hooks her knees up to her chest with her hands under them, then extends her heels.
Ultimately, the pose serves to present her pale posterior to the raging bull, moments before her wings burst forth with a prodigious flap that sends her sailing speedily through the air, on a mission to rear-end the Taurus.
Should she manage to collide with the bull, she would try to knock it down with the force and pin it beneath her - or failing that, at least mount it however she can - before her serpentine tail would try to coil itself around the nearest limb it can reach and tighten, the sinister appendage attempting to sap the beast's essence for its own owner's use.
COMBATSYS: Lyraelle issues a challenge!!
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Lyraelle 1/--=====/=======|======-\-------\0 Minotaur-34
COMBATSYS: Minotaur-34 endures Lyraelle's Royal Requisition - Dark Queen's Throne.
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Lyraelle 0/-------/--=====|=======\===----\1 Minotaur-34
Seeing the uppity broad humbled is a sweet sensation made all the more enjoyable by the embarassing position she finds herself in after the close encounter with a flying truck. It would have been far more satisfying to see her smashed flat like an insect being slammed by a fly swatter but the sight of her criminally underdressed derriere bouncing around as she tries to pry those pitifully tiny horns of her out of the glass is a close second.
The anger that this humilation brings to life in the girl's eyes is met with a snort of amused derision, the minotaur throwing his bull head back in a deep laugh.
"Think thou to intimidate me, wench? That was but a fraction of the suffering that I shall impart upon thee whence I get my hands around thy neck!"
As if to make his point, the towering creature makes no effort to defend himself as the succubus winds up for her next aerial assault. Her fancy spins and flips fail to impress the creature in the slightest and he merely stands there, legs spread apart to brace himself as if preparing to catch a cannonball in the gut like some kind of carnival clown, teeth bared in a fierce grin. It makes life so much easier when the prey comes to him.
Lyraelle's ample toosh proves to be quite the spicy serve, her tiny body propelled to unnatural speeds by her bat-like wings. The impact sends the minotaur staggering backwards a couple of steps but he manages to recover before tumbling over onto his own ass. With a snort of triump, the hulking bullman rights himself and turns his glower onto the demonette. If she wants to be foolish enough to try and hug it out with something whose arms are as thick around as she is then he is happy to oblige. Even as the slithering spaded appendage wraps around his neck, the minotaur attempts to trap the woman against his hairy chest, crushing her on the anvil of his granite pectorals.
COMBATSYS: Minotaur-34 knocks away Lyraelle with Bone Crusher.
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Lyraelle 2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|====---\-------\0 Minotaur-34
Dangling as she is against the minotaur's chest with her tail looped around his neck, the Dark Queen looks the part of a purple pendant. It's a shame that the only camera in sight seems to be the one sharing the infernal influencer's perspective.
Strangely, the sassy succubus starts to snigger in the midst of the struggle, her leather-clad left hand lifting to her lips to try and suppress the outburst. Perhaps it's the giddy rush of power as her tail saps the bull-man of his essence, or the minotaur's own amusement finding its way into her in the transfer?
"That feels funny," Lyraelle reveals, as the minotaur's shifting musculature causes the fur on his torso to brush against her barely-clad behind.
Apparently, she's just ticklish.
The giggle-fit is interrupted with a sudden squeak as the enormous arms wrap around her body, encasing her abdomen against the beastman's chest. A blow of such force could have easily sent the hell-maiden flying; instead, it serves to drive her deep into her captor's clutches. Her hands reach for the bull-man's biceps to try and keep the hold from dominating her ability to react or escape, but soon finds herself practically engulfed by the size difference.
"Nice to know... you like me, after all...!" she wheezes with what breath she can manage, squirming in his hold. "Hugging... contest... it is, then..."
With that, she starts to writhe, her arms wrenching and thrashing as she tries to free them and smack her elbows against the minotaur, simultaneously trying to slither her way up against him so that she can tighten her tail's grip further - possibly even getting a few shots on the bull's chin or snout, if she can pull herself high enough. The focus, though, is on sucking as much bull-man essence as she can, trying to turn his stolen strength against him.
COMBATSYS: Minotaur-34 Toughs Out Lyraelle's Royal Prerogative - Covetous Clutch!
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Lyraelle 0/-------/--<<<<<|====---\-------\0 Minotaur-34
The little devil's struggles to break free from the minotaur's powerful grip are only mildly successful. She wiggles one arm loose, delivering a handful of strained strikes and kicks from her dangling legs into the bull's chest but the big brute is built like an ox - literally - and her attacks seem to do almost nothing to faze the monster. If anything, her pitiful struggles only make his grin widen into something particularly unpleasant.
The writhing tail around his neck seems to make some headway, at least. She can feel the strength leeching out of the mountainous dark stalker with every passing moment, his supernatural vitality waning. There's even a slight lessening of the pressure against her body as his arms begin to tire, deprived of the life energy sustaining their incredible power.
The bull notices it too. He lets out a snort of annoyance, blasting Lyraelle right in the face with the worst case of bad breath she's likely ever experienced along with several unpleasant spatters of goopy snot. He starts to try and pull her free, his thick neck muscles bulging with effort as he twists back and forth to escape the tail's choke hold. However, without using one of his hands to pull the vile noose away, he has little luck.
"Thou... grrr... wish to taste of my strength, little leech?"
The creature's muscles suddenly bulge with renewed strength, his grip growing tight and painful around the succubus once more. The life energy that she had though sapped away surges forth from deep within his soul, some hidden reserve of determination flooding the minotaur's body with powerful vigor. He turns in place, angling himself towards the wall of the nearest building. His grin widens and he holds on tight, shifting his grip so that his arms are wrapped around Lyraelle's waist, exposing the majority of her body to danger.
"Then drink deeply, for thou shall need it to survive! Grraaaagh!"
The beast lets out a braying bellow as it takes off a dead sprint, charing wildy directly into the building. The concrete barrier rushes up to meet the two entwined dark stalkers, offering little resistance to the freight train of horn and muscle that comes crashing into it. Barely even seeming to slow down, the minotaur turns to the side, aiming again for another wall and as before it crumples like wet paper before the juggernaught's thunderous charge. Whether or not the the demon queen proves to be quite as sturdy may be a question she wishes to avoid.
COMBATSYS: Lyraelle blocks Minotaur-34's Trample.
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Lyraelle 0/-------/<<<<<<<|======-\-------\0 Minotaur-34
With each moment that Lyraelle's tail remains tied around the minotaur's throat, the bull-man's grip eases and the Demon Queen's resistance increases, and each breath she takes is a little more full than the last as the pressure on her ribs relents bit by bit. Finally, she takes in a nice, deep breath, chest swelling as air fills her lungs - just in time to get a faceful of bull breath and snot.
As her free hand stops flailing to wipe away the mucus from her face and hair, the demoness' hips surge back against the beast with renewed vigor in an ambitious attempt to satisfy two competing urges: one to escape, and one to consume as much of the minotaur's primal power as she can handle.
"Well, yeah, I do."
It seems that she's finding much more success in the latter - in fact, her green eyes open wide as, seemingly from nowhere, she suddenly finds herself metaphorically drowning in the energy she was trying to drink. Her hands move to the minotaur's arms as he shifts his grip on her and takes hold of her waist, once again trying to pry them away, but even her borrowed strength isn't enough to match the minotaur's resurgent might. In desperation, she relinquishes the grip of her tail, freeing her butt to wiggle against her captor in an attempt to escape.
As she realises that she won't be able to free herself in time to avoid the impact with the first wall, Lyraelle closes her eyes. At the last second, her wings wrench themselves free, wrapping over her face and torso, only her horns sticking out to take the brunt of the impact as they collide with the concrete. Dust and debris covered the bat-like appendages as the bull drives her through wall after wall.
After they've burst through the second barrier, the wings open, revealing the coughing and dazed, but mostly unbroken Demon Queen underneath, arms now trapped under the bull's, a pile of fine grey powder atop her pink head. She shakes it loose, pulling a face.
"Tastes pretty good, actually," she says as she in kicks her purple boots up, then slams them back down, attempting to use both the bull-man's grip around her and a burst of his stolen strength to throw herself forward; if she succeeds, the minotaur should go head-first over her to slam into the floor of the building's interior.
COMBATSYS: Lyraelle successfully hits Minotaur-34 with Power Throw.
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Lyraelle 1/-------/=======|=======\=------\1 Minotaur-34
The first couple of walls crumble like sandstone under the bulk of minotaur's stampede but he doesn't seem satisfied with that. Trumpeting his pain and outrage, he continues his crazed charge towards the next barricade, apparently unaware of the fact that his foe has managed to slip free of his grasp. All he cares about is smashing the demoness against the stone, grinding her to pieces one bone-rattling impact at a time.
The sudden torque on his midsection as the succubus plants her heels into his gut catches the beast off guard. He lets out a grunt of surprise, attempting to twist to the side to avoid being tripped up by the unexpected force. His reaction is too late. One of his hooves lands at an awkward angle and the titan goes tumbling to the ground, crashing face-first into into a pile of cubicles. Bits of shattered desk and computer fly in all directions, showing the room with debris amdist a horrendously loud clatter.
A groan of pain rumbles out from beneath the pile of detrius a few seconds later. A thick arm emerges into view first, pushing aside several hundred pounds of wood and metal. Slowly, the minotaur excavates himself from the mess, rising to his feet with a dazed look. He shakes his head from side to side as if trying to slough off the disorientation but his expression remains mildly unfocused when he turns to glower at Lyraelle again.
"This changes nothing..." he growls, taking a staggering step forward. "Your kind... arrogant... twisted...! Thou shalt... not escape my wrath...!"
The giant bullman's face twists with fresh rage, his muscles rippling with raw power, dispelling any notion that he is no longer a threat. He stamps at the ground, hooves kicking up rubble and dust, lowering him head as he hunches over to bring the long curved horns to bear as if aiming a gun. He champs at the air, continuining to ramble in broken sentences, cursing the demon and those like her incoherently as he works himself up into a frenzy.
When the pot of his rage finally begins to boil over, the minotaur lets out the most ear-splitting roar yet, rattling the windows of the building and blasting chunks of plaster from the roof tiling with its ferocity. Lunging into motion, he charges at Lyraelle with complete abandon, aiming to skewer her on those wicked horns or simply run her right over and stomp her into a dark wet smear on the floor.
COMBATSYS: Lyraelle dodges Minotaur-34's Enrage.
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Lyraelle 1/-----==/=======|===----\-------\0 Minotaur-34
As the bull-man is flung loose from behind her, a stumble leaves Lyraelle lying on her knees and elbows. She grimaces sympathetically as the minotaur crashes into the computers and cubicles, before slowly grinning. She props her chin up on her hands, taking a moment to breathe and relax, rolling her shoulders and stretching her wings while the bull-man regains his footing.
"C'mon, don't tell me this isn't way more fun than chasing some lame businessman and his family around," she replies to his bellowing before sliding her knees up and shifting into a feline crouch, tail wagging in the air behind her like that of a cat as the minotaur works himself up into a froth.
When the bull finally comes charging her way, the she-demon coils, then at the last moment, springs straight up with inhuman speed, leaping above the goring horns and crashing through the ceiling, her own horns snapping the overhead panel into two halves that clatter to the floor as Lyraelle disappears between the floors of the building.
"I told you we'd play hide and go seek, didn't I?~"
The Demon Queen's voice is muffled, making it difficult to pinpoint where exactly it's coming from in the ceiling, but it's still clearly audible. A few seconds later, a spiked heel smashes through another ceiling panel down an aisle from where the minotaur has ended up, followed by the rest of the demoness. Another infernal green whip has already formed in her hand by the time that she hits the ground feet-first, and she twists her body, winding up onto one foot and swinging the whip around over her head so that it forms a supernatural lasso before stepping forward and throwing it at the bovine warrior.
If the demonic cowgirl-wannabe manages to capture the minotaur, she'll pull him down and drag him into reach of her heels before stamping one of them down on his torso to pin him to the floor. Then, she'll unleash the mystical weapon back into the form of a whip before lashing the minotaur with it over and over again.
COMBATSYS: Minotaur-34 fails to interrupt Royal Reprimand - Lashes to Ashes from Lyraelle with Pound.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Minotaur-34 can no longer fight.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ <
The minotaur is beyond words now. He tears through the office buildings like a bull in a china shop, shredding dozens of cubicles and their contents, rendering them into little more than bits of pale colored confetti that fly out in his wake as if he were a zamboni plowing through snowdrifts. He doesn't even seem to register that the demonette has managed to avoid his attack. Instead, he simply roars as he tears through another wall, sending fresh tremors through the building's foundation.
The noisy reemergence of the succubus from her hiding spot in the ceiling draws the creature's attention. His head whips to the side, zeroing in on the sound. Nostrils flaring, he turns towards the small devil and hurls himself at her even as she brings her flaming whip to bear once again, too far gone into his berserker rampage to care about the danger.
The lasso settles neatly around the bull's neck as he charges and the massive overhead smash that he had been about to bring down on Lyraelle goes wide as she jerks the lash to the side, yanking him slightly off course. It's enough to trip the massive beast up again and he repeats his earlier faceplant, skidding several feet across the cheap carpet.
Before he can regain his senses, the whip grows taut around his neck, choking out a surprised gurgle as the minotaur is dragged over to his tormentor's side. Her stripper boot comes down on his burned and battered chest, pinning the beast in place. He fumbles weakly in her direction, trying to grab hold of the she-devil even in his weakened state but the barrage of fiery lashes that rain down on him drive what little fight he has left right out.
With a weary sigh, the titan slumps to the floor, his head lolling to one side with the mouth open, a thick black tongue limply drooling spittle onto the floor.
As the fight is whipped out of the beastman, Lyraelle's mouth is slightly agape, and her expression shifts from focused to smiling to impassive and somewhat weary. Her body is glistening with sweat from the heat of the flame, and she raises her left arm to wipe her brow as her right drops to her side limply, the whip disappearing from existence. Her mouth remains open for a few seconds as she catches her breath before closing, her lips perking up into a self-satisfied smirk.
Reaching up, Lyraelle plucks the small camera she's been using to record her adventure in the first person from next to her horn and turns it around between two fingers, holding it up at an angle so that it can capture her face and the minotaur beneath her boot in the background. She raises her free hand to make a V next to her eye and winks for the camera. Somewhere on the internet, a GIF is already in the works.
Tucking the deactivated camera back into place, the pink-haired devil lifts her heel off of the minotaur's chest and drops her backside onto the toppled titan's torso unceremoniously, sitting sideways with her feet on the floor and leaning back on her hands. Her tail slithers back around the bull-man's throat, though she shows restraint from throttling or sapping the minotaur any further for the moment.
"So, now that that's out of the way, why don't you tell me a little about yourself? Like, what kinds of things should a prospective employer know about you?"
COMBATSYS: Lyraelle has ended the fight here.
The sound of the minotaur's ragged breathing fills the air, his wide chest heaving up and down like a set of bellows pumping wind into a forge. For several seconds there isn't an answer given to her question and it starts to seem as if the beast has been rendered unconscious by the combination of intense rage and having his life force sucked away. Eventually, he starts to stir, the massive bovine head tilting towards her with a pained slowness. His big black eyes narrow as he regards the sucubus with obvious distaste.
"Thou art not content with victory? Must thou mock me further to slake thy lust for wickedness?"
He shakes his head wearily, closing his eyes as he lets it fall to rest against the carpet. His voice sounds resigned and bitter as he speaks.
"Nay. I shall not be tormented by thee any longer. I hath failed the Dragon, proven myself weak and unfit for the world she wishes to create. Strike me down, lest I suffer the fate of returning to her side as a disgrace."
"Who's mocking, here? I don't mock people after I beat them. That's petty."
The Demon Queen drapes one of her legs over the other as she lounges at the minotaur's expense. Her eyes wander over the fallen beast, a lazy sense of admiration in them in spite of her own victory.
"Trust me, losing to me isn't on you being weak. You were just unfortunate to run into someone with my power level. Sometimes, I surprise myself."
She raises one hand and turns her eyes to her gloved fingers as she starts rubbing bits of dirt and drywall off of them, restoring the shine of the purple handwear.
"To be honest, I'm kind of jealous. I may have all this power, a royal bloodline, /and/ good looks - I mean, I'm blessed, right? - but I don't have any minions that are /nearly/ as badass as you. Do you think your Dragon would be up for showing me where she gets her minions from? Obviously, she's got some kind of bulk deal going on. Not to mention numbers."
Lyraelle looks over to the minotaur's face. "I'm not gonna finish you off, by the way. I don't get anything out of that. The way I see it, you can either take me to your leader, you can work for me, or I can see who else would be interested in me turning you over to them."
Lyraelle has an uncanny knack for making inappropriately sweet smiles appear sincere; she puts this on display now.
The minotaur listens quitely, offering only a dismissive grunt in reply to her narcissitic humble brags. Only after she has given him the ultimatum do his eyes slide open once more, his bulbous gaze focusing on her again. He regards the demon in silence for a moment, mulling over the choice in his mind.
He has no intention of working for this creature, regardless of whatever mercy she may chose to show him. For all he knows, she could simply be acting kind in an attempt to mislead him into lowering his guard, ready to drive the blade into his back to maximize the suffering and humilation she inflicts with the killing blow. If she truly has no intent to slay him then the better option would be to return to the Dragon's side. Disgraced as he may be, he may yet serve the master in some small way if she chooses to forgive his incompetance and grant him another chance.
"Thou wouldst seek an audience with my master?"
The bull considers that for another handful of seconds. He sits up, forcing the succubus to move or find herself dumped unceremoniously onto the floor, caring little for which she chooses.
"Very well. Give me thy word that thou shall attempt to do her no harm and I shall lead thee to the master's den."
The minotaur leans forward, lowering his face down to the same level as Lyraelle's. His big bushy brows knit together in a scowl as he gives her a long look.
"But I warn thee. The Dragon has little patience for fools or deceivers. You rouse her ire at your own peril."
He turns and gestures towards the city outside with one big hand as if to add emphasis to the statement.
The pink-haired hellion leaps lightly to her feet as the bull pushes up from beneath her, her tail slipping easily away and around her own waist for the moment. She turns around just in time to find herself face-to-face with the stooping man-bull, and her expression goes wide-eyed and neutral for a moment as he gives his warning.
"Fair enough. I promise I won't try to hurt your master," she says, raising her right hand with thumb and pinky together in a salute to the Dragon's minion. "Scout's honour."
She smiles faintly.
"Why don't you start walking that way, and I'll follow up above?" she suggests, pointing a finger upward indicatively. "That way we don't look like we know each other. Till we get there, obviously. Then you can tell the Dragon what great friends we are."
The minotaur remains close for an unnecessary amount of time, glaring at the demon. He clearly has no love for her kind and the beating that she gave him obviously didn't do anything to change that. Finally, he nods and rises to his hooves, thundering out through the ruined walls towards the street.
The beast pauses to reclaim his weapon, resting the axe on one broad shoulder. As he does so, his gaze drifts over to the small building with the bent door. Through the cracks in the frame he spies the silhouette of one of the humans, their body hunched down so as not to attract attention. The dark stalker gives the pathetic creature an annoyed snort. Fate has decreed that it shall live another day but sooner or later the weak such as it shall be culled. So it has been decreed by his master.
Tossing a glance over his shoulder at the demon, the brute turns southwards and begins to march down the street. The journey across the sizeable city on foot is a lengthy one, but he is in no hurry. Better to take his time and regain his strength. Should the 'noble' attempt to renege on her promise, he would be ready to deal with her. He finds himself almost wishing that she will do so. Perhaps by crushing the annoying woman in front of the master he might regain a hint of her favor.
With that wistful thought in mind, the creature leads Lyraelle towards their eventual goal - the Dragon's Den Casino, a shimmering jewel of shining obsidian buried in the sands of Sound Beach.
Log created on 20:18:34 04/07/2020 by Angel, and last modified on 04:25:32 04/09/2020.