Description: When one wishes to accomplish a mission, they must always expect an adversary to stand in her way. Bound by her determination to find the answers to the Ash problem, Elisabeth enters Castle Alucard on the eve of the Rosalia with a mysterious task bestowed to her upon Terumi. A dutiful ninja serves to stand in her way to accomplishing this task, and Noboru most certainly will prove to be a tougher challenge than the heiress could have anticipated. [Winner: Noboru]
Of all the things to have brought her to the estranged destination listed within the contents of her invitation, Elisabeth certainly did not expect to be swallowed up from her hotel room by a swirl of white... energy? Power?
Whatever it is, it consumes her whole, carrying her through the expanse of time and space until the soft clacking of her heels finding purchase on stone sounds around her. The arrival echoes just slightly, announcing her, and at first the heiress keeps her eyes shut in the wake of this mysterious transporting mechanism. It is only when she is able to evenly distribute her weight into the soles of her boots that she opens the deep blue pools. In front of her is a door, and when she steps through the threshold of it, she allows herself a moment to scan about the unfamiliar place in which she has come to.
The room she enters is immaculate in both detail and sheer size, with walls and floors constructed in grey cobblestone. Immediately in front of her is a quaint little table, beyond which lies a small series of steps that lead up to an upward alcove where a polished mahogany desk sits empty, adorned with a three-point candle and a stack of books.
Aside from the occasional candle sparsely lit from golden chandeliers dripping thick with wax scattered about the room, the only other light comes from the wall behind the furniture; ceiling-high stained glass shines moonlight through, casting the room in a pale-blue light. To her left sits an arrangement of windowed-cabinets, some of the doors ajar, revealing an assortment of used texts within, and even further along the wall is another gothic-style archway leading into another hallway.
Above this open annex there appears to be a walkway of sorts, and from this distance, it isn't so sure if the furthest wall contains more walls of stone or a series of bookshelves. No presence lingers up there, nor down in the area where she has appeared. This place is very obviously used, although not considerably so, for there is no recent foot traffic marked in the slight film of dust that decorates the majority of the objects here.
Where she stands is the center point of this generously-sized study, with brown-coloured patterned rock underneath her feet. Barely unmoving, the Frenchwoman takes in the entirety of her surroundings, determining that she has indeed arrived within some personal study belonging to whoever reigns over Castle Alucard.
Quite suddenly, the weight of the object within her pocket seems a little heavier, the burden of her desires and yearn for knowledge settling over her.
She is here for one reason, and one reason alone.
Damnit. The things she does for her ambitions regarding Ash.
As earlier mentioned, it appears Elisabeth remains alone here. Any sound of her shifting and walking around to look about the room echoes almost deafeningly, forcing her into acute awareness of any sudden appearances of strangers. Up the steps she climbs, into the alcove and further into the cool light of the night, the noblewoman remains alert while she vaguely scans the titles of the nearby books sprawled out over the surface of the desk.
Just what sort of place is this, anyway?
Oh, Betty. What have you gotten yourself into?
When dealing with beings as powerful as Lady Alucard, it helps to be both polite, and discrete. So it is that Noboru found himself entering the castle via one of the open balconies, taking advantage of its manifestation in the real world to gain access. Since then he and his fellow Miyama have silently prowled the halls, taking up positions where the ever-shifting halls seem most traveled.
It is either luck, fate, or a hidden touch too subtle to notice that guides Noboru through a high arch and onto the breezeway that overlooks the study, the bulky shinobi pausing to take the place in mere moments before Elizabeth steps through a ground level arch.
Standing perfectly still, the mystic allows his sense of self to drain away, personal aura bleeding into his surroundings and making room for the ambient energies of the castle itself. By the time the French woman glances up the ninja has faded into the background, his tall form registering as little more than decoration, the statue of a man in a voluminous grey robe with a heavy cowl pulled up to throw its face into shadow. There is no sense of eyes watching from the darkness of the hood, no instinctive connection to another living being.
The woman moves on, and Noboru watches with both eyes. To one, she appears as a beautiful woman with dark hair and blue eyes. Striking, but otherwise unremarkable. But to the other? To that eye she appears as a condensed coil of energies, the world around her burning in patterns of light and anti-light. And in her pocket, visible through layers of clothing and any protective charms, burns one of the relics he was sent here to find.
Taking three silent steps away from the arch, he moves to stand at the walkway's railing and gaze down at the woman investigating the desk. Allowing his sense of self to return, he grows distinct from his surroundings, fading back into normal awareness. Eyes prickle against the back of her neck just moments before he speaks, deep voice murmuring in a low rumble that none-the-less carries clearly.
"You stand at a crossroads of Fate. Choose your path, lost one."
Even with all the natural prowess, the arrival of the newcomer still eludes her entirely. However, his presence is not startling, despite the supposed seepage of his earthbound form in the secluded walkway above.
The voice echoes, capturing Elisabeth's attention effectively. Midnight pools cast their gaze upwards to find that lone figure lingering. His very essence does not speak of intimidation, however it does encompass the feeling of seriousness.
Like he's on a mission.
How utterly relatable, if she is correct.
Which, yes, she expects that she is.
Why else would she be sent on this mad delivery? There would certainly have to be some obstacles in her way in order to challenge her. While one is never so clear as to what they would encounter along their journey - and Betty is definitely no exception to that - there does have to be some anticipation for such things to occur.
Thus, this fellow is no surprise to her, regardless of if he had the desire of getting the jump on her, so to speak.
"And how may I choose?" she asks, the heel of her boot clicking against the stone lain out underneath her feet. The heiress rounds the corner of the desk so that she may descend down the nearby steps and back towards where she'd originally begun in this room. The center patterns draw her eye, though it is a peripheral glance in that direction until she stops, hovering over it once again.
"Are you here to be my obstruction? Or are you here to aid me?" Neither really makes a difference; she'd press onward regardless. However, what she isn't certain of is whether this gentleman knows of her true intentions here or not.
Serious, yet composed. Already Elizabeth has cut to the core of the figure above, his cloaked form standing with such contained stillness that the air around him seems calmed. Directing her gaze upward returns a definite sense of focus, the stranger's hidden gaze locking with hers across the distance.
And then she is moving, breaking the connection and clicking back down the steps. Commanding the space in her own way.
"Hrrrrmh." Noboru rumbles in reply, hemp-wrapped hands vanishing up his sleeves as he clasps his forearms before him. The pose is surprisingly monkish and contemplative for such a large figure, furthering the sense that he is not a simple brute.
"Surrender the artifact to me." he responds after a moment, feet making no noise upon the stone as he turns slowly to pace along the walkway, Elizabeth remaining just within his peripheral vision.
"For now, I am your obstacle. In future, I will be your aid. Though I know not what deal you have struck, the price is too high."
Cutting right to the chase, is he?
However, if there is one thing to know about Elisabeth Blanctorche, it is that if she has a goal, she does not - and will not - bend easily. If anything, she is like an obstructing boulder, serving to stand firm in her path. No manner of persuasion could force her from her position, which likely is something Ash himself could attest to.
Naturally, such stubbornness has led her to this very place, in search of her answers.
The stranger's ephemeral form lingers just within her peripherals, just /slightly/ out of sight. Guarded, the heiress moves when he does, following the distant shadow with a keen eye. Should this man prove to be an obstacle, as he says he will be, then she must keep her wits about her. Not get startled by sudden movement.
If he is to threaten her at any point, then preparation is key. Anticipating any move, like a spider watching her prey.
Or, even perhaps, the other way around, in this scenario.
"I'm afraid I cannot do that," she says firmly, withholding the mild surprise daring to glean over her features. Of course there'd be someone here aware of the object she carries, but it remains to be a mystery who this person works for. It doesn't matter, either way. If he is to stand between herself and her destination, she will prove herself to be a rather troublesome target in the way of convincing.
"The bargain I have struck is none of your concern. Stand aside." The haughty noblewoman rests a hand at the hilt of her crop, ready to draw if need be. "I will not ask you twice."
"This choice is not unexpected." comes the shadowed man's unruffled response, nothing about the words seeming derisive or even upset. "It is respected, but not welcomed."
Turning once more to gaze down upon the proud woman, the stoic shinobi bows slightly at the waste, features remaining concealed within the shadowed depths of his hood. Only once he has straightened does he slides his hands free of either sleeve, right fist lifting to hover before his face, something about his posture suggesting closed eyes.
A slow breath is drawn in. Released.
"I am Noboru Miyama," he informs her calmly, hemp wraps creaking with the force of his flexing fist, "A second request is unnecessary."
The force of his clinch causes every knuckle to crack, posture poised and utterly still for just over half a moment. Then, moving with surprising speed for such a large figure, he launches himself up and over the railing, robe flaring out around him as he descends toward her with a slow forward flip.
It is only once he is nearly upon her that Elizabeth might notice the robe seems oddly lose, empty cloth billowing out in a wide fan before the shinobi himself comes hurtling through it, right foot scything down in a descending axe kick toward the top of her skull. There is enough power behind the single strike to shatter the tile beneath her boots if she avoids it, none of the Iron Mystic's bulk seeming for show.
COMBATSYS: Noboru has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Elisabeth has joined the fight here.
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Elisabeth 0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0 Noboru
COMBATSYS: Noboru successfully hits Elisabeth with Cascade.
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Elisabeth 0/-------/---====|=======\=------\1 Noboru
In spite of her efforts to sway the stranger away from her path, he is unmoving. Dissuaded entirely, in fact.
The expectation hadn't been all that high, though, simply for the fact that resistance to her goals is completely anticipated. If this person, now named Noboru, is meant to be the force attempting to stop her, then she would endeavor to barrel through head-on.
Into the air her opponent soars, high above her physical reach, and descends into a kicking motion beneath a billow of dark-cladded fabric. At first, there appears to be nothing within the cloak, a shapeless form directing it down towards her. The heiress repositions, boots scraping over stone and clicking into deep grooves meant to support her in the oncoming onslaught. She intends to stop this movement from reaching her crown, her arms bracing up above in a criss-cross motion with the hope of hooking the heel of the shinobi's foot into the divet.
However, it has been some time since Elisabeth has properly fought. Her body isn't weakened by this terribly, but this fact certainly proves to make a difference in her ability to stop this assault from raining down.
With tremendous power does the kick force its way through her joined wrist bones. Arms fly away from the impact that follows suit as the top of her skull is collided into, absolutely throwing her upper body halfwards and forcing the noblewoman briefly to her knees with a hard slam of bone against cobblestone.
Her vision dots with black speckles. A searing hot pain burns sharply across the entirety of her cranium. What is unseen due to her position is red staining along the front of her riding pants, evidence of slight abrasions to the skin underneath. Certainly there will be bruises on her kneecaps and shins tomorrow, and already she's starting this fight with a rather nasty migraine. Midnight pools glaze over, if only for a second, before she will crane her neck upwards.
tThis isn't enough to bring the Blanctorche woman into a moment of reflection or pause.
In fact, she uses the opportunity to use the rock as a catalyst that pushes her away from Noboru's general proximity, out of close range completely. The incline of her gifted boots catch, allowing her to rise up to three-quarters her usual height. Navy strands of neatly kept hair trickle over her beautiful features and are simply brushed back into place by deft fingers.
Ignoring the splitting headache nagging at her temples, Elisabeth refocuses so that the specks dissipate from her sight, granting her an opening to respond with rapidity. The arm corresponding to the very same hand that just took away physical obstructions from her vision moves to dart out. On the down facing motion, her fingertips glitter with dazzling sparkles of white light, dancing up the length of her forearm as she signals upwards.
As her arm raises, the light becomes all that more brilliant and potentially blinding, and when her limb has reached about mid-eye level does it shoot out into the air. The technique seems slow to describe, but in actuality, her actions appear as a blur in their quickness.
The study is ignited by this luminous brightness as it soars across, aiming for the ninja's midsection. It shimmers as it hones in on its target, leaving a trail of shining radiance in its wake.
COMBATSYS: Elisabeth successfully hits Noboru with Grand Etincelles.
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Elisabeth 0/-------/-======|=======\=------\1 Noboru
Her recovery is quick.
Snapping his right hand out to catch his abandoned outer robe before it finishes fluttering to the floor, Noboru pulls backward out of his kick at nearly the same time she sways back onto her feet, both of them creating distance for the other. That momentary pause to blink her eyes and fix her hair is matched by the Shinobi flaring the robe out with a flick of his wrist, before swirling the heavy cloth up onto his broad shoulders like a cape. The majority of the garment is left to drape down over his right side, concealing that arm and half of his chest.
Mismatched eyes meet Elisabeth's across the short distance, the right a much lighter shade of ice blue while the left is fogged over white, damaged seemingly beyond repair. The glance is a testing one, a gauge to insure her spirit is willing to meet the challenge that she has insisted upon. And indeed, with that single flash of contact the Mystic learns everything he needs to know.
Though her body may falter, her soul never will.
Further speculation is interrupted by the flash of energy sparking within her, the Shinobi having a fractional advanced warning before her hand blurs through the down and up gesture, sending a bolt of shimmering power flashing toward him like a mystical bullet.
A bullet which he almost manages to catch.
Left hand coming up in a blur, he closes calloused fingers around empty air just behind the projectile, energy smashing into his gut with a WUMF of impact that sets his hair and makeshift cloak to fluttering, muscular form hunching forward around the blow as a quiet grunt is forced from beneath his tattered silk mask.
But if Elisabeth expected the attack to slow him down, she is disappointed. Stepping forward through the impact, he closes the distance between them with two smooth steps, left hand dropping to hang loosely at his side while is body straightens, shrugging off the worst of the hit. As he walks small tears across the front of his robe flutter open and closed, revealing glimpses of fair skin well-weathered by time in the elements, crossed with old scars and stretched taught over muscles like stone. His cool blue eye drops from her face to her body, and while a less focused man might be accused of checking her out, the cool indifference of his stare holds no greedy passion.
All at once his right hand whips up from beneath the sheltering drape of the cape, scarred knuckles passing over his gaze in a stepping hook aimed to hammer squarely home against one aristocratic cheek and set her once more off balance.
COMBATSYS: Elisabeth fails to interrupt Medium Punch from Noboru with Feiderite.
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Elisabeth 1/-------/=======|=======\==-----\1 Noboru
Well, you can be certain that there had been no expectations with this type of attack aside from it hitting quickly, which it does. That fact alone pleases the noblewoman, although no indication of such comes through on her features.
If anything, she sinks deeper into a defensive stance, hand returning to her side. Hovering over her most precious crop. Preparing.
The shinobi recovers quickly, which is not at all unexpected. He struts towards her, all masculine form with the odd bit of curious glimpses to behold. In this instance, she pays very little mind to their presence, finding them to be something of a distraction. If a detail such as this is not important to her mission, she will not hone in on it. As such, with the knowledge of the burden she carries and the greater desire to unearth the uglies regarding the person she cares most for, Elisabeth stands unwavering before her opponent.
Even in his steady approach.
The cloak shifts, indicating movement, which deep pools of midnight blue catch sight of. A punch can easily be dodged, but the Frenchwoman endeavors to stand sharp and land another blow.
Dominant hand raising, she attempts to intervene the fist by way of a blocking motion that would lend to the momentum required to extend her palm and swiftly whap it against Noboru's cheek. However, the reason she fails to do this is rather simple, and quite the oversight on her part.
On occasion, the hem of her sleeve gets caught on the hilt of her crop, which honestly shouldn't happen. It is a well-used item, therefore the leather binding at the handle sometimes gets loose and requires fastening. With no means of doing so in the midst of a battle, and to her misfortune, the very thing I have just described happens: her sleeve catches on the crop handle, causing her to hesitate...
And unable to interject her hand in against the incoming punch.
As such, Elisabeth's cheek is struck. Teetering back on her heels, she stumbles with a disgruntled noise, as a slight sting burns over her cheekbone. A cut from the impact, perhaps from the knuckles themselves, embeds into her fair skin, tainting it with a crimson smear that smudges up near the corner of her eye.
A few short paces away she manages to find purchase on the stone once more. Fiercely, her irises upturn towards her adversary, glowing with controlled determination and annoyance. Blood trickles like a slow teardrop down her face, but it is simply wiped away by the pads of her two forefingers.
"Must you stand in my way?" Her voice isn't shrill nor impatient, but rather a firm disposition that should communicate her headstrong desire to accomplish her goal. "What I must do is of greater importance than you may even realise."
Though the heiress knows nothing about her ragged challenger, the Iron Mystic is known among the ninja clans for the amount of force he can put behind a single punch. That she has taken two direct hits from the brute, both two the head, and remains on her feet is testimant to her strength. That she continues to glare at him is testament to her spirit.
Scarred hand dropping to his side, Noboru shrugs his makeshift cape forward to cover it once more, slow advance halting long enough for Lady Elisabeth to regain her balance. Rather rudely, the cool blue of his good eye hasn't lifted past the level of her chest, though even a moment's thought would make it clear that isn't the true target of his gaze. Good eye focused on her center mass, he keeps all of her limbs and her face in his peripheral, watching every part of her for signs of movement. Or that is what an experienced fighter might think. In truth it's only half of the answer, the other half being that with every shift of emotion and intent his blank white eye tracks the flicker of energies within her, gazing deep into her soul as it burns bright in defiance.
"Elisabeth Blanctorche." he replies, voice the distant rumble of falling stones, eye as coolly impassive as hers is impassioned. "Your purpose is not wholly unknown to me. It is likely that we will be allies in future. But on this day, you have gambled with far more lives than your own for a simple, short cut."
Having given the raven-haired beauty her moment, the hulking shinobi continues his forward stalk. Deceptively calm and measured, the brute has no tells that hint from where his next attack might come, or when it might be. He remains unsettlingly detached, shifting effortlessly from impassive pacing to sudden violent action with nothing between.
"If you refuse to do what you know to be right, then it falls to me to be your conscience."
In mid step the Mystic digs his back foot into the tile, toes cracking the material, and launches himself forward in a full sprint, the final three meters that separated them vanishing in a blink. All at once she has a large, potentially homeless ninja right up in her business, cape and hair fluttering out behind him as his right fist blurs up a second time, knuckles extended in a half-fist as hard as iron. Twisting his entire body behind the blow, he aims to plant his knuckles squarely in the center of Elisabeth's chest; to strike her sternum with enough force to send vibrations rippling throughout her skeletal system.
COMBATSYS: Noboru successfully hits Elisabeth with Fault Line.
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Elisabeth 1/----===/=======|=======\==-----\1 Noboru
In truth, Elisabeth is not out to cause mass destruction in order to obtain her goals. Rather, it is just an unfortunate flaw of hers to be incredibly nosy and, in some ways, utterly self-serving.
It is of great belief to her that in her conducting this mission, she will be of help. Through sticking her nose in places she ought not to, perhaps Ash would be saved...
Knowing he is Saiki... or maybe, that Saiki is him...
The whole scenario intertwines with her family's role in this world: to eradicate the calamity that is The God Who Rules Time. Yet there is conflict twisting within the heiress. What truths Terumi unveiled to her serves to disturb her enough to meddle in the affairs Crimson so desperately has been keeping from her, out of what she deems to be as caring for him.
Maybe because Ash knows she'd do this. Why wouldn't he? If there is anyone in this world who would understand the intricacies of the Blanctorche woman, it is him.
Standing idle is not in her nature when it comes to the flippant flamewielder. It has yet crossed her mind that she may be getting involved in something darker than she hopes for, but at the end of the day, she needs answers. The riddles must be solved, almost regardless of the means.
Elisabeth remains rooted, her midnight irises alight with defiance that likely radiates from within. This shinobi stands in her way, speaking mostly nonsense, yet she does pause a moment to consider his implication.
The harm unto others he speaks of seems to be referenced as this large measure beyond her current comprehension. Clearly, he is privy to something she is not, regarding this item she carries, and that piques her curiosity.
Just what is it she is to be delivering here?
So wholly focused on the words Noboru says, she barely gains a chance to compose herself enough for what comes next. A shame she is so distracted, for it is possible she could deflect the incoming attack properly. Instead, though, her forearms come up rather lamely to brace her chest, yet the sheer force of the fist breaks through her defense.
Right into her sternum does his fist fly, smacking clear against the bone and forcing the air from her lungs as she is sent stumbling backwards. The force of which this attack hits her is enough to send her backwards and onto the stone, the impact of which would certainly leave a smattering of bruises all up her back. The point of her elbow bone jabs right into cobblestone, sending a fierce shooting pain all throughout the corresponding limb. Despite being severely winded, Elisabeth sucks in a tight breath and clutches onto her arm in an attempt to suppress the tingling sensation that ignites her veins.
The Frenchwoman takes another collection of moments to gather her wits, however it is most clear to her that as she moves to get to her feet, her body is not responding as keenly as she would like. Still, her spirit radiates, and she brings herself to a stand, with batterings and bruises to boot. She gazes intently at her opponent, allowing herself a split second to speak, whilst she summons the internal power within that stems from her bloodline.
"You speak as if you know what this object is. Tell me what you know! Just what are you implying when you say that this /thing/ is a shortcut?!"
Fair be it from her to admit that she has no clue what she's doing or is uncertain about something at all. Go figure.
Anyways, regardless if he chooses to respond immediately, she will send herself into a jolting run. With heels clicking loudly on the stone, the slender woman encloses in on the ninja's personal space and would attempt to grab the scruff of his cloak. That center mass he sees within would cycle with brilliant luminous energy as her chi is called forth, lighting up and shooting along her forearm as she further aims to toss him airborne. That dazzling chi would then follow closely, dislodging from her palm to fire up into Noboru's torso and knocking him away from her altogether.
COMBATSYS: Noboru interrupts Mistral from Elisabeth with Calm the Storm EX.
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Elisabeth 1/-----==/=======|======-\-------\0 Noboru
Dash, punch, and relax. As abruptly as the blow lands, the ninja steps out of the strike and straightens to observe. Hair and cape settling back around him, he gazes down through a tangle of golden-brown, observing Elisabeth's struggles both external and internal.
Not broken, but tempered. Perhaps willing to listen?
Two quiet steps backward give the heiress plenty of extra space, nearly five meters separating them by the time she levers herself once more to her feet. As ever her living obstacle is cool in the face of her passion, an inscrutable wall that bars her from answers she thinks she needs.
Hemp-wrapped hands lifting to form a circular symbol with fingers and thumbs, he draws in one long, slow breath. Eyes drifting closed, he flares his fingers outward in a fluid motion, hands following to sweep through the air in an expanding circle until 'CRACK!' Breath huffing out in an explosive gust, he brings his hands together with enough force to set his hair and clothes to fluttering, palms pressed before his chest.
"Hrrm." is Noboru's only verbal response, offering a softly rumbling backdrop to the staccato click of her heels. She is nearly upon him by the time his eyes drift open, the right as deep and placid as a mountain pond.
Completely unmoved, the Mystic allows one delicate hand to tangle in his cape before taking a step forward, shrugging the garment off to be flung skyward without him. The rising palm of energy that was meant to blast him out of the air instead collides with his side, the glancing blast of energy rebounding off of hardened ribs and tearing a jagged swath through the side of his robe. And yet, despite the pain and fury of it, he steps calmly through and unfolds his hands, right palm lashing out to strike her once in center mass.
Compared to the power of his fist or heel, the palm strike seems to hold no power at all. A comparatively light thump that can be felt, but only just. And yet, even after his hand has withdrawn she can feel the vibration of it reverberating through her body. Waves of discordant force clash against one another as the odd quivering in her gut grows, threatening to disrupt her natural energy channels even as it robs her muscles of strength, growing from an odd quiver to an ache, then a pain that quickly spreads through the entirety of her body.
Stepping back, Noboru folds his hands before his middle and observes, bad eye seeming to gleam with reflected moonlight.
"I do not know what deal you have made," Noboru murmurs calmly, "But I am almost certain with whom. Your obsession grants you strength, and makes you predictable. What deal you would strike must be in pursuit of your singular goal."
Head turning slightly, he fixes her with the human eye rather than the spiritual, no forgiveness visible within it.
"My clan suspects the artifact you carry is meant to disrupt the natural protections of this place. We do not yet understand how, but the depth of horrors contained within these walls force us to act. You will not be allowed to release them upon the world for a hastening of your quest."
The one thing Elisabeth had been imparted with by her parents in her youth was the knowledge and understanding that sometimes, missions must deviate or be adjusted based on their circumstances.
In spite of this advice, it has always been her belief that a goal can be completed, it just requires the correct angle. The results may not come in the way she wants, or even expects them to. It can even appear as a set-back.
Perhaps, in being a first-hand witness to the failure of her attack, this is one of those moments.
Even if this is the case, the heiresses' eyes grow wide as moons as she beholds the cloak fluttering away instead of the person contained within. Noboru still remains rooted in front of her, wholly revealed to her without the shroud of the low-hanging fabric he'd been adorned in only seconds ago.
And then, there is a palm strike to her sternum. Simple in nature, but the result of it is anything but.
Reverberating through her core, the assault blasts into her. It vibrates her spine, aching her limbs from the residual impact. The noblewoman stumbles back, her muscles sapping themselves of her strength. Her backside lightly collides with the nearby table, seated just by the steps up to the mid-level part of the study. Aches rob her of her overall sense of balance, further throwing her so that she must rely on the table itself to keep her standing.
In truth, Elisabeth is certainly not the type to allow her opponents the last move, but she also recognises when she is out of her depth. The shinobi has barely received a scratch, which potentially speaks volumes about his stature. Maybe, like the majority of her planning around achieving her goals, this encounter needs to be viewed from a different perspective...
"The purpose that I strive for would eradicate all living beings, should this calamity be unleashed upon the world, which is far less preferential compared to some wards that exist within this castle." Her firm tenor speaks out with soft echoes bouncing from the walls.
Honestly, Elisabeth doesn't wish to harm anyone innocent in the pursuit of her goals. With how gravely personal the mission has become, what with Ash being Saiki, there is an emotional connotation to it now that certainly did not exist in its entirety before. A sentimental desire that seems to be dictating her every move, clouding some of her more logical judgement, and unfortunately, she is not quite able to see this just yet.
"I will not sit by idly and wait for this to happen. If you want this object, then you must take it from me!" Using the table as a momentous force, the Frenchwoman blinks out of sight. Her form disappears entirely, encased in invisible energy that catapults her towards the ninja. She would reappear squarely below his chin, in which her crop would be brought right from her hip into her torso. Using the butt of the self-declared weapon, she aims it right for the underside of his jaw in an uppercut motion. The impact of it would feel like a slight gale brushing up against him, enough to at least stagger him back.
But, to her misfortune, this motion causes the artefact to shift from her pocket. Completely dislodged, it flies from it's confinement and out onto the stone, a subtle 'click' as its form collides then eventually rolls to a stop some short feet away. Elisabeth herself would rock back and attempt to dive for the object, but whether she will be successful or not is yet to be determined...
COMBATSYS: Elisabeth can no longer fight.
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COMBATSYS: Noboru blocks Elisabeth's Coup de Vent.
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Despite the passion with which the Noblewoman speaks, then shouts, the ragged mystic does not blink, nor does he yield. Without the outer robe to distract he stands fully revealed to her, scarred, worn, but as solid as a weather-beaten boulder.
A swirl of chill wind blasts past the shinobi's face, tugging playfully at his hair and flapping the sleeve of his loose under robe. Right hand poised beneath his chin, he gazes down past his hardened fingers, past the butt of the riding crop caught within them, and into the pale face of his driven challenger.
"Those people and events that would end our world are as a great tree, limbs reaching toward destruction."
Hand having caught not only the crop, but the fingers gripping it, he uses the hold to keep her in place, rooting her to the spot as she attempts to dive away. His grip is not fierce, but in her state it is next to unbreakable.
"We are but two gardeners tasked with pruning this tree."
Applying light but irresistible pressure, the Mystic guides Elisabeth backwards across the floor, supporting as much as containing her on their way back to the table. A slight forward stoop and a reach past her with his free hand allows him to pull a chair out for the Heiress, easing her firmly down upon it before releasing his grip.
"There are many branches, and few gardeners. But when the time is right, I will be there to aid you. In this moment, I must prune the branches you have helped to grow."
A final glance down at the woman reveals the seals settling upon her, a temporary blocking of her natural energies that will leave her weak, shaky, and a bit upset to her stomach for the next few minutes. After that, well, hopefully she has had time to think, because there will be nothing holding her back.
Turning away, Noboru paces calmly over to the fallen bag and stoops to scoop it up, palming it in one large hand as he gazes through the material, through the wards, and deep into the heart of the object. Energies swirling within his spiritual sight, he gauges that this is, in fact, what he has come for. Something of this complexity and subtlety could only come from the mind of a deceiver.
Tucking the bag away beneath his inner robe, the ragged man retrieves the outer from the floor and sweeps it around his shoulders with a simple flourish, vanishing into obscurity beneath the deep cowl as he turns to leave.
"Good luck, Ms. Blanctorche."
Log created on 19:04:03 06/21/2021 by Elisabeth, and last modified on 11:26:55 07/21/2021.