Springtide Rosalia 2021 - Rosalia #18) The Hunt is On

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Description: While wandering this strange place, Maki encounters a strange centaur which seems to have a desire to destroy the kunoichi! Will The Huntsman catch his prey? Or will Maki prove that might makes right? (WINNER: Maki)

The candles of the Royal Stables gutter and flicker as the sudden influx of wind and air cause them to waver and dance--whatever entrance that's been opened to this place has not gone unnoticed. There is a clattering of hooves as at sounds like one of the horses is loose, from somewhere far down the corridor of the expansive stable area--which seems like it goes on forever. However as the clattering of hooves get closer and closer, the clicking and clacking of armor joins it, creating a torrent of noise in what is otherwise an enclosed space--it's like listening to a train coming down the concourse of an indoor shopping center--until finally from out of the darkness emerges what looks like an armor-clad white stallion.

...However there is something wrong with this picture, as the white mane and long snout of a horse does not greet thee--rather the armored torso of a man rises up from the front of the beast's body, fully decked out in armor and a horned helmet, holding what looks like a spear.

The candles dance and gutter as the sudden burst of wind stops.

"Give me goons in Metro City and freaks who wield weird weapons and whatnot, and I'm perfectly fine with it," Maki comments to herself as she wanders through the area with a scowl on her face. "Put me in wherever the hell I am and I'm feeling like I don't belong here." Yes, the portal opened, but Maki was reluctant to go at first, until some kind of unseen power dragged her in and brought her to this strange place.

For now, Maki's taken to wandering the whole place in hopes of getting information on where she is and possibly a way out. She's on her way into the stables and already her sixth sense is tingling. Keeping her trusty tonfa gripped in one hand, her eyes dart from side to side as if she's expecting some kind of strange freak to jump out and attack her.

And then, something does happen. Maki adopts a defensive stance and squeezes her eyes shut as she begins to freak out genuinely. "Why did I ever come here?" She screams as if some unseen person were to hear her.

When all is said and done, Maki looks again and spots something that is definitely not human. All right, so it's part-human, but definitely not full human. "What the hell?!" Maki exclaims, her eyes widening for a moment before narrowing as she scowls. "Who are you and what do you want?"

"I am The Huntsman," the creature rumbles, it's voice sounding deep, but also as if it has a strange echoing effect to it's voice--it's not natural, and quite possibly ghostly, in some manner. There is a clicking and clopping of metal-shod hooves as the creature moves just a few steps closer and the end of the large pole-axe meets the ground with a metallic thud.

"The banquet is on, but it would appear I have not been forgotten, as the mistress has deemed to send me some... entertainment," the centaur knight lifts the huge bladed polearm, gesturing to Maki.

"These stables are currently locked... you will have to defeat me, if you wish to leave here..." the large armored centaur hefts the polearm now with both hands, taking a few steps backwards--and yes, horses can do that, if they have need to.

COMBATSYS: The Huntsman has started a fight here on the right meter side.

                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                  |-------\-------\0     The Huntsman

"The Huntsman?" Maki asks, tilting her head sideways with a look of disbelief on her face. "OK, I really knew I was out of my league when I came here. Now I've got to face a horse-man?" The blonde ninja rolls her eyes. "Well, looks like I'm gonna have to use my tonfa again."

With that, Maki does a few 'tricks' with her tonfa before pointing it at The Huntsman. "You may think you're pretty tough with your polearm, but this tonfa has taken out many enemies in my path!" With that, Maki steps into her standard fighting stance. "I'm not afraid of you! Let's have at it!"

COMBATSYS: Maki has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Maki             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0     The Huntsman

"Centaur, actually," the creature replies conversationally, though it appears by the sudden hefting of the poleaxe over it's head and rearing back that it might have taken the remark as some level of insult--or perhaps it just likes to get to the point. Likely Maki's willingness to do so is not unappreciated, in that regard.

"This WILL hurt," the centaur reared up and suddenly came down with the front legs kicking, the polearm swung down in a wide, scything arc that was blade first and crashing down on the Tonfa-user with a great amount of strength. It seemed like this wouldn't be the sort of thing that'd be easy to stop or block, judging by the strength and speed put into it!

COMBATSYS: The Huntsman successfully hits Maki with Horn of the Urchin Sea.

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Maki             0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0     The Huntsman

"All right, so you're a centaur," Maki says, shrugging a little. "The fact remains, though, that I won't be taken that easily!" She crouches down slightly as if attempting to prepare a dodge of some kind. Whatever this centaur is planning, Maki is not intent on becoming a part of it. That polearm looks painful, even compared to some of the weapons the Mad Gears have used. And that's definitely saying something.

"You may think you're big and bad, but let me tell you something, you're not scaring me just--" Maki is cut off abruptly as she finds herself suddenly flattened against a nearby wall by the polearm, knocking the wind out of her. Once she realizes what's happened and regained her senses, Maki focuses on catching her breath before looking at the centaur with a defiant glare. "You haven't got me just yet!" Maki yells as she struggles to free her weapon arm and then swing it with full force at the centaur.

COMBATSYS: The Huntsman blocks Maki's Genkou.

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Maki             0/-------/-----==|==-----\-------\0     The Huntsman

"Taken? Please, lets not be--" there is a SCHWING of the poleaxe as it scrapes against metal, pinning Maki against the wall, "Dramatic," he grunts, apparently seeing how long he can hold Maki there, before she reacts to him trying to crush her.

The Tonfa comes down with a clang against the creature's armored palm, apparently able to catch and stop the blow as it was absorbed into the hand--a daunting outcome, to be sure.

"I should hope not," the centaur rumbles as it finally releases, stepping back as the girl vows to not go down without a fight.

The fact she's still standing is exciting, perhaps--the poleaxe braced against the creature's front as it begins to glow with an eerie blue-green eldritch light, sucking in energy!

COMBATSYS: The Huntsman is surrounded by an aura of dread.

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Maki             0/-------/-----==|=======\-------\0     The Huntsman

Once she's freed, Maki drops down onto one knee, her opposite hand propping herself up as she glares at the centaur. "I admit that I'm not used to fighting creatures like this, but then again I never imagined such a thing could exist." Shrugging as she gets back to her feet, Maki takes a moment to size up the situation as she moves around, keeping an eye on her opponent. "I will say, though, that this will be quite an interesting story for when I get back to my dojo. Imagine, the only member of Bushin-ryu martial arts having taken on a centaur." She smiles a little, but it soon fades.

As the Centaur begins to glow in a strange manner, Maki knows something's definitely not right here. Most likely he's trying to power himself up for something that is not going to be very pleasant. That is, if her previous battles with opponents who have done similar things are any indication of what to expect here. This causes Maki to narrow her eyes again, but this time she uses this as a way of keeping an eye on the centaur to make sure she's ready for just about anything.

Key word being 'just about,' since you never know what to expect with any type of opponent... especially centaurs!

COMBATSYS: Maki focuses on her next action.

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Maki             0/-------/-----==|=======\-------\0     The Huntsman

"It is a strange universe," the creature admits, voice nearly metallic now with the surge of energy it just pulled into itself. As both fighters stand there, it seemed they're both gearing up to really get into things, noticing that Maki is taking the moment to steel herself for the next onslaught.

"Wise," the creature hefts the poleaxe again, swinging it up and overhead this time--trying to bring it down right ontop of Maki, as if to try and cleave her in two!

COMBATSYS: Maki interrupts Daisy Cutter from The Huntsman with Bushin Senpuu Kyaku.

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Maki             0/-------/--=====|=======\===----\1     The Huntsman

"Strange, yes, but I've seen stranger," Maki says as she keeps herself in her steady position, watching and waiting patiently for the next attack. Whatever the centaur is planning, Maki doesn't want to be a part of it, but when you're in a fight, you have no choice. "Sometimes, a strong mind is the best offense, you know!" She comments.

And it turns out to be true as well.

Just as the polearm comes down, Maki dashes forwards. She's hit from behind, sending her forward faster, and then causes her to tumble a couple of times before she suddenly goes into a swift spinning kick while balancing on her tonfa. "Eeeyaaaaah!" She calls out as she spins around like a whirlwind, before getting back to her feet, rubbing at her back briefly. "That hurt me more than it did you I bet," Maki comments sarcastically.

For a second, the creature doesn't seem to realize what happened--as she has dashed under the blade somehow and been scathed by it as she passed--they perhaps expected much more blood out of that than currently trickles to the floor in the blow's wake.

The centaur is hit square by the spinning kick, knocked back and with a resulting 'OOF' from the inside of the giant horned metal helmet. A frantic clattering of hooves follows as The Huntsman regains it's bearings, bringing the axe to bear again.

"Perhaps," the armored figure brings the axe to bear and begins to swing the butt of the stave towards her before switching off to the bladed end--apparently attempting some kind of staff kata against her!

COMBATSYS: Maki fails to interrupt Armed Combo from The Huntsman with Light Kick.

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Maki             1/-----==/=======|=======\====---\1     The Huntsman

No comments from Maki this time, she's just focused on figuring out what the centaur wants to do next. She's fighting a steady battle it seems, and if she plays her cards right, she might be able to gain the upper hand. Easy enough, right?


As luck would have it, Maki thinks she's got The Huntsman's attacks down pat and can evade them properly to counter-attack with a swift kick. Unfortunately, she's caught off-guard and zags when she should have zigged.

There are several cries of pain as Maki gets hit by the centaur's staff, sending her down to the ground a little. She's able to push herself back up with some effort, as it's obvious she's in a bit of pain from those last few hits. "Nngh... that wasn't supposed to happen..." Maki says as she grits her teeth.

"Would appear you chose poorly," The Huntsman did not fail to realize that Maki had tried to interject with another attack as she had just done so, and apparently that trick had not worked twice.

The centaur peers down at the bloodied woman on the ground and seems to trot around her, as if it's trying to size her up or puzzles on just what to do next. Stepping back several paces, it grips the poleaxe tightly to it's chest, one of the equine legs scruffing at the stone floor of the stables... the kind of way a horse or a bull might do right before it...


The armored, hulking beast dashes toward Maki now, pale blue ghostly energy surrounding it as it tries to barrel her right down!

COMBATSYS: The Huntsman knocks away Maki with Dread Charge.

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Maki             2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\=======\1     The Huntsman

When in a situation where fight or flight is the question, sometimes flight is the better choice. And sometimes fighting is the best option. Maki tries going for flight, using her ninja skills to the max...

And she does choose flight... just not the way she intended to.

Maki is sent sailing across the stables, tumbling a few times and then whacking her head on one of the stall gates. By the time she's come to her senses, or what's left of them, she can barely even see straight. She struggles to get back onto her feet and steady herself. "Unnngh... what happened... where's Cody?" She babbles.

The blonde ninja slaps her face a couple of times to try to get herself back into the fight, and her vision does return somewhat. "No... can't end... like this..."

The aura of chi seems to appear around Maki and she suddenly starts to glow while focusing her gaze on The Huntsman. She takes a step forward. "Now... see what I am truly capable of!" Then she starts running at him.

After that, she attempts to deliver a flurry of tonfa strikes and kicks, ending with a sudden flying kick!

COMBATSYS: Maki successfully hits The Huntsman with Bushin Gou Rai Ha.

[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Maki             0/-------/---<<<<|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2     The Huntsman

"Over already...?" The Huntsman sounds legitimately disappointed with that, finally turning to face the tonfa-wielding girl with a cock of it's head to one side, not realizing the girl is already back on her feet and sending a flurry of blows to clobber it.

There is a series of clangs, grunts and oofs as the figure takes tonfa strikes and kicks to the chest, legs and shoulders--there is the sound of what might have been metal or bone crunching as the mail looks dented and one of the legs is now being favored. This however serves to enrage the beast further.

The beast begins to broil and glow with a glowing white-blue hot energy, raising an arm and what looks like a large mechanical crossbow unfolds from the wrist of one arm--springing free from a box placed there. Bringing it to bear on Maki, the arm outstretched with the one holding the halberd braced against it, it tracks the girl's movement--the cord released as a glowing red energy surging arrow is released--flying straight for the girl's chest!

COMBATSYS: Maki dodges The Huntsman's Heartseeker Shot EX.

[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Maki             0/-------/---<<<<|>>>>>>>\-------\0     The Huntsman

That's looking very painful. And Maki's already in enough pain as it is. You'd think it's curtains for her, right?

Think again.

Somehow, Maki gathers up a burst of energy to be able to dodge the incoming shot like it's nothing. Rolling on the ground, Maki avoids being caught and then summons another blast of her chi. "Gotta keep going..."

This time, she leaps onto the top of a nearby stable gate, then launches herself at The Huntsman. Even if she can't win, she won't go down without a fight!

COMBATSYS: The Huntsman auto-guards Maki's Hassou Kyaku.

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Maki             0/-------/---====|>>>>>>>\-------\0     The Huntsman

The arrow flies straight toward the tonfa-wielder--narrowly missing her and shattering against one of the stable doors--the exact one Maki jumped up toward, flinging herself above his head!

Chips of stone and wood fly as the arrow disintigrates, though the creature is already bringing it's poleaxe up to bear--apparently able to catch her against the haft and fling her back over it's head and back--and away.

"Unfortunate," the crossbow clicks as it folds back up into the box on the Huntsman's arm, the contraption snapping shut as it wheels around.

"For you," one of the beasts front legs kick out as it rears back, trying to jab her with the hoofed end!

COMBATSYS: The Huntsman successfully hits Maki with Quick Strike.

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Maki             0/-------/-======|=======\-------\1     The Huntsman

This time, flight doesn't work as well as Maki hoped for, and she gets caught by the hoofed leg, which hurts quite a bit. She's sent stumbling back before looking up again.

"From bad to worse..." Maki comments with sarcasm in her voice. "But I can't let up yet..."

It's obvious she's not quite out yet. In fact, she attempts to strike The Huntsman with her tonfa once again. It's not as powerful as before, but she's doing her best.

COMBATSYS: Maki successfully hits The Huntsman with Fierce Punch.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Maki             0/-------/-======|=======\===----\1     The Huntsman

It's likely not pleasant getting kicked in the face, especially by a leg that has a hoof, one shod in metal, at that. Not many have had the pleasure.

The Tonfa strike that next lashes out however, catches the beast in the lower midsection--briefly doublign it over in pain as it hunches forward, temporarily distracted. Looks like that hurt.

"Lets finish this now, shall we," The Huntsman utters with a rattling, bloody cough--apparently something there was knocked free inside, as the centaur now began to glow with energy again--marshalling all the forces of darkness and ghosts that rallied around it to it's aid!

"Hrrrnnnghh---ahhhh!" suddenly what looked like a horde of ghosts surged around Maki and flew towards her--wraith-like humanoid torso spectres, ghost wolves and glowing blue skulls--trying to close in around her!

COMBATSYS: Maki parries The Huntsman's Spectral Onslaught!

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Maki             0/-------/=======|>>>>---\-------\0     The Huntsman

The skills of a ninja are truly amazing sometimes. Sometimes they do things that could be considered a miracle.

Somehow, Maki manages to knock away those ghosts without any effort whatsoever. Despite sweating and having to catch her breath now and then while showing a few bruises, Maki seems to make those spooks fly away. Amazing, she's gone from a ninja to a ghostbuster!

"Tough break," Maki says. "Looks like it's not quite over yet..." She jumps into the air and attempts to deliver a flying kick to The Huntsman.

COMBATSYS: The Huntsman endures Maki's Strong Kick EX.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  ////////                      ]
Maki             0/-------/=======|>>>>>>>\-------\0     The Huntsman

"Grrr--" The Huntsman is briefly shocked and astounded that Maki was somehow able to fend off the horde of ghosts that it sent towards her--and is currently trying to locate her when--


The hulking, battered figure is forced back--stumbling, now drunkenly throwing the axe around with barely both hands--it looks like the beast is almost out of it. Beast, monster, ghost--whatever one might call it. With a fit and a start, it suddenly springs back to life--trying to charge into Maki again!

COMBATSYS: The Huntsman successfully hits Maki with Dead Horse.
Grazing Hit

[                         \\\\\  < >  ///////                       ]
Maki             1/------=/=======|=======\-------\1     The Huntsman

Maki is charged into by the centaur, and this time it looks like she might be out for the count! She is hit with a loud sickening crunch and then her body drops to the ground...

COMBATSYS: Maki takes no action.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////                       ]
Maki             1/------=/=======|=======\-------\1     The Huntsman

COMBATSYS: Maki has reached second wind!

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////                       ]
Maki             1/------=/=======|=======\-------\1     The Huntsman

Only to suddenly stop and then look up with determination in her eyes as if something brought her back from near-defeat. "You won't get me THAT easily!"

"Urghhh--how, is that the best you can d--OW..." The Huntsman is definitely hurt, and even this seemingly undead, spectral creature is unsure of how Maki still standing--rallying the rest of it's might to try and bring the swinging hooved feet down on her as it rears back--no winnie of a horse, however, rather just the cruel portentous clatter of armor and metal weaponry.

COMBATSYS: Maki dodges The Huntsman's Evasive Strike.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////                       ]
Maki             1/------=/=======|=======\=------\1     The Huntsman

Having gained back her stamina all of a sudden means Maki is able to swiftly dodge with ease. Not to mention, she's got a burst of adrenaline which has got her going so fast that she's not showing any signs of stopping. Even though she's still catching her breath somewhat, Maki isn't about to let this opportunity pass itself up.

"Shall we finish this?" Maki asks as she jumps back a couple of hops, then illuminates with chi as she suddenly then flies directly at the centaur, her leg outstretched almost like a missile!

COMBATSYS: Maki successfully hits The Huntsman with Tesshin Hou.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  /                             ]
Maki             0/-------/------=|=======\=====--\1     The Huntsman

"D-Damnit, nooo--" The Huntsman actually /explodes/ on contact with Maki's leg, however she's left with something new, a surprise--the spectral centaur's form has actually given away to a surge of spirits, ghostly wolf and beast heads, rushing out to try and rush through and overcome Maki's fresh and still mortal body, somehow!


And then the Stable is silent, as if it was never even there. There is no trace of it.

COMBATSYS: The Huntsman can no longer fight.

[                      \\\\\\\\  <
Maki             0/-------/------=|

COMBATSYS: Maki dodges The Huntsman's Release the Hounds EX.

[                      \\\\\\\\  <
Maki             0/-------/------=|

The centaur disappears and in its place are spirits that come after Maki...

Which she effortlessly dodges.

Once all is said and done, it's quiet like nothing had happened. It's definitely surreal.

"I... I don't believe this..." Maki says as she leans over to the side a little. "Whatever... this place is... I dunno..." Remembering there was a nearby fountain, Maki hobbles her way there, eager for a drink of water.

Log created on 16:37:06 06/22/2021 by Maki, and last modified on 20:43:42 06/22/2021.