NFG Season One - Truths Unspoken

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Description: Spirited away to an abandoned village for the sake of privacy, Ichika is quizzed directly by Ariastra. Miscommunication and misunderstanding plague the pair as the extremely young tries to bridge the gap with the unfathomably old. Not even the purity of battle can bridge that divide, but perhaps in the blood shed they might have come at least a tiny step closer to understanding.

Today might seem like a lot of weird. Why is Ariastra starting with Ichika if Chevy was her first pick? Why does it seem like they are not going to the training area made for them? Where are they going? "I want somewhere quiet for the both of us. Give me your hand Ichika." Assuming she does so, Ichika soon finds a weird kind of feeling. She might recognize it as some Chi energy. One minute they are in south town, with its busy streets and alleys.

The next, they are in what looks like an abandoned village, surrounded by mountains. There doesn't seem to be anyone else but Ichika and her teacher. At that point, Ariastra lets go of Ichika's hand.

"Ok, this will do. Quiet, and no one should bother us until we get back to civilization." Ariastra said. She is truly a witch in some way. "Do you know why you were our first pick Ichika? Have you been thinking about it?" Is it going to be it? Is it going to be a talking session? Couldn't that be done in a cafe or something?

She stretches her body while she awaits Ichika's answer. She also observes her. Is she going to answer right away, or will she need to think about it? Maybe there is more to this than first meets the eyes.

All of this has definitely been A Lot. But, true to her word, Ichika had closed off the last distractions from her day to day life. When called, she had answered immediately. And when asked to take the ancient woman's hand, she didn't hesitate for a moment. Though, she had no idea how to describe the magic that moves both of them so quickly to somewhere completely different. That alone has her mouth dry and a tiny hint of fear welling in her.

Ariastra hadn't been lying, it seemed. The scythe was one thing but such a casual display of power was quite another. What HAD she done to come to the attention of a woman like this?

To her credit, Ichika doesn't freak out - externally, at least. Other than the moment of fear and a sharp intake of breath as she takes in her new surroundings, she does a pretty good job of staying focused on what Ariastra is asking her.

"You, said before that I was the top choice for two of the sponsors on the team." She says, slowly. "I, don't fully understand why. If I had to guess... maybe, it is because you understood the message I was sending when I challenged Maclanky-kun in the first bonus stage, Sensei?"

It is, truly, a guess though. Normally she would think that it is the reputation of her school that had caught their eye, but... she's not a fool. This woman just did something her mind is still reeling to comprehend is actually real and not the province of fantastical stories. She, probably doesn't care about Justice High's stellar reputation.

It is, truly, a guess though. Normally she would think that it is the reputation of her school that had caught their eye, but... she's not a fool. This woman just did something her mind is still reeling to comprehend is actually real and not the province of fantastical stories. She, probably doesn't care about Justice High's stellar reputation.

Ariastra gives credit where credit is due. At least in her head. Ichika is not freaking out, not crying or asking where she took her, or even asking if they would ever go back. She takes it, and no matter what she feels inside, only a deep breath out of her, shows something strange did happen. Point for Ichika.

She nods her head when Ichika mentions she was a top choice by two members. She was also a top choice for Ariastra, but that may come out later. Just not yet. "That's correct. You were the top two choices." She then does not answer yet about the fight she took with Buford. Though she makes a face, that shows it all. She does not like Budford much. So instead, she answers the school question.

Schools come and go. Justice high did not exist in old times, and one day will not exist anymore." She chuckles. "You could be without any real form of education, and you would be here now. The school is not you Ichika. It may shape you in some form, but it is not who you are." She goes quiet.

"But perhaps before we continue on my first question, we need to head to the second. Who are you Ichika? I want to know what you think. Do not come up with what your father or mother thing you are or anyone else. I want to know what you think. No wrong answers." She goes back into silence and gives Ichika sometime to think about this one. Ichika is young, and to Ariastra, she has already incredible fighting skills and potential, but there is the mind too.

Ichika startles a little as Justice - and its inevitable dissolution - is mentioned. It, makes sense. This woman must view things on a completely different timeframe to her. The idea that Justice High would eventually cease to exist is, well, it's obvious if she thinks about it. But it would surely last much longer than her own lifespan. How must it alter the world to view all things and know that they would fade before you would yourself?

The second question, though, is far more challenging than the first. The girl finds her eyes drifting over the abandoned village, the empty houses. A slight smile tugs at her lips, and she runs her hands through her hair.

"It, was very kind of you to bring me here, Sensei." She says, "Where I don't have to worry about anyone else overhearing me and how they would react."

A deep breath, then, to steady herself. Who IS Kasumoto Ichika? The preemptive warning to stay away from what others put on her strips her of her ability to hide behind their expectations. The weight of their faith. Strip away all of the duty placed on her, and what is left?

"... I am a precocious child with big dreams, and no idea how to make them reality. That is who I am, Sensei."

Most lives Ariastra cared for were but the waves of a stone skipping over water. It's pretty but only lasts a short moment. You could consider all the bounces the stone makes a lineage. But once eventually, no matter how skilled you are, the stone stops bouncing. In the same vein, a lineage, no matter how big it is, eventually goes extinguished. In the end, memories remain, at least for a while longer. But she can't ponder further as Ichika talks with her. "This is private. you should be able to share it with confidence, without worrying if someone else is taking in that information." She nods her head. "You will most likely hate me one day, but not because your personal feelings are spilled." She chuckles a bit and gives her a few more moments to gather her thoughts on the difficult questions.

She listens when Ichika speaks, letting her finish, though there wasn't much to it. Straight to the point, maybe a little too concise. "A precocious child." She nods. "Correct. Does it make it harder on you? Realizing you are? " A short moment for the question to sink in before she continues. "Big dreams. Everyone has big dreams. You need them to be driven forward. If you want nothing. Why would you push yourself further, harder" This one isn't a question, just a statement. " as for making them happen. "This is why you are here. We will give you the tool, the guiding hand to attain greatness. You should be able to apply it to any area of your life. In the end, we will show you different paths. Which one you take, and where you end, this will be your decision because this is your life."

"You are steel, with the potential to be one of the strongest Katana ever made. You just need a strong hand to forge you into the right shape while keeping your unique traits. "Unsheat your Katana. Present it, if you please." She keeps her eyes on her.

"But once it is unsheathed and presented. "Does Ichika considers Ichika a good fighter?" The question in the third person, in this case, simply allows the girl to analyze herself with the eyes of an outsider perhaps.

The idea that she might one day come to hate Ariastra obviously troubles Ichika. The girl's brow creases, but she doesn't question her - not yet, anyway. Her turn for questions will come later, she's sure, and she makes a note to file that one away. Fear she could understand. But hate... hate is a very different thing.

"Harder? ... No. I don't consider my age to be a weakness." She says, bluntly. "I, can't imagine how you must feel about these things, Sensei. I don't know much about you at all. But, to me, my youth is a strength. I understand that I have much to learn. I, enjoy it, actually. I've learned so much just in this first stage! Everything I thought I understood was wrong! It's exhilarating!"

She's starting to grow truly passionate, and there's an obvious effort of will to rein it in. She doesn't want to seem overbearing with it. The more Ariastra speaks, though, the more difficult it is not to feel that excitement. When she is bid to present her sword... she does just that.

It's not an ancient heirloom or a masterpiece of the craft. It wasn't forged by legendary hands or wielded by great warriors. It is cheap. Mass-produced. Of no note whatsoever. Functional, yes, and the girl clearly maintains it with fastidious care... but it is nothing special. Nevertheless, she holds it up with reverence for the inspection of her sponsor.

"I am only average at fighting. I have fought four times. Two times I lost convincingly. Once, it was incredibly close. And once I have won convincingly."

If nothing else, she's clear-eyed about how those fights proceeded. She certainly doesn't overestimate her current level.

She notices Ichika's confusion at what Ariastra means by hate. She hasn't seen much of life yet. Why would she hate a teacher? It was fine. For now, lets Ichika's mind think for itself. This was one of the goals today. To strengthen that mind. Not that Ariastra thinks she is weak or anything like that.

Now Ichika says something very interesting. "Everything you thought you understood was wrong." She nods her head. "This is an interesting point you bring up. That can happen at any time. You might think your opponent is slow, and then suddenly, he's very quick. Maybe he looks too fat to be quick, but he is. Then your appraisal was wrong. And you need to be able to adapt to the new reality on the fly. It's something even some extremely skilled fighters can lack. If something changes and what you are doing no longer works against an opponent. Or if your style doesn't work in the first place. Then you have to change and adapt. Your opponent will not change to something you understand better to accommodate you. So what I am getting at is do not take anything for granted. Even the fights you had already. You've learned something about those opponents. But they may have changed the next time you face them. Be prepared for anything and adapt.

As she finishes that bit of "wisdom." She brings her hand forth as the katana is presented to her. "You take care of your weapon. This is a good point for you Ichika. It's an extension of yourself and should be treated as such." She passes a finger over the blade as if to prove a point, cutting her finger and leaving a trace of blood behind on the blade.

"You are average at fighting" She pulls back and flicks her wrists, a small scythe coming into each hand. "With incredible potential. The reason we picked you first is. We couldn't afford to lose you to another team."

After that cryptic statement she says. "Now, strike at me. Show I am not wrong when I talk about your potential." She gets in a fighting stance.

COMBATSYS: Ariastra has started a fight here.

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Ariastra         0/-------/-------|

Ichika nods seriously as she listens. The advice is good, and important to keep in mind. Just as much as she is going to receive guidance from her sponsors, presumably her fellow students would be doing the same. The prior information she'd gathered would be useful, btu she couldn't afford to believe she had a full understanding. The mention of her potential is less comfortable ground for her. These are words she's heard throughout her entire life; that there is nothing she could not do if she put her mind to it. That she could save lives, advance human knowledge, make the world a better place. That might all be true, but she didn't know how to even begin getting there.

She draws the sword back, those bright eyes of hers take in the crimson trail, and she gives the sword a careful flick, cleaning it as she takes a single pace backwards. She doesn't rush. She tries, instead, to get a read on Ariastra's style. Two scythes meant two directions she couold threaten from; the hooked metal could catch and redirect her sword. And of course, she was magical. What could she guess about what that might mean for how she might defend, or counterattack?

There's a faint chill that runs down the girl's spine as she realises just how opaque Ariastra really is to her. To the immortal, the schoolgirl was an open book. By contrast, Ichika knew nothing, could assume nothing, and yet she must take the first move.

"I, will show you, then." She murmurs, quietly. And for a moment, she closes her eyes.

In truth the girl still doesn't fully understand everything she's doing. As Ariastra is watching, though, perhaps she can see it more clearly than the girl herself. Ichika tightens her grip on her sword, and she calls up that 'dream' she had spoken of earlier. In this moment, she desperately wants to impress the woman. She reaches into herself, and her nostrils flare as she draws in breath, fills her lungs. She'd spoken of this with a few of the others; her ability to turn physical effort into ... something else; the emotional surge needed to make the world respond to her desires. She had never done it to such a great degree before. Usually, it was only a matter of reaching out for those last few scraps of spirit she needed...

This time, when she opens her eyes, they are ablaze with energy. Bright blue turned truly brilliant; shining with her inner light.

"This is my truth! Please, Sensei, witness it!"

The girl moves, and the blade comes around in a blazing arc - but she does not try to strike Ariastra directly. Instead, she buries the blade deep into the earth. The moment she does, blue power erupts out of her in a wave. It expands rapidly in all directions, a perfect sphere of brilliant glowing chi energy that burns out, six feet across, centred directly on the point where the girl had sheathed her sword into the embrace of the Earth itself.

She had called out to the world to support her in her vision; she had given it so very much of herself, and in exchange, it answers.

She fully intends to catch Ariastra in the sphere, but regardless of whether that happens or not, the chi energy doesn't fade away completely when the sphere dies down. Instead, it clings to Ichika's form - her entire body suffused with light, as though her power were stubbornly unwilling to fade away.

But, it obviously took an enormous toll on her to call on so much so quickly. The girl is immediately drenched with sweat. She looks as though she's run a marathon, and where normally she would rise and smoothly bring her sword back into position... right now, she remains kneeling. She feels nauseous. Her legs are like jelly. She can't, stand. She... she may have overdone that, that, was not a sound, tactical, choice...

COMBATSYS: Ichika has joined the fight here.

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Ichika           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0         Ariastra

COMBATSYS: Ariastra blocks Ichika's Tomorrow's World.

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Ichika           0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0         Ariastra

She is totally fine with the girl showing her. But what she sees, bothers her. Not the fact that she sees a very strong attack from Ichika. Probably her strongest. It is that she starts with it. "Fool, did you? Is that your strongest attack?" She brings her two scythes together, and a shield of energy blocks most of the Earth's energy. Though Aria stills feel it pass. She's not back to her real strength yet. Love can make you do crazy things.

Once the attack has passed. "Did you attack me with your strongest attack right off the bat?" That seems to upset Aria. Who does that, less you know you can dispatch your opponent with it. Than alright. Sure.

"Fine, if this is what you want to do. I want you to tell me why it's wrong though." As she speaks, she moves to Ichika and does not hold back. She aims some quick slashes at the thighs as she is kneeling and at her shoulder. The scythe blade does not penetrate deeply. She doesn't aim to finish Ichika right away or perhaps at all. Though Ichika might as well have done that herself. No Aria does damage that keeps on pilling it. Lose some blood here and there. And at one point, you will be too tired to fight.

After the attack, whether it succeeds or not, she pulls back and watches what Ichika decides now.

COMBATSYS: Ariastra successfully hits Ichika with Indestructible Pain.

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Ichika           0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0         Ariastra

Ichika is in no position to defend herself. She manages to pull the sword back out of the ground, but her clumsy attempts to block are worthless. The scythes spark against the armour of chi that surrounds her, and then punch through it, cutting true. She flinches as blood begins to flow, painting her legs and her sword-arm crimson. The initial cuts aren't, so bad. But she can already feel that there is far more pain to come. Her Sensei, apparently, wished to make a point.

"I, didn't think you wanted me to fight you properly." She says, some honest dismay creeping into her voice there. "You said to strike at you and show you my potential. That's... that's the most impressive thing I know how to do right now, and I'm not even sure I can explain how I do it. I thought, if nothing else, it would show you... well... my *truth*."

She's using that word again. It seems very important to her. She can't fight like this, though. She recognises that. And she also realises, to her further shame, that she's answering the question she wishes Ariastra had asked (WHY did you do that?) and not the question she had actually been asked (Why was that a mistake?)

She raises her sword. She meets the woman's eye. And she tries to get her breathing back under control. "In terms of the mistake... I have overextended. I committed almost all of my resources when you were in the strongest possible position to receive them. As a tactic to win fights, this is useless."

COMBATSYS: Ichika gains composure.

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Ichika           0/-------/-------|==-----\-------\0         Ariastra

"You showed me your greatest move, and at the same time, got yourself so tired. This is not your potential. This is your arrogance. Your potential is to show me how you can deal with me. You know nothing of me. I don't expect anyone to have done actual research to see if they could find me through history.

She takes a deep breath. "You just went with your strong attack, having no idea how it would affect me. But I would hope you would know how it would affect you. Is this strategic? Is this going to make you win a fight? It's not even going to make for a good fight." She seems upset. "Can you fight still at all? Come on, show me if you can adapt to me a little from seeing what you've seen. I don't want you to win. I don't care if you hurt me. Just show me how you can adapt!" She doesn't strike this time. She simply takes a deep breath to calm down and focus. "You didn't show me your real truth. You showed me arrogance and trying to go too fast." She waits for Ichika to see if she can still strike. She adds one more thing. "But it was a pretty cool move. Just always pace yourself, and use what's suitable for the moment."

COMBATSYS: Ariastra calculates her next move.

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Ichika           0/-------/-------|==-----\-------\0         Ariastra

Ichika's cheeks feel very hot. There's a natural instinct to defend herself, to try and make Ariastra... understand! But, in the end, it is pointless. Ariastra was correct. She clearly hadn't shown either her potential or her truth. If she had, there would be no argument. She has failed. The poor thing's brain, heart and body are all at complete odds with each other. Her brain is screaming at her about how stupid she really is; she'd made assumptions on incorrect data and immediately dealt critical damage to her own credibility with her sponsor. Her heart is wounded by the disapproval and berating. And her body? Her body is protesting every movement she makes, because between Ariastra's scythes and the tax she had put on herself, she is suffering greatly.

"I, can still fight."

She can still move. She can still fight. In defiance of her own discordant form, she comes forwards a second time. Her prowess might be suffering, but she approaches at the very limit of her reach, and then stabs out - sword tip leading the way to try for a simple mid-section thrust; something that will let her try to keep her distance from the woman as she works to recover her resources.

COMBATSYS: Ichika successfully hits Ariastra with Evasive Strike.

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Ichika           0/-------/-----==|===----\-------\0         Ariastra

At least you're not a quitter Ichika. Not that I thought you were." She tells Ichika. "You never need to impress with a quick ending. Not if it's as much or more dangerous to yourself. You don't need to impress at all. There's only one person who needs to know how good you are in the end. It's you. If you know how good you are without doubts, then no one else can destabilize you by telling you you're not good enough."

As Ichika attacks, she brings her scythes together, making one big scythe now, and changing her style completely. But perhaps she talks too much, perhaps she's not quick enough, or she's letting Ichika hit her. Whatever the case may be, the thrust works and the tip enters the shirt and stomach. The advantage of a red shirt, the blood keeps the shirt red. "Now that's what I want to see." She tells Ichika. She can feel the pain it brings her. The body never likes to be stabbed. But she can keep it internal and display a cool behavior on the outside. "That shows me your potential. It's basic, but you did it well."

After that, she grabs one hand of Scythe and reaches around the back of Ichika's lower legs. As she does that, an icicle forms behind Ichika on the ground. If Aria has her way, as she pulls back on her scythe, she cuts and trips Ichika into the Icicle. Yep, right now, pain was apparently on the menu.

COMBATSYS: Ariastra successfully hits Ichika with Fabled Memory.

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Ichika           0/-------/---====|======-\-------\0         Ariastra

"Now I understand the assignment." Ichika says, softly. Her voice is full of gentle reproach - not for Ariastra, but for herself. "Let's see, if I can still muster a passing grade."

The scythe cuts into the back of her legs as the girl tries to pivot away, and the ice buries itself painfully into her side. This is, a lot more brutal than the other fights she had experienced. She can feel the pain sinking deeper into her; blood flowing more freely than it ought to soak her uniform. But in spite of that, it's not too different to the fighters who had given her most trouble. Djamila, Chevy and Kenzo all kept at distance with weapons that outranged her own and were able to use that to their advantage.

Ariastra was on a completely different level to them, attacking from even more unexpected angles and in even more dangerous ways, but the fundamentals were comparable.

She can feel the last of that stubborn chi draining out of her form. As painful as the strikes have been so far, they are only going to get worse from here. She needs to make up ground quickly, before her body gives out on her. She can't afford to hang back and let Ariastra set the pace of the engagement.

And so she runs. Injured though her legs are, leaving a trail of blood across the abandon village's streets, she closes with startling speed - blade leading the way, and this time, she intends to remain close. She'd rather deal with the two small weapons where she keeps the reach advantage than this one long one which threatens to stymie her momentum.

COMBATSYS: Ariastra dodges Ichika's Quick Strike EX.

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Ichika           0/-------/--=====|======-\-------\0         Ariastra

She knows she's hurting Ichika. There is a reason why. Pain should be overcome and she's happy to see Ichika is overcoming it right now, even running at incredible speed. That's the Ichika she saw, probably the one everyone on the team saw, that make them pick her first. "More points for you. Pushing yourself despite the pain." But she separates her scythe into two again and uses one to make the blade go to the side so that she can be unarmed from that encounter. Then she concentrates.

From the concentration her body feels like it goes on fire. Energy comes from all her pores. "It's also fine to hurt yourself if you're going to hurt your opponent more."

She then aims her scythes at Ichika's sides. If it works, one goes into a fresh side, but the other goes into the wound already there. Then her scythes get electrified, adding to the damage.

Either way, she says. "But it's never worth it to get permanent damage or die from an encounter. So if it's too much, it's acceptable to either take a knee or run away. Always prioritize the "fight another day mentality." If the scythe has hit, now she removes them. "We are done. I am aware you might be able to continue, but this is not a test on how much pain you can endure."

COMBATSYS: Ariastra successfully hits Ichika with Eternal Punishment.

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Ichika           1/-------/=======|=======\=------\1         Ariastra

Ichika has definitely recovered some of her spirit, at least. The hurt and confusion that had shown in her eyes following the dismissal of her opening gambit has faded entirely. When she has her focus, when she knows what she is trying to do, it is far less intimidating. And as Ariastra continues to speak, she lets her sword drop from her hands - in an instant, the blade, parried away, is falling through the air.

It's a simple calculation. With her blade out of position she could neither attack nor defend. So she concentrates entirely on getting it back. She jumps. Her hand wraps around the hilt of the blade just as Ariastra says that it is fine to hurt herself...

There is no effort at defense. She has - correctly - gauged that the initial exchange has left her too exposed for that. Instead, her intent as the scythes come in is to let them do what they will, and keep her sword raised and above her head, ready to strike down with as much momentum as she could maintain.

Unfortunately, she had misjudged just how much this could hurt. The blades cut in DEEP without the barrier of her energy to blunt them. She staggers. Stuck. And then electrocuted as well. She'd scream, if her teeth weren't clenched together so tight.

She coughs, once, and then she sinks to her knees. She's losing a lot of blood. This, hurts. A lot. But, as Ariastra had touched on, she'd *always* conceptualised pain as just, part of fighting. Her body's capacity to endure punishment just another of the resources to be marshalled as necessary to obtain victory.

"Sensei." She says, a little woozy, "Thank you, for this lesson. Truly. I've, learned a lot."

COMBATSYS: Ichika takes no action.

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Ichika           1/----===/=======|=======\=------\1         Ariastra

"You have all the tools you need to succeed. You have your mind, you have your attacks, and you have a good body. Hopefully, today is the first hammer blow to forge you into the incredible woman you will become in this event and beyond."

She continues. "I will put your first attack as a mistake. A need to impress." She flicks her wrists, and her scythes disappear out of sight, as she pauses for a few seconds. "I appreciate you didn't hold back your attacks. The stab you did, you deserved the hit, and it would have been unfair to make you hold back. You also took the pain well. I was doubtful you could continue fighting after your initial mistake, but you did it." She ends up giving a smile, and slowly the energy she was expending to make herself stronger stops.

She adds one more thing. "We want to see you win, but you do not have to show big things. Just be a fighter, do the move adequate at the moment, and while you are fighting, let no one else tell you how good or bad you are. Believe in yourself. Believe in your judgment and instinct at the moment. If you make a mistake, learn from it. Alright?" She extends her hand toward Ichika. "Would you like me to heal you a bit, or do you prefer to let the wounds heal naturally as a remember."

COMBATSYS: Ariastra has left the fight here.

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Ichika           1/----===/=======|

Ichika takes the offered hand, and gets up to her feet. She is clearly conflicted by what Ariastra has just said. It takes her a long few moments to decide how she wants to approach this. First, though, there is the matter of her continued blood loss. She is proud on a number of levels, but... letting herself continue to grow weaker and more woozy just to satisfy some masochistic urge wouldn't, make much sense.

"If it isn't a trouble to heal me, Sensei, I would appreciate that." She says, and then, she plunges on. Those bright eyes of hers meeting Ariastra's, level and serious.

"Please don't take this as an attempt to mitigate my failure. I understand it. I accept it. I will not repeat it. But... it is important to me that you don't think I was only trying to impress. Can I explain what I understand about what I did? I think it may... clarify, things."

COMBATSYS: Ichika takes no action.

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Ichika           1/--=====/=======|

"You are bleeding a lot. It's no trouble. I don't think the others would be very happy if I let you die here. But at least no witnesses." She's kidding, and she gives a soft laugh to convey that. Then the chi is in the air. She concentrates on this one. She's not an expert in that field. It's not something she could do during a fight. But after when she has time like this. She can help. She touches Ichika's shoulder, and energy goes through that young body, helping the wounds close, at least enough so it doesn't bleed anymore. The pain will remain for a time longer. To remain Ichika of today.

"Of course, you may speak. Even a teacher may be mistaken. I will listen to what you have to say. If I believe you, then I will change my mind on that previous assumption. Fair enough?" She waits after and gives her undivided attention to Ichika.

Ichika relaxes some as the wounds close. The joke... she doesn't know how to take. It had of course occurred to her how alone and vulnerable she was out here, with someone who vastly outmatched her in all areas. But. She had to trust Ariastra; she didn't have a choice in that regard. Even if she still doesn't know what to make of her, at least it doesn't seem that she is any real danger. Probably.

"I don't think you were mistaken." She says quietly, when the healing is done. She carefully cleans her blade and then holds it up between them. "I, meant it when I said I don't fully understand the process. It happened for me first when I fought Maclanky-kun. I was so furious with him for his delusions that all I could think about was my desire to burn that delusion away. I wanted to make him see me. And I pulled that part of myself ... out, and into my sword. And when I stabbed the sword into the earth, it was like the world agreed and gave me that energy and it exploded, and I won."

She takes a deep breath, sheathes the sword again, and lets it out. "I have felt it, close, other times. This time, I forced it. I took my dream. It was the only thing big enough to let me go that far so quickly. I wanted you to see the world I want to live in. Tomorrow's World. A world where everyone has what they need. Where everyone is seen for who they are. Where everyone is acknowledged and lives a dignified life and..."

She is growing frustrated again. And, at last, there are tears welling up. Through all the pain, fear and disappointment, she had held it together - but this? This is truly hard for her, and she hates how inadequate her words feel.

"... I am not, explaining well. But that is what I put in my sword. That is the Truth that the world gave me. And, I know I was not successful. But that is what it was. Yes, it is the most impressive thing I can do. But it isn't, just, an attack."

In the end, she can only reiterate, in a very quiet voice indeed.

"It is *my truth*."

"It's a deep part of you which you let out, at times." She sums it up. "A pure part of you." She ends up smiling. "It's alright Ichika. But learn to control it, and use it at the right time. This can be a great weapon against an opponent when used right. It can be a great weapon against yourself too."

She thinks back to other things Ichicka said and talks about that too. "You are tomorrow's world. Whatever happens, you will always be. You have a specific dream of what that world should be, allow yourself to grow into it. So you can make your dream true. What you desire, it's not an easy path. But I believe you're not meant for an easy path. I saw great things in you, and today just further proved that.

She looks up at the sky for a moment. "What's inside you, the part that's not only about fighting? It's also a force. You can learn to use it as well. Anything that makes you who you are, is either something that you can use to further yourself or hold you back. In the end, that's what training and growing up is. You use the parts that will help you grow. You change what is in the way, and you do your best with what you got." She smiles again. "There was better today than bad. So don't worry."

"We are done with this session. Take a few moments to ponder on everything today, and when you're ready, we will go back. If there's something on your mind you would like to share or have trouble with, my door is always open for you. Even when this whole thing will be done." She sighs. "I have all the time in the world."

Log created on 11:42:43 06/03/2023 by Ichika, and last modified on 18:27:11 06/03/2023.