Author Topic: Sword Maiden  (Read 199 times)

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Offline Billiam

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Re: Sword Maiden
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2019, 03:58:07 AM »
Jake followed with a pleasant expression, but was otherwise silent. His eyes traveled to more and more of Lan Bao's collection, and he found himself continually impressed. He and Lan Bao also seemed to be getting along really well, although Jake noted they'd had no real room for disagreement, yet. He soured slightly at the knowledge he'd have to tell her about the meeting. Charon's irksome face entered his field of vision once more. He still had to deal with the leader of the East. Charon's political game had begun to present itself, or at least as Jake imagined it. Jake was guessing it was Charon who told Ben to run in the first place. He likely made the decision after Jake's move into the west. Everything had been a game up to this point. Even Ben staying in his home after Jake had made the move seemed suspicious in retrospect. Jake realized his paranoid brain was getting the better of him, and he hated that once again fucking Ben had stolen mental energy from him.

He returned to the Shogun House, right as Lan Bao pulled out her own weapon, and Jake studied what details he could. He could tell from the blade's length and curve that it was Chinese in origin, and looked exquisitely crafted, but Jake could not tell much else at this point. He assumed he'd be meeting it soon. His suspicions were confirmed as Lan Bao explained that they'd be sparing with their respective blades. He understood very little about magic. He'd never spent time learning from Sabrina, and Maria's deities seemed so far and away from what Jake could identify with. Even this Tess person was a mystery, and so he supposed Lan Bao was right and her charms really could keep them safe. He almost struck at her, but an old wound got the better of him.

"I say this with no personal ego," he began, taking Venom out of it's stalk slowly. The black metal caught the light, and the blade seemed to wink at Lan Bao in introduction. "This sword can cause devastating harm to our kind. It damages even those with the strength of age. I don't doubt your magic is strong, but I would feel terrible if the blade harmed you."

Jake lifted his shirt, revealing his toned torso, and a viscous looking, black scar on his chest. The slash looked filled with the rage of the one who'd done it. "If you are confident you will not be harmed, I'll strike you, and in general I'm looking forward to this."

He pulled down his shirt and bowed respectfully, not wishing to convey that he found her magic inadequate. It was deferential in nature, and unlike the Black Prince she would've heard so much about.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


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Offline Malkavian Riddler

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Re: Sword Maiden
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2019, 07:23:12 AM »
The charmed area was such that there would be touches of blades on skin, and when Jake showed Bao the wound upon his midsection, her eyes widened momentarily before she lifted her gaze to his face, her neutral expression prominent once more.

"I will take the risk," she announced, trusting in her ability beyond what Venom could do to her. Even the razor sharp butterfly knives Shan had gifted to her had been unable to press hard enough into her skin to cut it - and Shan had been using it in a slicing motion, the most likely movement for the magic to fail. But it hadn't, and once Shan had touched her skin with them, he'd been unable to continue his movement... only to pull away.

She wouldn't move away from Jake's swing, but when he was in the middle of it, she intended to surprise him for fun.
Digital: I drink from the poison chalice
Lan Bao: I reap the harvest of my people
Cain: I am the instrument that vampires play
Shan: I take what is mine and what is yours

Offline Billiam

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Re: Sword Maiden
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2019, 11:26:01 AM »
Jake nodded his understanding and went through with a sweeping strike, starting high but arching down into a side swipe. It was a practiced and comfortable looking swing, both hands gripping the pommel for the stability needed for such a long sword. It lacked the force of a true strike. If the blade would cut her it would be a shallow one. His guard was down, and he never guessed this was a part of a greater sequence. He would be caught off guard by Lan Bao's surprise.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Cancer(Nox)~ Dragon(Jake)~ Comrade(Benny)~ Harpy(Lisa-Joe)~ Two-Face(James)~ Satanist(Thesdea)~ Legend (Tyler)~ PrivateEye(Drew)~ Wolf(Flick)~ Thief(Apep)~ Huntsman(Ari)~ Slayer(Lacy)~

Offline Malkavian Riddler

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Re: Sword Maiden
« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2019, 12:15:24 PM »
Hefting her own sword in one hand, looking relaxed and unguarded, Lan Bao's eyes watched Jake's body coil and his graceful manoeuvre was put into motion. The arc was obvious, the move predictable, and she relished his trust. Turning her fingers tightly on the hilt to achieve the best angle, her sword had no curve and was of a much shorter length than Jake's own so she used the length of her arm as an extension to swing upwards towards his waist, aiming for just below his ribs. She moved slowly, so that he would feel his attack before he felt hers.

Jake's sword cut through the sleeve of Bao's elegant pantsuit but he would feel a sluggish resistance in the few centimetres before the blade met skin. His sword halted and reverberated as though it had been embedded deep in flesh and he wouldn't be able to continue his strike. When pulling the weapon back, it would feel slightly suctioned as though he pulled it from mud.

Likely he saw her attack before he finalised his own, but Bao knew he was committed to the swing. The last quarter of Goujian's blade connected with Jake's shirt and then tapped his skin and stopped... but a great flaring pain intensified in his side, as though she'd pierced his skin and pushed the blade through. When looking at one another, they would see the pain reflected in each other's eyes... and then it was gone, only the memory of its intensity reminding them that they didn't want to be struck.

"There should be some repercussion," Bao said, stepping back and lifting her sword with two hands now, adopting a defensive position, her side turned to Jake and her feet braced, reading for springing to the side or forward. "Motivation," she explained without need, then smiled, a mischievous glint in her eye.

She waited, prepared for his attack.

Digital: I drink from the poison chalice
Lan Bao: I reap the harvest of my people
Cain: I am the instrument that vampires play
Shan: I take what is mine and what is yours

Offline Billiam

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Re: Sword Maiden
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2019, 03:38:32 AM »
Jake's eyes cut to Lan Bao's sword mid swing, and his instinct was to deflect with his own sword. However, this was an exercise in trust, and she had assured him he wouldn't be harmed. He followed through with his own strike, fearing for only a moment as he cut Lan Bao's garment. The rush of pain was surprising but when he looked and saw himself unharmed he recognized the genius of her charm.

"Very impressive," he complimented. "Now, let's see what we get up to."

Jake rotated his blade, making the attack's angle harder to predict. The katana was a weapon that both encouraged, and punished, mistakes from opponents. It wasn't quite a defensive weapon, but Jake often waited to parry an opponents first swing. He wouldn't be able to do that in this case. Lan Bao seemed patient enough to wait him out. He decided to go for a powerful overhead move. Unlike the first blow, this one would be strong and fast. He used the blade's length to keep himself out of Lan Bao's range for the moment. She could deflect, side step, or jump back, but if she wanted to strike him, she'd need to invade his personal box. That was not easy to do with such a long sword, and it was the first clue as to his fighting style.

Jake was small, and lacked the strength of older vampires. He was even physically weak for his age, putting his training in his mental disciplines. Keeping an opponent at a constant arms length kept him from being overwhelmed, and many a foolish vampire with Celerity had perished for trying to invade that personal box. He was excited to see Lan Bao's first move. Would she risk an attack, or try and set up for a new strike where Jake would have to defend?
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


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Offline Malkavian Riddler

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Re: Sword Maiden
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2019, 07:28:30 AM »
Bao saw his strike coming and stepped aside while keeping her sword between the katana and herself. She used the blade of her ancient weapon to change the angle of Jake's strike as it slid down her own sword. She wasn't interested in stopping the blow so much as keeping his momentum going. She realised immediately that he would use the distance his sword afforded him, but that he was sacrificing the quality of his blows to do so. Keeping himself so far from her meant he wouldn't strike a killing blow unless fighting a human. She thought that technique would change as they continued. So would hers.

She continued stepping around him before she stopped and adopted her defensive pose once more. "I have heard you are not quite three centuries' old. It is old enough to have seen battle," she said, letting him know that she had paid attention to him. She knew all of the leaders in the game. She knew the most about Kerr Galvin, though. Less about his lover, who would be new leader if things went poorly for Jake.
Digital: I drink from the poison chalice
Lan Bao: I reap the harvest of my people
Cain: I am the instrument that vampires play
Shan: I take what is mine and what is yours

Offline Billiam

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Re: Sword Maiden
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2019, 07:44:52 AM »
Jake's footing was solid enough not to be thrown off balance but the momentum of his own strike, and he rotated rather gracefully, extending the blade from his chest. He watched as Lan Bao moved, his eyes more serious than before. He heard her comment, and found it puzzling. She wasn't wrong on either count, but why was she bringing it up? Was it a technique?

"I'm young for my species," he confirmed, "but have seen more battle than most."

That claim was subjective to be sure, but also not unwarranted. He'd been fighting his whole life, and nowadays was the least violent he'd ever been. Maybe Damien had a point about getting older. He reengaged, this time going for a series of strikes. For now, he stayed in his box, more concerned with being struck than striking his opponent. She obviously had grace he lacked, but his movements were powerful and solid, and his feet were both firmly planted. How she'd handle the series of strikes was exciting to him.

"And you, how many years have you been trying to achieve balance?"

He didn't ask her if she'd seen battle or war. He assumed there was no way she hadn't.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


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Offline Malkavian Riddler

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Re: Sword Maiden
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2019, 08:44:48 AM »
"Most of your species don't make it to three hundred," she scoffed. "You're doing well."

The series of blows came and she pivoted around all of them, using her sword the same way as his first strike, to have his sword slide off the blade, ringing metal that didn't quite move along her blade's full length before Jake had another attack. She retreated as they went, though took care to circle some as she was fully aware of the area. Only the mats were protected; if she stepped off them, then she would be at risk of being cut.

Not that she believed she was at risk of being cut.

Her moves looked effortless because she wasn't being flamboyant with them, but she noticed Jake was being minimal and functional as well. She liked that she felt he was testing her. She hadn't attempted to strike yet, but the opportunity hadn't shown itself. She continued to measure him. He was a vampire - his stamina would match her own so there was no tiring him out. Maybe only frustrating him.

Once she was sure the strikes were done with (and they'd been fast and she'd rejoiced in their skill), she spoke again. "I am not many years over three hundred. Perhaps fifty years divides us, perhaps less." She didn't have an exact age for him, or herself.

She adopted a different defensive stance this time. Facing him directly, her sword's blade angled to the right, ready to attack after defending. It was likely Jake understood this pose. She wasn't interested in surprising him yet.
Digital: I drink from the poison chalice
Lan Bao: I reap the harvest of my people
Cain: I am the instrument that vampires play
Shan: I take what is mine and what is yours

Offline Billiam

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Re: Sword Maiden
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2019, 02:15:41 AM »
Jake recognized that what Lan Bao was saying was factually true, although not as much in the city. This place was unique in it's number of ancients and older vampires in general, but it was nice to reminded that he'd managed to make it this far. He didn't focus for too long on her words, as he was busying trading strikes with her. It was refreshing to fight someone new, and who had skill. The poor junior officers he often spared with just weren't equipped to fight someone who'd been practicing for years, and Lisa-Joe preferred fighting with her fists. The exchange left him wanting more, and some passion began to show. As he grew more interested in the exchange, his skill began to improve. Another feature of fighting Jake was passion, and while he'd been very controlled up to this point, he decided to be a bit more daring.

"It seems like we have much in common," he said, smiling as he extended his blade forward with his left hand, using it to measure the angle of his next stroke. "Did you research me before seeking me out?"

It felt like a challenging comment, but the tone was light, and his face was the same pleasant - but determined - expression as before. She didn't have long to answer, before he was on her, pushing forward this time and letting her in a bit closer. Her blade could reach him now, although just barely, and he attacked with a new power. He recognized the angle of her stance, and was prepared to switch to defending if she was able to break his assault.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Cancer(Nox)~ Dragon(Jake)~ Comrade(Benny)~ Harpy(Lisa-Joe)~ Two-Face(James)~ Satanist(Thesdea)~ Legend (Tyler)~ PrivateEye(Drew)~ Wolf(Flick)~ Thief(Apep)~ Huntsman(Ari)~ Slayer(Lacy)~

Offline Malkavian Riddler

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Re: Sword Maiden
« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2019, 09:09:58 AM »
She was prepared for his assault, defending each time but not retreating as much, circling instead. Her sword flashed up, down, around - her attempt to disarm him of his weapon became obvious after a few failed manoeuvres. She believed Jake was good enough to get the sense that she wasn't trying as hard as she could.

Bao assessed his style, looking for a pattern in his moves. Training and practise allowed a person to move quickly and with confidence, but it also instigated muscle memory, meaning one particular sweep would lead into another move each time. She watched for repetition and thought she'd seen something in his series of blows. She doubted he would repeat the move too often so she would wait until she recognised it and try to take advantage.

Other than attempting to flick his weapon away from him, she didn't attack. Her smile was broad and genuine, her eyes with a glint of joy and menace.
Digital: I drink from the poison chalice
Lan Bao: I reap the harvest of my people
Cain: I am the instrument that vampires play
Shan: I take what is mine and what is yours