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1 Éclairs II { Claire | Invite Only | Plot } on Fri Sep 09, 2016 4:17 am

Mikasa Ackerman

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Genin
The skies darkened overhead, the sun setting in the far west. Less villagers milled about than in the peak hours of the day, most having retreated to the quiet sanctity of their homes for the final meal of the day. Passers-by on the streets consisted of employees off work, children skipping hand-in-hand with their parents, the occasional stray cat sprinting between alleys. One such stray, though not a cat, walked aimlessly in the dulling lights, the setting sun’s orange glow bathing her in a sheen of harmless flame.

Mikasa walked with little direction, seeking only shelter for the night. Her previous accommodation had unsuspectingly been the collateral target of a C-rank mission. Two Genin’s destructive techniques in the quiet of the night shook the eastern section of the village, needlessly endangering the population as they did regularly. The partially demolished structure forced her to seek equally affordable housing, though most hotels were either too stingy with their price tags, or packed to the brim with nature’s refugees of the same explosions that had left her homeless.

Her westward path eventually led her to a well-constructed building sandwiched between two blocks of shops. Nestled amongst flecks of armories and inferior jutsu libraries, the establishment clearly catered to ninja. Mikasa wasn’t definitively one, but she had the expertise to go toe to toe with several on her journeys; surely a technical exception could be made. Her raven hair clinging restlessly to her face, Mikasa walked in, checking in with the cashier before being directed to the armory to the side, to wait her turn  due to the already filled lobby of this out-of-the-way hotel.

Fortunately, or not so, the blacksmith was missing upon her entry. Rows upon rows of weapons hung on the walls, precariously dangled for dramatic effect. Mikasa saw one of countless ways to ruin his advertisements with but a flick of her wrist. It was an unnecessary habit, but one born out of suspicion for her surroundings and frustration at her findings. Respecting the other people in the area, Mikasa would move to inspect one of the weapons at the window, waiting for the hotel to inform her of whether she would have a bed for the night, or if she would need to take to the streets.

391 words | 391 total

Claire Lightning

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Genin
Her sources still turned up little to no information on the two targets that she were looking for. Despite this, Claire didn’t feel an ounce of worry, only impatience, as she took her dinner in the cafeteria opposite the road to where she stayed. The ramen that she slowly, silently ate barely registered to her tastes as she reviewed the information – the very little bit, but still something – that she had been given just moments prior.

The contacts in Konoha had definitely managed to track down her parents’ killers, turning up a small lead on them from asking around the lower levels of administration, though their activity would have to be toned down upon the Konoha administration striking some sort of suspicion over the sudden inquiries. Claire understood the need for secrecy; it wasn’t illegal but it would be best if it didn’t have a spotlight shined upon by the Konoha government. That didn’t mean it didn’t annoy her, what with needing to wait even longer for further confirmation of where they were, and when they were last there.

The truly frustrating bit, though, was the lack of information on her foster mother. That was to be expected; Claire held no short amount of respect for the kind, loving woman who doubled as a frightening, retired kunoichi of the Village Hidden in the Clouds. If she didn’t wish to be found, it would be more difficult than looking for a needle in a haystack, but it didn’t dampen Claire’s spirits. Soon, eventually, she would find her.

Her meal finished, she left it on the table as she always did, leaving the compound with workers’ glares burning a hole in her back. Instead of returning straight to her room, though, she went to the armory beside it. Where some people were likely to take short walks, she instead found standing in an armory equally helpful in helping digestion. However, upon entering, she would be met with the sight of a woman who she’d only just encountered days ago, having beaten her on an unspoken technicality in the hot springs.

Sighing, Claire walked up to her. “I didn’t think I’d see you again so soon,” she mentioned as she let her eyes wander past the weapons that the girl was currently browsing, making idle chatter as they shopped.

WC: 397

Mikasa Ackerman

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Genin
The armory was a relatively miniscule business with little comparatives to its competitors within the village walls. Its primary draw was the proximity to a lodging catering almost exclusively to foreign ninja regardless of affiliation. The lobby was ten by twenty meters, with varying katanas presented atop shelves, while less traditional swords were on display within their scabbards, balanced vertically by the guard. The walls were all lined with weaponry, with the counter occupying the far side of the room opposite the single-door entrance.

There was nothing off about the particular metal Mikasa was entertaining. A fine katana no doubt, but hers was better. It was of sleeker quality, lighter in her hands, more comfortable to use albeit solely due to personal preference. It wasn’t long before a presence made itself known, half a meter to her left, studying the impressive display of equipment, though its quality in no way dwarfed its dozens of competitors scattered around the village.

The sigh bore a familiar draw, but the voice was one she recalled immediately.

“I didn’t think I’d see you again so soon.”

Mikasa eyed the woman with suspicion from the corner of her eye, head never moving from its bowed stature in worship of the craftsmanship before her. Memories of the embarrassment in the hot springs were fresh in her mind, but they incited no fear, anxiety, or displeasure. Mikasa had been the one less skilled and prepared, and she’d received her dues accommodatingly.

Her left hand rested on Éclair’s sheath, just below the opening, as preparation. The last instance she met this woman, the two had clashed in a quick exchange of steel, with the woman, ‘Lightning’, having proven herself the better through a surprise maneuver that left Mikasa incapable of reacting in time. The result was a simple gash no more than five centimeters across, no deeper than an inch, but the Ackerman had acknowledged the spillage of her blood regardless.

“I did not plan on encountering you so soon, either. What brings you here?” she asked monotonously, keeping her eye on the katana but her attention on the danger.

358 words | 749 total

Claire Lightning

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Genin
Claire could feel the heated glare from the woman, or she at least imagined it, given the woman’s unmoving stance. It seemed that she didn’t take her defeat too well, even if it was only from the scratch that Claire had given her a few days back. She’d felt the strength that this woman, Mikasa Ackerman, as she introduced herself, had emitted in the short few bursts of battle they’d shared. It would be a lie to say she didn’t want to taste the heated exchange again; few could match Claire so equally, with others often being beneath her, or exceedingly beyond her level.

While Mikasa had her attention fixated on one of the katanas that were horizontally balanced atop two hinges, understandably because that was the style that she’d chosen, Claire instead admired the slim form of a rapier. It wasn’t her specialty, no, but she’d been taught in it. Few shops sold the exclusivity that was her gunblade, with her having had to custom-order it and watch its production through its various stages to ensure it met her standards, but she could still find an appreciation for other weapons, not really restricting herself to just one form of swordplay.

“I did not plan on encountering you so soon, either. What brings you here?”

“Not much,” Claire responded to the monotonous voice. It sounded forced, robotic, almost inhuman with the lack of almost all intonation; the only stress placed into her words were the emphasis required for each word, but her sentences were otherwise devoid of life. They were, essentially dead ringings of a woman who was either reserved to the core or simply displeased by her presence. Claire couldn’t put her finger on which one, but she did take note of the hand that rested on the girl’s sheath.

“I stay at the inn next door,” she answered, her right hand dropping to the handle of her gunblade, hanging in its holster behind her legs, draped from her hip. She wanted to avoid a confrontation if necessary, but she wouldn’t say no to a fight against the woman who matched her mind and matter. "You?"

WC: 369 + 397 = 766

Mikasa Ackerman

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Genin
“I stay at the inn next door,” the woman replied, although she seemed to pick up on Mikasa’s slight act of preparation. Lightning’s right hand glanced the handle of her queer weapon, before wrapping around it. The other inhabitants of the small armory were swift to detect the unspoken tension between the two women, and looked on warily for signs of a fight. The owner would doubtlessly have made some noise to force them to stand down, had he been present; rather, the emptiness and silence was all that stared back from behind the unmanned counter.

Mikasa slowly drew Éclair from her case, leaving but the tip within the scabbard. It was a warning of sorts, but also an invitation. Anyone seeking to avoid the violence that was to occur within the armory’s compounds would have been wise to leave, and that was the wise decision elected by all but the two women. Mikasa noted dryly that chivalry was turning in its grave, but kept her weapon extended as an invitation to Lightning to join her in a dance for two. It would be another performance for the couple to enjoy, but they would dance to the tune of Mikasa’s lightning this time, rather than the woman who bore the same name as her element.

Ten seconds. That was all the opening Lightning would be permitted to step down. The silence and isolation would be construed as concurrence. Mikasa would kick off with her left leg, rotating rapidly to her right on her remaining heel, seeking to bring a quick cut to Claire’s neck following her half second gyration.

274 words | 1023 total

Claire Lightning

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Genin
Claire heard the distinct sliding of metal as Mikasa slowly, gently pulled her weapon out of its sheath, until only the tip remained within. To say she wasn’t worried was an exaggeration, since Claire had experienced firsthand Mikasa’s skill in kenjutsu that rivalled her own. The others in the armory didn’t seem to fare any better, as they grew extremely wary at the sudden very open display of a possible fight; Claire could just sense their unease within the area as she too kept an eye on the length of metal, especially as close to her as this was.

Claire tapped her index finger against the hilt of her gunblade as she counted down the seconds before everyone had wisely left, leaving the two girls to their antics within the armory. She also played with the idea that their every meeting would be characterised by a violent spark of metal on metal, before tightening her grip on her weapon. She’d beaten Mikasa before, and while she was likely to be more careful, Claire had also not put on display her entire skillset – there would still be something to keep up her sleeves should Mikasa prove herself craftier than when they’d last fought.

Claire waited the seconds and thought the two formed a funny sight. Two girls standing next to each other, the one on the left with her hand on her weapon and the one on the right with her weapon nearly fully drawn, the two standing side by side with not even a meter between the two of them. The armory, bereft of all life except for the two women inspecting the goods on display. She recalled that the last time they had met, it had also been in a relatively empty environment.

And, all of a sudden, Mikasa spun on her heels, rotating right with her blade now drawn. Within the half second that Mikasa would’ve taken, Claire brought her gunblade out of its holster, blocking Mikasa’s slash and holding her ground by stepping back with her left leg. Her left hand would reach into her pouch, before throwing two senbon aimed for Mikasa’s abdomen, to quickly incapacitate her again, given the woman had angled her strike in attempt to take off Claire’s head.

Only time would tell if the rules of their previous engagement would be applied to this small exchange.

WC: 403 + 766 = 1169

Mikasa Ackerman

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Genin
As Mikasa completed her turn, intricate designs would inscribe themselves in black against the concrete floor, spreading five meters in every direction. Lightning would be trapped, with only five meters behind her, with the remainder fourteen and a half extending behind Mikasa, while the room stretched ten meters to Mikasa’s left. It was a technique Mikasa had just contrived, and would witness its first application in conflict, recording the last moments of Lightning retrieving her weapon, and the last moments of Mikasa’s spin.

The horizontal slash rightwards was parried and held firm by Lightning’s own blade, the two weapons criss-crossing each other at a perpendicular. Mikasa’s eyes caught the subtle motion of Lightning’s hand slipping into her red leather pouch, strapped onto the leg that had retreated one step for stability. Glimmers of light fell upon the pair of senbon between her fingers, and with a twist of her wrist, Mikasa rotated her weapon, still connected to Lightning’s, to block the two senbon aimed for her throat, dropping them harmlessly onto the ground.

As this occurred, a mass of chakra would coagulate behind Lightning, a rough symmetry with Mikasa’s upper form, midway through a spin. Of course, the blade would be missing, though the motion of slamming the bottom of her enclosed fist against Lightning’s neck would be enough to daze her. This would allow Mikasa to press forward, stepping a meter ahead with her left leg with Lightning to her right, while her sword kept Lightning’s in a deadlock, before sending her right knee into Lightning’s abdomen to stun her further.

273 words | 1296 total

Spoiler:
135/150 chakra

Name: Fuuinjutsu Clonage
Canon/Custom: Custom
Rank: C
Type: Offensive
Element: N/A
Range: [5 m] radius
Specialty: Fuuinjutsu
Duration: [5 posts]
Cooldown: [10 posts]
Description: Mikasa channels [15 chakra] beneath her, forming a [5 m] radius seal centered around herself which is unaffected by the terrain beneath. This seal partially acts as a sensory technique, recording the chakra signature of those within its area of influence as well as motions associated with these signatures. Upon the recording of any one movement, a Fuuinjutsu clone can be created partially or in its entirety, simply a mass of coloured chakra in the outline of whoever’s signature was recorded, weapons included, with its form stabilised by the seal above which it stands. The Fuuinjutsu clone is created and destroyed within each post, and is capable only of movements that were first recorded by this seal, although slight adjustments to angle, position, and the like may be present. The clone performs C-rank damage – [1 ½ in] cuts or major external bruising – and moves at a maximum of [15 m/s] speed, while any D-rank damage or greater will immediately destroy it. This clone is unable to use its own jutsu, as it is but a replay of chakra from the seal.

Claire Lightning

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Genin
Claire blocked the hit, her right hand up with her blade pointing down, meeting Mikasa’s own sword perpendicularly. Somehow, Mikasa was able to spot the senbon she threw, likely due to the glint of the overhead lights, which although dim would be enough to have drawn her attention to the senbon, and had rotated her blade accordingly to block them.

Claire pondered what to do in the few moments that passed in their deadlock, but that was when she saw the black inscriptions quickly forming on the ground, spreading outwards in a circle ending five meters behind Mikasa. Had they been any smaller or any subtler, Claire may have missed it, but with the clear black against light grey surface, the use of a Fuuinjutsu technique was obvious. While it gave Claire a certain insight into Mikasa’s skills, being trained in the intricate art of sealing as well as the bastardised forms of weaponry, now was not the time to appreciate her opponent’s skill, but rather her own.

Where Mikasa had chosen to excel in a sealing art, whose purpose had for some reason dwindled into little more than sealing away and unsealing an object, Claire had chosen to hone her expertise in Ninjutsu, the all-encompassing specialisation that had first given ninja the versatility that made them such feared warriors, not just slinkers in the shadows. From the corner of her eye, she spied a location ten meters to her right, pressed against the wall, and in one of her signature techniques, imagined herself there.

The imagined form would be poised with one foot against the intersection where the wall met the floor, and her remaining right leg roughly half a meter from it. She would have been in a slightly crouched position, her blade held in front of her, ready to rocket off the wall and slam into Mikasa from the Ackerman’s left, likely dealing another gash at the same time.

And, all of a sudden, Claire would disappear. In a move that lasted less than half a second, Claire would’ve moved from her location in Mikasa’s sights to all the way to the girl’s left, leaving only a trail of electricity behind her which, if Mikasa continued with her motions into, would cause major first degree burns to the woman through her clothes, which weren’t specially tailored for ninja combat.

As soon as she saw the change of scenery in her vision, she shot off with both feet, aiming for Mikasa’s left side, hoping to deal a slash that would win her another victory against this woman.

WC: 439 + 1169 = 1608

135/150:
Name: Éclair Lightning: Blink
Canon/Custom: Custom
Rank: C
Type: Supplementary
Element: Lightning
Range: 10 m
Specialty: Ninjutsu, Bukijutsu
Duration: 1 post
Cooldown: 3 posts
Description: A variant of the dashes most people are able to perform, the user imagines their body in a position anywhere within 10 m of themselves. Coating themselves in a protective layer of 0.5 m of lightning chakra, they accelerate to said position at a rapid speed of 25 m/s. The lightning chakra is able to cause major first degree burns upon contact, but only lasts for 1 post.

Mikasa Ackerman

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Genin
One moment, Mikasa’s grip was tightened firmly against Éclair’s handle, pressing sharply against the glinting edge of Lightning’s own weapon. The condensed form of her chakra flickered behind Lightning, prepared to stun the unknowing woman with a swift blow to the neck. The next, Lightning had vanished, leaving a trail of electricity in her wake. A moment of deja vu for Mikasa, doubtlessly, as she recognised the technique that had spelled disaster for her the previous encounter with this woman.

It took no einstein to deduce that the trail coloured Lightning’s escape route. The woman had clearly shot to Mikasa’s left. With no target, the Fuuinjutsu clone flickered out of life. While not her intention, Lightning would have caught barely a sight of it, quick as it was to disappear. The seal, though, would remain visibly plastered against the concrete surface.

With nothing to press against, Mikasa faltered for a quick moment from the sudden loss of reactionary force. However, the woman was quick and immediate to recover, preparing for an assault from her left. She turned her head, rewarded with the sight of Lightning approaching suicidally towards her. The woman was airborne, and it was simple for Mikasa to rotate on the balls of her feet to face Claire with her left, her right arm pulled back until the elbow, else pointing the weapon at Lightning’s form.

She felt the familiar pool of chakra in her chest, as a protective layer of absorptive chakra came alive on her skin. Lightning would intrude into her personal space, cutting a horizontal gash an inch wide in her side, though the blade would be stopped completely upon even contact with her skin, as all its momentum was rapidly sealed. Surprised or not, Lightning had made the fatal mistake of returning to her domain, and Mikasa stabbed forth with Éclair, aiming to cut Lightning’s neck, drawing a thin line along the left of Lightning’s neck, from the victim’s perspective, just a nick to ensure she lived, but bloody enough to assert her supremacy.

Aware Lightning would attempt to escape, a Fuuinjutsu clone formed to Lightning’s right, the most reasonable place of escape given her airborne status and the approach of the onslaught from the left. It would be performing the same round strike it had been deprived, aiming to deliver a bruise to Lightning’s right gut should she attempt an escape, enough to stun the woman for Mikasa to land the decisive wound.

421 words | 1717 total

Spoiler:
115/150 chakra

Name: Bénédiction de L'orient
Canon/Custom: Custom
Rank: C
Type: Defensive
Element: N/A
Range: Self
Specialty: Fuuinjutsu
Duration: [4 posts]
Cooldown: [8 posts]
Description: Mikasa uses [15 chakra] to form a visible [10 cm] radius seal on the skin of her chest, although its influence extends to every part of her body, as well as any items within her possession should she will it so. This seal absorbs the onslaught of incoming chakra, be it in an offensive or supplementary manner, as long as it affects her indirectly or directly, treating it as if it were an incoming offensive technique either way. Bénédiction de L'orient is capable of defending against [1] B-rank technique, [2] C-rank techniques, [3] D-rank techniques, and [4] E-rank techniques, as well as all projectiles of D-rank and lesser by sealing the kinetic energy in their movements as soon as they touch her skin, should these come into contact with the extent of influence of this seal.

Claire Lightning

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Genin
It was a slightly naive hope to think that her surprise attack would take Mikasa by surprise, as the trail of lightning likely alerted her to her location, given how she’d almost instantly refocused herself to deal with Claire’s supposed ambush from her side. Claire supposed that Mikasa, having seen the technique once before, wouldn’t be so easily tricked by it again, and so was only partially surprised when she noticed Mikasa turning to face her despite having almost blinked out of existence, the one trail of lightning the evidence to her location.

Still, what did come as a complete surprise was when her blade struck against Mikasa’s skin… and failed to pierce through. Her gunblade was forged to perfection, and to think that it was unable to cut through human skin was folly or the proof of a defensive technique invisible to the naked eye. Scratch that, it was definitely proof of the latter.

Claire hadn’t accounted for this, though in retrospect, she should have. She had suspected Mikasa to be a samurai, one of the lower class, unable to mold chakra to her heart’s content, and nothing from their last encounter had shown her otherwise. It had been a very quick fight where they clashed and Claire got a surprise hit in, something not fatal but also decisive for their little bout. Now, however, she was reaping what she sowed.

Mikasa’s own blade was raised, level with her, and it shot forward. With no time to react, Claire could only respect that she’d fallen into Mikasa’s trap, a close combat specialist as it seemed, and received the dangerous cut to her neck. It wasn’t deep, and Claire believed neither wanted the other to be permanently damaged in a foreign village, whereby they could both be charged for obstruction of peace – what they had done in chasing everyone out was, while not a fairly common occurrence, only enough to warrant an admonishment from the business owner. In this case, it was likely the person who owned the restaurant next door.

It was settled. With the small trickle of blood from her neck, Claire put her gunblade away, slightly dejected she had been fooled by one of the oldest deceptive tricks in the book. Her wonderful night had been interrupted by her defeat, tainted with her own arrogance, but her self-reflection for what to do in the future could come after she had her wound looked at. While far from fatal, Claire also didn’t intend to run the risk of excessive blood loss, of which several red lines trickling down her neck and staining her uniform were indication of.

WC: 451 + 1608 = 2059

[Exit thread]



Crimson Raiton: 2000 words

Mikasa Ackerman

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Genin
Mikasa watched with satisfactory teenage glee as her weapon met with the sensitive nape of Lightning’s neck. The look of shock on the woman’s face was icing on the cake. The two remained for a flicker of a moment, before trickles of blood leaked from the wound on the left of Lightning’s neck. There was no verbal agreement needed for the two women to understand mutually that Mikasa had won. She had claimed what was rightfully hers from their first clash, losing then for lack of preparation. She supposed her Fuuinjutsu Clone played a less than crucial part, brief as its involvement had been, but it surely helped trap Lightning in a pincer attack.

Lightning spared her no words as she sheathed her weapon. Now that the battle, quick as their last, was over, Mikasa allowed her attention to drift to Lightning’s weapon once more. She could not fathom what military on the continent would issue that as a standard. Its customised curves would make it difficult to standardise across each user. Lightning didn’t seem to originate from any one ninja village either, which raised the question of her origin. Mikasa did not tend to dwell on her fights, but even as she sheathed Éclair, she couldn’t help but ponder on the query that was Lightning, just another face in her travels to Konohagakure no Sato, yet without a doubt one of the most interesting to date. Said interesting individual left the premises quickly and swiftly to seek medical aid for the wound that was now staining her white uniform a sickly red.

Now that it was dealt with, she supposed she would have to bear the brunt of the administrative eyes on her person. But, such a fate was a small price to pay for the satisfying triumph over Lightning, the woman who she would, apparently, now be sharing general lodgings with. The seal for her preliminary Fuuinjutsu Clone faded away from existence, and she made her way to the next room, where few seemed to have been affected by the impromptu spar she and Lightning shared. The receptionist shot her a glare, but it was mediocre at best as Mikasa continued on with her primary objective – the keys to her abode – all the while pushing thoughts of Lightning into the back of her mind.

392 words | 2109 total

{ Exit }

Crimson Raiton { 2000 words | 0 ryo }

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