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View Full Version : Kalena Eirwen (Lobotomizer) VS Lance Cloudspeaker (Dield)



Lobotomizer
11-25-2012, 06:39 AM
May you drown in the absurd wordcount.




Morning broke. The first rays of light pierced through dark the night sky, filling it with the bright hues of the rising sun. Corvon lay on his bed, watching the sunlight pass through the blinds of the window, caressing his face with its gentle warmth. He felt relaxed, more than he used to be. He could almost imagine himself waking up in his own room. He would arrive at the college cafeteria, retrieve his breakfast, then back to the familiar, gargantuan library for his studies. He knew it wasn’t reality, of course. He was still in this foreign land, and likely will be for a long time, if not forever. But even as he knew there was no way back, he still wanted to cherish the memories of his peers and the country that he had lived in for many years. Worthless feelings to have, his old tutor would have said, but he would still hold on to them regardless. It was the only few things that remind him of his existence.

He sat up with a sigh, then froze when he heard a faint groan beside him. He pulled the bed sheets away, to see the familiar face of a young woman, sleeping with almost uncharacteristic peacefulness. He stroked her auburn hair, and at the same time, gazed at her expressionless face. It dawned on him then, just how beautiful she was. He had never saw her as anything other than his queen, his superior, and respected her as such even as she frowned upon it. Now, all he saw before him was Kalena herself, fragile and vulnerable. He turned away before his thoughts could run wild, and his eyes rested on a piece of paper under the door. A paper?

Taking caution not to wake Kalena up, he left the bed and picked up the paper, which he recognised as an envelope. A wave of dread washed over him as he realised what it possibly could be. He unceremoniously tore it open, revealing a stack of notes. Paper money, tied together with a nondescript seal. There was no note, nothing indicating who the sender might be, but Corvon already knew.

The system.

He gulped, and stashed both money and envelope in his pocket. He had long known, since Kalena entered the system, that it paid money. Grand sums of money to those who win their battles. They were always sent in an envelope, and never with anything else. He never told her. How could he? He knew that her sense of virtue would not allow for her to accept any gains for committing violence, against an evil person or otherwise. But at the same time, they needed the money to survive. Food, board and other sorts of maintenance; the money they received was what financed those. He always feared that she would know, for then she would insist they burn the money and live on nothing. Perhaps it was selfish of him, but he did not wish the both of them to suffer. Not ever.

“Corvon?”

The sound of rustling behind him, and Corvon hastily turned around, masking his nervousness behind an indifferent expression.

“I’m here, Kalena.”

“Mmmh...” she rubbed her eyes, evidently still drowsy from having woken up, “what were you doing over there?”

“N-nothing,” Corvon lied, “I was about to leave for breakfast.”

She gave a small frown, “we always went together. why the change?”

“I...did not want to wake you up, not when you were sleeping so peacefully. So I thought I would carry the food over to our room.”

That only elicited a deeper frown, “I am as able as you are, Corvon.”

“Yes, but I,” Corvon stuttered awkwardly, unsure of what to say, “I’m...sorry.”

“It is fine,” Kalena yawned and stood up from the bed, “let us go together, now that I'm awake.”

“R-right!” Corvon nodded, and the two headed downstairs. Perhaps it was Kalena's moral values influencing him, but even as he was lying to her for their own good he felt terrible. No, he firmly told himself, he only neglected to tell her about the money, different from lying. When that failed to work, he forced himelf to blank his thoughts instead.

"Corvon?" Kalena turned around worriedly, "you're looking queer. Is something the matter?"

"Hm? Oh, no. Nothing much," He shook his head.

"I see." Even as she said this he knew she was concerned, for the frown on her did not leave her expression. He clenched his fists tightly, hoping she would not ask more; he could not guarantee that he wouldn't crack then.

The tavern was, as usual, relatively quiet. A few people were scattered about, most keeping to themselves. Some stared at the new arrivals, but turned back just as quickly. The bartender greeted the two with a curt nod, setting aside the glass he had beem cleaning.

"Breakfast as usual?" He asked with a raised eyebrow. Upon receiving their affirmations he left for the kitchen, returning shortly with two plates of steaming food, sliding it over to his waiting customers.

They uttered a word of thanks, then began to eat silently. A little after Kalena spoke up, albeit with some hesitation.

“Corvon...I think we should leave.”

The mage gave her a puzzled look, “why?”

“We have done little ourselves. If we left for a more populated area, we would surely be able to find more people who have strayed from the path.”

And kill them? He was about to ask, but swallowed the words back down his throat, “And to...correct their ways?”

She nodded, “that is my intention.”

He gulped. The idea did not bode well for him, having more complications than he could think at hand. Though he knew Kalena would not be easily convinced otherwise, he attempted to persuade her weakly, “But even as you say this, will there not be more innocents about? We have only gone undisturbed so far because there is plenty of empty land available to fight in. Even a small town would have more than just a few crowds. Initiating a battle might cause more casualties than before.”

“Nonetheless, we have to try. The pace where we are at is far too slow. I plan to rid the system of any participants entirely. Force or otherwise,” she answered firmly.

“I...see,” Corvon’s face fell, which he hid by downing his drink. At least he tried, he supposed.

“We shall be leaving now, while we have the sun’s light to guide us,” she continued, which nearly made her companion cough.

“Now?” He stared at her in a mix between disbelief and shock, “do you even know where our destination would be?”

She nodded, “a town not too distant from here. It is close to main travelling routes, and so it is fairly populated. It is the right place to go to.”

“And our belongings?” He asked.

“Packed and ready to be taken,” Kalena replied, “I had done so late night, right after you fell asleep.”

Corvon said nothing, merely slumping into his chair. She had already decided before she’d told him. Any objection would have been needless in the first place. Yet it disturbed him that she was this diligent, ready to risk her life for her very goal. Yet he said nothing and returned to his food, knowing that his words would be little more than wind to her ears.

Breakfast was swiftly finished, and Kalena wasted on time in leaving the hamlet with Corvon. There was little to be brought, save for spare clothing and other necessities, which Corvon was glad for. The dirt path they took was a little travelled one, showing little signs of having been tread through, save for perhaps an occasional track mark made by a vehicle. Trees towered over them, providing a most welcome shade over the path itself, for even as winter approached the sun was still as strong as before. Corvon felt a pang of loneliness, having not seen another person ever since they stepped out of the hamlet, save for Kalena herself. It was very much like the feeling he had when they arrived into this world. Everything seemed alien then, and whatever they had once known and recognised was gone. He felt as if the only people in the world was he and Kalena, and it was a very sobering feeling indeed.

“Kalena...” He murmured, “when will we ever be able to return? Back to our world, I mean.”

Kalena did not reply instantly, gazing at the scenery for a long while before replying in a soft voice, “do you miss it?”

He nodded slowly. She took a deep breath, but said nothing. Was she feeling guilt? Disappointment? He could not discern her feelings from the complex expression that she bore, and so stayed silent.

Without warning, she froze, raising a clenched fist; the gesture to stop. Recognising it almost immediately, Corvon froze in his place. Military instincts kicking in, he activated his own mage-sight, scanning his immediate vicinity for the slightest hint of danger. There it was, just a little ways behind them, someone hidden in the undergrowth, registering as a slight haze of red amongst the greyed surroundings.

“Kalena...” he whispered, but she shook her head before he could continue. Presumably she already knew about their mysterious stalker’s position, given her own insight, and so he clammed up.

“Come out,” she commanded, “lest I have you do so with force.”

A faint rustling as the bushes shook, and a young man walked out, brushing the foliage from his cloAh,hing. He was a young man, perhaps a little taller than average. He looked almost like a normal person, and a face which one would easily forget. What drew Corvon’s attention, was the friendly, almost curious grin that he bore on his expression, completely inappropriate considering the current situation.

“Ah, very well done, I didn’t think you would spot me,” he gave a slow, rhythmic clap, “how did you find me? I thought I was quite hidden.”

“The sounds you made,” Kalena answered, turning around to face the man, “you can hide well, but you weren’t cautious enough to avoid stepping on the twigs, or brushing against the leaves.”

“Acute hearing,” he mused, before stepping forward and offering his hand, “My name is Lance Cloudspeaker. You may call me Lance. Kalena Eirwen, was it? It is a pleasure to meet such an esteemed fighter as yourself.”

Kalena took the hand cautiously, thinking over the words he has spoken, “well met, Lance. If I may venture a guess...you are in the system, are you not? I would assume so given your knowledge of my existence.”

“Ah, yes, you are right indeed,” he nodded, “I had heard about a very talented fighter, who is said to uphold justice and virtue even in battle. It was the reason why I had decided to follow you.”

Kalena closed her eyes for a brief moment at his words, “and now that you have followed me, what will you do?”

Lance grinned, “I would like to see that talent myself, do you mind a battle between the both of us?”

Corvon’s heart sank when he heard Lance’s words. Another battle. Would he have to watch his companion helplessly as she fought and injure herself, like he had done so many a time? He wanted to yell then, to tell her to stop, but the words stuck in his throat, refusing to leave his mouth. He gave up and stood to one side, hoping that it would end soon, and in Kalen’a victory.

“No, I do not,” Kalena shook her head, “however, there is something I must ask. Why have you joined the system?”

Lance frowned at the question, “ah, a hard one to answer. I seek allies to reclaim the homeland that once belonged to my people, and the system seemed to be the most straightforward way to do so. And well, if I meet any...undesirable characters, disposing of them at the same time is not a bad idea.”

Kalena was taken aback slightly, bewildered by his response. Their goals may be different, but he had noble intentions, intentions which she rarely saw in others that she had fought. Perhaps...?

“I see. Shall we begin our battle?”

“Gladly.”

The combatants stepped away from each other, raising their weapons as they did so. Kalena, her sword of truth, and Lance, a metallic staff. Neither made a sudden move, merely circling each other, searching the other for an opening. And when both realised neither would budge, Lance started his attack. First with a feint, and upon realising that his opponent did not budge, thrust his weapon straight at her. With near blinding speed, she parried the blow with the flat of her blade, twirling it before stepping forward to deliver a stab. It failed to make contact, for Lance had withdrawn when he realised his offense had failed, keeping just out of range of her reach.

Kalena wasted no time, twisting her blade downward and stabbing it into the ground. Lance frowned at the action, but made no move to attack, deciding to observe what may happen. Not a moment later did the ground under them shudder, before spitting forth a gigantic spike. He leapt away, rolling and recovering before dashing straight at his opponent with an overhead strike. Having already retrieved her weapon, Kalena met the attack head on, parrying the attack once again. Right as they made contact, a piercing pain shot through her arm, forcing her to instinctively drop her sword. She swallowed a cry of pain, and retreated back before Lance could make contact with another strike. He made no effort to chase her, only brandishing his weapon with a grin.

“You can control the earth I see. Most likely due to that sword of yours,” he nodded, impressed, “But I am able produce electric shocks. Shocks that can travel from my hands to your metal blade.”

Saying this, he kicked the sword away to a distance behind him, before turning back to Kalena, “now that you have lost your main weapon, what will you do?”

“Continue,” she replied simply, and unhooked her sheath from her belt, wielding it as if it were a sword.

“Interesting,” Lance mused. Despite his admiration for her persistence, he knew that leather would do little against the crushing force of his staff, even if electricity would no longer work on her. Even then, the result of the battle mattered little to him; he had only wanted to gauge her strength, winning was irrelevant.

He struck first once more, swinging his staff at his opponent. As he had expected, she could only step back to avoid. But staying out of his range meant he was out of hers too. There was no way for her to retaliate, not unless she dared risk getting hit.

More exchanges followed, with Lance initiating the attack, and Kalena avoiding every attack. Fatigue had begun to set in upon the two, more so for Lance who wielded a far heavier weapon. He lost patience then, lunging forward with a powerful thrust. Kalena stepped to her right to avoid the attack, and, upon seeing the opportunity, closed their distance with a single stride. Noticing this, Lance immediately pulled his staff back, moving his grip forward to reduce his reach to match that of his opponent. But even then he was too slow to react, and Kalena promptly punished him with a full barrage of strikes, slapping every part of his body with her sheath. Each blow stung his skin from the impact, and bruises when the metal binding the leather made contact instead.

There was no way out. Kalena’s offense was unbreakable, and his muscles screamed even as he was reduced to raising his arms in a futile attempt to defend himself from the strikes. Without another thought he slammed a hand against the watch he bore. He felt a sharp pain as the anesthetic was injected, then it gradually subsided, as did the aching pain dealt by Kalena. He took a sharp breath, feeling the familiar change in his muscles. His vision grew blurry, feeding tinted images of various hues as his eyes were gradually altered. He felt alive, much more than when he was once human, an ecstasy upon knowing that he was back. Back to the true being he was.

“Kalena!” Corvon was about to rush to his companion’s side, only to stopped by a fierce glare.

“Stay back,” Kalena firmly told him, “this is a duel between Lance and I.”

Corvon stepped back into cover, albeit worriedly. He continued watch Lance as his body gradually twisted into what seemed like an utter monstrosity that he could not recognise. Metamorphosis? He had heard of mages who were able to alter parts of their body with magic, but even then he doubted it, knowing that magic did not exist in this world. He waited, breath held, in anticipation of what Kalena’s opponent would become.

With the time she was given, Kalena rushed past Lance to retrieve her blade, only pausing to hook her sheath once more. When she had returned, Lance had completed his transformation. A hideous, reptilian-like being, far muscular than he was before. He roared, a giant roar that shook birds from their nests, causing them to flee from the forest canopy in terror. Kalena would not be cowed by the cry, charging forward with all the might of an expert swordswoman.

Lance stopped her advance short, swinging his staff down her, forcing her to leap away. Dust soared up from the sheer impact against the ground, stinging her eyes and causing them to smart. Even as he had changed it was clear that he was not a simple brute; he had become far more aggressive, but retained his wariness of her sword.

He kept her at bay with every swing, forcing her to retreat before she was able to close in enough to land a blow. Kalena knew that if she were hit just once, everything would be over. Even so, she had realised his apparent clumsiness that came with his change; unlike before, he was unable to utilise the staff properly, resorting to swing it as a mace or a sword. His movements, though they showed power, were slower. Taking advantage of this knowledge, she dashed straight at him, clutching her sword tightly in her hands. Her enemy took it as an easy opening, swinging his staff sideways in a bid to catch her in the swing. She responded by stabbing her sword into the ground, summoning a gigantic, earthen wall that defended the strike, groaning as it withstood the gargantuan impact. With a free path toward Lance, Kalena closed her distance between them with a few steps, muttering an incantation all too familiar to herself.

“Lights, gather.”

When she had reached Lance, a radiant light, its brilliance rivalling the sun itself, had extended from her hands, moulding into the shape of a b’ade.

“Slash away.”

There was no time to defend, or even dodge for that matter, for he was too slow to do both. All he could do was to endure the pain as the light pierced through his shoulder, creating a deep wound that seared from its unearthly glow. The light vanished shortly after, winking out of existence in just a few seconds. Lance collapsed onto the ground, having submitted to both exhaustion and pain.

“You fall to me,” Kalena muttered simply.

Lance activated his band once more, and his form gradually shifted to that of his human one, though retaining the stab wound.

“And so I have,” he replied weakly.

“Corvon,” Kalena called for the mage, who emerged from the trees half trembling. Without a word, he knelt beside Lance and muttered an incantation. Blue sparks formed and left his hands, heading straight to the wound itself. Skin and flesh slowly wrapped over the wound, empowered by the magic that encircled it. Within a few moments, the wound had completely disappeared, save for a faint scar that seemed almost invisible under the light.

“Thank you,” Lance gave a gratuitous smile before standing up and offering his hand, “you were a very good fighter. It has indeed been an honor to fight you.”

“Likewise,” Kalena shook his hand firmly, “if nothing else, we shall be on our way.”

Lance paused for a moment, before speaking hesitantly, “perhaps this might be selfish of me, but will you not join me in my quest? You are strong, you have the pride and virtue of the warriors of my own kin. Perhaps...”

He was stopped when she raised a palm in gesture, “I apologise, but I, too, have my own goals to meet. I wish to completely destroy the system that forces people to fight, and I cannot rest until I have done so.”

He swallowed, then gave a curt nod, “I see. So be it then, I do hope you will be able to accomplish that.”

“As do I, hope for nothing but success in the path you have took,” Kalena smiled, before turning to retrieve her sword, sheathing it, “let us go now, Corvon.”

Corvon nodded and hastily followed after her. He turned to give Lance one last glance, then returned to his companion’s side. It assured him, at least, that there were people in the system who had noble intentions, and none of the blood lust or greed that many had previously. Perhaps Kalena’s own goal might not be too far away from them after all, he thought to himself.

They trekked silently for the most part, neither speaking to the other. Corvon felt that, after such exertion, Kalena would be too exhausted to want to converse, and she, had nothing much to speak about. At one point Corvon felt screaming just so he could break the heavy silence, but managed to stop himself before he truly did. In contrast, Kalena was used to silence, and took it without complaint.

Evening set in, and the bright glare of the sun gradually dimmed to a reddish hue. The path showed no change, making Corvon wonder if they were making progress at all.

“Corvon,” Kalena murmured, “do you hear it?”

“Hear...?” Corvon was about to ask what he did, until he heard the same. A soft rumbling that slowly increased in volume behind them. The two stopped, watching the road behind them in anticipation for what would come. After what almost seemed like an hour, something came around the bend. A metallic structure on wheels that seemed to travel by magic.

“Corvon?” Kalena gave the mage a puzzled glance, which made him recall that she had little knowledge of the technology in this world.

“It’s...a car. A vehicle. Like a carriage, but powered by burning a certain fuel,” he explained briefly, though he did not know if she understood or not.

The car slowly came to a stop as it reached the two, and a man emerged from it. His appearance was, compared to the other people the two had witnessed, queer, donning a long, unbuttoned coat that reached his ankles, and wearing what Corvon recognised as goggles around his neck. His jet black hair was as dishevelled as his clothes were, a glaring statement as to his care for appearances.

“Well well, seeing a couple walking down some near obsolete road is pretty rare,” The man commented, “what you two be heading to? Not the nearest town, I hope.”

“We are heading for the nearest town, yes,” Kalena nodded in afirmation.

“Ack,” the man rubbed his temples, his expression of disbelief, “well I’m heading straight for that too, and I’ll tell you now that if you’re just going to go there by foot, it’ll take forever. Days, probably.”

“Nonetheless, we have to,” Kalena frowned, “A few days is little. I have travelled for longer.”

“Yeah well, doesn’t mean that well-kempt, handsome man beside you thinks the same, do you, buddy?” He shifted his eyes upon Corvon, who, despite feeling that he would have betrayed Kalena, nodded profusely.

“There you have it. So what you say you hitch a ride on my car?” He tapped the vehicle with a finger, “won’t take more than a few hours. Much better than walking, don’t you think?”

Kalena said nothing at first, then slowly nodded, “You have my thanks.”

The man smiled in satisfaction and ushered the two inside. Before long, they were moving through the forest at a speed neither Kalena nor Corvon had seen before, causing the two to widen their eyes in bewilderment.

“While we’re at it, you mind telling me your names? Don’t want to address you as “Jane doe” and “Marty Stu”,” the man said, glancing over at his passengers.

“Kalena, Kalena Eirwen,” Kalena replied.

“Corvon Winshelm,” Corvon added.

“Kalena and Corvon,” the man mused, “good names, no? Mine’s Jeff. It’s a real pleasure to meet you.”