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View Full Version : Sharpiro (Ethernu) versus Cassandra (Leelee)



Cassandra
07-22-2016, 08:38 AM
The bunny girl and the weapons-master have faced off...

Ethernu and I agreed on using the same location for our fights to take place in.


A lone figure hikes up the rocky mountain. If you look carefully at his face, you’d be convince that his left eye was made of pure emerald, while the other was of pure sapphire. HIs name is Ethernu; a few days ago he fought a shadow being named Vamprina. After the battle, Ethernu only remembered fighting Vamprina and waking up next to some potted plants. He had asked on the whereabouts of the shadow, but no one knew. Unsatisfied, he set off on a journey to find Vamprina, thinking it was his fault for the shadow’s mysterious disappearance. Hoping to get info, he hikes this very mountain, in order to reach the high heavens and listen to some angels. Usually, they provide useful information. He hoped they would give some hints, as to where Vamprina was. The sun was not kind today, as he shone his unforgiving rays down towards our adventurer.

“I need to find shade.” Ethernu thought as sweat poured out of him.
After hours of hiking, he finally saw that he was approaching a forest, Eager to reach it quicker, he unsheathed the Morph Blade and morphed it into a grapple gun.
“Why didn’t I think of this earlier?” He thought as he fired his grapple gun towards the nearest tree.

Meanwhile in the very same forest, we can observe nature at it’s finest. Ahhh, feel that cool breeze flow by. The fresh smell of pine cones and mountain air makes any creature feel alive and energized. Look over there yonder, by the bridge over the rushing river. A ferocious mountain cat and a pack of cute, black bunnies. Here, we can observe the natural balance between predator and prey. Of course you may be thinking: “Sharpiro, that’s sad. How could you talk so calmly about a bunny massacre.” To which I reply: “In this case, the bunnies are the predator, not the prey.” These bunnies will make an excellent meal out of that mountain cat, but one of them stands out from the rest. She looks like your average teenage girl (well, except for the pink, rosy eyes).Her golden, silk hair flowed in the forest breeze. On her chest, lies a light pink shirt with the words “I love your EVERYTHING!” written on it with bright pink sparkling gel. The ‘o’ in the word ‘love’ has been replaced with a simple, but meaningful heart. Her more “interesting” part was the bottom half of her body. Where her normal human legs should be, are replaced by bunny legs. Her name is Leelee, quite a fitting name.

***

Ethernu sat awhile on a stone, with his eyes closed, feeling a pleasant breeze flow under the tranquil and shaded forest. The sound of birds chirping, and sound chattering made him feel…...happy. He smiled a little, but that smile was short-lived. His heart ached, his mind was flooded with guilt, the thoughts had haunted him day and night after that battle: “It was my fault, Vamprina could have been enjoying this scenery right now, why was I such an idiot for challenging her?” He felt a single, crystal droplet sliding down from his right eye. The droplet fell from his face down onto his blue sweater, shattering instantly, just like his heart. “I have committed a terrible sin, it’s unforgivable.” Another droplet slide, making a dark spot on his white shirt, like the darkness that consumed him..

“Hello! Are you crying?” said a cheery voice

Surprised, Ethernu immediately opened his eyes to reveal a teenage girl with bunny ears. He looked down at her feet and realized she wasn’t human.

“Wh-Who are you?” He asked, not fully recovered from the shock of her sudden appearance.

The girl giggled, “I’m Leelee, you’re not from the forest are you?”

Ethernu passed a sigh of relief, “I’m Ethernu, Sharpiro told me that he challenged Cassandra to wRHG battle.”

Leelee gave a big smile and said, “Oh yeah, Cassandra told me about you. I almost forgot! Today’s our playdate!”

Ethernu looked confused, “Ummm, playdate?”

“We’ll have sooooooo much fun today.”

At the word fun, she protracted her claws from her oversized paw gloves; which made Ethernu take a step back. Ethernu unsheathed the Morph Blade and pointed it at Leelee. Unsuspectingly, Leelee burst her paws into fire which forced Ethernu to reel backwards, temporarily blinded. He tripped over some sort of object and fell backwards. When his vision came back, he got up only to realize his opponent was gone. Ethernu picked up his sword and gripped it. He listened carefully to the surroundings, a river was flowing and some birds were chirping, but other than that, all was completely silent.

Leelee looked safely from a bush. What was Ethernu doing? It didn’t look like he was looking for her. He was just standed still with both hand gripping the blue-gemmed sword

“A perfect opportunity to surprise him!’ She thought.

She tried to restrain herself from getting too excited, but that failed. She took a few excited hops inside the bush.

Ethernu, hearing the sound of a bush rustling, morphed his sword into the familiar shape of a net gun.

“I’ve got you now….”

He quickly twisted himself in the direction of the sound and fired. He heard a shriek and then a loud thud. He rushed to the scene only to discover the net had been slashed open.

“W-what? How did she get out so quickly?”

He turned around just in time to see Leelee rushing at him, no time for questions now. He hit her head with the flat of the sword. In return, he received a full kick in the stomach. Normally this type of attack wouldn’t be too bad for Ethernu to handle, but Leelee kicks really hard and has claws on her feet, imagine how painful that is.

Ethernu went flying and hit his head on a pine tree. The pain was throbbing, Ethernu tried his best to ignore it. “This is not a game anymore.” Ethernu thought, This was definitely a fight now. Time for a change of tactics, Ethernu morphed the goddess’s sword into Joy, a weapon that had a connection to his past. The trusty phaser gunblade had always been there for him. Its infinite range and ability to rocket jump has saved his life several times before. Leelee came to locate Ethernu, only to discover he vanished. Then, she felt a shock of pain from her foot. She looked down see some blood caking her foot. She sensed an object approach her. She step-sided just in time to dodge the sword hilt of the Morph Blade. She charged at a weaponless Ethernu. Expecting his opponent to anticipate his supposed weakness, he motioned the Morph Blade to return to his hand. It moved slightly, but it was stuck in a tree trunk. HIs face went white, it didn’t go as he planned.

“Oh boy…”

He got pinned to the ground by Leelee, he struggled to free his hand it, was of no avail.

Leelee smiled, “I got you now!”

He struggled again, this time his left hand came free and her punched her in the face. She reeled for a moment letting her opponent stand up. He prepared to throw another punch but then looked at her face. He had given her a nose bleed. A sickening feeling spread through his mind.

“Sorry…..” He said weekly

Leelee did not reply, either she didn’t register the message or she didn’t want to talk to a man that just gave her a nose bleed and an injured foot. She kicked Ethernu again who was inert and didn’t notice a clawed foot kicking him again in the stomach. He went flying again but this time, he fell into the chasm where the river was. He quickly grabbed a conveniently growing tree root and hanged on for dear life. He looked down and saw how high he was in the air. He swallowed, the tree root snapped. He screamed as he fell down to a possible watery death, no tree root or Morph Blade was going to save him now. He felt as if his head smashed on concrete when he reached the water. The pain was too much to take, the fact that he had another head injury didn’t help. The world went black for Ethernu as he sank under the water

***
At first there was white, then an image began to form. There was music, it sounded like the music he enjoyed… as a child? The image cleared to reveal a familiar face.

“Mother?”

“My child, you should rest a while.” said a soothing voice

“Mom” He croaked

“Yes deary?”

Ethernu thought awhile about the question he was going to ask.

“A-am I dead?”

HIs mother laughed “Oh son, you were always the crazy one. You’ll not be joining me yet. You are in a sort of…limbo mode.”

“Limbo mode…” He repeated

“Don’t worry child, you are in good hands now. Leelee saved you.”

What his mother just said shocked him, “How...did you know her name?”

“I have my ways son, I have my ways…You really must go now.”

“Wait! Before I go! Am I dreaming this, or is this real?”

His mother laughed. “Of course you dreaming this, but why on Darmania would it not be real.”

Darmainia, why did that word sound so familiar? There were so many unanswered questions, but he knew his mother could not answer them all now. He had to find out for himself…

Ethernu’s radiant eyes opened and he wheezed as he struggled to receive oxygen.

“You’re awake!” a familiar voice said.

He sat up and saw the cheerful face of Leelee. It looked free of injury. He looked at her foot, it was also fully healed. He felt the back of his head, it was painless now, his wound has all disappeared

“Why did you save me?”

“I wouldn’t just let my new friend drown, would I?”

Friend? She barely just met him and he caused her a lot of injuries. She still considered him a friend?

“I’m sorry about kicking you into the river…”

Ethernu smiled, “I forgive you Leelee. If anything, I should apologize for hurting you.”

“I’m so glad!” She gave the most toothiest grin Ethernu has ever seen.

He stood up and shook hands with Leelee, “I’ll see you again sometimes, I got to go.”

“Awww, but you haven't even met my bunny parents or my other friends yet!”

“I’ll meet them next time Leelee, I promise.”

“Promise?”

“I swear.”

He watched as leelee hopped queitly and quickly through the forest.

“Wait!’ Ethernu yelled.

Leelee came back,” What is it friend?”

He thought for a while and finally said, “NIce play Leelee. That was...fun.”

“Thanks Ethernu!”

He waited for Leelle to disappear and continued on his journey towards the heavens. Then he sat down and cried for a long time as the sun set, letting the moon take his place.

“I’m a monster.” He thought, letting it haunt him as he slept.



It was a beautiful day. The weapons-master, Ethernu, sat on a boulder, looking out across the battle zone. He looked to be about in his thirties, and had the average height and build of any human male of his age group. He wore a blue sweater over his white T-shirt, and had a red scarf curled around his neck. On his head was a tan colored cap with a queer golden symbol. His face, though mostly hidden by the scarf, was pale in color; its scrawniness accentuated by shadows the sun failed to dispel. Ethernu’s last, most distinguishing feature were his two eyes, one a vibrant green like spring leaves, and the other as blue as Earth’s oceans.

Ethernu scratched idly at the neck of his sweater, wondering if it had been a good idea to bring it with him. For now, the shadow of the trees gave him relief from the sun’s heat, but later on, with all the moving he had to do, he’d be quite warm indeed.

Just across from his position was a wooden bridge; an old thing that was made out of a type of a rich reddish wood. Every knot in its swirling grain was ringed with a golden sheen; causing the material to sparkle when the sunlight hit it. Despite all its beauty, the builder hadn’t given the wood enough credit. After all, the bridge was not much to look at, just a simple, box-like structure; a design that looked as though it had come from a child.

On the other side of the bridge was a plain, grassy clearing, free of rocks and obstructions. This area was almost completely ringed by trees, except for the “path” straight across from the bridge’s end. If someone stood right on the bridge and looked at the clearing, the trees straight ahead split apart. Beyond the split was a cliff; like an exit to doom.

Around the weapons-master was more grass, except this clearing was dotted here and there with boulders, and was also ringed by trees. East of his position, two giant cliffs rose above the treeline, each one a haphazard mountain of massive boulders. The river ran between the two rock faces, splitting the pair with its lithe, frothing form.

All around him, Ethernu could hear birdsongs, and a cool breeze rushed by his ear, suddenly causing him to shiver. The weapons-master shifted his legs on the rock, finding a different position, and continued to wait. Ethernu frowned. Where was his opponent? Had she perhaps forgotten the fight was today? He sat still awhile, and eventually allowed his senses to get lost in the ambient hum of the forest.


***

He was looking away from her. Leelee crouched low to the ground, creeping through the bushes without even disturbing them a little. The human was an intruder here. She’d tell him to go away nicely…after surprising him.

The girl resembled a human female at first glance. Her long blonde hair was tied up in a lengthy ponytail, which was wrapped around her neck like a fur boa. Her eyes were a vibrant pink, with curious black pupils centered in them. She had faint pink heart shapes on her cheeks, and delicately formed facial features. Her ears though, were those of a bunny, covered with light-blonde fur. The rest of her soft-peach-colored skin on her upper torso was not furry, aside from her arms. These were furred from elbow to fingertip. Her hands were covered with oversized light blonde paw gloves, each one with four fingers (including the opposable thumb). Beneath the paws, their pads were shaped slightly to resemble hearts. The hands they contained had five fingers each (thumb included) as was normal, but the gloves were special and acted like Leelee’s real hands whenever she had them on.

From her waist down, the bunny features took over. Leelee’s legs were shaped exactly like those of rabbits, and her rear sported a large fluffy bunny tail. The fur on her lower body was all light blonde; the same shade as the fur on her arms and ears. Leelee wore a pink shirt that said “I love your EVERYTHING” on the front, written in bright pink glittery gel. The ‘o’ in the word ‘love’ was drawn in the shape of a heart. The words were set in the center of a faint red heart shape, which took up most of the front of Leelee’s shirt. She also wore a pair of light-blue jeans which cut off just before her knees, the edges ragged with wear.

The bunny girl crept closer to Ethernu, her body tense with excitement. However, just as she was about to reach him, she noticed something. His beetle-shell-brown cap was covering most of the top of his head, and didn’t let any hair stick out of underneath it. For a moment, Leelee considered the fact that he was bald, and the idea caused her to giggle.

Ethernu sprang to his feet at the sound, whirling around and drawing his blade. The weapon rang as it sliced through the air, flashing in the sun. He pointed it right at Leelee’s face, tensed to strike. The bunny girl giggled again, her smile revealing needle-sharp white fangs. She looked at Ethernu’s blade tip, her eyes crossed for a moment, and then she sat back on her haunches. Leelee cocked her head.

“Hi!” she said, giving him a friendly wave. “I’m Leelee!”

“Ethernu.” the weapons-master replied, withdrawing his blade slightly.

Leelee sniffed, and then ran a circle around Ethernu once before sitting again. Ethernu blinked. She was fast.

“You smell funny.” she stated, straightening up to her full 5’6” height. “You don’t live in the forest, or you’d smell like moss and trees and stuff.”

Ethernu raised his eyebrows, and then gave her a stiff nod.

“You’re right.” he answered. “I’m not from the woods.”

Ethernu paused for a moment, peering critically at her legs.

“Um…what are you?” he asked.

Leelee giggled, posing like a velociraptor ready to strike.

“I’m a Leelee!” she replied, clapping her soft paws together. She stopped and cocked her head at Ethernu, one ear raised while the other dropped to the side.

“If you don’t live here, what are you doing in the woods?” Leelee asked.

Ethernu twirled his weapon, taking on a new stance.

“My name is Ethernu,” he replied. “I’m your challenger.”

Leelee nodded her understanding. Her ears pricked up and pointed towards him.

“Oh…I remember now!” she cried, hopping up and down a few times. “We’re going to play together!”

Ethernu poised to strike, pointing the blade at Leelee again.

“I came for a fight, Leelee. We will play later.”

The girl just smiled and crouched on the ground, as if she was going to pounce. Vicious, curved, snow-white claws sprang out from her gloves. At the sight of them, Ethernu felt his body tense.

“Then let’s do this!” Leelee cried, her eyes sparkling.

Both gladiators charged each other. Ethernu swung his blade down, but just as his blade was about to hit, Leelee jumped. She twisted in the air above her opponent’s head, eyes locked on Ethernu’s blade as he turned to block her attack. Leelee landed on the weapon claws-first. Bright pink flames cloaked her paws, their sudden heat a shock to the weapons-master’s skin. Blinded, Ethernu staggered slightly. Leelee’s hind legs followed her claws, kicking against the weapon. Ethernu was forced to the ground, with Leelee on top. She sprang off as soon as he hit the ground, crouching a short distance away.

Ethernu regained his footing quickly, whipping around to face his opponent. She was gone. The weapons-master morphed his blade into the net gun, and then was still, listening carefully. Suddenly, a rustling sound issued from his left. Spinning in the direction of the noise, Ethernu fired just as Leelee burst from the brush. The net snapped neatly around the girl, and she tumbled into the bushes behind him with a shriek.

Ethernu spun around and rushed to the spot, but slowed when he found the net slashed open. Before he could react, a weight slammed into his shoulder. Leelee. Ethernu stumbled wildly, regaining his footing long enough to see Leelee pouncing at him again. Shifting his grip, the weapons-master swung the flat of the blade at Leelee’s approaching paws. She spun out of control, slamming into him. The gladiators tumbled for a moment, but both seem to recover at the same time.

Ethernu poised to fire, and suddenly spotted Leelee’s claws blurring towards him. He brought up his gun instinctively, blocking the attack with the side of his weapon. Ethernu threw his weight against the gun, managing to shove Leelee back. The bunny girl retreated a short distance from him, and began to circle.

Ethernu flicked his wrist, his net gun flattening and smoothing out to form the original Morph Blade form again. Leelee’s eyes narrowed.

“Your sword is cool.” she commented, her gaze locked on the weapon. “Can I play with it?”

Ethernu pointed the blade at her, and confusion came over his face for a few moments.

“Uh…no, it’s not a toy.” he responded.

“Awwww…” Leelee whined. “But it looks so…cool!”

As she said the word ‘cool’, she sprang, claws out. Ethernu leaped to the side and swung the flat of the blade at the bunny girl’s claws. The metal hit, and Leelee went spinning towards the ground. She twisted impossibly at the last moment, landing on all fours with her claws digging deep into the earth. Ethernu blinked.

“How…” he began, but Leelee darted into the bushes and was gone.

Knowing her tactic now, Ethernu quickly rushed over to where Leelee disappeared and slowed down, listening. She was coming right at him. The weapons-master turned his blade around again and swung the flat of the weapon just as Leelee burst from cover. The girl caught the brunt of the attack on the side of her head, and went sailing into a nearby tree. Leelee hit the trunk with a sickening thud, and then slumped near its roots, dazed.

Out of the corner of her eye, Leelee spotted a flash of movement and ducked. The Morph Blade went right over her head, slashing through the tree’s slender trunk. She looked back up to see the blade spring back into Ethernu’s hand, and then she got an idea.

“Missed me!” she cried, and then dashed over to another tree.

Ethernu pursued her, almost falling over some tangled tree roots. He slowed for a moment and began to pick his way carefully around the brush, trying to see a clear path through the foliage. How did she get through this stuff so easily?

When he looked up, Leelee had vanished again. Ethernu paused to listen, but heard nothing. He hesitated. Suddenly Leelee’s head popped up. He threw his blade as hard as he could, knowing that the angle at which he threw would cause the handle to hit Leelee once it reached her. However, the bunny girl managed to duck at the last moment. The Morph Blade struck the tree Leelee had just been in front of, burying itself to the hilt in the wood. Ethernu was running now, and he could see Leelee rising and looking back at where his weapon had hit. The weapons-master drew within striking distance and held out his hand for his weapon.

The blade did not respond. A chill ran through the Ethernu’s body. It was very stuck. He slowed down, realizing the trick. But it was too late. Leelee pounced, pinning him to the ground; a paw pressing down on each of her opponent’s limbs.

“Agh!” Ethernu cried.

“Gotcha!” Leelee responded, her eyes shining with excitement.

Ethernu squirmed his right hand out from under her paw and let fly with a punch. Leelee had anticipated the attack and seized his wrist in her mouth, clamping down viciously. Ethernu cried out, but Leelee was far from finished. She released his wrist and plunged her left claw deep into the base of Ethernu’s right shoulder, seemingly far beyond play now. This was a fight. This was serious.

Ethernu thrashed, managing to free his left arm. He made a grab for her ears, securing the left one in his fist and yanking on it as hard as he could.
“Ow!” Leelee cried, releasing him for a moment to grab at her ear. Ethernu seized the chance and threw another punch. Fist met nose, and Leelee tumbled off him, shrieking in pain. She hesitated for a moment, wondering whether to keep herself on top of him or retreat. In that time, Ethernu realized he’d given her a nosebleed.

“Oh…” he said, a sick feeling spreading through his body. “…sorry…”

Leelee said nothing. Darting forwards, she kicked his legs out from under him. He felt her hind claws stab at his shins during the attack, and he fell flat on his face. Ethernu scrambled to regain his footing, not wanting to lose use of his other arm, but Leelee was too close. Unsure of what else to do, Ethernu grabbed a fistful of pine needles and dirt and threw it in the bunny girl’s face. She squealed and backed off, blinking wildly.

Ethernu recovered and held out his left hand towards his blade. The hilt jiggled a little, and then the weapon began to slide from its wooden prison. Leelee’s ears flattened, and she darted into the brush again. She didn’t stay away for long. Just as the blade returned to the weapons-master’s hand, Leelee burst from cover. Ethernu was expecting the attack though, and turned towards her with a new weapon. His blade had morphed into the flashbang launcher. As Leelee flew, her eyes narrowed as she studied the weapon. What did this thing do?

Ethernu leaped backwards and shot at the ground. An explosion of light and dirt burst from the contact point. Blind, Leelee twisted through the air and into the bushes behind Ethernu, missing her striking point. As she flailed, her right hind leg clipped Ethernu’s shoulder, causing him to fall backwards onto his rear. He sprang to his feet again, whirling around and pointing his weapon at the bushes behind him. The weapons-master waited for a while, listening hard. His efforts were rewarded with nothing but silence. Ethernu shifted his feet, and began to back away from the suspected brush, his motions slow and deliberate. Nothing. For a moment, Ethernu wondered if she’d gone for good. He had just scored his first proper hit on her just a few moments ago.

Hidden by the foliage, Leelee watched Ethernu’s movements closely. So…she’d taken out his right arm, but he seemed to be doing fine with his left. Oh well, now she had one less thing to worry about.

The brush to Ethernu’s left shifted, interrupting his thoughts. Ethernu whipped his flashbang launcher in the direction of the noise, firing multiple times. How had she gotten over there without him knowing? The light from the flashbang charges blazed bright in his eyes, and Ethernu considered shielding them with his injured arm.

Just as he began to do so, Leelee burst from the bushes, whirling and kicking out at him with both hind legs. Amazingly, Ethernu managed to avoid most of the attack, but her left paw still managed to slam into his knee. The weapons-master cried out and staggered backwards, his arms flailing to recover his balance. He swayed, putting one foot out behind him to reach…nothing. Confused, Ethernu swung his arms harder, looking over his shoulder to find himself teetering on the edge of a massive cliff. This was the area right across from the bridge. Uh,oh, was all his mind could come up with before he plunged off the edge.

His blade shifted, forming a sleek, gun-like shape. He fired, and the shot sent a long, thin cable spiralling for the rock face. On the cable’s end, a bullet-shaped spike burst apart to reveal the familiar four-clawed head of a grappling hook. The hook bit into the cliff edge, catching a hold and slamming its owner into the rock. Ethernu gasped at the impact, taking quick, panicked breaths. He shut his eyes for a moment, telling himself not to look down, but he did. The cliff dropped away before his eyes, vanishing below a layer of clouds. Ethernu gulped, trying to dispel the dizziness that suddenly overcame him. He twisted around, planting his feet on the rock, and began reeling himself up.

After just a few minutes of climbing, Ethernu’s left foot slipped a little, and the weapons-master crouched quickly against the rock face, heart beating wildly. Above him, he heard a sharp ping sound, and then felt a slight tension shift in the cable. Ethernu froze. The cable was coming loose. If he fell now, he wasn’t going to be able to take another shot in time. Ethernu looked up at the end of the cable, and it was moving…very slowly…

Ethernu began to climb a little faster, and the hook inched more and more out of position with every motion. Ethernu came just a little further than an arm’s reach before the cliff edge, and then realized how much the hook had slid. Sweat poured off his face, nearly blinding him. He could barely see the cliff, and he knew the only way to get up now was by lunging for the edge. However, that meant he had to put his full weight on the cable. That…realistically…was impossible.

Ethernu’s mind whirled. This wasn’t how it ended! Where was Leelee? How did she not know that he was in trouble? Hadn’t she seen him fall off the cliff? Ethernu frowned. Of course she saw him fall. She’d kicked him in this direction anyway. Had she meant that though? Was she probably just sitting there and waiting for him to end that way? Would that mean she won this fight?

Suddenly, the hook gave way.

Ethernu plunged with a scream, but the hook caught a short way down from the edge, jerking him to a halt. His arm nearly dislocated with the force, but fortunately his grip was still strong. Ethernu gasped, trying to slow his heart. His right arm flailed, waving about as if to generate momentum to bring him back to solid ground. There was no relief for him though, and the small outcropping the hook had found began to give way as well. Ethernu shut his eyes, feeling the strain in his left arm suddenly vanish. The wind roared in his ears, tearing at his cap. He was falling. It was over.
Ethernu jerked again, slamming into the rock once more. Bewildered, he looked up to see Leelee holding the cable tightly with both paws.

“Hey!” she giggled. “Stop hanging around!”

She backed up, vanishing behind the edge. Ethernu held his weapon for dear life as the bunny girl pulled him back to safety. Moments later, he was in the battle zone again. He scrambled across the ground, relishing its solidity for a few seconds, and then spotted Leelee zipping off for the bushes again. Apparently she didn’t trust that he wouldn’t strike out at her, even if she did just save his life.

Ethernu lifted his weapon and it changed again, forming into a rifle-shaped projectile weapon. This was Joy, his laser gun. He quickly aimed at her left leg and fired. He needed to slow her down.

The shot nailed Leelee’s left foot, sending blood splattering across the forest floor. Leelee made no sound this time, and tumbled into the bushes. Ethernu ran after her as fast as he could, morphing Joy into the flashbang launcher. He fired multiple times ahead of him, sending forest debris flying. Ethernu had missed. He ran faster, feeling a tightness beginning to develop in his chest. He slowed, panting, and then saw that Leelee was heading for one of the rock faces that was next to the river. She scrambled up, seemingly unhindered by her injury. By the time she reached the top, however, Ethernu saw her sit down and inspect her wound.

For a moment, Ethernu hesitated and realized that he was plastered in sweat. He looked down at himself and remembered he had his sweater on the entire time. Disgusted, he peeled it off as quickly as he could and dropped it on the forest floor. A passing breeze washed over his relieved body, cooling the sweat against his skin. He returned his attention to Leelee. She was still in the same position.

Don’t let her rest, his mind told him. Now’s your chance!

Ethernu aimed his flashbang launcher at Leelee, converting it back into his grappling gun. Leelee was licking at her foot, but when the gun went off, she tensed and looked down at him. She watched as the hook came just inches from her position, and then it bounced harmlessly off the rock. Suddenly, Leelee crouched low on the stone, her ears pressed flat against her head. Something was wrong.

Ethernu saw his hook come tumbling back down, so he quickly retracted it to prevent it from tangling. It took him only a few seconds to realize the reason for Leelee’s reaction. With a grinding groan, the entire cliff face began to give out. Ethernu turned and ran for his life, the sound of collapsing stone blasting through the air behind him. The ground shook, and massive chunks of rock smashed to his left and right as he ran, each impact nearly jarring him onto his face. A shadow loomed over him, and he glanced back to see a massive boulder coming right at him…its massive bulk blocking out the sun above. His eyes widened.

Something suddenly smacked into his left side, and he went tumbling into the trees with a scream. The massive rock crashed to the ground, the shockwaves jiggling every joint in his body. Ethernu lay there for a moment, wondering what had just happened. He got to his feet just in time to see Leelee shaking herself like a dog nearby. She caught him looking at her and turned to run.

She’d saved him again.

Morphing his blade into the flashbang launcher, Ethernu shot well over Leelee’s head. The charge exploded right before her face as she leapt forward, causing her to stumble. Without pausing, Ethernu turned the launcher into a slender, pistol-shaped weapon. A tranquilizer gun. He aimed at the bunny girl, but she’d been anticipating the attack and raised her paws. They ignited, blinding Ethernu completely. He fired anyway, the dart grazing her arm. A wave of dizziness slammed into Leelee. She dropped to the ground, breathing rapidly, sheltering the dart with her body. For a moment, Leelee just crouched there, hoping her stillness would balance out the world a little. It steadied, and then she flicked her paw over the back of her head, as if she was adjusting her ponytail.

Blinking wildly to recover his vision, Ethernu lined up for another shot, but suddenly Leelee leaped up and vanished into the bushes. The weapons-master shook his head, rubbing at his eyes with his injured arm. Recovered, Ethernu ran to the bushes. They rustled, and the weapons-master spotted a shadow behind the leaves.

Leelee crouched in the brush, eyes locked on Ethernu’s weapon. It rose up, aiming for her face. Baring her fangs, Leelee turned her back on her opponent and kicked up the forest floor with her hind legs. Ethernu stumbled back, surprised at the barrage of dirt, sticks, and needles. He shielded his face with his arm, but some dirt still got into his eyes. Ethernu cried out, blinking hard to clear his vision. His open mouth received more dirt, which he spat out quickly. The weapons-master retreated from the bush, rubbing at his face.

Leelee burst from cover, slashing at Ethernu’s legs. Her claws sliced cleanly through his left pant leg, leaving deep cuts across his shin area. The girl hopped up, soaring through the air and vanishing into the brush, leaving a stumbling Ethernu in her dust. The weapons-master regained his footing, wincing as the sharp pain of the injury shot up his leg. The bushes rustled for his attention, keeping him from stopping to assess the damage.

He aimed at the noise, and Leelee came right for his face. He fired, barely missing, and caught another claw swipe across his right shin. Ethernu stumbled again, feeling the bunny girl’s claws rake across his thighs before she sped for the bushes. Ignoring the pain of the wounds, Ethernu stood straight and gripped his tranquilizer gun tightly, listening carefully to the environment.

Leelee sprang from cover, spotting Ethernu throwing himself into a spin, his leg raised. Knowing she wasn’t going to be able to dodge the attack, Leelee closed her eyes. The weapon-master’s boot caught her solidly in the left side of her chest, forcing the air from her lungs. With a breathless shriek, Leelee tumbled across the forest floor. When she came to rest, trembling, she realized she was facing Ethernu. His weapon was pointing right at her.

She leaped aside, hearing the dart bounce harmlessly off the dirt behind her. Without pausing to see where it went, Leelee dove for the bushes again. Fighting the urge to curse, Ethernu rushed to where the bunny girl had vanished, just to see her tail flick out of sight behind a faraway tree.

Frustrated, Ethernu stamped his foot.

“Hey!” he called out into the woods. “Stop hiding so many times! It’s not fair!”

When he got no answer, Ethernu shielded his face and fired all over the forest. Bright lights burst everywhere, sending dirt and other woodland debris high into the air. Creeping through the woods on his right side, Leelee slunk low to the ground, focused on her opponent. She slid through the brush like water, seemingly passing right through the leaves without disturbing them. She was a hunter. Ethernu was her prey. Leelee’s ears slicked back against her neck, and her eyes narrowed with focus. Her claws were retracted now, leaving nothing but the stealthy padded crawl of her paws. The bunny girl drew to the edge of the brush, lining up her pounce towards Ethernu’s back. Her body slowly bent into a crouch, and her eyes narrowed, causing the weapons-master to sharpen in her vision.

Suddenly, a flashbang landed right near Leelee’s face, exploding into a blaze of light and singed pine needles. The bunny girl leaped high into the air, startled. Hearing the disturbance, Ethernu whirled, his launcher morphing into his net gun once more. He fired instinctively, nailing his target with the net before it hit the ground. Ethernu didn’t hesitate and ran for the brush, spotting Leelee up ahead. She was struggling fiercely in the net, but Ethernu knew it wouldn’t hold for long. Her claws unsheathed, flashing like freshly-brushed teeth.

Ethernu morphed his gun into the tranquilizer and aimed at Leelee. She would not escape him this time! Just as he was about to fire, his foot unexpectedly caught in a tree root, causing him to fall flat on his face beside Leelee. He landed on his left arm, nearly shooting himself in the foot. Pain shot up the limb, and he twisted a little, trying to free himself from the root. A ripping sound caught his attention, and he looked up to see that Leelee had torn a large hole in the net. Ethernu yanked his foot free, scrambling to rise. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Leelee’s claw coming for the side of his face. He flinched, but all he felt was Leelee’s paw nudge against his neck.

Confused, Ethernu watched as Leelee seated herself nearby, a huge smile on her face. A numbing feeling spread from his neck down, and his knees inexplicably gave out. As Ethernu returned to the forest floor in a slump, he spotted the glint of metal in Leelee’s paws. It was one of his tranquilizer darts.

With a light giggle, the bunny girl hopped over Ethernu’s helpless form and entered the brush. Ethernu waited, listening hard. Chills ran up his spine, but there was no sound in the wood aside from the wind…coupled with the recurring thump of his beating heart. Seconds dragged by like hours. Eventually, his tranquilizer serum finally wore off, and he rose slowly to his feet. Ethernu scanned the brush. Nothing.

His grip on his weapon tightened, and its form smoothed and molded into the shape of his advanced net gun. No more games. He had to trap her for real this time. Ethernu slid through the brush, his finger ready to squeeze the trigger. She would not be able to get out of this net. After what felt like an hour of searching, Ethernu crossed the battlefield bridge for the what seemed like the seventy-seventh time. He fought off rising feelings of frustration, trying to stay focused on the environment.

Eventually, Ethernu stopped his pointless wandering and leaned against a tree, exhausted. He lowered his weapon, bending down to inspect the scratch marks on his legs. They itched and his pants were stained with blood, but they’d clotted up nicely and didn’t seem to be that deep. Still, they weren’t a pretty sight.

Above the weapons-master crouched a large, furred form. Leelee was silent, her claws deep in the bark of her tree. Her eyes were focused on her prey, and every part of her body was tense, waiting for her brain to give the attack signal. She waited. Ethernu took one last look to either side, sat down at the base of the tree, and hugged his weapon close.

Leelee retracted her claws, dropping as fast as a rock and yet as silently as a snowflake.

Gotcha. Leelee thought, landing right on top of Ethernu.


***

When Ethernu came to, he found himself lying on a mossy patch near the bridge. His weapon was lying right beside him, wrapped up in his sweater. The weapons-master stretched, feeling the ache of his injuries…and a new cramp in the back of his neck. He rubbed at the spot, and then detected movement to his left out of the corner of his eye. Leelee was sitting by the river, dipping her paw in the water repeatedly. The dark crimson of her blood stood out in stark contrast from her light blonde pelt. As he watched, Leelee’s ears pricked up and she turned her head towards him. She grinned and waved cheerfully.

“Yay!” she cried, shaking the excess water off her injured foot. “You’re okay!”

The bunny girl left the river shore and limped towards him, all her fun energy seeming to have gone. Her smile, though, was still as radiant as ever.

Ethernu sat up, slightly confused.

“What happened?” he asked Leelee.

“You fell asleep when I jumped on your head. I’m sorry.”

Ethernu tilted his head, tracing a circle in the air with it. No, it was still a little cramped, but he’d live. He gave her a reassuring smile.

“I’ll live.” he told her. “You put up a really good fight.”

“Fight?” Leelee responded, her surprise seeming genuine. “What fight? We were playing!”

Ethernu frowned. “No…I’m pretty sure we were fighting.”

Leelee gave him a firm shake of her head and sat down. She used her non-injured foot to scratch behind her ear before replying.

“We were playing.” she insisted. “If we were fighting, you’d be dead.”

Ethernu let those words sink in for a moment, silent. Seeing his expression, Leelee giggled.

“Oh cheer up Ethernu! I’d never proper-fight unless I can’t survive any other way. My bunny mom and the nice bat kid, the snake kid, and the cat kid told me that I should never kill except when it’s reaalllly necessary.”

Ethernu nodded. That seemed to make sense.

“I won’t kill you because you’re my friend.” Leelee continued, pausing to lick at her wet foot.

Friend? Ethernu looked at the bunny girl in surprise. She’d barely even met him, and he was her friend already?

Leelee came close to Ethernu, and her paws suddenly burst into flames. Before he could stop her, she planted her paws right on his leg. The flames spread at an astonishing rate, engulfing him completely in blinding white light. He opened his mouth to scream, but then his body finally registered something very important. There was no pain.

The brightness vanished along with the fire, and when it had left, Ethernu realized his wounds had been completely healed. He suppressed a smile, trying to look very serious and thankful at the same time. Leelee nodded at him, and then applied the fire to her foot as well. Seconds later, she was healed too.

There was silence for a little while. Leelee then turned away and hopped back to the brush. Ethernu rose, rubbing the stiffness out of his legs. Seeing her about to disappear, Ethernu called out:

“Hey Leelee! Wait!”

The girl paused and turned to face him.

“Yeah, Ethernu?”

Ethernu scratched at the back of his head, then picked his weapon up and slung it over his back. He looked right at her, and then a smile popped up on his face before he could stop it.

“Nice play.” Ethernu told her.

Leelee gave him a thumbs-up. “You too!” she replied, flashing him the biggest, shiniest, toothiest grin he’d ever seen from her. Then, she entered the brush, almost seeming to sink into the greenery like it was water. Ethernu stared after her for a moment, and then began to leave. He took the forest path back to the main town.

On the way there, even though he couldn’t see her, he knew Leelee was nearby every step of the way. When he reached the town and turned, he saw her sitting under a pine tree, almost invisible in the shadows. She smiled when she caught his gaze, and then waved a familiar-looking piece of fabric in the air. It took him only a few moments to realize that it was his sweater. She began to come towards him, but he shook his head. Ethernu had lots of sweaters. She could keep that one. Seeing the look in his eyes, Leelee smiled again and hugged the sweater tight. With a final wave, she vanished into the forest.

Ethernu turned away, and then smiled to himself. She was the kind of opponent he felt he wouldn’t forget for a long time.

Aquila
07-22-2016, 09:15 AM
Here's my two cents, a penny for each of you. Sharpiro, I found your intro slow, your refining sloppy, and altogether just hastily done. The battle was sub-par and ending was... well an ending. Tips on making your work better? Besides all around making sure it looks clean and wellmade, unlike you with swapped letters and thus making it look like you put little to no effort in the story itself, I advise to simply read more. Exposure to works of literature is the easiest way to grow, you expand your vocabulary and learn techniques. The strange interjection you made I didn't find amusing, much rather a cheap escape to progress the story. But definitely biggest problem was your misspells, lack of punctuation, and just messiest overall.

Now Cassandra, your intro was nice, the descriptors ran fluidly with the story. Both characters had sufficient introductions, and your battle scene was pretty. Wonder if this story is going to connect with your others. Will we see that sweater again? But anyways, I enjoyed your story. Advice... I mean you can always get better, exposing yourself to more and more works.

Wish I could say more but I suck at giving advice, only good with the blatant stuff being an amateur writer myself. So sorry I can only offer so little, but best of luck on further progress to you both.

Crank
07-31-2016, 09:51 PM
Gah! Missed the voting time!

I should actively be wrapped in a ball, unconscious on my bed, so I'm gonna keep this short, but Cassandra edged this out in my book. Her piece overall felt more fleshed out and was more descriptive, but I think both of you put up a good fight! Hope both of ya keep it up!

Sharpiro
07-31-2016, 10:19 PM
woah, who voted for me? I didn't deserve it, Aquila was right about my mistakes. Regardless of the way Aquila delivered advice to me, I'll heed his advice for future battles.

SaulMurphy
08-01-2016, 10:48 AM
woah, who voted for me? I didn't deserve it, Aquila was right about my mistakes. Regardless of the way Aquila delivered advice to me, I'll heed his advice for future battles.

Good man. Always improve your writing. Never ever get offended by critics, because you can always improve, no matter how great you are.

Cassandra
08-03-2016, 03:12 PM
YAY! We were so awesome that we tied! :D

Vern
08-04-2016, 04:53 PM
Oh I'm too late to vote on this am I? Curse my internet.

Well seeing how I took the liberty of posting that I hereby oblige myself to CnC this at some point in the future. But then again I also owe some CnC to Lobo and Azure so it might be a while.

Cassandra
08-13-2016, 03:01 PM
No worries Vern. Life happens. :D

Take all the time you need. No rush. (just try to make it within the year XD)