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First Blood

Blue_XIII Jul 17th, 2019 107 Never
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  1. [16:27] Taiga Rowan says, "...Siegfried."
  2. [16:27] Siegfried asks, "Are you okay, Mr. Taiga?"
  3. [16:27] Taiga Rowan says, "We have work to do."
  4. [16:27] Siegfried says, "..."
  5. [16:27] Siegfried says, "Alright."
  6. [16:27] Siegfried says, "Let's go."
  7. [16:28] Taiga Rowan says, "...Tell me."
  8. [16:28] Taiga Rowan asks, "Have you ever killed a man?"
  9. [16:28] {ITEM} Traded item with Taiga Rowan: Mythril Trauma Kit
  10. [16:28] Siegfried says, "...n-no."
  11. [16:29] Siegfried says, "I never had a reason."
  12. [16:29] Siegfried says, "But I would to stop them from hurting people."
  13. [16:29] Taiga Rowan asks, "...Are you certain of this?"
  14. [16:29] Siegfried says, "No. I've never been certain of anything my entire life. "
  15. [16:29] Taiga runs his hands through his hair, pulling out a band and getting his bangs out of his face.
  16. (Taiga Rowan)
  17. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  18.  
  19. [16:29] Siegfried says, "But it won't stop me from doing what I think is right."
  20. [16:30] Siegfried, for his part, rocks his long ass hair, matted and sweaty. The shiny new pair of twin katanas that he dons, courtesy of the school headmaster, Noel, are shined and ready.
  21. (Siegfried)
  22. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  23.  
  24. [16:31] Siegfried says, "..."
  25. [16:35] Taiga leads Siegfried south towards Huangzhou. Marching with purpose to his steps. "We're going to put that theory to test tonight." He states, glancing back behind him to make sure Siegfried was still following. "You can leave at any point, if you so choose. But... I'm going to bring you along to 'work'. It's going to be dangerous. You might die." Probably not. Unless he was really, really stupid and suddenly lost any semblance of his capacity to fight.
  26.  
  27. "We're going to a building. The people in this building are bad people, young Siegfried. A mahjong parlor with no limits betting... an establishment built on the sin. I'm unsure as to the scope of the operation, but I have reason to believe there's everything from drugs to prostitution being run out of this place."
  28.  
  29. He marches down the streets, head held high. With a roll of his neck, he seems to already be working himself up for a fight. "Follow my direction. Once we get in... wait for my signal. Keep calm. Don't hesitate." He stops dead in his tracks, checking behind him. There was a rather large building in front of them that he's stopped by.
  30.  
  31. "...Okay?"
  32. (Taiga Rowan)
  33. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  34.  
  35. [16:42] Drugs. Prostitution. A destitute lair of debauchery that it was up to the two of them to break down, and recklessly slaughter every evil man within. Siegfried's major hop, skip, jump into a world of crime-fighting. That was what tonight would be - peeling another, perhaps the final, layer of ignorance from the boy.
  36.  
  37. Tonight was when he became one who passed judgment on those he felt deserves righteous execution. Tonight was the night where he probably stabbed some coked-out swordsman who just got done fucking a hooker.
  38.  
  39. Tonight was gonna be a night.
  40.  
  41. "I won't die until I make things right," he says, resolute. "But they've been slated for death ever since they harmed innocents."
  42.  
  43. Of course, behind all of this moxie is the trembling, shivering countenance of a nineteen-year-old boy who knows little beyond playground fights and repelling bandit attacks in the forests, being pit against cold killers and other shitheads.
  44.  
  45. "Right...yeah...totally. We got this. I got this."
  46.  
  47. He hoped.
  48. (Siegfried)
  49. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  50.  
  51. [16:51] {NARRATION} Huangzhou. Here they were, moving through the treeline and eventually breaking free into the huge settlement itself. Their chatter is more or less ignored by those around, as civilians had much more to worry about than two odd magi roaming about.
  52.  
  53. I mean, it's Agartha after all.
  54.  
  55. They find themselves standing in front of a huge building. Oriental, as always with Huangzhou. It had what seemed like two floors - An open window at the top - And in the front, there's a collection of rough looking guards guarding the front entrance.
  56.  
  57. Go loud - Or go quiet. One thing was for sure, these gang members looked very serious.
  58. [16:55] Taiga elbows Siegfried lightly, just a little jab for him to straighten his back and look proper. With a saunter, Taiga approaches the guards at the entrance.
  59.  
  60. He stares them down for a solid five seconds before saying anything. Just being in his presence was probably at least a little bit unnerving, were these men not accustom to standing in front of apex predators. Siegfried on the other hand - anyone could tell he was soft like a teddy bear.
  61.  
  62. "Have you got room for two, gentlemen?" He gestures towards the door.
  63. (Taiga Rowan)
  64. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  65.  
  66. [16:56] Taiga is silently plotting these guards deaths.
  67. (Taiga Rowan)
  68. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  69.  
  70. [16:56] {NARRATION} D20, Taiga.
  71. [16:59] Siegfried plays that part, straight-backed and tall. Whereas Taiga saunters, he neatly steps forward, remaining not too far, not to close from Taiga. He defaults to a behavior that he'd known before he ever had the call of the wilds - one of nobility. He plays the part of a cool, disaffected rich kid, with too damn much money. They would probably surmise this way that Taiga was a bodyguard, and he, some pompous brat out for a night on the town.
  72.  
  73. The way he holds himself is with the sort of high-headed arrogance that comes only when one was molded like that from childhood, yet he remains silent, only turning his head to look at those guards, behind Taiga, making it clear that the man was doing the speaking for the both of them.
  74. (Siegfried)
  75. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  76.  
  77. [17:05] {NARRATION} The guards aren't at all impressed by Taiga or his unnerving 'predator aura.' Seriously, that just sounds weird. They shake their heads and hold out hands. "Ten thousand to enter, scumbags. No one not marked by Zasa gets in for free- Ya' don't get to spend time in Heaven for free, bozo."
  78.  
  79. Both bouncers laugh to one another and shake their heads - Completely and utterly beliving them not to have the money required.
  80. [17:11] Taiga dully assess the situation.
  81.  
  82. Seems like these guys didn't give a shit damn or a fuck about a red-eyed shark toothed supernatural build-a-bitch amalgamation of a man sauntering up and asking for a free ride on the Mahjong train. He couldn't blame them, really. You spend enough time guarding doors, you start to believe you're a real grade A badass.
  83.  
  84. "...Okay." Taiga states simply, shrugging his shoulders.
  85.  
  86. "I'm just going to go inside now." Taiga snaps his fingers, and behind him, a portal opens up. It wasn't exact, mind you - and would only put them literally right behind the door that they were guarding. He didn't have the specifics of the building laid out and didn't want to risk warping them inside of a wall or anything.
  87.  
  88. So the guards would easily be able to track Taiga as he just... saunters on in through the portal, motioning for Siegfried to follow. He beams himself into a ray of pure energy, popping out on the other side. Just how pissed were the guards going to be at this flagrant disrespect of their authority? Taiga, secretly, hoped the answer was 'Very.'
  89. (Taiga Rowan)
  90. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  91.  
  92. [17:12] {NARRATION} ... D20.
  93. [17:15] Siegfried isn't any damn near where as chill as Taiga about these things. When their fool-proof plan collapses, and Taiga rips open a goddamn vortex right then and there, the boy actually breathes a long, hard sigh, pinching his nose. Regardless, he motions to head into the portal anyway, face too hot to even think to look over at the guards that Taiga had indubitably just pissed off.
  94.  
  95. There was no way the two of them were going to be able to pose a threat to two trained magical swordsmen...
  96.  
  97.  
  98. Right?
  99. (Siegfried)
  100. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  101.  
  102. [17:16] {NARRATION} I need you both to roll a D6 to determine where you end up in the parlor.
  103. [17:22] {NARRATION} The same location. Taiga ripping open a vortex with the proper runes meant they'd both be following to the same point along the lifestream. Taiga opening a portal in front of the guards causes them to stumble backwards in shock. Admittedly, the door was meant to be locked for good - So as they they go to reach for the door and get inside in terror.. It's locked.
  104.  
  105. Now trapped outside and with no way to alert those inside that a rift warping maniac and his crackhead friend had enterred, Taiga and Siegfried both wind up somewhere on a staircase. Overlooking the first floor of the parlor, there are all sorts of crude things going here. Drinking, drugs, gambling. Massive aisles of pachinko, huge arrays of slot machines - Tables for roulette and the likes.
  106.  
  107. .. Though on the second floor, there is a lot less "detail" to note. Above them, Taiga and Siegfried can hear very lewd and extremely unpleasant noises. Taiga had been right, at the very least.
  108.  
  109. Gambling, drugs, sin, prostitution. Admittedly? This was the BEST spot they could've landed. No sign of the guards, and closer to the third floor where a 'ring leader' may have been.
  110. [17:31] Taiga pops out of the exit portal, happy to see that Siegfried had managed to follow. More than that, he's pleased to see that no one noticed their entrance. No screaming guards, at the very least. Arms crossed, Taiga takes a moment to properly surveil the scene.
  111.  
  112. "...Alright." He huffs out in a low breath. "I can hear your heart trying to break out of your damn ribcage, Siegfried." He hisses. "Take a moment. Collect yourself. Our priority is whoever is running this operation. Everyone else is just..." How best to put it?
  113.  
  114. "Extra credit. So we're looking for a mister... Zasa." That's the name he had heard, no? "Likely in a penthouse of some kind. Come on." he begins to head up the stairs, trying to go as far up as possible!
  115. (Taiga Rowan)
  116. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  117.  
  118. [17:35] Siegfried lands perfectly on his feet, surprising even himself with his coordination in light of such abrupt circumstance. Immediately, he presses to the wall like a damn spazz, like he was afraid of raising the alert level like in Metal Gear Solid.
  119.  
  120. "I'm calm," Siegfried says, completely and totally not calm as he follows Taiga up the stairs. "Zasa…won't know what hit him."
  121.  
  122. The young boy's heart may be beating fast, but with all that he hears, and smells? His resolve is also being tempered. Knowing that these women were being held against their will - that some had likely been captured as children, even...
  123.  
  124. Righteous anger overtakes the fear. He channels it. Allows himself to get mad, so he isn't afraid. It doesn't all the way work, like wearing a blanket because you're cold, and it doesn't cover your feet.
  125.  
  126. But he tries
  127. (Siegfried)
  128. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  129.  
  130. [17:40] {NARRATION} Noises. They come into the second floor, and it is a grody sight that no honorable man should be looking at. The prostitution ring had gone far and wide here it seems, and on a bed at the far corner there are plenty of women baring no clothes surrounding sleezebags on a giant heart shaped couch. Plenty of men stand in line here, waiting for a turn. The scent of soothing reed lay poignant in the air. The lights here shine a red and pink below, almost certainly a room where thousands and thousands of heinous sexual acts may have been contributed.
  131.  
  132. A staircase at the far end of the room goes upwards, though they'd have to get through this portion to even reach it.
  133.  
  134. They could - Once again - Go loud, or try and sneak their way to the stairs.
  135. [17:46] Taiga is grateful, for once in is life, that the female form doesn't do much for him. He more or less completely and utterly ignores the vile acts going on here. Only doing his due diligence to check the layout of the floor and commit it to short term memory. The exits. Where the crowd would flee once things got bad. Where to cut them off. That sort of thing - having no interest in the salacious acts themselves.
  136.  
  137. He keeps Siegfried on a leash, tugging him along. With his head held high, he aims to stride right through the area. Acting like a normal customer who just so happened to not care about this floor in particular. Looking busy as can be! Nothing suspicious here!
  138.  
  139. He goes for the staircase, of course.
  140. (Taiga Rowan)
  141. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  142.  
  143. [17:51] Siegfried's hands are in his pockets, and he was just going to keep on doing his damndest to pretend like he was that rich boy. That rich boy his parents had wanted him to be, and not the dirty vagrant that he'd become. It's therapeutic, in a way, for him to sneer at people and seem unaffected and whatnot.
  144.  
  145. He just hopes that they'd be reaching this man...this Zasa...sooner, rather than later, because he was pretty close to going off the deep-end and attacking one of these perverted fucks.
  146.  
  147. Closing his eyes, as well as the distance between himself and Taiga, he whispers.
  148.  
  149. "Do you know if we're close? I don't want to have to look at these guys anymore, Taiga."
  150. (Siegfried)
  151. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  152.  
  153. [17:52] {NARRATION} D20. Both of you.
  154. [17:53] {NARRATION} Sieg. D6.
  155. [18:04] {NARRATION} Taiga and Siegfried move past the acts, though Siegfried is passed by a woman who wraps her arm around him and tugs him in close whilst she smelled of liquor and drugs. Her form was crude and without clothing as she stepped in close, about to speak to him or seduce the man before a cruel arm wrapped around her throat and tugged her back over to the line to please another.
  156.  
  157. Nothing is good and fine here. The two of them eventually reach the third floor, now going up the stairs undetected as the third floor made itself open to them.
  158.  
  159. .. Bookshelves line the area here, and several people - That look like slaves - Are working on something that seems like an anvil and a furnace. Several swords lay on the mantle of the third floor's decor.
  160.  
  161. A tall man, crude skinned and armed to the teeth stares down at the slaves working tirelessly on new weapons and tools - And a singular letter was tattooed onto his neck.
  162.  
  163. 'Z'
  164. [18:08] Taiga saunters into the office. Seems he had found the right place.
  165.  
  166. "...Zasa?" He echoes the words he had heard earlier, making sure he had the right man. Seems so, by the tattoo on his neck. To be entirely frank, this room has him feeling anxious to get to work finally. Slavery was one of his triggers, and Taiga was ready to fly off the handle at a moments notice. Siegfried had been waiting for his signal for a while now... and he was about to finally get it at this rate.
  167.  
  168. "This is quite the establishment you have, sir." He keeps it casual. Friendly, even. Completely betraying his intent.
  169. (Taiga Rowan)
  170. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  171.  
  172. [18:16] Siegfried is actually physically pained by the interaction. He looks into her eyes for the briefest of moments, as if searching for some kind of reason for what she was doing outside of the seductive words she was worming into his ear. Being the kind of dude to give a prostitute a hundred coins and say 'you can just go home', he's actually nerve-wracked until her...manager...yanks her away from him.
  173.  
  174. A new fury arises in the pit of his belly that spreads through him like liquid fire.
  175.  
  176. His eyes are cast onto Zasa, and he says nothing. His fists are clenched so tightly the blood has been drained and his knuckles are white. There is no trace of the act that he'd held up to this point.
  177.  
  178. Siegfried is furious.
  179. (Siegfried)
  180. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  181.  
  182. [18:21] {NARRATION} ".. Eh?" Zasamel turns around now to look at the two who had come up to the third floor uninvited. No one was allowed up on the third floor, after all. "Yeah. It'd say it's a hell of an establishment myself, too." He turns on his heel after that and cocks a sly, malevolent grin.
  183.  
  184. "What can I do for you two intruders? Before I spill your guts, that is." He reaches for the blade on his back, and removes a rather large purple saber.
  185. [18:23] "Go ahead and call everyone up here." Taiga states, trudging through the office and trying to find a nice plush seat to flop down on. "I can wait." He seems cool as a cucumber in this situation, even with the threat baring down on him. "It's easier to get everyone together. For me and you. No?"
  186. (Taiga Rowan)
  187. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  188.  
  189. [18:25] There was no way it was going to come to anything but this, then. Siegfried had known that from the rip, and yet, he was so much less hesitant now than he was then.
  190.  
  191. His hands reach for his twin blades, ready to dispense hot justice...
  192.  
  193. when taiga just sits down what the fuck
  194.  
  195. He stops. Everything stops. The teenager at the precipice of adulthood just stares, dumbstruck, at Taiga, before just finally sitting down himself next to him, looking stupidly up at Zasamel.
  196.  
  197. Still no signal. Got it.
  198. (Siegfried)
  199. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  200.  
  201. [18:28] {NARRATION} Probably the worst thing that could've been done here. Zasamel reaches over for a button his desk and clicks it inwards. "Can I get Muscle and every guard to the third floor? This ain't a joke."
  202.  
  203. ... A minute passes, and the building starts to shake. A huge, purple head can be seen rising from the staircase as what must've been fifty to sixty guards started to pile behind this absolutely massive purple figure. Taiga played it cocky - He'd get what was coming to him.
  204.  
  205. They were now starting to be surrounded - As for Muscle? A massive, huge Kaor. One that had been smuggled into Huangzhou it seemed - And it simply rippled with muscles and Occult power.
  206.  
  207. It also happened to be seven feet tall.
  208. [18:29] Siegfried says, ".....t-t-taiga......."
  209. [18:29] Siegfried asks, "wh-why?"
  210. [18:34] This guy was doing half the work for them. Wonderful. Beyond his expectations, really. Taiga very calmly stands up. He puts his arms above his head and stretches himself out, giving a deep breath! In through nose, out through the mouth! It seemed that all the guards were closing in on them now? Everyone gathered up in one cramped office.
  211.  
  212. Was this cocky? Absolutely. Did Taiga care? Not a bit. Had he simply grown careless in his years of slaughter, or had he carefully measured exactly how much pressure he could put on himself and Siegfried before they snapped? That would have to be seen.
  213.  
  214. With a swipe of his hand, a blade appears in his hand. Blessings of Nadir, twirling at the ready - the gemstone at the hilt humming vibrantly with a red light, ready to take in the blood of everyone and everything they spilled here.
  215.  
  216. "They won't run." Taiga states simply.
  217.  
  218. ...And like that, he begins to walk up to the Kaor.
  219. (Taiga Rowan)
  220. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  221.  
  222. [18:35] {NARRATION} /vit for me, now.
  223. [18:40] Ba-dump.
  224.  
  225. Siegfried stands to his fullest height, either hand on the two blades at his sides. Afterward, he spins, a beautiful flourish that leaves emerald trails through the air that bite with the vitriol of the wind...aimed at no one in particular, for now. His eyes are scanning the perimeter, and all that surround them.
  226.  
  227. thump.
  228.  
  229. Heart painstakingly loud in his ear, following the whims of a madman and wondering just what in the Hell he'd gotten himself into, Siegfried is dwarfed by his azure magics, energy fizzling to life from his pores that enshrouds him in its majesty. Energy aura crackles into being, tinged with something else - the faintest sparks of electricity?
  230.  
  231. That electricity seems to only spark when his heart beats at it's fastest...
  232.  
  233. "And neither will we," Siegfried states, just as simply.
  234.  
  235. And like that, he awaited the moment to strike.
  236. (Siegfried)
  237. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  238.  
  239. [18:52] {NARRATION} Roll a D6!
  240. [18:54] {NARRATION} Taiga and Siegfried: 4 Day Temps
  241.  
  242. Feel free to RP your victory now.
  243. [18:56] ** Escaping Light [DM] has inflicted an injury upon Siegfried. ("Blindness", "Siegfried was met with a massive burst of wind magic to his chest and face, to which blades of wind cut at his eyes. No permenant damage has been wrought, but the youth won't be able to see anywhere near as well as before. The pain is immense.", "Temporary", "Duration: Medium (4 days)") **
  244. [19:01] It's not an easy slaughter. Not the one he hoped it would be, at least. A massive creature like the Kaor having been confined to such a tight space as this office room, forced to fight... it's not the ideal condition to be fighting such a thing, is it now?
  245.  
  246. But he's experienced enough to make it out alive. Probably much to the chagrin of the mob boss who had sent their monster on him to begin with. At some point or another, Taiga is completely obliterated from the looks of things. Blasted through a wall and sent flying out into the club proper, likely scaring the everloving shit out of any guests who were previously unaware to the conflict at hand.
  247.  
  248. He's quick to remerge through, just as Siegfried is pounded into the dirt. Broken shoulder or not, he leaps forward and with all his might slams his blade down on the beasts neck from behind! The severed head goes sailing off in an arc - and the beast collapses to the floor, dead!
  249.  
  250. Taiga hisses, gritting his fangs and snarling at the rest of the part present. "STEP UP!" He howls. "I hope - I pray - each and every one of you has accepted their death, no?! Think about the choices you've made that have led to this! I hope this fate - dying in this shithole - is exactly what you wanted out of life!" He's in a frenzy, unmistakably, raving mad and preparing to start cutting loose on the crowd that had gathered.
  251.  
  252. "You cowards! Slavedrivers! I'll END you!"
  253. (Taiga Rowan)
  254. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  255.  
  256. [19:08] Siegfried is the wind, lashing out with the righteous indignation that had led him to this point.
  257.  
  258. His winds aid him and Taiga both, propelling them to new heights as the brotherly swordsmen criss-cross through the hordes of muscle. Keeping up with Taiga with just Siegfried's raw speed when the other man teleported was a tough, borderline impossible feat, his body pushed to it's limits...
  259.  
  260. But when things got hard, he needed only think of that woman who'd touched him. How when he'd looked into her eyes, despite the things she said to arouse him, he saw nothing but a lost soul. Someone who'd never had a chance in the world - robbed from her. An injustice these men would pay for, in blood.
  261.  
  262. Limits were shattered, and his own wind-encased body is thrust like a surgical scalpel through swaths of goons. He eviscerates men in a beautiful, languid dance of bloody bladework, moving on auto-pilot. His brain is off. Siegfried isn't here right now.
  263.  
  264. They would pay.
  265.  
  266. Outside of this building, the sun would raise. Many miles away, children would sleep, parents would relax, and none of these people would ever have to know that a boy was fighting with all of his heart, so that they nor their children would ever know the pain that the people in this building had been subject to.
  267.  
  268. "Taiga!"
  269.  
  270. His mentor is sent hurtling through a wall, debris blasting through the vicinity as he goes scurrying through tables and likely interrupting some fucked up asshole's night of debauchery. Steeling himself, Siegfried bounds off of the walls like a rubber bullet, pelting the Kaor with a series of weak, annoying attacks that draw it's blood.
  271.  
  272. But it isn't enough.
  273.  
  274. Despair fills his heart momentarily. For a moment, he loses the anger that carried him this far - and fear, the same fear he'd felt as a boy, whenZeno Morvan had taken the purity of blissful ignorance from him, flooded him. That moment of hesitation is when the Kaor ejects a blast of wind at him that jets through his entire body and face, inflicting momentous damage...
  275.  
  276. ---
  277.  
  278. You could go home...
  279. Go home...
  280. Just go home, Siegfried.
  281.  
  282. ---
  283.  
  284. His eyes snap open, and, on his last limbs, he pushes back with winds of his own, screaming as he leaps through and delivers his mightiest blow to the Kaor. Unbeknownest to him, for an instant, as he embodies speed itself, the glimmer of lightning that had accompanied his heartbeat is brilliant, mesmerizing, a flash going off in the room as if lightning had impacted the Kaor himself.
  285.  
  286. And then Siegfried collapses, and his world goes dark, moments before Taiga ends the bout.
  287.  
  288. ...But not for long. Stubbornly, he refuses to fall, even as the Kaor does. And while his ears ring from the velocity of the winds, and his brain aches from the myriad of voices and the oncoming confusion, he still grips his two swords, flanking Taiga.
  289.  
  290. "...You'll never do to anyone what you did to her again," he slurs, speaking of a woman he doesn't even know, and all the ones just like her.
  291. (Siegfried)
  292. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  293.  
  294. [19:16] {NARRATION} The Kaor is absolutely overwhelmed by the swordsmanship displayed here today - And though they had called it the Muscle, likely because of just how much raw power it was able to dish out on command at the duo - It would be struck down by a brutal blow from Siegfried - And eventual decapitation from Taiga himself.
  295.  
  296. Siegfried's eyes were cut, and Taiga had a broken shoulder - And Zasamel just smiled the entire time. He reaches a hand forward and stares at Taiga with a wry smile. "I like that - Portals, right? Let me show you what kind of portals I can work with." The ringleader of the entire debaucle snaps his fingers now, and several cracks of crimson lightning start to swarm and surround the duo.
  297.  
  298. Taiga would recognize this as very tangible and threatening riftmancy - As the lifestream is clawed and torn and shredded at this very location, ooze begins to drip in through the portals that were torn open.
  299.  
  300. Zasamel had a nasty, dirty secret - And as the portals had been opened - A much larger one appears behind him as black and white chains sprout from the otherside. They tunnel into his back now, linking him with whatever was on the other side.
  301.  
  302. Linking him with the void.
  303.  
  304. "Ya' kids should've just went home. Ya' gonna' get hurt." With his Sorslike tone, swarms of the ooze start to pile up and surround the duo. Taiga sought to kill all of them - His plate got that much larger.
  305. [19:27] What a fucking shitshow. First, he was surprised to find that the ringleader of this entire operation wasn't just some nameless punk, but a full fledged magi. An experienced one at that. A riftmancer at that. It sort of explained how he had managed to smuggle in that Kaor in the first place, huh?
  306.  
  307. Taiga earnestly doesn't give it much thought. He can't. Instinct is pounding in his system, howling at him to move - to fight - to feed. The blood rushing through his veins is starting to boil, and he springs into action before he can even bother thinking about what action that might be. His hands move on trained instinct. Where there were portals from another dimension, he was to close them, no questions asked.
  308.  
  309. Doing his best to shut off the ooze that Zasamel aimed to spread into the room, the pain searing into his shoulder is outright ignored for now. Taiga, quite simply, dopes himself. A level of blood manipulation so potent he could just shut out the pain for the time being by altering the chemicals carried through his bloodstream. It'd mean, only using one arm with his sword for the time being, sadly, but it'd permit him to fight more or less at the same level as per usual.
  310.  
  311. All that shouting, taunting, it goes dead silent. As soon as the portals are taken care of - or if Zasamel approached - he springs into action. Slashing at whatever came close, man or ooze, and aiming to tear Zasamel apart.
  312. (Taiga Rowan)
  313. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  314.  
  315. [19:31] Nobody likes a little bitch.
  316.  
  317. Siegfried's vision isn't going to be reorienting itself, and he's wholly aware of that. Whatever had just happened was going to require a visit to the clinic. And yet...
  318.  
  319. His arm swings, experimentally. That was working.
  320. His legs are given an experimental wriggle. They work.
  321. He steels his mind for the conflict to come, and what they were about to have to do. It works.
  322.  
  323. Energy crackles back to life, and dual blades are held in either hand. He steadies his breathing, and just kind of lunges forward. His exhausted, battered body, with its ruined eyes, would do it's damndest.
  324.  
  325. That's all he can do right now.
  326.  
  327. Keep going forward.
  328. (Siegfried)
  329. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  330.  
  331. [19:37] Taiga Rowan says, "ur mdam"
  332. [19:38]
  333. {LOAD GAME}
  334.  
  335. [19:53] {NARRATION} Roll a D6!
  336. [19:59] {NARRATION} KNOCKOUTS:
  337. - - - - - - - - - -
  338. SIEGFRIED: 3. rolled 4
  339. TAIGA: 4, rolled 2
  340. - - - - - - - - - -
  341. Taiga: One 12 Day Temp, one unhealable 4 Day Temp
  342. Siegfried: One 12 Day Temp
  343. [20:01] ** Escaping Light [DM] has inflicted an injury upon Siegfried. ("Shattered Ribs", "Met with severe force, Zasamel's blade went right down Siegfried's chest and stomach and split open a couple of the youth's ribs. The pain is immense, but luckily can be healed with a decent amount of effort.", "Temporary", "Duration: Long (12 days)") **
  344. [20:17] Lord help him. He wasn't ready for all this.
  345.  
  346. Taiga fights ferociously, as always. Despite the Void, despite the Rifts gaping open all around him now, there wasn't a single inch of Taiga's body that told him to pull back or surrender. His mind was a screaming, howling mess of commands that shot out through his system with violent reactions. Every time Zasamel made the mistake of coming close to the Dhampir, there was an explosive trade of blows. Metal screeching against metal, their blades ringing out a dozen times in a split second.
  347.  
  348. He could tell... that fighting here, in the midst of this mans home turf - these individual exchange of blows weren't leaving him in good shape. Were his alone in this endeavor? Had he chosen to come at Zasamel all by himself? It likely would've ended in disaster, with how much support he had in this building.
  349.  
  350. But young Siegfried was here. For the first time, Taiga had a younger, inexperienced hothead following the motions and working through this job together. Every time he thought he was in over his head, Siegfried would throw himself forward with reckless abandon, providing him invaluable moments to strike back. Through the haze of his frenzy... he couldn't help but feel some small measure of pride. Pride that would, of course, have to be saved for after the battle.
  351.  
  352. Pride that - without a doubt - turned to furious rage as Zasamel overpowered and slammed Siegfried to the dirt. Taiga snaps.
  353.  
  354. The entire room would go pitch black. The shadows at his feet writhing outward and like a thousand hot knives they soared towards Zasamel. Charging forward, Taiga uses what's left of his mana to send his body into overdrive. A furious outcry of strikes - one after another raining down on the man while the tendrils of shadow around him aim to crawl across his form. Binding and pulling on his limps, tearing open his defenses for Taiga to flay him like a fish.
  355.  
  356. With a final, climatic slam of his blade, Blessings of Nadir is plunged straight through Zasamel's heart. The momentum of the stab carries Taiga down with it, forcing the tip of his weapon through the wooden floor and staking Zasamel. Taiga slumps over his weapon, just barely clinging to consciousness as his hands slip from the hilt.
  357.  
  358. He rolls over, exhausted, dimly staring at the ceiling with his bloody form splayed out across the floor. Seigfried would emerge from unconsciousness to see the entire room painted red - Taiga just barely alive. Zasamel… put down. It's eerily quiet, without the deafening noise of slapping bodies and rolling dice. Just the soft drip of blood from the ceiling.
  359. (Taiga Rowan)
  360. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  361.  
  362. [20:29] Fighting a goddamn Riftmancer wasn't an experience he cared to essentially ever repeat, after what'd happened here.
  363.  
  364. The man came after them with an unholy fervor, wave after wave of foul creatures spewing forth from the blackened blisters of the earth. Siegfried battles them back, most of the simmering rage having eroded away in the midst of battle, only to be overtaken by a sort of grim resolve.
  365.  
  366. You know what it's like when it's 3 AM and you've been at the party for like five hours, and you can't go home yet, but you kinda want to, but you kinda don't?
  367.  
  368. Siegfried's blade is sent careening from his hand, flying off and into the distance. That hand, now freed, lets loose, ripping away with a tremendous burst of energy that'd snap into the mob boss's chest and send him rippling backward...
  369.  
  370. Combination after combination, twist and turn after twist and turn, the battle droned on, and he, with so little experience, grew tired. Surges of energy filtered back into him from time to time, like a second wind at the gym, but for the most part, Taiga's unending font of stamina and superhuman parameters would have to carry them in the heat of the battle, with Siegfried himself just largely playing support.
  371.  
  372. Tick, tock, on the clock.
  373.  
  374. Zasamel is batting away clever combinations and coordinated collisions with relative ease, it seems - until, finally, Siegfried is a hare too slow. That wispy energy aura has diluted far too much. Everything comes to a still, and it's lights out...
  375.  
  376. As he goes hurtling, all is silent. He's left to contemplate everything that lead him to this point. And as he careens through the air, for just a second, he meets eyes with Taiga, and he smiles. It's that kind of smile you only saw between two people at the highest point of friendship.
  377.  
  378. I could die here and not regret a thing, that smile says.
  379.  
  380. And then he knows only blackness.
  381.  
  382. ---
  383.  
  384. In the dreamscape, he dances. He is in the ballroom, with the other boys, and the girls, and his parents, and the parents of those boys and those girls, and they laugh, not with each other, but at each other. With their haughty expressions and condescending words, the real dance is not the dance of feet, but the one for verbal supremacy in scathing, subtle verbal duels, erupting all around.
  385.  
  386. Except in the middle of it all is Siegfried, tuning out the world. He is dancing, dancing.
  387.  
  388. He says he will never die.
  389.  
  390. ---
  391.  
  392. Twin swords are embed on either side of his limb, broken body. His eyes are transfixed on the ceiling for but a moment, before he regains sensibility, and it dully turns to Taiga instead. Taiga, who looked barely alive. Taiga, who was on the brink of death. And then his mind regained all of it's sense...
  393.  
  394. ...Taiga, who was barely alive.
  395.  
  396. He snapped up, as the fourth time he'd processed it may as well have been the first, with all of this accumulated mental fatigue. Their weapons and belongings are procured from the bloodbath by Taiga's handy little assistant, and then, just as he had so long ago, after the battle with Freya in which Godfrey had become an orphan, he grasps Taiga.
  397.  
  398. "We'll be okay...we'll be okay...we'll be okay."
  399.  
  400. He mutters this mantra into the universe like he could make his word law through sheer will alone, rifing through the bodies to grab anything that they might want before dragging their asses out of there.
  401.  
  402. A million faces flash before his eyes. Ones he has to live for. And after today? Ones he'd kill for.
  403.  
  404. Lightning sparks behind his eyes. Something gives him the will to keep walking, and carry them out of there.
  405.  
  406. The winds ease theirpain, but the lightning, the lightning keeps him moving.
  407.  
  408. "I promise, Taiga...we will be okay."
  409. (Siegfried)
  410. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  411.  
  412. [20:34] {NARRATION} Clash of metal. Rifts fighting portals. Corrupted void fights against the purity of the lifestream. The black and white chains that are dug into Zasamel's skin keep him alive, quite literally forcing his movements after they had downed him once - Twice - Three times. These evil powers keep him swinging the blade, intent to take their heads..
  413.  
  414. .. And though he was strong, and the hordes of ooze and people in the parlor continue to swarm - They are - Victorious.
  415.  
  416. Bodies lay on the ground, the room seems painted in crimson - Zasamel lay dead with a blade having been shoved through his heart - And it becomes clear now that everyone else had likely screamed and evacuated the building. The whores, the slaves, those unfortuante enough to have been under his boot.
  417.  
  418. His grand treasury, as a gang ringleader, was vast. The two of them earned their payday.
  419. [20:34] {Item} Picked up a bag of 6000 dropped by Escaping Light [DM].
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