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III. Fear Is The Compass

Blue_XIII Aug 2nd, 2019 98 Never
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  1. "I have got every intention of pushing myself as much as I can in order to wield this magic to it's fullest extent. I must master it quickly, as I've no time to waste. Agartha is not waiting on me, so.. I apologize, if you'll need to deal with me hurting myself." he explained.
  2.  
  3. ---
  4.  
  5. And so, the two traveled and went on their training hijinks. Wandering the wilds of Agartha and going on an adventure for the sake of the montage. Somewhere along the way, they happened upon the swamp. This is where they made their first stop.
  6.  
  7. With Tobias lowering himself into a grounded stance and Siegfried keeping a close eye, it was the boy's turn to push himself first. They couldn't be doing these things at the same time, after all.
  8.  
  9. ---
  10.  
  11. The camera must have found the scene partway into their conversation, the beginning having happened off screen. Because, Tobias was already giving his mentor a confident nod."Alright, I'm ready. Here goes." he affirmed, clenching his fists. He gritted his teeth as he braced himself, before shouting.
  12.  
  13. "OMEGA!!"
  14.  
  15. He began to brim with a golden cosmic radiance, ethereal blue sparks of mana discharging in every direction. He began overloading his mana circuits with cosmic energy, groaning in pain. He winced, digging his nails into his palms and breathing heavily. Taking in so much mana that it was seriously starting to look detrimental to his health!
  16.  
  17. (rolling d6, 2 or lower means Tobias hurts himself)
  18. (Tobias Ulrich)
  19.  
  20. ** You spot
  21.  Estelle Shimizu nearby! [Click to pursue] **
  22. ** You spot
  23.  Julian Sybil nearby! [Click to pursue] **
  24. ** You spot
  25.  Estelle Shimizu nearby! [Click to pursue] **
  26. The winds of grace blow all the time. All we need to do is set our sails.
  27.  
  28. ---
  29.  
  30. The lad and his young accomplice wander Agartha until they happen upon the swamp. Somewhere along the way, Siegfried has changed into shorts and a khaki hat, and wields a machete, like Jindiana Ones, the infamous Valmasian explorer from the novels he'd read as a bright-eyed youth.
  31.  
  32. Eventually, they come to a place clear enough for him to sit atop a rock, legs crossed, kicking back and watching Tobias do his thing.
  33.  
  34. ---
  35.  
  36. When the scene is done transitioning, there is a hyper-stylized, cinematic camera panning, displaying Siegfried's intense gaze on Tobias Ulrich as he begins to shine like a literal star dragged down from the heavens. His eyes widen...
  37.  
  38. "Damn, kid. You're really somethin' else...you've been working on this already. Definitely less of a procrastinator than I was at your age..."
  39.  
  40. Gold interspersed with blue like ornaments strung on oriental trees, decadence and regality mirroring the cosmos itself. A fine display of cosmic magic, making up for what it was missing in control with raw conviction. If he hadn't been sure of Tobias's talent before?
  41.  
  42. He was now.
  43.  
  44. "HEY! DON'T GO TOO HARD TOO FAST."
  45. (Siegfried)
  46.  
  47. {RP BATTLE} (COUNTDOWN: 10)
  48.  
  49. {RP BATTLE} (COUNTDOWN: 9)
  50.  
  51. {RP BATTLE} (COUNTDOWN: 8)
  52.  
  53. {RP BATTLE} (COUNTDOWN: 7)
  54.  
  55. {RP BATTLE} (COUNTDOWN: 6)
  56.  
  57. {RP BATTLE} (COUNTDOWN: 5)
  58.  
  59. {RP BATTLE} (COUNTDOWN: 4)
  60.  
  61. {RP BATTLE} (COUNTDOWN: 3)
  62.  
  63. {RP BATTLE} (COUNTDOWN: 2)
  64.  
  65. {RP BATTLE} (COUNTDOWN: 1)
  66.  
  67. {RP BATTLE} (COUNTDOWN: Go!)
  68.  
  69.  
  70. Siegfried says, "wow i need unarmed in 3terina"
  71.  
  72. Siegfried says, "unarmed suck"
  73. Tobias Ulrich has rolled 6 or under: they may be captured!
  74.  
  75. You gave a "Cosmic Burnout" to Tobias Ulrich!
  76.  
  77. Tobias went too hard too fast, and his body couldn't take it.
  78.  
  79. Golden radiance spilled out of Tobias in waves, flaring wildly. His body felt as if it was being burned from the inside out, an immense heat overwhelming his mana circuits. Sweat dripped from his features, head tilted forward as he screamed.
  80.  
  81. "I'm fine!" he exclaimed, on the verge of tears from the excruciating pain. Yet, he kept pushing. Beyond the point of reason, until his body shut down. The connection with his star was forcibly shut off. Not by Tobias, but by Omega not wishing to kill his vessel.
  82.  
  83. His legs buckled, causing the Ulrich to nearly fall. He stumbled in place, feeling nauseous. Sick to his stomach, and in the worst kind of pain. Labored breathing, was given as he raised his fist to his mouth, coughing vigorously. He looked down..
  84.  
  85. His hand was bloody.
  86.  
  87. "Mister Siegfried.. it hurts." he muttered, shaking. Omega told him that his journey was going to be one of suffering, but he didn't know it would be this bad. Mana circuits exhausted and his body having taken more than enough detriment, it was time to move into the next phase.
  88.  
  89. "I think I need.. to take a break."
  90.  
  91. ---
  92.  
  93. As they traveled to the next area for the site of Siegfried's training, Tobias would be riding atop his mentor's back. A piggyback ride to their next destination. The youth couldn't make the trip on his own after that, now could he?
  94.  
  95. ---
  96. (Tobias Ulrich)
  97.  
  98. ** You spot
  99.  Tobias Ulrich nearby! [Click to pursue] **
  100. ** You spot
  101.  Kah Zam nearby! [Click to pursue] **
  102. ** You spot
  103.  Tobias Ulrich nearby! [Click to pursue] **
  104. ** You spot
  105.  Tobias Ulrich nearby! [Click to pursue] **
  106. "Oh, shit, kid!"
  107.  
  108. Siegfried rushes forward, unsure what to do when it came time to deal with something as volatile as this...but knowing that Tobias shouldn't have to shoulder any such thing all by his lonesome. The man isn't able to actually do a whole lot, but he does get as close as he can to his proximity without yelling and...
  109.  
  110. Hot. Hot hot hot hot. The kid was burning the fuck up. The heat was nauseating, like he'd just opened a door to Hell. It was the sort of heat that altered your perception, vision growing blurry in the vicinity around Tobias.
  111.  
  112. When he almost falls, Siegfried was there to catch him, even if he didn't need it. His eyes are wide as saucers as he examines the freak accident that'd just occurred, everything that Tobias had talked about having just been proven in something as terrifying as it was...
  113.  
  114. Exciting.
  115.  
  116. "...If I ever need a light, I know who to call," he jokes, rather shaken by what'd just happened. Would Tobias be able to make it through to the end of this?
  117.  
  118. No...
  119.  
  120. He wouldn't doubt his young protégé now.
  121.  
  122. They had this. They had to.
  123.  
  124. ---
  125.  
  126. Siegfried is swift, but Tobias does what he needs to in order to catch up. The sandy blond-haired adventurer running along the ground is followed by his platinum blond companion flying overhead. Eventually, the destination is set. Siegfried's training begins on an island.
  127.  
  128. ---
  129.  
  130. "I want you to throw blasts of cosmic energy at me, and I'm going to swing these trees and bat them away."
  131.  
  132. What?
  133.  
  134. "Ready!?"
  135. (Siegfried)
  136.  
  137. The plan was met with a quizzical expression by the burned out Tobias, but he'd oblige nonetheless. It wasn't like these blasts of cosmic magic could hurt Siegfried, right? His mana circuits were shot after his last blunder, and the gap in strength between the two was substantial even without his handicap.
  138.  
  139. So, he reached for his staff and raised it. Calling upon Omega once more, cosmic energy was drawn from his distant star and focused into the tip of his staff. Ethereal specks of blue mana homed in on one point, spiraling into a brilliant golden ball.
  140.  
  141. "A-As you wish." he answered, skeptical but ultimately accepting of Siegfried's methods. Glowing orange blasts of cosmic magic were shot towards Siegfried in a controlled manner, about one every few seconds. Though, the rhythm of each blast would slowly pick up in pace.
  142.  
  143. This would reach it's peak when Siegfried would be forced to swing a tree one time persecond. Although he could go faster, this was what he was going with for now.
  144. (Tobias Ulrich)
  145.  
  146. Energy Magic, as its name entails, is the heightened control of one's soul generated purest form of energy, otherwise known as their mana. Magi specialized in this field of magic are capable of conjuring large quantities of their mana to be utilized as a defensive force, such as an energy shield formed around oneself, a passive force, such as a shroud of energy that empowers their body, or an offensive force, such as a lethal blast of energy.
  147.  
  148. Siegfried usage largely excelled in the passive manner. His projection was high-level, but only because, frankly, at this point, Siegfried himself was high-level. For a magi of his caliber, his energy projection was highly lackluster.
  149.  
  150. But the passive application? The amplification of the body, strength, durability, and speed?
  151.  
  152. Oh, at that, he excelled.
  153.  
  154. His feet are embedded deeply into the ground, and Siegfried gives an animalistic roar. From a boundless reservoir of inner strife and turmoil, he draws the strength to lift this tree, magic tempered by the flames of adversity and strife making him able to heft up the tree. He wobbles at first, seeming as if he might drop it, but then he reinforces the area around his legs, redistributing until he's able to maintain a solid batting stance with the tree.
  155.  
  156. And then he nods to Tobias.
  157.  
  158. Whistling through the air, the initial cosmic bullet is met with the collision of the tree, and immediately, a shower of glittery magic descends to the ground. Siegfried just about instantly realizes what he's gotten himself into when the fatigue sets in from that initial swing, and is deliberating backing out of this challenge when...
  159.  
  160. Tobias begins hurtling the little bolts like a damn machine.
  161.  
  162. No longer the type to shy away from a challenge, Siegfried swings the damn bat, deflecting a bolt a second as a thin, nearly transparent layer of energy magic augments his physical parameters. Muscles that haven't been strained to this degree in years beg for relief.
  163.  
  164. He does not offer it.
  165.  
  166. "MORE! MORE! C'MON, WHAT ARE YAS, A GIRL?" He jeers inbetween swings, even while it's clear he is pushing his control to the absolute limit. "KNOCK ME ON MY ASS!"
  167.  
  168. Siegfried, at some point in this montage, developed a boston accent.
  169.  
  170. It was only appropriate.
  171. (Siegfried)
  172.  
  173. "Surely, you jest. You are nearly floored already, it's obvious." he quipped back to Siegfried. But, he wasn't one to let someone down. The young man grinned, his fingers tightening around his staff. "I suppose I'll have to oblige, then. Don't say that I didn't warn you, Mister Siegfried."
  174.  
  175. Now, Tobias was pushing himself. What was once a controlled and slow stream of blasts was picked up to a rapidfire barrage of cosmic missiles. His own limits were pushed, just not in the way that obliterated his insides like before. The pace kept ramping up.
  176.  
  177. Eventually, Siegfried's arms would be killing him from the amount of speed he'd need to keep up. By the time that Tobias had amped up to his full speed, it was a superhuman display. If there were any onlookers in this private session, it would look like a blur of brown and green colliding with streaks of orange and gold.
  178.  
  179. "Will you keep asking for more?!I believe you're running low on trees!" he shouted as he proceeded. And, it was true; by this point, Siegfried nearly uprooted the entire island. There was just one last tree that the kid hadn't blasted to smithereens. And that meant one last spell for him.
  180.  
  181. Let's hit a home run, shall we?
  182.  
  183. A ball of cosmic energy spiraled in on the end of his staff, much larger than anything that he had accumulated prior. Both of his arms were raised up as he breathed heavily, an unstable sphere of starlight floating overhead. It pulsated with otherworldly power, a meteor being prepared for the final tree.
  184.  
  185. He brought his staff down, and it hurdled forward.
  186. (Tobias Ulrich)
  187.  
  188. ** You spot
  189.  Reggie nearby! [Click to pursue] **
  190. "MY FATHER WAS A MAN WHOSE BACK COULD NEVER BREAK, TOBIAS..! AND THAT IS WHY I ALWAYS REACH FOR MORE! FEAR IS NOT TO BE RAN FROM!"
  191.  
  192. Siegfried's arm blurs, moving faster than Tobias's staff could project energy. His sweat falls like bullets, his arms a neverending machine, a rinse cycle of batting. His forehead drips with sweat. His arms drip with sweat. Sweat mats his clothing to his body...but not a single one of those cosmic energy blasts strikes home.
  193.  
  194. Each tree is swung every which way, it's leaves, branches, and bark snapping off on impact, and while being flung around, but many of them manage to hold on longer than can be expected, much as Siegfried himself does. Is he...coating the trees in his own energy magic?
  195.  
  196. Reinforcing them?
  197.  
  198. As Tobias's pace amplifies, so too does Siegfried's. At times, he doesn't even all the way wind back the tree, and instead kind of spins into the momentum, bringing it around like a whirling tornado of a batter. A manic grin spreads across his face.
  199.  
  200. And then comes the big one.
  201.  
  202. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQQgXk7YIow
  203.  
  204. "FEAR IS TO BE RAN -TO-! IT IS THE COMPASS!"
  205.  
  206. The final tree is uprooted.
  207.  
  208. He slides into place as Tobias charges up what was going to be a motherfucker of a projectile. Big, mean, and gold, it comes careening toward him, parting the grass in it's wake and even eclipsing the sun by his perception.
  209.  
  210. And then he flinches.
  211.  
  212. As he's trying to tug the tree out of the ground, the injury left on him by Isaac Shimasu flares up, the throbbing spread all throughout his leg. He's momentarily frozen.
  213.  
  214. Will he have to take this head on?
  215.  
  216. ---
  217.  
  218. But baby, I was born to fly.
  219.  
  220. ---
  221.  
  222. Energy springs to life, and he rips the tree clean up and swings it in one motion, clutching victory from the jaws of defeat.
  223.  
  224. "CHARGE HEADLONG AT YOUR FEARS, TOBIAS, AND YOU CAN NEVER KNOW DEFEAT..!"
  225.  
  226. The tree in his palm impacts the cosmic blast and the world explodes into color.
  227.  
  228. Gold. Part of the cosmic burst dissipating into thousands of superheated sparks, each of which on their own could ignite a flame.
  229. Brown. The tree shattering into dozens of pieces on collision.
  230. And...
  231. Green. The leaves, blowing away, serene. Nature doing as nature did, even as humans fucked up the balance.
  232.  
  233. The world turns to gray, like they were in a photograph. The picture-perfect moment. Tobias, standing there, projecting his onslaught. Siegfried, clutching the splintered remains of what'd once been a great oak in one hand...
  234.  
  235. And an explosion that clears the heavens.
  236.  
  237. "...And you may even get the girl."
  238.  
  239. ---
  240.  
  241. Their training has a short intermission scheduled. Part of the process was sustenance. The two had to eat, to replenish those reservoirs of physical and magical stamina, no?
  242.  
  243. And so the campfire is made, and Tobias is gestured to come and sit.
  244.  
  245. ---
  246.  
  247. (Siegfried)
  248.  
  249. Tobias saw a side of Siegfried that was unfamiliar to him. He spoke of his father, his own inspiration for behaving the way he did. Siegfried was a blank slate whose perception of the world was forged by the bonds he had formed. It was a confident shout that meant to inspire, but..
  250.  
  251. The boy couldn't help but feel somber. It felt like a cry for attention, to a man that was long gone. An attempt to carry on his legacy. In the final moment, as beautiful starfire rained down upon them and the final stretch of their training session?
  252.  
  253. He looked upon his mentor in silent awe. He felt his bond deepening with Siegfried in a profound manner. Over the course of this trip, they had bled together, sweated together, and suffered together. But most importantly, their bond with one another had grown stronger.
  254.  
  255. In the photograph, Tobias held an expression that was of awe and inspiration. Not a confident smile, but a face that conveyed he was beholding something truly grand. And just as Siegfried's father had done unto him, these words would leave a lasting impression on Tobias as well.
  256.  
  257. ---
  258.  
  259. Who is Mister Siegfried, really?
  260.  
  261. ---
  262.  
  263. And when the dust (and splinters, and leaves, and stardust) cleared, the boy finally spoke. "Well, you sure did prove me wrong. I believe I am long overdue for a break, aren't you?" he asked, to which they both knew the answer. After a scene like that one, they both deserved it.
  264.  
  265. ---
  266.  
  267. For the night, they'd sit around the campfire and talk amongst one another. Sharing food, and strengthening their hearts. And long into the night, when the fire was extinguished, the two slept off their fatigue in a nearby tent. Day one of their training was over, and day two?
  268.  
  269. Well, the sun was just over the horizon.
  270.  
  271. ---
  272. (Tobias Ulrich)
  273.  
  274. Siegfried plops down, head up and in the stars, as it always was. Never on the ground. Never here. Always forward, always back.
  275.  
  276. Not unless he had to bring it back. Not unless life and limb was on the line. Him, or anyone else's.
  277.  
  278. That was just how it be.
  279.  
  280. If one wondered at the relationship between Siegfried and Taiga, if they sought to attain understanding of the crucial role one could play in development...well, it was simple. The answer has been infront of you all along, silly. Don't you see it?
  281.  
  282. Even if you don't have an actual father, there is someone, at some point, you have looked up to. That person, for a time, in your eyes, was everything you wanted to be. You talked like them. Tried to walk like them. In a way, you were even able to sometimes think like them. But eventually, you moved on.
  283.  
  284. But even then, after you did eventually move on?
  285.  
  286. That person is still a part of you, to this day.
  287.  
  288. And they always will be.
  289.  
  290. ---
  291.  
  292. All the way back home, Siegfried and Taiga walk through the dark. All the way back to Levengard.
  293.  
  294. Smiling, all the way.
  295.  
  296. ---
  297.  
  298. "Hm, hm. When we both grow beyond our limits, it can only be seen as a victory for us both, Tobi'."
  299.  
  300. ---
  301.  
  302. A boy and a boy who'd only just accepted that he'd have to become a man sit at a campfire. They josh, they jest, they laugh, they banter. They eat. They sleep. But in the dead of the night, Siegfried stares into an amulet that a certain white-haired someone had given him, long ago. Staring into it's violet crest, he smiles, clutching it close to his chest as a single tear cascades down his cheek.
  303.  
  304. I'm going to make you proud.
  305.  
  306. ---
  307. (Siegfried)
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