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Tenkai Matsumoto

The Man That Fell from the Sky

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                                                      The Man That Fell from the Sky

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A star fell from the sky that day. 

Or at least that was what it seemed to be. It was little more than a tiny pinprick of light amidst the clouds over the mountains east of Weland. It was not bright enough to draw away the eyes of those who were unconcerned with the sky, but to those who already looked to the clouds it would be as clear as anything else they had seen in spite of its size. Though not nearly enough to illuminate the sky, the tiny speck of light pierced through the darkness of the clouds nonetheless. It was a stubborn, unrelenting light that could not be clouded no matter how small it was, streaking earthward until it collided with one of the mountains below. 

And with that, it would vanish, the light disappearing in a small puff of pulverized stone and shattered mountain rock. The crater that it left behind was barely even visible to those that were near the mountain, though the proof of the falling star's impact lingered for but a moment before the winds carried it away. The light that had streaked down from the heavens so fleetingly was gone without a trace. 

Strangely unlike the shooting star that the falling object appeared to be, it had fallen straight down rather than the angled descent that was espected of most things that fell from orbit. This would have indicated that the tiny streak of light had originated from a much lower altitude than a falling star normally would. How could such a thing be possible? Was this simply the effect of some strange magic rather than a celestial occurrence? And what could such a thing portend in either case? 

None who laid eyes on the event would know. However, as it was with most things, truth was always stranger than fiction.
 
 
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A few minutes earlier...
 
 
Further above in the sky and hidden away by the clouds, flickering arcs of energy danced across the otherwise empty air as some arcane force began to tear a hole in reality itself. It was far too small to be any sort of threat to the stability of space-time, little more than a portal opening up in response to some object that had found its way into a wormhole. What was more unfortunate, of course, was that this object just so happened to be a man, and this man had traipsed through a portal whose exit point was a few thousand feet above a mountain range.
 
Needless to say, he was having a very bad day.
 
"Wh-whuh? WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!"
 
Holler as he might, his voice would not carry far from the height he was falling from. He was little more than a muted cry muffled by the clouds, and there was little that anyone could do for him even if they could hear him. Even on a clear day he would be little more than a speck in the sky rather than a strangely-dressed outsider plummeting from the heavens. Perhaps "plummeting from the heavens" would be ironic in this case, considering that the unfortunate man was dressed in the common black-and-blue robes of a Japanese Buddhist monk. His rosary necklace rattled as the wind whipped his ponytail upwards, his full head of hair being a rather odd sight on a monk. The sleeves of his robes were swept up by the force of his fall, nearly concealing the bits of armor covering his right arm and shins. He could hardly keep himself stable, eschewing the instinctual habit of spreading his arms out wide to catch the air in favor of keeping a tight grip on a long, thin object wrapped in cloth that he seemed intent on keeping in his possession even if he died. Not that either action would have spared him from such a fate if things kept going the way they were.
 
"This is the THIRD TIME--!" he shouted. To hell with thinking his thoughts quietly when he was plummeting through the clouds. "What is wrong with these portals!?"
 
Perhaps it was the fact that the monk had been through similar situations before that would ultimately spare him a rather unfortunate fate. In spite of his initial scream, he seemed to be more surprised and annoyed rather than filled with the abject terror brought on by his own impeding demise. Somehow he seemed to have an idea on how to survive this, or at least he should have if he was going to be so confident about it. As the clouds started to thin and the treacherous mountain terrain below him began to come into full view, he knew he would need to act soon if he was to act at all.
 
"Here goes nothing!"
 
He clapped his hands together, his right being clad in a gauntlet made of leather and steel plating while the left was almost completely wrapped in gauze. A dim, blue-white light thrummed from underneath the wrappings as his hands formed a meditative gesture, swiftly circulating through his rosary as the large, lacquered wooden beads started to light up like glowing azure baubles. They crackled with arcs of energy, surging like an electric current as the beads broke apart and orbited his falling form. Eventually they would come to rest in a spherical formation around him, suffused with dense spiritual energy that coalesced into a solid, crackling blue orb.
 
 
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"Kongou Kekkai Jin!"
(Adamantine Barrier Formation)
 
 
The hardened shield formed by the monk's channeled spiritual power shone brightly enough that it would be visible as it passed through the wall of clouds hanging over the mountains. What was once a tiny black speck in the sky was now a burning azure star careening towards the earth, still small by falling star standards but no less visible to any who managed to see it. With the monk being moved solely by gravity itself, he was able to remain perfectly still as he poured all of his focus into the barrier he had formed. The slowly-approaching ground that had inched closer gradually with each moment was now suddenly rushing towards him as he made contact with the craggy mountainside with tremendous impact. Stone shattered against the diamond-hard sphere of force, with gravity driving it hard enough into the rock to pulverize it into dust. The brief yet breathtaking bird's eye view that the monk had experienced during his fall had almost instantly given way to nothing but darkness, and the roar of the wind whipping past him was silenced by the echoing reverberation of the impact. Even the light from his spirit barrier was snuffed out in that instant, and all that was left of him was that same tiny puff of dust and debris that fizzled into the distance.
 
Once the dust cloud cleared up, all that was left was a small, shallow crater where part of the mountain crest had been, with the monk hunched over in the middle of it. His hands were still held together in a meditative gesture, knees bent in a posture that had been braced for impact, like a man anticipating an explosion after pressing the plunger on a TNT box. His eyes slowly opened, almost as if the realization that he had somehow survived his fall came as a surprise to him. The rosary beads still thrummed and crackled with power, distorting the air around him in the same spherical shape that had once shone like a star in the sky. He separated his hands as the beads flew back to him, reattaching themselves to hang from his neck once more. Allowing relief to wash over him, the monk exhaled a long-held breath as he collapsed to the ground onto his back with a quiet thud.
 
That was the day that the wandering monk Tenkai had fallen from the sky, into another unknown land and another unknown story.
 
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Edited by Tenkai Matsumoto
Music. :3

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