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MT3:1 - Teresa vs Akiris

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Even though she knew it was all virtual, everything seemed just so real to her. The brisk night air, the luminescent of stars above, even the great whisps of a freshly made deserts from a nearby restaurant. It was all so realistic. Despite it not being her first time in a virtual reality arena, after all she was a princess so obviously she'd trained for tournaments before jumping into them, the combination of adrenaline and anxiety worked to cloud her ability to differentiate this world from the real world. But she new it was fake. She'd allowed herself to be linked up. Had closed her eyes. There'd been many assurances made about her safety to even allow her participation. A nervous hand tucked a loose stand of dirty blonde hair behind her ear.

Teresa Demetrius palmed the hilt of her sword, a steel weapon with only the slightest curve to angle starlight into a mean glare. Her eyes settled upon her opponent of this round. It was dark and her eyes had only begun to adjust, but it was a male. That much she knew. Unfortunately that was just about it. Her father hadn't allowed any information gathering before hand so as to make this a true challenge on the face of the unknown. 

Well, she had wished for something besides studying and practicing politics so she couldn't really complain. Hopefully she would go far in this competition and prove to her dad she could handle herself.  Thus instead of cowering in fear of what she couldn't know, the sixteen years old girl stood tall, bright gold eyes staring down her foe with gravitas. 

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New longsword, new heater shield, new black motorcycle helmet.... At least in the digital sense. In contrast, Akiris' somewhat ragged and blackened leather armor hadn't managed to offend any of the technicians and seemed exactly the same as he knew it in reality. Still no patches on patches yet, so it lived to serve another day. The technicians had taken one look at his self-taught runework and declared it an unholy abomination that by all rights should have killed him years ago. Akiris disagreed, but the point stood that the people running the tourney needed to scan him properly and there was no way in hell they'd let that shit near the very expensive machina. So as helpful as he thought his runes were, they hadn't loaded in with him.

Meh. He'd endure. Win or lose, this entire contest was just a no risk chance for free money. And the techs may have had a point. He did feel better once they came off. Meh. Not the time.

His opponent seemed to be the polar opposite to his lowborn thug countenance. Young, female, from her outfit apparently well off, and for some unthinkable reason nervous. Golden eyes. That wasn't natural. It hinted at the present of some pain in the ass special ability.

Akiris would cope. And for everything else, there was that small bag gripped in his left hand and hidden behind the heater strapped to his left arm. Not quite something he could usually afford to lead with. But if he was loading into each fight with a digitized copy than why not?

Heater and blade held at the ready, Akiris advanced without hurry. If the girl before him had more at her disposal than the blade in her hands it would be best to bait it out early.

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To her left, and her opponent's right, there was a river, deep and harsh with waves large enough to swallow a large man whole. The two combatants stood approximately 30 meters apart with a range of houses to around them. The virtual battle field had apparently dropped them into a older, slightly worn down village that sat on a river's coast. 

As Akiris slowly advanced, Teresa shifted her weight to her right and began to circle. Making sure her feet didn't cross and eyes never roaming off from her opponent, the imperial princess held her sword at the ready. If gone uninterrupted, Teresa would circle just until her back was to the city and Akiris was to the river. At that point, she would point her sword at him, baring her teeth in a mischievous smile.

Behind the male warrior, the river continued to rage. One wave, one that dwarfed its brethern, surged from the larger body of water to collapse onto Akiris to with the strength of a tidal wave. Which it was. Boom it would go as the wave crashed into its targeted spot, regardless of whether Akiris managed to dodge or block with the eyes on the back of his head. If he had any. How would she know?

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Circling? What was that?

The man was a mercenary, not a duelist. If there was some point in attempting to position his opponent in a certain way, then it might be considered. But there was nothing to consider past step one of two 'get close'. As the woman began to circle, Akiris shifted his movements as if to cut her off and then....

In the real world, Akiris' gear had his self styled abomination of runes that were designed to suck down and waste magic. He viewed it as an equalizer as being both lowborn and lacking outstanding natural talent was usually a death sentence for becoming a great or even a competitive magic user. So if he couldn't beat them at their own game then why play? As long as he could negate the magic being flung his way then his bladework would stay relevant.

Talent was still an issue. Perfect runes that would do exactly what Akiris wanted would simply not only be too costly, but far outside of his ability to produce himself. So if the best he could do was produce trash quality runes then what screw ups would help? Now piled outside his competitor room was the end result of a little over a decade and a half of tinkering and additions. More runes, more ability to sap down greater volume and varieties of magic. But one couldn't forget, these never stopped being shoddy runes. What was stopping them from affecting the user himself?

Nothing.

Years of acclimation had trained the mercenary's body to endure the additional strain and even after all this time he'd never looked back and wondered if he should have given spells a go. Not when he had the luck of striking it big on his first job, and not now that he'd more of less transitioned into a habit of secure but well paying work. When this worked... why start back from zero?

The runes were gone for now. But even with what was his constant companion missing, the feeling wasn't that he'd somehow become less. Quite the opposite. As one of the techs had explain in an 'annoyed at the dumbass' voice, Terrens weren't exceptionally tough 'just because'. There was a magical factor that enhanced the baseline humanity.

And the magical equivalent of weights was no longer present.

Step two. Go hard!

Already close, the remaining distance between between the two combatants vanished in a nigh instant. Not merely an action of moving quickly before stopping in place to swing. This lunge was accompanied by the downward steel tinged blur of an overhand swing with the physical strength of Akiris' newly unfettered magical power behind it. Some kind of spell? No. Even the simplest would be too complicated for what this was.

I'm going to hit you with my sword.

To try to explain it, the concept would seem foolish. But if it was stupid and it worked was it actually stupid? This was a man who had accidentally trained what magic he had to conform to the actions of a common mercenary.

If there was some kind of magic working from his opponent that the mercenary had missed, oh well. He'd endure. Since there was no risk of death or injury he might as well close to melee were he was best.

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The man's slash of his steel blade was quick, no doubt. Strong. Maybe even skillful. But the attack wasn't unique. It came down to a frontal attack of brute force. Having been trained all her life by the greatest warriors and mages around Valucre, Teresa was no stranger to being outmatched in terms of raw strength. In fact, it made not the slightest sense for a teenage girl to enter a competition of muscles. 

Thus, rather than meeting the downward strike at face value Teresa quickly parried the sword. It was a swift flick of her arms as her own blade redirected the man's to her right. This way, it would be a simple redirection, voiding whatever overpowered musculature the man was equipped with. And, just as fast as she'd parried the strike, her body blew into the air.

Wings beat at her back as the angelic daughter was lifted high above the male warrior. As she rose into the air, her previously conjured stream of water would bare down on Akiris with the ferocity of a hurricane. Assuming the man was unable to resist the magically driven attack the waves' force would not simply encompass him in water to threaten asphyxiation by drowning, but would also break bones and rip muscles upon contact with the crashing waves.

Still in the air, above the tidal wave, Teresa stayed at the ready. Using her wings she gently circled where Akiris had been standing, always keeping in mind that to circle was to move and to move was to keep living.

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There's a certain problem when your strategy requires you to be fundamentally faster than your opponent....

.... If you weren't your entire plan went uselessly up in smoke.

The parry wasn't bad, but the thought behind it seemed to be under the impression that strength didn't play a factor into the equation. This is how you learned. Akiris was more than happy to force her blade away and out of the immediate equation.

Now had Akiris tried to recover from the swing and send another slice at Teresa the result would likely be as she hoped. High in the sky and looking down her nose at others. Typical nobility.

He didn't.

Akiris' forward momentum didn't end with the overhand.

Not being a fancy pantsy trained famously trained swordsman, he didn't make the usual error....

.....Of only relying on his sword.

Without a blade to contest his immediate action, Akiris did an action both simple and effective.

Body check. A brute action intended to possibly transition to a grab, or even a full blown tackle.

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Akiris could tackle all he wanted, but it missed out on one of the most important concepts of a proper parry- the footwork. When the sword was parried her body moved along with it. In other words, a side step. Akiris momentum was forward, angling downward. Teresa was no longer in front of him, so his momentum was nullified. In fact, to body check her, the man would have to stop or attempt to redirect said momentum. 

At which point Teresa would have already been lifted into the air. It wasn't that she was faster than him. At least not from a stance of pure specs. Rather, it was because her actions had a similtaneous affect to them that Akiris would find himself one step behind if he wished to stop her ascent into the skies. She parried and sidestepped, all the while beggining to lift. He, Akiris, having his sword parried and following an inadequate trajectory for useful momentum. 

However, even if the man managed to delay her ascent, it really didn't matter. Even if his body check worked, it would simply push her backward, away from him, further away from the monsterous tendrils of water coming for his flickering life. The tidal wave would still come regardless of his actions. Would still bare its metaphoric fangs at Akiris and swallow him whole like the mortal he was. Teresa had conjured the water. Was its master. Even though the water itself wasn't magic, it was compelled by magic. It may bruise her, it may harm her, but it would destroy her like it aimed to do Akiris. The water still roared at him, filling his nostrils as it washed over him and drowning him in the lack of oxygen. 

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Would destroy her like it did him? Possibly. But unlikely.

Yes, body checking would move someone. It wasn't like Akiris stopped to laugh stupidly and let the fight reset. No matter. Akiris was more than used to being dismissed as an idiot. Funny enough, he hadn't turned into one because of it yet. There wasn't any self contemplation of this however. Because the micromanaged tidal wave crashed into the pair.

The bag, clenched in Akiris' left fist and hidden behind the heater shield opened up as the wave hit spilling its contents. It could almost seem a trivial occurrence. What possible use could the contents of a small bag be in the face of such a massive display of magical might and precision that unbeknownst to Akiris was precise enough to guide water straight up his nostrils all the while battering him mightily?

It mattered when the contents of the bag was ground ercaniron. Because sometimes normal pocket sand just wasn't a big enough fuck you.

Akiris was sent tumbling when the tidal wave struck them and with the addition of ercaniron into the mix chaotic and uncontrolled didn't begin to describe the blow. While his runes were too off the wall to be translated into the system it would be an utter embarrassment if the techs didn't have a way to digitize and simulate standard Terren materials. Of course, depending on what each fighter sought to bring with them there were cases where some programming never got to see the light of day.

Activate RNGesusprotocal.exe!

Trading health wasn't a real world concept as consequences piled up and had to be dealt with. But here? The only condition was to win. And simply getting clobbered by an ercaniron chaos-ed tidal wave wasn't quite as bad as getting clobbered by an ercaniron chaos-ed tidal wave that you were micromanaging and due to your intensive and active control getting your internal magic easily infected by the chaos as well.

How bad could that be? Well, the most basic aspect of casting a spell was ensuring that the magic that the energy passing out of the body did no harm to the body itself. It sounded trivial. It was. But on the other hand one could imagine how unpleasant it would be for example should the casting of a fireball spell char ones own arm in the process of being released.

But now with the addition of ercaniron into the mix, all the the trivial things that could be taken for granted were thrown into the random chance of chaos. And there were vastly more ways for ill to happen than safety.

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Teresa screamed as her hold on the tidal wave imploded. It was as if her connection to the elements was completely overloaded by some outside force, resulting in a whiplash that sent her spiraling away from Akiris and his bag of materials.  And then the tidal wave hit. It hit her. Hard. It wasn't supposed to hit her hard. But it did. And it did so in a chaotic manner. One that zoned and swirled, crashing into everyone and anything in its path. It was out of her control. Akiris had, in a certain way, made the tidal wave worse. What was previously a tamed beast under control was turned into a mad devil desiring nothing but destruction.

It slammed against her chest. Her back. Her legs. Something snapped, no longer in place. But still she struggled, pushing herself to her very limits. Teresa's powerful wings flapped at her sides, combining with what little control over the elements she had left. It took a while, an amount of time which escaped Teresa as she was singularly focused on escaping the tidal wave. It could have been seconds or minutes but she forced herself into a vertical projection, breaking free from the waves and into the air. As had been her intention plan of action. Her movements were quickly decided as it's natural for what is familiar to be the first thoughts of a person in a desperate situation. 

Her original spell handling had pulled water from the nearby river and, even though her connection to it was disabled by Akiris, the tidal wave still pulled from the larger river. It was a force of nature, one that had all the necessary reserves from the river and would rage on for minutes. If not hours. 

The Imperial Princess gasped as she floated above the raging waters, her eyes scanning in every direction for her opponent. Her sword had been pulled away in the water, along with any and all strength in her right arm. Although she wasn't standing, Teresa could also tell multiple parts in her left leg were broken- the bone sticking out of it was a clear indicator of that. She gulped, swallowing the pain and stifling the tears that were threatening to ensue panic on her.

Where did he go? Had he drowned?

Edited by Ataraxy

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Everything hurt.

Akiris had once marveled at an invention called a washing machine. After gaining a solid appreciation for the plight of the clothing his admiration could only grow, specifically in the case of why the device was designed to be an enclosed space. Searching for his sword was going to be a lost cause. His left arm still felt jarred from where the edge of his shield had struck multiple somethings and torn free of the straps. His helmet was....

... Akiris pulled the now ruined thing off. He'd lost quite a bit in the wash and even if he didn't there was no ercaniron left in the off chance that mage had another spell like that. Honestly, if this was reality then this would be the point where he'd sneak off and call it a day. Why? Bad risk. But here and now that didn't apply.

Due to the nature of the contest. Neither side had anything to lose and everything to gain by fighting to the bitter end. So why not?

Akiris didn't have much to work with. One of his knives had survived and there was a generous selection of broken masonry... but... unlike when he had loaded in his opponent currently had no idea of his location.

Plan A was to do his level best to sneak up on a hopefully wounded girl and brain her with a brick. Might even have to be a throw. Heh, betting everything on a brick. Only in VR.

((Going to roll and consult the D6. Odd for Akiris and Even for Teresa.))

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Stalking. Sneaking.

Whatever the faults of the old leather armor Akiris wore, the ability to remain silent wasn't one of them. The mercenary was careful, took his time, and let his target bleed. SO far there was no rule as to time limits to a match and Akiris resolved to maximizing his chances at a throw.

Yeah, a throw.

Swimming across the drink to get at the water user wasn't going to happen. His brain didn't go the way of his sword after all. But as is was it was impossible to get close.... He'd have to arc his throw... That would lengthen the travel time and as she was swiveling, even in a panic...

Well, she just has to not see it coming right?

Picking his moment, Akiris threw his brick with the intent to crush the girl's skull. It was one of those throws that the moment you released it, you knew it was on course. He'd thrown it when Teresa had turned, but even though she'd turned back before the brick hit Akiris had taken cover once more and the brick was outside of her field of view.

Above it. Falling down.

And landing with a sickening crunch... at least to most of the audience. Akiris was more pleased by the splash of something falling.

If the brick hadn't done the job by itself Akiris was more than happy to let her drown.

The match could end just like that.

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Teresa was on guard, her eyes focused on her sorroundings. The man, Akiris, had hidden himself will. She couldn't sense even a trace, much less spot him with her eyes. And, yet, still she looked around. But in her concentration Teresa forgot a key proponent in winning fights: never stop moving. Which is exactly what she was doing, simply floating their as her wings circled her in place. 

There was a woosh. An exertion of energy. She caught it albeit not knowing what it was. The angel turned around as quickly as she could, finally spotting her opponent. She gulped. As she started to mentally prepare herself for another round of fighting she caught something in her peripheral vision. What... What is that?

Teresa rose her hands to defend herself in a purely reflexive manner right before the brick hit her. The rather small, yet heavy object had been thrown with the strength of what felt like a freight train. And it slammed into her. Hard. The imperial princess screamed as the brick shattered the bones in her arm, continuing to her chest where she heard bones snapping. The simulation was turning out to be much more real than she'd initially thought. 

Then she dropped out of the sky, pain causing her breaths to come in shallow gasps and energy to drain ever faster. Teresa plunged into the water of her own creation. An ironic way to lose, no doubt. 

Upon contact with the water her body dematerialized and she was brought out of the simulation. 

MOBS Match End

Edited by Alexithymia

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