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MΓ iri B. Allaway

"Always answering to the demands of another, living life by somebody else's rules... Heh. Back then, I guess I never realized just how much fun the world could be."

0 · 570 views · located in Tererra Academy

a character in “Tererra Academy”, as played by Feyblue

Description

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β•”β•—
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{
Effort, to put it simply, is meaningless. Victory will ultimately be decided by just one thing: power. If you lack it, then you may as well give up and save yourself the trouble.
}


DΙͺα΄€ΚŸα΄Ι’α΄œα΄‡ Cα΄ΚŸα΄Κ€ ✦ #FF0059 || TΚœα΄α΄œΙ’Κœα΄› Cα΄ΚŸα΄Κ€ ✧ #462775

Vocal Theme || Ambiguous | Original by GARNiDELiA, cover by Sapphire ||
Leitmotif || Seigi Shikkou Orchestra Cover | IRVF ||
β•šβ•

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✦ Full Name ✦
  • MΓ iri Blair Allaway
  • Origin and Meaning: Her first name, derived from Mary, could mean "Rebelliousness," "Sea of Bitterness," or "Wished For Child." The first two describe her just fine. The third most certainly does not. Her surname, meanwhile, means "Wild Field," while her middle name means "Battlefield."
✦ Aliases/Sobriquets ✦
  • The Blood-Red Witch
  • Addendum: Few, if any people take this title seriously anymore. She's now more commonly referred to by the similar but much less flattering moniker of "that goddamn bitch."
✦ Gender ✦
  • Female
✦ Birthday ✦
  • October 4th
✦ Age ✦
  • 18
✦ Class ✦
  • "Ranged"
✦ Rank ✦
  • Blue (1)
✦ Sexual Orientation ✦
  • Heterosexual
✦ Face Claim ✦
  • Lancer (Scathach), Fate/Grand Order
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✦ Height ✦
  • Five feet, eight inches
✦ Weight ✦
  • 131 pounds
✦ Eye Color ✦
  • Crimson
✦ Hair Color ✦
  • Dark Red
✦ Physical Description ✦
  • MΓ iri is the sort of young woman who every male student in Tererra would use as a readily available example of what they'd want their ideal girlfriend to look like, and exactly how they WOULDN'T want their ideal girlfriend to act - but, more on that later. The long and short of it is that MΓ iri isn't just one of the "lucky ones" when it comes to having inherited a great deal of magical power and having managed to summon a weapon capable of putting it to good use. This much aside, she is also something of a knockout by most standards of beauty. Her build is athletic, with little flab beneath her skin, and an inner layer of firm muscle clinging closely to her bones. Her long, limber legs placing her about a head above most other girls her age, and her arms - while not quite as obvious - are similarly prominent, extending from comparatively broad shoulders. And, of course, her most obvious feature to boast about would be the ratio of her prominent bustline to her flat stomach, which, given her choice of attire and her intentions, is often the first thing most people notice about her. Granted, saying "my eyes are up here" isn't quite as satisfying when you have to draw people's attention downward in the first place, but their reactions are equally funny either way. Regardless, aside from the obvious, MΓ iri's complexion seems to be ever-so-slightly tanned, with a face kissed by the sun. However, as she seldom goes outside without her skin completely covered - with her present outfit being an intentionally half-assed attempt at keeping to this particular "rule" - the rest of her body hasn't exactly followed suit, meaning her skin tone is actually rather pallid. Regardless, her skin itself is largely soft and smooth, with few blemishes - at least, not many you can see at a glance.

    Her countenance is somewhat angular, with a small jawline and a narrow, short chin that seems dwarfed when compared to her more rounded cheeks and high, wide cheekbones. Her bright, sharp red eyes are also somewhat deeply set in their sockets by comparison, with dark circles she tries to hide occasionally appearing at their edges and hinting at her rather poor sleeping habits. Her nose, ears, and forehead are similarly small, doing little to distract an onlooker from the radiance and clearness of her eyes as the centerpiece of her face, or from her smooth, grinning pink lips and glistening white teeth. And, with all of this framed on all sides by the straight curtains of her luscious red hair, which in turn runs in flowing curtains clear down her back, one can't exactly argue that she isn't easy on the eyes, despite her somewhat less than pleasant attitude.

    However, the way she carries herself, while confident, tends to toy with the perceptions of those who behold her. She seldom exerts herself, if avoiding doing so is at all possible, so as to avoid either tiring herself or making her appear more capable than she has to. Her bearing is relatively sedate and subdued despite her enthusiastic personality, making herself seem more frail than she really is. Because of this, her constant attitude of formality, and the many mind games she tends to play with those around her, many people have made the mistake of assuming she's some kind of wall flower. Taking her delicate front as reality, they've come to the very, very false conclusion that she's probably emotionally vulnerable, and that all of her more theatrical and attention-grabbing acts are just a desperate cry for help. Needless to say, she's a lot less weak than she allows herself to look - a lesson these unfortunate dupes learned firsthand when they actually had to deal with her more directly...
✦ Distinguishing Features ✦
  • Red Eyes...?: A rare trait ordinarily reserved for those afflicted by specific genetic anomalies, MΓ iri's ruby red eyes are as catching in their bright hue as they are unsettling to those unused to such things. Influenced by the magical trait passed through her family, they were originally brown, but shifted their hue when MΓ iri awakened her latent magical talent, and with it, the ability to summon her weapon. That fact that her body was physically altered by the magic within her is a testament to the power thereof, and, while perhaps not vindicating her somewhat egotistical attitude, at least explains it.
  • Weird Fashion Sense: More often than not, MΓ iri is seen clad in an opaque black bodysuit that covers her lithe form completely, hugging tightly to her body and serving essentially as an off-color second skin. Over this, she wears belted-on a few miscellaneous bits of protective gear, such as shoulder-guards, as well as an open, silky garment the design of which is half dress, half bikini, and the only purpose of which is to ensure that nothing too private shows through the tight layer of clothing beneath it. It also comes with a capelet, so her arm-guards don't chafe against her shoulders. Aside from this, she wears a pair of full-length black leather vambraces designed to cover her entire arms, with an overall aesthetic that resembles an opera glove. Finally, she favors heavy yet flexible thighboots with an outer layer of leather to go with her overall aesthetic. So, while technically "modest" in the sense that her skin isn't showing anywhere and nothing private can be seen directly, her attire is functionally little more concealing than lingerie when it comes to hiding her form - a fact she's all too aware of, and takes advantage of to the fullest, since most students at Tererra - and thus, most potential opponents - happen to be male. As it turns out, part of the reason people tend to lose in spars against her is because their eyes aren't paying attention to her weapon. This outfit actually has its origins in a specific sect of female assassins who once served as vigilantes, killing those who used their ability to summon powerful magical weapons to terrorize others. As such, it was designed with this specific form of distraction in mind. And, although its original wearers no longer exist, and few, if any, remember the "uniform" and its original purpose, MΓ iri continues using it as intended, both to give her an advantage in combat, and to make a mockery of the rather strict mores and regulations imposed upon her by her family.
  • Red Mane: Red hair is naturally rare as a color, and few women wear their hair clear down to their waist, either. As such, MΓ iri is unique in both of these respects, making it rather difficult to mistake her for anyone else, even when she's not wearing her infamous bodysuit. Although it is quite fetching, however, as a side effect of her rather bright natural coloration, she's also rather bad at being stealthy even though her standard attire lends itself wonderfully to this pursuit. Her hair, after all, tends to stick out like a sore thumb in the slightest light. But, although it's somewhat inconvenient in this respect, she refuses to change it.
✦ Oddities ✦
  • Hypocrite: For somebody so vocal about the uselessness of hard work, MΓ iri actually seems to have put a great deal of effort into her training. Although seldom seen, as she almost never actually bares any of her skin, her hands are rather calloused by extensive training in wielding a weapon, while she's got a great many residual scars and scrapes leaving faint bands of red and white across her limbs and back - evidently injuries inflicted upon her during the spars that she so loudly proclaims she never loses.
  • Sleepy: While she extols her limitless power for all to hear, that strength isn't without its downsides. Due to the strain it places upon her, after actually summoning her weapon and using it, she usually needs to take time to recuperate. Consequently, between training and battles, she sometimes just conks out without warning, tending to fall asleep in bizarre places and at unexpected times. She tries to hide this fact from others, since it's something of a liability to her, but doesn't really go out of her way to do so.
  • Boredom...?: While usually rather energetic, MΓ iri's attitude shifts completely during a fight. Rather than her usual attitude of smug self-satisfaction, she seems completely deadpan and emotionless. She focuses on her target, keeps her distance, and haphazardly tosses attacks at them until she wins, never really giving them to the chance to strike back at her, or using more power than she actually has to. More than just that, though, she also resorts to any underhanded tactics she can use to shorten the fight without any hesitation - her usual choice of clothing being a prominent example - despite her obvious pride. Since she's terrible at concealing her emotions, and manages to find something wondrous and interesting in even the most mundane of things, it seems unlikely that this combat persona is some kind of affectation. Rather, it's more like she's simply bored of fighting. Given that she's confident in the inevitability of her victory to the point of acting as though it's assured, it might be that she simply no longer feels invested in battle because it's not a challenge to her anymore...
✦ Quirks, Tics, and Mannerisms ✦
  • Posing: MΓ iri, being rather impatient by nature, tends to be uncomfortable just standing around and doing nothing, and thus tends to fidget around a bit to keep herself from getting bored. At a certain point, she ended up habitually assuming certain poses while idle, so that her focus would be on maintaining that specific stance. As a result, when simply standing and talking, she tends to look somewhat bizarrely theatrical. Most often, she tends to stand primarily on her left foot, with her right leg lifted off the ground and crossed over her left, as though leaning against an invisible wall. Her right arm tends to find itself crossed over her torso just below her chest, with her left elbow propped on her right wrist, like in her avatar. On the other hand, in battle, she tends to position herself much more provocatively, pushing out her chest instead of leaning backward, and crossing her legs back and forth not just when standing still, but also as she walks - at which point it's less "walking" and more like "sashaying" anyway - in order to draw as much attention to her various and sundry "assets" as possible. While perhaps shameless, at the very least, it's been rather effective thus far.
  • Open Book: MΓ iri is a very easy person to read. She makes little to no attempt to hide her emotions or control her expression, and, even if she tried, would probably be terrible at it. As such, when she's happy, you'll know - she'll be smirking right at you, plain as day. When she's angry, you'll know, since she'll be grumbling or ranting or pouting or something or that sort. When she's curious about something, she'll be staring right at it, refusing to look away until she understands its purpose. And, assuming she were sad, she'd probably just cry, not caring who saw the fact that she was doing so. Of course, this essentially never happens, given her upbeat demeanor. Although... if one thinks about her philosophy, it tends towards the fatalistic in most respects, and she herself is rather jaded and cynical despite her carefree attitude. Maybe she's better at concealing her emotions than one might think?
  • Formality: MΓ iri's words tend to clash tremendously with her actions. Despite her incredibly lax demeanor, her speech is usually very proper and formal - one of the last vestiges of her upbringing. Because of this, despite her rather transparent emotions, it's not always clear what her feelings are on other people, since she treats everybody roughly the same way, keeping composed, somewhat smug, and generally blase. Due to this, much of the way she interacts with others tends to be rather impersonal, creating a sense of distance even between her and those who would call themselves her friends. After a while of seeing her treat everybody the same way, one has to wonder just how well she actually understands basic Human relationships...?
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✦ Combat Capabilities ✦
  • When it comes to combat, MΓ iri isn't exactly what you'd call a standard fighter. Her entire combat strategy is nothing if not a mass of contradictions. The most obvious of these lies, of course, in the form taken by her weapon. Bradamante - named for a legendary warrior maiden whose lance could unhorse any opponent at one pass - is classified as a "Ranged" summon due to its special properties. However, it's hardly standard for its class, as the form it takes physically is that of a long crimson spear. The properties that give it this designation, are, specifically, the way its VIKA interacts with its surroundings. From the moment it is conjured, its energy forms a spiraling vortex around it, seeming to distort everything close to it, causing forces to behave unnaturally when in proximity to the spear. When thrust, this magic of "distortion" can be concentrated into Bradamante's tip, causing a bizarre warping effect. The spear distorts, seeming to spiral in on itself and elongate, extending to up to triple its own length in the blink of an eye to strike a target from a distance.Or maybe it's the distance between MΓ iri and her target that is distorted, seeming to collapse in on itself, folding over and drawing them ever nearer to the incoming spear? One can never really tell for sure, but regardless, even the spear's apparent extension is largely irrelevant to the overall function of the attack. Although it may graze a target, it seldom carries enough force to actually do serious damage. Rather, the actual attack comes from the spiraling energy at the spear's tip, whirling and condensing down to a single point and causing everything to be warped outward from where it connects, working in equal respects like a drill and like a sledgehammer, and causing its targets to be precisely pierced through, and then violently sundered as they are warped and stretched in all directions. Possessing a broad blade in addition to its tip, Bradamante can also be slashed in addition to being thrust. Unlike the thrusting attack, however, this assault does not cause the strange distance-closing effect that makes its more basic form that much more deadly. But, as the magic of "distortion" is now concentrated over a much larger area - the blade of the spear rather than just its tip - its effects are considerably more violent, causing what the blade connects with to warp and cave in on itself, simulating a "cut" by instead folding its targets in on themselves until they break apart. The actual area affected by this power extends a few feet from the edge of the blade, too, making things the spear never touched appear to have been cut by it regardless. With these techniques, MΓ iri is capable of keeping foes pinned down at a range by targeting them directly with devastating thrusts that seem to reach their position almost instantly, while preventing them from closing distance by attacking them with an overwhelming force the reach of which they can't accurately discern. With these two basic abilities alone, used well in conjunction, she's won many training bouts by simply giving her opponent no chance to actually strike her and keeping them on the run until one of her strikes finally connects and brings them down. However, in the event that an enemy is fast enough to break through this curtain of attacks, or possesses enough long range firepower to hit her without entering her own range, she does have another option. By turning Bradamante's distortion magic upon itself, MΓ iri is capable of displacing its essence, causing imperfect manifestations of it to appear at multiple points in space. This allows her to thrust with one copy of Bradamante, thus showering a location with several independent versions of the same weapon, propelled by the same "thrust." However, due to the bizarre and unnatural way in which these copies are created, their motion is actually an act of continuous distortion, allowing them to bend their trajectory at impossible angles mid-flight, thus creating a shower of unpredictable projectiles that cascade down upon a target area. It is this ability, in particular, that earned her weapon its Ranged designation. However, although definitely potent as an attack, utilizing it also forces her to temporarily split her weapon's power over a very large area, making each copy of Bradamante much weaker than the original, and only capable of dealing damage through slashing and puncturing, rather than through weaponized distortion. These copies are also very unstable, and can be broken if an opponent acts quickly enough with this flaw in mind, permanently weakening the weapon as a whole for the duration of its summon.

    Aside from these offensive abilities, Bradamante's aura of distortion also serves another purpose - that of defense. Since it warps the trajectories taken by incoming attacks, simply bringing it close to either a flying projectile or a swinging melee weapon will expend some of Bradamante's VIKA to cause that attack to be knocked off course. This allows MΓ iri to defend herself not only from enemies in close quarters, but also at long range, blocking attacks such as gunfire by simply pre-emptively twirling her spear between her and the shooter. However, the more force behind the incoming attack, the more energy Bradamante must expend in order to block.

    Indeed, although it is most certainly one of the most offensively powerful weapons currently being wielded by a student, it nevertheless comes at a steep price. In order to use it, MΓ iri must continuously channel enough energy to employ its powers, forcing her to exhaust herself rapidly in order to employ the weapon effectively. Furthermore, the only way to transfer her own energy as fuel for Bradamante is by spinning the spear, during which time, for obvious reasons, she cannot easily attack. This also gives a rather obvious "tell" for when she's going to do something big, as she must give her weapon sufficient power if she means to use one of its abilities. She's somewhat mitigated this by adopting a highly unconventional fighting style, twirling her weapon while idle, and, sometimes, even between attacks, in order to feed it power slowly and then catch an opponent off guard with an attack that comes without warning. As such, she doesn't fight like a normal spearman would, favoring spinning katas over the more practical style of thrusting from a distance, only occasionally interspersed with unpredictable lunges and sweeps using the spear's full length to drive opponents back when they get too close. As it turns out, getting close is especially bad for her, as Bradamante itself acts to immunize the one holding its haft to the influence of its powers, so that the backlash of its attacks doesn't kill its own user. Because of this, though, if someone could manage to force through the distortion surrounding the spear and grab a hold of it, not only would MΓ iri be unable to spin it to give it energy, but its powers themselves would be unable to effect the enemy holding onto it. This is also why MΓ iri tries to avoid actually using the spear directly as a melee weapon, as, were a target able to grab the weapon while it was stabbed into them and prevent her from recovering it, she'd be rendered powerless. However, MΓ iri's greatest weakness is that she's not actually very skilled at using her weapon. Most battles for her consist of waiting for the enemy to get in range so that she can catch them instantly with a lunge that decides the fight. Because of this, she's grown to rely on the overwhelming power of her spear to win fights for her, rather than trying to learn its use as an actual weapon. She hasn't even bothered trying to come up with any new ways to use her spear's magic although they undoubtedly exist, instead simply relying on her blind confidence that she's strong enough as she is to defeat any enemy in one thrust. This is the cause of her Blue ranking despite her tremendously powerful weapon.
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✦ Personality ✦
  • If someone were asked to summarize MΓ iri's personality in one word, they would probably say "Impossible."

    When then asked to clarify whether they meant that she was impossible to deal with, or that summarizing her in such a manner was impossible, they would likely nod and say "Yes."

    Quite simply, her overall attitude is just very difficult to make sense of. She appears polite, calm, and collected, and yet is actually arrogant, manipulative, and selfish. Yet, beneath that, there's a certain genuine innocence that clashes with her world-wise and world-weary self and blurs the line between what is feigned and what is really her.

    First and foremost, if you were to draw a Venn diagram of "things MΓ iri cares about" and "things that are good, pleasurable, or fun for MΓ iri," it would be essentially one circle. Something of a hedonist, she's largely interested in things solely because they amuse her. Constantly curious, she lives her life bouncing from one interesting diversion to another, investigating and indulging in anything that happens to catch her eye. Delicious looking sweets? Sure, why not? Some fun game? Might as well give it a shot. New amusement park just opened up? Hell yeah, rollercoasters! Rather impatient by nature, she's all about the pursuit of instant gratification, and dislikes having to wait to appreciate things she could get now, regardless of the consequences later. Interestingly enough, her curiosity extends to plenty of things most people would take for granted, which she treats as though she'd never seen them before. To give an obvious example, most sweets she encounters are completely foreign to her, and thus she derives disproportionate amounts of delight from each delicious "discovery" she makes. Plenty of other such relatively common things, like local fairs, various electronic devices, and other such everyday amusements seem equally alien to her, making her fascination with them and subsequent joy seem oddly childish and innocent - a fact which stands out all the more considering how she usually acts.

    Regardless, because of her skewed priorities, MΓ iri often finds it hard to look at the big picture. Due to her lack of concern for the future and obsession with enjoying herself in the now, she doesn't really have any outstanding goals beyond simply amusing herself. Or at least, so she seems. Rather, it's actually the other way around. Due to seldom having a choice when it came to her own future to begin with due to her strict upbringing, she found herself largely disinterested in the course her life took. Focusing solely on living in the moment, she tried to distract herself from the dullness of the routine, until eventually, she simply stopped caring, embracing momentary distraction over future practicality in a heartbeat. Now that she's finally out from underneath her parents' thumbs, rather than pursuing some dream she's always had, she's simply chose to make up for all the things she missed out on, causing her to pursue anything that catches her fancy with a certain level of relentless curiosity. After all, she's spent years unable to enjoy herself as she sees fit, so it would be a shame not to take advantage of what little time she has in which she'll be accountable only to herself, but have as few responsibilities as possible.

    Her self-esteem is by no means fragile. She's incredibly confident in her appearance - one has to be, to dress so ridiculously - and even more confident in her magical power. Given her attitude, she seems quite accustomed to being the best in most, if not all fields. But, what's more, given her impatient attitude and refusal to put any more effort into anything than she absolutely has to, she seems to simply expect herself to coast by on natural talent and sheer luck. Actually, it doesn't just SEEM like this is what she expects: she says it, constantly, basing the entirety of her fatalistic worldview on the premise that natural talent decides everything. Assuming she fails to surpass someone on her own merits alone, she'll probably be a little bit miffed, since she hates losing, but after a few moments, she'll probably just wave this off by saying that whatever it is somebody beat her in isn't something she's good at, anyway. On the other hand, she tends to get rather smug after a win, innocently explaining that the reason she succeeded was thus solely based on her overwhelming natural talent. Since she tends to be very competitive about everything, and is, at the very least, rather lucky, this makes her rather insufferable to most people, since she seems to dismiss every defeat she suffers while absentmindedly rubbing in her victories. And, while not necessarily basing her entire personality around the attention she gets, being acknowledged as superior is certainly a good way to seal her supremacy. For example, if men gawk at her and women envy her, this attention serves as proof that she stands secure at the top of the social ladder. Of course, she already believes this fully herself - she simply wants to present others who doubt her claims with evidence they can't ignore.

    But, despite being selfish and vain, she isn't necessarily cruel, persay. In surpassing others, she doesn't mean to actually bring them down, nor does she insult or otherwise mock them. In her own strange way, she actually respects those who have lesser talent, but manage to succeed at least sometimes through sheer hard work. She doesn't envy them their lot in life, and pities them, to an extent, but she nevertheless understands their dedication, and does her best to honor it, even if, in many cases, she'd still try to dissuade them from wasting their efforts in a field she feels they can't succeed, encouraging them to focus on their talents instead of trying to compensate for their weaknesses. In short, while she views life as a contest, she doesn't actively try to pull others down to make herself look better - since doing so would provide no evidence of, nor would it allow her to exercise her talent, and would thus be pointless.

    Similarly, despite desiring her own enjoyment above all else, there are lines she won't cross. Causing someone else pain for the sake of her own pleasure is out of the question, as she dislikes the notion of having others sacrifice their well being for her. It's fine and dandy to be irresponsible so long as you're the only one running a risk, but once someone else's feelings and concerns enter the equation, things change. It's not a question of rationality, logic, or balancing happiness to sadness and coming out in the red, or some nonsense, logically sound justification like that. If it were ever a question of logic, then maximizing overall benefit by delaying gratification and minimizing loss would be infinitely more efficient than the impatient, greedy way in which MΓ iri feels the need to constantly amuse herself. Rather, she simply dislikes the notion of harming others because doing so is wrong, and despite her twisted personality, MΓ iri still has a very clear sense of what right and wrong entail. Because of this, although her warped mentality and ignorance of other people's feelings often get in the way, one might even say she's kind of nice - or at least, that she could be, if she weren't so self-centered and arrogant.

    As mentioned above, her rather sheltered upbringing has left her rather clueless when it comes to things most people see as mundane. Yet, at the same time, she's also far from innocent in the traditional sense, a fact which is made painfully obvious by her usual getup and love of using her physical charms to break other people's cool. Since she doesn't really understand complex interpersonal relationships, she tends to approach interaction with other people with the utmost cynicism. Since she lives by an almost entirely selfish code of conduct, she expects everyone to pursue their own interests while, at best, operating on a basis of mutual noninterference, like she herself does. Because of this, not only does she not trust others to assist her, she herself doesn't expect others to trust her. She approaches "friendship" from the point of view of a business deal, or perhaps a diplomatic negotiation, keeping other people at arms' length and trying to establish a mutually agreeable deal while never once compromising her own interests, or even considering making any personal sacrifices for others' sake. And, without any basis to judge other people save her own experiences, she expects that they will do the same. Any actions of charity towards her are a complete surprise, and she herself doesn't really engage in any form of altruism. Interestingly, it's not because she's so greedy that she's diametrically opposed to making sacrifices for the sake of others. It's just that, being a very self-reliant person with a strong love of independence, she finds such acts of generosity insulting, and expects others to feel the same way she does. So, since she doesn't want to belittle them or interfere in their business, she stays out of other people's affairs, making her seem rather heartless when in fact, she's simply oblivious.

    Similarly, MΓ iri is aromantic in a bizarre way, since to her, the concept of two people being "lovers" simply means that they somehow derive enjoyment from each other's company. While she's not technically wrong, she's baffled as to how this works, and so assumes based on her limited experience that outward displays of affection are largely a formality and that the real basis of a relationship is solely sexual in nature. This serves its purpose as an explanation, and so she doesn't really question it any further. However, surprisingly enough, despite most of her choices being based solely on how much pleasure she'll get from one experience versus another, she's actually still a virgin, and, what's more, has never even had a boyfriend. This is primarily for two reasons. Firstly, her unshakable faith in her own latent worth makes her feel as though giving herself to others carelessly for a moment's thrill would devalue those same gifts she so cherishes. As such, she's unwilling to carelessly enter into a relationship solely based on sex, since she has yet to find someone valuable enough that she's reasonably confident she wouldn't regret being his partner. At the same time, although many people have confessed to her, she's always turned them down, due to her strong conviction that she should only risk herself, and no one else, for the sake of happiness. Since those confessing to her ostensibly have genuine feelings, she would be receiving gifts and attention from them that she would enjoy, but would be unable to return honestly. Because of this, she'd only end up hurting someone were she to try acting as their lover, and so refuses to make that commitment, knowing she can't keep it.

    On that note, she's actually surprisingly honest. She almost never tells a deliberate falsehood, and follows through on whatever promises or agreements she makes. This, too, is for many reasons. For one thing, she's simply a terrible liar, and so since she can't deceive anyone, almost never bothers trying. For another, though, she feels as though deliberate deception is beneath her, due to serving a similar purpose of bettering her own circumstances at the cost of misleading another, placing them at a disadvantage, and thus doing them wrong.

    As one might expect from someone as proud as she is, she also utterly detests being told what to do, viewing any rules or commandments she must obey as a nuisance that detracts from the amount of time she can spend simply enjoying herself, and thus infringes upon her freedom. Because of this, she tends to make something of a pastime out of bending the rules as much as she can without technically violating the letter of the law. Her usual combat attire is a perfect example of this, as her family's strict standards included several rules about appearing publicly, one of which was that she wasn't allowed to bare her skin. So, meant just as much as an act of deliberate mockery as the utilization of an advantage, she adopted attire that didn't directly show any skin, but managed to be revealing regardless. This particular hobby, is, ironically enough, a way of bending her own rules. Sure, being a nuisance for some quick laughs does cause other people moderate annoyance, and, in some cases, humiliation. But, it doesn't directly HURT them, or cause them any real loss, and thus isn't necessarily wrong by her standards. Because of this, she likes to toy with people's expectations, using sex appeal to distract people in fights - that way, they'll learn not to fall for the same trick again, so in a way, she's helping them, right? - pretending to be frail and vulnerable so people will underestimate her and will hesitate to hurt her, or using other such underhanded tricks to get people riled up and make them lose their cool. After all, honor in one's personal life is all well and good, but the only "honorable" way to fight, as she sees it, is to hold absolutely nothing back, so as to test one's opponent to the very limits of their ability.

    ...Or at least, so she felt, once. Ever since summoning her weapon, however, her views on combat have changed. What once was an immense thrill, an adrenaline high unlike anything else, is now, quite simply, a chore. Almost all of her fights end up the same way, with a weak opponent - since she's usually matched by rank, and thus seldom faces anyone with the necessary skills to challenge her - falling in one blow, leaving her feeling empty and bored. Now that she finally has the power she always wished for, she's found that the work she put into trying to become strong wasn't just misguided - it was completely pointless. As a result, she's grown to so dislike the notion of battle that she simply wishes to end any fight she enters as quickly as possible, and with as little effort as she can manage. If it won't challenge or entertain her anyway, why bother getting her hopes up, only to be disappointed?

    It is this particular regret that is perhaps the crux of her dilemma. She doesn't have anything in particular she wants to do, because the only thing she's especially talented at, that her family approves of, and that she really, truly loves is fighting. And yet, her own latent power removes the challenge, the thrill, from this precious pasttime, leaving her with no reason to pursue anything at all. After having her wishes granted, what is there left to do? What is there left to strive for? With no answer to these questions, she lives her days listlessly, trying to distract herself from the growing tedium of her life. But, if somehow, someone were to appear who could provide her with the challenge she seeks, someone who would offer her the real fight she's been yearning for, and re-awaken the old thrill she used to live for... If something such as that were to happen, perhaps her life would find meaning, and she could finally begin to move on...?
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✦ Likes ✦
  • Dogs: For one thing, they're ADORABLE. For another, they can be astonishingly intelligent and loyal. But, most important of all, it just seems to her like having a dog would be a great deal of fun. She's always wanted one, but sadly, even without her parents to tell her she can't have one, the dorms still forbid students from having large pets.
  • Singing: Her parents pressured her to learn an instrument, but that seemed like too much work, so she took voice lessons instead, assuming they'd be easier. At some point, she started actually rather enjoying this particular hobby.
  • Going New Places: Nothing helps MΓ iri put herself at ease more than exploring. She tends to seek out interesting places just for the sake of seeing what's there, and, when she has free time, likes to go on long walks through the town to see if she can find anything fun to do.
✦ Dislikes ✦
  • Boring Fights: Things just haven't been the same since she summoned Bradamante. Without a challenge, fighting just seems... pointless.
  • Losing: Still, winning a boring fight is preferable to seeming talentless. As someone with a great deal of pride in her various skills, MΓ iri tends to treat almost everything as a competition, and always plays for keeps.
  • Overly Friendly People: This is less an active hatred on her part than it is simple confusion. She can tell that they apparently mean well, but can't grasp what it is they want from her, or why they think they'll benefit by making things harder on themselves for her sake. Since she can't understand them or form meaningful relationships, it leaves her feeling guilty and confused, causing her to by and large avoid contact with people who are exceedingly nice to her, since it feels like she's leeching off of them for their kindness.
✦ Motto ✦
  • "Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens." - Epictetus
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✦ History ✦
  • MΓ iri was born to a pair of first rate summoners, whose marriage had been less a matter of love and more a question of mutual convenience. Regardless, from an early age, it was decided that MΓ iri, presumed to have inherited their prodigious talent for magic, would be groomed to serve as their successor. Her upbringing was a strict one, with her mother - on whom MΓ iri's birth had taken a great toll, and who was thus unable to continue active duty - remaining at home in order to homeschool her, while her father continued to serve as a summoner. Because of this, the watchful eye of at least one of her parents was always on her, while the other became something of a mythical figure to her, whose accomplishments she was expected to match at the very least, even though he seemed, in her eyes, like some sort of superhero.

    The rules were laid out very clearly for her by her mother. She wasn't ever to leave the house without permission, always had to be the picture of elegance and modesty when seen out of doors, was never to speak unless spoken to, wasn't allowed to do anything else until all of her homework and chores were done, was expected to not only pass her classes, but to do so by a very significant margin. These were only a few of the many various regulations by which she was expected to comply without question. And, should she ever step out of line, she'd be punished severely.

    MΓ iri looks back on her youth as, above all else, a time of boredom. There wasn't anything she had an interest in because she wasn't allowed to move outside of the little sphere her parents created for her long enough to develop such an interest. She'd probably compare it to treading water in a hurricane, feeling at each moment as though she'd sink beneath the overwhelming responsibilities placed upon her and end up failing. Yet, somehow, she managed to barely keep up with her parents' demands - at least, until she reached the age of fifteen without showing any signs of summoning it on her own, and so it was decided that she was old enough to begin preparing to manifest her weapon through force.

    Using their combined influence, her parents managed to get her a spot as an assistant to the combat teacher of a local academy of summoners. Her role was simple: to test the new students and their weapons by engaging them in a spar. Of course, without the ability to conjure a weapon of her own, she was relegated to simply using a quarterstaff against them. With little experience in its usage herself, and being several years younger than the students she fought, she found herself defeated time after time, even by enemies who were even less skilled than herself, simply because they, armed with powerful magical weapons, could effortlessly destroy her own armament, or simply defeat her through sheer firepower. As someone who had success drilled into her head from a young age, she could feel her hopes slowly being crushed as it finally dawned on her: as she was, she couldn't win.

    She refused to accept this, and so poured every last ounce of her effort into mastering the weapon she'd been given, training to the utmost in the hopes of beating at least one opponent, even though she herself wasn't anywhere near their level. Despite all of her training, however, it never happened. She never won once. This isn't to say she never improved, however. Little by little, she accustomed herself to the art of fighting a stronger opponent, beginning to relish the adrenaline she felt, darting between their strikes and trying to land at least one hit on them. For the first time in forever, she really felt alive, making her own decisions in the split second of battle, and accepting the consequences. The tension, the thrill, the adrenaline coursing through her body... She had at last discovered the cure to her boredom, had finally found the answer she'd been looking for. Thus, through a combination of her own tactics and raw determination, she'd take advantage of her opponents' lack of finesse.would oftentimes manage to last for several minutes against opponents she couldn't block directly without her staff being completely destroyed. However, she couldn't land any hits on them, either, since all it would take was them placing their weapon between her and themselves to disarm her instantly.

    It was in one such match that it finally happened. Her weapon shattered when her opponent blocked one of her strikes, leaving her defenseless and on the run against an enemy she couldn't beat. Realizing she was going to lose yet again, she grew desperate, and instinctively tapped into a power she never knew she had, pouring all her frustration and resolve into a single strike.

    Bradamante appeared, and in one thrust, her opponent was defeated instantly.

    She couldn't believe it. Not only had she won, but now, she had her own weapon! She could finally fight her enemies on even footing! She wouldn't be spending every second of every battle just running, desperately trying to hold out against somebody she had no hope of winning! Finally, MΓ iri had a chance. Finally, she could win!

    Her next match began. Her opponent stood his ground, not wanting to approach until he could discern the capabilities of her new weapon. Her confidence bolstered by her first victory, MΓ iri thus went to him, bringing down a vicious, sweeping slash on his head. He raised his weapon to block, but found his attempted parry forced aside by a spiraling curtain of crimson.

    In one attack, he, too, was defeated instantly.

    One by one, all of MΓ iri's old opponents appeared to face her, confident that they'd be the one to put her back in her place. And yet, none of them could find a way around Bradamante's combination of personal defense and all-range offense. Now it was they who spent the entire fight running away, never even managing to land a hit before MΓ iri laid them low with a single blow. For a while, it seemed fun enough. She was finally winning, and her parents were proud of her for managing to summon such a marvelous weapon. And yet, it wasn't the same. There was no longer any sort of challenge. The tension she'd so relished was just... gone. Soon, nobody would even fight her anymore, since they no longer felt like they had any chance of winning. Little by little, she realized all the effort she'd put into trying to improve herself hadn't just been misguided - it had been utterly pointless. Anyone, given the chance to wield such a weapon, could do exactly as well as she did, using its power to bring down her foes in a single attack. Her "skill" and "effort" weren't even a factor, just as that of her opponents was irrelevant. Without a similarly overwhelming power to level the playing field, they didn't have a chance. But, unlike her, who had fruitlessly pursued a victory based on effort, they realized that such effort would yield no reward. The only deciding factor, the difference between them, was simply one of power, of natural ability - and it was one that no amount of effort on the part of a weak summoner could overcome. Reasoning thus, MΓ iri gave up. If trying to achieve anything was merely a waste of time, she'd just do whatever she could based on her own natural abilities, and ignore anything beyond that.

    It had taken her two full years longer to actualize her weapon than most summoners - in part due to its power being too much for her to handle at first, and in part due to her mindset refusing to acknowledge it, in favor of simply attempting to hone herself. So, at the age of seventeen, she enrolled late in the most prestigious academy she could: Tererra. For her first year, things weren't bad. She managed to do reasonably well, earning the rank of Green by putting just enough effort into her entry spar to convince people that she had some vague idea what she was doing. However, she grew sidetracked by her newfound freedom, spending most of her time exploring town and otherwise amusing herself, and falling behind in her courses. Eventually, at the end of the first year, she was held back, losing her rank and being bumped down to Blue in the process, as she'd stopped treating fights with any level of seriousness, and let her skills atrophy to the point that she no longer was proficient in much more than basic thrusts and slashes, and a few rudimentary kata. She didn't need those skills anyway, she reasoned, since her weapon would just defeat all of her opponents for her. In the mean time, there were plenty of things to fill the void left by her inability to fight seriously anymore, and so she focused her attention on those trifles, since living a hedonistic and selfish life seemed preferable to simply doing nothing at all. In this manner, she came to relish throwing off the shackles imposed upon her by her parents, playing fast and loose with the rules in any way she could, partially for her own amusement, and partially to satisfy her lust to get some form of vengeance upon the hollow way she'd been forced to live her life. Entering thus into a rather rebellious phase, she's right back where she started, doing over her first year at the academy in hopes of actually succeeding - although at this point, whether she succeeds or fails in this particular respect, she almost couldn't care less.

    It's not like there's any point to doing anything, anyway.
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So begins...

MΓ iri B. Allaway's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Fintan Fletcher (Fin) Character Portrait: Akira Tererra Character Portrait: Ridley Sigivald Character Portrait: Isamu Hisoka Character Portrait: Seth Yagami Character Portrait: MΓ iri B. Allaway
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Location: School Auditorium
Time: Monday, 10:00 am.




It was finally the entrance ceremony beginning another school year of Tererra Academy. Students of all years and ranks filled the seats. The four purple ranks stood with two on either side of the stage. Everyone waited patiently as the headmaster walked onto the stage, clapping erupting in the hall.

Alexander Tererra settled everyone down and began to speak. "Thank you for coming students. We're gathered here to commemerate another year of the TRA!" Claps erupt in the room."We welcome our freshman to the Academy and hope you enjoy your time here. Do take note that more students will be joining us soon, and will join classes along with you all. Now, to make sure new students know what our duty is in this world. As students of Tererra Academy, we train to protect and help those who are inexperienced in the art of weapon summoning. You will fight with all you have, and learn many valuable information. Students here in the TRA are ranked by color. Blue being the lowest and inexperienced, green being the average fighters, red being the masters of their class, and purple-" He gestures toward the students standing on the sides of the stage, who then proceed to nod their heads. "Being the best of the best; the legends of the Academy. Ranking tests will be held right after the ceremony. Proceed to the gym to participate. Now, freshmans, your instructor and guide for all you need to know will be Akari Tererra, my successor, who is a red rank brawl class. She will now be telling you whatever other rules there are in the academy."

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Akira walked over to the podium and took her grandfather's place. "Freshman! Here at the TRA we have rules. Rules that you must follow or you'll face the consequences. This is also a review for older students. Curfew after classes end is 10:00. You may go to the nearby town after school hours, but you must be in your dormitory by 10:00 pm. Anyone caught outside after curfew will be severely punished without mercy no matter the situation. Summoned weapons used against other students without permission is also not tolerated. Same punishment goes as well. If you must go somewhere during school hours, you must have a valid reason approved by your head weapon class advisor. And you must be in class before or directly at 8:00 am before the school bell rings. Tardy students will be given a task to complete during free period and one to complete after school. Please understand that we are very strict with our rules and misbehaving students constantly causing havoc to these rules will without exception be expelled. Thank you for your time and you are all dismissed. Check the map and board in the hall to see where the gymnasium is located and who your advisor is." So, the school year officially began.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Akira Tererra Character Portrait: MΓ iri B. Allaway
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#, as written by Feyblue
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Damnit, I thought to myself, glaring daggers at the skirt as I ripped it out from its plastic packaging. It's still plaid. I hate wearing plaid. It was bad enough that they were forcing me to wear this stupid uniform in the first place, instead of just letting me dress as I saw fit. Did they really have to go and make the skirt and the lapels of the blazer plaid, too?

I sighed heavily, tossing the plastic bag I'd shredded over my shoulder and into the trash can in the corner of the small dorm room. I'd bought a lot of souvenirs during my first year at Tererra, and - huge surprise here - mother and father had refused to let me bring any of them with me, saying they "didn't have room in the house for such garbage." So, since I'd had to leave them in storage at the academy when I moved home, they'd just been left sitting around in the closet. Since my things were already here, when I returned to retry my first year, they'd just gone and given me the same room as before, allowing me to move in early.

Speaking of moving in, I could hear a lot of people moving around elsewhere in the dorm, loud bangs and shouts resounding every now and again as somebody hauled something heavy into one of the rooms. I guess that meant that everyone else had started settling into their new quarters as well. Having just gotten out of the shower, I decided it was probably a bad idea to stand around in nothing but a towel, just in case my roommate showed up. We'd shared quarters last year, too, back when she'd been serving as a T.A. prior to officially entering the academy as a student. However, we hadn't exactly gotten along very well, since - just my luck - she'd been a busy little bee, and my laissez-faire attitude towards practice had gotten on her nerves - or something. Regardless, the last thing I needed was her coming in and yelling at me while I was 80% naked about how it took me too long to get dressed and the ceremony was in ten minutes, or whatever.

Earlier, I mentioned my souvenirs. Honestly, it was probably for the best that I'd been able to keep them here, since if mother and father had actually seen the sorts of things I'd acquired during my time at the academy, they'd have been furious. On a related-yet-seemingly-unrelated note, if I recalled correctly, the first day largely just consisted of ranking placement tests. I'd been placed on probation of a sort for my failure to keep up with training last year, so regardless of how well or poorly I did, I'd be shunted to the lowest possible rank, since I apparently didn't meet "basic requirements" for proficiency in using my weapon. Apparently, winning almost every fight I got into in a single strike and not having time to actually use any of the fancy-yet-pointless things they wanted to teach me wasn't a good enough excuse. But, I digress. Even though my rank would be kept down regardless, they might end up pitting me in a training bout against somebody anyway, just to help rank somebody else. So, if there was a chance I'd be fighting, I most certainly wouldn't be doing it in a tacky miniskirt. I'd be doing it in an even tackier costume of my own choosing! I pulled said costume out of where I'd left it stored in the closet, pleased to see that it was still just as I'd left it.

Grinning to myself, I slipped into the back of my bodysuit, pulling up and buttoning on the accompanying leggings and gloved sleeves as I did so, before fastening it securely at the base of my neck. I set aside the accompanying outer layer, putting it in my school-issued bag for the time being while I reluctantly donned the academy's repulsively plaid uniform, with my bodysuit serving the purpose of underwear. Once the ranking matches started, I could always slip into a bathroom and swap out the blouse, blazer, and skirt for my own more compact ensemble. Ooh, come to think of it, I was technically still a first year, so I'd be fighting newcomers, right? I puffed out my chest and crossed my legs, striking a seductive pose for the mirror. They'd be expecting some ordinary opponent, but what they would get instead was me, MΓ iri Alloway! Those newbies would never know what hit them. It almost made the prospect of having to suffer through another painfully boring excuse for a fight worth it.

...Well, whatever. I finished buttoning up the blouse, slipped into the stupid plaid skirt, tied my blue tie, and slipped into my blazer, straightened my still-damp hair as best I could while doing so, then headed out the door. I guess I'd just make up for missing breakfast later. If I didn't check in for the ceremony and re-do all of the introductory bollocks necessary to settle in as a student, Akira would never let me hear the end of it, and I'd miss my chance to throw some new students for a loop.

So it was that about five minutes later, I found myself sitting around as said pink-haired roommate made her way up to the stage and laid out the ground rules. I was already quite familiar with them myself, having bent and, on occasion, broken them, then been lectured for it by her. Come to think of it, she placed a lot of emphasis on how people broke the rules would be expelled... I had the strangest feeling that she was looking at me when she said that. I merely smiled back innocently. Of course, if possible, I wouldn't directly violate any of those rules, but that didn't mean I wouldn't exploit them a little bit if I got the chance.

I was already familiar with the whole routine, so while the very dedicated Akira was explaining to the new students where the gym was and how to find out who their advisors were, I was already on my way out of the room. She had, after all, said we were dismissed. I glanced at the board on my way past, heading for the locker rooms just off of the gym so that I could change and get ready for the ranking tests. If nothing else, I might be able to watch interesting battles, even if it was almost guaranteed that I wouldn't get to fight any myself...

Setting

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Character Portrait: Akira Tererra Character Portrait: Issei Barusak Character Portrait: MΓ iri B. Allaway
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Truth be told, this was the first time I would be looking at life through my own eyes. I know that some people might think that I am referring to how this would also be the first time I slept or lived elsewhere than my own home, but that is not it. No, rather, I am referring to the fact that I have only ever known my life through the third-person, for that is how my story was written. Because of this, I am a bit uneasy. While I normally enjoy new experiences, this was much more drastic than anything else. Like if I were to start seeing out of my hands instead of my eyes, or something strange like that. But, because God has willed it (I believe his name was FamishedPants or something), I now live life like this. The only thing left to do is press onwar--- wait, what? Oh, it seems like God doesn't want me to continue like this. Wait? Why? We just got started! ....Who is this "Fey" you speak of? You're worried about Fey realizing that I'm simply the Deadpool to his Deathstroke? What does that mean?....Don't worry about it? How can I not? You're changing how I perceive the environment around me, why would I not worry about that? At least let me try it for one pos---

A young man stared confusedly at the room he would apparently be sleeping in for the duration of his stay at this academy. Rubbing his head as he entered, he inspected the room. It was... small. Small, yes. Much smaller than the room he had been used to resting in for the past 15 years of his life. Worse yet, he would also be sharing it with somebody, if what he was told wasn't some falsehood. He could not be sure if this was a form of punishment for something he had done, or if this was a new form of training, but he did not see any relevance to becoming a better summoner through sleeping like this. Either way, this was unpreferable to him. He would rather have a larger room where he could place all of his properties that he had gathered over the past couple of years. Because he had technically lost so many years of his life, he had saved up a sizable fortune simply from the allowance he was given. Yes, though he was never allowed to leave the household back then, he was still given money with which to purchase things of interest. Unfortunately, he lacked wants for such a long period of time and never really bought anything with the money, but that had changed. He could now buy these nifty little picture books with photos of beautiful girls. He, however, was made to leave the ones with nude women at home, which was fairly irritating, but he knew that neither his brother nor his parents respected his love for thighs, so it was likely because they thought this would hinder him in some way. Luckily, that was merely an annoyance and nothing more.

Speaking of annoyances, his roommate was nowhere to be found. Aside from the young man himself, the room was devoid of any life. Weird, he was sure the man was supposed to be here. But why did it have to be a guy? That was boring. It would be much better if the person he shared this tiny room with was a gorgeous girl, right? Then he could admire her and her thighs all the time when he was here! Maybe, just maybe he could even get her to wear actual kneesocks! He had seen the ones in the uniform and, although better than what he was expecting, they were still not that good. He wasn't sure why they had skimped out on the best part of the female uniform, but perhaps the headmaster was also corrupted, just like his brother. Could it be that he was an ass man too? Or maybe he preferred breasts? He was out of lucky regardless, and had to accept that things were just gonna have to be this way.

Issei Barusak decided to leave the room, closing the door behind him after making sure he had his key. He was wearing the school uniform as instructed by the letter he had received. To him, it did not matter that the uniform was plaid, that it did not have an abundance of pockets, or something silly like that. Honestly, he did not mind it one bit, because it did not feel very restricting and was comfortable enough. He had only one complaint about the uniforms at all and that was already mentioned beforehand -- the females weren't wearing kneesocks. But aside from that, there was no reason for him to complain about clothes, for he only cared what cute girls wore. He couldn't care less what he wore unless it somehow managed to hinder his movements or was actually uncomfortable.

Disappearing into the hall full of other students on their way to the assembly, Issei wondered just what kind of things this academy would have in store for him. He was unused to an actual school setting. He was always privately tutored by his lonesome, so this was very foreign to him. But, in that way, it was also very exciting.

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It was not until the young Akira Tererra had stepped up to the stage that Issei bothered to pay very much attention, but the slightest spark of interest did appear in Issei's eye when the Purple-ranked students were mentioned. The girl seemed quite serious about the speech she was giving, but Barusak almost couldn't care less about any punishment that wasn't expulsion, really. What could anybody here possibly do to him that he hadn't already experienced countless times from his own flesh and blood? The kinds of beatings his brother gave him were beyond anything he could feasibly comprehend a red-ranked redhead to dish out. After all, his brother, the genius, was comparable to a purple-rank before he was even as old as Issei was now.

...was beating that guy even possible? Is Subaru even human?

Perhaps not. Even the youngest Barusak knew that such a goal as defeating his genius brother in a serious fight would be comparable to wanting to rule the world. It simply was not going to happen in the foreseeable future. Besides, getting to be that strong would only make his family happy, if anything. Two world-renowned genius summoners in one generation? They would be so delighted and they would wear only the smuggest faces as they received all the praise the world could give them! Issei did not want such a thing for this family. Rather, if anything, he wanted them to taste humiliation. Perhaps he could do so here. After all, there was mention of ranking tests in just a little bit. If he were to do poorly on them, would it not shame his stupid parents? That ought to be a fine way to get back at them.

Issei decided that he would attempt to go for a blue rank. He did not mind being beaten. Pride was not really something Issei had in anything other than his love for thighs. Though he was very likely to be as skilled as a red rank, he did not want that kind of attention. A freshman starting off at such a high rank would be beneficial for the Barusaks, which was detrimental to Issei's plot. Hell, even a green rank would be too much. He wanted it to look like, despite all the training a Barusak had been given, even by somebody as revered as his older brother, that he was completely inept. That a Barusak was incompetent in his own trade! Then, they would rue the day they ever attempted to keep him from thighs! The whole system would all come crumbling down!

Ok, well, it would probably just embarrass them or something, but that was perfectly fine with Issei.

"It's all done now?" Issei wondered to himself aloud as Akira had exited the stage, followed by the mass of the student body swarming to the boards to see the map of the school. Issei, however, did not need to do so. As a member of the Barusak household, he was given a tour earlier in the month and remembered where the gym was to begin with. He immediately decided that if he were to get to the gym first, then he would be able to admire all the thighs as they entered the room. That, of course, would be wonderful! And, with such a ulterior motive for being the early bird, Issei had set off.

But wait...if I am early, then wouldn't that make me seem...well, better? Would it be better to piss the family off if I were late? Likely, but it would also be kinda pointless. I do not want to get too petty, after all. Besides, there would be less of a chance to admire such lovely thighs if I were to be the last one to enter.

Truly important matters had restricted Issei's awareness on the world around him. It was because of this that he unknowingly bumped into the back of another student, which surprised him had managed to surprise him just a little, as he thought he was the first one to leave. This snapped him out of his intense thinking and presumably, the student had turned to face him to see what had happened. It was a she, and a quite beautiful she at that. His eyes had decided to save the best part for last, so this initial judgement was based solely on the upper half of her body. A red hair much darker than his own, even her eyes were the same. Part of him inside knew she must have been from some form of lineage that had done that, but it really didn't matter enough for him to care about that. Just that, aesthetically, he thought it fit. She also had a sizable bust which, although lesser in importance than thighs, was still something to note.

"Oh. Sorry about that." he began with more of a straight tone that almost sounded like he was saying it with sarcasm. His eyes then finally traced the girl's body, leading down to her legs, and he did so without a single attempt at hiding it. He noticed she was wearing a fairly tight fabric beneath the uniform she had donned. It intrigued him. "Balance is necessary for perfection." he commented when he was apparently done, looking at her straight in the eyes as if he was serious and not guilty of a single thing and wearing an unfittingly determined smile. Since it was about her legs, of course he was entirely serious about the matter at hand. "If there is too much covering it, then there is no hook. However! People also want to be teased, so if you were to wear too little, it would not capture their attention as long. That is why kneesocks are great -- they have balance!"

So saying, the Barusak began to head towards the gymnasium with more gusto. If he beat her there, then he would be able to enjoy said thighs again AND the others. It was a perfect scenario for him. But, he remembered something just before he got too far ahead, and turned back.

"But it seems that fabric like that makes the matter gray, rather than black and white" he told her. This was one of few idioms he was properly aware of. "You still manage to have great thighs!"

And so, he continued on, forging his path to the gymnasium.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Fintan Fletcher (Fin) Character Portrait: Akira Tererra Character Portrait: Issei Barusak Character Portrait: Isamu Hisoka Character Portrait: Seth Yagami Character Portrait: MΓ iri B. Allaway
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Location: Gymnasium
Time: Monday, 10:50 am.





Akira waited for the rest of the students to arrive. She was excited for the ranking test, for she had not been ranked yet either. She was determined to get a purple rank, even a red rank was a close second. Either way, she was going to show her skills. She wanted the freshman to see what was expected of them. As the last students arrived, she made her way to the front of the group, facing towards them. "Alright! Who's ready for some epic battling?" Cheers filled the humongous room. She closely watched Mairi, just in case she tried something funny. "Okay! How this works is we'll have two students come up and battle with whatever personal knowledge they have. Give it all you've got! The winner will most likely be ranked higher then their opponent, but it's also based off of control, agility, and attack power. One more thing. Girls, go to the lockerooms to put on provided leggings. It's only appropriate." Akira already was set for the battle. She waited for the girls to come back.

After everyone settled, she randomly pointed at a boy with blonde hair who's face screamed, I'm gonna win! This girl ain't got nothin' on me! "You! You're up first. Your opponent is me." Akira smirked. She didn't like people who underestimated her. He got into his battle stance, as a blue light formed into a long, sharp sword. A blade class, eh? Works for me. Akira thought. Akira then got into her own battle stance as a red light engulfed her hands. Then appeared her pair of magenta gauntlets. The boy made the first move. He ran at her with sword in hand, letting out a battle cry. Akira simply side stepped and drew her fist back, as pink Vika formed at the tip of her right gauntlet. POW! Her fist connected with his face as his body flung to the other side of the room. She waited for him to recover.

The boy stood, and ran at her again as she stood there, swinging his sword at her chest. Akira jumped up and landed on the tip of his sword, proceeding to place her hands on his head, front flipping off of him. She quickly turned and swiped her leg at his, causing him to fall forward. He stood up once again and ran at her another time. As Akira began to step away, the boy took out a hidden knife and sliced her cheek, causing a small cut to form. She frowned and ran at him, jumping onto his chest, pinning him down. Her fist stopped about a centimeter from his face, pink Vika visible at the tip. Akira giggled. "I think this battle is over. Don't make the same mistake of being a sexist prick again." Akira stood, and waited for the students' reaction.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Fintan Fletcher (Fin) Character Portrait: Akira Tererra Character Portrait: Ridley Sigivald Character Portrait: Issei Barusak Character Portrait: Isamu Hisoka Character Portrait: Seth Yagami Character Portrait: MΓ iri B. Allaway
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Fintan had eventually figured out the board. Following its instructions he strolled towards the gymnasium in no rush. Milling in with the other students he found a spot he felt comfortable in. It was away from the larger crowd and seemed to draw less attention to him. Leaning against a wall he tucked his hands in his pockets as the red headed girl whom had made a speech before began to lead the ranking tests.

"Alright! Who's ready for some epic battling?" Cheers filled the humongous room as she tried to pep everyone up.

"Okay! How this works is we'll have two students come up and battle with whatever personal knowledge they have. Give it all you've got! The winner will most likely be ranked higher than their opponent, but it's also based off of control, agility, and attack power. One more thing. Girls, go to the locker rooms to put on provided leggings. It's only appropriate." As she finished explaining Fin sighed.

So this was going to be a one battle at a time sort of deal? They may be here a while considering the number of students. Gazing around he decided to check out his fellow freshmen, some of them seemed zealous with confidence. Others wrung their hands nervously. It was probably the nervous ones that would put up a better fight, overconfidence tended to be the downfall of most people Fin had met.

He wondered if his new 'room mate' was amongst them. He hadn't met them yet after all, it would be interesting to see what they were capable of.

As the girls returned after getting changed the red head kicked things off. She picked out one of the overconfident students Fin at noticed. The boy seemed a little too peppy for Fin's tastes. Now just what type of fighting style did this Red head have? She sure acted confident herself, however, her eyes told him she could probably live up to that confidence unlike most of the students here.

Intrigued Fin watched the battle proceeded.

A brawler versus a blade, the battle was over in minutes. The blonde boy hadn't stood a chance, he had underestimated his opponent that much was true. A foolish mistake. It was always dangerous to rush into battle head first before reading your opponent. Predicting your opponent was the strategic way to ensure victory. If the blonde boy had taken a second to notice the fire in the red head's eyes he may have been more precautious of his attacks. She excelled in close range tactics, as brawlers do. His best bet would have been to try and tire her out, or at least defend her attacks rather than go on the offensive. It was the choice of someone unused to combat.

Fin glanced over at them as the blonde boy moved from the floor his shame of defeat plastered on his expression. A small smile cracked from Fins lips as he heard the Red Head's statement.Sexist prick? probably more like a foolish idiot. He thought to himself amused.

Who would be next into battle?

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Character Portrait: Akira Tererra Character Portrait: Issei Barusak Character Portrait: MΓ iri B. Allaway
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I was just passing the door of the gym, heading for the locker room just down the hall, when I encountered someone peculiar. Feeling somebody bumping into me as he headed into the gym, I tripped slightly, catching my balance on the frame of the door and turning around to see who exactly had just run into my back.

My eyes were met with the golden gaze of a orange-haired boy. He stared at me intently, as though he was trying to memorize every last detail of my face. Although he muttered some kind of apology, he seemed more preoccupied with his "examination," especially as his attention slowly wandered downward. His eyes gazed intently at my breasts, seeming for all the world as though he was trying to use the VIKA that must have permeated them to give them such a distinctive hue to melt through the hideous plaid lapels of my blazer, burn away the blouse beneath, and see for himself what those garments concealed. Being gawked at wasn't new to me, but I hadn't really ever known anybody to stare so directly, as though unashamed of the action. It almost seemed less like he was looking at a girl he was interested in and more like he was examining fine art. I felt a swell of pride rising up within me, rather liking the notion of that comparison. Well, since he quite clearly had good taste, maybe I'd do him a favor? I grinned, striking one of my usual poses with a slight chuckle. As I stretched my legs, crossing one over the other, the boy's attention shot straight down, his eyes seeming to take in every detail, like an astronomer beholding for the first time the glory of some far-distant nebula. His face was that of a man who had seen through some great mystery of the universe... And apparently, whatever great secret he had found was located somewhere close to my thighs.

While I admired being stared at, other students would be showing up soon, and I didn't want to put on that kind of show until I was at least ready, so I uncrossed my arms, tossing a wayward strand of hair back over my shoulder as I cocked my head at the contemplative youth. "Well?" I asked pointedly, hoping he'd realize I was still standing right in front of him. Maybe he'd gone into some kind of trance upon seeing me, but he'd wake up when he heard my voice and realized he'd been staring. Then he'd turn all red and try to apologize, or something like that. Those sorts of reactions were always priceless. "Like what you see?" I asked, trying as hard as I could to sound sultry despite my somewhat vague comprehension of what, exactly, that sort of aesthetic was supposed to be.

The boy contemplated this for a moment, and then, unexpectedly, gave me a measured, entirely lucid answer.

"Balance is necessary for perfection. If there is too much covering it, then there is no hook. However! People also want to be teased, so if you were to wear too little, it would not capture their attention as long. That is why kneesocks are great -- they have balance!"

...I blinked. He stared back at me, meeting me eye to eye without the slightest embarrassment.

It wasn't that he didn't have a point. In many ways, I subscribed to that same aesthetic myself, drawing men in by showing them the shape of my body while concealing it entirely - a balancing act between personal modesty and pragmatic seduction. However... When I'd asked for his opinion, I really hadn't been expecting advice on how to better use and abuse my charms. That... that wasn't the normal way you were supposed to react to this situation, was it? Also, wait a minute, did he just give me a failing grade on my personal style? No fair! Redo! Redo! At least let me get changed out of this stupid plaid first! I guarantee you I look better in black!

But, before I could object, he simply grinned, adding one final assessment almost as an afterthought as he turned away. "But it seems that fabric like that makes the matter gray, rather than black and white," He said, shrugging. "You still manage to have great thighs!" Leaving me with this final complement, he wandered off into the gym.

I turned, still in a daze of confusion as I wondered what exactly had just happened, and headed for the locker rooms.

A few minutes later, I re-entered the gym, sticking to the outside edge of the rather large crowd that had assembled there, not wanting to draw too much attention to myself too early, or else risk ruining the surprise when whatever opponent I got matched up with saw me. Besides, I was taller than most of the other first-level students, being at least two years older than the majority of them, so I could see over the back of the crowd with only slight difficulty.

It seemed like Akira had started off by having the girls put on some leggings for modesty's sake, since I'd gotten a few dirty looks from some who were already doing so when I came out of the lockers. I guess they were mad that I was showing off while they were stuck wearing plaid. Regardless, by the time I'd actually showed up, she was already challenging some poor schmuck to a training bout. A shame. I'd almost been hoping I could go up against her myself. She'd be a pain to hit, as always, but if I could drop her with one attack in front of everybody, she'd have a hell of a time trying to earn back their respect. Just as likely, though, that kind of a battle would just be five minutes of her running around and punching me in the gut whenever one of my attacks missed, so it probably wouldn't be worth the trouble of trying to go all-out just to hit her. After all, she knew what Bradamante could do, and had gotten annoyingly good at avoiding its otherwise unpredictable attacks.

Considering that her opponent was a new, entry-level student and she'd been working as a combat trainer here for years already, I had a feeling how this was going to go. Sure enough, he was floored in about forty seconds, and anyone could see that it only took that long because Akira let him stand back up again the first two times she knocked him down, instead of just pinning him on the spot. While the crowd was certainly impressed by her skill, it seemed now as though nobody wanted to be the next one to step up, fearing the possibility of humiliation in front of all the other students.

I supposed I could have made my debut here, but I decided I'd be magnanimous and wait. After all, if I made my move now, this would just take even longer. Imagine how scared they'd be if they saw the first challenger toyed with and beaten down, and the second challenger simply dropped in one strike! No, it would be better to let them settle into the routine before I stepped up. Besides, this way, I might be able to see if any of the other students might be interesting...

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Character Portrait: Akira Tererra Character Portrait: Issei Barusak Character Portrait: MΓ iri B. Allaway
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"Black? Hmm, I guess that could work. Well, we have the entire school year ahead of us, I'm sure she'll be able to show me an even greater beauty at some point!" he concluded as he disappeared further down the hallway, having heard the girl's attempt to convince him she was perfect.

Issei was in a great mood. After all, the first girl he had a chance to admire was perfect, at least physically. The only thing that left him dissatisfied was the mediocre uniform, but thems were the school rules apparently, so it was not as though it was her fault. Whatever skin-tight fabric she was wearing underneath was interesting to him, so maybe he'd get to see that in action sometime soon? He could only hope. But I digress. Issei thought that if the very first girl he stopped and admired was great, then this school certainly held a promising future for him. A future with perfect thighs and bodies!

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Issei was not the very first person into the gym, of course, but he had beaten the other freshmen who had attended the assembly. Because of this, Issei had gotten a front row seat to disappointment! These leggings were a sham! Not even B-rank material here! How was he going to enjoy thighs with those monstrosities, huh!? Okay, well, they were THAT bad in his opinion, he was just very disappointed and had to let loose somehow. Unfortunately, he could not simply go on a run in the middle of school, so the OKAY leggings would have to deal with this mental abuse if only for a few moments. Issei realized that he had wasted any energy trying to get ahead of the others. How unfortunate, but nothing he would cry about. It was simply annoying that he had made it a point to beat the crowd here, only to find that any effort in the process was more or less wasted. His bright mood from before had sunk, though he realized that if anything good had come of beelining for the gym, it was those thighs he did manage to capture! She had such great thighs, so there was definitely potential here. He could not allow himself to fall into a depression because of what the school was doing to them! Justice would be served.

...now that he thought about it, what was her name? He was told that it was polite to introduce yourself to people first and foremost, but because he had to apologize and also because of thighs, he totally forgot to do that, didn't he? Issei made a mental note to introduce himself next time they met.

But for now, he had to watch the stage.

The girl from before, Akira, had taken it upon herself to demonstrate the power of a red-ranked individual. For Issei, combat was his religion. He was confident that the school would teach him very little in the way of how to fight, if anything at all. That was all extensively covered since before he could admire thighs, after all. All that was left was an actual education. Needless to say, Issei was perceptive when it came to combat-related matters. What he saw in this fight, he saw it not as a strong display of the power of a red-rank, but a pitiful display of an unfair fight and a failed chance to show off. The man was clearly incompetent. Battle cries were silly in practice, and only served to waste your breath if anything. Furthermore, he walked straight into a punch and it was so obvious that that was going to happen because of his dumb stance that Issei had predicted the outcome within mere moments. This wasn't a fight, it was a slow slaughter.

In the end, since the man was nothing to worry about for her, Issei could only tell that she was a good fighter. He wasn't sure how good, but he felt she at least knew how technique, rather than relying solely on powerhousing her way through. Her movements betrayed experience, just like his would if he was not careful. He was hopeful that he could see her go up against something actually challenging to see just how strong she really was. Also, so that he could admire her. Her legs were those of a brawler class, with the right amount of muscle and meat. Truly, a sight to behold in action! But that would have to wait. It seemed nobody else was really willing to step up to the stage immediately after that fight, so Issei figured it was time to go ahead and see just how hard it would be to go easy on someone.

It was not like he had ever been able to do so before.

That was a lie. Two girls had beaten him to the punch, but the events immediately following could not be described as a fight. He waited for a moment, but the staff seemed to consider this a relatively normal occurance, so Issei figured there as no problem in continuing. The young Barusak took to the stage, wearing an expressionless face. "I'll go next." he said with a tone that contradicted his proactive attempt at getting things started. He was not concerned with the act of having to fight itself, but rather how he would go about it. It would make sense for the other freshmen to be around the same strength as that boy who had just gotten destroyed but mere moments ago. After all, this would be the place where they learned to fight, but that simply made it harder on Issei, who did not want to seem like he was very good. To bring honor to his family would be a shame and work against him. But, of course, he was aware he was only knowledgeable of giving it his all -- everybody he had trained with were always leagues ahead of him. He was never on even ground or high ground, so he was not given a chance to be lax in his fighting. Clearly, things could go wrong if he got someone so pathetically weak and accidentally won the fight. But, of course, if he just let his opponent hit him, then it would be quite obvious that he was throwing the fight. Issei was not a good actor, so this would be one of the most complicated fights in his life.

As if inspired by his appearance on the stage, another student stepped up, wearing a very confident expression almost reminiscent of the blonde-haired boy from before. "Then I'll be your opponent! Me, Fei Bleu!" he declared, throwing his arms out to the side and summoning his gauntlets with a bright green light. It would appear that this fight would be a mimic of the last one. A Blader vs a Brawler. But would the result be the same?

*Fei Bleu attacks!

The moment the area was cleared of anybody but the two of them, the fight had begun. With his opponent far enough away when the fight started, Issei had no problem summoning his own weapon in a brilliant white light -- The V-blade! It took the form of a one-handed blade, and Issei took a proper stance to accompany his intended strategy for this fight. Because it was light and only required one hand to wield effectively, this was the blade he used the most when he felt that weaving punches and kicks, grapples and other hand-to-hand techniques into his style would be appropriate. That is to say, this would be the version of his sword he would use against other Bladers, because Brawlers were most likely to be great at hand-to-hand, so it would normally be risky to try something. He couldn't punch as hard as they could, after all. Yet his intention was not to win this fight, so it made sense he wouldn't pick the optimal variant of his blade for this battle.

Rather than bluntly charge at the young Barusak, Issei's opponent had taken the brighter approach and closed the distance to them with a closed stance. It was only when they were toe-to-toe did Fei decide to pull back his fist and launch a straight aimed for Issei's head. In response, Issei swiftly moved to avoid the blow and attempted to trade back with a quick swing of his sword, but found he needed to abandon mid-swing to block a follow-up attack by the man's other fist. A series of punches then followed behind it, with Issei unable to immediately respond with any offensive options, instead being put on the defensive. Ironically, this is what he was supposed to be doing, at least in a serious fight.

To presumably a lot of the spectators of this fight, Fei held the upper hand in this fight. After all, Issei was not even given a single chance to return a blow, and one could only defend from an onslaught for so long before succumbing to a devastating blow. However, most people do not tend to look at the faces of a combatant when they are fighting. Those who did decide to see the expressions each fighter were holding would clearly notice a rather... bored expression on Issei's face. He did not look the least bit troubled. And, although having not attacked once, he still had not been struck either. Issei was dodging the blows as if he could see each of them before they were thrown. That was impossible, of course. Issei was just much, much faster than Fei Bleu in reality. It did not actually take much effort on his own behalf to evade for as long as he had been, simply because, although this young man was not completely incapable of fighting, he simply was on a much lower level than someone who had been fighting for the entirety of their life. Issei was simply dodging out of habit, rather than intentionally. He wanted to get punched, to be beaten, but it was very hard, surprisingly. He could not bring himself to break out of the habit of evasion he had developed over the course of his life. And this began to frustrate him.

I WANT TO LOSE, LET ME LOSE, ME!

In a moment, Issei's apathetic expression twisted into one of intense hatred. Fei, his opponent, hesitated upon seeing this face. In the brief moment this happened, Issei threw out a powerful kick, knocking his foe off his feet, as it had not been protected. Despite not having the power to send him to the other side of the room, that did not keep it from looking like it hurt really bad. Fei, presumably a boxer due to their fighting style (which consisted of nothing but punches), obviously had not expected such a retaliation from Issei. He struggled to get back to his feet, and while instinct had told Barusak to finish him off right then and there, he did not do so. Winning was the worst possible outcome. What if they decided he was good enough to be a red!? No, that was bad. This whole situation was bad. He was bad at being bad at fighting, curse his family for this!

By now, it seemed as though that Fei had noticed he was being toyed with, and any confidence he had at the beginning of the fight was no longer showing on his face. Rather, he was cautious and wore a very uncharacteristically serious expression. His thoughts were of simply surviving this fight he had picked, and it was clear that he knew he was in over his head. But contrary to Issei, who had no such thing, Fei had an abundance of pride. He was the best fighter in every school he had attended up to this point! Ever since he was a bully in preschool, he knew his goal in life was to become a strong fighter! With each nerd he beat up, he hoped to one day get closer to reaching his father's strength. His father was an infamous thug in the local area he had been born in, and made his name through physical displays of strength. Of course, this was because Fei's father was forced into such a situation when his own father had lost everything they owned to loansharks. Fei on the other hand simply did this because he thought it was cool and liked the feeling of bullying people.

So anyways, the point was that Fei Bleu could not allow himself to simply surrender in face of what he thought was an unstoppable monster. Even though his body wanted to give up after only a single kick from a goddamned Blader, Fei could not allow such an embarrassment! What would the girls think? That he was some loser throwaway NPC? Hell no! He was Fei goddamned Bleu! Bully of nerds! Strongest boxer NPC there was! He had to continue fighting. He would only stop when it was impossible to keep going, because even NPCs have dreams too! So, he picked himself up off the floor and removed any traces of arrogance from his mind. He was often told that his overconfidence would be the end of him, and the kick that landed right there was evidence of this. If he had been paying more attention to his opponent's moves, then even when surprised by that frightening expression, he would have at least been able to mitigate some of the damage.

Issei was glad that he did not win in a single blow. Especially because it was a kick, and he could see people getting excited over that, considering he was a Blader. He knew that he had kinda blown his cover if only a bit though, as anybody with a decent eye would probably have noticed he was holding back up until this point. But, of course, this would be impossible to prove if he managed to break out of the dumb (not really) habit of evading slow blows like Fei's. Issei decided that the best way to do this would be to instead allow Fei to counterattack, because at least then it would be easier to put himself in a situation where he would be unable to dodge an attack. So, it was this time that Issei had attacked. He made a large motion with his vertical swing that he normally would never do, and thankfully, Fei took advantage of this. A burning sensation was felt as a powerful uppercut sent Issei rocketing into the sky, and then painfully down back to the ground. This much was not enough to actually keep him from getting up, but it sure as hell looked like it. This would do. Hopefully everybody would simply assume that he had gotten a lucky shot in and that was it. While it had been incredibly hard for him to do so, he was glad that he had successfully made it seem that a member of the Barusak household was an incompetent figh---

*BAM*

Issei rolled out of the way of the audible blow that cracked the ground where his head had been merely moments earlier. Of course it was Fei who had attacked him. Unfortunately, because he managed to dodge that blow, it would not be possible to pretend he was too hurt to continue fighting. Issei was, of course, fairly pissed. STOP TRYING TO ATTACK ME AND LET ME LET YOU WIN! Issei desperately wanted to say something like this, but for clear reasons did not. Instead, he hopped to his feet and clutched his sword tightly, frustration clearly getting at him. That did not stop Fei, who once again went on the offensive. All of his attacks were so slow, however. How come this man was allowed to be like this? So weak! Maybe Issei was pampered in his own way when it came to people he was allowed to train with. It was a lot more irritating to fight someone you could beat so effortlessly if you were trying than someone who could do that very same thing to you.

Is this how his brother felt? Issei couldn't help but feel sorry if that was the case.

Having become too damned angry to even bother with this fight anymore, Issei simply ended it. Evading a downward punch from Fei, he quickly made a slice on the man's thigh, then followed up with a vertical slash to the man's chest. While he was recoiling from the sudden attack, Issei gave the man a strong kick/push that sent him down onto the ground once more. Neither attack from Issei was something meant to end a fight, but rather to disrupt the person's flow. If he was taking this fight any seriously, Issei would have followed up with stronger attacks that those two moves would have made available to land with relative ease. But, Issei instead unsummoned his Blade, stopping himself halfway through a sheathing motion that might have looked odd to people watching.

"Ah, whatever! I concede defeat!" he yelled angrily, hopping off the stage and leaving Fei looking dumbfounded. Fei's reaction wasn't anything unique, either. A lot of people weren't really sure what just happened.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Issei Barusak Character Portrait: Seth Yagami Character Portrait: MΓ iri B. Allaway
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Seth had a slow walk to the gym, and a sort of boring one. He didn't bump into anyone whatsoever along the way and no one followed behind him for a good distance, since they were all busy figuring out where they should go first. Except, there was one person who he noticed. Well, two in fact. But they seemed ingaged in a conversation about..... thighs and how the female presented them? He only managed to catch that part of the conversation, finding it completely absurd to make such a statement to a woman's face. Had he seen it the way the boy did, he would have stayed silent about it. Though, he felt part of the reason why might be because she would somehow take his words the wrong way and he would end up being slapped like how it has happened many times before. For example, one time, he tried to tell a girl her skirt was a bit too long and constrictive, preventing full range of movement. Instead, it came out as, "you should life your skirt up higher, that way you can maximize your abilities and perform better. Also, it looks very tight-" before the girl punched him square in the jaw. This is just one of many misunderstandings he has been involved in. So, for this reason, he kept silent and walked on. Lucky for him, it seemed neither of them noticed him and he was not caused harm.... this time.

Once he reached the gym, he looked around. It was empty, abd more importantly quiet. Too many voices wore down on him, since he has a bad habit of always tracking every one and noting what they say. This took a lot of focus to do so for so many people. Eventually, more and more people showed up. His silence left him, but on the bright side he began taking in knowledge. He knew about Jen and ken's break up, the party planned at Yuki's room after all the tests were complete, Rei's apparent lack of skill with his weapon he only just learned to summon, and much more. It amazed Seth just how inept people were at noticing when they were being listened to or rather, their lack of care about it. It only made things easier for him to eavesdrop and learn so much about people. Eventually the match ups started and he focused more on the fights. Seth watched every person who went up and fought, taking note of every fighters weapon, their style of fighting, any strengths or weaknesses he saw, anything that could prove useful and even information that was irrelevant. Finally, after a few fights, he decided to get this out of the way and volunteered. The other person who did so was an average boy, who seemed to have no defining features whatsoever. In fact, he was sure he may never see him again or at the very least, if he did, would not even recognize him if he could even pick him out of the crowd. He was simply too..... normal? Seth was baffled but pushed it aside, not showing any emotion or thought on the outside.

He waited for his opponent to summon his weapon first. It seemed like some kind of glove, so he assumed this was a brawler. He looked at it in detail, noticing no locations that seemed viable of focusing VIKA into a ranged attack. He had the advantage of range in this fight then since he simply had to stay out of arms length to win. He watched for just a moment more to see his stance before he summoned his own weapon. It was a strong, wide stance, meaning less maneuverable and more adept at defense. He wanted to see what Seth would do first and was not ready to react well to any speedy attacks. But he did have a determined look and was ready to react to some extent. A clear shot was not guaranteed. So instead, he planned while summoning, which also took some slight time for him since he had to have more information first before completing it... "Windage: negligible. Air current circulation provided by indoor heating and cooling system proves no effect at close range. Direction: Negligible due to prior information. Air pressure: 3kPA lower than average found at one atmosphere. Effect: Negligible. Elevation: no height difference to target. Shared elevation is sea level. Temperature: 79 degrees Fahrenheit. Effect: Negligible. Geographical lotcation: Negligible. Range: 43.2 meters. Effect: Negligible. Calibration complete. Sights set. Fire when ready. and with that his rifle appeared. As he was speaking, he was making his plan as he gathered information. Aside from what he said, he also noticed someone about to send a text on their phone. Perhaps it was to someone else in the room? He waited and listened (though his information gathering and his talking did not falter). After the final touch, someone else's Ringtone went off. Confirmed. They were sending back now? The first persons phone went off. Confirmed. There were basket ball goals attached to the ceiling, being held up by wires connected to a motor so that they may be stored this way until they were required, at which point they could be lowered. There were bleachers but they showed no significance at this point. There were also large, round bags. They appeared to be filled with sand maybe? He couldn't tell but they were definitely heavy and round which was the only important factor. His plan was complete as was his summon.

He finally took a deep, slow breath and aimed. BANG! 1. The opponent had stepped back and there was a small hole where his foot was. BANG! 2. A similar effect, aimed at his other foot. phone put down, text sent. Arriving in 3, 2.... BANG! 3. The stand holding all the heavy bags, which he assumed were replacement punching bags, was broken and they all roled towards his opponent, which he saw and jumped up, out of the way of. But then he got distracted by some sound somewhere. BANG! 4.The wire holding the basket ball goal up snapped and the goal came swinging down, hitting the boy and sending him into the wall, which he slid down and then got pinned to by the bags. They weren't heavy enough to keep him there long, but it was long enough for seth to line up a shot and guarantee a hit that would end the fight. But then everything stopped for seth, feeling like the world was in slow motion. The sweat drop falling from his forehead was suspended for eternity, the sound stopped, everyone still, his finger not even a millimeter away from pulling the trigger far enough to cause the hammer to slam the back of the round, causing a controlled explosion that would propel a projectile down his barrel and to an intended location. But none of that happened. From seth's point of view, the entire world warped around him, his opponent changing shape into the form of his sister. The crowd was gone and they were no longer in the gym, but a shooting range. The rifle and the sweat drop were the same. His finger moved one more millimeter. Before the hammer could even connect with the back of the cartridge of his bullet, he screamed at the top of his lungs, "SARAAAAAAH!!!!!" and everything went black. To everyone else there, all that happened was Seth appeared to have the win before he screamed a name and passed out, with a small nosebleed. He would wake up shortly into the next match sometime to find he was on the same bleachers he noticed earlier with an ice pack on his head. But his head did not hurt, the only thing he felt that was injured was his pride, though marginally. He, once again, couldn't fire at an opponent, even when he knew he was using non lethal rounds..... he just threw headphones into his ears and connected them to his phone and watched on....

Setting

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Character Portrait: Akira Tererra Character Portrait: Ridley Sigivald Character Portrait: Issei Barusak Character Portrait: MΓ iri B. Allaway
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Ridley listened to the Headmaster's announcements, his anxiety skyrocketing at the mention of the ranking tests. His granddaughter's speech only made his fears worse. The rules seemed very strict. Oh God. What if he accidentally broke the rules?He'd be expelled! Ridley made a mental note to memorize the rule book. Even worse, he really hadn't expected a test on the first day of school. Things were not looking up. Along with the other students, Ridley headed to the gym, eyes glued to the floor. It was a very nice floor, all polished and shiny. Ridley let out a shaky breath. He was probably going to die during the exam. It would be the most embarrassing way to go out, ever.

He'd arrived at the gymnasium just in time to see the headmaster's granddaughterβ€”Akira was her name, if he remembered correctlyβ€” beat up a blond freshman. Her weapons seemed similar to his, though she was better at using them in every way. Ridley winced at each blow Akira landed. Adjusting his tie, he wondered how the Academy handled first aid. They didn't just... leave the students to suffer, did they? He ducked his head again and examined the gym's floor. It was not as shiny as the hallways. Instead, it seemed durable, and the slight patina suggested that it was VIKA-resistant. Unlike the ceiling, which now had a hole in it.

Ridley tugged on his coat. He liked the uniform. It was blue and comfortable. What more could he ask for? Well, he could ask to skip the ranking tests, but Ridley suspected that Akira would kill him herself if he tried. Ridley did not like tests. He also did not like fighting. Ridley especially did not like tests that dealt with fighting. (Why'd he sign up for this Academy again? Oh. Right. It was prestigious, and Ridley needed to learn to defend himself if he wanted to be a field doctor. Also, the school let the students live in it, which was a plus. Still, Ridley was seriously reconsidering his chosen career path. Being a janitor sounded really nice right now.)

Cringing, he hunched down. Maybe if he made himself smaller and unnoticeable, he'd get away with not fighting. Ridley was more than okay with being a blue rank. He shuffled closer towards the mass of people, intent on blending in with the crowd. Unfortunately, it was difficult to navigate while staring at the floor, so he ended up bumping into another student. The slightly taller individual, whose features were somewhat difficult to make out without actually raising his head, shuffled slightly to the side, mumbling something under their breath that could have been either "Oh, do excuse me for standing in your way," or possibly "Why do people keep walking into me?"

"Um, thanks! I mean, sorry!" he said sheepishly, looking up. Ridley's eyes widened. The student was, in one simple word, absolutely stunning. No, that was two. Either way, he gaped at her, face turning as red as her hair. The girl blinked, looking down at him with a curious expression on her face.

"Wow, it really does keep happening," she said, seemingly addressing nobody in particular.

Ridley took the bait. "If you don't' mind me asking... what keeps happening?" He steadily kept his eyes on her face, as tempting as it was otherwise.

"Well," she said rather casually, turning fully away from the crowd and giving a somewhat exaggerated shrug, crossing her legs as though slouching against thin air. "First people bump into me, and then they always stare at me. I can't imagine why." The apparent innocence - or maybe it would be better called obliviousness? - in her voice was palpable. "This is the second time today. I'm not really sure why it keeps happening. Is there something on me? Maybe some kind of strange stain somewhere...?" She pushed out her chest and craned her neck back, trying to look over her shoulder as though checking her garment for spots. Evidently, she didn't realize that with this one motion, she'd ended up practically forcing her breasts right towards Ridley's face.

He turned even redder, his willpower strained to the max. In his head, he chanted a constant mantra of 'don't look down, don't look down, don't look down...'

"N-No, I mean, I'm so sorry! Really! Are you hurt? Do you need some help?" Ridley looked to the side then back to her. "There's nothing on you! Don't worry! I mean, there's nothing on your clothes. You're wearing clothes, which is on you, so your clothes are on you... as in, there are no spots. Nope!"

"Oh. Okay," she said, straightening herself back out and giving a nod to the boy, evidently completely unaware of the rapidly brightening shade of red that had appeared across his face. "Thanks for checking me out." She probably meant checking for spots. Probably. The double meaning wasn't lost, in any case.

"No problem!" he squeaked out. "I'll check you out anytime!" Ridley mentally slapped himself. No, that wasn't what he meant! How could he be so rude to this nice girl? She seemed so innocent! It was all his fault for finding perverted meanings in ordinary sentences. "Sorry, sorry! I meant, I'll help you out, anytime." Trying not to embarrass himself any further, he held out his hand. "I'm Ridley Sigivald. Nice to meet you?" It came out as more of a question.

The girl seemed to be watching him intently. As he frantically tried to salvage the situation, she merely grinned at him, seeming amused rather than offended by his verbal slip-up. That, or maybe she hadn't noticed it and just thought he was stumbling over his words? He couldn't really tell.

"I'm MΓ iri," she introduced, taking his hand and giving it a gentle shake. "You're astonishingly nice, aren't you?" She observed suddenly, seeming more to be stating a fact than trying to compliment him.

He blinked at the non-sequitur. "Uh... th-thank you? I think? I'm not very nice though," he said, flustered. "You're really nice! You're really nice, too!" Ridley paused, trying to think of something to say. "So, do you come here often?" Dammit! Of course she came here often, it was a school! A boarding school, to top it off. "As in, do you hang out at the gym a lot?" Okay, that was an alright save. It brought him from terminally-stupid to somewhat-stupid. "Are you a freshman?" he added weakly, though she seemed to be a few years older than him.

MΓ iri kept grinning, giving a slight chuckle as he tried his best to return her compliment. As he desperately tried not to kill the mood, she shook her head.

"No, not really. Mostly all they do here is mock battles, and I guess you could say that I don't really enjoy those very much anymore. I am a freshman, though, although I may not look it. I failed my first year, so now I'm retaking it," She explained, shrugging slightly.

Ridley frowned sympathetically, wondering how a nice (and, from her toned body, physically skilled) girl like her had failed freshman year.

"That really sucks," he said, unsure how to respond. "I'm not a very big fan of mock battles, either. Or real battling. Or fighting at all, really." Then, Ridley realized what she'd said. "Wait, you said that you don't enjoy those anymore?" He couldn't help the curious note to his voice.

She shook her head as though to dismiss the subject, brushing a few strands of hair out of her face and back over her shoulder as she spoke. "It was kind of fun, even if I did fail, so I don't really mind. As for fighting... well, I guess after a certain amount of one-sided battles, it just gets tiresome."

Ridley nodded glumly. "Yeah, I get what you mean." He looked at the stage and sighed. "I'll probably get someone like Akira to fight against. Then, I'll end up dying in my first fight." He gave an awkward chuckle. "Talk about one-sided, huh?"

"Ah, right, Akira... She's my roommate, so we ended up sparring a lot last year. The first few times I fought her, it usually ended in just a few seconds. And once things started getting dragged out, she was nearly impossible to hit... Talk about annoying..."

"That does sound annoying," he agreed. Grinning brightly, he turned back to her. "That's okay, though! I'm sure if we work hard, we'll be able to not die!" Just as quickly as his enthusiasm came, in faded away. "At least, you'll be able to not die..."

"Aww, don't worry about it," MΓ iri said cheerfully. "Even if you aren't all that good at fighting, Summoned Weapons can usually compensate for that, to a certain extent. I'm really out of practice, myself, but I think I can probably pull something off. Doesn't really matter whether I do or don't, though, since I'll be blue-ranked either way." The redheaded girl sighed, shaking her head. "That being said, I honestly don't really get why I'm even here. Maybe as practice for the incoming Freshmen...?"

"Maybe you're right." Ridley winced as the one of the fighting freshman punched the other in the face. "I guess the weapons really do help a lot." He hesitated, wondering if he should ask her about her blue-rank status. After a moment, he decided not to. "Do you plan on fighting against any of the freshman?" Bashfully, he looked at the floor. "Well, I'm glad you're here, even if you don't have to be..." Ridley thought for a moment, wondering what he should for MΓ iri. It was the least he could do after bumping into her and acting all awkward. "Is there anything I can do to help out? To cheer you up or something?"

"Eh, maybe, maybe not. I'll probably just end up waiting and seeing if they even have anybody left for me to fight," she said, beginning to answer right as Ridley himself began speaking, seeming not to hear his added comment. Still, as he spoke up again, she grinned. "Help me out, hmm...? Well... Hey, it looks like the last fight just ended!" She suddenly stood up on her tiptoes, peering over the heads of the assembled crowd of students to see as a certain red-headed swordsman threw his spar and swiftly vacated the stage. For a moment, the other students seemed too confused to actually step up themselves, leaving the stage wide open. "

I know! Since we're both in the same boat, why don't we spar each other?" she asked, smiling innocently. "Regardless of who I fight or what I do, it's not like it'll have any real impact on my record, so I may just as well fight you as anybody else," MΓ iri explained.

"Uh, um... well..." he stammered, desperately trying to think of a way to say oh hell no without being rude. Unfortunately, no such way materialized. "I don't know if I'd be the best fighter, but... if... if you want..."

"Great!" MΓ iri beamed. "In that case, let's go! Quick, before somebody else steps up!" Reaching out, she grabbed him suddenly by the wrist, before turning and forcing her way between the loosely packed crowd with surprising speed, pulling him along in her wake. Within a matter of seconds, they were suddenly standing at the center of the room atop the stage. MΓ iri released his hand and strolled to the opposite end of the stage. "Hey, Akira, we'll be taking the next spar, okay?" she called by way of explanation before turning back to face Ridley. The grin on her face seemed to shift suddenly, fading to a... frown? If anything, for just a moment, she almost looked sad.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Akira Tererra Character Portrait: Ridley Sigivald Character Portrait: Issei Barusak Character Portrait: MΓ iri B. Allaway
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... and then everything suddenly shifted to a haze of red. MΓ iri had raised her hand at some point, but it immediately disappeared into an overwhelming, spiraling cascade of crimson, the very presence of which seemed to force down on Ridley's shoulders with an almost tangible weight. For a split second, this fog completely concealed the girl's form, before collapsing in on itself in an instant: revealing the weapon that had taken shape within MΓ iri's hand. The spear was even taller than the one who held it, somewhere between seven and eight feet in total length.

An odd, vein-like pattern crisscrossed its haft, while its blade gleamed with a faint internal light that seemed to pulse in time with the beating of an unseen heart. MΓ iri took a deep breath, spinning the weapon in her hand idly as she twirled it first around her hand, then behind her back, before finally spinning it around under her left arm, forcing down the spiked end of the spear into the floor of the platform with her right hand while suspending the weapon behind her back in the crook of her left elbow. Settling back onto the haft, she sat impossibly suspended despite the fact that the spear probably should have just fallen over on its side. She crossed her legs, giving a breathy sigh as she kicked her feet back and forth.

Ridley suddenly felt very, very nervous. Well, even more nervous than he'd been before, which he didn't know was possible. Slowly, Ridley's gaze went from the spear to the girl wielding it. MΓ iri looked, if anything, comfortable, treating the spear like an extension of her body. He shifted his feet into a parallel stance, a shoulder length apart, and bent his knees slightly. He raised his arms, curling his hands into a half-fist, putting his right hand in front of his left. Soft green light began to coalesce above his foreharms, flaring brightly before becoming a set of gold and black vambraces. They felt awkward and foreign on his arms, more like a clunky cover than a real weapon.

"Why did you say you failed freshman year, again?" His eyes flickered back and forth between MΓ iri and her weapon. "Was it really because you couldn't fight? I... I thought you said that your fights ended in a few seconds..."

"It was," MΓ iri said, giving a slight nod. Her expression seemed disinterested and vacant, as she simply stared expressionlessly back at him. "All the battles I fought... ended so quickly that skill was never a factor. All I needed to know to use my weapon was how to land a single thrust. Because of that, I wasn't deemed to have mastered any of the techniques my teachers considered necessary for advancement. So, I failed. That's why I said that sparring was boring to me: because all of the hard work I put into trying to master it ended up being completely pointless. It wasn't exciting. It wasn't even a challenge anymore. Armed with a weapon such as this, anyone could do the same."

He blinked rapidly. "Well, that's rather nice of you, isn't it?" Ridley said, blinking rapidly. He looked at the crowd and gulped. All those people made him nervous. Well, the girl in front of him made him nervous too, and he was trying really hard to not freak out, because dying while screaming and running away wasn't very dignifiedβ€”Ridley cut of his train of thought and took a deep breath. "I mean, it's better than toying with your opponents or rubbing it in their faces, right?" He slid one foot in front of the other. "Though... I don't appreciate you lying to me," he mumbled. "You made it seem like you... I dunno, weren't really strong. Not that that's a bad thing," he added hastily.

MΓ iri cocked her head to the side, seeming confused by his statement. "I never lied. Everything I told you was the truth. I thought I was just being polite about the whole arrangement. Would you have preferred if I'd started boasting about my power and talking about how hopelessly outmatched you are? I don't really like insulting people, so I figured it would be better to just not bring it up." She innocently rubbed in the difference between them, still seeming as absentminded as ever.

Ridley's answering laugh was high-pitched and almost hysterical. "So you're the Obi-Wan to my Luke Skywalker, huh? I mean, your spear is an awful lot like a lightsaber... Don't tell me you have force powers, too."

"I'm the what to your what?" she asked, seeming even more confused, blinking several times as she shifted slightly where she sat perched atop her spear.

"You know, 'What I told you was true, from a certain point of view...' " he trailed off. "No? Not familiar with Star Wars?" Ridley winced. "Never mind." He shook his head. "Just... kill me quickly, ok?"

"Nope. Don't wanna," MΓ iri replied, shaking her head with the air of a rebellious child. "Akira here already knows full well what I can do, so there's really not even much point in my being here. Really, you should consider this your chance to shine. If you manage to beat me, think of how impressed everybody will be!"

Ridley did a double-take. "I thought you said... wait a minute, you just told me you ended all your battles quickly!" he exclaimed, hopelessly confused by her sudden turnaround.

"I do. But since you haven't made a move yet, this isn't a battle. This is just my pre-fight warmup." She punctuated her rather implausible excuse by releasing her spear from her arms, kicking up off the ground with her feet and spinning herself around like a top before falling back-first off the weapon towards Ridley, hooking her legs around it to catch her fall and ending up dangling upside-down in front of him, staring him down with her vacant red eyes. Stretched taut as she fully extended her legs, the bodysuit she wore shimmered beneath the light fixtures above, framing her body just a bit too well.

Ridley desperately tried to drag his thoughts away from the direction they were going. While before he would have pegged itβ€”what an unfortunate word choiceβ€”as unintentional, he had an increasing suspicion she was doing it on purpose.

"Come on," she said coquettishly, a gasp working its way into her voice as she placed her hands on the ground, stretching herself out like a cat lounging in the sun. "There must be... at least some part of you..." Her words were interrupted as she stretched to her limits, letting out a high-pitched sigh that sounded less like she was simply warming up and much more like something else. "...That wants everybody to see how good you really are, right?"

Finishing her coaxing, she kicked up with her legs, using the leverage as the bent haft of her spear snapped back into place to push herself upward into a handstand, before hand-springing up to her feet, landing beside the weapon she'd planted in the stage. He coughed, feeling his face turn redder and his ears warm up. Ridley glanced away before snapping his attention back to her. Despite how much he really, really wanted to look at anything besides her performance (this wasn't entirely true, but he pretended it was), Ridley knew it was a bad idea to take his eyes off his opponent.

"Besides..." she added, slowly pulling the spear out of the small hole in the boards it had been wedged between and turning back towards her opponent once more. Propping it upright, she wrapped her left arm around it, hugging it tightly to her chest while winding her right leg around its base in a manner that seemed less like she was threatening Ridley with a weapon and more like she was offering to pole-dance for him. "I don't know about you, but I'd be more humiliated to get up in front of everyone and give up without trying than I would to give my all and lose," she added all-too-innocently.

Ridley tried to reply, but all that came out was a tiny creak. He opened and closed his mouth several times, feeling an awful lot like a stupid goldfish.

"And how humiliated are you right now getting up there and trying to seduce your opponent instead of just wiping him out?! Seriously, get on with it! Some of us want a turn!" somebody yelled back suddenly from the crowd. Encouraged by the one who'd spoken out, more began to join in.

"Stop gawking at her and take her down! Can't you see she's just trying to get in your head? I'll bet she's not even that tough!" another voice shouted.

"Don't fall for her ruse! She's just hazing you! The tits are a lie!" The watching students, previously restless, were now growing outraged. Yet, to Ridley's surprise, it wasn't him their anger was directed at. Rather, it was all pointed at his opponent.

"Skill isn't a factor my ASS! Take that cocky bitch down a peg!" More and more continued to call out to him, their voices cheering as one. Frankly, Ridley thought the other student's comments were a bit too mean. Sure, MΓ iri was... er, unique, but that didn't mean people had to insult her. For the first time, he felt a spark of anger among the hopeless confusion that engulfed him. Not just anger for MΓ iri, but anger at the whole situation. Why the hell was he here again? Then, he remembered that everyone was watching (and rooting for him, even worse), and the nervousness returned tenfold.

MΓ iri glanced from side to side, lowering her spear to her side and sliding it out from between her legs in favor of holding the weapon more normally, evidently having decided that enough was enough. Looking back to Ridley, she gave an unexpected smile, seeming not to care that most of the students present were currently cheering for her downfall. Actually, if anything, it almost seemed like she was trying to encourage Ridley, too. For the oddest reason, he found that slightly reassuring.

He took several deep breaths, feeling the tension begin to drain from his body. He could do this. He could totally do this. No, he totally couldn't. But he had to try.

"Are you ready?" asked Ridley, feeling a little better. "Would you like to go first?"

"Naturally," returned the girl in black, leveling her spear. "Although, you may regret offering me this chance...!" With these words, she spread her stance, drawing back her arm, and then suddenlyβ€”

And then suddenly what? What was even happening? The world was bathed in red, seeming to twist and shift. MΓ iri's form seemed to grow smaller, as though she'd suddenly gotten further away... or was it larger? Suddenly, she seemed only feet in front of him. As she lunged forward, bringing her spear towards him, he tried to step back on instinct, only for the spear to extend after him. Its tip collapsed inward, forming an incomprehensible red spiral that was reduced to a single point.

It didn't matter how far away she had been when she had started. It didn't matter how far he tried to run. Somehow, in the blink of an eye, the thrust had reached him. Or had he reached it? It felt like he was being sucked in somehow. Time seemed to slow to a crawl, as though he was falling into a black hole. The whole world seemed twisted and bent, like he was looking at reality through the cracks of a broken mirror. It was an utterly, completely, and totally unreasonable attack, but even before it connected, he could already feel it pushing against him, as though trying to cave his chest in on itself with its very presence. MΓ iri's arm stopped moving when the spear was just an inch short of him, pulling the attack at the last minuteβ€”but even if it never reached him, its power certainly would.

Instinctively, he brought his arms up, starting a block he had practiced hundreds of times in the dojoβ€”though Ridley felt it wouldn't make a differenceβ€”and bright green VIKA began to converge in front of his vambraces, in amounts he had never managed before. Ridley felt the opposing power slam against him, and the force nearly pushed him back, causing his balance to teeter precariously, and then... nothing? The fog shattered, and he found himself staring at the spear and MΓ iri.

The girl in black looked, quite simply, astonished. Her face was frozen, eyes wide, as she simply stared at him from across the platformβ€”had she always been that far away? Her spear, nowhere near long enough to have crossed the distance between them, wasn't glowing anymore, and aside from the rattling of the windows on the far side of the gym, there was no evidence of any of the overwhelming power he'd just felt.

"You... How...?!" MΓ iri gasped. "I hit you head on with Bradamante, but you're still standing? That's..." She got no further than this.

In a smooth movement, Ridley stepped inside her guard, moving parallel to the shaft of her spear. MΓ iri drew back, trying to bring her cumbersome weapon in to defend herself, but didn't have enough time to do so. One step, then two, and Ridley had covered the distance, drawing back his fist in a movement too quick to be telegraphed. VIKA, this time a paler green than before, accumulated at his right hand, and Ridley struck.

His fist hit her just below her collarbone. She gave a shrill yelp, taking a step back to try to regain her balanceβ€”only to be violently thrown several feet backward as the VIKA surrounding his gauntlet was released with the force of a miniature explosion. The crowd cheered. She slammed back down against the stage, barely managing to right herself in mid-air and landing on one knee, spinning her spear as she rose. In an instant, Ridley was upon her again, however.

"Sorry!" he blurted out, bringing a second fist down, aiming for her jaw. The gold ridges on his vambraces began to turn a pale green, extending in two claws. Panicking (he didn't want to kill her!), Ridley switched hands, punching with his right fist again. Seeing his first strike coming, MΓ iri had tried to leap to the side, this time bringing up her spear to intercept the first punch, only to be blindsided as he pulled it at the last second, striking her in the gut instead with a right hook and nearly knocking her off the stage.

However, planting the butt of her spear on the edge of the platform, she used its leverage to stop her momentum, before sweeping the blade back up to try and intercept the oncoming brawler. This upward lunge, however, didn't seem to contain nearly the same power as the last strike she'd leveled against him. Unfortunately, Ridley's hastily conjured block stopped her attack at an angle, and the blow pushed him to the side. He grunted at the blow, feeling it jar his left arm. He took advantage of the gained momentum (unintentionally) and twisted, bringing his leg into a kick at her side. At the same time, he gathered VIKA with his right hand, the green energy even brighter and paler than before.

However, he wasn't the only one who took advantage of the momentum of her turning strike. As her blade ricocheted off the rim of Ridley's gauntlet, she twisted the spear, bringing up its haft just as Ridley raised his foot to kick at her, hooking his knee from underneath. Although the spear itself didn't exert much force against him, something did, sending his knee far upward from where he'd intended it, and knocking him wildly off-balance. Bowled over by the force of his own inexplicably redirected strike, Ridley fell, just managing to catch himself on one knee. What in the world? The spearβ€”the weird energy field pulsing through it had to be the cause of his blunder. He wasn't the best at aiming, but even he wasn't bad enough to miss by several feet. Now, practically kneeling, he was a sitting duck for MΓ iri's counterattack.

Sure enough, in an instant, she'd raised her spear overhead... but she delayed a moment, twirling it twice above her, a fresh pulse of light flowing through it with each rotation. Now it made sense. She must have been gathering energy between attacks... which gave him the time to do the same! Catching the base of the spear as it spun, she brought the bladed tip down like a guillotine towards him, and at the same instant, he jumped forward, managing to bring himself to a half-standing position as he grabbed at the center of the spear's haft.

Sure enough, some intangible force fought back, trying to push his hand away, but by releasing the energy surrounding it, he managed barely to force his way through, laying hold of her weapon mid-stroke and stopping it inches above him. A mighty wind tore over his head, the air rushing into the vaccuum left in the strike's wake before bursting backward over his head with an audible crack. The windows rattled in their frames, and the stage shook... but MΓ iri's spear got no further, for the instant he'd laid hands on it, the strange power surrounding it seemed to fade to nothing.

Regardless of this, however, she struggled against him, trying to force the weapon down upon him, while he pushed back with all his might. He had the advantage of strength, but MΓ iri, standing fully upright, while he himself was still half-crouching, had the advantage of leverage. Nevertheless, he'd come too far to quit now, and so he gave one final push...

... and suddenly, he found himself met with no resistance. The spear twisted easily in his grasp, rising up and turning its bladed end away from him. Only too late he realized that his opponent had simply stopped pushing back, and had started raising the spear instead, causing it to slip suddenly and violently from his fingers. Having put too much force into his final shove, he stumbled to his feet, crashing headlong into MΓ iri, who in the same instant seemed to be trying to bring the weapon down.

Was she trying to hit him? He was in much too close for that. Regardless of her intentions, however, he found her arms reaching around over his shoulders as she stumbled from the collision, bringing down the spear horizontally behind him. He tried to disengage himself, only to be pulled down as she fell backward, the spear hooked around his back carrying him right down on top of her. To an onlooker, it might have seemed like he'd simply overpowered her... but somehow, he had a feeling that this wasn't an accident.

Ridley suddenly realized the position he was in. Fully splayed on top of her, faces close, chests... touching... the blood rushed into his face all at once, and his eyes widened. Letting out an undignified (and very unmanly) squeak, Ridley tried to jerk backwards off of her, but the spear behind him only caused him to fall back onto her, this time pushing him even closer. MΓ iri shifted beneath him, giving a quiet moan as she blinked several times, seemingly disoriented by the impact. Her expression seemed to clear, and she stared up at him, giving a sly grin.

"Ah... I would prefer to be the one on top, but I guess being held down is fine, too," she sighed in a manner that made any further assumptions of her innocence impossible. However, after a moment of gazing up at him, seeming somehow triumphant despite being unquestionably defeated, she let her arms slump to her sides, her spear dissipating into the scarlet mist from whence it had come.

He flailed, physically, mentally, and verbally. "I'm so sorryβ€”I'll get off youβ€”A-Are you alright? I didn't mean to be on topβ€”I mean, it's ok if you're on the bottom, no, that's not what I meant! Are you ok? Is it ok if I..." Finally, Ridley managed to extract himself from the awkward position, dismissing his weapons in a flash of emerald light. MΓ iri didn't answer at once, instead pushing herself up as Ridley swiftly extricated himself from where he'd ended up inadvertedly straddling her lap. However, as she did so, MΓ iri unexpectedly leaned forward, whispering in his ear as she rose.

"See? You're really quite strong, after all."

Dusting herself off, she turned to Akira, beaming innocently - although her much more prim and proper roommate would doubtless be scowling at her with unbridled murderous intent for all the stunts she'd pulled in front of the entire freshman body by now. "Hey, Akira, I lost, so give Ridley here a good score, okay?" She tossed up her hands in evident surrender, before turning back to Ridley and, rather uncharacteristically, gave him a very proper bow.

"Good fight!" she said cheerfully as she lifted her head, seemingly unperturbed either by her loss or by the uproarious cheering of most of the students who'd been disgusted by her antics prior to the battle. Tossing her hair back over her shoulder, she walked off the stage without another word, leaving a very baffled Ridley in her wake.

"... what just happened?" he asked the air. He stared after her. "That was..." Ridley paused, trying to think of a word to describe the girl. "That was MΓ iri," he said finally.

If the rest of the year was anything like his first day, Ridley had a feeling that his time at the Academy would be very, very... different.

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Character Portrait: MΓ iri B. Allaway
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As I strolled out of the gymnasium, I couldn't help but feel... confused, I guess, is the right word to describe it. I wasn't confused because I didn't understand what had just taken place, however. Rather, I was confused because, quite frankly, I didn't understand my own actions.

The match had been unimportant. Losing was acceptable. That was all well and good. But, if I'd just wanted to throw the fight, I could have just forfeited the moment it began. I didn't have to actually make it look as though I'd been beaten, much less actually engineer a situation in which I had no winning condition so that I'd be beaten for real! At what point had challenging that boy to a spar because I didn't care about my own results turned into helping him get a good ranking? That wasn't any of my business, and I was sure that, if he realized that I'd set the whole thing up, he'd probably be furious at me for committing such a grave insult.

And yet, when I thought about it, I knew exactly when my intentions had changed, and why. I'd summoned Bradamante and stared him down, ready for a quick and easy fight. Either my attack would hit and eliminate him, or he'd hit me and I could say I tried and just give up. But, after I'd let him see through all of my ruses, he hadn't even wanted to fight.

"Never mind. Just... kill me quickly, okay?"

The look on his face when he'd said that made me feel as though I'd just murdered a puppy. He wasn't just mad that I'd given him a complete and total misconception for my own amusement. He'd been completely crushed. He just stood there, hopelessly, waiting for me to end a battle that he felt was impossible for him to fight. I think I had worn a similar look, once - my weapons broken, my efforts thwarted, and my hopes completely shattered, again and again and again. As I had realized just how much my words and my tricks had hurt him, I knew that I'd made a mistake. My joke, my "strategy," had gone much too far. And so, I had to make amends. I had to do something to solve the problem I'd caused.

In that moment, I had wanted nothing more than him to hit me. I wanted him to pummel me, defeat me in the most humiliating manner possible, such that it didn't appear that I'd ever had any chance of winning at all. I wanted to experience the instantaneous, crushing defeat that I'd inflicted so carelessly on so many opponents. Maybe then, he'd have the resolve to keep fighting. Maybe then, he'd smile again.

So, I did the only thing I could. I pushed him as far as I could, taunting him, toying with him. As expected, he didn't react at once... but the crowd certainly did. I've played the part of the villainess plenty of times since first summoning my weapon, and I like to think I'm pretty good at it. I was underhanded, and I was transparent. In an instant, everyone's hatred and irritation was directed at me for being so insufferably smug, for taunting someone who already didn't want to fight. Between their encouragement and my provocation, I had managed to, at the very least, give him the courage to stand up to me.

In the process of my boasting, I had also initially revealed the nature of my spear's most powerful attack, my certain-kill thrust. I'd been confident that he'd dodge it, then rush in. I'd purposely expend all of my spear's power on the very first attack, so as to ensure that I couldn't use its ability to defend against his retaliation. He'd hopefully knock me down, or disarm me, in his first rush, but in case he didn't hit me hard enough to settle things instantly, I'd prepared a few other ways to ensure my defeat. I purposefully spun my spear only right before using its abilities, allowing him to see the correlation between the two. Then, I used its distortion effect to redirect an inconsequential attack, so that he'd understand how it worked in time to prevent the coup de grace I was evidently betting the fight on from landing. Sure enough, he discovered Bradamante's main weakness, and managed to save himself. At that point, everything came down to a final struggle of strength, which I purposefully lost right as he was exerting his utmost effort, dragging him down on top of me so that it would look like he'd tackled me and placed me in a position where I couldn't fight back. At that point, no one would question that he had been the victor.

BGM: RIVAL

I had atoned for hurting him by giving him a competent first impression, and earning for him the support of most of the other freshmen. Once stories started circulating that he'd managed to beat me soundly, I was confident that some of the older students would also probably flock to him. It was the first step in accumulating his renown. And, in my experience, if everyone else believed in you, it was pretty hard not to believe in yourself. Maybe then, that talent of his for combat would finally get to shine...

His talent. That, if anything, had been something I hadn't anticipated. I'd wanted my thrust to fail, and wanted him to hit me, but the way it had happened had been completely different from my original plan. I had wanted him to dodge, and so had given him plenty of early warning, telling him he'd regret giving me the first shot, and making it painfully obvious what attack I was going to do. After having told him exactly how dangerous it was, I'd thought he'd simply get out of the way. But that boy had surprised me. Instead, he'd created some kind of VIKA-powered shield... and had withstood the attack without a single scratch. It seemed incomprehensible to me. For the past two years, I'd never met a single person who would stand in the path of one of my thrusts and emerge unharmed. Yet, unlikely though it might have seemed, this boy apparently possessed enough power to do so.

I wanted to fight him again. There was an aching longing in my heart, like a hole deep down inside me that I'd had no way before now to fill. In that moment, seeing my most powerful attack stopped in its tracks by that brilliantly gleaming shield, I'd felt the faintest hint of the old thrill once more. I wanted more. I needed more. No more underhanded tricks to wither away at his resolve. No more hints or holding back. Just my power against his, to see once and for all whose talent was greater! This must have been what had been missing! This boy was the rival I'd been looking for!

"Ridley Sigivald... That was his name," I murmured to myself, my voice ringing in the empty corridors as I walked aimlessly away from the gym. I was too overjoyed to really care where, in particular, I was going. "I'll be sure to remember it." Grinning to myself, I found myself practically skipping for glee, repeating his name in a melodious sing-song until it was ingrained into my memory. "Ridley, Ridley, Ridley, Ridley, Ridley! Yup, I've definitely got it!"

I laughed out loud. For the first time since Bradamante had appeared, I had a goal.

I had finally found what I had spent the last two years searching for... and his name was Ridley.

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Character Portrait: Issei Barusak Character Portrait: MΓ iri B. Allaway
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Issei was frustrated that things had not gone just as planned. The goal was to be seen as pathetic in terms of combat skills and to have let the person he was fighting wipe the floor with him, but that had not come to be. Rather, because he had been training the entirety of his life, Issei had accidentally evaded a lot of his attacks with relative ease and found it almost impossible to stop. Even worse is that he retaliated due to being irritated with himself and almost cost him the fight! He could not have imagined just how hard losing a fight could truly be before now. Barusak was not even sure what rank he would get now, but he still held on to the hope he would become a blue rank.

Luckily, Issei was not one to stay mad for too long. When he saw who was approaching the stage, his eyes lit up like christmas lights. It seemed that young woman from before - with that dark-red hair - was now fighting some young man. Normally, one would think somebody who knew pretty much only battle would be excited because he would be witnessing a fight or something along those lines. Issei's motive, however, was simply to enjoy the view of a beautiful woman's legs as they moved in action. He could not care less about how the fight turned out, so long as she wasn't harmed in a way that her beauty would fade, though Issei would not mind seeing a woman stand triumphant. That too interested him, but he had no idea what the words "sadism" and "masochism" meant, so this was yet another thing about himself he was still not aware of.

Quite odd indeed was the fact that as this fight went on, Issei's interest in it increased exponentially. Whereas originally he was watching it for perverted reason, he found himself both confused and intrigued at the actions displayed by the two, particularly the woman, whose weapon and ability seemed very unique. She could apparently use her VIKA to make her attack close the distance between her and her opponent to some degree. Something like that was new to Issei. He wondered to what extent she could manipulate this ability. It would be important to know the limits so that he could....

Wait, why would he need to know? He didn't, did he?

No, there was no point in learning that woman's ability or her limitations with it. That was only useful if he wanted to fight and beat her. He had no such intentions. He did not want to seem capable like the rest of his family, at least anymore than he did with his own fight. If he could beat somebody with a special ability like hers, then that would be worse than effortlessly beating that Fei person! But... it wasn't like he could draw his eyes away from the fight. Even he was becoming excited to see how this ended, though he was sure it was the girl's victory. She seemed to be drawing the boy in. He did not pay attention to her face so much as he paid attention to how she moved. He figured she must be plotting something.

Or... maybe he misjudged it?

The fight... ended? And it was with her defeat. Maybe he was overestimating her? But to him, she looked so very confident in everything that she was doing. Her body, that was. He thought they were the movements of someone who was sure what they were doing. He could not tell what she was going to do, but he could tell they weren't acts of desperation. To Issei, it was much like she was reenacting a play of some sorts, almost as though her moves had been rehearsed beforehand. Not the kind of motions you would expect from somebody who is only capable of reacting. These were mostly moves of somebody who was in complete control of their situation, not somebody who was relying on instinct. But since she lost, he figured he was simply assuming too much. After all, there were a couple of moments in the fight where this did not hold true. Especially when her blow was defended against. She was certainly surprised there. But... still, he thought he was onto something.

Ah, brother was always better at seeing these kinds of things.

He tried dismissing it as him not being good enough to see through everyone and everything. After all, when he tried to deduce his brother's next attack by looking at his body language and the like during training (and his actual fight), he failed miserably. That was, of course, an indicator that he had not yet perfected this ability. It was completely possible he was just expecting too much from her. Perhaps he held her in a favorable light because of how good she looked? That he was seeing things in her that he wanted to see? There was only one thing to do, yes? He had to find the girl and ask her about it. She would either tell him yes or tell him no, but it would be better than worrying about if he was competent at picking up these kinds of things.

He was not sure if he would get into trouble for abandoning the rest of the students, but he figured that since the person he wanted to speak to was doing it, he could too. He also did not care about any punishment aside from expulsion, and figured he was safe. The girl with the odd spear had left the gymnasium, and Issei followed soon after, managing to get out without being stopped. He had to increase his pace to catch up with the girl, as he only caught sight of her just as she left.

When he approached her, he could tell she was mumbling something to herself, though he wasn't sure what. It seemed she was overjoyed at something, too. That was certainly not what he would expect somebody who just lost to feel like. He began to feel that his instincts were correct about that fight, at least to some degree. Issei then soon caught up to her, managing to walk beside her at the weird pace she was going. He did not speak immediately though, as he was trying to piece together her odd behavior. Apparently, she did not notice him. She gave a laugh out of the blue that would have startled any normal person by how out of place it was. Yet, because Issei was definitely the weirdest one out of the two, he did not particularly mind. He was more concerned with how happy she was, rather than being worried at the odd laughter.

As though there was nothing wrong with him having silently walked beside her for about a minute, Issei spoke up. "Hey, is it normal to be that happy when you lose?" he asked curiously. He could not imagine someone else having a situation that would make it beneficial to be defeated. "I think that the results of that battle you were in were about as accurate as mine, but you seem to be a lot better at losing than I am." he said this in a way that made it sound like he was envious, despite the words looking as though they were a form of insult. As if remembering something important, he quickly added, "Oh, and I'm Issei. Issei Barusak. I was told introductions are what you're supposed to start with, but I am not too good with people, so sorry about that."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Fintan Fletcher (Fin) Character Portrait: Akira Tererra Character Portrait: Ridley Sigivald Character Portrait: Issei Barusak Character Portrait: Isamu Hisoka Character Portrait: Seth Yagami Character Portrait: MΓ iri B. Allaway Character Portrait: Eve Eden
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Fintan quietly watched the battles proceed. Shuffling he adjusted his position leaning against the wall when suddenly he felt a thumb against the side of his shoulder. Surprised Fin looked to his right to find a small boy scrambling back almost falling into a bow of apology.

"E-E-Excuse m-me...! I'm sorry I didn't mean to run into you, I should've been watching where I was going!" the boy stumbled for her words and by the look of his expression when he lifted his head Fin would have guessed it was because he was embarrassed.

"Don't worry about it, these things happen." Fin waved his hand as a gesture to the boy he wasn't upset by the incident. It was then that he noticed the boy was still carrying his uniform. "You know you should probably get that on already" his eyes glanced at the folded uniform in the boys hands. "We are 'officially' students as of today after all" he smiled warmly, trying to be polite. It wasn't his strong suite, being polite.

'BAM'

Suddenly a loud crash echoed as a young girl had exploded a cannon through the ceiling. Fin didn't flinch but he noticed the young girl being dragged away by another. His lips opened slightly to let out a small chuckle at the new gaping hole "Well, if that isn't a sure way to kick off the year I don't know what is" he said amused.

"Are you here to watch the fights? I find it best to learn what you can about an opponent so I'm thoroughly enjoying this" he spoke with a little sarcasm but was honest.


Next to battle was an orange haired fellow, from his movements and actions Fin could see clearly he wasn't an amateur like some of the students here. However, something was off... It was almost as though the guy was holding back, he couldn't fathom why and then to his surprise the boy threw in the towel and admitted defeat. He was definitely a skilled swordsman, he would need to watch out for this Orange haired fellow.

Following the Orange head up was a boy with black hair much like Fins. To Fin's interest, the boys weapon was a rifle. Adjusting his position Fin began to watch this fight more closely than the others. He may be a sniper, but Fin understood more than anything else what it took to handle a fire arm. His shots weren't random, he aimed well and was precise. The boy knew how to use his firearm, however, when he had an obvious hit the boy froze. Fin raised his eyebrow as he watched the boy sweat, and suddenly yell the name 'Sarah' before passing out. "I wonder.." Fin muttered to himself in thought. It was unusual for that to have happened, but from what he could see the boy was a good shot, it was only his self-will that prevented him firing. There was likely more too him that met the eye.

Third was a woman who looked a little older than some of the other students. She was definitely confident in herself, she walked with the air surrounding her full of her confidence and her words backed that up. Her opponent was boy, he seemed a little hesitant to start when she summoned her lance. It was an impressive lance Fin had to admit. Some of the audience began to holler at the girl causing Fin to frown. "Arrogant, I'm sure there' only saying those things because she probably beat them in the past' he said shaking his head. Some people just can not accept their own weakness. As the battle began the boy summoned vambraces. From the stance of them both Fin half expected the girl to win but he knew battles could always take a turn. The boy turned out not be half bad, but his was still hesitant even apologising at one point for a perfect block of her attack. Watching them Fin was impressed by them both as the boy won the battle after a rather awkward looking tussle. It was a fair fight.

"Entertaining isn't it?" Fin mused to the green haired boy who had bumped into him. Now that he thought about it was unsual to see green hair these days.

"YOU!" A Shout from the center of the room caught Fin's attention. He looked over to the stage and saw a medium height girl pacing rather itching to fight. "I choose you as my opponent" she looked directly in Fin's direction. He paused and blinked for a moment before glancing towards the red head who was in charge of all this, from the chatter he had overhead her name was Akira. He didn't know this opponent but Fin let out a heavy exasperated sigh.

"You sure?" he rubbed his temple stepping away from the wall.

"Oh, i'm sure. You've done nothing but sit and watch all day I bet you'll be easy" the ginger haired girl seemed pleased with herself.

"Fine" Fin knew he needed to get his battle over with sooner or later. Pausing Fin turned back to the green haired boy "See you round?" he nodded to him before heading towards the center of the stage. It was then he realised he hadn't yet got the green heads name. He put on his to do list.

"Alright then, shall we start by introducing ourselves?" Fin said flexing his fingers as he moved to stand dead spot center. Might as well have a civilised fight and at least know each other's names thought.

"Harriot Winterfall, otherwise the person you're about to loose too" She smirked.

Fin raised an eyebrow at her comment "Fintan Fletcher, but I prefer Fin" he didn't feel a need to respond to her comment.

"Like it matters" she moved nearby his left but left some space in between them. She was waiting to see what his summon was before getting closer. Smart.

"Ready when you are" Fin also chose not to respond to that comment.

"I was ready yesterday" she beamed moving her right hand and opening her palm. A flash of purple smoke sank up from her palm stretching out and solidifying into a blade. It was a crude curved blade, teeth marks etched into it, the hilt a simple design. "Here I come! she shouted again and swiftly began to run towards Fin her blade raised.

Fin didn't move a muscle. He stayed where he was stood not watching her directly but he kept her in vision. As she reached him she seemed a little hesitant to attack but continued none the less. Swinging her blade she aimed the curve to strike directly at his neck.

"Childs play" Fin muttered and faster than was humanly possible he ducked. The girl's sword flung through thin air where his head had been the momentum causing her to fall forward and catch her balance. She sharply turned around to stare at him, anger in her eyes. Not wasting time she ran towards him again instead, this time, she aimed to propel her blade up towards his chest.

"My turn" Fin smirked at her. In one quick movement, Fin thrust both of his arms beside him, palms facing out. A shimmer of white smoke purged from his elbows snaking around his arms, crawling towards his palms before it expanded around his hands evaporating as soon as it appeared. However what was left behind were two semi-automatic guns. Within his left hand was a dazzling silver gun, his right held onto an onyx black. Within the space of 3 seconds, this happened.

Bending at his knees Fin turned his torso to face Harriot charging towards him. She realized to late what had happened, that he had summoned his weapons, as the shock in eyes to try and change direction proved so. Fin raised his eyebrow at her before letting his forefingers press against the triggers. White light flashed through both of the guns chambers following the trajectory of the bullets as they were shot.

Some had described them as Fin's ying and yang weapons.

Harriot pulled up her blade to block the bullets. She managed to block one, however the guns were both double barrelled, they each produced two bullets at a time. The second bullet flung past her ear scraping across her earlobe, the other hit directly onto her shoulder, the third hit into her thigh. She fell to the floor in an instant.

"You son of -" she angrily glared at him clutching her leg withdrawing her summoned blade.

"Maybe don't get too big for your shoes next time. Fin sighed at her also withdrawing his weapons. White smoke appeared but instead reversed back up his arm in contrary to how they had been summoned. "be glad they were only blanks" he said turning away from her as some other girls ran to help her stand up. She was going to have two hefty bruises from those hits.

Before Fin left the stage he paused to glance towards the red head in charge, "Akira Right?" he asked "You've got your work cut out for you" he stated before tucking his hands in his pockets and sauntered back towards his spot on the wall to ponder.

Some students stared at him, others muttered around him. Fin had no care for them. He was at this school to improve his skill and no other reason.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Fintan Fletcher (Fin) Character Portrait: Akira Tererra Character Portrait: Ridley Sigivald Character Portrait: Issei Barusak Character Portrait: Isamu Hisoka Character Portrait: Seth Yagami Character Portrait: MΓ iri B. Allaway Character Portrait: Eve Eden
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Location: Gymnasium
Time: Monday, 11:20 am. - 1:30 pm.





Akira observed as the fights happened. She was confused as to what was going on with these students mentally. They all had different personalities, and apparently one kid like thighs? Akira shook the thought from her mind. She could already tell it was going to be one roller-coaster ride of a year. She glanced at the hole in the roof and sighed. Taking out her walkie-talkie (she didn't like calling it that, since it sounds silly), she signaled, "Can I get a repairman or builder? One of the students blew a hole in the roof during the ranking battles. Thank you." Yep. This was an odd bunch.

She watched more battles before a black-haired student walked past her. "Yeah, that's me. I certainly can't deny that." The battles went on for about another two hours, before ending. She sauntered up to the front once again. "Now that the ranking test is over, it's time to mingle! Meet some new friends. You'll need them. And then, after about an hour and a half or so, Report to the dining hall for supper. Tomorrow, Your ranks will be posted by weapon class on the same board with the map in the hallway. Also, breakfast will be held at 7:00 tomorrow morning. You don't have to go if you don't want to though. Classes will begin tomorrow as well. Don't be late for your first class either! If you have any questions at all, you can ask me at any time. Your dismissed!"

She wasn't looking forward to meeting anyone, but she had to anyway. A group of students, mostly boys with a few girls sprinkled, walked up to her and asked a lot of questions. She didn't like getting swarmed with so many people, but she coped. She could only hope that somebody would talk some sense into these people. Teach em' what personal space is. She couldn't do that herself, because she knew they wouldn't listen to her. Akira rolled her eyes and answered as many questions as she could.

{OOC: Sorry my posts are so short. They should get longer as more interesting stuff happens and people interact with Akira more.}

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Character Portrait: Issei Barusak Character Portrait: MΓ iri B. Allaway
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I was, unfortunately, broken out of my little reverie by a voice suddenly speaking up behind me. Evidently, someone had been following me around when I hadn't been paying attention - and, much to my confusion, it was a certain someone I recognized, too.

"Hey, is it normal to be that happy when you lose?" The red-haired boy from before was standing there, his head cocked slightly sideways in earnest confusion.

I thought about his question for a moment. I supposed not. Most people would be frustrated that they hadn't done better, and I was reasonably certain that most girls also wouldn't have enjoyed being defeated by having a boy forcing them down and straddling them. Granted, in retrospect, I probably took that particular joke a bit too far. While I did like being admired, allowing the entire freshman body to gawk at me was definitely selling my charms too cheaply. The boy- No, Ridley's face, when he'd realized what I'd done, had made it totally worth the shame, though.

"I guess not," I replied. "But I'm not exactly normal, either. I would prefer an interesting loss to a boring victory. Ridley provided me with exactly that."

The boy didn't seem to be paying attention. "I think that the results of that battle you were in were about as accurate as mine, but you seem to be a lot better at losing than I am," he said, sounding strangely sad at the comparison. I tried to puzzle through his meaning, wondering if he meant to belittle my skills, only to remember exactly how his match had gone. It had been roughly two and a half minutes of some incompetent schmuck stumbling around trying to hit him, while the redhead himself hardly seemed to be giving any effort. I'd fought enough one-sided battles to know one when I saw one, and his hadn't been any different in that regard. And yet, instead of claiming his win, he'd forfeit. Had he been trying to throw the match all along? I suppose it made sense. He could have won at any time instead of dragging it out, yet he hadn't. In that case... shit, he'd seen through me?! I thought I'd managed to make my defeat look pretty damn convincing, but apparently, this boy, at least, hadn't been fooled. Yet, despite that, he was still complimenting me on my ruse... Apparently.

"I'm glad someone appreciates the effort I put into setting that up - although, I'd appreciate it if you didn't inform anyone - especially not the boy I fought - of the fact that my loss was deliberate." I sighed. Just talking to this boy, whoever he was, made me feel a little lightheaded. His head seemed to reside forever in the clouds, so maybe it was the reduced levels of oxygen getting to me? Wait, what the hell even was that metaphor? Maybe he was just eating my brain matter using psychic powers or something and bringing me down to his own level of weird.

"Oh, and I'm Issei. Issei Barusak." Huh? Barusak? Why did that name sound familiar to me...? I couldn't really place it. "I was told introductions are what you're supposed to start with, but I am not too good with people, so sorry about that."

"Whatever. It's not like I'm some kind of professor of Human interaction myself. I'm MΓ iri. MΓ iri B. Alloway." Adding the "B." served absolutely no purpose, but I liked to do it anyway. It made my name sound much more formal and important than it actually was. Or something like that. Speaking of names, now that I thought about it, I was pretty sure I knew where I'd heard "Barusak" before. Hadn't mother been talking about it... right... before...

Oh. Right. Damnit. She'd said that there was some other student from a "distinguished bloodline" who'd be attending Terrera this year. Apparently, he was supposedly some kind of big shot genius summoner with parents as famous as my own mother and father, and, from what they'd said, I was supposed to make nice with him so as to make a good impression with his family. Apparently, mother wanted to secure some kind of an alliance, but I wasn't really sure of much more than that. Still, just the knowledge that mother wanted me to be friends with this person made me feel an admittedly irrational hatred for him.

"So?" I asked pointedly. "You seem to have been following me around a lot. Is there something you want, or...?" I cocked my head to the side, folding one arm across my chest and assuming my usual pose. Come to think of it, he'd been the one who accosted me right before the ranking examinations, hadn't he? I couldn't help but wonder if he realized now, seeing me dressed as I was, that he'd passed judgement on me much too soon. Well, he hadn't given me the chance for a take back, so I wouldn't show him that courtesy, either!

...Unless he had some really, really good words of praise, as well as an apology for judging me too harshly. Then I might consider it, at least.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Fintan Fletcher (Fin) Character Portrait: Akira Tererra Character Portrait: Issei Barusak Character Portrait: Isamu Hisoka Character Portrait: Seth Yagami Character Portrait: MΓ iri B. Allaway Character Portrait: Eve Eden Character Portrait: Leilani Reynardi
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Leilani rolled her eyes at the displays going on. Half the people she had witnessed were holding back for bullshit reasons and the other half were treating combat like some ritual with rules. Her musings were interrupted by a girl tapping her on the shoulder, some white-haired brat with a rapier. "Excuse me, but that getup makes you look like a total dweeb, I bet you're not even Green-Rank!" Leilani smirked, knowing exactly what this girl was about to say.

"And if I was, you'd say it doesn't matter because you're a Red?" The girl was just on the verge of her snotty remark before shockingly stopping and looking at Leilani, who stretched out and summoned Auburn Gleam, letting it coil around her arm. "Alright, prove it. I'll up the stakes, since you're confident, loser goes on a five-mile run around the school wearing a shirt that says 'I was wrong', deal?" The girl took a step back, then nodded, joining Leilani in the center area, each taking three steps back before leaping at the other. The girl swung her rapier, ice and fire wrapping around the blade... and stopped her swing midflight, Auburn Gleam having wrapped around her arm and locked its position so it wouldn't move. Leilani yanked Auburn back, and the girl was promptly pulled off her feet, her flight stopped by a solid roundhouse kick to the stomach. Auburn unraveled from around her arm and sent the white-wearing wannabe flying several feet back, the fight over as soon as it started. Leilani jogged over to the girl and helped her up, dusting her off before whispering in her ear "See you out there at six tomorrow morning, I'll have the shirt ready." With the girl still reeling, she walked off, trying to hide the slight limp she had given herself from screwing up her kick and twisting her ankle. If there had been a mindreader nearby, they'd have been learning several new swears from her at the moment as she jogged off towards the nurses office.

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Character Portrait: Issei Barusak Character Portrait: MΓ iri B. Allaway
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"I'm glad someone appreciates the effort I put into setting that up - although, I'd appreciate it if you didn't inform anyone - especially not the boy I fought - of the fact that my loss was deliberate." she sighed as she told him.

Knowing that he was not misjudging the situation was comforting to the Barusak. He could not help but smile, for it meant that his judgement was solid, but continued on to introduce himself.

"Whatever. It's not like I'm some kind of professor of Human interaction myself. I'm MΓ iri. MΓ iri B. Alloway." the girl finally said.

Issei was not sure why she had believed he assumed her to be of that occupation, but decided to remain quiet and listen to the rest of her introduction. And, akin to how she had felt a familiarity with his name, Issei felt that same ping when she introduced herself. However, unlike she, he had never once taken to formalities nor had he bothered to remember anything that did not pertain to his training. It was possible that his parents wished for the two to get along, and it was also possible that he could also have the same unjustified prejudice against her as well if he only recalled why that name felt familiar, but the truth was that he had simply could not care less for such things. The feeling never evolved to recollection, and moments later he had all but forgotten it.

"It is nice to meet you, MΓ iri B. Alloway. You have a simple surname." he said. He had heard once that repeating somebody's name after hearing it would help you remember it, but he almost felt like it was unnecessary with her last name. That, of course, was a positive to him. Complicated names were nothing more than complicated names to him, so not having to worry about messing it up could only be seen as a benefit as far as he was concerned.

Leaving that comment, there was a small silence between the two before MΓ iri decided to speak up. "So? You seem to have been following me around a lot. Is there something you want, or...?" she asked, striking a nice pose (he thought). Issei had the feeling that she did not particularly like speaking to him. He briefly pondered the thought that he had done something to wrong her, but did not immediately come up with something, so he came to decide that it was unlikely she was upset with him. Her tone must usually be like it was right now. He decided to focus on what she said, rather than how she said it. Being the straightforward character he was, Issei told her exactly why he had approached her.

"I was... curious. It is because I believed you were going to lead that young man into some kind of trap and defeat him at the last moment. But, despite noticing a sizable difference in power between the both of you, he came out the victor. It did not seem to be overconfidence or a trick on his behalf." he explained his reasoning very seriously. His expression also mirrored his tone. "For what reason would another person intentionally lose a battle? It would be odd to assume that you share my reasons, so I wanted to discover the reason for myself."

That was it. He had answered her question of what he wanted. His true intentions were out in the open for her to hear. He had also confessed to throwing his own match. Maybe it was to give her a reason to trust him? Perhaps not intentionally, but there was a small chance that it was possible. And now that she knew that he was curious, he could only say one more thing. Before she could say anything, he did.

"And also you had said something about wearing black better? The school uniform does not bring out your figure anywhere as good as your dark suit does, so I am glad to see you were correct in saying that! I am afraid I have not seen such attire before, but it is wonderfully pleasant! It could be a strong contender for proper socks!"

Oh, there it was.

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I grinned at his rapid re-assessment of his earlier opinions. Well, I still wasn't going to do mother any favors and force myself to get along with his boy if I didn't want to, but at the very least, I supposed I could tolerate him if he didn't sell my appearance short. Nodding to myself, I gave a theatrical sigh. "And yet, no matter how comfortable, practical, and aesthetically pleasing it is, they still won't give up their stupid plaid uniform and let me dress as I please. Quite the tragedy, that." I shrugged, returning my attention to the matter he'd actually approached me to ask about. Since he already knew that I'd thrown the fight, I suppose it didn't matter if he also knew why I'd done so. And yet... come to think of it, I really didn't want to tell him. After all, how stupid would it have been to just come out and admit that I'd messed up, felt guilty, and decided to meddle in somebody else's business to make up for my own mistakes? But, if not out of that sort of sympathy, why would I have thrown the fight...? I could have said it was just laziness, but... Losing, even deliberately, called my talent into question. It was to be avoided if at all possible, so as not to make light of my natural gifts and power!

"R-regardless, it's not like I let myself lose for any particular reason," I said hastily, trying to dismiss the question without either lying - which would be dishonorable - or giving him a straight answer - which would be embarrassing. "More like... a lot of little things just made me decide that winning wasn't worth it. Like, I'd still be Blue ranked no matter what I did, and... and my opponent was clearly talented, so it would have been insulting to him to not give him the chance to show what he could do... And... and I guess I didn't get much sleep last night either, so I was still kind of tired, and... Augh, whatever!" I ran a hand angrily through my hair, brushing it violently out of my face. "Long story short, winning wasn't worth it, so I decided not to."

There was a momentary silence. I looked away slightly, clearing my throat loudly as I tried to regain my composure. Really, that answer should have satisfied him. I couldn't imagine why it wouldn't have. And, it wasn't like I was lying. I hadn't wanted to make a mockery of Ridley's talents... and the battle really hadn't been one worth fighting... When you got down to it, that was all there was to it, right? All that stuff about seeing him sad... about accidentally hurting his feelings and then trying to make up for it... Right, I'd never do something like that! That would be meddling, and meddling was something I never did. I'd probably just been mistaken, and the real reason was because I'd realized how talented he was right from the get-go! Why else would the one person I chose to challenge end up being capable of blocking Bradamante? Yup, this was definitely just my excellent instincts at work - nothing more, nothing less!

...Damnit. My lies sounded even less convincing than usual when they were directed at myself. I sighed heavily, and simply hoped that I could forget about those feelings of guilt and pity as quickly as possible. Getting so involved in the affairs of others was unsightly for me and insulting for them.

Glancing back to Issei, I decided that the best way to start forgetting would be to force the conversation away from this topic as quickly as possible. "So?" I asked pointedly. "Was that all?"

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