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Akio the Wanderer

"So...anyone want to play a game of Mahjong?"

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a character in “The Multiverse”, as played by NeverEndingFlip

Description

Name
Akio Hanatori

Title
"Akio the Wanderer" or "Akio the Gambler"

Gender
Male

Age
Mid 30s, although few truly know.





Appearance

Image

His hair is long and jet black, constantly tied in a ponytail behind him. His eyebrows are pointed and his gaze is fierce. His skin remains tan from near constant exposure to sunlight. He might give off a slight country impression with the five o'clock shadow and the grass jutting out between the teeth of a thin smile. As being a wanderer would suggest, he doesn't have many outfits to choose from. Therefore, he is constantly wearing the worn blue Kimono with a white belt tied around the waist. His wrists are laced with leather. His pants are grey and plain as are his shoes. He definitely fits the look.

Personality

A simple man with a simple plan. Akio is a fairly witty person with a very good poker face and a charm to his nature that is undeniable. With years of practice at gambling, he has developed an ability to hide his emotions behind a constant grin, never revealing his true colors to those he didn't deem worthy. One of his most notable qualities is that he is very humble in victory and gracious in defeat. He has a calm exterior and is very informal on the outside. Despite this composed version of himself, he carries a ferocity in his eyes when he's determined. Hidden under his mask is a nobility that runs through his veins...a sense of honor. He will fight for what's just and fight against what's corrupt in the end.




Skills, Weapons, and Abilities

Supreme Skill: He is very dexterous, able to strike rapidly and with accuracy. It is a marvel to see him fight with a blade or a bow as he can get off more than a hundred blade swings in under a minute.

Supreme Weakness: He is very lightly armored. A couple of good hits could do him in if the opponent can achieve them.

Weapons: Yumi- A very tall but thin bow that is lightweight and versatile. Akio's is shortened in size for mobility, but is reinforced at the curves to be able to strike at opponents without damaging the bow. His Yumi can block a sword stroke.

Ancestral Blade- A legendary Katana that carries the power of a thousand ancestors before Akio. Only one with the lineage of the Hanatoris can wield the blade at it's fullest potential, although anyone can use it like a typical sword. Well crafted and razor sharp, this katana is unbreakable in the hands of Akio and can fuel his own abilities to their extremities.

Abilities: Shadow Magic- Akio possesses knowledge and technique in the art of Shadow Magic, a form of Dark Magic. He uses this magic behind his blade and bow, fueling his weapons with power as well as himself. It's effects are boosted at night, although it can be countered by any form of Light Magic. Luckily, his enemies typically didn't use such magic. With his sword, he can perform Shadow Dash, Shadow Slice, and Shadow's Resonance. With his bow, he can conjure and shoot Shadow Arrows. His Shadow Magic also gives him a sense of clairvoyance and a resource of intelligence as he uses the shadows to discover information about a person, more specifically their physical and magical implications as well as general knowledge, and can ever discover remnants of the past or a glimpse of the near future. However, if the event will drastically impact Akio, he will not be able to use this ability to aid him.

So begins...

Akio the Wanderer's Story

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Character Portrait: Akio the Wanderer Character Portrait: Allantra
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Sometimes...there had to be appreciation for the small things in life.

A man was walking silently among the waterways, examining the environment around him with an appreciation that glistened on his face. The spring water shined with brilliance in the sunlight. Grass was there, green and bright, but it was overtaken by the other gorgeous flowers and flora that illuminated the are with color. The Citadel's pride and joy certainly had the look and design to back their claim up. This place had a mellow atmosphere enshrouding the plant life that just simply couldn't be ignored. It had the power to put auras at rest. The man breathed in deeply, taking in all the smells around him, mixing together into one flowery scent that seemed to complete the mood.

This was peace.

The man opened his eyes ever so patiently, noticing one scent that stood out to him...the scent of his home. He casually meandered over to the source and placed his hand carefully around the cherry blossom that was blooming, taking the full effect in. Feeling the soft petals within his rugged hands, his mind entered a new form of zen, a simple content feeling with the world radiated from him. His aura now blended in with the aura the Oasis was giving off. He was now part of the peace.

Turning his body, he glanced down at the stream, a ripple shining through the body waves, disrupting the flow and ending the connection he had with the Oasis Gardens. Curious, the man looked upstream to find a woman kneeling against the water, her fingers dipped in the stream while the current flowed around them. He made a steady approach, one that looked laid back and easy and wouldn't alert the woman to percceive him as an immediate foe...unless she had a trait that would prove otherwise.

"Afternoon," he said, a low, tender tone in his voice despite the fairness of it, "It's a nice place to go on a walk, is it not?"

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Allantra's peace was interrupted when she sensed that another person was in the garden with her. She sighed and slowly stood as she turned her head to watch the man approach her. With her weapons tucked safely on her back she waited for the man to come closer. "Hello," she said to him. Not knowing whether he was friend or foe. She was always wary of others that approach with too much curiosity in their eyes. "Yes it is. There is peace here." She said, watching him closely. Not wanting to judge him too soon.

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The man smiled and nodded, "Indeed." He looked around, taking in the environment surrounding them. He closed his eyes and exhaled deeply. For a moment, he felt aligned with the peace around him...he felt like he was a part of it. The air around him radiated waves of calm energy, but energy nonetheless. If one looked closely, they would see a very faint blue hue shimmering from his body.

He opened his eyes, taking in the woman in full. She dressed in a shadowy cloth, one that was purposefully that color unlike the faded blue kimono he wore. It gave the woman an air of mystery, one that cut through the environment. Her veil hid her features fairly well, but nothing could mistake the air of suspicion in her eyes, the glint of predatory black against the muddled concentrated blue in her irises. She was a woman who kept to herself for the most part.

But the man was just too curious.

"You're running from something, aren't you?" the man stated, his gaze light, yet deep, as if he knew everything about her, "You don't seem to take in my presence very well."

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Closing her eyes and letting her mind clear, Allantra gave him one of her rare smiles. She then opened her eyes and took in his appearance. "I run from no one and nothing." she said and sighed as she glanced at the water. When she looked back at him, she saw his aura and tilted her head. She knew that this man was a warrior like her and that his curiosity was getting the best of him. I am cautious around people I don't know, but it wouldn't do any good to insult you now, would it?? she asked him and continued to take in her surroundings.

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"I would assume not," the man simply replied, taking a glance at the tiger lilies blossoming close to their position. He took a small step towards them, examining their bright orange color, "But sometimes the magic is in the mystery. Our curiosity cannot be ignored blatantly, otherwise we become ignorant to our surroundings and lose ourselves in our minds. And why would anyone wish to do that when there's a whole world to experience?" He gestured towards the garden as an example. "Beauty like this shouldn't be ignored for the sake of caution."

He paused, letting the words settle into the magnificent aura around them before continuing, "It is said that when a warrior achieves zen, they are at their strongest. And we are in a place where such a warrior can achieve that level of synergy with their body, mind, and spirit. So, since it doesn't appear that you're going anywhere anytime soon, would you mind testing a theory with me?" His eyes were enticing, yet distant.

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Allantra turns and looks at the tiger lilies as he walked towards them. She wondered what they felt like, but didn't dare go near them. She knew that she had a healthy dose of curiosity about the other warrior, but knew that he would tell her what she wanted to know about him in time. "There are two kinds of curiosity: healthy and unhealthy. It seems that you are curious towards me." she said as she watched him, letting the peace of the garden surround her again.

"I'll admit that I have a curiosity about this theory of yours, but I have to be cautious because I don't know who you are." She said and lifted her arms to cross them under her breasts. "How do you plan to rectify that??"

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The man didn't turn immediately. He continued to stare at the orange flowers. His eyes revealed that his thoughts were a thousand times deeper, his gaze increasingly getting more relaxed, further away from reality.

"Simply," he stated, shifting his weight from left foot to right as he pivoted on his heel. He was careful not to dig into the soil so as not to disrupt it. He was now facing the woman, a rugged grin on his face, "You and I are going to spar." He said it such a matter-of-fact manner that it would likely caught her off guard. Such a phrase uttered by such a man would startle anyone. And yet...he didn't make a move. Not a twitch towards the sheathed sword on his hip. Not a reach for the bow on his back. No tension in his hands that would signify any magical spells or abilities being cast. He stood there, relaxed and casual while he awaited a response.

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"Spar??" she asked. "What makes you think I want to spar with you??" she asked, knowing that was the only way you really get to know another warrior. She was curious about him, but didn't want to seem too curious. She then looked around the gardens where she found a brief moment of peace and thought about what he said.

"Where would we do this??" She asked him after a moment. "I don't think we should do this in such a peaceful place." she said, then turned to look at him. "If I were to agree to this spar, where would we go??"

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The man didn't seemed phased by the question. He kept his grin on his face as he answered in a sage-like fashion, "You know that answer." He didn't seem to mind the brutality behind the words she flung in his direction, nor did it seem like he was willing to dish it right back. He rubbed his five o' clock shadow as he watched her take her time to decide.

"Why not?" he shrugged when she mentioned taking the spar to another place, "It'd be part of the challenge. Our goal is to defeat the opponent without destroying or disturbing any of the scenery. This way, we maintain serenity and synergy with the environment around us. I think it'd be interesting, not to mention quite a requirement to maintain. What say you?"

His eyes were light, almost quivering. It was like he was looking forward to hearing a yes.

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Allantra looked in those light blue eyes of his and sighed. "You really want to spar with me." she said, then shook her head. She just hoped that this was one of the warriors that let you go with your pride intact if not your life. He just wanted to spar, not kill me. If that was what he wanted... he would not have approached me so openly.

"I will agree to this, only because I am as curious about you as you are about me." she said and backed up. She didn't know what he would do, so she would be prepared if he were to attack her.

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The man nodded, "Very well, then." He unsheathed his sword, the hiss of the blade permeating the air as he did. The katana he wielded was fairly simple in look. The hilt was taped for grip. The blade was polished and sharp as a razor. He held it in such a stance that would let his opponent know he was very skilled with the blade. But that's not what made it special. He held the blade close to his ear, closing his eyes as he heard the whispers of the ancestors before him, all wrapped within the power of the blade. It was unbreakable in his hands because of them and was not the standard blade to come into contact with. This was the Ancient Katana.

He lifted a quizzical brow as he noticed she was backing up, "Odd. You think I'm going to strike immediately?" He lifted the katana in front of him, holding it out, "Here. Place your sword against mine. We will start the spar when the metal of your blade and the metal of mine disconnects."

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Allantra stopped her backward motion, then nodded at what he said and reached behind her to take one of her double bladed staffs off her back. She knew that this was a spar, but also knew it was a test of skills. She watched him closely as she stretched out her arm to put her blade against his. "How long will this spar last??" she asked when her blade touched his. She knew by the way he handled his blade that he knew what he was doing. She was skilled at her weapons also, but didn't want to seem overconfident in her fighting skills... she still learned from the battles that she had.

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"Until one of us is disarmed," the man replied.

For a moment, nothing moved. The slight wind that had caused motion in Oasis Gardens grew still. No birds chirped. The two combatants stood opposed to each other, the man with his eyes closed. If Allantra was paying close attention, she would feel a slight pulse in her blade...as if it was alive and vibrant. It was almost like the energy around them had been sucked into the X their swords had made and was charging them with power.

The man's eyes shot open, no longer a calm and soft blue. They were black, fierce, and focused. His rugged grin suddenly had more power behind it as he spoke with a low tension in his voice.

"Call me Akio."

The blades separated. Akio was the one who disconnected. In one fluidly quick motion he spun around, taking momentum into his favor as he brought the blade around him and proceeded to slice at the bladed weapon Allantra wielded. If she didn't parry propertly, the blade would fling out of her hands and she would've lost the spar upon the first strike.

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Allantra felt the pulse that flowed through her blades. She knew that the energy around them was focused on the battle that was to come between them. The vibration that went up her arm charged her up and built a fire in her that could only be extinguished with a good fight.

She looked at him with dark blue eyes, knowing that he was letting the energy build in him also. When his eyes shot open, seeing that they were darker, she knew that this would start the battle. When he smiled, she did too so that he knew that she was ready. She nodded slightly when he told her his name and readied herself for the disconnect.

When the blades separated she spun away from him, knowing that he would go for the quick win. She lifted her other arm and with her hand pulled the other staff from her back. She then moved forward, slicing forward with one weapon with the other close behind it. She would knock him back with this move and possibly rip his clothes.

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A quick initial strike came up with nothing but air as Allantra brilliantly dodged and countered. The momentum of his swing brought his sword exactly where he needed it to be to block the counter strike. He shifted his weight to support the blade as he brought it up, holding his right wrist with his left for even more resistance. The first stroke was blocked perfectly with no knockback to come due to how quickly he'd set up a defensive stance against her.

The rapid second stroke could not be blocked in the same way, Akio knew. Should he try, the blade would be bludgeoned out of his hand and onto the grass. He needed an immediate shift in position. Luckily, the first strike Allantra swung at him proved to be the way out, the momentum of her swing brought both blades upward in order for her to apply the second swing so quickly. Moving his wrist in an loop-like motion, he planted his left foot behind him, released his wrist holding the blade so that it could move freely and with force, and swung sideways, aiming for her blade once more. However, his goal wasn't to knock the blade out of her hands as the swing lacked power. Instead, it was there as a parry, shifting her momentum outward and deflecting the second blow. Her advantage of using a double bladed staff sword was that she could take any exterior outward momentum shift and spin it back into the battle quick as a dime, meaning this parry wouldn't open her up. But Akio was on the defensive at the moment. It would do.

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Allantra smiled as Akio blocked her first strike, but she wasn't so sure he would block the second. She didn't know what to do next. He was good, better than most of the people that she battled before and that is saying alot. It would take all that she knew to win this match and she didn't think that it would be good to use up all her energy, but she knew that she would have to show this man that she could beat him.

She moved forward with momentum and tried to knock him off balance as their blades clashed, then brought the other blade up to knock the sword out of Akio's hand. She didn't know if it would work, but she had to try something.

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Akio was suddenly glancing up at the glint of steel in the sunlight that came crashing down upon him. He bent his left knee and met the blade full force, the clang that erupted having more of a ring to it. This was a power against power stroke. Akio had met even with hers and now they were locked in a struggle for control. Akio held his ground, keeping his blade against hers...

It would actually be Allantra to pull away from the clash first, swinging upward at his blade for a vicious counter strike. But Akio payed attention to his peripherals and saw the blade heading his way. Instead of meeting her blade, he ducked under it, avoiding the attack all together. He turned and leaped behind him, action rolling onto his feet and getting some separation between the two of them. When Akio turned back, Allantra had one side of her blade aimed towards him in a jab-like position.

"You're pretty good," Akio noted, rubbing his chin while twirling his blade, "There aren't many that can keep me on the defensive." He glanced at the peaceful environment around them once more. Nothing had been disturbed in the opening scuffle. So far, both the combatants have been successful in maintaining the aura of peace emanating from the place.

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Allantra pulled back and nodded. She stayed a distance from him and looked around herself. She noted that nothing was destroyed in the garden and that pleased her. "You are good also." she said as she turned back to look at him. "I am Allantra and you kept me on my toes." she said, then sighed as she lifted her arm to put one of her weapons on her back. She didn't know if they were done with the spar, but she would be ready if they weren't.

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A name? Akio smiled courteously as he prepared his swords. Now we were getting somewhere...

On and on the two fought. Sometimes Akio would get the advantage, sometimes Allantra. Both seemed pretty even in the long run and both were too good to complete the desired task which was to disarm the other. Every seemingly ending blow was countered to perfection on both sides. Every exchange of the blades clashing was a surge of equality between the two. There was synergy layered with synergy...the synergy of their peaceful environment coupled with the synergy of their own spar. The two unbroken bonds were welded together, making zen between the two through the spirit of combat.

A few minutes later, the spar ended on a draw. Akio wiped the bead of sweat on his forehead as he panted, sheathing his sword. "Well now," he mused, "You fare better than most fighters I have taken on, Allantra."

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Allantra lifted her hand and wiped the sweat from her brow. "Thank you Akio, you are better than most fighters I have battled." she said and lifted her arm to put her weapon on her back.

She didn't know if what she was feeling was just the companionship of combat, but she felt something for this man. She knew that he could fight well, but what other attributes does he have?? What kind of person is he?? She felt the energy around the place that they were and knew that it was good, but she couldn't help but feel the connection to it. She needed more of this good energy surrounding her, so she knew that she would have to get to know him better.

"Have you had many battles in this sacred place Akio??" she asked as she turned to take in more of the Oasis.

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Akio had his eyes closed, his head slightly bowed. He appeared to be in meditation, yet he still held that simple smile on his face. A blade of grass found its way to rest snugly in between the wanderer's teeth, sticking out as if he was just a standard simpleton.

"I have never set foot in this garden until today," he said without moving, "But I have experience a similar state of zen in a similar location. One more...sentimental to me than this place will ever be. Although..." he opened his left eye slightly, a deep hue hidden within his iris, "This does make a close second."

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Allantra watched the blade of grass until it came to rest between his teeth. She looked away as she listened to what he had to say. "If you already have a special place, how did you come to find this place??"

She didn't know what he would say, but she wouldn't be surprised by his answer. She knew how she came to find this place of peace. Not only had she been looking for it, she realized what it was when she got there. She didn't expect to find Akio here, but he helped her find the inner peace she was looking for.

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"Like a nomad, I follow the wind," Akio simply stated, "It led me here, to this place. Our paths were meant to cross...our destinies were meant to intertwine with one another at this stage of our lives. You have come away from this experience with something, have you not?"

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"I have come away with something from this." she said and continued to look around. She didn't want to leave this place, but she knew that she would have to. "I came here to find peace and I did. Where will you go next Akio??" she asked him when she turned to look him in the eye. She didn't know where she would go next, but she knew that she wouldn't mind the company.

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Akio softly chuckled at the question, "Like I said...where the wind takes me." He got up slowly, taking his rugged stance once more. That smile was still there, easy and calming as ever.

"I wouldn't mind the company though," he added, looking over his shoulder towards her, "If you would like to come along." He began to walk towards the exit of the garden.