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[Arc] [Rubeck Island Conquest][Part 2] Last Tango in Rubeck Yesterday at 6:57 amMaxwell[World Event] A Fool's ErrandFri Jul 19, 2024 11:52 amOrion Montgomery[Episode] Corruption of BloodSun Jul 14, 2024 3:51 amYumiko[Episode] Mink-staken IdentityThu Jul 04, 2024 6:28 amYumiko[Board] Quest Requests and Quest GradingsSat Jun 29, 2024 9:00 pmGray[Episode] Now, where am I?Sat Jun 29, 2024 8:56 pmGray[Episode] Waking MonstersSat Jun 29, 2024 12:00 pmGray[Abandoned] [Arc] [Tequila Wolf Conquest] The Rotten Lie of Tequila WolfTue Jun 25, 2024 3:23 pmGray[Market] [Shop] The Shop of DreamsSun Jun 23, 2024 5:11 pmGray
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Acacia
Acacia
Kurotane (Black Seed)
[tracker=/t897-grimm-aldous-acacia#4096]
Name : Acacia
Epithet : "Black Seed" ("Kurotane")
Age : 27
Height : 8'5" / 257 cm
Weight : 351 lbs / 159 kg
Species : Human
Faction : New Revolutionary Army
Devil Fruit : Mochi Mochi no Mi
Bounty : [ber=r] 250,000,000
Balance : [ber] 582,800,000
[[childofdestiny]]
[[improviseadaptovercome]]
Posts : 122

[Episode] Corruption of Blood Empty [Episode] Corruption of Blood

This post has in-line assessment comments.Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:40 am

Quest Information:

A sliver of morning light broke in, filtered red through the thin edges of embroidered curtains. Acacia's eyelids argued with the punctual rays. They insisted on remaining shut just five more minutes, and another five, and another, but, the sun's argument was unyielding.

Acacia rolled out of the cushy mattress with a hoarse groan. A dark fleece blanket slid off his bare skin lazily. It clung to his thin waist until a shake of the hips sent it to the carpeted floor.

He pressed a finger to his forehead to magic-wand away a throbbing hangover. When that trick failed, he drowned the headache with a deep swig from a demijohn of Ilisian Red.  The warm and sweet liquid washed down the buildup of nightly cough and lit a furnace in his belly. There were few better cures for the symptoms of too much booze than one more bottle of booze.

He tossed the drained vessel into the indent he had left in the bed. It did not stir the other undressed body resting on it. Thick blonde hair veiled the woman's pale, tattooed back. The same tattoos—coiling green serpents and purple chains—spread like an infection along her thin arms, over her wide hips, and down to the back of her knees.

The blonde had a blanket matching Acacia's pincered between her legs with one end clutched within a loose fist. The spiky-haired drunk's crimson gaze traced the young woman's curvaceous outline.

He could not recall the touch of her flawless skin nor the sound of her moans - were they soothing or grating? The previous night was a half-solved mystery like most nights before it.

He lifted a crusty sheet of paper off the dresser and strained to identify a barely familiar face printed on it. 'Black Seed' Acacia, wanted for treason, mass murder, destruction of government property... and a plethora of other charges he could not be bothered to read. The hundred-and-ten million belly bounty placed upon him was rather generous for his first, he thought.

He crumpled the wrinkled poster and peeked through the curtains to hurl it out of the window. Filth of a hundred kinds and one littered the narrow streets below; what was one piece more?

Uncountable pillars of black smoke stemmed from buildings tall and short. In a distant alley, Acacia could see three shaded figures punching and kicking a smaller one. In another, he could see a congregation of hooded vagrants, with one proselytizing on a crate.

The city of Durban was dilapidated; one could watch it sink into a nightmarish sludge of piracy and corruption by the hour. The shoddy bits of information Acacia had picked up through his inebriated torpor implied the island's king as the culprit behind its depraved state.

As his mind wandered to kings of more familiar islands, his thumb unconsciously caressed the golden band around his ring finger, while his other hand went to fiddle with his locket only to find it missing.

He panicked.

Short breaths and a cold sweat overwhelmed him. His head swung side to side as his unsteady eyes scanned the dim room for an acquainted silver shine.

"Where the hell is it?!"

His alarm snapped the woman awake with a gasp. He stampeded closer, ripped her covers, and jerked her to her feet. The blonde's arms instinctively shielded her unmentionables.

"Where... is... my... locket?!" Acacia specified.

Accusation riddled every word.

The girl lifted a finger. Her amber eyes quivered behind a layer of liquid. She pointed to a padded oaken chair in the corner. His attire from the day before was folded neatly on it. A katana with a lavender grip and scabbard leaned against the same chair. Atop the clothes was a thick chain with a single sterling silver wing hanging at its end.

Acacia sighed and stepped away from the undeserving victim of his outburst.

"Get out."

The woman retrieved her folded apparel off the floor and started to dress.

"Now."

She walked out wearing only a white faux-silk button-up with rolled-up sleeves and a thin pair of maroon panties with floral patterns.

"You're an asshole," she declared, standing in the hallway holding her dark jeans, cavalier hat, and knee-high boots.

Acacia mumbled to himself, for she did not wait for him to agree.


OOC notes for @Yumiko:




714 out of 714 words


Last edited by Acacia on Tue Jun 25, 2024 11:20 am; edited 3 times in total
Yumiko
Yumiko
[tracker=/t1347-yumiko#7408]
Name : Yumiko
Epithet : Kamaitachi
Age : 28
Height : 5'5'' / 165 cm
Weight : 128 lbs. / 58 kg
Species : Human
Faction : Civilian
Devil Fruit : Ita Ita no Mi, Model: Kamaitachi
Quality Score : S
EXP Bonus : +0.20 (to all allies)
Balance : [bel] 2,278,965,048
[[baneoftheweak]][[dragonheart]][[childofdestiny]]
[[punchoutguru]][[dulcetvirtuoso]]

[[improviseadaptovercome]]
Posts : 481

[Episode] Corruption of Blood Empty Re: [Episode] Corruption of Blood

This post has in-line assessment comments.Wed Dec 18, 2019 4:43 pm
Red morning sun swept its rays over the docks, offering some warmth for a large, blue ship. Reminiscent of ants, uniformed soldiers scurried around performing their morning duties. Some were swabbing the deck, few were carrying crates around and the lucky ones got to enjoy breakfast.

Among them stood one figure donning rather unusual attire, a large-sleeved kimono from a far-off country. A closer look revealed a young woman with her long, raven hair worn in an odd manner, much like a cape hanging over her back.

Arms folded, the vigilant woman stood at guard by the ship’s gangway while her comrades loaded cargo. Her icy stare deterred any suspicious characters from approaching. ...Or maybe it was the long blade hanging from her hip. Either way, the scum of the harbor kept their distance.

Durban Island... If there was a city more wretched, Yumiko hadn’t seen one. A land of rats eating rats in broad daylight. Their ship had barely been docked for a couple of hours and she had already witnessed three robberies, two murders and one... awful, shameful, outright indecent act in the shadows of the shipping containers.

It was even worse than the tales told of the ancient lawless areas in Wano Country. Most infuriatingly, the samurai had been explicitly forbidden from interfering. The commander had told her they were on an important mission and could not act carelessly. It was not her place to question her orders, but... Upon spotting motion down a shady alley, she squinted with scathing disapproval before averting her gaze. Two indecent acts. This was unbearable.

Eventually the ship’s captain, Hoggish by name, deigned to show himself. A man built like a barrel with arms and legs squeezed through the cabin door. While his figure was round and stout, sturdy muscles bulged through his sleeves. A bald head shined in the sun. His tiny, beady eyes were accompanied by a huge, toothy grin. Cracker crumbs clung to his bushy, black beard.

...Which was definitely not trimmed to meet the Marine dress code.

However, pointing that out was considered insubordination. The captain always insisted the Marine code with its various sections was more of a guideline. His word, on the other hand, was the law.

And once again he was ready to lay down some law...

Quickly barked commands brought all soldiers to a tidy formation. The deck creaked as Hoggish slowly paced back and forth. [npc=navy]“Men! And Yumiko...”[/npc] He passed a sideways glance at the odd one out.

[npc=navy]“As you know, we are here to complete an important escort mission or something like that. It’s imperative that we handle this with unfaltering subtlety, precision and other such words. I expect each and everyone of you to take your assigned duty seriously or whatever.”[/npc]

The burly man stopped to again give a pointed stare at the swordswoman. [npc=navy]“And Yumiko... Do not draw your blade or transform unless it is to protect the envoy or something like that.”[/npc] The order was met with a swift nod. “As is thy will, sir.” Another order she did not agree with, but... She would follow it nonetheless. Follow it to the letter.

Satisfied with the response, the captain nodded back. He knew that for all her annoying quirks, she at least knew his orders were absolute. [npc=navy]“Good. Now go prepare or whatever. We have a tight schedule to follow or some such. Dismissed and so forth.”[/npc] With that all the uniformed ants got back to scurrying.

...All except Yumiko.

The samurai still stood stiffly in attention, drawing an odd look from the burly superior. “Sir, permission to speak freely?” She received a flat stare that just silently screamed all the variations of nope. [npc=navy]“...Denied. Back to work, soldier, or something.”[/npc] He had not gotten enough coffee to deal with one of her rants this early in the morning. In response, she saluted. “Sir, yes sir!” She locked away the thoughts behind the motion. No, it was not her place to question...

Words: 664
Total: 664


Last edited by Yumiko on Fri Dec 01, 2023 6:23 am; edited 4 times in total

Acacia appreciated this post

Acacia
Acacia
Kurotane (Black Seed)
[tracker=/t897-grimm-aldous-acacia#4096]
Name : Acacia
Epithet : "Black Seed" ("Kurotane")
Age : 27
Height : 8'5" / 257 cm
Weight : 351 lbs / 159 kg
Species : Human
Faction : New Revolutionary Army
Devil Fruit : Mochi Mochi no Mi
Bounty : [ber=r] 250,000,000
Balance : [ber] 582,800,000
[[childofdestiny]]
[[improviseadaptovercome]]
Posts : 122

[Episode] Corruption of Blood Empty Re: [Episode] Corruption of Blood

This post has in-line assessment comments.Fri Dec 20, 2019 11:11 am

Acacia wandered along a muddy road in a haze. His only destination was a state of intoxication from which he would never escape. He indulged in a bottle of absinthe gripped in one hand and a smoking blunt pinched in the other.

He coughed and blew a devil-may-care cloud at nothing in particular. The whites of his eyes were near as red as his irises - veiny and revolting. Yet his gait was steady and sober—though just a bit listless—in defiance of his inebriety.

A woman's scream blew out from within a shoddy hut by the road. A toddler's howls followed. Acacia did not stop.

A small girl in rags dashed across the street being chased by a livid baker yelling bloody murder. Acacia walked on.

Two teenage boys quarrelled and wrestled in an alley leading to the bowels of the city. They drew his attention for no longer than a heartbeat.

He heard three gunshots discharged from a hole-in-the-wall pawn shop. A goggled red-haired half-corpse riddled with three matching holes in his shirt fumbled out. The fool ate dirt with an absurd and clueless smile. Acacia gave him a wide berth.

Before he reached the ocean, he spotted a bony, wrinkled beggar with a crescent spine calling out in pain. Surely he would soon be dead anyway.

His stroll through the stages of life in Durban led him to a filthy wharf. Moss crawled up the poles and infested the pier's mouldering planks. A docked marine blue ship cast a giant shadow over and around him, consuming all other shadows.

The sky behind the ship's mast was pink like a bruise on the mend. A hopeful philosopher might have seen it as a sign of better times to come. Acacia was neither hopeful nor a philosopher.

His two companions—Mr. Hooch and Ms. Mary Jane—had forsaken him by then. He approached a dock-side teriyaki stall - cannabis tends to stimulate one's appetite. Teriyaki for breakfast was an adventure of its own.

The stall owner assessed Acacia critically. He wore a stained wife-beater and loose trousers. His dark moustache endeavoured to mask the hive-like blemishes on his cheeks and jaws.

Acacia's outfit seemed almost touristy in comparison. A white crew-neck shirt with the words "You can't drink all day unless you start in the morning" in a lazy font, khaki cargo shorts and sandals, and his one-and-only black hoodie—fully unzipped—festooned with prints of white wings. His precious wing-shaped locket hung bravely off a chain around his neck.

"Come, come. How many sticks do ya want, feller?" Asked the moustached man with unexpected energy. Acacia glanced at the pile of half-cooked chicken cuts and the bowls of brown sauces resting next to a low flame.

"Four."

"That'll be hundred-twenty belly." The cook raised the flame and stabbed a faux-wooden skewer into the heap of chicken, expertly piercing it through six or seven pieces. He repeated this three more times and laid the skewers on the grill before generously pouring sauce on them.

While his hands worked, his tongue worked harder.

"These useless fuckin' marines, I tell ya. They come and go every other week and don't do diddly squat." He flipped the skewers on the grill one by one.

"They don't give two shits what happens to this country so long as they get their two belly. Folks been goin' missin', children been goin' hungry, thugs been roamin' free - but they look the other way."

Acacia looked over at the marine ship behind him. An officer barked illegible orders to his drones.

"They might as well be goddamned mercenaries. Our good King Eric feeds silver to their pockets, and they feed our city to the wolves."

Acacia exchanged a few small bills for his first skewer and included payment in advance for the rest.

"Looks like they're about to parade through town. Special occasion?" Acacia asked with scant traces of interest. He bit into the sauced meat. Its hot and tender strings warmed the insides of his cheeks.

"I heard they're escortin' some bigshot. I ain't got any details." The teriyaki-man placed the remaining sticks in an old newspaper page and presented it to his red-eyed customer.

"Alls I know is that somethin' big's about to happen at the castle when they execute those poor fools today."

"Execute?" Acacia cocked a brow.

"You ain't heard? They caught a few of them rebels. Eric's gonna execute them at noon." His words were down to whispers.

"There's an underground resistance on the island that's tryin' to free Durban and overthrow the king. They ain't havin' much luck, though."

Acacia shrugged and turned away. "This city seems beyond saving. Good luck with your resistance, old man."

The troop of marines marched off the docks with their escortee and into the city.

A whim to spend his day doing something besides drinking and whoring struck him like a bat to the head. He found himself trailing after the naval escort towards the castle, curious to spectate a Durban-style execution. Is that why the marines are here?

The fact that Acacia himself was a wanted man had slipped his mind entirely.


OOC notes for @Yumiko:



836 out of 1,550 words


Last edited by Acacia on Fri Nov 24, 2023 12:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
Yumiko
Yumiko
[tracker=/t1347-yumiko#7408]
Name : Yumiko
Epithet : Kamaitachi
Age : 28
Height : 5'5'' / 165 cm
Weight : 128 lbs. / 58 kg
Species : Human
Faction : Civilian
Devil Fruit : Ita Ita no Mi, Model: Kamaitachi
Quality Score : S
EXP Bonus : +0.20 (to all allies)
Balance : [bel] 2,278,965,048
[[baneoftheweak]][[dragonheart]][[childofdestiny]]
[[punchoutguru]][[dulcetvirtuoso]]

[[improviseadaptovercome]]
Posts : 481

[Episode] Corruption of Blood Empty Re: [Episode] Corruption of Blood

This post has in-line assessment comments.Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:15 am
Before long Captain Hoggish bellowed again, herding his soldiers into formation. The door of the guest quarters creaked open. A posh and pompous woman strutted out, dressed in elaborate silken robes. Every soldier saluted.

Golden jewelry chimed softly with each step. The lady wore more money than an honest person could earn in a lifetime. Beneath the layers of makeup and perfume was a woman who could’ve been beautiful without all of it. Wind played with the long curls of her blonde hair. Her blue eyes glimmered like gemstones. Clear. Shiny. And oh so very cold. Supposedly she was the daughter of a king from a distant land, a princess by blood. Though the name of the particular kingdom had never come up for some reason...

With the VIP surrounded by soldiers on all sides, the captain led the rectangular formation through the city. The samurai trailed dead last, constantly sweeping the surroundings with her suspicious gaze. Her official orders had been to watch the rear. The fact that this position also kept her out of the captain’s sight was just a coincidence. Or something like that.

As the formation slowly marched through the twisted streets, the locals sneered and jeered. Lapdogs, assholes, bastards, each insult of the torrent was slightly fouler than the rest. As if the drunks were competing in who could come up with the most creative combinations. Stonewalling them only seemed to fuel their hate further.

In Yumiko’s opinion, beside all the criminal element running rampant, the worst thing about Durban was the smell. It clung to the air like a spiderweb buzzing with flies. She pinched her nose shut. It didn’t do her much good when she could practically taste the death and decay in the air. Smoke, blood, bodily waste...

And alcohol.

Running like rivers across the numerous bars. Not any manner of fine sake either, no... It was the kind of cheap swill that got even the most rotten soul drunk at best. And made one blind at worst.

In such an environment the weasel's sharpened senses were a worse curse than being a hammer. It took most of her willpower to merely keep a straight face. Far too many things slipped her notice under the veil of filth.

After a small eternity of enduring seething hatred, the envoy finally reached the castle. In stark contrast to the cesspool of a city, the mighty stone building stood proud and pristine, like a monument to something. Greed, perhaps.

Numerous guards patrolled the perimeter and the walls. Even the gate alone had several hulking figures watching it. Yet the samurai felt uneasy. She had expected the guards of the local Shogun to look more... heroic. Rather than brutes armed to the teeth.

The warrior quickly shook the shameful thoughts out of her head. What was she doing, judging these noble souls by their appearances alone? With a deep breath, she regained her resolve. ...And gagged when the stench of the city crept up on her again. Bleagh. Quietly she decided it was for the best to breathe through the mouth.

On the other side of the castle gates, a courtyard was decorated much like one might expect. Flower beds filled with colorful species, muscular statues depicting the king, a beautifully decorated fountain... And a large, raised platform with a chopping block at the center. The formation came to stop next to it.

With a single command, the first soldiers stepped aside so that the princess could walk past them. Upon seeing her, one of the guards announced the king had been informed of the guest’s arrival and would arrive to meet her shortly.

Meanwhile, the swordswoman was preparing to kneel. Hm, nay, prostrate herself completely. Surely the captain would order it when the local Shogun arrived.

Words: 631
Total: 1295


Last edited by Yumiko on Fri Dec 01, 2023 6:28 am; edited 1 time in total

Acacia appreciated this post

Acacia
Acacia
Kurotane (Black Seed)
[tracker=/t897-grimm-aldous-acacia#4096]
Name : Acacia
Epithet : "Black Seed" ("Kurotane")
Age : 27
Height : 8'5" / 257 cm
Weight : 351 lbs / 159 kg
Species : Human
Faction : New Revolutionary Army
Devil Fruit : Mochi Mochi no Mi
Bounty : [ber=r] 250,000,000
Balance : [ber] 582,800,000
[[childofdestiny]]
[[improviseadaptovercome]]
Posts : 122

[Episode] Corruption of Blood Empty Re: [Episode] Corruption of Blood

This post has in-line assessment comments.Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:55 pm

A hulking figure and a lanky one wandered through an ostentatious archway. Two rows of nutcracker-like soldiers escorted a pair of shackled, haunted faces behind them. Tattered white rags barely covered the prisoners' bruised and scarred skin. Intricate tattoos of green serpents and purple chains peeked through the rips in their vestments.

"You know, Garobu, I'll never understand why these morons insist on marking up their bodies. It's like they want us to catch them." A voice high as if on a canister of helium came out of the lumbering man leading the troop. Despite the laughable contradiction between the pitch of his vocals and the dimensions of his frame, none laughed. They knew better.

King Eric was a bag of fat with a dangerous helping of muscle. His long dark hair contrasted his pale skin, and his unruly moustache forked at the ends. His royal garb consisted of a purple tunic and a gold-trimmed cloak which snugly wrapped his shoulders. A baroque crown with twisted prongs sat tilted on his head, clinging to him as if in love. He loved the crown back much more.

"Symbols are powerful tools that unite people under a cause, King Eric. I wouldn't dismiss them so casually," warned the thin man walking beside the king. Scars from burns, bites, and cuts riddled his patchy brown skin. Two violent rings spun in his ghostly blue eyes—which blinked uncomfortably long as if there was something stuck in them.

"I'm not complaining. If the traitors want to charge into a spear, it's my royal duty to hold it up for them." The portly king squeaked and wheezed an awkward laugh. No one else laughed with him (or at him).

A disorderly crowd had gathered in the vast castle courtyard. The monuments to wealth—the statues, the fountain, the garden—were now tainted by the stink of poverty. But, the message King Eric meant to deliver was worth inviting rats into his home; for it was a message the rats would spread like the plague.

One more "rat" meandered into the castle grounds behind a pack of dogs in white and blue. When Acacia had realized tailing the marines would lead him to the Fortress of Durban, he had expected to be halted at the gates. And he was. Only the Marines were allowed in without a thorough patting and the surrender of their weapons.

An unhealthy curiosity born of boredom had ensnared Acacia, but it was not enough for him to part with his Meito - even temporarily. When he was sure no eyes were on him, he removed the katana from his hip and slowly sunk it into his chest. His body shifted around the object like dough being kneaded and enveloped the sword. The rest was easy.

Past the invasive security scans, the mob under the execution platform had swollen like an infected bladder. Mumbles and gossip sailed through the crowd in waves. "The rebels will retaliate", "the rebels will surrender", "the rebels are already dead" - there was no consistency to the rumours surrounding the status of the rebels.

Acacia hung around the fringes of the gathering. Without invitation, a small elderly woman with a round face spoke to him. Her skin was wrinkled as a mole's, and her eyelids were so droopy he could barely see what was under them. She had tied her candy pink hair in a bun, with not even a hint of grey showing through.

"The rebels will suffer a severe blow today if this execution proceeds." Her voice shook worse than her unsteady head. "The men they're about to kill are key figures in the resistance." From the corners of his eyes, Acacia looked down at the woman half his size. "Why're you telling me this, lady?"

A mechanical smile bent her peeling lips. "I can see how your heart aches for the misery on this island." Acacia's head cranked towards her before he slipped into a sneering guffaw. "You have no idea how wrong you are. I couldn't care less what happens to any man, woman, or child in this world, let alone this fucking island."

The smile—which seemed to claim its owner knew every secret in the world—did not erase itself from the mysterious elder. "Sometimes, the easiest person for you to fool is yourself. Are you not here in this pit of despair to punish yourself? Heeheeheeheeheehee~" Her snicker was akin to a teenage girl flirting with her crush. Acacia had no response.

The cheers and jeers of the audience flooded the courtyard when the entertainers made their entrance. Ominous steps up to the platform foreshadowed a grim and grisly fate awaiting the captive insurgents.

A large and ugly man in royal garb—whom Acacia assumed to be Durban's King—climbed a smaller platform assembled atop the larger. He cleared his throat before speaking into a loudspeaker snail with the thinnest voice Acacia had ever heard. Acacia's explosive reaction was immediately silenced by a violent glare from the natives around him, lest it won the speaker's attention.

"Complaints."

A pause muted all other voices.

"Every living thing in this world has the capacity to complain. A complaint can either be fair or unfair. A complaint can be heard or ignored. Each one of you, my beloved citizens, has the right to complain. There is a right way to complain, and a wrong way." The king's gaze turned to the convicts who now kneeled between two hooded executioners carrying ceremonial axes.

"These two before you today chose the wrong way." The sinister words somehow cut like broken glass despite the ridiculous voice speaking them.

"The rebellion is nothing more than a murder of crows cawing and crying over the chaos necessary for Durban to progress and become stronger. Remember, people, suffering breeds success. Today, when I kill papa crow here, the cawing will end.  Although these traitors deserve to be crucified like those monsters who laughed at me two years ago, I have decided to be merciful today and grant them swift ends."

Files of King Eric's brutes had corralled the crowd into submission pre-emptively. Although murmurs responded to the ruler's speech, none were loud enough to reach him.

"Let this be the final warning to all those who insist on complaining the wrong way." He nodded at the executioners, who raised their axes, ready to lop the heads off of their quarries. No charges were read, and not even their names were announced.

"What a farce," Acacia grumbled.

A gust of wind blew across the castle, raising the black hairs on Acacia's arms. Within a single blink, the executioners collapsed mid-swing, foaming at the mouth.

Confusion and panic followed.


OOC notes for @Yumiko:




1,111 out of 2,661 words


Last edited by Acacia on Fri Nov 24, 2023 12:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
Yumiko
Yumiko
[tracker=/t1347-yumiko#7408]
Name : Yumiko
Epithet : Kamaitachi
Age : 28
Height : 5'5'' / 165 cm
Weight : 128 lbs. / 58 kg
Species : Human
Faction : Civilian
Devil Fruit : Ita Ita no Mi, Model: Kamaitachi
Quality Score : S
EXP Bonus : +0.20 (to all allies)
Balance : [bel] 2,278,965,048
[[baneoftheweak]][[dragonheart]][[childofdestiny]]
[[punchoutguru]][[dulcetvirtuoso]]

[[improviseadaptovercome]]
Posts : 481

[Episode] Corruption of Blood Empty Re: [Episode] Corruption of Blood

This post has in-line assessment comments.Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:39 am
Anticipation was a strange thing. It churned at the bottom of one’s stomach, a twisting, uncomfortable sensation. On one hand, Yumiko was most eager to witness the local Shogun in person. She wished to see for herself what manner of man commanded this land. Yet on the other hand... The sense of isolation was creeping up on her. Uneasiness. Dread.

In the middle of the murmuring crowd, the warrior felt like an outsider. The puzzling rumors about the rebels snaked into her sharp ears all too easily. If these criminals truly were guilty of treason, then why weren’t people happy that they had been caught...? She cast a glance over her shoulder, towards an odd sound she thought she heard. Someone was laughing? But even that laugh felt more mischievous than anything.

As soon as the king appeared, the samurai threw herself to the ground. Without hesitation she pressed her head into the dirt in the utmost show of respect. Unsurprisingly her fellow marines didn’t follow the gesture. They simply gawked in disbelief, much like the closest civilians.

The indifferent superior, meanwhile, was less than impressed. Pinching the bridge of his nose, he let out a deep, tired sigh. [npc=navy]“Oh for the love of...”[/npc] He went to snatch the groveling samurai back up by the hair. [npc=navy]“Get up, soldier. Save your crawling for when you clean the ship with a toothbrush or whatever.”[/npc]

Admittedly the captain wasn’t quite sure how to punish the weirdo for making a scene. Any heavy or humiliating task he tossed her way was handled without a complaint... Oh well, he would figure out something later.

Yumiko found herself dragged back onto her feet. Her confusion deepened when she saw no one else bowing. Rather some even dared to jeer at their supreme leader. She could only shake her head disapprovingly. The local customs were strange...

The samurai's steely gaze focused on the crowned man taking the stage. Such a powerful figure he had. She braced herself what would surely be a booming, nay, thundering speech befitting of a Shogun. Well...

When the first notes of the falsetto pierced the air, most of the marines had to desperately stifle laughter. They all knew the grisly fate of those who dared to mock the king. Yumiko, meanwhile, was left utterly speechless. Her stare lost its icy edge, replaced by wide-eyed disbelief. Something behind those empty eyes died a little.

After recovering from the initial shock, the swordswoman quickly shook the troubling thoughts out of her head. Nay, it was not right to judge a person based on something they could not change. How shameful of her! All these brave soldiers followed him for a reason. Surely he was a man of courage and valor.

However, each venomous word that whistled through the air poisoned the warrior’s opinion further. Cracks appeared on the surface of her hopeful image of the man. Shard by shard, it slowly crumbled away. She stared quietly at the ugly creature emerging from behind it.

When the king dared to admit that some had been slain for merely laughing at him, the samurai’s stare narrowed. What manner of execution was it when the accused were not even allowed to slice their own stomachs? The local customs were so very strange indeed.

Honestly, the swordswoman wanted to protest. Vehemently. To leap onto the stage and stop this awful display. And yet... A deep sense of duty shackled her to the spot. She grit her teeth together. Opposing the rightful ruler was treason, the second foulest kind of dishonor...

Yumiko's hand wavered over the grip of her blade. The wind started whispering around her. Frustration churned inside her. It called forth something she didn’t quite understand. A strange kind of spark... But before it could flare, a chill wind blew across the area. Someone else was faster. Fortunately so. A careless, uncontrolled outburst from an ignorant soul would’ve made a huge mess...

With matching light thuds, the executioners collapsed. A collective gasp spread across the crowd like a ripple in a pond. The blunt shock was enough to bash the usual indecisiveness out of the captain. Immediately he spun around to face the usual suspect, firing a furious whisper at her. [npc=navy]“What did you do?!”[/npc]

Yumiko blinked. The frustration faded, taking that strange spark with it. “S-sir, I have done nothing yet.” Her honesty was met with brief relief.

The captain briefly considered himself lucky the weird woman was too stupid to lie. [npc=navy]“Hm, oka- Wait, what do you mean yet?? Gah, now’s not the time...”[/npc] He could feel a headache coming. If that creepy gust hadn’t come from the kamawhatsit powers, then they had a problem in their hands. A big problem.

Facing the marines, Captain Hoggish started barking commands loud enough to get over the screaming. [npc=navy]“Men, someone is trying to interfere! Fan out and find that bastard or whatever it is!”[/npc] His orders were accompanied by wild flailing, which the soldiers interpreted surprisingly well. They had gotten used to it.

Moving in pairs, the Marines spread among the panicking crowd. In the chaos and confusion, it was difficult to determine who was acting suspicious, but they had always followed the captain’s patented ‘punch first, ask questions never’ policy. It was highly efficient when everyone in the vicinity was a suspect. Several unruly citizens quickly found themselves detained. Violently.

Naturally Yumiko too started scanning the area. Though the lingering doubts were proving rather distracting... Her sharp gaze darted between the panicking people. Seeing her own allies go after civilians while the so-called ruler watched from his stage didn’t feel right.

Suppressing the sickening sensation, the hunter sharpened her senses... Any suspicious sound or scent, she would surely pick up... Eugh, as soon as she got past this lingering stench of alcohol and other sins at least. She had to pinch her nose to shut out the overpowering smell. Who on earth reeked like this?

Words: 990
Total: 2285


Last edited by Yumiko on Fri Dec 01, 2023 7:20 am; edited 3 times in total

Acacia appreciated this post

Acacia
Acacia
Kurotane (Black Seed)
[tracker=/t897-grimm-aldous-acacia#4096]
Name : Acacia
Epithet : "Black Seed" ("Kurotane")
Age : 27
Height : 8'5" / 257 cm
Weight : 351 lbs / 159 kg
Species : Human
Faction : New Revolutionary Army
Devil Fruit : Mochi Mochi no Mi
Bounty : [ber=r] 250,000,000
Balance : [ber] 582,800,000
[[childofdestiny]]
[[improviseadaptovercome]]
Posts : 122

[Episode] Corruption of Blood Empty Re: [Episode] Corruption of Blood

This post has in-line assessment comments.Sun Jan 10, 2021 2:00 pm

The execution's spectators erupted into a chaotic frenzy like ants flooded out of an anthill. An ear-splitting screech ripped through the crowd. "DON'T LET THEM ESCAPE!!!!" The savage king's face puffed like a blowfish and reddened worse than ripe tomatoes. Indignation spoiled his face - if spoiling a hairy rock were even possible.

"Throw them all into the dungeons!" King Eric squawked. The marine forces entered the fray to try and strong-arm the fringes of the audience. Meanwhile, the ugly merc-like castle guards prodded the front lines with pointed spears.

Acacia surrendered himself to the frantic wave of citizens with a loathsome groan. He did not resist its currents until his eyes fell upon a familiar face for the briefest of moments—the blonde with whom he had spent the previous night.

Throughout the morning, a thought had stewed in the back of his mind. Lingering but never revealing its face.

Why does she feel so familiar? The answer was obvious, though he did not care to admit it to himself.

She looks so much like her... Her golden locks, amber eyes, porcelain skin, and sharp face were all too similar to someone from his past. But, the resemblance did not strike home until he caught a glimpse of her true identity.

The dainty blonde slapped a repugnant guard with her cavalier hat, disorienting him just enough for her powerful shin to meet his neck. The crowd around her gasped and receded. A few more thug-turned-soldiers filled the gap and surrounded her.

Acacia tried to wade closer, but the horrified flock was too stubborn to let him go his way without excessive force. The mob carried him to its boundaries. He was uncomfortably close to a handful of disconcerted marines. Being identified by the Navy in that chaos would have only added fuel to a growing flame.

The two shackled captives on the garish execution platform were on their feet. Their defiant glares pierced King Eric. The dictator rolled his meaty fists into a ball and shifted as if he were about to charge. The ruckus spawned by several unexpected gunshots urged him to reconsider. He swiftly retreated beyond the keep gate at the behest of his scarred companion.

Acacia spotted five cloaked riflemen with smoking muskets kneeling on the battlements of the far wall. They fired again, managing to drop perhaps two of the brutes encircling the blonde aggressor. It was near impossible to tell through the moving crowd, even if Acacia was tall enough to look down on the crowns of most heads.

Two more cloaked intruders struck down the guards near the platform. One of the prisoners turned to the crowd and shouted. "The resistance endures to fight for a free Durban! Wake up, my brothers and sisters!" The audience quieted briefly. "Our families and future generations deserve to live in a country where the air itself doesn't strangle them. Rise with us and bring Eric's tyranny to an end!" The middle-aged speaker panted as he climbed off the makeshift stage. His eyes were sunken and the hair on his face was shaggy and unkempt. No doubt Eric's hospitality was as unpleasant as the rest of him.

The intruders guided their rescuees through the ocean of bodies. Luckily for them, said ocean parted as if on command to form an unobstructed path leading to the courtyard gate. Acacia tracked the blonde woman as she sprinted out. Four of the guards managed to give chase. One chucked his spear like a javelin, grazing the woman's arm. The injury failed to slow her.

Acacia's head had cleared just enough to allow a timely decision. He knew then he would regret letting the familiar blonde slip away, never to be seen again. A rash action was in order if he wished to keep up.

He pulled an arm back and punched the air. His fist did not stop at the end of his arm. The limb stretched into a goopy white substance until it connected his shoulder to the top of the gate. The sheeple around him gawked with their jaws on the ground.

Acacia did not stick around long enough to see them settle on an explanation for the oddity they had witnessed. The white substance contracted and slingshotted him over the gate to a watchtower across from it. The clock struck eight.

The pursuers of the escaped rebels shouted angry obscenities as they ran down the street. The spiky-haired stalker dropped down and followed. Acacia's torso once again turned to a dough-like goop when he dug into his chest and pulled out a katana in a lavender sheath.

"Sure-kill technique..." He chanted as his left hand gripped the hilt of the sword and his right its scabbard.

"...Longwood Blues!"

A gust trailed his blinding charge, which ended just past the surprised guardsmen. His blade reflected the morning sunlight, dressed with the blood of his four victims.

Acacia's gaze intersected with the blonde woman's only for a second when she noted his assault. She did not seem to care for a reunion. Instead, she turned down an alley behind her comrades. Without wasting a single breath, he resumed his pursuit.

As he hurried down the alley, he could hear one or two pairs of feathery footsteps dashing behind him. His hangover had not spared him enough to permit the use of kenbunshoku. So, he stopped in his tracks at a lonely and claustrophobic alley crossing and spun around to face the hounds.

The panicked ringing of a massive bell started in the direction of the castle.



926 out of 3,587 words



Last edited by Acacia on Fri Nov 24, 2023 12:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
Yumiko
Yumiko
[tracker=/t1347-yumiko#7408]
Name : Yumiko
Epithet : Kamaitachi
Age : 28
Height : 5'5'' / 165 cm
Weight : 128 lbs. / 58 kg
Species : Human
Faction : Civilian
Devil Fruit : Ita Ita no Mi, Model: Kamaitachi
Quality Score : S
EXP Bonus : +0.20 (to all allies)
Balance : [bel] 2,278,965,048
[[baneoftheweak]][[dragonheart]][[childofdestiny]]
[[punchoutguru]][[dulcetvirtuoso]]

[[improviseadaptovercome]]
Posts : 481

[Episode] Corruption of Blood Empty Re: [Episode] Corruption of Blood

This post has in-line assessment comments.Mon Jan 11, 2021 11:31 am
Yumiko’s already fragile focus was utterly shattered by another shrill screech. She clutched her sensitive ears and gritted her teeth. Hng, the local Shogun had healthy lungs at least. If only he would put them to a better use...

Once the wave of pain passed, the warrior rushed into the fray as well. Grabbing her sheathed sword, she tried to hold back the mass of frenzied people. A futile effort, really. She simply skidded back against the raging crowd, like a rowboat at the mercy of the waves. Her lacking motivation certainly wasn’t helping either. An order was an order, from the Shogun no less, but... Did they truly all need to be thrown to the dungeons...?

A sudden series of gunshots drew the conflicted marine’s attention. Brief relief visited her features when she saw that none of her allies had gotten hurt. Sharpening her senses, she tried to focus on the scent of the gunpowder. Somewhere over... No, it was useless, she couldn’t see over the heads of the crowd.

However, the weasel's sharp hearing caught something unsettling. She didn’t want to believe it, of course. The noble Shogun... A tyrant? She tried to shake the thought out of her head. No, nonono, not possible! Rulers were righteous and just, otherwise they would not be chosen. But... The seed of doubt had been planted... And the mention of the suffocating air watered it nicely, for she happened to wholeheartedly agree with that one.

As the ocean of bodies parted, Yumiko was slammed to the side by the forming wave. She struggled onto her feet to avoid getting trampled. Something zipped across the edge of her vision.

The samurai glanced upwards and promptly did a double take. Eyes bulging, jaw dropping and snot dripping, she stared at the man who slingshotted himself over the gate. A loud gasp underlined her shock. W-w-w-what manner of strange sorcery did these foreigners possess? It must’ve been one of those fruits of the devil. However, the passing breeze carried a stench that yanked her nose. It was... Her sharp gaze darted towards the gate. Him!

Perhaps it was the duty calling or simply hunter’s instincts kicking in, but... Before the weasel woman’s mind could fully understand it, her body was already moving. She jumped onto the crowd, using one guard’s head as a stepping stone. A sudden gust of wind whirled around her, picking her up into the air.

Reminiscent of a kite, the wind weasel soared high above the town. Her keen stare swept the streets below. Hm... There! She spotted the suspect enacting violence on pursuing guards. Without wasting a moment, she swooped downwards in hot pursuit.

Meanwhile, the samurai’s sudden desertion of her post didn’t go unnoticed. One marine nudged another, who in turn jabbed the third and so forth. Soon enough the domino effect reached Captain Hoggish.

“Sir, Yumiko just ran off. Chased after the escaping prisoners.”

The burly leader shot back a fiery glare, having his hands full with strangling an uppity civilian. [npc=navy]“Oh, I know, let’s all just stand around like idiots until somebody does something!”[/npc] He blurted out, his voice dripping with thick sarcasm.

Naturally, the good soldiers followed orders.

...Much to the burly man's growing dismay. [npc=navy]“...Well?!”[/npc]

The closest goon recoiled, uncertainty written all over his pasty features. “But, sir, you said-!”

The throbbing vein on the Captain’s forehead threatened to burst as his blood pressure spiked. [npc=navy]“I was being sarcastic, or something! After her! NOW!”[/npc] However, no amount of shouting could change the fact that it was too late.

“No can do, boss. The gate’s closed.”

Right on the comment, the gates closed with a hefty thunk. It was a sound that accepted no arguments, not even in the form of a frustrated groan.

---

Meanwhile, the samurai in hot pursuit nearly had the drop on her target! ...Until the man sprinted down a cramped alleyway. Her mere attempt to glide inside resulted in her splatting painfully against the wall. Only a conveniently placed rope suspended between the buildings stopped her from falling.

Even while dangling between heaven and earth, the weasel could feel the disgusting stench poking at her nose. Fighting one-handed was going to be tough... Not to mention running right into what might be an ambush...

However, Lady Luck finally smiled upon the warrior. She happened to glance at the clothes lined across the rope, waving in the breeze. Her eyes widened and her expression brightened. This was... exactly what she needed!

Scarcely a couple of seconds later, the pursuer dropped down from her perch and continued the chase. Her light footsteps tapped against the filthy ground. Quick on her feet, she was rapidly gaining on the fleeing suspect. She drew the blade hanging from her belt and took a deep breath...

“Hald, evildoer! Dhou ard under arresd!”

Suddenly, a strange shout demanded the tall swordman's attention. Before him stood the oddly-dressed marine who had pursued him all this way. A small, wooden clothespin pinched her nose firmly shut.

“Surrender now and dhou shall nod be harmed!” It also squashed the foreigner's already odd voice like a particularly stubborn flu. Then again, the lingering stench had left her feeling a little congested anyway. “Bud if dhou resisd, dhou shall face mine wradh!”

Despite the height difference of several heads -and the fact that the smaller sword was practically a sharp hunk of scrap metal next to a Meito- the swordwoman's stern stance didn’t waver. She brandished her nameless blade, seeming blissfully ignorant of the power difference at play. And even if she had known...

Well, she had a duty to uphold.

Words: 939
Total: 3224


Last edited by Yumiko on Fri Dec 01, 2023 7:47 am; edited 3 times in total

Acacia appreciated this post

Acacia
Acacia
Kurotane (Black Seed)
[tracker=/t897-grimm-aldous-acacia#4096]
Name : Acacia
Epithet : "Black Seed" ("Kurotane")
Age : 27
Height : 8'5" / 257 cm
Weight : 351 lbs / 159 kg
Species : Human
Faction : New Revolutionary Army
Devil Fruit : Mochi Mochi no Mi
Bounty : [ber=r] 250,000,000
Balance : [ber] 582,800,000
[[childofdestiny]]
[[improviseadaptovercome]]
Posts : 122

[Episode] Corruption of Blood Empty Re: [Episode] Corruption of Blood

This post has in-line assessment comments.Fri Nov 05, 2021 9:52 am

At Durban Castle...

Heavy steps thudded through a stone corridor. A shrill voice followed.

[npc=pirt]"Why did you stop me, Garobu?! I was seconds away from ending this annoying rebellion once and for all!"[/npc] King Eric squealed. He turned and loomed over his shorter companion.

Garobu blinked unnervingly long.

[npc=pirt]"You were seconds away from dying from a rebel's bullet."[/npc] The thin man hissed.

King Eric leaned in and puffed up his already menacing frame. His crown shifted over his head.

Garobu did not budge an inch.

[npc=pirt]"Don't think I'll let you get away with puppeteering me just because you work for that beast,"[/npc] Eric growled and continued to walk. Several nutcracker soldiers followed them silently.

[npc=pirt]"You misunderstand me, King Eric. My intention wasn't to control you - it was only to protect you. The last thing my master would want is for something to happen to a valued business partner."[/npc] One would be hard-pressed to guess if the words were genuine or a veiled threat.

[npc=pirt]"HAH!"[/npc] King Eric's shriek made the soldiers twitch. [npc=pirt]"Feed your horseshit to someone else. I'm no fool. I'd be surprised if your master even knew my name."[/npc]

Garobu did not comment.

King Eric grinned, pleased with himself. Two of his yellow teeth were solid gold.

[npc=pirt]"Guards, someone go get my precious fiancée from those useless marines!"[/npc] He barked.

A soldier bowed and detached from the troop to find a particular barrel of a captain.


Some dingy alley...

Acacia paused his pursuit of the rebel escapees to confront the strangely nasal voice attempting to arrest him. He unsheathed Nidai Kitetsu smoothly as he turned. A poor decision, as he would no doubt realize.

A short woman dressed in what looked to be a kimono challenged him. Acacia's guard dropped when he noticed the clothespin pinching her nose. He had seen ladies wear bizarre accessories before, but this was a first.

[plyr=misc]"Who the hell are you?"[/plyr] He asked with a callous frown.

The longhaired swordswoman didn't look at all like one of King Eric's brutish goons. Yet, she struck familiar somehow. He would've bet his next bottle of hooch he had seen her somewhere recently.

[plyr=misc]"Wait... Did we sleep together?"[/plyr]

The previous few nights had melded together into an undecipherable mess. Tactless as it may have been, it was better just to ask. Perhaps the woman's memory was sharper than his. Though he hoped it wasn't sharp enough to cut.

Little did he know he had followed her and her comrades (some might call that stalker-ish behaviour) through town that very morning—comrades who, unlike her, wore a uniform far more recognizable.

Meanwhile, a raggedy red-haired man lingered near the encounter. He stood atop a roof overlooking the filthy alley with his hands deep in his pockets. A faint confident smile upturned his stubbled mouth.

[npc=gnrl]"Found you."[/npc]



468 out of 4,055 words


Last edited by Acacia on Fri Nov 24, 2023 12:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
Yumiko
Yumiko
[tracker=/t1347-yumiko#7408]
Name : Yumiko
Epithet : Kamaitachi
Age : 28
Height : 5'5'' / 165 cm
Weight : 128 lbs. / 58 kg
Species : Human
Faction : Civilian
Devil Fruit : Ita Ita no Mi, Model: Kamaitachi
Quality Score : S
EXP Bonus : +0.20 (to all allies)
Balance : [bel] 2,278,965,048
[[baneoftheweak]][[dragonheart]][[childofdestiny]]
[[punchoutguru]][[dulcetvirtuoso]]

[[improviseadaptovercome]]
Posts : 481

[Episode] Corruption of Blood Empty Re: [Episode] Corruption of Blood

This post has in-line assessment comments.Sat Nov 06, 2021 3:46 pm
Behind the closed gates, the castle courtyard was still in complete chaos. The crowd was putting up admirable resistance. Punches, kicks, biting... Every measure of violence was employed. Someone was even beating a lanky, thin officer with a handbag. Strength in numbers mixed with desperation made a fearsome cocktail.

Captain Hoggish, the master of prioritizing, had shifted his focus on taming the unruly civilians. Some poor fool charged him, screaming at the top of his lungs. He grabbed the man by his face and hoisted him up with a single arm. A couple of quick steps... And a toss! ...Sent the guy rolling right into a group of royal guards.

[npc=navy]“Heads up or whatever!”[/npc]

However, the guards failed to catch the screaming surprise projectile and were bowled over. But that wasn’t the Captain’s problem, now was it? He wasn’t the kind of man to get stuck on little details, like who got hurt. His job was far more important than that...

Speaking of an important job, a lone soldier hurried over to the Captain. The King’s command was conveyed quickly. Hoggish scratched his messy beard. [npc=navy]“Right, right... You there, Petty Officer Whatchamacallit!”[/npc] He aimed a sharp point at the closest man wearing blue.

One of the Marines came running and skidded to a stop before the Captain. He was a young, lanky boy with more pimples than muscles. “P-petty OffICEr Callit rePOrting for duTy!” And a voice like an off-tune trumpet. It squeaked up and down ever so awkwardly.

Hoggish gestured broadly in the general direction of the execution platform. [npc=navy]“Go fetch the Princess or whatever. Don’t let anything happen to her and so forth.”[/npc] His order was met with quizzical, even skeptical stares from his men.

All except one.

The Petty Officer clicked his heels together and saluted. “YEs Sir, MIster, uh, CaptAin HoggISh Sir!” He seemed rather giddy as he hurried off. Sharper ears could, perhaps, catch him muttering how he couldn’t wait to tell mom about this important duty.

Sadly, some dreams were set to be broken. There was a smack so loud rang over even the commotion, followed by a weak thud. The King’s fiance was surrounded by the cloaked intruders, struggling to escape their grip. “HEEEEEELP!” Her voice was to ears as a grater was to cheese. Truly she and the King were meant for each other.

The Petty Officer staggered weakly back onto his feet, nursing a black eye. “Oh gOsh... Uhh, MistEr HOGgish Sir, it hAPPened agAIn...!” In the background, one Marine buried his face in his palms, while another sarcastic soul questioned what were the odds.

---

Meanwhile, in the stuffy alley, Yumiko was out of the piercing scream’s reach. Thankfully. Her focus was solely on the tall man before her. His rude question was met with a stern declaration. “I am Gamaidachi no Yumigo and I am a samurai.” She gave him an expectant look. Naturally he would offer his name in exchange.

...Or not.

The swordswoman was visibly baffled by the tactless question. “Whad...?” She shook her head and politely corrected him. “Nay, I sleeb widh mine gomrades in the grew gabin.” Her firm stare narrowed. “And dhou are nod one of dhem.” Thus she couldn’t have slept together with him.

Yumiko lifted her blade, aiming a dramatic, challenging point at the foe. “Lasd chance! Sdade dhy name and surrender!” Call it instinct, call it gut-feeling, but she already had the impression the foe wouldn’t simply yield... They never did.

Words: 580
Total: 3804


Last edited by Yumiko on Fri Dec 01, 2023 7:55 am; edited 1 time in total

Acacia appreciated this post

Acacia
Acacia
Kurotane (Black Seed)
[tracker=/t897-grimm-aldous-acacia#4096]
Name : Acacia
Epithet : "Black Seed" ("Kurotane")
Age : 27
Height : 8'5" / 257 cm
Weight : 351 lbs / 159 kg
Species : Human
Faction : New Revolutionary Army
Devil Fruit : Mochi Mochi no Mi
Bounty : [ber=r] 250,000,000
Balance : [ber] 582,800,000
[[childofdestiny]]
[[improviseadaptovercome]]
Posts : 122

[Episode] Corruption of Blood Empty Re: [Episode] Corruption of Blood

This post has in-line assessment comments.Tue Nov 09, 2021 5:45 pm

The mob in the castlegrounds fumbled within itself like a flock of sheep alarmed by ravenous wolves. Part of the crowd dove into the castle gate to breach the iron bars. Most of them would have assumed the effort was futile.

They would have been wrong.

[npc=misc]"I feel stronger all of a sudden!"[/npc] Declared a citizen as he struggled against the grates.

[npc=misc]"Me too!"[/npc] Cried another.

The consensus among them was they all felt invigorated and mighty beyond their limits.

A keen ear might have heard the mischievous [npc=gnrl]"Heeheehee~"[/npc] of a pink-haired wrinkly lady relishing the miracle at play.

The gate warped under the weight of the horde until it shattered through its stone housing and fell. The thunderous clamour of the fall marked a crucial moment in Durban's history. But, only a select few understood its significance at the time.

The citizens poured out of the courtyard and fled to safety. King Eric's wrath had yet to follow, for he had not realized some insolent curs were impolitely spiriting away his prized maiden to add insult to injury.

Elsewhere, a spiky-haired swordsman reeking of booze and blunts confronted a long-haired swordswoman with queer tastes in accessories.

[plyr=misc]"Gama da what now? 'No you may go'? Samurai--why are you even chasing me?"[/plyr] Acacia asked.

His gears turned to process her gibberish. He had heard of the mysterious swordmasters of Wano Country, but he could not imagine what business one of them might have had with him.

Acacia grunted impatiently when the strange bird continued her incomprehensible nasal chirps.

[plyr=misc]"I can't understand you. If you're not gonna take that stupid thing off your nose and talk like a normal fucking person, I'm leaving. I don't have time to waste on you,"[/plyr] he snarled. Acacia was sure by then they could never have slept together. He had sunk into depravity, not stupidity.

He turned to continue his pursuit, but his gut promised the self-proclaimed samurai would follow.

The chase ended prematurely.

A scruffy red-haired individual stood firm in their path. The stranger wore a child-like smile with his eyes shut.  A pair of goggles sat snugly just above his brows. Acacia could not detect even the slightest trace of hostility from the man. And yet, his legs failed to advance.

[npc=gnrl]"Grimm Aldous Acacia. We've been looking for you,"[/npc] the waylayer said.

Acacia's hair stood on end when he heard that name.

Before he could react, the stranger vanished from sight. The next moment, an incoming blackened fist obscured Acacia's vision as it crushed his nose and smashed into his face.

The red-haired man punched Acacia into the ground.

With his smile undiminished, the man approached the samurai. Not a single step betrayed aggression despite his action seconds before.

[npc=gnrl]"Kamaitachi no Yumiko-san, wasn't it? I am called Price. Please excuse the uncordial invitation, but I need the pair of you to come with me,"[/npc] he said as he brought down a swift, decisive chop to the back of the woman's neck.

Acacia slipped into a forced dream as his faculties departed - the last thing he saw was the pesky maiden's face.


508 out of 4,563 words


Last edited by Acacia on Fri Nov 24, 2023 12:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
Yumiko
Yumiko
[tracker=/t1347-yumiko#7408]
Name : Yumiko
Epithet : Kamaitachi
Age : 28
Height : 5'5'' / 165 cm
Weight : 128 lbs. / 58 kg
Species : Human
Faction : Civilian
Devil Fruit : Ita Ita no Mi, Model: Kamaitachi
Quality Score : S
EXP Bonus : +0.20 (to all allies)
Balance : [bel] 2,278,965,048
[[baneoftheweak]][[dragonheart]][[childofdestiny]]
[[punchoutguru]][[dulcetvirtuoso]]

[[improviseadaptovercome]]
Posts : 481

[Episode] Corruption of Blood Empty Re: [Episode] Corruption of Blood

This post has in-line assessment comments.Thu Nov 11, 2021 7:28 am
Slowly the wolves in white circled the unruly sheep. They were about to bring order to this courtyard. A couple more broken bones should do it. Make an example out of one and the rest would fall in line... That’s what leading by example meant, right? Right.

Unfortunately, miracles had an awful habit of occurring at the most inconvenient times. A brutish Marine marched closer, fingers itching to arrest somebody. A couple of seconds later, said Marine was sent tumbling back with a fist imprint on his chin.

Stone grumbled. Metal whined. With a mighty, combined heave, the flock of sheep pushed through the mighty gate.

Eyes bulged. Jaws dropped. With a mighty, combined HUUUUUUUUH?!?!, the wolves recoiled in raw shock.

Even the usually unflappable Captain Hoggish looked stunned. So stunned, in fact, that he forgot to order his men to pursue. They all just stood there, questioning their eyes. And life choices, probably. His carelessness proved very convenient for the fleeing rebels...

Meanwhile, back at a certain stinky alley...

Beneath the cold mask, the samurai wasn’t quite sure whether to feel insulted at how the snake spat his venom and twisted her name... Or relieved that this time she hadn’t been misheard as a different kind of -kama... It didn’t take much deliberation for her to lean towards the latter. She would take what she could get.

Yumiko’s glare narrowed when the suspect continued to slash with his sharp tongue. No name, no manners... And no honor. How very typical of his ilk. The demand to remove the shield of her sensitive nose was immediately shot down. “I refuse. Dhou shall only leave in chains...” Her grip on the blade tightened. She had no intention of letting him leave.

However, before the swordswoman could try anything reckless, a mysterious stranger stepped onto the filthy, narrow stage. It was unexpected to find someone so friendly here of all places... But not unpleasant. She lifted a curious brow. Acacia of Grimm Aldous... Now her suspect had a name.

However, in a single instant, the samurai’s good impression was smashed, much like the coarse man’s face. Blinking, she glanced frantically between the now empty spot and the smiling stranger. Her hair bristled. An unnatural chill traced its cold claws down her back. Her animal instincts were screaming at her. Get away...! This one is dangerous...!

But her code refused to allow even a single step back.

Thus Yumiko stood her ground. She was well aware that the line between bravery and foolishness had been crossed. As the stranger approached, she felt like she was gazing up at a giant. An immense shadow towered over her, with his aura of fire and footsteps of thunder. Perhaps there was some truth to the wild imagination... Still, she returned his greeting with a civil nod.

“Well med, Sir Price. I musd refuse-”

Like a bolt of lightning, the impact shook the lithe woman’s frame. Her eyes rolled back and jaw went slack. The cheap blade slipped from her grip and clattered against the ground. Light left her mind running. Reminiscent of a rag doll, limp and lifeless, she slumped over.

Words: 525
Total: 4329


Last edited by Yumiko on Fri Dec 01, 2023 7:55 am; edited 1 time in total

Acacia appreciated this post

Acacia
Acacia
Kurotane (Black Seed)
[tracker=/t897-grimm-aldous-acacia#4096]
Name : Acacia
Epithet : "Black Seed" ("Kurotane")
Age : 27
Height : 8'5" / 257 cm
Weight : 351 lbs / 159 kg
Species : Human
Faction : New Revolutionary Army
Devil Fruit : Mochi Mochi no Mi
Bounty : [ber=r] 250,000,000
Balance : [ber] 582,800,000
[[childofdestiny]]
[[improviseadaptovercome]]
Posts : 122

[Episode] Corruption of Blood Empty Re: [Episode] Corruption of Blood

This post has in-line assessment comments.Fri Nov 24, 2023 12:20 pm

[npc=navy]"He's almost here, Aka-chan! We have to keep the civilians out of his way,"[/npc] yelled a familiar voice.

Acacia failed to respond. His legs stayed in place as if held by a vice. Every instinct detained him from cooperating with his partner. What good could any of them do against the impending calamity?

[npc=navy]"Aka-chan! HURRY!"[/npc]

The colour drained from his skin as his feet turned away. [plyr=navy]"We can't protect them, Briar. We can barely save ourselves. That thing can't be stopped."[/plyr] He felt the despairing gazes of their charges boring a hole into his heart of stone.

[npc=navy]"We're not trying to stop him! We just need to help stall him until they get far enough away."[/npc]

[plyr=navy]"Nowhere is far enough for them! They'll never ma--"[/plyr] A fierce roar in the distance interrupted him, chased by a blast so hot it singed their skins even miles away.

[plyr=navy]"Let's go!"[/plyr] He shouted before darting away from the doombringer. He did not notice his partner had stayed behind until it was too late.

Darkness passed before his eyes until he found himself standing amidst a firing squad with nine other riflemen aiming at his partner. A murky smile sat on her mud-stained face.

The deafening volley shook him awake. Faint murmurs turned to audible voices as his sight returned, clouded as it was.

[npc=navy]"Do you have any idea how chaotic it is out there? Eric's acting like an army's attacked him or something like that,"[/npc] barked a white blob accented in dark blue.

[npc=gnrl]"Technically speaking, that is what happened,"[/npc] said another blob, thinner with a red point.

[npc=navy]"This isn't the time for you to be clowning around or whatever. Don't you realize the awkward position you've put me in? It was all I could do to get away from my men. You should've waited until the princess was out of our hands before you abducted her and so forth."[/npc]

The clouds lifted one after the other. The white and blue blob transformed into a marine captain as if stains on a wall were slowly coming to life.

[npc=misc]"Luther and Wallace would've had their heads chopped off by then! It isn't our fault you got here so late!"[/npc] The defence came from a familiar face - the blonde with the cavalier hat. A flat hand slapping a small table emphasized her discontent.

Acacia shifted his limbs until they felt unexpected pressure. The clanking of chains informed him of his condition. Both he and the strange samurai woman were shackled to metal chairs fixed next to each other.

[npc=navy]"It's been a tightrope act - helping you fools while convincing Eric, my superiors, and my men I'm following orders or something like that. What were you thinking bringing her here? She's been the biggest pain in my ass since hemorrhoids or whatever,"[/npc] the marine captain argued, gesturing towards the samurai. That she could be a marine hadn't even crossed Acacia's mind.

[npc=gnrl]"What can I say? I have a soft spot for determined soldiers. I don't think she would've let me take him away without a fight."[/npc]

[npc=navy]"Speaking of, don't you mole-people read the news? Do you even know what he did and so on?"[/npc] The marine captain pointed at Acacia.

[npc=gnrl]"Why do you think we brought him here?"[/npc] A pink blob spoke up from the corner of the room, her voice shaky yet mellow.

[npc=gnrl]"Former rear admiral 'Black Seed' Acacia."[/npc] The blob with the red point approached, slowly thinning into a red-haired man.

[npc=gnrl]"Dishonourably discharged, wanted for treason, mass murder, and cowardly conduct on an active battlefield."[/npc] The last charge stung the worst.

[npc=gnrl]"A son of the royal Grimm family of the Mogaro Kingdom, disgraced and disinherited,"[/npc] the pink blob added, now an elderly woman with a candy pink bundle for hair.

[npc=misc]"Pathetic in every sense of the word,"[/npc] the blonde said.

[npc=misc]"Didn't you sleep with him just last night?"[/npc] Someone asked out of sight. Acacia couldn't turn his head far enough to look.

[npc=misc]"Maybe I just wanted to see how deep his pitifulness ran,"[/npc] the blonde replied with a dismissive shrug.

[npc=gnrl]"A moment, gentle folk. I think our guests might be coming to,"[/npc] the red-haired man said.

Acacia studied the smirking face. Hundreds of stained and tattered wanted posters turned before his eyes.

[plyr=misc]"I recognize you... You're the Smiling Pauper,"[/plyr] he spoke groggily.

The man's grin widened.

[npc=gnrl]"My friends call me Price. Though I do like to smile and I am always short on cash."[/npc]

[plyr=misc]"I saw you this morning... you got shot."[/plyr] Acacia counted three bullet holes in his loose white shirt, though no blood stains to suggest matching wounds.

[npc=gnrl]"Oh, that - just a lively negotiation at the pawnshop gone wrong. The folk of Durban can be a bit sensitive if I'm being honest; especially the ones involved in the underground weapons trade. They don't much care for paupers. I would've brought you to us then, but I was already running a bit late for the big party,"[/npc] the NRA general said.

[npc=misc]"Why did you bother bringing him now? I told you before, he's an asshole who doesn't care about anyone but himself. We don't need him,"[/npc] the blonde growled as she sat across from the captives, one leg over the other. Her dark bell-bottom jeans concealed the serpents and chains Acacia had admired earlier that day.

[npc=misc]"Because we refuse to join the NRA."[/npc] A silhouette entered the dim room through a darker doorway. The beam of light flooding through the small porthole of a window near the ceiling lit his features. His balding brown hair, thick moustache, and long, uneven sideburns matched one of the men who escaped execution - the one who delivered the speech.

The man inspected Acacia and the samurai closely before he continued, [npc=misc]"If we let the NRA fight for us, we'll be counted as one of them. We can't afford to free Durban from Eric by making an enemy of the World Government."[/npc]

[npc=misc]"But the NRA's already helping us, Luther. You do know Price is the one who knocked out those executioners, right?"[/npc] The blonde asked.

[npc=misc]"I do. But, believe me, if these two were plying our revolution for us, we would've won long ago,"[/npc] Luther said glancing at Price and the pink-haired old woman. From what Acacia had heard of Price, he would've agreed.

[npc=gnrl]"We have our reasons for staying out of the spotlight too,"[/npc] the pink-haired crone said with a knowing smile.

[npc=misc]"Fine. But, that still doesn't explain why we brought these two here,"[/npc] the blonde said. Her face betrayed disgust towards Acacia, though she made little effort to hide it.

[npc=gnrl]"Because like it or not, you need help. If it can't come from the NRA, maybe these outsiders can be a compromise. They're strong and willful. I'm sure you could put them to good use,"[/npc] Price said to the blonde with a constant smile.

Acacia grunted. [plyr=misc]"What makes you think I'd lift a finger to help these idiots?"[/plyr]

He could feel the blonde's glare burning into him.

Price leaned over the chair, his arms trapping Acacia from both sides like a cat looming over its prey. The innocence in his smile was unquestionable, and yet his words invoked dread.

[npc=gnrl]"Because, if you don't, I'll throw you into the ocean."[/npc]

Acacia could only grumble under his breath. The blonde noticed his submission and added salt to the wound with a mocking [npc=misc]"hmph"[/npc].

[npc=misc]"That leaves the marine woman,"[/npc] Luther said.

Price stepped away from Acacia and turned his childish smile towards the samurai. [npc=gnrl]"I'm sure Captain Hoggish has words for Yumiko-san to help recruit her to your cause."[/npc]

The marine captain sighed.

[npc=navy]"Something like that..."[/npc]



1,266 out of 5,829 words
Yumiko
Yumiko
[tracker=/t1347-yumiko#7408]
Name : Yumiko
Epithet : Kamaitachi
Age : 28
Height : 5'5'' / 165 cm
Weight : 128 lbs. / 58 kg
Species : Human
Faction : Civilian
Devil Fruit : Ita Ita no Mi, Model: Kamaitachi
Quality Score : S
EXP Bonus : +0.20 (to all allies)
Balance : [bel] 2,278,965,048
[[baneoftheweak]][[dragonheart]][[childofdestiny]]
[[punchoutguru]][[dulcetvirtuoso]]

[[improviseadaptovercome]]
Posts : 481

[Episode] Corruption of Blood Empty Re: [Episode] Corruption of Blood

This post has in-line assessment comments.Sat Dec 02, 2023 5:30 am
Lost in a land without light, the warrior wandered aimlessly. Inky plains stretched beyond the horizon. She gazed up at the starless sky. It was silent. Dead silent. Not a single sensation pierced the infinite blackness.

Hm, no...

Scratch that...

There was something in the air...

Yumiko’s nose wrinkled. From somewhere beyond the edges of consciousness, a stench most foul drilled into her nostrils. It stabbed like a thousand needles. She desperately wanted to shield her face, but her arms felt heavier than lead. They wouldn’t budge.

Suddenly, the samurai jolted awake. She coughed and gagged. “Gah, eugh... W-what is that stench...?” The heavy shackles rattled against her desperate wriggling. Blinking at the unfamiliar surroundings, she tried to regain her bearings. Her wandering gaze found only one familiar face in a forest of strange ones.

Meanwhile, the weasel’s sensitive nose insistently tugged her attention to the side. She found  her earlier prey chained up right next to her. Unable to resist her instincts, she tentatively sniffed the man to confirm her suspicions. ...Only to immediately recoil and regret it. “Aaagh! Thou reek! Has thou not heard of a bath? Of soap?” The boozer’s mere presence was worse than any smelling salts.

Once the initial shock wore off, the reality of the scene started setting in... Well, some vague version of reality, anyhow. In Yumiko’s eyes, these wicked fiends had captured her... But the brave captain had charged in to save the day. Together, they would bring the criminals to justice!

Unfortunately, the words being exchanged didn’t match that distorted daydream in the slightest. Revolutionaries, disgruntled civilians, a disgraced Rear Admiral... All wrapped up in layers of deception and double-dealing... None of it made any sense.

Yumiko’s ears twitched. Disbelief painted her features. Her lips mouthed questions that her mind failed to put into words. Who, what, why...? The smile of the cheery man made her shudder. She felt like a weasel trapped in a den of lions...

The warrior strained against her chains. She tried to call forth the mythical fury inside her. Unfortunately, said fury slumbered. She couldn’t summon a single claw or a patch of fur. All her struggling only resulted in a frustrated gasp. Curse these chains...

Eventually, Captain Hoggish grabbed a free chair and dragged it in front of the willful woman. He rubbed his temple, trying to coax some ideas out of hiding. [npc=navy]“So. Am I right to assume that the moment I let you loose, you’ll freak out and try to bite someone or something like that?”[/npc] He asked conversationally.

Immediately, the loyal soldier straightened her back. “Sir, yes, sir!” She cast a quick, counting glance at the present opponents. “This one is ready to hunt these vile villains, sir.” Being outnumbered was irrelevant. She only needed to know whom she was allowed to cut down.

Letting out an exasperated sigh, the captain scratched his ragged beard idly. Cracker crumbs cascaded down his chest. [npc=navy]“Villains or whatever, eh...?”[/npc] The biggest hurdle was always that stubbornly rigid moral code of hers, he had noticed. Working against it was pointless, so... [npc=navy]“Did the king look like a hero to you or anything of the sort?”[/npc]

The armor-piercing question silenced the samurai. “...” Her instincts clashed against her training. Their answers were the exact opposites.

[npc=navy]“Well?”[/npc]

Yumiko averted her gaze. “A blade does not question the will nor the valor of the rulers...” It was spoken with the cadence of an often-repeated mantra. Indoctrination came in many flavors.

However, the surly superior was most familiar with the stubborn subordinate’s blind devotion. In any other circumstance, it would’ve been useful. Here, though? A real pain in the ass. [npc=navy]“I’m not asking the blade, I’m asking the samurai wielding it. What does your, whatchacallit, bus-tidy say about this?”[/npc]

The mispronunciation tugged at the Wano woman’s nerves. “‘Tis pronounced bushido...” She muttered. “And... It instructs me to only fight for honest and worthy causes.” In her mind, siding with terrorists was neither.

[npc=navy]“That’s not all your bush-hidey says though, is it?”[/npc]

Prodding the Wano woman, keeping her talking, was proving effective. “Mine bushido...” She emphasized insistently. “...is to protect those who cannot protect themselves.”

Hoggish pressed the assault. Now they were getting somewhere. [npc=navy]“Then do exactly that.”[/npc] He gestured broadly at the withered old man. [npc=navy]“This city is full of people like him who can’t protect themselves from the king and his goons. You keep going on and on about worthy causes. Well, it doesn't get more worthy than this.”[/npc] Leaning closer, he locked eyes with the warrior. A challenge.

[npc=navy]“Or is your bullshiddo-”[/npc] “Bushido.” [npc=navy]“-all talk or whatever?”[/npc]

Falling silent, the warrior lowered her head. A grim shadow hid her eyes. Beneath the icy exterior, the opposing ideals raged like twin flames. Each threatened to swallow the other. On one hand, she had wanted to cleanse this country from its filth from the very beginning... Yet, on the other hand, she had never expected to start the cleansing from the royal palace...

“...So be it.”

As the samurai raised her head, her gaze blazed with a sense of purpose. It burned away the hesitation. “I am a samurai first and a Marine second. If thy cause truly is worthy, then mine blade is at thy service.” As soon as she said it, a strange sense of relief washed over her soul. It felt... right.

Yumiko shifted her attention to the smiling revolutionary. “However... Please do not mistake this for an alliance, Sir Price. Our goals may align, but our causes do not.” Her glare narrowed with grim intensity. “Once this land has been freed, I shall hunt down every last one of thee.” Her tone was heavy with unwavering confidence. Or rather, an unyielding sense of duty.

After a tense pause, the marine captain shrugged wryly. [npc=navy]“...Yeah, your funeral and so forth.”[/npc]

The comment garnered a puzzled look from the swordswoman. “What do thou mean by that...?” She got no answer.

Instead, Captain Hoggish dragged his chair away and aimed a dismissive thumb at the marine. [npc=navy]“The weasel is all yours or whatever.”[/npc] He had done his part.

Words: 1018
Total: 5347

Acacia appreciated this post

Acacia
Acacia
Kurotane (Black Seed)
[tracker=/t897-grimm-aldous-acacia#4096]
Name : Acacia
Epithet : "Black Seed" ("Kurotane")
Age : 27
Height : 8'5" / 257 cm
Weight : 351 lbs / 159 kg
Species : Human
Faction : New Revolutionary Army
Devil Fruit : Mochi Mochi no Mi
Bounty : [ber=r] 250,000,000
Balance : [ber] 582,800,000
[[childofdestiny]]
[[improviseadaptovercome]]
Posts : 122

[Episode] Corruption of Blood Empty Re: [Episode] Corruption of Blood

This post has in-line assessment comments.Sat Jan 06, 2024 11:57 pm

Acacia tugged on his shackles, making them sing. A grunt under his breath betrayed the discomfort wrought by the compressed aura of the sea. Until that day, he could've counted the number of times his powers had been fettered on one hand. That was the first time he had to count on two.

When the strange samurai beside him griped over his stench, he shrugged her off. He couldn't imagine any amount of soap washing the stench of Durban off of him. The smell of piss, blood, and everything in between had permanently settled into all corners of the city. It was this very reason why Acacia had no faith in the rebels who detained them.

[plyr=misc]"This city seems beyond saving,"[/plyr] he repeated to no one in particular.

And yet, the exchange between the samurai and her superior that followed weighed heavier than the chains around his ankles. Like an anchor, the slow realization that was settling into the samurai sank deeper into Acacia's thoughts also.

He had heard of this "Bushy Dough" the samurai of Wano Country valued so highly. The first time the phrase fell on his ears, he'd thought them to be warring bakers not unlike those who hailed from Totto Land. But, the marine woman beside him didn't strike him as a bread connoisseur of any sort.

Marines who held onto their own sense of justice - Acacia had experienced firsthand what became of such soldiers if they weren't strong enough to resist the world. It crushed them in its palm and turned them to dust. No doubt this woman would meet a similar end.

Her deluded promise to hunt down the Smiling Pauper and his associates brought some much-needed relief to the growing tension. If all samurai were as stubborn as her, it was small wonder why the borders of Wano Country had remained closed for so many centuries.

The pink-haired old woman giggled as she neared the samurai with short but quick steps. She jabbed the marine's foot with a cane more crooked than her back. [npc=gnrl]"I hope that doesn't include me, li'l soldier. I can't run like I used to these days."[/npc]

Price unlocked the chains binding the samurai and reassured his colleague, [npc=gnrl]"Don't worry, ol' girl. I can always carry you away if Yumiko-san pursues us."[/npc]

[npc=gnrl]"Oh hush, you~"[/npc] She said with a cheeky tilt of her wrinkled head.

Just as soon as the last of the samurai's chains fell, an ear-piercing screech ripped through the dim room. It originated down the hall and yet Acacia felt as if someone were howling straight into his ears—with a megaphone, no less.

A ragged youngster stepped through the doorway and sought out the NRA general. [npc=misc]"We barely managed to bring the princess here, Mr. Price, but she keeps screaming through her gag."[/npc]

[npc=gnrl]"A lively one, isn't she?"[/npc] He said with a closed eye. [npc=gnrl]"I'll see if I can't give her tonsils a rest before we all go deaf."[/npc]

A gust of wind seemed to blow in a circle with Price at its epicentre. Half a moment later, the screaming stopped. Sweat leaked from many foreheads in the cold cellar.

[npc=gnrl]"You're such a bully - kidnapping ladies and punishing them for resisting,"[/npc] the pink-haired woman complained.

[npc=gnrl]"It seems to be have been effective so far."[/npc] Price grinned and winked at the samurai.

The youngster in the doorway cleared his throat and continued his alarming report. [npc=misc]"The abduction of the princess added to the rescue of Luther and Wallace has pushed Eric over the edge. He's ordered a curfew and is getting most of his men to execute door-to-door searches. He's having them drag families into the streets to try and find us."[/npc]

The words smothered any lingering humour in the room.

[npc=misc]"Where is Eric right now?"[/npc] Luther asked with a heavy frown.

[npc=misc]"He's boiling over but he's still holed up in the keep. He's only got a few guards left at the castle,"[/npc] the youngster reported.

[npc=misc]"And what about Behemoth's lackey?"[/npc]

Acacia felt a sudden lump in his throat. His breath stalled and the crimson in his eyes grew wider.

[npc=misc]"Garobu's in the keep too, though he wasn't with Eric as far as I could tell."[/npc]

[npc=misc]"He must be in the underground factory. Wallace and I were forced to work there alongside many of the prisoners. We also confirmed that many of the citizens who'd been going missing over the last few months were being used as slave labourers. We couldn't figure out what we were making—it seemed to be some sort of chemical—but I'm sure it's fuelling one of Behemoth's many enterprises. Garobu was the one overseeing the operation,"[/npc] Luther said after a brief thought. A contemptuous grimace distorted his brown moustache.

Acacia's heart thumped faster. The room started to float behind a swelling rage in his eyes. The figures in the room danced like serpents to the tune of a snake charmer.

[npc=misc]"If they're assaulting families, we can't afford to wait. We have to attack now,"[/npc] the blonde with the cavalier hat said, drawing a rapier from her hip.

[npc=misc]"I agree. If the majority of Eric's forces are distracted in the city, we could infiltrate the castle more easily and take the keep and the underground factory in one fell swoop,"[/npc] Luther said.

[npc=gnrl]"It may be your best chance if you're in a hurry, but don't underestimate Eric and Behemoth's man. You won't have our help this time. But, at least you'll have theirs,"[/npc] Price said, motioning towards the former and current marines.

[npc=misc]"I'm still not sure about the traitor. He clearly doesn't seem interested in helping,"[/npc] the blonde argued.

[plyr=misc]"I'll do it,"[/plyr] Acacia declared with a fervour that had eluded him for too long.

All eyes fell on him as he spoke.

[plyr=misc]"You said the factory belongs to Behemoth... And that man works for him... If you'll let me take care of both, I'll help. I'll take them all on by myself if I have to, just get me out of these cuffs and give me back my sword."[/plyr] His icy glare seemed to scrape at the unfinished walls of the cellar, tearing at them to finally unleash a demon chained.

[npc=misc]"A few minutes ago, you mocked us and refused to help,"[/npc] the blonde reminded him.

[plyr=misc]"A few minutes ago, I didn't know you were about to defy the Yonkou, Loha."[/plyr]

[npc=misc]"What do you have against him?"[/npc]

[plyr=misc]"He took something from me. I'm going to take it back."[/plyr]



1,075 out of 6,905 words
Yumiko
Yumiko
[tracker=/t1347-yumiko#7408]
Name : Yumiko
Epithet : Kamaitachi
Age : 28
Height : 5'5'' / 165 cm
Weight : 128 lbs. / 58 kg
Species : Human
Faction : Civilian
Devil Fruit : Ita Ita no Mi, Model: Kamaitachi
Quality Score : S
EXP Bonus : +0.20 (to all allies)
Balance : [bel] 2,278,965,048
[[baneoftheweak]][[dragonheart]][[childofdestiny]]
[[punchoutguru]][[dulcetvirtuoso]]

[[improviseadaptovercome]]
Posts : 481

[Episode] Corruption of Blood Empty Re: [Episode] Corruption of Blood

This post has in-line assessment comments.Tue Jan 09, 2024 6:29 am
Squeaking like a weasel that got its tail caught in a thorn, more startled than in pain, the samurai protested the offending cane. “Yes-” She quickly bit her tongue. Trapped the remainder of the remark. Her upbringing demanded that she respected her elders... But this particular elder was certainly not making it easy.

As the chains fell, so did the oppressive weight on the weasel woman’s shoulders. It was easier to move again. Easier to breathe. She lifted her hand and called for the slumbering power. It responded lazily, just a patch of dark fur spreading across her hand, yet responded nonetheless.

Yumiko’s relief -and ears- got promptly shattered. Clutching her head, she flinched at the impressive display of lung capacity. “Ghhh... ‘Tis like two blades in mine ears, clashing in the middle...” She whined.

Then...

Silence.

Usually, it would’ve been bliss. However, the samurai only felt fear. Her hair bristled. Cold sweat painted her skin with a trail of genuine dread. Though the moment passed, the feeling lingered.

Yet, the warrior found herself puzzled by another sensation stirring in her soul. She was scared, yes, of this unquestionably powerful man before her. There was no denying it. So what was this excitement fluttering in her chest...? Why did she feel a smile tugging at her lips...? Once this was over... No. She discarded the thought.

It was far too early to hunt this one.

Yumiko relaxed her animalistic, aggressive stance. She leveled an accusing stare at the smiling man. “So, thou have kidnapped not only the princess, but the lady in the mangled hat-” She gestured broadly at the blonde woman. “-as well? Despicable.” Oblivious as usual, she completely missed the meaning behind the wink.

Falling quiet, the warrior folded her arms and let the scout and the tacticians converse. She regained her cold composure. Yet, her slowly sharpening nails sank into the cloth on her arm... And dug into the flesh...

Much to Yumiko’s silent surprise, the snarky tower known as Acacia suddenly volunteered to help. A spark of reasonable doubt illuminated her thoughts. “A few-” Her lips parted, but the deft blonde stole the words right out of her mouth. She settled for awkwardly nodding in agreement.

However...

Upon hearing the reason for the sudden change of heart, the warrior squinted at the chained demon. “Take ‘it’ back...?” She repeated quietly. Stepping closer, she studied his features, especially his eyes. “Thou seek to oppose the strongest creature in the world for... a personal grudge?” The rhetorical question was left hanging in the air, but only briefly.

“‘Tis a fool’s act.”

Still, the hunter couldn’t bring herself to hate fools who had such a strong sense of purpose. Such determination. Perhaps... She saw something of a familiar reflection in the man. Warped and broken, nigh-unrecognizable, yes, but a reflection nonetheless.

After a pause, the samurai’s expression relaxed from suspicion to a sense of understanding. “Very well. I trust thee.”

Behind the marine, Captain Hoggish idly dug his nose for treasure. [npc=navy]“Not really a vote of confidence, or anything.”[/npc] And failed to elaborate.

Ignoring the snark, the warrior locked eyes with the fellow swordsman. “Thou are a man with a purpose, the same as I.” She could respect that. Though, she was mildly worried by how quickly she was getting used to his abrasive attitude and offending odor... Eugh, no, scratch that second one. She pinched her nose shut.

Words: 570
Total: 5917
Acacia
Acacia
Kurotane (Black Seed)
[tracker=/t897-grimm-aldous-acacia#4096]
Name : Acacia
Epithet : "Black Seed" ("Kurotane")
Age : 27
Height : 8'5" / 257 cm
Weight : 351 lbs / 159 kg
Species : Human
Faction : New Revolutionary Army
Devil Fruit : Mochi Mochi no Mi
Bounty : [ber=r] 250,000,000
Balance : [ber] 582,800,000
[[childofdestiny]]
[[improviseadaptovercome]]
Posts : 122

[Episode] Corruption of Blood Empty Re: [Episode] Corruption of Blood

This post has in-line assessment comments.Tue Jun 25, 2024 11:17 am

When the marine samurai, Yumiko, accused Acacia of committing to a fool's act, the blonde concurred with a bitter sneer. [npc=misc]"I'm sure it's some selfish vendetta,"[/npc] she said. Acacia did not retort; she was close enough to the truth. 

Moments later, Yumiko seemed to have reversed her opinion of the aloof swordsman. Her newly placed trust in him was unearned and likely undeserved. Acacia cared not, so long as she stayed out of his way when the time came. He was not keen to fight beside a woman too busy gripping her nose to hold her sword. 

Soon, the rebels scurried out of their hideout, shadowing through alleys with the unconscious princess slung over a shoulder. Price had advised them to have the princess screech outside the castle gates to lure the tyrant out. [npc=gnrl]"If she makes their ears bleed enough, you might just get them to come out,"[/npc] he had said with a mocking grin. [npc=misc]"Eric isn't the sort to stay burrowed in his hovel while we goad him at his door,"[/npc] Luther agreed. Perhaps there was some small ounce of chivalry to be credited to the ugly king if he fought for his lady love—a thing Acacia had failed to even attempt. 

It was evening when they shed the safety of narrow gullies to cross the wider streets of Durban bathed in orange light. A dull white crescent was rising through the darkening sky. The city was spotted with rippling cries and the occasional gunfire. 

The closest commotion drew the blonde's attention towards a shabby house made of faded red bricks and chipped wood. Two nutcracker soldiers were tormenting a young couple. They were forced up against the exterior wall while a third soldier raided their home for secrets unknown. When the blonde prepared a rescue, Wallace stopped her. [npc=misc]"We need to stay focused. We can't save everyone,"[/npc] he said; a sentiment mirrored by Acacia. 

The blonde scoffed. 

[npc=misc]"What's the point of fighting for our people if you look the other way when you see them bullied? I thought we agreed Eric's tyranny ends tonight. I don't know about you, but I plan to end it everywhere, not just in Eric's stone castle,"[/npc] she said stubbornly and ran down the bullies. They lasted no more than a brief moment. 

The first, she shot with the pistol she carried in a decorated holster on her hip. The second, she kicked in the neck. The feather on her wide-brimmed hat danced as she moved. She was badgering the face of the third with a bruised fist when Acacia cleared the threshold to peer into the broken home. A baby howled in a handmade basket-like crib near the straw bed.

[plyr=misc]"I don't think he'll be harassing someone else any time soon. Kill him or let him be,"[/plyr] Acacia said, mostly indifferent. The blonde paused to glare at him, blindly punched the looter's face one more time, then dropped him on the floor, bloody and beaten.

She spared a minute for the young homeowners as they thanked her profusely. Acacia realized they were rebel sympathizers. It explained why they became Eric's victims despite their clear lack of wealth.  A kind smile brightened the blonde's face—the sort of smile Acacia had not yet seen her wear. He glanced at Yumiko, who seemed to be just as full of purpose and chivalry—though perhaps of a slightly different flavour. 

The rebels who gathered behind them showed a mix of relieved and impatient faces. Luther decided to regroup there in the small home while one of his men took the trash out of hearing range. Acacia spotted a knife in his belt as he left.

In the crowded house, the rebels spoke of their plan. The NRA generals, Villium Price and Nelle Cadbury, had already left Durban on some other important mission. It was up to the local rebels to win the final battle, and Luther would not have it any other way. The man had the bearing of a realist despite his lofty ideals. He understood well the implications of associating with the NRA, even if others in his band did not. He also knew well the importance of theatricality and perception, as Acacia would note minutes later.

[npc=misc]"Yumiko,"[/npc] he said, looking at the marine woman while scratching his auburn sideburns. [npc=misc]"After Eric is gone, Durban will only recover if it wins the World Government's support. It would mean a lot to us if you were the one to defeat and arrest him. A marine hero saving our country would do wonders to repair the relationship between the Navy and our people. And the World Government may look more kindly on the rebellion if you were to be its righteous sword."[/npc] Acacia could not say if Luther was sincere or manipulative. Perhaps the best of leaders were a healthy blend of both.

As they awaited a response, all eyes fell on Yumiko.



820 out of 7,730 words
Yumiko
Yumiko
[tracker=/t1347-yumiko#7408]
Name : Yumiko
Epithet : Kamaitachi
Age : 28
Height : 5'5'' / 165 cm
Weight : 128 lbs. / 58 kg
Species : Human
Faction : Civilian
Devil Fruit : Ita Ita no Mi, Model: Kamaitachi
Quality Score : S
EXP Bonus : +0.20 (to all allies)
Balance : [bel] 2,278,965,048
[[baneoftheweak]][[dragonheart]][[childofdestiny]]
[[punchoutguru]][[dulcetvirtuoso]]

[[improviseadaptovercome]]
Posts : 481

[Episode] Corruption of Blood Empty Re: [Episode] Corruption of Blood

This post has in-line assessment comments.Thu Jun 27, 2024 4:33 am
With the huge, vengeful man secured, the weasel woman followed her odd allies. Her steps were silent, as she stalked through the shadows. She scanned the surroundings, listening to the noises of distant violence. It felt far more sinister, now...

Trying to focus on memorizing the plan from the fragments, the warrior suppressed her distaste. Infiltration, baits and other such trickery was not the honorable way to fight. Only the shinobi resorted to such cowardly tactics... But perhaps she could pretend to be an enchanting kunoichi instead. Just this once.

When the group came across unjust violence, the samurai, for one, had no intention to sit idle. She released her nose and went for her blade... Only to immediately gag, as the permeating stench hit her all over again. “C-curse... urp-mine senses...” It took all her willpower to fight back the colorful yawn that threatened to paint the pavement.

Where was a clothespin when you desperately needed one...?

Fortunately, the brave blonde stepped up where the warrior faltered. In an action that earned approval, the situation was resolved swiftly and quietly. ...Perhaps a little bit too violently, but this was hardly the time to judge.

Meanwhile, Yumiko was making a desperate attempt at only breathing through her mouth. She shot a sharp look at the dismissive man. “‘Tis true that we cannot save everyone...” She resembled a gasping fish. “But that is no excuse not to try.” The sorry state gnawed at her credibility somewhat.

Regrouping at the crowded house, the weasel woman found herself trying to protect a tail she didn’t have. Old habits tended to die hard. With deep breaths, she sharpened her focus...

...Until the sudden question caught her off-guard.

[npc=misc]‘A marine hero...’

‘Hero...’

‘Hero...’
[/npc]

Wide-eyed shock shattered the young samurai’s focus. She blinked and reflexively glanced over her shoulder, just to make sure the honor wasn’t addressed to some other Yumiko. “M-me...? A h-hero...?” Not only that, but a righteous sword. Any samurai would’ve been proud to hold such a shining title.

After a stammering pause, the warrior cleared her throat. “Ahem, w-well, if thou insist, then... This one humbly accepts the noble duty!” Her eyes were twinkling like a starry sky. A strong blush painted her pale cheeks. She was positively huffing and puffing with barely contained excitement. As she pumped her fists, a vivid imagination could almost imagine some sort of glowing, golden aura flaring around her.

“Rest assured, I shall bring the corrupt king to justice!”

Practically glowing with excitement, Yumiko suddenly aimed a dramatic point at the towering swordsman. “Sir Acacia! Thou have a filthy mouth and no shame.” Her words were as blunt as a rolled up newspaper, but she was going somewhere with this. “Do thou think that thou can bellow a taunt scathing enough to make the villains froth at the mouth?”

While they already had a bait, a hunter knew the importance of making it enticing. “Once we infiltrate the castle, we are hunting on enemy territory. ‘Tis much better to make the targets come to us, rather than try and hunt them down where there might be traps.” A prey charging blindly into an ambush was far easier to fell than one that merely sniffed around cautiously.

However, there was a little more to it than that...

“Furthermore, the tyrant must fall out on the streets, before the eyes of the people. Let it be a message to all those who have cowered in his shadow, or feasted on the scraps of his power... His unjust reign is now over.”

Yes, that was definitely it. The samurai had a completely altruistic purpose for letting people see how a marine hero defeated a vile tyrant. Her intentions were pure.

Words: 621
Total: 6 538
Acacia
Acacia
Kurotane (Black Seed)
[tracker=/t897-grimm-aldous-acacia#4096]
Name : Acacia
Epithet : "Black Seed" ("Kurotane")
Age : 27
Height : 8'5" / 257 cm
Weight : 351 lbs / 159 kg
Species : Human
Faction : New Revolutionary Army
Devil Fruit : Mochi Mochi no Mi
Bounty : [ber=r] 250,000,000
Balance : [ber] 582,800,000
[[childofdestiny]]
[[improviseadaptovercome]]
Posts : 122

[Episode] Corruption of Blood Empty Re: [Episode] Corruption of Blood

This post has in-line assessment comments.Tue Jul 09, 2024 12:19 pm

The irksome samurai woman's insults were somehow meant to be a vote of confidence when she asked Acacia to taunt Eric out of his hidey-hole. 

[plyr=misc]"Haven't you been paying attention, you nose-pinching loony?"[/plyr] Acacia asked with disdain. [plyr=misc]"These fools already plan on luring out Eric using the princess."[/plyr]

The blonde stepped forward. [npc=misc]"She's suggesting your foul mouth might be effective in getting him to look outside. I, for one, agree with Yumiko. You do seem to have a talent for pissing people off."[/npc] She allowed herself a brief grin, which only tickled Acacia's grump some more.

[plyr=misc]"I think it's a waste of my fucking time,"[/plyr] Acacia said. [plyr=misc]"But, fine, I'll do it. I'm warning you now, though; I have no dog in the fight with Eric. Once he steps outside, I'm going in to destroy Behemoth's precious factory."[/plyr] It wasn't entirely true—he had stakes in that struggle, even if he refused to admit it. A man once sworn to strong ideals could only wallow in self-pity for so long before his old instincts resurfaced in the presence of corruption. 

That morning, he had woken with a curtain of indifference, and yet—with keen senses—he had heard the baby's cries in the shoddy hut; he had watched the small girl in rags steal from the baker; he had seen the two teenage boys beat each other senseless; and he had witnessed the old beggar crawling to his impending demise. The symptoms of Eric's cruel regime could be found in Durban's every pore. Not even a drum full of Ilisian Red could cloud Acacia's judgment enough to blind him to the dreary darkness oppressing the city.

With Acacia in agreement, the rebels resumed their excursion. The clock tower across from the castle gates struck eight when they arrived. The market square outside was vacant after the curfew, a wide open space dressed in stone. Small buildings fenced the square, some, homes to patricians and artisans, others, to town officials or wealthier citizens.

Luther ordered his group to assemble a pyre and stakes. A pile of wood with a single pillar stood lonesome on a field of stone once they were ready. They tied the princess to the pillar, taking care not to wake her in the process. When the blonde expressed her reservations, Luther dismissed them quickly, reassuring her that no harm would come to the lady. Acacia figured the wailing woman would likely hurt them more than they would her.

The rebels lit up lanterns around the pyre, keeping them a safe distance away but close enough to form a spotlight on the princess and her would-be tormentor, Acacia.

Once the stage was set, a splash of water was enough to wake the princess. And wake she did. It took her no more than a breath to study her situation and start screaming the ears off anyone who dared stand too close. Luckily, Acacia had the good sense to predict it. [plyr=misc]"When you whip a donkey, expect it to bray,"[/plyr] he had said as he plucked balls made of mochi from his long arm and offered a pair to each of his comrades-of-circumstance. He kept a set for himself and stuffed it in his ears before the braying commenced.

It didn't take long for lights to pop into existence one after the other, illuminating the grim grey silhouettes of the castle and the buildings around them.

The square stood silent, save for the illegible howling of the princess. She spoke only in tongues and curses. It had fallen on Acacia to translate it for the tyrant's ears.

[plyr=misc]"ERIC!"[/plyr] He bellowed deep from his lungs. He unsheathed Nidai Kitetsu from its striped lavender scabbard and held the cursed blade to his hostage's throat. The howling ceased.

[plyr=misc]"ERIC! Show your ugly, hairy face, you fat piece of shit!"[/plyr] He shouted. If his foul mouth had earned him this role, he would put it to good use after all. 

Words from Eric's squeaky speech that morning danced through his mind. [npc=pirt]"Crucified like those monsters who laughed at me two years ago,"[/npc] he had said. Acacia later gleaned the details from the rebels. Two newcomers—one of whom was just a boy—had made the fatal error of laughing out loud when Eric addressed his constituents with his ear-gouging voice. The king had the strangers tortured and crucified in the same square where they stood. It was a wonder he didn't do the same to Luther and Wallace. But, perhaps, small men only took small offences to heart.

And so, Acacia continued with his booming voice. [plyr=misc]"Come get your lady love, you turd-loving hairball! Together, you can make each other's ears bleed."[/plyr]

[plyr=misc]"She barks better than you!"[/plyr]
[plyr=misc]"But, she smells even worse!"[/plyr] 
[plyr=misc]"Your brats will be the squeakiest rats in the city!"[/plyr]

The insults kept flowing until a vicious screech sailed down with the wind from the castle. Even with the ear plugs, Acacia felt it bite his ear drums. 

[npc=pirt]"YOU SON OF A BITCH!"[/npc] King Eric squealed. [npc=pirt]"I don't care who you are; I'll cut you to pieces and erase your existence!"[/npc] He promised. The rebels faintly heard doors slam open one after the other as the despot of Durban stomped out with what seemed like a thousand nutcracker soldiers marching behind him. They sallied out of the castle gates like a swarm of hornets out of a kicked nest.

And all it took was a small offence.

The barrel of a man stood across the square with his forces. The rebels drew arms and prepared for battle. [npc=pirt]"I'm glad you brought these worms with you. Saves me the trouble of having to dig for them,"[/npc] Eric said with murder in his eyes. The forks in his dark-brown moustache fluttered whenever he spoke. He swiped the air with his thick messer. Its blade was nearly as long as the man himself.

[plyr=misc]"He's all yours, marine. I've got a dragon to slay,"[/plyr] Acacia said to Yumiko. Luther instructed the blonde to accompany him, with Wallace as their guide. 

All that remained was for Eric to be sufficiently distracted.



1,010 out of 8,740 words
Yumiko
Yumiko
[tracker=/t1347-yumiko#7408]
Name : Yumiko
Epithet : Kamaitachi
Age : 28
Height : 5'5'' / 165 cm
Weight : 128 lbs. / 58 kg
Species : Human
Faction : Civilian
Devil Fruit : Ita Ita no Mi, Model: Kamaitachi
Quality Score : S
EXP Bonus : +0.20 (to all allies)
Balance : [bel] 2,278,965,048
[[baneoftheweak]][[dragonheart]][[childofdestiny]]
[[punchoutguru]][[dulcetvirtuoso]]

[[improviseadaptovercome]]
Posts : 481

[Episode] Corruption of Blood Empty Re: [Episode] Corruption of Blood

This post has in-line assessment comments.Sun Jul 14, 2024 3:51 am
When the donkey in a dress started braying, the weasel tried to shut her sensitive ears. She gritted her teeth and tried to repeat the warrior’s mantra. The problem with that was that she could hardly hear her own thoughts over this racket. It felt so much worse when it was happening right next to her...

Much to the samurai’s surprise, however, the solution came from an unexpected direction. She took the offered globs and treated them with a puzzled stare. A tentative sniff and a careful lick confirmed her suspicions, yes... “Mochi...?” ...But also raised further questions.

“What manner of a curse do thou carry...?”

Nevertheless, the hunter was not one to turn down such kindness. “I am in thy debt.” The muffled relief had never felt -or sounded- sweeter. If it hadn’t been a waste of food, she would have considered getting mochi plugs on a regular basis. Heavens knew some of her crewmates snored like wild beasts.

Just as expected, the foul-smelling and foul-mouthed man was an expert in getting on someone’s nerves. The foolish prey came running and roaring. This was the best opportunity the rebels would ever get, all thanks to a man whose tongue was as sharp as his blade.

Yumiko, for one, swore to make the most of the opportunity. While others brandished their weapons, she merely moved her hand to the grip. A deep breath sharpened her focus. Behind those narrow eyes gleamed icy killing intent.

For a moment there, she looked less like a human...

And more like a beast.

A frigid breeze blew across the square. The samurai’s body tensed. In the eyes of the bystander, she seemed to vanish into thin air.

It all happened in a split second. Steel flashed... Steel clashed. Sparks showered the street. The swordswoman found herself abruptly launched back by a mighty counter. Her arms trembled from the recoil, as she staggered back. There was a fresh nick on her cheap blade.

Sheer disbelief painted the young warrior’s face even paler than usual. Cold sweat ran down her back. Her mouth felt dry. It was hard to get even a single word out. “H-how...?”

The tyrant was all too eager to finish that line of thought, to steal the words out of the samurai’s mouth. [npc=pirt]“How did I know a mongrel like you would go for the throat?”[/npc] A rhetorical question was tastier when served with a side of an insult. [npc=pirt]“You are not the first assassin to try my patience.”[/npc] He flashed a wicked smile, a cheerless crescent full of teeth. [npc=pirt]“And you certainly won’t be the last.”[/npc]

Words: 435
Total: 6 973
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