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About Ryougi Yuuki

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  1. Yuuki smiled wanly in return, a tired slump in her shoulders uncharacteristic of her normal serene acceptance of everything. "Thanks. I... Lord Theo, please send someone to get me from my room when the conference is scheduled. I'm going to rest like you suggested," the shrine maiden offered with a deep bow before turning on one heel, making it out of the room and out of sight in an unsteady straight line of progress. Between the mana drain deep in her gut and grappling the enormity of the body count she was both directly and indirectly responsible for today, all the superhuman stamina in the world could barely keep her on her feet. Kami, please let these Andvisians insist on a meeting tomorrow or the next day. She was done. She snorted bitterly, imagining the chiding from her grandaunts at the sight of a Ryougi complaining under the burden of duty.
  2. If not for Knight Captain Daizo's gentle prodding, she might have stood there forever, frozen at the sight of the carnage, her carnage. Thousands dead and ground ruined as thoroughly as any World War I battlefield or any other killing ground she'd read about in school. This was... This was... She had meant... But... This was exactly what she was trying to accomplish, right? Scare the hell out of them, break up the fighting ground, make them stop fighting, but even she knew that wasn't possible without killing so so so many of the people they were here to save. There was a saying from somewhere, the shrine maiden didn't remember where, to the effect 'Kill one man, you're a murderer. Kill a hundred, you're a hero. Kill a thousand, you're a king'. Or was that last bit a god..? Nnnngh. She didn't remember making her way back to the castle amid her impromptu honorguard. Lord Theo's hug jolted her out of her introspective daze, reflexive smile dropping from her face, smell of sakura petals dying like an entire cheery tree wilted at once. For a heartbeat, she looked as forlorn as she felt. Still, there were the forms of politeness to follow, and the smiling mask came back, still not touching her eyes. "Thank you, My Lord," she offered with a slight bow, "I tried to get the princess for you. To make it easier at negotiations. I... couldn't find her." 'I'm sorry if I ruined everything by killing her, too' was left unspoken, Yuuki beginning to retreat back into her morbid fugue.
  3. They were running away. Yes. Wait. No. They couldn't run away! She wanted them to run away, but not until she was sure she had gotten the princess or a general or a champion or something to make sure the next time they came back, they'd be talking, not fighting. Eyes flashing wildly over the battle field, Yuuki was as hellbent as her soldiers to pursue in that heartbeat, ready to drop into the formations of troops as the reserves of magic bearing her aloft dwindled towards nothing. She'd... She'd do *something* to make sure this was over, make this stop. Then the horn sounded and the cheers of those accepting the victory for what it was, taking the wind out of her emotional sails. The shrine-maiden dropped out of the air with a few flaps of her iridescent wings, touching down in an impromptu circle of respectful distance from the cheering men. She let herself soak up the admiration for a moment, breath hitching in her throat as the chaos in her head met the adrenaline in her blood and muddled everything. Concentration shattering, her wings burst into a small halo of refracting crystal that bathed her in rainbow light, the green-haired beauty pristine and unmarked compared to the soldiers in their mud, blood, and bandages. There was a throbbing pressure in her head, the wild heart of her power beginning to complain at the effort of holding it's grip on the sea of foliage around her. Oh Kami. Anyone lingering in the area when this all reverted... If even one more person... The deflected arrow that claimed the unknown spearman played over her vision again. "Back! Back! Everyone out of the treeline!" she tried to shout over the cheering, looking for someone with some kind of rank to spread the word as quickly as possible, not certain if she should be leading by example.
  4. Harder. Hit them harder. If she could break them here, convince them they couldn't win no matter their numbers. Magic didn't win battles here, too slow, too limited in duration for the cost in power, but she wasn't using magic not as they knew it, so she must seem a devil or an angel to them. Yuuki bit her lip, trying to bury the sick conflicted feeling, unseeing of the projectiles deflected away from her by the invisible wall of magic. Well, until one bent away literally from in front of her face, and her golden eyes tracked it's new trajectory down and into the neck of an unsuspecting allied spearman. Down went the man, his corpse trampled almost immediately by those pushing up from behind. Oh no. She pressed her lips lips together so hard they paled. This was going to stop. If she pressed their front lines hard enough, this princess had to show herself to keep the formation from breaking entirely. Or something "Bounded. Field. Blooming." came the incantation like a metronome of doom matching beat of her heart as she gleamed like a green sun, unnaturally boosted foliage losing and gaining branches and vines at random like the world's biggest iron maiden. And again. A second incantation, a second wave of her arms, a second wave of biochaotic death ahead of her own advancing troops. Golden eyes darted around the battlefield she could see, looking for nodes of order, leadership to hit. Anything. Where was the Princess? Break the royal; break the army. It had to work that way. It had to.
  5. Oh no. Oh no. Oh no. She forced herself not think about the bloodshed done by and enabled by her hand so that she could focus on doing and enabling more bloodshed. With a flap of her ephemeral wings, she rose out of the bamboo thicket, already glowing green again, lips flitting through her magic words, reaching out with her thoughts to the foliage she had already claimed as hers. "Bounded! Field! Blooming!" she declared, a wave of green racing ahead of her soldiers and, ironically, caused the titanic forest to shrink back to seeds, taking the ground with it to cries of panic and discord with the partial restoration of the sinkhole under the feet of the Imperial army. The shrine maiden immediately started gathering green light again, arms pointed straight down, staring directly at the nearest clumps of hostile men as they struggled against the press of Theo's formation and the slope behind. "Surrender. Bounded. Field. Blooming," she intoned, discharging a second wave of light that caused everything green beyond her front ranks to return to their titanic proportions, a sea of towering grass and weeds interspersed with monstrous trees, the earth in explosive, entangling revolt against the Imperials.
  6. For a second, Yuuki stopped breathing as she took in the sheer breadth and volume of violence on display. This was awful, needed to stop. But armies that outnumbered their foes three to one didn't surrender, not immediately, not with hundreds of thousands of men with fires in their bellies... So she'd have to temper that fire. She dove over the massed ranks of her flank of the battle, gathering green light in her hands and eyes, letting the pressure build until she picked the point where she'd drive them. "Bounded Field Blooming!" she called over the cheers of the soldiers, a dark-clad fairy suddenly exploding into a pillar of green light that arced into the ground in all directions. The upturned soil of the trench suddenly rebirthed her titanic trees on either side of her as far she could reach, an effort of will angling them towards the Imperial force. The chaos of the eruption prevented them from forming a perfect wall like before, but hopefully all but the most overarching shots would be slowed, formations disrupted, the promise of more sinkholes when these trees too vanished. "Sacred Bamboo Ramparts!" The green-haired shrine maiden added, winding her arm back to toss the seed of the protective barrier to encompass the formation of spearmen around her. Creaks and groans of phantom foliage rose in a circle around her. She hovered in the dome of bamboo, bracing for first wave of struggling infantry reached melee range, the violence to become up close and personal.
  7. Focus on the small things that are right before turning them into ways to fix what's wrong. Yuuki's mother had taught her that, and it had worked on everything from trying to budget for a new refrigerator to planning a spring festival. This was... bad. So so so soooo bad, but there was one bit of good as the dust began to settle from the explosive birth of new trench and the roar of hundred of men charging forward: Yuuki loved flying, and this past year she had taken any excuse she could while training to 'practice' with the spell. "Spirits of Earth and Sky; Hear this speaker's yearning cry! Spirits of Water and Fire; Lend me the steam to indulge the most ancient desire! Break the chains of the World's Hold; Let me dance among the cloud's Fold! Order Sign! Flight!" called the shrine maiden from her place just behind the front lines, mana flowing into the gleaming circle of light beneath her feet, green hair blowing up from her own private windstorm. The light pulsed one, two, three times before bursting into a rainbow of bubbles that coalesced into a pair of translucent butterfly wings on Yuuki's back. She paused for a heartbeat, smiling faintly over her shoulder at the magatama-like spots gracing her topmost wings. The wings weren't real, more of a visual declaration of her magic, but she liked how... light it made her feel, and as a bomb threw Kami knows how many men through the air to injury or death... She was going to need every bit of light she could muster. The first men of the Imperial Army began hurling themselves down into the trench opposite her position, the soldier's in front of her readying their weapons. "Ready... Looose!" shouted a Captain whose name she didn't know, and the archers around her did so with the sound of thousand beehives at war. She took that as her signal, too, shooting straight up from the ground trailing light with every flutter of her wings, gaining altitude enough to take in her flank of the battle and be out of ready bow range. Apparently, some of Theo's troops took *her* rise as a good omen, yelling defiance at the approaching enemy. She could only hope that she was worthy of that emotion.
  8. The last week had been... oddly nice for Yuuki. She hadn't been camping in, well, a long time, and sleeping rough after a long day of exercising her powers in cataclysmic eruptions of earth and wood between hours of watching for danger while 'her' squad worked under Daizo's supervision. They were good men, and in the quiet moments after sunset while they ate their rations, talked about their lives. The shrine maiden listened and asked questions and talked a little bit about her own, adjusting for the filter of the science dominated world she came from compared the magic dominated world they lived in. The darkness wasn't an inhibitor to her eyes, and any light could draw fatal attention, so she pulled watch during the darkest hours. Apparently, telling stories to pass the time was a thing here, and after the soldiers got over their initial deference after a few days, it was her turn to tell stories, too. Yuuki drew from her treasure trove of Shinto folklore, and, yes, the manga she had once collected to cover her turns. They seemed to like her stories, and perhaps not entirely because of the Gamemaster's... improvements. That made what was going to happen next so much harder. If her little squad of eleven had so much to live and strive for, what about all the others? So many of them were going to die. "Daizo and my volunteers planted a few last lines of seeds where you said you wanted the battle to be. Say the word and even less of them will be making it to the fight quickly," she offered from her corner of the room, not sounding happy about this being all she could do to limit that butcher's bill, "Give you more of a chance to end it with less blood. Hopefully. Master Izona taught me a spell for flight, so I can get wherever you need me to be, maybe take down a few leaders?" Gold eyes looking conflicting, she hugged herself, trying not to think about it all.
  9. Yuuki was long gone by the time Ryan and Tori returned from their sortie, having greeted her companion for the week with a determined nod and the ghost of a smile, "Let's get going. We have a lot of work to do if we're going to save your home, Captain, and not a lot of time to do it. We have a wagon, supplies, and horses, too, right? Meet me outside with the other soldiers when you're all ready to go. I need to prepare a demonstration outside the gates." The knight was very good at his job, so it wasn't too many minutes before the green-haired shrine maiden had her audience of attentive soldiers, offering the dazzling smile of someone very practiced at greeting strangers to a celebration. "Thanks to each and every one of you for your help this week. If all goes to plan, we'll all be back at the castle in five days time having made it very, very difficult for the enemy to do anything but walk into Lord Theo's trap. I, by the blessings of the world, have the power to help," she opened, the scent of sakura petals wafting from her towards them, "But I need your help to dig a lot of very deep trenches very quickly." The men kept their professional demeaner, but confusion danced in their eyes. "This is an apple seed. It grows into an apple tree, and with my mag... power, I can make it grow very large very fast," she further explained with one seed held up for them to see, correcting herself after a year of immersive study in the difference, "Out there, in that field, I have planted 3 more like it in a line, ten feet apart. And so... Bounded Field Blooming!" There was a flare of green light as she gestured with a little twirl, a bonfire of life giving energy that pumped out of her and into the ground, focusing on three patches. Eyes flaring with that verdant light and hair whipping up around her, she grunted in focus and shaped the resulting explosion of woody growth. Three trunks exploded from the ground, soaring upward and thickening into ten foot thick, 200 foot tall spears that ground and twisted together despite her best efforts, merging into a leafy crown that shrouded the field around them. Despite the warning she had given in passing to the sentries on the walls, there were cries of alarm as the light faded. "And a tree goes as deep down as it goes up. So when I withdraw my grip..," she continued, not giving her audience a chance to recover, stunned soldiers and a still impressed Knight Captain Daizo silent when she exhaled again. The tension bled out of her expression as the trees shrank as quickly as they grew, much of the field collapsing into a steep pit of freshly disturbed earth that promised hell to any soldier who tried to fight their way down and up it. 'Oh shit.' seemed to be the consensus, eyes locking on the gorgeous young outlander who had done so much harm with three apple seeds. "I need your help. To plant. To cut seeds out of the apples we'll bring. To find more if we need them. To show me where more holes like this would help. To keep watch while we're camping out there. If trouble comes, I have a spell to bring us all home to your castle, but if trouble doesn't," she finished, allowing herself a laugh, gold eyes gleaming, "You eleven will help me drive them into your Lord's ambush sure as water flows downhill." And so they left to do their work, the shrine maiden attentive from her spot on the wagon as a mounted Daizo pointed out key points on the map, the best places to leave 'undisturbed earth' for later destruction, and the best places to rest for the night, ten sets of eyes on guard.
  10. "Chaos is the energy that allows order to be more than frozen death, just as order allows chaos to achieve anything of lasting value. Fire and water, sun and moon, life and death. Every kami, great or small, has it's twin," commented Yuuki softly, lessons as old as she could remember soothing her immediate worries as she pushed her chair away from the table. She stood up and offered a quick bow to Lord Theo, "Unless you have any objections to me departing, my Lord, I'll be in my room preparing to leave as soon as possible. A lot of work to do..." Her gaze turned hard, golden eyes molten under her self-control as she speared her three teammates with a look, voice still as mild, "Oh. If you get yourselves killed out there this week, I'll find and kill you again for being so reckless, okay? We're going home. Together."
  11. She had somehow missed the bit where the person it would be easiest, relatively speaking, to take out and defeat an army that outnumbered them at more than three to one odds was one of the person they absolutely couldn't kill. "Shit," Yuuki cursed uncharacteristically, resting both hands on the table, biting her lip, "Lord Theo, I'm going to need... Okay... Let's say 100 men to help plant seeds, a wagon or two, full of apples and however many supplies those men will need... Oh, horses. Maybe enough of those to get around faster..? And someone who knows who knows the land enough to show me where to dig to actually help. That's important. Kami, okay... What am I missing?" As she looked back up, forcing herself to shut up, her golden eyes flickered with a hundred unspoken thoughts. She didn't want stay behind again while her team ran off into the fray, however smart the plan was. How wonderful the time away learning magic under Master Izona was made the guilt harder. Vesper's role in particular sounded stupidly dangerous, and the concern the shrine maiden felt for her abrasive teammate showed in the way her frown deepened when looking at her.
  12. "Could work. As long as our Mistress of the Steel Sky can keep the flying monsters from hopping over the trenches and we can... well, buff our troops and they can't..," thought Yuuki aloud, golden eyes introspective, "But more importantly, Lord Theo, *how* do we fight to draw our main target forward as soon as possible? He dies, we win, right? Every dead man can unleash seven generations of curses, so the sooner we kill him, that's less problems you face wh... after we four are long gone and it's just you and the survivors facing one another in a brave new world." The shrine maiden frowned, suddenly translating hundreds of hours spend blasting illusionary targets into scenes of blood and bone and guts on a mud-splattered battlefield. It was a little dizzying to be honest.
  13. "Okay. That sounds... challenging," Yuuki answered after a pause to digest the scale of the task ahead of them, furrowing her brow in thought, "Um, how long until they get here?" "Seven days, give or take," Ryan answered. Oh. That wasn't a lot of time. Still, the green-haired shrine maiden had one idea to help prepare. "Give me some helping hands and a few crates of apples, and I'll carve you as many trenches as I can before they arrive. Make the easiest road the one you want them to take. And if they do bring an earth mage to roll right over them, that's one less spell they can cast during the battle. Don't have a clue where'd you want them put though since I wasn't here to help set up for this earlier," she wrapped, up, guilt blooming in her eyes and reducing her output of floral scent. People were going to die. A lot. And her one spell to bring them back would suck her dry in just five goes.
  14. "Very," answered the green-haired shrine maiden, grinning widely at her teammates before offering a deep bow in the direction of their native allies, "Lord Theo, Lady Siluca, Master Izona has elected to accompany us for the time being. I hope that is acceptable to you." She straightened back up and adjusted the strap of her backpack where it had shifted during her bow, laughing softly, less tense on some fundamental level then the quartet would have ever seen her, "I'll tell you all about it tonight at dinner, the parts that are mine to tell at least."
  15. Yuuki blinked and decided to leave that very dramatic statement where it lay, instead focusing on the last, long, guilt-free soak she'd probably have here unless they came upon a hotspring… The shrine maiden doubted that they'd stumble upon something that good in the struggle to come, but if one didn't hope, one might as well dig themselves a grave and lie in it. Her clothing and whips vanished into mist after she removed them and stepped away, returning somewhere else ready for her call as she settled into the steaming water. She almost purred at the deep, deep heat as it penetrated into her bones, green hair floating around her. Oh, Kami. She was going to miss this. Reluctantly pulling her neck and shoulders out of the water, she reached for the bottle of soap marked for her, spotting her moonsilver ring where it gleamed from the bathroom counter, getting an idea. Oh. That was delicious. And just enough of a show-offy pizzazz-class entrance it appealed to a small, maybe wicked, maybe not, part of herself that whispered in her ears at night and growled at her from the root of her powers midcasting. "Why not? All she can say is no," Yuuki voiced aloud, laughing as she got to work cleaning herself, humming an old shrine festival song under her breath. One bath, change in a magically-clean bodyglove, and final pack check later, the shrine maiden approached her teacher for this past year and bowed deeply, "Master Izona? May I have the honor of getting all three of us back to the castle? It should count as a valid target for Towngate, and I certainly consider both of you my allies."
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