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Big Eyes, Small Mouth (BESM): In the Shadows of the City - Chapter 2 Session 3c Fight the Good Fight


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Kaori, Keiko and the others had a more eventful patrol. they ran into at least eight packs of lesser hounds, dispatching each one and healing afterwards. They crossed an intersection and found themselves suddenly surrounded. Five Cerberus in each direction, twenty in all had them boxed in. Then all the streetlights Flared brightly.

Kaori was first to notice the quartet of human figures Standing near one of the groups, Easily placing the largest of the group as the Demonlord She'd already engaged. "Hello Kaori, ready submit now?" He carried a huge Claymore one-handed.

The second figure was a small mman with spiky black hair, and the greenest eyes everyone had seen. He smiled and unrfled the Whip in his right hand.

The third Figure was hard to miss. The Man had Flaming red hair, literally, and the whole area around him blazed with his firelike aura. All he wore was a pair of jeans, and carried two lengths of chain with large blades on the ends.

The Final humanoid Looked like a Bipedal wolf, and looked right at Jo. It was agian a predator's gaze, zeroing in on a bigger threat. The Wolfman carried no weapons, but its claws and jaws were wreathed in green energy.

The White haired giant spoke. "You can all surrender, and save your lives and those of the ones you love. On my honor as a warrior and Lord I will guarantee it. You won't be asked again, so please think this over carefully. Lord Orochi will return to this world, and nothing will stop it, not even the Solar and Lunar Priestesses." His eyes shifted for a second, as all four Lords gazed directly at Keiko.

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Kaori said nothing.

In her heart she wanted to fight until the very last breath had left her body but she knew that her comrades would more than likely want to do something intelligent like engage in exceedingly long sympathetic dialogue with the Demon Lords in an attempt to 'save their souls'.

So she prepared herself, ready to defend at a moments notice but other than that did little else but gaze at the claymore wielding Demon Lord with hatred burning in her eyes. She cared nothing for Lord Orochi or any of that other nonsense, she just wanted her parents back.

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Keiko took a deep breath and held it, summoning as much calm as she could under the circumstances. For this many powerful demons to be loose, she thought the gate must be very close to failing.

"It is my honor to offer up my life in defense of this world," she said simply. "Strike at me with all the strength and power you possess, and I will not yield. Though your dark master strains against his bonds, I will not falter. Until hope is gone, until light is gone, this is my vow...and I will not break it."

She slipped her right hand under the amulet with Amaterasu's holy seal on it. Her heart hammered furiously, but her mind was oddly calm. She felt as if fear was a thin sheet, and she'd sailed through it into a vast ocean of tranquility behind it. She would die now...or not. Either way, she regretted none of her choices. She was ready.

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Jo's vulpine features settled into an uncharacteristically grim mask as she glanced surreptitiously about, gauging the positions of their opponents.

"I'm pretty sure Bruce and I can handle at least one of the groups of demon-dogs, but that still leaves the rest of them, and the four crazies," the blonde girl muttered to her companions. For once, she wasn't thinking about her teammates when she said it. Any zealot was dangerous, but these psychos apparently had gifts of their own that made them doubly so.

She tilted her head first to one side, and then the other, relaxing visibly as the audible crack of her neck filled the awkward silence.

"Oh, man, that's better. It's been buggin' me all day," she announced cheerily, hefting the weighty pistol easily from where it dangled on her right index finger. The polished steel of the barrel caught the light of the streetlamps overhead for a split second, illuminating the etched patterns on its surface as it turned in the air, and then the fingers of her left hand were curled solidly around the moulded grip.

"You realize you're doomed to fail, right?" she casually asked the menacing figures, her grin broadening, turning impishly upward at one corner. "I mean, even if you kick our asses tonight, we'll just come back and beat the hell out of you later." She paused for an eyeblink, growing suddenly thoughtful. "Figuratively, I mean. I guess we'd take the literal option, too, though. Would that even work? Could we actually beat the hell out of you? 'Cause if so, I'm totally up for that."

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Kazuo laughed out loud at the American girl’s joke. Then he looked at the giant with the claymore and smirked, saying, “Hey, ahondara! If yer plan was to have a reasonable conversation with the ‘good guys’, ya totally picked the wrong team!"

And with that, Kazuo grinned his sharkish grin, whipped out his Toorimichi, and charged the four newcomers. He'd already decided to aim for the Wolfman, since the other three were all using weapons that weren't really designed for closeup fighting. So he tried to close the distance and take out Shaggy before the other three could spread out enough to take a good shot at him. Kazuo had no idea if it'd work, but he didn't really care either. So long as he managed to gut at least one of 'em, he would be happy.

Click to reveal..
Initiative: 3, 6; 5+5+3+3+6=22

Attack 1: 4, 6; 8+4+6=18

Attack 2: 6, 3; 8+6+3=17

Defense 1: 2, 1; 7+2+1=10 (11 if someone uses a ranged attack)

Defense 2: 1, 4; 7+1+4=12 (13 if someone uses a ranged attack)

Those are some lousy Defense rolls...

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And so the target was decided.

Kazuo dashed forward and Kaori's grip tightened on Onimaru. Still she said nothing as her gaze shifted to wolfman. The world slipped into slow motion as she began to draw her blade forth as her ki summoned forth the power of the Zephyr that slumbered deep within her ancestral blade.

Click to reveal..
Initiative: 2,6, = 20

Attack 1 (Target: The Wolfman): 4,3 = 16 (Hundred Razor Wind, -24 to Opponent's Armor)

Attack 2 (Target: The Wolfman): 5,6 = 20 (Hundred Razor Wind, -24 to Opponent's Armor)

Defense 1: 6,3 = 18

Defense 2: 1,6 = 16

Defense 3: 2,2 = 13

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Kenichi laughed loudly after the opponents ended talking. "You all are really something aren't you? Ok, since the biggest guys already seems to have been taken for a dance..." Kenichi looked over everyone left, a man with a whip and a guy on fire.

Kenichi looked around himself, and finding nothing heavy enough he went for the next best thing. Using all his might, he cleaved a piece of asphalt from the street all together with the bedrock under it and lifted it overhimself, a rock the size of a compact car he threw it at the man on fire, charging behind it towards him. "Let the party begin!"

Click to reveal..
Total Attack

Initiative: [2, 3] + 5 + 6 = 16

Body: (to lift the rock) [2, 6] + 7 = 15 [Plus any bonus from Superstrenght and/or Powerlifting]

Ranged Attack 1: [6, 1] + 5 = 15 Thrown Rock

Melee Attack 1: [6, 1] + 5 = 15 [Follow up Charge]

Melee Defense 1: [5, 6] + 3 = 14

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It was astounding. The wolfman didn't really stand much of a chance. Kaori hit with her second attack, carving deep gashes all over its body. Then Kazuo came in and slashed open its chest with the first slash, and then disemboweled it with the second. The Wolfman responds with a howl of shock and rage and a pair of final rending claw attacks, the first of which sinks deep into Kazuo's chest, only to tear free as it fell over to the ground. (35 damage to Kazuo)

Kenichi on the otherhand barely missed the Flaming man with his rock or so it seemed. He met Kenichi's charge and sidstepped out of the way at the last second, and bringing up his leg in a massive kick that caught Kenichi square in the midriff. To add insult to injury, He brought his elbow back and clipped Kenichi on the back of the neck, knocking him out cold. He frowns.

"Dammit, Kenichi, you're supposed to be so much more than this." He tosses Kenichi with his leg over to where Keiko is. "Heal him and tell him to show me his real power next time, leave the chump half-ass moves for the others." He turns and Speeds away, leaving only a trail of flames behind along the path he took.

The White Haired man looks unimpressed. "First group Engage!" With that a Cerberus from each group began moving forward, and Both the remaining Demon Lords retreated behind the lines of the northern cerberus.

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Kazuo turned from the dead wolf-creature, his shirt a bloody and tattered mess where he'd been slashed, and his shoes slick with the gore of his fallen enemy. Whatever damage the wolfman had done to him was gone already and on his face was a cocky half-smile that would do any boryokudan proud. But when he saw the white-haired demon lord (or whatever the hell he was) command the hounds to attack, and then retreated behind them, Kazuo's face twisted in frustration and anger.

He stalked towards the white-haired man and his green-eyed companion and shouted, "Yowamushi!! Nan-dayo omae-wa?!"

At first it seemed like he was going to flat-out ignore the hell hound that was rapidly approaching him, but at the last second he dropped to his knees before the creature, and brought his Toorimich up and around. His middle fingers were through the holes in their handles, spinning both blades like deadly windmills. One blade he brought down in a whirring blur aimed at the dog's neck, the other came spinning around like a helicopter's blade, snapping to a dead stop in Kazuo's grip with the point of the mongrel blade traveling directly at the hellish creature's heart.

Click to reveal..
Attack 1: 5,4; 10+5+4=19

Attack 2: 4,2; 10+4+2=16

Defense 1: 2,5; 8+2+5=15

Defense 2: 5,1; 8+1+5=14

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Life was getting increasingly repetitious for Kaori, perhaps that's why she'd quit caring. Wake up, go to school, patrol at night, fight hounds, go to sleep, wake up...

The cowardice of the Demon Lords didn't surprise her and for the most part she just slipped into 'auto-battle' mode dodging and counter-attacking as the opportunities presented themselves.

Still she said nothing, and was half tempted to do nothing since that's precisely what everyone but her and Kazuo were doing, although she did wonder why Keiko just seemed to stand there with a blank look on her face as swarms of enemies moved in all about them.

Click to reveal..
Attack 1 (Target: Whatever): 4,4 = 17 (Standard Attack)

Attack 2 (Target: Whatever): 2,2 = 13 (Standard Attack)

Defense 1: 5,3 = 17

Defense 2: 1,2 = 12

Defense 3: 1,3 = 13

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Init: 11 (3+3+5)

(22:21:32) ChatBot: (SalmonMax) rolls 2d6 and gets 3,3.

Though not as fast on the draw as her friends, by the miracle of non-realtime gaming, Keiko manages to act after all despite the doubts of some. smile

The demon lord pitches Kenichi at her, and she valiantly tries to catch him. Sadly, his size and weight work against her relatively puny strength, and she tumbles to the ground with a startled squeak. However, when she realizes his condition she acts immediately, pressing her hands to his torn body and concentrating. Golden light rimes Keiko's hands and spreads slowly up her arms as she pours healing life into the fallen warrior.

Then a growl from the side catches her attention, and she realizes the group's about to be mobbed by angry Cerebrus'! She grabs her amulet and holds it up.

"Amaterasu, keep us safe in your sight!"

The amulet's 'eye' opens, and radiance floods out. The group of demon slayers finds itself in a globe of shining radiance that seems to repulse demonic attacks!

(OOC - Healing Kenichi for 50 points and activating Force Field at full Area. 24 pts of damage blocked, 10 meter radius.)

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Kazuo's first attack connects, but the second misses as he gets too close for such a wid arc. He dodges the snapping jaws of that cerberus, but one of the others nails him in the back with a fireball. (35 damage)

(OOC Kazuo you need to indicate which blade is being used in each of your attacks, since they have different effects, and Regeneration only happens at the beginning of the round.)

Kaori lands two solid hits on the Cerberus she engages, but a luckly claw rake rips open the front of her clothing and torso. (30 damage) A fireball explodes behind her, but luckily she was just out of the blast zone.

All the hounds seem drawn to the Barrier generated by Keiko, moving closer, yet not attacking without orders. They're eager, waiting.

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Jo fires at one of the closing hounds, the sandard sheel passing through the barrier without incident and knocking one of the more curious hounds to the ground.

(New round starts. Kaori, Kazuo, Kenichi Keiko, then Jo)

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(OOC - I know I'm not up yet, but just use this for when it's my turn? That was my weird posting schedule won't slow anything down)

Keiko picked herself up off the ground and looked around at the baying hellhounds around the solar shield. There were just too many, she realized. If they all came at once, or even all blew fire at once...that'd be it.

So why aren't they finishing us off?

Whatever the reason, she meant to make them sorry for it!

Keiko held the Eye forward in her palm and shouted, "Radiant Gaze of the Goddess!"

A long, narrow cone of light blasted out of the ornate item, blackening the pavement under it and engulfing one of the demons that had been inside the radius of the shield!

(ranged attack for 50 damage, spreading 1, flare 1 and accurate 1. Rolled: (20:29:42) ChatBot: (SalmonMax) rolls 2d6 and gets 4,4 for a total of 8, plus ACV is 13, plus Accurate is 15. Spreading reduces enemy defense. Flare can blind temporarily.)

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Kazuo screamed in a mixture of pain and rage from the fireball. Turning to face the beast again, he screamed once more, and this time it was all anger.

Click to reveal..
Attack 1: 5,5; 10+5+5=20 Vampire Attack

Attack 2: 5,2; 10+5+2=17 Body Vampire Attack

Defense 1: 4,2; 8+4+2=14

Defense 2: 5,1; 8+5+1=14

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Kenichi regained conciousness much more after his injuries had been healed, the sudden feeling of battle inundated his sense, the adrenaline going through his body made the sounds distant but clear, as soon as his senses came back to him, they left him in a hurry.

---

The body of Kenichi gave a step or two towards one of the remaining Cerberus inside of the shield, Kenichi pointed one of his hands forward, and every muscle on his body tensed up at the same time, veins bulged under the skin as it turned red like a flame, Kenichi's shirt ripped from the back where spikes starting protruding from his spine, and his frame enlarged gaining at least two feet in height and an extra two hundred pounds of muscle.

His arms and legs expanded massively as did his chest and back, his skin became thick, coarse and his white hair lengthened quickly all the way to his waist, being split only by his dorsal spines. Roaring like a beast, the creature resumed attack and charged one of the Cerberus, intent on punching it and swinging mightily through the air with it's massive fist.

--------

Attack 1

Melee [6,4]+5 = 15

http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2008033/

Defense 1

Melee [3,5]+5 = 13

http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2008034/

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Kenichi's transformation drew the nearest hound. The fist slammed home at the top of the center-head's cranium and the dog dropped to the ground, still breathing but unconscious.

Keiko's attack draws in the next wave, but literally burns one of the heads off the Cerberus she hit.

Bruce bellows again and the hound she'd hit before takes another round, blowing one of the heads off. It snarls and begins charging forward, its mouth wreathed in flame.

(Kaori you're up, there are 4 more hounds closing in two of which are damaged, (by Jo and Keiko), one out cold in the barrier and one still at full health.)

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When Kenichi transformed into a... whatever, her first thought was that he'd been possessed or something. Her knowledge of demon lore was nil and it's not like the guy warned any of his fellow party mates that he was Hellspawn. Her first instinct after that thought was to slay him, but knew she'd catch some kind of hell for it later. So he was a demon-thingy... big surprise. A giant killer robot could sprout from Keiko's rectum at this point and the lovely high school swordswoman wouldn't bat an eyelash.

Although slaying Kenichi for being demon possessed certainly did seem like a good idea (especially considering his attitude during lunch) she instead turned her attention to the two injured cerberi. With a sigh that spoke volumes in the key of 'do they actually expect to win?' she leapt into motion.

She dashed forward, interposing herself between Keiko and the injured beasts. She gripped Onimaru tightly and focused on calling up her inner reserves of strength, that inner fire and tenacity that raged within her that made the young woman's soul burn like a bonfire.

She focused and trembled as her ancestral blade heeded her command and bowed before her strength. Wincing in concentration she opened her eyes to lock on her enemies; they were suddenly black as pitch. Darkness and Evil permeated the area with enough presence that poor Keiko nearly grew sick by the aura alone.

Black-purple flame licked Kaori in a vile display of a demonic anima as dark energy coursed through her body, meeting at her heart and flowing out over her arms and up to envelop Onimaru. She spun the blade around and slammed it into the earth.

Concrete split in an eruption of dark fire canyons that raced towards the injured cerberi, leading up to, then directly underneath the monsters. In a sudden rumble incorporeal clawed hands tore up through the ground, punching through the beasts bodies but inflicting no obvious harm at first until one noticed that the clawed hand had tore the soul (or what passed for one) out from the beast it passed through and was holding it aloft, gripping it at the midsection.

The ghostly cerberi writhed in agony as the claws gripped tighter before retreating back into the ground, taking the creatures life force with it. The flames within the split concrete extinguished in reverse until they reached where Onimaru was embedded within the earth.

Kaori withdrew her sword and the grin on her face was a shadowed compliment to the void of darkness that had become her eyes. She opened her mouth and exhaled slowly. Wisps of her breath clearly could be seen as the chill of evil vacated her body and her eyes returned to their natural color.

Click to reveal..

I have no idea how a vampiric attack works, but stealing life force is never a 'good' act IMO and so I conveyed that here.

Attack 1 (Target: Whatever): 3,5+3 = 20 (“Spirit Eating Technique” (Accurate +3, Penetrating +5, Vampiric +3, Ranged +1, Only affects Spirits/Creatures of Shadow)

Attack 2 (Target: Whatever): 6,3+3 = 21 (“Spirit Eating Technique” (Accurate +3, Penetrating +5, Vampiric +3, Ranged +1, Only affects Spirits/Creatures of Shadow)

Defense 1: 4,6 = 19

Defense 2: 4,1 = 14

Defense 3: 3,2 = 14

Health: 40/75

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Both Cerebrus died from the completely unexpected attack, and the others actually backed away. Onimaru's origina Owner called out. "Well done, most assuredly well done. I've seen what I wished to see."

With that all the hounds vanished in small brimstone flashes of light.

"Until next time champions. I look forward to it."

Then there was an eeire silence, not even the wind moved as the group looked at one another. That was it, They'd won? Both Kenichi and Kaori had shown a much darker part of their heritage, and now things would get interesting.

(Awesome post Kaori)

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The beast lept where the head called them out, right as it dissapeared Kenichi slammed both his still gloved fists into the pavement cracking it and lifting parts of it. Seeing his prey gone, the beast roared to the sky, turning to look at all of his companions before speeding away as fast as a car.

His roars of rage could still be heard far away as he finished his "patrol".

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Kazuo's one good eye had taken in the astonishing displays of his three comrades with a kind of shocked amusement. It wasn't that he found their transformations and actions funny, he just couldn't help but smile while watching those goddammed cerberii get taken apart. It was the little things that made life worth living, after all.

Kazuo wasn't really sure at this point why he'd been picked by that crazy old bastard to be part of this team (or whatever they were calling themselves). From what he could see, he was basically the only guy in the group who was limited to slugging it out, one on one, in close quarters combat. Everybody else, it seemed, had their very own Fist-O-God to smite evildoers with indiscriminately. Which was cool, and all, but man, Kazuo was really starting to feel left out. His only super-power was being a scratching post for all of the incredibly awesome-smelling demon dogs they were constantly fighting with. Oh well, at least he'd managed to fuck up Wolfman's evening. That had to count for something.

Judging by the damned things' breath, he was starting to think he should start brandishing a toothbrush when facing them in battle. He was pretty sure they'd be more scared of that then they were of his swords. He smiled wryly, and shrugged. Whatever.

Kazuo stashed his Toorimichi under his coat with a careless gesture and they vanished immediately. He pulled out his pack of cigs and popped a Lucky 7 in his mouth, lighting it in a single smooth gesture. Blowing smoke out of the corner of his mouth with a satisfied look on his face, Kazuo turned to the others and said, "Wutta letdown, neh? I thought those guys were s'posed t'be badass, or something. Instead, they was a bunch o' pussies!"

He turned to where the Demon Lords had been standing a moment before and spit on the ground in an unmistakable gesture of contempt. "Che!", he said, "fuckers're a waste of our time."

He brought the Lucky back to his mouth and took another satisfied drag on it, causing its tip to blaze redly in the darkness.

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Keiko wished that she had two heads, so she could stare in horror at both Kaori AND Kenichi. Then Kenichi ran off, allowing her to stare freely at Kaori.

"Wha...what was that you did?" she asked in a shocked whisper. "It felt like a demonic power, but you're not a demon! And what happened to Kenichi! I healed him, and then he changed!"

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She knew what she did. She could still feel Onimaru's dark power coursing through her body... and it felt good, she felt invincible.

She slowly pulled her kendogi closed as best she could to prevent prying eyes from inspecting her body, regardless of their intention to help or gawk (in Kazuo's case).

"Kenichi is obviously possessed and must be slain." She said coldly, without a hint of remorse to her voice. "As for your question about me, I merely did what needed to be done. We've won. That's all that matters."

She walked past Kazuo, clutching her kendogi tighter as she past him and gave him a looked that dared him to test her patience with his antics towards her shredded clothing. He was right though, they totally wasted their time.

With Onimaru Karoi had the power to vanquish any foe. She would have her revenge, and her family returned to her, no matter what.

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Keiko released the Eye, and the protective halo faded, leaving them in the dark again. She hurried after Kaori.

"Wait!" she pleaded. "Let me talk to him. We don't know he's possessed. I would have sensed it if an evil spirit had gone into him. Maybe it's just one of his gifts!"

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Keiko followed him to the shrine. (Anyone else may follow) They finally catch up to Kenichi at the shrine where he seems to simply be waiting, searching for something if nothing else. His behavior isn't that of one possessed, but seems to be very innate.

There were no demons around, and Keiko's grandfather had actually come out to see the demon so many others had come in warning him about. He'd obviously come out prepared to banish it, but stopped. Something made him stop.

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"Grandfather! Keiko called as she came running along the stone path to the shrine. "It's Kenichi! Don't...!"

She trotted to a halt as she realized the old man wasn't going to do an exorcism after all.

"We were attacked by demon lords," the priestess in training explains haltingly. "He changed...he almost died. But he killed one of the lords. And Kaori..."

She trailed off at that, not sure what to say, or how to say it.

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Her thumb clicked Onimaru out from it's scabbard just slightly, her hand gripping its hilt like Iaijutsu masters of ancient tales, ready to strike with lightning speed and deadly accuracy should Kenichi-Beast make any movements that placed anyone's lives in danger.

Although not perfect, an impromptu retying of her kendogi had stiffled the possibility of a 'wardrobe malfunction'. She heard Keiko speaking to her Grandfather as she approached, still eying the beast-thing as she finished the priestesses sentence for her. "...is fine. Stop concerning yourself with me."

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The Kenichi-Beast looked around itself, hunched over, he was still much taller than the surrounding girls. His body was still covered in injuries and scorch marks, the ones from the fight and new ones he didn't had before he left the battlefield, he was still heavily breathing and some kind of steam came out of his mouth every time he breathed out.

An old man approached him, Kenichi was about to attack but he felt it wrong, something inside the old man prevented him from acting. He looked directly at the old man and the old man looked into him, a very different set of stares was being used and The Beast could feel the hair on the end of his neck standing.

A new person approached behind Kenichi, followed by another group, they all looked familiar to him, and at least one of them beared a tremendous killing intent. One of the small ones stood besides him, talking to the old one and as the old man left the area, he was left with only two of the young ones.

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Keiko jumped at Kaori's interruption and watched her with wide frightened eyes, but didn't offer any conflicting report to counter what she'd said. When her grandfather separates her from the others and gives her the assignment, she has a similar scared look, but straightens her back and nods.

"I won't let you down," she promises.

Then she's alone with the monster that had been a friend...or at least a co-worker of sorts.

"Kenichi?" Keiko said gently as she slowly moved towards him, one step at a time. She held a placating hand out, as if for a dog to sniff. "You're hurt...let me help you like I did before."

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Kaori left Keiko to her own devices but stood ready with a calculating malice in her eyes almost dared the beast to move the wrong way.

As Keiko moved forward Kaori spoke quietly to the young priestess before she got too far away. "If he attacks you priestess, rest assured I'll avenge your death."

Her mocking grin didn't settle well with the pure-hearted Keiko, especially when she had no doubt in her mind Kaori would most likely let her be killed just to prove she was weak, or unworthy, or a fool, or some other mocking sentiment that Kaori self-righteously believed.

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Keiko looked back over her shoulder at Kaori, and her mouth formed a hurt little frown for a moment.

Then she bowed to her classmate and said, "Arigato, Kaori-san. I will try very hard to make sure no one needs avenge you."

She swallowed her fear then and put a slightly shaking hand on the beast-Kenichi's shoulder.

"Kenichi...please wake up..."

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Kenichi-Beast looked down on the young person in front of him, he really wanted to remember her, so familiar to him. She suddenly turned surprising him but quickly turned back to him.

"Kenichi...please wake up..."

Kenichi? That name sounded familiar, like he should recognize it immediately... something very far off clicked on his primitive mind, and the fog started to lift.

His body started to shrink, the first indication was the cracking of bone as the spines on his back broke and fell off his back, leaving several spikes almost a feet in length around him, the next was his shoulder and back muscles contracting, and his ribs following suite, his skin turned from red to a pinkish color, and then back into the tanned skin color he originally possessed, his hair stayed just s long as it had grown, reaching down all around him down to his hips, the last thing to turn back were his eyes from the dull red glow into his regular hazel colored eyes his pants were still on him, as were his gloves and boots, pretty much all the clothing left on him. His body was still covered in severe bruises and cuts, some still bleeding after the ordeal, some reopened after his transformation.

"Kei...ko?" was all he could muster before he lost his consciousness and fell face first into Keiko.

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"Kenichi! You're all...AHH!"

With a startled, scandalized squeak, Keiko is buried under the former beast...still much larger than her even after his return to humanity. Only her hands and feet poke out from underneath Kenichi, in a scene that could easily be misinterpreted by anyone who didn't notice that he was unconscious.

After a shocked moment, Keiko's hands and feet start wiggling, trying to work her way out. Her voice is muffled until she gets her head free of his chest and gasps, "Kenichi? Kenichi!"

"Kaori? Are you still there? Could you...help me out please?" she begs.

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Kenichi would live it appeared, at least until she had sufficient reason to put him down.

A bit disappointed Kaori slowly walked off from the poor smothered priestess.

"Self-sufficiency, Keiko. Strive for it." Was all she said while the young girl did her best wrestle her way free of the massive teenagers bulk.

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