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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    [Ikari]
    Abandoned Warehouse

    The inside of the warehouse is dark, even in the middle of the day. The only light comes from the small windows lining the top part of the walls, rendering the inside of the massive building dimly illuminated other than a few slanted columns of light. The building's original lighting is long gone, either burnt out or broken. The floor is completely bare of any obstacles, a single long, flat expanse of concrete. The walls, really, are the only part of the building worthy of note; long, flowing patterns of gently glowing silver line the them, tracing numerous and powerful defensive wards. They are designed not to prevent an assault from the outside, but to ensure that nothing within the building can damage the walls.

    The one who inscribed the walls, Nikolina Kummerow, now leans stands in one of the beams of light, a book held splayed in one hand. She has been here for some time, arriving several hours early in order to create the wards. Now, however, it is approaching the designated time she had given to her potential student, passed on along with the address through an intermediary. Her own duties had allowed no time for a previous, in-person meeting.
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    Shizuka Misaki was intensely disappointed in this arrangement. But her duty to Yui Moto at this time was unquestionable. And so, she agreed. But of course there were no questions that she wasn't happy with it.

    That said, Nikolina may be surprised by the fact that Misaki walks in exactly an hour before the meeting time, clad in her streamlined black riding suit, and removing her helmet to reveal her plain black hair and natural amber eyes. She has a seat several meters from Nikolina, looking straight without a word.

    Was it a psychological ploy? Was it merely extreme punctuality? No, assassins knew that missions were a matter of being as close to the appointed time as possible, to avoid interference. It may well be some manner of subtle insult, but her expression is blank, so who could really tell.

    Misaki will wait in silence until the appointed time, or Nikolina saying anything.
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    The two will wait for the entire hour before the assigned start of the training. Nikolina, for her part, doesn't move an inch; she stands, perfectly straight, only the fingers of her hand moving to turn the pages of her book. She won't react to anything less than a physical assault from Misaki, not even acknowledging the girl's presence. When the assigned time comes, however, she immediately closes the book and slides it into her messenger bag, then turns to face Misaki.

    "Highly talented, yet unstable. These were the words that Yui Moto used to describe you to Lord Hein Weisweide."

    She folds her hand behind her back, and begins circling around Misaki. She steps in and out of the light as she moves, but it should be no trouble to keep track of her location.

    "Tell me, Shizuka Misaki, what does it mean to be a Quincy?"
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    Shikuka Misaki does not so much as react for a few moments. She just blankly looks at her 'teacher'. Then she responds dully. "Strife. Murder. Destruction. Conquest. We are the chosen race of the gods, or god. The world of the living is ours. And we must ensure it's ours no matter how many lives or spirits we need to end."

    "The path of the Quincy is a path of destruction." She says this so matter-of-factly, that other quincies may have gotten chills from the obviously antisocial and psychotic response she just gave.
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    Nikolina nods, once, although whether from approval or acknowledgement, it is impossible to tell.

    "Good. Many Quincies are too squeamish to admit to the darker aspects of what we are. But wrong. That is a part of what we are, but it is not the core essence."

    She stops moving directly in front of Misaki.

    "Now, this is your first test. Try to kill me. I've made arrangements so that if I do not return, you will immediately be promoted into the Kaiserlich Rössel without repercussion and without further testing or training."
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    Misaki looks blankly at Nikolina as she explains the test. It's the kind of blank stare that is only really delivered by those who have seen death. Usually by their own hands. When she finishes... she is gone.

    It's only a burst of hirenyaku, however, as she is in front of and slightly above Nikolina; reishi forms into a dagger into her hand, spectral gauntlets formed over them. She jabs the dagger straight for her instructor's forehead.

    Well, at least she didn't have any hesitations.
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    Nikolina's eyes stare back into Misaki's, easily matching her gaze. While Misaki's gaze is blank and empty, Nikolina's is cold, but full. The look of someone who once had the same eyes, but has moved beyond that point. Compassion is the wrong word to describe what Nikolina's expression conveys; it would be more accurate to call it comprehension.

    Nikolina's eyes widen slightly in alarm as Misaki explodes into motion, the unstable girl proving to be much faster than her would-be instructor expected. Even so, Nikolina manages to slide out of the way of the knife, which tears open a small slash in her coat and draws a thin line of blood underneath. Despite the unexpected pain, Nikolina makes no reaction to the cut; she is no stranger to injury.

    "Weak."
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    Misaki continues her assault, driving downwards with a leg to Nikolina's calf in an attempt to hobble her. At the same time, she corrects the angle of attack by slashing with a dagger in her offhand, aiming for her neck. The student's eyes are also slightly widened, but not out of surprise. Her pupils constricted, she is beginning to touch on what one might call a 'battle high'.

    An assassin like her probably was used to killing in one strike.
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    Nikolina adjusts her stance almost instantaneously, adjusting the position of her leg so that the brunt of Misaki's force fails to properly connect with her calf. Meanwhile, she raises one arm to block Misaki's strike, further twisting around and seizing the assassin's wrist if she doesn't respond quickly. At the same time, Nikolina jabs an open palm towards Misaki's diaphragm, trying to knock the wind out of her.
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    Misaki does not even blanch as her attempts are foiled. Instead, she simply twists her own wrist to grasp Nikolina's as well, then as her instructor attempts to strike, she feels a tug on her arm to the side as Misaki reaches for her hip then pulls out a seele schneider, the blade forming mere inches away as the young assassin attempts to amputate the limb with a simultaneous pivot to avoid it.

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    She's using her Ransotengai mastery to pull at Nikolina's strings and swerve her arm off track.
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    A combat application of Ransotengai. Interesting.

    Rather than resist the pull, Nikolina moves with Misaki and pivots into her side, pinning the arm holding the Seele Schneider between their bodies. While this would be a temporary measure at best, in the same motion she attempts to throw Misaki over her and onto the ground, an expertly executed action that leaves little room to escape.
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    And so, Misaki is thrown, only eliciting a grunt from the assassin. But the fight is far from over. Even as she hangs onto the seele schneider in her other hand, she flicks a handful of spiritual daggers up at Nikolina's torso and head.

    Depending on how Nikolina responds to this, she rolls away from the younger quincy and flips into a crouch, dispersing the gauntlets on her hands and forming an actual bow in her hands.

    "How many?" She blurts out. There is no context to it.
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    In a truly impressive display of skill, Nikolina's hands blur in a swift motion and catch each knife in midair before casting them aside. Although she doesn't form her own bow, she does allow her cross to slide free of her sleeve, a beautifully crafted piece that seems more of a work of art than a weapon. She adjusts into a combat stance.

    "I never kept track. It doesn't matter."
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    "You're right."" However, Misaki's minor distraction pays off as she finishes shaping her bow; a rather odd design, with two circles near each limb. With a leap back, she fires two arrows in quick succession from the air at Nikolina's legs.
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    Nikolina blurs out of the way of the arrows, traveling through a series of Hirenkyaku movements all over the room. At some point, her bow, an equally elegant weapon to the cross, unfolds completely into its full form. She pauses in one place, lining up a shot on Misaki for a split second, but vanishes again directly before firing. She reappears in the rafters above, aiming a shot to pierce through Misaki's hand.
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    What may surprise Nikolina is that the moment the arrows strike the spot where she used to be, they explode like fireworks, sending forth a double-barrage of roughly two-dozen arrows. Misaki has the sense to jump out of the way, landing herself in the rafters, but Nikolina may or may not catch a few arrows while she's darting around on ground level.

    In that time, Misaki has already begun to strafe with hirenyaku herself, firing an arrow with each jump; each arrow exploding like a raging pincushion as it hits contact with anything but Nikolina. She's not really worrying about accuracy at this point, just keeping movement to prevent Nikolina from getting a bead.
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    Nikolina modifies her actions at the unexpected burst patterns of the arrows, causing her to immediately head to the rafters rather than darting throughout the room. Nikolina makes a minimum of movement as Misaki fires on her, remaining on the same beam. She pulls back the string of her bow, keeping it pointed horizontally, but making no significant effort to track Misaki with it.

    If an opportunity presents itself allowing Nikolina to get off a shot that she can be sure will hit, she does so with an aim to disable, but otherwise bides her time.
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    Misaki fires three more shots in a triangle pattern around Nikolina for maximum exposure probability before disappearing into hirenyaku entirely.

    Presuming Nikolina has the good sense to get out of the metaphorical briar patch, Misaki is quite suddenly in her face with a seele schneider in each hand, slicing for her bow hand with one blade while going for a more lethal decapitation attempt with the other.
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    Nikolina's bow dissolves instantly as Misaki assaults her, and she catches the assassin by the wrists, turning her momentum against her and once again trying to throw the younger Quincy away from her. Unlike the last time, however, this throw is much stronger, aiming to send Misaki hurtling towards the ground hard enough to inflict serious injury if she doesn't recover properly.
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    Misaki turns into a roll, hitting the ground (shutting off the reishi flow of the seele schneider to prevent accidental injury) and then immediately disappearing into hirenkyaku.

    From there, she begins to take on a much more skirmishing route. Quickly phasing in and out of hirenyaku, she makes quick, not easily overextended strikes between each jump in an attempt to overwhelm her teacher with a sheer number of cuts. Her advantage at this point seems to be speed, and she is capitalizing on it.
    Last edited by strawberryman; 2014-04-28 at 12:54 PM.
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    Nikolina jumps down to the floor of the warehouse once more, and begins dodging Misaki's attacks with the same calculated precision as before.

    "Impressive. I acknowledge your skill, however unrefined it may be."

    She holds one hand up in front of her.

    "But your time is up. Eiszeit."

    A pulsating sphere of ice appears in Nikolina's hand, then releases a massive wave of ice that covers the entire room. The walls, floor, and ceiling all become covered in ice, and Misaki herself is at risk of being frozen solid. Once the wave reaches the walls and ceiling, it retracts back to Nikolina, reapplying the ice.
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    Misaki's assault is paused for a few moments as ice overtakes the warehouse.

    Kneeling against the rafters as hidden as possible, Misaki breathes slowly, not letting her breath hang in the air by pursing her lips. Her left arm is rigid and pale, with bits of frost hanging on it. She knew that this was probably a losing battle. But a battle it was. And assassins do not lose. They win, or flee. Flight was not a choice. And so, she had to fight.

    Perhaps a more reasonable person would cede. But Shizuka Misaki was not well known for her reason. Veins of orange form around her arms and neck, and then... she jumps into hirenkyaku once more.

    There's an audible boom as Misaki appears in front of Nikolina again, her form steaming as she slices for Nikolina's arms, her face, anything in reach. There was no refined aim. Simply frenzied, powerful blows, her eyes widened and pupils pinpoint.

    She seems to be sloughing off the ice as it coats her body, as well, almost like her natural temperature had increased.

    She's not likely to give up, especially in this state.
    Last edited by strawberryman; 2014-04-28 at 02:35 PM.
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    Nikolina slides between Misaki's strikes with extraordinary speed and grace, neatly avoiding each of the assassin's strikes. While she certainly doesn't possess the raw speed displayed by Misaki, she has impressive reflexes and the uncanny ability to predict the strikes aimed at her. It quickly becomes obvious that although a single good blow would end the fight, Misaki will never get the chance. Upon being provided with a single opening, Nikolina launches into the air and claps her hands in front of her before spreading them wide in front of her.

    "Graupel."

    She releases a spread of small pellets of ice that launch themselves in zigzagging patterns across the room, impacting like small meteorites that explode into disproportionately large shards of ice. If these shards contact Misaki, they will then expand further, weighing her down. They also refuse to melt off, unlike previously. Regardless of whether the attack connects or not, Nikolina uses the opening created by Misaki dodging or being hit to appear behind her and catch the assassin in a choke hold. As soon as she does so, diamond-hard ice begins spreading over Misaki's body, freezing her in place. Finally, as she does this, she slams Misaki into the ground, adding concussive assault to the laundry list of attacks.

    "Gefroren Wirkung."
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    There is really very little Misaki can do in this addled state. She was outmatched. But she wasn't going without a fight. She stabs, bites, and bucks to the last second...

    But still ends up on the floor, unconscious. And frozen. Probably best not to leave her that way for too long, cold slows the bodies' activity.
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    Well aware of the threat the cold poses to Misaki, Nikolina immediately melts the ice off of her body, then evaporates the ice coating the room as if it had never been there. Reaching into her bag, Nikolina withdraws a pair of chemical warmers wrapped in cloth. Briefly checking the assassin's temperature to ensure she isn't in critical condition, Nikolina then strategically lays the warmers the younger Quincy. Nikolina is skilled enough that none of Misaki's injuries are serious apart from mild frostbite, which the warmers will be able to treat. Once she is satisfied, Nikolina moves back to one of the columns of light within the warehouse, withdraws her book once more, and waits for her student to regain consciousness.
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    It doesn't take quite as long for Misaki to recover as a normal human would. But that's a given, of course.

    But there's no sudden movement as she does so. She simply lays there for a few moments, then removes the heating pads, sitting up and simply resuming her blank, meaningless stare. Before Nikolina even considers speaking, however, the young assassin breaks the silence.

    "...you're different." There's a reflexive twitch in her hand. Maybe she considered trying again? Or perhaps she's just thinking about the lives she's ended. Worth nothing more than a twitch to her. "I have a lot to learn." Wow, some humility? Who'd have thought. "...But I will not fail next time." Not a threat. Simply factual.

    At the back of her head, she thinks of Yoshi.
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    Nikolina finishes her sentence and snaps the book closed as Misaki awakes, allowing the assassin to make the first move. She is impassive as Misaki speaks. Practically a speech from the quiet young girl.

    "Good. First lesson: there's always someone better. Never enter a fight assuming that you will win. Equally, no fight is absolute. I underestimated you and it cost me-" she taps at the wound Misaki inflicted earlier, now covered with a thin sheet of ice "-because I knew I was stronger than you.

    Abruptly, she shifts tracks.

    "Would you like to take another guess at the meaning of the Quincy? Or should I simply tell you?"
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    "What are we?" More rhetoric. More 'greater calling'. These were the things Misaki expected. But she's a killer. It can be justified as much as one wishes. But killing is killing.
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    Nikolina fixes an intense gaze on Misaki.

    "Before we go any further, there is something I should explain. This is not idle rhetoric. It is not a justification of what we do. We are the Mortal World's immune system; we will obliterate all invaders, without remorse. It is justice, but it is more. It is our purpose, regardless of petty ideals of "right" or "wrong." I'm sure that my statements seem to be unnecessarily verbose bulls*** to you, but they are as much a part of this training as anything else."

    Nikolina begins pacing.

    "The Quincy first took up arms in response to the incompetence of the Shinigami. They were too slow. Too inefficient. Too incompetent. Our predecessors took up arms because they would no longer accept their loved ones being ripped from them by unchecked Hollows. Because they would not allow the fate of humanity to be determined by those who had already passed from this world. To be a Quincy is to choose to fight for a reason, or person, you believe in. The person I care the most about in the world is my sister; for her sake, I have made my body nearly untouchable. So that she will not be harmed, I have devoted all of my training to defense."

    Nikolina stops moving, once again looking at Misaki.

    "The words 'highly talented, yet unstable' were applied to my sister and I as well, when we were first trained. We began formal training at age 12. The file I received about you was irritatingly vague, but indicates that you have been training for most of your life. Yet, as I believe I have conclusively proven, I am stronger than you. My desire to protect my sister has given me the strength to achieve this."

    She cocks her head to one side.

    "Do you have a person or ideal that you care for?"
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Extra Episode 8: Hot and Cold

    Misaki's gaze is as blank as ever, until Nikolina asks her question. Then there is a second of doubt, hesitance. Somewhat out of character, one might say.

    "...yes. But emotions make you sloppy. I can't be sloppy." There is some minute hesitance, but the girl seems as trapped in her own rhetoric as she expects any others to be.
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