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Old 05-24-2018, 06:16 PM   #21
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N---no---” Natsu grunted, lifting her off hand to clutch her swordhand, and slowly pressing the arm – and the tip of the blade down. “Not like this.

I must eat.” She spat, suddenly. “Let me do this my way. That’s the deal.

She suddenly felt a wave of relief wash over her as the entity shrank back down into his sword and her hand clutching it suddenly didn’t feel quite so tight. She sighed and crossed her hand over her chest and pulled it tight into a fist. “Thank you, Amaterasu-sama. I won’t let you down.

Isamu’s voice suddenly cut through the storm of energy, like a far away echo. She almost didn’t think she heard it, so faint it felt like a memory, but it steeled her resolve. She lifted her sword again and pointed it towards the imp. “Are you doing this? My name is Hikoboshi no Natsu, Daughter of the Endless Spring! I will stop you!

The imp growled suddenly and Natsu flinched, and started to run away right then and there...but she took up her stance again and jutted out her jaw. She could almost feel the spirit in her sword rolling his eyes and sighing. “C—call off the hounds! We already defeated your priest. You’ll be next, if you’re not careful!

Energy, like a heatwave, shimmered between the imp and the miko, and she was suddenly launched back as if she had been punched by a very large man. She skidded to a stop on her heeled boots, her jacket’s shawl trailing on the dusty road. It took her a second to regain her composure, and then she hefted her sword and crossed it over her shoulder, belting out a forced laugh.

Ha! Ha ha ha! Is that all you have?

The imp shrieked, and the windows of the closest buildings shattered in response.
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Old 05-25-2018, 03:58 PM   #22
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As Isamu turned the final corner to the shrine, the hyenas that chased him were cowed by something he couldn't see. As he turned to face the swarming forms of powerful spirit energy, his body fell backwards, as if pushed back by his own exhaustion. The hyenas all lay down against the sand, their chattering demon skulls suddenly growing still.

Isamu had struggled to focus on the scene before him, but as he forced his body up - not with his hands, but with his belief that he could get up again - he saw what had been hidden on their last visit to the shrine. Is that thing... this town's god? The imp's jaw chattered as it shrieked. Isamu shielded his face from the glass that broke outwards.

As he lowered his arms, he could see where Natsu had to be. A soft glow, light blue compared to the imp's viscous purple, that was vaguely human shaped. He thought he heard Natsu's voice, but as a delayed memory. Isamu could recognize the sound of the taunt. And he could recognize when his friend needed his help.

"Because that's certainly not all we have!" Isamu was between the imp and the priestess in a flash. In his left hand was the sheath of a familiar wakizashi, the one from the hut. His right hand twitched as he gripped it's handle. Half of his hand betrayed his grip violently, spasming. His whole arm hurt now, and the small black dots from the curse were glowing an impish purple now.

He didn't precisely know how to use a divine device. Nor did he know just how blasphemous it was to do what he was about to. He only hoped that the few days getting to know Hikoboshi no Natsu's sense of faith had taught him something.

"Yo, Divine Wind..."

Isamu tried to remember some of the other prayers he had heard Natsu say. He drew a blank. But he also drew the sword out from it's sheath.

"Help us... Vanquish..."

The sound of something cracking hushed out of the sheath as the blade - old and rusted - was drawn out. The crack did not sound like something that had occurred on the material plane. The imp had begun to scream and bat it's wings furiously. Isamu's arms spasmed as he pulled the sword out further.

"This Demon Dude!"

The sword, at last, erupted from the sheath. Isamu thought he heard the pop of a wine cork and the sound of a trickling stream. For a few seconds, nothing seemed to happen. The imp bat it's wings furiously. Isamu gulped, worried that his whole show had done nothing but upset the beast. Sweat formed on his brow

And then a vicious blast of light erupted from the sheath.
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Old 05-25-2018, 10:33 PM   #23
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Natsu appeared in the air above the imp, having taken to a running stride before sailing through the hair and plunging her sword down into the head of the beast, as light and energy erupted around her. She grunted and used both hands to pry the blade back towards her—and the imp started to split into two distinct parts. The demonic visage of the beast was screaming and twisting and bubbling, while something pure and something beautiful inside of it – like clean water, like fresh air, like a sunrise – started to filter through. The lights around them pulsed and swirled.

In the name of the Summer Star!

She yelled and grunted, and yanked her sword back flat against the shrine, fully separating the negative energy from the pure spirit of the shrine, splitting apart from each other with a sickening sound like a tooth being yanked from the jaw.

I will vanquish this evil!

That something good, something holy, sped like a solid steel beam made entirely of light from the point atop the shrine to the scabbard Isamu held in his hand - - the divine hiding place for the kami that would bring water back to the shrine. What was left was a twisted mass of energy, violent and depressing and hungry and lustful – all the negative thoughts of the town that had been coalesced and tapped into by whatever evil the true name of the beast was. It’s identity didn’t matter, however – her sword rippled like water and seemingly grew a maw, chomping and tearing and devouring like a beast in a famine, until there was nothing left but an exhausted girl holding a satisfied and glowing sword, resting on top of a shrine in a still town hall.

Just like that, there was stillness around them, and a great weight had rushed off of them all. Natsu smiled and hugged the sword tight to her chest until it started to fade away into nothing again, becoming a part of her very being. “There you go, little god. One more mote of evil gone, one more shrine purifed.
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Old 05-26-2018, 04:48 PM   #24
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The powerful beam of light burst downwards from the imp as quickly and as powerfully as it had flung forth from the scabbard. Isamu's arms trembled at the force of it, and while he tried to let go to avoid enduring the rocketing blast, some divine power kept him attached to the sword. The light flew into the scabbard and disappeared.

Though, as it disappeared into the sheath, it seemed some magic force pulled the sword back into it, and it was now that the young man lost his grip on the wakizashi as the weapon sheathed itself in mid-air, yanked out of his hands by the divine. It clanked to the ground and Isamu stared down at the wonderful weapon. He was suddenly aware of a certain relief in the air.

But his heart still beat in worry. He had seen the imp split by the image of Hikoboshi no Natsu with her amazing sword. Somehow it was the first time Isamu had gotten a good look at the shard of Amaterasu. It was simultaneously frightening and beautiful. All that said, Isamu cared less about the sword and more about the priestess.

"Hikoboshi-sama!" Isamu closed the ground to Natsu and skid on his glass skates to stop by her side. He dared to put a hand on her back in comfort. He could feel the comfort of her warmth in return. "That beast was massive! Your sword - The demons! - Err - The sword from the-" Isamu's head turned back and forth as he checked his surroundings. His eyes fell back on the priestess again, realizing his nerves were getting the best of him.

"Have you been hurt?"
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:13 PM   #25
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Don’t touch me,” She said, absently, brushing his hand away from her. “I am a woman of the cloth.

She peeked over at him, sticking out her tongue, and nodded over at the discarded sword. “I’m fine. It’s not the first time I’ve had to tangle with Dark Entities from Beyond this Moral Realm.

A pitter patter of her feet as she made her way back to the wakizashi and picked it up with an exaggerated ceremony, holding it aloft with one hand and shaking her fingers on the other to accent the sword, quickly becoming dusty from the sand aloft from all the displaced energy that had just filled the area. “A kami home! A divine tool, meant to house a spirit of great power! One that will bring back the peace and prosperity to this great town! Hyaah!

With her shout, she threw the sword with all her body, stumbling forward with a few hefty hops on her left leg, her right out behind her and her arms outstretched from her body in the aftermath of her massive throw. It sailed through the air with all the grace you’d might expect – tumbling in the air, clattering against the edge of the small shrine, and sailing through the air on the rebound. Flushing and blushing, the miko leapt into the air to catch it and quickly sat it back on it’s display inside the shrine with both hands, carefully closing the little door again.

A glare, as she turned to Isamu, suggesting that he saw nothing, then back to the shrine.

Okay, I’m sure you’re tired, great spirit...” She jutted her chin away from the shrine as she whispered at it. “But let’s get that water flowing again real soon, okay? I’m sort of on a holy quest, and--

Oh. Natsu bent over neatly at the waist and plucked a dirty rag from the bottom of the shrine, and water suddenly spilled out from the four cardinal directions from small valves on the bottom of the structure, splashing out to start filling up the aqueducts that would rush through the village again.

Ah-ha-ha-ha!” She held the dirty rag up into the air with one hand, shaking her fingers on the other to accent the cloth. “Foul fabric, cursed cloth! Vanquished by the hearts of good!

A flourish of the cloth and a deep bow to Isamu, as townsfolk started to make their way out of their hiding places. Everyone seemed a bit exhausted from the massive psychic attacks they had been under earlier, but seeing the water flow again was a happy relief to everyone’s spirits.

Now, since there’s no collection box here,” She pointed back at the shrine, then opened a small bag on her hip to collect coins from the townsfolk, and a horrifying shriek exploded from her hip – or, perhaps, her lips. “Curses, I forgot about the demon stone.

She held the small rock aloft from her bag and turned back to the shrine, and started to work some kind of magic, cleverly hiding her actions with her body from the crowd of onlookers.

Isamu-san! If you could collect the donations from the townsfolk,” A few grunts as whatever she was working with struggled against her. “I’ll, uh—purify this artifact.
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Old 06-07-2018, 02:51 PM   #26
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The blush from the smack of his hand faded into his tan as Isamu finally let himself breath. Without the weight of the demon energy on the town, the boy felt a great deal lighter. Even as he worried about the safety of the airborne sword, he had a sense that everything would be alright. He reached his own hands out towards the sword, as if just reaching for the falling object would increase his chances of catching it.

And as Natsu moved closer to the shrine - something Isamu was intent not to do - the townspeople began to appear, some still shaking. Thank yous were being uttered. Some, who had been rude to the shinobi and miko upon their arrival, stuttered apologies. It was only Hikoboshi no Natsu's voice who gathered much of Isamu's attention.

"The donations?" Isamu hadn't thought about how he was going to get paid for this. But then again, most of his money went towards keeping his government-issued room in Sunagakure. Before he could retract the hand that had reached towards the sword, coins began dropping in it. They dropped until he needed two hands - imagine Isamu's glee at having full control over all of his fingers, the curse unlifted with the death of the demon. The coins dropped until he needed to unclip a pouch from his belt and pull out the few kunai within to make a holding place for tiny bills and coins and "Is that another figurine?"

Isamu plucked a tiny trademarked creature made out of glass. It was a little figurine of a popular anime creature. Looking around, he spotted the young boy who had given it to him. Another broke kid, like many others around Wind Country, but this one had some intention of good in him, even without any coin to spare.

"You a shinobi, mister?"

"You betcha."

"And you get to hang out with pretty girls all day?"

"Uhhh... you mean Hikoboshi-sama?" Isamu could still feel his hand stinging. "She's a woman of the cloth! We don't speak of her like that."

The boy quirked his head to the side. As other adults plopped coins in his pouch, Isamu bowed thanks in return while trying to pay attention to the young boy. The boy had returned to his mother, to whisper how strange Isamu was. Isamu heard it all, but without letting his feelings get hurt too badly, he caught the child's final phrase.

"Mama, I wanna be a shinobi some day..."

The boy's mother smacked the child upside the head.

"Not on my watch! You'll sooner be a woman of the cloth!" The little family was gone to the shrine, while Isamu continued to accept the tithes and smile deeply. He would find himself thinking of his mother for the rest of the day and into the night, and how he had run away to make his own childish dreams come true. And as the coins and water flowed his way, he would remind himself of his dream, and how he was happy, to help the world, one tiny shrine at a time.
And so the unexpected duo cleansed the shrine of Orikomeru, and made some handsome coin for the Priestess' hard work. They would eat well that night, and a night of deep rest would return them to health. They would need it, as rumors still abounded across the country; There were more towns to save.
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