The Zen and Fury in Healing

Anything you might want to try out that doesn't temporally or thematically fit the serial should go here. This is an ideal space for all your what-ifs and might-have-beens, as well as for your average silliness.
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Karl the Mad
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Re: The Zen and Fury in Healing

Post by Karl the Mad »

At first, Marius contented himself with batting aside the demon's testing jabs, moving a shade faster than would be normal. Superior eyesight and reflexes meant he could economize his movements, so what seemed like a narrow evasion was, from his perspective, dodging a slow-motion punch or kick. Not that Al was moving in slow motion here, of course. But playing at a slap fight wasn't what he needed!

Fortunately the demon seemed to sense that, as he increased the pressure on the old vamp with some more exotic moves. Marius recognized many of them from his duel with Grishnakhal, and responded accordingly, stepping up his own game in reply by moving fasting, swinging harder. He recalled how he had countered Grish at first, and did the same here. Minus the time stopping and pimp slapping, of course.

Not being as highly trained in melee as the others he opted not to join the banter, although he kept track of it. Al would learn quick that Marius tended to rely on strength and speed to just straight-up overwhelm his opponents, when he didn't simply pimp-slap them through a wall or whatever. And he certainly had plenty of both! What looked like a regular straight-arm punch easily had enough force behind it to knock down this entire tower, delivered at a speed that would probably leave the others blinking after-images from their eyes.

Not bad for a scrawny old dude, one might say.

Eventually he got bored, rushed in to knock Al off balance, then blinked out of sight. Al would have barely a moment to react to the elbow drop from the rafters that was coming down towards him, as Marius escalated things yet again!

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Re: The Zen and Fury in Healing

Post by IamLEAM1983 »

The dragon's elbow and knee came up on command, blocking Miranda's attempted hits without the full breadth of grace Joyful Death had imparted her. Shen Long was competent and obviously knew how to affect poise and flow even without the enchanted sword in hand, but he still fundamentally was an injured old man. He was rigid by just this much, off his mark by just the tiniest of margins - and Miranda would know that her combatant of a mother could've prospectively advised her to capitalize on it, if the dragon had been the type to deserve it.

The strikes he threw in return were lacking in Marius' need to push or otherwise show tactical dominance, instead depicting how carefully Long was following his pupil's own attempts to score points. If Miranda overextended her reach, a palm heel pushed her back. If her approach was too forward-facing, a foot or a hand flashed forward with a whisper of fabric and nary a tap against her; carefully restrained punches and kicks doled out to show her where her weak spots were, but not to dispense pain. In the earlier sessions, it might've seemed odd for the girl to be tapped on the shoulder with someone's toes, but this was a common occurrence by now. Shen Long's contacts straightened her posture, poked out points of coiled stress and lightly brought her out of tunnel vision, if and when it engulfed her.

Constant and serene awareness, a relaxed sense of focus dwelling on the immediate moment and a consistently-maintained sense of physical freedom, unshackling her from the preconceived notions so many fighters tended to carry. These were the attributes he was working to bring out in her. Consciously trying to guard herself would have been mentally taxing and physically demanding, so he sought to teach her to simply remain aware of all the angles he could choose to strike from.

Unlike Marius, he also had a bit of a twinkle in his eye. Martial arts might've been an aesthetic pursuit for him, but they also had roots in rather simple notions. Play was chief among them. That, he knew, was something Allocer keenly grasped in his own way. Shen Long was glad to put Miranda's mettle to the test and hoped she found some measure of amusement in seeing just how more limber she was becoming! He'd never brought his suspicions forward out of politeness, but he assumed Miranda now was a more resilient and capable distance runner than her own mother. She had the cardio for it, that much was obvious, plus the advantages of youth and of a complete lack of martial preconceptions. Aspasia ran like she'd always run track back on Paradise; Miranda could still afford childlike dead sprints for the sheer fun of it.

As for Allocer, he'd taken the offered opportunity to show one of the few crucial details about burly fellows such as himself. To most people, he still was the weirdo Pride Knight with the photo booth-ready chompers and exactingly personable facial wrinkles, the only distant relative of Paimon or Grishnakhal who could manage a good-natured grin without it looking murderous or cartoonish. Consequently, people expected him to be slow, as far as physical displays were concerned. Part of that stemmed out of his status as a prisoner under surveillance as well as his desire to earn and maintain his assigned guards' trust, so he only ever ran or walked as fast as the two angels that shadowed him would have. As agreed upon with Chimera Row's evaluation board, however, he was kept on a slightly looser leash in Shen Long's dojo. What followed wouldn't have been a surprise for Marius, but it caught Shen Long's occasional focus completely off-guard, giving Miranda another striking or disabling opportunity.

The former usurper of City Hall simply wasn't on the floor anymore, by the time Marius' elbow came down. He'd never be able to be as fast as Vlastos, of course - but like all large men with a set of generously and naturally-toned muscles, he controlled them with surprising acuity. Opting to use Marius' own downwards momentum against him, he simply spun himself off to the side and avoided the initial contact, made as if to vault over Marius' form and instead briefly perched himself atop the vampire's back for a fraction of a second. His knees then came down hard on Vlastos' back, his arm pushing against the back of Vlastos' neck; and Allocer's entire approach attempting to turn an elbow drop into either a self-directed punch to the face or just an uncomfortably-placed limb the old librarian wouldn't like to be pinned against.

"You're good," panted the former Duke, "probably the best opponent I've had in years - but you're not mud-wrestled six incubi under Pride's training orders good! I hope for your sake that you never are, either!"

Allocer's laugh wasn't one of challenge, but one of obvious enjoyment. "You're trying to stay on your feet and actually are keeping tactics in mind, and you've got six clay-covered sybarites drooling over themselves with how they're planning to keep you pinned down! Imagine that! I'm Pride; I'm sure you can figure out how embarrassed I was!"

He then rolled off of Marius, coming to his feet and extending a hand in the same gesture, a congenial smirk on his ochre-colored mien.

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