For old times sake, snake (Atashi)

Kylar and Atashi have a heart to heart

A settlement east of Rynmere across a stretch of water called 'the eastern trench' broken into three regions: Welles, Oakleigh, and Berwick.
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Kylar
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For old times sake, snake (Atashi)

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23rd Zi'da, 716

A bolt launched into the target, hitting almost in the center. Of all the five bolts he'd fired, he hadn't missed a single one. To say he had improved was an understatement, he was becoming well acquainted with the crossbow now.
Loading bolts, maintaining stance and firing was becoming second nature for him. As he looked to the target, the sun shone from behind - the evening approaching.
"You know, as much as I hate to fuel your ego - you're good at this" Zi'da confessed, lying out in the snow as Kylar trained. Kylar turned to the wolf and smiled, not saying a word. Zi'da sighed. "I'll assume that means it's too late for your ego then."

After collecting the bolts, Kylar put them down on the ground and walked over to Zi'da. He knelt down and scratched behind the wolf's ear, smiling sincerely.
"I don't suppose you're willing to offer some advice for me?" Kylar said, quiet and a little pained. Zi'da nuzzled against him, taking on a much more serious tone. "If I can help, I will - but my advice may be limited. What's bothering you?"
"Earlier today, I shot people. It was such a different experience. The first person I launched a bolt at was a bandit, who's friend had carved my shoulder up. But these guys stood no chance. I shattered their ankles like it was nothing, and they could do nothing in return" he explained.
"On top of it all, people died. I aimed for the weak spots, but ones they could still live through. But people got shot while surrendering, or just plain killed. Even by the warden."

Zi'da looked up at Kylar. "Not everyone can be saved, Kylar. As Karem taught you. You tried, and even saved lives. But what you need to remember is that there is no right and wrong. Your allies massacred innocents, and your enemies surrendered to avoid a fight" Zi'da told the man, his voice filled with comfort.

"There is no certainty, no guarantee of justice - not for everyone. All you can do is make sure that you do the right thing, even when those around you don't. So don't let it get to you too much."
"Just remember your purpose. If you want to save lives, nobody can stop you. Save lives in the way that you can best. Karem knew you could, hence me being here. She believed in you - so have enough respect in her to believe in yourself."
word count: 442
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Atashi
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For old times sake, snake (Atashi)

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Dragging his tail over the frozen ground, he winced, clearly quite sore from his slither through the deep snow. The pain or discomfort was resting at the back of his mind however - at the front was the people he'd seen slaughtered by his own forces, by the warden even. The sight of the man's headless body falling to the snow as arrows pelted them and the enemy burned. The chaos, the screaming, the blood. All of it still so fresh in his head, he decided it was best that he talk to someone. Lash wasn't very good at conversation however, who else could he talk to? Kylar? Was this the sort of subject that would be appropriate to talk about having just made up with the Lotharro? He looked to the woods, uneasy. The darkness of the canopy almost called to him, the longer he'd gaze into the abyss, the more faces seemed to meld from the black. He closed and rubbed his eyes, shook his head then looked to the tree line once more - he was greeted by the normal woodlands. 'Yeah, it's time to talk to Kylar.' declared the voice in his head, sarcastic as ever.

With that, he turned tail and made a beeline for the direction he'd seen Kylar heading in with his new wolf. As he slithered, it felt as though his scales were being ripped from his body by the friction of the ground - A horrible stinging sensation left behind by the deep snow from earlier. While he was certain that's not what was happening, he turned over his shoulder a glance, just to make sure his scales weren't being left in a trail across the snow. He saw a trail of gore leading from his tail to the headless body, still standing at the end of his trail. He turned back to face the front casually, before realising what in Ethelynda's name he'd just seen. He double takes, looking back to his rear with an expression of sheer panic - Nothing, Just an indent in the snow. 'Woah, I'll admit, that one even spooked me a little. What do you think his name was anyway? The headless dude I mean.' it asked. Was it even his voice still? Had it ever been? It started in Venora, these have been HIS thoughts, right? 'Totally, you have more to worry about right now though.' yeah, you're right. Gotta find Kylar. He continued his search.

Eventually spotting Kylar at the firing range with his wolf, he approached but halted himself halfway through, he was having a discussion with his wolf? Oh no. Is Kylar also struggling? 'Pahahaha! You're so selfish! You failed to recognise that Kylar was having some trouble through your own self-indulgence. Classic!' Roared the voice with laughter. He looked to Kylar, concerned before approaching. He cleared his throat when he was standing behind him, heralding his presence "Everything all right, Kylar?" he asked, looking between him and the wolf. He wound his tail up into a coil before sitting into it, wincing at the pressure slightly. He would listen to whatever the sky-rider had to say.
Last edited by Atashi on Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 544
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Kylar
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For old times sake, snake (Atashi)

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Kylar smiled at Zi'da's encouragement, telling him to believe in himself and the like. But it was food for thought, and he had a point. Some of his allies were doing the right thing, taking the enemy down peacefully. Others had killed surrendering enemies, or not even given them a chance to surrender. Some of the Qe'dreki were killers, cold-blooded murderers. But some stood down. Some just fought with fear.
He felt himself start to shake. All this time he'd signed up thinking he was fighting for good and killing the villains. He thought he was a hero, an undeniable hero. But all this time he had been fighting on the side of some villains. Overall, he was doing the right thing. But the thought he worked alongside people who probably enjoyed killing made his stomach churn.

Before he could reply to Zi'da, he heard Atashi. It startled him, making his head turn sharp. When he saw it was his friend, his tension vanished, but his body was still shaking. He could probably pass that off as the cold, however.
"Sorry, you scared me" he admitted, standing himself up. "I'm alright, just talking to Zi'da about some things. You two haven't met yet, have you?"
Kylar then realized that he had a lot of explaining to do. Atashi still didn't know about his encounter with Karem, or how he could talk to Zi'da. There was a lot he didn't know. He decided to be blunt about it.

"Karem gave him to me, to reward me for being a follower of hers. It's also what happened to my eyes" he explained. It was clear that his eyes were identical to his wolf's, for anyone looking. "Zi'da, he's a friendly, no need to be at all shy."
Kylar looked to Atashi as Zi'da made his approach, the wolf lowering his head respectfully. Kylar smiled, enjoying the friendliness Zi'da brought. Despite being able to talk, he was an animal, and there was no denying that he brought a cute factor along with him - cute or not.
"How about you, Atashi?" he asked, still looking uncomfortable. "Today was...rough."
word count: 380
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Atashi
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For old times sake, snake (Atashi)

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Atashi smirked, he had no idea how a giant like him had managed to sneak up on the Lotharro, but didn't think much of it. "Err, no... we haven't met... Are you sure you're okay, Kylar?" he asked, the smirk fading from his face very quickly as he sat in his coils uncomfortably, not laid back or relaxed as he normally did. Then finally, he decided to explain himself to Atashi, he nodded with agreement but found it difficult to concentrate on what he was saying. Instead his focus shifted to an itch that crawled over his back and neck, up to the back of his head - like he was being watched. 'Don't turn around. It's not real.' he commanded of himself. 'Isn't it? You don't sound too sure of yourself, Atashi. Go on... Just one little look, if it's not real it can't hurt you, right?' taunted the voice. 'LOOK OUT!!' it screamed, and in a panic, he turned his head to the rear, scanning the scene to find nothing that would startle him. 'Gotchya.' Chuckled the voice - the itch faded.

The scene was a normal snowy landscape, complete with an indent in the snow from where he'd slithered. Nothing out of the ordinary in the slightest. He turned back to Kylar, audio returning to him. "I'm sorry, I thought I heard something. What did you say about Karem?" he asked, his eyes hazy. he listened to the rest of Kylar's explanation and nodded with understanding, turning to check behind him every dozen trils or so. While he would have loved to check out Kylar's transformation, he found himself unable to focus on one thing for too long. He remained on edge, clearly uncomfortable with something, possibly even the environment?

"So, you're not going crazy...?" he asked, eventually needing to stand up - far too anxious to even consider coiling himself into a seat. "How come I can't hear Zi'da then? Err, does he mind if I pet him?" he asked, showing his hand for emphasis - as if Kylar wouldn't have understood what he'd meant otherwise. His hands tightened into fists from time to time as he surveyed the area around him, but he'd force them back open whenever he'd notice they were balled. "I'm fine!” he snapped, his breathing picked up a little as his surveillance become more frantic. 'Calm down, come on. You're okay - Kylar's here, no need to get so worked up over-' chirped his voice in his head before being interrupted by '-Over nothing? You can't be serious. He's angry, Atashi. You could have saved him, but you were so scared! Get real, all you do is hurt people - is that what you wanted? Is that why you joined the hand?'.

"No!" he cried out, taking his shield from his back and slithering back from Kylar a little with his body lowered before slamming the shield into the snow and hiding behind the door-sized chunk of metal completely. Hot tears streamed down his cheeks and melted into the snow below him. His arms shook under the strain at which he gripped the shield, as though every muscle in his body was tense. He held strong, putting all his strength and weight into his forward defence, cutting himself off from Kylar. With his fangs bared, he sobbed quietly behind his wall.
Last edited by Atashi on Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 587
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Kylar
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For old times sake, snake (Atashi)

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"Well, I suppose if I was going crazy I wouldn't know any better, but the fact you can see Zi'da makes me think that I'm still holding on to my sanity - or what little is left of it" he teased. But Atashi didn't seem in the mood for teasing. Atashi suddenly jolted his gaze over his shoulder, making Kylar jump a little. When Atashi asked, Kylar retold what he had already said about Karem and his meeting with her.
"Atashi, are you alright? You seem...jumpy" Kylar asked, concerned. "I'm here if you need to talk."

Kylar looked to Zi'da when asked if he could be petted. Zi'da simply nodded, before nuzzling against Atashi's hand. People took well to Zi'da, and all of them wanted to pet him when possible. Kylar supposed it was due to the fact that a tamed wolf wasn't that common, let alone a talking spirit one. Had it not been his wolf, Kylar would be equally fascinated.
"I couldn't tell you why, in all honesty. I suppose it's to do with the link me and him have, that Karem put in place. Allows us to communicate. But you'd have to ask Karem" he thought out loud.

Atashi jumped again. He seemed panicked and on edge. It was scary to watch someone who was so strong willed fall apart in front of him, and Kylar refused to watch it. He considered what he could do for a moment. But suddenly, it was too late. Atashi cried out to seemingly nobody, then went to draw his shield.
"Zi'da, get back" Kylar said as Atashi's shield drew and planted in the ground. Zi'da leaped back and snarled, worried an attack was soon to follow. Instead, he sheltered himself behind his shield - hiding from the world. Kylar heard his cries.

"Atashi, what's going on?" he said, trying to stay calm - his body shaking. "Snap out of it. Talk to me."
Kylar looked to Zi'da. "Stay there" he ordered, before circling around to look at Atashi. When he could see him, he would get close enough that they could talk but out of range in case he lashed out. Kylar had no idea what was overwhelming him. Zi'da watched, ready to pounce in a moments notice.
"Atashi..." Kylar said, pain in his voice at watching his friend hurt like this. "What is it?"
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Atashi
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For old times sake, snake (Atashi)

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"I... I can't..." he sniffled, unable to finish his sentence with his shaky breathing. Without looking to his very concerned friend, he closed his eyes and shook his head side to side between his raised arms as he held his defence, mumbling under his breath. Taking a deep breath, he tried to regulate his breathing before speaking "...I can't do this anymore, Kylar..." with sorrow and finally turning his head to look at Kylar. "...I can't keep hurting people." He growled, a distinct rage that Kylar might be familiar with flashed in his eyes as he emphasised the word. He let go of it quickly though, returning to hanging his head between his still-raised arms and whispering "I can't." under his breath over and over.

"I'm so sorry, Kylar..." He sobbed as his arms started shaking. Hesitantly, he let go of the shield. It stood upright for a moment being part-buried in the snow. Atashi shakily withdrew his arms and covered his face, his numbed fingers felt like ice against his burning hot skin. As if giving a warning, the shield groaned and creaked as it leaned forward slowly, then finally collapsed into the snow, sending a puff of white from the edges of the now-still shield. "At first I was angry..." he started, parting his palms from his mouth as he continued to compose himself. "Then I was hearing things... Then I-" He stopped himself, taking a deep breath. "...Then I hurt someone." he took his hands from his eyes, still puffy and red, but much more calm. "Then I was having nightmares, even during the day." He looked to Kylar, finally confessing all of his weakness. "Then after that... I was seeing things. Terrible, terrible things..." he spoke, wiping the last of his tears from his eyes with his sleeve.

"And now..." he turned to face Kylar completely, his stance could only be described as fragile and his tail was tucked in close. "...Now I feels like I'm falling apart." he surrendered, unable to keep his struggles hidden any longer. "I can't do this, Kylar. All my life, I wanted to be a soldier - against my father’s judgement I pursued that goal, leaving home behind." He spoke with a faraway look about his features. "I joined 'The Hand' thinking I'd be helping people, protecting people. But all I've done is hurt people..." he admit, quieting his tone a little. He rested his head into his palm, shaking all over "...I don't like hurting people..." his hands strayed to his upper-arms where he held himself secure. "But some of the people we're working with do." He spoke, looking left and right just to be sure that no one was listening in on them.

"You believe me right, my friend? You saw it too." he looked Kylar straight in the eyes, his expression more composed and calm than it was before but still sorrowful and miserable. "They took lives and liked it." he growled, the twinge of rage flashing in his eye once more before fading just as fast as it had appeared. "Are we the good guys?" he waited, anticipating a response with his pitiful and apologetic body language.
word count: 553
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Kylar
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For old times sake, snake (Atashi)

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Kylar took in his words, trying to keep his head calm and cool. As hard as it was, he had to be there for Atashi, and panicking wouldn't help him do that. He slowly approached his friend, before kneeling to look at him. He dropped his crossbow entirely.
"You don't have to keep hurting people" he started, before listening to the rest of what his friend had to say. He wouldn't interrupt a second of it, until the man was done. Then came the fatal question - one that made Kylar's body tense. Are they the good guys?

Zi'da walked over to Kylar and nuzzled him, comforting him before he spoke. Kylar looked Atashi in the eyes, apologetic. He never wanted to have to talk to his friend like this. After all, the two had gotten in to this together, and last time it had almost ended their friendship, and careers, forever. Maybe the latter would have been better gone.
"Yes," Kylar said, taking a deep breath. "But that doesn't mean the others are. We came here because we wanted to save the world, save our city. But other people? They came because they wanted glory, or to be strong or even just to kill. When I signed up to the riders, I thought everyone would be fighting for Andaris. I could never have forseen they would be fighting for themselves and nobody else."

Kylar approached his friend and, without waiting, pulled him in to a hug. "The Hand is hurting you, and that means it could hurt any of us. I got my scar, you're suffering emotionally. This isn't good for us, Atashi. What if Crimson is next? Or Faith? Any of them. What if they suffer like we did, all because we stuck by despite the risks?" he asked. He then pondered his next words.
"I came in to the Iron Hand with you, Atashi. I'll leave it with you as well. Hell, I'll leave Rynmere with you as well, so long as Crimson accompanies me" he said finally, pulling away from the hug. His face showed he meant it.

"So, tell me where we go and we will go there" he said, standing back up to his feet. He put his hand out to help Atashi stand. He smiled at his friend. "Don't try and argue, though. I'll kick your snake ass if you do."
word count: 416
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Atashi
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He looked to Kylar, light filling his eyes once more as he spoke. They were the good guys, they weren't evil or twisted? He listened intently as his friend spoke, wiping the tears from his cheeks. Giving the occasional nod of understanding as Kylar spoke in a way he could relate. For the first time in what felt like an eternity, the voice stayed silent - throughout the whole thing even. His eyes widened in surprise as he was suddenly embraced, unsure, he let it happen. His lip quivered as a familiar wave of heat hit his features, telltale signs that he was about to cry again, why? He didn't have a reason to anymore, surely? Regardless, he hugged back into Kylar, tightly.

Fighting back his tears, he listened as he spoke - what was he hearing exactly? Was Kylar talking about deserting or just straight up quitting? Could they quit? Leave Rynmere entirely!? Surely not, he couldn't have been willing to do that for him. Kylar's home, career, entire future, all for his sake? He shook while hugging him, it was too much to ask from someone by any means, but he'd gone and offered it to him anyway. Kylar then released him and stood up, offering his hand and that he choose where they go. He looked up at the Lothar through watery eyes, how? How could he have treated him with such kindness, after what had happened on the burning mountains and all.

"I don't have an ass, Kylar." He sniffled, taking his hand and pulling himself up. "I don't know, are you sure about this?" He asked before seeing the seriousness in his eyes - he was sure. He rubbed his arm in shame, looking away as he tried to comprehend what had happened. "I-I don't know what to say..." he chuckled nervously, this was all so hard to believe. Wiping the tears from his eyes before they could even fall, he spoke "I don't know yet, but first thing when we get back to Andaris, I'll look into it..." as he picked up his shield from the snow. He inhaled deeply before sighing, "Thank you, my friend." He paused, it didn't sound right to address him as friend. "My brother." He smiled, correcting himself.
word count: 395
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For old times sake, snake (Atashi)

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Hello lovelies!

It has taken me an unacceptable amount of time to review this thread. I apologize for the wait on this grade, especially since there's not much to offer in way of knowledge. Most of this thread involved Atashi having a melted about events involving the Iron Hand. This was made clear in the text so I applaud you both for providing me with a bit of info in the narrative! However, because it was mostly a high emotional conversation with little in way of skill interaction, I awarded what I could pull from the text.

Now, for the actual story. I really enjoyed it! It was a great little snippet scene that shows the bond between best friends well. Kylar seems like a wonderful friend to have, especially during a crisis like the one Atashi was facing. Kylar, I did make a note about the flow of your sentences and maybe you can see when you read back through your posts. I noticed that the flow of your narrative seems very... choppy? An example of what I'm talking about would be:
Kylar looked to Zi'da when asked if he could be petted. Zi'da simply nodded, before nuzzling against Atashi's hand. People took well to Zi'da, and all of them wanted to pet him when possible. Kylar supposed it was due to the fact that a tamed wolf wasn't that common, let alone a talking spirit one. Had it not been his wolf, Kylar would be equally fascinated.
The best word that I could use to describe this would be choppy, and I mean no insult by this. I recommend you try to use more pronouns in your sentences or other ways to describe the subject you're talking about, like so:
Kylar looked to Zi'da when asked if the wolf could be petted and, with a simple nod, the familiar nuzzled against Atashi's hand. People took well to Zi'da, and all of them wanted to pet him whenever possible. Kylar supposed it was due to the fact that a tamed wolf wasn't that common, let alone a talking spirit one, but had it not been his wolf, the man would've been equally fascinated.
It runs a lot smoother, so just a suggestion to watch out for in future threads! :D Otherwise, no complaints from me, this was a great read!

Kylar

Story: 5/5
Collaboration: 5/5
Structure: 5/5
Knowledge:
Ranged Combat (Crossbow): Practice Makes Perfect
Zi'da: "Do the best that you can to save lives."
Zi'sa: Karem Believes In You
Atashi: Falling Apart
Atashi: Brother

Loot: N/A
Injuries: N/A
Fame: N/A
Devotion: N/A
Magic: These points cannot be spent on magic.

Atashi

Story: 5/5
Collaboration: 5/5
Structure: 5/5
Knowledge:
Psychological (PTSD): Body of a Dead Man
Psychological: Voices. When did they start?
Kylar: Someone To Talk To
Kylar: Brother
Zi'da: Kylar's Gifted Wold From Karem
Zi'da: Communicates By Way of Connection With Kylar

Loot: N/A
Injuries: N/A
Fame: N/A
Devotion: N/A
Magic: These points cannot be spent on magic.
word count: 537
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"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”J.R.R. Tolkien
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