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About Literature / Hobbyist Nicole 'Dark Wolf'Female/South Africa Group :iconctigraphics-2012: CTIGraphics-2012
3rd Year Art of Awesome
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Literature
Chapter 10 - A Happy Feast
So that didn’t go as planned, he laughed to himself. He felt at peace though.
“Okami, don’t move around so much,” he chuckled, gripping onto her tighter.
She was sitting on Znake’s shoulders, while he held onto her ankles so she didn’t fall. She rested on his head to balance herself.
“Food!” she yelled, thrusting her fists into the air, giggling and almost falling backward.
Znake chuckled again and pulled her higher onto his shoulders then continued to walk toward the hospital.
“Stop being silly.”
Suddenly, Haruka burst around the corner.
“Hebikami-sama!” she yelled, breathlessly. “Oh, there you are. Chasuki's grandfather is here and he is not happy.”
“Oh, dear,” he replied solemnly, taking Okami off his shoulders.
“Aw,” Okami protested, pouting.
“You should hurry before he loses his temper,” Haruka gulped, ushering Znake forward.
Znake took Okami's hand and fo
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Literature
The Adventures of Arcon and Torimm. Part 2
It was dark inside the ruins, almost pitch black. Torimm struggled to see through the veil of shadow. She had just enough perception to make out the floor, roof and walls. Although she found herself constantly tripping over things. Or that could’ve just been her own feet. Damn this darkness, she mumbled to herself. And where is that idiot-
“Torimm, what are you doing?”
Torimm nearly screamed, it took all of her willpower not to. Instead all that came out was a little eeep! followed by a soft chuckle from somewhere in the darkness.
“Don’t scare me like that!” she snapped, embarrassed by the foolish squee she made.
She swung her arm to punch him but instead hit a wall, rocking the old foundations.
“I’m over here,” Arcon said casually, suppressing another chuckle.
“I can’t see...” Torimm growled back in frustration.
“I told you you should’ve gotten that spell or at least put some
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Literature
The Adventures of Arcon and Torimm
The sun was low, casting a fiery golden light on the city in the distance. It had been a long day of questing, but the two adventurers had returned from the forest victorious.
“So today wasn’t that bad,” pipped up Torimm, while shoving two whole slices of honeybread into her mouth to regain some stamina. “And we got a lot of decent loot.”
Arcon nodded contently. Their day had yielded some surprising results.
“I honestly thought that dungeon would’ve given us a bit more of a challenge,” he yawned, stretching his arms and then resting them behind his head.
Torimm shrugged, still chewing. Open Stats, she thought. She smiled to herself, her stamina was nearly completely recovered.
“Where’s the ring?” Arcon asked, breaking Torimm’s train of thought.
She retrieved their prize from her inventory and tossed to him. Arcon caught it and held it up to the setting sun, the large red jewel gave off a pleasing light. Su
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Literature
Okami - Chapter 9: Entrance Exam. Part 2
The next three days moved by quickly and the second entrance exam for The Academy had arrived. Chasuki woke up early and was getting ready. She looked in the mirror.
“Today's the day,” she said to herself adamantly.
Her little heart fluttered and she could feel her stomach churn again.
“It's okay,” she tried to reassure herself. “A little nerves is good.”
And with her pep talk over she straightened her shirt, nodded at her reflection then set off. As she made her way down she stopped, hearing voices drifting up the staircase. She took a deep breath and continued her descent. Her grandfather and her dad came into view once she had reached the bottom. They were no doubt discussing something important, they both held themselves with prominence and grace. Chasuki frowned, they always seemed so tense around each other. Actually, come to think of it, everyone in her family was tense. Being one of the most influential families in Buten really took its toll.
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Literature
Okami - Chapter 8: Entrance Exam. Part 1
The next morning Znake stopped outside Okami’s door and quickly said a silent prayer that she would still be inside. He knocked, but no answer came. His heart jumped as he opened the door slowly. The room was still dark, most of the curtains were closed. His eyes rushed to the bed and to his relief she was still there, sound asleep.
“Excuse me, Hebikami-sama,” came a voice from behind him. He turned around to see a young nurse carrying a tray of breakfast. At his gaze, the nurse looked away and blushed.
“Um, the food…” was all she could manage and awkwardly waited for Znake to step out of the way.
She went up to Okami’s bed and placed the tray on the side table then slowly shook her gently. Once she stirred, the nurse moved on to pulling some of the curtains open and pushing the windows out to let in some fresh air. The room was lighter now and Znake could smell the cold morning air. He breathed in deeply. The nurse bowed to him and then left.
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Literature
Okami - Chapter 7: Full of surprises
Okami and Kage were escorted back to the hospital, while Chasuki and Ghost were taken back to their dorms by Haruka. Znake half expected the little girl to resist but she followed him willingly. She walked in front of him leisurely, not really showing any signs of fleeing. The large dog did the same, trotting behind the girl, occasionally sniffing whatever she pointed out.
We finally got her…Man, she’s full of surprises, thought Znake as he watched Okami carefully, in case she tried anything.
“So who're you?” Okami asked coming to walk next to Znake, looking up at him and wiggling her nose, like she was identifying his smell.
Her sudden question startled him a bit. He wasn't used to being addressed so simply.
“Well, my name is Znake and I am the Hebikami,” he informed her, expecting some reaction but she just frowned.
“That's a funny name,” she giggled. “I'm Okami and this is my friend Kage,” she introduced herself and
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Literature
Okami - Chapter 6: Leave them alone!
While in the auto shop Okami was put to work by Jamie's uncle. It was mostly just carry this or pass me that. She didn't mind, as long as she could still listen to Jamie's stories. They were fascinating. He had journeyed all over the traveling world with his uncle, searching for parts for different machines. They even supplied the Mecha department here in Buten, whatever that was, but Jamie's uncle seemed to be proud of that so it was probably a big thing.
“So how often are you on the road?” Okami asked as she helped Jamie lift something.
“Every three months or so,” Jamie's uncle said from under the car. “Jamie show her the map.”
Jamie huffed as they put down a large box of spare parts, “Sure thing, Uncle.”
He ran over to the wall and touched some buttons Okami hadn't even noticed. Two thin mechanical arms extended from the brick and a panel of light shot between them. Okami gasped and jumped back, a little startled at the bright lights.
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Literature
Okami - Chapter 5: Finally awake
Another week went by before Okami finally woke up. It was a gradual awakening unlike last time. Her eyes blinked open a few times to get use to the lighting of the room. Once they had returned to normal focus they landed on a fluffy collection at her feet, who was sleeping peacefully.
“Kage!” she screamed happily. Kage looked up and barked in return. He got up and licked Okami on the cheek, taking up almost the whole bed.
“Ha ha, I missed you boy!”
Okami gazed around at the room. The large windows on the far wall allowed the warm sunlight to stream in making it seem friendly and happy.
“Where are-?” Okami abruptly stopped as her nose picked up a smell that completely absorbed her mind. Her mouth watered as she looked in the direction of the smell.
“Food!” Okami leaped out of bed and grabbed the bowl. She was too hungry to care what it was and just gobbled it down. Okami finished the meal in seconds, its warmth spread through her body maki
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Literature
Okami - Chapter 4: Buten
A few days had passed since the terrifying incident in the city. Okami and Kage have had very little luck in finding food and when they did it was just enough to keep them going until they found something else. Often they had to steal from farms to survive, something Okami did not want to keep doing. It was summer now so that meant hot, dry and windy weather, making their situation even more straining. They barely managed to put the next foot or paw in front of the other, but still they forced themselves to walk on to a destination that neither of them knew. It was mid-morning when in the distance Okami could make out a structure.
“Come on, Kage,” she rasped, her throat dry from lack of water. Her voice cracked every time she tried to speak and when the words did come out it sounded like a dry leaf being crushed.
“It might be a well,” she struggled to continue. Or just another illusion.
Okami was hot and she could feel the little strength she had left esc
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Literature
Okami - Chapter 3: The storm
Okami finally woke up, her eyes dry from all the crying and took in her surroundings, her head slightly pounding. All she could see and feel was grey fur and a rush of wind pass her cheek.
“Kage?” she asked softly. The wolf slowed down and then stopped to allow her to get off his back.
“What happened last night and where are we?” she asked as she steadily got off his back and looked around. Kage just looked at her and continued walking in the direction that he was running in. If she doesn’t remember then I’m not going to remind her.
The sky cracked and both of them jumped. Okami looked up at the sky. It was dark and angry, rumbling with light, warning all below.
“Looks like there’s going to be a storm. We should try and find some shelter.”  
However they weren’t given much time to do so. Rain suddenly came down, hard and cold.
“Ah, that was quick,” Okami mumbled in annoyance.
The nice smooth road turned to thi
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So that didn’t go as planned, he laughed to himself. He felt at peace though.

“Okami, don’t move around so much,” he chuckled, gripping onto her tighter.

She was sitting on Znake’s shoulders, while he held onto her ankles so she didn’t fall. She rested on his head to balance herself.

“Food!” she yelled, thrusting her fists into the air, giggling and almost falling backward.

Znake chuckled again and pulled her higher onto his shoulders then continued to walk toward the hospital.

“Stop being silly.”

Suddenly, Haruka burst around the corner.

“Hebikami-sama!” she yelled, breathlessly. “Oh, there you are. Chasuki's grandfather is here and he is not happy.”

“Oh, dear,” he replied solemnly, taking Okami off his shoulders.

“Aw,” Okami protested, pouting.

“You should hurry before he loses his temper,” Haruka gulped, ushering Znake forward.

Znake took Okami's hand and followed Haruka into the hospital. He didn't want to leave her here and taking her back to her room would take too much time. While they were hurriedly walking, Okami could hear muffled shouting booming down the passage. She didn't recognize any of the voices until one of them spoke up.

“Grandfather, please!”

“No, Chasuki. This is outrageous. I demand to speak with the Hebikami immediately!”

“Please, calm down, m'Lord. Our Head of Medicine has gone to fetch the Hebikami. I'm sure they'll be here soon,” a nurse said, her voice trembling.

Znake turned around the corner and braced himself. As soon as Chasuki's Grandfather saw him he turn his rage toward Znake. He stood defensively in front of Haruka and Okami.

“There you are!” he bellowed. “How could you allow this to happen? My precious granddaughter was nearly killed because of your incompetence!”  

The nurses in Znake's general direction ducked under desks and hid behind doors as every time Charuki's grandfather spoke a blast of wind ripped around the hall.

“Please relax, Fu-gen” Znake raised his hands passively trying to appease him.

“I shall do no such thing until I get some answers!”

Another wave of air rushed passed everyone.

“Why's it so windy?” Okami asked, popping her head out from behind Znake's leg.

“Okami!” Chasuki squeaked happily and ran up to her.

“Chasuki,” Okami hesitated, remembering that they hadn't spoken since the incident.

“You're okay,” Chasuki smothered her with a big hug.

The tension in the atmosphere dissipated as the young children embraced.

Okami giggled, “Of course I'm okay. Those spiders were no match for me and Kage. How're you?”

“I'm fine, thanks to you, Onee-chan.” Chasuki absently touched her fresh bandages.

“So you're the girl who saved my Chasuki?” Lord Fu frowned, stepping forward. “But you only look a year older than her.”

Okami looked up, taking in the man before her. He was dressed neatly with leather shoes, steel grey slacks and a rich purple coat, wound tightly around him. The buttons, cuffs, collar and edges were laced with gold. His grey beard and hair were styled in place and his eyes were a stone blue. He had a stern and conservative look about him. Okami looked back at how Znake and Haruka were still rigid and clicked as to what was happening.

“Yes, I did,” Okami huffed and crossed her arms. “So stop being angry at Znake. It's not his fault that those spiders were there.”

Znake tensed and Haruka stared at Okami with bulging eyes.

“Okami,” she whispered desperately, pulling her cheeks with her hands.

Everyone watched Lord Fu, waiting for his reaction. He made the tension worse by staring at Okami, but she didn't falter.

“Very well,” he finally chuckled. “What did you say your name was?”

Lord Fu offered his hand.

“I didn't, but it's Okami,” she grinned proudly, accepting his hand shake.

Haruka sighed heavily, sinking to the floor. Her legs felt like jelly. Znake's shoulders relaxed and he mentally thanked himself for bringing Okami with. She might have a future in negotiation, he mused.

“You must be very important if you made Znake so serious,” Okami commented while shaking Lord Fu's hand.

“I'm sorry, Lord Fu. She's new and uh, still doesn't know everything about Buten,” Haruka laughed nervously, intervening. She began to usher Okami away before she said something else that would make Haruka's life more difficult.

“Nonsense,” Lord Fu waved her away. “A fresh perspective is sometimes all we need. This one seems very lively.”

“You have no idea,” Haruka grimaced.

They watched the children chat and Lord Fu thanked Haruka for her swift action in helping Chasuki, which she was flattered by.

“I almost forgot, how is Kage?” Chasuki asked.

“He's fine,” Okami smiled. “He's resting up stairs. Actually, he's probably hungry.”

Okami was reminded that she was also hungry when her stomach growled.

“I know, you can come over and eat with us! Can she, grandfather?” Chasuki's eyes twinkled.

“But of course!” he cheered. “A fine way to repay such a great deed.”

“That would be great!” Okami jumped. “Can Kage come with?”

Chasuki hesitated, but Lord Fu replied, “Certainly, bring anybody you want with.”

Okami smiled wildly and ran towards her room, “Kage'll love this!”

Haruka exchanged a glance with Znake and he nodded.

“Hang on, Okami,” Znake caught her before she disappeared. Then turning to Lord Fu he said, “We will meet you there, Fu-gen.”

Lord Fu nodded and made his way back home with Chasuki. Znake turned to Okami.

“You're coming with?” She asked, blinking up at him.

“Yes, but only to make sure you don't cause any more trouble,” he replied teasingly, ruffling her hair. “Go fetch Kage and change your clothes. There should be some new ones on your bed. We'll wait for you here.”

Okami giggled in response then ran off happily to her room.

“But Hebikami-sama, you can't be serious,” Haruka protested. She was shocked at his decision. “She's too...”

Haruka trailed off, trying to find the right word was difficult.

“Hyper,” Znake filled in and nodded. “I know, that's why we're going with.”

“We?” Haruka blinked, small scarlet pools appearing on her cheeks.

“Yes,” Znake repeated, confused by her question. “So if you have any important things that still need attention, I suggest finishing them up or handing them off to someone while you're gone.”

“Hai, Hebikami-sama,” Haruka smiled and ran to her office, calling for a few nurses to follow her along the way.

Okami opened her door, spilling the passage light into the dark room. Kage lay peacefully on the blankets he had scrunched up into a makeshift bed.

“Kage, guess what!” She ran up to him.

He perked up his ears at her voice and lazily opened one eye.

“We're getting treated tonight!” She grinned widely. “At Chasuki's house! Come on, get up. I don't want to arrive and all the food is gone.”

Kage fully awoke picking up on Okami's excitement. He stood up and stretched backward flexing his paws on the blankets and then forward stretching out each of his hind legs. Okami pulled her tattered clothes off hurriedly, not even bothering closing the door. She was too excited at the prospect of receiving food. She grabbed the white dress off her bed and sniffed it. She inhaled the fresh smell contently.

“Okami.” Came a voice behind her.

She turned her head to see Ghost stepping into the doorway. He paused abruptly eyes widening seeing Okami’s bareback. He slapped a hand over his eyes and blushed profusely.

“Put your clothes on!” he yelped.

She tilted her head and frowned at him. “That’s what I’m doing.”

She ignored his whimpering and pulled the soft dress over her head, straightening it neatly.

“Are you done?” he whined.

“Yes,” she rolled her eyes and huffed.

She stepped out into the passage, surveying Ghost in the light. He had multiple plasters and bandages wrapped around his arms, head, nose and legs.

“You're okay,” he breathed in relief, still recovering from his blushing. “Wow, you don't looked hurt at all.”

“I heal quickly,” Okami averted her eyes like she was embarrassed about it. “But how are you?”

She looked at him with concern.

“Ah, I'm fine. Haruka patched me up pretty good,” he shrugged, attempting to appear nonchalant about it.

Kage stepped out from behind Okami and nudged her with his nose, eager for the food she mentioned.

“Okay, okay, Kage,” she pushed back.

“Are you going somewhere?” Ghost asked, raising his eyebrow.

“Chasuki's grandfather invited us over for food,” she grinned widely.

“Whoa, really?” Ghost sounded very impressed. Lucky, he thought grumpily.

“Hey, you should come with.”

“What? I can't just show up,” Ghost protested. “That's not how things work here.”

“Why not?”

“Ah...Well, with certain people you have to respect them a lot and um, well, you can't just do things without their permission,” Ghost struggled to explain how noble status worked. He doubted Okami would care about it anyway. “You should ask Haruka that.”

“I don't quite get it,” Okami shrugged, “But Chasuki's grandfather did say I could invite anyone I wanted, so come on!”

She grabbed Ghost's hand and ran to the front entrance. Kage trotted behind them while Ghost complained that Okami was pulling too hard. They rejoined Znake at the front of the hospital and waited for Haruka. He chuckled upon seeing how uncomfortable Ghost was at having Okami hold his hand. Haruka arrived three minutes later dressed in something more casual instead of her rigid nursing uniform: a lovely petite pink flower dress with white shoes. She'd even done her hair up. Of course once she saw Kage she demanded that Znake make him stay at the hospital. Okami reminded her that Lord Fu had specifically invited Kage, which left her speechless.

“Let's just go already,” Okami nagged, annoyed that they had already spent so much time here. She pulled Znake to the door.

“All right, Okami. We're coming,” he chuckled, following her out of the hospital.

Haruka rushed up alongside Znake and whispered, “Hebikami-sama, are you seriously going to allow her to take that huge dog to Lord Fu's house!?”

“You heard her, Haruka. Lord Fu did technically invite Kage,” he grinned.

Her heart sank. This is going to be disastrous.

The streets were lit by small decorative lanterns, providing a warm calming light and the evening air felt cool and relaxing. The sun had just set, still casting enchanting reds and oranges across the sky, while on the far side of the city night blues began fading in. Some stars had already appeared and twinkled brightly. As they walked toward the Fu household, Okami and Ghost ran about in front of them. Haruka watched the children and Kage play. She risked a glance at Znake, he was smiling cheerfully, they almost looked like a family. Oh my goodness! Haruka’s eyes widened, she blushed at her inappropriate thought.

“They act like siblings,” Znake chuckled, turning to Haruka. “Even though, they’ve only known each other for a short time.”

“Huh? No! I mean, yes, they do,” Haruka faltered, her mind still struggling to terminate that thought.

She could feel her cheeks burn and avoided making eye contact. Znake stared at her quizzically, raising an eyebrow. She clasped her hands in front of her and just stared straight ahead.

“You all right?” Znake asked, resting a hand on Haruka’s shoulder.

At his touch, Haruka felt her stomach flip.

“Ah, Okami! Don’t do that.” She swiftly pulled out of his grip and walked faster toward the children. Thankfully Okami was mischievous.

“Aw, but-” Okami began, pausing halfway up a fence.

“No, buts. Behave yourself.” Haruka wagged a finger at her.

Ghost laughed. “Butts.”

Haruka glared at him and he smiled nervously.

“I want to see what’s on the other side,” Okami whined.

“You can’t just climb wherever you want,” Haruka reprimanded, resting her hands on her hips.

“Listen to Haruka, Okami.” Znake added.

Okami sighed away any snappy comebacks and jumped off the fence. Okami’s bare feet made a soft pat as they hit the paving.

“She doesn’t have shoes,” Haruka noted looking at Znake, her arms flopping to her sides.

He simply shrugged turning his hands up. Haruka sighed in exasperation.

“Relax, Haruka. That’s an order,” Znake winked.

She blinked at him in shock, her mouth agape. She could feel her cheeks buzz again, but she huffed, “Fine.”

Okami looked between the two of them curiously. The group traveled in silence for the next five minutes until Znake stopped in front of a grand building. It had a high outer wall with double doors made out of finely polished wood. Each had a gold insignia pressed into the wood and a guard standing rigidly at every post. The top of the wall was tiled like a roof, behind it a spectacular garden rose in tiers until it met the base of the main house. It was a towering three story building, with large windows and a curved concave tiled roof that spike up at the ends, very traditional like. Gold railings ran up each hip of the roof, curving up and down again like a dragon’s back. On the ridge of the roof a large gold ornament shone brightly in the setting sun. Each floor of the house had a small roof of its own about a meter long. They also curved upwards. Below them thick wooden support beams extended upward in a square pattern. Bright paper lanterns hung from every one, illuminating the house magnificently.

Znake approached the archway.

“Hebikami-sama.”

The guards bowed and one pushed the grand doors open. Znake nodded in thanks and ushed the group in. A few of the guards raised their eyebrow at Kage, but said nothing. A stone staircase trailed upward toward the house, each step masterfully decorated with engravings. Haruka gulped, even the garden steps looked extravagant. She looked at her clothes. I am so underdressed.

Just then Okami tugged on her skirt. Haruka looked down, sighing. “Yes?”

“Ghost thinks you look nice.”

Haruka blinked in surprise, speechless.

“Okami,” Ghost hissed, feeling embarrassed.

“What?” She turned to look at him. “That’s what you said.”

Haruka chuckled heartily, finally relaxing. “Thank you, Ghost.”

“Don’t mention it,” Ghost looked down, fists at his side.

Znake smiled. It was good to see Haruka unwind, she worked too hard in his opinion.

“Znake!” Called a voice up ahead.

They all turned to see Lord Fu waiting for them at the top of the stairs.

“Fu-gen,” Znake greeted, ascending the remain steps.

“Chasuki, your friends are here.”

Chasuki ran out from behind her grandfather and squeaked. “Okami! Kage!”

She was surprised, but happy, to see Ghost and greeted him with the same zeal. Once the whole group reached the main house Lord Fu guided them to his right, around the side. However, once he saw Kage he jumped back in alarm.

“Good heavens! What is that?”

“That’s Kage,” Chasuki giggled. “You invited him too, grandfather.”

“Oh, I did.” He frowned at the large panting dog.

“He’s Okami’s companion,” Znake explained. “He also helped protect Chasuki.”

“Don’t worry. He won’t hurt nice people,” Okami grinned, patting Kage’s leg.

Lord Fu cleared his throat. “Well, I suppose. Yes, if he helped, but make sure he behaves.”

Okami nodded, then turned to Kage. “You heard him, Kage. Be good.”

Kage huffed and nipped at her ear, as if to say ‘You too.’

“Okami. Ghost. This way,” Chasuki sprang happily.

Lord Fu smiled at the children as they ran in front of them.

“I can’t tell you how happy I am to see that Chasuki has some friends. She’s been so lonely. Even if one of them is a giant dog...” He trailed off.

“I must apologies, Znake,” he began again. “For my behavior at the hospital. Very brash of me.”

Znake waved his comment away. “Don’t be, Fu-gen. It’s only natural.”

They walked to an large outdoor dinner table, that had been ladened with food, it creaked under the weight. Think canvas had been pulled over above the table, creating a roof. It swayed gently in the breeze. Okami’s eyes widened in amazement. She had never seen so much food and so many different kinds. She pulled in a deep breath, making her stomach ache with excitement.

“Do you like it?” Chasuki shifted nervously.

“Do I like it?” Okami repeated, grinning widely. “This is the most amazing thing I have ever seen!”

Chasuki giggled happily. “Then let’s sit down.”

The children rushed to the table. Lord Fu sat at the head of the table with Znake taking the seat to his right and Haruka sitting opposite him. Znake pulled Okami into the chair next to him, making sure to keep her close, and Chasuki sat next to Okami. Ghost was the last to sit, hopping into the chair next to Haruka. Lord Fu glanced nervously at Kage, but he calmly sat behind Okami. Even sitting down Kage’s head rose over Okami’s chair, his keen eyes regarding the glorious layout of food. Okami wiggled her fingers and reached for some steaming leg of meat. Znake calmly grabbed her hand away.

“Not yet,” he whispered.

She looked up at him, her blue eyes disappointed, but she sat up straight and place her hands in her lap.

“A toast!” Lord Fu raised a crystal gold rimmed glass. “To Okami and Kage for protecting my precious granddaughter.”

“Grandfather,” Chasuki shifted uncomfortably, curling some hair behind her ear.

The table raised their glasses, but Okami looked around confused. She reached for a glass in front of her, but Znake cleared his throat.

“The one next to it,” he offered.

She raised the second glass and glanced at Znake, bewildered. He smiled encouragingly. Six well dressed men suddenly emerged from a side door carrying large jugs. They moved around the table uniformly filling the raised glasses and then stepped away to the side. Okami found that strange and frowned. Lord Fu emptied his glass and set it down. The rest followed. Okami sniffed the contents before she sipped it. It flooded her mouth with a sweetness that made her tongue tingle. It was strong, but not overpowering. Okami quickly finished the glass. She was a little disappointed that it was gone, but suddenly one of the men stepped forward and filled her glass. She smiled in delight. Lord Fu clapped his hands and the men set down the jugs, reaching for a plate respectively. The man behind her took Okami’s plate.

“Miss?” He enquired, gesturing at the table.

Her eyes sparkled and she whispered. “Everything.”

The man raised an eyebrow. Znake interjected, “Maybe half of everything.”

Okami’s serving assistant bowed. “Very well, Hebikami-sama.”

Okami glared up at Znake. How could he expect her to only eat half of everything here. All of the food gleamed temptingly.

“You have to save room for dessert,” Znake smiled.

“Dessert?” Her eyes glowed then she agreed, “Yes, half of everything.”

Once the men were done they placed a plateful of food in front of their respective person. Okami waited to see if she need to do any other strange ritual before eating, but everyone simply begun.  A plate of food was also prepared for Kage and he lapped up mouthfuls of the succulent meats. She licked her lips and reached for a large piece of ham. However, she froze, noticing everyone else using the shiny silver utensils. She looked at either side of her plate, there were so many knives and forks she didn’t know which one to use. She stared at her plate of delicious food in distress. Chasuki’s family was clearly powerful and influential. Okami didn’t want to offend them with her lack of table etiquette. She glanced at Znake, trying to not make it obvious. Then Chasuki nudged Okami gently.

“Use this one, Onee-chan.”

Chasuki pointed out the correct combination of knife and fork. Okami smile gratefully. Then cut her ham slowly and ate quietly. The tender meat was roasted to perfection, melting in her mouth and she sighed contently. In no time Okami had finished every spec of food on her plate. She resisted the urge to lick it clean. Her stomach still growled greedily. The others were all still eating, even though Okami had restrained herself. She shifted awkwardly.

“Are you finished already, dear girl?” Lord Fu addressed her.

“Yes,” Okami nodded, then added quickly, “It was very good.”

“Then by all means, have some more!” He laughed sincerely.

Okami grinned as her serving attendant picked up her plate and began filling it with food again. He set it down in front of her and also replaced her used knife and fork. Okami grabbed the correct utensils and resumed eating. This time she put extra effort into eating slowly. Even then she finished before everyone again, but refrained from asking for another helping. She was determined to wait for the dessert. If it was anything like this meal, it was going to be extravagant. Lord Fu made conversation while eating, asking Haruka how her position as Head of Medicine was treating her. Haruka replied modestly, but Znake insisted that it was a taxing job.

“Not as much as yours, Hebikami-sama,” Haruka bowed her head.

“It’s all the same,” Znake replied.

“Good man,” laughed Lord Fu. “A leader is only as good as his people.”

“I firmly believe that as well,” Znake smiled.

“So, Okami, tell me more about yourself.”

Okami glanced at Lord Fu, pulling her eyes away from studying the lusciously decorated house.

“Where are you from?” He offered.

Haruka and Znake exchanged looks.

“West,” she replied simply.

“Westwind? West City? Westridge? West Highland?” Lord Fu asked, smiling.

Okami shook her head. “Just west. Honestly, I don’t remember.”

Lord Fu nodded gravely, understanding. “How did you end up in Buten?”

“Kage and I were traveling and then we found it.”

“Goodness, I hope it wasn’t just the two of you.” Lord Fu blinked, surprised.

“Kage and I are good, but we had help. The wilds were tough but we survived,” Okami smiled, turning to look at Kage. No one seemed to notice, but her smile had a sad hint to it.

At the mention of his name Kage perked his ears and turned his head.

“Heavens,” Lord Fu sounded disturbed. “That’s quite dangerous. No wonder you’re such a strong fighter. You’ll be an excellent addition to The Academy.”

“That’s what I thought as well,” Znake added, slightly proud.

Haruka rolled her eyes, resting her head in her hand and sighing at how chuffed Znake was.

Lord Fu motioned for the serving attendants to come forward. They began packing up the plates and food, carrying them off on trays. One at a time they left through the side door and returned shortly with new trays. Okami could already smell the hot sweetness wafting from under the lids. She gripped her chair in excitement.

“I did a lot of travelling during my youth. Pity the roads aren’t as save now. I would have loved to take Chasuki on some of my trips.”

“Where did you go?” Okami asked, her interest perking.

“Oh, all over, my dear girl. Of course back then there were more places to go,” he chuckled nostalgically.

A silver serving tray with a shiny lid was laid down in front of everyone. Okami could see her reflection staring excitedly back at her. She grinned and her reflection grinned back, a brilliant white smile with pronounced canines. Her dark hair flared wildly in every direction. She leaned forward staring into the polished metal. Her reflection moved closer to, making its nose bulge. Okami giggled and moved her face around, distorting her image. Lord Fu clapped again and the serving attendants removed the lids.

“Whoa.” Okami’s mouth fell open.

A tower of ice cream and hot fudge sauce dripped onto honey coated wafers, topped with star shaped sprinkles. Small fruit pieces dotted the dessert as well. There were at least three flavours of ice cream. Okami could see pink, dark brown and white poking out from under the drizzled sauce. The smell captured her nose and she sighed, completely engrossed. Once again, multiple spoons accompanied the dish. Okami frowned at them. Chasuki helpfully pointed out the appropriate one.

“Enjoy,” Lord Fu smiled.

Okami nervously took a small spoonful of the dessert, her skin tingled with eagerness. She tried to fit a bit of everything on her spoon. Her mouth exploded with flavour and she savoured each bit like it was the last. Okami felt as if she had been dragged out of her body and could see her surroundings in an almost omnipresent way. Her hearing increased and she became hyper alert. It was an exhilarating kick from the sugar.

“Did you enjoy it?” Chasuki pipped up.

“It’s incredible!” Okami praised.

Ghost enthusiastically nodded in agreement, his mouth too full to actually speak.

“Yes, a lovely meal,” Haruka bowed in reply, smiling.

Chasuki’s eyes sparkled happily.

Znake cleaned his mouth with his napkin and rose. “Certainly exquisite. Not to put a dampener on things, but it is getting late, Fu-gen, and the children have had a trying day.”

Lord Fu rose as well, nodding. “Yes, of course. Always a pleasure, Znake.”

Znake nodded in return. The others stood up and followed Znake to the front of the house. Lord Fu and Chasuki accompanied their guests to the stairs.

“Oh,” Lord Fu exclaimed, suddenly remembering. “Chasuki, why don’t you fetch that gift.”

“Yes, grandfather,” she squeaked and ran off.

“A gift?” Znake asked.

“Yes, for Okami, of course,” Lord Fu smiled.

“You’ve already treated us to a meal,” Znake interjected.

“Nonsense, that was just a small part of it,” Lord Fu waved. “Heroism must be rewarded.”

Chasuki returned with two attendants carrying a white box each with golden ribbons wrapped around them. With a click of his finger, they removed the lid. Each box contained three outfits of breathtaking blue, white and black oriental silk.

“Lord Fu,” Haruka gasped. “These are astounding gifts...”

“Best silk in all the land,” he replied proudly.

“But,” Haruka began. “Okami is a…bit of an adventurous girl. These will get dirty.”

“The second box has plainer ones for common day usage.”

Znake sighed softly, there was no way they could turn down a gift from the Fu family.

“What do you say Okami?” Znake asked, nudging her toward the gifts.

“They’re very beautiful. Thank you.” Her eyes sparkled as she touched the silk.

The top blue outfit was a short midnight blue dress, with separate sleeves, that flared out slightly at the edges and cuffs. A beautiful gold pattern was stitched softly into the silk, reminiscent of the night sky. It was so excellently made that the gold and blue looked like a single fabric.

“Wow,” Okami said breathlessly. “And these are for me?”

“Yes, my dear. As a grateful grandfather, this family will always be indebted to you.”

Then Lord Fu, Chasuki and the two attendants bowed. Haruka silenced a gasp with her hand, Ghost’s mouth hung open and even Znake was speechless.

“Thank you for saving, my granddaughter!”

“A pleasure,” Okami bowed back.

Kage also joined in and dipped his head. Lord Fu rose, wiping away small tears.

“May you farewell, Okami and Kage.”

They said their goodbyes and Znake accepted the gifts. As they descended the stairs Okami and Ghost waved to Chasuki. The walk back was as silent as the night sky. Okami walked ahead with Kage, pointing out stars.

“That was quite a shock,” Haruka said softly to Znake. “I’ve never seen Lord Fu bow. And to an eight year old girl.”

Znake nodded, still surprised himself. “She certainly has a way of winning people over.”

“Like you?” Haruka said teasingly.

“I suppose so,” he laughed, bashfully scratching the back of his neck.

“That’s because I’m adorable,” Okami grinned from up ahead.

Znake raised an eyebrow, grinning.

“What? How did you hear us?” Haruka blinked.

“You’re loud,” Okami shrugged.

Ghost snorted.

“I am not,” Haruka glared, raising her voice, her annoyance perking again.

“All right, let’s call it a night, shall we?” Znake intervened before things got out of hand again.

“Goodnight, Haruka,” he said calmly.

“Goodnight, Hebikami-sama,” she sighed and bowed.

They split up and Znake led Ghost and Okami down another path. Haruka glanced back over her shoulder.

“But I’m not tired,” Okami looked up at him.

“I’m sure you’ll think differently once you lie down,” Znake grinned.

“Aren’t you going back to the Hospital?” Ghost asked, cupping the back of his head in his hands.

“I thought Okami could stay with us until The Academy opened,” Znake explained.

“Really?” Ghost tried not to sound too excited. “We can make a blanket fort!”

“What’s that?”

“Oh, it’s a lot of fun. You’ll love it,” he grinned, passionately.

“As long as you don’t make too much of a mess,” Znake grinned.
Chapter 10 - A Happy Feast
A bit of well deserved down time for the people of Buten :D

Enjoy!

:iconstop1plz::iconstop2plz::iconstop3plz::iconstop4plz:
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It was dark inside the ruins, almost pitch black. Torimm struggled to see through the veil of shadow. She had just enough perception to make out the floor, roof and walls. Although she found herself constantly tripping over things. Or that could’ve just been her own feet. Damn this darkness, she mumbled to herself. And where is that idiot-

“Torimm, what are you doing?”

Torimm nearly screamed, it took all of her willpower not to. Instead all that came out was a little eeep! followed by a soft chuckle from somewhere in the darkness.

“Don’t scare me like that!” she snapped, embarrassed by the foolish squee she made.

She swung her arm to punch him but instead hit a wall, rocking the old foundations.

“I’m over here,” Arcon said casually, suppressing another chuckle.

“I can’t see...” Torimm growled back in frustration.

“I told you you should’ve gotten that spell or at least put some more points into perception,” Arcon sighed. “Come on, it’s this way.”

He pulled Torimm by her shoulder plate into a bigger room.

“Hey!” she protested, while hopping along, trying not to fall over her feet.

The larger room expanded far beyond what she could see but she could feel its vast halls, the emptiness whispered to her. The hairs on her neck stood up sending a chill down her spine. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it but something was off about this place. She looked around suspiciously sniffing the air, like she expected something to jump out at them.

“Smells like death,” she mumbled, shivering involuntary and rubbing her arms.

“And what does death smell like?” Arcon’s voice came out of the shadows.

“Cold and lifeless,” Torimm shrugged.

“Right, right,” Arcon replied sarcastically.

He turned his attention back to the huge chamber, ignoring the noise Torimm made as she shuffled about. His eyes followed the far wall all the way up to the curved roof. Hmm, it’s a dome. He didn’t have trouble seeing in the dark. If this is the dome.

“Torimm, it’s a little further. There’s a door over there.”

“Great,” she growled, feeling along the wall. Open inventory, she thought. There has to be something here.

While Torimm scratched around in her bag Arcon further inspected the room. There were large illustrations carved into the walls. He walked forward trying to make out more detail. The carvings were very old and most of the artwork had faded with time. He ran his hands over the wall feeling the grooves and etchings under his fingers. Something pulled his attention away from the carving. He stared into the darkness, frowning, but nothing was there. He continued looking at the wall moving from one carving to the next but again something distracted him. This time he swore he heard a voice. A gentle breeze drifted by him. Maybe it was just the wind, he shrugged.

Torimm finally pulled something that emitted light from her pack.

“Knew I had something!” She grinned triumphantly. The dome flooded with a light aquamarine glow.

“Arcon...” Torimm called.

“Hmm?” He turned around, glancing at the source of the glow.

To both of their surprise it was the Black Titan ring they had acquired from the beetle boss.

“Why’s it glowing?” Arcon asked cautiously, crossing the room to where Torimm was.

“I don’t know. It’s never done this before.”

Arcon looked at Torimm. She sounded worried. I think this atmosphere is just getting to the both of us, he thought. Although, the ring still had properties and information that was shrouded with question marks. The glowing seemed to intensify. The ring’s base was still solid black stone which curved up into a gentle intricate dome, except the dome part was now bubbling with swirling blues, like a lava lamp. Arcon touched the surface of the ring, it was hot. Despite looking like it was now made of liquid, it was still solid. Arcon frowned.

“Well, what do you think?” Torimm asked. She looked like she was ready to give up on these old ruins and call it a day. Before Arcon could answer a gust of wind blazed past them followed by an echoing thud. The wind felt like ice and pierced right through their armour, chilling them to the bone. Torimm could feel her hair stand up and she shivered. With the new light, both of them looked to the far end of the room where the thud had originated from. Torimm could feel her heartbeat increase as silence ensued. There was some rustling around them, but that was just the previous breeze.

“Torimm, stop breathing so heavily,” Arcon complained, straining his ears to listen.

“What? I’m not-” she retorted.

Suddenly the titan ring blazed in Torimm’s hand and a searing pain shot up her arm. She exclaimed and dropped the ring. It skidded across the floor, lighting up random sections of the room as it bounced until it hit something and stopped. She gripped her hand and blew on the intricate brand the dome of the ring had singed into her palm.

“Ow ow ow ow,” she whimpered.

“Torimm, are you-”

Both explorers froze and looked at the ring as it was picked up.

“Arcon...” Torimm said nervously.

“Yes?”

“I wasn’t the one breathing heavily...”

The ring rose further to illuminate an army of rotten bodies and animated skeletons. The one holding the ring growled something. It sounded like an ancient language. Blue energy sprang from the ring and empowered the first skeleton. It continued to jump until the whole dome was lit up.

“That’s a lot of skeletons,” Arcon gulped.

Suddenly they drew swords and arrows.

“And they’re not friendly!” Torimm yelled as she blocked the first attack by the skin of her teeth, extending her energy claws just in time.

Despite not having muscle the skeleton ruthlessly pushed against Torimm, forcing her to step back. Having gained some ground, the skeleton tried to knock her off balance. She cursed silently. She had been caught off guard and couldn’t get into the proper stance to counter attack. She bit her lip, this was not good. To make things worse, more skeletons attacked her from both sides. They swung their rusted swords directly at her vital spots. Torimm’s reaction was quicker this time, having recovered a bit. She dodged the one and kicked the other out of range, but forfeited more ground to the skeleton in front of her. She needed to regain her stance, but that would require breaking away from her opponent and the skeleton didn’t look like it would let her try anything. It’s hollow eye sockets stared at her, deeper than her, into her soul. It’s dusted white teeth forever grinning at her. It made her skill crawl.

“Torimm, we need to retreat,” Arcon said next to her, fending off three skeletons at once.

“Right!” She shouted back, over the noise of the skeleton’s eerie whispering and clanging of aged metal.

She charged mana into her claws and blasted the skeleton in front of her with a mini shockwave. It clattered to pieces and it’s sword fell to the ground with a loud bang. Torimm kicked away two more advancing skeletons and Arcon finished off the group that had surrounded him. The skeletons didn’t let them rest for long. They swarmed in, closing the temporary gap nearly instantly.

“Close your eyes!” Torimm yelled.

Despite the approaching skeleton horde, Arcon obediently did as Torimm asked. Darkness enveloped him and he could only rely on his other senses. Suddenly there was a bright light and a loud smash that shook the floor. Arcon opened his eyes to see all the skeletons in pieces and a large radial crack below Torimm. She had used her Power Smash spell. He grinned. The room was quiet, the only thing that could be heard was a gentle wind and their breath.

“Well, that worked,” Arcon mused.

“Not for long,” Torimm breathed.

She pointed to the massive pile of bones. They started crawling around, trying to find their partner. It was a truly horrifying sight: rib cages, spines, jaws, cracked pieces of skull, fingers and legs moving on their own like a swarm of insects climbing over each other. The two were only giving moments to formula an action plan.

“What now?” asked Torimm, narrowing her eyes at the rattling graveyard.

“The back door. Let’s go,” Arcon replied quickly as he pointed to the door at the far end of the room.

She nodded and ran for it, activating Swift Step. She barreled through the narrow archway and bounded down the frail stairs. Arcon followed, but took one last look before he disappeared down the passageway. A blue mist had now appeared around the skeletons and it appeared to be powering them, helping them rebuild themselves. Arcon looked past that, the entrance that they had come through was strangely sealed. Damn it. Looks like we’ll have to find another way out.

Arcon caught up with Torimm by activating his own version of Swift Step called Shadow Run. Soon they were running side by side.

“Plan?” Torimm asked.

“Well, we’ll have to find another way out, the other one’s closed.”

“Yeah, because it’s blocked by a mass of animated bones that want to kill us,” Torimm said jokingly. Why does this always happen to us?

Arcon could tell that she was slightly worried. At least this time she had cause to be. Their opponent was an army of the undead and by the looks of it they would just get back up again. Unlike us, he grit his teeth.

And to make matters even worse they were running further into the maze of ruins and further away from the surface. They continued to run, only the sound of their thundering footsteps broke the silence. Suddenly a thought occurred to him.

“Torimm, can you see?”

“Nope, not at all. I’m just running-”

“Duck.”

“Huh?”

But it was too late, Torimm ran head first into a low arch way. A whole section of the rock broke off at the speed she was running and she landed flat on her back.

“Seriously!” She bellowed at the darkness and gripped her nose.

You take 460 damage.
You are stunned.
You are disoriented for 5 minutes.


“Good thing you’re the tank,” Arcon joked and knelt down to help her. “Status effect?”

“Stunned,” she moaned, blinking the stars out of her vision.

As Torimm rose, slightly resting her weight on Arcon for support, they both stopped. A faint noise was echoing from somewhere, it bounced around the long hall so it was difficult to discern its origin. It sounded like the light pitter patter of rain. Both of them frowned. It steadily grew louder. At the end of the long corridor blue glowing miss drifted silently over the steps. Arcon’s eyes widened as he registered the noise. It wasn’t rain, but instead the clatter of bones on cold stone.

“Are you fine to run?” Arcon quickly turned to Torimm. Their attackers would be here soon and fighting in a small space like this would favour neither of them.

“Yes,” she replied. “But I could just run into something else.”

“Don’t worry about that, just run.”

Torimm was unsure, but she obediently continued to run. The blue mist had already reached their ankles, swirling past them almost trying to wrap around them. Just up ahead the passage opened up into a massive arena. Arcon Grabbed a torch off the wall and lit it with a Spark spell. The cobwebs around the torch quickly burnt up, helping to ignite the head of the torch. Arcon threw the lit torch onto a raised platform and it burst into flames, showering part of the room with a flickering yellow light.

“What the?” Torimm remarked, blinking to adjust her eyes to the sudden brightness.

“Fire powder,” Arcon explained.

“How did you know?”

“The carvings on the wall. They showed this room with huge torches.”

“Nice,” nodded Torimm, impressed.

“Okay, game plan,” Arcon said seriously. “I think the ring might be powering them.”

“So we get the ring back,” Torimm grinned, looking at the wide space they were in. She could finally move around.

“It won’t be easy, they can regenerate.”

“It’s never easy, but when did that stop us before?” Torimm grinned as she readied her stance.

Arcon laughed and shifted his daggers. The skeletons would be here soon, but this time they were prepared. The clattering noise grew louder and boomed out of the narrow passage. The first skeleton tore through the dark veil of the passage entrance. Torimm blew it to pieces with a claw energy blast. It shattered to the ground, but more skeletons poured through the archway, not even phased at their comrade's demise. They hissed at the two adventurers and advanced without fear, the blue mist flowing out of their eye sockets and hollow jaws, drifting between their ribs and falling from their bones to the floor. It soon reached Torimm’s feet, it was ice cold, but other than the uncomfortable change in temperature it didn’t seem to affect her. Seems like it only works on the dead, she noted.

The skeletons quickly engaged her in combat, three of them running at her with their swords. Torimm took a deep breath and felt her mana pulse through her. She blocked, dodged and attacked, in that order and then repeated the movement. While Torimm had her hands full with the bladed skeletons, Arcon went for the archers. Torimm was good, but she couldn’t concentrate on fighting while also blocking a wave of arrows. Arcon melted into shadow and burst out again in the back lines. He swiftly cut the archers down. Some of them ran for cover or tried to put some distance between them, but Arcon simply followed through the shadows. The torch suddenly blazed down a new path. It traced the groove of Fire Powder to the next large torch and set that one alight. It swiftly moved onto the next torch, travelling all the way around the arena. In the distance, Torimm and Arcon fought off the scurrying horde. They were growing tired and some the defeated skeletons were already starting to come back.

With the arena now fully lit, Torimm dare a look around. There was a centerpiece, it looked like a huge statue, surrounded by a circular pit. Even with the powerful torches the light couldn’t illuminate the depths of the pit. Which made Torimm wonder what was down there. She gulped. As if to answer her question, a icy screech echoed from the pit and a wave of frost emanated from the darkness, blowing across the whole arena. The skeletons stop attacking and lowered their weapons so look at the bubbling darkness. Arcon flashed to Torimm’s side.

“Boss battle?”

“Boss battle,” Torimm repeated, not taking her eyes off the dark cavern.

A black mist shot up and surrounded the large statue in the middle of the arena. It swirled around for a few seconds and then it looked like the statue breathed it in. The mist was completely absorbed by the statute followed by a stone grinding sound, similar to that of a sharpening wheel. The statue came to life and drew its massive archaic sword. It cracked open its jaw and let out an ear piercing roar, black mist with speckles of turquoise flowed from its mouth.

Skeleton King
Level ??
(??/?? HP)

A fallen warrior imprisoned to guard the entrance to a realm unknown.

Potential to inflict fear 70%
Potential to inflict cursed debuff 70%
Potential to trap soul 90%


Torimm gulped. That does not sound good. The skeletons raised their weapons in praise and cheered their leader on. It was fully clad in armour, with rune symbols etched into it. They glowed the same colour as its eye sockets and the mist. It was cloaked in a heavy black material that almost looked like flowing shadow. It jumped forward and stuck Torimm. She transformed to her wolf form to better handle its strike, but she was still pushed back. Her claws struggled against the ancient blade. Sweat beaded her forehead. Its cloak drifted unnaturally in wind that wasn’t there. Torimm struggled against the skeleton boss as it pushed her back more and more. It stared at her in a way that made her feel it could see everything about her, her memories, her thoughts, everything. She could feel its black mist swirl around her, making her body cold and slightly numb. A fear passive, she thought. She activated Sound Mind and Howling Will and glared right back at the Skeleton King. It seemed to falter a bit at Torimm’s unbreaking nerve and that gave her an opportunity to push back a bit, but the Skeleton King soon recovered and pushed back even harder.

Arcon dashed around the arena. That thing had come out of nowhere and he had just managed to jump away in time thanks to his cat form, but Torimm looked like she was struggling even in her wolf form. He frowned at the giant skeleton that had lept from the middle of the arena, trying to find a weak spot. Suddenly he noticed a strange object resting on the skeleton’s head. It looked like a crown woven out of black glass. Arcon remembered the ring and how it glowed and bubbled. The crown did the same. That must be its source of power, he thought triumphantly.

“Torimm,” he shouted over the roar of the skeleton crowd. This was beginning to look like an underground fighting ring. “Get the crown!”

All the skeletons looked at Arcon and the Skeleton King fixed him with a particularly nasty stare. Arcon could feel fear stab at his mind, but he cast Mental Bastion and pushed the fear away, while still sending out his own mental attack. He doubted it would work on a boss, but he smiled when the other skeletons stopped cheering to scrap and claw at their skulls. The Skeleton King drew his sword back and hit Torimm with a heavy attack. She was knocked back completely despite her guard being up. She flew into the far wall and it shattered under the immense pressure of her impact. The Skeleton King turned to leap at Arcon but Torimm used the momentum of the attack to jump off the wall, breaking it further, and swiping at the boss. The whole wall crumbled and began to cave in. Some of the ceiling was pulled into it as well, opening up the arena to the sky. The Skeleton King staggered from her swift attack, falling to one knee and coughing up some blue glowing liquid. Blood? Arcon guessed.

“It’s getting pretty dangerous to stay here,” he said, appearing at Torimm’s side. “I suggest we finish this off and soon.”

“Oh, only starting to get dangerous?” She joked. “New Ulti’s?”

“New Ulti’s,” Arcon repeated.

“Well, you first. This is going to take some time.” Torimm said as she took up a new stance.

“As usual,” Arcon teased, while rolling his eyes.

Torimm started charging up large amounts of mana in her claws so Arcon activated his new ultimate. Summoning all the shadow in the room, he formed a large black panther behind him that followed his every move. The Skeleton King stretched out a hand and roared, still trying to recover. The other skeletons ran in to protect him, breaking apart and reforming to create a giant multi-layered bone wall. The rest swarmed Arcon, but they were no match for his drastically increased strength and speed. With each swing of his silver blade the large shadow cat swiped at the horde with its massive paws. Each attack left some shadow on the skeletons which spread like a fire, completely consuming its bones so they couldn’t reassemble. All the shadow left was dust. Arcon made quick work of the skeletons, dashing around with his amazing speed to dodge attacks or surprise strike them from an unexpected angle. Some of the skeletons began to run away in fear. On the other side of the wall the Skeleton King roared again and rose to its feet.

“Torimm!” Arcon shouted. “How’s the charging coming?”

Sweat dripped down Arcon’s face, he hadn’t perfected this technique yet and it drained him of everything. His mental capacity, his physical strength and most importantly his mana. His head pounded and his limbs trembled. The Skeleton King broke through the wall in a rage, shattering the remaining skeletons. He raised his sword to cut Arcon in two.

“Duck!”

Arcon instinctively dropped to the floor, the cold stone felt relaxing. Torimm lept through the shadow panther with her fists and claws glowing brightly like hot metal. The Skeleton King sliced through the large shadow cat as Torimm emerged from its cover, some of the shadow slightly following after her like smoke. She was high in the air, but she still had to tuck her legs in to avoid the Skeleton King’s mighty blow. However, such a powerful attack left him wide open. Torimm landed just in front of it and she could actually see the despair of realisation on its bony face. She pressed her palms flat against the Skeleton King’s stone armor.

“Claw Nova!” She yelled, pushing all of her momentum into the attack as well. She release the large charge of mana in her claws and it blasted a gaping hole right through the Skeleton King. The entire arena was filled with a blinding flash of light and a powerful shock wave swept through the open space, crumbling nearby rocks. It shrieked in pain. Its shadow cloak split in two and all its armour shattered, blasting in all directions like shrapnel. Its remaining bony pieces fell to the floor, steaming, blowing away into dust.

Torimm breathed out heavily. She was exhausted. That attack had taken almost all of her mana and some of her health too, she arms and hands were steaming and her gauntlets looked like they had just come out of a forge.

“Claw Nova?” Arcon asked as he stood up.

“Yeah, just thought of it now.” She grinned.

A loud clang caught their attention. It was the black glass crown. Torimm bent down to pick it up. It dissolved at her touch and jumped to her head neatly forming an intricate shadowy tiara, with aquamarine gems adorning it.

“Whoa...” she said shocked. “Guess it auto-equips.”

“Ah, man a tiara?” Arcon complained. “What happened to the crown?”

The tiara looked like it was constantly moving but at the same time it was frozen solid. Torimm instantly felt better and checked its status.

Black Jeweled Titan Tiara
Lvl ??

????
Part 1 of the Black Titan armour set.
Replenishes mana and vitality by 30%. Can stack with other replenishing abilities.
Increased perception in darkness by 20%.
????


Awesome! Torimm thought and grinned.

“How come I didn’t get anything?”

“What about that?” Torimm pointed to a smokey shadow lying on the floor.

Arcon approached it and picked it up. It too lept to his shoulders and stretched until it nearly touched the floor.

“Hey, the shadow cloak,” Arcon said excitedly.

Skeleton King Shadow Cloak
Lvl ??

????
Part ?? of the ?? armour set.
Grants user the ability to heal and regenerate mana if in complete shadow.
????
????


“Okay, that’s better.”

“Well, overall, I think that was a successful dungeon run,” Torimm smiled.

“Yeah, it was. Let’s head back, we deserve a rest after this.”

Another ping caught their attention. Something approached them bouncing along the floor. Arcon bent down to scoop it up.

“Hey, the ring,” he flicked it to Torimm.

“Oh, sweet,” she exclaimed. “I thought we had lost that.”

She caught the ring and held it up to the light filtering through the ceiling. It sparkled happily and had stopped boiling.

“You should equip it,” he suggested. “You’ve got more of the set now.”

“Thanks,” she beamed and put on the ring.

“Now I think it’s time we had a rest.”

“I agree,” Torimm sighed. “Looks like we’ll have to find another way out though.”

She pointed to the archway they had come through, it was completely covered up from the collapsed ceiling.

“Guess we’ll have to climb up there,” Acron pointed to the open roof of the arena.

“That looks dangerous.”

“Since when is anything we do not dangerous?”

The two made their way toward the crumbled wall laughing at Acron’s joke.
The Adventures of Arcon and Torimm. Part 2
So here is part 2! Hope you enjoy!

Again, this was inspired by the really cool web novel: Calyxia

:iconstop1plz::iconstop2plz::iconstop3plz::iconstop4plz:
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The sun was low, casting a fiery golden light on the city in the distance. It had been a long day of questing, but the two adventurers had returned from the forest victorious.


“So today wasn’t that bad,” pipped up Torimm, while shoving two whole slices of honeybread into her mouth to regain some stamina. “And we got a lot of decent loot.”


Arcon nodded contently. Their day had yielded some surprising results.


“I honestly thought that dungeon would’ve given us a bit more of a challenge,” he yawned, stretching his arms and then resting them behind his head.


Torimm shrugged, still chewing. Open Stats, she thought. She smiled to herself, her stamina was nearly completely recovered.


“Where’s the ring?” Arcon asked, breaking Torimm’s train of thought.


She retrieved their prize from her inventory and tossed to him. Arcon caught it and held it up to the setting sun, the large red jewel gave off a pleasing light. Suddenly from the forest behind them a piercing shriek filled the air. The two adventurers stopped and looked at the wall of trees behind them.


“What was that?” Torimm frowned, sniffing the air.


In the distance something disturbed the canopy of tree leaves and that something was coming toward them swiftly.


“Arcon?” Torimm asked cautiously.


“Get ready,” he ordered and pulled out his dual blades.


The rustling was almost upon them and as it came closer it grew louder. It started sounding more like a stampede. Torimm could hear shrubs being crushed and branches being snapped. She swallowed hard, suddenly a little nervous.


“Arcon, you sure about this? We could still make it to the city-” Torimm glanced at Arcon, but he had disappeared. Damn it. I hate it when he does that, she sighed. Arcon’s shadow magic was essential to their composition, but his sudden disappearing acts annoyed her. Suddenly something large and glossy burst through the foliage, it landed with a loud thump behind Torimm. She turned swiftly to face the danger, pulling her hands up for her warrior stance and transforming into her wolf form in one flawless action. As soon as she laid eyes on her opponent her stomach turned and she felt nauseous. In front of her was a 2 meter tall giant beetle. It clamped its powerful jaws together and she could feel the blast wind. Its mouth dripped with a translucent green acid and its pince gleamed like sharpened blades. Torimm felt her confidence drop. The huge beetle hissed at her and fluttered its wings, making it seem bigger, not that that was necessary. All that escaped her lips was a small whimpering sound. Torimm was so fixated on the bug in front of her that she didn’t even notice more of them crawling out of the forest.


“Torimm! What are you doing? Attack.”


Arcon’s voice broke Torimm’s frozen state and she blinked in surprise. This thing was using Intimidate on her. She noticed the other bugs now and almost hit herself for falling for such a simple spell.


“Damn, bugs,” she growled.


Torimm pumped out her mana to her claws and they flared a bright blue, growing in size, extending past her gauntlet. The first beetle made the mistake of attacking her head on and as a result lost its left pincer. Torimm sliced through it like paper. Another jumped her, but she dodge it easily and sliced through its body. The two pieces fell to the ground with a loud crash and the beetle’s blood poured out. As it hit the ground it hissed, making a burning smell. Torimm made a note not to touch that. The death of their ally only seem to rile up the rest of the bugs and they attacked without mercy. Torimm dodged what she could and slashed those she couldn’t. Beetle parts fell left, right and center in her rampage. She was in the zone. Her mind welcomed with the flow of battle, almost like dancing. Her body felt lighter and her claws moved with vivid speed, creating streaks of blue all across the battlefield. A beetle charged for her from behind. Torimm caught it out of the corner of her eye. She charged up mana in her right gauntlet and turned, hammering it in the head. Its shell instantly cracked under the pressure and the huge hull on its back buckled as a shock wave was released from the impact. Even the ground directly underneath them suffered some damage, but now Torimm was in an awkward stance and two more beetles were charging her. She tried to pull her hand free, but the thick cracked exoskeleton trapped it.


In a flash both bugs crashed to the ground and skid to a halt just in front of her. Small dagger wounds apparent on their heads. Torimm sighed in relief.


“That was way too close, Arcon,” she mumbled.


He appeared at her side, almost melting out of a shadow, “But it wasn’t.”


And then he was gone again. Torimm glared at where Arcon was before he vanished again. The beetles quickly swarmed Torimm, but she pulsed her trapped gauntlet and ripped it free, double smashing the nearest bugs.


From Arcon’s perspective he could clearly see the playing field. He was cloaked in shadow and the bugs ignored him. It also helped that the sun was setting, there were more shadows and he used less mana. The giant beetles were really going for Torimm, but that was how their plan went. Torimm would tank and Arcon would follow up with devastating swift attacks. It was starting to look like Torimm was becoming overwhelmed. With his daggers still drawn Arcon sprung into action. He leaped from shadow to shadow slicing and carving his way through the bugs hard exterior. He found that just under the head was the softest spot, but getting there was difficult. More like a challenge, he grinned.


One of the bugs jumped at Torimm, exposing its weak spot. Arcon’s reaction was timeless and before the creature hit the ground it was dead. Trying to conserve his momentum Arcon went straight for his next target, skidding under its belly from behind and stabbing it at just the right time. The beetle collapsed with a heavy thud. He gracefully rolled forward and pushed himself up to avoid a rampaging bug. Flipping over its heavily armoured body he charged one of his throwing knives with mana and sent it flying for the beetle’s head. It shattered the bugs platted face and it screeched in pain before it flopped down, motionless. Arcon dashed around effortlessly dishing out immense damage to any bug that got in his way. All Torimm could see was puffs of smokey shadow every time Arcon changed directions and hear his swords slice through soft bug flesh, which gleamed slightly. She could see now why he called it silver bullet. Some of the bugs had caught on to Arcon’s speed and tried to defend against it, but all they could do was helplessly stab at the shadows. They were no match for his cat reflexes. Dodging their attacks with fluid movements he countered almost immediately with critical strikes, killing the large bugs instantly.


Ravaged bug carcases littered the floor, but more kept coming. Torimm could feel herself slowing down slightly. Arcon appeared at her side also showing signs of fatigued.


“What’s with these bugs?” Torimm breathed in a huff. “Coming after us so suddenly? What’s their problem-”


Torimm was cut off by a tremendous roar, coming from deep within the forest. The bugs that were left, crawled backward slowly. Soon the owner of the roar pushed through the trees, uprooting a few at the same time. The trees crashed on either side of the two fighters. A titanous black beetle broke through and stood in front of them. It towered over them and the other bugs scattered, either in fear or concern for their lives. That must be the boss, Arcon guessed. A little pop up screen appeared in front of both of them.


Black Titan Beetle
Level ??
(??/?? HP)



This is the guardian of the Black Titan Temple. It only awakens when a foolish traveler tries to steal the treasure it guards. Beware this beetles powerful pincers and acid breathe. It searches for its treasure if taken.


Potential to inflict acid burns 80%
Potential to inflict crushed debuff 70%
Potential to deflect attacks 95%



Well, that seems threatening, Arcon gulped.


“Watch out!” Torimm yelled.


Arcon had been concentrating on the screen that he didn’t notice a blob of acid flying toward him. Torimm instinctively jumped in front of him and threw up a mana shield. The acid blob was nearly as big as the shield itself. It hit the barrier with a splash and it almost spilled over the brim. The liquid splattered the ground and noxious smoke wafted into the air.


“Thanks,” Arcon breathed out.


“Just go! I’ll try to keep it distracted. No more games now, this is the real deal.”


The Titan beetle spat out more acid and both were forced to dash to the side. Arcon fused into the shadows again narrowly missing an acid blob to the face. Torimm threw up three more shields each stopping acid from melting her. Arcon sped from shadow to shadow looking for a critical spot, but the creature’s hide was so black that it was difficult to make out details about it. Torimm was jumping around on the ground keeping the beetle’s attention, but Arcon knew she couldn’t keep that up for long. Finally, he found what he was looking for. He flashed to Torimm’s side and she threw up a solid mana bubble shield.


“It’s weak spots are its leg joints and a miniscule spot on its head,” Arcon explained.


Torimm grabbed three potions from her side pocket and drank them simultaneously, the blue and green liquid instantly boosting her mana and stamina. Meanwhile the beetle took this opportunity to move closer.


“Additionally, it doesn’t look that fast,” Torimm added. “It properly shoots acid and then uses its pincers for close combat.”


She looked at her remaining potions, the day out questing had used up most of her supplies.


“We should finish this soon,” she said.


“Agreed,” Arcon nodded, drinking one of this last potions.


“Ulti’s?” Torimm grinned, excitement burning in her eyes.


They had never used their ultimates at the same time, it would be interesting to see how much damage it did. Arcon grinned back mischievously.


“Sure. Beat I could do more damage though.”


“We’ll see about that,” Torimm chuckled and got into position. “Be ready to go when I drop the shield. I need some time before I’m ready.”


The Titan beetle was close enough that both of them could feel its acid breath burn their noses and eyes. This better work, Torimm thought. She released the barrier and the mana returned to her, she could feel it energize her. Arcon instantly disappeared in a large puff of shadow. The beetle was now in range to chomp Torimm in half with its pincers. She ignored it, having faith that Arcon would keep it busy, and slammed her claws into the ground pushing her mana deeper into the rock until she had cut out a chunk of ground. The Titan drew back its black glossy pincers, but suddenly it was bombarded with hundreds of slashes. Everywhere the beetle looked shadow obscured its vision. It screeched in pain as it could feel the sharp blades pierce its flesh, all its weak spots were being ripped to shreds. It’s legs started snapping under its own weight. Arcon appeared in front of the beetle and watched it wobbled. He then clicked his fingers and all the slashes he had made instantly exploded in shadow, blowing the Titan’s legs clean off in every direction. He then created a long thin blade out of mana and precisely nailed the Titan right between its numerous eyes. He could finally see the worry break out on the creature’s face and it started charging up a monstrous acid ball.


“Torimm, hurry!” He shouted and shadow stepped backward to gain some distance, but he doubted that it would matter. If that attack was fired everything in an enormous radius out be completely obliterated.


“Hai hai,” Torimm replied.


Activating her gravity jump on the huge boulder she had carved out and using all her strength she threw it into the air. Her mana claws all fused together to create a long whip, that wrapped around the rock. As Arcon jumped back, it whizzed past him, blowing him slightly off course. The rock hovered in the sky for a moment and then Torimm reversed the spell. Activating gravity jump, she leapt into the air while simultaneously increasing the gravity pull on the rock, both pulling each other toward the other. As the distance between them shortened each grew in deadly speed. Once they were eye level Torimm released her whip and it retracted into claws again. The rock traveled back to the ground and smashed into the head of the Titan beetle, pushing Arcon’s blade all the way through its skull. It broke through the other side and embedded itself into the ground. The Titan beetle bubbled and gargled having its face smashed in, splattering acid nearby. Majority of its thick armour shattered from the intense impacted, but..


“It’s still standing!?” Arcon gasped, shocked.


Torimm reached the point where her momentum dried up and her ascent stopped. She hovered there for a few seconds. She turned to see the setting sun finally slip behind the nearby mountain peaks. She closed her eyes feeling the rush of gravity pulling her back toward the earth, this was her favourite part. She leaned backward and flipped in the air, soaring head first back toward the fight. From her height, she could see the Titan beetle slowly getting up again. She activated gravity pull to increase her fall speed. Things began to blur around her, the trees and mountain side fusing into colourful smears. Just before impact she reared up and pushed all her remaining mana into her gauntlets. She smashed the Titan beetle’s head with so much force that the surrounding ground broke up like it was a poorly made sand castle. The energy from her attack traveled throughout the Titan’s body cracking its armour and exploding its fleshy bits. A devastating boom raced from the impact, flattening the nearby vegetation. Smoke and debris clouded the air for a good hundred feet.


Arcon dashed into the haze, clearing some of it away with his speed. He found a demolished Titan beetle, or at least what was left of it, and Torimm sitting on her rock that she had thrown, smiling widely.


“So, I guess we killed it,” she grinned.


Arcon laughed and Torimm joined. Something on the ground caught Arcon’s attention and he bent down to pick it up.


“Wow! That was intense!” Breathed Torimm in the background as she jumped off the rock. “What’s that?”


Arcon whipped some beetle parts away.


“It’s a ring.”


“Hey, it looks like the other one we found,” Torimm noted as she looked at it.


Arcon brought out the red-jeweled ring they had claimed from some old ruins and just as Torimm said they did look similar. Inspect, they both thought.


Black Jeweled Titan Ring
Lvl ??

????


Part 2 of the Titan armour set.
????
????
????



Part 2? Arcon thought.


Torimm nudged him and he looked up.


“Want to find the rest?” She grinned mischievously, a wild look in her eyes.


Arcon smiled back, “Is that even a question?”
The Adventures of Arcon and Torimm
Ok, so this is a side project I have been working on for a while and I finally got the courage to share it.

I hope you enjoy it! Inspired by this webstory.
Check it out! It's really good. :D

:iconstop1plz::iconstop2plz::iconstop3plz::iconstop4plz:
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deviantID

GrimmOkami
Nicole 'Dark Wolf'
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
South Africa
Interests
So I saw this one thing on Facebook about a 30 day drawing challenge and I decided that that would be a good way to get back into drawing.
The list certainly looks interesting enough and would probably be fun to draw nevertheless :D

So I am going to take up the challenge! But not in 30 days. Alas, I am too busy for 30 days straight, but I will try draw as often as possible :D

Yay. Im excited :iconsqueeeeplz: :iconhurrplz:
  • Watching: Gravity Falls

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:iconbyzho:
byzho Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2015  Professional General Artist
Happy Birthday! Have your cake and eat it too
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:icongrimmokami:
GrimmOkami Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you so much! :meow:
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lucressia Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2015  Professional General Artist

Thanks for the fave grimmokami =)

I let you a Llama~

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:icongrimmokami:
GrimmOkami Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you so much :meow: Also great job on the Steven Universe stuff! Love it :D
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:iconlucressia:
lucressia Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2015  Professional General Artist
Thank you very much!
I'm really glad you enjoy my art :heart:
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Murielle Featured By Owner May 25, 2015
Thanks for the fave!
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:icongrimmokami:
GrimmOkami Featured By Owner May 28, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
No problem! Great work :D
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EmmmBeee Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks for the favs!
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:icongrimmokami:
GrimmOkami Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Not a problem! Your work is beautiful :meow:
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:iconbyzho:
byzho Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2014  Professional General Artist
Happy Birthday! Have your cake and eat it too
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