innatelunacy: (Default)
[personal profile] innatelunacy posting in [community profile] spira_rp
Their encounter with the Arrancar had allowed their Mark to escape. That had been an irritation, but Saix had borne it. At least none of them had been seriously hurt in the altercation this time, although Saix had adamantly refused to acknowledge the twist in his gut and cold lump that had sat in his chest at the thought of it. Aerith was a sweet girl, if naive in her insistence that Saix was nicer than he seemed, deep down, and that his grumpy exterior was just a front, but Lea....

With Vexen gone, and whatever he'd shared with the man lost, Lea had neatly stepped back into his old position as the most important person in Isa's life. And it was Isa, around Lea, sometimes at least. More often than it had ever been without him, that much was certain. They'd both changed so much, with everything that had happened, but Axel seemed to struggle less with acting like Lea than Saix did with acting like Isa. It was like being engaged in an internal war between his heart and his head, between the smart thing, and the right thing, and Lea made it easier to do the right thing.

Though Saix was loath to tell Lea anything of the sort, and he especially wasn't about to admit to him that the idea of losing his best friend again had made his blood run cold and his insides tie themselves into a knot.

So he hadn't mentioned anything to Aerith about the fact that he'd been able to attack with Lea's chakra against the Arrancar, even though she knew more about chakra than either himself or Lea, and he hoped it hadn't occurred to Lea to ask, either. He wasn't sure if he wanted to know the answer, assuming she had one, but he was sure he didn't want her to know about it happening at all. He had a strong suspicion she'd consider it evidence that he was nicer than he let on.

Fortunately, the subject hadn't come up in his earshot, despite the long trek as they tracked their Mark. It had made its way towards the border with Bancour, and they'd been forced to cross the platforms on the Nam-Yensa Sandsea to follow it.

There was, Saix knew, a distinct sense of not wanting to waste the time they'd already invested. They'd gone this far in tracking the wretched chocobo eater down, and now its evasion of them was becoming a personal affront. Saix had, one evening, when they'd settled to camp for the night, under stars that Saix refused to admit he enjoyed watching, suggested they tie his chocobo up and use it as bait.

Aerith had disapproved almost as much as the chocobo had, and Saix had grouchily resigned himself to a continued association with a bird that he was going to be able to smell for the next year. Trekking through the heat of the Sandsea hadn't helped at all on the odour front, and the combination definitely hadn't helped Saix's mood.

They'd been tracked by Urutan-Yensa at one point, too. Saix had itched for a fight, but had refrained from starting one in deference to the idea of getting their main task over with and not getting sidetracked. They didn't need unnecessary fights depleting their resources if they could avoid them. Still, Saix would have been glad of an excuse to take his irritations out on something stupid enough to invite him to do so.

They'd alighted the platforms that marked the crossing over the border into Bancour, and the signs of their mark were a little more encouraging. The chakra signature was fresher, and it had clearly encountered some more Urutan-Yensa on its way through and made short work of them. They didn't use chocobos, so they wouldn't have been defending anything but territory, but they'd got in its way, and the impression left behind by a fight lingered in the area.

He glanced over towards the other two. They were in Bancour now, officially, although in practice the border here wasn't monitored and the difference could only be found on a map. "A sprint may have us on it," he said, his voice steady, and not betraying the relief at this hunt nearing an end.

Date: 2015-09-22 06:13 pm (UTC)
gotitmemorised: (Crick in my neck.)
From: [personal profile] gotitmemorised
Axel was tired. On top of it, he ached all over.

Sleep was difficult in the desert, mostly on account of the dramatic temperature drop that happened when the sun went down. He didn't suffer in the heat of the day like the other two, that was one upside to being a Fire Elemental, but their susceptibility to the heat slowed them down, which made the hunt feel endless. An affinity for the local weather didn't keep away the aches of travel, either.

He cringed inwardly as he felt the lingering impression of the battle. In the distance, he could feel the Chocobo Eater, but it was faint, like background noise. He had gotten used to feeling it around, just out of reach. That was an uncomfortable sensation if ever there was one. The weird chakra of the fighting Urutan Yensa had seeped into everything, but it was fading fast. They were, he assumed, already dead. Chocobo Eaters didn't take any prisoners.

He turned to Saix when he spoke, nose wrinkled. "A sprint? You're really up for that?" He asked, weariness in his voice.

Date: 2015-09-22 06:48 pm (UTC)
hearstheplanet: (pic#2741955)
From: [personal profile] hearstheplanet
Aerith murmured unhappily and squirmed in her saddle. She didn't have any concerns about not being seen as a big tough hunter type, like some, so she admitted a little more readily, "I don't think I could manage a sprint."

She suspected she'd left her bum in Dalmasca, and her hands were sore, and her legs ached. Making camp at night was a reprieve, although it was cold and she'd unashamedly slept close to Lea who was not, and getting back on the chocobo every morning was an unpleasant chore. She'd be glad for the hunt to be over, nearly as much as the other two, but she didn't think she had it in her to endure a sprint in order to achieve that end. She needed a couple of nights at an inn, and a hot bath with an herbal soak before she'd be prepared for that.

"And I don't think you two should try it, either," she added. They had a fight to face at the end of it, and they could do without wearing themselves out driving themselves and the chocobos to rush up to their quarry.

Date: 2015-09-23 07:21 pm (UTC)
gotitmemorised: (Yeah yeah whatever you say.)
From: [personal profile] gotitmemorised
"We can speed up," Axel said, giving the stiff shrug of somebody whose shoulders hadn't quite been relaxed in some time. "The chocobos will be doing most of the work anyway."

Riding a bird wasn't as effortless as sitting in an airship, or a train, but it sure beat walking. It still left you exhausted and full of aches, but at least it was only your butt and hands that got sore and not your feet.

"I think we're leaving some sort of valley. The map says that everything past that ... " he gestured vaguely "big rock ledge thing should be rocky plains, so we should be able to see it more easily."

Dalmasca's deserts varied between endless rolling expanses of golden sand and gritty, burning canyons, cactus-fields and grassy dunes cut through with the occasional ribbon of water that had the gall to call itself a river. As Dalmascan land gave way to Bancour, the sands became redder, rockier scrubland and a horizon dotted with buttes and mesas reared before them.

"Assuming the map's right, anyway," he added, looking sceptically at the crinkled, dog-eared and over-folded bit of paper in his hand. It seemed old enough that erosion could have done a number on the landscape in the time between when it was made and now.

The border was marked vaguely on the map and there was absolutely no sign of it on the land. There was a more distinct border to the west, on the other side of a winding river Axel didn't remember the name of, but it seemed that neither Bancour nor Dalmasca cared enough about their wilder regions to patrol the border regularly. They either didn't care or trusted in their alliance well enough that it didn't worry them. That, or they gave up due to the monsters. There were rather a lot of those away from civilisation.

Date: 2015-09-23 10:02 pm (UTC)
hearstheplanet: (pic#2741952)
From: [personal profile] hearstheplanet
Aerith looked at Saix, her expression calm, and determined. "I can keep up," she told him. "I just don't think I can ride at a sprint for long. I'm not as physical as you." She looked over at Axel and flashed him an awkward smile, "And it won't be good for you if you get to it without me," she said, fairly.

Not that she expected them to leave her behind. Not even Saix, because he looked out for her almost as much as he looked out for Axel in a fight, and she'd noticed that. He just liked to pretend to be a grumpy hardass.

Axel definitely wouldn't leave her behind. He didn't even pretend to be the type to entertain the thought.

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Date: 2015-10-06 11:41 pm (UTC)
raindownhell: (Fifty)
From: [personal profile] raindownhell
Fang swung her spear at the Chocobo Eater and caught it heavily in the face with the point, narrowly missing its eye -- no mean feat given how small and beady they were. Small, beady and angry. It howled, enraged, and lashed out. It struck with its curved claws, but hit nothing but air.

"That all you got?" she laughed, staying out of reach.

She was fast, far too fast for the lumbering monster, big and bad or not, and this fact was clearly a source of great frustration for it.

Good, she thought, leaping back to fire off a salvo of Ruin spells to force it back. Wear yourself out getting angry, there's a good boy.

Absorbed in her battle, she hadn't noticed the distant sensation of two powerful fighters in the vicinity, but as she paused after releasing her Ruin spells, she felt them, and the fact that they were getting closer. She turned her head, ignoring the Chocobo Eater as it suffered through the magic bursts, noting out of the corner of her eye that there were three, not two people. Obviously only two of them were battle-hardened. One was either being escorted, or was a healer.

The monster pounded the ground with both hands in the wake of the spells, furious. However, in a surprising display of caution, it didn't move forward again. Instead it roared and bellowed, evidently caught up in its own temper tantrum.

"Oh, I'll give you something to cry about," she said with a smirk, and took the opportunity to assault it with a chained bombardment of Deprotect spells.
Edited Date: 2015-10-06 11:43 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-10-07 12:12 am (UTC)
hearstheplanet: (pic#2741946)
From: [personal profile] hearstheplanet
Aerith hit Axel and Saix with a Protect spell when she reached them. Her chocobo wasn't happy to be this close to an ongoing fight, let alone one with a chocobo eater, but she soothed it with a word and a pet before she climbed down and readied haste spells for them both, too.

The woman really did feel powerful, and off, somehow, in a way that Aerith had never felt before. She didn't feel off like the Arrancar did, or like nasty monsters did, but she did feel different. There was something about her that Aerith could sense and didn't know how to explain.

She was powerful, though. Very powerful, above and beyond most people. In that, she felt a bit like Axel and Saix.

"Be careful, okay?" She told them both, although Saix didn't seem to be listening.

Date: 2015-10-07 12:25 am (UTC)
gotitmemorised: (Battle: Come on then.)
From: [personal profile] gotitmemorised
Axel pulled his Chocobo up to a sharp stop. It was, it seemed, fully prepared to carry on in the direction it was going, right past the Chocobo Eater, the crazy woman, and off into the distance where it was less likely to get eaten.

It squawked and tossed its head rather unhappily, but stopped all the same, kicking up dust and raking the ground with its claws. Axel dismounted without a second thought and looked at Aerith as she applied her usual spells.

"I will," he said.

He wasn't sure about Saix. He seemed to be staring at the woman. It was entirely possible that he might get too distracted to fight and just get eaten by the Chocobo Eater. Or Saix Eater. Whatever it would be after that happened. He shook his head and pulled one Chakram free of his belt, leaving the other there.

He had taken to using one and leaving the other hooked to him while he used a generated one as his second. It was a good way of training his newly learned ability without leaving himself open in the process.

"Shall we get this show on the road?" He asked Saix, stepping up.

Date: 2015-10-07 12:57 am (UTC)
hearstheplanet: (pic#2741955)
From: [personal profile] hearstheplanet
Aerith sighed, and climbed down off her chocobo, but didn't walk into the fray as Axel and Saix did. She stayed with the birds, partially to keep them calm and there, so they didn't have to be retrieved if they panicked, and partially because staying as far back as she could manage while staying close enough to buff and heal the boys was her best course of action right now.

She wasn't sure about the woman yet. She definitely didn't seem threatening, but that didn't mean she'd welcome the gatecrashing.

For now, Aerith concentrated on putting haste spells on the boys before she considered casting anything on the woman, letting them fly from her safe distance away, and watching with a bitten lip.

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Date: 2015-10-09 03:44 pm (UTC)
raindownhell: (Thirty Three)
From: [personal profile] raindownhell
Fang snorted at Saix's comments about Lea. The two must be old friends, she thought. It was only really that kind of long-haul relationship that could result in an easy and casual throwing of insults and not have them taken with any offence. The girl, she figured, was new to the boys. Comparatively, anyway. She hadn't yet grown used to that sort of thing enough for the humour to have worn thin.

Maybe they hired her as a healer. They were always pretty useful way out in the wilds.

The offer of repayment was nice. They wanted the monster, or part of it, as proof of death for the reward, at least assuming that monster hunts went the same here as the ones she was used to. She wasn't particularly interested in a monetary reward. She hadn't gone into the fight thinking that was a reasonable end to the battle.

"You could point me in the direction of civilisation," Fang said.

She was accustomed to dealing in favours and intangible exchanges. Money was nice, but when you did something for someone else who didn't have any, or they did the same for you, or when money wasn't worth much in the region, something else was put on the table. Goods, or services. A bit of information would be good here.

"And maybe a bit of the meat," she added. "Not much game out here and my supplies are running a bit low."

Date: 2015-10-09 06:07 pm (UTC)
hearstheplanet: (pic#2741947)
From: [personal profile] hearstheplanet
Aerith listened to Saix making the offer and murmured, thoughtfully. They could always do with an extra hand in a fight, too, she thought, although it would be a cold day on the Island Closest to Hell before Saix would admit that one out loud, and Lea was nearly as bad.

But she couldn't help but wonder how someone all the way out here didn't know where the nearest civilisation was.

Was Saix wondering it, too? Did he have suspicions about her, and that was why he was offering? Or was he not thinking with his brain right now?

She doesn't feel bad, Aerith thought, but that wasn't always enough to judge. She looked up at Lea, and asked him, quietly, "What do you think?"

Date: 2015-10-10 04:49 pm (UTC)
gotitmemorised: (Uh ... if you say so...)
From: [personal profile] gotitmemorised
Lea looked down at Aerith and scratched the back of his head.

In truth, he wasn't sure. She was strong, very strong, but didn't seem threatening, at least not to them. She was a bit cagey about where she was from, as they were, but otherwise she seemed quite genuine. She had also helped them in the fight when she didn't have to, with spells to guard from an attack she had known was coming, but they hadn't. She'd done it even though she was quite capable of killing the thing by herself and had been working towards that before they arrived on the scene.

"Couldn't hurt, right?" He replied, just as quietly.

Date: 2015-10-10 04:55 pm (UTC)
raindownhell: (Seven)
From: [personal profile] raindownhell
"And you speak for all of your friends, do you?" Fang asked, indicating the whispering going on between the other two. She didn't seem offended, only amused.

She looked from them to Saix and gave a small shrug. It wasn't one of indifference. They were unsure, and rightly so. She was unknown to them, so if they were discussing the 'issue' while their friend went ahead and invited her without asking, that was fair enough.

"But," she said, "if everyone agrees, I'd be more than happy to tag along. I promise I won't weigh you down." She added, with a smirk.

Date: 2015-10-10 05:11 pm (UTC)
hearstheplanet: (pic#2741960)
From: [personal profile] hearstheplanet
Aerith screwed up her nose, and frowned. "She," she began, and hesitated, and then continued, "she reminds me of you, when I first met you. She knows some things, but she doesn't know things she should."

She glanced at Fang again, and at Saix, who definitely wasn't thinking with his cold analytical self right now. "But I don't think she'd hurt us, or she wouldn't have protected me and Saix in that fight."

She debated trying to explain the other thing for a moment. "There's something else," she said, very softly, and looked up at Lea. "I can't explain it, it's just a feeling, like," she frowned, struggling to put it into words, "like she's been touched by something. There's an impression on her."

A fingerprint. It was like a fingerprint. You had to look really hard to even notice it, and you had no idea who or what it might belong to unless you had something to compare it against, but it was there anyway, just on the edge of Aerith's senses.

"I think she should come with us," she said, finally. Something about leaving her low on supplies in the wilderness just felt wrong. Aerith felt she should be helping her, even if Fang didn't seem like she needed any help.

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Date: 2015-10-14 09:20 pm (UTC)
raindownhell: (Six)
From: [personal profile] raindownhell
Fang pulled her spear free and unfolded one of the blades on one end. There were four in total, but only one was needed here. Separating the spear into sections and giving herself a shorter pole to work with, she set herself to some amateur dentistry.

She crouched shoved the blade up into the Chocobo Eater's gum, along the tooth's edge, and, with one swift movement, she levered the whole thing out, root and all. It was surprisingly long and in amazingly good condition. This was a beast that didn't have to break out its back-up mouth very often, it seemed.

Fang set her spear on the ground and rolled the bloody tooth on the sand. It clung to the wet parts, soaked it up, and were then easily brushed off leaving her with a cleaner tooth to carry.

"There we go," she said, holding it up to look at it properly.

The smell from the charred arm was getting too much, so she retrieved her spear up, folded the blade away, re-holstered it, stood up, and walked back to her Chocobo before too much of the stench clung to her.

Date: 2015-10-14 09:55 pm (UTC)
hearstheplanet: (pic#2741949)
From: [personal profile] hearstheplanet
Aerith heaved a sigh, as if she was having to school someone, and looked over at Fang, winking cheekily when she caught her eye.

Then she raised a hand, drew her chakra together, and cast a float spell on the severed claw.

It lifted off the ground as if someone had inflated a balloon under it, and bobbed there. "Honestly," she said, "not everything has to be solved with brute force."

Date: 2015-10-14 10:11 pm (UTC)
gotitmemorised: (I suppose you're kind of making sense.)
From: [personal profile] gotitmemorised
Lea watched as Aerith made the heavy claw float. It was pretty big, all things considered. It wasn't quite person-sized, but it was definitely big and dense enough to weigh almost as much as one, if not more. Floating the thing up, and re-applying the spell, would be a much better way of transporting it than wearing down one of their birds.

"Huh," he said, putting his foot in the stirrup of his Chocobo's saddle and swinging himself up. "That's easier."

He also caught sight of Fang using the sand to clean the tooth she had pulled out. He wished that he had thought of doing that with the ball he'd shoved in his saddlebag. Too late now.

Date: 2015-10-14 10:14 pm (UTC)
raindownhell: (Five)
From: [personal profile] raindownhell
Fang returned Aerith's wink with a smile and considered which parts of the monster would be the best for carrying with them as food for the road and what it would be best to leave for the scavengers.

There was plenty of good flesh on the arms and not much anywhere else that wasn't overly fatty, or hidden underneath a thick plate of reinforced gristle. The intact arm looked to be their best option, but hopefully they wouldn't have to rely on this thing for too long before they found some tastier game.

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