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Rynn

The World Spun Backwards: Reboot

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Klaus stared at the spirit. "I really don't want to fight," he said. "I'm very much a pacifist. But you kind of have to be when all you have are ears, a tail, and a sketchbook. So unlike the rest of you, I haven't got any special power. And even if I did, I still wouldn't fight. Anyway, point is, I'm pretty much defenseless, and I realize that my kind are pretty easy targets, but could you please let me and my friends go? We mean you no harm."

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The strange spirit descended lower, apparently thinking over things. 'These guys aren't pushovers... if we get serious I doubt I could win against two of them... I'm certainly not ready to die, so...' The spirit crossed his legs and sat on a cloud, hovering in front of the three, looking at them seriously for a moment before smiling, "Well, I can't simply forgive you, but let's play a little game. If you win, I'll let you go. If not... you have to stay here and be my servants for the rest of your lives. It does get so lonely and boring with just ugly bandits who can't even hold a knife properly.

Yuki kept her guard up, but started to think about it, "If he's challenging us like this, that means he probably isn't strong enough to defeat both of us, as well as him not being an evil spirit... just a self-centered and annoying one. Still... I'm not confident enough that we would get away unscathed in an all out attack. As long as it isn't some absurd guessing game I suppose I wouldn't have an issue with it. What about you two?" 'And besides... worse come to worse... we can always just kill him'. She took another good look at the spirit before her, 'Where have I seen these markings before...'

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"A game would be simple enough. I was requesting a way to avoid confrontation after all," Atrus said, stepping back into the circle. "What sort of game would it be?" he asked, turning on his toes to face the spirit once again. As he said this, the energy around his hand seemed to dissipate. Never hurts to have a back up though. This spirit seems untrustworthy Atrus thought, making sure the shield could hold against at least a few attacks.

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"The game is fairly simple, really. All you have to do is tell me something sad about your past that impresses me. If you can do that then..." he was suddenly cut off, stumbling back off the cloud as Yuki lunged at him, missing the spirit by a hair, only managing to cut his shirt.

"Don't tell him anything! I remember where I've seen those markings before," she stared intensely at him, "I ran into one of his clan mates three years ago, they do this to trick you into letting them into your mind. If you tell them anything, anything at all, it's like opening up a door for them, allowing them to drive you completely mad," she resumed her assault, forcing him up into the sky.

"Tsech! You're lucky, to have survived our techniques before, but didn't you notice, I've been prying at your minds since you got here. So much as your names would let me in now..." he grinned maniacally, the blue patterns turning black, along with his aura, "and you were wrong about me not being an evil spirit. I assure you I am... it's quite a lovely feeling, you should try it if you survive."

"I suppose that would explain the nagging feeling that something was wrong I've had since we entered this pass..."

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"Now hold on. We still need to find a way of departing from the place," Atrus said. "Could you possibly refresh me on this variety of spirit?" he asked Yuki. "I don't usually keep track with how much I've traveled. I probably should, come to think of it," he said, looking up in brief thought, before looking back to Yuki.

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Yuki kept her attack stance, waiting for him to make a move of some sort."Unlike most spirits, which can control the elements in one form or another, they're masters as manipulation, mind reading and illusion. That storm was all a visual illusion, to trick us into believing that he was your average run of the mill jerk. Unfortunately for him he probably didn't realize at the time that we would pose any threat, otherwise he would have used more subtle methods. This isn't their true talent, though. They use deception and tricks to get you to tell them something personal about you, usually something emotional. Doing so lets them connect with your mind. When this happens, they cause you to relive your most painful memories over and over again, till your mind finally snaps. Only an extremely strong will can break out of that spell, or someone coming to your rescue. So whatever you do, don't tell him anything. And don't trust anything you see. That's his true talent, though I don't know what he would be doing this far west... last time I saw one was in Siberia..."

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"Well, considering what you just said, I suggest you stop the story there. Don't worry, I'll take your word for it," Atrus said, before looking back to the spirit calmly. "So do you plan on letting us go or are you just going to keep spending time trying to get us to admit something?"

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"I'm really not one for the three on one odds, but there's the unfortunate problem of me not being able to let my prey go once I set my sights on them. And you three are my prey," the sky appeared to turn blood red, and the air seemed to be distorted, giving everything a wavy look to it.

"As if these cheap illusions are going to knock me off balance," Yuki sighed and swung her sword, momentarily disrupting the illusion directly in front of her, "How about I offer /you/ something. Either you leave now, or I make you." At this illusory fire sprung up around the edge of the forest.

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Instead of saying anything, Atrus simply smiled with his eyes closed, as deep red energy began visibly charging around both his hands. Clasping both of them together, he slowly began to pull them back apart, a tiny red sphere in between them. He held out the charge over his right hand, and went into a stance where he could easily throw it.

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Yuki's ears perked at Klaus' words. While the spirit was distracted by Atrus, she quickly cut off a small amount of hair with her sword and tied it into a knot. After muttering a short prayer over it, she handed it to Klaus, "You can't fight, right? Hold onto this, if he tries to attack you, it'll act as a barrier, though it'll only work once and defensive spells aren't exactly my specialty, so it's probably won't deflect a direct, powerful blast. I'd suggest you try not to get hit," she turned around to face the spirit again, the edge of her blade glowing again, "if you can fight, though, any help would be appreciated. Now then," her eyes narrowed, the blue glow growing more intense as the air around her body chilled. She shifted to an attack stance, ready to counter the spirit's first move, 'Now the question is... what will he attack with...'

She had scarcely finished the thought when a pike materialized in his hand, the spirit lunging forward to strike at the group, "Die"

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Seeing that the spirit was distracted by Klaus' action, Atrus quickly jumped to the other side, and at light speed, began swinging his right hand in a fist. The red electrical orb that had been hovering over it cloaked itself over his hand like a blanket of electricity that was sparking across his fist, which made contact with the spirit.

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The spirit snapped his attention back to the fight, forgetting the unexpected action and bracing himself with the pike for the oncoming attack. The energy slammed full force into the enchanted wooden shaft, which did little to deflect it, the spirit quickly reeling backwards, his whole body in shock, the pike falling away. Yuki took the opening to spring up, launching herself over Klaus towards the spirit and slashing the sword across his neck, instantly severing his wind pipe and carotid artery before he even reached the ground, the lifeless corpse landing with a dull thud.

After removing the blood from her blade and sheathing it, she walked over to examine the broken pike lying on the ground, sighing for a moment before standing up and walking over to Klaus, staring at him square in the eye, with a very cold look "Don't you /ever/ do something that reckless again. If Atrus hadn't launched that attack when he did, you would have been dead. The barrier wouldn't have held up to that attack," her cold look faded, her face returning to it's usual soft appearance, "I've been fighting spirits like him for almost 900 years, I could have counted his attack easily enough. His form was easily readable and simple enough for me to deal with. The danger was mostly the raw power, which is exactly what would have broken the spell I put on that hair. I'm not mad at you, just please don't rush to your death... I've had enough people I'm supposed to protect die on me already."

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The look on Atrus' face shifted again, back to a more examining expression. A rather curious character, this Yuki. If I didn't know any better I'd say she was a human...

Resuming his calm relaxed look, Atrus looked down at the corpse. "It's spirits like that who make it tough for apparitions like me to get around," he said, not really to anyone in particular. "Anyway, we best be leaving this area. This lake is now free game for any wayward spirit looking for a new place to inhabit, with him gone," he said, looking down at the corpse of the spirit. Holding up his hand, the body slowly lifted, and drifted out about the lake. Squeezing his hand, the invisible strings on the body severed, causing it to splash and sink into the water. "He may have been a trickster, but he still deserves a proper burial. Also, I feel we should leave this place as we found it."

Stepping backwards, Atrus grabbed the volt staff out of the ground. Strangely, the burn marks in the ground seemed to vanish once he did this, implying the barrier was gone. Quickly, the volt staff seemed to pop back to its spark key form, which Atrus tied around his neck.

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"It's fine, just next time, don't be so reckless," she looked over towards Atrus, nodding at his suggestion of a burial, "Burying the dead is always important. If you don't, their soul will wander the earth when they're too attached. Judging by his attitude, I'm fairly certain this would happen." she paused and muttered a short prayer as Atrus let the body slip into the water, "I'm going to continue heading west myself. We should reach a ruin, or at least a town built atop it if we continue to follow this path. I can't say I know with any certainty what lies ahead. You're both welcome to join me if you like, it's been a while since I've had traveling partners."

She finished wiping the blade off her sword and turned to head back to the path, when the broken pike caught her eye, "Strange... I just noticed this now, but what would such a twisted person be doing with a blade this pure... I'll see if I can get it looked at in the next major trading town," she bent down and pick up the blade, removed the wooden shaft and wrapped the head in a piece of cloth. 'I have a sneaking suspicion that this might be relevant to my interests... a spirit like that shouldn't have been living this far west...'

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"Or somebody gave it to him for safe passage," Atrus theorized. "And as for your offer, I don't see any reason not to. I'm mostly a wanderer, so really I'm accustomed to going wherever I happen to find myself heading," he said, winking.

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"I've no idea what they call it now, or even if anything's there at all. The last time I was there it was called Seattle, that was a over 900 years ago though. There might not even be ruins, but if the person I'm after is supposed to be hiding there then I assume there has to be something, though. I suppose we'll find out," Yuki retied the ribbons in her hair, and after checking to make sure she had everything made her way back towards the road, proceeding westward.

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