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  1. #9871
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    Default Shiro's Travels, Pt. 4

    Shiro flew through the air over a desert, the hot air whipping around her as she did so, eyes scanning the ground for what she was searching for. Fortunately, unlike in the mountain, could do it this way instead of having to walk.

    After several minutes, she saw what she'd possibly been searching for: a small, seemingly innocuous stone building. Flying down, she floated before the top of the doorway, staring at the ancient language written there. Scanning the words written there, a program inside her deciphering and translating the words so she could understand them.

    "To receive the treasure within, one must face their deepest fears." Shiro muttered, lowering herself to the ground. Staring into the doorway, she saw it was a stairwell leading down into darkness. Taking a deep breath, Shiro entered the doorway and began walking down the stairs, descending to whatever awaited her in. As the darkness engulfed her, she lifted her hand, a small orb of ki forming there to act as a light source.

    -------------

    Reaching the bottom of the stairs, Shiro lifted her arm into the air, walking into the mysterious room as she looked around for her 'deepest fear'. She doubted it was the dark, since she wasn't afraid of the dark. But what could it be...

    Shiro froze at the sound of people screaming and crying as well as the sound of explosions. Running toward the source of the sounds, she skidded to a stop, eyes wide in horror as a man running in terror was shot through torso from behind by a pair of bright green laser beams.

    Turning to the source of them, Shiro could only stare at the sight of her sister Midori, drenched in blood and the glowing energy sword of her's in hand. 'Midori' glared as she looked around, muttering "No enemies spared."

    Shiro saw a figure out of the corner of her eye, and turned to see what appeared to be an innocent woman trying to escape. 'Midori' sneered as she launched herself toward the woman, her sword swinging in a wide horizontal arc, cleaving through the woman's waist.

    "Anyone who sympathizes with the enemy is an enemy." 'Midori' said as the woman collapsed lifelessly.

    "Midori! What are you doing?!" Shiro yelled, staring at her sister in horror. 'Midori' turned to her and a look of surprise flashed across her face for a brief moment before it vanished, replaced by a rather dark look.

    "Anyone who sympathizes with the enemy is an enemy." 'Midori' repeated, readying her sword before launching herself toward Shiro, who barely managed to bring a barrier up to block the sword swing. With her so close, Shiro could see the look in her sister's eyes. It was cold, calculated, and remorseless, seeing her as just another enemy to be killed.
    Critics who treat adult as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence.
    - C.S. Lewis

  2. #9872
    Astonishing Member Lord Falcon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrSandman View Post
    "To be fair.....*huff*......This wand has a magically conductive shaft.......its all about what type of magic you conduct with it." Etrina caught her breath slowly, taking Asha'rahs hand so she could pull herself up. "....is....she gone? Good....Good riddance......Parsic too.......You never cease to amaze me Asha'rah."

    Eyeing the exit, Etrina held out her hand. "....care too....help me walk.....that last hit in a bad spot.....I'd like to, get this over with before they....*huff*....decide they want a second round..."
    "New tricks or not, your movements have gotten sharper."

    Asha'rah allowed her body to float upon the air again, the almost weightless floating of feather's flight as natural as breathing by this point. She felt her hips, then her legs leave terra firma, then crossed them with little effort. She scooped Etrina back onto her lap, and floated to the finish line. Though it had been but a short time since the fighting started and ended so abruptly, everything Erosa and Etrina had told Asha'rah had set wheels turning in her mind. Familiars professing unavoidable obligation, an abusive father, an impossible maze with a home at the end goal...both Etrina and Erosa had elected to show rather than tell, and more and more pieces were beginning to come together.

    "...Are familiars forced to obey?"
    Last edited by Lord Falcon; 05-07-2018 at 12:12 AM.

  3. #9873
    The Tentacle God Cthulhu_of_R'lyeh's Avatar
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    Default I gave up on counting the segments.

    ???, Deep, Deep Space

    The return from Ilargi, was in many was the same as the route there.

    Yet for Ishtar, there was a key difference.

    Thanks to her confrontation and final goodbye with Sekhmet, a much needed ending to a chapter of Ishtar's life that had persisted far, far too long ... the words her subconscious had whispered months before, as her neural pathways knit themselves back together thanks to the guiding influence of Asha'rah, had finally come to pass: the golden-eyed Oni was fully awake ... and what a strange thing it was. In the end, instead of what she had feared- always in the back of her mind- would come to pass, that the half she suppressed all those centuries would consume her ... had never come to pass.

    Instead, Ishtar found herself returning to a balance that she had not experienced to the fullest extent in five-thousand years.

    And it was a thing that manifested visibly, as a golden-black flame. The two energies- that of her own Ka, or Ki ... or soul, and that of Sij, or Hakai- reaching an acceptance of the other that had only ever been achieved before in moments of only the most perfect of clarity.

    So now, free as she was to live, and experience living without the shadows of of her past, and future forcing her to strike out in search of an answer ... the golden-eyed Oni found herself able to enjoy what came, and what would come, as it happened. Without needing to watch her steps for fear of faltering.

    And such a change showed.

    As Ishtar, and Asha'rah conversed, and enjoyed the other's presence as they hurtled through space; the former Goddess would come to find that Ishtar was now a veritable font of happiness. The laughter- a pleasant sound, like cool water or a gentle breeze on a hot summer day- that had been so rare only months before, came naturally, now; and the conversations that now passed between them did not carry with it an unspoken concern over things that had not come to pass.

    As they trained, too, Asha'rah would find that that while the calm resolution that had ever guided her in combat remained, the almost grim determination to deal in only absolutes ... offering the totality of her will in each blow, and block, and parry ... had been replaced by an air of ease. Her form and execution while not comparable yet to those more learned in the art of war, remained crisp, simple; her movements and the offering of force a graceful thing, and swift like a fast-moving stream ... as she had been when she deflected Legion's kill-blow.

    In the end, the shift between who she was, and who she was now; was as night was to day.

    Proof enough that Ishtar's soul had been freed of a burden carried with longer than most civilizations.

    It was during this voyage too, in addition to her sparring with Asha'rah, and meditation; that Ishtar began to explore on her own.

    The offerings of the Grimoire- or at least of what she understood- having been mastered, her connection with Anubis becoming something of a workable state; the Oni had turned to her own 'techniques' as they were called. What lessons she had ingrained upon herself, however, could not be altered easily; and so she had only ensured that the realization of each as an expression of who she was were a thing she could live with. Yet the matter of what had been offered by Nunlil- the ability to disguise her voice, and form, and the ability to generate electricity- were taken to with an avid interest ... particularly the innate ability to generate currents of electricity ... and over the course of those weeks sailing across the heavens, Ishtar developed a thing of her own.

    In explaining this to Asha'rah however, she had realized too late that it had no name. So after several moments of floundering around; she had offered up this gem of wisdom:

    "It is ... ah ... it is called ... Atar Vazishta. The ... well ... the literal translation, at least in the common language is ... the fire most swift."

    The burgeoning bond that formed between the two during this voyage, was also a thing of note.

    What Asha'rah had offered of herself and former golry not once, or twice ... but thrice ... Was hardly a thing that Ishtar had felt were capable of being re-payed by anything she had to offer- to say nothing of the thousand Zeni debt that would likely never be paid. And so as time passed, the golden-eyed Oni had taken it upon herself to offer the former Goddess of Creation the same gentle attention that she had ever only offered those that she cared for deeply. Deepening the bond that had already reformed as the result of Asha'rah's own offering of care, and affection. And the list that placed the former Goddess of Creation on, was a small one; of a number no greater than ten, no less than five.

    Yet in the end, it was a list that was shared with the likes of Sekhmet, and Sarada.

    So it was then, that by the time the duo had traversed the heavens and returned to that smallish ball of greens, and blues; a bond between the two was well on its way to being made ... and while such might not have been of the same sort as the connection she shared with Sarada ... it was of importance enough to Ishtar, for the Oni to express her desire to see who Asha'rah had been, and offer a few simple words.

    "I look forward to that day, Asha'rah."

    ---

    Three Weeks Later, Earth

    The craft that had carried Ishtar, and Asha'rah across the endless depths of space; had made landfall without incident. Slipping into the Earth's atmosphere without pomp or circumstance, only to carve that flaming line in the sky before coming to rest gently just outside of Dusk City.

    In a way, it was for nostalgic reason why the Oni had chosen this place.

    It had been the start of the quest that had brought her close to Evangeline, and Sarada, and Asha'rah ... and so the golden-eyed Oni had only felt it fitting that she- they- return. It had also been selected because of her relationship with those two-thousand souls that had been saved that day. The blue woman would be familiar, and the sight of a space-craft would cause little concern- if there was any to be found on the oft frequented by Off-worlders, Earth- and she had also hoped, that perhaps they might even be persuaded to tend to the craft; in case there was ever a need for its use again.

    Then, after disembarking the craft with Asha'rah- and Anubis- Ishtar lingered awhile with the former God of Creation's company before stating that there was a matter she wished to tend to, before returning to the Lookout. One that she wished to handle alone, simply so that she could cast away, without a shadow of a doubt, that the woman she was now; was not the result of anything beyond her own freedom.

    And with a gentle embrace offered the machine that held such a luminous soul, Ishtar departed from Asha'rah, then, and made her way towards a familiar town with a residence of two thousand souls ...

    And so it was, that on an evening nearly six months from when she had first arrived; Ishtar returned to Dusk City.

  4. #9874
    The Tentacle God Cthulhu_of_R'lyeh's Avatar
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    Dusk City, Earth

    Upon entering the town the Oni had been met by a small grouping of those that had been saved by her- at the time- and the others that had converged upon the town in the growing twilight. There eyes had been alight with the glow of life, and health; and upon simply seeing that the golden-eyed Oni found herself full of happiness where once had only been a simple acknowledgement of completed aim.

    Many of those that had flocked to her, however, where children.

    Some young, some of an older sort, but all had taken to the blue-skinned woman with a curiosity that had not been afforded them, back when they had been first saved. Several had wished to touch her horns- to which she acquiesced happily- to which was accompanied a considerable amount of "ooh's, and ahh's" ... and yet several more had wished to pet Anubis, the strange shadow-black dog, with the ivory-white patches of bone.

    And though the Tulpa had offered a disingenuous "Boof," it had in the end, allowed such as well; its bushy little tail wagging in secret delight at the almost-worship it was offered at the hands of children.

    From there, the townsfolk had offered food.

    To which Ishtar had declined multiple times, of course. 'Such sustenance not being a thing required', explained multiple times to no avail. So eventually, she relented; allowing herself to be dragged off to the local inn to be showered in food, and drink, and the merriment of the returning miner's and their families ... and for the first time in a long time, the Oni enjoyed the company of people, and the taste of good food and drink. After it was all said and done, and both Ishtar, and Anubis were full, the Oni was offered a room for the night ... and despite her reason for returning she found it within herself to accept such an offer; falling asleep almost immediately after her head hit the soft pillows on the simple bed.

    Yet before the Oni drifted off, she could not help but admit that this was so much better than sleeping on the ground ...

    ---

    In the end, Ishtar did not tarry long, in Dusk City, only that first night.

    And after rousing herself in the morning, to again be offered food and drink- to which she accepted without bothering to attempt declining- the Oni had set about what few tasks needed to be tended to before departure. The most important of those being the need to secure safekeeping for her spacecraft ... and thing which, in the end, was agreed to so quickly by the town's Mayor, that the golden-eyed Oni found herself at a loss for words. Yet when the words came, Ishtar offered her thanks, and setting out from the Town Hall, she stopped by briefly to check up on the welfare of the couple that had tended to her first companion: Guza the Duck.

    Yet what the Oni did not expect, was the grudge that Mrs. Duck held. She had not forgotten the Oni who, along with her companions- and a certain Ogatan Charco- had made a mess of their house, taken their food, drank their tea; and most egregious of all ... had made off with their favorite- and the fabled- Space Duck. And in the end, as Ishtar approached the house she had found herself in all those months ago, Ishtar would learn that Charco was not the only member, of the Dino School who refused to hold back ...

    ... In the end, hat happened that day, when Ishtar stepped food in that duck filled yard once more, would only be known by three. Ishtar, the golden-eyed Oni, and the Couple of Quacks known as Mr. and Mrs. Duck. Yet in the end, the residents of Dusk City would tell stories of that fateful afternoon for centuries to come. Of how the ground bled, and the heavens wept; as the trio warred from dawn til dusk.

    And while most of it was mere exaggerations spawned by second-hand knowledge from a friend, who knew a friend of someone who had been there ... there was at least one truth:

    A Golden-Eyed Oni had stood confused, against the might of the Legendary Master of the ParaSHOUTolophus ... and she did not blink.

    Ishtar will return, in the next installment of "Return of the Gods, Part Three: I Wish I Had a Pair of Pants". (starts below)


    Shores of the Northern Continent, Earth

    After her departure from Dusk City*, Ishtar had made her way quickly across the sea, so that she might find herself on the frigid shores of the Northern Continent. A place she had not been to before, yet one was immediately understood for what it was. An unforgiving place that was as dangerous to life, as it was beautiful. Yet there was no fear to be had in the mind of the Oni, no lingering doubt or unsure steps. The golden-eyed Oni after all, had sought this place. Ishtar had come here for a singular purpose, and she would not be denied now.

    So taking a time to get a feel for the air, and linger in the crisp sun of that snowy wasteland, the golden-eyed Oni began her march inland ...
    Last edited by Cthulhu_of_R'lyeh; 05-07-2018 at 03:38 AM.

  5. #9875
    The Tentacle God Cthulhu_of_R'lyeh's Avatar
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    Northern Continent - Parts Unknown, Earth (Approximately 1 Day Later)

    Over the course of two days, Ishtar had made the trek inland.

    A process that could have perhaps been expedited by leaping, or even running- as fast as she would it would have taken no time at all- yet she had felt on a whim, compelled to simply walk. The cold had only bothered her for the first several hours or so, before her own internal temperature and a simple decision to not let it bother her kicked in; and from there it had simply been nothing more than a brisk walk across a bit of snow. After all ... the Oni had suffered worse.

    Thankfully, the map she had brought with her- the only item she bothered to bring, besides- had proved to be very accurate, and on the evening of the first day on the frigid continent, Ishtar had found what she had been seeking. In the end, the golden-eyed Oni might have found the place faster, had not it been for a sudden sensation shared across a familiar bond ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sub-Zero MKA View Post
    Of course, as far as the latter was concerned, she kept teasing her ahead of their eventual reunion by sending small bits of lustful pleasure her way in the only way such was possible. ...Well, at least she worked out some tension that had built up during the trip.
    A thing that had ultimately required Ishtar to stop her trek, long enough to enjoy the warmth that spread through her body, until the girl had finished her teasing- and dispersion of tension- before responding in kind. Giving Sarada something to think about, as she continued on her way back towards the golden-eyed Oni's loving arms. Yet for now, Ishtar would continue her current quest, and as she crested a final rise, that evened out onto a plateau with thin and wispy trees, the Oni found the next step of the all-important task:

    A simple cottage.

    As Ishtar approached however, it seemed at least that the pseudo-hovel was seemingly abandoned. Though with no really way to be sure however, if there was anyone to be found yet living there, Ishtar slowed to a stop a good several yards away before simply listening to the wind as it passed through those leaf-stripped trees. Yet beyond that ... there was nothing but the golden-eyed Oni's measured breathing.

    How passing strange.

    After a few more moments of listening to the sound of silence, Ishtar came to a simple decision then, and after taking another step forward, the Oni leaned forward with hands cupped around her mouth and called out towards the spartan shack.
    "Hello ? Is there anyone to be found here ?"
    The voice carried well in the crisp winter air, and rang out clearly without distortion; yet after another few moments had pass there was yet no response beyond the nearby chittering of a bird disturbed by the golden-eyed Oni's attempted summons.

    Ishtar chuckled softly at that- the bird flitting around the golden-eyed Oni's head to express its annoyance before returning to the nest and what had undoubtedly been a nap- before slipping into a silence to simply listen to the world around her. Though as time continued to pass without any signs of stirring within the small cabin; the Oni began to wonder if the information she had gleaned of this artificer had been misplaced. Only for a sound at her back to pull her from her own silent contemplation.

    "You come up here to die ?"

    For a moment, Ishtar wished briefly she had remembered to work on her ability to sense the energy of others, yet it was quick to fade when next the person spoke. "I mean, if you want to die, I'll leave you to it ... but I'm not burying you or any of that nonsense. I don't even live here. Just a place I come to for quiet."

    At that, the lack of response when the golden-eyed Oni had first called, made sense; and after a few seconds' consideration the Oni stood and turned before offering a quick bow. Only to be met by a curious- and decidedly confused- stare from a strange young woman with a facial tattoo:


    "No, I am Ishtar, and I came in search of one who could fold magic into metal, leather, and cloth. I was told that there was one who lived here ... and yet you said yourself you do not ?" Ishtar asked then, clearly a little confused at the woman's response.

    The woman snorted, then, before silently sizing the Oni up.

    "I c'n do that, yea." The woman offered, in response to the reason why the blue-skinned woman had come. "And I meant what I said, I only come here when I need quiet. Always have an eye on the place though ... cutie little bird told me you were around and so's I swung by."

    Ishtar's eyes widened slightly then, as the comment called to mind the annoyed little brid that had been the only one to respond to that earlier call; and after a moment the Oni found herself chuckling softly before shaking her head.

    "I see ... if you do not mind ..."

    "You c'n call me Emma."

    "If you do not mind, Emma," Ishtar continued after the woman's name was made known. "I would procure your services for a ... project."

    Emma was silent for a few moments then, scratching her chin contemplatively before eventually scratching the back of her head and offering a grunt in response. Not quite sure what the grunt meant, the golden-eyed Oni made ready to ask the woman what it was she meant, only for Emma to do it for her.

    "Yea sure ... I'll make yer ... whatever it is. Do a few things for me, an' we'll call it square, yea ?"

    It was Ishtar's turn to be silent then, and after a moment the woman simply nodded.
    "That is fair."

    Emma chuckled.

    "Alright so first I'm gonna need you to ..."

    --

    Northern Continent - Ymir's Lake, Earth

    Ishtar was still kicking herself for agreeing to deal offered by Emma, as she finally reached the jagged outcropping of ice that overlooked the lake she had spent hours searching for. Ymir's Lake it was called, and in the stories a giant of ice capable of untold destruction now slumbered here. According to her would-be Arcane Smith, it was not some simple legend. It was simply 'rude son of a bitch', that had stepped on her previous cabin. All she wanted out of this was to see, 'it's head or something, I dunno, just go kill it while I get the forge started' ...

    At the least, it seemed a straightforward task.

    Though ... the matter of summoning was a curiosity. In fact, as the golden-eyed Oni stared down at the ice-crusted pool of frigid water, she was not at all sure how she might manage to rouse the thing from its slumber.

    "Well ..."

    Perhaps a blunt method would be best. So with a sigh, Ishtar slowly stepped forward until her feet all but dangled over the edge of the icy cliff; and as she stared down at the lake that held her target the Oni willed energy into the tips of her fingers ... only to fire a bolt of lightning at the center of the lake.

    With a load, almost croak-like crackling, the ice that coated the surface of the lake split and began to bob on the surface of that frozen pool. Yet for several moments there was nothing. At which the Oni found herself slightly annoyed.

    "This is beginning to become a theme ..."

    As if in response to her comment however, there came a greater sound, of a creature that had slumbered long- a few months, really- forced awake by a bolt of lightning cast against its icy blanket.


    Ymir, the Ice Giant had been reawakened.

    And with a roar that shook the ground itself, monstrosity of ice appraised its would be vanquisher. And then with a sound like an avalanche, the entity began to speak.

    "Who dares to wake Ym- ..."

    In the end however, whatever it intended to say was silenced, as Ishtar propelled herself forward with her powerful legs, and landed a blow that vaporized the creature's torso. The Oni's only offering of explanation, a proclamation made to herself, and her alone.

    "Excuse me, but I have been out in this cold, in what Sarada calls 'booty shorts' all day."

    Severing the the now dead Ymir's head then, before it could fall and sink beneath the waves of its bed-turned-tomb, Ishtar returned quickly back to Emma, and her Arcane Forge ...

  6. #9876
    The Tentacle God Cthulhu_of_R'lyeh's Avatar
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    Northern Continent - Cabin In The Woods, Earth (Approximately 2 Days Later)

    Ishtar spent two days at that cabin, fulfilling the remaining tasks as asked of her by Emma, before waiting for the woman to finish the craft that she had been sought out to make. And when it was all said and done, the golden-eyed Oni left the Arcane Smith, with the severed head of an Ice Giant; two nights of warmth shared only by three.

    --

    With the sought after item completed, and Emma returned to whatever home she had left from to find Ishtar- and with a mention that they might see more of each other in the future- the Oni left back down the mountain.

    Her task here was ended now, and the truth that she had set out to discover- that her newfound happiness was not the result of the presence of others, but a thing of her own- had been realized to be just that. Ishtar turned her thoughts, and heart towards the thing that had brought her back to Earth in the first place:

    Her reunion with Sarada.

    It had pained her at first to learn that she had arrived well ahead of the young Saiyan; hoping to have found her immediately upon landing perhaps being a bit foolish. Yet as the days had drawn on, closer, and closer to what she imagined might be the day ... Ishtar had found herself growing excited.

    Sure, it helped that the girl was pleasuring herself on her voyage- as much to take care of herself, and release tension as much as tease- but it was more than that.

    There was much she wished to share with the Saiyan, and much she wished to learn of the girl's own return to Vocado. There was also the matter of what she wished to say ... the feelings were known already, and seemingly reciprocated. Yet the golden-eyed Oni had ever found that words had far more power in the end than feelings, and second only to actions themselves, if one wished to make the truth known. It was a matter of speaking, for forever remaining silent.

    So as the Oni began the much faster task of returning to the world below that frigid continent, steps steady, and sure, and full of hope. Ishtar could only wonder what Sarada might think, and say, when they were finally reunited ...

    *See "Return of the Gods, Part Two: Crouching Couple, Hidden Oni"
    Ishtar will return in the final installment of, "Return of the Gods, Part Four: By the Gods, Finally!"

  7. #9877
    The Tentacle God Cthulhu_of_R'lyeh's Avatar
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    The Lookout, Earth (The Day of Reckoning)

    After traveling a day to return to the main continent, it had taken Ishtar nearly two days to find the Lookout.

    Unable to sense it as she was, the golden-eyed Oni had quite literally jumped around in search of it ... at least until she realized that Nunlil was likely still training atop the Lookout. Though given how exited, and nervous, and hopeful, and also excited- for she was very very excited- the Oni was to see Sarada; that she had forgotten something so simple as a quick telepathic, 'where are you hovering over, Cousin' ... had been an easy thing to miss.

    With the rough location offered however, Ishtar had wasted no time closing the distance between herself and the Lookout. And while it might have served her a bit better to pace herself, the Oni doubted she could have even if she wanted to. After all, unlike the reunion that had been found waiting for her on Ilargi; this was to be of a much more joyous sort.

    Or at the very least, Ishtar hoped so ...

    Yet her stream of excited consciousness found itself slowed to a reasonable level when confronted with the distant-and high up- glance of the Lookout's underside.

    ... Ishtar had been so wholly concerned with returning to Sarada, that she had forgotten just how exactly she might reach the meeting place at all.

    "... What if I ask Nunlil."

    It was true, she could ask Nunlil. The pink-skinned Oni would probably not mind in the slightest teleporting down to grab her cousin so that she might bring her back to the Lookout. Yet such a thing seemed too forward, and rude. After all, the Oni had spent the last week lost in her own thoughts over contacting anyone ... and if one thing had not changed, Ishtar did not want to impose.

    Though ...

    It occurred to the golden-eyed Oni then that there was perhaps one more method that could be used to reach the Lookout. An ability that had been devised by herself, in fact .. and while she had been unable to truly test such a thing during her trip across the heavens, it had been useful at short ranges so far. To jump further she would just need more 'fire' ...

    It took the Oni about an hour to build what she felt was a sufficient charge, slowly building the energy necessary as she chased after the quickly floating Lookout. Yet when she felt that she was ready, and knew deep down in her heart that it was time; Ishtar took a final look at her outfit- she definitely wanted to look good for Sarada- and slowed to a stop so she could properly gauge the distance between herself and the Lookout.

    And when she was confident in that, too. Ishtar uttered two words:

    "Atar Vazishta."

    There was a faint crackling then ... and then everything turned blue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sub-Zero MKA View Post
    It wasn't long before Sarada landed on the familiar white tiled plaza of the Lookout. It was in much better shape than it was when she last departed. It didn't appear that there was anyone else there but her and Eva. That was fine. She brought the scouter Jinzi gave her, so it wouldn't be any trouble to find the others that stayed on the planet during these six months.

    "Hello?" she shouted. "Anyone home?"
    Ishtar did not know that Sarada would be on the Lookout, when she arrived there.

    Had no idea to know that the young Saiyan had only recently found herself back on Earth, after a five day flight through space to come crashing down on a distant Island ... or really, have any idea if anyone beyond Evangeline, and her cousin Nunlil were on the Lookout.

    Yet be it the hand of fate, pure coincidence, or perhaps even a slight nudging from that familiar aspect of time, Zurvan ... as Sarada wandered around the Lookout in search of someone, anyone. On a clear and beautiful day above even the clouds themselves; there came a slight shimmer, and a loud crackling as lightning struck the Lookout's tiled floor.

    And out of that bolt of ephemeral blue lightning, stepped Ishtar.





    A little dazed from the distance of the jump- a thing that at its normal level only allowed for a much smaller range- Ishtar stumbled forward towards Sarada with a loopy smile; before coming to a stop about a meter from where the girl stood.

    It was in that moment, as Ishtar's golden-eyes lighted on Sarada's own for the first time after three months of only being able to feel the girl's calming presence. After three weeks of travel back from the edge of the universe itself so that she could be with the Saiyan once more, and after the Oni had promised herself she would say what she intended to straight away ... every last word the woman had rehearsed for this exact moment was wholly lost in the wave of emotion that passed between them, then.

    And for a moment she simply continued to smile dumbly at Sarada. The unspoken happiness and love filtering through their connection at the hands of Aka Manah offering at least an inkling of the words she wished to say.

    And it was only then, after that first silent moment of their reuniting, that Ishtar, the golden-eyed Oni, Slayer of the Last Moonsworn, and Goddess Incumbent; offered a word so profound the heavens themselves were in awe of it.

    "... Hello."
    Last edited by Cthulhu_of_R'lyeh; 05-07-2018 at 04:16 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cthulhu_of_R'lyeh View Post
    Ishtar did not know that Sarada would be on the Lookout, when she arrived there.

    Had no idea to know that the young Saiyan had only recently found herself back on Earth, after a five day flight through space to come crashing down on a distant Island ... or really, have any idea if anyone beyond Evangeline, and her cousin Nunlil were on the Lookout.

    Yet be it the hand of fate, pure coincidence, or perhaps even a slight nudging from that familiar aspect of time, Zurvan ... as Sarada wandered around the Lookout in search of someone, anyone. On a clear and beautiful day above even the clouds themselves; there came a slight shimmer, and a loud crackling as lightning struck the Lookout's tiled floor.

    And out of that bolt of ephemeral blue lightning, stepped Ishtar.





    A little dazed from the distance of the jump- a thing that at its normal level only allowed for a much smaller range- Ishtar stumbled forward towards Sarada with a loopy smile; before coming to a stop about a meter from where the girl stood.

    It was in that moment, as Ishtar's golden-eyes lighted on Sarada's own for the first time after three months of only being able to feel the girl's calming presence. After three weeks of travel back from the edge of the universe itself so that she could be with the Saiyan once more, and after the Oni had promised herself she would say what she intended to straight away ... every last word the woman had rehearsed for this exact moment was wholly lost in the wave of emotion that passed between them, then.

    And for a moment she simply continued to smile dumbly at Sarada. The unspoken happiness and love filtering through their connection at the hands of Aka Manah offering at least an inkling of the words she wished to say.

    And it was only then, after that first silent moment of their reuniting, that Ishtar, the golden-eyed Oni, Slayer of the Last Moonsworn, and Goddess Incumbent; offered a word so profound the heavens themselves were in awe of it.

    "... Hello."
    Sarada wasn't expecting to meet Ishtar today. She wasn't sure how, since she had no idea where she was just a moment ago, but she hadn't prepared for this moment. So, when Ishtar appeared on the Lookout at the epicenter of a cascading wave of lightning, she was rendered speechless. And the fruitless search for any possible verbal utterance continued even as the blue woman stumbled and staggered toward her, an unusual dopey grin on her face. The excitement and joy, intermixed with fluttering feelings of love, passed between them as their golden eyes locked onto each other for the first time in months.

    Both women were at a loss as to what to say to one another. A funny thing, given how little trouble they had when speaking in the past. Aka Manah proved to be a much needed bridge between them, providing unspoken insight where verbiage failed. Still, there was so much that Sarada wanted to tell her, about how she faced her demon by confronting Dashir face to face, how she told her story at the tribunal and helped contribute to his conviction and pending execution, how she confronted her sister and got nothing but confirmation of a long suspected feeling. Most importantly, she wanted to tell her how much she missed her company and the warmth they shared so many times before.

    There was still time for that; for now, she opted to cast her gaze up and down the new outfit Ishtar found herself in. A curious thing, but not one she was opposed to. Granted, she greatly preferred the leather booty shorts, but this was perfectly acceptable.

    "...Hello," Ishtar spoke finally. A single word that carried with it the impossible weight of many months of unspoken -- but perfectly felt -- sentiments. Sarada breathed in, allowing the fresh air of the Lookout to fill her lungs in hopes that something likened to a reply would blossom forth.

    Something did. "Hi," she said in response.

    "I missed you," she added.

    "You look... good." There was so much more she could have said on that front, but not here on Eva's Lookout. Respect for the Guardian prevented her from delving further into where that outfit would look best -- scattered on the floor next to their bed -- but the bond between them conveyed that message perfectly.

    And there was time in the future to reunite in that regard. For now, she would find herself content with listening to the woman's tale and how she dealt with the trial she found herself embroiled in on Ilargi. "I, um, would like to hear about Ilargi."
    "I'm not a good guy. I'm not a bad guy. I'm THE guy!"

    - Roman Reigns, greatest champion in WWE history.

  9. #9879
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sub-Zero MKA View Post
    Sarada wasn't expecting to meet Ishtar today. She wasn't sure how, since she had no idea where she was just a moment ago, but she hadn't prepared for this moment. So, when Ishtar appeared on the Lookout at the epicenter of a cascading wave of lightning, she was rendered speechless. And the fruitless search for any possible verbal utterance continued even as the blue woman stumbled and staggered toward her, an unusual dopey grin on her face. The excitement and joy, intermixed with fluttering feelings of love, passed between them as their golden eyes locked onto each other for the first time in months.

    Both women were at a loss as to what to say to one another. A funny thing, given how little trouble they had when speaking in the past. Aka Manah proved to be a much needed bridge between them, providing unspoken insight where verbiage failed. Still, there was so much that Sarada wanted to tell her, about how she faced her demon by confronting Dashir face to face, how she told her story at the tribunal and helped contribute to his conviction and pending execution, how she confronted her sister and got nothing but confirmation of a long suspected feeling. Most importantly, she wanted to tell her how much she missed her company and the warmth they shared so many times before.

    There was still time for that; for now, she opted to cast her gaze up and down the new outfit Ishtar found herself in. A curious thing, but not one she was opposed to. Granted, she greatly preferred the leather booty shorts, but this was perfectly acceptable.

    "...Hello," Ishtar spoke finally. A single word that carried with it the impossible weight of many months of unspoken -- but perfectly felt -- sentiments. Sarada breathed in, allowing the fresh air of the Lookout to fill her lungs in hopes that something likened to a reply would blossom forth.

    Something did. "Hi," she said in response.

    "I missed you," she added.

    "You look... good." There was so much more she could have said on that front, but not here on Eva's Lookout. Respect for the Guardian prevented her from delving further into where that outfit would look best -- scattered on the floor next to their bed -- but the bond between them conveyed that message perfectly.

    And there was time in the future to reunite in that regard. For now, she would find herself content with listening to the woman's tale and how she dealt with the trial she found herself embroiled in on Ilargi. "I, um, would like to hear about Ilargi."
    While she never would have vocalize it- even if it could be felt by Sarada- Ishtar had been nervous. How could she not be? She had been hoping for this reunion the instant they had parted, and now that it had come she had questions ... so many questions. Was how she felt, real? Or simply just the lingering- and soon to fade- emotions of their short tryst, and the separation? ... Did Sarada feel the same?

    Yet as they stood staring at each other, Saiyan, and Oni; the emotions that passed between the bond of Aka Manah spoke the undeniable truth.

    It was real, and Sarada felt the same.

    And as that realization settled in, filling Ishtar with a warmth she had grown quite fond of in the recent months, the young Saiyan responded to her singular offering of otherworldly insight with one of her own.

    Hi.

    And it was, in the golden-eyed Oni's opinion, one of the most beautiful things she had ever heard. Yet that was not the end of Sarada's response, and after a moment the girl followed it up with three words that Ishtar had not known she wished to hear: I missed you.

    That the Saiyan then also seemed to like the outfit she had chosen for herself- a little scant on balance, one sleeve longer than the other- and perhaps a bit flashier than she otherwise would have expected, the craftsmanship of the Arcane Smith was undeniable. Though the unspoken emotion between both women implied that it would have been far better if she had arrived naked ... a thing to consider for later.

    The silence between them settled in once more however, and a desire to tell all of what had been felt over those long three months could be felt plain as day ... and in the end Sarada was the first to make such a desire known by expressing that she wished to hear of Ilargi.

    Ishtar found herself silent a moment before, before finally nodding.

    "Okay."

    Sitting down, then- beckoning for Sarada to join her as she did so- the golden-eyed Oni prepared herself, and told Sarada all of what had transpired since she had departed. Of how she had trained with Asha'rah, reinforcing what she had learned thanks to the Saiyan beside her as she drew ever closer to Ilargi. Of how she had arrived to find that while the Moon remained as dead as the day she had ripped it to pieces, the Moonsworn- what remained of them-, and Sekhmet, lingered on.

    She spoke of how the rage had spilled forth, and yet in the battle, the Oni had not relied on that Wrath for strength. How in the end what Sarada had shown her, and allowed her to feel, had been enough. And that- with Asha'rah preventing Legion's escape- Ishtar had managed to beat it into a final gambit; and in those decisive moments as the spear-tip carried Legion's final judgement, the golden-eyed Oni had come to an understanding and had despite it all; expressed how she would see Sarada again. So that at the end of that bittersweet reunion and judgement, the Oni had parried the blow, and offered her own. Accepting her nature to offer the inevitable end that had been denied for so long...

    Ishtar spoke then, of what Asha'rah had offered her. A final meeting with Sekhmet, so that the two might share a final blissful moment on the ruins of that dead moon ... and say goodbye a final time.

    As she had promised Sekhmet then, Ishtar did not weep as she spoke of this; yet the paradox of joyous sadness could be felt as clearly as it had then. Yet when her tale of that final goodbye was finished, such feelings did not linger. How could they? As after it was finished, and the daemons and ghosts of ages past had been finally laid to rest; the Oni had only wished to return to Earth ... and Sarada.

    ---

    When the recounting was finished- with nothing left out, or omitted- of how she had returned a week prior and busied herself with enjoying her newfound freedom to see if such was more than simply temporary; Ishtar pulled Sarada close and offered her a tender kiss.

    And when a few moments had passed, of the golden-eyed Oni simply holding the Saiyan close, she spoke again, softly.

    "That is all of it, and now that I have told my story I would very much wish to hear yours... " Quickly on the heels of that, however she offered what was far and away more important. In the end, it was what she had come here hoping to say.

    "I missed you, Sarada. And despite not being wholly sure if it is proper to say ... part of why I wished to come back, was so that I could see you. And in the end ... So that I could vocalize what I am sure you have felt by now."

    Ishtar paused, the words to come deciding they did not wish to be said. Yet after a moment, the Oni managed.

    "I love you."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cthulhu_of_R'lyeh View Post
    The silence between them settled in once more however, and a desire to tell all of what had been felt over those long three months could be felt plain as day ... and in the end Sarada was the first to make such a desire known by expressing that she wished to hear of Ilargi.

    Ishtar found herself silent a moment before, before finally nodding.

    "Okay."

    Sitting down, then- beckoning for Sarada to join her as she did so- the golden-eyed Oni prepared herself, and told Sarada all of what had transpired since she had departed. Of how she had trained with Asha'rah, reinforcing what she had learned thanks to the Saiyan beside her as she drew ever closer to Ilargi. Of how she had arrived to find that while the Moon remained as dead as the day she had ripped it to pieces, the Moonsworn- what remained of them-, and Sekhmet, lingered on.

    She spoke of how the rage had spilled forth, and yet in the battle, the Oni had not relied on that Wrath for strength. How in the end what Sarada had shown her, and allowed her to feel, had been enough. And that- with Asha'rah preventing Legion's escape- Ishtar had managed to beat it into a final gambit; and in those decisive moments as the spear-tip carried Legion's final judgement, the golden-eyed Oni had come to an understanding and had despite it all; expressed how she would see Sarada again. So that at the end of that bittersweet reunion and judgement, the Oni had parried the blow, and offered her own. Accepting her nature to offer the inevitable end that had been denied for so long...

    Ishtar spoke then, of what Asha'rah had offered her. A final meeting with Sekhmet, so that the two might share a final blissful moment on the ruins of that dead moon ... and say goodbye a final time.

    As she had promised Sekhmet then, Ishtar did not weep as she spoke of this; yet the paradox of joyous sadness could be felt as clearly as it had then. Yet when her tale of that final goodbye was finished, such feelings did not linger. How could they? As after it was finished, and the daemons and ghosts of ages past had been finally laid to rest; the Oni had only wished to return to Earth ... and Sarada.

    ---

    When the recounting was finished- with nothing left out, or omitted- of how she had returned a week prior and busied herself with enjoying her newfound freedom to see if such was more than simply temporary; Ishtar pulled Sarada close and offered her a tender kiss.

    And when a few moments had passed, of the golden-eyed Oni simply holding the Saiyan close, she spoke again, softly.

    "That is all of it, and now that I have told my story I would very much wish to hear yours... " Quickly on the heels of that, however she offered what was far and away more important. In the end, it was what she had come here hoping to say.

    "I missed you, Sarada. And despite not being wholly sure if it is proper to say ... part of why I wished to come back, was so that I could see you. And in the end ... So that I could vocalize what I am sure you have felt by now."

    Ishtar paused, the words to come deciding they did not wish to be said. Yet after a moment, the Oni managed.

    "I love you."
    Ishtar sat on the cool stone floor of the Lookout, and beckoned for Sarada to reciprocate. When she did, she went into great detail about how she spent her three months. Much of what she said, Sarada had garnered through the bond connecting them together even across light years. She felt the satisfaction of having trained with Asha'rah, having honed the skills that had been laid on her by first Sarada, then by Tasure. She felt the apprehension and unease felt by the blue Oni at having to return to the place where her first love died so brutally, the very same place where Aeshma Xeshm was born and tore the moon apart.

    She felt the jolt of sickening hatred Ishtar felt when the final Moonsworn, Legion, made his presence felt. She recalled the throes of intense, life-or-death combat besetting her during her relatively intense spar with Avoca, and how getting caught up in the swirl of desperate emotions that followed nearly led to her own end. The wrath, so intense in it heat, burning on the fuel of five thousand years of bitter hatred, hatred born from having her love ripped from her. Yet, Ishtar did not dwell on that wrath as a source of power, instead choosing to rely on the techniques Sarada, Tasure, and Asha'rah taught her.

    Sarada felt a great swell of pride, not in herself for once, but in the fact that she played a part in this Moonsworn's defeat. But, more importantly, she felt happiness that Ishtar used what she learned to survive. In the end, that was why she taught her how to dodge and parry.

    Curious though, was what she meant by accepting her nature to offer the undeniable end. Of course, that end obviously meant Moonsworn's death; but her nature... Sarada felt that she was missing a few things. This suspicion was compounded when Ishtar then spoke of how Asha'rah somehow plucked a long dead soul from the afterlife to give Ishtar the opportunity to have one final moment with Sekhmet, to finally say goodbye to the lover who had given her so much joy and so much affection in their relatively short time together. As nice as that moment was, she was still hung up on how Asha'rah managed to do that.

    I've definitely missed something. It became obvious that the robotic monk was far more than just a robot. To reverse death, even for an instant -- ten minutes in this case -- was beyond the capabilities of mortals. Was she a goddess? Did those actually exist? If so, why hadn't she said anything to the rest of them? That was something, in Sarada's mind, that should have been announced to everyone.

    Well, she would make an effort to speak to the robotic goddess in the near future, something she had neglected to do when they were together.

    By the end of Ishtar's tale, Sarada was left pleased and gracious that Ishtar finally had the closure that she had longed for for five millennia. At last, she was happy. When Ishtar leaned into a tender kiss, Sarada didn't hesitate to return it. A swell of warmth and completeness arose in her chest. She wanted every moment between them to end like this, with a kiss and with them holding each other in some manner.

    Then, at her behest, it was her turn. However, before she could even open her mouth, Ishtar spoke again, alleging that she had one more thing to say to her.

    "I love you."

    Sarada's breath caught in her throat. She... hadn't expected that, even though the bloom of love that passed between them made it obvious that was how she felt.

    How was she to respond? Whenever she was with Ishtar, she felt an unbridled, pure joy that could possibly only be rivaled by the feelings of excitement and... lust (?) she felt when she was with Jack. But then, this was different. There was a longing to return to Earth and see Ishtar again, something she never would have considered a possibility when she first left Vocado seven months ago. The warmth they shared was something she would never forget, no matter what the future held in their regard.

    Was that love? Feeling whole and warm and complete when with another person? Having a longing to return to that person when distance separated them and when words fell to the wayside against the winds between them? Wanting to defy death and destiny itself because to do otherwise would mean having to leave that person behind?

    It was clear that Ishtar felt that way. If that was love, then...

    She didn't know. She didn't want to lead her on and say she loved her in return, only for her to renege on those feelings in the future when she realized that it wasn't what she thought.

    "...I... I don't know if I can say the same, Ishtar," she responded regrettably. The blue Oni had put herself out there in front of her, verbalized the feelings she felt inside for Sarada to hear and to acknowledge, but the Saiyan couldn't say the same. "I don't know if what I feel is love or just lust. I don't want to lead you on, only to walk it back if I find that I'm wrong. I'm sorry."

    She looked away, ashamed that she didn't know how to respond. "Love isn't something Saiyan teenagers concern ourselves with. We only mate for pleasure." She looked at the woman again and offered a small smile. "But, I really do enjoy being with you. And I really did miss you, and wanted to see you again more than almost anyone else." Anyone but Jack, anyway. Speaking of, I need to find him and make sure knows I'm back. I have something special for him. "I hope this is okay."
    "I'm not a good guy. I'm not a bad guy. I'm THE guy!"

    - Roman Reigns, greatest champion in WWE history.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Falcon View Post
    "New tricks or not, your movements have gotten sharper."

    Asha'rah allowed her body to float upon the air again, the almost weightless floating of feather's flight as natural as breathing by this point. She felt her hips, then her legs leave terra firma, then crossed them with little effort. She scooped Etrina back onto her lap, and floated to the finish line. Though it had been but a short time since the fighting started and ended so abruptly, everything Erosa and Etrina had told Asha'rah had set wheels turning in her mind. Familiars professing unavoidable obligation, an abusive father, an impossible maze with a home at the end goal...both Etrina and Erosa had elected to show rather than tell, and more and more pieces were beginning to come together.

    "...Are familiars forced to obey?"
    ".....If the mage is powerful enough, Yes. Orders can be given that a familiar cannot override through their own will......but the practice is generally frowned upon. Familiars and Mages exist to benefit from each other in cooperation.....and nothing sours cooperation like being treated as a slave." Etrina stared up into the sky as they floated together. "........I'd never do something like that to Erosa.....Even if I could....."

    As the two stepped through the threshold of the garden, Etrina took a deep breath and relaxed. "....eheh........It feels like we've been in here an eternity.........maybe I was......but standing here.....errr...." Etrina looked around, still cradled in Asha'rahs arms. "....lying....here. I think......I finally managed to find my way out."

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    Astonishing Member Lord Falcon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cthulhu_of_R'lyeh View Post
    -snipped for character limits-

    The offerings of the Grimoire- or at least of what she understood- having been mastered, her connection with Anubis becoming something of a workable state; the Oni had turned to her own 'techniques' as they were called. What lessons she had ingrained upon herself, however, could not be altered easily; and so she had only ensured that the realization of each as an expression of who she was were a thing she could live with. Yet the matter of what had been offered by Nunlil- the ability to disguise her voice, and form, and the ability to generate electricity- were taken to with an avid interest ... particularly the innate ability to generate currents of electricity ... and over the course of those weeks sailing across the heavens, Ishtar developed a thing of her own.

    In explaining this to Asha'rah however, she had realized too late that it had no name. So after several moments of floundering around; she had offered up this gem of wisdom:

    "It is ... ah ... it is called ... Atar Vazishta. The ... well ... the literal translation, at least in the common language is ... the fire most swift."

    The burgeoning bond that formed between the two during this voyage, was also a thing of note.

    What Asha'rah had offered of herself and former golry not once, or twice ... but thrice ... Was hardly a thing that Ishtar had felt were capable of being re-payed by anything she had to offer- to say nothing of the thousand Zeni debt that would likely never be paid. And so as time passed, the golden-eyed Oni had taken it upon herself to offer the former Goddess of Creation the same gentle attention that she had ever only offered those that she cared for deeply. Deepening the bond that had already reformed as the result of Asha'rah's own offering of care, and affection. And the list that placed the former Goddess of Creation on, was a small one; of a number no greater than ten, no less than five.

    Yet in the end, it was a list that was shared with the likes of Sekhmet, and Sarada.

    So it was then, that by the time the duo had traversed the heavens and returned to that smallish ball of greens, and blues; a bond between the two was well on its way to being made ... and while such might not have been of the same sort as the connection she shared with Sarada ... it was of importance enough to Ishtar, for the Oni to express her desire to see who Asha'rah had been, and offer a few simple words.

    "I look forward to that day, Asha'rah."

    ---

    Three Weeks Later, Earth

    The craft that had carried Ishtar, and Asha'rah across the endless depths of space; had made landfall without incident. Slipping into the Earth's atmosphere without pomp or circumstance, only to carve that flaming line in the sky before coming to rest gently just outside of Dusk City.

    In a way, it was for nostalgic reason why the Oni had chosen this place.

    It had been the start of the quest that had brought her close to Evangeline, and Sarada, and Asha'rah ... and so the golden-eyed Oni had only felt it fitting that she- they- return. It had also been selected because of her relationship with those two-thousand souls that had been saved that day. The blue woman would be familiar, and the sight of a space-craft would cause little concern- if there was any to be found on the oft frequented by Off-worlders, Earth- and she had also hoped, that perhaps they might even be persuaded to tend to the craft; in case there was ever a need for its use again.

    Then, after disembarking the craft with Asha'rah- and Anubis- Ishtar lingered awhile with the former God of Creation's company before stating that there was a matter she wished to tend to, before returning to the Lookout. One that she wished to handle alone, simply so that she could cast away, without a shadow of a doubt, that the woman she was now; was not the result of anything beyond her own freedom.

    And with a gentle embrace offered the machine that held such a luminous soul, Ishtar departed from Asha'rah, then, and made her way towards a familiar town with a residence of two thousand souls ...

    And so it was, that on an evening nearly six months from when she had first arrived; Ishtar returned to Dusk City.

    Some journeys are the slow sort. Oh, they may be enjoying and fulfilling in their own ways – passing like lazy summer days or grinding through like a challenging, repetitive exercise. You feel the passage of time on such journeys each moment stretched out and felt in full.

    Others pass quickly, every moment precious and gone before you know it. You are spurred into action in a hundred different directions, and there is never enough time to do everything you want to. Time flies by during such journeys, and it’s gone before you know it.

    Only in the rarest company, however, do you experience both at once. Ishtar had a different air about her. She still carried the certainty and wisdom of countless centuries. She still felt with sincerity and measured passion. But she seemed…lighter. Having made peace with a past that had come so close to defining her, Ishtar could raise her head a little higher, breathe a little fresher. It gladdened Asha’rah deeply to see her companion joyous, almost carefree.

    When their conversations got going, they seemed like they might go on forever. She cherished each interplay, lived each moment. Yet at the end of each bout of interaction, Asha’rah marveled at how time had flown by around them. Ishtar could challenge Asha’rah in a way few others could, forcing the God of Creation to think and grow. Yet the oni also challenged Asha’rah in a way no other did, from a perspective she held a deep and abiding respect and appreciation for. Even among Kami like Evangeline and mighty titans of mortal will like Ochazuke, there was a sense of a God finding worth in her creations. She was proud of them, happy for their growth and wisdom, and wanted to help them become all they could be. But with Ishtar, Asha’rah felt a different level of closeness and affection. Ishtar felt like…a peer. A wise and beautiful peer in whose company Asha’rah felt warm and inspired.

    In their sparring, too , did Asha’rah notice a change. Ishtar had already been developing the skills to better survive under Sarada and Asha’rah. Putting her ghosts to rest had released tension in her muscles she had probably hadn’t even noticed anymore. The blue-skinned oni had had a habit of committing fully and forcefully to each move, a reflection of her sincerity and resolve which made her both terrifying to face and easy to read. But over time, she was integrating a hundred tiny movements which allowed one move to better flow into another, allowing her to advance without taking the brunt of every attack and get into positions to hit her enemy harder. Asha’rah did not outright teach Ishtar to feint, for she suspected such thoughts would only cloud the oni’s clear judgment, but she could feel the oni’s approach shifting. Where Ishtar had once applied herself like a blunt club, she now began to cut powerfully through the battlefield like a glaive.

    When Ishtar found something new within herself, a fiery light of energy to call her own, Asha’rah felt her soul stir in happiness and excitement. The ability was named Atar Vazishta, and it seemed symbolic of the radiant living that Ishtar was doing now. When Asha’rah had surrounded her companion’s light with her own, she could feel them mingle and intertwine, maintaining their subtle distinction yet becoming more exquisite than either would alone.

    It made Asha’rah want to regain her body all the more. But such a quest would not come easy if it were possible at all. There was so much more than the merely physical aspect of her robotic prison that Asha’rah needed to understand and grow through, aspects designed specifically to remain hidden and locked away. She would find a way.

    In the end, their time together passed too quickly, even as Asha’rah dragged each moment out in her mind. They reached Earth once more, their journey drawing to a close. The oni had a promise to keep with Sarada, one which the God of Creation was certain would be pleasurable for them both. The two had formed an empathetic bond before Ishtar had left the Earth, and the oni’s shudders of arousal had not always escaped Asha’rah’s attention. Asha’rah’s ever-growing affection for the oni made her not want to part ways. But for those exact reasons, it was all the more important that she let Ishtar go. Some time alone to process the changes in her life would do Ishtar good.

    Besides, they both had things to take care of. Feeling guilty for borrowing another of Jinzi’s spaceships, Asha’rah conjured some precious gems as recompense for the inventor’s trouble, and then departed. It was time to take a surreptitious look at the state of the Kami.

    Godspeed Ishtar. Let our paths will cross again soon.
    Last edited by Lord Falcon; 05-09-2018 at 11:41 AM.

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