No Judge 1 intro post each (may go further) 3 battle posts each (may go further) Version Off
Bamboo's are pretty incredible things. They're said to be able to grow as fast as 3ft per day and can get as tall as 100ft. An entire grove can sprout up in just a week, and just outside of Rammount City, one did just that not but a month ago.
Whether or not it was pure happenstance or whether it was something to be suspicious about depended on who you asked, and Shine's being there more or less spoke for her opinion on the matter. She had heard from a gal that heard from a guy that heard from another guy who wouldn't say where he heard it from that there may or may not be some secret base hidden among the maze-like labrynth that was this new bamboo grove. It wasn't the easiest tale to tell, much less to believe given the reliability of all the sources, but in the spy world that's usually the only kind of verification you ever get other than the things you find out for yourself.
And Shine was a sucker for these kinds of things. Everyone wanted to know the truth of everything, after all, and she was no exception. If there really was a base hidden out here, she almost drooled at the thought of what secrets it held. It was too enticing a bait for her not to chomp down on if that's all it really was.
But if all this place was was a peaceful grove then Shine was definitely disrupting that peace. She didn't have time to get lost in this maze, so she took the more practical approach of just chopping down all of the bamboos in her way. The falling of the massive plants heralded her approach to anyone in the area, but it also marked her path so that she could find her way out more quickly if this really was just a big waste of time.
What started off as a barely audible noise, easily passed off as rustling of underbrush, soon became much louder. The terrible racket of what sounded like something, or someone, crashing through the forest of bamboo. The noise was not coming towards him, at least anymore. At first it seemed to be, but now he could tell it was still a little ways to the side, seeming to pass him by. With how dense it was, he probably could stay were he was and they would never know he was here.
But that would be almost like hiding.
Not one to hide, he took to chasing down the source of the racket before it got too far. It would come to be a surprise when he got close enough to find it was the masked female Navi he had fought a few times in the past. She had bested him each time so far, but with the drop on her, he might be able to pull out a victory.
Keeping a distance where he felt she was unlikely to notice, he kept pace with her as she cleaved her way through the bamboo. He continued shadowing her, until he felt the time was right. He allowed his icy nature to begin to take over the area, the temperature dropping rather quickly. Frost began to form over some of the fallen bamboo around Shine as he stepped farther out into the open swath of fallen bamboo.
He could have preemptively struck first, but she was not simple prey. She may not be the same kind of hunter as himself, but she was a hunter of sorts non the less. A measure of respect was due. He would wait in the middle of the fallen bamboo behind her, and wait to see how she reacted to his presence.
Shine stopped cutting when she finally felt the temperature in the area drop. She turned around quickly when she sensed the presence of somebody else, and to her surprise Rime was standing there. "Oh? You're not here to interfere are you?" Her sword was starting to get dull from all the bamboo-chopping, so she sheathed it in its holster that hung just below the backside of her belt. "Of course you are. Let's get to it then!"
Shine jumped toward Rime almost as quickly as she had jumped to her conclusion just then, landing just within arms reach of him. With no warning, she suddenly launched a side-kick at him with the force of a wrecking ball, holding her body in a "T" position afterward so that one leg was planted into the ground, her upper body leaning away from Rime, and the heel of her other leg digging into his gut if all went according to plan.
She couldn't ignore the numbness that she was starting to feel from his icy aura, and as usual that prevented her from making further attacks. Now hopefully they could be done with this shortly so that she could go back to what she was doing!
Generally, one should always be prepared for how someone, or something might react to your own actions. But unfortunately, Rime was unable to guess Shine's response to his presence properly. He fully expected them to go into another battle like before, but not for her to jump into it so fast. This fact left him slow on the draw, soon finding himself sucking in a sharp breath as he took a step back to keep his balance from the aggressive opener from Shine as it found its mark.
"Very well. It begins." the likely now familiar hollow sounding voice replied. She was quick, but her strike was not terribly threatening. He would up the ante a bit with own, to see how far she wanted to take this.
He raised his left hand up in front of him, the blade like digits opening and closing into a fist, almost as if testing its movement. Then as the temperature seemed to raise again, some of the frost melting off their surroundings, he moved. A quick kick off the ground towards Shine would close the gap, as he brought his claw like hand to the fore in an attempt to cut into her.
He would back off a few paces to give himself space to see how she would react, just as frost began to gather underneath Shine. After a moment, a sharp spike of ice would erupt forth from the frost, attempting to lance through her leg to slow her down.
Shine quickly stepped out of the way as Rime went to claw her, smirking rather haughtily as if to silently boast of her remarkable reflexes. But just as pride comes before the fall, her arrogance foretold her impending regret.
She hadn't noticed the ice gathering underneath her and the spire that jutted out of it had met its mark directly into her thigh. She almost yelped in pain at the sharp sting of the piercing spike, but the combination of shocked nerves and the chilling ice of the spire left a numbing sensation in her leg instead. Granted, she still couldn't use said leg, but at least it wasn't overwhelming her with debilitating pain.
Being pinned in place didn't leave her with many options but to barrage Rime with shurikens, hoping to hit him hard enough in his own legs to hinder his mobility as well. The unfortunate part was that there was no way she'd be able to keep searching for that secret base with the state she was in now regardless of the outcome of the fight. "What're you attacking me for anyway?" It really ruined her plans!
He was a bit surprised that he landed such a solid hit on her, given how elusive she was in their previous fights. That would make the rest of this much easier at the least. Before he got the opportunity to press the advantage though, she started throwing those nasty shurikens of hers. The first couple found their mark, but once he knew where she was aiming, he began to layer frost and ice across his legs to help mitigate the damage they would do to him.
He took a moment to reach down, pulling free the shurikens that were embedded in his legs and the ice covering them. He noted that he may have used too much ice as he tossed the last bladed star to the ground. Even for him, it was a bit difficult to move.
"You forget. You struck first." Granted, he did impose his presence, but if she had declined the fight, he might have left. That was neither here or there now though.
His own legs still thawing out, he took time to start building energy around himself rather than attack right away. Frost beginning to swirl around his body as he studied Shine. He felt he could get her this time, but he had to still be careful. Cornered prey were the most dangerous after all.
"Well, what can I say. I suppose I was intimidated." Shine was pretty helpless now. She felt no sensation in her leg anymore, so even if she somehow broke free of the icicle impaling her it's not like she'd be able to fight back. Even dropping a smoke bomb and trying to escape was futile since she'd leave an easily trackable trail behind her in the process. There wasn't much choice than to just accept the position she was in at this point. "Guess we both know how this ends then, huh?"
Most of the ice and frost had fallen off of his legs, taking a step towards Shine as the last couple chunks fell to the ground. The frost that was swirling around him started to condense towards his clawed hand, no longer looking like frost so much as misty energy that danced across the blade like digits. The moment was here, she should be an easy target, especially if he strikes from her now weak side.
He reared his arm back ready to strike at Shine as he took a final step towards her, closing the distance adequately. There was a ever so slight pause, almost as if taking aim before he drove his energy covered hand towards her, blades first.
A loud sound then, not unlike glass shattering, echoed through the bamboo forest. The clawed hand was a couple inches from Shine's thigh, in the space that the spire of ice once occupied. Said ice was now almost entirely broken, sans the piece still in her leg. "Different, than you expect, I assume." he said as he took a step back, retreating his arm back under the cloak. "That end, would not be satisfactory. You seem to hold back. Why?"
Shine braced for pain as Rime closed the distance to make his strike. Her eyes were closed during it all, but after hearing the ice shatter and not feeling any pain, she slowly opened one eye, then the other, to notice that she had not been executed as she had expected would happen. Her sensation-less leg had not the strength to hold up her body, so before collapsing on her butt, she quickly drew her sword and used it as a sort of crutch to keep herself upright. This was certainly a better ending than she had feared.
"I held back because I figured I could throw you a bone and at least let you win one of these times." She sounded extra-arrogant in her tone, just enough that Rime would know now to take that comment seriously, but more like a friendly jab of sorts. Her playful smile would further assure him of that, if nothing else. "Kidding, ofcourse. The truth is you landed the decisive blow. A speedster's nothing without their speed, so it was good planning on your part. Well played, Rime."
She started heading back to town, limping as it were, but stopped to look back and say one last thing before she left. "Oh, but I'm still upset at you for ruining my plans today. I'll get you next time!" And with that, she was on her way again.
Battle Complete! Rewards: +35xp and +350zny for both