• Mature • III. Vici

Rising from the stony plateau overlooking the rivers and plains of the western continent, and growing wealthy from the gem stones pulled from this same rocky soil, Etzos is a bastion of independence, eagerly spreading its belief that man should rule Idalos, not be servants of the vain Immortals who nearly destroyed it. But can the different factions set aside their agendas long enough to see this through?

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• Mature • III. Vici

Postby Kasoria » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:20 am

Image
20th Trial, Ashan, Arc 718
South-East Outer Perimeter
18th break


Continued from here



There were things he didn't think about when he did them. Because he didn't need to. The way he moved, the position of his body, the means to get to the end result... it was known by his own muscles so well that his mind didn't even need to be part of the equation. That, Kasoria had found out, could make the difference in the middle of a fight. Most people needed a trill, or even a third of one, to think about what they needed to do next. But that was nothing more than hesitation, and that could kill you in a brawl.

No easy way to learn it, though, he thought as he bent down yet again, picked up the knives yet again, walked back yet a-bloody-gain, to the doorway. Either you practice hard and every day, or you get in fights every night.

Kasoria would rather take the first option. He was at the age where the sensible solution was always the most preferable, and far past the age where he had to prove his manhood to anyone, especially himself. So instead of trawling the bars looking for moving targets, he sheathed his knives, then drew one.

Looked at the target and the crude chalk outlines on the torso that he'd put on there. Bright and sharp against the old black coat covering it. Heart, lungs, liver. All he needed to know, for the moment. He'd closed the distance from fifteen feet to ten, as well. Baby steps, he had to keep reminding himself. But he was getting older, and starting from scratch didn't come easy to him.

So learn.

Stance. Grip. Draw. Snap. Release. Five steps that he'd come up with himself, after running through his memories of Wicked over and over. There could have been more that he was missing, but it wasn't his weapon and Wicked... well, that little sod always made it look easy. Didn't even look like he was aiming, yet with a flick of his wrist and a wet chuckle, there'd be a flash and twenty feet away, a man slumped over with a knife in his throat.

Not you. Not yet.

He straightened his arm, and rested the knife tip on the heart. There. That was where the release needed to come, and that was the discipline, he was learning. Letting go at that exact, precise moment. Too soon and you flew wide and above. Too late and it went low and much the same. So when he drew back that time, he tried to picture again where his arm had been in front of him. He lunged, flung, arm flying into his vision as he held the knife-

-fingers snapping out and releasing it-

THUNK

He smiled. The clang-thunk ratio was improving. His accuracy still wasn't great, but at least most of his throws were landing pointy-side-in, as it were. Before the knife had even stopped wobbling, he reached down, pulled a new knife-

Have to adjust the height. Don't need to be stooping down and to the side all the time.

Then he paused. The breaks wore on and on and he was sweaty, and his muscles ached, but didn't hurt... and he was getting bored. He licked his lips and decided to switch things up a little. Narrowed his eyes at the target and swept the hair out of them with his free hand. The release... that's what mattered. Getting his arm straight, then releasing his grip so the knife was aimed the split-trill before it was thrown. So, if that was the case, then it didn't just have to be one way.

So find out.

Kasoria moved his knife-hand across his chest, then slowly backhanded in front of him. He shifted his stance, sideways to the target instead of facing it like before. Yes, more room to swing his arm, a fraction more time to build up speed. Twice and a third time he swept his arm through the motion. Raising the knife across his chest, near his ear, then whipping it around and in front, until his arm was straight and at his side... and aiming at the target. Then when he thought he was ready, he drew it back more time and-

The pair of felines on the wall twitched briefly as the human seemed to move in a blur. His arm flung out at his side, sharp shiny thing he'd been holding flying from his grip-

THUNK

Shoulder. Not even close. Probably wouldn't even slow the bastard down, if he was hopped up on something. But Kasoria still nodded to himself. Straight throwing, and backhanded throwing. Now he knew them both. But that didn't mean he was necessarily good at them. So he sighed to himself, and drew another knife.

Hard, and every day. That's the rules.
"This is the life we choose, the life we lead. And there is only one guarantee: none of us will see Heaven."
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Kasoria
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III. Vici

Postby Kasoria » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:10 pm

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"Fates, learn some fuckin' restraint, would you?"

Not even stately Miss Bella had the self-control to let food go uneaten in her presence. She joined the chorus as Kasoria scraped his pottage into a worn earthen vase, then stopped it up a lid wrapped in gauze. He smacked the topper hard a good few times, sealing it as best he could against the outside world. It wouldn't be waiting long, but with his work, well... he never knew when he'd be eating in his own home, or wolfing down his meals in some tavern or brothel or cafe somewhere miles from the house.

It'll keep long enough, he told himself as he hefted the vase onto a high shelf, well away from greedy paws.

The assassin turned back to his table and shooed off a particularly daring feline who was sniffing at a piece of bread he'd left in his bowl. With a hiss and a hurt expression the creature departed, leaping lithe and nimble off the table and breaking into a bolt out the door in the same movement. Kasoria marveled afresh at such effortless agility. For a man, it would be like leaping from the roof of a house into the backyard, and sprinting away before your ankles had even finishing screaming up at you. But for them?

All in a day's work. Speaking of which...

He walked outside, belly full and suns beginning to sink into the tiles lining the yard. With each step he felt the soft but definite weight around his thighs shift. Not much sound, though. He liked that. Like most gangers, Kasoria had learned to take account of a man's weapons as much by sound as by sight: scum being scum, there'd always be a hidden weapon or three, so listening close could inform you where your others senses might not. And while Kasoria didn't often think of himself quite as "scum", he held no truck with giving his enemy a full inventory.

If you can surprise the bastards, do so, he thought, smiling as he drew a pair of knives. Long as you win and walk away, who fucking cares how you got to do so?

The twin dummies grew shadowy as the suns began to set. Squinting hard enough, a man might think they were two others like him, leaning against a wall, heads bowed in prayer or contemplation or simple sleep. Only a quick blinking would reveal not hands, no, no features. Just trunks and limbs wrapped in rope and cloth... but they would suffice.

Kasoria shifted the handles of the two knives around in his one hand. Not an easy fit, but he managed it. The principle, though, he hoped that was the same. You aimed, you drew, you snapped, and you released. He knew doubling the weight in his hand would change things, but... he still remembered Wicked. Sometimes it was three knives in each hand, and when he threw them they fanned out like a steel hail, punching through men like paper, two, three, even four going down or reeling back in agony from the emaciated little man.

Getting ahead of yourself, old man. You ain't him.

"Not yet," he muttered, but still raised his hand behind his head...

Three time hes made the motion, slowly and carefully. Getting used to the weight. The extra heaviness in his arms, now truly starting to ache and groan with all the efforts of the day piled upon them. His free hand brushed hair from his eyes, and Kasoria exhaled a long, slow breath as he pulled the knives back one more time... standing straight in front of his target... and then with a grunt-

-burst forward, dominant foot giving way to his lesser as his arm-

-snapped forward, whistle from the knives ringing in his ear as it went, straightening-

-and his fingers let go with a broken-trill gesture, releasing both blades-

-singing and whirling and gleaming in the air and he winced-

THUNK

-seeing one hit the torso with a meaty whack, but the other, the lower, the one gripped less tightly-

CLANG

-crash into the wall under the dummy's arm, and go clattering down onto the stones. The killer winced again as he walked over, tugging first one free and then reaching down to pick up the other. He perused the blade and blew out a relieved breath when he saw the tip hadn't been bent or broken. It would need a good sharpening, though, and he had just the tool to deal with that.

Something mewled at his feet and Miss Bella came out to inspect his efforts. She sniffed at the battered dummies, tongue flicking out to taste the tip of the blade hanging by his side. Her inscrutable face seemed to screw up for a moment in consternation, deciding with typical feline thinking that this fell into the Not-Food category, and thus was of no interest to her. Kasoria watched her waltz away, back inside, as if she were his creature and not some stray that he'd taken in.

Please, he scolded himself, walking back inside, rolling his stiff shoulders. Like she didn't have you wrapped around her claws on Trial One.

Night started to fall, true night, not that endless, choking midnight that the last season was comprised of. Kasoria could hear the subtle shift in the sounds of the city, like a heartbeat slowing as a body readied itself for sleep. The cries of vendors and merchants began to give way, replaced by the garrulous chatter of laborors and tradesmen on their way back home. This was the housing district, after all. Beyond them were the calls, high and clear and piercing, of mothers bidding their children return.

Kasoria smiled, half in amusement, half in memory. Sounds like that carried all too well in the circular maze that was the city. It echoed and richochted off walls, traveling yet never seeming to diminish. A lad playing a league away would hear his mother's words, and know to beat feet across the cobbles, lest he find an empty plate waiting for him instead of a meal. Or mayhap that was just Kasoria's mother.

The smile faded, inch by inch. The calls did not. Every trill they went on, the smile crumbled yet more. Stupid of him, really. Thinking about such things. He undid the straps around his thighs, placing the twin sheaths of throwing knives on the table. A quick hunt found the whetstone, and he sat down by the window. He'd get two, maybe three before he had to light a candle. Until then, he lost himself in the slow, steady, industrious scrape of stone on steel.

The noise of Etzos went on behind his window, and the children's babble quieted as they scurried by The Raggedy Man's window. They could hear the scraping. His claws on stone and bone, one boy hazarded. Their doubting words were flung at him yet none dared to peek in the window to find out.

They ran, leaving the lonely ghost to his tools, as night spread swiftly across the sky.

Thanks to Rumor for the template
"This is the life we choose, the life we lead. And there is only one guarantee: none of us will see Heaven."
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Kasoria
Show No Pity in A City Full of Sin
 
Posts: 164
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2016 11:34 pm
Race: Human
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III. Vici

Postby Whisper » Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:06 am

Image Kasoria

Awarded Points
10
These points can/cannot be spent in magic


Awarded Knowledge
Blades (Throwing Knives): Backhanded Throw
Blades (Throwing Knives): Throwing Two Knives at Once
Cooking: Preserving Food in a Sealed Vase
Discipline: Training for Muscle Memory
Discipline: Sharpening Your Weapons After Use
Deception: Conceal Your Weapons As Much As You Can


Awarded Extras
Loot & Losses Injuries
None None
Reknown Devotion
None None



Comments
This felt like it was all taking place in slow motion! All happening so clearly. Combat-type things spread out amongst all of the internal dialogue and discussion. It reminded me of some genius thinking in super-quick time about what he's doing and everything is actually happening lightning-fast! Very cool :)


If you have any questions, comments or criticism about your review, feel free to send me a PM and we can discuss it.
Thank ye.
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