6 Nov 2016 18:39
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It was not a particular special day this morning. Dew had begun to sweep down the lengthy blades of grass. The nighttime clouds were slowly dissipating as the morning sun had risen to a commanding height that was not quite yet high noon. Maddox could see his breath in the chill of the morning. He personally was not cold. His training had prepared him and his armor had aided in keeping his body temperature at a comfortable level.

From atop of a grass knoll, Maddox had a commanding view of the surrounding area able to see for miles in any direction he would look. One direction specifically would provide the warning that he sought, spotting figure off in the distance but little more could he tell than it was a bipedal figure in the distance. The Crimson Knight did not waste any time. Swiftly, he took up a position behind a nearby tree. While it would not conceal his figure entirely, it was a prime location given the relatively short distance between the two. He dropped his pack down behind the tree doing little to hide it. Peaking around the tree he saw the man advancing.

With a deep breath Maddox pulled his bow from his shoulder and arrow from his quiver. He notched the arrow. He was not known to shoot particularly well with a bow; however, it was his initial form of attack given that he seemed to have the advantage of being fairly well hidden as well as such a well placed attack. Peering around the tree he let loose the arrow into the sky. While he had lost track of it, perhaps the opponent was more keen of sight. He had aimed a warning shot to thwart the opponent’s movement but perhaps he had done it too well.

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@Shoryu Magami
7 Nov 2016 8:42 18 Feb 2017 1:23
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Shoryu Magami 𝔗π”₯𝔒 π”Šπ”²π”žπ”―π”‘π”¦π”žπ”« 𝔬𝔣 𝔄𝔰𝔠𝔒𝔫𝔰𝔦𝔬𝔫

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`It would appear as though the sighting of undead in this area was nothing more than rumour...` Abel thought to himself, considering the results of his current mission, `While this means I avoided wasting my inventory, it also means the job will only earn me the scouting fee; no hunting fee... Once I arrive in town I should inquire about more work... Evelyn, I will not give up.` he internally reflected, nevertheless reinforcing his resolve despite the situation.

Brushing aside his discontentment, his thoughts left him unbothered by the early morning temperature as they paled in comparison to the everyday dissatisfaction of his current circumstances -- ailments of the mind were always far more troubling than ailments of the body, at least for Abel. While his mind had been reflecting on the aftermath of his job, he was not entirely oblivious to his surroundings. Abel was a man who fought against the darkness - and the darkness would in turn often hunt him - thus the idea of an assailant striking at any moment was never entirely outside of his mind. While he was not immediately aware of the presence of the figure who was now attacking him, his guard was always up and ready for the possibility of a confrontation; fatiguing as such a mind state could be on the body.

`An attack...!?` he thought to himself, using his right hand to slightly shift his shield in the direction that he thought he heard a noise coming from. Within an instant, the arrow had grazed his shield -- the act of shifting his guard allowed him to deflect the arrow. `Was his aim off...? This is clearly the work of an archer - human or not - but unless archery is not their specialty then this misaim suggests they are a fair distance from me; assuming they were not merely unlucky... I have time to prepare my defences before engaging them, but I would prefer to speak this out.` Abel contemplated internally, already considering a strategy in case hostility heightened. The fact that he was always on the alert due to fighting against inhuman forces meant that even if taken off guard he was never entirely off guard -- he always carried his shield out as if prepared for combat, after all.

"Who goes there...!? Name yourself, coward!" he called out. Abel had considered using his left hand to draw out his sword from the sheath concealed behind his shield, but decided to retain the element of surprise concerning the existence of his weapon. This enemy had attacked him without provocation and seemingly with a complete abandon of hesitation as well -- had Abel not heard some details about the presence of the Crimson Knights who walked this region, he may have assumed that the owner of this arrow was a brigand or someone possessed by evil forces. While both possibilities were still in his mind, he had recalled hearing about the Crimson Knights - and some of the more chaotic events plaguing this land - though only in small detail -- anything beyond the premise was a mystery to him, since his focus was and always would be on returning home. While he was likely the type who would stand up in arms of revolution against a tyrant, his priority was Evelyn and his order.

Should the opponent initiate anything resembling a follow-up attack, Abel was reading to use his magic to take advantage of the distance.

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@ELGainsborough
7 Nov 2016 15:43 7 Nov 2016 15:54
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β€œHeironeous be damned…” Maddox scoffed to himself sliding another arrow from his quiver.

From behind the tree he notched another arrow. Had he been seen, perhaps? However, he did not believe it. If Maddox had been seen the approaching outlander might have been a bit more specific in his call. The Knight was convinced. He had been left unrevealed. He drew back his bow. Maddox came out from hiding. He took aim, judging the distance of the shot. Then with a twang the knight relinquished the arrow from the bow sending it hurling through the air.

Even with the heightened elevation the arrow from the short bow would fall short. The short bow was not made for this particular distance. It was entirely luck that the previous shot had come to strike so true, despite it being deflected. This particular arrow pierced the ground some yards in front of the opponent as he stopped. Perhaps in the future he would upgrade to a longbow or maybe a crossbow. However, such trifling thought would be better spent on his return home.

Maddox needed to be focused on the here and now. He tossed the bow down with his pack. He unbuckled the belt around his waist, it held the quiver of arrows at his hip. That was tossed down by his pack as well. The Crimson Knight pulled his shield down from behind his back where it was hidden beneath the red cape that identified him as a Crimson Knight. He unsheathed the bastard sword from his hip, wielding it in one hand fairly well.

Taking a few steps forward Maddox smashed his sword against his shield, clanging the two together with a resounding clamor that reverberated across the open plan. Puffing out his chest, his appearance would not beguile his true strength. He had to gain the upper hand before combat had culminated. He would try to intimidate the opponent and perhaps put him off guard or even on the defensive.

β€œBy the order of King Wulfric Angoril, relinquish your arms traitor. You will be taken into custody.” Maddox shouted in a deep, stern voice.

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@Shoryu Magami
7 Nov 2016 18:15 18 Feb 2017 1:48
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Shoryu Magami 𝔗π”₯𝔒 π”Šπ”²π”žπ”―π”‘π”¦π”žπ”« 𝔬𝔣 𝔄𝔰𝔠𝔒𝔫𝔰𝔦𝔬𝔫

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`Perhaps I overestimated their threat level as an archer somewhat...` Abel thought to himself as a following arrow vaulted through the air on a clear path to miss its mark entirely. Unlike the prior attack, this one was completely prepared for -- the position that the first arrow came from actually told Abel precisely which angle his opponent was stationed, though deducing the distance was another matter entirely. Even if the assailant's aim had been commendable, it was highly unlikely the second arrow would not have been deflected.

"Magicae potentia, patientia supplementum." Abel chanted in a whisper, channelling his magical forces; faint ethereal outlines of a white circle composed of runes forming around his being temporarily, which grew in intensity as the spell approached completion.

From the moment Abel had seen the arrow hurling through the air, he had begun charging the incantation for his spell -- he planned to do so regardless of whether or not the second attack made contact or not. As far as he was concerned he had already given this assailant a warning, so now he needed to assume that conflict was most likely unavoidable. He still intended to try and reason with the opponent - whoever they happened to be - but hence forth he would assume that battle had officially commenced. If his enemy continued to fire arrows upon him, he would use his shield to continually deflect them while casting support magic to grant himself the advantage -- there was no point in concerning himself with matters such as chivalry or a fair duel when this craven had already illustrated the gall to attempt a sneak attack twice now.

`King Wulfric Angoril... 'Angoril', he said...? Crimson Knight after all... What a bother...` Abel thought to himself as the opponent finally decided to show himself. If the words spoken by the man had not given away his status as one of the Crimson Knights, the inherently 'crimson' armour would have. There was no sign of his bow or quiver, so presumably the assailant had chosen to discard them once he realized it was a futile tactic. `He referred to me as a 'traitor', despite no foreknowledge of me whatsoever... Therefore, I must assume that any warrior not within the ranks of the Crimson Knights must be viewed as a hostile element... The apparent partisanship of these 'Crimson Knights' is evidently not mere folktale; if this man is to be considered a model example, that is...` he internally reflected.

"Do not question my resolve, bigot... Do you earnestly believe I will simply surrender?" Abel spoke calmly but with a stern tone -- there was no holes in his determination for a greater path was on the horizon for him.

With his support magic - having plenty of time to charge given the distance of the combatants - already nearing completion, the playing field was seemingly even despite the opponent's armour. There was no rationale to yield when he had a future. Under normal circumstances he would perhaps have chosen his words a little more tactfully, but he was already in a foul mood and from what little he could make of this powerbroker the concept of civility was beyond him. So far, Abel had done his best to avoid angering the authorities in this region, since he did not need further problems impeding his quest home, but he was almost certain that speech was meaningless here. During his initial words, he relinquished the larger of the two bags in his possession, a clanking sound - seemingly from some sort of metal - growling as the sack hit the earth.

"I merely wish to collect payment for my labour... If you refuse to allow me passage, I will teach you some respect." Abel spoke, still trying to play the voice of reason as he drew his sword the magic circle finally materializing in full; a radiant glow engulfing him momentarily. The magic spell activated, fortifying Abel's endurance. At the same time, he drew the sword with his left hand -- he was ready for the encounter.

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@ELGainsborough
7 Nov 2016 22:50 8 Nov 2016 11:01
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”Any payment you wish to collect is subject to taxation by the King.” Maddox stated bluntly as he began to wade down the hill. β€œDo you dare deny your King’s decree?”

Maddox sauntered down the hill. He tilted his body back. He held his shield out in front of him as if to defend against an oncoming attack. The bastard sword was held down behind him ready to strike from below, to be brought up in a diagonal cross slash. But most importantly was that he was ready, ready for combat. Being flat of foot in any situation was most unfortunate but in this particular situation he had the upper hand of noticing the assailant before he was noticed. Of course, at this point it had not given him the upper hand.

”I’ll take your coin for the King. And I’ll send your head back to your treacherous leader Ector.” Maddox scowled as he braced himself for the assault but continued his approach.

Distance had only been a technicality, but it was still there and it still had to be closed. But swiftly yards had turned to feet and soon the two would be close enough to clash steel.

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8 Nov 2016 10:14 18 Feb 2017 1:48
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Shoryu Magami 𝔗π”₯𝔒 π”Šπ”²π”žπ”―π”‘π”¦π”žπ”« 𝔬𝔣 𝔄𝔰𝔠𝔒𝔫𝔰𝔦𝔬𝔫

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`Taxes...? This does not bode well...` Abel thought to himself in reaction to the mentions of this apparent 'decree' from the tyrant who ruled this region, or to be more exact in react to the blatant act of extortion.

Abel was started to get a clearer image of why people had spoken so poorly of the lord of this land, and if events kept up at this current pace he may have no choice but to involve himself in this growing conflict; if he planned on seeking out unhindered employment in order to go home, at least. He recalled hearing of the revolutionaries in the region -- these insurgents might have been in need of additional fighters; not to mention that Abel could provide strategic insight. While the idea of fighting for money instead of fighting for principles was something he opposed, he needed to make coin like everyone else did -- with the rebels he could arguably fight for both causes - returning home and combating injustice - at once.

"I know not of this 'Ector' you speak..." Abel replied plainly, no inherent deception noticeable in his tone or expression because none existed -- he truly did not know the man by name since he had only been keeping minor tabs on the events here. While he could make the assumption that this person known as Ector was possibly the leader of the rebellion, he nevertheless was not acquainted with him at all so it was not a lie to say he did not know him. "However, I also have no intention of relinquishing my earned reward to a tyrant, let alone to his dog. I am a foreigner to this region, but that does not mean I will tolerate such disrespect... no matter what authority you may hold." he continued -- Abel found himself irritated that such people could even be granted a position of power in the world.

Battle was inevitable at this point, but Abel had already utilized the first of his magic spells and should he find any further opportunities he would continue to do so. He was able to cast magic while he defended himself - which was one of the reasons for using a shield in the first place - but only as long as his concentration remained unbroken. Since his assailant was the initiator of this conflict, he allowed the man in crimson armour to close the distance between them rather than waste his own stamina on the act.

"Magicae potentia, celeritate supplementum." Abel chanted in a whisper, preparing his next spell as the same style of magic circle started to faintly become visible around him. If his opponent was unable to do something to successfully break his concentration - which would take more than simply attacking him with slash that could be blocked without difficulty - Abel's spell would activate; fortifying his speed and giving him an advantage against the enemy, which would definitely change the flow of the battle.

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@ELGainsborough
8 Nov 2016 14:12 8 Nov 2016 14:41
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The Crimson Knights - an organization established centuries ago King Wulfric Angoril was even an itch in his father’s ballsack. An organization established as a means to maintain order throughout the island Kingdom of Aeneral. An organization that strikes fear in the heart of all of those who would oppose the King’s rule. Or at least, it had before the rise of the Children of Archimenon. Now, the Crimson Knights function as an iron fist striking first and asking questions later. Some more zealous than others, they hardly go out of their way to stir up trouble especially in areas where their numbers are sparse. The Crimson Knights are still noble, still honorable. But they are charged with doing things in a manner that seems hostile or unfair in the eyes of many. The Crimson Knights do not hassle the local shopkeep, shaking him down for money. The Crimson Knights do not steal from the roadside markets. They do their job with dignity. Even if the masses disagree with the why.

Maddox Teldryn wasn’t any different. He was routed into the Crimson Knights upon arrival in Shae Cairdal. He had ventured from a small farm on the southern edge of Kathuran where his family was struggling to maintain a simple lifestyle on a consistent basis. It was his intention to arrive and seek out work as an itinerant hand at a tavern or perhaps become a journeyman to learn a trade. However, Shae Cairdal had worked slightly different than the other cities and towns on the island. With such a large number of people in the capital, in order to maintain order and keep the streets clean of the homeless jobs were not just sought after - they were assigned. Maddox Teldryn was one of the many who were enlisted as a squire to the Crimson Knights. A few years after he too would become a Knight, and now his family lives a little more comfortable with a valuable supplement to the income their farm produces.

After a trial patrolling the realm around his home town of Kathuran, Maddox had proven to be loyal and trustworthy. He had proven to be a valuable addition to the knighthood. While Maddox had not been fond of the reassignment, Grand Master Telsek had insisted that he accept the reassignment with his head held high because success meant so many things for his progression. Because if he could find the means to gather a force of conscripts from the area larger enough to convince the freemen of the Sundering Peaks to fight in the name of King Angoril, Maddox would have the means to lay siege to Taer Kalindal and remove Lord Ector Flint from his seat of power regaining a powerful hold on the southern reaches of the island.

Maddox could already taste the lordship. More importantly, he felt he could finally give his family the life he felt they deserved. This is what he fought for. He fought for the same thing that so many others that stood beside him and stood against him fought for. As it often was he wanted the same thing that everyone else wanted - the only problem is as it always was, no one could agree how to get there.

That is why this particular encounter was so important. But his opponent would never know that. He would never get the opportunity to learn this information. For one of them was set to perish on this day, or be incapacitated to the point where talking was not an option.

Maddox did not run to meet his opponent. That would have been foolish. Once the knight reached the bottom of the grassy knoll he maintained a slow but steady pace. The yards between them turned to feet. The distance drained swiftly - sixty...forty...twenty. It was not until that final ten feet that the knight would upgrade his determined march for a burst of speed. In unison with his movements, the Knight repositioned his body turning side face to transform into a small target. The shield that he held out in front was edge slightly toward his body. His charge culminated in an exploding shield bash, functioning as he swung his shield arm in a backhanded motion.

But the initial onslaught would not stop there. As soon as the shield had opened up the stifled congestion in front of his chest he followed through with the bastard sword held down at his hip. In an upward motion that would slash across the opponent’s body. From his right hand the sword would angle a slash from the opponent’s left hip to his right shoulder in one smooth flourish. An exotic weapon, the blade would be cumbersome for someone typically accustomed to a longsword or other more agile weapons. However, in the hands of a trained Crimson Knight the hand and a half sword packed quite the wallop and it did so swiftly and efficiently.

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@Shoryu Magami
9 Nov 2016 19:40 18 Feb 2017 1:31
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Shoryu Magami 𝔗π”₯𝔒 π”Šπ”²π”žπ”―π”‘π”¦π”žπ”« 𝔬𝔣 𝔄𝔰𝔠𝔒𝔫𝔰𝔦𝔬𝔫

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`Time is on my side... I will be sure to use the advantage.` Abel thought to himself as the second magic circle materialized in full, before the opponent had reached him; the same radiant glow engulfing him momentarily once again prior to his opponent's offense. With the second spell activated, Abel's speed had been fortified -- his movements now possessing a mobility that would surpass a normal man; his reflexes subsequently enhanced a bit to balance this out. Essentially, it was as if time had very slightly been slowed down for him.

Nevertheless, his opponent had closed the distance in time to initiate an attack before Abel was in a position to actually take advantage of the new enchantment to his speed, which meant that just as the spell had finished activating Maddox was already on the offensive. While this meant that Abel was not able to optimize this new agility to make the first strike, the ability at his disposal now would surely allow him to react to the onslaught more effectively than one without such powers. If this servant of the king had presumed that his opponent was merely a common warrior, he would quickly learn to regret that uninformed mistake in judgement. Had one only gauged the two combatants using their equipment as the basis, Abel arguably had the disadvantage; however, magic could easily change the tide of any battle.

`Brace yourself...!` Abel internally resolved himself as the man charged at him with ferocity, taking note from the man's position and stance that the opponent was about to execute a rather skilful backhanded shield strike; a move which Abel would easily recognize as he - a man who wielded a shield that also functioned as a favoured weapon due to it being the sheath of his sword - was also talented at the manoeuvre.

Unfortunately for Maddox, beyond this fact was also one very noteworthy problem -- as he had approached Abel, the young man with platinum blonde hair had been given enough time to make note of one very crucial detail about his opponent's shield; Abel's hazel eyes had not failed to recognize that his opponent's shield was seemingly made of wood instead of metal - iron in this case - like his own. Taking into account difference in material between their shields, Abel would likely have the advantage in weight - and therefore power - should they clash against each other. Maddox had the upper hand in terms of offensive weaponry, but not defensive weaponry.

Abel had been given enough time to thoroughly examine his assailant to an extent, primarily due to the man taking his time to approach - presumably to avoid fatigue, which was impressive - and during this time he had noted that Maddox was likely very slightly shorter than him. This did not offer Abel too much in the way of strategic contemplation without considering the man's weight, which was difficult to access and would only be noticeable increased by his armour, but Abel himself had always been - while still within the region of healthy weight - of the smaller frame in terms of build. Overall, Maddox was probably heavier than him if equipment was also taken into account, but the difference in their shields - alongside the reinforcement magic granting higher endurance - likely meant that Abel would not lose out if he forced these defensive armaments into a direct encounter. He was not used to having the advantage in strength due to his small frame, but he suspected his shield and magic would turn the tables in his favour.

As the Crimson Knight unleashed his charge and swung the wooden shield sideways, Abel reacted - using the enhanced speed at his disposal - with an attempt to deflect the opponent's shield with his own, using a backhanded shield smash with his right hand. The result was a partial success -- while Abel had prevented himself from being knocked off guard by the opponent's shield he had not anticipated the power behind Maddox's attack to be so optimized, meaning that he was unable to actually deflect the attack and unbalance Maddox but he nevertheless prevented himself from being put at any sort of disadvantage. As a result of this, the successful execution of the Crimson Knight's follow-up strike - which was almost certainly counting on the success of the first one to some extent - likely was reduced significantly, especially with less power now behind it than there could have been.

`Now!` Abel confirmed internally.

Maddox's powerful blade came upwards at a diagonal to slash across his opponent's chest, but - by the time the sword should have met its mark - Abel had already moved; the enhanced speed that the young man now had access to giving him an opening to use evasive measures. Had it not been for the difference in material between their shields and the endurance fortification magic, Abel probably would have needed to continue blocking instead. That was not how things played out though -- the instant the sword was closing in on him he shifted his entire body to the left with an evasive step would come out at an unfathomable speed had Maddox not considered the possibility that the one of the spells cast was to fortify Abel's mobility.

Had the angle of Maddox's slash come from the other side - an event partially prevented by the fact that the opponent was right-handed - Abel would have shifted to the right and spun around a full rotation, using the enhanced speed to get behind the opponent and use a side slash to cut across his back; an attack which some might deem unchivalrous, but Abel's life was on the line and Evelyn was waiting for him. This arguably would have been the ideal attack, but since Maddox was right-handed - and Abel was left-handed - he needed to shift to the left instead of the right in order to guarantee an evasion that would place him in a position of attack outside of the immediate range of Maddox's shield arm. Still taking advantage of the enhanced speed, he used the momentum created by his evasive movements to empower his counterattack, slashing his sword upwards at a diagonal angle that would start from Abel's right and rise to his left.

As the attack finished, Abel would already be holding out his shield between himself and Maddox - able to do so easily from the stance his attack would finish in - in case somehow the opponent guarded or avoided him, but ultimately he was hoping to inflict significant damage to side of his opponent's body -- Maddox should have been heavily exposed from this position and even if his armour was in the way Abel was fairly certain this was going to cause some damage. If - and only if - Maddox was knocked off balance by Abel's strike, he would follow with another attack by shifting forward and slashing his sword horizontally, inflicting further damage to his opponent's abdomen.

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@ELGainsborough
9 Nov 2016 23:59 10 Nov 2016 11:32
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Abel’s strength for being lithe was quite astounding. His agility was expected. But his speed was unmatched in anyone that Maddox had fought before in his short history. It would take all his capabilities as a Knight. For a human, Abel was quick. But for a human warrior, Maddox believed him to be naive - even for an outlander. At this point, Abel appeared merely attuned to the attributes of an elf.

The wild elves that haunted the forests of the island of Aerenal were known for their deadly ambush tactics. Many often joke that the β€œtree-fuckers” are one with the trees. But it the wilds it was much more than that. The elves had learned to make use of the vines, exploit their natural camouflage and their affinity for their homeland. Savages as some might call them. But even individually they were strong and able fighters. That is why Grand Master Telsek had made it a point to capture dozens of these elves and exploit them to train the knighthood. Maddox had been fighting elves for years.

His own left drawn across his chest before being forced back to its former position. The opponent’s right drawn up to defend against the attack in his own shield bash. The two clashed. Despite the difference in construction the two shields met with a resounding thud. His own shield carrying strong vibrations through his arm. Maddox stood strong. Steadfast would have been appropriate to describe his placement firm of foot. The clashing shields pushed against each other the friction growing quickly before exploding off of one another, Maddox was forced to take a step back.

In doing so his slashing sword attack was altered to the extent that provided Abel the opportunity to slip aside and ready his own attack. But Maddox was not so inexperienced. The momentum of his sword was altered to counteract the weight of the shield. The blade was drawn in, bent at the elbow. The shield wheeled around at the shoulder. Maddox slid his right foot back to accommodate for the change of direction that the combat had taken. His hand would mimic a punch that moved downward from over head. The shield followed the same path, It arced over his his head. As the sword moved into slashing at his armor, the shield came down pressing against the blade and deflecting it away from its target.

However, little time did Maddox spend wasted in wait. The sword arm previously mentioned as being altered and drawn in was now in perfect position for a swift thrust attack. The blade shot out like a scorpion striking its prey. He was searching for an opening in the man’s defenses. However, dealing with the opponent’s seemingly supernatural speed, such openings would be few and far between. He was aiming from the man’s abdomen despite his readied shield. If there was a hole he was going to find it.

After completing his swift piercing attack he drew back his sword once again sliding his right foot back returning to a side face stance. He held his shield out front ready for the opponents next attack. His sword angled at his side ready for the next maneuver.

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@Shoryu Magami
14 Nov 2016 3:08 18 Feb 2017 1:34
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Shoryu Magami 𝔗π”₯𝔒 π”Šπ”²π”žπ”―π”‘π”¦π”žπ”« 𝔬𝔣 𝔄𝔰𝔠𝔒𝔫𝔰𝔦𝔬𝔫

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`Curses...!` Abel thought to himself as his sword blow was deflected by Maddox's shield, "Tch..." he muttered momentarily in dissatisfaction as the equipment clashed. `As expected, this man is far more proficient at swordplay than he is at archery... I need to adapt to this...` he internally contemplated, already analysing the alterations in his opponent's position and stance.

This battle was very quickly going to force Abel to come to terms with one simple yet important difference between himself and his opponent -- Maddox specialized in fighting against human foes and Abel primarily fought against inhuman foes. While Abel was by no means incompetent at defending himself against human opponents - in fact, he had done so many times in the past both in training and on missions - he was nevertheless not a killer. All of the opponents he had faced - throughout his short career as a warrior - whose lives had actually been ended by his blade were inhuman monsters or those who had already ceased being members of the living long ago -- Abel was not a murderer. His opponent on the other hand had probably taken a good few lives in order to reach his current position in the world, whatever said rank might be. Abel was still thinking about this battle under the premise of sparing this man's life, and while he had been able to get through his battles thus far with such a mentally it could eventually cost him.

`It will be alright... So long as I do not inflict a mortal wound I can still heal him; however, I might need to do so if my own life is at stake here... Evelyn, I refuse to abandon you!` Abel thought.

With Maddox thrusting like a viper striking at its prey, Abel was ready. While he lacked strength and experience in certain regards, he had always been able to adapt around those things using natural insight and wisdom beyond his years -- talents which needed to be put to the test once again today. The monsters that he hunted were abominations lacking a certain significant quality that made fighting them different to engaging a fellow human in a battle to the death -- generally speaking the forces of evil - particularly the undead - lacked the power of volition that was so crucial an element of human nature. This made them capable of being far less predictable than monsters, and it was this that Abel would need to overcome in order to learn to more effectively fight against a human in a death match. With that said, Abel was quite confident that few out there could rival his own resolve and will, so Maddox would have quite the mountain to scale himself on this day.

`I shall not yield!` Abel resolved himself, his hazel eyes narrowing.

Maddox's piercing thrust closed the gap quickly on its path towards Abel's shield, but once again the young man with platinum blonde hair had already moved before the weapon could reach its mark. Abel shifting to the left the same way as last time, once again moving at the supernatural speed which Maddox had witnessed only moments ago. He immediately went on the offense - planning on using the opening his evasion had created to deny Maddox the chance to retain momentum - and with the initial shift to the left he started turning his body at a full three hundred and sixty degree rotation, exploiting the magically enhanced speed he possessed in order to almost complete the cycle just before Maddox had fully recovered from his thrust. As he finished his rotation he used the force created by his motion and the superhuman speed to unleash a powerful backhanded shield smash against Maddox's flank, resolved to at least knock him off balance if somehow the man was able to adjust his positioning like last time and guard himself.

`Strike!` Abel commanded himself internally.

Unless something went immensely wrong between the moments after evading the thrust and before his shield smash connected with Maddox, Abel was confident that he would have the momentum regardless of whether his opponent managed to guard himself or not, so he would instantly follow with a second attack, slashing his sword through the air with powerful determination as the blade came downwards at a diagonal that started from Abel's upper left and ended at his lower right. Unlike his first sword strike previously, this time he was aiming to inflict heavy damage with less concern for whether or not he wounded his opponent. While thoughts of healing his enemy - in order to save his life at the end of the battle - had not yet dissipated, he knew that preserving his own existence was more important right now -- he could save no one if he perished.

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@ELGainsborough
15 Nov 2016 23:43 15 Nov 2016 23:44
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~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Maddox Teldryn ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Mimicking the sound of an agitated snake, Maddox’s blade hissed through the air as he thrust his blade. Reflected in his eyes the blade tore through the air, the atmosphere wrapping around the forged steel like a vapor cone. The sword bit into the opponent like a lance being push by a charging warhorse. The flesh of the enemy enveloping the blade, a thick sanguine liquid slowly coalesced around the wound…

But it was all in his mind. The blade quickly pushed passed the enemy. Abel shifted to his own left, Maddox’s right with such swift speed that Maddox had no time to alter the chosen course of his blade. It was any luck that Maddox had not been running otherwise he would have fallen flat on his face. The thrust would miss and the blade would be retracted in short order.

However, it would not be that simple. Maddox had begun to turn his body to face his opponent. His sword was first drawn across his body as it was the leading side. The shield would be next drawn into protect his chest. Failure at this point was the only option. He had not been quick enough. Abel’s shield was caught. It collided squarely with the flat of Maddox’s blade which pressed against the scaled mail that covered his chest. With nowhere left to go the shield smashed against Maddox’s chest throwing him to the ground.

Maddox was not a large man physically speaking. Average was perhaps a better choice of words. There was one thing that gave Maddox an advantage over other knights in his order. While they had chosen to fight with heavy armor bearing the full weight of the protective coffins, Maddox had maintained that medium armor was the only option for a knight on the move. It provided a fair level of protection without restricting his movement to a point where it left him dangerously immobile.

The attack had hit him awkwardly in the chest. His legs gave out from beneath him. His body crumpled into a strange roll that carried him away from the immediate struggle. As his body tumbled over the grassy terrain the distance between the two opponents grew shortly. It allowed enough room for Maddox’s reflexes to prove true allowing him to catch his footing. He came to a quick, jostling halt his boots digging into the ground. He supported himself with his shield, his blade ready in defense.

It was only because of the distance now placed between the two opponents that allowed him to assess the next attack. Moving with as much speed that he could muster Maddox planted his foot raising his shield above his head. The blade slashed across the wood with a resounding thud that vibrated through his forearm. As the blade clipped the metal border that encompassed the outside of the shield, the slightest β€œting” provided Maddox with the perspective that he had been waiting for.

As soon as the blade made contact with that metal border that told the Knight where that blade had been, Maddox withdrew his shield dropping it down out of the way. The Knight took another attempt to thwart his foe. He made another thrust attack. This one just as swift and precise as the last. The blade move with a certain fastidiousness that was quite typical of a trained knight. And with his withdrawal he reacted in a very typical manner. Without contemplating whether or not his blood was decorated with the crimson vitae drawn from the enemy’s stomach, Maddox stood up returning to his side face position. He lead with his shield out but he would not stand still. Slowly, Maddox had begun to circle around the opponent in a clockwise fashion never lowering his shield in his side face position while keeping his sword at the ready.
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@Shoryu Magami

16 Nov 2016 5:01 18 Feb 2017 1:47
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Shoryu Magami 𝔗π”₯𝔒 π”Šπ”²π”žπ”―π”‘π”¦π”žπ”« 𝔬𝔣 𝔄𝔰𝔠𝔒𝔫𝔰𝔦𝔬𝔫

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`Quickly...!` Abel internally confirmed as Maddox was sent hurling off balance, noting the success of breaking through his opponent's defences but also needing to close the distance now.

The original plan had been to simply use the shield bash to break Maddox's guard - taking advantage of that moment to strike - but somehow his attack had caused the Crimson Knight to lose his footing completely -- the result now meaning that Abel needed to rush towards his foe before he could deliver the following blow. In a sense, his offense had perhaps been slightly too effective; however, it also allowed him to gauge how to control his attack strength better during the rest of this encounter. There was a possibility that Maddox was not used to guarding against someone with this much speed - resulting in his losing his footing the way he did - or perhaps Abel had overestimated his own strength when he had so much momentum due to normally fighting superhuman foes. Regardless of the reason, Maddox was sent crumbling away from him -- though with Abel's speed the distance would be closed in moments.

`Damn...!` Abel cursed internally as his blade was guarded -- he had taken note of the way Maddox managed to regain his footing - rather impressively at that - but still continued the offense due to having the advantage. Nevertheless, Maddox had successful defended himself.

Maddox's immediate sword thrust - a counterattack presumably unleashed in order to try and get out of the desperately bad situation - was well-executed but ultimately still evaded by Abel's unnatural speed, the young man's eyes widening momentarily as he shifted to the left once more to side-step the blade -- he avoided taking risks to his shield's structure whenever possible by prioritizing evasion over blocking when appropriate, preferring to think of his shield as a secondary weapon as opposed to simply a piece of armour. Already recovering from his slash being guarded, Abel had been in no ideal position to launch a counterattack and watched the opponent escape. He would have liked to maintain the advantage and counter, but Maddox had gotten his ground back too quickly for Abel to put himself on the line with an immediate strike. Subsequently, Abel decided to alter his tactics a little.

"Magicae potentia, defatigatio supplementum." Abel whispered as he began the chant of another spell, the familiar magic circle faintly becoming visible around him. Assuming Maddox was unable to interrupt Abel's concentration, the incantation would be completed and his stamina would be fortitude with magic. The goal was to exploit this empowered resilience to carry out feats of overwhelming superhuman speed without wearing himself down from such actions -- this spell's successful activation would allow Abel's speed to become noticeably greater due to not having to hold himself back to preserve his energy.

Abel did not intend on granting his adversary the opportunity to break his concentration though -- he was fully capable of engaging in combat while his magic spells were charging; however, he would lose his focus if something went particularly out of his control. Unless he needed to put all of his mental power into preserving his life in a dire situation - or he was knocked off balance and had to recover - Abel's stalwart determination would ensure the incantation was completed even in the midst of battle. Paying heed to his opponent's clockwise circling of his position during the initial moments he started whispering, the young man with platinum blonde hair decided it was time to go on the attack himself this time instead of allow his enemy another chance to take initiative. So far he had mostly been reacting to Maddox - looking for a moment to strike - but now he had the chance to go on the complete offense. He would remain cautious, but his magic would change the tide shortly.

Piercing hazel eyes burning of resolve; Abel launched himself forward, shifting towards his opponent as his hair moved through the atmosphere behind him like a curtain. He dashed while making sure not to lose his footing - having spent a lot time now fighting with enhanced speed; thus being very good at maintaining his balance and reflexes - as he drew his shield inward towards his chest momentarily and then swiped his right hand through the air in an attempt to assault Maddox with another shield bash. Once again, the goal was to break the defences that the Crimson Knight - who seemed to prefer the safety of blocking over evasion - would presumably put up to guard himself. This attack from the shield - which would ideally knock Maddox off guard but keep him standing - would immediately be followed-up by a sword slash from Abel's left hand that would come across horizontally from the left to the right, aiming to cut through the armour protecting Maddox's abdomen -- the magic spell would be completed by the time this second attack met its target, promising Abel the path to victory.

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@ELGainsborough
16 Nov 2016 12:03
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~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Maddox Teldryn ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As Maddox carefully trudged around the perimeter of the opponent’s reach, the Knight steadied his resolve. Taking note of the verbal component to the spell Abel had begun to cast, the Crimson Knight’s tactics would not change. There was little he could do against magic. Maddox had experience working with offensive magic, which was to say he was able enough to dodge effectively and recover from various arcane attacks. His training had also provided him with the ability to resist a number of mental attacks that result from arcane attacks. But little capability did Maddox have to deal with defensive spells.

What seemed to be a carefully thought out and well-placed shield attack had been renegotiated as faux pas in combat. Maddox was ready, Perhaps it had been a subtle shift in the opponent’s chest to reposition his shield. Or maybe it was the shuffle in his feet that allowed for the knight to pick up on the incoming attack. Maddox was ready.

Abel’s shield bash came forward. Readily apparent that it was not as powerful as the previous attempt nor would it back as much of a wallop; however, it was just enough to allow Maddox to gain the upper hand. Abel was left handed - holding his shield in right. Maddox was right handed - holding his shield in his left. This put their shields on the same side. As Abel rushed in with his shield bash, Maddox feinted to his right, side-stepping and withdrawing from the brunt of the shield attack but still allowing the clamor of the shields to erupt in connection. As Abel’s shield pressed against his own it provided the momentum for the Maddox truly needed to pull off this attack.

Abel’s body would push through Maddox’s defenses. However, it would not knock Maddox down or turn his defenses on end, but spin him out of the way allowing Abel to fall through beyond the Knight’s body. This would provide Maddox with an opening as Abel’s attempted sword attack would no longer have a target to attack. From behind, Maddox swung his sword fiercely. It came mostly horizontally, with a slight upward angle even with young tax-evaders lower back.

But Maddox would allow for little time to pass in between his initial attack and the follow up knowing that if he did not act swiftly, the opponent would regain the upperhand. Withdrawing his sword the Knight thrust his sword forward towards the opponent. He managed to maintain weight on his rear leg, to ensure he remained on the defensive. Aimed towards the same location that he had just slashed at, the Knight was looking towards victory.
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@Shoryu Magami
This one may be a little out of the ordinary so don’t feel apprehensive about comments, concerns, or questions.
19 Nov 2016 1:50 18 Feb 2017 1:47
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Shoryu Magami 𝔗π”₯𝔒 π”Šπ”²π”žπ”―π”‘π”¦π”žπ”« 𝔬𝔣 𝔄𝔰𝔠𝔒𝔫𝔰𝔦𝔬𝔫

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It had taken a while for it to happen, but finally Abel's rather poor luck had gotten the better of him. Perhaps it was because he hesitated to use his full power; maybe Maddox had simply been more prepared this time due to each of the warriors repeatedly using these shield attacks for their offense. Whatever the reason was, this time the attack had been anticipated despite Abel's speed. Throughout his life, this sort of thing had always happened -- Abel had been an exceptionally talented young man who had been haunted by an ill omen of sorts which seemed to constantly loom over him like a wraith, waiting for precisely the right moment to bring misfortune upon him. This had probably been the most crucial moment of the battle thus far, and it was in that moment - when he finally took the offensive - that his metaphorical curse decided to strike. The first blow Maddox had unleashed was unavoidable, and it slashed across Abel from behind.

"Ugh...!" Abel groaned slightly as the blade hit him across the back, though thankfully the damage it was able to inflict to his lightweight gear - or specifically inflict on his body itself - was relatively minor, largely thanks to the protective magic fortifying Abel's endurance. What should have been a strike to cut through the young man's back would have been met with a seemingly supernatural resistance, as if an invisible secondary suit of light armour was being worn.

Due to the impact of the blow being considerably smaller than what Maddox likely desired, Abel was able to recover much faster than he might have otherwise, but the incoming secondary strike was still not something that could be easily avoided. His concentration had been broken by the first attack, resulting in his incantation failing - and the magic circle dissipating instantly, as if snapped by an invisible force - but his revolve nevertheless would not falter. He had been wounded before, and in his many battles - both in training and against the forces of evil - Abel had become accustomed to pain. As a direct result of being lithe, the young man with platinum blonde hair had needed to work twice as hard as a man of more average build just to carry his equipment -- feelings of pain had often become numb to him throughout his life and it took quite a lot to actually keep him down; a fact emphasized by the detail that Abel actually frequently suffered from poor health. One would never imagine his constitution if they saw him in battle, as Abel was in a very real sense the embodiment of the phrase 'soldiering on' -- resiliency was definitely one of his strengths.

"Tch..." muttered for a moment as he was pushed backwards - or forwards rather since his opponent was at his gear - but he maintained his footing on the ground and refused to let his resolve waver for a moment.

"Magicae potentia, defatigatio supplementum." Abel chanted in a whisper once more, causing the magic circle to once again faintly become visible, not intending to give up just because of a single failure. Immediately turning around with his enhanced speed, Abel was facing Maddox by the time the man's next blow had lunged towards him. Given that the attack approaching had been another thrusting attack, the preferred reaction would have been to sidestep once again and take advantage of the rather simply avoidable technique, but - given how he was already recovering from the first strike and had needed to turn himself around quickly - Abel decided to guard himself instead this time. He really did not have enough time to see the move coming and evade it after all of this.

While it would usually take a direct blow in order to interrupt Abel casting a spell - and therefore blocking with his shield was often an ideal way to get his magic off without difficulty - the thrusting attack from Maddox had possessed a significant amount of power behind it in comparison to the first blow -- while this did not interrupt Abel's incantation it did make him glad that he had recovered in time to guard against it. As the sword connected with the iron shield, the young man kept a stalwart defence and prevented himself from losing footing as he allowed himself to take a single step back while maintaining his firm guarding stance.

`Do not allow him any ground...!` Abel internally commanded himself as he immediately made another horizontal slash from his left to his right, attacking the moment Maddox pushed into him when their equipment clashed against each other.

Even if he was attacking Maddox on the side that his wooden shield was absent - hoping to slash cross the Crimson Knight's mid-section while his arm was still out as a result of recovering from the sword thrust - Abel was not outright expecting to wound him with this particularly attack -- certainly, he held nothing back in the blow and it was entirely possible Maddox could take some damage, but the primary purpose of this strike was to force the man on the defensive again and give him more time to finish his magic. If Abel managed to inflict some damage then that would be a bonus, and with his spell activating moments later he would be ready to push on the offensive again. He could only hope his misfortune would not make another move as well.

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@ELGainsborough
30 Nov 2016 11:50
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~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Maddox Teldryn ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Maddox’s sight never wavered. He was a member of the Crimson Knights. Not just some lowly conscript or someone’s squire. Maddox was a full fledged knight as his abilities would not be denied. Trained under the island renowned Grand Master Ingbert Telsek, all the Crimson Knights spend time fighting Grim Scars, wild Elves, Whispering Demons, the undead, a variety of monsters and each other. The few short years he spent training as a Crimson Knight represented some of the best training the island had to offer with regards to martial combat. Maddox vowed, he would not be turned away.

Finding little satisfaction in the mediocre results of his previous attack, he pushed forward making short work of the opponent’s own attack. The knight drew back as the blade came forth. The tip drawing across the armor plating with speed that detracted from the precision of the hit. A deep scratch drawn in the metal forged plates, a battle scar that Maddox would wear with pride.

As soon as the blade found its way passed the warrior’s armor the knight pivoted to stand side faced with his shield towards the opponent. He thrust forward in another attempt to break the opponent’s defenses. While he found that the results were less than favorable upon thrust and impact it would not prevent him from continuing. The Knight brought his sword across Abel’s flank from the Knights right to left slashing across Abel’s body given their close proximity it would likely cleave an arm clear off a body.

Upon impact, successful or otherwise, Maddox found it prudent to withdraw. The distance between them would allow the knight to better analyse the situation before him. His defense would maintain with a shield before him and his blade of choice at the ready.
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1 Dec 2016 19:05 18 Feb 2017 1:46
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Shoryu Magami 𝔗π”₯𝔒 π”Šπ”²π”žπ”―π”‘π”¦π”žπ”« 𝔬𝔣 𝔄𝔰𝔠𝔒𝔫𝔰𝔦𝔬𝔫

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`Do not waver...!` Abel reaffirmed in his thoughts as his attack interrupted any chance of Maddox immediately continuing the offense.

With the successful attempt to ward off an immediate attack by giving Maddox a blow to deal with, Abel had given himself the time needed to allow his spell to finish its activation. The magic circle completely materialized; the radiant glow once again engulfing him momentarily. Abel immediately felt his stamina being fortified to an extent -- the fatigues of battle would now be less present for him in comparison to an ordinary man, allowing him to fully optimize his enhanced speed without holding back. Using this many spells successively was - naturally - taking a toll on his mental strength, but Abel still had the resolve to push onward and enough magic power to keep going a bit longer before he needed to use one of his potions or take a break from casting spells.

The immediate plan was to cast his next spell in order to reapply his defensive magic - being more than aware that it was running out of time - but Maddox had initiated another attack before Abel could even begin the incantation. He figured it was a bad idea to start casting magic now on the chance that something went badly, so he refrained. Maddox's shield bash was guarded as Abel pushed his own shield out in order to force the defensive equipment to clash once more, a loud clanking sound echoing from the impact. He would have ideally used a swift evasion to get around Maddox's thrust, as attacks of this nature were easily dodged at his level of speed, but - given how he had only finished casting his spell split seconds ago - it was pragmatic not to get too carried away taking risks, since the attack had been left him little time to move after the magic was done.

"Ugh...!" Abel muttered momentary as a sharp sensation of pain hit him when Maddox's sword blow connected.

For whatever reason, this particular sword strike came out with far more conviction behind it than the ones preceding it had -- Abel was taken a little off guard as a result, possibly due to being in the middle coming out of the mental state he was placed in during magic activating. Regardless of why it happened, Maddox had nevertheless managed to land the hit against him; however, the damage was nullified to a moderate extent for two reasons. Firstly, Abel's enhanced speed and general perceptiveness meant that even if he did not have enough time to dodge or deflect the blow, he still had enough time to step backwards and prevent the full force of the blow. On top of that, the defensive fortification spell once again absorbed a lot of the impact. Even so, this spell only prevented the damage of the blow from occurring and did not actually negate the pain -- just another reason why Abel needed to learn how to cast barriers as soon as possible, or at the very least a higher tier version of the current spell.

`Hold your recklessness, just for a moment...` Abel thought, telling himself to calm down and reaffirming that it was a bad idea to move on the offense right away.

His defensive magic was about to run out, and if he had not been using it - or if the attack against him had been just slightly more precise - then that last blow from Maddox might have seriously wounded him. As it stood the injury he sustained was minor and not enough to require healing, but without his magic active Abel might as well have not even been wearing armour at all against an opponent with a sword arm this strong. Due to that, the moment Maddox decided to step back Abel took advantage of the situation to deal with his top priority.

"Magicae potentia, patientia supplementum." Abel whispered as he chanted his words of focus, magical forces once again being channelled through him and the familiar yet faint ethereal outlines of a white circle composed of runes formed around his being temporarily once more. The closer the spell was to completion the more intense these outlines would become, and Abel watched Maddox carefully the entire time. Instead of going on the offense, Abel decided to not slow down his magic through needless physical activity -- once his empowered defences were fortified completely, he would be ready to show no hesitation. He specialized in fighting against superhuman foes and to do so would become superhuman himself, while this opponent was better equipped for dealing with a mortal opponent. Magic was the one true equalizer in this battle.

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@ELGainsborough
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