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Khan Sainen
13th Hour


Khan barely had time to register his Master's words before it was apparently his turn to undergo interrogation. Still, the little speech had given him much to think about, along with a good deal of tactical data he was almost certain Denso had given him on purpose. The words were encouraging, even as he walked over to the Sith that had requested him while trying to project nothing outward except for empty calm. Master was right, they couldn't break him, they could just hurt him or kill him and he was...prepared for that, ultimately. Die a noble death and be one with the Force, not so bad right? Besides, there was always hope that they might escape before then, right?

"I'll go with you, Sith. Do your worst."
Royal Palace of Cheribo
Capital City of Gateau


“I believe her,” Queen Mauriana Elesser exhaled, her fingers lacing together behind her back. “Given the opposition that awaits him here, I have no doubt that Blackwell will send his deadliest weapon to breach our defenses.”

Captain Guntag pushed a lump down his throat in response, thankful that his helmet hid the line of sweat building along his brow. “Your Majesty, we have taken every precaution in fortifying the town. No matter what they send against us, I’m confident that our defenses will hold!”

Queen Mauriana wordlessly swept past him as she moved to observe the map of the town from the war room of her castle. Naturally, Guntag had forbidden her being present in the town itself despite her protests. While she was the Queen, she was still far too young and inexperienced to be anywhere near the sort of violence that would soon engulf the settlement. Much of the population had already been evacuated in expectation of the attack as well, after they had finished assisting with the barricades.

“I should be with my soldiers,” The Queen muttered, running a finger over the model town. “They are putting their lives at risk in my name.”

Guntag shook his head for not the first time today. “No, my Queen. It is far too dangerous there, and if something should happen to you, then the morale of our forces would surely collapse. You serve a far greater purpose here. You give them a reason to halt their attack at the town.”

She was so very like her father in many ways. Headstrong and resilient in the face of danger. It was why his young daughter was forced to take the throne at such an early age, and why the royal family was so beloved here. She was not the warrior he was, however...not that it had saved the King when he had challenged Blackwell to a duel.

Reaching out to place a gauntleted hand on her shoulder, Guntag smiled. “Fear not, my Queen. I and my forces will face down whatever weapon they bring to bear against us...including Mushuro Takeuchi, if necessary.”

“I hope you’re confidence is well founded, Guntag,” The Queen closed her eyes. “The fate of our Kingdom may depend on it.”

---

The Nathanial Creed;
Eight hours later


A rawkus chorus erupted from the deck of Nathanial Creed, the hundred member crew of the Whip Fang Pirates barely able to contain their anticipation for the coming raid. The town was in sight, their ship now close enough to exchange cannonfire with the defenders. Indeed, it had become readily apparent that this was likely the most well-defended port they had ever dared to attack.

If it wasn’t for their secret weapon, then Captain Barca might have been just a little bit worried.

“Alright, the meat’s ready! Bring him out!” Barca shouted down into the hold. At that proclamation, the crew became silent. Though the exchange of fire with the town continued, everyone on deck was focused entirely on the doorway.

The muffled rattling of chains alone had several backing away from the entrance, others leveling their rifles towards the doorway...just in case something went wrong. Finally they saw him, still bound tightly in chains: Mushuro Takeuchi.

Pushed up the stairs and towards the waiting meat by several members of his crew, Barca nodded his appreciation towards them.

“It’s time, Mushuro.”

Mushuro looked even more depressed and worn out than before, which made sense considering the whole process usually involved starving him for at least a few days at a time in order to force him to eat. He was still bound by chains, but not tied to the anchor anymore as he was pushed towards the meat with rifles at both front and back, emaciated and with dark circles around his eyes.

The swordsman stared at the meat on deck, trying to will himself to refuse it and just get shot, but he had been starving for so long in the darkness that second by second, it got harder to ignore his will to eat it and survive. Finally, one of the rifle wielding guards at his back got tired of waiting and clubbed him over the back of the head so that the starving swordsman faceplanted in the big pile of raw steaks.

With the food practically in his mouth already, Mushuro’s resistance broke and he started devouring meat from the pile, tearing up and mildly gagging over it as he ate. Mushuro’s torment didn’t end there, as within a minute or so the captive warrior’s unusual condition and the reason for making him eat the meat became painfully obvious. His eyes rolled back into his head and narrowed until only the whites showed and dark circles formed under and around his eye sockets as part of the allergic reaction. Finally, his lips peeled back in a snarl to reveal teeth that had somehow shifted and grown into a fang-filled, predatory maw.

“He’s changing! Hurry and get him onto the dinghy!” Barca snapped, as his crew wasted no time in carrying him to the small boat that had been prepared for Mushuro.

Once he was inside, one of the pirates - someone who had been given the task due to a minor instance of insubordination - rode it down to the sea with him and began to frantically row them towards the shore. Cannon fire impacted the surrounding water, splashing the two men in the process.

Barca observed all of this through his eyepiece, smirking slightly. Everything was going to plan. By the time the ship reached the shore, Mushuro would be fully in the throes of his allergy and snap the chains that bound him. Hopefully the man with him would be able to jump in the water before that happened, but if not then it was hardly a significant loss.

---

“Keep firing! Don’t let that boat make landfall!” Captain Guntag shouted into his Den Den Mushi from his command tower near the center of Cobblertown. “I don’t know what they’re playing at, but it can’t be anything good!”

Their cannons weren’t really made to hit targets that small, however. Dozens of shots had been leveled at the small vessel, but none had successfully scored a direct hit on it, even if they had caused it to rock wildly on the waves. With his eyepiece he could see...chains? Writhing chains! Whatever that boat was transporting was alive, and dangerous enough to be put into restraints.

“Could that be it? Mushuro Takeuchi…?” He muttered beneath his breath.

BRROONN!!

The night suddenly flashed with an orange glow, a crack of thunder causing the Captain to flinch. They had finally scored a direct hit.

Unfortunately for Captain Guntag, while the explosive cannonball blew up the boat it also blew the chains right off of Mushuro Takeuchi. A moment later as the smoke was clearing to reveal the flaming debris of the boat floating on the water, a figure came rocketing out of the turbulent ocean and crashed down on the shore. The enraged, half-rabid swordsman still had water dripping from his clothes, but he snarled as he walked slowly up from the shore.

“It’s Takeuchi!!” One of the soldiers shouted, immediately opening fire on the figure. His actions were quickly echoed by the rest of the division on the coast, gun and cannonfire soon crackling through the night...this time all focused on one man.

From his command tower, Captain Guntag felt his jaw lock in frustration. More than anything, he had hoped to avoid having the beast successfully land. Now things were going to become far more difficult for them.

Lowering his hand to the sword resting at his waist, the Captain of the guard knew that he could no longer just afford to stand and watch the battle unfold from up here.

Mushuro was able to dodge bullets and cannon fire as easily as he had at the much smaller village, but the sheer mass of lead in the air this time meant that he had a lot less room to dodge and explosive cannonballs would have given him trouble even if he had the space he needed. For the briefest of moments it almost seemed like the garrison of Cheribo would succeed, but then Mushuro drew his swords. The sheer speed and strength behind the quickdraw attack from both swords produced a shockwave in the air powerful enough to knock both bullets and cannonballs back in the direction they’d been fired from, turning the hail of artillery fire into something like a single giant, exploding burst of grapeshot in the general direction of the defenders.

With that attack having failed, Mushuro raced up the beach at inhuman speeds toward the coastal division, looking to finish off the survivors up close.

Captain Guntag watched in horror as his men had their own weapons turned against them by the inhuman strength of the demon swordsman, his body beginning to tremble at the sight before him. He hated that he was being consumed with fear while his men were down there fighting and dying. What kind of Guard Captain was he?!

“Lieutenant!” He forced the word from his throat, his eyes still winced shut. “Take over command here!”

His second-in-command looked notably shocked at this, the younger man’s eyes wide as saucers. “Me?! B-but Captain, what are you-”

“Listen!” Guntag cut him, already descending the stairs. “If I’m unable to stop him, you must sound the retreat back to the capital. We cannot afford to lose everyone here! We can better wear him down there, if need be.”

The battle had continued to rage while their conversation took place, soldiers desperately firing on their lone assailant. But this was simply the start of their woes: beneath the cover of Takeuchi’s rampage, the enemy ship had moved closer to the shore. Now dozens of boats disembarked from it, prepared to deliver a small army’s worth of pirates to capitalize on the success of their secret weapon.

Blackwell’s assault was now well and truly underway.

Charging forward through the deserted town, Guntag said a silent prayer of thanks that they had managed to evacuate the people before the attack. There was no telling how terrible the casualties would have been otherwise.

It didn’t take long for his eyes to settle on the figure of the Demon Swordsman, easily recognizing him from his bounty poster. Probably the highest bounty in West Blue next to Blackwell himself, it set at a bone-chilling forty-four million! This was the man he was about to engage in combat.

To say he wanted to flee with his tail between his legs was a gross understatement.

“M-MUSHURO TAKEUCHI!” Guntag bellowed out over the thunder of battle, holding his rapier high. “I am Captain Guntag, leader of the Queen’s Royal Guard! I challenge you to a duel, man to man! Leave my soldiers out of this!”

Mushuro paused in his slaughter of Cheribo’s soldiers even though he was more distracted by the sudden loud shout from the Captain of the Guard than consciously responding to any actual challenge. Still, even with a brain that was operating in a rage-filled, almost subhuman level of intellect driven more by instinct and animal cunning than anything else, the message came across clear enough.

Mushuro sheathed one sword and raised the other in acknowledgement of the challenge, before turning slightly and angling his sword’s blade down low on the side opposite his opponent so the majority of his blade was concealed from view, apparently preparing to launch a strike.

Mushuro dashed forward, whipping his blade around from out of view and right at Captain Guntag’s head.

Captain Guntag - more on instinct than from any conscious thought - raised his sword to narrowly intercept the strike. By the time the clang of their blades echoed through the town, the older man found himself flying backwards through the air. The force of that impact had knocked him clean off his feet, and his sword - a Wazamono grade sword - was humming violently in his hand, as if it might shatter!

Rolling along the ground after he impacted it shoulder first, the armored Guard Captain released a deep grunt of pain. Pushing himself to his feet, he stared wearily at his enemy. Every joint in his body was now screaming in protest, and that was just from one hit!

“D-damn you, monster!” He spat, readying his blade in hands that were now far less steady. “I...I won’t let you get past me…!!!”

Once again Mushuro approached, squared himself up to Guntag and stepped into the same stance. The majority of his blade’s length and its position blocked from view behind his body. Once again, he dashed at the older man at high speed for a single strike. But this time instead of a slash to the head Mushuro's blade came in lower, in a rising cut aiming for his opponent’s leg.
Onboard the Nathanial Creed
West Blue


Despite the morning sun that now ascended, the room where it was chained always remained dark when nobody was present. Nobody wanted to stay inside with that thing, even if it was chained deep in the bowels of the their mighty galleon. It was one of Blackwell’s secret weapons, a weapon he had entrusted to one of his oldest captains: “Whip Fang” Barca.

Barca was the only member of the crew that didn’t fear the monster known as Mushuro Takeuchi, and it showed in the way the stairs creaked in his ponderous, heavy footsteps. Standing nearly eight feet in height, his physique was stout yet muscular. A simple lantern light dangled from one hand as his feet settled onto the moist hull that separated them from the water by just an inch of wood.

Striding forward towards the stern of the ship, he stopped roughly a foot away from the beast that had ravaged the small town on the coast of Batatoi Island only a couple of days prior. Shoving the light forward slightly so that it would shine in its eyes, he smiled a crooked grin at the chained up swordsman.

“I know you’re awake, Mushuro,” Barca mocked him. “Wiping out that town shouldn’t have exhausted you that much!”

After all, there would always be some fool King that refused to pay his “taxes” and needed a reminder of who ruled West Blue.

Mushuro tried to make a big show of shooting his own predatory grin back at Barca from out of the dark even as the lantern blinded him, trying to focus in on the captain’s voice.

“Y’know, you’re right Barca I’m not that tired. In fact the second I get loose, I’m gonna do the same thing to your ship and crew that I did to that town back there, and every other town you tossed me into, only a thousand times worse. But I tell ya what! I won’t kill you, no way! I’ll save you for last and throw you to a Sea King!”

Mushuro did his best to jerk out of his chains and break free, but his body felt incredibly heavy and impossibly tired, and he was barely able to make them rattle against the anchor he was strapped against.

A rumbling laugh rose from the towering pirate’s throat at this, his head rearing back. “Brahahaha! You may have everyone else here scared shitless, boy, but not me. I know how to control you, and so I suggest you become comfortable with the idea of being Blackwell’s pawn for the rest of your life.”

Mushuro was almost snarling as the big pirate taunted him, straining at his chains at first “You’d better be REAL confident about how tight you’re holding my leash old man because if you slip up even for a second I’ll...I’ll…” Mushuro’s head sagged and his chains went slack. “What is it you even came down here to do, Captain he spat the title like it tasted poisonous in his mouth “Just taunt me for fun, or what?”

Barca lowered the light slightly at his question, glancing over his shoulder for a brief moment, though the light made it impossible to see what he was looking at. “We’re going to be paying a visit to another island, soon. The Queen of Cheribo Island has announced that she will no longer be paying her protection fee.”

“You get it, right?” Barca quirked a brow, his lips stretching even further into a full on smile. “This is way worse than usual. Most just quietly stop paying. This is a direct challenge to Blackwell, and his spies say she’s amassed her army in preparation to meet us when we come.”

“I won’t do it.” The answer was pretty immediate, though Mushuro dropped his head down to stare at the floor. “Just take the anchor up on deck and throw me overboard already. I said I’m done.” He didn’t expect it to do any good, but it was the answer he’d given the past few times now, before they sent him out.

Barca scoffed at his refusal, finding it entirely pointless in the end. He knew there was nothing he could do about his situation by this point, surely. “Look, boy, we’re going to take you there like we always do, and you’re going to go wild on them. It’s out of your hands. But this time’s also a bit different.”

“You won’t just be facing underprepared townsfolk here, but the entire Royal Army of Cheribo Kingdom,” he explained, spreading his arms as if to illustrate the expanded scope of the coming operation. “There’s a chance you might run out of ‘steam’ before you can work your way through all of them, so I’m asking you to consider what’s best for your future.”

Once more shining the light in his eyes, Barca elaborated. “When the effect wears off, you’ll have already cut your way through a good number of them. If you just sit there, they’ll kill you. But if you instead keep fighting for us, then maybe Blackwell might consider making you more than just the mere tool you are now.”

“Heh. It all makes sense now, I can see it all so clearly...”

Mushuro mustered what little strength he had left to spit in Barca’s face even though he was blinded by the lamp, using the position of the light and the big man’s voice as a guide. “I see that you’re an evil old bastard, and that I’ll be better off dead.”

Barca groaned in frustration at the response, reaching a hand up to wipe away the spit. Shaking his head at the swordsman, he turned away and began to walk back towards the stairs. “Consider it, boy. If nothing else, you’re a useful murderer! Brahaha!”

And Blackwell always needed more of those...
Hi, I love mecha anime, games, and SRW specifically and am a long-time RPer here on the guild so I was wondering if you have room and also if it'd be acceptable to have something sort of G Gundam inspired, perhaps a prototype motion capture piloting system with a martial artist as its pilot? I love the Super subgenre of mecha above and beyond what's probably reasonable but I enjoy Real Robots as well, so a Martial Arts-based Super Robot would be my eventual goal.
Khan Sainen, 13th Hour


Khan was filled once again with a deep self-loathing. He thought he had conquered his fear through meditation with his Master's help, but seeing him get taken away to be tortured had wrecked that supposed feeling of inner peace. Especially since once again, he'd frozen up with fear when the torturers had arrived to take Denso away. He was trying to move through the steps of a moving meditation, to focus himself only on the flow from one movement to another. But his anger at himself, and the feeling of fear cold and wriggling in his guts wouldn't leave him.

Khan was still struggling with the moving meditation when his Master was dragged back into the cell. He had expected to see pain, despair and a shattered person in his Master's stance, and there was certainly weariness and a certain level of exhausted numbness there. But there was also, at least to Khan's eyes, a core of determination radiating out still and this mystified and awed the young Padawan Echani. He went hesitantly to his Master's side and tried to check his injuries as the guards left.

"Master, you are...unbroken?"

Khan meant it mainly in reference to Denso's physical injuries, the secondary meaning momentarily escaping him as verbal language had never been his strongsuit

@Heat
Batotoi Island


The flag and sails of a raiding ship of the Blackwell pirates was spotted by the small township on Batotoi Island's sole watchtower about half a day out from making landfall. This gave the townspeople plenty of time to scrub the rust off of old swords and sharpen them, clean out a small collection of seldom used guns, mount up and ready the town's sole, ancient anti-ship cannon and get together their decently trained but practically untested militia of scared and determined folks at the shore in front of their town's big wooden perimeter wall and equally sturdy heavy log gates.

They had all heard the stories of how the Blackwell pirates would sweep onto an island, then take anything and anyone that wasn't nailed down before reducing whole towns to rubble, unless they were feeling particularly mean and did the whole thing in reverse before picking through splinters and ashes for anything still alive. The homesteaders gathered there were pretty reasonably terrified. They all knew that the crew of the raiding ship hadn't bothered concealing their approach because they were confident that it wouldn't matter what resistance they faced. Still, it was better to die fighting a group of Blackwell pirates than to live and be taken by them, in the opinion of many of those there.

So as night fell and the raiding ship pulled up just short of the range of the town's cannon and sent out an odd looking little boat shaped like a big box towards the shore instead, the assembled townsfolk were practically giddy with relief! Maybe it meant the Blackwell pirates were willing to negotiate! It could be that they'd just wanted supplies, or medical attention for their crew, or if nothing else just valuables instead of people! Maybe they were saved after all, or so they whispered excitedly to each other.

This new, hopeful attitude lasted up until about two seconds after the strange little crate-shaped boat made landfall right by a particularly curious young hothead who had volunteered to lead the talks, as the front of it popped open like a ramp to reveal its only passenger.

"GRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRGH!"


Everyone saw the unfortunate young spokesman go flying through the air like a rocket-propelled ragdoll but what happened after involved too much chaos, death and lightning-fast destruction for any clear picture to emerge from the handful of survivors. One young guy who liked to think of himself as the town's best swordsman swore that a demon charged out of the floating crate, caught the first sword swung at it in its teeth and then bit the blade clean in half. A woman leading the town's few marksmen said that it was some kind of a malevolent wind spirit that danced around her friends' bullets and made their rifles fall apart in their hands before slicing everyone up with razor wind. An old man who'd once served with the Marines and manned the cannon from his wooden palisade insisted he'd got the best look at the thing. He said it was a pale, shrouded Death God with a white, dark-eyed face like a skull and two black blades that drank in the light from the rising moon before they turned a dull red from all the blood. The old man said he'd fired the cannon at the creature in a panic, only to watch it bat the cannonball back at him with its swords so it smashed the old artillery piece to scrap and knocked him from the wall.

The rest of the old wooden fortifications were mostly reduced to splinters in seconds, and whatever it really was the rampaging monster was strong enough to pick up one of the a mast-sized wooden stakes that had blocked its way and use it to start crushing houses. After that, even the bravest defenders on the island ran for their lives and hid while their town was destroyed overnight by a single attacker.

In the morning, the rest of the Blackwell pirates came ashore and picked through the debris for survivors to capture and what little intact loot there was. Four of them together very gingerly escorted their now sleeping 'pet monster' back into his little crate-boat, then made sure he was bound up tight with chains and tied to an anchor that was bolted to a catch in the floor before sealing his makeshift prison up tight. With any luck, he would be exhausted enough to sleep straight through until their next raid, when they would provoke him into a rage again and repeat the whole cycle.

Then again, the chains were there for a reason and they'd learned that they could never be too careful when dealing with someone as unpredictable as Mushuro Takeuchi.
and here's my swordsman!



H i r o h i k o
• Ishin Academy, Sapporo (Japan) •




It was at this point that Hirohiko finally unfroze from where he'd been facing the wall. Who was it who'd shouted down the flashy boy who was practically the only one his height?

It...seemed to be a little girl? But...did that mean Knightmare was actually a robot or a suit that she piloted with her quirk? That'd be awesome! If someone like that could use her quirk to become a powerful hero in spite of NEVER getting taller, maybe he could do the same thing! Clearly, she was actually the best choice to teach someone like him and...well, wasn't she actually really, really mean and scary though?

Hirohiko got to his seat, still pleasantly surprised that he was nearly half-way away from being at the bottom like he'd expected he'd be in the end. Still, he wanted to know why Knightmare had chosen not to hide her now-obvious smol-ness, given that he struggled to be taken seriously himself at times for that very reason.

"Um, excuse me sensei! Why did you choose to walk into the classroom out of your armor? I mean, people are more used to your armored appearance, so why did you want to make this kind of first impression instead?"

The fact that asking such a thing might be suicide didn't occur to Hirohiko at all, a testament to the mental density that came with his physical density.
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