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As Kimura expressed her explanation for the wait, and expressed her excitement, Asami quickly took up position beside her, holding up the umbrella to shield them both, and of course, their partners. Asami nodded to Gūremaru's bark, acknowledging him with a gentle smile. The smile quickly turned more energetic though, as Kimura's excitement and theorizing rubbed off on Asami and set her overactive imagination alight.

"Ooooh! I dunno, that could still be fun. If we were kidnapped by Kirigakure, we could see mountains, and the ocean, right? And I hear they even have a mountain that shoots up fire from the ocean, called a volcano. Can you imagine how much fire a whole mountain could make? It'd be the best firework ever! FWOOOMF!" Asami gestures wildly with her hands to display what she imagines an erupting volcano must look like, resulting in the four of them getting showered with a little bit of rain before Asami quickly steadied herself and began properly holding the umbrella again. Momoko chittered a little at the unexpected wetness, swinging from one of Asami's shoulder's to another.

"On the other hand, Kumogakure sounds like they have the prettiest mountains, at least from what I've heard. And it sounds like it'd be a lot easier to get down from a mountain than it would be to escape across the sea. Even if it is supposedly so high up that it touches the clouds, I know how to climb, but I can't swim. But wouldn't that be fun, Kimura-chan? Getting to be so high up that you can touch the clouds?" Asami once again threatened to drench the four of them by reaching to the sky, but this time she stopped just shy of moving her umbrella out of the way to reach higher. Momoko had to hang on as Asami's head tilted, but Asami didn't seem to mind.

"The other two don't sound quite as interesting to me. What about you, Kimura-chan, which village would prefer to be captured by if it's all a secret ploy to kidnap us? I know you wouldn't want that, but, which one would be the least bad, for you?"

@Xiro Zean
Alas, poor Tree, I hardly knew ye.
Süne had found himself listless after a few weeks in Toran. The Arena Challenge had been trifling, like the Gym Leader hadn't truly been trying. Or had simply given him the win because the first challenge was supposed to be easy? He had sent forth his weakest natrelmon, with a weakness to fire, and had not been hit. He didn't feel strong, he felt like no challenge had been given.

He was also mildly unsettled by the single use magical tomes he had acquired. Who made these, and why? But it didn't seem to be anything malicious. So he went ahead and used them to learn the art of Seedsowing. He wasn't quite as sure about this shadowy one. Darkness wasn't necessarily evil, but ghosts were a bit spooky sometimes.

There was a gathering where special devices was handed out, presided by a very important person, it seemed. But those there hadn't seemed invested in group efforts. Most were too busy with their own affairs, and Süne didn't blame them. It was a seriously difficult affair keeping track of everything as a Natrelmon owner.

Whether by whatever eldritch spell was cast over the night, or his own troubles, Süne found his way to the strange old man of crows, and his offer of special magic. Riding his Frallion, as usual.

"Mmm, thank you for the offer, sir. But I don't think I need supremely powerful magic to fulfill my life's ambitions. These random tome things I keep finding whenever I go to the library to research Natrelmon habitats seem to be a nice enough start to keep me safe." Süne offered a slight incline of the head, before passing. He briefly considered trying to capture one of the Yata-Garasu, but figured that they might be the old man's, and that it might be considered rude.

Then he began to leave.

@Payldue Have you been shuffling your feet on the carpet?
"Cover, down!" Süne ordered Sakura-re, as the final stage of his plan involved Sakura-re hiding behind every defense he could muster, while causing enough destructive mayhem to hopefully defeat Tibearius. Sakura-re hid in the absolute corner of the map, crouching down and creating a plant in front of herself with Dormant Life and Lifestream to take cover behind.

Süne created a Wall in front of the plant Sakura-re was hiding behind, hoping that Anastasia would use her Counterspell upon the Wall to prevent it from deflecting the Flare Core and Lesser Fireball, hopefully only counting as two instances of damage. Then, Süne would launch his own Lesser Fireball into the path of Anastasia's, detonating them both, hopefully, in range to catch Tibearius that was chasing Sakura-re. He thankfully got to aim at a downward angle, so if Lesser Fireballs didn't interact with each other, his still had a chance of hurting Tibearius with it's absurdly vast detonation radius.

Süne didn't feel that the fight would last long enough for him to get another charged Searsinging spell off, so he began casting another Blizzard, to fill up everything but the corner Sakura-re was hiding in, in regards to that corner of the arena, to force Tibearius to stop approaching, or take some probably inconsequential ice damage.

Also, KH3 just came out. More than one friend I know, including myself, took Wesnesday off to keep playing it.
"Incandescence, Collapse orbs, Fall Back!" Süne ordered. And a few things happened at once.

While Süne misjudged Tibearius' landing for aiming his blizzard, fortunately for him, he did so by less than the radius of the blizzard. As Tibearius was staying stationary and launching attacks from 5 feet away from where Süne had aimed the 8 foot radius blizzard, it would be caught in the blizzard and start taking some very minor damage, given its resistance.

The Echo of Rend would stop short before hitting Sakura-re. She had been moving directly to Süne's right, dodging to avoid Tibearius' landing which Süne assumed would be directly on top of her, and feared might have a vast radius, and also the blizzard Süne had been intending to cast there. Süne's blizzard was 8 feet in radius, and Sakura-re aimed to get at least a foot clear of that, which given Tibearius had stopped 5 feet of her initial location, gave the current distance between them to be slightly more than the 10 foot range of Echo of Rend. And this was assuming she stood still during the travel time, which she did not.

Meanwhile Sakura-re activated Incandesence, and began moving her Orbs at Tibearius. Sakura-re only had to move her LoI that was closest to her a single foot before it would start effecting Tibearius with its damage, which hopefully be easy to do with a blizzard currently sitting on top of Tibearius, and it would immediately interrupt channeled abilities, given it's 6 foot range for that. From behind Tibearius, Sakura-re recalled her other LoI to catch Tibearius if he backed away from the light moving towards him from within the blizzard.

Süne fired off a Frozen Sphere at Tibearius, cheating a little bit to the side Sakura-re was facing, but still aiming for a direct contact. With the current distance between them, the attack would land in just under a second, with a blizzard obscuring the launch from Tibearius' perspective. He continued charging whatever Searsinging spell he was charging.

And lastly for the group of things that happened simultaneously, Sakura-re started moving toward's Süne's edge of the arena wall instead of of the edge to Süne's right, so that if Tibearius did happen to want to give chase, he would either have a longer path through the blizzard, or he'd need to skirt its edge for longer. Süne didn't want Sakura to lose one of her potential dodging directions in going to the right, so currently she stayed at 6 feet away from that border of the arena.
Süne breath caught in his chest for a moment as Anastasia began summoning her fireball, which was in fact, Tibearius' method of summoning. For a moment he though she was just going to start blasting Sakura-re with Pyromancy before summoning any Natrelmon. But, fortunately for the pair, his wits returned to him a moment later as he remembered Tibearius' unusual nature.

"Orbs! One for you, one for her." Süne ordered, his intent being to move one of the Light of Ielle's to the other side of the field to attack, while keeping one on Sakura-re to power up Sakura-re's lifecharges. But then, rather unexpectedly to Süne, Tibearius was launched at Sakura-re.

"Dodge, Eclipse, Run!" Süne ordered Sakura-re, who belying her treelike appearance, was fortunately not as slow as trees generally were, and only had to get a few feet away. Tibearius was, unfortunately for him, being summoned directly on top of a Light of Ielle activating Total Eclipse, the most damaging light type move Sakura-Re yet knew, though she could only summon its power once per battle. While she would not shut down his moves, due to only one Light being present, hopefully it would deal damage. As soon as it completed activating Eclipse, it prepared to move again.

Meanwhile, Süne himself cast a blizzard directly upon the Tibearius' location, which would hopefully deal a little chip damage, while charging up a single Pyromancy spell himself.

Süne took his time to admire the structure. In a way, it was another artist's portrait, albeit, in an entirely different medium and style than his own, of a Natrelmon, in this case the legendary Suzaku. The Lord of the South certainly had vibrant coloration. Such bright and warm tones always spoke to Süne of frenetic energy and activity, the pounding stampede of an entire herd.

Yet despite that, the Toran Arena was quite lonely, Süne thought. Apart from the candles, there were no signs of human or natrelmon activity, and it could as well have been a pristine unearthed ruin. Süne glanced side to side, but was surprised to find the place looking so empty. He had thought the Arenas would be full of those seeking to test themselves.

"Mmm, perhaps it's because it's a place of reverence for the Rites, not taken lightly." Süne wondered to himself softly. He felt mild unease walking in such a place. Testing himself so idly for mere whim. But still, he pressed forward. He played over the fletching of his Sakura-re's arrow, before he finally finished making it into the challenger's pillar to face off against Anastasia.

"Thank you, honored Arena Master, for accepting my challenge." Süne place his fist in his palm, before bowing to Anastasia. She was not much younger than him in appearance, so he felt no reason to comment on her apparent youth.

Süne cast forth his arrow, as if to strike it into the sands, but halfway through, it transformed into his Sakura-Re.

"I don't expect you to win, but do your best to learn from this challenge. If you can land even a single blow against such odds as you are likely to face, I will be quite proud." Süne 'encouraged' his Sakura-Re. Honestly, being told you were probably going to fail horribly was less than stellar.
I'm not sure what I'm going to do in my next post. Maybe back away slowly. Marshall is way scarier than the bad girl.
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