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Tales of a Lost Sword 93

Tagged as: ToaLS 93, ToaLS.

Written by AznRiceFan on October 18, 2011
My 100th blog on VuTales.
Episode 93 Second Path
Kunai feels the familiar damp feeling of the air in the room. He opens his eyes, as the dark world around him gradually materializes into being. Once more he finds himself in a tiny room, bounded on all four sides by groves of bamboo trees. In front of him is a tiny pond, its water still as ice.

His breathing strangely slow, Kunai rises to his feet and steadily creeps towards the pool of water. But before he can reach it, a voice breaks the silence behind him.

“Love leaves an imprint upon the heart and memory that cannot be forgotten,” the voice says. Kunai quickly turns around and sees Ayame, staring at him expressionlessly. “Love manifests itself in different ways, but those who can best call it forth are the strongest.”

“No way…” Kunai mutters, his eyes widening. He takes a step back, until he stands right at the very edge of the pond behind him.

Next to Ayame are the figures of two others. Their outlines are slightly blurred, and their faces foggy, but clearly recognizable. Further off in the darkness behind the three of them are even more figures, dark and nearly invisible, but their presences unmistakable.

Ayame smiles, looking from left to right at the two standing beside her. “Yes,” she murmurs, “it appears that you can see them at last…”


From the ground, Kunai breathes in the decaying fumes emitted by the ice. With a rattling gasp, he forces himself to his feet. The hazy mist around him seems to evaporate, as a white light envelops his body. The angel wings nearly seem to caress him, closing his wounds and wiping away the blood on his body.

Arai watches with contained horror as Kunai draws his sword again, slowly turning to face him. A frown crosses Arai’s disturbed face. “So you can still fight,” he growls.

“Yeah.”

Shaken and stumbling, Kunai nevertheless gathers himself enough to maintain his balance as he raises his sword. He points it at Arai, his feet wavering but not his resolution. “As long as I can still stand, I’ll—”

But a stabbing pain rushes through Kunai’s forehead. He crumples to the ground, grabbing his head weakly. “Damn it!” Kunai gasps, screaming now. “Damn it, damn it, damn it!”

Temporarily amazed, Arai quickly recomposes himself. “You’re open, Kunai!” he cries. Flashing forward, Arai creates another bolt of lightning in his right hand.

Yet just as Arai touches down on the ground in front of Kunai, the latter suddenly rises up again, swinging his sword dangerously quickly. Arai jumps back right at the proper moment, a few of his blue hairs falling to the ground at his feet.

Kunai lowers his raised sword, his eyes strangely black and clouded. The next second, they clear up, and Kunai shakes his head. “What…was that?” he murmurs.

Unfortunately, Arai does not give Kunai a chance to wonder. He sprints forward again cradling a spear of lightning in his hands. Arai sends the spear plummeting down towards Kunai, who flips over in the air and lands safely several feet away.

Kunai raises his sword, intending to cast an attack in retaliation, but Arai proves too fast. He blocks Kunai’s attack, and fires another raging storm of ice at him from point-blank range. “Crap!” Kunai cries, biting his lip.

Closing his eyes tightly, Kunai winces as he prepares to absorb the attack. Yet several seconds pass, and nothing happens. Kunai opens his eyes again, and gasps in awe as a furious rush of wind engulfs him from all directions.

What appear to be shards of glass rapidly materialize around Kunai, blocking every single particle of ice flying at him. The glittering shards of glass clink as they deflect the fragments of ice from Arai’s icicle attack.

“Impossible!” hisses Arai, his eyes widening with disbelief. “It’s actually…solidifying around him?!”

Kunai lowers his hands, smiling appreciatively as the last of the silvery shards disappear. “I don’t know what it is…but this glass saved me!”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Arai glares, teleporting a safe distance away from Kunai. “That isn’t glass you just summoned. It’s mana. I don’t know how you did it, but your mana levels rose so high just now that the mana in the air around you actually solidified.”

“So…lidified?” Kunai repeats, awestruck.

Arai nods. Cautiously, he begins to step towards Kunai, as if in a spell. “Even I do not have such a power…”

“Don’t come any closer!” snarls Kunai suddenly. He raises his Myou, as his eyes darken once again. However, Arai ignores him. But in the next second, a howl escapes from Kunai’s lips, his voice strangely deformed and demonic.

“Shatter Machine!” A dark ball of energy tumbles out of Kunai’s sword. It rumbles through the air straight at Arai, who quickly dodges it by sliding out of the way. He crashes into one of the marble pillars lining the battlefield.

The black ball, brimming with dark energy, comes to a stop in midair just past Arai. Suddenly, angry wires of black electricity burst out of it, reaching and searching for a target. Eyes widening with alarm, Arai teleports far out of the way as the arms of energy come searching for him.

With an angry roar, the ball of energy explodes, sending shockwaves of dark energy rushing out from around it. Debris flies into the air as the shockwaves seemingly evaporate everything in its path. Arai summons a shield of ice to block the attack, but even that shatters into pieces. The ripples of energy slash at Arai, opening several deep cuts across his arms, which he uses to shield himself.

An eerie silence falls upon the battlefield. As the black ball of energy gradually disappears, Arai breathes a sigh of relief, lowering his arms. “I haven’t seen that attack before…” he mutters in a low voice. He frowns. “It was far too powerful even for Kunai…”

The cloud of black over Kunai’s eyes vanishes. He looks around with a slight sense of puzzlement, as if he has just woken up from a dazed dream. Kunai shakes his head, his mind clearing up once more.

Meanwhile, Arai continues to gaze at Kunai with a look of wonder and slight fear. ‘His powers are growing far too quickly…I fear this battle may be what’s spurring their development. I’ll have to end this soon, or else even I might not be able to stop him.’

As Kunai prepares to launch his own attack, Arai vanishes into thin air. Kunai looks left and right, searching for any trace of Arai. With blinding quickness, Arai reappears at Kunai’s right side, his staff blazing. Arai howls furiously as he rains a rush of thunder and ice upon Kunai. However, Kunai blocks the attack blindly by solidifying mana once again and using it as a shield.

Arai’s eyes widen upon impact. He suppresses a gag of surprise, hurriedly teleporting away in anticipation of a counterattack by Kunai. Yet Kunai merely stands there calmly, the silvery sparks of glassy mana gleaming brightly in the misty light. “It’s…a perfect attack?” Arai hisses, the frown on his face growing wider.

Suddenly, Kunai moves into action. He heads straight for Arai’s left side, holding his sword by his side. “Power Assaulter!” Kunai slides straight past Arai, his sword a mere blur of black and silver.

By conjuring up a shield of his own made of ice, Arai manages to repel the attack. But Kunai merely turns around on Arai’s other side and fires another devastating blast of energy at him.

Somehow, Arai deflects the attack again with a shield of ice. In the brief opening created, Arai fires a stream of lightning forth from his hand. The blast travels like a bullet straight for Kunai, piercing him across the shoulder before he even has a chance to block it.

Frozen momentarily by the shock of the lightning-bullet, Kunai has no chance to react as Arai moves again, this time summoning a massive stalagmite of ice from the ground. The haze of ice rises straight out of the ground and surrounds Kunai, locking him in place in its icy grip.

An electrifying blade of lightning forms in Arai’s right hand. The blade glimmers with purple and gold light, sparks seeping into the air greedily searching for prey. “This will end it!” shouts Arai.

Yet Arai soon falters, as a mighty roar escapes Kunai’s lips. Whereas before they had been mere tiny fragments of glass, the mana now solidifying around Kunai take the shape of gigantic, diamond-like pillars of glass. The pillars grow straight out of Kunai, smashing apart with frightening ease the ice holding him in place.

Brushing ice off his shoulders, Kunai waves his sword, brandishing it in front of Arai. He points Myou straight forward. “Not quite.”

Arai’s face contorts with maniac rage as he realizes what is happening. “Why?!” he snarls, his eyes bulging and his mouth twisting into a crooked shape. “Why is it that no matter what I do you will not be defeated?! What is watching over you that allows you to continue to succeed? An angel? God?”

“I keep telling you, Arai!” replies Kunai furiously. “I won’t give up until I defeat you! I thought you had enough kindness in your heart to realize it, but I guess you don’t even have that! It’s love! As long as I have Lily and Ivy with me, and…Ryuu as well, I can’t be beaten!”

“They’re dead!” scowls Arai, his growling voice deformed by rage.

Kunai pounds his chest with his fist. “Not as long as they’re in here. They live on in my heart! Take note, Arai…I haven’t taken the same path as you! You embraced the path of destruction, but I chose to walk the path of love! I won’t follow your footsteps and make the same mistakes as you!

“You wanted to know whether I would attempt to acquire the Sheath of the Maple Hero’s Sword?! Don’t make me laugh! There’s no way I’ll make the same mistake you made. I said it before, and I’ll say it again now! I’ll defeat you and the Fatalists without having to obtain the Sheath!”

With that, Kunai rockets forth towards Arai with a speed faster than can be seen. He reaches Arai at last, and drives his sword straight into Arai’s shoulder. The latter flails, but cannot escape Kunai’s speedy reach.

Arai futilely tries a countermove; he gathers mana in his hand, intending to shoot a stream of lightning into Kunai from close range.

But Kunai quickly breaks up the attack, creating a wall of solid mana in between him and Arai. The lightning dissipates within seconds as Kunai raises his sword again, glaring into Arai’s eyes with murderous intent.

“This is the end, Arai Mage!”


The echoes of heavy footfalls ring throughout the narrow hallway. A shadow comes into view of the magnificent marble staircase leading high up into the upper reaches of the Fatalists’ castle.

Cynthia pants breathlessly, standing at the very edge of the bottom of the steps. She cranes her neck, trying to peer at the end of the staircase, but only darkness can be seen far above. Nevertheless, with a gulp, she manages to catch her breath and compose herself.

“I can feel it as though it’s calling to me…Kunai’s presence!” Cynthia puts a foot on the marble staircase, taking her first steps towards the danger far above.
---END NINETY-THREE---

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AznRiceFan

October 18, 2011
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Comments

 
Tue Oct 18, 2011 04:22 AM +

You know we're in a blogging slump when we have three ToaLS chapters in a row as the most recent blogs.
Not that I dislike the series or anything. Keep it up

 
 
Tue Oct 18, 2011 05:49 PM +

I'm still making chapters (not that anyone seem to care). I just don't have the same creativity (nor the time) as our Maple friend here.

 
 
Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:07 AM +

DarkDragoon said: You know we're in a blogging slump when we have three ToaLS chapters in a row as the most recent blogs.
Not that I dislike the series or anything. Keep it up

Just like the good old days on MMOT when I used to fill up the whole recent blogs tab with ToaLP chapters, right? Soon there won't be any more chapters so enjoy it while it lasts.
darkness said: I'm still making chapters (not that anyone seem to care). I just don't have the same creativity (nor the time) as our Maple friend here.

Not exactly. I'm fairly busy these days (except this week, I have a random week off). Right now I'm just posting up chapters I finished writing ages ago. I probably finished writing this chapter around late July/early August, for example.

 

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