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Arit Packala Nihs

Part One: Arit vs. Ziru


Arit stood at the edge of the decimated village. Fires burned throughout, and dark pillars of smoke and soot rose up into the sky. Under different circumstances she'd find this a beautiful sight. This time though it was bitter sweet. The location was once home of their brother clan, the Kaniatras. Now it was only home to a field of bodies, the entire clan dead. All this wondrous destruction has been caused by one person. That individual happened to be one of her former mentors, Ziru Kinshar Mals.

He had taught her how to fight, both a master of karate and jujitsu. His combat experience was possibly unequaled among their kind; or at the very least within their two clans. On more than one occasion he dealt with demon quellers from off the mainland as well as a considerable amount of samurai. His most recent exploit was this village. With seemingly no injuries he slaughtered countless of the One Hundred, and even several of the Masters. Those fools. They should have known better then to try and best a mystic, especially one of Ziru's caliber. Mystics like her are on an entirely different than those weaklings, and Ziru is on an entirely different level than most mystics.

Now the duty of putting down this stray dog had fallen upon her shoulders. Ziru had swayed off the path and declared love of a human female. The thought was simply revolting. It made her sick to her stomach just thinking about it. How one such as Ziru could become so twisted to do such a thing is beyond her. As a result of his decision he had been ordered to death. Death is not an order one such as her former master could take lightly. It was at least nice to see that much about him hadn't changed. When her orders came to kill him she didn't protest in the slightest.

She never argued orders and always followed them through without hesitation. No matter what they were, she didn't care. For her it was just fun and she'd go through any mission with a smile, whether it was slaughtering a village of humans or a rival village of her own kind. This time is different though; this was one of her former masters. It wasn't so easy to just go into this one without any feeling. As this was one of her former mentors, it meant there was a strong possibility she might not be leaving the conflict alive. Death was a very real outcome of this conflict. The thought of this made her nearly salivate.

This was her chance to see what he was fully capable of. In training she could always tell he was holding back, but this time would be different. Ziru was well-known for not allowing his enemies to live. Other then his human lover there were no exceptions. Now she'd be at the other end of his attack and she'd get to show him just how much she'd learn. Such a wonderfully delightful scenario with life being the ultimate prize, she couldn't help but be in love.

Arit cautiously made her way through the burning village. Her prey was still here; she could feel it in her bones and her third eye practically screamed it. Besides that, he wasn't the type to run from confrontation. He'd be here facing his troubles head on, of that she had no doubt. When she came around the corner of one of the burning huts she found him, the owl headed demon standing above the butchered corpse of several of the One Hundred. His back was to her for the moment, just standing there without moving. It was as if he was waiting for something.

As she stared at his back she had a revelation. This was a perfect opportunity to attack! Maybe it lacked the code of honor that Ziru followed, but she was no longer his student. A talented warrior such as him shouldn't have allowed his brilliant fighting style to become so tainted by all those lowly human samurai scum he'd fought. Besides, if he'd allow himself to be so caught off-guard then he'd get what he deserved. She took her stance and prepared to attack.

"So you're the one they sent," he called out. Then he turned to face her. As he turned he raised his large black-bladed sword and pointed it towards her. That sword was nothing to take lightly. In addition to being the same length as the towering Ziru, it was pure evil. All a sword like that cried out for was death and destruction. During her training with him, she had tried to touch it once. The sword nearly consumed her for it. Her heart simply wasn't dark enough for a sword like that.

Now staring directly at her with cold and emotionless eyes Ziru said, "I have no desire to kill you, but if you intend to fight me then don't expect to leave here alive." She froze. He was intimidating, no denying that. It made no sense. One so weak as to allow a mere human to influence him shouldn't be able to look at her with such fearsome eyes. He had no right! That beast before her was a disgrace! A grim smile formed on her face as fear and anger mixed into one luscious emotion. It was truly an intoxicating sensation.

The flames from the fires burned intensely and flickered across her face. This wasn't enough to hurt her kind, but she could imagine the scent of burning flesh being added into the mix. Her tongue instinctively licked her upper lip; she could taste the excitement. Only Ziru could give her such a delicious sense of pleasure. Finally words and posture gave way to action as she could no longer contain herself. This was going to be so much fun! She ran towards him, keeping her speed ay only half. Her eyes remained locked on her opponent and that sword the entire time.

Once she entered just outside of arms reach she came to a stop. The timing of her move was perfect. As she was coming to a stop Ziru made his move. He stepped into a full swing of his sword. Arit quickly ducked under the attack. The attack cut a few strands of hair that didn't get out of the way nearly as fast. It was a strong attack that would have cleaved her right in half if she hadn't been able to dodge. Before she could even think about how lucky she was Ziru followed up with a quick kick. When he stepped into his swing he took a step closer for that attack and used the momentum from the swing to pivot his body for added strength to the kick, an excellent strategy.

She managed to block most of it with her arms as she leaped back and out of combat range. That was close. If she didn't stop when she did she wouldn't be alive right now. It was that extra distance that gave her the necessary reaction time to get out of the way. Even then, she still was nearly able to avoid it. As close as it came she could feel it trying to drain the life from her. She'd have to be careful not to let it get that close again.

"Getting a feel for your opponent before attacking all out I see. I've taught you well," Ziru said with pride in his voice. Then he quickly snapped, "But don't forget I'm the one who taught you that! Don't think you've seen my full power yet either!"

He was right; she didn't even question it. Of course this only made her all the more determined. The thought of such an opponent gave her chills of excitement. With a smile showing her dark joy she replied, "All right then my former master, I won't hold back any longer. Get ready!"




Ziru watched as the hands of Arit moved. She was getting a spell ready. The hand signs help to focus the energies just like a normal mage. However they weren't normal mages. They don't learn their abilities through training. Instead it just came naturally to them. That is the strength of a mystic. Right now that was serving to his disadvantage. Without actual training the hand signs are just a tool for focus, something that just naturally feels right. This also meant that the signs differed from one mystic to the next. It was impossible for him to accurately predict what she was casting.

Even though there were differences, there were at least some similarities. From the general look it was most likely some type using the elements of air, more than likely an attack so she could keep her distance. It was a decent strategy on her part, but it would be ultimately futile. No matter what tactics she used, the end result would be the same. She simply didn't have what it took to beat him. There was simply no getting around the fact she lacked the power and combat skills necessary. He was her mentor after all and no one could assess her abilities better than him.

The hands of Arit began to crackle with electricity. It looked as if lightning itself was being summoned to them. His face turned to shock and horror as he began to come to a conclusion. 'It can't be,' he thought to himself. 'She wouldn't! A lightning spell channeled through her body! It's just not done. It has too much power. That stupid fool! She'll die before she could ever get it off!' He knew that a spell like lightning needed to be channeled through the atmosphere first. This is something taught to wizards and something mystics like them just intuitively knew. If she was going to even attempt such a feat, she must truly be desperate.

That is the reason it streaks down from the sky when it attacks. Such a spell is just too strong for a body, especially one as weak as hers. She may have been one of his best students ever, but physically she was weak. True it would be a stronger attack than a normal lightning spell and might be enough to stop him, but the power alone will rip anyone to pieces. For a body such as hers, she'd never even survive long enough to launch the attack. Thoughts became words as he shouted out in concern for his former student, "Arit! Stop it! Stop it now before it's too late! Sacrificing yourself for a cold-hearted bastard like Nargs isn't worth it!"

Ziru stretched out his hand to her as he screamed out to her, "You still have a chance to ..." His sentence drifted off though as he noticed a smile on her face. She was up to something. Damn it! He allowed himself to fall right into her trap. The electricity building up in her hands vanished. It was just a ploy to lure him off guard. He would've never fallen for it in the past, his time with Shina changed him more than he realized.

Shina may have only been a human female, a sin to associate with to his kind. However she was truly special. She had a kindness he had never seen before. That kindness is what lured him to her and eventually turned him against his own kind. Even without the mystic's third eye of visions, she showed him things he had never seen before. It was a challenge for him to try and balance his upbringing with what he felt, but he pushed through like a warrior. Now she was dead though and he faced new challenges. When he gave it the slightest thought he knew the truth of the matter is he had become soft and Arit simply exploited that fact, but he couldn't lose now. He wouldn't! There is more at stake here.

Arit unleashed her attack, a bright shining light that burst into a blinding flash. In an instant his eyes went out of focus and totally blind. It would fade, but by that time he could already be dead. One thing he recalled during their training is to never give her a chance to strike, not even turning his back on her for a moment. That's it! He had a plan. All that he required now is to be patient and wait for his moment. As long as he could remain calm, she'd give him the opportunity he needed.

Even blind he followed her movements in his head. Years of working together allowed him to plan her actions. First thing was to move out of the line of fire where she was just standing. A lucky blind attack can still be a fatal one and she wasn't going to give him the chance. Second she maneuvered into position choosing either his left or right side. If he chose the wrong side he'd leave himself wide open for attack. That didn't matter though, whichever side she picked was irrelevant. It was her next move that would be the key to deciding this fight.

The signal she made her move came. It was faster than he expected, but he was ready. Quickly he twirled his sword and stabbed. He could feel it make contact and rip into its victim. His original plan was to time it perfectly, but with luck she gave a signal with her speed. It was a clever tactic really. During her trip to either side of him she must've cast a second spell to fly like the eagle. This sped her movement and allowed for silent travel, but this move caused a slight wind gush tipping her hand. If he wasn't expecting it though, she would have had him as she moved in behind for the strike.

Her favorite method of attack had always been attacking from behind and, like she had done to him with the flash, he turned her weakness against her. When she moved in for the attack all he had to do is strike behind him where she would be. Despite the outcome of this fight, she had fought well. She showed determination, intelligence, and creativity. It was no wonder she had made it to the rank of third lieutenant in the clan lead by Nargs. The only thing that allowed him to be the victor this day was the fact he knew her moves all too well.

His vision began to clear as he turned to face her. Arit was still skewed on his sword and bleeding. The dark blade cackled as it fed on her strength. He looked down at her and said, "I'm sorry. This sword of mine desires souls, and now it will feed on yours. You should be honored. It only desires strong warriors and you've proven yourself that. I hope that if you ever find your way to the next life you'll be able to forgive me. Your goal this day was to kill me, but I have a goal too. Once this sword has consumed enough souls, it can grant a wish. I know exactly what I want. With this I could bring back Shina."

Arit cried out in pain. Ziru watched with saddened eyes. She must be in such pain. However this was necessary if he ever wished to bring back Shina. Sacrifices had to be made and his former pupil was one of those sacrifices. Her screams of pain grew more intense as it was consuming her very life essence. When he looked into her eyes though he saw something he didn't expect. She was him! Those eyes were the same as his when he was young. His expression turned to horror as he realized this simple truth.

Without thought he grabbed the handle of his sword and pulled it out of her. Though she was badly injured she could still live. Once the blade started to consume a soul though, it could not be so easily stopped. It set its sights on the wielder now. This was mistake two. The first time with the human girl it let him slide as long as he never crossed it again. Ziru had now made the mistake of going against its will a second time. That was simply unforgivable. However this prey was not as badly injured and had a much stronger will to resist. Though it hurt, he managed to retain his soul. In final retribution, the sword took what it could.

Ziru screamed out as his arm was ripped from his body. The hand and sword flew through the air and landed in the ground, the arm of its former wielder still gripping it tightly. Blood from the wound splashed across her face. In his weakened state Ziru collapsed to the floor. Arit struggled to her feet in shock. He saved her! What a weak stupid fool. Water started to fill her eyes. Her face was leaking. In all her days she had never cried before, not for anything ever. As a result she couldn't make sense of what was happening with her. It didn't make any sense. They were enemies and he had won. Victory and life was his, but he saved her instead.

She moved over his body. One of her arms was wrapped across her gut where the blade had run her through, blood still dripping from the wound and trickling down to the ground beneath. As she looked down at him tears fell from her face onto his. For a moment she just stared at him trying to figure it out. Finally she asked him, "Why did you do it? Why?!" Such compassion was beyond her comprehension. It was just a stupid mistake that didn't make any sense. Her mind struggled to try and understand.

He responded to her plead, "Because you still have so much hope left." With a weak smile he added, "Besides ... she wouldn't have wanted it that way. Even if I brought her back ..." Ziru coughed up blood. Though he managed to keep his soul, his life was not his to keep any longer. After a wince of pain he continued, "Shina wouldn't have ever forgiven me for bringing her back like that. I hope you'll be able to understand one day. Good luck, my pupil. My ... my ... my ... fri--end." His hand gently brushed against her cheek wiping away one of her tears. Then his hand drops to the ground as his body went limp. Death had taken him and, in a sense, she accomplished her mission. So why is it she didn't feel happy about this?