2014-06-10 - Dance Of Flames

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Title: Dance Of Flames

Takumi has been pursued by an Orphan, and destiny brings three HiME to fight it. There is power available to Mai, should the sword be drawn - but she'll have to risk what's most important to her.


Mai Tokiha, Mikoto Minagi

GM: Endo Naoki


Southern Cross Island

OOC - IC Date:

Fall 2013 - 6/10/2014

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

The light of the moon is bright tonight. Enough to provide some small illumination to guide wanderers in the forest, the dull white glow cutting through the thinner blankets of leaves to mark the sparse paths and clearings. The school, the beautiful gardens with the marble pavilion, those things are far in the distance now. So must be the boy in the tree-Nagi, Natsuki had called him--the kid who'd tossed her Takumi's pillbox and warned her that something was in the woods.

But there's nothing. Until, ahead, a sound breaks the quiet. A sharp crack of stone, following by the harsh sizzle of the same rock being melted away. Unpleasant noises.

They come from a clearing ahead, at the edge of the trees where a sheer wall of rock juts abruptly from the ground. The light of the moon strikes something there, casting an enormous, monstrous shadow. Legs, pincers, a dozen arms, nothing that could be human.

And, slumped on the ground in front of it, something that definitely is. The small, fallen shape of Takumi Tokiha.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

"Get on."

Those three words were all the concession Natsuki Kuga was willing to make. She didn't trust that pale boy one bit, and she'd prefer to keep the new girl out of it -- but if she didn't take her along, she'd have to run her down. She was worried for her brother. Reasonable, after all.

Two shots fire from Natsuki's pistol, as soon as they pull up, to distract the monstrous Orphan from the girl's brother. And when that girl immediately runs to him, thinking nothing of her own safety in the face of the supernatural, Natsuki frowns.

"She's not even awake..." Spoken to herself, lanced with quiet bitterness.

She spins her pistols in her hands, summons a great beast of ice -- "/Duran!/ Go!" And that impossible creature, somewhere between wolf and machination, leaps straight into the face of the orphaned beast.

And somewhere far from here, a girl in simple shrine clothing stalks between the trees, sniffing for a scent which has gone long-cold.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mai dismounts the motorcycle, taking in the situation with some strange detachment. This is all too bizarre - it can't be real. A strange painted rock wall, a crazed gunwoman turned reluctant ally - at Mai's pressing, all things considered - and the truly unbelievable piece, that horrible monster looming like some shade of a nightmare.

But Mai's full attention is on the thing that is all too real in this terrible tableau - Takumi, fallen unconscious or worse. Worse than any nightmarish beast - the worst fear of the two of them, ever since that day at the river...

Mai runs forward, fleeing that memory. "Takumi! He has a bad heart-" She runs, as fast as she can manage, to get to his side. Forget the forest, forget the cave, forget the strange girl with the motorbike, and forget the monstrous creature - there is one thing she has to do, no matter the cost.

When she does reach his side, she lays a hand on his back. Is that faint vibration still there? Is he still breathing? Should he be left where he is until professionals arrive, or does she have to risk moving him herself?

There's a roar overhead - Mai looks up, and realizes that the monster is, too, a real thing - one determined to devour her brother. The risk will have to be taken - grabbing him tightly, she leaps from the area it seems focused on. There isn't anything else she can do in this kind of unreal situation, is there?

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

The bullets do nothing. There's only a slight ping that registers they'd even hit, the metal bouncing off the side of the monster's stony hide. Closer, in the clearing, all the details begin to come into greater focus. It's huge, like some cross between a minotaur and mantis, sharp metal spikes for arms, two huge mandibles that drizzle out a wet, goopy substance that scours the stone beneath it when it falls.

It moves. Not fast, but fast enough by human standards. Stone fractures as it skitters past Natsuki, ignoring her, going for what it'd come there for in the first place. It places itself in front of Mai and her brother, between her and the forest. Ahead is it and behind is the wall, jagged rock stained with those strange, circular symbols. A claw comes. Just one, but it might be enough. One jagged spike, straight toward the slumped figure that Mai is carrying.

COMBAT: Endo Naoki transforms into Youma Form Bug-Dragon Orphan!
COMBAT: Endo Naoki has fully healed himself. He is now ready to take on 2 opponents!

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

"Behind you!", Natsuki barks, as Duran is thrown from the skittering beast and she runs to meet up with her Child.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mai doesn't even hear the metal pinging, her only drive is to get Takumi safely out of the way. Somehow, desperate, she manages to haul her brother away from that terrible claw. The sound of stone shattering echoes in her ears as she sets him down again as gently as she can. This can't be real, can it? This has to be some nightmare...

...but the ferry was cut in half. She wound up in a fiery crop circle on Ohtori's lawn. There are strange things, and maybe this is just another one - she's heard the rumors, heard there are heroes out there. But aside from that crazy girl with the guns and the metal wolf, there aren't any heroes here. No Sailor V is going to jump in and kill the monster here. It's just doing its level best to kill Takumi.

Mai promised to take care of him, no matter what. She can't do much, but maybe this is the kind of monster whose bloodlust will be sated with one sacrifice. And if one of the Tokiha siblings has to go...

Mai steps forward. Between the monster and Takumi, lost for a moment in memory, eyes closed for the inevitable. She promised. To make up for her mistake, she promised...

...and fire dances. A ring of flames, flaring up around her - swirling, circling around her ankles and wrists, flashing into golden rings with green magatama. Gently, they turn - and then they spin, and burn, and Mai opens her eyes to see fire lashing out at the monster's chin. "W-what?!"

COMBAT: Mai Tokiha transforms into Mai-HiME!
COMBAT: Mai Tokiha has used Pyre Lash on Endo Naoki.
COMBAT: Endo Naoki narrowly braces Mai Tokiha's Pyre Lash, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  Stagger applied to Endo Naoki!  
<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

That hurts it more than bullets had. The monster had managed to shake off Duran's initial charge, but it wasn't prepared for this. The jet of fire smashes against the creatures hideous face, it's body lifting backward and away from Mai and her brother. A few inches, and then its weight comes to ground again. Crack.

It makes a sound. Something like a roar, it's mouth opening wide to let loose that awful sound. If there's a bright side to this, it's that it definitely seems to want to kill Mai, and less so her sibling. Legs skitter back and forth, finding balance again after that brief surprise before it sends another pincer hurtling down at her.

COMBAT: Endo Naoki has used Piercing Claw on Mai Tokiha.
COMBAT: Mai Tokiha fails to dodge Endo Naoki's Piercing Claw, taking 10 Fatigue damage!  
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Natsuki can only stare at the pillar of flame which the girl summons. That sort of power... "That girl..." She definitely shouldn't get involved in this.

In the distance, another girl turns, sharply, towards the light which cuts through the dark. She leaps forward, bounding towards the source, even as the light is turned to Mai's offense.

"Look out!", Natsuki snaps, as the orphan surges forward towards her again. She brings her gun to bear -- but it's not enough.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

This can't be real. This can't actually be happening. A monster like this, out to kill Takumi, and now those strange rings are back...what in the world is any of this? Mai looks at the golden rings in wonder as the flames dance around her...

...and as such, is caught off guard when the monster lunges forward. She doesn't start moving until it's almost too late to do so, the creature's claw slamming into her painfully, sending her flying. And...she stays airborne, held in the air by those mysterious rings. "What is any of this..."

The girl with the motorbike - Kuga-san - calls out a warning, and Mai stops marvelling at the powers she's found herself wielding. She glances to Takumi - and flies higher, arms flung wide, in an effort to keep this thing from turning its attention back to him. Those flames burn bright.

COMBAT: Mai Tokiha has used Dancing Sparks on Endo Naoki.
COMBAT: Endo Naoki narrowly braces Mai Tokiha's Dancing Sparks, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  
<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Fire scours across the Orphan's hide, it's mouth spreading wide in another hiss of frustration. Where fire touches it's metallic skin glows, but no fire sears down into more tender flesh. It's clear that the pain is still there, enough that it turns its eyes to follow after Mai. It's while girth swings around, claws reaching for the sky, trying to pluck the HiME from the air.

As Mai rises her vivid red light shines across Takumi, illuminating her brother when she casts her gaze out to him. He's safe, for now. Safe from the monster, if not from his own weakness.

COMBAT: Endo Naoki has used Piercing Claw on Mai Tokiha.
COMBAT: Mai Tokiha fails to counter Endo Naoki's Piercing Claw, taking 9 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Mai Tokiha's counterattack, Flare Shroud, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Endo Naoki!  
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Sniff sniff, sniff sniff -- the girl in temple-clothes creeps forward, on all forwards, bounding closer to the source more by smell than sight. When she stops at the ledge above that fateful clearing, she nods to herself, and stands. That is the good person, Mai, who fed her. Because she's a good person, Mikoto will use her strength to help her. She extends her hand, calls out into the sky. "Miroku!" And the obsidian blade fades from where it had leant by the wall, tumbles from the sky, lands next to her.

She takes it up in both her hands, and leaps down at the monster, intent on cleaving it straight in two... say, Mai, do you suppose a horrible supernatural beast is more or less tough than a cruise ship?

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Destruction on Endo Naoki.
COMBAT: Endo Naoki narrowly braces Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Destruction, taking 18 Fatigue damage!  
<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Takumi is safe. Even with a gargantuan monster trying to kill her, Mai breathes a sigh of relief. She's still able to keep her promise. As long as she's safe, she can try to figure out how to get the two of them out of this alive-

Easier said than done, as the monster swings that great clawed limb at her again. There's a brief crimson flash, a half-formed barrier against the strike - but it punches through, and Mai's flight goes wildly out of control for a moment. Tumbling head over heels, with no hope of salvation-

-and then an obsidian blade cleaves through the thing's midsection, and Mai has to stare in shock. That girl, Mikoto - what is she doing here? What is that blade? And...is that it? Is the nightmare over?

Mai comes to a halt by Takumi's side, and looks to the girl she was feeding not long ago. "Mikoto? What are you doing here?"

COMBAT: Mai Tokiha has used Is It Over? on Endo Naoki.
COMBAT: Endo Naoki fails to brace Mai Tokiha's Is It Over?, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Endo Naoki is Quipped!  
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

At first she clashes against the claw, at first it throws her away -- but she spins her sword around with stumbling bare feet and charges forward again, screaming like a feral beast, cleaving her obsidian sword straight through the monster.

She's not a girl at all... ... she's a warrior.

The girl called 'Mikoto' comes to rest near Takumi and Mai, still gripping her sword in a ready stance until she sees the Orphan fall. And then-- and then she turns to Mai, and she smiles, and it's as if all the killing-intent drained from her face in an instant. Now -- now she's happy, relieved to see that such a kind person is all right. "Mai! Mai, you're a HiME!" She chatters about it excitedly, as if she'd just found out that the elder Tokiha sister belonged to the same club...

Meanwhile, Natsuki gathers herself, after the shock of seeing their foe destroyed so easily. And when she hears the sword-bearing girl including Mai so easily, she scowls, and she yells: "You two, that's enough! Don't get involved in this!"

And the snarl returns to Mikoto's face, and she grips her sword again, ready to strike. Because that tall girl... she's an old enemy, too.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

There's awe in Mai's face for a moment. This girl, who attacked her, then fell over starving, then called her a good person, just sliced the monster in half... is now eagerly calling her a 'HiME', like Kuga-san was talking about. Mai looks at her golden bracelets, and realizes she still can't believe it. "No, this is...a mistake." It must be, right?

Kuga-san shouts, and Mai's attention is torn again - she's still on about this? Even after the monster...what kind of person is this motorcycle-riding girl? She moves to get between the gun-wielder and the sword-wielder, watching suspiciously to see what's going to happen next...

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"Now, now. It's too early for that, you two." It's that boy again, Nagi. He's perched on an out-jutting rock this time, one hand on his hip and another balancing the same book from before on his head. He's smiling. Completely unperturbed, as comfortable on the sidelines of a battlefield as he had been lounging in that tree.

And then the monster gets back up. The upper half of it quivers, then shoots back into the air. It's arms tuck together into one big mess, it's entire body turning and whirling into a fast-moving ball of motion. It hovers for just a second, and then comes crashing down in the spot where Natsuki and her Child stood just seconds earlier. When the ball uncurls again the monster has changed, now just one draconic head attached to a tail and two massive arms with vicious claws at their ends.

The second, still-limp half of the Orphan begins to move after that. It's multitude of arms start to whirl, blurring together into a whirlwind that propels it upward and into the air. Its flesh bubbles, bulging and shifting into a new head is formed, all full of razor-sharp teeth. It goes at Mai, full-force, maw open wide to crush her between its jaws.

COMBAT: Endo Naoki has used Claw Barrage on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Endo Naoki has used Dragon Fangs on Mai Tokiha.
COMBAT: Mai Tokiha fails to counter Endo Naoki's Dragon Fangs, taking 29 Fatigue damage!  Stun applied to Mai Tokiha!  
COMBAT: Mai Tokiha's counterattack, Flare Shroud, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Endo Naoki!  
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi narrowly dodges Endo Naoki's Claw Barrage, taking 9 Fatigue damage!  Mikoto Minagi's Fade ability activates!  Mikoto Minagi's Flash ability activates!  
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

"Yours is 'Mistake'?" Mikoto grins, and hefts her sword. "This is Miroku!"

It's too bad they couldn't continue their little chat -- but a strange little boy interrupts them, and so does the Orphan, who apparently won't die, even if you kill it. Natsuki and Duran leap away from the first attacking half in synchronisation -- it seems they, too, are familiar with fighting.

As if taking the stranger's warning to heart, Mikoto surges forward towards the more immediate enemy, swinging Miroku into it again. Meanwhile, Natsuki and her mysterious canine companion strike from afar -- "Duran! Load chrome cartridge! FIRE!" -- and somehow, Mikoto manages to weave through those bullets, or perhaps Duran carefully makes sure not to hit her. It's marvellous how good a truce a sudden third enemy can make.

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Devastation on Endo Naoki.
COMBAT: Endo Naoki fails to brace Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Devastation, taking 22 Fatigue damage!  Stagger applied to Endo Naoki!  

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"Miroku? Wait, I didn't mean-" And abruptly, there's an interruption. Mai's attention is brought to...Nagi. Too early...what could he mean by that?

The answer to that question seems to come before Mai can even voice it - the monster was actually two monsters all along, and it's distinctly not dead. Flames begin to take shape before Mai, forming a blazing crimson wall to keep those terrible jaws at bay. The barrier keeps her from being eaten, but the sheer force behind the monster pushes her further and further back, slams her against the wall, and keeps crushing her into the stone.

And then, there's a strange roar, and the pressure diminishes - the monster is pulling back, for some strange reason. Mai looks around for the other half, which is clashing with the other two HiME - then darts downwards, hauling Takumi further out of the line of fire. Maybe up against the wall, he'll be safe...

"...I'll take care of you, Takumi. Just like I promised." She's in pain - the claws, the slamming into the wall - all of this is taking its toll. But, as long as she can keep Takumi safe...it doesn't matter. One last time, she brushes a bit of hair away from his face...then flies upward to confront this threat.

Determination burns on her face. "I made a promise." She doesn't know what she can do, other than offer this monster a target...but the flames dancing around her wrists seem to have some idea, and lick at the monster's limbs. Just keep it focused on her...

COMBAT: Mai Tokiha has used Binding Ember on Endo Naoki.
COMBAT: Endo Naoki fails to brace Mai Tokiha's Binding Ember, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  
<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

The part of the Orphan attacking Mikoto is swinging its claws in wide arcs, smashing at the ground, at her, at everything in sight. The girl's sword tears a huge gash through the creature's center, spinning it around, the thing reaching an arm out to brace itself from the force of the blow that the girl hit it with. Frigid blue crystals smash into its flesh while it does, some breaking on its hide, some tearing holes in metallic flesh.

It's not done yet, though. It comes again, one huge claw reaching to snatch at the girl that wounded it so heavily.

On the other side of the clearing, the second half of the Orphan is bearing down on Mai. Again fire bathes it, and still it moves closer. Its huge eyes are locked on her, its fangs slowly spreading wide again.

"Mai-chan!" Nagi calls, "Look behind you!" At the wall. The jagged cliff with the white markings and, embedded in it, the hilt of a sword. There are grooves in it, vivid green marks, and something behind it. Waiting.

"To make it short," Because that's important, with the monstrosity hovering in front of her, "He's the one protecting you all this time." The boy's head cocks toward the rock. "Kagutsuchi. Of all the children, for him to be yours" It was in the water before. That shape. The fire. "Choose whether or not to accept him. Whether or not to fight alongside him. All you have to do is pull the sealing sword." That simple.

There's a brief interruption when a bullet wings by the boy's face. Natsuki is shouting something, something lost in the crash of stone and sounds of combat. Nagi's head only tilts in that direction for just a moment.

"Onee-chan..." It's just a breath from Takumi, a quiet plea.

"And...Mai-chan-No. Mai HiME. This goes without saying, but" Nagi turns aside, his palm nudging the book on his head back into place, preventing it from wobbling too far out of balance because of his pivot. "If you're going to fight, you'll have to put what's most important to you on the line." He smiles, hopping down from his perch to the ground below.

What's most important.

COMBAT: Endo Naoki has used Piercing Claw on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi narrowly counters Endo Naoki's Piercing Claw, taking 8 Fatigue damage!  Stagger applied to Mikoto Minagi!  
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi's counterattack, Obsidian Blade: Dauntlessness, partially gets through, doing 5 Fatigue damage to Endo Naoki!  
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

In the background, Mikoto and Natsuki struggle with their common enemy. The claw comes down-- "Duran!" -- and the wolf leaps at it, biting at that hulking limb. He's knocked away again, of course, but it's all the time Mikoto needs to roll away from the attack. She gets her bearings, strikes at the Orphan again -- because, well, when all you have is a sword, slicing things becomes your answer to everything.

It's a struggle which distracted Natsuki from Mai and Nagi, for just a few moments. When she realises what the boy is trying to tell that girl, though, she regrets it. That regret flies with her bullets, firing at Nagi. "No, stop! Don't listen to him!" But before she can explain, before she can tell Mai why she might regret it, another attack from their half of the Orphan sends her -- and Duran, and Mikoto -- leaping back to avoid getting crushed.

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Destabilise on Endo Naoki.
COMBAT: Endo Naoki narrowly braces Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Destabilise, taking 3 Fatigue damage!  

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Even with the slavering monster before her, Mai can't help but listen to Nagi's instruction. She looks - properly looks - at the wall behind her. The symbols. The sword. That shape.

She can, if only barely, remember. When the ship was bisected, and she and Mikoto fell into the water...there was something there. Blue flames, like a bird or dragon. Something protecting her.

Protecting her? Why? Why would she deserve that?

Whatever Kuga-san is shouting, whatever the monster's doing - none of that can grasp even a spark of her attention, not when Takumi is calling for her. The promise she made, the family shattered by a terrible tragedy...

Would Kagutsuchi protect him too? Because if that's the case, the risk...

Mai turns back to Nagi, her face set with a passionate drive. "...you mean I'll have to risk my life." Takumi is behind her, and her entire purpose... "I'll be more than glad to!" Without hesitation, Mai flies to the sword, grasping it with both hands. The blade that binds her Child shines with some unearthly light, and comes free....


The stone wall, with all its inscriptions, shatters to dust - and Mai flies to Takumi, snatching him out of the way of whatever comes from beyond. The sword lands, point first, in the ground before the monsters - then begins to shine. In moments, light has turned to flame, a great inferno erupting from the sealed wall, blazing bright in the night. Flames of passion, of ferocity, from which a greater monster arises.

A white head emerges from the flames. Strange, alien, with what seems like a dozen eyes. Large enough to eat a human in one bite, its mouth sealed shut by the very sword Mai pulled from the wall. Those myriad eyes blink, and turn to regard the HiME who has called it forth. It croons, its cry almost like that of some whale.

Mai looks into those eyes, Takumi held precious in her arms, and her face is ashen with awe and wonder. "Are...are you..." The Child, however, is paying more attention than its master, and regards the battlefield. There are two HiME, another Child, and two Orphans before it. Great flaming wings spread wide, and it seems to inhale - a mighty wind drawing debris and the Orphans in towards it.

There's a sound of metal on flesh. How binding is that sword?

COMBAT: Mai Tokiha transforms into Mai and Kagutsuchi!
COMBAT: Mai Tokiha has used Ferocious Challenge on Endo Naoki.
COMBAT: Endo Naoki narrowly braces Mai Tokiha's Ferocious Challenge, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Tangle applied to Endo Naoki!  
<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"That's our Mai-chan!" Nagi turns back, a hand extending back to give Mai an enthusiastic thumbs-up. She did it! He's so proud, happy enough to go skipping off and away from the destruction that's soon to be wrought across the mountain.

The Orphan struggling with Mikoto and Natsuki raises its head at the sound and the fury of Mai's child, it's eyes flashing wide. It can not, however, leave itself exposed to these things beneath it. Even as a bullet blows a hole through it and Mikoto shears another chunk of it off, it attacks. This time using it's tear, moving to tear into the ground.

The other, it has a much bigger problem. Splintered rock lifts from the floor, suction drawing debris and the Orphan itself toward the dragon's maw. It roars in defiance, it's mouth spreading wide, a glob of burning acid flung at the Child even as it goes involuntary hurtling toward it.

COMBAT: Endo Naoki has used Dragon Fangs on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Endo Naoki has used Acid Spit on Mai Tokiha.
COMBAT: Mai Tokiha narrowly braces Endo Naoki's Acid Spit, taking 8 Fatigue damage!  Mai Tokiha's Block ability activates!  Mai Tokiha's Parry ability activates!  
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi narrowly dodges Endo Naoki's Dragon Fangs, taking 17 Fatigue damage!  Mikoto Minagi's Fade ability activates!  Mikoto Minagi's Flash ability activates!  Stun applied to Mikoto Minagi!  
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Mikoto rolls away from the Orphan's strike, but not quite fast enough -- the impact causes her to stagger and fall, heavily impacting the ground. (Miroku never leaves her grasp.)

By the time she rights herself, pushes herself to her feet, Kagutsuchi is there. The Orphan is forgotten, momentarily, as she stares at it -- she and Natsuki both. It's giant. It blazes. And its voice is so gentle.

Natsuki is the first to turn and run, snapping at her companion, "Duran!" Mikoto turns as she watches her, looks back at Mai and her Child -- and follows, running at a fast clip despite the sword she drags behind her.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Great claws rise from the flames as Kagutsuchi reveals more of its might. A glob of burning acid comes hurtling in - the flames boiling it to vapor before it can strike. Acidic mist still burns, however, and Kagutsuchi screeches - metal tearing against flesh as it opens its mouth horribly wide.

Mai's awe is fanned by some healthy dose of fear - this Child has many, many teeth. It seems disinclined to eat her, though - but Kagutsuchi is clearly angry, and the Orphans before it are the target of that wrath. Still, it inhales. "Kagutsuchi? What are you doing?..."

There is heat. There is light. Wheels pop out of the Child's back, spinning in opposite directions to a fever pitch as the power redoubles itself, growing by the second. The stone floor shudders, shatters from the sheer might that is building here as Kagutsuchi's wrath prepares to make itself known to the world. These base shadows have dared to injure Mai, and so destruction shall be visited upon them both equally.

A terrible realization comes to Mai, as the enormity of the power at her command makes itself known. She pulls back from her Child - Takumi is in her arms, and he needs to be shielded from what's coming. And those who helped protect him-

Mai screams out at the top of her lungs. "Mikoto! ...Kuga-san! RUN!"

The power works its way from Kagutsuchi's chest, up its throat, into that sword-pierced maw - and like a volcano, fire is unleashed upon everything before it. It shines, it burns, it devastates everything in its path. The Orphans are in its path.

So is the forest.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Mai Tokiha has used Shining Days on Endo Naoki.
COMBAT: Endo Naoki accepts Mai Tokiha's Finisher, Shining Days, taking 162 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Endo Naoki is unable to keep fighting!  
<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Nothing stands.

The Orphans are gone. Their bodies aren't even cinders, just wiped from existence and cleansed in flame. The forest has only fared slightly better. Where the clearing was--and the topmost side of the mountain--is a crater, and the path of the fire has left a clear line down the forest, destroying everything in its path that it passed.

It's a good bet people will notice.