Season 2, Episode 3: The Mysterious Trove Corporation

I. R. Shogun

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The days following the Firestorm had dragged on beyond what Shogun could accept as the normal number of hours. It had been four days and it was still all anyone was talking about, be it Dragn's defeat of Arlo, or what seemed to have been the biggest shocker, Shogun's loss. Shogun had been beaten before, but when it happened it usually took a few weeks for people to stop talking about it with a stunned look in their eyes. As much as the loss stung, Shogun had managed to keep his mind off of it by thinking about what had happened after the tournament.

Before he could go back to thinking of his night out with Jeze he ran into Dragn. They'd been continuing their study of the chi force without many results, until Dragn enlisted the aid of one of the school's new magic students by the name of Gin. It struck Shogun as odd that he'd never seen this kid until Dragn introduced them, but nonetheless he seemed knowledgeable and more importantly he was apparently connected.

"So what were our results for yesterday?" Shogun asked.

"Well, yesterday we were only really monitoring muscle recovery rates, but everyone that we've seen to have talent for the Chi Force has shown a good deal of improvement from the control figures we gathered on the first day," replied Dragn.

Their talking continued on this vein for a while as Dragn showed Shogun the figures they'd seen through out all the testing. As they parted ways they agreed to meet up before classes started up when everyone got together in the cafeteria, since both of them currently had other things to attend to.

Every other day after school Shogun, Dragn and some of the others would go to a lab Gin had access to where they could more accurately measure chi flow and the effects of different techniques that were being performed. Furthermore, Gin seemed to know how to maximize the results they encountered. While they still weren't capable of anything like what they'd seen in that alternate reality, but they had been able to dramatically increase their stamina and pure power of their attacks. It was progress.

On the days that they weren't at that lab Shogun's time was typically divided between his grandfather's rigid training and Jeze. The Old Man felt Shogun had softened over time, and he needed to get back into proper form. If there was anything that would do that, it was the Old Man's training. Take any martial arts movie training sequence and multiply it by ten and you had the type of ridiculous tasks the Old Man put Shogun through. It didn't matter that Shogun's fighting style had since deviated greatly from that the Old Man had taught him, this was something that they always went through when he visited, and Shogun couldn't help but feel it was going to be helpful very soon. For what he didn't know.
 

Dragn9

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After the days that followed the tournament it hadn’t taken Dragn very long to reveal to Gin what he had been studying. Although most of the students were still talking about the results of the matches Dragn paid them no heed, for after the tournament he was able to focus all his efforts on the mysteries of the chi force. He spent most of his time deep in thought and Gin had always found away to be in Dragn’s presence, constantly inquiring about Dragn’s work. So after awhile Dragn gave in and disclosed some of the information that they had gathered to the new magic student.

It surprised Dragn how much Gin knew about the force and how willing he was to be of some assistance, opting to help in whatever way possible. After some time Dragn included Gin in some of his studies, which in turn Gin had lent them the use of a lab so that they could perform their tests. The lab was full of state of the art technology and gimmicks, enabling them to get better results. Before Gin had come into the picture their results had been minimal but with the added technology they had access to, they were beginning to see some increased development in their testing.

Finally, a step forward in the right direction. Dragn thought, but for some reason things seemed to be coming too easily, he had spent most of the summer studying the chi force and it now seemed to be unravelling quickly. However he did not voice his concerns to the others, they were finally making progress and Dragn could feel that they were on their way to a major breakthrough, but the uncertainty was always in the back of his mind.

Dragn sat in the cafeteria, waiting for the others to arrive. He had his notes and the results from the latest tests scattered out before him, Gin sat across from him surveying the papers as well.

"So, what do you think about the latest results?" Gin asked, Dragn, looking up from his papers, sat there for a moment, he had just been about to ask Gin the same thing.

Dragn sighed, “I believe that the numbers that have been generated from the recent test have grown substantially since we began, the amount of power that everyone is producing has increased dramatically.” Gin nodded his head in agreement “To be able to gain greater control of the flow of the chi force, every individual must increase all other aspects of their abilities.”

“Such as muscle recovery, stamina and their overall speed” Gin interjected.

“Exactly” Dragn replied, “But, you have proven to be quite the vital piece, figuring out ways that we can maximize the outcome of these results. You have been able to direct us so that the power we produce goes into the full impact of the techniques without any of the energy going to waste."

Gin nodded his head, "It's just a matter of calculating the percentage of power the individual produces on executing a technique and the percentage of that power that is lost in the slightest extra movement...."

"....that on most occasions is unnecessary, and is only using up vital energy, withdrawing from the overall effectiveness of the attack." Dragn finished.

They sat there for a moment before turning back to the charts, deep in concentration. Gin then placed his papers down and rose from his seat. "I need to get something from my locker, I'll be back shortly" Gin said. Dragn just nodded, without looking up.
 

Confessor

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The recovering process had taken a bit longer than Confessor had expected. Another full week of school passed and was still abuzz with conversations about the Firestorm Tournament. Some had even made bets on who would win what match and traded various snacks in lunch or some even money. Her classes went on as scheduled but this time more and more of her students were asking her what it was like to be in the tournament. Of course she answered there questions but asked that they focus on the lesson.

She briefly saw Shogun in school except at lunch, in the hallways, or heading with Jeze toward the bus. She hadn't spoken with him but she knew he would be training with everything he had. His grandfather was a very interesting old fellow. She had been paying a lot of attention to questions the students were asking in regards to blocking spells. This after all was one of the most important lessons in the classroom. One should know how to block any kind of spell. She repeatedly brought up this lesson in her classes. She was going to drill it into the kid’s heads so they could know what to do when the situation arose. She hoped for their sakes it would never be necessary, but then again she used that lesson against her fight with Arlo. That was a very intense fight and she knew she had hurt him as he had hurt her. Her thoughts were drawn away as she heard the bell ring letting or her final class.

“Hold on there kiddies.” She said stopping her students rising out of their seats. A packet of papers fluttered into each of the students hands. Most of them looked it the title sheet and gawked.

“I want you to read the defenses against spells chapter and give a presentation about the one you liked the most two weeks from now. That Wednesday we will begin the presentations.”

The students groaned at this news. Confessor ignored the groans and watched them get out of their seats and head out of the room. She sat down and began flipping through her great aunt’s journal in search for protection spells she hadn’t been taught.
 

Meteorain

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The bruised and battered Met rode slowly back to Sempai High, his thoughts far away, back to the tournament he had just finished. Thoughts of what he had done....

------------------Flashback----------------

Met had finally reached his destination about an hour later, and what a destination it was.
The isolated building was almost like a ruin. Moss and vines grew on its outer walls. Yet for all it’s decadence it was imposing with its massive size. Coliseum in it’s structure, it was roofless and round. Met could see just how huge the building was as he had approached it.

He pulled his bike up behind the jeep of the Blackjack trio as they parked in the makeshift parking area. He wasn’t too bothered about being seen now. The Blackjack group gave the two of them a flat stare but Met could see the slight surprise of recognition in the small change of expression. He returned the stare, and the three merely turned around and headed to the entrance of the building.

“When we get there, just shut up and let me speak” Met told Alice –apparently that was her name- as the girl stretched from sitting for so long.

“Don’t be so grumpy” she replied and stuck her tongue out at him. Oh for the love of God he though to himself, placing his head in his hand. The girl was too…too excitable.

Approaching the entrance with Alice in tow, he saw the two men from earlier still at the door, most obviously guards.

“Invite” one of them.

“The flimsy piece of paper? Don’t have that” he answered them.

“Then you’re not welcome, leave before you get hurt” the second said this time.

“Calm down now. I have this instead” he told them and produce the rookie badge he had shown the two men who were to have met Gato representatives.

The two guards eyed the badge and were silent for a while before they answered.

“I don’t think this will get you in.”

“Look. I’ve been to this before and if you know anything about that badge, you would know better than to say no.”

“Fine, but what about her?” the first guy replied eventually realising two extra people wouldn’t matter. The guy looked like he was used to these things, but the girl…

“I’m with him” Alice said before Met could reply and clung onto his arm. Met just sighed as the guy nodded and moved to let them both in. As they entered the building they could see the enormity of it up close. It really was like the coliseum. There were many tiered seats all around, but were broken as though and earthquake split it in many places. People sat on lopsided piece of stone. Some of the seating was lined with moss. The centre of the place itself was huge, about sixty metres in diameter; plenty of room for fighting.

Met looked around and spotted the two people he was looking for. He had only half expected to find them doing the job of keeping track of the participants.

“Well, well, well. It seems you made it here” said one of them as he spotted Met making his way over to them. They were the same two guys that he had met when he went to the destination in Gato’s letter.

“Dan, that idiot. I’ll make sure-” the second guy –the uppity one- began.

“Don’t bother. It’s good he let him in. Things might get interesting now. Who’s she?” Girlfriend” he nodded in Alice’s direction.

“No. She just followed me. Put my name down for the individual representative” Met said getting straight to his point.

“Sorry, all five slots have been taken” the lazy one continued to write something down.

“Who’s the weakest on the list? Point him out.” Surprisingly the man complied and pointed out to a shaven headed thug in a heavy coat with a heavily studded face in the seating area. Met began to make his way over to him without another word.

“What are you going to do?” Alice asked as she trailed behind him. Curiously she was wearing a set of rollerblades now and they looked really damn familiar to Met.

“Taking his place” Met simply replied as he finally approached the guy.

“Hey! I need you to withdraw from the tournament so I can take place.”

The guy blinked at him and then burst out laughing, his already ugly face contorting into an uglier one.

“What the hell? What’s a shit like you going to do? I’m gonna say no”

“I really hoped I didn’t have to hurt you” said Met, his feelings not quite complying with his words.

“Screw you, fu-” the guy started and charged at Met. He didn’t even get to finish his sentence as Met dropped him unconscious with a casual kick to the chin.

“Ehhh! Not bad grumpy-chan” Alice said as Met made his way back to the lazy guy; the name Met mentally gave the man.

“He’s withdrawn”

“I thought he might, so I put your name down. Meteorain wasn’t it? Odd name that…”

“The world’s odd like that” he replied and turned away to find himself a seat. Finding a not too crowded spot fairly near to the arena and created himself a cushioned seat. Alice did so too and sat next to him. Having taken a seat, Met finally got to look around at the people in the place. There must have been a few thousand of people, and plenty of seating was still left, testimony to the size of the place. Most people were from various gangs and there were some rich folk obviously entering their own guys to bet on.

Met smiled to himself, humoured. The Hell on Earth Tournament was supposed to be a very underground like event. Real fights, no rules except the unspoken one’s and basically non-sport like. Yet there was still a sense of sport about it, with fighters getting stuff like badges and marks of exceptional skill. The Hell on Earth tournaments were country based tournaments just one step down from the world stage and brought the toughest fighters in the country. It was a fairly exclusive event and only certain people were allowed in.

“Why are you here?” Alice asked him.

Met remember when he was in one of these last time. It was about 5 years ago when he was fifteen and had recently joined a gang called Hellhounds after getting involved in a fight that he stumbled upon one night. This was before he even joined Sempai High and had left home. In a matter of months he rose through the ranks and was chosen to take part in the upcoming Hell on Earth tournament. He was told to enter as an individual participant to help the team as a second force. He was doing quite well until the last match to get into the quarter finals. The skill difference was too great and Met lost from a savage beating to the guy who would be second overall. It was the first time that Met realised that his power was so minor compared to the guy’s on the world stage; the stage he was intent on conquering. He left the Hellhounds after that and enrolled into the fighting school of Sempai High to better his skills.

“To see how fat I’ve come” he replied simply. It was just after saying that, that an amplified voice spoke to the crowd. It came from the lazy guy.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to GEHENAAA!!!!” The crowd roared into life. A huge difference from the buzzing moments earlier. Met just smiled at the name of the place. Gehenna was a name alternate to Hell, described as a final punishment for the wicked and sometimes as a spiritual forge in which souls are purified after death.

“Well without further bullshit from me, let the tournament begin!”

*----------------------------------------- 2 Hours Later ---------------------------------------------*

For the first two hours since the tournament began Met just sat back and watched as the different gangs fought it out. Not all the matches were fights though. There were various competitions so that fighters could really fight it out in the later rounds.

It was then that Met finally heard his name called out and he literally jumped out of seat from waiting and went down to the arena. Unfortunately for individual entrants there was no adjustment to make it one-on-one. They had to face off against whole teams, a down side to fighting solo. This match requires either team to the emblem tied to a balloon floating twenty metres above them.

Met didn’t waste any time as he created a platform underneath him that began to rise upwards. The first of the five man team jumped up at him but Met smacked him back down to the ground. The next two also came at him and a third fired a compressed ball of air at him. He swiftly ducked under the first guy’s attack, his the second guy in the face and deflected the ball of air back at the first guy. The last guy and the magic user both fired fireballs at him, but they missed and met just accelerated the platform to the balloon and snatched the emblem before returning to the ground and declared the winner.

The new few hours would pass in a similar manner with Met occasionally having to compete in matches which he won easily. He was waiting for the real fighting to start. Waiting to break the barrier he failed at last time…
 
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I. R. Shogun

I. R. Shogun

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Harrison Trove sat in his office as he considered all the aspects of the investment he was making in the fighters of Sempai High. Thus far several of the fighters with no talent for magic had shown a good deal of talent for the chi force. The fighters with such an ability were the cream of the crop, I. R. Shogun, Lillith Forbid, Rosgwak, and Kakashi. However there was another name that caught his interest, Senekha.

Trove had been the one who gave the order for her to be taken out during the Firestorm. It seemed that by not sending Red Death to handle her himself he'd made a dire error, he should have known the other cronies from Gato were worthless, especially when it came to killing someone like Senekha. Trove himself had met her on the field of battle once, but it wasn't something he'd soon forget.

She hadn't fought like any human woman should. She was wild, but she fought with a single minded focus and purpose, to destroy anything and anything that got in her way, and she was damn good at it. She'd slaughtered a major Columbian drug operation he had owned, conveniently enough he'd been there at the time, and he'd been the only one who survived Senekha's attack. He'd defeated her of coarse, but she'd been the only person who'd ever been capable of harming him since he'd unlocked his powers, and she'd done so by demonstrating first hand her talent for the chi force.

Trove had managed to dispatch her and her unrefined skills, but he'd been a fool not to have stepped on her throat then and there. Leaving her for dead had been a rare mistake for Trove, one of his few regrets thus far. Still, he knew Senekha's game, she worked for money, if she became a problem, even if he couldn't simply have her killed off, he was certain he'd be able to persuade her into his services. He only wondered just how her chi force powers would fully manifest themselves.
 

Senekha

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Although Sen had been completely healed by Confessor soon after the assault, it took several days for her strength to return to her. To be force-healed of fatal injuries in one blow took a toll on the body – the body recovered, but the brain took time to catch up to the unnatural rate of healing. Sen was grateful for the aid that had been given to her by the other of Sempai High; she was a new student, and do to her time away hadn’t even been able to form any true relationships with any of the students. Yet, they showed true concern and gave their help willingly. Their tenderness during her recovery had struck a chord within Sen, and resurfaced feelings that Sen had blocked from her mind for the past two years. Two years ago Sen had pushed all soft emotion from her mind as she had embarked on her bloody crusade. She had only been eighteen at the time, but those two years had aged her more than they should have.

But along with these emotions came memories, memories that she had for so long tried to forget…

Sen hadn’t yet had a chance to thanks Confessor and Dragn personally for their aid. If it hadn’t been for Dragn’s call for help and Confessor’s timely arrival, Sen would have likely died from the combination of the major internal bleeding and the sword wound that had taken her through her shoulder, which had pierced a major artery. She vowed to herself that she would find the two before the end of the day, and thank them.

So it was that after her magic class that day, Sen sought out Confessor once the other students had left.

“Professor, I would like to convey my sincere gratitude for the healing you gave me at the Firestorm. If you hadn’t arrived when you did, I would not be here today.”

Confessor smiled. “No need for the formalities. I was glad to help.”

Sen inclined her head, returning Confessor’s smile. “I have…no one has done what you did for me before. If you ever need an help whatsoever, please…call upon me first.”
 

Confessor

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Although Sen had been completely healed by Confessor soon after the assault, it took several days for her strength to return to her. To be force-healed of fatal injuries in one blow took a toll on the body – the body recovered, but the brain took time to catch up to the unnatural rate of healing. Sen was grateful for the aid that had been given to her by the other of Sempai High; she was a new student, and do to her time away hadn’t even been able to form any true relationships with any of the students. Yet, they showed true concern and gave their help willingly. Their tenderness during her recovery had struck a chord within Sen, and resurfaced feelings that Sen had blocked from her mind for the past two years. Two years ago Sen had pushed all soft emotion from her mind as she had embarked on her bloody crusade. She had only been eighteen at the time, but those two years had aged her more than they should have.

But along with these emotions came memories, memories that she had for so long tried to forget…

Sen hadn’t yet had a chance to thanks Confessor and Dragn personally for their aid. If it hadn’t been for Dragn’s call for help and Confessor’s timely arrival, Sen would have likely died from the combination of the major internal bleeding and the sword wound that had taken her through her shoulder, which had pierced a major artery. She vowed to herself that she would find the two before the end of the day, and thank them.

So it was that after her magic class that day, Sen sought out Confessor once the other students had left.

“Professor, I would like to convey my sincere gratitude for the healing you gave me at the Firestorm. If you hadn’t arrived when you did, I would not be here today.”

Confessor smiled. “No need for the formalities. I was glad to help.”

Sen inclined her head, returning Confessor’s smile. “I have…no one has done what you did for me before. If you ever need an help whatsoever, please…call upon me first.”

"I will keep that in mind Sen. I was more than glad to help out a fellow warrior such as yourself. Perhaps you and I can one evening indulge in our love for weapons and hand to hand combat. If you ever need anything by all means contact me whenever necessary. I trust you can stand up on your own two feet and handle a battle very well which is one of the reasons I respect you so much. Your exterior shows you are a hard lady who fights for her own reasons. You are indeed a worthy opponent and ally in the heat of battle. Call me if you ever need any aide." She bowed her head in respect to Sen and smiled at the younger woman.

Yet what was curious to Confessor was that Sen's eyes looked much older than her own. She knew this woman was more than your regular batch of women. She was a woman of great power and strength. Confessor herself remembered the times when she was once like Senekha. To be wild and free of her duty. She knew the woman was worthy of the blades she carried. She knew her way around the battle grounds as if they were her home. She hoped she had earned the woman's trust and maybe one day she would show her where she had originally come from. She closed her great aunt's book and stood up. Looking at Sen she smiled.
 
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Meteorain

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Met heard his name called out once more and he watched the other fighter enter the arena. The current round was the second away from the quarter-finals. After this came his barrier.

Met had made sure to watch carefully for any exceptional fighter, and watched how they fought. This opponent wasn’t one of them. His name was Sigurd and he was a weapon’s user. His weapon of choice was a claymore. He was a towering at six foot and nine inches who could swing his blade with a speed faster than expected from a normal user. Met smiled to himself; nearly all weapon’s users had the same flaw and he was going to expose it.

The fight began and Sigurd made the first move. He charged at Met and brought his claymore down in a vicious arc but Met easily avoided it and circled round to the back of him. Met continued to then dodge the moves for a bit, gauging how fast exactly the man could bring his sword to bear; the conclusion – not fast enough. Met was a fairly head-on, no bullshit fighter but he wasn’t a stupid one either.

“Stand still and let me swat you, you little shit” Sigurd growled at him, once again charging. Met swiftly stepped into the striking range as Sigurd began another swing. Sigurd was surprised by the speed at how quickly he closed in and found himself looking straight into Met’s eyes, who gave him his trademark sadist smile.

“All you weapon users act the same. You say your weapon is merely an extension of your body, you forget that the rest of your body is a weapon, and never use it” he told Sigurd before executing his move.

Met sidestepped the man and delivered a powerful strike to the man’s temple. He would be stunned for several seconds as his brain activity is disrupted. Those few seconds were all that Met needed. Grabbing the man’s hair he pulled Sigurd’s head down and exposed his throat. In one fluid motion he brutally brought down the side of his forearm, fist clenched tight to smash down on his neck.

Sigurd collapsed to the floor in a heap and then flailed about in pain before passing out. The man was dragged out of the arena and Met was declared the winner. The crowd roared at the physical display of power; the blood of vicious men that attended this tournament. The last solo contestant other than Met was out and he had one more fight before the quarter finals.

This next round had 16 teams and only 8 matches due to the knockout style of the tournament. Met’s match would be fourth from last as he could see on the board conjured up and displayed in the air.

The next five matches varied from short vicious but one-sided fights to long drawn out fights between similarly skilled opponents. From now on, teams could only send in one of their five members to represent them in the fights. This was somewhat advantageous as it allowed teams to rotate fighters so they got as much healing time as possible. Yet it was another unfortunate instance for solo fighters such as Met.

Met made sure once again that he watched the fights carefully in case he fought the same guy at a later stage. Although Met did believe that most of the fighters sucked at fighting. A sudden thought then surprised him. The usually talkative and excitable Alice hadn’t said much to him apart from asking a few questions. He looked at her and saw her watching the fights intently. She was really attractive if he thought about it…Blasphemy! Lilith is the only one He mentally berated himself. He then heard his name called out once again.

Standing in the arena he watched as the other teams put forth their fighter. Met hadn’t see this guy fight much, and when he did it wasn’t all that impressive. Apparently this guy’s name was Beltane. He was shorter than Sigurd but still taller than Met at a height of six foot three. Met was only five foot eleven. The guy was well muscled with particular muscularity in the legs. No doubt a kicking type Met noticed.

The fight began but neither fighter moved as they waited for the other do to so first. Met did so. Clapping his hands together he then placed them on the ground. A large piece of earth grew out next to Beltane and struck him in the waist. The man glared at him and then charged. He came in with a flying spinning kick which Met ducked under and countered. Rotating his body he threw a reverse rising kick to Beltane’s head from below him. The other man dodged it and with a burst of agility spun to deliver his own spinning reverse kick which caught met across the side of his torso and knocked him back to the floor.

“You really suck. I’m sure you didn’t know Gods walked the Earth” Beltane shouted and once again came at him. Met snapped. He had intended to fight all his fights calmly but this guy was looking down on him; something Met’s character just wouldn’t allow. Met gave no warning as he rose with frightening speed to knock aside the incoming axe kick aimed at him. How I hate you Zangief, but you’ve got once bitch of a move and I’m going to steal it.

Swiftly circling behind Beltane he grabbed the man by the waist in a bear-hug. The next three moves ended the match. Met performed a German Suplex, then flipped opposite to the Suplex movement still holding onto Beltane who was still in the original position and performed a second German Suplex and then a final third one all in succession completely knocking out the man and leaving him with a severely damaged head and neck. The barrier was broken with ease.

“I am one of those Gods!” he shouted and then turned to the crowd, “Don’t you think?” he asked flinging both of his hands into the air. The crowd answered his question with a roar of cheers. If there was one thing Met loved, it was the crowd’s attention and he had a surprising skill to rouse them since he wasn’t much of a people’s person.

“Grumpy-chan, you can be cool sometimes” Alice said to him in delight when he returned to his seat.

“Just call me Met damnit” he said back. The crowd’s reply had made him happy enough that he wasn’t bothered by her name calling. Nor did it make him realise he had incited her to call him by his nickname.
 

Kenshin

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Kenshin yawned as he walked down the hall of Sempai High towards the lunch room. He hadn't gotten much sleep lately, he'd been training like never before. His devastating loss at the firestorm tournament made him realize that he was weak. Too weak, and he had decided to change that. Ken looked down at his hand. He traced the scorch marks on his palm with his index finger, wincing slightly. Stupid magic. he thought to himself.Never as reliable as cold steel.

Kenshin entered the cafeteria. He glanced around for some of his friends. He only saw
Dragn9, the mage. Ken grabbed some rice and ramen from the buffet, and went to sit down next to him.
"Hello Dragn, what have you been up to??" Kenshin asked. He was so engrossed with his ramen he didn't even notice the student walking away from their table, a smirk on his face.
Dragn looked up from his book with a start.
"Oh hey Kenshin. Just the normal stuff, working on studying the chi force with Gin."

"Who's Gin?" Ken asked curiously.

"A new kid, apparently." Dragn replied, with a slightly irritated tone.

"Oh, I see. I'll let you study then." Dragn appeared not to notice him, absorbed in his studies.

Not long after he said that, a boy sat down at the table.
"Im back Dragn, and....." The boy looked and Kenshin strangely."Who..."

"I'm Kenshin, a friend of Dragn's." Kenshin said with a smile. There was something about this kid, something Kenshin didn't like, but he couldn't place it.

"Oh, well, hi, im Gin."

"It's a pleasure Gin."

"Oh, likewise I'm sure." Gin replied absently, already lost in more studies.

Kenshin smiled slightly and continued to work on his lunch.
 

Confessor

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The night had come to Confessor's doorstep all too quickly. She had gotten home rather early from her three-mile run and was working on dinner. On any other normal school night she would have gone to the gym to work off her stress but she didn't tonight. The run had allowed her to think on what happened during the tournament. A lot had gone on including her defeat by Red Death. Thankfully Gato hadn't won or had they? That one question had been on her mind for quite some time now.

The semester had resumed and they were now into their first set of exams for the year. The presentations she had assigned to her class was part of that exam but not all of it. The students still had to take a written and a magical exam. Looking up from her pot of boiling noodles she thought she heard someone or something. As she let a calmness surround her body she felt it was a dog chasing a cat on the opposite end of her property.

Five minutes passed and the noodles had became soft enough to eat along with her homemade spicy spaghetti sauce. The recipe was her grams but she had added a few more ingredients, mainly the spices which made it snazzy. She always improve certain dishes with spices, a trait she had since she was a kid. The hotter items were the better she felt. She had never come to the conclusion as to why she engrossed her body with Hot food. As she drained the noodles in a colander she grabbed her plate and put a healthy spoonful of the steamy noodles on top, followed by a gigantic scoop of sauce.

She had warmed herself some garlic bread she made a week before in the oven. As she quickly took out a piece she put it on the side of her plate, picked up her fork, and walked over to her table. She had turned on a bit of soft music in the background which helped her relax.

As she took a seat she looked at the meal before her and smiled. She had already poured herself a glass of apple cider which was still chilled as she brought the glass to her lips and took a drink. Next she began eating her hearty meal when her phone in the bedroom rang. Strange...nobody knew her number. She clearly kept it unlisted. She didn't even give it to the school staff. If they needed help she was to be notified through the magical seams and not by telephone. Frowning slightly she walked into the bedroom and picked up the receiver.

"Hello?"

There wasn't an answer on the other end so she said Hello again and then the line went dead. Shaking her head she put the receiver into its cradle and went back into the kitchen where she finished her meal.

An hour later she lay in bed thinking about the strange phone call. She was just about to fall asleep when she felt her skin tingle with magic. Whose magic she didn't know but she leapt from her bed because the magical powers were on her front doorstep. She pulled on a black tank top, a pair of silky black pajama bottoms, and her slip on tennis shoes. Walking down the staircase she paused at the landing and caught a scent of something more outside her door. She flung open the door and saw a young man standing there grinning from ear to ear. His power was immense but that was impossible. Carefully she asked the man what he was doing but he only smirked and laughed at her. Confessor’s nose wrinkled up in disgust and she stared at the boy. Carefully she touched the boy’s shoulder when his image vanished from sight. Stunned at this reaction she suddenly realized she was caught in the midst of a trap. A trap set for her. Snarling loudly she turned to get back inside of her house when something caught her ankle and flung her out into the street.

She landed hard on her back with a thud knocking the wind from her lungs. She slowly opened her eyes to see who had caught her and gasped as she saw Red Death standing before her grinning all too wickedly. "What do you want?" she hissed as she tried to pull off the metal wire from the whip he held in his hands from her ankle.

"What else darling? A rematch. I want to see who is the better of the two." Red Death snapped and then smiled as he looked down at Confessor.

"Why didn’t you set up an appointment with my secretary then? I don't take likely to idiots who just show up at my door picking a fight. That’ll get them burned."

Red Death ignored her comment and stared down at her. "Let’s just say a rematch will finally do me justice. You see I’ve been thinking....no.....dreaming of having your blood on my hands once again. I had to come and get some of your precious blood."

Confessor finally unhooked the whip from her ankle and jumped backwards a few feet from Red Death. "Why didn’t you just bottle it up from the tournament. I do believe I bled enough for you that day."

The smiled she got in return told her he wanted more than just blood. Thus began the fight of the two fiercest warriors from the tournament. Red Death on one side and Confessor on the other but this time she wasn’t upholding the honor of the school instead the honor was her own. She calmly summoned her sword to her side and it appeared in a flash of brilliant blue light. The weapon was begging her for Red Death’s blood to be spilt on the blade and soon she would have it.
 
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Dragn9

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Gin walked to his locker, after dispelling the wards he casually looked up and down the hall to ensure that no one was watching. He waited for some students to turn the corner, so now the hall was completely empty aside from him, he then opened up the locker and tugged on one of the coat hooks. The back wall of the locker began to move, it turned around and there was a monitor on the other side. Gin pressed a button on the top of the monitor and a large man’s shadowy figure appeared on the screen.

“A progress report Agent Gin?” The man asked.

“Yes my lord, everything is going according to plan, Dragn9 has recruited me to assist him in the study of the Chi Force. Him and the others have been using the lab regularly to further their understanding of the force.”

“I’m assuming that your aid has helped to quicken their understanding.” Trove replied.

“But of course my lord, I have given them ample information about the force and ways of improving their abilities. The data that has been produced thus far should be to your liking. I am sending over a copy of their stats as we speak , so that you may review the progress for yourself.” With that a slot appeared beside the monitor and Gin slipped some charts through. Looking back at the monitor Gin watched, within seconds the man picked up the papers and began to look them over. A large grin appeared over Trove’s face.

“Excellent work Agent Gin, I am pleased with the results thus far. Continue on with your objective.”

“Yes my lord.” Gin bowed and the screen went blank. Tugging back on the coat hook the wall turned back to its original position, the monitor no longer in view. Searching around he found some print outs and gathered them up. He closed his locker door, replaced the wards and walked back to the cafeteria. A slight grin on his face from having pleased his master.

"Im back Dragn, and....” Gin looked over at Kenshin, "Who..."

"I'm Kenshin, a friend of Dragn's." He replied.

Dragn listened to the exchange between Kenshin and Gin as he looked over his notes. Gin then looked over at Dragn once Kenshin had returned to his lunch.

“I went to retrieve some more print outs”. Dragn nodded his head as Gin passed him the sheets. He quickly looked it over. Then he placed the sheets down and looked over at Kenshin, Dragn could tell by the fact that he kept yawning, that he hadn’t been getting enough sleep.

“How is your training going Kenshin?” Dragn asked, “Over exerting yourself isn’t healthy. You must get enough sleep and rest or else your body will not perform well, and all that training will be for nothing. Giving your muscles ample time to recover will enable them to function at 100% when needed.”
 

Kakashi

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Kakashi entered the Cafeteria sluggishly, and noticed Dragn and Kenshin sitting at a table together. Sliding up next to Kenshin he heard the butt end of a conversation, "ample time to recover will enable them to function at 100% when needed.”

Wondering what they were talking about, Kakashi noticed another kid studying next to Dragn. Before Kenshin could answer the inquiry, Kakashi whispered to him, "Who's the new kid?"

"Wah? Kakashi, is that you?" Kenshin forced between yawns.

"Yeah, who'd the new kid?"

"Um...oh, that's Gin."

Kakashi left Kenshin to answer Dragn's question, and he went across the table from "Gin"

Kakashi poked Gin's arm "Hey!"

Gin looked up, startled. "Dra-" before he could finsh, Kakashi cut in, "He knows me, don't worry. I know you're Gin, and i am Kakashi. What brings you here?"

"School."

"Ah, one of those. Anyways, just wanted to say hi."

"Er, yeah. Thanks." His eyes wandered across the room.

Kakashi laughed. At first look, Gin was a nervous exchange stundent, but he seemed to have a colder side. Probally just jitters. He didn't blame the did. He hardly knew anyone at Sempai.

"Don't worry about it kid."

"Kid?"

"Later."

Damn newbies.....
 
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I. R. Shogun

I. R. Shogun

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Trove pondered the latest mission report from Red Death. The masked fighter had been sent to capture the one called Confessor. She was a potent magus and a skilled fighter with blade and fist, such warriors would prove a valuable asset to anyone who was able to control them. Trove wondered if he hadn't made a mistake in sending Red Death alone to capture her, but he supposed there was little else that could be done since his other lieutenants were all in action elsewhere.

Red Death was certainly a capable warrior, but he was far too easily distracted. If he could keep a level head and focus then there would be no hope for Confessor, but otherwise one of them would be reduced to nothing of any use to him, and that simply wouldn't do. "You, minion, show surveillance videos on Red Death, all on screen," he said. The underling he'd addressed quickly complied.

Trove watched with interest as Red Death engaged Confessor, but he was interrupted with a transmission from agent Gin. "Report," he said, hiding his irritation.

"My lord, everything is going well. At tonight's meeting Senekha will not be present, which will make it the perfect time for you to get to know your future pawns a little better. Perhaps your presence and guidance will allow them to get a better undeerstanding and deal of control over the chi force," said Gin.

Trove grinned now, his sinister wide grin, "Excellent Agent Gin. Tell me, who among their non mages is showing the best results thus far?"

"Senekha and I. R. Shogun are both bordering on being able to generate sparks. Rosgwak is able to coat his weapons in energy, so far almost all of them are able to make their auras visible," replied Gin.

Trove's grin widened more, "Excellent. Keep me informed as details become available. I'll make sure to be present at tonight's work..."
******************************

The day was a blur to Shogun. Each class seemed to pass in an instant, before he knew it it was lunch time, which would likely be spent studying their data from the lab tests. Gin was going to need to explain most of the figures and possible ways they could bring them up since tonight was another big night for their work in the lab. More importantly they were going to be meeting their sponsor for this work.

Or rather, they would be meeting him again. Shogun still felt uneasy when he recalled their first meeting with Harrison Trove at the Firestorm. He was a giant of a man, and he radiated menace. Shogun hadn't spoken with the Old Man about it, but he had a feeling Harrison Trove could very well have a similar level of power to his grandfather. Shogun didn't like it, but for the most part it seemed they were just going to have to grin and bear it since this was the only effective way that they were going to advance in their study of the chi force.

Shogun walked towards the lunch room alone for the first time since early in the school year. Jeze had some work she needed to do in the magics wing, so she'd be eating lunch there. He was disappointed sure, but there wasn't much he could do about it. He supposed it worked out well enough this way, he could focus on the data and not be distracted by his constant flirting with her, much as he enjoyed it.
 

Confessor

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The two opponents had stared each other down until Confessor had gotten the upper hand by creating a duplicate image of herself which talked, walked, and even felt like her but in reality it wasn’t her. Red Death finally snapped out of the staring contest which had been going on for long enough. He raised his scythe into mid air as he swung the chain connected to it at Confessor. He laughed in triumph as the chain slammed through Confessor’s skull but didn’t split her body through the middle. Frowning slightly he realized that this illusion wasn’t the real Confessor.

"That’s a nice trick there Confessor." Red Death sneered as his eyes searched the surrounding area for the Real Confessor. The illusion had given the True Confessor time to use the hidden entrance into her home and go inside and put on all of her armor, cloak, weapons, and even a helmet which was encrusted with rare gemstones. The helmet would allow her to be protected by Mind Controlling attacks which she had anticipated.

Confessor was now standing directly behind Red Death and she hoisted her sword up into the air and slammed the blade into his left forearm which caused Red Death to scream in pain as the sword split a clean cut through his shoulder bone straight down the middle. The man fell back screaming and the very sound of it hurt Confessor’s ears. She took this opportunity to jump backwards a few paces to gain her stamina and thoughts.

"You tricky little wench! I’ll admit that was a good show of events but I’ve got something even better than that!!"

Confessor didn’t respond but waited patiently as Red Death jumped high into the air and he began descending upon Confessor but her blade slammed into his scythe countering the attack. With great effort Confessor put all of her strength into driving Red Death onto the ground and her efforts didn’t go unnoticed. As she summoned her strength she cast an ice spell underneath his feet. As the big man landed on his feet he lost his balance from the ice and fell hard onto his rump. Grimacing in pain he took the opportunity to flick the scythe at Confessor which sliced her cheek and caused a bit of blood to trickle out. She gasped at the sight of her own blood but the gasp turned into a snarl. Taking her sword into both hands she rushed at Red Death with enhanced agility and their two weapons slammed into each other with a loud clang noise. Soon the two weapons were creating brilliant sparks of energy. With every hit of her sword Confessor’s rage grew and her anger was directed at Red Death, the anger in turn caused her magical prowess to increase in strength.

The two opponents fought each other tooth and nail for at least thirty minutes until Confessor saw that Red Death’s stamina was decreasing so she took this opportunity to cast some really nasty spells. As she lifted up her hands into the air a whirlwind came out of nowhere and hoisted Red Death from the ground as if he weight nothing. She twirled her fingers and the whirlwind stopped and when that did Red Death fell to the ground some odd 100 feet or more from the air. The sound of him landing with a sickening thud didn’t cause any worry for Confessor. She knew by the numerous cracking sounds the big man had broken several bones which added to his already bruised tailbone.

To Confessor’s astonishment the big man known as Red Death rose from the ground smirking triumphantly. Indeed she hadn’t drawn first blood but she had put a hurting on the big man. Before Confessor could react the man known as Red Death was upon her like a hungry Vulture. As he drove his scythe into her armor trying to harm her she parried his relentless attacks until she felt something sharp stab her neck. Finally she succumbed to rage that had taken control of her. With a sharp kick to his unprotected groin she slammed her boot into his middle causing his entire body to go sailing through the air. Once he hit headfirst she knew he had been hurt. Blood drizzled from the corner of his mouth and she saw several big bruises on his arms and cuts from her sword were openly bleeding.

She wasn’t done yet though. As she hoisted her arms skyward she summoned the mighty Phoenix to protect her. The horizon turned a crimson color and the blue became blurred. In the distance a huge fireball shot out from the sun itself. There before the small town of flew a mighty Phoenix which normal people couldn’t see. This magic was beyond those who were mortal and Confessor was more than a mere mortal. At one point in her life she had been a Goddess but she was banished from that realm by her evil sister Divada.

Confessor struggled to wake and before she saw nothing but darkness she snarled. "I WILL Kill you Red Death!!"

The Phoenix fell upon Confessor’s body and began healing the wounds she had been dealt. The Phoenix then set a mighty blaze around Red Death causing him to go nowhere as he awoke from the mighty hit that had been dealt to him. He merely laughed at Confessor as she rested there but the drug overtook her senses and soon she passed out from exhaustion and the knockout drug. Fifteen minutes later when the Phoenix felt it’s owners mind break contact it flew off into the distance and succumbed into the sunlight.

Red Death waited for the fiery inferno around him to die out before he walked over to his fallen prey and picked her up. He then smiled and vanished into the night. The street was quiet once again and all traces of the battle were gone.
 
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I. R. Shogun

I. R. Shogun

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Shogun entered the lab facility far earlier than anyone else, normally he would have arrived right as the session was supposed to begin, but today was different. Jeze was busy so h couldn't hang out with her, Met was acting a bit weird lately, and all the others also seemed to have their own little things to take care of. Thus he showed up here to play the waiting game. He hated waiting, especially in a place like this where he couldn't train, but there weren't many other options. If he tried to train normally he'd end up working right through tonight's research, and that would be no good.

And so there he would sit for the hour and a half that was to pass before work began. To his surprise there were no lab attendants in tonight, usually there were several other experiments going on while they worked, but tonight it seemed even those guys were pre-occupied. He sighed as he leaned back in a chair, he hoped somebody got there soon so they could at least do some opening exercises...

*****************************

"Excellent Red Death, return to the main base immediately with our prize," said Harrison Trove into his communicator as his masked servant reported in that he had successfully captured Confessor. The magics instructor was arguably the most powerful fighter at Sempai, if only for the fact that she was proficient in all three areas of combat where anyone else there was only skilled in one or two.

The next character of interest for Trove was the one called Meteorain. He hadn't seen this fighter at the Firestorm, but from what he'd heard he utilized a most intriguing type of magic that could prove most helpful to Trove's cause if he could be.... coerced into the service of the corporation. Trove cackled as he considered this potential warrior and what he could bring to the organization.

Beyond that several of the fighters at Sempai had high potential, but unless Jin could bring that potential out more effectively they wouldn't be much more helpful to him than simple mercenaries. Still the fighters of Sempai were most interesting, and Trove looked forward to meeting them again tonight...
 

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