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Reconnect: Kaydin
(2014-02-28 - 2014-03-07)
Aerith, in preparation to track Chita and find out what he's up to, enters her usual space in the Targ Woods to begin a training session. While she would usually make her own sparring partners, a live one conveniently shows itself before her.
Aerith Sometimes that Viera could be infuriating.

Aerith grumbled to herself as she trudged through the woods, her staff already out in a tight right hand. How asinine could he be, to have gotten that far with one of the most dangerous and malevolent people Shinra had to offer? It still made her head spin thinking about it.

Then again, had she not seen into his heart, pried his defenses away just enough to try and help... she wouldn't be this frustrated. Part of this was her fault, she knew. Looking at someone's deepest space without knowing what to do about it besides clean up the gunk was one of the biggest blunders she'd made in her life.

Her pace slowed. If she knew how to read hearts better, understand them, then that would not have happened. But she reminded herself that it was an emergency, and it had to happen, otherwise Chita would not have been at that meeting at all.

In any event, she found her glade, barren of animals and clear of any obstacles, and sat on her usual rock, a nice big stone that she could use to rest her feet.

Aerith took in a breath of the pristine air in an attempt to clear her mind. No use worrying. Time to find him, and for that, she had to be ready.
Kaydin Darkness. For the longest time Kaydin has been simply been killing monsters in Targ woods. After while, he became more mindless to the killing of beasts, his mind on Autopilot as he didnt want to have to face with the fact he was a knight without purpose, hated by his homeland and most everything else. The darkness was probably the constant companion and he can hear it calling on him to rely on it more and more. He been almost all about the forest but when he entered a glade he saw once from a distance, he had to shield his eyes. The man himself looked to be a mess. He was not injured but his clothing spoke of past injuries and battles, even dried blood on his skin and hair, making it dark instead of golden blonde. He walked into the glade eyes unused to light outside the dark and gloom of Targ Woods
Aerith Odd, how comforting it was to sense something besides the uncanny void, the presence of ''nothing'' at all, even if it was darkness. Aerith decided to open her eyes, though she had no real need to, in order to find the source of this energy.

Her eyes widened as she beheld a bedraggled man with ruined clothing. In fact, most if not all of him had seen better days. But she had been within this particular aura of darkness long enough to know who it was.

Didn't stop her from being surprised though, and it showed in her voice. "...Kaydin?" She rose from her sitting place and jogged over to him, stopping a few feet away. "I'm not even going to ask, just... sit still."

Moments later, he would find himself sprayed with water from the front end of her staff, one of her materia flaring beneath the sleeves of her jacket to facilitate the spell. Did he ask for it? Nope. Did he think he needed it? Probably not.

Did she care? Not in the least. He'd been doing this, whatever it was, for too long, and it showed.
Kaydin Kaydin acks as he is hit with the blast of water from the end of her staff. His eyes had finally gotten used to the light too. He drops his sword in surprise and if no for the chain wraped about his arm, it would have hit the ground. Now he was wet and blind due to being hit in he face as well as his entire front with water. The only reason why he didnt fall back was cause of the metal boots kept him upright.
Aerith Aerith cut the flow off and moved just a tad closer. "Oh come on, it's just water." She ran a hand through his hair for a moment, before giving a nod. "That's good enough for now. How long have you been without a proper bath?" Her nose crinkled at the smell that still lingered on him. "Not that I need to ask what you've been doing to get like this, considering your former profession."
Kaydin Kaydin shrugs. "A while." Kaydin says as he seems to have to remember how to talk. " in the corridors." He says calmly. "I cant lose my strength." He says as he feels her close. No matter how much he been through, her presence always soothed him and she can tel.
Aerith Aerith smiled. "Well since you can seem to use them and I can't, I won't try to ask what exactly you've been training against. I've got my own annoyances to deal with, after all." One of which was responsible for another menace running loose. And yet still, she considered him a friend. "I was starting to wonder where you'd run off to there for a bit, but I always remembered that you could come out of nowhere with that little trick of yours."
Kaydin Kaydin chuckles. "Only to places I been before. Only those who give completely into the darkness, those who control the heartless, can use dark sorcery more better then me. I just stumble and smash through it." Kaydin says as he looks to her. "I dont think you want to use them. Imagine the blackest black, with no steps, no path, nothing. The corridors are no different then keeping your eyes shut, even the ground one walks on in there can fade if you waver. Not to what seems like a door may turn out to open in mid air.
Aerith Aerith began to reply, but paused for a moment. So these corridors were that dangerous, were they? And this man before her was practiced enough to navigate them. Still, it wasn't long before she shook those thoughts off. Darkness was only energy. Negative energy, that of decay and destruction, but energy none the less. Was that all it was though?

Probably not.

"You know, since you know so much about it, maybe you could tell me what exactly darkness is. I mean, your definition of it." Kaydin was quite possibly the one she trusted the most that used such a thing, to tell her the truth.
Kaydin Kaydin takes a breath. "It is...complicated. To say it is simply something is like light is nothing but energy. I use it to strengthen me, the hatred of others, the suffering I go through in battle, the anger of never being good enough, the hatred of those who seek to ruin everything I hold precious. I let it fuel my actions but I do not let it control me. I make sure every action I do, is of my own action." Kaydin says as he looks to her. "In short, I am too stubborn and pig headed to let the darkness take the reins."
Aerith Aerith took that in for a moment. So it was certainly that, nothing but energy. But it did have an effect on people, didn't it? Only those that never fought its influence, but welcomed it, had complete control. And it was a horrible thing to see. But she had more questions from just that one answer. "So... what exactly does darkness do to a person? I mean, using it has a price, right?"
Kaydin Kaydin nods. "There is a price. The Darkness offers power in exchange for a piece of you. The more power you accept, the more of you is lost, and before long if you have more darkness then yourself left, then you are no different then the heartless, only stronger." Kaydin says as he nods. "I use it but I try not to draw more then what happens when you undergo suffering and pain. It's like selling your soul."
Aerith Aerith gave a nod. Of course it was. So then, it channeled anger and rage, and pain. Definitely pain. But it could be used, and for something good... as Kaydin was testament to. "So it's energy that requires something of yourself to use. But if you can use it without letting it take anyting..." It had to be possible. "...well, you know."

She smiled and stepped away from him. "Well then, how about we see it in action? I mean, I've seen it before, but I would rather have a demonstration from someone who won't kill me outright." Aerith continued to back away, lifting her right hand and calling up a mote of pale green light. Her fist closed around it and soon, a six foot long white wood staff appeared in her grip. "I'm trying to get ready for a little trip anyways, and I may need some expert advice."
Kaydin Kaydin nods as he as he regrips his sword. He grunts a she closes his eyes and for a brief moment the air about him darkens. He waits for her to ready herself first. Once she does, she will note his sword darkening, and with a swing, he sends a blast of black energy aimed at her. Coming in behind the blast were two quick thrusts of the sword.
Aerith Aerith took the time to ready herself, sensing the aura of darkness thicken around the dark knight. She whirled her staff into offensive position and readied herself, and just as she expected, a shockwave of energy came rushing at her.

She made her best attempt to move to one side, yet two more attacks followed behind it, forcing her to defend herself with her staff. The second strike however she made to deflect, and counter with her own attack, two close-range smashes to the right side of his head, meant to disorient.
Kaydin Kaydin ducks and dodges the striks aimed to disorient him, leaping back a bit before unraveling the chain from his arm and swings it down at her before pulling the chain back, gripping his sword one more to swing it at her twice more.
Aerith Again, Aerith made to move out of the way... only for that stupid chain to lance out at her, the sword leading. She mis-timed her movements, and only barely avoided getting speared. The damage however had been done, and those other two strikes were too fast to completely avoid.

Right, had to remember he still had those reflexes of his.

Aerith skidded backwards, heels digging into the dirt, forming a pair of ruts in the otherwise pristine forest floor. She huffed and whirled her staff into a defensive posture again, before being a bit more cautious this time. A series of pokes to test his defenses came at him, pokes and feints galore.
Kaydin Kaydin grunts as she pokes, but the last poke only gets him to grab at her staff with his free hand, reminding the woman he still had a free hand and swings his sword close. The blade missed her, but the blast of dark energy blasts from the swing, compensating for missing her. One he saw the blast hit, he lets go of her staff.
Aerith Boom.

Aerith is knocked back yet again, a shriek tearing through the air just before she hits the ground. Yet and still, she gets back up... and pulls out a vial of clear green liquid, which she takes down quite well.

"Okay... so." She puts the vial back into the folds of her jacket as the restorative herbs take their effect. "Based on that, what's your tips?" She whirled her staff above her head before ramming the back end of it down hard, floes of spirit energy rising up and making their way into her. She could feel her strength returning at that point, and rolled her neck. "I'd like to be able to defend myself a bit more appropriately."

Hopefully she'd at least impressed him. For some reason, she wanted that.
Kaydin Kaydin looks to her curiously, studying her. "You have become stronger. My tips to you is to test the defenses of those your against. As you can see, I can fight at a range as well as up close, but my range abilities isnt the best. Take advantage of this by keeping me away from you, make me expend more energy to catch up to you." He says as he watches her curiously. He was impressed with her, she could see it. "And never give in when you are fighting a being of darkness, no matter what." He says calmly.
Aerith Aerith nodded and assumed a more... aggressive stance, her weight on her front foot a bit more. "You mean... like ''this''?" She made her way toward him, eyes flashing as she charged. Her staff whirled in a figure eight, ready to deflect anything he threw at her.
Kaydin Kaydin gives a laugh as he realizes he told her to keep attacking. "That is one way to look at it." He says as he then swings his sword quickly now, quick strikes similar to those pokes he used earlier to test her strength, to see how she does.
Aerith And one blocked, two... and the third one breaks through a gap in the figure-eight, forcing her to take it on her staff. The force from just that one poke was enough to send her reeling again, though not as far. "Okay, fine..." She pulls out another potion and drinks it down. "Let's do this your way then."

Even at this middling distance, she could do something, and she did. Aerith lifted her left hand, and a split second later, bursts of spirit energy, colored a pale green, fire toward the dark knight. He had the advantage so far, but it wouldn't last for long if she kept it up.
Kaydin Kaydin widened his eyes at the spirit blasts she launched, grunting as he raises his sword to try and block them, but they blast him back hard. Perhaps it was the light's effect on the energy the dark knight radiated but his injuries seem to give off a black shimmer briefly before he began to bleed. Earlier he did say he gained power from the suffering of battle, perhaps that was why it shimmered. He smirks. "Yes, like that." He says as he moves in close to her now, his speed increased exponentially as he tries to cut into her now.
Aerith Aerith grinned for a brief moment before she set herself in combat stance... and her eyes widened as Kaydin's uncharacteristic speed presented itself. Well whatever. She made her best attempt to evade again, yet he seemed to read her well enough that she took almost every attack head on. Aerith hissed as she slid back again, undaunted. She'd done well enough this far, surviving his attack... but tactics were in his favor.

Well let's see what she could do about that...

Aerith moved in again, her eyes narrowed as she set up another attack pattern... only this time it was something a bit more serious. She swung the back end of her staff, not to the side, but upwards, aimed for his chin. With that, she fired two more bolts of spirit energy at him, aiming to keep him afloat for a bit longer.
Kaydin Kaydin grunts as she gets past his defenses only to drive him up into the air, and being blasted by the bolts of spirit energy. He grunts as he shakes his head, before swinging his sword down at her only this blast of energy was much more bigger then other blasts, and if she managed to evade it, it was followed by another blast, to make it harder to dodge.
Aerith "No."

With that simple refusal, Aerith used her staff to vault into the air, both blasts ramming into the floor of the grove, kicking up dirt and grass with each impact. And now, the second part of her plan came into effect as her staff shone with pale green energy, that of the Lifestream. Once she arrived, Aerith wasted no time in trying to send him back down to earth with an overhead chop from her staff... and once he was down, he would be met with the coup de grace, a brief flip in mid-air before she came down on him with another smash, one that would make a sizable dent in the earth on contact.
Kaydin Kaydin tries to throw the sword out to grab something that he can use to pull him away but by the time the chain latched to something, she had struck him down and he hit the ground hard. It is then when he pulls the chain back does the second strike get through and blast into him. The moment she hit him, and the dent within the earth came, he looked to be defeated until she could feel a sudden surge of dark energy. He then looks to her with blackened eyes, the murderous desire of a being of darkness present in those blackened orbs as he feels his power reach his peak. He growls as he stabs the earth. "No." He says, similar to how she said and almost instantly, the darkness flaring about him vanishes. He opens his eyes again and they are back to their normal blue.
Aerith Aerith leapt back, not so sure that he was done. She'd dealt with Shadow Lords before. Some were wins, most were losses. So when his darkness flared, she whirled her staff again, prepared for him to get up and get moving.

Then he refused it, denied it.

The aura shrank, and he was once again himself. Even Aerith could sense the wrongness of it, the attempt to take over. Was this what he had to fight every time he went into those corridors?

"I think that's more than enough." She relaxed and stepped out of her fighting stance. "So... how did I do?" She still wanted to know, of course. This was, after all, a learning experience.
Kaydin Kaydin nods. "Yea...I think so too. You did great. You actually bested a Dark knight in single combat. Not many can claim that." He says with a happy smile, the first time he has smiled in a while so it feels a bit odd on him. He then looks to her. "You're getting better all the time." He says happily.
Aerith Aerith grinned. "Well we might as well do this again sometime. Of course, any advice you could give me would be well-founded. You're the expert, and I consider myself an eternal student." Aerith headed toward the rock again, moving past all the rifts and ruts and craters they'd made. She'd fix this place up again next time she was here.

She sat on the smooth boulder and ran a hand through her hair. "So then, any pointers?"
Kaydin Kaydin thinks about this and smiles. "Never change. You are perhaps one of the best type of fighters in existance. You are wanting to fight only to protect." He says to her as he looks to her eyes. "Infact you are now the only thing I am willing to lay my life down to protect."
Aerith Aerith chuckled. "Well as you can clearly see, I am no damsel in distress. But I will take you up on your offer anyway." She cleared her throat. "I can see you've been out of the loop for a bit, so I'm going to skip any further pretense." Her eyes narrowed. "The World of Ruin is dying. Slowly."
Kaydin Kaydin nods as he looks about. "This world is nothing more then a merge of lesser worlds, to keep those pieces alive. I always believed time in this world would be limited...
Aerith Aerith shook her head. "You don't understand, Kaydin. This world... it's not just a mashed together amalgam." She closed her eyes and took in a breath. "All these worlds are connected by one thing... one gigantic Heart. And it's been compromised. It'd be okay if it weren't for that, and now the Darkness has it. But at the same time, it doesn't, hence the slow death part."
Kaydin Kaydin nods as he hears this then looks to his hand and sword. "What help can I be? I am not a being of light. I use the darkness to fight, wouldnt my help merely hinder your efforts?" He asks with concern. "Otherwise, I would stand beside you to save this world." He says with a sincere tone.
Aerith Aerith smiled and opened her eyes. "See that's where you're wrong. I mean sure, darkness is a bit selfish. It asks for a lot in order to use it. Still, there is a way to use it for good. There are certain people that started this, and they need to be dealt with... but for the moment, it'd be best to start by checking out ground zero, or at least somewhere near there."
Kaydin Kaydin nods. "Well then, I am ready to go when you are." Kaydin says as he looks to her. "I have hid too long from the world, moping for not having anyone to serve." He says calmly. "I would rather serve no one and spend my time fighting alongside you, then being forced to serve tyranny." He says to her sincerely.
Aerith Aerith stood from the rock and dusted herself off. "Well then... welcome back to the world, sir Kaydin. Glad you finally decided to come back into the light, for as much as that's worth." She reached out her right hand. "I hope we can work well together."
Kaydin Kaydin nods as he then takes her hand and kisses it softly. "My father taught me that is how you greet a proper lady, and the way I see it, you are more a queen then any one else." He says with a smile.

This scene contained 40 poses. The players who were present were: Kaydin, Aerith