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Lux Academy

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Sun Oct 16, 2022 2:42 am
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SilverNight says...


The pond was crystal clear, and if it weren't for the darkness, Kynina would be able to see all the way into its depths. The gem appeared to be a few dozen feet down, not the deepest of dives, but definitely out of reach. Thin and wispy shapes danced under the surface, back and forth in the movement of the water. She knelt down by the edge of the land, dipping a hand in to check the temperature. Cold, with no heat source to warm it, but not nearly enough that it would make someone go into shock if they dove in.

And if they wanted this crystal, there was no question that someone would have to go in.

"Who's feeling up to this?" she asked, shaking the water off her hand and looking up again.

Sylkalyn glanced from Safi -- staring determinedly off into the forest -- to Cyra -- visibly about to lose their mind -- and then back at Kynina, her ice-blue eyes as smooth and unreadable as the phenomenon they resembled. "I think it's between you and I. Flip a coin for it?"

Kynina reached into her coat and held up a coin. "Heads or tails for you going in?"


She tossed the coin into the air, watching it flip a few times before she caught it in the palm of her hand smoothly. "It's tails, so it looks like it'll be me." She had the coordination to catch it one flip sooner or later, and she could have done it, but it was only right to be fair about it.

Sylkalyn nodded. "Dive in, then. Looks..." She eyed the pond suspiciously. "...nice."

She hesitated a moment, then sighed softly. "Be careful. The arena is trapped to hell and back. If anything looks suspicious, it definitely is. If you need help, fully activate your Aura. Alright?"

Kynina nodded, skimming the surface with her hand one more time before she stood up. "Alright."

She pulled off the rope she'd carried around her to secure the two fire pokers and dropped it the marshy ground. She wasn't worried about leaving those unsupervised-- to anyone else, they were just unwieldy poles of metal, not an unexpectedly dangerous weapon. She was a little more unwilling to remove her coat with all the knives inside, but she'd want it dry when she got out, and she wouldn't be helped if she weighed herself down. She kicked off her boots and socks, leaving them in a pile not too far from the edge, then moved back to the pond and took a few steps in.

The water felt colder on her legs than it had on her hands as she waded in the shallow parts, the water level rising from her knees to her waist. When it got to her chest and bare arms, Kynina shivered a little. The temperature wasn't at all enough to dissuade her, but she'd need to get more used to it before she went under the surface. She treaded water for a few moments when the water was up to her neck, waiting until she wasn't shivering anymore before she took a deep breath to fill her lungs and dove underneath.

The depths of the pond got dark very quick with little light to go through, but the glow of the crystal was always visible, nestled at the bottom among sediment, rocks, and swaying algae tendrils. Kynina reached out an arm, kicking faster to close the distance until her fingers wrapped around the polished, carefully carved shape of the crystal.

The moment she had a firm grip on it, the darkness of the pool was replaced with a burst of images flashing before her eyes, almost too fast to follow. She saw the fake city first, bird's-eye views of the streets and close-ups of buildings. Then a mountain, imposing despite the lack of space for its height in the arena. Caves, rocky mines where the jagged stone walls crept in and narrowed to dead ends, a maze of tunnels linking and spreading like a spiderweb. A glittering room fulled with crystals much like the one in her hands, everything in sight sharp and glittery. Last, a flash of roaring orange across her sight, vibrant and fierce like volcanic lava.

It all went by in the time it would have taken her to blink.

Once the vision cleared, Kynina felt something brush against her hand. She didn't worry about it, knowing it was just the algae and grass. Arelinor's beaches were hardly pleasant, either being privately owned by rich people who could somehow make a coastal home boring and stifling or crowded and littered with uncollected trash, with nothing in between. She hadn't learned to swim there. But during the summers, Isrith had sometimes taken a week off for the two of them to go somewhere further south, away from the Fracture, and the water there hadn't been cleared of everything interesting or polluted to the point of being repulsive. Kynina had always been swimming in water with kelp, and being touched by it wasn't as scary or uncomfortable as people often described. It was meant to be there. The lack of it was more unnatural than anything else.

So she was surprised when it wrapped around her wrist and pulled strongly, tugging her all the way down to the bottom.

Kynina had barely enough control not to release all her air in a gasp. Not all the crystals could be trapped, surely, so this was unlucky. She pulled her hand back, ripping the tendril off her wrist and floating back up a little, but it was replaced by another strand, then two, then a dozen as the algae reached for her and tried to hold her underwater.

Her head was still clear, and she wasn't out of air yet, but this was enough to make her panic a little. She kept shaking the tendrils off, but they kept grabbing at her and pulling her farther down. It was all she could do to hold on to the crystal as her hands got slimier from removing all the grass from her, and now her chest was burning. When she had to pry off a coil that had wrapped its way around her neck and started to squeeze, Kynina got truly nervous.

This is definitely not safe, she decided. How are we supposed to blow a whistle if we're underwater and haven't got any air to do it with?

Without sighing, though she certainly would have if it weren't for all the water around her, Kynina threw her head back. Her black hair spread in the water, blending in with the darkness around it. And then she activated her aura, making the pool glow with teal, much brighter than it had with just the crystal.

Immediately, dark tentacles broke through the water's surface, shooting down to wrap warmly and stickily around Kynina's wrists and waist just like the grass, except these tentacles also began unwrapping the grass faster than it could spiral around her. The tentacles broke apart a little as they tugged on her, misting into the water and leaving the bitter, sharp taste of iron behind, but they remained solid enough to drag her upwards easily.

Just before she broke the surface, Sylkalyn reached into the water and grabbed her free hand, pulling her all the way out of the pond with a force that sent them both stumbling to the ground. The dark red tentacles wrapped around Kynina dropped away, and Kynina realized they were connected to Sylkalyn's wrists. The other girl's aura faded as the tentacles retracted into her body.

"Are you hurt?" Sylkalyn asked, a little breathlessly. Her bare arms and shoulders were well-muscled -- most likely from the longbow she carried on her back -- and she probably could lift Kynina easily under normal circumstances, but fighting the vines would've made the action more difficult.

"Nope, just in the mood to sue somebody," Kynina joked as she coughed, clutching the crystal to her chest. She shook some of the water off by throwing her head from side to side, making droplets fly everywhere. She felt even colder now that she was dripping wet and out in the air, and so she quickly pulled on her coat and wrapped it around her before she turned back to Sylkalyn. "Thank you."

Sylkalyn nodded. "You're welcome." She looked toward the pond, the clear waters now murky with red, then back at Kynina. "You're going to need to wash that shirt, by the way. Do you know how to get blood out of clothes?"

"Of course. And this really is blood?"

"I should hope so, otherwise I'd be very concerned about what's running through my veins." Sylkalyn cautiously knelt next to the pond and extended one hand to the water, a tiny blood tentacle snaking its way down to the surface. The cloud of blood drifted up to meet her touch, then dissipated until the water was just as clear as before. A touch of colour that Kynina hadn't noticed was missing from Sylkalyn's face returned. "Having anything else would be a bit worrying, I think, and bring up some questions about my parentage, such as which one wasn't human?"

Kynina smirked slightly as she pulled her socks and boots back on, shivering one last time before getting her coat on fully. "I don't usually expect to be concerned about that question, so it's good to know I don't have to."

Sylkalyn stood up, but didn't respond immediately, instead standing still and closing her eyes for a second before taking a deep breath and turning back to Kynina. "Alright. We should get moving again. Who knows what else Fea has waiting for us in here."

Kynina nodded, picking up her fire pokers again and throwing the rope sash over her again. The crystal was tucked away in a coat pocket a moment later, and she was good to go. "Then let's go on our way. There's still three of these left to find."

She wasn't sure, but she thought she saw a vague look of approval flicker over Sylkalyn's face before her expression returned to unreadable ice.

With that, the two of them returned to join Cyra and Safi in the woods.
"silv is obsessed with heists" ~Omni

"silv why didn't you tell me you were obsessed with heists I thought we were friends" ~Ace

"y’all we outnumber silver let’s overthrow her >:]" ~winter

silver (she/they)

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Thu Oct 27, 2022 4:56 am
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WeepingWisteria says...


When Cyra heard Fea's voice over the intercom, he was prepared for many things. Dumb rich kids looking to pick a fight? That was a given. Giant bloodthirsty monsters that want to consume everyone's essence? Whatever. That was fine. Cyra was too good for that bullshit.

But a whole fucking pond complete with murky surface and barely visible bottom? That was a level of fresh hell that Cyra was willing to murder over. Whoever designed this arena was getting a potion bottle to the face. And then a battle ax to the chest. And maybe some fire to their everything.

It's your turn, demon.

Nope. Nope. Fuck no. Cyra was staying a good three thousand miles away from that shit. If anyone questioned her, Safi or otherwise, Cyra would be happy to fling them into low space orbit. And they wouldn't even need a spell.

Doesn't that look fun?

Cyra blinked, trying to stay far away from Bullshitville: Population, a bunch of fuckery. There were trees here, just like that whole thing, but they were different. These were evergreens, and they were surrounded by oak and poplar trees back then. As long as Cyra didn't glance back at the devil's sauna behind xem, xe could keep everything to a low hum in the back of their traitorous head.

Maybe they could be fine.

Soft steps over twigs and leaves came from the direction of the damned pond, and a few moments later, Kynina and Sylkalyn moved into view. Kynina had evidently been the one to go in, as her black hair was straight and dripping still. There was a faint glow coming from the inside of her coat.

"We got it," she said, flicking a wet strand of hair out of her face.

Cyra gave them a curt nod, hand still clutching a bottle of liquid fire on their band of potions from when they first heard the footsteps. Fuck. They hated when they got like this.

"Ohhh." Safi seemed to be snapping out of some sort of trance. She gave them a double thumbs up before waving her arms wildly.

Cyra crossed their arms, trying to get their stupid fucking vocal cords to cooperate and get literally any string of syllables together, but they decided to flip Cyra off and hang uselessly in faer throat.

Well fuck them too.

"Let's move," Sylkalyn said neutrally. "Keep an eye out for any more crystals, but if you see one, don't immediately go for it. This one had a nasty trap protecting it, and knowing Fea, it's only going to get worse from here."

Cyra managed a grunt in acknowledgment. Traps. Cool. Ponds and traps and monsters. What a way to start a year. At least only one of those things was complete hell. Unless one of the traps was spontaneous formation of a pond beneath the poor bastard who tried to grab the crystal. If that was the case, Cyra's first action as a Lux student was mass murder and a spot of arson.

"Traps. Bad. Understood. Noted. Received. Acknowledged," rattled off Safi, sounding like she was half asleep.

Kynina adjusted the fire pokers on her back. They had to be heavy, but she had no trouble setting the pace as she took the lead, pointing to a path that would take them further into the woods and away from the city, but out of sight of the pond, Cyra noticed. "This way."

Cyra quickly followed after her. Any path away from the fucking pond was welcome and if any path that led them closer was suggested, Cyra wouldn't hesitate to fillet a bitch.

Safi brought up the rear. She kept glancing back at the pond, as if she was waiting for something to crawl out and follow her.

Cyra rolled their eyes and grabbed Safi's shoulder and tugging her forward. "Hurry the fuck up, princess." Oh. Vocal cords were back. Good to know. "Rich kids and crystals to worry about."

Safi stumbled a little before she managed to regain her footing. "Crytals. Yeah. Trying not to die. Sorry if I'm being a bit slow. Won't happen again."

"No time for apologies, save them for someone who gives any shits."

"Sorry for apologizing," started Safi immediately before she froze. "I..I mean sorry..." She groaned, going bright red. She proceeded to bow in Cyra's direction and turn the other way as she whispered in a much smaller voice. "Won't happen again."

Cyra huffed. "Buck up, princess. It's a long road through hell, and we barely reached the entrance."

They continued walking in silence, Cyra slowly feeling less pissed off as the path continued. They were in a forest after all, and no one could defeat Cyra in a place she grew up in.

They scanned each plant, ears piqued for any fraction of sound. Even the natural groans and chitters of the trees gave him pause. Anything here could be a dumbass lying in wait.

A glimmer caught Cyra's eye and xe stopped in xer tracks. "Wait."

Safi nearly jumped a full foot in the air as she whirled around to face Cyra. "Yes?"

"Did the Crystal in the..." Cyra couldn't bring himself to say the word. "...over there glow like that?"

They pointed at a bush that seemed to shimmer deep within its branches. Now, Cyra had never been to Glinthaven before, but he was pretty damn sure it didn't have glowing bushes.

Sylkalyn nodded curtly. "That's crystal number two," she agreed. "Check around it. See if you can figure out what this one is protected by."

Cyra approached it. "Should we throw something at it in case it bursts into flames or some shit?"

"That might not be a bad idea. Although I doubt this particular crystal will be protected by fire, we can't assume anything."

"I can shoot it?" offered Safi.

"The some shit was my catch all." Cyra took a step back. "Have at it, princess."

Safi nodded, doing another half bow. She whirled around to face the crystal, arrow knocked and ready to go by the time she'd completed her turn. She took a deep breath before she fired.

The arrow landed in the branches with its usual thud. Nothing happened for a second before the bush shook and thorns erupted from the branches.

"Oh, thorns."

Cyra didn't hesitate to stick their hand in the bush.

Safi marched up to xem.

Cyra didn't look and digged around for the crystal. The sound of thorns scratching at his affinity filled the air.

"Cyra?" Kynina sounded confused, but not judgemental. "What is it you're doing?"

Cyra snorted. "Making pancakes, obviously." Their fingers wrapped around the crystal. "There's the bastard."

"Did you find it?" asked Safi.

Cyra nodded. "Yep," they said through gritted teeth as they tugged at the damn thing. Their affinity always made their fingers stiff, so it was hard to get a good grip.

Safi clapped a couple of time, staring intently at his hand.

With one final tug, the crystal finally came loose as Cyra successfully pulled it out of the bush. The crystal outshone the swirling green and orange light of eir affinity. "Got you, bitch."

Safi gave a little cheer, leaning in a little closer to inspect the hand holding the crystal. She let out a small gasp, frowning.

"You good, princess?" Cyra pocketed the crystal, deactivating their affinity. They streched out their fingers.

"Please tell me that's not the hand you..." She made a vague gesture. "On the way down."

Cyra blinked. "I think it is."

Safi frowned, grabbing the hand and proceeding to give it a thorough inspection. After a cursory glance she let it go. "Looks like you got lucky there. Be careful next time. At least until that's fully healed. Please."

Cyra snorted. "Lucky? What, did you not see my affinity?"

"Just because you use that doesn't guarantee that you won't aggravate a injury that's already there."

"It's literally armor. How much safer can you get?"

Safi shook her head. She put her hand back on the arm. "Look, my knight. me okay. Sometimes armor over a wound can be worse than no armor."

"Not when it comes to sticking your hand in a fucking thorn bush."

Safi tapped on the arm she was holding onto. "If you insist on being like" Safi trailed off. She seemed to notice what her fingers were doing and released Cyra's arm in a hurry.

"We got the crystal, right?" Kynina asked, almost uncertainly, like she thought there must be something strange or wrong about the situation for there to be this much discussion. "That should mean we're good."

"All of you, shut up," Sylkalyn suddenly ordered. Cyra turned to her, ready to demand an explanation, but paused when he saw her staring into the woods, an arrow nocked on her bow and ready to fire at a moment's notice.

The four of them stood in silence for a moment, then Cyra heard what had Sylkalyn on edge: a soft, unsettling skittering somewhere deep in the forest, definitely not human but with a sickening twist that made it not quite animal either.

Whatever it was, it was coming toward them, and fast.

“the wist i knew would never allow a straight boy in their stories” ~Omni
“Hi Omni can I request wist get the role mom friend :]" ~winter
“ah yes, fear Wist's smile :) <- speaks of layers and layers of secrets” ~mint

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Thu Oct 27, 2022 4:58 am
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WeepingWisteria says...


Cyra could feel something in their aura shift. Usually, their aura felt like a storm, the orange and green rolling against each other like two tidal waves fighting to the death. But now, they seemed to hang suspended in the air, flickering like a dying campfire. Her skin felt thin and exposed, like someone looking at it would be enough to make it bleed. No, that damned thing in the forest was no human and no beast.

That bitch was a voidborn.

"Fuck." Cyra swung their battle-ax into their hands, the wood of the haft scratching against faer barely closed wound. But it was fine. Cyra had fought through worse.

Sylkalyn's gaze was cold as ice as she kept watching the woods, remaining perfectly still with her bow at half-draw. Her aura had flickered briefly to life, but it faded now, presumably because she'd come to the same conclusion Cyra had.

The air had so much tension in it that Cyra was almost glad when the voidborn screeched -- a sound that made them shiver involuntarily, not that anyone had to know -- and crashed through the trees.

It was some sort of large lizard made of shadow, its edges slightly misty and indistinct but still solid enough that Cyra could make out each and every razor-sharp claw and bared fang. The monster's eyes glowed the violent red of fresh blood, and they glinted with hunger as it surveyed the group.

The world seemed to bend around the monster as if its very existence was breaking the fabric of reality.

There was a shocked gasp from beside her. The brilliant glow surrounding Safi dimmed, flickering dangerously. She had another arrow knocked in a flash, but her hands were shaking. Meanwhile, Kynina pulled one fire poker off her back, jaw set as her palm briefly glowed gray, and she hurled it at the Voidborn like it was a javelin.

The following explosion wasn't as dramatic as Cyra had seen with all of Maie's weapons-- Kynina must not have wanted to risk activating much of her aura-- but the metal went flying apart at terrifying speeds. None of the shrapnel seemed to hit the Voidborn, as the remnants of the fire poker passed right through it without causing injury, but the edges of the creature looked slightly less misty. It was like someone had added a few more lines to the outline of a drawing, making it ever so slightly clearer where it began and where it ended.

"Right," Kynina panted, watching the undeterred beast. She was ever so slightly more pale in the face. "Someone had to try that. Now we know what it does."

Cyra growled. "So weapons are useless until it's not-" They waved their hand wildly. "-that?"

Safi stumbled back. "Seems that way." She drew her arrow back, concentrating on its point as she aimed for the thing. The glow around her body dimmed ever further as it seemed to concentrate around her hands, a tendril of light like the one that had caught Cyra earlier extending from the hand holding the arrow. It spread like a fast-growing vine, wrapping securely around the arrow and charging it with golden light.

She let loose, stumbling as soon as the arrow had left the bow. It suffered the same fate as the fire poker, sailing through the head of the beast, only this time, it emerged from the other side with one small change. The glow around it was gone, reducing it to be like any other arrow, and if Cyra wasn't imagining things, the creature looked more solid now, sharper details of scales that weren't evident before coming into view.

Safi's glow was almost out. "It... it feeds on our auras. I don't think we can win this fight."

Cyra shook their head. "We've just started." They yanked off one of the potions around their belt. It was a simple bottle of liquid fire, but it was made with snake skin. That made it a high aura potion. They tossed it into the air and caught it once before aiming it squarely at the voidborn's face.

The glass bottle phased right through, but hit the ground and burst, the potion spraying the inside of the voidborn. The potion's own aura activated as the potion caught fire, lighting the creature ablaze.

But the fire didn't last long before it seemed to be consumed by the shadow, the aura seeping into the damned beast.

"Safi's right," Sylkalyn said calmly-- but quickly. She'd backed off as soon as the voidborn showed itself, retreating to a position where she couldn't easily be reached by the creature. "That thing is going to drain us all of our auras and then tear us apart. We aren't equipped to kill this thing. I'm not sure we can even hurt it. We need to run."

The voidborn screeched again, its half-solid muscles tensing in preparation for attack.

Cyra scoffed, looking at their teammates. They weren't going to stay behind and go through intiation alone, but it was pissing them off that everyone was folding so damn quickly. The voidborn was clearly weakening! What the hell was everyone on about?

"I agree," Kynina said, backing away as she kept her eyes on it. "The path continues behind where Sylkalyn is. That's where we should go. And soon."

Fuck. Fine. They were running. They glanced back at the voidborn. "I hope you're not too exhausted to run then because we're not just walking away!"

It screamed in response and launched itself forward. Sylkalyn needed no more encouragement to take off through the forest down the path Kynina pointed out, quickly disappearing among the trees. Kynina herself followed only a moment later at the same speed.

Safi hesistated, looking between the two starting to put some distance between them and the voidborn and Cyra. She stumbled backward, nocking another arrow. "You... you better not follow us... Bubbles." Another glowing arrow shot at it.

"Cyra, come on." She began to jog backwards.

Cyra nodded and took after Safi. It was fine. Running away was fine. Not a wasted opportunity at all. Nope.

They glanced back at the voidborn, only to see that it was taking a couple steps back. Her heart started hammering in her chest. He had seen countless animals do that in the thrill of the hunt. And it always meany exactly one thing.

"Safi! Whatever you do, don't stop running!"

Her eyes widened. She looked hesitant, but she nodded. "You better be behind me."

"Always, princess." Cyra ground to a halt as the voidborn lunged forward. They only had a few seconds to roll to the side, the voidborn landing exactly where they had just stood.

With a yell that seemed to echo through the forest, Cyra swung their battle ax right through the creature's neck. This time, when it hit the forest floor, something happened. The voidborn's head fell alongside it. She let out a surprised laugh. It worked. It worked!

But something was wrong. The shadows of the voidborn just started shifting again, swirling like the water tornados that would happen on Desdemona's lake. Cyra took a step back. No. It didn't work. Cyra was foolish to think it ever could work. Sylkalyn was right. Fighting was futile when the creature you were trying to kill could die a thousand times, but it only had to kill you once.

Cyra sprinted with everything xe had, hoping, praying, that xe at least slowed it down. Maybe that would be worth something in the end.

“the wist i knew would never allow a straight boy in their stories” ~Omni
“Hi Omni can I request wist get the role mom friend :]" ~winter
“ah yes, fear Wist's smile :) <- speaks of layers and layers of secrets” ~mint

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Sat Jan 21, 2023 5:17 am
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winterwolf0100 says...


Thane had thought she would be prepared. She was used to sudden, unexpected, generally dangerous changes. But she clearly overestimated herself, because she was now plummeting through the darkness with absolutely no idea what to do. She tried to orient herself, but it was difficult when she was freefalling, and the backpack she wore was throwing her weight out of balance, meaning she was doing somersaults through the air on her way down. She needed to figure out a way to slow this fall. But how?

Magic was her best bet, but unfortunately, her strongest magic trick was a thick fog, and considering she could: A, already not see, and B, fall right through the fog, she'd get nothing out of it other than an energy drain. Which meant she was going to have to lean on something she never wanted to have to lean on: symbology.

It might be the official magic specialty on her paperwork, but she doubted she could compare to the average middle schooler on the subject if the middle schooler got decent training and cared at all about symbology. Her heart sped in her chest and she tried desperately to get her breathing together. She wasn't used to being out of control, and she didn't like it.

Concentrate-- she forced her mind to focus. Something to get her out of a pinch. It didn't need to be perfect, just something to crash into that would soften the fall. The ground was growing nearer and nearer; she couldn't see it yet, but she knew it had to be close. What should she--

In all honesty, she panicked. Her mind stuck on the word "soft" and went, "feather!" And before she could even process it, she was plummeting through a flock of half-formed birds, crashing into them and sending monstrosities into each other. She wasn't even sure they could qualify as birds, but they would work. She put all her effort and focus into summoning more deranged horrors below her, concentrating on shifting her body so she slowed with each one she ran into.

All too soon, the tops of buildings began to appear, raising up out of the murky grey. From her height, it looked like she could easily fall onto one and be stabbed through the chest, though as she fell, they began to grow in size. Her eyes adjusted to the dark, and the more she could see, the more she realized how terrible her birds were. Beaks were on sideways, if they were there at all, and most of them were just blobbed forms with wings that she barreled into and sent spiraling. Feathers exploded in puffs all around her.

And then she was crashing to the ground, landing on an already formed pile of dead birds and heartbreakingly terrible symbology skills. She groaned, planting a hand on the ground to push herself up into a sitting position. Her hand slipped on one of the things and she fell backwards again. She winced and brushed her fingers lightly across her ribs before pushing herself to her feet, careful not to slip on another one of her sins.

"Backpack," she muttered to herself, checking it to make sure it was still on her before she began to stumble away from the enormous pile. Whoever stumbled across this spot would discover a massacre, and she didn't want to be around to see it-- or hear them trashtalking her terrible symbology skills.

She let her eyes wander around, taking in the scenery around her before she began to run down the road. She needed to find some place to hide and take stock of everything in the bag, but she couldn't do it too close to the pile or she might run into other contestants, which was exactly what she wanted to avoid. She wasn't in the mood to get double-crossed.

After running several blocks, she ducked into an abandoned building with the front display window smashed in. Broken glass lay scattered across the floor, but the window was just high enough that if she crouched behind it, nobody should be able to see her, which was what she needed-- somewhere she could easily look around and still not be seen. She kicked broken glass away from her feet with her boots to make a clear spot, then kneeled behind the wall, back pressed against it as she caught her breath.

Alright. This was fine. She was used to this. This was her strongsuit. Avoiding people, and fighting them if she happened to run into them. She could handle that. She fingered her knuckle-knives absent-mindedly as she caught her breath, before she swung the bag off her shoulders and into her lap, opening it up. Water bottles, a flare, a whistle, flashlight, rope, glowsticks, a blanket, and-- she let out a sigh. Good. Flint and steel. She didn't want to have to start a fire for any reason-- primarily because it would draw attention-- but it was nice to know she'd be able to if she needed to. She'd attempted more elemental things with her symbology when she was younger, but she hadn't done it in years, and if memory served correctly, she'd blown something up at least 50% of the time. She didn't love those odds, especially with Headmistress Fea and all the professors watching.

She reshouldered the bag and peered over the window, before crouching down again. Logically, most of the crystals were going to be as far away from where they were dropped as possible, which meant the only way to find them was to get there are quickly as possible. She was sure there were a few scattered nearby, but she wasn't going to bother going for any of those. They were likely already all snatched up. Her best bet was to get all the way to the other side and work her way backwards-- others would stop along the way to search, so she'd have a better chance of finding one without the mess of fighting someone for it.

She took in a deep, steadying breath, attempting not to wince as the pain in her ribs lit up. The landing had jostled them, and while she hated to use too much of her magic now, she couldn't risk running around with a fractured rib or two. It would slow her down and make her an easier target. Gently, she lifted up her shirt and pressed her fingers to her stomach, letting her eyes flutter closed. Breath in, breath out. She pushed her magic through her fingers, wincing as it spread like fire through the tissue and to the bones. After a minute, she let out a relieved breath and let her shirt drop. She'd be fine.

She checked to make sure the coast was clear before she stood, then sprinted out of the building, immediately swerving to go down a side street. She needed to try to stick to the small ones; the big ones were too exposed, and she didn't trust others to not play dirty and try to take her out of the match for good. She pulled her hood up over her head, which must've fallen off during the fall, and kept her eyes peeled for any sign of danger as she weaved between buildings, trying to put as much distance between her and the dropzone as possible.

She was beginning to feel more confident. This was her speed. She was used to being put in danger like this. While at first, it took a bit of adjusting, she always got the hang of it. And this evened out the playing field for her-- what she couldn't do in essay-writing skills and symbology, she could make up for here. It was her chance to prove to whatever professors were watching that she had earned her place here, and she intended on keeping it. And the more she ran, the better she felt.

At least, she was feeling better until a throwing knife whizzed by barely an inch in front of her face. Another caught the edge of her cloak and slammed it against the wall, trapping her. She yanked on her cloak until it tore away, slipping her hands into her knuckle knives as she turned to face whoever her opponent was-- and narrowed her eyes. Four people, all dressed like posh uppers, all eyeing her like she was a meal, or perhaps a toy they were excited to tear apart.

Well... shit.

winter you are an adorable bean and I love your bad social awareness xD ~Omni
omni played robin hood, stole winter's brain cell ~Silver
winter is the only person who would survive the machine uprising ~Europa

If I were a girl in a book, this would all be so easy.
— Jo March