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Monster Hunt

~The world has seen it’s fair share of crazy things....luckily most of those things have vanished over time...well they had. Recently, creatures of legend have started to spring up all across the land. In different parts of the world beasts of legend have once again begun terrorizing the world. For fear of death the people and lords of the areas alike have come together for the purpose pooling their funds to offer large rewards for the creatures....dead or alive. If the so called Hunters have what it takes.

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 On the Island of Master Ci [Flashback Thread]

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Oirarana
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PostSubject: On the Island of Master Ci [Flashback Thread]   Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:03 am

Yi sat in the lotus position as Master Ci stood before him, the venerable old man stooped over his walking staff as he looked in his student’s general direction. The two were silent for the longest moment, the Master testing the student’s patience, the student familiar with such an exercise. Finally the elderly bender spoke, ”You have become proficient with wielding simple flames my student, now it is time for you to learn something much more difficult.” he moved away from the boy and extended one hand before moving it in a swift, cracking motion. From his hand a stream of fire was formed, a long tongue of flame in the shape of a whip, which followed his movements before splitting into multiple tails as it cracked through the air.

”Now you”

Yi stood and bowed to his master as the old man waddled off, leaving him to practice with nothing more than that sole demonstration to go off of. Taking a breath, the boy inhaled as he took a stance, exhaling as a jet of flame shot out from his hand. Eyebrows furrowed in concentration, he maintained the fire, thinning it until it resembled the thickness of his master’s technique. Maintaining it was relatively simple for him now, but he wasn’t certain that moving the flame like a whip would be so easy.

For the next half an hour he practiced with the flame whip, working on bending the straight line as he moved it, guiding the fire into the shape that he desired. Soon enough the flexible tongue of fire was working perfectly well for him. A series of kata with this new flaming weapon was completed, before he exhaled strongly, sweat beading his brow as he focused on it, the tongue of flame splitting about halfway down into a number of smaller jets. Practicing with this, he continued training, for he wasn’t allowed to stop until his master told him that he could.
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PostSubject: Re: On the Island of Master Ci [Flashback Thread]   Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:36 am

In the midst of his practice a number of fireballs shot passed him, causing him to freeze, the only place that would not result in burns being exactly where he was the precise moment that they were sent in his direction. ”You may not move from that position” Master Ci stated as he came to stand before Yi, his clouded eyes looking somewhere over the boy’s shoulders. ”I will send my flames towards you, and you will search out their energy and counter them, extinguishing or diffusing the substance of the element with your own control. If you move from that spot, I will burn you, if you fail, I will burn you, if you complain, I will burn you”

And with that the first blast of fire streamed towards him, causing a jolt of fear to shoot down his spine. A panicked inhale accompanied by an explosive exhale saw a sloppy jab towards the small jet of flame, his own control over the element diffusing the heat around him harmlessly.

”Pathetic!” the Master’s admonishment was as sharp as a whip crack, ”again!”

Better prepared for his Master’s attack, Yi breathed deeply, moving his arms around as the blast of fire headed towards him. Remembering the proper form this time, he interacted with the energy of the flames, extinguishing them before they could reach him. This continued for some time, Master Ci driving his student further and further to exhaustion, the weak barrages he was sending becoming easier and easier for the young bender to counter, despite the growing lack of energy in the boy. So the venerable master naturally increased the difficulty, forcing his charge to remain still and standing in the face of increasingly stronger attacks, until Yi could stand it no more and collapsed forward, his face in the dust of the training ring. Even when the burn of Master Ci’s patented ‘punishment whip’ struck his bared back, he couldn’t find the energy to move, instead merely letting out a feeble groan.

”Very well, you may sleep there this night” the old man snorted, turning his back on Yi and wandering back to his hut where he would prepare food for himself, denying the younger firebender any sustenance until the morning. Noble or not, Master Ci did not tolerate those who could not withstand his training.
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PostSubject: Re: On the Island of Master Ci [Flashback Thread]   Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:54 am

As the first rays of sunlight peaked over the horizon, Yi’s golden eyes opened, the boy slowly getting to his feet. Blearily the young boy looked around, his golden gaze eventually falling on the hunched form of Master Ci. The old man’s clouded gaze travelled somewhere over the boy’s shoulder, and an unimpressed expression was carved into his craggy face. ”I will start fires, you will sit, you will control the flames, you will not create them at all. You will not eat until the task is completed” the old man stated unequivocally, and with a gesture, ignited a circle around Yi before wandering away, back to his hut.

The young noble dropped back to the ground with a sigh, closing his eyes as he began to regulate his breathing. It was just like the Master to do something like this, and he certainly shouldn’t have been surprised to have found himself already training, and on an empty stomach to boot. Trying not to think about his lack of food, Yi reached out towards the flames with his own energy, feeling his internal fire flare with the strength of the rising sun, its heat powering his bending to a higher level.

The circle of flames heated his body pleasantly, but it was difficult to feel them out. Unlike last night, where he learned to diffuse his Master’s fire, there was no bender controlling these flames, no human energy for him to latch onto and manipulate. In, out, his breathing slowed as he reached ot towards the raw energy of the flames, seeking contact before he could even consider trying to take control. It was not easy, but after an indeterminable amount of time he could finally feel the fire surrounding him, feel its flickering movement and primal power.

For some time Yi simply basked in this connection, communing with the fire in the way only a Firebender could. Soon enough however, his stomach reminded him of its emptiness, and his body’s intense desire for sustenance. With that though in mind, the young bender brought himself back to the task at hand, his rhythmic breathing hitching slightly as he readied himself to guide the flames.

It started simply. As he inhaled, he drew the power of the fire into himself, diminishing the flames. And as he exhaled, he guided power back into them, fanning them to greater heights. He continued in this fashion for some time, exercising the most mild control over the walls of flame that separated him from the rest of the world.

When he felt comfortable with that, he began exercising more complicated control over the flames. When some sections of the fire dipped low, others rose high. Gaps in the walls of flame opened and closed randomly as he turned his attention in their direction. Eventually he curved the flames over himself, forming a dome of fire before lowering it back to the state Master Ci had left it as he stood. With barely a thought an opening appeared in the curtain of flame as he walked through it. He was starving and now he that he would be allowed to eat, there was no way that he was going to miss out on the chance to have the meal.
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PostSubject: Re: On the Island of Master Ci [Flashback Thread]   Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:10 am

Over the meal Master Ci told him his next task was to reach the summit of the island’s small volcano...without touching its sides. When Yi finally managed to get over his shock at that declaration and ask how he was supposed to be able to do that, the response he got was simply ”Airbenders are not the only ones who can laugh in the face of gravity” before the elderly man wandered out of the hut, fire gathering around his hands and feet before pushing him off the ground and towards the volcano, leaving his bewildered student to stare in shock as he disappeared from sight. Flying...with firebending? That seemed somewhat unbelievable to say the least but he had seen it with his own eyes, so it had to be possible. The question was, how could he do it? Did he even have enough strength to be able to push himself off of the earth and defy the very harsh laws of gravity?

Well, he’d never know until he had given it a try, so he would have to find out for himself. Inhaling and exhaling slowly, Yi focused himself, preparing for the attempt. With a final inhale, he began. Fire streamed from around his hands, which were held rigidly at his sides, palms down. He had to be careful to bend the heat and flames away from his own body to avoid burning himself. Fire roiled around his body as he pushed harder and harder with it, sweat coating his brow as the strain got to him. He could feel his body lifting slightly, and with another deep breath fire began shooting out from his feet as well, the effort of lifting him spread out amongst his four limbs. Flames coiled around him, the energy he was releasing directed straight down, pushing him upwards, slowly at first, but getting faster and faster. Soon he was a good four meters off the ground rising.

With a twitch of his hand he was suddenly moving slightly, the jet of flame in his palm changing his direction. He frowned slightly as he manoeuvred the other hand to match it, straightening out a little more. He experimented with this, putting out less power so that he was only a meter or so off the ground, so as to conserve his energy. He knew he might need it later; after all, his Master wouldn’t have gone to the summit just to demonstrate...he was far too lazy for that. With that in mind he leant forward a little, his feet angling so as to push him up and forwards at the same time. Soon he was jetting along the island at a reasonable height, a trial of flames shooting out behind him. It was very much hard work, but he felt thrilled at the success, after all, how many people could say that they could legitimately fly, outside of the Air Nomads. He shot up along the side of the volcano, hands twitching this way and that as he altered his course to avoid the obstacles that appeared around him. When he reached the summit he settled down gently on the volcanic rock a few meters away from Master Ci, the old man sitting on a thick cushion and sipping tea as he waited for his student’s arrival. Sweat poured from the boy’s skin from the exertion of flight, but he stood stock still, waiting for the old bender’s next instruction.
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PostSubject: Re: On the Island of Master Ci [Flashback Thread]   Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:52 am

”Good, it seems you are not completely hopeless after all” the venerable master announced as he looked out over the caldera, ”your next task....is up to you. You may not come down from here until you have developed a technique of your own. I am not going to give you any suggestions, but you had better have something good” and then he was gone, making his way back down the mountain as if nothing of any importance had happened at all.

Yi frowned slightly, pondering this newest instruction. What could he do that might impress his master? What sort of technique could he use that wasn’t something already invented? Left standing alone on the rim of the volcano, Yi thought, his golden eyes staring out over the slowly shifting lava. A spit of flame caught his attention, its flash of existence brief but potent. His mind whirring, Yi realised that he could take inspiration from that flame. If fire could lift a bender off the ground, wouldn’t it be able to move you in other ways, perhaps with brief, intensely powerful bursts of flame he could propel his limbs about, enhancing his physical prowess.

A slight grin spread across his face, yes, that could work, all he had to do was figure out how to pull it off. Holding up a hand he brought a flame into existence, dancing above his palm so easily. That wouldn’t do, it had to be intense, it couldn’t be like flying, which generally required massive amounts of flames. Closing his eyes he focused on the flame, tried to tighten it, compress it, make it smaller and more potent. The idly crackling of the small fire gave way into an almost whining noise, and suddenly he was struggling to keep his palm up, the strength of the small flame pushing against him. Perfect.

Sitting down on the volcanic rock, he held both arms out, palms up, and summoned the condensed flame before ending it. He did this repeatedly for half an hour until he could bring them into existence with barely a thought, and could end them equally as fast. He would need to be able to very precisely control these flames if he wished to avoid burning himself or failing miserably at what he wished to accomplish. Absolutely drenched in sweat from exertion and the heat of the volcano, Yi stood up and got into a ready stance, his breathing even and relaxed. Then he moved, going through the katas he had learned some years ago, moving agilely and easily as he repeated the motions that any student of Master Ci’s learned. When he had warmed up his muscles he moved onto the purpose of this activity. A high kick suddenly was faster and higher as a small jet of flame shot out from his heel, pushing it to reach its pinnacle before he could have physically done so. Nearly losing his balance, Yi continued with the set for a few motions before trying again. It was hard, trying to compensate for the extra power, but he was determined to be able to pull it off.

For several hours he continued to practice, until he felt he had gained enough of a grasp on the technique that he could return to Master Ci and demonstrate what he had learned. He made his way back down the volcano in search of his master. He found the old man sipping tea casually from his crude wooden table, looking out over the ocean as best he could with his nearly blinded eyes.

”Demonstrate” he demanded, turning to give his student his attention. And demonstrate Yi did, going through the katas with increasing speed and fluidity with bursts of impossible speed added here and there as he used his new technique.

”Adequate” Master Ci stated once the youth had finished, ”you may have the rest of the day off”
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PostSubject: Re: On the Island of Master Ci [Flashback Thread]   Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:21 am

It was a rare day off, Master Ci had decided that he didn’t need to accomplish any impossible tasks after several months of brutal physical and spiritual training, and Zhao Yi had no idea what he wanted to do with himself. He’d been training pretty much every day since he first arrived on this spirit forsaken island, doing anything else seemed immensely wrong. Perhaps he would simply work on his firebending. The sun was high and there were still many hours of the day to go, so he could certainly do something interesting.

He grinned slightly to himself; perhaps he should indulge in his creative side. Firebending had the potential for beauty, but so few people nowadays saw it. Master Ci even punished him whenever he got creative for the sake of aesthetics, but his time today was his own, so the old troll could kiss Agni’s asshole. That pleasant thought in mind, he held his left palm hand over his right, palms facing. A flame appeared between them, flickering and twisting as he concentrated on it, until there, sitting in his palm was a fiery birdlike construct, shaped like a mythical phoenix. He had always liked the phoenix, its majesty and beauty surpassed even the dragons. It was only fitting that he created beautiful fire in its image.

But what could he do with such a construct? He pondered for a moment, even as his concentration was directed at maintaining the shape of the flame. Perhaps a fireball-esque attack? Send the phoenix at his opponents and have it erupt into fiery doom. That certainly had potential, but he felt he could do more with it. Instead of over thinking, Yi hurled the construct of flame, focusing on it as he moved it through the air, its wings shifting slightly as it seemed to glide away from him. With a twitch of his hand it curved, and suddenly he had it circling on a whim. A broad grin spread across his face as he contemplated the usefulness of such a technique. Another slight gesture and a little bit of energy and the phoenix erupted into a gout of flame, disappearing from existence in fiery magnificence.

Taking a few deep breaths, Yi readied himself, forming a new phoenix in his hand, a second one slowly shaping itself in his left. Throwing them he directed them to cross over at an imaginary point, circling around each other in tight spirals. If there had been an actual person there, they wouldn’t have been able to move for fear of getting burnt, and then, with a thought, they exploded. The youth grinned widely, very pleased at this new development. He spent the next few hours practicing this new, beautiful technique, until eventually five birds could orbit five separate points, or swirl violently around a single spot before detonating with a remarkable flash of fire. He had to give Master Ci some credit, without the cantankerous old man letting him have a day off, he never would have thought to ‘waste’ his time crafting such a firebending technique. Of course, he’d never show the old man, he didn’t have a death wish after all.
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