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 Over My Head (Better Off Dead)

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the sunset hero

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PostSubject: Over My Head (Better Off Dead)   Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:35 am

25 energy - 10 (entry) = 15 energy

Pricklemist Hill stood as out-of-place as ever.

It was only on the edge of Rainfront town, perhaps a twenty or thirty-minute walk for most able-bodied Pokémon. But, despite the close proximity of the two locations, the aura between them could not be any more different. Rainfront was cozy and welcoming, a small town nestled on the coast boasting a number of different attractions. Between those and the beach, it was a content lazy little corner of the world, happy with itself and its place in life. A tourist attraction for most people. On the other hand, the hill on the edge of town was as dour, dark and sullen as it could be. Thick, swirling mist wafted through the air, clouding what little light was in the air in the first place, thanks to the eternally cloudy skies overhead. An old, faded trail lead from town to a small copse of trees atop the hill, somehow appearing foreboding despite the innocence of the picture. It was difficult to tell the time of day, but the gently chilling bite of the cooling air told one particular croagunk that it was nearing evening if it wasn't there already.

Goro shivered. He was pleased to be back.

The last time he'd been here was when he was checking out his metaphorical backyard after settling down in Cattail Marsh. The area had struck him as distinctly creepy and gloomy, and he remembered wanting to share a sense of kinship with the area. It'd given him a bad case of the creeps, though. The fighter had been constantly looking over his shoulder, wary of whatever night-time terror would burst through the thick mist to claim his life. Now, though... now, he was different. Stronger. More capable. A better fighter and a Pokémon with his head on straight. He'd been an aimless vagabond looking for a hole to hide in last time he came here, but this time he had a purpose, power, and experience. He was a little bit older, a bit more wisened. When he came to Rainfront last time, he believed the story the old cronies used to tell on the streets about the tragic fate of a family atop the hill. Now... it was probably just an old wives' tale to get tourists out of their hair. As he strolled down the faded trail beaten into the grass leading up to the old hill, Goro felt more at ease with himself than he had... perhaps ever before.

The Umbreon in front of him probably had a lot to do with that. The croagunk was less interested in surveying their surroundings, as he'd been here before, and busied himself with staring at Krikka's figure in front of him. She'd plucked him out from the hovel he was squatting in inside of Cattail Marsh and taken him on the kind of harrowing desperate adventure that he only used to hear stories about, drifting from seedy town to town wishing for a purpose in life. Krikka had given him that, too. And now she'd brought him here, to the haunted hill on the edge of the tourist's town. Why, exactly, was a mystery, but he didn't plan on asking. At this point, she had long since earned his trust and respect. If she had something she wanted to take him to do in the middle of nowhere, then he'd come along for the ride, no questions asked.

Still, maybe he would have appreciated it if she'd had said something about how cold it would have been outside. At least warned him to bring a cloak or something. Absently, the croagunk rubbed his palms together before exhaling a hot breath into them, trying to warm his hands before folding them into one another.

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Last edited by the sunset hero on Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:28 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : editing description after things TOOK A TURN)
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PostSubject: Re: Over My Head (Better Off Dead)   Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:17 am

A gloomy hill really should have been just as unpleasant as any other place Krikka had visited and hated, but for some reason, she liked it here.  She liked the calm to it all, and the fog actually looked nice; better than the purple smog of Venen Gulch, at any rate.  She wasn't scared of any spooky ghost stories after having gone to the Ruined Chateau twice, and aside from that, there were no real downsides to Pricklemist.  It didn't have a filthy environment to dirty her fur; there was no poison in the air; it wasn't a house that existed seemingly outside of reality and happened to be packed full of hellish creatures; and, perhaps most importantly, it was just... simple.  It was just a hill, easy to traverse and lacking any serious threats.  Despite her exceptional skill for finding things to complain about, she was genuinely okay with this place so far.  The one thing she disliked was the chilly breeze, but fur went a long way to reduce the effect of such a thing, and while she wasn't especially fluffy, it was still enough to minimize any discomfort.

The fog admittedly made it hard to see, but the vixen liked the look of it, mostly because she stuck out more against such a plain background.  Her black form was masked well by the restricted visibility, but it had the opposite effect on the light of the blue circles of fur curling around her body.  In this environment, her luminescence was probably the most visible thing around, meaning no one could possibly pass by without being forced to admire her.  She was actually making an effort to put off just a bit of a glow to take advantage of this; she knew it ran the risk of drawing unwanted attention, but that was just what she was here for!  Goro, the lumpy little brawler she'd managed to win over, was with her and probably had no idea why they were here.  Ironically, they were here for him, the goal being to test his fighting abilities in a more controlled environment.  Going up against a bunch of powerful ghosts in a big box of malevolence wasn't a very good way of gauging his competence in a fight, so Krikka wanted to get him into a proper, fair fight that she could oversee without worry.

"So, you're probably wondering why we're here, yeah?" she not-so-subtly offered to explain herself to the croagunk, looking back to see if he was interested.  If he wanted to keep himself in the dark and avoid spoiling the surprise, that was fine too, but unlike their first trip, the goal of this one wasn't some big secret.  Actually, the destination in the chateau wasn't really a secret either; she'd just had absolutely no idea what to actually expect.  This time, however, she was fairly confident in her ability to manage the situation, and more importantly, avoid any serious danger.  Aside from spooky stories surrounding this place, it was actually quite harmless, at least from what she knew.  Well, perhaps harmless was a bit of a stretch, but she was already aware that she was apparently stronger than the average 'mon, and she had with her a fighter by trade.  As far as she knew, the residents of this place weren't overwhelming like those in the chateau and gulch, and she figured most travelers in the area would probably be dumb kids heading up for the crappy house on dares.

Actually, she kind of hoped she would find some such kids, mostly so she could see if they had any spending money on them.  Maybe she could sic Goro on them if they tried to fight back; probably not the best way to test his mettle, but it would be better than nothing.  All the umbreon really wanted was to make sure her new goon was good for helping her mug random civilians, anyway.  She would figure out bigger uses for him and try to help hone his skills once she had a baseline established for what he was capable of.

____________________________________________________

To at least one individual, the climate was actually welcomed.  The bite of the cool air barely reached through her fur and the cloak draped over it, but even the slightest feeling of anything was enough.  It was something for her to focus on and cling to, keeping her drawn to the reality around her.  The dark sky above mixed with the thick fog surrounding her allowed her to rest her eyes; she had learned that this form came with being naturally nocturnal, which made the daylight just feel... wrong.  She was having trouble adjusting to her body's attempts to push her toward embracing the night, so to speak, but it was getting increasingly difficult.  It was harder to see in the daylight than before, though not by too much; at the same time, she could see perfectly fine in pitch-black darkness.  Of course, that didn't mean she could see through fog, but that was just more reason for her to stay in this location.  Sitting inside the tarnished old building atop the haze-coated hill, the darkness enveloped her, making her feel distanced from everything.  It was easier to control the impulses when there was no one for her to set her sights on.

She had no desire to interact with the outside world for fear of what she would do.  She had chosen this for herself out of spite and stubbornness, and now she had to live with it.  Trying to just control it and restrain herself hadn't gotten her far, and so she had resorted to retreating from society.  She wanted the cloak gone, but it seemed almost as if her mind an body weren't her own whenever she had even the slightest bit of motivation to search for a way to remove it.  She already knew it was affecting her mind, so it was no surprised that it would mentally block her from trying to get rid of it.  She knew what it was doing but had no way to stop it, which left her with only one option she could see.  More precisely, she had only one option she was willing to accept, and that was to stay away from living things.  To think, she had been planning to ask to join Sova's rescue team... then Acro's... and now she was trapped in an existence doomed to misery.  She had fled her home to escape the pain, but now she was worse off than ever; being bullied seemed like a luxury at this point.

The thought of her bullies sent a shiver through her body and brought a yellow glow to her rings; she felt an urge to move, to seek out her childhood tormentors and...  She'd felt this impurity pulsing out seemingly from her heart since acquiring the cloak.  At first, it just throw her into delirious rage, but now it brought tears to her eyes with every shiver.  She felt evil and hopeless despite how she had done nothing wrong; she was doing everything she could to control herself, and yet it wasn't enough.  Even alone in an empty house surrounded by a sea of grey and silence, she still couldn't have a single moment of peace.  It made her powerful, but nothing was worth this damning corruption.  She couldn't understand why Sova had sought out a curse, assuming it was anything like her own.  Was he truly just that much more capable of handling it than she was, or was the one he'd chosen somehow different?  She felt sad, but at the same time, every little thing made her angry; the emotions kept her head constantly spinning and drowned her in misery.

She looked down at her paws to see she was digging them into the floorboards below.  With how hard she was bearing them down on the floor, they probably should have been bleeding, but she knew why they weren't.  The cloak had made her practically invincible, at least in comparison to her prior self.  She couldn't seek help, couldn't control herself, couldn't hide... and she couldn't even hope for someone to come along and put her out of her misery.

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PostSubject: Re: Over My Head (Better Off Dead)   Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:13 am

Goro squinted his eyes as he peered forward into the swirling mists in the air, trying in vain to see further than he currently could. While he wasn't afraid of the hill anymore, he still didn't feel one hundred percent at ease. It wasn't as if there was anything truly strong to worry about, as he figured it would just be stragglers coming to and from Rainfront, and maybe the odd gaggle of children playing around the haunted house. But there was still the inability to truly see that far - having his sight robbed from him in such a way would leave him feeling uneasy no matter what. Krikka must have come to a similar conclusion, as she seemingly made a bit of an effort to power up her glow, her blue rings flashing brightly in the fog. As nice as the gesture seemed on paper, though, he didn't think it'd help any. If anything, it would just attract more attention. Goro knew not why Krikka was here, but if it was anything important then she'd not appreciate distractions. Any fool that came chasing after them would likely be dealt with, if not by him then by her personally. It wasn't a bad thing for them, but it was certainly dangerous for any fool who went chasing after the pretty blue lights around Pricklemist Hill.

Of course, Krikka probably knew that, too.

The croagunk exhaled noisily, tightening his arms against each other as they were folded in front of him. He didn't mind the spooky atmosphere of the place, really. Matter of fact, he really liked it, but it was impossible to deal with the cold. The Marsh was never this cold. It could get chilly at night, but during the days it was so pleasantly warm. Perhaps that was part of the reason that he'd grown so lazy there. Enviously, the frog stole a glance at the umbreon's coat of fur, feeling an uncharacteristic surge of jealousy. Some Pokémon were just too lucky, being born with a natural blanket being woven into their skin. It was just so that Krikka looked back at him while he was doing so, deigning to actually ask him a question. It was nice of her to offer up their purpose here so easily; while he didn't mind being in the dark when it came to certain things, preferring to know things on a need-to-know basis, the chilly air grazing against his leathery skin left him feeling irritable and cranky enough that he wanted to know why the hell he was out here. Or, more to the point, why hadn't he thought to bring a cloak? Why hadn't she thought to remind him, considering that she knew where they were going and he didn't? It didn't really matter in the end, as he was sure she planned to put him to work somehow and he'd get warm that way.

"Didn't plan on askin', but... yeah." Last time he'd been around here, Goro had found a fat lot of nothing. Not even any wild Pokémon. Granted, considering that the hill was right next door to Rainfront, there probably weren't any Pokémon that felt up to the task of challenging him at the time. Otherwise, it'd be more than a bit counterproductive to place a city so close to such an area. Dangerous for the kiddies and whatnot. Still, unless Krikka had some kind of intel on something of actual value being here, then he didn't have a clue. And when he didn't have a clue, Goro had a habit of keeping his mouth closed... which just so happened to be most of the time. "I came here once, before, and didn't find nothin' worth anything. Can't imagine much has changed between then and now."

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PostSubject: Re: Over My Head (Better Off Dead)   Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:56 am

Goro seemed just as confused as Krikka had assumed he would be, that being very much so.  He had come here before, which made sense, considering he had been living nearby before being rescued from his wasteful life in that dreadful swamp.  More importantly, he knew from personal experience that this place was basically the exact opposite of noteworthy, with its only particularly interesting feature being the rumors surrounding it.  But, of course, Krikka was completely unfazed by this; she made every active effort not to believe in scary stories and myths without proof, mostly due to deep-seeded spite for her naive, religious family.  She hated them and everything they stood for, and so she refused to believe in supernatural idiocy unless she had a damn good reason for it.  This place wasn't haunted; maybe it had some ghost-types lurking around it at most, but that hardly counted as some horrifying otherworldly presence.  She knew too well how intimidating ghost pokémon could be after her time in the chateau, but they weren't too special.  Anyone could be scary if they were strong enough... and aggressive enough.  The house itself may have looked kind of creepy, but while she hadn't seen it, she was willing to bet it didn't hold a candle to the Ruined Chateau.  She doubted she would ever see a structure as nightmarish as that place, let alone in the middle of some weak-ass pansy hilltop.

"Well, our trip to Hell was mostly for me.  You were at a disadvantage there there, so I didn't get a very accurate demonstration of what you can do.  We're here so I can see you beat on some scrubs," she stated in a very casual manner before continuing onward, flicking her head forward in a gesture for the croagunk to continue following.  She doubted he needed to be told to come, but she wanted to show him that she still intended to keep going, if only to let him know not to get his hopes up and expect them to stop anytime soon.  She intended to stop only when she found someone for Lumpy to attack, but until then, she was willing to talk.  It wasn't as if she had anything better to do, and while she enjoyed silence, she was also beginning to realize that she hadn't actually gotten to know Goro much at all.  She wasn't sure how much there was to know in the first place, but there must have been more than just "Hi, I'm some dude who lives in a swamp and likes to hit things.  That's my story."  She didn't mind if he actually turned out to be that simple; if anything, that just meant he'd be able to do his job better with no emotional baggage or shifty past holding him back.  Still, if there was anything she needed to know, she wanted to.

"I'll try to see where you need improvement, then we'll go fro-" she continued, implying she expected Goro's fighting to have faults without any care for his pride.  However, she fell silent and still at the sudden sound of... wood breaking?  Ears perked, she looked up the hill through the fog, right in the direction from which the violent snapping noise had originated.  It didn't take a genius to guess that it was the result of someone interacting with the old house either violently or clumsily.  She stepped backward to the right, looked back at Goro and lifted her right leg to point up toward the top of the hill in a gesture that said "After you."  A bit of a smirk painting itself onto her face, she waited in anticipation for his reaction; she already knew he would accept, but she was just curious about how eager he would be.

____________________________________________________

No matter how much she tried, she slipped further into the void with every moment that past.  It kept building up until she lashed out at someone, and then she would catch herself before doing anything extreme, and her lucidity would return for a bit.  The bright side to being secluded in this house was that there was no one around for her to hurt; she had chosen a place that was often avoided due to the stories surrounding it ant the generally eerie atmosphere.  On the flip-side, however, was the fact that she had nothing to keep her tethered to herself.  She had hoped that perhaps she could learn to manage herself in this time away from the world, but all it was doing was making it clear to her that she couldn't.  The blankets of mist in the air seemed to be creeping into her mind, driving her sense of rationality away no matter how hard she fought to hold onto it.  With every passing second, she wanted more and more to leave and find someone to...

She opened her eyes, not even realizing she'd had them closed, and searched around the house for something to focus on.  There was an old lantern sitting on a small desk in the corner of the living room, where she happened to be; she was sitting next to the wall on the opposite side of the room, so she had to get up and make her way over to this lantern.  Upon closer inspection, the lamp had a turn-switch on the side of it to light the fire; she didn't know much about this kind of thing, but she figured it was probably fueled with oil.  She lifted her right paw up to carefully turn the ignition rod or whatever it was called, to no avail.  She persisted for a bit in the hope of seeing the light of the lamp, but her luck didn't change.  After a pointlessly long endeavor, long after point where it should have been obvious that nothing was going to happen, she finally stopped and just... stared at it.  Even in the dark, she could see her reflection in the glass.  Her eyes looked tired.

She felt her heart beat, another shiver of the haunting blankness creeping through her.  In an instant, she bit onto the handle of the lantern and tossed it at the wall on her left, shattering it apart.  The brief period of desperation was gone, and she had now returned to her state of blind rage.  She stumbled in circles, searching for something to satisfy her impulses on, but there was nothing.  She just wanted it to go away; without much thought, she rammed head-first into the wall next to the desk, then collapsed to the floor in a sobbing heap.  Her head was spinning, but not because of her deciding to throw herself against a wall; in fact, she had barely felt the impact.  Part of her wished she had, since it would have given her something to put her attention on, and maybe... maybe that would help.  Eyes shut tight as she shivered and cried, she stumbled up to her paws and rushed in the opposite direction of the wall, storming blindly forward as fast as she could go.  She ended up slamming herself into the opposite side of the room, breaking through the wall and tumbling across the ground outside the house.  She didn't get up.  It still barely hurt and certainly wasn't enough to keep her down, but the only thing driving her to do anything was the horrid lust.  Her tears had stopped, but she continued shaking as she lay on the cold grass, almost enjoying the short time she had before the cloak inevitably drove her to get back up and start all over again.

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PostSubject: Re: Over My Head (Better Off Dead)   Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:00 am

It was nice to at least hear Krikka acknowledge that his performance in that haunted mansion was a result of him being at an inherent disadvantage, even if he did have some shining moments. Because really, how did you punch a ghost? He'd found the answer a few times, sure, but his main weapon had been sealed off against almost everyone he squared off against. It didn't bother him that much, honestly, but the fact that Krikka hadn't said anything up 'til now honestly had. Normally, he never really cared what other people thought of him, save for his parents, but with Krikka it was different in that she was his boss and leader. That was the kind of thing that he wanted to hear from her because how she felt about him directly corresponded with how he performed when he did his job. Dutifully, the croagunk ambled forward behind the umbreon when she signaled for it - not really thinking anything of the nonverbal signal she'd given. He wasn't exactly going to get up in a fuss over her not assuming he was that trained.

Still, he felt a bit torn now that she'd revealed the true purpose of this outing. Him wailing on Pokémon below and around his strength level was something that she'd already seen a few times if his memory served. He'd defeated the poliwhirl in the Marsh, and he'd beaten Solus afterward. The foes in the Chateau were different in that they didn't fight by normal rules; they could float, fly, phase through walls and attacks. That, and most of them had been a lot stronger than he was. It was a bit of a letdown, but on the other hand, she was essentially letting him cut loose on whatever they hell they came across. Granted, Goro still had his doubts about finding anything around the hill, but ever since he'd joined her, he'd been effectively restrained. He fought the enemies that needed fighting or the ones that she wanted him to fight, and no one else. Whereas now, he had full freedom to take on who or whatever struck his fancy - presumably, at least. There was still every possibility that she'd pick his opponents for him.

Krikka continued on, saying something about seeing where he would need improvement. The implication of that rankled a teensy bit, sure, but Krikka had also brutally exposed his weaknesses during their fight in Cattail Marsh, so it wasn't as if she didn't know what to look for. Her doing that to him was something that the croagunk had thought about for a very, very long time afterward. If she wanted to watch and observe him for faults, then he was honestly fine with it. Still, neither one of them were allowed to opportunity to continue speaking, as they were cut off by the distant sound of what sounded like cracking wood. His mind immediately leaped to the house, of course, but he supposed it was also possible that some other Pokémon was out gathering wood. It was a bit strange that they'd only just now heard it, though, so it was more likely just kids tearing up the allegedly haunted house. Of course, once Krikka processed the sound and what it meant, she stepped off daintily to the right of the path and gestured him forward with just a hint of a smirk on her mug. The umbreon looked entirely too pleased with herself, as just as soon as she laid out their plan for the evening, their target presented itself to them.

He hadn't taken this route last time, as he neglected to actually investigate the haunted home, but it made logical sense for the trail to lead there or at least close to it. Goro was surprised to find that he didn't have too many reservations about what was going to happen. He hoped, of course, that he wasn't about to storm into an abandoned house and beat up a bunch of little children - he wasn't sure if Krikka would order him to actually do that. He didn't want to find out. If push came to shove, he'd probably do it, but it wasn't as if that would tell Krikka anything about his capabilities. That thought put him at ease slightly, and after a pregnant pause in which he'd been unresponsive to her nonverbal command, Goro nodded. "'Kay," With just a comment, he strode forward as she bid him to, his eyes trained forward on where the sound came from. He let his arms fall loosely to his sides, shaking them out for a moment as he tried to bring some measure of warmth to his body - between the chilly wind and the thick mist wafting in his face, he was genuinely uncomfortable.

It had been some time since his last truly desperate fight - a fortnight if he had to guess. Goro would be lying if he said he wasn't a little itchy under the skin for a chance to cut loose against something roundabout his level, but finding someone like that in this area... well, it wasn't impossible, as both he and Krikka were here, but he didn't like the chances. Odds were he was about to find some poor schmuck out late fooling around the abandoned house and rearrange his face until Krikka was satisfied with what she saw - which didn't sound like too awful of a time to him. But he was hoping for a treat.

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PostSubject: Re: Over My Head (Better Off Dead)   Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:20 am

The soft grass and open air felt a great deal better than the dark, rundown house Dusk had decided to keep herself in.  To her surprise, she felt... tired.  She had felt tired for some time now, but it was suddenly different, almost like she could actually drift into sleep if she were to try.  She couldn't remember the last time she had slept, though it was partly due to how the cloak caressed her senses, warping her memory and perception of time.  She had no idea when she had last slept, eaten, spoken... smiled.  It was as if everything that made her her was being torn out of her, and no matter what she did or how hard she tried, she couldn't do anything to stop it.  She thought of her bullies and how they had targeted her for being weak, making a point of reminding her every day that she was pathetic.  She'd wanted to have the willpower to face them for some time, and when she finally got up the nerve, it turned out she was too weak to do anything.  Then she remembered running, failing to survive on her own, and being found by a glaceon who tried to look after her.  He was stubborn and immobile in his decision to protect her from herself, and from that point onward, it was her sole goal to prove to him that she could be trusted, that she could match his will with her own...

Until recently, at least.  Now an article of clothing was making it agonizingly clear to her that, really, she had no will; she was pathetic, and it was almost as if the inanimate object wanted her to know that.  Actually, she wasn't so sure that it was "inanimate" to begin with, as her first interaction with it had been it leaping at her and practically strangling her.  Distant memories were clearer than more recent ones, but those, too, were beginning to fade.  It was all she could do to accept the offer of some temporary peace in the form of sleep that had been presented to her.  She could just let all her dread and struggle to hold onto herself melt away, if only for a bit.  She knew she would probably be woken by a nightmare; that was how what little sleep she got seemed to go as of late.  Still, she needed rest... and she needed water.  How long had she been sitting in the abandoned building, depriving herself of all the things she needed to survive?  She knew she had to be careful to stay hydrated, what with her disorder, but...  No, actually, she had just recently wandered down to the marsh in her haze of red; she had gotten water, albeit disgusting water.

She didn't need anything but sleep.  Even if she did, she wasn't interesting in heeding to these needs until she at least tried to do something to help with her mental state.  She knew it wouldn't make the horror go away, but sleep deprivation surely wasn't doing her any favors.  Her violent shivers slowly calmed as she drifted off, sleep coming to her surprisingly quickly.  The sharp, sudden mood swings were something completely foreign to her, and she had no idea how to handle them or what to do.  Simply put, she was scared... but at least she could sleep.  If nothing else, she could sleep until her mind- no, until the embodiment of evil wrapped around her decided it was time to wake up.

Footsteps.

Her eyes shot open in tune with another pulse of the cold, lifeless feeling that continuously fought its way into every cell of her being.  In an almost hypnotized state, she slowly rose to her paws, her head turning in the direction of the steps.  Her senses seemed heightened, but they were selectively geared toward the cloak's ambitions.  Perhaps it was just the sense of desperation and the resulting adrenaline that was making her so capable of hearing the sounds of an approaching victim.  She slowly crept toward the poor soul who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, having finally accepted what she now was.  She couldn't fight it.  She was exhausted and miserable on too many levels to keep track of, and if there was even the slightest chance that this would make it better, then she couldn't help but try.  She wanted so badly for it to just be over, and after trying everything else to make it end, she was willing to accept whatever happened next.  She didn't have Sova's blazing will and unwavering strength; she was weak, no matter how much she wished she wasn't.

Looking down the incline of the hill, she could see a distant figure appearing in the mist.  Suddenly, she felt some small piece of herself again, reminding her of what it was she was about to do.  She wasn't weak.  "I'm not weak...  I'm not weak..." she muttered to herself in repetition, her voice growing harsher as she struggled to remind herself that she could fight it.  She had to believe she could, and she refused to give up, no matter how much she wanted to.  She had been a spineless, miserable coward for much of her life...  She had no way to stop the pain, but in the face of her own crumbling spirit, she would do everything in her power to fight.

"Go away!" she shouted through the mist at whoever was approaching, warning them to get away from her.  The rings decorating her body lit up with a bright yellow glow as she spoke, making it obvious where she was, and probably what she was.  "Just go!"  She was trying not to sound provocative, but she didn't really know a nice way to tell someone to get the hell away from her, especially when she was standing right next to a landmark of sorts that this mystery-mon may have come specifically to see.  "Please..." she added on, willing to put her pride aside and beg if it meant she might spare someone from having to face her.

____________________________________________________

Krikka's gaze followed the croagunk as he walked obediently past her with barely a word.  She was growing to appreciate how little he spoke, in contrast to Solus, who had a habit of not keeping his mouth shut even when it was in his own best interest.  Why did she even keep that buizel around?  Oh, right, for entertainment purposes; seeing his denial toward his own capacity to do wrong was more than enough to make it worth putting up with his sass and occasional outbursts.  Besides, he kept giving her excuses to beat on him, and he just took it then got up and kept doing whatever she said every time!  He was fun in his own way, but Goro was showing himself to be a legitimately competent... employee?  Was that what he was?  She wasn't exactly paying him yet, as she didn't have much to pay with, but he was still technically working for her.  Regardless, while he talked like some uneducated hillbilly and often reinforced this appearance with his behavior, he was a good worker, even if there were areas where he could use improvement.

She allowed the croagunk to get some distance on her before deciding to follow, making sure to trail a good distance behind and make it clear that he was on his own in whatever fight she expect him to get into.  She allowed her blue light to fade away to avoid making her presence known to whoever was causing all the ruckus.  She was expecting some idiot who was trashing the old house for fun, and she doubted they would be particularly threatening, but she didn't need to put much pressure on Goro to get a good idea of where his weak points were.  She just needed to be able to sit on the sideline and see him in action against something he could properly fight, then she would be able to figure out how to help him improve.  It was his best interest as well as her own, so she figured he would be happy to oblige and do what she said here, though it seemed like he would follow whatever training regimen she gave him even if he disagreed and hated it.  He had bent himself to her will without question thus far, even in times where he had plenty of reason to doubt her, and she had no reason to believe that would change now.

Her eyes followed the croagunk as his colors melted into the mist, turning him into nothing more than a silhouette.  She was probably keeping herself a bit further away than necessary, but she wanted to make sure not to spook the test dummy with her presence; if it happened to be a single target, then the prospect of two attackers would be more likely to scare them off than just one.  Still, even with the restricted visibility, she could see the shape of the croagunk well enough, and that was the sole focus of her attention... until a voice rang out.  Her vision was drawn up to a yellow light piercing the grey veil, and after a moment, it clicked.  It was another umbreon, and she recognized the voice...  She couldn't quite pinpoint where it was familiar from, but she knew she had heard it before.  She supposed it was possible that she had just heard someone who sounded somewhat like this other umbreon, but...  "No fucking way," she spoke absentmindedly as she stared in surprise at the light.  Her voice wasn't exactly hushed or restrained, which she figured meant Goro could hear her, but she was pretty sure the other figure was far enough away that she wouldn't blow her cover.

She knew this other, inferior umbreon; she had tormented her once before, though in a completely different way, and now their paths had crossed again.  her mouth gaped open for a moment in sheer surprise, but after a moment to process it, a hesitant smile crept onto her face.  She wasn't sure if it was okay to be happy since it seemed so hard to believe that fate would throw this lesser specimen of her species back at her for another round of torture, this time in a more... literal sense.  She was in disbelief at her profoundly good luck; perhaps this was to make up for the nigh-constant misfortune she had experienced at every turn up until now. It was looking so promising, what with how their soon-to-be victim was already begging when they hadn't even done anything yet.  Krikka was trying not to get her hopes up, but she so badly wanted an opportunity to show that cocky, smart-ass bitch who she really was.

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PostSubject: Re: Over My Head (Better Off Dead)   Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:21 am

The fog seemed to grow thicker and thicker as Goro headed to the summit of the hill, with Krikka trailing a good length behind him. If it weren't obvious by what she said, then the point was driven home by her very hands-off approach; she had no intention of interfering with whatever was about to happen. It was the same thing she had done to Solus when the two of them found Goro in the Marsh. At the time, he hadn't been able to fathom how the buizel was able to just give himself up in servitude like that - he hadn't known the arrangement between them, but between the way she treated him and the (seemingly) lackadaisical attitude regarding actually looking out for him, it just seemed like a bad deal. Purpose was great and all, and it could do wonderful things for some people, but there was a point that you needed to draw a line. Of course, now he knew better, as he was in almost the exact situation as the sea weasel Pokémon. The only difference was that they served different roles; Goro was more of a grunt worker, whereas Solus seemed to be a favored toy. Which was fine with him, in the end; he was decent at what he did and he was only getting better at it. It was what he wanted to do.

After some time silently shuffling along the misty trail, Goro was pretty sure he'd found the source of the noise earlier. An urgent feminine voice shouted out somewhere ahead of him, her tone heavy with a warning, and at the same time, a set of rings glowed brilliantly in the distance. If not for the color and voice, Goro would have mistaken the figure for Krikka, but neither matched. The ridiculousness of it all struck him; was he about to fight against another umbreon? Would Krikka feel some kind of way about that? He felt dumbfounded and shocked at first, listening silently as the mysterious girl ahead shouted for him to leave before resorting to actually begging. It served to confuse him more than anything else; just what was this other umbreon up to, presumably tearing up the abandoned house and then not just warning him off, but actually asking him to leave. Krikka, behind him a ways, let slip a soft exclamation once the voice had started begging. Goro didn't even try to guess what the story was there. The whole thing was just so... jarring.

Still, Goro was game. Her practically begging for them to leave painted a pretty clear picture that she didn't want to fight, but if she was anything like Krikka, then she probably could. Shit, she was probably really strong. The more he thought about it, the more it seemed like a fantastic idea - this was exactly the treat he was hoping for! Fighting against an umbreon other than Krikka would tell him so many things. If this desperate girl wasn't stronger than Goro, then it was likely that his boss really was extraordinary, even for her species. It hadn't been that long since he'd been picked up out of the Marsh, after all; this would also serve as an excellent benchmark of progress for him. How much he'd matured, exactly. The last time he'd gone against an umbreon had not been fun, but if he could do well - if he could win, then it would only say that much about how his time was better spent. It'd be justification, of sorts, even if he already had more of that than he needed. It was almost... personal. How did he stack up in this new life compared to his old one? Was he better off as a fighter for choosing this path, or had it been detrimental to his growth?

Goro couldn't wait to find out, but there were a few things stopping him from getting down to business. For one, well, the other umbreon really sounded like she wanted nothing to do with him. He was all for hurting people, but insofar he'd limited himself to ones who knew what they were getting into with him, or just wild Pokémon. Not to mention Krikka's absentminded comment from somewhere behind him. It meant something, and whether or not she was just surprised at finding another of her kind or she actually knew this other vixen was important. He'd seen what she'd done to underlings who displeased her, and he had no intentions on getting similar treatment. If this bitch was family or something, Goro was not going to jump in gung-ho and smash her face in. Instead, he remained still where he stood, keeping his gaze trained on the umbreon-like silhouette in the fog ahead and the glowing rings she sported. Turning his head slightly, he decided to grasp for a straw, here, and see if he couldn't make sense of this. "Boss?" It was a testament to his mixed feelings that he didn't elaborate at all, merely making a blank query to his leader and waiting with bated breath for further instructions.

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PostSubject: Re: Over My Head (Better Off Dead)   Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:13 am

Dusk idly stepped back as if in fear of the figure approaching her, and she was afraid, but not for herself.  She was worried about hurting whoever happened to be so unlucky as to decide to venture out to this abandoned house while she happened to be in the area.  She had come here specifically because it didn't seem to be an incredibly popular spot, but it seemed her decision had been the wrong one.  Actually, she had gone a fair few days without seeing anyone here, so perhaps it had worked; just not well enough to protect the world from her forever.  She shuttered as an impulse to rush the silhouette in the fog came over her, but she fought it back and kept herself where she was.  She would not succumb to this evil and allow herself to become it, no matter how much it tore at her psyche and constantly clawed its way through her heart.  If Sova could fight whatever curse he had willingly branded himself with, then she could fight hers too, if not for herself, then for those around her.

Whoever this was, they didn't seem to care too much about her pleads for them to leave.  She heard them speak, but not to her; rather, the masculine voice was questioning someone; his... boss?  Apparently, this guy was in a group, or at the very least, he had a partner with him; a boss, whatever that meant.  She briefly wondered what work he and his unseen boss were out here to do, but she could gather that he seemed be looking for this boss' input on how to react to her presence and request.  What, did he plan to attack her if this mystery leader of his deemed her some kind of threat or obstacle?  Or did they just really want to get to this useless, rickety old house for some unspecified reason?  She supposed she could be the one to leave if this pair or group or whatever really wanted past her, and she was willing to do that if it was what was necessary to avoid a confrontation.  She just didn't want them to get any closer to her; she didn't want to hurt them, and she wasn't sure if she would be able to resist once she saw them clearly through the fog.

"P-please, just... just stay away from me..." she continued her pleading in a state of humility that she was only willing to present for the sake of someone else's safety.  She took another idle step back, this time without even noticing, and choked back a whimper as another violent impulse ran through her veins.  "Or, I'll leave if you wanna get to the house.  Just-" she was cut off in her attempt to compromise.  The voice interrupting her was familiar, but her ability to focus and think was worn far too thin for her to remember anything.

____________________________________________________

Krikka's decision to keep her distance was completely and utterly undone by the prospect she had been presented with.  She started off toward Goro with a hastened pace in her anticipation for what was to come.  She was trying so hard not to get her hopes up, but it was just impossible with the prospect of getting to beat on someone she had met in the past who had proven to be an annoyance to her.  She stopped, however, as the croagunk in front of her suddenly spoke back toward her and gave a simple, one-word question.  It may not have seemed like much, but it was more than enough for her to know what he was asking: he was looking to see if the plan had changed.  His doubt was understandable, probably brought on by the begging of the prospective victim, or perhaps them being the same species as Krikka herself.  She didn't mind Goro's hesitance and appreciated him deciding to stop and ask her if she was okay with him continuing before he did anything.  She knew that he wouldn't hesitate in a situation where it was clear he needed to fight, so she didn't mind him not immediately attacking now.  She looked toward the voice and listened contently to what may as well have been music to her ears.

The blue-ringed umbreon had to restrain herself from laughing at the pathetic state her adversary had been reduced to since they had last met.  Given time to hear the voice at length, she was confident that this was who she thought it was, and she remembered her being much... bolder before.  Bold enough to face someone as strong as Sova, at any rate.  Now, however, she was begging and... it sounded like she was practically about to cry.  Had she developed some crippling fear of social interaction, or was she just expecting to be attacked without even knowing who she was being faced with?  Krikka didn't care too much about the reasoning, but it was interesting if nothing else.  It was, however, getting a bit repetitive, and so she decided to put it to a stop and cut the other umbreon off: "We don't care about the house."  Her words left nothing to the imagination, stated in a very matter-of-fact manner devoid of any consideration for the pathetic display of begging.  If anything, the show of emotion only further solidified her decision to make this particular unlucky pokémon's day the worst day she'd ever had.

She drew her gaze back to Goro.  "Well, get to it," she responded, again making no effort to be particularly vague in what she was saying.  She absolutely wanted her new not-really-hired muscle to beat on this chick, and in fact, she wanted to take a turn herself after she got the insight into the croagunk's fighting capabilities that she was looking for.  She had a lot she wanted to say to this other umbreon, and she had a golden thorn she was eager to convey her feelings through.  She wanted to show her true self and give this wannabe-badass a permanent reminder that she wasn't tough.  Perhaps after being carved up a bit, she would start begging for more than just to be left alone.  Maybe she'd even cry, since she seemed to be close to doing that already; oh how wonderful it would be to see her cry.

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PostSubject: Re: Over My Head (Better Off Dead)   Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:30 am

Even when turning his head slightly and asking for instructions from Krikka, Goro was sure to keep his gaze trained on the umbreon that was currently taking a step back from him. That wasn't a very promising sight. She seemed panicked, of course, but he was hoping that would have been related toward whatever she was up to regarding the house. Not him. He wanted her to be strong and confident and willing to fight back if Krikka gave him the order to go on anyway. For all that he loved the sensation of his fist crushing others, he found the idea of doing it to weaklings... distasteful. Not only was it useless and weak, but it was just a guaranteed fun time to take someone strong and make them weak, to beat the fight out of them and then savor all the painful little reactions. Those kinds of fights were testaments to his own strength. But if he surged forward and took the fight to this cowering - was she shuddering? - vixen, then he'd be nothing more than a bully. And, to be true, he didn't the idea of being labeled a bully all that much, but he at least wanted to get something worthwhile out of it if he was going to stoop that low. Chasing the same sadistic thrill was less when he didn't have to fight for it or give his opponent the same shot at him. He wouldn't go quite so far as to call it an abuse of his strength, but it was something along those veins if a bit more mild than that. It felt cheap, to put it simply. It was cheap fun and it made him feel dirty.

He'd hoped that Krikka would immediately change her mind (as if he didn't know her better by now) but the other umbreon actually beat him to the punch. Unfortunately, it was just more desperate pleading. Goro shifted uneasily from where he stood, still not moving from his rooted spot a distance away from the glowing silhouette, suddenly aware of the situation he was in. There was a very real possibility of him being ordered to attack someone who was begging for peace. Before he had time to contemplate the severity of that thought and the complications of it, Krikka suddenly cut off the other fox, who had been in the middle of offering to leave (run) and give them free reign of the house. But, his leader had different plans, as she very clearly stated that they weren't even a little bit interested in it. Her tone was flat and unsympathetic, and Goro did not like where this was going. While he desperately wanted to test his strength against someone who was comparable to Krikka - she was a bit off limits - this one was desperately pleading for mercy. Before the fight had even began, at that. The only comforting thing about this was that he knew she was one of Krikka's kind. Therefore, she had to at least be pretty tough.

And, as he thought, Krikka wasted no time giving the order. The croagunk's hands curled into tight fists at the bittersweet pill. But it wasn't like he didn't want this on some level. In a twisted sort of way, it was even relieving to have the choice be made for him. He didn't have to worry about the moral complications of it all; it was out of his hands.

Dutifully, he started forward, raising his eyes to focus on the silhouette in the near distance and her glowing rings. It was interesting that hers were golden, rather than blue like Krikka's - which one of them was the shiny one? He'd assume Krikka, since she seemed very proud of her appearance and glow. She'd still likely be if she weren't shiny, but maybe it served to pad her impressive ego. The thick mist swirled around him, almost parting in the air as he cut a path through it, coming closer and closer to the dark fox cowering ahead. It wasn't long until he was about ten paces from her that he got a really good look at her. There were some more... immediate differences between this mystery girl and Krikka than just their coloring. For one, this umbreon looked very tired and distressed, to say nothing of the unkempt nature of her fur or the general... blanket of torment that seemed to be draped over her. Her posture was shrinking and afraid, and he could never imagine his leader looking anything like the vixen in front of him.

Still, he had a job to do. The prospect of just sucker-punching the poor girl was not something that appealed to him, however. Instead, Goro set himself in front of the umbreon with fists half-raised in front of him, looking down on the vixen as best as he could. "If you got it in ya to beg, then ya ought to fight, instead." The sight of her was more than just pitiful - it was even a little bit distasteful. Why not just fight back? Standing her ground against the pair of travelers about to square up with her instead of pleading for their mercy like a weakling would be more dignified if nothing else. He let some of that dislike creep into his tone. A part of him was actually upset at the image of an umbreon scared this badly; it was insulting to him. She had no business looking so much like the girl who'd given him his first loss and given him purpose. "I'm gonna beat you up, yeah? Make it fun for me."

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PostSubject: Re: Over My Head (Better Off Dead)   Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:33 am

Krikka was on the edge of her seat, so to speak, as she watched in wait for her lackey to beat the life out of someone she had prior experience with and had never gotten a chance to hurt before.  She didn't care how much this other, inferior umbreon begged; she had already made up her mind, and there wasn't a thing in the world that would change her decision.  She had wondered if the croagunk had it in him to hurt someone without justification, even if they were playing the pity card, but this here was answering that question for her.  Yes, he was readily willing to attack some stranger who had clearly done nothing to merit his fist in their face, though he admittedly seemed to need a bit of... encouragement.  Still, all Krikka really cared about was that he did what she wanted; he was allowed to have his own personal feelings about her orders as long as that didn't impact his obedience.  As of yet, she had no reason to believe he wouldn't do something she said just because he didn't like it, though she hadn't known and tested him long enough to know that for sure.

Following behind her loyal little helper, the umbreon came into view of her mirror and vice versa.  Krikka's gaze flitted between her ally and the inferior vixen, her blue rings glowing idly in her hyped state.  She couldn't wait to see what would happen, but then... instead of striking, Goro just... stopped.  Apparently, he wanted to say something to his new punching bag before moving forward, which Krikka decided to allow since it didn't seem like it was going to last long.  Still, she wasn't exactly happy about having to wait for the show, and she didn't particularly enjoy seeing him treat this peon with... not quite respect, but something close.  He wasn't exactly treating her as an equal; it was more like he was trying to get her to act like one, which, according to him, was so that he could enjoy the fight more.  Since this was just training and the foe was obviously not a legitimate threat in any way, it made sense that Goro was willing to go out of his way to lower his guard and attempt to provoke her, and that was alright, as long as he didn't try to pull that shit in a real fight.

Despite disliking the sentiment of warning this opponent and trying to get her to defend herself, Krikka couldn't help but find Goro's words amusing.  How bluntly he stated that he was going to "beat her up" was just... great, and with how this wuss had behaved thus far, Krikka expected her to recoil in fear or try to run away or something.  There wasn't really anywhere to go, though, so she wasn't too concerned about the idea.  What actually happened, however... surprised her, to say the least.  She blinked as the yellow outlines of the other umbreon's rings shifted to indicate she was... sitting down?  It looked as if she had stumbled, like she'd suddenly gotten dizzy and needed to sit.  But then she spoke, and her words just... didn't match that guess at all.  In fact, her tone didn't seem to match how she had been acting mere moments beforehand, either.  It wasn't enough to scare or even unnerve Krikka, especially after the things she had experienced back in the house of horrors, but she found the sudden change in behavior odd.

The following events did nothing to ease her confusion.

____________________________________________________

Dusk knew what was happening; she had apparently done something to cross this duo, and while she didn't understand what, it was clear that their goal was her.  Still, it was the disembodied voice hiding in the mist who seemed to be calling the shots, so she held out hope that perhaps the... croagunk, as he appeared to be, would listen to reason.  She realized now that she wasn't begging to be left alone, but rather, for these two not to assault her.  She still feared not for herself, and even though it was growing increasingly apparent that they probably weren't very nice, she still didn't want this situation to go where it seemed to be headed.  She was hopeful that the frog would just turn around and leave her be, as she still wanted with all her heart to avoid confrontation.

...Untrue.  A good portion of her heart felt... empty, and this void was growing, beckoning her to fill it with the blood of others.  She had refused for so long now that it felt as if nearly all of her wanted for someone to give her an excuse to hurt them, but the small untainted part of her that remained was still in control, and she refused to give that up.  The mystery woman apparently calling the shots seemed to be coming forward, based on the approaching set of blue lights in the pattern of... an umbreon; she was being harassed by one of her own species.  She listened to the words escaping through the croagunk's mouth, but as he spoke, his voice seemed to grow detached from himself in her mind.  More specifically, she found herself separately processing the voice and the meat sack waiting to be gutted.  He was insisting that she fight rather than beg, and so casually that it was clear there would be no dissuading him.  She could feel the urge to lunge for him with every beat of her heart; the sensation brought on a headrush that disrupted her balance, causing her to fall in a sitting position with her head hung toward the ground.  Actually, it was her attempt to resist the urges that was disorienting her so much, and she had practically collapsed due to restraining her body from moving.

Her ears flattened and her eyes shut, but she could still hear the voice insisting that she fight.  The more he talked, the more she could feel real emotion creeping in around her simpleminded desire to inflict harm.  He was going to beat her up, he said, and he seemed very confident in this, so much so that he worded it as a fact.  He went on to request that she... make it fun for him, as if she was some kind of toy, here for him to enact his sadistic fantasies on.  She didn't know who this creepy asshole was, but she was beginning to lose her desire to fight the cloak's influence.  At this point, she was resisting more for herself than for him, but she was still determined not to allow the impurity to define her, and so she still fought against the growing urge to kill.  She shuddered once more, gritted her teeth and squeezed her eyelids tight, attempting to drive away the feeling, but she just couldn't.  She took in a deep, slow breath, then exhaled shakily... and her red eyes opened.  Her gaze was directed straight at the croagunk, and there was a distinct presence of malice previously absent in her.

"No..." she muttered in her still-shaking voice, just barely loud enough to make sure the opposition could hear her.  She slowly raised her head to meet him, body still shaking like a leaf, but she was no longer begging.  She was still remorseful, dreading what was to come, but it was clear she couldn't convince him to just walk away... so now, she was warning him.  Her next words were calm and clear, cutting away the atmosphere of cowardice she had built up, even with her still shivering from anxiety.  She had a bitter spite in her voice, and she now presented her words with the same level of factual confidence as the croagunk opposite to her.

"You won't."

She was barely able to finish speaking before having a fist thrown in her face; she was still in a sitting position, completely unprepared for the blow.  The force was enough to break her position and cause her to move, but instead of falling to the ground in pain, she simply turned to the right, allowing the impact to carry her just a bit, and planted her corresponding front paw into the ground.  She stopped herself immediately, and for a moment, stared down at the ground, in the opposite direction of the croagunk, almost as if actively avoiding eye contact with him.  She wasn't.  She was just processing the strike, the lack of pain... and her fading sense of self.  The cloak draped over her legs sprang to life and wrapped itself around her before vanishing, seemingly melting into her.

Still sitting and holding herself above the ground mostly with her front legs, her head turned toward the croagunk in a leisurely motion.  The darkness behind her eyes was taken over, and she now bore a glare that almost lacked any emotion despite its negative connotation.

Her will was broken:
 

Suddenly, she threw herself forward with reckless abandon, dragging herself up and straight for the one who dared to lay his hands on her.  She had barely felt his punch, and now, she felt nothing at all.

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PostSubject: Re: Over My Head (Better Off Dead)   Sun Dec 03, 2017 3:21 am

Unfortunately, his words of encouragement, or provocation depending on how you looked at it, didn't seem to do much good for his soon-to-be victim. In fact, the other dark-type had all but fallen to the ground, collapsing in a clumsy sitting position with her head hanging forward. The umbreon's ears flattened and her eyes closed, signs that she was presumably just going to weather the incoming beating. He thought it was the absolute worst kind of approach to take to something like this. Not only was it just incredibly cowardly and weak, but even running would be more interesting. At least then there would have been a chase, even if he doubted that he'd be able to catch an umbreon, but Krikka probably would be able to. It would have been some form of conflict, if not the kind that he really wanted. Goro's stomach soured and he felt his expression turn annoyed. The image before him was just so sick - another one of Krikka's kind acting all pathetic and subservient, unwilling to fight back against someone who challenged her. It made him want to lash out, to knock some sense into the girl. Or at least just teach her a painful lesson about the world - it was better to fight back against your enemies. If you were strong, then you'd win, and taste victory. If you lost, well, then you'd know why that is.

The other vixen was shaking and shuddering like a leaf, gulping in deep breaths as if to steady herself. Fat lot of good it would do. Goro stepped forward even more, all but standing over the umbreron at this point, looking down at her with a strong sense of annoyance. If only she'd play along, at least a little bit, then he'd get to have his fun and Krikka would get to see what she wanted. The more he thought about it the angrier with her he became; the disgust at her weakness and likeness to his leader, the dislike and annoyance he had at her awful attitude and lack of will to fight, everything came to a head. The croagunk was pulling his arm back in preparation to start almost subconsciously, his receptiveness to execute Krikka's will manifesting through his loathing of this umbreon in front of him. His fist curled in on itself tightly, almost painfully, and he couldn't help but imagine the kind of sensation it would be when he slammed it against her face. He'd come so, so close to tasting it when he fought against Krikka all those weeks ago, but she'd put an end to that before he knew it. And now, one of her kind was in front of him, a practically willing recipient for him. That soured it slightly, but he figured he'd just take what he could get - orders and all.

Goro was just a moment's away from swinging down at the dark fox when he was shocked still. After another shaky, panicked breath from her, she'd opened her eyes and looked directly at him. It was strange because, until this point, he hadn't noticed how... red her eyes seemed to be. A rich, bold, almost glowing red. And all of the sudden, there was a distinct aura of danger radiating from the other umbreon, practically screaming danger. The change in her was almost mystifying. And then came her words - a simple "no", as if she had any say it what was about to happen. It was the first thing that this other umbreon had said that could be interpreted as defiant. No doubt it was interesting to him, and he waited with bated breath for further demonstration of this new attitude. Would she stand and fight? Get the jump on him or accept his challenge? His previous dismay for her weakness was slowly turning into hope. If she took him seriously and fought back against him in the way he wanted, then he'd get the fight he'd been longing for. And, just like that, he got what he was wishing so desperately for. She opened her mouth once more, her tone bitter and matter-of-fact. It was the acceptance that he was looking for, and it was all the sign that he needed to get started.

The croagunk lashed out with a strong right hand, his fist tearing a path for the umbreon's face. He didn't expect her to dodge or block in any way - the punch came without any sudden sign or warning. Just so, his fist made contact, crashing against the umbreon's cheek with ruthless abandon. To her credit, she took the hit well, only turning in the direction the punch carried her, and she placed a paw on the ground so as to keep herself from falling. Still, he expected... something more. Her demeanor and weakness gave him the impression that the kind of hit he'd just landed would lay her out, or at least elicit some kind of reaction like a cry of pain. But instead, she was just staring at the ground, her head unmoving after his strike. In the corner of his eye, Goro noticed the strange cloak that was wrapped around her legs spring forward and vanish mysteriously into her. The sight had him double-taking, but before he could really think about the strange phenomenon, the umbreon raised her head casually to stare at him.

Her face was... blank. More than anything, he was reminded of the psychic he battled a fortnight ago, who took one his best punches and merely turned to look at him in a similar manner. It spoke to how much he had been unaffected; was this girl the same way? Was she secretly that much stronger than him that she could just take one of his punches and not even react? Between that and the sudden defiance that rose up in his previously weak opponent, Goro felt naught but helpless confusion. But even that didn't last long. Before he knew it, the vixen was springing forward, and she was upon him. She'd thrown herself forward recklessly, crashing into Goro with a firm ram of her shoulders, digging into his torso powerfully. The shock of the sudden attack had him reeling with a shocked grunt, in addition to the surprising strength behind her movement.

Though he was carried back from the sudden blow, stumbling backward in surprise, he managed to keep himself standing, his heels digging into the ground. At this point, the fucking fight was on. All he wanted from her was some sign that she was going to fight back, and he had all of that and more. Not only did she say he wasn't going to get his way, but she'd retaliated against his blow surprisingly quickly. He'd keep his wits about him and respond in kind. Though she'd rammed him backward, he bounced back quickly, stepping back in with his fist suddenly shining a silver hue. It shot forward with a speed eclipsing that of his punch a moment ago, carrying itself in the arc of an uppercut aimed at her chin.

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PostSubject: Re: Over My Head (Better Off Dead)   Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:42 am

Perhaps she should have been satisfied at landing a blow, but she felt nothing if not disappointment.  Her shoulder made contact with the croagunk and sent him stumbling back, but it wasn't enough just to leave bruises.  She wanted to get him on the ground, pin him and tear into him; it wasn't about killing so much as the idea of the gore.  Killing him would be a bonus after his behavior, though.  Dusk recovered from her own attack quickly, catching her footing and stopping herself as she watched the croagunk reel back from her.  She kept her eyes locked onto him in her emotionless state, standing tall and stepping toward him.  Her movements were slow but deliberate; her prey wasn't going anywhere, and she had all the time in the world to wear him down before tearing the life from his body.  Her mind was a blank as she approached in a trance-like state of bloodlust, the timid submission and terrified shaking having been completely erased.

The croagunk retaliated with another blow, this time at a much greater speed than the first punch.  Dusk wouldn't have been able to react fast enough to avoid it regardless, but she didn't even bother trying to move to block it or at least mitigate the damage.  Instead, she froze as the frog rushed into her, throwing his fist up in a crescent arc under her chin; it was a direct hit, and despite her defenses, the umbreon was still light enough to be lifted off her front paws, her head being thrown back by the blow.  It may have seemed to have done more than the first hit, but in truth, it had done far less, despite packing enough power to knock her out of her stance.  Before even landing, her head snapped back forward to the croagunk, her wide, red eyes still staring through him in a state of perpetual interest.  Still lifted onto her hind legs, she thrust her front paws forward in a forceful motion backed by speed comparable to the opponent's lightning-fast punch.  She directed her attack at his face this time, aiming to push him back once more and force him to take a moment to recover.

Despite having such a thick haze of hatred shrouded around her consciousness, she was still able to strategize on a subconscious level.  It was mostly just muscle memory and burning desire to do anything and everything in her power to subdue the croagunk so she could do with him what she pleased.  Before even making contact with him, she was ready to drop to all-fours and rush him with the same blazing speed; unlike him, limited to his arms, she could send the same rush through her entire body.  It was by no means natural for her kind to move so fast, but a fairly common gained trait for eevee-kin.  Her plan after shoving him away was to ram him in his ugly gut, and now that she was truly gone, she wasn't going to hold back or let up.  If she could keep him reeling, she'd just keep hitting him; anything to get her closer to the sweet moment of having him at her mercy, being able to make him pay for... existing.  She should have been fighting for her pride after the way he had treated her, but in her delirious state of mind, she was fighting for the sake of violence.  This guy could have been a bystander who had done nothing wrong at this point and it wouldn't have mattered.

____________________________________________________

It was a shock if nothing else.  Seeing a punch from Goro, one she knew should have been painful, just get brushed off; it was unnatural and confusing.  She knew that kind of thing had to be painful for one of her kind, especially one as weak as Dusk.  She stepped idly forward to get a better view of the fight, watching as the other umbreon not only took the hit, but retaliated almost immediately, seemingly completely unfazed.  It made no sense; was Goro truly so weak that he couldn't even hurt an umbreon, which he was supposed to have a natural advantage against!?  It wasn't as if this one was anywhere near as powerful as Krikka herself, so what in the world was the problem?  Was he sick, or had he still not fully recovered from their time in the chateau, or... was he holding back?  It made the most sense that he was restraining himself, perhaps due to having his heartstrings tugged at by the pathetic display put up by the little pansy before him.  The alternative was that he was somehow losing a fight he had no business losing, but in truth, neither possibility was something Krikka liked the idea of.

She watched in growing confusion as Goro was thrown back, seeming almost like he was actually losing right off the bat, but this concern was fortunately put to rest when he recovered just as quickly as his opponent had.  Returning the favor, he threw another punch, and the dumb broad just sat there and took it; at this rate, she would be out soon even if Goro was holding back.  Or at least... Krikka would have thought so, until she saw the uppercut slam into the inferior umbreon's lower jaw, lifting her up with the force put into it.  The croagunk was very clearly not holding back, and yet... once more, his attack was seemingly shrugged off like it was nothing.  There was no way he was so weak, and yet...  Krikka was beginning to grow... not concerned, but rather, annoyed at the idea that she would have to go in and help him.  This was a personal matter rather than just a training exercise, and so she wanted this other umbreon to lose, and preferably quickly.

Unfortunately, with the way things were going, it didn't seem like this was going to be the smooth fight it should have been for Goro.  The umbreon he was duking it out with was practically ignoring his attacks, and her cowardice was suddenly gone.  Krikka watched as she matched the speed of Goro's bullet punch with her legs, throwing them forward at him, almost like she was taunting him by showing him "I can do that too."  She was even going for his face in specific, like she was trying to punch him or something; it was unclear if it was intentional, but if it was, it certainly seemed like the message of someone spiteful and violent...  Either way, something was wrong here, and she was not acting like the pushover Krikka had come to know her as.  Had she truly somehow grown so much in such a short period of time?  Surely, Goro would still win, but this bitch should have been on the ground in one hit!  Instead she was... fighting, standing her ground, at least for the moment.

But no matter what, it was two on one, and even if Dusk somehow turned out to be capable of holding her own against Goro, Krikka wasn't worried.  After all, no lesser umbreon would ever be able to stand against her, let alone when she had an ally.  One way or another, this fight was already over, and when this reality came to fruition... then, she would give her old friend something to remember her by.

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PostSubject: Re: Over My Head (Better Off Dead)   Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:41 am

His punch had landed. It was a complete success - perfect execution, decent timing, and a very clean hit. The croagunk's silvery bullet punch cut a path through the air to crash into the umbreon's chin, actually lifting her up off of her feet and rocking her backward a bit. He felt that instant gratification that came with every good hit of his, but it soured almost immediately when he noticed her head snap forward almost instantly. The look on her goddamn face hadn't even changed; it was still those same wide, blank red eyes and emotionless mask. The least she could have done was act snooty about if if she wasn't taking much damage from these blows. Acting this way only made him feel small and weak. Goro grunted in frustration as he drew back his fist, instinctively pulling back his left arm to prepare a similar punch. If she'd eaten two and hadn't blinked an eye, then he had no choice but to pile them up on her until she did. He did not appreciate being made a fool of in this way. Confusion, frustration and annoyance built up in him, rapidly swelling and clouding his head. He maybe understood why the psychic had been able to take his attack so well - it may have been not the most physically durable, but it had given Krikka some trouble despite the type advantage. No doubt it was powerful and experienced. But this girl, this cowering weakling, this pathetic begging twit? How was she managing it?

Unfortunately, it seemed she planned to do more than simply take a beating from him. While Goro was drawing back for another swing, the umbeon capitalized on the slightest window of opportunity. His uppercut had lifted her up on her two hind legs, and she took advantage of the situation by actually throwing her forelegs at him like some kind of punch. In the first instant of the movement, he couldn't help but marvel at how amatuerish the movement looked, like she was just trying to mimic him despite the gross differences in typing and body figure. In the second instant, however, his eyes widened at the speed behind it. He was reminded distinctly of his own bullet punch attack that he'd just used before he took two hard paws to the face, rocking his head back and sending him stumbling backward. Belatedly, his arms rose up to cover his face from further assault. Only, it struck him how foolish of a movement that was against a quadruped opponent, especially one of Krikka's kind. It'd likely been a gambit just to get him out of her face so she could create some distance and start using her dark pulse attacks, to try and kite backward and pick him off from afar. And if there was one thing that Goro didn't want to happen, it was that. He knew all too well the force behind that kind of move.

So it was only natural when Goro was caught completely off guard by umbreon suddenly charging forward at him in his moment of recovery. Quicker than he could blink, and certainly faster than he could react or defend, the slender fox rammed into him in a manner not dissimilar to how she had after his first punch, but only now backed with an incredible speed that bore likeness to both her quick attack and his bullet punch. He let loose a pained exhale as his gut was slammed into by the dark fox, the strike boasting surprising strength and great speed. The sound was equal parts frustrated and pained - who the fuck did this fox think she was, going toe to toe with him in a slugfest? This was his range, not hers, and he felt a sudden burning determination to prove that as hard and bloody as he could to the uppity twit. He dug his heels into the ground, determined not to let her ground and pounce him. She was bigger than him, and if she was anything like Krikka, she weighed at least as much as she did. That wouldn't end well for him. Instead, he grunted in effort and drew back his left fist in an attempt to swing the momentum of the fight back into his favor, rather than this sudden back-and-forth of hits between them. Staying on his feet wasn't too terribly difficult - he'd taken worse hits before, and despite her suddenly menacing aura and bullheaded stubbornness not to lose a physical fight, her offenses weren't quite up to par with that. They were certainly good, but Krikka's dark pulses had hurt a lot worse.

What he needed here was a hit that she couldn't just brush off. Something that would, without a doubt, put her ass on the ground and end this embarrassing little display. He had two different weapons that would probably do the job, but of the two, one was super effective on darklings like this umbreon. Not to mention that it had the added benefit of draining life from its target, repleneshing his energy while hurting his opponent. He stepped forward once more, rotating his shoulders and shifting his weight in one clean motion as his left fist shot forward in a sudden straight punch, aimed directly for the darkness Pokémon's face. There was a growing sneer on Goro's face as he executed the rehearsed motion, his blood pumping and heart racing with the quickly escalating battle. Let's see how well she'd take a super effective drain punch to the fucking nose - what were her chances of brushing that off?

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PostSubject: Re: Over My Head (Better Off Dead)   Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:14 am

The croagunk tried to throw another punch, but he clearly wasn't expecting the retaliation being presented.  Oh well.  Dusk threw her legs forward without inhibition, knocking him away, and wasted no time on celebration or gloating at her continued success.  As if requiring no thought at all, she rushed forth and rammed her head straight into him; she wasn't afraid of hurting herself, not just because she knew she wouldn't, but also due to the malevolence enacting her motions.  Injuries to herself were of no consequence under the stipulation that they resulted in greater or equal harm to the target.  In fact, the concept of injury in general seemed petty and irrelevant, not to mention illogical, even assuming she were capable of taking it into consideration.  She had felt little pain since acquiring the cloak, and as such, she had simply adjusted to the idea of being immune to it.  Not that it affected her with the state she was in, but she wouldn't have had much consideration for caution in the first place.

As it was, the blow was clearly felt, which was more than could be said about the attacks thrown at Dusk as of yet.  The umbreon moved forward with casual indifference to the threat her opponent should have presented to her.  Even despite her clearly seeing him pulling back another punch, she remained uncaring, disallowing it from affecting her actions in any way.  She continued onward until the attack was executed, and even then, she had no major reaction despite having time to attempt one.  There was no effort to dodge, and in fact, not even a thought of it; instead, she threw herself forward, slamming her head straight into the fist and stopping it against her forehead.  She actually felt this one, but it was a far cry from painful despite the natural advantage it should have had against her.  She stood her ground despite the force of the punch, this time refusing to give an inch to the attack where she had previously allowed her body to be thrown around by force alone.  A red glow flashed from her shoulders down her front legs in the form of double-crosses, one painting itself around her back as well; in tune, her rings flashed with the same yellow hue they bore.

The light wasn't blindingly bright by any means, but it was present and apparent nonetheless.  Then, as the red crosses faded from her being, the yellow lights emanating from her markings suddenly shifting to a desaturated grey.  Eyes still open with an observant stare directly at the croagunk, unflinching even in the midst of her being struck, she stepped forward and pushed against him.  Her eyes narrowed slightly in show of the faintest hint of emotion, far from positive in nature.  She could feel all remaining traces of herself slipping away under the pressure of her newfound will to inflict harm.  She had been able to inflict a curse of sorts upon herself even before acquiring the cloak, but now it was so very easy.  Her every muscle tensed, adrenaline overtook her body, and her blank mind grew distant from the slight pain she felt.  The lifeless light of her rings pulsed with her breaths, slow and calm, content with the situation she was in.  Having failed to defeat the croagunk with minimal effort, she now intended to give her all.

Without warning, she let up on her press against the croagunk's fist, reeling back and weaving to the left to step aside from him, assuming that he would fall forward into her from an unexpected lack of fight against him.  She didn't stop there, however; her maw opened wide and she lunged for his wrist, hoping to bite down on it.  She presented no caution in regards to his likely-toxic body, aiming simply to clamp down on him as hard as she could and perhaps get a taste of his blood.  This, however, was not her actual attack; it was merely a setup, with the added benefit of possibly piercing his skin and bringing about the first blood of this... fight.  She planned to yank his arm back so as to take advantage of how he'd probably be off-balance and stumbling toward her.  Then, she'd swing her head into his, hoping to use the combined momentum of her own rising strength and his helpless fall toward her to crack his head open.  His body would have to give out eventually.

____________________________________________________

Krikka watched in ever-increasing confusion at the scene playing out before her eyes.  She was counting the successful hits, and Goro was actually down in numbers, having fallen behind by one in his inability to deal out successive strikes.  She would need to work on his ability to deal consecutive hits in quick succession, but her attention was straying away from what she had originally come here for.  She was no longer putting her focus on seeking out her bodyguard's weaknesses so that she could later improve them.  She was growing confused at how seemingly close the fight was when it should have been an absolute stomp.  She knew Dusk was a pushover, and the prior display of nearly weeping in submission was more than enough to prove that.  Yet, despite this, the other umbreon was now somehow calm and collected, taking hits without any visible reaction and responding immediately.  However, she also knew how durable her species was; she happened to be an umbreon too, after all, and she had had plenty of time to grow accustomed to her astounding newfound ability to take punishment.

Unfortunately for Dusk, however, she was against someone with an innate advantage, and he finally seemed to be taking the fight seriously.  Goro had recovered nicely from the consecutive attacks landed against him, and he was now pulling back for a punch that seemed... well, not like a bullet punch.  For one, it was slow, more calculated; then there was the fact that it wasn't under the same context as his first attack, which had probably been more of a warm up.  Now, he would give an actual demonstration of his power, and this would surely elicit a reaction from this cocky bitch who seemed so calm and calculating despite how obviously screwed she was.  Krikka was perhaps more bothered than she should have been by the utter lack of any apparent reaction or emotion in the opposing umbreon, as it spoke poorly of herself and her associated brawler; apparently, they weren't intimidating enough to incite fear in someone who had previously been begging for mercy.  And, staying true to the tough-girl act she'd put up, the little idiot decided to just take the beating that was coming to her, just like she'd done with the other blows.  If nothing else, this would be a lesson to her that she couldn't just treat Goro like he was some puny rattata; he was a threat, and she would have to acknowledge it now.

Krikka's eyes widened.  She was not only shocked, but now growing concerned at what she was seeing.  A successful, direct hit to the face, and one that should have hurt a great deal by any and all means.  It had seemingly done nothing, and in fact, only served to make the recipient angry if anything.  Red lights in the form of some kind of warped crosses radiated from the black figure of the other umbreon momentarily, flashing along with her inferior, yellow rings, almost as if they were a part of her.  Considering Krikka was an umbreon, she knew damn well that wasn't normal, and at this point, it was concerning her just a bit.  Then, to make the whole situation even more unnerving, the red marks faded away; it should have been a relief, but they seemingly dragged away the color of the natural yellow lights along with them, leaving only a disturbing hue of grey.  None of this was normal at all, even for an imperfect umbreon with yellow markings instead of her own blue.

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PostSubject: Re: Over My Head (Better Off Dead)   Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:17 pm

In the heat of the fight, Goro hadn't exactly given it much thought, but had he a moment to pause and realize that the umbreon in front of him had not made any move whatsoever to dodge or defend against his blows so far, then perhaps he might have made a revelation or two about the way she fought. In the precious few moments between her attack and his, the dark fox actually made movement toward him, again, completely unperturbed by the notion of being inside of his range. His eyes widened in minute surprise as he witnessed this in the middle of throwing his punch. The thought of it had him furious. Did she not know what kind of Pokémon he was? Did she not care? The close range was his range in this fight, not hers! This fight so far had gone against every and all expectation he had for this little excursion to go. Even given what precious little he knew about umbreon as a species, this went against the norm. Krikka fought from a distance! Was she the same way as this freak dark type? Did she also boast some freak resistance to physical attacks, or a potent enough combination of willpower and guts to just not care when a fighting type rammed a fist into her face?

The croagunk did his best to pour all of that frustration and loathing into his drain punch, stepping in cleanly and rotating his shoulders and hips with the punch, putting as much of his weight behind it as he possibly could. As far as punches went, it was without a doubt his best shot so far in this fight. It was a fighting type move, super effective against darklings, the windup and execution were perfect, and it was aimed directly at her obnoxious blank fucking face. He felt a surge of relief when he felt the impact, his hardened fist slamming into its target with aplomb. A viciously satisfied smirk curled on his mug at the sensation, and he placed his weight behind the blow even further still, aiming to drive it in as hard as possible and maximise the damage he did against the tanky vixen. Only... there was weight pressing up against him. Goro's elation and relief all but melted into further helpless, confused fury when he realized that his opponent had thrown herself against his blow. Whether it was a last-ditch effort to minimise the damage of the strike or another attempt to prove her superiority in a brawl, she'd actually seen his attack coming and, instead of countering it like Krikka or running away like any other darkling, she'd thrown herself at it. This bitch had headbutted his goddamn fist! The thought was more infuriating than confusing, at this point, although there were healthy amounts of both swirling around in him.

Even now, in the aftermath of the blow, she was pushing up against him stubbornly. He redoubled his efforts, grinding his fist into her forehead for all of the good that it was doing. Dimly, he registered a flashing of red light behind the darkness Pokémon, taking the shape of twisted crosses on her form. They didn't last long, quickly fading from existence just as quickly as they'd appeared... but as they did, so did the bright yellow glow emanating from her rings. Instead, they were replaced by a dull, humorless grey hue, a distinct aura of lifelessness coming over his enemy. Goro registered all of this happening, and while he recognized that it was freaky and unnatural as all hell, his pride and growing frustration kept him standing his ground against the vixen. His eyes narrowed, his lips curling back into a sneer, exposing a set of furiously grinding flat teeth. To his growing shock, she was also fucking strong. Goro was pushing with damn-near all that he had, and he was making no headway against his opponent! The thought was mind-boggling - for so long, he'd been a dominating physical presence in every single one of his fights to date. Even against foes who were stronger than him, that had been his role in the battle. Even against Krikka, she clearly took measures to prevent him from using his strength against her. But this other umbreon, this twisted, fucked up mirror of his superior and leader, was actually going in the complete opposite direction. She was trying to prove that she was just straight up stronger than him. Forget skill, forget tactics, forget all the complicated bullshit that came with fighting darklings - this was a complete antithesis to the battles he'd fought so far. It went without saying, but it made him furious.

To his further surprise, the umbreon had begun pushing him backward. The vixen's breathing grew heated and labored, giving the impression that she was concentrating on something more than just forcing herself on him. Couple that with the way that her pupils narrowed, he felt the first tidings of uncertainty wash over him. It was inarguable; she was making slow progress against the fist grinding into her forehead. He didn't have time to process or think on this as suddenly the force protesting against his was absent. The fox had swung back and twirled to the side, leaving him stumbling forward due to the sudden lack of resistance against his body weight. And then there was an immediate sharp pain against his still outstretched arm - specifically, his wrist. She'd bitten him, her fangs grinding into his skin and breaking it, drawing literal first blood in the bout. Out of reflex and startled panic, Goro let loose a grunt of anguish, but even that was cut short when he bean to be pulled forward by her. The croagunk's vision was obscured by a flash of red eyes and bristling, mangy black fur for only an instant before he felt a crushing weight come into contact with his head, sending him stumbling backward for the third time in this bout. Out of reflex, the croagunk's injured hand came up to hover over his nose, coming to rest over the sharp, aching throbbing suddenly present behind his nostrils.

Despite the sudden bite and following headbutt dealt to him, all Goro could think of was his drain punch earlier and how little it had actually done. It was supposed to be his ace against darklings! But instead, she'd fucking brushed it off just like every other strike he'd landed. More than that, she'd pushed up against it, turning it into a contest of strength just before abandoning that and using it to outmaneuver him. It was supposed to have turned the tides into his favor, it was supposed to put an end to this embarrassing fucking display, it was supposed to win him this fight, and nothing was going like it was supposed to! It didn't make sense. No darkling could take a hit from him like that, let alone a fighting type attack and just stare at him like it hadn't happened in the first place! A fluke. It had to be a fluke. There was... there was no other explanation for it. It was just a freak occurrence - those happened, sometimes. Pokémon got lucky sometimes in fights. Lucky punches, lucky breaks, freak dodges or just straight up accidents. Something unnatural was already happening with this umbreon, judging from her weird change in demeanor and the flashing crosses an instant ago, to say nothing of the lifeless hue of her glowing rings.

Slowly, Goro repeated the thought in his head, as if to further convince himself of this. This fight was going against everything he knew about battling and everything he knew about himself as a battler. It was just a fluke! I'm stronger. I'm stronger and I'll prove it! He just needed more evidence. He needed proof, tangible evidence to show that he was the dominating force in terms of physical strength here. Stubbornly, Goro got set again, spreading his feet and raising his fists once more. The glare he leveled at the emotionless dark type was truly telling of the rising turmoil that was brewing up within him. Without warning, without hesitation or fear, Goro shot forward once more, his body rotating to the side as his left fist tore an upward crescent path for the umbreon's face once more, flashing that same silvery color that signaled his bullet punch. Unlike last time, however, when he was probing for damage and seeing how she dealt with it, Goro pulled back his right fist, as well. The last instance he'd used bullet punch in an uppercut fashion, he'd managed to rock her head backward and momentarily leave her open. She'd taken advantage of his absent follow-up, but this time, there would be none of that. At the first visible sign that his attack landed, the croagunk planned on linking that uppercut with a follow-up straight drain punch, aimed once more at the vixen's smug fucking face. He'd try again if that's what it took. It had just been a fluke - this time, it would take. This time it would go how it was supposed to and he'd take things from there. He'd win, because that's what he was supposed to do.

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Last edited by the sunset hero on Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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