Peace be with this artist soon to enrich a canvas. Breathe in the free air, fair with a touch of foul. In a steel house keeping harm at bay, let the maiden rest and awaken the warrior. Mask away Venus. Make way for Mars. Out with her trusted brush, a slender sharp fang. The often silver blade above the well-gripped hilt is changing into a luminous ink of red and black—moving like the surface of a clear lake stroked by a breeze.
Behind the steel mask, those deep blue eyes are gazing ahead at the large canvas she must paint. At the dawn of the coming hour, she must commit without falter to the artistry she has been bred to perform with near-perfection for many years. It has been ages since she last gave a rousing performance. And so, duty calls again. Her talent for a respective art is of the utmost need. To her undying gratitude, this deed is not only her burden but those alongside her, several hundreds strong.
“We are with you, dear Kimiko,” encouraged a disembodied voice of a nearby gentleman garbed in tattered gray. In his right hand is a longsword ready to bring into life beautiful brushtrokes of his own.
“As I am with you, til my last breath,” spilled the steel-clad lady. Within her helm comes a light smile. But she then replaces that brief moment of joy with listless focus.
Breathe in deeply; bring the inhibitions into slumber. The art requires no doubt from her, no hesitation. Confidence and conviction are better for her actions to be imbued with and accompanied by.
An armored fellow yards to her left loudly yells for their company to charge. Slim brows beneath the helm furrow. The single-edge blade is held with both hands, the tip slanted down before the artist. Her allies sprint ahead with nary a restrain from their body and spirit, boots, paws and hooves. The roar of advancement is paired with the nearing canvas. It is far from blank with rows of swords and spears held by malformed iron-clad creatures aching to tear them to shreds, even feast on their flesh.
The need to lessen the strain of the front row who will deal with the upcoming barrage prompts a mighty forward leap from the steel maiden. Up she goes, the armored artist! While aloft as a bird, she swings to the back of her neck that sharp brush. The red and black ink are stirring like a kindled bonfire, thoroughly coating the long blade. Her eyes are eagles upon the field of monstrosities below the likes she once cowered in fear and had been prey to. This time, they are her prey.
Heartbeat is running wild. Her legs coil in. Her chest twists. Between peace and wrath, her spirit floats still. Refine what rage will be soon unleashed. Ensure those brushstrokes will be sharp, steady and superb. Another deep breath is drawn, her skipping heart going mild and... R e l e a s e .
Kimiko performs a spiral dance in the air, sweeping her blade away twice with the lowest end of the curved path pointed at the charging foes. The red and black ink extends away into two giant strokes of thick smoke with the bludgeoning force of hurricane winds. Thunder crackles across the plains! Apart from carving well onto the earth, what wretches that were caught by the sudden wall of smoke were smashed out of their posture, many even losing their footing completely. Exposed hides have been blessed with deep wounds and surfaces are set ablaze—the flames black as shadows and red as blood. Shrieks of pain air out, joining war cries and hundreds in haste to make their mark on the battlefield.
The fellow in gray owes it to Kimiko to have the first blood on their side. Seeing the steel-clad lady indescent, he leaps ahead to aim himself beneath her in an attempt to offer a higher platform and break her long fall. Kimiko looks down to see this miraculous mass of gray that her feet can land sooner than the plains beneath. Alas, she misses by a foot! But fret not for her dear ashen ally extends a hand. She reaches for it with her free hand as she almost plummets past him.
T h u d ! Kimiko gasps at the triumph of being caught by him! The pace of her descent drops. The ground quickly approaches to which one from their company riding a large beast quickly takes notice while charging ahead. He has the four-legged creature leap up and, on its back, the blow of their fall is further softened. They land down, all safe and sound, still onward to engage in the conflict.
“Beautifully done, Lady Kimiko!” happily snarled the beast-rider after returning to gallop ahead. The creature is guided to swerve right and left, avoiding smashing through or stumbling upon their allies.
Kimiko does not say a thing but offers a nod. Both she and her friend in gray hop out of the beast to not burden their comrade any further. The rest of their company flood the plain around them. Their foes who had the pleasure of being painted by such a powerful and painful palette from Kimiko’s brush lie on the battlefield for easy picking. The merciless stomps upon their fallen bodies and the swords, spears and axes down on their limbs free of armor are crisp. Ghastly gurgling snarls and widening eyes are their response, those fiends.
The man in grey, her beloved mentor and the closest she has for a father, gives the steel-maiden a pat of gratitude on her left-side pauldron. He soon sprints ahead to be at the front of the line. Kimiko keeps her blade close before her and soon pursues him to partake. Duty is far from done. Her allies around her rush ahead to paint the canvas as well with their own brushes.
On the battlefield, all of them are artists in their own right. Together, they bring mural of the macabre alive. The art demands of them all, their dedication to decide who shall stand last and left to gaze well upon the aftermath of their work.
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