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Either way, I'm not sticking around to find out. A quick shift comes just in time to witness a dramatic backward flip-kick that would have absolutely destroyed my groin. The fluttering of her dress makes me think for an instant about her earlier comment as pertaining to her panties (or lack thereof), but ultimately the darkness makes it impossible to check. Oh, well.
When she lands, she glances around for a half-second before relaxing her stance. "See, now that's what I'm talking about. Do that more."
"But it's hardly a fair fight, that way." And another shift for a backhand with her entire body put behind it. She's really not one to waste time.
"Are you saying I'm as clumsy, slow, weak, and unobservant as you?" Ouch. It's all got roots in truth, but still. I want to retort, but that would involve shifting again. There's no doubt that she's just provoking me, which means she has a plan.
"And cowardly. Don't forget cowardly." Lyndia, meanwhile, is content to sit at at distance on a throne of...wait, throne? She's definitely got more than just ghostly mojo going on. "He's over there by the way." Bitch.
"Thank you!" Another flash of motion, and the distance I'd made disappears. Her stance falls again, readying another sweeping kick. It doesn't mean much, though, what with my stashitfuck! How?! "Lesson two. Resisting control from others." Before I have time to even fall, her foot falls square on my chest and pushes me down to the ground with a stomp that echos in my entire body. With a single heel on me, she leans forward and rests her weight on her knee.
I'm beginning to hate that uppity grin. "Why is this important?"
"Because," she starts with an extra little stomp, "You're a spirit, you dolt. You're going to be naturally vulnerable to anyone with a shred of control. Just like you have to stay in control in the face of nature, you're going to have to learn to stay in control in the face of other necromancers." She punctuates her sentence with another kick, this time letting herself fly back a ways. It's all I can do to give her an indignant glare as I get up, which doesn't faze her in the least. She's right, though – completely right, actually. I shouldn't have had to ask. "Now fight me." Okay.
Rin stands waiting, either a gesture of kindness to let me gather myself or a smug form of condescension. The first thing to come to mind is plane-shifting, getting behind her, and delivering a swift strike somewhere that'd leave her open. Her expression doesn't change in the least as I walk by, and there's no indication that she can see me. My mind is very clearly set on the sideways feeling, so she's not just being facetious. How is it, then, that she spins to face me, grabs my descending arm, and puts me on the floor within the space of a blink?
"Come on. A rear sneak attack? Really? A child could have seen that coming." Her incessant prodding is starting to get on my nerves. "I mean, if you had attacked me anywhere else – literally anywhere – that counter wouldn't have worked."
Thankfully, Lyndia shouts something neither mocking nor outright insulting. "He gets credit, though. On the way over, he was still cautious of you."
"Wow, really? It's almost like I've been kicking his ass." Clearly I'm going to need to employ some creative problem-solving, here. My mind races for something to grip onto; methods, tools, maneuvers, old kung-fu movies, quirks to exploit, the environment, Rin, Lyndia, the other ghosts...The other ghosts? If nothing else, the other cloud can give me a quick reference for what plane I'm in.
And with the swiftness of a bolt of lightning, a beautiful, wonderful, horrible idea pops into my head.
Once again, I work my way toward her back, staying terribly focused on staying ethereal. This is going to take some finesse, but if it works...well, if it works then I'm not sure what I'm going to do. Probably punch her a few times. God knows she deserves it at this point. When I finally reach her, I can see the minute twitches in her eyes. She's on her guard, but that's exactly where she needs to be. Either she has a fantastic sense for timing or there's something giving me away, because like clockwork her heels spin to face me even before I completely finish shifting back. Should look into that later. Her blocking arm meets nothing but air, though, and in the split-second she spends scanning for me my legs spring up from their stance at her feet, alongside the frills of her dress. She wasn't kidding.
My desire to get a few good blows in overrides my curiosity, though. Throwing as many kicks, punches, knees and elbows as I can before she gathers herself, both on her now-exposed skin and on whatever happened to be moving under that fabric, one thing serves as a constant distraction: Laughter. No matter how much force I put into a blow or where it lands, her only response is laughter. Seeing the edges of her dress beginning to fall, I hop backward and shift again to avoid her inevitable counterattack...which never comes. Even coughing and bleeding, she struggles against her own onslaught. After a time, the giggles fade into winces more readily, and she addresses me with a disturbing calmness and simplicity.
"That's the spirit." Judging from the soft blue glow in her eyes and the slow sharpening of her nails, this fight isn't over just yet.
"Orin. That's enough for now." Judging from Lyndia actually getting up for a change, this fight is just about over.
"Oh, come on. It's probably not even the witching hour!" Oh yeah. Time does exist!
"Actually, she's got a point. I agreed to do all this, but I do have a job at the clinic and all. I should really get some sleep; I'd hate to put a needle in the wrong vein or something."
"See? There'll be plenty of time." The two stare each other down long and hard, not once glancing in my direction. Eventually Rin's eyes fade back to their normal shade, and Lyndia breathes a heavy sigh of relief. Or is that me? I can hardly tell any more.
With a light push and a huff, Rin starts making for the door. "If you say so. You get to teach him next time, though."
The comment raises a smile on Lyndia's lips, and her head turns to face me. "You keep talking to me like I haven't already said yes."
The creak of the enormous iron door straining under its own weight makes me remember one tiny little insignificant detail that decides to itch at me just now. "Hey, uh...How do I get back in my body?"
Rin flashes a lopsided, blood-stained grin over her shoulder. In the second before she speaks, a shiver goes down my spine and my stomach tightens. "What body?"
And the door slams shut.
[ ] Ha ha ha, good one, Rin. Okay, Lyndia, help me out here.
[ ] I mean, she is kidding, right? She wouldn't...
[ ] Fuck. Fuck. FFFFFFUUUUUUUUUCK!
Sorry, unexpected delays. Fans of Orin-rin Land, your vacation is almost over. Haters of Orin-rin Land, your hell is almost over.