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Develop Your Story / Re: Death By Ex-Girlfriend (COMPLETED)
« Last post by OhGodHelpMe on February 23, 2018, 04:37:16 PM »
The Tempest Lord and the Deathless Child

Prepared for yet another endless day in Heaven’s council of war, Bishamon, dressed in a black kimono with blood-red trim, sat on his bed as he slipped his feet into his sandals. For some odd reason, despite being a god of such high importance, he had chosen to stay in a relatively quaint bedroom, a much smaller version of what Amaterasu had. The eternal, unending sunlight of Heaven beed through his window, glaring off of the marble floors. He stood up, tying his hair into a ponytail before an ominous aura sent chills down his spine. The room went silent, so much so that he could hear the blood rushing through his head as if it were thunder. He shut his eyes, cocking his head as the sensation traveled down his back like an icy snake.

His entire body went numb as the sound of footsteps echoed in that small room, as if he were in a great hall. The sound indicated small, bare feet slowly slapping against the floor, coming closer to him with every step.

He opened his eyes to a woman whose body was completely wreathed in fire, cloaking her definitive features beyond her feminine frame. Perhaps just six inches shorter than Bishamon, her glowing, fiery eyes scanned his confused and horrified face. But it seemed that the flames burning around her didn’t burn any part of the floor she touched, nor did any smoke arise from the fire. He couldn’t even feel the heat radiate off of her. The fiery woman slowly turned her head to the mirror lying against the wall, in complete synchrony with Bishamon. As if to haunt the god of war, the woman’s reflection was that of a naked Ichiki, smiling with her emerald green eyes and black choker. It was a perfect image of Ichiki before her brutal murder, one that infuriated Bishamon to no end. A perfect reflection of his former wife, alive and healthy, insulted the memory of her death and the gods that mourned her.

Bishamon walked towards the mirror, each step brightening Ichiki’s smile. But instead of embracing her, Bishamon slammed his fist into the mirror, the cracked fragments now reflecting Tsukiakari’s image. The war god pulled away his hand, staring at the blood that gushed from his knuckle and ran down his wrist in warm, crimson streams. A polite knock upon his door startled him out of his trance.

Amaterasu: Let’s go, Bishamon. You’ll be late to the meeting.

Bishamon: I’ll be right there, my lord.

He looked back down at his hand, the blood he felt gone without a trace. He looked to his mirror, and not a single crack distorted his own, perfect reflection. Finally, he looked towards his bedside, and the woman wreathed in fire was gone. Still, the smokeless, heatless flame left something behind in that room, something that sent a shiver down Bishamon’s spine and flames igniting in his bones. He couldn’t quite name the feeling that fueled those fires, but he felt he recognized it to some extent. If pure, raw hatred could ever take form, he knew it would look a lot like those flames.

The same flame that seemed to haunt the divine world danced and flickered in front of Izanami and Inari, down in the basement of the eldritch and ancient island hideout. Inari stayed in the shadows as Izanami crouched down to the Phantom Maiden, placing her pale hands on the maiden’s mask of shadow.

Izanami: It will only be a matter of time before this one regains its strength. We should make this as quick as possible. If I can just bring her back...

Inari: Izanami, are you going to tell me why this is happening? You haven’t been very transparent about any of this!

Izanami sighed, her eyes closed as if to seal in her own emotions. She inhaled sharply and swiped her hand across the maiden’s face, removing the shadow that obscured her identity. Inari threw her hands over her mouth after a brief gasp of shock, her eyes fixated on the Phantom Maiden’s face. Even her nine tails shot up in a mixture of fear, grief, and vexatious ire.

Izanami: Forgive me, Inari. I’m going to begin with this one. I cannot be completely honest with you this time. Still, you’re my only true ally in all of this. I beg of you to place your trust in me, at least just this once.

With tears swelling in her eyes, Inari shouted in response, her anger made clear to Izanami.

Inari: Izanami, this is beyond cruel! If you know what’s happening, you have to tell Tsukiakari! Don’t you recognize this girl?!

Izanami: Of course I do.

Inari: Then-

Izanami: If we get this right, Inari, we’ll have another powerful ally at our side! Another banished god will be freed!

Inari: You’re using these people for your own gain! You understand how dangerous this is, right?!

Izanami: I already know. Not a single one of the gods can kill me, Inari. Even Amaterasu would have a hard time with such a task.

Izanami stood up, her eyes reflecting the guilt of having to lie to her only friend.

Izanami: Right now, all that remains is the horseman. Retrieve him. That’s all I ask of you.

Here, the flame hungers and churns.

The voice led Tsukiakari far across the land, over the hills and across the streams. At long last, she could lean over on the handle of her blade, catching her breath after her lengthy trek. Her payoff was a seemingly endless expanse of flat land, a meadow of sweet, aromatic, purple flowers swaying in the breeze. For you every flower, there seemed to be a wooden plaque sticking up from the ground, bearing the names of the deceased. Soldiers, victims of war, starved and sick peasants, their names were all there. In the center of all those flowers and grave markers, a single, black statue of the starved and emaciated Buddha gleamed beneath the moonlight. The Buddha, twice as big as Tsukiakari, sat in his famed, meditative position, his bones more visible and pronounced than his face. It was a true testament to the six years of self-imposed starvation the Buddha subjected himself to before his enlightenment. Dozens of small candles flickered and glowed at the statue’s base, somehow staying alight in the frigid air of the night.

Tsukiakari: It’s like there’s thousands of these grave markers. Fitting that a phantom would meet us here.

The Tempest Lord. He will not be easy. Of all of our phantom pursuers, his hatred of you is most potent. It’s almost like it’s personal.

Noriko: So you’re really going through with this, Gekko.

Unseen even a second beforehand, Noriko gently laid her hand on Tsukiakari’s shoulder as she caught her breath. Her sudden presence was no shock to the smiling war goddess.

Tsukiakari: I don’t have much of a choice. As long as these phantoms are after me, vengeance is impossible. I’ll put you all to rest, and at the end of it all, I’m sure I’ll see you again. After rediscovering you, I was able to decide what I had to do. I know what’s important now.

Noriko: I’ll be with you, Gekko. Though I fear your tribulation will only become more difficult.

Thunder boomed and tumbled within the clouds above like war drums. The wind grew steadily stronger, lifting Tsukiakari’s hair as Noriko disappeared from her side. She stood tall and fast, gripping her sword by the handle.

Tsukiakari: Here we go.

One mighty and blinding bolt of lightning struck down upon the Buddha statue from the heavens, like a hammer upon an anvil. The accompanying thunder briefly drowned out all other sounds from Tsukiakari’s ears. The smell of smoke and burning wood lifted into the air as all of the grave markers caught fire across the meadow, glowing like candles in the distance. Lo and behold, the Tempest Lord, the fiery horseman of the night, stood before Tsukiakari, his flaming stallion screeching into the air. Even the statue was wreathed in fire.

Tsukiakari: Why such strong hatred?! Is it because I hurt your precious maiden?!

The horseman lowered his head, glancing at the fiery spear stuck through his heart. He returned his blazing gaze towards the war goddess, the two cautiously circling each other. The horse seemed deathly eager to kill Tsukiakari, with furious gusts of air jetting through its nostrils every few seconds. The heat from the horseman and his beast made Tsukiakari sweat in her clothes and wreathed the flowers at the horse’s hooves in gentle, life-stealing flames.

Don’t you wonder what drives him so? What force could be so strong that it rejects the embrace of the Shinigami, and the home of Izanami?

Tsukiakari: It’s no ordinary hatred. Was the maiden that important to him?

It has nothing to do with the maiden. Phantoms don’t care for one another.

Tsukiakari: What? Then why the hell is he...

The horseman unraveled the intestinal whip at his side, winding his arm back and coiling the fiery organ around Tsukiakari’s wrist. With his great strength, he swung Tsukiakari around and around before she could sever the intestine, circling her around at dizzying speeds. She could hardly see a thing as she was suddenly slammed into the ground with a nearly explosive impact, cratering the ground around her. The whip uncoiled from her wrist, leaving behind a blistering scar. Recovering from the impact, she dug herself out of the crater, her ears leading her eyes to Tempest Lord.

The horse circled his master around the area, keeping a far distance from Tsukiakari. The Tempest Lord  withdrew his fiery bow, aiming an arrow imbued with fierce, crackling lighting at the war goddess. She gathered her strength with a mighty war cry as the Tempest Lord shot his arrow, it’s lightning screeching through the frigid air. Already a master of lightning, she had no issue cutting the arrow in two with her extended slashes of serrated air.

Tsukiakari: You messed up, bastard!

She sent forth another blast of razor sharp air, the gust racing towards the Tempest Lord with a trail of severed flowers and grave markers following it. The horseman ducked his head and spurred his stallion, narrowly avoiding the blast of air while circling back towards the war goddess. She nearly froze upon the realization he was going in for a direct attack, her eyes peeled open in disbelief.

Move, you fool!

The horse’s thunderous gallop was overpowered only by its master’s monstrous, harrowing war cry as they raced towards Tsukiakari. She snapped out of her moment of shock and drove her blade into the earth, turning it like a key in a lock. The ground just ahead of the horse lifted slightly, tripping the beast over and sending I tumbling over Tsukiakari’s head as she dropped to the floor. At last, the beast and its master were separated.

Landing across from each other, both of the fiery phantoms set more of the flowers ablaze. With her blade still stuck in the ground, Tsukiakari’s hands quickly weaved together the kuji-in to channel the purifying power of ice through her palms. She ripped one of the grave markers from the ground, coating it in a thick shell of hard ice before throwing it directly at the downed horse. The blast ripped open its stomach, sending its flaming organs and intestines flying out of its belly and plodding onto the ground. The resulting cloud of ice from the impact doused the horse’s flames and silenced its demonic cries.

Tsukiakari: Now for the horseman!

She frantically reached for her blade, but saw the horseman’s intestinal whip coil around the handle and fly his way before she could take hold of it. Fixated on the Tempest Lord wielding her blade as if he owned it, another surprise startled her in the form of heat behind her back. She quickly spun around, rolling out of the way of the Tempest Lord’s sword swing. The fiery lord before her disappeared, but the other was still in the exact same place, marching towards the war goddess with her sword in hand.

Spared no time to think, another Tempest Lord seemed to come flying out of one of the flaming grave markers, charging at her from the front. Yet again, after dodging his strike, the Tempest Lord faded into a thin cloud of smoke. Two more charged from opposite sides of Tsukiakari, one of them delaying his speed by just a second.

Under enormous pressure and forces to think on her feet, Tsukiakari shielded herself from the fiery stab of the first with a thin wall of ice at her side, the wall breaking into chilled fragments as it took the hit. The other Tempest Lord attacked just a split second later, successfully catching her off guard and bringing his blade down upon her arm. The war goddess shrieked in agony as the nerves in her arm all spiked and exploded with pain, lopping the entire limb off from her body. At least, that’s exactly what it felt like.

After the attacking Lord vanished, Tsukiakari observed that her arm was still there, firmly attached to her body without even the slightest sign of damage. No blood, no rip in her kimono sleeve, and yet, the pain was so dire and real to her. Still, the Tempest Lord’s strange attacks continues relentlessly, now with five Lord’s dashing towards her from all sides. She slammed her icy palm upon the ground, encasing herself in a thick, glowing, and small dome of blue ice. The fiery blades of the Lords rocked the dome and cracked its surface, but each of them failed to penetrate her defenses before they vanished into puffs of smoke. With the resulting smoke from the Lords accumulated around her, Tsukiakari was doomed to hear the cacophony or voices echo all around her. Whispers and cries that flowed like the wind and lingered like the smell of incense surrounded her outside the dome as the original Tempest Lord calmly approached. He gently touched the dome with the tip of his flaming finger, observing how the ice could douse his flame. With Tsukiakari realizing she was safe in the dome, and the Tempest Lord realizing its purifying power, the two were at a standoff as well as a brief moment of respite.

The burning, pulsating sting of losing a limb still pervaded her nerves, the agony suffused with limb down to the bone. For just a moment within that cold dome of ice, she could let out an exhausted sigh of bygone worry.

Tsukiakari: Wraiths born of flame, allowing you to attack from multiple angles at a time, with swords that inflict phantom pain.

The Tempest Lord kept his blazing stare locked upon the war goddess as he circled the dome like a lion just waiting for the first moment he could attack his prey. As if to tease Tsukiakari, he dragged her blade across the dome, the meeting of steel and ice producing an awful, dissonant whistle. The blade left behind a thin, white line on the outer layer of the ice, but it wouldn’t be enough to break through it.

Tsukiakari: I can’t believe I almost died to a damned ghost. You think you’re the only one with hatred nesting in your heart? Do you think you’re the only one who wants to unleash their rage? Vengeance moves the earth as much as it moves the heavens. It’s flow is inescapable. But you’ve already had your time. Why don’t you just lie down and die like you’re supposed to?

She looked to the clouds, taking note of the thunder still booming in the sky.

Tsukiakari: Okay. There’s my way out. Let’s end this, Tempest Lord.

Tsukiakari weaved the kuji-in to switch over to lightning affinity, preparing to end the fight quickly. If she could just do that, it would all be over. The phantoms would no longer be a problem. The end of it all was in clear sight to her.

Tsukiakari: Let’s go!

A mighty bolt of lightning ripped through the sky and scorched the ice dome, shattering it in a furious explosion. The Horseman seemed unfazed in the blast, but it wasn’t the explosion Tsukiakari placed her hopes in. It was the electricity being conducted by her blade, the perfect beacon for teleportation. A second, much smaller lightning strike flashed just inches away from the horseman’s face, and Tsukiakari appeared out of its brilliant light. Her hand was already wrapped firmly around the hand he held her blade with.

As more wraiths of the Tempest Lord dashed out of the surrounding grave markers, Tsukiakari twisted his wrist and turned her own blade against him. She let her legs spread apart as she helped him drive her blade through his chest, allowing her to sink lower towards the ground as the wraiths closed in on her. Her blade, along with the blades of seven wraiths, all pierced through the Tempest Lord at once, most of them just narrowly missing Tsukiakari.

The wraiths vanished, lifting their choking smoke up into the air. The Tempest Lord remained still and silent, his grip on Tsukiakari’s sword loosened. She pulled her blade out of his chest and leaped backwards, keeping her distance as he fell on his back. His flames slowly died down, the spear stuck in his heart vanishing just as the wraiths did.

Tsukiakari was surprised to find that although the flames simmered away into a cloak of smoke, a fully armored body was still left behind. She slowly, cautiously stepped closer to the corpse left behind, the flames wreathed sound the starved Buddha and grave markers also dying away. She could see up close the traditional and rather dated, but colorful armor of leading general. The vibrant colors of green and purple stripes among the primary blocks of red indicated the wearer as a central figure of the forces he commanded. A large, jagged hole through the armor was left behind by the phantom spear, exposing the pale, almost dark grey skin of the wearer. The body was clearly going through the stages of decomposition, kept in tact only by the Tempest Flame.

At last, Tsukiakari removed the helmet, the face she was greeted with making her jump back in shock before falling on her bottom. Her trembling hands tightly grasped a handful of blackened, charred flowers as she tried to remain calm. She took several deep breaths, willing up the courage to take a closer, harder look at the face of the corpse.

Crawling towards it and checking again, her heart swirled with frenzied confusion and surprise. Her shock made her blood feel like fire in her veins.

Tsukiakari: I remember you...Yoshihisa Ashikaga!

The fiery horseman, the Tempest Lord, was none other than the long dead shogun she had slain in battle many years ago. Yoshihisa Ashikaga.

She could accept that Noriko was merely a phantom in her own mind, but for one of the phantoms blesses by flame to be someone she once fought in battle, what little sense she managed to make of her predicament crumbled. Or rather, she realized just how little she truly knew.

Tsukiakari: Why?! Why are you here?!

Yoshihisa Ashikaga, the center of the Onin War, a precursor to the past century and a half of conflict that has consumed the entire country. Son of Yoshimasa Ashikaga, his birth was a complete surprise to his father, who had already made arrangements for a successor from outside the family. His mother, Tomiko, was possessed by vengeance upon learning that her son would be denied his birthright. A single, vengeful woman sparked the flame of the Onin War, allowing your fated encounter with Bishamon to occur. When the baby grew up and rightfully took his place as Shogun, you two met on the battlefield and killed each other. Only you came back. Or so you thought.

Tsukiakari: That’s why he was so drawn to me? He wanted revenge on the goddess that killed him?

The Tempest Flame sought his vengeance and accepted him. Embraced him.

Tsukiakari stood up in silence. Nothing about the events of that night felt right anymore. The voice knew too much. Everything happened far too perfectly.

Tsukiakari: You aren’t helping me destroy these phantoms. You’re helping yourself.

It was only a matter of time before you found out. Our conflict was inevitable.

Tsukiakari: Talk. Stop speaking in vagueness and riddles and tell me exactly what this Tempest Flame is! Why did Yoshihisa Ashikaga come back from the dead to kill me?!

Her answer was an agonizing burn in her heart that brought her down to her knees. It was as if her very heart was on fire. She undid the breast of her kimono and observed her chest for herself.  The scar that had been left there by the Phantom Maiden was alight with small embers flickering within her very flesh.

The Tempest Flame is within you now. Rejoice, for you are almost one with the Deathless Child.

A warm flame shined its light upon Tsukiakari’s face, drawing her eyes up from the ground. The same woman wreathed in fire that appeared before Bishamon now stood before Tsukiakari, her flames burning gently like a camp fire. Her cloak of fire simmered away, revealing the pale, dead skin of yet another phantom from the past, the source of the voice inside her head. Though her hair remained alight with gentle flames and a crown of embers around her head, Tsukiakari  could recognize her face anywhere. That beautiful, black choker, those alluring, green eyes that shined like emeralds in the sun. Ichiki.

She stood before her completely naked, the wounds she died with healed, but leaving her body with scars. Most notably, an intensely pronounced scar across her stomach where she has been disemboweled. It was as if it had been sewn right back up.

Tsukiakari: Ichiki...you...the whole time...

Ichiki: Oh how I’ve missed you, Gekko. If there was anyone in Heaven I ever truly wanted, it was you, not Bishamon. Is murder how you repay such strong love?

Tsukiakari: Damn you! You’re back too?!

Ichiki: Like Yoshihisa, I too was blessed by the Tempest Flame. Though, it seems his blessings didn’t quite go to good use. Not within him, anyway. But you...the flame is drawn to you with a special vigor.

Ichiki chuckled.

Ichiki: Oh, but you seek to know more about the Tempest Flame, don’t you?

Tsukiakari stood and pointed her blade at Ichiki, her hands and knees shaking with fear and uncertainty.

Ichiki: You have very little to threaten me with, Gekko. Besides, this is bigger than the both of us.

Tsukiakari: I won’t ask you again! Talk!

Ichiki slid her tongue across her top lip, rubbing her fingers around her small breasts.

Ichiki: Your hatred still enraptures me so. To think my murderer, and the murderer of my children soul still command my attention like this.  It’s infuriating. Do you remember the story I once told you? About the early days of Izanami’s existence?

Tsukiakari: What about it?

Ichiki: Izanami gave birth to many children, but there was one that scorched her so badly that she died soon after giving birth to it.

Tsukiakari: Kagutsuchi!

Tsukiakari’s eyes flung wide open as the pieces all fell into place.

Tsukiakari: The flame? It’s linked to her?! How?!

Ichiki: You don’t realize it, do you? Your best answer lies not with me, but with three people. The Shoku Twins, and most importantly, Izanami. Seek Izanami, Gekko. Expose her great lie for what it is. The Shoku Twins can guide you to the truth, if you give them no other option. Izanami’s immortality has nothing to do with her being a goddess of death.

Like the wraiths before, Ichiki vanished, leaving Tsukiakari with the corpse of Yoshihisa, The Tempest Lord, as well as a furious thirst for answers.

Tsukiakari: The Shoku Twins...someone is going to tell me the truth.

Just so you know I’m not a hack, the subject of this reveal first appeared in Samsara, the first chapter of Book of Betrayal. Just in case no one remembers that battle. Also one of the first signs of Tsukiakari suffering dramatic hallucinations concerning the deceased
break Room / Re: Chill out Discord
« Last post by Zetnodan on February 23, 2018, 11:37:27 AM »
*Greetings from The Future!*
Did this ever happen? Did it work? Can I be in the Discord?
General Manga writer discussions / Re: Doubting my ideas
« Last post by Zetnodan on February 23, 2018, 11:28:52 AM »
I'm curious about who this thing is about. Generally when you're explaining the story to people you specify the main characters. If you don't do that, while the premise is interesting you could do anything with it from what you've told us
The character you choose is going to determine so much about what the story is about, what themes you tackle, etc.
MR Pub / Re: Chit Chat 2018
« Last post by Vio on February 23, 2018, 11:25:35 AM »
@Robin - What's wrong with math? Math was my favorite subject. :hmm: ;D

@Manimal - Honestly, I didn't believe Canada would win a gold for men's hockey this year since our NHL players couldn't compete in this Olympic. The women hockey, though, I had high hopes and was crushed when they lost in the crapshoot for gold. :sadbye:
MR Pub / Re: Chit Chat 2018
« Last post by Robin Ryuu on February 23, 2018, 11:20:10 AM »
I don't wanna go to class... I only have math class on Fridays... :/
MR Pub / Re: Chit Chat 2018
« Last post by Manimal on February 23, 2018, 10:26:07 AM »
We lost to Germany in hockey.

Canada lost to Germany. In hockey.

Literally what is wrong with our players this year. Where these the same Germans that did 7-1? I mean good job on them, that's pretty badass actually to beat us, and now they will fight Russia tomorrow (and I will root for Germany), but still. Actually I like that Germany beat us, it's way better then America beating us. I hope they crush the Russians, I don't think our team could've beat them anyway. Everyone and their beating odds had it all against Germany, so now that they've defied that it will be very interesting to see how the last game goes, so damnit. Good job.

General Manga writer discussions / Re: Doubting my ideas
« Last post by Robin Ryuu on February 23, 2018, 10:25:02 AM »
Here's a sort of tutorial along the lines of what Coryn is suggesting:


Personally, I use a modified method that is a combination of that and this guide:


And instead of writing lists of major/minor events, I use flow charts:


Since that's a lot of material to read and try to adjust to (if so chosen) feel free to ask me any questions about the processes or anything really. I'll do my best to help.
If I recall, you were only a chapter or two away from doing just that.
General Manga writer discussions / Re: Doubting my ideas
« Last post by Coryn on February 23, 2018, 07:46:55 AM »
You're still too broad. I really mean core concept here. One sentence at max. And no cheating by making it a run-on either. Pair it all the way down. Once you can explain a story in a single sentence, one which sums up the entire work concisely, will you truly understand what it's about.
Manga Art Gallery / Re: Fatal Moon Manga, artwork.
« Last post by Coryn on February 23, 2018, 07:43:16 AM »
Yeah, looks like a bot. Their one other post was similarly nonsensical.
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