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1The Mad Mystic Empty The Mad Mystic on Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:17 am



Name: Kuro Shikyo
Alias/Epithet: The Mad Mystic
Race: Human
Tier: 4
Gender: Male
Age: 29
Mode: Hard

Occupation: Weapon Specialist (Primary), Navigator (secondary)
Affiliation: Pirate
World Position: Shichibukai

General Appearance: Though tall and muscular, the appearance of this fine man is often hidden behind a veil of fashionable clothing, coincidentally causing others to mistake him for a noble of some sort. True, his mass lets him stand out in a crowd, it is more his general presence and clothing that dissuade others from concerning him in any of their matters. Far from the usual pirate or marine, Kuro enjoys wearing fanciful clothing, though this does not mean the clothing is not functional, as he tends to carry many things hidden in pockets all over his robes, pants, and shirts. Though his favorite color is actually red, he tends to dress in blue colors, simply because blue goes with his hair. His usual attire does not change whether he is fighting or in casual situations. Thick but easily flexible cloth makes up his base shirt and pants, with a thick leather sleeveless vest above that, meant to be a soft form of armor, though he has yet to bother with the materials needed. Above even that is his signature blue cloak, stopping a few inches about the ground. The cloak has sleeves and a hood, of course, but the true oddity is the function of the shoulders, which keep the cloak from getting in Kuro's way once his arms reach in a certain way, making it become similar to a cape for a time. In a fashion equally strange for anyone traveling the seas, Kuro wears large black boots, complete with steel additions on the bottoms and the toe areas.

In addition to his odd clothing, his stature is equally strange. While one would expect him to be massive, given his weight and height ratio, Kuro's form seems rather slim compared to the general expectations. According to himself, this is due to his family being blessed with high bone density, though it seems even that does not account for the full weight of his body. Fortunately, the bulk of his muscles are located in his arms and legs, though his torso is far from weak. Simply put, while his torso is defined, his extremities are massive in bulk, leaving his proportions to feel just a bit off. While he holds no scars, his body does seem to have gone through rough times, given the notable roughness of his hands, only furthered by the callouses on his hands and feet, acquired from years of fighting with both of those things.

His face, however, holds interesting deviations from the norm. His blue hair is a moderate shade, neither bright nor dark, but somewhere in the middle. It is one of his many defining features, with the next most obvious being his tattoos. Only technically two, these tattoos are above and below his right eye, with the bottom one resembling an upside down anchor, with the two larger prongs of said anchor reversed. The top, however, is trio of circular designed, the bottom most designed being only a semi-circle, stopping at his eyebrow. The other two symbols are connected to each other and the semi-circle, extending upwards in a way that is similar to a reversed three. Naturally, his eyes are the least unique thing about his head, though still quite interesting. In contrast to his abnormal hair and tattoo, his eyes are a moderate shade of amber, far from a rarity. It is actually the normality of his eyes that make them so unique. Even with that said, it is noted his eyes seem more alive and daunting than others.

Perhaps the most interesting area of his appearance is how he makes himself appear, in the choices he makes of how he speaks, and moves. While his voice has a flat, almost automatic monotone feel to it, he can fluctuate his pitch between high and low with relative ease, and does so based on his emotions at the time. Similar to his voice, his movements change with the situation. In a casual, non-violent situation, Kuro moves lazily, being intentionally carefree with his movements, his legs and arms slinging about much less professionally. In combat, however, every move is crisp and uses as little energy as possible, drawing a stark contrast between his mindsets during combat as compared to during relaxed moments.

Height: 6'5"
Weight: 250 lbs
Crew Tattoo Placement: Right Palm

Personality:  One of Kurokon's main features is his incredible intelligence. Kuro is known for his fast paced logic, and instant strategizing. He is known to be an incredible genius, able to understand and formulate various scientific theories in record time. When he learned by tutors, he was usually the one correcting them. In many circles, he would be considered a true genius, one who uses logic to think rather than memory. Kuro, while intelligent, does not boast it about, preferring to sit and watch quietly, attempting to understand those he observes. He is noted for his near perfect understanding of human emotions, which allows him to mediate arguments and fights. However, he loves to confuse people by making contradicting statements. Even if they are not confused with the statement, Kuro will be happy to find someone who can at least amuse him. Kuro, unfortunately, overestimates other people's intelligence, meaning he assumes, incorrectly, that they hold the same logic and knowledge that he does. This causes problems for him when trying to predict people and their reactions. Kuro is the type of genius who sees solutions rather than problems. In other words, he doesnt see a problem as a true problem, but as a new game, a new challenge.

His memory, without a doubt, is the single most conflicting thing about him. He can often recall things from years ago with startling accuracy, but forgets things that happened just the day before. Kuro calls it a data memory, while he says most normal people have picture memories. He can recall important things that happened, and picture them in his head, but in exchange, he forgets mundane and uninteresting things rather easily. He calls this a data memory due to the fact that he knows what happened, but cannot always recall smaller details, comparing himself to machines. He often jokes about how bad his memory is, since he cannot remember mundane things easily.

One of Kuro's more astounding attributes is his emotional control. While most who say they control their emotions suppress, or destroy them, Kuro truly changes what emotions he feels at a specific moment with little trouble. He can smile at a friend's death, or weep at his enemy's. He is usually smiling and jovial due to this. This particularly makes emotional attacks against Kuro nearly useless, unless they target his anger. Kuro explains his emotional control as a willpower based control. He creates emotions from willpower, in layman's terms, he feels what he wants by wanting to feel it. When asked why he is able to control his emotions, he will usually remark with a sarcastic "I'm me, thats why"

In truth, Anger is the single emotion Kuro does not have complete control over. While he is not able to control his anger, he is able to control his actions when angry, to a degree. If something absolutely enrages him, he will probably not stop himself from murdering someone, on the other hand, if someone annoys him slightly, he could turn the anger at the person into amusement of their stupidity. His family has all had anger issues, and when angry, they do not lose focus of anything, instead, they focus their anger onto something and target the subject of their anger with all their powers, mental and, sometimes, physical.

Kuro believes in an eye for an eye, but doesnt do it. He believes that everything has a good side, and anything is justifiable, given the right reasons. He finds little wrong with killing, even in cold blood, but is against imprisonment. His morals are conflicting and confusing to others, but he sticks by them. He understands that not everyone is the same in this manner. He believes that everyone is a different version of him, meaning he uses their consciousness as a connection. Kuro could torture a child with little moral consequences, if the child was truly evil, but he does not believe in killing someone defenseless unless they truly deserve it. Although conflicting, and somewhat pacifistic, Kuro is willing to get the job done by any means necessary. He will kill anyone who stands in his way without mercy. While he doesnt kill innocents, usually at least, he will not care if they get caught in the crossfire.

Kuro believes loyalty is one of the most admirable characteristics there are. While he doesnt care for national loyalty, he does admire friendship, partnership, or any kind of loyal relationship. He absolutely loathes any form of betrayal that is directed at a friend or someone close. To him, disloyalty is a reason to die. It does not count if a pirate wishes to leave his captain, but if a friend sells him out, he will not show any mercy. Regardless of his love for loyalty, Kuro doesnt look down on mercenaries. He believes that respect, and loyalty, are earned, not given, which is why he doesnt like many soldiers.

A larger flaw of Kuro, he can get bored if he is not actively doing something, making him learn different things to alleviate the boredom, or fight. He hates stagnation, and always tries to do something to keep from stagnating himself. He will get bored fast, and whenever he is bored, he does random things to entertain himself, these things include embarrassing, confusing, or just fighting other people, eating random but tasty food, or developing new theories and ideas.

Kuro's single fear is the fear of being bored. Not necessarily being bored, but being unable to alleviate boredom. As such, he is always trying to keep from being bored, which allows him to find trivial and usually stupid things fun. The reason he fears boredom is simple, boredom is the lack of doing anything, to him at least. He fears boredom because it is the single thing he cannot beat in any way. He is not deathly afraid of being bored, but hates it. This is the reason he hates imprisonment, because it causes extreme boredom.

In order to further alleviate the constant stagnation he so fears, he often listens to music, loving fast paced and meaningful music more than anything. He believes music is a definite thing in this world, something that always changes, as such, it is the opposite of stagnation, causing him to hold most music in high regards. While he loves most music, any music without meaning, or lyrics, to him, is a disrespectful abomination.

One would think with anger problems, hatred would be a common concept, but for Kuro, hatred is a foreign idea. He can only say he hates boredom, which is an idea rather than anything physical. He cannot hate someone for who they are, or what they believe. He is incapable of truly hating anything other than boredom. This is what allows him to forgive his friends for simple problems. Since he is incapable of hatred, he is often remarked as a innocent soul, at least until he eats the child next door because fuck it.

Love, to Kuro, is complicated. It is both confusing and simple to him, meaning he can love people, but will not understand it. He often gets embarrassed or confused by someone showing him such emotions. This embarrassment could be eliminated with his control, but in non-battle situations he finds it useful in his attempts to understand what love truly is.

Although he has perfect control over his emotions, he does not have that level of control over his thoughts. In truth he has very little control over what he thinks or pictures in his mind. His mind often wanders because of this, allowing him to become distracted by simple things that he finds amusing. His lack of control over his thoughts results in random incredibly insane ideas coming forth. This furthers his intelligence by allowing him to think of indirect connections from one theory to another. He gets entertained from other people's madness as well, and often strikes friendships with those who have similar insanity.

Kuro is able to predict people who he knows well enough. He often tests people he doesnt know by asking them seemingly mundane questions to test both intelligence, and personality. He can tell what to do when someone is in an emotional breakdown, usually. Although he has flawed understanding of love, control of anger, and lack of hate, he is able to understand other people's feelings rather easily.

Kuro is able to smoothly lie with a straight face and perfect tone, as if he was telling the truth. Unfortunately for him, this eliminates his credibility with those who know him, but do not fully trust him. He often lies about mundane things to protect either himself or others from embarrassment or other trouble. With this great skill at lying, comes the ability to see through lies others tell. He can often tell if someone is lying, but doesn't usually remark on it unless he deems it important. When he lies to his friends, it is often small mundane things. He uses these lies to test their lie reading ability.
Likes: Fighting - While Kuro much prefers testing others with their minds, he absolutely enjoys putting his own physical might against someone else's, for what better way is there to become stronger?
Training- Maintaining skills is an important thing for Kuro, as he refuses to stagnate, even if it becomes tedious in the long run. Simply put, for Kuro training is similar to a daily job for others, except perhaps just as important as eating.
Messing with people- Kuro uses his knowledge of psychology to cause others confusion, or to simply irritate them slightly. Often he does so by doing things that appear impossible, or should be, and appearing amazed at the most simplistic things.
Friends- Above anything else, Kuro values companions. More than money, more than his own fighting abilities. However, it is more than that. A friend who does something even Kuro loathes will never be abandoned until that friend directly attacks Kuro, or betrays him in another form.
Sweets- A lover of delicacies of all types, Kuro is particularly drawn towards sweeter foods, though he also enjoys sour foods... It would best to say he simple enjoys stronger flavors, perhaps.
Sleeping- Excitable as he may be, Kuro greatly enjoys his resting periods, perhaps due to a mix of laziness and pragmatism. He is known to take naps at strange times, like when traveling at sea. It was actually a big problem until he became strong enough to not care.
Learning new skills- A new skill can mean the difference between life and death, though it is a bit odd that Kuro collects skills like some collect bottled ships...
Orange Juice after Brushing teeth- Hahahaha
Ham- Not the kind you cook, though he is not averse to that, Kuro loves being hammy, acting in extremely loud and insane ways, which plays to his love of explosions and fire.
Dislikes: Boredom- Kuro hates boredom so fiercely he will often launch into random adventures to prevent feeling such a thing. It is not uncommon for him to take up a random hobby for five minutes just to pass the time between things.
People without Will- To Kuro, there is nothing more despicable than someone who lacks the willpower to do anything meaningful with their lives. Those with willpower equal to his own, however, often earn his respect.
Histrionic People- People who cannot look forward are almost as bad as those without will, for what life can be lead when the future does not exist?
Celestial Dragons- While not afflicted by the disease of morality that infects most, the Celestial Dragons are despicable for their weak nature, and their histrionic mindsets. If there were ever to be a true opposite to Kuro, it would likely come from a Celestial Dragon.
Morality- Morality is the boring word people throw around to justify their actions, denying their own selfishness to make themselves look better than they are. Kuro hates lying, so he will naturally hate hiding true reasons for things.
Goody-two-shoes- People who do things for the sake of being moral tend to be irritating more than anything, because of their inflexible nature and immature ideals. Kuro prefers to deal with them only with weapons.
Being called a liar- Lying, while certainly something Kuro does, is not something he likes to admit to, particularly when he is being honest. Truth be told, if there was a single way to enrage Kuro, it would be calling him a liar when he is being honest.

History: Born to a poor family, Kuro was far from prince charming, being loud, brash, and generally rude. He was also far from selfish, absolutely loving to help people. He had seen the depression that took over his parents whenever someone treated them mean, and decided to never be like those people, instead he focused on helping people as much as possible. He did this through menial chores and meaningless words of platitude. He was almost considered the island's little angel. His childhood was certainly helpful in that aspect, his years of learning proving him to be adept not at any particular skill, but at learning itself. Far from a genius in any specific category, Kuro had trouble with each subject at first. It was only with his own mind growing that the subjects became easier, eventually leading to others thinking of him as some kind of genius, which led him to basking in the title. With newfound pride, Kuro set out to learn as much as he could. It took a few years, but he eventually hit a brick wall in the form of simply not having enough books on the island.

His desire to learn more, combined with his already vast knowledge and learning ability caused him to quickly grow bored. He took to observing people and learning more about them, as well as what lead to them being who they were, slowly gaining knowledge of psychology through sheer observation. This, too, quickly proved boring. It was only when he decided to learn physical skills that his boredom ceased. Of course, learning them meant finding a way to learn them, so Kuro practiced with various people on the island who had some semblance of skill with one weapon or another. Though extremely skilled with a staff, Kuro took to Archery and Swordsmanship more than anything. He finally left the island at the age of twenty, reaching a decent enough level of power, and knowing how to navigate. Instead of the obvious two choices of Marine or Pirate, Kuro decided to simply explore and see where fate took him. He ended up lost at sea for a week, quickly running out of supplies and almost succumbing to dehydration and starvation. Where most would have given up, Kuro stayed determined, even when he started hallucinating some song about moonmen. With a stroke of luck only half as ridiculous as it sounds, Kuro washed up on the shore to a small island, home to a kind woman who took him in and helped him back to health.

Kuro, in exchange, helped the woman and quickly became infatuated, though his desire to see the world and learn everything he could would not let him stay. In the end, it only took a few years before he managed to convince her to come with him, that he would protect her from any danger they faced. She, equally infatuated, was easily persuaded, since she had seen him do seemingly impossible things whenever he did chores. The two set off to sea, hoping for the best. Since neither of them had any previous experience sailing, though, they made sure to bring a decent navigator along for the ride, which happened to be the woman's brother. The first month was filled with mild adventures, mostly of the trio landing on strange islands and finding more supplies to continue on the journey, with Kuro managing to fight some more wild and powerful animals on said islands. It seemed like heaven for the three, all three having developed a strong sense of adventure by this point. They traded whenever they could, and had pleasant times as much as possible.

Eventually, word spread of their mild exploits, reaching the ear of a low bounty pirate captain. With his mind set, the captain reached out to the three, giving them an ultimatum, join him, Asher D. Weeee, or die. The three quickly refused, with Kuro being vehement about his desire to be free from all restraints. For a time, the three continued like nothing happened, but Asher was not to be denied. The three landed on the usual wild jungle-type island, and Kuro left to gather supplies from murdering animals. When he came back, he found both his companions dead, their bodies little more than smears and stains at this point.

At this point, Kuro essentially entered a three year long bloodrage. The first thing he did was take up his two swords and hunt down Asher. This took time, at first, but Asher's crew quickly found themselves outmatched by the beast of a man that Kuro became. Though Asher was a small time pirate, he had a large crew due to exacerbating his name's importance, making many of the men think he was some bigshot. It helped that he was in the East Blue. Kuro fought at least five ships worth of people before he found Asher, hiding in a cave, trying to prevent Kuro from finding him. He tried to explain his actions by saying that fate declared that Kuro's companions die, but Kuro simply decided fate would never hold him down. In a display of restraint, Kuro did not attack Asher directly. Instead, he did something far, far worse. Kuro exited the cave, before turning and smashing his sword onto the surface around the cave, easily collapsing the entrance to the cave. There was enough room for air to pass through, but there was no way Asher could escape, especially since the man was pitifully weak. Kuro set up camp near the cave, so that he could listen to Asher's screams as he slowly starved to death as a lullaby before sleeping.

While that was the first part of his bloodrage years, it was certainly nothing compared to his later exploits. Whenever he heard a pirate or Marine mention the word "fate", something seemed to snap within him, causing him to target those individuals. The first to go was a Marine Captain, boasting about how it was fate for him to survive where his crew did not. Kuro had only come across him through his morbid curiosity when he saw signs of an intense battle between ships, only wreckage and floating corpses left. The Captain had apparently played dead until the fighting was over, keeping himself in top condition and preparing to escape afterwards, when one of his dying companions asked him why. Kuro, hearing the reply about fate, suddenly snapped into a rage, ripping both of the captain's arms off through brute strength. He left the Captain alive to bleed out, though somehow he survived. Survival was not the only thing he accomplished, however, as the former captain reported a false story of how Kuro sunk the ship alone and maimed him to send a message, giving Kuro an enormous first-bounty. This essentially made him into everyone's enemy, which became quite arduous for the young man, as his bounty was not indicated by his strength but by his supposed crime, meaning those who came after him were prepared to deal with someone even stronger than him. Naturally, he had to become stronger, quickly.

It took another year of constant fighting before he reached the grandline. Dozens of marines, pirates, and bounty hunters had been slaughtered by him at this point, his bounty increasing with each known death. His actual power grew even more than his bounty, however, as each fight became easier and easier, until they stopped being fun, hence his decision to head towards the Grandline. Upon reaching Paradise, Kuro lucked out in finding a log pose immediately, and traveled based on said log pose. Unlike most, he did not follow a normal path, but let the sea tell him where to go. This allowed him to carve a path through the Grandline, albeit in a very... strange way.

The first incident came to be know as Jellyfish Falls. The former Marine base was nicknamed Jellyfish Sea, due to the odd number of Jellyfish in the bay it was located. Kuro happened upon the base by accident, only intending to trade a few things before leaving. Unfortunately, his face was on a wanted poster nearby and the marines were quickly informed. On his way back to his boat, Kuro was surrounded by marines, all with their weapons out. With little choice and no room to move, he was quickly arrested and placed in a holding cell. Of course, Kuro's massive strength allowed him to quickly break any cuffs they put on him, leaving his arms free in the cell. While no one was looking, he took a broken piece of his handcuffs and used it as a lockpick, easily getting out of his cell, all the while noting how old and rusted everything was. Unfortunately, while he learned a great many skills, sneaking around was not one of them. He was quickly discovered by a small contingent of five marines. In response to their demands to surrender, Kuro ripped off a metal door and through it at them, blocking their sight and, more importantly, the bullets they fired at him. Using his hand to hand skills, Kuro quickly incapacitated the five Marines and found his weapons.

The alarms were quickly sounded, and Kuro quickly found again, by a bigger number of guards. Deciding to even the odds, Kuro made sure to confront them in narrow corridors so that the numbers did not matter. By the time half the marines at the base were dead, a Vice Admiral was on the way. By the time all the small fries were dead, the Vice Admiral arrived, only to find crushed buildings and corpses of marines littering the streets. She quickly headed towards the screams, only barely missing catching Kuro, who left on his lone boat. The woman became mildly obsessed with capturing him, chasing him all around paradise. They fought directly only three times, once with her having the advantage, the second time being evenly matched, and the third time ended with him dominating her entirely. At this point, Kuro was well known for his escapades, and killing this Vice Admiral hardly did anything towards his bounty, leaving her death as just a footnote to the Marines.

It was, however, a clear picture of what laid ahead for those who challenged Kuro. Instead, many began to seek him out to hire him. Many pirates and marines wanted some people taken out, and the destructive force of nature known as Kuro was easy to place blame onto. Marines needed higher ups taken out so they could have their promotions, while Pirates just hated each other. The jobs were fun, and tested him, so Kuro stayed in the Sabaody area for a while, soaking up as much money as possible. Eventually, however, Kuro got bored and decided to head to the New World, forming connections with the underground slavery trade, and a new Underworld Broker, Kitaro. Thanks to him, Kuro was able to safely trade many of his less... pleasant items.

This is the second major incident, known as the Bloodbath of Sega V. Sega V was a pirate paradise, where might made right and power meant everything. Unlike Jellyfish Sea, Kuro intended to arrive at Sega V, wanting to have the biggest party possible, because he found carrying so much money troublesome. Once they saw his might, and his money, everyone began to worry that he would take over, however he quickly bought drinks for everyone and made their worries disappear in the fuzz of alcohol. This made him a celebrity overnight, though the second night was much less enjoyable for most, who died in the ensuing slaughter.

A well known and respected pirate decided to try taking over the island, and thus saw Kuro as an immediate threat. Somehow convincing the majority of the island to take Kuro's money by force, this pirate started a rebellion, short lived as it was. Unfortunately the man died in the first fight. It started when a man tried to break a bottle over Kuro's head, to knock him out as a form of mercy. Kuro did not have mercy, however, and decided it was time to have some fun. Starting in the bar and ending at the other side of the island, Kuro started a one-man war, wanting to test his skills at fighting multiple opponents at once. Anyone sober enough to know it was a bad idea to fight him fled, while the rest remained and died.

The report filed from the Marine base which was notified of the situation caused his bounty to skyrocket, particularly since the death count reached well over to hundred overnight, with only Kuro surviving the entire night on the island. This proved more problematic than not for Kuro, who found the marines constantly chasing him to be irritating and more concerning towards his adventurous schemes than anything. With that in mind, he hatched a plan. Keeping with his psychological knowledge, Kuro spread a rumor at a bar three Supernova were known to visit, that he was dying at a certain location. The three heard of this in a few days, and formed an alliance to bring him into the fold, or to kill him. Kuro casually waited at the location, eager for the battle to start. Fortunately the Supernova did not waste time and arrived shortly.

Kuro made short work of their crews, enraging the three captains to kill him even more, which was part of his plan. The three had devil fruits, and skills that supported each other. His opponents consisted of a rubber marksman, a wind using swordsman, and a martial artist with some weird Devil Fruit that made his body as hard as steel. The fight was long and hard, particularly because he wanted them alive, but Kuro eventually won. The problem, however, was that a new challenger appeared, one much more dangerous than the three he had just defeated. Low on stamina, and feeling drained from his long fighting, Kuro knew he had to end it quick. His opponent was a swordsman, who did not have a devil fruit, and was widely though of as the "fifth" yonko, though his true strength lay somewhere between Yonko and Titan. The battle here was much different, a battle between swordsmen. Kuro did not use any other abilities, a weird concept of honor being accepted by him. His opponent was similar, though Kuro had the advantage in speed and strength, his giant enemy had more durability than Kuro expected, leading to the fight becoming a battle of attrition. At least, it would have been, had Kuro not gotten lucky. A simple misstep caused his enemy to become wide open, just enough for Kuro's blade to pierce his chest directly, killing the man in an instant.

News did not spread of this incident, not before Kuro enacted his plan. While the Swordsman was dead, the three Supernova were alive, albeit helpless. Deciding that the body of the swordsman would come in handy, Kuro took all four of them directly to Marineford, declaring himself a Shichibukai, with the marines acquiescing fairly easily. After all, the man had taken down four famous pirates, one of which was said to be able to match a Yonko, and three of which were notorious for their quick growth in power. Kuro spent most of his time traveling after that, becoming something of a legend. Unlike most, Kuro gladly answers the call of the Marines, willing to fight for them simply because he enjoys fighting. It is fairly well known, however, that Kuro's status as a Shichibukai is somewhat strange, since even his lack of presence does not seem to matter to those in charge of the Marines.
Face Claim: Jellal | Fairy Tail
RP Sample: So this was the power of a servant? A hero of humanity? Someone who accomplished great deeds in the past? Interesting. He had to wonder what happened to this man to let him become what he was now. One did not automatically change on becoming a Heroic Spirit, not to his knowledge. It was possible, but the first requirement to be a true Hero was to be so strong that your mentality could handle such simple existential problems. The very nature of a heroic spirit was that of humanity, in the deepest sense. To go beyond oneself to the point of being incomprehensible by average standards. It was perhaps why Kuro understood the mentality of the Heroic Spirit so well.

He did not know the legend of Richard the Lionheart. He did not need to, for he saw the MAN Richard before him.

However, understanding did not invite agreement. In this particular case, it summoned only the disappointment of overestimation from Kuro. When he heard of the Spirit proudly proclaiming himself, he had perhaps envisioned a portrait of himself overlapping with the actual servant. There were similarities, but now that he saw the truth, it was... less than pleasant. He saw everything, every bit of what made Richard who he was, in his movements and his speech, it all came together. It did not form the ideal Kuro hoped for, nor did it represent what Kuro himself was, or aspired to be. It was... less. So much so. For a brief moment, he had wondered whether the Grail would give a refund, before discarding the idea. Not out of some belief of it being impossible, as his concept of what was impossible had been destroyed so long ago, but out of a sense of pride. He had never let bad selections stop him before. His magecraft was supposed to be a terribly weak thing, so easily beaten, and so barely understood. Compare that with what his magecraft was considered today, how it came close enough to the True Magics to be something extraordinary, and it may become apparent what Kuro was.

As he heard Richard's words, he did not seem a hero beyond measure. He did not see a king. He did not see a man striving for greatness beyond the reach of mortal men. No, he saw a broken man, who had lost faith of humanity and any achievements made by them. It was not arrogance that possessed Richard to dismiss Kuro's combat abilities so easily, but a denial of confidence in humanity. For whatever reason, Richard possessed this idea that humanity was too limited, too easy to surpass and far too weak to ever touch a Servant. It was not an unfounded belief, as a normal man could not touch a Servant. It took someone beyond exceptional to match their might, let alone to come out on top. Kuro did not currently believe himself to be able to dominate a servant in battle, but he could certainly kill them through their own hubris.

Richard had confirmed that belief, his motions against Kuro proving to be fatal, were Kuro going for a kill. If Kuro were even partially serious with this as a fight, rather than an exercise of character, he would have killed Richard the moment he tried to jab at Kuro's chest. Sidestepping a roundhouse was... not advisable, especially since the power of the roundhouse came from the rotation of the hips. Had Kuro gone for a kill, he would have simply extended his leg more, going for the neck. Given that Richard was already off-footing by the jab and sidestep, he would have had no chance to dodge or block with any decency. Even with the disparity between Kuro's strength and Richard's endurance, the only thing protecting the vital area of the inside of the neck was skin, which... was not good protection. He could have done so while Richard was so distracted by talking, as well. It would have ended it quickly, even if Richard survived. Even though Kuro's kick may have amounted to a punch compared to Richard's endurance, it was simply too vital an area to endure the attack without serious back up, be it skills, Noble Phantasms, or just blocking. Had he been going for the kill, Kuro would have waited for Richard to move, that lunging motion more than enough to snap Richard's neck, should the force be directed even partially differently. Yes, Kuro could have kicked upward, a straight high-kick, right under Richard's chin, given the extension required for a lunge. Not a definite kill area, but right below that was the neck, which certainly would have been. Even if that missed, he would have had an opening in bringing his leg down, slamming onto Richard's head, or shoulders. Again, not a definite kill zone, but certainly debilitating ones. He could have done so much more as well, dislocating the shoulders through Richard's own strength, positioning his legs to twist Richard's own footing for a take down that was not reliant on strength, but position. Hell, if he were actually fighting to kill, he would have used his magecraft, and that opened an entirely new can of murder-worms.

Still, it was to be a spar, not a deathmatch. Neither were showing their actual power, but they were showing their truest selves. Honestly these first few moves were enough for Kuro, whether or not they were enough for Richard. He saw what he needed. He should be enraged. Part of him was, with a bigger part disappointed. He had expected more skill from such a being, but no... The real reason for his rage was simple, Richard was implying so much... well, to call it any less than utter bullshit was outrageous. One of the major ones being that Kuro had to learn from Richard how to fight hand to hand. Really?
Kuro had fought more people than he had friends (Which basically meant more than three, but the point remains). Hand to hand fighting was... not a common skill for heroes to have, except the really old, or really young. There was that bitter disappointment as well. His servant had no faith in him, or his ideals. No concept of humanity's truest strength. Still, even with the anger and disappointment, two emotions rose above anything.

There was pity. Richard had obviously lost something important to him, too important for him to keep believing in humanity. Whether it was internal or external, Richard dealt with a conflict that showed him the weakest side of humanity, or perhaps a darker side of it. Either way, Richard no longer believed in the universal truth. Humans, regardless of what they face, will always find a way. Perhaps he was once Christian? Richard sounded like a middle-aged name, or at least European, and Richard certainly fit the bill. If so, it was no surprise he had lost his faith in humanity, losing himself among the tides of hell that engulfed the period. Still, the implications Richard had... did he honestly think Skill accounted for less than this difference between their physical abilities? Their physical abilities were vastly different, yes, but not enough for Kuro to be ruled out as a threat by any means. Even with the difference of 4-5 times, Kuro was still capable of dealing damage enough to harm him, even if his moves would be easier to dodge than an actual servants. Either way, to dismiss ANY opponent showed something... depressing. It was not just a lack of confidence in humanity, it was pride in himself, or at least his status. Whether or not that was so thick that it became arrogance was unclear, but it also did not matter.

The second emotion driven from the drivel spoken towards him was, oddly enough, hope. Yes, it was quite true, Kuro did not see a reflection of his current self in Richard. He did, however, see a very distant past version of himself, one too bitter towards humanity to move forward. Perhaps, Richard was the average hero, and all Legends were like this. If so... Kuro could not have picked a better servant. While it was true he was disappointed with Richard's lack of belief in him, it was something he could work with. Had he summoned someone arrogant, or anyone who outright dismissed him... well, he would have had to track down a master to steal their servant instead. Perhaps it was some hand of fate that brought these two together. There was more to either of them than met the eye... Richard needed something. Something to believe in, something more than himself. No doubt bitter towards the religious era of the middle ages, he needed something he could identify with. Someone from such a time... They knew the power of God, but could they possibly understand the power of man? Kuro was unsure, but he found it did not matter. His servant's lack of confidence in his master would be rewarded with Richard being proven wrong, time after time. Richard was a king, but Kuro... he was a warrior.

He could not really feel the anger anymore, this was not someone lashing out at him because of a misunderstanding. In a strange way, Richard was trying to show him how far he had to reach, underestimating him in that he thought of Kuro as an average man, or slightly above average. No, for Kuro to reach what he wanted, he had to be more than anyone had ever been. He was already a powerful one, but Richard was not wrong, those Servants could, in the right conditions, kill him without him ever noticing, particularly Assassin. Casters would actually be hilariously easy, given his unique magecraft and physical abilities. He may as well be a caster himself! A very... different kind, but still. Kuro could not find it in him to remain angry with Richard, far too understanding of the broken ideals Richard conveyed, whether he meant to or not.

In a strange way, they really were kindred spirits.

Still, the fight had not ended yet, and Kuro's single opening attack had been taken far too lightly. As stated before, one does not simply sidestep a roundhouse. Nor should one try a basic jab to the chest immediately after sidestepping a roundhouse. Kuro was focused mostly in Tae Kwon Do, which used a lot of... well, the best way to phrase it was perhaps agility through strength, which fit his style rather well. He had not quite yet mastered his ideal style, which involved something far crazier, and thought to be impossible, but he was still no novice. He had fought in more matches than anyone he knew, which was actually quite an impressive number, if he could only remember it. Regardless, Kuro's first kick continued on, unaffected by the sidestep, only changing targets because Kuro decided to do so. Instead of the kick connecting with Richard's left arm, like intended originally, Kuro altered the target to hit the extended right arm, just as Richard was halfway done with the jab. Oh yes, Richard was faster than Kuro, and could perhaps avoid it, but even if he did, it would show Richard to not underestimate someone who fought simply to fight. This was more a physical dialogue than a fight at this point, Richard's doubt matching against Kuro's beliefs. The only difference being Kuro had learned long ago just how far he could go, and he refused to stop, doubt or not. Perhaps Richard saw it as a goal itself, but it was not his goal to just kill servants, no it was a way of showing everyone, particularly himself, that he was that capable, and he could never stop until he hit that point. Death was trivial at this point, meaning only that he went as far as he could given the time he had. It was a lesson Kuro's teacher had taught him, and a lesson Kuro hoped to teach Richard. Winning did not always mean being victorious in a fight, after all.

Richard launched out, lunging for Kuro again, this time an obvious right focused punch. The obvious route would be to attack his left side. Only an idiot would take such an obvious route, however. Perhaps if he were facing a novice at physical combat, or a fool, Kuro would have attacked it, but instead, Kuro did something different. There was no real warning in his movements either, he simply tilted his body to the left, avoiding the punch easily, before stepping in, close to Richard, too close for him to attack with his arms or legs again. There was the possibility of a headbutt, but Kuro had already placed his fist at Richard's neck, knowing Richard would not be able to stop his momentum quickly enough to prevent it. Lunging like he had was too great an opening, in footwork, body mechanics, and style. It was far too limiting to use against anyone with experience with hand to hand. Even if he were completely unable to stop his momentum, and decided to tackle Kuro, he would simply roll onto his back before anything else, and kick Richard upwards. Kuro debated continuing the move and unleashing a quick grapple-pin on Richard, just to emphasize this point more, but then Richard spoke again, this time about Servants being capable of killing him with ease. He was not wrong, but that would mean they took a human as a serious threat, and that was a victory in of itself for Kuro. It was still mildly irritating that he thought he could honestly teach Kuro something he already knew, but it was also understandable, once Kuro looked from his point of view. A random master with overflowing confidence declares he will fight Servants, it was completely fair for Richard to have doubts, and to think of Kuro as a fool. It was, perhaps, not inaccurate to call him that either. For what else would a future hero be, but a fool?

"Bang. Your dead." Kuro spoke evenly, his fist still near Richard's neck. Even though his fist was not sharp, as he had not used his magecraft to fix that, Richard's own momentum, at its peak, would have simply caused Kuro's fist to cave in Richard's neck. The spar was obviously over at this point, one way or another. "You speak like a man broken inside, something beyond you that failed you in your darkest moment, perhaps. It doesnt matter, that happens with a lot of heroes. Religions, hopes, dreams, the self, the family, the lover. It never matters, those things with meanings held so dear... they fade, they fail, and they fall. Regardless of my position, regardless of my doubts, and regardless of any voice telling me otherwise, I move forward." Kuro paused, stepping back from Richard now. "Do you know what I believe in that pushes me forward so hard, so impossibly hard?" Kuro grinned, his teeth showing, the smile almost being feral. "I believe in my ideal future. The me that is the best me I can be. Does that make sense? Its not about me currently, not about religion, hopes, dreams, or any form of 'love" Kuro scoffed at the word love, as if he simply denied its existence. He did. "It is the ideal man, the one I strive to be, that future version of me so much greater than anything I have ever seen. That is what I seek, and it will never fail me, even if I fail it. Do you understand now? Why I am so willing to face what should rightfully kill me? To put myself through hell for? To extend myself beyond any human previously?"

Kuro stared into Richard's eyes, the Light of the Future meeting the Flames of the Past. "You speak of servants killing me so simply. You saw here today, just now, that I am fast enough and strong enough to harm servants. Perhaps not the highest ones, but enough to kill them regardless. However, you would be right in that these Servants could kill me, if they unleashed their Noble Phantasms on me. But... that is my victory as well, and it should be well known to any Servant, I am sure you understand. I have never feared death, especially now. If I die from a victory, is that such a bad thing? You dont have a desire for the grail, do you? Then why would it matter? Your time here will be brief unless we win, which... the odds are not in our favor, there was never any denying that. Neither of us are quite where we need to be, but thats fine. We can reach that point."

Kuro stuck his hand out, a true introduction between men this time, not as Master and Servant, not as King and Warrior, but as individuals. "Now, I ask you this final time, are you ready to follow me into what might be both our deaths? If you agree, you have to set aside your doubts, all of them. You have to strive for the perfect version of yourself, not some silly ideal, nor a belief, but for your own perfection, however you define it. If you deny this, I give you two alternatives. You may roam free, and I will supply mana for you, I will not care what you do, at least until you find a master. I could use all my command seals to free you, let you find a new master, one you find more fitting. I will not harm them, not until we actually get to the grail war itself, and you can do as you like with them. I offer you these because I value freedom, and yours is important as well as my own. I am willing to show you a future you never imagined. I will not claim I am your best bet to win the Grail, nor to succeed or survive. I am merely an option, and I am giving you the choice."

It was not a happy speech, full of promises or hopes. It was one full of something... more. It was meaningful, but it did not inspire the same kind of hope as an inspirational speech. It was more a trusting one, and one built to remove Richard's doubt in Kuro. He needed to understand just what Kuro meant when he said what he had, to see beyond Kuro's face, and into his soul. Kuro had experience with that long ago, and only honed that skill with time, but he never expected anyone to share that ability, regardless of whether or not they did. It was not about showing off some skill others lacked, it was about forging understanding between two people. Even if Richard did abandon Kuro, that was fine. If after all that, he still had doubts in Kuro that he could not set aside, then there was no point. Kuro knew there would always be a trickle of doubt in Richard's mind, but it should be born of Kuro himself, not previous targets of Richard's expectations. Still, Kuro was no fool. Richard was faster than him, yes, but not fast enough for Richard to kill him before he could set out command seals for Richard to stop, even if it meant Richard had to die. Though, that would only be in the case of a full betrayal, rather than leaving. He was a man of his word, after all.

Even so... The Grail War would be almost over for Kuro, should Richard leave. He could steal another servant, yes, but Richard was a great servant as well, those parameters only proved it, regardless whether or not Richard was experienced in hand to hand combat. They would be facing unimaginable odds, especially in the case of Kuro. He fully intended to fight as many things as possible, be it Master, Servant, or Monster. Maybe even a building or two, if he could wing it. He had little chance of surviving this war, and it was apparent to all. Somehow, Kuro felt something in his soul stir.

Bonus: Log Pose
Location: Gubo

Fate Point Allocation:
Hard Worker - 1
God of Haki - 5

Last edited by Psychosis on Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:25 am; edited 1 time in total

2The Mad Mystic Empty Re: The Mad Mystic on Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:21 am


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