“Hey, wake up!” “Mh…” “Come on! Wake up!” “mhhh… yeah, I want another pie, grandma...” “Hey, dumbass! Get your fat-ass up already!”
“Wha…?” Arlana opened her eyes just as Sun dove “Auch!” the girl got up rubbing the small red spot on her forehead where Sun landed. “Are you going to wake me up like this every time, chicken brain?” she exclaimed, trying to slap the flaming sparrow who had escaped to a prudent distance from his master. Arlana rubbed her eyes and stretched before realizing she was standing in the middle of a strange arena, delimited by four tall towers and surrounded by a never ending and barren field. “What the…?” she whispered, staring at the distance “Where the hell are we?”
Sun was making circles over her head as she spoke and got closer to her when he spotted something in the arena “Hey, Lana” he said and the bird’s serious tone, so different from his usual, took Arlana by surprise “Check that out”
On the opposite side of arena, there was a young blond man that couldn’t be older than Arlana herself. The Tarot Apprentice didn’t know why but something about that guy was really getting on her nerves and she felt the compelling urge to beat the crap out of him and pummel his cute little face into the ground. “He seems like a total prick, right?” Sun muttered, filled with the same bloodlust as his friend “Let’s kick his ass”. Arlana nodded as she realized with morbid satisfaction that her Minor Arcana Deck was on her pocket, ready to be used.
He has no clue how exactly he ended up here, but he couldn't resist the urge to battle the person standing on the other side. Looking into her eyes, he knew the feeling is mutual. Without waiting for a signal, Ryan starts to walk in a surprising calm fashion towards the middle of the arena with an expressionless face. His body moves forward with halcyon steps, applying no excessive force on the title floor of the fighting stage, yet the ferocity behind his eyes could make grown men shit themselves. As he approaches closer to the center, following behind him like a shadow, an imagine begins to take shape. At first the air twists slightly around, but slowly the distortion outlines a somewhat invisible humanoid figure.
Color and details gradually reveal the identity of Monkey Master Momba, The gateway student's first and currently only familiar. Unlike the intensity that Ryan displays towards his opponent, the guardian spirit of the stigmata of summons seems to be in a rather annoyed mood, even more so once he witness the opponents ahead of him. "You call upon my tremendous power against a scrawny woman and a midget bird? Do you wish to spur my wrath boy." Not hearing a response from his master, the martial arts master releases a heavy breath from his hairy nostrils, which forces all the dust on the arena to shatter away in a tannish cloud. As they reach the middle of the ring, the combatant ceases his movement and gazes at his foes with utter contempt. Meanwhile Momba comments, "I refuse to engage in a duel beneath my prowess." He jumps backwards and lands gracefully on one of the towers while performing a quick flip. There he adjusts himself into a custom Zazen position with his tail levitating his body. Relaxing his breathing pattern, he gently closes his eyes and sends his mind on a journey to explore the cosmos.
As for Ryan, he is fully prepares to face off against this stranger and her pet. Normally he would bow to his opponents out of respect, but this time he shifts right into his fighting stance. His legs are bend slightly, with the distance between the heels being roughly a foot and a half. The leading foot turns inside on a 45 degree angle and the other pointing straight at his foe. His hands are on a equal level with his center of gravity. The front hand is open with its palm facing forward and the back hand turns into a loose fist with the palm facing the ground.
The Tarot Apprentice took a quick glance around the arena and her whole deck of cards marched through her head like a whirlwind of images as she went through the possibilities. Her opponent was impassive, his expression determined and his closed eyes irradiated a threatening aura of power as he adopted a relaxed martial pose. Realizing that the martial artist was too close for her to pick a card, Arlana took a few cautions steps back and pulled a random card out of her pocket with a swift movement.
The girl stopped a few meters away from the edge of the arena. She took a peak at the card and couldn’t help but to click her tongue in disgust. Almost indistinguishable on worn surface of the card, two rows of three wooden staffs faced each other and a brown number six appeared on the edges of the paper. “Sun! Buy me some time!” Arlana ordered, facing the card in front of her face and closed her eyes to concentrate. Sun, who had kept drawing bright golden circles over his master’s head, let go a challenging squeak and flew towards the sky until he reached the height of one of the towers. There he closed his wings and dove towards Ryan, gaining a vertiginous speed as he dashed head first into the young man. The attack was futile, of course. Sun’s small body couldn’t possibly by a threat to a member of the Hidden World like Ryan was but it would be a perfect distraction for Arlana. Sun would explode in a shining but harmless fire ball before the eyes of his opponent, trying to blind him for a few moments, before reappearing behind the boy. That was one of the perks of being a being made of pure magic.
As soon as Sun rose to the sky, Arlana put her whole mind on the card and let the magic of the cards fill her heart and body. Like a memory long forgotten brought back by a familiar smell, words began popping in her head and the girl let them flow through her lips as she chanted “Creativity of the peasantry, will of fire” with every word, her voice grew louder and stronger until it reached a powerful crescendo that shook the girl’s body as she freed the magic that rested deep within herself “Come! Six of Wands!”. With that last shout, the Tarot Apprentice threw the card in front of her just as Sun burst into flames.
Instead of simply falling into the floor in a ridiculous fashion, the Six of Wands hovered before it’s master and released a small shock wave when it’s power was unlocked, that caused the air around it to tremble like the ripple of a stone falling into a lake. Growing from the center, the card began to shine with a blinding white light and as the luminescence crawled into the edges, they seemed to blur and disappear. The magical power sealed inside of the card tried to escape, pushing the edges of its physical form until it couldn’t hold any longer and broke into six long light beams that pierced the air and flew behind Arlana, who’s eyes remained closed throughout the show. The shinning pieces of the card floated around the girl’s back before breaking like a glass, revealing six wooden staffs. Simple and rustic, the wands were thin at the base and wide at the top, in such a way that reminded of the powerful weapons of wizards from fairy tales and stories, like Merlin or Gandalf the Grey.
Right as Sun reformed behind Ryan, Arlana opened her eyes and extended her arm forward, with her open palm pointing right at her opponent. “Take this!” She exclaimed. All six of the wands turned in mid-air with their wider ends facing forward, and a small fire ball grew out of thin air in front of them. Like a musketeer squadron, the wands shot at the same time three consecutive barrage of scorching fire balls towards their master’s target.