Here I'll be posting various ryona scenes from stories I've written over the years (and continue to write.) The scenes in question involve my favorite thrashings and beatings. These are original characters only, so no fan favorites. Sorry bout that. Anyways, the scenes have been plucked out with little editing, so you'll be reading them out of context. For that reason I'll give a bit of description for each scene. And if people like the first one, I'll keep posting them. ---- FIGHT ONE from The Dream Crew, Chapter 2: the Sacrificial Lamb. The country of Hyjeria is recovering from a bloody civil war. The faction that came out on top was a group of cultists called the Priests of the Black Sun. No one outside of the cult's inner circles knows anything about the deity they worship, aside from the fact that it requires regular human sacrifice. The protagonists are fixers/problem solvers/bodyguards/mercenaries and general Jacks of All Trade. The main heroine, Aura, is still young and very wet behind the ears. She's fought in various tournaments, but has never taken a life. Her companions are Eron, a smartass blademaster, and Mic, a sorcerer with a surprisingly easy-going personality. The job they are on in this scene is to protect a young girl and escort her out of the city to safety. The reason is that the girl has been chosen by the priests as the next sacrifice. They almost made it to the port when they were spotted by an acolyte. Mic stayed with the girl while Aura and Eron chased after the acolyte to silence him before he could give away their position. ---- After a minute of running, Aura pulled the bow off of her shoulder and stopped for a brief moment to string it up before running again. Eron turned to her and placed a finger over his lips. Aura nodded, and the two began moving stealthily forward. They could hear voices drifting from a nearby alley. Eron and Aura stopped at the corner of a closed tavern and peered into the dark alley behind it. Their quarry was speaking to a group of six other darkly dressed men. Aura glanced at Eron apprehensively as they eavesdropped. "Shut up and just go!" the man said to one of the other acolytes. "Bring Master Garland here at once! There will be no need to fear his temper when he learns that the sacrifice has been found. He will want to collect her personally, I think. Now go!" One of the seven acolytes hurried off in the opposite direction from Aura and Eron, intent on finding Garland. Eron slowly unsheathed his scimitars, using extra care not to make any noise as he did so. "The man on the right is the one who saw us," Eron whispered so quietly that Aura could only just barely make out the words. "But I don't think he's going to separate from the rest of them." "What do we do?" Aura whispered back, petrified at the thought of a real fight -- one she might very well not survive. "Ambush them," he replied without hesitating. "Use the element of surprise. It's all we've got going for us. As a matter of interest, d'you think you can duplicate what you did against that dreamweaver thing?" Aura shook her head. "No, I don't think so." "Hmm. Well, it was worth asking. But one way or another, we're going to have to kill all six of those men. And then that Garland person when he comes, if we can." Eron took a deep breath, and Aura could see that he was gripping his swords so tightly that his knuckles had turned white. "You fire the first shot, and then I'll go charging in. I'll go in on the right, so you start shooting at the left. And don't hit me." Aura nodded grimly, swallowing. "Eron...have you ever killed anyone before?" "Once," he said simply. "But this isn't the time or place to talk about it." He smiled at her, but it seemed forced. "Are you ready?" Aura produced an arrow from the quiver on her back and nocked it onto the string. Taking a deep breath, she pulled back on the string, turned the corner and saw the six acolytes standing at the other end of the alleyway. She aimed the bow at the chest of one of the men on the left and released the string. The arrow sailed through the air, losing momentum and elevation much sooner than Aura had anticipated. It eventually found its target, albeit unintended, in the kneecap of one of the men. The acolyte screamed in agony as he fell to the ground, clutching his leg. The following events all happened in a blur to Aura, who was frantically reaching for her next arrow even though she couldn't take her eyes off the man she had just shot. The other acolytes did not react immediately, but just stared at their fallen comrade in dumbfounded shock as he rolled from side to side with an arrow tip jutting out the back of his leg and shaft sticking out the front. Eron, on the other hand, was quick on his toes, sprinting towards the group while hugging the far right side of the alley. Before Eron reached them, Aura succeeded in loading her bow with a second arrow and aimed it at another of the acolytes just as they turned to face her. Oddly enough, they did not seem to notice Eron charging straight for them. She released the arrow and watched it fly just past Eron and strike one of the robed men square in the chest. He stumbled back two steps and fell to a sitting position, blood pouring from his lips. The moment the second acolyte hit the ground, the scimitar in Eron's right hand met the exposed throat of another enemy who had been reaching in his robes for a weapon. He collapsed, blood spraying Eron's face and chest. By this point, the remaining three servants of the Black Sun were prepared to fight back, brandishing dark short swords. Two of them turned on Eron, swinging their blades furiously at him. Eron expertly matched their combined speed, but was unable to get in any attacks of his own; forced to play defensive against them. The third acolyte, a grotesquely large man, advanced on Aura, whose shaking hands were struggling to grasp a third arrow from the quiver. I...killed a man, the horrible thought ate at her in spite of the fact that her own death was staring her in the face and fast approaching. She loaded her bow a third time as her opponent closed the distance between them with almost unnatural speed. Her whole body trembled uncontrollably in violent spasms, even though she knew that she had to get control of herself now more than ever. She hurriedly pulled back on the string and released it, the bow shaking with her. The arrow struck his hand, forcing him to drop the blade, but he kept charging at her regardless. Panicking, she blindly grabbed at the arrows in her quiver, causing most of them to spill to the ground. Aura could see the gaps in the man's teeth by the time her fingers wrapped around the back of an arrow. She held it out defensively, knowing there wouldn't be enough time to load it onto the bow and fire it. The beast of a man barreled straight into Aura, impaling himself on the arrow just under the ribs. His momentum took Aura to the ground with him, and for a moment she thought he was dead. But somehow adrenaline kept him going, and Aura was pinned under this furious monster, who smelled something akin to old sweat and rotting meat. The collision had caused her bow and arrows to go sailing away from her, so she had nothing left to defend herself with. She flailed her arms, trying to strike him, but he acted as if he didn't feel a thing. He grabbed her neck with one meaty hand and squeezed tightly. Aura could immediately feel the air cut off from her lungs and she struggled to breathe. She tried to call for Eron, who was still fighting with the other two, but no sound came out. He lifted her head and neck up half a foot, then suddenly and forcefully slammed it back into the ground. White light exploded across her vision as her world was filled with immense pain. For a brief moment she lost track of herself and forgot where she was and what was happening, but then the man lifted her head up a second time and slammed it once more into the hard ground. Her arms, which had been clutching at her assaulter's robes, fell limply to the ground. Her green eyes rolled up into the back of her skull, and she could faintly feel some warm liquid spreading beneath her head. Everything had turned gray, and she could hear nothing going on around her but a piercing sound that rang from ear to ear. That second blow seemed to have drained all of her strength, as she was unable to move a single muscle. She would have panicked at her complete helplessness, but she didn't even have the energy for that. Instead, a dull dread worked its way through her that she would die within moments. A small groan escaped her lips. A terrible weight crushed down upon her all at once, and she felt as if she would suffocate from it. But it was a dead weight. Aura blinked rapidly, her sight returning to her. Her assailant was lying on top of her, limp and motionless. Her midsection was drenched in his blood. She shoved him off of her, grunting with the effort. She laid on her back, still sore and dizzy, panting heavily. She turned her head to the side -- and saw a furious, snarling face two feet from her own. The man she had shot in the kneecap had dragged himself toward her and lifted his blade up to strike her. Aura gasped loudly, her eyes bulging as the acolyte brought the blade down on her. She lacked the strength to roll herself over quickly enough to dodge it, so she raised her unprotected arms together over her face and neck. The sword struck her bare forearms with a sickening thud, slicing through the muscle and striking the bone. Aura screamed as the pain set in, tears flowing down her cheeks. The acolyte tried to remove the blade, but he was too weakened to do so and lost his grip, rolling onto his back. Aura scrambled to her feet, mouth gaping open in shock, the sword still stuck in her raised, blood-smeared arms. The man grabbed her ankle and she shrieked, reflexively kicking him in the face. The sudden jerk dislodged the blade from her left arm, and she doubled over from the fresh waves of pain. Crimson drops splattered on the ground from her open wound. The dizziness struck her like a mallet and she fell to her knees. The sword fell out of her right arm and clattered on the ground before her. Just about the entire length of the blade was stained red. The acolyte didn't move; Aura had kicked him harder than she thought. In fact, she had broken his neck. She swayed slightly, feeling sick from the blood loss and the blows to her head. Aura lifted her head to see Eron sparring with the last two acolytes. Both wore their hoods up, obscuring their facial features. The taller of the two lunged towards Eron, slicing downwards. Eron easily sidestepped the sloppy attack and countered with a horizontal slash. The acolyte fell backwards, blood spraying out of his throat. He was gurgling when he hit the ground, as if choking. Now faced with just one opponent, Eron advanced confidently. "You saw us back there," Eron said to him with a shake of his head. "That's just unlucky." The acolyte took a step back, unsure of his odds. He held out his dark blade defensively, but Eron effortlessly knocked it out of his hands. He stumbled back and fell into a sitting position. His cloak tore open from the forceful landing, ripping its clasp from its place. It rolled towards Eron and fell at his feet. Eron would have otherwise ignored it, but something about its shape caught his attention. His eyes widened as he registered what he was looking at, but Aura couldn't make it out. Eron stared at him in shock, his mouth hanging open. "A Black Skull...? You...?!" Eron's face slowly twisted into one of horror and disgust. "What?" the acolyte stammered, bemused. Eron lifted the tip of his blade towards the man's face, then flicked it up, forcing the man's hood up over his head and revealing his face. From her angle, Aura couldn't see him very well, but she did see that he was missing an ear. "I don't believe it..." Eron muttered. "You...you killed my parents!" His normally calm face was contorted in an expression that Aura had never before seen on him. His eyebrows angled down in fury, while his lips curled into a snarl. "You Black Skulls! Remember the Lissers?!" Understanding dawned on the man's face, and he quickly scurried to retrieve his blade. "Don't...!" Eron hollered, swinging his scimitar reflexively at him. The man's body slumped to the ground next to his sword. His head rolled several feet away from it. Eron breathed heavily, transfixed by the head on the ground. The hate in his eyes slowly melted away as he stared at it, horror and disgust taking its place. "Eron..." Aura muttered, carefully pushing herself to her feet. "I...I had to kill him," Eron said to Aura hesitantly, pointing at the body. "He was going for his sword; I had no choice!" "Don't gotta...'splain to me," Aura stammered groggily. "We came here to...kill them. Besides...he had it coming." She bent down and grabbed her bow and quiver, shoving all her arrows back into it. "But I shouldn't have," Eron shook his head. "Not like that. I was so..." "Ya don't gotta be proud of it," Aura said, slinging the quiver over her back. "But damn, man, let's get going already."