Note: The following events happen immediately after Seong Mi-na's Soul Blade ending, and the three years under which she was training herself (during Soul Calibur). It will then tie in with the main storyline (Soul Calibur 2) and continue until the end of her journey in Soul Calibur 3. The events that transpired during Mi-na's two-year training session without a master were never explained, and a few what-ifs will be thrown into the picture.

The sixteenth century, 1584.

Swords were dying and guns were rising forth.

It was an age of war where technology was matched against tradition. Stories would be told of men fighting and dying by the rifle and the cannon instead of swords and arrows. Other stories would be told of battles where the blade still held sway over life and death instead of a one-shot victory. Still, the tale that would be the center-point of this violent age was of a sword that could best firearms.

Unbreakable. Unstoppable. It made the bearer immortal- or, depending on which side of the legend was told, a monster. The truth however is more than any one man could bear... The weapon could cause whoever wielded it to transcend death. That is, if they give their soul in exchange.

Naturally, there are those with a strong enough will to withstand the whispers that echo within their minds- a weapon which told of how one could obtain power, and the fastest methods to do it. Methods which usually comprised of unspeakable horrors and atrocities that the wielder would normally not be able to execute.

Those who were able to withstand the lure of this weapon are few and far between. Those that have recovered from what they turned into will never be able to live normal lives. And then... there are those who have actually been granted immortality by the Soul Edge- those that have lived for so long that they are able to read the patterns of time. Not control, for that isn't their way; simply read. Through the lives of others, they have seen that history tends to repeat itself time and time again, in a loop of causality.

Time is a line, and karma is a circle. In the martial arts, the circle trumps the line. But there are some who can simply break through the circle instead of being trapped inside of it. This tale is about several individuals who had this capability, and though they were small elements of a bigger picture, they were the strongest of the age.

For there are more weapons than just Soul Edge and Soul Calibur to speak of. Weapons that had voices of their own- a sentience and intelligence. And like the other two weapons, they can be used for good... or evil.

She had run away. Again. Not a surprise, for those who knew her well enough. She was tired of the training, the idea of marriage didn't strike her fancy (hell, the idea of marrying someone like Hwang didn't strike her fancy), and she had been proposed to on top of that by someone who didn't know a lick about fighting and less about what she had been through (which wasn't much, seeing as she had been out of the dojang for only a few months).

Which was enough for her to get the itch to get on the road.

Unfortunately, that wasn't even the last straw. She could handle a few bugs- pesky suitors here and there were of no consequence. But what she couldn't handle was being forced into a marriage that she neither had a say in, nor wanted to participate in.

That said, Seong Mi-na took the first chance she could get in leaving. And frankly, it wasn't that hard to do. Once again, the weapon she had carried with her everywhere she went had to come with her as well. But frankly, she had to consider what exactly do do now that she had once again slipped beyond the gates. She had little money, a long route to travel, and she suspected, not much time. Because her father would probably send him after her... again.

Hwang Seong-gyeong. That irritating man.

'I can't run into Hwang again like last time, no matter what. I have to be in the last place he'd find me. I can't try and get into the Coastal Defense Force, either- my father and the Admiral know each other too well. I would just be sent back home...' Frankly, there was only one choice for it.

'The Soul Edge... it's out there somewhere. All I have to do is just get it from whoever has it, and I'm set for life! No one will ever think less of me ever again! Who knows? Even the Coastal Defense might let me in.' That said, she started heading down the same path she took last time. Naturally, the stories continued speaking of something going down in the West. Then again, what wasn't going down over there these days?

And so, in less than three months, she had crossed the border to China, and would run into quite a great many things here...

"Hold it right there, miss. This is our city... and you have to pay a toll to get through."

...The first being a group of thieves. The brunette rolled her brown eyes in irritation as she pulled out her six foot long, ninety pound pole arm and brought it to bear. It made the brigands laugh heartily, but the sixteen year old girl retained eye contact. She didn't seem to be playing around. "I don't have time for you. Move," she stated.

"Awww, just give up," one of them said as she assumed a fighting stance. "That damn thing is too big for someone as scrawny as you. You're better off giving us your money and that weapon- let a man handle the thing." They had mostly dao- probably stolen from someone who was either unlucky or foolish. One of them actually had a straight sword- a jian- and showed considerable skill with it.

'Five of them... The straight sword goes first. The others will follow suit,' the woman calculated in her head. And as expected, she heard something behind her. The guy was in for a quite rude awakening as he came charging in, thrusting with his straight sword. The tip of the weapon was the sharpest thing on there... and he was going straight for the kill, as always. She dodged by turning her body to the left, allowing both the blade and the man behind it to pass harmlessly by while whirling the weapon over her head to gather momentum. With that, she cut horizontally towards the back of his head, aiming to take it clean off of the shoulders.

Missed... her shins and ankles were the next target, but she followed through with the stroke and jumped over the attack. A she landed, the young woman settled into a stance with one hand behind her, loosely gripping the long-handled broadsword near the hand guard while the other was held out in front of her, palm forward. A mere moment later, the man rushed again, cutting and turning with each attack. To everyone's amazement though, The Korean woman used the long-handled cleaver as if it were a feather on the end of a reed.

After a particularly close shave next to her right ear, sparks flying as the flat of the blade narrowly deflected the incoming thrust, the woman brought the back end of her weapon into play, stepping forward with her back leg and jamming the counter weight into his ribs. The man flew backwards a good seven feet, and the woman followed, leaping into the air with a circular motion before hacking downwards with all of her weight behind the stroke.

The man saw it coming at the last second and managed to roll out of the way, but it was a close thing as dust and debris flew from the road below. He was in no position to counter as she withdrew the weapon, and just in case he tried anything she began stepping backwards, twirling the weapon from one side to another. He didn't, but he did call for backup. "Dammit, help me in here before I get carved!"

They did, two of them jumping into the fray, one from behind and one to her left. Now, one would think that she was now at a disadvantage, holding a weapon that required one's entire body to swing, and without a margin for error. But when the two men attacked, they all forgot the wide arc that the weapon had. And the fact that she'd been training with the weapon for as long as she could remember.

Which was quite a long while.

So it was a huge surprise when she swung the massive blade in said wide arc with blinding speed, immediately pulling out of her twirl as soon as she felt the malicious intent from behind her. It took all they had just to block the thing while on the move. A good question however would be whether they could do it twice. Mi-na swung the weapon over her head and went in another wide, sweeping circle, catching one of them off guard and making the other retreat. The man that was caught off guard was caught clean with the heavy, wide blade. He went down hard, and he was stained red.

'One. But not the straight sword... this isn't going as I planned.'

And naturally, it would only get worse as the wielder of the jian charged in again, stabbing and piercing, attempting to throw Mi-na off. Still, even at a fairly close range, she managed to fend him off. And then his buddy that she had successfully fended off from her left side came in to make it a bit more difficult... still, it was where she excelled. She had done this several times back home. Two, three, four, didn't matter how many.

The other two waited in the wings, watching her movements. They were still deciding on whether to fight or flee. Meanwhile, their buddies were finding themselves literally getting kicked around. One of them caught a hard side kick in his ribs at close range, the woman's heel breaking three of them and sending him a good ten feet back. The other had his weapon caught against the edge of her broad blade at the same time, effectively nulling the attack.

The guy with the bad left side wouldn't be getting back up. And just as soon as he fell, another man with a miao dao came in. 'Incoming two-handed fighter. Seems interesting enough.' No, she didn't miss the sound of him approaching. She was forced on the defensive again as the two attackers redoubled their efforts, and was slowly losing ground...

And behind her was the wall of a building. The man with the jian had just about had enough of the battle, and chased after Mi-na with renewed vigor. His accuracy hadn't lessened a bit, and Mi-na had to parry more attacks than she could count. "You... are getting... annoying!" She wasn't lying- he was determined to gouge her eyes out or a few other things that weren't very nice.

But there was a problem- while she wasn't tiring out, he was. Apparently, the guy hadn't finished his training when he was recruited with the bandits. That said, she started getting bolder with her movements, stepping into his attacks and forcing him to defend against what naturally could not be defended. The sheer power of the weapon overwhelmed him... and with a final turn to the right as soon as he charged forward again, and then another half turn as she brought the guan dao to bear, the flat side of her blade rammed into the back of his head, thus slamming him face-first into the wall.

Another one down. Now that he had been taken care of, there were the others... wait a minute...

"Hey, where are you going?" She saw them running off, clearly terrified. She chuckled and cleaned off her blade, wondering if there was anyone else to play with before she headed further into Peking. Then there was the guy with the broken ribs, who was just hobbling away. She decided to let that one go- no use in humiliating him any further. But of course, as she was coming down from her combat high (which was one of the things she just loved), she once again felt like she'd walked a thousand miles instead of fighting five people.

"Ugh... sleep needs me and I need sleep," she muttered to herself. "It's inn time."

With that, she picked their pockets, finding a good amount of money on both the dead man and the unconscious one. Unbeknownst to her as she headed for lodgings, someone was watching from a nearby roof. She seemed quite interested on the direction the fight was taking. Perhaps if she followed a bit further, she would most likely learn what exactly the young woman was up to. For the moment, she was on the move, and had shown considerable skill in fending off the bandits.

'I wonder what will become of her,' she mused to herself as she continued following, leaping from one roof to the next. With rumors about the Soul Edge flying about, she had to follow any lead she could get. And right now, her lead was the very familiar brown haired sixteen year old below her.

Soon, the Korean was moving through the country, and in a month through various means of travel, she was done with the first leg of her journey. It wasn't long now before she reached the West. And notably along the way, she learned quite a bit of mandarin. In the next three short months, she was pretty solid in the knowledge of the language- solid enough to start asking certain questions.

'All these stories- they all point west... the only bad news is, that's a lot of ground to cover, and it tells me nothing I don't know already. I need names and faces. Not to mention this man in blue armor...' The very mention of him placed a tingle in her spine. But it wasn't one of fear- no. Rather, it was one of excitement- a truly strong opponent was out there somewhere. 'Whoever he is, he'd better watch out!' With this quite determined train of thought, she continued moving.

Within two short months, she was within the capital And the deal simply got better from there... she had been lucky enough to run into someone who had the exact information that she wanted... it was in a place where she had been eating one day during her stay. Overhearing a conversation about the weapon, she inquired about its whereabouts.

"Hell, I don' t know," one of the men said. "For all I can tell, it's just a fairy tale. Everyone seems to be clamoring around for it, though. It does seem to be the real thing, if so many are searching for it." Another man spoke up. "Come to think of it, I hear stories of a tall woman with silver hair looking for the Soul Edge. From what I've gathered, I'm betting you'll find her in Italy... it's a ways from here, though. You're going to need a good horse to get there."

Mi-na shrugged and said, "Oh, that'll be easy enough to get, trust me. Thanks!"

She remembered that she hadn't even made it this far last time. She couldn't help but snicker to herself. 'Now, that Hwang won't ever find me! I'll get to find the sword before he even takes note of my absence. Who knows? Maybe I'll get to have a bit more fun this time.'

In any event, she did find herself a horse- a good one at that- and made her way in much shorter order towards the city of the Renaissance. Following the silk road that covered most of southern Asia at the time, the boat she ended up on took her straight to Venice and towards another lucky break. Unfortunately, it would be her last lucky break. Because soon, she caught up with the woman she was in pursuit of. She was a good five-foot-ten and looked quite imposing.

'Ah, well. Doesn't matter how tall you are- I'll get you to answer my questions.' She managed to walk up to the woman and asked her for the information she so sought. Fortunately, the strange woman seemed to understand what she was getting at, because she stopped in her tracks and turned towards the brunette. The woman with cold blue eyes regarded Mi-na for a moment, then said in an almost condescending voice, "You don't understand what you're talking about. That sword is one of disaster. It's not going to save your country- it's going to destroy it."

Mi-na stood there, shell-shocked. After a moment of pause however, she narrowed her eyes. "What do you mean, destroy it? It's supposed to be a sword for heroes, right?" The older woman chuckled and stated, "You shouldn't be foolish enough to listen to every bedtime story you hear... little girl."

Uh oh. She had flipped a switch.

"Little... girl?" Mi-na raised her guan dao towards the silver-maned woman and furiously challenged, "I dare you to call me that again after I run you into the ground." The woman smirked and responded, "That's not a very good way to react, now is it? I think I'll call you baby instead. Perhaps you should go back home and play with your toys. Leave the demon hunting to someone more along in years."

That was it. "RrrrrrrAAAAAAGH!"

Mi-na came charging forward, guan dao raised high in the air. As she leapt forward, she noticed the woman withdrawing a sword that couldn't be any more than three feet long. No match. She wore that same confident smirk, though. It made her all the more irate. "I'll wipe that grin off of your face, you"


She suddenly found herself flying a few feet through the air, helplessly heading towards the ground. And she had a welt on the right side of her waist big enough to cause considerable worry. As she recovered, she looked closely at the woman, her expression puzzled... 'What the hell!? I was just about to get to the good part! Maybe I should move a bit faster...' Which she did as soon as she picked herself up. Her considerable leg strength propelled her forward until the world around her blurred. "I got you now!"

The woman said nothing- she simply waited. Mi-na pivoted on her left foot and cut viciously towards her intended target, the long handled broadsword sweeping from left to right. Unfortunately, the attack was handily stopped. She was simply hit before she could even finish her move, getting knocked to the left this time instead of the right. Another stinging welt, this time on her lower back.

"Are you quite done yet? I haven't got all day to play with you, little baby."

Mi-na grimaced, getting up on her feet. "I... am not... a CHILD!" She rushed again, all sense lost. She almost literally saw red, her cuts becoming wild and uncontrolled. Unfortunately, she got whipped like a child that was throwing a tantrum, or a horse that was working too slow for the rider's intentions.

Soon, she could barely stand... and fell to one knee.

The woman shook her head and said, "As stated before... go home. If you can't fight, you have no place looking for Soul Edge." With that, she made her way off into the distance. A sizable crowd had gathered, and now they were parting ways, some of them jeering a bit. One man however, managed to guffaw and chortle shamelessly. She noticed that a staff was in his right hand- he mostly used it for a walking stick though, to hold him up while he staggered about.

"Oh, that was rich! I'm glad I came over here t'see this... thanks for the show, babe. And maybe you shouldn't be so hasty to attack, baby." Unfortunately, one of the most hated words in her vocabulary had been spoken, and by a guy who she was surprised could form sentences. 'He's drunk out of his mind, and he's treating ME like a child?'

"I am NOT a little baby, DAMN YOU!!"

It was a surprise she could even move, but she did. Her anger gave her that extra boost she needed... but he didn't even have to move, dodge, or anything else. All he did was raise a hand and grab the part of the shaft that was just underneath the blade. She was stopped cold, and couldn't seem to move. As she struggled against his steady grip, he chuckled.

"See? 'S important t' watch who yer fightin'."

He released the rod just as Mi-na pulled back, and she tumbled unceremoniously to the ground. Okay, now her butt hurt. 'All that, even while he was plastered... I was just about to hit him and he moved so fast!' While she was mulling this over, the man nodded and said, "Well, it was fun, but I gotta get back. My drink's a-waitin'!"

It was then that Mi-na looked up and saw him leave. Or rather, stumble away. If he could keep his focus even during an intoxicated state like that, then... "Wait. I said, wait!" He stopped and turned towards the now standing, and bruised, Seong Mi-na. "What's wrong now? You need a drink too?" She rolled her eyes and said, "No, I need you to train me."

The guy looked like he'd laugh again. "Listen, I ain't got time to train nobody, girl. 'Sides, I'm just an old guy- what would you learn from me, hmm?" Mi-na's eyes narrowed. "Well for starters, how'd you do that? Block me without lifting that staff of yours, I mean. It was so quick I couldn't see you move..."

The man smirked. "Awww, that? Probably wouldn't understand it if I told ya. Now, let me be, got it?" He turned to leave... and as soon as he took three steps, he heard something behind him. "I said leave me be! C'mon now, I don't have time."

"No," she said adamantly. "You have something that I need to learn, and I want to learn it, old man." He raised an eyebrow and said, "There're others that can teach ya. Can't you bug someone else?" Mi-na shook her head and continued following him. "Please? I need to get stronger so I can protect my country! If you had anything you cared about, you'd listen!"

He stopped. After a momentary pause, he said, "Kid... I lost what I cared for a long time ago. It's why I'm over here drinkin'. Not like you'd understand- I doubt you've lost anything that was truly important to you." Mi-na had no response. The man sighed and turned around, eying the girl with a bleary-eyed stare.

"...Fine. But only if you'll leave me alone for a bit. I need my drink. Meet me out here tomorrow, same place. I know a good quiet spot where we can do all this... training thing or whatever. Just don't be late, all right?"

Mi-na managed to nod her assent.

When it came to training, Mi-na was never late. NEVER. So the next day, there she was, standing at the same place where she had fought that woman. Nonetheless, she did have doubts. Well wouldn't you as well, when you'd just gotten your ass handed to you after being so confident?

'I lost. And so easily, too. Nothing I did worked at all, and I've been training for how long? Years. Since I was much younger. So if I can't beat someone like her, who can I beat? Can I fight at all? Maybe she was right- maybe I should go back home again...'

And then, an attack came forth from behind her, without her hearing it until the last second. 'What!? How did he-' Nothing. She didn't get hit. She turned her head to look behind her shoulder... and found that the weapon was two inches from the back of her head. "You gotta learn to pay more attention, girl. Might get hurt that way. Be lucky I didn't use all my force. You wouldn't have seen, much less heard it coming."

She didn't doubt that. As soon as she turned around, she saw another staff in his hand. Made of rattan instead of his much harder oak, he tossed it to her. It was easily six feet, just as long as her guan dao. Weighed less, too. "You're training with this until you can get it right. Understand?" She did nothing but nod. 'If I don't get this right, I'm going to lose the Soul Edge to someone else! I can't afford to make one mistake... So for now, I have to just shut up and listen to what he says.'

Even if he was drunk... and didn't entirely shave or take care of his hair... and smelled funny... This was going to most likely be a long bout of training. He stumbled around today, kind of like yesterday... "Um... have you been drinking all night? I'm surprised you can even stand."

The man chuckled and said, "You wanna say that when you come over here and attack me? I promise I won't bite... Not too hard, anyway." With that, she settled into a stance and smirked. "Oh, that sounds fun. Let's do this!" After getting into a stance where she has the weapon behind her, Mi-na charges forward before whirling the weapon over her head and turning with her body weight... only to have him slip underneath it, bending backwards at a seemingly impossible angle. The only thing about that was she would only swing around a second time, forcing him to bend backwards again.

Once that was done, she threatened to send him stumbling backwards with a vertical stroke in the downwards direction, aiming for his chest and the general area of his head. Just when it seemed she would hit him, he stumbled to his right instead, almost toppling over. Mi-na wasted no time in following him, doing her best to try and land a hit on him. Unfortunately, she got snubbed, every hit being aptly defended against as he retreated.

'What!? He just blocked every attack I threw at him! I know he's wasted- I can smell it on him. So how is he able to defend himself?' She swung right at his head, only to have him suddenly drop to the ground in a reclining position. 'Okay, now he's toying with me...'

The man chuckled. "What's the matter? Don't think you can beat an old, drunk man?" She said nothing, only leaping into the air, bringing her weapon over her head as she did so. As she landed, the rod came straight down on her opponent, only for him to kick straight at her from his position. Quite hard, at that. Mi-na was naturally sent flying after that, her rattan staff going one way with her sailing the other direction. After a distance of four feet, she landed in a pile on the ground, her weapon properly disarmed.

'No way. Now I can't even beat a drunkard? I'm never gonna recover from this.'

Thing was, the man noticed her frustration. He was far more insightful than she knew at the moment... "Get up and get your weapon. You ready to learn now?" She stayed down on the ground for a bit longer. That fall really hurt... but after a bit, she rose to her feet and walked over towards her weapon. It might hurt a bit, but she would most likely benefit in the end.

Especially if she wanted the Soul Edge for her country. But the thought in the back of her mind still existed. The woman had said it was an evil weapon. Did such things exist? Were there really swords that could think for themselves? If there were... well, she'd just have to find out for herself, wouldn't she? And even if her story didn't have any merit to it, she would still get what she came for.

No matter what it took...

The black-haired woman had a Japanese look and feel to her as she moved silently through the European alleyways. Her dark red body suit covered her almost entirely, stopping just at the shoulders. Though it did everything it could to accentuate her features and provided little in the way of defense, leather and tempered steel armor, forged by her own hand, gave her ample protection against various methods of attack. The red outfit went all the way up her neck to the jaw, and then beyond, covering her mouth and nose; thus, her more distinguishable features were concealed. She stood at five feet, seven inches and weighed in at one hundred and seventeen pounds, without a trace of fat on her well-toned body. Slanted brown eyes had a focused and intent gaze as she trailed her mark through the shadows, which she had done so effectively for a while now, without getting caught.

She was kunoichi, and her name was Taki. A demon huntress by trade who was blessed with supernatural abilities, she was a member of a hidden sect of ninja who were destined to combat the evils of this world. Demons were real, and evil did have physical form and spiritual power, and these ninja were sworn to protect the world against it. Right now, she had suspicions about the one that she was stalking, and they were growing surer by the minute.

The woman she had been trailing for the past two days now through the country was hard to miss. Cold blue eyes, silver hair, and knew more about the Soul Edge than most people that searched for it. That fact had been proven at the battle near one of the bridges that spanned the multiple canals in Venice.

She had spoken as if she were directly connected with the blade, and knew that it was innately evil. That, plus the weapon that she carried, which appeared to change shape at her will, told the demon-killer much. But it did not tell her enough. Thus, she followed the woman through the city, keeping track of what she did, what places she usually frequented, what people said about her and around her. Especially the words. Words were information, and information was power for a spy.

A spy also needed weapons, and the ninja had two of her own. One of them was sheathed behind her right shoulder, angling to the left. It was a kodachi that was blessed with sacred power- a weapon that Taki had forged herself. And its power to slay evil spirits and heal the wounded was weakening, overcome by a much more sinister force. The weapon sheathed at her lower back had a much more ominous design. It was still a seemingly ordinary kodachi, but the similarities to the weapon ended there. It was a demon sword, and its energy was terrible once it was unsheathed from its resting place.

Even when she held the grip, Taki felt an immense wave of power run through her, as if an electric current rushed along her skin. But she knew what it really was- the blade wanted blood, and gave the wielder the power to spill it. Any others who would grip this weapon would have given in. Taki had not- at least not yet. It was an advantage however that the blade could sense power nearby. Specifically, power that was evil; tainted in some way, shape or form. Cursed individuals who had nothing left to lose.

And the weapon trembled, even though it was still in its sheath. That woman was approaching her position, no doubt. Taki slipped into the shadows, almost as if she were melting into them, and for a moment she did indeed appear to have vanished without a trace. Walking just before the opening in the alley was that woman with silver hair. The odd clothing she wore made her stand out even more, making the ninja sure that she was on the right track.

Emerging from the shadow after a few moments, she continued pursuit... and then stopped in her tracks. A glint of sunlight off of a metal object was what she saw, and on an intuitive level she knew what it was. Her instincts and emotions screamed to get out of the way, and she listened. Taki's body turned to the right side, and not a second too soon. The kodachi sheathed at her lower back did not tremble- it whined now. Resonated in time with the whip-like sword that was currently passing two inches in front of her nose.

'As I suspected. It is cursed.'

As the weapon retreated, a voice called out from the far end of the alley. "Isn't this just my day? First a whining baby, and then a dishonorable stalker! Do you want to know what the Soul Edge is as well?" Taki responded rather smoothly, unperturbed by the woman's cold persona. "No. I already know what it is. And I also know that your weapon has been touched by its evil. Discard it at once- it is tainted."

For a brief moment, there was silence. And then, as if she had a part of her insulted, the woman's tone of voice lowered dangerously. As she stepped into the sunlight that filtered into the narrow alley "How dare you... this blade is not tainted- I created it with my own two hands. It was made to destroy that cursed blade, and cannot be a part of it. After all, I am in control of it, and it does not command me."

With that, she took a step backwards with her lead leg, reeling backwards with her right hand as she did so. "Allow me... to demonstrate!" The weapon glowed with a deep, menacing purple aura for a moment before shooting outwards again, aimed for the ninja's midsection. With little room in the corridor to move, Taki made do with what room she had and ran up the right side of the alley, her feet almost sticking to the wall. The blade passed underneath her lower back, skimming the sheathed kodachi that rested there. It howled in pleasure.

Taki felt something move underneath her after three steps, and dared not look behind her as she kicked off of the wall, throwing her legs over her head as she did so. A back flip off of the wall, and not a moment too soon, because that razor-sharp, multi-sectioned whip was headed upwards mere inches from Taki's body.

The ninja had gone far enough to plant her feet on the opposite wall before launching herself towards the woman, the kodachi that was sheathed behind her now exposed to the open air and aimed for the woman with the sword chain, poised to land in her throat, forehead, nose bridge, or anything else that was a vital target.

The whip simply moved slightly up and to the right... before ramming downwards towards the incoming human projectile. It appeared to be the end of the line... until the ninja twisted in mid-air, rotating her body counter-clockwise. The weapon missed again, and now there was nothing that could be done besides an evasion as she turned to her left and took a few steps back.

Or rather, was forced to take a few steps back. It was too close... fighting from a distance seemed not to be a problem for this one!

As the ninja tucked again before she hit the ground, she caught a glimpse of the weapon changing back to its original form. She wanted to know how that happened... but only for a brief moment before she landed, turned, and rushed forward with a horizontal swing to the right with the blessed kodachi. All in the same instant.

The attack was blocked, though the silver-haired woman had to compensate for her attacker's speed. Lighter weapons, more agility, uncanny speed.

"Just who are you? Why do you want the Soul Edge?"

Taki attacked again, providing no clear answer. Her left knee punched upwards towards the woman's midsection while the weapons were still held in place. It would have been the perfect time to attack with the opposite kodachi, but for some odd reason, she was wary of using that other sword. "That is none of your concern," Taki droned as the knee connected. As the woman was popped slightly into the air and came down again, Taki placed her hands on her adversary's shoulders and jumped upwards onto her upper back before jumping upwards again, using her as an impromptu springboard.

A single back flip in the air, and then WHAM. The woman cried out in pain as she was forced down to one knee, the pressure on her shoulders and upper back overwhelming her senses for a moment. Before she knew what was going on, Taki was up and over again. The woman got up a bit slowly from that. Too slowly.

WHAM. A second landing, and this time the combination of the second jump's height and Taki's own body weight forced the silver-haired warrior to the ground, quite hard. The kunoichi casually performed a back walkover to remove her feet from her opponent's back, then causally folded her arms in front of her chest.

"You will tell me... what I need to know. Where is Soul Edge?"

The silver-haired woman got up with quite a bit of effort, her shoulders and trapezius muscles in a world of hurt. Blood streamed down her face from a cut in her forehead, almost getting into her eyes. "I refuse. There is nothing to tell- and even if there were, I wouldn't tell you."

Taki began to formulate a response, but the kodachi at her lower back seemed to pulse and throb. It wanted to make her bleed even more. Taki had an inclination to oblige it- this woman was annoying her greatly. Still, the weapon was starting to become unstable. She could not stay for long. "We will finish this some other time," she said as she took a few steps backwards into the shadows.

There were no footsteps, no sounds of retreat. Taki had simply vanished.

'What the hell was that about?' the woman with silver hair brooded as she stood again, dusting herself off. She had a hard time of that rather simple action due to her shoulders and upper back being in a substantial amount of pain. "...Bitch," she muttered as she walked away.

Taki, meanwhile, was on another roof in the city, out of sight from the crowds passing below. She did not notice that she was bleeding until now- there was a superficial cut along her left side. Her mind flashed back to the dive where the whip had almost descended upon her, and realized that it was closer than she had expected. Taki, with a grimace of sheer disdain, decided to voice her opinion about the woman she had been pursuing. "...Bitch."

Perhaps it was fate that they had said the same thing at the same time.

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