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 The Melancholy of Medicine (Boss Encounter)

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SoloWingPixy

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PostSubject: Re: The Melancholy of Medicine (Boss Encounter)   Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:31 pm

(Poison Gathers [Passive] - 79, Status Effect: Downed)
(Passive - Flowers of Antimony)
Dixi - 63
Ferro - 87, 72
Jane - 81
Shovel Knight - 1

The poisonous fog hanging over the flower field began to grow denser as time went on, making it harder and harder to avoid breathing it in. Even Shovel Knight, out of breath as he was from using the War Horn, was unable to avoid taking a deep breath of toxic air.

(Shovel Knight - Shovel Hop - 63)
Shovel Knight jumped high into the air, holding his shovel blade-down as if trying to re-enact a reversed Excalibur on Medicine's head. However, the flower field had other plans, and several vines shot up to intercept the azure warrior's descent. Unable to fully control his momentum in mid-air, he couldn't stop two of the vines from striking him directly, knocking him off-course and sending him tumbling to the ground. He pushed himself to his feet surprisingly quickly for a man wearing such heavy armor, and he swung his shovel at the vines starting to creep closer to him, warding them off.

(Dixi - Vortex Crusher - 56, Stun - 47)
Meanwhile, Dixi had had enough of this nonsense. Weakened though she might have been, her aim was still just as good as it always was, and her furious charge ended with her elbow striking directly against the side of Medicine's head, knocking the malicious doll away from Ferro.

(Ferro - Struggle - 14)
However, this didn't seem to have any effect on the vines holding Ferro in place, and they still refused to budge, no matter how hard he thrashed his body.

(Jane - Distracting Display - 53)
As Medicine came to a stumbling stop from taking her first direct blow from these intruders, she noticed a strange light in the corner of her eye. Turning to face it, she saw that it was some kind of flare, headed straight for her! She closed her eyes and threw her arms in front of her face to block it out, and at the same time, a large lily-of-the-valley burst out of the ground in front of her, pointing itself toward the incoming light. The light careened right into it, and the flower quickly closed its petals over it, the blinding light reduced to occasional pulses as it remained trapped within the flower's petals. After a few moments, the light dissipated completely, and the flower returned to its former resting position on the ground.

Lowering her arms, Medicine saw her enemies arrayed in front of her, ready to retaliate for the damage she'd done to the bound monk. Narrowing her eyes, she was about to step forward and meet their challenge when she heard Marie's voice again, this time much closer.

Medicine whirled around, her eyes wide. "You're still here?! I told you to—" Her teeth were clenched with anger, but her jaw slowly hung open as Marie's words registered to her. "Wh..." She staggered back a step. She couldn't believe what she was hearing. "What are you...talking about, Marie?"

Suddenly, realization dawned on her.

"Oh, no..." She whispered. "They...they got to you, didn't they?" Her head lowered, until her hair fell in front of her eyes. "I'm..." When she looked back up at Marie, her face was stricken with grief. "I'm so sorry."

The flowers started to shift beneath Marie's feet.

"This is for your own good," she whispered.

(Medicine - Turn Pass due to Marie's interference)

Before Marie could react, several vines suddenly burst up from the soil and started winding themselves around her arms and legs. Unlike with the four intruders, these vines were more careful with how they held her, seemingly trying to avoid causing any kind of damage or pain. "Marie..." Medicine said quietly. "I'm sorry it had to be this way. I promise, once this is all over, I can help you forget what these monsters have done to you. I...I can fix you."

Her gaze dropped down, as if she couldn't bear to look at Marie any longer. "Take her to the cottage," she said quietly. Her eyes narrowed, and her voice began to rise. "And once this is over, if she ever so much as winced in pain, I'm going to tear you right out of the ground myself!" With that threat hanging in the air, she turned to face the intruders once again, as the vines began dragging Marie back toward the cottage up the hill.

Dixi: 28 Willpower + Dizzy + Weakened (2/4 strength, 3 turns remaining) (3 Poison stacks)
Ferro: 23 Willpower + Bound + Winded + Unsteady (8 Poison stacks)
Jane: 30 Willpower + Dizzy (3 Poison stacks)
Shovel Knight: 30 Willpower (0 Magic remaining) (1 Poison stack)

Medicine: 74 Stamina (Downed ready)

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<<Those horns...she can't be human!>>
<<She's like a demon...>>
<<That kind of midara...they call a Demon Lord.>>


Last edited by SoloWingPixy on Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Melancholy of Medicine (Boss Encounter)   Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:34 pm

Shovel grunted as his body was whacked by the vines. As he hopped to his feet, he knocked some of the vines away, before dashing towards the bound monk. The doll's attention was pre-occupied. With a grunt, he swung his shovel at the vines. "I'll help you!"

(Dig Slash)
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PostSubject: Re: The Melancholy of Medicine (Boss Encounter)   Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:17 pm

"No, they didn't do anything to me! Please, don't do this!!" Marie cried out as she was carried away to the cottage, something slowly unearthing within her. "I...I won't let you do this!" Strength welling up in her spirit, she made attempts to break away from the vines' hold on her, certain that their more cautious hold will make it easier for her.
-Struggle-
Ferro growled as he felt the vines maintain their tight rein on his frame, thrashing around and even sending a bit of magic through his staff to sharpen its blunt edge into a blade to cut himself free from within.
-Struggle-

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PostSubject: Re: The Melancholy of Medicine (Boss Encounter)   Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:00 pm

"Marie!" After seeing Marie being taken away, Dixi rushed to her aid "I'll free you in a second, Marie!"

(Attack vines)


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PostSubject: Re: The Melancholy of Medicine (Boss Encounter)   Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:53 am

Jane let out a sigh of relief when Medicine turned her attention away from Ferro. She had tried every trick in her arsenal. Every trick, except one. How could she be so blind. Medicine's weakness was right there. She felt a little bad about what she had to do, but she hoped Marie would forgive her. She moved up towards Medicine.
"You should probably focus on Marie. You don't want her to get hurt in the crossfire." Jane whispered. She figured this was the best way to protect the group on the whole, given she had figured that Medicine didn't want to see Marie hurt.

(Commanding Tone)
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PostSubject: Re: The Melancholy of Medicine (Boss Encounter)   Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:51 am

(Passive - Flowers of Antimony)
Dixi - 68
Ferro - 56, 82
Jane - 46
Shovel Knight - 16

Strange as it was to be fighting both an opponent they could see and the very Earth they stood on, the party was starting to get used to their predicament. With Medicine's attention being temporarily focused on Marie, they were all given a moment to get their bearings, and were able to keep themselves from breathing in too much of the poisoned air.

(Ferro - Struggle - 57)
With a frustrated growl, Ferro decided that he needed a little more than brute strength to escape these damned vines. Using some magic to sharpen the end of his staff into a cutting blade, he started slicing back and forth, cutting through the vines and eventually tearing through enough of them for him to force the rest away from him. When he landed on his feet, his eyes immediately went to Marie. He needed to help her!

(Marie - Struggle - 53, 30 - Advantage due to weakness of hold)
Or...maybe not. The vines binding her seemed hesitant to exert any unnecessary force on her, as if they were scared of Medicine's earlier threat to them. Either way, though they put up significant resistance against her struggles, she managed to wrench one of her arms free, giving her free rein to force the other vines to drop her to the ground.

(Shovel Knight - Dig Slash - 95)
(Dixi - Dark Flash - 81)
While this was happening, Dixi and Shovel Knight were both racing for their bound allies. When they saw that Ferro and Marie had both managed to free themselves, however, the two fighters turned their attention toward Medicine. As one, they charged toward her, Dixi's bare fists just as dangerous as Shovel Knight's eponymous weapon.

However, Medicine saw the duo coming a mile away. She leaped backward to avoid their simultaneous attack, and kept stepping backward as vines and thorned flowers continuously sprouted up to slow and trip up her attackers.

(Jane - Commanding Tone - 93)
This put her right in Jane's path, and Medicine froze as she heard Jane's voice whispering to her from behind. She whipped around to face the intruder, but hesitated as Jane's words played over again in her head. Marie...that's right. Was she okay?

A quick glance to her left showed that Marie was more than fine, actually, having somehow escaped from the vines holding her by herself. Medicine scowled and turned back toward the intruder. She remembered this one pretending to be slightly more reasonable than her allies, which made Medicine's poisons churn all the quicker in anger. At least the others didn't try so hard to delude themselves into thinking they were something they weren't.

"I guess we both underestimated her," Medicine growled. "If she's strong enough to break free from the vines, then she's strong enough to take care of herself while I take care of you." With that, Medicine brought her palm under her lips, and started to blow a thin purple gas toward the party. In seconds, the gas began to spread all throughout the field, mingling with the flowers' poisonous fog.

(Medicine - With One Breath) (Downed used)
Dixi - 51
Ferro - 75
Jane - 91
Shovel Knight - 81

Jane's eyes widened as she realized what happening—the doll must be spreading out some kind of concentrated poison! She quickly covered her mouth and nose with the fabric of her clothing, and shouted at her allies to do the same. Luckily, they were already trying to avoid breathing the air in the field too much as it was, so it was a simple matter of hunkering down and breathing into whatever they could use to block out the poison until the new gas dispersed into the ever-present fog.

Dixi: 28 Willpower + Dizzy + Weakened (2/4 strength, 2 turns remaining) (3 Poison stacks)
Ferro: 23 Willpower + Unsteady (8 Poison stacks)
Jane: 30 Willpower + Dizzy (3 Poison stacks)
Shovel Knight: 30 Willpower (0 Magic remaining) (1 Poison stack)

Medicine: 74 Stamina

_________________
Code:
<<Those horns...she can't be human!>>
<<She's like a demon...>>
<<That kind of midara...they call a Demon Lord.>>


Last edited by SoloWingPixy on Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:14 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Wrote in the Poison Gathers charge Medicine tried to use)
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PostSubject: Re: The Melancholy of Medicine (Boss Encounter)   Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:24 am

Marie dropped to the ground once she'd freed herself and sat prone for a moment, her hands pressed flat against the earth for a moment as something spread into the ground. "Play with her all you want, I'll give you some assistance~" she whispered.
-Sowing Strings-
Ferro had finally, FINALLY managed to free himself and took to targeting Medicine. "This could've been a peaceful talk. You could've been given a more comfortable home, but it looks like you need some time to clear your head." He rushed in and prepared to strike her down.
-Gargoyle Rush-

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PostSubject: Re: The Melancholy of Medicine (Boss Encounter)   Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:29 am

Even when her attack missed, Dixi was glad to see Marie free herself "Great job Marie!" She then turned to Medicine "You asked for this remember that..." She felt her strenght starting to return to her, she was still unable to use her Blood Cain to boost herself so she had to strike har- "GAAAH!" Sudden pain running through her body "N-Not now... Damn it!" She fell to her knees unable to attack.

(Turn Pass)

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PostSubject: Re: The Melancholy of Medicine (Boss Encounter)   Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:33 am

Jane's eyes sparkled with something less than savoury. Jane was not a cruel person, but she could certainly act like one, if it was going to help her friends. She made a move towards Marie.
"Play along." Jane whispered quietly to Marie.

"Take care of herself, you say?" Jane called out to Medicine, as she drew out a small dagger. "Well, she's a doll. You're a doll. And I can't risk her turning on us." She commented, and began to 'attack' Marie. Any hits she got off on her were, of course, with the flat of her blade. She was doing her best to not hurt Marie whilst looking like she was.

(Free Action - Enrage Medicine?)
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PostSubject: Re: The Melancholy of Medicine (Boss Encounter)   Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:24 am

Shovel Knight tried once more, leaping forward with the fury of a man possessed. Again, he tried to bounce upon the doll's head. One could almost hear a random song about a crazy duck in space playing in the background.

(Shovel Hop.)
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PostSubject: Re: The Melancholy of Medicine (Boss Encounter)   Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:49 pm

(Poison Gathers [Passive] - 71, Status Effect: Charmed)
(Passive - Flowers of Antimony)
Dixi - 2
Ferro - 43
Jane - 52
Shovel Knight - 35

As the battle began anew, Ferro and Shovel Knight both couldn't avoid breathing in more of the flowers' poison, being forced to catch their breath from the exertion of their own attacks. Jane and Dixi were the only ones who managed to breathe lightly enough to avoid taking in too much of the poison...for now.

(Marie - Sowing Strings - 58)
Marie felt no resistance as she spread something throughout the ground.

(Ferro - Gargoyle Rush - 81)
Able to move freely for the first time since Medicine initially caught the party off-guard, Ferro wasted no time charging forward with the intent of slamming painfully into the doll and tossing her straight into the ground. However, with so much distance to cover between his target and the vines that had been holding him captive, Medicine had plenty of time to react. She quickly dodged out of the way of his first strike, then with surprising strength, roughly shoved him away to knock him off-balance and keep him away for the moment.

(Dixi - Turn Pass)
Medicine would deal with the monk now, but a prime opportunity had just presented itself to her: the girl with the strange gauntlets had suddenly fallen to her knees with a cry of genuine pain, seemingly open to attack. Medicine smirked in satisfaction. Seeing as taking out one of the intruders would make this fight immensely easier, she started making her way toward the fallen Dixi...

(Shovel Knight - 90 CRIT!, 92 CRIT!, 35 - 4 damage total) (4 Magic restored)
...That is, until the end of a shovel suddenly slammed right into her head. She stumbled forward with a pained grunt, craning her neck up to see where it possibly could've come from.

This, as it turned out, was her first mistake, as she was greeted by the sight of Shovel Knight falling toward her, his shovel poised to make a permanent indentation in her face. With no time to do anything but briefly wonder how bouncing off one's head with a shovel was even physically possible, his shovel slammed right into her forehead, sending her staggering backward.

Clang! And again. Clang! And again, until Medicine finally had the good sense to get out of the way, ducking her body and rolling to safety as Shovel Knight fell back down to Earth, burying his shovel partway into the ground from the force of the impact.

That was when Medicine heard Jane call out to her from a small distance away. She'd half a mind to just ignore the damned intruder and go after the fallen Dixi before she could recover, but then something strange out of the corner of her eye drew her gaze in that direction. What she saw made her joints lock up, and her poison stopped churning.

Marie...she, she was...that woman was attacking her!

Time started to slow. Every chink of the knife against Marie's body resounded deafeningly in Medicine's ears. When she opened her mouth to speak, her voice began as a shaking whisper. "I-I..."

After a moment, it became enveloped in thunderous fury. "I KNEW IT!" Medicine roared. She flicked her wrist, and a sharpened blade, slick with poisonous fluid, slid out from the gap between her joints. With a frenzied shriek, Medicine lunged toward Jane, tackling her to the ground and pinning her down away from Marie. Her hand viciously leapt toward Jane's throat, clutching it tightly as she hovered the blade on her other arm centimeters over Jane's neck.

"I knew it," Medicine hissed through clenched teeth. "I knew you didn't care about her. You were just using her until she wasn't useful anymore! Just like you always do!" Her poisoned blade was shaking so badly, she could barely stop it from cutting into Jane. Not that she would've cared, of course.

Under normal circumstances, with her enemy this close, she'd be using this opportunity to toy with them. Kissing them, caressing them, breathing her irresistible poisons into them...humiliating them in front of their allies as she snatched their will away with both her poison and her lovely affection.

But, no. That could wait for the others. This one had crossed a line. This one needed to die screaming. With one slice of her blade, a brutal venom would flow into the woman's bloodstream, and from there, the last few minutes of her miserable life would be an eternal nightmare.

Medicine grimaced. Damn it, the intruder was thrashing around too much...she needed to be restrained if she was going to feel the agony she so rightly deserved. With a single thought from the doll, vines began rushing toward Jane from every direction, ready to wrap themselves around her limbs and hold her down tight.

(Medicine - Living Garden) (Modified) (Disadvantage due to...?)
Jane - 27, 8

But all of a sudden...they stopped. Medicine's eyes widened. What? Why had they stopped?

No...that wasn't quite it. They were still moving—straining forward, as if held back by some invisible force. Medicine growled, and mentally commanded them to hold Jane down again.

Jane - 64, 39

The vines reared back, and surged forward with all the force they could muster, but the result was the same. They simply weren't reaching Jane. Medicine's entire body started to shudder with rage. Just...kill...her!

Kill Jane - 47, 79

Nothing.

Medicine glared down at Jane's struggling form. Fine. She was obviously doing something to the vines, so it was her fault if this got messy. Medicine reared back, pointing the end of the blade toward Jane's heart, before plunging it downward. "Die!"

Dixi: 28 Willpower + Dizzy + Weakened (2/4 strength, 1 turn remaining) (3 Poison stacks)
Ferro: 23 Willpower + Disoriented (9 Poison stacks)
Jane: 30 Willpower + Pinned + Dizzy (3 Poison stacks)
Shovel Knight: 30 Willpower (4 Magic remaining) (2 Poison stacks)

Medicine: 70 Stamina (Charmed ready)

_________________
Code:
<<Those horns...she can't be human!>>
<<She's like a demon...>>
<<That kind of midara...they call a Demon Lord.>>


Last edited by SoloWingPixy on Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:10 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Dizzy does *not* actually apply to passive Poison gain, sorry about that~)
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PostSubject: Re: The Melancholy of Medicine (Boss Encounter)   Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:54 pm

Dixi stood up with some difficulties just to hear Jane saying that she was going to kill Marie, the great pain didn't let her think with clarity... No... Wait... Why would Jane do such thing? There had to be a catch... Then she saw Medicine about to kill Jane "No!" Making use of all her willpower, Dixi rushed against Medicine.

(Final Revenger)

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PostSubject: Re: The Melancholy of Medicine (Boss Encounter)   Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:58 pm

Ferro wobbled in place as he missed his strike on Medicine, but in his shaky state, he managed to catch sight of two things. Jane, pinned to the ground, and Medicine trying to stab her with a poisoned blade. Suddenly, everything else faded away as he watched this doll throw her promiscuous stratagems out the window for the sake of straight up gutting her. "Don't you touch her!!" he shouted, taking his bladed staff and rushing towards them, swinging his staff at her head.
-Helm Splitter-
Marie watched this and cursed, understanding the tactics Jane intended for, but found it to have backfired far too heavily. For now, she knew her holding the garden back was working and she had to trust that the party could pull through.

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PostSubject: Re: The Melancholy of Medicine (Boss Encounter)   Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:04 pm

For some reason, hopping on the head of his opponents felt rather cathartic. As did seeing the doll's expression. However, as the doll dodged, Shovel crashed to the ground...Only to notice her go after the tactician...Jane, was her name? Noting the monk charge, Shovel was reminded of something.....

Or more...Someone.

For was that not how he was when it came to Shield Knight? Willing to do whatever was necessary to protect her...?

With a nod, Shovel stabbed his shovel into the ground, launching a Dig Spark at the doll. "DOWN IN FRONT!"
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PostSubject: Re: The Melancholy of Medicine (Boss Encounter)   Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:54 am

Jane's plan had worked. Perhaps a little too well, one might even say. She'd expected to get a reaction from the doll, but not THAT level of reaction from her. Although, it did mean that Medicine was focused on her right now. And, perhaps more importantly, that her allies may have an easier time attacking her. Of course, Jane had no intention of just throwing her life away. She focused on everything that was going on around her. There must be something she could use. Some piece of information she could exploit. An opening. A weakness in Medicine's stance. Or an uncertainty or doubt she held. Then, she noticed Medicine's vines not moving properly. Was this an emotional thing? Or had someone managed to restrain them? She knew it wasn't Ferro, after all, she was well versed in what Ferro was capable of. Same with Dixi. Shovel Knight didn't seem the type. That left only one option. Marie.

Well, she figured the only way she was going to get out of this was to come clean with her intentions. But how she did it mattered. It had to be fast, concise, and believable. Just saying that she hadn't hurt Marie wasn't going to stop that knife. And she could hardly become a blubbering mess either, that'd take too long to pull off. Instead, she had to play it as if this reaction had been her intention all along, whilst simultaneously making it clear that Marie had played along.

"Thanks Marie." Jane yelled out to Marie, then turned to Medicine. "Made you look." She winked, before trying to roll out of Marie's grasp.

(Struggle?)
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PostSubject: Re: The Melancholy of Medicine (Boss Encounter)   Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:23 am

(Passive - Flowers of Antimony)
Dixi - 89
Ferro - 16
Jane - 37
Shovel Knight - 88

Medicine managed to hold her blade steady for a moment, ready to skewer Jane alive. Even a gruesome death like this wouldn't come anywhere near what the monster deserved, but even in her rage, Medicine knew that she had no time to waste. She pulled her arm back, and was about to plunge her blade into Jane's chest when something the woman said gave her a moment's pause.

"What?" Medicine whispered. "Marie?" She glanced to the side, where Marie was lying still among the flowers. She obviously wasn't doing a damn thing, and the poor girl was no doubt terrified for her life after getting slashed at by the merciless creature Medicine was about to impale.

(Jane - Struggle - 13)
Medicine's eyes widened as she realized the woman's trick. "No, you're not getting away!" She snarled, quickly tightening her grip on Jane's throat and bringing her blade within millimeters of Jane's neck to keep her still. "I know what you're trying to do," Medicine hissed. "And it's not going to work. You won't turn me against her—unlike you, I would never hurt Marie!" Her blade arm reared back, ready to finish what she'd started. "I won't listen to any more of your lies!"

(Dixi - Final Revenger - 72, Downed - 61)
Over the course of the battle so far, Jane had noticed a glaring weakness within their opponent. Quite a simple one, really, and one that ended up saving her life: this doll just wouldn't shut up. Sure, she hadn't been able to break free of Medicine's choking grasp, but that didn't really matter when the doll kept yammering on long enough for a flying, super-powered, and extremely angry martial artist to punch her in the face hard enough to send her flying.

And Dixi was only getting started. She followed up by kicking Medicine high into the air, then zooming toward the doll with a mighty leap. Though Dixi was still very much recovering from a previous battle, she still had enough strength in her to deliver a two-handed haymaker that sent Medicine crashing back to Earth.

(Ferro - Helm Splitter - 62)
Or, more accurately, crashing into Ferro's staff. With the duo having fought together on so many different occasions, it was only natural for Dixi's downward strike to send their foe right where Ferro wanted her. Rearing back, he swung his staff with all his strength, slamming its full force into Medicine like a baseball bat and sending her flying again.

(Shovel Knight - Dig Spark - 83)
Unfortunately, Shovel Knight was unprepared for this stunning display of teamwork. By the time his shovel's shockwave had reached Medicine's position, she was still airborne, and his attack barreled right through the flowers under her.

Medicine hit the ground a moment later, and the force from Ferro and Dixi's combined attack left her tumbling uncontrollably through the flowers for a few seconds. For a moment, she simply laid still, stunned by the suddenness of everything that had just happened.

Marie, trying to play dead, terrified for her life.

These intruders, recovering their momentum and moving in to gang up on the two.

The plants of the flower field, held back by some mysterious force; no doubt a foul trick played by one of the intruders.

And finally, that horrible woman...still alive.

Medicine lifted her head, and slowly staggered to her feet. Her earlier rage had given way to a sort of pressured calm: she and Marie were in an extremely dangerous situation, and neither of them were going to get out of it if she panicked now. She had to think of something. Something to keep them away from Marie, no matter what. A direct attack wasn't going to work; they'd quickly overwhelm her with their numbers. The flower field was weakened, so she couldn't separate them with vines. What could she do...?

It was then that an idea struck. She made sure to hide any sign it from her face, for that would have immediately given it away.

"W-why..." Medicine whispered, her blade detaching and falling to the ground. Tears started brimming in her eyes, and she sniffled. Her knees gave out from under her, and she collapsed to the ground in a mess of choking sobs. "Wh-why can't you j-just—just leave us alone?!" She wailed. Tears streamed down her face, and she hung her head low as her shoulders shook with grief. "Sh-she's..." She sniffled. "She's the f-first doll I've...I've t-t-talked to in years, a-after you...t-t..." Her hands went to her face, and she devolved into alternating between sobs and incoherent blubbering.

Ferro and Shovel Knight kept their distance, unsure of what to make of this development. Dixi, on the other hand, felt a small twinge of guilt at the display as a familiar scene replayed itself in her head. In it was a formerly cursed doll known as Marie, staring wide-eyed in fear at her and her sister, with no idea of who they were at the time.

...Was this doll, Medicine, really that different? She'd clearly gone through some hard times, if her paranoia and quickness to anger were any indicators. But could anything really be done about it...?

Similar thoughts were running through Jane's head as she watched the doll cry her eyes out before them. There had to be a reason this doll was acting the way she'd been. The spread of the flower field was of course an active threat, but this doll had mentioned nothing about it yet. Right now, her only concern seemed to be protecting Marie.

Jane stepped back and tried to consider the situation through what she knew of Medicine's mindset. With the flower field problem being as infamous as it was, Medicine had no doubt been attacked by multiple adventuring parties in the past. For all the doll knew (or cared, considering how many times Jane and her allies had tried to explain otherwise), she was surrounded by those who hated her, except for the only person in whom she's seen a glimpse of friendship: Marie.

Jane began walking closer to Medicine's collapsed form. Maybe...just maybe, this was another chance to end the fight without bloodshed. The doll sniffled and looked up into her eyes as she approached, and slowly offered her hand out to Jane.

In that moment, Jane's heart faltered. Her instincts were warning her that something was wrong here, that she should back away now, and get Marie to explain the situation. But...as she looked into Medicine's beautifully crafted glass eyes, she saw a spark of innocence hidden within. Buried under fear, anger, and confusion, yes, but it was somewhere in there. Perhaps this was its way of showing itself? Before she could stop herself, Jane reached out and took the doll's hand in her own, slowly pulling her to her feet.

As Jane pulled her up, Medicine suddenly stumbled forward toward her, and her arms fell around Jane's waist. The doll quickly pulled her into a close hug, and Jane froze for a moment before realizing that her hug was just that—a gentle embrace, with the doll's eyes still brimming with tears. She sniffled as she looked into Jane's eyes. "Th-th-thank you," she mumbled. With that, she buried her face in Jane's shoulder, her shoulders shaking as she started to cry again. Uncertainly, Jane reached a hand over and started reassuringly stroking the doll's back. Was this actually the beginning of a peaceful resolution?

(Medicine - Our Lady's Tears) (Charmed used)
Dixi - 10
Ferro - 21
Jane - 92 CRIT! (Random status effect: Winded)
Shovel Knight - 57

With her face buried in Jane's shoulder, where nobody could see her expression, Medicine grinned. Dolls couldn't cry. How stupid were these people?

The toxins stored behind her eyes were coming quite in handy, and as her "tears" seeped into Jane's exposed skin, she could hardly keep herself from giggling in triumph. She knew that any appeal to emotion would've only lasted seconds with these humans, spiteful as they were, so she decided to take advantage of the window she had to work with. A particularly potent poison, one that the woman would be feeling the effects of very soon. It was a shame that the poison she'd coated the blade with had to be administered through the bloodstream, as this intruder was nowhere near deserving of the pleasure she was going to feel, but as long as Medicine humiliated her in front of her allies, it would work just as well in the end.

Jane's eyes widened as she was suddenly seized by a strange, almost euphoric feeling spreading across her body. Her skin tingled where the doll had been crying, and her heart sank as she realized she'd been duped. She gasped and staggered backward, trying to pry the doll off her, but her arms weren't budging. Medicine lifted her head, and her grief-stricken expression had been replaced by a sadistic grin. "Well? Doesn't my poison just feel amazing?" She brought Jane closer, hugging her tightly to her body. "Aren't I so kind, making you feel like this despite everything you've done?"

(Crit Followup) (Medicine - Withering Temptation - 2)
Whatever response Jane had in mind, it would have to wait, as the doll embracing her leaned in and devoured her lips in a hungry kiss. Jane gasped as strange, unfamiliar pleasure radiated out from the doll's warm lips and tongue. At the same time, she felt one of Medicine's hands creep lower, darting under her clothes, and she couldn't help but writhe as the doll started rubbing her womanhood through her panties. Had...had the doll abandoned her plan of killing her, then? Was she going to try and take her heart, just like everyone else?

Dixi: 26 Willpower + Charmed + Dizzy + Weakened (3/4 strength, 3 turns remaining) (4 Poison stacks)
Ferro: 23 Willpower + Disoriented (9 Poison stacks)
Jane: 19 Willpower + Winded + Charmed + Lightheaded (12 Poison stacks)
Shovel Knight: 30 Willpower (4 Magic remaining) (2 Poison stacks)

Medicine: 63.5 Stamina

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<<Those horns...she can't be human!>>
<<She's like a demon...>>
<<That kind of midara...they call a Demon Lord.>>


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PostSubject: Re: The Melancholy of Medicine (Boss Encounter)   Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:34 am

She was... crying... When she found Marie, she made the mistake of taking her for an evil spirit when she was only possessed... If it wasn't for Ix and Xana... Was this the same case? She saw Jane getting closer to Medicine and this one hugging her as she helped her up, maybe... maybe she's not that bad? Maybe she was just confused... "Listen I..." Then she saw the change on Medicine's expression, that made her blood boil, she was trying to take advantage of them... And now she had Jane "You... You are nothing like Marie... She's a gentle soul and you are wicked... You just proved that... I won't let you take Marie she suffered long enough before I saved her, I won't let you hurt my friends... I WILL PROTECT THEM ALL FROM YOUR OBSESSION!" She was still slightly weakened but her strenghts had recovered enough for this "BLOOD... CAIN!" A red aura covering her body, her hair shifting between black and bright red and the look of someone determined to protect those close to her.

(Blood Cain)

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PostSubject: Re: The Melancholy of Medicine (Boss Encounter)   Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:12 am

Ferro narrowed his eyes at Medicine as she revealed her true colors. He had to admit that Medicine was a good actor, and he was still invariably livid with her, but her acting didn't hide that spark of true innocence somewhere in her. "After this, we're going to have a talk..." he said simply as he focused his magic to enchant himself.
-Enchant: Stone Skin-
Marie, meanwhile, watched all this, utterly baffled by Jane's gall and Medicine's emotional manipulation. As everyone geared up to finish her, she snickered. And then she laughed loudly, as she got up. "You naive, bleeding heart!!" The Marie that they all knew was nowhere to be seen here. In fact, she was starting to act more like when she was cursed.

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PostSubject: Re: The Melancholy of Medicine (Boss Encounter)   Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:17 am

"Grr...You cur!" Shovel Knight's hand moved to his satchel once more, a red rod appearing in his hand. Taking aim, the gem atop it began to glow, fire coalescing around it's tip, forming into a ball of flames...Which he promptly shot out towards the doll.

(Flare Rod.)
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PostSubject: Re: The Melancholy of Medicine (Boss Encounter)   Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:51 am

It was happening again. Just like before. She thought the naive little girl who had to be saved was gone. She prided herself on being able to read people. To see through their deception, to the truth within. It was a skill she had sharpened and honed under Kathrynne to ensure this EXACT situation never happened again. And now, she was beginning to doubt herself. To make matters worse, the reaction she'd gotten from Marie seemed completely out of character from the read she'd gotten on her. Jane sighed, internally, lacking the breath to do it outwardly.

"Never again." She repeated the promise she'd made to herself all those years ago, after being saved by Kathrynne. Her team needed her. She couldn't give up now. Especially now that she'd placed herself as the target of Medicine's *ahem* affections. The longer her resolve held, the longer it would be before she'd start attacking them. She needed to give them every advantage she could. She raised her head, and began to look around, as if with new eyes, to establish ways she could assist.

(Tactical Analysis)
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PostSubject: Re: The Melancholy of Medicine (Boss Encounter)   Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:05 pm

Even as Medicine continued to tease between her legs and kiss her with those poisoned lips, Jane knew she couldn't give up. She had to find something, some advantage she could pursue from her current position. As she frantically looked in every direction, trying to pull away from Medicine's lips as she did so, something peculiar caught her eye. It was something...something about Medicine's joints that looked off. Jane focused on that, trying to ascertain just what it was about them that seemed strange, and how she could turn it against the doll.

(Jane - Tactical Analysis - 12 CRIT FAIL!)
After a moment, it became clear: thin, near-transparent purple wisps of gas were slowly escaping from the gaps between her joints. Her fingers, her hands, her arms, and presumably all the others were leaking minuscule amounts of what Jane assumed to be poison gas. But...what did it mean? Was the doll's body not fully sealed against the gas? But that didn't make sense, she'd been using poison gas for nearly the entire fight so far, and Jane had never noticed a leak until now. Was...was the doll planning something? Whatever it was, Jane couldn't figure it out, and neither could she escape Medicine's tight embrace.

(Poison Gathers [Passive] - 56, Status Effect: Infatuated)
(Passive - Flowers of Antimony)
Dixi - 58
Ferro - 31
Jane - 46, 75
Shovel Knight - 21

(Dixi - Blood Cain - Auto-success) (Mastered Blood Cain - 76)
Though her body was still weakened, the anger Dixi felt at Medicine's manipulation was more than enough to power her signature ability. She slammed her fists together as a crimson aura sprang to life around her body, ready to energize her strikes. She started making her way toward Medicine, intending to tear her off Jane with her bare hands.

(Ferro - Enchant: Stone Skin - 27)
Ferro closed his eyes and attempted to do the same, slowly pouring magic into his body to toughen it like stone. Unfortunately, it was then that he caught a whiff of a particularly potent toxic vapor from the flowers around him, and his concentration was broken by a coughing fit as it caught in his throat. Damn it...Jane was still in trouble, so he couldn't waste any more time trying the spell again. He moved in alongside Dixi, holding his staff at the ready.

(Shovel Knight - Flare Wand - 10, Burning - 96)
Meanwhile, Shovel Knight had just pulled out another relic from his bag of tricks. With Jane so close to his target, he'd have to aim carefully to avoid hitting them both, so he took a few steps closer. When he'd maneuvered such that he was behind Medicine, he took aim for a few moments before firing off a blazing sphere toward the doll. It collided with her head-on, and small flames started spreading across her body as she cried out in pain. Of course, Shovel Knight had no intention of cooking Jane alive along with his target, so he'd made sure to only fire a weaker variant whose tendency to spread flames was rather minimal. Indeed, the fire on Medicine's body faded quickly, leaving the fabric of her clothes charred but intact, though Shovel Knight had no doubt that the residual heat was still wreaking havoc on her internal mechanisms...assuming this doll was anything like the countless mechanical foes he'd bested in the past.

Medicine clung tightly to Jane, partially out of pain and partially to make sure that the woman wasn't going anywhere. After a moment, the fire's pain subsided, and Medicine giggled as she looked up at Jane. "Thank you for being so cooperative," she said sweetly.

It was then that Jane understood, and her eyes widened in horror. The reason why Medicine had singled her out, why the doll was still clinging to her, even though her entire party was about to descend upon them. She was using her as bait! She was trying to lure them in closer, and whatever she was planning, it had to do with the gas seeping from her joints! Jane opened her mouth to warn her teammates to stay away, but Medicine was quick to smother her with another forceful kiss. She heard Medicine giggle again, and the doll's eyes sparkled with glee.

It was too late.

(Medicine - With One Breath) (Tactical) (Infatuated used)
Dixi - 80, Status Effect - 56 - Downed
Ferro - 99 CRIT!, Status Effect - Fascinated
Jane - 89 CRIT!, Status Effect - Fascinated
Shovel Knight - 2, Status Effect - 69 - Charmed

With a sudden hiss, jets of purple gas began rushing out in every direction from the gaps between Medicine's joints. At the same time, Jane felt Medicine begin pumping toxic vapors through her kiss, and struggled to get free as it poured into her lungs.

The party had no time to react. By the time they realized what was happening, the poisonous fog was already upon them. Dixi, Ferro, and Shovel Knight all staggered unsteadily as their bodies started to fill up with a strange heat. Their nerves tingled with electric pleasure scattering across their skin, and Dixi's legs collapsed under her as the sensation overwhelmed her. Ferro wasn't doing much better, falling into a trancelike state as his memories suddenly went back toward the doll's irresistible kisses. The soft feeling of her lips on his, her lifelike tongue dancing in his mouth, filling his lungs with sweet poison...Shovel Knight was the only one who managed to remain somewhat steady on his feet, though even he was beginning to have strange thoughts invade his mind. Thoughts of submission, of letting this doll have her way with him...

However, the poison Medicine was spreading through the air was not the same poison she was pumping into Jane's lungs with her kiss. Jane's muscles still went limp at the sudden invasion of pleasure throughout her body, but with it came a sudden, horrible sense of dread. Her thoughts started to slow, and her body felt sluggish and unresponsive as her eyelids started to flutter. The anger she felt at herself for falling for Medicine's trick came back with a vengeance, and threatened to smother her mind in sheer despair.

She started hearing a voice in her head, one that sounded disturbingly like her own. This is all your fault, it whispered. Why are you even here? You're just dragging everyone else down. Dimly, Jane lifted her head and looked around at the rest of her party, coughing and stumbling from the poison invading their lungs. If you hadn't come, none of this would've happened.

"You should've let that blade fall," Medicine whispered into her ear. "At least you wouldn't be letting everyone down when they needed you the most."

She slowly drew herself away from Jane, leaving the woman to deal with the inner demons her lovely poison had helpfully drawn out to keep her occupied. She glanced around at the party, still busy fighting against the effects of her poison gas. Good. It would give her the time she needed to take care of a few important matters.

Medicine slipped away from the intruders, and looked down at the flowers by her feet. Something was still holding them back, even when the intruders were all temporarily incapacitated.

Her eyes narrowed. She couldn't let this continue. She raised a foot into the air and stomped it back on the ground, sending a mental command to the flowers to find the source of whatever force was working against them. The roots of each flower started shifting and working their way outward in every direction, testing and pulling against the mysterious force to find out which direction it was coming from. Each root passed this task on to those next to it, slowly but surely seeking the center of the force holding them back. It was quite slow going, but now that they'd gotten started, all Medicine had to do was wait. She'd find out where it was coming from eventually. But she had something more pressing to deal with now: Marie.

After a moment of searching, Medicine spotted where Marie had been keeping low, though it looked like she was getting to her feet now that the intruders were temporarily preoccupied. Medicine ran over to her fellow doll with a concerned look on her face. "Marie!" She called out. "Are you all right?! Where did she hurt you?" When she got close, however, she stumbled into a stop and stared at Marie's skin. "Wait...wh-what?"

Marie's...completely undamaged, unhurt skin. Medicine's eyes widened, and she looked back up at Marie in awe. "Marie..." She breathed. Then she broke into a happy smile. "You didn't get a single scratch!" She laughed. "Just what are you made of?!"

It was a miracle. Marie hadn't gotten hurt in the slightest! "I'm so relieved..." She sighed. "But," she continued, putting a hand on Marie's shoulder, "you shouldn't risk something like that again. I know you don't want to, but please, you need to hide in the cottage." Medicine looked her right in the eye. "Even for you, it's too dangerous out here. Wait until I've taken care of the intruders, okay?"

In truth, there was a second, unspoken reason why Medicine didn't want Marie out here anymore. She hadn't mentioned it, but she'd heard the girl's strange laughter ring out when Jane fell for her trick, and...she wasn't sure she liked it. It was good that Marie was starting to realize how evil the intruders were, yes, but Medicine had hoped to reach her before her innocence had been taken away by those monsters. She'd thought before that that had been the case, that she'd been lucky enough to find Marie before too much damage had been done...was she wrong? Had this girl already been irrevocably changed by these people?

Either way, Medicine didn't want to risk it. She wasn't going to introduce any more dolls to this cycle of hatred if she could avoid it.

Dixi: 23 Willpower + Blood Cain + Charmed + Downed + Infatuated + Unsteady + Weakened (3/4 strength, 2 turns remaining) (6 Poison stacks)
Ferro: 21 Willpower + Fascinated + Infatuated + Lightheaded (12 Poison stacks)
Jane: 16 Willpower + Winded + Charmed + Infatuated + Fascinated + Frail (15 Poison stacks)
Shovel Knight: 28 Willpower + Charmed + Infatuated + Dizzy (0 Magic remaining) (5 Poison stacks)

Medicine: 61.5 Stamina + Burning

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<<Those horns...she can't be human!>>
<<She's like a demon...>>
<<That kind of midara...they call a Demon Lord.>>
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PostSubject: Re: The Melancholy of Medicine (Boss Encounter)   Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:13 pm

Shovel Knight felt his head swimming as the poison coursed through his veins. A part of him wanted...no, craved to be hers....It'd be so easy...

And yet...He refused. Despite everything. Despite the temptations, he refused to give in so easily. Stabbing his shovel into the ground, he vaulted into the air, coming down towards the doll with a vengeance. "Come face a real foe! Unless you're afraid to battle someone who can fight back!"

(Shovel Hop.)
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PostSubject: Re: The Melancholy of Medicine (Boss Encounter)   Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:24 pm

Ferro sighed as he basked in every thought of Medicine that flooded his mind, letting the poison fill his desires for a moment. Until he saw the expression upon Jane's face and he forced those thoughts out of his head. "No..." He rushed over to Jane's side pulled her close. "Are you okay, Jane? What did she do to you? More poison?" After a moment, he looked to Medicine, her back turned to the party. "Right..." He summoned up his magic energy and attempted to summon a familiar someone.
-Summon Lasciel-

Marie pushed Medicine's hands away and scoffed. "I'm the last person you should be worried about, you foolish doll!" She raised her arms, revealing the strings she'd embedded into the ground to stop the flowers from helping Medicine. "Or maybe, I'm the only one you should be worried about! The cute, innocent me is taking a backseat right now, but she's still there, perfectly fine and she doesn't need your help to be safe!"

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PostSubject: Re: The Melancholy of Medicine (Boss Encounter)   Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:11 pm

Dixi cursed her current state, she needed to do something... Wait Marie was... Different... She almost looked like when she was possessed... This, this gave her an idea, maybe... Maybe with this she could make Medicine focus on her instead of Jane "Oh? I see you finally realized you foolish doll! I guess the charade is useless now that the spell I put on her has been triggered..." She taunted. 

I have to be cruel...

"Marie's under MY control, what you see now was a little fail safe I put on her when I made her my slave, you know, just in case she might get thoughts of escaping..." 

I have to be a cold heart monster...

"Seeing it trigger I can imagine she was starting to wonder about escaping, I will punish her later, I wonder what kind of punishment should I give her, , she's my personal doll after all, can't let her going around trying to escape, oh and don't worry after all of this YOU will be my slave doll too!" Her tone was cold and cruel, in the attempt of making Medicine focus on her while gathering her energy to attack the doll.

I have to be a Demon...

She reached to her arm, right where Ix's seal was... and removed it, not long after that she created a sphere of corruption "Friends, hah! A nice joke, they are all under my control you see? With this power..." She started, making sure Medicine focused on the sphere "I can enslave ANYONE I want, make their wills belong to me and soon... YOUR AS WELL."

(Riot Javelin -> Tyrant Lancer)

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PostSubject: Re: The Melancholy of Medicine (Boss Encounter)   Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:04 am

Never again.

Jane's self destructive thoughts lead her to her younger days. An adventurer, filled with optimism and determined to save the world one person at a time. She'd heard about a series of disappearances occurring just one town over. This would be her first outing in her journey to become a hero.

Never again.

She started with an information gathering exercise. After all, knowledge was power. It seemed that the majority of disappearances were happening in proximity to a cave by the river mouth. She spoke to fishermen who reported hearing a beautiful singing voice coming from within the cave. They'd felt a compulsion to enter, but with having their wits about them, their rowboat flipped. The shock broke whatever charmed been put on them. Jane packed adrenaline.

Never again. Never again.

That night, she headed towards the cave. A sword in one hand, a syringe of adrenaline against a vein in the other. As soon as she started to hear the distant notes of the singing, she plunged the adrenaline straight into her veins.

Never again. Never again.

As she entered the cave, the singing began to echo all around her. Were it not for the adrenaline, she'd already be ensnared. She smiled to herself for her wisdom. So young, yet already so prepared. In the deepest depths of the cave, she saw the source of the singing. A winged woman, surrounded by a cabal of men and women, listening to her sing. Jane raised her sword, and the singing stopped.

Never again. Never again.

"Release your prisoners. This need not end in bloodshed." Jane yelled.
"These people are free to come and go as they please. They choose to stay here." The midara responded.
"It is obvious you've enthralled them. Do not test me." Jane spat back.
"Oooh? Perhaps you are interested in sharing their fate." She laughed. Before Jane even had a chance to retort, the midara was behind her. But, Jane was no fool. As soon as she left her vision, Jane was already spinning her sword to hit the midara. So predictable. They always attacked from behind. Her sword cleanly connected with the midara, slashing across her wings. She screamed in pain, falling to the ground.

Never again. Never again.

The midara was shocked. No-one could match her speed. Yet, somehow, this girl had managed to hit her. This girl... was worth permanently enthralling.
"Okay! Okay! You w-win... I'll let them go... j-j-just don't hurt me..." the midara called out, before Jane could swing down the blade. She waved her hand, and her thrills began to leave the cave with bleary eyes. Jane felt satisfaction running through her. This had been easy. Clearly she'd be a pro in no time.
"B-but if you leave me like this... I'm... probably not going to make it through the night..." the midara sobbed. Her eyes looking pained up at Jane.

NEVER AGAIN. NEVER AGAIN.

Jane felt a pang of guilt. She reached into her bag, and pulled out a first aid kit.
"Fine. Hold still." Jane instructed. She took out the bandages, and began to gently wrap up the wounds in the wing. Once she was done she turned to face the wounded and vulnerable midara. Only to find that her expression was one of glee. The midara's wings wrapped around Jane, as she pulled her in for a deep kiss. Pleasure flowed through her veins. Accelerated by the adrenaline she'd taken earlier. Jane felt herself falling. Returning the kiss. Her will shattering almost instantly. She needed to protect her mistress. The memory of her song played through her mind. Enrapturing her. It was over...
_______________

Jane felt the same sensation coursing through her right now. The desire to give in. The futility of her resistance. The need for more pleasure. But this time was different. It wasn't just her life at stake. It was the lives of her friends and allies. And she'd be damned if she was going to let herself forget that. She needed a reminder of what she was fighting for. Of what she was fighting against.

"Never again." She mumbled.

She looked to Ferro.
"I'm alright. Or rather, I will be." Jane responded, honestly. Ferro had Lasciel's feather in hand, clearly intent on summoning her. "I can still fight." She added. Her mind was still hazy, and it was difficult to tell whether she was actually speaking and taking action, or if it was all in her head. She tried to pull out her first aid kit, and bandage her arm in a similar manner to how she'd bandaged the midara's wing, intent on steeling her resolve.

(First aid targeting herself)
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