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Beurve Forest, 9:13 pm, Erika Hyril vs Vios

The moonlight filtering through the forest canopy in this area was enough light, barely, for the Dracan to wander. On Arianna's advisement and insistence, she was still aiming to get used to the forest in which she lived, or at least the area around their cottage. Doing so at night was her own idea, aiming to ensure that she could handle herself even in the dark near their abode. Erika was on her guard a bit more now, since running into the Coppertail. The snake had not pursued her when she fled, but running away in the dark, even for one with such generally good eyesight, was not easy. Currently, she was trying to find her way back to the cottage based on her sense of direction, whilst still keeping an eye out for any berries or mushrooms.

One such find had already caught her attention. The forest was quite prolific with varying berry patches, even strawberries such as the ones she had found now. She wrinkled her nose slightly as she fumbled in the bushes to pick them in the dark. She did not even personally eat strawberries, but Arianna could make jam out of nearly anything, by now.

The sound of large wings fluttering momentarily above her, to her left, caught her attention, and she stopped all movement immediately, peering into the darkness to discern what form of creature was near. The telltale plumage of a Vios shimmered slightly in the dim refracted moonlight. The bird was probably asleep, and she sighed with relief at this, continuing her work, until she had quite enough strawberries for Arianna to work with. Putting the container she had used into her bag, she now took a look up again at the Vios. It had not moved, but it was hard to tell if it was, in fact, looking at her. It was certainly facing her, but even her own sharp eyes could not be certain that the bird's eyes were closed.

A gust of wind answered her question, or perhaps altered the answer. Even the thick bough that the Vios was perched on, shook, and the large aerial hunter spread its wings, then flapped them powerfully, lifting off the branch. Erika did not wait to see if this was going to become a fight, or if the Vios was Arianna's 'familiar' Vincent. She just ran, swiftly, away from the possible enemy.

This turned out to be a most fortunate decision, as the bird was quite intent on driving her out of its territory before going back to sleep, if it had indeed been sleeping. It swept down through the lower branches now, skilfully weaving through those that could hurt it in pursuit of the Dracan woman. The Vios' eyesight, even in the dark, was also good enough to keep up this pursuit, and even with her enhanced speed of movement, Erika could not outrun it.

She dived into the dirt and leaves just in time to avoid a pass of the deadly talons, knowing that the bird could not easily circle, in the forest. The Vios did not try. It simply swooped back up, fluttering to a landing on another bough, and turned its head almost completely around, regarding her with chilling eyes. The Dracan scowled. Being chased would surely cause her to lose her bearings and have trouble returning home. Ari would worry. Fighting in the dark was not a much better option, but it certainly seemed to be the likely one. She carefully slung her bag off her shoulder and into a bush, drawing her shiki and readying a few of her shuriken, as the Vios turned on the branch.

A quick hand movement caused one of those shuriken to hit its mark a moment later, embedding into the Vios' neck, where the softer feathers did not provide as much protection. A disorienting screech was its response, before a powerful bolt crackled through the night air, illuminating the forest and barely missing Erika as she dived to the left. Regaining her feet was not as easy, though, and the Ionosphere struck her shoulder as she tried. Wingflaps approached, heralding the pain to come, and prompting Erika to quickly look straight up to check what was above her. No thick branches, though her instant idea still would not be a painless one.

A deep breath and a push, accompanied by Levitation, took her up through the tree branches, a bit too far, in fact, and as such she did collide with a sturdier branch higher up. Reacting quickly, she grabbed onto it to keep herself up despite the break in her concentration. At least the Vios had missed another pass. Unfortunately she had also lost track of the bird in her leap, and knew she could not stay in the tree indefinitely. She dropped silently to the ground, and quickly surveyed the area. It was not a particularly necessary thing. The Zelfin Bolt that struck her in the back made it very clear where the Vios was immediately. Unfortunately it also caused her to stagger, her own low resistance to such attacks coming into play. The electricity had stunned her, as it did with most prey, giving the bird another good chance at tearing into her with its talons on another pass.

Erika's reaction to the attack had been to vanish from sight, though. This made the Vios' swoop an inaccurate and futile attempt, as even without her moving, it could no longer discern where exactly the weak point on its target was. The invisible Dracan revealed herself on the bird's pass, stabbing her shiki into its outstretched wing and wrenching hard. Her strength was insufficient, causing her to be dragged along a bit before the Vios lost enough altitude to crash to the forest floor, skidding a bit. Erika scrambled to her feet and twirled, delivering a kick to its neck. The reaction was a burst of electrical energy that drove her back, before the Vios again righted itself. The wing was hurt, but in no way enough to prevent flight. Erika wasted no time, swiftly rushing the bird and stabbing it in the chest, letting her chilling burst cancel its sparking atmospheric effect.

Another powerful screech caused the Dracan's eyes to literally blur, but now, all she needed was to put all of her strength, limited though it was, into getting the point of her weapon into the bird's heart. This danger to itself triggered another powerful atmospheric electrical discharge, accompanied by a surge through the Vios' aura, then an Ionosphere, then a final Zelfin Bolt. The Vios was then silent, save for a few final twitches. Erika remained in her current position for a while, allowing the paralytic effects to slowly wear off, before withdrawing her bloodied blade and falling back on her rump, panting heavily.

"That better not have been Vincent..." she groaned, knowing that she might have just ended the life of one of Arianna's closest friends, but she quickly put the thought behind her. Even in the dark, the other Vios would have recognized her. Now, it was a matter of finding her way home before anything else could jump her in the dark.

Outcome: Erika Hyril has defeated the Vios (taken 27% damage).
Info Alert: Erika Hyril gained 5 DSP exp.
Info Alert: Erika Hyril gained 3 DEX exp.
Info Alert: Erika Hyril gained 2 STR exp.
Info Alert: Erika Hyril gained 4 RES exp.
Info Alert: Erika Hyril gained 3 FCS exp.
Info Alert: Erika Hyril gained 3 PCN exp.
Info Alert: Erika Hyril gained 2 RFL exp.