Battle Intro: "If this must end in hostility then so be it. But I will not submit to you." Her eyes narrowed, but her heart was racing - not the normal kind of racing, that usually came with the adrenaline of a fight. But something excessive, something that she hoped wouldn’t inhibit her abilities rather than enhancing them.
If she lost, the warden would have either a prisoner or a corpse, and one of those was most certainly worse than the other.
Fear was good for a fight. But not this much. Not this much.
She took in a breath while the warden was still unmoving - while she still had a chance to gather herself. She tried not to concern herself with what he probably thought of her, what he might see in her eyes. That was irrelevant to the imminent fight.
Her fire sparked to life, casting sharp orange light against the dull blue of her surroundings. Its brightness glanced across her glaring eyes. She had promised herself something years ago that resurfaced to her mind now.
By the end of it all, she felt as barbaric and monstrous as she saw her opponent - as she saw anyone who had ever wronged her severely.
Both hands were ablaze with fire so hot it was almost white. Desperation fueled that fire and she let it. The inhuman noises coming from her foe only furthered her instincts and she put everything she had into the flames, burning his flesh until it was the color of his attire.
It was all she could do. She could not let up, not for a moment. She dared not take that risk.
Her eyes watered with the intensity of her own fire. Splayed hands shook like leaves but she continued to channel the heat towards his collapsed form.
"I will kill you," she half-growled, half-screamed through her clenched teeth. "You are finished and you will rot in this place. Let your spirit be its prisoner.”
She backed out of the building and across the bridge, dragging one useless, bloodied leg, tormented wails escaping through her lips.
It was over. And now the nightmare was so true that she was shutting down. She couldn’t think straight and the sickening terror was giving way to numbness. She found herself on her back, fearful eyes locked on her enemy.
She tried to choke out a plea. Her voice caught the buildup of phlegm in her throat from all the screaming.
There had to be a way to make it stop. She had lost. I’ve lost - stop, please, just stop!
Futilely she dragged herself up against the side of the bridge. Renewed agony seared through her torn-up leg - through just about every part of her body at this point, but her leg stung more than anything else.
Maybe she would bleed out. Maybe this would end quickly whether he wanted it to or not.
The skin was shredded and muscles uprooted. It should have been bleeding more than it was but in a cruel twist of fate it wasn’t. Nothing crucial enough had been struck.
Finally she managed to pull herself up, using the side of the bridge for leverage. Her eyes shifted to the warden and she glared.
"It’s over," she whispered fiercely. "I… I will lose on my own terms…"
With one last burst of strength, she pulled herself up onto the ledge and threw herself over the bridge.
"Say what? You, asking for my help?" she tilted her head, both confused and curious. "I thought you saw yourself as above requesting the assistance of a sinner."
Well, if he didn’t know before he did now. Way to go, Kiani.
"All right then," she said, but inside she was less reluctant than she made herself sound. This man was clearly agile and unrelenting. He would be fun to fight with.
And really, it was better if they were on the same side.
She decided right then that she would fight with sincerity if she could keep things that way. The foes were common to both of them anyway.
Why not be allies? She was trying to be more open-minded, after all.
"What do you suppose you’re fighting for?" Her brows furrowed as she looked at him, trying to find the eyes under that mask. "These crumbled walls, a prison filled with naught but your wishful thinking?"
Reacting to Taunt:
"Is that what you say to your prisoners?" She gestured to their surroundings, which consisted largely of crumbled brick and Hollows who saw them no differently than they would see any other. "I bet it feels good to flex those muscles again, doesn’t it? I must admit, upon first impression I judged you as a man of action, but now I’m starting to second-guess."
She turned and ran, not wanting the distance between her and that menacing whip to get any shorter. Her breaths came in ragged gasps as she ran, fleeing the Lost Bastille, and even after that she continued to run just in case he was still pursuing.
Later on, when she was on the edge of sleep, a thought occurred to her that startled her awake again.
Were there… people in those cells?
Almost immediately she wished it hadn’t occurred to her. Because now she would have to go back. She couldn’t in good conscience ignore what might be going on there. She couldn’t.
Reacting to Flee:
Her eyes narrowed. She didn’t call after the warden, but didn’t extinguish her flames, either. She didn’t trust him, not for a second. He had fled into that prison area.
Far be it from me to fall for something like that. He can fight me out here or not at all.
She couldn’t breathe.
Fool. She cursed herself. She had allowed him to get close enough and now she was going to pay the price.
But he was going to pay it with her.
The heat of her dormant attack was still sizzling and crackling in her hand. Maybe she couldn’t get out of the choke hold but she could move that hand up to his face - and that was what she did.
Panic gripped her as her vision started to narrow in.
But she could still see enough to watch her hand launch a cluster of fire straight into the warden’s face.
By the time his grip loosened it was too late. Blackness swallowed her before she could even feel her head hit the cement.
Perfect Victory/Finishing Move:
That was it. That was her opportunity - quite possibly her only opportunity. Despite the immense risk, she took it.
The cell was right behind him.
With a cry of reckless fury, she lunged forward and threw herself into the warden with every ounce of physical strength she still had left.
On the way, his whip clipped her arm eliciting a yelp of pain, but by then she had too much momentum to be stopped.
They went sprawling into the cell, the Black Warden landing on his back, Kiani landing half-atop him. Before he could react, she pushed herself off him and scrambled out of the cell frantically.
Then she slammed the barred door shut.
Wiping hands covered in blood off on her robes - mostly her own blood, most likely - she glared down at him. In her eyes was a touch of ironic satisfaction.
There were a number of things she could do at this point. Without a word, she made her decision.
She left the Lost Bastille and never came back.