Armani La Vert: Midnight Velvet
As the tedious day sluggishly came to an end, there came the time to unwind the tenseness and rigidness of fragile bones but the current situation was one of no relaxation. The night rode in on a horse of pure midnight velvet, beckoned by the stars under the glow of a full moon. As the colours of the day laid to rest, perhaps dream of the morrow, the hillside became it's monochrome beauty, shapes that make an ever-changing, ever-present puzzle, question and answer united. In this night all was bound to become one, from rock to plant to animal, one promise of life awaiting the return of the sun. The darkness took everything. It sucked the glowing marrow from the fireflies, plucked the stars from the sky like a land baron fingering grapes from the vine. Not even the sun was spared as it plunged to the ground long ago as to never return. The blackness came and brought with it the haunts and spooks that gather at the doors of the mind at night pleading to be let in.
The sun had gone to rest, the moon took it's place as the shadows began to surround everything. He loved the night, it always hid his flaws, his imperfections, the scars burned onto his flesh, the stabs of knives left behind. Only the moon guided him through the night. His calming presence made living entity shut their glance, their body quietly switching off; but he would let their soul run free. He could do the things he would never be allowed to do when the sun was out. He could do whatever he want…as his worries, his thoughts, silently burnt into smoke as they wonder through the endless night once more.
The silent woods had always look different at night. Even with glasses, everything has an unfamiliar slant to it. As if the daytime trees and flowers and stones had gone to bed and sent slightly more ominous versions of themselves to take their places.
The moon was new, the stars be-speckle the sky but cast nothing to lift the impenetrable inky blanket concealing everything under it's shine. The faint lingering lilac sky was lost into the shadow. As if it was a routine, the shimmering sparkles of star brilliantly silhouetted into the darkness. The moon under siege by stars seemed to lighten the night bringing forth stars that shone and hung in the blackness. The never ending blackness consumed everything. Except the stars which stood out like pebbles in front of a storm. Ever enduring these shone with the night cowered in a inky black sky. It seemed like guerrilla warfare as the darkness controlled the sky yet the stars controlled the gleaming spots of where they originated. The war continued across the constellations. A trembling gush of wind inaudibly drifted across the skyline.
The figure had always found the night to be a comforting presence. Out here, far faraway from the human world whose bright lights were still visible on the horizon, more satellites were visible than anywhere else, bar maybe the arctic circle. The darkness might have hidden most of mother nature, but it revealed it's most beautiful aspects.
While the luminous celestial body light the sky like snow-flakes in the night, yet appear still, like an old photograph. However, a smirk-less face was all he had even though a smile was let loose. Other than the little darkness and himself all that seemed to exist was the chilly wind that it's harsh bite could be felt through his cloak. He could feel the hairs on his arm raised and the bite of the wind had left it's mark in the form of small bumps that were nothing but sensations. The feel of the wind blown unto his hair into a tousled mane. Were he out there in space riding the limits of the known universe, they would be a choreographed blizzard. How the stars would move, the galaxies tumble and dart.
The cold onshore breeze blew right through his full-body white kimono and he bowed his head to one side, closing lashes weighed down with no pity to keep out a figure in his presence off his eyes. The dampness of the little sand made it's way though the woven fabric he wore underneath his garment covering the region from waist to ankles. His hair fell loose behind his face, tousled, tangled. Under the night sky it still appeared white as ever, streaks lost to the night. He could hear the waves lapping like the ticking of a more leisurely clock, but never revealing the time, never demanding that he move on.
Just as the starry night above was better than any software imitation in their era. There were lighter patches, clusters of faint and bold light, the constellations altered according to the time of year. Those were the same stars that greeted the ancients, the same ones that would be there in millions of years, the same ones that would be there till the end of time, and the same night sky stood an inky canopy of darkness freckled only by the fewest of stars, where just hours ago it had been a blue summer's day.
But for now, with his arms wrapped over his chest of a windswept resistance towards stress, and his head leaned gently to point his glaze to the empty sky, the starlight kept its familiar pattern. The constellations, who witnessed centuries and millennia just the same, watched over this tiny moment. When more light came from the night sky than the sun, he switched from his stationary position and walked over the little greens of the land as he paved his way to exist the vicinity. The vicinity was more of a little portion of land which the eye can comprehend in a single view. An open space with more of the color green to it. Trees were close-by but the old growth grew so thickly that there was no undergrowth at all. About his feet are trivial plants of the family Poaceae, and browned remnants of branches and needles that have fallen in the recent high winds. If there was a path there his presence might be hardly known under the night sky, so one would have to wend their way through the skinny trunks that grew so tall, racing for their share of the moon's rays. In places they are so thickly clumped, one might have to alter his or her path. The air had that smell of nature, woodland before rain, perhaps above the canopy there are clouds fit to burst. It was dark for this time of day, so perhaps soon the filtered light will be accompanied by water droplets.
The assassin liked to make a clean kill, and thus favored small arms over explosives as he walked out of the presence of Diego with no remorse or what so ever. The silent cry from his footsteps were as loud as a whisper, as silent as a lion's roar. It was a frequency only ample to the senses of a black beetle. A distance of near 5meters were covered from his motion but moments before he could point out an index finger to conjure a rift from the empty space, a phase of the weakest audibility was heard.
Those were painful words from the orifice of Diego. His face, so handsome in life was frozen, eyes open, mouth slacked, as he was propelled backwards and collapsed from the physical assault sustained from the blows of the Espada. His eyes held unto the Espada and in those fractions of seconds he was there and then believed to be gone, the hustle of the ages in training to avenge his defeat that had been his essence of living till the present day simply vanished out of thin air. With both kneels and chest on physical contact with the surface of the earth, Diego's body laid waste to the ground like a ghoulish mannequin. A hit tholed at a region close to the lower abdomen only left his internals, tissues, organs dysfunctional. Diego was left paralyzed. As body of cloud moved, even the passage of the light from the moon slowed and the sounds became as if underwater. Aside from the beat of his heart, no single muscle moved. That pounding inside beat a rhythm to the words of his down fall. The punch entered as if his skin was nothing, just meat, blood, and fragile bones, blasting a cavity in his back as it burst crimson into the faded day. But where there's a will there's a way, his life force wasn't gone. Diego's index finger twitched involuntarily like it had a mind of it's own.
“Don't look down on me...i said we're not done.”
Diego repeated himself once again with every inky drop of strength he had underneath his sleeves.
Not all wasn't gone. It wasn't much to say but it was ample considering the situation. Presence of reiatsu was still felt running underneath his skin. Diego grasped for air in the midst of his downfall despite the odds that his chances of survival were frozen in absolute zero. He had seen better days, he was once a big bug, a person of some importance during his days at Hueco Mundo. The most impressive aspect of his dark lifestyle was the ability to never give up or back down even when the odds are not favourable. All that was left of the blood that had once flowed thick and scarlet in her veins was clasped in his callused fingers. The blood flowed like a lazy river, gushed with sickening determination from his stomach region, as if his own heart sought to pump it from his body, out of the exposed wounds. It moved like so much red gravy across the little potion of the landscape and sank down into the earth interrupting the color of the once green land. The Espada was impressed the very moment Diego managed to rise to his feet. It took almost forever but it was impressive. Every joint in his body went numb but he stood his ground anyway. He pressed snugly against his opened wounds to stop the free flowing surge of sticky blood but no matter the pressure he applied the blood still gushed between his fingers and oozed under his hand. The violet blood dripped down his arm and soaked the cloth material of his attire, but yet, even though pain fluctuated on his face, the defiant stance and angry crease through his forehead indicated he wasn't about to go down without a fight.
High above was an eagle; the cold air was being beaten by colossal black feathers, darker even than the crude oil that had been naturally buried underneath the ground. The eagle dominated the sky as it's birth right, spreading wings as broad as they are black. It's head looked white in the moonlight, as bright as the clouds it glides between. Yet in it's talons it carried a twisted piece of junk, rusted enough to give it an earthy hue from far below. It was the sound of that eagle that gave the deadly sign, like the sound of a ringed bell which screamed “Round two (2).”
“DON'T LET YOUR GUARD DOWN OVER A MINOR VICTORY. THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING.”
Diego yelled out loud on top of his voice regardless of the damage to his internals. Surprisingly audible, it echoed through the silent night with no compunction, disturbing the very land, the very vicinity they were in. With both palms clenched right in front of his chest, he took a praying stance.
“Renacimiento hueco...(Hollow rebirth)!”
It was nothing more than a word but the power within came along with a sudden burst of green spiritual energy that gave into the atmosphere ripping the very fabric of space. The kinetic wave travelled from the center of where Diego stood as it pushed back everything standing in it's path to a near five (5) meter radius. The only thing left was a dilapidated terrain that had been chopped off like it was a feeble material, like it was nothing but a candy crushed. Nevertheless, all that was just an alteration to the environment for what was yet to come. Regardless of the fact that he always had his heart in his boots, his potential had always been hidden from the outside world, but at that moment in time he was at the verge of revealing his triumph card. The Espada thought the ex head fracción was already done for, but little did he know that the impossible was yet to come. It was identical to a puff of vapour formed when liquid phase changes to gas phase under high temperature which was gradually released from his opens wound. To break the ice, a feat comparable to a reverse effect occurred to the fatal injury the previous head fraccion had sustained. Out of the blue, Diego's internal organs began to regenerate over time. Damaged cells that were destroyed were then restored in a matter of seconds. Dead tissues that had long been disintegrated were then replaced in proximity.
“What just happened? I believe crippled you, I thought I rubbed you off your limbs.”
Left to ponder over what just occurred right in front of his eyes, the Espada took a step slightly backward in response to the dexterous skill displayed. The point of greatest intensity he has ever seen an arrancar achieve was the notable high speed regeneration; the ability to regenerate any part of the body except for the brains and internal organs. The repair of damage can start quickly and finish in few seconds. However, despite the many benefits the regenerative capability has, many Hollows choose to abandon the power when becoming Arrancar in a trade for greater capabilities. Although it's ability to regenerate is indeed powerful it is not without flaws; the brains and internal organs can’t be regenerated.
At that moment, a spatial tear appeared in their presences. The occasional hoot of a hidden owl was one among the few sounds to permeate the silence until a chorus of slapping footsteps and crunching gravel echoed angrily into the emptiness of the night. As a voice quickly followed, the owl ommited a screech of protest and took flight.