837/Stabbing 101: Belkan Edition

From Radiant Heart MUSH

Stabbing 101: Belkan Edition
Date of Scene: 02 December 2023
Location: Club Building
Synopsis: In which Hannah Steiner shares the joy of SWORD with others.
Cast of Characters: Hannah Steiner, Haruka Tenoh, Nanoha Takamachi, Amanda Faust, Sayaka Miki, Itsuki Inubouzaki

Hannah Steiner has posed:
The life of a mahou, or even just your average teenager, is pretty rough. Combine the two? And well you have a wellspring of issues ranging from petty, to emotionally scarring, and all the way up to the outright murderous. Not necessarily in that order. And as one person dealing with the whole spectrum? Well, frankly Hannah Steiner needs a karking break, and she's making it everyone's benefit-and-or-problem by setting up an entirely official and not strongarm'd-into-by-sheer-Belkan-stubborness proper Club Demonstration and Recruiting Drive.

Therefore everyone arrives in the RA gym, which has a bevvy of proper fencing armor, and far, far too many swords on racks for every conceivable size of person. They are also meticulously grouped by style, ranging from the rapier, to the epee, to the slashing saber! One might be briefly blinded by how well polished they are.

Thankfully, they're all made vaguely safe through tips and-or blunting. The fencing captain had a far too long conversation about that point with Hannah after all.

Just another negative on this little backward dirtball's 'laws' about 'Dueling' as far as Hannah is concerned.

"Willkommen mein freunds! You artists of the battlefield! You curious onlookers, und overtaxed students whom only the MAJESTIC UND ANCIENT ART OF STABBING ANOTHER PERSON can properly lead to a mere moment's rest! May the Holy Sankt keep all of us whole, happy, und show naught by the greatest of honor, by all of our Houses' nomens!" Comes the young woman, already dressed in fencing armor, and holding...something that is absolutely a sword-cane straight out of the victorian era, but is definitely made from materials that post-date that. Absurdly so, in fact.

Thankfully Hannah has put a tip on her blade, and ensured that BG's blade was 'blunted' through various Device User cheating. It pays to be a Meister sometimes.

Also, Lyra is nearby, ready to give her callouts, lounging in the bleachers fuzzy-slash-feathery like!

"Now then! Mein nomen is Hannah Steiner! Perhaps some of you know me, some naught! Und mein companion there is Lyra, she shall be mein partner for callouts, just so you all are aware! Ja, you may pet her! Now then, everyone, nomens first und then a bow or a duelist's salute, or what have you, und then suit up und find a proper blade that fits you! Novice or expert, this is a /stress relief/, so do naught worry so much mein friends!" She is just....exceedingly friendly. It's like being hammered into the skull with warmth and a certain kind of bluntness that is utterly indescriminant unless there's actual murder involved.

She grins a thousand watt grin, slashes her blade in a Duelist's Salute, and then points with her free hand.

"Now get your favored implements of stabbing! Lyra und I polished them all ourselves!" Then she laughs, the slightly rough Space German voice carrying like an expert orator throughout the entire gym!

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    Haruka Tenoh is here, in her school uniform - the boy's, today - drawn by Hannah Steiner's loud proclamations because really it was hard not to be. But also by the idea of sword. Haruka herself had always been more of a track-and-field or pavement-and-rubber athlete. Not so much a poking people with a sharp stick and fancy footwork athlete. But Haruka was also more than just Haruka, and the other her, the one from long ago? She had a sword.

    So in a way, coming here today was partly curiosity, but it was also something she saw as a way to connect to her past self, and maybe bring the two sides into balance, like all the other girls seemed to have been able to do so much more easily.

    And so that's why the handsome boy(?) was here, looking through the thinner thrusting-type swords, the ones that reminded her of the one Sailor Uranus could draw from thin air. All of them were... heavier, but she supposed that was due to the whole 'guarded by the air' thing, or maybe the 'transformed strength' thing.

Nanoha Takamachi has posed:
Nanoha Takamachi is here to help her friend with... uhm. Swords.

Yup, she has a sword and it feels all wrong. She swings it in the air slowly the small blade she's chosen as she frowns a little. Yuuno is hanging out somewhere from the bleachers from Nanoha's back up.

"Yuuno called me.. a..." bombardment type. Maybe that's why swords feel so alien to her. Fighting with a giant cannon from space was better. She then turns around and gets ready to take instruction. Maybe, with enough practice, this could be a good fallback. She could get really good!

Also, maybe Yuuno could fly.


Amanda Faust has posed:
    Amy has arrived in gym clothes under her oversized coat, scratching her head a bit at Hannah's introduction. She pets Lyra and hugs Hannah and goes to suit up, lifting one of the sample swords and testing its heft. Nanoha is recognized from the dance, "Hey, good to see you again!" and Haruka... is not recognized. "Hey, nice to meet you, man." She holds out a hand to shake. "Have either of you fenced before, or is this new to you, too? Well, I took a class once, years and years ago... uh, when I was a little kid, I mean. But I don't really remember it."

Sayaka Miki has posed:
Sayaka Miki has heard about Hannah's Belkan club, and unlike her recent attitude regarding clubs, she is coming to this one. Why? Because this is training, and training can help her be more efficient in battles, so they could take less time, and she could cover more. That's very important. Though she has had her doubts when it comes to fencing when Adrien and Ryoko had described it to her. But she is hoping it will be worthwhile in the end.

She is not interested in chitchat. That would just mean less time devoted to training, and she can't waste it on those kinds of enjoyments anymore. Besides, only Amy here shares her nature, so the less contact the others have with her, the better. Having changed in gym clothes, she just grabs a swords and after giving a few tests, awaits for instructions.

Itsuki Inubouzaki has posed:
    Itsuki is around. She doesn't really have any business with swords, but she's in the background, manning a snacks table. The usual assortment of convenience foods, along with some botomochi supplied by Togo-senpai. She is a quiet little thing, but cheerful enough. She should probably just... Stay away from the swords. In general.

Hannah Steiner has posed:
Even the lightest blade is heavier than one might expect, if they've never handled a physical (or non-mahou-augmented) sword before. Hannah helpfully goes on a diatribe about the differences between each fencing blade! Foils, the lightest, have valid targets in the chest area.

Sabres are mid-way between weights, consider the upper half of the body excluding the hands to be a valid score. A versatile weapon!

Epees, however, are the heaviest of the type, and a thrusting weapon, where the entire body is considered a valid strike point.

Hannah's own weapon seems to be some kind of stylish combination of an epee and a sabre, but she's holding it in a very epee-like fashion in case anyone is confused on where she's valid to hit.

Hannah lets the group in general suit up and get to know one another, the friendly Belkan happy to encourage social time. Nanoha gets a smirk.

"Come now, mein freund, have more FAITH in yourself! Believe in the me whom believes in the Sankt Kaiser whom believes in me und thus you! Legs apart, blade up, und for once ignore the white of their eyes as the 'Americans' say!" That's not how that quote goes.

For all her bombast, the Belkan shows off the kind of fencing form for Nanoha that speaks of someone who's had both the best of tutors and has poured her entire soul into wielding a sword.

Also Lyra attempts to lick Yuuno, because Yuuno is adorable. Then the Razorhund barks a callout or two, which Hannah then uses to correct some points of Nanoha's stance.

Then squeeeze goes one Belkan, though distracted, she smiles! Especially as she goes up to greet Nano and Haruka. Thoughts grind, and the maestress of blades grins.

"Mein liebling! frau Takamachi! Partners!" Proclaims the Countess-Palatine, and there's suddenly some helpful Club members over to explain the finer points of swording that Hannah isn't showing off.

Something about the presence of one Haruka Tenoh has Hannah's attention. She /almost/ decides to challenge her personally based on vibes alone, but a familiar voice in the club interrupts her. The Countess just kind of...waves her hand.

Now, Hannah's a fairly tall drink of space germany, but the young man that she offers over to Haruka's swording instincts is huge, with brown hair, and a face that is just on the right side of warm and goofy to basically make him seem like the walking equivalent of a teddy bear. He's also very obviously from America, as both his bow and Japanese is a bit unsure.

"Pleasure to meet you! Call me...Bob-kun? Shall we?" He bows to Hannah, too, who helpfully offers a Duelist's Salute after Lyra's bark.

The friendly guy offers to show Haruka how to sword-stance. The young man is good at his chosen sport, and he wields an epee like it's a toothpick.

He's bracing up, ready, but lets the newcomer go first. He seems the patient type.

Sayaka doesn't even say hello, and after there's some words exchanged from another club member? Well Hannah wanders over.

"frau Miki! A pleasure to finally see you again! ...What, no words for me?" She keeps her voice private, but doesn't bother to hide any offense in it. Which...well, she's a bit offended by the lack of greetings, and a Belkan doesn't know what subtlety is.

As for Itsuki? One of the club members wanders up, happy to remain in the background. A short local, Atsuki-chan is more of...a cheerleader of sorts in the club than a proper fencer. The kind to take care of the paperwork, setup, rather than get in on the stabbing.

"So. If they all had a tournament, which one would win?" She asks of the other person more inclined to watch than stab!

Amanda Faust has posed:
    Amy is surprised by the weight not because it's heavy but because her non-mahou strength is a lot weaker than when she took a fencing class in college. She's also completely forgotten the stance, putting her off-hand forward like Fight Club taught her to, because in bare-handed combat she could use it to block. The Fencing Club members are quick to correct her.

    Amy giggles at Bob-kun's introduction. "Call me Amy-chan, then!" she calls out with a smile.

    So, she's facing Nanoha... or someone else who looks new and unsure to this, anyway. She bows. "Let's have a fair and square match. Ready... Fight!" She gives them a second to make the first move, then decides to take the initiative and provoke their reactions, darting in with jabs with her saber. The first few are deliberately short, meant to provoke her opponent to action, but... Then she *keeps* misjudging the distance and staying just a biiiit too far away to actually hit, which might come across like she's taunting or something. Her facial expression is one of intense concentration, though!

Sayaka Miki has posed:
Sayaka looks over when Hannah calls her. Oh, right, she is the instructor. Sayaka is still thankful to her for having helped Kyousuke, so she gives her a smile before saying "Sorry if I offended you, but it's better if we limit ourselves to practice and nothing more." The smile becomes a sad one before adding "It's better if you don't interact with me otherwise. That's not something I can do anymore."

The bluenette then shows Hannah the Epee she has picked up. "I would like to train with this. And I would appreciate if you showed me some moves. I am not sure of much of this translates to actual combat, if any, but I want to try it out. I am here for this, to train. Sorry, Hannah-san."

Itsuki Inubouzaki has posed:
    "Eeeh?" Itsuki lets out when she is addressed. Then her eyes darting around the room at everyone, she goes, "Anoo~..." She almost says, 'Probably my sister', but as far as she knows her big sis isn't in this club, so probably not actually! "...Maybe... Um... Hannah-senpai? Or, um... Sayaka-senpai?" Sorry, Amy-senpai, but she does not associate you with swords!

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    Haruka Tenoh smiles at the boy across from her. He's not a small dude, but he seems polite and nice enough. Haruka lets him show her how to stand and move. It's a lot more comfortable in some ways, with her looking more like a he right now - no awkward misunderstandings possible, just a focus on the sword.

    She picks it up quickly because on some level, she knows this - she knows it more intimately than the non-mahou-fighters in the room. But she needs someone to instruct her a bit to 'unlock' that knowledge fully. This means, though, that she takes to it all like a duck to water.

    Or a duck to just being a duck. It's not long before the young man's talents start to need to be put to the test as memories of duels fought long ago bring Haruka up to Sailor Uranus' level steadily.

Hannah Steiner has posed:
Bob-kun offers Amy a wave, and a warm smile, happy to have another American around! It's a reminder of home, as much as he loves Japan. Glad to be not the only fish out of water!

Thankfully someone slightly less dramatic and more sensible stops the nano-amy duel before it can get too out of hand for both parties, and redirects both to people whose idea of training is less 'get punched in the face a lot after practicing form' and more 'form before facepunch'. It's a subtle difference. The Fencing Club has people for these kinds of things.

Amy ends up matched with a lovely orange-haired young woman by the name of Juri. She's a bit stern, and clearly skilled, but meets Amy's every strike with an expert one...and offers equally stern advice with every blow. Juri Najima knows what she's doing, and lacks the hot bloodedness that makes Hannah a menace when it comes to these kinds of things.

Hannah, of course, has an elemental hatred of said Najima-san. Anything she's told Amy about her temporary instructor isn't exactly a lie, but Hannah is good at twisting events and reality to suit her own ego like any true noble.

Atsuki-chan weighs in on Itsuki's anno with consideration. And her answer too! "If I were a yakuza, I'd bet on Bob-kun." Pause. Hmmmm.

"...But Hannah-tan keeps swapping blade-types. Does she have a whole rack of swords or something? They're always...a little weird? But yeah, I'd put Hannah-tan as a second." She squints.

"The cute bluenette has promise though!" Atsuki-chan is a scout in the making.

Bork! Goes one Lyra. And then Itsuki gets a smile!

"Right, let's make sure these sword-nerds hydrate!" Comes the girl, shoving water bottles towards Itsuki!

Hannah's jaw just drops. She is very politely shoved away, in the social sense, and equally as much pulled in as a mere object of skill improvement. Her jaw shuts with an audible clamp. Hannah's entire body seems to twitch, and finally she takes a breath.

For someone so good at talking loudly and thoroughly? Hannah Steiner cannot find words for Sayaka Miki.

Her face, however, is becoming a very interesting shade of first red, then almost purple that's entirely unbefitting such a Scion of the House of Steiner.

Meanwhile, Bob-kun proves both excellent instructor and training partner. Hannah and Bob seem to be vague polar opposites, because as Haruka leans into old duels and skills slowly warmed up from a life time(s) before? Soon he takes his first hit, and celebrates with an 'ah-hah!' that's just like a giant saint bernard barking at you for some act of kindness. Then scores are being traded. It's a clear 'strength vs agility' type of fight, but slowly? Haruka is starting to come out on top.

The swiftness of the wind and non-magical but very stalwart defenses are tested.

Also Bob-kun is absolutely trying to recruit Haruka for the club, which frankly Hannah would be doing too.

If she wasn't busy with trying to hit a friend with her sword.

"What madness are you spouting, Sayaka Miki!? By the Sankt, if I've offended to the level that you see me as a bundle of /skill/ rather than a /person/, do me the honor of offering a Duel over the matter! Und appraise me of the insult!!! I was /told/ the peoples of Japan had a knack for honor, or has such faded!?" Even she'll admit (later) she's going a bit low for that last one. But a Countess like her must appeal to certain things.

In this case it's a Belkan sense of honor. Lyra hiss-borks, sadly having to spectate this debacle, even as Hannah tries to score a point straight into Sayaka's chest. Hard. Thankfully there's a tip and armor there, but, the Belkan is not holding back here, and all but radiating elemental rage at such lack of regard over the bond she fondly thinks is there.

Amanda Faust has posed:
    Juri is Ranked First in Warfare and Amy is merely Human... Chaos-rank, maybe? Don't mind me, just a little obscure tabletop humor there.

    The point is, absolutely nothing Amy can think of to do with a sword can get through Juri's guard. Even when she's trying her hardest. And she's learning a |lot|, which is great, but nothing she learns is enough to make much progress against a master fencer.

    What's going on with Sayaka and Hannah is a problem, though. Amy holds up a hand after Juri defeats her *again*. "They're right, we need to hydrate. Break? Thank you, I'm learning so much." She does get a water bottle, but after drinking she approaches the Hannah-Sayaka fight. "I don't think it's *you* she doesn't see as a person anymore, Hannah." She takes another sip of water and then holds the bottle behind her back as she watches the two of them.

    "Didn't you hear me last night? We're mag--more than just ruthless efficiency. Feelings, friendship and love, and everything else... it still applies no matter what substrate our consciousness is running on. If you thought there was any truth to my speech..." She looks between the two.

    "At least try not to make things worse with Hannah, alright?"

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    Haruka debates whether she has time for the club. Okay technically she doesn't because the universe is going to end if she screws everything up. She does, however, enjoy brushing up on her skills. Argh. She tells Bob-kun that she can't really join right now, but maybe after the winter holidays things at home will calm down. And by home she means "the past" and by calm down she means "slap an ancient evil around until it stops doing things". But you know. Normies.

    But she does spend the rest of the evening practicing. It's a good way to... connect her two halves, while doing something with her body that leaves her free to think about all of the crazy things that have gone on. Of course, it's thinking about those things and not any inherent advantage Bob has over her with all of his experience that causes him to end up slightly ahead of her in all of the final tallies.

    But... it does feel good. Maybe she'll at least visit fencing club at some point even if she can't commit to it as a full club.

Itsuki Inubouzaki has posed:
    "R-right!" Itsuki replies, knowing little about fencing but quite a bit about handing out water bottles. Scooping up as many as she can hold in her arms, she hurries around the table (though carefully so she doesn't fall!) and starts going up to each of the no-doubt tired attendees, to offer them some hydration. Even a non-sworder has her uses!

Sayaka Miki has posed:
"That's not it, Hannah-san", Sayaka says, realising she got the whole thing upside-down. "It's really for the best if we keep our interactions to the bare minimum, I don't deserve to take part in clubs or any leisurely activity. I am only here because this is training too, but I don't deserve your attention or kindness", she tries to explain herself.

Then Amy comes over, and she brings up that speech. "That's nice, but it doesn't really matter. I am not telling you how to live your life, Amy-senpai, but the way we have been reduced, I am no longer fit for those things", she shakes her head with a frozen expression.

Hannah Steiner has posed:
Juri, luckily, just sort of nods to Amy, and then offers a bow. "I have seen far worse." That is, apparently, a compliment coming from her.

And then she turns to the Sayaka-Hannah fight.

"...Idiot." She sighs, shakes her head, and just walks off.

Hannah is not at all in the mood for a break. She could definitely use some water, but that's a problem for Future Hannah.

"Mein liebling I like naught your implications, nor those should you be incorrect upon said implications! However, I find a blade produces the basest form of honesty!" Comes the blonde. Yeah, sorry Amy-chan, this is Hannah. This is Belkan Negotiation in action.

Haruka gets her last point, and after an absurdly good salute? Bob-kun kind of just deflates, briefly looking sad, but then nods.

"Always welcome here!" Comes the big young man warmly. Lyra offers an approving bork, both Haruka's skill and her willingness to come around is clearly welcomed.

Itsuki gets a bow and a wave as Bob-kun takes the offered water bottles. Because fighting even a 'mundane' (as though a word could be applied to Haruka Tenoh in any sense) is a tiring affair. The big bear looks quite pleased with himself, though eyes the fight between Sayaka and Hannah with equal parts interest and worry.

He knows Hannah isn't the kind to go easy. And rather suspects Sayaka is of a similar kin.

Not good. Not good!

Also Itsuki quickly gets many a thanks and a warm greeting! Even if she's not wielding a blade, she's keeping them all from passing out. Which given some of the personalities in the club? Is a valuable thing.

Careful, Itsuki, you might just make /friends/ at this rate!

"Y....You DEIGN...." Hannah is having to consciously choose between breathing, fighting, and riposting Sayaka's words. A referee signals a point, as she's gotten right in the chest as the fencing match between the two suddenly drops like a stone in importance.

Bob-kun inches his way forward and waves his hands, smiling in that soft, warm way like a ray of sunshine that is also as fluffy as a cloud.

"Club meet over everyone. I...Itsu-chan? More water please. Everyone...this way...this way..." Nothing to see here folks.

A cane-sword hits the ground in an unnaturally gentle way, Hannah blatantly ignores the epee bending at her chest, and then she throws off her helmet with nothing but contempt.

"Tell me whom deserves mein kindness und affection, shall you!?!? Nein! NEIN! I deny such words, until the very light of this backbitten little..." Her teeth works, and then she finds she doesn't care at all.

"Dirtball!!!" Seethes the young woman. And then she grips Sayaka's wrist, followed by her waist, and hauls her fellow mahou over her shoulder like a sack of potatoes.

All while descending into increasingly furious Belkan. Even if someone here was fluent in the language? It quickly descends into local Tharkadian idioms, slang, and other unintelligible howls of outrage that vaguely are linguistic outlines of words.

Namely, 'Heretic', 'Sankt Kaiserless fool', 'reckless', 'heathen' and an impressive amount of synonyms for 'fool of a friend' meant to impress upon 'freund' equally as much as 'fool'.

The fact she doesn't even blow Amy a kiss on the way out might be a sign of just how mad she is right now.

Amanda Faust has posed:
    (Amy matches Juri's bow in return. She's learned just enough to get an inkling of just how skilled Juri is, and respects that and does honestly appreciate such a person taking some time to teach her.)

    She watches the Hannah-Sayaka fight and uh.

    That happened. She hands her sword to the nearest club member then quickly strips out of her fencing armor and hands *that* to the nearest club member, offering a quick "Sorry!" for the inconvenience before rushing after Hannah.