Lily takes the hammer and grins to herself. "Ok. My turn. I'm putting everything into it." She said and reared back with the hammer and let it fly. She bent over nearly to the ground as she threw it. It tumbled end over end and blasted through the first pillar to embed into the second pillar. The powerful strength enchantments combined with her working out all the time really paid off. She nearly tumbled forwards from the weight of the throw but she looks up in time to watch the results. "Is that good?" She asked with a smile on her face.
Hriob instantly sports a daredevil grin. "Remind me never to get on your bad side, that was quite a throw. Mercy be on he who criticizes your cooking." He chuckles for a few seconds, quite impressed with her strength, and uses telekinesis to bring the sledge back to Lily's hand. He then redoubles his focus on his own shots. After about three minutes, he launches the five marbles in a fan-spread, doing slightly more damage per shot than last time. Improvements are moving along well... at this pace, an all-nighter might put this into my repertoire officially."Needs a name though... maybe..." He takes out another five as the pillars reassemble.
Lily giggled at Hriob. "It just feels weird smashing things. But it's fun. As for my bad side. I don't think I have one. Well maybe." She said and stretched out lightly. "I mean if you like kill my flowers. But I won't hurt you. Too much." She said whispering the final comment before putting the hammer down. "I think that's enough for me." She teleported to his shoulder and hugged the side of his face. She smelled lightly of roses and mango's. The scent would linger for a few more seconds. "Thank you for being a friend." She teleported away to her room.
Hriob smiles. Another friend... I'm glad I seem to be making so many as of late. It's a nice change from how it was before I came here. With redoubled effort, he re-continues sending supercharged metal marbles at extreme velocity, honing and perfecting the technique so that he could use it on the fly later on. "Hmm... still needs a good name... That might take a bit of thought..."
Ran walked out of her room, smiling. Her nine tails were wagging behind her as she walked down the stairs and into the lobby. I'm so happy that Chen is by my side once again.... For so long I've been struck with worry. She sat down on one of the tables, carrying with her the happy mood she has. But still, why didn't Yukari-sama just bring me back with a gap?
Meanwhile, Hriob still toiled away with his new technique, training himself non-stop to improve the accuracy, power, and charge-time of each shot. After the four hours he had put in so far, he was currently up to twenty seconds for a single low-powered shot capable of piercing thirty pillars of concrete, or a single max-power shot of seventy pillars capacity taking around three minutes to set up. By this time he had started to think that he needed to make the targets move, so he steps outside to reset the Duelist room to a new setting.
As he enters the Lobby covered in sweat and concrete dust, he notices Ran looking happier than usual: by comparison he was a bit weary and mildly irritated that things had yet to go very smoothly on more than one of his research fronts. Still, he politely smiles in her direction with a faint "Hello." He then turns to change the Duelist room setting to something with moving targets...
"You work too hard. My advice is to take it easy. I'd ask for a fried cream dory and also a beef noodle soup." She closed her eyes. "Take things step by step; you rush yourself." She opened her eyes and smiled. "You may have sensed it already, but I have gotten stronger. It's a proximity effect of me being close to my shikigami. Yes, that cat is my shikigami; my most powerful and precious shikigami. Her name is Chen. You do well to treat her well, or we will have very severe problems, far worse than any you have right now." She looked at Hriob sternly in the eye.
Hriob frowns, then sighs tiredly. "I was actually interested in meeting her, but I would obviously not let anything happen to her... as a person, as someone who wants to be a friend, and as the waiter of this establishment." He wearily uses telekinesis to pull the sweat and rubble off of himself and teleports them outside the tavern, then gets to work on her order of food quickly and efficiently. Within five minutes, he has her food served to her table with a cup of green tea, this batch made with a hint of Jasmine. He then grudgingly takes a breather as well in the corner, minding his own business. I have better things to do than tick her off more than I've already managed, after all.
"The fish is for her. Can I have a tray to have the fish with?" Ran stated as she started her meal. As she ate, she closed her eyes. "Do you wonder why a powerful being such as myself and Caleb wastes their time on someone like you?" She continued her meal, taking care not to soil her dress. It has been a while since she had eaten this without making it herself, and she was delighted by what greeted her palate.
Hriob nods, and grabs her a plate on a serving tray to bring to her room. "I suppose I ask that every day... at the very least it's better than the question 'why am I still alive' I used to ask myself before I stumbled upon this place." He looks more than a bit worn and depressed, but he still moves with a purpose: that much had changed in his demeanor since he found this place. "In the end, all I can really do is try to make myself worth your time and effort, to say nothing of Caleb's. I've long ago had to try and improve myself however I could, but I haven't had a teacher for anything in life save my original abilities of 'Drawing Energy', as you termed it. Everything about my knowledge is patchwork, haphazard, improvised: I never had the chance to find a relatively safe place to study and hone myself until I arrived here." Still feeling bitter towards himself, he picks up Ran's plate, empty now that she had finished her meal and put the fish for her shikigami on the other tray he had set down, and takes it ti the kitchen sink to clean.
"Keep asking yourself that question. Perhaps you will find an answer." Ran stated as she sipped her tea. She wanted to gauge what Hriob was thinking, and see if she needed to give some encouragement. She closed her eyes and continued to drink her tea. However, she did also wonder why. For her, she had given up on the idea of using him to get back to Gensokyo; it is far too dangerous for him. Perhaps time will tell when a reason makes itself clear.
Hriob, on the other hand, simply sits down behind the bar and focuses on deep, relaxed breathing to better refresh himself. As he does, he uses telekinesis to quickly make a small sandwich to snack on: he had noticed his hunger had increased with his overall surge in power over the last week. He quickly eats without wasting a morsel or making a mess, and then walks back to the Duelist room with some level of restored vigor. I'm good now, so let's get back on this. I want to make more improvements if this is going to rise to its potential as a form of attack and active defense. "I'll be in here if you need me, but you can come critique me if you want. I do value your opinion, after all."
Pressing the button, he opens the door and steps into a room full of floating, moving boulders in an 'endless' room otherwise identical to the last one. He calmly takes out a metal marble and starts to charge it... Ran's reminder of his question echoes in his thoughts, however, even if it does nothing to keep him from pushing himself to rise to what was needed of him.
Ran got up. She picked up the tray of fish and brought it to her room. She had no intention of watching him practice, nor really seeing his progress. She however could tell, this was one who has yet to find his niche in a sense of things. Perhaps when he had finally decided what to make of himself, will I decided to accept him.
Lily awoke from her nap and let out a deep yawn of contempt. "Such a good nap." She said and changed her night gown into yellow yoga pants and comfy black shirt. "A little run around the room with the new weight." She said with a smile and teleported over to the harness and climbed into it. It was strengthened for her size compared to the weight of the ball she was pulling. The diminutive woman began slowly at first at a walk speed to get the ball rolling. Soon enough once comfortable she pushed harder and began to run. Though the turns around the room made it a little hard to slow the ball enough so it didn't go crashing into a wall. Which is nearly what happened when she finally decided to stop. But she gave it enough of a tug to stop it from doing any harm if it could.
Hriob spent a great deal of time and effort going into the attack, by now managing to use it both to intercept others' attacks in mid-air and to 'ghost' his shots through certain targets and not through others. He could fire a low-level shot in three seconds, and fire one capable of tearing everything in its path asunder on a massive scale in under one minute thirty. He had made full use of his eye's sensitivity, and could aim for a pin-sized target moving at high speed and random direction from seventy yards away without too much difficulty. He could charge multiple metal marbles at the same time and fire them selectively, the remainder hovering above and slightly behind his shoulders until they were released at a target.
Finally exhausted, he leaves the Duelist room, resets it to the standard 'standby' setting, and walks into his room to refresh himself and tidy up.
He still ponders the question of 'Why me' in his head, reflecting on a life of eclectic talents and improvised interests. I can cook, I can fight, I can treat wounds, I can play music, I can wait on customers, I can research, I can negotiate and mediate competing factions, I can read the makeup of a person's very soul, I can travel between entirely different universes without too much fuss, I can call upon the elements that embody the power of a heavy storm, I can exorcise demons from their victims and consume their spirits instead of letting them have their way with me, I can seal away knowledge, memories, and even my own emotions if need be...
And I still don't really know if I can say for sure that I know what it is I'm supposed to do with my life. I might be able to work as a mediator and confidant for the Order and the Dominion, but at the rate things are moving they might unify under one banner thanks in part to my efforts. That isn't really a life's calling, just something I felt I could do and did... Same as this latest technique I came up with today, same with my getting a job here, same with almost anything good I've ever done in my life. I don't have certainty in what I'm supposed to do, I just have good ideas at the time and work on them; I don't know my purpose and place in the infinite number of worlds that exist, I just work where I can and adapt for each role as it enters my life. I'm not a single identity, I'm a collection of everything I can and have done strapped together in one mind, body, and spirit.
I try to be wiser than my age should be, but only have so much success. I try and pick up new skills, and even if I do much better than any true novice I do not truly master them. I industriously meet people and make friends whenever I can, but it was only luck that landed me in what I would say is a family. I don't think I'm in a position to say what my life has in store for me any more than I should say what my real place in it is.
He naps lightly, letting the fatigue soak out of him as he unconsciously mulls these thoughts over in his sleep.