Support Level C Edit
Hope: *practicing fire magic* Noble blaze burn....
Slash: *watching him from a distance* ...
Hope: Fireball! *unleashes three small fireballs from his hand, burning a nearby tree* Now, let's try that higher level spell....
Slash: *approaches him* Mage, huh?
Hope: *startled by the sudden appearance* Y-Yeah...
Slash: You prefer fire, too, I see.
Hope: *nods* It's the element I'm most comfortable with....
Slash: That is good. Fire is strong.
Hope: I suppose, but it's only as strong as the materials used to start it.
Slash: Only as strong as the person using it. Are you strong?
Hope: *mutters* That's a question I'd love to know the answer to....
Slash: Then you are weak.
Hope: Aren't we quick to judge? What....*pauses for a moment to articulate his words* What if you're not sure what strength is?
Slash: Then you are weak. I know what strength is.
Hope: *downcast* Well, that helps....
Slash: Hmm. Do you desire to be strong?
Hope: Of course!
Slash: I will tell you the key to strength
Hope: The key to strength?
Hope: Okay then....what would that be?
Slash: You must shed your emotions.
Hope: *blinks* Shed my emotions? Why?
Slash: They weigh you down. Focus only on power, only on strength
Hope: That doesn't sound quite right....
Slash: You are still weak. Heed my advice and you will grow strong *leaves*
Hope: There's gotta be another way....
End of Support C
Support Level B Edit
Slash: *counting coins* ...
Hope: *reading a spellbook nearby* So, to cast that arte, I just need to do that....
Slash: 96.. 97.. No, wait.. 92... *rubs his head in frustration* can you keep it down?
Hope: *looks up for a moment* Oh, sorry...hey, it's you!
Slash: Yes. I don't believe I caught your name earlier..
Hope; My name is Hope; what should I call you?
Slash: I am Slash.
Hope: *nods in acknowledgement* Very well, Slash. What brings you to town today?
Slash: *motions to a LARGE pile of coins* Counting.
Hope: *blinks in surprise* That's an awful lot of coins there....
Slash: Money is power.
Hope: Sad, yet true....
Slash: Do you wish to be rich?
Hope: *rolls his eyes* Been there, done that.
Hope; *sighs a bit* My full name is Hope Estheim; I'm of noble birth.
Slash: ..do you still have money?
Hope: *downs down and away*....I embarked on my travels about six months ago; my estate still stands, but I don't carry coin with me. I've learned that money cannot buy happiness.
Slash: You.. you are foolish. Your money and your strength are your only companions in life.
Hope; *frowns a bit* That's a morbid outlook on life....why do you say that? There are plenty of things worth living for.
Slash: Only a weak man would say that. Still, you are lucky.
Hope: How, exactly, I am lucky?
Slash: If you had money on you, I'd have killed you for it.
Hope: That's how you are...killing, robbing, depriving yourself of life's joys simply to obtain some abstract notion of strength...you're merely a shell of a human being.
Slash: I am strong. Stronger than you could ever hope to be. I am a hurricane, while you are but a breeze.
Hope: Care to put that to the test? *draws his Elfire tome*
Slash: You have no money, you are not worth killing *leaves*
Hope: *surprised by his sudden departure* Hey! Coward!
End of Support B
Support Level A Edit
Slash: *doing sit ups* ...
Hope: *some distance away, doing battle against a mysterious man* Spiral Flare! *the flames hit the man, but he continues to press on* What...
Slash: *watches Hope fighting him* ...
Hope: *dodges the man's fists before he jumps back and begins casting a spell* Howl, O blazing dragon's rage. Arise and engulf my enemies in storming hellfire... Dragon's Maw! *a giant dragon made of hellfire emerges from the ground and clamps it's maw down on the man, leading to a large explosion of fire* *Hope is panting slightly from the extreme pressure of using the high-leveled spell*
Slash: Hmm.. impressive...
Hope: *the man's unmoving* I think that's it....*let's out a breath of relief*
Slash: *Walks up next to him* Who was he?
Hope: I'm not sure...He said he wanted something from me, then attacked.
Slash: Hmm. *bends down and starts searching him for money*
Hope: *watches in both interest and disgust*
Slash: *puts some coins in his pocket and finds a note* Has your name on it. Guess he had been looking for you.
Hope: What? Let me see that...*takes the note and reads it* The only thing on this note is a list of names....mine is at the top.
Slash: Didn't have much money on him. He's probably paid after completing missions.
Hope: Most likely some kind of assassin....but why would anyone want to target me?
Slash: You said you were of noble blood. Power, money. I'd kill you if you had anything of value on you.
Hope: The only valuable thing I have is of personal value; it's worthless on the market. Regardless, I suppose it doesn't matter of the man is dead.
Slash: But if he thought you had something more valuable... And there may be more.
Hope: I should be alright; I travel a lot.
Slash: You are also weak and ignorant, though. You will be dead soon.
Hope: Say that to the man who's dead on the ground.
Slash: *shrugs* He, too, was weak. But you have emotions. As you defeat enemies you grow cocky, off guard. It only takes one blunder for the weakest man to slit your throat.
Hope: That's how life works; you cannot expect to go through it without danger.
Slash: Danger, yes. Weakness, you can do without.
Hope: Who are you to decide what is weakness and what is not?
Slash: I am strength. Power. I determine everything I please to.
Hope: That's all well and good for you, but don't go around acting like your version of strength is absolute. I will find my own strength, without you.
Slash: Strength is absolute.
Hope: Then fight me and test it for yourself
Slash: Hmmph. You're pathetic, fighting for honor.
Hope: Then you don't appreciate the true strength of honor. *draws his tome* Prepare yourself
Slash: *throws a fireball at Hope and pulls out his knife* ...
Hope: *dodges, then returns one of his own*
Slash: *also dodges and moves closer to attack with knife*
Hope: *uses his tome to knock the knife from his hand* *casts Elfire*
Slash: *gets knocked back by the Elfire but also manages to hit Hope with his own fire spell*
Hope: *falls back a bit* *begins to cast a spell* Piercing flames, rise and strike my enemy... Flame Lance! *a lance made of fire flies through the air and strikes Slash*
Slash: *is knocked to the ground by the impact* Arg! *uses the rest of his strength to cast a spell that also knocks Hope to the ground* Ahh... *panting out of breath*
Hope: *manages to stand, but is obviously worn* *breathing a bit heavily*
Slash: *Stands up and stares at him for a moment* ...
Hope: *takes a deep breath before pushing aside his fatigue and prepares to fight again*
Slash: *holds up his hand* Fighting each other is futile. We are like lions preying on one another when we should be hunting game.
Hope: *blinks in surprise* You don't want to fight any more?
Slash: You gain nothing from killing me. I gain nothing from killing you.
Hope: You don't necessarily have to kill someone to end a fight.
Slash: The fight is ended. You are strong. I admire your strength.
Hope: *blinks in surprise* You do?
Slash: Strength is all there is in this world.. all there is to admire.
Hope: *frowns a bit* Strength comes in all forms; some of them, you just haven't found yet.
Slash: I know what strength is.
Hope: Yes, but do you what forms it comes in? There's physical, magical, emotional, faithful, skillful, political...more than you can count.
Slash: It is all power.
Hope: Yes, but it's not all that's important. Don't you have anyone close to you?
Hope: Yeah; like a friend, a family member or a lover?
Slash: No family or friends. Many lovers and whores.
Hope: *frowns* So...in short, no one close to you?
Slash: If that is your definition, then no.
Hope: *bites his lip* Maybe that's why....
Slash: Why what?
Hope: Why you only care for empowering yourself; you don't have anyone to show you otherwise.
Slash: Not having anyone has strengthened me.
Hope: But having others can strengthen you so much more...
Slash: *starting to grow angry* My parents death was the best thing that could have happened to me.
Hope: Why would you say that? That's horrible!
Slash: It empowered me. It taught me to steal, to fight, to survive in this world. The weakest will fall one by one. Sooner or later... only people like me will be left standing
Hope: The people like you....end up dead like that assassin. Your lust for power will consume you and, sooner or later, someone stronger than you will end your life. History has seen that scenario play out thousands of times.
Slash: Don't you see then why we must become stronger?
Hope: The reason WHY those people end up dead, is because no one cared about them. They decided to isolate themselves from others and become cold and heartless. You need people in your life to support you, even if you don't think you do. Have you been living..or merely existing?
Slash: No one cares about anyone. This world is cruel, all you can do is survive.
Hope: Now that's a blatant falsehood! You must never have had experienced a positive emotion in your life if you think that! Either that, or the place you grew up in sucked!
Slash: I grew up in an orphanage, where I learned what the real world was like. We live to kill. Everything does. Humans, animals, even plants.
Hope: I can't believe someone could think that....
Slash: Look around you. That man tried to kill you for money. Animals kill to survive. Plants choke each other out for sunlight. Life is a constant struggle where you must kill or be killed.
Hope: *bites his lip*....That man....didn't try to kill me for my money....
Slash: Oh? Then why?
Hope:....He came after me....because of this....*holds out a small blue stone* It's an apatheia....
Slash: What's that?
Hope: This stone....*sighs* You'll most likely not believe me, but it is the remnants of the soul of an Entelexeia.....I happened to know him personally. The names on the list are also people who have apatheia. The fact that he wanted it...couldn't have been anything good.
Slash: ...so if I took it from you would it do me any good?
Hope: If you tried, I would kill you. Plain and simple.
Slash: So would it or not?
Hope: ....If you had the correct techniques...then yes....it could.
Slash: But by all the preaching you've been doing, I'm guessing I don't?
Hope: That'd be correct.
Slash: *rolls his eyes* you're useless... *walks away*
Hope: *watches him leave* There may be hope for him yet....
End of Support A
Hope, Spirit Protector and Slash, Lost Soul
Hope and Slash met several more times after that day, until their ideolistic clashes reached a fiery climax in the form of a magical duel. Eventually, though it took several hours and much effort, Hope's strength and belief in his emotions saw him through. Slash, now fully realizing the power that he had long denied, tried to make amends in his life for the people he had mercilessly killed. And, with Hope's help, he managed to do just that.