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[04:16] <Dinah> For a week with so much upheaval, a lot of the students looked more to their schedules than anything, if just to cling to the normalcy that the day-to-day had to offer. Clubs were there for everyone in them on top of that, to distract their minds from what had happened, the parts of it that they remembered anyway. A welcome reprieve from the chaos of the school to dip back into the various activities that they enjoyed. It would help, certainly.-
[04:19] <Dinah> The day started like normal, if just because it didn't adhere to what most might think was normal. The Wushu Club was in session, with everyone present…aside from Jiang Chang herself to lead them. This wasn't the first time, nor would it be the last time. And in the few instances where it had happened before, Dinah was fine with leading the class until she arrived. She had done so before and she clearly knew more about it than half the members they had. All they had worked on, mostly, was poses, stances and the like. The motions without the bite. It wasn't a problem.-
[04:19] <Dinah> Today, though, it was.-
[04:22] <Dinah> Dinah's mood hadn't improved since the eruption of the team. In certain senses, it had actually gotten worse, if that was believable. Students avoided walking close to her in the halls, if just because they could see the restrained violence in her eyes. And yet here, there was no real escape. Glancing around, she saw that she had to step up once more and, with a sharp few movements to the front of the room, she glanced out at the rest of them with ice in her eyes. "Alright! We've been wastin' enough time as it is, so now we're gonna move into the real shit! Today's sparring! We're gonna work on throws! You! Up here!"-
[04:24] <Minaplo> Reiko Hamasaki thumbed her nose at her face questioningly.
[04:25] <Dinah> With a grunt, Dinah lifted her brows as if to say, 'Who else?', waiting for her to come up as wary eyes watched from the rest of the class, most of whom had shifted away from Reiko when Dinah's finger went out, as if they could all avoid what was coming.
[04:28] <Minaplo> Reiko stepped forward, her own expression cautious. "Okay."
[04:29] <Dinah> Waiting for Reiko to arrive, Dinah actually gave her the proper respect of a salute and bow before sniffing as she moved into stance. "Try to punch me."
[04:30] <Minaplo> Reiko also saluted and bowed- then, fell into one of the practiced stances. After a second's hesitation, she snapped a punch at Dinah's face.
[04:34] <Dinah> With a twist of her body, Dinah's hand went for Reiko's wrist as her other arm rose swiftly, an elbow stopping just an inch from her neck. "This is pretty basic stuff here. Someone throws at you, you use that. See here, if I kept going, Hamasaki here would've been stopped and staggered, so I could move on to the throw. You always wanna start with that. If you don't go for the neck, you go for the chest or the stomach. You wanna stop them so that when you throw them, they're not getting back up." Letting go of her wrist, she shifted back into stance. "Again."
[04:37] <Minaplo> The class paid attention. Reiko most of all, whose eyes had narrowed in concentration as Dinah had explained her actions.
[04:37] <Minaplo> Reiko took a step back, and then a little faster this time, jabbed towards Dinah.
[05:00] <Dinah> The second punch saw Dinah repeat the motion, albeit with her elbow going for Reiko's midsection this time. And unlike last time, she didn't stop. A hard hit went into her, likely knocking the wind out of her before Dinah pulled that arm back and shifted her form. In one fluid motion, her leg swept behind Reiko's, her body twisted to pull the girl to the side some and her arm came down hard on her chest, making it impossible to keep herself steady or upright. It had happened in a flash, the throw down and when she straightened after, she didn't even look at the girl on the ground, choosing instead to glance out to the rest of them. "Knock out their footing, throw them off balance and take them to the ground. Someone else get up here."
[05:24] <Minaplo> Reiko slammed the ground hard, and Dinah had felt the squishy, satisfying gasp of breathlessness when she'd struck her in the midsection. She squeaked a little as she writhed on the ground.
[05:24] <Minaplo> The crowd didn't look very enthusiastic. No one came forward for awhile. But eventually someone emerged.
[05:24] <Minaplo> "I'll go." Said Adrien Delacour.
[05:34] <Dinah> Dinah's eyes flared when the voice rang out, shooting to Adrien as he spoke out. Her surprise was masked by her anger, which in turn was at least tampered down some to not give anyone the wrong idea. They knew she didn't like him. But they didn't need to know that she really didn't like him right now specifically.
[05:34] <Dinah> "Fine. Get up here." Once again, she went along with the show of respect, despite everything surrounding the pairing of the two of them. That was ingrained in her - it didn't necessarily have to be for her opponent so much as the art itself - but she took her stance immediately after, that much more discipline in her form. "Let's try something different. Go ahead and try to punch me."
[06:05] <Minaplo> Adrien bowed, and there was a degree of European flourish in his bow that made it seem just that more mocking.
[06:05] <Minaplo> The next second happened in a blur. He was bowing, he stood, he fell into his stance- and then Dinah was suddenly staggering backward from the punch he'd landed, unintercepted, against her nose.
[06:25] <Dinah> Dinah's fists clenched the moment she had seen Adrien and the dozens of questions she had for him and the hundreds of insults she also had floated around in her head while he bowed and readied himself. Maybe that was why it was so easy for him to land the punch. Her hands went out to catch, yet simply…missed. With her few steps back, Dinah reached up to wipe at her nose, moving then to crack her neck.
[06:25] <Dinah> "Alright. Fuck it."
[06:25] <Dinah> Decorum was suspended, as was the lesson. It didn't take much, certainly. This had been set aside as a way for her to vent and she was going to, one way or another. The gap between the two of them was closed rather swiftly as she went for her own punch then, aimed square at his jaw.
[06:26] <Minaplo> Adrien fell backwards.-
[06:29] <Minaplo> From what Dinah had seen of him fight, Adrien had never really been good at taking a solid hit. More lean than muscle, kind of wiry and skinny, there wasn't a lot of him that could absorb a hit.
[06:29] <Minaplo> But he was also fast, and Dinah would realise at the last second that she hadn't actually hit him. He'd fallen backwards of his own accord- and the moment he hit the ground, he rolled backwards, sprang back up into a standing stance and cocked his head.
[06:29] <Minaplo> "What, no bow?"
[07:10] <Dinah> There was no chance that it would end there. Dinah wasn't done with him, even if she realized that she technically hadn't even started with him. With a growl, she launched herself forward then, arm rearing back for a harder punch, this time right for his gut. There were no words, as he hadn't 'earned' them in her mind. He owed for a lot and she would make sure she extracted something of a price before the end of this.
[07:17] <Minaplo> Adrien dramatically threw himself to the side, Dinah missing him by a few inches. He still didn't strike her back.
[07:17] <Minaplo> He pushed his way backwards into the crowd. "Wait, I'm not even in Wushu…"
[07:32] <Dinah> "MOVE!" Her gaze went straight to the other students, demanding they clear the way for her to get to Adrien as she rushed ahead.
[07:32] <Dinah> His retreat wasn't helping him in the slightest as she kept up her pursuit, teeth clenched with the rage of just trying to land a punch on him. Teaching him some kind of lesson.
[07:39] <Minaplo> The crowd startled in their haste to step aside. A few people tripped, and some fell into Dinah's way.
[07:39] <Minaplo> "Whoops." His expression was worried, but Dinah saw the split second smirk on his face. He bolted for an open door. "One jump ahead of the slowpoke!"
[07:39] <Minaplo> He slipped through. "One skip ahead of my doom!"
[08:01] <Dinah> It could have been so easy. She cold have just slammed the door and gone back to the lesson. Gone back to letting her stress out on the poor, unsuspecting Club. It was likely what she should have done, really.
[08:01] <Dinah> But it wasn't what she did. Perfectly baited, she followed the Wild Card as he slipped out of the door, throwing it open on her way out. "You get back here, you fucker!"
[08:08] <Minaplo> TEN MINUTES AGO.-
[08:20] <Minaplo> Adrien eyed the club door. It was closed, but he could hear the sound of people milling inside. A quick peek showed that the club leader was still indisposed.
[08:20] <Minaplo> Which meant Dinah would be in charge for a while.
[08:20] <Minaplo> Adrien rubbed his chin. He eyed the door frame.
[08:20] <Minaplo> Then, shrugging, he took out his Smart Tome, opened the inventory, and withdrew a bucket. He placed this one the ground. He focused- and a stream of water burst out of his fingertips into the bucket. When it was full up, he closed his eyes for a moment, then with a sweep of his hand upwards, propelled the bucket telekinetically onto the top of the door frame.-
[08:21] <Minaplo> THE PRESENT.-
[08:21] <Minaplo> The moment Dinah threw the door open, the precariously balanced bucket gave way, falling towards her, splashing cold water in every direction- across her head and shoulders.
[08:21] <Minaplo> Adrien was sprinting like a wildfire away, into the nest of warren-like alleys that made up Sophia Academy.
[08:31] <Dinah> The bucket fell and Dinah was suddenly covered in water and cold, which surprisingly did little to cool down her mood. If anything, the fire in her burned that much hotter, wanting nothing more than to get out and make a mess of the ex-member of their team.
[08:31] <Dinah> Grabbing the bucket, she lobbed it hard in his direction as she continued to chase him down. "I WILL FUCKING END YOU!"
[08:42] <Minaplo> Dinah would soon, however, have a problem.
[08:42] <Minaplo> She'd lost sight of Adrien. She wasn't even sure where he was anymore, lost in those twists and turns.
[08:49] <Dinah> "ADRIEN!"
[08:49] <Dinah> Her voice bellowed with rage, surely running a chill through anyone that actually heard it. Deadly intent coated the bark of a word as it rattled off the hallways. No longer in a sprint, she walked, fists clenching and unclenching rhythmically as her search continued.
[08:49] <Dinah> "GET OUT HERE!"
[08:50] <Minaplo> Dinah's real phone pinged with a text message.
[08:53] <Dinah> Still moving her eyes this way and that, scanning like a predator hunting prey, she nonetheless snatched her phone out of her pocket to look at the message that was sent.
[08:56] <Minaplo> [Text from ASSHOLE.]-
[08:56] <Minaplo> ['lol']
[09:04] <Dinah> "AHH!" She almost threw her phone in rage, though something in her kept things from going that far. Still, she threatened to crack its screen with how she clenched it as she continued her stalking through the hallway. It wasn't so much that she looked violent anymore as she looked like violence. An embodiment. An avatar sent to bring destruction where she went. It was the same look that seven Mothmen saw before their untimely deaths.
[09:05] <Minaplo> Her phone pinged with a text.
[09:05] <Minaplo> [Text from JIANG CHANG.]
[09:05] <Minaplo> ['Where are you?']
[09:13] <Dinah> She saw the message and yet she was physically incapable of answering it. Well and truly lost in her own rage right now, all she did was thrust her phone back into her pocket, quickening her pace now. The blood pumped in her head so loud that she felt like she could hear it, that anyone near her could.
[09:20] <Minaplo> Footsteps from behind.
[09:20] <Minaplo> "Dinah? What's all this about?"-
[09:20] <Minaplo> It was a teacher. Miss Smithson- Dinah's homeroom teacher.
[09:25] <Dinah> "Back off!" It was, at the very least, not a bellowing roar of anger so much as it was a clipped bark of warning, not even accompanied by a glance back in her direction. Her body language said it all, as did, well, the state of her, really. Still wet from the bucket of water, one might consider that it was just some kind of prank between friends, hilariously leading to some impotent anger before things settled and were okay.
[09:25] <Dinah> That was not what was etched in Dinah's features or her form. If Adrien were there, it was very likely that Miss Smithson would be trying to pry Dinah's fingers from around his neck. And very likely failing.
[09:25] <Dinah> "ADRIEN!"
[09:26] <Minaplo> "Dinah, no. Adrien's not even at school today." Smithson didn't take a step forward, but she sort of titled her body towards Dinah. "If he did come just for you then he's probably already gone. He's not going to come out with you screaming like that."
[09:31] <Dinah> "Yes he is!" Now she wheeled around, her gaze going straight for the adult as her fists clenched. Much like Miss Smithson, Dinah didn't advance on her, with everything about her screaming to get away for her own safety. Looking behind her and then turning her head to look back down the hallway she'd been going down, her head snapped back as the screaming was mentioned, fury sparking again.
[09:31] <Dinah> "HE WILL IF HE KNOWS WHAT'S GOOD FOR HIM!" Maybe it was shouted for his benefit. Clearly he had been around and knowing him, he likely still was. But it obviously wasn't what was 'good' for him. Violence was in his destiny, whether she found him now or not. He was just due for it. Dinah just wished it was only him who was fated to it.
[09:43] <Minaplo> Smithson eyed Dinah warily, clearly unsure of what to say. For a moment her eyes flicked past Dinah at something behind her.
[09:50] <Dinah> That was all she needed, it seemed. Seeing that flick, Dinah turned around, sure that she had seen Adrien or just movement in general that could have been Adrien. She wasn't going to let the chance pass her by again. No, Adrien had to get hurt.
[09:53] <Dinah> In an instant, she was gone, charging like a bull down the corridor, skidding around the corner like a car drifting in some blockbuster movie. The only thing in Dinah's mind was finding Adrien. Catching him. Beating the shit out of him. But she couldn't do that if she didn't find him. He was just a little bit ahead of her, he had to be. She had to be close now. Her hands ached for the beating they would give him. Yet it wasn't so much that she was picturing what she was going to do to him. Her body just knew, like it was programmed for it.-
[09:53] <Dinah> Unfortunately, it seemed like she wasn't going to get that chance. Or, well, rather fortunately for….about everyone.
[09:53] <Dinah> Rather suddenly, Dinah was aware that she was on the ground. And more specifically that the ground was dirt beneath her, not the hard surface of the school flooring. And she was aware of the pain. She'd tripped on something and fell hard, with the soreness sinking in only long enough to remind her that she was pissed off, which made it start to ebb away in favor of the heat of anger bubbling in her blood.-
[09:57] <Dinah> But being outside offered an opportunity, at least, for her to fish out a box from her pocket, yanking a cigarette from it and lighting it up even before it was in her lips. Dropping down - because she had apparently stood up at some point on reflex - she sat down against a fence, pulling her knees up to her chest, silently seething as she smoked. Only after a few moments did memories start flooding back, reminding her to fish out her phone to finally answer that question that had been sent to her.
[09:57] <Dinah> "I don't know." She answered honestly, looking around some to note the obvious equipment about, the details not sinking in before her thumb was moving again. "Outside. Sports field."
[10:04] <Minaplo> Time would pass. Minutes. Maybe fifteen or so.
[10:04] <Minaplo> Eventually, Jiang Chang would show up. Five and a half feet, light brown hair done up in twintail dumplings, half-rim glasses, and a cardboard box under an arm that looked like it held books but actually held Jiang Chang's baby son.
[10:04] <Minaplo> She walked towards Dinah, not in any special hurry.
[10:04] <Minaplo> "Hey."
[10:09] <Dinah> By the time she showed up, there were at least two discarded cigarette butts at Dinah's side with the third coming as she snuffed it out in the dirt, barely anything left past the filter before it was just a smashed bit of tan and white.
[10:09] <Dinah> She didn't even look at Chang as she spoke up. Despite the time that had passed, Dinah was still angry and it was very obvious in her gaze despite the trappings of fatigue creeping into her features as well. Fires couldn't burn forever, after all. But it didn't mean they just went out, either.
[10:09] <Dinah> "Hey."
[10:12] <Minaplo> Chang sat next to her. Not that close, but enough that they were obviously grouped together. She held out a can of watermelon soda to Dinah. It was icy cold.
[10:17] <Dinah> Reaching out, she took it and opened it, taking a sip and then holding back out, silently asking if she wanted a drink. It was only proper.
[10:17] <Dinah> Even still, her gaze was ahead, a million miles away, like she could see Adrien if she just stared hard enough.
[10:17] <Dinah> "Thanks."
[10:20] <Minaplo> Chang took that sip.
[10:20] <Minaplo> "My pleasure." She said.
[10:24] <Dinah> Taking the can back, she took another drink and then set it down on the ground between them.
[10:24] <Dinah> "Hamasaki okay?"
[10:25] <Minaplo> "Yeah, she bounced right back." Said Jiang Chang. "I think she appreciated that you didn't go easy on her."
[10:26] <Dinah> She sniffed, reaching for her pocket but stopping short, moving instead to wring her fingers in front of her somewhat. "I did."
[10:29] <Minaplo> "You know what I mean, though."
[10:32] <Dinah> "Yeah."
[10:32] <Dinah> She went for the can again, taking another drink of it and setting it down then. They likely weren't going to touch on the subject until she brought it up, so she figured it was that time. Rip the band-aid off and such.
[10:32] <Dinah> "I'm gonna beat the shit out of Adrien."
[10:37] <Minaplo> "Not until you catch him."
[10:40] <Dinah> A glance went her way finally, sharp, likely unwanted because of the vitriol present. "I'm going to."
[10:44] <Minaplo> "Not if he keeps exploiting your weaknesses."
[10:51] <Dinah> "Might wanna rethink how you say that."
[10:56] <Minaplo> Jiang Chang let out a small sigh.
[10:56] <Minaplo> "Let me rethink how I say that. What are you going to do differently next time?"
[10:58] <Dinah> "I'm gonna corner him so he can't slink away. Didn't figure he'd run away so soon. Or fast." She spat it out, as if the words themselves were bitter, still dripping with her discord. "Then I'll break his arm."
[10:59] <Minaplo> "How are you going to corner him? What's to say he can't juke past you? Can you catch him in a race if he runs?"
[09:00] <Dinah> The memory of her attempts flashed in her mind, accompanied by the sound of the can in her hand squeaking lightly in protest. He was a lot faster than she gave him credit for. Though he was likely cheating, too.
[09:00] <Dinah> "Corner him means get him in a corner. He jukes to his left. So I have to use that. If he runs, I just have to make sure he can't hide."
[09:20] <Minaplo> "Alright, you corner him. What if he fights back and drops you?"
[09:24] <Dinah> "I won't stop until I beat his ass. No matter what."
[09:25] <Minaplo> "Sounds nice."
[09:40] <Dinah> "Not for him."
[09:41] <Minaplo> "He can handle himself. But you're a pretty positive person, huh?"
[10:17] <Dinah> She snorted and took another sip of the drink, setting it down after, her body language saying she was done with it.
[10:17] <Dinah> "Think that's the first time anyone's said that about me."
[12:20] <Minaplo> "Well what would you call believing you can overcome any and all?"
[01:32] <Dinah> A frown crossed her lips as she sensed a trap, finally setting her legs down and crossing her arms as she did.
[01:32] <Dinah> "For me, I'd just call it being right."
[01:36] <Minaplo> "Well you weren't today, were you?"
[02:22] <Dinah> Another growl rumbled in her throat, though she merely glanced away from Chang at that point. For some reason, some of her anger had thankfully boiled away at this point, leaving the increased tug of fatigue at her face.
[02:22] <Dinah> "I was just surprised to see him, is all. Thought he was gonna hide behind his money and shit and not come to school."
[02:26] <Minaplo> Chang shook her head. "Makes sense for a rich kid like him. He's never been shy about his money."
[02:26] <Minaplo> She reached into her cardboard box and took out her son, who was awake, yet quiet, only giving out a low burble. Chang cooed quietly at him for a moment, stroked his nose, then adjusted her uniform so he could feed at her breast.
[02:26] <Minaplo> "You and he… Really have a beef, don't you?"
[02:28] <Dinah> "Yeah." She sniffed, seeming like she wasn't going to offer anything else than that before letting out a huff.
[02:28] <Dinah> "He stole something from me and my fri….my dormmates. Really fucked us all over. I owe him more than a broken arm, even before all that shit today."
[02:29] <Minaplo> "He stole something? What could he possibly need to steal for?"
[02:29] <Dinah> "To be an asshole."
[02:32] <Minaplo> "What a venereal disease."
[02:35] <Dinah> "You said it." She paused for a moment, frowning again. "Miss Smithson see you?"
[02:36] <Minaplo> "She came by." Said Chang. "Said you seemed upset, but of course by then I was learning about what had happened. She told me that if this happened again, I was supposed to throw a packet of smokes at you and tell you to 'go smoko', which I'm guessing is an English thing."
[02:41] <Dinah> "Really? A teacher told you to send me on a smoke break?" She lifted a brow and looked to Chang then, noticing that she was breastfeeding at that point. Beyond a glance down, she didn't seem to pay it any mind, though. Pulling her pack out to show it off, she put it back in her pocket. "I'd be smoking more but I didn't wanna put him near it."
[02:54] <Minaplo> "Thank you." Said Chang, smiling.
[02:54] <Minaplo> "Smithson probably figures if smoking's what gets you through the day, then smoking it is."
[03:02] <Dinah> "I guess it does. Still, probably wouldn't have helped much when I was in the moment."
[03:02] <Dinah> She grunted, reaching up to rub at her temples some, feeling the headache already settling in. "Glad that she's not gonna turn me in or whatever, I guess."
[03:04] <Minaplo> "She has your back, it looks like."
[03:05] <Dinah> "I wonder why."
[03:05] <Minaplo> "Maybe she likes you."
[03:16] <Dinah> "Again, I wonder why."
[03:22] <Minaplo> "C'mon, you have your charming moments."
[03:57] <Dinah> "Been a long time since anyone said something like that about me, too."
[03:57] <Dinah> For a moment, she seemed calm, though perhaps what she had said came back around to her. There was a darkness in her face then as she shook her head and moved to stand.
[03:57] <Dinah> "I really don't, though."
[04:00] <Minaplo> Chang didn't speak up for a few minutes, letting the silence settling in around them. Her baby suckled away quietly, and she let her attention focus on the boy.
[04:00] <Minaplo> When she spoke up, it was soft. "Yeah, you're a pretty rough person. But at the least, you're reliable."
[04:24] <Dinah> "If you say so."
[04:24] <Dinah> She spoke bitterly, moving past her, yet only getting a few feet away before she stopped, as if she had made herself do so. It was hard to tell just what she was thinking, especially as a fist still clenched at her side but when she finally spoke up again, her tone wasn't too terse.
[04:24] <Dinah> "Next time Club starts, if you're not there, I'm going with throws again." Whether it was said as a pure statement, a warning, perhaps an admonishment or something else entirely, it was hard to tell. "But….thanks."
[04:54] <Minaplo> "My pleasure." Said Chang. "Next time, though, if you don't catch him, it'll be drills for you for days. Morning and night. You'll be doing a lot of waxing on and off."
[05:10] <Dinah> "I'll lock the door on him." It was said like a revelation of sort before she glanced back and nodded to Chang's idea. "Okay. See you later."
[05:10] <Dinah> Waving slightly, she started walking off then, pulling out another cigarette as she did. It was going to be a long way home, that was for sure.
[05:24] <Minaplo> The Empress Arcana Strengthens…

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