The boy slowly made his way through the seemingly endless forest. The light green of his school uniform almost blended with the natural flora, but his short, bright red hair ruined any illusion of camouflage. His nationality was difficult to place from his plain face; the uniform, however, belonged to a famous British high school. He moved between the trees with practiced care, but without any real intent or apparent destination. Rather, he wandered in a carefree manner, taking occasional note of an interesting rock or plant, sometimes stopping to examine a particularly unusual specimen, but never lingering long.
Something moved in the distance. Serpent quick his left hand closed around the hilt of the sword sheathed at his right hip. His eyes scanned for the source of the noise, every muscle tense; the innocent schoolboy was gone and any observer would have no doubt that he knew exactly how to use the somewhat ornate katana-like weapon. A moment passed in silence, and then another, and then something that very much resembled a squirrel darted out of one bit of brush and into another. The young man relaxed as quickly as he had come alert, his hand falling to his side as he laughed quietly. "Well, Nikolai, just about made of fool of yourself there, didn'tcha?" His voice was youthful yet controlled, with a strong British accent that sounded as if it had been picked up from watching too many London police flicks.
He tried to go back to perusing the woods, but the serene moment had been shattered. Even as the adrenaline faded from his veins he felt the itch of his left hand and knew that he'd wanted something more menacing than a squirrel to come out of that bush. The strange forces that governed his fate had pulled him out of a promising battle just as it was getting interesting, and the need to test himself against the unknown was still strong in his mind. He didn't know what he'd find in this world - a world that so far seemed to be made of nothing but tree after tree, each older and taller than the last - but his destiny had never yet brought him to a place he would call tranquil, much less boring.
Nikolai smiled a slow, fierce smile as he surveyed his surroundings with new resolve. Somewhere in this emerald sea was a worthy opponent, and the anticipation of once again drawing his blade in a life-or-death struggle was almost palpable.
So anyone feel like a fight? It's been too long since I've stretched my literary muscles, and a just-for-fun duel seems like a good warm-up to get back into the writing spirit. Any kind of opponent will do - Nikolai is reasonably able to battle someone of most any power level, although a fistfight would sorely underuse his abilities and a Dragonball Z-level character would probably be mopping the floor with him right quick. Characters from or based on established fiction - book, film, anime, whatever - are perfectly fine, as are original characters. Nikolai himself is mostly an original character, but his abilities and backstory are based on the characters and setting of a relatively well-known work of fiction; I'll leave the specifics unspoken until the fight begins, so as not to influence anyone else's character choices.
I'm currently looking for something relatively quick-and-dirty; I don't have any real storyline in mind - although I wouldn't mind if one developed as things progressed.
If anyone is interested, drop a line in this thread. Once I have an opponent, I'll move the intro into the main NARP forum as the starting point.