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 [Exam] Don't look down! (second test, first exam)

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PostSubject: [Exam] Don't look down! (second test, first exam)    Sun Sep 06, 2015 2:11 pm

It did not take long for him to start explaining to the group of roughly one-hundred-and-fifty people. “Simple this is a race to the top of the building, you may use whichever tool you have. I wait for you at the top! You get one hour!” And with those words he just vanished. Then the red haired maid stepped forward. “All entrances to the building itself have been closed off, please be careful."

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Rajan Iberian
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PostSubject: Re: [Exam] Don't look down! (second test, first exam)    Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:15 pm

Rajan ran a hand through his hair "Typical. I can pass this phase of the test without difficulty. But I am obligated at this point to help you and it would be on a test where cooperation is highly limited." There were obvious ways in which the lancer could carry Catherine through this test, one being the most obvious and most literal way, but he doubted Catherine was so physically inept that he was faster then her even when carrying an extra fifty kilos, there was also the loss in agility he would suffer in such an event and lastly it would just be a bit awkward to give a piggy-back ride during the Hunter's Exam. He shrugged "I mean unless you have a brilliant plan in which we won't be holding each other back, I think it in your best interest to post pone the favor I owe you until next round and fend for yourself on this one." He didn't want to sound like he was cheating out of their deal but as the test was starting it was do or die time. As such blunt and to the point was how it was going to be.
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PostSubject: Re: [Exam] Don't look down! (second test, first exam)    Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:06 am

The mass of passed participants was led outside after a short while, once the first test had officially and fully concluded. Iris had no educated guess about what this might spell for the second part. The explanation of it followed very quickly. And it was the worst possible test, as far as the green-haired girl was concerned. Scaling the building. Gods be damned. She was fairly sure she could technically do this. Surely. Maybe. Except for the part where it meant being outrageously high off the ground. Iris definitely felt like fainting purely from imagining it, but refrained, The whole exam was about one's qualifications across the board. Being aware of and able to overcome one's weaknesses certainly was a big part of that.

Almost immediately after the testing staff disappeared, people started to climb, some trying to do it as a multi-person effort, others on their own, all with different techniques. Just about now, Iris sure wished she had a partner able to just carry her up, but that would not quite be indicative of her abilities. Though it was almost guaranteed that last game's Christo would offer to help out somehow, if she bothered to ask, the girl definitely wanted to do it on her own and could not really imagine how he really would be of help. As this whole thing seemed to be of a race nature, there was not much time for Iris to come up with an idea on how to at least try to pass the test.
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PostSubject: Re: [Exam] Don't look down! (second test, first exam)    Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:52 am

“I'm sorry I think I rather climb alone indeed, but you better be a good help in the next part of the exam!” While Catherine said this to her new pet she looked around and observed the first contestants make their way up the building. Most of them seemed to be quite confident climbers.

Catherine had little experience with climbing, she had done it during a holiday trip once, but that was on a mountain and not on a building wall, which was mostly composed of glass and slick stone. There were small cracks between the stones and the windows offered some standing space infront of them. The first person already lost his footing and rushed towards the ground just as Catherine looked up to plan a way up, but instead of splattering on the concrete just after a few feet of falling a net appeared out of nowhere below them and a loud buzzing sound echoed through the air, letting everyone know that the person failed the test. Catherine used the chance to run up the wall and get hold onto the net to pull herself up. “Three meters done, only a few hundred left.” She laughed as she stood on top of the man in the net and looked up. One of the important parts was to not look down, but the certainty that she would not die from a fall helped.

She focused a moment and then dug her fingers into the glass window in front of her and began to pull herself up more. Under her touch the glass just disappeared and made room for her fingers to get some hold for her relatively light body. She began to intentionally aim for the long window areas of the wall, which most others avoided.

After a while she had reached what seemed to be a quarter of the distance and she had to take a short break. Her hands had and arms began to hurt and there was still a long way to climb. Catherine used the break to check the others. She had heard many buzzing sounds while climbing and the whole wall slowly had become filled with men and women caught in nets. Others were using those to climb up, it seemed like a good strategy.

She had to keep climbing without any help of nets, since no other had taken the glassy path she had picked. So she began again, digging her fingers into the glass, but then she stopped for a moment and thought about it. Why did she have to destroy the glass, when instead she could create a hold. Quickly the woman navigated her way to the edge of the giant window and held her hand over the stone wall, pressing together the air and creating a small palm sized hold made of the dirty, smoke filled air, the city had so much of. She had to get used to this and the condensed air did not offer the best footing, but it barely held her weight. As long as she just formed the holding close enough to the wall it provided some sticking power and as soon as she reached some of the nets.

It let her climb a lot easier and before she knew she was past the half mark and in the leading group of people. Nets had become a rare foothold for her and the air seemed to thin out as it took her longer to actually pull enough together for a place to hold onto. Her own fatigue also slowed her down, but she was not the only one struggling and most people in the last forth of the tower had started to take breaks, partly hoping that someone would provide a net for them to hold onto.

Catherine did the same and had taken a rest on a small balcony. It was somewhat ironic that most times she had visited the building she had only seen the areas under ground and now she again only saw the upper floors from the outside. Even the elevators took their sweet time to reach the top, she was surprised that it had only taken what seemed to be forty minutes to get almost there. Elevators where more comfortable.

Thinking about the time it took, she decided to restart her climb. After a deep breath she stretched her hand up again and just as she was about to pull herself up the air crumbled under her hand and she fell down on the balcony again. Was she too tired to finish the last few floors up? Catherine stretched and took another big breath. She did not want to give up, all she had to do was climb a few more floors. She even still had enough stamina in her body to go up, but no matter how hard she tried she could not form a lasting hold for her hand...
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PostSubject: Re: [Exam] Don't look down! (second test, first exam)    Sat Oct 03, 2015 8:21 am

From observing the other participants, it became fairly evident, that for everyone who did not have spider-like abilities to just run up walls or even being able to straight up fly, the details around the windows of the building would be where the game was at. It was still far from easy, but with some physical fitness the windowsills, small balconies, shutter railings and such would make for a reasonable ladder. Which only left Iris with the problem of being deathly afraid to leave the ground, or even look down once she did.

With how little time there was until she would evidently be last, Iris didn't get to think of a creative solution. Instead she figured that if she couldn't stand to acknowledge the height, it would be best not to notice. Constantly looking up would help with that. But so would what she did then - with two fingers the girl pulled down the glasses she'd usually carry just for looks. But now, the deep setting of the spectacles in their frame would definitely limit her field of view and ability to peripherally see things that weren't straight in front, or in this case up. Prepared like that, all Iris could do was start and try.

Even after getting on just the first of a whole lot of small protrusions from the vertical building, it was immediately difficult. She felt that she could go on for a while, but having constant grip on something to counteract gravity pulling her off the side of the structure would eventually demand it's toll.
Slowly working her way up from window to window, Iris made progress, although it was certainly in the bracket of the slowest competitors. Yet she kept her neck craned towards the sky, looking for any kind of support to grasp on the relatively smooth wall over and over again, resting her feet on windowsills or wedging them against the window bays and frames to be able to free a hand. Rinse and repeat, with some breaks when a good opportunity showed, in form of comparably tiny balconies or wide boards . After what felt like an eternity but was more like twenty minutes of hard climbing work, she couldn't tell how far she had come, she also didn't want to. All she knew was that the fake horizon created by the top of the wall against the sky had come notably closer.

Only after this point, did she think of something else that would be immensely helpful in preserving some endurance on the probably not quite yet half-finished journey: While they certainly weren't made for it, creating the occasional plate against the wall or glass of the windows to have a temporary grip could make things a lot easier, having to reach less far in a single go or having less trouble finding a foothold to regain balance. After all this was far from comparable to fake climbing walls or actual climbing with tools and the likes, so a working path wasn't necessarily guaranteed. After noticing people ahead of her falling and failing, as well as hearing some of the few that were behind even herself scream -probably while falling- this idea was a much needed reassurance. Even though failed contestants were not left to squash on the cement below but safely caught.

And indeed, while her constructs were usually made for breaking, they helped speed up her ascend somewhat. Iris wouldn't trust them with her full weight at any given time, but an additional edge to hold onto for a moment while transferring another of her extremities to a different grip or foothold could not be a hindrance. With a lot of stamina already gone, but new found vigor to still compete to the last bone and reach the top, the green-haired girl entered the second half. Even over such a relatively short time, experience made a difference and since the building was just that, a building, most of the available climbing assists repeated eventually with the coming and going of floors, making it a bit easier to continue scaling from certain positions.

More then once during the whole procedure did the Miss manage to slip off her desired edge however, so while getting used to the situation made things go slightly more smooth, every misstep was a major setback, calling for a break to recollect and calm down. If she only for a moment thought deeper about what she was doing or what had almost happened, Iris would probably have suffered a heavy panic attack, rendering her entirely unable to do anything but freeze or even flail and fall.
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PostSubject: Re: [Exam] Don't look down! (second test, first exam)    Sun Oct 04, 2015 8:44 am

With Catherine moving on ahead without him Rajan couldn't be happier. It was time for some free running. He ran to one of the windows, conveniently already busted through by a previous candidate and pulled himself through to look at the outside of the building. Already people were beginning to grapple their way up the surface, Rajan internally berated himself for his slow start. Many struggled with various aspects of the challenge, lack of hand holds, struggling to hold even when they had someone to hold onto, and the general slow pace they all found themselves moving at.

The lancer stepped out of the window back inside for a moment to prepare himself. He rolled his shoulders, stretched a little, because he knew once he started there was no time for breaks. "Those hasty idiots. Climbing a building isn't a casual endeavor. You can't just jump straight in without any practice, or least of all mental or physical preparation. If half those people who have fallen had taken just a minute to ready themselves they might still be in this." Ever the one to monolog the mercenary had no problem throwing away those few seconds despite the impending time limit. Was it because he wasn't scared? Or maybe he was straight dumb? But when he finally seemed done squandering time he extended an open hand into the air and grabbed at nothing, only for Blink to once more materialize.

He twirled the weapon inspecting it "Sorry buddy, I can't seem to get a chance to use you as you are meant to be at all today. But have no fear, you may not get to fight a person, but you'll get to fight a building." If Blink could talk, she'd probably question her master's sanity. With his weapon of choice in hand, he promptly jumped out the window, twirling Blink so that its head faced behind him.

Now hanging in air, a single moment from plummeting to his demise, but fast as lightning he jabbed Blink backwards burying the head of the weapon in the stone of the buildings face. Now Rajan hung like a human flag from the handhold he created looking up at the rest of the competitors above him. "Enjoy your little lead for now whimps. I'll show you how a real climber gets things done." He pulled himself up so that he was standing on top of Blink's shaft and reached up to a window sill above and grabbed on. He wrapped his feet around Blink and once he was sure of his grip on both the window sill and his spear he pulled it free. "Yeah this rock is pleanty soft. I'll be able to smash it up with Blink no problem, as long as I use it conservatively. Doesn't matter how soft it is, if I abuse Blink as a crutch the blade will shatter." His lifelong work of achieving the title "man who spent more of his life monologging then anyone else," on pause he, with no lack of dexterity, passed the weapon from his feet to his free hand. Then wanting both hands free he held it up to his mouth, and passed it from his hand to his mouth(promptly dashing any hope of future monologues while simultaneously freeing his hands) and with the hardest step, the first, completed he began his climb of the building.

Rajan understood that if he abused his ability to make handholds with Blink he would eventually wear the blade down. He could repair it a bit with his nen here and there, but he wanted to conserve his nen, and if he was to use it he hoped it would be to enhance his strength and speed to hasten his climb. Not to fix something that didn't have to break.

That in mind he attempted to climb the building like everyone else, but with two distinct advantages. His strength and speed seemed a notch above most competitors, and for every hand hold everyone else had Blink granted him two(if he needed it). His experience didn't hurt either, but while this wasn't his first rodeo, he didn't climb buildings very often nor had he done one of this size. He slowly gained on the main pack and at various "dead ends," where other competitors found themselves without another way forward he simply took Blink from his mouth and stabbed up a new path to the next vantage point.

While not necessarily the fastest advancing competitor Rajan quickly found himself passing the weaker links and moving into competition range. But every pull and step wore on him, and every time he stabbed Blink into the building wore on its durability, it was an endurance contest but one he was determined to win.

It was a slow grueling process and he certainly felt the strain but eventually he passed the pack and with just a few floors left he found himself among the fore runners. Realizing how close he was to the end, Rajan found himself with a second wind and raced up the final stretch faster then he had at any other point in the climb. It was definitely something that caught various eyes but the biggest surprise was yet to come. With the lancer's hand on the edge of the buildings roof, a simple pull up from victory, he decided to look down to taunt those had had passed. But his eyes were faster then his mouth and he quickly regretted looking down.

He let go of the roof and yanked Blink free from his mouth as he fell. Falling just a couple floors before stabbing his spear into the stone and jerking to a stop. The maneuver put unneeded strain on Blink and himself, which he cursed himself for, but in a way it was completely necessary. The lancer then promptly let go of Blink falling just a couple feet before landing on a small balcony.

The lancer now stood between Catherine and the wall "The hell are you doing failing here?"

Despite his acting like he was fine there were obvious signs of fatigue all over Rajan. He was trying to stand tall but his shoulders slouched, and even though he was playing it down he was still breathing heavily, not to mention there wasn't anything "playing tough," could do about sweat. His approach had been far from the most energy conservative, and his pseudo-sprint at the end may just prove a fatal error from the toll it put on him.

But like hell he was going to leave a damsel in distress hanging from a ledge.
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PostSubject: Re: [Exam] Don't look down! (second test, first exam)    Sun Oct 04, 2015 11:12 am

This was the worst, adding to the whole pain in her arms appeared a pain in her head. “Who is failing, I'm just taking a break to enjoy the view.” Her mood had actually gotten rather grumpy. She was far from in danger of failing, she still had time to get up the last few floors and she was comfortably standing on a balcony, while that ape like idiot barely stood on a spear, which the girl could destroy if she just reached for it.

“You better watch out or I destroy that stick you are standing on.” Giving in to the taunt she stretched body again. If she had no energy left to create a hold she just had to climb the traditional way, the worst was failing the test, not falling from this building. With a serious face she jumped up to grab the ledge over the floor's windows and pulled herself up. In the same motion as her foot found hold she already reached for the next spot to hold onto. Taking the high spot she smirked back down on Rajan: “Be careful to make it in time too.”

Then she pressed up against the wall tightly and reached the next hold. She was breathing heavy as the last few meters presented themselves. It would have been far easier if the idiot had not taunted her, she had started climbing like a mad woman, actually suffering scratches all over her hands, but she had to, the time was actually close. Just barely by the time of the ending sound the woman pulled herself over the last ledge letting out a loud groan.
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PostSubject: Re: [Exam] Don't look down! (second test, first exam)    Sun Oct 04, 2015 6:22 pm

Well now Rajan felt like a fool, and rest assured he hated to feel like a fool. But that is what he got for trying to help out someone he owed. Then again it wasn't like he had put a great deal of effort into trying to help, or even said he wanted to help, or made any gesture that implied he was there to help. Now just as irritated with Catherine as she was with him, Rajan freed his spear from the wall and resumed his own climb. Seeing Lil Miss Genius trying so hard to climb ended up motivating Rajan himself to climb faster then he would have other wise. In a round about way he ended up motivating himself by motivating her, even if his intention hadn't been to do either of those things. But regardless from his perspective the climb became a race, not against time, but against Catherine as he worked through his own fatigue to finish the climb "again." He managed to throw himself over the ledge just as the buzzer sounded announcing the end of the test.

Just dodging failure he dropped Blink from his mouth and began breathing heavy, "Geez. If I knew going back for you would make me cut things this close, I'd probably not done it. Then again if I knew how close it was going to be that'd also mean I knew I'd make it anyway. So I guess I would have. Funny how that works." Now that he didn't have to hold his spear in his mouth, the monologues returned in full force.
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PostSubject: Re: [Exam] Don't look down! (second test, first exam)    Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:37 am

“YES!” The girl was able to bend her forearm around the edge of the building that signaled the top of the wall and the border of the roof. But more importantly, it marked the finish line of this disgustingly difficult race. Just before the sound that signaled the end of the time limit, Iris pulled herself up onto the reasonably solid ground of the roof akin to how one would heft themselves out of a pool. Falling over in relief and exhaustion, Miss Winter just laid there for a moment, surely there would be time until anyone demanded the next action of all the participants. Especially after the escapades of climbing a gods damned building.

The home stretch was close to torture for the relatively fit girl. While she did train to stay in form for her dream goal, her exercises did not come close to this kind of business. Nearly after every upwards step won against gravity, a break was necessary. But at least her psychological self-tricking helped, otherwise she would have never had the ability to even make it past the first meter.
Naturally, that did not mend the acidity in Iris' arm and leg muscles, so every additional meter made the climb more taxing. And while the edge of the roof used to creep constantly closer, at least in her mind, this did not seem ot be the case anymore. And not having any indication of how much time was left did not exactly make things any easier, if she did not want to risk timing out, continued pushing onward at the highest possible pace was necessary.

All the more reason to finally revel in the achievement of actually scaling all the way up the Cemetery Building within a considerable timespan. Her lungs burned like fire and now that she had come to rest, she started to notice how drenched in sweat she had gotten and how clouded the goggles on her face had gotten from condensation. And as it seemed, all the effort had paid off, there even were some who ended up past the finish line even more just in time than herself. If Iris had not been so busy breathing heavily and exaggerated, she would have probably been on the lookout for which of the participants had made it this far or exam personnel for further instructions.
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PostSubject: Re: [Exam] Don't look down! (second test, first exam)    Mon Oct 05, 2015 3:18 pm

All three participants passed, together with another thirty NPCs that also made it to the top of the building. The last test will start soon.
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