[P] Welcome to the jungle
For Zasha
#1
There's magic in our bones - A north star in our soul - That remembers our way home 

Word Count: 531 - Backdated to Mid-December


The lion's chest rumbled with a long and drawn out yawn, his legs stretching out in front of him and curling claws digging into the woodwork on the porch, before his ears turned back to the sounds of Cedric joining him outside. Shaking off his heavy coat, Parzival glanced back with a small grin, looking to see if his dad looked at all worried about the day. Of course, the man didn't, but Parz did always like to check to see if the Lune might ever be doubting his decision to trust the large feline with things. Today would be... interesting after all. 

Of all outcomes from Parzival's trial to join the ranks, neither had expected someone to come and request to fight Parzival. Much less for their First Blood. But, given young Zasha's desire to prove herself in her natural form, and that Parzival was fresh from his proving moment, Cedric found the idea plausible, provided Parz was fine with it. Which the cat was, though in the back of his mind he worried a little about potentially traumatising a young Cavalier. This was supposed to be their defining moment, steps into adulthood... Parzival didn't want to be the reason that someone's first memories were that of being slapped around by a giant cat. Then again, maybe Zasha would surprise him, and at the end of the day this was just more chance for the lion to train himself. Fight the Cavaliers so he knew how best to protect them. 

"Alright, ready to go?" Cedric began, having shifted to his own natural form and moved next to Parzival, now actually a little shorter than the large lion child. It made Parzival smirk a little to his dad, which made the man scoff lightly before beginning to trot out of the Fort. 

They had a destination; out in the Sea of Grass, just beyond the Hushhowl Dens and therefore an easy place for young Zasha to reach. Parzival could imagine her large family was going to be watching the whole thing... certainly a bit more pressure for the cat not to maim the girl during this fight. Parz could deal with the pressure, some Cavaliers might doubt his intentions, but he himself knew them crystal clear. Save for a scratch here and there, Parzival would never bring harm to his family. 

Snow and melted slush covered the grasslands to make them fairly flattened, allowing the pair to spot the gathering and the junior cadet with ease. Once close, Parzival offered an excited grin to Zasha, his opponent, whilst Cedric circled the ring. The man then announced the rules, ones all in Casa were familiar with; the winner was the first to land three strikes, no fatal injuries or foul play. Before the man had even finished, Parzival was steadily releasing a growl from his chest, a soft but deep rumble that was ready to explode. And explode it did, the moment Cedric announced that they begin, Parzival let out one of his special screams and launched towards Zasha. Such intimidation hadn't worked to full effect against Nilda, but would Zasha remain just as strong?



♕Parzival♕

out of the woods,
      out of the dark,
im well aware of the shadows in my heart
#2
Ooc:
The young mahogany Hushhowl had woken early, unable to sleep. The day was finally here, the day that win or lose, she would enter the adult ranks of her pack.  No longer would she be looked at as a pup, but and fully fledged member, and hopefully something that her pack and family could be proud of, regardless the outcome.  Remaining in her feral form she stretched, bowing down, her claws digging into the ground and her tail arching over her back, before shifting up on her front paws and kicking out her back legs with a yawn and a shake of her pelt, letting each individual piece of fur fall into place.  Ready or not she pushed out the door and trotted out of the den site towards the Sea of Grass, where her First Blood Ceremony would commence as soon as the Lune and Parzival arrived.

Many thought Zasha was crazy, opting to go up against a large mountain lion, one that outweighed and towered over her, but if she was going to prove herself to anyone, including her, she was going all in, and all in to her was fighting tooth and claw with someone who never left their feral form.  Parzival was perfect.  Not to mention he had just joined the ranks, and the Hushhowl knew that he would never hurt her, deep down he was just a giant housecat that loved his pack. 

So there she paced, four paws leaving tracks in the slush that covered the grass lands.  The reticent took the time to stretch and warm up because once her opponent and silvery man arrived, it would be game on.  Zasha needed to be on the top of her game to win her first blood, and today she was focused solely on the challenge. It wasn't long until the two of them arrived, dipping her muzzle she greeted both of them without saying a word, she simply nodded that she understood the instruction.  It was time.

Zasha wasn't the only one ready, Parzival came prepared to battle as well, as he let a growly scream that seemed to shake the world itself as he leapt forward.  For a split second it took her aback, she had never heard such a sound leave the mountain lion.  But then she remembered who Parzival was and a smirk ticked up on one side of her muzzle as she dove to the side, tumbled and popped back on four paws.  Not wanting to take it slow this time she charged hoping to stay at the lion's side.  If she was able to, she would drop low, reaching up with a clawed paw, hoping to swipe the soft underside before reaching the other side.  Once on the other side, she would be sure to face him again, never turning her back of the challenger, brilliant blue hues watching the thick tail and muscles of the cat to see where he might launch himself next, so that she could counter the attack with any luck. 


Word Count 509
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#3
There's magic in our bones - A north star in our soul - That remembers our way home 

Word Count: 265


It was a curious thought, to think about what would happen if this test went horribly wrong. If Zasha tripped and pushed herself against Parzival's claws, getting hurt or killed. Would the pack hunt down Parzival like a monster? Would he be given the same insurance as other Cavaliers now that he had a title? The cat was more certain on the later, but being so different from all the others did make Parzival still think of the worse outcomes to things. The kindness shown to him would never make Parzival truly believe that his pack would betray him, Cedric certainly wouldn't allow it. Besides, Parzival did genuinely like all these people, enough to not wish them any harm. 

He might launch at Zasha to make sure the girl was tough enough for adult life, but he had no intention on hurting her. The girl helped however by avoiding the first attack, with Parz's large paws slamming into grass rather than canine, and the cat curling around to hiss and stare at his opponent. She was keeping on the move, using better mobility to turn around Parzival then attack him from the side. She got her hit in, a paw hitting against Parzival's lower chest and making the cat yowl in return, but Parz would no doubt surprise Zasha by chasing her right as she moved away from the attack. 

He wouldn't allow her an easy hit, it would come at a prize, the cat thundering right towards Zasha to intend on launching at her back with his claws out. 



♕Parzival♕

out of the woods,
      out of the dark,
im well aware of the shadows in my heart
#4
Ooc:
If Zasha wanted to win her First Blood, she didn't have time to stop and check if she made a hit or celebrate a single blow, she would have to keep moving and use her speed and agility against an opponent like Parzival.  So that is what she did, just kept moving, though she couldn't help but smirk slightly when she heard the giant mountain lion yowl loudly after her strike at his chest.  Two more.

She could hear is big paws sloshing through melting snow that covered the ground, she knew that he wasn't giving up and was chasing after her.  She needed an out, a way to face the large cat once again. In a split second decision, she abruptly changed course.  On a day during summer, when the grounds were dry, it might have worked in her favor, but her paws lost traction which allowed a few of Parzival's sharp claws to slash above her tail.  Zasha yelped and growled all at the same time, that would hurt for a while, but she had no time to slow down and think about that now ,she had to keep moving or she would fail.  She couldn't fail, not after everything she had been through the last four seasons. 
 
After gaining traction, she faced the mountain lion once more, glaring, brilliant blue hues shining through the slits in her eyes.  She needed to make a move, either go on defense or not let up and continue on the attack.  The Hushhowl opted for the latter and charged forward, but instead of sliding under the beast, she leapt in the air aiming to strike the mountain lion across his scruff or shoulders, if it worked it would be strike two.

Zasha didn't let up though, whether the strike landed or not she would need at least one more cut or scratch to win her First Blood. After landing on all four paws, slush flew out from under them from the impact, she would use the wet ground to her advantage, she pushed off a fallen tree,  she rolled to her side as she landed on the ground and as she slid under Parzival she reach up, claws out attempting to strike his underside once more.  If it didn't work she would switch to the defensive and give her a moment to reassess and catch her breath, but she wouldn't take her blue eyes off the cat again.


Word Count 415
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#5
There's magic in our bones - A north star in our soul - That remembers our way home 

Word Count: 490


Parzival was being tested here just as much as Zasha. He might've shown his skill against Nilda not long before, who compared to young Zasha was a league above, but the cat still needed to learn everything he could about fighting. How to win, and how to guess what his canine opponents were going to do to try and best the strong and powerful feline. Parzival was confident that a fully grown mountain lion against one wolf would best them, the natural strength was completely unbalanced. But the canines had the advantage of allies and tactics; they weren't all brawn and bite and nothing else. Cats could be clever, but they only worked alone... or at least would, unless they chose a life amongst wolves instead like Parzival. As much as the large cat wanted to fit in as much as possible with the Cavaliers, he didn't plan on adapting to their fighting style. Perhaps the part about working as a team, but Parz wasn't afraid to throw his big cat weight around and swipe with his claws like others of his kind. Use his difference for the Cavaliers; train them to fight other lions, learn for himself how to perfect his natural gifts. 

So Zasha would learn from this fight, as would Parzival. The girl ran away from his charge, not enough however to avoid a swipe of his claw against her backside, not deep but no doubt a sharp surprise. Zasha got her rhythm back however and continued to keep a distance from Parz, which wouldn't last given the cat was quicker. So the youngster needed a plan, and she decided upon one by turning to meet Parzival head on. An interesting tactic, given how much Parzival outweighed her. He would accept the challenge however; launching up at the same time so both cat and canine were reared up and snapping at each other. Zasha got a hit in, a bite across Parzival's neck, but the cat would no doubt land a hit of his own from his powerful claw. 

Gravity caught up with them, and whilst some would split apart from such a clash, Parzival pushed forwards aiming to knock Zasha over into a pin. It would be a gamble; either the girl would hold her ground and retaliate, or she'd succumb to the heavy weight of the mountain lion and be left completely vulnerable. Parzival pushed, screaming like a banshee with the terrifying voice nature had given him, but Zasha did indeed hold strong. She landed below the cat, but pushed off the ground so to not be crushed and slide right under him. The small claw to his stomach was inevitable, so Parzival accepted it with a yowl and promptly collapsed to his side. "Agh! She got me! I'm dead!" The cat dramatically cried out, flailing his front paws around, now safe with his claws retracted away.



♕Parzival♕

out of the woods,
      out of the dark,
im well aware of the shadows in my heart
#6
Ooc:
The young Hushhowl could remember a time when she didn't care about shields, First Bloods or co-ranks, when she just wanted to be a puppy, running wild and free with no responsibilities and staying up all night. Oh how things had changed, life had a way of forcing her to grow up through heartbreak and tragedy.  They had lit a flame within her that made her grow up and want to be a Cavalier.  Zasha may not ever join the ranks of Brotherhood or one of the Banner guilds, but she had done every shield, she was going to try her hardest to beat Parzival for her First Blood ceremony, and she would have two co-ranks which she had every intention of becoming a master at each, proving her worth to the pack and her family.

The feral mahogany wolf hybrid was not small, but the mountain lion outweighed her and stood taller than her, she had to remain mobile and use her agility to stay ahead.  It wasn't an easy fight, and as she leapt in the air, she collided with Parzival, Zasha growled and snapped at him connecting with her sharp teeth, only for the lion to land another hit across her shoulder with his sharp claws and they plummeted to the ground. Tied, two two.  The next one to make a mark would win and  the cadet would waste no time as he charged forward as soon as they landed. But the dark furred Hushhowl would use the size difference to her advantage, pushing off the ground, the slush flew through the air, she slid under the beast her claws scratching the stomach of her challenger.  Three strikes, and victory. 

Zasha laid there and panted for a moment, smiling and laughing as the cat let out a yowl and the ground vibrated as she collapsed to his side in dramatic fashion.  As she got up her body was already sore from the bruising and gashes in her skin, but it was pain that she would proudly accept.  Trotting over to Parzival, she licked a few of his wounds and round muzzle before plopping besides him, still panting and a wag in her tail.

"You were a tough competitor Parz, I thought you had me, you should be proud."

The woman nuzzled into the cat's scruff, careful to avoid the bite wounds she had left, knowing that they had to hurt.    Brilliant blue hues then turned towards the Lune, and dipped her muzzle before rising to all four paws once more and approached the man standing up straight before her, proudly puffing out her chest and standing on her tip toes to appear a little bit taller. Zasha had done it, she had successfully completed her First Blood and defeated a giant mountain lion with only her claws and teeth, a feat not many others could say they had accomplished.

"Lune."

She bowed her head down in respect for the leader that stood before her and awaited his words.


Word Count 506
[Image: owzjXaD.png]


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