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Mikenestin's avatar

I - The Magician

Mike stands over his fallen foe, his sword dripping black ichor. A pitiful rasping voice worms out of the wrecked body at his feet: "You haven't seen the last of me, Burrell! I'll be back... you can count on it!" And with that the artistic block turned into black sand - blowing away in the autumnal winds.
HooRah! This goes to show what a little patience, a little cunning and a little hard work can do! Note to all Deviants: 'You can do it if you believe you can!' I used to think Photoshop was impossible - but now I'm on top of my game!
Thanks to everyone who offered help and advice! I needed that! Man I love this community!

I wrote a little Story to explain this piece.
Music: [link]

1.The Siege at the Narsuto Tearooms
Michael Burrell 2005

The Magician Noust ran his fingers over the smooth white linen of the tabletop. The soft chink of a saucer’d china cup revived him from his daydream.
“Will that be all the young sir requires?” asked the slits-for-eyes Tea-wait. Noust examined the cup of fragrant tea with fish-lens blue eyes and ran his finger around the rim anti-clockwise three times and, when he appeared to be satisfied, looked up into the Tea-wait’s face again.
“How much sugar?” Noust, nonchalance personified.
“Five, just as young sir requested.” The Tea-wait was all smiles and small bows, white apron creasing and sifting. It was a well-known fact that the Narsuto Tearooms made a large amount of money from tips. And it showed; it was a fat, squat, eastern affair with green floors, saffron pillars and gold-leaf walls. A large glass and iron dome brought light down through the three mezzanines, reflecting brilliantly of the steam and white cloaked tables giving the whole place an ethereal (and expensive) ambience.
Clasping the fragile handle Noust lifted the cup to his mouth and eyed the still-present waiter with annoyance and muttered long, precocious words that where lost in the steamy hollow of the china.
“Perhaps young sir is unaccustomed with small details but…” The Tea-wait perused. But suddenly he found that he felt very small and red-faced, like a schoolboy in front of his master. “I…” The man stammered and started to fidget distractedly, his eyes focused on things that no one else could see. “It was Jenkins Sir! He started it!” The Tea-wait’s face seemed to become very small as the occupants of the other tables turned to hear this gossip-worthy outburst. Hiding his face in his apron the small man ran to the kitchen elevator almost in tears.
“Hmm… perhaps I was a little to mean.” The magician Noust said settling back and blowing on his tea.
“That was quite appropriate in my mind,” said a voluptuous woman in a pink coat and feather boa on the table behind him, leaning back to speak in his ear, “I have always found waiters to be conceited. Humiliation is a suitable correction.”
“Madam,” said Noust, leaning back in the same confidential manner “would you consider the suitable correction of eaves-dropping the disappearance of your ears.”
“Now now Mister Noust,” said the woman, still unmoving, “you and I both know that it would take a good few moments to prepare such a spell and by that time I would have killed you.” Noust leaped up from his chair and span around, hands forming fists. The fat woman, with stunning speed and grace did the same, but her fist contained a stubby pistol. Noust blinked at the pistol… then blinked at the lady; If you tilted your head and crossed your eyes a little, the image of the large pink lady thinned and a thin, young and powerful woman in a sleek black suit came into hazy view then, like a mirage in a desert, was replaced by the pink lady again. All the same, she was still holding a pistol.
“Nukae Sinh!” breathed Noust, he found himself making a little bow and gesturing wildly with his hands; “Please have a seat! I’ve been waiting for you.” He motioned to the fashionably curved chair opposite his own – bobs and bows just like the persistent waiter. Sinh walked calmly past him and sat with athletic smoothness.
Nukae Sinh, the infamous Nukae Sinh, wanted for excessive criminal action. 550,000 on her head and Hero of the underworld, not to say that the underworld didn’t respect her that much to try for the 550,000 but those who did tended to die in very interesting ways. Untouchable.
“I apologise for that, Madam!” said Noust once they where seated and staring at each other from over the ornate teapot. “I didn’t think you’d be disguised!” He paused, looking so some sort of small talk, “…For give my curiosity but what magician made that awful Coat of Persona… I could make you a far better one – ”
“It’s a family heirloom,” said Sinh, not missing a beat, “it’s the shell of my grandmother I believe.” The world seemed to drop Noust’s stomach; the pistol was lying on the table – a bullet could be in his head within the half-second.
“Miss Sinh! I never thought that – ! I didn’t – !” He stammered and stumbled on his words, speaking for his life. But Sinh didn’t seem interested; she took off the coat with a flourish and laid it across the table.
“There! She was such a tatty old thing anyway. I wore her just for cover, I had considered that my work clothes drew a little too much attention.”
Being thirteen, contrary what most adults think, did not stop Noust seeing what Nukae Sinh was wearing. It was something very black, very practical and very very tight; it was something for sneaking in the dead of night, snapping necks between your thighs and letting the steamy light of the hall reflect magnificently off your breasts.
Luckily the second mezzanine was almost empty (what time is 6 o’clock in the morning for the fashionable world to drink tea? Or, for that matter, be awake?) because her ‘work clothes’ certainly drew attention.
“…They’re like two huge balloons…” Noust spoke absentmindedly, his mouth a puppet to his teenage libido.
“You ARE The Magician James Noust, correct.” The forced tone of her voice and mortal twitch of her trigger finger brought Noust back into the real world. He managed to meet her eyes, his cheeks where very red.
“Take off that damn coat of a little kid! You look ridiculous!” Nukae stood and pointed an accusing finger at him, taking out her frustrations; she’d killed men for less than staring at her practical work clothes.
“I’m not wearing any coat – this is my real skin.” Noust pulled at his own cheek to prove this point. Sinh had been told he was young and talented but not THIS young. She’s expected a dashing twenty-year-old with red hair and blue eyes, having only the latter two didn’t seem like much fun at all. She collected herself and slid back into her chair. “Yeah,” continued Noust, “That’s why I never include my age on my Curriculum Vitae – creates the wrong impression. And the child labour laws are very strict in this city…”
“Nevermind all that!” Sinh glared at him, “I wish to commission some magic of you!”
The very image of maturity the Great Magician James Noust pulled out a notebook and pencil from the inside of his long maroon coat and started to write in Nukae Sinh’s details with one hand, while with the other drank his luke-warm tea.
“My starting fee is 1300 Crowns, current exchange rates, but that could increase depending on what kind and amount of magic you require…”
“My, aren’t we tenacious all of a sudden?” Sinh mocked.
“Madam, I’m always serious when dealing with magic, money,” a sparkle cam to his eye, “and beautiful women – ” Sinh moved fast than the eye could follow –
“NUKAE SINH! HALT! You’re under arrest for crimes against the Royal City!” A sudden shout. It was a man with black hair and grey eyes; he was wearing a thick grey coat with lot of unnecessary buttons and straps. Sinh paused; her knee was on the table and her fist drawn back to punch the equally frozen Noust. They turned their heads towards him (which for Noust was almost 180 degrees as the man had come up the main stairs behind him); he was gripping a six-shooter with intent. Two similarly dressed men with rifles and crested helmets joined him on the floor. Noust hadn’t noticed that the other customers had silently slipped away, but the floor was deserted apart from the five of them. The two lackeys brought their rifles up and took their targets.
“Hell’s Bells: It’s the Royal Gendarme!” Noust whispered.
“I am Captain Blakelight of the – ”
“I don’t care who you are.” Sinh was looking straight into his eyes; “Not knowing who you are makes my job easier.” It was near perfect silence in the Tea Hall, the chortle of pigeon morning song and the susurrus and rattle of the steam automobiles outside didn’t register. There was the trump on the floor below of heavy boots and the clicking of rifles.
The Captain looked deeply into the yellow eyes of Nukae Sinh; he clenched his teeth and brought his pistol to bare.
Sinh unfroze, her fist slammed into Noust’s upturned cheek.
They rolled. The world seemed to explode with pain, sound and darkness, like being spun in a mighty dark ocean. When Noust reoriented himself a few seconds later they had entirely changed positions; they where now on the floor behind the thick table Sinh had originally been sitting at. The woman herself had a smoking pistol in her hands and their where two splintery holes in the now vertical tabletop. Noust smelt gunpowder and blood.
Sinh wasted no time. She unhooked a device laden with gears and handles from her back and out of the curious boxes strapped to her hips and pulled long reels of bullets. She fed them into the machine that ate them like a mechanical shark. She jabbed it sharply into the stomach of the still sprawling magician.
“ A sub-machine gun!” Noust gasped.
“The one of it’s kind it this city – and it’s my ticket out of here. So,” she jabbed again, “what are you? My accomplice, or my hostage?”
“…Where are the soldiers?” Noust crossed his eyes to try and look down the barrel.
“Two are dead and the captain has a shoulder wound. He escaped to the stairs to rally the men he left down there.”
“Then let’s escape now!”
“Down would be suicide and onto the roof is a trap waiting to happen…” It seemed Nukae was full of inner conflict, “…I want you to magic us out of here… please.”
“Right,” Noust weighed his options and neither situation looked very bright, “Well, I’ll need a circle and about five minutes.” Noust starting doing matter transference calculations in his head; he could hear orders being barked at the ruthless Gendarme and had no wish to meet then. “Do you think you can give me that?”
Nukae winked her yellow eyes at him: “Count on it. But I think we’ll need something stronger than this table.” She idly fingered a bullet hole. The Great Magician sighed and dew out a long slender piece of chalk from one of his cavernous inner-pockets and started to lazily draw alchemy circles on the rough table underside. Only the rhythmic trumping of soldiers running up stairs roused him from the play of patterns and numbers.
“Aww shit.” He was sure his heart was drowning out the sound of a brigade of Royal Gendarme making a large foxhole out of the top of the shallow steps and slashed in the last numerals. But the soldiers where having problems of their own – the white-linen tea tables completely blocked the line of fire. What was the most efficient way of moving the tables?
“Grenadiers Stand Ready!” Noust and Nukae snapped their head up. What!? “…Grenadiers Fire!!!”
There was silence broken by soft clinks: grenades! Nukae pulled the magician in close.
Total silence. Two. One. The hall filled with splitting thunder, immense heat and a hellish wind, tables and chairs few in all directions.
Their cover made a resounding boom as the blast rocked it. Noust hid under the shadow of the woman; his fingers buried in his ears. Sinh wasn’t disturbed in the slightest, made a swift role to the right and started to fire through the cloaking black smoke and falling pieces of wood, cloth and china at any man that was fool enough to believe she was dead. Her machine gun roared, a mortal engine; ripping through armour, flesh and bone.
The smoke was starting to drift up towards the shattered glass dome. The second wave of rifles came forward and started to take their marks. Sinh swung back up to sit behind the table where Noust was propped up with a notebook and chewing on his pencil (a testament to the ability of magicians to feel at home anywhere) and attempted to feed another clip of ammunition into her scorching weapon.
“How’s it coming?”
“I shall need a chalk circle drawn…” A bullet clipped the green, dusty floor, Noust jumped as if he hadn’t realised the gunfight was so close, “…But it doesn’t look like I’m going to get one.”
“WHAT!? I thought you said all you need was five minutes!”
“And a circle!” Noust gestured wildly, “and a circle!” A muscle in the side of Sinh’s face twitched. She fired for a few seconds over her shoulder.
“When those Grenadiers get their act together we’re done for!”
“Grenadiers? With grenades? Wait!” The great Magician Noust popped his notebook back into his pocket, his pencil behind his ear. “Grab hold of anything you need and keep your head down!”
“Do you know who I am! I am Nukae Sinh! I know when to keep my head down and when to – ” A bullet pinged off the top of the table and she ducked. Nukae looked sheepish for half a second but Noust had stopped paying attention; he was muttering and forming symbols with his hands, much like a sign language. He stopped, his hands where trembling.
“I think a lot of people are going to die.”
“No, a lot of soldiers are going to die. Soldiers aren’t people. Just keep a hold of me and it’ll be ok.” Sinh looked down at him with one eye open and smiled. Noust wrapped his hand around her waist, like a mother and son, and clapped the back of his hand into the palm of the other.
The Grenadier Brigade of Royal Gendarme on the stair went deadly silent. It sounded again, a soft sound; quiet, but a roar in the ears of a soldier. Tinkle.
The pins where pulling themselves out of the grenades. They hit the floor with quite a pretty sound.
Captain Blakelight swore.
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© 2005 - 2021 Mikenestin
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Vilnix's avatar
Hmmm, its really pretty hun, but im not sure about the arm, it a bit distorted, not as distorted as hermiones legs mind. But the jackets really nice and the hair is accurate. speak to you later.
Mikenestin's avatar
:hug: My darling! Thank you - you really are very kind. Yes - the arm is off I realise. :(
TotenVeloren's avatar
Yay for sepia tones! I realised now that your sketches have lines that blend so harmoniously with the soft colouring tones *is jealous*

The story ended....I want to read more! Your way with words never cease to amaze me..I was sucked into the world for quite a while
Mikenestin's avatar
Oh thank you!
The line blending is quite easy - i'll tell you how oneday.
Mikenestin's avatar
tfoxley's avatar
I couldn't fave this until I had read it (just now) since I didn't want to offend you by faveing it simply on artistic terms . . . dear god I'd be a hypocrite since I get mad at people for not reading my writing when I couple it with art. I have to say this was absolutely stunning in literary terms--not to mention that the picture is just too damn cool (and I read tarot so the title caught my eye immediately).

I love your style of writing equal to the amount I love your art. Which is saying quite a lot since I judge writing much more heavily than I do art. I love how quickly you provided a world and intriguing characters in just a few pages. If I can manage half that good in the multitude of things I am working on now, I will be a very lucky girl.

Oh and the link to the Final Fantasy VII Battle Theme as a musical supplement was both hilarious and inspiring. :heart:
Mikenestin's avatar
Thanks a bundle. No - well, the annoying things is that people type to tell me they can't be bothered to read it it. That just rubs me the wrong way... ~_~
I'm in your debt madam! You're fantastic! THANK YOU!
skyblueff0's avatar
Dude that's so awesome, you never cease to amaze me with you writing and art skills. Haha, but I mis the half-naked englishman, he was the best. But the magician is hawt too
Mikenestin's avatar
You do realise that the half naked englishman is a self portrait. ;p Nice to know at least two poeple in this world like me THAT way. :D
Thanks so much!
skyblueff0's avatar
Haha nice, I wanna do a self-portait now, well I am, I have to in art 1 class, i'll post it up when its finish or something.

LoL, your welcome. I recall seing a picture of you, you had short hair, not crazy shaggy red englishman hair. So maybe you think you look that, hmmm fabricating reality to look hawt I see!! LOL anyways, nice magican.
Mikenestin's avatar
Kick ass!
Oh yeah - is that one one of me at 13 on the boat.
skyblueff0's avatar
How old are u now? I'm thinking 17 or 18, or I could be totally wrong and you could be 15 or 16!!
skyblueff0's avatar
I was close dang it!!! Haha, you have 1 year (but ill be 17 in like a few weeks) to catch up to me in brainz, but I probably have like 2 feet to catch up to you in height. I'm 5'6 short.

So yea, lol I win!!!! Kinda!! Well Post some other image and ill comment
Mikenestin's avatar
What makes you think you are already so far ahead?
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ESDRASC's avatar
Good work! I like much the raincoat (jacket). Although I have not read the text, very good drawing.
Mikenestin's avatar
Thanks very much.
If you can be bothered to type out that you can't be bothered to read the writing - then why don't you read the writing. It's 4 minutes long!
Twisted-Saint's avatar
Again, I am definitely liking the texture you've been putting in your background. Makes it wanna poke, and scrunch it up even more. :poke:

I like the way the hand's peaking from the back of the body, holding that lil' notepade.
Mikenestin's avatar
^ ^ If you'll read the story it'll all make sense! THanks so much! I know, the old paper was fun to play with!
yuna-1881's avatar
wow that is so cool n_n wish I could master photoshop like you do.. and your writing is amazing O_O even like just to say that your artblock was gone xD man, I just enjoy your art soo much
Mikenestin's avatar
That you soooo much! ^ ^ :glomp:
stuntedsanity's avatar
Excellent picture! It's to believe you were suffering from artistic block just a few days ago. Brilliant!
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