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Black Tribal
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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony IV   3/12/2013, 12:30 pm

Temporal gave a low whistle, her ever-present grin seeming to widen.

"Now that's an audience. Hopefully we won't have any trouble dealing with the matches."

Dalila nodded as she gazed out at the window, seeing a few sky carriages flying over head as they got closer to Canterlot.

She spoke.

"I'm fully confident that we will do quite well in the tournament. I have faith in them...."

Temporal gave a faint smile and patted the armored zebra mare on the back.

"No need to feel nervous Dalila. You have done well training them, and I'm pretty sure the other Houses and the elite are expecting us to be nothing but a ragtag group of misfits that shirked off our training."

Dalila seemed to accept that and sighed, smiling faintly.

"I will not let the house down...and I'm sure the others share the same emotion."

She glanced out the window again.

"When we arrive, we should expect Idris to be meeting up with us..."

The zebra looked over at Lightning.

"I hope you're not feeling uncomfortable Lightning. There is a lot of pressure on this tourney..."

She smirked.

"But of course, I'm guessing you don't care about what others think anymore?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony IV   3/12/2013, 12:42 pm

"No. Frankly, I don't. But if we don't win something in this tournament it will take a while to gain the respect we need. If we do win the majority of the matches we can expect trouble. We're walking a tight wire, here. I just hope we don't fall off."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony IV   3/12/2013, 12:51 pm

Fas gave a small smile as she adjusted the red medical cross strap she was going to wear.

"Nice metaphor. That's enough to fill me with confidence..."

Dalila spoke again.

"Once we leave this train, it will be business and serious. Respect is a difficult thing to gain in this time of age, especially with old fools that refuse to let go of the past. At least we are prepared."

Temporal nodded as she looked out the window too, shuffling in her armor.

"I expect there's going to be a lot of booing..."

...

The train finally rolled into the station with a whistle and hiss, the doors opening as the Hurricane House started to pile off of the train.

A zebra in a black cloak and the hood pulled up stood on the station platform with a smaller mare beside her. Both were wearing a form of light armor that was easily hidden by the cloaks.

Fas raised a brow as she looked past the zebra and saw the mare.

"...Trail? You're watching the tourney?"

The brown mare gave a smirk as she giggled.

"What, can't a Rep watch a match? I'm technically Idris's 'date' for this trip. Something to allow us to blend in more."

Fas was trying to wrap her head around the thought while Idris lowered his hood, his scarred face appearing the light as his light blue eyes seemed to glow with energy.

He gave a sweeping bow, smiling and speaking in his exotic voice.

"A pleasure to see you again, White Lightning...or should I address you as Lady Hurricane?"

He took her hoof into his and gave it a small kiss in respect.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony IV   3/12/2013, 2:10 pm

Lightning laughed softly, and politely - shockingly close to the same way the nobility did. But it was warmer, and more friendly. "Goodness, Idris. We're friends. Formalities can be set aside when we speak. I'm afraid it must wait until we are seated however. I do have an appearance to keep by arriving before the other houses."

She gave a small nod and a bow before moving the group forward to the castle.

----

Of course, they were there first - three hours early for initial warmup and registration finalization, which meant that they had the ability to claim the best facilities for their use. Lightning stood in the center of the five fields, watching her troops warm up with a morning run. It was good - their routine kept them in good shape, and a run would warm up their muscles for the matches ahead of them. The second group to arrive was Princess Luna's night guard and Princess Celestia's knights. The two princesses beamed at her, but only Luna flew over to greet her. She and the princess exchanged a warm nuzzle.

"My faithful student. I am pleased that you are already ahead of the others. It does me well to know that my student is just as punctual as my sister's." Luna gave a short laugh and smiled. "They are, however on their way. And I must warn you that Prince Titanium is going to be quite angry that you have arrived before him. He holds his tongue better than Blueblood, but he is not afraid to be underhooved when he needs to be."

Lightning nodded. "Don't worry. I will be prepared for him."

Luna smiled. "Good. Put him in his place, if you would."

As their run came to a close, Brimstone saw the platinum flag in the shade of the entrance to the locker rooms - rooms Dalila and Nightwind were watching over to ensure they were not trifled with. They marched in tight order with their armor gleaming in the sunlight - it was as if it was made of jewels. Brimstone leaned over to whisper in Inferno's ear, "Keep your cool. You can unload it on them in the tournament."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony IV   3/12/2013, 2:26 pm

Inferno, instead of giving her cocky smile and bout of bragging, actually gave a much more dangerous smile that was wide enough to be almost crazed.

"Oh, don't worry Brim..."

She was watching a few of the guards, and she knew a few would be doing their hardest to avoid glancing, though she knew they would.

"I promise to keep my temper cool..."

She looked him straight in the eyes as she breathed, a fog of cold breath coming from her as the air seemed to chill a little.

"...In fact, I'll keep myself 'on ice'..."

She gave a creepy giggle, which then turned into normal laughter as she sighed in content, her eyes half-lidded.

"Always good to have a small laugh before the seriousness comes into play. By the way, I do plan on unloading all my anger on them, so they better watch out."

Meanwhile, Idris was walking beside Lightning, smiling still.

"A marvelous tournament this will be....and of course, I hope you will be able to open your schedule for a little 'meetup' between us Lady Lightning and a few others. You have drawn the curious eyes of some pretty influential figures..."

He gave a small chuckle.

"Though, I'm hesitant to say that even Discord is finding the...'chaos' you are causing in the political quite entertaining."

He offered an apologetic smile.

"Don't be surprised should he ever make an appearance. Quite hard to keep track of him after all. We do know though that he is quite a distance away, on a vacation I believe. Him being in Canterlot makes quite a few ponies...uncomfortable."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony IV   3/12/2013, 2:47 pm

Lightning deadpanned. "Great. More to deal with."

As the Platinum guards took one of the fields, the carriage being carried into one of the four round tents on the far end of the field stopped and was set on the ground. A white and silver coated stallion in fine garb stepped out and adjusted his cape. Shortly after came several others, including an exasperated looking Lazuli stepped out and they all proceeded into the tent.

The captain of their guard came over to Lightning and saluted. "Lady Lightning, Lord Lazuli wishes you luck on today's matches."

"I wish him the same. May they be in good spirits and health."

He bowed and trotted back to the tent. She looked at Idris. "What do you know about Lord Lazuli?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony IV   3/12/2013, 2:54 pm

Idris gave a small smile.

"A gentlecolt, if I've ever met one. Spending his time away has kept him from being turned into a bother by other members...I personally never had to hear much trouble about him."

He gave a small chuckle.

"He was the one to watch the Platinum holdings in Saddle Arabia, for quite some time too."

The elder zebra sighed as she ran a hoof over his shorter mohawk.

"I suppose it may be a case of what you nearly went through Lightning, or rather he chose to be away from home in Canterlot."

He looked over at the tents and sighed again.

"You shouldn't have to worry about him...."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony IV   3/12/2013, 2:58 pm

Lightning let out a sigh of relief. "Well that's one potential ally then."

She looked over at the Platinum guards running the arena. They were getting closer to her troops and they were slowing down. A frown came to her face and she started walking over. "I'll meet you at our tent, Idris. I don't want any nonsense before the tournament."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony IV   3/12/2013, 3:08 pm

Idris gave a small sigh as he called out to the mare.

"Now don't wander too far Lady Lightning!"

He looked over at the tents Platinum were staying in before sighing, walking towards their own tents while Trail reluctantly followed.

Back on the arena some of the Hurricane guards were on, some of them were busy practicing their moves, with Dalila taking Inferno through the moves she would need to know with her claymore. She had already sense the Platinum troops long ago, and she was keen on keeping Inferno's attention. Signal Flare seemed to be doing the same with Whippoorwill as their blades clanged together.

Much to her relief, Inferno looked fully intent on ignoring any distractions, only pausing to give a nod to an approaching Lightning before swinging her claymore over her shoulder again.

Fas seemed too busy to care at all, currently going over Hailstone's wings once more before nodding to herself.

"No problems developing. As long as you don't take too many hits with magic, you'll be good. If you feel anything off, make sure to let me or Red know."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony IV   3/12/2013, 3:16 pm

Hailstone nodded. "We have hours, Fas. I will be fine. The first sets of matches for the day is in the pairs tournament. I won't be performing till this afternoon."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony IV   3/12/2013, 3:19 pm

Fas gave a small smile.

"Always good to be safe, that's all..."

She glanced over at the Platinum troops, seeing a few mocking looks, promptly ignored them, then got up to catch up to Lightning.

"Hey Lightning. Something wrong?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony IV   3/12/2013, 3:32 pm

Lightning shook her head. "I just came over to make sure there weren't any problems. No need to start fighting before the tournament actually begins. I'm going to make sure all the registration papers are in early, so we don't get caught in the rush."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony IV   3/12/2013, 3:40 pm

Fas nodded as she adjusted the red medical cross trap that was on her arm, smiling.

"Good. I'm going to do a once over on our troops, then step aside."

She smirked as a few elites started to find their seating.

"Things are going to get interesting soon..."

...

The hours passed, and now the guards were standing at attention in lines, with Dalila and Temporal standing in front of them a small distance. They were both at attention as well, ignoring any looks they were getting from the crowd or the other groups.

They simply waited, hoping that the opening would start soon.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony IV   3/12/2013, 4:00 pm

"Fillies and Gentlecolts!"

The booming shout of the announcer cause a huge roar of thunder from the hooves stomped on the ground and from the clouds giving bits of thunder. There was a huge cheer from the many fans in the audience, and Lightning was dumbfounded on how many ponies were out for this event. It was as if a whole city had emptied out to watch them.

"Welcome to the 956th tournament of the noble houses! And for the first time in 800 years, all of the houses are represented by their direct predecessors! Please give your hooves up for Prince Titanium! Lady Lightning! Councilor Green Earth!"

Boos and cheers were all around as they took a few minutes to settle down. "These next few days will showcase the talents that these individuals possess within the houses as well as with Our Royal Highnesses, and their guardians, Princess Luna and Princess Celestia!!!"

A huge cheer erupted for the Princesses as they waved from their thrones in the stands. Their guards marched onto the field and took positions at the entrances and in the stands.

"Today, we shall begin with our most exquisite of matches, the youngest in this tournament - the Duels of Duels! Partners will combat other teams of two for their title as the best pair in Equestria!"

Another cheer rang out as several sets of pairs took the field. "Please take a look in your guides for the tournament you wish to see in the placement rounds!"

Lightning looked on as Whippoorwill and Signal Flare took the field closest to the tents.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony IV   3/12/2013, 4:21 pm

The shorter greyish-brown stallion held a serious look as he took his position, his bright red stallion dueling partner taking place next to him.

Across from them, a pair of earth ponies from House Puddinghat took their stances as well, both retaining a neutral look as they stood in position. The one across from Signal was a tall, bulky stallion with a faded mud-colored coat and a buzzed short purple mane while the one across from Whip was an average sized stallion, this one bright green with a brown mane.

The unicorn official to start the match looked at both sides before speaking, looking at a scroll.

"Presenting, Signal Flare and Whippoorwill of House Hurricane, their opponents Rock Slide and Evergreen of House Puddinghat. Are both pairs ready?"

There was a simultaneous nod from both sides, and the official ducked back as he brought a hoof down.

"Begin!"

The air seemed to shift rapidly as Whippoorwill took flight, a gust of wind shooting him in an upwards spiral at an amazingly quick pace. The bulky challenger seemed to hold his place as the green stallion charged at Signal Flare.

The air filled with sparks as Signal's short sword held Evergreen's longsword, both fighting back to push the other down, only Signal Flare was grunting with a faint smile and a glimmer in his eye.

Both he and Whippoorwill had a great strategy planned...they just need to wear Rock Slide down...

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony IV   3/12/2013, 4:53 pm

Lightning watched them as Brimstone walked over to Null and Void. "Are you nervous?"

Null shook her head, but Void nodded emphatically.

Brimstone placed a hoof on her shoulder. "You two move like you're one pony in two places. I wouldn't be concerned."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony IV   3/12/2013, 5:34 pm

Fas nodded from where she stood near the two mares, glancing across another arena in order to see Flare and Whip.

"...I'm a little worried for Flare and Whip right now..."

She glanced over at Hail before speaking.

"Those two make a great fighting pair too, but I can't read those two. I'm not sure what they're planning, but this is a serious match they're in. Earth ponies are no pushovers when it comes to a close-combat duel. Signal's going to get overwhelmed if he isn't careful..."

The clanging of swords was loud in Flare's ear as she let out a sharper grunt and pushed, Evergreen only moving an inch before re-establishing his grip on the floor of the arena. Flare, stuck with his blade above his own head, gave another grunt, and finally managed to dislodge Evergreen. The blades went to the side and Flare flapped his wings, shoving an elbow into Evergreen's chest and forcing him back.

Flare flapped his wings and made distance between them.

Meanwhile, Whip was doing more than avoiding and taunting Rock Slide. He was trying to stir up the air, thicken it so that once he brought it unto both of them, the air would heat up and smother them into submission. If that didn't work, they kept a plan B.

Flare charged and twirled, his sword clanging with Evergreen's own sword. The earth pony knocked the blade upwards, and spun on his hooves, bucking Flare clear in the gut.

Pain filled Flare as he flapped his wings to get airborne.

Looking over, he saw that Rock Slide was growling, but panting faintly as he tried to catch the much smaller stallion. He was getting a few glancing blows, but Whip was completing their plan B.

He shouted.

"Do it now Flare!"

Flare smirked, and with a hum from his and Whip's wings, the thickened air suddenly began to heat up, Evergreen giving a small snarl, but panting heavily as he tried to keep his stance. Rock Slide was in worse condition, his heavier armor and bigger bulk tiring him out fast.

They weren't going down, Flare tapped a hoof to engage Plan B.

Whip flew up, then blasted himself downwards, his four hooves connecting with Evergreen's spine. The armor on the stallion's back clanged, denting as Evergreen went down. Whip flapped his wings again, and the gust of air brought the green stallion upwards. Whip bucked him, a blast of air from the greyish-brown coated stallion's rear legs blasting the earth pony clear across the arena, where he slid off and landed in the grass.

He was out.

Now that left Rock Slide.

Whip was panting, but grinning at his friend.

"'Dodgeball'?!"

Flare grinned as wind surged around his wings.

"Dodgeball."

Whip blasted upwards, then curled up into a rapidly spinning ball that was falling at fast speeds.

Flare spoke with a grin.

"DOOOOOOOOOODGE-"

Signal reared up, and once Whip was right behind Flare, the layer of air between the two connected.

There was a loud 'BANG' as Flare bucked Whip as hard as he could, the combined force between the air on Whip, Flare's hind-hooves, and the surge of wind Flare sent back, Whip flying right at Rock like a missile.

With the screeching of air following, those that were listening could here Signal yelling the last part.

"-BAAAAAAAAAAL!"

Whip timed his spin perfectly, uncurling as all four hooves slammed into a too slow Rock Slide. Whip's cushion of air kept his legs from snapping as connected, at there was a secondary bang as Rock Slide's armor practically shattered under the impact, the bulky mud-colored stallion flying even farther than Evergreen.

He slammed into a banner and into a roll, falling still.

The medics rolled in on both Evergreen and Rock as Whippoorwill limped over to Flare, leaning against him for support.

The official, after picking his jaw up, finally spoke.

"U-Um, the winners of this match are Signal Flare and Whippoorwill of House Hurricane! By technical knockout!"

There was some cheering, while a large undertone of booing was underneath it.

Both stallions didn't care. They just wanted to get to Fas before their legs stopped working entirely.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony IV   4/12/2013, 6:10 am

Red got inbetween the two stallions as they entered the tent. "Fas! Goodness you two look like you're fine, but you have to be more carefull. I hope you didn't fracture your freaking legs."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony IV   4/12/2013, 6:32 am

Signal Flare gave a sheepish grin as Fas started to go over his rear legs.

"It was all part of the plan..."

Fas lifted a brow at him.

"Your 'plan' bruised a joint muscle. It'll take me a few minutes to fix that."

She looked over at Red.

"Make sure Whippoorwill didn't destroy his legs. Shouldn't be too hard to fix though if he damaged the muscles a little."

She smirked a little.

"I must admit though, that was quite a show, right Red?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony IV   4/12/2013, 8:33 am

Red frowned. "It was stupid and reckless. Luckily you only have a nasty sprain on this leg. FAS can fix that too. But do it again and you could risk shattering your leg bones. Then you'll be out of the tournament."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony IV   4/12/2013, 10:08 am

Signal's ears drooped and Whip gave a small snort of annoyance.

Fas simply raised a brow at the second stallion before going back to working on Signal's leg, loosening the muscles and trying to knit back any torn tendons he had.

Whip was simply laying on his sides, waiting for Fas to work on him as well.

The griffon sighed and spoke.

"These two are classic cases. The ones that are making me nervous are Dalila and Temporal. Their abilities are probably going to seriously hurt them if they push themselves, Temporal especially."

She shrugged.

"Null and Void also make me nervous. I won't be able to do anything for those two, short of sewing up a gash and wound. Good thing you're licensed for this shit Red..."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony IV   5/12/2013, 11:39 am

Brimstone rolled his eyes and nudged Null and Void forward. "Go."

The sisters shared a quick glance with one another before going out onto the closest field for their match. Across from them stood two unicorns, each sizing them up with their weapons at half stance. They didn't seem like they were overestimating their abilities at all. One leaned over to the other and he nodded.

"Second preliminary round combatants! Please approach your starting area!"

Null and Void took their place with their weapons, some silent conversation passing between them. When the horn blared, Null was off like a bullet, speeding into battle. Their opponents pooled their magic together and blasted her with a huge gout of fire. The taller of the two broke away after a moment and began casting towards Void. That was his first mistake.

Null blasted through the magical fire unscathed and slammed into his side. One of her forehooves knocked him into the air, where he was immediately peppered with blunt arrows. Each hit activated the small electrical charge inside and knocked him out completely while he was sailing towards the ground.

Completely taken aback, the other stallion went on the defensive, throwing up layers of shields. Null sprinted towards him, walking clean through them as if they weren't there. She threw a shot at his helmet and he dodged to the side... and straight into one of two arrows. He was out cold as soon as he was hit.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony IV   5/12/2013, 12:52 pm

Dalila stared out on the field with a small smile of pride, nodding to herself.

"Magnificent...."

Meanwhile, Idris had started walking with Lightning to the tents the Hurricane House was set up in, so that they may congratulate both Pairs on a great fight in both matches.

The aging zebra stallion gave a faint cough as a small bout of blue flame came out, then disappeared.

He gave a small sigh, smiling sadly.

"Age sure has a way of making magic become difficult..."

He glanced around the area they were in.

Both he and Lightning were walking through a field that looked to be held by Princess Celestia's own guards. Some were looking up from their training or breaks to see who was passing through. A few gave smiles and nods at Lightning while one or two bowed their heads at Idris, respecting him as an elder zebra. Idris gave a faint smile as he spoke.

"Well mannered....truly disciplined."

They were passing through the end of the tented field when Idris spotted a stallion wearing high-ranking regalia, likely that of a Captain. Idris's eyes recognized him as Five Stars.

Not really noticing any looks from the stallion, Idris gave a small bow of his head in greetings, even though he upped his guard around this particular stallion. He had heard stories, and none of them pleased him.

Still, it never hurt to be a little friendly.

"Good day."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony IV   6/12/2013, 5:58 am

Five Star eyed the two of them with strained tolerance. "Good day, Lady Hurricane, Sir." He turned on his heel with barely some respect and turned his clear distaste towards his troops. "You recruits watching these matches? You'll be fighting against some of these ponies, and I sure as Tartarua expect that you make sure you prove you're worth more than manure."

Lightning narrowed her eyes and kept walking at a little quicker of a pace. "What did he mean 'recruits'? Is he trying to destroy them before they even start?" She stormed up to the information tent only a tent away from her own. The pony seated behind the desk looked unnerved.

"May I help you?"

"Explain why new recruits have been entered in the tournament. I was under the understanding that only the houses and the established guard would be participating."

The mare swallowed hard. "It was a request made by the Puddinghat and Platinum Houses that possible recruits be allowed to perform by entering into the tournament. It was unusual, but Princess Luna endorsed the opportunity."

Lightning looked curiously at the mare, still suspicious. She nodded, "Thank you." As they walked towards their tent where Null and Void were getting back over to, she whispered to Idris, "I need to talk with Princess Luna. If she endorsed this, that means there's somepony she wants me to see. And in good faith, if there's somepony the Vigilates want, I would be happy to scoop them up and pass them off to you."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony IV   6/12/2013, 6:42 am

Idris allowed a small smile as he spoke, despite his own suspicions.

"I look forward to it, though recruiting a guard into the Vigilate is usually a difficult task. We would have to teach them some very difficult things, such as spying on their own officers..."

He looked over towards the direction of the Platinum and Puddinghat tents, his brows furrowing only slightly.

"I should report to Shadowfeather.....though he is likely in discussion with Princess Celestia. Icarus is likely spying on the Houses too..."

He nodded to himself and looked back at Lightning.

"If you see anyone on the roofs of the castle, they are just added security. You'd be surprised at how many ponies attempt assassinations...."

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The Lights of Harmony IV
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