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Thread: Ga Rei: Exodus Nine (IC)

  1. #2781
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Medrod Pendragon
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    "You're being way too hard on yourself."

    Again Kazuya says it without dancing around the issue, as if seeking to limit the amount of ways you could start up your own mental track towards self-loathing and blame again; indeed, it didn't take much to realize that Medrod Pendragon was most 'comfortable' finding ways to blame himself for the things that happened around him, something that had been true even for the self that had been the 'One-Eyed Man,' and...

    "You're hardly scum, not even close to being the worst person ever either. Sure, wanting to be a knight is kind of old-fashioned, but it's not like wanting to save people is a crime. I thought it was kind of cute myself, everyone is always so cynical nowadays... Was it a little awkward? Sure. But everyone is awkward the first time. Kazy here used to stutter constantly whenever he talked around me, and our first meeting was him jumping in front of a demon in an attempt to save me even though I was the stronger one at the time, so..."

    "...Why bring it up...?"

    The 'Mom' here seems to agree, really...

    It's not a road that should lead one down to absolute despair, but well...

    The first times always hit like a freight train. Really, while hints of an abnormal upbringing in your past had been things they had both noticed and processed from the start of meeting you, it's only now that they realize how far the extent of it might just spread within you.

    "Regardless, I doubt any of them will hate you for it... They're not storybook maidens or damsels true, they probably won't agree with being put on a pedestal, but it seems like you've all taken turns saving each other... Noriko-chan also seems to like being a hero, and I'm sure that desire stems from a similar place as your own so really... If you talk to them about it, I'm sure you'd find that it's not as big a problem as it might seem at first glance."

    A pause, then:

    "Anyways... Crushes are normal, responding to them in weird ways that sometimes make you look silly or awkward is also normal, so it's probably for the best to accept that you're a teenager and that these sorts of things are gonna happen to you. It's gonna be rough, you're gonna beat yourself up over it more than once when you think you've screwed up, but that's..."

    She pauses again, then:

    "That's part of growing up. If you let everything bring you down, then you'll be stuck in a hole your whole life."
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

    Could you kill someone you love for the sake of everyone else?


    What a cynical worldview, Messiah.
    Real heroes would find a different answer.


    Right, right.
    The power to break through a sad reality—
    I wonder—

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  2. #2782
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Vritra's Avatar
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    Makoto Fujioka
    Aoyama Ruins

    “Mmmmmrmn”

    Tiredly protesting as Ane-san drags me inside to bring to the fancy thingajiggy pod that seems to remind me of something at Megane’s house, I ultimately accept her pushy efforts and let go of any resistance.



    Small.

    Floating back and forth in the liquid I realize just how constraining it is, boooooo …in the end I curl up and tide myself over by observing the swirls and movments of the liquid.

    Swish, swish, swoom.

    Watching the spiraling currents I stop fighting and let the exhaustion settle over me.

    “Mhmmmhrump .”

    Giving up on words I report my awake, if hazy, consciousness with a mumbled yawn.

  3. #2783
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Hitoshira Nagi
    Aoyama Ruins


    Elizabeth is rather easy for once such as I to track down. Although, it's probably incorrect to word it that way; Elizabeth, in this setting, is not really hiding from me, and as such it is easy for me to find her. And I wait, patiently, as she examines red lines that criss-cross and pulse with a demonic light I realize --

    "...Gonna have to keep it as a reminder, huh?"

    Ah.

    Even the World's Strongest Human isn't strong enough to hold back the Kyuubi, hn? It's not surprising, really. I'm... I'm shaken anyways. In every conflict, every battle, every time I see this woman -- there was only one word to describe her. Unstoppable. Elizabeth was...

    "Well... Guess it doesn't matter."

    ...Just as heroic as she is right now.

    "...Hmm? Nagi?"

    She hides the mark, and I pause, frowning a bit. There's no need to hide it; after all, I used to bear it myself. But perhaps it's a different sort of mark, the sort of mark that... No.

    "Ready for tomorrow?"

    I stare at Elizabeth with narrowed eyes. I don't want to believe it. But I experienced the mark of the Kyuubi myself. It's a dangerous, devious thing - it lies and cheats and steals its way through your soul and refuses to let go. Only the everburning presence of gathered starlight - of humanity's own will - burned its presence from Yagami and my own soul.

    "Is it possible to be ready to topple a god?" I smile at the woman, carelessly summoning my ax and leaning against it. "Of course it is, Elizabeth. There's no need to 'prepare' or 'be ready', because the answer before us is obvious."

    It's an easy confidence, in me. Speaking with Yagami made it easier to say such ridiculous things, to bear such a weight on my back. It appears that, in the end -- Hitoshira Nagi is the vessel of humanity's will, and can burn like hellfire for as long as humanity's enemies still walk the planes of existence.

    "I may not have Joanne's ridiculous partner, or even your ridiculous strength, but I have my own power, you know."

    I can taste it in the air, whispering on the winds that I once thought were souls in an endless sea. They aren't, not really; humanity's whispers and dreams echo through this place, even though it's a shattered facade of a once gleaming city.

    I look into Elizabeth's eyes, and I see her looking into mine. It's a moment of calm, between the World's Strongest Human and the Weakest Esper. A sigh breaks through my lips.

    "It's ironic, isn't it? That the one thing I want most of all is more time to spend with all of you. When I'm sure that you're all sick to death of me, at least a little bit."
    in the end we will make thoughtcrime impossible, for there shall be no words to express it
    [01:05.15] <@Spinach> I can flash gang signs faster than Sasuke can perform ninjutsu and I rap like Medea's High Speed Divine Words.


  4. #2784
    Gimme a S M I L E Snax's Avatar
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    Jonathan R. Black
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    "Pretty much the same."

    Shrugging, Jonathan chuckles a bit.

    "It doesn't even surprise me anymore. Every fight is an uphill fight, neigh impossible to win. Even with all the help from others, I really don't know how this will end up, but..."

    Jonathan smirks, his confidence unwavering.

    "That doesn't stop me from pushing my way forward."

    Taking a glance back at the room Akane was resting in, he pauses for a bit, before turning back to Michio.

    "Anyway, I'll be counting on you to have me and Akane's back. Catch you later."

    Giving the man a clap on the shoulder, Jonathan shuffles through the corridors, thinking.

    'Now then, what should I say to lil' old Whitey...'


  5. #2785
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Hitoshira Nagi
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    "Perhaps."

    An answer that comes out as a light chuckle; indeed, spending too much time with others can come across as annoying every once in awhile -even family want alone time every now and then- but true bonds are far more sturdy than such fleeting selfish feelings, and those family and friends remain as family and friends, people you know you can come too when the weight of the world seems absolutely unbearable, people who will stand up for you, and who you will stand up for in return...

    So even though she has plenty to be annoyed about at your actions, the actions of a reckless girl who never quite thought things through to their conclusion and had endangered herself and others many many different times...

    The woman remains as your teacher, after all, this bond too...

    Is precious in it's own way.

    Even if it becomes annoying from time to time, the good outweighing the bad, that's what it means to be friends.

    "But that's a very human desire; to want to spend more time with the people they care about, it is a perfectly serviceable wish in the end. No one truly wants to exist alone forever."

    Chuckling, she pats the ground next to her and you sit automatically, body doing as it was told to do without your conscious mind really questioning it.

    There's another moment of silence.

    Of watching a full moon rise over a shattered horizon, and then:

    "I have a similar wish."

    She breaks the silence with words of her own.

    "There are people I want to spend more time with... I have to fix your bad habits for one, but some old friends of mine reappeared recently as well..."

    A sigh filled with nostalgia.

    "Of course, it's the night before the climax, and all of them are asleep. It's just like them, now that I think about it. Sleeping on the job."

    It's not hard to tell who she's talking about, indeed, having seen much of her past through spiritual osmosis, it could likely click quite easily for you, but:

    "Still. They'll wake up eventually. But if we lose, they won't have that chance."

    ...It's not even for the world, not really.

    Elizabeth was a lot more selfish than she first appeared, while she could certainly be thought of as a hero, certain things took priority over that in her thoughts, namely...

    Saving her friends was the more important task in her heart, something that filled her with far more resolve than the much more broad idea of saving the world...

    A fire that burns for the sake of protecting those dear to oneself, that was her true flame.

    "So possible or not, I've gotta crush that so called Absolute God. So yeah, I guess the answer really is that sort of simple. Good work."

    One arm rests on an upturned knee.

    "Still..."

    Another laugh, and the shake of her head.

    "Things got insane fast. A few weeks ago, and it was all church duty all the time... I would have rather managed to get more lessons into you kids before something like this happened... But it looks like the world had other ideas in mind, kind of a shame."
    Last edited by Airen; June 16th, 2018 at 08:15 AM.
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

    Could you kill someone you love for the sake of everyone else?


    What a cynical worldview, Messiah.
    Real heroes would find a different answer.


    Right, right.
    The power to break through a sad reality—
    I wonder—

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  6. #2786
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Saki Ryuumonbuchi
    Aoyama Ruins


    It was the most obvious question, so for that reason it hadn’t been in the girl’s mind. She had spent so little time thinking about it recently, perhaps because now she had so much more to think about. It was in her doldrums that she found her world dyed one color. But when the world was thrust into chaos and the girl found herself a part of that chaos, Saki became too preoccupied to notice.

    “That’s right, my world of dull crimson trying to wash over the gray… Before I noticed it, even my own ‘red’ became something else. Then one by one, more and more added their own hues to the palette. Before I knew it my world was red, black, blue, green, and pink. Purple, white… and a crimson that reminds me of my own.”

    Thinking about it, the world had changed a lot more than how the Conception or Great Devourer threatened to change it, to her.
    “I should thank you. Your blue was the first. The rest seemed to follow in unison. So once again, I am indebted to you, but…”

    With a glance to the sky, she grimaced.

    “It isn’t enough. There are more and more I want, and even with all of them I’ll never see that vibrant color I lost. To make sure I don’t lose any more, and for the sake of seeing even more of those colors, I have to stop this world from losing it all. A fate worse than endless gray, this world will become one without any color at all.”

    She looked back to the Goddess.

    “My world is full of color, and soon I will make it into a world with every color.”
    Quote Originally Posted by SeiKeo View Post
    Look, you can't just call something pedophilliac and expect everyone to believe you.


  7. #2787
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Saki Ryuumonbuchi
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    "I see."

    Smiling with closed eyes, the Goddess that had turned her gaze towards the sky with an outstretched hand, reaching for a distant star in spite of the shattered countenance, accepts that answer without a hint of regret or disappointment.

    It was the expected answer.

    A respectable answer.

    A sign of personal growth, as well a sign of a burning desire to live, to see that tomorrow comes not just for your own sake, but that of others besides oneself.

    "In that case, I'm glad I was able to help."

    Still...

    A vibrant color that was lost...

    While she is an entity similar to the Goddess of Life, her lack of power in this aspect is a notable flaw due to her status as a false goddess; she cannot bring back the dead in spite of personally feeling like his death was unjust, that was a miracle that even the Soul Sea struggled to accomplish, and one that the teacher in question might simply reject even if it was offered to him, but...

    More concerning than that...

    Was that she did not know where his soul had disappeared too, still...

    "An excellent wish... I don't want to lose anymore people either. I promised the world a happy ending, so that is what I want to give them, for the sake of that..."

    ...There is one more thing she wishes to ask, but-

    "...I know it is a rather unreasonable request... But Nakahara left you with a locket correct? May I see it for a moment?"

    -It's awkward in a way she doesn't like.
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

    Could you kill someone you love for the sake of everyone else?


    What a cynical worldview, Messiah.
    Real heroes would find a different answer.


    Right, right.
    The power to break through a sad reality—
    I wonder—

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  8. #2788
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Jonathan R. Black
    Park Outskirts - Rooftops
    Final Rest


    The brevity of your meeting with Michio surprisingly fitting for the type of 'bond' the two of you shared, you make your way off of the ship with an easy grace in search of your wandering demon, following your instincts, or rather your 'sixth sense' to an area that lay just beyond the park in which everyone was recovering for the night, where the Rider of the Apocalypse stands tall atop it's steed on one of the few non-damaged buildings...

    It's gaze is on the horizon, no...

    Looking past a city that lies in ruins, the gaze that had first seemed to watch the rising moon actually seems to ultimately land on a distant orphanage, a building that struck a strange chord in your heart simply from glancing at it, but one whose name you can't quite read from here even with your senses as an ESPer.

    While you didn't exactly announce your presence, and had simply leapt your way up the outside of the building to it's peak, the demon seems to know that you are there before you get the chance to do so, it's own instinctual knowledge of your location at any given time giving away your new position, and...

    "...The battle will happen over there."


    Voice quiet, but strangely piercing as always...

    The Rider makes this declaration with seemingly no evidence at all...
    Last edited by Airen; June 16th, 2018 at 09:00 AM.
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

    Could you kill someone you love for the sake of everyone else?


    What a cynical worldview, Messiah.
    Real heroes would find a different answer.


    Right, right.
    The power to break through a sad reality—
    I wonder—

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  9. #2789
    Gimme a S M I L E Snax's Avatar
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    Jonathan R. Black
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    Final Rest

    "...I see."

    For some reason, even if the Rider made the declaration with no evidence to back it up with, it felt like the Truth.
    It could be instinct, gut feeling, or just a hunch, but even so.
    It brought a strange feeling to his heart.

    "If you say so, it must be. I can't really say much about it myself, but..."

    Scratching his head, Jonathan pointed at the orphanage.

    "I have a strange feeling about that place. If you know something I don't, or have forgotten, perhaps you could share some of your wisdom, eh?"

    Chuckling, Jonathan cast his gaze towards the distant building, and the moonlight that surrounded it.
    He felt a tingling in his heart. It itched, and made Jonathan crack his fingers, as if trying to stifle the feeling.


  10. #2790
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Hitoshira Nagi
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    "Perhaps."

    The way she says it crosses me as slightly facetious, and I smile a little bit at it; after all, I'm just one girl.

    And as much as Elizabeth loves me, I can't imagine she approves of any of my actions - especially the more dangerous ones. They were, after all... slightly terrible. I'm reckless, and I can't help that - but I can't help but try my best anyways.

    "But that's a very human desire; to want to spend more time with the people they care about, it is a perfectly serviceable wish in the end. No one truly wants to exist alone forever."

    A shattered moon rises as she speaks, and I don't have anything to say.

    "I have a similar wish."

    Of course. Elizabeth has her own companions, a bond forged that was unbreakable even by the Kyuubi --

    "There are people I want to spend more time with... I have to fix your bad habits for one, but some old friends of mine reappeared recently as well..."

    It's sad, isn't it?

    "Of course, it's the night before the climax, and all of them are asleep. It's just like them, now that I think about it. Sleeping on the job."

    It's definitely sad.

    "Still. They'll wake up eventually. But if we lose, they won't have that chance."

    I... I can't bear this kind of sadness.

    "So possible or not, I've gotta crush that so called Absolute God. So yeah, I guess the answer really is that sort of simple. Good work."

    Crushing an impossible foe, an unstoppable force -- that's just what heroes do, right?

    "Still..."

    She laughs, light and low, and I look at her with wide eyes.

    "Things got insane fast. A few weeks ago, and it was all church duty all the time... I would have rather managed to get more lessons into you kids before something like this happened... But it looks like the world had other ideas in mind, kind of a shame."

    "I'm sure in another one of these fragmented pasts, you taught me more then I could ever manage to understand." I smile at her, a small quiet thing, barely breaching my lips. "Do you honestly think I would have acted as I have if I didn't absorb at least some of them?"

    No matter how many times it repeated, there are always constants.

    Hitoshira Nagi will face Yagami Ryota.

    Elizabeth will teach her.

    And time will repeat.

    But all of these are broken now, even if its impossible to tell why -- so its easier to just pretend they aren't.

    "Everyone wakes up, in the end - and if it is the ending of everything, it's rather rude of them to remain asleep. But... sometimes, there's nothing you can do, except rage in silence. I've raged in silence for a rather long time, Elizabeth - I don't think hiding does anything for me but make me appear less then I am."

    Hitoshira Nagi is a girl who doesn't show her emotions.

    This hasn't been true for quite some time.

    "It's been... an interesting week. I think the only way I can top the reckless, foolish actions I've taken is to topple a god." I look at her, eyes dancing. "That takes real insanity, you know. I am the weakest Esper, in the end - with stolen power, stolen dreams, and a stolen demon. The others... are quite a lot stronger then I."

    I'd only seen them, in passing.

    Heard of them, in whispers, told through the sea of souls of their exploits, wafted into my mind tinged with silver fire and an ironclad will.

    A girl who can access Akasha directly.

    A man who can eat anything.

    A boy far too similar to me, who weaves the shadows themselves together.

    A nameless man who grasped his name from the fires of creation itself.

    And me.

    Hitoshira Nagi.

    A girl who manipulates the waves of emotions that waft through her sea of souls.

    One of the only people alive who can access gathered starlight in a way that manifests in reality.

    "All I really have is will, right?" I brush a stray strand of hair out of my eye. "An ironclad will and a burning desire to save everyone. It's not much - barely enough to even try to touch that scant glance I've gotten of the future. But because of that - no, in spite of that - I've ended up here. Somehow, against all odds, I've been placed into a position where I may have to direct others, to tell them what to do, to wrap my own will around theirs and make them stronger. It's ironic, isn't it? The weakest Esper ends up being one of the strongest."

    The world is quiet here.

    And yet my soul is louder than I could ever imagine.

    Hundreds of whispers, hundreds of hopes, of dreams, and fears and desires - and a demon that watches over all of them.

    Ah...

    I've really become something incredible, haven't I? Something that I couldn't even imagine when I came back to Tokyo.

    "You know, I can't help but imagine there's a single constant in this endless cycle of timelines, where the earth reverses every time it was too close to the end. There's only one thing, that I can imagine is a constant."

    I look at my mentor, and say -
    "We all come back Tokyo. So there's no reason to think it wouldn't happen one more time."
    in the end we will make thoughtcrime impossible, for there shall be no words to express it
    [01:05.15] <@Spinach> I can flash gang signs faster than Sasuke can perform ninjutsu and I rap like Medea's High Speed Divine Words.


  11. #2791
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Hitoshira Nagi
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    In the end, everyone always returns to this place, to Tokyo.

    It's a bizarre coincidence to notice, and a statement that itself can almost be thought of as absurd; humans take tomorrow for granted, so it's a foolish statement that almost seems to mean that "everyone will come back for the ending," but...

    By their nature humans are foolish...

    Yes...

    Chuckling to herself at those words, there's little else she can do other than accept them as a possibility; it was absurd, but this quest for a happy ending had been blatantly absurd from the start. The Devourer referred to the people here as walking corpses, and in a certain sense it wasn't entirely incorrect; the world had died only to come back to life, everyone here could certainly be thought of as a sort of zombie, but...

    They continued to persist.

    There is no reason to disbelieve in meeting again after this, the people of this world had done impossible thing after impossible thing consistently over the past couple of hours, and thus...

    "That's right. We will all meet back here again, at least one more time."

    She stands up.

    This world might be a recurring dream, or perhaps a recurring nightmare... But even if it is a nightmare, people do eventually wake up from nightmares.

    One way or another, it's time for everyone to wake up from this endless loop of tragedy.

    The only thing they can do is ensure it's a happy awakening, and if you think of it like that...

    Then it's not so difficult.

    "Tomorrow morning... We'll get to fight together for once, side-by side," turning back to face you with arms crossed, the confident smile regains it's original absolute purity, as if all flickers of doubt had faded away, "I won't allow any sacrificial moves from you on my watch, so I hope you're prepared for a clean victory."

    Another laugh, then:

    "I brought you onto this road, so it's my duty as a teacher to make sure you can reach the end of it."

    ---

    Jonathan R. Black
    Park Outskirts - Rooftops
    Final Rest


    "...There is not much wisdom to share. But if you wish it, I will oblige."

    Chillingly polite, the demon that was still a new presence in your life, but one that was certainly not unwelcome, responds to your requests in the usual manner, the sheer blood-lust that had overtaken it in it's battle with the reporter no longer present.

    "The Devourer should be little more than a system, yet it continues to take hosts, now, it holds the body of that reporter..."

    There is no fear in it's existence.

    While others try to mentally wrap their head around the impossible task that has appeared before them, the Rider appears to simply be contemplating the nature of the enemy's existence.

    Because the Devourer is not just an enemy to humanity.

    Without humans, Demons will eventually die out as well; in that sense...

    There is more to it's actions than simple obedience to the one that supports it's existence.

    "That woman holds some connection to that place. As do you it seems... You can feel it correct? The wistful pangs of a time long past... The others gathered here feel it as well, there is something linking all of you to it. I do not know what it is, but it is something that remains in spite of the flow of time."


    It's words end there; as does it's knowledge of the situation, it could be something similar to what happened with Akane, latent memories of a long past lifetime, but...

    Looking at it from here doesn't help with further investigation of your thoughts...

    All you get is a strange sense of nostalgia, but...

    'Brighter Days.'

    That was it's name...

    How strange...

    ---

    Makoto Fujioka
    Aoyama Ruins


    "That's good."

    She sounds relieved for some reason, although her face disappears from directly in front of the pod, moving instead to a bench at the side of it, although the sounds of her movements remain as clear to you as ever.

    The liquid seemed to carry sound quite well, perhaps there were speakers in here?

    "I heard from the others that you did quite a few reckless things today."

    Normally this would be the start of a lecture, but right now...

    She sounds more tired than anything else, but with everything going on... That sort of thing was inevitable...

    This had just been one hell of a day.

    "I can't say I approve, you could have been killed; and don't try to deflect towards the others either, they are also in the wrong, but..."

    She gets quiet.

    It takes her a bit to talk again, time in which you can respond however you like, but then:

    "...Tomorrow morning, it'll all have to happen again; letting you get put in harms way... I don't like it."

    Yes...

    Talking to herself, perhaps admonishing herself for failing in the parental role of guarding you -even though the enemy consistently couldn't be predicted or stopped- she...

    "...So you don't have to do it, you know?"
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

    Could you kill someone you love for the sake of everyone else?


    What a cynical worldview, Messiah.
    Real heroes would find a different answer.


    Right, right.
    The power to break through a sad reality—
    I wonder—

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  12. #2792
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Saki Ryuumonbuchi
    Aoyama Ruins


    At the mention of the locket Saki brought up her sleeve, revealing the chain tightly wrapped around her arm from which the locket hung. To her, this could be considered a memento of sorts. From teacher to pupil, a final parting gift. Of course, it likely held more meaning than that. He was a man who never did pointless things, after all. A sentimental gesture from him would just as often double as something more tangible.

    “If it’s you, then I don’t mind.” As she was presently, the feeling of loss freshly lingering on her soul, the idea of handing the locket to another would be absurd. But when it came to this Goddess, Saki couldn’t push away the feeling of warmth, trust. Relief. Given the circumstances it truly was an unreasonable request, but if it’s her, and only for a little while, “here.”

    Stretching her arm forward, the girl unbound the chain with her free hand.
    Quote Originally Posted by SeiKeo View Post
    Look, you can't just call something pedophilliac and expect everyone to believe you.


  13. #2793
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Saki Ryuumonbuchi
    Aoyama Ruins


    "Ah..."

    The gentle shaking of a recently freed locket causes the latch to open seemingly of it's own accord; from the start it was simply a watch, a watch that had certainly been enchanted at one point, but opening it up earlier had failed to reveal anything of note, indeed, it was a simple gold-on-blue clock-face that had awaited curious eyes from the other side, but...

    This time...

    A folded picture seems to fall out of it's grasp.

    "..."

    The body that moves to pick it up on autopilot is your own; while you are willing to let her see the necklace for a time, the sudden appearance of something that hadn't existed before, even a small fragment of further information from that man, compels you to retrieve it in spite of how frantic and jerky a motion it becomes, and indeed...

    You don't remember this being in here before, so perhaps he had slipped it in at some point before the last battle? There is writing on the back, but what truly reaches your eyes first...

    Is the image of a familiar classroom, along with familiar students. While at first you look to it as some sort of answer sheet for the future, the teacher's full-proof plan to defeat an absolute God, it takes you only a moment to realize that this picture isn't something particularly rare, it's a photo from the start of the school year, or rather, from the year you first entered Aoyama Gakuen and met the older man. He had forced everyone to stand up and take a class picture at the front of the room... His phone number is on the board, and the photos on his desk reveal the faces of some of the adults -like Liane and Megumi- that you had met over the past few weeks in what seemed to be their younger years, a thing you had never remembered seeing before...

    In spite of that it awakens nostalgia:

    His phone number was on the board, he had given a cheesy little speech at the start of the year about safety, and while it's hard to remember the exact words at first, flipping the image to it's backside revealed the sheer weight of words he had said with a smile that day:

    "As long as I'm your teacher, I want you to promise not to do anything dangerous, okay guys?'

    He had said it in a jokey way at the time, and the you from back then had simply been incapable of understanding how serious his jokes were, but:

    "However... If it's an emergency, than I want you to call me the moment things become dangerous. I'll come help you wherever you are, regardless of what I'm doing, that's a teacher's promise."

    ---To that man, his student's were something precious that must be protected at all costs.

    People misunderstood him a lot, some probably blame him for going off and trying to do everything alone, but from the start that tendency had existed to protect others.

    And down below, written in smaller text, not a spoken quote from the past but rather a thought he had never said aloud, a reminder to his own self throughout the endless years was:

    "Never forget."

    ...A declaration that he truly meant it.

    ---

    Watching you silently, a Goddess that has already found what she was looking for, a fragment of power from the teacher that had certainly existed for the purpose of falling into her hands, she nevertheless...

    Waits quietly in case she is suddenly needed.
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

    Could you kill someone you love for the sake of everyone else?


    What a cynical worldview, Messiah.
    Real heroes would find a different answer.


    Right, right.
    The power to break through a sad reality—
    I wonder—

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  14. #2794
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Hitoshira Nagi
    Aoyama Ruins


    "That's right. We will all meet back here again, at least one more time."
    I blink owlishly at my teacher, not understanding. Was it... was it really all that simple? A smile slips onto my lips as I look at her, because -- !!!

    Of course it is!

    There's no way that we'll die! There's no way that tomorrow won't be brighter than today! That's just not the way the ending of a story works!

    "Tomorrow morning... We'll get to fight together for once, side-by side,"
    a flicker of a smile slips onto her lips, as she admonishes me. "I won't allow any sacrificial moves from you on my watch, so I hope you're prepared for a clean victory."

    She laughs.

    "I brought you onto this road, so it's my duty as a teacher to make sure you can reach the end of it."

    "Sacrifices are for martyrs and the hopeless, Elizabeth," I tell her as I stand up, waving a lazy hand as my ax bursts out of nowhere to allow me to lean on it. "I am neither of those things."

    A frown furrows its way onto my face, as I look at the person who I had spent scant hours with, and yet learned so much. I should... I should give her something shouldn't I. Ah.

    I know.

    "A moment, if you don't mind? I'm going to do something a bit..." I grin, my eyes flashing. "Reckless."

    I delve into my sea of souls, and search for a woman who bears my name. I might as well let the both of them lecture me about my recklessness at the same time, rather then one at a time.

    If Elizabeth wants to meet her friend, then its no real issue for me to lend out my body to one of the souls inside of it for a moment. That's just the way the world is.

    I stand in the middle of an island surrounding by a quiet sea and blue skies, and tap a foot, that crashes into the ground with a rumble.

    "If you're there, Kae, there's someone outside who would very much like to speak to you."

    If necessary, I'll drag Kae's idiotic soul into the forefront of my mind, jamming aside my own consciousness as I had done once before, the lack of 'self' making it oh-so easy, and allow her to speak to my teacher directly.

    And if that doesn't work, well I can always just use Lilith to kick her out of my soul for a bit. Demons are useful like that.
    in the end we will make thoughtcrime impossible, for there shall be no words to express it
    [01:05.15] <@Spinach> I can flash gang signs faster than Sasuke can perform ninjutsu and I rap like Medea's High Speed Divine Words.


  15. #2795
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Vritra's Avatar
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    Makoto Fujioka
    Aoyama Ruins

    Slowly shifting my position through the liquid as I twist to and fro tracing Ane-san’s movements, tired and dull acrobatics edged with restlessness.

    Sleepy, numb, warm, twitchy… A mixture of emotions and impulses that defy my expectations and desires, fweh can’t settle down.

    I wanna, I want to, I…

    "That's good."

    …?

    Out of place and strange even to my dulled self there is a hint of something I can’t place or grasp yet lying in her tones.

    "I heard from the others that you did quite a few reckless things today."

    Curling up as time honed reflexes brace myself against a coming storm but…

    "I can't say I approve, you could have been killed; and don't try to deflect towards the others either, they are also in the wrong, but..."



    Settling into the unexpected silence I reminisce as I float there. What to say, how to say it…

    “Ane-san…”

    "...Tomorrow morning, it'll all have to happen again; letting you get put in harms way... I don't like it."

    "...So you don't have to do it, you know?"

    ?

    ???

    “Why?”

    Stirred up and confused by the unexpected words thoughts come and go as I try to make sense of it. Red hued restless agitation, rosy pink longing, sky blue pride, golden doubt, gray anxiety a multitude of mixing thoughts, was I unwanted, was I incapable, was…

    Colours and thoughts swirl around restlessly as I ask “so will Ane-san do everything by herself?” A question of if everything will repeat who will be there the next time? Ane-san, Megane, or someone else, who, how, why…

    Questions that itch and crawl.

  16. #2796
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Saki Ryuumonbuchi
    Aoyama Ruins


    She hadn’t joined her classmates in answering that ‘promise.’ She always knew her future was something dangerous, so she would inevitably break that promise if she had spoken up with a “yes.”

    Eyes slowly scanning over the picture, a voice that existed only in the past reaching her ears, Saki sighed.

    I guess it was pointless then, we were both going to break that promise either way.

    After all, he wouldn’t be there to help the next time. Or ever again. The only thing keeping Nakahara Tetsuro with her, and the rest, was memory. Memories are powerful, they can change the future, embolden those in the present, but only as feelings. Lingering sentiments left behind by those who have gone ahead.

    But then again, that could be more than anything else.

    “Learn to rest, busybody…”

    Whispering to someone now gone, the girl folded the picture back, and turned her attention back to the Goddess, who looked all the same, yet ever so subtly different after opening the locket.

    “Find what you were looking for?”
    Quote Originally Posted by SeiKeo View Post
    Look, you can't just call something pedophilliac and expect everyone to believe you.


  17. #2797
    definitely not darjeeling Katie's Avatar
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    Mikagura Mika
    Aoyama Ruins


    Happiness for someone else’s sake. Maybe that’s the inevitability of becoming close with someone—selfless desire. Even I am not that callous to say that such thoughts should be disregarded, not when I harbor them myself, not when people harbor them for me. But in a world where everyone wants to protect each other… someone should put their desires above the good intentions of others, or nothing will be done. A web of protectiveness, of everyone trying to cover one another…

    It’s admirable, but there is no victory without sacrifice. Those kinds of victories only belong in fairy tales.

    But that’s a tangent, besides the point. If anything, the goddess of humanity should be entitled to happiness too.

    “You could stand to be a bit more selfish at times,” I say, still inspecting the Nami that was. “Even if you’re happy if they drift away… it wouldn’t hurt to try to keep a connection.”

    At the very least… don’t follow my mistakes. There is nothing good that grows from distance, just a dull pain and a sense of longing. But I don’t really need to explain that to someone who knows those feelings all too well.

    “Besides, you don’t have to tell me to enjoy life. I’ve spent all my life doing what I’ve wanted, so if I had to guess…”

    A pause. Those words are true. I’ve done everything up until now based on what I’ve wanted, almost unfettered, really. The things I’ll do to make sure my aims are achieved, the inconveniences I’ve placed on people I’ve cared about, I’ve done those things without hesitation. So even if people ask me to tone those habits down now, despite everything that has happened this year, in the last few months…

    “…I can’t really live any other way.”
    [Feb/Wed/04|07:00:04] <Lianru> it's ok with each stalker call I feel like we get a little closer
    [Feb/Wed/04|07:00:06] <Lianru> never give up

    asians before testing week

  18. #2798
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Hitoshira Nagi
    Aoyama Ruins


    While Elizabeth may want to talk to her old best friend, a long-lost rival, is the same true from the other end of the equation?

    Kae is a bizarre existence whose motives are hard to define when it comes to specifics; if you were to ask if she loved her friends and Goddess the answer would have been yes, but at the same time that did not necessarily mean that she wanted to come out in this moment. Her situation was complex, as was the situation for the other knights; there are problems in the Sea that must be dealt with, the souls of some of her friends had been swept away in their sleep along with the current of the Kyuubi's dissipation, and thus she cannot spare too much time in your Sea if she wishes to find and return them in good order, but...

    Because it seems she will be bullied out if she does not appear of her own accord, the Lion Knightess decides to heed this summon, even if only for a moment...

    It is not worth trying to fight off a sudden demon assault.

    ...Without a direct connection to her body, she is not entirely sure she would be able to emerge victorious from that sort of struggle.

    For the second time she possesses you, or at least her astral form does:

    The bizarre feeling of a foreign strength flooding your body returns to you again, for the first time since that fight on the beach, a fight that seems to have long vanished into the pages of history in spite of being a mere few weeks in the past.

    Her soul is strong.

    It is a mistake to assume that she is actually inside of you, linked to you yes, and she certainly comes to visit from time to time, but just as she had told you, her true self had always been within the Black Beast as one of many seals. The seals are broken, and the beast has been weakened and repelled -at least for a time- and thus the body that she had sealed away in order to shield herself from the curse and last longer as a seal is free, but...

    Her soul is both close by and distant, but even this fragment of it is powerful:

    "Looks like things got complicated up there, eh Ely?"

    The voice is her own, even thought the body used for it is yours. She does not have much to say to Elizabeth in this moment, when realizing that it just might be possible for her to return to the world of the living after all, her plan had always been to surprise both her and the Goddess by bringing 'everyone along with her,' and thus this is a bit of a plan wrecker, but-

    "...Kae?"

    "I won't be around to bail you out just yet, I have to find everyone else, so you'll have to settle with these kids. But it's no different from the usual, Absolute God or not, it's just another enemy that must be defeated... And I think these kids are pretty strong, slapped that Crawling Chaos pretty good..."

    "...Kae?"

    -The opportunity to be her usual -slightly dishonest with emotions- self is fine too...

    "So no excuses, miss ace. Carry the flag to the finish line and all that; losing after all of this is unacceptable. So I'll see you when I see you. We'll go exploring with everyone, you can show us what the hell happened to the world while we were asleep. Then I'll kick your ass a few times for moping all those years, and steal away the score for good."

    That's right...

    In the end she is that sort of person, or rather, their relationship is so strong that nothing more than this is really needed; it sounds pressuring and absurdly expectant and in a sense it is, but...

    "...Yeah. I'll show it to you."

    ...That woman worked best under those sorts of pressures, a promise to meet again as a reward, and some light teasing to really get the fires of their old rivalry going again, and-

    "...But you beating my score? Not possible."

    "Heh... Just watch me. The others have gotten pretty strong too, you're in trouble now Ely."

    -Just like that, the woman that had spared only a handful of seconds disappears, on a journey to reunite friends that had been separated for thousands of years, and Elizabeth...

    One arm held up against her eyes to hide the sudden burst of emotion that makes itself obvious there...

    "..."

    ...Seems to have lost the ability to speak, as dozens of old wounds are both reopened and healed in but the span of a few words.

    ...All the answers she had needed... Had been given to her in those handful of seconds, and indeed...

    It seems that -with this rare emotional response out of a normally unshakeable woman- it might be for the best to leave her be...

    --}i{--


    ---

    Makoto Fujioka
    Aoyama Ruins

    Why?

    That's not a difficult question, it's the same thing as a Mother saying she doesn't want her son to go to war; the powers that had appeared this day had literally shaken the planet itself, and you had come so close to dying without her even being around to help you, so of course...

    It's only natural for a mother's fear to be amplified.

    Of course it's irrational and she knows it, if those gathered here lose the battle tomorrow then this world will be wiped out anyway, absolutely no survivors, and no 'resets' this time either...

    It's a true 'final battle' for humanity in that regard, even if it is just a 'normal encounter' for the Devourer itself, so there's no real sense in telling you to stay behind, or trying to shield you, as your fate could just as easily be sealed either way but-

    "...I won't do everything alone no, but there are enough people here willing to fight."

    -She can't help but inch towards selfishness in spite of that, out of both maternal love and a desire to spare herself the possibility of 'more loss.'

    ...Too many people she knew had already disappeared here today.

    "So you do not have to go... Do not feel obligated to risk yourself any further. You have already done more than most of the people in this world."

    Even so...

    ---

    Saki Ryuumonbuchi
    Aoyama Ruins


    "...Yes. He left the "Factor of Time," inside of this locket. Or well... I guess you could say he left a 'pathway' to it? Like it is right now it's not directly accessible to humans, but we still have time... There may be a way to reproduce it in a manner everyone can use, at least passively... It is within my power to copy my opponent's abilities, in that sense, if I am able to assimilate this power... It can be broken down further from there. Humans may not be able to use it at it's maximum, but if I understand it correctly... It should protect us from certain aspects of that entity's power. At the very least, we'll be able to fight it."

    Factor of Time...

    The Power the Devourer had used to defeat everyone instantly, and the power Nakahara Sensei had used to keep himself from being defeated in that same moment; leaving it behind after his death is an obvious move he would make, a clear "Plan B" of sorts if "Plan A" had expectantly gone to hell, but...

    "I will have to work on that now... It is quite the bizarre fragment, but..."

    Clasping her hands together, the Goddess pauses for a moment-

    "This is just the opinion of an observer but...I don't think he was the type to break promises."

    -Simply affirms an aspect of the man's character you already knew.

    ...Even though it doesn't seem like it can really do anyone any good any more.

    --}i{--

    ---

    Mikagura Mika
    Aoyama Ruins


    "Ah... Don't worry, I'm considering what my own 'Happy Ending' would be like, I've... Taken myself into account."

    It's true, by it's very nature a "Happy Ending," should be something positive for everyone involved, ignoring herself in that regard would turn it into something more bittersweet instead, and thus, since it seems her worry for you is simply causing you to also worry for her, she pushes herself to be more positive with a smile, after all...

    This was just as much a night of miracles as it was a wake-up call to the people of the world.

    "Even if she is gone... I have still managed to befriend Nami-chan, and the others will certainly wake up soon..."

    She nods, hands folded gently behind her back as she spins to face you:

    "Whenever there is a meeting, a parting is sure to follow. However, that parting need not last forever... You guys taught me that... I was waiting for a long time, so when they wake up, they really owe me on this one."

    Another smile, less bittersweet, more genuine:

    "I want to see the world, so this time, I don't think I'm gonna go sleep inside of the Sea all of the time. I want to be around the humans, see the world with my own eyes... Not just from some distant looking glass."

    Another pause, then:

    "So when this is over, we should do something too. I'll let you pick, you can find something fun I'm sure... Oh, I suppose I could come watch one of your tournaments?"

    ...Lightly teasing, as if showing you her 'selfishness'...

    "Would that be alright? I'd like to have more human friends."

    A more serious question appears at the very end...
    Last edited by Airen; June 20th, 2018 at 06:06 PM.
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

    Could you kill someone you love for the sake of everyone else?


    What a cynical worldview, Messiah.
    Real heroes would find a different answer.


    Right, right.
    The power to break through a sad reality—
    I wonder—

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  19. #2799
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Vritra's Avatar
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    Makoto Fujioka
    Aoyama Ruins

    Fidgeting in the tank as I listen I squirm in response to her words.

    "...I won't do everything alone no, but there are enough people here willing to fight. So you do not have to go... Do not feel obligated to risk yourself any further. You have already done more than most of the people in this world."

    “I can’t come?

    …I don’t want to stay behind when you’re going off to fight, lonely…”

    Lonely, cold, sad, dun wanna, “Ane-san is Ane-san because she’s always there… so like Ane-san I want to be with you.”

    Balling up as I ask and refute, pangs of emotion stab at me as my foot scratches at the glass in agitation. Ane-san isn’t mom because Ane-san promised to always be here with me, it was our big promise. Warm, shiny, fuzzy, comfy, soft, hug hug Ane-san… Always there, always helping something that I wanted to never change, “I can help too, I can help with cooking, I can help with fancy mechanics, I can help with making sure Ane-san goes to bed properly and I can help with this.”

    Uncertainty and anxiety, swirling and clinging, I’m not sure I could bring myself stay behind but just as much I don’t want Ane-san to try to leave me there in the first place.

    “I want to do stuff too, Sensei, Chiaoko-nee, and the rest, unfinished business with annoying look alike person!

    So I’m coming to.”

    Squirming as I try to contain my desire to break out, can’t hug from in here …I want to hug Ane-san.

  20. #2800
    No glasses, huh? Mooncake's Avatar
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    Jacques Dussault
    Tokyo Bay ~ Along the Shore of the Soul Sea



    My hands are shaking as I tap out a cigarette, and isn't that interesting, that my pack has stayed on me all this time. It's bent, frayed, and squished in places - one of its sides is starting to come apart.

    It's a pretty good reflection of how I feel right now.

    I'd like to believe that we won through my overwhelming talent, natural beauty, modest grace... I could go on, but there wasn't much merit to it. I had a strong feeling I wouldn't be able to pull that trick off again, even if I could still travel through shadows, which I wasn't in too much of a hurry to try again.

    By all accounts, my lighter should have broken too. The plastic is cracked in places, and a quick rattle makes a liquid noise that I don't trust to spark without exploding in my hands. I toss it away with a scowl. Tomoya was right; I should have invested in steel.

    Everyone's here, and if they're not, they're getting to be, slowly emerging from the bay one by one. Mina, Kenji, Maiya... none of them have a light, unfortunately. I'm sure of it.

    The detective guy I see staggering around, though; his type always has a light.

    "Hey, Jack, right?"

    I must make half a sight, clothes ripped to hell, veins not yet fully faded from black, markers of almost losing it completely in exchange for power.

    Yeah.

    Yeah, I need a smoke.

    "Got a light?"
    [12:37] <I3uster> if playing overwatch would save my mother from the deathbed
    [12:37] <I3uster> id probably flip a coin
    [12:38] <I3uster> to see if i play or not

    [18:23] <frantic> spinach is like a caffeine zombie

    [18:23] <frantic> in AX he would like
    [18:23] <frantic> drink 8 shots of espresso
    [18:23] <frantic> then he'd turn to me an hour later
    [18:23] <frantic> 'frantic', he'd say, his eyes wild and his lips smug
    [18:23] <frantic> 'i need coffee'

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