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Thread: Ga Rei: Exodus Nine (IC)

  1. #2621
    definitely not darjeeling Katie's Avatar
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    Mikagura Mika
    "Brighter Days"


    Gumball Head? Really now? He really is a simpleton, thinking that by yelling and screaming we can brute force our way through whatever assails us. To be honest… I feel the only reason it’s managed to work so far is that everything we’ve done is a strictly earthly matter. The nature of the Time Devourer is a league beyond that, even, so if something is to be done… it should not be done by blindly throwing our frustrations at it.

    I turn to Fujimoto. Even if hours ago I was willing to accept her as the enemy, even if I know that in some way, shape, or form, it is Chronos that lead to the demise of my parents… Despite those painful memories…

    I can’t help but pity her. If there is anyone who has an inkling of what has happened to both her and her demon, it is yours truly. Even if the memories that once escaped me are merely fractions of one failure out of many, it’s one more than any other human being has the right to claim.

    “You did your best,” I say, the words a bit soft. But it’s the only sentiment I can express. The look in those eyes, defeated and lost—they could have been mine in very many futures. Unable to protect the ones I held dear.

    Still, hours are much more than I thought. At the very least, with this amount… some sort of organized struggle should be possible. Even if on paper, all the variables say demise is imminent, I’ll just ignore it and wing it from there. Hasn’t that been how I solved most problems?

    “But we still have a few hours to figure out a solution, don’t we? I was honestly expecting we had only minutes, but if it’s hours, then I can see the possibility of a future ahead.”

    I hold out a hand for Fujimoto to take, but it’s possible she’s more convinced of this loss than everyone else… Even so, her support is undoubtedly vital to the continuation of all that is.

    “By the way, it’s Mikagura. Call me Gumball Head one more time and I won’t hesitate to shoot you, regardless of whether or not humanity’s chances of surviving drop.”

    And, of course, an act of spite for good measure.
    [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

  2. #2622
    Roleplay PTSD Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Medrod Pendragon
    "Brighter Days"

    Medrod stayed silent, listening to Chiyoko's story. While it did not explain all that had happened, enough things were brought to light that slowly, very slowly, pieces of the puzzle started to click together, revealing a whole picture. For a moment, Medrod stared at his own hand, the pulsating red energy acting as another set of veins beneath its skin. Magatsuhi, that word so foreign and alien... it was what was left of the gods after they died, and it had brought him power. Possibly it was also what this Chronos had been after. It was also possible that this Chronos had been... no, better not think about it.

    The rest of the story made Medrod's brow furrow once again. This talk of sacrifices meant to sate and give power to a deity that would then, maybe, be able to fight against its nature. To have their world deemed an error simply because it had been given another chance. To have it all put on the shoulders of one person, a responsibility that should have been no one's to bear. These things that were said didn't sit well with Medrod and by the end of it, his feet started moving. One slow step after another took him closer to the bench where Chiyoko was sitting. Closer and closer, with a clear sound of him clicking his tongue echoing out of his mouth when he heard Chiyoko apologize once again. Even when verbal abuse is heaped upon him by Gumball... Mikagura, he walks ever forward.

    Until Medrod is within arm's reach of Chiyoko.

    Thump.

    Until he is able to plop his hand down on her head and pat it awkwardly.

    "Like I said. Stop apologizing," Medrod grunted, his eye looking somewhere far away. "Did this all happen because you planned it and wanted it? No?Then, like I said, stop apologizing. If the thing weighing on your conscience is that you were too weak to stop a god from becoming what he was meant to be... I'm not gonna accept your apology. Nobody is to blame for not being able to do something that they can't. And more than that..."

    Now that blue eye turned towards Chiyoko.

    "How many times? Even I can sense that it's been... numerous tries, all reverted back to the same beginning and then done again. Repeating over and over again, like an infinity loop. Instead of just ending then and there, we've been allowed another try after another try, until we got ourselves here. Instead of dying back then, we're here now. So like hell you haven't saved anybody. If anything, I have a feeling you have saved more people than any one of us."

    After saying his piece, Medrod turned towards Mikagura. He had been a bit taken aback by her sudden vitriol, but now that he was facing her once more, he showcased his own back. It was an attitude that refused to step back, even though he had been pretty much threatened by what sounded like extreme-level school bully. Indeed, like oil and water; the only thing missing was verbal flame.

    "See? Even she's thinking that it's too early to give up now. And I agree with her. So what if some system says that this world had its chance, and is now meant to be deleted? All we have to do is destroy such broken system. Once and for all."

    Then, as if an after thought, Medrod's expression became a little annoyed as he looked at Mikagura.

    "And by the way? I thought it'd be rude to just call you 'girl' or 'hey you' or something like that," he snapped back at her. "You have no right get angry because you didn't introduce yourself. I mean, you don't see me being angry despite you being... a stalker, or something? I'm willing to put aside your creep-factor while we're in this mess. We have bigger problems, right?"

  3. #2623
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Mikagura Mika & Medrod Pendragon
    "Brighter Days"


    "..."

    ...For some reason, the physical contact seems to make her feel embarrassed; in the end she is Chiyoko's shadow, and thus, her demeanor is a bit different than that of the confident reporter that had remained in the background of many events over the course of the last couple of weeks. The reporter oozed confidence and self-assurance, but the shadow was notably shy and almost meek, a hard opposite that rang of a denial of the self but-

    Even so, she does not resist the contact, and-

    Fragments of memories explode across the surface of your thoughts.

    ---

    Monsters followed their type around, it was something that the youth was simply used to; something that the majority of ESPers had gotten used to dealing with, it was a normal facet of life, a part of the day-to-day, but-

    That girl had been losing.

    Or rather, she had been too scared to fight back. A shaking girl who was a bit younger than he was, purple hair, meek demeanor, a powerful spirit that nevertheless lacked the will to fight, body shaking as if in illness, a sign of her body rejecting the power the others had accepted so easily.

    It had been a simple mob of shades, but it had been a mob that had pinned her down to eat her, a grudge that he had banished with but a flick of his sword; she had backed away, almost as if expecting another assault -he did look scary after all- but even so...

    "New around here? No parents?"

    This time, that young man...

    "...Come on, let's get you out of here. There's a place we can go. No reason to stay out here in hell, right?"

    ...Decided he should at least save an innocent.

    ---

    Card games.

    She wasn't good at fighting, but damn had that girl taken to other skills with a tenacity that reflected the spirit of an ace; she had been using a borrowed deck, and the pro had been holding back a bit, staying along with the other girl that didn't really get too into the fighting, but...

    To lose a tutorial game...?

    ...Somehow her pride is wounded, it's definitely wounded-!

    "Ah, but about Nami-chan... I think you should talk to her."

    An impossible request, but-

    "If I win this time you will, right? Ignoring her hurts her, you know...?"

    ...Eh.

    Maybe...

    Not like she'd lose again.

    ---

    It's just a moment.

    Fragments without true context, memories of a time that only she remembered in it's entirety, but that were starting to appear in the minds of both the two of you as well as the dreams of the unconscious ones; forbidden knowledge of things that had been made to 'have never happened' but had happened all the same, and...

    "...How many times? I don't know... I lost track a long time ago."

    She reaches out to take Mika's hand, and-


    Someone appears behind her; to Medrod Pendragon it is the officer that appeared shortly after the slaying of Ares, but whose sense of presence had been changed so much that it felt like someone else entirely, twisted into something so heavy that it felt like the planet earth had just been dropped on his shoulders, and to Mikagura Mika...

    ...It is simply her first glimpse, one made with her own eyes, at the "Great Devourer," riding around in the body of it's 'other self.'

    "It is a foolish sentiment. The ones that are corrupt are the dead that continue to live."
    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?



  4. #2624
    Roleplay PTSD Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Medrod Pendragon
    "Brighter Days"

    "---!"

    Medrod's gaze hardened into a glare as a familiar shape appeared from behind Chiyoko. With one swift move his hand went from patting the girl to catching her by the scruff of her neck. With that same swift move, he threw her towards Mikagura, sparing no look towards them but clearly expecting the older girl to catch her. Dream or not, illusion or not, reality or not, his instincts kicked into high gear the moment that person, that police officer he had met, appeared. And the first order of his instincts? Protect others, let them figure out what to do, and in worst case scenario, allow them time to retreat while he held back the enemy.

    If this really was this... Time Devourer, Medrod didn't expect to survive. He had once before tested his mettle against this creature. Yet, while he had been able to land a hit, it had been for naught. And even if he was stronger now... it might not be enough.

    But that didn't mean he wouldn't do what was needed of him.

    "So... It really was you back then," Medrod grunted, putting himself between the others and the Devourer. "Figured there was a reason why couldn't stand you, even the way I was then."

    He took a step closer, bringing his face inches from that of the Devourer.

    "I guess even you couldn't hide it... the scent of a coward that gave up," Medrod growled, wavering somewhere between wrathful and serene. "Even now it's here, to the point I'm sure Mikabuta can smell it too, not to mention of Chiyoko."

    Wait, did he get that name right?

    "Your opinion is ill-needed. I don't care what you consider possible or impossible. Even if you can't do it, we will," Medrod continued, not once taking his eyes off of him. "Don't judge humanity by your own narrow viewpoint. Corrupt? Who the hell cares? If living is a crime, penalized by death... then off yourself for starters. You're just as guilty as anyone who has existed."

    Slowly, slowly, his hand went to the handle of his sword.

    "But still... It really is a thing with you 'deities', isn't it? I didn't get to say this the last time we met, but since then I've found voice. So, heed this."

    Medrod's face was nothing but a tranquil mask of something that had transcended fury and become much more a face of a Boddhisattva, throwing everything that the Devourer gave back to him. A cliff that yielded to no wave, to no wind, to not even time. A mastering his newly blossoming emotions had brought him to this point, where he now could speak his next words with naught but the most clear-minded, understanding fury.

    "--- You really need to learn when to shut up."

  5. #2625
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Hitoshira Nagi
    Battleship S.L.E.I.P.N.I.R ~ Star's Cradle
    Command Bridge


    It seems that the civilians had been moved to a separate portion of the ship.

    While it is easy to simply say that now is the time to topple a God, the reality of exactly how to do so is something that lies beyond your grasp; the Starlight that you had found at the end of time had become a burning flame that extended outwards towards the rest of humanity... Something it had seized upon and turned into a silver-fire that counteracted hell's flames, but the Devourer was not an opponent that hailed from Humanity's Darkness, no...

    It was a manifestation of fate.

    A burden humanity had cursed itself with after trying to cheat the system and run away from their destiny.

    It's powers are unknown, even to Yagami they seem to be relatively unclear; as far as he had told you it simply seemed to be able to control time and was immortal, but for a Nameless God whose name struck fear in the hearts of those who heard it within this world, it cannot be so simple an existence as a God of Time, so...

    For now, it seems best to regroup; indeed, when you emerge from the healing pods a nearby soldier directs you back towards the bridge, where Admiral Adala is apparently planning to go over the situation, and try to plot out the next course of action those on this ship should take against the Devourer now that they've been alerted that it is blatantly present somewhere within the world, but...

    When you enter...



    "...I'm not paid enough to deal with her."

    It's not just Adala, muttering lightly to herself at the front of the room, no...



    "Heya Nagi, Kid-that-seems-to-have-gotten-a-well-deserved-smacking, nice to see you're awake."

    Smiling cheerfully at both you and Yagami, even though her heart is clearly that of a demon...

    It seems Elizabeth has made her way to this place as well...

    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. #2626
    Bisschen mehr ist nicht zu viel verlangt I3uster's Avatar
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    Suzume Oshino
    Original Aoyama - Streets

    All I really felt was rubble and the reverbrating of noise in my ears. I feel...numb, and yet more aware than I ever have been before this point. Is it that somewhere along this path I just have become so familiar with lethal situations that I got out of the way in time? Or is it sheer luck that saved me?

    Dust fills my lungs, and acrid smell hangs in the air. The previous scent of soap and shampoo that so gently hung in the air is completely consumed by gasoline leakage and metal under friction.

    I cough.

    Probably not a lot better than a smoke, really.

    All I still am able to fully perceive is a flurry of lights and noise as the projectile I dodged tears down a nearby store as if driven into it with full force. But that...isn't what happened, is it. There is nobody in there with their hands on the steering wheel, and if there has been they certainly have more of a penchant for flying than they have a knack for driving...

    "Did you guys..."

    Oh. Oh damn.

    Joan steps in front of me, obstructing my view just a slight bit, but when it came to identifying a person I carried with me something far more reliable than mere eyes.

    In the chorus of dissonantly screaming souls, I would always be able to pick out hers. Someone who chased me in my very "dreams". Who I saw when this chapter of my life began. An apparition, a...lost love of my teacher?

    Someone who, no matter how tragic her fate might have been in the end, now clearly presented themselves as an obstacle, no, an enemy.

    And yet...I push away Joan's arm, slightly and gently.

    "Hey...you...didn't see Liane, right?"

    I focus my entire power on calming whatever it is that is in her mind right now. Maybe the woman has already lost this fight...but if there is something in there that still responds to me more...clearly, I would draw it out now.

    And if that fails...

    ...we no longer have the time to waste.
    Quote Originally Posted by Strife ❤️ View Post
    Capitalism has failed me

  7. #2627
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Suzume Oshino
    Original Aoyama - Streets


    "...?"

    A flicker of consciousness cuts through cleanly through the unnatural stoicism; while similar, it's a slightly different madness than what had taken her on that first night, she was not giggling or laughing like she had been back then, she was simply standing -calm and seemingly rational- a warrior of darkness who had taken her place on the front lines of the apocalypse.

    But the voice brings her pause; it's not simply the words or your power, she strangely seems to recognize your voice for what it is, and stoicism becomes something like pain as she slowly drops to her knees, clutching her head and muttering to herself, choking down what almost seemed like screams as black flames flicker across the surface of her skin-

    ---You can see faces in the flame.

    Screaming moaning curses; the appearance of those flames sends your empathetic powers into overdrive; people inside of it are screaming -what about you don't know- but the flame itself is an agony that seems to surpass souls and has simply become a pitch black curse. It's in her veins, a thick mud-that-was-like-flame or a flame-that-was-like-mud, and-

    "Aya-!"

    Darting past your hand, the church-knight automatically moves to go to her side.

    For her it is only natural; she knows that woman, she is an entity similar to family, and thus while she knows better than to approach, her instincts force her to move before she can really comprehend it as a bad idea, and-



    -The fire spreads.

    A personal blaze becomes an unfurling inferno; the expansion happens in an instant, and the knight recoils automatically from it-

    ---It shouldn't be touched.

    Just looking at it screamed that it shouldn't be touched, that it was a cursed black fire that wouldn't look out of place in hell, but even as her primal instincts scream for her to get away from it...

    A black shape leaps forth to grab her by the neck.

    Aya's momentum carries her right up next to you, feet dragging through the earth as she strangles the church knight with one hand -expressions torn between the absolute despair and struggle of trying and failing to stop oneself, along with a pure malice that didn't seem to care about anything other than killing- a reflexive blow to her stomach does not make her yield, and while Joan's struggles are practiced strikes at the ribs and stomach rather than pure panicked flailing, the flames the woman is coated in seem to grant a certain resistance to the strikes...

    Or perhaps her sense of pain is simply gone.

    Thankfully however...

    She doesn't seem to be paying attention to you anymore.
    Last edited by Airen; May 15th, 2018 at 07:05 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?



  8. #2628
    definitely not darjeeling Katie's Avatar
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    Mikagura Mika
    "Brighter Days"


    I catch Chiyoko’s Shadow in my arms, gently, because the reflection of her innermost thoughts is so preciously fragile I feel even my hands are capable of shattering them. But I can’t really hold her tight in a protective embrace. The man who is currently blindly charging forward, Medrod Pendragon, is an idiot in more ways than one. In contrast to Nami, who does try to take external factors into account, befitting someone who has staked their life on collectible card games, he charges forward by listening to only himself. But by doing so, he gets so many things wrong.

    One, I am not capable of protecting Chiyoko’s Shadow anywhere near as adequately as he believes. As much as he wishes to play a heroic knight that holds the line, this is hardly… I have very little faith in it working.

    Two, did he really have to fuck up my name? My goodwill for morons extends so far, and he’s not a cute girl.

    Three, the words he is saying… they’re not right. Perhaps it is true that he met an aspect of the Time Devourer early, but it’s definitely more likely that he met Chronos himself. And while Chronos is certainly responsible for so many things wrong in this world, you can take one look at his contracted summoner and realize the truth.

    The girl who cared so much about her friends, to rewind time and time and time again… she would not partner with a demon that did not give a damn about humanity. Her partner had to hold some love for them, whether it was just his summoner or the collective. Otherwise, we never would have gotten to this point. If Chronos was truly spiteful, our lives would have ended long ago.

    In other words, the deity who is responsible for the death of my parents had to have been trying to save humanity, in one way or another. How depressingly ironic.

    “Listen to yourself,” I say, glaring at the idiot who just wasted his breath. “Your premise is wrong, your argument is wrong, and sacrificing yourself is pointless when we’ll both get mopped up too.”

    “Are you going to go and stab him and scar this girl for life? This is Chiyoko’s Shadow and even if the Time Devourer is wearing his skin it still looks you’re going to maim her one and only partner throughout all this bullshit. And why are you spouting all of that crap? To make yourself feel better? Do you think if you convince it we have an inherent right to live, it’ll leave us all alone and we can live happily ever after?”

    This guy… Well, I suppose it’s cruel to be hard on people who clearly couldn't be informed even if you threw a newspaper at their face.

    Even so… I’m somewhat glad he acted first. I would have done something much worse in comparison. To put it bluntly… I’d love nothing more than to punch that damn cop in the face right now, but it’s pointless. I can’t win by myself, he can’t win by himself, she can’t win by herself, and we can’t win together. We need more people, so, I exercise some trust in the matter to do the classic, buy time.

    Looking over at the cop who heralds the end, I sigh.

    “Can you do all this boasting during the finale? We’re no threat now or later, so the least you can do is take enjoyment in watching us flail pointlessly until you finally decide to end it all.”

    Obviously, while I’m not wrong, I’m certainly not right. The Time Devourer could certainly end us all this instant as a little head start. But… the absolute hubris, or, really, confidence, paints a much different story. And I’m absolutely certain it has the strength to turn that aggressive man into paste, so I’ll fold for now. If we want to win, we need to buy as much time as possible with as little losses as possible.
    [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

  9. #2629
    Roleplay PTSD Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Medrod Pendragon
    "Brighter Days"

    "Excuse me?"

    Indeed, even Boddhisattva had his limit.

    Under the verbal abuse heaped upon him by the violet-haired girl, Medrod's impassive face had grown to look almost constipated-looking, or at the very least that of a person trying to hide the fact that they were constipated. His functioning eye was twitching quite rapidly, seeming to drum a beat to Mikagura's words as she berated him, completely destroying any sort of confrontation he was currently having with the Time Devourer. And well, now that the magic of the moment was gone... Medrod couldn't help it.

    He couldn't let this stand.

    Blame it on his overflowing emotions that had been released from restraints of eight years, or blame it on the stressful situation they had been thrust into, he raised his index finger very matter-of-factly, before pointing it squarely at the mock-up officer who stood before him.

    "Just a moment."

    Then he whirled around on his heels, directing his suddenly blooming ire towards Mikagura. He marched over to the girl, slight flush adorning his cheeks and proceeded to whip that same index finger towards the girl. And the words he spoke... they were clearly agitated. Almost like something had slightly snapped inside him.

    "Okay, what the hell!? What did I do!? Japanese is super hard for me so sorry if I mangle up a word here and there, so cut me some slack! What is this!? Bullying? Is this bullying? Are you one of those sukeban I read about!?" he growled at Mikagura. "First of all, it should be obvious I'm trying to get a rise out of that guy over there! You know, make him angry! No, not him. I'm trying to get his emotions riled up to see if the actual Chronos is still in there! If even a part of him is, he ain't gonna take my belittling lying down, especially he's half as good guy as Chiyoko implies him to be! So yeah, I'm being rude on purpose to see if I can bring him back! No, I'm not belittling someone out of sheer joy of it, unlike some people seem to be!"

    The way Medrod rolled his eyes (well, one eye) made it abundantly clear who he was talking about.

    "And if, if he's not there, if the Time Devourer is fully in charge, I sure as hell am not gonna let that remain the case! Even if takes punch or ten, I'm gonna put some sense in him! You know, the proper way! Even I'm not as heartless as to stab someone's friend right in front of them! Who even thinks about doing that!? That's just wrong!" Medrod continued, nearly blowing smoke out of his nostrils. "Sure, sure, I was a pretty rotten guy before all this, but I'm trying my best! Besides, you can't really blame me for not getting the full picture! Just few hours ago I was having heart-to-heart with a dragon, and then all this happens! I barely know who that guy over there is! I have no idea who you are! Just spouting my name out of nowhere like you were a regular stalker!"

    That finger he now wielded like a sword proper swished through the air again and again, stabbing towards Mikagura as if Medrod was trying to create his very own AT-field to protect himself from the words of the girl.

    "I'm practically flying by the seat of my pants here! So I might not always make the best choices, but I'm trying my best! That's no reason to act so damn rude, you... you... you...!"

    Medrod's eye was practically swirling in his head as he tried to come up with some comeback for the girl.

    What he ended up was... a verbal roadkill straight from his throat.

    "You... Megabuta!"
    Last edited by Verg Avesta; May 15th, 2018 at 03:02 PM.

  10. #2630
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Vritra's Avatar
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    Makoto Fujioka
    Starlight Sword
    Magatsu Aoyama


    It’s funny…

    The world swirls in front of me like a hazy mirage, a castle of howling swords, a strange blank void echoing with thunder, a churning cursing sea, a city whose heartbeat drums like defiance. Who? Or maybe it should be where…

    Kuh!

    A flash of pain and dizziness twist an already chaotic vision into a indistinguishable blur but… Why is it that the more that happens the more I feel like I can see clearly? Attack after attack each trying to outdo the last, a bright mussy mess, yearning, screaming? Squeezed and stretched I can feel myself flicker and yet something still exists there, rejecting, denying who was…

    Ah.

    Another tremor jolting my consciousness as everything goes white. Ahahaha I remember, this haze is my world, this scene is our life and that thing is a death… We deny, it corrects and everything is futile, truly, truly, trulytrulytrulytrulytrulytruly the only thing we can do is accept it and…

    Rise!

    I can feel the desire that bleeds out of my parched and cracked flesh.

    Rise!

    I can feel the multitude of hands and wills invading my thoughts and soul calling out.

    Rise!

    I can feel my innate refutation of the future that lies before me.

    Shouting, laughing, cursing, I grasp the sword that hungers and force myself to lurch forward. That thing still exists in front of me, that thing still dooms everyone and that thing STILL HASN’T BEEN CUT DOWN BY MY SWORD. Emotions boiling within me, curses echoing within my ears, and one step after the other, this longing, this blade of desire won’t be quenched you know.



    !

    “Aaaaaaaaaaahahahahaha ~!”

    One hit is death and in two minutes everything shall be destroyed, the law has been mandates and the world moves to realize it and yet! It grins without a care in the world, charging forward, it laughing in the face of death, it mocks the absolute before it and it belittles the world that suffocates it. Who cared if death was certain, so what if the outcome had been set in stone, THIS MOMENT WAS ALL IT NEEDED.

    A Study in the movements of a sword

    Forcing my mind to the forefront I strain against the multitude of curses and my own chaotic hunger to activate the power I attained on the bridge as I slip off Ane-san training inhibitors.

    Unity Drive - Shape of a Wish
    Eclipse Diver!

    The mud and its curses might resist but I don’t care this sword, I don’t know if it was something I chose or it was something that was forced upon me but this sword, I exist to cut all of this down and I now have my own reasons to fulfill this desire!

    -Hopeful-

    With an unwavering thrust I cut down this resentment.

    Sever myself from this cloying mud, cut apart the bonds that tether’s these screaming souls and drink in the emotions and resentment that has lost its vessel in order to make it mine. Utilizing the network of swords that had embedded into that mud like a winding network of thorns I bath in the multitude of turbulent emotions and curses as I bare this swords base nature.

    Consumption, destruction, refinement, recreation.

    Devouring the curses that created the mud, devouring the blood and arm that Sensei severed, devouring Chronos’s arm that I severed and even draining Chiaoko-nee’s energy through the gift that bound us. The power of the things itself, the power of its alter ego prison and finally the power of that prisons mirror I greedily take everything in to use it for refining my sword.

    Consumption, destruction, refinement, recreation.

    The ability to rearrange the world and its laws to suit ones needs is truly a great power BUT, in that instant where the gears must be taken apart and rearranged is my greatest opportunity. That unperceivable moment of chaos is also a weakness! Refine myself until I can recognize it, refine myself until I can act on it, REFINE MYSELF UNTIL I CAN STAB INTO THOSE GLEAMING GEARS AND RIP THEM APART! This blade of space and time, this antithesis of yourself will cut you down without fail.

    Seeking to interrupt its absolute moment and throw its powers into chaos I step forward and stab, so what if you mandate my death with that attack, so what if you are absolute, I will cut you down without fail, by this sword that has tasted you and your prison that we created this moment is now mine.

    Thoughts swirl within me, hopes, fears and desires amid what I wish to do and what I wish to prevent a vision that is both familiar and yet at the same time alien grips me.

    Quote Originally Posted by An alien nostalgia
    There was once a boy who had been abandoned by those he loved. Was it because they couldn’t support him, was it because they couldn’t bring themselves to love a thing like him, was it because they thought he was worthless, unable to answer that question it began to consume him and the more he saw others basking in the happiness of what he didn’t have the more it began to gouge out a hole in his heart and in that hole curses began to take root.

    Violent outbursts, rejecting others, troublesome behaviour the pain he suffered made him wish to inflict pain on those others. If it hadn’t been for the orphanage’s director stepping in and succeeding in convincing him that his parents had wished him to have a better life that they would be unable to provide he might have lost himself.

    Able to look beyond the past the boy found happiness in the company of those around him who had been placed into a similar situation, it became a cherished home built with their own hands and feelings. Even if he still caused problems by over energetically pull the displaced children together without malice they became a close knit if rowdy group.

    ------------

    There was once a girl who lost everyone she loved in an accident and found that nobody else wanted to speak to her let alone take her in. It would be too expensive, it would be to troublesome, it would be impossible, because of personal feelings or situations they closed off their hearts to her without letting her get a word in and so she in turn closed off her heart to those around her.

    Stuck in her isolated melancholy, lost in memories of what couldn’t be returned the sight of her both frustrated and hurt him because she was a rather painful reminder of past he had managed to overcome so mustering all of his stubborn resolve the boy forcibly inserted himself into her life with the hope that he could make her smile again.

    It was… a rather hard and eventful journey, both the boy and the girl were naturally stubborn and held little interest in letting the other side have their way. However even though there were a great many fights and numerous setbacks the attempt that he had nicknamed operation crab battle ended in success as she smiled when he-
    Ahahaha… that’s wrong isn’t it? It’s not he or a boy, that was me wasn’t it, before the fire and the fox, before we gained these powers and I became like a sword.

    Quote Originally Posted by An alien nostalgia
    As I proclaimed an oath under our orphanages cherry tree about how I would always be there for her if she ever got into trouble again she smile, beautiful, radiant she smiled without a shadow of worry or doubt.
    If only I had been able to keep that promise, but in the end I couldn’t everything was lost in fire and curses and I even lost myself. I don’t know if I’m the same as how I used to be and I don’t know if I even will be but that is still a promise that I must see through to the end. These promises of mine have piled up until they had become like meaningless trash but, I still wish to see them through. This weakness, this laziness that I’ve been afflicted with over so many repetitions isn’t something I can let stand. This is the end, there will be no second chance I can feel that instinct cut into my heart like a knife and it is all the more reason that I won’t yield to anything even if they are something like that being in front of me. That oath under cherry blossoms, those feelings for Chiaoko-nee, that love for Ane-san, Kyoto and everyone else who chose not to abandon me I will protect them and I will create a future where they can smile. I can only hope that that girl survived and I have no idea if she would ever forgive my weakness but I still want to protect the future where everyone can smile that she believed in.

    Quote Originally Posted by An alien nostalgia
    She was a girl that reminded you of cherry blossoms for some reason, although most of your classmates agreed she reminded them more of other things, like the paparazzi... She was someone who was both popular and unpopular, she was always snooping around the school for odd things, and didn't seem to stand for people bullying others, but at the same time...

    She was a person who liked to snoop around places with a camera, taking pictures of things others may not necessarily want known...

    Of course, you didn't think she was actively malicious, she said she took pictures to preserve memories, and that was probably true, but that didn't seem to be all of it... If you had to guess... She seemed like the type who would occasionally find enjoyment in teasing others...

    Had never really messed with you too much, though, rather, she seemed to think of you as a friend, which was nice.
    Sakura… Why was it Sakura again …It was, I… Need to find Sakura again.

    Roaring out with these feelings I step towards the enemy that I must cut down no matter what and strike.

    -Antagonistic-

    With a roaring overhead slash I cut down this Despair.

    Glaring at the entity in front of me I reorganize my blades and restore the clothes that have been destroyed by my rampaging sword and those curses. A childish idea but an appearance that make me grin, based upon the something in the finale of an old samurai movie that I watched with Ane-san I bare my resolve and sharpen my sword upon these feelings and memories.

    Sensei…

    He was, annoying, obnoxious, unhugable, long winded, unhelpful, greedy, unwavering, not as cool as Sensei sensei, and always up to funny business! But …he’s done so much for us hasn’t he? Even before we learned about the time donut thingie he’d always make sure everybody understood the lessons and that everybody was never in any trouble …mmmm to much so. Thank you Sensei.

    Quote Originally Posted by A pure troublemaker'
    It was an attack that would put everyone down in one shot.

    Watching in horror from beyond the glass, his opponent finally defeated, their body motionless on the ground, Nakahara Katsuro is able to comprehend the vast scope behind the attack even while in this "separate space." It's one made with perfect compatibility with a bane stone, there is no subconscious urge to hold back inside of the girl, no desire not to be overrun, no desire to be herself, all the person called "Aika," wants is revenge, vengeance, power, a darkness so great that it blots out the pain in her body, the stain of her enemies, the stain on her pride.

    Around the neck of the teacher, lies the exact same type of stone. Commonly called a bane stone, they were seductive treasures that were said to grant the wishers of their wielder, in that sense, they were a stone of desires, of miracles, and even though they are certainly cursed, even though the price of gaining one's desires is transformation into an evil spirit, it was certainly possible for those stones to grant the power to realize wishes.

    He can't reach his students in time.

    That power bearing down on them, on everyone over there, with force greater than anything he had ever seen before in his life, the teacher grips the stone around his neck, one that has been sealed to keep it from corrupting him, to keep it's power from being used and...

    Breaks the limiter himself.

    It's a move that goes against his job as an exorcist, desperately reaching for a power beyond himself, the man goes against his orders, against the sanctity of his own soul, all for the purpose of reaching his desire.

    To protect his students.

    For a teacher, there is no goal as noble as that one. He needed more power to do it, more, more, more, so no matter how fast it corrupted him, how fast it burned away his humanity and moved him towards becoming a true monster, there was no regret in the teacher's heart, even as his eyes white out from possession, and his fist rockets forward, covered in crimson force, intent on breaking through a barrier that should not be able to be broken. It is a magic made from a combined effort, a barrier separating this false reality into two halves, it is not something that a person should be able to break alone, even with the power of a Bane Stone, but even so...

    Bursting through it, an instant after the catastrophic blast is launched, the teacher barely seems to register it's presence at all, for him, it is not important, even though it is a barrier capable of holding back all the ESPers in Tokyo, he shatters it with little more than a casual thought, his body is burning, being force-fed power far beyond it's usual limits without being given the time to adjust to it, the arm he used to do it shatters completely, the bone bends at an unnatural angle, a heal-able wound, but one that he doesn't have time to let set.

    But that's fine, his legs still work, and he still has one arm.

    That's all he needs to save them... No, if necessary, he would do it with even less.

    While he was not the fastest ESPer, not even close, the Nakahara Katsuro that had only begun to move after a hypersonic attack had been fired, has already outpaced it, moving faster even than the "fastest shutter girl," of Aoyama Gakuen, it's not so much a movement as simply him appearing before the form of Kanade, who had already curled herself around Akio, and bringing them into his one good arm before disappearing again. Almost no time is lost, bearing the wish of "wanting to save them," in exchange for transforming his body and mind into that of an evil spirit, a transformation that can never be undone once it finishes, the speed the stone grants the man is enough to not only defy fate, but crush it completely, saving not just one person, but all of them, all of the precious students that he could see with his eyes.

    There had been many people he couldn't save eight years ago, he was someone who laughed now in the present, did his best to remain happy, but the fact of the matter was that his past was full of failures.

    The kids that looked up to him were the kids of those he had failed to protect.

    He hadn't been able to defeat that fox, he hadn't been able to protect those that had been left behind, you could say that it wasn't his fault, and perhaps you would be right, but that pain was still something that existed within him.

    But not this time.

    ...He can feel it on his back.

    It's close.

    But that's fine.

    Just two more.

    Just two more-!

    ----

    Getting close to you, Usagi lashes out with her foot, knocking you back towards the unconscious Kyoko moments before she turns to face the blast, a red stone held in her hands, shining red as she is engulfed in crimson and seemingly disappears, lost in color.

    In that same instant, your teacher appears in front of you. His eyes have gone white, not lifeless, but bearing no color; Akio and Kanade are held beneath a shattered arm, and the other is already reaching out to grab you, the hand of a teacher reaching out to snatch his students from the attack of an angry, petty human being.

    ---

    "Perhaps if your grades were higher, I could consider an exemption from homework, but as things stand such a thing would be jeopardizing your future!"

    Just like Yoko, this was a person who took the actions of his students very seriously. It didn't seem like it at first glance, smiling and laughing along with the kids, he lacked the serious and somewhat cynical tone that his coworker took, and was popular in a different sort of way with the students because of it.

    "As for the occupation of pirate. While the choice of loot is certainly a rare one, such activities are frowned upon in the modern day Mr. Fujioka. It is a poor career choice, not to mention poor manners... Yes, this is a step down a dark path, and I'm afraid I cannot allow you to pursue it for your own sake”

    "Liver and Brussel Sprouts eh?" One hand rising to his chin, seemingly ignorant, or at least not caring, about your attempts to overpower his ESP, the teacher closes his eyes for a moment in thought, "I suppose that is the action of a tyrant yes, but you underestimate Sensei, for he is amazing."

    An obvious ego suddenly shining through, the youthful looking teacher continues to take things with his unique blend of seriousness and amusement.

    "Once one becomes an adult, they can no longer be picky with their meals," a finger raises, another declaration made with a cheerful voice, "If you were able to conquer the world I would face such a punishment without fear, for Sensei has lived off the cold, starchy embrace of nothing but ramen in his university years. Still, ruler of the world is a very difficult position to attain Mr. Fujioka, force does not work with that sort of thing, the world will crush any lone man... If one seeks absolute power, the world must be convinced to follow you of their own volition... Yes, if that is your desire... Politics would be the way to go."

    He just... Keeps talking...


    Nyaaaa I’m not going to tell him that! Instead I’ll make sure he gets all the detention he has accumulated!

    AND. THAT. IS. WHY. I. WON’T. LOSE. HERE!

    Embracing these feelings I move cut and strike until nothing remains.

    -Precise-

    With a defiant upward slash I cut this down this Flesh.

    Again and again with every strike I can feel something inside me change. It’s strange, almost as if I was cutting myself in time with my opponent, each swing of blade, each beat of my heart causes memories to bleed forth. Strange visions bubble to the forefront of my consciousness, scenes that I know I remember and strange ones that I have no memory of Kyoto, Sensei, Megane…

    Quote Originally Posted by A lonely sacrifice
    "Mistress Megumi, are you not going to join them?"

    it was bizarre for the woman to not play around with the kids when she got the chance. As someone who was at work often, so much in fact that saying she lived there wouldn't be incorrect, she was a mother of four who also served as a 'mother figure' for quite a few of the children from the original Aoyama; a role that she enjoyed playing, but one that could certainly be called "overwhelming."

    Still, she did her best.

    As Makoto was one of these many children, and one that was attacking her actual adopted daughter, she should be in there making sure they don't hurt each other too badly at least, but-

    "...I would, but I can barely move my body as it is."

    -She was completely out of spiritual power.

    Those tired eyes... Weren't just the usual case of a missing night's sleep.

    "In that case, you should save more of your strength for yourself. What I have is more than sufficient for my purposes."

    "It's fine... This place is safe... I'll give you as much of my strength as I can now while I still have the chance."

    "...Very well."

    Recognizing the indomitable resolve of the Nakamura House manifesting in that woman's eyes, the young-looking Servant does not press the issue any further. There is little point to arguing with members of this family, at least for outsiders, and while she may get some small entertainment out of the act herself...

    "Suffering a little bit of pain is nothing... You saw it too, right?"

    "I did... It is a lamentable state of affair."

    "So long as that darkness exists. This world doesn't have a future."

    Looking away from the fight, the warm cheerful eyes she had been putting on for the kids...

    Reveals a true, deep weariness.

    "...So we're going to fix that, you and I... To that end, take as much of my power as you can. The human spirit is an infinite source... I will be alright."

    ...In the end, she was a mother above all else.

    While she did not exactly like the thoughts that plagued her consciousness, they were ones that she could not dismiss.

    To protect her kids, to give them a future. She might hesitate, but in the end, she would do what she must to ensure that her family, friends, and students remained safe.

    Even if it meant completely rewriting the world against their wishes.
    Strange I don’t remember, I don’t remember these things at all. Wondering at the strange memories flickering to the surface that I nether remember nor had the ability to recognize I can only silently strange clarity I’ve invoked. A person, a sword, a single person …or maybe I feel the world I can understand has expanded. Looking back while at the same time looking forward, I’m not certain I understand what I’ve become but… I understand that I won’t or even can’t sit back and bask in their warmth while they sacrifice so much. I want to enjoy that warmth, I want to step out of that upsetting shadow where they just laugh off everything, yes even if I need to refine and swing this sword that I’ve become for an ‘eternity’ I will. Consumption, destruction, refinement, recreation I will embrace these feelings, I will call forth all my energy and I will cut down this thing before us without fail.

    I will create a world where they don’t have to sacrifice all alone, I WILL REACH THAT WORLD WHERE THEY CAN SMILE CAREFREE! Blinking away the tears that fill my eyes I focus myself upon the energy I’ve taken in to defeat the ‘absolute’ enemy in front of me.

    -Perfect-

    With a warmth seeking heart I snap my fingers and harness a collection and recreation of my dust to invoke a scything explosion to sever its restoration.

    Pursuing the usurpation of time and the inviolable future I recognize my own weakness and so I throw away my hesitation. Fuel the forge with my life-force, quench the swords in my blood, recognizing the overflowing life that this strange state has gifted me with I act on my determination and let my body and life become a sacrifice to grasp that unreachable future.

    Quote Originally Posted by An unrepentant desire
    "Let's keep the rough housing to a minimum, guys. I'm not sure my living room can take those kinds of winds..."

    -Your foster mother immediately makes her appearance, clothing spotless, a testament to the fact that she cooked with scientific precision, much like how she did everything, now that you thought about it...

    ...
    .....
    ........

    A few minutes later, everyone has been moved into the kitchen under the watchful eye of your legal guardian. Claire Mongeau, an exorcist from France who had moved to Japan eight years ago as part of an effort to minimize the long lasting damage of the Kyuubi incident, she was the person who monitored your status, something of a doctor as well as a spiritual alchemist, but lately she had been coming back to the house later and later in the night...

    You weren't sure why, but it seemed that her job was becoming more demanding, and from what you had seen last night, well...

    It was probably just going to get worse from here.

    While she didn't normally make extravagant breakfasts, it seemed she had put forth a bit more effort this morning, although her cuisine was much too Western to not be considered a little odd by Kyoko, a side effect of your foster parent "learning her art in America." There were eggs and bacon, and a plate with seemingly limitless french toast stacked upon it, a dish that your guardian found particularly amusing...

    "So Makoto," speaking slowly, the crimson haired woman asks the usual question, "Do you feel any different today? Anything out of the ordinary?"

    ----------

    The light of a camera.

    Blinking your eyes, your arms still locked like a vice around a certain, sleeping dark haired friend of yours, you raise your gaze to find your foster mother, Claire, standing at the foot of the bed, a camera in her hands, and a smile on her face.

    "Hahaha~ It's so cute~"

    Saying something like that, the woman shows a slightly more immature side as she takes yet another picture, seemingly failing to notice that you had managed to regain consciousness.

    An unfortunate chain reaction.

    With your foster mother having leaned closer to hear your purposeful whisperings, it was easy enough for you to pull her down into a hug, the red-haired woman letting out a brief sound of surprise as she hits the bed in the most unsubtle manner possible, her body hitting both you and Kyoko as you bask in your victory, drawing both of the girls closer to you, intent on sleeping with that sort of familial warmth as your ally.

    But...

    "Huh...?"

    Drowsily, the Kyoko that had just felt the weight of an adult she is unable to recognize in her current state land on top of her, reacts in the obvious way. There's a yelp, a few flailing limbs and panicked apologies, and then the three of you find yourselves lying in a tangle on the floor, the thin metallic bed, a mobile but not very sturdy piece of furniture, having been flipped onto it's side by the panicked flailings of three superhumans.

    "Owww...."


    "M-Miss Mongeau?! Oh my god, are you alright?! Makoto!"

    "I'm fine, I'm fine... This... This is my karma..."

    ----------

    "What am I doing here?" Crossing her arms as you back off, your foster mother looks at you with the usual overly clever eyes, "Nakamura needed me to synthesize some materials for her, needed some rare metals for some sort of project... Wouldn't tell me too much about it, but I owed her a few favors... So here I am, although it looks like her all-nighter was a bit rougher than mine."

    "...But that's me."

    "You sound a bit like you're doing something you shouldn't be... Why are you here so early? You're a heavy sleeper."

    Mothers are terrifying beings, capable of bringing absolute defeat to an enemy without lifting a single real finger to do it, so cleanly, so easily, that one could be said to have walked into their own defeat on their own. While others would have dived out of the way of the sudden hug, the red-haired woman understands you very well, and thus she doesn't bother to put up any unnecessary resistance, after all...

    She knows you very well...

    So saying, she nods enthusiastically, passes you by, and-

    "I mean, I could have trained you myself. I have special, foolproof training methods! They're a bit painful admittedly... But more or less guaranteed to get some sort of result."

    "I could use a bit more data for them anyway. So get ready."

    “…Fighting is best avoided if possible mon ami, but well... This whole ritual with Gods and Demons... It's not avoidable. Destruction may be, but the act of fighting itself? We're getting pushed into a corner."

    ----

    Flame Alchemy.

    She was a woman in love with explosions, particularly explosions that took place shortly after a snap of her fingers, which she claimed was a necessary step in the art, but you were almost positive she was doing purely to look cool...

    Which was... A rather immature motivation all things considered.

    "Come on, follow me!"

    ---

    The thrown missile, stake like sword with my words etched into the surface, ‘rather than me being it shouldn’t you be the one to chase me? Wouldn’t it work so much better that way?’ would strike the ground before her and deliver my message about the changes I wanted to make. It was hard to force myself to move when Ane-san would always stay out of my reach but if we changed this then, ahaha I bet it would be so fun. Mhm this would be a warmer way to play unlike before, It would even give me the time I needed.

    "Come chase you, huh..."

    An annoyed voice appears from just behind you.

    "Well... Took me a bit, but I found you."

    Along with a finger, poking you in the back of the head.

    "So what, pray tell, are you doing up here...?"

    Voice naturally curious...

    Claire Mongeau appears moments after the others have already vanished.

    The world becomes a haze of color.

    World literally exploding behind you as you crash through more than just the sound barrier, it takes you more than a couple of seconds to reorient yourself in the sky, the sheer speeds to which you had propelled yourself finally putting you beyond the aid of anything other than your instincts, or rather, your sixth sense.

    "Haaaaaaaaaaaah-!"

    Turning your head at the sound of a roar...

    You can see her dashing along the ground below, at least, for a very generous definition of the word dash. Arms out behind her, and clouds of fire erupting from her palms at the rapid fire pace of a machine gun, the red-haired alchemist seems to be following a similar sort of strategy when it came to this little game, propelling herself through a series of explosions.

    However, where you had used only a few big moves to accelerate yourself, and had thus accelerated at a far more extreme rate, she was going a bit slower, each blast only propelling her the length of a block, but repeating it over and over in spite of the training equipment sealing the brunt of her power, her slower acceleration is nevertheless far more consistent, or, in other words...

    While it had taken her a bit to catch up to you... She was making up these last few fields of distance pretty fast.

    So fast...

    That when she jumps, that movement also accompanied by flame, you can almost immediately... Feel her hand reaching out to grab your ankle.

    It is a very unorthodox method of flight.

    Detonating again and again, throwing yourself up higher, going ever faster, the sudden feeling of freedom, of being in a world where there was only sky was a feeling that carried an unsurprising amount of liberation.

    Humanity had always dreamed of being able to fly, and while what you were doing was more akin to a series of endless jumps, the sheer fact that you're able to move more or less as you wish, no longer burdened by either the sight or presence of buildings, what lies below is the beginning of a seemingly endless ocean, something that you'll inevitably plummet into at some point now that your spiritual power was showing tell-tale signs of running out due to the newfound seals on your person, combined with everything that you had already done today.

    Flying just behind, always behind, but laughing like she was having fun with all of this was your foster mother.

    Having successfully danced out of her for this entire race in spite of her best attempts, the red-haired woman had ultimately seemed fit to simply enjoy the motions that accompanied flight while keeping her eyes on you.

    She would win once you ran out of power.

    "Anddd, captured-!"

    Flying by, an arm wraps around your waist as your foster mother continues to soar across the sky like a falling star, now holding your body in tow. Rather than using her hands, it seems two devices on her feet have activated, and thus, she has become able to fly in a different way, however...

    While the idea that she might have been using science to augment her stamina is annoying...

    What's even more so...

    Is that she's sticking her tongue out at you even as she holds you in a princess grip.
    At first all I could remember was incoherent darkness, twisting, screaming, scraping I couldn’t tell what anything, was I couldn’t even tell what I was. So I sat there helpless and unable to resist that compulsion to cut everything around me down. A flickering flame, haunting the edges of that darkness, I wish I had had the clarity to recognize it and the strength to reach out to it earlier but in that red tinted place I had neither. Yet strangely that faint flame never left me, slowly but surely day after day it crept closer until its light began to illuminate, people, things as I basked in that warm light I became able to see the world around me.

    Ane-san, Ane-san, Ane-san, I wonder if I can stay with you forever but I also wonder if I would be able to step out of being treated like a kid. I love you, I love you, I love Sensei sensei, I love Megane, I love Kimichi, I love Chiaoko-nee, I love everybody so, so much but… Sometimes it doesn’t feel like our understanding truly lines up and…

    I’m sorry Ane-san I don’t think I could live without you anymore.

    With kaleidoscopic memories shimmering in front of my I embrace this desire burning inside of me and reach out to the future I wish to share with her, with them.

    -Yelling-

    With a laughing smile I forge four swords, two thrown spinning forward to carve a path before being pulled back and two in my hands, to step forward and perform a fourfold slice, all to cut down this Inferiority.

    Laughing out as I swing my sword with all my strength, grinning as fragments of memory and self cascades from and through my consciousness.

    Quote Originally Posted by A provoking paradox
    The others are calling out, but it seems like he can't hear them.

    Her partner having let loose with all of her strength, the storm of chains had quickly and easily caught the weakened ESPers in it's grip, but even now, the cries of the boy's friends are not those of physical pain, but emotional, trying to figure out if he was alright, even as their bodies are squeezed, compressed, bones breaking slowly, tortuously, as her partner puts them in her final grip, the "sink or swim," that determined if they would die here, or later on tonight, against their leader.

    ---

    "You... How DARE YOU-!

    "...!"

    Catches the second fist that had been thrown her way, one that definitely would have removed her from the rest of the battle. It's a small resistance, little more than her arm getting in the way, and in normal circumstances, her arm should simply shatter from the blow, failing to defend against anything, yet...

    "My face... It hurts... You... I swear, I'LL KILL YOU, I'LL KILL ALL OF YOU-!"

    Stepping across the borderline of insanity, the already unstable Aika, kept on the edge of reason by the Bane Stone on her person, absolutely loses her mind the instant pain, pain so severe, pain enough that tears are gathering in her eyes appears. Before Kanade can respond, throw another attack, or simply retreat, the body of her opponent explodes with unrestrained spiritual force as she starts screaming, the stone resting against her body burning, burning hot with anger, shame, hatred, and all sorts of other emotions that could only be described as red.

    "ALL OF YOU DIE!"

    ---

    Above you, no, being launched towards you...

    Is a familiar figure, Aika's figure, covered in crimson sparks, unmoving, even though her form should be convulsing because of the electricity. She flies, unconscious, her momentum determined by someone else...

    She slows, her body pitches down towards the hungry sea, but-

    Reaching out with one arm, forcing out this last bit of strength, you grasp her arm, and her body straightens out from it's headfirst plunge, slamming into the black earth with a thud, but still better than falling into what you were starting to think was truly hell...

    Of course, you lack the strength to climb.

    Even you have your limits, and on the verge of passing out from your abuse of your own power, the you that is supporting not just yourself, but someone else, can only just manage to keep his grip on the earth, moving neither up or down. You flex your muscles in an attempt to get back up, reach better ground, but your body denies you, and you fall back down, arms screaming at the sudden 'jerk' of your stop.

    It's not a good situation.

    While you had managed to grab one of the two through some fluke of fate, the other one was missing, and your grip was slowly but steadily weakening, and...

    Below you, the black and crimson sea was rising to swallow you both.

    It's a time limit, the last nail in the coffin that would ensure you would fall here. Without being able to climb out, with your body having finally thrown in the towel from all the abuse, it's inevitable that you will be caught here, yet...

    Even as your grip starts to slip, as something below you grabs your ankle...

    Someone appears above you.

    You somehow get the impression that the person can't talk, or that she's unreal somehow, a hallucination, but...

    Reaching down... Her hand grasps your wrist...
    Memory froth into dreams, dreams blend into reality as reality dissolves into memory, looking forwards and yet backwards, a strange haze and a strange clarity as I push myself as hard as I can without regard for anything but overcoming this foe in front of me. I don’t know if it’s right for Aiya to remain despite everything she’s done but regardless I want it anyway. I want her to have a place to come back to, I want all of us to overcome the fox and that coldness TOGETHER! That is why I refuse to lose even if it’s the world itself that’s in my way so get lost if you’re not going to sit down and be warm with us because we aren’t done facing ourselves yet.

    Enduring my pain I strike regardless as I yearn for what we haven’t been allowed to grasp.

    -Believable-

    With a nostalgic whirlwind I cut down this Pride.

    My reflection flashing in each swing as I step forward to challenge this pride of transcendence I don’t need to pay any attention to what can’t be possible so I throw it away. I don’t need any idea of what might happen if I fail so I throw it away. I don’t need to think about what problems might arise should we even win and so I’ll throw away everything until this blade bears a single unshakable vision. I will cut until I sever this unneeded future and I will build a path towards the one that should replace it so that’s why-

    Quote Originally Posted by A pastel happiness
    Standing at the side of the council president as you had always remembered her from Akio's house, taller than she was at school, and with silver hair rather than blue. You couldn't remember why she disguised herself at school, you remembered there was a reason, that much was stuck in your head, but exactly what that reason was evaded you...


    Walking over to you, the two groups come together naturally, the teacher rushing introductions in order to get the story of the other two. Like you, Akio was suffering from the same random surges of lightning that you were suffering from, and also like you, he was doing his best to just ignore it for now, smiling through the spasms with his usual smile, saying that it didn't hurt at all even though his body visibly shook every time it happened. Like sensei, Maki, no Kanade, seemed to be immune to the affliction, but her reason was easier to understand, after all, she wasn't exactly like the rest of you.

    She had been designed as an anti-ESPer unit.

    Her arms carried the ability to nullify supernatural effects, an imitation of the power one of her siblings possessed as an ESPer. It drained a lot of her spiritual power to use, yes, but while it would be cutting it close, she believed she had enough in her to annihilate the fallen ESPer and still return to the others before shutting down.


    There was a possibility that was not the case, but even if that were to occur, at the very least, she would ensure that the others had managed to get away.

    However, they were being stubborn.

    Not just Makoto.

    Looking back at the others, none of them were running away.

    No.

    They were moving towards her.

    It's idiotic.

    And for a moment she gets upset that no one is following orders. Fake human or not, she was still the student council president, but...

    "Tch... Fine, we're all running then."

    ...If they were going to be like this, then this was the only compromise she could make.

    ---

    There was a girl standing there with a smile on her face regardless of whether her hair a gentle blue or a metallic silver.

    There was a girl standing in front of us with her fists raised without a shred of hesitation.

    Uncompromising regardless of how troublesome something might have been she was always there, at school and at home.

    A warm hand despite its unusual nature, a caring heart despite its metallic nature, a guardian steadfast and caring, no there was…
    A tug of regret stabs my heart and pulls me out of my reverie mmmhm, it’s not one, I’m blessed aren’t I because it’s not a girl there standing infront of me its-

    -Imminent-

    With a flashing quick drawn slash I cut down this Destruction.


    -It’s two.

    Quote Originally Posted by A pastel happiness, a chromatic shield
    Out there, in the center, amidst an actually impossible array of flowers of different colors and seasons, is a quietly meditating Tachibana Kimiko. She isn't moving much, sitting on her knees with her hands on her legs, she almost looks like she's asleep, but you know better. These actions are simply routine, rising before the sun, surviving on a calculated six hours of sleep, the oldest of the Nakamura's adopted children followed the same schedule every day, down to the minute if she could get away with it.

    An hour of going through martial sequences, then cooking breakfast, awakening her younger siblings (and often dragging out her mother), then once she was sure everyone was on their way for the day, disappearing... to... Somewhere.

    Probably off in the woods training by herself.

    She seemed to be a fan of that sort of thing.

    Believed she was the "guardian" of the Nakamura Family.

    'Absolute Field.'

    A blatantly unfair ability that existed as a 'counter' to all other ESPers.

    Strength of the opposing ability did not (seem to) matter; whether it was subtle or blatant was also irrelevant; she didn't even need to know how it worked, once her power was invoked at full strength...

    Spiritual Abilities other than her own simply did not function correctly in the surrounding world.

    Magic more or less bounced off of her, as did ESP, and while one retained their superhuman physical abilities...

    "Hah-!"

    When it came to physical fights-


    A body rushes towards your own with a certain grace and speed that even a certain reporter friend of yours would have to acknowledge.

    Her hand grabs your wrist.

    -She had put her all into ensuring she was stronger than anyone else.

    The act of her throwing you over her shoulder was a light one.

    Having caught you blatantly off guard, and in a moment of heightened emotion to boot, the girl that had decided to humor you with a little sparring session hesitates as to whether or not she should take advantage of this first exchange, and...

    In that moment of hesitation, her grip slacks slightly, and you are able to twist away, landing on your feet nearby.

    "...Well then, come on if you have something to prove. Throw your best punch; no more crying."
    Meanie Kimichi!

    For so long I’ve been looking at those backs as they stand there fearless. Despite every attempt, despite every spar they’ve stood there protecting, helping, comforting and more …its aggravating. I want to do something I want to hug, I want to protect, I want to help. The backs that have always been out of reach, aggravating, saddening, a sensation like that cold day in autumn when I was lost in the park, desire to embrace and never let go, the numbing sensation of cold wind, a gripping helplessness and monochrome surroundings. The conflict of wishes and the realizations of unrealized fulfillment, I wish, I want, I desire, I dream and so now I will step forward.

    I declare that I will be the protector.

    I proclaim that I will repay this warmth.

    I resolve to not let it end like this.

    Pain flickers through my mind as my body breaks and is restored in an endless cycle, nostalgia drifts and swirls as I summon everything I have to cut through this impossibility. I stake my existence on moment I have warped and distorted in an effort to thwart the laws of the world after all I refuse to let it end like this because-!

    -Red-

    With a ringing hunger I race around this enemy casting a forest of thorns to cut down this Time.

    Quote Originally Posted by A bleeding past, yet…
    "Hey now, don't interrupt a duel."

    A calm, almost lazy female voice, drifts in from right beside you, so close, that the hand that grips your uniform and casually rips you away from the woman with impossible brute force strength just seems to be natural consequence, something a person who had managed to get that close to you without you knowing about it could certainly do with no resistance on your part.

    Until she had spoken, you hadn't even known she was there, but recovering yourself as you hit the ground, dispelling the shades that had tried to dog pile you while your back was touching the ground, you see the woman throwing away a black cloak, revealing herself as one of the people who had, up until a moment before, been fighting with your teacher.

    "Honestly, kids these days... Although if he had hit you, it would have been your fault Aika-san. Quit fighting so cocky, if you don't take it seriously, they'll probably get a lucky hit in. Would hate to have to carry you back to base because you got yourself cut in half."

    Quite a few ESPers were that sort of human, take away their powers, and they'll just shrug it off and keep going anyway, moving forward even as their body rapidly reverts from that of a demigod to a human.

    Just like the boy who was refusing to give up, who even now was moving forward, notably slower than before, but with renewed determination, dancing a dance of blades through the crowds of spirits on his way to her, uncaring about the fact that he was forcing a dying body far beyond it's limits. It must hurt, watching him as he approaches, her blade now at her side, the girl's face is emotionless, no longer teasing, just filled with a cold purpose. Steel flashes, cracks, as the group of wraiths in front of her disperses, torn apart by the boy's charge.

    He was no longer able to make it through them unharmed...

    Bloody streaks on his sides, on his clothes, the boy that was continuing to fight is quickly being forced back towards his limits as a human. Pushing his body like this, in combat, the slow deterioration had become a nosedive towards frailty, as if to compensate for this, the young man simply wasn't guarding his body anymore, only his head was spared any second thought, everything else seemed to have been deemed irrelevant, unnecessary for the goal he sought.

    ....What was it?

    Finding herself curious, the girl only blinks as he appears right in front of her. To a certain extent she is surprised, lost in thought for a moment, thoughts about someone similar to this, an idiot who didn't care about himself, threw everything he had into anything he did until the day he had died... The natural born killer finds herself a step behind in his attacks, he is right there, so close that his attack would be 'close to instant,' even in his current state, and with a sort of morbid curiosity she wonders what form the attack that would cleave her body would look like.

    Getting hit was fine, in a way, she was certain she deserved it.

    It wouldn't save the boy, she would put him down right after, the Bane Stone would override whatever effect the swords may have, and she would cut him in two right afterwards, before his friends could recover and force themselves into the situation. It didn't even matter if he cut off her arm, she was no stranger to pain, and she would use the moment afterwards to end it. For that reason, while the possibility of defense still exists, the girl doesn't even bother to raise her arms to defend, finding it more efficient to simply leave it to the blade to twist around behind his back and sever his spine.

    She doesn't even need to move.

    It's already over.

    It has been for a while.

    And while she would like to dance for a little bit longer, their leader needed their presence, and-

    And...

    "..."

    The attack she had expected, relished in, does not appear.

    Arms wrapped around her body, the technique that has appeared is not one meant for violence. It's a hug, not even a grapple, a show of affection that should not be shown to an enemy, and one that distorts her thoughts once more, once again thinking back to someone else, someone who also would have been this much of an idiot, who had gotten himself killed doing things like this, and who...

    And who-

    "...Sorry kid. Something came up."

    -Was the reason she was doing all of this in the first place.

    ---

    Even though the world was falling to pieces, there was someone who had yet to abandon the woman once known simply as Aika. Darting around on broken debris, leaping from rock to rock even as they fall, the woman that defies gravity again and again, a blur of motion that refused to fall into the darkness of the sea below, was the person that the possessed ESPer had once called her best friend.

    Eyes alight with flame, the woman called Usagi attacks her friend at godspeed and is denied, her body arcing through the air, she flips, landing on the remains of a metallic beam, one that crumbles as she pushes off of it, gives chase, eyes burning with what observers could only call an actual light, her spiritual power rampaging around her endlessly, raging without the use of a Bane Stone.

    They had gotten along soundlessly, partners who didn't speak much, but had shared their dreams and fears with each other nonetheless. A girl that was afraid of giving into her murderous impulses, and a girl who accepted everyone around her no matter what, they had saved each other many times, they had come to blows many times, there were certain things about each other that they could call annoying, but in terms of partners, they would also refuse to accept anyone else.

    It was a strange relationship that had been born from simple chance, but here, at the end of a world, it's one that bears fruit.

    ---

    You were continuing to do bizarre things, and she had no real intention of getting attached in any way.

    Indeed.

    It was an absolute refusal, and thus, sensing that another hug was approaching rapidly, the young woman has already decided to counter by catching you. If she does that, then it is not a hug, it is a princess carry, and she will be the one in the dominant position; as this is more fitting of her personality and image, she is far more okay with that outcome than some over-affectionate kid making her flash back to happier days with a younger brother.

    ---

    "I'm not a party kind of person."

    While she normally puts up at least a token resistance when you do this sort of thing, the young woman that had figured you would try to do this at some point or another had just accepted it with a sigh of light annoyance.

    "Besides, I attacked a good chunk of the people in there with the full intention of murdering them," saying this casually, a bewildered smile crossing her face at the thought, the girl can't help but chuckle, "You all may be a bunch of weirdos that are able to forget that because I've been good, but that doesn't change how awkward it is for me, see?"

    For a prisoner, she was simply being treated far too well; and she knew that, and the fact that there didn't seem to be any ulterior motive to it all was so confusing that she was having trouble making sense of it.

    She was a dangerous person, very dangerous, even so they had never once tortured her or tried to read her mind, they let her wander around freely if she had an escort, and now they had even let her off of that particular 'leash' for good behavior.

    It was weird.

    Weirder still, was the vague warm feeling she got from that sort of insane acknowledgement and trust.

    "Besides... What's wrong with just watching the moon?"

    Eyes close.

    "Pretty soon we won't be around to look at it anymore, might as well burn it into my mind now."

    “Ahahaha Usami silly, silly on several things! Oooh maybe Usami just likes punishment? As for not being able to see it again if want to do that then you just need to remember what you want and put everything into hugging it, things will work out!”

    "That's optimistic of you."

    This time she wrestles with you a bit.

    Grabbing your wrists when your touchy-feely attitude starts to annoy her a bit, for the first time in the night the tables are turned as she puts you in a friendly headlock out of what seemed to be instinct, a strange look crossing her face after she does it, as if she hadn't quite meant to do it, and instead had simply acted out a series of motions from what must have been a different lifetime.

    "The world isn't so nice as to just give you the things you want, just because you want them badly enough."

    Even so, her little speech does not falter when her expressions do.

    "None of you seem to remember it clearly, but this world doesn't have a future. The Power of Friendship or whatever doesn't always work, didn't work last time, don't see why it would work this time."

    She almost sounds sad about it, in spite of the cynicism.
    -We still haven’t finished!

    We can’t lose here because if we do this stupid repeated cycle of unhappiness will all be for nothing, we can’t lose here because we’re all still stuck in the past and most of all we can’t lose here because we’ve only just started moving forward!

    I will not.

    I must not.

    I can not LET IT END HERE!

    I can’t pretend that I have much attachment towards people I don’t know but, for these fragile things that have blessed me I will give everything I have no matter what it means for me. Although she might be difficult and stubborn in her reluctance to take a hint and let “warm” herself up I refuse to give up on her. We have certainly lost things and I can’t pretend it didn’t or wouldn’t hurt to the point of madness as time goes on we also gain things and that is why I. WILL. NOT. FORGIVE. THIS. OBSTACLE.

    Clinging to something that nobody wants, claiming superiority to decide and allowing nobody else to get a word in!

    Annoying, annoying, super duper annoying, gritting my teeth until they creak I push forward with every strike. This thing I reject, this thing I dislike, this thing is something I can’t accept! Similar yet different to Stupid police man but in the end still the same, I fundamentally can’t accept it and so I will do anything to remove it.

    This burning soul super heats my blades, this shed blood cools them. Once, twice, four, eight, thousand, ten thousand again and again until I can sever this fate and all who would enforce it I will sacrifice this life, I will muster my entire existence and I will continuously cut until nothing remains.

    -Thoughtful-

    With a raging cry I call upon the numerous swords I’ve forged to return and so I cut down this Law.

    Disappear.

    Disappear, disappear, disappear!

    This isn’t a story that you can just end at your leisure. Who cares if everything fell apart originally! So many things went into this extra chance, so much pain, so much hope, so much desire so bring everything you have I’ll cut it all down!

    Quote Originally Posted by An overshadowed weariness
    And so, the fun events of the morning fade with the passing of time. Returning to your homeroom class, one of you for the first time, you arrive amidst a storm of your classmates, some normal, some people like you, and, as usual, most of them are engaged in conversations of their own, discussions that have little to do with school, but help give flavor to the normal, everyday life that was precious in this academy. While all of you are a bit early, the form of your homeroom teacher Toriumi Yoko can already be seen at the front of the room, ready to greet the new student with one of her rare, but undoubtedly warm, smiles.

    "Ah, you are Koga-san, correct? I was happy to hear we'd have a new student joining us," Smiling gently as Maki aims you towards her, the youthful teacher motions for you to stay up here with her for now, "Good Afternoon. I am Toriumi Yoko, the Economics Teacher, as well as your homeroom teacher. I'll do my best to ensure you'll enjoy your time here with us. Now, it's time to get everyone's attention..."

    Taking a few steps closer to the center of the room as the last few students find their seats, the rose-haired woman clears her throat to get the classes attention, before addressing them with the same strong but pleasant voice she had used with you. The moment she speaks the class goes silent, while she wasn't the most joking of teachers, and could be relentless and stern at times, there was always a spark in her eyes when she was around her students, a spark of compassion and warmth that along with her actions, made it clear she was a teacher who cared about her students almost as if they were her kids.

    Of course, her collected 'cool big sis' nature had led to more than one student admitting to having a crush on her, not just the boys, but some of the girls as well, but in spite of this, the teacher remained unflinchingly single, gently but firmly rejecting any confessions aimed at her. She was almost like the sensei version of the school idol, someone who couldn't be reached in that sense, although, since she got along with Nakahara Sensei rather well, there were some who thought their relationship was rather suspect...

    With a new face standing alongside her, the class immediately knew what was coming before she even opened her mouth to speak.

    Introductions...

    The time of first judgement was approaching-!

    "Listen up everyone, today we have a new student joining our class. It's a bit late in the day for introductions, but I thought it'd be good for us to bond as early as possible. Her name... Well, its no fun if I introduce her, I'll let her handle that herself, but, I expect everyone to be nice to her alright? You all know what being the new student in school felt like, so let's make this transition as easy for her as possible." Speaking firmly, but with a smile, the older woman turns to you as she finishes, "Now, go on and tell us a bit about yourself, young one. After that, go ahead and pick out an empty seat if you want, although, if you'd rather I assign you one, I could do so. But I'm sure you'll get along just fine with everyone either way, so don't be shy~"

    A rare, sing-song last note.

    ---

    Being given little time to process what it is you had just said, the school's infamous fastest shutter girl finds herself being dragged out of the classroom on your sudden remembrance of your quest to deliver a cake of unknown purpose to your Economics Teacher, who, if your admittedly spotty memory served you right, would be staying behind in the teacher's lounge for her a bit in order to sort out some paperwork, as she usually did on every day that wasn't Saturday. There was plenty of time to reach her, and for a moment, Kyoko thinks about telling you to slow down, but realizing that such a thing would actually make her a hypocrite, she just starts laughing quietly as the two of you fly across the hall to where the rose haired teacher was fiddling with the coffee machine, her expression carrying an almost hermit-like fatigue that she hadn't shown at all during class today.

    Guess she had done something particularly tiring last night, that, or she hadn't slept at all for some reason.

    Either way, the fact she had faked her usual tireless attitude so well just spoke of how serious she took her job.
    Sensei sensei, Sensei and Chiaoko-nee how long must they have watched it all repeat itself? Endless tragedy, endless repetition and yet Sensei still continued forward without flinching. I… I can’t understand, no matter how I think on it. Endless pain, endless unfulfilled desire, forced to watch the same tragedy again and again all for a small hope that it might pay off in the end. The thought of how much they must have helped me hurt because I know I can never truly repay them, there will simply never be enough time however! If I can make, or ever help make this longed for dream come true this I will do anything in my power.

    Sensei’s trained me to recognize and counter act formless forces, Sensei showed me that this obstacle isn’t truly beyond us and I will in return show those two who always like to bring it up just how I’ve realized this secret home work.

    This blade is me, this blade is all of us, this blade is Chiaoko-nee, this blade is this that annoying annoying policeman, this blade is this obstacles downfall and I will swing until nothing remains.

    If nothing else I will cut the path to our desired future to give Sensei sensei and Sensei super duper ultra inescapable detention for all this look alike and secret funny business that they never bothered to ask for our help with!

    -Helpful Dream-

    With a clear headed slash that multiplies I cut down this Dead Future and World.

    Creaks and splintering, pouring blood and spasm my body and soul hurt so much yet I know I must keep clawing my way forward. This blade hasn’t finished cutting down its enemy and this unneeded future hasn’t been wiped away. It’s a real pinch, something that is our natural enemy, a disorganized world and a recurring bleh bleh fancy boss feels somewhat hopeless…

    But!

    But, but, but, but!

    Although feelings can’t change the world without things backing them and happy ending aren’t guaranteed to happen no matter how much we want them BUT I MUST STILL PUSH THROUGH! This pain might be maddening, this weakness despair worthy yet for all the things that stack up to prove that this will be impossible I just can’t accept it. Maybe it’s wrong to be willing to throw away the world where it would happen and maybe it’s silly to try to push past something of this nature and level however neither this sword nor myself will accept not pushing forward any.

    If this world is determined to end here I will cut it down.

    If this enemy is invincible I will still cut it down.

    For this is the way of the Amazing Responsible Reliable and Invincible older brother!

    Quote Originally Posted by A warm home
    There was a black haired boy who smiled as he reached out his hand.

    There was a blue haired girl whose voice was tinged with concern as spoke and scolded.

    Twin stars in a house whose warmth was endless, younger yet older they imparted warmth and feeling into an empty self.

    Memories of play, memories of conflict, memories of warmth, memories of learning, memories of mischief, memories of success and of failure.

    ---

    The reason the two siblings had come alone was because they did not like acting as a burden to others, and having their neighbor escort them around the city when she probably had her own things to do, was something that just didn't sit quite right with the boy or the girl, but...

    He was weak to this sort of thing, when confronted with it.

    "It was inevitable anyway Akio," speaking up now, Hitomi brushes aside some of her azure hair from her eyes, “but it was my idea, so I'll take the fall for it if Mom gets upset."

    Judging from her expression, the girl wasn't particularly bothered by this, or rather, had accepted it as a consequence of her actions from the start. Of the two siblings, she seemed to be the 'leader,' if what she was saying was correct, and judging by her casual ease at affirming her brother she would accept the punishment for the both of them, she definitely had the protective qualities of the older sibling intact.

    The boy didn't seem overly concerned "she gets stuck at work a lot too, so it wasn't really a problem... When it happens our neighbor, Old Lady Rose looks after us.”

    "Akio, quit calling her old! She's not even thirty!"

    Indignant, the older sister crosses her arms and glares at her younger brother, who smiles sheepishly, running a hand through his hair as if embarrassed.


    "But that's what I've always called her, she doesn't seem to mind it... I think..." Arguing back with a fading smile, the boy seems to consider his options and words, realizes he's in a losing situation.

    ---

    Even Akio and Hitomi, the nicest and most supportive of children, had not been above kicking the chair out from under someone in a team effort to claim the chocolate pudding for themselves

    ---

    They were companions in mischief and love, a pair starring in many twinkling memories and sunny bonds a boy and a girl younger yet older and another irreplaceable family member.
    Flashes of starlight show me the depth of my responsibility, so much given and not nearly enough returned what a shameful display for an older brother. As my life and memory unwinds and swirls around me I understand that no matter what happens to me I must prevail here and now.

    Akido, Hitomimi, everyone…

    A hug, a push forward, a small piece of advice, a warm presence, a hand to hold and countless more precious things. Over and over again I find it carved deeper and deeper into my mind, body and soul, that despite the troubles and pain this world has given me so many beautiful things. I must, no I will prevail here. If it means I must go beyond myself and ascend to the next level of responsible older brother or ace detective then there can be no other option other than to break my limits.

    Right here.

    RIGHT NOW!


    Quote Originally Posted by A repeated failure
    "Okay no, not while I'm up here."

    Chiyoko's voice stops you short.

    Twisting on your shoulder at godspeed, hand grabbing your shoulder before she launches herself across the rooftop, momentum spinning her to a casual stop on the roof edge, one leg crossed over the other.

    "No time to go out for a run, you're the type that gets carried away, we'd wind up in the middle of nowhere," talking in a very dispassionate voice as you finally manage to break free (at least momentarily) the woman tilts her head ever so slightly to the side, "Besides, the one who is going to take over the world is me."

    Said without hesitation, or signs of the joking voice she had used back at the restaurant.

    “Although Chiaoko-nee it wouldn’t be the middle of nowhere it would be the center of funny business, although if you don’t want to play pirates and tag then what about finishing the hide and seek? Wahaha caught you after all! So, so story time for all the funny business I wanna hear all the stories you have lik-

    Pulled completely out of everything I’m overcome by a sense of vertigo, uwaaa must, be… tiiiired. Yet encapsulated in the sense of lethargy and my sense of balance rolling like a wave I feel something float back into place or maybe it was something that I remembered…

    “Like what do you want for your birthday!!!”

    "That's easy."

    A dull voice that holds no excitement is the voice that answers your question; having agreed weeks ago to answer whatever questions you may have to the best of her ability if you had happened to find her, the woman doesn't seem to have forgotten the promise, although by that same token, she doesn't seem to be too amused by the nature of the question itself, as if she considered it to be too childish, or perhaps out of place.

    "I want to be able to celebrate a new birthday, not repeat old ones."

    The answer is blunt.
    An endless moment, a distorted world and these countless steps, pushing myself forever forward I have finally arrived. With each step and strike I have pushed my body and soul without restraint but although I am bloody and broken I refuse to yield. Chiaoko-nee’s pain is far greater than this and so I have no right to complain or even stop for an instant. I can’t and probably never will understand the lengths that Chiaoko-nee went through to bring us all to this pain and I understand her pain no matter how much I wish I could. However although I might never understand or truly share her burden I will not let everything be for nothing. We might have all failed back then but that was then AND THIS IS NOW!

    Again and again we have tried, again and again we have suffered and this moment but through that pain and repetition we have created deviations. Remembering those fleeting moment of blank surprise that crossed Chiaoko-nee’s face I smile and gather my strength.

    The haze of memory and dreams is fading, the final gears are falling into place and the sword has been readied.

    Everything I am and have has been gathered.

    Thirteen hearts beat in sync with my own and I refuse to let them be silenced.

    Fearlessly staring into its eyes as we both move to end this story of tragedy I, the sword of maniac desire and destruction scream out with everything as this distortion we tore into the world collapses.

    Aggregation of the past and present, essence of desire, definition of insanity, this is the entirety of myself and now with every feeling and piece of will I have I will push onward to the future through this refinement of poison and sword that I have created for this moment and-!

    -Yearning-

    With a pure desire I carve the only thing needed into this world and cut down this Absolute.

    Quote Originally Posted by A denied future
    "Listen up everyone, today we have a new student joining our class. It's a bit late in the day for introductions, but I thought it'd be good for us to bond as early as possible. Her name... Well, its no fun if I introduce her, I'll let her handle that herself, but, I expect everyone to be nice to her alright? You all know what being the new student in school felt like, so let's make this transition as easy for her as possible." Speaking firmly, but with a smile, the older woman turns to you as she finishes, "Now, go on and tell us a bit about yourself, young one. After that, go ahead and pick out an empty seat if you want, although, if you'd rather I assign you one, I could do so. But I'm sure you'll get along just fine with everyone either way, so don't be shy~"

    "Then, with due permission..."

    "My name is Ran, from the Koga clan. I consider myself an average youth with no fears and strong convictions; I ask that you treat me as one of your kind. Among my main interests are martial arts and other physical exercises, as well as your well-being and safety. Through my stay here, I shall protect you from all harm that should ever come your way, no matter the source. I shall become your sword and shield; and your enemy shall become my enemy. Should you find yourselves in a dangerous situation, rest assured I will come to your aid."

    I take a moment to meet the gazes of every student within the room. Some look healthy, others leave plenty to be desired. In general, I do not believe them to be capable of holding their own against the kind of threats I face everyday. As unprepared as they might be, it is my duty to protect them and I accept the task without complains. On the other hand, I doubt they have all come to accept me as of now. This is not the first time I introduce myself to a class, so I can tell what they are trying to say with their silence. Sadly, there is still something I must say before I take a seat.

    "Furthermore, I have a message for those who you call 'bullies': Any act of violence against your peers shall not be tolerated. Should you decide to continue with this sort of behavior in spite of this warning, do know that I will treat you as someone who puts the peace of this school at risk and act accordingly."

    With that said, I make a polite bow and express the gratitude I feel for being able to join them today, before turning once more to face my teacher. There is still one matter left unsolved.

    "I'd rather sit near the front so as to listen properly to your teachings, sensei. Please, tell me which seat is available and I shall sit there."
    -With an unquenched desire for the future I swing this sword and fist to breakthrough and pierce its heart.


    Kyoto, Sensei, Megane, Ane-san, Aiya, Canada, Kimichi, Usami, Sensei sensei, Hitomimi, Akido, Chiaoko-nee and even Run!

    I’ve found so many things and I want to enjoy so many more! Even if it’s greedy and even if it’s petty, I won’t back down on this no matter who or what it is! I will make this the end of that past and the beginning of our future.

    Fox’s Treasure Blade Rings out the Aubade for the Thirteenth Hour: Hopeful Antagonistic Precise Perfect Yelling Believable Imminent Red Thoughtful Helpful Dream is Absolute and Yearning! Go Go Suuuuuuuuuuper Duuuuuuuuuper Incredible World and Annoying Fake Fake Copman Severing Slash~!

    My entire self resides in this unrestrained sword and with I cut the only words that need to be said into the world itself. We have fought long and hard for this moment so! DON’T PRETEND EVERYTHING IS OVER WHILE WE’RE STILL STANDING RIGHT HERE!

    With this singular yet countless slash that I put everything I have into I cut down this enemy without fail. With these countless yet singular slashes that I gather everything I can think of into I cut open the opportunity for everybody else without fail.

    Even if this isn’t over just watch annoying fake fake this sword that refined from yourself and your weaknesses will bring about your failure.

    Ah…

    Sle …py but…

    Not …yet.

    Burning everything I have to realize our hopes for the future I cling to consciousness.


    Makoto Fujioka
    Shadow Vortex
    A moment before


    I’m looking backwards and forwards.

    Floating, drifting, remembering …longing In this strange haze I see an odd sight. Chiaoko-nee fighting someone with all her heart, strange…

    Strange, strange and silly…

    Shouldn’t she be here? Shouldn’t she be doing what I’m trying to do?

    My bodies trembles on her wrist as I can’t keep myself from laughing “Silly, silly Chiaoko-nee don’t you know that if you don’t hurry you’re going to be late?”

    It’s strange but as hold her hand here, as my body warps to encompass her entire arm I can’t help but feel a sense of calming comfort in the weight of her soul and the warmth of her skin. Hey, hey Chiaoko-nee please come back I want your dream to come true and to watch you blow out the candles on the cake we’ll get you.

    So please…



    “I’m sorry.”

    With formless words I whisper my apologies as I bite down with all my strength. She is that annoying things partner and has been for so very long so even if I have to do it like this I need her strength. Even if she hates me and even if it hurts I cling to her with barbs and strength as I drink as much of her power in as I can.

    “Ahaha …don’t worry Chiaoko-nee… No matter what happens to me, I’ll make sure your wish comes true so …please hurry?”

    Quietly pleading I focus everything I have in preparation for what comes next.

    This is a result of my own powerlessness so even though I might create an opening that her opponent so I’ll make that moment a trap. If whoever it is wants to try to destroy the wish she suffered so much for then I’ll seize that moment and cut them down in return.

    …even if it’s the last thing I can do with this “Makoto”.

    Wiseup
    Spoiler:

    Makoto Fujioka
    Class: Eclipse Diver
    STR: A
    VIT: C
    AGI: C
    DEX: B
    SPI: C
    RES: D

    Perks:
    Self Realized Fighting Style "Kenundō" - A study into the movements of a sword (Major)
    Following his instinct and training himself he learned the most natural thing, how a sword moves and is used. Slash, pierce, dodge, parry, counterstrike, and throw. Offense, defense, spacing Makoto has been learning it all and just how he can best utilize his abilities, one sword, many swords, partially embedded swords, swords with strange shapes and thrown swords It is a style that could be called culmination of his imagination and natural affinity, as such it can be a truly strange thing to behold but an effective one nonetheless. Due to the rather expendable nature of his blades he isn’t very attached to keeping any one of them and has even gone so far as to overcharge them to produce a truly powerful strike at the cost of destroying the weapon. Pushing them beyond their limits to gain an advantage.

    Incessant Advancement Realization “Tameshigiri” (Major)
    Makoto’s frenzy to hone his abilities, he knows he must get stronger to match the opponent in front of him and those who have yet to come and uncaring of any deeper meaning that might be found he finds that enough. Adapting, improving and strengthening to match his foes to an unnatural degree he is a person whose sword will find his opponent's throat no matter how far they tower above him. The trait also result in him being drawn in by those who would fulfill its criteria, something that has resulted in Makoto finding trouble time and time again.

    Frenzied Soul “Blood Riot” (minor)
    The expression of the swords frenzied mania, the berserker like state that is ignited by combat. Maddening glee and excitement born from the prospect of violence, it elevates his mind and body to ignore every obstacle as he runs wild, no longer phased by anything that tries to hinder him. He becomes unbreakable, unflinching and unstoppable as he runs riot to his heart's content.

    Bright Red String, Dark Red Hunger (minor)
    The realization of a wish that came to be shared by both selves and one of the few times that Makoto and his sword-self have ended up connecting with each other. Although their goals might greatly diverge the end result they both seek aligns. One longs to always find his way back towards the comfort of bright souls, the other hungers to never let prey escape its jaws and both seek to never let anyone disappear from in front of them. A detection type ability that allows Makoto to sense the state and location of others yet perhaps because of its infancy or maybe simply because of its users quirks it possess a rather notable specialization. Although its general power is rather lacking Makoto is highly sensitive to those he has a powerful bond with or those who occupy a large part of his focus and thoughts. Although it might not help with noticing those who he has no knowledge of it still might in the end fulfill their desire to keep those who they reach out their hands towards from slipping through their grasp.

    Delinquent Defender (minor)
    Long a target of protection and care Makoto had begun to feel a restless desire to change his status. This can’t go on… I can’t always be the one to be helped… feelings and experiences piling up until they overflow and so a technique was born. Training himself he has learned how to thwart the defensive actions of others to deny the self-sacrificing behavior of those he loves. Yet he has also realized that sacrificing himself in the same way accomplishes nothing so instead of substituting himself in their place he skillfully moves preserves both of them. Deny self-sacrifice action performed by another person and allow both of them to avoid harm, a rather rebellious way but one he hopes to embrace to realize what he dreams of.

    Esper Power:
    Hihi’irokane Forest:
    A rather strange ability that seems to stray quite far from the norm of ESP, it is the ability to produce unusual blades from any part of his body. The strange blades are quite powerful, easily capable of cutting (or smashing if the blade lacks a edge) through resistance and toughness along with the fact that they consume the strength and being of their target to strengthen themselves. But the thing that truly sets them apart from anything seen is the highly unusual and notable ability that as Makoto fights someone the swords begin to shift and change, assuming traits and abilities to counter his opponent, a truly fearsome thing that makes Makoto and his ability far more dangerous than they seem.

    Eclipse Diver:
    Unity Drive - Shape of a Wish
    A longing, a wish, and the power to realize a once forlorn hope, having awakened into being an Eclipse Diver Makoto has grasped the thing that has long eluded and tormented him, a harmonious state for his soul. Having been altered during the Kyuubi disaster his esp and soul was possessed by a noticeable fragmentation as the emotions and wills that shaped his esp created a maniac sword. Only able to recognize other things through their destruction and possessing emotions and a will that ran wild at the slightest stimulation it and by extension he became consumed by a particular form of insanity that caused his soul to embrace “competition”. To realize that impossible dream of cutting down everything it began a frenzied cycle of self-destruction and recreation to refine its essence, each fragment struggles against each fragments constantly being destroyed and reborn until they attain a form that is capable of cutting down whatever is currently in front of it. A juxtaposition between the two as the remnant of his former self become dominant, unity brings harmony and self-control. With Makoto’s full strength present in each blade and able to exert telekinetic control over his fragments in addition to being reshape them without having to reabsorb it compliments and enhances his strengths to new heights. A advancement that marks the first step towards purifying the malicious bloodlust that entraps and consumes his mind and soul.

    Life Stream (Eclipse/Light):
    When in the Eclipse State, the user rapidly recovers their life force. Can cure afflictions such as missing limbs, but does not affect supernatural curses that linger in the body. Additionally, because of the extreme amount of life force, pain is numbed, and the user does not suffer from extreme fatigue upon exiting the Eclipse State.

    Spirit Devourer (Eclipse/Dark):
    When in the Eclipse State, successful attacks against opponents have the additional effect of stealing away some of their life and spiritual energies. Stacks with other abilities that also enable this effect. Destroying an opponent while in this state may result in gaining some of their abilities for oneself, however, this also runs the risk of eroding the user's sense of self.

    Misc:
    Training Inhibitors (disabled):
    Inhibits the use and flow of spiritual power, a form of resistance training.

    A Strange Sword Handle:
    ???

    Last edited by Vritra; May 15th, 2018 at 03:45 PM.

  11. #2631
    Bisschen mehr ist nicht zu viel verlangt I3uster's Avatar
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    Suzume Oshino
    Original Aoyama - Streets


    Maybe I should try understanding this phenomenon. Maybe what I lack in this moment is the courage to press on. Maybe I should take all my courage and willpower to stay focused on whatever it is that created the harrowing image of the woman consumed in fire.

    But there is something that is part of the human body, ESPer or just a regular human being, that acted quicker than our thought. Ancient pathways designed to keep us from danger. At a speed surpassing even my intuition, my power focused on Joan out of simple reflex.

    My ESP is a sense as any other. And like a child touching fire, I recoiled from the woman whose very soul seems to be set ablaze by whatever it is that torments her.

    Why is it always fire?

    My entire head feels as if replicating the image in front of me. It feels like I am set alight, just like her, and as such the only way to regain composure is to distract myself. And yet, Joan is not exactly in calm states either...I feel her anguish at the suffering of the woman used to know.

    She might lack my empathetic power, but she does not lack empathy, and as such, she does the most foolish possible thing in this situation.

    Still dazed by the pain ringing in my head, I try my best to send her a signal. I open my mouth for a scream, but even if I would have managed to form a sound, she probably would have proceeded anyway. Sadly, through this show of humanity, the worst possible outcome seems to come true.

    Joan, me and my spiritual companion are treated to a preview of what is to come. A blaze not physical, but burning the very essence of a being.

    "JOAN!"

    Now, finally, I manage to scream. Far too late.

    The flames consume the surroundings in an instant. Far hotter than the now pathetic-seeming gasoline leakage of the truck could have ever managed, they seemed to lick the concrete clean of its markings before melting even that, developing cracks and ridges where there was perfect evenness just a moment earlier.

    But what scared me the most about it is...

    "JOAN! GET OUT OF THERE!"

    ...the presence has yet to fade.

    And as if answering to my worst fears, something that has lots its struggle, however temporary, leaps through the fire, taking hold of a momentarily stunned Joan.

    "Godverdomme..."

    She will have to excuse the blasphemy for now.

    "Blues! Get in there!"

    I respond with everything at my disposal. In the back of my head I think about the...gift I have been given, but the sheer speed of the situation forces me to fall back on what I have practiced.

    Banishment and Ga-Rei usage.

    From my pockets I procure a slip of paper and a permanent marker, and offer a slip of paper to the fire in an act that the black shrine maiden could so easily see as not a desperate attempt to save a friend...

    ...but mockery.
    Quote Originally Posted by Strife ❤️ View Post
    Capitalism has failed me

  12. #2632
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Saki Ryuumonbuchi & Fujioka Makoto
    End of the World


    "...It is meaningless. Humanity banished demon-kind long ago, as a collective, they have no reason to come to your aid; no, even if they did, they would not be able to appear here in time."

    The Devourer crushes the call for hope with a calm voice filled with patience; while the recently freed Gods and Demons may perhaps feel some sort of lingering obligation to the one who had freed them, their existence inside of the Devourer had reduced them to little more than their essence, a tangled mass of souls that was not dissimilar to that of Humanity's Sea of Souls.

    They will not recover from that state in time.

    Even if they did, it's attitude towards Demon-kind was the same as the attitude it held towards humanity.

    Bring them all here, every single one of them, or do not even bother to put up resistance. It will never happen, Demons fight and wage war amongst their own selves almost as often as humans do, they have no reason to band together as one unit and crush an opponent that has already decided to leave them be if they don't act; it would be a suicide rush for the majority, only the powerful Demons and Gods could hope to stand against "this thing" for more than a handful of seconds and thus...

    It is not worried.

    It is an absolute reaper, the Destroyer of Worlds, a Keeper of the Record; as the strongest being here, the entities humans called "Gods" are just as small as the humans are in it's eyes...

    "You may not accept it as such, but this is mercy. I will make the inevitable end painless."

    Whether it be hubris or simply the supreme confidence of the "Absolute God," it disregards Ryuumonbuchi Saki entirely in order to focus it's gaze on the youth that still does not know how to give up. Having already endured everything they could throw it at with only a fraction of it's power, it has already lost interest in this particular group of humans; there is nothing they can do to stop the end, and yet-

    "..."

    A boy charges forth anyway.

    Having already doomed the world with but a few spoken words, it finds no harm in simply watching the youth's approach.

    By it's own nature it is an observer, something that devours all the 'data' of irrelevant worlds inside of the Akashic Record for purposes known only to it, and thus it holds an innate curiosity towards most of the things that go on around it. Humanity certainly interests it, but that interest is not enough to deter it from it's path towards destroying them; the parts of itself that had become sympathetic had already become a 'different entity altogether,' a traitor to the Creator that had forgotten it's original purpose and was now being bound as it had once bound the Devourer.

    ...Even so, it seems the feelings of the host are affecting it somewhat; it simply watches as the attack approaches, launched for the clear purpose of attempting to delay the completion of it's spell... Yes, the fact that it had to cast magic to affect the Record was a notable weakness, a sign that it was not truly 'Omnipotent,' but...

    This world cannot avoid it's fate.

    Even if it is not truly omnipotent, that fact will never change no matter what the inhabitants do.

    ...It will ensure that they cannot.

    Even so-

    A life gleams brilliantly.

    Memories pour out along with hopes, fears, and wishes for the future; for once the God is impressed, having looked down on Fujioka Makoto from the very instant he had lost faith in his own strength and accepted the mud as a substitute, for the first time, it acknowledges him directly, looking straight at him, not down on him, but simply at him, before it feels the impossible happen-

    The gears shake.

    Before it's power can complete the record, the power itself is being shaken and ripped at as if to deny the completion of the spell; it is only a momentary delay, one that it could 'fix' the moment it truly comprehends what has gone wrong, but as a logical creature it is weak to errors, to gaps in the universal logic, and in that same moment, when an unexpected factor appears within it's equations-


    "As if we'd let you-!"

    Tachibana Kimiko and Fujiwara Miyu dive at it from behind, taking advantage of the God's sudden vulnerability. The device held in the older student's hand is that of a bomb crafted by Claire, and a titanic wave of supernatural force erupts out in the same moment as Makoto's life-infused sword strikes true; it is a blinding white light, the equivalent of a nuclear bomb exploding inside of a barrier cast by Miwu, an explosion that is joined by the 'eternal recurrence' of the Ain-Soph-Aur that the group had cast together mere moments before...

    But Tachibana's power keeps her classmates from feeling any bit of that horrific, condensed force.

    They do not have the power themselves to act any longer, the battles leading up to now were simply too much, touching the curse was not something that one simply walked off or willed away, but...

    The Starlight protects them anyway.

    Humanity shields it's own.

    ---

    ...The final attack connects, and eventually the barrier shorts out and explodes of it's own accord; Kimiko's 'Absolute Field' automatically erupting from the bodies of those gathered in order to spare them from the backlash of their own power, and...

    They wait.

    Light is in the way.

    Light hides whether or not the enemy remains; a dust cloud accompanies that dreadful light, but finally, finally...

    The 'truth' is revealed.

    "...If more people had lived like you, with that passion for life... You would not have fallen to the Crawling Chaos."

    An Absolute God remains Absolute.

    It is a shame. One that even the entity itself can acknowledge; if the people of this world had fought like this from the start, then perhaps this impossible battle would have never appeared to them, but as it is...

    ---There is no blade that can sever the fate that awaited this world.

    Makoto Fujioka's sword had certainly proven capable of cutting into it's body, even delaying it's magic, but...

    There is a reason even the Gods fear this entity.

    While humans struggle to perform miracles, this thing simply does them naturally.

    Because it is the strongest.

    Neither will nor emotion matters to the Devourer, it has decreed that Humanity will return to that starlit sky of fading wishes and perish within it.

    Therefore, that is exactly what will happen.



    "Now. My turn."



    ==Factor of Time==

    Quote Originally Posted by Universal Law and the Four Factors

    -Universal Law-
    The power to imprint one's 'Will' on the Universe. A spell that draws on the power of the Akashic Record to enact change within the world; because the Devourer is not the true creator, this power must be made manifest through 'spells,' and requires ownership of the 'Four Factors of the Universe.' If the target of the spell possesses any of the four factors themselves, the effectiveness of this ability on them is no longer 'absolute;' as an embodiment of natural order, it will normally overpower Humanity's "Observation."

    -Four Factors-

    The four basic factors that make up the universe, "Space," "Time," "Power," and "Heat." Ownership of a factor is a sign of some connection to the root of the Sea of Amala, and allows limited control over that particular aspect, the extent of which is dependent on the power of the individual themselves. Due to the Devourer's nature, he can use them to the "full extent" of their power, while entities like humans would derive more 'passive' powers when possessing them due to being 'mortal,' and unable to completely understand the 'universe.'
    ---

    Interlude
    ??? & ???
    "The Happy Ending"

    He could remember the first time they all met.

    The original time, the time that mattered the most, or perhaps had mattered the least.

    A monster in the sky, destruction and death everywhere; there had been so many kids, orphans, in the wake of that incident...

    Many of whom had awoken to powers beyond their average kin; he had been a drifter, someone just making his way through life, so...

    "Brighter Days."

    Getting in charge of a place like that...

    How had that happened?


    ---


    "...So you're still standing, Nakahara?"

    The aftermath of the detonation is one in which only a single man remains standing... Even the Demons and Gods have been beaten to the point of being forced to retreat back within their hosts...

    All except Aion, who has simply lost consciousness on the ground, as her Master is the one that remains tall in the face of an absolute nightmare.

    It is only natural, out of all of them there, he was the only one that possessed the "Factor of Time," or rather, had managed to retain it even after Chronos, who had granted it to him, had disappeared into the grasp of the Devourer...

    Yes.

    Only those with access to the Four Factors can oppose this entity when it is serious.

    In that sense, it is natural that he is able to defend himself against those strikes made beyond godspeed; even so, it is not like the God killed anyone either, no, because the end of the world was already in motion long before it appeared, the God is content to simply let them lay where they have fallen, a handful of strikes from it enough to reduce their vitality to almost nothing even without the assurances of pure Conceptual Force.

    But that is the power of a True God.

    It is only natural for humans not to be able to stand against such a thing, they are lucky even to be able to observe it after being knocked down, and in that respect...

    Nakahara... Is an aberration...

    Even so...

    There is nothing that man can do either.


    All around the world, the crackling storm has started to produce a dull roar that resounds all around the world; and the planet shakes as if in preparation for an impact as a series of dazzling lights appears in the sky.

    But...

    "I commend you for standing tall until the end, but more than anyone else, you should understand how impossible it is to escape that fate. Even after betraying Chronos for an advantage, you led all of them here to this... It was a noble effort, but you will die along with the rest of them... Farewell, Katsuro."

    A mark of respect.

    Respect for a human that could have escaped, but chose to face his uncertain fate regardless.

    But that man...

    Instead of grimly standing up against a fate he cannot oppose...

    Just puts on his usual smile.

    ---

    Children without parents.

    While he was used to being a teacher, a full-time caretaker was something else entirely; constantly making food and going over homework, doling out chores and having the awkward talks with those who were on the cusp of puberty, they were looking for a parent, and he wasn't sure he could really be that sort of thing...

    Sensei... Sure...

    Dad?

    A very different thing, even so...

    While it had just been a job at first, a way of amplifying that teacher's salary...

    It became enjoyable in it's own way.


    ---

    "---Yeah. Sayonara... Chronos."

    While things have gotten bad, the teacher does not change his demeanor; he had gradually become that sort of person, someone who would laugh so others would feel less afraid, and even in this it's no different, not really...

    "But it looks like the two of you are misunderstanding something, so I'll tell you. I did not come here to betray anyone. I came here to "Rescue" everyone... Chronos... That doesn't exclude you."

    Closing his eyes, the thrum of the end reverberates in his bones.

    And his spirit rises of it's own accord.

    "...So who cares if we can't avoid our fate?"

    ---

    Another tragedy.

    An abyssal darkness, the fear of a power greater than even that nine-tailed-fox.

    How long had he sat there stunned?

    No...

    Afraid.

    How much time had he wasted? Saving no one?

    More than he would ever admit, more than he could ever forgive himself for...

    Emerging from the ruins of a broken and twisted world, much of what he had been entrusted to protect had long since been reduced to nothing more than ash.

    ---

    "Even if we wind up back in that void... The world will continue on, Devourer."

    That smile...

    For the first time...

    The Record Keeper feels a tinge of unease.

    "The happy ending has already been prepared."

    ---

    A battle amongst Demon Summoners, all for the right to recreate the World as they pleased; his partner represented Eternity, and the wish he had told her had been simple...

    To bring back what was lost, and shelter it from ever being destroyed again...

    But the power that appeared in opposition, the power that appeared to deny a 'worthless world' it's future...

    Was too great for anyone to oppose.

    So he didn't.

    He called it biding his time, but really...

    Once again...

    It had been fear...

    Hadn't it?


    ---

    "Happy ending? A foolish sentiment..."

    The world will end in mere moments, and that man talks of things of that nature? "God's Thunder," was something that would have appeared regardless of whether or not he forced it's existence with Universal Law, the end of the Conception's Opening required the world to be destroyed, and the power that appeared to accomplish this was on a level that mortals could not yet reach; there is no stopping it now that it has begun to manifest, and in mere moments, that discharge will reduce the planet to ash and cinders.

    But...

    The man ignores the God along with all of it's posturing.

    "Ms. Ryuumonbuchi, I think that your train of thought was the correct one. Mr. Fujioka, I like your spirit, and I will be borrowing that sword of yours for a moment, but you are far too young to be putting your life on the line so blatantly! Tachibana, Fujiwara! Same goes for you!"

    Even so...

    "That sort of thing is a task for the adults."

    He smiles.

    "There is nothing to fear. Even if it turns out that fate cannot be overturned, do not assume that fate is exactly what it appears to be... It may claim it is the void, but... What I saw at the end... Was a sky full of stars. As long as you see it that way yourselves... Then I'm sure the future will open up no matter what this God has to say about it, if it's you, all of you... Then you'll definitely get there."

    The world runs out of time.

    "...Remember that, it's your last lesson."

    ---

    A father knows best.

    A teacher knows best.

    Feed the Demons and Gods to Chronos to seal away the Devourer, strip negativity from Humanity to shield them from their own darkness.

    It was supposed to be a path that assured a happy ending for everyone, an idea of the only child that had existed until the end, and one whose dreams he had safeguarded as recompense for failing the others.

    If a happy ending appeared in the end, then it would all have been worth it; his cowardice would no longer matter, and he would be able to shield those important to him perpetually.

    But...

    ---

    The truth of a God's words becomes apparent as lightning strikes the planet.

    No, to call it a lightning would be a disservice to the phenomena; the discharge is a sign of Divine Will, an ultimate power that takes the sky as it's own and dyes the planet itself white with a colorless 'electricity.'

    It's target is "the world."

    A power that erases the old so that the new can take it's place, it is an attack that embodies "Power," a mass of energy that could absolutely destroy anything that it manages to touch, but-


    -The attack seems to refine in a bizarre way.

    A spread-out mass becomes focused to a razor point, and the blast that would have consumed the planet instead collides with the form of a lone man.

    "...I see. Self-sacrifice?"

    Nakahara Katsuro's power was always to "Redirect."

    Originally restricted to physical things, awakening and refinement as an Eclipse Diver had made it a power that was capable of tampering with concepts, and here at the end, that was what allowed him to redirect the blast from the heavens. Unable to oppose it directly, the power instead changes the flow of destruction in a different direction, and with a scream-

    "HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH-!"

    A teacher charges forth with a blade that represented the totality of Fujioka Makoto's life in hand; after all, as a sword that continually allows itself to break in order to refine itself, it is the one most suited to channeling this force and turning it into it's own strength, but-

    Even so-

    "...A shame you will never reach me."

    ...It's true.

    As an attack, it embodied 'Power.' The moment it touches Nakahara Katsuro he should be obliterated instantly, and the planet beneath his feet should still be struck and destroyed, and it's true...

    He can endure it for 0.00001 of a second; a mere instant, but...

    He drags on that fraction of a moment into several moments. His own happy ending finally in sight, every bit of power he has saved up until now goes towards the purposes of preserving his own life and channeling this power into this blade, and-

    ---

    ...That is the same thing as putting them in a glass cage.

    The teacher does not always know best, nor does the father.

    It is something that every paternal figure goes through at some point, the realization that they are sheltering too much, that trying to decide the future for them was not the best thing for them, indeed...

    Eventually, you have to let them move on.

    The world will become what they make of it; even though he had never found his way of shaping the future...

    He had settled on this much, protecting those that would go forth into that same future.

    ...Perhaps that was his way?

    ---

    -Explodes forward under the protection of time.

    Power strained to it's limit to allow even this much, the reality of the attack becomes clear; it is simply a straight line, unlike Makoto's trickier strikes, the teacher's style was basic and brute force-


    Against a God, such an approach is little more than a joke.


    ==Universal Law=

    So he defies it.

    Defying the power of two 'factors' with the combined strength of all four, the God feels the need to crush power with power, a strange desire that hinted at an imbalance in personality but-

    A sword will not allow it the fusion to take place.

    While it had been conquered once before, the "Will," of Fujioka Makoto, the will to create even a single solitary opening...

    Remains present in his blade.

    Indeed, that will is no different from the boy himself; he is a sword, and that sword...

    Exists to oppose that magic.

    It should be a futile resistance, something that could be fixed with but the change of one-or-two more factors, but it has caught the God off guard, and indeed there seems to be no time for that but-



    A fist denies it.

    It is absolute in all areas, if spells fail it, then it is not afraid to resort to it's fists.

    ---

    ...Even so, it is not just the students that needed saving, indeed, there was someone else who stood out...

    A God that had been afraid of reverting to it's primal self, someone that had come to sympathize with humanity, and had even fallen in love with a human.

    That entity was the Destroyer in another form, even so...

    It was his friend as well; that had not been a lie, because of that-

    ---


    "...The body is... Unresponsive? Chronos?"

    A bound God of Time throws it's all into helping it's friend of over a thousand years.



    And a sword forged from a youth's entire life, the thirteen hearts that beat within it, and the resolve of a teacher that had transcended time and space itself in a desperate bid to save everything...

    Strikes true.

    And along with that severing blade...

    The power of the Conception 'severs' a certain bond, crushing and ripping and tearing apart the God's body with a violence that can only come from Divine Will.


    ---Even so.

    "...Why?"

    Amidst that light, the Devourer questions his opponent, because it truly cannot understand him.

    Taking that power in order to both save the world from destruction, as well as amplify his final attack far beyond human limits, what Nakahara Katsuro had done with that perfectly refined sword...

    Was sever the connection between itself and Chronos.

    The body was also obviously destroyed; even now it is being torn apart without the possibility of coming back 'as it was,' but even an attack like that is not capable of truly stopping this entity; it has ways to survive even this, layers of immortality so numerous that no matter what it's victory over this world is ensured, and yet...

    He trades his own life for even this small victory.

    The moment is up, and thus his body is already disintegrating along with that of the Devourer's; even so he is holding on better in comparison, and thus the question can still be asked, but-

    Even if he thought to free Chronos so it could act as an ally to the people of this world, that God only held one of the Four Factors.

    As one who held all four, even his 'other self' was not a troublesome opponent; he would triumph over it eventually, and thus... To the one who had all the chance and power to disappear from the horrific end this world promised, who had been terrified of death throughout his entire existence, and yet had fought up until the moment his life was severed from him anyway...

    "Why?"

    A true curiosity.

    This action will not change the ultimate outcome.

    It only ensures the teacher's death along with that of everyone else...

    But the response to that curiosity-

    "...I told you. I came here to "Rescue" everyone. As my friend... God or not... He's not excluded."

    "...I see."

    ...In the end, it can accept that answer.

    While the Devourer will certainly survive, the 'union' of Chronos and his other self ends here, thus...

    This particular body fades to nothing, a storm of spirit particles that drift away on the wind; some into the distance, others towards the cracked sky above and...

    Thrusting a sword into the ground at where he stands; the man that had just banished an invincible opponent for a time...

    "..."



    Has already...

    Mostly become dust himself.
    Last edited by Airen; May 16th, 2018 at 08:27 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?



  13. #2633
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Suzume Oshino
    Original Aoyama - Streets


    The flames seem to react to life.

    A manifest malice, a pitch-black thing that simply attempts to seek out humans for the purpose of consuming them in their entirety; it's certainly not the effects of the magic that get the flame's attention, no...

    It's the life that offers the paper to it.

    So much so that it reaches out, flames flickering into the form of hands that grasp at your clothes; hands whose malice you instinctively sense and retreat from with a dexterity that is quite unlike you, that causes the girl they were using as their puppet to turn her face towards you, meanwhile-

    "On it-!"

    A certain Nekomata dives directly into the fire. It is a flame that is designed to murder humans, against them it is particularly effective; if she had been the self that existed mere weeks ago, the idea of diving directly into the flames would be one tinged with certain suicidal tendencies, but-

    ---For a demon, it is not quite so bothersome.

    A horrifically powerful fist sinks into her stomach the moment Joan finally gets vicious with her possessed 'big sis' and breaks the arm holding her in order to get herself free, fist rocketing up into the socket of her elbow; the result is that the shrine maiden is launched away through pure force, becoming a bullet that plows through building after building, a screaming rampaging maiden that seems to be fighting herself just as much as she is fighting you.

    Joan rubs at her neck, coughing on the ground as she tries to catch her breath in a world of black flame and smoke, hand drifting towards her pocket as if reaching for something; Blues moves to pursue the maiden as she goes, unwilling to just let her recover when it might be possible to restrain her while she's down, but-

    The moment the Nekomata leaps away-

    The maiden seems to simply 'appear' in the flames behind you.

    It is a very specific sensation.

    The sense of 'one thing' suddenly moving to 'somewhere else,' teleportation in a sense; Blues spins in midair to rocket back to you, but-

    "..."

    Arms grip you from behind; unlike with Joan it isn't quite choking no, rather...

    It seems the plan is to immolate the both of you.

    One leg kicks out your own from underneath you in order to break your stance...

    And she drags you into the flames with equal parts rage and sadness, her body showing absolutely no signs of damage.
    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. #2634
    Gimme a S M I L E Snax's Avatar
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    Jonathan R. Black
    Shadow Vortex


    Flashbacks to a certain timeline, where Jonathan was once with Akane. The timeline where he had fought and saved her, but wasn’t able to save himself.

    Perhaps the reporter was talking about another different timeline, but he didn’t remember this one. Not a single bit. No wonder he held no emotional value for the reporter.

    However, she did turn Akane and the Demons into captives – and now, he was alone in this place. Alone, in the void of Demons. Alone…



    “Surrender, huh? Never crossed my mind. So far, I have been telling you that I’d rather die than submit to a world without free will – it’s no use.
    Whatever you say will only fall on deaf ears, much like how my words also failed to move you.”



    Jonathan shook his head sideways, letting his lopsided grin return to his face.



    “It doesn’t matter whether or not you think I can, or think I cannot. I will continue to try and stop you, and I will continue to try and stop the Devourer.
    Humanity is doomed otherwise, one way or another, and I will not stand by while my dream is shattered.”



    No compromise.

    No other path.

    His was the path of evil, trampling upon the wishes and dreams of others –

    All for the sake of his own twisted dreams.

    For a better world, for a bright future, for a place where the strong can flourish and prosper –

    and where humanity can realize its true potential, beyond gods and demons.



    As the weather woman gathered her spiritual power, preparing a spell of sorts –

    Jonathan let the power of Akane and Amatsu run amok in his soul, as if inviting all the darkness in the world into his mind and body.



    “Even if it means becoming an even worse evil than I am now – I will stop you!!


  15. #2635
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Saki Ryuumonbuchi
    End of the World


    Powerlessness is the inability to take action. It is a state of being that renders one incapable of changing the world around them. It is a curse greater than death, worse than any illness or wound. It is an attack against more than the soul, an attack that targets the very purpose of being. Of living.

    Powerlessness is watching your friends, your family, fight hopelessly. Being incapable of making a difference, unworthy of setting foot on the battlefield, let alone taking up arms alongside the rest.

    Powerlessness is ignorance. It is to not know how insignificant you are. How easily you had let the idea that you matter, that you can make a difference, infect your mind.

    Powerlessness is watching it all shatter. To watch it all come tumbling down, collapsing in on itself.

    Powerlessness is.

    Saki Ryuumonbuchi is.

    Powerless.

    She had known herself to be weak. She always knew she was a large fish in a tiny pond, a pond formed within the coiled scales of a dragon. A living thing with a will that held her world together, that could so much as rise from its resting position and send her world into chaos. She knew that, but still thought she could hope to challenge that dragon.

    So she sought those outside of the pond. Called out to them, appealed to morals, to honor, to obligations, to pride. Anything that could move forces greater than her tiny pond.

    Those outside the pond could not answer.

    So Saki Ryuumonbuchi remained as she began; powerless.

    At least bring the rest of humanity with you.

    Bring them all here, every single one.

    Powerlessness, is lacking the courage to wield a double edged sword.

    The result of that cowardice unfolded before her powerless eyes.

    Perhaps if she hadn’t given into her impossible idea of bringing Demons, Gods and Humans together in this fight against it, this may have been avoided. Maybe if she had gotten closer, fought harder, struggled more desperately, this conclusion would have been avoided. Just maybe, if she had used it, her teacher’s body wouldn’t be disappearing into spirit particles in front of her eyes in this very moment.

    But now it’s too late. Perhaps, maybes and ifs are all meaningless in the present. They hold no weight to mortals that must obey the will of the passage of time. Equally as meaningless as the sentiment that, if humanity had fought just as hard in the previous cycles as they had just now, perhaps this impossible situation would never have fallen upon them.

    But there is one thing that is perpetually meaningful. One man whose actions are never meaningless.

    “Sensei…”

    It’s hard to find the words.

    Were never meaningless. It’s a struggle to find the words for one who is most certainly beyond saving. Powerless and ignorant, foolish to the last, even Saki can see that there is little time left for this man.

    In some ways, this battle should be considered a victory. The Great Devourer will return, but precious time had been clawed from the maws of absolute damnation. True doom had been averted, avoided, at the cost of one life. Standing alive, Saki’s continued breathing stood as testament that there is a future past those two minutes, yet.

    Yet…

    “I’ll remember it.”

    Yet, tears begin to form in the corners of her eyes. The part of her soul that wants to tell him that she’ll find a way to keep him from going, keep him here, stop the clock and save him, knows not to. He would probably give her that smile he always has, perhaps even give her a pat of the head, and tell her she knows better. He taught her better.

    And I’ll always remember you.
    Quote Originally Posted by SeiKeo View Post
    Look, you can't just call something pedophilliac and expect everyone to believe you.


  16. #2636
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Jonathan R. Black
    Shadow Vortex


    The expression is a truly pained one.

    While she had been rapidly switching back and forth from stoicism to righteous rage, your continued insistence at refusing to lay down your arms is something that seems to be touching some sort of inner nerve; again, the sensation that this is something she does not want to do pervades your senses, but she raises her hand anyway, a dim silver glow pervading her body as she prepares some sort of strike beyond your comprehension...

    Your own power flows in response.

    The flow from Amatsu feels slightly different now; almost as if the one on the other end of the line had changed ever so slightly, the power flows just as freely as before, even more so perhaps, as sparks of power drift off from your body and become a storm of what almost seem to be black butterflies.

    The others are down, so the only direct aid you can expect is from the Morning Star. That thought serves to strengthen your resolve, the will to not lose here, and where she seems to be hesitation you remain strong without questioning it, but-

    "...?!"

    The moment your instincts declare she will 'fire,' that woman...

    Instead clutches at her own chest in confusion; the spiritual power she had been gathering suddenly stops as if she had been struck, and something akin to a muffled cry emerges from her lips as the light of horror overtakes her otherwise hesitant eyes. The sensation is not just that of pain, but rather that of a seal that should not have been undone coming undone, of something that had lost it's old body coming over to take hers instead as a 'host,' and the moment she realizes what's going on, the horror she feels from having her body violated from the inside for the second time is replaced by an expression of ice-cold resolve that surpasses everything you had seen before...

    "No... No... I won't let you-! I WON'T!"

    The voice makes it sound like she's in agony, coughing and yelling, dropping to her knees, one arm reaching out to touch a non-existent ground and stop her face from slamming into the darkness, the words she screams out don't seem to be aimed at you in particular, indeed...

    Wracked with a sudden agony, it seems...

    Like she's almost completely forgotten that you're even there...
    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?



  17. #2637
    Gimme a S M I L E Snax's Avatar
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    Jonathan R. Black
    Shadow Vortex

    Any decent person would have lowered his hand.

    Or at least, that's what Jonathan thought.

    He, despite his goals and whatnot, still had a firm grip on 'what common sense' was. What it was to be a good citizen, a good person, blah blah blah.

    Jonathan was never a good person.

    He was selfish. Self centered. Whimsical.

    He only did things when they suited him, his dream, and whatnot. That was the very core of what his 'humanity' was, a twisted cesspool of evil.

    And yet, that was also a core part of humanity.

    He did not deny evil, he merely embraced it, deeming it to be necessary.

    'Doctor of Deceit, indeed. That doesn't seem to fit what I am now - rather, plain old 'Ripper' is probably more fitting now.'

    Thinking to himself, he finished gathering all the spiritual power he could currently muster.

    And his next deed - he felt - was truly one of the worst evils he could ever let loose.

    He took one look at the weather woman. Vulnerable. In agony.

    Then, without even a second thought, he let loose all his gathered spiritual energy in one fell swoop - right at the heart of the weather woman who claimed to be his 'friend'.


  18. #2638
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Jonathan R. Black
    Shadow Vortex


    She doesn't even look at you.

    Regardless of the gathering power or hostile intentions, the woman seems to be lost in her own world as she desperately fights off what almost seem to be her inner demons; it is indeed a very bizarre struggle to witness, a time of weakness that can be taken advantage of in any number of ways, and thus...

    You do.

    A blast of crimson miasma; the most basic of basic spiritual powers. A simple strike, but one that would certainly serve it's own purpose against an opponent that literally seemed incapable of fighting back against you, and indeed...

    She doesn't even look at you.

    Doesn't look at anything but the darkness that lies below her, and as the crimson force blasts straight into her collapsed figure...



    ...Something seems to trigger in response.

    It's not a defense that she herself activates, but rather the 'will' of a distant youth that automatically moves to put up a defense where she is unable to muster one herself; it emerges from a bracelet on her wrist, a shining 'sword' that strikes at the last possible instant, swinging of it's own accord in an attempt to match the 'power' that has been launched against it, and indeed...

    ...Having been observing that crimson force up until now, it is successful where many other defenses might fail; cleaving straight through the center of the mass, and diverting it past the woman, off to the sides where it goes on to explode in eternal darkness, the bracelet loses most of it's power and falls to pieces afterwards as a result. It was a one-time miracle, something that certainly won't happen again, but...

    ...It doesn't need too.

    On the ground, that woman has stopped struggling with herself; or rather...

    ---Whatever it was that had been fighting with her, had managed to overpower her in but a few moments.



    "..."

    In the distance, the crystals holding the others captive seem to vanish in a flash of light, spirited away by a certain Morning Star, and you...

    "So this is where you were hiding Chiyoko? The Vortex? How unpleasant."

    ...Are left with an entirely new problem.

    The body is certainly the same, but the pressure, the presence...

    Was very, very different.
    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. #2639
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Mikagura Mika & Medrod Pendragon
    "Brighter Days"


    It is not malice, but rather an overwhelming sense of duty that guides the hand of the "Absolute God."

    While the inhabitants of this world continue to resist it's presence, resist to the point of even turning away and bickering amongst themselves, for any other God it likely would have been an unforgivable offense, the sort of action that could only result in complete and total obliteration of the guilty parties on the spot, however, this God does not seem to mind it, or rather, it simply does not care whether or not it is feared, because a lack of fear will do nothing to stop it from obliterating those it chooses to erase. Yes, much like a bulldozer does not care if you are afraid of it or not and will run you over regardless, the only 'outcome' that can come from challenging this God is Death, thus, it feels no need to defend that power through its actions...

    "...So these are the people that man died to defend? That Chronos bound me to try and save? I cannot say it was a worthy trade. To bicker with each other on the cusp of oblivion... It is no wonder this world was doomed to destruction from the start."

    Yes.

    While it does consider the response to it's presence to be a flawed one, the shred of 'emotion' that appears is infinitely closer to 'disappointment' than any sort of 'rage;' and even past that disappointment, it continues to interact with the humans before it with an infinite patience.

    "Nevertheless, it seems that you have misunderstood, Mikagura. I have not come here to boast. I merely wished to see what shape this world had taken in the end, the faces of those that would fight against the end... But nothing here seems to be worth preserving in any capacity. Your actions are those of jesters, ones who did not simply miss the cliff, but actively sought to toss themselves from it... But foolishness or not, this cycle may also be fate, as decreed by the Axiom... So since you wish to stop me, then I will wait for morning for you to come and face me."

    While it is certainly the "final enemy," It is not actively malicious, at least not in the same sense as Nyarlathotep.

    Regarding humans as they are, it is it's duty that demands their destruction, even so, it is curious about their actions, and is willing to drag on a battle that would otherwise end with little more than a thought simply for the purpose of continuing to observe the humans that so many worthy humans had met their end defending, yes, letting this challenge be known not just to the two of you, but those that have begun to rise up behind you...

    It is invincible and knows it, and yet it is fair enough to actively allow others to attempt to defeat it rather than simply ending everything right here and now with a few words; it's a decision made from respect for one fallen human in particular, as well as the never before seen defeat of Nyarlathotep in this world; it is so fair about it that it likely considers it's own 'defeat' something that would prove that the 'world deserves to continue existing,' but...

    It also believes that it's defeat is fundamentally impossible, indeed, since it believes that this world is fundamentally incapable of doing anything other than destroying itself in the end, it is a meaningless sort of mercy that almost serves as a mockery...

    There is no need for a world whose only fate is death.

    Such things are irrelevant to the "Creator," who was searching for an answer it would never be able to find in a world like this...

    "I will let the world know as well. If you believe that you can do the impossible, then come and do it. Take your future back from me by force, sinful sons of man."

    A snap of it's fingers 'drags' Chiyoko's shadow back towards it, and holding her beneath one arm even as she struggles in it's grasp...

    The dream ends as abruptly as it had begun; as a 'Deity' dismisses those that would oppose it as 'irrelevant.'

    ---

    Mikagura Mika & Medrod Pendragon
    Aoyama Ruins



    One hour later...

    The sound of sirens hadn't stopped since the group had regained consciousness.

    With Nyarlathotep dissipating completely into butterflies long before the group had managed to open their eyes again, the World was left to deal with the aftermath of a supernatural incident that was far far too large in scope for them to ever have any chance of covering up, and as a result...

    It was almost all the World was talking about...

    While emergency workers all around the world leap into action, and even the civilians in the more heavily hit sections of the world pick up their wills and move to help out their neighbors, the internet and news stations are showing report after report on the existence of the supernatural and the damage that had been done in almost every section of the planet. The black fire, at the very least, had erupted all around the world for quite some time, but it seems that the casualties were miraculously low, likely because the God of Darkness had been purposefully drawing out the end, but...

    In Aoyama, the damage had been more severe; about 35% of the populace was unaccounted for, having been swept away by a 'sea of black mud' that hadn't left any bodies behind when it retreated with Nyarlathotep's passing...

    In essence, that 35% has likely been obliterated; monsters, black fire, and meteor strikes around the other parts of world had also taken lives, but for the most part...

    This city had been hit the hardest.

    But it would have been a complete wipe without the efforts of the ESPers, that much was clear, but even so...

    Global devastation was a new level of supernatural assault that none of you had been subjected to before now, and a massive discharge of electricity following the removal of the black flames had the world on edge...

    There are pictures of all of you going around the internet, weirdly angled shots that had likely been taken by panicked or awestruck civilians; the power of forums is pretty terrifying actually, as most of your names have been dragged out into light now that the world itself is searching for them, and it seems global opinions of your actions have already started to form...

    The Devourer has not made any further appearances, but it's only a matter of time. Having promised to 'let the world know' about what it had decided to do, you're sure it will eventually make it's presence and location 'known' to you, and the global subconscious seems to be that 'something else' will happen soon, but...

    While your bodies frantically try to repair themselves, it seems your Eclipse Abilities have gone momentarily dormant, and even your physical strengths are lacking as the body attempts to drain every bit of power it has to put you at even a tenth of the constitution you had been at mere hours before, and while many of you are wandering aimlessly and pondering the future, there is certainly a time where everyone comes together and...



    "You're the ESPers right?"

    Adala Lagerkvist. A half German half Russian woman with the face and aura of a military general who doesn't understand jokes, which was fitting, because it seemed like she was the head of what others were calling the "Schwarzkreuz," a secret German organization that existed to combat the supernatural, much like the SDCD had used to do here in Japan. Because the Japanese exorcists seem to have fallen she has 'taken charge' of the situation here in Japan after flying over in what seemed to be a fantasy star-ship, and...

    "I will be treating your wounds in groups as soon as space in the ship becomes available. We have magi-tech capable of restoring your bodies in a little over an hour; I would like to say that you've done enough and that you should simply leave it up to us now, but the situation is such that I don't really have that luxury. I will come to collect you when it's your turn, do not leave here before then, this is essentially conscription. I'm sure you all understand what's at stake here."

    She's not the type to take no for an answer either, and so saying...

    She dismisses you soon afterwards, hand going up to her earpiece as she barks orders into a microphone at unseen soldiers and...

    Leaves you to your own devices for now.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Final Rest
    As those players that have arrived at the last "peaceful" section of the roleplay before the final battle, you are able to spend a bit of time interacting with the other characters, both NPC and player, before everything comes to an end. Because you are relatively early to this section, there is no 'hard limit' to the amount of scenes you can have, although they will all happen before 'sunrise,' and the section itself will end when the GM decides it is time for it to end.

    Characters that wish to speak with you specifically. or otherwise have an event you can participate in will have a !next to their name, it's okay to skip these if you wish, and even go for NPCs that you don't have a strong connection with, but for NPCs with a notable connection to you, it is recommended that you at least give them an ear, as their scenes may have a significant impact on their ending as well as your own...

    Liane:! Medrod, Mika

    Yuka & Kazuya:! Medrod

    Dr. Matsuda:! Medrod

    Sora:! Mika

    Yamuna:! Mika, Medrod

    Nami:!
    Mika

    Noriko:!
    Medrod

    Red:
    ! Medrod

    Genbu:! Mika

    Parents:!Mika

    A Certain Demon Slayer:! Medrod
    Wise Ups


    -Starlight-
    A mysterious form of spiritual power that seems to be born from the union of humanity's positive and negative emotions; a silver light that acknowledges conflict and reality without losing sight of hope. A pure power, it serves as a sort of power source for ESPers in times of crisis, and represents the world standing behind them as support; enables longer use of the Eclipse State, and is particularly effective against "Gods of Darkness," such as Nyarlthotep or Amatsu-Mikabushi. Grows stronger with Humanity's Will, and when ESPers work together, bolster their powers heavily. ESPers such as Hitoshira Nagi are capable of weaponizing it directly, but most ESPers simply use it as a "power source," or to add "Humanity's Will" to their own.

    Precursor to the "True Eclipse." Those who bear this light can easily override other Eclipse Powers that aren't blessed with it; as it exists as a counterbalance to it, even "The Kyuubi's Curse" can be removed from individuals through it's use.

    -Chrysaor-
    An altered version of Medrod's "Big Iron." A blade that continuously generates electricity due to being linked to the soul of a certain youth, it seems to have gained the ability to release electric discharges, as well as coat it's user in "electricity" to move around at lightning speeds whilst the sword is drawn. Can defend the wielder automatically with lightning strikes.
    Last edited by Airen; May 18th, 2018 at 03:16 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?



  20. #2640
    Roleplay PTSD Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Medrod Pendragon
    Aoyama Ruins

    A heavy sigh escaped his lips.

    For the last hour or so, Medrod had been practically just staring into the empty space before him, absent thoughts whistling as they went to and fro in his mind. He felt... drained. In so many more ways than one. The explosive confrontation that he had had with the Mikagura-girl, this whole deal with Time Devourer and how powerless he really felt before him, and now... now the aftermath of this global disaster. It was bad. The whole curtain of supernatural had come crashing down and all secrets were laid to bare. Not to mention the amount of lives this whole incident had taken. Especially Aoyama. 35% of the population unaccounted for, and that was just during the first hour. The numbers could, and most likely would, rise the further the day went. If... if the day went anywhere. The threat of literal end of existence was looming over all of them, which meant...

    No. He couldn't think about it. He didn't allow himself to think about it.

    If he thought about it, he'd feel just how helpless he really was. It was one thing to have an enemy set before him, one he could fight with his body and his sword, but this... this was on a completely other scale. And as that infuriating girl had again and again hammered into his head, he really knew nothing of the deeper truths when it came to what was going on. All he could do was swing his sword, keep up his tough-as-nails act and try to be someone others could rely on. Make best of what he had. But what when that 'best' wasn't enough?

    Or what of when that 'best' couldn't even do what he promised he would do.

    He had wanted to see no more deaths. He had wanted to save those suffering.

    Yet so many of them had disappeared within the black flames of this disaster.

    "..."

    There was a reason why Medrod had reverted to his nearly mute self for now, and why his eye had flickered and set back to its red color. Right now, he felt anything but a hero or someone who could help others. That was also why he had merely nodded and grunted a vague agreement to the silver-haired woman who had taken control of the situation back in reality. He had no energy or motivation to do anything more than that. Life that had been, while not simple, understandable, had become so much more complicated... and so much more darker at the same time.

    This was also the reason why Medrod was now aimlessly wandering in the ruins, among the people, not really going anywhere. Perhaps he was just looking for a place where to be alone for a while, where to rest even for a moment from the cacophony around him. Feeling a need for some privacy, he once more pulled his hood back up to cover his head, keeping his gaze straight to the ground.

    He wanted to see his friends.

    Yet he also didn't.

    ... He didn't know how he could face them after letting things escalate to such a sorry state.

    In a way he, perhaps, felt responsible for what had happened.

    In a strange case, he even felt responsible for... whoever he had been so many alternate timelines ago.

    If him of 'then' had just been stronger.

    "... Ah."

    For a moment, Medrod's eyes fell upon someone he recognized. That Golden Witch... his former enemy and constant threat from the days he had been nothing but a tool for his blind revenge. Not too long ago, she had also been an ally that he had trusted his back to. Now... he had no idea what she was. They weren't on speaking terms, that much he knew. Mostly because there was no way she had anything nice to say to him, a man who had been trying to kill her, and whom she had attacked numerous times. And he certainly wasn't in a mood for another verbal spat, not after Megabuta.

    Thus, he simply gave her a curt nod, acknowledging her yet speaking no word.

    Then he tried to hurry past her, hoping she'd take that and leave it things as they stood.

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