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Thread: Ga Rei: Exodus Nine (IC)

  1. #1681
    死徒 Dead Apostle Vritra's Avatar
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    Makoto Fujioka
    Golden Dawn
    Morning(?)

    Nyahahaha! Got it, got it with a blow like waaaaaaa and a trick like bywaaaam I got the perfect trap! There’s super-duper funny business around and Chiaoko-nee is funny business to! Wahaha perfect play, perfect plan it’s like, uh… Sure kill blow! Yeah. Beaming at the idea I relentlessly vibrate in my chair as I stare expectedly, everything was always left to someone else but… I, I don’t want to be left behind so watch I’ll show off a perfect victory!

    Chiaoko-nee poofs all over the place, Chiaoko-nee brings out fancy shmancy mystery! Chiaoko-nee is fun, Chiaoko-nee won’t get away by pointing things out! Chiaoko-nee will fall to ace detective Makoto!

    "People sometimes say dreams are enlightening; you looked like someone who was a bit lost, so I offered it to you on a whim, that's all."

    “Mmmmm but annoying person didn’t explain things at all he just went brrssssssssshleeeeeeeeeeeh. I want to hear it from Chiaoko-nee.” Pouting as I have to explain it I throw myself completely into my counter attack, Kenundo Style Blanket Hug!

    "Still, take responsibility huh?"

    Speaking calmly, the woman raises her right arm.

    "Alright. I'll do it. Why not."

    =The Time Governing Twelve Covenants=

    “There I took responsibility.”



    “Fweh?”

    The sun, Kyoto, cook, news, people…

    Fweeeeeeeeeeh, re… reset?

    “Uwaaaa amazing, AMAZING! Ahahaha…

    NnnnnYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!” Snapping out of my amazement at Chiaoko-nee’s feat I unleash everything as I realize it, she wiggled out of it!

    A relentless barrage driven by revenge and accompanied by sorrowful wail, a storm battering the fortress of the tormenter with the force of a gentle and soothing midsummer shower, a hail of (harmless) blows is thrown at the tormentor.

    “Chiaoko-nee, cheater, meanie, bully, idiot, baaaaaaakaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Chiaoko-nee was supposed to fall for the trap and tell me everything, MMMMMM.” Vibrating and pouting in annoyance I puff up fully at the indignity of it. “If Chiaoko-nee just ignores the trap then it stops being a perfect trap!”

    Uuuuoooo what am I supposed to do now, annoying man couldn’t explain anything properly. …FINE, if annoying person can’t explain properly then I don’t have to pay attention and I can just do whatever I want.

    “Uuuuuuu…” The sad wail continues as facts line up one after the other. “What am I supposed to do to repay you now… Chiaoko-nee meanie, super mean!" Pushed by everything I shout out to declare my resolve as I grab her wrist before simply throwing myself head first into the sea of red. "I, I WON’T LOSE!”

    Focus, focus, focus, draw, create, refine, destroy, recreate, determined to get Chiaoko-nee back I dive deeper and deeper relentlessly seeking what I want. Brighter than a star, darker than crimson, power surges again and again as I seek what I want, once, twice, three times a twisting red coalesces only to be remade, again, again, again until at last I get what I want, ...at least partially.

    A bracelet, a singular red stone like creation sitting as a heart with a metal lattice that spirals outward until each of the twelve branches coalesces into a bead shaped like starbursts. The design sitting on a pure metal band that brought strength to the structure is mirror on the back. Pouring power again and again until my head starts to feel light I let go and brace myself against the back of the chair as I stare teary eyed.

    “Chiaoko-nee is mean, I haven’t had time to practice this b-but I don’t have anything else to repay with. Mmmmm, j-just wait I’ll, I’ll get you back next time, I’ll find you and, AND NEXT TIME I WON’T LOSE TO ANYTHING JUST WATCH.” I may have only been able to do this now but I will catch Chiaoko-nee again and next time I’ll surpass her at everything. With puffed up cheeks it might be an empty declaration to others but it is one that I intend to overcome everything to carry out.

  2. #1682
    Hope and Defiance Airen's Avatar
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    Watanabe Tomoya
    Theme Park ~ Dream Aoyama
    Noon


    "Alright!"

    Eyes lighting up again with that spark of exhilaration, the joy the young woman seemed to get from experiencing something new is manifested in her eager dash towards the closest ride she could see, a grinning half-turn near the entrance the only sign that she was checking to see if you were following her.

    It became very clear very quickly that Kusumi was the type who was determined to experience as many things as possible if she was given even the slightest opportunity to do so; showing none of the fear or apprehension most people would show as she spun into the seat of the tower she had been talking about, something she had thought was strange, but something that you immediately recognized as a Drop Tower. It wasn't too strange a sight to see at an amusement park (although the fact that it went so high it pierced the lowest level of clouds was slightly unusual,) and while you could definitely picture a lot of people you knew backing down from such a thing immediately, the primal fear of heights poking at their consciousnesses, you yourself don't think too much of gravity, and so you found yourself being propelled up, up and away from the park as the city below becomes a distant speck, and the sight of water surrounding... Wherever this place was, quickly becomes visible.

    "Ah... I can feel it! This sense of danger... Yes... Putting people up this high, and failing to warn them when they're about to plummet... Yes, it's exciting! It's clever!"

    It was certainly many things.

    Continuing to go up far past the point where the living would have stopped building, the experience almost becomes akin to that of being on a space elevator. It's high, so high that you wouldn't be surprised if a plane just flew past parallel to where you were, and while this sort of drop wouldn't be fatal for someone like you...

    There's still a sort of knot in your chest... Human instinct comprehending what it was seeing, a tower that was far, far too close to space, and declaring that you should not be here.

    And admittedly, this did seem to be a tower normally used by dead people.

    Nevertheless.

    The actual plummet itself is not the worst thing you've experienced, Kusumi half-screaming and half-laughing all the way down...

    It definitely seemed like her sort of thing.

    From there, it's whatever she sees first. From Roller-Coasters to High-Altitude swings, this absurdly massive park just seems to have everything you could think of inside of it, and taking all of this as a challenge, you follow her lead into seemingly endless machines that would almost definitely not be allowed for use by normal people.

    But two hours in...

    The thing that stops your forward momentum...

    Is actually something rather normal...

    ...For a given definition of normal.

    "Hahaha weak, so weak-! Hey! You two look strong! Come on, try your hand at a game! A friendly competition! Let loose some stress!"

    Near the center of the park, there was a woman (looked strangely like the news reporter) challenging people to hit her pitches. Throwing them at blatantly supersonic speeds, with sonic booms going off in a regular rhythm from the center of the cage, it seemed that whoever she was, she was serving as the "pitcher," for the attraction, and...

    "Hmmm? Try our hand at what...?"

    Explaining baseball to her in your own way, the young woman seems to ponder the sport for a moment before...

    "Hmm... That sounds like it incorporates your entire body, pushing it to its limit... I suppose I cannot ignore it. Let's meet her challenge head on."

    And just like that...

    You found yourself preparing to take your turn.

    Kusumi had gone first, having apologized to the woman in a scarily sincere way that she was "sorry if she buried you on accident," the silver haired woman had responded to the supersonic pitch with all of her strength...

    The resulting ball...

    Had been lost to this island...

    ...Perhaps the planet.

    You weren't sure...

    But it certainly wasn't here anymore.

    "Haha, nice, nice! But can your friend hit it harder?"

    "...My stance felt slightly inefficient, and Tomoya is very strong. It is likely within possibility for him to do so, but I will exceed my limit with my next strike."

    Saying such a thing, the strangely serious Kusumi nevertheless withdraws so you can take your turn, and...

    "Hah-!"

    ...Here it comes-!
    Last edited by Airen; March 7th, 2017 at 10:37 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?



  3. #1683
    nowa nowa Katie's Avatar
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    Mikagura Mika
    Sora's Residence - Nameless Village


    Ah, it’s a reddish-purple color.

    I let the thought sit around for a bit, wondering if I could shake off that lukewarm feeling. In the end, though, I can’t. I’m just a girl who enjoys those dark, watery shades. Blues and purples and blacks and greens and any color in between. Having anything in any other color just seemed… jarring, to say the least. It simply isn’t my style.

    Stifling the urge to sigh, I stick my hands in my coat pockets. Well, Mika, you asked for it, and you got it, and now you’re busy complaining about how it’s the wrong color. Lack of parental supervision really does make a child spoiled, doesn’t it? The work she put in is definitely appreciated, though, even if I’m not an expert. Everything in this garage screams that it was a precious pet project, and most importantly, it was meant for me.

    I’m extremely flattered, palette misgivings aside.

    “It looks cool,” I say, trying to break the stilted silence between us. I spend too much time thinking and not enough saying, I suppose, and it makes things…more difficult for me and everyone talking to me, I guess. Not that my opinion is insincere, of course. Lying is really about how much of the truth you tell, rather than how many falsehoods you spread. And, as a professional gambler, my ability to say what I need to say is top notch.

    But that’s neither here nor there. I’m trying to bond with family, not win a round. Or, what’s close enough to family, I guess.

    “Was this where they trained you?” Obvious question. Icebreaker. People love talking about themselves, they always do. Even the shy girl holed up will spill everything about her hobby once she was sure someone was interested.

    After all…

    That was me a long time ago.
    [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
    Quote Originally Posted by Dranes
    Tang normally has bad taste, anyway...

    asians before testing week

  4. #1684
    Hope and Defiance Airen's Avatar
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    Makoto Fujioka
    Golden Dawn
    Morning

    "..."

    Having seemed so confident and sure of herself before, the act of her resetting the world around you such a casual and banal thing that she didn't even look strained from doing it, the woman that has let you grab her not just once but twice now, finally has a look other than mischievous but absolute confidence as she gazes at the newly formed bracelet on her wrist.

    It's a blank face.

    Completely calm, or rather, so calm that you would have to call it stunned, it seems that as smart as this particular onee-san seems to be, for one reason or another, she hadn't expected you to do what you had just done.

    "..."
    Yes...

    It seems she wasn't sure how to respond to it.

    "...I see."

    But like an illusion, it shatters in only a few moments.

    The cheerful smile you had come to expect from her returning to her face, that woman simply nods in your direction.

    "Tell you what, I'm definitely a mean Onee-san, but I'll make you a deal."

    Slipping her hands in her pockets, she laughs.

    "If you can find me again within... Oh, let's say the next two weeks. I'll tell you whatever you want... But chasing after me, shouldn't you be more worried about that upcoming war of yours...?"

    It's a simple declaration.

    Showing herself as someone capable of reversing time for the entire planet, hinting at involvement with that bizarre dream you had experienced, being in multiple places at once, showing knowledge of the coming end of the world...

    ...She knows something.

    She's involved with this in some way.

    "Chiyoko."

    In that instant, a man calls her from the doorway.

    Tall, but rather thin, with pale skin and dark eyes and hair, the young man looks familiar somehow...

    Yes...

    A police officer...

    You had definitely seen this person before...

    At the...

    "Well, looks like my ride's here."

    Before you can piece it together, the woman steps outside to the man's side. It's a simple movement, a casual movement, one that does not betray any superhuman ability yet...

    The instant she reaches the young man, stepping through the door to reach his hand...

    The two of them seem to disappear into nothing; leaving you with little but questions...

    And an unconscious Kyoko asleep on your lap.
    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?



  5. #1685
    Hope and Defiance Airen's Avatar
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    Mikagura Mika
    Sora's Residence - Nameless Village


    "This place... Was the place where I trained to become a Kuzunoha yes."

    Assuming you remembered the natural associations that came with that word, after a brief pause, a moment of hesitation where she's not sure whether or not she should continue speaking, the woman seems to come to the conclusion that its something that is alright for her to speak about.

    "It's the village of Geirin. They recruit exorcists they think would be receptive to their training, and turn them into... Well, Guardians of Japan I suppose."

    Leaving the garage behind for now, the woman, who seems to be growing more and more comfortable with the idea of your presence here over time, moves the conversation to the kitchen table, leaving her jacket hanging from a hook near the front door.

    "It's a pretty intensive process... There were things like suspending yourself from a lance with just your spiritual power and a single finger, holding that position for hours and even days at a time to build stamina, being put in an enchanted forest that strips you of all of your senses, and leaving you to make your way through it all alone... It wasn't easy, and all in all... It took me thirteen years to earn the title I have now."

    Recalling the experiences seems to bring her pain... As well as a dull sense of pride.

    "I wanted to quit after the first year. It felt like I was going to die... But your mother kept sending me letters cheering me on, so-"

    Catching herself mid-reference, the woman freezes as she thinks more on her words.

    "So... Yeah, this is where I was trained, and now that I've graduated it's where I live too... My boss is active at night here as well, when the moon is highest in the sky, we can inquire about the Pale Horseman."
    Last edited by Airen; March 8th, 2017 at 08:12 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?



  6. #1686
    The Man Mormarth's Avatar
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    Watanabe Tomoya
    Theme Park ~ Dream Aoyama
    Noon


    The Drop Tower was a bit higher than I expected, though it made since, the dead and other assorted people who'd be walking around here being the sort of people who'd be pretty unbothered by normal theme park stuff.

    It felt comfortingly nostalgic as I gazed out into the sky from the height of an airplane, Kusumi exulting nearby.

    Good times.

    The rest of the park that we journeyed though fit the general mold of the tower nicely, well past anything a typical person would consider safe or sane, we took on.

    Kusumi seemed exstatic, bouncing around like a child as she took in everything, racing off to another ride the moment we got off.

    I munched on a turkey leg idly as I was swung about a pole quickly enough I had to squint my eyes against the wind in my face, a roller coaster that dropped directly down from an enormous height.

    In the distance I saw a completely innocuous-looking carousal.

    I was immediately suspicious, but my attention was drawn off by my charge barreling off towards another, smaller attraction.

    The area was set up like a makeshift batting cage, the machine replaced by a calm, elegant-looking woman, tossing a rugged-looking ball in her hand as she sized up her opposition.

    In a flash, the pitch was thrown, a familiar hollow Boom, shuddering the air as the ball soared past the plate.

    Hm, might be interesting.

    "Hahaha weak, so weak-! Hey! You two look strong! Come on, try your hand at a game! A friendly competition! Let loose some stress!"

    Ah geez, we've been spotted, quick, let's find a cardboard box while we wait out the alert.

    "Hmmm? Try our hand at what...?"

    Alas, I was too late, Kusumi was lured in like a hungry college student to a pizza.

    I sighed, then went about explaining the basics of what the woman was (aha) pitching.

    "Basically, a person throws a ball at the plate, that's that thing there, and the batter hits it, unless they don't, they got three chances to smack the thing before they lose. There's a whole bunch of other stuff that's not much of a concern right now, just hit the ball with the bat."

    "Hmm... That sounds like it incorporates your entire body, pushing it to its limit... I suppose I cannot ignore it. Let's meet her challenge head on."

    So, of course, I stood by, chewing on an overly large, soft pretzel and observed Kusumi at bat.

    She apologized ahead of time, to her credit, and so the smoking hole in the fence was taken with good humor.

    I wasn't quite sure where the ball had gone, perhaps it escaped the atmosphere and is currently hurtling through space.

    Ganbare, Ball-san, may you find strange new civilizations to spread your sport to.

    "Haha, nice, nice! But can your friend hit it harder?"

    Oh?

    "...My stance felt slightly inefficient, and Tomoya is very strong. It is likely within possibility for him to do so, but I will exceed my limit with my next strike."

    "That some sort of challenge, Kusumi-chan? Well now you've gone and done it, my pride as a man is on the line here, and I won't be able to look myself in the eye if I don't smash through this then."

    I took the bat up casually, tapping it against my palm and the ground as I did so.

    Decent weight, gotta be made of something special to hold up against all this abuse.

    I squared my feet, crouching lightly as I hunched a bit, raising the bat up to my shoulder. Eye squarely on the woman pitcher's hands.

    "Whenever you're ready..."

    Onlookers may have noticed a peculiar look in the young man's eye as he locked onto his prey.

    A frightful look...


    "I ain't gonna hold back."

    "Hah-!"

    It came.

    A brief heartbeat.

    I swung the length across the width of my body, striking the incoming projectile with all of my strength.

  7. #1687
    Hope and Defiance Airen's Avatar
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    Watanabe Tomoya
    Theme Park ~ Dream Aoyama
    Noon


    If there was only a single solace in all of this, it was that the ball Kusumi had doomed to an eternity in space would probably have a new companion out there in the endless dark.

    Or, to put it in less poetic terms.

    Your strike, just like her own, had sheared through the metal of batting cage as if it didn't even exist. It was an interesting sound, listening to a ball just pass through what you were sure was some form of enchanted metal, but pass it did, leaving glowing, borderline molten metal in it's wake, before sailing off into the heavens and piercing through a cloud.

    "...So, this is the power of a man's pride?"

    One hand on her chin, looking at the aftermath of your full-force assault on sports equipment that likely didn't deserve the abuse, the woman smiles to herself, eyes sparking up again with that determined light she got when the daily runs around the island hit the "hundredth lap."

    "Haha, well, this took a fun little turn," retrieving another doomed sphere from the far wall, the pitcher's smile carries a hint of violent excitement, "Someone can finally hit em, let's smack around a few more, eh? I'll even try a bit harder myself-!"

    "Of course. Do not hold back."

    Saying the expected thing, Kusumi had already been in motion towards the plate.

    "If you do, you will be buried for sure."

    And just like that...

    An hour that was both hellish, as well as amusing, ensued...

    ...If you were to calculate it like you would a normal game, you would have played around fifteen of them in all, with twenty pitches of steadily increasing force in each game, for a grand total of around 300 swings, give or take the ones that wound up shattering the bat in someone's hands. The batting cage had proved it's worth as an enchanted arena, repairing itself over time from the repeated explosions it was taking from similarly enchanted spheres, and even still, when the pitcher finally concedes, and Kusumi snaps out of her little "contest trance,"...

    It was still very much a mess.

    A critical condition arena that would probably take another hour to repair itself all the way.

    Your own endurance was certainly something, that much you had learned from all of this, and... Also...

    "Hah... Umm... Perhaps I played too hard..."

    Looking out at all the damage, the silver-haired woman nervously laughs to herself as she sees the extent of it all.

    And to be fair.

    The reason you had all wound up playing so many games... Was because she had an odd mentality when it came to games.

    Namely, she didn't want to lose, but at the same time, she wasn't really satisfied if she won too easily either... It made it impossible for you to discreetly go easy on her even if you wanted too, because she knew that you were the type that "got better" rather than "got worse," and even when you won...

    She was a good enough opponent that it wasn't really decisive either, and so it seemed to fire her up more to beat you "the next time," because she knew she was close enough to break any pre-established limit...

    ...In the end, it had concluded with the closest thing this sort of game could have to a draw.

    An agreement that any aliens out there would have a very interesting weather report a couple million years from now.

    "...Perhaps some sort of cool-down is in order," looking a little self-conscious, the woman doesn't quite charge off like she had done before, instead fixing her gaze on you, "I saw you eating earlier, but... Hmmm..."

    Crossing her arms, she seems to be struggling slightly to say what she wants to say.

    "We passed an eating area at the beach a few hours ago, would you follow me back 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?



  8. #1688
    nowa nowa Katie's Avatar
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    Mikagura Mika
    Sora's Residence - Nameless Village


    “My mother?”

    The words, insensitive and curious as they are, escape my lips instinctively. I only remember my mother vividly from when the Kyuubi attacked and onward, when I had my power. The rest, my childhood, was just as blurry and as messy as any other person’s. I can replay any of those motherly memories in my head like a tape recorder, lost in the theater of reminiscence, but I know what I know.

    This mysterious exorcist side of her is new, but it’s best not to pry. What did my parents do? How good were they?

    Questions with no one willing to answer.

    “A-anyway, that sounds rough.” I can’t even sound convincing myself. Of course it was. This woman looks more battered than a rundown factory. But I need to refrain from making this situation worse. Follow Sora’s topic change, about this being I need to talk to firsthand for that experience of talking to someone more knowledgeable than you.

    “Who’s your boss?”
    [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
    Quote Originally Posted by Dranes
    Tang normally has bad taste, anyway...

    asians before testing week

  9. #1689
    Hope and Defiance Airen's Avatar
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    Mikagura Mika
    Sora's Residence - Nameless Village


    "The Herald of Yatagarasu."

    Unlike the others, where there was a hint of hesitation in her speech, it seems that Sora is far more eager to continue this chain of conversation than the one you were both continuing to dance around, as if the memories were physically painful to her.

    ...And in a way.

    You supposed they must be.

    "She does not have a name beyond that, at least as far as I have been made aware," settling back in her wooden chair, the woman continues after a small pause, "You are aware of this world's nature, correct? It was made to be a realm without Demons, but there were certain exceptions later made to this rule... One of those, was the Yatagarasu."

    "The Herald is someone who communes with Yatagarasu. It's duty is to guard the Capital, and for that purpose it was granted knowledge about many things... If there is an entity in this world that bears an encyclopedic knowledge of demons it would be the Herald."

    A sigh.

    "I was sent to guard the Capital in place of a fellow Kuzunoha a few months ago, so it has been some time since I have been face to face with that woman but... She will know. It is my right to ask... Or rather, she probably already knows that we're here."

    For a moment, she looks troubled, then...

    "...But she still won't emerge until nightfall, so there's nothing but time to kill..."

    She looks away.

    "...I don't have much. This place isn't so convenient as to have internet, and I had to drag a generator here myself for the electricity but..."

    Then looks back.

    "Perhaps we can watch a movie or something? Are you hungry?"

    And asks something that, to be frank, you hadn't expected from her.

    Like she had just kicked herself into overdrive.
    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?



  10. #1690
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Hitoshira Nagi
    Time Unknown
    Nagi's Room


    "it is certainly your fault. I told you to forget, to go back to your normal life, and you refused; perhaps you understand now why you shouldn't meddle in these sorts of affairs."

    "Isn't an ordinary, everyday life something that can't possibly exist as long as the Kyuubi exists?"

    I smile at her, remembering - it's the woman who saved me, in a way. But I chose not to be saved. It's fine... right? I'm not really the type of person to just let go, or be uncordial - even to someone being as crass as her.

    As she stares me down, I can feel her eyes search through the sea inside of me, examining and analyzing. It's my soul she's looking at, and it's... a bit uncomfortable. It's not normal to look through someone's soul on a first meeting, after all.

    "But you are not the only one at fault. That disgusting creature is certainly also to blame, Incarnate Hatred and Malice that have spun out of control, it consumes even those trying to help it... How sad it is, when an existence can only harm others... But that is the nature of humanity."

    I definitely don't agree with her. I can't help myself, as I shift uncomfortably, feeling the sting of pain running up my side - I don't agree. I just can't begin to agree with anything she says.

    "All roads lead to pain. What a bitter world this is, no?"

    "No. It's not," I say, my words curt. "Just because I... I cursed myself, doesn't mean that everything leads to pain. I... I have friends, now. I didn't have those before. That's not so bad, right? It's not bad to meet people, even if it hurts."

    It hurts immensely. It's the most painful thing I've ever experienced.

    "Not everyone wants to harm others. I didn't want to hurt anyone. I just... I overestimated myself. I underestimated the Kyuubi. But... that's not so bad, is it? It's not bad to have expectations of others, and not meet them - that's a form of growth. And... I want to grow, too. I want to become a better person. Incarnate hatred and malice aren't so bad when they make people try to become something better, right?"

    I smile at her, before looking down and fiddling with the sheets with my one good hand. "Ah... I'm sorry. You don't agree, do you? Humankind isn't all just one style, you know. Just because of Yagami, that doesn't mean everyone's angry at reality. Just because of me, that doesn't mean everyone's willing to sacrifice their soul to give someone a moment of peace. Humanity can change, because everyone's different. And everyone can grow, and change as well."

    I've changed. I'm not the same person who entered Tokyo, or even the same person who opened her soul to the Kyuubi. It's... a different variation of Hitoshira Nagi, in the end.

    "Ah. I'm sorry. You're... Yami, aren't you? We've met before, when you saved me from that assassin. Thank you, for saving me."

    I incline my head to her, tracing the stray fibers in my my sheets with my eyes.
    in the end we will make thoughtcrime impossible, for there shall be no words to express it
    [01:05.15] <@Spinach> I can flash gang signs faster than Sasuke can perform ninjutsu and I rap like Medea's High Speed Divine Words.


  11. #1691
    Hope and Defiance Airen's Avatar
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    Hitoshira Nagi
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    "...It's true, perhaps, that not everyone wants to hurt others, but those who do will drag down the others."

    To her, the words you have spouted in her direction, are something that she can only find offensive. While her expression does not change, the closed eyes accompanying a calm voice, you can instinctively tell that she did not like the way you had responded to her implications.

    Because, out of all people, you should be one of those who understand.

    Having looked at the monster born from human hearts, a hideous black beast that had poisoned the Soul Sea slowly over time, you should understand exactly how deep the depths of human resentment go. That monster was not born from nothing, feelings of jealousy, the hurt that comes with being harmed by your fellows, a betrayal from those you had called friends, countless murders that had gone without justice, a war that consumed the world purely for the sake of something as simple as oil, meaningless violence, meaningless pain mixed in with it's meaningful counterpart...

    You should understand all these things.

    The desire to destroy the world, the desire to make others pay for hurting you.

    It is something that exists within all people, a desire that can burn just as bright as the desire to save the world, no...

    More so...

    Because now, that monster, that pitch black darkness...

    Was stronger than the Soul Sea itself.

    Darkness was consuming the light, slowly, but absolutely, without mistake.

    Hand in hand... Humanity was dragging itself into the absolute darkness.

    "...And you say you have friends?"

    Even that light...

    Is a mistake...

    "Friends are just something else the world can use to hurt you," emotion creeping back into the coldness, the woman, the darker half of the goddess you had seen playing in a garden with Elizabeth and Kae, suddenly seems much less divine, "Use them as your light all you like, but in the end, the darkness will swallow that as well."

    That's right...

    Even more than the last person who had stared into the darkness, looked it directly in the heart and said that 'I still believe people can be better, you just have to give them a chance,' you should know what the world had taken away from her in the end, the thing that had ultimately driven her to madness, and separated the Goddess Yamuna into two different beings...

    Her students...

    Those knights...

    The children whose hands she had held in her own as they played and trained in the gardens, those children that had said they wanted to protect the world, that the world was something worth protecting, that everyone could be happy if they just worked together, that the darkness could be withstood, that it wasn't evil, that it was human to feel and overcome those things...

    Had been swallowed by an impossible curse, sacrificing themselves to protect a world that continued to spit on that sacrifice, that continued to feed the monster beneath the sea with their darkness.

    Her light, the first friends she had had since her Master had left her... Had been stolen away just like that.

    No...

    She had given this world enough time to "change."

    Those who lay in the dark wanted to lay in the dark.

    To lay waste to everything, to hurt others, that was their one and only desire.

    It made her sick.

    She would save those that deserved it, and doom the rest to their self-imposed oblivion.

    "It's just another shortcut to your heart. If your friends don't stab it themselves, then the world will take them away and do it instead... Whether through loss or betrayal, your heart will be led to darkness... Humans won't change by their own will... Someone will have to use force."

    A pause, then...

    "And my name... Is not Yami. Yami is a fool, as was Yamuna."
    Last edited by Airen; March 11th, 2017 at 08:04 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?



  12. #1692
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    "...It's true, perhaps, that not everyone wants to hurt others, but those who do will drag down the others."

    I smile sadly at her, because it's understandable that she disagrees with me. That she rejects my ideas, and finds disgust in them. Because there's no reason that I should disagree - I've seen the depths of human indecency, and the demise of justice far too many times - growing up, I was not one of the shining lights of childhood, but trapped and carved up in the underworld's basement, where hate and lust intermix into a fine wine, the breathy sensation of darkness wafting over every interaction.

    And then, I met the Kyuubi. All the hatred and rage of a thousand separate stars roaring in defiance at my soul, asking for me to despair with him, demanding that I fall into that sinking gaping maw known as hopelessness, from whence there is no return. To be hurt with him, to be betrayed with him, to be murdered with him, to war with him, to feel all the meaningless pain and suffering of a hundred thousand years --

    Naturally, I refused. I couldn't take the sort of pain that wreaks my body now, every day, for all eternity - solely so that the Kyuubi could have a vessel to wage war on humanity. It hurt too much, it ate at my soul and ravaged my mind to even allow it for a moment; and so I ran away. It's a common misconception, even for a goddess to make - that I was strong enough to resist, or that I fell and was freed. It's the opposite, really. I fled my own weakness in the arms of an angel, laughing guilelessly as I did so. It was a way to escape 'without escaping'. While I empathize with her desires I...

    I can't hate humankind. I can't hate something for making the mistakes that I have made before. Even as I free the Kyuubi, allowing the being to ravish the sea of souls with wild abandon I... I know it's my fault. I know I have to correct it, even if it costs my own life.

    "...And you say you have friends?"

    I glance up at a god that despises humankind.

    "Friends are just something else the world can use to hurt you," Ahh, she's angry isn't she? She's really angry, and it's probably my fault. "Use them as your light all you like, but in the end, the darkness will swallow that as well."

    I'd forgotten, thinking as calculatingly as I always do, that the goddess had lost everything for nothing - for people who promised to protect, but failed it. I'd forgotten about Elizabeth and Kae, and the rest of the knights of humanity that had died for a world that spit upon their sacrifices. It was a cruel, broken thing, this planet. And she had no reason to let those she loved suffer any longer, did she? Not with Yagami wreaking havoc on reality, and not with me - letting the Kyuubi into the Sea of Souls. She was sick of waiting, tired of letting evil do as it pleased.

    It was fair. It wasn't even remotely wrong of her to do so, and I couldn't judge her for it, even as I knew that Kae would seethe, would rage against such a thing. But Kae is dead, and dead is gone, and all that remains of her rests, slumbering in a Sea that might never recover from the havoc I wreaked upon it. It wasn't fair of me to force her to wait, just because I wanted to. All I could do for a goddess besmirched...

    Was listen.

    "It's just another shortcut to your heart. If your friends don't stab it themselves, then the world will take them away and do it instead... Whether through loss or betrayal, your heart will be led to darkness... Humans won't change by their own will... Someone will have to use force."

    "Elizabeth wouldn't agree." The words slip out of my mouth before I can stop them. The phrases that shouldn't be said exit my lips before I can halt my own foolishness. I was walking on a tightrope, where in an instant my demise could be assured, simply with a wave of her hand. "She... she hasn't shown any indication that she'd believe that.

    "A week," I say, the words dancing from my throat. "In a week, I can show you that humankind isn't as bad as it seems. That injustice doesn't reach as far as you think it does. There's a reason a girl on an island doesn't agree with Yagami. There's purpose, even in something like the Kyuubi. And if I'm wrong..."

    I hesitate.

    There's nothing I can offer. I'm empty.

    "I... I don't have anything for you. There's no reason for you to take such a useless bet, right? I don't even have any contracts to demons, no connections to gods, no slumbering remnant of an angel in my soul. I'm just... human. A cursed human, but that doesn't make me any better then anyone else." I smile, a bitter, fragile gouge in my face.

    "I'll take it anyways. All your hatred, all your rage, all your despair. If I was judged appropriately, if I was able to allow the Kyuubi into my soul and not be instantaneously devoured, I doubt that a goddess is any more deadly. I'll be your avatar of destruction. If you've examined my soul, then you can read the words carved into every crevice, can't you? The ones that I've hidden from its inhabitants."

    The ghosts inside my soul whisper wildly, as they panic. It's true, I've lied to you - ah, but you had no way of knowing, no possible way that you could have read the words hidden behind doors, tucked away in corners, slid underneath the carpet as you'd entered.

    "I'll open the gates and you can do what you will. Crush the world beneath your heel. Tear down creation just to see if you can. Desecrate everything. It's my deepest, darkest secret, you know? The one I can't tell anyone, because if I did, I'd be locked away, in the same place as Yagami, for all of time. Throwing myself at unstoppable, unrivaled, unbreakable beings isn't simply because I wish to die. It's because I've never thought 'I can't destroy that.' If you use me, then I'll break everything. I'll shatter reality itself if need be. I'm the ultimate weapon, the most dangerous human in existence. I let the Kyuubi in, after all."

    The smile across my face grows wider, more and more of caricature with every word. I'm unloading every fragile sensibility I have, all the most hidden secrets that rest in my soul. "Let me tell you something, a story."

    "There's a girl who sees the Kyuubi. She doesn't think of it as evil. She thinks of it as beautiful. She's lost every emotion until she'd seen it - all hidden and locked away so that her tormentors can't find them. She meets a man. He takes her to a place where the sand is white and the sea is blue. She still feels nothing. She returns to her homeland. She meets those who wish she was dead. She is early. She lets in the Kyuubi, but not for the reason everyone thinks."

    I look around, seeing nobody but the darkened goddess before me. I raise my arm, carved with markings to lock the Kyuubi within me, and grin - a true, maddened smile, the thing that I've left inside of myself because it worries those who see it.

    "I let the Kyuubi in, because I didn't think it could do anything worse then myself."

    Here is a fact.

    I, Hitoshira Nagi, am the greatest monster that humankind has ever produced.

    Here is another fact.

    I do not understand why people fear the Kyuubi.

    Here is a final fact.

    I desire death out of fear that I could destroy everything.

    "A week, goddess. In a week, I can prove to you that humanity is worth saving. If I fail, I'll carve out reality itself to let you in. If I succeed, you'll wait. There's no real downsides, are there? There's no reason to deny me a week."

    A pause, then...

    "And my name... Is not Yami. Yami is a fool, as was Yamuna."

    It's fair. I disagree, but it's fair. Yami is kind and selfless, Yamuna was broken by the death of those she loved. To a goddess of darkness, its definitely foolish and weak to do so; to shatter because of things like that. It's weak, it's inept, and it's disgusting.

    "Very well. I'm Hitoshira Nagi, Kyuubi Ascendant, Esper, and part-time hero. It's nice to meet you."
    in the end we will make thoughtcrime impossible, for there shall be no words to express it
    [01:05.15] <@Spinach> I can flash gang signs faster than Sasuke can perform ninjutsu and I rap like Medea's High Speed Divine Words.


  13. #1693
    nowa nowa Katie's Avatar
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    Sora's Residence - Nameless Village


    The herald of the sun crow only appears at night? How… interesting. Is it something born of symbolism and arcane requirements, or is it merely a preference? The duality between master and servant is something fraught with nuance, each and every action implying something about the power dynamics between the two. Or perhaps I’m really thinking too much into that, as I usually do. I’m not one for interpersonal relationships—it’s much easier to treat it like shipping charts or something like that, when you want to make the bonds between characters in a novel clearer.

    But, perhaps tragically, charts don’t help when you need to talk to your neglectful godmother.

    “A movie, huh?” I’m surprised. Let’s say I don’t go to the cinema very often. I was always much more of a bookworm, as the last time I went to the theater it was for some card promotion that wasn’t even legal anyway. I just wanted the esteemed privilege of owning something limited, like many other human beings. But, back to the topic of movies. I like dramas. Those are good, but aren’t they better in a serial format? What kind of movie would…

    “You got anything a bit on the action side?”

    Better it to be brainless than remind us of how uncomfortable our relationship is.
    [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
    Quote Originally Posted by Dranes
    Tang normally has bad taste, anyway...

    asians before testing week

  14. #1694
    Hope and Defiance Airen's Avatar
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    Mikagura Mika
    Sora's Residence - Nameless Village


    "Plenty."

    Her response a clear, one word answer, it's only when she strides across the room to a massive cabinet, that you realize the sheer number of choices that have suddenly appeared for this remarkable mundane activity.

    Yes.

    Opening a simple wooden cabinet, it becomes clear in a heartbeat...

    That your godmother seems to collect not just movies, but ongoing shows like House and CSI... Standing there for a bit with her back to you, browsing the shelves with a clearly experienced eye, there's even a moment where she pauses, her hand reaching for what seemed to be "Tengan Toppa Gurren Lagann" before she coughs to herself as if embarrassed, and grabs something else from the "clearly separated by genre" shelf.

    But it was probably too late for her to hide what she had clearly decided was something she needed to hide.

    You had seen it.

    On the right side, a shelf dedicated entirely to anime. From the very top to the very bottom, with things like Nanoha and even Yu-Gi-Oh standing out from amongst the rest due to the sheer number of cases bearing those names...

    Unexpectedly, it seemed...

    That your godmother was some sort of closet otaku...

    ---

    Nevertheless, in the end, it seems that she had settled on watching American films, at least at first.

    And that's how you wound up watching Minority Report. Having been somewhat big a few years ago it wasn't like it was the first time you had ever heard of the film, but the bizarreness of sitting here, in an (admittedly fancy) cabin in the middle of an otherwise feudal style village, watching a movie on a massive flat screen television with your suddenly attentive godmother...

    Was... Strange...

    But she seemed to be into it, so, somewhat desperate to keep things as unawkward as possible, you go along with it all as well, taking your gaze from the screen only when she said something about making dinner, and hopped off the couch and into the kitchen, gaze moving from the flat grill before her, to the television set in a practiced way that made it clear that she normally multi-tasked like this while watching television.

    It was... Surprisingly normal for her...

    "Are hamburgers fine? Or would you prefer Japanese cuisine?"

    And strangely, while she had been somewhat awkward about all of this before...

    She seemed to be... Getting into things...
    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?



  15. #1695
    Hope and Defiance Airen's Avatar
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    Hitoshira Nagi
    Time Unknown
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    "There's nothing to prove, of course humanity is worth saving."

    It's a statement that, in spite of itself, does not ease your feelings. Staring at you in a different sort of way now, as if she had finally, truly, comprehended what sort of human being you were, what you could potentially become...

    That goddess...

    "But that monster is not humanity. It gave up that gift a long time ago," brushing her hair from eyes brimming with a deep, deep rage, that woman counters your maddened smile with a stoic nothing that doesn't fit those burning eyes, "The Kyuubi is a cancer that will drag down those who have yet to abandon their humanity, but before that happens... I will obliterate it completely."

    Regardless of what people think, the Kyuubi is not immortal, it is something that one could slay if you brought enough power to bear, enough divine force to crush the close-to-invincible essence of the soul.

    The only reason this Goddess hadn't done so, was because Yamuna, her old self, had been determined to save each and every soul that made it up. Those that were hurting and screaming out for someone to save them, those who betrayed their would be saviors, she had believed that they could be better; that given enough time, the curse would diminish on it's own as she helped them, soul by soul, helped them to find their peace so they could move on, but...

    It grew too quickly.

    Hundreds were damned for every single soul she saved, drawn into the fox to become a part of that limitless, but ultimately meaningless force.

    That degradation had continued this far because the world had wanted "more time," because she had believed that everything could change if they were given "more time," but no...

    No...

    As the Guardian of this World... As the Darker Half of the Goddess called Yamuna, she could no longer stand aside and let her charges be devoured, dragged into the curse by the pitch-black chains of the restless and selfish dead, the final human curse.

    It would be reborn so long as the souls that made it up persisted, but very well.

    If she had to completely annihilate every soul in that black sea...

    Then so be it...

    Talking to you had simply strengthened that resolve...

    "So worry not... Kyuubi ascendant... Before this year ends I will free you from your curse. I have no need for your body... These events have been set in motion from long before your time."

    Angry.

    Voice emotionless, but spirit clearly angry, the woman nevertheless smiles in a stoic way.

    "...Or sooner, if you decide to give in to it."

    ...So saying, the woman reaches over your bed...

    And in a flash of blue...

    The panicking voices, the betrayed spirits, all go silent as azure sparks fly from you to her.

    "...Let's go, Kae."

    So saying...

    That woman vanishes into the ether from which she had first emerged...

    Leaving you alone, a renewed fire pumping through your veins.

    ???


    Hitoshira Nagi (Eclipse Diver) -> Hitoshira Nagi (Kyuubi Ascendant)

    -Unbreakable Dark-
    The Kyuubi's curse, an open and seemingly unbreakable connection with the monster that swims within the depths of the Soul Sea. With Tamamo's reclaiming of the souls within Nagi, it seems that the path to the curse has widened significantly even as the Eclipse State has been sealed away. Can choose to indulge her soul in the curse at any time to gain infinite spiritual power, in addition to the other benefits of the Eclipse State, however...

    It is not nearly as "human friendly," as the Eclipse State, and while certainly more powerful in terms of brute force, growing stronger over time, it seems "backlash" is common amongst its users, such as Yagami, and it is completely incapable of supporting it's user in a "purely positive" manner, unlike Eclipse, so in terms of overall use, it could be considered weaker.

    The lit match of a time bomb to inevitable death, its designation as a curse that can only hurt is the strongest amongst human curses.

    Last edited by Airen; March 15th, 2017 at 04:59 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?



  16. #1696
    The Man Mormarth's Avatar
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    Watanabe Tomoya
    Theme Park ~ Dream Aoyama
    Noon


    Another ball in the endless series was met with the raging power of a thousand raging souls and was found wanting.

    I watched gamely as it sailed into the distance, idly wondering if I'd knocked any satellites out of orbit.

    That'd suck, might knock out somethin' important.

    Well, whatever happens happens.

    I dug another splinter out of my palm.

    I stretched my arm out a bit as I strode back to the fence, working my shoulder as I looked at Kusumi, her brow furrowed.

    It was for the best that the whole spirit construct stuff was a thing, otherwise we'd be standing in a vaguely circular crater.

    Even so, it was probably getting around the time for a break, I guess even spirit realms have a limit to how long they can get smacked around.

    I lean up against the wall spectulatively, idly side-stepping an important-looking support beam.

    Hm.

    That could be a problem.

    "Hah... Umm... Perhaps I played too hard..."

    I snorted, "Nah, there's still a building, and it'll fix itself anyway, it's fiiine."

    The sort of blithe unconcern gained through years of rampant property damage, a noted trait of "Walking Cataclysm" Watanabe Tomoya.

    Got a lot of fans in insurance companies, donchaknow.

    Still, things might have maybe escalated a bit too far, perhaps.

    My white-haired date for the afternoon was in that hot seat of competitiveness in that she stamped her foot when she lost, but pouted when I let her win too obviously. I wasn't the sort of person who lost steam, after all.

    So, this state of affairs resulted in a maddening arms race of projectile punishment from all sides, and in the end, it's probably for the best that we declare this round a no contest.

    Totally woulda won, though.

    "...Perhaps some sort of cool-down is in order..."

    I picked at my teeth, annoyed at a bit of that turkey leg that'd gotten caught in there.

    "I saw you eating earlier, but... Hmmm..."

    I made a vague interrogative noise, now digging a splinter out of my mouth.

    "We passed an eating area at the beach a few hours ago, would you follow me back there?"

    "Mm? Ah, shure fing, getta hot dog or burg'r or somefin'."

    It's probably a good thing that money hasn't been a real issue for a couple years, because I have a suspicion that this is going to be a bit of a drain.

  17. #1697
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Hitoshira Nagi
    Time Unknown
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    My lips freeze.

    My mind goes blank, my face stretched into an endless smile as she leaves, vanishing into the distance.

    "No."

    It's the first word that slips out, as I wrench the covers off myself, crawling towards my axe, grabbing it with one hand and hauling myself upwards. It wasn't allowed. It's not okay. The smile vanishes from my face, as I focus on the empty sea inside of myself.

    This...

    This is cruel.

    Taking away the one person I care about in that sea -- that's cruel. I hiss in pain as my arms shake when I drag myself upwards, the markings covering my arm shivering with me. What good am I if I can't even use my powers?

    Trying anyways, I focus inwardly, ignoring the red that stains my soul and the lack of whispers, and remember the feeling of my Eclipse Diver, the way the ghosts manipulated my soul to use that power.

    I take a shaky step. I'm trying to rip the world asunder again; tear a hole between 'this location' and 'where I want to go' like I'd done fighting Elizabeth with Joanne a day ago. Using the power of ghosts to supplement and add to my own; but I can't do that anymore. All I'm left with is mementos and a lion's howl. But maybe... the power was always within me, and the ghosts simply showed me how to use.

    I reach into my sea of souls, and look for the feeling, search for the memory, the rush, that occurred when I vanished and reappeared in a fight. I take another step.

    If I can't teleport, I'll walk myself to find Elizabeth.

    If I can't walk, I'll drag myself to her.

    It's unfair. It's unfair of that fucking goddess to steal my ghosts in an attempt to make herself look better. But... as I'd said, scant minutes before meeting her, to an angel from up high, there are other options. Elizabeth, you'll be disappointed in me, won't you? But I need your help. I have a request for you.

    I know exactly what to say to her, with unblinking, deadened eyes, and an arm coated in tattoos.

    'A goddess has stolen my ghosts.'

    'And so I will replace them with devils.'
    in the end we will make thoughtcrime impossible, for there shall be no words to express it
    [01:05.15] <@Spinach> I can flash gang signs faster than Sasuke can perform ninjutsu and I rap like Medea's High Speed Divine Words.


  18. #1698
    死徒 Dead Apostle Vritra's Avatar
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    Makoto Fujioka
    Golden Dawn
    A Funny Morning!

    ?

    Having proclaimed my unwillingness to yield to Chiaoko-nee I instead of seeing her make an expression I expected I see something completely different.

    What is…

    What does that face mean?

    It’s an impassive calm face but why? I don’t remember anything that would cause it, I hugged chiaoko-nee, Chiaoko-nee gave me so much so I had to do that and I just didn’t want to lose, but what would cause this…

    I wonder if Chiaoko-nee would feel better if I hugged her, yeah Chiaoko-nee is feeling bad so I should-

    "...I see."

    Oh Chiaoko-nee is back! Uuu Chiaoko-nee is back already.

    "Tell you what, I'm definitely a mean Onee-san, but I'll make you a deal."

    Slipping her hands in her pockets, she laughs.

    "If you can find me again within... Oh, let's say the next two weeks. I'll tell you whatever you want... But chasing after me, shouldn't you be more worried about that upcoming war of yours...?"


    “Woooow Chiaoko-neesan is really mean, mmhmhmhmhm.”

    Responding yet unable to keep my tone I finally break into giggles.

    “Okay, okay I said before right, I won’t lose, so let’s play a lot! Ane-san, kimichi, hitomimi and Kyoto are mean when we play hide and seek but it’s still always fun so Chiaoko-neesan doesn’t have to worry about anything! Even if Chiaoko-neesan is worried or worse else I’ll catch you and bring you back, everything is warm with everybody so just see I’m going to win and then I’ll show you, it’s a promise!

    Nyahaha, Funny business!”

    Bubbling and bouncing at Chiaoko-nee’s challenge I can’t contain my excitement until I finally throw my hands up.

    Just watch Chiaoko-nee I’ll catch and hug you and then you won’t have to make worrying faces like that anymore! I’ll show you just like Usami and aiya with everyone everything is warm.

    "Chiyoko."

    “Bye bye Chiaoko-neesan.”

    Waving as I watch Chiaoko-nee stride out I pause for a moment as I tilt my head. I feel like I kkkkkkkshgaaaahungryiknowiknowiknowkillhimcutcutcu t know him… MMMMMMMMMMMMMmmm must be Chiaoko-nee funny business.

    An instantaneous surge as metallic dreams squirm, screeching at recognition and promising its due yet lose in the moment.

    “…”

    Ah now that Chiaoko-nee’s gone… not sure what to-

    Struck by the silence following her disappearance I’m left at a loss as I look back and forth until I realize something.

    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH I got it, I got it!

    Mwahahaha now I’ve got Kyoto!

    Quietly shifting and rooting around for what I seek I gentle pull out Kyoto’s camera and prepare. It’s like Kyoto said preserving memories so I’m going to have my fill so I can show everyone.

    Remembering all of Kyoto’s advice and everything I’ve seen her do I make sure everything is set up perfectly before I begin taking pictures of her sleeping face as she lays in my lap. First her plain face then I get her to make funny faces and then I’ll take ones with us both so we can always remember no matter what happens, nyahahahaha!

  19. #1699
    Hope and Defiance Airen's Avatar
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    Watanabe Tomoya
    Theme Park ~ Dream Aoyama
    Afternoon


    While your initial assumption had been that she had wanted you to buy her something, there's a certain tenseness in her steps, a sort of self-conscious shyness in her sudden desire to go to a specific beach-side area, that tipped you off that this was something a bit different...

    With the sun shining down on crystal clear waters, the beach-side, like the rest of the park, bears a certain 'perfection' that makes you feel a bit uncomfortable; there are dozens of huts scattered around the beach, each staffed by someone making drinks and food, and while she had said that she had never been here before, and there was certainly a sort of uncertainty in her steps...

    When the woman steps onto the beach, she seems to pause for a moment, humming to herself, before striding off to the most distant hut, as if sure that this was the proper destination.

    Curious, you had followed, and...



    "Ah, Kusumi-chan, yeah I have them here, kept em safe for you."

    Curiously, it seems that Maiya had gotten a job here as a smoothie maker.

    Odder still, was the basket that she had passed to Kusumi as soon as she had seen her. It was an obvious picnic basket, that much you could tell from a simple glance, but when she pulls out the contents, (two sandwiches, sub-style, massive, definitely made American style judging by the absurd amounts of meat and cheese) with a nervous smile that you realize...

    She made these...

    "I wasn't sure what you liked," admitting this in an almost self-defeating sort of way, the woman nevertheless holds one out to you, "So I asked Maiya-chan... And she said sandwiches were always a safe option. Turkey, ham, chicken, six different cheeses, shredded lettuce-! It had been awhile since I had cooked myself, it is relatively simple I know, but my skills extend at least this far..."

    Pumping herself up again, she smiles.

    "It's not much, but since this was all my idea, I thought it best I prepare... But it slipped my mind in my excitement. Forgive me if you have filled yourself already."
    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. #1700
    The Man Mormarth's Avatar
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    Watanabe Tomoya
    Theme Park ~ Dream Aoyama
    Afternoon


    I strolled along after Kusumi, whistling idly, wondering what sort of delicious food awaited me at the beachside.

    Hot Dogs slathered with a veritable kaledeoscope of sauces and toppings? A burger, layered with all manner of toppings and dashes, dressings and spices.

    Perhaps something more local? Always makes me a bit nostalgic, even if I've been corrupted by the fat and corrupt West.

    My mind raced anxiously through the choices my still unsatisfied gut snarled for, like a savage beast. Meats, cheeses, sugars and spice, peppers and veggies and breaded delights!

    My mind drifted into a haze of foodstuffs as we approached the makeshift pavillion, dozens of huts scattered across the waterfront, scents and smells enticing me after them, crooning siren-songs with the alluring aroma of food.

    But no! My will was my own, and I would not be so uncouth as to abandon my feminine companion, betraying her desires!

    I'd have to be a real asshole to do that.

    They did smell really good, though...

    Kusumi's steps came to a halt, and I twitched as I rearranged my posture from the drooling savage into something a bit more respectable to have on a date.

    "Ah, Kusumi-chan, yeah I have them here, kept 'em safe for you."

    Oh, hello there Maiya, it's been a bit.

    "Fight any other giant skeletons lately?"

    Had to keep on the look-out for any other residents of the Bone Zone, All-Bones Jones being merely the most recent attacker in a long, storied feud.

    My eyes passed over a smoothie maker on the counter in front of her, guess everybody's gotta make some scratch.

    Still, a new scent assaulted my nostrils, as a basket was passed from behind the counter to the waiting white-haired girl.

    Ho? Is this some new challenger? Some new, unforeseen, original creation?

    Twin sandwiches met my gaze challengingly, hulking in size, filled to the brim with meats, cheeses, a sprinkling of lettuce here and there!

    I looked back at Kusumi to see her already eyeing my face, a strange, pitiful smile on her face.

    Oh.

    "I wasn't sure what you liked. So I asked Maiya-chan... And she said sandwiches were always a safe option. Turkey, ham, chicken, six different cheeses, shredded lettuce-! It had been awhile since I had cooked myself, it is relatively simple I know, but my skills extend at least this far..."

    One of the sandwiches is extended towards my still body, the smile growing as she rallies forth.

    "It's not much, but since this was all my idea, I thought it best I prepare... But it slipped my mind in my excitement. Forgive me if you have filled yourself already."

    I stare at it for a moment, numbly taking the enormous sub, balancing it carefully between my hands.

    I looked at the stacked sub.

    I looked at Kusumi.

    "I, er, uh."

    I blinked for a moment, very quickly, then turned my head aside for a moment, coughing.

    "K-Kusumi, I, I really appreciate this, y'know, I haven't 'zactly gotten a real home cooked thing for a while, not by somebody else at least."

    Jeez, must be some hot peppers hidden in this thing or something, "I, er, yeah. Thanks."

    I looked at her, and smiled.

    It hurt my cheeks a bit.

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