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Thread: Ga Rei: Exodus Nine (IC)

  1. #3081
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Suzume AOGAMI
    Aoyama - Streets


    "...Huh?"

    ---A flash of memory.

    It's an image born from a memento that aligned the walls of a certain Cross's apartment, an image that she hadn't been able to let go of even after tossing aside everything else in a mistaken path towards 'that girl's happiness.' It's an image of a younger Joan, one from back before she had decided to pick up a sword with an uncertain future looming on a golden-black horizon.

    ---Ah.

    It's an image that perhaps goes too far; while your power was not the sort to really show you memories in it's normal usage, the image itself seems to 'shake' something inside of you awake as well, and just as the girl pauses for a moment to listen to her own words, that image becomes a chain that leads straight into memory-!

    After all... Even if you didn't show it to her...

    She did associate that 'self' with her 'sister,' but...

    Strangely... It's a memory that exists within you as well...

    Perhaps it was simply a gate...

    That was opened by the both of you, manipulated, by the both of you.

    ---

    It's a memory that did not come to pass, or rather, was erased sometime after coming to pass.

    ---The scenery was that of an orphanage.

    It was years after the Fox had first appeared, and this time around, it was an event that had led to the destruction of countless families. Those that had survived this time around had not survived back then, and amongst those bodies, those people lost in an incident you yourself did not yet understand, of course you couldn't, it was beyond you, but it didn't matter...

    "It's hard..."

    ...It's a scene with three girls.

    Two children, and a teenager, or perhaps a young adult? The sister to the girl with the blonde hair.

    The older is teaching the younger ones, while it is natural for an older sibling to look after a younger sibling, the relationship between the blonde and
    yourself
    the darker haired girl
    was harder to place, than again...

    Hadn't you yourself come to call her teacher rather easily...?

    "No way Suzume, it's easy, see!"

    The younger blonde proudly shows off a flawed drawing, in terms of talismans it wouldn't work, but the confidence of a child is not so easily shaken.

    ---Magic was certainly complex, but they had begged, so as a 'witch' she had to at least try, still...

    "Maybe it's a bit early for Ofuda..."

    After a few hours, the eldest one concedes, but-

    "But I thought about it, and I think I've come up with something cool, so listen up~! Something that doesn't need hand-signs or silly memorization-!"


    "Alright, I'll mater it first-!"

    "...It's not a competition."

    ...Ah.

    So that was how it was born huh?

    ---What a shame.

    Why had that sort of future fallen into ruin?

    ---

    ---It's a flash of memory.

    Something from a previous 'self,' and not even the self that you yourself had met; it is just a forgotten memory that does not and cannot exist, and yet your hand balls into a fist of it's own accord, as if reliving the 'lesson' that had appeared back then-!

    Magic Gunner


    A style of 'mage-craft' that requires no complex chants, incantations, or physical motions. Revolving purely around the control of one's spiritual power, it revolves around discharging said power in a manner similar to plasma blasts, or the exhaust of a jet engine. Not something Liane Cross would have normally invented on her own, it seems she made it as a simple 'art' for her students to learn, but then came to subconsciously recall it on repeats and use it as a signature style growing up.

    Works on the line of converting spiritual power into heat, damage is dependent purely on the amount and type of spiritual power poured into it, and while complex effects are not possible through it, it still allows for frighteningly fast spiritual attacks. The sign of a spirit user that has managed to successfully turn themselves into a gun, Liane got a reputation for firing off 'lasers' due to this ability, and strangely...

    Suzume seems capable of it as well... And Joan-


    Crack.

    Even through the sudden haze, the hand strikes true all on it's own...

    Falling back with a thud, the rocketing body destroying all of the rubble in it's wake, for a few moments, it does seem like Joan has lost consciousness again, but...

    "Hah...Hah..."

    Slowly, seemingly struggling with herself, that girl rises to her feet again; her expressions are twitching, the emotional strike seemingly just as damaging as the physical one, and yet-

    "..."

    -That brief hope crumbles as the black flames reemerge and spread out over her form again; it is an easing hate, a method to make her 'stop thinking' and go back into the blind rage, but-

    "...Get the hell out of her, you shitty curse."

    -Burning with those same flames herself, a woman that had felt the 'pain' of the sister she had not known she held a contract with, is forced to draw on that same power in order to interfere in a sight that would ordinarily be out of her league...

    "...Sis-!"

    The flames burn brighter at her appearance, but-

    "...I'm not interested in speaking with the curse, definitely not interested in being killed by it."

    -She shoots it down, or rather-

    "...If you really want me dead Joan, if you're sure of that... Then okay, I'd let you do it... I couldn't protect you back then, I was too weak to try so... Maybe it's what I deserve..."

    -She shoots down the curse itself.

    ---She's horrifyingly serious.

    If that would make it so that Joan could live freely, unburdened by all of this, than okay, she would let her kill her, however-

    "But I want to hear that from her. Not some shitty Faceless God that's pretending to be her!"

    -She doesn't believe that's what the girl wants either, or at least, she won't believe it until a lucid one tells her the same exact thing-!

    "That's not the justice she'd be chasing, she's a dork that cries at stories with sad endings... So she'd be a hell of a stronger than that!"

    "...You-!"

    "So watch your ass, you won't be controlling her for very long-! If I have too, I'll blast you out of her myself-!"

    ---Even while burning away herself, with limbs that are clearly past the point of rapid movement, the older sister draws the complete attention of the younger one. It's both antagonistic and hopeful, the resolve of a family member that has appeared to save a family member, and in response to that-

    "Ha....AHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! "

    An unstoppable walk that quickly becomes a run, a wall of golden and black fire that is destined to become a battering ram that runs over the both of you.

    ---Again, the flames burn out of control; this time, even though her emotions are a chaotic haze, the target is clear.

    "Alright, Suzume... Hate to ask for favors, but... My plan will take me a second, so..."

    ---Find a way to slow her down.

    It's a silent request...

    That almost seems impossible.
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  2. #3082
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Saki Ryuumonbuchi
    Outskirts


    “There’s no need for you to trouble yourself. I can prepare my own place within the fire and the flames.”

    A miniature replica of the throne of burning vines rose from the bathwater’s surface in the center of the bath. Lifting her arm, Saki planted her finger atop the seat, and pushed the tiny construct of fire under the water, as though it were a solid object.

    The temperature of the bath rose exponentially as the tiny throne set the bath to a boil. Refusing to be smothered, the fire continued to burn in the water, and Saki brought her hand back.

    Unfazed, the girl began to giggle at the mentions of her butler. The thought of seeing the immovable Phenex squirm… Just imagining it made her lose self-control.

    “That would certainly be interesting. When the time comes, let us make a grand show of it.”

    As the words left her mouth Saki let her body relax completely, sinking down more and more into the water, until all but her mouth and above had fully submerged. As if to fall into the flames Belial promised, she let all tension drain out of her body, truly allowing her body to become lax.

    In that state, her head tilted back and her eyes drifted toward the ceiling. As if laying down in a bed of boiling water, Saki closed her eyes as though to sleep.

    Behind closed eyes, the image of the clock tower counting down to the end appeared.
    Quote Originally Posted by SeiKeo View Post
    Look, you can't just call something pedophilliac and expect everyone to believe you.


  3. #3083
    definitely not darjeeling Katie's Avatar
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    Mikagura Mika
    Aoyama Ruins


    I let her take me wherever she wished, the comforting grip of fingers intertwined providing reassurance. So, when we get there, a beach on Tokyo Bay I’m not sure is real or artificial, I decide it doesn’t matter.

    Because what I see takes my breath away.

    Her navy hair fluttering in the salty sea breeze. The pale blue light reflecting off her skin. The soft crash of waves against the shore, in rhythm with the beat of my heart. The flush in her cheeks when she turns around. A dazzling smile that puts the star-studded sea in front of us to shame.

    Even if I didn’t have a photographic memory, I’m sure this scene would be etched into my mind forever.

    "...I always liked the idea of wishing on a star."
    I give her a teasing grin. It’s rather cute she has a normal sense of romance, despite her other idiosyncrasies. It’s not quite what I expected, but… I certainly don’t hate it.

    “Well, then,” I say, “Why don’t you just pick one? We can make a wish together.”
    [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

  4. #3084
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Makoto Fujioka
    Lost Memories – Starlight

    "...Hah."

    Hungry, huh?

    While a part of her had been dragged back into nostalgic memories, yet another part had been filled with an inevitable apprehension; the task that has appeared on the horizon is one that will, more likely than not, result in the absolute and final deaths of everyone she knows, and the pressure of that task is something that has existed on the surface of her thoughts ever since the start of this final night, but...

    ---You were being so casual about it, that for a moment, even her own apprehension is blown away.

    In a sense it ruins the moment, but...

    Still, she laughs aloud at the fist-pump and-

    "Another food battle it is then-!"

    -Lets her own childish side out with a mimicry of your own motion, gesturing to reflected stars that only truly inhabit the sea below.

    She tries to stand, and:

    "Come on, I'll run us back."

    She smiles at you and gestures at her back.

    ---The high-speed taxi again, somehow...

    It still doesn't feel that appealing-!
    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. #3085
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Vritra's Avatar
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    Makoto Fujioka
    Lost Memories – Starlight

    “Nyahaha food battle ~!”

    Laughing at Kyoto’s agreement I can’t help but smile, like Kimichi said there was nothing left to do but win right? Kyoto always looked better smiling anyway.

    “Just watch I’ll cook up something amazing!” Although it would slow the ability to get food down being able to show off would be worth it!

    "Come on, I'll run us back."

    Now if only Kyoto express was…

    Less tumbly? Less blurry? Less, lots of things…

    Squinting as I try to find some fault or alternative path I stare on and on… Until I simply give up in the end. If Kyoto wanted to zoom around then might as well, it was perfectly survivable after all-

    But!

    -Hopping up I disregard her intended position and after wrapping my arms around her neck around and up.

    “Princess carry!”

    Nyahaha no reason to say no but no reason to not have more fun with it like this!

    Zoom ~!

  6. #3086
    Bisschen mehr ist nicht zu viel verlangt I3uster's Avatar
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    Suzume AOGAMI
    Aoyama - Streets

    It was a future...or rather a "past" that would never come to pass. For the Suzume that stood here it should not have been a meaningful vision. For her current reality it would matter as much as any dream would. It however just so happened that both her and the demon that now made up this being reacted quite vividly to it.

    It simply was far too vivid, far too grounded in the reality they both occupied even as said reality had shown its fragility.

    An unintended feedback in the moment. A flash of something that was "supposed to happen" but could not.

    Something beautiful left a gift for her. She had neglected her lessons, but it seems she always could count on a supportive teacher to encourage her. Maybe she would pass this exam after all...

    A simple demonstration of her power blew away her enemy. The basically limitless amounts of raw spiritual power that her little manipulation of faith trick would supply her with delivered a rather impressive result, and for a moment Joan seemed incapacitated. But that illusion had quickly been taken care of as she rose back to her feet, staring daggers at her cursing sister.

    "...If you really want me dead Joan, if you're sure of that... Then okay, I'd let you do it... I couldn't protect you back then, I was too weak to try so... Maybe it's what I deserve..."
    She spoke of death with seriousness and nonchalance at the same time. A person who truly was ready to face this outcome. She had seen enough of it to understand it like few did, and yet she offered this life to her sister...her real sister.
    Even as the fight between Suzume and Joan had ascended into the realm of gods, she still kept up, sacrificing everything she had at the mere chance of conversing with the possessed woman. A dedication Suzume was not sure she could match but...

    Was the fact that she stood here not proof that she could?

    As her own teacher was burning up, Suzume had made her choice to not fall behind. To not hide simple fear of trying behind admiration.

    What after all was the goal of a teacher? To just implant knowledge, clinically without reflection? No. It was to prepare. It was not to show them how to solve a specific problem. It was to equip them with the skills to seek the solution to any problem on their own. It was not to lift them up and carry your pupil on your shoulders.

    What a teacher wanted was a pupil that figured out how to run by themselves.

    The ultimate goal of a teacher was to shape someone who surpassed them.

    "Alright, Suzume... Hate to ask for favors, but... My plan will take me a second, so..."
    The style she had been taught was a simplistic form of combat, effective for most humans but she had long since left that definition behind her. Beyond the surface of this mixed being was a melting pot of views of this world, the human, the extraordinary, the demonic and the divine, all together into this living contradiction.

    She had been taught how to tap into her human potential by her teacher and now she would simply have to figure out how to use more than that.

    She exhaled.

    She would not have a lot of time. Her factor allowed her momentary windows of opportunity but no consistent outspeeding of her opponent. But this should be enough. With a harmless tool in her hand she accelerated her own time again, just enough to finish a scribble on her arm.

    Ironic. A prayer for good health.

    Inhale.

    Next she closed her eyes. She needed a better method of tracking than visuals. Focusing her power she not only knew where the curses that boiled inside of Joan were at the moment, she felt confident enough to make a prediction where they were about to be in the event of an attack.

    She already felt the power coursing through her. The multitude of souls sealed inside her praying to the demon that she had become, allowing her to harness a reservoir impossible for most ESPers. A self-sustaining reaction that only needed a target. Releasing it simply all at once would probably obliterate her still mortal body.

    Thankfully having turned her arm into an ofuda in itself provided it with a resistance to these spiritual energies proportional to the energy she chose to channel into it. It acted like a lens for what she was about to unleash.

    Pointing her index finger, eyes still closed, at the charging enemy, the only answer she could muster to her sensei's question was a simple exclamation.

    "Alright..."

    Aoyama saw a third dawn that day...

    "...bang!"

    ...as Suzume Aogami pushed a sun through a needle's eye.

    Deadeye Demon
    Using her eclectic abilities to improve upon the simple lesson of Magic Gunner, Suzume created her own spin on this expulsion technique. Using sealing to stabilize her own body she channels her massive demonic energy reservoir through her arm, allowing her to withstand it without taking too much damage, as well as using her ESP to increase accuracy by predicting enemy movements. While using the basic principles behind Magic Gunner, this technique could not be mimicked by anyone but her.

    If the goal of teaching is an adaptable student able to educate and improve themselves, the existence of this technique in itself proves Liane succesful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Strife ❤️ View Post
    Capitalism has failed me

  7. #3087
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Suzume AOGAMI
    Aoyama - Streets


    "...!"

    In the face of a power that could possible defeat her in a single shot, the last remaining avatar of the Faceless God stops her approach with all of the battle instinct that had been honed over the past eight years. With all of your attacks having been things that she could more or less walk off with some slight amount of difficulty, the appearance of something akin to a "finishing move," a strike that could absolutely beat her outright, forces the mind of the host body to kick into gear and respond with something similar.

    ...Joanna Cross was not good at traditional magic.

    It was a fact that persisted beyond time, unlike her sister, who was all-around strong in most spiritual areas, the youngest of the Cross Line had simply had an innate spiritual reservoir that easily dwarfed that of even thousands of humans, as well as a control of that same power that bordered on the insane...

    Beyond that, her talent with traditional arts was poor, she couldn't draw out ritual circles, her affinity with ofuda and hand-signs was bad, and while she could have perhaps been suited to the Demonic System of magic rather than the human one, she had not been taught any for a number of reasons ranging from a sister that hadn't known of such a system initially herself, or the church that had noticed the 'grudge' that had been attached to her soul and sought not to give it any reason to emerge.

    Regardless, she was poor at those sorts of things, even so-

    Just like you, that flash of memory had awakened something she could use; while there are a number of options available to her defensively if she were to give it some thought, the weakness of the curse had become more and more obvious over time, namely:

    It was an incarnate berserker rage to those unsuited for it. Things like defense are mostly disregarded as irrelevant, all that matters is closing in on the opponent and crushing them beneath their will, for that reason their behavior could be predicted and manipulated quite easily, and while they might try to defend if forced into a situation where they must or lose the body, by the time that chaotic mass of wills realizes that, the time-frame that would have allowed them to simply avoid the shot had long-since passed, so-

    "Tch-!"

    All that's left is to fall back on their usual plan.

    Power against Power; perhaps because it was on their minds already, but the response of the charging girl is also that of a gun; stopping in place before throwing out a fist in the same motion, the intention to blow straight through your own strike is clear.

    ---That sort of thing is the Cross Method after all, overwhelm everything about your opponent with your own 'self.' As far as the memories shown, Joanna Cross should not be inferior to Suzume Oshino in this sort of struggle, if anything the natural prodigy that existed inside of this body should be the superior of the two.

    For that reason they expect to win, for that reason-

    "...What-?!"

    -They are surprised when the two magics meet, and their expectations fall to pieces around the floor; a burst of azure force that overwhelms it's tainted brethren, plowing straight through the expulsion of power with a superior variation on that same technique.

    ---The difference lay in how they had approached the scenario.

    Simply using anything it could get it's hands on, the curse had seen no need to improve on anything due to possessing a superior host; Joanna Cross was about as good a body as they could hope for, if utilized correctly, absolutely nothing, from the Gods borne from humanity, to those that existed far beyond the stars, would be able to get in their way, and yet...

    Where that power represents the culmination of a certain past, it's only because Suzume thinks of the future that she is successful; to be human is to strive ever forward, a power that existed in the past had proven not to be enough, and thus she had improved it with the idea of protecting this 'future.'

    Adapt or fail.

    Evolve or die.

    "Ugh?!"

    That is a lesson that this world is only now beginning to take to heart, and stuck in the past as it was, the winner is obvious from the second that strike is launched, or at least:

    "Ha...HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-!"

    That is what should have happened; the launched power tears straight through it's lesser brethren and slams into Joanna Cross, but the insanity of reality is revealed a moment later, as she 'catches' the strike rather than simply be overwhelmed by it, in other words:

    "EX-!"



    "-CALIBUR: REIMYAKU!"

    She buys herself enough time to reveal the true power of her sacred sword-!

    -Excalibur Reimyaku ~ False Holy Sword of the Sea-
    The sword owned by Joanna Cross, gifted to her by Elizabeth Rosanna Lagerkvist upon her first day as a knight of the church. Said to have been forged with pieces of the original Excalibur, like the other blades of the Rose Cross, it's powers as a holy armament are nevertheless close to the original due to interaction with the sword of William Levilius, and it seems to be able to serve as an "amplification device," as well as a "Gate to the Soul Sea," for Joan.

    While a powerful holy sword, it's true purpose is to serve as a final limiter for the essence of Joan of Arc that resides within her soul, blocking the holy maiden's memories and grudges from affecting her current incarnation by restricting her negative emotions while in use.

    Particularly powerful emotions -or outside influences- however, could overcome this seal; while meant as a positive boon, it seems that having her negative emotions 'dampened' somewhat have made her less able to effectively deal with the curse once it took root inside of her body.


    And just like that, what was going to be an easy victory for one side returns to being an endless struggle for the both of them; while she had failed to properly utilize the past in order to build the future, the introduction of her ever faithful blade is one that the possessed heroine uses to overcome her impending defeat-! As an armament, it allows easier acceleration and control of her inborn holy flames, and simply pouring her power through it allows her to use it as a sort of 'lens' all her own, thus-!

    The struggle tears apart the scenery.

    With much of the city evacuated due to prior emergencies, it is only that lack of life that stops the surrounding area from becoming a calamity all it's own as forces equalize after a time of struggle; now that she's struck back, it's become necessary for you to continue to funnel power throughout your body or risk being blown away, but even as that deep ache takes hold again...

    ---Neither you nor her hold a direct advantage. The power difference isn't great enough for one to be able to overcome the other either through 'bursts' of power or speed, and thus it becomes a battle of stamina, of endurance...

    And for you, that is the worst possible scenario.

    ---While the power of Eclipse was high, there was no ESPer alive that could maintain such an elevated state perpetually; transforming yourself in a more core sense had made the burden easier to bear, but the time when you have to 'change back' will certainly appear at some point in the future, sooner, rather than later, judging by how much much you were forcing out of yourself and-

    In that sense she can outlast you.

    The curse doesn't turn itself out to protect the host, it could care less; if she burns out than she burns out.

    ---It's easy for it to throw people away.

    Even so...

    Even though that grim laugh erupts throughout the area as it feels your soul start to 'flicker' beneath the stress of all of this, you feel perfectly calm, after all...

    Liane had not asked you to beat her.

    Merely slow her down, and in that test...

    You had passed with flying colors.





    "Sorry for the wait, this power's a bit hard to work with, but I'm ready-! Can't get completely shown up just yet-!"

    Only a single thing is needed to tip the scales in the favor of one of you.

    -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 also losing sight of hope. A pure energy, 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.


    A counter-curse.

    The power that she manifests puts out black flames that shouldn't be possible to snuff it.

    The feeling that exists within it... Is hope.

    Of course, being a Cross, it is a counter-curse that exists in the shape of a supernatural strike, a wave of silver light that binds itself to your own strike; it has no need to fight against it, as both powers exist for a common goal, they simply bind together into a singular strike, a perfectly balanced 'will' opposing those black flames of chaos, and-



    -Sensing that now is the time, a last burst sends it through it's counterpart before the target can really react to it.

    The explosion rocks the city, as the last 'remnants' of a God that had already been defeated...

    Joins it's other selves in the darkest depths of a Soul Sea, banished by a light that is far too bright.

    ---That is the result that should come about after a direct hit. The sense of 'victory' that erupts within you as you can confirm a direct strike, becomes something close to dizziness and nausea as both body and soul start complaining about this 'merge' lasting for far too long; you flicker more as things start to recede, as your body tells you to turn it off now or risk not being able to move for the foreseeable future, and yet-

    "...!"

    While the attack that had struck her dead-on had been more than capable of leveling the city, the sound of approaching footsteps reveals a very conscious form of Joanna Cross; the speed is beyond what both you and this battle-damaged Liane are able to put up so fast, and thus-

    The flying tackle that drops the three of you to the ground simply can't be helped.

    ---Instincts almost have your on-the-edge-of-consciousness-body trying to punch her off immediately; the charge is so fast that the mind immediately registers it as an attack, but-



    "..."

    -It's nothing of the sort.

    ---It's a rare vulnerability.

    Arms pinning the both of yours to her side, the girl seems to be sobbing into her sister's chest; judging by the muffled sounds and the tears...

    Something like... "I'm sorry..."

    Is probably being ranted over and over again, and...

    Liane does her best to rub her back with pinned arms, before glancing over at you and...

    "Thank you."

    Mouths something that's easy for you to understand.

    "How many more fights are people going to get into tonight?! It's so unprofessional! The doctors are stressed enough as is-!"

    ...In the distance, a complaining voice, and along with it...

    The footsteps of more people approach...

    Sounds like...

    A hospital soon...
    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. #3088
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Saki Ryuumonbuchi
    Outskirts


    ---A Clock Tower face that bears only nine engravings.

    It is a haunted image, a countdown to the apocalypse amongst stormy skies; so it is only natural for such a thing to appear behind the eyes once they close, a constant grim reminder of the 'reality' that has appeared to the world...

    It's silent vigil could easily cast nightmares, and for many that is what it does... In this world filled with Death it becomes Death in and of itself, a timer towards oblivion, a mark on the conscious that is so great it cannot be ignored, and for that reason it not only invades your eyelids, but the surface of your dreams as well, swooping towards it as if from a bird's eye view, the you that has not meant to fall asleep does so without conscious thought of it.

    ---Below the face-plates, is a massive spider web.

    Inside of that web, lie hundreds butterflies. The image is disturbing on a fundamental level; while you cannot tell whether or not the butterflies are dead, the truth that cannot be denied is that they are -at the very least- motionless, a stillness that might as well be death, the stillness of something being preserved rather than consumed -as if from a spider's collection- and from them, droplets of something -water perhaps- glide towards the front of the web, and to a single...

    Struggling...

    Blue Butterfly.

    It's wings are the same color as that of the Sea of Souls, a gradient blue that flickers with all of the other colors of reality; it is caught, it has been caught in this web for a very long time, and now that it has begun to struggle so feverishly it is only a matter of time until it attracts the attention of the spider. What would you say to such a thing? Those that are already caught should perhaps submit to their fate, after all, none of the other butterflies managed to escape that web...

    It is better to bide one's time until one is noticed naturally perhaps, one will not escape that way, but they might continue to exist for awhile, and yet... As if seeing something on the horizon...

    It struggles.

    It struggles.

    You blink.

    You struggle along with it, a part of that machine called the 'butterfly' and-


    ---

    ---With a start, you come to your senses.

    It had been about an hour. It is not your senses that tell you this, but rather the chime of distant clockwork in other parts of the house; the water remains hot rather than warm, a sign that someone -Belial- had been keeping this going in your place while you slept, but the demon is no longer there, he is simply vacant from his half of the tub, and yet the feeling that you get is that this is a new occurrence, in other words...

    ---It just got up a moment ago.

    And as if to prove that theory correct, the moment you consider it...

    A door softly clicks shut as he leaves the room.

    There's a clear sense of purpose in it's steps, not aimless wandering as you had done before, but steps that carry it forward towards completing a sort of objective, and while it's difficult for you to tell what that objective is...

    It seems...

    He's heading for the Front Gate.
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  9. #3089
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Hitoshira Nagi
    Medical Tent


    "I see, everyone is in agreement then... We certainly did become trapped in a loop of sorts."

    It seems her goal had been to confirm it without a shadow of a doubt. While she had become aware of this scenario through a number of different sources, a part of her hadn't wanted to believe it, or had simply been paranoid about being 'manipulated' in another direction that didn't lead to the truth, but...

    It had come from enough sources.

    There was no way everyone was compromised, thus:

    "So this is how things could have been..."

    The Goddess herself doesn't seem to be in the picture, but she seems capable of appreciating it for what it is; it's the happy memory of someone made manifest, a photo taken with one's friends at the height of their happiness... Likely amidst some sort of festival, judging by the sight of fireworks in the skies of the distant horizon, and...

    "The one responsible for the loop is in this image."

    She knows who it is, your instincts tell you the same thing; whoever was responsible had made a deal with the Devourer, if nothing else, such a person would likely appear as one of the 'final opponents' tomorrow, even if not of their own will, and-

    "I suppose they must be saved as well."

    -She simply states such a thing like a fact, and then:

    "As for the photo, I agree, I am somewhat jealous... I am not in this one."

    Of course she wouldn't be present in it...

    This world's original purpose was a world for humanity and humanity alone, a Goddess, even a friendly one, was not likely to be involved in the movements of humans in such a world, and thus-!

    With a snap of her fingers, an older camera -Polaroid, instant- appears in her hands.

    "...I want to be in this one."

    ---Childish.

    Beneath that mature and wise aura, a somewhat childish goddess exists.

    ---It's not completely unexpected.

    "Although there's a lot of us... I wonder if they'll agree?"
    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. #3090
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Mikagura Mika
    Aoyama Ruins


    The words themselves seem to trigger a change in that aquatic canvas.

    The lights that had been so still begin to streak across the surface of the lake, as if the lights themselves were aware of the many emotions drifting atop the surface of their lake. In many ways they are not real stars, they are the stars that exist inside of the heart, the stars that humanity makes for themselves when their true counterparts seem to disappear; and yet their existence itself is one that heralds a single truth-

    "Together, huh?"

    -That the light of her smile can shine even brighter than them, the brightest star of them all.

    ---What is in a wish?

    Are they impossible hopes, or a way of giving shape to the path one wishes to follow until the end... To throw a light into the future, or make manifest a single simple prayer in hopes that someone will answer...

    There are many things inside of a wish.

    Many things to wish for; all of them she is willing to fight to the death for, but...

    Eyes wander over the sparkling ocean. It is not a normal sight, it is a miracle that exists for their sake; a small movement of lights made manifest by those that hold a sense of warmth even now, but in spite of it's rarity...

    Her eyes stay on you for far longer.

    ---That is where her 'answer' appears.

    "Alright... My wish..."

    Intertwined hands squeeze, ever so gently.

    "I want us to still be together at the end of this; as long as that prayer is answered... I can't ask for anything else."

    ---It's a cliche, but it's one she's more than willing to embrace.

    It's a wish that will inevitably extend far beyond it's original boundaries, that will move to 'protect' everyone close to her; but here, when she's looking at you...

    In that moment...

    It was a wish to protect the one that made up her 'world.'

    ---Yes, it's certainly a cliche, but-

    That crimson-tinged smile... Can't be called anything but the truth.
    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?



  11. #3091
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Makoto Fujioka
    Mongeau Residence – Starlight

    ---Did you regret it?

    The answer was a firm: Probably not. While the usual trip aboard the Kyoko-Express was a blur of motion and terror-filled adrenaline, the Kyoko that shoots you a mischievous grin as you give in to her whims and leap into her arms, is one that goes about things at a much more reasonable pace.

    ---She takes the long way around, as if wanting to see as much of the city as possible before returning not to the campsite -as you had expected- but rather to the home that you had seemed to spend less and less time in over the past few weeks. There's a lot of activity, a lot of civilian life, all running around with an energy and passion that had seemed so drained away months before; there is no one fearing the monsters that lurk in the alleyways, merely humans with a mission to save and comfort as many of their fellow humans as possible, and in that respect...

    ---Humanity's best sides come out at these times.

    At the end of tragedies, as if the receding darkness reveals the brightest lights.

    When pushed towards the edge... That is when humanity shines the brightest.

    ---There are lights on when you arrive at home, and something resembling a suit of armor -or some sort of mech from an anime- in the driveway. The house was not particularly far from the park, so it is not unheard of that Claire would make her way back here, and...

    ---Somehow it feels right.

    Going back through the motions of a far more normal day, one more time, before everything is decided for good...

    There's no moon, but the lights illuminate the driveway.

    ---Three-Clock.

    ---Five hours remain.

    Inside...

    Claire lies draped over the kitchen table, and Yoko-Sensei (who seems to have followed her home)...

    Is seemingly asleep on the couch.
    Last edited by Airen; Yesterday at 07:03 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. #3092
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Interlude
    Those Who Face The Future
    "Clock-Tower II"

    ---The tower begins to sound at six-o-clock.

    It's a deep resonant gong that echoes -literally- around the entirety of the planet itself; it is a sound that truly marks the beginning of the final hours, a time for those that had been resting to awaken once more, or to shake themselves from their reverie and prepare to face what must be their own Creator.

    It is a warning, nothing more.

    For that God's purposes, there is nothing to be gained from launching a surprise attack on humanity. Even to those who have only glimpsed it a single time, that much of it's motivations is clear; it wants to face humanity at their best.

    Is it out of respect for them? A final goodbye from a God that had watched over their endless struggles with a trained eye? A desire to reassert what it means to be a True God to those that would dare try to surpass it's unparalled divinity? Or is there something more to it, a hidden motive that would not and could not be revealed until the time is right...?

    It is impossible to say.

    Impossible to know.

    All those that have chosen to fight can do...

    Is prepare to step into the future.


    ---}i{---

    In the end, Koizumi Sora -Geirin Kuzunoha- is a Demon Summoner.

    It is her duty to be the hero that stands up to defend the world; defeating a God that could obliterate reality is not something that humanity has never done, the sheer fact that they continue to exist now is proof that other humans have defied "Absolute Gods" in the past, even so...

    There had been a certain sense of unease.

    All it takes is a single failure.

    Even so... In the end, she was a Demon Summoner. Attempting to do preparations like Nakamura or Cross, those direct magical counters, was not and never would be her forte. Digging around in books would accomplish little, just as her goddaughter had said it would, so...

    Instead...

    "Then the contract is sealed... I'll be counting on you, Masakado."

    She does what is natural to her, reuniting with the "Guardian Deity" that had been her sword once before...

    In a time long removed from this one.


    ---}i{---

    There had been no body to bury, but she had made him a memorial anyway.

    A new name etched into a stone monument, another exorcist joining the hundreds of others who had fallen on that day eight years ago... For her it is an unexpected tale, if nothing else, she had expected that he would be the one to one day mourn her, and yet, in the end...

    Here she was...

    It's bitter. She had come out here alone so that no one would see her cry, and yet, at the end of it all, her heart had not sank beneath despair.

    There were still things she needed to do, not just for his sake, but for her own.

    What did she want?

    It was a question that haunted her ever since she had been asked it so directly, and it had brought forth lots of memories that were both painful and heartwarming. Living for her own sake... That was what he had wanted her to do, and something she had forgotten how to do, in the mess that was this world, this repeating tragedy, the impending doom of an absolute apocalypse, but...

    Now... She was starting to remember... Who "Gisela Seyfarth" was...

    "...Moron."

    Speaking to an empty monument, she somehow knows that his soul must be listening anyway.

    Her words will reach him.

    "Cuter in glasses huh? Those were you last words? Well, I guess I'll put em back on..."

    ---In the end, it's still hard for her to be completely honest.

    But to live not just for others, but also for her own sake... And to not remain alone.

    Those had been his wishes... And now that she thought about it...

    They were her own as well...

    "So smile... I'll finish all of this, so..."

    Taking his bow with her, the ESPer known for being the "Strongest," starts back towards camp.

    "...you can rest easy."



    ---}i{---

    A former villain hears the deep bells, and watches a sky full of gathering clouds; an approaching storm that won't just cover this city, but the entirety of Planet Earth as well in a show of casual omnipotence.

    ---To him, this is a scenario he has feared for a long time.

    Far more than his current self would ever truly be able to comprehend, and yet his heart does not falter.

    ---He had promised.

    To give it his all one last time, and believe in the "power" that had defeated him. It is impossible for humanity to defeat the Devourer, and yet, beyond that impossibility, lies a happy ending that he would like to reach...

    ---Reaching that impossibility was humanity's specialty.

    If the chance is zero, than change that zero.

    Nothing more, nothing less.

    ---Soon, his presence will become necessary. Others will see him before they deploy, even so...

    He has no intention of running away, he will face the consequences of his own actions.

    ---For Ryota Yagami, that too was an important promise to keep.


    ---}i{---

    "...COMPs huh? And these models even seem to come with some pretty absurd powers."

    ---For Kazuya, such things bring back a simple nostalgia.

    Devices that always seem to appear when the world teeters on the edge of destruction, the feeling of one clasping his wrist brings back overflowing memories -not all pleasant- and yet he acknowledges the necessity of it in spite of his slight dislike for it.

    ---After all, he had chosen to fight.

    It was something of a whim at first, and yet now, wanting to believe that others would succeed where he failed, a former "Messiah" -one who has been long forgotten- sits alone, watching a darkening sky as he ponders his own future.

    ---A chuckle.

    ...In the end, it probably doesn't matter.

    As long as he protects those he had sworn to protect, than his own fate was somewhat irrelevant.

    And he would protect her.

    Above all other things, no matter how much of himself he had to throw away, he would protect her...

    As well as the world she had come to love.

    ---So there was nothing for him to worry about, merely another "Creator" to defeat.

    Even thinking about it so casually, so calmly, as he had done many times before...

    His knuckles turn white in their grip on his ever-faithful blade, and-




    -The drone of the clock-tower continues on...

    All stories head towards their absolute conclusion.


    Interlude Out
    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?



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