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Thread: Nightfall (IC)

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    アカシャの蛇 The Serpent of Akasha RacingeR's Avatar
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    Nightfall (IC)

    The romance between the man and the woman came to an end, along with their lives, there under the crimson moon, under the distorted, cracked sky.

    Yet, the man couldn’t help to laugh, leaning against his partner, even as his body fell apart. There were no regrets that could be seen in his face: his eyes were clear, clearer than they had been during his twenty-five years of life. Although he leaned against the woman’s frame, his body slowly disappearing, he showed no pain… instead, he seemed perfectly tranquil.

    “What is there to laugh about?” Their killer asked idly, as he watched the couple’s death throes. His voice, accustomed to enunciate long and passionate speeches, carried over throughout the bloodied rooftop and even beyond. Although he did not sound very interested in the answer, his cold gray eyes did never abandon the man’s. “All your friends are dead, and all your schemes have come to naught. Your actions have all been pointless. You should have known that Izanami always triumphs.”

    “You would… never understeand, Uryuu.” The man replied, pronouncing each word with difficulty. Then, this time it was the turn of the woman to laugh, as she cradled the love of her life in her arms, her eyes filled with equal parts pride and madness as she stared their killer down.

    “The invincible Izanami? Our schemes? Fuck that!” The woman exclaimed. Despite her imminent death, she remained standing tall, beautiful and powerful until the very end. “All we wanted was to be free of this sick game, to end it all! And we knew that it was impossible, that we were destined for defeat! This game is already lost, it was lost since the very beginning!”

    “So, we decided to stick it to Izanami, to all the others, to the world, to the game!” The woman shouted, fieriness present in her expression as if she was reciting her creed, her guiding principle and belief. “We wanted to carve it into this world! We were here! We fought here! We existed here! You would never understand…”

    “We just wanted to carve into this world, with all our power…” The man continued, as he disappeared.

    “We… existed!” The woman concluded, shouting towards the bloody moon hanging in the sky.

    And as they did so, they reached towards their weapons…

    Two gunshots interrupted the silence of the distorted night.


    1 - A Crack In The World / Aries


    “Many times, I asked fellow Powers about rare sightings in the Cosmos, hungry as I was for more knowledge. I asked many of my fellow researchers, as well as other individuals who had seen many strange things, who had explored places forbidden. The Angel of Erosion spoke to me about the castle at the Center of Everything. The World-Ender spoke about the limits of Existence, the very borders of reality. Ramiel spoke about the First Titanomachy in the distant past and of that forbidden world. But the episode that offered the most interesting insight was casual, unplanned. I happened, one day, to encounter the Slayer of Gods in a bar, while exploring a certain world. He was drinking hard liquor when I approached, and asked him my question. He laughed at me for a good while, then said that the strangest, most horrible of sights can be found in one’s own backyard… if one’s willing to look hard enough.
    I have been unable to sleep ever since.
    -Extract from the Grimoire of Aohzar, Chapter IX.


    Elora Griffin
    April 3rd – Evening
    Nakano, Amaterasu High School – Student Council room

    You were on the road to the school, walking the few streets that separated your house from the school. Both you and your cousin lived near the school, so you could easily get there by walking, and had a meeting point with Rika halfway through… although she spent the night at your house most of the time, anyway. Especially since…

    Avoiding that train of thought, especially since you had decided to continue attending school despite it all, you continued forward, one step at a time, until…

    Your gaze fell into a figure that seemed familiar. Pure white hair, shimmering orange eyes, a few centimeters taller than you, clad in a white dress… the first thing you feel, when you notice the lady observing you, is that her similarity with Rika is startling, enough for you to stop in your tracks, surprised.

    The woman and you exchanged a completely silent stare for what felt like hours, yet was probably just a few minutes. Then, the woman sighed, gently shaking her head to herself, before turning around and walking away before you could say anything. You had been left rooted to the spot, feeling very confused, until a startled Rika had walked from the usual meeting spot to find you.

    ----------

    “Hey, Griffin, you with me?” A somewhat rude voice roused you from your thoughts. You were seated in your spot at the head of the table in the Student Council’s room, and had been lost in your memories of this morning for a while. You hadn’t even noticed when your vice-president had arrived.

    “… Are you okay? Elora-san?” Oogami Sakura had been your rival for the Student Council election, and you had been two very passionate rivals, clashing against each other in intense speeches, butting heads over all kinds of topics. You had won the election, which had been a surprising upset. Sakura was popular, extremely so, to the point some called her the third queen of the school (the first two being, of course, Shiratori Kaguya and Laura Leonhardt), although she had never cared much for forming a clique around herself. She was, well, perfect, in practically everything, much like the traditional image of a student council president, and was filthy rich to boot. That you had managed to eke out a win was a complete surprise. This had happened a year ago.

    After you had won, you had found yourself in a somewhat embarrassing position: it had been somewhat hard to find people to fill in the positions in your council, and you were very short of personnel. At that point, Sakura had said something to the effect of ‘geez, I might as well help you out, just this once’ and had remained as your vice-president since then, and would remain so for the rest of this year, as well. You had become fast friends, although she would always just call you by your surname, without honorifics, and only use your name or show any sort of friendliness when you were alone, like now. The rest of the council should be arriving soon.

    Your former rival was staring at you with badly disguised concern. Your mother had fallen into a coma and become one of the Lost, which was how people had taken to call them. Your friends, and those in the student council in particular, had shown a great deal of concern over it, but had otherwise tactfully avoided the topic. Your friend was definitely thinking about that right now, but even this strong-willed vice-president of yours was nervous when it came to this particular topic.


    Masayoshi Kotetsu
    April 3rd – Evening
    Shinjuku, Streets – Yamagumi Bar

    You gave your companion the stink-eye.

    Shiomata Katsuo shrugged. “ ‘s what’s around, what did’ya expect?”

    You groaned at the injustice of the world. Of course, if you wanted a nearby bar in Shinjuku, which served serviceable alcohol then the Yamagumi Bar was a good option, given that your usual bar was closed today. And apparently there wasn’t another one around in a three-kilometer radius, something truly preposterous in your opinion. You usually avoided establishments associated with uh, your line of work when off the clock, and the Yamagumi was a known Kamiyama-gumi front.

    And it also made you think about your wife, and the fact that it had been almost two months since she had fallen into her seemingly eternal sleep.

    The thought made you feel overcome with a need for alcohol, and you shrugged, entering the establishment in a bid to forget these unwelcome thoughts. Katsuo shuffled behind you, shaking his head. The interior was busy, but cozy enough, and despite the quantity of people, it was fresher than the unseasonable warmth that had invaded the streets. Nobody paid you two any attention as you made your way to the bar and towards two free seats. The same news program from before was blaring at a high volume from the nearby TV, and you noticed quite a lot of the patrons were staring at it, not missing any word, but you weren’t on the mood to pay attention to the gossip.

    Katsuo asked for the usual drinks. As always, nobody could keep the big man away from his whisky. You were fairly sure he’d wrestle a damn bear for his whisky. And he’d probably win the fight, too. You noticed the bartender looking at you once, then doing a discrete double take, before hesitating momentarily, and reaching over under the counter to pull a bottle of the good shit.

    Then, you finally caught some words of the news program, that made you immediately snap your neck to stare at the TV, disbelieving.

    “…and that is all we know about the disappearance of USA’s President, George Baumer. The mystery has only deepened since the first reports a hour ago, and as expected, there is a complete lack of details about how such a thing came to happen. The vice-president has taken command of the country, and has refused to answer questions for now, saying that they’re still investigating…”

    “Th’ hell?” Katsuo said. It seemed like a very appropriate comment. You shuffled in your seat, taking your eyes away from the newscaster for a brief moment, and caught someone entering the bar through the corner of your eye. The figure was covered by a very baggy longcoat, and shuffled somewhat awkwardly to the side. You also noticed that said figure left a small trail behind, a trail of sticky red liquid…

    “Blood?” Mumbled your companion, who seemed to have followed your glare towards the figure. You were the only two who had noticed, as the rest of the patrons and employees were all staring intently at the news.


    Shiratori Kaguya
    April 3rd – Evening
    Shinjuku, Streets – Near Yamagumi Bar

    You were fairly sure by now that you had overestimated your friend’s sense of direction. You could feel Laura Leonhardt’s increasing nervousness through your linked hands as well, and you understood that you were probably lost.

    Not that it was that big of a deal, given that you could easily hail a cab, or ask for directions, but it was somewhat counterproductive. Plus, you had at some point wandered into a part of the city that really did not fit the words “good neighborhood”. You had to admit that heading out with no other plan but to wander the streets and trip into something had proved inefficient at best. You had gained no clues whatsoever after quite a while of wandering.

    “Yeah. We need a better plan of action.” Laura stopped, rubbing her eyes in irritation with her other hand. She hadn’t let go of you all this while, and you had the feeling the blonde was afraid you’d wander out in your own if left to your own devices. “Maybe we should-“

    “Yo, if it ain’t our school’s queens. The heck you doing here?” A very rude voice interrupted Laura while she was speaking. You looked towards the streets, near the bar, and spotted two faces you knew well.

    The one who had spoken was sitting on the sidewalk, hair dyed a pale blonde, which only accentuated the near-unnatural pallor of her skin, her fingers wrapped around a lit cigarette. Her name was Hitomori Rinko. The girl with the pink dyed hair standing at her side was holding her phone, and seemed to only have noticed you just now. She bounced up to you.

    “Hi~ Shiratori~ Leonhard~ weird to see you girls around here!” She said in a happy, peppy voice as she jumped up, as if meeting you two here was the most exciting thing ever. Her name was Motohara Rei, and along with Rinko, they were a very well-known delinquent duo in Amaterasu High, with both of them attending your class. Well, sort of, Rei showed up frequently, but Rinko had only showed up twice to class so far.

    “It is Leonhardt, Motohara-san. I keep having to correct you every time…” Laura replied in dismay. Rei was… well, pretty much inoffensive. She was cute, bubbly, and managed to get along with everyone despite her delinquent status. It wasn’t even the first time you two had talked. Rinko, on the other hand… had a much worse reputation. You had heard she had been involved with some fairly nasty incidents, and had been on the verge of dropping out of school last year.

    “Cut the crap.” The blonde girl took a drag out of her cigarette. “The hell are you two doing out here? Ya got any idea of how dangerous is for two girls to wander the streets alone at night?” She sounded like a mix of surprise and amazement. “Especially this place, it’s fuckin’ Yakuza territory, didn’t ya know?”


    Mizunoue Mizuki
    April 3rd – Evening
    Shibuya, Otonokizaka High School – Literature Club room

    Silence reigned in the room. It had reigned for a hour. Both you and your vice-president had your eyes firmly glued to your respective books, although nobody had turned a page in a good half-hour. Once in a while, despite yourselves, you’d find your eyes moving by themselves to stare at the empty old couch off to a side.

    The girl that would, sometimes, jokingly add ‘-nee’ to your name was still not there. You should have moved her couch to a corner of the room or something, you surmised, but no one had the heart to even bring the topic up. In fact, this situation had been going on ever since the school year had started.

    There was a solid half-hour more of silence. You usually bantered your heart out. This was not right. Maybe someone should say something. You both stared at the empty couch at the same time.

    “Ah, damnit.” Tendou Touma grabbed his coffee, and emptied the cup with in a single, practiced motion. “Okay.”

    “Maybe we should do something.”

    Not the most inspired words to start a life-changing event up, but it was a start nonetheless.


    Yuu Kurogami
    April 3rd – Evening
    Nakano, Amaterasu High School - Entrance

    You were bored.

    Given that Elora was busy in the student council, and your favorite… let’s say prey, to define that relationship in some way, was in a coma… you didn’t have much to do. Even though most people seemed to be ignoring the incidents, even your accustomed social circle had started going to their houses earlier, which had ended leaving you in the lurch, at least school-wise.

    You could always go hang out with your gang, you guessed, but then again, you weren’t sure if they’d be around today. You’d probably have to call the members and get them to go to the usual spot and… it just felt like a pain in the ass, at least today. But maybe…

    “What about investigating what happened to Koga-sensei, Miss?”

    Well, you could always count with your maid to bring up ideas in these moments. Aragaki Kaede was the kind of person always up for watching the world burn. And you did feel like something new today…

    But how would you even go about it?


    Amano Kaede
    April 3rd – Evening
    Bunkyo, Near Tokyo University – The Beefiest Steak

    You had used to frequent this restaurant a lot a year back or so, when Edmund still studied there. Incredibly lame pun aside, this place was loved by the university’s students because it was very cheap, relatively tasty, and gave enough volume per portion to satisfy hungry 20-somethings desperately cramming for bullshit exams. That was a hard to find balance.

    You stared as Detective Edmund Yorks devoured his steak like the hungriest ghost to ever have trodden the underworld. You had to say that in the week since you had last met, he seemed to have lost a considerable amount of weight, and had gained circles around his eyes. You also frowned as you eyed the cigarette he was holding on one hand… thankfully, the restaurant had certain designated zones in which nobody would say anything even if you spontaneously morphed into a human chimney, but still, you knew that your close friend only smoked when he was extremely nervous.

    “They’re working us to the bone, what with all the strange bullshit that has been happening around the city, not that any of us have any idea of how to even start investigating this.” The man paused, evidently noticing that maybe it was a better idea to be tactful about this topic. It had been a month since your younger brother had fallen into a coma, becoming one of the Lost.

    And of course, you had the feeling that the man hadn’t just called you to your old meeting spot just to complain at you.

    “Look, you know about the, let’s call them strange incidents, springing all over Tokyo, right?” Edmund moved his coat to the side, evidently bothered by the unseasonable warmth. Through the window, you could see that the sky was clear, except for dark clouds slowly accumulating in the distance. There’d be a storm tomorrow for sure. “I mean, you haven’t been forgetting about them at all, right?”

    He heaved a sigh. “There are quite a lot of people in the department that haven’t been forgetting about them either, which I’m really thankful for but… what I mean is…” He rubbed his eyes, tiredly. He looked like he hadn’t slept a wink in many days.

    “My partner, Matsumoto Mizuki fell into a coma five days ago. And… there’s some strange stuff going on in the police department. I got some… clues, and I really need someone to talk to, that I can trust. And… someone to have my back.”


    Mizuhara Mitsuki
    April 3rd – Evening
    Nakano, Amaterasu High School – Entrance

    You said your goodbyes to your classmates, and exited the school along with your best friend. As if it was natural, Shimazaki Kaori held your sleeve, and you were fairly sure that if there wasn’t so many people around, she’d have grabbed your hand too.

    “Where do you want to go now?” She asked in her usual serious tone, although you had a faint idea of what she intended. Ever since your aunt had become one of the Lost, falling into a coma more than a week ago, Kaori had never left your side, going so far as to occupy a room in your house to keep you company. You had wondered what her parents had to say to this, going by your knowledge of social norms, but apparently it was alright for her to live with you. She worried and fussed over you in a way that was unlike her usual stoic façade.

    Thing was that your usual routine so far had been either to go straight home in Nerima after school, and spend your time with Kaori, or go to the nearby hospital to visit your aunt. The words of your friend implied that she wanted to vary the routine at least a bit, if only for the sake of distracting you from the situation, even if briefly so.

    You took your eyes away from the other ‘people’ going around you, blinking, the usual strange scenery displayed to you in all of its… picturesque glory. You had become accustomed to it long ago. The only unusual thing today were the golden and silver dolls, but these were still within the bounds of normalcy.

    It seemed that if you wished to vary your routine, it’d be up to you to decide how.


    Taka Nishi
    April 3rd – Evening
    Hachioji, Izanami Hotels – Room 408

    You had finished your usual visit to your little sister, languishing as she was in a room of the Izanami hospital in Hachioji. It was a private, discrete institution, a patient in there would be quite hard to track.

    You had moved through the streets in a roundabout manner, keeping an eye on your surroundings, before entering an alley, discarding your usual disguise, and reappearing on the other side, and then entering the luxury hotel where you had been staying when you came to visit. All precautions couldn’t be enough, given the nature of your trade and your sister’s situation. You had gone out of your way to put her in a private hospital as far away as possible from your usual base of operations in Shinjuku. The hotel was hard to track as well, and you hadn’t used your legitimate name for it, paying with hard cash. It was not foolproof, but nobody from the company that owned the hotel (which also owned the hospital) had asked any questions.

    Climbing to the elevator, you moved to the fourth floor without incidents, and entered the room you had used as a base the last few days.

    Mei raised her head upon seeing you enter the room. You could see no tears on her face, presenting a strong-willed façade, but you noticed the corner of her eyes was slightly red. Yet, the stare she sent you still had the force to make a rabid elephant back away. You shook your head silently, and your mother sighed.

    There were still no news. Even the staff of the famed Izanami hospitals seemed at a loss when it came to these strange comas. There simply wasn’t a discernible medical cause for them, and apart from the need to be fed and have their necessities attended, the victims of this curse of sorts seemed to be able to keep on living. Their cerebral activity remained as if they were in a deep sleep, as well. As if they were trapped in an endless dream.

    “What now?” Mei asked. It was a simple question, but one with many implications. The both of you knew this… Lost epidemic had to be related to the strange incidents that had been happening all over Tokyo, and had decided to investigate them. However…

    You had to start from some point, and that was, perhaps, the hardest part of this whole situation. The nature of the incidents remained vague, thanks to this weird forgetfulness that seemed to afflict the majority of the city’s population, and it was hard to find a common thread on it all. Pure chaos, was what this was.
    Last edited by RacingeR; October 1st, 2017 at 04:14 AM.


    quotes
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1984 View Post
    Besides, I don't see what's so terrible about looting anyway. It's only property, they're not actually harming anyone.
    Quote Originally Posted by lantzblades View Post
    when I say hero I don't mean hero in the spirit sense. I mean a morally grounded, good natured person who doesn't slaughter innocent people. No such person exists in the Nasuverse.
    [00:12] <~Katie> i can't defy my origin
    [00:12] <~Katie> of gay memes

    [16:15] <~Katie> lesbians has always been my gimmick and i will exploit it to the fullest

    [22:56] <@Sei> airen is pegging hero this time
    [22:56] <@Sei> for once airen isn't the uke
    [22:56] <@Kuroyuki> I thought Air was the Woman in the Relationship?
    [22:56] <@Airen> Yeah I kinda thought I was the girl too!

  2. #2
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Elora Griffin
    April 3rd – Evening
    Nakano, Amaterasu High School – Student Council room

    Who had she been?

    Sitting with her eyes closed, head resting on intertwined hands, the act of gently bombarding herself with questions is one that had become more and more common over the past few weeks. The reasons were multi-fold, recognizing it as something strange, a different kind of strange event to pile on top of all of the other strange incidents, it was something that had stuck out in her mind as important, something worth thinking about even if only a little, but...

    That wasn't all, in reality...

    "..."

    Thinking about these sorts of things, a meeting with a strange woman that resembled her cousin, the cracks in the sky, the students that went back and forth on their awareness of what was going on...

    When she thought about these things, it was easier to forget about the unchanging situation at the hospital. Her only comfort was that her mother at least seemed peaceful, sleeping silently without emotion, she didn't seem to be in pain, and that, at least, was a good thing but...

    "..."

    Her teeth clench without realizing, and even though her eyes are closed, for a moment, they burn with a familiar heat that she automatically forces back, not wanting her eyes to look red and flushed when the others got here, and-

    Quote Originally Posted by Sakura
    “Hey, Griffin, you with me?”
    -It was perhaps good that she had resisted the urge to tear up, as it seems that someone had snuck into the room while she had been lost in her thoughts.

    Even so-

    Quote Originally Posted by Sakura
    “… Are you okay? Elora-san?”
    -It seemed that it was still showing on her face.

    "Oh, Sakura-san...!"

    Upon realizing this the girl's reaction is immediate, she was supposed to be the ever cheerful and confident council president, so she opens her eyes with an assuring smile that doesn't seem to hesitate.

    "I'm fine, I'm fine," nodding even though she doesn't really feel it, the blonde girl laughs as if this really wasn't something to worry about, "Griffin Code #7: Get knocked down seven times, get up eight! Life's going for that knockout blow, but it won't be that easy-!" It's a good mimicry of her usual self, but, trying to hold that flawless smile for more than a few seconds...

    Was exhausting in it's own way, and she feels it slip right at the end, the smile faltering to something else...

    Although even if it hadn't...

    This person was good at spotting that sort of thing anyway, so...

    "...Is it showing on my face already?"

    She admits to a few cracks in her usual composure, a light sigh, a sound that didn't sound right coming from her, escaping where she had confined it within her chest.

    "I don't want to worry anyone... Things will get better... It'll work out in the end."

    Who was she trying to convince here?
    Last edited by Airen; October 1st, 2017 at 03:39 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. #3
    秩序 Order Erlkonig's Avatar
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    Amano Kaede
    April 3rd – Evening
    Bunkyo, Near Tokyo University – The Beefiest Steak


    "Well, what do you know?"

    Pink lips curled into a bitter, willful smile at the sad state of the man before her, as Kaede looked at her friend with an amber gaze laced with both anger, sadness and concern. Dainty hands which were tense and shaky with barely-concerned nervousness reached out to a pair of beer cans sitting on the table, hooking a manicured nail on the lid to flip it open with practiced ease.

    While she took one for herself, raising it to her face and rubbing its cold exterior on her smooth cheek to feel the soothing cold wash over her, the other slid towards her friend in need, briefly dashing through the tablecloth before it stopped cold next to Edmund's plate.

    The world might be going bumfuck insane, but at least one thing's the same-
    Kaede thought with a dark humor. I'm still prettier than the handsome, mysterious 'Sir' Edmund. Guess he's not going to have any luck with Tokyo's ladies looking like that right now.

    Ignoring that train of thought, funny as it might be, Kaede turned her gaze back to her friend and finished the line she'd started before she chugged her beer in gulps.

    "Life sucks."

    And ain't that the truth. Kaede imagined there was a lot of people who would call the both of them fools for calling their life shitty when both of them appeared to have their life set for themselves. Who wouldn't want to be a celebrity (however mild a celebrity Kaede might be, though the size of the Otaku community would beg to differ), or be a bona-fide member of the nobility, like Edmund? (Forget the fact that he'd taken most of what made him a noble and threw it at his relatives to tell them to 'stuff it'.)

    A lot of people, Kaede surmised, were idiots.

    But she never imagined they could've been so idiotic as to ignore how the world was crumbling around them.

    As tempting as that might have been, given the existential fear that even Kaede through her impenetrable aloof mask could not help but feel, it was impossible for Kaede to ever imitate those idiots and forget what was happening.

    Yuuta. Kaede's heart faltered, the smirk on her face breaking for a moment as the true state of her heart revealed itself, looking at her haggard friend as the image of her absent little brother flashed through her mind.

    Almost by reflex, Kaede's hands tightened on the emptied beer can around her hands, the soft aluminium yielding under the surprisingly tight grip of her fingers.

    She stopped when she felt the prickling of the crushed metal, though. It wouldn't do to cut herself on that edge, when Edmund appeared to be gathering all the negativity in the world towards himself. If she started bleeding out, the two of them might actually look like a matching pair.

    And let it be known that Kaede, prideful as she was, would not show weakness in front of a friend that needed her.

    Even if she wanted to do nothing but wail like a baby in impotent rage.

    "<<A task so daunting even the gallant 'Sir' Yorks has made no progress towards a solution? Good Lord!>>" Kaede voiced out playfully, her uncharacteristically smooth English a product of studying in Japan's most prestigious university. "<<My word, it appears that the courage of England's most brave only goes so far to grant them the favour of the Goddess of Victory. Bloody hell, am I right?>>"

    She shrugged off the uncomfortable gazes of the other Japanese around her, though the few that were from her university took a look at the situation and chuckled politely. More importantly, she looked at her friend, who seemed to be torn between throwing a half-hearted glare at her mockery of a British accent or laughing despite the situation.

    Good, Kaede thought morosely. I could use something funny right now.

    "...Still, I'm surprised." Her meal long since finished, in comparison to the mammoth pile of food her friend had ordered, the girl leaned forwards with an unhappy expression on her face, her pretty eyebrows lowering into a frown. "Are you really asking me if you can trust me? I thought you'd know the answer to that by now."

    She couldn't remember the last time that she had failed Edmund in something he asked of her. Nor did she expect to- Kaede might have had ninety-nine problems, but being a bitch wasn't one. She would never out her friends, and while she was iffy on family, those she really connected with might as well have been called the family she lacked in the form of her career-obsessed, absentee parents.

    Which is to say, Edmund was like the older brother she never had. And much as she wouldn't like to admit it, Kaede had depended on the man more than once, as the only older figure in her life.

    If he needed her back now of all times, and if this was related to her little brother...

    Well, there was no need to ask what Kaede's answer to that would be.

    "Better not to talk here if it's such a sensitive topic though, Mr. Sherlock." Kaede teased in her sing-song voice, a pitch which echoed pleasantly on the ears like the ringing of bells. As she leaned forward, her eyes glowed.

    Edmund saw the danger too late, in the cruel playfulness therein.

    The eyes of the people around the restaurant went wide as the girl leaned over the table, her finger booping the Englishman's nose as she spoke with a voice that was lower by an octave, making the transition from 'cute' to 'MY DICK' in a flat second. "If we're going to discuss something private, it should be in my apartment..."

    "A-l-o-n-e~"

    With each intoned vowel, she tapped her manicured finger on the man's nose, finally reaching out to pluck the cigarrete from his lips and snuff out the long, undoubtedly phallic object against the ash tray.

    Then she pulled back fast as lightning, giggling as the dark stares of countless virgin university students lowered themselves upon the unfortunate Englishman, cursing his name and his ancestors down to his seventh great-grandfather.

    As a cavalcade of murmurs that sounded suspiciously close to 'Riajuu' and 'Explode' echoed through the restaurant, Kaede looked at her brother figure with a triumphant, smug expression.

    Behind that, though, her eyes clearly displayed a different message, the smile on her face looking less genuine.

    Don't worry, the concern in Kaede's eyes echoed, together with the sad twist at the edge of her lips. You're not alone in this.

    And if it was up to Kaede, he would never be.
    Last edited by Erlkonig; October 1st, 2017 at 03:52 PM.
    Arthur-san is my waifu
    [20:57] frantic: I can't even remember what opinions I actually hold about the thing compared to shit I made up to piss people off
    [17:13] Airen: Its not an airen character unless gay

  4. #4
    Overly devoted enthusiasm... fufufu~ Ayakashi's Avatar
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    Mizuhara Mitsuki



    April 3rd – Evening
    Nakano
    Amaterasu High School – Entrance


    Spiritual Rank:
    1
    Self:
    100



    'A massive stage upon which the curtains never fall, an immaculate, 'perfect' world, inhabited by dolls. Clinically clean, every material cleaned or treated to be as shiny and glossy as possible, mirroring the purity of its inhabitants...'


    ...a world just like the one I know, really.

    There are times I wonder wherever this is all a dream, a very long dream that someday, I'll wake up from. But then I've grown accustomed to this dream, really, to the point where it has become my reality. The mechanical movement of everything, the clapping and ratcheting of wood and clockwork parts as 'people' move about... that is Mizuhara Mitsuki's world -- a world which is alive, yet so lifeless.

    But there is someone who is not a doll in this world, who is still human -- well, there are two of them, but one of them currently is sick... so that leaves only her: my childhood friend, Kaori-san, walking side by side with me, tugging away at my sleeve as to make sure I don't get lost.

    Her skin is not pale, cold to the touch; her eyes are bright and filled with life, staring at me and giving me a sense of presence, unlike the jewelled eyes of dolls which seem to be staring altogether unto another world far beyond; her movements are natural, flowing and smooth... she is a person, she is human. She is different.

    And that's why--

    Quote Originally Posted by Shimazaki Kaori
    Where do you want to go now?
    'Glomp!'

    "Let's go have some delicious cake and a nice cup of coffee!"

    The feel of soft and delicate skin as I wrap my arms around her, the fragrant smell of shampoo as I cuddle up to her back, the warmth of a living being as hold onto her... it's something I can't feel anymore, except whenever I get close to Kaori. This long-lost feeling of 'humanity' is so exquisite... and even though I cannot grasp it all, only a fraction of such a feeling is satisfying enough.

    In truth, I just felt like playfully hugging her, really. The day had been tiring, and Kaori usually tells me to not do anything to 'strange' while we're at school -- but we were outside of it now, right? I could just playfully mess around, right? She's always telling me that her cold and scary face is something she was born with, but I'm sure that just like how she somehow turned from a doll back into a person, Kaori can change her face too and smile better!

    Though I kinda like her as she is now too... hmmm, that's a hard decision.

    Anyways, I know that Kaori enjoys Cappucino coffee and eating cakes -- she is also the kind of person that would seldom go out and eat at fancy places by themself... so this would probably be the best excuse for her to enjoy herself. She's been after all, taking good care of me, ever since auntie...

    ... ah, Kaori being around is so nice. All my worries, all my trouble about the 'world' just fade away when I'm with her. In these precious moments, I can pretend that I'm just a normal girl...

    ... but I shouldn't forget about auntie Saya.
    Last edited by Ayakashi; October 1st, 2017 at 03:20 PM.

  5. #5
    すきだ Katie's Avatar
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    Mizunoue Mizuki
    April 3rd – Evening
    Shibuya, Otonokizaka High School – Literature Club room

    Mizunoue Mizuki closes her book with an abrupt thump. The Tsar of Love and Techno remained unfinished. What Tendou was asking of them was rather unreasonable.

    “I see you’ve lost plenty of brain cells from over spring break,” Mizuki says, giving him a glare. It was the typical banter, and she hated herself for trying to pretend that he had never said everything, that things would be normal if she could force it. That was a pipe dream.

    No amount of denial would change the fact Sakurauchi was gone.

    “What do you expect the two of us to do, investigate a phenomenon that has the leading physicians and government officials stumped?” The words come out of her mouth, biting and cold. She already feels weighed down by the idea of impossibility. What did the two of them have, here in this clubroom, that those working on the problem didn’t?

    …Desperation?

    “But, if you insist. If we’re unable to read, we might as well do something else.” A resigned sigh. What sort of inane suggestion would come from his mouth next?
    [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

  6. #6
    アカシャの蛇 The Serpent of Akasha RacingeR's Avatar
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    Elora Griffin
    April 3rd – Evening
    Nakano, Amaterasu High School – Student Council room

    Sakura made a bitter expression upon hearing you, and then, in a very surprising gesture for her, she walked over to you… and put a hand over your shoulder, before giving you a light hug.

    “I’m sure… everything will work itself out, one way or the other.” Sakura says in a calming tone of voice. Truth be told, even this perfect girl did not know what to say or do in this situation. It was somewhat obvious you weren’t alright, and everyone else had been worrying about you in their own ways… but there was nothing that could be said except empty-sounding words of comfort, and attempts to take your mind off matters. You had been mostly busying yourself with student council work, attempting to not think…

    The girl separated herself from you a bit, peering at your expression, voice returning to the usual stoicism. “Take a break for a moment, try to compose yourself. We don’t want everyone else piling on top of you, right?” She advised. The rest of the student council would be coming soon, and if they saw you in their state, they’d probably start actively worrying… which would probably just make you feel worse.


    Amano Kaede
    April 3rd – Evening
    Bunkyo, Near Tokyo University – The Beefiest Steak

    “Gah!” Edmund nearly choked, reacting way too late to your sneak attack. Again. It was not the first time he fell for this, and wouldn’t be the last. As he coughed awkwardly, a veritable rainstorm of cold glares fell upon him, wishing the ‘lucky bastard’ a death by explosion.

    The capability to harness the wrath of a hundred desperate university students was not something to be underestimated.

    “Ah, whatever.” The Englishman’s voice sounded like a mix of amusement and exasperation as he devoured the rest of his steak in a few seconds. “You’re right, this is not the best place to talk about it. Let’s go.”

    “Oh, and…” as he stood up, the detective shot you an exasperated glare. “For the love of god and the queen, never try to imitate a British accent again, or I swear your whole fanbase will commit ritual suicide. And we don’t have the resources to deal with that at the moment.”

    Snark aside, it seemed like you had managed to cheer him up somewhat. He was not the type to miss out the cues you had given throughout the whole dinner, after all.

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

    Bunkyo, Sakurai Apartments – Room 500

    “Ah, the same place of always.”

    It was a very good deal, you thought. The apartments building that you inhabited was not very far from the university, and each apartment was quite an ample space. It was costly, of course, and your parents had offered their financial support, but you had rejected them, instead preferring to split the cost with your two roommates. Given the revenue you got from your job, the fact that your two roommates were girls, and classmates to boot, it had been quite a good deal. You had even managed to appropriate a room to use as a studio, too, and there was still space enough for people to stay over.

    You knew both your roommates were out tonight, to a mixer you’d have been dragged to if you hadn’t received Edmund’s call. They would probably return late at night, very drunk, and having been unsuccessful in their endeavors. Which meant that you had the whole apartment to yourself for the evening.

    “At least that friend of yours won’t be here to constantly hit on me…” Edmund commented as he hung his coat in the rack, and took a seat. Your eyes widened when you noticed he had a gun at his belt.

    “Yeah, I know, they issued those to every officer and detective… the Tokyo Police is arming itself, but nobody tells me exactly why. I mean, I’m a junior detective, so it’s not weird that I don’t get that much info, but geez… this is bloody insane. As I said, weird stuff happening over there.” He complained.

    “Where should I start from?” Edmund heaved a sigh.


    Mizuhara Mitsuki
    April 3rd – Evening
    Nakano, Streets

    “Eep!” Kaori let out a startled sound at your surprise glomp, obviously not expecting the hug. “Mitsuki, not here!” She complained as a faint blush colored her face. Some of the students that were exiting the school giggled, more amused at her reaction that anything else.

    Despite her words, Kaori did nothing to resist your hug, instead letting you lean against her and wrap your arms against her, all while putting on a stoic face and acting as if she was annoyed about it. She was not deceiving anyone, however.

    “Alright, alright, cake and coffee it is.” She said in a flat tone of voice. It was a bit of a weird combination, but it was a combination of two of Kaori’s favorite things nonetheless. The girl managed to give you a small smile, with a lot of difficulty… her facial muscles were definitely not accustomed to that so all she managed was to look like she had a cramp, but you got the intention nonetheless. Then, she pried herself away from your hug, only to immediately and firmly grab your hand, not caring much about the stares directed your way.

    It was something she was used to do since your childhood. She knew very well about your visual affection, and the way it’d lead you to act weirdly, and sometimes become unaware of your surroundings or unable to identify potential sources of danger. To others, you two just looked like very intimate friends, which to be fair, you were, but the habit had also spawned a few rumors here and there, much to Kaori’s irritation. Yet, the girl seemed unable to leave you to your own devices.

    First, you went towards a fancy cake shop. You admired the lifeless scenery before you, dolls going and coming, treading upon the white, shiny streets, their expressions inscrutable, their dead, pitch black eyes staring forward… it’d be maddening, but thankfully your friend was there to keep you sane. Meanwhile, Kaori ordered her favorite chocolate cake, and the blueberry cheesecake you pretended to like in front of others. For you, the cakes always looked like plastic, tasteless shapes, artificial, with barely the resemblance of a pleasant smell coming from them.

    Afterwards, you took a route towards the nearest Starbuck… and it was then when you saw her.

    Standing tall, a beautiful figure of a young woman, wearing queer, obviously foreign clothes. She was a beauty, an unearthly one, her black hair tied in twin buns shimmering, a faint wind running around her, causing leaves to flutter around her… and more importantly, you… could see her. Not as a doll, but as a person made of flesh.

    Both you and Kaori had stopped dead on your tracks, staring at the woman with your eyes wide open. You noticed the street around you was deserted. The woman also stopped, her eyes falling upon the both of you, widening slightly.

    “Well, this is quite interesting.” A sing-song voice travelled through the air, reaching your ears, and making you tremble for some reason.

    A sort of uncanny, unexplainable and mysterious feeling rose from within you, a sensation of weirdness and strangeness, as if the world around you had suffered from some sort of error and had started working in a very wrong way.


    Mizunoue Mizuki
    April 3rd – Evening
    Shibuya, Otonokizaka High School – Literature Club room

    Touma closed his own book as well, leaving it aside on a table, standing up in irritation. He opened his mouth, trying to think of something witty to reply to the usual banter. He remained with his mouth open for a minute, before closing it, defeated. It wasn’t like you even had a clue from where to start to.

    “Yeah, at least… let’s just do something else. For a change.” He replied at the end. “At least so we can stop doing… whatever we we’re doing just now. Sulking? Yes, that.”

    “If this was a detective novel, this would be the appropriate moment for a clue to fall on us from the sky.”

    You two waited for a few minutes.

    “I knew it wasn’t going to be that easy.” Touma sighed, and was about to emit a surely braindead idea… when someone knocked on the door, the sudden noise echoing in the silent room. It was a somewhat shy knocking that stopped after rapping the door twice, sounding as if the owner hoped to make the least noise possible.

    You and your friend exchanged glances, before he cleared his throat. “Uh… enter?”

    The door opened, and a small girl walked in, staring shyly at her surroundings. The uniform she was wearing identified her as a first year, starting high school a week ago. Her hair was still organized in a very childish pigtails style, and upon noticing you two were third-years, she became very nervous, but soldiered on nonetheless. She definitely resembled somebody you knew, physically…

    “Uhm… I-I’m sorry for intruding… m-my name is Sakurachi Inoue, I’m Sakura-nee’s y-younger sister.” She bowed very politely, under the surprised stares of you both. As far as you remembered, Sakura had never mentioned having a little sister before. Then again, for a girl this talkative, she had never talked much about her home life. You had met her mother when you had gone to visit her in the hospital, but you hadn’t seen this girl before.

    “Um… a-are you Mizuki-nee?” The girl asked, directing her question towards you. Yep, this was the only confirmation you needed. The only one who’d address you that way was Sakura.


    quotes
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1984 View Post
    Besides, I don't see what's so terrible about looting anyway. It's only property, they're not actually harming anyone.
    Quote Originally Posted by lantzblades View Post
    when I say hero I don't mean hero in the spirit sense. I mean a morally grounded, good natured person who doesn't slaughter innocent people. No such person exists in the Nasuverse.
    [00:12] <~Katie> i can't defy my origin
    [00:12] <~Katie> of gay memes

    [16:15] <~Katie> lesbians has always been my gimmick and i will exploit it to the fullest

    [22:56] <@Sei> airen is pegging hero this time
    [22:56] <@Sei> for once airen isn't the uke
    [22:56] <@Kuroyuki> I thought Air was the Woman in the Relationship?
    [22:56] <@Airen> Yeah I kinda thought I was the girl too!

  7. #7
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Elora Griffin
    April 3rd – Evening
    Nakano, Amaterasu High School – Student Council room

    "...?"

    There were many things she had expected from the girl, a lecture perhaps, to not let her emotions shine through so obviously, but if there was one thing Elora hadn't expected, hadn't even registered as a possible reaction...

    It was the act of being embraced.

    It was a light hug, nothing particularly deep, but coming from this person it was a surprising gesture that stunned her enough for her mind to go mercifully blank, the oddities of the day dragged out from the forefront of her mind, and replaced with this one, super oddity that probably had less chances of a repeat performance than the cracks in the sky that seemed to appear every couple of weeks.

    She's not sure what to say, this sort of affection wasn't something she commonly experienced from people outside of her mother and cousin; it was normally fist-bumps or high-fives, marks of camaraderie during a soccer game that was going particularly well, but this...

    A hug from a concerned friend, well... It had taken a minor miracle, but...

    "Okay-!"

    She already felt a bit better.

    Smiling as the other girl increases the distance to a more natural level, the blonde girl tilts her head ever so slightly to the side in observation:

    "You're surprisingly warm when you want to be... Thank you, Sakura-san."

    Saying any more than that would probably ruin the small miracle, and thus, leaving the heart-to-heart as just that with a single closed eye, the girl does her best to manifest her usual cheer, even if only for the sake of everyone else. It would've been easier, perhaps, if this meeting had taken place a bit later after school, she could've worked out some of these feelings by taking a few shots on the school's soccer field, but-!

    An embrace from someone who normally could not be hugged would have to do-!

    "If everyone piled on me we'd get nothing done today, so it's best avoided," fixing her hair, which she had been messing with as a result of a nervous tick earlier in the day, Elora just laughs at the mental image, "Don't worry, I'll be bright and clear-eyed by the time they get here-!"

    A pause, then:

    "Infinite cheer is my claim to fame, after all-!"

    This time, the words come out with the usual conviction, and indeed, focusing more on her vice president than anything else, the girl's mood visibly improves.

    "But before they get here... Was there something you needed me for...?"

    She had shown up earlier than the others after all.

    Or were you just worried about me?

    Her last question was accompanied by...

    A silent thought that she instinctively knew better than to say aloud.
    Last edited by Airen; October 1st, 2017 at 09:51 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?



  8. #8
    秩序 Order Erlkonig's Avatar
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    Amano Kaede
    April 3rd – Evening

    Bunkyo, Near Tokyo University – The Beefiest Steak


    Kaede chuckled. "Sure, champ." Sidling up to the man as they paid for the meal and walked out of the restaurant, she suddenly elbowed him on the side, leaning into him.

    "As soon as you stop being so stereotypically English, I'll go ahead and drop it~" With that playful whisper, the girl giggled and ran ahead, causing the haggard detective to yell out in pursuit at the jab on his personality.

    He really makes it too easy. She thought, grin widening. But that's why it's so fun!

    Bunkyo, Sakurai Apartments – Room 500

    “Ah, the same place of always.”
    No sooner had they taken a step into Kaede's apartment, than that comment caused her skin to frizzle, and she turned towards her friend with crossed arms and an adorable yet contemptuous pout.

    "Well forgive me for not having a villa to myself, Sir." Kaede ground out, laying it on where it hurt. At Edmund's annoyed glare, as was usual whenever that part of his past was brought up, she turned away and waved noncommitally. "Relax, I was just joking." Closing the door behind the detective, her hands fiddled with its keyhole until it was locked, upon which she turned back with a thorny smile.

    "Besides, I know that a villa is too big for you. Mr. Family Man~" She teased again, making a jab as to when a drunken Edmund claimed that every Englishman's dream was to live in a lodge by a beautiful lake with a loving wife and children. She thought that ideal was so incredibly old-fashioned that even now she couldn't stop laughing about her friend's ancient values.

    On the other hand, with guys like him still around it means chivalry isn't dead. At that thought, Kaede's smile softened up a bit and she guided the big lug into the couch of her lounge, where he collapsed like a surprisingly dignified potato.

    "Anyways, before we start, do you want some coffee- Sweet baby buddha is that a gun!?" Kaede's heart almost stopped as she saw the umistakeable black plastic chunk hanging from Edmund's belt. Her face quickly went from shocked to angered, as the first thing that crossed her mind was 'just what kind of mess did this idiot just get into-'

    However, before she could get to the imploding phase where she would rip Edmund a new one, the man quickly explained himself, but to Kaede's dismay the reason for him packing heat was even worse than she could have imagined.

    Because, right then, Kaede became terrified. What kind of problem was so dangerous that even the police needed to carry guns? They hadn't been doing that for decades! In all of her life, she'd never heard of something so awful.

    Then she thought of Yuuta, and how his state might be related to whatever was bugging Edmund, and her heart sank even more.

    "I-I see." For a moment, Kaede's self-assured visage faltered under her shellshocked expression. However, it barely lasted for a second as she composed herself and sighed. "I guess I can understand why you'd need to get that off your chest that you'd come running to a silly girl like me."

    There was a hanging silence between the two of them then, with Edmund looking distraught and pensive while a conflicted Kaede found herself unable to break the ice and address the very large elephant hanging in the room.

    Eventually, however, the Detective had to open his mouth.

    “Where should I start from?”
    "...Beats me." Kaede shrugged, a quiet deadpan in her voice that caused Edmund to reel back as if slapped. That was briefly followed by a chuckle from the girl, who gave him a meaningful glance. "Sorry, joking again. We'll get to that, but... How about I make us some coffee first?" She pointed one manicured nail at his face, raising a thin eyebrow at his sorry state. "You look like you need several days' worth of caffeine in your system."

    The speed at which his head bobbed in agreement made Kaede realize that her friend would probably develop a caffeine addiction before this was over.

    "-Ah!" As she was walking to the kitchen, however, a devilish thought wandered into Kaede's head and she turned around once more. "I almost forgot-"

    Dread filled Edmund's heart as his friend suddenly approached the couch, hips swaying perversely... And before he could react, Kaede flashed out her smartphone and took a picture of the detective, clad in only his shirt and jeans and centered on the gun in his belt.

    Then, as Kaede's hands raced through the phone's controls with lightning-fast speed, her next words caused him to jump out of his seat like a man possessed.

    "
    Alright, let's send this to Shiori- Kyaaa~ OwO You wouldn't believe what whose favorite hunk is now packing! He's just like the Terminator! <3"

    In the short altercation that followed, Edmund might have saved himself from the thirst of Kaede's roommate and potential stalker of his, but once more the one who suffered the ultimate defeat was his pride.

    ---

    "Alright..." Kaede sighed, finally having taken a seat in front of the detective. One hand nursed the bump on her head, courtesy of Edmund's killer head bop, while the other held on to a steaming coffee mug. "Let's get to the point."

    All the while, a faint melody echoed across the room, courtesy of Kaede's rather impressive sound system. It was even more impressive, Edmund garnered, when Kaede's friends didn't borrow it to play those god-accursed bass drops and other assorted ear-splitting tunes.

    "You said that you found some clues." Kaede sat back on her own plush loveseat, lifting up a bare leg and crossing it over the other. One might mistake it as a seductive gesture, but Edmund knew that it was just a natural gesture of the rather beautiful woman whenever she was dissatisfied or nervous. "Does that have to do with-" My brother, Kaede was about to say, but cut herself off. "-The people who have gone into comas, the rather disturbing case of selective amnesia going around... Or is there something more about this that I should know?"

    Of course, there was little chance that Kaede wouldn't have first asked how closely related were Edward's findings with the state of her brother.

    She might not have shown it, but even a month after the incident, it was pretty much all the girl could think about, hanging in the back of her mind like a particularly unpleasant pain that ached at her wholesome self.
    Last edited by Erlkonig; October 1st, 2017 at 09:08 PM.
    Arthur-san is my waifu
    [20:57] frantic: I can't even remember what opinions I actually hold about the thing compared to shit I made up to piss people off
    [17:13] Airen: Its not an airen character unless gay

  9. #9
    The Man Mormarth's Avatar
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    Masayoshi Kotetsu
    April 3rd – Evening
    Shinjuku, Streets – Yamagumi Bar


    The world was a cruel and pitiless place, fit only for those who could soar above the masses and force their lame, dumb bars down their throats, inflicting upon them cruel punishments in the form of liquors that had clearly come out of someone's gym bag.

    Oh, woe is me, to be so burdened with this albatross.

    “ ‘s what’s around, what did’ya expect?”

    I expected something more than nothing, clearly a mistake on my part.

    Still, the pleasant haze emerges from the black morass of my drink, and I immerse myself in the careless embrace of intoxication, beside me, a pair of broad shoulders bordering nothing at all nursed a glass of amber liquid that claimed to be aged whisky.

    I had my doubts.

    I raked my hand through my low curtain of viridian hair, noting the bartender giving the pair of us a bit of deference.

    I sighed through my nose, this was why I didn't want to go to one of the 'company' bars. Submission like that just depresses me, I'm a paying customer, no different from anybody else, please don't put this label on me, kind sir.

    The world, alas, is inconvenient, and the replacement glass tasted like something tolerable, so I let it go without incident.

    Freed from my comfortable nest of grousing, I turn my attention to the blathering television, going on and on about something or other.

    Then a series of words caught my attention sharply.

    “…and that is all we know about the disappearance of USA’s President, George Baumer. The mystery has only deepened since the first reports a hour ago, and as expected, there is a complete lack of details about how such a thing came to happen. The vice-president has taken command of the country, and has refused to answer questions for now, saying that they’re still investigating…”

    I frowned, unless the President was hiding under a box somewhere, that was probably a big deal.

    “Th’ hell?”

    "Indeed, Katsuo-san, we must be vigilant, ever on the lookout for rogue mechs roaming the American countryside."

    Cause that shit'd be fucking radical.

    I leaned back in my seat, musing further on the possibilities, it could be ordinary, just a run of the mill disappearance, and he'd turn up sometime in the next hour or so.

    But it may have had something to do with the incidents that have been growing in frequency, something about that news report put my teeth on edge.

    Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a figure, moving awkwardly (shakily?), covered by a long coat, leaving a small trail of viscous red liquid.

    I furrowed my brows.

    “Blood?”

    Katsuo-san had noticed as well, as expected, he would have a sharp instinct for such things, and I trust his judgement on the matter.

    Hm, what to do.

    An easy option would be to pretend I saw nothing and mind my own business, letting whatever narrative the figure had created write itself out.

    Another would be to phone an ambulance, get some help for this person, they clearly were not well, but I doubt interested governmental eyes would look kindly on this sort of place, plus, if they sought this place out intentionally, there was no guarantee that it was the sort of injury (if it even was one), that would not draw unwanted attention.

    Therefore, to surpass some average options, I would do something mildly exceptional for the Japanese population and go and stick my nose in someone else's business.

    I slid off of the bar chair smoothly, gliding out into the bar proper, not making a direct path towards the person, but judging a correct movement that would end with our paths crossing closely to one another, about arms-reach, I wouldn't want to startle them unnecessarily.

    I walked, adding a slight abundance of over-smoothness to my gait, aping the natural pace of one slightly inebriated.

    As I passed close to them, I stopped.

    "Are you alright? You seem to have dropped something, would you like some help?"

    If anything, this might get me out of this embarrassing place.

  10. #10
    Overly devoted enthusiasm... fufufu~ Ayakashi's Avatar
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    ------


    Mizuhara Mitsuki



    April 3rd – Evening
    Nakano
    Streets


    Spiritual Rank:
    1
    Self:
    100


    "Eh? Ehhhhh???!!!!"

    A sound of astonishment escaped my mouth as I simply could not hold my surprise. Here was, in the middle of a strangely deserted street... an actual human, and not a doll. It wasn't Kaori, it wasn't auntie Saya... it was someone I had never met before.

    Was there something strange in the cake? Was I actually making progress in terms of recovery of my 'condition'? So many questions were buzzing through my head that other than being rude and pointing my finger at this very unusual sight... I had no idea what to do.

    But then it dawned on me:

    'Oh, that's right, I can ask Kaori!'

    This realisation however did not bring any answers, rather, I was left with more questions. Namely, why was Kaori also surprised? That was quite strange to see her in such a state -- while I had reasons to be surprised about seeing a 'human', wouldn't that just be natural for Kaori?

    Or could it be... no... that'd make no sense.

    "Kaori? Is there something strange with this person? I'm seeing her as a person," I ask Kaori, whispering to her ear to make sure I don't offend this lady in front of us...

    Quote Originally Posted by Strange Woman View Post
    “Well, this is quite interesting.”
    ... but this is somewhat worrying. No, worrying would be an understatement. This is the kind of situation that calls for the 'stranger danger' situation! Yes... whatever that saying which mom had taught me to emphasise that typically I should avoid interacting with strangers...

    Perhaps... perhaps that we should get out of here.

    "H-Hello..."

  11. #11
    White Knight palad1n's Avatar
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    Shiratori Kaguya
    April 3rd – Evening
    Shinjuku, Streets – Near Yamagumi Bar

    They are lost. No matter how she looked at it, they are lost.

    Which is kinda unexpected, to be honest. The possibility of getting lost when she went out by herself has always been considered, but Kaguya never thought she could get lost when she went out with someone else.

    Especially not with Laura.

    Kaguya took a glance at her best friend, and sure enough her face was not that of someone in control of the situation. It was a rare sight for Laura to look so nervous and lost - even if she tried to hide it - and Kaguya couldn't help but start feeling guilty as she turned her gaze to their linked hands.

    She was the one who suggested this. To go out to the city without any kind of plan whatsoever, too caught up in her emotions to solve the tragedy that struck her cliques and Minato, and Laura agreed. She should have thought better, she should have known that aimlessly wandering around searching for clues won't give them anything of value...

    But the memory of a boy with clear emerald eyes, sleeping and not waking up, banished her negative thoughts.

    She had made a silent resolve to herself, hasn't she? To investigate why Minato-kun fell into a coma, and why nearly everyone in the clique soon forgot about it afterwards; To get to the bottom of this, before it claims any more victims?

    She might have screwed up, but it's still not too late to form some kind of plan now. Laura must be thinking the same thing, as she had that look in her eyes which said 'this isn't good, let's rethink our plan of action again.'

    She must stay optimistic. After all, if one tried their best, then everything will turn out okay.

    "Yo, if it ain’t our school’s queens. The heck you doing here?”
    A rude voice interrupted Laura's, and looking at the streets near a bar Kaguya could see the two well-known delinquent duo of her school - Hitomori Rinko and Motohara Rei - and seeing a familiar face when they were lost, and Rei's enthusiastic greetings, brought a smile to her face. They might be delinquents, but she is quite fond of the bubbly and friendly Rei - in fact, she's not even sure why Rei could be considered a delinquent at all, aside from maybe dying her hair and hanging around Rinko.

    Everything turned out okay after all-!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hitomori Rinko
    Cut the crap. The hell are you two doing out here? Ya got any idea of how dangerous is for two girls to wander the streets alone at night? Especially this place, it’s fuckin’ Yakuza territory, didn’t ya know?”
    "Ah, we're looking for clues." Kaguya immediately replied. "You might have heard about it, but Minato-kun fell into a coma, and the girls in the clique seems to forgot about it afterwards... That's why we're investigating the city at night, because that's when some strange things starts happening."

    A truly honest reply.

    She doesn't know the delinquent duo at personal level, and Hitomori Rinko was a true delinquent with a nasty reputation to match, but at this very moment Kaguya could only see them as students of Amaterasu's High, and thus someone that she can trust in a place that is, in Rinko's words, a yakuza territory.

    "Besides, I can ask the same question to you, Hitomori-san." Kaguya followed, eyes innocently curious as she tilted her head. "Both you and Motohara-san are girls too, and the two of you are hanging around in this Yakuza territory at night. It should be dangerous for you too, right? So why hang around here?"
    Random Regalia Hijinks

    <Mellon> But yeah. Don't play the waiting game too much guys. Just do what you want to do and let God (me) sort it out.

    <Erlkonig|Phone> Why get a gf, when Airen is your waifu?

    <Airen|Phone> I'll save everyone, it's fine

    <Snaxies> Airen is totally Jesus again

    <frantic> I actually hate reading your post because you're so fucking anime

    <Reiu> Regalia is a scary place desu...

    <Mellon> He who lives by the oneshot, dies by the oneshot

    <Airen> No character in ga rei is 100% serious


    Personal Compliments

    <@RacingeR> Pally would be a perfect shoujo lead

    <Erlkonig> I would fall for Pally if he was a qt shoujo manga lead girl


  12. #12
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Vritra's Avatar
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    Yuu Kurogami
    April 3rd – Evening
    Nakano, Amaterasu High School – Entrance


    “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah… I hate everything.”

    Staring listlessly at the lobby’s ceiling I give up and let gravity bring my body to lie flat on the bench with my head resting on Kaede’s lap.

    So, so, so bored Machi-chan is gonna get spanked for this. Seriously who does she think she is falling into a coma without my permission! …I’m going to show ...someone why you don’t mess with the glorious me. Salt, sliced meat, charbroiled, it’ll be a whole big festival of pain.

    Exhaling threats that have no target I stare up at Kaede’s face half covered by her bust as I reach up and run my finger down her cheek, ah at least I still have my unbeatable bishoujo maid …now if only I felt like sweeping her into my arms to play the night away but my stupid minions wouldn’t be around for anything and this whole lost and unexplained incident situation has my friends going home sooner than usual…

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOREEEEEEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEEEEEEED.

    “What about investigating what happened to Koga-sensei, Miss?”

    .
    ..
    ...

    "Fine”

    Accepting my defeat I heed my unbeatable maids suggestion.

    "Go grab the list of all the leads that we’ve gotten from everyone and roll a dice, they’re all equally unlikely to be real so I guess we’ll just leave it to the gods.”

    Sitting up as Kaede begins rummaging I pull out my cellphone and begin typing a text.


    “Hurry up Elora-chan I’m bored! (´×ω×`)

    Weather say’s we’ll get another storm think we’ll get any lightning? O(≧▽≦)O

    Let’s get ice cream! ヾ(*・ω・)ノ Everything tastes better with friends

    Cats are cute we should go to a cat café!

    I know a new one that’s super good one and not too far, grab rika my treat.

    (=ↀωↀ=)✧(=´∇`=)~(=^‥^) =^● ⋏ ●^= ( ⓛ ω ⓛ *) [^._.^]ノ彡(≚ᄌ≚)ƶƵ (ะ^・ω・^ะ)

    Broody and gloomy doesn’t suit you they’ll make you realize that everything is going to be fine, I say so! (〜^∇^)〜


    Staring down at the usual rambling text I sigh as I hit send, this city needs more interesting people.

    “So what did the might dice of ultimate destiny decide for us Kaede?"
    Last edited by Vritra; October 1st, 2017 at 10:16 PM.

  13. #13
    すきだ Katie's Avatar
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    Mizunoue Mizuki
    April 3rd – Evening
    Shibuya, Otonokizaka High School – Literature Club room

    Sakurauchi Inoue. A sister was somewhat unexpected, but not a surprise. It had been established early in the Literature Club that personal details were not to be divulged. There was nothing formalized about it—but the less they pried into each other’s affairs, the better it was.

    After all, they did not discuss the incident. Thus, everything else was to remain hidden as well. One mere secret would lead to the rest to unravel, but everyone who set foot in this room was too tactful.

    The younger Sakurauchi nervously fidgeted, mouth half-agape with questions.

    …Well, every regular.

    Mizuki supposed “Mizuki-nee” was appropriate, if only because the person addressing her was younger. Even so, it wasn’t flattering… It made her feel a bit old, in fact, but she couldn’t admit that.

    “I can’t fathom why your sister uses ‘-nee’ when we’re the same age… At any rate, could you use something more normal, such as ‘-senpai’?” But as soon as she uttered those words, she regretted them. She never had a proper kouhai, so formalizing this relationship as something like that would only cause trouble for them both. “But yes, I’m Mizunoue Mizuki. That excuse for a human being right there is Tendou Touma.”
    [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

  14. #14
    アカシャの蛇 The Serpent of Akasha RacingeR's Avatar
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    Elora Griffin
    April 3rd – Evening
    Nakano, Amaterasu High School – Student Council room

    “Hmph, I’ll have you know that I’m the warmest woman on this earth, thank you very much!” Sakura barely suppresses a pout as she moves her face away. She’s clearly embarrassed, but you know better than to point that out.

    She merely nodded along as you proceeded to cheer up and build yourself back up into your normal persona. However, when you asked whether she needed you for something… a faint blush appeared on the girl’s cheeks, as she looked around in a fluster, and panick-grabbed some papers, practically shoving them into your face. “Y-yes, I needed your signature for the initial budget statement, to confirm the funds available for distribution to the faculty…”

    So… she was just worried about you. Good to know. Oogami Sakura’s weakness #1: acting.

    However, before you could answer, you heard a series of footsteps approaching the room.

    “Oh, they’re here.” Sakura acted, much to your amusement, as if she had been just saved by the bell. No more nice former rival, you guessed.

    The door of the room suddenly burst open, and a stylishly dressed boy intruded within, smoothly making his way towards you both, before giving you a small bow. “Salutations, Miss President, Miss Vice-President.” He said in his usual smooth and collected tone of voice. You could feel the fabulous levels in the room rising steadily.

    Kobayashi Ryou was one of the only two male students in the Student Council, and your Secretary of Student Affairs, in charge of collecting information and requests from the student body and relaying it to the Council’s consideration. He looked like a strange guy, but he was quite popular in the school, and a chick magnet only rivaled by your cousin (and you, if you were to believe certain rumors) to boot. He had quite the deep network within the school, and had been a natural choice for the position.

    “Ah! No fair, Ryou-kun! Wait for me!” The other boy in the council made his appearance at that moment, lumbering through the door, somewhat short of breath.

    “C’mon, Osamu, get yourself in shape already.” Ryou rolled his eyes at him. “It’s only a short race, and you’re already like that?”

    “Athletics has never been my talent! I can get by just fine with just my brain, thank you very much.” Ishikawa Osamu, the tall, black-haired boy with glasses, was the council’s Treasurer, and the to-go math guy of the group. He was the second top-scorer of the school as a whole, and you mostly depended on him to calculate budgets and pretty much anything else. Maths just wasn’t the strong suit of most of the council, except for Sakura, of course. “Plus, you had a head-start! That’s not fair! I refuse to part with my cake!”

    “Hello, Kobayashi-san, Ishikawa-san. May I remind you that you are part of the Student Council, and that running in the hallways happens to be against the rules?” Sakura’s exasperated voice drowned the argument between the boys.

    “Ah, uhm, hello, Griffin-san, Oogami-san. And sorry!” Osamu smiled sheepishly, rubbing his forehead, before seating his tall frame on the table, followed shortly afterwards by Ryou, who stuck his tongue at the taller boy.

    “Kobayashi-kun, I’ve reminded you many times to stop tricking Ishikawa-kun and to stop doing those silly bets of yours.” Sakura continued, clearly not amused by these shenanigans.

    “Sorry, teacher… Ow!” Ryou got bopped in the head.

    “And Ishikawa-kun, your scores in P.E. remain absolutely abysmal, and that is causing your overall scores to drop below what we consider the appropriate standard for the Student Council. If you don’t start working out, I have no problem in asking my uncle in the JSDF to give you some personal coaching…”

    “No! Anything but that! I’ll start working out this month! I swear!” Osamu was scared silly. Sakura let out a light sigh.

    “I assume the girls are just behind you, right?”

    “Right you are!” A voice said, announcing the arrival of three girls to the room. The one who had spoken out was the Secretary of the council, Nakajima Kiyoko, an old friend of yours and who had been your classmate throughout high school. She and her younger sister, Nakajima Akane, who was trailing behind her, were your neighbors. Ever since Mizuki had become Lost, you had slept over at their house in the rare event Rika was unable to stay over, like today. Usually, you made your way to school with them, too, but today they’d been delayed for some reason.

    “What’s up, everyone?” Kiyoko made her way to her seat at your right. “I got all the papers with the club demands right here, by the way. So if you felt that you had a hard day today… well, yeah, get yourselves ready, because this is gonna suck.”

    She deposited a massive stack of papers right in the table, that everyone eyed warily as if it was about to develop a fanged mouth and attack them. You were thusly busy contemplating an escape through the window, when you forgot about a certain someone…

    “Hi, Senpai~!” A small figure suddenly glomped you. Right, there was someone else who was accustomed to hug you, apart from your family. Yamaguchi Ayako was small, cute, and had a tendency to hug her close friends which often resulted in their embarrassment. She Akane’s best friend, and one of the stars of the school’s swimming team. She also admired you greatly, for some reason.

    “Oh, come on, Ayako! You’re being embarrassing!” Akane pried her away from you in an instant, blushing slightly as she addressed you. “H-hello, Griffin-senpai! Sorry about my friend, I keep telling her to stop doing that, but there’s no way to get things through this airhead…” both Akane and Ayako were part of the Discipline Committee, which in Amaterasu High was integrated as a part of the Student Council. In general, all this meant was that they acted as helpers to the council. Of course, these two were both 16 years old, and you had more or less been grooming Akane into your successor.

    “Okay, you two, take your seats, the last group should be arriving soon. I swear, maybe we should impose some sort of punishment for late arrivals… maybe force them to deal with the anime club…” Sakura mumbled to herself as she looked at the nearby clock. And then, right on cue…

    “Ah damnit, I’m lateeee!” A blonde tornado suddenly broke into the room, jumping on her seat like her ass was on fire and her hair was starting to get light on. The head of the discipline committee, Yamamoto Erika, heaved a sigh, panting slightly. “I’m not late, right? I arrived on time, right?”

    “You are five minutes late.” Ryou replied, matter-of-factly.

    “Damn… foiled again…” The half-foreigner girl slumped, her head falling on the table.

    “As the head of the Discipline Committee, shouldn’t you be employing better language?” Kiyoko made an amused observation, and was replied with an annoyed groan.

    “Alright, everyone, I got snacks!” Another girl, tall and blue-haired, made her entrance. Nakano Nanami was also one of the stars of the award-winning swimming team, as well as the self-proclaimed best friend of Oogami Sakura, but the problem was…

    “You aren’t even in the Student Council…” Sakura stared at her supposed best friend, annoyed.

    “Alright, it seems that everyone is here already.” And closing the procession was your cousin, Matsumoto Rika.

    “… and you are a delinquent, you know?” Continued Sakura.

    “Um… Teehee~?”

    “Don’t teehee~ me!”

    Ah, it was starting to get lively.


    quotes
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1984 View Post
    Besides, I don't see what's so terrible about looting anyway. It's only property, they're not actually harming anyone.
    Quote Originally Posted by lantzblades View Post
    when I say hero I don't mean hero in the spirit sense. I mean a morally grounded, good natured person who doesn't slaughter innocent people. No such person exists in the Nasuverse.
    [00:12] <~Katie> i can't defy my origin
    [00:12] <~Katie> of gay memes

    [16:15] <~Katie> lesbians has always been my gimmick and i will exploit it to the fullest

    [22:56] <@Sei> airen is pegging hero this time
    [22:56] <@Sei> for once airen isn't the uke
    [22:56] <@Kuroyuki> I thought Air was the Woman in the Relationship?
    [22:56] <@Airen> Yeah I kinda thought I was the girl too!

  15. #15
    アカシャの蛇 The Serpent of Akasha RacingeR's Avatar
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    Amano Kaede
    April 3rd – Evening
    Bunkyo, Sakurai Apartments – Room 500

    “Alright, let’s start from there, then.” Edmund sighed, seemingly knowing what was going through that head of yours. “It has to do with both of these things. At least, I’ve noticed a trend that seems to link both things together.”

    “Well, my partner, Mizuki, was pursuing various lines of inquiry… she seemed to be very concerned with the whole thing since it started, she had various findings before falling into a coma… either way, I had also started investigating a month ago… when the thing with… Yuuta happened, that is. Anyway, after a month of double-checking, I’m pretty sure of this. It’s either too much of a bloody coincidence or there’s something really weird going on here.”

    You gestured for him to get to the point, and the detective complied, scratching his head. “You see, the selective amnesia? Well… those who are related to the Lost, or who happen to be very, very close with them, aren’t affected by it. I kid you not.”

    “It took me a while to see the trend, and it is not quite exact, there are some people not related to the Lost who also don’t suffer from the selective amnesia, but I can confirm that all of those related don’t suffer from it.”

    Which probably meant that there was a connection between the two phenomena.


    quotes
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1984 View Post
    Besides, I don't see what's so terrible about looting anyway. It's only property, they're not actually harming anyone.
    Quote Originally Posted by lantzblades View Post
    when I say hero I don't mean hero in the spirit sense. I mean a morally grounded, good natured person who doesn't slaughter innocent people. No such person exists in the Nasuverse.
    [00:12] <~Katie> i can't defy my origin
    [00:12] <~Katie> of gay memes

    [16:15] <~Katie> lesbians has always been my gimmick and i will exploit it to the fullest

    [22:56] <@Sei> airen is pegging hero this time
    [22:56] <@Sei> for once airen isn't the uke
    [22:56] <@Kuroyuki> I thought Air was the Woman in the Relationship?
    [22:56] <@Airen> Yeah I kinda thought I was the girl too!

  16. #16
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Elora Griffin
    April 3rd – Evening
    Nakano, Amaterasu High School – Student Council room

    Signature for the initial budget huh?

    Smiling gently in the usual way, well aware that an opening had just presented itself, but allowing it to fade away without commenting on it, the young woman is content to just log it for later use, eyes momentarily alight with a mischievous spark that most missed, but that hinted at a slightly less innocent aspect of the Council President's personality.

    She didn't show it much no, but she had grown up around Rika and...

    Knowing when to tease and when to let slide was half the fun of it.

    Deciding that now was one of the times to just let it slide by without poking at it, the girl opens her mouth to speak anyway, to answer the flustered request as seriously as possible and see what kind of response she could get that way, but-

    “Oh, they’re here.”
    "Seems so!"

    -Sounded like the boys were coming along, guided by fate to cover the momentary weakness of an otherwise 'perfect' girl.

    Only raising an eyebrow as the door burst open with a surprising energy, Elora suppresses a chuckle as Sakura immediately goes back to her far less friendly self.

    Ah well, she had thought of it as little more than a small miracle from the start.

    “Salutations, Miss President, Miss Vice-President.”
    “Ah, uhm, hello, Griffin-san, Oogami-san. And sorry!”
    "In addition to it being against the rules to run, slamming open doors like that is an unfortunate habit," her own lecturing voice of a different type than that of Sakura's, the amusement mixed in with her sterner tone makes it clear she's not particularly upset, "Someone could have been standing on the other side you know? Accidental injuries of that nature are something easily avoided, so let's avoid it, okay?"

    She...

    She was clearly trying not to chuckle here...

    "But, hey guys~"

    And perhaps because of that, she lets herself fall silent again as Sakura picks out the other, more obvious wrongdoings in their behavior. It was quite convenient, to have someone so willing to lecture at the drop of a hat, and while she certainly enjoyed handing out those sorts of things herself, it was easier to see how people responded when you focused purely on those responses.

    Silly bets and low P.E scores, my my...

    With one bopped on the head, and the other being threatened with JSDF levels of training, the girl just wiggles a finger back and forth at the first as his gaze falls on her, the message of 'totally had it coming' coming across loud and clear even as she breaks eye contact with the young man with a wink before mouthing 'If you want, I'll help you train' to his unfortunate victim next, staying silent so as not to interrupt Sakura, but messing around just a little bit all the same.

    Doing laps around the field after school would be an easy enough addition to her schedule.

    She would be able to monitor his progress more that way too.

    Can't skip leg day forever.

    Some of the girls follow soon after, and while her mood had been steadily rising through a combination of teasing and her own natural cheer returning as a result of being distracted, the sight of a stack of papers, or rather, the distinct crashing sound of said stack of papers slamming onto the tabletop, is enough to divert the young woman's cheer in a very different way.

    S-So many...

    Again...

    Eyes dart to the window. She was no strange to climbing roofs, sometimes she had to scale one in order to drag Rika off of one, and for a moment she wonders if anyone would chase her if she went out through it and slid down the pipes to the ground floor. The only one who might was Sakura, even though everyone recoiled from the sight of the paper stack, she was one of the ones most likely to just face it head on anyway for the sake of 'getting it over with' and indeed, thinking about it herself, her own thoughts aligned with that sort of thinking as well, and-

    “Hi, Senpai~!”
    "...!"

    -Before she can really make a (meaningless, the paperwork can't be avoided) decision, someone she had briefly forgot about in her earlier reminiscence catches her completely and utterly off guard with yet another embrace.

    However, even though the mind is distracted, the body recognizes the familiar sensation, and even before she responds verbally to her ever affectionate kouhai, she is already lightly patting her hair, one leg shooting back to keep the small girl from accidentally knocking her chair, and consequently the two of them, over and onto the floor.



    "Hey Ayako~! Was today a good day?"

    She was pretty used to this one too, in retrospect.


    “Oh, come on, Ayako! You’re being embarrassing!”
    To the point of being a little disappointed when the pure show of affection was interrupted by Akane.

    “H-hello, Griffin-senpai! Sorry about my friend, I keep telling her to stop doing that, but there’s no way to get things through this airhead…”
    "Ah, there's no need to apologize!" Waving it off as if it wasn't a big deal, and indeed, she thought of it as more of a good thing than anything else, the amused blonde responds with a pure smile, "I don't mind that sort of thing, really! Makes me feel a bit more like a proper senpai-!

    Letting it all go with that, the girl continues to watch the rising activity with a lighter heart. Smiling apologetically at Erika while pointing at her watch when she burst through the door, and breathing an audible sigh of relief when Nanami turned up with snacks (Because it felt like they were going to be here forever, so they might as well eat while they're at it) glancing at her phone when a text comes in, and-


    “Um… Teehee~?”

    “Don’t teehee~ me!”
    Being distracted from it and going back to the purely affectionate smile as her cousin showed up, uninvited technically, but the kind of uninvited that she was quite okay with as a recurring event.

    "Ah it's fine Sakura-san! Nanami and Rika-nee already made their way here, things being like they are, it's probably best to keep them with us anyway," only lightly alluding to the disappearances in a way that didn't draw unneeded attention to it, the young woman tilts her head slightly, "Besides..."

    Glancing at the stack of papers, and then right at her cousin...

    Her eyes become pleading...

    It's certainly not fair, using these sorts of eyes on her cousin, but-!



    "They both have hands... And these tend to be denied or authorized in triplicate, they can at least help sort them out."

    A cruel reality is stated with the utmost gravity.
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  17. #17
    アカシャの蛇 The Serpent of Akasha RacingeR's Avatar
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    Mizunoue Mizuki
    April 3rd – Evening
    Shibuya, Otonokizaka High School – Literature Club room

    “I-I think she was using ‘-nee’ to tease you…” Inoue gave you an angelical smile, as if apologizing for her elder sister’s behavior. It was hard to stare directly at her.

    “A-alright… hello, Mizuki-senpai, Tendou-senpai.” The girl bowed at the both of you, before closing the distance a little. She still looked like a scared small animal, but she seemed to have gained some confidence, at least. She still eyed Touma warily, though.

    “So…” Your friend rubbed his forehead, perhaps having the same premonition you were having about things getting troublesome. “What’s up? You searching for us for a reason, right?”

    “Ah… yes…” The girl coughed awkwardly. “It… it is about what happened to Sakura-nee…”

    You noticed your friend had to visibly resist doing a goofy fist pump. Seemed like a clue was going to fall on your laps, after all. You wondered what kind of detective novel you had walked into.

    Then you looked at Inoue and wondered what kind of detective anime you had wandered into.

    “Y-you see, weeks before… this happened… she had been complaining about weird dreams and nightmares… and headaches. A-and she said she constantly felt like she was being watched at, as if someone was following her… she wrote a lot about it in her diary… especially about seeing a lot of weird things, the sky full of cracks…” The girl made a pause, aware of how very bizarre what she was saying sounded. “I-I was just wondering if she talked about any of that with you…”

    You winked. You didn’t remember your friend talking about any of that, except some stuff related to the weird happenings around the city, but that was common enough gossip. However, the mention of nightmares made something inside you stir. Vague memories of darkness and strange voices. It was weird, you didn’t remember having any nightmares lately… but then again, you didn’t remember nothing of what you had dreamed since the start of the year.

    “A-and… if… if you could… help me… investigate….” Her shy voice nearly faded into nothing with that last word, but nonetheless her eyes, full of desperation and hope, fell upon you…

    No, you had a feeling this was something that must be given due consideration. It was an ominous premonition that told you that you were making the sort of decision that would change things for you-

    “Okay!” Your vice-president folded at lightspeed. This guy was a complete busybody, and had zero resistance to women to boot. “I’ll help you out!”


    quotes
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1984 View Post
    Besides, I don't see what's so terrible about looting anyway. It's only property, they're not actually harming anyone.
    Quote Originally Posted by lantzblades View Post
    when I say hero I don't mean hero in the spirit sense. I mean a morally grounded, good natured person who doesn't slaughter innocent people. No such person exists in the Nasuverse.
    [00:12] <~Katie> i can't defy my origin
    [00:12] <~Katie> of gay memes

    [16:15] <~Katie> lesbians has always been my gimmick and i will exploit it to the fullest

    [22:56] <@Sei> airen is pegging hero this time
    [22:56] <@Sei> for once airen isn't the uke
    [22:56] <@Kuroyuki> I thought Air was the Woman in the Relationship?
    [22:56] <@Airen> Yeah I kinda thought I was the girl too!

  18. #18
    アカシャの蛇 The Serpent of Akasha RacingeR's Avatar
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    Shiratori Kaguya
    April 3rd – Evening
    Shinjuku, Streets – Near Yamagumi Bar

    “Haah? Who are you to question whatever the fuck we decide to do?” your question evidently doesn’t sit very well with Rinko, who threw her cigarette away in annoyance.

    “Right… we’re going, Kaguya, there’s no need to bother our classmates…” The savviest of your duo, Laura, quickly understands that the chances of things going south are too high. She knew fairly well that Rinko was volatile and easily offended, a very unpredictable kind of person. Thus, she endeavored to quickly exit the situation before it became sticky.

    “Ah, her dad works for the Kamiyama-gumi, so it’s alright for us to hang around this place!” Rei flashed you a victory sign as she gladly answered your question, eliciting a very angry stare from Rinko, who suddenly stood up and planted her foot on her friend’s butt.

    “Ah well, screw this. You two, come over here.” Rinko walked you two a slight distance away from the bar, followed morosely by an unenthusiastic Laura who had decided to comply for now, lest she attract the ire of this mercurial delinquent.

    “So, what the fuck are you two dumbasses hoping to accomplish? Outta here without your precious maids and butlers and shit there ain’t no one who’s gonna wipe your princessly asses. Tha hell do you intend to do if you run into some of the weird shit that’s been going on at night? Die horribly?”

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

    In a black van a small distance away…

    “Hey, check out those two beauties… ain’t these girls…” A brash male voice spoke out, dripping with malice.

    “Huh? Ah… mere daughters of stockholders.” Another, serious male voice replied. “What’s the matter?”

    “I’m thinking that we could grab them, teach their parents a little lesson…”

    “Not this again!” A disgusted cold female voice sounded out. “Why would we waste time in something so useless? One stockholder or two… they don’t matter at all in the grand scheme of things.” The voice paused, acquiring a more pointed and incisive tone once it spoke again. “You just want to have some fun with them, you disgusting sicko.”

    “But… that girl over there is the Shiratori’s daughter…” The brash man spoke out again.

    “That’s right… that must be the scion of one of the families… well, it matters not. We won’t waste-“ The serious male voice replied, but was interrupted…

    By a very cold female voice that spoke from the back of the van.

    “We’re here to watch a nice show, aren’t we?”

    “Y-yes, Miss.”

    “Then stay focused. The fireworks are about to start.”

    As said voice spoke, a generic white van pulled over, stopping at the entrance of the bar.


    Masayoshi Kotetsu
    April 3rd – Evening
    Shinjuku, Streets – Yamagumi Bar

    “H-huh? Outta my way!” The figure reached out in reaction to your words, and gave you a slight shove to the side. You briefly saw a smooth, pretty face, and some blonde hair, before the surprisingly slight figure managed to easily push you aside.

    You watched the figure stumble as it made its way towards an empty table, steps uncertain, the smell of blood hanging in the air. No, more precisely, made her way. The figure was a girl, and a foreign one at that.

    “ ‘ey, Kotetsu, there’s somethin’ weird going on here.” You noticed that the big lug of your workmate had made his way to you, looking very nervous. Normally speaking, you’d note that Katsuo’s instinct was sharper than yours when it came to these kinds of things, but you also had started to feel a cold sensation going down your spine, your figurative ‘shit’s gonna go down’ alarms blaring, an odd premonition of something about to happen.

    “Maybe we oughta play keepaway from this one…”


    quotes
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1984 View Post
    Besides, I don't see what's so terrible about looting anyway. It's only property, they're not actually harming anyone.
    Quote Originally Posted by lantzblades View Post
    when I say hero I don't mean hero in the spirit sense. I mean a morally grounded, good natured person who doesn't slaughter innocent people. No such person exists in the Nasuverse.
    [00:12] <~Katie> i can't defy my origin
    [00:12] <~Katie> of gay memes

    [16:15] <~Katie> lesbians has always been my gimmick and i will exploit it to the fullest

    [22:56] <@Sei> airen is pegging hero this time
    [22:56] <@Sei> for once airen isn't the uke
    [22:56] <@Kuroyuki> I thought Air was the Woman in the Relationship?
    [22:56] <@Airen> Yeah I kinda thought I was the girl too!

  19. #19
    The Man Mormarth's Avatar
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    Masayoshi Kotetsu
    April 3rd – Evening
    Shinjuku, Streets – Yamagumi Bar


    I took a few steps backwards, noting a few more details about the now rather obviously injured person, one, blonde, two, on the small side, three, clearly foreign, and very female. Judging from the accent, somewhere in the US, nothing in the cadence or syllables clearly donated an obvious area of origin.

    Still, it gave some details.

    “ ‘ey, Kotetsu, there’s somethin’ weird going on here.”

    A lanky mass of wiry muscle and flinty eyes sidled up alongside me, as expected, Katsuo-san followed in my wake like a graceful Remora.

    Truly, he was a fine example of a sidekick.

    Still, he was perhaps of a more Kato-ish persuasion, as even one such as I could feel tension in the air, that woman, no, that girl, something about her was wrong.

    It was as if she was plucked from somewhere else and abruptly thrust into Shinjuku proper, confused, frightened, injured.

    I rubbed at my chin, thoughts awhirl.

    Could it be, that most forbidden of sciences...?

    No, that's too silly.

    Katsuo shot me a look, knowing from long experience that I was about to launch off on a tirade.

    “Maybe we oughta play keep-away from this one…”

    Hm, hm, a wait-and-see approach, gathering further intelligence before entering the field, if at all.

    I nodded, a bold move, Katsuo-kun.

    I resumed my smooth pace as if nothing had happened, grabbing a hand-wipe from the wall as I did so, ambling along at a parallel angle and safe distance to the cloaked girl.

    I didn't want a human OOPArt like that out of my sight, this smelled like another incident waiting to happen.

    "Best to keep a safe distance, I smell an explosion coming."

  20. #20
    アカシャの蛇 The Serpent of Akasha RacingeR's Avatar
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    Mizuhara Mitsuki
    April 3rd – Evening
    Nakano, Streets

    “Nnn… they can see me? These girls’ spiritual rating, this can’t be right…” the young woman mumbled to herself, seemingly lost in her thoughts for a moment.

    Meanwhile, you talked to Kaori, whose mouth opened in surprise when you relayed your words to her. And, strangely enough, she reacted… with something resembling abject terror.

    “T-that woman’s shadow… it looks… really weird!” Kaori whispered back, putting a lot of emphasis in the word ‘weird’, which went to show that she had no idea of how to describe what she was seeing. You looked confusedly at the woman’s shadow, but you saw nothing weird going on there, it was a perfectly normal shadow… yet Kaori was practically shaking with terror.

    “Seeing me as a person…? Wait, you can also see my shadow? Very interesting, very interesting indeed.” Despite there being still some distance between the both of you, the woman seemed to have heard everything you said with perfect clarity.

    And, suddenly, she was right in front of you, as if having teleported from the place she had been before to this spot. You hadn’t even blinked, you hadn’t stared away from that woman… and yet, you hadn’t even seen her move at all.

    “Why, hello to you too, missy.”

    She tilted her head, looking at you weirdly, with eyes that seemed to easily see through you. Then, she apparently arrived to a conclusion, and stretched her arm towards you, intending to pat your head. “Poor thing… here, here.”

    “No!” Kaori reacted at the sudden gesture, pushing herself between the woman and you, and somehow pulling the two of you away from her and against the nearest wall. Yet… the distance between both parties somehow hadn’t decreased at all… and worst of all, both of you were feeling as if your shoes were filled with lead.

    The young woman giggled to herself, apparently finding Kaori’s action very amusing.


    quotes
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1984 View Post
    Besides, I don't see what's so terrible about looting anyway. It's only property, they're not actually harming anyone.
    Quote Originally Posted by lantzblades View Post
    when I say hero I don't mean hero in the spirit sense. I mean a morally grounded, good natured person who doesn't slaughter innocent people. No such person exists in the Nasuverse.
    [00:12] <~Katie> i can't defy my origin
    [00:12] <~Katie> of gay memes

    [16:15] <~Katie> lesbians has always been my gimmick and i will exploit it to the fullest

    [22:56] <@Sei> airen is pegging hero this time
    [22:56] <@Sei> for once airen isn't the uke
    [22:56] <@Kuroyuki> I thought Air was the Woman in the Relationship?
    [22:56] <@Airen> Yeah I kinda thought I was the girl too!

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