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Thread: Spirit Pulse : Mugen No Sekai [IC]

  1. #1
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Spirit Pulse : Mugen No Sekai [IC]



    White.

    An endless rain of white and gold light explodes out of the darkness, and illuminates the now decimated field of battle.

    Like fireworks exploding amongst the stars, those myriad lights dance across the heavens as a sign that the unexpected battle has finally come to a sort of end.

    But it is their first time on the side of defeat.

    The first time that their journey threatens to come to an absolute stop. Of course such things are obvious, when one deals in battle and death one's journey is one that will inevitably come to a crashing halt eventually; there is no one who is truly invincible, one way or another, there will always come a time when your strength comes up short, and it seemed that they had all finally hit that last wall together.

    ---This had been a mission of rescue, but it had quickly become a battle that couldn't be avoided... Those they had expected to find had been bound in something much tighter than chains, and for the sake of freeing their souls, the only thing they could do was pick up their weapons and face the enemy head-on.

    There are some battles that must be fought, and this had simply become one of them. An ideal of peace and hope has it's place, but this opponent is one that will never come to terms with the definition of another's peace; it is concerned only with it's own terms and sense of self, and the light that rains down from the core of an infinite expanse threatens to wash away those that had finally found a wall they could not find a way to overcome.

    ---In the depths of space it should not be possible to burn, and yet her body has certainly been set aflame.



    "..."

    That too is only natural, the paths those lights draw are paths that combust with soundless energy. As an older model -the oldest model- it is perhaps only natural that her power will eventually fail her, and yet when it comes down to it, she is one of two that remain conscious until the end, eyes locked on the back of one to whom she was little more than a tool...

    ---In reality, her current condition exists because she had taken the burning light in his place.

    However, this should not be confused with that emotion called love. While she was the first, she is not like the last; she is but a spare unit, a prototype that had existed to refine the process for what he would consider a much more 'noble' soul, and to that end, she held no special feelings towards her summoner, if she was a 'doll' to him than he was simply a 'Summoner' to her.

    It was not for his sake that she had thrown her body in the way.

    No.

    It had merely been a calculated move for humanity's sake. Her condition had already been poor, and so to maintain their sides fighting power for even a few extra moments, she had simply decided adding more damage onto her already astounding wounds would be better than allowing that man to be wounded as well, keeping the healthy healthy and simply stacking damage onto the already wounded and useless.

    It was just logic.

    If one ran the numbers, it was the plan with the best chance of success.

    It was logic that that man would approve of as well, the enemy needed time to gather power in-between its strikes, so the man should have time to escape, thus-

    "...Hey. You're still alive, right? Hold on just a bit longer, I'm going to send you back home."

    -These words come as a surprise.

    Already half-consumed by flame, the woman he speaks to cannot truly understand his words... But at the same time, he makes no effort to truly explain himself either.

    In terms of remaining power, it is idiotic to waste parts of it on her, nevertheless, the man sees it as the only possible course of action now.

    Perhaps he understands that they have lost.

    Perhaps he wishes for her to return to warn the others?

    Her mind races to find answers even as her body attempts to rise of it's own accord, but it would perhaps be surprising if his motives were truly that thought out in this moment.

    ---It's not complicated.

    ---Out of all possible answers, it is not one that is difficult to understand.

    He simply wishes to save someone, that is all; having lead a number of others to their ends of his own arrogance, the desire to ensure at least one person survives this encounter overrides whatever sense of tactics he still managed to possess before such an impossible opponent. He himself is not allowed to run, he will fight until the very end with the belief that he will win etched into his heart... For the sake of those that had followed him here he must do that much at least, but...

    Just in case.

    He will indulge this single wasteful whim of his and toss aside his broken 'sword.'

    Now that it has come to this, if he must lose, he will be the last victim this entity ever manages to reach.

    That sentiment becomes power.

    He would not call himself a mage, but to say that 'magic' was beyond him would also be a mistake...

    He simply preferred the use of a blade. Call it a swordsman's heart, but to defeat his opponent's through methods available to all mortals had always seemed more fitting for him, to keep him in touch with the original self that had started this journey.

    But now, his magic sends someone away from their death and completely alters their fate. It lacks both grace and finesse, and is akin to someone desperately throwing another person out into the depths of space in order to ensure they avoid an explosion, but in this moment...

    It is the best he can do.



    ---Soon enough, that light comes looking for him.

    It is in it's nature to ensure the absolute obliteration of all opponents.

    Or rather, because it has a habit of overlooking the things it once considered small, it no longer takes chances; thus, it comes to him as light, burning and searing, glowing like a malevolent sun, the man greets the potential end of his story in the same way that he greeted every other obstacle in his life.

    The others have already been swallowed up, but he stands with their hopes on his back.

    It speaks it's name.



    He swings his fist.

    ---

    Like a shooting star, she streaks across the night sky.

    For a human, it would be an impossible to endure entrance in her state, but the cold air that rips at her body means little for one who had been born to be a weapon.

    ---Even so, the swirling snow obfuscates all view of her descent.

    It is not like the world she had been born in would truly understand such things either... Time had moved ahead, those that had left had known it would not be the same when they had returned, but to return like this and be lost amongst snow and ice for eternity...?

    It is a cruel sort of irony.

    All non-essential functions were already shutting down to ensure her survival, but...

    The time it would take to heal enough to move...

    Would be more than enough time to bury her in the forgotten lands of the planet.

    Amidst the start of a certain global conflict, a body fall into the depths of a world that has long forgotten their existence.

    Spirit Pulse
    -Mugen no Sekai-






    --Prologue//New World--
    "The Empty City"



    Blaise Pendragon
    Neo Aoyama, Alleyways
    Monday - Morning



    "We're sorry, we're sorry! We'll never do it again, we swear!"

    Some people have next to no shame, and this particular band of delinquents was quickly proving themselves to be amongst the worst of the gangs you had been forced to give a somewhat painful lesson about showing general respect and decency towards their fellows. Most of the time the things you got yourself involved in were disputes amongst different gangs, or chasing down petty thieves who had at least had the 'strength' to try and take from someone who was actually conscious and capable of fighting back, but in this case...

    The situation was none of these things.

    The usual walk had led to you noticing a group huddling together in an alley, and further inspection had shown a group of three going through the pockets of two male high school students that had been lying unconscious on the ground, and pocketing the money they had found inside of their wallets, throwing shades of doubt on what could have perhaps been a misjudged act of good will...

    Needless to say, things had escalated somewhat from there; the 'bravery' they had shown in robbing an unconscious person had done little to stop the ensuing fight that had lasted all of a handful of seconds, as a single punch had thrown two of them back into the trashcans (where they were now groveling), and had the apparent leader pleading in a shaky voice that this wasn't quite as bad as it had looked-!

    "We didn't knock em out, and we were gonna call an ambulance we swear! But the money was like... A finder's fee, you know?"

    Needless to say, it is not a logic that is really working out in their favor.

    Still, the claim that they hadn't been the ones to knock out the students had Kaguya checking things out in the background after calling for an ambulance herself; of course she wasn't exactly specialized for medical diagnosis, but most COMPs could do general medical checks easily enough, and as she had found out, it was actually sort of true?

    As far as she could tell, they had no real signs of physical or general magical injury. That didn't rule out curses mind you (the worst of those were apparently rather difficult to detect), but it did seem to hint that they were telling some form of the truth, after all, punks like them probably couldn't get their hands on any spells of that caliber, but...

    A finder's fee? Taking someone's money as 'payment' for calling in emergency services for them?

    It's the sort of twisted thing that makes it more or less impossible for you to just let them go even if they were technically telling the truth, and indeed, you don't really have any plans of doing so, but, if some small form of mercy had continued to persist even up till now...

    "Hey you crazy, punk?! Got a death-wish?! Put down the boss!"

    The baseball bat that cracks against your back (harmlessly and also literally, the bat snaps in half from the blow), is probably enough to obliterate the very concept of not beating up every member of this gang-!

    Yes.

    Turning your head to face your somewhat horrified attacker, a group of about eight other guys is standing on the other side of the alleyway. If you had to think of a reason, the pompadour sporting 'leader' you were still holding up by the collar, had probably sent an 'alert' out over his COMP, but...

    "He didn't even flinch?! What the hell?!"

    "Then use the one with the spikes, moron!"

    ...It didn't really matter.
    Last edited by Airen; April 6th, 2019 at 05:16 PM.
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  2. #2
    Lost in the Woods Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Blaise Pendragon
    Neo Aoyama, Alleyways
    Monday - Morning



    "A true man needs no reward for helping someone out."



    A pair of grey eyes, with a hint of gold in them, narrowed at the group of thugs. At the same time, a rough and muscular hand reached out and grabbed the boss of thugs from his pompadour hair and -slowly enough to make the ripping sound silence the whole alleway- started pulling. The cracking and ripping sound of the ridiculous hairdo coming off, hair-gel unable to keep the fake extensions together with the already receding hairline, echoed loudly and gathered all the attention to the tall, blonde boy that had just taken a baseball bat to the back without even flinching.

    "Taking advantage of people in trouble... your mothers would cry their hearts out if they knew."

    Then, without warning, the young man sprung into action.

    Despite the horrified yells of protests from the leader of the delinquents, the young man spun around on his heels and hurled the guy forward, sending him flying towards the rest of his lackeys. The group fell over like a bunch of bowling pins, and with surprisingly similar sound. Immediately afterwards the left hand reached out for the guy that had broken his baseball bat against his back. With ease that a person should have never thrown another person with, the blonde youngster slammed the thug against the asphalt, taking care not to injure his face, nose or teeth. The force, of course, was still enough to knock him out, but at least there wasn't lasting physical damage.

    "Gyahahahaa~! Now you guys went and done it! Banchou's gonna FUCK YOU UP!"

    An obnoxious, piercing laughter and mocking words accompanied the blonde youngster's charge as the young woman in rather dubious clothes cheered him on. Giving the group of thugs no time to recover, the youngster fell upon them like an avalanche, sending two of them to the ground with a single haymaker punch. Another was grabbed from the hand and delivering a veritable clothesline from hell, a rainmaker that send the guy spinning in somersaults before he fell down, unconscious.

    As the thugs scrambled and tried to get away, a big boot clipped one of them to the back of the head, making his eyes roll to the back of his head. Another two were taken down when the blonde youngster charged forward, delivering a simultaneous gut-punch to each of them. The delinquents rose to the air from the power of the hit and slammed against the ground some three meters away from where they had originally been. This was followed by a flying roundhouse kick that caught up with one who tried to escape, making him crash into the nearby wall with an audible crack from the wall itself. The thug himself fell to the ground like the rest of them - unconscious, bruised, but otherwise without greater harm.

    ---------- And that left one.

    One delinquent that, perhaps showing more courage than his peers, perhaps driven by a frantic flight-or-fight reflex, swung his spiked baseball bat towards the blonde youngster. The nails in the weapon hungered for flesh, promising to succeed in where its unadorned cousing had failed. Even the swing itself was made with enough desperate force that the youngster had no time to dogde...!

    ... But then again, he never had any need to.

    "Hn---!"

    The baseball bat, spikes and all, stopped like it had hit a wall. A powerful, large hand had caught it mid-air and wrapped its fingers around it. Slowly, ever so slowly, the fingers tightened their grip until wood of the bat itself started cracking. Just a half a second, a terribly fast half a second, and the whole weapon shattered into thousands of little pieces, the fragments of wood raining down around the absolutely horrified gangster-wannabe. Amidst that rain of wood, a fist careered straight to the side of the head of the thug, dropping him like a sack of rice with a precision strike that left no chance of avoiding it.

    All in all, this one-sided beatdown had taken less than ten seconds.

    And once it was over, the only ones standing were the blonde youngster in a school uniform and the girl behind him, cackling and mocking the thugs with absolute glee - almost like she had taken great satisfaction in their suffering. Or, rather, she definitely did find satisfaction in it. And had no shame or decency not to show it. In that sense, she was probably a thug much worse than the guys her partner had just beaten up. No, she most definitely was. Sticking her tongue out and pulling down the skin of her left eye was as disrespectful (and juvenile) one could get.

    "There! I told ya! Banchou's a goddamn beast compared to yer sorry lot!" The girl laughed obnoxiously. "Losers like ye should just grovel and shit yer pants in fear, I tells ya! Feeeeaaaaarrr!"

    The young man grimaced, pinching the bridge of his nose in annoyance. It looked like the loud and brash boasting of the girl was getting to him as well.

    "... Shut up, Kaguya. You're being vulgar again."

    Immediately the young woman stopped mocking the downed thugs and retreated behind the blonde youngster, a look of absolutely false apology plastered on her face.

    "Sorzzzz~! Won't happen again~"

    The expression on the young man's face told that he didn't believe her for a second... which was the right thing to do. After all, when he started walking over to the leader of the thugs, the only one of them still conscious, the young woman flipped double-birds towards the hug and stuck her tongue out once more - just to rub their loss in his face even more.

    But, even though the mocking of the girl continued, the young man didn't focus on it anymore. Instead he grabbed the thug-leader by his collar once more and lifted him from the ground, forcing the guy to be on an eye-level with him. The glare of the blonde was like chilling fire, so intense that it would have made monsters back down, but full of that tranquil fury that he had became famous and infamous for on the streets of Aoyama. It was a stare that no delinquent wanted to fall upon them again once they had gotten one taste of it, because they knew that what would follow would be even worse than the beating they had just gotten.

    "If you see someone in trouble, you help them out. That should be obvious. You don't start going through their pockets for compensation. Would you want someone to do the same to you, huh? If you ever got in-over-your-head, would you want the help of someone who'd just steal your money? Huh?" The blonde boy growled, causing the thug-leader to shiver in fear like a little boy. "You're a human, not a demon. Start acting like that. Unless you say you're not good enough to do even that."

    Crossing his arms and folding them across his chest, the blonde youngster let go of the thug-leader. He fell to the ground, to his rump, ending up staring straight up at the young man who was like a mountain that delivered punches, an immovable object and an irresistible force that did not relent when he saw behavior such as this.

    What stared back at the now pompadour-less thug was a glare that instinctively made him want to straighten his back.

    "Your parents would weep if they saw you lot behaving like this," the blonde youngster continued, his voice quiet but strong. "Are you and your friends willing to let them down? Are you saying you're not good enough to act like decent human beings? Because I believe you can do it. I'm not a simple man, but even I can do it. So? Are you a badass enough to prove me right? Or are you gonna continue to disappoint those who believe you're better than this?"

    It was a fine speech, yes. Something that came from the heart of a young man with a straight back, firm ideals and clear eyes that suffered no injustice like this in his sight. So, that was why it was sort of a shame that the young woman behind him was absolutely gushing right about now, yelling out stuff like 'There we go!" and 'Patented Banchou speech!' and even 'This goddamn thing never gets old!'... and the less said about the yell of 'I'm starting to get so hot now!' the better.

    But, nevertheless, with those words the young, blonde man softened his glare just a little bit... and offered a hand to the now-pompadourless leader of the thugs.

    A hand that was willing to give him a chance to prove himself better than robbing a pair of unconscious high schoolers.

    A hand that was willing to believe in him in a way that not many must have in a long time.

    A hand that was willing to let him fix this mistake he and his friends were about to make.

    In other words, this whole thing was...

    ------------- A typical day in the life of One-Man Gang of Aoyama.

    The Duo Known As...

  3. #3
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Cosmos Fairchild
    Rose Cross Headquarters - Inner Gardens
    Monday - Morning



    For those members of the Rose Cross that were assigned directly to the Vatican City, the concept of daily patrols was one that was almost entirely unneeded from an entirely practical point of view. Unlike the other Tamer organizations, who often recruited demons into their ranks on a singular basis, the Rose Cross had started off with what seemed to be the entirety of the Heavenly Host at their disposal, and as a result...

    In this city at least, there was next to no chance of any sort of violent crime that would not be immediately stopped by the surrounding angels. Of course, it wouldn't be correct to say that all of the angels were here in this city -a number of them had been sent out to support subsidiaries of the main organization- but there were certainly enough here that direct human intervention was not strictly necessary.

    Even so, you continued on your daily patrols regardless.

    The world -while mostly adjusted to the presence of magic- was still in what one could call a transitory period; the presence of angels in the skies around the city was one that many people would perceive as stressful due to the lack of a human element, and as a result, the human tamers made a point of showing themselves around the city on a daily basis. It wasn't quite as grand a task as the more uncommon missions, but it was one that was just as important in the grand scheme of things; Tamers were not just police, they were reassuring symbols of a sort, proof that humanity had grown far beyond what they had used to be, and for that reason alone you could say they were good for the mentalities of the civilians, a much more obvious 'human element' that they could see with their own eyes.

    Even so, now that your own patrol has ended (and a certain sister of yours has started her own), the next step in your daily routine is one that is somewhat less concerned with the populace at large.

    Namely, you are going to visit your mother.

    While your opinion might be biased for obvious reasons, Mary had always seemed approachable to you in a way that few others could replicate, and went out of her way to ensure that she would always seem like that sort of person to others. Naturally kind and charismatic, she is the sort of person that can easily inspire loyalty in others; and while many of the other faction leaders achieve similar results by joining their Tamers on the battlefield, Mary is one of the few who seems to go out of her way to spend time with and look out for them during the more normal parts of their day to day lives.

    ---Of course, such things mean that she is commonly busy.

    While she rarely participates in battle herself, her general charity towards others becomes quite a time-sink when combined with her actual administrative duties, and as a result, it's hard for you to really just see her whenever you'd like... It's understandable, she's easily one of the most important people in the world from an objective point of view, and yet she had noticed your silent pinings and set aside an hour every day, where she would just sit outside in the inner gardens and have some tea. This was the usual family time during her more busy periods...

    Although it wasn't always just the two of you.

    Sometimes Alyx and Alisa came by as well, but you had passed the two of them on the way here, so it seemed like it would just be the two of you today-!

    At least, that's what you think, passing through the sea of bushes and trees on the way to the garden's center, but-

    "---And that's how it wound up. I made the suggestion for it, and they decided to have me organize the operation... I'm aware it's rather sudden, but I'd appreciate if you could spare some of your more... amicable agents as well; it's a rare opportunity to get everyone working together directly. If that incident repeats in the future we'll need that sort of experience and global unity to be second nature."

    ...A man's voice?

    While your first thought is that it might be Issac coming to speak with Mary, the tone of the voice is a bit warmer than Issac's impersonal kindness; it's more the voice of a friend asking a favor than it is a subordinate referring to their leader -a sentiment reinforced by what exactly that voice is asking for- and indeed-



    "I agree, and I have no problems with helping in whatever capacity is needed... But there's no need to be so tense around me Kenji-kun, we're still friends right? Would you like some tea? It'd be a shame if you came all this way just to deliver a message."

    -They do talk to each other with a certain air of familiarity... And Kenji...?

    Like... Namasaki Kenji...? It's the only Kenji you could think of that she'd be familiar with, judging from the stories she had told you from time to time, but if that was the case, the leader of the SDCD being here rather than back in Aoyama... Was somewhat surprising-!



    "...I'm sure your free-time is just as rare as mine. I'd rather not steal any more of it than I already have-"

    A pause, then:

    "Nonsense. It's only proper to take care of guests-! Five minutes of rest won't kill you."

    Firmly, she shatters his weak refusals, and you...

    Haven't been sent just yet...

    Having stopped to listen to the surprising conversation without really thinking about it, it seems that neither one of them has noticed your presence quite yet... The proper thing to do would be to just arrive as you had originally planned on arriving. It might be a bit awkward at first, but running into someone as famous as Namasaki Kenji wasn't exactly a common event-!

    But at the same time... They seemed to be talking about something here...

    "I guess a couple of minutes wouldn't hurt..."
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  4. #4
    Poker Face EX palad1n's Avatar
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    Cosmos Fairchild
    Rose Cross Headquarters - Inner Gardens
    Monday - Morning


    There are many reason why Cosmos Fairchild love mornings; to be grateful that The Lord has granted her yet another day to live, to see the beautiful sunrise that signaled the dawn of a new day, to have a peaceful patrol with the gentle morning breeze...

    But above all else, it is because she get to spend an hour with her mother that Cosmos loves morning so much.

    If one were to look at the petite, teal-haired girl dressed in a white robe and her signature fluffy hat who is walking through the inner gardens, then they wouldn't find a trace of anything unusual - her posture is perfect, her steps measured, and a light smile graced her face - just like how she always did her morning patrols everyday, the perfect model of a Rose Cross Tamer.

    But that couldn't be further from the truth.

    If she felt a sense of calm and peace whenever she did her morning patrols, a time of counting her blessings and thanking The Lord, then her walk to where she'd have some family time with Mary is filled with nothing but joy. She doesn't let it show of course, but with how busy her mother is, the fact that Mary always set aside an hour everyday just for her just made her so happy; happy that her mother recognized her silent pinings, and happy that she is allowed to act just a little bit more childlike than whenever she is on duty.

    The fact that she already passed by Alisa and Alyx on the way only made the day better, as that means she'll have her mother for herself today.

    At least, that's what she thought until she heard a man's voice.

    Stopping dead in her tracks and listening to the conversation without thinking, it was only after her mother offered the man - one Namasaki Kenji - tea that Cosmos realized she had been eavesdropping, and the dilemma that came henceforth; mainly whether to arrive just like she originally planned, or to further eavesdrop on what the two are talking about.

    Now, normally Cosmos Fairchild is the very definition of an obedient daughter; she is honest, obedient, and follows Mary's teachings close to her heart. As such, normally eavesdropping would be out of the question, especially when it is something her sister will likely do in this situation...

    However, Cosmos do recognize that if she were to arrive and interrupt her mother, then the head of SDCD might excuse himself in order to give her some privacy, and with how busy the two of them are, she isn't sure if they can have another chat like this in a while despite the two being friends. What kind of daughter would take away her mother's chance to chat with a friend for a few minutes?

    Besides, they haven't noticed her presence yet, and she'd be lying if the conversation doesn't actually interest her just a little...


    "Don't worry Cosmos, I'll be on a lookout if there is anyone who will approach or see you. You can focus on eavesdropping!"

    "I am not eavesdropping Illia, just letting mother have some time with her friend." She mentally corrected her COMP, crouching and shifting a little to be more comfortable and hidden at the same time as she strained her ear to better eavesdrop- er, listen to the conversation.

    "I wonder what Alyx will think if she sees you like this..."

    "If you deliberately let her, I will be very cross with you."

    "I was just wondering!"

    ... In the end, Cosmos is still somewhat childish after all.
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by Airen View Post
    Only pala is pure, the rest of ya are twisted


  5. #5
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Eva Ellet
    ??? ~ ???
    Monday - Morning




    Blue.

    Or perhaps Velvet?

    It's a place that you never come to entirely of your own accord, a strange blue room filled with haunting music, the strangely calming echoes of a female opera singer that you cannot perceive with your traditional senses. While you have only been a visitor to this place a handful of times before this, that singer is someone you have never managed to find...

    Rather, the one that had awaited you here was a strange old man with a long nose. His appearance had been somewhat alarming at a glance, the sort of visage that one can typically see only within the depths of his dreams, but one that had nevertheless housed a spirit that you could not call hostile.

    Strange perhaps, but it didn't 'feel' like he was an enemy.

    ---Even so, his words hadn't necessarily been helpful either. He had simply called this place the Velvet Room, made a remark that your presence here was "truly interesting" before disappearing himself, leaving you to explore the contents of the room until you had awoken from the depths of this dream.

    The second time you had come, he had told you his name was "Igor" and had then disappeared once more, as if determined to remain as enigmatic an existence to you as he could possibly be...

    This time around, the old man does not seem to be present here; nevertheless, the room seems to be more or less the same as it had been in your previous visit. If one had to compare it to something, it would be like the dance floor at a club, or perhaps some sort of concert stage? There were bottles of what seemed to be wine in compartments under the distant velvet sofas, and the speakers that lined the center of the room and it's walls seemed designed to spread the sound of the woman's voice out towards a crowd that does not exist.

    Indeed, in this moment, in this world, the only one that seems to be here is you and that invisible songstress.

    ---As far as dreams go, it is rather lonely, even with the presence of a songstress that seemed to be no more tangible than a music file.

    Considering your circumstances in the real world, the idea that even your subconscious was leaving you to drift alone is one that might come across as inherently sad, but even as you give into the urge to do something and take a step forward, that creeping sense of loneliness is shattered by the sight of something that you can only describe as 'bizarre."

    Namely...



    "..."

    A woman appears from the right side of the room, clutching a clipboard to her chest.

    Her movements are not fast. They are slow and deliberate to the point of coming across as somewhat hesitant... Seeing as how she is the only other thing moving around in here, it's only natural that she draws your attention. Since you seem to be her destination (for one reason or another) you prepare yourself to move out of her way if necessary, but...

    "..."

    Getting close to you, she...

    Waves her hand slowly in front of your face without bothering to introduce herself, as if...

    As if...

    ...She wasn't sure if you could actually see her or not.
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  6. #6
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Ludwig Karlfeldt
    SLEIPNIR - Hallways
    Monday - Morning




    The moment you step out of your room, the intensity of the gravity inside of the ship multiplies by a factor of ten.

    It was a form of training common to the head of your organization, and one that you simply bear with a grimace nowadays, accepting it as the price necessary to exist on any capacity on this ship, after all...

    This ship is, in many ways, the family legacy.

    Or perhaps, it is simply something that your family is destined to pine for eternally?

    While it is not something that is obvious at a glance, you did hold a connection with both this ship and your leader that was somewhat more 'innate' than those of your fellow Rothschild Tamers, namely, if one were to observe the family tree of the Karlfeldt's, it is possible to make a direct connection between you and Adala Lagerkvist, namely, she is a sort of Great Aunt of yours through adoption, a seemingly immortal head of the main branch, who has shown no signs of passing on her inheritance -the SLEIPNIR itself- to anyone else.

    ---However, as far as you have been able to tell through your time here, that familial connection has offered you next to no benefits. From the start it was clear that she was someone that didn't practice nepotism, she didn't seem to care that you were technically her grand-nephew at all, and seemed to expect just as much from you as she did the others...

    Perhaps more so even, as she didn't seem to agree with certain 'ideals' the Karlfeldt operated under... Of course you didn't have any proof of this, but she has never spoken of them in a positive manner, and... Well...

    While her mind was somewhat of a fortress, as if she had trained specifically to shield herself from most forms of mental manipulation, you had gotten vague feelings of 'suspicion' from her on your first meeting, although her thoughts had gone radio silent after that; to put it bluntly...

    ---It kind of felt like she didn't trust you, or at least was questioning your motivations (or perhaps the branch family's motivations) to some degree.

    Which made the current situation odd; namely, for the first time in your many months of existence on the ship...

    She had summoned you to meet her in the cafeteria. She hadn't given a real reason for it, treating it almost like she was giving you an order, although the message itself had been sent through a texting application rather than the more official channels.

    So you certainly could turn it down if you wished, but...

    Well, this opportunity just felt rare to you.

    She was still family after all... Even if she felt so distant she might as well be a stranger to you.

    Upon recognizing your COMP's ID number and A.I signature, the door to the cafeteria slides open with a metallic beep. Every security system present on this ship was designed to cause as much trouble as possible for unauthorized individuals that happened to exist on-board it, to the point where the idea of anyone being able to actually board and conquer it is laughable, still...

    You couldn't remember a time when the Commander herself had come down to this level of the ship, but the sounds of laughter and conversation that emerge from those inside seem to indicate that she's either not here yet, or that her presence here might not be as mood-shattering as one would normally expect it to be, and-!



    "Ah, you decided to come. Come sit down then, I'll pay for whatever you order later on, so don't worry about that."

    A rather blunt invitation, one that seems designed to not waste any more time than was necessary... Is what clues you in on your aunt's position near the entrance of the cafeteria.

    She's sitting at a round table alone, but looking at you with the usual stoic eyes.

    ---Yeah.

    Just as you thought, interacting with this person in a more casual sense...

    Might be somewhat difficult...

    She hasn't even told you what the purpose of this meeting is yet...

    ...Was there a purpose at all?
    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?



  7. #7
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Amamiya Sho
    Aoyama, LOVELESS Shopping Mall
    Monday - Morning




    Life and death struggles can take many forms.

    It is not always about physical or magical battles to a finish, sometimes there are more mundane struggles that could very easily mean disaster for those who fail to win them, and indeed, having risen long before the sun itself this morning, the battle that you had just fought was one that would decide not only your fate (for the next week or so), but that of a certain roommate of yours as well, yes...

    Your struggle was the classic struggle of the student with a very shallow wallet.

    It is not even that you lack a source of income, no, you are certainly paid the same as most other members of the SDCD in spite of your past, but certain traveling expenses from your youth had yet to be paid off in their entirety, and not only that, fate seemed to conspire at times to drain you of your already dwindling finances, whether it was sudden hikes in bus fees, pickpockets, or tech repairs...

    It seemed almost like you were destined to live on the edge of absolute financial devastation, the sort that might force you to fall on the charity of the SDCD...

    ---Which, perhaps as a matter of pride, simply didn't feel that appealing of an option. Many people already thought lowly of you, and while the kind probably outnumbered them overall...

    There was no need to give certain people any more ammunition to use against you.

    That is why the battle you won had meant everything...

    The LOVELESS Shopping Malls (along with being popular to the point of there being about a dozen in Tokyo alone) all held a certain supermarket within them known as "Aeon." As far as supermarkets go it was pretty standard at a glance, the point of the LOVELESS malls was that they were capable of fulfilling basically any need a customer had without them having to leave the actual establishment at any point, so something as basic as a grocery store shouldn't be anything noteworthy, and to most people it wouldn't be, but...

    ---Every Monday, there is an early-bird sale. 50% off for the first thirty minutes.

    In many ways it's just a blatant gimmick plot to get people inside of the mall itself the ; the stores had a sort of unconscious synergy to them that sent you from one to another if you didn't pay attention to it, but for a student with limited funds...

    Getting those items is a necessity.

    It is life or death... Or at least...

    It's the start of a path that leads to such things-!

    Still, this time around you conquered fate. Emerging from the store with bread, eggs, and other essentials aplenty, the battle-like atmosphere of the grocery is one that you leave with both a grimace and a shudder. While it's slightly crazy, it wasn't exactly impossible for an actual fight to break out in their over half-priced bento... The student life was a rough one, even in the magic age...

    Still, all that was over and done with now.

    All you had to do was get this stuff home, and you were easily set for the next two weeks-!

    Indeed.

    ...What fate has in store for you in this moment is certainly rather cruel.



    "Yoink! You sure buy a lot of food mister!"

    ---A fairy yanks one of the bags from your hands, before flying off into the distance, towards the doors that lead to the outside.

    Thieving Fairy AGI: A

    There doesn't seem to be a reason, in fact, from an outsider's perspective it would look just like a random petty crime. Demons are not so different from humans in that regard, they are not above shop-lifting per say, but there were a number of people that had exited the grocery alongside you, and out of all of them...

    You were the one that fairy had targeted.

    ---Call it paranoia, but...

    It didn't really feel like a coincidence, and if it was...

    ---Then maybe the universe really did hate you.
    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
    Imperial Princess Satehi's Avatar
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    Eva Ellet
    ??? ~ ???
    Monday - Morning



    I am Eva Ellet.

    A faithful spirit tamer of the Rose Cross.

    Although my life so far has been short, I think I have tried to live it in a very proper and ideal manner.

    I do not slack off or cause trouble for others- instead, I do my best to get along. Towards other people, I always try to be polite and courteous, and do my best never to offend anyone unnecessarily. I always do the chores- the house is spotless, with all objects allotted in their appropriate places at any time. Food is always prepared on time, and according to the tastes of whoever I am making it for. And with regards to the gospel of the church, and their policy towards demons- I do not think I could do justice to all of my thoughts in just a few words so I will be brief, but needless to say I do not believe I am lacking at all regarding the matter.

    And naturally, I do not indulge in any vices or excess.

    It goes without saying that I have never ever been to a dance floor or concert. Nor do I listen to music as a past time, and I have certainly never drank. I have never physically done any of these things. Of these facts, I can be certain beyond even a percentage of doubt.

    But this room clad in blue, the music that fills its interior- these are not unfamiliar to me.

    I have been here before.

    I don’t really understand why, but lately I have been, for lack of a better word, off. Sometimes, I hear voices. Other times, I appear here in my sleep. I cannot find any physical reasons- a fact that is both reassuring and unsettling in different ways. After realizing there wasn’t anything to be done about it, I try not to talk about it to other people.

    But if you had to ask me overall what I thought of this experience…
    Then I must admit that it’s a little exciting. I know this isn’t what I should be feeling when standing in this shady room of unknown origin, but I am a little excited nonetheless, and feel a little guilty for it.

    At the very least, I don’t think this is a bad place. This opinion is not entirely a naďve one- I have considered the possibility that Igor might be a demon, especially with his strange appearance, but I did not feel like he was dangerous to me, nor to humanity in general.

    That doesn’t mean that I like him, of course. If anything, his cryptic words thus far annoy me.
    I want him to tell me what he means, and to explain to me why I am here- but he is not present at the moment, so I do not have anyone to speak to.

    Seeing as I have previously investigated the room on past occasions, I don’t have anything to do here. It goes without saying that I am curious- but there is nothing that can be done about it here. I simply wait in the room for something to happen- to an observer, it might look like a life-sized doll had been placed inside.

    Waiting is not something I am unused to, but the thought of left alone in this room, with nothing to do- is rather bleak, even if it is also not something I am unused to. But as I consider taking some sort of action, I see something appear.





    It is a woman(?).

    Interested, I stare at her as she approaches and prepare myself to move out of the way if her destination lies behind me- not that I have any idea of what it could be, in this room.

    And as she waves her hand in front of me, I blink, a little surprised at the action. Does she not think I can see her?

    I contemplate my response, and decide that it would be appropriate to introduce myself.

    “Excuse me, miss.” My intonation is polite and soft- I don’t want to startle her, as I’m sure anyone might if a statue had certainly started talking. If I did that and she happened to vanish on me like Igor, that would be very… upsetting. “I do not believe we have met before- I am Eva Ellet, spirit tamer from the Rose Cross.”

    My greeting is well rehearsed- one that I’ve practiced many times. Whether or not that has made it more effective unfortunately, is not something I’m aware of. I consider offering her a handshake, but decide against it. Still, to demonstrate to her that I am indeed here and responding, I give a short bow.

    “Might I ask who you are? Are you stuck in this room as well, by any chance?”
    Last edited by Satehi; March 30th, 2019 at 09:04 PM.

  9. #9
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Raz Stone
    Brewed Awakenings, Avalon Branch
    Monday - Morning



    Brewed Awakenings. A coffee shop and cafe hybrid that had been amongst the first of the modern buildings constructed on the isle of Avalon, and one that was apparently present in some capacity in all four of the Major Tamer Organizations, showing that the franchise owner must have quite some pull with people in higher positions. It was a place that always smelled faintly of coffee, that scent that many regard as magical in it's own right, as the seduction of caffeine lures the fatigued from their morning stupors and returns them to their brighter, more able personas.

    Of course, it is a place that most people simply come to briefly and then leave; while the occasional book readers or writers do hang around in the booths from time to time, your duties as a knight made it somewhat difficult to hang around in coffee shops for extended periods of time. More often than not you were supervising the training activities of the brand new squires, being sent into the forests to retrieve the occasional hypnotized recruit from the fairies (who seemed to find some amusement in the situation every time), or even responding to incidents on the main land if you happened to be close at hand at the time...

    A knight had to be proactive! The people had to see you working hard for the good of everyone! That is what it means to be a symbol of heroism for humanity!

    ---They are tough standards to live up to, and while you certainly live up to them in your own unique way, it's still a lifestyle that keeps you relatively busy all things considered; that is why this scenario is somewhat special, you did not exactly choose to come here no...

    You had been brought here by someone, or rather, you had been more or less dragged here for a talk by a certain squire, who had chosen this place because her family apparently owned it (at least to a degree), and so she could use it as a secure place of sorts...



    "..."

    It is apparently the result of seeing something she had not wanted you to see...

    It had simply been a low-priority alert, a human guitarist using unregistered magic to make passerby a bit more likely to toss money his way. It was something that sort of stepped on the purity of music as an art-form, removing the ability of the audience to judge it for what it was, and thus your step-in had been poised to be slightly more personal than normal, but...

    There had proven to be no need, the girl that had dragged you here had dealt with it herself. Dressed like a punk-rocker, and apparently on the way to karaoke night at a nearby cafe, the girl had confiscated the guitar as a contraband magical item, informed him that he would have to get it back through an official channel and appeal, and had then gone on her way. In some ways it was a good sight, an efficient squire doing their job quickly before moving on to other things, but you had vaguely recognized the COMP signature and...

    Well...

    Curiosity was a hell of a thing.

    "...Alright, I'm not going to ask why you were there, but... I'm really going to need you to keep all of this a secret-!"

    And well, who would have thought that Sara Cross had an alternate punk rocker persona that she operated under at restaurants? She had gone all out with it, using low-ranking transformation magic to alter her clothing, hairstyle and pitch of her voice-!

    She hadn't even been a bad singer, far from it really.

    ---But she had apparently spotted you in the crowd while doing so, and while the possibility of withdrawing coolly from the situation may have crossed your mind before then, it seemed that she had automatically assumed a worst-case scenario-!

    ...Did she find it to be embarrassing?

    ...Was Sara Cross capable of finding something embarrassing? She wasn't a direct student of yours but even judging from what you had learned by osmosis, that seemed kind of strange-!

    Then again...

    Everyone has their weak points.

    "I might curse you if you don't."

    This appears to be one of them!
    Last edited by Airen; March 31st, 2019 at 08:25 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?



  10. #10
    Taiga's knight Tobias's Avatar
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    Raz Stone
    Brewed Awakenings, Avalon Branch
    Monday - Morning

    Was it coincidence...or was it fate? Many believed in the power of something greater. Call it divine will, in whatever form you like. Perhaps the path humanity walked was based on the whims of some greater demon, an omniscient power far greater then the demonic or angelic hosts? Or maybe indeed, as preached by the church, a benovalant God tested humanity in order to temper the souls of men and maiden for some greater purpose. Raz was not willing to accept such theories, but occasionally he felt as if things around him drew together.

    If not god, then perhaps some sort of Greater power...or perhaps Manager developed a path and offered those worthy a chance to walk it.

    Oh no, it was not his meeting with miss Cross that had Raz feeling somewhat introspective. The world was filled with minor meetings. Even learning of her alter ego could best be described as an amusing chance coincidence, a time when he got to learn about one of his fellow members of avalon.

    ...No...what had Raz mildly interested in the way that things fit together is he was fairly certain that Sara was entirely unaware...

    That Raz absolutely adored coffee! the taste, the sensations, the smells of a good cup of coffee were in his opinion entirely the equal of a woman's body, or the thrill of finding that perfect sound in front of a crowd.

    Well brewed coffee was smoother then a A-list hostess, kinder and gentler then a mother's touch. Good coffee brought readiness to meet the world, and comforting warmth at day's end. Like a perfect idol, coffee could please anyone regardless of age or gender. Some took coffee naturally, luxuriating in the complex and deep flavors that when brewed properly sprang from each roasted bean. Raz himself usually took it such. But some felt coffee required some assistance. From just a touch of cream to enough additives to make a good sized dessert, and it didn't matter in the slightest. Coffee loved every one of it's fans. Without discrimination, with an utterly perfect purity.

    The amount of nights or early mornings Raz had spent, a steaming cup of coffee as his guiding star, writing or preparing for the next session numbered greater then the grains of sand on the beach. Raz tended to brew his own coffee because time at a coffee shop tended to cause time delays he couldn't afford if he intended to continue balancing two lives and what essentially amounted to two full time jobs.

    So perhaps Sara could be forgiven for having taken him to a place he had often come in to buy beans from. Nonetheless, Raz had to cover a smirk with the rim of the thick ceramic coffee cup as Mrs. Cross had guided him to "her" territory.

    As she spoke, Raz was enjoying a particular though less appreciated roast. Normal patrons of Brewed Awakening shied away from the larger then average beans, preferring something with a more natural look, but Raz could never get enough of Malabar coffee. Developed by simulating or even utilizing monsoon like conditions, fine coffee beans were exposed to significant pressure and wetness for about 4 months. This resulted in a larger bean with a slightly different color then standard unroasted beans. More importantly, the natural wet washing process leeched acidity from the beans. This resulted in a smoother, darker flavor, though it lacked the spice of stronger brews.

    Raz liked those too of course, but in the morning, it was hard to compete with the thick, rich aroma of fresh malabar coffee and the accompanying rich, almost chocolaty taste that it was known for. Perfect and warming for starting the day.

    ...Or for trolling a squire.

    ...Raz again had to suppress a grin with a quick sip from his coffee as she threatened him.

    Oh Sara was very scary. Sure Raz had rank but that meant very little when you got right down to it, at least from his point of view. End of the day, it was the job of anyone in Avalon, from knight to squire, medic and bard, to provide hope and inspiration. Sara was hardened by battle, and keeping this secret was important to her. Put bluntly, if she wanted to make him pay for spilling her secrets, she probably could.

    ...But flip that around...

    It was a flicker from the small wing emblem located on the left lens of the Hermes shades that reminded all present that the conversation didn't just have two participants. Because there on the table, broadcasted in holographic form, was a miniature form of an old private eye, complete with a thick magnifying glass hanging from his duster.

    "Toots, come on now, you gotta know this here peeper can't stop bumping gums even to save his ma. You best get ready to put screws on!" the DTG A.I. noted without introducing himself. Though in deference to a lady, he did touch his fingers to the long brim of his fedora. A flash of very shiny teeth peeked out from such. He was probably having fun.

    Of course for the DTG, it really was not needed to introduce himself in the first place. Some A.I. were quiet, mostly contenting themselves with communicating with their wielder's and other A.I. The DTG was different however, by making use of certain broadcasting properties of the Hermes system, he boasted a nearly unheard of ability to interact with the outside world, and never hesitated to make sure it was apparent he was always "on the case" as he put it.

    Raz responded as he usually did, by waving his hand through the image and simultaneously sending a command through the link between Hermes and Heat that disrupted the interface between the two. The DTG flickered out with a single upraised middle finger to mark his passing.

    "Sara Sara Saraaaaaa....." Raz said, rolling the last syllable. "Of course I can keep it a secret! Why wouldn't I. Hell I'll even do you one better.. You ever need an alibi for where you have been out to, you can come to your pal Raz for help. I'll lie till my tongue turns black if need be, you can count on me." Raz smiled over another sip of malabar coffee. "Of course....favor for favor, I'm sure you wouldn't mind doing something for me...."

    Raz paused to let the moment build. He couldn't help it. A flair for the dramatic coursed through his veins alongside a probably unhealthy amount of caffeine.

    "I'll help you now, and in the future... but in exchange I want....a song. A real one. If you are wearing a get up like that, let alone singling like that, you must have something that is uniquely the sound of Sara Cross." At that Raz raised a hand in a wave which took in Cross's punker attire. "I would prefer it if you have written it yourself. I imagine of course you must have a few that you have worked on. However anything will do provided you are willing to say 'this is my song.' Of course, it does not have to be now. A promise to sing for me will do."

    Raz settled back in the old fashioned wooden chair, letting the aroma of coffee rejuvenate him.

    "Of course, if you wont give me a song, I guess I would have to give you one. Performed perhaps, at my next show." Raz's accompanying smile had far to many teeth.

    "She's a Cross one..."*

    Raz began, tapping a beat on the rim of his mug.

    "...little squire..."

    "She really loooves to sing!"

    "Sara way to win her heart,
    or will song rip us apart?

    Little squuuuire!"

    Raz slowly starting nodding along to a melody in his head, and rapidly seemed to lose interest in his surroundings.

    Unbidden, again the DTG popped up on the table. "Sweetie, best make your case soon. When he gets like this there ain't no reasoning with him!"


    *To the tune of "Mr. Grinch."


    Wise up!

    -Dancing All Night-
    Cost: 2
    Restrictions: None
    Your home was once the stage, and perhaps it still is? Whether it be as a rock star, movie star, or even as a member of some sort of idol group, the fame you possess as an individual does not entirely stem from your existence and activities as a Spirit Tamer. Whatever the case, you retain your celebrated skills from your time in showbiz (such as singing and dancing) through which you may be able to better impress (or charm) new friends. In addition, you remain remarkably good at ‘selling’ your brand to an audience, to the point where those that don’t like Tamers normally might just like you regardless, but...

    Because of that same celebrity status, a lot of people know a potentially uncomfortable amount about you, and as a result, people that go digging around into your past won’t have too hard a time of it. Increase the REN of the character by 40 points.-

    Quote Originally Posted by Bird of Hermes View Post
    The moment the opportunity arises for a pun, the one known as 'Taiga's Knight' will be there to deliver whether you like it or not.

  11. #11
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Hyakka Onjouji
    Neo Aoyama, Aoyama Gakuen
    Monday ~ Morning




    This time, the ringing of the school bell was something that applied to you too.

    Out of all of the schools present in the area, Aoyama Gakuen was the only that retained an actual bell-tower amongst the many buildings present on it's campus, the last remnant of the first building to have been built there back in the 1940s. Of course, continual restorations had led to it not looking too out of place amongst it's more clearly modern peers, but Aoyama Gakuen itself (for as long as you had seen it from afar) had always seemed like a little world all it's own, a tiny town that was entirely disconnected from the rest of Tokyo.

    Of course, this wasn't true in any physical sense. While it was hailed as the very first Spirit Tamer school, there were a number of students present on the campus that were more normal, interested more in the mechanics and workings of magic than serving as direct bridges between humanity and their supernatural peers, still...

    To cross that campus line had always seemed to carry an invisible weight. While the world outside of that campus was filled with magic as well, it felt like there was something inherently different about taking your first steps past this place... Whether it be the simple nerves that come to most on their first day in a new academy, or a more mature understanding that every step forward from here on out was a step forward on a path to becoming a "superhero," someone who just might influence how the world ultimately ends up, well...

    Maybe it's a little bit of both, or perhaps neither?

    Regardless, it was a journey that you planned to make with your own two feet. While your onii-chan had offered to walk you to the gates last week, that wasn't the sort of thing he was probably capable of doing on a day to day basis, and so you had decided to jump into the deep end yourself, as it were... Of course, that was putting things a bit dramatically, while there is certainly a massive crowd of students of all ages pouring through the gates now that the first of nine warning bells had run, your case was a special one that didn't really require you to rush... At least you hoped that was the case...

    The acceptance letter had stated you would have a guide on the first day, specifically the Student Council President (which was a good luck of the draw, according to those you had asked about it.) Out of all the Spirit Tamer academies, Aoyama Gakuen was apparently the warmest in this regard, emphasizing friendships and connections, so all you really had to do was wait for her to show up-!

    "Hey-! You're Hyakka-chan, right? I'll be there in a second!"

    And right as you think it, an energetic voice suddenly assaults you from... Somewhere-?!

    Yes.

    It's difficult to spot it at first glance.

    You see, normally when people initiate conversations, they do so at eye level or slightly below. Your natural reaction to being called out too is to look around you from left to right and even behind, trying to figure out exactly where your mysterious potential conversation partner is at, but such things will do you no good, because-

    "Ah, she's doing it again."

    "Yeah, seems like it. Pres, you're gonna hurt yourself one day you know?"

    -The one you're looking for, is somehow coming down towards you from up above-!



    "Yosh-!"

    In many ways it's a perfect superhero landing, knees bending in just the right way to handle the force of the impact, one hand light pressing against the ground for a moment so as to dramatically raise one's eyes to meet that of their foe.

    ---It's certainly strange, and the fact that she rises from this pose after less than a second, laughing lightly to herself the whole time, while her fellow students spare it little more than a passing glance...

    Yes...

    Aoyama Gakuen certainly does seem to be a somewhat different world-!

    "Hello-! I'm Ikushima Kaori, class president extraordinaire-! You'll be hanging out with me today on our campus trip, okay?"

    And even she doesn't treat her own entrance as anything particularly special-!
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  12. #12
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Mokujima Chris
    SDCD Headquarters ~ Chris's Room
    Monday - Morning




    There is nothing quite like the peace, safety, and quiet of one's own room.

    It is said that humans are only truly afraid of the unknown, and that all other fears have their roots in that one primal fear; thus, it is perhaps only natural that the place that one feels safest is the places that one knows the best. Dark corners hold no fear for those that understand their nature, so long as one is resolute, the room should be a place that no one can invade, the last sanctuary, the castle within the castle.

    ---Down here in the depths of the SDCD Base, it took some time for the morning sun to really pierce through to the windows. The cause of this is simple, the SDCD base itself exists beneath the waters of Tokyo Bay, waters that glittered with shining stars at night, and gently thrummed with a healing power that only humans could truly take advantage of; there are a number of theories as to why this is, with the most popular one being that this place simply happens to be 'close' to where the souls of humans retreat after death and supports them as a result, a 'proxy sea of souls' rather than the 'real thing,' but...

    Magi-tech glass dome or not.

    Underwater is still underwater.

    While a number of subtle enchantments have made it akin to an underwater city, and allowed it to be much larger than one would first assume, the light of dawn is still one that dyes the starlit waters a dull orange, before the roaring light of a much more risen sun pierces through the waters and darkness alike, awakening those that chose to stay here rather than return to their own homes, or those to who this base really was their home.

    Yes.

    The piercing light of dawn shakes many a mind awake, but in your case, that piercing light smashes into curtain darkeners, and your quiet, safe room remains quiet and safe even from the burning light of the morning sky.

    ---And it is fine.

    Even Tamers have their days off. It is not like the SDCD is hurting for members to be active 24 hours a day, and so a few more hours of sleep (especially after a night of gaming) doesn't seem like a bad prospect to a drowsy mind; of course to one of you this is but a mild reprieve that you will only allow to be enjoyed for another half hour at best, but to the one embracing dreams, it is a seductive prospect that has no rival-!

    However.

    It is too bad. While one can protect their room from the light, today, on this day of all days, something entirely unexpected comes crashing down (accidentally) as a much more violent hammer of dawn.



    It's the falling body of one Lexie Davis.

    To be more specific, there is now a hole in your ceiling, and another person has crash landed onto the bed, which suffers through the abuse with only the mildest of catastrophic snappings. Of course, while this both looks and sounds bad to those who are close enough to hear/see it happen, in reality, it's not the sort of scenario that would actually end with anyone seriously injured; Tamers were tough, so long as the Harmonizer was on, you could probably be punted off of a plane or thrown through a building or two without having to go to the hospital afterwards, add in the healing factor that comes with being on base and it's basically an entire non-issue, much like falling out of bed normally would be, heck, even repairing the damage to the foundation would take but a simple spell from the maintenance crew, but-!

    "Oww... Sorry... Crash landing..."

    ---Didn't mean it didn't hurt at all, as you could judge from the purple haired girl's mumblings from what was now a pile of scattered blankets and clothes.

    Why?

    Is it a question that comes to mind? While ordinarily the answer might be impossible for you to discover, in this case, it is actually rather trivial to figure out exactly why a certain friend of yours had just come plunging down through ceiling and into your room...

    Namely, her room was above yours.

    Last night, she had talked about going to pick up the latest edition of BlazRed when the stores opened up in the morning; stating that it would be a good time to practice her self-made teleportation spell... As far as magic goes, actual spatial teleportation was one of the more complex formulas, one that had to be tailor made for every person that used it due to the human soul's habit of 'fluctuating' in a much more extreme manner than Demon or COMPs souls did... Such fluctuations made their power spike and decline rapidly at times, but it also made them harder to manipulate in data form, and...

    The result... Is that more than one teleportation spell has... Unintended side effects upon use, in this case...

    It seemed that she had both missed her destination, and had gotten a rather extreme dose of downward momentum upon trying to 'warp' back into her room, and the result...



    "Everyone's... Ok... Right?"

    Was rather explosive!

    ---A fitting fate perhaps, for a NEET that had dared to venture outside so brazenly.

    ...You had warned her more than once.
    Last edited by Airen; April 2nd, 2019 at 10:16 PM.
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  13. #13
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Mokujima Chris
    SDCD Headquarters ~ Chris's Room
    Monday - Morning

    A click.

    Then, a brief flash of light.

    Those are the twin components of the answer Lexie Davis receives in response to her innocent question. Immediately they can be recognized as indicators of a photograph being taken; the click and flash of dedicated cameras is long gone, but most phones require audible signals for such functions due to manufacturing precedent. As for the person who snapped a picture of Lexie covered in dust and bits of building material, staring innocently into the darkness with a chunk of concrete perfectly perched on top of her head...

    The residual light streaming from above banishes the concealing darkness. Though the photographer remain partially cloaked in shadows, Lexie sees...



    "..."


    The tall woman stares, her gaze slowly drifting up from the pink phone in her hand to Lexie herself. She says nothing, which itself is a statement one might read in many ways. Most of those readings are unappealing. Indeed, that piercing glare seems to judge, and judge harshly at that. Standing silently, staring steadily, she seemingly holds only disdain and disappointment for the unfortunate girl that chose this morning to fall into Mokujima Chris' room.

    An image forms, of a cold woman coolly collecting evidence with which she will later end the career of a certain disruptive NEET.

    That image is promptly broken when the woman opens her mouth wide and yawns, bringing up one hand to rub the sleep from her eyes behind the glasses. She blinks, a process that takes an entire two seconds, and lowers the phone.

    "...morning."

    Though she is still bleary from the sudden awakening, Mokujima Chris manages to finally greet her friend properly.

    As if Chris' words are a trigger (they may very well be), the room awakens. From strips along the side of the ceiling a warm white light emanates, illuminating the mess Lexie has made. Some sparks fly from the hole she created, and quickly stop as automated systems detect a short and trigger miniature fuses. The curtains roll back, letting sunlight stream in through the watery filter. A console, having been left on standby since the previous night, detects activity and turns back on, picking up right where Chris had left off. A calming song from the game streams through the surround speakers.

    And something beneath Lexie moves.

    "Mmmph!"

    The reason is clear: trapped beneath the debris is one more person. Said person tries once, twice to lift the debris pinning them down, with no success. There is a pause, and then...

    "Chris! I think we're under attack!"

    The muffled male's voice is coming from the largest pile of rubble... right where Lexie is sitting.

    "There's something really, really heavy on me! I can't move at all!"

    The line brings something almost resembling a smile to Chris' face. Most wouldn't catch the slight twitch of her mouth upwards, but perhaps Lexie has known the girl long enough to recognize the signs. She is most certainly unperturbed by the call for help of the room's second occupant, whose half of the bed (and body) served as an impromptu crash pad for Lexie's sudden landing while Chris herself escaped relatively unscathed.

    "...spell miscalibrated?"

    Chris voices her guess, as she offers a hand to Lexie.

    All things considered, it's not the worst way to start a morning.

  14. #14
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Logan Starbright
    SLEIPNIR ~ Simulation Rooms
    Monday ~ Morning




    Dozens of humanoid shadows approach at different speeds, drawing scattered blades from the ground around them as they charge without any regard for their own safety.

    Of course that is only natural, seeing as this is simply a very detailed simulation; it was something that most of the Tamer Bases possessed, magi-tech machines that are capable of projecting a number of different Harmonizer Field environments alongside a much higher number of auto-skill programs. If one wanted to simplify it, than you could say that the training rooms allowed Tamers to train continuously without fear of suffering severe damage to their bodies, whether it be training alongside each other, or against a number of "training programs" that were capable of manifesting themselves as "shadow-like" beings while within the confines of the Harmonizer.

    Of course, while it could be called a simulation, the pain and fatigue you feel inside of here is still very real; the "Training" auto-skill essentially added a 'digital layer' to your physical body, which meant that any damage you took here would only afflict your temporary digital self, but because your soul was still tied to that digital self, is still felt it as if it was hitting your real body, and while the wounds themselves would fade upon the completion of the session, the nagging aches and fatigue that came with them would still persist for a time afterwords...

    Still, such things are more realistic.

    One can only get used to pain by experiencing it, fighting without feeling it can only lead one to not understand where their limit is, and when they should step over that line-!

    ---And it's a line you stepped over about ten minutes ago.

    While this set of programs weren't particularly powerful individually, their purpose was more to train your mental and physical stamina than anything else; they were relentless, picking up a number of different weapons and charging without any regard for their own safety because they are not actually alive. While your martial skills are far superior to their own, they are designed to adapt and change their own protocols over time, and as a result, they've begun to use more and more complex tactics over the past hour or so, a single one of them falling back into the role of a sniper, hiding with rifle in hand amongst the rocks of this underground cavern...

    Yes.

    A very familiar cave, one formed from your own memories.

    ---There were a number of other available environments, but a part of you had always felt drawn to this one, even if you hated it.

    Regardless, this was not the time to drown in memories.

    A flashing thrust of a staff knocks the last of this first new wave away, one who had charged you with little more than his bare fists. In terms of fragility, the shadow silhouettes were the type that go down in a single blow on this setting, but-!

    This time, they have no intention of letting you reach the next round; body flashing after you strike it head on, the sudden concentration of spiritual power sends an alarm through your body that you're barely able to recognize in time-!

    A self-destruct-?!

    While this isn't the first time one of the programs has tried to use magic on you, this is the first time it's gone ahead with a clearly self-sacrificial attack; recognizing that it is destined to lose, the program chooses to detonate itself in defiance of such things, but you manage to leap back the moment you recognize that spell in your future, and in that same instant-





    -A single bullet -packed to the brim with spiritual power- emerges from the cloud of flame you had escaped, revealing the scope of a plan that they had been forming from the very start of this round-!

    Stuck in the air as you are from your forced evasion, and having already pushed yourself past your limits through hours of training-!

    There is nothing you can do but shield yourself with your arms-!

    ---


    "---Simulation terminated. Dispelling Harmonizer Field. Unlocking doors."

    ---Well, isn't that a surprise?

    While the simulation will always end itself if every living person inside of it has had their digital self dealt a mortal blow, you had actually managed to avoid being destroyed in one hit by sacrificing one of your arms. Of course it was pointless resistance, even if you could restore the limb through the use of healing magic, the second wave of the shadow programs would have been on you before you could mount anymore significant resistance; it was a loss that had become inevitable the moment you had allowed yourself to train to the point of absolute exhaustion, and yet you had strove to push yourself anyway, even if only for the purpose of pushing that inevitable loss a little further into the future...

    But...

    Pushing yourself back to your feet, your original body now taking precedence now that your digital copy was gone, something comes to mind... You hadn't been dealt a fatal blow, but the simulation had ended regardless. This can only mean one thing, namely...

    It was shut off by someone else on the outside of the room.

    You had come in here late at night, so most of the others should still be sleeping; and even if they were awake, it's not like there was only a single training room on base, the SLEIPNIR was massive, so there was no real reason for someone to just come along and interrupt you, Astra definitely wouldn't do it considering her own habits and yet...

    The sound of approaching footsteps...



    "...You've been in here for the past twelve hours. Don't you think you should take a break?"

    Reveals the form of a certain Tsukino Lucia.

    ...Twelve hours huh?

    Was that all...?
    Last edited by Airen; April 3rd, 2019 at 08:20 AM.
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  15. #15
    Beats By Matthew ft. Dr. Para Rafflesiac's Avatar
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    Logan Starbright
    SLEIPNIR ~ Simulation Rooms
    Monday ~ Morning


    He’d been too slow, too weak, yet again. He should’ve shot down that bomber from a distance, should’ve known that it wouldn’t have been as simple as an enemy futilely scrabbling for victory. No, those types of enemies were the most dangerous, so he should’ve realized that and acted accordingly, but - his body throbbed, having exhausted its reserves long ago - he hadn’t had the wherewithal for that. What use was knowledge if the body couldn’t keep up?

    Logan rubbed his throbbing arm absentmindedly, staring at the now plain walls. Odd - he’d failed, but he hadn’t died; there should’ve been a few more seconds he could’ve squeezed out or a few more enemies that he could’ve defeated.

    "...You've been in here for the past twelve hours. Don't you think you should take a break?"
    He turned toward the door to face the speaker - Lucia Tsukino, which was surprising. They weren’t on particularly bad terms, but it wasn’t as though Logan went out of his way to speak to her either. Why was she concerned?

    “Oh.” Twelve hours. Logan ran the numbers through his head, idly deciding on a meaning. That was disappointing. It had felt like more; his exhaustion must’ve fooled him. Though technically speaking, that meant he’d trained throughout the entire night. That was probably too long to hold a simulator to himself, alternatives or otherwise. “I’m sorry, did you want to use this one?” He could always relocate if he was a bother.

    “Or you could eat something! If you pass out again I’m locking down all combat systems for 24 hours. Or posting videos of you sleeping to YouTube. Or maybe I should keep the lockdown going until the videos break 100k views, or…” echoed Amelia in his head.

    Please don’t. I’ll assess matters, okay? So there’s no need for anything drastic, Amelia.

    “Uh huh. I’m watching you.

    Amelia’s grasp of his thought processes was as intimidating as ever. Still, there were more immediate matters requiring his attention than if any of the dull ache suffusing his body was a result of hunger.

    Namely, Lucia Tsukino.
    Supports:


    Quote Originally Posted by Arashi_Leonhart View Post
    canon finish apo vol 3

  16. #16
    Ludwig Karlfeldt
    SLEIPNIR - Hallways
    Monday - Morning


    The door to the outside opens, and the increased gravity kicks back in. While the gravity is a good reminder of where he is, and with it, how far he has come, Ludwig has gotten used to it in the many months he's been here.

    This ship, the SLEIPNIR, is still a marvelous sight to behold. It's technology far beyond what humans have made, the people here strong and disciplined, honing themselves to be their very best. Walking through these halls has been the part of the Karlfeldt goal for as long as Ludwig has lived with them. But simply being here isn't enough for them. Their end goal, the family's ideals and their legacy still rests on Ludwig's shoulders. Funnily enough, the increase of gravity is also a reminder of that weight, albeit more literal than the family's expectations and legacy. Regardless, now its just become another part of his life here, just like the ship.

    And yet, despite the prodigious nature of this place, its grandeur, Ludwig has gotten used to that as well. Truth be told, while his surroundings have changed majorly, his life has not really changed much at all. The elders of the Karlfeldt family were just as insistent on continuous training and perfecting one's self as the Commander is here, and just as rigid in their thinking. The pressure felt hasn't lessened throughout his life, and how to act towards the elders isn't very different from interacting with Adala either.

    You'd think spending your whole life with such people would make it easier to deal with them, and yet getting used to them is still a feat that has yet to be managed. Nevertheless, Adala Lagerkvist wished to meet, and disobeying her wishes, well, the consequences of such an action are probably best unexplored.

    Plus, it's a rare occasion where the head of the Lagerkvist family herself wants to meet, so it's probably worth to check up on her.

    As he walks through the long hallways, the sounds of the SLEIPNIR engines as its ambiance, Ludwig thinks to himself.

    I wonder if she's aware how similar they are, they even shut themselves off in a similar fashion, their minds like an impenetrable fortress.

    A female voice enters his mind, giggling to herself.

    Hehe...perhaps it's a family trait.

    There was no point for Ludwig to do the same, he didn't have any secrets worth keeping from her. She probably knew more of the branch family than he did, and well, there was no need to put up any barriers around her, she could probably tear them down anyway if she wanted.

    The ambiance of machinery changes to the sounds of laughter and idle chit chat as soon as the cafeteria's door slides open.

    After briefly looking around the room, the sensation of a shielded mind is felt from behind, as sure enough there she is.

    "Ah, you decided to come. Come sit down then, I'll pay for whatever you order later on, so don't worry about that."
    "Thank you, Commander", I say as I nod and take a seat.

    As we sit, one stoic gaze meets another.


    i can see the family resemblance already, aren't you two a bit too stiff?
    Well, I doubt she's interested in a casual chat.

    "I don't think I've ever know you to waste time, or to do things for without purpose, so why don't we go straight to the point.
    How can I be of service to you?"

  17. #17
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Amamiya Sho
    Aoyama, LOVELESS Shopping Mall
    Monday - Morning



    When I was little, I used to think Spirit Tamers were super-heroes. Sometimes, I can't help but wonder: 'What would that kid from back then think now, if he saw me like this...?'


    My name Amamiya Sho.

    I'm a student and also a Spirit Tamer working for the SDCD. When I am not getting myself into trouble, life often makes sure to drag me into it. Due to a number of bad decisions and a series of unfortunate events, as well as a few responsibilities to take care of, my financial situation is dire, to the point where I have to carefully manage my resources if I want to survive until the next paycheck arrives. In short, my luck so far has been abysmal.

    That's why, coming out of that supermarket with loot worth of praise, I can't help but stare at my two-weeks worth of sustenance with not just relief but also a bit of suspicion. I mean, lately these 'early-bird' sales have been plagued with surprisingly tenacious customers willing to risk their lives for a discount on their bento. And I am not talking about other Spirit Tamers like me, no, I mean regular civilians and mischievous demons. It pains me to admit, but I am well aware some of them could give me a run for my money in a direct confrontation, so sometimes I have to skip the event altogether. Not to mention using spells and the such so casually can be a bad idea when you are someone who's supposed to make sure Earth is a peaceful place to live. The least I need is someone sueing me for 'abuse of powers','public violence', or something along those lines.

    To be honest, the thought of finding an alternative place where to do my shopping has crossed my mind more than once. That said... A 50% discount is hard to beat... 'LOVELESS' certainly knows how to make a customer like me keep coming back.

    In any case, today's hunt goes as a major victory in the records.

    "Heard that, buddy? Today's breakfast is going to be a god-like banquet."

    And by that I mean it's at least going to taste like something edible. Not that my partner would mind it otherwise. Kyp can eat pretty much anything (although its appetite is insane-!). But I imagine it having an omelet is better than it swallowing my shoes again. Those aren't exactly cheap nor easy to clean. Believe it or not, laundry is pretty high up on my list of expenses, right under food and drinks.






    "_________"




    Kyp does not speak a language humans can understand nor properly translate with the help of a COMP. That's because the alien noises it makes belong to no language at all. It might been at some point familiar with a certain language, but its ability to properly speak must have been lost during its summoning.

    ... I might be partly responsible for that.

    You see, Kyp is a slime, the weakest type of demon. So weak in fact that some consider its entry should be removed from the Demonic Compendium, arguing that a slime is merely the product of a failed summoning. To make it simple to understand, if we follow that logic, it's entirely possible that I might have turned a brave hero of legend into a mass of goo by pure accident. No wonder Rothschild didn't want to see me around after that happened.

    Kyp and I are good though. We've had our fair share of adventures that allowed us to settle our differences.

    We're best buddies now.






    "Yoink! You sure buy a lot of food mister!"



    ---Crap!

    Caught in my own monologue I must have lowered my guard and allowed the Fairy to freely take what she came here for. Of all the reasons why she targeted me over other customers, there is one that probably stands out, or at least one that immediately crosses my mind.


    Amamiya Sho AGI: E


    The sheer gap is speed is impossible to ignore.

    In but just a moment, that demon will be outside not just my range, but also my field of vision. Normally, I would give up just as fast. Following Fairies has not brought me any good fortune in the past and catching one sounds like a feat way beyond me. It sucks, but time has taught me to cut my losses and I hardly have time for a game of tag I cannot win.

    ---Yes, had it been anything else, I would have allowed that little imp to escape.

    "Kioka, Kyp!"

    Just calling the names of my teammates is enough to put a reckless plan into motion. As I pull back my arm, I feel my physical strength go beyond that of a regular human, no, that of a regular COMP owner. In an instant, Kyp is already in my hand, instinctively adopting the most optimal shape for the maneuver that will follow.

    Yes, we've practiced this countless times in the past.

    We'll only get one shot but...

    "As if I'd let you-!"

    I'd like to see her dodge our fearsome slime bullet-!
    [18:30] RacingeR: Max S.Link with hero is when you promise your daughter to him
    [18:31] RacingeR: Which means Airen and me are the only ones that maxed it (I promised Spin to him, and Spin is my daughter)
    [18:32] hero: oh shit
    [18:32] hero: spincess get
    [18:32] hero: suck it fuckers

  18. #18
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Hyakka Onjouji
    Neo Aoyama, Aoyama Gakuen
    Monday ~ Morning


    Ring and chime, toll and knell.

    “Is this… it?”

    A small girl, dressed ornately in red and black, peered through the gate that marked the jurisdiction of Aoyama Gakuen. Students came and went past her, most standing head and shoulders above her tiny figure. Her white hair the color of clouds swayed with the passersby, and eyes like rouge marbles stared past the fence, toward the sound the bell came from.

    Her dress ruffled as she took a hesitant step forward. Then another, and another.

    Her lost eyes looked to and fro, trying to find a sign. Something to move toward, someone to approach her. The letter had mentioned a guide, but there was nobody of that sort in sight.

    “I… Ex-excu-… me…”

    A quiet voice tried to interject into the daily routine of the coming and going students, but the soft voice of the girl never reached. One back after another turned and carried on with its day, unaware of her plight, not hearing her voice.

    Tiny balls of liquid began to well up in the corners of her eyes. Pooling up, ready to fall down her cheeks. Like a deer in headlights, surrounded by screaming cars on a freeway, the girl froze up.

    "Hey-! You're Hyakka-chan, right? I'll be there in a second!"

    Balled fists that were quivering hardened.

    “?!”

    With eyes that looked like a heroine being saved in her darkest hour, Hyakka Onjouji tossed her head about, searching for the one that had called out to her.

    For a moment, the bout of relief began to drain away. The hope drained from her like the color from her cheeks, and just as the small girl began to drop her head again, resigning herself to loneliness, accepting that the voice was just a piece of her imagination.

    "Yosh-!"

    A hero arrived.

    "Hello-! I'm Ikushima Kaori, class president extraordinaire-! You'll be hanging out with me today on our campus trip, okay?"

    “So cool…”

    Tiny droplets of welling tears were blinked away, sparkles of amazement shining behind them. Shining like a belt of stars, Hyakka’s eyes widened and she shot forward.

    “As expected of the class president, just like a superhero!”

    Like a gust of wind the small girl burst forth, arms raised in excitement. Any sign of a lost child on the verge of tears were long gone.

    “That’s right, I’m Hyakka. Hyakka Onjouji! But Hana is fine too.” Quick to cry, quick to smile. The small girl flashed a grin at the other girl and bowed. “By the way, what is a ‘class president’?”


  19. #19
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Ayra Lilygrove
    Akarana Estate ~ Indoors
    Monday - Morning




    There is no such thing as a perfect system.

    The Spirit Tamer organizations had certainly proven themselves to be effective preemptive measures when it came to dealing with the 'friction' that would inevitably come with humanity's decision to embrace their supernatural counterparts, allowing them to act and operate in society in just the same way as humans. It was a decision that was born from a number of different things, some that humanity will only ever understand as nostalgic feelings, but one that is also ultimately pragmatic in the end, namely...

    ---A war between humanity and demon-kind is a war that has no end, as both humanity and demon-kind support the existence of the other simply by existing. Records from ancient times as well as modern day studies both supported this belief as a sort of absolute truth; it is fundamentally impossible for either side to actually wipe the other one out without wiping themselves out as well, and any victories that were lesser than complete obliteration were meaningless in the long run, as no matter which side 'lost,' they would eventually recover their power and return to repeat the cycle of violence.

    If that was the case, then the only way to break that cycle was by attempting to make a world that everyone could exist in, trusting the world with the truth about the supernatural rather than trying to shield them from it forever; it's an answer that is simple in theory, but much more difficult in execution, even so, a number steps had been taken towards that distant dream becoming a reality, and the world that existed now could already be called a proof of concept. It is already arguably superior to the world that existed over a decade ago due to humanity's new talent with magic accelerating research in a number of different fields, and while crime still exists, that is something that has always existed in human society's to an extent.

    The Tamers are doing their jobs well so far, serving as 'bridges' between humanity and their more blatantly supernatural counterparts.

    ---Even so, there are certain things even Tamers cannot do without permission, and certain forms of corruption that have continued to persist even in this magic age.

    Your existence here in this moment, sitting on a couch while a maid brings you tea, being told to wait while the person you were investigating comes to meet you in his own time... That is a symptom of those lingering forms of corruption, that which had been present in the old human world, and had simply shifted itself slightly in order to better operate within the confines of the new one. Even the Faction Leaders had people they had to report too, people that have both the money and the means to make problems that they don't want looked into to simply go away; it was the sort of thing that had to be fought in court, through slow bureaucracy that was so much more complicated than the day to day patrols, and...

    Yes.

    While the Tamers could catch many criminals on the streets, there are some people that will remain eternally untouchable, sheltered by a system that they had managed to ingrain themselves in...

    ---That's why this meeting might come across as inherently frustrating to yo.

    The person you're here to talk to is a Mr. Lloyd Akarana, head of the Spiral Electronics Company, itself a subsidiary of the Spiral Corporation, an international conglomeration with some notable influence in the electronical, pharmaceutical, and tourism industries. Needless to say, this person is the sort who could easily deflect whatever sort of wrongdoings he's being accused of, in this case, a number of unauthorized and irregular COMPs had been discovered after Tamers came into violent contact with a number of gangs in London.

    What made those COMPs irregular was a difference in their core structure. Normally Plumes of Dusk were used due to their high adaptive qualities making them capable of learning most magic over time, but in this case...

    The core of the COMPs were suppressed demons, in other words, they had been powered by the souls of captive demons. Needless to say, this is a rather severe crime in the new world, akin to holding a human hostage; the metals used in the make of the COMPs were somewhat similar to that used by Spiral Electronics in their products, and anonymous tips and rumors seemed to hint that the company was responsible for their construction, but...

    None of that is hard evidence, and you consequently haven't been issued a warrant to actually search any of their properties.

    In fact, the fact that you had been sent rather than an NWAB member already means someone is interfering with the investigation from up in the higher ranks. Your "investigation" as it were, was more or less limited to simply asking the man in question if he or his subordinates were illegally constructing weapons, and when he inevitably told you no...

    You'd legally have to leave.

    ---Needless to say, it's rather frustrating, like being forced to go through the motions of a meeting that can only end in one way.



    "Ah, Ms. Lilygrove is it? I'm honored that a person of your beauty and caliber would come out this far to see me, albeit, I regret that it's under such unfortunate circumstances."

    The man of the hour comes out to greet you, and you shake out of your self imposed reverie as he sits down on a different couch, completely composed in spite of the circumstances of your presence.

    It's the aura of a man with no fear.

    "I trust you have been treated well by my servants? Is there anything else you would like as refreshment this morning? Breakfast perhaps? Coffee?"

    One who knows he is more or less invincible.

    But...

    How to play this out...

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

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  20. #20
    men are men; the best sometimes forget Katie's Avatar
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    Ayra Lilygrove
    Akarana Estate ~ Indoors
    Monday - Morning


    When you think about it, it makes perfect sense.

    A Knight serves their Lord, and in turn, their Lord is beholden to the people that support him. Suffice to say, a Knight does not truly serve the will and interests of their Lord, but merely that of their benefactors. Even in the modern age, Knighthood, founded on the traditions of old, cannot escape from this fundamental principle. Though Spirit Tamers may be a symbol of this new world, everything that they are was built upon the institutions that came before it.

    And the world before was very, very flawed.

    I wouldn’t go as far as to claim that my fellow Knights and Squires are truly ignorant to this fact—they’re more focused on fixing what is in front of them. Spirit Tamers exist to correct the obvious wrongs of the new world. The things they defend, corrupt from the start, are simply not in their purview as things to be corrected. And if it was… what could they do?

    As a kid, righting those obvious injustices was all I could ever think about. As an adult… there’s a lot more than that on my plate.

    The past few days haven’t been very kind for my stress levels.

    Still, I’m here to put on a good show. Tell the world that the Knights of the Round tried to make an attempt. For that, I need a picture perfect smile and good PR, both of which I definitely have. Still, since I’m merely going through the motions… Even I have to admit it’s dreadfully boring.

    I glance at the obsidian ring on my right hand, inlaid with a translucent, flower-shaped gem. My COMP. My partner.

    Aster, do you think the easy way’s going to work or the hard way?

    Aster: 🤔

    Her reply brings a smile to my face, even if it’s probably not that amusing. For an AI that I haven’t seen or heard for over a year, she’s managed to make the most out of text. Though, she tends to get rather spammy when incensed…

    Aster: It’s always the hard way, and you know it.
    Aster: Anyway, who do they think you are?
    Aster: Some sort of mascot they can slap on covers of Vogue and send around doing pointless crap like this?
    Aster: Do they even care how hard you work?

    I think I’m just more suited than others for this than the others, that’s all. Mild-mannered Knight deals with a business interest. Besides, the job is easier this way.

    A pause.

    I don’t think it’s any knock on my ability or anything. My efforts are pretty self-evident.

    Aster: I got it, I got it…

    It’s then that the man of the hour arrives. He has a familiar look to him. The arrogance. The understanding that under the rules society permits, he is untouchable.

    People like him sometimes make me question what we’re supposed to be protecting as Knights of the Round.

    "Ah, Ms. Lilygrove is it? I'm honored that a person of your beauty and caliber would come out this far to see me, albeit, I regret that it's under such unfortunate circumstances."
    “I’m quite flattered.” I feel like you could replace me with a Squire, or even a Spirit Tamer from another country, and his attitude would not change one bit. “I apologize in advance for the claims they’ve sent me for. I think they’re quite baseless.”

    Aster: You are such a liar.
    Aster: What happened to square little Squire Ayra who’d never tell a falsehood in her life?

    She was broken in by farces like these.

    "I trust you have been treated well by my servants? Is there anything else you would like as refreshment this morning? Breakfast perhaps? Coffee?"
    “No, no, everything has been lovely so far. Although… I am in the mood for a spot of tea.” In reality, I’m a traitor to my nation, because I prefer coffee over England’s beloved beverage. But coffee is something to be enjoyed by yourself or with others, and I honestly doubt anyone could enjoy their drink with that man lording his superiority over them. Though, since I’m here, I might as well get some satisfaction with what the rich can provide.

    Hey, what’s my lucky number for the day?

    Aster: It’s six.

    I absentmindedly tap my fingers six times on the couch. Aster has never been one for the less… scientifically founded presumptions I make, but I figure if there’s luck to be found, you might as well make the attempt, right? Even the slightest bit of misfortune makes a well-laid plan become a complete disaster.

    “At any rate, there have been rumors going around that there are COMPs with materials commonly used from Spiral Electronics using Demons as their cores,” I say, trying to sound incredulous. Aster spams :thinking: a few times in response, lost to the recesses of my mind. “Once again, I’m awfully sorry to be the messenger for such a heavy accusation.”

    What does lends credence to this claim, however, is that Spiral owns each and every step of the process like with most modern businesses. Sure, they don’t own the direct metal deposits and mines themselves, but they do own every factory that would make every piece that goes in their product.

    In other words, they are the only people who could have made those horrid things and distributed them, but I should be out the door any minute now. Those with something to hide are never transparent.

    Hopefully, I at least get some tea before it’s over.
    Last edited by Katie; April 5th, 2019 at 03:46 AM.
    [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

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