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Thread: Spirit Pulse : Mugen No Sekai [IC]

  1. #641
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    O Rose thou art sick.

    Hyakka Onjouji
    ???


    Eyes that had fallen closed slowly opened. What they beheld… what the girl expected to dread, there was no sign of it. In this crystalline plane, those titans and celestial cataclysms that crawled into her sleep… were nowhere to be found.

    She feared sleeping.

    Such wasn’t always the case, but lately. Lately her dreamless nights had become her greatest fear. Only one person knew those troubles, Camelia, but that lovingly cold voice was never there when her consciousness left her. Even now her ears couldn’t find her partner.

    That isolation that followed sleep usually gave way to anxiety, but here. Her fingers traced the surface of a large sapphire-like crystal. Here… she feels no fear. Instead there is a comfort, a familiarity.

    "Are you alright, Hyakka?"

    Is it because it’s a dream that she hadn’t realized, the crystal in front of her, the one she had been touching at that moment, was a table all along? She blinked, then turned her eyes upward.

    "You seem to be rather panicked..."

    So bright. The one speaking to her is so bright, how had she not instantly drawn her eyes toward him? Is it because it’s a dream, or is it related to that deep calm, washing over her. A serenity inside that she couldn’t describe, an inner peace and tranquility that she had never known before. Or maybe it was what she once knew, before that day she first woke and stared into that single eye.

    Why was it, that day, exactly 100 days after the world was saved, that she woke up? That the endless darkness gave way to a world of blue and green like this…

    And why did that light draw her thoughts so far back? She, who could never think back in the first place, for there was never anything before that to recall.

    “I am… alright. I just get… scared, and overwhelmed, and sometimes I can’t keep it in and it just… escapes. Sometimes, I think,” for some reason, everything she felt just escaped her lips, speaking to that light as though it were someone she had always relied on, always shared her troubles with, “that I’m just a burden to Tsubaki. That maybe I’ll never improve. I’ll always just cry and faint.”

    She thought those words might make her voice crack, that her eyes would grow moist with tears. But for some reason, there was nothing. Hyakka just spoke plainly to that blinding light.

    “Everything is so new lately, and happened so fast. I thought I was doing fine, but then when it came time for me to act, all I could do was panic. In the end, Tsubaki saved us all, and to make it worse I even fainted.”

    She looked around at the crystals.

    Why did it not occur to her to ask about this place?

    “Will I ever improve? I get stronger… but I always feel just as weak as I ever was.”


  2. #642
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Eva Ellet
    ??? ~ Streets
    World Designation: Revolution
    Noon, Foggy


    "...I sort of... Need it..."

    While he had looked a bit regretful when it seemed his words had actually pierced through to you to a degree, his ultimate response to your demand is still a resistant one... Of course his saying that is not unexpected, considering he had continued to shield it even after being caught, it was clear that this had not been a random petty crime, rather, he had definitely needed it for something important, and...

    "Fufufufu... Do you now?"

    The appearance of the Velvet Room attendant is accompanied by a strange, goddess-esque laugh; somewhat removed from both her usual nervousness and the sheer excitement that had come with her temporary escape from her 'prison,' it's the obvious act of the woman putting on some sort of airs about herself, as if she wanted to purposefully come across as some sort of great, benevolent stranger and-

    "Yes... I can see it... You need it for... Food? Ah, I see, well then, I'll buy it for you, and then you can bring us along to this residence of yours and we can talk about why it's wrong to steal from others-! You live at Hollow Fields, right?"

    -after looking at him for a bit -her stare seemingly causing him to shrivel up- she once again makes an odd declaration, acting as if she could read his mind or was clairvoyant or something... Of course, such powers are not unheard of back home, and the way she described her dreams and the existence of those books could certainly hint at a form of clairvoyance, but being able to just glance at someone and determine their motivations...

    That wasn't... A thing she could do right?

    She had never seemed to do it to you if she could, but then again...

    Maybe that was part of her pride as your 'spiritual secretary'...

    "Eh? What the heck... Did you read my mind-?!"

    Ah.

    That response implies the truth of some things...

    ---

    Eva Ellet
    Hollow Fields, Academy
    World Designation: Revolution
    Noon, Foggy


    ---Apparently she really was some form of clairvoyant, that, or her delusions were just scarily accurate.

    A bit outside of the city limits, there was a rundown academy that went by the name of "Hollow Fields." While the boy -his name was apparently Goro- was somewhat resistant to Agatha's kindness at first, he seemed to realize he could get more money out of cooperating with her than denying her, and had ultimately went along with her -suspicious sounding- offer in order to take advantage of it, another hint that he was a bit desperate for some reason, considering the two of you could easily have villainous motives that he is unaware of...

    ---Yes, if there was a manipulator here, it was probably the fourteen year old, and...

    It had worked, easily worked, and the older woman clearly didn't really care; as if aware of the truth that awaited her on the other end of all of this, and acting as a good Samaritan for the sake of easing the same guilt that kept her imprisoned, she had spent everything she had on various supplies around the city, and the two of you had wound up carting it back out towards the boy's home.

    And Hollow Fields...

    Was apparently some form of orphanage...

    ---As could be judged by the swarm of kids that hit the three of you when you first open the door. It's both surprising and unsurprising, the boy had subtle reactions that hinted at a more warm nature, like the apologetic flash that had appeared after calling you a monster, but he had chosen to do things that go against his good nature in spite of that, and if there was a reason for someone to do so...

    Naturally, it would be one's family.

    ---In essence, he was amongst the oldest of a group of orphans.

    There was no apparent caretaker, no adult amongst them...

    Thus, there were seemingly doing things entirely on their own... The roof looked a bit damaged, with mildew beginning to form, although obvious efforts to keep the rest of the large school building clean were being made... Still, strangely enough...

    Unlike the people in the city... All of these children...

    Show a bit more innate spirit power than their city-bound counterparts, enough that they wouldn't be too out of place back at home.

    "...This is the place."

    Ultimately, Goro remains a bit closed off and grumpy, but the fact that Agatha had bought enough supplies to last a month at the very least seems to have blunted the worst of his suspicions, even as he sends the other kids away shortly after you arrive...

    "...So, what did you actually want? Why spend so much on a thief...?"

    "I believe in doing at least one good deed a day! Keeping a child from descending into a life of crime is a truly noble purpose-!"

    A child-like response from an adult woman, an eyebrow that raises in response to that, and...

    "Well, I suppose my friend and I might have some questions about the city, being tourists we might find it useful later, but really it's just because we're good Samaritans, right Eva?"

    ...Why was she dragging you into this, and what was with the weird inflections on certain words?

    It had been her money.

    The most you had done was help carry some of the food back...

    Regardless of whether or not you answer in the affirmative, he...

    "Questions...?"

    ...Seems to find that idea rather strange in and of itself.
    Last edited by Airen; January 13th, 2020 at 09:24 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?



  3. #643
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Ludwig Karlfeldt
    Depths of a Dream (?)
    ??? - Night


    "...I haven't taken on any students. I'm still in training myself, but my mentor is a bit of a slave driver... Things like enhanced gravity are her forte, so I suppose I'd do the same thing myself if I had to teach anyone, but like I said... It wouldn't be very fun for the students, of that I can personally attest."

    Where you draw on knowledge of the 'future' to imply that she would do fine as a teacher, the woman herself doesn't seem to regard that as a truth, or rather, she seems to find the idea darkly amusing...

    "But being a Demon Summoner is not a game... So being harsh is only natural, still... It wouldn't kill her to let up a little bit..."

    ...And even throws out a complaint or two about what is almost certainly Alexia, of course, that also raises the question of exactly what Alexia is considering her apparent youth, but...

    You can't reach her from in here, nor should you, considering what she had said to you the last time...

    "As for Loki, he has hollowed out; he's on the border of running out of reiki, spirit power, and he's turned to feeding off of the villagers to stave off the collapse of his power. He has yet to kill anyone, but I will not allow humans to be treated like cattle either; for that offense, I will crush him."

    ...Well, at least she's not that different from her adult self.

    She probably would have threatened to crush the Loki you knew too...

    ---After all, he had become her Guardian Spirit at some point; he was her personal summon, and a powerful -if somewhat obnoxious- ally of the Rothschild, the sort of entity that can't help but make the lives of others somewhat more complicated for his own amusement, but remains a bizarre ally to the Rothschild Tamers in spite of that fact...

    "...There is a possibility Fenrir is present as well; in that case, I will defeat and seal them both; however, there is no conclusive evidence on that front."

    ---

    Lydia Karlfeldt
    SLEIPNIR - Deck
    ??? - Night


    Meanwhile...

    "Oh my... I suppose I forgot to deal with the A.I... Well, I guess you didn't do anything wrong, so leaving you alone is fine."

    In response to an approaching hologram, the only thing the brown-haired woman does is smile gently, even as her words imply a certain sort of dissonance in her actions, namely, the fact that she had considered sealing you into that mental world along with Ludwig, of course...

    ---The bond between User and COMP is inherently spiritual, where his mind goes, your own can typically follow... This is not always the case of course, but most of the time, if you are called you can appear, consequently, things that do not directly target you are also things that you can ignore, to that end...

    Even if the mind of the Tamer is locked away, the A.I can often continue to act; this is why Tamers are difficult to fight, as they are essentially two separate existences fighting as a single unit...

    If you don't take out both, they have a tendency towards getting back up, still...

    "But prove it you say? I am clearly a caring soul... I could have been much meaner to him, looking into the minds of others is a very serious moral crime you know~!"

    ...Ultimately, the dissonance falls away to reveal a more joking voice, the voice of someone who has decided to 'play along' rather than simply fling magic around, and...

    "I have to save my ara ara's for when they're being good kids, you see~"
    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. #644
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Hyakka Onjouji
    ???


    ---Strangely, it feels completely natural to confide your worries in this person; while it would not be incorrect to say that the existence called "Hyakka Onjouji" was a bit too trusting in her day to day life, the sudden depths to which she goes, speaking of things that she has not even told her partner...

    To some it may come across as abnormal, but it's strange...

    It feels fine.

    Like it is only natural to confide in this person, because he is not a stranger at all; he is someone you know, or perhaps someone you simply knew once, regardless, his presence brings about a sense of both overwhelming calm and safety, like...

    If you had answered in the negative to his question...

    Something would have happened to rectify the situation, yes...

    This person is fine, like a close member of one's family, someone who listens without judging, and does their best to help you become your best possible self, yes...

    This person is fine.

    "The life you have chosen to live is not an easy one, it is only natural to be overwhelmed at times, especially at the start."

    He smiles, even though you can't see his face, you're sure that just like his voice, it's a smile that's overwhelmingly gentle.

    "But you will certainly improve, everyone does with experience."

    Of course, that's something that's easy to say, but the man seems to understand this too, as he chuckles to himself after a homely pause...

    "As for being a burden... Nonsense. It is fine to rely on others if one can't do it alone, isn't the motto of that school that everyone is stronger together? It may be rough at first, but in time, others will certainly come to rely on you as you have relied on others; at that time, you will be able to pass the favor done to you on to another. That is how these sorts of things go, right?"

    Another laugh, yes...

    A warm chuckle.

    "And if you can't believe that, well... I have faith in you myself, so believe in the me that believes in you. When things get bad and something important is at stake, you will stand up and do what you feel you must; you always do, every time without fail."
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  5. #645
    Ludwig Karlfeldt
    Depths of a Dream (?)
    ??? - Night


    "Fenrir, as well as Loki huh. Well, if it comes down to that, you won't need to fight them both alone. I can't fault you for not trusting a stranger, but I'll be there when you need me whether you like it or not."

    While taking care of the villagers comes first, leaving Adala alone to fight off two Gods is hardly an option. Especially now since she's revealed to still be in training.

    The old commander may have chased Ludwig away, but the current one might actually need his help if she's to deal with both of them. Perhaps unlikely, but it's not impossible that the difference between the two is currently not as much as Ludwig had first assumed.

    Still, it didn't matter who the opponent was, a Tamer's job was to ensure the peace. A god or two shouldn't go unpunished for targeting innocent civilians, regardless of their power. This was no exception.

    Loki is a trickster god, but he's also a special member of the Rothschild faction. His appearance here makes sense, this moment in the past may even be when Adala bullies him into her service.

    Fenrir however, was unfamiliar territory. His relation to Loki could be enough of a reason why he'd be here, but Adala never really spoke about Fenrir before. Then again she's not really the type to share stories of the past, or at least she's not yet done so to Ludwig.

    Well, if there's no proof that the wolf is here, there's little use worrying about it now.

    "What do you suggest as a plan? Loki might notice if his source of spiritual power is taken away, but crushing him might force him into truly unacceptable behavior."


    Lydia Karlfeldt
    SLEIPNIR - Deck
    ??? - Night


    A quick nod in agreement.

    "Mhmmmm, true, he is a handful at times, much too curious for his own good. But Lud's a good boy, he means no harm. It's his way of getting to know people better, or looking out for those he cares about."

    Lydia continued to close the distance, getting nearer and nearer to the enigmatic and cheerful Alexia Wright.

    "As a punishment this is far too entertaining for me, so zero complaints there! There is however, one tiny little thing that does worry me."


    While it's true that a big sister should point out the mistakes of the little brother and correct him, there are other tasks that any good and caring big sister must accomplish.

    "Adala-chan said you were 'completely unreliable'. That simply won't do as a Big Sis! No no no... if you want me to recognize as true Big Sis material, you need to do something for me when those two wake up. It's a tiny little thing, and I'm sure you can do it!"

    Comically wiggling her finger around as she continues on in her joking tone, she makes a rather ridiculous demand.

    To Lydia, who came into this world to filling the shoes of Ludwig's lost sister, being a reliable big sister is one of the things she took pride in. She took on the essence of what she believed a big sister should embody and made it her own naturally. That very aura has helped her grow friendly with a good number of people, despite being a COMP.

    What she wants to test now is a vital ability all big sisters should possess. That skill being...

    "I have a duty to protect my little brother from any strange people, I'm sure you understand. You might be a good person, but in order for me to accept you... you~ have~ tooooooo~~~

    Give Adala-chan a heartfelt compliment! I wanna see that stoic look turn into a blush! If you can do that, I'll have no choice but to share my position."

    ...showing genuine affection!

    Rather than asking any favors or performing some actual test, Lydia chooses to go for a seemingly silly task. The adult Commander is almost assuredly not going to break from something as minor as a compliment, but maybe, just maybe, she'll secretly enjoy it.

    And isn't that good enough.

  6. #646
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Mokujima Chris
    ??? ~ ???
    ??? - ???


    ---A healthy plume generates large amounts of spiritual power.

    It is a trait they inherit from their human hosts, an ability that appears along with the emergence of their soul; in that regard, while they are inherently supernatural beings themselves, Plume souls are closer in nature to human souls than demon souls, who are unable to generate spirit power of their own, and instead gain it through other means, be it directly from humans, or simply the ambient reiki in the world around them, a power that is far more abundant in the magic age than it used to be twenty years ago, enough so that demons can live 'casually' without a master of their own if they so chose...

    Weaker or damaged plumes however...

    Give off a lot less spiritual power, of course it's rare, typically a Plume won't find itself in a damaged state... When they are destroyed, as rare as it is, it is normally swift and brutal, the shattering of a crystal by their own power or that of their attacker, but this...

    Looks like wasting away...

    Beings that generate spiritual power typically have some need for it, for humans, spirit power could also be called excess life energy, the result of their souls producing more strength than what is needed to run their bodies; for plumes this is no different, it is like their life-force, if they don't have enough of it, it is possible for the plume to expire from it...

    Difficult when one has a Human User, with whom spirit power can be generated by both parties and shared between both parties, but alone...

    Left in the dark...

    ---It was possible for something like this mud -whatever it was- to essentially slowly choke this girl to death...

    That's why the solution is reckless, but not exactly unobvious...

    While you are not her User -and thus your sync rates won't be as high- it was perfectly possible for you to share your own spirit power -reiki- with her... Of course doing so in this instance requires physical contact, and considering said heart is covered in mud, it means you'll have to touch it as well, and considering Sakurako's... Affliction...

    There was a possibility said mud was hazardous in some way, even so...

    ---No regrets.

    As a Tamer, as a Smith, and as a Human...

    You simply can't leave her like this-!

    Contact is made, a finger sparking with reiki, tearing through mud to make contact with a shining blue core.

    In response to this...

    The mud wraps around your wrist.

    ---If this had happened a few decades ago, you simply would have lost that hand right there; you have no way of knowing it at a glance, but this is a mud that specializes in eating humans, it is a flickering remnant of something far worse than the mud Sakurako had used in her battle with you, and yet...

    It just burns.

    Rather than searing through your wrist completely... The only sensation you really get is that the mud burns, even then, you wouldn't really call it an unbearable pain...

    ---This too is something you cannot know, but as someone born in "this world," a child of the New World, you have a certain resistance to this sort of phenomena; it is not outright immunity, the pain of the mud latching onto your skin is one that sets all your nerves aflame, but it is an innate resistance...

    Enough to make it bearable in small amounts, and...

    ---Even through that pain, a connection of sorts is made; it's not quite a contract, it's simply a transfer... More specifically, it's like the plume had desperately absorbed whatever sort of power had been tossed it's way as if it a diver gasping for air, and then, with that power...

    There's a flash of blue, and the pain in your arm disappears as the mud too disappears, consumed by what had seemed to be a burst of azure fire erupting from the plume's core...

    Swift and decisive, an automatic response from something that had been in the process of being drained of her life, and had finally found the means to burn it's attacker to ash.

    ---Even so, she does not move...

    Much.

    Fingers twitch slightly, eyes remain closed, and...

    "----!"

    She makes a sound like static, like her voice was damaged, or she was speaking some harsh, unknowable language...

    Before falling completely silent and motionless again, plume glowing slightly brighter now even as it returns to a state of unconsciousness...

    Leaving quite a few questions in her wake, and...



    Acquired Trait: World Crest (Xanadu)

    A strange marking on the back of your hand... Close to where the mud had grabbed you for a moment...
    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. #647
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Mokujima Chris
    ??? ~ ???
    ??? - ???

    "Ah - ah..."

    For a moment, Mokujima Chris is sure she's bitten off more than she can chew. That the manic bravery pushing her forward may have just led her to her death. The mud, biting into her flesh...

    She shudders.

    It's over. The mud is gone, and-.

    She flexes her hand, forms a fist and opens it, examines her fingers. Everything is intact, somehow. Only the phantom pain remains. The pain, and the strange glowing crest near her wrist.

    "Huh?"

    Chris squints at it, half-expecting an explosion. But no, these aren't explosive runes. Or if they are, they're not going to explode just from being looked at. Dangerous? Maybe, possibly, perhaps even certainly. But immediately? Probably not. More importantly...

    "Phew..."

    The android's core is glowing nicely. She is still unconscious, perhaps because of the imbalance of spiritual power, but that's fine. With the choking mud gone, she isn't in anything resembling immediate danger. A healthy Plume can't starve the same way a human can. In fact, the only toll time might take on a Plume would be their sanity. But that shouldn't be an issue. It'll be fine now, even if the android girl is left alone. Of course further repairs will be necessary, but without tools there's little to be done.

    "...Lexie's been waiting too long."

    Yes, it's been quite an adventure. A responsible person would've returned the moment the 'Ruina' graffiti appeared, but Chris had gotten a bit carried away. Who knows what Lexie Davis is thinking on the other side, after having seen her friend vanish and stay vanished for so long?

    Although...

    "I've never seen her worried face... maybe I could catch it..."

    Chris shakes her head, banishing the thought. Teasing friends is fine, but not when there's real danger.

    "I'll... try to take you with me." Speaking isn't difficult, when it's to an unconscious android. Her body may be automatically recording for when she wakes up, but it may also not be. Either way... "But, if it's impossible... take care of yourself. Someone would definitely be sad if something happened to you."

    Gripping the light switch with her hand, still bearing the strange crest, Chris reaches out with the other and takes hold of the android's hand. She twines their fingers together, squeezes, and, as she pulls the switch again, prepares another apology.

  8. #648
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Blaise Pendragon
    Cave Interior, Why Must We Suffer So
    ??? ~ Morning

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuriko
    "...Ah. I see. It's the worst sort of illusion."
    Yes.

    She was absolutely right.

    This was absolutely worst sort of illusion, a vision of an unspoken 10th Level of Hell that even Dante did not want to admit existed.

    These small houses, this who-knows-what-the-hell cave, that castle in the distance that smelled vaguely of tuna... Blaise's eyes were currently bugging out and his body looked like it was ready to bug out in a different sense - in other words, the boy looked like he was about to no-clip through the floor and just ragdoll-physics his way away from this horrible sight that had no permission to exist in this reality. It was a nightmare of ultimate proportions, one that shamed even the tales of the Kyuubi Incident and the chaos that followed it. Indeed, it was in this moment that one blonde young man with a ponytail learned that there truly existed evil in this world, and that it was wholly concentrated into this scenery of utmost chaos - a landscape of true vileness that could not be allowed to exist any longer.

    His fists itched.

    After all, he knew...

    --- As long as this place existed, Aoyama would be under a constant threat...!

    Something cracked.

    Something in Blaise's mind cracked.

    With a heavy sigh, or rather, an exhalation of breath that turned into billowing blue smoke as he did, the blonde youth raised his right hand and raised it into a fist. Azure and white flames were starting to roil and coil out of his mouth, covering and framing his face. At the same time his eyes were trained at the many little houses and the castle in the distance, and they narrowed into a glare of a destructor. Just giving one look at his face gave a good idea of what Blaise had decided to do.

    This place... it was threat to the very sanity of his world. Of everything he held dear.

    That's why it must be destroyed...!

    "E-err, Banchou! Just wait a tic! Don't go gettin' hasty now!" Kaguya exclaimed, waving her hands at her owner. "I-It ain't as bad as it looks, if this thing's illusion all we gotta do is find the source! We ain't gotta destroy a whole village...! T-try to calm down, y'hear? It ain't such a nightmare, I'm sure of it! Now ain't the time for fury, now's the time for a galaxy brain, y'hear!?"

    But...

    Unfortunately...

    Those yells fell to deafs ears.

    After all, while Blaise's fist did lower...

    --- That look in his eyes was devoid of all ability to feel any good in humanity or the world.

    In other words:
    The result was clear


    YOROKOBE SHOUNEN
    "Rejoice, young man."


    His path was clear.

    If there existed such a thing as All The Evil in this World...

    "Your wish will finally come true."

    ... He would be the one to destroy it.

    Before it reached the reality he held so dear.

  9. #649
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Blaise Pendragon
    Cave Interior, Why Must We Suffer So
    ??? ~ Morning


    ---One excuse.

    A single reason, that was all you really needed...!

    While you had lowered your fist at the words of your COMP, you were certainly more than ready to destroy whatever messed up reality this was if it proved necessary... The village itself is ugly, demented, almost cartoon-esque... Just looking at it shows it's an aberration in reality, but to be fair, nothing here had harmed you directly, or at least, they hadn't harmed you physically...

    ---The mental damage was arguably worse, but if you went on a rampage off of their sheer existence, that would make you a bad person right?

    Besides...

    This clearly could not be real, thus, until you could confirm that you had indeed fallen into the deepest, darkest pits of a hell that even the demons would dread, you stay your fist and flames for now...

    ...Or maybe not?

    Perhaps you stepped forward, towards the distant castle -the obvious seat of this place's power, and thus the place that should fall first- with the absolute intention of just razing the whole thing to the ground, illusion be damned; Yuriko seemed to be struggling with her own urge to put her foot through a building in order to decide if it was real or not after all, but...

    There is no one around to immediately destroy, indeed, the village seems to be more or less empty... There are no bizarre cat creatures coming in and out of their bizarre cat homes, no, it's empty and silent, so...

    The castle must be the place where the evil lives.

    That is always how it is in media, and if this is some sort of godforsaken illusion, than certainly the source of it would be in that castle as well, so you continue on that path with Yuriko following along behind you, muttering things like "a hellish curse," amidst mumblings of "mental infestation," and "gonna make the caster pay," of course...

    You are a bit too far gone yourself to really do anything about the apparently fracturing sanity of your companion, and even more than that, as you start on the lone, winding road towards the distant castle...



    "..."

    ---Someone steps forward as if to block your path, emerging from shadows as if it was only natural for him to do so...

    The immediate knee-jerk thought is a praise towards the fact that it seems to be a human being, something that could feasibly exist in the world, rather than one of the hellish cat creatures, but...

    Rather than join you and Yuriko in your obviously holy mission, this one stands on the opposite side of things, hands in his pockets, and body placed perfectly in your path as if daring you to try to push your way past him.

    ...Yes.

    He doesn't say anything, but the intention of that silence is clear, namely...

    ...He is probably a guardian of the castle, and is definitely trying to look cool, yeah...

    The strong and silent type.

    Or at least... That's the vibe you're getting?

    Really looking at him...

    ...It's hard to tell if he's actually real either, or more like...

    He looks sorta... Flat?

    Like cardboard, or maybe a hologram...?

    "Got a problem kid?"

    "..."

    ...Yes.

    In response to Yuriko's taunt...

    He seems to be doing his best... To not say anything at all...

    "..."
    Last edited by Airen; January 14th, 2020 at 06:59 PM.
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  10. #650
    Imperial Princess Satehi's Avatar
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    Eva Ellet
    Hollow Fields, Academy
    World Designation: Revolution
    Noon, Foggy


    The young boy- Goro, I believe his name was, is not alone in his confusion at Agatha’s words, although I believe our reasons are quite different.

    More than anything, the ease with which Agatha is handling this situation and her apparent mind reading abilities makes me wonder if her earlier… carefree attitude, for lack of a better word, is simply an act just like the one she’s putting on right now. Perhaps it’s possible that she read this boy’s mind earlier when he ran off with the money, and everything up until now has simply been going according to plan…? Or, if it’s clairvoyance, maybe even earlier…?

    …Is that the case…?

    …nah, thinking back on it, probably not. Just excitement from not being out much.

    I think I understand the implication she is getting at, but I really… haven’t been thinking about any of that. I was just doing what I should be doing when I stopped him earlier, but in this case I can’t say that is exactly the good Samaritan thing to do either, given the boy’s own circumstances.

    “…I haven’t really done anything. Agatha’s the one who really helped you all out. All I did was help carry some groceries. I think that’s a normal thing to do.”

    I let that be my answer.

    Even if I recognize that this kid has his own reasons… I’m not going to apologize. All of my actions at the time were justified, so I’m not going to apologize… that, and I still remember what he said earlier.

    That said, these circumstances are quite weird. The orphanage is in a pretty sad state, and no one seems to be around to help… surely in the quick en masse construction, they could spare a little more welfare? There must be no shortage of problems occurring given everything happening, but still, this isn’t right.

    Although I think it’s wrong to do, I can understand a little what could drive the boy to start stealing in this situation. He seems like the oldest, so the duty or obligation naturally falls on his shoulders first. It’s important to look out for your family…

    “But as you may have guessed, we’re not exactly from around these parts. Is this all…”

    I look around at the orphanage’s rather poor condition.

    “Normal? No adults around to take care of you?”

  11. #651
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Noon, Foggy


    "...Aniki and the others are normally around, but they left awhile ago, had some sort of job to do that couldn't wait."

    ---Ultimately, he chooses to answer the question honestly; while he clearly does not trust either of you just yet, it's possible he's the sort that just doesn't like to lie if he can avoid it... In essence, he's someone that's more used to operating as an honest kid, of course, that doesn't change the fact that he had been willing to steal, and indeed, now that the 'threat' to his home has been warded off for now, he seems more willing to just talk, after all, if this is all you want in exchange for the help, then-!

    "Big sis Yuki stayed behind to watch us, but she got a... Summons? Some sort of call? Well... The people in charge of the city wanted to talk to her. She hasn't been back since... It's been about two weeks..."

    A strange story...

    Rather than not having guardians at all, it more seems like their guardians have all gone missing for one reason or another...

    "People out in town have been acting weird lately too, everyone was a bit more panicked, nervous... But they've all calmed down now. They're sorta... Not there anymore...?"

    A glance to the side, then...

    "Don't even care that much if you take things from them..."

    Agatha turns her attention to a nearby wall at all of this, looking at framed pictures that seem to depict a boy and a girl amidst others, who aren't quite as clear, at least not in the pictures you can see...

    This 'Aniki' and 'Yuki' perhaps...?

    "So no... I guess all of this isn't that normal."
    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. #652
    Beats By Matthew ft. Dr. Para Rafflesiac's Avatar
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    Amelia
    Digital Sea ~ ???
    ??? ~ ???


    The Harmonizer Towers are a terrestrial defense field too? That’s… actually not that surprising, really. There were things out there after all; things as large as humanity, things as determined and as dangerous. She’d never met them, never even thought of them, but the moment that the younger AI's words had suggested the possibility she’d immediately accepted it as reality. It was a certainty. Like knowing that the sublime silver soul in front of her on that day was her treasured partner.

    "Well, it's just a bit of a hypothesis! But these sorts of simulations are similar in nature to your guy's Demonic Server; that place isn't quite as guarded against invasion as this side is, and the two worlds are connected, so... It's possible they summoned it over there first, and then tried to bring it here from there... Of course, that's just a theory! All the data is actually sort of confusing!"
    The Demonic Server. Of course, it would be the actual Server; there was no need to bother with orders or stacked universes when a simpler answer presented itself. Though it’s surprising in itself that the movers and shakers in that lawless magic Western didn’t bother to do anything to it. Strapped for entertainment as they were, surely they’d relish the opportunity to trash a mysterious dungeon and be on the adventurer side for once. The invaders must have moved quickly before being stopped by Burroughs. Or gotten their cellulite-laden asses handed to them by Demons before fleeing to ostensibly safer climes. At any rate, it’s something the Commander ought to know about. Illicit incursions into the Demonic Server are highly dangerous in all respects.

    "Pretty sure its name is BABEL though, or at least something like that... Readings are pretty different from most of the demons I've seen here-!"
    Babel? As in, the Tower of Babel. As in Christian myth.

    As in the Messiah.

    : “Looks like I have some heads to crack.”
    Supports:


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

  13. #653
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Hyakka Onjouji
    ???


    “Believe in the you… who believes in me.” The meaning being, trust yourself, because I trust you, and you trust me. At first, it felt silly. A strange suggestion that seemed like it was said with little to no thought behind it.

    After all, someone saying that has to have built up an unshakeable bond of trust with the person they say it to. To a stranger, it would just be empty words. A heat haze, nothing of substance.

    So it shouldn’t have left any impact on her.

    Hyakka Onjouji shouldn’t have felt the swelling faith in her chest.

    “I believe. So just like always, I’ll do what I must. Otherwise, everything I’ve ever said would have been a lie, and everything I’ve done would have been for nothing.” But she did. “As long as I keep at it, the day will come that others will rely on me, just like you said.”

    She smiled at the man of light.

    Strangely, the idea of asking who he was, or where this was, never occurred to her.

    “But until that day,” but rather, what her heart desired to know was... “can I keep coming back here, when I need help?”


  14. #654
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Raz Stone
    Merlin's Tower ~ Living Room

    ---Certainly, swordplay could not be called your forte.

    The fanciful, impossible techniques of other more martial Tamers are something that may just be impossible for Raz Stone; there are people in this world who are capable of performing martial artes that are on the level of spiritual phenomena by themselves, striking at three -or even eight in the case of a certain NWAB Tamer- different points simultaneously, cutting the air so decisively that a vacuum is left in it's place, that air blades form on the opponent, or even that space itself is rent apart at the seams, collapsing because the concept itself has been 'cut apart' even if only for a moment.

    Such things are beyond you, nevertheless...

    One cannot be a Tamer if one cannot fight, and there is no such thing as a Tamer that possesses absolutely no combat skill; it might not be quite as insane as that of your more kensei-esque companions, but a Tamer is still someone...

    That serves as a bridge between humanity and demon-kind; of course the term "Demon" itself is a bit misleading and a bit too general, it is simply a catch-all term for entities that are inherently supernatural, to that end, one could even call angels "demons" if they so chose, with their even being a bit of an argument in the modern day that the current humanity is at least a bit 'demonic' themselves considering their own powers, however...

    Such things are irrelevant.

    To be a bridge between the two 'races' requires strength, as that is what Demons respect; that is why there is no such thing as a weak Tamer, even if one were to hold the title of "weakest," that person would still be someone that transcends normal humanity.

    If they were not... Then they couldn't call themselves a Tamer at all, that's why...

    ---A blade flashes golden, a fanciful technique of light and sound that fits someone like Raz Stone; it's mocking in it's own way, a sort of statement that means even a single blow would be enough to incapacitate one's opponent... Of course, there are a few practitioners of this style in the modern day, many of whom incorporate their sheaths as a secondary -sometimes the hidden primary- weapon, but...

    For you there's no need for that, the flash of light and the subtle clink of metal are a song all their own, however:

    The flash of light is a bit brighter than you had expected it to be, yes...

    ---It had been much like the sudden light of a flash grenade, something that you couldn't possibly have 'known' was there, but something that had caused your sixth sense to make you blink as you drew forth the blade, shielding your eyes from a remarkably bright flash, like the sun had been momentarily drawn and re-sheathed in the span of a single heartbeat-!

    How had Merlin known you would need a katana?

    Well, if one looked at her nature as a clairvoyant, that could be a possible answer, however...

    ---Merlin is also a bit lazy, often interfering directly only when she must put forth the effort.

    The sword had only become such after you had taken it, the sheath was rather generic because the blade itself was not well defined... It had been a blank slate, but the moment you had touched it...

    A katana was what it had become, and the flash...

    That too was something it had gained from you.

    If a sword will only be seen for a few moments, then it will shine in those moments; this too becomes set once it is created, the magic Merlin had used to give it shape stuck in that shape once cast, but...

    For one who often hands out trinkets to others on a whim, this is her way of always being prepared-!

    The shadow's pose and movements were bestial, such was obvious even without your COMP's scanners... It had been hanging upside down from the ceiling in a disconcerting manner, it's pose like that of a vampire bat clinging to the roof with it's feet... Of course it is a monster, a shadow, an embodiment of negative energy rather than something truly alive, so it acting in a way unfitting for the living is normal, still...

    It makes a noise like a screech as light appears, as light blinds it, and light...

    ---Cuts straight through one of it's arms.

    Of course it's not a screech of pain, rather it's a sign of hostilities; having been able to avoid a complete bisection due to it's unnatural method of movement, the spine that had bent up and to the side to avoid a blade it had been literally unable to see, is also one that comes spiraling down to the ground in the same motion, it's body becoming parallel to the ground as it runs on all three of it's limbs towards you as you land from your wall jump, but-

    ---It's slow.

    While the movements could be considered swift normally, in comparison to the Matador, who you had fought days before...

    ---It's slow, that's why-

    A second strike cuts the shadow down as it comes, form passing by you harmlessly in two halves as it falls apart to something like dust, and...

    "Bravo! Bravo!"

    Clapping in a way that's both sincere and amused, Merlin...

    Seems to be in good cheer for someone whose home has been infiltrated by shadows...

    And not just weak ones either, no...

    ---Your leap had carried you a bit further into the room, near one of the staircases, and at the bottom...



    Was something quite strange indeed...

    A shadow that seemed to be taking it's time, not bestial like the last... It walked like a person, and...

    Looking up at you, it pauses...

    Before starting up the stairs again, slowly...

    Just... Slowly...


    Nameless Holy Sword


    -No Name-
    A sword temporarily (?) gifted to Raz by Merlin, and while not a sentient weapon, still one that was designed to only gain true shape and function after being drawn by it's wielder. In Raz's case, the blade is that of a katana seemingly forged from light itself, and cuts in a manner similar to that of a laser dealing light-based damage to it's opponents rather than physical damage. The sword possesses the ability to blind enemies through an intense flash of light when drawn, but this light will consume a portion of the sword's power.

    Due to it's nature as an armagus it is designed to fuel itself off of it's own internal stores of spiritual power rather than drawing on the power of the user or their COMP, making it somewhat effective as a piece of support equipment, but it has to undergo periodic maintenance in order to maintain it's abilities as a magic item, and can be destroyed through relatively powerful attacks by enemies.

    Uses charges to function, at the moment, the maximum number of charges possessed by this item is five. Although it only possesses four of those charges in this instance. The blade itself will stop functioning if all charges are used up, although it can continue to act as a sword so long as even a single one remains. Charges can be replenished during Free Phases, or more rarely, through Events.
    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. #655
    Taiga's knight Tobias's Avatar
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    Raz Stone
    Merlin's Tower ~ Living Room

    Raz was well aware that while he didn't exactly flump on the floor like a wet behind the ears novice, his resettling movement following his second slash needed a bit of work. He was a bit rusty. Not so much that he couldn't fight...not even so much perhaps, that he would be able to find some time later for extra drilling, but...rusty. Some of that cold be excused by the fact that his senses were still a bit disoriented due to lacking the DTG's guidance and enhancing protocols, but part of it was the lack of recent repetitious training that was so integral to the path of swordsmanship.

    Many people thought the path of martial arts was some great montage of training under the greatest practitioners, engaging in grand battles and suffering a brutal regimen designed to push you past your limits. There was always a bit of truth to that, but in reality martial arts at its core was simply about doing the same thing over and over until it was ingrained into your body like the musical notes that decorated the blade of his temporary weapon. Raz had not completely abandoned training of course, the rapidly fading sliced shadow attested to that, but there was evidence he could have benefited from some more time recently in the practice yard.

    Perhaps the largest problem that interfered with his training was that unlike most knights he rarely made use of his iaijutsu in combat. Even in a solo fight, such as against the matador, he used his microphone as a weapon because he needed it at hand for songcraft. This was unlike more melee oriented knights. even if they lost a step in drilling, during the normal course of work they retrained themselves in active combat.

    Well, there was no point in comparing a support COMP user to a weapon master wielder. It was like comparing a tiger to a house cat. Of course, while the practitioner needed some work, the blade itself was more then impressive, as Raz glanced at the sword with newfound respect in his eyes.

    Still a Tamer was someone who often fought in less then ideal circumstances. You go into the demon world and half the time get jumped from behind, and the other half nothing happens at all, strangled adrenaline lacking an outlet making you irritable and tired. Hell Raz himself was only fighting now because his mouth had gotten him in trouble. Like that had never happened before!

    And so it was, as if to mock the unfavorable situation, Raz raised the now hilted handle of the radiant sword in salute to his benefactor.

    "As I said my lady, have yourself something cold to drink. Enjoy the show, this is a song meant for your enjoyment!" Raz gaily stated. He knew of course that had been the easy one. The "tutorial fight" as it were. And as if to confirm his theory, a certain....presence could be felt, drawing his eyes and attention.

    Following his previous strategy, that it was best to push forward before he could be surrounded, the most likely reaction should have been to charge. The relatively narrow movement area allowed by the staircase would present unto him a minor but potentially valuable tactical advantage. it would be difficult to engage him without being attacked at least once.

    ...However...there were two things wrong with that. First off, unlike the nameless shadow, not dissimilar from other nebulious creatures he had disposed of before, this at least appeared to have upper reasoning. Consciousnesses. Likely she was the big boss of this encounter,k or at least a higher functionary of such. But if she could think, if she could talk, then communication was not impossible.

    the second thing that prevented Raz from immediately attacking was...well...?

    Not a bad body on that one!

    ...Elsewhere...

    DTG
    Hermes Stage - En route to Merlin's Tower
    Golden Dusk

    "Ah angel's tits..."

    The projection of a certain detective sighed, drawing a pair of glances from the two girls travelling with him.

    "I just got the twill what went right up my spine. I always get this fidgeollo when the flatfoot is about to do something stupid."

    When Serena cocked an eyebrow, he shrugged ruefully.

    "...Yeah, its pretty much always there..."

    Raz Stone
    Merlin's Tower ~ Living Room

    "What a vision of dark skinned beauty I see in front of me! Pretty lady, I commend your very clear dedication to the tanning booth. Have you come for a song? Whatever you came for, I assure you, it wouldn't compare to the thrill of a well crafted melody. And what man wouldn't dream of having two flowers blooming prettily, dripping soft dew as they heard him play!"

    It was then that Raz held up the katana in a vertical grip. Held further a way from his body, and lower towards his sternum, it would have been an offensive stance, for an iaijutsu practitioner it would have promised a low draw and very hard slash rising along the chest or arms of the opponent. The trick was in using the off hand to pull the sheathe down so that the sword would strike almost from the same position it was in, using the draw to add speed.

    However....Raz's stance was...a bit wrong. The blade was to close, to high, and his grip on the sheathe was just under the handle. The sword pointed at a mild angle to the side, the top just at his chin. It was the stance of....the stance of...

    ...Someone holding a microphone.

    "I am taking requests, dusky lady of beauty! I promise, you wont leave here without a thrilling song. Be it anything your maidenly heart craves...or..."

    It was the Raz's stance shifted, the sword came to a resting position at its side, his dominant right hand firmly on the grip. It was the traditional "ready stance".

    "Well, I suppose if nothing else, I could have you listen to the
    Song of Sunrise
    Lied Ortus
    ..."

    Lied Ortus

    Lied Ortus

    Named for the crack of light released upon drawing, similar to the first blinding rays of the radiant sun as it banishes the darkness.

    Gifted to Raz by Merlin, and while not a sentient weapon, still one that was designed to only gain true shape and function after being drawn by it's wielder. In Raz's case, the blade is that of a katana seemingly forged from light itself, and cuts in a manner similar to that of a laser dealing light-based damage to it's opponents rather than physical damage. The sword possesses the ability to blind enemies through an intense flash of light when drawn, but this light will consume a portion of the sword's power.

    The sheathe is plain, as is the handle, but there are marks on the the golden blade that appear to be reminiscent of a musical score.

    Due to it's nature as an armagus it is designed to fuel itself off of it's own internal stores of spiritual power rather than drawing on the power of the user or their COMP, making it somewhat effective as a piece of support equipment, but it has to undergo periodic maintenance in order to maintain it's abilities as a magic item, and can be destroyed through relatively powerful attacks by enemies.

    Uses charges to function, at the moment, the maximum number of charges possessed by this item is five. Although it only possesses four of those charges in this instance. The blade itself will stop functioning if all charges are used up, although it can continue to act as a sword so long as even a single one remains. Charges can be replenished during Free Phases, or more rarely, through Events.
    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.

  16. #656
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Hyakka Onjouji
    ???


    "Of course you may. When your soul desires it, you will be able to return here; I can promise you at least that much."

    He doesn't introduce himself, nor does he seem likely to do so if the question is never presented to him... It is the demeanor of someone familiar, the behavior of a friend, like it is only natural he doesn't introduce himself to you, because you already know who he is...

    And certainly you do, but at the same time, you certainly do not.

    Filled with contradictions, an uncertain existence that points in two completely different directions...

    "Of all my students, you are the one whose existence remains clearest to my eyes; as a teacher, it is only natural that I watch out for you. If you find this place comforting, then by all means, you can use it as you need it."

    ---Of course, that doesn't mean he doesn't give innocent hints to the sort of person he may be in relation to you, even so, he also doesn't dwell on those things to any real extent, after all, it is merely the reality of the situation, nothing that he needs to ponder too deeply.

    "Although, this is a rare chance for me... I suppose I have some questions of my own, if that is alright with you?"

    In the end, this meeting is certainly a dream.

    You can escape from it at any time simply by choosing to awaken from it, in that regard, it is different from nightmares...

    Nightmares hold you hostage.

    But this...

    This is fine.

    A harmless dream in a world of glittering crystal, a peaceful, silent world...

    Yes.

    The only thing that really seems to be inside of this dream, other than you...

    Is the man.

    Even the wind is silent, leaving him the lone existence in a place that might just come across as lonely, in a sense?
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  17. #657
    Imperial Princess Satehi's Avatar
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    Eva Ellet
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    Noon, Foggy


    “…It sounds like you’ve been having a rough time recently.”

    Perhaps it would be a good idea to offer some consolatory words in this situation, but I fail to come up with anything fitting. My ability at cheering up people is something I would rate very low, so I think it’s better not to try. And he seems to be doing… well, not good, but decent enough by himself.

    Viewed positively, it seems that like there was at least a period of time where this orphanage was much better off. So long as the root of the problem, which seems to be the disappearance of all the more responsible members of this facility, is solved, then perhaps the situation will return to normal…

    The problem with that approach is that it seems unlikely at best.

    Everything about what Goro described about their disappearance seems fishy, at best. They’ve been missing for quite a while now- it’s hard to imagine it’s something that can be resolved quickly. To begin with, I have no idea what they even do. Something that the people who are in charge of the city might be interested in, supposedly. To be honest, I don’t have a very good impression of the latter right now. Between this, and the fog that seems to make everyone unresponsive, the city they are running seems to have a lot of problems.

    “Do you happen to know any details, about what… ‘Aniki’ and ‘Yuki’ do, exactly? How to contact them if anything goes wrong? And…”

    From this account of how things have occurred, responsibility for this situation would naturally fall on another party.

    “Any way to get in contact with the people who contacted your sister- the ones in charge of the city?”

  18. #658
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Eva Ellet
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    Noon, Foggy


    "..."

    At first, he doesn't say anything in response to these questions, as if he has to think over the ramifications of such a thing first... Yes, while he is a kid, the eyes that suddenly light up in thought as he weighs the pros and cons of the situation are very unkidlike, the sort of eyes of someone that has had to make a "life or death" decision more than once, of course, simply answering your questions shouldn't be such a dangerous thing, yet...

    "...Well, I guess you can do it too if you caught me, so you probably already know."

    ...After thinking about it for a bit, he lightens up, as if realizing it wasn't quite as big a deal as he had first thought...

    "Aniki and Yuki-nee, everyone... They're all magic users."

    Although the way he says it, as well as your current knowledge of this 'world,' seems to confirm that that sort of thing is indeed a secret...

    "I guess you could say they're monster hunters? There was a lot of them in Tokyo a few years back... That's how they met everyone here... They looked after us while things were bad, and when it was over we all just sorta... Stayed together..."

    ---Naturally, if this was the outcome, that means their parents had likely died inside of Tokyo.

    The "Bel War" mentioned in Agatha's book...

    "If they got called away it was probably because of the monsters... They're like superheroes, you know?"

    Well...

    If the magic users of this place were anything like the ones back home, then that wasn't exactly an incorrect label, but...

    "If things get really bad, there's a computer in the house we're supposed to use, but whatever they're doing is probably really important... The people in town would normally help too, but-"

    ...Ultimately, his explanation of things, his answers to your inquires, are cut short by the sudden sensation of...

    The air... Shaking...?

    The academy-turned-orphanage buckles, swaying inwards as if caught in a massive burst of wind, like the arrival of sudden storm-!

    "Eh?"

    Even Agatha seems surprised by the sudden development, as her curious gaze goes from the pictures on the wall, to directly above her head, as if some massive entity had simply spawned overhead, then-

    ----A screech.

    A sound like a high-pitched screech, and then...

    You can feel it.

    It's not the feeling of spiritual power, of Reiki, but you can feel it all the same...

    ---Its something foreign, something you had never felt before in your life, different even from the power radiated by demons, it's something inherently offensive to you, something so heavy that it's mere presence feels smothering, like a crime against the concept of "life" or "existence" itself, and...

    It's outside.

    There's something outside, up above the school; and it's so offensive, so obviously dangerous, that your training as a Tamer kicks in automatically to dictate your actions, a quick glance at the kids to make sure they're alright -they seem to be, although now they're screaming- before running out the front door and leaping up towards the roof, eyes turned up to see...

    Whatever the hell had just seemed to randomly show up out here, and-!



    -are greeted with what seems to be cracks in the sky.

    Yes.

    Cracks in the sky.

    Naturally such things should be impossible, the sky is not a glass surface, it is not something that can be fractured in the first place, and yet...

    There are cracks in the sky all the same.

    Through those cracks, you can spy a darkness without measure, something that is not lit up even though light should be pouring through it through those same cracks... It's the darkness of a void, like a black hole that sucks in everything, even light, an event horizon that does not allow even the smallest bit of illumination to escape, yes...

    It's a dark through which things do not return, the black space of nothingness, and yet-

    And yet-

    As if to spit on the face of 'logic' in spite of that...

    There's something crawling out of those same cracks, a single thing, a single entity that-



    -sort of hurts your eyes to look at, like you were trying to gaze through a haze of static, but you force your way through that haze all the same, straining your spiritual senses to their limits, and-

    __________________________________________________ _________________________________





    A fatal error has been found

    Providence will now rebound

    Invader from beyond the stars

    Come to claim what's rightfully ours

    Deny the System once again

    Or come to know oblivion



    "---I see."

    The Last Messiah laughs

    Everything was on "it's" track-


    __________________________________________________ ___

    -It's a massive monster, easily the size of a house.

    White appendages clawing at the world outside as it heaves it's body through the cracks in the sky, an intense feeling of 'revulsion' shoots through you at the mere sight of the thing, as if it was something that, quite simply, had no business existing at all, an aberration that was more "inhuman" than anything you had ever seen before, it-!

    "Oh dear... What is that...?"

    Having followed you up to the rooftop, Agatha's stare is a wide-eyed one, a truly confused one, as if she had absolutely no idea what she was looking at, but...

    "I suppose it's not friendly, hmm? In that case, we should do something about it, right?"

    Just like you...

    She seems to get the idea...

    That it's something that simply doesn't belong, a screeching horror that is but a few seconds from escaping it's void like prison-!
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  19. #659
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Blaise Pendragon
    Cave Interior, Why Must We Suffer So
    ??? ~ Morning

    "..............."

    Two tall, blonde young men confronted each other on the winding path to the castle.

    Two people who almost seemed to be cut from the same stone, rough and made of wrought iron, almost like distant mirror images of each other - viewed through a shattered mirror. Indeed, it was almost as if the same demented mind had created them from a cliched archetype that it refused to move onwards from, instead always making a new, slightly remixed, iteration of the same character. Over and over again like a broken record. It was for that reason that was these two people confronted each other on that path...

    --- There would be no love lost between them.

    "Omigod... the hell is that s'posed ta be!" Kaguya cried out, pointing incredulously at the lion-maned young man. "I've heard 'a flat characters, but ain't that just ridiculous! Hey, buddy, ya mind getting a third dimension or sumthing? It's startin' ta get pretty hard to take ya seriously, I tells ya!"

    The rabbit-eared delinquent AI had a point... yet at the same time, she was the last person who had any right to say such a thing. After all, the girl herself was the very epitome of someone without a real, physical presence! Of course she more than made up for it by being the most noisy, obnoxious AI this side of Tokyo, but some thing could not be replaced...

    For example, a physical body.

    Which was exactly why Kaguya had always longed for one!

    "... I dunno who the hell he is, but if he thinks he can stop us from eradicating this danger to Society, Tokyo and the World itself..." Blaise said, squeezing his hand into a fist with an audible crunch. "Then he stepped up to the wrong people."

    With that, Blaise set forward, one hand in pocket and one hand clenched into a tight fist with which to deliver a strike if the man refused to budge.

    --- And from between his gritted teeth, blue and white flames billowed forth in form of a warning!

  20. #660
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Hyakka Onjouji
    ???


    “Questions for me?”

    The thought made her pause. The small girl furrowed her brows. She wasn’t used to being the one answering questions. For the most part, her life was a question in and of itself, and she was the one seeking answers.

    Her hesitation wasn’t due to any objection. She was just surprised.

    “I don’t see why it would be a problem, but I’m not sure if I would have any interesting answers…”

    With a quizzical tilt of the head, she glanced about the strange crystal world. The only signs of life were she and him, seated at the table together. Thinking about it, was he always here, and did anyone else live here?

    “I’ll answer anything I can.”


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