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Thread: Astronomika - Shooting Down Falling Stars (IC)

  1. #4081
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Colt Davin
    Location: Spade Queen - Cocktail Lounge
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain


    What an odd sight it was for Colt to see his moonlit caretaker show herself frustrated at something. For a moment the boy feared that he was the source of her ire as he watched her grind her teeth, her sharp, glistening fangs a reminder of the distance between her existence and the normal world he came from.

    Of course, he never for a second feared for his safety. Only that he had bothered her, upset her in some way, something he never wished to do.

    But soon enough the ancient vampire assuaged his fears, assuring him that her annoyance was leveled solely at the (not-so-good) Doctor.

    "... Fine. Here. You may bring her this. I do not necessarily want to give this to her, 'tis a piece of myself in a way, but at the same time... 'Tis also precious enough that it should be enough for that greedy fairy. Take it, and care for it well. And if Buzz asks, you do not have it."

    A strange stone emerged from Lenore’s attire and was gifted to him. The boy looked it up and down, eyes filled with curiosity. Something precious, even to her? A stone such as this wrapped in a bit of ragged cloth colored red and blue, which reminded him of the flag he saw in abundance in his life… yet, it seemed to only be a stone. It had an odd texture to it, covered in tiny holes, like someone had pressed bubble wrap into a mold.

    Yet looking it over, wasn’t it still just a rock?

    “Th-thanks. I promise it was worth it.” He looked up from the rock, back to the one who had handed it to him. “And it means a lot to me.”

    Colt deposited the rock into his pocket. The same pocket that was so frequently the home to his locket. Another weight from the vampire added to his burden, though this one was light enough that were he not aware he would consider it no weight at all.

    The teenage boy then turned to the girl his age, sleeping softly beside him.

    “… Taking her home right now is a handful of bad ideas.” He concurred with the vampire’s perhaps most important bit of advice. “In the first place, the storm’s gonna get worse… driving in that, on a bike, with an unconscious passenger, is asking for trouble. Actually, it’s closer to impossible. Then I get her home and her mom thinks I’m dropping off her daughter, who looks to have passed out from too much vodka, and I think I end up six feet under, or in the back of the sheriff’s cruiser.”

    He grimaced at the thought.

    “I don’t think it’d be a good idea to take her to the dorm either. I’m done playing with fire.” Colt sighed in resignation, then turned to the vampire. “I think I have to give up on both of those. As nice as this place is, I don’t wanna leave her here, with or without me, I… don’t trust this place.”

    Then, the boy rubbed his chin.

    “A place like this has gotta have chauffeur services, right?”


  2. #4082
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Mellon's Avatar
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    Anna Vandemeel
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - Library
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    Though I suppose it doesn't matter how specific I am. Since you seem to be so convinced that I'm just a bad guy here, nothing I say or do here would matter - you would just move your goalposts again.
    “Mhm. No doubt. Which is why I have already tried to take your head off, right?” If the raven-haired girl took the man’s words to heart, none of it showed on her face. “Maybe I’d be more willing to trust someone if I didn’t feel like I was being chatted up by an overtly flirtatious huckster so that I could have my last coins scammed out of me, eh?”

    “Don’t blame me for falling for the façade that you project, Mr. Handiman."

    “If you coat everything in vague deflections and are only earnest for one sentence out of fifteen, you shouldn’t act shocked when I don’t take most of what you say at face value.”

    Having said that, the Estonian girl gave a quick casual shrug.

    “Though if you want to head off, please don’t let me stop you.”

    In the end, if the stranger wanted to leave, she was more than happy to allow him to do so. This was probably as much information that he was going to squeeze out of him anyway. She was prepared for open conflict of course, but if things de-escalated, that would also serve her purposes just fine. There was only so much pressure she could apply to loosen the, presumably, AMADEUS androids tounge.

    Kincaid...?
    Anna’s attention flickered over to Ramia for a moment.

    “Mhm? The name ring a bell, Indy?”

  3. #4083
    Beware the Finnish Ringlets Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Colt Davin
    Location: Spade Queen - Cocktail Lounge
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    "
    Chauffeur services...?"

    Lenore mused over the term, before snickering to herself in quite unladylike manner.

    "Were we back at the castle, I would arrange a quite the transport for you. Alas, 'tis not mine estate, so that burden shall fall on the master of this house. I would check from the front desk," the vampire adviced, taking a look at both Colt and Cathie. "Were you to explain the situation and show that the young lass is quite tuckered out, I'm sure they shall not even charge you. Or if they do, simply advice them to put in on the tab of my... familiar."

    A momentary, mischievous glint appeared in the ancient being's eye as she spoke of saddling Hawthorn with the payment, if it came to that. In all honesty, the relationship between Lenore and her servant was quite hard to pinpoint. After all, the man had had quite the cold words to say about her, but she seemed to regard him with the attitude an adult would have of a precocious child... or perhaps an unruly, yet somewhat cute, pet. Just what was the truth behind them, and where did the difference in attitudes stem from... well, that was a mystery for another time.

    Now it was time to take Cathie and head out, perhaps meet with Liana. Even the vampire's crimson eyes seemed to say so.

    "Now then... 'tis the time you make your leave. Though fear not, this shalt not be the last time we will meet. I presume that once the clock turns around once again, once I am more my own master than I am now, we shall make contact once more. Or, perhaps, 'tis shall be when you finally break free of this catbox of time," Lenore continued, giving Colt a deep nod. "So fear not. While not as strongly, mine essence has been captured by this separated slice of time as well, and now that I... We... are here, I shall try my best to assist. Though... do forgive me, if my nature as what I am brings me to do something terrible when the week is to end."

    A humourless, slightly sad smile played on those vermillion lips as the woman, both young-and-old, turned back to her glass, indeed turning her back to Colt at the same time. Tiny yet strong, it was a back that seemed to signal as well that this particular conversation had come to an end.

    Though, before Colt could lift Cathie in his arms and make his way out... Lenore stopped him one last time.

    "--- Actually, one more thing."

    Her face had been turned away, so the boy could not see what sort of emotion she was wearing, but that slight waver in her voice... why did it sound like she had just ripped open an old wound just to help him?

    "... Once upon a time, another time, there was a group of youths stuck in a situation somewhat similar to yours. A tale that had no hope, a tale where the whole world at large had turned against them. When the youths realized this, they were overcome with despair," Lenore spoke, her voice oddly quiet and thin. "Until... until the boy who led them spoke out. And he thought of something, discovered something that I think... might help you as well."

    With her back still facing Colt, the vampire raised her hand and her index finger, as if making a point.

    ... Or perhaps quoting someone.

    "'Every story has its rules. Thus, if the story heads for a tragic end where you will lose everything... just look for those rules. Look for them, learn them... and break them. By breaking the rules, you break the fate that binds you. And thus, you may forge your own path, to an ending you seek. Thus you learn the difference between fate and destiny.'"

    Silence reigned afterwards.

    "Now go, moppet. Go and break free of this story."

    And with that, the conversation came to an end. Colt Davin picked up the still-sleeping Cathie Walker and headed out, understanding there was nothing more to discuss anymore. The night was already here, the storm was closing in, and the dreaded weekend had arrived. Many things were afoot, both old and anew, and somewhere, the would have to be an answer as to how to break free of the dread fate that awaited them all.

    What were the rules of this 'story'?

    And how to break them?

    Perhaps it truly lied behind those two questions...

    --- As the boy exited the lounge, he was plagued by such thoughts, and in his ears, he could hear the distant, foreign song of a vampire, sung with a forlorn voice of remembrance and melancholy...

    "Yksin sankar' yöhön syvemmälle matkaa pois. Se taakka hänen harteillaan kuin lupaus aina ois. Täss' pelissä tää narri lyödään maahan aina vaan. Vaan hetki kuoloss' lepoo suodaan, jo takas kutsutaan..."


    [SCENE END /// Move to NEXT Phase!]

    Colt Davin: Friendship Rank Raised!





  4. #4084
    Overly devoted enthusiasm... fufufu~ Ayakashi's Avatar
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    "Are you alright there, Miss Terrot? Hopefully all this nonsense hasn't been too much for you to deal with?" He asked. "I know all of this might have come as a bit of a surprise, but, well... you know what they say. It's best not to cry over spilt milk. Or rather, if you are too surprised and paralyzed because of it, you might end up getting trampled in the confusion. So chin up and if you have to, fake it till you make it."


    "Oh, you might be presuming a little bit too much. Though she may be rightfully afraid of developments like this, I would not call Mademoiselle Terrot uninitiated to the Turnside. Fear and worry are natural emotions to feel in the face of danger, is it not? She may simply be a bit more vocal than the rest of us... especially since I believe that unlike us she has limited means of self-defense... but that is why I am here, am I not?"

    The masked girl turns around, and the eyes behind the mask smile as she gives a confident wink to Alex."Apologies if this was a bit shocking, but I did present to you a resume of mine that implied I had some form of... 'bodyguarding' abilities, did I not?"Vivienne simply never fully elaborated on how or why she could do it, simply that she could. A truth, even if it was an obscure and perhaps intangible truth,
    "And that's quite enough. I didn't mean that you should go as far as to divulge personal reasons as to why you're here and such, but I'm glad you trust me that much. I admit I'm not that familiar with the name, but then again, I don't keep up with movies or popular culture in general. Still... I have to say, being this verbose is certainly a difference. Not a bad one, but a difference nonetheless. The whole 'quiet and mysterious' thing was pretty fresh, but I can't say I dislike this side of you either. Though perhaps I best not to follow this line of thinking further. As you said, trying to whisk you away from your charge is pretty bad manners from me, right?


    "Why, you have a very sweet way with words indeed. I must admit, while it may be wise to exercise caution in the face of such sweet talk, like Miss Anna here is doing... it would be a little be hypocritical from me, no?

    But make no mistake, the 'I' that you hear speak right now is merely a construct, a projection of imagination and inspiration, rather than being a reality. A tool, rather than an identity.

    Still, there was this saying wasn't it? That sometimes lies are so beautiful, they become the truth."

    And yet, a lie is still a lie.

    The tense situation seems to have diffused itself, an Alex got a grip on herself once more. Though Anna was still being a little bit hostile to Orion, it didnt' look like a fight would break out now at any moment possible. The suggestion that Anna and Orion could work together against a common enemy appeared to have not bore any fruit, but that was perhaps a seed that would take some time to germinate.

    Still, a new question, a new name had cropped up, which appeared to have caught Alex's and Ramia's attention. To call it entirely new would be inaccurate, since Alex had mentioned that name this morning but, it had not been something which Vivienne had focused her attention on.
    "Daniel Kincaid is dead. He's been buried for years. In other words, your lust for revenge... it's all for nothing."
    So in the end, was Alex Terrot someone that more than the 'truth', sought revenge? It could have been the case... or the two may not have been mutually exclusive to each other. Whatever the case was however, it was perhaps time for her to attend the visibly shaken Alex. Without further ado, Vivienne slid the daggers she had been holding away, and went to Alex's side, and gave her a pat on the shoulder.

    "Though I may not comprehend the full scope of the situation, I would not say that it isn't for nothing, but perhaps you can rest in peace now knowing that whatever horrible thing he did to you, he won't anymore to anyone else."

  5. #4085
    死徒(下級)Lesser Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: McLampet Manor
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    “Mm, of course,” I nodded, backing up Pyry’s words, “If something, it’s all the more reason to get you out of here for a bit. Besides, at the very least, you have a better grasp on the situation now, which certainly makes things easier...and might make you understand how exactly we can help you.”

    It was certainly true. Having her learn just a bit about the supernatural made things more convenient, and saved me from a much more awkward explanation I would have had to do tomorrow while trying to fix her illness.

    “Still, if you want to help as well, then...yeah, trying to get something out of Josie could be helpful. Maybe try to look around here for a bit if you can, see if you can find something interesting. As I said, we’ll have to head back soon, so I don’t think we really have the time to search everything thoroughly.”

    My gaze wandered from Allene to Sakura, then to Pyry;

    “We could take a quick look at best. Maybe look for a diary, or some documents lying around on their own or in some dossier. Those are likely more relevant than books.”

    Then, my attention turned back to Allene;

    “Anyways, we still need to know when to pick you up, and if we should come inside to get you.”


  6. #4086
    Beware the Finnish Ringlets Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Anna Vandemeel & Vivianne Bianchi
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - Library
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    Ramia, after a bit of a harsh look in her eyes, nodded.

    "... Kincaid is an old werewolf clan. Older than most. And not just your typical kind, they're... well, cultists, is perhaps the best word. They worship some Norse end-of-the-world deity or something, and have sects all over the world. Though I believe the base of the clan is in... Minnesota? Yeah, Minnesota," the mercenary explained with a rough tone, sounding like she didn't exactly think much of the clan. "They fund their activities by loaning out their members as mercenaries, which how I've ran afoul them a couple of times during my... various escapades. The thing is though, they're not just afflicted by the disease that is lycantrophy. I think... I think the members of the main clan actually graft a piece of the dead god into themselves. Even you should know, Red, that something like that can never end well."

    Yes, to those in the know when it came to the Turnside, something like that went far beyond the usual lycantrophy or therianthropy. In most cases, nature of such affliction was comparable to a disease or a curse, but to willingly achieve it by taking in the physical form of a dead deity unto themselves... the implications were more than unpleasant. It would have taken someone with far more knowledge of such creatures to really map out the extent of how such a being would be different from a normal werewolf, but even with only a surface-level knowledge, one thing was clear:

    --- Even under normal situations, werewolves were one of the few creatures said to compare to vampires when it came to fame and history.

    --- And this, this would be even worse.

    --- Perhaps something comparable to an antediluviann...

    "... Many years ago, some of those mercenaries were hired by a family here in Road's End - the McLampets'," Alex Terrot's voice suddenly cut the silence, the girl standing there with an inscrutable expression on her face. "From what I understand, they worked as enforcers of sorts. A supernatural force to keep out others like them, and the US government. Maybe there were other reasons too, I do not know, but they definitely put their roots down here, partially. And in order to replenish those ranks, younger members of the Kincaid Clan went onto a recruitment spree across the world. Both the New World, and the Old. For example... in France."

    Flames of bitter rage flared up in the girl's eyes, and her hand clenched into a fist, crushing the papers she was holding.

    "--- Daniel Kincaid may be dead, but that doesn't mean his clan is. And as long as they live, there's no rest to be hand," the reporter said coldly, addressing Vivienne most of all. "It just means that I still have more work to do. And with the evening being almost here, it's time to get it done."

    With that, she started packing up her stuff, dark determination in her every move and gesture. Orion, who was watching over this all, scratched the back of his head and offered a quiet, slightly stern smile towards the mask-wearing girl.

    "Well... better look after her. If she's going to go hunt for the Kincaids, she's going to need all the help she can get," the young man said. "Good thing she has you, then. After all, while a lie is a lie is a lie, we all live in a world of lies. And in our line of work, those lies are made into reality. The only thing that prevents a lie to be the truth, after all, is that nobody believes in it. So if you do, and if others do as well..."

    Orion tapped his nose with a slightly mischievous smirk.

    "... Well, who knows what can happen?"

    With that, he turned around again and started towards the door.

    "In any case, I'll leave you ladies to it, then. Looks like you have a lot to do, and my work here is done," the boy spoke as he opened the door and stepped through it. "Let's simply hope that our next meeting, if there will be one, will be under calmer circumstances."

    And with that, the mysterious stranger left the library, leaving behind him nothing but questions, uncertainy, a tense atmosphere...

    ... And Alex Terrot's quietly burning vengeance.

    Anna Vandemeel: Friendship Rank Raised!



    Vivienne Bianchi: Friendship Rank Raised!





    [SCENE END /// Move to NEXT Phase!]




    Hisa Momoi
    Location: McLampet Manor
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “Anyways, we still need to know when to pick you up, and if we should come inside to get you.”
    "Hmm..."

    Allene tilted her head, finger on her chin as a sign that she was thinking hard on the question. Finally her expression perked up a bit, and she snapped her fingers.

    "Oh! Well, the time is a non-issue - I'll be here all day long, after all, so show up when you can!" the girl said with a smile, though the topic wasn't exactly something to smile about. "And if you want to be sneaky, you can just throw some pebbles into the third floor windows! They are all connected to these rooms, so there's no danger that you'll get it wrong. Afterwards, I can just use my usual tactic of climbing down with my rope, and we can be off!"

    Sakura cocked an amused eyebrow at that suggestion, and even Pyry seemed to chuckle a bit.

    "So we're to whisk away the young lady in the upstairs 'tower' for a trip into the real world?" He asked with a hint of a grin. "Well, sounds doable, right? Or rather, shouldn't pose any problems. I've got a pretty strong throwing arm, after all!"

    The boy flexed his bicep a little and patted it, causing the older girl to roll her eyes, though not in a mean-spirited way. Allene, on the other hand, blushed a little at the description of what they were about to do, but the smile on her face told that she wasn't exactly disliking it.

    "Well, shall we look around a bit then, before we head out?" Sakura suggested, rising from her seat. "As you said, we can always do a more thorough comb over the floor later, but right now, let's just see if anything interesting crops up on a cursory look..."

    With that said, the group decided to do as suggested. While Pyry and Gradient looked over the bookshelves, Hisa and Sakura took a look at the big mahogany desk that dominated the room with its presence. The amount of stuff hidden in its drawers would have taken hours to look through, considering it was nothing but thick books, weird objects and myriad small boxes that seemed to contain everything from butterfly cocoons to a collection of small, melted pieces of silver, tin and other assorted metals. What their purposes were (or if there were any) remained a mystery for another time, as did the contents of the books.

    However, at the bottom of one drawer, Hisa found something... curious.

    An old map. Not one of Road's End though.

    This one seemed to be a map of the united states, with various locations marked with an X.

    ... While the map itself had no text explaining its purpose, something in it made the scarred girl feel it was important, and thus she pocketed it. At least there was something to show for today, aside from the local history lessons.

    And with that, it had come time to say goodbye to Allene, and finally start their journey back to the dormitories.

    It was going to be another long night...




    [SCENE END /// Move to NEXT Phase!]

    Hisa Momoi: Friendship Rank Raised!


  7. #4087
    Beware the Finnish Ringlets Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Location: Wherever You Are
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast
    [BGM]

    When you woke up... the rain had stopped.

    The longest night of your life, or so it in most case felt, was finally over.

    In the early Saturday morning, air was stagnant, heavy and waiting. From the looks of it, this was literally just the calm before the storm. No, you knew it was. You had experienced this once more, and you knew enough about what was to come to understand what was just in the horizon. Just like last night, the rain and thunder would fall upon Road's End - and with that accursed weather would come the dire troubles of the weekend. The cursed Sunday loomed just around the corner and what that would bring, well... it was impossible to say in detail.

    The only thing you knew was that this Sunday would, once again, throw your life into turmoil and trial.

    Things would change once more.

    But this time... this time, you had taken some precautions. You were wiser, smarter, more experienced. Even if it didn't always feel like it, you knew more than before. You knew what to expect.

    And that was the greatest weapon you could have brandished against such an opponent as this looping week that held you in its tight grip.

    Thus, the all-too little sleep that you had gotten was finally washed away by the noises of the weather, the rain against the window pane, the sound of other people moving nearby or, in some cases, a somber song blaring through the PA system. You opened your eyes to greet yet another day, feeling the effects of last night and how much it had taken out of you. But there was no time to stay in bed and complain about it. The only way to push forward was to move forward. One step at a time. Out of the bed, into a shower, fresh clothes and then... then, whatever the day had in store for you.

    Or, at this point...

    --- Whatever you had in store for the day.

    At this point, it was hard to say that you were getting swept away in the tides of fate, after all.

    You knew which direction the ocean churned and turned.

    Now all you had to do was swim... wherever you were.

    Known NPC Locations!
    Pinefall High - Cafeteria
    • Hwan Bin


    Pinefall High - Dormitory
    • Inacio Ilusão
    • Ramia Ramalsaqr


    Dormitory - Rooms
    • Subaru Iburi
    • Pyry Leijonamieli
    • Kean Loinnir
    • Souma Nubatama
    • Xylia Pheme
    • Ubon Sĕeklêun
    • Sakura Tsukioka
    • Mercedes West


    Spade Queen Country Club
    • Aleen King


    End's Mercy Hospital
    • Cesarina Feroce
    • Travis Gagnon


    Owl's Nest Hotel
    • Alex Terrot


    ???
    • Gabi Bahkauv
    • Caleb Montjoy

    Last edited by Verg Avesta; October 10th, 2021 at 02:13 PM.

  8. #4088
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: End's Mercy Hospital
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    I awoke with saliva dripping out of the side of my mouth, my head leaning against the wall of Cesarina's room. Blinking rapidly, I wiped the drool off my mouth and peered around the room through eyes that were barely fit to be called half open, and a loud yawn exited my mouth as I covered it with a free hand, stretching out my other arm.

    Certainly, there was little to no way I had gotten enough sleep. And yet, we must persist onwards.

    Looking around the hospital room, it was, in hindsight, fair fortune that nothing had actually happened. While it may be embarrassing for me - and my credibility - I would prefer a lack of corpses to an abundance of them. The man without a face choosing to leave Cesarina alone was good for me. And yet, it also boded far too ill for me to ignore.

    I clicked my tongue in annoyance.

    Doing the mental equivalent of poking Potemkin rudely, I stretched again, feeling the soreness of yesterday slowly melt away as my limbs pushed themselves to their breaking point. Letting out a sigh, I opened my eyes, wide and full, and stared around the room, before leaning my head against the wall again and pulling out my grimoire to flip through it.

    I would not be the one to disturb people of their well-earned rest after all.
    in the end we will make thoughtcrime impossible, for there shall be no words to express it

    #THELEGENDNEVERDIES

    [01:05.15] <@Spinach> I can flash gang signs faster than Sasuke can perform ninjutsu and I rap like Medea's High Speed Divine Words.


  9. #4089
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye/Sora Hikari
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast


    ---There was little peace to be found in the darkness of dreams, the desperate struggles of her subconscious to find an exit from the looming specter of a horrible future.

    Her brain had been active, far too active for her liking; a storm of numbers and variables, memories played on repeat, searching over and over again for some sort of ace in the hole with which to face the coming morning, the stacked deck, and yet finding no real answer at the end of that long internal struggle. Normally meditation was used to organize her thoughts, but her thoughts had proven too chaotic to really put into line, thus the best her overloaded brain had given her was a warm sort of oblivion near the end, the sensation of something firm and familiar that she couldn't quite place right away, not as her physical body had finally given up and dragged her consciousness along with it, but...

    ---Even that respite is momentary.

    "..."

    Her eyes open slowly, internal clock screaming that the sun has finally slipped back over the horizon... It's a sign, a sign that she needs to move in spite of no longer having a plan, well aware that simply sitting here would do nothing to solve the many issues nipping at her heels, but...

    It's warm.

    ---Her body is quite warm.

    Oh, that's right...

    A calm realization, made with a mind that has yet to manifest the usual energy...

    Sierra's head is on her lap. There had been a number of things she hadn't been willing to do after returning from the world outside last night, letting Sierra leave her sight at all was one of those things, and thus this result is to be expected... Her black sweater had become a bit of a makeshift blanket for the girl, the result of an instinctive impulse born from all those memories of Brighter Days, where even the smallest hint of a nightly chill had her wandering around passing out blankets...

    ---It's a nostalgic feeling, something that makes her feel warm inside, that fulfills those powerful maternal instincts the smaller girl brings out in her, a tired hand brushing the sleeping girl's hair from her face in a motherly sort of way, but...

    "..."

    ...It takes her a moment to realize this angle is incorrect.

    She should be sitting straight up with the sleeping girl on her lap... That is what she remembered happening before she had fallen into deep thought, mediation over her situation and the things she had learned last night, but now...

    "..."

    ...Now she seems to have slumped over a bit herself, onto the lap of a certain vampire.

    That certainly explains it.

    If she had fallen asleep here at the club, it would only have been under circumstances in which her subconscious felt safe enough to allow her to do so, and well...

    "..."

    His lap was both comfortable and safe, experience had taught her that much two days ago, so...

    "..."

    She does not panic.

    No sense of teenage embarrassment or sudden leap or scramble to a sitting position... No, her tired eyes simply gaze up at the older man for a moment; he seems tired, the natural fatigue that comes to a vampire with the approach of the dawn, their instincts driving them to seek out a place of rest until the next coming of night, and-

    "...Morning... Mr. Comfortable lap..."

    -Quietly.

    One hand moves, gently tapping on his leg to get his attention, although the rest of her feels comfortable enough that she doesn't feel the need to move much more than this yet either. It's not physically warm -a blood-flow was required for that- but there was a certain emotional warmth in this sort of casual contact, the safe feeling that comes with being able to let your guard down around someone else, a rare sort of intimacy in her line of work (at least from the side of the one being comforted, which she wasn't used to at all) and...

    Even beyond all of that, if she moves too suddenly she'll wake up Sierra.

    And that girl... Could use every bit of rest she could get, even if it was only a few moments more...

    After all... Mr. Pinkerton... And the employees... They're all still missing...

    "Where's the kitchen at again...? I'll make breakfast... Any special requests?"

    She yawns, but still doesn't rise from his lap or move to awaken Sierra, she's still bone-tired, working on changing her internal settings, and annoyingly aware of the fact that her splayed out hair would be a nightmare to work through once she actually got to it with a comb and brush... But the biggest theoretical factor for the delay... May simply be her inner cuddle-bug nature perhaps enjoying this sense of physical intimacy a bit more than she consciously realizes...

    "Should turn out fine no matter what you ask for, the secret ingredient is love after all... And butter."

    An attempt to regain some of her visible positivity, even as her body aches to go back to sleep, but...

    One thing at a time.

    She doesn't have any grand plans to save everyone, not anymore, people had already been lost so that was impossible, but...

    She can still do small things like this, her own gestures of affection.

    Other things will come in time... After coffee... A quick shower...

    The town wants to break her, but she won't let it.

    Just needs a few moments... To really wake up and figure out what to do in the time remaining, even if she's sure that at this point in the week, it'll probably all come down to a series of unavoidable battles...

    Even so...

    If nothing else...

    She had already decided to protect her friends.
    Last edited by Airen; October 11th, 2021 at 09:58 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. #4090
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka
    Location: Abandoned Cabin
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    They stumbled into the old, creaky cabin as night was beginning to break. The pitter-patter of rain on the roof slowed as they climbed the stairs and pushed open the door to the only room in the house with a working bed. Eyes closed in order to escape the sun as it peeked up over the misty horizon.

    The girl did not remember the details. She did not remember when her wet coat and helmet had come off, or how she'd ended up lying down on something soft. For she was near gone, just like the previous night. Her mind was abuzz, a blender of ideas, revelations, names, hopes, and fears, mixing together, crunching, colliding, careening in wild directions as they bounced together and apart and smashed against the inside of her skull again and again and again. She could not think because she could not stop thinking about things she wished to not think of.

    It was weariness that dulled down the painful thoughts. A deep ache in her body that dragged down all of her thoughts into a stifling silence. Taking her along with them.

    As the girl slept, she did not dream. But she flitted between fragments of dreams. The thoughts from before, drifting, shattered, in the murk.

    Gabi Bakhauv's corpse lay on a stretcher in a morgue, his face covered by a cloth. Next to him was Elizaveta Vyraj, the cloth on her face marred by the outline of a bloody grin. A shadowy figure stood over an empty stretcher, his left hand glowing a dark purple as prepared another cloth. There was a stretcher for everyone. But she was next. He looked at her and reached towards her and behind him she saw the grinning face of a one-eyed woman and she ran, ran, ran, the sinister hand hot on her heels, until she was elsewhere.

    Home. She saw home for a moment. Only it was not the home she had known. Gone were the filing cabinets and the rows of computers and the testing rooms. Instead there were tired caretakers complaining about foster systems and children who had been gathered from broken homes. She did not recognize this home. Or did she?

    Them. She saw them for a moment. Only they were not the siblings she had known. No longer did they display their sixth senses, no longer did they dream of living together without needing to rely on humans, no longer did their minds and souls weave together to form a telepathic and empathetic web. They were normal children now. Playing pretend in the garden and halls and toy rooms. And then they were gone, new parents by their sides, one by one. She did not recognize them. Or did she?

    Herself. She saw herself for a moment. Only she was not the 'herself' she had known. Gone was the confident girl who had never had a mother and did not need one. This girl had a far-off look in her eyes, as if she did not quite see the world clearly. The others around her gazed at her with pity in their eyes. They kept quiet as she rambled, all of them, nodding along as she ranted and raved about absolute nonsense. She did not recognize this girl. Or did she?

    She looked at the name on the card given to her. It read 'Paula Rushmore'.

    Was this her imagination? Or was it the reality locked away in her memories? Did she in fact recognize what she saw? Or was it simply that the girl did not recognize her?

    The girl did not know. She could no longer be certain of anything. Not even her own name.

    Him. She saw him standing before her. Only he was a massive monster, like the one she had seen amid the bloody snow. Only he was a child like her, laughing and sulking and pretending to be something special. Only he was a faceless young man, shaving in front of a mirror, drops of blood falling into a sink.

    She reached out towards him. To clear away the darkness. To see his face again. For surely, in his eyes, the true 'her' would be reflected-.

    The girl shivered and the image dissipated. It was cold. The old cabin wasn't airtight. The blankets were threadbare. And the window, which had been covered hastily by cloth, was still broken. She reached out, blindly, and her hand found something warm and soft. The girl pulled herself closer and wrapped her arms around it. The warmth enveloped her and for a moment all the images faded away and she was back home again, surrounded by people who loved her. The girl did not have the strength to wonder if that love had been a lie as well.

    Her thoughts slowed and finally she slept. A merciful, dreamless sleep, where she was not alone.



    Prushka?
    Location: Abandoned Cabin
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    The coffee will be ready soon. Miracle of miracles, there were some old beans in one of the cupboards. A pot of clean water boils cheerfully on the temperamental stove as two empty cups wait nearby along with some sugar, no cream.

    Waking up glued to Ahti in the same bed was embarrassing enough. Finding out I'd slept in so late it was nearly afternoon was even worse. Thankfully I managed to extract myself before he woke up. Gotta seize whatever's left of the day! These problems won't solve themselves! But right now the problem is weariness, and the solution will be ready once it boils. Until then I just have to wait!

    "Hm... nothing for breakfast. Cant go too far alone either..." How do I kill time then? I reach into my bag and look around for something. The guidebook? No, not awake enough for heavy reading. Can't write in the journal either, head's still fuzzy. In that case it's gotta be...

    "We're alone, Scott. What's on your mind?"
    Those comics I bought! A perfect way to kill five minutes! Ahti likes these, so they can't be that bad, right? I flip through newsprint pages, skimming over the vivid artwork and bold text as a pair of guys in tights discuss how someone's after them.

    "There has to be a leak somewhere. Warren, these people knew our powers, our plans, the way we fight -- the way we think!"
    If nothing else, it's entertaining enough just watching all the melodrama. Nothing like ours, of course.

    "Relax, elf. All I did was strip the insulation off these power lines. When the water hits 'em, they'll short out -- probably blow every light in the club."
    The cast is quite colourful. They're a team it seems. Almost nostalgic in a way... is there a 'team' here? At Pinefall? Sure, we might be friends, some of us. But it feels like we're all on our own somehow. Only when we come together does anything get done. Maybe that's a good start. Get together. Share information again. Track down the other students, if they haven't left already. Vivi, Lia, Hwan, they ought to know about this stuff.

    "I've mind-scanned everyone in the room. They're all perfectly normal."
    The teachers... they won't be around today. But maybe visiting them could work. We do know where they live. Jake also had a lot to answer as well... and he might know how to get into the sewers.

    "Half your team is beaten, Storm -- and the battle has barely begin. Yield -- and I will be... merciful."
    We're still on the back foot though, aren't we? Knowing there's a danger but not what kind of danger it is. However... if those of us who fight to see next week do team up, we would become stronger. And our enemies might not have the same luxury. Would Mr. Currumpaw want to work with a vampire? Or the Man of the Left Hand? Or Dot? It's not like they're a team, is it?

    "To the Hellfire Club -- and our Black Queen. Long may she reign!"
    Or maybe they are. If there's some force organizing everything, we haven't even glimpsed it. We're still blind. Still with more answers than questions. Still weak. Still tired. Still down.

    The water is boiling, but I press on, turning the pages towards the end of the issue. Only one more left now. The good guys have all lost, so I don't expect it'll end well. So much for a way to cheer up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Some kinda small scruffy hero
    "Okay, suckers -- you've taken yer best shot! Now it's my turn!"
    "...heh."

    The book snaps closed. Something flutters in my chest. With a small smile across my face, I raise my voice and holler loudly enough for Ahti to hear me upstairs. Time to rise and shine.

    "Coffee's ready!"

  11. #4091
    Elise Pelltier
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitories - Outside Elise's Room
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Elise stood outside her dorm room door, feeling a sense of both trepidation and excitement as she raised her hand to knock on the door. Resting in her room, on the other side of the door, might be someone who had answers for some of the questions that had been gnawing on her soul.

    Quote Originally Posted by LBJ
    ["First time you bring a guy to your room, and it's because he's sleeping off being stabbed in the gut."]
    Questions, amongst the other things that gnawed on her soul.

    Samuel had needed a place to stay for the remainder of the night after their confrontation with Michael. They could hardly leave him out in the rain, especially given the wound he'd received from that shard of a cursed sword his brother had wielded in the fight. She'd been able to patch him up with her healing thaumaturgy, but there really was no substitute for rest. Thankfully, Sakura had been able to put her up for the night in turn.

    She paused for a moment, as she spared a thought for that shard of a sword Michael had wielded like a spear.

    Just where did Michael have that thing stashed anyway? I wonder how much Kean remembers while he was possessed by Michael? wondered Elise, Might be worth asking him if I get the chance. I'd like to check up on him and see how he's doing before I leave anyway.

    Before she left.

    Elise frowned at her own thought.

    I don't need to make it sound like I'm not coming back.

    Risking getting caught in the oncoming storm was a terrible idea, but there was so much more that she needed to know and not nearly enough time before the deadline. Given what she'd seen so far though, she was fairly certain that she wasn't going to like the answers.

    She warned me that I might not like what I'd learn, but that's not going to stop me from trying to find out.

    She rapped on her door and waited for a response from the other side.

  12. #4092
    S U P R E M E Mormarth's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Elaine's Room
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    After shambling past Hwan's room, pausing only to confirm the two slumbering presences within with my various senses, I dragged my erstwhile rescuee back to my room over his mild complaints.

    Obviously he needed to be supervised in case of residual effects from his experience, and also there was a large possibility I was feeling clingy and emotional and needed support that my usual cuddle-bug could not provide at the moment.

    ...

    Also I didn't want him to be alone, for both our sakes.

    Knowing this, I stirred to the waking world with nothing more than a quiet grunt and a twitch of my limbs.

    I'd slept fairly well that night, contentment staving off most of my usual nightmares, only a moderate case of night terror as my subconscious recalled the ghostly form of my first friend here.

    I laid there for a moment, musing over the events of the night, those I'd encountered, what they'd said with both actions and words.

    I knew there was at least one thing I had to do today.

    I couldn't afford to dismiss that opportunity, even if it was a trap.

    I sighed, shifting my weight around, mumbling under my breath as my stomach promptly realized my departure from slumberland and presented its many varied complaints.

    ...

    "You up yet, Kean?"

    He'd complained incessantly after I insisted on driving back to the dorms, blaring Styx loudly and obnoxiously, crowing my triumph to the world.

    I could understand, I was always more of a Renegade and Blue Collar fan than Mr. Roboto.

    But I mean, c'mon.

    You just gotta do some things, you know? It's practically tradition between us.

    "C'mon, got to go grab the chickie, knowing what I do, she's probably down emptying the pantry," I encouraged, crossing the room easily and beginning my usual affairs of gently beating my hair into submission and making sure the smell of wet dog and faintly cooked meat wasn't lingering around me to anyone that wasn't a crazy sense fiend; like yours truly.

  13. #4093
    死徒(下級)Lesser Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    My eyes fluttered open slowly minutes before the sound of the usual alarm filled the room, if a lot more quietly this time. It was a Saturday after all, the right of people to sleep in had to be respected, even if it was unlikely that anyone involved here would be able to do such thing. The few hours of sleep I could get left plenty to be desired still, yet for how little it was, I still felt strangely refreshed. Truly quite unexpected after the events of the last few days, but then...I did try my best not to give it too much thought. To just push it into the corner of my mind that was always used for such purposes, only that I somehow managed to forget about it during my time here.

    Crawling out of bed, I noted with slight relief that Gradient and To-Totesh were still sound asleep. Likely would have cursed the existence of the stupid PA system otherwise - the both of them definitely deserved some more rest still, and I didn't mind having a moment just for myself either. Not having social interactions to focus on helped to keep my mind operate on the bare minimum as I tackled the usual morning routines, perhaps a bit more lazily and with less care than usual. Without making much of a noise, I packed up the usual stuff, a process made much easier thanks to the fact that I did not even really unpack in the first place last night. Moments later, I'd already be at the door, closing it quietly behind myself as I peered back again at the two sleeping figures and the note I left on my table.

    The hallway was quiet still, especially as the somber song playing from the speakers came to an end as well. It was quite a pleasant sound, the dead silence. I couldn't help but indulge in the momentary peace that tinged the atmosphere for a bit, before the rhythmic noise of my boots against the cold floorboards echoed through the corridor. A walk too short, as not even a minute later I'd already turn one corner, and then another, to find myself in the still empty kitchen. It was best to get breakfast out of the way early, and considering how we were going to be out for part of the day, it was best to make some extra as well. Was best to be prepared in the end, in case we wouldn't have the time to stop by the diner. A possibility that felt quite likely, in all honesty.

  14. #4094
    Time to burn some dread Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory – John Dove’s Bedroom (Room 106)
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast



    John Dove opens his eyes after something that can in no way be called rest. It would make only sense to stay there, resting until at least noon. However, the existence called John Dove is wholly governed by his mind. If he decided to become active first thing in the morning, then his mind will wholeheartedly ignore the weighty feeling of tiredness and lack of rest that wreathes his body. He might just destroy himself before he can make himself anew.

    Nevertheless, he does not jump off the bed straight away. He takes a few moments to organize his thoughts, to little avail. There is so much to think, so many directions, all of them fuzzy and unclear. He is thoroughly struck by information paralysis. John Dove cannot figure out what to do next; rather, there is so much to do he cannot figure out where his presence and action would be more fruitful.

    DDS.

    There are so many things that do not click in his mind concerning this medical explanation for the supernatural, one of them the way it is being treated. The way they, the “patients,” are being treated. Mr. Oceandrop might have the best intentions in mind, but that just might not extend to every actor in this whole performance disguised as an effort to “heal” the world’s worst cases of DDS. How would Sae Min react if he revealed that he knows about DDS? How would Miss Leuzinger? Hiroto Hatou? The Air Force people? Does this require the scalpel or the sledgehammer?

    Well, it is not as if he can predict how the others will act on this weekend.

    Rising his hand to eye level, John looks at the ornate handwear he has hold to for years already. According to the DDS Theory, this trinket is utterly powerless, and “the curse of John Dove” would be merely a strange chain of coincidences.

    Well, that would be a good thing, I guess.

    Anyway, what to do?

    For all the possibilities and options spread before him, the answer is obvious. Surprisingly enough, there might just be something only the powerless, mediocre John Dove can do.

    That is why, fifteen minutes later, a showered and (somewhat) refreshed John Dove knocks on the door of the one person he cannot allow to remain a wildcard on the upcoming weekend.

    “Nubatama, do you have a minute?”

    This will not take just a minute. If anything, this may turned out to be the best or the stupidest thing John Dove ever does in his life. And this is the guy who flirted with Crowley’s Moonchild.

  15. #4095
    approaching euthymia Katie's Avatar
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    Lucille Faraday
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Lucille’s Room
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    It begins like many mornings in the past. Lucille wakes up drenched in sweat, sheets in complete and utter disarray. Not even sheer exhaustion can free her mind. She awkwardly feels for her side, but instead of remembering the sheer brutality of Subaru’s arrow her mind conjures the bite of a cursed spear, anathema to His Will. It all hurts the same, anyway.

    “Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him.” She repeats the words, a mantra to calm the mind, but it does nothing to calm the pangs in her heart. Her breathing becomes more even, slowly, eventually, finally, until she forces herself up and stares at the wall next to her bedside.

    There the Parting Gift lies propped up against the wall alongside her macabre spoil of war, the spear meant to take her life. Her rationalization—that they would need it later—is so laughably flimsy. It’s true, but there is no need for her to possess it. Only now, that as she walks closer, to put holy blade and damned spear away, tucked underneath her bed, that she finally realizes why she took it.

    Lucille Faraday does not want to forget Michael Lowgate, and if her only memento is this instrument of death, then so be it.

    She puts the Parting Gift back in its case, clasps clicking closed, and puts the spear next to it. The weapon that killed him and the weapon meant to kill her, a fitting pair. With that out of the way, she tries to do her morning routine, hoping that it will help clear her head. Go to the bathroom. Brush her teeth. Take a shower.

    Instead, as she does all of these mundane things, her brain uselessly spins its wheels.

    That bitch got what he deserved, the imaginary Mercedes says in her mind. He tried to kill you!

    Lucille has her doubts about her impression about Mercedes, because even though so much has happened she only has known her for what you could generously call ten days or so. But it feels like something she would say. She’d tell her to stop feeling so guilty about it, maybe. That…

    You did what had to be done, the imaginary Sakura says in her mind. It wasn’t your fault. He made his choices.

    That’s true, but it also isn’t. It’s almost a trivial matter, because it could have been solved if either one communicated instead of being blind to the truth. And for that, isn’t it her fault? Blind to the plight of others, unwittingly indulgent in her own grandeur… All she had to do was see, and…

    Lucille gets dressed, but stops before she opens her door. Truthfully, she wants to withdraw, wallow in her thoughts, but there are still things to do and lives to save, so it is not an option. At the same time, she doesn’t want to hear the same things repeated over and over to her because she is stubborn and they are all equally stubborn about helping her. What a headache.

    First, at least, she could talk to Samuel, perhaps get a better idea as to what was going on about the town. Maybe even some history about how he met Gradient. And if she remembered correctly, he was in Elise’s room?

    Right, start there. She has been so entrenched in her own problems she has no idea where else to look.

  16. #4096
    Beware the Finnish Ringlets Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: End's Mercy Hospital
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "Ah. You are awake."

    Cesarina's voice was the first thing to greet Alexstrasza. As the blonde girl looked around the hospital room, she saw it almost abandoned in terms of people when compared to last night. Rest of the green-haired Italians were gone, having disappeared off to somewhere, and even the two boys that had kept them company - Devon and Travis - were nowhere to be seen. Instead, Cesarina was sitting in her bed, a book in her hands that she had been reading. Potemkin was there too, but the black-and-white creature barely acknowledged Alexstrasza's mental note. She glanced back, smirked at the sight of the blonde girl and the red coat she had been using as a blanket, and then went back to what she had been doing... that is, watching through the window, gazing at the overcast sky and the grey landscape that spread out below it.

    Cesarina, on the other hand, looked surprisingly enough more energetic than she had last night. Perhaps the presence of her friend had cheered her up and made her sleep more sound? Or perhaps it was the book in her hands?

    ... Though what sort of name was "The Californian's Tale" for a book?

    "Were you able to rest well?" Cesarina continued, setting the book on her lap. "You were rather tossing and turning, to the point where I wondered if I should have forced you to sleep on the bed too..."

    The heiress giggled, though when she saw Alexstrasza's searching gaze, she proceeded to answer some questions that hadn't even been asked yet.

    "Oh, my compatriots had their own things to take care of, while Travis went off to meet someone he knew. Apparently he is friends with an... intern of this hospital? I think? That is how the young man appeared to be. Meanwhile your friend in red... he, uh..." Cesarina paused for a moment, frowning. "... He exited out of the window by the time sun finally climbed over the horizon. It was all rather amazing, but still quite inconvenient."

    Cesarina then pointed at the red coat that her friend was holding, wearing a slightly teasing grin on her face.

    "Ah, and I think he indicated that you should get that washed before you return it to him," she added. "That seemed quite clear even though he didn't exactly talk."




    Liana Skye/Sora Hikari
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Lobby
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    Hawthorn let out a quiet grunt of surprise at Liana's sudden words. He turned to look down at the girl, and though his face was clearly tired and exhaustion was creeping up even on him, that same smirk - almost juvenile in ways - crept up to his face.

    "... Mornin', sleepyhead. If it's kitchen you're looking for, that's the corridor to the right from the entrance - third door to the right. Just walk through the dining area and head through the back," he adviced, speaking in a low murmur so as to not wake up others. "If it's shitter you want first, though - that's over there. The left door, more specifically. With the female deer painted on it."

    Chuckling a bit to himself, he nodded towards the other side of the lobby.

    Lobby that looked just as empty as it had last night, with no workers or even the owner himself anywhere in sight.

    No, actually, now that Liana looked around, the lobby looked even more abandoned than usual. After all, some people from last night were clearly missing. Colt was sleeping over there on one of the large leather couches, with Cathie gently snoozing while leaning her head against his shoulder. Meanwhile the Omkara siblings had conquered another couch for themselves and were getting some well-deserved rest as well. Vier and Aleen were sleeping on the armchairs nearby, too. But as for the others...?

    "--- Zane's out at the shed with Fyrtio, trying to get the phonelines working. Meanwhile Mr. FBI said he'd do a few rounds around the building before heading into town - though he's gonna stop by here before he does that. I think he's been antsy about getting into contact with his bureau, or his partner or whatever," Hawthorn explained before the girl could even ask. "Well, no idea how that guy's mind works. But he looked like he realized something after the shitshow that was yesterday, and has been making notes. Maybe he's come up with something."

    That did sound like Ferguson. He was exactly the type to lose track of everything else when inspiration hit him.

    "By the way..."

    Hawthorn added, glancing down at the girl and smirking again.

    "... You have surprisingly heavy head, you know that?"




    Prushka?
    Location: Abandoned Cabin
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "... I thought I smelled something burning."

    The reply came from upstairs, and soon enough, Prushka heard the old stairs creak as a familiar person started descending down them. As she peered into the small lobby, she saw Ahti arrive there, pulling a tight-fitting shirt over his torso before moving to wrangle his belt into order and pull up his pants properly. The cat-like young man looked like he'd been pulling an all-nighter... and in a way, both of them had. Only while Prushka had had some time to clean up her face and her hair, Ahti's white mane was standing up in every which direction and he definitely looked like he could have washed his face.

    But the strangest thing was... he wasn't wearing his eyepatch. The one that was always covering his right eye.

    No, instead, he was physically keeping that eye shut, which in turn let Prushka see that underneath that black patch... was a scar, as if something had made a sharp cut at his very eye. But the lid itself seemed unharmed, so perhaps the eye wasn't damaged too badly...?

    "Huh? The hell you staring at, Imp?" Ahti asked as he wandered into the kitchen, hands rummaging through the pockets of his pants. "Also, do we have any grub? I feel like I could eat a boar."

    Finally the young man found what he had been looking for, and pulled out... the same exact eyepatch he always used. He affixed that to its place with ease of a person who had done it hundreds of times before, and only once that was done did his face relax a little bit.

    Once that was done, the smell of fresh coffee seemed to catch his attention once more, as he was practically lured towards the pot.

    "... It's late, huh?" Ahti commented, glancing out of the window. "Way past noon, I'd wager. I miss anything important?"




    Elise Pelltier & Lucille Faraday
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitories - Outside Elise's Room
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    It certainly seemed that some minds thought very alike.

    Elise had barely managed to knock on her own door when she heard approaching footfalls coming down the corridor, and when she turned to look... she saw Lucille standing there, looking as haggard as she did herself. The two young women had, like many at the school right now, slept precious little - a fact that made the already grey morning feel much more grey indeed. Still, at the very least they had survived, and at the very least they had stayed up for a good reason... perhaps even to earn something important, in the end.

    Help. Information.

    Answers.

    "Ah, yes...?"

    As the door creaked open, Elise could see a careful eye scanning the perimeter of the corridor, and a glint of steel hiding in the dark. However, when that familiar eye spotted both her and Lucille, its intense focus dissipated and relaxed. The shimmer of a weapon was gone just as quickly as the person behind the door exhaled quietly, letting a tension out of his body. The door then opened fully, revealing a somewhat familiar young man from behind it.

    "Apologies. This is your room, Elise. I should not have made you wait," a soft voice greeted them both. "Come on in. Both of you. Please."

    As both Elise and Lucille entered the former's room, they were greeted with the sight of Samuel Lowgate - once again dressed in his civilian clothing, rather than the armored uniform that he had favoured last night. The young man, despite not having slept any more than they had, looked practically perky in comparison - which was weird enough, considering he had been stabbed in the gut last night. But then again, he had been healed, and he had spent a good part of seven years asleep, so perhaps he had slept enough for one lifetime...

    He had even had the time to clean in the room a little and fold the bed linens he had been using, leaving them neatly at the side of the bed so they could be washed.

    It was like he was an overly courteous hotel guest.

    "Good morning, Elise. Lucille," Samuel greeted the two, running his hand through his overfly fluffy hair. "It's good to see you both again. I presume you are here for some answers that I promised, are you not? Though, before that... and I apologize for this question, but, uhm..."

    The young man smiled somewhat awkwardly.

    "You wouldn't happen to have any food with you, would you?"

    New Person Met!





    Elaine Winters
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory
    - Elaine's Room
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "Yeah, I'm awake..."

    Why did he sound so unsure?

    While the Irish boy had been nowhere in sight as Elaine woke up, she did see a beam of light coming from the ajar door of the bathroom, meaning he had been there. And now that he answered, she could also hear his voice coming from there. But, once again, his words had been oddly... confused? Like even he had been unsure whether or not he was still awake.

    ... Well, luckily no clothes were strewn across the floor, so at the very least the boy had to be decent. But then, what was he being wishy-washy about?

    "Look, uh... right. We should check up on her. Yeah. But uh, the thing is..." Kean's voice trailed off, and Elaine could hear him giving the wall an annoyed light punch. "... Eh. Screw it. Look, I'm coming out, so try not to let out a too loud noise. Or laugh. Goddammit, you better not laugh, E. I ain't got no control over this and even I'm not sure what the hell's going on - more or less - so..."

    A heavy, heavy sigh.

    "... Goddammit."

    With that, the door of the bathroom slowly opened, and a person stepped out from there... a person that, for just a moment, looked almost like a stranger to Elaine's eyes. But in that same fraction of a second, her other senses started picking up cues as well. Smell. Sound. Things like that. And that instantly made things click once more, snap recognition back into place even though it had been thrown in for a loop for just a moment by the appearance of the boy before her.

    Yes. That was definitely Kean Loinnir.

    But that look... and those clothes... and that damn hair...

    --- Just what the hell?

    "Yeah yeah, let's hear it," Kean grunted with annoyance and scratched the back of his head. "Get it outta your system. We both know you can't help yourself even if I ask you to, so just take your shots and we can start puzzling out the hell's really up with me today."

    Yes.

    Tonight's Kean Loinnir certainly looked more..

    ... Moody?

    Well.

    Stephanie would surely have fun with this.

    New Person Met...?





    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Kitchen
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "Ah."

    Sudden, quiet gasp alarmed Hisa to the fact that somebody else had arrived to the empty kitchen but only moments later. As she turned around, she immediately saw the reason why she had probably not heard the person who had been approaching the room. Indeed, it was the young woman who had shown her last night just how quiet she could be when so desired.

    Sakura Tsukioka, with an awful bedhair and slightly haggard look on her face, stood in the doorway. When Hisa's eyes reached her, the older girl smiled warmly and nodded as a quiet greeting, before entering the kitchen herself. It was clear that Hisa was not the only one after breakfast here, and considering how the brunette had more or less made this room a part of her kingdom, it was no surprise to see her here.

    Though she really did look like she had barely slept.

    ... Maybe it was harder to pull out long nights like this when you were older?

    "Good morning, Hisa. I'm glad to see you in good health," Sakura quietly spoke as she walked over to the cabinets and opened them. "That's one worry less for today. Though, I have to say, you look like you've seen better mornings."

    Still wearing that same smile, the older girl giggled slightly.

    "... Though I suppose I'm not the one to talk!"

    At least she recognized it herself, as well.

    "Still, like I said, it's good to see you again. Looking for breakfast, maybe? Or are you two heading out immediately?" Sakura continued while busying herself with the stove and a kettle. "If you want, I can help you whip up something, since Samuel's taking over looking after milady this morning. Though, hmm..."

    She paused for a moment, finger on her chin and a slightly mischievous smile on her lips.

    "... Coffee or tea?" She asked. "I figured you might have had enough of the latter yesterday."




    John Dove
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory – Souma Nubatama's Room
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "... Moment."

    The instant John's hand had hit the door for the third time in a slow succession of knocks, a vaguely familiar voice answered his call from the inside. To his surprise, the colorblind boy could hear a set of grunts coming from inside the room, followed by what could only be described as the sound of someone stretching their back with satisfaction after a morning routine was finished. The sound of bare footfalls followed, and soon enough, the door opened wide, opening the way inside. It also allowed John to view the inside of Souma Nubatama's room once more... and just how austere and spartan the room was.

    No posters. No decorations. Nothing that could was usually used to make a roo more "liveable" and "comfortable."

    White walls and floor. A simple, wooden, white desk with three drawers. White bedsheets and linen.

    Just an old, small tape deck playing a song, sitting on the desk.

    And standing next to the doorway, having moved out of the way as a courtesy, was the master of the room himself.

    --- Souma Nubatama. Wearing nothing but white, well-fitting Calvin Klein boxers and an ice pack over his eye.

    "... Heh. Apologies. I was doing stomach crunches - and I like to do a clean thousand every morning," the Japanese boy explained and gestured for John to enter. "I hope you don't mind. I'm in the middle of... my routine."

    That he clearly was. Considering the slight sweat glistening on his near-naked body, and how Souma was only dressed in his underwear (revealing that while not exactly "ripped", he was full of lean muscle - akin to a hunting dog), John might have caught him in the middle of a slightly problematic time. But then again, he had invited the other boy in, so perhaps it was alright for him to stay while Souma finished up...?

    "... Do you have a morning routine, John?"

    The sudden question brought the boy back from his thoughts. Souma had, as silently as ever, moved to his bathroom - though he had left the door open so that the two of them could converse while he did... whatever he was going to do. And judging by the amount of bottles that started appearing from the shelf, he was certainly going to do a lot. No wonder Souma's skin was alway so glistening, clean and soft.

    "... Deep pore cleanser lotion, after the mask. In the shower, water-activated gel cleanser, honey almond body scrub and exfoliating gel scrub for face. Then, herb-mint facial masque. Leave it for 10 minutes. You'll have time to do rest," Souma explained as his fingers softly brushed each bottle he had mentioned, and his other hand went on to turn on the shower next to him. "... Some advice. Always use aftershave lotion with little or no alcohol,. Alcohol dries your face out and makes you look older. Then, moisturizer. Anti-aging eye balm.

    His hand stopped at the last bottle.

    He certainly was more talkative than usual.

    "Finally... moisturizing protective lotion. That's all."

    With that, he took a towel from the shelf and set it to the rack on the wall where he could grab it. The young man turned around to look at John, the look in his golden eye almost asking if he was going to stick around to look while he showered.

    "... Understand?"

  17. #4097
    Time to burn some dread Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory – Souma Nubatama’s Bedroom (Room 109)
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast



    “Your advice is duly noted and appreciated, Souma, I will keep it in mind,” John laconically replies, clearly not showing a hint of that appreciation, but responding to the other young man’s use of first-name basis with his own. “As a matter of fact, I do have a routine of sorts. This place has rendered me utterly unable to keep it, unfortunately. Like this morning, for example.”

    What to make of Souma Nubatama’s morning ritual? This is no mere vanity. Does it stem from a strong aspiration towards personal health, vitality and well-being? Is that healthiness the final purpose, or is it a means to something else?

    John Dove has a hypothesis on the Japanese boy’s personality. Perhaps he just wants to believe in it because it would make things easier to a degree. Whatever the case, he can only press onward and see where this takes him.

    “I do apologize for bothering you in your routine, but I have no guarantee I will be able to find you at any later time, and I believe this conversation is, to a degree, necessary, if only for my peace of mind. Again, I apologize for my selfishness.”

    Maybe Ubon does have a point. He rants when he is reluctant to get to the point. Crushing the slight feeling of shame at this realization, John makes a conscious decision to stop dilly-dallying.

    “I hope you will indulge me for a while, and converse with me about, well, this whole place. About this so-called ‘School for Troubled Youth’; about our classmates; about our teachers; about the town; about that forest, and the things that lurk in there…”

    John Dove shows no degree of consideration for Souma’s state of undress or his apparent intention to shower. People don’t need their mouths to shower, after all, and what does the likes of John Dove care for Souma’s nudity?

    “…about delusion, and reality. I hoped you would allow me to hear your thoughts on this week thus far.”

    Time to poke the sleeping tiger.

    Or is it the perpetually cornered rat?

  18. #4098
    死徒(下級)Lesser Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Kitchen
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "I don't drink coffee, but I would never say no to a good cup of tea."

    It seemed that the momentary solitude came to an end faster than I hoped and expected, but at the same time, the person entering the kitchen brought a sense of relief with herself regarding certain things that have been at the back of my mind since last night. After all, she was here and in one piece, and her attitude made it quite clear that at least nothing has gone horribly wrong at the lighthouse. Least I could assume such, since it was unlikely that she could and would put up an act otherwise.

    Couldn't quite guess, however, what she was implying. Did I look bad? I felt quite rested, and even if I didn't go out of my way to fancy myself up, it shouldn't have been that far from normal. I tried to not let it show in my expression either - but for someone who has only known me since I came here, perhaps it was that emptiness and lack of emotions that felt strange.

    "We're in no rush, at any rate," I continued as I curled my lips into a faint smile, "The others are still sleeping, so I figured I would make some breakfast for them, and maybe prepare something for later for the road. We've plenty of time to talk, if you'd like."

    With Sakura taking the iniative, and with the kettle of water already heating up slowly on the stove, I decided to take a seat at the table for the moment. There really was no hurry with the breakfast, and since I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to make in the first place, it was best that I didn't just buzz around the counter to hinder the other girl. Resting my head atop my palm, my eyes locked onto the kettle that would soon start releasing more and more steam as the water inside it slowly started to boil.

    It was quite obvious where this conversation was supposed to go, yet my reluctancy made it a much more difficult decision than it should have been. Pretending that everything was fine and talking about something completely relevant was out of the question. Yet, asking would just make the wheels in my mind start turning once more, making it more difficult to keep things subdued. However, I was also curious, and it was more than important, for her and for them especially. It would have been rude not to inquire, and very much unlike my usual self as well.

    "I guess you were expecting the question already, but is everything okay, aside the lack of sleep? How did things go with Michael?"
    Last edited by Cheetose; October 12th, 2021 at 03:13 PM.

  19. #4099
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye/Sora Hikari
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Lobby
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast




    "..."

    Still fighting off the waves of drowsiness, those impulses that tell her it would be fine to just close her eyes again for another hour or so, Liana doesn't say much in response to the older man until a certain crack at the end...

    The whereabouts of the others had certainly been amongst her priorities, one of the many thought-tracks whirring away at the center of her mind, but the vampire's explanations quickly put the seeds of anxiety to rest. Some of the others were already up and about taking care of tasks around the Club, but the important thing was that everyone was still alive, that no one had gone to wander off and die while she had been asleep on the job...

    ---So much to do.

    Her tired mind bemoans.

    To be honest, there were things she wanted to talk about with pretty much everyone here; the fact that she had managed to fall asleep in their presence and then wake up again was a good sign that none of the allies she had made last night were the sort to try to murder her in her sleep, which was a plus, useful for when an uncertain doom was lurking around the corner, but...

    They had also scattered themselves around a bit.

    That was fine, almost admirable even, considering they had managed to drag themselves out of bed before she did; it almost made her feel a bit lazy in comparison, but she'd make up for it all later on...

    Scottie was going to come back here before he left, so she should be able to catch him, see what he might have figured out, and the others would probably do similar things, so...

    She could spare the time to take care of herself a bit and cook.

    Fio probably won't remember to eat unless I force her to anyway...

    Whether or not they were going to form some sort of united front against the oncoming madness of the town, she didn't want anyone to wander off and collapse because they weren't eating properly...

    Still...

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne
    "... You have surprisingly heavy head, you know that?"
    ...This comment scatters her more serious thoughts to the wind once more, after all, in response...

    "Heh..."

    A chuckle-

    "Well, I have been told I have a massive ego, considering mom, an overinflated head might just be a genetic thing~"

    -followed by a light, teasing punch to his arm.

    "Although, I am a reasonable person, I return favors I receive..."

    Voice still a bit tired, she nevertheless returns a smirk with a smirk.

    "If you'd like, I'd be willing to let you borrow my lap later for a nap. Could even play a bit with your hair while you sleep... New look, braids or spikes, that could be fun, right?"

    She brushes some of said hair with her hand to prove a point.

    "There's just so much to mess with after all, you've got potential, Thorne~"

    As an offer it's only half-serious, said with a tired but teasing tone, but...

    ---That's still half-serious.

    He had more or less guarded her while she was asleep, so she had every intention of returning the favor if necessary.

    Still-!

    She's smiling more naturally now.

    "But... Okay... Shower first, then I'll make breakfast... Should be an effective enough way to draw everyone back together for a bit, I have some things I want to talk to them about before they all scatter... Probably gonna hang out here today myself, think this is where I'll be most needed, especially with all the employees gone... Might be a good time to snoop on the Air Force folks too, since they seem to have helpfully vacated the building..."

    Got a favor I need to ask Aleen though...

    She finally sits up.

    And the Qi reserves... Aren't doing too great... When am I gonna find time to nap...?

    "Yesterday sucked, but I did see a few interesting things on my solo run around the property... Secret garden hatches were something I hadn't quite expected..."

    Much as she likes to cuddle, if she keeps this up, she'll be here all day...

    And the siren song of coffee was calling her far too much for that...

    Still...

    Glancing down at the sleeping girl on her lap...

    "Now... Let's see if I can do this..."

    She slowly tries to slip her legs out from underneath her without shaking her body, an actual impossibility considering their positioning, but a token effort to keep her asleep nonetheless-!

    Although, even if she messed up...

    She's sure the girl's reaction would be cute, and well...

    Showing off to the two of them in the kitchen might be fun in it's own way.
    Last edited by Airen; October 13th, 2021 at 03:33 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?



  20. #4100
    Beware the Finnish Ringlets Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    John Dove
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory – Souma Nubatama’s Bedroom (Room 109)
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "....... Heh."

    Hearing John's request, Souma could not seem to help but to let out one of his trademark quiet chuckles. Instead of answering immediately, the boy swiftly removed of his boxers and neatly folded them atop his towel. Then he stepped into the shower and let the hot water envelop him, lifting his face upwards as if enjoying the sensation. Steam started to rise and waft out of the bathroom, gently sloping into the rest of the small dorm room.

    As he slowly shifted his balance from one leg to another while standing up the streaming water, Souma started to apply the aforementioned bottles and their contents onto his body, taking good care to spread them evenly and without apparent hurry. Perhaps to him, Saturday was a day when he would not let any sort of hurry dictate his movements. Instead, he acted as he pleased, more so than usual, letting the other boy wait until he had finished applying and washing off the things that were meant for his face.

    "This week?"

    But finally, he spoke once more.

    "... This week has been... odd. From an outsider's perspective, most of the student body has had odd reactions to various things. Reactions that do not quite make sense. Being surprised by things they should not be. Seeming familiar with things they should not be. It's been...... heh, interesting to follow, to say the least," he replied, keeping up with his new talkativeness. "Like a man who seems new to the routine he has done every morning. Or a man familiar with a routine he has never done before. Very strange."

    Lotions changed, gels changed, and pores were cleansed very thoroughly.

    The only thing John could see through the steam was Souma's back and buttocks.

    "Everyone here guards their secrets well. Students. Teachers. Townspeople. It's akin to a blackjack table," the one-eyed boy continued. "But that's what makes it interesting, isn't it? What you have to watch out for are those do not even look at their cards, yet seem completely at ease... or those who openly display their hand without a care in the world."

    Did the young man just glance himself in the mirror as he said that, and smile?

    "But what comes to reality, John Dove... well," Souma spoke again while washing off the last of the three lotions he was using. "What even is it? And what are delusions for that matter? Does it not depend wholly on who the delusional and who the rational are? The truth is in the eye of the beholder, or however they say it. But even that eye is a solitary thing. It can never say whether or not it is right. Just like how you look at me right now."

    What was he even saying at this point?

    "In your field of vision, you see a specific creature and impose upon it your idea of Souma Nubatama. A concept that you know. But that isn't me. In fact, there is no real me," Souma said, quietly yet strongly. "Only something unknowable to you. One that responds to your delusion and you, in the throngs of confirmation bias, see as continuation of the concept you've kept in your head so far. And though we may talk, and though we may touch, and though ours gazes may meet and we both seem to wonder what the other one is truly thinking..."

    He turned off the shower.

    "I'm simply not there."




    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Kitchen
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Sakura's hands paused for a moment as she heard the question. It seemed that direct or indirect, it was a matter that couldn't be brought up without such a thing happening. And it was only understandable. From what Hisa had learned of Michael, and Sakura's relationship with him - not to mention Lucille - it was like an old wound that had been ripped open once more, and even touching it made the older girl shiver.

    But, that pause was only for a moment. Just as quickly, Sakura nodded - more to herself than to Hisa and turned around. She leaned on the countertop, a slightly sad, yet ultimately glad, smile on her face.

    "Michael's been... dealt with. Things got a bit hairy, and the things he had planned were... far more dire than any of us thought, but we were able to stop him. And, more importantly than that, I think... and this may be just my wishful thinking, but..." Sakura hesitated for a moment, before shaking her head. "... I think that deep, deep down, Michael wanted to be stopped. Ghosts are, after all, leftover emotions that have gone haywire. Grudges, sadness, pain... and by banishing it, we were able to free what remained of him. The real Michael. The true Michael. One that was not a ghost driven further along the path of insanity by his mere existence."

    It was certainly not a typical topic for two girls to discuss over making breakfast, but at the same time, their lives were far from normal. Indeed, even amidst those who were at the Pinefall at the moment, these two might have been part of the strangest events that went on last night.

    "At least, I want to think so. After all, he thanked milady before he..."

    Sakura's voice trailed off, and she let out a single, solitary sniff. But no sadness could be read from her face.

    "... Before he was gone. So, um, yeah. Things went the best they could in a situation such as ours," she explained. "I'd like to think that that particular chapter has been closed for now."

    Still, there was a definite "but" there. It seemed that something else had happened, or perhaps something else had come to light during the events of last night.

    "Oh, speaking of breakfast... is porridge okay? Or should we go with something a bit more heavier? How do you like your breakfast?" Sakura continued, turning around and starting to rummage through the cabinets once again. "I tend to prefer light yet filling, though I guess that's thanks to my homeland, but honestly, I doubt we have fish we could slightly grill and season at the moment, so we should make do with what we have..."

    Her hands stopped as she found the pack of rice porridge she had been looking for.

    "... Michael had 'hired' some other people who tried to stop us. One of them was an inquisitor, with a corrupted Arma Christi. And she was commanding some sort of... undead. But I think that wasn't all of it. It was wearing rags, it had a metal mask and a single eye, and a massive sword, yet from what milady told me... that wasn't the worst thing. The undead itself had felt to her like... like it itself had been an Arc-Relic," Sakura quietly spoke. "And then there was a shapeshifter. Though in her case, I believe she was under mind control of some sort. I brought her here and set her up in a safe but secure location, somewhere where she can rest. We'll see how things are once she wakes up."

    The girl picked up the pack and heaved a little sigh.

    "The other two got away though. So they're still somewhere out there."

    But then she pushed away that morbid thing nagging in her head. It seemed that at least this morning, Sakura Tsukioka wasn't going to let these things bother her too much. Instead...

    "--- Have you ever tried cinnamon in rice porridge, by the way?" The older girl asked, looking back at Hisa with a raised eyebrow. "It goes surprisingly well."

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