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Thread: Spirit Pulse : Mugen No Sekai [IC]

  1. #41
    Taiga's knight Tobias's Avatar
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    Raz Stone
    Brewed Awakenings, Avalon Branch
    Monday - Morning

    Raz was willing to bet pretty good money that Sara Cross was not a good gambler. This ordeal had started when her attempts to threaten him into silence had met with a less then successful result, though Raz had of course gone easy on her. She was his cute subordinate after all. However her response to this had been to double down on the threats. Even had her claims been entirely valid, he wasn't concerned in the slightest.

    Being an idol was not just about showing someone to look after, a back to follow or a handsome smile to swoon over, it was about showing humanity in all its forms, from beauty to the very humanity inherent in mistakes. One actually tended to grow in popularity with the occasional scandal, it generated public interest. A famous play write had once succinctly put it: "I don't care what the newspapers say about me as long as they spell my name right."

    Raz had repeatedly found there to be quite a bit of truth in the old saw. Of course, he felt it was a bit incomplete. One needed to occasionally show a bit of human weakness in order to move past it. Do so, and fans would celebrate your redemption instead of becoming jealous of your success, or worse, tarring as inhuman and unable to understand the hearts of your admirers.

    Raz often likened such to a good cup of coffee. Delicious coffee was one of the most wonderful, euphoric experiences one could have on this planet. ...However...if one never had a bad cup of coffee, they might find themselves less able to appreciate the subtle complexities of a really good cup of coffee. it was in contrast that created perception, created understanding. Plus it didn't hurt that "I tried to threaten him into silence and he tried to make me sing!" was not perhaps the career shattering scandal that Sara had been portraying. Raz had actually quite looked forward to making Sara aware of this. In fact, he had half a mind to print one of those amusing "Do it!" memes on the front of his shades in fact, except....

    Raz's wince was hidden behind the Hermes Shades....but it was still apparent in his voice.

    "Your Comp...she just went online didn't she? Whelp, guess that means the jigs up."

    Without warning, the DTG popped back up tipping his fedora at the new A.I. briefly before issuing an excited all purpose announcement. "You ain't kidding the jigs up! Once the Canary start singing," the DTG thumbed a finger at Sara's AI, "the lil' looker's gonna hit the ing-bing but quick, savvy?" Unsurprisingly, the detective looked provably thrilled at the idea. To say that Raz did not have an especially over protective A.I. was a bit of an understatement.

    "He said once your AI tells you what I assume she is pulling up, you will freak out." Raz sighed, answering the unspoken question.

    "I guess ill bite the bullet myself," The dark haired man went on, shrugging ruefully. "See the good news is, you don't have to sing for me. Never did, though of course I would like you to. Baring your 'pathos' as you put it, is a bit wordy but its not wrong. Singing is at heart, baring yourself to the crowd, asking them to love and accept you. Music is the purest method of conveying your feelings. Why wouldn't I want you to convey yours?"

    "...Having said that, the idea that I might expose you? well, that was just me having a laugh. Cause the bad news is... once you reach a certain level of popularity, people treat finding you in public as kind of a 'where's waldo' game, and they post about it online. " Raz cleared his throat for a moment and then rather uncannily did a picture perfect imitation of an excited high school girl's voice. "Saw Raz buying coffee beans today, Squee! Bought the same brand he did, #better then tea!"

    ...Using the Heat system to sing in a female voice for a change of pace or to act as his own back up in a duet was a familiar refrain from the Bard of the Kingdom. As such, it was not particularly noteworthy.

    "Sooo...if one replays the last hour or so, you grabbed me quite emphatically in a fairly public area, walked me through more public areas, and then brought me here, a place I go all the time. Sorry to say, but by now we have almost certainly gone viral. I bet they think its a daaaaaaate. And while your disguise is pretty good, give a couple hard core fans a few hours and some basic facial recognition software....well, I dont doubt that your name is uh, trending, as they say."

    "I guess what I am trying to say is..."



    "...welcome to being a celebrity."


    The moment hung out there a little bit longer before....

    "Psssst" The DTG stage whispered. "He's weak to electricity! Just saying!"

    Wise up!


    REN: X > 120

    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.

  2. #42
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Blaise Pendragon
    Neo Aoyama, Alleyways
    Monday - Morning


    "Well, I can't exactly say I approve of back-alley brawls, but I'm just going to assume they tried to fight you guys first."

    Where Kaguya's approach had led to a smile of sorts from the older (forever 19) woman, the distraction that the suddenly puppy-like A.I is one that only holds a certain older sister's attention for a moment, her mouth opening ever so slightly to admonish the street brawls as she always did when she found out about them, but-

    "...Ah. Decided to run away huh? I thought I taught you better than that... At least Kaguya knows better."

    -your sudden bolt from the scene is one that ultimately draws her eyes much more than her ever obedient lackey.

    After all, Kaguya was not the sort to run away from her; barring the technicality that was her existence on your body, the hologram does it's best to stay where it is even as you flee, but the dark-haired woman makes no real efforts to chase you, instead kneeling down next to the unconscious bodies of the students, and seemingly letting you simply escape her grasp.

    ---Or at least, that is how it would look at first, but-



    "...!"

    -the sound of shattering glass accompanies an entity cloaked in blue, one that seemingly erupts from her shadow, tearing down the street after the fleeing youth without clear emotion, but an overwhelmingly vivid sense of presence-! For the citizens of Aoyama, the sight of a persona being used is something that the majority of them could tell by sight alone; while it was a bit of a town secret, the populace was capable of collectively using one themselves if they felt threatened, so it's only natural that they can 'recognize' those powers now that they're a few decades into the magic age, even so-

    Moving unlike a human, it's body seemingly gliding across the ground, the impression from afar is almost like that of a flying automaton catching up to it's prey-! Indeed, from the perspective of those outside the alleyway, a certain intimidating bully hunter appears only two seconds before the figure of the wraith, leaping up and out of the alley after you, with it's clear eyes set only on your back-!

    If it had been making any sort of screeching or laughing sound, it certainly would have resembled a hunter that's come charging right out of hell to chase you, but no-!

    You know what this thing is-!

    While the name it goes by as a Persona is Kresnik, in reality, it is much like an older sister's all-reaching hand moving out to envelop you as a separate entity all it's own; it's a power Noriko has had as long as you've known her, and the entity itself is not a stranger to your eyes. It doesn't emote much, and it only seems to talk when Noriko uses it as a messenger to carry her thoughts, but-!

    It's strong-!

    Landing on your back after it's horror-movie esque leap, it's arms going automatically beneath your own, the persona's intention to physically carry you back to it's summoner was quite clear-! It was much much stronger than it's somewhat skinny form would suggest, strong enough that Noriko herself didn't have to bother with a COMP if she didn't want one, but it wasn't so strong that you couldn't break it's grip if you really put your all into it-!

    "Running away so fast makes you look guilty, you know that~"

    But therein lies the problem, one exasperated when you hear her voice being transmitted through it's own mouth like a sort of speaker.

    ---Even the lightest bit of violent action towards it was still a violent action against an "onee-san." While rough-housing isn't entirely unheard of and she could absolutely take it no problem (she was one of a few people who could physically move you if she felt it was necessary after all), there's a certain feeling of submission that shoots through you for a second as the phantom grabs ahold of your body, and before you could truly decide what to do in one way or another, it was jumping again, this time with your flailing form in tow, returning to it's summoner much like a dog returning with a ball, or a Frisbee-!

    "Besides, leaving me to take all these guys to an infirmary alone isn't very nice. What happened to that chivalrous spirit you were bragging about?"

    Having confirmed the conditions of the groaning gang members as well as the two original students, the young (forever 19) woman seems to take the most interest in those first two, still kneeling down even as she speaks with you, her persona releasing you now that you've been returned to your original place...

    "Since you've already missed the start of classes today, I guess I'll have you help me out for awhile. Keep an eye on you myself, you know~ Does that sound like a plan, Kagura~?"

    ...Wait.

    She was just deciding things about your day without your permission again-!
    Last edited by Airen; September 3rd, 2019 at 06:43 PM.
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  3. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Airen View Post
    "...Eager to please, hm?"
    Ludwig Karlfeldt
    SLEIPNIR - Cafeteria
    Monday - Morning

    As soon as her smile appeared, it had vanished.
    And yet, the sight of that fleeting smile was enough to make a lasting impact.
    The unyielding, immovable Commander of the SLEIRPNIR and its crew did not only just show a crack in her usual stoic and icy demeanor, but she also showed a side of her radiating genuine warmth.

    And as her smiled fades away in an instant, my own expression softens.
    Perhaps she really is here for a familial chat.

    "Teehee, you. Are. Smiling~~~"

    A far too self-satisfied voice rings out, teasingly poking fun as well as informing me that I let slip a smile of my own.
    Still, she sounds incredibly smug about this, annoyingly so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adala
    "I was lectured by someone recently about being a bit too cold towards family. While I do not agree with being too warm either, I decided I should at least try to act slightly more like an aunt when I get the chance, to that end, I decided to call you here."
    I wonder, what kind of person would be able to lecture our Commander, must be someone that's known her for a long time, yet can stand up against her.
    A friend, perhaps?


    The thought of her having old friends she talks with, it's somehow comforting. We might as well be strangers, but she is still my aunt, I couldn't help but worry over her just a bit.

    Then again, worrying over others isn't exactly rare for me to do.

    Regardless, she made the first step in opening up, and despite this certainly being more friendly than expected, I can't help but feel a gnawing suspicion that there is something else she's after.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adala
    "However, if you wish to do something concrete for me... Why don't you tell me your opinion on the Karlfeldts? I am aware of your history. Is such a thing alright to you? Do you resent them?"
    And there it is. Seems we both have a ways to go before really making any sort of familial bond, but I suppose there's no time like the present.

    "No, I cannot say that I resent them. I can't say I agree with their methods, but it has formed me into who I am today. It's why I can walk this very ship, and continue living my life. I doubt anyone here has had a easy, happy childhood. Adversity makes us stronger. I certainly hold no joy for them either, but I cannot deny that they have given me a place to belong, a goal to strive towards, and people that granted me happiness."

    As I speak my mind regarding my 'family', my expression grows more stoic and solemn.

    "Their methods I do not agree with, their cruelty is not something that any child should experience, however I do understand their goal, their ideal. As long as I can continue onward to that ideal, they shall continue to support me, and no other children would befall my fate."

    Taking children from their homes and using them as experiments, its not something good people should be capable of doing.

    "Well, supposedly I'm their last, and sole inheritor now, but I wouldn't be surprised if they have other plans going on. All for the sake of their legacy."

    The happy chatter from the cafeteria flows back in my ears as I return to silence, wondering what sort of reply my aunt The Commander expected, and what she's thinking now.

    Of course, she wouldn't let such thoughts slip through her fortified mind, there probably aren't any cracks to find there.

    But if she intends to be warmer to family, even if its just a bit, maybe I can ask her a question that's been weighing on my mind for some time.

    "I must say, I am surprised there's someone out there that's capable of lecturing you, but since we're on the subject, may I ask what you think of the Karlfeldt's goal and their ideals?

    Perhaps this question is pushing my luck, however as far as I've sensed she also finds them distrustful, and if she knows my history, perhaps we can find some common ground.

    Besides, part of being a family is being able to openly talk to one another, if I can get her to open up about this, maybe, even if just a little bit, we can build a mutual relation of trust little by little.

    That, or she'll find some way to make life her far harder. But that in itself also has its benefits.

    Either way, it's worth a try.

  4. #44
    Imperial Princess Satehi's Avatar
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    Eva Ellet
    Velvet Room ~ Stage
    Monday – Morning


    …-!

    Her response catches my attention.

    The revelation that Agatha is imprisoned here for past wrongdoings, is naturally a surprising one… but reflecting upon it, I suppose it is not beyond reasonable expectation. Prison was perhaps a queer description for such a lavishly decorated room, but it was not particularly hard for me to fathom- after all, being stuck here just a few moments ago had made me feel quite bad. I can only imagine that it must be worse for someone who was stuck here for much longer.

    As to whether to not such treatment is fair or unfair is… not something I am qualified to make a judgement on.

    But what I feel towards Agatha is neither contempt for the presumed crime she is informing me of, nor pity for being trapped inside this room.

    I give it a little thought, and come to my decision.

    “No, it’s fine.”

    I reject her offer to give me more time to think about it.

    Needless to say, her response has not helped me in the slightest in clarifying the other doubts I had earlier. And I have not at all lost interest in the answers, but…


    “I, also, am a little interested in talking with you some more.”



    “I’ll sign. Please treat me well, Miss Agatha.”

    I take the pen she has offered to me, and leave my name in neat cursive on the clipboard.

  5. #45
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Blaise Pendragon
    Neo Aoyama, Alleyways
    Monday - Morning

    "... Goddammit, Kresnik. This is demeaning."

    Blaise's grumbles under his breath were meant as much to his older sister than they were to the Persona in question. Growing up with someone like Noriko as his elder sibling, he had come to view her Persona as both the deceptively-young-looking woman herself, but also as an entity of it's own. In that way, it was almost like a second sister to him... in some weird, quite-not-true way. Perhaps the best way to look at it was that there were two sisters, but they were one and the same at the same time. A confusion conclusion to come to, but that was just how things were in this messed up family.

    Kaguya, who had been patiently waiting for the chase to end (for she knew that her owner, as strong as he was, wouldn't be able to get away) whistled an innocent tune and refused to look Blaise in the eyes when the boy shot her an accusing glare at the moment he was plopped back to the alleway by the overzealous Persona. Rubbing his neck and grunting in annoyance, Blaise seemed to have gotten the worst of his escape-intentions out of his system. At least Noriko-nee wasn't forcing him to go back to school. That was a small blessing, but a blessing nonetheless.

    Indeed, Blaise had grown to despise school during this year due to... various reasons and rumours floating about.

    If he had to make a choice, he'd rather help out his sister than be cooped up in that stuffy building.

    "Urgh, you know what? Fine. I'll help. Not like you're leaving me any choice in the first place..." Blaise grunted and answer and walked over to Noriko. "So, what? Carry these guys to a hospital? I suppose that's for the best when it comes to those two. Meanwhile the other lot... I didn't hit them hard. They'll survive with bruises."

    Kaguya grinned from ear to ear, nodding her head so wildly that her bunny ears flopped around.

    "Yessir! Banchou didn't even break any bones this time! Ya can just leave 'em here, they'll wake up in an hour or so," Kaguya commented to Noriko. "I bet most of 'em won't even be complaining 'bout anything by that time! I mean, they're tough young guys, ain't that right?"

    Then, sneaking a glance back at the downed thugs of whom some were already waking up, Kaguya shot them an absolute death-glare accompanied a violent sneer that would have made any common man feel a chill go down their bones. An expression like that was reserved only for the worst delinquents and gang-leaders around... and Kaguya had been very much practising it. Hell, she even had a natural affinity thanks to how much of a thug she was herself.

    "Ya won't be whining right...?" The AI whispered in a threatening voice behind Noriko's back, the threat in her voice clear.

    --- Don't whine. Or else.

    "You know, you wouldn't have to chase me down with Kreshnik if you just took me with you in the first place," Blaise said to his sister as he knelt down besides her. "I'm much more useful out there than in school. That place can rot for all I care. Or better yet, I could take over patrolling the streets. God knows there's other things you should be focusing on."

    Blaise directed a rather dry, humorless stare towards his sister.

    "I mean... you're turning, what, forty this year? Nee-san, isn't it time you did something else than still play a cop?" He asked directly. "Otherwise it'll be too late for those 'other things'."

    A bunch of rather direct, brutally honest words from the mouth of the younger brother.

    ... Ones dangerous enough that Kaguya froze in her tracks, a look of pure horror dawning on her face.

    If there was one thing Blaise had inherited from his father, it was his lack of tact and capability of putting his foot in his mouth without even realizing it...!

  6. #46
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Hyakka Onjouji
    Neo Aoyama, Aoyama Gakuen
    Monday ~ Morning


    The small girl’s eyes were practically beaming. Little stars lit up in her eyes, revealing a galaxy of wonder and amazement. Admiration and excitement swirled together in a cloud of stardust within her red eyes, and the girl jumped up and down in a fit of energetic happiness.

    “I did it! I really will be a student, and then, I will be a full-fledged Spirit Tamer. A hero who saves others and protects the peace!”

    The image of the small girl imitating the flashy entrance that the older girl made passed through her head. Crashing into the earth and placing herself between a rampaging dragon and a class of elementary schoolers. Putting their fears at ease as she faced off against evil.

    “Kaori-senpai! I’m in your care!”

    “Hyakka, don’t get suckered into idolizing somebody you just met.”

    A third voice, in a low voice, called out from the crystalline brooch around the small girl’s neck. Jerking her head as she snapped out of her excited frenzy, the girl looked down with a pout.

    “Tsubaki! That’s mean! Kaori-senpai is the class president. I am not being suckered.”

    “You didn’t even know what a class president is until 15 seconds ago, Hyakka.”

    “But now I know! Being a class president means you are really dependable and trustworthy!”

    “And how do you know that she isn’t lying about being the class president?”

    “Because she is the class president, Tsubaki.”

    “… Hyakka, this is why I worry for you.”

    “Huh?”

    The small girl tilted her head, confused.

    “I swear, you’re never going to get any better about this... You there, class president with the love for theatrics.” The voice from the brooch called out to the older girl. “I’ll be watching you, so you better take good care of Hyakka. As you can see, she’s too trusting for her own good, gets excited easily, and cries even easier. But don’t think I’ll let you off if you make her cry just because it’s easy. Got it?”

    A pair of blue eyes appeared on the surface of the gem, along with the face they belonged to. Staring judgingly, expectantly, at the older girl.



  7. #47
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Mokujima Chris
    SDCD Headquarters ~ Chris's Room
    Monday - Morning


    "Golden flakes? Like the Golden Cristal Ube?"

    While many people might be overwhelmed by the sheer energy Daisuke was putting on display, zipping around the room like a puppy that has been let off it's leash for the first time, Lexie just takes it all with good humor, one eye closing in a wink as she does her best to flawlessly memorize each and every question and statement that's being fired at her like a machine gun-!

    "It's nothing quite that fancy~ But now that you've got taste buds, you'll come to understand that good chocolate is worth far more than gold in the long run-! Chocolate frosting! Chocolate breads! Chocolate cream! They have ice-cream filled donuts too-! Of course, such sugary delights come with a sometimes crippling debt of calories, but if we make sure to walk there and back we can pay it off-! No need for weight gain here-!"

    That last bit seemed to stem from a certain bitterness about something, but-!

    While her own tangent begins to run concurrently with Daisuke's, it's the appearance of visible ports inside of his body that draws her energetic ramblings to a sudden halt-!

    "Ooooooh! You went more intensive with the functions then I did! I've just been running emulators of older games myself-!"

    Of course, video game functionality wasn't exactly an unheard of function for a COMP to possess; at their base they were computers after all, so the ability to run less-magical programs on them had always been possible, combine that with their innate hologram technology, and those Tamers that were so inclined could certainly turn their COMPs into pseudo-game systems running (pseudo-legal) emulators, but such things put them a generation behind in game access due to increased encryption and piracy protection from companies on their games, but-!

    "The hologram images are never super clear when playing games, so using a screen for it instead is a pretty good idea-!"

    Yes.

    Seemingly forgetting her own sense of responsibility in her sudden awe at this (somewhat abnormal) direction of COMP design, the lavender-haired girl also seems to lose a bit of her innate sense for the personal space of others, as she leans in close to Daisuke's face, peering towards the one place she would assume a screen would be, namely, the most obvious reflective part-!

    "The video outputs somewhere around here right? Hmm? Hmm? Or maybe the glasses?"

    The eyes.
    Last edited by Airen; April 16th, 2019 at 07:51 PM.
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  8. #48
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Ludwig Karlfeldt
    SLEIPNIR - Cafeteria
    Monday - Morning


    "...Turning it right back around on me, huh?"

    Having given your honest answer to a question that was certainly uncomfortable in a number of ways, you decide to push your luck just this once, hoping that the current scenario is one that will get her to actually tell you what she's thinking for once... Of course, her ability and persistence towards keeping her thoughts hidden is completely understandable, in the end she is the leader of what amounts a supernatural police force, as well as one of many members that sit on the World Council for Supernatural Affairs... There are almost certainly secrets on the level of national (or hell, worldwide) security locked away inside of that head of hers somewhere, so the ability to block access to such things can only be expected, but...

    That ability, as well as her aura, often have her come across as almost inhuman to you.

    That is, perhaps, why that smile should be capitalized upon...

    It is a rare chance to see if you could reach the 'human' that existed beneath the 'legend' and 'commander.'

    And...

    "...Well, I suppose it is only natural for you to ask. I've never made it clear, have I?"

    After a moment's thought, it seems she agrees to answer-

    "Ultimately, I feel that I cannot trust most of them. There is a familial connection to be sure, they are certainly my kin, but their eagerness to claim the family legacy has caused them to taint themselves in a number of ways. They claim they wish to support me and help carry out the family duty, but I am more than certain they would plunge a knife in my back if given the chance. Such things aren't entirely unheard of in our family tree I'm afraid, our origin is not quite that of your traditional heroes. Dark Summoners were used to simply taking things as they please... The fragments of those instincts will remain for some years to come."

    -and is unfailingly blunt.

    ---Of course, it's not too surprising of an opinion.

    She had never spoken too highly of them, and considering your own past... While a part of you will certainly second guess implied insults at your 'family,' another part of you can't help but acknowledge that it's not exactly an impossible thing for them to be thinking either.

    "I cannot give them what they want; or rather, I suppose I should say I refuse to give them what they want in their current state. I will continue to do so perpetually, if I must."

    A sigh, as she finishes speaking her mind.

    She doesn't raise her voice throughout any part of it, no, she remains completely cool throughout it all, nodding to those on kitchen duty as they bring along an -almost comically large- plate of Belgian waffles.

    "If that's an unfortunate answer in your eyes I apologize, but now that you're being used as their inheritor, these are the sorts of things you should know... My only advice is to do what you decide you want to do, rather than just doing whatever they tell you to do."

    She doesn't elaborate any further, rather-

    "That aside, the cooks seem to be showing off today. While I can appreciate generous meals, and it's certainly good for morale... I think fifteen waffles is a bit much for a single order, no?"

    -Moving from that 'serious' topic to a more casual one as easily as switching lanes on a road, the silver-haired woman calmly separates the stack into two, then-

    "Do you want half of mine?"

    -goes back to being surprisingly aunt-like, even if only 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?



  9. #49
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Mokujima Chris
    SDCD Headquarters ~ Chris's Room
    Monday - Morning

    As Lexie gazes into Daisuke's eyes, she's able to get a sense of how almost human he looks. From a normal distance there's nothing out of the ordinary, but up close it's clear that his skin is just a bit paler than needed, and his eyes slightly too big and round. He looks almost like a doll that someone poured their heart and soul into, right before it started moving. But even with the artificiality of his physical self becoming increasingly obvious, it doesn't in any way impede his very real body language... that of a young boy who has found himself with an excited girl close enough to him that her breath tickles his nose, and has no idea how to handle it.

    "Um, Lexie..."

    "First clause. Divide."

    Upon hearing those words, Daisuke stiffens, his eyes widening and then widening some more, past the limit of a human. Then comes the slow-building glow from his retinas. Just before Lexie is exposed to a point-blank flash he jerks his head upwards, instead lighting up an unbroken section of wall next to the bed.

    "Wah!" He flails about, reaching blindly with his hands. The image on the wall shakes before it can become distinct. "Chris! What happened to giving me a warning?"

    "Oops."

    It becomes instantly clear how Chris had configured the gaming function. Rather than a screen, twin projectors in the eyes, managed by the same mechanisms that allow humans to control which part of the world they focus on. The image on the wall resolves into a familiar fighting game, a classic with a reputation for being so lightweight that it can run comfortably on machines older than Lexie herself. The demo scrolls silently; evidently there are no on-board speakers... or perhaps Chris just hadn't felt like rewiring her COMP's voice box and depriving him of both sight and speech.

    "Adjustable resolution," she says, now rummaging through drawers, packing bags (hers and Daisuke's, an elementary schoolboy bag that looks like it came right out of some anime) and miscellaneous items. Two phones go in one pocket of her jacket, and an extra pair of glasses in the other. "Input lag, zero." She shrugs on her bag and pushes up her glasses. "And... plug and play." Most modern consoles have proprietary software and hardware locks to prevent emulation. But, if one simply brings the machine along and uses the COMP as a receiver and transmitter rather than a substitute, there's no problem! That, perhaps, might be why the boy's bag is heavier than expected, and why the console that had been sitting below Chris' television is now conspicuously missing.

    "Chris..."

    She raises her head and looks at her COMP's troubled expression... then almost snickers as she realizes how close Lexie had been. "You want heat venting next? Through the cheeks?"

    "I don't need a function like that!"

    The topic is one familiar to Chris, and so she has become slightly more talkative than usual, explaining how she designed Daisuke's body as if talking about the weather. Most Spirit Tamers don't have a COMP with a body, and fewer still one that they themselves designed. And from that already small group, those that would be willing to tinker with spiritual machinery with such irreverence... are probably higher than one might think, actually!

    Chris taps Lexie on the shoulder, alerting her to the fact that, while she explained donuts and hypothesized about Daisuke's functions, Chris had gotten ready to go.

    "In testing," she explains. "Locked down." A good mechanic, even an irresponsible one, doesn't just pile on functions at random. If Daisuke had been recently modified, he would have to forgo further modifications for a length of time to make sure everything was functioning as needed. This would be on top of regular check-ups and tuning. Which meant that, for some time... Chris will be without something (or someone) to tinker with.

    So, is that why her glasses are gleaming with an almost nefarious light as she voices her next suggestion?

    "That spell. My hands. Let's share?"

    ...

    "Chris... I still can't see."

    In fact, they are gleaming from the light of the game she forgot to turn off.

    "Oops."

  10. #50
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Amamiya Sho
    Aoyama, LOVELESS Shopping Mall
    Monday - Morning



    "Naive."

    The moment the fairy makes an effort to dodge the incoming slime is the moment I feel a big grin being drawn on my face. Without an outstanding physical strength amongst superhumans, a linear shot would never do the trick against a much smaller and faster opponent. Almost every tamer and demon is faster than me by default, so it goes without saying that I have to constantly do research and practice new methods to make up for that glaring weakness on my resume. So naturally, what we call 'slime shot' is no ordinary projectile. Because Kyp is a sentient being that can instinctively react to adversity, changing its shape as needed in the blink of an eye-!

    ---Yes. A half-assed dodge like that will never be enough to get outside its attack range.

    However, things suddenly take a turn for the worse: The enemy somehow manages to endure the attack and escapes the scene using sheer power, catapulting herself at speeds I can barely perceive. Unable to shake Kyp off, she stubbornly insists on carrying out her original plan and reluctantly takes my partner as a hostage alongside the food she stole. She even nearly knocks out an innocent passerby as she exits the mall in a flash. Naturally, I am not too happy with this sudden turn of events, but I should have figured my luck streak wouldn't stay high forever.

    Having no idea how to proceed, there is only thing I know for sure, and that is that I am not going back home without my friend, Kyp. I stare at the bag I collected after a day of struggle at the market. It's the last remaining bag. I immediately put it down and leave it on the floor. Let's be honest, something like this would only slow me down, and my speed isn't really my forte if you haven't already figured that out. Even if I find another means of transport, its unlikely it would survive all the obstacles that wait ahead. I could return to the supermarket and leave the bag on one of their lockers, but then again I don't really have the time to dash all the way there. The best I can hope is leave it here and hope it's still in the same place when I come back.

    ... Who am I kidding? I've already lost this one.

    "Kioka-! Track Kyps location. We're going after them-!"

    Soon after I started working for the SDCD, Kyp became not just a partner but an object for my research. Thanks to him, I was able to develop a bunch of unique spells and to this day I am working on some more. Then, it is to be expected that I have a method to find him should we become separated. After all, this is not the first time we're forced to split up. Well, it's not fool-proof, we may lose them if we let them get too far, but at least we should be able to tell in which direction they went after suddenly vanishing from my field of vision.

    As I cross the entrance doors, I see a face I recognize. Turns out the unlucky passerby is not a stranger, after all. Sadly, it's the person I've least wanted to see in a situation like this.

    Nadia Starr, I met her around half a year ago, purely by chance. She's cool and badass, the banchou-type of girl who always rides on her motorcycle and isn't afraid of any challenge... And the combination of those things is precisely the problem. If there is one thing in the world I fear, it has to be the way this person drives. It's like being tossed into F-Zero X, moving at speeds where the only option is to feel sick and where a single mistake on the driver's part can lead to a pretty much undeniable death. I am pretty sure Lexie would love it. Me? Not as much. So, obviously, whenever this girl just comes up of nowhere and offers to give me a ride, I do my best to dodge the question. Because she is also the kind of girl who doesn't take a 'no' for an answer in those cases.

    The first thought that crosses my mind is to borrow her bike and go after the fairy. Obviously I do not have the keys and it's not like her bike is right next to me, so I have no choice but to discard that option. It looks like the only way to get back what I lost is to throw myself into the flames and face my fears...

    ... Life sucks.

    "'Sup. It was a fairy, actually." I say, as I offer her a hand to get up. "A fairy that took Kyp and the food we're supposed to bring home hostages, so I am going to need you to lend me your bike to go after them."

    Chances she'd actually give me the keys to her bike are like one in a million. Like, it would have to be an alternative world where everything is the opposite of what it is here. But hey, I had to try!

    Come to think of it...

    There is something missing here.

    "Huh? Where's Jack?"
    Last edited by hero; April 18th, 2019 at 08:48 AM.
    [18:30] RacingeR: Max S.Link with hero is when you promise your daughter to him
    [18:31] RacingeR: Which means Airen and me are the only ones that maxed it (I promised Spin to him, and Spin is my daughter)
    [18:32] hero: oh shit
    [18:32] hero: spincess get
    [18:32] hero: suck it fuckers

  11. #51
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Amamiya Sho
    Aoyama, LOVELESS Shopping Mall
    Monday - Morning


    "Must have been one hell of a fairy..."

    Still winded from being the victim of an unfortunate sneak attack, the red-haired young woman accepts the outstretched hand without much resistance, seemingly recognizing you about as easily as you had recognized her, namely, pretty easily now that you were close enough for her to actually see your face. Of course, to those in the surrounding area it is a somewhat unlikely pairing, an average everyday Tamer having the guts -or perhaps the courage- to ask to borrow what essentially amounted to a celebrity's vehicle... It is something impossibly brazen to the average eye, something that goes far beyond the lines of something like an autograph for a fan, but...

    While you didn't know Nadia particularly well, you still had a more tangible 'connection' to her than most. It was the result of quite a few twists of fate yes, but you, more than others knew that she was actually a pretty altruistic person when it came down to it... A part of her certainly lived for the adrenaline rush sure, but more often than not, if someone asked for her help with something, she was the sort who would wind up giving a hand to them even if there was no direct benefit for her in it... Of course, asking for her bike through that sort of logic might be crossing a line of sorts that would lead to absolute rejection, but you still have to try-!

    "Jackie's not here...? Oh, that's right, Aurora told him to attack... Guess he must have gotten carried off too."

    But it's impossible.

    Now that her partner has been kidnapped as well, there's no way she's just going to hand her keys over and call it a day. Of course Jack, or Jackie as she called him, was a Jack Frost, a relatively weak demon that nevertheless had quite a fierce attitude, throwing out some soul-crushing insults and observations about others every once in awhile in spite of the 'innocent' and 'doll-like' look most of his race was well known for... He had a habit of riding on Nadia's shoulder (an act that took considerable resolve from Nadia herself, seeing as her Harmonizer wasn't great when it came to dealing with the cold) and followed her around like a parrot to a pirate captain, so-

    "A fairy stole some of your food, and then took Kyp and Jackie hostage... Okay, I think I get the gist. It's a bit out of left field, but I can deal with something like this, no problem."

    -it's only natural that her first action would be a mirror of your own, namely, the first thing she decides she needs to do is get him back. Thankfully, since both Kyp and Jack were registered to you and her respectively, actually tracking them down wouldn't be too difficult, a single glance at your COMP's radar functions showed Kyp as a blinking dot of sorts, streaking across the city in a straight line at a pace that was frankly horrifying, going towards what seemed to be some of the SDCD training buildings, but-

    "Sorry, I can't give you my bike. My COMP serves as it's key,and I need her and the bike to get Jack back... But I can let you ride with me. Might be quicker to solve it together, you know?"

    -This is also somewhat of a scary prospect.

    But at the same time... Do you really have a choice in the matter?

    Without waiting for an answer, the crimson-haired girl shakes off the remnants of pain strumming through her body and heads for her bike. She doesn't have a side-car (because it wouldn't survive the experience), so it seems she's offering to just let you ride on the back, of course...

    "But I could do it myself too. You looked like you were about to have a heart attack the last time, so if you want, I could go grab Kyp for you too while I'm at it. Would give you time to take your groceries home."

    ...She won't wait for you long either.

    And phrasing it like that, well...

    It's really putting you on the spot-!
    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. #52
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Cosmos Fairchild
    Rose Cross Headquarters - Inner Gardens
    Monday - Morning


    Knowing Issac, the moment he realized he was intruding on a meeting of sorts, he would wait patiently along the outer walls of the garden rather than become a nuisance to others in their free time...

    That was just the sort of man Isaac was, the sort that seemed to go well out of his way for the purpose of coming across as a gentleman in all possible scenarios; he never raised his voice, didn't interrupt conversations unless it was a matter of intense importance, and there was even a chance he wouldn't have revealed your eavesdropping nature if the look on your face had asked him not too, since he was a pretty understanding senior to his younger coworkers, but...

    You go out of your way to ensure you won't run into him. It's not an uncommon occurrence for you, after all, you had your reasons for not completely trusting the other members of the Rose Cross at a glance, some of them weren't quite as kind as they pretended to be...

    But your well-thought out method of avoidance also comes at a price, namely-

    "Ah, so this is your daughter then?"

    "Yes, she's my pride and joy-! Come in, come in! Tell me about your day. Did you make any new friends? See anything interesting? Are you getting along well with Alyx?"

    While your mother's overwhelming tirade of motherly affection covers for it somewhat, you are still a bit too casual towards meeting someone here that honestly should not be here-!

    While the Faction Leaders did seem to know each other to a certain extent, the idea of one of the heads personally coming as a messenger himself rather than simply sending a subordinate to do it in his place should come across as an astounding event to one who just so happened to come across it, but-!

    "I see, my fame really does extend out this far, it stills feels odd to me," chuckling lightly to himself, Kenji seems to choose not to comment on that abnormality, "I've heard quite a bit about you, Ms. Fairchild. I apologize for intruding upon your family's free time, I will be sure not to stay past my welcome. Although I am curious, is Ilia functioning properly? Doing well emotionally? I like to check in on my commissions from time to time if I get the chance."

    Commissions?

    Ah...

    He must have been the one that constructed Ilia's form as a weapon, before she had awoken as 'Ilia' in your hands, and thinking of it in those terms...

    Perhaps it's like a father asking after the status of a daughter?
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  13. #53
    Holy Mother is Best Mom palad1n's Avatar
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    Cosmos Fairchild
    Rose Cross Headquarters - Inner Gardens
    Monday - Morning


    If she was given a few more seconds, then Cosmos would surely have realized her mistake, and in doing so would apologize and came clean that she had been eavesdropping on the two...

    However, thanks to Mary's immediate tirade of motherly affection the teal-haired girl really didn't have the time to process her mistake, and as such happily continued on as if there's nothing wrong by taking a seat besides her mother, content in knowing that she had managed to avoid Isaac.

    "Today's morning patrol is just the usual, though I didn't run into Sariel." She replied with a smile, her mind wandering for a second to what the blonde-haired angel is doing before she regained her focus on Mary. "As for Alyx, well... I passed her and Alisa on the way here and gave them both a morning greeting." She finished with a nod.

    Well, getting along with Alyx might be too strong of a word, but she really doesn't want to disappoint her mother and ruin the cheery mood; besides, being cordial with the girl counts as getting along well enough in her books, so it really isn't a lie...

    Then she shifted her attention to the leader of SDCD, processed his words, and finally realized her screw-up just a minute ago, though thankfully before she could do anything Illia managed to interrupt her.

    'Cosmos, I know that your first instinct after realizing this is to blush and confess, but keep calm and listen to me.' Illia gently spoke in her mind. 'Kenji seems to deliberately choose to ignore your screw-up and chalked it up to his fame and reputation, so it's best to play along. There's really no need to cause a problem when he has decided that it's not, right?'

    '... You're right. Thanks Illia.' She thanked her COMP in her mind - though she asked The Lord for forgiveness in her heart all the same - and with that, somehow managed to keep her composure before answering the man's inquiries.

    "O-oh, there's no need to apologize at all Mister Kenji; it was I who intrude upon your time with mother, and I'm really flattered that the leader of SDCD have heard about me..." She managed to reply with relative calmness, though the fact that Kenji had even heard about her does make her blush slightly, as she's pretty sure it was through Mary and not her own exploits; it makes her wonder what kind of stories her mother had told others about herself. "And Illia is doing well, both as a COMP and as a friend. Why don't you say hello, Illia?" Cosmos asked with a small smile as she took out a rosary which is usually hidden beneath her shawl.

    "Ah, good morning Mister Kenji - or should I call you father? No words can express my gratitude for constructing my form, but allow me to thank you nonetheless." Illia gave him a smile before continuing. "As for myself, I believe I am doing well; you can rest assured that Cosmos had been nothing but a good friend and master."

    Illia then gave her a glance, and understanding what her COMP is implying, Cosmos decided to speak.

    "I apologize if this isn't my place to ask, but... why are you here, Mister Kenji? It must be an important matter if the leader of SDCD came directly to Vatican by himself." She managed to ask, even as she's internally feeling guilty for already knowing the answer.
    Random Regalia Hijinks

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

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

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

    <Snaxies> Airen is totally Jesus again

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

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

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

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


    Personal Compliments

    <@RacingeR> Pally would be a perfect shoujo lead

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

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


  14. #54
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Ayra Lilygrove
    Akarana Estate ~ Indoors
    Monday - Afternoon


    Mr. Akarana's non-core assets seemed to manifest mostly as various pieces of real estate throughout the country. While the Spiral Corporation was certainly involved in a large variety of different business branches, further digging into the situation of the heads of the various subsidiaries made it somewhat easier (according to Laplace herself) to narrow the results of the search down to a more specific point, namely...

    While the business heads were all members of the Akarana Family -and were in fact siblings, with their father being the head of the corporation as a whole- it seems that those siblings had a history of trying to absorb the assets and stock of the others, in a manner that almost made it seem like the CEOs themselves were competing with each other in spite of existing under the same parent company...

    It's something that hints at a slightly dysfunctional relationship or unhealthy competition amongst family members, Lloyd Akarana in particular didn't seem to get along with his older sister Charlotte, who was the head of spiral medical, and as a result of all of this dysfunction...

    It was likely that only the assets owned directly by Spiral Electronics were worth looking into in this instance, as the other members of the family don't have a history of sheltering each other from even minor scandals, and thus, if what one was looking for was his non-factory assets, what one would be left with are his personal homes, of which there are far more than anyone would actually need in a lifetime. Cross-reference the schematics of those homes with what Laplace called her own "personal records," and there were three different buildings that apparently didn't quite match up with the official plans, having rather elaborate basements accessible only from an elevator at the center of the mansion, and even then, only through use of a certain code that Laplace had managed to snatch away that very morning, yes...

    Laplace was remarkably talented, so much so that you had already decided to never find your way onto her list of targets.

    But that is true for all of those that work alongside the one called "Joker."

    As for the background checks on the maids... As expected from your initial analysis, the majority of them were simply family servants that had been seemingly born into the role as if this were still Victorian Era England, a sort of privilege enjoyed by those whose family has always been near the top of society's ladder. Considering the availability of it in the modern day, it was more or less guaranteed that all of them would be able to use magic to some extent, and would likely have some martial ability as well due to their likely nature as guards for the home.

    But that is not particularly troublesome either, there was nothing in their backgrounds that hinted at them being any stronger than your generic Tamer, no...

    What was worrisome, was that the one maid that had stayed behind to seemingly guard Lloyd that morning, had no real background to speak of; there were no records of her birth anywhere, all of the information that existed was that she had seemingly sprung into existence a few years ago as his secretary, and had been more or less attached to his side every since...

    In other words, she remains an unknown factor in spite of even Laplace's best efforts.

    ---One minute till the projected start of the mission.

    While three of the buildings were suspect, the one that lies in front of you know is the only one that you will be tackling yourself, mainly because you had already managed to get a glance at the indoors through perfectly legal methods. Considering how you had been here mere hours before it's naturally familiar, a massive mansion on the top of a hill, surrounded by thick steel gates and host to a number of bounded fields, an ironic location that likely exists for the sole purpose of him literally living above other people... You can't see any guards posted outside, but the servants were certainly still present indoors...

    It was something you'd have to deal with one way or another.

    Thirty seconds...

    In terms of timing, you were coordinating with a few others. There are rumors of Joker existing in more than one place at a time, and it's a rumor that's very true, considering the fact that three different targets will be assaulted by three different Jokers within the next thirty seconds. One of them was planning on going in loud, attracting as much attention as possible from the nearby on patrol Tamers, and as for you and the other one...

    The plan was to start off quiet, at least until you found something; it was most ideal to have some incriminating evidence present for the Spirit Tamers to find before any sounds of fighting or detection of large spiritual power sources drew them to the area-!

    Ten seconds...

    The first one goes in now. All the way on the other side of town, a certain casino is greeted with the sight of a famous vigilante cloaked in black crashing through a stained glass window, swinging across the main hall atop somewhat gaudy chandelier, before taking off for the higher floors with the on-site guards in hot pursuit. Seeing as how the average Tamer response time to a situation was around four and a half minutes, he'd certainly have his work cut out for him in the future-!

    Even so, he will get away.

    Joker always does. It's an auto-skill that causes others to see only what they believe Joker to be, to that end, everyone's descriptions of the Phantom Thief vastly differ from one another, if they don't actually capture him they won't be able to prove anything, and so far...

    Joker has never been caught-!

    Gaze turning towards your own task, two targets immediately come to mind; there weren't any guards posted outside, so you might be able to reach the main entrance with your speed, and there two windows on the second floor that had been left open for one reason or another (cleaning perhaps)...

    Neither are exactly ideal, but...

    It was time to go-!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tutorial - Joker
    The Joker auto skill has two main uses:

    -It ensures that other characters cannot perceive your character's true identity through most means, including hacking of your COMP. Those that physically see the character will only be able to perceive their own idea of what Joker looks like. However, use of signature techniques from those that know about them might serve as a clue to who you are-!
    -As a barrier against conceptual attacks. Due to Joker existing as a strong 'idea' within the public consciousness, it is difficult for those who embody it to have their 'existence' altered by conceptual magics. Depending on the scenario, a certain level of conceptual resistance is attained by the character.


    However, like other auto skills, this one will stop functioning if one's Harmonizer Field is broken; additionally, if Joker takes the time to investigate a future target during free phases, the Joker auto-skill will acquire additional specific abilities to make the mission itself easier, such as acquiring temporary resistance to an element the target specializes in, or being able to bypass certain forms of security automatically, in this mission, the Joker auto skill comes with:

    -User will not set off the bounded fields present within the mansion grounds.
    -User's actions (opening a door, etc) do not make any noise within the Harmonizer Field, however, the user can still be physically seen, and 'vibrations' might be able to be sensed by those with the proper skills for it.
    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. #55
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Logan Starbright
    SLEIPNIR ~ Simulation Rooms
    Monday ~ Morning


    "...Just take better care of your body."

    Ultimately, while you apologize for forcing her to act on your behalf, her response to that apology remains decisively stoic; it is a response that lacks emotion but exists as a command nevertheless, an act of one sister carrying out what she must see as sibling's will in her place... It is strange, from what you knew about Lucia from Eliza, their relationship was somewhat strained, as could perhaps be expected from when one member of the family seemingly severs her ties to all of the others and goes out of her way to avoid get-togethers.

    From that, she had come across as somewhat that wouldn't really care about Eliza's will, but here she was, going out of her way to awkwardly stop you from self-destructing for her sake...

    It's odd, an enigmatic action that doesn't quite make sense, but...

    On the SLEIPNIR such things were common, people were more guarded here in comparison to the other three Major Tamer organizations, and seemed content to exist as puzzles that only a few ever bother to try to solve.

    ---She watches you leave, and then follows along slowly without changing her expression.

    Most likely, it's her attempt to ensure that you won't just turn around and try to duck into one of the other training rooms while she wasn't paying attention; you've already given up so it's not really necessary, but it seems that she's intent on seeing this particular intervention through all the way.

    So onward you go.

    ---Of course even after leaving the training areas, it seems like it's another high-gravity day on the SLEIPNIR. Judging from the sudden feeling of pressure on your body it was about ten times higher than normal?

    The usual amount.

    It was something the Commander hadn't done for two weeks now, so it was a ship-wide event that was quite overdue. Even your tired self can handle it well enough, judging by how easily you keep moving forward in spite of your exhaustion; while many describe the SLEIPNIR as a metallic and cold scifi environment upon first boarding it, the many windows that line the halls reveal a clear blue sky and streaking clouds, a sight that brings some warmth back to an otherwise clinical place, and one of many 'aesthetic changes' in the ship now that it was less of an outright warship and more of a flying base, a home for those that bore the Rothschild Name in this era of 'peaceful coexistence.'

    Of course, the ship normally doesn't have what one would call a destination; while it stops from time to time at other bases to resupply food stores, the ship itself drifts along on 'patrol' most of the time, dissuading chaos simply by existing as a sky borne reminder of the Tamer's duty to keep peace present within the world...

    But it is moving strangely fast today, so perhaps there is a destination for it after all? You haven't heard anything about any approaching stops, and there haven't been any announcements or orders made by Adala or the operators, so you can only assume that it's not something you need to worry about in this instance, and soon enough...

    Quiet metallic hallways give way to the much more lively air of the morning cafeteria; surprisingly, the Commander seems to be here too today, talking to Ludwig at one of the tables at the sides of the room. Contrary to her appearance and demeanor, the admiral wasn't a complete ice queen so it was only kind of surprising, but the apparent tension that exists in that conversation seems to warn to stay away from it, and eyes drift off amongst the others to find...



    "..."

    Astra, sitting at a round table by herself, or rather...

    One that was piled with a comically large mass of Belgian Waffles, French Toast, and freshly baked donuts.

    ---While the sight of it would have most questioning how the young woman could eat like that and maintain her figure, to you, neither the amount of food or the fact that you wound find her here doing this sort of thing is surprising...

    She was someone who exercised like it was her passion in life after all, and while her lunch appetite was enamored with the likes of burgers and fries, repeated contact with her had also revealed a fondness for sweet things...

    Really...

    It seemed the shared factor here was an explosion of carbs...

    "Oh, Logan. Came out of there for breakfast? You can have some of mine, they've finally got a dedicated bakery on board-!"

    And while she is lost in her own little world for a time, she calls out to you the moment she sees you, waving a single arm as if to ensure you couldn't miss her in the crowd...

    Not that that was really possible, considering the sort of attention her table inevitably draws from both her coworkers and the cooks.
    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?



  16. #56
    Beats By Matthew ft. Dr. Para Rafflesiac's Avatar
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    Logan Starbright
    SLEIPNIR ~ Simulation Rooms
    Monday ~ Morning


    Lucia’s response was perfunctory, as was warranted. An extended platitude or lecture at this point would’ve been uncomfortable and unnecessary, so this was for the best, especially as she went out of her way to deal with Eliza’s unfinished business, so to speak. Reminders of unpleasant circumstances brought on by family members were extraordinarily unpleasant; Logan knew that first hand. Going by what Eliza had said of Lucia, he was surprised she was even in the same section of the ship as him, let alone actively seeking him out. Perhaps that was just the maturity of adults? Well at any rate, the matter was concluded. She’d be free from such troubles again.

    Lucia was following him.

    Why’s she following me? Did she not get breakfast first?

    In his mind, Logan vividly saw Amelia facepalm. Logan, you dumbass. Let me put this in a way you’ll understand. ‘What kind of person can’t even finish what they’ve started?’

    Oh. No matter the family, a sister was a sister. As the two Tamers rose from the depths of the ship, sunlight shone through the windows along the wall to greet them. Logan watched the clouds whiz past as he strode along the hall, a slight smile on his face. The clouds were fast today. Was Sleipnir in a hurry? There hadn’t been an announcement on the matter, so even if it was, it wasn’t a matter of concern. Thus Logan could enjoy the rippling of the clouds, his only goad the hunger of the other Tamers.

    Logan reached the cafeteria faster than he expected; blessedly gone were the days where he had to hobble using Amelia as a cane. He panned over the cafeteria as he approached the food booths, his gaze passing over the Commander of all people, in extended conversation with Ludwig Karlfeldt, if he recalled correctly. Best to give them a wide berth - their talk seemed quite serious. Logan idly continued his scan as the line moved, finally encountering a freshly discovered carbohydrate mountain. There was only one person who could be responsible for such a phenomena.

    "Oh, Logan. Came out of there for breakfast? You can have some of mine, they've finally got a dedicated bakery on board-!"
    Logan smiled and waved back. Astra’d made a considerate offer, but imposing on her would be rather rude. He thanked the chef at the booth he was at for his omelet, piled bacon onto the side of his plate, and looked over toward the freshly opened bakery to see a line that put the Great Wall to shame. His stomach growled.

    Logan walked to Astra’s table and took a seat. “Thanks, and good morning Astra. I just heard about the bakery today; apparently that was much later than everyone else.” He served himself a Belgian Waffle from Carbohydrates Mons and began to eat.
    Supports:


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

  17. #57
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Raz Stone
    Brewed Awakenings, Avalon Branch
    Monday - Morning


    "..."

    Silence.

    Where impassioned bravado had once stood tall in the face of an adversity that honestly wasn't that bad in the grand scheme of things, is a Sara that has now gone almost completely silent in response to your words.

    And why wouldn't she?

    Ignoring what must be a rather crushing bombshell at the end, there was some sound advice mixed in with the rest that even she has to bring herself to pay attention to; a deeper idea behind the concept of 'singing' that she perhaps hadn't put so much thought in herself, but that vague sense of impression, of looking at you as a slightly more competent senpai than she had first assumed from all the rumors, is almost certainly crushed by the crippling realization that she is likely adorning a large number of forum thread posts and tweets even now, but-!

    "...Ufufufu... Do not take me for such a fool-! I am not so easily beaten-! There is no way that someone like me, a daughter of the Golden Witch and sister of the Knight of the Wind, would overlook so great a mortal threat as the paparazzi-!"

    Oh?

    "Turned my COMP on? I never turn my Halycon off, for she is my most trusted ally-! Before every show, I make sure to use the auto-skill I took from sis-! Modern cameras don't function correctly around me!"

    Oh?

    Oh?

    Was it a bluff, or was she being completely serious? Considering the way she had just proudly crossed her arms and huffed in victory, it was actually pretty easy to believe her all things considered... In many ways it is a bit-too-convenient of a counter, something that screams of a level of preparation you hadn't been sure she was capable of manifesting considering her earlier behavior...

    But with a famous mother, and a Knight for a sister... It wasn't impossible for her to really have an absurdly niche auto-skill like that inside of her COMP's library, Eliza was famous for being able to effortlessly avoid having her photo taken after all, so...

    Hmmm... She must really want this to stay a secret, huh?

    "The only thing I need to worry about are witness testimonies, but... If you want a song from me so bad I'll think about it, so-"

    *flash*

    -Of course, as if to punctuate a cosmic joke, or perhaps to balance the karmic scales of her avoiding your trap through what may have just been her COMP's personal efforts....

    A flash of a camera goes off moments after her exclamation that such a thing should be impossible in her general vicinity. It's a flash that seemingly causes her brain to short out for a second, as she stops mid-speech as if stunned by it, before turning her gaze towards the origin of the flash (specifically, the entrance to the cafe) and:

    Floating there outside the glass, so casually that it almost seems like a hallucination...

    Is a spherical drone.

    ...Or at least, something that looks like a sort of drone... You couldn't recognize it's model number.

    It's bigger than a person's head, and greatly resembles a giant floating camera lens, with it's 'eye' twitching and adjusting as it seemingly scans the entirety of the cafe, the clicking sound of a camera shutter going off once for every person inside, as if it's entire reason for existence was documenting this one restaurant's contents in this one specific moment.

    "Wha... You didn't... How..."

    Suddenly stuttering as her safety net falls out from under her, Sara Cross leaps to her feet as the drone turns and propels itself away from the restaurant, chasing after it with a clear intention to break whatever that thing actually was in half...

    ---It's a situation that'll probably resolve itself soon enough, but...
    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?



  18. #58
    men are men; the best sometimes forget Katie's Avatar
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    Ayra Lilygrove
    Akarana Estate ~ Indoors
    Monday - Afternoon


    I absentmindedly check the timer. Five minutes or so. Every second seems to be excruciatingly slow. But that’s how it’s always been.

    Give me a deadline and I’ll dread it nonetheless.

    Aster: Your heart rate is a bit high.
    Aster: Feeling alright?


    Just nervous. You’d think after a year and a half I’d be used to this. And yet, every mission feels exactly as nerve-wracking as the first. They say time and practice is supposed to help you get used to things, but I swear I spend more days than not with an upset stomach.

    Aster: You’re just high-strung.
    Aster: Let’s review one more time.


    Alright. Review. That’s good. Just check everything over. Extra caution never hurt anyone.

    Aster: Maids are reasonably negligible for someone of your caliber, but Laplace doesn’t know anything about Akarana’s zero-presence assistant. The lack of something isn’t very easy to detect in a high pressure situation, so be careful.

    You’re not worried about how Laplace can’t find anything?

    Aster: If the best hacker in the world can’t find anything, she can’t find anything.
    Aster: No point in making baseless conjecture. What happens, happens.
    Aster: You’re a tough girl, you can deal with the unexpected.
    Aster: Just… try not to panic, okay?


    I won’t, I say, but both Aster and I know that’s not true. Of the Knights of the Round… I’m probably the least composed under pressure, but the media has thankfully not figured that out. Heaven knows how long I’ll last if every opponent tried to get into my head.

    Still, this is a good reminder. Take a few (six) deep breaths, Ayra. You’re a professional and you have the accolades to prove it. This’ll be fine.

    In… Out. In… Out. In… Out.
    In… Out. In… Out. In… Out.

    Aster: Better now?

    Much better. I check the timer once again. Two minutes. I glance back at the building. Still no outward signs of guards. Things… seem suspicious, but it’s probably something I can handle.

    Aster: Color check, then.

    Aster: Green for go.
    Aster: Yellow for tamers on their way. Flash yellow again for if they’re here.
    Aster: Red-yellow for a Knight on their way.
    Aster: Red for that they’re here. Getting out is advised, but this isn’t a hard no.
    Aster: Lastly, purple for her. Don’t fight, try to complete the mission, but above all else, don’t get caught.
    Aster: Understand?


    I know, I know. Career first, justice second. I don’t need to be reminded… I don’t, I know the stakes. Even if things are admittedly a bit more difficult now, there’s… both more I can do as a Knight and less. The dream I worked for isn’t something that should be easily discarded. I know all of those things, and yet…

    Aster: Knowing you, you have those two the other way around in your heart. “Justice is something you grasp with your own two hands,” right?
    Aster: Imagine your what your fans would think if they really knew what you meant by that.


    What they don’t know won’t hurt them! Besides, those are the right words to live by…

    Aster: And you better keep it that way.

    For some reason, I can’t help but imagine Aster with a grin on her face, even if I don’t see it. Like she’s pleased by my words, even though she never was one for this whole Phantom Thief business.

    Aster: One minute. Two entrances, that window or the front entrance.
    Aster: The latter seems like too easy of a set-up, the former’s probably safer.


    Why not both?

    There’s a slight pause after I say this, as if Aster is shocked by the suggestion. For me, though… It’s the first idea that came to mind. No need to choose after all.

    Aster: We’re pulling this trick again?

    I take the front, you take the window. If there are people watching the front, I’m better suited for taking them out.

    Aster: I thought we weren’t going in loud.

    I can feel the exasperation in those written words. For an AI based off of someone reckless, Aster is rather meticulous in contrast. Then again… That’s probably a trait from me that rubbed off on her.

    Public places get prioritization over homes for Tamer response. If the Phantom Thief at the casino does their job correctly, we’ll have plenty of time. The only wildcard is the mystery girl, but you said to take things as they come, didn’t you?

    Aster: Fine, fine, I got it. Cast the spell, we only have a few seconds left.

    I idly twirl my sword, tapping my thumb on a part of the hilt. They say that people see whatever their vision of Joker is, so sometimes I wonder…

    If the copy before me looks like me because I’m exempt, or simply because I see myself as Joker.

    Aster in my duplicate gives me a look, as if to say, “Get serious.” I can surprisingly pull off looking rather cross.

    “Don’t twirl. And if you need me, just call, alright? I know you like showing off or whatever, but with this plan we don’t have all the time in the world to dally about. Please be efficient.” I’m rather used to hearing the sound of my own voice being directed at me at this point. Still, give Aster an opportunity to show any inflection and you’ll feel the full brunt of her unfiltered emotions. I don’t need to be lectured this much, I know what to do.

    “You don’t need to fuss over me like you’re my mum,” I reply, earning a glare from my Aster-controlled double. She sighs before shrugging in response.

    “Take care, miss,” Aster says with a wave, before moving into position, vanishing behind a wall. She means well, she really does. It’s just… even I can tell she’s just as nervous as I am. What she worries over is just as much for her sake as it is mine. And honestly, I wish she had a bit more confidence in me.

    If a Knight fell apart just because a few things were wrong, they’d be a sorry excuse of one.

    I check the clock.

    Five seconds.
    Four.
    Three.
    Two.
    One.

    Time to put on an unforgettable performance.

    ------

    Heat 3/10
    Spells: Mirror Image
    [Feb/Wed/04|07:00:04] <Lianru> it's ok with each stalker call I feel like we get a little closer
    [Feb/Wed/04|07:00:06] <Lianru> never give up

    asians before testing week

  19. #59
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Hyakka Onjouji
    Neo Aoyama, Aoyama Gakuen
    Monday ~ Morning




    "...Hmph. Watch her all you'd like, I am confident you will find no fault with Kaori."

    The moment her user is challenged by the A.I of another, a snow-like voice and miniature hologram emerges from a bracelet on the council president's right hand; the entity that shows up as said hologram is clearly her own COMP's A.I, and a somewhat defensive one, considering how quickly it moves to respond to the words of it's fellow in the brooch, but...

    "I see, cries easily hmm? You don't have to worry about that, so long as I'm standing, nothing will happen to her or the other students. That is the duty I took on as president."

    Ignoring her A.I's natural inclination to stare down anyone it perceived as insulting her, the president drops her more theatrical attitude for a moment, regarding Tsubaki's words with a clear voice, as if intent on ensuring that no misunderstandings exist.

    "I am not the strongest Tamer, but I take my promises seriously. I told her I will be her guide and guardian for today, so I will certainly be her guide and guardian. Think of me as a knight today if you wish, I will see her through today without fail, and then watch over her growth throughout the year. It won't be easy, but if she falls down and needs help getting up, I will be there as a friend... That is the way the SDCD do things."

    ---Dead serious.

    Calm, and lacking the over-excitement from earlier, it's a voice that seems closer in nature to that of her A.I, but-

    "I hope to learn some things from her as well, so it is not an uneven trade. Everyone comes to school to improve, so we will get stronger together."

    -it returns soon after, with a smile that glows gently, like the silver light of a full moon.

    "Now-! First thing's first, let's go meet your homeroom teacher-! Ryuumonbuchi-Sensei should be out sparring with the first period Tamer students now, so you'll get to see something cool~ Make sure to stick close though, sometimes -and by that I mean most of the time- she gets carried away..."

    Yes.

    Winking once at both User and A.I, a certain charismatic president, known for sometimes saying things without understanding exactly how others might perceive them...

    Holds out her hand for you to take it.
    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. #60
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Hyakka Onjouji
    Neo Aoyama, Aoyama Gakuen
    Monday ~ Morning


    “Be as confident as you’d like. I’m confident too, that if you try hard enough, you can find anything. So for now I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and wait to see if you give me a reason to try.”

    With a tone of voice that had no intention of making friends, the blue eyes disappeared from the surface of the gem.

    “That Tsubaki… ah! How rude of me, Kaori-senpai. That was Camelia, she is… I promise, she is nice, but…”

    The white head of hair swayed back and forth, trying to find the words to describe her AI. Distrusting, overprotective, blunt. All of them were just too mean for someone that was always so nice to her. At the least, even when she showed her worst side, it was with the best of intent.

    “But I don’t let myself get wrapped up in someone else’s pace?”

    A faint blue glimmered on the surface of the gem.

    “Yes! Tsubaki is just someone who always goes at her own pace!”

    “…”

    Just as subtly as it appeared, the blue faded away.

    “But Tsubaki might get mad if you call her Tsubaki… she says that is my ‘special privilege.’ I know how rough around the edges she can be, but please try to forgive her.”

    The small girl politely bowed. Then, as her head came back up, the enormous smile she had been trying to keep in check found its way back onto her face. Now that Camelia’s interference was over, Hyakka replayed the words she had just heard in her head.

    “I am in your care. I look forward to becoming stronger alongside you!”


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