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Thread: Spirit Pulse : Mugen No Sekai [IC]

  1. #1481
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Eva Ellet
    SLEIPNIR - Common Room (?)
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Morning


    Quote Originally Posted by Eva
    “Still, I would have never expected that you were acquainted with her like so. After all, you don’t really look old…”
    ---She chuckles.

    "Well, eternal youth is a common enough dream right?"

    ---While it's the second crack someone has taken at her age over the course of a handful of days, the innocent way in which you say it makes it impossible for her to really take offense to it...

    "So... Generic as it sounds, it was one of the things I chased in my youth," she winks, then sighs, "Didn't want to get old, liked my body the way it was, it's kind of shameless from a certain point of view, but... Eh, no, no need to feel bad about it me, age is just a number anyway, it's the people that act weird about it that are the freaks... Geez, get the hell off my case you brats..."

    She laughs, although that last bit sounds like it's aimed at some people that aren't here right now...

    Nevertheless...

    Quote Originally Posted by Eva
    “Any of those sound fine, really.” The choice of topic didn’t matter much: even hearing about something trivial or irrelevant would have made Eva quite pleased at the moment. “If I had to pick, I guess… memories and plumes sound interesting. Or the Master system?”
    "...Hmm."

    ---An exaggerated thinking noise.

    Leaning over the table in a casual way, fingers tapping along the wood in an orderly sort of rhythm, the brown-haired woman seemingly can't help but be slightly overdramatic when it comes to these things, as the finger tapping becomes chin tapping, and then that becomes the snap of fingers, as if she had suddenly come to some sort of conclusion about what was ultimately a rather open ended question...!

    "Master System it is!"

    Yes.

    Slamming her hands down on the table in an excited manner, the woman strolls from the kitchen and returns with what is almost certainly a white-board, a bit of educational technology so old that it's actually baffling when she comes out with markers too...

    ---Old-fashioned tastes in that regard, perhaps?

    "Also known as the Original COMP, the Master System was an OOPart -Out of Place Artifact- of frankly absurd power found during the course of World War 2!"

    She's gotten excited now!

    Writing out all these words as she says them, the blue of motion that Alexia has become is quite graceful... If a bit overkill...

    "It had the ability to interface with the World's Logic in order to enact changes, in other words, it was essentially a Holy Grail, a wish-making device that could enforce ideas on reality by directly tapping into and interfering with the collective unconscious... The exact mechanism for how it did so is generally unknown, but I think it was because of the nature of it's thoughts, the Master System was sentient, an alien consciousness, and that 'otherworldly' way of thinking may have done quite a number on our cognition-based world... It would be like..."

    She pauses.

    "A second dimensional being trying to stop something from the third dimension, an idea so out of what humanity understands that they can't get a grasp of it at all... And thus, cannot do much to it on a metaphysical level, that which cannot be understood cannot be tamed by the flow of the Logic after all... So, to put it more bluntly it was a close to omnipotent wish-granting device, found on this very ship when it was still at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean!"

    She spins, a pointing stick in one hand now, and glasses being pushed up on her face with the other...

    Where did she get them?

    Impossible to say.

    "Naturally, it's power made it a target of many governments around the World and in the end it's core was destroyed in order to remove the threat it posed, after all, even if it couldn't be destroyed metaphysically it still had a physical presence and could thus be attacked that way, but..."

    A pause.

    A conspiratory look to the left and right, as if someone might be watching her, and...

    "That's just the official story. I've heard some... rumors that the Master System's core was not destroyed at all, it was simply removed, you see..."

    A pause, for obviously dramatic effect, and...

    "The 'core' was apparently some sort of life-form... Well, considering the origins of this ship, I suppose you could say the core itself was just an alien of some sort... There are reports that the Lagerkvist family have on it, that it was humanoid in nature and it's existence burned the senses like the sun... But those files are some of the only things they wouldn't let me touch as the family instructor..."

    She sighs.

    "Your mom wasn't very happy about that one, said I should have just taken the files secretly... She uh... she had a partner at the time, one of the Akarana kids I think? They were pretty interested in the field of cognitive science, wanted to figure out how to turn "truth into lies," or at least it was... Something along those lines...?"

    A pause, as she leans over the table and:

    "How do you take your tea by the way?"
    Last edited by Airen; May 3rd, 2021 at 09:00 PM.
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  2. #1482
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Logan Starbright & Mokujima Chris
    Simulator
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Late Morning


    ---All messages are relayed, and a general plan is put into motion.

    Considering the nature of the enemy as someone who seems to have been watching you for awhile, there are a number of things that can be gleaned from it's choice in behavior, namely...

    It is not the confrontational sort, or at least, it is not stupid enough to attempt a direct assault while a literal Goddess is present amongst the group... Of course that makes sense, to assault Yamuna directly would be akin to a death sentence, walking into absolute defeat, thus, these sorts of tactics, hit and runs, indirect assaults and poison esque abilities are really your best -if not only- option against her, because if it comes down to brute force, you'll lose...

    In battle tactics, the best way to defeat the enemy's strongest warrior is to keep it from becoming a battle at all; in other words, this particular opponent is a cloak and dagger assassin, that is...

    Assuming they exist at all.

    ---But they do.

    While there was still hints of doubt that could be found if one looked closely at the situation, the reality quickly becomes apparent as Chris steps outside of the room first, before anyone can really respond to her decision to lead the pack, and...

    For a moment, she can see a shadow, cast from the light of the far hall... She doesn't see the person who cast the shadow, no, they disappear far too quickly for that, but the movement of darkness across the floor, darkness in the shape of a cloak of feathers, of a person in a plague doctor esque visage...

    Is very real.

    ---But this is the expected reality.

    While only Chris sees it, the flicker of darkness just at the edge of her vision, that alone is enough to reinforce the existence of the enemy inside of her mind, but...

    It's difficult to perceive.

    ---The best method of striking it would be to put it into a scenario where whatever stealth ability it was using would become irrelevant, a place where it can only really be in a single spot if it wishes to keep looking at you, and that does seem to be what it wants to do, after all...

    You can feel it.

    All of you can feel it.

    The gaze of 'something' on your bodies as you move towards the one position where the plan would be possible... Considering that the entrance is closer than said area, the primary mission becomes to allow Aleta in before continuing... If nothing else, it adds another person to the group, and with growing numbers would come a growing sense of security, of safety, but...

    "..."

    A Goddess that has reduced her physical form to that of something reminiscent of a spirit body, has gone silent as the short journey continues... While Eve does possess an auto-skill that can function as a World Egg, separating the inside from the outside, and thus perfectly shielding one from even the World's perceptions, the strength of that auto-skill means it cannot move very well... Once it is set it has a limited area of effect and must be deconstructed and reconstructed if you wish to move it to a new area...

    Such is the weakness of auto-skills of that level of power, there mobility and stability are limited in comparison to their weaker counterparts, but...

    It does help when active, and she activates it whenever the group stops for one reason or another.

    Her degradation does cease while inside of it, granting some evidence to the theory of her 'illness' being born from some sort of observation-based ability, a curse inflicting through a gaze? Some extreme variant on the evil eye? Turning the World itself on her somehow, like an auto immune system attacking the organs?

    It is difficult to say for sure, but...

    She insists everyone continues to move forward, while her sickness does stop progressing while inside of the skill she does not recover either... At least not fast enough for it to be a viable solution to the problem, it is merely a delay tactic under these scenarios, a sign that the 'curse' will likely persist as long as the attacker itself remains conscious or within a certain distance of her, so...

    Best thing to do is push forward for now.

    Get Aleta, and then see if you can catch this assassin off guard... It doesn't seem to have changed it's modus operandi much, so you don't think it suspects you're up to anything, but...

    You can still see it fluttering around, just on the edges of your vision, like some sort of shadow person...?

    Never seeing the individual themselves, just the flicker of their cast shadow...

    But this too becomes a minor problem eventually, after all...

    Eventually you arrive in the lobby, where both the main elevator leading up to the surface and a set of stairs leading up to the same await, and where you could allow Aleta access if you wish...

    ---However, it looks different than normal.

    To the point where even Logan knows it's not correct... There's a sort of... Crystalline substance growing along the walls and floor of the room, gradient in color, and both beautiful and slightly disturbing to look at... It sort of pulses as the group looks at it, growing ever so slightly in full view of everyone like some sort of cancerous growth, one that's somewhat familiar to Chris, and...

    ---By the elevator, a humanoid figure -covered seemingly from head to toe in that same substance- seems to simply be...

    Staring at the entrance way?

    It does not react to your presence immediately, so it's hard to tell if it actually knows if you're there or not but...

    It certainly seems to be watching the ways in...

    Like it's waiting to ambush whoever comes out...?
    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. #1483
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Amamiya Sho
    Aoyama, Streets
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Dark Hour


    "Ugh, what's with the kids of this generation...?"

    ---Naturally, being the troublesome sort of person, her response to your words is more annoyance than anything else, to the point where you start second-guessing whether this person is actually 'dangerous' or is just 'some sort of troublemaker.'

    "I run around breaking things and everyone just lets me do it? Seriously? It'll be busier in the morning he says, bah! Morning isn't coming kid!"

    She complains.

    "This city is so frickin weird, everyone in it is way too attuned to the Logic! They know this isn't supposed to be happening, so no matter what I do, they don't respond to it, it's a real pain in the ass, interesting, but still a pain in the ass!"

    Then stands up from her pile of vandalized property, shaking her head as she goes... It doesn't seem like she's going to spring at you or anything just yet, but your body prepares itself anyway out of habit, knowing that you can't actually afford to be caught off guard by any annoying surprise attacks or you actually won't be able to respond to it in time...

    "Of course they can't just let me roam either, so here we are, trapped in selective time I guess, morning ain't coming... Really, you three probably got sent out to chase me off, World trying to pick out people to do it's dirty work for it again... Sucks to have such an active cognition-based system, right?"

    ---It happens in a flicker.

    One moment she's atop her throne of destruction, the next she is standing right in front of you with her arms behind her back...

    "...Although that is definitely Nadia... You're right about her normal self being taller, but I know souls, that's her soul at least, why does she look like that? Hell if I know, I stopped questioning the weirdo Yamuna kids awhile ago! Maybe this is some sort of projection? That persona nonsense some of you humans do?"

    She spins.

    Nadia (?) frowns at her back before looking at you as if to ask your opinion on the situation, but then, as if sensing that response...

    "Although... Maybe a weirdo Yamuna kid is just what I need right now... I mean, you're kinda like a doll, right...?"

    The strange girl flips around, and-

    "You have to protect people right? It's burned into you. A child of a doll is still a doll after all, come on, hit me, I'm a threat to the people around here! Follow your programming, hurry it up!"

    -taunts her.

    But what strikes you as odd is...

    Yes...

    Why was she so insistent about wanting to fight...?
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  4. #1484
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Ayra Lilygrove
    Nameless Forest ~ Kuzunoha Village
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Early Morning


    "...I see."


    It's hard to tell if the smile she shoots you is an amused one or a sympathetic one, but it's certainly one of the two...

    "If that's the case, then shouldn't you simply try being honest?"

    Although considering the stance she suddenly takes on the matter, that of an adult asking a young person why they simply don't do the obvious thing and stop making things more complicated than they actually have to be, it's probably a response leaning slightly more towards amusement than anything else...

    A mischievous smile!

    Sympathy and amusement in equal measures perhaps?

    "Emotional pain is an... Inevitability of life. Hiding away from questions because you might not like the answer simply means that you'll never be able to heal whatever wounds of the heart you may have, you'll simply agitate it constantly, wondering about the truth without finding out what it is, and thus keep that wound open forever."

    She frowns.

    "Although a sudden shift in personality...? People can change of course, but it's normally a bit more subtle than an out of the blue shift... It was during your school years right? Was there something going on at the time?"

    Eyes close in thought, and-

    "Considering her body language whenever I see you too together... Well, I doubt doubt she actually dislikes you after all... I'm... Quite good at sensing negative emotions in humans."

    -the mischievous smile returns.

    "It's a talent I picked up from... Bathing in a certain sort of mud..."

    Although her reasoning is... Strange...?

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

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  5. #1485
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Blaise Pendragon
    Demonic Server, Hali Bay
    11/16/2026
    Afternoon, Clear Skies


    "For someone who didn't want to fight you sure do say some cruel, heartless and generally damaging things!"

    ---Where Isamu and Tsuki start snickering at your merciless teardown of this person's image in front of your Noriko (who simply raises an eyebrow in mild interest at this apparent joke character that has been presented to her) the person in question, Anima, well...

    "But because I am such a generous person, I will accept your hostility laden words as declarations of friendship!"

    She takes the verbal beating quite well, all things considered! Facing it in the same delusional way as always, she doesn't even bother to refute the name 'Animal' with her words, although the vein that had pulsed on her forehead for a moment showed at least a moment of minor discomfort at being addressed in such a way, but...

    She lets it roll over her.

    ---Perhaps she really is desperate for attention?

    Considering her nature as a possessive spirit, was it possible she really would die if no one paid attention to her...?

    ---Eh.

    Probably not.

    "...Yeah okay, middle school bully type, got it."

    In the end, Noriko responds cheerfully enough to the introduction, although...

    "But if you're coming to our house, there will be none of that, understood?"

    ...The power in her gaze as she stares at the other girl, well...

    It demands obedience.

    There was a reason Kaguya respected the older woman so much, when she wanted to output that follow the rules or there will be consequences energy it hit everything like a wave, an invisible pressure that forces all to relent in the face of it, and well...

    "Gotcha!"

    Anima certainly doesn't fight her on it!

    ---Thus, an agreement of sorts between all involved is made, and everyone begins to clear up the area as the last of the crowds disappear into the surrounding forests of the perpetual night...

    It had been a bizarre day.

    Bizarre even for your usual standards of bizarre, but it seems like things had been kept mostly under control in the end... Sure, you had a few more tagalongs with you than you thought you would on the way out, with the bizarre little girl and the weirdo bully two existences you hadn't expected to pick up in the end, but...

    It was what it was, no long-term harm done as long as you kept your eyes open, and well...

    Even with the hiccups, it had been fun in it's own way right?

    ---The group heads out together, with Isamu and Tsuki planning to make a pit-stop at the hideout before showing up at your house later on, and everyone else just following along behind Noriko as natural charisma takes hold, but...

    "..."

    ...Being near the back of the group (so you can watch for funny business) you do notice when Tsukiko stops to look behind her for a bit, as if she had sensed something sneaking up behind you all, but...

    When you look, there's nothing there, or at least she seems to think so, as she flashes you an apologetic smile before continuing ahead with a shrug, but you wait a bit longer, mostly out of curiosity, perhaps out of simple suspicion, and...



    "..."

    ...There certainly is someone standing there by the forest now.

    Just watching the group leave with an impossible to define emotion, although when you see her, well...

    She simply waves at you in a friendly sort of way... And then, like a mirage...

    Vanishes into the woods.

    ---Hopefully that's not a sign of something annoying in your future, but...

    Eh, it's probably fine, right?

    ---}i{---
    [SCENE END]
    Last edited by Airen; May 4th, 2021 at 05:36 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?



  6. #1486
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Mokujima Chris
    SDCD Base - Halls
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Late Morning

    The shadow flickers at the edges of her vision.

    As Mokujima Chris advances through the familiar halls, she cannot help but notice the gaze on her back, the glimpses of darkness moving in and out of sight, always too quick to catch. Their stalker is just out of sight, yet not for a moment out of mind. She'd wondered why, at first, before eventually realizing after a number of tests and evaluations: the enemy wants to be noticed. Simultaneously shy and audacious, that person - thing - demands attention at all times. She caught a glimpse and now that same glimpse is shown to her, over and over, until she has grown sick of it.

    What, does that thing benefit from being observed, too?

    It's irritating. She never took well to mockery as a child. As an adult it is no different. It's bad enough that she is without Daisuke, surrounded solely by terrifying strangers and having only recently been freed from a prison of mind, body, and soul. Now they are under attack by the most irritating of foes: a cautious one. Were she able to muster the courage to raise her voice in this unbearably social situation, Mokujima Chris might consider yelling into the empty halls: "Get on with it!" She does not, of course. Not just because she expects no reply, but because their enemy getting on with it is the last thing she wants.

    "..."

    For the seventh time in three minutes, Chris takes a look at Yamuna.

    Where has the goddess' brightness gone? Her unstoppable urge to dance? Her overly friendly words? Her terrifying cheer? None are here. Only a woman - a girl, almost - who Mokujima Chris finally realizes is actually shorter than her. It's easier to see her now. But Chris would've much preferred the blinding light of before. This silent, lessened version of her is even more painful to look at, somehow.

    That silence only breaks when Logan, walking beside them, stops in his tracks. Eve swiftly follows. Chris glances past the android's shoulder.

    Ah. The stairwell and main elevator. A hop, skip and jump away from their destination. Only the path there is covered in a strange carpet of living crystal, with one stalagmite taking the form of a humanoid figure staring at the elevator doors.

    It doesn't move. Did it not see them? Or is it merely playing dumb? No, it shouldn't be truly ignorant; it's not as if they were sneaky. Either way...

    "Composition of the crystal is similar to a Plume of Dusk. Presumed artificial origin. Even a small shard imparts a likely-malicious 'driving will' onto those who bear it. The one I examined urged obedience to one Adam Kadmon. Durable but not impossible to break. No reproductive functions on record; this is a first. If this form is entirely composed of that crystal, its consciousness should be primitive. But, it can cause curse-like effects if it enters and remains in the body, so that may be someone who was taken over. Care should be taken to not spread crystal fragments during battle; they may be hazardous." She swiftly summarizes the knowledge from the crystal she'd investigated, and relays it to Eve to be transmitted to Amelia and Logan. The chance of the other Tamer not doing something here is zero percent, so he might as well be informed. Then she adds something else, for the android's ears only: "Sakurako was wearing a bracelet when we met a short time ago. Its core was of the same material. Do you have experience with it? Also... we have not fought together. There is little point in dispensing instructions; you know your own limits better than I do. So act as you like, and be wary of that 'carpet'; it should be exactly as malicious as the 'statue'. I'll provide support if it is requested."

    Chris then leans back against a wall, crossing her arms.

    "..." The look she gives Logan says it all. He's going to attack that thing now, isn't he? Even though on paper it would be best to rush ahead through the stairwell and get Aleta while Eve handles this crystal thing. That seems to be how this particular Roth functions. So rather than present a stuttering argument to the contrary, Chris accepts it with a shrug: "I'll... watch our backs."

    Not like she can do much else in this situation besides watch out for shadows whose existence she has increasingly begun to doubt... well, there is one thing.

    "Ah. Please get, behind me. It'll be, safer."

    Pat, pat. The wall next to her is free. A perfect place for a sick goddess to stay, shielded from the eventual battle and any possible shrapnel.

    If it is this malicious gaze that is weakening her, then perhaps a non-malicious one will strengthen her. If it's just that much, then Mokujima Chris's stone-faced stare won't be defeated.
    Last edited by Bloble; May 5th, 2021 at 08:55 AM.

  7. #1487
    approaching euthymia Katie's Avatar
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    Ayra Lilygrove
    Nameless Forest ~ Kuzunoha Village
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Early Morning


    "If that's the case, then shouldn't you simply try being honest?"
    “Well, I doubt she actually dislikes you after all…”
    Those words bring some hope to Ayra’s eyes, but a scowl quickly forms on her face. A lot of things are easier said than done. And this matter, in particular, was so exhausting and arduous.

    “I’m not the one going out of the way to avoid the other person here,” she says with a sigh, folding her arms. “But the idea’s right in principle, so all I have to do is make a situation where she can’t run away…”

    Aster raises an eyebrow, opens her mouth, and then clamps it shut.

    “Was there something going on at the time?”
    “It… happened right after we became Knights. We promised that we’d become Knights together, and in those days leading up to the announcement… She was awfully stressed. I think there was a lot on her mind—I had a win streak over her in our spars, because she seemed so distracted—but I believed in her, so I spoke like it was a given…” Those draining days were etched into her brain. Every squire dreams of breaking through to Knighthood, and the mere mention of the opportunity is enough to drive everyone into a frenzy, trying for one last surge of effort to show the others their merit. She and Tsukiko were no exception—so being stressed for that period didn’t seem out of the ordinary.

    “Maybe it ended up putting more pressure on her than if I said it was okay if it didn’t pan out? I don’t know…” Her voice trails off. The more she thinks about it, the more she’s uncertain.

    “Anyway,” Ayra says, looking at Aster, “Weren’t we going to discuss something you figured was better to explain in person?”

    “Right, right.” The AI switches from a pensive look to a nonchalant grin, and Ayra resists the urge to smack her AI in the shoulder (not that it would do anything) for dragging her into such an awkward conversation.

    “To elaborate, what Burroughs told me is that there is a squire who shouldn’t exist on Avalon. A spy, if you will. But the reason nobody has noticed is that, for whatever reason, while anyone is on Avalon, our cognition is altered to think they already belong. If Mika tried finding them right now, she wouldn’t get anything, because they don’t exist. But if she were on the island, it’s likely she’d be able to find proof to justify their existence.” It’s odd, Ayra realizes, hearing Aster’s businesslike tone. It’s similar to the person she’s based off of—the no-nonsense vibe, devoid of the other girl’s easygoing nature. Familiar, yet indescribably off.

    “A squire…” Ayra pauses, anxious fingers tapping the edge of the table she is leaning against, “Then it’s not any of mine. I’ve gone on patrol with all three of them, so they can’t be it.”

    “Yeah, it’s not Asuka and the others. But that leaves the rest of the squires, and it’d look odd if Ayra starts meddling in other people’s business. After all, she keeps to herself, and everyone knows it.” Aster sighs. Ayra knows Aster isn’t really blaming her, as someone also complicit with the reasons why, but it grates on her nonetheless.

    ”So, if there’s any way you could help with that, that would be great,” Aster turns to look at Mika, though it’s clear on her face she’s not expecting too much. “If not, I’m sure Ayra can get one of her rascals to snoop around. They love her, after all.”

    “They don’t love me that much…”

  8. #1488
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Ayra Lilygrove
    Nameless Forest ~ Kuzunoha Village
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Early Morning


    "...A squire that shouldn't exist? Hiding in the cognition?"

    ---It's a complete shift in the woman's demeanor.

    While she had seemed mostly content to let you puzzle out your relationship with Tsukiko on your own, simply watching you with the amused smile of a mentor looking over a new student, the appearance of Aster's second topic is one that seems to shatter her good mood entirely, yes...

    It's like the flip of a switch.

    From teasing mentor to sudden investigator...

    "That's... That's troubling if it's true..."

    Her eyes narrow in deep thought, troubled thought, and she shifts in her seat, one arm coming up to rest beneath her chin even as the other moves to brush hair from her eyes, the atmosphere around the table shifting along with those movements.

    "It's not impossible of course, there are certain abilities that can mess with the 'Logic' of an area, especially an area like Avalon... It's essentially a magical isle that only the worthy can enter after all, so it's an enclosed space, it's own little sub-world cut off from the rest of the planet... In that regard it's even more cut off than your usual city, people might leave it often, but the people that live there are consistent... So it would be particularly susceptible to that sort of thing, the attacker would just have to convince the island that they belong, they wouldn't have to trick the World in it's entirety... Yeah, that's plausible... Insidious, but plausible..."

    She sighs, fingers rubbing at her head as if to banish a headache or migraine...

    "No one outside of the city could find them because they don't exist, and those that live inside of it won't think of them as anything special, because they are already accepted as the reality, a part of the background, heck... They themselves might not even know they aren't who they say they are... At that point the disguise is basically perfect."

    She grimaces, then...

    "But hmm... Well, I can't find them from here I don't think and going to Avalon right now myself would be a bit... Risky, not to mention they might be able to brainwash me too just by looking too deeply into it, I'm a bit too connected to the Logic in that regard... But there are some... Strategies you could probably use to flush them out."

    She raises a finger.

    "First of all, it'll be someone that tries not to draw attention to themselves, probably stays on their own for the most part... Altering people's cognition's through force is never a perfect art, drawing too much attention to themselves might compromise their disguise, having too many eyes directly on them might make cracks appear, a feeling that they don't actually belong... Although that one is a bit up to chance."

    A second finger.

    "Secondly, if their disguise counts on them hiding in the island's Logic, it means that they would be exposed if they leave the island... So look for someone that refuses to leave for any reason, someone who always has an excuse no matter how important the task given to them is, give them a mission that would be insane for them to refuse and see if they refuse it anyway, and..."

    Another pause, the final one...

    "Well, this one isn't a strategy so much as I would say it is a... Confirmation of innocence."

    She leans forward slightly.

    "It can't be Ryan Winters."

    And simply says this, before...

    "He is, after all, one of us."

    ---Confirming that one of the Squires was also a Joker.
    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. #1489
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Blaise Pendragon
    Location: Aoyama
    11/16/2026
    Night, Clear Skies


    In the end, your friends had dragged both Anima and Tony off with them on their pit-stop back to the hideout, cutting the group in half shortly after it had first formed... With the way they had explained it, it seemed that they didn't quite trust the one-eyed woman to not ruin the plan to distract your mother with everyone's presence, so they had decided to bite the bullet and drag her away with them until they could return, taking Tony with them as an... Escort of sorts...

    Not that you figured he'd be that useful, but then again...

    While he hadn't done much earlier, the sheer ease with which that Devil Hunter approaches everything hints at an absurd confidence, the confidence of an older man who no longer fears life's twists and turns, just taking everything as it comes because he's positive he can handle whatever it is...

    That kind of confidence doesn't come easy.

    ---Thus, you are left with your sister and the small dragon child... Aoyama is somewhat more calm at night, while the city rarely every seems to actually fall asleep (unless it's raining) those that prefer walking under the moon to walking under the sun have always been a bit more quiet, ironically more composed, and thus the constant chatter that was so common during the day only becomes such near restaurants now, the points where people are congregating after work for food and drink, those on the streets doing so with more focused purposes, the striking sounds of a nearby batting cage the real thing breaking the silence around here...

    ---Amongst them, you simply find yourself standing outside the familiar restaurant.

    "...She's still asleep."

    Having thrown herself into the literal Dragon's Den in order to see if it was actually safe to be this close or not, Noriko reemerges from the darkness of the interior with a sigh of relief... Considering your family owned quite a few of the buildings in this area, it was unclear which of them your mother had decided to collapse inside, but it seems that she had gone for the restaurant itself...

    Not particularly surprising, out of all the buildings well...

    It was almost everyone's favorite, still...

    Being so close and yet unable to enter just yet to see her may be a bit annoying... But as if to distract you from that, well...

    "Nori!"

    ...Again, the smaller girl, Fia, throws herself at the older woman with all the innocent energy of a child... She was quite affectionate really, a cuddle-bug if you had ever seen one, at least when it came to Noriko... While she had certainly seemed fond of Tsuki (who sort of seemed to exist on the same sort of childish level as her in spite of their age difference) her behavior when it comes to Noriko is very direct and hug-filled, she attaches herself to her leg or waist basically every time she gets the chance, and while the older girl had seemed slightly weirded out by the behavior at the start, well...

    Being worshiped as an older sister was sort of her dream, so...

    It doesn't surprise you too much when she eventually accepts it, responding to the constant hug attacks with pats on the head, and no longer trying to detach the girl from her body.

    "Fia~!"

    ---So this particular assault is no different.

    Glomped again, and responding to said glomp by cheerfully picking the other girl up and playing airplane with her, well...

    ---Sort of starting to feel like she's paying more attention to her than to you.
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  10. #1490
    Beware the Finnish Ringlets Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Blaise Pendragon
    Location: Aoyama
    11/16/2026
    Night, Clear Skies

    I swear...

    As Blaise watched the scene unfolding in the dim light of the evening, he crushed that tiny bit of jealousy that had started budding within him. Instead, a quiet smile blossomed on his face as he gazed at his older sister spin the little girl around.

    ... It's not every day I see Nee-san that happy. Guess I wasn't too cute of a kid if she was that easily swayed, the boy thought, chuckling within his mind. Well, best to let her have it. If she had a tiring day, something like this might be just what the doctor ordered to lift her spirits.

    Indeed, while Blaise wasn't exactly fond of any stranger getting too familiar with his sister out of the blue, in this case, he could make an exception. The little girl had latched onto her like glue, and certainly, that was a good thing. She was an awkward tiny creature, so seeing her so impicitly trust someone was a good thing. And if Noriko made her feel safe, at least they wouldn't have to worry about Fia sneaking out on her own and getting lost in a place like Aoyama. While Blaise loved his city, it could still be dangerous to the uninitiated. Best that the kid stuck with them for now.

    And really... while Blaise would have never said it aloud, seeing his sister smile that widely made him feel like despite its weirdness, the day had been worth it.

    He might have complained about her, he might have been annoyed by her, he might have grumbled about her antics... but at the end of the day, his sister's happiness was paramount to Blaise.

    She had taken his crap for 17 years now, she deserved to be looked after in return.

    "D-Dang it... Aneki's spinnin' her 'round like it's nuthing... thasso unfair...!"

    His thoughts cut by the jealous cursing of a certain AI rabbit, Blaise's smile faded away and he gave Kaguya a deadpan look.Sometimes he wondered, weren't COMP AIs supposed to be assistants and helpers? Where had his gone so wrong as to end up being jealous of a little girl made to feel like an airplane?

    "... You dumb bunny, don't cause a scene," Blaise grumbled, softly rapping his partner on the top of her head with his knuckles. "Just let her have this. Maybe you can ask for a repeat if she decides to hit the beer later."

    ... Maybe Blaise should make sure there weren't too many cans in the fridge, though.

    "Anyways, she's inside then, Nee-san?" Blaise continued, turning his attention to his sister. "I'll go set the leftovers to the fridge. I bet she's gonna be hungry like... well, Mom, once she wakes up. Should make sure there's something that can sate that hunger available immediately."

    With that, the boy hummed a little tune and headed inside the familiar restaurant, carrying what remained of today's catch in a large bag.

    ... Why did it feel like today had been a good day?

    That was just odd. Today had been nothing but a pain in the ass, for the most part.

    Yet, Blaise couldn't help a tiny smile creeping to his face.

  11. #1491
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Blaise Pendragon
    Aoyama, Soba Shop -Gen-
    11/16/2026
    Night, Clear Skies


    With a brief nod of acknowledgement as your only answer from the older girl (who seems to be abusing her powers as a persona user now for the sake of entertaining a child) you set aside whatever brief flickerings of jealousy come to life (or at least one of you does) before wandering into the building in an attempt to preemptively take care of your mother's inevitable black-hole appetite.

    ---Actually, thinking about it, three of those sorts of beings were going to be here tonight.

    All in the same place, eating the same meal, yes...

    Perhaps some mistakes had been made?

    Well... Too late to do anything about it now really...

    ---Inside the shop, things are unsurprisingly dark; it seems Aunt Yuka and Uncle Kazuya had taken the day off for one reason or another, and as a result, things had just been closed down here for the day... Of course, there is still the bizarre azure glow of that one ethereal door that hangs out by itself against the far walls of the shop, attached to nothing and seemingly leading to nothing, but...

    That door was more Noriko's thing, you did your best to not even acknowledge it's existence, because you got the feeling that if you did acknowledge it's existence, it might start chasing you around town, and well...

    You didn't need to add more problems to your life.

    You had enough of those already...

    So putting aside the door (which is letting out the faintest hints of some sort of opera song today) you take stock of the kitchen, moving to put your leftovers in the communal fridge behind the counter... It's quite large, not just because of the place's nature as a restaurant, but because of the types of people who were a part of the family, the black-hole stomach types to be more specific, and...

    There's room.

    Amidst all the usual ingredients, there's definitely some room in here if you get a bit creative... Some of the food in here is marked with stickers labeled "Gen," meaning that those particular products were meant to be used for the shop rather than anyone's personal use, although judging by this note from Yuka on the door-

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuka's Note
    Kazuya.

    I know you're the one eating the shop's food, stop it.

    You're the one who made the sticker system, so you of all people should follow it!

    Come on, you're being a bad influence...

    Don't make me write another one of these, okay? Or you will definitely regret it~

    Oh and Blaise, you better be doing your homework! I''m gonna check up on it tomorrow!

    <3 Yuka
    -it seems that a certain someone had been dipping into the supplies a little for his nightly snacks.

    Really flirting with doom there, but it was what it was...

    The television was off down here, although your mother (who was likely asleep in one of the upstairs rooms) wasn't the type that would really wake up from noise anyway... She would either get up on her own when she felt like it, or someone would have to make a concentrated effort at moving her from wherever she had chosen to fall asleep at, so getting a head-start on your cooking now would probably be fine...

    Although, as you put away your things...

    A light upstairs clicks on.

    There are no footsteps to coincide with it, it simply seems to click on on it's own, and then...

    The sound of wheels...?
    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. #1492
    Beware the Finnish Ringlets Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Blaise Pendragon
    Aoyama, Soba Shop -Gen-
    11/16/2026
    Night, Clear Skies

    "Homework? Ugh..."

    Blaise grimaced as he glanced at the note over his shoulder, his good mood dissipating momentarily.

    "It's not like I'm going to school anyways," the boy continued to grumble under his breath. "Guess I can just hide at Isamu's tomorrow..."

    Of course, that wasn't exactly a solution to anything. If anything, it was more of moving his problem to a later date, when he could be bothered to deal with it. He knew he was in hot water with Aunt Yuka thanks to that... incident... some time ago, but as he had explained, it hadn't been his fault. He had enough witnesses regarding the matter, so to continue to other him about it was just wrong. Not to mention, doing homework was just... ugh. What did it matter if he did well in school or not? It's not like he was planning on attending that place till the end.

    It was then that a certain sound caught Blaise's attention upstairs, and at the same time, light flickered on there. Well, the surprises never ceased. Not only had his mother come back home, finally, but now this?

    ... Looks like it was a good thing that there had been so many leftovers from the sushi, even disregarding the stuff that was now at Isamu's freezer.

    "Hmm... might as well."

    With that, Blaise set the ingredients on the table and with some quick-yet-excellent handiwork, experience gained through years of practice, assembled two platters of sushi. Of course, it was simply tuna in various shapes and forms, but he could get creative enough with what he had at hand. When it came to his mother, he would have to actually make something from scratch, but these two plates would serve well enough for what he was about to do.

    Satisfied, Blaise nodded and took the the plates, one in each hand, and a bottle of ginger tea under his arm, and headed out of the kitchen. The first plate went to one of the strange spots of the house, that being of course the blue door. While the blonde youth himself tried his best to ignore it and not pay any attention to it (he would leave that particular weirdness to his sister), he was still the man of the house while his old man was away. And more than that, he was a good host, no matter the situation. So, occasionally if time and ingredients so allowed, he left a plate of whatever he had been working on in front of that door, just in case.

    --- Even oddities and opera singers could get hungry, and want a little snack.

    It was not a skin off his back to offer them some.

    Having done the first part of his job, Blaise took the remaining plate and headed to the stairs, ascending upstairs and towards the noise coming from there. That being, of course, that familiar wheelchair's squeaking.

    There might be another person in the house who'd appreciate a snack and some cold ginger tea.

    And he hadn't talked with him in a while, either.

  13. #1493
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Blaise Pendragon
    Aoyama, Soba Shop -Gen-
    11/16/2026
    Night, Clear Skies


    ---Clean wooden floors, shining brilliantly in the moonlight.

    Recognizing that sound as that of a certain family member, the one who could perhaps, in some ways, be thought of as the foundation on which all the others gathered, your footsteps inevitability head up in his direction...

    The upstairs of the Soba Shop wasn't anything special, but it was certainly home in a sense.

    A floor of bedrooms and living spaces, where those that had worked their shifts and didn't feel like wandering through town back to the Residential District could crash without regrets... You had a room here of course, one that you arguably used more than your actual house, but in this moment only two of these rooms are ajar... One is awash in darkness, revealing the somewhat hidden figure of your mother, tall and amazonian, golden-hair without a single flaw, but also curled up on a couch with her back to the door, dreaming away without regard for the World around her, confident in her own existence...

    Her normal self, in other words.

    Even asleep, the pride of a dragon remains ever-present, but...

    ---Even that feeling is overcome as you leave her sphere of influence, heading instead to the door at the far end of the hall... The one that only opens when it's resident is home, someone who was both more human than anyone else in the house while simultaneously being the least human of all of them, yes...

    He's there now.

    A figure in a wheelchair, sitting at a simple desk, a computer, keyboard, and various papers on the table along with a cup of coffee in his right hand. It's an older man, obviously so, somewhere in his fifties at a glance, and with a body that is obviously crippled, but...

    There is no weakness in that figure.

    He may look damaged to a degree, but such things are irrelevant to that man... He is the sort that could walk on legs that do not work, who appears where he will no matter how impossible it is, an older man who comes across as casually invincible, both more real and more fake than everyone else, as if his body was simply the avatar through which some other power spoke, not a deity, but some grand other that happened to look like a person in the eyes of the people around him, but...

    ---Those feelings are irrelevant.

    While this man is known throughout the World as one of the "Big Three," a founding father of COMPs in the modern day, and a mage of the highest class, to you, to Blaise Pendragon, well...

    He's more like "Gramps."



    "Oh, Blaise. Welcome home."

    Doctor Matsuda.

    Put the grand titles aside, the founder of this bizarre little family was the second sanest person in the house (sanest if you took yourself out of the equation) someone who broke up all the petty squabbles and fights, kicked out the particularly bizarre troublemakers, and used to take you out fishing at the ports around town when you were a kid (even though getting his chair into the boats was always a bit of a struggle) yes-!

    While his existence radiates power to most people in the world, the smile that appears as the older man notices you is actually that of a grandfather seeing his grandson...

    Simply warm.

    He spins in his chair to face you.

    "You always seem to find me first. How have you been? It's been awhile since the two of us talked, no?"

    ---Yep.

    Warm as always.

    He looks at you for a moment, then:

    "Seems you've had quite the interesting day... Nothing too troublesome, I hope? Beach party? Vampires?"

    A pause, as he raises an eyebrow, and-

    "...Antique warships?"

    -makes a casual read at the day's events.

    ...Always was a bit too good at that...
    Last edited by Airen; May 6th, 2021 at 05:47 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?



  14. #1494
    Beware the Finnish Ringlets Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Blaise Pendragon
    Aoyama, Soba Shop -Gen-
    11/16/2026
    Night, Clear Skies

    A wry smile spread to Blaise's face.

    "Yeah... something like that. Nothing we couldn't handle, though. The warship... was something alright, but the person responsible for it was..." the boy searched for the right words for a moment, before simply shrugging. "... Well, a bit of a pain in the ass, but I don't dislike that. As bothersome as she was, she was doing it for a reason she believed, and was helping out someone else. I can't hate someone who goes so far for a stranger, even if in a misguided way."

    After a moment's pause, Blaise then frowned.

    "... Don't tell her I said that, though - she and some others will be over in a bit," he added. "That bothersome part of hers is only kept at bay by being extremely frank with her and her faults, it seems. We don't want her to get a bigger head than she already has."

    Yes, best to just come clean about it. After all, Gramps probably knew about it anyway. He always did. That's why Blaise rarely bothered to hide things from him or put up his usual gruff front. He always knew the truth behind what sort of events he went through, so that much was meaningless. Plus, it was good to have someone you could air your honest thoughts with. So admitting that he wasn't nearly as negative towards Anima as he might have appeared was fine.

    "Ah, here. Today's catch," Blaise said as he set the platter of sushi on the table. "Sample to your liking. It should all still be relatively fresh."

    With that, the boy took a seat for himself and sat down, letting himself finally unwind a bit. As the older man took stock of the sushi (tuna, tuna and more tuna) offered to him, the youth poured himself a cup of ginger tea. He then set the bottle within the old man's reach. Coffee wasn't exactly something to go with sushi, that was a combination even Blaise would have frowned at.

    Once he had had his first sip, the blonde boy then continued the conversation.

    "And, uh... yeah. Vampires. Or, well, vampire. Not a dangerous one, though, as far as I can figure. I... in a way, I think I bullied myself into her company, and been looking after her ever since. I swear, that girl couldn't look after herself even if the world was about to end. If it was any worst, I'd have to clothe her and bathe her. There's a limit to how lazy you can get, and the way she spends every day just playing games, she's gonna ruin her already damaged eyesight...!" Blaise grumbled, only to realize that he was complaining in a manner fit for Aunt Yuka. "Err... Ahem. Well, long story short, things happened, and I'm keeping her fed so far. Bottomless appetite, that one. But since I'm already cooking for Isamu, might as well for her."

    Strangely enough, even as fantastical as these topics were, they felt nothing more than a recounting of your typical, average day at the Pendragon household. Just another slice of that mundane life that Blaise led.

    As he took another swig, the blonde momentarily mused how bizarre that really was.

    "The real trouble is with... uh, school. Not only is Aunt Yuka on my ass now, even though that fiasco wasn't my fault, there's also that silver-haired nurse. She's been a bit weird after the last time we saw. And it's not like I have time for homework. I have my hands full with actual, real stuff. Couldn't you say something to Yuka? I bet she'd listen to you..." Blaise continued, for once complaining like an actual teenager... and again, catching himself doing so and clamping his mouth shut. "Or, well... I dunno."

    Third sip, and finally his parched throat was starting to feel satisfied.

    "... Anyways, what about you? You haven't been home in a while either. Trouble?"

  15. #1495
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Hiyori
    SLEIPNIR - Bottom Level, Endless Hall
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Morning

    Quote Originally Posted by Hiyori
    “...It’s not like I was going to toss you out in the first place. Sure we’re trapped in this field, but even then a hitchhiker or two wouldn’t hurt in this big empty ship. So go ahead and stay here...”

    I think back to her ‘evil’ words.

    “Provided you stay where I can see you! If someone else finds you unescorted, they might actually throw you overboard unlike the kind me! They'll see your smug aura and throw you off before you can even say a thing!”
    ---A chuckle.

    "Well, you are certainly talkative for a Little Doll, but not annoying enough to chase you off... So watch me as you'd like."

    Her footsteps continue through the darkness, and the regal airs return to her voice.

    "Although trapped... Well, that loop was a thing of that being's creation, considering I banished it from this area for a time, we should be able to escape it's grasp now."

    And indeed you do.

    The endless halls give way to more familiar rooms, the commons just outside the bedrooms... It's a rather surprising turn of events, a show that has the woman smiling somewhat smugly at you as she does what you could not... But it's a smile that fades rather quickly, her eyes darting from side to side in a paranoid way as she enters the new area, as if she half expects something to jump out at her from the darkness...

    And while you are in a new part of the ship, well...

    ---It still feels strangely empty.

    "And when it comes to your coworkers... Well, evading them should be relatively simple. Ordinarily, invading a Tamer base is impossible, but under these circumstances, it is possible to get in through a separate layer, one with no one on it..."

    Separate layer?

    What was she talking about?

    "It is like... I suppose you could say we are in the 'dream' version of the ship, only those that are 'sleeping' can enter here, so there's less defenses than normal... Well, not that the definitions of being 'asleep' and 'awake' are all that clear nowadays considering how fragile our 'reality' is at the moment... But that's the simplest way to put it for now."

    She turns the corner, and...

    "..."

    Pauses in place.

    ---It takes you a second to realize why, but when you do...

    "Ah, seems they dragged more than just you in, they're really quite barbaric."

    ...You realize it's because there's a body laying along the ground.

    For a moment, you fear that it's a corpse, but...

    Silver-hair, golden-brown skin, Rothschild uniform...

    The name escapes you at first, but, isn't that...

    Astra?

    ---Thankfully, she seems to just be unconscious.
    Last edited by Airen; May 6th, 2021 at 08:40 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?



  16. #1496
    approaching euthymia Katie's Avatar
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    Ayra Lilygrove
    Nameless Forest ~ Kuzunoha Village
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Early Morning


    “Ryan?”

    And here she thought she was the only one. Well, it would make sense there would be multiple members of Joker in any organization, but both her and Ryan were fairly high up the ladder, all things considered. It was a bit hypocritical of her to feel uneasy about it, but it would be better if all the Knights didn’t have any other affiliations, wouldn’t it?

    “Well, it makes a lot of sense,” Ayra mutters to herself. Now that she thinks about it, he’s definitely the kind of person she can envision with the mantle. Perhaps a bit lax, but not everyone is her.

    “If that’s the case, can’t you relay that information to him, instead?” As a squire, he’d naturally be in a better position to do his own investigations on the matter. Using Mika as an intermediary here seemed less attention grabbing than if she told Ryan herself. “And is it fine if I know these things? Or is there not really a rule about it?”

    To be honest, maybe it was just her lack of interest in knowing who the others were that led to this point.

    “Regardless, if we have to come up with a situation to force the squires to move out of Avalon… Maybe it’s possible to arrange some joint squire exercise? People nowadays are awfully in love with team-building,” Ayra says, slight derision leaking into her voice. Aster snickers and she shoots her a glare. “And just have it off the isle. While it’s impossible for all the Knights to gather for something like this, it should be much easier for the squires to do…”

    Ayra purses her lips in thought, before her eyes widen in excitement. She’s hit the jackpot.

    “Oh, since we’re on the whole team-building aspect, we could do a joint exercise with the SDCD? They’re absolutely sticklers for this stuff, and they could front some of the costs… And your daughter goes to a Tamer school, right? It’d be a nice change of pace.”

  17. #1497
    Imperial Princess Satehi's Avatar
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    Eva Ellet
    SLEIPNIR - Common Room (?)
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Morning


    “Oh… a teaspoon of sugar would be nice, I guess. But normal is fine too.”

    Her analogue for taste receptors certainly enjoyed it a little more with sugar, and metabolic issues involving too much sugar were not a problem for her- she was a machine, not a human. But at the same time, more than one teaspoon felt… too indulgent. Therefore she always limited herself to one teaspoon at most.

    Her preference wasn’t very strong either way. Both outcomes were roughly equal to her: she could easily be convinced to either one.

    Certainly not worth much thought compared to what Alexia had just told her.

    This was the first time she’d heard about the Master System in such detail. She’d heard that it was an artifact of incredible power, but never this much about how it worked… nor it’s apparent alien consciousness. Thinking about it, the fact it was capable of thought wasn’t too surprising, given that it was the basis of all COMPs- although that train of thought was probably not very rigorous, given the many differences between it and existing COMPs. It’s apparent otherness, though… she wondered if that was innate, or if like current COMPs, it was the result of imitating something it had contacted in the past.

    And as for her mother’s own interest in it…

    “Well… that does sound like something she might do.” Eva has no preconceptions that her mother couldn’t be rather… bold, at times. Her existence was proof. “But this is the first time I’ve ever heard about this, well, goal…”

    Turn truth into lies. Given the context about the Master System enforcing ideas on the collective unconsciousness, she imagined the meaning of that phrase was a lot more severe than the cognitive sciences she knew about.

    “Do you know anything more about it? Or who her partner was…?”

    “Actually, even before that-” Not wanting to let the thought pass as they moved onto a different topic, she decided to ask right now. “-what are your thoughts on that... rumor?”

    She still wasn’t sure if Alexia meant rumor as in an actual rumor, or as an all but fact that wasn’t allowed to be publicly discussed: there was at least a reason to describe it as the latter, considering whose family’s files she would have had a peak at and whose ship they were on…

    “By the description, it was immensely powerful and also conscious, to a degree, correct? In that case, wouldn’t it have been incredibly hard to destroy, or even hide away, if it didn’t want to be? Or maybe this applying too much human sentiment to it?”

  18. #1498
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Eva Ellet
    SLEIPNIR - Common Room (?)
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Morning


    Quote Originally Posted by Eva
    “By the description, it was immensely powerful and also conscious, to a degree, correct? In that case, wouldn’t it have been incredibly hard to destroy, or even hide away, if it didn’t want to be? Or maybe this applying too much human sentiment to it?”
    "...Hmm."

    A thinking noise.

    Different from the woman being unsure on this matter, the sound she makes at these questions is more akin to a teacher pondering the exact way in which to best describe something, a way to break down the concept if you will, but eventually...

    "Well yes, if it didn't want to be destroyed it certainly would have been difficult for it to do so... It wouldn't be impossible of course, while it's existence was mostly incomprehensible, so long as it took a physical form in this world, it would be able to be destroyed in a physical manner if nothing else, and by using things found on this ship where it was found, it would probably be possible to attack it under it's own rules as well... The first suppression weapon was found aboard this ship too after all, so there were some niche options in terms of weapons to use."

    Here she speaks slowly, as if this part was perhaps the most uncertain part, but then, with a brush of her hair from her eyes-

    "Of course the approach would be difficult too, right? If something knew it was under attack, it would defend itself right? With it's abilities, even a physical assault should be next to impossible true, since it could just compel everyone to leave it alone, or remove it's own existence from the conscious thought, but... It is likely it did not understand the concept of hostility, pain, or even death as humans know it."

    -returns her focus to your own gaze, hands on the table now.

    "It was seemingly an alien life form after all, so it would be strange if it could understand those things right away... And if you think about it a bit further, it probably liked humans, or was at least curious about them... It wouldn't have had a reason to allow anyone to operate it otherwise, in other words, it wouldn't understand that it needed to defend itself in the first place before it was too late... Hypothetically speaking anyway... It's a bit dark, but from the human perspective it was probably a child-like existence? Innocent. Maybe it didn't even understand the ramifications of what it was doing? Maybe it just wanted to be helpful, or thought that constant exposure to humans would help it understand them better? It's difficult to say."

    She chuckles.

    "Humans already have a difficult time understanding other humans, so throw a completely alien being in front of em and well... What are they supposed to get out of that?"

    In the background, the sound of kettles and whistling water overtakes Evita's teenager-esque grumbling, and Alexia sits down at the table again with pointer in hand, body turned sideways so she can look back and forth between you and the board...

    "They could destroy it if they wanted, it wouldn't realize until it was too late to do anything about it... Or they could trick it into coming with them, it probably wouldn't see anything wrong with that either, considering it was already granting human desires for them... And in my history with people, well... If they can preserve power they do it, so it's a rumor... But I think they probably did take the entity away somewhere... Might have even seen it as the moral option, or perhaps, the better way to seal it in the long run... Yeah, that's probably what they did, but you know, best to still call it a rumor."

    She winks at you.

    "As for your mother's project, well... Turning truth into lies... If I had to take a stab at it, it would be the ability to fictionalize an event? The world is based on perception after all, so if you can convince enough people that something didn't happen, it may be possible to 'undo' or 'replace' an event as it were... Of course, the World itself observes the truth of things to a degree, so it'd be rather difficult... You'd need to trick the majority without letting on that it's a trick in any way... Really, cognitive science is a pain, a World-Wide change would be next to impossible to accomplish nowadays unless you got really drastic, but smaller areas might make it feasible... Shift the consciousness of a small town cut off from the rest of the world and make it the truth for them alone, but she didn't sound like she was talking small-town, so..."

    She shrugs.

    "As for the partner... Hmm... It was uh.... I think it was Charlotte? All the Akarana kids were the child genius types, but she was probably the best of them at that sort of thing, smartest member of the family if you don't count their old man..."
    Last edited by Airen; May 10th, 2021 at 06:52 AM.
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  19. #1499
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Lydia
    Main Processing Unit Online
    Partner Condition: 403
    Location: Astrolabe, Fields
    Date: ERROR, Unknown
    Time: ERROR, Unknown


    Quote Originally Posted by Lydia
    "So, would either of you be willing to accept me by your side?"
    ---For some time after this, there is only silence.

    It's a question that isn't asked very often, more often than not, a Tamer retains their singular COMP throughout their entire career; they are devices of a very personal nature after all, their cores literally designed after the nature of their users, so...

    Using someone else's... It's not a very common occurrence... It's not unheard of either of course, it's simply rare, uncommon, but...

    "..."

    They look at each other again, then...

    "...Well, we're not visiting someone dear per say..."

    Sarah speaks, slowly, again like she's being careful with exactly what information she discloses to you here...

    "There's a pretty good chance we're really just going to wind up fighting this someone... That someone is pretty lenient of course, so as long as you don't actively attack her she should let you go... So the best thing for you is simply to uh... Watch, I guess! You'd be alright then, even if we lose-"

    Before suddenly, almost out of the blue...

    "You should take her and go Sarah."

    ...She's interrupted by Lara.

    "You two can get out of here just fine, go back home, this has nothing to do with either of you. Leave the Administrator to me."

    The familiar-looking girl makes this claim without emotion but with some obvious force in her voice, the sort of tone that makes it clear she's made this suggestion more than once to her companion-

    "Yeah no, not doing that."

    -who simply rolls her eyes, glancing at you as if to say 'see what I gotta deal with here.'

    "You don't have enough firepower without me. I'm the only one that can probably disperse it, like it or not. If I'm not with you it's just a suicide run, and well... Yeah, not letting that one happen on my watch."

    She sighs.

    "You're stupid."

    In response to this, Lara simply says this as bluntly as she can while simultaneously gritting her teeth, looking for all the world as if she wants to scream some things at the other girl even as her voice remains emotionless, before ultimately wrenching her face back to something neutral and...

    Storming off...

    Yes.

    It's with a very teenager-esque huff that she storms off into the distance, towards the bottom of a cliff-side upon which a castle stands overlooking a star filled sky, and...

    "...Well, don't mind her."

    ...Ultimately, Sarah just has this to say about it...

    "She's been moody all day, real lone-wolf type. She'll get over it in a bit. Thinks she's gonna get me killed but eh, I get to choose what risks I take, right?"

    She chuckles, brushing her hair to the side with a free hand as her eyes drift away from the retreating woman and back on you for now.

    "Anyway, to answer your earlier question... I'll carry you around no problem, but syncing... Well, it's in your best interest not to do that with one of us. Might make you a conspirator in our little... Rebellion."

    ...Again, the ambiguous words.

    "But just watching should be fine."
    Last edited by Airen; May 11th, 2021 at 10:11 AM.
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  20. #1500
    Lydia
    Main Processing Unit Online
    Partner Condition: 403
    Location: Astrolabe, Fields
    Date: ERROR, Unknown
    Time: ERROR, Unknown


    "Sarah... your girlfriend is an idiot isn't she?"

    In truth, Lydia had concluded both of these girls to be proper idiots, endearing ones, but idiots all the same.

    Refusing extra firepower, being dishonest emotionally as well as keeping secrets from a possible ally. An ally who could well even work as a hidden ace up their sleeves if used right. Yes, these few exchanges was enough to tell Lydia's instincts that these two, while precious, are fools.

    ---Problem is however, she is overly fond of fools.

    These two obviously care for another greatly, determined to support one another even when one has clearly took on a burden she is not ready to carry.

    She can't help herself but to care for such souls... brave fools that dare believe in something impossible.

    Whether that's an ideal, their own strength, a dream they wish see fulfilled, someone to protect at all costs...

    Seeing such people go to nigh-suicidal lengths, she should strive to cease such behavior and yet, she can't manage to do so.

    Perhaps it's because of who she was based on?

    "Trying to shoulder the weight of the world by herself, she'll only end up being crushed."

    Lydia looks the Starbright Knightess right in the eyes, a soul piercing gaze if there ever was one.

    "You, no, we can't let that happen now, can we? So I'm going to pretend you didn't just say something about losing, because I won't allow it! There will be no losing today! I may not know much of what's happening, but I do know I love happy endings."

    Yes.

    Lydia had only just awakened, having lost most of her memory, even her Tamer.

    But that could never be enough to break this girl.

    After all, she was forged from the soul of one Ludwig Karlfeldt, from his memory of Lara Karlfeldt. The big sister that no matter what, always rose to the challenge and triumphed. The boy's delusions were so strong that even when all evidence she suggested she had fallen, he knew she was still alive somewhere.

    A sentiment that had proven right somehow, despite the impossibility.

    Thus Lydia, who was made in the same light that Ludwig saw his sister, could never break so easily.

    Innately she knows to protect these two, not only because she recognizes them for somewhere, but also because theses were a bunch of endearing idiots that needed someone to look out for them.

    And perhaps, despite the unknown status of her Tamer, a soul no longer in this world... perhaps his existence still holds some influence through Lydia?

    "So that's what us three are going to make, one good happy ending, got it-! We're not going to let something like an Administrator stop us, are we?"

    ...In hindsight, all the three souls gathered here are without doubt...

    Idiots.

    "...Now you have to actually be honest with me, why in the world are you two planning on confronting something as insane as an Administrator?"

    Despite the previous energy, even Lydia can't help but realize the ridiculousness of the situation that she just threw herself in...

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