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Thread: Spirit Pulse : Mugen No Sekai [IC]

  1. #1661
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Mokujima Chris & Logan Starbright
    SDCD Dorms - Chris' Room
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Late Morning


    "No. Seriously."

    ---No sense of levity remains present in the Goddess, even as Aleta retreats to the room as asked (looking briefly apologetic at Logan as she does) and a certain being responds to Chris's taunts.

    While she had previously been willing to allow the both of you to expose yourself to the enemy somewhat, it seems that this Sefirot being, whatever the hell it happens to actually be, is enough to put even the Goddess on the defensive. Her breathing has become imperceptible, like she was a martial artist gearing up for a fistfight with a Titan, and there's a note of uncertainty in the voice that makes it clear she no longer thinks the situation is entirely under her control any longer, even if she were to use her powers to the fullest, in other words...

    The situation is rapidly deteriorating, at least from her point of view.

    And soon enough-

    "A Sefirot is a problem even for me, you all need to leave, not just Aleta-"





    -from yours as well.

    There's next to no warning of the sudden assault, even with all of the precautions put in place by your group. It's something that comes in a sudden, violent wave, an assault not from the giggling puppets or the enigmatic artificial entity, but by a succession of crimson winds-!

    The first manifests out of what seems like nowhere as a woman with crimson hair, she moves at literal godspeed, and naturally her target is the Goddess.

    "Aurora? You-!"

    Your brains are given a mere fraction of an instant to comprehend this information, only the Goddess herself can respond, and even then in but a few words before the crimson light runs right into her, dragging her away, into the depths of a building that comes crashing down around them upon impact.

    ---What?

    ---Who?

    ---How?


    The woman's existence feels exactly like Yamuna's, to the point where if their physical appearances weren't so drastically different only Chris would be able to tell the difference between them, nevertheless...

    It doesn't stop there, and here...

    The next light.



    Only Logan can perceive in time to counter.



    It's a staff blow aimed at his skull.

    A weaving crimson lance that dances through Eye of the Fates like it knows exactly what your eyes are telling you to do, it's only with your natural talent for the Eye of the Mind that you are ultimately able to deflect the blow to your side, away from the group who had barely begun to acknowledge that their line had been broken by what seemed like some random rampaging Goddess, and-



    -you attempt to kick back at your attacker, your foot catching them hard in the chest as they flip back and away from you, but their face as they land, perfectly composed like a cat, is-



    "Tch... Missed."

    Yourself...?

    The hell...?

    "Would have been easier on you if you didn't dodge."

    His voice is rather flat and to the point, staff spinning once in his hand before slamming powerfully down into the earth.

    And the puppets...?

    They just keep giggling to themselves.

    ---

    Chat Log (Chris)
    Soul_Worker: As if you're one to talk.
    Soul_Worker: Staying out in the open during a battle if you can't fight isn't bravery, you're just gonna make the others carry you. That a usual strat for you? GG.
    Soul_Worker: Your dumb doppelganger just snuck in your room btw. Just saying.


    Logan (?)


    Same as 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?



  2. #1662
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Daisuke
    Tokyo, Aoyama ~ Brick Lane (Smokey Island Bakery)
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Morning


    ---The moment you travel out the window to the utility pole outside, you also come to realize that this is an actively malicious fog. While a number of phenomena that can devour other phenomena are possible to generate through modern magic, this feeling of something angry, of a thick, unreasonable malice, can only mean one thing...

    That this fog is a curse.

    ---In other words, it's a magic that's actively meant to harm others.

    It has no redeeming qualities, no beneficial properties to share with the World at large, it is a violent malicious magic, a thing that actively seeks out things to hurt and destroy...

    No, not all beings...

    Just... Supernatural beings...

    And you...

    You are no exception.

    ---Not only that, your Harmonizer is weak to these sorts of things, but you do your best to not surround yourself with it. Coming to rest on a utility pole high above the ground, there is a feeling akin to pain that shoots down your sensors as some of the fog 'seeps' into your body in spite of your best attempts at keeping it out.

    Thankfully, it's a minimal amount.

    While it intends to start devouring your life force from the inside the moment it breaches your body, it is something you can instinctively force out of yourself with a bit of reiki, at least, while you're up here, above the line through which the low-hanging fog seems to sit...

    If you were directly inside of it however...

    No.

    Best not to think about it.

    Best to simply regard it as a vampiric mist and put it at the back of your thoughts. Of course, it seems to have some sort of semi-sapience of it's own, seeing as how the fog beneath you gets thicker, as if the fog actively sought out 'lifeforms,' but...

    It seems that as long as you stay about this high up, it can't come up to get you.

    ---A handy observation.

    But again, one that is not to be lingered on, after all, if you're correct, and if the one out here is a certain violet-haired friend of yours, then well...

    There's no time to waste.

    ---Sending your arm back to Shuichi, you follow a combination of physical and spiritual senses in order to track down the origin point of the noises. It's not a perfect guide, considering the fog is clearly designed to hinder those things, but what quickly becomes apparent after looking at this situation, is that one of those senses isn't really hindered in the same way, namely:

    Smell.



    ---The thick scent of iron permeates the fog, courtesy of splatters all across the street and walls of buildings.

    It almost looks like it's steaming, or rather, the fog seems particularly volatile at these locations, a crimson tint taking over for the otherwise ambivalent grey, as if the fog itself was drinking it, draining it dry of the reiki left over in the plasma, but...

    Those thoughts quickly become irrelevant, as you find their source soon afterwards.

    "Hah...Hah..."

    It's Lexie.

    ---Much like yourself, she's missing an arm, but unlike you, it's clear that the parting hadn't been on positive terms. Her arm's missing at the shoulder, cut clean from her normally elegant but lazy form... It's the sort of blow that might come from a sword or an axe, some sort of edged weapon at least, with what look like stab wounds all over the legs. but...

    The concerning part is that it's freely gushing blood...

    There doesn't seem to be anyone else around the girl that you can sense, and while her breathing is obviously pained, the fact that she's conscious should mean that she should be able to tend to her own wounds with magic, but...

    For some reason, she hasn't done it.

    Perhaps she can't?

    Certainly, she makes a visible attempt to cast something on the stump, a torn-up left hand going over to help the non-existent right, but the flash and surge of reiki does not heal the wound, no...

    Considering the muffled screech she makes at the interaction, as if biting down on a stick before cauterizing a wound to barbarically stop the bleeding, that seems to be exactly what she has resorted too, but...

    Why?

    It's a question that remains quite relevant, as the young woman stops her shaking, the sputter of flame dying out in her hands, and...

    Slowly, she starts heading back towards the bakery, using her ever prized sword as a crutch, coughing as she goes, the vampiric mist seeming to literally be eating her alive...

    It seems like...

    She doesn't see 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?



  3. #1663
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Amamiya Sho
    Aoyama, Streets
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Dark Hour



    "It's the hero routine, isn't it? Heroes throw villains into jail, only for them to break free several chapters later. A pointless cycle." A wry smile of irony. "But what can you do, right? That's just the world works currently. If you are going to swim against the current, be sure not to pick a strong stream or you will get dragged all the way back."

    In other words, I am being strictly professional here.

    I am a Spirit Tamer. I encountered a hostile unidentified signature. I should at the very least report it. If I can deliver it all the way to a demon capture station, all the better. It's not that I agree with the way things are handled, but thinking it through too much isn't going to make me any favors. I just want to go back to sleep. Besides, I need the money.

    Well, there is the issue that I haven't captured the enemy as much as she decided to drop her battle lust for a while, satisfied. If I am being realistic here, I should in fact be thanking her for not retaliating any further. So if she attempts to flee the moment we get out of this suspended space, umm... Well, I don't think I can do anything about it.

    Fortunately, they can't put the blame on a dropout for being such a klutz. Again, that's just the way this world works.

    "I have motion sickness, so I am not a big fan of endless falls. So I guess we'll be flailing along on half-assed wings for a while longer."

    As much of a relief as it is to hear that Jack and the little girl will be getting me out of here soon, I never intended to rely on their help for that purpose. Not like I don't trust them or anything... (Okay, Jack has done a couple of things to deserve it). It's just another bad habit of mine. I can be a team player, but if I am alone, then I am alone. Easier to accept the consequences.

    Can't lie, though.

    Wouldn't like to resort to an auto-skill that isn't truly mine to burst out of here...

    "Thanking you? Forget it. At best we're even. You said you were locked up for a long time, no? Well, you got to go out, enjoy yourself a little, do some catharsis, speak your mind. Sounds like a refreshing experience to me."
    [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

  4. #1664
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Amamiya Sho
    Aoyama, Streets
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Dark Hour


    "Eh? It's been alright."

    ---Still hanging out down below you, the conversational tone the girl takes with you continues to make her a bizarre existence.

    "You've got a point that a good 46 billion years in the slammer would be a damper on your mood, makes it hard to exercise, so you wind up going a little crazy when you get out. Or maybe I went crazy while I was inside, started talking to myself cuz the others are assholes, that sort of thing..."

    She chuckles.

    46 billion years?

    That number is far too absurd to be real, and her ramblings...

    Well, they're ramblings...

    "Then again, maybe I'm still in there and just dreamed all this up too. Hey, are you one of my nightmarish fever dreams kid? If you are, I'd like to know now so I can start trying to put together the clearly shattered pieces of my psyche."

    She laughs heartily, although you sort of get the sense that she doesn't actually find those words all that funny...

    "So sure, we can call it even, you let me punch you around a few times, and I make sure you aren't alone when we pop out on the other side of all of this nonsense."

    She waves her hand at you.

    "You don't have very many friends, so I had to make sure the one you'd keep was pretty strong... Although, she's taking a bit..."

    A pause, as she starts swinging back and forth on the slime ropes.

    "Maybe I should've grabbed Namasaki? No... He'll probably manage on his own."

    ...What is she even talking about at this point?

    Maybe she is sort of crazy...
    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. #1665
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Intermission
    Namasaki Shuichi & ??? & Daisuke
    "Moonlit Samsara - Temptation/Awakening I"


    ---An unfamiliar sensation.

    ---An uncharacteristic desperation.



    "..."




    The kicks are charged with screaming electricity, the charge potent enough to stop the heart of even something as persistent as a Tamer. Their graceful arcs waste no movement, the refined charge burning gashes in the floor as the youth pursues his target like a dancer, each movement an attack, every attack an attempt to shift the tides of the battle.

    ---To strike at Silver Moonlight.

    But-!



    "...Slow."





    "Guh-!"

    Mastered human movements are surpassed by perfectly inhuman ones. Sidestepping the kick that comes crashing down like a great-sword, the fist that had been going for his solar plexus instead shatters one of his ribs, his attempted dodge -and the graze of his body that came with it- doing absolutely nothing to stop the woman's attack from shattering bones.

    ---No, not just that.

    It sends him flying back, into the walls of a store that can't take much more of this; he lets out a grunt as he falls, the ever-invincible ace of the SDCD not looking quite so in control as always as he leaps back up to his feet, eyes and teeth set in a harsh glare, but...

    It's not just rage.

    ---There's a desperation in the boy's movements that is foreign to his nature.

    He had heard the yelling from down below, felt the summoning of the fog, and the laughter and battle-infused screams that had appeared soon after; such things had been enough to draw the youth from his passive ways to his determined ones, that's right...

    ---When it comes down to it, Amamiya Sho is right about him, to a degree.

    He does not always try his hardest.

    The feeling of seriously losing is a foreign one, his attitude is that of someone who knows they will win, even if they say that's not the case, and so far...

    So far, barring the absurd, this attitude has been the truth, and yet...

    "Come on, you'll have to do better than that, if you don't hurry you'll be too late."

    ---This opponent has him locked down.

    Even with his best efforts, he can neither land a decisive strike or escape from this room; the abilities he had been able to observe from his opponent were limited, some sort of illusion ability that was capable of causing somatic reactions in his body, as well as the manipulation of gravity, and some static interference with his connection to Saya, but-!

    She's barely had to do any of these.

    ---Her figure is that of a silver wind, weaving it's way through all of his violent intent.

    ---No.

    Her figure is like that of the moon, casting a shadow upon which he cannot escape.

    ...Yeah.

    ---It's a foreign feeling.

    Not just the thought that he might lose, but that something bad was happening to a friend, to a comrade, and there was absolutely nothing he could do about it. Ordinarily, there might be some value in finding a bigger "human monster," than himself, but right now, there's absolutely nothing worse-!

    "...Damn it, get out of my way-!"

    A strange bitterness arises in his voice, his glare, and the electricity that storms throughout the room as a representation of his spiritual power.

    Those foreign feelings converge someone deep inside and become fire, and that fire travels through his body until it finds some sort of light, and that light slowly begins to spin, some long lost something creaking to life at an instinctual command, something he had long been afraid of, even if he never knew it's true form, but...

    No.

    He bites the feeling back down.

    ---His fighting style requires calm, no, more than that, more than anything else, his opponent...

    "..."

    ...Is looking to get that exact rise out of him.

    He does not know why, but he knows it can't be good.

    ---Call it an instinct.

    But if he gives her what she wants... It feels like something inside him will change...

    Something important?

    He doesn't know.

    Can't know.

    Won't know till he tries it, but it's frightening all the same, and that feeling...

    That one is also foreign to him.

    ---That being said, the woman is right. Regardless of his personal feelings and fears, if he wants to get outside and rescue his friend, he needs to hurry up and deal with her or find a way to escape.

    Somehow.

    ---But none appear.

    None seem like they can appear, but in that instance-!



    Glass shatters.



    ---A vampiric fog comes roaring into the room through the new opening, no-!

    "A hand?"

    ---A question posed by both fighters.

    A newfound piece of information, a forceful break of their tension filled silence, and-!

    Something that can one can process faster than the other, and in that sense-!

    A perfect distraction.

    An opening-!



    Following his instincts, the young man moves to not only retrieve the arm, but get out the window, change the battlefield from something less oppressive than this tiny room, and-!

    "Tch..."



    Gravity shifts.

    The distant horizon becomes the beacon, and his body falls sideways through the new opening; the connection to Daisuke comes up on this same instance, the sea of grey fog that comes out to greet him a veritable storm, but one that the youth isn't exactly unaccustomed too, but...

    That fall is short-lived.

    Daisuke. Find Lexie, now!

    Speaking through the link even as he comes crashing down into the ground, ground that is...

    Suddenly clear of fog?


    ---Manifestation of Virtual Shift.

    Or at least something like it.

    A pocket reality of sorts.

    Yes...

    Where Shuichi lands a single full moon rests in the sky, and his opponent...

    Lands directly across from him.

    "...I didn't say you could leave just yet."
    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. #1666
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Daisuke
    Tokyo, Aoyama ~ Brick Lane (Smokey Island Bakery)
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Morning

    There is a man, standing above the streets, watching the bloody mist below.

    They are foggy. Like the stories of London, of the time the Ripper roamed and ravaged as he pleased. It's the sort of fog that promises violence and death. A living curse that feeds upon anything that comes through, but most of all loves to devour the supernatural.

    If such a title could be assigned to an inanimate phenomenon, then this fog would undoubtedly be a Vampire.

    Its latest victim is below. Bleeding. Maimed. Taking steps forward, one at a time, on legs punctured all over. Bleeding. Being slowly devoured.

    Walking forward, despite it all.

    It isn't everything he sees. It's not the blood he smells, either. It's not her form, looking weaker than ever, or the fact that she's missing an arm, either.

    No, what sets Daisuke's circuits ablaze is...

    "Ah-!"

    A small cry of pain that the girl below tries to muffle, as she hurriedly cauterizes the wound with a fading flame.



    "...ah. So this is what fury feels like."




    Daisuke vanishes from atop the pole. A vacuum is formed where he had once been.

    It is not an invisibility ability, or teleportation.

    No, rather...

    "Phantasm Step-!"

    He moves faster than the fog can even register, slipping between the particles.

    In an instant, he is behind the girl.

    Daisuke's hand is upraised.

    His eyes are cold, burning with rage.

    In that instant...



    The vacuum inverts. Daisuke vanishes before the fog below has time to seep in.

    A second Phantasm Step, immediately after the first, brings him right back up above the fog, like a diver reaching the bottom of a pool without getting a single drop of water on him.

    Except, this time, it's different. Because now...

    "Hold still."

    Right now, hugged tightly to his chest, Daisuke carries the girl that had been struggling below.

    "We're getting somewhere higher. Then we'll close those wounds."

    The fog does behave like fog in the end, so a building with more than two floors should give them a bit of breathing room. In that time he'll be able to momentarily deactivate his harmonizer, switch to a healing spell line, and fix things. After that, he'll hunt down the person spreading this curse and put that newfound fury to good use.

    A small part of the COMP, a sub-processor that Chris always encouraged him to listen to, considers that this might not actually be Lexie Davis. That she might be a product of the mist, or an enemy wearing his friend's face as an illusion. That consideration is itself responded to with a resounding "so what?"

    The blood is real enough. That's all that matters. The fingers on his good hand tighten as he invites her to join Active Sync.

    He whispers:

    "You're going to be alright."

    ----------------------

    Daisuke's arm
    Tokyo, Aoyama ~ Moonlight Samsara
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Morning

    As space twists, meanwhile, so too does the perspective of Namasaki Shuichi, whose senses Daisuke now shares.

    It's disorienting. Not only to have his body in two places at once, but also to see the world through the eyes of someone else.

    Someone who is, against all odds, being beaten back. The one who he had always heard described as invincible, is losing, and losing handily.

    Now, instead of fog... a Virtual Shift conjures a different battlefield, separating the SDCD Tamer from his allies. He now fights alone, against a mysterious new enemy, under the full moon.

    Quote Originally Posted by ???
    "...I didn't say you could leave just yet."
    Well, not quite alone.

    "According to Article 132 of the Dwelling Rights law, the penalty for illegally entering a residence, dwelling, building, or ship, is punishable by a maximum of 3 years and/or a maximum fine of ¥100,000."

    It shouldn't be able to make noise. Daisuke's discarded arm is just that, an arm. It does not have speakers, or a camera. The only reason he can move it with anything approximating precision is by borrowing Shuichi's eyes. And yet, that same arm has now inverted, clinging to the boy's shoulder in a firm, reassuring grip, while standing ramrod straight and crackling like a Tesla coil.

    "According to Act number 45 of the Penal Code, a person who commits an act of assault or intimidation against a public officer in the performance of public duty shall be punished by imprisonment with or without work for not more than 3 years or a fine of not more than 500,000 yen."

    And yet, it does speak. Or rather, sound is created. Crackling. Bursting. Shaking.

    Electrical currents run across Daisuke's hand. They leap from finger to finger as wires cross and uncross and motors reverberate, and his pure rage bends the noise into something that sounds almost like a robotic imitation of his voice.

    "And according to Spirit Tamer Mokujima Chris of the Supernatural Disasters Countermeasure Division... anyone who hurts my friends will get exactly what's coming to them."



    "Spider's Web - Lightning Lash."

    Crackling threads burst from the tips of Daisuke's fingers, shooting out in all directions... until with a twist he brings them in and they close in on their target - Namasaki Shuichi.

    Arms. Legs. Torso. Each is individually wrapped in strings that do next to nothing to inhibit movement. Instead they buzz and snap angrily, unleashing their electric potential... which he won't have to care about, on account of being able to completely null electrical energy with his Harmonizer. Spider's Web feeds on Daisuke's reiki, lengthening, wrapping, turning from mere 'strings', to 'thread', to a 'weave' of glowing electrical potential that covers all the vital areas and terminates at each extremity.

    Further. Then the strings extend even further, using his body as an anchor, floating freely in the air past his palms. Rather than 'threads' that bind, Spider's Web is now...

    "Use this for now, Shuichi!"

    Both a 'shield' and a 'weapon' to be used with impunity, a crackling whip of electricity that spares no mercy for any who make contact with it.

    Having granted its only spell, Daisuke's hand then looses a set of wires, seeking out the port of Shuichi's COMP to see what's wrong with it. He may not be as skilled at Spirit Smithing as his partner, but something like this shouldn't be impossible to solve with a direct connection.

    "I'll fix whatever's going on with Saya. And I'll take care of Lexie, too. We're here with you, so don't let this loony jerk you around!"

    Wise Up!

    Auto-Skill: Active-Sync
    Spells Set: Phantasm Step, ???, ???, Spider's Web, ???, ???
    Spells Used: ??? (Rank D), Phantasm Step (Rank D), Phantasm Step (Rank D), Spider's Web (Rank C)
    Heat: 9/10

    Active Sync - C
    An Auto-Skill that links Chris and Daisuke (or a willing ally) together, ensuring their statuses do not diverge. Whenever one of them sustains a condition or injury, it will either only be effective if both of them suffer the same condition (for weaker conditions), or its effect will be divided between them, hitting each for half strength (for stronger conditions). Additionally, by syncing their Harmonizer fields together, they can share their senses and achieve a higher degree of battlefield awareness than normal telepathy. Must be activated by touching a willing ally.

    Phantasm Step (self-movement, D)
    Gather Spiritual Power beneath the feet, allowing temporary movement that is close to instant. When combined with high natural speed, it becomes possible to dodge even supersonic strikes. A common spell amongst Spirit Tamers and Demons alike, it is the main reason why higher ranking phenomena are so hard to connect with, as an unhindered opponent will use this spell to ‘easily disrespect’ spells of a much higher ranking…

    Spider’s Web (area attack, E-C)
    A spell meant to target and enclose a large area. Generates several razor-sharp wires formed from electrical potential and lashes out, attaching them to nearby buildings and weaving a web using dexterity and finesse. These wires linger until activated, and attack whatever touches them with a powerful shock. Because they are not physical, they can’t easily be destroyed except by something that demolishes the area. While the damage the wires cause is severe, their true purpose is to limit the enemy’s movements and negate the speed advantage of faster foes.
    Last edited by Bloble; August 2nd, 2021 at 08:03 PM.

  7. #1667
    Imperial Princess Satehi's Avatar
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    Eva Ellet
    Rose Cross Headquarters - Inner Gardens
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Morning




    “H-huh…?”

    Awoken by a less than welcome forehead flick, it takes a moment for Eva’s brain to get to work and begin to process her surroundings.

    The garden was a familiar sight- she’d seen it many times before back in Rome, after all. But what was she doing here…? Last she remembered, she was in the Velvet Room, and shortly before that, she had been on the Sleipnir.

    Evita was familiar too- but they had only recently gotten acquainted, and they weren’t very close. Certainly not so much that she’d ever expected to wake up in her lap.

    And what did she mean by sisterly moment…? They barely knew each other.

    She didn’t understand this sequence of events in the slightest.

    Getting up from Evita’s lap, as the girl had requested (although Eva would have done that anyways- she could hardly imagine what sequence of events would have led her to this situation anyways), Eva gave her arm a pinch.

    Supposedly, that was a trick to help one wake up from dreams- but seeing as neither Evita nor their surroundings showed any sign of disappearing, either it wasn’t as effective as advertised, or…

    … this was real?

    Thinking back on it, Agatha had warned her that something strange would be happening. An event which would jumble up memories of various sorts- something that Eva would be immune to, assuming Agatha’s procedure had worked. Perhaps Evita had some false memories suggesting they were much closer, but seeing as Eva had no recollection at all of this history- there was only one response that was appropriate.

    Looking every bit as confused as she sounded, she spoke.

    “Um… sorry, but… who are you, exactly? How do we know each other…?”

  8. #1668
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Eva Ellet
    Rose Cross Headquarters - Inner Gardens
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Morning


    Quote Originally Posted by Eva
    “Um… sorry, but… who are you, exactly? How do we know each other…?”
    "..."

    For a moment, silence.

    While the older woman's gaze had been that of a slightly annoyed person just before, the moment you sit up and pose your rather-understandable question to her, her expression goes from annoyed to annoyed-but-thoughtful, as if she thought you were trying to tell a joke and she wasn't completely okay with said joke, but...

    When it becomes clear that you're being completely serious...

    "D-Did I flick ya too hard...?"

    ...Worry.

    One hundred percent genuine worry that she had actually harmed you in some way. It's a trait that's somewhat consistent with the Evita you had met earlier, a much more gentle personality hiding beneath her more stand-offish outer persona, but the weird feeling that comes with seeing her look genuinely upset at this interaction makes the scene all the more bizarre...

    "Surely that wasn't enough to cause memory damage, right? It wasn't too hard of a flick... No... That... That wasn't a hidden reset button was it?!"

    She grabs your arms with some force, not enough to hurt you, but enough to keep you from moving around too much, like she thought you were the victim of some sort of traumatic head injury and was trying to keep you still...

    "If it is, the Old Lady is the worst! Who designs something like that?! That's cruelty towards A.I!"

    ---She glares into the distance.

    Specifically, at the Dorms, no...

    At one of the balconies around the Dorms, up on the second floor, where a familiar blue-haired woman was... Doing laundry? Hanging clothes out in the sun to dry? A rather old-fashioned process considering the age, but then again, there was a certain feeling that only came with sunlight-!

    No wait.

    Putting that aside...

    Was that... Leah...?

    It certainly looked like her, but you hadn't seen her in quite awhile but-

    "It's me, Evita Ellet. Your impossibly cool older sister! Teacher at Saint Vivienne! Come on, dig into those memory banks a bit!"

    -Evita was saying some alarming things, and doing some weird weak shake of your body, like she thought shaking you might either wake up your memories or break them further, which meant that said shake was too weak to accomplish anything really...

    Of course...

    "W-was it the ice cream...?"

    Her eyes shoot to the side after a moment, her brain coming up with another possible answer to the particularly bizarre phenomenon that has accosted her this morning, and showing that she was a bit of a strange person herself, or at least...

    One that gets caught up in their own emotions pretty easily.

    "I thought the name "Frozen Memories" was just a fancy title, but maybe...? No... No... Surely not..."

    ---Yep.

    ---This is strange.
    Last edited by Airen; August 3rd, 2021 at 03:54 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?



  9. #1669
    Imperial Princess Satehi's Avatar
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    Eva Ellet
    Rose Cross Headquarters - Inner Gardens
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Morning


    "It's me, Evita Ellet. Your impossibly cool older sister! Teacher at Saint Vivienne! Come on, dig into those memory banks a bit!"


    “Um… I…”

    I don’t know anyone like that, Eva thinks, but a glance at Evita’s expression of genuine concern convinces her not to voice that thought aloud. It was such an uncharacteristic reaction from the girl she’d come to think of as mostly abrasive and unfriendly that she didn’t know how to respond.

    Another glance, and she makes up her mind.




    “Aa-aahh… right, right… it’s coming back now…”

    Of course, that’s a lie. There are no memories for her to recall, since they don’t exist.

    But even if it was a lie, Eva liked to think it wasn’t such a bad thing to do- or at least, that it was a forgivable sin, if such a thing existed.

    After all, even if Eva didn’t know who that was, it didn’t change the fact that Evita believed that she did- and believed that person was her. From her perspective, Eva was the one who had forgotten her own sister… her concern was only natural. Perhaps if Eva’s memories had also been jumbled up, this situation might not be occurring at all- thinking about that, she knew she would have felt bad if she had continued with the truth.

    She didn’t want to cause Evita more undue distress. This lie was partially for Evita’s sake- that much, she thought, was justifiable.

    And…

    … at the same time, it was impossible to deny that the tiny glimpse of what may have been her mother in the dorms had affected her priorities.

    Shaking herself fully awake, she stared again at Evita.

    Her… older sister, apparently. She couldn’t imagine what kind of history Evita thought the two of them had for that to be possible, but hopefully the Eva of her memories wasn’t one too different from how she would normally act- these circumstances were confusing enough without having to pretend to be an entirely different person.

    “Sorry-” She debated on the natural form of address for a moment, before deciding to go with something safe. “…Evita.”

    Looking apologetic (which she was, just not about temporarily forgetting their apparent past), she continued.

    “I must have been tired lately- took me a while to wake up, I guess.”

  10. #1670
    approaching euthymia Katie's Avatar
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    Ayra Lilygrove
    Saint Vivienne ~ Outer Limits
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Afternoon


    Before she became famous, Ayra would have said that owning a car is completely unnecessary. If you lived in Britain, at least. You could walk, or take the bus or train, or, if times were desperate, call a taxi. Of course, now that she’s a Knight, she can’t exactly ride the subway like a normal person anymore, but her fundamental opinion on cars hasn’t changed in the slightest. They were a necessary evil at times because people simply could not respect your personal space if you had your face plastered on the magazines.

    Regardless, she’s not here to rant at Asuka about the value of cars in modern society. She’s here to give her school that speech she has owed them for quite a while and to break into their records to see if her ex is being manipulated. No problem.

    “There’s no reason to apologize… If you’re going to be late, you might as well own it,” Ayra says, compelled to repeat Serena’s endless advice on how to shine in the spotlight. “Regardless of how you feel, it’s best if you project confidence, no matter what.”

    Such are the expectations of being a Knight. To falter is to sow that doubt among the masses, to smile is to bring those same people hope. Even as her precious squires work harder to reach this point, she often isn’t sure if they fully understand what they’re getting into. She didn’t, and she was downright meticulous.

    “Besides,” she says with a sigh, “there are far ruder Knights and squires running about. You have some leeway.”

    -----

    Quote Originally Posted by Primrose
    Hi, hi~
    It's been awhile, but today is a good day!
    Are you okay? Is something wrong?
    From Aster:
    Every day I can’t see you is a nightmare…

    But dramatics aside, darling, I’m doing fine. It gets lonely at times, but both you and I have to pull through…

    Honestly, I’d love to make small talk, but a little loose-lipped bird told me Tsukiko was at Saint Vivienne’s. Care to give any details? It’s hard to explain, but it’s, er, important for someone’s well-being.

    Feel free to delete this message if you can’t tell me anything or don’t wanna get caught.

    With much love,
    Aster

  11. #1671
    The Long-Forgotten Sight Rafflesiac's Avatar
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    Logan Starbright
    SDCD Dorms - Chris' Room
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Late Morning


    "No. Seriously."
    Yamuna’s voice is like steel: cold and hard. Her breathing is still and her gaze is sharp, and yet Logan can feel a quiver in her grip and sweat on her palms. Was this a divine edict he had no right to refuse? He has to protect her, she’s the one being targeted, but can he really help Yamuna fight an enemy he can’t even see?

    "A Sefirot is a problem even for me, you all need to leave, not just Aleta-"
    Logan’s vision turns red. A blazing wind impacts Yamuna, tearing her from his grasp and sweeping her away into a nearby building that collapses with a deafening series of booms, assaulting his ears even as they ache from the sudden force that sends him skidding to the side shaking like a flag scraped through the earth because its foundation gave out before its pole.

    : Two Yamunas!? No, but they felt the same!

    : I didn’t even have time for Adamant Beacon!

    : It’s too late now, let’s-

    A blood-red staff shoots straight through his skull.

    Logan swings Amelia up to
    deny the Bad End
    deflect the incoming strike
    and the staff slithers around her like a striking snake, forcing him to step back and turn his swing into a spin, cracking the enemy’s weapon to the side in the nick of time before instinctually retaliating with a kick to their chest. He repairs his stance to see…

    “What the hell…?”

    : A copy of you!?

    The copy cracks his staff on the once muddy ground, now scorched dry from the godspeed strike that set the sun.

    : Spirit power, observable biometrics, they’re all saying the same wrong thing! Don’t tell me this guy has your spells too!

    : ...At least they didn’t copy me.

    That’s the only silver lining Logan can find. The situation’s collapsed in an instant, and Logan has nearly the worst possible spell selection to remedy it. I should’ve loaded Maeigaon for those puppets, they might be supporting this copy somehow. Or Zio for this, or even just Phantasm Step to help Yamuna! Logan, you imbecile!

    There’s a mountain of questions he has: How much of a copy is this copy? Is he a different person entirely using a spell or device to mirror Logan as he is? Is he a clone? Who on earth would even bother cloning him? Is the copy static or dynamic? Does he have access to all of Logan’s spells or just Eye of the Fates? But there’s one thing that’s certain.

    Logan has no time to waste. He can’t escape, so he has to crush this guy here and now.

    He dashes forward and sweeps Amelia to the right, aiming for the copy’s liver, but his opponent twirls his staff like a bloody saw blade, battering the COMP aside as he retaliates with a barrage of strikes that punch through the air faster than machine gunfire. Logan curses as the strikes split from his predictions like Lachesis herself is trying to ensnare him and throws himself into a leftward roll, golden staff flashing forward to crash against crimson in a festival of sparks as the copy presses the offensive on his downed opponent, who suddenly twists Amelia to shift his weapon into the dirt before springing off the ground into a narrowly dodged tackle. The two turn to face each other, stoic calm to set glare, before surging forward once more in bursts of wind. Weapons crash against each other like trees used as the foils of hurricanes. A powerful downward sweep smashes a piercing blow aimed at a solar plexus into the dirt. A sturdy arm swats a blast of pebbles and dust away before its partner swings out to punch aside a strike with the force of an armor-piercing rocket. A youth slides forward, foot scraping across the dusty earth as his staff shoots forward toward his opponent, who twists into the blow instead of away from it to avoid the natural followup and hastily dodges an elbow launched at their face, feeling the blow scrape over their head as they launch their fist at a back swiftly protected by an adamant weapon. The defender backflips over the attacker, staff swinging down to attack and then forced into a parry as his opponent cracks their weapons together for the umpteenth time, sending it straight into the earth like a meteor triggering a volcanic eruption. He leans forward to strike - and hastily snaps back at the waist as his enemy swings around the end of his staff like a swinging by rocket to launch a brutal heel kick before yanking the weapon out of the earth, sending the grounded combatant scrabbling back in a shower of dirt.

    A dusty Logan lands, eyes trained on the innumerable possibilities of his dirty copy. He dashes in, punches and kicks smashing into sweeps and strikes as the two clash in a thick cloud of dust and spirit power, mind racing as the battle continues. He doesn’t have any spells loaded for Amelia to surprise the enemy like she did Omega, and he doesn’t have the time to determine the precise quirks of his opponent, who’s constantly kept him on his toes. That’s why he immediately engaged his opponent in close combat - to keep him occupied. That’s why he prioritized overhead strikes whenever he could - to keep him grounded. That’s why he disturbed the dust and dirt as much as he could - to muddy the battlefield.

    All to make a decisive opening!

    “CHRIS! NOW!” yells Logan. It’s an empty bluff. With any luck she’s fled to regroup with Aleta and Eve, or found a way to deal with the puppets or support Yamuna. She’s not particularly fond of him, after all. But his copy wouldn’t know that. She’s a Tamer of the SDCD, known for helping their allies. Take that possible enemy to account for, add it to the choking dust and irksomely similar spirit power clogging your senses, multiply it by my Auto-Skill, and let’s see if your copy of my Eye of the Fates lets you dodge this!





    Wise Up!
    Auto-Skill: Funhouse Mirror
    Spells Set: ???, Dia line, Vajra, ???, ???, Eye of the Fates
    Spells Used: Eye of the Fates, Vajra
    Heat: 9/9

    Funhouse Mirror - Creates a visual interference Bounded Field that reverses the opponent’s vision around the X-axis. A tricky auto skill favored by close-range fighters and Spirit Tamers who rely on catching opponents off guard; even if the opponent realizes its effect, their ingrained instincts will act against them, creating further openings and delaying their reactions.
    Rank: D
    Quote Originally Posted by Arashi_Leonhart View Post
    canon finish apo vol 3

  12. #1672
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Mokujima Chris
    SDCD Base - Front Entrance
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Late Morning

    As the situation deteriorates around her, Mokujima Chris calmly continues to type.

    Whether she is perturbed by the disappearance of humanity's greatest ally. Whether the vision of the Sefirot shakes her heart. Whether the cursed, giggling puppets annoy her in the slightest. Whether she is wary of the doppelganger of Logan that appeared. Whether she believes the warning and insults crawling across her screen. It is impossible to tell whether she feels anything at all; her face is a marble statue and her eyes are hidden and her body language betrays nothing. It is as if the more the world splinters and the worse everything gets, the more impenetrable she becomes.

    Chris' actual thoughts can only be divined by the click-clack of fingers flying across keys as she reads and responds so quickly that the metal and plastic of the machine can't keep up.

    > Tantei_Robo: Save the GG for after the game is over. Unlike you I don't surrender at 20 when things don't go my way.
    > Tantei_Robo: As for thinking I can't fight in this state. You're clearly better at hiding than you are observing. Even a pawn can checkmate a king.


    The click-clack is irate today.

    The stoic Spirit Tamer picks apart the few words on the screen and looks past them, into the mind that gave birth to those ideas. So the gradient girl has switched tactics, has she? From confinement and manipulation to reluctant instructions. A new angle, but not a fresh one. Of the theories Chris has been toying with, several are summarily severed and others are swiftly strengthened. None are flattering. Deception is still possible, but unlikely at this point. She'd hoped she could just go on assuming this mysterious girl is an enemy, but now she has to entertain a much worse idea: that she's dealing with an incompetent ally. A tsunbaka.

    If that's the case... she'll have to get drastic.

    > Tantei_Robo: Back-seating and salty advice now that you're out of hiding spots won't get you out of this mess. Maybe if you'd opened with that. Too little too late now. Actions speak louder than words, and your credibility tanked the moment you and your sister started fucking with people's heads.
    > Tantei_Robo: Maybe it's some grand goal that lets you think the small stuff doesn't matter. Maybe you believe it's okay since you're helping. Or maybe you're programmed to think that way. But it matters. It always matters. Anyone who thinks it doesn't is my enemy.

    Chris recalls Daisuke's return from guarding the ship that day. His sleepy expression and fuzzy memories. She recalls being dragged from her room by a barely-lucid android and watching the door to the simulator shut behind her. The claustrophobia and shock and terror. She recalls seeing Yamuna's pained expression. Her weak smile. Mokujima Chris recalls and remembers why she is angry. She may be misled or make mistakes, but she never forgets the shadows cast by the light. She never forgets what matters, even if others would call it meaningless and trample over it without a second thought.

    Muscles in her neck and mouth tighten as teeth grind against each other. Chris closes her eyes a moment, pushes the feeling back, and remembers who she is. Then she decides.

    The spider's web will send a single string down into hell. It'll be the sinner's job to climb it or fall.

    > Tantei_Robo: Now. Try again. No beating around the bush this time. You should be able to solve this, Ms. AI. Unless that pedigree of yours is just for show. Or just admit you don't care. Make it easy for me.

    "Logan," Chris begins to say, calmly. "The doors are reinforced. Retreat into my room. I'll distract the-."

    A storm of steel cuts short her quiet voice.

    Staff clashes against staff. Twin Logans both leap into the fray simultaneously, raising weapons against each other like a cat clawing itself in the mirror.

    Sweep. Jump. Duck. Thrust. Parry. Smash. A dervish dance of close combat erupts, raising dust and drowning out everything else in the surroundings, even the damnable giggling of the dolled up audience.

    Chris has to pause for a moment. Because even she, who prides herself on staying focused and sees battle only as a means to an end, is taken aback. She can't help but admire the beauty of the sudden, violent clash. The near-identical pair move in a twisted synchronicity and the result is more like a pair of dancers on stage than the desperate, one-sided battles she is used to. Killing blows are evaded or parried at the last second, without even glancing at them, as if both men can see into the future and are selecting the path that evades death by the slimmest possible margin. The result is one that has her heart in her throat, for a single wrong move by either of them could lead to it ending in an instant.

    Until it does end. Not with a whimper of a splat, but with a cry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Logan Starbright
    “CHRIS! NOW!”
    She moves.

    The cry, even if it is clearly a bluff from a man who knows she has no combat capabilities, is enough to get the gears moving again. And once they move...

    Mokujima Chris extends her arm like a machine, with no hesitation.



    The crackle of an electrically charged blow blasts away the dust as Logan launches the attack he had painstakingly set up throughout the life-or-death exchange.

    And behind it...



    "Understood. I'll secure your exit."

    A white-hot projectile flies past Logan, using the light from his spell as a cover to attack his doppelganger from the blind spot he created.

    Chris' arm is upraised, the sleeve around it burnt away by the heat. An elegant miniature crossbow is now visible, strapped to her wrist, a weapon of her creation firing bolts she hand-crafted herself, burning with the flames of Agi. One that she has been wearing this entire time, just so that it could be used the moment she was underestimated.

    Even when a pawn can't checkmate a king, it can always tip the scales in a battle between knights.

    "Don't stay too long."

    Mokujima Chris leaps back after firing, towards the door Yamuna made.

    "Lock Primus," she calls out as one hand expertly balances the computer and the other fishes around in her pocket. There is a small whine heard from the other side of the door as the voice-recognition system hears a command to shut itself off from the main power supply. All lights and machines fall silent, only possible to restore by digging through the wires in the wall and resetting the breaker manually. While the command is not something she ever planned on using in a battle (it was more meant as an emergency shut-off should someone walk in at a sensitive time), the necessity of preventing any theoretical doppelganger from accessing her files is too pressing to toss aside.

    As she is halfway through the door, Chris has already withdrawn something from her pocket. Something long and sharp. She flips it in her fingers... and slots it into the crossbow where it belongs, a bolt ready to fire the moment it spies a target.

    Will the intruder linger? Or is its goal one of the SDCD mainframe computers? If it's a doppelganger of her (not that she believes the gradient girl or anything), then - no, it's impossible to tell without understanding its goal. But it certainly wouldn't hurt a civilian... unless its mind were erased and replaced with something lacking entirely in morals. Perhaps the infiltrator is the civilian herself, but there is no ethical way to tell, so she'll just have to accept the possibility with her body as collateral.

    "Aleta, the ceiling!"

    Mokujima Chris runs through, hoping she is prepared for the worst.

    On the screen of the laptop balanced on Chris' other hand, the cursor blinks.

    Wise up!
    -Wrist Crossbow (Name Pending)-
    A wrist-mounted crossbow made from basic materials, made to fire specially crafted bolts. Being a somewhat mundane weapon itself due to lacking a potent spiritual core of it's own, the crossbow itself is only capable of supernatural interference through use of enchanted ammo.
    Used Agi Bolt x1: Basic elemental ammo. Equivalent to a D-Rank Agi Spell.
    Last edited by Bloble; August 5th, 2021 at 11:28 PM.

  13. #1673
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Eva Ellet
    Rose Cross Headquarters - Inner Gardens
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Morning


    ---For now, a little white lie.

    While the sheer depths of this particular illusion seem immense, especially if they were able to spawn a sibling for you out of what seemed entirely out of nowhere, the expression on Evita's face ultimately proves too much for you to overcome. It feels cruel to continue to deny whatever connection she seems convinced that you have, so you cautiously poke at being the "Eva" she clearly thinks you are, hoping that the you she knows isn't that different from the you that you actually are, and...

    "...Guess that makes sense."

    ...Ultimately, while she does stare at you for a bit longer in mild worry, the young woman ultimately chooses to believe you; or at least, she chooses to make it seem like she does... She doesn't react badly to being called by her name, so there don't seem to be any nicknames or titles at play between the two of you, but...

    "But just to make sure, we should go see the Old Lady I guess."

    ...Ultimately, she does maintain one embarrassing degree of contact, namely...

    ---She doesn't let go of your hand as she marches into the distance, like an older sibling who had been instructed to not allow a younger one to go running around in the street, or a parent trying not to lose their kid in a grocery store-!

    You are not a child, so it's a bit embarrassing, but at the same time the casual ease with which she performs the act implies that it's not something particularly strange between the two of you, or maybe it was, and this was just the test of a paranoid older sibling?

    It's impossible to tell, yes, impossible to tell, so-!

    Perhaps you get caught in the fog of indecision?

    Perhaps Evita simply moves too fast for you to pry her off of you?

    Either way, your journey through the gardens is short and uneventful, and the person Evita was dragging you to see (namely, Leah, if her casual use of Old Lady was to be believed) has seemingly chosen to make her way to the both of you as well, after all...



    "...Holding hands huh? Cute."

    ...You run into her in the halls on the way to the dorms.

    Her voice is refined as always, hands casually in the pockets of a labcoat and eyes lit up with a surprising warmth; considering Leah Ellet was someone that always consciously chose how she would appear to others, her normal expressions are an impossible to define line, a forced neutrality that makes it difficult even for those with training to seek out how she actually feels about anything, but right now...

    That warm smile seems real, and consequently...

    Rather strange... How long had it been, since you had seen it last...?

    "Hand-holding? No no, this is necessary leadership."

    Evita frowns.

    "She had a bit of amnesia a bit ago, a slow start up according to her... You didn't... Install some reset button on her forehead, did you...?"

    And in response...

    "...No? Why would I do that?"

    Leah just blinks.

    Steps forward, then...

    Puts her hand on your forehead, as if searching for a fever.

    "You okay? Is Evita just being an overly paranoid sister again?"

    She sounds vaguely amused, although the light in her eyes...

    It's very bright, bright and full of thoughts.

    "...Wait, did she do the forehead flick thing to you again? Is that what this is about...?"

    Evita rubs the back of her head nervously...
    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. #1674
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Blaise Pendragon
    Aoyama, Soba Shop -Gen-
    11/16/2026
    Night, Clear Skies


    "No trouble, no trouble at all!"

    ---Okabe-baasan was a small but rare figure, at least when it came to people inside the confines of your own life. While the spread of magi-technology had led to a certain boom in the medical industry as well (and consequently, a boom when it came to people clinging to their youths) this particular old woman, one who had reigned over this bathhouse for as long as you could remember, is one of the few in your life that seem to have foregone such things...

    "The biker gangs haven't come back since the last time you were here, I think you scared them good!"

    She chuckles.

    ---Of course you did, trouble would not be allowed to approach this woman's place of business.

    She's cheery and energetic (at least as far as a woman her age can be cheerful and energetic, and while you sometimes get the vibe that she just glides across the floor rather than walks, most evidence that this particular person might actually be a ghost has been filed away as relatively unimportant, after all...

    As one who embraces her age, her status is close to sacred, still-!

    "The hell...?"

    Eyes wide, Tsuki stares at the scene in actual confusion; she too is an 'older' existence (albeit not nearly to the same degree) and yet the sheer respect being exuded from your form is one that she's actually never seen, no...

    It's almost like watching a twelve year old greet their grandmother-! Of course, her surprise is not allowed to be long-lasting, seeing as how Anima comes to life shortly afterwards (why is she always so weird?) and casually (?) walks into the vampire, which causes a very brief struggle that the two strive to not make look like a struggle, each with an arm around the other's shoulder in a mock friendly sort of way even as muscles strain beneath their clothes, a sign of each trying to do... something... to the other one, but-!

    It's mostly self-contained, if this had happened anywhere else, you were pretty sure one of them would have choke-slammed the other one and then things would escalate from there, but then again...

    "Hypnotize me, will you!"

    "Yeah and next time I'll break your arm, you damn pervert-!"

    "Try it-! I dare you-!"

    "Not denying the pervert factor, huh?!"


    Those two almost seemed to get along in a weird way...?

    Making threats without falling into actual hostility...

    Isamu doesn't notice, as he too seems to have taken on a much younger demeanor, respectfully bowing to the older woman when she turns her attention his way. A feat that the two struggling women copy shortly afterwards, albeit, while still connected at the shoulder in their pseudo-grapple...

    "But friends huh?"

    The old woman doesn't seem to mind their strange behavior, or if she does, she doesn't make particular note of it.

    "They seem lively! That's good! A boy your age needs lively friends, help burn through some of that endless energy of yours!"

    She chuckles in a good natured way.

    "Although... The young woman in the red sweater looks a little familiar..."

    The old woman makes a thinking noise, then...

    "Curious..."
    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. #1675
    Beware the Finnish Ringlets Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Blaise Pendragon
    Obake-Baasan's Bathhouse
    11/16/2026
    Night, Clear Skies

    "Y-yeah... they're lively alright..."

    Blaise's answer came out somewhat flatly as he stared at the struggling duo who were in the middle of a fight-that-most-certainly-wasn't-a-fight, trying and failing to fool anyone of their true intentions. In all honesty, he should have seen this coming, but at the same time... something about the sight made Blaise feel rather satisfied as well. Tsukki needed someone to break her usual stride, keep her on her toes - otherwise she'd fall into that image she liked to project. That of the lazy, nonchalant "been-there-done-it" person who would react to everything with a shrug. In other words, it was good that someone was capable of breaking her out of her shell a little bit.

    ... And it was also good that someone was there to humour Anima and play with her.

    As exasperated as Blaise was with the woman/man/thing, he also pitied her, just a little. Now there was someone who needed the attention or she'd shrivel up and die like a particularly lonely rabbit.

    "And familiar, huh? Hmm, could be... I think she's been around the block," Blaise continued, glancing at the old woman as he walked over to pick up his towel. "You might have seen her back then... whenever that was. Still, whatever she was like back then, at least now she's well-behaved."

    He stared at the scene unfolding before his very eyes.

    "... She usually is, that is."

    Grunting a bit in annoyance, Blaise took a step forward and approached the two supernatural beings who were still in the middle of their little conflict. At the same time, he started wringing his towel with his hand, rotating it from both ends so that in the end it became the most fearsome weapon of school shower-and-locker rooms, known through the ages as the source of much pain and embarrassment.

    A towel whip --- divine butt-smacker.

    "Alright you two, break it up. No horseplay at the baths. Just get your locker keys so we can go in," Blaise warned them, frowning at both Tsukiko and Anima. "Else I'll have to use this... and believe me, I'm not afraid to do so."

    It was not an empty threat.

  16. #1676
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Blaise Pendragon
    Obake-Baasan's Bathhouse
    11/16/2026
    Night, Clear Skies


    "A bluff is a bluff, and nothing more!"

    ---Cries out the one-eyed woman.

    Whereas Tsuki seems to put at least mild stock into your towel-based threat, crimson eyes glancing at the instrument in thought, as if pondering whether or not you actually had the guts to use it, Anima seems entirely convinced that this is not the case.

    "He doesn't have it in him!"

    She says, having taken advantage of the vampire's momentary lapse in concentration to get one arm around her neck; an event that causes Tsukiko to frown vividly as she loses dominance in the struggle...

    "Maybe if we were guys he might be able to, but it's fine blockhead, ignore him-! Dance with me~"

    Perhaps the vampire is a bit too easily goaded on? As it seems this line, combined with something being whispered into her ears, is enough to restart the rough-housing in earnest, whatever subtle behaviors they had been trying to employ quickly being lost in their slowly escalating struggle, a struggle that the old woman still doesn't seem to mind, although...

    "Around the block..."

    Her gaze going over to some of the photos on the wall behind the desk, she seems to think about it for a bit, seemingly finding this strange familiarity somewhat intriguing, enough that she seemingly wants to put it to rest, then...

    "Ah, that's right. A girl who looked just like her used to come here with your sister all the time!"

    ...An answer seems to strike her like a sudden lightning bolt...

    Or perhaps, the photograph on the wall (of Noriko and a girl that did look an awful lot like a disgruntled Tsukiko posing with the older woman in what seemed like some opening photo) provided an answer of sorts for her?

    "Very close, very close, a student mentor sort of thing? Ah the old days, before everything became digital-!"

    She cackles.

    "Although bringing books into the baths isn't much better I suppose!"

    Meanwhile, Isamu, the clearly sanest person in the room (and one who was quickly becoming the sanest in all situation this group found themselves in) slowly stepped away from the conflict between supernatural beings, nodded at you once, before clapping you on the shoulder, as if to say 'I'll be going on ahead,' before he...

    Grabbed his locker key and retreated further inside the building...

    "..."

    Perhaps he was simply weak to women?
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  17. #1677
    Beware the Finnish Ringlets Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Blaise Pendragon
    Obake-Baasan's Bathhouse
    11/16/2026
    Night, Clear Skies

    "Did she now...?"

    Well, that was certainly a strange revelation.

    So Tsukiko, his Nee-san and some third woman had been here at the bathhouse's opening? Just... just how many years ago was that? Well, perhaps best not to think about it. Yes, definitely best to leave such thoughts in peace. This evening was supposed to be one of rest and relaxation - too much had already happened for even more problems to get thrown into the mix.

    Though, to see Tsukiko there with Noriko...

    ... It did feel a bit strange.

    Especially since Blaise's sister hadn't recognized her earlier.

    Just what had happened back then...?

    "Maybe I'll ask my nee-san about it."

    --- Still, leave that for later.

    The weapon had been readied, and the culprits were still continuing with their crimes despite ample warnings given. Thus, there was only one thing left to do. Blaise wasn't exactly fond of fighting women, hell, he didn't even like rough-housing with them. Not because he felt some misguided idea that they wouldn't be able to kick his ass if needed (his own sister had taught him to the contrary long ago), but because he simply didn't see it as a right thing to do. He would fight if needed, but if the choice were up to him, he would much rather stay his hand. Because to attack a woman would be unmanly of him, a breach of the teachings and code he had tried to model his life after. A showcase of unwanton use of his might. After all, Blaise never wanted to become someone who would not hesitate to strike the fairer sex. Such a man was not man in the least.

    But every situation was unique, and there were exceptions to every rule.

    Such as right now.

    When these two idiots were refusing to calm down, and instead doubled-down.

    ---- And unlike for women, Blaise had no mercy for idiots.

    "---[ Heat Riser ]---"

    A sudden surge of power.

    Blaise's eyes flashed golden, and locked onto the two - or four - targets presented to him. The behinds of the two rough-housing doofuses who didn't know well enough to stop.

    And finally, he raised his weapon.

    "--- Remember. You asked for it."

    ... Before swinging it forward in a series of coordinated strikes, letting the towel-whip dance it's dance of punishment on the buttocks of the two girls...!

  18. #1678
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Logan Starbright
    SDCD Dorms - Chris' Room
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Late Morning


    ---A beautiful blow amidst the heart of a chaotic storm.

    While the world certainly seems to be going crazy around you, with more and more enemies appearing at what seems like completely random intervals, there is a certain sense of determination that sets the heart aflame and keeps you going forward in spite of that; if an obstacle appears it simply must be defeated, if the situation changes, then simply find a way to deal with it-!

    Giving up is never an option.

    Perhaps it's a sense of maturity, after all, what one should always be focused on is not whether or not something is impossible, but merely how you will find your way to accomplishing that task in spite of it's impossibility, in other words-!

    ---Defeat right here, right now.

    While the clone (?) of Logan Starbright has kept up beautifully until now, the reality of his situation is that he has seemingly chosen to stand against you by himself; while not exactly unheard of for Rothschild Tamers, there is a certain sort of power in teamwork that cannot be denied, even the illusion of teamwork is a power that can be employed in some scenarios to devastating effect, and-!

    ---Muddy ground.

    ---A smoke filled battlefield.

    ---A visual interference field.

    ---An extra opponent, one who, shockingly enough, does choose to jump in at the end before charging backwards to deal with a hypothetical opponent of her own.

    It's a perfect storm of attacks that leaves seemingly no room to dodge; no matter how good his copy of your Eye of the Fates might be, that particular program had it's limits, and the two attacks that appear in his blind spots with remarkable synchronicity to oppose him are a manifestation of that limit. It's not a fusion spell by any means, but simple timing in a battle can decide the difference between life and death, and-!



    ---A direct hit.

    Logan (?) Status Decrease!

    Or at least, that is the future you believe you see behind the clouds of smoke and dust your own actions had thrown into the air; certainly it's a tactic that inhibits Eye of the Fates to a degree, but because of that, you have also hindered your own vision for a moment, but...

    That doesn't matter.

    Having successfully pushed your opponent into a corner, you can't see how he would have found a way out; even if he had used Phantasm Step to evade your Vajra, you're sure the movements would have been read by your ally...

    No.

    Not just that, you would have seen him escape the smoke cloud, but nothing of the sort occurred, so you are confident that at least one of your strikes landed... But it's only after that, as you come to that conclusion, that a certain other thought strikes you, namely-



    -in going through all the motions to put your opponent into a perilous position...

    You yourself hadn't noticed the oddities of the World around you, no, the form of the Auto-Skill that you finally pick up on is not one that was present when your 'clone' first appeared, but now you can see it.

    Now you can feel it.

    Like your attack had cracked something open-!

    ---A power different from that granted by Amelia, something slightly different from a plume, that had only become apparent after your opponent had seemingly suffered a decisive blow at your hands. It's a power similar to the crystals back in the lobby, a pulsing power that quickly becomes a solidified dome around the battlefield, not quite a Virtual Shift, but a step below complete creation of a Data World and-!



    From the smoke, emerges a single crimson beam, an E-rank lance of spiritual power.

    Fired from the depths of your own trap, you nevertheless batter it aside instinctively, before-



    -that same lance tears through your leg from behind, as if it had ricocheted off the walls, and then-!



    They're all over you.

    You don't realize that's exactly what's happened until they're all over you.

    Six shots fired in rapid succession, a strategy that is foreign to the 'you' that you know, and yet one that 'yourself' is employing without a single ounce of remorse; yes, emerging from the smoke with a strange crystalline substance growing over his staff (was it the core of his weapon instead of a proper plume?) and what seem like wounds on his body, but-!

    You don't have too much time to think about it.

    ---Not when attacks are raining in on you from six different angles all at once, the many 'lances' ricocheting off the walls and yet acting for all the world as if they were aiming at you, like malevolent spears of never-ending light, each ricochet a fresh shot at some point of your body or another...

    And perhaps they are?

    But...

    Under this rain of bizarre attacks, if there's one thing that's become clear...

    It's that this entity isn't quite as simple as it had first appeared-!

    Something that becomes even more clear, when six becomes twelve-!

    Logan (?)


    ??? Skill

    -??? Invader-

    Allows one to perfectly mask their spiritual signature as that of another, or hide spiritual abnormalities that may exist within the self through use of ???, as long as a previous sample of that individual's power has been collected in some way. Although this ability is seemingly perfect, to the point where even the World cannot intervene, it seems that attacks made directly against the one employing this power can damage the illusion, revealing some aspects of the truth [further information is unknown].

    Auto Skill (?)

    -Providence - Crystalline Samara-
    Rank: C
    A Cage-Type Bounded Field that forms a circular barrier around the battlefield, twenty meters in every direction; when a spell of D-rank or lower cast by the user strikes the walls of this barrier it restores some of it's energy and ricochets, enabling the User to catch an opponent off-guard, or simply wall them in with seemingly endless attacks.


    Spells


    -108 Defilement-
    Rank: E
    Element: Spirit

    Lance of spiritual power, designed to be directly used in combination with "Providence - Crystalline Samsara," fire beams of spiritual power out of Amelia (Providence), burning holes through a target in a manner similar to that of a thermal laser. While ordinarily rather weak and unassuming, when utilized alongside a certain auto skill, these beams gather energy from their collision with the walls, eventually splitting into more and more attacks without input from the caster being necessary.
    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. #1679
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Hyakka Onjouji
    Dark Side of the Moon
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Early Morning (?)


    "Greetings."

    The priest’s voice echoes in the city of still crystals. His auburn eyes stare up at the girl in the sky, the universe at her back. The unknown man had located her in an instant, calmly, without concern or even acting out of line, as though the arrival of another in a place so seemingly lifeless was predetermined in his mind.

    "How rare to find another traveler! Are you lost, little one?"

    Or perhaps the tall man was simply not the sort to care.

    Hyakka’s eyes, like ruby-colored orbs of glass, stared down at him.

    The girl tilted her head.

    “… Yes, and no…”

    And answered truthfully.

    In the face of one empty of malice, who radiated that dim, white light beneath his soul… she dropped her guard for long enough to respond equally as casually. Catching her mistake, the wings of obsidian at her back vibrated, lifting her up again.

    She shook her head side to side, then stared back down at the man.

    “Aoyama Gakuen Occult Club, hero-in-training, Hyakka Onjouji. I am investigating the mysterious crystallization of the inhabitants of the Dark Side of the Moon! Which means that I am not lost, even though it is by accident that I came to be here!” She announced herself, her purpose, and the reason that she occupied the sky above the priest. The girl’s thin finger pointed down at the lunar surface. “Now, your turn!”

    And demanded an equal introduction.

    “You are suspicious! Mysterious! You have the aura of a bad guy who is secretly a good guy! And of a good guy who is secretly a bad guy! But maybe you are a good guy who is easily mistaken for a bad guy!” Her thoughts spilled from her lips without any filter. “Not only that, but you are the only unafflicted person I can find! That makes you… very, double suspicious!”

    The wings which hovered along her spine vibrated, as if joining her in the outburst of mild accusations. A dull hum echoed from the featherless wings, the girl with her colorless-white hair which seamlessly merged into her white vest, just as her black pants seemed to twist and become one with the universe behind her.

    “So then, what is your name, are you a villain, and are you lost as well?”

    The tiny girl posed those three questions to the priest.

    “…”

    All the while her AI partner held its digital tongue, seemingly content with letting Hyakka operate in her childish way, so long as it got her to the right destination. Though a small sigh could perhaps be heard on the lunar surface, one as cold as the dark of space. One which the small girl did not take note of as she stared down at the priest.


  20. #1680
    Taiga's knight Tobias's Avatar
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    Raz Stone
    Aoyama, Tokyo ~ Streets
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Noon


    Heh...


    The song of battle flowing through the battlefield changed slightly. There was nothing strange about that of course. While normally Raz would need the DTG or the stage to utilize songcraft, such was absolutely unnecessary now. The world sang behind him. That was in fact the nature of the World Wide Concert in the first place.

    "I will happily dance for your benefit, Matador...but this is not a duel of the usual sort. My song does not turn me into a hero."

    "...No..." the knight of song said, locking eyes simultaneously with every single person, near or far, present, or ethereally viewing in the singing silence of their hearts..." I create a world of infinite heroes!"

    The Kingdom's bard smiled bravely, bright teeth flashing. "Tasking me to survive? I almost want to congratulate you on a high difficulty challenge worthy of your contract. I am unused to trying to do so! And even for you, I refuse to guarantee my life will continue.... but at the very least, I will show you a gallant death worth seeing!"

    It was hard to tell if Matador had been mocking or simply pragmatic with his challenge. It would be hard for Raz to keep his promises of new worlds of endless battle if he died after all, though the aiien behemoth that manifested itself likely reinforced his point about duels against otherworldly foes. On the other hand Raz was not especially known for fighting defensively or making major attempts at keeping himself alive. Quite the opposite.

    One of the reasons he had been willing to extend the offer in the first place had to do with that in fact. If being strong was the only prerequisite for such a contract, Raz would have long ago formed the summoner's bond. Raz had fought many demons before. Even being elegant and charismatic was not sufficient, there were many fairy kin around Avalon who had both charisma and power. No, Raz simply couldn't accept as a familiar and partner one who he himself did not have a connection with, thus sharply reducing the pool of eligible spirits.

    But...

    But as the song of silvery fire and starlight had proved, on a day where his reiki had opened to new possibility...Raz often Danced with Death! In a very real sense, he was only trying now to seduce death, because death had long ago charmed him!

    As the stage, swirling with an aurora climbed higher into the air, cracking with barely contained power, The swirling purple, green, and red corusca threw into sharp relief mistake Dejah had once made.

    Raz was afraid to die. Endless silence was not a pleasant thought.

    But...he was not terrified at the thought. What he could not accept was a death not worth remembering, being forgotten, vanishing like a poorly crafted tune, never worth singing.

    After all...The most memorable of songs was the requiem!

    Yes, he charged right into the teeth of danger....but

    He didn't charge alone...!

    The town of Aoyoma possessed a most fascinating ability. It did not defend itself with valiant knights, like the Golden city, nor did it possess ancient weapons of war, or secret magics, it bor no holy protection of angels. No...instead, it lived, thrived, flourished in a dangerous world through a unique talent, rarely seen even in a world filled with wonders. And it was something Raz was excited to feel surging, to get a chance to witness.

    ...Why wouldn't he...for the unique Skill possessed by the town was almost identical to his greatest ability....

    Wishing Star!

    The Kingdom's Bard bound together the collective will of those who resisted Apathy and desired the ability and power to forge their own path, and in a similar fashion, the inhabitants of the brave city had learned to forge into one their own endless courage, their bullheaded self reliance and belligerent desire to survive come what may. This single sense of unified purpose called from the collective sea a weapon and hero that was quite literally the iron will of the group made collective.

    Perhaps Raz's Wishing star was more wide ranging, certainly as a manifestation began by one individual it was more rare, unique to knights and global heroes, but the temporary persona that willed itself into furious motion was no less impressive or admirable for it. Arguably the knight of song had done his job by freeing the town from shadows of bondage and giving it the chance to fight on its own behalf.

    "...Maybe....but I still get the first hit!"

    Now that he was rearmed with the Song of Battle, his natural regeneration had kicked into gear. He had taken a few blows in the fight with Ibaraki, but such closed up quickly through shear song fortified willpower, returning him to fighting trim. Swirling with myriad magics of enhancement, he targeted the thin binding strip in the middle of the Sefirot.

    He didn't know how he knew that name. But somehow, an unearthly worldly wail that seemed almost directly in conflict with his own World Wide Concert seemed to howl that name over and over.

    Lacking any other target's, it didn't have a recognizable head, it seemed possible that damaging the central core might be the best way to start breaking down the alien monstrosity.

    ...But before he arrived, There was a sudden shine in the air. It wasn't a weapon, rather it was a sudden focusing of the sun's light, a lens flair that glimmered off a skyscraper sized magnifying glass that bathed even the form of the monstrosity in a wash of darkness defying light, just for a single moment.

    Wait kid, you see those large orbs? Aim for those!

    What? Why, are those weak spots?

    Can't say for sure flatfoot, but my gut tells me those are where to swing.

    If you are tracking this thing, isn't that girl gonna get away?

    Listen Gumshoe, I can keep an eye on your new skirt, or I can try and get a read on the giant alien what looks to be packing a massive Ruscoe and will likely destroy this city and maybe the entire world if not stopped....Say, any preference between those two things?

    ...Right, so the orbs then?

    The orbs.

    When the black haired knight approached the orb on the bottom right, he twisted the entirety of the stage in the air to allow it to pass by, adding the weight of its motion to the draw of Lied Ordus.

    The knights of old had learned to joust for a simple reason. It wasn't just that horses were a method of transport, thought it was quite useful for moving a massively armored man warrior quickly.

    But the true danger of a knight was in the charge, the perfectly timed swing of the sword or levy of the lance that added the weight of a war steed behind his skilled fighter's own. Traditionally such a maneuver was difficult to do with the Hermes' stage due to the size of it, despite the flying vehicles surprising alacrity.

    But against a flying enemy, particularly one of great size, it could be used to its full potential as a warmount.



    Ordinarily, it was unlikely that the golden light of the Song of Sunrise would mean much to the alien being, undoubtedly bound by its own rules. Even with Nukitsuke, which used the flash of light to its full potential, the burst of sun was not normally something that would be effective.

    But while empowered by the World Wide Concert, which weakened Sefirot entities, particularly if those orbs were some sort of sensory organ...?

    Well, the results might be something worth seeing!

    Actions taken

    Song of battle activated, 2 heat
    DTG Flourish, Analyze target: Sefirot, 2 heat
    Heat used, 8:10 ---> Vented! 0:10

    Physical skill used: Nukitsuke

    Lied Ordus charges 4 ---> 3
    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.

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