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Thread: Spirit Pulse : Mugen No Sekai [IC]

  1. #901
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Ludwig Karlfeldt
    Depths of a Dream, Deeper Still
    ??? - Night


    "...?"

    ---It's an attack so brazen that even the Hollow God, the Fenris Wolf, is almost caught by surprise. The appearance of the massive gradient vortex had certainly been something worth noting, but when the Divine Wolf is forced to prioritize between a human it does not recognize, and Adala Lagerkvist, the most powerful scion of the Lagerkvist Family, descendant of the First Knight of Yamuna, and the person that had already defeated it once in the past, the choice in it's priorities is clear, even so...

    Instinctively, it had decided to attack you anyway.

    It is not something driven by logic, but rather an instinctive understanding of 'danger,' the flare of a sixth sense that forces it to acknowledge the 'fly' that had been beneath it's notice might be able to pack a bit more of a punch than it had first assumed, and thus it had unleashed it's reiki-tinged breath, an internal gale that was so dense, so drenched in the spiritual power of the entity, that it had manifested as a 'beam' of azure fire, a deadly winter chill that wouldn't lose even to the white-hot flames of a dragon, but...


    With newfound speed, you blitz to the side of your opponent as it lets the beam fly, as if to say that it was far too slow to reach you with something that straightforward, however-

    "...?!"

    -that beam moves to trace your movements, as if to mock those efforts, however beyond the wolf's expectations they may have been-!

    Yes.

    Do not make light of this entity. As the one destined to slay the strongest of the Norse Gods, the act of catching an opponent moving at godspeed is not an insurmountable challenge; it's own speed and senses are refined to an absurd degree, a blending of all six senses into an whole that is close to omnipotent... Even if the eyes fail to read your movements, it can still smell you, it can still hear your heartbeat and footsteps, taste the approaching reiki on the wind, and feel a strong force encroaching on it's skin, yes...

    Not once have you lost it.

    From the very moment it had dragged you in here, it had known exactly where you were at all times, now -when you are a practical beacon of magical energy- that truth is no different-!

    Thus...

    You are embraced by the winter's chill.

    To be frank, it swallows you completely whole...

    For Ludwig Karlfeldt, this situation would normally be a critical one; all beings have some element that is antithetical to their own, and thus, an element that can easily wound you no matter what innate defenses you possess... This freezing wind would easily be enough to override your harmonizer and freeze you whole, a state that is not necessarily fatal for a Tamer, but one that could certainly lead to a decisive blow appearing from the wolf, however...

    This is not a normal situation...

    "...?!"

    Who is more surprised? You or Fenrir?

    Naturally, the answer is Fenrir... Although it takes some effort for you to not tense up as the wave of magical energy rolls over you, tears at your body in it's entirety like a storm of razors, but...

    Leaves you intact.

    Unfrozen to your core-!

    Yes.

    While the winds of a horrific winter had certainly caught you in their grasp...

    You had simply charged through them, fist clenched tight, burning with a foreign magical energy encased in gradient light-! The amount of power in that fist is immense, a condensed fragment of that power that made up this world of ice and snow, and it is thrust forward without fear, a surprise attack that had lost it's nature as a surprise attack, only to regain it a moment later-!

    However...

    However...

    However...

    Do not be naive, Tamer of the modern day.

    Isn't there something you have forgotten here?

    That is right, the nature of it's other defensive ability... While you do not completely understand it, it seems like the sort of power that enables one to 'bend' reality to a degree, to make one's real self an illusion, and an illusion the real self, in other words...

    If an attack powerful enough to harm it appears... It has no reason to not simply declare this body a 'fake' and move over to another one; there are a number of flaws in this ability if one thinks about it of course, from destroying all the illusions before engaging the real one, or hitting all of them at once, but in terms of defeating a singular, powerful attack, it is almost ideal...

    However.

    No such thing occurs.

    While many things are the result of Ludwig Karlfeldt's own thinking and determination, the detonation of magical energy that rocks the Great Winter is the result of a scenario brought about by the woman that had seemed to disappear from your vision, and one that the wolf had forgotten about for a few instants, namely...

    There were no illusions for it to jump to, or rather, it's ability to declare it's current self as 'false' had been removed...

    Why was this?



    ---The answer is in a certain 'Eye' possessed by a certain woman, one that she keeps trained on the wolf from the side of battlefield, a small helping hand for the boy that has rushed things a bit too much perhaps, but that at least has spirit...

    Yes.

    Eye of this world's Soul Sea, filled with a number of
    Dreamers
    Observers.


    Those who decide what is 'real' and what is 'fake' even in the depths of a dream-!


    ---It's body is pushed back a bit, as spiritual power detonates like a compressed storm-! While it hadn't managed to hop bodies, it had still managed to twist it's head out of the way of the incoming strike and the flash of white crimson that appears is the result of your strike catching it on it's front legs, however-!

    "Gwa..."

    It laughs.

    In response to that strike... It laughs, not in a mocking way, but rather...

    Truly amused, as if saying "very well then, I'll play with you for a bit-!"

    And that's why...

    It's legs come crashing down like falling mountains, and the world all around you...

    Becomes akin to a directed avalanche, the gouging of a frozen world that throws the 'landscape' at you in it's entirety-!

    Not through magic... Simply through pure, brute, physical force-!
    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. #902
    Beats By Matthew ft. Dr. Para Rafflesiac's Avatar
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    Logan Starbright
    Aoyama, Tokyo (F-Zero Course)
    ???


    "They're pretty pissed about being summoned and controlled, think we're the ones that did it!"
    That isn't surprising. Unfortunate and irksome, but not surprising. Power begets pride, and with enough of both rational concerns tend to fade away. And having both trampled upon at once? Truly unforgivable. Even if the Demons did believe Astra, they'd probably rough her up first just for the sake of reestablishing their perception of the world's hierarchy. Though with the Tower reduced to nothing but specks of dust on Amelia's end, convincing them of its existence in their incensed state is a practical impossibility.

    Logan stands back to back with his partner, relaxing slightly in spite of himself even as his arms throbbed.

    "I doubt they would've listened from the start. You did well holding them off."

    What's with that drivel? I know you see those welts and burns. What, you think you can relax just because you're not alone? Forget protecting others, you can't even protect yourself. You know what this leads to.

    I'm still standing. That won't happen again.

    "You might be a better negotiator though, any ideas?"
    Astra's next words halt his self-flagellating. Demon negotiation usually involves clashes of power, so Zionga would be his best bet there. It's not as if talking things over was futile, but-

    "Nope! That last move was cheating! That win didn't count! I'm not listening to you, so piss off!"

    "I will not follow a whelp as blind as thou. Return once those eyes see the world as it truly is."

    "Look, there's no way I'm listening to a boring bland male like you. I only care about cute girls, preferably between the ages of 13 and 20."

    "Yeah sure, I'll leave the baseball stadium so the kids can practice for the varsity championships. I'll even leave with you, as long as you project Amelia-tan agai- Hey wait, what's a 'Keraunos Mandala'?"

    -words and diplomacy usually failed, so brute force was what it took to end a Demon's mischief.

    As the silver Demon approaches for another concrete-shattering punch, Logan crouches to spring aside. He'll sling lightning into its back to slow it down, then-

    "Oh, and by the way, I'm pretty sure that one is conceptually invincible."
    "Invincible!? Tch, that Jenga set sure pulled one annoying Draw 4!" says Amelia.

    Logan clicks his tongue, dismissing inchoate lightning within to focus wholly on dodging the Demon's blows. Too far, and Silver will aim for Astra. Too close, and he'll be digital roadkill. And there's still his initial concern.

    If Astra could handle him and Beelzebub for that long, then I have to at least pin him down, thinks Logan to his COMP.

    "Yeah yeah, less talking yourself up for your date and more talking this coffee machine down!"

    "Demon!" Logan yells, pointing to the distant conflict. "The summoner you seek is there!"




    Spells Set: Eye of the Fates, Swirl of Samsara, Garu line, ???, Crystal Coat, Zio Line
    Spells Used: Eye of the Fates
    Heat: 3/6
    Will: 35 | Spirit Commands: Accelerate, Electric Amp
    Last edited by Rafflesiac; June 20th, 2020 at 11:41 PM.
    Supports:


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

  3. #903
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Logan Starbright
    Aoyama, Tokyo (F-Zero Course)
    ???


    ---This too, is a somewhat unexpected move.

    Having been presented with an opponent that is -apparently- literally invincible due to conceptual protections (although there do tend to be specific ways around those sorts of things too) you dodge to the side of your opponent's strike, striking it's arm to divert it's blow down towards the ground even if it won't do any real damage, and-

    "Oh? That's pretty clever Logan, hahaha~"

    -laughs Astra, as you point into the distance at the mysterious enemy.

    It's not even necessarily a lie, one way or another, one of the people over there had to be responsible for the appearance of the Tower, and thus, one of them was also indirectly the forced summoner of these two, and if you had to guess...

    It wouldn't be the red-haired girl from before, so you had little qualms with throwing a hostile, conceptually invincible demon over in that guy's direction-!

    Thus the question becomes 'will the silver demon fall for it?'

    Of course, in that regard...

    "Is that so?! Very well! Death comes for thou, keeper of broken chains!"

    ...This particular demon seems quite impulsive, as could be evidenced by how it takes one last swing at you -perhaps just for the sake of it- before leaping away from the battle entirely, a crashing silver bullet that slams through structure after structure of this already abused digital world, heading straight for the numerous explosions happening in the distance...

    While demons are about as intelligent as humans on average -and the really powerful ones are far more so- a number of them also have a tendency to be... Impulsive, for lack of a better term, thus...

    These sorts of strategies weren't impossible to use, play on their impulse and pride a bit, and well...

    Off they go!

    Of course, the giant fly doesn't quite go for the same bait...

    It is, after all, seemingly Beelzebub, a prince of hell, and a bit more restrained than your average demon, however-

    "How interesting... You divert the disaster rather than face it head on... Intriguing, in it's own way. Although Beldr remains a complete fool it seems, enslaved to it's whims."

    -it does still 'react' to that choice of action, and as a result...

    The battle pauses, the hell-prince chuckling to itself even in it's current form as Astra stops mid blast of fire, the tan girl flashing a smile at you even as the massive demon's wings buffet you both with air...

    "Very well Tamers of the Red Shield, I will give you the chance to divert me as well... I desire the name of my slaver, give it to me clearly, and I will divert my wrath from you."

    ...Maybe this one is more reasonable than it let on, or perhaps...?
    Last edited by Airen; May 27th, 2020 at 07:21 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?



  4. #904
    Ludwig Karlfeldt
    Depths of a Dream, Deeper Still
    ??? - Night

    ---The faith Ludwig placed in Adala paid off.

    The surprise blow forged by unifying energy from himself and his divine opponent had landed. Not by surprise, perseverance or speed, but because of the watchful eyes of his mentor rejecting the God's illusions.

    Nevertheless, even with it's defensive technique taken away, the Great Wolf continues to showcase why it deserves fear and respect. It's instincts are those of the ultimate hunter. The beast redirects the impact intended to strike its head to it's legs, despite that landing such a strike should have been impossible from the start.

    And now, the beast laughs.

    Amused by the fool who succeeded in his ridiculous charge.

    Eyes meet. The boy looks on with gradient eyes that continue to challenge a God, and for the first time that God accepts those eyes.

    ...Yet, the boy does not flinch back in fear. He isn’t taken aback by this development. In fact, his expression doesn’t change in the slightest.

    His eyes, pulsing with power, look onward with an almost unsettling calm.

    A serene gaze that is unfazed, even when the snow and ice that make up this dream become an avalanche to bury the boy.

    ---He cannot win.

    The resulting impact of his strongest blow was enough for Ludwig to realize that. Even in this new state, he can at best hope to amuse the Divine Wolf, until the boy becomes a chewing toy after his energy runs out.

    Yes, unlike Fenrir, Ludwig's time on the stage of gods was limited. There is only so much of that unified energy that the can be stored, and once that energy runs out the dream ends. Either through the intervention of one of the observers, or by shifting into a nightmare.

    This was to be a punishment, after all... and time is swiftly running out.

    ...And yet, the boy's moves with purpose.

    ---Does it matter that his limit is drawing near?

    ---Is it meaningless to continue to fight a battle that cannot be won?

    No, everything has meaning. Whether it's in the real world, the world of a dream, or in the fading worlds where hope is hanging on a thread.

    Never give up, never give in.

    Even if it seems impossible, giving up isn't an option.

    No, especially when it is impossible, you must not give up.

    That is the true power of mankind. To bring out that infinite potential they posses, and go above and beyond whatever stands in their way.

    The world of snow and ice descends on the Karlfeldt Inheritor, yet the boy's eyes remain steadfast on the Divine Wolf.

    Until once more, the boy charges with godspeed. Except this time--



    --the boy unleashes a barrage of punches against one of the trees in this harrowing winter landscape, releasing it from it's trunk. With a swift motion, he kicks the tree upwards before following its trajectory. And as his foot descends on the tree top, it is hammered deeply into the ground.

    A place safe from the upcoming avalanche?

    Maybe, but his intentions lay elsewhere.

    The challenger stands above the avalanche. His previously red flowing robes, now encased in the ice of this world, and those eyes full of defiance pierce through the storm viewing his target.

    Those eyes carry a message for the Celestial Devourer, as if to something utterly foolish...

    ---Don't look down on humanity.

    ...A valuable lesson to teach every God that stands against humans.

    Yes, Ludwig Karlfeldt is a fool. An awakened human that believes strongly in ideals and heroes.

    But even in the myths, two humans stand together at the end of the Fimbulwinter.

    Could such a feat be replicated in this dream?

    This was a battle against the mighty Fenrir. The wolf that was feared by a pantheon, and would later go on to devour not only the moon, but even the very sun.

    A simple strike filled with divine might, is far too simple an attack to work.

    The boy knows this, that is why his mind works towards an approach that might just work instead.

    His sisterly companion sees this plan form in the ESPer's mind...

    Lud... are you sure?

    ...If it's her, it might just work.

    But the boy's belief in his mentor remains steadfast.

    Atop that tree, feet firmly planted so that even the avalanche underneath can't unbalance the boy, a unity of magic is fueled into his fist once again. Energies mixing and weaving together, the boy stands ready to launch himself into the Great Wolf once again. Wielding the proof of the forged bond between predator and prey.

    Yes, it is far too simple of an attack, the God had already shown it capable of avoiding that blow even when it was a surprise.

    However, if it cannot flee to a different body, then perhaps this foolish plan could work...

    Once again, the boy disobeys the wishes of Alexia Wright. The ESPer sends forth his message. This time however, it is not to gain insight in the enemy or borne of curiosity.

    It is sent to his teacher, who should have his telepathy blocked out.

    Adala...

    Her mind is a fortress.

    ---There is no proof that she'd answer the boy's call.

    --And yet, he believes she will. For one simple reason.


    Because this link isn't made by the Inheritor of the Karlfeldts.


    It is made purely by the bond between a student and his teacher.

    ...Can you punch me straight into Fenrir?


    Ludwig launches himself to the Divine Wolf, with godspeed his fist comes flying to the great beast.



    But that is not the real attack.

    The divinely fueled Fenris Fist is but a distraction. It is aimed not at Fenrir, but rather through him.

    Ludwig's true aim is not to make Fenrir feel the unity of a devoured legend.

    But the unity of a teacher and a student, utilizing Ludwig's greatest strength.

    His absurdly tough body, turned into a bullet faster than godspeed-!

    Wise Up!
    Stats:
    Strength C
    Vitality S+
    Agility A
    Sense A
    Resistance A

    Great Winter Form(Turn 2 of 3)

    -Elemental Affinity to Ice temporarily changed to Strong, sensory obfuscation by Fimbulwinter Spell has been nullified
    -Physical Stats (STR, AGI, END) increase by two ranks for the duration of the form

    Fenris Wolf (Form Attack): Physical/Magic Hybrid Blow. Considered to be Pierce+ for damage calculation purposes. A straightforward attack dealt with the concentrated magical energy of the Great Wolf, channeled through a physical attack to tear the target apart from the inside through a combination of pure brute force and parasitic ice. Can only be used once a turn.


  5. #905
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Ludwig Karlfeldt
    Depths of a Dream, Deeper Still
    ??? - Night


    ---Once more, a charge that could only be called brazen.

    When faced with the reality of the world itself crashing around you in a deluge of snow and ice you challenge brute force with brute force, easily tearing apart a nearby tree to serve as a newfound footing, and driving it into the ground as you force your body to again become a bullet.

    Straightforward, in many ways it could be called an incarnation of recklessness, however...

    ---In many ways, this is simply your way of doings things.

    The time spent in this form is limited, especially because your own magic was having to shield you from ice being your antithesis... Any ability that could be called a Trump Card certainly has it's downsides in addition to its benefits, and this could be considered one of those embraced by Unity's Embrace, an inability to stop the timer once it has started, in essence, it's a super mode that forces you to continue acting recklessly if you want to get the most out of it, however...

    There is no fear, even if a counter is almost guaranteed; even if you are well aware that it is not possible for you to win this encounter, something continues to drive you onwards anyway...

    It's an inner voice that only humans seem to understand, one that lets them bet even on failing odds without flinching if it becomes necessary, indeed-



    -this fist is certainly an incarnation of recklessness-!

    But that is what it means to push past the number zero-!

    "Gwahahaha!"

    Naturally.

    The Fenris Wolf is amused by this course of action, while it had been caught off guard the first time through a number of 'unknown factors,' it was beginning to put together how your magical formula worked, as well as the limits of your boosted body, thus-!

    Repeating the same sort of attack again?

    Simply charging at it?

    Such a thing is not recklessness, in the Hollow God's eyes it can only be called something like a joke.

    ---The fist meets empty air, as it casually evades the blow delivered at godspeed with speed surpassing godspeed; a low sound like a chuckle erupting from it's jaws as you fly by, but-



    "...Hmph. Very well, I'll give you a push."

    -darting forward as an imperceptible blow herself, the silver-haired descendant of the First Knight grasps your wrist and sends you spinning back towards your opponent; a redirected bullet that carried not just your own force, but the significant strength of your adopted aunt as well, and yet-

    In spite of the world cracking as the sound barrier is shattered...

    In spite of the blur of color the world becomes as you are fired at the back of the Great Wolf as a bullet...

    It's still too slow, or rather...

    ---It's seen through completely.

    A leap straight up to avoid the reflected sonic strike, that places the wolf in midair even as you remaining spinning off after the remnants of the avalanche, body arcing towards the very tree you had planted into the ground yourself a few moments earlier...

    The world is a blur of color, but you can still sense the position of your opponent, feel the Reiki gathering in the sky for some unknown spell even as Adala again resumes her post as an observer, and...

    Little time to react.

    Is there something you can do here to flip yourself back around quickly before the great wolf lands, or...?
    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. #906
    Ludwig Karlfeldt
    Depths of a Dream, Deeper Still
    ??? - Night


    Failure?

    That seems to be the case, as the boy's reckless charge that used his own supernaturally tough body as a bullet leads to nothing but a miss.

    ---But was that really the case?

    Those chromatic eyes disagree.

    The boy flies back to the tree that he placed himself. Not placed to evade the avalanche, nor as a mere pole to launch his diversion from...

    No, if Fenrir was close enough he could see it himself. That gaze betrays it all.

    Yes, the boy will lose.

    Yes, his plan had been seen through

    Yes, the Celestial Devourer was far beyond this mere human.

    ...Except, the boy expected this would happen.

    Not once did the usage of his Telepathy help him here. Using it initially had shifted the battlefield to one that was utterly controlled by the Fenris Wolf. Using it after this shift had almost gotten him devoured, if not for the instincts honed through years of training.

    This world belongs to the Wolf God. This is its dream. Almost naturally it would follow that any communication that was had in this dream would be heard by this monster of an opponent.

    It had heard what it needed to hear, and now in mid air... it had nowhere else to go but down.

    That was it's sole mistake.

    Even now, it looked down on the fly that invaded it's dream. The human that dared believe.

    The tree bends and creaks as the fool lands on it, nearly snapping and breaking apart by the force of the youth.

    No matter, it had served it's purpose.

    ...this was all, part of the plan.



    "Are you still watching Alexia? I've thought of a question."

    Now, at the end of his timer, the boy speaks upward.

    It is tough to say whether it's to the Great Wolf above, or the to moon beyond it's gigantic size.

    It doesn't matter to the boy, in a way she herself had become a "villain" to defeat. Well, along with his own inexperienced self...

    "...Can you teach me to... uhm..."

    A blush presents itself, and at long last something interrupts that stoic gaze.

    "...Can you teach me to become a
    student
    man
    worthy of standing beside Adala?"

    Ludwig Karlfeldt, is a fool.

    He started this night deprived of sleep, and had gotten himself from one troublesome situation to another.

    Alas, from the very first interaction between the legendary Commander and the young Inheritor, the boy had simply wanted one thing.

    To make himself useful to her. The person closest to the Karlfeldt ideal. To learn from the best, and to stay in that strangely happy family that the SLEIPNIR and its master offered.

    Still, his phrasing could have been better...

    Lydia is beside herself with laughter, seeing the 'obvious sign of affection' that she had hoped would manifest come to fruition.

    Perhaps even Alexia is laughing to herself at the foolishness that a single boy can hold.

    ---It does not matter.

    Once more, and for the last time, the boy launches himself from the tree top to the descending God.

    Reckless, brazen, foolish... human.

    This is his final gambit, leaving him with barely enough energy left to stand upright afterwards.

    So this one strike, has to hit.

    In the final moment, the boy pours out all the energy he has left.

    And launches everything he has into this strike.



    A blow pumped so full of magic that even the poly-chromatic appearance is consumed in an all encompassing white.

    "Did you enjoy your dream, Fenrir?"


    Whatever words were spoken there were overpowered by the surge of magic.

    Until the white washes away... and the world is revealed once more to the observers.

    The result of that clash, why it can only be-----
    Last edited by Zurvan; May 27th, 2020 at 02:33 PM.

  7. #907
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Ludwig Karlfeldt
    Depths of a Dream, Deeper Still
    ??? - Night


    ---This will be the decisive moment.

    Once again, you charge forth towards your opponent head on, a manifestation of stubbornness rather than recklessness now... The charge is something you will not give up no matter how many times it fails, or rather, because Ludwig Karlfeldt operates beneath a set of principals that his opponent cannot understand, there was never really any option for you but to keep charging forward, at least in this instance...

    ---Even so, even if the Wolf cannot understand the why, it does still understand what it is you will do...

    On some level it can respect it, the desperate charge against a 'superior' life form, however, that recklessness makes your movements easy to read, to the point where there is no need for something like precognition...

    It can see your future with it's normal eyes, and that is why...

    ---The amount of energy gathering in the body of the massive beast ascends past the level of something as mundane as it's clones, and instead rapidly approaches that summit called "Mythic Class" magic, those manifestations of Phenomena that are ranked "B or higher" in the System utilized by humanity, a manifestation of magic where things cease to be 'spells' as one typically knows them, and instead become phenomena akin to "Trump Cards."

    An Ace in the Hole so to speak, a card to be played when things get desperate, or when one is certain they will be able to defeat their opponent...

    However...

    There is a certain sort of 'logic' that must be used when playing one's Trump Card, after all, in spite of their power, they are not things that should be used casually, they are abilities designed to decisively flip the course of battle in one's favor, and in the current world...

    Most entities capable of 'fighting' at this level possessed something akin to a "Trump Card."

    The fact that the opponent probably holds one as well means that such things should be kept close to one's chest... The real world is not like a work of fiction, revealing all of ones cards too early in a battle could easily spell disaster, and the world will not forgive someone that makes that sort of decision...

    That is why there is one guideline most Tamers are taught at least once, namely...

    ---Until it is absolutely necessary, do not play your best card.

    It is not always the best decision, but it is rarely the worst decision...

    Now you are caught, now it knows how you will move in the next couple of seconds, and in more than a few ways, this is the end...

    Your own Trump Card was a powerful counter... One could even say that it was a Trump that was designed to defeat the Trumps of others, however, this wolf had yet to reveal the depths of it's own hand... It is, after all, amongst the most famous of entities a mythology, the idea that it would only have a single mythic class magic is foolish, and indeed, Fimbulwinter is but one of many powers it has gained from the notoriety of it's legend...

    This one is another, A-Rank manifestation of the "struggle between the Gods," a power it cannot use alone, but one that it seemingly begins casting anyway as the spirit power in the sky reaches a fever pitch, as if just as you had Adala slipping in and out of the battle to assist you, so too did the Wolf have some hidden ally in the world of snow, however...

    While one could perhaps make a guess as to who it might be... It's too late to find and stop them...

    From the start, they had not wanted to step in or be found after all, much like Adala, 'that person' had simply stopped to see how this conflict would play out, and...



    ---You know what it is easily enough, there is no need to struggle to comprehend that mass of energy in the sky.

    It must be "Ragnarok."

    You have never seen it before, but it is a power that is shared by most demons of the Norse Pantheon; a chaotic storm of magical energy that throws chaos to order and decimates all sides of a conflict, it is a form of localized armaggedon, a weaponized apocalypse that serves as the wolf's 'answer' to your clear desire for it to acknowledge you, yes...

    There is no need to tear at the foundations of the world like this, but it will do so out of a combination of respect, annoyance, and acknowledgement that all of this is simply a dream...

    Because the ant has proven to be sufficiently annoying, it will show it's respect for that ant by wiping it out at full power, it is a simple, brute force way of fighting that it employs only because it has determined the extent to which your current options are limited, in other words...

    It knows you can't do much else other than charge it, and thus this is the end-!

    Of course, you don't give up.

    In theory it is possible to cancel out these sorts of grand magics by sufficiently distracting the caster before the magic is weaved together, but it does not seem like you will make it in time, even so...

    Rather than fall back, you push your foot down on the 'gas; and push your body past it's limits.

    It might be meaningless, but there are no meaningless things.

    Not in your world.

    Not in Ludwig Karlfeldt's world, not in the world of the eyes of the person you wished to become-!

    Your charge is the manifestation of a desperate wish, all you can do is put whatever power remains into your fist and thrust it forward, but if you are capable of doing that, of doing something, anything at all, then that is what you will do-!

    ---A silver-haired woman chuckles to herself as she notices her opposite number, before leaping ahead at full force, a woman on a distant ship laughs and prepares herself for her own fate, and-



    -a crash, the horrendous sword of a nexus of spiritual power coming into existence as a violent storm of the Almighty, a power that swallows up the world and tears it's inhabitants asunder, yes...

    It ends with that crash.

    Two different lights.

    Exploding lights.

    A rumble of static and pain, and then...

    Just for a moment...

    Warmth...

    ---

    Ludwig Karlfeldt
    SLEIPNIR Deck
    ??? - Night


    ---The steel of the ship's deck is cold, and somewhat unforgiving on your muscles...

    This is how you awaken, freed from a dream through what had seemed like your own 'loss' within it, or rather...

    The result of the clash is not something you can quantify, in the end, while you get the feeling you would have lost...

    There was something strange about it.

    Even so...

    "Teach you, huh?"

    Kneeling down next to your formerly unconscious body, a certain Alexia Wright keeps her arms wrapped around her legs as she continues to regard you with mischievous eyes...

    "Is that really what you want? It's quite the unexpected question..."

    Nearby, the silver-haired adult Adala stirs from where she remains standing, having been asleep on her feet and...

    "...Although the time you have left to think is somewhat limited..."

    Aware of an approaching fate, a consequence of her own actions...

    The bizarre person simply smiles at you in spite of it all...

    Even though...

    She was clearly a form of villain here...
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  8. #908
    Ludwig Karlfeldt
    SLEIPNIR Deck
    ??? - Night


    "I have a lot to learn, wouldn't you agree?"

    The youth smiles. He doesn't have the energy or mental capacity to play around with tricks or feign a stoic strength. He is sleep deprived and utterly drained from stamina, having foolishly fought a Hollowed God.

    That antithetical storm had sapped him continuously of his strength, until the boy sought to take control over it. In doing so, he had started his own doom clock. He knew this too, the opponent was beyond him.

    Nevertheless, he could not give up.

    ---It is regretful to think of what could have been, had he simply listened to the mysterious Alexia Wright. A night spent fighting side by side with a legend, rather than a clash between a man against a God.

    Still, there are many lessons to learn from this night, so while it feels like a loss... something was certainly gained this night as well.

    Failure is the stepping stone to success. Learn from this loss, Tamer of the modern day.

    "If I was able to, I'd want to train with the Commander personally... but I'm nowhere near ready for that."

    The youth speaks plainly as he looks into those mischievous eyes.

    No longer able to muster his stoic mask, those honest eyes lay his inner conflict bare. He adores Adala Lagerkvist, for many more reasons than he'd ever honestly reveal.

    But those eyes convey what the boy can't bring himself to say.

    Adala is my true mentor, one I would follow to hell and back... but I am afraid....

    With the Karlfeldt elders, Ludwig was always their second choice. The back up that needed to rise up in the event that Lara wouldn't be able to bring about their ideal.

    ...I'm not good enough for her, am I?


    Even after countless repetition and training, awakening to the power of the Almighty, that sentiment hadn't changed.

    Am I not still dreaming, simply not having awakened to the reality of my situation? Is it really okay for someone like me, to be guided by someone like her?

    Lara, despite her unknown circumstances, was ahead of Ludwig even now. She possesses the power of the Eclipse state, going so far as to have inherited the powers of those unsung saviors.

    Wouldn't it be better, if she could train someone she deserves to use her time on, while you'd forge me into someone that is worthy of that training?

    The boy can't know if these things are conveyed through a mere look. It is said the eyes are the window to the soul. As a telepath, the eyes are not the only way for Ludwig to see what plays in people's minds.

    "What I'm trying to say is..."

    Ludwig. Be honest with yourself.

    Trust me.


    "..."


    With great effort, the boy rises. No energy should be left in that body, and yet he stands up.

    As an awakened human, he can slowly but surely feel that Sea's waves mending that what had been lost.

    And now, the boy performs his final foolish act of this night.

    With his back turned to the legend's teacher, he speaks truthfully.

    "...There are many things I wanted to ask you... Alexia-Nee. But that wasn't it."

    Yes, it is true that Ludwig Karlfeldt needed a mentor. The night had shown him how truly powerless he was.

    How long the road ahead must still be.

    More power is needed... a truth every Rothschild Tamer comes to know sooner or later.


    But even though Alexia was the mentor of Adala Lagerkvist...

    ​.....surely capable of elevating the boy to new heights...

    ...there really is but one person that he wants to train him.
    ---

    The person he now boldly faces.

    "Adala...

    ...I meant what I said before... in the dream.

    I understand that I've only caused you trouble tonight, but...

    ...if you'd let me, can I ask if I could trouble you for a bit longer...

    As your family, as well as your student...?

    If you want, you can tell me what troubles you. Alexia and Anna seem to know, and well...

    I want to be there for you too..."

    A fool to the very end.
    Last edited by Zurvan; May 28th, 2020 at 10:07 AM.

  9. #909
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Hyakka Onjouji
    Aoyama Gakuen, Swimming Pool 4B
    4th Period Class, Phys Ed. Swim (Combined Class)
    Noon


    “So you’re only pretty sure it’s fictional? I see.”

    Whatever else the AI might have thought of that, she didn’t say. After that, the COMP fell silent for a moment. Content to listen and watch, as it always did. After all, Hyakka was now directing her thoughts elsewhere.

    “Lunar sounds interesting… but I don’t know what a Star Wars is.”

    Likely, Nakahara had hoped that at least some part of his comparison would carry meaning to the short girl. Unfortunately for him, that combination of words had no special meaning. All she could do was take it literally.

    “A war in the stars? With people in space, fighting those crystal beasts?”

    “I think it’s a movie series, Hana.”

    “Oh. I didn’t know…”

    “Maybe we’ll watch it together sometime.”

    “Then we could invi-“

    “Just us.”

    “Oh. What abo-”

    “Just. Us.”

    “Okay…”

    Camelia’s selfish desire to keep Hyakka all to herself shut down the idea of inviting over any friends for a movie night, and the small girl instead turned to other thoughts.

    “Nakahara-senpai, is there a reason you asked us about Amala.net?”


  10. #910
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Hyakka Onjouji
    Aoyama Gakuen, Swimming Pool 4B
    4th Period Class, Phys Ed. Swim (Combined Class)
    Noon


    ---While a certain A.I may have her own thoughts on this matter, this is certainly a sensible question for Hyakka Onjouji to ask; Nakahara had certainly brought up this topic entirely on his own, without any real prompting from others, and so it is only natural to wonder why he had decided to do so in such a -seemingly random- manner, however...

    "Well, I'm trying to figure out who started spreading information about it. It doesn't have a widely known web-address, and up until a few days ago we didn't even have that, just school mutterings of some site that airs special content at midnight... It was an interesting rumor, a sort of local Urban Legend, but no one's quite sure where the rumor itself came from, it doesn't have a clear origin point. People at school just started talking about it one day."

    He answers almost instantly, after all...

    It's a pretty innocent question, of course, his interest in the site does strike a certain A.I as a bit strange, but...

    Everyone has their own sorts of interests.

    "The missing nodes seem like missing channels, so there was footage on here at one point that has disappeared entirely... I'm sort of curious as to what sorts of stories were being told on the broken channels, so I'm trying to find the person that started all of this to see if they remember any of it."

    It's an innocent enough motivation, a sort of after-school project for a teenager that might have a bit too much time on his hands...

    "I hadn't asked either of you two yet, so I figured while I was recovering on the ground I might as well give it a shot, you know?"

    "Did you try Nanaya? Seems like her sort of thing."

    Kaori's advice is the obvious one, and...

    "She said it was too mainstream of a rumor for her to look into it... I decided not to press her on it, even if her viewpoint on it doesn't actually make that much sense..."

    ...it seems like it has already been tried...
    Last edited by Airen; May 28th, 2020 at 04:49 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?



  11. #911
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Amamiya Sho
    Junes Holding Room ~ Aoyama
    Friday - Evening



    "... Yeah. It's nothing."


    People speak of the demonic world as if it were evil, there are even some who compare it to Hell itself. In reality, the human world is as cruel and evil as it gets. At least Hell is supposed to be honest, a place with a meaning that becomes clear the moment you utter its name or draw its image. But Earth...? Earth is an absolute beast at playing pretend. There are those whose value is average and those who are considered 'trash'. Then you have those who think they've been born with enough talent to change how things work around here. The eleven year old Tamer who has already achieved the highest rank available to them or the vampire who has accumulated knowledge over the past two hundred years. They certainly have what it takes to shake the world a little, but when it comes down to it, it's just a small ripple within a massive ocean.

    The real monster lies in the shadows, and its scheme can hardly be overpowered by any. Yes, even in a peaceful city like Aoyama, I am sure... That there are individuals who control things behind the scenes, little sources of malice that move us like pieces in their little chessboard.

    For some reason, when that little lady's gaze fell upon me, I was reminded of where everyone stands in this world, of where I stand in this world. Silently, she called me worthless and I accepted it. Good or evil, it makes no difference, she gets to stand on a pedestal that I'll certainly never reach. To claim otherwise would be blasphemy.

    And so, acknowledging this truth to ourselves, we choose to lie. We choose to deny what we know it's there just for our convenience, because doing so will make things easier. You can do it for yourself or for someone else, but in the end, we'll all face the truth and voluntarily close our eyes.

    It's somewhat disheartening, but while the flame of rebellion always burns bright, it never stays alive for too long...

    "Stop apologizing. You acted more maturely that Jack and I did, saved our asses, and even managed to secure spare Phoenix Ranger figurines. And you are also telling me you found yourself a fan...? Honestly, you need to tell me where I can get that God-Tier Luck of yours. I wouldn't mind winning a lottery ticket or two. Would help with my living expenses."


    Somewhat jealous, I scratch the back of my head in slight annoyance.

    Released from our bindings, the remaining prisoners are allowed to leave.

    Back home, to our routines, as crazy as they can be sometimes.

    This is what I can do.

    Even if I am conscious of it, even if deep down I harbor some hatred towards it, I'll keep playing that game of pretend.

    For now, that's all I can do.
    [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

  12. #912
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Amamiya Sho
    Outside Junes ~ Aoyama
    Friday - Evening


    "God-tier luck? I don't know if I've got that, I was just cursed during a race the other day."

    While it's a response that's meant to be humorous, there's something in the way the girl says it, the way her eyes go from laughing to worried -even if only for a moment- that makes it clear she has at least caught onto a bit of your sudden 'mood,' of the lie that must be maintained in this world due to humanity's nature, and the grim acceptance you have of such a thing even as you deny it with all you have...

    An inherent contradiction, a liar that knows the truth, a delusion steeped in fog.

    No matter how much the world changes... It's surprising how much things stay the same, so long as humans are humans, there will always be lurking malice hiding just outside of sight, a counterpoint to benevolence that is perhaps stronger in it's own way, as it is something that inherently cares only for itself...

    Yes.

    ---It's a dark outlook indeed, but the fact that at least some truth exists in it...

    Well, that is 'reality.'

    The strong are strong, and the weak are weak, where one falls on the scale of good and evil probably doesn't matter when it comes to that simple 'truth.'

    Even so...

    "Why do you live in your own house anyway? The SDCD Dorms are pretty great, you'd get to live in the underwater section of the city for free!"

    It's not an outlook that is easy to defeat, it sounds logical in it's own way, and thus confronting it is difficult...

    Perhaps because of that...

    She simply lets the obvious lie stand, a result perhaps, of a more idealistic disposition, or simply her way of improving the mood by directing your attention in another direction...

    Does it work?

    Well, that's an answer only you know...

    Even so, your decision to live on your own is one rooted in your pride amongst other things -such as the loan you had taken out to pay for it- and thus this path of conversation is not one that will have her changing your mind at the end of it, even so...

    It is a more normal conversation, reject the logic behind her words, deflect her offer to pay you for assisting her on her job, trade verbal barbs with Jack, same-old same-old...

    But there is some comfort in it...

    Nadia might be too kind of a person, and Jack might be too much of a prankster at heart, but at least...

    Those traits felt honest.

    It was a shame the darker parts of this world seemed to eat honest people alive...

    ---The World outside has taken on a darker tint in your stay in the holding room, perhaps as if to join you in your negative spiral... Thick dark clouds have covered the formerly blue skies, thin chains of lightning leaping from cloud to cloud as thunder begins booming in the distance...

    Rain soon...

    A storm.

    While magitech makes the weather much more manageable for all, it is still in the nature of humans to scatter at the coming of rain, to retreat inside where they will be most comfortable, and where they forget about how quickly things can spiral out of their control, how fast a situation can change...

    It's fitting, in it's own way.

    Even if no one realizes it.

    "Hmm... This one looks like it'll be a bad one..."

    The wind blows without mercy.

    "Come on, I'll drive you home... At a normal pace, I swear!"

    Behind the clouds, in a place far away from Xanadu, far away from that world that should represent "hope," and would save them if they could...

    A light flickers out.

    No one sees it.

    It's not the first, nor will it be the last.

    Even so, life goes on...

    "..."

    ...In blissful ignorance.

    Amamiya Sho/Kioka
    Zero Seal/Empty City
    END


    Next time...

    Death of the X-Cross/Future Lost

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

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  13. #913
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Hyakka Onjouji
    Aoyama Gakuen, Swimming Pool 4B
    4th Period Class, Phys Ed. Swim (Combined Class)
    Noon


    “But if you keep asking people who don’t know, won’t you further the spread, and make it harder to find the source?” Asking the question that seemed obvious, Hyakka tilted her head. “If I were trying to find the origin of the rumor, I would ask people who already know about it where they heard about it. Then from there I might eventually find something that would lead me to the truth.”

    “That would be the ideal strategy.” Agreeing with the small girl, Camelia spoke up to offer her piece. “In fact, it’s so obvious that I assume he’s already tried it and failed.”

    “Ah,” the small girl nodded at the AI’s words, “that makes sense.”

    “Still, the more I learn about this Amala.net, the stranger it gets. I hate to admit it, but I’ve begun to feel curious about it myself.”

    Suddenly, the smallest member of the group beamed an excited smile.

    “Does that mean you want to help Nakahara-senpai, Tsubaki?”

    “… What I want is to learn more for my own sake. I have no interest in helping anyone other than you.”

    “Ah,” the small girl nodded once more, “that’s more like you, Tsubaki.”

    “That aside, if you think that Nanaya girl would be useful, I’m sure that Hana and I could convince her to help out.” A hint of mischievous confidence leaked into the tone of the AI, a break from its usual persona of calm disinterest regarding anything other than Hyakka. “In fact, I bet Hana alone could get the girl to help.”

    “E-eh? Me? Why me?”

    The only answer to the confused question was a quiet, smug 'hmph'.


  14. #914
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Ludwig Karlfeldt
    SLEIPNIR Deck
    ??? - Night


    "Oh no, I got dumped right away..."

    ---Alexia Wright is truly a strange person, to be able to joke so brazenly no matter the mood of the room around her... Of course, her love of being bubbly and energetic in spite of the circumstances is why she enjoys messing with the Rothschild Tamers so much, they all take power so seriously that it's easy to get jokes off at their expense, but in this case, she has no problems with turning the eyes of laughter on herself...

    Of course, your back is to her.

    She can respect that action, chuckling to herself at how hard people find it to be honest, even as she waits for her fate...

    And it comes.

    Indeed, all things considered, it's amazing how fast the woman's predicted future comes to light...

    Yes.

    She hadn't lied to you when she said you only had a few moments to say what you wish to say, as-

    "Get out of here, troublemaker-!"

    -Adala Lagerkvist gets up, slides over to where her ever-youthful teacher is with an inhuman grace that you can't perceive, and launches her straight off the ship and towards the distant sea of clouds below...

    Of course, Alexia remains a strange person to the end in spite of this action... Laughing and waving as she goes, the woman disappears cheerfully into the sea of clouds in a manner that is almost cartoonish, showing no ill-will to the student that remains fuming slightly with fist raised into an azure fist that clearly did not approve of being hypnotized, and...

    Yes.

    Alexia was certainly strange, although just as her presence makes Adala more emotional and almost childish, you sort of get the feeling that Alexia herself also changes her own behavior around the silver-haired woman, but...

    "Honestly... Where does she get off..."

    ...Expression stuck somewhere between a glare and a smile, the woman that had needed to deal with that particular thorn in her side first, finally turns back towards where her nephew has made an... interesting sort of statement...

    Her expression is hard to read, of course that's nothing too out of the ordinary...

    As strong as she might be on a physical level, how genius of a tactician she might operate as, and as much respect as she might instinctively demand from her subordinates, if there was one area Adala Lagerkvist was weak in, it was these exact sorts of emotional connections...

    She wasn't the motherly type, and seemed to have some trouble with expressing herself in certain ways (as a certain colleague of yours can attest to) even so...

    "..."

    ...for a moment, she doesn't say anything, and then...

    She sighs.

    Chuckles to herself, and...

    "Fine. I'll tell you later, but it's nothing serious. Mundane, all things considered, but you're the inquisitive sort, so I suppose it would bother you until you find out, no?"

    ...starts back towards the entrance of the ship.

    "So fine, fine, I'll tell you in a bit... But first, we need to talk about your battle tactics. You were far too reckless back there, if that battle had been serious, you would have been crushed by that last spell if I wasn't around, sloppy."

    ...Well, it was certainly a start.

    "...I have to punish Loki a bit too."

    In terms of interactions with her, it could even be called something of a big step, even if you were dealing with someone who wasn't the best at this sort of thing-!

    Even so, while she seems more amused than angry, it also seems you had a lecture on the horizon...

    Of course you follow, there is no way to disobey a direct order, still...

    ---That Cross-Faction assignment begins tomorrow.

    The quiet halls of the SLEIPNIR will probably erupt with noise, and the weird atmosphere of the 'family' aboard this ship will change, in one way or another, even if only for a little bit...

    Will it be a good change?

    Or a bad one?

    As things stand right now, it's impossible to tell, still...

    Up here, you can see the night sky quite clearly.

    Rushing clouds down below, the gentle hum of a flying base, the trailing streaks of meteors entering the atmosphere, and...

    A peaceful, quiet moon...

    Nothing too strange, and yet...

    It takes awhile for you to tear your gaze away from it, even though there are no big revelations waiting there for you, no true surprises you can see in the future, you still feel your gaze lock onto that sky...

    It's a calm sky.

    And so, under the stars of that calm sky, the hands of time continue to turn...

    Just as they always do...


    Ludwig Karlfeldt/Lydia
    Zero Seal/Empty City
    END



    Next time...

    Death of the X-Cross/Future Lost
    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. #915
    Beats By Matthew ft. Dr. Para Rafflesiac's Avatar
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    Logan Starbright
    Aoyama, Tokyo (F-Zero Course)
    ???


    "You know, I didn't actually expect that to work," says Amelia to Logan.

    To be perfectly frank, neither did I, he says back.

    And yet it had, accomplishing half of his remaining objective and greatly improving the situation. There was hope for diplomacy yet. As the silver Demon barrels toward his unseen enemy, a makeshift unstoppable spear - or perhaps, a scorpion's sudden sting - Beelzebub too ceases hostilities. Its countless crimson eyes flicker with amusement and curiosity.

    "How interesting... You divert the disaster rather than face it head on... Intriguing, in it's own way. Although Beldr remains a complete fool it seems, enslaved to it's whims."
    There are two types of people who challenge the impossible: those who do so for others and those who do so for themselves. Logan is the former. Defeating Beldr was unnecessary, so he didn't.

    But Beldr… That would be Baldr, son of Odin. Sworn immune to all things save mistletoe. Had he lingered, I'd have had to bet on my trait, then bait him toward an edge and knock him into the Digital Sea, and even that might've failed depending on the specifics of his invincibility. Come to think of it, that Tower had managed to subjugate not only a high-class demon like Beelzebub, but even a Divine Spirit, albeit a hollow one. Just what was that Tower BABEL? And who was its summoner, to manifest such might?

    Beelzebub's chortling disrupts his contemplation, and he focuses his faraway gaze on the halted battle before him, a gout of flame fading into wisps and glittering along sparkling iridescent gossamer strands and a brilliant smile-

    But there's no time to bask in that gratitude. Remember, child: Curiosity asks how far a fly can crawl without its wings and amusement how that fly looks pinned to a board.

    "Very well Tamers of the Red Shield, I will give you the chance to divert me as well... I desire the name of my slaver, give it to me clearly, and I will divert my wrath from you."
    As expected of a demon, offering a hopeless deal. Logan sighs.

    "One or two words won't suffice. But if it's
    a description
    a thousand
    , shall I begin?"

    As a human, he'll wheedle and haggle as best he can. As a Tamer, he'll keep his eyes open for the retribution of a failed devil deal.




    Spells Set: Eye of the Fates, Swirl of Samsara, Garu line, ???, Crystal Coat, Zio Line
    Spells Used: Eye of the Fates
    Heat: 6/6
    Will: 35 | Spirit Commands: Accelerate, Electric Amp
    Supports:


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

  16. #916
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Hyakka Onjouji
    Aoyama Gakuen, Swimming Pool 4B
    4th Period Class, Phys Ed. Swim (Combined Class)
    Noon


    "Well, Nanaya would be quite the ally."

    The boy chuckles to himself at these words.

    "There's a reason she's the president of the Occult Club, the girl has a bizarre affinity for the strange and the unexplained," shrugging his shoulders, the youth picks himself up slightly, back straightening as his injuries from the brawl with Kaori seem to slowly drift away, "She's the sort that goes looking for trouble everywhere she goes, not sure why she does it of course... Might just like knowing things other don't, knowledge is more valuable when it's rare and all that... Regardless, she somehow always manages to draw trouble to herself, it's almost like a curse."

    He shrugs again, then smiles:

    "Still if you can get her to help, it would probably push the investigation forward a bit."

    He snaps his fingers at this, and then with a mischievous wink...

    "Hell, maybe we can make a little group for it eh Pres? Amala Investigation Team!"

    Hearing this, Kaori sighs...

    "A group like that sounds a little redundant, no? Isn't this sort of thing exactly what the Occult Club itself is for?"

    ...But is still smiling a bit to herself...
    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. #917
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Hyakka Onjouji
    Aoyama Gakuen, Swimming Pool 4B
    4th Period Class, Phys Ed. Swim (Combined Class)
    Noon


    “Fufufu~”

    Pulling herself out of the waters at last, Hyakka stood over the sitting boy. Lifting her head up high she tried to stand as proudly and largely as possible.

    The effect of which surely did not impress Nakahara, who was sitting, and was barely towered over at all by the tiny girl.

    “Then it’s my time to shine… after all-!”

    She thrust a fist to the sky.

    “I’m a member of the Occult Club!”

    Eyes twinkled with furious pride. Belonging to a club was, to her, an accomplishment worthy of proclaiming to the world with all of her being.

    “Leave it to me, I’ll recruit Nanaya-senpai to our cause! She might have called it, uh, ‘mainstream,’ but I’ll find a way to make her see otherwise. The ‘mainstream’ must have merits, after all!”

    Her upraised hand struck the sun itself, casting the shadow of a dainty fist over her classmate.

    “The Occult Club will join the battle!”


  18. #918
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    Hyakka Onjouji
    Aoyama Gakuen, Swimming Pool 4B
    4th Period Class, Phys Ed. Swim (Combined Class)
    Noon


    "I'll be counting on it, then!"

    ---A declaration of war.

    While a certain youth is not sure how she will accomplish it, the fact that she is willing to try at all is a fact that slightly alters the course of the future... Indeed, the moment Hyakka Onjouji had thrown her fist into the sky the other two gathered here can't help but smile back at her, a smile brought about by a certain sense of innocence that is not common even in the peaceful modern day...

    Indeed, from this point on, the conversation steers forward towards how to accomplish that task, a talk that will then be interrupted by a certain function of the swimming pool three minutes later, a violent whirlpool that will drag all three students back into it's depths for the purposes of water-based combat training, but...

    This school is no different than any other at it's core.

    Strip away the Tamer business, and it is still a place where connections are made and strong bonds are forged... The heart-warming high school years, where the ability to forge such strong connections almost seems to reach a fever pitch at times, yes...

    In that regard, this is just a normal day.

    Even if the topic of conversation is about something abnormal, and involves plans for the future, right now it is simply a chat between students, but...

    ---For a certain A.I, one who has little interest in people beyond her user, her attention remains on the hologram that has yet to be dismissed, eyes kept on it by a vague curiosity that stems not just from your conscious thought, but somewhere deeper inside of you, like a lost etching atop the surface of your core, a feeling that rises from within but cannot be traced, yes...

    It is bizarre.

    ---Of course even your creation was a bit bizarre.

    An A.I's form is typically forged from the user's memories, naturally, Hyakka had less of such things than most, or...

    Did she?

    It was hard to say.

    People had brought it up over and over again over the course of this conversation, drawn to the idea of a girl with a lost memory in the same way they might to someone who has been wounded...

    Because the loss of one's memories could certainly be called a wound, of course...

    ---You are not entirely convinced those memories are gone.

    Call it a hunch from someone that was born from that wounded mind, and who perhaps, had instinctively drawn something from nothing, reached memories that even the girl could not, yes...

    That is where this feeling arises...

    From the forgotten memories.

    Lost to both her and you, and still integral to both...

    ---That is where this feeling of familiarity comes from, yes...

    You had seen this site before perhaps?

    Yes...

    Although last time...

    Only... Xanadu had remained...?

    Yes...

    Thinking about it brings up fragmented data...

    Uselessly broken, like junk, the leftovers from a creation that even you do not truly understand, and-



    "------See------------'Hope'---------Already Over-------"

    "Y--H"

    "Efforts--------Reverie---------------------Cognition-----"

    "----memory---help----please----"



    -useless data.

    Truly.

    For a moment you had felt strangely nostalgic -a bizarre feeling for someone so young- but that feeling is fading fast...

    Yes.

    Shaking off the bizarre feeling that someone had showed this site to you before...

    You are nevertheless distracted by the sudden appearance of the whirlpool in the pool, whirlpool that escaped the boundaries of the pool to sweep the students into its depths as a cackling Ibaraki-Sensei steps forward to direct the class herself, and...

    Life goes on.

    For now...

    That is all it can do...

    And the warm feeling of the school atmosphere returns...


    Hyakka/Camelia
    Zero Seal/Empty City
    END


    Next Time...

    "Death of the X-Cross/Future Lost"

    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. #919
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Logan Starbright
    Aoyama, Tokyo (F-Zero Course)
    ???


    ---Negotiating with demons is not always a straightforward process, and sometimes, the way you answer a question is actually more important than the answer to the question itself. There are some demons who like having their ego inflated, others like a healthy defiance or respect, some like childish innocence or being spoken to like a human, and some are fans of people that are naturally beautiful, weak to seduction if you will...

    Yes.

    There are a number of different ways to approach, and this...

    Was one of them.

    Technically, it was an answer to it's question...

    A description of the entity that had done this to them, in this case, a description of the Tower you had seen rather than what you could only assume was the humanoid summoner -as you had not yet seen his face- and the Demon itself seemed more interested in what you had to say, rather than simply falling for the trick you had used on Beldr, indeed...

    If anything, you felt like it was... Assessing you...

    Likely out of curiosity, after all, it had gone so far as to refer to both you and Astra as "Knights of the Red Shield," and thus, it clearly knew from which organization you hailed, of course...

    "...Interesting."

    While your eyes can certainly predict the future to a degree, this entity was annoyingly difficult to read; it's existence remains calm throughout the entirety of your explanation, the calm of a Prince that has returned to it's role as a prince, a Demon that sits amongst the highest of seats in the Other World and maintains a certain dangerous grace in spite of it's otherwise gaunt form, but-

    "...!"



    -you never get to hear what it's ultimate answer is, as you are forced to dive backwards to avoid the silver meteor that has just come flying through the ground before you.

    ---That silver meteor was -in reality- a body.

    Flying body of the Hollow God that you had diverted away mere moments before, an existence that bore conceptual invincibility, an innate defense so powerful that only one thing in this world should be able to pierce it directly.

    Yes.

    That is Beldr's power, the promise that protected Baldr in the myths, and yet-



    -it's body was cracked open, pieces of it's armor-like chest shattered beneath a blow that must have been incomprehensibly heavy, and yet looked like it had been dealt by a simple closed fist.

    You see it in slow motion, or rather, you are able to observe the flight of that body only through precognition, the sound of the road breaking apart in it's wake seeming to linger in the air as it passes, and then...

    "Logan, look out-!"



    ...Following along after the body, are countless 'bullets' of magical energy.

    No.

    Bullets is a bit too tame a term... The moment Astra dives into you from where she stands, knocking you out of your reflexive leap backwards to avoid the supersonic projectile that had been the God's body, the 'bullet' that had been on course with you detonates with a crash against the once pristine race-track, the sheer energy packed into the tiny sphere enough to send out a shockwave that sends both you and her flying into the distance, body's spinning with burned in training to land on your feet, but...

    "...Tch, seriously-?!"

    ...All around you, the world is being destroyed in a rain of azure bullets, no, meteors... Rather than something that seemed designed to defeat you, Astra, or even the still flying Beelzebub, it's an over-the-top show of magical energy designed to simply tear the false world apart-!

    Yes.

    The world had already been on it's way out anyway.

    Once connected roads had been long lost, and now...

    It seems everything else is on the way out-!

    The ground crumbles away and you leap up higher to avoid falling with it, both you and Astra becoming blurs of motion as more and more of the remaining ground is devastated, broken, falling victim to gravity as less and less footing remains, purposefully so, yes...

    ---The eyes can tell you.

    Complete collapse of the simulation is inevitable along this path, and yet...

    You move from falling structure to falling structure, and Astra follows.

    Perhaps because it's just in your nature to not give up, or perhaps simply because you want to see the face of the one throwing this much magic around, the clear culprit behind this whole BABEL incident, and indeed-!

    ---You do manage to see his face.

    It's the youth from earlier, the dark-haired one with the stylish clothes.

    Standing in an aura of visible spirit power -power that clung to him like a roaring inferno- your gravity defying dance away from the fate of plummeting into the digital sea...

    Ends with a violent repulse.

    Yes.

    The red-haired Tamer from earlier goes flying off the side, thrown over the edge by the youth's errant hand -with Beelzebub strangely going to catch her as she falls- and you and Astra...

    ---Gravity.

    A burst of gravity magic extends from the youth's hand... He has no COMP, no obvious device through which he is utilizing magic, and yet you know that is what he is doing, and-

    "...!"

    -like a massive hand grasping at your body.

    The three inside of the digital world, are thrown down into the depths of the digital sea.



    01000001 01101110 00100000 01100001 01100111 01101111 01101110 01101001 01111010 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01101010 01101111 01110101 01110010 01101110 01100101 01111001 00101110 00001010 00001010 01000001 01100011 01110100 01110101 01100001 01101100 01101001 01111010 01100001 01110100 01101001 01101111 01101110 00100000 01101111 01100110 00100000 01010010 01100101 01110110 01100101 01110010 01101001 01100101 00100000 01000011 01101111 01101101 01110000 01101100 01100101 01111000 00101110 00001010 00001010 01000001 00100000 01110100 01100101 01110010 01110010 01101001 01100010 01101100 01100101 00100000 01100110 01100001 01110100 01100101 00101110 00001010 00001010 01011000 01100001 01101110 01100001 01100100 01110101 00100000 01110010 01100101 01101101 01100001 01101001 01101110 01110011 00100000 01101001 01101110 01110100 01100001 01100011 01110100 00101110 00001010 00001010 01001000 01101111 01110000 01100101 00100000 01101101 01110101 01110011 01110100 00100000 01110000 01101100 01100001 01111001 00100000 01101001 01110100 00100111 01110011 00100000 01110010 01101111 01101100 01100101 00101110 00001010 00001010 01000001 01101110 00100000 01100001 01100111 01101111 01101110 01101001 01111010 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01101010 01101111 01110101 01110010 01101110 01100101 01111001 00101110 00001010 00001010 01000001 01100011 01110100 01110101 01100001 01101100 01101001 01111010 01100001 01110100 01101001 01101111 01101110 00100000 01101111 01100110 00100000 01010010 01100101 01110110 01100101 01110010 01101001 01100101 00100000 01000011 01101111 01101101 01110000 01101100 01100101 01111000 00101110 00001010 00001010 01000001 00100000 01110100 01100101 01110010 01110010 01101001 01100010 01101100 01100101 00100000 01100110 01100001 01110100 01100101 00101110 00001010 00001010 01011000 01100001 01101110 01100001 01100100 01110101 00100000 01110010 01100101 01101101 01100001 01101001 01101110 01110011 00100000 01101001 01101110 01110100 01100001 01100011 01110100 00101110 00001010 00001010 01001000 01101111 01110000 01100101 00100000 01101101 01110101 01110011 01110100 00100000 01110000 01101100 01100001 01111001 00100000 01101001 01110100 00100111 01110011 00100000 01110010 01101111 01101100 01100101 00101110 00001010 00001010 01000001 01101110 00100000 01100001 01100111 01101111 01101110 01101001 01111010 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01101010 01101111 01110101 01110010 01101110 01100101 01111001 00101110 00001010 00001010 01000001 01100011 01110100 01110101 01100001 01101100 01101001 01111010 01100001 01110100 01101001 01101111 01101110 00100000 01101111 01100110 00100000 01010010 01100101 01110110 01100101 01110010 01101001 01100101 00100000 01000011 01101111 01101101 01110000 01101100 01100101 01111000 00101110 00001010 00001010 01000001 00100000 01110100 01100101 01110010 01110010 01101001 01100010 01101100 01100101 00100000 01100110 01100001 01110100 01100101 00101110 00001010 00001010 01011000 01100001 01101110 01100001 01100100 01110101 00100000 01110010 01100101 01101101 01100001 01101001 01101110 01110011 00100000 01101001 01101110 01110100 01100001 01100011 01110100 00101110 00001010 00001010 01001000 01101111 01110000 01100101 00100000 01101101 01110101 01110011 01110100 00100000 01110000 01101100 01100001 01111001 00100000 01101001 01110100 00100111 01110011 00100000 01110010 01101111 01101100 01100101 00101110


    ---Much like a normal ocean, it envelops your body.

    Or rather, the body of your digital self, information flowing all
    through you
    around you
    as you fall into the portion of this digital space that was not given a truly concrete form, painfully interfering with your thoughts in it's rage.

    It is called a Digital Sea because it is a flowing mass of information, one that humans and COMP A.Is both perceive as a 'Sea' when they interact with it... Not dangerous normally, typically the point where one is kicked from a simulation back to the real world if they happen to fall into it, or where a Demon could perhaps be imprisoned by throwing it into it's depths, but...

    The simulated world itself is in chaos, so the seas at it's edges are also turbulent.

    The simulation was damaged, the world screaming as overpowering magics tore it's stability apart, and now everything is falling back into this chaotic nothing, a simulated sea of primordial data that sends static throughout your thoughts, but...

    Eventually...

    It calms down.

    ---How much time had passed?

    Sixty seconds?

    A few minutes?

    Hard to say, but...

    You manage to bring yourself into a 'floating' position atop the sea, and Astra, who had struggled right along with you from the moment you had fallen into it until now, is laying on her back atop the sea that was just as literal as it was metaphorical...

    "We... Fell into the Sea..."

    Her voice is tired, and with a sigh...

    "That sucks..."

    ...She acknowledges that there's no real point of trying to get back to the world up above, after all...

    It's gone.

    ---You'd have to wait for someone to get you out, now.

    Shouldn't be too long, but...

    ...A bit of a disappointing end, to the struggle up above.
    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. #920
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    -Interlude-
    "Empty City"

    (BGM On)

    ---A lone figure moves silently beneath the damaged sky.

    A figure that could belong to someone human, or at the very least humanoid, the figure of a woman who does not stand tall, but whose figure is the only real sign of life amidst a frozen landscape. While it would be incorrect to say that no humans live in this general area -at least in terms of the continent- it would not be a mistake to say that this is not a place where life has seen fit to truly blossom...

    It's cold, freezing really, the mark of a snowstorm that has not let up for even a single moment over the past week.

    It is an area that should be without buildings, as humanity has not quite deemed it necessary to halt the movements of the ice caps that litter the world in the North... It is not that they are unable to do so of course, the damage mankind has dealt to the planet has been healed along with the advent of magitechnology, and so the planet itself is something that could be easily bent to the will of the primates, nevertheless...

    They simply choose not to do so.

    A sign of laziness? Or a sign of some strange morality? The idea that just because one can do something, doesn't mean they should actually do it?

    The figure cares not for these questions, although they certainly might bother others.

    She is simply here to see, to look, observe, laugh, and know a certain truth.

    ---Even so, while humanity has not conquered this land of snow and ice purely because they decided not to do so, that does not change the fact that a Grand City has appeared here, or rather...

    That place the Tamers were calling "Atlantis," out of the assumption that it must have risen from the bottom of the ocean itself...

    Of course, it is just as likely that it could have fallen from the sky, but the figure merely laughs at this too, because the 'why' isn't always the most important thing to understand...

    What is important, at least right now, is that it does in fact exist.

    A strange settlement whose shadow resembles that of a looming castle from afar, the make of the buildings is clearly influenced by modern day humanity... The structures themselves aren't particularly strange if one gets down to it, it's a city that humanity could have easily built with their own hands if they felt like it, but what was strange about it...

    It was like a melting pot of cultures.

    A number of different style buildings, from European Castles to Japanese Minka and everything in between... A Grand Church that would not have looked out of place in Rome, an American-esque series of Ranch-Style homes, and a number of other types she simply does not care to understand too deeply...

    It is simply odd.

    Obviously odd, as if it had been built by a number of different people from all around the world, a mishmash of different styles that seem chaotic from a distance, but that gain a certain sense of warmth once one gets close enough to it.

    ---Or rather, that should be the case.

    In reality, there is a distinct coldness present in this area, an emotional chill that was merely enhanced by the bitter cold of the world around them...

    Because it's empty.

    Lifeless really.

    Whatever life had once brought this place to life, had not come along with it on it's journey to the North Pole. It's an abandoned property, a lost cause, and yet interesting enough that the Tamers will make an effort to investigate it.

    Of course they will, there is quite a few things they don't understand anymore, but that sense of duty will drag them here to see what the problem is...

    Their duty is to protect the World after all, which is why...

    ---This is all so funny.

    It's so funny that thinking about it just makes her laugh out-loud to herself, amidst the calm snow-packed streets of the bizarre ruins, the woman cackles like a witch beneath a sky that is slowly losing its stars.

    Yes.

    Quite a few stars now.

    Some are lost, but the drive to save them is something she does not have; to be frank, she doesn't care about their particular fate at all, she simply didn't have it in her nowadays.

    No.

    That was something Xanadu was more concerned with, they couldn't help themselves, gotta save everyone, that's the sort of logic she expects they'll take in the end, even if they intertwine it with more selfish desires...

    ---But it's already too late.

    Mission failed, kiddos.

    ...Or something like that, as things stood, they didn't seem to actually be aware of anything at all; perhaps that was for the best, that was a path they could deal with, she was certain of it.

    Or perhaps they couldn't.

    Even being the Last One Standing did not mean they were the winners.

    She laughs again, giggling at things only a few will know, and things only she herself takes this sort of active petty pleasure in observing.

    Not like it mattered to her, the situation they were in was delightful and the blissful ignorance that exists within their attempts never gets old, but...

    Saving others.

    She can respect the attempt, she really could, that takes a power she doesn't have.

    It's wasted on the humans perhaps, but she will give humans as much respect as they deserve, even as she laughs at their endless suffering.

    "..."

    Of course, in her giddiness at the show that awaits in the future, she thinks she hears the sound of wings fluttering amongst the snow. Her eyes pierce the darkness of the cloudy sky as she regards the figure that has arrived a bit early, sent here by someone who seemed a bit paranoid this time around, and-

    "...Heh."

    -she smiles, and that expression freezes it in place.

    A horrifying smile, that of one who acknowledges this world even as she condemns this world; rejects it just as it rejects her, and becoming strong, stronger still, because of this foolish route this world had ultimately found itself walking...

    Yes.

    While she could crush it right here... She'll let it go.

    It is, after all, simply a fairy.

    The moment her gaze lets up a bit the demon vanishes of his own accord, fleeing into the storm with a remarkable calm... He had not lost his nerve for a single instant, a mark of a strong-spirited retainer, and one that was wise enough not to pick fights it cannot win, but still...

    Worthless.

    Just like everything else, in the end, time keeps moving forward in spite of everything...

    Nothing will change.

    She laughs, and steps forward to the end of the Empty City.

    The building that most resembled a Castle, what one might call the "Main Base" as it were...

    In a few hours, the Tamers will arrive here to investigate, a joint-mission to facilitate growth between the Big Four...

    That'll be when it starts.

    'Never Give Up' right?

    "Do your best, Xanadu."

    Her hand rests on a steel door, and...

    She won't do anything, there's no need for her to do so... At least not yet.

    Watching had always been more her thing anyway.

    But perhaps she'll interfere for a laugh if they're too boring?

    "At least make it a good show for me."

    ...she easily slips inside.

    Away.

    Far away.

    Up close.

    A good place to watch.

    Just like always.

    Interlude 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?



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