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Thread: Spirit Pulse : Mugen No Sekai [IC]

  1. #1161
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Hyakka Onjouji
    Aoyama, Brighter Days Orphanage
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Early Morning


    “Then Honoka-san is like Tsubaki… an AI…”

    Hyakka could practically hear her COMP’s voice in her head scoffing at the comparison. ‘That thing is nothing like me. In the first place yadda yadda yadda…’ But it was the correct comparison to her, because she couldn’t tell the difference between the so-called old-fashioned tech and the technology of the current era of magitech.

    “Uhm, I am doing excellent.” Sheepishly answering the book, with a noticeably forced straightening of her back, Hyakka replied. “Since Alice-chan is visiting I feel even better today. I sleep well… sometimes. Not as often, lately…”

    Her voice trailed off for a second. But not wanting Alice to worry about her, she quickly turned the conversation another way.

    “Honoka-san, you said it’s nice to finally speak with me. Does that mean you’ve been waiting to meet me?”

    It wasn’t lost on her that this AI’s name was within the list of names that had written that message to her. Maybe she could get some answers.

    “Did you… are you one of the ones who wrote that letter to me? ‘To those Living in the Future?’”


  2. #1162
    men are men; the best sometimes forget Katie's Avatar
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    Aster
    The Boundary ~ Azure Horizon


    “If it’s like that, then snooping around is good enough. There should be logs and the squires to go through. Not too much of a hassle to figure out,” Aster says, thinking about the matter of the fake squire. While it was true that any archives could be faked, squires themselves were supposed to be as straightforward and as honest as the knights they served. Not to mention that ultimately, being a squire was a role that was supposed to prepare you for the rigors of the spotlight—at least, theoretically. A squire that was essentially a ghost would be an enigma of sorts, drawing attention by not trying to do so.

    "I can't remember my user's face, but I can sorta... Picture them sometimes, standing right here with me. Saying something like..."

    "The mission will be a success, please watch over us until then, okay?"
    For a moment, Burrough’s voice changes into a cacophony of others, sheer content ironically harmonizing together to create a uniform sound. Aster felt as if she lacked the processing power to distinguish any part of the whole, yet there was this pang of familiarity, recognition, that echoed through her mind. Ayra was at the forefront, but other voices seemed to linger, like memory out of reach. A terribly human feeling.

    And terribly unsettling, at that. Burroughs herself had to be right—just a glitch. Every complex program is subject to unexpected function.

    "Is there anything you would like me to look into? I may not be able to contact you safely for awhile after this, but I'm trying to figure something out!"

    "That is... Um... If you're okay with seeing me again?"
    “Considering you’re the second AI I’ve ever had a proper conversation with, I’d love to see you again.” Aster’s words are wistful and sincere, her voice carefully hiding that note of loneliness. “I think it’d tip my user off if our meetings were too frequent, but I’d gladly spare time for you.”

    “And if you ever need any advice or help, feel free to message me. I’d like to do something more useful in my spare time than watch university lectures.”
    [Feb/Wed/04|07:00:04] <Lianru> it's ok with each stalker call I feel like we get a little closer
    [Feb/Wed/04|07:00:06] <Lianru> never give up

    asians before testing week

  3. #1163
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Ludwig Karlfeldt
    Rothschild - Halls
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Early Morning


    ---It's a tactic that sometimes works.

    Even if the Tamer themselves is upset, reaching out to the intelligence of their COMP A.I can occasionally yield better results; the personality of COMP and Tamer are typically complementary ones after all, if one is quiet the other tends to be more talkative, they fill in for each others weak points and thus become a more powerful whole, however...

    "..."

    Rhea is silent.

    At least at first.

    Not in the sense that she couldn't hear you (you were positive she had both received and processed the message) but simply because there is another innate aspect of the Tamer-COMP relationship that can rear it's head at times like these, namely-

    "...If Astra isn't going to talk about it, then you won't get anything from me. I am her confidant."

    -loyalty.

    Sometimes you can get one to spill the beans even if the other has decided not to say anything, but it seems like Rhea is the sort that will support her User's decisions all the way through to the end.

    She'll keep secrets.

    Keep her silence.

    In her 'mind,' that is likely what it means to be a 'confidant.' Since the members of the Rothschild are more inclined to shield their hearts than Tamers of the other organizations, it's only natural for their partner to shield that heart as well, in other words...

    "I don't like what you seem to be insinuating though... What are you really trying to say here?"

    ...The COMP is in full on defense mode.

    As for Astra herself however...

    "..."

    For a moment, she just listens to your explanation without changing the vaguely annoyed expression on her face, although...

    There had also been something expectant there for a moment?

    Like she had been bracing herself for something?

    But the moment passes rather quickly.

    Of course your explanation leaves much to be desired, it's easy for someone to simply claim that their intentions were a certain way, it wasn't like she was able to read your thoughts and find out how you actually felt about things... In fact, it's probably that exact gap, her inability to read anything out of you while the reverse likely isn't true, that has sort of set her off here...

    And...

    "...If it's classified, you shouldn't be over here either."

    ...This does look sorta fishy admittedly, even if you claimed you were leaving, well...

    Psychic.

    If she didn't know the limits to that...

    It could be quite easy to come to some troubling conclusions, even so...

    "If you want something to think about, then how about this..."

    She closes her eyes.

    "...How clearly do you remember last week?"

    And asks something quite strange...

    Quite strange indeed...
    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. #1164
    Ludwig Karlfeldt
    Rothschild - Halls
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Early Morning


    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea
    "I don't like what you seem to be insinuating though... What are you really trying to say here?"
    Like her User, the AI Rhea keeps her guard up and doesn't let any secrets slip.

    Of course, hearing any secrets wasn't the intent here. Perhaps it's unusual for Rothshild members to show a caring side without getting something for it in return.

    Or maybe the issue lies in that unchanging expression the Karlfeldt Tamer holds near constantly, words spoken without any proof or certainty that they're genuine.

    Ludwig seems to think there's something that may be affecting Astra, but he's aware he stepped on her toes. So before he makes things worse, he send me in~!
    It's just a gut feeling on his part, and since Astra told him not to poke her head he's forced to do the actual human thing of talking and listening... Honestly that's something he needs to do more...


    The more expressive COMP AI doesn't really have this issue, but she doesn't have much more experience than her User. Being able to hold full conversations is rather difficult when you sneak out of your shell to have them while remaining connected to that same shell. The further Ludwig moves away, the harder this connection can be maintained.

    She doesn't fault her User in that, instead finding it rather adorable to see him struggle in conversations.

    This wasn't one of those times however.

    I'm not actually saying anything, well other than Lud having poor social skills. He means well, but his curiosity and eagerness to help is sending the wrong message. I'm sorry if that came across the wrong way.

    Rather than play around casually too much, Lydia simply answers the question thrown to her and apologizes.

    Ludwig meanwhile...

    ...doesn't realize what's keeping Astra upset.

    ---Surprisingly dense for someone that can gauge facial expressions and read minds.

    "Huh? Of course I do, how could I possibly forget fighting against Lara? I was impressed by how well you and Logan fought together, which is part of the reason why you're looking at me like that right now."

    Caught off guard by the seemingly strange question, the Karlfeldt Inheritor points towards the rather hard to forget moment that he and Astra should surely remember.

    "After that I needed to have Lydia repaired and I talked to Anna the next day..."

    But as soon as he begins to actively recall the events on each day, that bizarre question doesn't seem that strange anymore.

    "Wait, was that the next day?"

    Almost out of reflex his hand moves to his chin. A finger taps on his lips, pondering as the dawn of realization comes.

    "When did I talk her again..."

    Closing his own eyes in thought as well, his mind races for anything that defies the encroaching truth.

    "...Huh... now that you mention it... I can't."

    When did he forget?

    Why did he forget?

    How could he forget in the first place?

    Ideas pop up and are shot down, questions run through the ESPer's head but no answers form.

    The events are there, but on which day what occurred is somehow lost. Like pages being torn from a book, or black ink crossing through the crucial text.

    Undocumented work, events happening without an observer to behold them.

    Most curious indeed.

    "I still vividly remember last night, but the other days are murky... It's strange, I remember what I did but... I can't recall when it happened."

    More questions spring up, ones the Tamer considers with something akin to genuine worry.

    What else have I forgotten?

    And...

    How much more will I forget?

    The stoic mask cracks away bit by bit, as worry overtakes the usual serene expression.

    "Is it the same for you? When did you realize this..."

    Internally the little brother once again hopes his big sister can wave away this oddity.

    Lydia, you still have that Anna recording right?

    Yet...

    I get that you want to hear her cute laughter but this isn't time~. It was recorded on Wednesday night so you don't need to lose more sleep over it!

    Are you sure?

    ...Okay that's strange, I just checked and now it's on Tuesday?

    ...No such salvation arrives.

    "...I can remember the events before this week though... before the SLEIPNIR was attacked... But this week specifically is vague."

    The most confounding truth the ESPer realizes is that what transpired two weeks ago is clearer than that what happened mere days ago.

    No answers are found racking his brain however...
    Last edited by Zurvan; September 24th, 2020 at 09:45 PM.

  5. #1165
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Daisuke
    Aoyama, LOVELESS, Moon Under Water
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Morning


    "...It's fine. These things happen."

    While LOVELESS seems to be devoting the majority of his attention to keeping a firm eye on his mistress (as butlers are known to do, although he does give a simple curt nod at your admission) Saya ultimately just shrugs at your apology, her entire demeanor showing that she doesn't think of it as that big of a deal... Of course, the movements of ones avatar are almost always heavily calculated, so she may simply be trying to make you feel better, but...

    "...Just don't tell Chris about it, it'll be fine."

    ...Perhaps a more mischievous side to her does exist?

    Although perhaps more alarmingly, she seems to have a good sense for the thoughts of others...

    Still...

    With Shuichi and Sofia now looking over some piece of paper together (or rather, with Sofia jotting down a few things on a napkin with lightning fast pen movements while Shuichi watches and chuckles nervously) your attention soon returns to the violet-haired waitress before you, who doesn't put up much of a fuss when you tell her your destination is confidential, she just smiles and nods as you speak, listening intently, yes...

    Quite intently.

    ---Although it is perhaps only natural for a waitress to be a good listener, considering the sort of restaurant this was, it was probably she had to work the bars later in the evening, and well...

    The duty of a bartender is to listen, still:

    Quote Originally Posted by Daisuke
    "Could I come back here and order another coffee then? Maybe we could swap stories, Ai-chan."
    She blinks, just for a moment, then...

    "Of course."

    Smiles gently at you again, a perfect smile, one that banishes the rest of the 'noise' in the back of your head...

    "Although, I'm surprised you seem to be so interested in this book," picking up her journal where it lays, the young woman just chuckles a bit to herself as she drags it to the forefront of the conversation, "I do have a few stories to tell of course, but I don't think I could really call this a journal... I sort of use it for everything?"

    Another laugh.

    "It's enchanted to never run out of space, so I can pretty much put whatever I want in here... I've got my journal entries of course, but there's also recipes, maps, some drawings... Heck, I even make notes of the sorts of things repeat customers order, so I can better remember them you know? Make em feel like part of the family. People like it when you remember them~!"

    She winks at you.

    "But hey, if you're that interested... Let's give a random page a look, a taste of the mystery~"

    At this, she opens the book, seemingly intent on flipping to a random page, and...

    "...Oh. This is an embarrassing one to land on..."


    Akarana Xavier
    Cosmos Fairchild
    Ludwig Karlfeldt
    Logan Starbright
    Amamiya Sho
    Alyx Kingsleigh
    Saria Justice
    Mochizuki Noriko
    Akarana Charlotte
    Matsumoto Isamu
    Kurogane Sakurako
    Yoshino Takigawa


    ...It opens to a page full of handwritten signatures, different people's signatures, signatures gathered in the style of a guest book of some sort... The pages of the book themselves are ages quite well, a fine yellow color, something that you don't see much of nowadays in the magitech era, but...

    There are also blue butterflies flying along it's background, like an animated desktop in book form...

    Regardless, it's quite the list of names, and you can't even see all of them, but...

    "I collect autographs as a hobby... Some famous, some people I just want to remember after we parted ways..."

    But...

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

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  6. #1166
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Hyakka Onjouji
    Aoyama, Brighter Days Orphanage
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Early Morning


    ---It feels a bit strange, talking to a book.

    Even stranger still with all the people around you watching it happen, indeed, even as Tsubaki goes off on a tirade about how she was infinitely superior to those first generation A.Is (for a number of reasons that are only mostly petty), or as Alice smiles cheerfully at the knowledge that her presence was a boon to your mental health (before frowning at the implications of the 'lately') or even as Demon Alice moves out of the wall and into the ceiling, hanging by her ghostly legs with all the unnatural stillness of a porcelain doll, the situation continues to feel strange to you, nevertheless...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyakka
    “Did you… are you one of the ones who wrote that letter to me? ‘To those Living in the Future?’”
    You force yourself past that strangeness to ask a question, a number of questions, about this mysterious book that claims to have been waiting for you, and...

    Honoka


    Yes. I've been waiting a long time to speak with you!

    This book is a peripheral memory storage device, I'm pleased that it managed to last all of these years.

    The Doctor's Work is always flawless I suppose, but I can still say that I was worried about it, even as a memory form...

    Well, there does seem to be some damage, but...

    I can talk at least.

    As for the letter... Yes, that was the agreed upon message I believe...

    Although I can't clearly recall the act of writing it myself...

    Still, it is nice to see you.

    After all...

    How did it go...?

    I art thou, thou art I...?


    ...In response, the book says a lot of things, some of which almost seem to be rambling, but...

    That bit at the end...

    Was it saying it was you?

    As for Alice...

    "...Maybe not our tech then, what the hell did that guy hand me...?"

    She seems to be getting more and more suspicious of the book by the minute...
    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?



  7. #1167
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Logan Starbright & Mokujima Chris
    Simulator
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Morning


    ---Where one attempts to retreat into the confines of sleep, another makes a dash for one of the more obvious land-marks around this fog-filled city. It doesn't take much time to make the trip since the clocktower was so close to you, but it's only once you get up near the top of it, a bit above the thick haze of fog that you can really get a grasp at the exact nature of the buildings all around you, and they are...

    Somewhat bizarre?

    While the city had given you a distinctly London-esque vibe upon it's creation (and resembled it on a superficial level) there are a number of different building styles in place all around the city, a massive clashing of different cultures that had Japanese-style homes sitting alongside European style castles and everything in between, hell...

    While the fog made it rather difficult to pick out specifics, you sort of thought you could see a building that resembled LOVELESS in the distance...

    ---Those malls are certainly everywhere nowadays, huh?

    Regardless, the Tower itself seems like a possible focal point for this simulator (the heart of it on the inside as it were) and attempt to probe the firewalls to see if you can shut it down from the inside, hack yourself free as it were, and...

    Well...

    The attempt would be best described as a "mixed success."

    The Tower certainly does prove to be a focal point of the simulation, you are able to access the system files from it to a degree, but only to a degree, nevertheless...

    You are able to gain some things from it.

    -First of all, the name of this particular file, the simulation around you right now, is "End of Rev."
    -Secondly, the settings of the simulator have it such that only minimal interaction is possible for you, in other words, everything inside of here is set to be unable to touch or hurt you and vice versa, meaning that this is a rather poor prank all things considered (if it was a prank anyway).
    -Thirdly, the simulation itself... Is an unusual one, in the sense that it doesn't actually seem to be a traditional simulation at all, it's not a digital recreation of a world so much as it is a video file, a VR-esque movie that is designed to play all the way through in a very specific way and then stop, letting everyone inside of it out, and lastly...

    ---When you move to access the system files further, really shut the whole thing down early, another presence inside of the system forces you out.

    It's quite a strong presence, reminiscent of Burroughs, but not quite the same...

    Yes.

    Blocking access almost as quickly as it had been attained, leaving you with something of an incomplete hack, that same 'presence' also emerges from the system to confront Logan, the hacker perhaps?

    Come to ensure the targets stay imprisoned?

    Regardless...

    As it is...

    "...Aren't you in quite the rush?"

    There's something like... A ghost girl...

    Floating quietly in the air nearby...



    "You humans are always in such a rush, slow down, take in the sights, you'll die young of stress if you keep this up, you know?"

    Encountered: Mysterious Girl



    Meanwhile with Chris and (part) of Amelia...



    ---Through the data-link, the android takes awhile to respond to your inquires.

    Indeed, with Chris making her best effort to pass out on her back (in apparent defiance of whatever powers may be that exist) the android herself has taken to slowly exploring the surrounding area on her own... She doesn't go very far, as she is seemingly interested in whatever the result of Logan's expedition would be, but there was also an inherent curiosity in her eyes that explodes into full blown wonder as she looks around at all of the wandering NPCs, random people walking around a random city, almost like...

    She wasn't used to seeing this many humans in one place?

    Or even the imagery of this many humans existing in one place?

    It's quite strange, nevertheless...

    '...My designation is Eve. Portions of my memory have been damaged, likely due to prolonged exposure to a hostile phenomena, remaining files indicate my body was compromised for days, long-term damage to my cognitive systems was inevitable.'

    ...The android is a bit more verbose like this, in a data to data link, although...

    Her code is quite strange... Different from Omega's even... Although you can still understand it...

    Almost seems... Antiquated in a way?

    Regardless...

    "And Ruina...? Ruina is..."

    She frowns, as if struggling to remember something herself, then...

    "My home? I lived there with Administrator Sakura and... Some others... I can't remember..."

    The frown deepens.

    As for Chris, well...

    The sounds of the NPCs moving around is rather... Loud... Of course, practice with living at the SDCD base (where people are often making abundant amounts of noise along with their friends) has led to a certain resistance to this sort of thing, but...

    It almost sounds like a stampede...

    Like everyone is moving in the same direction?

    And indeed, they are...

    For one reason or another, as dusk turns to night, everyone in the city starts heading for the Clock Tower and...

    There's the sound of... Fireworks?

    Yes.

    The sound and light of fireworks, exploding far above your heads...

    Rather annoying all things considered, but...

    You can probably sleep through this if you really give it your all-!
    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. #1168
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Mokujima Chris
    Simulator
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Morning

    She cannot do anything.

    Trapped, without Daisuke, Mokujima Chris is once again a regular powerless human being.

    In this world there are those who are strong and those who are weak. Right now she is weak. So weak that she can be defeated just by some loud noises and a sad expression.

    The weak have no power to choose. All they can do is go along with the fate laid out for them. Yes, all Chris can do now is wait and observe, and accept this scenario and hope her captor eventually sees fit to let her loose. Because she is weak and cannot do anything, not even die.

    Such thoughts do not cross her mind for an instant.

    Weak? Strong? Those are just words humans and Demons like to throw around.

    The fireworks? The noises and lights and sounds of the crowd?

    They don't even reach her.

    Mokujima Chris will never again accept a reality where it can't be helped.

    She clenches her right hand tightly, so tight it draws blood, yet even that pain won't reach.

    Center the mind. Create a space without, and place oneself within.

    Reach it.

    Reach it.

    Reach it.

    Get out.

    Get out.

    Get out.

    Find the empty void where no thought can exist, pierce through the wall of cognition with a single-minded 'wish', and place yourself there.

    In this world, data is everything. If the data where 'the mind of Mokujima Chris' should be is empty, then she does not exist in this world.

    Then, there is only one world left for her.
    Last edited by Bloble; Yesterday at 11:28 PM.

  9. #1169
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    DTG
    Avalon ~ Camelot, Tintagel Gardens
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Early Morning


    ---For now, a momentary retreat from the growing tragedy in the distance.

    A tragedy that manifests as the movements of many squires, adrenaline shooting through their veins as cooking gear is produced out of nowhere, adrenaline that causes a number of different reactions to a situation that you just don't need to be a part of right now-!

    Yep.

    Turning your back on your user momentarily (after all, there is only one real way that situation ends) you march over towards the area where Zerah and Dejah are having their little chat, and...

    Quote Originally Posted by DTG
    ”Ain’t rightly got a tongue to taste with and I am still beating heels. Sorry about the rookie, gumshoe,” the detective COMP said idly to the swordsman. “Ain’t no stopping him when he gets like this. Anyway, heard you asking how long the tyke has been batting her peepers ‘round these parts. Wouldn’t mind being out wise to that my self, seeing as how she kinda reminds me o’ someone.”
    "...It's fine."

    Ultimately, Zerah just closes his eyes and sighs at his misfortune... It is not the first time his more naive viewpoint has been manipulated a bit, indeed, all of these social games are something that he was never particularly good at, getting to where he is purely through radiating a sense of pure chivalry about himself, a manifest knight of the old ages in the modern day, and...

    "The squires will stop him in the end anyway, they always win."

    ...since he seems to understand that much, perhaps he's not quite as naive as appearances suggest?

    Nevertheless...

    Quote Originally Posted by DTG
    ”Ma’am.” The blond man added looking straight at Dejah. “Don’t reckon we ever got proper introduced. I’m just your average dick, but at your service anyhow.”
    "Yes, the detective, I've heard a bit about you."

    Dejah's response is a simple curtsy.

    The polite mannerisms of a noble born lady.

    "But as for how long I've been wandering around, well... I suppose one could say I'm not wandering around at all," gesturing at her form, the girl's smile remains somewhat enigmatic, "This body is just an avatar. My real self is a sword you see, it lacks legs, makes it quite hard to move... That's why my old wielder here is confused about my appearance, I projected myself as a more humanoid form..."

    A pause, then:

    "...After getting cut out of my body by viral attack. To be more specific, I'm operating at around 10% capacity as a thought-form currently, a sort of data-ghost."

    She doesn't seem particularly concerned about this rather extreme claim, but-!

    "As a projection, I only have so much access to my own functions, so I came to see if I could recruit the knights into helping me find myself. My body can't be destroyed, just disabled, so it's more of a matter of just finding where it is... And since I'm here, I'm pretty sure it crashed on this island somewhere..."

    Looking back and forth between you and Zerah (who lets out a vague hiss like noise at the girl's description of her circumstances) the girl cheerfully...

    "...Not that I'm particularly worried about it mind you, no permanent damage can be done to me. It does, however, make accessing my directives sort of inconvenient... It seems I had some sort of ongoing task I hadn't finished yet at the time of being attacked, so going back and finding out what it was seems like it should be my current top priority."

    She laughs.

    "It felt like I should take the vampire along too, so I did, you see? Trust one's instincts, as it were..."
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  10. #1170
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Daisuke
    Aoyama, LOVELESS, Moon Under Water
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Morning

    Quote Originally Posted by Saya
    "...Just don't tell Chris about it, it'll be fine."
    "Thanks, Saya-san... but I think I'll have to."

    While Daisuke is grateful that his mistake isn't being held against him, that isn't the same as letting it drift away.

    "My sensors have never gone crazy like this over someone before. This whole time there's been data generated in abnormally large amounts, insisting that something's terribly wrong. But there's no basis for it in reality. If I'm malfunctioning like that, it's something Chris needs to know about, especially considering the mission soon. And besides, she's already disappointed in me after the last time..."

    Maybe the young COMP is just cursed to have strange interactions with women, his buddy included. The past month has been a string of rocky encounters, ever since Lexie landed on him that one morning. Perhaps her weight had knocked something loose.

    As he is about to continue his explanation, Daisuke's avatar pauses. It does not form a surprised expression; he is too actually surprised to send the code for such it. Instead he freezes in place, for several CPU cycles, as all of his processing power is suddenly used to comprehend the information before him. When he comes to, the shocked boy can only repeat a single name:

    "Sakurako?"

    ...

    Seconds earlier, as Aislyn flips open the large book...

    "I'm n-not that interested in it... I was more interested in why you were carrying something like that around in the first place, r-really! I've got something similar, but it's all in here." He points to his head, where everything he sees and hears is stored and sorted as data. "But if it's just something like that, then it's... fine..."

    Daisuke weakly protests. But his words are ignored as the pages settle on a list of names he can't help but observe.

    And when he does, his mind momentarily blanks.

    Why?

    Why is that name there?

    Was she a customer? That girl, who was antisocial and only came out at night, had come here? Or had it been a meeting under different circumstances?

    His buddy had once said something nice and meaningful that might have been relevant here, but Daisuke hadn't bothered recording it at the time; even if it's a cool line, it stops being cool when you're just using it to complain about low drop rates.

    "Ai-chan, it's not embarrassing at all. Wanting to make memories is a beautiful thing. Keeping them close to heart is even better. It's nice that you can do that even without a COMP, but..."

    He looks up.

    Daisuke's eyes are wider than ever.

    Among the other names, some are familiar. Fairchild is the name of the leader of the Rose Cross, and Amamiya is someone he recalls in a few SDCD training sessions. But only this one captures his attention instantly and completely.

    What had it been again, that Chris had said?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mokujima Chris
    "Sometimes what you're looking for will drop into your lap. Sometimes a precious thing will vanish before your eyes. The cause of such extraordinary events can be either coincidence or the result of someone's actions. Sometimes those are your actions, or seem like yours, but sometimes they aren't. There's no such thing as fate or destiny, only action and reaction, regardless of what gods and demons and ascended intelligences might claim. So if it ever feels like there's some higher power guiding you, some hand pushing you forward along a certain path or arranging for an abnormal number of 'coincidences'... then there is, and it's not a higher power at all. Don't forget, Daisuke: such a force might call itself enemy or a ally, but in the end, it just wants to use you. Regardless of its intention, that force is not your friend. At best, it considers you a piece to moved along a chessboard. So if you're unsure, reject it. A choice you don't understand, a decision that's not yours - that's no choice at all."
    Coincidence or manipulation - it's still too early to say.

    So he points, one finger reaching out and touching a single signature on the page.

    "...could you tell me how you know Kurogane Sakurako?"

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