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Thread: Spirit Pulse : Mugen No Sekai [IC]

  1. #941
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Blaise Pendragon
    Aoyama, Hideout
    11/16/2026
    Afternoon


    (BGM On)

    ---The steel door closes with a familiar clang, as if welcoming you back to a home away from home.

    Gone were the scattered papers and belongings of the remnants of Isamu's old gang, gone were the scattered couches that had been haphazardly thrown around without a care in the world, gone was the kitchen that had only ever been used to cook things in a microwave, and in their place...

    School supplies -courtesy of yourself and Isamu- a consequence of the teachers cracking down harder than ever on attendance back at the Academy, scattered textbooks on subjects ranging from Mythology to Mathematics adorning a sparkling table where Isamu now sits, eyes moving like clockwork over the pages in such a way that it's becoming increasingly obvious that he's rereading the exact same sentence over and over again...

    A common trap for students.

    A wandering mind that would rather be doing literally anything else...

    This was his home of course, or rather, because he would rather be literally anywhere than his house, it seems that the clubhouse was actually where he operated from completely...

    In that sense it was like his apartment, and in terms of his new roommate...

    Tsukiko is doing the opposite of studying along the far wall, on the few couches that had been deemed of good condition and not thrown out to be recycled with the rest of the trash that had been deemed 'useless.' Adorned in the usual black sweater and shorts, the secretly older girl is being rather blatant with how little she is contributing to society as a whole; an old Nintendo DS -not sure where she got it considering how ancient those were- was clenched tightly in her hands, and her sprawled out form along the comforter was clearly and cleanly tapping away at buttons without a care in the world...

    Yes...

    It's the image of a freeloader, of a person who has absolutely crashed on this couch multiple times over the past week without showing the slightest signs of shame, but...

    Isamu doesn't seem to mind, of course...

    The judgement of a teenage boy is perhaps not the best?

    Well, not like Tsukiko was dangerous, still...

    Of the two people present in the hideout, she is the one who most obviously reacts to your presence, a single hand going up to wave at you in the bare minimums of a greeting, before...

    Falling back to her game.

    A clearly struggling teenage youth on one side, a gaming granny with eternal youth on the other, and past them both...

    Your Kitchen
    A kitchen.


    Ovens and refrigerators freshly cleaned and sparkling, filled to the brim with fresh groceries that Isamu seems to consistently get through some bizarre method to appease the stomach of his roommate vampire, and...

    Nothing but free time.

    School was over for the day and much as you loved your family...

    There was a certain amount of... Stress... That came from being around them in their entirety...

    Especially Yuka... After the Detention thing... Yeah...

    Hanging out here for awhile was probably for the best...

    But what to do 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?



  2. #942
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Blaise Pendragon
    Aoyama, Hideout
    11/16/2026
    Afternoon

    "Yo! Isamu! Four-Eyes!"

    As usual, the slightly rude greeting came from the COMP AI that appeared from behind Blaise, striding into the hideout like she had owned the place. And in a way, she probably thought she did. Kaguya had a bad habit of asserting dominance wherever she thought she could, trying to elevate herself in the pecking order. And while she did regard Isamu somewhere between a brother-in-arms (thanks to his fascination with stories about certain blonde delinquent) and a goon (thanks to his so-called "Level 1 Crook face" as opposed to Blaise's "Level 35 Boss face", whatever that meant), the same could not be said for Tsukiko. Instead, the deceptively old vampire was still regarded with suspicion and daggers glared towards the back - a sort of one-sided angry rivalry that saw mostly Kaguya fuming, and only her.

    As for Blaise himself? He simply rolled his eyes at Kaguya and walked into the room, raising his hand in a silent greeting. He regarded with some interest that Isamu had actually hunkered down to do some homework - that was a rare sight, despite the situation where they found themselves in. As for Tsukiko lazing around as usual, he couldn't help the slight frown that appeared on his face.

    "... You're gonna ruin your eyes, y'know," Blaise commented at the vampire. "And your posture. Would it kill you to sit straight once in a while?"

    He couldn't help it, really.

    Looking after the lazy, bespectacled girl often made Blaise sound like his own aunt. He knew that she was much older than him, but that was no excuse to live so slovenly - especially at that age. Her way of life was just asking for problems with back, headaches, stomach cramps and whatever else. And who'd have to nurse her back to health when that happened? Blaise, that's who. The vampire was certainly not equipped to care for herself, so as always, it would fall upon him. And he had enough problems right now without adding a bed-ridden vampire to a mix.

    Lots of problems.

    And while school could go to hell, he'd much rather avoid a confrontation with his aunt right now...

    Bah. He needed something to take his mind off these things.

    And Blaise knew exactly what that would be.

    "--- You guys wanna take a little break? I'll whip up something quick," Blaise asked, more to Isamu than Tsukiko for obvious reasons. "Something sweet should help with concentration and energy levels. A snack and some iced tea sound good?"

    Meanwhile, Kaguya was peering down at Isamu's books with a frown on her face.

    "Are ya guys ever gonna use sumthin' like this? I mean... maths aside, myths sounds totes useless," the AI asked, scratching her head. "Ain't no Greek legends gonna help ya out when lookin' fer a job."

    Blaise snorted as he grabbed an apron from the wall. It was his second favorite one, with a picture of a tiny drunk dragon eating dango under the moon. His favorite one (with a picture of a rabbit making a mochi castle) was still back at home. As he started putting the apron on, informing that the kitchen was about to become his domain once more, he threw a look back at his companion.

    "It's because of the demons. Makes it easier to deal with them, see," he explained, nodding towards Isamu's books.

    Kaguya snorted derisively.

    "Demons are dorks, nerds and dweebs," she commented back. "That's all ya gotta know."

    Shaking his head, Blaise simply shrugged, as if saying to Isamu "see what I've had to deal with today?" before turning around. Whether or not the duo was up for a snack (when weren't they hungry?) he was still going to whip up something.

    After all, he would have to sit down and crack open some school books soon, too...

    ... This was mostly just delaying the inevitable.

  3. #943
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Cosmos Fairchild
    Cosmos's Room, Rose Cross Base
    12/22/2026
    Morning, Rainy


    (BGM On)

    ---The rain continues to fall.

    Whether it is because the world itself is grieving along with this tragedy, or because you have begun to have trouble telling one day from the next in your misery, is a question that you do not know the answer to, not because you are incapable of finding it...

    But because the World has seemingly lost all color, a dull gray, the consequence perhaps of a heart that has been absolutely torn to shreds.

    ---At the very least, you've been in here for a couple of days.

    Enough to know the basic gist of what had seemingly happened in your 'month of missing time.'

    ---Namely, that two doppelgangers had shown themselves inside of the organization around the time the two of you had been expected to come back that day; doppelgangers so perfect that they had seemingly been able to pass through each and every one of the many checks the Tamer Organizations use to weed out the normal shapeshifters... After all, with demons typically being able to choose how they 'appeared' in the world, and magic enabling humans to disguise themselves as others physically, it was the sort of crime that counter-measures were developed for quickly...

    In other words, I.D checks were typically done through spiritual signatures, which could not be so easily mimicked even with magic...

    ---Even so, these two had seemingly found a way, and then-

    Well.

    You didn't know much more than that, you hadn't been in much of a state to ask for further details on the matter.

    Yes.

    You had certainly shut down over the episode, even as the rest of the Organization scrambled around in a mess you wanted no real part of...

    This room had become a voluntary prison, one in which only others ever entered... Be it Ariel to make sure you were eating your meals, or Alyx, who seemed to check your room every night so far at least once -normally multiple times- as she wanders the halls of the main building...

    In some ways, that is bizarre behavior.

    However, for Alyx, who was loyal to family over all else, well...

    ---This event seems to have twisted and stoked her fears in a very specific way, she wasn't thinking straight and was acting off of ingrained instincts, and to that effect...

    She seemed to be watching over you.

    Not all the time.

    During the day, she does... Something... Outside in the fields...

    Probably training.

    Unlike you, she hadn't shut down completely.

    No.

    Alyx had not been consumed by sadness, rather...

    ...Wrath.

    Rage.

    That's probably where she was right now, since Saria seems to have shut down in the bar and has thus become useless to her as a friend, but you...

    Still in bed, discarded card from your ill-fated journey laying forgotten on the nearby dresser...

    The rain continues to fall, world grieving in it's own way, and you...
    Last edited by Airen; July 10th, 2020 at 06:17 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?



  4. #944
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Eva Ellet
    Eva's Room, Rose Cross Base
    11/16/2026
    Morning, Sunny


    ---Well, today was the day.

    The beginning of your out-of-territory assignment to the North Pole as a representative of the Rose Cross, which was -at least for you- a rare chance to leave the country and see at least a bit of the world outside of your comfort zone... Of course, you certainly like your comfort zone, and in many ways this assignment was certainly annoying, but...

    There's at least a bit of excitement in it-!

    The sort that seems destined to emerge at the beginning of any sort of new journey-!

    Although if you were at least a bit excited, the bizarre A.I version of Agatha...

    "Let's see... List of items for a journey... Do you have a toothbrush? Food? Clothes? I am aware that this is your first time on this sort of journey after all, so worry not, like a good secretary I came prepared with all necessary information-!"


    ...Is chatting away at you like a sort of Mother Hen, the type that wants you to double-triple check that all of your clothes were where they should be, that you knew the plan of action today -meet up with Catherine and the others at the Spirit Pulse Terminal, which you would take to an area near the SLEIPNIR- and that your room was left neat and orderly so that you had a clean place to return to at the end of it all-!

    In other words, she was easily the most excited out of the two of you...

    Still, not like there was anything particularly wrong with that-!

    When your newfound A.I is satisfied with the state of your room you close the door for what will be the last time in awhile, and...



    "Ah, Eva. Getting ready to head out?"

    ...Accidentally bump into the Commander, who had seemed posed to knock on your door right as you come out of it-!

    Of course, she doesn't mind the minor accident... Indeed, she simply smiles at you as the two of you bounce off of each other with a small thud-!

    "Thought I'd walk everyone to the Terminal, see em off myself."

    In spite of being blind, the older woman chuckles at her own use of the word 'see,' another bizarre quirk of hers...

    Or perhaps, simply her ability to laugh at her own misfortunes in life...

    Behind her is just Alyx, who is poking at her watch with general disinterest in her surroundings, so it seems you were second on her list today...

    "And perhaps -just perhaps- do my best to banish any last minute butterflies of any nervous recruits...?"

    Nevertheless, the Knight Commander is as teasingly gentle as always...

    Coming around just to make sure everyone felt okay...

    "Wanna come along?"

    She really did act like everyone's aunt at times...
    Last edited by Airen; July 10th, 2020 at 07:35 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?



  5. #945
    Holy Mother is Best Mom palad1n's Avatar
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    Cosmos Fairchild
    Cosmos's Room, Rose Cross Base
    12/22/2026
    Morning, Rainy




    "Um, mother?" She timidly raised her hand. "I... I can guide Mister Kenji if the hospital is in Vatican. Besides, Alyx has just started her patrol a few minutes ago, so..."


    She wanted to see more.

    She wanted to know more.

    She wanted to--
    "I'm sorry." She answered while looking at the man's eyes - or at least where she thought his eyes were. "But Cosmos Fairchild cannot answer that question."


    "But I can show you around." Cosmos replied with a small smile. "Being cramped here all day must be boring for you. As you suggested, we can have a walk as long as we don't stray too far."


    "Miss Kagura, please wait! Allow us to inspect this fountain just for a minute please!"


    Thus after reciting a quick prayer and taking out her rosary - which morphed into a staff - Cosmos once again leaped into the fountain, ready to face whatever it is that she'd been chasing.


    How long does it take for the 'fall' to stop?

    Seconds?

    Minutes?

    Hours?

    Days?

    Weeks?

    Years?

    No time at all?
    Dolls can't be allowed to rebel like this...

    I'll break it for you.
    It sounds different, it's a command for you to stop, but it sounds different than before, nevertheless...

    You're already through the gate by the time you're really able to think about it clearly.





    What is 'The World?'

    In its most literal meaning, a world would refer to Earth - or perhaps The Universe.

    However, for an individual, The World might refer to the people they're connected with, the bonds that they've forged over the course of their lives. After all, the number of people that one can empathize with are limited - past a certain number, the human mind simply cannot keep up, thus the famous saying "One death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic" was born from this concept.

    For the girl known as Cosmos Fairchild, her World has always been a small one.

    For ten years, her World has always been only consisted of five people: Mary, Alisa, Alyx, Illia, and Sariel. Her loved ones, her family, the only one she could fully and truly trust. It was a deliberate move; the smaller the world, the stronger the bonds within it, and the less chance that she could get hurt.

    However, it is frailer. On the small chance that something happened to one of them, then her World would crumble.

    And two of them had died. One being the person most precious to Cosmos Fairchild in the world, the entire foundation of her existence. Someone so important that in an event where she lost all the other four members, as long as Mary Fairchild is still there, then there is no doubt Cosmos would eventually be able to return to her feet with her guidance.

    And she was gone, like a fleeting memory.

    --Today, too, the girl's empty eyes stared at the wall, unmoving.

    Her mind has nearly shut down; what was left worked desperately, searching through the girl's memory for a reason why her World crumbled.

    She doesn't want to get up.

    She doesn't want to talk.

    She doesn't even want to think.

    And on the nearby dresser, a rosary laid forgotten alongside the memento from another world, the blonde AI's calls and attempt to rouse the girl up falling on deaf ears.

    --Today, too, the rain continues to fall.

    Minor Traits
    Devotion
    A single-minded devotion to two particular subjects: her faith, and her mother. Together, it forms a special will and determination to see things through, a selfless love that wouldn’t make her hesitate to throw her own life away for the sake of her devotion. However, if these two ever came to conflict, or if something happened to one of them…

    It’s a Small World
    Ever since her meeting with Father Abel, Cosmos has grown a strong sense of paranoia, especially towards other Rose Cross members. In order to protect herself and her mother from any possible slander or openings, Cosmos limits her social circle and those she can trust only to her family - Mary, Alisa, and Alyx, alongside Illia and Sariel. Having her world be so small means stronger bonds and love, and as long as this small world remains intact and fine, Cosmos would be able to go through all obstacles and hardships, no matter the odds or prospects.

    However, this limits and slows down her bonds with other people - especially those from Rose Cross - and should anything happen to her small world…
    Last edited by palad1n; July 10th, 2020 at 10:28 PM.
    Random Regalia Hijinks

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

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

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

    <Snaxies> Airen is totally Jesus again

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

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

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

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


    Personal Compliments

    <@RacingeR> Pally would be a perfect shoujo lead

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

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


  6. #946
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Amamiya Sho
    Aoyama, Sho's Residence
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Early Morning, Just After Midnight



    ---The storm gets worse as one day shifts over to the next.

    What had once been the firm -but gentle- sound of rain pattering against your roof, had slowly but surely become a storm that only the unfortunate would have to face... A thing of howling winds and roaring claps of thunder that awaken the instinct to retreat indoors, even for the far stranger humanity of the modern day, yes...

    It's the biggest storm the city of Aoyama had had in awhile, but the constant crackling of the planet is not enough to bar you from the land of sleep... So long as your roof wasn't leaking and your windows weren't broken your home was your home, a sanctuary that many years of financial stability had paid for, and one that serves as the second most expensive item in your possession, second only to your COMP...

    Yes.

    You and this house have faced many things together, this wasn't the first storm and it certainly wouldn't be the last storm, and yet...

    ---Sometime after midnight, early enough that your body rejects the very idea of getting out of bed, comes a sound that is not that of thunder or wind, but...

    A knock on the door.

    Yes.

    A firm, steady, knock on your front door...

    ---Needless to say this is strange for a number of reasons, no one without a serious purpose would be out in a storm like this, and those that did have such a purpose probably wouldn't come knocking on your door...

    Perhaps the natural response is to ignore it?

    Certainly, you might try to do just that, but once the sound starts, it does not stop...

    It's rhythmic.

    Over and over, constant, every couple of seconds...

    Unlike the storm it's not a natural sound, it's difficult to place in the category of 'white noise,' and thus crushes every attempt your mind might make at returning to the land of dreams, and thus you are forced to investigate, even if only for the sake of claiming much needed sleep...

    ---It could be a couple of things.

    A person in dire need of help, a frame-job that had another Tamer knocking at your door... Hell, Aoyama was somewhat famous for the number of spirits -mostly friendly- that seemed to call the ward it's home -a consequence of the many supernatural events that had happened here- and thus the idea that a ghost was knocking at your door just for the sake of messing with you wasn't an impossible one, but the windows were mostly fogged up from the weather, so...

    "..."

    It's only after peering through the peephole -a natural first step- that you realize...

    "..."



    ...You don't recognize the thing on the other side at all...

    Even with all of your years as a Tamer, that sixth sense that you've refined...

    You can't tell what it is...

    Or rather, it's precisely because of that sixth sense...

    That you realize...

    You can't tell what this is...

    Human, demon, spirit...

    Nothing.

    Just that it's standing there on the other side, red-cloak fluttering in the winds of the storm...

    And a cloaked hand, garbed in red...

    Moving to knock on your door again...
    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. #947
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Logan Starbright
    Aoyama, Beneath the Starlit Lake (SDCD Base)
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Morning


    ---Due to the proximity of the Cross-Faction assignment, the orders from back home had been to simply "come back with the SDCD Unit tomorrow."

    Of course that isn't entirely unexpected, there are a number of protocol that come into play when Tamers find themselves in trouble outside of their own territories, protocols that meant you'd have to make a report not just for the Rothschild, but for the SDCD themselves on the incident you had witnessed, standard protocols, came alongside temporary sanctuary inside of one of their bases.

    Since you were in Aoyama, that meant you got to hang around inside of their main base to do all of the paperwork, the far far more mundane side of the Spirit Tamer life, much less exciting than the high-speed battles, or close interaction with supernatural entities and phenomena... Just good old fashioned paperwork, time stamps, what happened when, what did you see where, physical descriptions and COMP supplied photographs of the culprit, attempted salvaging of lingering traces of spiritual signatures...

    The more 'mundane' aspect of Tamer life, but one that is just as difficult in it's own ways.

    ---Still, now that all of that was done with -at least for now- you had been mostly free to do as you like up here on the first floor of the base until the next morning, be it sleep in one of the guest rooms -in which you had already taken a brief nap-, explore the library wing they had up here on the first sublevel, or wait in the lounge where the SDCD Unit for the joint expedition was supposed to meet up in an hour, and where-



    -a certain Goddess appears to be waiting, in far more casual clothes than your first -brief- encounter with her.

    Indeed, in comparison to the almost angelic clothes she had been wearing before, the sheer sense of contemporary fashion she is exuding now had made you do a bit of a double take on her presence... The idea that she would dress like modern humans do wasn't that far fetched considering her role, her beauty was clearly supernatural -far too perfect, no real flaws in appearance- and the 'weight' of her spiritual power is so high that it paradoxically becomes almost impossible to sense, but...

    It's really the casualness of her stance that gets you.

    Or rather, that the members of the SDCD don't seem to think of her presence as anything particularly bizarre... Of course Aoyama, Tokyo was clearly her favorite place -of that there was no doubt- but there was still a certain sense of surrealism to how casually they interact with her, in fact, a purple-haired woman had come by and greeted her with a high-five as she passed, a mark of brazen friendliness that the cool-faced Goddess had responded to with a chipper "Hey Lexie-!"

    Yes...

    These people were perhaps far too used to their Patron Saint, then again...

    Perhaps something similar could be said for the Rothschild Staff and their relation with their Commander...

    ...Then again...

    Maybe not.

    Yamuna-No-Okami


    -Humanity's Goddess ~ Yamuna-
    The Guardian Goddess of Humanity. Originally a form of Homunculus, a being born out of an attempt by Humanity to create an Artificial Deity. While this origin could be likened to that of a living weapon designed to follow orders and nothing more, the artificial being eventually grew a heart and motivations of her own after befriending a certain group of humans, and stepped forth to defend humanity of her own will for a number of reasons, eventually becoming a True Goddess at the climax of the Second Kyuubi Incident, of which she was a major player, showing herself to humanity to stop the descent of a Falling Moon.

    While Yamuna has been mostly benevolent throughout her existence, and functions as a full-blown idol and humanity's strongest defense force in the modern day, there was a point in the past where her free will led to a certain incarnation of her being somewhat antagonistic towards humans for a short period due to their actions towards her, and thus, while it is considered extremely unlikely that she will repeat those actions in the future, there are plans in place to seal her away if it ever becomes necessary.

    With exceedingly high abilities in all areas, Yamuna is the one of the few Divine Beings in the World to retain the rank of
    Great God
    "No Okami"
    and is thus classified as a fully manifested Divine Spirit, although she voluntarily wears a certain device to keep her Reiki from "warping space/time" around her.

    As an idol singer her most popular track is "Reincarnation," and her most heated rival is fellow Goddess Izanami.

    Mostly popular with humans and weaker demons, her fellow Gods and members of the Heavenly Host aren't quite as happy with her...
    Last edited by Airen; July 11th, 2020 at 11:33 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?



  8. #948
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Ludwig Karlfeldt
    SLEIPNIR - Brewed Awakenings (Rothschild Branch)
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Early Morning




    ---Back here again, this time in the early morning hours before the Cross-Faction Assignment.

    The Coffee Shop was always popular in the evenings, the bar-like atmosphere the shop takes on in the after-hours is the sort that inevitably draws quite a few members of the staff to it; bars are social areas after all, and the idea of coming someplace to get a drink and relax after a long day's work is a concept that exists even within the Rothschild Organization...

    Yes.

    Even the members of the "Red Shield," could appreciate a bar, and it is here that you were brought by Adala for your lecture on recklessness, and how one's Trump Card should not be used so casually... The fighter that carelessly uses all of their cards early on is typically the one that loses after all, information was power, and no matter how strong a person might be, knowledge of all of an opponent's 'cards,' was one of the strongest advantages a person could have, in other words...

    It's the expected lecture in other words, still-

    While there is an air of seriousness to the lecture, it's clear the silver-haired woman isn't particularly inclined towards talking about it all night, although the intention of staying up all night has never really been clearer to you.

    Unlike the others, who come and go at different times of night -seemingly getting well rested for the day ahead, which will probably be strenuous for a number of reasons- only three people consistently remain until the early hours of morning -now- and amongst them are you, Adala -who has left for a moment to check on something in the Bridge- and the person who she had given the order of "brew me another pot, I'll be back" to, the head of this particular branch of the coffee shop, the bartender at night, and someone who had been wandering back and forth amongst the many seats up until now, where the only -conscious- customers that remain are you and Adala, namely-



    "How about you? Want some more coffee too?"

    -a man by the name of Vincent.

    Or well, at least you were pretty sure that was his name... Considering you weren't the type to be here this early in the morning your interactions with the man had been somewhat limited up till now...

    Although was man the right word?

    Certainly he dressed the part of a human, talked like one, and didn't really seem out of place amongst humans, well...

    You got the feeling there was at least a bit of a demon's power to him, then again, considering the nature of the Rothschild, the idea that even the Bartender has things to hide about himself wasn't too far-fetched a one...

    Earlier in the day -or rather, yesterday considering the hour- the television sets behind the bar had been set to the news... The Akarana Incident was still receiving some coverage, with Akarana Charlotte making some statement about her brother's incarceration that you had missed, some talk about a temporary shutdown of certain entertainment-based data simulators due to a 'software security flaw,' and some storms out in Japan that had been a bit stronger than expected...

    Sometime around eleven however the man had changed the televisions from the News to what he called his collection of anime, so since "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" has been playing for the past two hours now, his interests in that sort of area could be easily noted...

    Yes.

    It was in your nature to check around to see what you can find out about a person, he was reading something too, glancing down at a paperback book he was holding from time to time when orders weren't coming in, but you couldn't see it's title...

    Well...

    That was about as much as you could get at a glance-!

    "Or maybe you've got some life problems you wanna vent? Seems like you were getting lectured by the boss."

    And he seems pretty determined to start up that old tradition bartenders do...

    Cleaning a glass while attempting small talk with the customer base...

    "I'm here to listen if you need anything like that, bartender's code, you know?"
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  9. #949
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Daisuke
    Aoyama, LOVELESS
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Morning



    ---Once again, you were the one that had to do the actual footwork around the city.

    With Chris being rather insistent on finishing the repairs of a certain suppression android -who contrary to Burrough's expectations had not quite sprung back up into a state of consciousness just yet- the task of doing the meet and greet with the other Tamers chosen for the assignment had fallen into your lap, with your User likely intent on not showing up until the last possible moment, purely to avoid the social obligations that come with this sort of thing...

    Not that you necessarily minded that of course, but it meant that your path through the morning was rather different than her own; where she is still cooped up in one of the student labs back at base, you're out and about with a certain Namasaki Shuichi, who seems intent on doing some last minute supply runs back here at home... He seems to be after smithing materials for the most part, saying that he knew a place where he could find some stuff on a last minute basis, and...

    He had headed to LOVELESS, and since he was the one in charge of rounding up all of the others, you had come along with him...

    A normal trip, at least so far...

    Ever the image of the reliable senpai, he had marched into the LOVELESS Mall with a sense of resolute purpose, made his way directly to his destination without falling for the bizarre 'magic' that the mall typically inflicted on those that entered it, subtly nudging them away from the exits -or perhaps nudged the exits away from them- in a manner that no one could really identify, or even decisively prove was magic...

    Regardless, he had ignored whatever 'power' lingered over this place, walked calmly into a shop on the second floor labelled "Weinbergstr Antiques," where he picked out a number of glowing gems whose exact origin and purpose was unknown to you, but that clearly had some sort of inherent value to him, considering how he was able to haggle down the price from a hefty 300,000 yen to a somewhat less student wallet destroying 200,000 yen...

    A bit shady perhaps, considering that all of the employees in this particular shop were dressed in rather nice suits, but nothing that would strike you as particularly bizarre, nothing that would make it seem like Shuichi has lost control of the situation, oh no...

    But something like that does appear, right at the very end, as his chosen stones are placed into a briefcase and handed over into his care.

    "Namasaki-kun!<3"


    A shrill voice, like that of a somewhat screechy princess, calls out to the dark-haired youth from the back of the shop.

    The expression on his face changes.

    Ordinarily, Namasaki Shuichi is either smiling or stoically moving through life, but for an instant, a single moment...

    There's a flash of something like... Fear...?

    Not the terror one feels when their life is about to reach it's end, but some other sort of fear that's difficult for you to place, and...

    "Daisuke. Run away, don't let her see you-!"

    A heartbeat after hearing that voice, that youth tells you to flee, flee as fast from this place as you can...

    You don't of course, because this situation is becoming absurd at a rate that is difficult for you to process, yes...

    The boy's body leaps over one of the nearby shelves, his goal of reaching the closest exit obvious, but like a golden streak of light-!

    Someone slams into him.

    The sound that person makes is like a squee, and the action that sends the two of them toppling to the ground could only be called that of a glomp, one so brazen and over-the-top that it wouldn't feel out of place within the confines of an anime, and...



    "You came back! I knew you would~! Did you miss me?!"

    Is this what a "fangirl," looks like?

    Shuichi was certainly popular with girls (and some guys) but this is the first time you can say you've seen him take a flying tackle from someone-!

    "..."

    The sudden assailant gives off a strong feeling of someone who comes from money...

    Her clothes are far too pristine, obviously high-quality -scanners say Gucci- and while she has Shuichi in some sort of death-grip around his waist, she's doing so in a manner that somehow still comes across as 'graceful,' yes...

    ---Princess.

    This one gives off the aura of a princess, or some sort of heiress... A noble, in other words...

    And Shuichi, letting out little more than a sigh at his capture, looks right at you and...

    "Run."

    Mouths the same sentiment to you as before...

    But why...?
    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. #950
    Ludwig Karlfeldt
    SLEIPNIR - Brewed Awakenings (Rothschild Branch)
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Early Morning


    ---A lengthy lecture, quietly being absorbed like a sponge by the Karlfeldt Inheritor.

    Recklessness born from a wish to aid, a need to not fall behind, and a nudge to awaken Ludwig's persistence had caused the Tamer to set his first footprints in the realm of Gods. Perhaps naturally, fighting the beast that mastered the element antithetical to him as well as his superior in skill, strength and power -even going as far as to deny the usage of Telepathy- he lost this round.

    To say nothing was gained from a brush with the Celestial Devouring Wolf would be a mistake. In the face of defeat, a new wish was born. One of power, unity, even family.

    Attaining one's dreams requires a stern will and unfailing determination, and these have certainly been sharpened by last night's encounter.

    This lecture too may have been a gift, a fond memory in the trying times to come...

    Of course, Adala and Ludwig weren't alone in the Brewed Awakenings bar.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent
    "How about you? Want some more coffee too?"



    "Only if you have some to spare, thanks Vincent. Surely Anna will need her batch today, as well as the Commander and the many new faces we'll see today."


    The amount of coffee that is consumed here daily must have already been a frightening number, and today Tamers of the other big factions will help expand that number to even greater heights. The lifeblood that kept the adult workforce intact is a demand that could be found all over the globe.

    "Or maybe you've got some life problems you wanna vent? Seems like you were getting lectured by the boss."
    "I'm here to listen if you need anything like that, bartender's code, you know?"
    "Ah, that's alright. I deserved that lecture... I got myself into a bit of a mess after meeting Alexia. It all went downhill from there really..."

    A small pause of silence fills the room, as the modern Tamer realizes that that isn't solely the truth. It was he himself who entered the mind of that mischievous troublemaker. And he willingly went along with her, as well as Loki's schemes...

    "Well, challenging Fenrir was my own mistake..."

    Ah, about that, Lud...

    The usually happy COMP voice continues in the ESPer's mind. During intervals of Adala's lecture Lydia had been telling Ludwig of her minor talk with Alexia, as well as the plan she hatched after doing so.

    Ludwig, wasn't pleased to hear it.

    "...and trying to devour Fimbulwinter..."

    I tricked you for a good reason-! I swear!

    Yes, Lydia has always had an exceptional talent to figure out people and situations, as well as to best guide their course to her desired outcome.

    Seeing the details hidden in the bigger picture.

    And she had used Ludwig's competitive drive alongside the trust he places in his COMP to spur the boy on. Forcing him to dance on the stage of divinities.

    All in order to get the stone faced relatives to open up to each other, even if only a little-!

    ---The worst part is that, she probably succeeded. Adala did say she would speak of some 'mundane matters' that nevertheless seemed to cause her to worry.

    Of course, Ludwig knows this too. The trust between this Tamer and his big sister COMP isn't fragile enough for something like this to be an actual issue.

    ...But after hearing how she asked Alexia that question, --realizing her plan went off without a hitch-- ignoring her while making her sweat for a little bit felt somewhat satisfying.

    "If only I'd noticed Loki's presence before it was too late..."

    You know, I made recording of what... "occupied" your eyes at the time.

    Ludwig continues expressing the strange night he had in the safe zone that is 'the bartender's code'.

    "...or freed the Commander from that dream sooner..."

    I wonder what Anna and your new Alexia-'Nee' will think of that!

    "Then again, getting caught up in Alexia-Nee's pranks and Loki's schemes has its own merits. I should go see him after this."

    ...Wait, hold on, Lud?!? Stop ignoring me and talk! Earth to Ludwig, any business to do with Loki is a TERRIBLE idea!

    ---Even Lydia can't win against the Rothschild's residential Demon.

    Lydia. I'm going to face Fenrir again, and I will win this time. But I'll need more information first.

    ...Your true intention is obvious you know. The elders might not like it.

    Triumphing over Fenrir and bonding with it, creating a unity between man and a God? For their representative I think it's fitting really.


    Of course, Ludwig's facial expression doesn't betray a hint of his inner exchange with Lydia. Displaying only a serene calmness as he absent-mindedly shares his unusual night.

    "Ah, my apologies. My lamenting must be coming across as utterly nonsensical. Just consider all of that as the results of poking the wrong lady."

    And ends his woes by a curious choice of words.

  11. #951
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Daisuke
    Aoyama, LOVELESS
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Morning

    Daisuke and Namasaki Shuichi together make for a strange sight.

    With one tall and the other tiny, they would look for all the world like an older brother bringing his much younger sibling to the mall to do some shopping. Daisuke isn't very comfortable with such an arrangement; he doubts Shuichi, an only child, is good at taking care of a little brother. Neither does he think the older Tamer would much want to. Not to mention, it'd be difficult to hold a conversation when one of them constantly has to look up and the other down.

    Thus, the other, stranger option...




    "Eh? Shuichi-nii-san, there's no way I could do that."

    The arrangement Daisuke decided in is... perhaps even stranger. After all, in this form, it's the taller younger COMP respectfully addressing the shorter older Tamer. But perhaps this state is a reflection of the young COMP's desires; instead of yet another overbearing older sister, what Daisuke sees in the SDCD's ace is something closer to an aniki in which he can confide and with whom he might be able to talk more candidly, as if they are just two friends close to the same age rather than a child who learns and a teacher who teaches.

    And it's been fun. Walking around, getting the job done, chatting, asking and answering questions, not being waylaid by the fairies who seemed to have memorized his impromptu team maneuver, and stopping to try that delicious 'latte' stuff they sell at every corner... yeah, it's been a fun morning.

    Almost fun enough to distract Daisuke from the trouble brewing back home, and the ever-widening rift between him and Chris. Almost enough to let him forget the look on her face that day.

    But that's not why the COMP walks directly towards the brewing catastrophe instead of away from it.

    "If I went out there, I'd just get caught up in LOVELESS' web, y'know."

    Yes, the reason Daisuke happily rejects his friend's order is not out of some noble desire to rescue Shuichi from the clutches of his fangirl (though he does seem to need the help). Rather... Daisuke is all-too aware that, should he end up wandering the mall alone, it will inevitably draw him into trouble. Not only because he is young and impressionable, but because his keen eye would inevitably notice all the myriad offers on display and be suckered in. And when a child gets into trouble, it's the one responsible for them that would get blamed. That sort of "I'll deal with the consequences, so don't worry about me" attitude is something the young COMP has had many months to get sick of, living with his simultaneously reckless and lazy User.

    Better that they suffer together than flounder apart.

    "Uh, Miss?"
    Daisuke addresses the princess-like girl. "It must be wonderful to meet a friend again unexpectedly, but Shuichi-nii-san and I are on the clock right now. There's a lot to do this morning and not enough time to do it. So he can't stop to chat for too long, even though you two are obviously... really close."

    Yes, the classic "deflect with the job" defense. It should work well against any rational person.

    However, against a princess-type who is used to getting what she wants... yes, it needs to be modified.

    "Which is to say, wanna come along with us? We still have a few errands to run in LOVELESS, right, nii-san? Catching up as we walk would be better than getting touchy feely in the middle of a store at least..."

    Yes, there's no way this suggestion can go wrong.

    Meanwhile, as the situation in the physical world threatens to evolve in strange ways, in the digital world above...

    "Saya-san, who is that...?"

    Daisuke's chibi-form avatar posts an urgent inquiry to Shuichi's COMP.

  12. #952
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Hyakka Onjouji
    Aoyama, Brighter Days Orphanage
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Early Morning


    ---You still return here from time to time.

    While your successful application as a Spirit Tamer had given you a room at the bottom of the "Starlit Lake," the home-base of the SDCD here in Aoyama Tokyo, there is a certain lingering fondness for home that brings you back here every once in awhile...

    Yes.

    It's not particularly easy to leave one's childhood home behind, but seeing as how said home was more or less a hop and a skip away from your new one, the idea of leaving it behind completely isn't really a necessary one... You can come visit any time you'd like, and when you do, you're greeted with a cascade of "Hyakka-Onee-Chan-!" and "Big Sis" from those children that still remain within the confines of the orphanage...

    It's got a bit of a history in Aoyama after all, over twenty years ago, it had taken in a number of children from the first "Kyuubi Incident," and those kids had then gone on to support it themselves as adults, as a result...

    Brighter Days Orphanage was not a "second class" home by any sense of the word; the children that wind up there are treated exceptionally well, with a number of caretakers flowing in and out in shifts with smiles on their faces... Now that you were a Tamer, you were able to recognize some of those faces more clearly... Liane Cross appears with a startling regularity, as does Ryuumonbuchi Saki (and Belial, who seems to be some sort of unofficial piece of playground equipment), some woman named Suzume who had used to cook you breakfast a couple of times, and even Yamuna herself...

    Well, you were always able to recognize Yamuna herself, after all...

    That particular Goddess just seems to go wherever she wants, nevertheless...

    The point is, the Orphanage is more like a boarding school than any tragic residence; it encourages the same "massive family" atmosphere as the SDCD themselves, and as a result, it still feels like "home," to you...

    And perhaps that is why you spent the night last night...

    Well, more specifically, a certain storm rolling in -along with the cries of some of the children- had been enough to convince you to stay the night...

    You were a real big sister now after all!

    Had to be nice and responsible, and that meant protecting the youngest ones from the horrific sounds of crackling thunder and lightning outside...

    It's a heavy downpour.

    Has been all night, and it's getting worse instead of better...

    You can hear the wind even from inside of the building, and the constant cracking of thunder and flashes of lightning almost make it seem like some sort of supernatural battle is going on outside...

    But there is no such thing, starting something like that in Aoyama was just asking for trouble... In other words...

    It wouldn't have lasted very long if that was what was going on, to that effect, it simply meant that mother nature was being particularly aggressive this time around, so much so that the idea of going outside into the mess is hopelessly unappealing, not because it was dangerous, but simply because it would be uncomfortable...

    Soaked clothes...

    Never a fun time.

    ---But that is neither here nor there.

    Right now, you are standing right in front of the doorway.

    Why?

    Because the kids had volunteered you for the position, or rather, because you were the oldest one around in this moment (the others were making breakfast in the kitchen) you have been chosen by the hand of fate itself to deal with a certain problem at the door.

    Namely...

    That someone is knocking on the door.

    Has been for about two minutes now, in spite of the drastic downpour going on outside...

    The sun isn't up yet, so it's a perfect spooky atmosphere...

    The darkness of the outdoors, the crackling of thunder and lightning, children pointing at you and telling you to go check it out...

    Life is truly unfair.

    Truly, truly unfair.

    But you are a big sister.

    In terms of life (or at least height) you are the senior to the knee-high children pushing at your back, and thus the task of looking through the keyhole falls to you...

    It's probably not dangerous.

    This is Aoyama after all, but still...

    Perhaps there is a certain sense of dread? As you move to peep through a keyhole, movements inspired by the weight of countless childrens hopes and dreams?

    And on the other side...



    "Hello? You guys awake? I'm here to visit~"

    Encountered: Alice Liddell

    ---A certain woman that you hadn't expected to see for awhile...

    Is knocking on the door this early in the morning?!
    Last edited by Airen; July 15th, 2020 at 02:30 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?



  13. #953
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Raz Stone
    Avalon ~ Camelot, Tintagel
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Early Morning




    ---As could perhaps be expected, being the leader of one of the Big Four Tamer Organizations came with a somewhat insane amount of work.

    Having come across a particularly suspicious girl in your time at the mansion-converted-into-a-secret Academy, you had ultimately decided to do as the girl had asked of you, and arrange a meeting between herself and the leader of the Knights of the Round, Gabriel, who effectively functioned as the "King Arthur," of the Modern Day World, complete with a COMP made from a Holy Sword that everyone was pretty sure was Excalibur...

    Or at least, a fragment of Excalibur.

    Possibly Caliburn, considering he had apparently pulled it from a stone rather than from a lake, but that is neither here nor there...

    Right now, you are here for an audience with the King, however, even for a Knight of your standing, that task is not one that can be accomplished in a few hours of notice, there is a certain protocol that must be followed (since the throne room was annoyingly stage crash proof) and thus, you had spent quite a bit of time simply waiting for your turn out in the gardens.

    How long?

    In Avalon, it is oftentimes difficult to tell how fast time passes by... The land is bathed in what seems like an eternal sunrise, and thus the scenery tends to shift between gold and green with reckless abandon; night does not truly fall here, and the windows of the Dorms are consequently enchanted to emulate a more traditional Day and Night Cycle, rather than reflecting the actual world that exists outside of their windows...

    Because of that, time becomes a bit difficult to grasp at times.

    Even so, you could say it had been about twelve hours or so?

    The Boss seemed particularly busy both yesterday and today, there was a squadron of squires that had gone marching out of the castle about half an hour ago, led by Eliza Cross, and Erika and Sara had both joined that particular platoon, all of them headed out to the beach for some sort of assignment... In retrospect, it was probably that "Cross Faction" mission you had been told about a bit earlier in the week, but...

    For now, you had a different task.

    While Dejah was throwing off all sorts of red flags, this was the sort of situation where you completely disregard all of them because she is cute, a mistake that you often make, and one that can be disastrous...

    But not one that is always disastrous, still...

    Out here in the gardens, that blonde girl is simply...

    Alternating between looking at you -gaze somewhat questioning, although you're not sure what she's questioning- and looking up at the sky at... Something...

    You're not quite sure what the something is... You don't see anything particularly out of the ordinary even when you try to trace her gaze, and when she notices you looking too, she makes a sort of... amused chuckle... and just keeps on sitting on one of the decorative rocks, patiently awaiting the call from the courthouse, legs kicking back and forth in a habitual way, hands unbound because you had chosen to ignore her red flags for now...

    Close to Dejah, Isako has laid out along the ground, and is... taking a nap?

    Sunbathing?

    Both strange actions for a vampire, considering she's doing so in full light of the sun, and...

    There's one last person here, a guy, and not one you had brought with you...

    A white-haired youth, one who had walked through the entrance way of the gardens, spotted the three of you waiting out near the courthouse, and had decisvely sat down near the entrance to sharpen his sword the old-fashioned way, a whetstone in hand...

    ---He's not a very social person, but you recognize him anyway.

    After all, he is one of your fellow Knights, one known for his abject refusal to use magic, invincible sword prowess, somewhat awkward social nature-



    Encountered: Zerah Meir

    -And fellow pretty boy looks...

    Yes...

    Zerah Meir...

    Seems to be doing his best... To not draw the undue attention of anyone else in the gardens...

    Must be here for some business of his own...
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  14. #954
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Ayra Lilygrove
    Nameless Forest ~ Kuzunoha Village
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Early Morning


    ---As could be expected of Laplace, her home certainly hadn't been in an area that one could just casually locate.

    For starters, you had had to wake up at midnight, take the Spirit Pulse Terminal to Tokyo Japan, and then wander from there -running the whole way- into the depths of the nearby mountain range, where you had been told to wait at a certain shrine until four in the morning, where you would be "brought to where you needed to go," by something that the woman had not specified...

    Probably because the answer was somewhat insane, yes...

    There are a number of bizarre phenomena in the world, but this is the first time you can say that you have been kidnapped by a Forest whilst inside of a different forest; it had appeared along with a thin mist, tendrils of white wood that came creeping out of nowhere in the moonlight, a mobile, spiritual forest that seemed to simply 'pass through' it's more physical counterpart, taking life forms along with it in it's wake...

    ---In a certain sense it was a bit complicated, but in essence, you had been kidnapped by a moving forest, one that seemed to just sort of 'glide' from area to area in a way that is clearly purposeful... How far it goes is something you cannot say, but considering that you can still hear a dull 'wind' if you focus your hearing, it's pretty clear that this ghostly, mobile forest is moving at breakneck speeds to somewhere...

    Other parts of Japan? A circular route taken every night? Or is the forest itself some sort of demon or youkai that has been turned into a form of transportation by it's summoner? One that can go anywhere in the world? There was once a Tamer that used a Ghost Train for similar purposes, so it's not entirely out there, but...

    ---Then again, it's not like it's something that you need to know.

    The forest doesn't feel malicious in spite of it's bizarre qualities, and thus you follow the last direction, to "follow the dirt path, then look for the building marked with the surname 'Koizumi'," and eventually emerge at...

    What seems like a village.

    ---In spite of it being around six in the morning, there is no morning sun peering over the horizon to bathe the sky in golden light. Instead, the village itself seems to be illuminated entirely by large wooden torches -traces of reiki on them implying it was a supernatural flame- with paved stone paths and wooden cabins clashing somewhat with the strange -clearly magitech- tower you see at the very back of the settlement...

    Some of the homes look newer than the others, and there are signs around some of them that seem to mark them as family residences...

    You can see "Pendragon," and "Cross," and "Ryuumonbuchi," amongst other names, and some of those names do strike you as being somewhat familiar, considering the fame of the Cross and Ryuumonbuchi families, but...

    What was all of this?

    They looked like homes, so did they live here? Was this some sort of secret hideout of certain families? A needlessly extravagant set of vacation homes? An emergency shelter of sorts?

    ---Either way, you eventually find the one you had been instructed to go to -embracing the insanity of all the loops you had been forced through to get here- knock on the door, and-

    "You want me to get it? Why...? It's just Cross right...? Fine, fine! I'll go, geez!"

    Hear a familiar voice talking with someone else (whose words you can't hear), coming from the other side of the door...

    It opens a crack, and-



    "...Ah."

    -it's the demon from the other day.

    She looks like she's working pretty hard on something, considering the sweat running down her face, but...

    When she sees you, she freezes in place, as if this was unexpected, then...

    "...Hello!"

    She puts on a completely friendly face.

    As if choosing to completely ignore that little... Fight... From before...!
    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. #955
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Amamiya Sho
    Aoyama, Sho's Residence
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Early Morning, Just After Midnight



    "..."


    Amamiya Sho goes to sleep early, so he can wake up early as well. In the life of an outcast, there is no time for adventures late into the night, and that is even more true at this particular time of the week. So the fact that I am awake at this hour comes as a rather unfortunate realization. In spite of the ominous storm taking place outside, it is not the sound of rain or the howling of wind what is keeping my eyes open. Should that have been the case, I would have definitely cursed the world for having it against me. But no, tonight, like several other nights this past week, the culprit of this particular scenario is no other than the number one tamer dropout tamer himself.

    "Seriously, what the hell am I thinking...?"


    There is a lot in my head that should be none of my concern. The more ignorant you behave towards those that surround you, the simpler and easier your life will be. A man can barely juggle with the problems of everyday life... Then, How does one intend to also deal with the problems of others? It's a completely ridiculous idea. And yet... The cautious part of me remains restless, as if telling me that there is a piece of the puzzle that I am missing, a small fragment of truth that I should not overlook. Naturally, this creates a problem, because I simply cannot recall anything of real importance happening the past few days, there was nothing beyond the scale of what one would consider normal in the crazy place that is Aoyama in the twenty first century.

    "...?!"


    When someone suddenly knocks at the door, my body automatically moves in response, catapulting myself out of bed and removing any trace of drowsiness through an injection of adrenaline. The natural response would be to ignore it, the natural response would be to think there is someone in need of help or that a childish spirit is playing a prank...

    But Amamiya Sho isn't so trusting.

    For Amamiya Sho, no matter who stands on the other side of the door, they can be nothing but an 'enemy'.

    They are guilty of (potential) trespassing until its proven otherwise!

    "Kyp! Wake up! Kioka, run the emergency protocol-!"


    Forget about getting dressed, I need to protect my home-!

    ... I should probably let go of this kitchen knife, though. I am no longer a helpless civilian, I've got a COMP.

    "But thieves wouldn't knock on the door, would they...?"


    Comes Kioka's grounded retort.

    It's good to see that she's still as innocent as ever, but this isn't the right time for feeling glad-!

    "Just run it, damn it! The rent is due in a week...! I am not taking any risks!"


    "... okay."

    Thus, my final secret weapon, which I have hoped to keep under wraps for at least a little while longer, is unleashed:

    *Woof!Woof!
    Woof!Woof!Woof!*

    That is, a powerful recording of a canine pack barking in unison against a common foe.

    "Sorry to burst your bubble, but you'll find no house in this block more well-protected than this one."

    I begin, making my presence known through an exaggeratedly loud and profound voice.

    "Hear that? It's the sound of your demise if you ever try to barge into my place. I've got three hungry dogs who would be more than happy to feast on your remains. So... Whatever you are, I suggest you take that ugly cape of yours and whatever funny business you are into somewhere else, cause whatever act you think you can pull here isn't going to work on me, pal!"
    [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

  16. #956
    men are men; the best sometimes forget Katie's Avatar
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    Ayra Lilygrove
    Nameless Forest ~ Kuzunoha Village
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Early Morning


    Ayra is someone who understands the importance of secrecy, but as she scans the quaint village under the pale, orange torchlight, she can’t help but feel annoyed. How long did it take her to get here? Six hours? To get here on time, she had to clock out of work at two! The amount of people who seemed to be surprised she wasn’t at her desk was too large for her own comfort. This was a rare opportunity, but she obviously didn’t want to draw attention taking it.

    Aster: I cannot believe you’re angry about not doing paperwork.

    We sat around at that shrine for three hours! And another two in that forest! I don’t care if making something convoluted makes it well protected, we’re pointlessly burning daylight!

    Aster: Considering it was midnight in Japan when we got here, you could say we didn’t burn any daylight at all.

    Shut up.

    Her eyes lock-on to the signs. Ryuumonbuchi, Pendragon, Cross… those were familiar names. It makes sense to her that Laplace is someone well connected, but to live with them in an isolated space like this was just…

    Aster: You ever read how people come up with crazy conspiracy theories about the tamer agencies or the NWAB?

    No?

    Aster: I feel like their rambling is being validated before my eyes.

    I… Fair.

    Eventually, she spots the right residence—“Koizumi”—and knocks. She can feel her heart beat in her chest. In a way, being one of the few people to meet Laplace in person was in a league even further than being a Knight, of all things. The thought, as pointless as it already was, just stuck in her head.

    "You want me to get it? Why...? It's just Cross right...? Fine, fine! I'll go, geez!"
    Aster: I know for a fact that the spike in your blood pressure isn’t nervousness.

    Ayra puts her hands behind her, hiding clenched fists. It is not a very well known fact, but the blissfully bland appearing Ayra Lilygrove is an incredibly sore loser. Even if her hard-fought loss made it easier for others to believe she wasn’t Joker, it does not change the fact she was irritated at the fact she lost. For the most part, she worked hard, and then she won. To put all that effort in, only to lose…

    She forces herself to pleasantly smile instead of gritting her teeth in annoyance.

    “Were you expecting Liane?” Ayra tosses the question as a pleasant ice-breaker, to distract herself from the feelings she desperately needs to suffocate before she turns everything into a mess. If it were Eliza or Sara who were regularly in contact with Laplace, she’d think she already know, or at the very least, had a big hint that it was the case. But Liane, vice director of the SDCD, that was both in a league above her and of business she wouldn’t naturally hear about sitting in the cafeteria.

    “Anyway, mind letting me in?”

    Wise up!
    Minor Trait: -Tinted Glass-
    Ayra has always been used to being what she wanted to be, but upon becoming a Knight, and especially upon becoming a part of Joker, she understands the need to be what others want her to be. Out of necessity she can act in front of the cameras and lie relentlessly to conceal her objectives. While her skill in deception is rather rough around the edges, she is situated in an environment where people often take her at face value, which helps cover up her inexperience.
    Last edited by Katie; July 19th, 2020 at 02:11 PM.
    [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

  17. #957
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Cosmos Fairchild
    Cosmos's Room, Rose Cross Base
    12/22/2026
    Morning, Rainy


    ---Once again, you cannot manifest the strength to rise.

    It's a daily occurrence, a moment where you are forced to make a decision between making any sort of attempt at rising from your despair, or continuing to dwell within it, and once again...

    You cannot manifest that strength...

    Of course, it is somewhat unfair of the World to ask such a thing from you; anyone would be devastated if a knife had been taken right to the center of their 'World,' and thus no one can hate you for it.

    Yes.

    This weakness is all too human, all too understandable, a manifestation of your own peculiar psyche...

    ---So you stay down, and try to force yourself to stop thinking, because at this point you barely want to exist at all...

    Stop thinking.

    Stop thinking.

    Stop thinking.

    Your COMP calls out for you, but you ignore her, or perhaps... It's more correct to say that you cannot hear her?

    Yes.

    Stop thinking.

    Stop thinking.

    Stop thinking.

    Stop thinking.

    ---Time passes by, you lose track of it.

    Perhaps it's working?

    Things get dim, the sound of the rain becomes washed out, background noise, the result of some invisible person placing their hands over your ears, or perhaps, just perhaps...

    A sign of your flickering consciousness...

    Stop thinking.

    Stop thinking.

    Stop thinking.

    Stop thinking-



    -and then, like a television.

    Your sight flickers out.

    Is such a fate sad?

    Hard to say.

    ---

    Cosmos Fairchild
    ???


    ---A crystalline table.

    It's a familiar form of Crystal, the Crystal you had seen in your dreams some time ago, the gradient Crystals of the 'home' of that person whose name you had forgotten, but whose existence shone like a literal beacon, a Man of Light, as it were...

    Yes.

    You're back here again, in that strangely silent but beautiful World...

    Had you summoned yourself back here?

    Had your earnest wish for all of your pain to simply fall away resulted in this?

    It's impossible to say, but...

    "...Greetings, Cosmos Fairchild."

    Across from you, at that table made of crystal...

    Is that same man.

    Just like last time it is impossible for you to make out his features, and strangely, the light around him seems to have become even more intense in the time you have been away, but...

    You can still tell this is the same person... After all...

    He remembered your name.

    Not the name of the other you, but that of "Cosmos Fairchild" herself, just as he had said he would...

    "...It seems that something unfortunate has befallen you. Would you like to talk about it?"

    ---And just like last time.

    There's something comforting about that voice.

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

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  18. #958
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Amamiya Sho
    Aoyama, Sho's Residence
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Early Morning, Just After Midnight


    "Hear that? It's the sound of your demise if you ever try to barge into my place. I've got three hungry dogs who would be more than happy to feast on your remains. So... Whatever you are, I suggest you take that ugly cape of yours and whatever funny business you are into somewhere else, cause whatever act you think you can pull here isn't going to work on me, pal!"
    ---A final boast at the end of your truly impeccable defense.

    Having put quite a bit of thought into how you would respond to a trespasser or thief if the time ever arrived that your home was chosen as a target, you unleash the pack of digital hounds from their shackles, the audio-quality indistinguishable from that of the real thing due to the wonders of modern-day technology-!

    Of course, just as humans have developed their own spiritual talents in the current age, there are more mundane animals -pets- that have done something similar as a result...

    It wasn't quite as common as it was with humans, but the idea of pets being granted slight supernatural prowess through one means or another wasn't impossible, so there should be at least some hesitation in the movements of the red specter-!

    And indeed!

    Indeed there are!

    While your words do not prompt any verbal response from the entity, the red-cloaked figure makes an obvious tilt of it's head at the somewhat obnoxious symphony of sound that has erupted from the other side of the door, almost as if...

    The sound was confusing for some reason?

    It was clearly a pack of dogs, and yet...

    "...?"

    It pauses, and for a few moments the knocking stops.

    Unable to see it's face, you are unable to guess at the thoughts that might be going through it's head, and then-!

    And then-!

    Your potential enemy acts!

    Since the sound of your voice -as well as that of the dogs- have confirmed that someone is in fact inside of this house, it seems that the red-specter has made a decision, nodding it's head once -seemingly to itself- before...

    Stepping slowly through the door as if it just doesn't care about the potential dogs on the other side?!

    It does so like a ghost rather than through physical force, it's body permeating through the wood harmlessly, but-!

    But-!

    How had your ultimate defense been defeated so easily?!

    Just casually ignoring it...

    That's not normal-!

    And now, it's halfway through the door-!
    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. #959
    Beats By Matthew ft. Dr. Para Rafflesiac's Avatar
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    Logan Starbright
    Aoyama, Beneath the Starlit Lake (SDCD Base)
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Morning


    I should really be training right now.

    Logan can’t shake that thought, especially after all the time he’d spent not only on debriefing and paperwork, but of all things, sleeping. Now more than ever he needs to throw the candle into the fire, but…

    He experimentally flexes a limb. Still a bit sore, huh. And after the aftercare was finished for the F-Zero incident, his next orders were simply to stay put until the rapidly upcoming joint operation. Left without the time or wherewithal for an adequate training session and with plenty of opportunity to squirm at the unsettling unfamiliarity of the SDCD headquarters, so different from his usual surroundings, he’d wandered aimlessly after a meal into their sizable library. He couldn’t help but feel like a businessman in search of quick entertainment after a connection gone awry. Luckily, there’d been a section specifically labeled for light literature. That was one of Japan’s specialties, wasn’t it? He wasn’t familiar with it himself, but perhaps it would do until it was time to meet up with the others. Somewhat surprisingly, the airport fare as it were wasn’t near the front, but around a corner near the back of the library. I guess they specialize in heavier reading here, like STEM subjects. Or just stick to digital books. Logan rounded the corner and stopped, taken aback.

    It wasn’t uncommon for a room to be larger on the inside, but to this extent was a true shock. The room itself was like a shovel blade, with Logan standing at its base. Before him was a rainbow of bright print covers of countless stylish logos, sweeping fantastic vistas, and passionately drawn illustrations. For some reason, many of them were pictures of young women in impractical outfits. A few steps forward brought him to a realization: the two walls to his side had a variety of names listed as authors, but the tsunami of titles before him all bore the same name. Kamachi. Just how many books were there? Hundreds? Thousands? For Logan, who’d written countless essays and theses for his schooling, the sheer volume of the creation before him boggled the mind. David Foster Wallace would sink to his knees at the sight. Could even Shakespeare compare to the endless passion of this one man? A bead of sweat oozed down Logan’s neck. What would happen to someone who opened one of those books and sank into one of those worlds? Would they ever be able to return to a normal life? The athenaeum of accessible artistry, once inviting, now exuded an indescribable pressure. And in front of that pressure, he…

    Turned around and fled. Those heavy objects would have to wait. A very long time.

    Shaking his head, Logan continues down the hall toward the lounge. With only an hour left before the party departed for the joint operation, he may as well wait there. Best to be beyond punctual, as the family puts it. He bites his lip. And he can tune Amelia while he waits. The smiths here had repaired her happily, but it’s always best to confirm settings and functionality afterward, especially before a mission.

    : Looking forward to the mission? You’re twitchy, like you’ve got spiders spinning webs around you while you walk.

    : ...I guess. We’re all fellow Tamers, so it should go smoothly. I should be used to events like this, but… it’s unpleasant. There’s too many questions, too many moving pieces. Too many people to account for if something goes wrong. It’d be easier to go alone.

    : And yet you work so hard just not to be alone, thinks Amelia bitterly.

    : Though there’s something else too. The SDCD base feels different than the last time I was here. It’s always been a little awkward being here: it’s warm where the SLEIPNIR is cold, loose where it’s constricting, casual where it’s regimented, chaotic where it’s orderly, and being underneath the Vita Stream feels like walking under the ocean. Heavy, but it supports you too. Cold, but warm.

    Logan rubs his arm, watching its hairs fall as he brushes them before rising again.

    : But now it’s… heavier? More personal? I’m not sure how to put it. It’s like I’m being wrapped in a warm blanket. Or being hugged by sunlight. It’s weird.

    Unconsciously, Logan reaches behind himself with his left arm to grasp the elbow of his right. This strange sensation feels right, and that’s why it feels wrong. It’s unpleasantly pleasant, it’s not supposed to be this way, he’s not supposed to feel like this. It’s a different kind of weight from that of the SLEIPNIR; one that he’s not comfortable bearing. Perhaps he’ll meditate in the lounge as well, that ought to disperse his misgivings and hopefully this strange sensation as well.

    Logan enters the lounge, and his thoughts disconnect. The Goddess Yamuna stands before him. A Great God, a bona fide Divine Spirit without caveats or footnotes, is right in front of him and yet he hadn’t noticed her at all? How is that possible? With her caliber, he should’ve felt her presence from a mile away. Certainly he’d been injured, but not to that extent. If he could blink in realization, he would. Don’t tell me… I’ve been sensing her the entire time!? It's absurd, truly too absurd. But that's the sort of existence a genuine God is. And here he is, gaping like a moron. He needs to correct his manners immediately-

    A purple-haired Tamer casually high-fives Yamuna, receiving an equally casual greeting as she passes. This time, Logan manages to blink. Come to think of it, weren’t those casual clothes you could see in one of the fashion magazines Amelia had shown to him? A Goddess? In casual clothes? Casually high-fiving people? Is this the Super Duper Casual Department? Logan shakes his head, forcing his thoughts back onto a remotely rational track. First things first, mind your manners.

    “Greetings, Goddess Yamuna.” Logan bows slightly. “Once again, thank you for rescuing me.”
    Last edited by Rafflesiac; July 20th, 2020 at 02:01 PM.
    Supports:


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

  20. #960
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Blaise Pendragon
    Aoyama, Hideout
    11/16/2026
    Afternoon


    "...You're gonna ruin your eyes, y'know," Blaise commented at the vampire. "And your posture. Would it kill you to sit straight once in a while?"
    The vampire clearly does her best to suppress the urge to roll her eyes at this declaration-!

    "Immortal body, remember? I don't think I can ruin my posture."

    Of course, while her initial response is a clearly resistant one, the way in which she flips herself up into a sitting position even as she complains about it, well...

    She does listen.

    To a degree...

    "--- You guys wanna take a little break? I'll whip up something quick," Blaise asked, more to Isamu than Tsukiko for obvious reasons. "Something sweet should help with concentration and energy levels. A snack and some iced tea sound good?"
    ...A degree that amps up the moment the implication of food enters the conversation-! The huff and rise to a proper sitting position becomes a sort of bizarre martial-arts esque dash to the table Isamu was sitting at, like a cat that had just been told it was going to be fed, and had darted off to it's bowl out of something close to reflex, yes...

    It's always strange, how hungry this girl gets...

    Your mother was of the similar sort of course, a glutton with an apparent black hole stomach, but seeing as how Tsukiko was definitely not a dragon, the idea that her stomach held a similar amount of secret space was a bit... Harder to believe?

    Then again, Tsukiko was a vampire...

    And you were pretty sure she wasn't biting anyone, no real sight of blood bags either, so...

    ---Maybe that's just how she fills that particular urge?

    Well...

    Thoughts for another time perhaps...

    Her antique game system closes -seems she had been playing Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, which was remarkably fitting considering this train of thought- and she pulls herself up to what is effectively the hideout's dinner table, with-

    "Sure! A snack sounds great!"

    -obvious gluttonous urges, meanwhile...

    "Are ya guys ever gonna use sumthin' like this? I mean... maths aside, myths sounds totes useless," the AI asked, scratching her head. "Ain't no Greek legends gonna help ya out when lookin' fer a job."

    "It's because of the demons. Makes it easier to deal with them, see,"

    "Demons are dorks, nerds and dweebs," she commented back. "That's all ya gotta know."
    "...Well, I mean they're weirdos, but they do tend to like you more if you show em the proper respect."

    Ultimately, it seems that those are Isamu's thoughts on the matter.

    "Having to memorize everything is a pain in the ass though... Apparently 'hee ho' means something entirely different than 'ho hee,' when it comes to dealing with the Jacks, and then that splits even further, since all the different kinds of Jacks associate the hee's and ho's with different meanings even amongst themselves! Learning to speak Jack is an entire course of it's own!"

    Ah yes, the complaints.

    Now that was more like him, and honestly, you could probably agree with that one...

    Speaking Jack... Was an exercise in futility, still...

    Responding to your shrug with a shrug even as he answers Kaguya, the boy ultimately closes his books with the defeated sigh of a student that has relegated these particular pains to his future self, then-

    "...Might need something more than a small break. I can't do any more, my brain is frickin fried, filled with hee's and ho's and infinite combinations of the two."

    In other words...

    ---Literally anything else.

    He just needed someone to suggest they do... Literally anything else-!

    Procrastination!
    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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