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Thread: Fate/Closure [IC Thread]

  1. #181
    アカシャの蛇 The Serpent of Akasha RacingeR's Avatar
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    Hiyako Tsurara
    Shinto- Streets
    Unknown Phase


    “… Seriously…”

    Where can she even start to point out the wrongness of the situation? Time travel, a godlike entity intent of ending the world as she knows it… there’s just too much that stands out as unbelievable or impossible.

    “I have no way to ascertain the truth of your words. To be honest, I’m more inclined to think you are lying or that you have lost it. You have admitted your mental health is not good.” Tsurara paused for a moment. “No, at the very least I’m convinced that you believe what you are saying to be true.”

    “However, at this point it doesn’t matter if this… whole story is reality or not. You dragged me through time, and you are the only way I have to return to my rightful place… if I even have somewhere to return to.” Would she even have a place to come back to? If the future she came from ceases to exist, she surmised it would be perhaps another Tsurara who’d get to enjoy the non-fucked-up timeline. Lucky bitch.

    … Tsurara was discovering that she fucking hated time travel. Not only one had to consider the way their actions would ripple and affect the future, but literally all the movies she had seen had made any interaction in the past or future extremely awkward. Well, that aside…

    “And in the case this turns out to be true, I have a duty to fulfill, as a ‘human’…” Having said her piece, she sheathed her sword, then the sheath disappeared within her dress. “So, you can count with me. For now.”

    There was a short moment of silence, only interrupted by the impact of the rain against the ground, while Tsurara mulled over something. She was still working with incomplete information, one that made it hard to figure out a plan of action.

    2004… she had read her clan’s information about Fuyuki’s supernatural background. Having no actual official channels to places like the Clock Tower, mostly just connections with magi organizations within Japan, had made the information rather flawed, and she had only read a bit about the strange ‘Holy Grail’ ritual that had taken place in this land. Not that she was able to remember the dates of when all this had happened.

    Had there been an incident about disappearances or suspicious deaths in 2004? She was straining her memory rather hard but couldn’t quite recall. There definitely had been something in the report, something she had dismissed due to being too far in the past to be relevant…

    Ah hell. Whatever.

    “There are three questions that stand out, amidst the hundreds I have in this moment.” Tsurara spoke in a less strained tone, letting practicality and pragmatism take the wheel for the moment.

    “First. Why me? I’m sure there are much stronger existences in the world, even in Japan, whose help you could’ve gotten. I’m sure many of these entities wouldn’t have been happy to have a zombie apocalypse occur in their doorstep. I am nowhere near being the best bodyguard you could have obtained.”

    “Second. What is the identity of our enemies? If I am to fight against them, then I’d need all the information you can provide to me about their abilities and skills, as well.” This question was perhaps the most relevant one to the situation at hand, but, the most important question was…

    “Third. Whatever happened to your mind, is it related to this time travel? If it is a consequence of it, is it possible that it’ll happen to me as well? Because if you know anything about what I am, you should know already that I’m also not the most stable of persons.”


    quotes
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1984 View Post
    Besides, I don't see what's so terrible about looting anyway. It's only property, they're not actually harming anyone.
    Quote Originally Posted by lantzblades View Post
    when I say hero I don't mean hero in the spirit sense. I mean a morally grounded, good natured person who doesn't slaughter innocent people. No such person exists in the Nasuverse.
    [00:12] <~Katie> i can't defy my origin
    [00:12] <~Katie> of gay memes

    [16:15] <~Katie> lesbians has always been my gimmick and i will exploit it to the fullest

    [22:56] <@Sei> airen is pegging hero this time
    [22:56] <@Sei> for once airen isn't the uke
    [22:56] <@Kuroyuki> I thought Air was the Woman in the Relationship?
    [22:56] <@Airen> Yeah I kinda thought I was the girl too!

  2. #182
    Taiga's knight Tobias's Avatar
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    Yamashita Hiro
    Shinto - ​Fuyuki's Central Park
    Night Phase



    Taking the battle to the air had been the Fire Demon's mistake.


    The forest was the opponent's ally. She moved from tree to tree like a practiced predator, and her ethereal army filled the gaps between leaves more and more with each second, a living fog cloud that shut out Assassin from the battle. For a weak Servant, he would have his hands full just defending himself and evading their necrotic touch. Meanwhile, without support, death would swiftly come for the overreaching magus. So Hiro had leapt towards the moon, summoning flames as a shield to defy that verdict of death that King Cat had issued.


    It was the same as saying "a King's rule will never reach the heavens!"


    The response came an instant later.


    With a crack, something shattered. The King leapt up in an instant and smashed through the flames - and the intercepting arm Hiro had put up at the last second - with beast-like strength. Her eyes, wrapped in shadow, had sharpened, as had the claws on her fingers. Her killing intent, too, was sharp enough to slice through any strategy Hiro might have had. Outlined against the pale moon, one might have seen two inhuman monsters struggling against each other.


    "If a King can't reach," the cat seemed to say. "Then I'll bite you to death as an animal."


    Oh right, the Fire Demon remembered. The way they do it, only the beastliest one gets to be called 'King'.


    Yes, before they were God and King... they had merely been two beasts.


    The moment passed, and before Hiro - still more human than monster - could recover and leverage the raw strength of the spirit inside, the cat's claws closed around the shattered bones of his hand, whiting out everything with pain hotter than the Demon's flames. The Shadow twisted as they fell, calling upon its instincts to orient them in the best possible way. It twisted its legs and smashed them into Hiro's stomach, claws on its feet tearing into flesh.


    "----guh!"


    In response, something flashed in Hiro's eyes, and flesh became flame.






    You're trying too hard, kitty!




    The demon wasn't afraid of death. How could it be? To die was the domain of mortals. To judge death was hers.


    With a desperate laugh, Hiro's hand twisted. Broken bones burned, and from Hiro's palm a blast of fire erupted at point-blank range, that enveloped both in an instant. As stubborn and aloof as Hiro's foe was, she could only be mortal. All beasts feared flame, feared the divine light of cleansing that banished the shadows in which they lived. To fear that fire was to be alive, and so no living thing could face it head on.


    A screech echoed through the clearing alongside the crackle of fire. Fur and shadows alike crackled and crumbled. The pain of a broken arm was repaid ten times over with the pain of burning alive, instincts screaming that that if she did not let go right this second, it would only get worse. For a cat will always retreat to lick its wounds.


    But... she did not let go. As the flames crawled up her arms, the Servant bristled and dug her claws in further, holding on tightly as they plumetted down from the sky like a flaming meteor.


    It had been the Fire Demon's mistake; after all her taunting, both now and before, she had stoked the King's rage too far, to the point where it burned even hotter than the flames of judgement. Self-preservation instincts were tossed aside completely. Only killing intent remained.


    The Servant's yowl was one of anger... and of triumph.








    Their landing didn't quite shatter the earth; they were both too light for that.


    "Ack-!"


    Yamashita Hiro suffers 10 HP Damage.
    Critical Hit! Broken bones! Arm! Leg! Shoulder!



    What did shatter were several ribs. The right collar bone. Both bones in the left leg, and several vertebrae of the lower spine, cracked as the King's clawed legs slammed through flesh.


    The entire impact had been taken by Hiro's body, atop which the victor of their skirmish was perched, singed and hissing but otherwise whole.


    It was over. A regular human would have died instantly. Even a magus would have trouble surviving a fall from that height. It was only Hiro's demi-servant nature that kept him alive, but it would not last. Moving, dodging, both were now impossible. All that remained was the finishing blow.


    The cat stared down at its prey, its expression unreadable, as if waiting for its opponent's next plot, as if it couldn't believe that this was it, as if it wanted this violent dance in the shadows to keep going for just a bit longer. But apart from a hacking cough and a twitch, there was nothing. Even the flame demon, always first to boast, had fallen silent, admitting defeat. Only Hiro remained, eyes barely open, body screaming out in pain, energy all but gone. The young magus lacked even the magical energy to conjure another flame.


    The cat raised its hand, claws gleaming in the moonlight, and brought it down in an instant.







    ...


    ...


    ...


    "...Servant Assassin."

    Yamashita Hiro suffers 10 HP Damage.


    The voice was shaky and weak. It's difficult to talk with a hole in one of your lungs after all. But that claw had at least been diverted away at the last second from its goal - Hiro's heart. And it would not be given another chance to try again.


    Strength. All that remained of the Fire Demon's advantages was strength. That strength had been concentrated into Hiro's remaining, unbroken hand. That strength allowed Hiro's human fingers to close tightly around the Cat's wrist and keep its hand where it was. But it wasn't that otherworldly strength that allowed Hiro to force open her eyes and speak once more; it was the resolve of a magus who had long ago decided to walk with death.


    Underestimating Yamashita Hiro had been the Shadow Servant's mistake.


    "By this price... paid in blood... open your eyes... and remember..."


    There was a reason. A reason for Yamashita Hiro to not retreat into the back of his mind, to not allow the fire demon to take over the battle completely. And that reason was grasping victory.


    The dark clearing coated with Yamashita Hiro's blood lit up with magical energy. The dark red splatters extending from the fallen magus' body became bright blue glowing lines forming clear symbols and curves.


    Every step they had taken in the battle, every attack Hiro had endured, had had a purpose. All of that running around, all of those wounds and near-deaths, all of that blood had not been shed without reason. That same reason was why, at multiple points during the desperate battle, the supposedly battle-hungry jungle spirit taken the time to fling aside its own blood from its claws. It had all been for the purpose of establishing a connection, a circle, a ceremony to continue what Yamashita Hiro had started the previous night by linking herself to the land.


    For the power of the Remnant was not in battle, but in Ritual.


    Rituals. Formalcraft. Blood rituals in particular were among the oldest forms of magic, being used by humans and gods alike. The point where the rituals of humans and the rituals of gods aligned, then and now, for both Hiro and the Servant spirit within... was 'Sacrifice'. In the past a still-beating heart would have been the minimum offering, but Hiro's own aims were much more humble than ensuring prosperity for an entire continent for a year. Thus, a mere tribute of his own blood and flesh would suffice to call upon the power of the gods.


    Three circles overlapped. The smallest for the land itself, a circle of Belonging, a tiny area within the park that had been claimed from the mist. Then, surrounding it, a circle for the Yamashita Hiro, the circle of Self where one's authority could challenge the outside. Finally, the outer perimeter, the blood circle of the Gods that had been paid for dearly.


    Here, in the center of all three, the Shadow Servant had finally been lured, only after its bloodlust had risen so high as to overwhelm its better instincts, where the presence of the haunting mist had been cleared away forcibly, where the land itself bent its will to that of Yamashita Hiro... where that ritual would finally be completed.






    "A cat... accepts... no master!"
    Quote Originally Posted by Bird of Hermes View Post
    The moment the opportunity arises for a pun, the one known as 'Taiga's Knight' will be there to deliver whether you like it or not.

  3. #183
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Aya Alayana
    Shinto - Arcadia Refuge
    Night Phase


    "Very well, I shall share everything I know relevant to the situation at hand, starting with who I am."


    With everything set, the Mayor begins his story.

    "I belong to a family of ancient, demonic roots, the Asama, which nowadays is incapable of producing heirs with significant supernatural powers, and instead relies in politics to amass power and influence. To give you an idea, I'd normally be able to successfully read the thoughts of a person once in ten tries, and even that would prove to be rather straining. A mostly useless power within the occult side of the world. However, sometimes, knowing the thoughts of a single person can reveal information that is vital for a politician like me within the mundane side of the world so, in a sense, my family considers me a prodigy."

    After saying this, the man draws a charismatic smile which would often make his audience laugh or at least return the gesture in sympathy. Unsuccessful here, however, he quickly shift gears, and his voice once more becomes that of a lion, his expression also changing to match.

    "A few months back, I received a call from a man who calling himself a prophet. His name: Isaak Knish. Usually I do not believe in things like that even though I am aware that Magi can perform divination... But this man proved to me time and time again that he knew what awaited in the future. That man spoke to me about the end of times, and gave me clear instructions on how to prevent it. He needed me to become the Mayor to exert more political power, so I received advice from him in that department as well. The important part is... The Apocalypse is right around the corner. I do not expect you to believe me now... But I am sure you will... Soon enough."

    Mayor Asama closes his eyes for a moment and takes a deep breath, slightly concerned with how much animosity his image would gather, under normal circumstances, if the populace ever found about this. To his followers and the survivors of this city, he is a courageous leader who has risen to combat the strange occurrences that Fuyuki's been experiencing, a hero forged in the darkest night. However, in truth, Asama is someone who has been carrying the burden of knowing that the world would soon reach its expiration date. More importantly, this is perhaps the first time he opens his mouth and openly talks about it, when he clearly should have had an opportunity to reveal the truth sooner.

    Regardless, your attention is drawn towards one particular declaration, one that completely escaped your line of thinking and one that a politician would never give to its flock. 'This exceeds Fuyuki' is what the purple-haired man is trying to say and you are not sure if to believe him. For now, you'll keep quiet and listen to what he has to say. It looks like Caren, too, is making an effort in staying silent. Most likely, she has a lot of things she wants to ask the Mayor as well.

    "The Fuyuki that you both well-acquainted with... Is the epicenter of this future tragedy, which will take humanity by a storm and end the world as we know it. Yes, it does not mean extinction, but a radical change. A change that, sadly, cannot be called evolution. No, if anything, it should be the exact opposite. We'll be stripped of that which makes us unique, the drive that allows our race to infinitely improve as time goes by. As foretold, that is what will happen if we do not oppose it, if we do not work to change it. But, to do so, extreme care must be taken when making a decision. Magus, Hybrid, ESPer, we are all human in origin. And that origin makes us so incredibly frail. One mistake could very well mean the end for us, even before the pieces have begun to move."


    Mayor Asama then uses a remote controller to turn on a projector pointed upwards, turning the tent's roof into a blueprint in the blink of an eye. Anyone would be clueless at to what they are looking at for a few moments at the very least, but you can instantly tell that it's a city layout, Fuyuki's map, to be specific. Several notes have been added at the sides and circles and arrows also point at several points of interest. Unfortunately, the image isn't clear enough for you to read them at this distance. You would have to ask for permission to do so at a later time. For now, there isn't even time to take it by force, as the host carries on with his explanation.

    "The strange mist that envelops the city has its origin point somewhere around this area, in the Shopping District. We believe it is the main cause of the supernatural phenomena, including the drastic weather changes you mention, that the town's been experiencing. It's hard to explain, but it appears to be capable of turning emotion and thought into a physical manifestation that should otherwise be impossible. It wouldn't be surprising if the monsters roaming the streets are born from our own imagination. It is, however, extremely unstable and dangerous to approach it. I've already lost a fair share of men trying to investigate it."


    Again, because you are the Second Owner, and you actually take your job seriously, you can see beyond what would any other would consider 'a vague area within the Shopping District'. The Mayor is pointing straight at the Verde Shopping Store, which has recently been bought by a third party, an aristocratic family that hails from Europe. A family of Magi, no less. Labelle, is it? If what the Mayor says is true, then they too will have to provide an explanation on their involvement.

    "As for the civilians... Isaak has already warned me that none of us will be able to protect the majority of the populace. Tonight will be particularly rough, but he has yet to contact me today. However, if the future can be changed, as he claims, then I will do what is best for them and protect them. For that purpose, I've been entrusted with extraordinary power."


    Before Mayor Asama can elaborate, two soldiers rush into the tent, bringing with them a palpable sense of urgency. Gone is the expression of professionalism that you saw on them earlier, before being allowed into the tent. All that appears to remain is a look of dread and despair, as if they had seen something capable of defying their wildest expectations of the future.

    And who can blame them...? After all...

    "T-the sky... The s-sky...!"
    One of them cries, as they stumble upon your meeting. "It's... It's falling down...-!"

    What they are facing is something outside of common sense, something that perhaps not even science or magecraft can properly explain. For this kind of phenomena, mages usually use the term 'Magic'. Whatever it is, it's a signal. A trumpet that announces the end. The conclusion of something and the beginning of something else.

    Evolve or die.

    Or so the saying goes.

    As you follow everyone outside, your brain finally manages to understand...






    That this might actually be humanity's ordeal, a sort of calamity mentioned only in legends and literature.

    And the price for failing such quest does not need to be said.



    It's more than clear

    [18:30] RacingeR: Max S.Link with hero is when you promise your daughter to him
    [18:31] RacingeR: Which means Airen and me are the only ones that maxed it (I promised Spin to him, and Spin is my daughter)
    [18:32] hero: oh shit
    [18:32] hero: spincess get
    [18:32] hero: suck it fuckers

  4. #184
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Hiyako Tsurara
    Shinto- Streets
    Unknown Phase



    "Very well, I shall answer these three inquiries you present. However, in return, I must ask you to follow me. We don't have much time and, in this kind of matter, every second counts. I am afraid I haven't brought any raincoat or umbrellas, so brace yourself for the storm."

    It is raining heavily in Fuyuki. Any common citizen would have been adamant to put themselves at the mercy of such relentless downpour while poorly equipped, as such decision might lead them to catching a cold, but a demon hybrid has no need for such fear. In the case of the mysterious man, well, let's just say that he has ventured through several hostile environments throughout his lifetime, and so his body has become accustomed to a variety of hazards. In that sense, a mere storm pales in comparison to some of the things he has seen.

    Thus, the two of you willingly leave the safety of the bus shelter.

    "There are several reasons why I've chosen you, but the one that stands out the most would have to be... That I already knew I would choose you over all others. I have seen and interacted with my future self in the past... If that makes any sense. Such thing can be done without creating a time paradox, in case you are curious, however, a known side-effect is that the younger self might inherit some knowledge and experience from the older self."

    Stopping under the protection of a balcony, the man makes a small pause, taking a moment to consider whether his remark has been rude or not. After all, if your worth is what you are inquiring about, giving you such an answer is no different than telling you that you are here simply because it has been foretold, and nothing else.

    "The truth is, more than keeping enemies at bay, I need you to stop what is about to happen. I don't know the specifics of your power, but if you can stall that ritual for even a split of a second, then that should be enough to guarantee our success. So your task will be two-fold: To act as my bodyguard until this endeavor is over, and to prevent a tragedy from happening, event which will ascertain the end of the world."

    The man then shares a honest apologize saying 'I'm sorry...', already regretting having to put you through this much. Before long, however, the two of you resume your journey towards Homurahara Gakuen, where the climax of this adventure will take place.

    "Listen, the one who we'll have to face tonight, most likely, her name is... Kuromusi Haruka. She's the one who kick-started the ritual in the first place, and she, now older, is also here to ensure that such thing does not change. After all, the life of her children depends on it. She acts as both a summoner of eldritch beasts and as a caster of extensive fire power. However, even after all these years, she still remains naive and inexperienced. She was not born a warrior, so use that to your advantage, but do not kill her. I'll need her aid, so I need her alive."

    The more the man shares about the mission, the higher the bar seems to become. What little you know about your enemies is not enough to guarantee a solid advantage within the chaos of combat, even more so if the possibility of killing the opponent is off the table, and the sheer number of things you have to be mindful of at once makes it a difficult task to accomplish. That said, however, it's nothing Hiyako Tsurara cannot do. If anything, it's something only someone like her can do.

    "It's also possible that Isaak will be there. He has peeked into the future numerous times and he is formidable despite his age. For our sake, do not even bother trying to take him down. If he becomes an obstacle, do what you have to do to get him out of the way, but do not engage directly. He's out of our league at the moment."

    Looking slightly concerned even with his back turned towards you, the man makes an effort to put emphasis in this last part.

    "We're here."
    He says, as the two of you stop a step away from the gate. "Pretty much everyone has gone home, so there should be little to no witnesses to worry about. The Occult club is on the second floor and we have at least twenty minutes before Earth fate becomes unavoidable."

    A brief silence, and then...

    "What happened to me is a consequence of time travel, indeed, but not in the way you think. Traveling through time and space means putting yourself in danger... Sooner or later, you'll get hurt. One of those travels cost me an eye, and another took away a good part of my sanity and mental-health. That's just how things are. You shouldn't concern yourself with that right now..."

    Reading between the lines, you figure that what your partner is trying to tell you is that time travel should not greatly affect your mind, body or soul if done correctly, that it was the events that he had to live through what made him the deteriorated man he is today.

    "Instead, let's focus on a way to get past them first."


    There, standing at about a hundred meters away from the two of you, in the middle of the schoolyard, is a woman holding an open umbrella. But she is not the one being shielded from the rain, instead that protection is devoted almost exclusively to the young man sitting in a wheelchair next to her.

    "..."

    That person is an unwanted guest.

    You can tell so from the expression on your teammates face. That man is neither Isaak nor someone who he expected to find.

    Just a ghost.

    A ghost from the past, here to make things right.
    Last edited by hero; July 5th, 2020 at 10:17 AM.
    [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

  5. #185
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    Alicia Rosenkopf (& Servant Assassin)
    Miyama- Sleeping Bishop
    Night Phase



    The two sides are pressed for time.

    Believing that neither of them can afford to prolong this encounter for too long, both decide to focus on putting an end to this fight once and for all. Boasting unbelievable teamwork, Assassin and you attack together with a formation that ensures both offense and defense. On the receiving end is no other than the mercenary nicknamed 'Gin' who, controlling your friend Masaki Tomomi like a puppet master would, prepares to intercept the two of you in the most decisive way possible. However, he must also be careful with her champion's energy expenditure. Tomomi is a flexible and powerful ESPer, but she is of no use once she is completely exhausted. Capturing the owner and her maid has required a tremendous effort on her part, and fighting a Master-Servant pair right after is no joking matter.

    The rules of the game are clear. The first to eliminate the VIP member of each team would win. That is to say, either Gin or Alicia need to go down for the opposite side to claim victory.

    "Your tricks won't work on me a second time-!" The boy exclaims, using his own pain to power his words. "This time you are going down!"

    One moment you are dashing at full speed towards the enemy, the next you are rolling violently on the ground. Who would have thought that you would trip at such a crucial time like this...? No, it has not been a coincidence... Gin has done something to make you fall! He had Tomomi create a small obstacle on your path-! And it was placed right in front of your feet, so your partner could not do anything to prevent it-!

    Assassin, who has been restraining her full might just so you could keep up with her, now finds a reason to regret it, as a hammer made of crystal takes advantage of that sudden change in pace to sneak past her defense and slam itself into her side, throwing her out of the way. For a Servant, being hit by such a mundane display of supernatural power will be hardly an issue. Indeed, in less than two seconds, the Servant will be up again, reengaging the enemy as if nothing happened.

    But...

    By then, Tomomi will have another attack ready to shove her away from the ring a second, a third and a forth time. Indeed, as long as Assassin does not do anything meaningful to get the little girl out of the way, this scenario will continue to repeat itself. The problem is, as an existence that stands leagues above humans, it's hard to find a balance between 'meaningful' and 'deadly'. Conversely, with her Master at risk once more, her hand is being forced...

    *Wham*

    Alicia Rosenkopf takes 2 hp damage!
    Critical Hit! Dazzled!


    Before you can properly get up on your feet, a merciless punch knocks you down once more, your mind confused and unable to process what happened until you feel Gin's weight on top of your body. A flash of silver dances through the dark night as the boy unsheathes a knife and uses it against you. Somehow, you manage to come back to your senses just in time to catch his hands in your own, momentarily stopping the blade from reaching your forehead.

    You resist the tragic fate that awaits you, but all you do proves to be for naught. You are about the same age, but being a boy who has trained for things like these his entire life, Gin has a notorious upper hand. In a contest of power, you won't last a minute. It's is only through your sheer will power and the brief lessons in CQC that Assassin gave you that you are able to identify and avoid any potential mistake that would lead to a quick death. That's all you can manage.

    Moreover, Gin is aware of how to use his body weight in the most efficient way, making it so you can't properly breathe under the pressure. You can't use magecraft under these circumstances, and if you even think of letting one of your hands go so you can pick up the shards you dropped when you were hit, he'll end it all with a swift and graceful movement. He's an expert but also he is as brutal as just another animal. So strong...

    Over and over, whatever you tries proves to work against your favor.

    No matter how much one tries to sugarcoat it, you are ultimately a fourteen year old girl who got herself involved in a war that's more than she can chew. Against that shadow, against Tomomi and against Gin, over and over reality proves that you are not the one on top, that everyone has long since surpassed the level at which you currently stand.

    You've seen carnage, you've seen death.

    But so have they.

    The only question that remains is whether Assassin will make it in time to save you.

    You are tired, you cannot breathe and your muscles are begging you to just surrender.

    The world already has a plan, and you are not in it. Time to get erased from the map.

    ...

    ......

    .........

    "Fuck off."

    As if to ridicule that design, a young boy, standing on the roof of the Sleeping Bishop Inn, his body hurt and battered, pulls the trigger of the revolver he is holding, killing the silence and sending a clear message, which brings the conflict to a temporary halt. The projectile, however, has missed its target by a fairly big margin, digging itself into the earth. That is okay, however, as five more bullets are still sitting in the chamber, ready to be fired.

    "Get away from her and undo Tomomi's brainwashing, or I'll put a bullet between your eyes. I won't repeat myself."

    The scene itself defies reason. Masaki Taichi, standing at the edge of his consciousness, makes a ridiculous demand that Gin has no reason to comply to. He responds by immediately forcing Tomomi to point a crystal shard at herself, leaving it clear that one wrong move will lead to her immediate death. In truth, Gin did not want to resort to this, for Tomomi is her greatest weapon in this ordeal, but this time he didn't have an alternative. The bullet might have missed, but it has bought Assassin more than enough time to recover. With those pesky shadows, the Servant could easily hit two birds with one stone, ending his life and saving her Master.

    Recalling Isaak's advice, that Tomomi and Alicia's friendship would be their undoing, he puts all chips on this final move. Unlike the threat that came during the first exchange, which was nothing but a bluff, this time he would end the girl's life for sure.

    "I see..."
    Gin says, taking this opportunity to catch his breath. "You retrieved his weapon, huh...? But that's too bad... I already know that your 'Einherjar' only works on melee weapons. It cannot be used on a revolver... And... It looks like you are at the end of the rope; you can barely keep yourself standing, yeah? Tell you what, kill that little girl over there and I'll let your sister live."

    To that, Masaki Taichi only responds with a glare. It hurts to even lift a finger, and the roof is not the most friendly terrain for someone who is injured, so it takes all of his energy to remain focused on his only target, Gin. Since the very beginning, Taichi has been someone who puts his sister and himself above all others, a caring and determined older brother who doesn't mind dirtying his hands if it means the well being of his loved ones. In that sense, the villain's proposal is not that bad, were it not for the fact that it is a complete lie. Unfortunately for Gin, Taichi never paid attention to it.

    His mind, wavering, only ever paid attention to the first part of the sentence.

    "Want to bet...?"


    A bead of sweat rolls down the mercenary forehead as he hears those words.

    Because of his nature, it is true that Masaki Taichi has never used Einherjar on anything but the kind of weapon he favors, which are melee ones. But... Isn't it also true that it is a big leap of logic to assume that 'choosing not to' means 'being unable to'? The answer to that question could very well put an end to the events of this night.

    "...!"

    Bang.

    A second detonation.

    In a blink of an eye the weapon that forced things into a stalemate now forces every participant to resume the battle.

    Air returns to your lungs as Gin throws himself backwards, away from danger. The next sound your ears capture is that of three thrown blades being easily shoved aside by Assassin. Too slow, now there is nothing binding Assassin, for she has finally realized it as well. Both her and Alicia saw it for the briefest moments when they jumped high in the air before, the same thing Masaki Taichi could see from the roof, despite the mist that enveloped the area.

    From the very beginning, the configuration of the crystal shards firmly fixed on the ground has been more than meets the eye...

    '17 Shaku'

    That's the message that's been written in Kanji using the crystal shards. Yes, this is proof that Gin control over Tomomi was strong, but not absolute. And now, that control is no more. For the moment he doubted his own knowledge, he moved to avoid a bullet that would never reach him...

    "What...?! Damn it!"


    And inadvertently freed Tomomi from the chains that bound her, as the maximum range where his ability can display its power is roughly seventeen feet which is the same as five point three meters. It remains a mystery to you exactly how Tomomi was able to figure this out, such a breakthrough can only be the work of a natural genius-!

    *Wham*

    "Guh...!"


    This time it's Gin the one who hits the ground, easily beaten by Assassin after a single hit. He remains barely conscious, but not dead. With Taichi and Tomomi fainting from exhaustion, the former falling from the roof as a result...

    Gin's fate rests solely on your hands.
    Last edited by hero; July 5th, 2020 at 06:30 PM.
    [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

  6. #186
    Hey! Are you ready to go? RoydGolden's Avatar
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    Alicia Rosenkopf (& Servant Assassin)
    Miyama- Sleeping Bishop
    Night Phase



    "Guh...!" Gin grunted, slumping to the floor as a bloody slash erupted along his back and chest. Assassin slid to a stop a few feet behind him, retracting her claws with a stylish flourish. Once Tomomi as a hostage was no longer hanging over her head, cutting down the mercenary in a single slash had been a trivial effort for her.

    Still, since she had a principle against killing kids Assassin made sure it was a fairly shallow wound, enough to incapacitate but not kill. He'd stay alive, for now. Only if Alicia ordered her to deliver the killing blow would the thread of Gin's life be mercilessly severed.

    Speaking of said child... "Tomomi!" Alicia's frantic voice pierced the triumphant mood that had settled. Heedless of having just taken a brutal punch to the gut Alicia scrambled over to her friend who'd just fallen faint at the same time as the mercenary's control was dispelled. Upon reaching Tomomi's side, Alicia knelt down to inspect her.

    Thankfully, the girl seemed mostly unharmed. If she'd suffered any injuries from this bout, they were emotional rather than physical. "I'm so glad," Alicia murmured, brushing tears of relief from her eyes. She took off the weird fox-mask Tomomi was wearing, revealing her face again. Her eyes were closed from exhaustion, and small but even breaths escaped her lips. Alicia didn't know how long her friend would be out, but at least she was okay.

    "Oi, Master," Assassin blurted out, jarring Alicia from her concern. "Whaddya' say we do with this little creep?" As if to demonstrate she held up the limp body of Gin dangling loosely by the back of his collar. He was still squirming angrily, but far too weak to break out of the Servant's grip.

    Alicia turned around and looked over the boy thoughtfully. "He's just a kid like me," she said frowning. "How did he ever become so cold and cruel?"

    "Like I said, what's your next move Master?" Assassin questioned. "This brat did try to kill us, but I'd be left with a bad taste in my mouth just capping him off while he's defenseless."

    "You're right." Alicia nodded. "Besides, we can get information from him if he's still alive. He called himself a mercenary, but who sent him to kill us and how did he know we'd be here? Plus, he mentioned somebody mysterious relayed him information. There's a lot we could learn by interrogating him," she said matter-of-factly. Despite her tender years Alicia's tone was surprisingly cold and pragmatic. It sent shivers down Assassin's spine...

    "Got it," Assassin agreed. "But still, we should tie him up or something so the bastard doesn't wriggle away." On that note she tossed Gin to the ground and commanded shadows to swirl around him, forming into inky black ropes that pinned the boy's arms to his sides. It was a crude tie, but simple enough to keep someone restrained. Especially with the threat of Assassin herself waiting to rip him apart if he tried to escape.

    "So then kiddo," Assassin growled in her best menacing voice, dragging Gin to his feet by the collar and shoving her head in his face. "Why don't you tell us everything you know?!"

    Standing a few feet back, Alicia couldn't help but giggle slightly. Her Servant really did try too hard when wanting to sound intimidating...

  7. #187
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Interlude -Ǝ̧̫́x͎͈̾̆̍́o̻̝̝͍̭̜͒ͤb҉̨̜̲̘̊͆͋̍̑̌u̶̼͎̜̥͈ͬ͂̇͊̊̈̈ͬƨ̩̓ ̥̦̑̂ͣ̂̄̀̊͛̀́̚͠ ͈̫ͮ҉̙̮̮̯̯͖̿ͫ̓̐̎͛ͨͫ̾T̛̥̭̮͍̮̦̹͔̑̉̈̄ͦͭ̌̓ͦͤ̚͟w̩ͬ͌ͥͣ̔̌̕ ̛̛̻̫̯̮̞̫̟͈ͮ̏̎ͯ͡į̴̶̧̡̛̤̗̰̣͉͕̹̉̆̎͑ͦͣ̋͂̄̕͘͢͝n̝̤̹͌̾ͥ̕ ̸͈̝̥̭̳̮̻̓͒̍ͯ͐̾̓̇̉̚͢͢͢ɘ̵̵̛̤̩͇͙̪̬̪̮̻͈̟̜͒̍́̈́̓ͯ͛ͦͫ̽̚͠ͅ ̹̍


    "Assassin, use your Noble Phantasm."

    The order came through their connection about ten seconds ago. Since then, the cowardly Heroic Spirit has not voiced a response. All in all, it should be obvious. Much unlike his peers, Assassin's silence does not mean compliance, but the exact opposite. Indeed, if what his Master wants is for him to unleash his Trump Card right here and now, it would have to employ a Command Spell for him to do that. Granted, his Zabaniya is very much capable of exterminating the entire swarm of fairies chasing after him in the blink of an eye. Even if it does so at a steep cost, that strategy will bring more results than facing the enemy head on or playing cat and mouse until sunrise. Even so, he refuses to unleash his full power here, in the presence of a witness.

    It might be pride or it might be fear of what awaits in the future, but...

    Only those condemned to death should be able to witness the 'miracle' that his own hands can produce.

    "..."

    In his arms he carries the frail body of the girl called Luna. She cannot move fast enough to ever hope to match the speed of shadow's fairytale army, so this is the only way to truly keep her safe right now. It's not to his liking to be playing the role of the hero, but his Master has been really convincing when he said that he would order him to commit suicide if he ever allowed the girl to die so... For his own sake, that's the one command he cannot disobey.

    So that leaves the problem of how to deal with the situation at hand.

    He cannot buy time forever.

    He may be faster, and he may have affinity for pursuit fights like this one.

    But sometimes a single variable is enough to overwhelm all others.

    Numbers in this case.

    Under normal circumstances, he would have been able to weaken enemy forces through the use of traps and other environmental tools available. Unfortunately, not only was he forced to use more than half of his equipment on the King Cat's rampage, but... This particular race of familiar... It's in their very nature to find and sabotage whatever useful artifact they find in their path. To make things worse, the more terrain he traverses, the more likely it becomes to run into yet another Blackened Servant.

    "...?!"


    Common sense disappears before his eyes as the flock of familiars move to defy the rules of physics with a simple change in formation. Grouping together in a shape that is as deadly as it is ridiculous, Assassin is only given enough time to adjust his stance in mid-air before being struck by a 'giant hammer'.

    "Guuuaaahghhh..?!"


    The sheer force of the impact sends him straight to the ground and the resulting pain is nearly enough to shut down his brain. For a Servant, the damage sustained is negligible, but still there. For a human, it would have meant instant death as their bodies are not prepared for such blows. So, Assassin curses under his own breath as he concludes that the only reason why was caught in the range of such stupid attack is because he was carrying a package and he needed to deliver it in one piece.

    That is not to say that, as a Servant, this is a match where he absolutely cannot lose.

    It would be foolish to make such statement.

    Especially when one has been summoned in what's arguably the weakest container.

    As long as the other side has the 'tools' necessary to kill him, there is a chance that he may die in the end.

    And, as he knows all too well...

    Opportunities like these are what allow lesser beings to take the head of a much threatening target-!

    Even so...

    It's not like there isn't anything that Assassin can do.

    He didn't get this far to fall at the hands of some lowly spirit.

    That said...

    Even a faceless hero like him...

    Can recognize something 'out of this world' when he sees it.

    And what he sees is exactly that.

    A phenomena that surpasses humanity in every sense of the word.

    Yes, it wouldn't be hard to confuse that blue lightning...

    ... With a weapon wielded by the Gods.

    -------

    "Ughh...!"


    Luna finds herself on the ground, her body refusing to cooperate and her mind unable to grasp the current situation. A mere moment ago, something incredibly big and unbelievable strong hit Assassin directly. The fact that she isn't immediately able to stand is a direct consequence of Assassin's actions, but so is the fact that she is still alive. Pain quickly becomes the lesser of two evils when one considers the other option is an absolute death. Although, from the very start, Luna has felt that the masked Heroic Spirit is a strange person who knows more than he lets on, right now, she can only think of words of gratitude to describe him. Like Hiro, everyone seems to be putting their lives on the line to protect and nurture her, as if she were some sort of animal in danger of extinction.

    That is beautiful and refreshing, but also incredibly frustrating.

    In her heart, the one thing she desires right now is to help her newfound friends. And, even though, it's thanks to them that she has started to make progress, the pace at which she is going is simply not one she is comfortable with. Not when she has to stand there and see others get hurt in her place. If Hiro's cane could grant wishes, it would certainly sense the strength of this girl's resolution. But, that's fine. A miraculous tool is not needed.

    Not when the decision reached one to face oneself.

    That's right, there is a method in which she can drastically augment her combat capabilities at once. She has learned of it less than an hour ago, when she underwent that ritual alongside her friend.

    But.

    Do note that there is a consequence.


    That alien power is not your friend.

    It's not your ally.

    It's objectives are the polar opposite of yours.

    Like an image reflected in a mirror, it currently stands for what you would never stand for.

    Like an image reflected in a mirror, that 'thing' is, ultimately, you.

    "Ah."


    Her vision flashes red for a moment, searing pain enough to engrave that warning into her thick skull. In other words, once she pushes the trigger, once she opens Pandora's Box, there will be no going back. Once she knocks the gate open, the force on the other side will begin to consume her, little by little, until nothing of her remains.

    And when that happens, what will stand there will be 'The Other'.

    ---Less than one second before the swarm of fairies reach their position.

    -------Therefore, this battle also has to end in less than one second.

    She closes her eyes.

    In her vision, there is only darkness.






    And yet, she can instinctively feel it, the light.

    The crossroads, the path where it all intersects, the reason of her being, her soul, the other's soul.

    Throwing away hesitation, she forces the lock open.









    A lonely star becomes a pillar.

    Its beauty is beyond comprehension.

    But it's not enough.

    In order to protect what she holds dear, that pillar needs to become a sea.

    A sea of light that nobody or anything can stop-!







    But there has to be one exception.

    She made a promise, after all.

    These treacherous waters...

    She will tame them with these words-!






    Even if they are words borrowed from someone else-!




    "---GATE OPEN!!!---"

    A flash of blue light engulfs the battlefield.
    The spectacle lasts only an instant, but that arc of lightning dances across the entirety of it, wildly like a white tiger.

    In the end, less than one second was more than enough.

    With electricity that could move seven times faster than usual, that was a given.

    With elegant precision, fairies fall and crash like swatted mosquitoes.

    What other words could Assassin find to describe the girl in front of her but 'Goddess'?

    After all, the feat he just witnessed is one that is reserved to the Gods.

    And that was the power
    Nakamura Megumi
    Luna
    has unlocked.
    [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

  8. #188
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Aya Alayana
    Shinto - Arcadia Refuge
    Night Phase


    ---How absurd.

    Ultimately, that was the reaction that red-haired woman had possessed towards the story told by the mayor. As a magus, her definition of what is and is not impossible is naturally different than that of a normal person, but the idea that any entity in the modern day would possess the power to destroy the world -through any sort of means- was asinine, no, not only that...

    ---Her body and soul reject the very idea behind the plan that she has just been informed of, and as a result, she finds it hard to believe in it, even if she could look past the obvious supernatural difficulties with successful "time travel" in the modern day...

    It's foolish.

    No, she'd go so far as to call it outright heretical.

    Burning humanity to ash would be a better outcome than forcibly changing them into something that they are not; the very idea of a world-wide transformation, a sort of attack on the very 'soul' of humanity itself, is so offensive that it almost makes her nauseous...

    ---What can she even say to that?

    It's only natural that she'll reject it.

    Make no mistake, Aya Alayana is no heroine of justice.

    When it comes down to it, she is a woman that is inherently selfish, even so...

    Even so...

    There are some fights that one simply cannot ignore as a human, and this, if this person is telling the truth is one of them.

    Not only that, the path the enemy apparently seeks for them is antithetical to the Alayana Philosophy, and not just that...

    Oh no.

    One more thing.

    One more thing that comes to light as the sky begins to shatter to pieces, to fall apart, and reveal a horrific 'reflection' in the sky.

    Yes...

    This is her city.

    Putting aside the World for a minute (not that she would abandon it) this was still her city...

    So who the hell did this enemy think they were?

    "..."

    She'd have to terminate them.

    For the sake of humanity's souls, none of this could be allowed to persist, and that's why...

    "Verde Shopping Store correct?"

    She will eliminate the threat to her city with extreme prejudice.

    "Will the breach be sealed if I destroy the origin point?"

    In other words.

    She'll go the moment she becomes certain of this possibility.
    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. #189
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Yamashita Hiro
    Shinto - ​Fuyuki's Central Park
    Night Phase



    Impressive. Magnificent. Outstanding.

    To outsmart such a superior enemy in such a simple way is a feat worth of praise that not even a king would dare deny. Indeed, the one to defeat the powerful shadow has not been the Fire Demon, but Yamashita Hiro herself, leaving it clear with the final move that her opponent has been dancing in the palm of her hand all throughout the encounter. In a brief moment of silence that seems to extend for an eternity, her worth as a Magus is finally acknowledged by the eyes of her opponent, who no longer glares at her with an expression of clear animosity, and instead looks at her with tired eyes which reflect being on verge of admitting defeat.

    'Go ahead.'

    Take the last step, turn on the switch, conduct the ritual.

    Barely holding on to your consciousness, once you believe you hear those silent words of approval, you muster all of your remaining strength and focus it on the ceremony that is to take place.




    ... Or so you intended to do, but instead of words, all that comes out of your mouth is a crimson red substance known as blood. You cough violently as the claws of the feline animal are dug deeper into your body in spite of your best efforts to stop them. The strength of the Fire Demon has long since abandoned your side and, as such, the beast is able to not just deal a crippling blow, but also release herself of your physical bind.

    Critical Hit (Impaired Defense)!

    Greatly Fatigued! (All attributes rank down)!


    Confusion should be natural at this point.

    After all, in this clouded state of mind, your foe can only display honesty in her actions, an unbridled loyalty towards what it is that it represents. So when Yamashita Hiro thought she saw the King admit his defeat at the hands of a human, it would be a lie to claim that she saw wrong. She saw what she saw.

    The problem is that the King is also a Cat.

    A living contradiction, a superposition of two opposite ideals that have to coexist within a single body, united by a single coincidence.

    What is it that you said? That a cat accepts no Master? Coming from you, that is one daring thing to say to the one in charge of ruling them all. Should you have chosen to stay quiet instead, the golden-eyed feline might have never regained the strength to retaliate.

    In hindsight, there might be no point in choosing to fight back now. The ritual has begun prior to the point where the final piece was assembled. Its preparation might have been rudimentary, but what matters here is the symbolism and the spiritual aspect of the land. In that aspect, the three circles are more than what's needed to perform the intended ceremony. Now that it has started, one might not be able to stop it. The best bet would naturally be to kill the Caster before the ritual finishes.

    But it knows better.

    The half-dead figure of Yamashita Hiro is tougher than it looks. Even now that she can no longer draw power from the spirit that lives within her soul, it will take the King more than a couple of blows to end her life for good. So when her paw stomps the enemy with tremendous force, it does so not just with the appeal of breaking that body apart.







    It does so with the intent of breaking the surroundings apart as well.


    Yamashita Hiro takes 54 HP damage
    Critical hit (Broken Ribs)!
    Yamashita Hiro is Knocked Out!

    Like humans themselves, their inventions are not eternal. Their intelligence may allow them to build a bridge to avoid obstacles that other species cannot hope to, but nothing their hands create will stand tall forever. Little does it matter if those circles painted with blood are more than just a drawing on the scorched earth. They do not stand a chance against the full might of this creature.

    In a matter of seconds, their design becomes truly unrecognizable.

    "..."


    The cat silently watches the mist invade the space the former sanctuary. The entrance of this third actor comes as a direct consequence of its outburst... Perhaps, something compelled to King to allow it to interrupt the duel. Even though a Cat follows no ruler, even though a King knows no one above him, the beast is somehow still bound to that mist like a pet is to its owner.

    ... Isn't it only natural for it to pave the path ahead for its Master, then?

    What an annoying contradiction.

    "..."


    No, in the first place, it cannot be called an interruption if the duel is already over. The eyes of its opponent have lost its light and she is barely breathing. Several bones have been broken, and the amount of blood present in the scene is almost too hideous to look at. In contrast, the King Cat stands pretty much unharmed. It suffered some noteworthy damage, but nothing that cannot be recovered in due time. The victor of this match is more than clear.

    Then why?

    Why does it feel so dissatisfied with the result...? The result it wanted so much it would bet everything on...? Perhaps, truly... Something is missing... Something is incomplete... Maybe what it longed for... Was not exactly this...

    "...?!"

    It is unable to feel this sort of danger naturally.

    She is only able to dodge through feline instincts.

    Something moved to attack her just now...

    And whatever it was...

    It came from Yamashita Hiro herself...
    [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

  10. #190
    アカシャの蛇 The Serpent of Akasha RacingeR's Avatar
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    Hiyako Tsurara
    Shinto- Streets
    Unknown Phase


    I was about to ask who Isaak if, and if it is that man… but judging by your expression, I guess this is someone you hadn’t expected, foreknowledge of the future or not…” Tsurara said casually as she took one step forward to stand in front of the old man, the sheath of her blade materializing on her hands almost like a mirage. However, she didn’t draw her sword yet.

    Whether the duo standing there were enemies was as of yet, undetermined.

    A shudder seemed to suddenly run through Tsurara’s body, although it was not one caused by the cold rain pouring over her. No, on close observation, anyone would be able to tell she didn’t seem to be affected by the rain at all, even her clothes were dry.

    Her eyes sharpened, as an intense, invisible pressure blanketed the schoolyard, her fighting intent clear for all to see. This wasn’t like fighting some formless overpowered shadow or something like that: while she knew due to the man’s words that her opponents might very well outclass her, and that such a pressure would mean nothing to them…

    It was, at least, something she could understand. As outlandish as things had become, she still had something solid to touch reality with.

    “You are the one who knows his shit, so you tell me what to do here.” Tsurara said, voice still calm and solid, but both her tone and words getting rougher, finally resembling that of a yakuza’s. “However, one last question. I don’t make a habit of fighting alongside nameless people.”

    “What is your name?”


    quotes
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1984 View Post
    Besides, I don't see what's so terrible about looting anyway. It's only property, they're not actually harming anyone.
    Quote Originally Posted by lantzblades View Post
    when I say hero I don't mean hero in the spirit sense. I mean a morally grounded, good natured person who doesn't slaughter innocent people. No such person exists in the Nasuverse.
    [00:12] <~Katie> i can't defy my origin
    [00:12] <~Katie> of gay memes

    [16:15] <~Katie> lesbians has always been my gimmick and i will exploit it to the fullest

    [22:56] <@Sei> airen is pegging hero this time
    [22:56] <@Sei> for once airen isn't the uke
    [22:56] <@Kuroyuki> I thought Air was the Woman in the Relationship?
    [22:56] <@Airen> Yeah I kinda thought I was the girl too!

  11. #191
    Taiga's knight Tobias's Avatar
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    Yamashita Hiro
    ??????????
    Night phase

    When the young girl awoke, there was only darkness. She was encased in something long and angular, hard and unyielding, just barely long enough to hold her small body. She had been awoken by something horrible.

    The long, despairing, and gurgling rattle that had started her awake was intermixed with a rhythmic, exulting chant. The satisfied song that came with obeisance to a feared ruler. Joy that could only be known in the promise of a rare good night’s sleep, untouched by nightmares.

    Death, violent and terrible had come to someone close by, and the murderers exulted in their depravity. A dream of the past…

    ...A promise of the future. This wasn’t the first time Hiro had this dream, but it was…

    ...The first time she couldn’t wake up. Normally her training as a magus and power over the Remnant had given her enough control that she had been able to awaken herself or change the dreamshape immediately upon entering. This was not the case now.

    She tried to struggle, but found that she could not. Something had repeatedly been wrapped around her body, pinning her arms to her sides. Her eyes widened in response, this was new to this dream. As was the cloud of dust that she sucked into her lungs and sent her retching and coughing. She knew this smell.

    Dried bones, burned meat, charred blood.

    She had to suck several gasps of air comprised of dead warriors before she could focus, blinking away tears of fear. Trapped in the dark, unable to move, barely able to breathe...old fears, claustrophobia and fire forcing their way through her mind, clawing at her sanity.

    Cant panic. Can't scream or I will never stop.

    She couldn't move her arms, but she found her legs were only partially bound. She wanted to roll to her side to kick free, but the box she was in didn’t have room. Instead she had to press her but to one side of her prison and then kick her feet to the other side.

    There was a desultory thunk when she exerted all her strength. A second, and a third followed. It was clear that she in no way was even slightly damaging her confinement. Hiro felt her breathing quicken against her will. The sound of her burgeoning hyperventilation reminded her of the sound of death that had awoken her, A thought which in no way reduced the building panic. She kicked again, desperately. It was only then, perhaps born of adrenaline, that she noticed something which offered perhaps, a single thread of hope. She wasn't damaging her cage…

    But it was moving. By just a single hair, it felt like that last thrust had shifted her position, just a slight amount.

    Horror at a new suspicion as to where she might actually be blended itself with the germ of a plan. She repositioned herself slightly, and then again slammed her feet into the side of the enclosure with all the force she could muster. She hoped the feeling of movement wasn't just a fevered delusion.

    Thwack! Thwak! Thwak! It must have taken a good 15 minutes of hard effort, but eventually she began to feel what she had been praying for.

    A shift in weight. The kind that might accompany a long heavy object that suddenly found itself partly hanging over empty air.

    Praying, though also dreading that her theory was correct, she rolled her upper body and sent her weight impacting towards that feeling of weightlessness, deliberately overbalancing. If she was wrong, she could very well be throwing herself to her death off a cliff, or perhaps into some expanse of water, leading to a slow death but drowning.

    ...She wasn't, as she expected, a mere few feet of falling later, there was a crash and the sound of wood crackling. A single crack of light opened up in the previously pitch black enviroment. Thats all she needed. With a few more cracks, she was able to kick through the weakened wood and force a whole in the bottom large enough to slither out of feet first.

    When she reached freedom, or something close to it, Hiro couldn't help but collapse to the dust and bone covered floor, tears coursing down her face. She couldn’t help but be ashamed, though she knew she shouldn't be.

    Even if she wasn’t claustrophobic…

    ...Nobody would not be afraid, trapped in a coffin.

    Yes, that was the enclosure she had just wrenched herself free from. A coffin, sitting upon an upraised platform in a mausoleum, the bindings that wrapped her and still pinned her arms, a burial shroud, meant to hold the dead. It was that little bit of showmanship which had saved her. If she had not been on that platform there was no way she would have gotten free, but by destabilizing the coffin and throwing it over the edge she had managed to misalign the lid just enough to create a weakness in the frame that she could use to free herself.

    Thinking back to that first, skin crawling moment when she realized she was locked in her own coffin….her current freedom was almost not worth that moment of horror.

    Perhaps it was due to that distraction That Hiro forgot something very important.

    ...In a nightmare, every decision you made was the wrong one. There was no such thing as won freedom. You simply moved to a newer, fresher, more terrible scenario.

    With a mighty slam, the door to the mausoleum flew open. The outside world was entirely incongruent with the present situation. Though one might have reasonably expected a dull, dark night, and the haunting silence of the graveyard, the outside world proved verdant, bright, sunny, and teaming with life and the sound of rustling leaves. It might almost have been heartwarming...if not for the six dark skinned warriors who funneled in, clad in feathers and the soft fur of predators taken in the hunt who surrounded the young girl. Still bound, she could do little but struggle helplessly as they hoisted her onto their shoulders and carried her out into the midday sun.

    The jungle was rich, and moist. Not friendly perhaps, but...tamed. The reason for that taming? The method? Hiro knew. The source was the stone pyramid pushing its way out of the lush jungle trees. Well, no, that wasn't right. The source of the calm may have originated from the ziggurat but such was not truly the source. No, the source was the trail of dried blood that crept from each of the four staircases leading to the sacrificial chamber. The trail of blood, and the brazier which at the top was where sacrifices were cut from victims and offered to the gods in exchange for power and protection.

    The same place Hiro was being carried to.

    She struggled of course, but with her arms trapped and with none of her magics responding, there was little she could do besides kick at nothing and whip her hair around.. The effort soon exhausted her. Her head lulled back as tiredness and hopelessness threatened to overwhelm her.

    In a daze she saw sacrifices being led or carried up around the other three staircases. To her left, a strange horse with a ridge of bone jutting from its forehead. To her right, a crab creature, even more fay and mysterious than the lesser dragons. But it wasn't till she was carried to the very top of the pyramid that she encountered what had been dragged from its cell on the opposite side from Hiro.



    Encountered Far Side Cat.

    Midnight skin. Eyes like ice. Even the breath that issued from its tiny lungs froze visibly in the air. A creature that held nothing resembling warmth, or love for anything besides itself. A description that did not differentiate it from any other cat, of course. But this was no ordinary feline. Just as the world had the current order, held in place by the tower at the end of the world, with a dark, mysterious realm held underneath, so too was there the Near side and Far side of the moon. The nearside of the moon was the bright light where all the stories came from. Vampires, werewolves, a rabbit that brewed immortality and hammered mochi. But there was also the farside. A place where no light was allowed to enter. A place where you didn’t tell the tales of, lest you be heard by the wrong creature. A place of nightmares and fear.

    The fairy kingdom of darkness, the Far Side of the moon. Somehow...Hiro knew that was the home of the strange beast who was about to share the stone table of sacrifice with her. One of the jungle warriors lowered her ceremoniously onto the cold stone, her back touching years of crusted blood. In front of her the brazier crackled. She could hear it laughing. She knew that flame. It lived every day in her right hand. The burning demon of sacrifice that consumed the hearts of warriors in exchange for blessings.

    Hiro was afraid of enclosed places, because for her whole life she was bound, trapped, unable to escape, locked even in her own body. But more than her claustrophobia…

    Yamashita Hiro was afraid of fire. She was always trapped with flames that wanted to eat her. To consume her. Make her watch as she burned, as her heart burned in front of her still living eyes.

    The warrior who lowered her pulled her left arm out of the burial shroud which bound her, but before she could react immediately leashed her wrist to an old leather strap which hung from one of the corners of the old, stone table. Methodically, he grasped her right arm next, taking the leather binding into his off hand. Hiro struggled, knowing it was pointless. How many thousands of stronger, taller, better warriors then she had done the same, only to watch their heart burn.

    That was Hiro’s fate.

    ...No, it should have been. By the laws of a nightmare escape was impossible.

    ...But it seemed that cats care little for laws beyond those they crafted themselves. Because on the other end of the platform, the Far Side Cat managed to get its mouth open and lay open to the bone the hand of one of its own captors. Spewing blood and curses, the feather clad warrior stumbled backwards...and close enough, just close enough, for Hiro to get her still wrapped feet up and bat him to the side, directly into the man who had not quite finished binding Hiro’s right arm yet.

    But so what? They would untangle themselves in seconds. And the young mage wasn’t going anywhere. They would certainly be on her before she could unwrap her left hand. She was doomed to burn.

    ...Well, of course she was. Hiro was afraid of fire. But she burned everyday. This living fire, the fire demon that terrified her?

    She used it everyday.

    With a strangled scream Hiro reached her right arm, the arm she bore flame on each moment of her life and grabbed several embers in the braziers. The only thing more awful then the crackling, swift burning pain in her own hand was the smell of her own cooking flesh. But that didn't stop her from carrying a handful of fire to her left arm and setting the binding strap alight. The fire demon was bound by its own rules. That which it encountered it burned. The strap caught fire and burned to nothing.

    With a final cry of pain Hiro hurled her handful of flame at the pair of warriors, setting them alight and staggering around the execution chambers. Hiro had little left in her but to fall off the table and let herself roll off the side of the ziggurat. Nearby, her heartbeat quickened when she saw with a grace she herself in no way possessed, a small patch of inky black darkness streaking down not too far away. In the commotion, she was not the only one to grasp freedom. The Far Side cat must have managed to twist free and make a break for it. Hiro’s jostling, rolling, bone jarring descent was so painful and nauseating falling unconscious would have almost been a blessing, even if it assured her recapture.

    But somehow, despite or perhaps even because of the pain, she stayed conscious. EVen better, wonder of wonders, when she reached the bottom she landed more or less on her feet and she was able to hop into the jungle, the cries of warriors taking a longer way down loud behind her, but fading as she disappeared into the brush.

    As she half hopped, half crawled blindly away, she looked around. She thought the Far Side Cat might have stayed nearby her, commiserating in their mutual danger, but like any cat it had responded to a scary situation with distrust tempered with contempt and taken to beating its own retreat. She hoped it got away.

    Trapped in the timelessness of a nightmare, it could have been minutes, hours, or even years of wandering before Hiro finally found what she was looking for. A hazy, formless gap in the depths of the jungle that indicated the bounded field she was caught in was weak. From here, she could rip her way out of the nightmare and back into the real world. Even better, Hiro knew, instinctively, that by winning today she would have struck a true blow against the flames. If she left right now, she would never again have to fear waking up in the casket, trying so hard to force herself out of the dream before she could be trapped in the darkness or burned and eaten. She could...she would...win, here and now!

    She felt the fear of the fire demon. It had played with its food a little too much, and now the mouse was on the verge of escaping. The pyramid seemed to momentarily catch fire, volcano like, spewing great streams of burning light into the sky, to come down hard around her. Hiro knew the fire demon was granting the blessing of the hunt to the scattered warriors. This was its truest essence of a god, the ability to grant the power of the great hunting beast to the worthy. But it was too late! Hiro was already at the exit. It didn’t matter what power her pursuers had, a single step ended the game.

    And yet…?

    “Mrwoooooooooooooooooooooooow…”

    A long, mournful cry. Through the covering trees and shadowy branches. Hiro saw something that should not have affected her in the slightest. A leather clad warrior, armed with a blowgun at his hip...carrying the Far Side cat by the tail, its mysterious and ethereal body hanging limp...a single dart jutting from its neck.

    Rage for no reason.

    Vengeance that wasn’t called for.

    “Get...your filthy hands...off of my cat…!”

    Suddenly what had seemed so impenetrable became a trifle. With a surge of anger...no...hatred, Hiro flexed both arms and ripped away what was left of the burial shroud. She had been about to fling it away in disgust when she noticed something. A trail of smoke from her right hand was trailing its way across the bindings.

    Bindings.

    ….Bindings…!

    In dreams symbols matter, and things often took the form of something related to itself. Hiro feared being bound, she feared being chained and locked away. But it wasn’t a burial shroud that epitomized that fear. It was Dracul’s wrap.

    The binding that even trapped the dominant part of her psyche and wrapped it up in flames, rendering her personality male, if only as a facsimile. But...the wrap wasn’t the Jaguar’s weapon. It was hers.

    ...The wrap, that which she feared, was the very tool with which she mastered herself.

    At that thought, the smoke trail that covered traced the shroud burst into flame, momentarily encasing it, and her hand in blinding flames. When they cleared…?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bi47...ature=youtu.be

    In her hand, her right hand, she held a whip of burning fire.

    She was afraid of being enclosed. Her power was that which enclosed her.

    She was so scared of being burned. Her power was that which burned her.

    “Written Hiro, pronounced Hero!”

    After all, what could be more heroic than taking that which scared you, hurt you, made you feel like a weak little girl...and using these things as weapons. Mastering them, taking ownership of them.

    Hiro turned her back on the exit, and lashed out with the burning whip, catching a stalking warrior by his neck. In a flash, it wrapped around the hapless warriors neck, and seconds later, his screams were the only thing not burned to ash.

    In front of her, a warrior holding her cat, moving faster now, trying to escape, to return it to the sacrificial chambers.

    At her sides, an army of warriors seen and unseen, swords and arrows of bone, darts dripping poison...and boiling everywhere, the living spirit of fire and bloodshed.

    Hiro’s mouth sprouted a hideous grin as she stalked back into the forest.

    ...Sometimes I wonder if it really is the fire demon part of me that loves to kill...
    Quote Originally Posted by Bird of Hermes View Post
    The moment the opportunity arises for a pun, the one known as 'Taiga's Knight' will be there to deliver whether you like it or not.

  12. #192
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Hiyako Tsurara
    Shinto- Streets
    Unknown Phase



    "Very well, I suppose I owe you as much."

    Somewhat begrudgingly, the man agrees to reveal his identity to you. It's clear that this is not the time nor the place for introductions, but seeing as you've pointed a glaring flaw in the interactions he has had with you, a part of himself cannot help but want to correct it.

    "My name is Yukata. Kawamoto Yukata is my full name. Unlike yours, Miss Hiyako, mine is rather easy to forget. Now listen..."

    In the scarce moments you have before a battle breaks out, Yukata insists that the objective is not to kill the opponent, but rather force them out of your way, so you can reach the main building. While he has confirmed moments ago that you have over fifteen minutes to get the deed done, it still remains unclear whether other obstacles will appear on your way or not, so you need to get there as soon as possible. Normally, the best way would be to make a run for it, focus all there is to it on speed and defend only when necessary. Seeing as you are standing on an open field and your opponent is not someone who can run as fast as you can move, that edge should be enough to get you past this dilemma.

    Unfortunately, Kawamoto is the VIP here, and given his age and injuries, not to mention the fact that he is still a human at the core, make the plan a little bit harder to execute. Of course, there is the idea of carrying him in a piggy-back ride, but you are not so sure you want to explore that venue...

    Perhaps it would be for the best to overwhelm the opponent in a single exchange, take advantage of the confusion and then make a run for it. For that, however, you need to move decisively. Amateur mage or not, you get the feeling that you shouldn't underestimate this opponent...

    As your partner whispers the schools of magecraft the girl is proficient with, you narrow your eyes as you watch her figure slowly beginning to close the distance...

    -------

    "..."


    Meanwhile, standing several feet away from the scene, Kuromusi Haruka mentally prepares herself for facing a foe much more menacing than herself. It may be true that the relentless raindrops can naturally wash away the sweat brought by fear and anxiety, but the core emotion is rooted to one's body. The sudden drop in temperature only makes the conditions tougher on a girl who has never been properly trained to become a direct combatant. Perhaps, among the numerous differences that exist between her and the demon hybrid she's about to fight against, that is the most outstanding distinction. Yes, if it wasn't for her knowledge of magecraft, pitting one against the other would be like forcing a scholar to duel a samurai.

    "..."


    With another drop in temperature, her breathing becomes visible. It feels somewhat nostalgic, the oppressive presence of someone who stands a mere step away from becoming a Crimson Red Vermilion. Even at a prudent distance, she has to run Prana through her Magic Circuits to avoid being overcome by the dread and nausea it brings with it. To Mages on the level of Kuromusi Haruka, people like Hiyako Tsurara can only be described through the use of a single word: 'Monsters'. It doesn't matter if she trains for five years or thirty years, there is a natural gap between them that cannot be overcome through the passing of time.

    "..."


    She leaves the side of man in the wheelchair, forcing her nerves to become steel itself in order to brace herself for what is to come. She is the only fighter available in this scenario. The man who accompanies her has long lost the ability to fight, and might not even be aware of what's happening in the world around him. That man is her responsibility, so she has to take care of him. A sane person might have left the patient somewhere safe, a shelter that would protect him from the storm at a place located just far enough for him not to be in danger when two supernatural forces collide.

    But it is important that he remains here.

    He is the only one that remains. That means he is also the only one who can watch over her progress, even if those eyes may never acknowledge her.

    "..."


    Her walk becomes a march.

    There will be no negotiation here. Though little does each side know about the other, they are here with opposite goals, and so, things will be decided not with words but with violence. Physical Prowess, Supernatural Prowess, Experience... Her foe surpasses her in all of those areas. She is no longer the Kuromusi Haruka she was over 'in that world', she only has formalcraft, black magic and her own untapped potential to rely upon. In an encounter like this, preparation would have been the key to victory. But while she always brings an ace under her sleeve, moving that advantage over to the past is problematic.

    Hence, she must do with what she has, drown her humanity and be relentless. There might be no second chances if she lets up.







    "Borrow: Null Element. Sphere Shape. Populate."




    From the palm of her hand, a strange substance begins to manifest. Described as something that represents the absence of color in the strictest sense, it initially resembles clay but quickly demonstrates it can be even more malleable. Continuously growing in size so it can later split and multiply, one quickly becomes five in the blink of an eye. Floating around the user like a moon orbits around a planet, these Ether Lumps represent Kuromusi Haruka's failure as a Magus as much as it represents her success.

    "Discharge-!"


    The first one is shot like a bullet. No, it might be accurate to say that its speed makes it a formidable projectile, but it's not appropriate to call it a bullet. Instead, the term 'Dodgeball' fits much better with its size, its overall lethality and the chosen field of battle. Indeed, a dodgeball will never end someone's life, but its a symbol that exerts a 'consequence' on any player that fails to capture it and gets hit instead...

    Range Challenge
    ... Failure!
    Quickness Challenge
    ... Success!
    You follow the ball with your eyes, but its deceptively fast and erratic movement prevents your from intercepting the attack while it still remains at a prudent distance. Yes, in less than a heartbeat, it has closed enough distance to seal away quite a few options, leaving you with the choice of whether to block it at melee range or decide to avoid it entirely.

    ... Whatever you do, it better be quick and decisive.

    Because in this deadly game of tag...

    The one who loses their focus first is also the first to fall.
    Last edited by hero; July 21st, 2020 at 07:47 PM.

  13. #193
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Aya Alayana
    Shinto - Arcadia Refuge
    Night Phase



    "..."


    The response of an average person would have been the same as that of Mayor Asama, proving that, for some things, there exists no distinction between a politician and a citizen, between a leader and its followers. Yes, the words that came out of your mouth mere moments ago are unbelievable, to the point that, if it wasn't for the coming of the apocalypse, the resulting silence would have lasted a lot longer. What is more ridiculous...? The claim that you might be able to destroy the 'origin', something that might as well defy the laws of nature, a phenomena you know almost nothing about? Or is it the expectation, the hope and dream, that everything will be brought back to normal or, at the very least stop, once you do? You should have felt despair the moment you saw the skies shatter, the sensation that what's coming is something inevitable, something a mere ant like you cannot even begin to compete against.

    "There is a possibility that such may be the case."


    It goes without saying that the Mayor cannot properly answer the question he is presented with. In spite of all the clues that he received from Isaak, all he has is a trail of breadcrumbs that may eventually lead this world to salvation. Without the full picture, it is impossible to say for sure whether doing some thing is correct or mistaken. In other words, he is lying, he's telling you there is chance for the sake of creating a ray of hope amidst the darkness at the end of times. He sincerely believes that it is better to die trying rather than to regret something that could have been done, so he plays along with this charade, fully aware that his answer wouldn't have mattered anyways, as it would not move you apart from the decision you've taken.

    "Bold as always. Try not to get eaten by fish this time."


    If there is someone who isn't surprised by this turn of events, it has to be Caren Ortensia. Perhaps it is because she has known you for a very long time but, she has always been certain that, for Aya Alayana, there has never been other possible outcome than this. 'Seek' and 'Destroy' are the two things she is best at, especially when paired together. There is no time to mind the small things, however, as it doesn't look like the descent of the mirrored city will take more than a couple of hours. What's more, it looks like you've got company... Strange flying creatures are coming out of the breach one after the other. They do not look friendly in the slightest despite sharing some humanoid traits, and once they get together in formation, things will likely get turbulent up there as well as down here.





    "Take whatever vehicle you prefer and make haste. I'll stay here and protect the populace. It is my duty as the Mayor of this city to do so. No, it is my 'wish' to save this town. And so, I'll defend this post until your return, Second Owner. I believe I have amassed enough power to, at the very least, hold until then."




    A silent stare from a person you are unfamiliar with.

    Though there is still something about him that makes you naturally adamant to trust him, it is impossible to deny that, right now, that man is doing just that and placing his trust in you...

    Moments later, several detonations take place above. The artillery is here. Numerous jet fighters have arrived to fight off the invasion. For now, this should serve to keep the threat in check.

    Or so one would like to think but...

    There is a bad feeling that you cannot shake off about the whole thing, like a fundamental piece of information you, or rather the military, has forgotten...

    At this point, nothing can be done about it.





    "I presume I would only hinder you in a hostile environment like the one you are heading into. With that in mind I, too, will stay here and look after the refugees. You do your thing and set that thing on fire. Just don't die after that, or this will end up being more trouble than what its worth."




    Surprisingly, you find something soft being forcibly placed on your hands.

    It a small piece of cloth, barely enough to be wrapped around one's palm. It's reddish color stands out amidst the darkness of the night, but some of it has been lost around the edges. Yes, it's clear that the size of the original was much bigger. It was burned, and now this is all that remains. At this point, one might just consider it useless... Just what is Caren trying to tell you with this gesture...?

    "Now go. You'll give a bad image as a collector if you can't even repay the debt you have to this city."

    [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

  14. #194
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Aya Alayana
    Shinto - Arcadia Refuge
    Night Phase


    "Hmph, as if I need you to tell me that."

    ---It sounds a bit too much like a strangled goodbye for her tastes, the setup for the sacrificial scene in a film, where the hero rides off to a battle that they cannot hope to come back from alive...

    But that's silly.

    As stated before, Aya Alayana is no hero; the act of a glorious self-sacrifice for the betterment of humanity was best suited for the Messiah types; there was nothing particularly saint-like about marching off to burn ones enemies to ash, the circumstances are simply such that she can no longer take any different path; her ideals simply clash with the ideals of her opponents, thus...

    She will destroy them, all of them.

    To selfishly protect that which is hers, it's quite the simple plan.

    Yes.

    Seek and Destroy, that fits her just fine...

    The best sort of mission, a rampaging wildfire that tears through the night...

    "I'll be back soon enough, there's never been a single shitty ritual I haven't been able to burn away."

    She laughs.

    It sounds somewhat villainous, but that laugh suits her just fine...

    "Don't die while I'm gone, it'd be a real pain in the ass if you go and get yourself killed the moment I stop watching you."

    ---And then, with that, she slips from the tent.

    Once she has a target, she chases it down without mercy; considering the current circumstances in the city, any vehicle that was too big would just get her caught in the blockades or car wrecks, she'd wind up having to walk and might not make it in time, to that end...

    "Tch... Well, been awhile since I rode one of these."

    ...She finds a motorcycle, Yamaha, not sure of the exact year.

    Doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things, she has things to do; it'll get her through the narrower spaces, and that was the important thing...

    She twists the throttle, the memento Caren had left her tied -strangely sentimentally- around her left wrist...

    The engine roars.

    And she is gone.
    Last edited by Airen; July 22nd, 2020 at 10:08 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?



  15. #195
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Alicia Rosenkopf (& Servant Assassin)
    Miyama- Sleeping Bishop
    Night Phase



    Nearly an hour later.

    The aftermath of the battle against Gin has led you back to the dojo. It's the same place where you all met this morning and yet... The atmosphere feels almost the complete opposite of what it was back then. The radiant, peerless dojo is nothing but a shadow of its former self. Starting with the absence of the brilliant rays of the sun that used to permeate through the windows' glass, the signs of struggle and vandalism have shattered that image of perfection it once had, replacing it with a lugubrious scene that does little to bring up your spirit.

    "..."


    Besides Assassin, Takagi Akane -the owner of the inn- and Sakaki Yuuna -the maid-, are also there with you, their faces portraying rather grim expressions after all that has transpired tonight. The reason they couldn't intervene with what was happening at the time on the courtyard was that they had been caught in Tomomi's 'Crystal Prison', an extremely powerful technique they referred to as 'Invokation'. Gin, as well as a second perpetrator, managed to somehow brainwash Tomomi and used her to send their formation into disarray. Because it caught them by surprise, there was little Akane and Yuuna could do before being caught and unable to escape. Perhaps because they feel somewhat guilty themselves, there is not a single mention of you being late to the scene. While you failed to arrive in time as you promised, there is also the fact that the end would have been a lot more tragic had you not shown up.

    "..."

    There are less people in the room than there were this morning. Neither Tomomi nor Taichi are here now. Though the former is fine and resting in order to recover, things aren't looking good for the older brother. Two nights in a row, two battles where he was heavily injured, the look on Yuuna's face after she came out of his room said it all. To say that Masaki Taichi is recovering would be like telling a white lie. To say that he's fighting for his life would be more adequate. He still needs proper medical attention, but the hospital is all the way on Shinto, and the path that leads towards that side of town has been swallowed by demonic flames that cannot be extinguished...

    Even if you were to find an alternate way to reach the hospital, there is no guarantee that the place still remains intact. From what you've seen when you and Assassin scouted the streets of Miyama, the corruption and destruction has spread far and wide.

    "... What did the enemy tell you?"


    Takagi Akane eventually speaks up once more. Even under these circumstances, some of her natural charisma still remains, although she looks a lot more downcast compared to this morning.

    Regarding Gin, the mercenary who's life you've decided to spare, he is currently being held captive, bound by shadow constructs Assassin created, and isolated in one of the guest rooms. After your Servant 'talked some sense into him', he shared a bit of what he knows, although not all of it, under the pretense that he might need it to later bargain for his life. His story matches that of the owner and the maid... He didn't came here alone. A second mercenary was to help him finish the job, but he fell against the combined might of those residing in the Sleeping Bishop. Gin then turned the tables by having Tomomi experience a 'change of heart' and attack her own teammates. The rest is history.

    The mastermind behind all this? A mysterious man called Isaak Knish, a prophet who claims he has foreseen the end of times. A ridiculous story no sane person would immediately believe, it only earns some attention if you take into account what 'M' has said during your encounter at the school grounds. Yes, she -or rather 'it'- said that the world is doomed, that the damage caused to the 'flow of time' in this world is irreversible. That's two people saying the apocalypse is right around the corner.

    But the most curious questions would have to be 'why?'

    If the world is going to end anyways... What was the point of doing harm to any of you? Takane mentioned something about you becoming a target after the summoning of Assassin, but the mercenary group attacked everyone equally. It wasn't you who they were after, rather, they were ordered to kill everyone residing in the Sleeping Bishop.

    When you asked Gin about it, he said that Isaak said it was necessary. But he added that he no longer believed in Isaak's predictions. Granted, he still remains an extremely dangerous individual he would never want to be involved with anymore. However, his prophesy failed. All the information Isaak gave him pointed him towards a favorable outcome against Alicia Rosenkopf, and yet, it was the latter the one who emerged victorious. Maybe fate can be changed, after all.

    "..."


    Everyone has been through a lot. Calling it a day and heading back to your rooms may be one of the best things you can do.

    But, before doing that, maybe you can plan ahead and decide what the priorities for tomorrow will be, or tackle any important topics that might need to be addressed. You are surrounded by reliable people, after all.
    [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. #196
    Hey! Are you ready to go? RoydGolden's Avatar
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    Alicia Rosenkopf (& Servant Assassin)
    Miyama- Sleeping Bishop
    Night Phase


    The dojo had a noticeably gloomier atmosphere than in the morning, though maybe that just reflected the spirits of the people inside. After all, every one of them had just endured a brutal battle, and Taichi had even been critically wounded. The group was torn between yearning to rest up their weary bodies from a grueling struggle, and the need to plan their next move before further attacks arrived.

    After a few minutes of conversation where Alicia and Assassin shared the information they'd extracted from the mercenary calling himself Gin with Takagi Akane and the others, they all fell into an uneasy silence while deciding what to do next. Finally Alicia spoke up again, breaking the lull.

    "That mercenary probably won't be the last to attack us. Whoever sent him, this 'Isaak' might be behind whatever's going on here in Fuyuki, which would imply he has enough power to keep sending enemies after us until his goal is accomplished," the young girl spoke up in a calm and even voice. Assassin, still standing by her Master's side, was impressed at how well she could keep her cool in these extreme situations. It was like she could flip a mental switch and tune out whatever doubts and fears she was experiencing...

    "That's why," Alicia went on. "Tomorrow, we should explore farther out into the city. Staying put just makes us easy bait for more attacks, and we need to get a better idea of our surroundings to resolve this situation. 'M', the robot-girl I talked too earlier at the school, mentioned something about Fuyuki being peeled apart into 'layers'. If we could find out layers and put them together somehow it might be possible to undo this disaster. To be honest, I don't really get it, but we have to do something or else- according to what she and now this 'Isaak' said- Fuyuki could be doomed."

    Everyone looked on, likely marveling at the mere child speaking with such maturity. Then, as if to dispel that impression, Alicia stretched out her arms and let out a loud yawn. "Next we..." her voice trailed off into a sleepy murmur, exhaustion from her ordeal starting to take hold of Alicia.

    "Easy there Master," Assassin said, catching Alicia before she slumped to the ground. She hoisted the now thoroughly tired young girl over her shoulder and went to go back to her room. "All this strategizing is even making me tired, and Servants don't even need to sleep," Assassin complained dryly. She turned to the dojo's other occupants and addressed them in her Master's stead. "We should all rest up and regain our strength. Then in the morning we can work out our next move for real."

    With those departing words Assassin strolled off and returned to her room. Sliding the paper-door shut behind her she plopped her young charge down on the bed. "Mmmh..." Alicia moaned, the change of altitude rousing her slightly. "I'm so sleepy... I hadn't realized that battle left me so drained."

    "Well you are a growing girl," Assassin said, grinning reassuringly. "It's only natural you'd want to save your energy."

    "I guess so..." Alicia muttered. She looked down at herself as her mind raced through the events of the day. Alicia frowned when she noticed she was still wearing her pajamas from last night. Furthermore, they were quite sweaty from all the adventuring she'd done. 'I'll have to find some real clothes tomorrow...' she thought to herself.

    Actually, another nagging thought popped into Alicia's mind... "Say Assassin, what are you going to do? There's only bed in the room and I'd be willing to share, but, well..." she trailed off blushing. Sure she'd had sleepovers with other girls before, but for some reason the thought never embarrassed her as much as with Assassin.

    "Relax Master." Assassin breezily waved those concerns away. "Like I said before, Servants like me don't need to sleep. If we're tired, we can just return to spiritual form to conserve Mana. I'll probably just keep a lookout during the night to make sure nobody else attacks us."

    Alicia sighed, relieved but also a little bit disappointed. "That makes sense. Well, goodnight then, Assassin."

    "Sleep tight princess," Assassin replied teasingly before her form shimmered out of view.

    With her Servant gone, Alicia sank into the bed and did her best to sleep. Her mind still felt on high alert after everything that had happened, but she tried to make herself relax. She was incredibly tired, and the warm soft bed called out to her like a siren-song. Before long, Alicia drifted off into a deep but uneasy sleep...

  17. #197
    アカシャの蛇 The Serpent of Akasha RacingeR's Avatar
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    Hiyako Tsurara
    Shinto- Streets
    Unknown Phase


    “Very well, Kawamoto Yukata.” Tsurara said as she unsheathed her sword, taking a step ahead. “Get away. I don’t think you’ll be able to withstand this battle as you are now.”

    There’s no need for any words. A mask of ice appears on Tsurara’s face, one she intends to wear through this whole affair to hide her identity somewhat. It is a late thought, and Haruka has probably seen her face, but who knows, hiding her identity might end up saving whatever future ‘her’ got to live in not-fucked-up-land

    The moment she takes this step ahead, is also the moment Kuromusi Haruka starts her spellcasting. There is no exchange of points of view, or any dialogue whatsoever. There was never the possibility of solving this through diplomacy.

    It is a fight to the death. Even if Tsurara doesn’t intend to kill Haruka as per the instructions received, she won’t hesitate to kill her if it comes to a situation where that’s the only way she can be defeated.

    The Magus executes the first move. The difference in their specialties becomes clear. There’s no way for the melee-oriented Tsurara to make the first attack given the distances. She’s simply too far away, and Haruka capitalizes on this.

    The first attack comes, a sphere that can only be called an incarnation of darkness, not ‘black’ but rather colorless, something that shouldn’t be in this reality, an Ether Lump. What the rank of this spell is, and what the properties of it are, isn’t something Tsurara can understand with sight alone.

    In an instant, the sphere arrives in front of her. The movement of the Ether Lump is strange and erratic, and she is immediately able to determine that she will only be able to do something about it when it reaches closer and is about to hit her.

    It is indeed a fast projectile. A ‘normal human’ wouldn’t be able to outpace it, an Olympic athlete might be able to, but would only be able to maintain their speed for a burst, it’d be impossible for them to deal with five of those. However, the ‘Monster’, Hiyako Tsurara, can move fast enough to outpace and avoid it.

    What is to be determined, however, is what’d be the best reaction to this attack, if she’s merely to dodge or to do ‘something’ about it.

    And the answer is the latter.

    The sphere never reaches Hiyako Tsurara. Instead, the instant it appears in front of her, it is encased in a pillar of ice. At the same time, the Half-Demon disappears from sight, already charging towards the Magus, not bothering to see if her ice can stop the sphere or not. Even if it cannot, it has already bought her the time she needed.

    It is a savage lunge executed from a great distance, with an absurd amount of strength. A simple stab directed to a non-vital spot of Haruka’s torso, just below her left lung.

    As she covers the distance in a blur of speed, the ground below her feet starts freezing over, the heat dissipating and plunging the battlefield into a true freezing hell. By the time the Magus can react to the incoming charge, the ground below her will have become a true ice rink.

    However, Tsurara isn’t hoping to score a hit.

    No. While her attack cannot be called a feint, as she will indeed stab her if she gets the chance, it definitely could be called a ‘bait’.

    Her own experiences in real combat are woefully lacking. After all, Tsurara is only nineteen years old. She’s far from being an expert. However, she has fought and killed before, and more than once. As a heir of such an important yakuza clan, she had been a target for assassination from the moment her talent was discovered as a kid. Thus, it could be said that she was accustomed to the battlefield, or at least to fights to the death.

    There was a difference of experience, something Tsurara was almost able to feel through Haruka’s fear and nervousness, and she plans to capitalize on that. The battle is bound to end within a few exchanges, a game of death tag where the one who makes the first mistake will be the one to fall.

    Both her movement speed and reaction speed are superior to Haruka’s, she’s sure of this, so she also feels sure of being able to ‘cancel’ her attack and react to whatever comes.

    That’s why she’ll use this attack and the sheer cold caused by her ability to psychologically pressure her enemy and draw her into overextending herself. Furthermore, she’ll be able to discern some properties of her target’s magecraft by observing the pillar of ice that trapped the first shot.

    Truth be told.

    Tsurara might be the one who is outclassed in this situation.

    That’s why she has to take any advantage she can get. If she can make Haruka panic and fire off her trump card, all the better. Even if it is only drawing out the other four spheres, she’ll deal with that. She intends to finish this the moment she gets into close range.

    The next step into this dance of death had been taken.

    wise up!

    Attributes

    Quickness: B (4)

    Range: D (2)

    Circuit: C (3)
    PU: 240/300

    Perks

    Origin Perk - Hiyako Family Half-Blood
    A Half-Blood from the Hiyako family, also known as the Ice Rakshasas. […]
    Apart from the demonic ability, Half-Bloods have a tendency to be supernatural fast, strong and durable when compared to the normal human being, and in Hiyako’s case, her demonic blood is particularly thick, to the point she could be considered to be one step away from the fabled “Crimson Red Vermillion” realm. Not only is she able to easily break through the limits of humans, but she’s more physically capable than even a normal Half-Blood. Of course, this has its downsides…

    Minor Personal Skill - Kendo Mastery
    Mastery of the way of the sword. Once the heir of the Hiyako family is chosen, they begin to be trained in the art of the sword to inherit and wield the Frozen Heart Blade, a family relic. One could say that all direct line Hiyako family descendants are masters of the sword.
    Confers bonuses when fighting with a sword or sword-like object.

    Demonic Power

    Ice Rakshasa
    The ability of the Hiyako family, rather infamous in the supernaturally aware circles of Japan.
    Manipulation of Ice? Other details unknown.

    Applications

    Flash Freeze/???
    Rank: D/?
    One of the signature applications of the Ice Rakshasa ability.
    The D ranked application of this is based on being able to instantly repel the heat of anything that is touched, immediately freezing the object. This basically allows Tsurara to flash-freeze whatever she touches…
    Costs 30 PU or … other details unknown.

    Frozen Moon
    Rank: D
    An ability that is meant to remain active for a long time. Instantly repels the heat away from a circular area around Tsurara, creating a powerful aura of cold and frost around her that accompanies her as she moves. Depending on the ambient temperature, it is cold enough to flash-freeze the ground around her, but the main effect it has is that the cold and frost around her are extremely uncomfortable to others, slowing them down and reducing their physical stats as long as they stand within the aura.
    Costs 30 Pu and lasts two turns.


    quotes
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1984 View Post
    Besides, I don't see what's so terrible about looting anyway. It's only property, they're not actually harming anyone.
    Quote Originally Posted by lantzblades View Post
    when I say hero I don't mean hero in the spirit sense. I mean a morally grounded, good natured person who doesn't slaughter innocent people. No such person exists in the Nasuverse.
    [00:12] <~Katie> i can't defy my origin
    [00:12] <~Katie> of gay memes

    [16:15] <~Katie> lesbians has always been my gimmick and i will exploit it to the fullest

    [22:56] <@Sei> airen is pegging hero this time
    [22:56] <@Sei> for once airen isn't the uke
    [22:56] <@Kuroyuki> I thought Air was the Woman in the Relationship?
    [22:56] <@Airen> Yeah I kinda thought I was the girl too!

  18. #198
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Yamashita Hiro
    ???? - Sacrificial Chamber
    Unknown Phase



    The outside has become the scene of a massacre.

    Little do numbers matter against a newfound resolution, much less now that the prey has become the hunter. Embracing the darkest parts of yourself, you eliminate the obstacles along the way in the style that suits you best, acknowledging that the powers of the Fire Demon are a reflection of your own, a defining trait that makes Yamashita Hiro who she is. You have seemingly regained control over the dreamscape you traverse, being able to shift events in your favor, the idea of rescuing your pet animal going from an impossible task to a reasonable ambition. However, deep down, you can feel that this isn't over, that there is an opponent you have yet to face. As you finally catch up to the warrior holding your prized possession at the Sacrificial Chambers, you instinctively become aware that this will be the place where the final showdown will take place.

    From the very beginning, neither the Fire Demon nor the Far Side Cat have been your enemies, nor your allies. In here, you are alone, and it's been your own thoughts and emotions what have distorted the truth, presenting the bizarre version of reality that you have experienced. It shouldn't come as a surprise, then, to find that the one standing between you and the goal you've set for yourself is no other than Yamashita Hiro herself.

    "..."


    Maybe you weren't paying enough attention, maybe the looks of the doppelganger changed at some point through the pursuit, but now that you can remain stationary and take a good look at her, you find that she no longer resembles the warrior you once thought she was. She may be taller, she may be older and wiser, but at the end of the day, she resembles a frail and helpless human more than you currently do. She's your 'future', be it the one you'll reach if you remain on your own path or the image of the one you truly desire. Maybe she could even be a future which, for the real Yamashita Hiro, has extremely low odds of coming to pass, truly something outside her reach.

    Brilliant, flawless, almighty.

    Oh, if you could swap places with her, you would gladly do so.

    In terms of value, there is no denying that she represents a treasure even more precious than the animal she holds captive.

    As a human, this sort of longing is impossible to deny.

    Just as Yamashita Hiro fears her own death, so does she seek the freedom of actually defining herself according to her own views.

    To lose the ability to envision one's future as a better version of oneself is to open the doors to despair and depression.

    Even the weakest of men hold that hope close to their chests until their very last breath.

    "[...]"


    Unlike the Shadow of the Spirit that you fought tonight, this aspect of you is very much complete. Just like you, she can talk and express her emotions through a myriad of ways. She represents the chance you have of overcoming this ordeal on your own, and fully intends you to protect you to the bitter end. From the Fire Demon and from the Far Side Cat, from the mist and even the Near Side Cat. And to do so, she will become the harsh teacher of truth, and beat you down until you leave the stray path and return to your senses.

    There is no reason to do this. Saving the cat means your own damnation.

    What was the reason for coming this far, if you were going to toss all your potential to the flames, anyways?

    Yamashita Hiro, a miracle among miracles, a single triumph that defines her entire existence. High expectations have been placed in her, the vanguard, the hero who proved that big failure is the mother of big success. Your death would bring not just grief, but also ruin to the people that you know. Within your chest burns the responsibility of staying alive. For your sake and for theirs.

    In the end, Yamashita Hiro will lose something here.

    Be it her life, her future or her free will.
    [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

  19. #199
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Hiyako Tsurara
    Homurahara School - Schoolyard
    Unknown Phase



    "...!"


    Amidst the rain, the girl who made an oath not to run away anymore finds herself instinctively taking a step back. But who can blame her? Little does it matter if Hiyako Tsurara is a Demon Hybrid or someone's god, as just a small demonstration of her abilities are more than enough to prove that she is in a league of her own. Physical Prowess, Supernatural Prowess, Experience... Previously, Haruka expected to be outclassed in all these areas and adjusted her style to maximize her chances of coming out on top, as scarce as they were from the very start. However, now she realizes that her first analysis was wrong, no, incomplete. Yes, this enemy who seems impossible to defeat also possesses a field advantage and won't hesitate to use it to the fullest.

    A powerful leap that defies human comprehension, reducing the distance between them significantly in but a single heartbeat. A surprisingly simple attack in its execution, predictable even, but not without pressure. Normally, it's the kind of move that forces the other side to respond in some way, but in this case it's much more than that. Yes, the difference between the two fighters is so vast that the window of time available to do something has become ridiculously small, and if nothing is done to repel Hiyako Tsurara's sword, the sheer velocity behind her thrurst might just put an end to Kuromusi Haruka's life. Perhaps not instantly, but a wound like that might certainly mark the end for her.

    "..."


    She readjust her stance, and closes her eyes.

    This is the kind of battle where her vision would get in the way of her focus. Right now she has to concentrate on too many factors not to be brought down by environmental conditions alone. It's a bitter pill to swallow, but Hiyako could simply stand there and eventually be declared the winner, once Haruka runs out of stamina to bear the harsh weather alone.

    Clad in the darkness of her own imagination, she directs her attention once more to her Magic Circuits, for one last stand against the almighty. To her, using this alien practice is like holding the Earth upon her shoulders, an invisible pressure that threatens to crush her from above every time she commits the sin of using magecraft.

    There is not enough time for a proper incantation.

    She won't make it to the third verse before she gets skewered by her opponent's blade.

    Therefore, she has no choice but to rely solely on cheap and simple applications of her power, like changing the shape or overall composition of her Ether Lumps. While it is true that she could temporarily turn them into a variety of objects of diverse complexity, the allotted time is simply not enough to create anything threatening to someone that has long since abandoned a good part of their humanity. Had Haruka known she would be paired against a foe like this one, she might have been better prepared for this exchange, but the truth is that she came knowing only the identity of the man who accompanied Tsurara.

    The only reason the Magus can tell which sort of enemy she is up against is because she has been in a similar position in the past. The reason she survived...? Well, back then, that one hybrid fought as her ally, not as her foe...

    "Discharge-!"


    Four balloon-sized projectiles are fired in rapid succession.

    Moving in a straight line, even at high-speed, is choice that's easy to read. If one adds Tsurara's current 'form' or 'dynamic stance', the result is a reckless charge full of openings that even an amateur might be able to exploit with the right timing. But...

    That has always been the intention, hasn't it...? Putting her King in check, only to drive the King closer to checkmate.

    However.

    Kuromusi Haruka already knows that. It would be a mistake to say that she has seen through it given that combat is not exactly her field of expertise. Rather, due a pessimistic philosophy, she always assumed that to be the case. In the end, aren't they like polar opposites? One was born a prodigy, cursed with a natural ease to surpass others that was never asked for, the other a mere pawn in someone's else's game, someone who has achieved freedom by climbing atop a pile of corpses, the victories of others making up for her repeated lack of success.

    Ironically, if there is one field where Haruka has an edge over Tsurara, that would have to be at 'being a loser'. Defeat after defeat, she had to suffer constant humulliation just to survive a world that portrays human nature at its worst. In hindsight, every encounter she has had has been like this. Jinxed, she would often find a ridiculously powerful enemy at her doorstep waiting patiently to beat her up and show Haruka her rightful place.

    "Composition Shift!"


    Therfore, in her mind, this is how she wins, by allowing all those painful memories and frustrating thoughts to emerge back to the surface. After all, there is a reason why this loser stands here today, swimming agaist a current that is too strong to overcome. And that is for the sake of her class and clubmates. For those who have fallen and for the few that still endure. Even if what lies ahead looks like absolute defeat, she will challenge it with all her might. That is her duty. That is her responsibility.

    That is the decision she has taken as their Class Rep-!






    Your vision is set ablaze as the four spheres that remain home in on you and promptly detonate. No, while the outcome is ultimately the same, what creates the explosion is not a group of remote controlled bombs. It's a natural, chemical reaction...


    Hiyako Tsurara takes 5 HP damage!

    Hiyako Tsurara takes 5 HP damage!

    Hiyako Tsurara takes 5 HP damage!

    Hiyako Tsurara takes 5 HP damage!
    Critical Hit (Artificial Damage Reduction temporarily disabled)!

    Blown Away (Slightly)!




    "Ah...!"


    Haruka yelps in pain, as a small drop of the Ether Lumps reaches her arm, easily burning through her clothes and leaving a mark on her skin. Even if she wasn't caught in the explosion, this sort of experiment is dangerous without protective gear. Her chemistry teacher would certainly reprimend her for trying something so reckless. But in the heat of the moment, that was the only option available, and she was somewhat prepared for it. It's not the first time she uses her Ether Lumps to reproduce an enormous exothermic reaction in combination with water. Even if her opponent freezes all the water at ground level, Kuromusi still possesses an endless supply at her disposal.

    She knows her masked foe is still there...

    She just cannot see her amidst the rain and the dust that was kicked up with the explosions. But the Demon Hybrid is there, closer than before and very much alive.

    Just a few more minutes...

    If she can repeat this miracle a second time...

    Then, what happens after that will not matter...
    [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

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