Chapter Two: A White Century
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You are abruptly dropped with your companions at the center of a large gathering of people. Gone is the pretty spacious elevator from which you entered, now replaced with a high profile antechamber decorated in the finest of luxuries.
From where you have fallen you can see ostentatious couches, marble animal statues, and paintings dating back to a classical era. The calm melody of a fine German piece of music waft in accompanied with a wiff of orchid and rose. The soft peals of water from a fountain within the room sometimes overpowers the music, but both sounds never become too overpowering.
Laughter and light bits of conversation are also sprinkled about from the mouths of people wearing vibrant, decorative masks. Upon your arrival some of the people had filtered around you and your companions in a circle and are now discussing this random occurrence in harsh whispers.
Their masks occasionally leaping up with their facial movements and their fancy, frivolous style of dress putting what you are wearing to shame. These people don't even bother to help you get up as they chat on and on around you.
At the furthest end of the antechamber is a regular sized door decorated with perfect white orchids. It would have been easy to reach on a different day, but the circle of people and the rest walking about could easily slow you down.
Well, this certainly isn't what I expected. It was sudden, even made me jump a bit but I didn't panic at the sudden change. Of course, I needed a moment to process things but other than that I'd quickly try to get myself up.
Lets see...Yeah, I've seen gatherings somewhat similar before but this already was strange. There's a chance that these people aren't friendly but right now we need to try and get our bearing of where we are.
I'd try to at least speak up in a polite tone, didn't want to seem like I was ordering them.
"Hello, sorry to have dropped in unannounced. Would anyone here happen to know where we are? It would be helpful to have an idea as to where we've arrived."
Guh, those masks. They make the people here look like dolls. Definitely unsettling but I had to try and ignore that for now.
Right, let's put aside the paladin. I'll go bard instead. Now dressed in a prim tunic and a stylish bandana, I take out my harp and play a couple of alluring notes. Of course, the music played by a bard such as Bartz is no mere sound. It's power changes depending on the song and this "Alluring air" has the ability to muddle the mind and make it easy to manipulate people. This way, Yu's interrogation should go off without a hitch.
"A song for you fine folks! It is a courtesy of our host for we are naught but travelling artists who seek to impress the world with our talents !"
I pray to god the others will play along.
(edited by Bartz)
[The place was unlike anything I had seen before in real life, so full of luxurious things of all kinds... for a moment there, I was feeling amazed by the sights. But, as always, it was people ruining it for me. Still, I was used to not caring for what people said as offhand comments. I will simply avoid looking at them because my face shows my true emotions too easily. I get up and look back at the group. Yu was already doing the talking and Liam helping with that so, as we all are in the same room, I would rather try to look around a bit more and not be stopped by the masses.]
I’ll try to go and check the door and anything else of importance, I don’t know for how long I can keep looking at all these guys.
[I clear my throat and keep my eyes on the door as I walk forward; I simply try to make my way through by being polite and excusing myself through them.]
I beg your pardon, but me and my friends must get through.
[My objective was simple: To approach the door and to scout carefully for anything else that may be important to note, perhaps details that the group of people made hard to see.]
Seeing as how all these losers...including me...had all entered this fancy ass party by falling onto the rich ground, the first thing I would immediately do is dust myself off and look around. As well as scramble to find all the vending machine snacks I might've dropped along the way.
"Ah, the fine things that you can get by being a privlileged person. How quaint."
Instead of speaking like a little poor person, I'd just stand back behind Yu and probably let all the others do the speaking, if they do decide to speak. In fact, instead of hanging around, I might as well try to make my way through the crowd quietly with Kaz.
"Yes, that'd be very nice to accomplish."
I put on my shades, and hold a bag of chips seeing whether or not now would be the best time to merely open them or not. Mostly because these rich people might not like food that isn't at least the cost of a McDonalds worker and has the serving size of two ants.
"O.. Oh.. Right, sorry."
I dust myself off as I stand up and almost reflexively apologize to one of the partygoers. Glancing around I see myself getting left behind rather quickly. Again, so I simply rush to catch up to Kaz. I don't really say anything, just try to push my way through behind him so I can get to the edge of the crowd and maybe help out there.
Considering I actually remember how long Gamma would be, I'd actually take some time to sleep. Granted, I only manage to get about four hours before my alarm goes off. And quickly walk through the door.
I stand up a bit slower, not really feeling any need to rush up and make myself fall again or something. The others have really said all I feel needs to be said, so I'd simply aim to walk after Kaz for the moment while running a hand over the belt around my waist and the flask on it. I do speak to the others though, eyes glancing around the room for any possible threats.
"Hmm, a curious place so far. No clue where we might be... Ah well, I guess it's something to figure out."
(Quintus and Bartz)
As a new tune replaces the soft bellows of German opera the people surrounding you become noticeably confused and lax. They almost sway to the additional song like drunken sailors aboard a shaky ship. Some even wander off to partake in the merriment of elsewhere.
With masks hanging at the tip of their noses and relaxed posture. The partygoers that stay near you quickly barrage you with answers to the single question asked. Among the sheer number of rapidfire voices one rings true and provides you with the answer you seek.
This is the Millefiore family manor in Milan!
The provider of the answer pushes forward from the crowd and when in front of you she adds.
You are at the annual Millefiore gala though i'm sure you already knew that.
(Kazuya, Florina, Toki, and H2O
Initially, there is some resistance to letting you pass as masked people approach and attempt to engage in light conversation. Their whispers and words taking on a malicious tone as they notice your peculiar style of dress.
Could they be Japanese?
Didn't anyone tell them that this is a formal gathering.
and reprimands arise.
How dare you sully such an important party. Hopefully mutts like you get tossed to the street.
Yet they still let you pass by parting as they take in all your clear differences. The crowd even parts around you and your companions as if you were contiguous. The repulsion of the crowd allows you to spot a variety of banners hung around the arches of the antechamber. Each of the banners display a different symbol with a curious name beneath. You spot names such as Cervello, Tomaso, Carcassa and many others. There are also statues of vicious animals with the same names etched beneath that are routinely cleaned by maids wandering the premises.
Passing through you are also able to catch glimpses of various firearms on the partygoers accompanied by traditional weapons in the forms of blades and knives. The presence of weaponry seems to catch the attention of no one as people continue to mingle and chat.
Once you approach the door you are able to see a sliver of light coming from its slight opening. Whimsical melody floats through the opening and if you were to peer in you would be able to make out an even large ballroom straight ahead. A ballroom filled with even more masked people currently dancing and partaking in the drinks offered.
[So we are in some kind of European mafia place. Great. What's worse is that it seems to retain that fantastical aspect. Suddenly, the thought of a random angel with gangster attire comes to me, and realize that such an idea should be discarded for the moment, not even sure if I could use it for my own writing.]
I wonder if they will get angry if we...
No, we can't split up even more. I say that we should wait for the ones behind before we go into that room. With this many people, it'll be easy to get lost.
Also, try not to drink or eat anything, we have no idea what effect it could have on us.
It may also be that all this is nothing but average, normal drinks and food but... somehow, I don't doubt Europeans would be big on drugs.
[I look back at the people and do my best to keep a neutral expression. Their words didn't get to me, but their entire behavior, so high and mighty, it irked me. I've never liked that kind of person, even if I do it as a joke.]
Be careful, everyone. These guys, as you probably noticed, may just shoot at us and I don't think gameplay shields or plot armor will save us from that kind of damage.
Treat every bullet as certain death... y'know, like you normally would.
[I take a deep breath and decide to wait for the rest of the guys who were getting information.]
And if you can't help but look around, don't go too far.
Oh boy, European mafia. And to think I would’ve fit in were it not for my anime aspects. Oh well, even if I have a gold chain, shades, and a get smoked hat, I surely still look to be a character from a fantasy. Too bad they might have better guns than me.
“I sure do love rich people bullets. Can’t wait to be 100 dollars more disappointed.”
I brush off their stupid little comments with a whole-heartedly fake laugh and a scoff afterwards. Kaz’s little comment irks me a bit, my bag of chips would be open if he didn’t say not to eat anything. Or drink anything. Whatever dumbass god that just so happens to run the rules of this place better know I brought beverages too.
“Does that include vending machine snacks? Because if my Doritos just so happened to get injected with ecstasy when we landed here, I’m going to sue the hell out of that velvet room.”
"Um.. No, I'm not.. Sorry,"
I'd feebly mumble apologies to the people as we pass, though there's not really much I can do about the situation. Instead I just follow along with what I was told, patiently waiting near the edge of the party for the others to reconvene.
"Um.. Yeah, that's probably for the best..."
The way they all tried to answer at once was almost overwhelming. I wasn't sure if I could keep this up, I was losing my nerve and my energy for this but...Liam was there supporting me. I couldn't show a lack of confidence, not now, not in this situation.
The one who gave us an answer though and seemed to break through the crowd would offer a moment to absorb what was going on for me. That's right, no need to panic, just stay in character.
"Ah, yes! Thank you, I just wanted to make sure we arrived in the right place. I heard you all comment on our clothing before but as you can tell from our star performer here we're actually a group on entertainers...well most of us, I'm just the manager.
Speaking of which since this is quite an important event I'm assuming the host is somewhere around here. I'd like to inform them of our arrival."
Guns and blades huh, not too much trouble if I'm ready for it. But if I'm struck without having my Rider Armor on... Well, this could be bad for me in that case. Too bad I'm not Nanoha or Fate right now though, telepathy would be real handy. I'd look to Kaz and chuckle slightly while waiting for the others to catch up.
"If it comes to bullets, stay behind me. A Rider's armor won't fall to something as simple as mundane gunfire after all, that's not empty boasting either. Many of them stand up to such things fairly easily, and as the designer of this armor, I can say that defense is one of it's better traits too."
I'd say that in a fairly quiet voice while keeping a hand on my belt, ready to Henshin at any moment's notice. I can call upon that power in a split second if I really have to, but I'd prefer not to go around relying entirely upon the armor if I can avoid it.
As I keep plucking the strings of my harp, I try to improvise some lyrics about not worrying and staying strong in the face of adversity. I always knew those improv' classes would be useful one day !
I glance at Yuu. Don't worry! You got this !
The mellow notes keep enrapturing the guests that stay close enough to hear my song.
(Quintus and Bartz)
Locked into a musical trance the audience continues to freely give out answers. Though some of the guests begin to grasp at their heads or their weapons. The musical spell wearing thin on them the longer it is used. The cacophony of readily given answers once again produces a disorienting effect, but if listened to carefully a statment can be made out.
Byakuran is in the grand ballroom past the large doors.
A few confused faces turn into glares directed right at you. The general crowd continues to be in your thrall, but some return to their senses.
What are you performing?
Where do you come from?
Could you be non-flame users?
Yet, questions continue to rain down upon you.
(Kazuya, Florina, Toki, and H20)
A waiter approaches as you wait for the rest of your companions and offers what is on his silver tray.
Would any of your care for a drink?
On the tray are a few glasses filled with bright red liquid and a few filled with something clear and bubbly. It should be difficult for the waiter to balance so many glasses with only one hand, but he manages. A faint green glow from his fingertips seem to attach the tray to his occupied hand. Some almost imperceptible sparks flying from where the flesh connects to metal.
I slowly put an end to my song with a flourish of notes.
"That was a "Autumn Leaves", a song of my own composition. We hail from a small land far to the East. We are traveling all over the world as a troupe to bring joy and entertainment to fine folks such as you ! That is also why I would like to apologize if we may look or act unlike the customs you uphold. In the name of the troupe, I bid you my sincerest apologies."
I try to put up a bit of an act. I'm quite confident in my abilities as a liar so I don't expect them to see through us that easily. But then again... Bartz is normally honest. Hopefully he won't hold it against me....
Wait, "he"? Ugh. Whatever. Let's just hope my bluff works.
"Now, Mister Manager," I say looking at Yu, " Why don't we either join the rest of the troupe or go speak a few words with the host of this sumptuous party?"
(edited by Bartz)
No, thank you.
[I simply wait for the rest of the group with both arms crossed and staying close to the wall, looking straight into the direction from which we came from. I found myself wondering what the nature of this place was and if not killing anyone was a legitimate solution. Honestly, we'll have to see. Perhaps them staying alive at all will come back to bite us later on.]
“You know what, I’d like to take one if you please.”
My fakest accent has been used for this fake ass place, so now it’s time to make something that would pretend to be useful but instead just be pointless. I took a glass with the bright red liquid so that his burden would be lifted a little. But instead of drinking, I just poured the drink in my dorito bag.
“Thank you very much, good sir.”
I wrapped the top of the half-eaten bag up and shook it so that the Doritos would...take in whatever I just put in the bag while it was closed. Yes this crime of alchemy will surely be useful when we move on forwards.
“Is there anything else we’d like to do? I’m getting kind of bored.”
"I'd agree with that idea but it seems the rest of our troupe is already on their way to do just that. Seems they must have grown overexcited and gone ahead or maybe they were just looking for a bathroom?
Now, if you'd all be so kind as to please excuse us? Wouldn't want to hold you up from your festivities any longer."
With that said I'd attempt to get past the crowd as well, hopefully without having to push them out of the way now that I've explained my reasoning for being here.
Though, they mentioned fire-users, a detail I had chosen to ignore but was quite important. Let's see, guns...check...European atmosphere...check...magic fire...check. Considering the last world seemed to be based on the anime/manga Magi it seemed as though we were now in another anime/manga based world, one I knew little to nothing about, Reborn.
Considering I didn't know much about it aside from the protagonists design knowing the name didn't even seem like something all that important. For now my goal was simply to rejoin the others.
I'd simply shake my head slightly, and stare at Mal with frankly worried eyes. Even if the drink isn't dangerous, that still seems utterly vile. Who the hell eats soggy chips dammit? Not that I'm about to voice this thought frankly. If only because I don't feel like commenting around... Whoever these people are.
"Feh, better bored than not I say Mal. Exciting is usually dangerous after all. That said, best to wait for the others to catch up I think. With any luck that'll be soon, and I don't want to lose them in this crowd."
My eyes look around casually, no sense in seeming overly paranoid. Though the hand resting upon my belt might show that I regardless to the others, hopefully the locals won't realize that it's a weapon. Though I'm not really all that hopeful, best to assume they do notice.
Naturally, I follow suit and try to rejoin the others with Yu.
(Quintus and Bartz)
The people that had been swaying to the impromptu music are left at a loss. Without the music still holding their attention they soon disperse and go back to their disordered ways. Though the ones that had been fighting off the song are left with a certainty of action once you leave. They follow behind you with purpose as some of their masks twitch with angered expression.
One or two of the fellows right behind you reach to some pocket or other on their person. A silver pistol pulled out by one and aimed at the back of the musician. While the other continues to shift through their own pockets.
The crowd having lost interest with your companions allow you to pass without a hitch. Curiously watching the few that tag after you in earnest. Your companions are right ahead by the doors, but behind are a few possible assailants.
(Kazuya, Toki, Florina, and H20)
As you wait by the entrance to the grand ballroom you are able to spot your two remaning companions coming near. However, you also see a few following behind them with guns at the ready or knives held in finely gloved hands. The masks of these followers are twisted in a range of annoyed to angry expressions. The rest of the guests watch this chase with cursory glances, but is unknown if they would help these possible assailants should the need for orderly action arise.
Satisfied with the giving out of one drink, the server retreats back into the throes of the party.
I fidget nervously against the wall as I look about to the others. After politely declining a drink I look over to Liam and Quin. Noticing their new... Friends, I lean over to tell the others
"I think this might be a good time to slip in. I'd.. Rather not be here when that blows up."
[I had been tense the entire time, so when Yu and Liam comeback, and as I was looking at the same direction, I am able to notice the new guys with actual guns ready to throw down. I quickly try to make up a plan to get them off our back as swiftly as possible without having to fight.]
Mal, throw that bag of yours to try and distract them for a second; Tatsuya, get between those assholes and Liam fast; you got the Kamen Rider suit. Liam, you change clothing when you're out of their sight.
[I then turn around trying to remain casual and walk fast into the next room.]
Scatter, we don't need to get into a fight.
Let's meet up anywhere near the right wall of this ballroom once we lose them.
I did not need to be told twice. Without any reason to wait for the others' replies I would slip through the open ballroom door, remaining by the wall as I slip around the edge of the party. I wouldn't have any sort of destination in mind, just further away from the door where a fight seemed likely to break out.
"Wasn't gonna eat these, so, yeet."
After opening the dorito bag, I threw it at Liam and Yu's little followers at a break-neck speed that wasn't necessary at all. If it hit them in the face as planned, they would be assaulted by a family size bag of soggy wine chips.
"Where we going now? Oh right."
I stretched the arm I threw with and headed in the next room, planning to just go in a random direction that would look to be something short of isolated enough. Though since I don't know any parts of the room, I just go away from Gamma as far as possible.
"Sure thing, I'm on it. I'll do whatever I'm able to, and that should be plenty by my guess..."
I'd sigh and nod to Kaz, I was planning to help Liam out anyways. But it is good knowing he's got the same idea. My legs carry me far faster than my actual body would, which makes sense given Mizui's practice for being a Rider is paying off some I guess.
My hand remains placed upon the Calamity Driver, staring across the room quietly for the momeny while speedily placing myself between whoever these people are and Liam. I'm not about to simply leave someone behind after all, couldn't even come close to calling myself a Rider if I pulled that.
What to do right now? Confront the men and try to reason with them? Might be too risky and it already seemed like Tatsuya was trying to help Liam. I don't want to make an extra target he has to protect out of myself. Besides, talking to these people almost seemed pointless, they seemed almost like their responses were automated in a way.
Still, if they somehow still reported us to their boss that might be trouble too. I knew what needed to be done, I needed speak to their boss directly and try to win him over.
"Try not to hurt them, Tatsuya. The last thing we need to give the people here is a reason to hunt us down. I'm gonna be heading for the big door. Trying to find the one in charge seems like the best way to figuring out what to do next."
With that I'd try to cross through the big doors as mentioned earlier. According to the info I digged up it seemed that he'd be waiting somewhere over there.
God damn it. I was hoping it wouldn't be the case, but there were people who managed to resist the magic and figure me out. Thankfully my team's got my back !
I want to ask tatsu to keep them busy but I don't want our assailants to know of my plan so I just stare intensely at him.
But first I need to change jobs. I try to go back into the crowd in order to hide myself. Kaz told me to change my clothes. I hope he doesn't want me to knock someone out à la Agent 47... Jokes aside, I hope he doesn't expect me to be able to blend in with a different set of clothes. I don't have anything normal to wear, as far as I know anyway. The most normal looking job would be the dancer job. But for this plan, I need something different.
Alright, let's go for it. I hope no one notices this. In an instant, my traditional outfit is replaced by a black hat that somehow manages to project such a shadow on my face that it becomes indiscernable. All you can see is the sheen in my eyes. With a pair of puffy, beige and green striped pants and a large blue cape to hide the rest of my body, this disguise is the one that hides my appearance the most.
"Time for some black magic..." I whisper to myself.
Well, I say that but uh... How would that work? My previous jobs were of the physical nature so I guess the power of the crystal guided my moves. It was the same for the bard. I just kind of felt instinctively what to do, as though my body had already performed these moves a million times. So what about magic? I take the ornate Magus Rod hanging from my belt. In the crystal ball that sits on top of it I can see a swirl of elements. Wind, thunder, fire, earth, ice... They swell and swerve around in this tiny ball, like a storm that could destroy entire cities but on a microscopic scale.
This job is one of the more powerful ones, if I could master it. I try to close my eyes and think hard about the spell I wanted to cast. Then I tried to imagine how the spell would materialize in real life compared to the game. I can "feel" something surging from within. Like a flood of power, a raging fire that consumes the earth. It's different from physical power... but not so different either. I try to force this power out and order it to take the form of the Sleep Spell I had envisioned. I imagined the green powdery mana raining down on our two assailants and picture them getting so sleepy they just can't help but lie down.
"I hope this works..."
With the rod suddenly giving off a green sheen, I raise my hands and cross them in the air. I feel the power inside me slowly being drained and amplified inside the rod before it finally casts the sleep spell on my foes.
(Toki, Kazuya, Florina, and Quintus)
You enter a massive ballroom filled to the brim with people and tables carrying the finest foods only wealth can offer. Arriving at a classical balcony you can see a multi-layered crystal chandelier hanging low from the domed ceiling above. People in the finest of regalia dance below this crystalline monstrosity with learned or inherited poise. As others watch them with the lurid gazes of those terribly imbibed.
The only similarity these two types of guests share is the presence of some fanciful mask on their faces.
Other than that the youthful couples dancing below have a certain grace in movement which puts most to shame. While the older men simply watching let out terrible guffaws while holding the hands of ladies almost tipping on their heels. From where you are you can easily pick out the unfocused gazes of many around you as they slosh various colored liquids in their cups.
Two stairways connect the balcony you are on to either elevated side of the room. As people make their way down additional stairways connected to these sides to reach the dance floor which is the lowest tier of the room. The elevated sides also reach across the room to another white marble balcony with an open air veranda behind it.
This balcony is right across from the one you are currently on and on it are plenty of people in that appear to be a little more focused than the rest. A striking young man with pure white hair languidly hangs over the partition of this balcony. Watching those that dance beneath him with fascination. People seem to be calling for the man's attention as he watches.
The band near the dance floor begins to strum out a powerful hymn as people close in on you or move away with no rhyme or reason. The crowd just flow about wherever there is ample space making it a constantly shifting game of movement.
(H20 and Bartz)
The bothered guests following from behind are agile enough to avoid the snack bag thrown. They dodge and weave through the people as the snack bag ruins the pure white dress of a now distraught heiress.
Without a second to spare they then cock their pistols and fire a beginning volley of bullets. The room is thrown into chaos once the shots are heard as many of the guests dive to the sides or cower where they are. However, most of the bullets do not strike their intended target as they meet rider armor. The ricochet of these bullets is proven to be more harmful as wasted shots embed themselves into walls or scratch off the skin of people.
This furthers the chaos in the room as more people pull out their guns and start shooting. Some even wielding knives and slashing at the perceived culprit. In the midst of the chaos a few more bullets meet armor and some guests start to bleed profusely on the floor.
The original assailants suddenly drop on the ground asleep, but the damage is done.
One semi-destroyed antechamber and many guests locked in angered combat.
[Caught the main character, having white hair is pretty much the biggest indicator to who is important and who is not. I hear the gunshots from behind, but I can tell at least Liam is doing okay now; bless Tatsuya's Kamen Rider. Anyways, I have to move quickly. I stay close to the right wall in the same layer we are. I'm thinking that we should go for that one guy.]
Alright guys, we found the one that's important... or one of them. How do we approach?
[I ask to the ones close to me while I make my way to the white haired guy from the right. Not too fast however; no need to catch too much attention.]
"huh... Well that went well, didn't it tatsy?"
Anyway, now that the coast is essentially clear, we should get going and join the rest. Just.. Don't look at your feet. Don't think of their lifeless bodies. Dont'... Think anything.
I make my way towards kaz&co
Is having white hair really that important? Whatever, it's a sign, and it's good enough to assume they're not a faceless generic. I take out a can of sprite cranberry and sip some as I move on, peeking out slightly and then following Kaz in a "stealthy" manner. Mostly because I now know that Liam and the others behind are safe and sound. Thanks Tats, your knockoff Kamen Rider saved the day.
"...yes. I dunno."
How helpful of me.
As for me, I had already slipped into the ballroom adna round the left side, leading to me being unfortunately out of earshot of the others in my attempts to simply hide among the crowd. Something that wouldn't be too easy considering my lack of a mask, so without any real polan I simply attempt to make myself as small as possible as I make my way around the balcony
(Kaz, Liam, and Florina)
You descend from a right wing of stairs and then proceed to make your way through a terribly intoxicated crowd of people. As they shuffles about with uneven paces they can't help, but bump into you as you move forward. Spilling some whine or a few muffled apologizes as a parting gift. To the left is the marble railing sectioning you off from the dancing crowd below and to the right are white clothed tables laden with a feast of the upmost quality. The aroma of caramelized ham floats in the air in tune with an empowering crescendo given by the live band.
About halfway across the room you spot a listless blue haired girl being dragged away by a man wielding an electrified baton. The guests merely chuckle at the sight and the girl doesn't react much to the forcible pulling/
Making your way around the balcony and down a left flight of stairs you encounter the natural ebb of the wizened. The people on your side are as drunk as the ones on the right, but they still seem to have their wits about them as their discussions take a secretive cadence. Some whisper of monetary exchanges as other tell tales of recent prowess even if they look away at strangers glance. If you should meet any of their eyes you would note the suspicion they have directed at you.
About halfway across you pass by an arched exit seeming to lead into a garden. The white haired man continues to party on the balcony, but a voice calls for you within the shadow of the arch.
Join me in the garden if you want to know more.
I was only distracted for a moment...At least that's what it felt like to me. Before I knew it, Kaz and the others were now ahead of me. I almost went to follow them but then I realized I was alone. I tried to push past the crowd but I couldn't any longer. My confidence was gone, I couldn't even fathom how to get through them.
The others were out of sight now. I had no idea where I was and this feeling was getting worse. I knew part of it was the affliction increasing my emotions but another part of it was a simple disdain for being around too many people.
It felt as though the crowd had begun to grow thicker and I smaller. I wasn't short by any means but I suddenly felt as though everyone in the crowd was three feet taller.
"...Um, excuse me. If you'd please let me pass through..."
Panic was beginning to set in as my head began to hurt mildly. It wasn't so much that I had to take notice of it but it didn't help my urgency to reunite with the others.
As I take in the aroma of rich people ham and rich people scenery, I simply shift my eyes towards the floor in hopes of avoiding any and all eye contact. Even though I had my shades on it still felt necessary so I won't have to look at these idiot's faces. But at the same time, looking halfway across the room proved to be a possible event and some fun.
"Should we be concerned that Marianne over there is getting escorted by security?"
If the white-haired twink on the balcony is a sign, the blue hair girl should be enough of an indicator that she's important in a stupid world like this, plus she's being dragged by some guy with a baton. That's totally supposed to be a sign of plot-relevancy. I side-eye our leader Kazuya before looking back at the scene.
"...Kaz, hold my sprite cranberry; I want to go for them. This is important because of the anime hair color like my own. Or is it more important to, sigh, stick together?"
I say in a droll and sarcastic tone, trying to make it evident on how well we've been doing with not splitting up. In any case, I shove my sprite cranberry towards Kazuya in hopes that he'll hold it and flip my hair, making my hat go sideways and enter the crowd in order to go for wherever blue haired girl is about to head.
"Oh great I did it again. Real genius plan there."
I mutter to myself as I continue around. I didn't know where the others were, so I simply stayed my course. They were probably going to come around soon enough anyways and I didn't want to make more of a commotion than was needed. I initially jump at the sound of another voice I didn't know. Stranger danger... Wait, everyone's a stranger. That's nothing new. Though I'm somewhat nervous, they were at least inviting me out of this huge throng of people. So after taking a deep breath I take the excuse to slip out of the ballroom and into the more open garden, awkwardly saying
I'd follow along after 'Bartz', not even bothering to untransform at this point. Mizui might be the kinda overlysure fool who'd take off his armor merely because the active threats seemingly stopped, but I'm not. Instead I tap the belt and its water shifts colors, becoming a deep purple and seeming to bubble violently, along with a large hazard symbol on the chestplate. Caustic Form, a nigh-unbreakable defense and capable of melting down most anything... But rather slow by superhuman standards.
"I'm not so sure well is what I'd call it, but decent enough at any rate. We didn't die so go us for now."
I'm still more than fast enough to catch up with Kaz if nothing else, and hopefully the shift in colors and symbol will throw off those chasing after us if anyone is.
"Wait, where are Gamma and Yuu?"
I look around us. They're nowhere to be seen, as far as I can tell from here. Maybe I should go have a look for'em? It's best if we don't split up too much, but having people roam around on their own could be way more dangerous.
"I'll go look for them. I'll try and be quick about it."
I trace my steps back in hopes of finding Yuu or Toki. Whether Kaz answers or not doesn't matter. The safety of my friends comes first. Kaz&Co should be more than able to handle things. And if it gets rowdy, I know I can quickly make my way back there.
As soon as I find one of them, we'll go search together for the last one.
[I immediately notice people are awful at following rules, but I can't hold it against them by the simple fact everything was really confusing and there are too many people. Maybe they didn't listen, or something happened. Whatever the case, I easily grab on to the drink; something my normal body would have done clumsily... maybe I should train my reflexes and precision when I get back home.]
Come back to this same place as soon as you're done, even if you got in trouble; find a way to make it back here. We can't afford to get lost now.
[I simply tell Mal who is already going forward. Next I notice Liam going to search for the other two who were lost, and I begin to think about what to do. I simply nod at Liam.]
Alright, just make sure to make it back here. Stay safe, I trust your ability to think quick.
[Right now, I keep looking at the white-haired guy if possible. I need to figure out a way to approach him, but I have the feeling Yu and Liam themselves know something already. I have no idea what to do, not until I catch a glimpse of Tatsuya. Between Mal who went off on his own, and Liam who did the same, it was safe to assume one of them needed the most help now.]
Tatsuya follow me. We'll quietly look after Mal and if anything goes bad, we jump in to help. We can't let the kid go on his own.
[At the very least, I have to take my role seriously. So, I cautiously make my way in the direction Mal went while holding the drink. I wonder if I would have the guts to jump into battle if I needed to, or if my words would be enough for any given situation.]
"Don't worry Kaz ! I'll try and be quick about it!"
A few look to you with pity and others pointedly glare at you with sheer hostility as you meekly wander about. No one lifts a hand to help as all attention is captured by the festivities of the night. Your way forward is blocked off by one masked stranger after another until you are practically pushed against the marble railing of the balcony.
Beneath dancers continue to sway and weave in haphazard harmony. While flames of various colors dance from the barest of skin or shred of cloth upon the person.
As the dancers light up to a climbing crescendo your eyes are met with pale, purple orbs across the expanse of the room.
Etched into the pale face of a content man these orbs wink at you as if in understanding. Beneath the left one is a purple tattoo that is jarring to the sight as a few strands of white hair fall over the other.
After winking, the man waves to you with a bubbly smile.
Tracing back your steps to the entrance of the room you soon find a companion of yours being pushed against the marble railing of the balcony. He seems to be slightly anxious, but the party goers pay him little attention as they get rowdier and rowdier. The force held in the newest song being played does little to help as people unwittingly match the energy of the music.
Nearing your companion you notice that the white haired man across the balcony seems to lose interest in the dancers.
Turning his back completely to you and your companion once you arrive.
You enter a garden bathed in the light of a crescent moon and filled to the brim with white orchids of various temperaments. The terribly white flowers look almost ethereal under the night sky as calm winds gently sway them apart petal by petal. It is here in this shedding of white that you find a man in black uniform holding a plain letter in his hands.
The man wears a plain white shirt with a black coat over it as the rest of him remains demure in appearance. The most unusual thing he carries on him other than the letter is a pool stick, but even that is lacking in any unique inspiration. Not that the man seems to mind as he allows the wind to mess with his hair and a few petals land to land on the yellowy strands. He only motions to fix himself once he notices you arrive unto the grass.
I believe someone left this for you.
The man holds out the letter in his possession. The white envelope betrays nothing of value, but the red seal keeping it closed resembles a a wolf in hunt.
It's dangerous getting admirers in places like these. Before you know it the girl has a dad with thick wallets and plenty of men willing to shoot a bullet.
"Yuu ! Don't get lost like that! Kaz and the others are over there. I'm still looking for Gamma. Do you know where he is? I feel like we should look for him together. If we split up again, it could be bad. Mal is about to do something dumb on her end so we need to be ready to head back and help if needed."
I look around worriedly. The white haired guy, the boss, left his place, which, in my opinion, is not a good sign. I liked it more when I could keep an eye on him. But Gamma comes first right now.
You catch up with your two companions just in time to watch one of them leave to follow a girl.
The incident you helped cause in the antechamber seems to be going ignored for now as the music drones out any concerning noises. But, that may not last forever though the drunken state of most of the people could be to your favor.
Many are so befuddled that they take your suit for costume and poke fun at you to their plus ones.
One tiny girl in black uniform even tries to grab at you as you pass and stares at you with huge, awestruck eyes. Whispering.
As you move along.
(Florina, Kazuya, H20)
With one leading and the other two carefully following the hunt for the captured maiden begins.
Though the task isn't easy as her captor quickly drags her through the crowds with a skill that only someone used to parties can have. The maiden doesn't provide much resistance to the dragging either as she leans into the hold allowing her white cloak to trail along the spotless floor. Her dull eyes look to nothing in particular as she munches on a donut that she managed to grab before capture.
Eventually, the captor and the maiden exit the side hall and enter an old wooden door instead of approaching the crowded balcony. The white haired main pauses in his festivity as he watches the two go and then he stares at you with pure curiosity.
Waiting to see what happens next in this slipshod night.
A rustic, wooden door heading into the depths of the manor or an open balcony visible to all yet holding the shadiest of characters.
The white haired man doesn't say anything to rush a choice, but the crescent moon ascending behind him says otherwise.
I walk into the garden and have to blink a few times at all the sudden... Whiteness, all different manner of white orchids. Funny, I actually had a character named Orchid once, after the flowers, but that's not important right now. I shake my head and look around to find the source of the voice. I look down at the letter, somewhat confused.
Not Again. I shudder a little at the thought of what happened last time I caught a popular guy's eye. Curse this teenage girl's body.. I've not the slightest idea of how to deal with a situation like that and it'd only get worse as time went on... For now I simply bow to the man for a moment before accepting the letter.
"Um... Thank you for delivering this.. I hope its alright..."
I slowly, deliberately break the seal to open the letter, worried about the kind of nonsense it could contain.
I'd take a moment to register Liam's return after I looked back at the odd man with the smile. It was almost reassuring to see someone with such a friendly expression after wandering around a crowded place like this for so long.
I'd turn back to Liam for a moment in response. My nervousness would begin to fade as I no longer felt alone.
"I have no idea where Gamma might have gone. It might only get use even more lost to look around blindly too.
There's also something of interest over this way. Not sure if we'll get another chance like this..."
I'd begin to regain my confidence as the mild pain in my head faded all at once. I'd now try to push through the crowd, mostly staying by the railing to try and avoid as many people as possible. My aim was to reach the man on the other side.
I work my way through the crowd of party people, albeit much less better than the one escorting the girl. Not used to parties yet, but like, who the fuck thought this was a good idea? The personal space you get to have is atrocious, but I guess they didn't pay attention to what happened in Tanacon. If that even existed. AND the girl got to sneak in a donut too? Lucky ass.
"Your lord and savior coming through."
Is what I muttered to the people I quietly shoved aside so I could catch up to the two. The hallway was a nice place where I could breathe in some fresh rich people air, but at the same time, due to me forgetting to breathe sometimes, I was still fairly quiet. What wasn't quiet at all was that balcony. One that looked very suspicious.
"I'm so tempted to flip him off, I swear..."
If the crescent moon wasn't enough with all of these stupid people obscuring a clear view, the white haired man from earlier was even more of a fact that he wants to be paid attention to. Maybe. He's not doing anything immediately. And jokes on him, I'm not going to be the one to give it to him.
More quiet muttering under my breath. Blue haired girl's more important to me. Plus splitting up even more is bad. But what I can do, is do a dumbass hair flip to look more girly as I sass walk down the hallway, pointing in the white haired man's direction without even looking at him to at least acknowledge he exists, as well as see if anybody following me would go there instead.
Not in a million years.
[I would mutter as I notice Mal exaggerating his own act. I swear, he was supposed to be born a stereotypical girl as they usually play them in media. Anyways, I barely give the white hair guy a side glance before simply following behind Mal. Hopefully this leads us somewhere good and not with people pointing guns at us. I lower the scouter over my right eye and make sure my COMP is at the ready. I will have to try, Pixie's wind will surely come in handy.]
Just hope she will listen.
[I tell myself as I make my way through the demon list and find her. Now it's just one button away from summoning, but this is for an emergency. In the meantime, I just have fun avoiding the people, which I do enjoy since I can show off with my own agile movements, and Kazuya's body only makes it way easier.]
I just stare at the others for a moment, observing the madness before me with a concerned face under my helmet. The only good news is that in this form, I'm at least very hardy if anything goes wrong. Because of that I'd take the lead just as promised, standing in front of both Kaz and Mal without even missing a beat.
"Just gonna keep moving huh, fine with me. I'll take point I guess."
I'd say in a fairly quiet voice, glancing at the white-haired fellow from the corner of my eye. Of course, there's no reason to rush off and deal with him. He seems like an obviously important person to be sure, but I just don't care that much right now. Even if he is likely an 'enemy stand user' as one might say.
"Ugh, I mean... Sure, but I really don't like leaving Gamma alone. I feel like we should prioritize the team's safety for now, especially since we don't yet know much about this place."
I say that, but I try to keep up with him. I hope my words will make him reconsider but strategically speaking, if I were to choose between Yuu and Gamma, I would focus on Yuu as he's been elected as leader. "Cut the head and the rest of the body will fall" is what you often see in media. As such, protecting that head is more important.
Still... I don't know. I don't want Gamma to suffer the consequences of that mindset. I hope we spot him while we walk. Let's just keep following Yuu for now.
The seal splits in two revealing a slip of paper within the envelope that is scrawled upon with messy, rushed writing. When read the letter urgently states.
This life resets at midnight.
You only have a few hours to resolve things.
Before all the pieces are moved back to their original positions.
The reset will set you back.
The man allows you to read the letter without interruption. As you reach the last line he finally breaks the silence by tossing a golden pocket watch at you.
The desperate young lady also wanted you to have this. Said that it was very important. Probably a family heirloom or something.
If you were to open the watch you would see two golden needles indicating that it is nine.
(Quintus and Liam)
You take the left path in the grand ballroom and travel to meet the man with white hair. Along the way there is an arched exit to the side that leads to a garden. However, the darkness outside makes it difficult to pick out any distinguishing traits of the two people currently standing out there. No one else is entering the garden at this time making it a sort of dead zone among such a vibrant display of human antics.
Meanwhile, the white haired man is staring at you and awaiting your arrival on the furthest balcony. His location is up ahead while the garden would veer you off a side path.
(Florina, Kazuya, and H2O)
You pass the rustic door and enter into a massive room that could fit thousands of people within.
It should be impossible for a room of this stature to exist beyond such an unassuming wall, but here it is in full view. Adding to the room's oddity is its pure white color scheme. Everything is bathed in white from its walls to its flooring and any decorations in between. Even the vases and portraits are colored as if some child went liberal with the white paint.
The only thing lacking in magnanimity and white is a traditional dining hall table that stretches from a few feet near you to across the huge room. The brown sheen of the table makes it stand out from everything else around you and the chair against it act as little brown dots in the white desert.
Seated nearby on one of the chairs is the blue haired girl you decided to follow and her captor stands behind her. In her captor's hands is some device that you can't make out, but you can see that he is rubbing gauze on her neck in preparation. The girl doesn't seem to mind as she continues chewing on her stolen snack and staring blankly at the white walls across from her. The white cloak that she had been wearing is laid on the table.
Across from the girl and her captor sits an entity with a red oni mask on its face and hooded grey cloak. The entity pokes at the fabric on the table seeming as disconnected from the world as the girl.
I carefully read over the lines, all manner of thought filling my head. This is likely from the aforementioned person who remained trapped here, in hiding no doubt. Their presence didn't change anything. Once again the wheels begin to turn. We only have until midnight to get our mission done, which means the sooner the better. Just as I was wondering what time it was, I had to react, deftly catching the watch that was thrown to me. I look down at it of course, three hours is all? Not a lot of time to find someone, especially if they're secretive like this. I carefully stash the watch in my bag and nod to the man
"I'll make sure to treasure it."
I turn to head back to the party, after all I'll want to inform the others of the situation as well, but before I leave I turn back to ask the mysterious messenger
"By the way, if you had to name one person in this city who would it be? As you might be able to guess I'm new here so I'm not sure of the characters."
I'd Sigh while whispering to the other two.
"Gonna go up there, see what happens. Be ready, but I'd rather avoid fighting if we can. I assume that's cool with you?"
Either way I begin moving forward, waving to those in front of us slightly even while my suit bubbles with caustic water. I'd then speak up in a louder voice with a polite tone.
"Hello there, how goes it tonight? I was wondering what exactly might be going on here? Seems a rather curious room and all so maybe you'd care to chat. Or not, but I thought I'd ask."
I'm expecting an unfriendly reaction, but there's nothing to do but try I suppose.
[The thing I had to do was quite simple: Be the back-up. Truly, it's foolish to expect these mafia guys to just react calmly or non-violently with Tatsuya simply approaching. Any fighting must be avoided, and therefore, Pixie was needed. I take a deep breath and press the "Summoning" option, and the usual vortex appears behind me, revealing the small Pixie. This process never ceases to amuse me. The small demon looks around quietly, not knowing exactly where she is... before shrugging and awaiting for a command.]
I want you to make everyone but the armored guy fall asleep if they even show aggression, please.
[Pixie immediately crosses her arms as she looks straight to my eyes. It took me a moment to realize what it was.]
Pixie: "Please? Since when are you so polite in these situations? I already felt something off, but this just settles it, you aren't Kazuya. Even if you feel similar."
[The small fairy would point at me accusingly. I would get a bit nervous at this, but I need to think. Pixie warmed up to Kazuya through their journey from 1992 to 2022, and she only got some appreciation for him after Yuji died at the hands of Black Count despite being the first demon he recruited. Her personality is closer to a bratty 16-year-old chick. She likes flora above all and feels more comfortable around girls, not to mention the other Fairy race demons.]
Pixie: "Leave his body alone before I blow you away and everyone with you."
[First thing I do is raise both arms to show I won't do anything weird. Now, I'm glad I'm relatively hidden from the others.]
I already talked to Pascal, but I can't take him out now because of everyone around. I'm a guy who got trapped in Kazuya's body without any other intent, all I want is to return to my own body and leave this place along with the others who are in a similar situation. I promise you I will summon him if you don't believe me, but I need some time before then. So please, help us.
[Pixie would think it over, and I'm here just hoping "RNG" doesn't screw me over. After this, the fairy would sit on my shoulder while pulling on my hair lightly.]
Pixie: "Alright, I'll help you for now. But if I find out you are lying to me; I'm bringing Pascal to turn you into ashes. You probably don't know this, but he can summon himself from the Program."
[Can he? I don't think he can, or at least... I don't remember ever writing about it in actual RP, so it must be something I keep constant in the canon for this guy? That, or Pixie is bullshitting me. At least she agreed. Once the condition; those inside going aggro; she would immediately force Sleep with Lullaby.]
While I would feel a bit offended by Tatsuya merely stealing leadership and dominance from my standpoint...he's the tank. He's supposed to go first. I'm still salty about not being able to get first blood though.
"Yeah, sure, whatever. Get it over with, why don't you."
I take out one of the pistols on one side of my waist and peek from the door, charging it with blue energy since they won't be able to actually see me and interrupt me. Probably.
Though at the same time, I sigh out and stop peeking, taking a breather and then having my eyes immediately be set towards Kazuya and his demon friends arguing because of the fact that he isn't even Kazuya. At least they agreed, but at the same time, I just stared blankly, waiting for Kaz and his pixie to finish their little quarrel before speaking once again.
"You know, thanks to your bickering with a pixie, I just remembered that I can charge two pistols at the same time. Because I can carry both of them in each hand. And also, you better get that straight with all your demons so that I won't have to awkwardly sit idly by in silence."
I take out another pistol and begin to charge that as well. Sure we need to avoid killing and conflict...I guess, but if things go south, the cover fire is always an option.
For a moment I'd think about the current situation. The man turned his back the moment Liam appeared. It seemed he didn't want to just talk to both of us, perhaps he might not even talk unless only one person is around.
I'd turn to Liam with this in mind, trying to explain my reasoning.
"Liam, I think you should search for Gamma on your own.
I know I said splitting up was a bad idea before coming here but it seems like this area is much smaller than the last group's.
I also am not sure if the guy over there would talk to me if you came along. It's more important for us to keep tabs on each other's activity than to all stay together, especially in a space like this where it's hard to move as a group."
Hoping Liam understood I'd approach the white haired man, hoping he might be willing to talk if I was alone.
"Well, if you're sure of it, then I will. Just... Don't get yourself into trouble. I'll try and keep an eye from afar so if you're ever in trouble and you want me to step in, simply discretely tap your left earlobe twice in rapid succession. If I see that, I'll try and see if I can give you a hand. It's better than nothing.
Anyway, break a leg Yu. And don't let the crowd get to ya !"
And on this note, I split up from him. Still, I try to do so while throwing quick glances in Yu's direction every so often. I'd rather not loose him from my sight. Of course, I also keep an eye out for Gamma.
Not wanting to stand out too much with my black mage robes, I decide to switch back to my bard's outfit. It's still my best bet to blend in here. I'll just go back on my steps and see if there's anywhere I didn't go before.
Tracing back your steps leads you past the side hall connecting to the garden and up the balcony where you originally started. Though the increased attention you pay does allow you to notice a smaller additional door along the right hallway of the room. The small door continually flings in and out as mobs of servants rush through it to maintain the opulence of the gathering.
A silverette with a tux and a few too many rings bumps into you as you watch.
He barks out. Before taking up conversation with a fair lady in a rosy dress. A skull-shaped ring is left behind after the sudden collision.
The man studies you with an odd expression.
You really came to the greatest mafia gathering ever held without any idea of who was running it?
Within seconds you find a pool stick aimed directly at your chest. The man watching in a hungry manner as his left hands firmly grips the stick and aims it at you.
Byakuran is the main star here. But anyone that belongs here would know that.
Air shifts around the tip of the pool stick as the man sizes you up with his eyes.
Show me that invite of yours missy.
You reach the secondary balcony in the ballroom and what awaits you there is the same man that beckoned you earlier. Up close you can tell that his white hair is a veritable bird's nest and his pristine white uniform had been tossed on without a care in the world. Easily separating this man from the elegant people around that hunger for his attention. Yet, in mannerisms this man holds himself in a posture that naturally begs authority. He almost towers over you on the stairs without even intending to. Though there is something missing from his stance and the air around him feels empty without it. The space just simmering with the lack of something.
This master does not care much for the empty space surrounding him. Instead greeting you with the bubbly smile he offered earlier and sharp eyes that seize every detail on your person.
Have you come to entertain me outsider?
The rest on the balcony watch you through masks that betray no features. (H20, Florina, and Kazuya)
The captor leaps with surprise upon being addressed. As the needle delicately placed on the girl's neck is shifted with his sudden hand movement. The needle is sharp enough that the momentary slip is enough to draw blood from the girl's cream neck. Before the captor can do anything to amend his error some blood spills onto the girl's lap and blends with her black uniform.
Despite the mistake made the girl does not react at all to your sudden intrusion or the cut made on her neck. At best she absently scratches the cut drawing more blood and doesn't stop until her captor forcibly hold hers hand. Her gaze remains focused on the wall across.
As the demon faced entity below it also remains stoic and unreactive.
The only one really attentive to you is the captor and his response is short and sharp.
Just administering some medicine. Now if you could please leave so I can continue.
The captor curses under his breath after answering and quickly opens the pocket of the white cloak. From it he obtains a capsule containing a dark liquid blend with flames racing upon its surface. He replaces a capsule of similar substance with the new one and then refixes it to the machine.
His reaction is hardly a surprise, but he was kind enough to answer my question so I could humor him for a second, slowly raising my hands over my head
“I don’t have a mask on either, but don’t worry, I’ll be sure to send them my regards.”
that’s all the warning this man gets before I focus on myself again. This one’s more... Complicated. I focus on my spirit before.. “Leaping” backwards through time, bringing myself back to the moment, a matter of seconds ago, when the messenger throws me the pocketwatch
Time spell uses remaining:2
“I’ll make sure to treasure it. Thank you for the delivery.”
I briefly nod my head to the messenger in thanks before heading back to the party. After all the others would likely be interested in knowing our target
We can't bother to lose any time with this, whatever this is, it seems fishy.
Pixie: "Yup, no doubt about it. If you ask me the guy looks like a total creep. He may be selling that girl into slavery! Guess he thinks she would be a great mom, eh?"
[Pixie's comment catches me off guard for a moment, but the decision was clear in my mind. Truth or not, we are going to know soon enough through whatever method is necessary. I look at Pixie and lift two fingers.]
Change of plans, use Marin Karin on them to charm them, and then use your Seduce tactic. I know you are most effective at charming men.
[Pixie would poke my cheek before gleefully flying into the room while I wait and listen.]
Pixie: "So you even know about that; decent idea but cross your fingers~!"
[I don't need to cross them, just use them to prepare the summoning of Pascal in case things go badly, since at the very least, he has a Bind skill. But... the summoning gauge is not yet full, it'll take some more time. But it does seem to recharge faster, which means my soul should be getting used to these. Regardless, Pixie would fly high above the room and extend her arms, dropping a kind of pinkish dust that she would direct with the flap of her wings and her index fingers towards the "captors."]
Pixie: "Alright boys! You better spill the beans, or you'll make me feel bad! Maybe I'll give you a kiss when you're done~!"
[Pixie casted Marin Karin on the men and then proceeded to use her "Seduce" negotiation skill. Assuming it works, we should be able to know all we want to.]
I sigh as I was seemingly brushed off. Ok, maybe it wasn’t that important in the “heat of the moment” but I don’t really feel at much of a climax with this stupid clown ass captor and a very jaded captive. Would say relatable if her life wasn’t actually important to what we need to do.
“Not the first time this happened.”
As the pixie flies outwards into what might actually end up becoming a field of battle, I peek my head out slightly to just watch for no real good reason. And since there was no good reason, I went back in hiding behind the cover, that being the door. I still checked to see my pistols being fully charged as I put them back on my hip in case I’ll actually need them.
“You better hope this works the first time.”
(edited by FL0R1NA)
This man, something about them left a chill running down my spine. Maybe it was their almost otherworldly aura...wait, what am I talking about? If anyone gave off an aura like that it would be us.
I'd try to smile back at him but smiling in truth was never a strong suit of mine. Still, I didn't want to approach him with too much caution. That might seem rude.
"Well, looks like I don't have to try and pretend I belong. If you know that already then are you perhaps Byakuran. Forgive me if I'm jumping to conclusions but the way the guys in masks are looking at you seems to suggest that you're in charge here.
As for the part about entertaining, I can try but truth be told I have performance anxiety."
I'd just step back a bit and stare quietly for the moment, in truth a small trail of water is creeping across the floor from my foot. It's so small and thin though that if one weren't paying very close attention to the ground below them then it wouldn't even be spotted. If Pixie's magic worked for example, then I'm fairly sure the foe wouldn't see anything amiss.
Beyond that I'm just watching and waiting, trying to come up with a plan that I can use if things go south. There is an idea of sorts starting to form in the back of my head, but... Best to save it for the moment, can't mouth off about an idea for taking this jackass out while we're trying to charm him after all.
I bow down to grab the ring. I always feel as though "curiosity killed the cat" was made just for me. I wonder for a brief second whether I should give it back, or keep it to myself but my sense of guilt immediately kicks in as I imagine myself putting the ring on.
"why meeeeeeee..." I moan under my breath. I don't want to keep this thing, but it could be important. Alright, here's what I'll do. I'll keep it for now and discuss it with my team. If I can I'll just bring it back to him later. Yeah, that's a good compromise.
Now, about that door I just saw. My guess is that it leads to the kitchen but... Well, you never know, I might as well just check it out and see what I can find. The more info the better. I take a quick glance backwards in hopes to see what Yuu is doing. I hope he's not panicking again.
I walk up to the door, ring in hand, and take a peek inside.
The man pulls back his hand and momentarily frowns.
You might not be one for entertaining, but an ally of yours seems to know how to grab my attention.
He then pulls back the left sleeve of his coat to look at a watch on his previously covered wrist. Humming, he looks to the tiny hands within before letting the sleeve reclaim his wrist.
You should introduce me to Toki when you get the chance.
A gentle laugh escapes the man's lips.
Shame on you for keeping me to yourself. I can be shared.
The man reconsiders his statement right after it is said.
Well as long as you continue to have anything interesting to bring.
Byakuran tis I, but tell me who are you "Quintus"?
Byakuran puts some stress on your name with a conspiratorial glance in your direction.
Peeking inside you see a darkened wing of the building that hasn't had a good sweep in a long time. Dim flames flicker out from ancient candles mounted along the walls as slight bursts of cold wind quick up dust in steady intervals. Right next to your place of peeking you can see a door marked as the kitchen. Light emanates from the space between the door and the floor giving some life to the rest of the wing.
The other two doors connected to the wing are dark and cold in an ornate manner. A portrait of a young girl with bluish hair hangs alongside one of the doors at the very end of a line of portraits depicting women of similar characteristics. While the other darkened door is almost hidden behind a deteriorated statue of two dragons battling it out in suspended air.
Servants have stopped flying through the kitchen doors for now, but there is no telling when they will be called on again.
The messenger nods in response before turning back to clean his pool stick.
You arrive back to the grand ballroom in the midst of a lagging portion of the party. Folks that were previously dancing are now taking seats alongside the party floor to relieve their weary feet. While those that partook in general consumption wander about aimlessly without any acute awareness to their surroundings. Some even rest against the walls for support while recovering from the highs they submitted themselves too. All this makes for a cleared hall and you can easily spot one of your companions engaging with the white haired man seen earlier. While another companion can be seen openly peering through a door at the side of the hallway. Guests whisper and look at the odd behavior of this companion, but none seem willing to engage with him yet.
You are unable to spot anyone else from your group from where you are. (Florina, Kazuya, and H20)
The captor is easily charmed by Pixie's wiles and with little hesitation says.
I was ordered by Byakuran to sedate the sky arcabaleno for the main event.
Upon stating this the captor does look at the tool in his hand with clear intent to continue his job. However, his lax focus prevents him from really continuing with the task and the tool simply hangs on the hand in a loosening grip.
Byakuran won't be made at me for entertaining such a charming lady, right?
The captor asks Pixie with a relaxed grin.
Up until now the demon masked creature had been quietly sitting across the girl, but upon hearing the question of the captor it suddenly dissipates in form. A few seconds later it reappears behind you and the roar of chainsaw pounds in your ears with the proximity of its source.
A chainsaw is aimed at the abdomen of the one with guns.
[It's a good thing I added Negotiation skills into the demons all the way back and decided on an actual set, those should work great. Now, we just need to take that machine and figure out who this Byakuran is. Huh? Where's the other guy? I try to look around, now leaving my hiding place, but as I do, I quickly take notice of this "person" going right for Mal's abdomen. I feel my body moving on its own, as crimson flames circle around me and Belial reaches out to the chainsaw. I feel a bit of a quick sting suddenly, wondering if it was because it went for the cutting part of it with his long hands. But still, this should be enough to save the kid.]
Belial: "Tough luck, try again in your next life!!"
[Was I thinking that deep down? To mock a murderer. Or rather, someone who was clearly going for it for no reason. Makes sense. Turning to Tatsuya, the idea was set in my mind. Belial would attempt to move the enemy into the room once again and launch him into the air, trying to keep it in the ceiling.]
Tatsuya trap him!
[Meanwhile, Pixie would try to keep the man's attention to herself. Getting closer to him and sitting on his shoulder, she would wink at him while dangling her legs.]
Pixie: "Y'know, you got a big finger right there, you shouldn't waste your time with that machine. Leave it somewhere else, I want your full attention...AFTER you tell me who this Byakuran is, that is. Is he strong? Does he have like, superpowers~?"
[She was prepared to act at any second, so if thing got out of hand, she would simply "Lullaby" the man with some magic of her own.]
Oh nice a chainsaw. Vroom vroom, amirite. I think to myself as it heads straight for my anime girl abdomen. Maybe there's some way to bullshit a solution. Shoot it? Summon a weapon or something? I could also try and create a shockwave...but that takes luck. Then again...
"Oh. Ok. I could've done that...but thanks."
I say bluntly as Kaz saves me the trouble of trying to think of a dramatic way to dodge my attacker. My hand was moving on it's own so much, that I didn't even know I grabbed a pistol from it's sheathe.
I also just noticed the blatant lie that came out of my mouth, but hopefully he knows that I'm thankful either way. I position myself behind him so that I won't have to look at that clown's face and take a breather. A sigh of relief. Pistols are still charged, but avoid conflict they say. We won't need to have to use violence.
The 'man' who rushed at Mal would quickly find the a trail of water that flowing towards him and expanding in an instant. Magic rushing into it and causing the thing to split off into four tendrils that seek to grapple onto his arms and legs, dragging him down to the ground if able and holding his limbs in place with a tight grip. Of course, given I'm in my Caustic Form right now the water would also begin to burn through his clothing. I'm keeping it restrained enough for the moment to merely cause some mild pain upon his body after reaching it.
If he seemed even remotely close to escaping however the water would quickly amp up to max power, seeking to melt through flesh and bone if given a good few seconds of solid contact.
"Yeah I got it, or I think so. And don't try moving around too much Mr ya dig me? I can do a lot worse than just holding you in place and burning through some clothes a bit if I need."
I'd prefer not to do that if it can be avoided, but there's no need to let him know the thought of killing someone bothers me. I've always had a decent poker face, so my voice is able to stay pretty calm and relaxed while staring down our foe from behind my mask.
Alright, I can't deny it, this place is titillating my curiosity. And if it does so for me, it probably will do so for others. I can't just deny that Gamma may have gone through here so just to make sure, I should check it out.
But then again, it looks almost abandoned... I'm probably not meant to go there so I should try and be discrete. And that means, it's ninja time !
I pass through the door and switch jobs. With these dark blue ninja clothes, I should be a lot harder to see in the darkness. This job is one of the more useful ones as it has a bunch of handy abilities such as the ability to dual wield, the throw skill which make shuriken and such a lot more powerful, smoke bombs, shadow clones ( it's so cliché though...) and they even enhance the chance of getting a preemptive strike ! Downside is, they're pretty fragile. I don't want to get hit too much while I'm wearing these thin soundproof clothes.
I try to walk quietly and do my best to keep my breath in check. My easily excitable temperament makes this harder than it should be as I just can't keep my heart under control. I'm nervous and excited with a tinge of fear. When I finally reach the portrait, I decide to check if there happens to be a tag underneath it to identify the young girl in the portrait. Needless to say, she must be some kind of heiress to an ancient bloodline. If I find anything, I would examine the portrait in more detail, if not, I'd just quietly make my way to the dragon statues.
He knew that name? How...Is he the one we're after? No...It was too early to say and also not to mention the way he looked at his watch. I'm not too sure what he was doing but it seemed suspicious.
Regardless, now wasn't the time to start making accusations anyway. The situation already seemed somewhat delicate and throwing fire in the woodwork seemed like a bad idea.
"I didn't know you were acquainted with my friends. Though I'm more suprised with how you knew that name of mine. I guess you can already tell that, that isn't my true name or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I have many names...
Maybe that's a little too ominous though. Anyway, you wanted to know who I am? Well, I'm a drifter from a long way away. I've come to settle some business here but I'm not completely sure what that business is yet."
I look back out into the crowd, it definitely looks like the others have all gone their separate ways, not a problem, it just means they got themselves distracted again. Looking around, I see that Quintus is talking to a notable, white-haired man. They weren't old so they were probably an important character, and considering the number of people in this ballroom I'd rather not fight one without any assistance. I still had no idea how useful Quintus would be, so instead I'd follow after my ally by the door. I'm not as concerned with stealth as he is, I'd simply aim to sneak around the side of the ballroom to follow after him, much as I had earlier.
(Kazuya, Florina, and H2O)
The captor obediently bends to pixie's command and simply drops the device on the table. His lack of care when dropping the device manages to shatter the glass container attached to it. The black liquid within slips through the remains of the container, greedily eating into portion of the table.
Ignorant of this the captor jabbers on revealing plenty of tidbits that could be useful.
Byakuran is the boss of the Millefiore famiglia and a wielder of the almost extinct sky flames. With his flame type he can easily rule over anyone residing under the sky dominion, but that isn't what makes him so great.
Conspiratorially, the captor leans toward pixie and adds.
Byakuran can see multiple parallel worlds at once. He can fix our world by seeing what went wrong in other versions of it.
The captor would have said more if he did not have a chainsaw ripping straight through his sternum.
While the captor was talking, the demonic faced creature had been tossed into the air and promptly manhandled by tendrils of water. However, not heeding the given warning the creature had struggled against the tendrils until the water sank into its flesh and bone. The tendrils burned through the creature's robe revealing dried, cracked skin covered in talismans. Yet the creature offered little reaction to the punishment as it allowed portions of its arms and legs to be cut off by the tendrils. Not even a whimper of pain escaped the creature's mouth as its limbs were effectively severed into tiny pieces. Instead the portions of the limbs that were cut off easily turned into purple smoke as the creature regrew its missing limbs before your very eyes. Purple smoke hardening into what was lost and the creature attaching the perfect facsimiles to its body with a sickening snap.
Once the creature finished fixing itself it had then struck at its next target: the captor. Appearing from behind and shoving one of its powerful chainsaws into the captor's chest with brutal efficiency.
You will now die.
Is all you hear over the deafening noise of the chainsaw. (Bartz)
Beneath the portrait you find a golden tag with fanciful words written in cursive.
Boss of the Giglo Nero Famiglia
Third Sky Arcabaleno
Loving daughter, leader, and boss
Are what the words read.
The tag covered in a fine layer of dust with a small cobweb attached to it.
Upon closer inspection you notice that the girl in the portrait has a face still shedding off the dredges of youth, but her expression is one that stares off into the distance. Her eyes are wide, innocent things while her clothing lies on the mature side in the form of a black dress. Even the illusion of her tiny stature is ruined with the regal framing of the portrait. With every sign of youth seen upon the girl there is another detail in the art that screams power and responsibility.
You follow after the companion that has taken to peeking into places he doesn't belong and find yourself in an abandoned wing of the manor. Up ahead you can see your companion intensely studying a portrait depicting a young girl in mafia garb. While to your left is the servants door and to the right are the dragon statue hiding an additional door behind it.
You and your companion are the only two occupying the wing, but you can hear servants stir behind one of the doors.
Sorry, I am a bit of a mind reader so sometimes information just comes to me~ Stuff like your name, the names of those that accompany you, your darkest secrets, what you fear, first love ... all of that floods in sometimes. I hope you don't mind this little old curse of mine~
Byakuran playfully tells you this as he picks off a stick covered with marshmallows off the tray of a server.
Some snacks my dear?
He holds the stick out in mock offering before taking a bite of it himself. Satisfied with the treat he procured for himself, Byakuran focuses again and is blunt with his follow up.
I can give you some business right now Quintus. How about you help me with the executions I have planned for tonight?
Byakuran moves to the edge of the balcony and rests himself against the marble barricade that separates him from the rest. A quick look to your direction is the most he gives you to indicate that he wants you to follow.
Horrible human beings the lot of them.
My water keeps on expanding, I'm not sure if I can stop it from reaching the captor. But I can sure as hell try, I'd tap a large button on my belt and cause it to light up. Mystical power surges through it rapidly, larger amounts of water being formed an instant and aiming to entirely engulf my foe.
Assuming they were able to do that, then the thing would not only find its entire body melting down into a slurry, but also that if it aimed to swim outside of my prison it'd realize the walls of the watery box formed around it are now somehow solid. Not frozen, yet bouncing back and sending it flying if force were applied to try and leave. However, there's only a chance this action would be fast enough to stop it from reaching the captor. Otherwise, it would simply catch up while the thing is attacking and hopefully finish it off.
"God dammit... Stupid healing factors, things should just learn to die quickly. Though I'm one to talk about that huh?"
My voice is strained as a staff made of water forms into my hands, I've not practiced with such things much, but I did know how to use them once upon a time. And it will serve to hopefully block the enemy if I must.
Pixie: "Hey that wasn't nice at all! I was getting IMPORTANT INFORMATION from this horn dog!"
[From the way Pixie was reacting, she seemed angry, almost insulted by the sudden...death. But I have to wonder if it was because the guy died, or because she was doing well. Regardless, I need to concentrate. The guy dropped the device and I need to get it. Pixie would raise both hands and keep both palms of her hand close to one another. Wild, ferocious winds focus between them before launching it towards our new enemy. A severe-damage Wind attack which my COMP's scouter identifies as "Deadly Wind". Fitting.]
Alright, that and Tatsu's move should keep him busy enough. It's super easy to do, let's just go.
[I take a deep breath before running into the room, closely followed by Belial, which is keeping his guard up to receive any attack directed at me. Even if he tries to teleport behind me and then go "nothing personnel" on me, I should be fine. I pick up the device while doing my best to avoid the strange black liquid and try to keep my distance while trying to figure out what this is, and what it has.]
"Ha ha, he's dead. He deserved it for being a stupid generic, little noooooobbbb."
Maybe the info was important...maybe. But I feel like that white-haired person is the type to spill every in and out about their whole plan once they finally want to talk to us. And maybe also when we're all bleeding on the ground dying. Whatever. It doesn't help that I still don't know what we're doing at all.
"Wasn't planning on staying, but what about that other girl?"
I look back at the actual captive girl person that the captor got, ultimately deciding not to bother just yet and sandwich myself in between Kazuya and his Belial. Hopefully this edgy little prick won't decide to try and attack from above. From under my shades, I keep my eyes peeled to survey the place slightly whilst holding my charged deagle pistol.
I catch sight of my companion once again and head over to him immediately. I take note of the servants that'll likely be waking soon. We'd want to be out of sight by the time they entered the hall, and the statue door seemed to be a good place to hide. Probably has some kind of dark secret too. Not that it matters, I'd focus on contacting my.. Companion, quietly walking behind him before speaking with a whisper
"I'm not sure what you're doing here but I've found our target."
This seemed like a tricky situation. I wasn't sure what to make of the man before me but it seemed like the best course of action was to follow along with him for now. On the surface he certainly didn't seem so bad and he was part of the Mafia after all. Things like executions wouldn't be so out of the ordinary in such an organization.
Besides, as long as my allies aren't the ones being executed it's not really my problem anyway. I have no obligation to care for the residents of this world.
"Alright, I don't really have any other direction so I think I can at least help with that."
I don't know how to feel about her. Sure she seems innocent but... If she's the heir of a mafia family, I just can't picture her being an innocent little girl. I'll keep my eyes peeled for her.
Now.. onto mystery number two, the dragons and whatever lies behind them!
I quietly move to check it out. As I do, I try my hardest to stay in the shadow and keep a low profile.
(H20, Kazuya, and Florina)
The chainsaw releases a sucking noise as it is torn out from the captor's chest leaving behind a gaping hole that continues to bleed. The captor's corpse falls on the lap of the inattentive girl, decorating her white robes in red. Yet the girl does not react to the sudden weight of the captor, but rather the attempt made to seize the device. As soon as the device is moved from its spot a pale hand is latched to the body of it and the hand is strong enough to prevent further movement of the device.
The girl's eyes hone in on the person snatching the gun. Her person is still devoid of any reaction, but her blank gaze carries a threatening aura.
Byakuran-sama will not be pleased if you take one of his toys.
Is all she says as orange flames start seeping out of her body in a predatory manner.
Meanwhile, the demonic creature swims to safety in its watery prison as terrible gusts of wind slice through its abdomen. Water burns at the creature's body ripping off black flakes from its skin. No blood is to be found as the creature is dissolved from head to toe.
What is left of its body doesn't make it close to the edge of the prison before giving away completely and releasing dark indigo smoke. However, the chainsaws used by the creature remain on the floor and the demon mask it had sits at the base of the liquid prison.
(Toki and Liam)
After some careful movement, you find yourself at the base of a statue carrying two ivory dragon locked into ferocious combat. One of the dragons is as white as fresh snow and massive angelic wings stretch out from its rigid back as if to wrap the other dragon in feathers. While the other dragon is as black as night and fangs that seem to bleed in the light as they sink into the white dragon's throat. The two dragons appear to be of the same species with similar limbs and lithe forms, but their frozen combat is brutal and cruel. They both lack chunks of their body that could only be clawed out by fang or talon and their mouths are curved back in expressions of sheer rage.
A plaque at eye level on the wall behind the statues reads.
The pride of the Millifiore Famiglia
Our leader in two forms
His constant conflict brings humanity to new heights
Exitus Acta Probat
You and your companion are left in peace to read the scripture on the plaque, but not a moment too soon all the traditional lights go out and the room is bathed in darkness. Only the stars beyond a ruined portion of the ceiling can be seen as the air suddenly chills. (Quintus)
I know I chose right~
Byakuran happily says as he swiftly takes your hand and pulls you toward the balcony edge. The force he pulls you with is enough to send your body toward the marble, but Byakuran is careful enough to slow your approach so you gently bump the barrier. Then he randomly points at all the people with unsteady feet that have clearly imbibed themselves with no rhyme or reason. He simply directs you attention to all of them one by one with the occasional chuckle of amusement. Finally, when he has seemingly pointed out every drunkard in the vicinity he says to you with a playful tone.
So tell me Quintus which one of these piggies should I rid this place of first? They have all done numerous bad deeds and are horrible people through and through so I have no qualms about picking off any one of them.
He places one of his hands on your head and ruffles your hair a bit.
I just want to see how fun you can be in picking a punishment. Tell me anything you come up with and we can watch right here from the best seat.
Don't take too long though~
Byakuran chimes out.
Things have gone on for long enough already and I hate being bored.
A lot happened. First, gamma came in while I wasn't looking. then the lights go out.
"Did you do that Gamma?!"
While I silently chastise him, my thoughts go back to the statue. Dragons are fierce creatures. And the phrase... The end justifies the means. It's a well known proverb to anyone who's done some latin. Normally, I'd agree with it, but in this context, where our lives are at stake... Well let's just say I don't want to become the means.
And it stipulates it's "our leader"... The white haired guy? Or the black haired girl? Or.... Both.
With much to ponder i simply wait for gamma to answer my question
Y-yeah, but I kinda need it right now so you better let go of it before I take it by force.
[I'm somewhat startled by this turn of events but I can tell already this girl is just not going to cooperate. What's worse is that this "slave girl" was getting all aggressive on me. I swear I get close to dangerous women way too often. But hopefully, Pixie's help will do something. I try to push back, trying to get away from the girl while still holding on to the device. Pixie, on the other hand, giggles and simply stares.]
Pixie: "What is this~? Can't you even save yourself from a little girl~?"
Thanks a lot!
[I was wrong, Pixie wasn't going to help me. And here I was hoping for Lullaby. Instead, I keep pulling with the help of Belial, who grabs on to the girl and tries to push her away.]
Belial: "Don't think I'm against kicking a woman's face in, so you let go right now or you're getting!! Water guy!! Soak this bitch!! Kid, do something for once!!"
[Can't believe those are my actual thoughts, but the dead guy, the demon and this girl... my mind is honestly everywhere and my stomach is already kind of acting up. Wonder if I'll pass out.]
Oh nice, the demon's expecting me to try and do something. What can I do? This character sucks at pacifism. Who even made me get stuck in this character? Oh right, technically me, since I made her a thing in the first place. As I stare from a short distance away from Kaz and the girl, I take out my gun and take a deep breath.
"kId, dO sOmEtHiNg fOr oNc- you know what, get out the fuckin' way."
The fire isn't even that threatening at this point, I stare at the girl with an annoyed glare with my pistol in my hand. Suddenly, I swing my arm and make sure that I hit this girl square in the jaw with a fast and slightly charged smack of the butt of the pistol.
Afterwards, I fire a charged a bullet at a leg of the chair that she's sitting in, crippling the foundation as it leaves a very clear burn mark before kicking it's remnants away so both her and that chair end up falling onto the floor.
"Give me the thing. Right. Now. Or do you want your kneecaps to be deleted from this plane of existence? Better answer."
Anything I could think of? For a moment, I didn't know if I should. I already decided that the lifes of the random people in this world weren't important but for me to decide their fate...Relax...It wouldn't be good to hesitate now.
What I was doing was wrong but Byakuran said they had committed horrible crimes. There was a chance he was lying or his idea of a horrible crime wasn't all that horrible but who knows what he'd do if I bored him.
It was fine...Just think of them as NPCs who you wish to kill. They were wearing those masks already so they might as well have been irrelevant characters whose only purpose was to die.
I'd point to one of them at random.
"Anything, huh? Can you drown them in molten glass? And then have it harden to see what kind of sculpture that'd make?"
the lack of light surprised me, but it wasn't anything I couldn't handle. I closed my eyes for a moment to allow myself to adjust, before opening them again to the darkness of the room. I narrow my eyes at Liam before breathing out a whisper
"Of course not you idiot, now lets try to focus ok? We have a job here remember?"
I wouldn't mind the cold, in fact I've often favored it anyways, the cold, the dark, and the silence. I'd simply aim to walk around the statue to where I saw the door earlier and feel for its handle. Once I found it I'd make sure to lean against it to hear if there's anything on the other side.
I'd scoff slightly at the words of Kaz's oh so strange Persona... But I'm willing to help out with that anyways, the water's acid nature suddenly shifts out. Instead taking on the form of absurd cold with bits of ice in it.
"Aye aye cap, I ain't too nice to fight some girl that wants to threaten me with fire."
Fire that the girl would find unable to do more than very mildly raise the temperature of my water at that, even if it's magic she'd need more than just that to burn away the power of H2O. Though, something like a god could do it so if she's on that level... Best not think about it while my icy waters rush out to try and chain her down with water that quickly freezes over plus spreading in a wave that's aimed to try and put out her fires.
"Let's hope that does the job, but I doubt it. Keep ready, more foes could be anywhere and this is enemy turf we're in too."
My voice is impassive at the moment, calm and collected despite the madness unfolding. The cool flowing over me in this suit doesn't just work physically, after all.
You pick up two voices engaged in shouting match right behind the door.
The voices echo in your ears as they periodically increase in intensity and noise.
Escalation of the argument continues until something shatters on the floor and the shrill shriek of a girl is heard.
As your companion listens to the door a large shadow crawls along the wall leading to the other two rooms.
The shadow flickers and continuously changes in size as clouds pass in front of the moon.
It stops once near the door next to the painting then elongates again as it slowly moves toward you.
You can see the shadow drawing near, but no person accompanying it.
(Kaz, Florina, and H20)
The device is released after the girl is hit across the jaw and dragged to the floor by a broken chair accompanied with liquid chains. Her dull eyes betray no emotion, but her body winces at the assault as her arms turn a pained red after hitting the floor. The girl naturally curls in on herself to try to mitigate the pain. Though her jaw has other plans with some signs of swelling and rivulets of blood coming out. One of her blue eyes focuses on the one that hit her and she says.
I already knew this would happen.
The floor beneath quakes and begins to break into jagged edges that attempt to drag you down.
Byakuran-sama and my family don't like to see me hurt.
The girl amicably finishes as she turns herself to lie face up with her eyes directed to the white ceiling. A peaceful aura floods her features as water attempts to douse her flames. However, this doesn't last for long as the girl is picked up by a blonde haired man wielding a pool stick. The man moves faster than you can follow to grab onto the girl and before you know it he is floating above the destroyed ground with a furious expression.
Two black foxes emitting green electricity stand beside the man and eye you like a snack.
Colulu, Widget the two of you are free to feast.
All it takes is one command and the foxes are rapidly charging with jaws outstretched. The electricity surrounding their bodies fans out in flares as one aims for the one that hit and the other targets the one that chained. (Quintus)
Molten glass isn't really my forte but I do know a few that can easily arrange such a creative execution~
Byakuran administers you a proud pat on the back before calling on a man wearing a hastily made velociraptor mask. Unlike the other guests the man does not greet Byakuran with praises instead opting to groan in annoyance. His clothing is also less than regal and his hair suggests that he recently woke up or doesn't believe in the use of mirrors.
What is i-
Before the man can finish Byakuran chimes in and commands.
Zakuro could you bring in Mukuro-kun~
Annoyed, Zakuro takes out a tiny handheld device and presses a button. Within moments a teen with a playful smile materializes near you. Like a wraith the teen has purple smoke foaming at his legs and an unusually sharp trident in both hands. You may have noticed more of the teen if he didn't seem to be in the middle of fading out of existence every second. The teen's clothing slowly fading in and out with the rest of his body leaving only his silver collar behind with each temporary fade. Byakuran intent on carrying out his plans pays no mind to the condition of the boy and simply waves Zakuro away. A gesture that Zakuro is more than happy to act upon if his rapid leave is any indication.
Mukuro-kun can you show my new friend your talent. An amazing illusion of molten glass coating the dirty birds down there will do and please make it permanent~
I could use some new decorations for my garden.
The teen doesn't show any indication of hearing Byakuran's words but he does open his hand and allow a puff of purple smoke to assimilate into the air.
It begins with an agonized shriek ...
The random people you pointed out are suddenly doused with molten glass that came out of thin air. As the glass makes contact their skin burns releasing once whole strands of hair. They have no time or ability to run as the molten glass makes putty out of their faces easily fusing with eyes and noses.
The initial shriek is accompanied with groans of pain ...
The people you have chosen are given no method of escape as the substance spreads to the rest of their body trapping them in a clear coffin. Those who were lucky enough to die through suffocation or complete loss of scalp don't have to suffer anymore in the sealing glass. While those who had the tenacity to live feel as their limbs are encased in inescapable glass and their body is compressed to terrible degree. The groans of these people last the longest until their lives are snuffed out one by one in meticulous order.
The groans of pain are book ended by mass frenzy ...
The rest of the guests watch in horror at the fate of those selected and immediate panic ensues. You watch as a once immaculate party gives way to a frenzy befitting wild animals instead of people. Byakuran claps as the guests below claw at the doors with desperation of stampede over each other with no reason behind it.
Quintus what do you have next in mind?
I got it!
Belial: "GAHAHAHAHA!! Get fucked, slut!!"
Pixie: "That's no way to treat a lady, but then again, she WAS being annoying."
[Doesn't matter, Pixie has Mediarama anyways, I can heal some of her wounds if I need to. Regardless, now that I have the device, I can concentrate on it. As I quickly try to figure out what is even for, this other guy shows up and the earth shatters. Oh, boo hoo, earth moving; luckily I was born in a place that rivals Japan in tectonic movements. Still kind of scary though, won't lie. I notice the electrical animals and thank making Pixie strong against electric attacks. However, I still need to do one thing. I stop playing with the device, since I have no time to figure it out with dangerous animals on the loose. Noticing I'm ready to summon once again, I quickly go for Pascal, as Pixie won't really believe until I get him out.]
Pixie! You better help us out here, confuse them, sleep them or something!
Pixie: "You don't get to order me around!"
[Great, this is awesome. I press Enter and the usual vortex of data reveals the giant armored blue Cerberus, Pascal. He quickly gets in position and sniffs out the area, quickly reading on the atmosphere and understanding what was happening. He would turn towards Pixie and she would cross her arms, as if waiting for him to attack me. But he doesn't.]
Pixie: "Are you kidding me, you actually trust him!?"
Pascal: "I have no reason not to trust him, he's been honest so far."
[Pixie would fly up and stay there, annoyed. Pascal on the other hand would rush down trying to bite down at the fox that was rushing at Mal. If this did work, then Pascal would unleash his Fire Breath at point blank. If not, then he would use the very same Fire Breath at whatever distance he is. Since I just summoned Pascal while already having another demon out, I need to wait for a second, so Belial simply acts as a shield.]
Oh nice, what I did actually helped...? Now I can finally pretend what I have done is useful for once. Ah, if only that bitch lost consciousness. That was the objective after all, but whatever. Kazuya still has a source of healing. If it’s willing to listen. She better be able to heal anyways.
“Sorry, I just really felt the urge to pound your face i-“
Whoop de mother fucking doo, here comes the next one in line. The ground under me is quaking, and I really wasn’t expecting it. I stumbled onto my knees, making sure that my hat is still on my head and my guns both stay with me. From under my shades I give an annoyed glance to the man.
“Excuse you? I was in the middle of something!”
I yell back at him from where I’m at right now, waving my gun around in annoyance. As he sends his fox towards me, ideas rush towards my head once again. But to be honest, why bother? Kazuya is here to save the day once again. With his cute puppy no less.
Taking the chance to seize the opportunity, I get back onto my feet and jump into the air, taking a pot shot with both my pistols at he fox coming after me, mostly trying to let Pascal take the lead instead of doing anything myself. As I run towards Kaz, I grab hold of my pistol and start to charge it again, since I wasted it on a fricking chair leg, and sandwich myself between him and his demon friend once again.
"Gamma watch out ! There's something here !"
I try to back away a few steps to give me some time to think.
it's a shadow. His form changed along with the clouds. I don't want to draw hasty conclusion but this could mean he gets his form from the shadows cast by the surroundings. In that case, a bright light could make this shadow disappear. Of course, it could also backfire and make it grow: the more light there is, the bigger the shadow.
That being said, maybe the opposite would work? If he's engulfed in shadow, it might simply loose its form and vanish, for the time being.
What to do... As I'm in my ninja form right now, the easiest would be to simply use a magic scroll. it won't do much damage as the ninja's base magic stat really sucks, but it could make enough light to chase it away.
"I'm gonna try something that could potentially be stupid, so don't hesitate to make a break for it and join Yuu, ideally. He went to see the white haired guy !"
I reach to the hidden pocket in the back of the ninja garb and search for a scroll. To no avail. My hand grabs nothing but the cloth of my clothes. I'm so stupid... I don't have any items with me ! I don't have any fire scrolls !! crap crap crap crap I need to job change !
I take a few more steps back, this time fueled by the fear of actually getting killed this early. I try to think back on what jobs could make a room lighter or darker but only one answer comes to mind: the white mage and his holy spell. I'm not really good at magic yet, and such an advanced spell is going to be hard to cast, but it'll be better than nothing.
I focus my mind on the iconic white robes I've seen so often in the FF series. Again, in a but a split second, the black cagoule covering my face is replaced by the iconic white and red cap of a white mage. In my hands, the staff of Judgement, a wooden staff with arcane scriptures the flow along its surface, emits a faint white glow.
I try to focus on the feeling I had when I cast the sleep spell. That energy sleeping deep within, I try to mold it into how I imagine the holy spell to really be.
spending a turn to properly cast the spell next turn
Part of me didn't think that such an obscure choice could actually be made to happen. There's a good feeling at having my creativity praised but...
Something was off about what Byakura had just said. 'Illussion'. Why had he asked them for an illusion? The odd boy's fluctuating existance was strange enough but there was something odd going on here. How could I piece it together though? Should I even care...?
Wasn't it fun to see what he could make happen with his illusions?
Wait...stop...that isn't right.
I couldn't let my condition worsen like that. My head was already starting to hurt again. Right now what I needed was to focus on what was before me, to put the pieces together.
"Before that, you were somewhat vague with your answer before but I think if I'm the one deciding their punishment I should at least be allowed to know what crimes these people have committed?
It seems somewhat odd for them to be here now if they've done something that horrendous."
My attention is pulled off the door and to Liam behind me. I'm not going to interrupt the argument over there, so instead I simply back off a bit. I can't see the shadow either, it seems, so I simply draw my dagger, bringing it out and at the ready for in case anything shows itself. I let out an irritated sigh as I shout back
"Just how weak do you think I am? I'm not running from anything."
admittedly it was probably better to leave and find this.. Bakugan, or whatever, but I wasn't going to let what little honor I had be trampled like that. For that reason and that alone I ready myself for whatever monster might be lurking in the dark.
I sigh as these damn foxes form, can't these people just stop tossing things at us and lose already? Whatever, I don't have the time or mood to play around any longer. My suit changes its emblem again, this time showing bubbles rising up from a pot as the water suddenly heats up.
"Geez, trying to shock me huh... That doesn't work as well as you might expect."
Driver: "FLASH FINISH WARNING!"
While the thing charges toward me, I tap a button on my Driver within moments that causes it to briefly shout out and light up. The fox would find itself beset upon not by the ranged attacks I've used mostly up to now, but my entire body slamming towards it with both feet aimed for the thing in an impossibly fast kick. A Rider Kick, slamming straight for it with incredible power behind it.
"Hopefully that'll do this one in, that'd be nice."
I mutter while settling into a fighting stance with both fists held ready and posed to move quickly.
(Kazuya, Florina, and H20)
Pascal bites down on one out of the two foxes and unleashes flames with a high enough intensity to burn any common animal. However, the fox he grabs is no common animal as proven by how the creature does not bleed in his jaws. Instead the fox releases an opposing electrical force to counteract the flames and its body looses its material form. The solid body of the fox evaporates and both shots taken at it miss as the once sturdy animal becomes one with the air around it.
Taking on new life as an electrical storm surrounding Pascal's head. The green currents strike at Pascal continuously as some aim specifically at Pascal's eyes and mouth. Probing for an entry point into his head.
Meanwhile, The other fox is slammed clean across the room by the sudden rider kick. When the fox collides with a wall its body explodes against the surface turning into a momentary cloud of sparks. The sparks then retreat to the pool stick from whence they originally came and the man wielding the weapon quickly covers its tip with his left hand. The man grinds his teeth in annoyance as the girl supported by only one of his arms lets out a sigh of disappointment.
The girl grabs onto the man's black coat and suggests.
Gamma perhaps we should ask Byakura-sama for reinforcements.
The man immediately fires back.
No! Yuni I can handle this. I am the one who is supposed to protect you not that freak who doesn't give a damn about us!
Practically seething the man mistakenly glares at the girl causing the girl to unintentionally shiver out of fear. With a weak voice the girl once again tries to plead with the man.
Please Gamma these people could actually hurt us and I don't want to lose anyone else.
The girl's pleas come from the heart, but her empty face indicates nothing. She tries to reason with the man as if she were a actor simply speaking out a few lines and going through the motions.
Every time the girl speaks the grip on her shakes as Gamma finds himself unable to look at her face for long.
As you prepare a spell, the shadow draws near and approaches you from the front. It rests its inky, black form in front of your focused face and from within its depths a body emerges. The body is covered in clean bandages that are hidden by a large thick collared cloak with a cravat. On its head rests a motley, black top hat that would normally be seen on a gentleman. As it emerges from the black spot on the floor the body reveals bandaged hands holding long silver chains and feet that are seemingly attached to the floor.
Without a moment lost the body lashes at your face with the silver chains gripped in one of its hands. The chains swipe across multiple areas of your face and the force used to swing them is enough to help the metal to rip at skin.
You are able to see when the shadow stops at the feet of your companion and you watch as the body from the shadows takes a free hit on as your companion casts the spell.
Afterwards you can see the body raising its other arm towards your companion with more chains at the ready.
The body pays no attention to you as it prepares to strike your companion again.
Byakuran gives you a wry glance.
It's easier to ask what crimes these people haven't committed while they were still alive and frolicking.
The pale haired entertainer opens his arms out to accept the pandemonium below and laughs over the screams of those trying to escape. The few individuals remaining behind you almost cower under Byakuran's exuberance.
Drunk under the power given to them by titles, knowledge, and family these people committed actions that would make any moral man squirm. They lent themselves to habits that have sealed their fate to the cold pits once described by Dante himself~
Byakuran brings his arms back to himself and starts to point off people. Listing the deeds they have done with every accusatory point.
That man you see petrified in an eternal scream gave himself to the sin of greed. He stole money from those that could barely feed themselves and used it to make statues in his image.
That lady missing an arm indulged herself in the best her wrath had to offer. She ordered killing everyday for everyone that so much as looked at her the wrong way.
While the man that escorts her in the afterlife opened himself to the lust in his heart and stole girls in the middle of the night from they safety of their beds.
Byakuran's list goes on and on until all sins are reiterated multiple times then like a merciful king he sadly states.
I invited them to my happy home to see if they would repent, but alas they drank and indulged like pigs to a slaughter. Their behavior must have disgusted you as it did for me since you were able to give such a harsh judgement.
Damn it, Pascal!!
[These animals will be hard to deal with. There's got to be a better way to get rid of them or even turn the tables in the blink of an eye... I turn to look at the guy still holding the girl and pay attention to what it was they were saying, as they weren't keeping their voice down. And suddenly, two ideas down on me. Either I take on the girl, or I take on the guy. Yes, Belial can make quick use of them both and I know Kazuya's body is well equipped enough, so I could kill them both in one simple strike at lightspeed. However, I feel like there is something else to be done. I think... they seem close and asking for reinforcements seems out of the question for the thankfully prideful guy. I keep searching for ideas and they all seem morally repulsive... and yet, it seems necessary. I can't sit here and wait for things to happen, even if Pascal suffers, I must go through with this. The one solution is highlighted in my brain among the dozen of candles and I will create a fire with it.]
Tatsuya grab the girl!! Mal, user your gun to threaten her once he grabs her!! She's not strong at all!!
[The crimson flames surround my body once again as I point at the guy with my right index finger, and as soon as I do, Belial rushes at him with devious intent. Laughing out loud, he taunts him.]
Belial: "Good on you for being so stupidly MANLY!"
[Belial would charge both arms before rushing at the guy at even higher speeds than before; in fact, it almost seemed like he was moving at the rhythm of a song before going for a slam with both fists at the same time, aimed at the guy's shoulders. For a moment there, it seemed like the dance was to confuse the guy before striking. Yes, that was...]
Belial: "CUECA BASH!!!"
[If it works as intended, then then guy should let go off the girl, and if he does, then Belial should quickly be able to grab the guy by the arms, pushing them back with one feet on his back; implying he will break his arms were he to do anything weird. Furthermore, and if this works, then I will quickly take position, unsheathe the Hinokagutsuchi and threaten the guy by placing the edge of the blade on his neck. On the other side, Pixie would try to blow away the animal still pestering Pascal with Garudyne, who is unable to really do much at this point besides trying to move around, hoping to keep the creature away from him.]
The Shadow continues its attack in spite of my. Great, ignored. I didn’t like being ignored. Fortunately this one was an enemy so I get to make them regret it. I take a few quick steps to close the gap as I focus on my dagger. Sparks of electricity begin to fly off the weapon, emitting a faint glow as I bring it down on the shadowed figure
“Don’t just ignore me.”
With the kind of single-minded focus that only an ADD who really means to focus can muster, I try to ignore the burning pain that covers my face. (Why the face again though...) I think as hard as I can about that divine light capable of smiting any and all foes with pure holy power.
As the power begins to roar inside my body, as the feeling begins to swell within my soul I conjure a bright blast of light that completely engulfs my foe. As the energy implodes, it coagulates into a multitude of small pearls of light the slowly fly up into the sky. They'll keep the area lit for a turn or two, probably.
I on the other hand did not withstand such powerful magic. I don't even have time to think about the pain. My exhaustion is far superior to it. I fall back, flat on my ass, unable to move a muscle.
Is this what high level magic feels like? I don't know if I could even cast a simple sleep spell again... I just... Hope gamma doesn't need me.
Those were my last thoughts for a turn or two I'll leave this at the gm's discretion. Actually, feel free to tell me that I wake up a few seconds later and can just partake next turn again. that'd be grand
Do I trust him? Do I not? What was I supposed to do. Everyone was still watching right? I couldn't afford to make a mistake here. The person I was dealing with, I had no idea who they were.
W-would it be fine to punish these people? They deserve it right? So...It's fine? No, no, I can't fall for that so easily. This could be a trick and yet I wasn't sure. If I say something wrong I might make myself out to be a target...I...What do I do?
I can feel it, a terrible dread squirming within. I'm infected with it and its trying to drive me to give in. I could simply say the word and those horrible people would die? But should I actually utilize that kind of power? What if I'm being tricked and everyone gets hurt?
My head began to pound as I felt as if it was splitting in two. I had no idea what to do moving forward and the pain was getting worse...Pain...Pain...that's right.
I'd grasp my head and let my pain be known before speaking once more.
"Apologies, it seems I have a migraine of some kind. It's making it hard for me to concentrate on this. Do you have a washroom or something where I can run some cold water on it? I think that might help."
I'd follow up on Kazuya's order, I did nominate him as our combat leader too after all. Besides, it is insofar as I can tell from here the most solid play I'm able to make right now. The inhuman speed my water now rushes with would easily catch up with her in the form of aquatic tendrils, but the tendrils just try and toss her.
Me, I'd aim to grab her with one of my arms. Assuming my toss worked she'd find herself being held in my left hand by the throat with an inhuman strong grip while I prepare to move away from and try to counter anything our enemies might attempt.
"Jeez, I just wanted to ask some questions maybe learn some stuff about this weird place. But you all had to respond like this didn't you, I swear. Some people can only communicate via swift beatings, sad ain't it?"
I'd chuckle slightly while making that remark. No sense in not trying to seem more collected and in control than I really am, right? Inwardly I'm hardly feeling like joking, but the enemy doesn't need to know that.
As Kazuya moves away from me, I immediately feel like I’ve been abandoned and get offended, but only for a short while. After all, he DID say to go ahead and apprehend the girl. Probably. I already smacked her once, it isn’t that hard nor unreasonable to do.
“Ugh, finally! God!”
I walk up to where Tatsuya grabbed the girl, “sneaking” behind her and putting her gun up to the back of her head. As I charge the pistol to threaten her more, despite it most likely not phasing her, I didn’t really bother to care that she isn’t getting scared. At this point, all that mattered was how annoying my anime girl voice could be.
“Don’t try anything either. It’s not hard to blow a hole through your skull.”
(Kazuya, H20, and Florina)
Gamma foresees the incoming strike and raises his pool stick producing an electromagnetic shield right in front of him. The green shield made of lightning stretches from the tip of the pool stick to its wider end. Successfully fending off Belial's strike with a see through wall that is difficult to pound apart. Not giving an inch to Belial's hard hitting strikes he shouts between blows.
The resolve I have for protecting Yuni is second to none! My shield won't break for anything in the world!
Securely nestled between Gamma's raised arms, Yuni does not respond , but her eyes soften at the shouts. Nevertheless, their brief moment of respite is cut short as aquatic tendrils yank Yuni from Gamma's protective arms.
Gamma barely has anytime to react before Yuni is held at the throat with a loaded gun pointed at her head. Yuni's gaze once again hardens at this turn of events as Gamma remains in the air with an alarmed expression. His remaining fox which had refused to be quelled by Pixie's spell stops clawing at Pascal and returns to its master's side. The fox lowers its head and releases a low whine reflecting the mood of its master.
A sudden message plays out inside your head.
Please stop these people are not your enemy.
Neither Yuni or Gamma have made a motion to speak nor do they show signs of having heard the new voice poking in your skull.
They are victims like the rest of us in this awful place.
Gamma almost speaks over the additional voice as he implores.
What do you people even want from Yuni?
(Liam and Gamma)
The shadow screeches in agony as divine light rips its from inside out. Its bandages fly off with reckless abandon littering the now illuminated granite flooring of the area. While its hat falls off once it is forced to grasp its wrapped up head with its own terrible claws. The electricity which follows the divine light also courses through the shadow's body causing it to momentarily loose its material form. The shadows sinks back into the floor and is forced to retreat into the shade of the dragon statue since everything else has been brightened by a previous spell.
However, the shadow's chains explode from it's new shady spot and the tips of the chains aim to pierce your abdomen and that of your companion. They quickly shoot out fully intending to pierce with deadly force.
The illuminated area gives the shadow less space to navigate, but reveals an additional passageway extending from the left side of door beneath the painting to who knows where. The additional passageway has its own door flying off the hinges and a bright, red scarf hanging from its knob. (Quintus)
Awww you poor dear...
Byakuran coos out as he watches your predicament with a hint of curiosity and a tinge of annoyance that tugs at his smile. He places one of his hands on your left shoulder in a comforting gesture and then motions to a girl with long brown hair in an otherwise boring maid outfit. Unlike the rest of the guests on the balcony the girl had just arrived with a tray in hand. The tray had been empty, but her hands had been occupied with a black capsule up until Byakuran beckoned to her. Easily forgotten the capsule now rests on the tray as the girl bows to Byakuran before focusing her dull eyes on you.
Ayaka dear could you escort my new friend to the bathroom so that he can regain his wits.
The girl nods her head at the request and gently takes an open hand of yours to guide. If you were to follow along then she would pass you through emptied halls and quiet passageways before bringing you in front of a fancy, wooden door. The girls does not make any light conversation and upon arrival she merely motions to the door.
Is all the girl says. After saying this the girl picks at a left fringe in her hair without a care in the world. From where you are standing you can still hear the frantic screams of trapped guests, but the girl absently hums along to them as if it were a merry tune.
Somehow the capsule placed on her tray has remained standing upright the entire time as some black liquid within it has shifted occasionally.
Belial: "You're too loud, stop with the theatrics, you fucking asshole!!"
Listen for once!!
[The voice made it all even clearer now, and it's not like I wanted to fight, but these guys just jumped the gun the moment we showed up. If they are also victims, then why? Who the hell is this Byakuran guy!? I can deal with this guy and we have his hands tied, no matter what he does, we got the girl, and he knows he in a disadvantage, and with Pascal now free he can even use Makajamon to bind him. Let's think this over quickly. I know he considers Byakuran a "freak" and that girl has some respect for him, or reverence. Could it be the white-haired guy? Could be, but it could also be someone else. Luckily I am a bit genre savvy so I can call certain things from a mile away, like fantasy-looking dudes as opposed to random featureless people.]
We came here to deal with someone, but we don't know who that is. It's supposed to be a central figure, someone important, of power and influence! But that is all we were told!
When we showed up here, a demon looking thing tried to kill us so we had to defense ourselves, and then that girl tried to use a strange flaming power the moment I tried to grab this strange device to see if we could find anything out, and as such we defended ourselves again. As far as I saw, some guy tried to inject the weird, black sludge into her, which broke and fell through the table.
[This is a gamble but we have nothing to lose, and yet he does. We should try to make him ease up somehow, let him trust us too. If things go right, if my ideas are right, we may even get his help. I raise my both arms and show the device I had snatched previously. This is so it shows I can't attack or that my coming story is true. Belial also disappears and make it so the flames disappear.]
I can only summon my familiar once every 10 minutes so I can't do anything to you right now, so us talking is for the best. The entire time we've been trying to stop this and from what we can do...you know very well we could kill you both right away if we wanted to. And yet we didn't, and that's because we want to deal ourselves with what's wrong with this world, whatever it is.
[Of course I can summon Belial at any time, and I will if anything tries to come from Gamma, at least to reduce the damage. But he doesn't know this, so in the same position, I slowly walk towards him, showing my guard is down.]
Armor guy and that girl will let your friend go; we promise. In fact, that fairy over there can heal most injuries...
[I give Pixie a pleading look, hoping for her to listen... and she does, showering Yuni with a magical dust that would heal whatever damage we did to her, which hopefully should show. Bless her actually listening and Mediarama.]
As you just saw, but we can barely trust each other, can we? You attacked me, rightfully so, and I'm a stranger with horrible powers. But I'm telling you now... it doesn't have to be this way.
[Hopefully, by now I should be as close as possible to him.]
That girl isn't what we are after, but someone that can tells us what is going on in this place, because you and me both know... something must be changed. Whatever it takes.
"Tch, don't know when to die."
It was unfortunate, but since Liam just... Fainted and I only had one prey at the moment... I close my eyes and focus, searching for my opponent's soul. If they have one, I'd be able to focus on it and alter their flow through time, slowing it until they stop. This stops their chains as well, leaving my target defenseless. While they're frozen, I crouch down, my fingers crackling with electricity as I begin charging..
"The Wind and Current to fulfill the ancient pact I call upon thee..."
and with Liam unconscious and my prey immobilized, there'd likely be nothing to stop me from finishing the chant
A second later, lightning strikes at the shadow lingering beneath the statue, with all the sound and light associated with it. Perhaps not the most well-thought out plan but if it will seriously injure the target so be it.
Time spells left: 1
In this exact moment, despite my dull and blank gaze at the captured girl before her, I was feeling rather exhilarated. Am I threatening someone at gunpoint? Yes, but it’s the thought that counts. But as a voice protrudes into my mind, I tilt my shades downward.
“You say something?”
With my pistol fully charged, I had hoped to at least try and get some kind of charged shot in before things get rowdy, but as this mysterious voice inside my head tells us all, these two are not the enemy. Still, I would’ve liked to at least have thrown in a punch somewhere.
“Oh...so that’s what it is.”
Kazuya, our leader. Tatsuya, the Kamen Rider and the shield for me to shoot behind. Then there’s me, who probably would’ve pulled the trigger at this point we’re it not for Kazuya’s big and dramatic attempt at making peace with our current opposition. I sigh as he mentions my existence, and blow on the singing blue tip of the barrel before putting the gun back in my pocket.
So many things, so many third grader insults I could tell everyone. But instead, I stay silent, blankly staring at Gamma in hopes that he listens. Because if not, I could shoot his ankle right now. But no, let’s not right now. With pixie healing the girl of the damage that I’ve personally done to her, I speak out of boredom...but hopefully he should know what I mean.
“What he said.”
My mind felt a bit out of order still. I needed a moment to calm down. I didn't really hesitate to step into the washroom. I'd try my best to move over to any sink there was and turn on the cold water if I could. All I needed was to rinse my face briefly.
I shouldn't have separated from the others. Byakuran was without a doubt our enemy, that seemed more clear now. I couldn't have let him know that but it seemed his actions weren't anything even close to normal even given the context of this world.
Despite that though it seemed more important to wait until I met up with the others before taking any rash actions. I already saw what his followers seemed to be capable of, whether or not what I saw was an illusion or not.
My headache began to fade as I was able to take my attention off my own fear. Right now I had the chance to get away, though the odd girl he sent with me...It was unclear whether she'd be a problem or not.
I'd step back out before focusing my attention on her. It was only now that I noticed the odd pill on her tray. Perhaps I could ask her about it, she seemed as though she might actually give me an answer considering how bored her nature was.
"Do you mind if I ask what that is on your tray? I've never seen a pill that stands upright on its own like that."
I'd sigh and just nod to Kaz's words. We really did just want something akin to answers in the first place, so this fight is entirely pointless.
"He's got the right of it. In the first place I really did just want to ask some questions, and I'm perfectly fine with letting the girl go so long as we can put a stop to this senseless violence."
With that I turn towards quiet observation, simply staring at the area and everything going on it while waiting to see if we can actually end this bullshit. Because good lord, do I not want to actually have to fight to the death.
(Kazuya, Florina, H20)
Yuni's minor cuts and scraps mend themselves with the assistance of mediarama. As the healing is carried out the sequestered girl then answers a question presented to her.
I did not say anything but if you could please ...
Yuni thinks for a few seconds before saying the rest of her statement.
stop pointing your weapons on me. It would make Gamma and Byakuran-sama less likely to act against you all.
Meanwhile, Gamma's face turns stormy but he does not direct it at you of your allies. He instead turns his gaze to no particular direction and curses under his breath. You really only catch the tail end of his momentary bout of disdain.
I'll strangle Byakuran myself for going after her again. I swear it on your grave Aria.
When Gamma looks back at you and the rest his face is smoothed out, but anger tugs at his measured smile and his hands bend at the pool stick between them. He grinds out a barely measured response.
I hate you all for threatening Yuni like this and i've learned never to trust any of you freaks from a different world. A group of people like you came here before and hurt us worse than Byakuran ever could. But I absolutely despise Byakuran with all of my being for his destruction of our family.
Gamma's teeth clench and his body trembles as he stares at Yuni's distant gaze.
Yuni barely smiles or even talks anymore after he started giving her that filthy, black medicine of his. It's like she is barely alive at this point.
Before he can truly trail off the man gets back to the point he was making before.
How do I know Yuni will be safe if I were to give you everything on Byakuran? Hell even having this conversation is enough for Byakuran to torture her again just for the rest of us to obey.
You search for the shadow's soul and find a mass of deteriorating black flames at the center of its murky interior. Honing in on that you are successfully able to stop the shadow for long enough to hit it directly with your spell.
The shadow once again screeches when it is hit with direct light and thunder. The electricity does not travel far across it's actual gooey mass. Also the strike does not draw actual blood from the shadow. However, the shadow now has a clear, uneven hole in the middle of it's abdomen that slowly widens as light particles eat at its very substance.
The shadow returns to an upright position to avoid the slow consummation, but has trouble standing as the top half of its body bends like a puppet. It is forced to press its long arms against the floor to keep its body up and its chains are pulled back into the dark pool from where it emerged.
Unable to do anything else the shadow releases a guttural, animalistic screech that lashes out terror directly into your soul.
If the shadow is unable to attack you physically it seems apt to hurt you mentally with its remaining tools.
Your sleep status has just worn off.
Ayaka blandly answers your question with another question.
Tell me Quintus. Do you often get headaches or has it just begun recently for you?
The girl deftly pulls the bottle off the tray with her empty hand and shakes it right in front of your eyes. You are able to watch as the black liquid inside the bottle slithers around like a jelly substance until it gathers some awareness of its enviroment. The black liquid then shifts into a gaseous form that takes up all the space within the tiny jar. The edges of the newly formed dark, gaseous substance flicker with the tiniest sparks as the miniature cloud hits the glass confines that keep it from spreading.
This isn't exactly a pill or a drink or any of the above. Pretty interesting don't you think.
After the little demonstration, Ayaka shifts the jar to the palm of her hand and presents it to you.
This is a medicine meant to bring peace of mind to those that need it most.
She nudges the jar toward you in a more forceful manner.
A little shot of tranquility to ease a mind that is about to be burdened with the anxiety of lost memories and internal strife. I only say this since I can tell you are similar to someone else I knew~
[I'm starting to shake. This entire situation is kicking my anxiety into overdrive, and even though I can function just fine, I can't exactly hide my body reacting weirdly for long. As better as I've got with it, the prospect of dying only makes it worse. I swear I'm going to pass out by the end, but for now I need to stay focused, I've got him right where I want him.]
We... are aware of the previous group, somewhat. The truth is that we were all forced into this bizarre situation for no reason and now we must "stop" an individual in different worlds just to make it back home. Past group tried, and as you say... they lost.
[I would make a quick hand gesture towards Tatsuya and Mal so they let the girl go. I also give them a quick glance, nodding with eyes as serious as I can, trying to convey that they shouldn't lower their guard. Hopefully they get it. It's most likely they won't. Damn it.]
And... based on what you say, I have to imagine that this "Byakuran" is definitely our guy. No, it's basically a confirmation, I'm going everywhere...
Uh... We lack crucial knowledge on this person and this world, without knowing what we are up against, it is impossible to create a clear strategy for us to follow.
[I place my head on my head, trying to think what to say next. In this second, for this one moment, should I be honest? Should I lie? At least I made it clear we need to know more. But I still haven't given him a reason to lend such knowledge... damn it. Shit. I need to talk, we need this. I can't let my mind wander this much. Get angry. Gamma, you WILL give that information to me!]
However, even if it came to a direct confrontation, I assure you my power is far beyond what you saw. With this device, my COMP, I can summon the many beings I have contracted across the years. Fairies, Beasts, Brutes... Deities. Monsters born from human desire, from HELL ITSELF. The power of demons is mine, it belongs to me, they bend to my will, and so do angels!
[I'm talking like a Chaos piece of trash, but I need to sell the idea that we can take him down with brute force alone. Now, if we actually can or not... I'm here just hoping we can.]
As soon as we know all about him, we'll be able to rip out his wings and cast him into the abyss! You saw yourself what we can do, and that still does not compare to our full power. If that dog, Cerberus, can melt metal with his breath alone, and that Pixie can lead men to their death by controlling them, just imagine what power holds Shiva; God's aspect of destruction, or even Beelzebub, the General of the armies of Hell... which... I command quite flawlessly.
[Now, for the theatrics this man loves so much. I raise my right hand in front of me, showing him my palm, which is covered in crimson flames from my Persona.]
Even if you remain silent, I can promise you we'll take him head on and then go back home victorious.
[I'm sure my hair is already flowing, maybe even raising from the intensity, and from the flames covering my whole being, as Belial slowly appears from behind me; towering, shadowy, with nothing but his intense yellow orbs looking straight at Gamma.]
We have no choice, if he must die then he will, and after all...
[The final touch. This Persona has a unique line of spells, "Awka", which deals Darkness and Fire damage. Weak for now. The spell prepares from below me.]
"Man" or "God" or "Angel", THEY CAN’T PUT OUT MY FLAMES!!
[Using Awka, which emerges from the ground, cracking the floor in which I stand enough so it seems that it was my voice what caused it. Really, to make it seem like this power lies solely within myself and I'm not as dependent of the COMP or anything. The main point indeed, is to intimidate and leave no trace of weakness. The ground would be left cracked, scorched, and Belial’s looming figure would add to it]
Will you help us?
"hmngngknlkz,lknkjn.... Just a bit longer...."
Dramatic. As. Fuck. It fits. It goes well. If they want to look at you like you’re some kind of otherworldly abnormal weirdo. Personally, I wasn’t all that much for it. And I have no idea if Tatsu was up for it as well. I had already let go of the girl, it’s basically up to Tatsu to drop her right now.
Me? I simply returned a pouty glare towards Tatsu’s way so he would let go of the girl, and then take out my phone and play games on it until Kazuya is finished, looking up sometimes whenever he says something that may be relatively interesting. Tatsuya and this Yuni girl specifically will get to hear these mumbles that come out of my mouth.
“Was all that needed? L-m-f-a-o. It’s funny how he actually thought that we were going to obey this Byakuran anyways. Didn’t even really think much about Yuni over here. Sorry I guess.”
And other third grader insults we’re spouted quietly as I texted some people, maybe even played some more games on my phone. I would’ve loved to listen to some video while I wait but that might be considered “disrespectful”.
I let out a sigh, it seems as if the shadow thing doesn't want to quit. Its roar is strange.. And freaky, but its clearly on its last legs, hardly even able to stand anymore. I just want to get it over with. And so I do, I rush to the shadow's hiding spot and aim a quick slash at its arms to help it fall over again
"Just die already."
Being offered it in such a way I felt inclined to take the jar even if I wasn't sure if I wanted to take this 'medicine'. It was definitely strange to me that something like this was suddenly being offered and I wasn't completely sure how to react.
"I...Uh, thanks I guess but...What is this exactly? I guess it's interesting at least."
I'd try to look down at the bottle some more, seeing just how aware this strange black substance was. Thinking about it, how did this girl know my name either? Did Byakuran mention it when I wasn't listening? Maybe, my head wasn't the most clear at the time and it still doesn't exactly feel like it's in the best shape.
With the noise caused by my friend and the creature I eventually wake up.
Still slightly confused, I ask: "What happened Gamma? It looks like I kinda fell unconscious."
And upon saying so, I think to myself that I really should not use such high tier magic. It's powerful, probably, but it really puts me into danger. I need to get used to spell casting first. Man who knew being a mage was so draining.
I'd stare at the unfolding talk, it's quite the thing to witness at the moment. I might be able to pull off... Nah I couldn't pull this off, I'm better at trying to use logic and reasoning rather than what's going on here. And even then I'm not the best or anything.
My voice is a mildly annoyed sigh towards Mal while letting go of the girl however, really? Pulling out a damn phone in the midst of this? Are they taking things seriously at all? The snark I don't give a crap about, but distracting yourself in the middle of a dangerous place like this... Tch, it's their life that's being risked and not mine so I guess I'll let them risk it. I'd nod in agreement with Kaz while cracking my knuckles.
"He's got the right of it, I'll gladly wash this guy away too. And my sea's storms are only just getting started!"
That isn't a lie of course, I actually have got more ready. Untested though it may be, as I speak out in a confident tone and waters dance around to my will for a moment I might actually look as if I know what I'm doing. That part is a massive lie and act, but I'm hopeful it can help a bit.
(Toki and Bartz)
The shadow fully bends over after it's arms are cut off in rapid succession. It's body audibly cracks as the spine is pushed to an unnatural angle and it's head lolls in the air. The chains that initially defended the shadow become pliant on the ground. The fighting will of the shadow is effectively sapped.
Portions of stiff, grey skin appear from where the shadow's bandages were trussed about. Before the shadow is consumed by the pool of darkness from whence it came.
It's cut off arms are all that is left.
You are once again serenaded with the empty rancor of the manor hall after the fight is over. Everything remains as when you first entered save for a few claw marks on the walls caused by the flying chains.
The staff door near the entrance to the grand ballroom has stopped stirring.
The door behind the dragon statue is still noisy with the hints of an argument.
The door beneath the portrait remains closed.
And the door with a red scarf hanging from it continues to flap wildly on its hinges with every gust of nightly wind.
It's a cure to calm the mind.
Ayaka repeats with an annoyed frown. It's the first reaction that the girl has given you since she has taken up the position of guide and its not really a promising one. Her hands twitch a bit in anticipation of having to take the jar back.
If it comforts you then I can freely admit to having offered this solution to a few of your companions that had arrived earlier. The headaches and aches they suffered were terrible so they really appreciated the solution recommended to them.
Before your very eyes the black substance reacts to what is said by pressing against the side of the jar closest to your skin. It tries to touch your flesh, but the layer of glass keeping it trapped continues to repel it away. Ayaka watches the substance with pity.
Night flames that can make you capable of any objective, now reduced to begging due to skepticism. (Kazuya, Florina, H20)
Gamma takes the release of Yuni as an act of good faith and is able to communicate.
Byakuran is an unparalleled genius that can see many possibilities at once. He can see the outcomes of many different dice rolls and make predictions from the paths presented to him. The most frightening thing about him is hi-
Before he is cut off by gravity itself once again taking hold . It all suddenly happens after the sound of a single solitary clap is heard. Gamma begins to fall before he can utter many words and before anyone could react the man hits the floor with a sickly crack.
Yuni's face pales considerably.
Her shock palpable in her words as bleak darkness encroaches upon the dining room.
Along with the darkness comes strands of light that immediately cause all demons to dissapear and all traces of inhuman abilities. Temporarily reducing you and your companions to mere men with cool weapons.
You feel the man that caused this before you see him.
You can feel twinkling laughter touch your ears.
A warm presence seep into your bones.
The slight brush of feathers against your shoulder blades.
The sensation broken once the man is ready to speak and when he does his voice echoes across the room.
I have gotten bored of all the shuffling about like rats. If you wanted to meet me you could have walked up and asked. My curious little intruders~
In seconds it was finally over. Though I didn't know what that shadow was, it was clearly hostile, probably working for... Whatever his name was, it didn't really matter. I take a deep breath, sheathing my weapon. I never really liked violence. It was better that some monster got it but... I take another breath as I step back towards Liam
"Um.. Well, there was this shadow thing and..."
I run my fingers through my hair, working out a few knots to help calm my nerves as I finish
"He killed it."
Something to calm my mind? I don't need a calm mind right now. I've been wasting enough time as it is. I need to find the others and warn them about Byakuran...I still can't do much on my own. If I were to fight someone like him head on then it'd have little to no impact.
I need to do what I can to help prevent any of my allies from falling here...
This substance though, it was certainly strange. It was clearly trying to reach out to me. It was then that the girl's last words would catch my attention.
"Any objective? I see...I guess it doesn't matter what happens to me then."
That's right...I'm doomed either way, right? If these flames would at very least allow me to do what I set out to then I don't care what they do to me.
"Alright, thank you for your offer. If that's what these do then I have no reason to refuse."
I'd open the jar, unsure of what to expect.
"I just open it like this, right?"
[What the hell? The laughter is weird enough to make me look around, and yet I see nothing but the fallen body of Gamma. What just happened to him? Is he okay? Looking at Yuni, it doesn't do much at raising my hopes. At the very least, I now know that... that man, that guy standing right in front of us, is our guy, and is way more dangerous than I can imagine. We don't exactly know still but him just being able to see into possibilities is frightening enough. Does it mean he can predict what we will do? It should be impossible and yet... there is a way around it... right...?]
So, it was you, the white haired one... Byakuran.
[What's worse is that Pascal, Pixie and Belial are gone. And to what extent what he just did goes, I don't know, but just jumping into combat would be foolish. Since I was already close to Gamma regardless, I do my best to check if he's alive. I hope he is. While doing that, I face the one guy once more.]
Sorry but... we wanted to be sure about who it was we were after.
Let's cut to the chase, you already know who we are and have an idea on why we are here, and I can imagine you can see some of the outcomes of this.
But I will still ask.
What is it that you want? What does this place mean to you? What is it that you do, how do you do it and why would you act on it as you do?
I want to at least understand your reasoning, and regardless, if you can truly see any possibility, then fighting you may prove to be a terrible idea as we are now, so...there shouldn't be any issue in telling us as much as what I just asked, we are in next to no position to act on it.
Still, above all, I want to understand.
"He? Who's he? And what do we do now?
Ideally, I'd like for us to join up with Yuu, but from what I could tell, it seemed like he was busy and didn't want me to interfere.
Soooo... Should we just explore?"
As the darkness encroaches the room, the only thing that my braincells comprehend is the ability to play "CHALLENGER APPROACHES" along with a couple of sirens in the background. Of course, this is not at all the case, because for one, I hate being in dark rooms but thankfully I'm with other people. That I barely know.
"Sigh. Do all the talking Kazuya."
I mutter in the dark, putting my phone in my pocket and simply putting my shades on to further obscure my line of sight. Feeling that horridly unreliable power of mine fading, my heart...stayed the same. Relatively. At this exact moment, I just hope and pray that this pretty boy looking ass bitch doesn't have the power to read minds because all I'm doing is thinking of all the types of insults I can throw at him.
But those would be horrible to say out loud after all. I'm just going to hope that Kazuya's talking can do enough. Plus Tatsuya can agree with him in hopes the choir shall preach it out loud for those in the back. I'm not going to try and speak to him right now. Maybe it's best to just pretend I don't exist. Knowing how this clown is choosing to operate his introduction right now, he probably knows I'm here anyway.
"Oh, um.. Right.. I should have...."
I take a deep breath, twirling my fingers through my hair to calm down a bit as I continue
"Basically my uh.. Time thing.. It has a bit of a side effect where.. Well, if you're new to it like I am.. Its a phenomenon called Dual Souls, creative right? hahaha..."
I clear my throat before finishing with a shudder
"Anyways.. Its basically.. There are two people in here... Um.. You guys are calling me Gamma... But the other guy doesn't have a name yet...."
I take a deep breath again before letting out a sigh
"Right.. Anyways we're looking for some... Ugh.. What's his name again?"
I was always terrible at remembering names, it was really bad. This one seemed important but only hearing it once and then.. A lot happened so.. I scratch my head for a moment
"Bakugan.. I think it was Bakugan, or... Something like that. He's the guy we have to kill.. Anyways I'll just... Follow...."
while waiting for Liam to decide where we go I bring out the pocketwatch I was given earlier, with little else to do to calm my nerves... There was a time limit too, right?
"Bakugan... Somehow, I'm pretty sure that's not their name. Oh before I forget-"
I bring the ring I found earlier under his eyes.
"Does this mean anything to you?"
I take his hands and forcefully put the ring in it. There, not my problem anymore.
I head towards the locked door by the painting. Locked doors. Those always hide interesting things. I check it out carefully. Sadly, FFV doesn't feature any lockpicking skills meaning I can't actually break it open that way. I could probably brute force it if I went into my berserker job but... I'd rather avoid facing those consequences.
"You wouldn't happen to have a key, would you? Or maybe your alter ego?"
“I uh.. N..”
I don’t get the chance to give much of a reply before Liam gives me the ring. Not sure of what to do with it, I hastily put it in my pocket before checking the watch I received and following Liam
“All.. All I found was this watch.. and um... Well, I know it’s not his name but we need to find Bakugan soon.”
"Alright. Let's look for him then. Since this door here is locked and I doubt the kitchen will be of any use, let's head into the third door. I heard voices in there though so let's maybe first look through the keyhole and see what's up?
Then, we can choose whether we want this door, or the one with the scarf"
(edited by Bartz)
I don't really have any words to add, I just tap the button to shift my form once again. Whatever bullshit he did made me somewhat weaker, but my power is still working... And I don't feel less tough, thankfully. As that caustic water and hazard symbol take shape once again, I'd grin under my mask a bit while stepping in front of Mal.
"Oi, try not to get by anything nerd. I don't like it, but if things go south then I'll be up here."
I don't really know what Mal's thinking right now, no way to do so. But whatever the case my job at the moment is making sure they don't die horribly, I'd like to try and do the same for Kaz frankly but we'll see on that count. Either way, for now the main question is how our 'new friend' will react to the law student's words. And frankly, adding to them just seems a good way to piss the guy off from where I'm standing.
You open the bottle and the lively substance immediately pulls itself out of its own glass prison. The substance shifts into a liquid form spilling across the skin of your hand as it hardens into an inky second skin over your fingers. The ink crawls from you fingers to your arms until it prods the base of your neck. Forming a light-weight covering of black over your body that easily shifts with every twitch of your arms or shake of your hands. Satisfied with the layer it has formed over your arms and upper chest the substance stops creeping across the rest of your available skin.
It is at this point that every intense emotion you can naturally make focuses in on a specific object you already had in mind. The abilities inherent in your body sync with the inky coverings on your skin and you feel energized to do whatever it takes to complete your main objective. Whatever it takes and no matter who gets in the way is the message of the ink to your mind.
Until death do you and the night flames part.
Ayaka chimes in.
Congrats on being freed Narukami-chu~
Having watched your expected transformation the once stoic maid now seems pleased and almost exuberantly cheerful. She practically dances on the balls of her feet as she studies the effects of the night flames on you.
Still possibly a little dazed from the event you see the maid's eyes take on a brilliant, red hue as she appraises. Yet, the hue vanishes once everything has been seen and the maid moves back to stoic as she gives you one final comforting pat on the future.
Best of luck in your heroic ventures.
The maid declares before she turns around and makes her way back to the grand ballroom from where you once came. Her pace is rather slow making it an easy task to follow her back or to investigate some more.
With her back turned to you and receding with distance, Ayaka does say one last thing.
Can't wait to see what you do next in the final hour.
You check the pocket watch that had been given to you and see that both hands indicate the current time of 11pm.
Only an hour before the reset mentioned earlier.
(Toki and Bartz)
Should you approach the door you would hear the arguing voices once again, but upon taking a look at the elaborate keyhole you would not be able to spy anyone inside.
A quick peek through the keyhole would simply reveal a rather plain study room with a desk laden with papers and a chair that seems to have been haphazardly tossed to the floor. Dark shadows hide the corners of the room as a single solitary candle flame weaves with the wind. Treacherously coming close to the papers on the desk below it.
Voices argue along in the room, but no signs of a soul to be seen.
Meanwhile, the scarf blows off the door right next to the portrait as the nightly breeze intensifies. It ends up resting at the foot of the dragon statue allowing you to make the loose tassels at its ends and sleek look. (Kazuya)
You approach the miniature crater that Gamma had fallen into and can right away notice that the man's face is a pulsating mass of blood and broken bones. His nose is almost dangling from his face while his blond hair is dirtied with the clumping of blood and dirt. Some of the floor's material had a chance to dig into various parts of his body upon impact. Brutally damaging the form of his back along with the structure of his neck which hangs to the side. The only indication that this mess of a human is still alive is the light raising of his chest, but it becomes less pronounced with time. Each additional breath rattles out the first notes of death.
Yuni barely recovers from her shock, but upon seeing you approach her close friend she runs after you to look at the damage. Upon seeing the state of Gamma she draws in a sharp breath and falls to her knees.
Gamma please stay with me.
She almost begs as tears roll down her formerly porcelain face.
I need you ...
Sobs wrack her tiny voice and her head bows with her quacking body.
(Kazuya, Florina, H20)
Byakuran watches the scene with a mirthful smile as he tries to suppress his laughter by wrapping both of his arms around his stomach.
This has to be the first time I've ever seen a mafioso cry like that~
He laughs so hard that at the end of the humorous bout he is left panting with his hands on his knees.
You'd think that someone who issues death for a living would be able to take it but apparently we have some hypocritical saints in this place.
Byakuran then side eyes you and your companions and perkily answers.
I just got bored. Is that simple enough for you.
All of this ...
He gestures around at the interior of the room.
Is out of boredom and a general distaste for people.
"Scarf please, and fast."
I shakily hide the pocketwatch again and take a deep breath, its not really anything to worry about, I'd just really rather not get into the middle of this shouting match.. But then again if all I do is avoid people we're never finding Bakugan...
"N.. Nevermind.. just... I'll just follow you... We just need to go fast.. There's only an hour before things get a lot worse."
[Something about that answer ticks me the wrong way. Him just hurting another without a good reason doesn't sound like what the other guy, Gamma, was implying as the character of this guy, and furthermore, he seemed to be wanting to inject a strange liquid into Yuni... I've been thinking about the possibility since Gamma mentioned it, but maybe that's how he made her so...docile? I think that's the word. He also seems to be a "genius", and thinking the way media writers and normal people tend to use it, means he is a cunning bastard, which is my first hint at his more complicated nature; which means he is just lying to me, see how I react. Of course, I can't take away my glare from him, but I won't let him get to me. Above all, I want to believe we can solve this without having to fight, or worse, killing him.]
Of course not, I know for sure you have another reason which you won't give because you're trying to be intimidating.
Did you see that as a possibility? That somehow giving us too much information is dangerous?
[He knew already, but we are aware of this uncanny ability. I just don't know to what extent it goes, and so, don't even know how to counter it. With my reply, I go back to thinking. His phrasing is interesting to say the least. Why the mafia? Why even go for "hypocritical"? I know that kind of thinking all too well. He has some understanding of morality and is acting out on it with an end in mind; hell, he's even mocking the girl. This is all conjecture and a possibility, but I'm thinking that this guy is moving towards something, not just to move up in the world, which, I would assume, has done up until this point, but did it to do something, to achieve something greater. I would imagine then, that this guy could be in a "righteous crusade", wanting to do good or create justice through any means necessary.]
I'll ask again, why are you doing this? All these things are too complicated and too actually thought about for it to be simply "boredom".
Is it to control the mafia? Is it to eliminate it? Don't tell me you fancy the world.
[Then again, I could be wrong and I might be dealing with a Joker knock-off crying about society. At the very least, he is not the kind of extremist that would murder every single one. Rather, he at least makes exceptions, but what is it that these guys have that he would need? I'm guessing their powers... which, I will assume for now, are not all that common.]
"In many cases, your first choice is always the right one, so let's go for the scarf door!"
I head over to the aforementioned door and try to open it discretely. I hope it won't creak or something.
"Wait, how do you know-"
For a moment I was focused on what the girl had said. She called me by my name, one that nobody else would've known here, and that was something to take interest in.
However, I no longer could focus on that. The dark substance spreading over me was already having a significant impact upon my being.
My heart race would slowly begin picking up, my eyes felt as if they had focused in on everything around me, and the chaos of my mind finally stropped as all of my emotions seemed to form a sort of harmony.
"That's right. What am I still doing here...
I need to protect my friends, no matter the cost......
That's my job right now!"
That's right, that's why I was here. I often had a hard time focusing or putting in the motivation I needed but right now I could feel everything dedicating me towards my goal. I felt as if 100% of myself could be dedicated and I wasn't about to let that feeling go to waste.
"Where are they? If I follow the source of the most commotion I should find them. No more wasting time! I'm going!"
With that I would begin listening to my surroundings, sprinting in whatever direction I could hear anything of significance from.
I'd sigh heavily at this man's reply to Kaz, what a pain in the ass. Are we dealing with a 'watch the world burn' type? Some jackass who thinks he can play at that nonsense? Ah well, maybe he can if that's the case. More likely I expect he isn't being entirely truthful with us though.
Even so, I've very little to add here. Instead focusing more on trying to get some idea of what exactly he did to my power... I don't expect it to go greatly all things considered, but there's a flow to this whole thing that I've on some level started to grasp. I can feel something trying to clamp down on tht and partly working to be sure, but the question remains to be seen, can I do anything to stop it with that little bit of info?
For now my mind absently toys with ideas, lacking the right context and info needed to try and actually do anything on that front. And having even less to add that seems like it might actually help in terms of this little attempt at the TALK option.
“Are you serious? Meanie.”
I say in a teasing manner, pouting as a joke while turning my head the other way, taking out one pistol and standing behind Tatsuya while trying my best to keep on lookout at the very least. Since my powers are gone that literally means I’m pretty much useless now. That was all I had and it was stolen from me.
Speaking of, the guy who stole it from me seems to be a rather boring person. A mere tedium that probably just killed someone and darkened a whole room. Seemingly for no real reason. But just maybe, maybe Kazuya can do something right with his leadership skills. It’s all I’m hoping for so I won’t have to do any work.
(Toki and Bartz)
The door hesitantly opens with the creak of aged wood, but the sound is not loud enough to attract extra attention. It just bothers the ears. Once opened the door reveals a stone stairway leading upward to another section of the manor.
The red scarf lies innocently on the floor as you are presented with the choice of heading in or sticking around.
If you were to tardy some more then you would hear gentle footsteps closing in from the door connecting to the grand ballroom ...
If you were to head up then the tight corridor would end at the foot of a completely white office space that is occupied by a single anxious man pacing about ...
With your now heightened senses you easily pick up the tremor of voices from the grand ballroom you were previously in. The voices are a melody of groans and frightened sniffling coming from possible guests that were left behind in the frenzy.
Yet, there is another sound that worms its way into your head. It is the shrill pitch of agonized screaming that seemingly comes from a room placed against the walls of the hallway you are currently in. The screams match those of one of your female companions and they only get worse and worse as more time elapses.
Additional screams chime in the longer you take to act. Each scream with the same tone of voice that you can attribute to a current companion of yours. The frantic screams bleed from the walls of the hallway you are in and even emanate from the ceiling.
Above a chandelier tilts precariously at each piercing sound, but the maid appears to have not noticed as she has already left.
Amid the screams is an extra voice that is easily overshadowed by your companions' howls.
A little test for your new abilities my dear~ (Kazuya, H20, and Florina)
Byakuran stretches out the word in a lazy manner.
To all of your attempts to figure me out.
I don't have any reason to fear any of you and I am not doing much to anyone.
Byakuran calmly strolls over to Yuni's grieving form and roughly grabs her by a few blue strands of her hair. He then fully grabs the back of her head to pull her up like a rag doll. Yuni tries to squirm out of Byakuran's ironclad grip, but finds that she can't. Much to his amusement and he then turns around to present Yuni's fruitless struggles to you and your companions.
As Yuni is held up and displayed, she tries harder to force Byakuran to let go. Flames of orange sprout from various parts of her body and release enough heat and light to make anyone uncomfortable in the girl's presence. These brilliant flames attempt to lash at Byakuran's pale hands, but they barely leave a mark. The flames lick at Byakuran's fingers to no avail as the one being attacked merely watches with a detached smile.
Soon enough Yuni hangs limp as her flames become smaller and smaller until they are no more.
Byakuran finally speaks once the little show is over.
This is my tool that brought tragedy upon herself.
He passes a hand under Yuni's head in an ostentatious manner and suddenly with no warning he tosses her body toward you and your allies.
I am done using her so you can dispose of her or use her as you wish. I won't judge what you decide to do.
Should you catch her or not obviously matters little to him.
Byakura stops paying attention to Yuni once she is gone.
Like I said before, I am just bored and all of my toys have stopped being fun to use.
So will you newcomers be my new toys across many variations of this place~
[That was the moment in which I knew exactly what it was that I was dealing with here. I did not know his power, or his life, or even why exactly it was that he was doing this. Normally, in law you would find such details ideal, perhaps even critical when making a verdict. Not unlike life, really. But... this kind of disregard... it's not clouding my mind, but I feel like I'm about to explode all the same. Perhaps, in time like these, one must let go of the past and only focus in what's right ahead, in what they are doing.]
You know, I want to be a prosecutor. Once I'm back home, I'll simply continue with college and then graduate. I will eventually memorize most of the laws and articles of different legal codes. I will meet many people, criminals that go from petty thieves to brutal rapists.
[What is right ahead is that man, Byakuran, who simply refered to human beings as tools and toys. I wonder why the word "Angel" was the designation for this world. Is this what an "Angel" is? Is it as devoid of meaning as simply wearing white? I grab on to the sword on my back, the Hinokagutsuchi. My grip is tight, but my hands are starting to hurt from the force.]
I've...always believed in one thing only, and that's doing the right thing. To use law for good, and to oppose it if it ever got out of hand; to champion some values of my own choosing, that made sense, but to disregard them once they stood in the way. I'm practical like that, but... I always held human rights to the highest regard.
[I unsheathe the two-handed blade, but keep it in my right hand only, the tip of the sword touching the floor. I've kept my eyes closed the entire time, since thsi realization.]
I always wondered if killing really was a solution, if I had the guts to do it.
Even now, I have to wonder.
A prosecutor needs to solve things by finding out the truth no matter what, to serve the interests of people, and yet...
[I can't doubt myself. I won't doubt myself. There is much on the line. I open my eyes and glare at Byakuran with an intensity I haven't felt in months. I could see it so clearly now, all that's been given to me, through his way of acting, through his words, paint one singular image. If this is the man that we must stop, if he is willing to do this and throw away people so easily, if that Sinbad was a maniac with god-like powers, then this one won't be much different.]
I already know what I have to do right here, right now. This isn't my world.
The only truth I need is the one, there.
[I point at his face with my blade. I feel my eyes water a bit. I don't quite get why.]
Your eyes keep confessing your crimes.
Because you can disregard life so easily, because you objectify human beings, because you can inflict pain so nonchalantly, because your powers exceed that of what humans should be allowed, because someone like you should not exist, because I can't bring you to justice...!!!
[I hold the blade with both hands and prepare myself by pointing it behind me. There really was no other solution, was there.]
I will bring it to you!!
[Kazuya's body is entirely normal, and even more so now. But his body remembers, his power isn't that he can overcome things with brute force, but by merit of training, skill and experience. His body has to remember, it must! I rush at Byakuran at full speed and aim two incredibly quick, well placed wide slashes aimed specifically at the knee joints, or at the very least the legs, because, even if I can't cut the legs completely, they should be hit in such a way that movement becomes noticeably difficult. This is a "Crescent Slash", two strikes that lower the enemies' agility considerably.]
Oh wow, one of those types. Generic evil villain that thinks of people as toys and all. I’m so impressed and moved by your generic words. Please make sure that I can be able to find some substance in this evil speech I’ve heard of one million times already. Is what I would say if I could have the power to punch at varying degrees of hurt. But noooo, let’s take that all away.
“Wow that’s a dumb move.”
I simply stare at Kazuya as he starts to charge at Byakuran. From under my shades and my hat I shake my head with disappointment, taking out my other pistol in preparation for literally everything to go wrong. I had a feeling that we could have left it at that and kept going on with our day but now we’re starting to fight. Jolly. Fun. Fantastic. Refreshing. I hate life. And now I whisper towards Tatsuya who is still my wonderful and alive shield that I can stand behind.
“Kazuya’s going down. I’m betting 20 dollars. Make sure Byakuran doesn’t even see me right now please. Thank you.”
With our time limit growing ever closer, I bend over to pick up the scarf, it was.. Nice, red stuff. I just hold onto it for now as I stand behind Liam and whisper
"L.. I mean.. Last time my nervous blathering got us in a lot of trouble so I wouldn't trust it.. Just... I'll.. Be behind you ok?"
Damn it, it creaked ! Well it's just a little so it'll be fine I guess.
"Shall we go up? You don't need to worry. Everything will be fine !"
“Don’t look at me..”
I shake my head and try to shrink a little even though there’s only one person here to notice
“I wouldn’t be following you if I wanted to make decisions.”
(Bartz and Toki)
You and your companion ascend the narrow flight of stairs and arrive in a white pristine room styled in typical office format. In front of you is the standard table and fancy chairs, but done in a shade of white that is almost blinding under the fluorescent lights. While the walls of the room are fully closed in offering no peak of any secondary rooms or hallways. The only other item of interest is a desk to the far right of the room that holds a little device on off mode.
However, the desk and device are behind an anxious man that seems to be pacing circles around the room. The man currently has one of his hands pulling at his red hair as his glaces frequently dip down the tip of his nose with every turn around movement he does. With an exasperated tone of voice the man avidly responds to someone through a phone pressed against one of his ears.
You only catch snippets of the tail end of the chat.
Spanner we have less than an hour to get this right and at this point there is no one else that can do this. We are the only ones left that can stop his madness before its too late. I have a pretty bad stomach ache and i'm scared, but i'm even more scared of what Byakuran will do in the next world once this one is finished. So please just finish the trap before midnight. It might be the last hope we have to end these crazy plans.
After saying all this the man goes silent and his eyes close as he receives info from the other person on the line.
The screams would stop me in my tracks as I could feel them pierce my very core. I was about to rush to the room where it came from before another began to chime in, and then another after that. They didn't seem to be stopping as I found myself unable to decide what to do for a moment.
Was this an illusion? No, the chandelier wouldn't be moving, would it? I didn't have time to contemplate what was happening though. My body drove me to continue forward as I moved towards the room where the screams first started.
I'd attempt to open the door and move inside as quickly as I could, hoping that the scream was nothing more than an illusion.
I'd sigh a bit, this is going to get worse from here on... But I do have at least something I can do, the flow of power doesn't rise as I tap a button. It just becomes vastly more efficient, wasting far less as my armor begins to change and the belt calls out.
"THE SEA'S CRUSHING DEPTHS!"
"AN OCEAN OF ACID!"
KAMEN RIDER H2O, CAUSTIC DEEP SEA!"
The blues of my armor turn entirely black, save for a faint glow of dark blue behind the eyes. And the suit itself looks a good bit thicker as well, clearly able to stand up to more. The hazard symbol on its chest also has a marking indicating high water pressure. Of course I'm still losing power to this guy, but it should be a bit more manageable now... Hopefully.
Either way I'd aim to help Kaz in his endeavor here, tendrils of water trailing along the ground and causing bits of it to melt down for a while. Before quickly leaping up behind our enemy while the swordsman attacks his front, my aim here is to send them into his arms and shoulders, which if it succeded would quickly cause his muscles and flesh to begin melting away into a slurry of blood devastated tissue. As for Mal, well I am willing to get his attention for now. A fact which should hopefully let them move away.
"I didn't really want to do this honestly, but I can't really abide someone acting like you either... But come on you white-haired cliche, do me a favor and go down quickly."
I'd drawl out in a lazy and sarcastic tone, stepping a bit forward while doing my best to remain between him and Mal for the moment. I am harder to kill than them, or so I'd guess.
You hone in on the original source of the screams and enter a plain door right next to the bathroom you previously used. The screams continue to lurk in your ears, but at the other side of the door is an empty room with only a massive bed to cover its vacancy.
Your companions are nowhere to be found in this room and if you were to look behind you would notice that the door your just entered had just disappeared.
Narukami why did you hurt me?
A dainty voice asks this among the screams and shouts assaulting your hearing. Now on the giant bed there is the maid you saw before, but this time her eyes brim with tears as blood drips from a gouge in her collarbone. The maid's breaths come out in shudders as pain wracks her frame from the wound. Yet, her narrowed eyes focus on your hands as they begin to wane in intensity.
If you were to look down at your hands you would see a knife in one of them covered in blood.
(Toki and Bartz)
The man has not noticed you yet and continues to have a rushed conversation with the other person on the phone.
As you watch the man pace about you notice that the room flickers at odd moments. The white floors occasionally reveal wood every couple of seconds and the walls sometimes fade to an old shade of grey.
The more time you spend in the room the more things blip and then come back. (Kazuya, H20, and Florina)
Hmmm no wonder I hate humans.
Byakuran raises a single finger of his that is adorned with a ring containing an orange, egg-shaped gem with outstretched angel wings attached. He takes but a moment to close his eyes and the gemstone on the ring is lit with a brilliant flame like the one that had come from Yuni. Then as his legs are approached he flicks the finger and a powerful shock wave emanates from it . The shock wave is powerful enough to tear up the floor in front of him and repel any action taken to his front.
Meanwhile, a set of white wings made from the same flame energy instantaneously sprout from his back and through his clothing. The white wings stretch out before completely wrapping over Byakuran's body and taking the brunt of the liquid strike to his back. The liquid dissolves the wings and melts them off, but Byakuran displays no actual particular feelings toward it.
Instead once the wings on his back are fully melted he smiles and immediately two black claws sprout from where his white wings used to be.
Hahaha you are all so boring when you talk about justice and empathy and so many other things~
Byakuran lowers his upper body and allows the black claws on his back to rapidly strike at you and your companions. The terrible claws open wide and break apart the sides of the room as they come in to grab at you from the center.
When you can easily get that stuff if you were more willing to do whatever it takes to get it done. Want justice then just plow over those in the world that do wrong. Want peace then go and hurt the dissenters. Want kindness then force it on others. It's your inability to do such things that let people like me exist ya know~ So thanks
The claws arrive and their tips point directly overhead before flowing down to eviscerate you.
[Such an overly choreographed move won't work, not on Kazuya, not on me. I do have trouble concentrating for that moment, however, as I get distracted by Byakuran's...dare I say, "low IQ" speak. The claws miss, but the jacket is cut open vertically, revealing the tight, light black armor under the now damaged green, heavy jacket. I keep it on, however, as there is not time or reason to take it off. Not to mention, dealing with the COMP will be a hassle. I take a deep breath and glare back at Byakuran. I need to think my next move, since just running ahead won't work just like that.]
That was close, but you missed the mark. Sounds familiar, don't you think?
[Indeed, his reasoning makes no sense, or at least seems to make some pretty big jumps in logic. Furthermore, whatever he said does not apply to me.]
Peace can't be forced, that's asking for humans to let go of freedom.
Kindness is from the heart; it is impossible to force.
Indeed, people like you should not exist, as you just implied.
[I already know what I will do, but I need to hold my ground for this. My next attack will either be a counterattack, or I will rush ahead. Whatever is the case, it will be twice the damage. I "Charge" as I extend my arms and smile at Byakuran, who, although me be taller than me, I hope understands I'm looking down on him. So low on the scale that he can't even see without glasses and surgery.]
You said you hate humans, implying you either aren't or see yourself as not part of us. Whatever the case, only we, "humans", get to have a choice.
You on the other hands, don't. Not anymore.
That's why we are here, because it's clear you are doing something "wrong".
Because you are a mistake.
["Charge" is done, and I make sure my "overconfidence" is notorious. If he tries to get close in some way or form, as in himself, or those black claws, I will retaliate with Lightspeed Slash. Otherwise, I'm rushing in with Mist Rush. Whatever happens, I'm prepared, I just need to act properly. These are simply ideas, not automatic to apply.]
And we're correcting it.
For a moment I was simply confused, unsure of what had just happened. One moment I was investigating those screams from before and the next I was standing in a room holding a bloody knife.
"I-I don't know. Why am I here? Where did I get this knife from?"
My voice had become more like a faint whimper as panic began to set in. Was this an illusion of some sort? The door disappearing behind me seemed to point towards this situation not being real. Or...perhaps have I been in an illusion this whole time? Since the moment I had left Byakuran's side.
I was unsure yet there was still something bothering me now that the shock had alerted me to it. Why did this girl know that name? Even Byakuran hadn't called me that or seemed to know about that name specifically.
Illusion or not though I don't think I'd get any answers out of her right now considering her collarbone had a hole in it.
The knife would drop from my hand, no longer wanting to hold onto such a thing. I'd try to look around the current room as best I could, trying to find anything that could be used to treat the wound.
These claws... I'll weather this storm, I'm not fast enough to evade so much as somewhat minimize how much of my body gets hit. On the other hand, the claws that did manage to hit me would not only be striking some very tough armor which hardens greatly in response to being struck, but they would also start melting away at a rapid pace assuming they can be damaged.
I also make sure to keep myself between Mal and whatever of this madness is heading for them if I'm able to, Kaz will have to make due on his own within that front right now, but letting the kid get taken out without trying to help isn't my style. A wall of acidic water would rise up between us and the attacks at this point, aiming to serve as a shield.
"Don't get close now."
I shout a brief warning. And finally, if after all my tanking I still had any time left to do other work. Then I'd begin by hoping to coat our enemy in a big puddle of water would rise up around the man. It moves far faster than my heavily armored form.
And if able to cover him not only would Byakuran begin feeling the burn of my caustic water but he'd also feel himself being crushed by the preasures of a deep ocean.
The name of these forms isn't just for show, but I'm not fool enough to assume he'll be caught within. The water would instead burst out as knives aiming to slice into his chest and skull if he evaded, hopefully at least distracting him some if I hit directly or not.
Of course, I'm also sweating heavily under this suit, but there's no need to show off the fact I'm terrified... That's also part of why I'm saying so little at the moment, but maybe I can just look mysterious instead? Hah, yeah right.
I whisper to gamma
"Hmm.. What do you wanna do? We could take him out. Or, we could try to talk to him. He's after some Byakuran from what I can hear, and something tells me this could be related to our Bakugan dude. "
But then again, the way the room flickers stinks. That's so trap-like it almost feels like it's trying to be reverse psychology...
"Or should we just try somewhere else? Either way, I don't exactly feel like hurting the guy. "
As always, I agree under my breath as our adversary decides to throw yet another dramatic attack our way. In my unpowered state, I can’t really do much but hope and hope that Tatsuya and Kazuya can deal most of the damage. Why did they decide to make my power go away? It’s getting boring how useless I seem.
”Thanks...again...for the millionth time.”
I say bashfully towards my bulwark defender that chooses to be my wall. It’s not like he’s not carrying my deadweight. But I really cannot afford to act like a defeatist now of all times. After all, I’ve basically been deadpan, or just snarky this whole time. There’s no point in wallowing in my own despair now. Thus, before the water spikes launch at Byakuran, I poke out from behind my wall and shoot my own bullets, in a weird arc shape from both sides. After I finish, I might at least make a pretty hole-shaped barrage in a wall or something. Or in his chest. Doesn’t change the fact that I’m still having to hide behind Tatsuya.
“...I don’t have anything smart to say. Please protect me so we can all make sure the bitch dies.”
I look around the room, tense. Too tense perhaps, as even Liam whispering is enough noise to cause me to jump and let out a little whimper
"D.. Don't scare me like that. I.. I mean... Didn't we go over this?"
it was a little annoying, I mean I sure didn't know what I was doing, I've been saying that, why would Liam rely on me all of a sudden like that. I speak up a bit, perhaps too loudly for our hiding attempt
"I'm.. Don't look at me, I'm just following you around, remember?"
The knife noisily clatters to the linoleum floor as you spot a tiny table right next to the huge bed. It didn't exist before, but now it does at your frantic behest. On the top of the tiny table are already prepared strips of gauze and a bottle of antiseptic. Yet, on the side closest to the maid is a half cocked gun with six chambers full of ammo.
As the maid's eyes slowly open and close in rhythm with her shallow breaths. You can see her pale hand struggling to reach the gun with no success. In light of her failing attempts she rasps out.
Narukami please end it ...
The maid slinks lower into the reddened sweets.
I've suffered too much in this place and I want to g-go.
(Bartz and Toki)
Your inaction in the face of such an enticing scenario doesn't bother the anxious man that ceases to exist due to your indecision. It also fails to change anything of value in the room which remains present, but deteriorates until it reveals its true nature.
You now stand in a tiny library that is filled with the finest books and closed off with disgusting cinder block walls. A far cry from the luxurious white room you originally entered.
However, it does grate on the nerves of an annoyed maid standing right behind you. No sound signaled her entry into the space, but there she is dressed in full maid regalia and sporting a pensive stare. The only things out of place in her outfit is a swath of messy, brown hair and eyes that glow a bright red.
You two have become so boring to watch.
The maid tersely states as she snatches the red scarf that was found on the floor. With no particular rush she wraps the red scarf around her neck before continuing with her condemnation.
At least Narukami is fun to mess with cuz if it were up to you two I would be bored for the remainder of the night. It's like nothing pushes the two of you to do anything extreme. I even blatantly left a few spectacles about to attract attention, but its all gone to the shitter.
The maid suddenly shouts.
You two better put on a better show the next time or I might be forced to turn this story into a tragedy~
(edited by Raconteur)
(Kazuya, H20, Florina)
The claws fail to do any meaningful damage to you or your allies, but Byakuran still grins. This failure of an attack doesn't dissuade him in the least. After striking a couple of times at the liquid wall the black claws retreat into Byakuran's back as smoothly as they came out.
This might actually be a lot more fun than I thought~
Byakuran hums this out and then allows the water to begin to cover him. He awaits the approach of the bullets too yet before anything actually hurts he raises the same ringed finger and releases another powerful shockwave. The wave blows the water right off him and deflects the bullets right back at you.
I'm not one to wax so much poetic so i'll just show you another cool trick of mine. You should be thankful to be seeing so much from me.
Closing his left hand allows a visible black flame to form between his clenched fingers. The black flame sucks some heat from the room and is let go once Byakuran's hand is almost eclipsed by the luminosity of the flame. When released the black flame immediately spirals into a fire tornado that light elements of the room on fire as it approaches you. The black flames almost form a maw at their directed tip as they propel toward you with the full intent of burning you alive.
I'm not, you should just d-
[A fire tornado!? Damn it, what the hell do I do now!? I can't exactly rush without taking damage and I can't simply turn back and run away. Tatsuya has to worry about Mal who doesn't have the same resistance as we do. Problem is... while this body can resist bullets, slashes and blunt attacks, and nullify darkness and light, or even most ailments...I'm mostly on my own against fire. I already "Charged", so I can't lose the chance to do what I can. Tatsuya, do your best to shield Mal.]
I'll... I'LL DO YOU ONE BETTER!!
[I yell at Byakuran as I take off the COMP from my wrist momentarily. I take off my green jacket and re-attach the device on my left wrist. My body is covered by a tight, black cyberpunk-looking light armor, almost looking like a simple tight shirt with long sleeve on the right, but a short one to the left. To those not paying close attention to the more subtle designs all around it. I quickly put the jacket over me, covering my head and upper body as I rush ahead with all my strength right through the fire tornado. Kazuya's own body should allow me to pull this off, but I'm not prepared for this kind of pain.]
[I feel faster as I keep rushing and go right into the fire tornado. The damn thing, with how quick it was making the rest of the place catch on fire, was obviously going to consume the jacket rather fast, but I'm already without much protection for my head. I feel the fire all around me, the intense sting of my very cells getting burnt. I hate this. I made a mistake, didn't I!? This is too much! But I need to keep running! When I'm out I will be fine, I can be helped by water, I could roll on the ground. I can't open my eyes, not yet, I will go blind. I can do this, I can't, I must. JUST GET THROUGH IT ALREADY!!]
[Despite the intense pain and heat, I somehow manage to go right through. I swear I'm going to pass out from the pain, I feel my head a bit lighter. But I can't keep my eyes closed, I can finally open them wide and glare at Byakuran as I rush at him, full speed. My right arm is still covered in the black flames as I hold the Hinokagutsuchi with the very same arm and prepare to strike at him with the best move on my arsenal at blinding speed. The blade lights up in crimson flames for a moment, the blink of an eye.]
[I aim the now simple blade at Byakuran's torso with a move that pierces through mere resistance, nullification and even the illusions of repel and absorption. I have to wonder, what element will he become weaker to? I can't control that factor. Here's to Physical, Gun or Ice...!]
JUST SHUT UP AND FALL ALREADY!!
I quickly turn around, not wanting to be ambushed and find... Someone. I've never seen them before. But that didn't matter. I'd listen to them for a bit.. They're obviously disappointed, but.. While I don't really want to disappoint anyone.. I mean it wasn't even... just leave this to me. I'll get us home quickly.
That would be the other one, but.. I don't want to be that kind of ruthless person. and you won't have to, just leave the sinning to me.
I don't end up saying anything, simply shaking my head, as if that'll somehow change anything.
What was she asking me exactly? End it? I never thought someone would ask something like that of me. What kind of situation was this exactly? What kind of person would force me into a choice like this.
I could feel something stirring within me, as if in my panic something had changed.
"You want to go? Then go out on your own terms after I've finished healing you. I'm sorry, I'm too selfish to kill willingly kill someone I barely know."
I'd first try to apply the antiseptic. I've never used something like this before but it should be fine as long as I apply it carefully right. I don't have time to go too slowly considering the bleeding but I don't want to make the injury any worse either.
The best method I could think of is to slowly pour it onto the wound directly before beginning to try and apply the bandages. Luckily, they're already prepared so it shouldn't be too hard to wrap them around the wound.
"Byakuran...Is this your idea of how to treat your allies...?"
I'd mutter to myself, not exactly meaning for anyone else to hear, not that there was anyone who could hear. Despite my question I still couldn't say that I hated them. It was too typical for me to hate and I wasn't exactly some beacon of justice anyway.
They were simply the antagonist of this world, someone who did bad things for one reason or another. I wasn't here to defend this world anyway...but still...
Tch, burning me alive...? Not a bad play against some people, but H2O is made to fight a master of flames after all. A massive wave of high pressure water rises up as I raise my hands into the air and focus. It would stand between the flames, myself, and Mal of course.
My water boils and burns... Very slowly, much slower than any normal water should when faced by powerful supernatural flames. But of course, this water isn't normal itself and it would even be capable of putting out some of the enemy's attack while pushing against the fire and aiming to break through entirely.
If I'm able to break past them or not though, the power and force of this attack would greatly be reduced by my defensive efforts no doubt. If I don't put it out with the massive aquatic force I'd just keep shaping more water between us and trying to block as best I can.
If the attack got past though then a barrage of watery knives which melt down even supernatural or extremely tough defenses upon striking successfully would rush towards the enemy like gunfire.
"I'd call us cautious instead though, given how you talk, we can probably drop the pretenses here.
We don't know where we are or what we're trying to do. All I know is that we want to live and make it through this ordeal !"
As I talk I take a step forward to put Gamma behind me. It seems he's really not comfortable with all this. I never expected him to be like that. He always seemed so bold on the phansite... Thankfully, I'm stupid enough to jump headfirst into shit without thinking. I'll make it so he can escape at least.
I go back into my Ninja job. There's no denying that it has a lot of utility. While I don't have any scrolls or stars I can throw, as those need to be found or bought, I do still have my smoke bombs which are embroidered inside the folds of the clothes. If needed, I can use them to escape with Gamma from this predicament.
"Why don't you tell us what you want. Who knows, maybe we could find a bit of an agreement?
I still want to resolve this peacefully if possible...
I watch Byakuran intently, my gaze growing more and more annoyed as the battle goes on. But as soon as the flames start to rise, I just duck even more behind Tatsuya as he decides to be so kind as to shield me once more.
During all this, I look at my pistols. Hoping that they'd be able to actually do something for once. Something to glow blue. But Byakuran took away our powers as soon as he got here. All I can do as of now is stay behind my aquatic barrier.
"Ugh, I bet that after all this tiring work, this guy won't even be the target that we have to take out."
I utter from behind my cover, glaring intensely behind me to wait for any kind of chance or opportune moment to "strike". Even if those bullets I decided to shoot earlier did basically nothing to help at all.
The maid lets out a low hissing noise as you apply antiseptic on her wounds, but other then that she remains docile against the bed. Your careful application of the bandages stem the flow of blood and the maid recovers enough to gaze at you with fevered eyes.
I-I think you do know me though or at least I know you. At least I know enough to associate you with Narukami ...
Another light hiss is given as the maid tries to shift herself up again in the bed. She barely succeeds and is now angled oddly against the pillow. A weak smile appears with this new predicament.
Damn I really am useless now. I barely know you and myself, but I still remember the other two suited guys that had all the power. It's a shame they left before you guys arrived. I'm sure Byakuran would be quaking in his boots then.
(Toki and Bartz)
I just want the two of you to give me a humorous act before the world ends for like the twelfth time. Is that too much to ask?
The newcomer innocently inquires. With her arms folded across her chest, she picks you and your companion apart with a haughty gaze. Her eyes especially linger on your clothing before she leans against the door leading out.
I don't really want to create another distraction for you two since I already have my hands full with another. Also Byakuran is taking way too long with his fun and games .... so how about this. If you two can somehow make me laugh right now then i'll let you roam about free in the manor. I'll basically leave you alone for the remainder of time this place has left. Which should beeeeeee ...
She momentarily closes her eyes and then reopens them with certainty.
About thirty minutes. Wow your friends really have no idea about the time limit do they. Pretty naughty that you never shared that with them~
The newcomer lightly laughs.
Guess they may have to find out the hard way if you fail to amuse me right here right now. (Kazuya, H20, and Florina)
A hungry tornado of fire meets the defensive capabilities of directed water and the two elements rage against each other with each attempting to cancel out the other. The fire tries to consume from the sides of the water onslaught, but is quickly put out as fast as it can burn. While the water that blocks off the tendrils of fire rapidly turns into steam.
Soon the room is so foggy that visibility has become low and it is difficult to see Byakuran from across the room. The two elements effectively cancel each other out leaving behind a fog so thick that it could either hinder or help you.
While a slash made to Byakuran's torso actually connects and rips out a huge chunk of clothing along with skin. Blood instantly flows from the newly formed wound as Byakuran studies the mark upon his body with a morbid fascination.
I was actually cut.
Is all he says before a small white dragon squirms out from under the sleeve of white coat and elongates its neck to bite at the one that drew blood. Byakuran simply continues to poke at the wound on him as his personal pet enacts instant revenge.
"um.. I feel like there's been a misunderstanding.."
I nervously shift my weight around, running my fingers through my hair and working out a few knots as I take a deep breath and calm myself. I don't really get what they're talking about, but it doesn't really matter.
"L.. Look, I don't know what your deal is. I'm just looking for some guy called Bakugan. You wouldn't have happened to have heard of them, right?"
[It landed...? IT DID!!]
Everyone, he's weak to Physical attacks now! It worked! You know what this mea-!!
[I got distracted, and as such, I couldn't react as fast as I wanted and get hit right on the stomach, making me fall back a meter or two before trying to recover. I simply use the Hinokagutsuchi to push it away, as the light armor should be enough to help me resist the sudden bites. Luckily, close quarter combat is my specialty, so right now, right here, I'm at my best possible position. Still, I have to hold my stomach with my left arm for a moment because I felt like puking. Nothing comes out, but it was scary alright. I, however, manage to notice the position from which that "thing" came from, and so, I know where Byakuran is.]
The fog... I'm right next to him! If you can't see him then follow my voice!!
[I prepare myself to move ahead. My right arm is still in flames, but the flames aren't advancing anymore. Still, they are quickly taking away the protection I have over that arm. Still, I have no time to get rid of them, not when I have this guy right where I want him.]
[I rush at full speed once again in the direction in which I'm sure Byakuran is at, as the fog isn't much of an obstacle right now. Of course, the same could be said about him, but whatever he pulls just won't be enough. This is it, my "Mist Rush"! This move allows me to strike at least two times, and a maximum of four. There is also a 70% chance of causing Daze, which acts similarly like Sleep would, but for a single turn. Which means that if that works, I can potentially lock him out of any action as soon as I hit him!!]
[So it begins. As soon as I'm right in front of his face, I move to his right and give him a quick cut to his left arm.]
[I take a quick step towards my left, right behind him. I make a quick spin from there and go for another slash on his back that should go from the left hip, all the way up the right shoulder.]
[I aim the blade diagonally towards his feet. This time, I'm cutting open his right Achilles tendon.]
[Indeed, my aim there was to cut into his right leg so deep that he would not be able to use that feet ever again. I have no idea if Daze will go through, but all I know is that I need to take my distance. I take quite a few quick step backs, enough so I can react to any attack he throws at me. Lucky, he became weak to Physical attacks, this means I can assault again and again. I was hoping Mist Rush would be all four hits however, I couldn't cut the left tendon. I will have to get used later, after all, all these attacks were done in less than two seconds.]
For a moment I was confused. What was she talking about with knowing me? I...Wait, how many people know me as Narukami actually? Thinking about it most people called me Yu. There was barely anyone who eer refered to me as Narukami.
If they were like us...and knew Kalib and the other armored figure from before...That would mean that this person...
"Sorry to ask when you're in such a state but...does the name Mish mean anything to you?"
I was still worried about the others and knew I needed to find them soon but this was as important right now too. If Mish was here all along then that means they couldn't be the one behind this or that, at very least, things weren't quite that simple.
That kind of insight could be an important clue towards finding out what was going on here.
As I struggled to figure out how to reload two pistols, I immediately notice my already hampered vision from under my shades get foggy, further ruining what eyesight I could have had. The only sound that comes out of me is a mumbled curse word as I just settle with reloading one of my guns. I faced Tatsuya, walking in front of him as I pointed it gun forward.
”It’s clear that Kazuya wants us to attack. Follow this up with something that will actually hurt.”
And without a real warning, a shot in the dark was made. I followed his voice as best as I could, but it’s clear that I probably didn’t really get the full picture. Nonetheless, I backed away a slight bit and then fired again at the ground, unintentionally shooting it in a way that makes it ricochet to where Byakuran might be. In two seconds, I’ve wasted three bullet in hopes that I made a serviceable distraction. Go me.
”I’m certain there’s something we’re forgetting about...”
So... We're kinda fucked I guess? I think I've got a good sense of humor, but it doesn't always click with everyone. Maybe the bard or mime job will help me out here?
I look over to Gamma. It doesn't seem like he'll be telling jokes any time soon... And all the jokes I know are in french. Man we're so fucked.
"Tell me, milady, what then do you enjoy in life? Each person has likes and dislikes. I can't just put on a run off the mill show! If amusing you is our goal, then only the very best will do!"
Stalling for time is the best I can do. I glance at gamma and then at the door in hopes of making him understand that he needs to split and warn the others about this cycle shit.
I then walk up to the lady, and point towards whatever seating there may be in this room.
"How about we take a seat to discuss this? What is your name? "
I'll try to occupy her attention as good as I can.
I'd sigh a bit, something we're forgetting huh... Mal could be right, but there's little to be done for it right now. I'm not willing to rush in too close at the moment, but my clones don't have that issue. A hand rises and from the puddles on the ground two copies of me take shape, they seem more solid than the ones I'd used against Another Para-DX, looking far tougher.
And indeed they'd each rush forward, one coming at the enemy from his left side, the other aiming to slam a kick straight into his back, putting a great deal of energy behind the strike which would not only deal physical harm but also leave his flesh burning away. As for me, I keep on gathering up more energy, preparing to strike out or defend us as needed. My eyes watch closely and wait, just watching to try and figure out what will happen next. As I absently offer Mal a reply in a distracted tone.
"Hopefully this will work, and I can't say I disagree with you on that one Mal... Not much to do about it though, not right now."
(Kazuya, Florina, and H20)
Cause I already won~
A low chuckle emanates through the wispy gray and it transforms into a full blown laugh as the fog parts. Clear vision is restored only to reveal a pure white ball made of various sticky threads that hangs from the near decimated ceiling. Byakuran's laughter comes from within the cocoon like object as vibrant as the time it was first heard. The poor girl revealed to be standing in front of the white ball doesn't partake in the mirth and simply collapses in a bloody heap.
The girl ...
Yuni rests in a puddle of her own blood with her back, left arm, and right tendon slashed through. Her vacant eyes attempt to stare up at the one who attacked her. Though they just as quickly close once the additional effects of the flurry of attacks seemingly force her to pass out.
The chime of a grandfather clock is heard in the distance signaling the hour.
The room around starts to crumble to pieces around you.
Ricocheted bullets pierce the white ball and a tinge of red instantly drips beneath it.
The clones break the outer threads revealing Byakuran's prone form and pleased eyes.
Yet, too little too late as everything fades to black. (Toki and Bartz)
The maid listlessly swings her legs at the lame response to her request. With a tired voice she answers the two particularly uninteresting questions presented to her.
His name is Byakuran say it with me now ... Bya - kuuu - rann and yeah I happen to know him. Im working with him right now as we speak. The name is Ayano by the by but soon enough you'll just know me as your enemy.
Ayano catches the conspiratorial gazes, but makes no fuss over it. Instead she wraps her red scarf an extra time around her head and only speaks again when the chime of a grandfather clock can be heard.
Well times up "heroes". See you in the next cycle of this and next time please come up with some actual jokes~
Ayano opens the door that she once came through and exits as sudden as she came.
The room then fades to black.
The maid frowns at you with confusion apparent in her face.
Never heard of that name before ... feels oddly familiar though.
The maid rests back on the bed.
My name is Ayano. Please remember it in case I end up forgetting that too. See I have a little trouble with names an ....
Ayano is cut off by the chime of a grandfather clock and her frown sinks into a grimace.
Guess we are out of time Narukami. Next time you should pick the gun.
Ayano closes her eyes and slips into the realm of dreams .
The room then fades to black. (Everyone)
The room lights up and a Germanic ballad hangs in the air.
When you come to you find that you are in the antechamber you originally started in and a large gathering of people are around you once again.
The masks and fancy clothes are the same.
The same statues stare at you with frozen gazes.
The banners of various mafia families gently sway from the walls.
and the light peals of the fountain are once again consumed by the chattering of jubilant people.
It is as if nothing you did before ever happened.
Around you are the companions you first entered this life with.
(edited by Raconteur)
As I find myself in the room once more, I start to feel something. De ja vu. Nostalgia? Either way, I'm actually extremely mad. And also grateful...in a sense. At least it wasn't some bullshit where we immediately failed and died for our mission going too slow just because the clock struck 12. Or whatever time it is.
"I knew it. I was correct. My god."
I dust my skirt off, humming a song as I felt extremely elated. My eyes are closed as I smile at all of my companions, the ends of my mouth noticeably twitching just like my left eyelid. One open palm out in the air, I start to lightly clap for everyone as they...gain back their senses. Even giggling like a little rich bitch.
"Ah, it seems like we've done it! Oh hoh, we've really done it this time, haven't we? How marvelous! I'm in a very placid mood! My disposition is at a plethora of the utmost convenience!"
Of course, in order not to cause a scene, I'm making it a priority to be as quietly passive-aggressive as I can be. Incessantly humming the same tune, the only face I can make is pure bliss as I tilt my head at my compadres, same smile plastered on my face. Of course it is the only thing I feel like doing. Making a plan up is for wusses. You need to vent your frustration first before your mind can be calm and collected.
(edited by FL0R1NA)
[I fall to the ground, defeated as I realize I struck Yuni down and not Byakuran. I only come back to my sense once I realize we are back where we started. I think I hurt someone who didn't deserve it. I did, didn't I? The bastard managed to slip away within the mist. I hold him head with my right hand and notice that the green jacket is back once more, but I can't shake off the feeling. I need to really think this through, quickly.]
[That's all I'm able to say, that was all of it. My stomach feels heavy, but I decide to look around. We are all together once more, and that means...that if I remember all of it, that then must too. What I need to do is to ask them what the hell happened, to give me their sides, their information. I use right sleeve to rub both of my eyes and stand up. I clear my throat and immediately turn to the group.]
Forget about the people surrounding us for the moment, we need to put the pieces together right away. Tatsuya, Mal and I ran into a white-haired guy called "Byakuran", who I believe is our target. He seems to have illusion-based powers, not to mention the capacity to create great fires, and use wings that, once taken care off, become black appendices-like masses that deal some really harsh physical damage and change forms.
I couldn't pinpoint his motivation but... he used a girl to receive an attack intended for him. Which means he can create fakes of himself.
He should be at the other side of this room; you all should remember the only white-haired guy.
[I'm already cooking up a plan in my head, but I have to listen to what they may add to this. For now, I need to concentrate only on this, I can lament my actions later on.]
We met a guy with electric foxes, Gamma, who seemed to be very protective of the blue haired girl, Yuni. As far as I'm aware, he knows the most of Byakuran out of anyone else we've met. In fact, he told us he can see different possibilities of the future... despite this, I managed to land a nasty cut on his stomach when we faced him, not to mention Tatsuya's water. So, this ability may not be all that. Still, you all must be aware.
[I put on the scouter and start looking around my now fully functional COMP, and decide to wait before pressing the "Enter" key to summon Pixie. She should be able to go move much more easily once I decide to summon her.]
I'm thinking we make up a group and lure Gamma...well, I will call him "Gam" from now on.
Gam should show up once Yuni is in trouble, but whatever happens, and unless necessary, we need to stay together.
Byakuran showed up out of nowhere right before Gam said something important to us, so our objective right now is to learn even more, so we can properly take care of this guy as swiftly as possible. I... first thought that we should rush him, but considering the illusions, it may not even be him.
[I realize I had been talking a lot and giving plenty of information in a short amount of time. I clear my throat once more and look at the rest of the group. I cross my arms before finishing with all I had in mind.]
I need you guys to tell me everything you know and your current status, especially you Gamma with your time spells.
What I just shared is an idea, to lure him out and quickly get every piece of info we can possibly use. But Byakuran worries me. He might show up again.
This was a bit of a headache or at least it would be if the flames that had latched onto me weren't still driving me forward. I had to stop myself from correcting Kaz on a few occasions as it felt like he was jumping to too many conclusions before hearing everything else.
"Kaz, slow down. I already know Byakuran well. I had a conversation with him before I got a little lost.
Those illusions aren't his doing either, at least I don't think. He has a...servant? I'm not sure what they were. Their image was flickering in and out and they had a strange collar-like device around their neck.
They seemed to be what was making illusions for Byakuran when I was talking with him. Rather nasty illusions too that seemed to be capable of killing people."
I was trying to go over what I knew in my head slowly. Everything seemed to happen so fast when I tried to look back. There was still one thing, I wanted to get it out before anything else, it was the best way to avoid any fighting later.
"There's...also something I need to talk to you alone about Kaz. Sorry to everyone else but it's something I feel only you should hear about for the moment."
Apart from that there was also the description of Byakuran's ability to see into other worlds. That seemed to be what he called his mind-reading. Didn't Byakuran get that somewhat wrong though? He called me Quintus...not even Yu or Narukami like the maid did. Could that be some sort of oversight of his ability?
“Oh, that’s perfectly fine! You grown adults can go ahead and discuss adult things while the rest of us wait!”
I say, my sarcasm at it’s last slip of patience before my eye starts twitching again out of pure frustration. This is way too much time spent on just trying to kill someone. Again! Even if time had been turned back, that doesn’t make me any less mad then I am. After waiting for a few seconds for Yu and Kazuya to go ahead and find somewhere to play with themselves I take the hat on my head and do an extremely high pitched girly scream. At least it was muffled.
“Jesus fucking Christ it wasn’t supposed to take this long. I just want to go home but this mission is a waste of time I don’t want to go through again. Which is why I’m going to start pretending I’m being smart here and now.”
I say, practically almost hyperventilating before I catch a long breath and glance back at Gamma. Or uh, my fellow anime girl. With only one eyebrow raised at Tatsuya which basically asked for permission whether I can talk to him in the state I’m in, whatever silent answer he threw my way didn’t matter to me. Either way I just walked up to Gamma calmly and started to speak once more.
“You. You and that clown over there went separate pathways from us, right? And because of that, I’m assuming that you at least saw something? Something that isn’t Byakuran head ass for god’s sake? I’d be extremely pissed if he’s actually our target because that white haired bitch is the most boring thing to ever exist and his stupid powers are a droll for me. Please tell me you two found someone that might be our target instead of him.”
Quiet begging. Or what I want it to be, a chance at presenting a good idea that won’t be dismissed easily. I’ve done practically nothing at this point. I at least want to be able to point the team in the right direction. If nothing else at least successfully punch someone’s face in. I don’t have the patience for anything else. And I don’t have the patience to potentially cause a scene in front of these rich bitches.
Doing my best to ignore Florina's temper tantrum, I speak up on behalf of Gamma and myself:
"Yuu's right. I'm pretty sure the illusions were Byaku's servent's doing. She named herself Ayano to us. Gamma also seemed to have found some info indicating that Byakuran was indeed the target. Speaking of which..."
I turn towards my compadre:
"Do you still have that ring I gave you? Or did it disappear when time reset itself?"
If we keep on our person whatever we find, we could probably use that to our advantage.
As time shifts around me, I’d vaguely feel the flow as it returns to where we were at the start. Typical, but at least it proves that the time limit was correct.
I let out a sigh and begin speaking with a curt, businesslike tone
Liam and I found two things, first.
I would take out the pocketwatch that I received earlier and present it to the group
“This’ll help us keep track of how long we have. Everything resets af midnight. Second.”
I bring out the ring Liam found, though I don’t know anything about it hiding it’s presence to our leader would have been meaningless anyways
“Liam found this ring, not that it means anything to me but he sure seems to care about it. As for my status.”
I close my eyes for a second, we were still somewhat tired, the loop seeming to have done nothing to my previous exertion
“I have one time spell left. So we’ll want to use it only when we’re sure of our target. Once the target is confirmed and found, I can kill them without letting them fight back. No saving throws.”
I don’t give Mal any mind. They can take care of themselves, for now all that matters is the mission, then we can all get home
“As Liam mentioned, our target is likely Byakuran, though all I did was ask about the most influential person here, on that point we seem to agree.”
[I take a deep breath as I do my best to put my general feelings regarding this entire situation in the backburner. For now, I need to listen more and think of what we'll do next less. We have some time.]
What is it, Yu?
Does it have to do with the other person trapped in here?
[I say as I get closer to him just so the others don't really have to listen, but this is the only reason I can imagine he would want only me to know. Anything else would have been public knowledge. I already feel my stomach going all weird. What a good day this has been.]
After being rudely ignored, something in me just started to click. “Stop complaining”. Maybe I should. Though thank whatever watches us in the sky that it was me saying it, because if it was someone else I was actually going to snap. Nonetheless, I take out my phone, taking a selfie with Gamma and Liam in the background, and my portrait smile taking up most of the space. As I caption the photo for some arbitrary reason, I start to talk to myself.
“You know, I should stop contradicting myself every two minutes. Two minutes ago I was so elated to be here but now I can’t help but shoot some kindergarteners. Oh Tatsuya!”
I say with excessive glee, basically fluttering towards the Kamen rider that acted as my stalwart shield. My eyelashes were batting up and down as I repetitively blinked towards him in order to both look more appealing to converse with and to hold back some tears from flowing out my pretty anime girl eyes.
“I can’t help but notice that I’m looking like I’m going through a mental breakdown. I just want to talk with people for once in a lifetime...that being said, you probably think that Byakuran’s still our target, right? I feel like I’m the only one who’s thinking otherwise. Mostly because I don’t feel like fighting something that hits me with a straight nerf. It’s infuriating.”
I stare on at the scene before me, not entirely sure what to even do with it... Ultimately, Kaz's concerns seem entirely valid to me, given Gamma's lack of resources we do need to be sure of our target, and while I suspect it to be white-hair I want to know more. I'd respond to Kaz in a somewhat tired, but mostly annoyed tone. Though that annoyance is clearly not aimed towards anyone here.
"Well, I can say for a fact that I'm doing mostly okay. My armor doesn't have spell slots or anything, and I haven't been doing anything too beyond the pale for the state I was using. I'm good to go whenever we know who to go for, and how of course."
There is the fact we'll be murdering someone too here, in the heat of a fight shooting to kill was one thing... But standing here just thinking about it, a plot to end a life is quite something else in my head. For now though, I actually speak to Mal. Maybe I can be of some use to them, god knows it looks like they need someone to speak with.
"My guess is white-hair to be sure Mal, yeah. But I ain't about to say anything for certain off of limited info like I've got now... We need to be sure it's even really him we fight and not a trick, for one. But yeah I get where you're coming from, I'd be pretty pissed if my belt stopped working entirely. "
I'd drawl out in a hopefully friendly and vaguely southern American voice, it's fairly faint to be sure, but I do use it every now and then without noticing, like when I'm too focused on other things than my words.
I wasn't quite sure how to explain what I had witnessed. Where to even begin? Perhaps I should just get to the point and explain everything else after I told Kaz the most important bit.
"I met a girl here when I was on my own. It was after I spoke to Byakuran. I wasn't feeling to well so he sent me off with a strange maid. That maid offered me something but that's not as important as what happened afterwards.
I remember trying to find you guys but I ended up in a strange room instead. I believe it was an illusion of some kind. I was holding a knife and the girl was bleeding out. I gave her medical attention with some bandages nearby which is when things started getting weird.
She called me...Narukami. There isn't many people who call me that...Not only that but she seemed to know me but even she wasn't sure how.
I decided to...ask her if the name Mish was familiar and she said it was but that her memories were lost. I assume her soul had been corrupted almost to the point of losing herself completely...Byakuran probably was the one to do it considering where we are. I...don't know if it was Mish but they at least seemed to know them. They even made reference to Kalib and the other armored figure that was probably Nigor...Which means...this might've been the last world they visited too. The world that made them...the way they were."
I was having a hard time myself even registering what I was saying. I didn't want to believe it but that was the most likely the case. Did that really mean though that all of our other friends were...gone?
I'd direct my attention to everyone else now. There were other things to discuss but I wanted to make sure everyone was involved in this conversation first.
"As for planning against Byarkuran...I have something I want to say about that as well."
I carelessly toy with my dagger as I listen to Quin's story. It wasn't particularly interesting, as far as stories go, but it might prove useful so I at least make sure to pay attention to it. It actually sounded a bit like a dream, but that didn't really matter. Everything was like a dream here so its nothing new. I let out a sigh and make a quick remark once their story was over
"That just means we can't fail. Easy enough. Whatever their problem is doesn't affect our mission."
I let out a sigh and give the others a chance to chime in. Not that it really mattered though. I'm mostly awaiting some kind of orders. I vaguely considered moving ahead but I was the one to suggest having a leader so ignoring them would be counterproductive.
[It made sense. Mish and I two years ago decided to make it a point to refer to Yu as "Narukami" during voice calls. It was way easier that way, but she stuck with it. Even then, I don't remember if she did it prior to that...UGH! What am I even thinking about? It's obvious it's her, especially if we already saw characters belonging to her running around, not to mention that one guy mentioned the third person still trapped inside of this world. Whatever happens, I'm thinking we should somehow rescue her? There's gotta be a way, right? And even if it wasn't Mish, they need help.]
Thanks Yu, I got it.
[I would take a brief moment to breath before turning to see the rest of the group. I would cross my arms and close my eyes. I know Yu has important information we can use, but I need to think about what has already been given to us. First of all, Gamma has but one Time Spell left, so that will be key to taking Byakuran down, who we can all quite easily agree is our target. Liam found a ring, which proves we can keep what we get from each loop, he also said-]
Liam, did that girl have brown hair? What about a red scarf? Maybe red clips on her hair?
Yu, I know you met someone too. I need to know, since they could be the same person if the physical appearances match!
[If this is what I think it is, then it could be Ayano from Kagerou Project, which means it might as well be Mish. This is all a simple thought, however. More importantly...]
Tell me about that ring too, how did you get it?
[Next is compiling the information regarding Byakuran.]
So... he doesn't create the illusions himself, but even then, we have no absolute confirmation. We saw him do it without any clear aid, but you guys saw another person assisting him, which can mean that either he does it himself, this other person does it, or maybe both can.
I believe we must find out for sure before taking Byakuran out, just so we know we aren't making any mistake.
As I said before, we met a guy who knows quite a bit. So I say we need to go pay him a visit in order to get any extra information on our target.
[After this, I would clear my throat and make a gesture towards Yu. We need all the info we know by now out, so we can make a decent plan out of what we have. It is possible after all that, if we run out of time, we may be in here for a third time. That's all speculation however.]
"Brown hair and a red scarf, yeah. She kinda reminds me of a character from a song I heard a long time ago.
Anyway, I got the ring while looking for Gamma and Yuu. Some guy in the hall dropped it and I thought it could be useful to keep it. I didn't want to risk throwing away something that could have been important."
My hands caress my chin, a reflex of when I was still myself, bearded. Bartz doesn't seem to have any facial hair whatsoever... A shame really.
"So what's the plan then? Do we split up again? Or stick together to go see "our target" "
This was as good of a response as I was going to get, huh? Well, might as well get it out of the way now.
"Here's my plan...
There shouldn't be a normal plan. If Byakuran's ability is really to see into other worlds then long term planning will fail. That is of course, assuming his power works in the way it seems to. I actually got a glimpse of it when I first met with him.
He tried to guess my name before meeting with me and well...Actually, he got it wrong. He called me Quintus rather than Yu. That can mean a few things. Firstly, there's a chance his ability doesn't work perfectly with us since we're all from another reality completely. His power might be a lot more limited with us in general. The second thing it could mean is that he intentionally did that knowing I'd overthink it and end up discussing it with the rest of you later. Finally, it could simply have been a fluke and nothing more.
Since I have no solid proof of the first reasoning I think it'd be dangerous to assume that therefore I think there's only two real type of plans that could work on Byakuran. Either we need to do something with an equal chance to backfire as it is to work or we need to make a plan that he'd willingly go along with.
Let me just say that the second one might be the only way to get more info out of that Gamma guy. There's a chance that if Byakuran will simply kill him again before he can say anything if his power were to allow him to tell whether we're talking to Gamma.
The best way to do that...would be to send someone to Byakuran that...he'd be entertained for an extended amount of time with...Considering my last encounter with him, I might be a candidate for that...
I also think a point should be made to track down and get rid of his illusionist as well. I'm not sure how illusions in this world work aside from messing with your senses so I'm not sure who could do that effectively."
"Finally something useful."
I let out a sigh, sheathing my dagger once more as I insert myself back into the conversation. All these maybes and what ifs were starting to get annoying, but now I had a goal I could focus on. An easy one too, so long as I can find my target. For now I cross my arms and look down
"One of the necessary powers in my time magic includes the ability to see someone's spirit, soul, whatever you want to call it. I have to sense and "latch onto" it so to speak so that I can manipulate the flow of time around them. In other words depending on the nature of their illusions I might be able to see through it. At the very least I've got a bit more weight than anyone else here that I can tell."
finally, I look up at the others, mostly to Kaz since he's our de facto leader for now, but also to Yu, who's seen my new target before
"Point me to this illusionist of yours and I'll eliminate them without question."
I see. From what you say, we may then have three different targets here. First one is Byakuran as the guy we must stop; next up is the illusionist who is also called Ayano, who I think we can safely say is Mish, for now at least; finally, we have Gamma, or "Gam", so we don't confuse him with our own "princess". He is our biggest asset in terms of information regarding Byakuran and what he can do, and maybe how we can properly take him down.
[I put my hands inside my pocket and look down. I'm fairly certain that this "Ayano" is Mish, and as I know her the most out of anyone here, I should be the one to deal with her. However, this would make it all too personal. There's also Gam we've got to deal with, and we must make sure he will be willing to speak without a fight, so we don't waste any time. Yuni is key for this, as we need to save her and lure the guy out.]
No matter how I look at it, we are not ready to confront Byakuran himself as we stand. Too many variables are up in the air and we can't afford to make any mistake as soon as we go for him.
With that in mind, Narukami, you are right. You may be our best bet at keeping him distracted while we work from the shadows.
Gamma do not use your Time Spells under any circumstances. Trust me, Byakuran is a tough bastard so we'll need it for him once the time is right.
Tatsuya, I believe that you are the best one equipped to counter Gam's own powers if it ever comes to that, not to mention the guard taking Yuni into that big hall and the demon creature.
Liam, because that battle is rather rough and it requires some initiative, but also talking skills, I need you to go with Tatsuya. The reason I say this is because...
Mal, you are simply too vulnerable to direct attacks, and I can't have you dying or have Tatsuya act constantly as a shield, that's why you are coming with me.
[I would take my right hand out of my pocket and lift three fingers.]
Gamma, Mal and I will be a team. Our task is to go look and deal with this "Illusionist", Ayano. I say that Gamma should come because he has seen her before if he was with Liam to begin with, and so would also know how to lure her out, or where she is. Mal is coming because where Tatsuya and Liam are going is bound to become into an arena. So, it's too risky.
Yu, I hate to put you into this position, but I believe that no one here can properly distract Byakuran like you, as you already had a talk with him. You should try to put your theories and his powers to the test if you find an opening.
Finally, Tatsuya and Liam are the most capable and resistant fighters in here, so they should go to where we found Yuni, the demon-mask and Gam. Tatsuya already knows what happened there and Liam, given he has the will, am pretty sure can be an effective negotiator. Remember Gam isn't an enemy, but an ally. You need to find out everything you can about Byakuran in terms of powers and limitations, and how those work and that its source is. That should be the confirmation we need in order to properly make an attack plan.
If I got any detail wrong or if there are any objections, now's the time to speak. I have more ideas in my head, and I can adapt them no matter what you guys throw me, and that goes for team composition too. But above all, we need more information before we face this fucker.
I saw that coming. It just made the most sense. I felt as though I didn't have to be nervous at least confronting Byakuran given the black substance driving me forward, still, there was a chance this could go horribly.
There was one detail I needed to correct Kazuya on though.
"Ayano? No, not sure what her position in this is. The one who Byakuran used to conjure those illusions was someone named Mukuro. They were a teen male with odd purple smoke around them and a presence that seemed to fade in and out.
There was another person with Byakuran who summoned Mukuro via some strange device...Zakuro, I think? You'll probably need to find them first."
"First things first, we're done with the princess stuff."
I let out a sigh and shake my head, glaring daggers at Mal, as she was the one who started it again, though I cringed a little when Kazuya mentions it too. It wasn't a nice memory, just a scene of past incompetence so the sooner we can move on the better.
Next, since Ayano has become important all of a sudden, it was likely worthwhile for me to provide my own little profiling of her, though its really secondhand information, it would be plenty easy for me to begin talking rapidly as the gears in my head start spinning
"Ayano is our other potential target. When Liam and I encountered her she mentioned being bored with us, not really suspicious in and of itself. Its what she said afterwards that's interesting."
I look back up at the rest of the group as I continue my little explanation
"She said if we weren't more entertaining in this second loop she might 'turn this show into a tragedy'. Implying she held significant weight here. In addition, Kagerou Project has time loops as a major part of its plot, and considering what's happening its possible that she brought that part over with her. Something about uniting all the eye snakes or something. Either way it might be worthwhile for us to attempt to kill her first just to see what happens."
With my own analysis done, I simply close my eyes and cross my arms, waiting for us to finally move out
"That's all I have to add, I don't have any problems with teaming as long as you can think of some name other than 'princess' to call me. Next person to say that's losing an eye."
I cast a deathly serious glare back up at the others, just waiting to see who would try to test me
"Y'aint lying. Oh great, now I'm speaking like the kids at my school. God, now I'm homesick. Ugh. Thanks Tatsuya...you're making me miss home. I want to go home. Sigh, I'm going to take my phone out and play a game or something."
As I tapped my phone at what was basically lightspeed for my fingers, I listened carefully to the plan being told to us, peeking my head out sometimes. Though as soon as my name was called, I stumbled before putting my phone away.
"What again? Oh yeah right, we're supposed to be doing something. Uhhhhh, yeah no objections here, I like this team."
And I'm also deadweight. Fun. He got that right at least. Though now I get to be with my fellow anime girl, how ironic! As we get put in our team compositions, I wave goodbye to Tatsuya, giggling slightly. Somehow, I did it exactly like a high school girl would. In all seriousness though, I'd only return Gamma's dagger-eyed glare with an innocent looking but extremely smug girl like you see from high school bullies.
"Gamma! Hi. It was me earlier that came up to you like a California girl trying not to get caught taking a shower and do her laundry on the same day. Hope you know that, tee-hee!"
That girly pretend laugh at the end I thought was cute quickly turned into me accidentally stomping the ground with my heel, and I took my phone out to start texting in hopes that I forget the pain quickly. Out of all the supposed "girls" here, at least I could say I'm best at acting like one. What a thing to be proud of.
"Oh yeah, and by the way, your contribution on the give or take was alright. I agree too. Whoever the girl is, I'd be glad to drill a hole into her with a plastic spoon."
[I feel a bit disappointed, but logic is my deciding factor. Ayano will have to wait for now, since Yu's word is more valuable regarding illusionists.]
Alright, we'll go with Yu to talk to Byakuran and be witness to what he can do when it's not a fight, but more importantly... we are going there to observe this "Zakuro" guy.
Really, we'll be a distraction while Liam and Tatsuya get the information we need.
Once they are done, we'll retreat and make a plan to deal with Byakuran himself. For now, keep in mind that if, for any reason, Byakuran teleports or we lose sight of him, and Zakuro or Mukuro are there, we'll deal with them both or learn what we can.
Also, do not use our "real" names. I'm simply Kazuya Yasuo, as Yu is simply Quintus, or Liam is Bartz.
[The irony of my nickname is also the name of my character. I have no way to hide my identity. At the very least, he would never say my real, actual name. I would hope at least. I do need to address Gamma.]
For the record, having two guys around named the same will create confusion, so I did say that, for us to call you Gamma, the other guy has to be known as "Gam". Anyways...
[I meditate the information for a moment. Confirmation that this girl may actually be important is obvious by now, but the thing that doesn't fit is that Ayano is not from whatever this series is, but from Kagerou Project.]
She's an outsider just like us. Because I may not know about this place at all, but I know plenty of Kagepro, so it's clear she's the elephant in the room.
Furthermore, we've met already two characters belonging to her, and even know everyone trapped in here has been known ones from Phansite. Using what Yu said too, and what she said, which should be out of character for "Ayano"...
This is the last person we are looking for. This is Mish, trapped within this world like we are.
Which means that...I can't afford to have her be killed.
[I keep my eyes closed, that's all I will say about that.]
If she talked about a second loop, then it's safe to assume there could be more, which means we may have another try after this one if things don't go our way.
Another thing that bothers me is what Yu said, which clashes with what Gamma and Liam are saying. Yu "attacked" this girl but was fine with you two, which implies they happened at different times, but I'm willing to bet they happened all at once, considering the nature of this world.
This is all just ideas however, I can't exactly back up my claims in any way, other than point at certain patterns we've all already experienced...
[An idea comes to me.]
Everyone, if you have any kind of way to see the time, synchronize it with the watch Gamma was given. I will adjust the time in my COMP with it so, whatever happens at any time, we can have a registry of what's happening at what time. This way, even if we all meet the same person at a certain point, we will be able to truly take care of any inconsistency.
I'm fairly certain most of you should have a phone at least, since our characters are pretty much open with that kind of thing.
[I would gesture towards Gamma so he can show us the time, and so, we can take note of it.]
We'll have to improvise and adapt on the fly a lot with this plan. So, you guys ready to go?
This "Starting Room" is our rendezvous point.
Right, there was one more thing toii quickly add on.
"Liam, that ring, have you tried putting it on or anything? Considering the nature of this world it might do something for you. If you're not gonna try to wear it I will. I kind of like to collect random magic souvenirs. "
Of course, I thought it would be better to leave it with Liam anyway but it seemed wasteful not to at least see if anything would happen.
"Fine, suit yourself."
I begrudgingly note as I bring out the pocketwatch. I'd show it to everyone to allow anyone who wants to adjust their own time as I breathe out an irritated sigh. With some people there simply wasn't any reasoning. Kaz would likely only get defensive if I brought up the obvious, so for now I'll simply follow his lead. I can simply stab the girl in the back later if need be.
The hands of the open pocket watch reveal that it is a little before nine.
Extravagantly dressed people sway with the German ballad hanging in the air, but some pick up on your group's curious murmurings as they pass by. In a matter of minutes your group is encircled by a swath of masked faces as more and more party goers are lured in by your clandestine chatting. Some particularly brave souls even position themselves within arm distance to watch the mannerisms displayed by either you or the others.
They seem to think that you and your group are conducting some kind of show. If the low whispers passed between the masked are any indication.
[I would go through the COMP's settings to modify the time so that it's in line with the one of this world. I consider doing the same for Kazuya's phone but...eh, what the hell, just in case the COMP gets shut down like before.]
Alright, we are attracting way too much attention and last time that only got us in more trouble.
Tatsuya and Liam, you guys take the right and go where Yuni was taken to, Tatsu here should remember well how to deal with that. Remember to get as much info as you can on this guy.
The rest of us will go with Yu to meet Byakuran for now; Mal, Gamma and I will keep an eye on the illusions and figure a way out to stop them while Yu humors the white-haired fuck, although we may need to improvise plenty.
[I have Pixie on the ready to be summoned and we all should be ready.]
[I would decide to move forward and ask for the attendees to please let me go through. I don't need more attention that's needed, so I simply move towards the gate that will leads us to the next room, with the full intent of opening it.]
I took a peek at the watch before choosing to synchronize the time in order for it to match. Other than that, I have nothing else to keep track of except keep count of how many times somebody tries to save me. Woop di doo, time to play some games on my phone.
"Oh, right. Yeah I was trying not to make a scene but these, ahem, lovely fellows are spectating anyway. How delightful."
My hat's already on my head, all I need to do is let my shades cover my eyes and I'm basically good to go. I give a thumbs up to Kaz and then wave the rest of the group goodbye with the type of princess waves you see on disney movies. And that same wave is exchanged with those that might be wasting their time looking at us.
"Right behind you, dad."
I say sarcastically, this time just deciding to stay quiet as I let myself be adjutant to Kazuya, practically latching myself onto him like a backpack. Sometimes, I choose to let loose a glance back at Gamma, but most of the time I decide looking at my phone is a better alternative.
"Yeah yeah, I've got it."
I let out a bit of a sigh as I follow after Kaz. The extras didn't bother me in any way, so I wouldn't bother with them. For now there wasn't anything to do but follow orders, as expected
Normally, this kind of plan might make me feel uncomfortable or nervous but there was none of that now. I would nod back to Kaz before moving as well. My only concern is wether or not Byakuran would react first.
"I expect there to be plenty of improvising. In fact, I doubt things will go at all how we planned but that's according to plan as well."
I'd nod to that, the plan seems sound enough all things considered...
"Aye, I can handle that issue well enough. I'll explain anything about that one you wanna know Liam, least that I can anyways, come on."
Indeed, I can offer up... Some advice on what we're going into. Might as well make myself useful during the time we have while getting over there right? Nothing to lose doing that, and enough to gain that I'll give it a shot.
"So... Get as much dirt as I can. Gotcha. I can probably do that. "
I preemptively switch to my bard job. With a bit of luck, my music will capture their hearts.
"Is there anything I should know about? You mentioned the room would turn into an arena after all..."
I turn to Yuu
"About the ring, Gamma has it right now. There's a guy that drops his ring in the other room if you want one for yourself. He might just drop it again."
Surely cloning items won't break anything here.
The disappointment among the masked crowd is palpable as you and the rest ignore them in your hasty exit.
Once you cross the door to leave, you are met with the same exact ballroom that you encountered before. Masked ladies and gentleman dance around as if it were the first time they had done so as onlookers imbibe themselves on the finest wines. Yet, instead of a live band the music is now offered by a wizened old man on a grand piano. There are also more people occupying the center floor for dancing rather than entertaining themselves with the banquet.
Two stairways connect the balcony you are on to either elevated side of the room. As masked guests nearby make their way down additional stairways connected to these sides to reach the dance floor which is the lowest tier of the room. The elevated sides also reach across the room to another white marble balcony with an open air veranda behind it.
This balcony is right across from the one you are currently on and on it are plenty of people that appear to be a little more focused than the rest. A striking young man with pure white hair languidly hangs over the partition of this balcony. However, sitting right beside this young man is a waif-like, blunette that is actively engaging the man in conversation. The two loudly laugh after a humorous joke and this scares the guests around them to laugh as well.
While along the side hallways are the entrances to paths that were once taken before.
The tiny door where servants bustle in and out is also present at the right hand corner of the room.
(edited by Raconteur)
"So uhhh.... Where do we go now, tatsy ? "
In from a reddish light [i]Jigor Appears[/i] "Hello I love eat, What are you guys doing"
[I would take a deep breath with a sense of joy as we simply get passed the people who dared shoot us before. Now, the real fun begins. I won't even address Mal's words just now, because I won't give him the satisfaction, and besides, it made me feel bad, yikes.]
Alright guys this is it, try to keep calm whatever happens.
Yu, I'll follow your lead for now. You now Byakuran better in a "casual" sense, I just know more regarding how he fights.
I clapped my hands twice in an awkward manner, a clear gap in between. After looking at Gamma, and then at Yu, I take out my phone and make sure that people forget about me.
"Yeah totally, I'm following."
Normally, I feel as though I'd hesitate at this moment. I was about to face someone terrifying for the second time now. There was no doubt in my mind that Byakuran already knew we were coming. Yet, something already was bugging me...who was the girl with him. She wasn't there before. Things were already different, that much was unavoidable but was this because Byakuran was already adapting to us.
There was no point contemplating it, I didn't have the time or desire to keep contemplating.
"Keep some distance. I don't want Byakuran to feel like we're getting ready to attack. Try to watch through the crowds until things look like they're getting dicey."
I'd approach Byakuran's location. If I was able to simply reach him I'd wait for him to take notice. It might be a bad idea to interrupt his conversation with the girl directly.
Jigor wants to help but Jigor feels like sending people to rehab more than he wants to help people in this world...
“Yeah yeah whatever.”
I let out a sigh and make sure to keep my distance, checking the pocketwatch as we weave our way through the crowd. It seemed like this was going to take a while so I may as well get used to it. As much as I’d’vd liked to start playing with knives I get the feeling that might count as “getting ready to attack” so I resist
I'd keep on moving, heading towards the room we had found Gam in earlier while speaking to Liam.
"Just follow me, we'll have to improv if he isn't there... Now hopefully we can just chat and learn more about Bakugan. The real trick is that girl, Yuni. Gam is pretty focused on protecting her so if we convince him helping us helps that it'll work out. Otherwise, then no way he gives us anything..."
I'd just keep looking around absently while moving forward. Wondering how things will go horribly wrong this before absently staring at the phone clock I had also matched with the others earlier.
so we need to convince someone we're allies. That sounds doable.
"do we know anything about that yuni?"
You descend a flight of stairs to the right of the balcony and enter a thin hallway packed with intoxicated revelers. Almost immediately you find yourself being pushed and shoved between people sloppily dancing to the piano's melody. A few even spill their drinks as they move about staining the pure white hallway with red as the air is saturated with the scent of wine. At some points your companions are right beside you while at others they are a few paces forward or a few paces back. Resulting in a hastily made conga line moving against the natural current of the party.
Along the way you pass an arched ceiling opening to a hallway with a garden at the end. If you stop for a moment you would lose sight of your companions, but you would see a brown haired girl in uniform approaching Gamma at the end of the hallway. Yet, if you continue you would not notice this sight and would eventually reach the far side balcony.
You and any other companion still around would then find yourselves waiting on the steps leading up to the actual balcony where Byakuran rests. From that location you would pick up snippets of conversation without being in direct view just yet.
Byaku when are we actually gonna get to play something tonight. This stuffy party is soo boring and all the adults are drunk already. This sucks humph!
The young girl next to Byakuran states before puffing out her cheeks in frustration. Byakuran merely smiles at her antics before looking toward the crowd. With a playful tone he readily quips.
Patience Bell i'm sure something will happen soon enough to entertain you. The night is young and I heard that so many people are rearing to mess things up~ It'll be fun you'll see~
The young girl called Bell continues to huff about not really taking into account Byakuran's reassurances. She starts to blow on her bangs to amuse herself as her feet kick out at an increasingly frantic pace.
[Bell? That's a new name. I know nothing about this...who could have ever guessed that watching anime or reading manga would save one's own life later down the line. Whatever is the case, this is Yu's turn to act. For now, I can only lay low and wait for whatever happens.]
Guys, relax and act normal. Simply pay attention to any detail.
[I would tell Gamma and Mal for the moment, as we are to wait for Yu to approach. I cross my arms and press my back against the wall looking at the rest of the party but focusing my own hearing towards the general direction of Byakuran. From this distance, I will also be able to look at the group from time to time and not raise any suspicion, not to mention I won't have any issue listening to anything they say...unless the whisper, in such a case I'm pretty much screwed. Fingers crossed, let's hope things go alright.]
I'm still just following Danksuya. He ought to know where to go.
While I did really feel like trying to take a bit of a solo detour and see what was up everywhere else instead of following en route, I feel as though our leader would not like that one bit. No siree, it would be truly awful if they came to look for me instead of trying to complete this mission.
I say quietly as I'm still looking down at my phone. No earbuds though, that would be stupid. Still, how helpful of me.
There was no time to hesitate, I'd move towards the balcony where Byakuran was. I had no idea yet how he would react. It seemed his conversation with the girl had ended so I'd speak up as I approached.
"Byakuran...Do you have time to speak with an old friend? Or perhaps you could call us new friends given what's happened."
For my part, I keep on moving to where I think Gam and Yuni should be... With any luck I might even be right about that.
"Only vaguely, she didn't say a whole lot but uh... Didn't seem too fond of Gam risking himself I'd say, that may end up being useful..."
I sigh a bit while moving forward some more, my memory of places is pretty decent... But everything else going on is a bit worrying, can't help but wonder about it even while I keep trying to stay on target...
Byakuran and Bell are intrigued by your approach after being given such a peculiar question. Bell's feet still as her face scrunches in obvious confusion. Whereas Byakuran maintains his tranquil smile as he wraps his arm around the shoulder of the one who asked the question.
Of course I have time for you yu.
Suddenly Byakuran laughs and Bell joins him. Once she comprehends the joke within what he said.
Nice one Byaku-chan! You Yu ... Yu Yu! That is pretty funny.
I know and can you believe that I didn't even intend to joke.
The two continue laughing until they tire and then just as suddenly Byakuran reverts back to his amicable tranquility. Bell wraps her arms around her stomach and lets Byakuran speak without anything to add.
Sorry, I do remember you still and all those friends you have behind you. Though I have to say that I still prefer you way more over Kazuya, Gamma, Liam, or the other bores. At least you were willing to play along with me for a bit. Tatsu never even gave me the chance to mess with him in previous iterations of this place.
Byakuran claps his hands together.
But this has to be the first time you all meet me at once like this. All this attention is almost making me a little shy~
“Actually I’m just looking for a guy called Bakugan. Can you point me to him?”
I try really, really hard not to laugh at my own joke. Still I can’t stop myself from smiling at it. Instead I try to stop myself by taking a deep breath and bringing out my dagger to toy with once more.
(H20 and Bartz)
You take a detour down the side hallway and follow behind the brown haired girl. Despite not taking any measures to conceal yourself or your partner the girl does not seem to take note of your pretense. Instead she continues on her intended path until she arrives at a fancy table that already has one seat occupied by a slightly older man.
Either you or your partner would be easily able to recognize the man as Gamma.
Gamma peers at the girl with some scrutiny, but the girl doesn't seem phased. She simply presents him a letter with a pocket watch and nervously blurts out.
Hey ... I mean hello mister!
The girl begins to tremble and the letter in her hand almost drops.
Luckily, she catches the letter in time before it can hit the ground.
Whew gotcha. I'm sorry you had to see that .... I wanted to ask if you could hold onto this letter for me and give it to the first person that comes here. I am really like them but im too shy to say directly ...
The girl trails off as Gamma sighs in annoyance. His response is nothing short of direct and blunt.
Listen I don't have time to be playing cupid for the help. Give the letter to the guy yourself.
Not giving an inch the girl proceeds to bow and beg.
Pleeeasseee just this one little favor and I won't bother you ever again.
Gamma awkwardly looks away as the girl pleads on.
Eihara falls out of the sky, somehow for some reason wearing bulky armor, and carrying a greatsword, despite her petite bodytype.
AAAH! Oof! Ow, ow, ow, ow, and ow. OK, what's going on, cause I hurt so much.
[He knows!? Damn it, it's not like I wasn't expecting this but given what he JUST said it brings too many things to the table. First of all, and most importantly, is the idea of so many people coming to him, which implies a change to the second matter, that this may have happened more than once already. He knows this is Yu now, and even our names, so bullshitting him will do nothing at all. I wonder if something changed between this run and the last? Keeping my arms crossed and doing my best not to react, I simply listen for now. I don't need to get involved now, but if I must, I will. We need to buy Liam and Tatsuya enough time to figure something, anything out. And... that’s the same for us here. With that in mind, I do nothing else and simply keep my mouth shut.]
Oh nice, that's some straight BS. Gamma's actually going to make me laugh, and I wish I could make myself laugh too. But that risks the chance of dying. Something that I don't feel like doing on my first mission. Even if this is our second run. "This episode of FRIENDS kinda sucks right now." Is all I could think of. It takes a lot of self restrain to stop myself from showing up and acting stupid. Sorely wish I can. Whatever, since Byakuran has wall hacks he'll probably hear my fingers lightly tapping my phone a whole lot. Not that I really care. Our leader certainly does.
This was one possibility I expected. It seems now I have confirmation on Byakuran's abilities, at least for now. Given the situation we're in it seems I'll have to think of something on the spot.
"I should thank you for this chance and also for answering something I was wondering about. That's not important anyway though.
Guess telling the others to stay back wasn't really all that meaningful. I'm sure that being direct with this wouldn't get us anywhere either so I just had a different idea instead.
Why don't we make a game out of this? My friends vs yours, that might be more interesting than just brute forcing things, right?"
I didn't know how everyone else would react to this idea of mine but it seemed like it might be a good idea to try and play this the way Byakuran might prefer. It might be our only chance to get somewhere or to get something out of this.
I'd look at the girl rather curiously... Well, this is quite something isn't it. We came here to talk with Gam but... Maybe this one is more worthy of notice right now, could be anyways. Though I see no reason not to look into both, however for the moment I don't move to make myself known.
If Liam wants to do that fine with me, but I'll just stay here in the shadows and keep my eyes out for the moment. Simply watching them from a safe distance and staying ready for... Well, whatever may happen in this crazy place.
Tatsy ain't moving... Guess now's not the time yet.
"Any insight on what we're waiting for exactly? How did the events go down last time?" I whispered to my companion.
(edited by Liam)
(Toki, Florina, Kazuya, Quintus)
Byakuran retains his smile, but his teeth noticeably clench. While Bell is effectively left clueless in the conversation and turns away her head with a miffed expression.
Byakuran allows some silence to sink in before clipping out retorts.
Gamma I have had the pleasure to meet you so many times and you still can't come up with a good joke. It's pitiable at this point.
Oh well your humor can be fixed with time ...
Byakuran turns his back to you and the others as he lets out an exaggerated sigh. One pat on Bell's head ends the dramatic show after a few more seconds are eaten up. Bell is clearly annoyed by the patting, but says nothing while it is done. Byakuran then closes his eyes before finally addressing the group again.
So Narukami what sort of game are you proposing? I enjoy games, but it has to be something worth my time and effort. Isn't that right Bell?
Bell nods along to what is said.
Yep we don't play games without winners or losers or action. (H20 and Bartz)
You and your companion await in the shadows of the hallway as the girl continues to beg with letter in hand.
The girl repeats the same pleas over and over even in the face of Gamma's disinterest. Until the man finally relents to shut the girl up. With no delicacy at all he rips the letter from the girl's hands and roughly catches her when the action causes her to loose balance. Despite Gamma's lack of finesse and general stubbornness, the girl appears absolutely grateful as she hangs over Gamma's outstretched arm.
Thank you so much mister! You will never know how much this means to me!!!
Gamma flinches at the girl's voice and after pinches the bridge of his nose with his unoccupied hand.
Yeah Yeah all the little ladies like you say that. True love this love letter that until some no good mafioso comes and splits your heart in two.
The girl rapidly shakes her head.
Nope I swear that the lucky person i'm in love with tonight will not fail me now~
Gamma frowns and unceremoniously shrugs the girl off. The girl almost falls backwards but recovers in the nick of time and simply stands there looking at Gamma with a wide smile. Gamma relents and states.
If you say so. You are better off getting back to work then trying to find a date tonight, but who am I to tell you that.
The girl realizes the position she is in and suddenly approaches the hallway where you and your companion are waiting in a noticeable location. Luckily, the girl stops before entering and turn around once more to bow in a show of gratitude.
Thank you Gamma~
I'd simply try to begin moving towards Gam... That's our goal isn't it, to try and learn more about the white-haired fuck? Maybe this girl knows more too, maybe she could be useful to us. But for the moment my focus is on trying to and contact that strange man, he seemed semi agreeable last time, with a bit of effort... On the other hand, I'm hardly the best when it comes to people.
"Oi, was hoping you could tell me a bit about someone around here. Might be able to benefit us both. With a bit of luck anyway. If you're willing to hear me out anyway."
I am fully aware of the lack of elequence and such, but I do at least manage to sound sure of myself and collected while looking over at him. I don't love dealing with people, but I do know how on some level.
"White-haired guy, name of Byakuran. He seems... Interesting from what little I know, not exactly the most friendly sort. But beyond insanely strong, I don't really get the details behind why or how, both on what he can do, and his motives for such."
Seems I got his attention. Hopefully Gamma's prodding didn't get him too annoyed. Now, it was time to see exactly what kind of entertainment Byakuran would care for.
"Well, it's exactly as I've said. A 1 v 1 elimination type tournament except that would be boring on its own too.
So I believe some special rules might make it more interesting. Like both sides presenting a unique rule for each match as well as an arena. The arenas get combined where as the rules would have to be applied to both participants in each fight.
Doesn't that sounds interesting? Of course, we'd only be using as many participants as are available.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot...The thing we'd be betting on. One person from the other side. The winner would be allowed to freely choose someone from the other side to take, either as a servant or just to take them hostage."
I was wondering exactly how Byakuran might take my suggestion. Even I had to admit this was a long shot but our only chance was to try and play by his rules, quite literally in this sense.
[That plan... nice job, it's so crazy it may actually work if we play carefully. It's all or nothing, and all we would need to do is to capitalize on any bad decision of his, if he can make any. That said, our last battle was very much in our favor, and the only thing that saved him was the illusions which I'm fairly sure he cannot do himself. I wonder if he is weak to such mind games too. Something to try out if the opportunity presents itself.]
You know, taking a servant doesn't sound too bad.
After all, who wouldn't want to have a cute girl like the one by your side, right Byakuran?
[I keep my arms crossed while I turn to face Byakuran. No point in staying quiet if he already knows. I need to fish out any reaction I can, and besides he finds me boring, so I should be okay for now since apparently trying to be funny and failing is worse than not being funny at all.]
Besides, even if we lose you can keep Gamma or Mal. Don't worry, we won't miss them much.
Then again, we can offer "Mona" to you.
[I know you guys up there are reading this, so you better make sure you are paying attention. I'll be asking questions when we are back, I forgot to mention this previously.]
“Don’t get ahead of yourself. I’m practically invincible y’know.”
I close my eyes and let out a casual sigh. In truth I hated the idea, but if we’re just doing this to stall anyways there won’t be any problems. I probably won’t even get to my round knowing how quickly we usually go
Besides, this way they can’t blame me if I end up using my last time spell, after all it WAS their idea to fight in the first place
“Wow, thanks for being empathetic.”
I said in a horribly droll tone, taking out my earbuds in such a way to make one forget I’m not actually a white girl. I’ve always wanted to punch someone’s face in after all, if my deadeye glare doesn’t make that obvious. In truth, I’m all for this stupid plan. Even if I get picked, somebody’s still catching this work.
"Ah, excuse him, sir. My friend may seem a bit ill-mannered, but he means no harm. As he mentioned, however, we were a tad curious about Mr. Byakuran. If you have any information, we'd love to hear it. "
Let's hope he didn't take any offense in either of our approaches... I'd rather not make any more enemies than necessary.
(Quintus, Toki, Kazuya, Florina)
Byakuran's eyes light up as he shivers at the offer. Meanwhile, Bell looks less than pleased at the suggestion made at her expense, but she says nothing upon noticing Byakuran's interest. The white haired man is almost shaking with excitement if not for Bell's grounding grasp on his coat.
Narukami you are more than a genius! You are almost prophetic with how well you can create games that fit my fancy!
Byakuran thrusts out an open hand.
I agree to the game and as a sign of good will i'll even let you pick the first stage. So let's shake on it people.
If you were to look up at Byakuran's eyes you would notice his hungry gaze.
While Bell pulls out a device from within her black cloak and quickly begins relaying info through it.
(edited by Byakuran)
(H20 and Bartz)
Gamma eyes you with suspicion.
Tell me how the two of you could attend a gala and not know who the host is? Shouldn't you have done your research beforehand instead of thinking to ask around during the event?
Suddenly he remembers the card he was handed and presents it to you and your partner.
Oh by the way a young lady just handed me this letter and I don't believe you crossed paths with her. Are either of you gentleman expecting a gift from a young lady tonight?
"Wonderful, just what I was looking for."
I let out a casual, sarcastic remark as I glance around. As expected the secretary is doing most of the immediate work. I start toying with my knife again, bored for a time before commenting
"Personally I think our brave leader ought to start things out. Prove our worth and all."
"Hey, I'm all up for it. This could be pretty fun."
I say, coming from around the corner, twirling around the wire of my earbuds for fun. After a quick glance behind me to give a glare at Kazuya, I go ahead and speak up my thoughts more.
"Yeah, sure. It'd be disappointing if my dad ends up being someone's bitch in a realm like this."
[I start to wonder if that really was the best way to go about it, especially knowing next to nothing about how it'll really go. I feel the slight need to offer Gamma and Mal too, but know that if I did, Byakuran may actually take that seriously.]
Narukami, whatever happens, I hope you have a very good plan.
Because if this somehow fails we will be screwed.
[I walk up and stand besides Yu, tinkering around my COMP doing nothing of importance at all. I would then point at myself and hope for the best.]
He'll be picking the stage but as long as it fits our leader's plan, then I'll go first.
"Well, it's quite the story and I don't think either of us have the time to sit through it. "
I give him an apologetic expression.
"The short of it is that we're here and we're a tad lost, which is why we could use your help. That being said, maybe you could use ours as well. Scratch our back and we'll scratch yours.
As for the gift... I'm not expecting much. Are you Tats? "
Byakuran's reaction was a bit more than I anticipated but it seemed as though this was a sutable option for now. As for Kaz's concerns, yeah, I had a backup plan in the case that we were losing but it wasn't exactly something I wanted to resort to.
"For now we'll stick to the original plan, I'd like to win if possible too but I'm not sure how easy that'll be. Regardless...I won't allow any of us to be taken. I'll make sure of it."
I'd look towards Byakuran once more. I had an idea in mind but I wasn't sure how well Kaz would be able to pull it off.
"My idea for the first arena is simple. A maze made of mirrors with capture the flag rules. Each person starting at once side with a flag. Two win conditions, either reaching the opposing side's flag or incapacitating the opponent. That's the arena and rule I'm placing forward.
I sigh a little bit, yeah that's an expected reaction... But there's not much I can say without sounding crazy.
"My friend there has it. Put very bluntly, it's a whole lot of magical bullshit we're involved in to have ended up here."
As for that second question, I can't say I was expecting anything remotely like that.
"And no, gifts weren't exactly on the list of things I thought I'd be getting today. Can't imagine I'm whoever she was looking for unless this girl sends gifts to random guys she knows nothing about."
(Toki, Kazuya, Florina, Quintus)
Bell cranes her neck toward Byakuran and places one of her hands over the device.
Byaku-chan the others say that they may take a little while to come. The oldies were lazing about again.
Bell sighs with distate.
Why do we still put up with them Byaku-niiii.
Byakuran fondly pats Bell's head and suggests.
Bluebell if you don't want to wait for the rest then go play first. I don't believe the gentleman competing first will be much of a challenge, however, he could be a test dummy for some of your new toys.
Bluebell hastily shoves the device in her hands into the pockets of her long sleeved black cloak. She then considers the offer with a pensive pout. Meanwhile, Byakuran shouts to no one in particular.
Mukuro-chan you can set the playing field now!
Upon shouting this, the room is swiftly encapsulated in whipsy, purple mist that momentarily makes it difficult to see the surrounding area and the others that should be beside you. When the mist clears you and your companions are standing on a balcony across from Byakuran and Bluebell, but the dimensions of the room are now noticeably wider. Below your balcony and Byakuran's is a massive maze that naturally reflects the lights of the overhead chandelier since it is all made of pure glass. While directly beneath your viewing location lies a golden flag and you can spot another goldern flag at the far end of the maze beneath Byakuran's balcony. With all the rest of the partygoers gone and an entire maze seperating the two teams for the game it creates a tense atmophere within the room.
Byakuran takes to the room instantly and without further ado lets out an additional resounding announcement.
Mukuro-chan set the mice for this maze!
Bluebell and the selected competitor are instantly placed at the ends of the maze that have the golden flags within them. While everyone else has a view of all of the action from above on the balconies.
Commence scurrying mice~
With little warning you are teleported to the inside of the maze and are immedietly assaulted with various projections of you from the mirror. Each of the reflections gaze back at you as the game is abrutly started and a hallway opens up into the rest of the mirror maze. Should you enter the hallway ...
Your first challange is presented in the form of three paths.
A path to the left in which your image distorts to make you look taller.
A path to the right in which your image distrorts to make you look wider.
and a center path that has both typed of distortions. (Bartz and H20)
Gamma eyes you and your partner before sitting back on one of the chairs with both hands anxiously folded in front. He nods at the other chair to indicate for you or your partner to take the other seat.
Byakuran, strange secret admirers, and clueless guests in a trap. Well this is turning out to be a lovely night. Wouldn't you fellas agree?
He tosses the question out there, but rambles on without the expectation of a real answer.
Unless you two can fight like your life depends on it, then you won't be of much use to me.
Gamma glances at the hall behind.
I will tell you one thing of importance though. Just so you fellas don't step into the dragon's den unprepared ...
Whatever you think you have planned don't follow through on it. Byakuran has a gift for sniffing out plans and proceedings to torment you with his knowledge on it. In fact, if you are coming to me for help then it may already be too late for you two.
(edited by Raconteur)
"Hey, I have a quick question."
I let out a sigh before shouting across the room. I don't direct my voice at anyone in particular, but given the distance this seems to be my only way of communicating with Byakuran right now. And with all the doors gone my options are to twiddle my thumbs, or try to confirm something
"how many times is this now? That you've lived through today?"
Mukuro...that's the name of the one from before. It seems Byakuran keeps him on hand, probably has them hidden somewhere. For a moment I'd look around to see if I could spot them among our current surroundings but even I knew that, that might be a pointless effort.
Right now, I needed to focus on Kaz and his competitor anyway. I hoped Kaz wasn't underestimating them because they were a child. Byakuran didn't seem like the type to simply flaunt his or other people's power.
"All we can do then is wait and see if Kaz can pull it off. I'm a bit worried about how Tatsuya and Liam are doing as well but whatever they're facing probably won't be as bad as what we've agreed to here."
[I would look around the area now that it has changed into a maze of mirrors. Obviously, it was the girl that had the power to actually change things, and while it was interesting to go against a woman, it's not like I was going to stop myself from punching one in the face if I had to. I was never much of a gentleman anyways.]
Okay, it's time to think.
I cannot go in blindly and certainly I cannot just stay here.
[I would raise my left arm as I press the enter key, bringing Pascal into the arena. It would look back at me and I would look back at him; the summoning gauge slowly recovering. I would point forward with my right index finger while trying to stay close to the flag.]
Pascal, charge up and melt it all as much as you can.
If this is just any normal glass, then you should be able to tear through it like it was paper.
[The Cerberus would nod at my command as it keeps it snout shut while energy builds up inside. He would then let out a roaring blast of flames to the front; the blast itself has the same area-type of a cone, so even the nearby mirrors should be melting. Even if the attack bounces back, it will do nothing, so going wild with this is the best chance I have for now. I should stay quiet too, my voice may give away my position.]
“Yeah, you go DAD!”
I just shout out, pretending to be invested in the little challenge Yu is now putting us through. Well, what Kaz is being put through. To be completely honest, I’m rooting more for his dog than Kaz himself, but our leader doesn’t need to know that factor being added in.
“Sadcore outlooks suck. Go kick that 5 year olds ass grown man!”
I ignore the chair, leaving it for Tatsuya. I need to look reliable and trustworthy to him. There are a lot of things that go on in a discussion, beyond the words and tone one uses. I'm confidant in my own oratorical skills, even if I do say so myself, so hopefully, he'll buy into us and will try to help us.
"Well, this guy may not be a smooth talker, but he can hold his own in a fight, trust me. As for me, well... I'll manage, so if you need our help, you can always try. Maybe we can be of mutual assistance, isn't that right, Tatsy?
Either way, we're looking to take him down, but you're telling us that plans are worthless? Is there any reason to that? Does he have any kind of special powers or something? "