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Raconteur
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#302

(Toki, Florina, Kazuya, and Quintus)
You leave behind Bluebell's body and the note that had been attached to her. Upon entering the servants entrance at the lower right corner of the ballroom. There is the screech of a drunk guest that had just stumbled over Bluebell's body. Yet, by now the beginning hysteria is past you and your companions as you enter a ruined section of the manor. From above a full moon can be observed through a damaged portion of the wood ceiling. As you sneak past the empty corridors the light of the moon illuminates the maws of two terrifying stone dragons that are consuming each other in a fury. Without much trouble you arrive at the hidden door next to the painting of Yuni and find that the lock on it is open. It appears your arrival had been expected. You have not yet entered, but already you can hear Byakuran's light laughter emanating from the interior of the seemingly tiny room.
Ayano
#303

(Bartz and H20)
Your abilities prevent you from sinking into the developing whorls of quicksand, but Ayano is quickly caught in the trap of her own creation. As you either casually stand on the sand or find footing on a frozen portion of it, she rapidly sinks until it reaches her upper shoulders. This makes her downright scared and the pink shading of the room develops a tinge of black that spreads on the walls. Ravens crawl out of the newly made splattered black shadows with a fearsome glint in their eyes. They set themselves to strike, but your attempt to reach out to Ayano seems to keep them at bay. Ayano takes the offered hand with a frown. I want freedom but what if I get in trouble ... Absently looking down she adds. Byakuran doesn't like when I wander off without warning. The ravens remain watching and waiting.
Kazuya
#304

This place is massive, I will never understand why rich people just get bigger houses. ... [That may also be because I'm not rich by a long shot. This place is generally creepy, and it's somewhat annoyingly big too. I would rather not walk this much but it's where we are. I have to wonder what kind of game we are heading into right now, and if we'll be able to pass it at all. Now right in front of the hidden door, there is nowhere else to go.] Don't die too quickly.
-Toki-
#305

"This is basically Italy, they shouldn't have any Doujins." I correct Mal with a sigh as we head out to the library. I'd already seen everything before so I wasn't too impressed. And this time I didn't have a shadow which made it a fair bit less annoying. "anyways, sounds like we're about there." I can already here Byakuran's laughter. Better to get it over with now than wait. For now I simply glance back to Kaz with a grin "Don't worry too much. After all I'm practically invincible." I chuckle to myself before finally opening the hidden door and entering the library, presumably with the rest of the group behind
“Hey man, no Doujin’s; but that’s not my primary objective. Now I care less about Byakuran and more about seeing if Italy has English translated Dog Man books.” I say, only looking at my phone and following the other two until we reach the intended destination. I put it away sighing, almost rolling my eyes, but that’s too rude. They wouldn’t deserve that right now. Whoever’s laughing on the other side of this door certainly does though. “I wonder, how come this place doesn’t have the leaning tower of Pisa. Or Mario. Or people saying “Bounjiourno” or speaking in italics. Is this really place too up it’s own ass to lighten up?” My phone is on silent mode and my earphones are somewhere that isn’t dangling out the pocket of my skirt. You know, because my party members might not be offended I’m still not taking this seriously enough. After I stretch a bit, I clear my throat before looking indifferently towards Kaz. “I blend in enough as a background character. That should be enough for this budget Metal Gear Solid mission.” Then entering after Gamma because he went in the hidden door and I felt like following. Only logical thing to do anyway.
Bartz
#307

"Just leave any trouble to us! We'll handle it lickety split !" I pull her up from the sands, allowing her to stand on it as well. "We'll take care of Byakuran, some way. But we need more info for that. You wouldn't happen to have any, would you ? It's fine if you don't know, or don't want to share. For now, you need to calm down and get the room under your control again, if you can." What an ordeal though. Who'd ever thought I'd one day become such a knight in shining armor (lol). Saving people, fighting evil, dependable allies... None of that would be possible back home. Is a life like this really that bad? Makes you wonder, huh... Well, thinking is over rated. Focus on the now !
H2O
#308

I'd nod to Liam, yeah that about sums it up... We do have to take care of the bastard pretty boy after all, and what's one more reason to do that gonna hurt us anyways? None at all from where I'm standing. "What he said, we had to deal with that guy no matter what is how the case seems to be so... Hey helping someone else out along the way isn't a bad thing from my view of it." Truth be told, this girl seems... Alright to me but that's only a surface impression, I can't really begin to guess at any deeper motives she may have. But I'd like to think that helping is the right thing to do here, so help I shall offer. The fact it could benefit us too, only cements my thoughts.
I'd mostly remain quiet on the way there. There wasn't much to say and our time was limited. I didn't feel like responding to Mal or Gamma either as I could barely even keep up with what they were talking about. For now moving forward was all we could do.
(Toki, Florina, Kazuya, and Quintus)
Upon entering the hidden library, you immediately found yourself standing right in front of Byakuran. The door that you enetred from closes and disappears on its own. Thus, it is made clear that you will not be leaving anytime soon if Byakuran's laughter was not a good enough indicator. I'm glad that you could make it so quickly~ Around you are a plethora of shelves upon shelves filled with golden scripted books that range from fascinating titles such as "The Divine Comedy" to boring mundane stuff such as "How to Learn Astrophysics in a Day". Lined with additional glass cases that hold fossils inside and other wealths of the ancient world. Yet, none of that compares to the fact that Byakuran is busy roasting marshmellows over a fire pit in front of him. While a man with stubble and a black coat hungrily leans over the pit and simply yanks some of the marshmallows from the flames. The unknown red head doesn't even blink at your appearance, but Byakuran smugly gazes at you with a glass of wine in his other availible hand. If you kept me waiting too long there would have been no marshmellows left. Come take some~ Byakuran waves his gooey marshmellow encrusted stick to beckon you forward. Such a shame that little Bluebell couldn't be around to share the spoils. The unknown man lifts his head up only to state. She was an idjit so she gets none.
Ayano
#311

(Bartz and H20)
Ayano smiles at the sincerity presented by you and your partner. I don't have much more to tell about Byakuran-chu. Ayano closes her eyes and the room you are currently in melts away in a cascade of colors until you are back in the garden you originally entered. Not much has changed with Gamma still struggling on the lawn, but you are able to see that the moon has risen higher in the sky. A light blue twilight has turned into the dark recesses of night while you were distracted. Ayano approaches the entrance back into the mansion and looks back at you with a mischevious glance. I can however show you a lot more and if I get in trouble then ... She presses both her hands to her face and laughs. I'll just say you two hooligans kidnapped me, kay~
Kazuya
#312

What even... [I had to take a deep breath because this entire situation was annoying, to say the least. I wasn't exactly hungry because of the tension and also because I ate back at the Velvet Room area thing. I figure I should maybe just talk for a moment.] What you did to her was a shame, but at the very least it means you won't get to play around with illusions anymore. But I have to wonder if losing was part of your plans, because it didn't seem like it to me. [I shrug after this.] What's with the red guy?
“Woah, I’ve never felt interested when I go to libraries up until this point.” {I say to myself, then looking back as the door closes behind us. While I would be pissed, this isn’t the real world. So oh well, now I get more time to look through the shelves. Though, Byakuran’s...unnerving presence? Does intrigue me a bit.} “Oh wow, it’s you. I never want to be here now that my eyes have laid upon your smooth-brained self. What do you even want anyway-“ {Yes, I was originally going to try and go off on him in a momentous time such as this, but then as soon as he mentions the inclusion of marshmallows, I sigh, taking my shades off and letting them hang from my shirt. Then my eyes light up brightly and I scoot my way past Kazuya, immediately taking a marshmallow and putting it on a stick to roast over the fire, mesmerized that I get to be able to do this myself for the first time.} “You know what, maybe you’re not that bad after all. Are there any Dog Man books in this library? Doesn’t matter if they aren’t translated at this point.” {I say to him, now acting like nothing really happened. Sure, he did kill like 2 fellow anime girls. But they’re expendable. Not important enough to live, so not eligible in my book to cry about. What’s important is that I can eat marshmallows and read Dog Man. If it’s there. My opinion will not change completely if there isn’t. This library better have them. I swear.}
Bartz
#314

We're back.. I wonder how our allies are doing ? I should see if we can meet up with them at some point. "Sounds like a plan. By the way, just to make sure but uh... You do remember the previous cycle, yeah? Oh and we should let the others know how we fared ! Does anyone have a pen and paper?" I say this as I don my ranger's gear. The ranger specializes in bows and nature. His signature move, the "critter" ability allows him to call upon the animals of his surroundings to help him. It'd be neat if I could call on a squirrel or some other small, discreet animal that could deliver a message. I put two fingers to my mouth and whistle and hope an animal will actually answer my call. "By the way, what should we do about Gam' ? We can't just leave the poor sod to die out here."
"So, that's our next opponent, right? Will you be deciding the rules this time?" Perhaos I didn't feel as inclined to beat around the Bush as the others but we didn't exactly have all the time in the world here. It might be best to remind Byakuran of that. "I don't mean to be impatient but we're all somewhat on a time limit here. Wouldn't be good if another reset happened mid-match."
-Toki-
#316

"Are you serious right now?" I do not accept a marshmallow, tapping my foot impatiently as I cross my arms with a sigh "We got here as soon as we could, now lets just get this next stage over with. It won't take long."
H2O
#317

I'd raise an eyebrow curiously, is there much we can do to help Gam...? That'd be nice I guess, but what is there to do about it anyways. As for Ayano's words though, I detransform for now and smile at her with a nod. "Naturally, way I see it our asses are gonna be kicked either way. No sense in worrying over being blamed for that when it doesn't really even cause more issues. As for a pen and paper, for some ungodly reason I have some. Lord only knows what a firefighter needs with it, I guess sorta law enforcement too so maybe for clues?" Mizui does indeed have a small notebook on him, which... I don't recall writing about that but always meant to mention it someday. Huh, odd but it works to my benefit here. I wonder if other things we meant but didn't add for sure could pop up, but for the moment I just get ready to start writing. "As for Gam, I'd like to help but I'm not so sure what to do there."
Bartz
#318

"Alright, let's send a message to the others then, or at least try to, hehe.. Can you basically explain what happened to us? Just in case we don't get to rendez-vous with them before a while. Some animal should make it's way here soon..." https://finalfantasy.fandom.com/wiki/Animals Let's just hope we don't get a random troupe of boars charging into the party
(Florina)
The red head lethargically sprawls himself on the cushioned floor. He asks with a tired tone. Are the Dog Man books some sort of manga or comic? He rolls his eyes up to look at you. Hmm believe we already burned down Japan and the US, Idjit.
(Florina, Kazuya, Quintus, Toki)
Whats the rush my guests. We have all the time in the world to finish our little games. Or should I say all the time in many parallel worlds~ Byakuran playfully winks at you and tosses his marshmellow encrusted stick at your group. He then rests against his chair and prods the body of the man laying next to him with his foot. Zakuroooo you should introduce yourself to our guests instead of relying on me to do all the niceties. He whines. The red head a.k.a Zakuro closes his eyes and groans with annoyance before bothering to say much else. I'm the man that will get to kill one of you today. Though looking at how scrawny you all are it seems like a waste of time. Maybe one of you could consider self sacrifice so I could be spared the work. Zakuro lets his head drop to the floor as if to mimic sleep.
Ayano
#320

(Bartz and H20)
Ayano giggles at the questions presented. It's impossible for me to actually remember the parallel world loops that happen. I used to be able to but lost the skill with all the resets and do-overs. It got real jumbled for me along the way so now I just ask Byaku-chan each time. He just gives the info so I don't need to bother with all the traking. As for Gam, his plight is an easy one to fix ... Ayano's eyes momentarily turn red and Gamma is released from his choking prison. Only to immediately pass out afterwards from the trauma experienced. Ayano tuts a little at him. Geez overdramatic much. He was just trapped in some repeat mind drowning scenrio. Not really a big deal for him to pass out over. Ayano shrugs. You guys were stuck in another one of my mental creations and you two seem perfectly okay~
(Bartz)
A swarm of bees rise from the surrounding flora and answer your call. They surround you awaiting some sort of command.
Kazuya
#321

Please, let's be honest. Every single one of you is a weakling compared to me, and besides, you seem very obviously color coded. Last chick supposedly knew as much as Byakuran and enough to beat me and I still kicked her ass, so unless his plan is to lose each time, you will be no different. In fact, let me go all meta because all of you, anime dickheads, are the same. [I take a deep breath as I prepare to speak my mind; their own sass is getting on my own nerves. I device a new idea in my mind.] Last girl was the weird girl cliché, blue because she uses water and is related to it. Hell, she looked like a mermaid. Meanwhile you, red-colored assfuck are probably the edgy fucko of the team; because I can already see "Bakugan" here having all the colors of the rainbow involved somehow, his being the super special white that has all of them into one. Anyways, you in your 90s cool style use flames...no, no hold on, it can't be just fire, so it's probably something closer to some hell, or evil thing, like an invocation of some sort, because you sure act like a predator right now, which is in line with your own personal cliché. So, it won't be just fire. [I then cross my arms and clone my eyes as I keep talking.] Let's assume then he knows the future and about the loops just like Bitchuran over there, but it means absolutely nothing because they can still make mistakes. We are all human here so it's obvious. [A whole new idea comes into my mind. I snap my fingers as it becomes obvious to me.] BYAKURAN, YOU DIDN'T LOSE ON PURPOSE, DID YOU? Bell was pleading with you before you killed her. Adding to that how cocky you were being and then killing her so we couldn't take her, therefore playing around the rules. Quite dirty indeed, making you yet another cliché, the oh so nihilistic "nothing matters so I do sadistic bullshit while smiling". At least Hazama from Blazblue pulls it off while owning up to it quickly, and there is Gin Ichimaru who has some actual depth to his characters. By the way, where is the protagonist of this story? It couldn't be you, could it? I wonder if you were being published in Shounen Jump or something, because your personalities are so barebone so far it pains me. [I squat on the ground while I keep my sword out of its sheath, hitting my right shoulder with the back of the blade. I just mock the pair with a grin and raising an eyebrow.] Zakuro, you should probably kill yourself before whitey over there does it himself. Loser. Better yet, it would be easier if Byakuran just got shot in the head, or beheaded before he could react, but we can't exactly try that out. Time isn't on our side, not like we can control it like...well, whatever is causing the loop. [I sigh, still in the "cocky samurai" position, as I call it in my mind.]
Kaz outburst was a bit much. I understood his frustration but now wasn't exactly the ideal time for this. "Kaz, maybe turn it down a notch. This isn't exactly helping us right now. Besides, we might as well play along with this world's methods if we want to win. As cliche as it might be we have to act the part of the protagonists if we want any chance at winning." I hoped Byakuran might not be able to decipher what we were referring to but it's not something to rule out that he does. "We also shouldn't be automatically assuming this world's rules though I believe this is a pretty old anime riding on the back of the day of what people called the big three so no doubt it takes some inspiration. Enough of a classic for Shounen Jump to even consider it one of their staples. Still, that's the extend of the knowledge I have on that." That's enough of that, my bad habit of going too in detail being triggered by Kaz's rant. "That's not important right now. Byakuran, that guys our next opponent? So, who's gonna volunteer for our side?"
-Toki-
#323

"aren't we not supposed to be talking about how this is all fiction in our world and just take advantage of any prior knowledge we have of these universes as we go along instead?" I cross my arms with a sigh following Kaz's little rant. He's not wrong but its usually better to keep such opinions to yourself. Silent hatred is a far more effective poison, as anger simply clouds one's mind. Still, with so much going on I let out my breath, ready to let myself loose, if only for a moment "I'll do it. This won't take long and besides, I love proving useless bums like him wrong."
“Damn, my dad is going off hard at a brick wall. I already know you two probably have bad personalities but sheesh.” {I say to myself nonchalantly, being proud of myself for taking advantage of two idiots for some marshmallows. Speaking of marshmallows, mine is a bit crispy. I know how to cook them right because I see it all the time on television and almost never try it myself. Naturally there are flaky burned bits but it was overall successful enough. I take a bite before rolling my eyes back at red-head Zakuro.} “Usually when somebody burns a country down they at least keep the worthful remnants of it for the taking. But seeing as how you say a classic American playground insult and tongue-twist it to please your 1945 methods, I feel like you really should watch yourself, idiot.{I finish my marshmallow off before pointing the stick at Zakuro, not giving a care in the world what he thinks of me. The crossing of my legs was optional, but now it seemed I do it on reflex. I barely even look at the guy as I start speaking in an even more condescending tone towards who I thought to be my adversary.} “Because trust me, I can—and will—beat your stupid-“ {At least until Gamma offers himself up for the taking. I sigh and shake my head to rethink my words before pointing my marshmallow stick back at Gamma instead of Zakuro.} “She can—and will—beat your stupid ass.”
Kazuya
#325

[I sigh, they did not pick up on it. Figured it would be the case but I suppose we'll keep playing until the next loop. It's obvious Byakuran wants the time. I decide to drop the tone I had before but don't leave my "pose". I actually find it quite comfortable.] You guys are not as perceptive as I thought you would be. At the very least, that can only mean we're in the clear with the idea. [For now anyways. I am frustrated, but I'm not dumb enough to lower my guard around these guys. Even my mind could be used as part of whatever they pull for all I know.] Byakuccino and the Pizza boys can't be any better.
H2O
#326

I'd look over at Gam curiously, that isn't reassuring at all... But at least he doesn't seem to be dead from the issue so that's something. As I keep on looking at Ayano I'd speak out a bit more. "Pretty boy huh... Can he be trusted? I doubt he can on this issue of course, but in general how much of what he says can you be sure is accurate Ayano? I don't know a ton about the guy so can't really say for sure." I shrug slightly while walking after the young woman and absently staring at Liam's bees. Oh no, he's become Taylor. Hah as if, but I'll keep that reference nobody else will get to myself while asking a bit more. "So beyond all the... Weird world or timeline stuff, what else can Byakuran do though. I mean he clearly has other powers and I just... Don't entirely have them all down yet, we only fought for a little bit before after all."
Bartz
#327

With the pen and paper Tatsuya gave me, I quickly write about what transpired on our end: our meeting with gamma, capture into Ayano's room and subsequent alliance, etc. I fold the paper neatly and offer it to the bees in hopes that they get the message hah, get it? cuz they're sending a message... Anyway. "I want you guys to deliver this to my friends. Avoid Byakuran though, he's not allowed to see this. Here's what the guys you're looking for look like." I say as I quickly doodle some stick figures with the traits of my companions. "Now off you go !" "Hey Tatsu, what time is it? How long do we have before the reset?"
(Kazuya, Toki, Quintus, Florina)
Byakuran's eyes narrow on you and your group as his hands tightly grip the edges of his seat. No No you told me a lot of fascinating things and I want to know more~ Byakuran's stance is now rigid. The temperature of the room itself feels as if it just dropped in that same moment. Tell me more~ Zakuro tenses with the change of atmosphere. Only then do a swarm of bees arrive dropping a sheet of paper on the floor.
Ayano
#329

(H20 and Bartz)
Byakuran barely trusts me and I likewise don't fully trust him. That is just the game we ended up playing for the sake of getting things done. Its a fake trust sort of deal. Ayano winks at you and flippantly begins to twist her scarf about in her hand. Other then the many worlds deal, Byakuchan has these wings that can do all sorts of offensive attacks and can negate some type of magic stuff. The whole rewind stuff occuring is beyond him ... Ayano shrugs. As far as I know.
Bartz
#330

"Hmm, magic huh? Then I guess physical offense is the way to go? Unless his many world stuff gives him insight on what we're going to do and he can just avoid anything we throw at him..."
-Toki-
#331

This was an... Unexpected turn. But its somewhat satisfying to see Byakuran lose his cool like this. So satisfying that I wanted to see more. Even if it was a bad idea in the end. I start smiling, simply to annoy him more than anything "Oh, right. You can only know things you've lived through, can't you? So you have absolutely no knowledge of places where you don't exist. Its too bad." I let out a sigh, looking over to the.. Bees? I honestly had no idea what that was about, but it seems out of place, and I wouldn't want to make it easy to call our bluff "That must mean our friends are done. Oh well. You see Byakuran, since you can't possibly know everything, you're always destined to be a few steps behind. I applaud your trying though."
Kazuya
#332

[I notice the weird bees arrive and take notice in his sudden interest in Byakuran by all of what I said. I will admit it, I didn't expect my "rant" to take this route, but I will run with it. It's not how I say it but what I say.] Back in my world, your entire life is a work of fiction that I'm pretty sure reached its finale years ago. I don't know the details or which series it is but it's clear it's Shounen Jump. That magazine publishes weekly plenty of different series directed at teenage boys, and normally the main character is a young man between ages 12 and 18 who gains an incredible power and has the set goal of becoming the best at something. [I would stand up again and press the tip of my sword against the floor, not bothering to look at Zakuro. I'm running with all this.] I come from this...world, where demons are quite real, and everything ended. Even in the post-apocalyptic wasteland of a world, we all have to keep on fighting. With this sword here, the Hinokagutsuchi, I was able to defeat enemies of incredible power such as Asura, Michael and even Beelzebub. You surely must know these at least from their legends. I can even command demons that far surpass the ability of humans, but the trick is that they only obey those who they consider stronger. Rest assured, Beelzebub is under my command. Even without them, with just this sword, I can probably kill you but... [I raise the sword with one hand so I can show off its design. It's, at first glance, similar to a katana. However, both sides have an edge and the guard is more reminiscent of a western blade.] The true key to it all is this magical sword. After all that, I reached a different world in the which I met all these people through the single use of this blade. With a single slash, you can peek into all kinds of possibilities and use it long enough, and you'll be able to go into them. Really, anyone can wield it too. We are all from different realities that interact with one another in various ways. All gateways into infinite universe. Any piece of fiction is reality somewhere else, Byakuran. You were one in my world, and mine was a simple videogame in many others. [I sigh, however. I mutter the rest out of habit.] Problem is that this one reality reduced my ability. I can't use this sword like that, not as I am in this instant anyways. Still, should be enough. [I glare at Byakuran while still holding the sword with my right hand, pressing it against my left shoulder and then resting my head on it.]
"Oooo, how scary. The room temperature dropped. I hope your millionaire slaves can pay for the the thermostat bill in here, because now I probably can't cook my marshmallows." {I say out loud, clearly being condescending as I get another marshmallow without permission and decide to eat it raw. A marshmallow is still a marshmallow, bland or not, and I always liked eating sugary stuff. Even if this marshmallow might not be that.} "I know the adults are chatting it up, but what's the deal with you again? I forgot, I was too busy listening to my own thoughts, they're probably more important than your existence." {I snark towards the tensed up Zakuro, finishing another marshmallow before taking yet another one without permission. This time, I shrug my shoulders and look at it dissatisfied as I take out my pistol and point it straight at the base of the marshmallow, proceeding to shoot the inside, hoping it would do something to heat it up. Which it does. It also leaves a bullet hole in the ground, very quaint of me.} "What? I'm being experimentative." Even though I'm looking up at everyone, I keep an eye on the paper those weird bees dropped, because I can always snatch it up in case anoyone else tries to read it first. I might not be good at public speaking but improv skills are always workable.
I din't really have much to say. It seemed easier just to see where Kaz was going with this. I could feel a sense of impatience building within. I wasn't sure if I could wait but if Kaz had some sort of plan it would be best to let him lay it out. Hopefully, he wasn't just trying to intentionally piss Byakuran off out of anger. It was hard to tell with him what exactly he was thinking.
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