Imaginary Vision - The Black Void Within
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[And so it happens once more, they are all called to one place, like something deep within wants them there, no matter what. This time, it was in the middle of Shibuya Crossing. The people were busy walking towards their destinations, and the cars wait for the red lights to end so they can get through too. In the middle of the street, there waited a man in suit and hat; his hair was a messy brown and he lacked a mouth. His posture, so calm and yet so still raised no worries. No cars would question him being there, and the people didn't even notice his existence. Indeed, Melbourne would not allow that to happen as he waits for his participants. It was now time again for a new task that they would need to survive.]
You can listen to my voice. You should hurry and meet me here.
Rowan notices a glint in the corner of his eye, the mysterious suited man sticking out like a sore thumb. Checking the battery on his phone and loading a round into his modified glock in anticipation, the young hunter approaches the man cautiously. Standing in front of him, Rowan clenches his fists and frowns at the taskmaster.
"Alright, then. I'll play your fucked up game. You can spare me any of your cryptic bullshit, though."
Rowan holds the gun behind his back, taking one step away from the man and glancing over at the city buildings for a moment. He then faintly whispers to himself for a second, "too much to protect," before looking back over to his side to check for the rest of the arrivals.
Prima keeps her head bowed as she walks. The blue-haired girl doesn’t even give Melbourne any visible notice till she’s a few feet away from him. Slowly, she lifts her head up, only giving the man a quick sideways glance before scanning the crowd for anyone familiar. Time may heal all wounds, but she still isn’t going to give Melbourne the honor of a simple greeting yet.
(edited by PrimPrim)
The little girl seems to look around in a daze, almost confused. At least before she gets to see Melbourne again. She did a slight giggle like she always does, but it seemed jagged, and the smile plastered on her face was seemingly twitching. Nevertheless, she stares at Melbourne curiously, and excitedly.
"So, it's time...isn't it?"
Penny says, not bothering to call out her first name, nor bothering to call her uncle, uncle. Due to the public company around her at the very least, she absentmindedly plays with one of her other teddy bears, trying to save Mr. Bear for when they get there. Hopefully everyone else gets the memo that she'll be going along with them once again.
Raidou would find himself in Shibuya as well, his stoic demeanor thinly shrouding the anger he felt at merely seeing Melbourne again. His body was calm, and he remained quiet as usual, while his feline assistant stayed perched on his shoulder. The summoner's eyes remained trained on Melbourne, barely passing even a glance to the other participants around him. Neither he nor Gouto said a word, though the latter's expression was as neutral and calm as always.
By convince the oddity that is a wandering Spell Punk would be caught moving through Shibuya for whatever strange questionable matters it has planned. Though such matters would be quickly cut short in a whim as it floats right towards the gather of others.
“I don’t remember scheduling a trip so soon. Drats.”
It would curse under its breath and just move towards the other still and attentive. Recalling from last experience which was a painful away it would be much wiser now to listen in and understand what it’s getting into.
Quintus would walk up wearing a gray coat, the hood pulled up to cover his face. He'd take his time to confirm the identity of the man waiting in the middle of the street.
He'd prefer to keep his distance as he approached. He didn't want to be too close to Melbourne in case they decided to try and psych everyone out. Instead, he'd simply shout over towards Melbourne.
"Well, we're here! What do you want now? We're going back right? I think that's fair to assume at this point! Anything special you have to explain? As long as this isn't a waste of time. I have my own plans to attend to too."
That last line was said more in a muffled tone as if it wasn't as pressing to the current situation.
Ene is hesitant and would rather get lost in the life of Shibuya then return to Melbourne. Some of what he said still grates on her nerves since it did ring true. Yet if she were to follow her desires now then that would be proving Melbourne right on some accounts.
I hate this.
She mutters as she approaches the meeting spot. With her head kept low and her hoodie pulled up she finally arrives, but doesn't say a thing.
Rowan glares at Quintus, sighing slightly before waving over to the hooded man and shouting just as loud as him.
"Don't believe we've met. You a hunter too, or just happen to be in the area? Either way, stay sharp out there!"
He then stares towards Raidou for awhile and tries to shoot a pained smile at his side, breathing deeply and steadily and he begins loosing his body, anxiously crossing his arms.
Arriving fashionably late is a certain pinkish teen, her barbaric-looking guitar sling across her back. She’s not worried about stealth, jumping down onto the street near the others before announcing her presence
“Looks like we’ve got the whole gang here, nice! You guys ready to rock?”
Tot gives a thumbs up to accompany her wide, cheery grin in complete contrast to the overall somber air before she turns to Melbourne
“I take it you’ve got us another gig? I’m game!”
A somewhat tall, dark-haired girl would be pacing around the crossing. She rubbed the back of her neck, her pale eyes glancing around as a collection of strange people seemed to start forming around her. She quickly took notice of the messy-haired man in the middle of the crossing.
"Oh great... I guess I couldn't lay low for that long huh? Something's up I can just feel it!"
The girl pulled a pretty conspicuous bag off of her shoulders, her eyes narrowing in focus as she took an alert stance. Given how she fumbled around her equipment, it was quite clear she hadn't been in any action in a while.
(edited by Takeno)
I see most of you don't have much too say, indeed.
[Melbourne remains motionless, but even a quick look into his void eyes, it would seem apparent that he was amused, even excited for what was about to happen. He would clap his hands, and the people all around would come to a halt. The air becomes lighter, and the colors fade. The people turn to see every single one of the people called to this place at this specific time.]
Indeed, it is time to go right to the point. No more "cryptic" speak, as you indeed say.
Last time, you lost someone... Tatsuya Suou. He died alongside other millions the moment the ICBMs exploded. In light of those events... I called upon a replacement.
[Melbourne would lazily point towards Takeno. After this, the people around them would begin to melt into a black substance, just like last time.]
This time, you must make your way into the future; the future that was meant for all of you.
But don't be afraid, as Raidou Kuzunoha the 14th indeed knows this place. I welcome you into this new "street". One most forget about!
[Melbourne disappear in the blink of an eye, and in his place, a simple portal remains.]
Welcome... to the "Akarana Corridor".
[Would be the last thing he says before his voice can't be heard anymore.]
Raidou's eyes widened, even Gouto was caught marginally off-guard by Melbourne's revelation. The Akarana Corridor, a mysterious void condensed into a single tunnel that binds together realities. The strange "man" was correct, Raidou was familiar with the place. Gouto was the first to speak up, as he glared at Melbourne, his emerald eyes gleaming.
"Hold on a moment. You're sending us THERE? How will w-"
But Melbourne had vanished, leaving nothing but questions in the pair's mind. Quite characteristic of him, frankly. The two shared a glance, and nodded. Despite their misgivings, there didn't seem to be any other path than forward. Gouto instead turned his gaze towards the rest of Melbourne's guests, as Raidou walked towards the portal.
"Alright, look alive ladies and gents. This place is no joke, it'll help to think of it like... if every single world you can think of was in a bag, and this place is made up of bits and pieces that have fallen out. Demons, what we call "Time Tourists", random bits of debris and garbage, it's got it all. Countless realities and times are combined into one little pocket here. Since this is Melbourne we're talking about, I'm hoping we can retain our physical forms while we're passing through. So just, be ready for a fight... and for things to get pretty strange."
Raidou stepped forward towards the entrance, before stopping and turning to Rowan in particular. His gaze was still intense, and the man didn't speak a word. He simply gave the man a stern nod, afterwards returning to staring forward as he and Gouto proceeded into the corridor.
Prima bows her head.
“It sounds rather confusing, but I trust you and Raidou to lead us through, Mr. Gouto. Let us be prepared for anything.”
After taking a moment to make sure there’s nothing else of note, the pokémon-turned-human steps through the portal. The strangest part was, this felt like it would be easier than last time. Funny how not having to worry about countless people dying took the pressure off someone.
"You don't say? The hunter's association database actually mentions something of the sort existing. Demons come from some sort of alternate dimension called the expanse, right? Some recounts say that the messiah of my world used a machine to travel through it, showing him various visions.
But, if what you say is true, could it be possible that this is connected to the origin of demons as well?"
Rowan strokes his chins with his index finger, solemnly furrowing his brow as he taps his foot frantically
"What do you make of all this, Kuzunoha-san? More importantly, what's our next move from here?"
(edited by Rowan)
Tot taps her foot impatiently as she listens to the explanation Raidou offers. It sounds totally crazy, but so was the last mission and considering how boring her usual was the girl was ready to go at it.
“Seriously? Like one of those matrix things? That sounds TOTALLY WICKED!”
Tot jumps a bit in excitement, totally hyped and ready to go as she follows Raidou and Prim into the corridor
Penny shook a black furred teddy bear impatiently as she listened to Raidou explain the conditions of where we are supposed to be going next. While it’d be nice to ask questions...everyone else is going through. No time for those when we’re already going.
Was all she chose to say as she follows those that had gone before them into the portal. Surely it’d going to be way easier than the first mission. Totally.
The Spell Punk would cock its head more so in confusion quite opposite of its intent to try and understand the situation at hand. It groans and speaks on.
"I can't seem to picture anything about what you said but I expect it to be just as unpleasant as last time. It would be a lucky miracle if we do make do through this."
The Spell Punk would just float along with the other in the back more so. Perhaps an actual experience will make sense for the closed mind or maybe not.
Ene anxiously stares at the portal.
That thing doesn't look too safe and are we really trusting Melbourne again???
She wishes that the good cheer of her companions was infectious. Yet she instead finds fear already biting at her and her feet frozen in place. Staying behind doesn't seem like a great prospect either she realizes upon looking around. A noise of frustration escapes her, but as people step through the portal she finds that once again her options suck.
You people make me feel like Shinatro ...
Ene forces herself to walk up to the portal and looks around one last time. Releasing a hurried scream into her palms she makes peace with what she is about to do and just does it. Runs into the darn thing before she can change her mind.
"A replacement for Tatsuya?! Me?! T-There must be some sort of mistake, I-I really can't do anything comparable to him!!!"
As Melbourne disappeared Take widened her eyes, holding her forehead and groaning anxiously. Her eyes darted to the others, and as Raidou explained just where they were going she couldn't help but laugh.
"Great... so we're going into some sort of messed up demon dimension. Well, if I'm here in Tatsuya's stead, sorry to say that I'm probably not gonna live up to expectations. That being said, I'm looking forward to working with you all."
She spoke with a deep sense of dread in her voice, each step towards the portal shaky and slow. Right before she stepped through the portal she turned around, glancing at the city street she came from and frowning. "Why am I doing this? I have no obligation to help out, I just got dragged into this out of nowhere... but if what they said about Tatsuya is true..."
Finally, she swallowed all her fears, at least for now, and leapt into the portal.
[As the group goes through the portal, they are surrounded by nothing but darkness at first. The air is rather thin, but a general sense of dread looms. At the same time, they are able to somewhat tell faint voices coming from somewhere, some praying, others cursing their fate. In the distance, a dragon with human arms, seven spiked red heads raises up and roars in sequence, and each time, a blinding flash of light would follow. Each flash would force images upon their eyes. A large tower in the middle of a romantic city crumbles on top of scared people running away; a white mansion filled with politicians is burnt to a crisp by shadowy horned beings; rays of light as powerful as the Sun descend from the skies and decimate those hiding in the dunes; mountains break apart as bombs go off on top of them, while the falling rocks destroy thousands of houses. With each flash, time would keep advancing from 1992, all the way to 2022. The faint voices would turn into screams of horror and pleads for help that would muffle all the crying among the noise. Eventually, each one of the voices would be silenced. In the end, all they hear is the wind.]
You've missed quite a bit, everyone. Indeed, the entire world crumble into nothingness.
[Melbourne would say from somewhere as the find themselves standing on grey platforms placed randomly in one place or the other, above or below with no real order. Into the distance, squares of similar color would be equally placed on what seemed to be an infinite cube. Indeed, they were floating in the middle of nothing, but their platform with a giant hourglass in the middle of it. From there, they could notice different sets of stairs taking into different directions, and a cut off path right to their north. There would be a long stairway leading up on their north-east; a simple path leading towards the east; another path towards their south-east; a stairway leading into the depths to their south-west; a short stairway leading up to the west; a path going towards their north-west. There would be no other signs of life anywhere, and their bodies retained their physical form, but the rules were the same as before.]
[The gear they used in 1992 is all back, including the objects collected in the Diamond Realm. Furthermore, non-humans have been returned into their human forms. Finally, their powers are changed into their weaker forms.]
Prima has to close her eyes to keep her head from spinning, and only when the noise dies down does she take in her surroundings. She puts one hand on the smooth hourglass exterior. It was a human symbol. It represented... time, did it?
“I... this is quite unexpected. And we have multiple paths again, yet I worry about spreading ourselves too thin.”
Rather than choose right now, Prima waits for everyone else’s thoughts. At the very least, she wants to make sure Ene will be stable and safe, and a solid plan is better than rushing ahead.
“Raidou, this realm is not new to you, correct? What are your thoughts on how to proceed?”
Tot looks around at the images, the noise. It wasn't as loud as one of her concerts, but it was all very fast and flashy. A neat experience she didn't get much of, even if she failed to really understand it. Tot would glance around her, giving the group a thumbs up so as to say she's O.K
Now without her transformation Tot would look to be a punkish, blonde girl in her late teens, maybe early twenties wearing a black leather jacket, some combat boots, with a worn black choker around her neck. The girl reaches into one of her pockets and pulls out a piece of gum, popping it in her mouth before she starts talking
"Alright kids, looks like we've got 6 paths and 9 agents. We'll want to try to cover it all so our options are forming 3 squads of 3 and going in two rounds, or 3 squads of 2 and 3 solo runners. More is safer but hey if one of you has a death wish I ain't gonna judge."
Tot taps her foot for a moment as she looks at the trails laid before them
Raidou barely blinked at the flashing of visions in his eyes as he continued walking forward resolutely. Once the crossroad was reached, Raidou would stop and examine the paths around him. He had felt his cloak and most of his summoning tubes disappear, leaving only his trusted two companions. Irritating, but not unexpected. He listened to what everyone who had spoken had to say, before pressing a hand to his chin to mull over their situation. After a moment, he'd not to Gouto. They were the only veterans of this place, so it was on them to try and provide some sort of guidance. The summoner, for one, was grateful to have Prim and Rowan here, he knew from experience that they were reliable. You needed that kind of trust in this place. Gouto spoke up once again from Raidou's shoulder, addressing the group.
"While I'm not exactly thrilled about being back here, nor going along so willingly with Melbourne's scheme, I suppose I'm not exactly the legs in my team, am I? Regardless of what we'd all rather be doing, we're here now, and have no real choice but to make do. So, to start: I'm immediately going to have to propose against exploring every single pathway here. While I'd like to think Melbourne has planned to provide some sort of guidance to prevent this from happening, wandering the Akarana Corridor is asking for death. No being, mortal or otherwise, can truly fathom how expansive this place is. You'd die long before you saw even a fraction of what this place truly is."
Raidou nodded. He'd come here a handful of times, and each time he felt like he was wandering through a hedge maze with his eyes closed. Not the best feeling, and not one he'd want to wish on everyone else.
"So, I'd like to suggest we discuss which paths we wish to travel, and if we do depart, to do so in decently sized groups. This place itself is dangerous, and that's not even counting the demons and other nasty buggers that pass through here. Other than that, I have no real preference on where Raidou and I go, or who we go with. Though, if possible, I'd like us all to remain in as large a group as possible."
Quintus had been quiet until now, simply taking in all around him and not responding to anyone even when approached. He wasn't sure who to trust, anyone here might be a servant of YHVH. Regardless, this place was dangerous, that much was obvious and only one person here seemed to understand just how dangerous this place was.
Quintus would step up to Raidou and Gouto not hesitating with his next decision.
"Alright, I'm going with you. Before my excuse was simply that I'd slow you down but I'd rather not die in a place like this and from the sound of it going fast or slow is less of an issue here if this place is as massive as you say.
Regardless of what happens I'm determined to survive above everything else."
Take was absolutely panicking at the noises and visuals she was surrounded with after entering the portal, initially curious and confused at the sight of the immense destruction before her. Once the voices started getting louder and eventually turning to screaming, she cupped her hands over her ears and collapsed onto her knees.
As the scenery changed and all the overwhelming sound turned into dead silence, she finally stood back up, looking incredibly dazed, and even stumbling on her footing. Finally she spoke again, her normal loud and enthusiastic voice replaced by a quiet whimper.
"W-Where the hell...? Oh... another surreal wasteland."
At the suggestion of splitting up, Take scoots to be as close to as many people as she feasibly can, practically hugging herself as she glanced between each pathway.
"D-Do we really have to split up? After all, I don't even know what we're doing here, or even who any of you are! Wouldn't splitting into a group of three just mean two people have to deal with dead weight?"
Penny simply entered humming, even in the vicinity of those visions surrounding her. That of death, and destruction. Though she wasn’t visibly nervous, her smile slowly faded as she started to hug her teddy bear tighter and tighter.
As the scenery starts to change once again, she drops her black colored teddy bear and decides to take out her phone, summoning her Bugbear once more. Her dark pink furred, blue button eyed toy with skulls in it’s umbilical region unveiled by a zipper, and a necklace that contained a blue vial. Penny felt much more comfortable with it around.
“Penny doesn’t care where we go. As long as we don’t go boom.”
She held her demon bear close to her and simply grinned at all of her allies, having to look up to even try and get some form of eye contact. Penny’s bear twitched slightly, excited to move freely as soon as the girl decides to release her grasp of him.
“But I don’t know whether splitting up is best. It’s easier to be picked off that way.”
The Spell Punk would be mostly still through this unraveling portion. While the others discussed it would take a moment to weight the options being presented before trying to interject some of its own thoughts on the matter.
"I think we're capable of splitting up into groups, if I recall by us all splitting we were able to cover more ground and advance further through the peculiar area we found ourself last time. Though this many pathways begs to be deceive not every single one will be touched so best make use of our time."
It squint at each narrowing path glancing back and forth between before continuing.
"Seeing as thats the problem at hand i'm willing go through with a splitting to accompany anyone need be or if you need operate alone. Though preferably the former since I doubt it will be any easier this time, unless I wish to over push my own limits and constant faint...or even more horrific events."
“With that in mind, I suggest we split into no more than three groups, although I’d prefer two to be safe. I trust Raidou to take good care of his party, so I will join anyone who chooses to not follow him.”
Prima draws her gun with her pointer finger resting on the side.
“While I do agree covering a lot of ground is a good goal, I worry if a challenge as strong as Daisoujou appears before too small a group, Spell Punk.”
Ene stares off into nothing as the voice forced into her head howl on. She simply allows her mind to momentarily drift away into happier times until the noise finally stops. When it's safe for her to come to she takes a few seconds too long to pay attention and by the time she does everyone seems set on doing something or other.
I don't care which group I'm put in so all of you can go ahead and make the decisions.
She tunes out once again after she has said what was on her mind. Her gaze latches onto the nothingness and she sinks to her knees in wait.
"If I may add, there is one disadvantage to having too big of a group. We'd basically be sitting ducks with how easy it would be to spot such a group. Granted, we can always weather out an assault against every demon we come across."
Rowan looks at the paths around him, cocking his head to get a better perspective as he furrows his brow.
"This is quite the crossroads. Maybe I should've actually installed some of those apps the Hunter's Association recommended instead of using all my phone space for games. Come to think of it, I haven't really played Dragalia Lost since the day it released."
Rowan facepalms at his own lack of preparation and points to a path at random. Specifically, the south-west one.
"That way looks interesting. Let's hurry up and start the excursion."
"Well then since I'm the one who suggested splitting up I should be dealing with the handicap, right?"
Tot edges in closer to Takeno, nudging the other girl on the shoulder while bearing a wide, almost infectious grin.
"So I've got one here, and I've worked with the kid before, so we've already got our a team of three."
Next Tot would point to Penny, waving for the younger girl to join her and Takeno. If the group's all set she'd bring her arms around both of her new teammates.
"Raddy and Grey are going together so that leaves the rest of you four to decide if you want pairs or groups of three, cool?"
Impatient as she may be, Tot would at least wait for confirmation from her hoped for teammates before heading off anywhere. That's just common sense
(edited by Tot_Pop)
Penny jumped for joy, shaking her demonic teddy bear in the process. She waved back with Bugbear's stubby arm, and then ran over to where Tot was.
"Hi again, miss! Penny's here!"
She giggled as she hugged her stuffed bear, but inside, she was actually pretty shocked Tot chose to be with her again. After all, wasn't it her...programming...that almost got them both killed?
"Hi, other lady. Penny's Penny. And this is Mr. Bear."
Hopefully this is not going overboard. Penny made her bugbear wave again, and then simple glanced back at the others that have gathered here in hopes that they get their own possible groups together.
Raidou nodded in response to Quintus' request. While the man may be a bit abrasive, his abilities could be trusted. He had no qualms with Quintus accompanying him. After hearing out the conversation, Gouto spoke again.
"I believe that the benefits of staying in one large group are substantial, though Rowan does make a fair point. I'd like for us all to remain unified, but if a fight is to break out, the chaos might prove too difficult to manage. As things stand, I believe many of us have differing objectives here. With that in mind, if you wish to split into several groups, neither Raidou nor myself will try to stop you.
Gouto turned to the panicked Takeno specifically this time. He didn't quite know what to make of her yet, but he could hardly blame her for losing her cool in a strange scenario such as this.
"That said, little lady, if you'd feel better accompanying the two of us as well, you're more than welcome to. That goes for any of you, actually. Takeno not withstanding, we can trust all of your capabilities, you all survived that last excursion, and that's enough for us. Plenty of you even entered the Diamond Realm, so with that in mind you should have a decent enough idea of what to expect in here: Lots of weirdness, very little things actually making sense. We'll welcome any of your help, but we can also trust you all enough not to get killed in here; so either outcome is fine by us."
"Truth be told, I'm not sure I have a preference for anyone here. I trust whoever feels like taking a risk on me! I'm just sorry I can't be certain I offer much benefit to the team. But I promise if you give me a chance I'll give it my all!!"
It seemed like just the slightest support was enough to elevate her from her initial moodiness to a sudden enthusiasm over the situation, doing a modest fist bump and offering a wide smile.
"But from what you're all saying, it sounds like there's very little certainty in what we can expect going forwards, so maybe I'm not as far behind as I thought. Best be on our toes though!"
Take reaches into her bag and grabs a fairly basic training sword, more specifically a generic katana, and rests it on her shoulders, ready for action!
[The longer they stayed in their initial platform, more details were easier to make out. Of course, there were still different directions to take: North-East taking to the highest platform; East taking to a nearby platform; South-East being a rather short distance; South-West taking to the deepest platform; West taking to a higher platform; North-West taking to a seemingly faraway platform, downwards. Loking to their North, they wiuld be able to clearly see a separate plarform with a portal, or rather, a few of them. In front of them, a man covered in shadows would wait, his back pressed against a nearby broken pillar with both arms crossed, just staring at the group. Furthermore, the hourglass next to them had five drawings of smaller hourglasses, with a small white line drawn on the floor connecting it to the gap in the North. Finally, they would notice a slight detail in each other. They all had an aura of different colors: Prima and Ene would both share a Light Blue one; Raidou, Rowan and Spell Punk would all share a Dark Green aura; Quintus and Takeno on the other hand, had a Crimson aura; Penny's would be color Grey; and finally, Tot's was a simple shade of Green.]
“Alright then, if Raddy wants the new girl, then I’ll take Blue.”
of course Tot did hear the whole speech about sticking to one group, but that’d take forever and Raddy wasn’t gonna complain. Looking around she was actually kinda familiar with this aura deal, but it didn’t bother Tot in any case.
“That’ll leave Raddy with Grey and the new girl, and the other three to make their own group. Doing that we can cover the place no problem.”
The girl would put one arm around Ene to pull them up to their feet as she looks around.
“Let’s each come up with our own thing to mark which path we’ve taken so no one ends up repeating, just in case.”
Tot would take out the gum she’s been chewing and hold onto it for the moment.
“Mine’ll be some of the used gum I found. Can’t waste it. We all good? Then let’s go!”
Once everyone is ready Tot would aim to lead her group on the Southeastern path, just because it seemed fairly short, and leave her piece of gum at the head of the path
(edited by Tot_Pop)
“Fine by me, tee-hee!”
The usage of pronouns are very important, and so is team composition. After all, daddy said that if your soldiers are out of place, your team base won’t be in first place. Having Ene around is fine, but she’s never actually spoken to her other than at the end of the last journey.
“I think this is great, but first,”
Penny ran towards where she had normally dropped her teddy bear, picking it up and then dropped it at the head of the path so as to mark that it’ll be traversed or something. She’s hoping that they’ll get to be able pass by again, because that’s the only reason it’s being placed there.
“Penny contributes. And now Penny is ready.”
Ene lets herself get dragged to her feet. Not caring much about the team composition she does not object to the choice made on her behalf. Instead she looks at her new teammates and suppresses a frown. She can't really muster the same pleasant mode that the others have so she instead remains passive.
We can go whenever gals.
She would then follow after Tot and Penny without another word to be said.
“Wonderful that sorts things out very nicely. Very safe travels to the rest of you then where ever you venture. With that it leaves me with...”
It would move towards Prima and Rowan and gesture to them to gather as it continues to ramble.
“Hm yes it seems we’re setting off again in trio like before. Lets hope nothing like that Daisoujou strikes us again since I wouldn’t want to strain myself again, it took quite the winds out of my robe. Well let’s make haste we got ground to cover and I doubt lounging around will do us any benefits.
As quick as it was to ramble it’s words out, it started making way down its own path near the south-west and gestured for its commentates to following in suit but paying attention more to the path ahead.
Raidou and Gouto were vaguely familiar with the color system that Melbourne had utilized before, however, things seemed a bit different this time. The pair found little reason to dwell on it too much though, as they quickly found that the ever-energetic Tot had assigned everyone else off into groups, leaving them to work with Quintus and Takeno. Gouto addressed the pair while Raidou himself examined the hourglass in the center, particularly the etchings.
"Well then, I suppose we'll be working as a trio this time. Quintus is already familiar with us, but for the lady, my name is Gouto-Doji, and the quiet one over there is Raidou Kuzunoha. We'll be counting on you, both of you."
Raidou only briefly turned his head from the hourglass when Gouto spoke his name, before quickly turning back to what had caught his attention. Five hourglasses, with a clear connection being placed between the larger object and the gap that prevented them from going north. He could make a decent guess as to what this meant, but at the moment that's all it really was. The man eventually joined up with his companions, a slight smile present on his face. He'd silently point to the northwestern path, and tilt his head slightly as-if to confirm if everyone was okay with going that way.
“Perhaps it’s for the best that we have the same team as last time. Familiarity has an advantage when teamwork is involved... let us be off, then.”
Prima waves to the other two groups before following Spell Punk. Whatever would happen, she wished them the best. Actually, more like prayed for the best. Wishes weren’t enough for whatever Melbourne had in store for them.
"In the end it doesn't matter much which way we go. We're incapable of knowing where each direction will lead, afterall. We're taking a shot in the dark here.
I'm not a miracle worker but I'll try to be of use anyway."
That being said he'd simply go along with the route Raidou had pointed out. It wasn't as though he had a better plan to simply move forward.
Take offered a two fingered salute to Gouto and Raidou, and then to Quintus.
"Then I suppose I should properly introduce myself before we head on our way! Takenomi Yoshiko, at your service!"
As she assumed her normal stance, she'd start following behind Quintus slowly, waving at the rest of the group. Turning to face the path ahead of them, she rubbed the back of her neck nervously, still trying to take in the surreal landscape they were seeing.
"So, out of curiosity, do you two have any idea who that guy is? The creepy guy who brought us here? I'm kinda used to being roped into paranormal nonsense, but this feels a lot more sinister than usual."
[As Raidou, Takeno and Quintus make their way up the stairway towards the north-east, they feel a distant choir make a peaceful and calming melody. It was slow; angelic. Amidst the music, they would make up random words hidden among the notes, such as "Messiah", "Hawk", "Elder" and "Order". Once at the top, a new hourglass is visible, but this one flickers between different colors. It goes from yellow, to azure, to light blue, to dark green. It beckons for those with matching colors to get closer, and, upon closer inspection, the hourglass would be simply labeled as "20XX", the last two digits being impossible to make out.]
[Making their way to the bottom, Rowan, Prima and Punk would hear the faint noise of cackling. Bones shattering could be heard hiding among the insane giggling and laughter with distorted voices. Certain words could be understood, however; "General", "Fiend", "Lord" and finally, "Parasyte". Once at the end, the hourglass of the platform would flicker between different colors; crimson, purple, red, grey and dark green. It beckons for those with matching colors to get closer, and, upon closer inspection, the hourglass would be simply labeled as "200X", the last digit being impossible to make out.]
[The stairways leading towards the south-east would be mostly silent, were it not for the distant sound of waves and different buildings being constructed. "Gaean", "Messian", "Social community" and "Cathedral" are words that stand out in the calm. At the end, a colorless hourglass awaits with 6 small hourglass-shaped drawings on its base. You have the feeling that this hourglass won't work as it is right now.]
Prima frowns slightly at the colors before her eyes. They don’t match her light blue, and the noises surrounding the three are unsettling.
“Rowan, Spell Punk, it seems this one is meant for your color, not mine. Maybe it’s due to me being of Law, whatever that means. But just in case...”
Knowing better than to assume blindly thanks to last time, the woman attempts to approach the hourglass. If her efforts lead to nothing, that’s a shame. She’ll double back towards the path Ene, Tot, and Penny took in that case.
Raidou proceeded onward with his companions, Gouto in tow. To follow through with the other groups' actions, he produced a simple mahjong tile from his pocket and flipped it like a coin on the path behind them to mark where they had gone. He walked with a certain alertness about him. All things considered, he had every right to be on edge here. Gouto meanwhile, took to responding to Takeno.
"Ah, Melbourne. Well, can't say we know much about him, even with our numerous encounters with him. We were roped into one of his previous schemes to help out a good friend, but we wound up knee-deep in this one out of, er... personal obligations, on Raidou's part."
At that, Raidou's composure dropped briefly. Touchy subject, that one was. Regardless, Gouto continued.
"Still, we don't really know anything conclusive about that thing. He's certainly something much greater than a human, and while we've never seen him truly fight anything, it's safe to assume he's something far greater than what we'd really classify as "strong". He doesn't seem to exactly care much about our lives either, we lost a good man last time we were with him, and Melbourne just "replaced" him at the drop of a hat. That's where you come in, Yoshiko. Even still, he claims that there are some kinds of lessons to be learned from these ordeals. It's hard to pinpoint an exact motive from him... Well, it's hard to pinpoint anything about him, really."
The pair eventually stopped in front of the hourglass. Raidou touched his fingers to his chin, before beginning to approach the object, so long as nobody else had an objection.
"Looks like this one's on you, Raidou. If the others are fine with it, don't see much else we can do but approach. Brace yourselves, people."
"My opinion is to ignore Melbourne. I already tried to fight him and as has been said, it's impossible. He didn't even need to do much of anything to keep me at bay. Honestly, you shoul just treat him as some joint fever dream we all share. I'm not entirely unconvinced that that's what he is."
Quintus would simply look over at the hourglass. The colors didn't make much sense to him. He would wonder if it had something to do with those of law as Louis had mentioned. Could it be that there was more than simply law in terms of allegiance? If so then what did the colors represent? All he knew, for now, was that red was his own color and that one of his current group members was also red.
There was some relief in knowing one person here at least could be trusted if that was the case. That being said he'd simply step forward with the others, unsure if he could even enter with them given the mismatched colors.
"Even if we can enter, should we? For all, we know having the wrong color could make whatever's on the other side more eager to kill us."
"So he just sorta shows up, takes you all somewhere, and tries to teach you a lesson? Can't say I'm one for his methods. And he wants me to 'replace' your friend? That's what confuses me the most. What does he want with me? With all of us?"
Take glances away pensively, shaking her head. She didn't have much time to do so, as after seeing the colors flash by on the hourglass, she raised a brow and starts pacing around the object, examining each and every detail quite thoroughly. She'd gesture to Raidou, shrugging.
"Well, it doesn't take a genius to tell you that this thing is color-coded. And it looks like two thirds of us are out of luck. Hey, you guys wouldn't happen to have communicators or anything, right? Maybe we could call the others, see who matches what?"
She started staring at the crimson aura that surrounded her, then at the auras surrounding Raidou and Quintus. A mischevious grin spread across her face, but she seemed a little nervous despite that, speaking with a slightly higher pitch in her voice
"I say we try pissing it off and touching it anyways! But that is only assuming you two are feeling adventurous! Who knows, maybe that's just what we need?"
(edited by Takeno)
Tot flicks one of the hourglasses curiously, but to no avail. After a moment looking further down the path, the girl shrugs and turns to her companions
"Well looks like we probably found the exit. At the least we've got nothing here so I guess we're going back to base early?"
Tot raises an eyebrow to see what the other two think before, if we're all in agreement, she heads back to the main platform
The Spell would not be to riled by both strange and peculiar sounds or words floating in the air it was at this point part of the course and if it were to think about it the less sense it would make. The hourglass though was something like a fresh breeze in this dreadful course, so like any Spell Punk it would want to get curious.
“I feel like i’m staring at something quite literally from the past. Ironic in this sense but still if it was I think it’s troublesome, still all the more worth checking out. But I should keep emphasizing how we should touch or tamper to much in its presence I get just bad senses right off it for some reason.”
The Spell Punk would cautiously follow behind Prima to approach the hourglass quite mesmerized by the colourful lights more then anything else but wishing to not get to ahead of its own self.
[Raidou approaches the hourglass, and as soon as he does, strange music fill his ears. He can see one young man with long black hair and a strange armor of colors black and pale-yellow walking through a celebrating crowd of people dressed in white and blue. He approaches a separate balcony to gaze at the gigantic city below. Takeno and Quintus would not be able to see or hear any of this, however. Upon further inspection, it's easy to notice the hourglass is rather old, as if the last time it was ever cleaned was over 20 years ago. Then, in the blink of an eye, Raidou would disappear from where he was and to them, the hourglass would light up, creating a massive pillar of light into the infinite sky above. From the perspective of the devil summoner, however, he would find himself surrounded by the very same people he was observing moments ago. Indeed, he was now inside the visions of 20XX.]
[Punk would suddenly find himself in the roof of a building. Looking over at the city, he would notice thunders falling from the sky as the horizon folds in on itself violently. Buildings fall apart but others remain in perfect condition, and where trees and vegetation once were, sand replaces their place. In a matter of seconds, the city of Tokyo becomes a sphere in which the sky is another part of the city, and in the center, a sun-like orb floats with a perpetual white light. Prima would only see the lone one disappears in the blink of an eye as she approaches the hourglass with no issues. However, nothing happens for her, as she sees or hears nothing coming from it. But she may notice the pillar of light that's coming from higher up, in the direction Raidou, Quintus and Takeno went. Meanwhile, Punk would find himself in a closed off crimson tunnel with a dark void below. About three seconds pass before he actually realizes he is freefalling at incredible speeds through the tunnel and into the depths below, with tons of floating rocks are quickly approaching. Given the speed at which they are, if the rocks hit, it would prove to be deadly.]
[As soon as the pillar lights up, those who remain would suddenly be able to tell faint flickering colors in the different direction they can choose. The North East would feature azure, dark green, light blue, green, yellow and grey. The East would have crimson, azure, dark green, light blue, green and red. Further into the East, a faint aura could be felt, although colorless, similar to the hourglass waiting at the South East. The South West would feature crimson, dark green, purple, red and grey. The West would feature crimson, azure, dark green, purple, yellow and grey. Finally, North West would have no colors.]
Raidou actually vaguely recognized the armored man, from the fleeting battle with several messiahs back-to-back he had fought alongside his previous companions that lead to him obtaining Kusanagi. He couldn't recall the man's name, but a face like that was hard to forget. In any case, he and Gouto merely had to blink before finding themselves in a new location. The pair looked around in a slight panic, Gouto calling out for their allies.
"Quintus? Yoshiko? Hey!"
It was for naught though. The pair were now alone in this new reality.
"Damnit! Well, I guess we should've seen this coming. Nothing to do about it now, I don't see an easy way back from here. We'll just have to trust them to handle themselves for now, and get through this place quickly. Stay sharp, Raidou."
Raidou nodded, and pushed his way through the crowd to get a better look at the man ahead. He wasn't approaching him directly just yet, simply trying to get a better grasp of the situation.
(edited by Raidou Kuzunoha)
Prima’s walk back to where they started is uneventful, at least until the pillar of light above catches her eye. Raidou’s group went that way.
“I wish you and Rowan the best, Spell Punk. I’ll do my best on my side.”
Her words echo into thin air and fade among the sound of her feet hitting the staircase leading to where Raidou’s trio had gone. She’d pause for a moment to observe Takeno and Quintus’s auras - the latter not compatible with this light at all - before approaching this area’s hourglass.
"Seems as if my initial suspicions were right. It won't let us enter because we're red. Well...No point in really waiting out here. I was hoping to stick with the most experienced among us too but it can't be helped now."
Quintus would begin walking away but would offer a quick word to his other companion first.
"I'm going down the West path. You can come along if you want or not. What you do isn't really my business given we're all stuck in this situation together anyway."
That and he honestly didn't believe Yoshiko would cause any trouble anyway. She has that same red aura around her so that must have meant something at the very least.
He'd begin making his way towards the western path.
"Never trust an hourglass never! Always leading to some trouble in whatever way!"
After it finishes yelling at itself while free falling to death it tries to come up with a quick plan on the spot. It tries scanning its own brain for whatever spells and goes with last ditch effort casting a Gryva Spell on itself to try and suspended or slow it’s own fall from the oncoming floor.
We might as well.
Ene shrugs her shoulders and follows after Tot.
Penny initially nods, but after taking a quick look, it seems that she feels that she needs to go somewhere else. A route that's probably not where any of these two girls are going. Thus, she runs up to Tot and tugs her sleeve.
"Penny thinks she should go west. Is that fine?"
She pointed over where west is...but mostly the direction, and not the actual pathway. Nevertheless, she feels that her mind is made up.
Tot looks down at Penny, eyeing the younger girl for a moment before nodding
"Yeah, that's cool. Looks like I can't go with you though, so you'll have to be extra careful. Alright?"
After letting Penny confirm Tot would pat the girl on the head and let them go on the way. Afterwards Tot would look around the remaining paths, before nodding to Ene
"East? Looks like one of the few places left for us."
If Ene confirms Tot would jump up a bit before heading down the Eastern path
Take stared at the hourglass, her brow raised about as far as it can go before shaking her head and throwing her hands up.
"Well, everything seems quiet so far, so at least for now I think we're safe! I'll stick with you though. After all, this Melbourne guy colored us the same way, wherever you need to be surely is the same place I gotta be, right? Or... at least... I hope so!"
With a semi-enthusiastic trot, she'd head West, making sure to stick behind Quintus, her eyes still darting around anxiously.
[As Raidou moves ahead, he finds himself accompanied by Prima, who simply appeared by the young man’s side without even remembering how exactly it was that she got there, as if both people had always been there to begin with. They are able to grasp a bit more of their surrounding and its people. They can listen to some people happily singing and discussing recent events, such as how it is amazing that God had finally sent them their long-awaited messiah, he who would lead them to a new age and the promised land. The walls had ample screens with a resolution to its image that almost made it seem like nothing but a window; colors so vibrant it made reality look like a joke, or as if the eyes of each human was inherently faulty. On one of them, the biggest one, two people are desperately fighting for their lives. The text under it reads "Shock! Messiah vs Anti-Messiah! The Repeat at the Valhalla Colosseum!". The Warrior in Yellow Raidou had seen before was clashing his sword against another one wearing a white armor and green coat; his hair was black and spiky and had a white COMP on his left wrist. Indeed, looking for long enough at his face would reveal an uncanny resemblance to Kazuya; but with an almost disgusting smirk full of arrogance.]
"I will not be beaten, Aleph!! You, Anti-Messiah, have deceived the people for far too long!!"
[A woman with straight black hair, pale skin, wearing a white and blue bandana over her head would appear on the screen. Her face was the spitting image of Yuka.]
"Please, stop this Daleth!! Aleph, don't fight anymore!!"
"Don't get in my way, Beth!"
[And so, they keep clashing their swords as demons use their magic against one another. People watching would cheer on the man called "Aleph", while badmouthing the other known as "Daleth". Their drinks coming from the different bottles with all kinds of shape is red, and even some knight-looking people are slacking off. An older man dressed as the other appears and slaps the drink of the younger ones before yelling at them, forcing them to go back to their positions. One lets out a massive sigh before looking at Raidou straight to the eyes, and Gouto as well. He seems confused until the older one comes back.]
"Kuzunoha!! Hurry the hell up, or I swear the 39th will hear about this!"
"Alright, alright, I got you. Sorry..."
[He would shrug and mutter something under his breath while looking extremely annoyed as he follows the man out a southern door. Outside, the Warrior in Yellow, "Aleph", has a simple glass of water on his right hand, looking out to the horizon in absolute silence; not a single person daring to approach him for the moment for one reason or another.]
- 0 -
[Rowan, who was now falling into the abyss alongside Punk, would find his own speed to become rather slow thanks to the gravity bending ability of the other. Indeed, they would gracefully keep falling into the unknown depths as they see the rocks from before passing them; round rocks simply floating there for no apparent reason. Minutes would pass, and eventually, they would find themselves at the bottom. The circular wall surrounding them was just the same as the one they had seen the moment they were pulled into this strange realm. In front of them, a bizarre, circular door with golden boarders and red center was keeping them from the room ahead, from which a distorted young voice was coming from, alongside one belonging to a girl.]
???: “So I have to deal with another labyrinth? What is up with that old man and mazes.”
???: “Could be worse, at least you get to fight some strong foes.”
???: “All of them are demon we already defeated back in the Vortex World anyways, I would rather have something new to fight.”
???: “If I didn’t know any better, I would call you a demon right from the get-go, geez.”
[Both voices keep bickering with one another, becoming more and more distant by the second.]
[Going through the stairway to the west would make Quintus, Penny and Takeno hear the faint sound of a school bell goes off in the distance, and the bickering of high schoolers is all around. One specific voice sounds angrier than the others, filled of resentment and disdain, as if pleading for all of them to shut up at once. At the end, an hourglass labelled as “Alt.199X” flickering with different colors awaits. Approaching it, they see visions of a teenager dressed in a white uniform and black hair sitting in the middle of a gym, drawing a tetragrammaton. He would place candles on the ends of the star right before offering some of his own blood to the center. Soon enough, as the young man impatiently waits for something to occur, a black vortex pulls him into a blank space where he is quickly surrounded by all kinds of demons. After these quick events unfold, the pair finds themselves waking up in the middle of a colorless classroom. The chairs and desks are all properly placed, and the chalkboard lacks any kind of dust on it. It is safe to assume that no one had been there, and yet, it seemed like at least one person was somewhere in the building, waiting for them.]
- 0 -
[The path of stairs leading towards the east reveals a hourglass rather quickly, labelled simply as “POTENTIAL”. Standing on the platform, they could hear someone typing on a keyboard. From there, they are also able to see a set of stairs leading down towards an hourglass without colors. Soon enough, the sound of typing on a keyboard stops, and is instead replaced with a calm voice.]
“Ah, it’s nice to finally meet you two. I was wondering when it was that someone from your group would come to this place. Please, don’t be afraid. You two have nothing to worry about.”
[As soon as this happens, they are able to see for a brief moment how a woman in a tight white dress with orange stripes puts a helmet on them both as they lie in some kind of capsule. Immediately after, they regain their senses inside an entirely white realm that feels completely real, and yet somehow, you can tell it’s a fake. Behind you is the exit to the strange maze, but ahead lies a straightforward path, alongside strange whispering and echoing voices.]
“Be careful! Remember that while inside the Virtual Battler you can’t die, but don’t overdo it!”
[A cheery female voice would tell them before they are left all alone to their devices.]
Raidou ended up shocked by several things all in a row. Firstly was Prima suddenly being there, followed by the mentions of Kuzunoha and the video on the screen. The mention of a Kuzunoha, XXXIX no less, did catch him off-guard. Still, it did clue him in to a few details. Similarly, the presence of people who, at the bare minimum, greatly resembled Kazuya and Yuka was rather concerning, but at least let him know that this was likely a similar world to the one those two had come to know. He couldn't help but wonder where the real Kazuya was. There was no way he could imagine the man he knew with a look like that on his face. Either way, that was all conjecture. It seemed the best way to get answers here was to approach the man named Aleph. Thus, he made a quick glance towards Gouto, who began to speak in his stead as usual.
"Prima, how did you get here? Didn't you go down another path with those other girls? Well, I suppose it doesn't matter all too much how
you ended up with us. We're just glad to have you along. We figure it'd be best to talk to the guy who looks like the star of the show here, so any backup is appreciated."
Raidou nodded, and should Prima not object, he would try to approach the strangely-dressed man. If not stopped in his attempt, he'd simply clear his throat to let him know somebody was behind him.
Um, excuse me... You are the one known as Aleph, correct?
(edited by Raidou Kuzunoha)
Prima has to let her eyes adjust to this vibrant scenery. It’s like something out of a fantasy. The image of the Kazuya- and Yuka-kile figures is surreal as well. Are they... no, they’re not fighting right now. “Aleph” is here, so this must be a recording. She attempts to answer Gouto’s question despite the fog in her mind.
“I... think I did, but I couldn’t go with them for some reason. I must have followed you instead. Still, are you and that man related, Raidou?”
She watches the door close behind “Kuzunoha” before shaking her head.
“We can probably investigate that later anyhow...”
The girl resigns herself to following Raidou towards Aleph. She had never seen the man aside from on that screen, but he had an aura Prima couldn’t put her fli- er, finger on.
“Oooh, wicked. Time for the two of us to show our potential then eh?”
Tot nudges Ene’s shoulder, cheery as usual as the pair head down the somewhat narrow pass soon enough they’d reach the strange, lab place. It wasn’t something she was used to, but she wouldn’t panic. Once again Tot would be in an open place. The girl doesn’t let any of this weirdness slow her down, pumping her fist in the air before turning to her partner with a grin
“Cool, I haven’t gotten one of these training things in forever. Let’s do our best cool?”
Finally, Tot would head down the straightforward path, the only seemingly available for now
“That was a smooth descent seems my luck and support is quite in my favour now where does that leaves us?”
Its eyes fell upon the circular strange door standing before its eyes. It also catches the sound of two voices chatting about intriguing but the words also a bit concerning for it personally.
“Leaves us with company so best look sharp and hope for no ill intent I hope.”
It would creep up so it was besides the door itself getting a better view to examine it and try to lean in and listen in on those voices but it suspects that who ever there were they were about gone by now.
Ehhhh I don't know if my potential is really anything impressive.
Ene awkwardly takes the nudge before putting her hands behind her head in a faux relaxed pose. She allows her mouth stretch into a lazy smile, but the quiver at the ends of her fingers tells otherwise. She didn't even want to be here in the first place much less have to show off her skills. For all she knew the fiend Melbourne could be waiting around some corner to strike at her once she let her guard down.
I'll try to do my best but at the first sign of trouble i'm gone.
I hope you know that!
She shouts after Tot before following after with a grimace.
Rowan walks up to the door besides spell punk, placing a single hand on the center and shoving it slightly.
"If they're down here, they're obviously not with the Red Cross¹. I'm going on ahead."
With the only warning being given to Spell Punk a mere hand wave, Rowan kicks the door at its center as hard as he can with his right foot. Should the force not be enough, he would attempt to push and pull the door alternatively.
"I probably should've told you this before, but I have no intention of avoiding any fights."
¹The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is an international humanitarian movement with approximately 97 million volunteers, members and staff worldwide which was founded to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for all human beings, and to prevent and alleviate human suffering.
Take's hair stood right up and she jumped in place at the sound of the school bell, putting her hand to her chest and panting.
"I can't tell if this is my student anxiety speaking or just being startled, but that scared the hell out of me! Hey! Look! Another one of those hourglasses!"
She picked up the pace, jogging towards the hourglass, skidding to a halt when the visions start appearing, and just as she was starting to try and grasp what she was seeing, they were all teleported into the classroom. She held her blade up, glancing around warily.
"I have a bad feeling about this... Come out now and you won't get hurt! There's no use hiding!!"
She seemed a little unsure, like she was throwing threats at the air, hoping someone would bite.
Quintus would simply watch as Takeno rushed towards the hourglass, unsure of whether he should intervene or not.
"Hey, you shouldn't rush too much. We're not exactly in a hurry anyw-"
He'd feel interrupted by the visions, unable to even react before they all found themselves in an odd new environment. It seemed that this was what Gouto spoke of in terms of anything happening within this place.
"Believe me, if there was something around it'd probably be better for it to stay hiding. The world's that Melbourne seems most intent on sending us to aren't the kind of places where throwing a punch before you look is effective."
That being said, he'd attempt to simply get up and look around, specifically looking for a way out of the classroom.
Though the others might have felt some form of familiarity, Penny herself didn’t actually know what kind of environment that she has gotten herself into. The chairs, the desk, the chalkboard. Especially the chalkboard. It looks fun to draw on.
“Mhmm, I agree.”
The little girl lazily states, her body walking towards the chalkboard and trying to draw on it. Though she can’t be bothered to try and find and chalk, she imagines that she draws something instead of actually helping.
“I’m bored. Penny wants to draw. Actually draw.”
[Aleph would perk up at the mention of his name by a voice he had never heard, and still felt strangely familiar. Turning around calmly, he would see both the young man with a cat, and young woman with the blue hair. He would keep a polite smile on his face before placing his right hand gently on his own chest.]
Yes, that would me. But... who are you two, miss, mister? Do you perhaps need help with something? I'll be glad to help if that is the case.
[Behind Aleph laid a city full of lights and life which, given the position in which Raidou and Prima are, can't make out completely. However, they can make up the shape of a pyramid-like building in the distance.]
[Although Rowan kicked the door, it would prove to be a futile action. The door would simply slide to the right while making the rather loud noise of rock sliding. The room in front of them was similar to the one in which they were in before; red and circular. In the middle of it, there's a gigantic pillar similar to the trunk of a tree with uneven dark openings to it, revealing the pillar to be hollow. The voices they had heard stopped talking, but it was very clear they were awfully close-by.]
???: "You a demon? What do you want?"
[Spoke the young man with the distorted voice from the other side of the pillar separating them.]
- 0 -
[Tot and Ene brave their way forward inside the virtual dungeon with faint music coming from all around, as if to make the contestants feel more at ease given the fact that they may have to fight sooner than later. At the end of the hall, they find that the road keeps advancing ahead, but at this point they can make out a gate to their right, and another hallway to the left. None have much else special going on for them.]
- 0 -
[The classroom holds no utensils of its own, not even posters or a clock to adorn it all. At least, there are two sets of doors on the right wall, one at the front and the other on the back, as one would expect. If they do decide to go out into the hall, they would see the walls in front of them to have some very clean windows to the outside, which, at a first glance, makes it out to seem that it's nighttime. Furthermore, the halls lead north and south. From the south, they are able to make out strange rumbling, however, as if someone was looking around for something inside a room they couldn't pinpoint.]
Rowan loaded a round into his rifle and pointed it towards the pillar, taking one step backwards from it and raising his voice so the ones on the other side could hear him.
"Hunters, actually... I kill demons and their allies. Is that gonna be a problem for you?"
Rowan gestures at Spell Punk to get back and grabs the hilt of Espada in anticipation.
(edited by Rowan)
Raidou was almost a bit shocked at the man's politeness. Still, it was better than any alternative he could think of. He nodded to Gouto, who began to explain.
"Well, given that you seem to be the hotshot around here, the uh... Messiah as they call it, I suppose there isn't much point in hiding who we are. The three of us are what we like to call Time Tourists. The exact details are a bit difficult to explain, but this man here is Raidou Kuzunoha XIV, and the girl is named Prima."
Raidou nodded, and stepped forward to get a better look at the guy.
Aleph, what can you tell us about this place? Or rather, what can you tell us about recent events here? We seem to be stuck here for the time being, so I'd like to gather as much information as I can.
Ene considers the two options in front of them. She tries to consider the two options on their own merits, but what she hears is making her extra antsy. She is practically shifting on the balls on her feet as she at random points out a path just to get out of the hallway.
We should continue down the hallway.
She moves over to the extra portion of the hallways and impatiently looks to Tot.
If we go past the gate we could end up trapped there.
Hi I'm new to this page can anyone help me out?
Prima bows when her name is said. The man in front of her was important if the screens meant anything, but he appeared to be a gentleman rather that someone consumed by fame.
“A pleasure to meet you.”
She lets her allies take the lead in conversation, instead opting to gaze out at the world they were in. She lacked the sight of a Talonflame, but she still tried to get a better look at what that pyramid could possibly be.
The Spell Punk rears it’s head behind Rowan in disappointment as it looks inside. It would c all out to whatever voice it was hearing but did as Rowan told and kept its distance.
“Personally I prefer to be classified as a wondering mage over a demon if you kindly will. So we don’t mean no harm...well the hunter won’t as long as you don’t provoke him but we’re willing to be diplomatic less you strike us or just rile him.”
The Spell punk would just wait patiently in the back keeping an eye on what’s inside the door but a better eye on Rowan so the situation doesn’t break down to some gruelling brawl. Hopefully some reason can be worked out here instead.
(edited by Spell_Punk)
“I was thinkin’ the same thing.”
Tot grins as she speaks. The girl pumps her fist before adding
“This bit’s kinda like a video game so the gate’s probably locked anyways.”
The girl doesn’t seem to have noticed, or at least cared about Ene’s talk of running, she’d rather keep the energy up and going, so once again she’d run down the hall straight ahead
“Let’s go then, adventure is out there!”
OOC: for Yamato, you’ll probably want to check out the discord that’s posted on the lowest part of rules. There’s a fair bit to explain and it’d be a bit easier there. If you’d prefer I can go on PMs later and do my best though
Quintus would sigh. It was a hassle being stuck in this mess with so many unknowns. He'd step out into the hall, gesturing for the others to join.
"If we're gonna survive a situation like this its best to get into some kind of formation for these tighter areas. Otherwise we might get confused and end up attacking each other. As soon as you guys are ready we'll head south."
Penny was holding her bear up to the chalkboard so that it could look at it, somehow thinking it would actually result in something. Since nothing was working immediately, she just looked back and followed Quintus towards the hallway.
"Nothing here useful. Nothing fun. Penny's ready again!"
She simply glanced back at Takeno, waving at her with her bugbear again so that she could at least gesture her to follow them. But really she was just waving at her again because she wanted to.
Take wiggled her fingers in greeting to Penny, offering a friendly smile before her attention was quickly yanked back to her surroundings, first taking in the featureless classroom, briefly poking her head out into the hallway to see where Quintus was going before following him.
"Well, if this place wasn't weird enough, I didn't even think classrooms could be any more devoid of personality."
She held her blade at the ready, tip-toeing towards the south end of the hallway, though not venturing too far. She recoiled her head, taking a step back and glancing at the others, gesturing to the hallway.
"Anyone else wanna volunteer to see what that is?"
[Primarina would step forward towards the edge of the balcony that overlooks the somewhat hazy city. At first, the lights make it hard to see, but soon enough the buildings below do appear. All had a similar architecture style to it, grey like a reminder of an unfinished city which still has too much in its mind to worry about looking nicely all around, all of them of at least five floors, topping at the very skies above. Once the massive skyscrapers finally come to view, most being closer to the center; the pyramid that goes beyond two thousand meters in height; is it clear that no one in the usual city would be able to replicate such views, not in a couple of decades. The white lights coming from the searchlights from somewhere in the multitude of streets, it was clear that this place was way bigger than Tokyo has ever been. She would find herself to be near the top of one of the seemingly taller buildings, and even then, there is no end to it all in sight.]
A... Time Tourist? I have heard of something like that before, but I did not think it was real, just experiments that have not worked so far.
[After this, Aleph would press his index finger on his chin.]
It's a pleasure to meet you both... but if you say you are Raidou Kuzunoha the XIV, as you say you supposedly are, then you will have to prove it. So far, the Temple Knights have two of such clan, the 39th, and the 40th, who was at the party back there, I believe, watching the...match.
[The young man would drop his arms.]
I'm afraid that I can't reveal much else until you prove you are who you say you are. If you cannot, I will have to call security so they take you both for questioning, but if you truly can, then you have my word in that I will do my best to assist you.
???: "Only if you try anything funny, 'cuz if you do, you're gonna get your face punched in."
???: "They don't feel like demons, y'know?"
[The first voice, coming from the teenager with a distorted voice would say, a tad annoyed at Rowan's own tone, while the other female voice tries to defend it. As soon as she hears Punk speak however, she speaks once again.]
???: "See I told you they were fine, they are willing to talk. So let's talk, okay?"
???: "...Got it."
[Coming around the pillar, a small Pixie would appear with an excited smile before floating in place, confused.]
Pixie: "Wait... have I seen you two somewhere else before...? I feel like... I have..."
[Closely following from behind, a shirtless teenager with a somewhat mean but mostly relaxed look on his face would appear. His entire body is covered in strange markings resembling tattoos, and the back of his neck, his nape, was a black horn, which made it clear that, while he was not exactly a demon, he was not human either.]
Let's talk then, who are you two and how did you get here? More importantly...
[The teenager with the distorted voice would cross his arms.]
How did you two survive the Conception? Were you inside the Hospital as well?
[The pair of girls move forward with courage and the song of the area becomes clear at last, making the entire atmosphere lighter and easier to take for them, even fun. Sadly, and although they move ahead for quite a while, they come across a dead end. There is nothing much to find in the area, but a few meters behind them, a hazy black figure awaits; although it looked closer to an angry sprite floating around.]
- 0 -
[Once the group moves to the south, they would notice a distorted voice mumble and move around from side to side inside a small closet next to the stairs leading up to their right. This closet, which is currently to their left, is rather chilly. For reasons yet unknown, whatever was behind that door was extremely cold.]
???: "I wonder if this is what a classroom is, ho!"
Prima has to step back from the sudden disorienting feeling in her body. It’s like watching an optical illusion. She’d only been this high up once before, but the city’s sheer scale made this even more shocking. She composes herself and returns to Raidou’s side.
“Thank you, Mr. Aleph. I have faith that Raidou will be able to prove himself.”
She then waits for Raidou to act. While she wasn’t familiar with the weight his name implied, she’s seen enough of him to know he was unique among the typical summoners.
The rapid fire of questions from this man had the Spell Ouni taken back a bit. It didn’t really have the knowledge to give a clear answers cause truth be told it was mostly confused and up in the air on all the strange events whenever it participated in these very particular events. It tried to give some kind of quick in the spot words to try and fill for his lack of knowledge on this person matter of questioning.
“Well sir our arrival to these parts have been rather unusual and for me personally have been quite a haze even as I walked these very paths before it’s hard to say how we landed here but we’re trying to cover ground and figure out that lack of information. What I can say for me is that I have no name i’m simply one of many from a race of Spell Punk’s and the fellow with me is known as Rowan a professional in his field...at hunting at least.”
It would gesture to itself and Rowan for introduction and carry on with the questioning that was put on them but still it lack any strong points to answer back with.
“I’m terribly sorry sir for I don’t really understand this conception or hospital again we come from much different parts so none of this sparks any memory or understanding of those terms, as I said it’s more we are learning as we go of this place.”
"Nothing at all? What a buzzkill."
Tot hangs her head momentarily before shrugging and turning back... Only to find their path blocked by a... Something. It looked like some generic from a game that you'd touch then get forced into a real fight with more than an actual enemy.
Either Way Tot's hand would slide to her back... Where she realizes that she threw away her axe, leaving Tot without a weapon
"Alright Bluey, you still plannin' on runnin' or what? Long as we're together I'm sure it'll go great."
overall Tot wouldn't really interact with the creature, instead looking at her armed partner-in-crime for whether to hit it first or not
"Yeah, as my ally says, i'm Rowan. My rule of thumb is that anything you don't understand can be answered with 'parallel worlds'. That's the short of it, at least. I don't have all day to trade lectures, so let's just get down to business. You seem strong and we could use all the help we can get. How about we join you, wherever you're going, at least for awhile?"
Rowan pockets his rifle and steps towards the shirtless man and holds out his right hand to shake
Blue sparks dance on the palms of Ene's hands as she takes note of the empty area and the hazy, black figure. Her right hand flies to the inner pocket containing her knife, but noticing Tot's lack of anything useful. She does not feel too comfy with her chances.
I'm still up for running as long as you don't hold me back.
She has played enough games in her time to know exactly where this is going. Normally, running would not be an option in this type of dead end dungeon but it won't hurt to try since this is real life. As she prepares to sprint away she looks around for the path from which they came from.
"Ho? Like hee-ho? I think I recognize that little vocal quirk."
Take rests her sword on her shoulder and basically hugs the wall, tip-toeing up until she was decently close to the closet, putting her ear to the wall before recoiling and growling in discomfort.
"C-C-COLD!!! That sounds an awful lot like Jack Frost. What would a little fellow like him be doing in a spooky hallway like this? Seems a bit dangerous for his standards..."
She beckons the other two over, her teeth chattering lightly.
Quintus wouldn't hesitate in the same way as Take. He went up to the door, ignoring the cold as much as his body would allow before knocking on the door directly.
"Hello? Jack Frost is it? Your voice sounds familiar. I think I've met one of you before? Mind if we come in. We're a couple of explorers who have found themselves here as of late."
He didn't expect things to be quite as they seemed. It was awfully cold for what he assumed to be a Jack Frost but he wasn't too sure what such a demons prowess would be normally. Aside from that most demons seemed willing to try and talk before anything else.
Guess his story was a difficult one to believe. Raidou couldn't blame Aleph for needing proof, and was more than happy to oblige. He calmly drew the one thing he had that proved his identity, a summoning tube.
I assume you're at least somewhat familiar with this, yes? While many summoners past my time utilize machines to embody contracts with demons, we who take the name Raidou use a slightly more direct method. A technique known only to my branch of the Kuzunoha line.
Beginning to focus, Raidou would ruffle his brow as the tube in his hand began to emit an ephemeral green glow and the object itself would appear to be rotating and lengthening, almost like a screw. Before he could summon a demon in a place assumedly full of people on-edge about them, though, he would cease the summoning and the green aura would fade.
I hope you don't require me to actually summon a demon here, I can't see that going well. Is that proof enough of my identity, at least?
Penny, after looking back at the classroom once more and being saddened that she can’t do anything in there, leaves and follows the adults that she has accompanied towards the hallway. After casually putting her hand up to the door to feel the cold temperature, she hums to herself happily as she waits for the other two to say their thing.
“Penny just wants in, tee-hee!”
The little girl says happily on the other side of the freezing cold door, waiting for the Jack Frost to open up. She even goes so far as to gaudily mock his little speech quirk that she’s only slightly familiar with. Penny holds her twitchy bugbear close to her and puts a smile on her face.
[Aleph would think it over for a couple of moments before looking through the small pouch on his back. He would pull out a book that had seen better days labeled as "Demonic Compendium: Volume 20" with no visible author. After flipping through the pages, he would remain in one for a solid minute. After that, he would open his mouth in surprise and show the pair what he had found. It was a pair of black and white pictures of a summoning tube in an idle form, and then another of a person in similar clothes to Raidou using it to summoning an unseen demon while a cat watches.]
I believe you; it says right here that the summoning tubes were replaced by mechanical means of summoning around the 1980s, and that most were destroyed as to stop civilians from ever using them, or even to fall in the wrong hands. I use the Demon Summoning Program for example, just like some of the Temple Knights... namely the Kuzunoha clan.
[Aleph would put the book back inside his pouch and then pull out another. It reads "New Millennium".]
Not to mention the cat, Gouto. That was the biggest give away, that book mentioned something about a him. So, if you really do use those tubes, and you are the 14th, then you must be a Time Tourist, as you say.
I'm sorry I didn't trust you right away, but you must understand my position, Raidou, Prima and Gouto.
[He would raise the book on his hand before clearing his throat.]
This is the year 2079, and this is the city of Tokyo Millennium, specifically the Center district. You could call this place the core from which you can go to all the other districts and where the central government is, all run by the Messians since the 2050s. And recently... you may have seen it already, but I was appointed as the Messiah of Millennium after defeating another Temple Knight... the "Anti-Messiah" named Daleth. At least, everyone else calls him that.
[He would offer the book to the pair.]
That book alone should have much of the history of this city but...
[He would look back at the party before getting closer and whisper.]
Just don't let anyone from the Church of the Messians catch you with it.
[He would wink at them before moving back a bit.]
Do you all need anything else? Like I said, I will be glad to help however I can.
Then you aren't from this world, I get it.
Pixie: "It's like that lady in black kept saying, that there are other worlds... then again, I was already aware of that. I used to have a contract with another human who kept getting involved in such affairs all the time."
[The pair would close their eyes before speaking, the one with markings dropping his arms while keeping both hands in a perpetual fist.]
Pixie: "You must already know, but I'm Pixie."
I'm Naoki Kashima, and if you're wondering what this place is, it's called the "Labyrinth of Amala". Other than it has demons in it and we have to get through it, I can't say much else.
[Naoki would then turn around and walk into the next room past the pillar. Pixie would stay behind, waiting for the others, as she didn't seem to trust them to be very capable anyways.]
Let's go together, see if you find a way out for yourself. But don't try anything weird.
Pixie: "That's the only warning we'll give. If you have any question, we'll try to answer. We¿re pretty lost ourselves."
[Tot and Ene try to run away.............. but it fails! As soon as they try to get past the small sprite, a barrier stands right on their path as to keep them in place. It disappears of course, making it clear they could escape yet again. The previously mentioned sprite would then transform into 0s and 1s, quickly taking the form of a single, human-sized plant with dangerously wild tendrils. Its bud remained closed, yellow and covered in already open pink petals. At the tip of the bud, there was a human mouth with pink lips and sharp fangs. Soon enough, smaller versions of itself would extend from behind, like looking at the flower version of a hydra. On top of it, its name would appear: "Audrey".]
Audrey: "Hey y'all, so glad you're here! I’m STARVING!!!"
[The plant-like demon would rush at Ene using its tendrils to move, and it would try to land a horrible bite on her head, but it would actually miss the first strike.]
Audrey: "Come here both of you, I don't bite too hard~!!"
[The battle officially started, even the background music would change all of a sudden.]
- 0 -
[Once Quintus opens the door and calls out to the one inside, the closet would be revealed to be actually way more ample than it really seemed. Covered in ice and with a temperature that not one human would ever want to mess with, there was a small demon, white with a perpetual smile...and a classic black school uniform, hat included.]
???: "One of you said my name! Hee wasn't wrong though, Jack Frost it is, but some else said it!"
[The small Jack Frost would point at Takeno with his right "index" finger.]
???: "It was that one, Ho! Over there!"
[He would cover his mouth and giggle before making a quick jump in the air while spinning. Then, he would pose, extending both arms and raising his right foot.]
Hee-Ho: "My name is Hee-Ho! Of the Hee-Hoh so cold Frost series of the Jack brothers! I am also the strongest!"
[Then, he would flex his nonexistent muscles.]
Hee-Ho: "Hee-Ho's just a simple student so I hee-have never seen any of you! I came to school and that's it, ho! Are you all also students!? That one looks too small to be!"
Raidou felt a little bashful at seeing himself in a historical work. He'd felt a bit of that before with Kazuya's light fanboying, but actually seeing himself written down in history like this was another matter entirely. It seems he has much to live up to. That aside, Raidou would gratefully take the book from Aleph with a nod. Gouto would speak this time, his voice remaining steady.
"We appreciate the help, Aleph. You're a good man."
Gouto had a number of questions for the man, but figured that the book he had given them would hold the answers to a majority of them. If worst came to it, they could always return to further pursue any questions. Raidou bowed respectfully to Aleph, before stuffing the book in the pouch on his hip.
I would hate to trouble you any further, Messiah. If my companions have nothing more to say, then I believe I should visit with the Templar Knights, specifically this age's Kuzunohas. I feel I would stand to gain much from meeting with them.
(edited by Raidou Kuzunoha)
Ene shakily jumps back after Audrey's attempted strike and she warily grins.
Hey Audrey could we maybe settle this in a more peaceful manner.
She says this, but is quick to use a zio for good measure in case Audrey has other plans in mind.
Some girl talk over cookies and milk could help.
"Looks like its pruning time."
Though Tot isn't armed, she'd still be eager to rush into the space between Bluey and.. Audrey behind her friend's lightning. So as to make Audrey have to get through her first.
"Lets try to make this quick. DoRe."
Tot snaps her fingers to send a weak sonic blast at Audrey, hoping for the concussive force to keep them back for a bit.
Rowan’s quick choices caught it off guard but the Spell Punk recomposes itself and carried on. It may sense to make allies roar her then enemies in such foreign parts with demons apparently lurking about its best not to take chances.
“Very well then I’ll look to it that I keep myself and this fellow in line, I must thank you for allowing us to accompanying.”
The Spell Punk would wave for Rowan to follow and trailed behind Naoki and Pixie though even so being in a labyrinth with demons about just keeps it on edge put it keeps talking to Itself clam it’s own riled nature.
“Nobody seems to know a thing and we descend further now into a labyrinth. I would wish I had some base idea to figure much of this enigma of a trip. A shame I can’t even rest and think on it.”
Not let any of the Church see it? It must be very important. Prima smiled gently at Aleph.
"Thank you. I have no objections with following Raidou, but before we leave, may I ask what these 'Messians' and 'Temple Knights' you speak of are? I'm afraid I am not as familiar with the terms of this place as my companions may be."
Not being from a world of demons had its downsides in terms of knowledge... although, after everything she's seen, Prima is sort of thankful the place she comes from is inhabited by pokemon trainers and not demon tamers.
Rowan gives an affirmative nod and follows alongside Spell Punk, surveying the area as he walks.
Penny carries her bugbear and listened to this Jack Frost with glee, being amply entertained the more she had listened to it. Though, as soon as the mention of school comes up, both the girl and her bugbear tilt their head towards to the side in confusion.
“Penny doesn’t know what a student is. Hey mister, where are we again?”
She tugged on Quintus’ jacket sleeve in hopes that he can help her with her lack of info on the subject. Though at this point Penny was acting out on her “short term memory loss”, there was still some genuineness that came with her question, seeing as how she never went to an actual school and instead spent most of her time with her dad. Thanks Caulder.
"Jack Brothers? There must be a whole bunch of you, huh? Well, good on you for coming to get an education, I guess."
Take peered into the frozen room, her brow raised about as far as it could before turning back to the little Jack Frost, crouching down to meet his height and offering a smile.
"Can't say I'm a student here, but it seems all three of us have business here! You wouldn't happen to know any details about this place, would you? A name or location? Or maybe if there's someone else here?"
Quintus was thinking about how to approach this demon. It was obvious they weren't exactly lying about their strength given the cold. His thought process would be interrupted by the girl tugging on his sleeve.
"Where we are? This appears to be a school of sorts...Uh, you know what that is, right? It's the place most parents send their kids to learn useless facts about things that don't actually help them with most things in the real world."
He'd turn back to the Jack Frost that was supposedly named Hee-Ho.
"To expand on that we're explorers of a sort. I'm sure a demon as strong as you can help us out, right?"
Of course, I will tell you all I know about them.
[Aleph would once again clear his throat before speaking.]
The Church of the Messiah is the leading religion, the official one for this theocracy. I remember reading in one book about this one place called "Vatican", which was more or less the same kind of deal.
Next, the Temple Knights. They are an elite police force which serves under the direct command of the Center, filled with incredibly powerful people who can take on even demons and those of the Cult of Gaea. They, of course, enforce the law in the city, and are the top citizens. After them, are the Center residents, followed by people who have managed to obtain an Arm Terminal, and finally, those who are simply part of the city.
[He would then turn around and beckon the group to gaze down at the city with him.]
If you are looking for your fellow Kuzunoha, the 39th and the 40th, then you will have to take the elevator right outside the room we were in and go down to the first floor. Then, you will want to head down to that one building by exiting through the main hall and walking by the main street.
[He would point down at a pretty close building with a distinct white and blue color to it, which shined brighter than those around it.]
It's pretty close, so you can't miss it. Just go in and ask for any of them. If you hurry you may actually catch up to 40th, who was here just a moment before you three came to talk to me.
[He would look at all three then and give them a thumbs up.]
That is all, anything else you may want to know regarding the past is in that book, or most of it. Also… be careful, recently some demons broke in and there may be some still roaming around.
The world ended, so now we're trapped in what basically an inwards world called "Vortex World". Apparently, it's a natural occurrence that can lead to someone with a strong will to remake the world or something.
Pixie: "The catch being that only a human can ever do that. Soooo while the rest of the world is nothing but demons, a few humans are just...wandering around, as you do."
[The following room would feature five different circular-shaped entrances; one to the front, two to the right and two to the left. Only the ones on the right are open, and they looked exactly like the one they had used before meeting the demonic pair. Pixie would then become a bunch of flying electric bolts that would join with Naoki through the horn on his nape. Walking closer to the second entrance to the left, it would be noticeable that it led to nothing but yet another fall into the abyss. Standing right next to it, he would turn around and point at it while smirking.]
We're gonna jump, that's the only way to reach the depths below. You won't die though, promise.
Just do try to avoid the rocks in the way, the strange red goo and you'll be fine.
[Facing the hole once more and, after charging his jump for a moment, he would leap into the darkness below, past the open circular gate.]
Audrey: "Nuh-uh! Y'all are here to get into my belly and-"
[The plant would be hit by Ene's Zio square in its...jaw? And it leaves the plant demon in the floor for a moment before "standing up again". It was clear that electricity had a harder effect on it than it should.]
Audrey: "THAT WAS RUDE!! You just have to DIE, what's so hard to understand about that!?"
[Right after this, Audrey would receive a strong, Almighty type of attack that would leave it wondering what was going on anymore. It didn't seem to do hurt more than Zio, but still gave off a good amount of damage.]
Audrey: "I see what the problem is, I'm just falling behind you two having legs, while pooooor lil' ol' me has some nice, thick tentacles. We'll fix that!"
[The demon would be covered in a green light that seemed to increase its speed all around. It was the effect of Sukukaja.]
- 0 -
Hee-Ho: "Hee-Ho knows! Hee-Ho knows! This place is called Karukozaka High School, and it is ruled by the great Deity Emperor of the whole Expanse! All demons vow to hee-m, even the beautiful Lilith! Hee-Ho came here because hee is at the rooftop! But I don't know what a rooftop is!"
[Hee Ho seemed happy, and yet extremely confused at what that concept even was. He would turn to Quintus and put his hands on his "waist" while laughing.]
Hee-Ho: "Hee Hee Hee Ho! You definitely get it, Gloomy Guy! Hee-Ho is so strong "Hee-Ho" goes past "Colossal"! So I will lend you my power if you lead me to the rooftop, Ho! That way, I can become a great Emperor!"
[The Jack Frost dressed in the school uniform would jump in place happily. Behind him, inside the ample closet room, there was an abandoned female uniform with a ruined piece of arm-mounted gear, along with a pair of goggles wired to such machinery, or at least, it seemed to have been one device at some point.]
Ene looks through Audrey with a distant expression.
It's a shame we couldn't be friends ...
She once again spams zio without much fanfare this time after stating this. She never really wanted to be friends with Audrey, but it was worth the try. Though now the plant monster thing is starting to get a little annoying and she didn't want to know anything more about its tentacles. She had heard of the genre that dealt with that and wanted no part in it.
Quintus would be interested in the thing behind Hee-Ho but he thought it might be rude to ignore them before checking the strange device.
"To get to the roof top we just need to keep going up. There should be some stairs around here somewhere. Oh right, should we be calling you Emperor Hee-Ho from now on?"
He'd move while speaking, trying to see if he could get to the device and see exactly what condition it was in.
"Deity Emperor, huh? Well, Little Emperor, if we're gonna make you the ruler of this place, surely we'd have to deal with him... But baby steps! A rooftop is the top of a roof! A roof is like... the top of a building! So we need to take you to the top of this building!"
Take nod-nodded, seeming both perplexed and satisfied with the idea and execution of explaining what a rooftop was. Her eyes followed Quintus as he went to examine the mysterious device, standing back upright.
"Huh... reminds me of that little machine on Kazuya's arm... It's in really poor shape, whatever it is. I doubt we have the tools to repair it... Either of you two have any qualms with carrying it around?"
Raidou stared at the glowing building, before nodding.
I suppose that's our next stop, then. Thank you again, Aleph.
The summoner and mentor would follow Aleph's directions, waiting on Prima to follow. In the event she does, Raidou would press the button to proceed to the first floor. He was tempted to read the book he was given, but decided to wait on it until he was out of the facility entirely, and somewhere a bit more private. Instead, he would address Prima.
I appreciate your companionship through all of this, Prima. It is strange to think that this is only our most recent of times journeying into another world like this together. Are you managing to keep yourself together through all of this? I understand that this can be a lot to take in.
"Your problem is that you ran into a 2v1 expecting us to roll over for you."
Tot laughs at Audrey's attempts to seem threatening, heedless of their opponent's speed boost. Not that it would matter given that her options are hit and hit harder
"Guess we may as well have fun with this. Do. Re. La."
Tot snaps her fingers three times to go with her spell as it sends 0-3 medium bursts of sound to strike Audrey. No reason to waste any more time and end up getting hurt
The little girl, caught up giddily listening in on the Jack Frost speak with the other two adults, Penny hummed to herself as she waited. Due to not having many comments to add, she decided to try and stay away from the laconic nature that she might be portraying.
“I like rooftops. They’re tall.”
And the perfect place to chuck grenades off of. Although she would’ve immediately tried to go ahead and follow Hee-Ho, she glanced back and saw the two adults talking about the weird machinery thing. While she liked holding Mr. Bear more, he wants to move around. She walked up to them as the Bugbear stretched and shook itself like a dog off it’s leash.
“Penny wants to carry it. Penny has nothing else to do.”
(edited by Penny)
“On the bright side traversing the depths won’t be so hard with some magic but going down further has me worried a bit. If we’re trying to reach the heart of this labyrinth so quickly I feel we may get caught off guard. I’ll cast a spell on you anyway and let’s make the descent now.”
Spell punk would try to cast the same Gryva spell on itself and Rowan before taking the great leap of faith into the pit though quite less daunting on the second go around so it should be no issue.
“Thank you for your help, Mr. Aleph. Farewell.”
Prima bows to the man, then lets Raidou lead the way towards their destination. The elevator, like many human elevators, typically brought awkward silence, so she was glad that this silence was broken by Raidou’s question.
“To tell you the truth, I’m not sure how I’m handling this. I’m not human like you, Raidou. I’ve never been in situations like this till we started our adventures in these parallel worlds. I don’t think I’ll ever truly get used to the dealings of demons and monsters like Melbourne.”
She frowns at the mere mention of the man’s name and brushes a strand of hair over her shoulder. It stubbornly falls back to where it was when she turns her head.
“It’s mostly duty, a little spite, and everyone else keeping me together. It’s just getting more difficult, but... I should be fine.”
It’s said with a note of uncertainty, as if she’s speaking more to herself than Raidou.
"This the only way? Very well then."
Rowan stretches briefly and then steps backwards, running towards the hole and taking a big leap as he tries to fall feetfirst.
[The elevator would start to play a rather catchy tune as it goes down from the 39th floor down to the first. So far, it's taking its time, stopping at the 25th floor for a moment. The doors would open but no one would come in. For a quick moment, they may be able to see a large room full of different closed pods, except for two. In the middle of the room, they would see the back of a very attractive young lady with a tight white dress with orange stripes. In front of her, two young women would be making their way into the pods in a bit of a daze. One had blue hair and a pair of long pigtails to the side of her head, while the other was wearing punk-looking clothes and had blonde hair. On one side, the wall read "Virtual Battler". However, the elevator would continue its way down, as slow as ever.]
- 0 -
[Indeed, Punk's Gryva helps at making the possibly deadly fall of the pair slow down. The way down takes a painful number of minutes as floating rocks and red sludge pass them by. In fact, they may or may have not seen small coins simply floating around aimlessly with no one to pick it up. As they do indeed fall, they can notice irregular gaps along the walls, and through them, they may hear the sound of whispering; of a distant Jack Frost laughing; of a surface quickly being covered in ice and the quiet laughter of a teenager. They may also, in fact, notice that they are falling a bit faster than they were before too.]
- 0 -
[The Zio hits Audrey square on its "face" and it recoils, falling to the ground once again, maybe faster, given the buff? In any case, the demon immediately becomes weaker and is showing clear signs of agony.]
Audrey: "Ah... I just wanted to munch on your pretty faces that's all...!"
[Tot's Dorela would hit Audrey with medium almighty power twice, ending its life rather quickly and making the demon fall to the ground, evaporating in a cloud of binary numbers. Finally, the music changes back to the tune they had been hearing since the beginning, indicating the battle was over. The road ahead was the same: a long hallway leading to a gate to the east; now their left; and a corridor to the west; now their right.]
- 0 -
[Looking at the device closer, it would reveal to be a very familiar COMP model to anyone who was familiar with an user. It was black in color and it was rather bulky, and so, heavy. It was connected to a simple pair of goggles that featured a single headphone to the left. The COMP itself had a small lid that doubled as screen of unknown exact purpose, and as opposed to a simply wrist-mounted computer, it's closer to a gauntlet, featuring a protective fingerless glove at the end of black leather and a white-colored protective layer for the back. Indeed, it was intended for those closer to adults. The exact state of the COMP is as follows: It won't turn on; a few wires are cut and it is rather dusty. However, you get the feeling it can be repaired somehow, somewhere. Whoever carries it must keep all this in mind.]
Hee-Ho: "That's right, Gloom-Hee! I will be a Hee-Ho Emperor one day, but for now just call me by my name!"
[With a clear intention, the Jack Frost known as "Hee-Ho" has decided to join the party for the time being. Although it is clear he will fight alongside the group, he will act on his own accord.]
Hee-Ho: "Le-Hee-ad the way, friends!"
[To the south there would the exact way they used to reach the closet in the first place, but in the distance you can see the hallway taking a turn to the east. To their immediate east, they could see a set of stairs leading up. The can hear the sound of footsteps from time to time too.]
"There we go, that wasn't too bad eh?"
Tot nudges Ene's shoulder once Audrey is downed, feeling pretty good about herself. The girl would take a few steps down the hallway, before turning back to her partner in crime
"We make a pretty good team if I do say so myself. Now then, second hallway?"
Tot waits for Ene's confirmation before actually deciding where to go. There's only one other hallway left and the gate they decided was probably too dangerous so she's got a good idea.
The quicken phase of falling doesn’t alarm the spell punk all to much intact it would be quicken up the travels, this hold was rather a long quiet descent so at best all it could do was avoid the many rocks and obstacles and allow itself in this brief moment to relax and listen on the many strange sounds and keep a keen observing eye.
“Didn’t think it would take so long but at least we’re being big given a extensive amount of time to think and be immersed in this environment may as well take advantage of the moment no?”
Quintus would pick the device up after examining it. He'd turn to the small girl as even he for a moment had some trouble with the weight of the device.
"There's no way I'm giving something this heavy to a child. It doesn't even look like it'd fit even if you would have more use for it.
Besides, I don't exactly need to use my strength as much as most anyway. That's what magic is for."
With that being said, Quintus would get ready to leave the closet. The staircase eastward looked to be the most direct but the footsteps were troubling. Based on how schools are typically laid out there was likely to be a staircase further south as well.
"So, the direct dangerous route or the safer scenic route? I'm more in favor of the direct route considering how many we have on our side now."
The glimmer that the little girl had initially once had as she looked at the device soon faded away when she was met with a disappointingly laconic way to say 'no'.
"Awwww, I wanted to see it too."
She pouted before turning the other way, leaving the closet and then going outwards towards the hallway. Looking both at the south hallway and at the east staircase, Penny glanced at her Bugbear before holding it's stubby arm.
"The dangerous route would usually be more, well, dangerous, but considering that we now have a...civilized team of 4, it's most likely going to be much easier to go through; plus there might be some nice rewards."
"All things considered however; the safer, scenic route is something that looks tempting to see as well. Of course, it's easier, meaning less risk; while also making sure we get to whatever our objective is faster."
"It might even be possible to split up, but at this point, that's a really stupid thing to suggest! Plus, Penny hates doing that now! Penny doesn't know what route to go through, tee-hee!"
She said, giggling happily as she shook her teddy bear in the air. It seemed as if the plethora of info that might've been already known was dismissed by the girl as soon as she started to play with her teddy bear once again.
Ene nods her head to Tot's suggestion and falls in line behind her. Unconsciously her shoulders droop with the change in mood and music. She tries to remain on edge, but the lack of danger soothes her back into the usual.
Let's just hope that our good teaming can help us survive anything that Melbourne has in store.
She takes one last cursory look around assuming that Tot has not done so already.
"I don't mind the direct route. I'm sure whatever might be in store for us won't be anything we can't handle."
She eyed the device that was now in Quintus' possession, wearing a pensive stare.
"I wonder what happened to the previous owner of that machine. I mean... it's pretty obvious they're not around anymore. Let's just hope we don't find whatever got them."
She gestured towards the east staircase, smiling at both Quintus and Penny.
Rowan would focus on making a safe landing, trying to remain upright and slicing up any rocks that got in his way with Espada. He gives a side glace and raises an eyebrow at Spell Punk
"Honestly, i'm not much of a thinker. You can only keep track of so many details until you lose sight of your original goal."
Raidou eyed the pair on the Virtual Battler floor. Seems there was a lot of things here he didn't fully understand. Either way, the first step to take was to pursue the other Kuzunohas here. He felt almost obligated to, in a strange way. He felt bad about dragging Prima along in this endeavor, but it wasn't as-if they had anything else to go on for the time being. He sighed, and addressed his companion once more.
I will not pretend I understand everything you're going through. The existence of demons, and the duties I would undertake involving them were things I was made familiar with from a young age. I can't even quite remember the overwhelming feeling that you're describing, it feels like such a long time ago...
He adjusts his hat, looking down with an evident smile. His eyes seemed to betray that expression a bit, though.
You know, Raidou Kuzunoha wasn't my given name. I figured it would be best to elaborate on this now, since we will soon be meeting inheritors of the name. The Kuzunoha line has several different factions and bloodlines, spread across several parts of Japan. The Raidou name in particular is famous for the tubes you've surely seen me use for summoning demons. I had to endure a long training process, starting from when I was very young to earn the name, and when my time is up, someone else will follow. Cast their old self aside and assume the identity of Raidou Kuzunoha.
He shook his head. He was getting off-topic here.
Regardless, my point is; it took a long time for me to adjust, and I wasn't given much time to take all of this in. I can understand the feeling of not quite grasping everything, at the very least. It gets easier, whether you like it or not. Besides, everyone else in our little tour group has experience with these sorts of things as well, so you are not alone in this. I promise.
Prima only saw the floor with the two girls for a split second, but concludes it wasn’t anything that should concern her. But they did look familiar... She listens to Raidou speak with an attentive ear. The man wasn’t usually the most talkative, but when he spoke, she could understand every word mattered.
“So you’ve been involved with this for that long... but I understand now.”
The girl gives him a smile. There’s still tension in her body, but she’s more at peace with the idea of their situation.
“If only time will help, then I’ll be counting on everyone to help me see this through. Thank you, Raidou. Perhaps we could have a proper chat once this is all said and done.”
[Eventually, the pair would reach the first floor of the building, and as the doors open and a voice welcomes them to the lobby, their eyes are greeted by shiny grey walls and many people dressed in different outfits that featured white and blue going on with their lives and taking many different elevators, but also going in an out the main entrance. To one side there would be restaurants, and to another there would be armor shops and healing areas. It was clear at least that, although demons existed, the people were living in relative peace and calm. The glass doors at the far back; at the entrance; would not let them gaze at the rest of the city, and they may even notice some people looking at them weirdly, as if they were, somehow, disgusted. Others simply pay no mind.]
- 0 -
[Punk and Rowan's falling speed would gradually increase as the minutes passed, but it never got to become impossible to manage. Furthermore, any rock that became a serious obstacle was destroyed by Rowan's powerful Espada. Eventually, they would reach the bottom of the abyss and be surrounded by the all too familiar red walls with flowing energy coursing through them. In front of them, a closed circular door which should open at a single touch. However, they can hear the sound of battle from the other side. Indeed, the teenager with the distorted voice could be heard grunting and scuffing against other types of voices of different pitches and tones. The sound of fists hitting rock and breaking it was all too obvious, and so would be the roaring fire, or even the howling wind. What exactly was on the other side, there was no sure way of knowing.]
- 0 -
[The pair would head down their corridor of choice while ignoring the closed door. As they head down the rather boring and simple path, they come across yet again another choice. To their right (North), a dead end. In front of them (West), a closed gate. To their left (South), a longer corridor that would split twice: Once towards the East, which was closer to them and right next to where they were currently standing at. Further away from them, at the end of the South Corridor, this one would lead to a yet unseen hallway that seemed to lead towards the West.]
[Finally choosing to advance inside the bizarre high school, the group would head towards the closest staircase and go up towards the next floor. What they would find above would be a rather sudden change in atmosphere, as the lights were all off, except for the line of disco balls up above and lightshows playing around in the surprisingly ample, massive hallway. Music would be blasting from the gigantic speakers on each corner, and even more of a nuisance was all the laughter and talking from the people attending the party. The attendees to this seemingly well-prepared party didn't seem particularly young or old; right around the right age to be by the end of high school and even university. Some would be wearing their high school uniforms; others would be wearing clothes so tight nothing would be left to the imagination, some were barely dressed even. Some didn't even seem to be living, breathing humans, but closer to Bodyconians and Zombies among all the actual people, but no one seems to care with their drinks, conversation and intense dancing. If the first floor was the embodiment, the second floor was a one age group away from turning into a complete Sabbath, and even then, there was no guarantee it wasn't one already, as some of the doors leading to the "bathrooms" were strangely decorated with all types of objects colored red: Pencils, Scissors, even apples.]
Hee-Ho: "The Emperor has some Hee-Hoing style, doesn't hee!? I feel like I'm going to melt!"
[Hee-Ho would allow himself to be taken by the intense atmosphere and dance furiously on the spot, waiting for the group to move before he does. Besides two "Bathrooms" to the right, the way ahead was straightforward and could not be missed, as it had the general outline of the first floor. Only thing between them and just walking is the mass of people and humanoids.]
The scene should put Prima at ease, but as she steps out of the elevator, she feels as if she’s out of place. Her odd appearance aside, the few looks she was given burn into her skin. Distrust? Disgust? She can’t tell, but it’s unnerving.
This place is a hub of sorts. It’s almost like a Pokemon Center in function. Prima makes note of all the different facilities. Once Raidou gets moving, she’ll follow him. He got a better look at the Kuzunohas than she did so he’s more likely to recognize them.
(edited by PrimPrim)
"Oh come on, the two of us can totally take creepy. No problem!"
Tot punches the air a few times with a smile as the pair go down the corridor of choise.. Unfortunately this leads them only to more choices, much to the simple girl's displeasure. Tot ends up turning to Ene
"Aw man, I suck at mazes. You got some kinda map? I'd take any clue at this point"
Eeeny meeny miney south.
Ene points a finger at the south corridor. She doesn't have any map or guide for dealing with creepy mazes so she resorts to using a children's game to sort it out.
We will probably have to fight again anyway so does it matter where we go?
With that said she turns to the south and proceeds down the path. Without waiting on any additional unput from Tot.
Quintus wasn't exactly too impressed by this place. It just seemed noisy and distracting to him. They had something to do right now and while detours didn't seem too harmful knowing this place there could be demons hiding everywhere.
"I'm just going to move ahead unless you guys think there's something worth checking out. Too noisy to properly think anything out here."
“Déjà vu huh? The door I reckon should work the same but sounds like our accompany has gotten into a quarrel...and I’m not one to really betray those who were providing fair service to us.”
The Spell Punk would walk up to the door and squint at it for a while before trying to touch the middle to see if it would open again. It would gesture in a bow and sway of arms for Rowan to move ahead.
“Though I’m not one to make a entrance and pack a punch I’m certain this is your speciality. Lead the way and I’ll be right behind you supporting as I do.”
Raidou paid the passerby no mind, and instead took a moment to glance at each area around them. There seemed to be a lot of facilities here, but Raidou didn't quite feel like wasting too much time window shopping. Gouto would speak, after being quiet to allow Raidou to speak his mind in the elevator.
"Well, as promising as those stores are, I don't think there's much for us to do there. It's not like Melbourne gave us an allowance or anything. Aleph said to follow the main road out to get to that glowing building, so I suppose those glass doors are our best bet."
With a nod and a quick glance in Prima's direction, Raidou would follow his companion's advice and proceed towards the main entrance of the building.
As Penny looked around the room, she felt very...bewildered. A bit stupefied. She held her bugbear close to her in hopes that it wouldn’t interrupt anything as she looked beyond to where Quintus was heading. But even then, he only thing she could do is tug on Takeno’s sleeve in hopes that she can help the girl with another question.
“What’s happening. Are they having seizures? What are the people doing with their limbs?”
The little girl said in a slight whisper voice. The closest thing to it at least. It seems that she has no idea what normal human thing is happening yet again. She would’ve been just assuming that they were being controlled or something if Hee Ho joined in and enjoyed it. Either way, the only thing she does is scan the room prudently to ignore everything else that’s happening.
"Well this isn't very school-like. Who has a rave in the middle of a high school?"
She wasted no time taking in too much of the scenery, only pausing to check on Penny since her sleeves were tugged.
"Seizures? No, they're dancing! Well... the humans are probably dancing, I couldn't tell you when it comes to the others. Have you never seen a dance before? Usually it's a bit more uh... graceful than this."
Take eyed the bathroom signs and scrunched her nose, speed-walking across the room and beckoning Hee-Ho over once she'd crossed the colorfully lit floor.
Rowan readies his gun, sheathing his sword for the time being and running in front of the door. Waiting for it to open, he points his gun in front of him to prepare for any ambushes
"Focus on taking down the ones that are most likely to get away first."
[Punk's touch would make the circular gate slide towards the right, and as soon as it happens, they would see a towering Oni fall to the ground in front of them. Trying to crawl towards them in desperation, the much smaller Naoki would follow, appearing from the shadows. He would jump high and slam on the Oni's back with his two feet before walking ahead, grabbing the demon's head from the back with both hands, and crush it against the floor, killing it instantly as the rock beneath cracks due to the force, and leaving nothing but a pool of blood and red energy floating towards the ceiling.]
You finally show up, about time too.
If you can fight, then don't stand around and join already!
[The teenager remained calm as behind him, a Setanta and a Senri are brutally dealing with a big group of Oni, of at least another 5, and behind those 5, there laid another 3 with burn marks all over and sliced off limbs. After saying this, Naoki would turn around and rush at the closest Oni to him, leaping at great speeds before landing a single punch, making the demon recoil in pain and make it take a few steps back. Such Oni seemed weak and tired already. Setanta is battling 2 with his spear, and Senri was making use of her magic to keep the other 2 at bay. In general, it seemed to be all on equal footing.]
[The people would give the pair yet a few more confused looks before going about their days, some talking behind their backs. As the pair moves out and into the city ahead, they will see even more people walking around, comparable to what is normally seen at the Shibuya Square. Again, their clothes tend to have a constant coloring of white and blue, and some would dress rather bizarrely, in suits that seemed to belong to an old cyberpunk film, some wearing tons of belts around their arms or even torso; showy glasses of all possible colors, more similar to visors. Some of them would even have Arm Terminals, but the designs would be simple and uniform, noticeably small too. There would be no demon on sight, and the gigantic buildings that could be seen in the distance from above, were now towering watchers that would keep an eye on everything they were doing. Straight ahead was the main street that would lead towards the Temple Knight HQ, "Mikhail Pass"; to the North-West is a smaller street that leads towards what seemed to be the Business District of Millennium; "Gabrielle Street". To the South-East was a small group of apartment buildings where less people were around, but it was easy to feel a less oppressive atmosphere; "Uri Avenue".]
- 0 -
[Tot and Ene would head down to the end of the South corridor and turn towards their right, and as they do, they see a man in a wheelchair dressed in a red suit and with grey hair would pass them by coming from the North towards the South, which is the only way to go, as he had shown up from a dead-end. After this, you somewhat feel a change in the atmosphere, similar to feeling in danger, but also at peace. From where they stand, they can still go back to the previously described corridors, but they may also continue to go South, towards where the strange man had gone.]
- 0 -
[They do their best to push forward and make it to the first turn, the odor of alcohol, smokes and perfume would fill the area alongside the increasing volume of the music.]
Song: "-HIS DAY --ST CAN- -ET MU-H WORSE."
[The barely audible guitar riffs would be accompanied by the intense beat and distorted voice that they can barely make out that, somehow, feel like the lyrics. Hee-Ho would follow the group closely while doing his best to not stop dancing as he does. As they wait there, they manage to see tons and tons of tables on the right side filled with different kinds of drinks with different colors and in differently shaped glasses and bottles. To the left, three doors leading to what seemed to be the classrooms. Each labeled as A, B and C, A being the closest and C being the furthest away, right next to the next and final turn.]
Song: "PLE-SE, RE-URN -O -UMAN BEIN-. ----EVER DOESN- IMPRE-- IT UN-O -E."
[Quintus would may be able to notice a group of oddly familiar girls from one of the tables looking at him. Their hair was black and straight, and their skin had a bit of a dark tone, which goes with their white lipstick and tight white leather clothes; they seemed to want Quintus to approach them. Takeno, on the other hand, would feel a hand press itself on her back and quickly go down before it moves away, stopping itself before getting too low, and at the same time, she would feel like someone or something was watching her from somewhere, perhaps, it wasn't just one. She would feel a voice calling her towards one of the classrooms, that of Kazuya. Penny, on the other hand, would feel nothing strange besides the noise and people being so fired up. Every so other time she blinked, she would see a normal hallway just like the one below, with no music, no people or anything out of the ordinary, and as soon as she blinked again, she would be back at the party.]
Song: "PLEASE MAKE THIS A REAL WORLD."
Hee-Ho: "Thee-s is what I call living! Even the humans stopped being so uptight! Hee Hee Hee-Ho's feeling dizzy! I'm being charmed!"
(edited by Melbourne)
The passage of the man piques Ene's interest.
Hey that guy could be trapped here like the two of us! I think we should follow him!
Ene unwittingly shouts these thoughts in her head out loud and she continues to stare down the path that the man took. Yet, she doesn't move on ahead on her own since she knows that splitting up from Tot now could be a less than great idea.
"Souths good to me."
Tot winks at Ene with a wide grin as she follows her companion down the southern path. The girl hardly notices anything strange, simply going with the flow and heading in the direction Ene had suggested, running a little bit ahead of her companion
"Well come on then, we don't wanna lose him right?"
Tot would break into a run, hoping to at least keep mister wheelchair man in sight just in case they found another bend
"It's not the same ones, right...? This'll be a hassle but they might have useful information. I'll just have to be cautious with how I approach...
I'll be back in a moment. Things might get messy if any of you two accompany me."
Quintus would be referring to Take and Penny specifically. Honestly, it might've been comforting to have Hee-Ho along but it might be better to leave them with someone else in case more hostile demons happened along.
With that said he'd begin approaching the table. He'd try not to seem nervous but dealing with these type of demons always worried him.
Prima eventually assumes the strange looks are due to her and her companion’s relatively odd attire. Human fashion is an enigma to her, she thinks, watching someone with an excessive amount of belts pass by. After getting over the shock of the vast streets, she keeps walking straight ahead towards where the Temple Knights’ building would be.
“I’ll do my very part then for you.”
The Spell punk would branch off to assist Setanta and make the clean up easier. It would try and cast a crystal dust spell on one of them to take their attention onto itself and bait them in.
“Besides I think I can benefit from some meddling and learning how to maximize these odd spells on my robe.”
Rowan, not expecting his allies to understand charades and not wanting to risk being overheard, simply didn't communicate his plan at all. Instead, he measures the gap between each entity and calculates the risk of being caught in crossfire. Once he deems a relatively safe path of travel, he would try and breach the front-lines and secure a position for himself behind the enemies' backs. If he went detected, he planned to engage in defensive swordplay against the assailant.
Take would just be idly glancing over the crowd for the most part, though as Quintus parted from the group she raised a brow.
"Messy? Wouldn't that mean it would be messy-er if you went on your own? If you're sure about this, just yell if you need help!"
She felt the hand on her back, shivers crawling up her spine as every instinctual alarm in her head went off. She'd turn right around, her hands raised to punch someone in the face if need be but she saw... nothing? She'd start returning to her course, interrupted almost immediately by the sound of a quite familiar voice.
"Kazuya-chan? How the hell...? H-Hey kid, wait here a second, will you?"
Against her better judgement, she started jogging towards the classrooms, looking back to make sure Penny was still in her line of sight. Before she could leave for the classrooms completely, she looked back at Penny, gritting her teeth nervously. She decided to remain at the end of the hallway, tapping her foot impatiently as she eagerly waited for at least a little bit of back-up before continuing.
"There's no way he could be here, right? T-That's gotta be impossible..."
Penny absently scanned the place more in hopes of seeing if there's a quick exit...other than the bathrooms. Whatever those are. Seeing Quintus deciding to leave them, Penny merely gave the man a happy wave as she smiled over to him with her eyes closed.
"Bye, Mister! See you again soon!"
But as she opens her eyes again, she just sees a normal hallway. The little girl was sure that they were in a loud and weird room, so she rubbed her eyes a bit before looking at exactly where she was before. She squinted as she tried to process what possible explanation there could be for this occurrence. Being found bewildered in the middle of a party room, she tried turning back at Takeno.
"Uh, Miss, I don't think this place is-"
Only for her to be left behind in favor of a hallway that leads to some classrooms. She actually felt a bit offended for a second there, pouting at her as she advances towards the hallway and how she keeps making looks at her inadvertedly making the girl more annoyed.
"...real. OK. Alright! Uh...who might I need? Oh right!"
Faintly remembering what little she knows about "dancing", she decides to try and replicate an approach of her older sister. Spinning and twirling as she shoots masses of people. How fun. But seeing as how it's a bit crowded, the simple "step and pause" should work fine. Now, going back on what Takeno might have wanted, Penny makes languid progress towards Hee-Ho, wherever he might be on this "dance floor", holding her bear with her left arm whilst keeping her other close to her.
Raidou adjusted his hat with a sigh. He was used to weird looks from people in different eras by now, this wasn't anything too crazy for him. He followed Prima towards the HQ building, Gouto simply lounging on the man's shoulder as he walked.
[The Oni, being too busy fighting for their lives, fail to notice Rowan moving. Naoki would show no problems at dealing with his own Oni before unleashing Fire Breath on the opponent, leaving its body in a scorched state just like the other 3 that were on top of each other.]
No idea what these were expecting.
[Senri is hit on the torso by one of the Oni she was fighting, but it wasn't enough to put her down as she keeps attacking with Mazan. Setanta on the other hand was glad to have received help from the stranger. Admittedly, he was sure he could do it on his own but doing it faster was always good. Punk's Crystal Dust initial casting would catch the Oni's attention quickly, but it would do no good as both demons are frozen right there where they stood. Because of this, Setanta grins.]
Setanta: "Not bad, not bad, pretty cool if you ask me!"
[Setanta would then rush both demons and, knowing very well they could not defend themselves anymore, would attack with a spinning strike of his lance, Tempest, shattering both Oni into pieces. It had been a critical hit, and as his side of the battle ends, he turns to Punk and nods with gratitude.]
[The pair had chosen to keep walking ahead, towards "Mikhail Pass". They would keep seeing all kinds of weirdly dressed people, some even porting guns and blades so ridiculous one had to wonder how they were able to actually use them, or if they were fighting anything anymore at all. At least it seemed apparent that plenty of those were coming in and out of different facilities simply labelled in big words as "GYM", with the name of the owner under it. Soon enough, they would reach the Temple Knight HQ, and would realize that the people coming out from GYM, some rather bruised, were heading back towards the HQ, or even big groups of young men and woman would be leaving through the front gate and towards the nearest GYM facility. With both arms crossed, a single young man who Raidou should recognize from the party before was waiting at the front, and a tall man with long brown hair and a red jacket would approach him.]
???: "Hello Raidou, what are you doing here at this hour? Did you get in trouble with the 39th again?"
Raidou: "What is it to you, Yoshio?"
Yoshio: "Oh! If you don't want to say that's fine! I was just wondering..."
Yoshio: "...Well, I will be at Waruo's GYM if you need me. Make sure you come later; we are going to have a reunion regarding Daleth's situation."
Yoshio: "Okay, see you!"
[The tall man would turn around and walk right past Raidou and Prima, and from up close, they could see a resemblance to Yuji of all people. He would walk then through a GYM fully colored in grey; its full name being "GYM - Waruo's Herculean Outpost." This time's Raidou, on the other hand, would stay where he was for a moment before lazily walking through the front gate of the Temple Knight HQ.]
- 0 -
[Heading down towards South and following the man on a wheelchair, they would find him making a turn towards the left; the East. Making their way towards the end, they would realize the corridor leading to the East was a long one, and the man was already considerably further away and taking a turn towards yet another unseen place towards the South. But, before they can even put their thoughts in place, they are ambushed from the West by two extremely tall and muscular humanoid with yellow skin. Their chest had red paint on it; "D-43" it would say, and their hands had cuffs with broken chains. Looking more like a pair of beasts, they were thirsting for blood. Above both, their names would be revealed as "Heracles".]
Heracles 1: "What's two young ladies doing in this nasty place!?"
Heracles 2: "They are here to die, that's what!!"
[Both demonoids would point their pair of hands at them and shoot out a gust of force, Zan, at each of the girls.]
[Quintus would approach the group of Lilim and probably to his dismay, they happened to be the same exact ones he had met previously on Tokyo 1992. One of them would grab him by the arm and pull him into their circle. The man would be surrounded by the demons and all of them would giggle at the turn of events. He could see them drinking from the table; their cheeks already red.]
Lilim 1: "My, my! But if it isn't the Fish-Lover!"
Lilim 5: "Why the nickname?"
Lilim 8: "Cuz this stud jumped into the river and befriended that one elderly Azumi instead of having fun with us, did you forget already?"
Lilim 5: "But that was like... so long ago! Give me a break."
Lilim 1: "A-N-Y-W-A-Y-S... what are you doing here, big boy? Were you hoping to catch another one?"
[Take would wait in front of the classroom for back up, but they would not arrive immediately as Penny leaves to go get Hee-Ho. As she waits, she can hear the voices more clearly and can easily make out what is they are saying on the other side despite the loud music. It was Kazuya speaking to someone else in a condescending tone.]
Kazuya?: "For how long are you going to stand there? I'm getting bored already."
[It was easy to tell he was not alone inside. At the very least, one could tell by the light moaning and quick giggles that it an entire group of women.]
Kazuya?: "Because if you don't hurry up, then it's going to be Ene's and Nanaka's turn."
Luscious-sounding woman: "Oh? Saving the best for last I see."
Cold-sounding woman: "Consider that those three are inexperienced compared to us."
Playful-sounding girl: "Like you are one to talk, Lightning. You're just a few years apart."
Kazuya?: "So... what is it going to be, Yoshiko?"
Yoshiko?: "Y-Yes, I'll get to it immediately..."
[Paying closer attention would make it easy to notice that the voices are somewhat off, like they are coming through a voice filter as they are spoken. Meanwhile, Penny would find Hee-Ho dancing his life away with red cheeks and sweating water from his icy body. He was repeating the heavily distorted lyrics from the song blasting at full volume.]
Hee-Ho: "This day can't get much worse! Ple-Hee-ase, return to human being!"
[Hee-Ho would then notice the small girl approaching him while doing a sad excuse of a dance. He would point at her and laugh his ass off at how badly she is doing it in his perspective.]
Hee-Ho: "Hee Hee Hee Hee Ho! Are we moving on already? I don't want to melt, Ho!"
"Maybe but I unfortunately left my fishing line at home. Don't suppose one of you would have a spare on you?"
Jokes aside, this situation would prove to be more complicated since they remembered him. Quintus despite this would try not to show his concern, he was here for a purpose after all.
"Didn't expect there to be such a party like this happening at a high school. Seems like an odd location, actually how did all of you escape the detonation those heavenly bastards set off?"
The Spell Punk would give a bow to Setanta’s kind words in the moment. But was also just relived that he wasn’t off with his powers.
“It wasn’t much but I’m glad it impressed and assisted you. Now then let’s wrap this up quickly before they have a chance to take advantage of us!”
With a bit more energy channel led into himself the Spell punk would try to cast a long range spell of Gryva again on the closest Oni in sight. It was become quite found of meddling with gravity itself and enjoyed using it at any open opportunity it got.
"Hey, wait up. We're not gonna."
Though Tot tries to yell after the man in the wheelchair, they don't seem to hear her, or at least not before her and Ene's chase was interrupted. Tot brings her arms up to cover her face as she tries to hold her ground, the Zan pushing the girl back and leaving her with a few small lacerations, but no serious injuries as their new.. Friends interrupt her progress.
"Outta the way stupid. We don't have time for small-fry like you. Doresido."
Tot responds with a snap of her fingers. Though it seems innocent, for either of the Heracles it hits it would seem as if the sound is coming from all directions, in front, behind, and even within their heads, aiming to cause confusion if leaving them with little more damage than a headache.
As Hee Ho laughs at her barely trying to get through the crowd, let alone dance, she pouts at him. Though she can't blame him. She was doing horribly. Tabitha would probably be the exact same way. And father...doesn't really matter at this point.
"Penny doesn't understand dance. Penny likes things going boom more. Mr. Bugbear does too."
As she walked over to Hee-Ho, or; stepped and pause to close distance, Penny felt the need to giggle at what seemed to be him suffering from getting into the party too much. She didn't understand what anyone here was doing, so she didn't feel the need to do the same. Plus if she even tried to dance, her Bugbear would be free to roam and do whatever. That's a bit risky.
"We can't have our emperor be a melted puddle in the middle of a dance-floor for people to slip on. Let's move out!...Wherever we need to go. Hmmm..."
The little girl grabbed Hee-Ho's hand and tried to navigate through the crowd once again, holding her bear close to her and her looking back at her companion in hopes that he doesn't slip out of her grip. Mostly because of the dancing. In secret, she was heading back to wherever Takeno was in hopes that she could appreciate the backup at the very least. Nowhere else that she thinks is right to go after all.
"Oh yeah, and try not to look at the party too much. Blink or something. Penny doesn't know herself. Don't recite the lyrics to that song either."