A City Between
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OOC: Sort of just putting this up to see what happens. I don't have any grand plans nor am I entirely sure what'll come, or if anything'll come, but I thought it might be interesting to observe, if nothing else.
IC: Its strange.. Dark. Your memory is hazy, though it feels like you were doing something important, the thought of it eludes you. Though you cannot see, or hear, you feel a dark, powerful presence around you.
Yet in a moment it is gone. Leaving your newfound peace undisturbed. Everything is gentle, yet strange.
For the time, it seems as if everything that makes up yourself is gone. One is left as if floating in a void, only vaguely aware of others around you. Other small, winged creatures like an insect, left drifting half-asleep through their consciousness.
However, you maintain a few strands of identity. A key memory or two from one's life. A fragment of self-consciousness that one could grab onto. An anchor to allow one to pull oneself out of the void, and back to consciousness.
And so, who are you?
[What was he doing before? He could not tell, not even remember from where he was. But at the same time, two concepts stay within his head. The first one being his own name: Ragna, and the second one, a certain "Azure". He didn't know what this last one exactly meant.]
"Ragna... is that my name? I can't remember anything else."
[He would say to himself, holding his head while sitting somewhere he didn't know.]
She rubbed her temples for a little confused and tired in her current state. Stumbling upon her feet, blue eyes gazed around the area before staring down at dirty hands. Nothing came to mind as to who she was but a simple flash of a memory came to thought. Clean and rather delicate hands laid upon the ones that were her's, a clear contrast to them. Her blurry vision slowly looked up to find a strange yet familiar face framed in dyed blue hair with some of their roots showing. With the stranger's face hidden, a simple smile could be seen as they muttered out a single word before the vision ended.
"Aoi...I am Aoi?"
The child would remain as that. With no memory to cling onto, no identity. Its impossible to form one's own self. They remain merely one of thousands. Those with no name, no ego to call their own. Its easy to drift, lose oneself in this alien world. And simply go with the flow.
Ragna. A fierce warrior and rebel sometimes known as the Bloodedge. You remember much of your younger days, trapped, confined with two others. Their faces are clear to you, though their names are not. Two younger people, boy and girl both with blond hair. These individuals seemed to rely on you, though you can't seem to remember why. And it doesn't answer why you're here.
Still, it is enough. Enough to form your own ego. What was once a butterfly is replaced by an arm clothed in red, with the rest of "Ragna" to follow.
"Aoi. Aoi Ichika." Much like Ragna, that one memory of someone precious allows them to remember themselves. That they are not like the other souls, but rather wholly unique. "Aoi" is able to look around, but the place doesn't seem any less strange.
Aoi finds another person, who seemed a little older than her, tall with white anime hair clothed almost entirely in red, and nearly a dozen of these floating, blue beings that resembled butterflies. You feel as if you were one of them, moments ago.
For all these awakened souls, they find themselves on a series of floating islands, hanging above an endless abyss of blues, with swords out in the distance pointing towards a brilliant white light.
For now there only seems to be one path, a road among the islands that seems to lead towards the light, passing by dozens of these butterflies along the way.
[Ragna would come again to his senses, trying to fully grasp whatever it was that was going on around him. Although he didn't have many memories of his past or anything at all, something inside was telling him this was all abnormal. Soon enough, he would see the familiar blue "butterflies" and then the blue stranger.]
[He would try to call out to the girl, Aoi, as he looks around his own surroundings; the islands, the swords and then the path towards the light.]
"What is this place...? Do you know anything...?"
Perhaps she was too enthralled by the scenery to at first notice the male in front of her, staring at the mystical islands scattered about. Roots hanged off these flying chunks of earth appearing to float around without anything to hep it. It was only after her eyes landed upon Ragna did she become spooked. He appeared out of place just like her but with those butterflies he felt at place here. The girl took a step back before trying to find her words.
“I’m...I’m not sure. I am just as confused as you are really.”
Her voice was quiet and chimed like bells yet held some roughness in it. It contradicted each other yet fit in so well with her appearance. She wore nothing but a simple dark blue dress that reached down to her knees and a black coat to keep her thin figure warm. One side of her face seemed to be partially covered but parts that did peek out appeared to be scarred
[Ragna would press the palm of his left hand on his forehead as he lets out a sigh of resignation, now understanding there was nothing else to do but to move forward. His voice in general was rough and moments away from snapping into anger, but he would always speak in a somewhat relaxed manner that made it particularly stricking considering his entire look, all so intense.]
"There's no helping it then. I don't know what this is and you don't either. The only place to go is that light at the end."
[The man would decide to turn around and walk along the path in front, with the objective of reaching the end of it.]
"You should find something to do too, unless you like standing around more."
For a while she watched as he walked away down the trail without a word. The path ahead looked to be safe and standing around here won’t do her any good. Holding on her coat, she quickly rushes after him and starts walking down by his side. She was a quiet person it seemed and probably even more so in this strange environment. Words weren’t needed for such a situation unless it calls for her to speak and small talk isn’t something needed in her mind right now.
“May I follow you then once we figure out what we are doing here then?”
The pair move forward, passing dozens of these butterflies along the way. All these... Beings seem to do is mutter incoherently as they pass.
"the view is so nice out today."
"Satisfied.. Finally satisfied..."
None of them seem aware of their surroundings. As if drifting off into their own world.
"Aoi" and "Ragna" continue along the isles as such, with the distant light never seeming to get closer...
However, soon they hear a voice, much more clear and coherent than the butterflies around them. Though they cannot tell where it comes from. The mysterious voice asks..
???: "Help... Me... Please... Help..."
The island they're on now is fairly large, and square in shape, with two paths to go through. These paths, of course, being the large one they entered from, and a second off to the left that leads to another, smaller island. This island of course, leads to another... And so on.
"Knock yourself out, lady."
[Ragna would tell the girl before silently moving forward, taking all around him in. He felt a chill run down his spine and his body began to shake. He started to wonder from where it was that the voices were really coming. Those butterflies, it was like-]
[He wondered what was up with the voices and why it made him think about ghost. He had to wonder yet again as to why was it that the word "Ghost" made him so irrationally scared. Still, he didn't feel like showing that side of "himself" further. Of course, although he can walk ahead, anyone with two working eyes could see he was sweating and shaking.]
"Just...relax, it's all in your he-"
[Then the "Help me" reached his ears. He jumped before forcing himself to get a grip. He would grit his teeth and look around franctically.]
"You heard anything? Where are we supposed to go...? Ugh! This place is freaking the hell out of me."
She couldn’t hear anything by the calm wind blowing up against them reminding her of the spring. A soft smile would come across her lips as she lets her dress blow behind her along with her hair. Her scar could be seen at this point but she didn’t care. Why would she? The burn mark did cover a portion of the left side of her face but she didn’t even realized she had a scar of some sort. Taking in deep breaths, she took notice of the strange flowers and plants growing around them. A soft glow emitting from a few of them.
Her soft blue eyes glanced up towards the male confused at hearing a whisper of some sort but paid it no mind. Of course this was before of his sudden jump of fear which gave her a scare as well. She jumped back from him confused to whatever he could be referring to exactly. It was as if she was staring at a mad person at first.
“Lets...lets just follow the path alright? I’m sure what you heard was simply the wind, there doesn’t seem to be much of anything here after all....”
???: "Help me.. I want... Out!"
The whisper turns into a shout which seems to shake the pair's island. Some of the butterflies from before strayed too close to the edge for their own good, and are snapped up in an instant as a creature emerges, crawling around the right side of the island.
This monster arrives suddenly, with only its earlier shouts as a warning. The creature most closely resembles a scorpion, with a long, segmented tail ending in a large grappling claw, its segmented joints marked by a blocky, purple texture that contrasts with the aggressive red of the rest of its body.
Though its front appendages are rather small for a scorpion, its made up for by the gaping maw that takes room for both eye and mouth, a blinded horror with a mouth large enough to swallow a person whole, and a large, dark halo hovering over the monster's head.
The butterflies seem to instinctively know about the creature, and scatter to the wind, leaving the pair in a largely abandoned island with only the scorpion, the path they came from, and one path to their left, leading conveniently away from the scorpion-like beast to their right.
[Ragna did not really understand it, the why of his fear of "ghosts". But this time it was different. Looking at the big, intimidating monster in front of him didn't make him feel the same way. Instead, he felt the push to fight it head on however he could. First thing, he would reach on to the back of his waist to grab on the handle of the "slab of metal" he was carrying. It must have been instinct. He would hold this sword in a reverse grip as he glares at the enemy in front.]
"You better get out of here while you still can. It's probable it'll follow us, so I'll slow it down!"
[He would place himself between the monster and Aoi. Not exactly sure of what was happening, he was certainly ready to jump ahead if he needed to.]
The grotesque and terrifying sound of limbs cracking as they move caught her attention as she looks back to where they once were. The butterflies of souls dispersed rapidly as a hideous monster cane from below the abyss. All at once she felt her limbs become paralyzed with fear as she stared at its horrific appearance. Her heart pounded against her chest as her mind panicked with fear on what to do. Heavy breathing escapes her lips and she turned to the man who looked to be prepared for the situation. No words were said but she nodded in agreement.
Turning on her heel she starts fleeing down the path, huffing and getting a good distance away from them. This type of sprinting, she felt as though she had done something like this before but of course not in such a stressful situation. Stumbling a little, she didn’t bother looking back till she was halfway across another island. She panted heavily and stared over at the scorpion like beast who still could be heard even from here.
The.. Sword? Its a bit of a generous term for Ragna's weapon, but he brought it everywhere. As Ragna draws his weapon, many of his memories related to it come back in a rush, all his training. The sword was very important to him, having belonged to a man he decided to take the alias of.
Among the flash of memories is that blond-haired boy from his childhood, much older now. Yet.. The name still eludes him. They seemed to have been fighting.
With most of his memories back, Ragna would notice that his sword feels... Much heavier than before. As if he had simply never realized how large his weapon was before. This of course makes it feel.. Off-balance, harder to lift than normal.
The monster wouldn't leave Ragna much room to think, scuttling forward before lashing out with its tail, striking the ground before Ragna with earth-shattering force, and likely blowing him back in the process..
???: "Help.. Me.. Out. Let me out of here!!!"
Aoi makes it to the next island in relative peace. More of the butterflies rush past her, aiming only to get away from the monster behind them, but for now they would be safe.
There were only three options. Wait to calm down. Keep running, onward to the next land.. And the next... And the next... Or turning around. But what could they do against that monster back there?
[He would become distracted for a moment as many other memories make it back to his head. The image of a blond-haired boy, all too familiar to him. His training back with his Master. At this moment, the attack only got as close as it did because of his mind suddenly getting all clouded. At the very least, he makes a quick backstep before he gets in trouble with the flying rubble, if that was even capable of hurting him at all. Even still, the sheer power of the attack makes him lose his balance and also let go of his blade for a moment.]
"Shit...! I must be out of practice or something...!"
[He wondered what the deal was with the voice, but it didn't matter to him. An idea came to him, that maybe there was someone trapped within, but he had no time to think about such possibilities. For now, he had to stay alive. He quickly rushed back to his blade and did his best to keep control of it.]
"Hey, jackass! You may have gotten me the first time, but it won't happen again. How about I show you what I can do now, see how you like this!"
[He would cover his left arm in a black and purple mist as he returns his blade to the back of his waist. After this, he would shape his fingers almost like claws as he leaps at fulls speed against the creature in front. If the attack makes impact, then he would immediately follow up with his left hand by unleashing a dark beast of some kind of colors black and crimson with malicious eyes and sharp fangs. It may be strong enough to make the body of the creature be injured or at least pushed back slightly.]
Deep breaths were taken as she continues to look back at the fight right behind her. He was fighting for their lives and she stood behind like some sort of coward, the feeing being too familiar to her to even move forward. He said she could go on and yet looking back and seeing him do his damn best to protect their lives made her react to something. Yet what could she possibly offer to him to aid him in battle? She had nothing with her but the clothes she wore upon her. That didn’t seem to stop her though. Her feet appeared to move on its own as she starts running back to him to do something, anything just so she wouldn’t feel like a coward. Sprinting down the islands, she skids to a halt right besides him.
A new expression appeared on her face as her eyes stared up at the rampaging monster. This new expression made her seem like an entirely new person, one who looked daring and bold. This new person seemed to enjoy the look of terror that stood right in front of her. In a flash it seems a weapons appeared out from her hand and thrusted into the enemy before pulling the trigger. An ear piercing screech could be heard as what could only be presumed as its blood started to pour out. What rested in the girl’s hands was a simple bayonet. Whoever this girl used to be was clearly someone of military skill despite her fragile appearance.
“Think you could just defeat this creature on your own? Must be delusional to think that way with the power this thing packs.”
OOC: Quick note for Aoi. It seems that people here don't like it when others notate their characters reactions. Its fine here since you've mostly been adding color to the world, or just attacking a mook in this case, but it might be wise to remain vigilant on the matter
Once Ragna attempts an attack without his sword, it quickly becomes clear to him. His weapon didn't betray him, nor did it somehow grow heavier. Rather he'd find that there was something.. Wrong. Something about this place seemed to be weakening him. What was intended to resemble a fierce beast would seem more like a wolf pup. While his blow is enough to push the creature back momentarily, the creature's carapace would be entirely uninjured.
Ragna's blow also buys "Aoi?" The time to come back, striking through near one of the creature's front-arm joints. The creature lets out a cry. Although it seems to have been injured, nothing pours out of the wound, almost as if it were empty inside.
Now injured, the monster takes a few steps back before continuing its cries, sounding more and more desparate.
???: "I wanna go home! Let me out! Someone... Anyone?"
One of the monster's back legs slips against the edge of the island, hanging over the abyss. However it is able to adjust itself, this time thrusting one of its claws forward to slice Aoi open.
(edited by Ally_of_justice)
"Hey, didn't I tell you to run!? This is none of your-"
[He would see firsthand how Aoi would use her weapon to give the creature some visible damage. Considering nothing was coming out and the screams for help, he decided that the best he could do right about now was using his sword. He may be getting weaker to some degree, but sharp objects are the better option.]
"Nevermind, you gave me an idea. It's stupidly simple. We just have to cut this thing wide open!"
[Grabbing his sword with his usual reverse grip, Ragna would try to block the attack directed at Aoi by thrusting the blade directly into it, and then following up with an uppercut motion in the hopes of cutting the claw in a single strike. If he was somehow able to cut it, then he would go ahead and try to rush at the next claw and reverse the grip of his blade for a more traditional way, and then, slam the edge against the claw with a downwards vertical slash.]
OOC: I uh... Hope I didn't scare them off with that little note. I was just a bit worried it'd happen again
OOC: Should I... Just keep going without them or wait a few more days? I'm not sure if that's... Normal. Here
OOC: Pretty common, that's why RPs tend to last a lot and we also talk to each other through Discord to keep each other updated/remind each other to post. However I have no idea on Aoi, doesn't seem to be anyone I know
OOC: I feel like reminders shouldn't really be an issue. I mean, how hard can it be to check a place once or twice a day? Just lazy if you ask me.
Still, I won't be around for much longer tonight anyways so I suppose I may as well wait for tomorrow
OOC: Lazy is one way to call HS, college, uni, jobs and personal time
OOC: Personal time? Are you not doing this out of enjoyment? There's not much of a point if it becomes a chore
Not being able to partake in longer sessions is reasonable of course, I simply find it hard to believe that one would be unable to spare 15 minutes to look once on a somewhat regular basis. And even less likely to lack 15 seconds see if something happened.
OOC: oh gosh I am so sorry for not responding for the past two or so days;;; it is never my intention to leave a rp like that unannounced or really leave a rp. Sorry for my busy schedule keeping me distracted from things like this, I really don’t mean to cause any issue here and really do wanna continue;;
OOC: Its not really a problem, I just like to know if there are any conflictions so I don't have to check as frequently. Just get to it within the next day or so and I'll be good to continue this after class.
OOC: Besides school on weekdays, everything else will be fine. I’ll try to make it twice a day that I respond if that is alright with you. While I would do tonight I am writing this on my phone which is rather uncomfortable and I’m about to go to sleep
OOC: Gee I sure do love a string of out of canon comments cluttering up a thread for a conversation that could've been settled in minutes using a live chat such as Discord
OOC: Same here honestly. I'm usually able to check every few hours so I should be able to keep up. There's no need to hold yourself to a specific number. Then it becomes an obligation and I'd rather it not have to be a chore.
A simple nod came from her as she was ready to take orders from him. Her eyes widen as a thrusting claw came right in front of her, the girl stumbling back a little as the male in front tried to deflect it or at least protect her from getting hit. With her bayonet gun, she took aim at the creature's eyes and fired off a few booming rounds. She was useful it seems with long range and drawing attention away with the weapon, charging every now and then to pierce at the exoskeleton of the beast.
"Cutting it in half is gonna be hard from the front ya know! An attack from behind or below would work perfectly well for you!"
She kept the creature's attention more towards her, attempting her best to dodge the slow yet heavy attacks from the claws of it. It looked to be working when something caught her attention. A cry of help echoed through her ears, a soft cry it was but enough to draw her out of it. This left a clear opening to her for a simple second as she lowered her weapon, looking outwards distracted.
Ragna's blade slashes through the creature's claw, causing the separated limb to dissolve into a dark, purplish fog before clearing out entirely, leaving the creature down one limb. The monster lets out another.
Around this time a few of Aoi's shots strike the scorpion-like creature's face? Or at least where a face would be if it had much more than a gaping maw. The monster recoils, opening its toothy mouth to shout once more
Scorpion?: "Let me.. Go. I want.. Out..."
the monster reflexively leaps backwards from Ragna's second strike, and although it does allow the creature to evade it, the scorpion-like beast had failed to notice how close to the floating island's edge it was. The monster scrabbles at the side, only to lose its balance and fall, plummetting into the endless sky beneath it.
With the monster defeated, Aoi and Ragna would have a few moments to catch their breath and check on each other in this new.. Strange place. A few moments until they hear another voice.
???: "Oh wow, that was sooooo cool. Think you can do that again for me?"
A strange girl wearing a short, black dress can be found floating a short distance behind the pair. Their most notable features are the single, black wing that emerges from the right side of her back, and a similarly dark tail that twists around them.
black-winged girl: "Really you're both so great. I think I'm starting to take a liking to you."
"Serves you right, asshole!"
[Ragna would return his blade to his back as he lets out a sigh, making sure his breath was in order.]
"Talk about luck..."
[Ragna figured there was no point in standing around any longer, and would turn around to head down the seemingly eternal road. That is, until he realized someone else was talking to him. He would keep his eyes and glare locked on to her.]
"Do that again? Thanks, but no thanks. I would rather know what this is all about, and I'm willing to bet you know something."
[Ragna would cross his arms.]
The quiet and soft girl seemed to return with each breath of air she took, leaning against her planted bayonet before running a hand through her short, black hair. The fight was finally over but this was only perhaps the first of many. This was a strange world they were trapped in after all and beings such as that should be expected. If they continue down this path, maybe they'll continue defeating all sorts of these monsters.
Taking in deep breaths, another voice pulled her from her thoughts and instinctively turned around with her gun pointing at the strange girl. Her heart slowed down once more and placed the gun down.
"Yeah and who even are you? If you were here with us why didn't you even help us with that monster?"
Black-winged girl: “such a scary expression! You’re not gonna turn that sword on me are ya?”
The girl holds her doll tightly in a feigned expression of fear, but her almost-psychotic smile betrays the attempt
Black-winged girl: “to think you’d enter someone’s home and threaten them without even introducing yourself. hehehehe.
Such poor manners...”
The girl’s grip on her doll loosens as she looks back at Ragna.
There’s a faint pulse of light beside the girl before another simply appears beside them. This one seems more mature, with their most notable features being their single black wing that extends from their left, and an old-fashioned crown upon their head.
Girl in white: “now now, I think you’ve toyed with them long enough Pheles. Remember what happened last time.”
Pheles: “awww. I wasn’t gonna hurt him... Yet. Hehehe.”
The twins return their attention to Aoi and Ragna, speaking in unison
Mephis/Pheles: “We are the two demons who manage this realm of Purgatory, Mephis and Pheles.”
The one in white gives a brief bow as she says the name “Mephis”, while the demon in black has her doll give a little wave
Mephis: “and that monster is actually what we wanted to talk to you about.”
[The weird names of "Purgatory", "Mephis and Pheles", and then "demons". None of this was making any sense to him at all. He figured it was some kind of bizarre dream of his and that when he woke up, he would remember everything, possibly.]
"Gimme a break, just out with it! If you already know that much then you must know our names too. And besides, I didn't even enter your home or anything of the sort. I found myself waking up in the middle of nowhere and then some creepy monster attacked us!"
[There was something about annoying little girls dressed in an old time fashion that rubbed him the wrong way, and at the same time gave him a feeling of nostalgia. This didn't do anything however, because Ragna was more annoyed than in a thinking mood.]
"If you don't hurry, then just get lost."
The word "purgatory" rang through her mind yet it was a concept she could not yet fully grasp. Taking in a slow and deep breath of air, she walks up to the pair with more questions flooding her mind. Surely this had to be something else and not just death itself.
"Let's just stay calm now, things are already strange as is. Just tell us the info you have and we'll try to leave."
Strapping the bayonet to her back, she looks around the strange place once more to see the world holding a much darker glow to it than before. It sent shivers down her spine to think that the atmosphere had easily changed in such an instant, could this be from the girls or perhaps from defeating that beast?
"We don't want to be here as much as you don't like us invading your 'home'."
Pheles: "Mephis, the big strong man's getting scary again.. Hehehehe."
The demon in black doesn't bother feigning fear this time, simply continuing to giggle at the situation, a tendency to which her twin in white can only respond in sigh
Mephis: "Very well, I'll try to keep this short.
The realm in which you currently abide is Purgatory, the realm of the dead. This world is designed so as to strip a deceased soul of its identity, memories, everything that tied it to its previous life so it can journey to the Cogs of Purification at the bottom of Purgatory and be purified and reincarnated.
Of course, as the managers of Purgatory, our realm of knowledge is over the souls of the deceased, not living souls such as yourself."
Pheles finally stops laughing to interject in her sister's little speech, a wicked grin stealing across her face.
Pheles: "Even those who manage to reclaim themselves are super vulnerable here. After all, your Ego's practically naked."
Pheles, much in the same manner that Mephis had appeared, Pheles is surrounded by a faint pulse of light, disappearing before reappearing next to Ragna, reaching for his right arm, only to fall back with a smirk, coming closer to Aoi in the process
Mephis: "But that brings us to the matter of the Revenants."
Pheles: "That's the creepy monster that attacked you."
Pheles straightens up for the moment, giving a flat, serious expression for the first time since she'd appeared.
Pheles: "Revenants are a huge pain, always running around crushing or eating souls."
Mephis: "upon occasion these Revenants manage to drag in the souls of the living, such as yourselves."
Pheles: "Oh but don't leave yet cutie. We're not mad."
Next Pheles comes uncomfortably close to Aoi, to the point where the other girl can almost feel her breath before finally flying back to rejoin her sister Mephis.
Mephis: "Your ability to fight Revenants despite having just arrived in Purgatory is impressive. Thus we'd like to offer a contract."
Pheles: "Sign the contract, become our executors, and slaughter these Revenants again and again."
Mephis: "In exchange, we shall take on the burden of maintaining your ego within Purgatory, allowing you to fight as you please, as well as grant you the ability to come and go between Purgatory and reality according to your desire."
(edited by Ally_of_justice)
["Dead!? That has to be some kind of sick joke!" he thought. Ragna's expression only hardens with every added word in this series of uncomfortable revelations. He tightened the grip of his own arms. He only had one thing to say; he was nobody's dog.]
"Sorry but I have no intention of playing your game. You really expect me to accept I just happen to be dead while also retaining all of my possessions? And besides, I barely even have a grasp on my own memories, so unless I get everything back, I'm not making such a decision. I’m seriously lacking tons of context here!"
[Ragna would drop his arms to the side and keep walking forward. He didn't care if they were in the way, because if they were, he would merely push them aside. He had the full intention of reaching the other side of the are if possible. He had no doubts now he could easily defeat the monsters, but he had to get things in order first.]
"I'm not anyone's puppy that will follow orders and then maybe be allowed off the leash. I'll find my own way out."
Their wording on describing who they were now simply baffled and confused her. This was purgatory and yet they are alive? At least, they were alive in some sense or at least that's what she herself wants to believe. Taking in slow breaths of air, she tries her best still to process what they are saying.
Her head turns to the man besides her to find his outburst about this whole situation, rejecting the notion of any of this truly making sense and that they were dead. She though looked back towards the strange sisters with compliance though hesitant at best.
"This deal...can we have more time to ponder on it? You sure there is no other way for us to return back to the living world without us having to make such contracts?"
Her eyes glanced down the path ahead as the man who used to stand next to her side wanders off down the trail of islands. Where the end was is something unknown, blocked off by a heavy mist to curtain. For him to go off by himself seemed rather reckless and Aoi herself felt some sort of comfort being with him because of how he is the only person she has at this moment.
(edited by Aoi_Ichika)
Pheles begins laughing once more at Ragna’s outburst. An absurdity truly, and evident of their lack of understanding. Still, the girl gracefullyfloats out of his way, allowing Ragna to go on his own path if he pleases. Though Mephis is much less open about it, even the demon in white’s mouth twists into a smile as she watches them go.
Pheles’s laughter wouldn’t cease until Ragna’s well away on the next island when she asks her sister.
Pheles: “Should I tell him?”
Mephis: “‘Twould be more interesting to wait. To provide us with a little entertainment... Tis the least he could do.”
With one party member storming out, the twins are able to focus upon Aoi once more
Pheles: “Make no mistake, that form you’re currently driving is nothing more than a puppet maintained by your self-consciousness.”
Mephis: “you’re both very much alive. With your ego here your real body is left abandoned in the real world.”
Pheles: “hehehehehe.. To think that boy of yours is heading on some epic quest when all he had to do was ask nicely.”
Mephis: “Still, he does not seem the type to accept out assistance so easily.”
Mephis chuckles to herself before letting out a sigh and granting Aoi her cold, analytical gaze
Mephis: “Since thy body is still intact, ‘Tis rather easy to leave Purgatory. All thou wouldst require is the permission of either us, Purgatory’s managers.”
Pheles: “Or those granted authority by us, the Executors.”
Mephis: “As fortune would have it one of our current Executors happens to be located nearby. Were it not the case he’d likely end up wandering Purgatory ‘Til his body rots away.”
Pheles: “I can already imagine the look on her face. Hey Mephis?”
Pheles casts a quizzical glance at her sister, who simply nods her head with a smirk
Mephis: “Do as it pleases you. Thy presence is no longer a necessity.”
With her sister’s permission, Pheles vanishes in that same flash of light she had before, leaving Mephis and Aoi alone. The demon in white adjusts her monocle before continuing
Mephis: “Now about your little request. If thou desirest more time Tis possible for me to engrave a mark upon your flesh that would allow you to contact us.
Otherwise I can simply return you to the world you call reality and we can forget this incident ever happened.”
OOC: feel free to take either offer without believing you’ll miss much. Ragna’s part is likely to end soon as well.
On Ragna’s end, as he proceeds along Purgatory’s path the faintly mossy, dirty floor begins to give way to a more even, paved path, eventually turning into concrete like that of a sidewalk. Soon housed begin to emerge around him, leaving him in something resembling a normal neighborhood.
Normal, save for the brief sound of steel clashing ahead, followed by a massive gust of wind that threatens to sting his eyes.
In the distance Ragna spots two girls, both dressed in black.
The one on the ground is wearing a black cape angled to the left that mostly obscures their arm, wielding two similarly dark swords with a tinge of red.
Hanging above their head is a pure white halo, which resembles that of the monster Ragna fought earlier save for its color.
(The current PfP for reference)
This girl is clearly injured, down on one knee as they look up to the one above them
The other girl stands upon one of the rooftops to Ragna’s left, seemingly unscathed. This figure is clad in black armor with smaller wings coming out that almost remind him of the demons he’d just met.
This figure has a dark black halo hanging over them, identical to that of the scorpion Ragna faced before.
The girl on the roof gives her opponent a self-satisfied smirk as she asks
Girl on roof: “Are you getting tired already? I simply thought you might want to see me again.”
[Ragna takes notice of the slow change in scenery. Something was telling him all this was supposed to be normal but at the same time, the same voice is telling him it is wrong, like it's not like anything he grew up around. Then comes the wind, and all he does is look away for a moment while covering his face with both arms, in case anything tried to blind him.]
[As soon as he notices the pair of girls, he makes the attempt to consider his options. Go back and meet the pair of annoyances again or possibly meet a new pair of annoyances that may or may not make him get into even more trouble. He was sure they were fighting but he didn't exactly know if he could really sneak around them. It really was not his problem.]
"Just my luck. As soon as I begin to feel like I'm safe I stumble upon more crappy situations. I really don't want to get involved so there's gotta be one way around this...!"
[He would try to find any way around the area to keep going, but if he did not, he may as well just try to walk through without getting involved unless acknowledged.]
Executioners? There are more of them like her? The thought of it was strange but this brought up more questions with one being more prominent than the rest. Irrelevant as it is but she couldn't help but wonder how many souls like her have wandered in and met these two.
Before she could, one of the sisters had vanished leaving her with Pheles polar opposite not that she minds anyways. Her eyes lit up as the girl offered her to leave this place though without memory of it. She didn't mind of course but what about Ragna? He would surely love it as well if he could get out of here without doing some menial tasks for these two demons.
"I'll take the mark, I have a feeling that Ragna would like to hear this news as well if he hasn't wandered too far ahead that is."
Her eyes glanced up ahead to where the man she spoke of had walked off to, wondering where he could be now. Hopefully he hasn't found himself in a new fight of some sort without her, it was tough enough to beat that scorpion. Perhaps though he was stronger than she perceived him to be or at least hoped that could be it as well.
(edited by Aoi_Ichika)
Mephis: "Thy indecisiveness is a rather undesirable trait. Still, in accordance with thy desire, the contract is sealed."
As the demon in white speaks, Aoi can feel a burning as the demon's magic etches its way into Aoi's soul. A simple black mark, one with an indeterminate shape burns its way into a location deeply rooted in Aoi's psyche, somewhere related to a traumatic event in Aoi's past. The mark seems simple, and incomplete. And in a way it was
Mephis: "Of course to fully brand your soul would require mine other half. For now, this half-sigil shall suffice. Simply focus thy thoughts on us as you slash across the mark and we shall be made aware of thine desire. Of course, only the full brand marks you as an Executor, and as such this is useless for entry to, exit from, and fighting within Purgatory."
The girl adjusts her monocle with a smirk before asking Aoi.
Mephis: "There's no telling where that fool has wandered off to, let alone if thy efforts to find him shall bear any fruit. One last time I ask, dost thou seek to return to your world, or wouldst thou rather wander Purgatory in hopes of some windfall?"
At first it appeared that there was little space between the buildings lining the path to go around. Opening one of the doors would reveal the building to be little more than a shell, an image with no inner substance, merely a hole where the floor ought to be that descends endlessly into the abyss.
However, in this brief investigation, Ragna notices a faint, blue butterfly, like those that had surrounded him when he first arrived, pass through a sliver of space between the buildings. The butterfly seems to be in a panic, likely attempting to flee from the fighting just like he was.
Through this new space Ragna would see a collection of nearly a dozen of these creatures, gathered in a loose circle around what most closely resembles a floating book, though it has a faint, spectral nature to it that makes its lack of a physical presence apparent.
[He wasn't expecting much but he was still somewhat disappointed at the fact that it was annoying girls or yet another of those monsters. Regardless, this book may be something he will find necessary, so by all accounts, he silently decides to go towards the "floating book" and take it.]
"If they get any funny ideas, I'll just kick their asses. Easy as that."
The butterflies part for Ragna as he reaches through the small, hidden space. They seem to be incredibly fragile, as if the slightest misstep on his part could destroy them for good. As such they take great pains to avoid any contact with either him or each other.
Once he reaches the book? The world seems to fade around him, replaced by a scene.
Ragna finds himself in the same group of floating islands he was when he first arrived in Purgatory, though the odd butterflies around had moved somewhat, it indicates little more than a passing of time.
The image is looking out at what seems to be a hole in the sky, where all of the swords are pointing, until they hear a voice.
???: "Big Sis."
The vision turns to look at another girl, one was likely in middle school, with long white hair separated in twin-tails that nearly reach their waist.
younger girl: "Do you remember when I was little. And whenever I had nightmares you'd let me in your bed and hold my hand until I fell asleep?"
of course I remember
The younger girl smiles at the thought, though it clearly wasn't Ragna's own. Rather they simply seemed happy to know their big sis thought of them so fondly.
younger girl: "Do you... Think you can hold my hand again? At least until we get out of here."
Of course Mirai. I promise I won't let go.
The younger girl, Mirai smiles as the perspective through which Ragna sees reaches out to grab her hand.
Where the vision ends.
An indiscernible amount of time passes between before Ragna touched the book and after he comes out of it, but the memory would remain clear in his head.
All of the butterflies in the area would have vanished, as if satisfied their job was done, leaving only the way back to the street. The streets are quiet now, though whether the two had stopped fighting or had simply moved elsewhere was impossible to know.
"What was that all about...? I don't get it at all. Was it someone else's memories? It sure seemed like it."
[The man would move his hand over his spiky white hair as the very same one does not lose its shape, not even for a second.]
"I don't get it at all, but this isn't going to help me get out anyways. I... don't think so anyways, but what the hell, what do I even know?"
[Ragna would remain frustrated, but now he was also confused. Regardless, he had nothing else to do but to go back to the actual street and continue his way. If the girls were still there, then he had no choice but to go through.]
She chuckles a little at the girl's opinion towards her but she didn't mind as if already knowing this small part of hers was one that she always had. Her voice ceased though from the moment a burning pain shot throughout her entire body. It was intense and rather uncomfortable, but she stood through it all. The feeling felt familiar and disgusted her somehow, but as quick as it came, the feeling had entire left her body. Her hand grazed gently down across the left side of her face where her scar from the past laid upon her skin, things still feeling rather the same to her at least.
Her next question seemed to take her back still, but she lefts out another chuckle before flipping her black hair to cover her left eye.
"I'll be traveling Purgatory for a while even if that may seem dumb to you. I would like to be accompanied by Ragna after all if I wish to escape this place.
Her reply was rather quick with this one, no hesitation in her voice as she smoothly spoke to the girl. Taking her gun off from her back, she holds it close and smiles towards the girl hoping that she'll let her pass to continue straight into that fog up ahead.
With the fighting over Ragna emerges from the memory's hideaway to see the aftermath. The street around him are surprisingly unharmed, as one might expect some amount of scarring.
Still, the results are rather clear, as Ragna can clearly see the younger girl with the white halo lying on the ground injured. Though interestingly they don't seem to bleed here either. It would be clear from looking that they're still alive, simply unconscious
Mephis: "Do as you please. So long as you follow the rules 'tis no concern of mine. Let thy ego lead thyself where it will"
With that, Mephis grins before vanishing in the same flash of light her sister had before her, allowing Aoi to proceed with no issues.
Continuing down the path of Purgatory, Aoi would notice the faint layer of grass getting replaced by hard stone, a pavement much like that she'd see in a regular neighborhood. Soon buildings begin to rise to either side, forming an oddly peaceful residential district, with the buildings broken up by the occasional blue butterfly.
Soon Aoi would come across the same area as Ragna, witnessing her companion emerge from a hideaway between the buildings as well as catching sight of the injured girl.
[He would notice the injured girl first of all, but would be able to tell immediately that the scene was at least... off-putting. Not unlike everything in this damned world. He had to think what to do. He needed to keep moving but... can he really just leave a random girl to her luck like this? What if she was in the same situation as himself?]
"This is driving me crazy. What am I even supposed to do here anymore...!?"
[Then he would see Aoi approaching. He felt glad the girl was okay but could not tell if she went ahead with the contract or not. Still, he nodded her way.]
"Hey, girl! There's someone injured here, think you can do anything about it?"
[He would say as he points with his left thumb towards the girl.]
"I'm not sure what happened, but I think she was fighting. I'm not sure if we should even get involved...but I think I would feel bad if I just passed her by."
With her weapon trailing behind her, she took note of the strange environment and how it changed seamlessly as she wanders down the trail. To her curiosity, she wanders up to one of the doors to try and open it up. No movement. She should've known, why would there be a real reason to have these houses other than the fact for atmosphere? There could be more to it, but she stepped away before continuing down the path.
With some time passing by and the scenery changing once more, she stumbles back to the familiar scene of floating islands where Ragna could be seen. Her eyes lit up just at the sight of him just glad he hadn't crossed any trouble again while she was away. Her eyes then glanced to the girl who seemed angelic like with the halo and such floating above her head. Interesting to say the least, but her condition worried her so she hurried up to the two.
"Let's just try to do what's best, patch up her injuries and wait till she wakes up."
She kneels down looking upon the little girl and props her up so the girl's body would be leaning up against hers. She checked her pulse before starting to try and clean up her injuries even if it wasn't the right choice perhaps.
Aoi would note the girl's pulse, though it may seem a little faint, it was still a clear indicator of her being alive. More so than anything else down here it seemed. None of her injuries seemed to be bleeding, leaving rather little to do.
In a few moments the girl's eyes would flutter open, she looks around with a confused expression which soon turns to panic.
The girl shouts as she stumbles away from Ragna and Aoi. Upon her command a spectral figure clad in red armor appears beside her. The figure wields two blades like its master, giving off an ominous red glow that contrasts with the pure white of her halo.
However the figure doesn't remain for long, as the girl falls to her knees again. Try as she might they're in no condition to fight.
[Ragna would instinctively reach for his blade to defend himself and Aoi in case it suddenly attacks, but he would drop this the moment the strange specter disappears yet again into nothing. In this moment of calm, he would feel a chill run down his spine, for he had just seen a ghost try to attack him. However, there was no time for this. To get rid of the last bits of fear in his system, he would clear his throat.]
"H-Hey! Calm down, we're not going to attack you. Whoever did this to you isn't around anymore, so just... let her help you with those injuries of yours. You don't seem to be in any condition to move so erratically."
[He would return his blade back to the back of his waist as he slowly makes his way to the possibly still fearful girl.]
Just going to push this up again for Aoi
Aoi backed off the moment the girl had pushed herself away, leaving her in complete shock as she stared up at the confused girl. It wasn't until a being appeared, one that she seemingly managed to summon, did she put up her gun towards it. She had no idea of what to make of this, but her thoughts were interrupted when the girl fell to her knees with the being she summoned leaving her. Aoi hesitated this time to approach the girl, placing a hand on her shoulder.
"Take it easy now, whatever injured you seems to be gone. You just need to rest now alright?"
She softly whispered to the girl in a soothing way, keeping her eyes on her just in case she tries to harm them. It seems she has power to summon in a person to fight on her behalf, but other than that appeared to be weak and frail.
"You're safe now with us, you don't need to keep fighting."
(So sorry about not replying yesterday, I had a date going on;;)
When Aoi reaches for the girl’s right shoulder, she’d notice their intricate, Lion-shaped brand that seemed burned into her skin. The girl looks away off to her left
???:”My apologies for that. I haven’t seen another Executor in...”
Its only then that she noticed both Aoi and Ragna’s lack of a halo, neither pure white indicative of an Executor, nor the blood-red of a Revenant.
The girl quickly stands back up, shrugging off Aoi’s hand as she exclaims
???: “I’ll be fine with a little rest, but if you two are neither Executors, nor dead, then we need to get you back to the real world as soon as we can.”
"Wait, what do you mean we are not dead? We met a pair of girls before who said we were here because we died, and only by becoming their pet can we get back. You telling me they really were trying to screw us over?"
[Ragna had no time to wonder about anything else, really. Especially now that they just found a chance to escape.]
"Talk about doging a bullet! Anyways, if you could show us the way out of this place then I would really appreciate it, the quicker, the better."
OOC: Its fine for Aoi to be a bit busy, I just thought its fine since this is one I can answer pretty easily for now.
???: "A pair... Are you referring to the demon twins?"
The girl closes her eyes and lets out a sigh. Though they were the masters of this place, and also her employers, the demon twins were also rather wearying to deal with, with motives that were never fully clear to her
???: "Let me see how to put it.... Currently, you're within the realm of Purgatory, but that doesn't actually mean you're dead. Have you seen any of those butterflies floating around, muttering to themselves? That's what a dead soul looks like. Souls tend to.. Break a bit whenever they die, so they lose their former identities and become.. That."
The girl crosses her arms with a sigh as she finishes
???: "If that's the case then your body is probably still in the real world. At least, that's what happened to me."
She was still a bit in shock after all that's happened but she didn't want to think anymore of what had happened during her time here. Though what would happen to the half brand she recieved from one of the sisters? No time to think she thought.
"I remember that one of the sisters did say it was possible to bring us back home. One of them gave me a mark of some sort to call upon them when I had made up my mind to leave. I could call them now unless you could do the same thing."
Aoi asked, her eyes upon the unknown girl with a curious look upon her face. It was clear that both of them were ready to leave this strange place. After what they've been through, it would be for the best.
"Whatever the case, we need to keep moving. If... you're ready to show us what to do or where to go, anyways."
[Ragna could not help being impatient regarding this situation, but at the same time he didn't want to be rude to someone who was hurt, or tired, or both. He felt more stupid than usual as well.]
"I really do hope my body is back in the real world, I don't want to go on living as a..."
"...g-ghost, or something strange like that."
???: “Right, sorry about that. I’ve never done it with a non-executor before, but if the twins said it would.”
The girl lets out a sigh, closing her eyes for a moment as a faint, white light begins to gather around her, much like the light that had surrounded the twins before their disappearance.
???:” Stay close to me and we should all get out of here.”
And a few moments later, the light flashes, and Purgatory is no more.
Ragna and Aoi would awaken wherever it was they had been before their arrival, with only a few hours passed. Their brief time in Purgatory would seem almost like a dream.
Save for the brand that remains on Aoi’s cheek, ready to be activated should the time for her contract with the twins ever come.
OOC: simply one last thing to square away with Ragna regarding his memory loss, as I aim to alter the epilogue based on the results
I hadn’t the chance to explain it earlier, but basically we have three directions.
1. Ragna’s memory loss extends to both Jin Kisaragi and the true nature of his right arm (though he would still know how to use it, merely forgetting its relation to the Black Beast)
This option gives him the most incentive to return to Purgatory, but since I am unsure if I shall even proceed further, I would not recommend it.
2. The memories regarding Jin come back slowly and with triggers, but that of the true nature of his right arm remains hidden (in the same manner as option 1)
A more intermediate option, as I doubt the Beast will come up much outside.
3. He gradually regains everything, and moves on with his life.
Short and simple
[When Ragna wakes up, he would find himself lying on top of a bench somewhere around Shinjuku. He wasn't exactly sure what had just happened or why his head was hurting at the moment. He tried to put his thoughts into place. Blue butterflies, annoying twins, monsters, the girl with the burn marks and Purgatory.]
"Was that all a dream...? I never got that girl's name either..."
[He would then try and recall who the hell was that blonde man who seemed all too familiar, the one that keeps coming back to his mind. However, he cannot put the whole picture together. Thinking about the battles he went through, he remembers a sole blade that controls ice, the Yukianesa. He knows it has something to do with that man, but as much as rages, he cannot get anything else, and so, he drops it.]
"There's no point, it's almost as if I have some kind of...roadblock within me. What am I supposed to do now...?"
OOC: Going with number 2, neutrality is strong
Her eyes opened in utter shock, heavily breathing as she looks around the room she was within. White walls and quiet halls. She breathed heavily for a bit before realizing where she was. Back in the hospital, but why was she here again? It didn't matter, only that strange dream she encountered.
She rubbed her eyes before looking around some more to find blue flowers in vases simply scattered around the place. Looks like she has been here for a while for this many flowers to be here. To her side was a framed picture of the being she saw before in her dream. How could she forget who this person was? It was strange but she couldn't tell who it was.
Shaking her head, she swings her legs off the side of the bed and pushes herself out. Everything seemed to be normal till her eyes glanced upon the window. There she clearly saw a mark upon her cheek, one that she knew for certain wasn't there beforehand. She rubbed at it confused, trying to get rid of it but it was here to stay.
A low grumble escaped before looking around back at the door to her room. Maybe she could get answers outside of what just happened to her. Surely if the dream was real and she went to purgatory, then how did she get here in the first place?
back in the void, the abyss of purgatory, the demon twins watch on. The demon in black, ever jubilant, giggles to herself before addressing her sister
Pheles: "What a productive day, to think we'd find something so interesting all the way in the upper levels... I can practically taste the lovely Idea.. Hehehehe."
Mephis: "Take care not to rejoice too soon, for we have but sown the seeds of sorrow. Much work lies ahead if they are to bloom."
Pheles: "I know, but still. hehehe... To think something like the Black Beast actually existed... So much sparkly idea in one place... HeheheheHAHAHA"
Mephis: "A creature that even the divine were said to fear.. 'Tis certainly intriguing. Still, that man seems not the type to make himself useful."
Pheles: "Maybe not on purpose, but That doesn't stop him from being sooo fun to mess with hehehehehe."
The demon in white breathes out a sigh, slowly shaking her head as her sister indulges in their fantasies once more. Though they can't help but smirk. Mephis may not be as open, yet she too enjoys much of the same depravities as Pheles. 'Tis their nature after all.
Mephis: "Truly an enigma, and one to watch further. Yet for now he seems to be the least of finds."
Pheles: "Hehehehehe... The girl right, I can already tell. I'm sure a soul like that will make some of the purest idea we've ever seen."
Mephis: "'Twould be wise for us to tread with care. Considering the state you left our last Executor in. To this point there exists no tragedy that has its star fall off halfway through."
Pheles: "Oh Mephis.. You know better than anyone that death is hardly the end. After all."
Mephis/Pheles: "Whether by force or by choice, one day all shall meet in Purgatory."
(edited by Ally_of_justice)