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Shattered Minds: An Empty Hello
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When the rumors started nobody remembers. The only thing that could be remembered was what they entailed and how simple gossip soon would become a legend among students. As it went a once popular student one day disappeared after seemingly losing their mind the day before. It was said that they had been dared to go into the school the night before but most don't even recall exactly what it was they were doing there. Since that day though many individuals who pass the school ground at night report hearing a heavy breathing that seemed to come from within the building itself and occasionally inhuman screams that are assumed to be the cause of some stray animal the wandered within. An exterminator was sent to take care of it and an exterminator soon disappeared within the building as well. These incidents have led to the principal calling on anyone with 'experience' to come and investigate the cause behind it all. The principal stood outside of the school, feeling stupid for expecting help to arrive so easily but still holding onto some hope for a swift resolution to these events.
A young woman dressed in a simple pair of jean shorts and a t-shirt would wander up to the school with a grin on her face... And a half full bottle of liquor in her hands while greeting the person standing outside. "Yo! Nice meeting you, but I'm not here for chit chat really. Word on the street is y'all got some weirdness going on around this place right? Akia Sato, you could say I'm an expert in dealing with things that are... More than a bit off the beaten path of logic, to put it mildly." She'd chuckle while holding a hand out to them, seeming a bit serious and focused despite the fact she's obviously been drinking from that bottle. "Anyway, lemme know what we're dealing with and I'll take a look. I won't even ask ya for payment up front, sound good?"
Hello~ A handsome youth equipped with black, flowing robes and an ornate flute arrives. With a shit-eating grin on his face after his greeting, the youth is quick to introduce himself to the principal. I'm the demonic exterminator you contacted over the phone. Normally I would be tied up with family affairs but lucky for you I happened to be touring the many schools of this region. The youth looks up at the school in front of him. Eh I would give this place a 4 out of 10, which could easily be improved once I investigate those nasty incidents you talked about. Soooo how much will you pay for my early arrival? The youth grins and rubs his fingers together in the universal gesture for money.
Life has been quiet so far, but this quiet always has its downsides. In this case, boredom. It was a miracle she’d caught wind of this. She’d just heard the rumors in passing at a coffee shop. One lead went to another, and here she is. The red-haired girl scans the front of the school. It’s nothing out of the ordinary, but looks are deceiving. Perhaps that man - the principal who sent the notice, most likely - knows something more. She approaches him. “Were you the one who called for an ‘experienced’ individual? I’d like to know what I’d be getting myself into.” She doesn’t meet his eyes, but not out of nervousness. She merely just uses a quick glance to memorize his face and leaves it at that.
Another girl around highschool age joins the group. The magenta-haired girl is still in uniform, and doesn't seem to carry anything strange about her save a single silver ring on her left hand. The girl briefly bows towards the principal before introducing herself to the group "Nanaka Tokiwa. Consider this an effort to sate my own curiosity. I'll ensure nobody gets injured." The girl adjusts her glasses, looking around at her current companions. She wasn't going to reveal more than she needed to, so for now she watches the others and waits for instructions
*Minerva rolls her eyes from behind her mask as she approaches. Great, she thinks, another group of idiots here to steal a job. She approaches the group but stands a part from them, drumming her fingers on the handle of her trusty rapier. She turns her head slightly towards the principle.* I heard you had a job. I'll take it on, if you need me. As long as the payment's worth the trouble.
{A young man wearing an eyepatch goes ahead to walk up to the group, yet he notices Minerva's approach and immediately looks in disdain at them with closer investigation. Of course, this group seems familiar, but every stranger is always untrustworthy.} "Seems like traveling the world would usually bring you to some stupid place like this." {He sweeps his bangs to the side, taking it as an excuse to look away from everyone present. Well, at least it's a slight breath of fresh air from his last group of friends.}
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The principal didn't expect so many to actually consider his request seriously but still he tried to stay professional about the matter. He was an expediently middle aged man who was slightly overweight. Principal: "Y-yes, of course...Well, I've already discussed the basic details in my request. At this rate I keep fearing having to shut the school down but...If you can solve this 'issue' then that won't be a problem, correct? I almost considered cancelling classes for today as well but I realized that perhaps the students might know more. Of course, they recognize me so it's been proving difficult for me to interrogate them. B-but all this nonsense started as their rumors in the first place! I, uh, I trust professionals such as yourselves would be able to gleam information more effectively from them but I'll leave that up to you. Of course, as long as no harm comes to the students. I don't need another lawsuit on my hands..." He was seemed glad most of them hadn't asked for payment upfront but he needed to take a moment to address Wei. He tried his best to remain passive in his response. Principal: "Y-yes, I'll gladly pay you all well. You'd be helping me to avoid anymore lawsuits after all. The last one cost me enough and even still nothing even came from it in the end. Maybe I should just be glad that the exterminator I hired wasn't a liability... Anyway, if you need to speak to me again I'll be in my office. I...need to ease myself a bit." The tense principal would escape back into the building, trusting that everyone here knew what to do. The front doors to the school would be open with most students seeming to be in class at this hour.
A black hedgehog approaches the group, glancing towards the principle from behind the crowd. "So, I hear there are some mysterious incidents occuring here. Let me make this clear, i'm here to find my own answers and I won't tolerate anyone getting in my way." He then walks past the group, approaching the entrance to the school and casually entering awhile after the principal, scanning the corridors before musing to himself. "Heh. Not the kind of place i'd expect to do a mission. So be it."
The handsome and now very giddy youth walks to the front doors. Yes! I'll have some money for food by the end of today! That'll show Lan that I can take care of myself! He opens the doors and shouts to everyone else before going in. Last one in is getting nothing to show for their efforts. I might just handle this entire job all by myself~ Upon entering he instantly makes his way to the cafeteria or any other gathering place for the students.
(edited by WeiWuxian)
"Understood." Nanaka nods to the principal before looking around at her current companions. She didn't really know any of them, and as far as she could tell none of them brought anything useful. So for now the main thing was to get to the bottom of the situation. For now, she turns to her companions "It would be wise to split up, working either alone or in groups of two. The students might be hesitant to speak to a large group after all. I'll look for friends of the student who disappeared" With her piece said, Nanaka enters the school, first searching the halls for a student who seemed to be running late, or at least getting a good feel for the layout of the building. In her experience those more negligent of their schoolwork tended to focus more on the social aspect. Especially if they were other girls.
Himeno didn't expect much, but this principal was somehow immensely disappointing even with the bar set so low. And now she has to interrogate people? It's a pain, but she's too curious to back out now. She raises an eyebrow at the hedgehog. "What are... nevermind. But I'm glad we're on the same page. You stay out of my way, and I'll stay out of yours." She looks over her gear - the uniform and knife will attract attention, but she won't dare leave it behind - then enters the school. First order of business: where a beast could be hiding... and also who that "popular student" in the rumor was. She'll ask about the latter as she passes students in her sweep of the school.
... *Minerva sighs before heading inside.* You can all do what you want. *Minerva lifts her mask off her face and puts it in her hair as she passes through the school door. Her first goal would be to find a map or something that showed the layout of the school. Something as simple of that could make all the differance, after all.*
{Yurick did not actually know anything about the environment he was in, nor did he bother to care at the current moment. A sigh of relief came from the boy as he hears the mention of pay.} "Oh, at least we're getting paid. Now I'm slightly more motivated. This'll bump my expectations up from a 1% to a 2% I think." {The boy was about to head in alone, but then he changes his mind last second, quietly shuffling towards Akia since she felt the most familiar to him for whatever reason.} "I normally would just go alone, but you look like an alcoholic and past experiences would tell me that you have screws loose. I'll go with you if you don't question it, ok?"
Akia would begin walking off, toss her bottle into the air where it vanishes, and gesture towards... Hmm. The boy she supposes, sure. Or go with that pink haired girl if that fails. "Hey wanna tag along with me?" She'd point to Yurick while asking that, not really sure why. But something gives her a sense they might be able to cause some damage working on the same team if they gotta. And with that the woman waves toward everyone while heading forward. The kid's statement causes an eyebrow to raise for a moment but she just laughs it off and giggles slightly. "Fine by me, anyways. First thing to do I think, is like pink said we wanna question those who knew our missing person. And also... We want to ask the staff too, if they're around. Maintenance or such more than most, janitors always know all kinds of bullshit.'' With that she grins and begins looking around the building's inside, curiously listening for any sign of this sound.
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Upon entering they'd of course be presented with a typical school entrance. A place to for students to store shoes right beyond the door. Further ahead would be a staircase and two hallways that went in opposite directions. There would also be a door next to the staircase but anyone who checked the door would find it locked. To the left would be a hallway leading to several classrooms for first year students as well as a staff room on the opposite side of the hall. There would also be an unlabeled door stuck at the very end of the hall next to the staff room. There didn't seem to be much space left for wherever it lead. The other hall going right would lead to the cafeteria entrance on one site and what seemed to be the nurse's office on the other. The very end also featured both a male and female bathroom as most schools did. The cafeteria was easy to get to but not many students could be found there aside form a few who had a free study period at the moment and decided to slack off in the cafeteria rather than actually studying in the library. The students of particular entrance were a young man with messy blonde hair and a sleeping girl sitting in the corner with black hair and her head resting on a cafeteria table.
Nanaka begins her search by going upstairs to one of the higher floors. The two students in the cafeteria were near enough that odds are someone else was going to speak to them immediately. Though they seemed likely to know something about the rumors, it would be better for her to run into it herself
Wasting no time, Shadow heads straight to the male bathroom, surveying for anything suspicious on the way. Assuming he's uninterupted, he would enter the bathroom and look for anyone he could interrogate.
A locked door, but to where? Himeno shakes her head. She'll keep it in mind, but she doubts a student managed to get there. Her search brings her to the staff room. It wouldn't hurt to question the teachers, so she attempts to enter the room. If unsuccessful, she'll check the unlabeled door.
Wei enters the right hallway and then passes through the side of the hallway that leads into the cafeteria. When he notices the lack of students in the cafeteria he lets out a dissaponted hum. But, is careful not to show any aspect of that feeling on his face. Instead crafting a smirk and approaching the two kids that seemed of most interest. He sets out to bother the young man with messy blonde hair first not wanting to rudely disturb the sleeping girl. Hello, fellow youth. How are you today? How is the weather? How is your current romantic life? Are you aware that there might be some sleeping spirit in your school? What do you think of urban rumors that may have popped up recently in this school? Wei rattles off all these inquires as he takes a seat near the young man and innocently cocks his head to the side.
Akia wanders off towards... The left hallway, the staff room may have something or someone worth checking out. And she doesn't have any better ideas than that for the moment, so the young woman smiles while casually strolling up to it without a second thought and knocking upon the door to see if anyone's inside.
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The second floor would be similar to the one below, a right hall and a left hall. There did seem to be more classrooms on this floor however, with around 3 down the left hall while the first floor only had 2. The last bit of space seemed to be reserved for more bathrooms. An odd buzzing noise could be heard from these sets of bathrooms though. Down the right hall were a few club rooms. There seemed to be a cooking club room, a room labeled as science, and finally a room meant for a literature club. The final space down this hall was reserved for the library which expectantly was quiet right now. On, the first floor the staff room would be open. There was only a few teacher in at the moment, The one's not teaching classes right now which would be about 2. A younger male teacher seemed busy with a book on cooking? It would be hard to tell as the book's title was misleadingly "The Art of Rotary Mechanics". He seemed rather relaxed regardless, just trying to pass the time. there was also an older seeming female teacher on the other side of the room writing something on a computer. Perhaps she was grading student work to pass the time. The blonde student in the cafeteria would be surprised by the sudden bombardment of questions. Blonde Male Student: "What? Who the hell are you? And what's with all these sudden questions? Tch, look, none of that stuff is any of your business! Can't you see I'm busy studying here?" He seemed to be giving Wei a dirty look but there was an innocence to his appearance that made no more threatening than a kitten. He was far too short for one thing and for another his blonde hair didn't match his face at all. The bathrooms were mostly empty except an occupied stall.
"Club rooms are a good start.... At least if its anything like back home..." Nanaka is briefly reminded of a certain student who seemed to spend all their time in the science club's room. They were well-informed and more experienced than most, so Nanaka decides to check this school's science club too. After all she might end up getting lucky.
After watching the two for a few seconds, Himeno clears her throat to get their attention. "Excuse me, would you happen to know anything about a certain student's disappearance? The principal suggested I and some others look into the matter." She's just getting straight to the point. She doubts she'll get much, but doesn't hurt to check.
Studying is an admirable activity to do but wouldn't you like to put your studies aside to help save your fellow students from a world ending sort of danger. The kind of danger that could easily threaten your own life too. Wei smiles and ruffles the male student's blonde hair. Listen, you could help me save your school by sharing any random rumors you may have picked up. Or if you aren't an altruistic person I could always offer you some of the money i'm about to make as payment for your cooperation. Wei pullsback his hand and patiently waits for the male student's response. You seem like an intelligent teen and I would hate to see that intelligence wasted.
(edited by WeiWuxian)
{Yurick, who silently followed Akia is the first to step into the room, despite not being the one who knocked on the door.} "I have a feeling out of the two of these unsuspecting adults, the one that's reading is obviously the one that's more intriguing." {The young man proceeds to walk up to the teacher that reads the book, immediately noting the title that's plastered on the cover. Nevertheless, he suspects that something different is found in the subject matter, so he asks the stupid question anyway.} "Hello sir, what's that book you're reading? Do you have experience on what's inside it at all?"
The Inscribed shrugs a little bit and waves to them both, absently walking over to the younger teacher who's reading a book and greeting him curiously. She can let the kid lead for now though, that'll be... Curious to see how he handles this at least. So far it isn't looking great, she may need to step in. But oh well, nothing for it at the moment except observing with a casual smile on her face.
Shadow would enter the stall right next to the occupied one, sitting down on the toilet and raising his feet so they may not be visible. He then speaks loudly so the kid in the other stall may hear him. "So how about these disappearences? Pretty scary, don't you think?"
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Within the science room would be a single student, they seemed to possibly be a third year and would be tinkering with something like a small engine, trying to assemble it and running various tests on it. They looked tired, barely even able to keep their glasses on yet they kept working. They didn't even notice the person who had entered. Himeno would mostly just receive a glare from the older woman. Older Female Teacher: "Be quiet would you! I'm trying to work." The younger male almost seemed to respond as well but he would quickly become distracted by the other two who had entered. Younger Male Teacher: "Oh this, actually it's a science book...I think. I actually teach history but the science club asked my to become the faculty representative since the last one quit. Not quite sure what anything in this book means but the students in the club are trying to build some kind of device with an engine so I thought I'd at least try to learn something about it." The blonde student would only seem to get more annoyed with Wei. Blonde Male Student: "W-what are you even talking about? You got a screw loose or something, pal? Keep your money to yourself too. The school's resorting to hire child prodigies or something? Like some kind of detective anime or something?" The student seemed to try and calm himself down before mumbling further. Blonde Male Student: "If your asking about that rumor then that's pretty petty. Just because the boss went missing doesn't mean I know much about it. I'm already getting pestered by all the new students about it. Boss didn't say a word to even me after they came back to school the next day. I don't know that much more than anyone else does." Whoever was in the stall in the bathroom would begin to answer. There voice was surprisingly mature, implying that they perhaps weren't a student in the first place. ???: "I guess, I just wish they didn't mean more work for me. it's kind of a bummer, y'know?"
Himeno gives her a glare in return, but keeps her voice steady. “Sorry to bother you, then. It’s not like this is important to your school or anything.” The sarcasm is tangible. She’s about to speak to the other teacher too, but he’s already engaged with the people who just entered. With a sigh, she walks out and goes to open the unlabeled door.
Nanaka watches the other student tinker with their engine. Nanaka liked to diversify her knowledge, but she wasn't an expert mechanic. The other student seemed quite driven. Were Nanaka to interrupt them asking about a rumor, they would likely be irate about the silly disturbance. So instead Nanaka decides to patiently wait for a short lull between engine tests before asking. "Pardon me, I'm new here and couldn't help but wonder what that device you're working on is for." Always start with something that seemed to interest your partner, from there the conversation can be moved elsewhere as needed. It was one of the first things she learned
Akia woukd speak up at that point, looking down at the book curiously. Not that she can likely understand what it means or anything. "Science huh... Neato! I'm also... Sorta curious about some 'rumors' of a sort, the principle hired us to look into a recent disappearance around here ya see. Supposedly it was connected to some heavy breathing and horrible screams inside the place that have happened here lately. Sorta curious if you know any more though.'' She'd offer up a friendly smile while glancing at the man, sounding calm and relaxed even while mentioning a young person vanishing and the idea of some "animial" roaming around the place.
Wei frowns and hangs his head. I really didn't want to do this. Wei states as a mischevious grin forms on his face and he sneaks his flute back into his robes. With his now unoccupied hands he quickly grabs the back of the blonde male student's uniform and leaves him hanging in the air like a kitten held up at its nape. You left me no choice! He yells to attract the attention of any other students in the cafeteria. So who is your boss and why exactly did they visit the school overnight? Give me the full story and I'll be glad to leave you alone for the rest of your life. Promise~
{Yurick simply rolls his eyes when Akia starts to speak, though inside he's relieved. He never liked nor had that much experience with negotiation of this sort.} "Pft, yeah. Surely it has nothing to do with the teacher quitting on the science kids as they build whatever this device is. Well, if it is, it'd be way too easy." {Speculation is in the air, and the whole gang has split up in search for clues. Maybe if it can be deathly obvious at first sight, everyone; and sadly everyone here, would get rewarded.}
"Tch, typical." Shadow scoffs, seemingly annoyed as he uses his chaos snap to teleport up to the top of the stall, holding onto the side opposite the occupied stall and climbing to stand on top of it. He would then search the ceiling for a vent he could climb into, doing so and determining any routes he could take in said manner.
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The unlabeled door would surprisingly be unlocked. Inside would be a janitor's closet with a variety of cleaning supplies and tools. Most interestingly would be a map of the schools floor plans set to rest on a workshop desk. It showed that in total the school had 3 floors along with a basement but the basements layout was mostly unmarked aside from it being rather small in comparison to the rest of the school. Otherwise the only other odd things would be a pile of books in the corner with obscured titles. The student working on the device would look up, steadying his vision for moment as his glasses were starting to fall downward for a moment. Science Club Leader: "It's nothing much. Just a project we're working on. Been working on it way too long though. The other club members are all 1rst and 2nd years so they're still in class but we're trying to finish this soon so I volunteered to skip the day to work on it since I'm already ahead in most of my classes." The younger male teacher would seem to think for a second before replying to Akia.[/i] Younger Male Teacher: "Uh...well, honestly not sure on that. I don't really pay much attention to the student's gossip. Actually, I think the old science teacher quitting had something to do with that. He was always really paranoid though. The science club members actually started building that thing directly in response to that I think." The blonde student suddenly starts panicking. Despite trying to get anyone else's attention the sleeping girl doesn't even so much as open an eye. Still though the student was embarissed by being lifted up. He'd try to thrash around but he couldn't do much of anything in his current state. Blonde Male Student: "W-what's the big idea? Fine, whatever, not like it matters that much anymore! They were a third year who attended last year! Some random guy came out of nowhere, said he was from the school in the town over. Started talking trash at out boss and then dared him to enter the basement at night! I don't know anything else! Tch...Boss told me not to come...Said he needed to go himself. Next day he was acting all weird and then he disappeared. Now put me down already!" The only vent wouldn't be hard to open though the man would be slightly confused as to what was happening. The vent would simply lead forward before splitting into two paths, left and right. There was no way to tell where either would lead.
(edited by Roland)
The door by the stairwell probably led to the basement. It’s the most likely entrance from what she’s seen. She searches around for a key or anything else helpful. Once that’s done, she’ll flip through the books just to skim the contents.
Thank you for all the info. Wei allows the blonde student to place his feet on the ground before actually letting the student go. He then considers what he had just learned from the student. The disappearances sound like the product of a bunch of teens acting on foolish dares. But, that really doesn't answer much on the why of this situation. He still has no clue on the sort of entity behind these strange occurances. Wei gently pats on the head of the sleeping girl in a nice attempt to wake her. Wakey wakey you are still in school.
The young woman nods at that, science club huh... If they're building something in response perhaps they know a little bit more. "Gotcha! Any clue where I might find a member of the science club? Maybe they'll know a little more about the incident since they're concerned with it~" That's her hope anyway, and that the kids will be... Perhaps a bit more willing to consider "insanity". What some call that, she merely considers the supernatural to be a simple fact of life after all. Either way, if given a direction she'd set off and shrug to the boy with her.
"The others are all newer students so I suppose that makes you the club leader. You seem reliable enough for it" Nanaka slips in a little compliment at the end of her observation. She was only pretending to be interested at first, but there were only ever two reasons to rush an invention, and as far as Nanaka could tell there wasn't a competition soon. "What's all the rush about? Don't tell me you've already caught the attention of some big names." the student obviously intended to either use the device, or at least show it to someone. Though she might have her suspicions, given the cloud the recent rumors had hung over this school, bringing it up herself was more likely to draw suspicion. So she'd give the other student an opportunity to explain it.
(edited by Nanaka_Tokiwa)
"I better keep track of where all the forks lead." After noting this, Shadow heads down the left path while looking for openings which he would use to easedrop on any active conversations.
"Isn't that amazing. Well, I've got nothing to add now." {If they were pointed to a specific direction, the boy wouldn't bother to wave goodbye since strangers didn't really deserve it. He'd just silently follow along with Akia in pursuit of getting closer to the answer.}
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Surprisingly, there would be something, A peice of metal resembling a key, as if it had just been roughly crafted to try and fit into the locked door. It was impossible to determine if it would actually work but still, an attempt was made. the contents of the books would be another matter. It was mostly indecipherable on the inside and what's more, looking at the pages seemed to cause a strange sensation on the viewer. For a moment it was hard to tell where they were or who they were. Instead they'd suddenly feel as if they were actually in a different place all together. It was an office, a rather shabby one at that but still there was a sense of belonging. Along with that a sudden motivation to do a good job would also arise and a 2-handed blade would be at your back, it felt like it was perhaps in some ways your trusty partner. There'd be others there as well but their faces were hard to make out, almost completely unidentifiable. Then just like that you'd suddenly leave the daze. The book would be closed though you wouldn't even remember having done that yourself. The sleeping girl would slowly wake up, but her reluctance upon seeing who was waking her would be obvious. Despite this she would at least begin speaking somewhat. Tired Female Student: "Is school over already? I thought I told that other guy to wake me when it was." The younger teacher would struggle thinking once more. Younger Male Teacher: "Hmmm, not sure, most of them are probably still in class and the president of the club didn't show up for class at all today. I haven't really checked the science room though so I'm not sure." The science club president would hesitate at that but almost seemed too exhausted to come up with a complicated excuse. Science Club President: "Yeah, I'm in charge of our activities though it was really the younger members who suggested it. We need it to do something that requires a bit of urgency though talking about it more might jeopardize its purpose. What were building was only possible because of some stuff the janitor gave us. So we're probably not going to get another chance at something like this." The left vent shaft would lead towards an upwards incline, eventually the hedgehog creature would find themselves right above what seemed to be the science room where one of the people they had entered with was talking to an older student working on a strange device. The man in the bathroom stall earlier would finally exit the bathroom. He'd rub his head wondering what just happened but regardless would begin heading down the hall to the unlabeled room. ???: "A hedgehog who speaks? Not normal but...I've seen weirder still. Were they...No, I was told this place was weird but still, that was something else."
The vision is... comforting. Himeno’s body relaxes outside this daydream. The optimism she feels brings a gentle warmth with it. Then, suddenly, the vision snaps shut like the book. She shakes her head and curses herself for being so soft. Taking the key-like metal and the book she’d been reading, she leaves the closet and heads for the stairwell door. Will the key work? Only one way to find out.
Wei apologetically bows. Sorry the other guy was busy dealing with me and my bothersome questions. I felt bad occupying his time like that, which is why I decided to carry out his promise myself. He lifts his head and feigns interest in the girl. So school isn't over yet, but you could kill some time by telling me about these crazy rumors going around lately. I'm new to this place and wanted to know about any recent school hauntings or incidents. Would thrill my occult loving heart to learn about them.
"Its the rumors isn't it?" Though Nanaka might feel bad about taking advantage of someone this tired, the president hadn't been willing to give a reason on their own, so she needed to be able to give them some reason to trust her. Or at least an opportunity to talk about it more openly. "You see, I'm actually part of a group who came here to resolve these recent disappearances." Nanaka adjusts her glasses, giving the student an opportunity to look at the magenta gemstone within her silver ring. The girl lets out a sigh and sits down, taking the opportunity to appear somewhat vulnerable for the moment as her typical cheerful smile drops in exhaustion. "I fully intend to fulfill my promise, but to be honest I'm unsure if we can handle it." Nanaka looks at the student out the corner of her eye "If there's any assistance you could provide me at all I'm sure we could prevent any more disappearances."
Shadow nods, remaining silent as he closely listens for the student's response to Nanaka's pressing statements. "(Looks like I came the right way.)"
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Oddly enough, the key seemed to function properly but upon unlocking the door it seemed to get stuck. The man from the bathroom would pass by but would seem to have sharp enough senses to see what was going on. ???: "Hey, what are you doing with the key? You know you can get in a lot of trouble if anyone catches you going down there right. Besides it's not safe for even someone experienced." The man speaking had a rather casual look to him. He was wearing a typical janitor uniform but it obviously didn't look quite right on him, especially with the amount of professionalism he was somehow practicing all while seeming to take things lightly. A heavy breathing could be heard from the now open door as well. A staircase led down below into darkness... The girl seemed to look at the boy with disinterest. Tired Female Student: "Oh, so your one of those occult weirdos? Ok, then. I don't know what you expect me to know though..." There'd be a moment of akward silence before the girl started speaking, faster than before. Tired Female Student: "So, apparently the kid who went missing was some tough guy that a bunch of people looked up to. They say that people found him at the school after he was said to have come here during the night but some people say he never even left at all. Apparently he was muttering random things all day and was way too eager to greet people. People who were keeping track said he said hello to everyone at least once. Oh, another thing... This is the weirdest part but his hair was falling out. He was basically almost completely bald. ...*Yawn* I'm getting tired again. If that's all I'm going back to sleep." With that the girl would close her eyes once more. The science club president would look at her once more with his tired eyes. He seemed to suddenly look even more fatigued, as if remembering something unpleasant. Science Club President: "Is that so? I don't suppose I can convince you otherwise. You'll probably die...But I suppose anyone who faces that wouldn't have good odds. I hope this isn't some trick to try and throw me in a mental ward... There's a monster in this school...and this device..." He would move to place the small engine into a metal casing in the corner. Strapping it in and picking it up. It almost looked like a toy gun in a way but there was nothing about it to suggest anything playful. It was a plain gray in color. The end of it was also round and covered in seems that suggested it opened up as well. Science Club President: "It was made to destroy it. At least that's what we hoped. You see, we had an old science teacher who used to monitor our club. The word is that he quit but that's not really true. He was actually killed by...that thing. Listen to me, I sound crazy and it's probably not a good idea to be telling some stranger about this. I actually haven't told anyone that I'm here today...because I intend to kill it myself. No reason to have the others risk their life for this..."
If the boy never left then where do you think he could be? Wei would wait for the girl's answer and if she gives an actual location in the school he would proceed to head there next. If not then he would gaze at the girl with an eyebrow raised in an effort to prompt more of a response from her.
"Then it seems we're in agreement." Nanaka stands back up and nods to the Science Club President. "You see, back in my hometown of Kamihama I ended up running into creatures known as Uwasa. These monsters were based on the rumors that spread around the city and existed solely to ensure these rumors came true." Nanaka lets out a sigh, thinking back at a few of her previous encounters, her earlier weakness completely gone and replaced by the cool, calculating demeanor her juniors had gotten to admire. "I first arrived under the impression these Uwasa had returned, but its clear that this is not the case. After all, the disappearances began before the rumor that would have spawned them." Of course to anyone listening the pair might have seemed crazy, but since they had struck up somewhat of a comraderie Nanaka considered it more important to speak as someone wise and experienced beyond her years. "Its much more difficult to stand against these creatures than you realize. Someone inexperienced is likely to freeze up and panic at the mere sight of them. It would be better to let someone who's faced such creatures before use your weapon." Nanaka casts the President a determined glare as she finishes "Still, if you intend to move forward at least allow me, Nanaka Tokiwa, to assist you. In case anything goes wrong I can at least get us both out of there safely."
"Heh, so that's it then." Shadow then drops down to the room below, landing on his feet and turning to face the science club president. "I'm the ultimate lifeform, Shadow The Hedgehog. You can either give that weapon to me and point me in the direction of the enemy, or lead the way yourself. Choice is your's."
Himeno had an excuse in mind, but that was thrown away after getting a better look at the man. Definitely no ordinary janitor... that explains the odd stuff in that closet. She leaves the key stuck in the door and crosses her arms. “I never expected it to be free of danger anyway, but I’ll heed your warning. However, that doesn’t mean I’ll stay out. I’ll just be waiting for someone. Is there anything you can tell me about the breathing in the basement?” She knows the “team” will wander back to this area eventually, so she settles for getting information while she waits.
Akia would thank the teacher and begin walking off, with any luck she can fairly easily find the science room... Well, she'd actually bother to ask where it is before leaving rather than merely guess. And her direction sense isn't awful awful to screw up with directions so unless the building itself wants to stop her good chances the Inscribed can find her way to the room without much issue. No telling what'll happen there though. "Well that was something, hopefully we can get more useful info on this case yeah? The science room... Who knows, maybe one of us has already gotten something from the kid if they're in there. That'd be useful."
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The girl would seem slightly annoyed now but wouldn't even bother opening her eyes anymore. Tired female Student: "How should I know something like that? Weren't you paying attention? He disappeared the next day after acting all weird. What, do you think the principal kidnapped them or something? Only place they don't let students go is the basement anyway..." With that the girl would once more silent, hoping they'd no longer be bugged so they could sleep in peace. The science club president would suddenly be in shock over the talking hedgehog that suddenly appeared. Science Club President: "A-another weird thing? I...You know, I don't think I can deal with this stuff anyway. Nanaka, right? You can have this thing. I don't think I can even see straight right now anyway. That...thing...it's in the basement. I'm not sure what it looks like. I only caught a glimpse of it. All I know is...it does something to the people it attacks. I think...No, I don't know. Just, be careful of what you see..." With that the boy would simply hand the gun to Nanaka with shaky hands. He'd walk over to one of the corners of the club and seem to collapse against the wall. He was still shaking slightly but he seemed to calm down at least a little now. The man dressed as a janitor would sigh before talking in a somewhat exasperated tone. ???: "I wish I knew more myself. I was just sent here without so much of a hint aside from being told that I wouldn't be able to come back or leave this building until I dealt with it. All I know is it's an escaped monster that needs to be returned or something like that. Anyway, you sure you really want to go down there? I have no issue if you think you can really kill that thing. Honestly, I'd rather not have to do it myself anyway." Of course, Akia would easily be able to find the science room on the second floor. Unless she was blind she'd also see one of the people she's entered with in front of a door next to the staircase talking to a man dressed like a janitor. Of course, ignoring such a thing would lead her to the science room where two more people she had entered with would be waiting with a student sitting in the corner collapsed.
{Yurick does not really care for batting an eye at Akia, looking away from making direct eye contact at most times. Though when he was asked a question, he should answer them to the best of his knowledge. After all, he insisted on following her, so the boy does not want to be too rude to his chaperones.} "It's best if we return to our team, the way I can hopefully see it is that they've become more informed than we have and that the information we've gathered is enough for a conclusion. And also a direct confrontation...now let me come back to that in a quick second." {Of course, during his dialogue, most of what he said was with him glancing at Akia with his arms crossed. As he bats his eye toward another direction, he notices one of his coworkers in front of the door next to a staircase, talking to the janitor. At least that's a sign that everyone's cooperating. Yurick decides to walk past the science room, looking back at Akia and nodding his head toward the entrance, than proceeding towards Himeno and the man, hearing tidbits of mostly the man talking about killing a thing.} "There are many of us with the same goal, so I assume with proper teamwork it won't be that challenging. Besides, what were you even going to try and attempt to kill it yourself, sir?"
So he was hired as well... but from the sound of it, it wasn’t by the principal. If she had to guess, probably the people who owned the monster. Himeno nods when Yurick speaks up. “Exactly. No offense, but I doubt you’d stop it by yourself if it’s that dangerous. I’m too curious to back out either way. That aside, I’m Himeno Akatsuki. And you are?” She waits for an answer from the janitor, holding the book to her chest. Speaking of that... “Also, would you happen to know anything about this book I found in the janitor’s closet?”
"Its for the best. I'll be sure to use it wisely." Nanaka ignores Shadow for now, pretending she hasn't even seen him in favor of accepting the device. The girl lets out a sigh after receiving all this information, finally looking back at Shadow "This is exactly why I insisted we split up. I didn't want to cause a panic." but what's done is done, there was no further need to lecture on the subject. Now she had some sort of weapon at least. Though she's not really sure how effective it would be compared to her own abilities, if the monster proved to be too difficult it was an option. With everything wrapped up here, Nanaka briefly bows to the science club president before gesturing for Shadow to follow her as she returns to the first floor "Hopefully the others have done something productive with their time. At least we'll want to regroup to share what we've found."
"Heh, no one tells me what to do. I doubt you've ever even fired a gun to begin with." Shadow starts running past Nanaka, his heelies building up momentum and causing him to appear as nothing but a black blur. Rather then walk down the stairs to the first floor, he would merely leap over them entirely and jump dash just before he lands to land safely on his feet. He then looks for the entrance to the basement, which he would waste no time in running straight to should he see it. If it was not immediately within his sight, he would merely stand in place and wait.
Wei takes the hint and heads back to whence he came. Just to see if he can find the basement next. Though it is interesting that the girl mentioned the principal. Maybe this could be some elaborate plot to win some insurance money. Or the principal could be a cultist.
Akia would greet the psychic absently, only sparing a few words for her before looking into the science room curiously. Ah, the hedgehog and the school girl... Well she can talk to them in a moment. Maybe Himeno knows something, or the janitor told her something at least. "Well, the other teacher was a bust. And looks like science room kid has already been asked so we'll hear soon enough. What ya got so far?" She'd grin a bit upon hearing the boy saying that, yes... With any luck this random collection of weirdos knows what they're doing to at least some extent. "Mmm, I can't speak for anyone else but I'm kind of a professional when it comes to fighting weird things. I suspect it's a fairly common profession around here in fact..." She'd go quiet at that, absently pondering just how many seemingly supernatural loons have shown up, she doesn't know this little band's skillset though. None of them know each other, or so it looks.
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The janitor just seems to eye the newcomers as they appear. It was clear that he was starting to see this as a hassle. ???: "Look, enough with all the questions. Unless you all want to put your lives on the line then you don't need to know anything about me. If you guys can go and kill that thing then just go do it already. Don't let me be the one to stop you. You're basically just doing my job for me." The entrance to the basment was easily in site. The door appeared unlocked too meaning that if they so choose then the hedgehog could easily make his way inside. The janitor would take one last look at the group at the mention of the book. He'd stare at Himeno almost with some sense of concern. ???: "I'd put that back where you picked it up unless you want to end up like the guy who's name is printed on the cover. Just holding onto the thing is enough for h- *cough* the library to become aware of you. If you were to be bold enough to try reading it well, then the library definitely knows you have some interest and it'll use that against you. I'm not answering anymore questions. I'll just go back to my room and pretend I didn't see anything here." With that he'd simply leave without saying anything more. Seemingly he was already worn out just dealing with the group and seemed more eager just for this whole ordeal to be over. The basement door located next to the stairs at the center of the building was now unlocked. A heavy breathing could be heard from within. A staircase lead downwards into darkness waiting for someone to make the first step forward.
“An intriguing thing to say before following orders.” Nanaka notes the contradiction between Shadow’s words and actions as she heads down the stairs. It would take her a little bit longer than it took Shadow, but soon she’d meet up with the group to share their findings “The student was working on some sort of weapon for the sake of resolving this issue.” Nanaka prevents the gun-shaped device to everyone’s present before speaking up loudly enough for anyone to hear her while glaring at the escaping Janitor “He mentioned having been given the means and idea by the school’s janitor, who gave him access to unusual technology. Had we not arrived today he likely would have attempted to fight the monster himself and become another victim.” Though Nanaka doesn’t lower her voice, she does at least stop glaring at the man and returns her focus to the group “Of course I’m sure the janitor planned on using it to finish the job themselves rather than reaping the benefits of someone else’s hard work. After all, only a weed grows through the sacrifice of others.”
Himeno stares at the book’s cover as the man in janitor’s clothing leaves. A library, a magical book... That warning was a bit late. You know what they say about curiosity and cats. But... I’ll keep a hold on it for now. At least until after this monster is dealt with. She tucks the book under her left arm and listens to what Nanaka has to say. That only further confirms the janitor being involved in this case. She takes a step towards the open door and attempts to find some kind of switch for the lights. “Whoever he was, he came prepared. What kind of weapon is it?”
(edited by Himeno_Akatsuki)
Akia would shrug and absently conjure a bottle of frosty cold beer, taking a sip from it with a grin while looking over at the "janitor" leaving. "Well that guy was a fucking weirdo, pot calling the kettle black I know right? But my gut says there's plenty more to him... On the other hand, we're not being paid to solve the mystery of a heavily armed janitor that gives students weapons." There's a casual dismissal as she follows closer to the door as well, not really seeing any reason to focus on something outside the job's scope. "Who wants to go in first? I can handle it if ya'all want. I'm pretty tough, physically anyway."
{Yurick would roll his eyes as the janitor leaves, putting one hand on his hip as he looks off to the side.} "Oh well, less info than I would have wanted but it's better if he left anyway." {He goes over toward where everyone else gathers up, keeping an eye on the book Himeno has. When counting everyone present silently, he makes sure to at least speak up about the detail after he responds to Akia's proposal.} "No no, don't worry about us. You go first since you offered. But also, wasn't someone else supposed to arrive here by now? We've got everything we need to proceed onward."
"I'll finish this before any of you even take the first step." Shadow then rushes towards the door to the basement, jumping up and kicking it open without hesitation. If there was a rail, he would grind down it. Otherwise, he would simply use a spin charge to blast over the staircase.
Wei stops at the top of the staircase. He just saw a weird giant animal enter it with careless abandon, but Lan made sure to drill into his head to not randomly enter suspicious places. Especially, not to do it alone. Good thing I'm not alone~ Wei pulls out his ornate flute and plays a short sweet tune on it. Nothing noticeably changes about him but there is a slight wind in his presence. Plus some almost imperceptible groans. He then goes down the stairs.
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The lights would barely flicker on, only a couple nearly burnt out lights would illuminate the area but it would only be able to cover a majority of the space with light. The corners of the room below would still contain a large number of dark corners and spaces. It would be clear enough to see the room enough for those that descended the staircase. It was mostly just full of boxes labeled as school supplies and textbooks. It seemed this space was normally used as storage. The first to arrive would see hidden behind several boxes a older looking man shaking and staring at a wall. It seemed the breathing was originating from him but the heavy breathing didn't seem to match his own mouth movements. Another curious thing was a strange sphere floating in the middle of the basement. The top half of it was black and the bottom half white. There also seemed to be some letters in the center of it but they were obscured by the black top half. The sphere immediately began glowing as soon as it was approached. Likely the first to approach it would be shadow. A voice would begin speaking seemingly sounding like some sort of TV announcer...and being rather loud in volume. ???: "BALD... IS... Awesome!" A flash of light would suddenly fire off from somewhere within the orb in the direction of the strange older man. What was left of his hair would begin falling out, his eyes almost too concentrated on the strands of hair as they fell.
"Alright, then, let's see what we have to work with." Shadow would ignore the spherical entity, appearing not remotely concerned by its abilities. Rather, he would simply approach the boxes instead and kick a stack of them down, searching through the supplies for the sharpest thing he could find. Namely, either a compass or an x-acto knife.
“Of course the monster would be hiding in a storage room basement. Let’s see...” Himeno follows Wei down the stairs. She reaches the bottom just in time to hear the strange ball’s announcement and... a hair-removing ray? “I’m not getting close to that. I’m risking my life, not my hair.” She looks around the room - a normal storage room aside from the sphere. Nothing appears out of place at first glance, but the sounds are another matter. The breathing is coming from the man, not the sphere. There’s such a slight discrepancy between the sounds and the man’s breathing that she merely has a creeping yet inexplicable dread. Still keeping her distance from the orb, she begins moving towards him. “Hey, you. What’s going on?”
“Typical.” Nanaka lets out a sigh before bringing up the rearguard, following the others downstairs. Once she arrives, they find the... Creature? In question. At least the orb certainly something bizarre. The girl nods in agreement with Himeno “Right. My life I could handle losing, but just imagine how poorly I’d appear bald.” Nanaka shudders, deciding to watch the situation develop from near the basement’s exit. All the while Nanaka carefully monitors the orb “Be careful examining him. We need to make sure they’re alright but there’s no telling what other adverse effects the creature might have had.” Nanaka doesn’t transform yet, instead simply bringing up the gun-shaped device she got earlier and pointing it at the orb
"A few steps in and I'm already exhausted." {The boy quietly mutters under his breath, taking out his dagger as he follows behind the group down the stairs and into the basement. He raises an eyebrow at the current situation, looking bewildered, but moreso mad that he is presented with this...thing first.} "This life isn't worth living but I'd rather die with hair on my head." {Like with Nanaka, he does not try and bother to talk to anyone else more than he has to, instead monitoring the orb closely from another angle. Yurick keeps the dagger close to him as self defense in case it tries anything, even if it may be less effective than whatever the gun was made for.}
Same here. Wei agrees with the pretty much everyone else. His hair is too much of a national treasure to risk so he shores up a few spirits with some additional flute playing. He was sure that the spirits wouldn't mind becoming bald for him. If they did well .... he could negotiate with them later. Wei proceeds to inquire. So what do we do with the strange man near the thing? I assume he would know what might be going on in this school.
Akia sighs heavily, being bald... She'd have to take up drinking even more if that happened. As for her reaction, the woman simply does her best to evade for the moment and stares with a wary eye trained. "Somehow I don't think this thing is what's behind our issues, but yeah I'd hate to go bald. Kinda like my hair, even if we need to focus on finding the actually threating things going on... Remember, they said it was snarling and breathing and stuff. This isn't at all."
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The strange orb seemingly didn't like being ignored. The first to enter was the odd hedgehog creature but the orb didn't seem to necessarily discriminate. You're Bald...: "You're Bald... YOU! ARE! BALD!" With that a bit of the black side would decay away. The letters underneath would be a little easier to see. Seemingly they were Korean letters of some kind. The beam coming from the orb would be near instantaneous, like a flashlight being turned on. It would be aimed at Shadow directly and if he were to be hit by it his fur would begin falling out immediatly. You're Bald...: "If you’re bald, you never have to worry about clogging the drain!" Shadow would find an x-acto knife but at what cost? The man with the heavy breath would stare at Himeno as they approached. He seemed to attempt to open his mouth to communicate but when nothing came out he would just close it again and smile. Vocalization would begin though anyway. Old Science Teacher: "I love you... I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you." The voice coming out of him was almost child like and would begin overlapping with itself, repeating the same phrase over and over again. 'Something' would begin shifting under the man's skin.
Yeah, not getting hit by that thing. She just hopes the hedgehog can take it out fast. Partly because she’s not risking her hair, and partly because of the more important danger the man - or this shell of a man - presents. She backs away from the thing and points at it. “Burn...” Molecules react, and fire threatens to spontaneously engulf the beast in man’s clothing. She’d normally be more concerned about burning a bystander, but somehow she feels that bystander is long gone.
Akia also hopes that the hedgehog can handle that thing, as for the... "Bystander" in front of them, she merely watches curiously for a moment before... Absently throwing the now empty bottle of beer into the person's face, no need to get all fancy about this. "Ugh... Not the first time I've seen somebody lose it entirely cause of weird stuff, but jeez. Its always a pain to deal with..." Hopefully whatever has happened to that person won't make him too dangerous, but she isn't gonna bet on this being easy.
"Alright I think we've seen everything it can do. So I'll wrap this up. Just make sure the civilian is safe." Nanaka takes a deep breath, carefully pointing the device she had gotten from the science club president at the floating orb and pulls the trigger. Hopefully to fire.
It's always sad to see an innocent person lose their mind. Wei presses his hands together and utters a korean prayer for the man. He then tries to read the korean letters on the orb before it is destroyed.
(edited by WeiWuxian)
{Yurick decides not to speak at all in the unusual situation everyone has been put in, only holding his dagger forward as his figure starts to float slightly above the ground. He holds forward the dagger in his hand as it starts to flicker, glowing a streak of gold and red.}
"Hmpf." Shadow scoffs, annoyed with the atmosphere of the room as he arms himself as quickly as he can. Should the beam have any delay between the moment of being fired and hitting it's target, Shadow would disappear in a flash of blue energy and reappear a few feet away from his current position, facing the orb. Otherwise, he would appear unphased by its effect. "Tokiwa-san, do you even know how many times you can fire that thing? Give it to someone who's actually held a gun before." He then takes a step in the direction of the orb before shaking his head disappointingly, turning to face the side of the room opposite from where they entered and walking past everything with the knife in hand. "None of this is what I'm looking for. I'm moving on."
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Any touched by the light would become bald. There were no exceptions. The light would flicker forward without any delay, however, at very least the mental effects that the light held wouldn't effect one such as shadow as they weren't human and therefore couldn't be influenced by the orb. The gun would begin heating up before a burst of pale blue light would come out of the end and...Stay stationary in place at the end of the gun. It would expand a little and then fade away as the weapon slowly began cooling down. The orb wouldn't have been hit by the attack but regardless, it's light would flicker out and it would fall to the ground out of shock. On the orb's surface were the Korean characters for the word 'Bald' just barely able to be made out over the black remaining on its top half. Of course, the body of the old science teacher would be reduced to a charred mess as the breathing halted for the moment. It seemed for a second that the monster had been slain with no host to occupy anymore. At that moment though a fleshy hand began reaching out of the man's mouth. The hand and connected arm were an odd shade of blueish white with sharp red nails at the end of each finger. An inhumane moan could be heard as the sound of bones breaking and flesh tearing echoed throughout the room. The man's jaw would unhinge as something contorted its rather large form out of his body. The creature would seem to fall onto the ground next to the man limp for a moment before it's bones quickly began relocating themselves and mending back together. It stood at roughly human height despite walking on 3 'legs'. It's body seemed to be an almost completely random jumble of bones, flesh, and organs. It's head was a pale white mass of flesh with multiple sets of different colored eyes. There were two notable one on the sides of its head that seemed to be bloated beyond belief. It also seemed to have two different mouths, a small mouth and a larger one beneath it with a massive tongue hanging out. The middle of its body seemed clear to show off all the organs it had collected, it was also now slightly bloated with the organs of the professor it had recently harvested. It's 3 legs seemed to all be made from the things it primarily collected, though they were all misshapen. The two front legs were made from bones and flesh though the leg of flesh was slightly too short for it to properly stand. It's hind leg was made from what seemed to be a hardened organ, making it the sturdiest of all. The creature looked around the room with its many eyes before seeming to come to a conclusion. It began to spit up organ after organ on the floor. The organs suddenly seemed to explode into a spray of fleshy goop that would cover every surface of the room, blinding any who had been attempting to look at the creature directly. In that instant it had burrowed into a red colored stringy cocoon covered in eyes.
The strange orb was dealt with, but that fact is thrown to the back of her mind as the thing emerges from its poor host. Its emergence and warped appearance is enough to rattle even her. It’s an absolutely disgusting beast, perfect for her usual method of “kill it with fire.” She shields her face from the spray of flesh with her arm. That is... half-successful. Himeno wipes away the goop that stuck to her face and points at the cocoon. “Burn. I’ll need a shower after this...” The flames ignite again in an attempt to roast the metamorphasizing creature.
The minor spirits that Wei previously summoned would shield him from the spray by using their own incorporeal forms to blow off the gunk. Wei still makes a disgusted face afterward despite being untouched. I'm so glad I don't specialize in corpses. Wei proceeds to pull out a white sheet of paper with the korean word for "frost" on it. He tosses the slip of paper toward the creature and awaits the prompt freezing of its outer skin. A shame that the orb's korean characters were of no use offering him no hint as to what talisman he should use fot it.
"I'm not sure if experience would help with a weapon like this." Nanaka lets out a sigh before the creature.... Emerges.. It becomes apparent that the bald beam wasn't the threat in question. Though initially repulsed, Nanaka is able to calm herself quickly. The girl tosses the still cooling device towards Shadow before transforming into an old-fashioned samurai-esque outfit in a flash of light. "But if you insist, we should start by experimenting while its immobile." The girl quickly covers the distance between her and the cocoon, attempting to slash through the creature as she passes by before sheathing her weapon once more.
Shadow easily catches the weapon in his right hand, realizing that it was based on some strange energy. For now, he focuses on the spawn, shaking his head. "This creature... why does it seem so familiar to me?" Rather then dwell on that, the hedgehog faces the monstrous entity and holds his left hand up. "Chaos-" As he shouts this, eight beams of energy form around him. "-Spear!" The beams then all fire directly towards the creature.
{Now that there is another threat to be concerned of, Yurick immediately turns around the face it. Sadly, that means that he has to use his arm to black his eye, as the organs start to shoot out sporadically. No use of trying to keep track of the bald beam when this thing exists.} "Well, at least i'm slightly more used to this." {Instead of letting his fire burst, he chooses to have his dagger burn up, almost consumed by the flames. Now with the short blade being ignited, the magic has went somewhere, and he can now use another spell. This time, the dagger shines a glint of purple before he points it at the cocoon. As this happens, the fire that was burned to try and torch the cocoon, while still looking the same, shares properties of ice.}
The young woman adds fuel to flame as it were, a putrid black form of booze rushes forth from her hand and slams into the thing. Not only would it likely enhance the fire as expected, but if the creature were aware enough to have fears than her "Nightmare Brew" might well leave it suffering mentally as well. A form of liquor which dredges up one's worst fears and uses them as a weapon. "Somehow I have this feeling it'll get worse when that thing's metamorphosis finishes... Is there anything around here we can use to make this easier, come on think..." The thought of trying to use the bald beam against it occurs, but that covering probably isn't close enough to hair for it to count right? No almost surely not, and no telling what causing an early break out might do even if it worked. From her viewpoint the best method is seemingly trying to hurt it quickly... "Ugh, I just hope we can take care of this before it gets loose..."
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The cocoon would catch on fire completely given the sheer amount being forced onto it. It would appear to be completely engulfed in the flames. It was Nanaka's sword strike that would reveal the truth though. The flames themselves would be cut in half but the cocoon would appear completely unharmed underneath. The sound of a heartbeat loudly echoed from the thing. The heartbeat grew faster and faster signaling that the time of its hatching grew nearer. Of note however was the state of the eyes on the outside of the cocoon that had been covered directly in Akia's nightmare brew seemed to swell slightly, their pupils looks more frantic than the others. The skin of the cocoon that had been frozen as well didn't seem to escape unscathed. It seemed to begin peeling slightly but underneath more layers seemed to be stacked up. Finally was the strange energy from the hedgehog. Oddly, the energy seemed to not do as much harm as one hoped but it still peeled away more and more layers from the cocoon's skin.
After seeing her blade do seemingly no damage, Nanaka gets some dsitance while thinking to herself. It was definitely metamorphosing. Which meant that its next stage is where the trouble would really begin. Yet at the moment there wasn't much she could do. Sure she could try hitting it with a blade of flowers, but that shouldn't have any more of an effect than an actual slash. Which left her with one option... But with so many people in such a small area it was a last resort. For now, Nanaka takes a deep breath and continues to observe the situation "Be careful, its next form could be anything." though it would probably be gross and have many eyes. Just based on prior experience.
"Fire's no good, huh..." Himeno relaxes her Gift to put more focus onto observing the cocoon. It's about ready to burst and surprisingly fireproof for something so fleshy. Igniting it is a waste of energy. However, she has something for both the fire resistance and the impending metamorphosis. The smoky air around the beast hisses as steam begins to form, then ice crystals. A cocoon of ice begins to form around the cocoon of flesh. "Shiver." The ice won't completely cover the cocoon by the time the monster bursts out, but it may slow its emergence.
Wei pulls out another talisman from his robe and launches it at the cocoon. It is a talisman of the same effect as the one he previously launched. He figures that the doubling of ice on the cocoon could freeze the entity inside to death before it has the chance to be born.
"Fire's no good? Did I hear that correctly?" {Yurick decides to pull back, going away from the monster even more, while unfortunately, getting kind of close to his teammates. The dagger is still ignited, but all he chooses to do is focus his energy on how he can be useful to some extent.}
"Tsk, my nightmare brew works a little... Mind affecting, mind affecting can hurt it if any of y'all can manage that somehow!" She'd shout out to the rest of the group with that remark, it seems the logical guess from fire and blades doing nothing while her putrid liquor had some impact. Reason enough to keep pumping out more of the awful black liquid that even Akia herself wouldn't consume for any reason. Indeed, it's quite a bit more of it than had been launched last time, hovering in place and simply submerging the cocoon and turning the ice Himeno had formed black as well. Seeping through and causing the water to take on some of its fear inducing power. "Trying to slow it down a little, yea fire and ice girl? Not a bad idea. But I wouldn't bet on it dying just from this trick or anything. No clue if I can kill it just with this liquor or anything..." She's slowly moving closer to the exit frankly, and would silently urge to do the same as well. "Let's be ready to move if we gotta, it's always a good professional move to be ready for a tactical retreat."
(edited by Akia-Sato)
Suddenly Next to the exit a strange man pops out of nowhere “I believe this monstrosity is incapable of resisting dirt, If I may?” The man plucks a staff made from dirt and summons a large dirt ball at the cocoon and breaks all the ice than he throws another even larger dirt ball hitting the cocoon. The cocoon screeches and it’s flesh develops rashes and burns and it retreats “These wankers are always in my basement so I decided to master earth bending. I believe you are on a quest of some sorts, Oh dear, it’s time for my daily tea” This time he plucks a teapot and a small pillow out of nowhere “Would you care for some tea? Also not to be a bother but may I join your group?”
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OOC: Uh, you kinda can't just decide the rules for this encounter. I'm going to have to ignore your post.
OOC: I am sorry I just am too busy to read everything
Shadow scoffs, aiming the gun straight at the torso of the creature and firing without hesitation. If he could, he would attempt to fire it multiple times in quick succession. "Tch, i've had enough of this. This thing wouldn't last a second against my true power." The hedgehog appeared to be in a slightly irate mood, gritting his teeth and puffing up his chest as it stares intimidatingly at the creature. "Die already."
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The ice would seem to freeze the cocoon over until the heart rate began to slow almost completely. For a moment there seemed to be quiet as the cocoon was quickly sealed in a chamber of ice. The strange liquor seemed to slow the heartbeat more as well until suddenly it would halt. Slowly, the ice around the cocoon itself before the top seemed to begin unraveling. The chamber that was filled with the nightmare brew would find the concoction to begin draining into the cocoon until there was nothing there. Yes, there was nothing there. Nothing was there stepping out from the cocoon. Reaching up with a red fleshy hand that was almost too human in nature and grabbing onto the cocoon's open side. Nothing was there standing on two legs and a body that was merely in the rough shape of a human, covered in red flesh. There was nothing there standing with eyes seemingly randomly placed around, a large bulbous one on its shoulder, two bloated eyes on the side of its head, eyes running down its wrist, and one large eye simply embed over where its heart would be. One of the nothing that was there's arm was more akin to a club as well and it seemed to have single mouth full of jagged teeth that were merely an imitation of a humans. Finally, what completed nothing was the void like space in its chest with a variety of organs loosely hanging out. Yes, inside you could truly grasp that this thing in the rough shape of a human truly was nothing simply wearing a husk it had crafted for itself using the lives of so many other in the past. it would walk forward somewhat with shaky legs, whether this was due to the nightmare brew or simply just it adjusting to its new body was unknown. It slid its more humanoid hand onto the icy wall and simply held it there. A small mouth opening up on its palm and began licking the ice as if to asses what it was. Then it sucked up air and began to speak. It's voice was that of a child's speaking possible for the first time. Nothing There: "Hello?"
H... Hello? Though the creature’s transformation was disgusting, and it’s form a crime against beauty, it’s tendency to speak brings her to pause. It would be better to resolve the situation without fighting if at all possible. At least if it’s alive enough to understand. So the girl takes a deep breath “Why. Are. You. Here?” The girl asks in a slow, calm, and methodical voice, watching Nothing for any indication of understanding.
Himeno takes a few deep breaths and collects her thoughts. There’s nothing there to freeze, but she reluctantly halts that plan so Nanaka can try... whatever she’s doing. She nods to Yurick and starts backing away as well. “I’m not sure if this new body is fireproof too, but I wouldn’t count on fire for now. Got any other tricks?” Her eyes dart around the room for any other exits or features. She knows the stairs are nearby, and the junk stored here could be decent cover...
"Hmpf." Once Shadow sees the creature begin to transform, he refrains from firing the gun, instead taking a few steps back and remaining on guard. Once it finished transformation, Shadow would aim for the largest mass on it and fire the gun-like weapon. He would hold the trigger for a few seconds to see whether the gun would continue to fire or not. If it was not automatic as he suspected due to its shape, he would fire it again to see how long it takes to cool down. And, should the gun not fire properly at all, Shadow would throw the e-xacto knife at the creature's abdomen.
Well, it's still distracted... For now. She can't say the thing breaking out from its prior state alive is great, but at least the thing is still incased in ice and hopefully going mildly insane. For now though, she'll wait and maintain the flow of power running from her Epithet. "Well, good to know it always gets worse with these things. I really hope it doesn't have more forms though that would just be annoying... Hey hedgehog nerd, try getting closer with that damn 'gun' the energy clearly doesn't go far!" Hopefully whatever weird energy it is firing will work somewhat well against the target, because she isn't doing much all by herself and the fire isn't helping at all. Ice is good though, seemingly. Though the firestarter has a point that the new body could be different, betting on it getting weaker seems unwise at best.
Maybe the creature is friendly? Wei suggests. He doubts it given that most of the creatures he has encountered have been the attack first sort. But the creature having the gift of gab does give him some hope for peaceful resolution. Even so, Wei still keeps his flute at the ready to begin playing it should the need arise. He safely pockets the rest of his talismans in his robe.
"Yes, let us hope this abomination will not try and kill whatever is close to it. Great theory." {Yurick mutters under his breath, in case whatever that thing is has the ability to hear. Given that nobody here can truly damage it reliably, all he does is keep his dagger up and close to him at the ready. Even if it's useless, it can be for show. Better than lying on the floor dying.}
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The gun would fire up once more having had time to cool down. It would shoot a beam of pale blue energy...about a foot outwards before seeming to reach it's limit in terms of range. The knife would also do little besides imbued itself in the ice wall still separating the creature from the group. The creature however, seemed transfixed on shadows actions. It would begin making a waving gesture with it's arm towards Shadow. The voice would once more project itself from within the monster's body. "Hello?" The small mouth on its palm would suddenly breath in deeply and quickly. A moment later a small part of the ice would shatter as a compressed ball of wind would cut through the air aimed at shadow. The projectile in question seemed very similar to a bullet but the pressure was much more intense causing even the air around to be disrupted. Even if shadow could dodge the bullet-like compressed air he'd still feel himself being pushed towards the wall by the sheer force of the blast. The creature would look at its hand before looking at everyone else in the room. it would begin waving.
Nanaka slowly waves back at the creature, transfixed by its actions. "Its almost as if its a newborn." The girl says, amazed. Nanaka briefly turns back to her companions and bows before asking. "Pardon the selfishness, but would you mind waiting outside for a little while? I would like to try talking to it and we don't want any. *sigh* bad influences." Nanaka glares at Shadow as she says the phrase "bad influence". If nothing else she wanted to know what the creature was, and was fully confident in her ability to handle it on her own. But to do that she couldn't afford for any of her companions to be present. "five minutes should be long enough to discern everything I can."
Shadow would respond by getting a running start and doing a spin jump, hopefully over the wind bullet. He would then proceed to do a homing attack at the palm, igniting in a powerful force which would continue to propel towards its target even after being pushed back by the attack's impact, assuming he didn't get directly hit. After doing this, he allows himself to fall, starting to run circles around the creature in order to confuse it. "I already told you, I don't take orders." He keeps his hand on the gun's trigger as he points it to the monster while running, waiting patiently for the cooldown to finish.
"That wasn't an order. It was a request." Nanaka calmly remarks. "One made in the interest of your safety." A clarification, one that could easily be interpreted as either considerate towards the others, or threatening.
“Sorry, but I’m staying.” The response is cold and dismissive. Himeno takes a few steps to the side, settling on being halfway into the cover of a stack of junk. A decent spot to both watch from and get cover if need be. She takes out her knife and gazes at her reflection in the blade. “You can try talking, but if it causes any trouble, I’ll step in. Don’t blame me if you get hurt.” Just staring at the creature gives her a headache... but this free time lets her gather her thoughts. She focuses on her breathing. In. Out. Clear the mind. She’ll need that sanity for this.
Wei apologetically states. Sorry but I plan to stay too. He then enthusiatically waves back at the creature with his free hand. A jubilant smile is plastered on his face to get the creature to let its guard down. No need to initiate a fight if the creature is really as friendly as it seems. What is your name? Wei tries to ask the creature over the talking of everyone else.
"You know what, I'd love to take your advice, but everybody else isn't and I don't feel like being the odd one out today." {Yurick still goes to the other side, away from his own teammates and away from the creature. No need to insult it now that it's looking friendly. Only looking that way at least. The boy pulls his dagger out again though.} "I'll glady stay to see if I can do this though." {Yurick follows Shadow's movements with one eye, pointing his dagger downwards in the middle of his path. An insignificant appearing gleam of purple light would shine on the ground. If Shadow manages to step on it, which is expected will not actually happen, he will start to see the world in reverse. The hedgehog's vision will be upside down, and his body parts will be moving in the opposite direction that his brain tells him to.}
The woman sighs... She was kind of hoping for people to listen, something tells her the magical girl has some kind of other trick up her sleeve besides just talking. And she's still in fact hovering near the door while giving Nanaka a look that clearly shows her annoyance at the others by gesturing around towards them. "That's... Great guys, very touching. I am truly impressed by our ability to stay in one place." She's ready to bolt at this point, but given she was already the one nearest the exit for now she sticks around a bit longer. The shockwave didn't seem wide enough to hit her over here, hopefully. And if any of her allies pull out something widely dangerous hopefully she can avoid that too. For now, she merely keeps up the fear inducing booze affecting their foe. Not expecting it to do much, but it's something she supposes.
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The monster would not even seem phased by shadow's antics as he broke through the ice, creating yet another hole within its foundation. The many eyes covering the creature in fact would seem to be able to more than keep up with the hedgehog's movements. Especially considering, the amount of space within the ice chamber wasn't all too great to begin with making moving around it even with great speed somewhat awkward. There was also the nightmare brew still filling the chamber, roughly up to the monsters thighs at this point. The constant damage being inflicted by it seemed to not even phase it all that much but shadow would no doubt begin feeling it more intensely. There was also the matter of the rune Yurick placed which would be hard to see given the nightmare brew covering the floor. The creature's club like arm would begin to pulsate slightly as the spikes covering it retracted. For a moment it almost seemed to shifting into a normal arm but things would quickly go wrong as the hand that was being formed split open and began spilling something out from within the creature's body. The substance would be almost impossible to describe seeming like a liquid metal of sorts that quickly filled into a shape around the creature's arm. When its formation finished it seemed like an odd long scythe-like blade extending up and down the creature's arm. It would raise this new weapon above its heads, it's eyes focusing on Shadow. Many voices would speak as one as it delivered its message to Shadow Nothing There: "Goodbye." The blade would sing wide and fast. it was an attack that anyone with enough distance could easily avoid but there was no space to easily get away from the attack in the icy prison they were trapped in. The blade was aimed with an odd amount of precision as well, as if the creature was using every one of its eyes to keep track of its target. If shadow were to be too badly messed up by the rune he could even just be cleaved in half right then and there. The creature with its attention taken up didn't even seem to be able to see the others at the moment. It was as if the approach Shadow had taken was using up all its observational ability. At very least it did seem distracted for the moment.
“I think we’re past the time for talking... hmph. Shiver, will you.” She’s nowhere near Defer range, so she’ll just make do by attempting to freeze the nightmare brew. To put it in less serious terms, she’s making a nightmare brew popsicle with nothing there as the stick. She’s buying time and she knows it but she doesn’t have any idea what to do. She can’t just blast it at full force with this many people around. Himeno stays as far away as her range allows and prepares to bolt if things get too dangerous. Maybe the hedgehog will, worst case scenario, be a good distraction.
As Nanaka is still outside the ice prison she doesn't have to worry about dodging, only taking note that none of these idiots seemed willing to follow any sort of plan. Hopefully its the dumb hedgehog's influence more than anything else. "Very well, if you insist." Nanaka falls back. Most of her attacks seem unlikely to harm the creature anyways, and the situation didn't seem desperate yet. So for now the girl satisfies herself observing the mannerisms of both her companions and the monster in front of them.
OOC: it appears that we have killed Shadow
Shadow, hailing from the Sonic universe, is used to having an instable camera thus isn't greatly affected by the warped perspective after stepping on Yurick's rune. Rather, he is still able to maneuver around the attack by sliding beneath the creature legs, jumping through the wall of the ice prison and standing on the edge created. He then points the gun like weapon directly at the creature's head, firing once as he makes his iconic angry expression.
Wei raises his flute to his lips and plays a mournful dirge that calls on the remaining dead. If anyone had died on the grounds of the school then Wei's music would have the effect of calling up their residual spirits to attack the creature. Spirits aren't that strong given that they lack a corporeal body, but their cold claws can cause some blunt force damage. Hey, if none of these attacks work then maybe we should regroup upstairs and talk about what to do next. Wei suggests after he is done playing.
"...you know what, I won't question that. It's a hedgehog, not a human. Why'd I think that would work?" {The boy's hand starts to ignite fire magic as the inversion magic's energy left the dagger. He starts to speak up at everyone present excluding the person that suggested to leave.} "This would have been so much easier if we left earlier but everyone wanted to stay for some reason." {Being far away from the ice prison, this gives Yurick a very easy chance to at least have some way of evading the monster. A magic circle appears behind his hands and shoots fire in a way that acts like a rocket, increasing momentum in order to get to the exit as quickly as possible.}
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Unfortunately for shadow, rather than their camera becoming messed up it is their controls that are reversed. Of course, this wouldn't matter in the end as the nightmare brew that had already accumulated quickly to around shadows chest would quickly freeze over before there was a chance to do anything. Both the monster and shadow would be unable to move their legs for the moment which didn't even seem to matter to the creature as it swung its blade down on him. Even if he was so much as scratched by the blade he's find himself emptying from the inside out. There'd be no blood or gore, they'd just become empty on the inside and then the outside would follow suit until there was nothing left. At this point the creature's blade too would begin being effected the same way until it too was gone from this world and its club like arm was no more as well. The weapon shadow was carrying would drop onto the ice, sliding a short distance away from the creature before hitting one of the icy walls. The creature would stare at the ice before it began to struggle in making getting its feet loose. It would pull against the ice, every tug seeming to crack away at it. The spirits claws would also act as a distraction but that was all to it. Any damage the cold claws cold inflict seemed to mostly be shrugged off, only slowing it down while it tried to break free.
Nanaka calmly closes her eyes to avoid the worst of the... Sight in the ice cage, before asking her companions "Have you seen enough yet?" The girl remains calm as she steps forward towards the barrier "Then I suggest you return upstairs like I requested before. I cannot guarantee anyone's safety should you choose to remain." For now, Nanaka draws her blade to slice through the ice, opening an easy path to grab the weapon they received earlier.
"Guess i'll die," Shadow thinks to himself as he dies, blaming his teammates for getting in the way. Somewhere far away, another android of shadow crosses his arms as he stands on a hill, vaguely recalling his past as he struggles to understand his identity.
As the ice cracks, Himeno’s concentration cracks as well. Someone’s already down because of their poor teamwork. Not even down. Just... gone. Of course he’d jump into that space with the monster. And before I could come up with a better way to stall, too... “If that’s what you want, fine. I have to return something anyway.” She makes one last Shiver to reinforce the ice before climbing up the stairs. “Good luck. Don’t die.”
"Oh well." {Yurick shrugs the death of a teammate off with ease, advancing towards the exit and stopping at where the stairs started. Following behind Himeno, the boy goes up the stairs, leaving with one last comment.} "I saw enough a long while ago, so please don't blame me for that."
Wei somberly gazes at his fallen comerade. The animal was an idiot but even so it was still a living creature. Death had come too soon for it. Though it did irk him a bit that the animal didn't leave anything behind for him to use. I'll have to reserve my resources for now. Spirits were not an undoing supply and Wei knew that. So despite his prior protests he heads up the stairs without much fuss. Better to be prepared for the next fight then be caught empty handed.
Akia was already near the exit and ready to leave, she'd give Nanaka a knowing look while heading out from the room before anyone else can. After all, something tells her things are about to get... Messy down there. Call it merc's intuition she supposes, but whatever the case is Akia Sato is well and truly unwilling to stick around much longer at this point. The magical liquor doesn't stop existing and trying to encase their foe, but that's all she can add for now. And without view of the beast, moving it accurately isn't happening. "Well, I can't say I'm shocked by our furry friend being dead now. But for the moment I suppose we hope that girl does alright."
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With less distractions the creature breaks one leg free from the ice. Using an abnormal amount of strength to break through it even as it reforms. It barely even seemed bothered by anything going on around it as it's body seemed to begin reforming any potentially lost tissue. It would try to break its other leg free as well but it would seem to now be struggling with the extra layer of ice. The cracks would form slowly but they'd begin forming regardless. Out in the hall where the others were likely to convene the principal would would be barely carrying himself down the stairs before falling to the ground upon reaching the final step. There was something wild about his eyes but for some reason he seemed to only be able to smile. Principal: "I...I...never knew...please...no more..."
"There there." Now that Nanaka was alone downstairs, she finishes slicing through the barrier of ice and steps up onto the frozen brew. The girl picks up the small, gun-like object that Shadow had dropped, and calmly walks towards the creature. She gets well within arms reach, after all the weapon only had a range of about one foot. If that's even how its supposed to work. "May you find peace." And fires the pistol-like gun at the monster while it struggles to free itself
Himeno shakes some lingering gunk out of her hair and waits for the others to catch up. She stares at the book thoughtfully. Somehow it was lucky enough to stay clean during that encounter. Let’s see... I should probably go to- Unfortunately, returning a library book is put on hold. She frowns and crouches down to get a better look at the panicked man. Was he injured, or was it merely a shock to a fragile mind? She snaps her fingers in front of his face. “Hey. Focus. What happened?”
{Ah yes, the final obstacle that we can't run away from. The principal. Or at least, that's what would've been said by the boy as he sits away from the door. With no actual motive or way to try and help calm the man down, Yurick rolls his eyes and glances the other way as he mumbles something to himself.} "Wouldn't be surprised if something stupid got to him too..."
Sir are you okay? Wei inquires. He does not make a move to help the principal waiting for a reponse to his inquiry.
The young woman would sigh a bit and shrug her shoulders, she expects the man to attack at any moment. And isn't making attempts to hide that given the thick glass bottle in her hands to use for blocking or bashing if the need arises. But she's not gonna make the first strike against him either. "I somehow have the sense this won't go great for us... Jeez wasn't this guy the one paying for this job? Better not be messed up beyond repair if that's the case, jackass." Akia doesn't have a lot of sympathy at the moment, just concern over if this venture is even worth her time or effort with a bored look on her face and a snarky tone of voice.
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The monster would just idly stair at the weapon Nanaka was firing as it tried to free itself. Somehow it didn't seem to understand what was happening at all as if it was just trying to free itself on pure instinct alone. The blue light would emerge from the gun's tip once more, causing the weapon to heat up as it was projected. The orb at first didn't seem to do much other than light the creature up as it showed no reaction what'so ever. After a moment though, it's head would fall to the ground still blinking and it's body would stop moving. A large hole would now be burned within a large radios at the base of its neck. Suddenly, Nanaka would hear a voice echoing all around her. As if someone was speaking to her from ever direction imaginable at once. ???: "That's not enough...You have proven you're potential though... Perhaps you can be of use. That creature shouldn't exist here. Something is keeping it whole. You must reach within... Only then can you make it once more incomplete." The creature's body would suddenly move once more. It's foot would smash free of the remaining ice as it's headless body began to stumble. It was already struggling just to walk so now it was having an extra set of issues, only being able to watch itself from a third person perspective. The head suddenly began growing fleshy legs around its lower half though and began to steady itself upright. It would slowly begin crawling back to its body as the hole that had just been formed was starting to close up. The principal had began looking up tears forming in his eyes as he began to sweat, a smile still on his face. His sweat would also seem to glimmer oddly from time to time as well. Principal: "What happened? Am I okay? No, no, I was freed... I have never been okay until this moment. There's been a filth festering inside of me for a long time but today that filth was given a way out. But my insides are so unclean that I feel once everything comes loose it will still cling to my skin. He...Yes, him. He was so pure, so clean. It was blinding. I wondered if I could be clean like him but all he can offer me is purity. I will be neither filthy nor clean. I will be whole..." His skin was now starting to turn a golden color and it seemed to become shaky and inconsistent. His sweat also starting pouring out as coins began to fall out one at a time from the pores on his skin. They were solid gold in color and seemed to feature the principal's face on each of them.
To an untrained eye Nanaka might have appeared to have the advantage. After all, she is completely unharmed and the creature has been beheaded. But analysis quickly shows this appearance to be little more than an illusion. Now that the weapon is busted, Nanaka finds herself unable to significantly harm the creature. Meanwhile it only needs only lucky strike to end her entirely. As things stand the fight is essentially over. Fleeing, of course, would throw away any image of trustworthiness and reliability that Nanaka had hoped to build and still doesn’t resolve the issue. Of course, all this was well within calculation. It is why Nanaka insisted on fighting the creature alone. So as to better keep her secrets. What was not expected, however, was for the entire job to be a setup. If not for her specifically, then someone like her. True, it was suspicious for such a powerful monster to be in such a mundane place, but there had been little chance to consider that. Despite all this, Nanaka cracks a grin “It appears I have met my match. Very well. I trust you can keep a secret.” The magenta stone in Nanaka’s ornament rapidly shifts to black. The change comes far from natural or gradually, more as if it had always been darkened and one could just now see it’s true colors. The girl’s body goes limp as woody brambles rapidly pour out of the stone, twisting and piercing the girl’s body. These barren weeds threaten to strangle out life itself, yet seem as if they could blossom at any moment. Speaking of blossoms, a field of flowers rapidly unfurls in the basement from the point where Duplicity’s feet touch the ground. Its will temporarily turning the basement around them into a prairie in which all beauty in existence, and some that can only be imagined, reside. With only Nothingness to mar it’s beauty. Finally, the twisting brambles climb over the girl’s head, forming Apple before finally unfurling into a darkened and dull curtain. The symbol of Duplicity. Within its field, Duplicity creates a lashing, writhing bramble to overtake Nothingness. It’s not nearly powerful enough to truly restrict a creature with as much strength as Nothingness, but it need only be a distraction, hampering Nothingness’s vision and movement long enough for Duplicity to drag itself forth and pull the curtain over Nothingness. For all who pass through Duplicity’s curtain are destined for the underworld.
Himeno flinches and starts backing away as coins fall out of the principal’s body. No, it’s more accurate to say “the coins his body produced.” It was like this man was becoming Midas himself. She looks up at the staircase the principal had come down from. Did something happen up there? “If you don’t mind, one of you keep an eye on him.” She wastes little time in ascending the staircase. She can still hear faint noises from the basement- a sign that the girl’s still holding out.
I'll watch him. The rest of you do what needs to be done. Wei gravely announces. The case of the principal seems serious and if he could do anything to alleviate it then he certainly has to try. He pulls an unusually black talisman from his inner robe and launches it toward the feet of the principal. If it has any effect then two skeletal limbs will rip out of the floor and grab at the principal's ankles. A makeshit restraint while Wei thinks of some other way to deal with this. What does being whole mean?
The Inscribed stares over at their boss for this job, clearly looking annoyed as she cracks her knuckles in agreement and just sighs heavily. "Yeah alright, I can help check it out. Can't be worse than going back down there right? I hope." [i] She says this, but who knows if its true or not. Only one way to find out though so the young woman follows after the firestarter with a heavy bottle of liquor in her hands... And takes a couple of swigs from the thing too, this job is going worse than she had expected and while ascending up the stairs as well, Akia just shrugs and puts the cap back onto her bottle after doing that.[i]
(edited by Akia-Sato)
{Yurick rolls his eye and groans to himself with how he was actually right? Leaking money out of your system might not be too bad, but still concerning overall. While it seemed dangerous to let one person monitor their reward giver, Yurick decides to leave with the other two as Wei was at least strong enough to damage the thing back there.} "Guess it's time to play follow the leader again..." {Ascending the staircase with the other two, Yurick follows behind his teammates with his dagger in hand.}
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The creature who embodied nothing was now facing death itself in essence. Most attacks that had been launched against it had been useless as the creature simply adapted and regenerated around them but this attack it had no real defense against. it would try to regenerate but even it's body couldn't make head or tails of what was happening. It's limbs would begin liquefying as the life in them was being drained away. Then soon the rest of its body would begin to melt as well. The flesh, the organs, and even the bones of those it had stolen from were finally losing whatever had held them together for so long. That which contained nothing had lost it's shell leaving behind only a puddle on the ground. It's eyes would absently float within the puddle but there was something else as well. Something stirring below the puddles surface. Even if you couldn't see it, one would be able to tell instinctively that whatever it was, was solid and would almost seem to pull those nearby to take it. There wouldn't be much different in the school as the stairs were climbed, it just seemed quiet. There were no sounds of students anywhere and the halls were empty. It was only by climbing to the roof that anything would change. The floor of the roof seemed to shift and change at random. It wasn't anything noticeable more like the area itself was crawling around in the corner of the eyes of its observers. A man was waiting there as well, just staring off the top of the roof. His hair long and white and his clothes seeming like something that would described in some religious texts. A long white robe that covered one of his arms while leaving the others exposed. Underneath that he would be wearing what seemed to be a tunic and baggy gray colored pants. The exposed arm was also covered in tattoos that seemed to be tribal marking of some kind. He'd turn as if he already knew there were people who had arrived. His eyes were yellow in color and seemed to glow very slightly. As he spoke his voice seemed to echo oddly despite being outside. ???: "You sought me of your own volition. I was wondering if that was the course you'd all take. You seem to posses a great amount of potential." The principal back on the first floor would only seem to become less and less coherent, both physically and mentally. His body really was turning to gold as coins began dropping from his even more rapidly. His eyes began to seemingly pop out of his head but he didn't seem the least bit distressed by this. The coins were also beginning to stick to his skin. Principal: "It is only when were are whole that we can be free. The restraints we put on ourselves... Is there any point to this struggling? Man should simply do whatever it is their instincts demand. Perhaps he is right, that this is our truest form. I am grateful...to..." His voice would become an incomprehensible gurgle as his skin would pass right through the hand restraining him. A sloshing noise could be heard as his body seemed to stick to the ground. The sound was similar to a bag of coins being shaken. His body itself had become that of a multitude of coins climbing together to form a mass. His eyes now stretched out into stalks as he was nothing more than a slug made of golden coins.
The second floor is quiet. Too quiet. Not a soul is around. Is everyone in classes? That’s the best-case scenario that is likely untrue. Upon ascending the next flight of stairs, she’s greeted with the... third most bizzare sight of today. She stares at him for a few moments to size him up. “And who might you be? Or what, rather? I’m willing to bet you know something about what’s happened to that spineless principal.”
It only took a few moments, but with the creature defeated, there was no need for Duplicity any longer. The field of flowers fade away as Duplicity's thorns retract themselves inside Nanaka's soul, leaving the girl entirely untouched and the basement back to normal. Save the puddle on the ground. It didn't seem to be alive anymore, if it ever was. Yet there was one object it... Devoured? Perhaps the real reason Nanaka was brought here. It was somewhat disgusting, but Nanaka would have to put her hand into the creature's remains in order to take out the object.
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Grasping the object would feel natural as if reaching out towards a distant part of oneself. It didn't dismiss the feeling of the strange liquid flesh but it would at least feel as if there was a purpose to it all. For a moment Nanaka would feel as if she was somewhere else and as if hee identity had been replaced by another. The room she was in was dark, cold and in front of her was what seemed to be a human corpse with unindefntifable features. Many sounds could be heard outside the room aa a single window let in a bit of sunlight through a closed pair of blinds. Chatter, Laughter, and crying. All these things could be heard from outside and yet she would feel nothing. She felt as though she couldn't even hope to emulate them as only an everlasting emptiness seemed to persist within. even the corpse before her didn't give rise to any feelings and yet... The corpse once was a living person to. One who had something that she didn't. There was a sensation of longing, a desire to be like they were. A drive to have what they had. ... What will you do? Become like them? or... Take what they have?
Nanaka stares at the body for a while... It didn't seem familiar. It just had something she wanted. It was free too. I mean, it was just there. Its not like she killed them. They could easily sprout and blossom with what they had. It would be easiest to simply take what they need and disregard the individual. After all, revenge itself was the goal. The steps taken to get there.. What came after.. None of it really mattered. Yet something still bothered her. It was fastest and easiest to just take what I wanted. But doing so would be strangling them out. It was only weeds that grew off the sacrifices of others. And Nanaka is no weed. So we will not take anything from them. even if it means burning out and becoming like them, in the end.
Akia nods to the firestarter's accusation, absently staring over at the man with a curious look on her face. "Mmm... Mighty odd that you would just appear all of a suddenly not long after he went all weird. I'm not accusing you of anything but... Yes yes I am, what's going on here?" She doesn't see any point in beating around the bush with this, the man is clearly here to be spooky and rant about weird stuff. He'll probably do that regardless of if they accuse him or not, the bigger concern is what he's gonna try and do to them rather than how he'll take those words...
Wei looks at the principal with clear disgust. By giving into your instincts you have made yourself into a beast. You are no longer fit to stay in this world. He checks to see if anyone is watching. Satisfied with the departure of the others and the emptiness of the hallway he brings up his flute once more. Your energy will be useful for my spells. Bringing his lips to his flute he blows out a few vapid notes. A tune that hangs in the air without much impact unlike his previous songs. Yet, what the tune lacks in substance it makes up for in maliciousness as soon as Wei begins playing the principal should feel a tugging at his heart as if energy is being sapped directly from it. Wei particularly tries to latch onto any resentful energy within the principal as sustenance for his flute.
(edited by WeiWuxian)
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To become like them...In the end that was all there was. The corpse suddenly seemed to deflate. The skin crawling on the ground before looking up on her. Nothing would persist, only the mere desire to be human remained but that desire cannot ever be fulfilled. Nanaka would find herself back where she was before, pulling something out of the fleshy liquid puddle. Something was different now though, the liquid wouldn't have the same rough feeling from before. It would begin to be sucked into the object she was grasping, a sphere of some kind. The flesh that once made the creature up would become one with the orb giving it a red appearance with one of the creature's eyes at its base. As soon as the object was pulled out it would quickly change its form. It would stretch over and merge with Nanaka's own clothing to give it a similar red color with one of the creature's larger eyes in the middle. No longer did the creature's fleshy skin serve as an obstacle but rather as a method of protection. Skin that would absorb the brunt of physical trauma and serve as a viable shield against other such attacks. Nanaka would already be able to feel as though it was an extension of herself. The armor known as Mimicry. At will this armor may return to it's spherical form as well. The man would seem to make a rather uninterested expression as he spoke of the principal. ???: "Yes, he was helping with an experiment of mine. In exchange he wanted an escape from his financial issues. He wanted his desires to be brought to life. So I rewarded him for his assistance. However, it seems he lacked potential. The potential that you all are showing me now. Though, perhaps next time I'll offer you all a reward as well. I have another experiment I wish to run and having you all there to interfere would help produce better results." The monster the principal had turned into didn't even seem to try and resist what Wei was doing. All it could do was moan slightly and sweat out more coins. Yet his pain could be felt, resentment towards a world that didn't give him what he wanted and a drive to fulfill his desire despite that. Though these emotions would seem oddly weak almost as if they were reflecting the grotesque form he had taken.
An experiment? Was he doing something like the mon- no, the nothing down there was a different person's fault. This man had the capacity to turn people into monsters. Monsters based on desire. Himeno lets out a sigh and curses the mess this has turned out to be. "What kind of potential? I'd rather not be turned into a raging monster if that's what you're implying. Or is it a potential to harness desires?" She shakes her head and gives the man a cold glare. "I'll see you when that happens. Don't get me wrong, I don't have any interest in whatever your plans are. You just annoy me."
Nanaka takes a step back, sphere in hand. She lets it form around her body, it felt natural, but strong. Like some kind of shell? It felt durable at least. As a test, Nanaka draws one of her blades against herself, it glancing off the armor, the wakizashi's cutting force turned into little more than a dull impact. One more tool in search of revenge. The girl withdraws the sphere with a sigh. While the armor was powerful, it didn't actually protect her most vulnerable point, the gem on her head. It was hideous too, to the point that the girl could barely stand to look at it. But when the time came. Perhaps. With everything settled, Nanaka hides away the sphere before leaving the basement once more.
The woman cracks her knuckles a bit, so this is gonna be a thing huh... Some mad science or something this guy is running, just lovely. Nothing to do except try and figure it out though she guesses. "I'm curious... Though becoming a raging monster seems a problem as well, yes. Whatever you're up to, I guess that I'm a bit willing to look into it... That and you seem like an annoying sort, as she said." Akia gives Himeno a grin with that remark, she kinda likes this one actually. If the thing hadn't been immune to fire then they'd have made a deadly pair most likely, fire like that is nice to have around. And all told she seems pretty good with it. Regardless, she'll try and get answers from the spooky guy, unlikely as it seems. "Anyway, I don't suppose you'd explain exactly why people are becoming monsters, or how to control it if that's possible?"
{Yurick stayed quiet for the most part, only following along what everybody else said in this certain encounter. Though the fact that this man keeps talking about potential makes him confused a bit.} "Are you serious? How'd someone like me show potential? I was the most useless one back there." {The boy crosses his arms as he looks at the man with a tilted gaze. Of course, there's no reason not to say the obvious. It's all that needs to be said in this situation. The girls probably have it covered, but this one inquiry needs to be answered.}
Wei peevishly glares at the prinicpal. Is that really all you have? After the transformation all you have to show for it is the malice equivalent to that of a wrongfully killed cat! Wei releases an annoyed huff. He was expecting a huge pool of malice to sustain his flute but the slimy troglodyte was worthless. Oh well he thinks to himself. Time to get rid of this thing and move on to better enemies. He looks around for an object with some weight to it like a chair or a fan to beat the principal with. He was not about to touch the principal with his hands. Any final words before you reach the underworld?
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"Monsters, monsters, monsters. Is that all you see? I suppose you'll all have to work on that close minded attitude. Desire is only natural within humans. No, it is what every human hides away that's important. I'd rather not ramble on right now though. I already said. Next time we meet you will perhaps understand more. When that time comes I'll teach you what's necessary. Until then, pay great attention to stories involving disappearances." With that last bit of context added the man would simply walk straight off the side of the roof. The only thing that could be heard was the sound of something falling and then silence. Nothing could be heard hitting the ground and checking to see where he landed wouldn't reveal anything either. Wei wouldn't find much in the way of heavy objects but a bat could be seen sitting on the floor nearby a classroom. Perhaps it had fallen out of someone's bag? There was also a sudden sound, the laughter of a young girl. The laughter seemed to come from a nearby locker. It was open...the lock that once held it shut seemed to be dented and damaged badly. Something powerful could be felt within. Something that drove those that paid it mind to hunger. If one were to open the locker then they'd find within a heavy gauntlet with a bizarre almost surreal golden pattern etched into it. Over the wrist of the gauntlet would also be a large gold colored gemstone as well that seemed to be the origin point of the laughter. The pressure that the gauntlet gave any who even thought to touch it to put it on would be immense. As if merely it's presence promised everything to those who wielded it. Of course, there is also a perfectly good bat. The slug would seem to have a hard time opening its mouth in response but after some time it would finally seem to figure something out. It would begin sweating even more coins as it's large disfigured mouth preyed itself open. Molten gold would begin spewing from its mouth as it tried to speak. Sluggish Principal: "I...am...free..." Nanako would find no trouble leaving the basement and even hear one of her companions at the top of the stairs leading out of the basement...along with a giant golden slug spewing molten metal.
“Well, that was something. I’m going back down.” Himeno shrugs and starts descending the stairs, glad that’s over with. His words still linger. Disappearances... that’s one word she’ll be looking for on the news. She grimaces and steps around the slug at the bottom of the stairs. Nope, she’s still classifying that as a monster. She gives a nod to the other two there then keeps moving along to the janitor’s closet. She’ll return that book. One mystery is enough to handle.
{Yurick scoffs at the man as he leaves the building. If it was also the world, that would have been better, but this will have to do. Looking around, knowing that there was no splat, the boy decides to shrug and follow Himeno back down the stairs.} “Welp, job accomplished. I guess we can leave now.”
Akia shakes her head a bit and follows along, not even responding before she departs down the stairs and stares down at the... Slug spewing molten gold? What the fuck is that? She looks at Wei with a raised eyebrow and just shakes her head in a disapointed voice upon hearing the thing speaking. She'd stop at the stairs above, staring down at it and speaking to Wei casually. "Shit, if this thing calls that freedom I kinda like not being free then. Jeez, turning into some freaking slug or something? Do we wanna try and capture that weird ass slug or something?" Molten gold, cool that down and it could sell for a good price maybe. But probably not worth the trouble of keeping this weird thing around. "I'm fine with whatever about that thing honestly, go ahead and do what you like. Or I can just try and kill it I suppose, not as though I'm unwilling if needed."
"Its better to simply end it." Nanaka remarks as she returns to the top of the staircase, looking down at the slug-like creature. She was well-familiar with formerly-human monsters after all, and nothing good came of leaving them be. "If neither of you have the stomach for it I won't be long. Then I suppose our job is over."
Wei smiles at Akia and Nanaka. This slug is mine. He moves to retrieve the perfectly good bat. Once the bat is in his hands he goes back to where he was and holds the bat overs the principal's head. Good-bye. Without any hesitation, he swings the bat down toward the creatures head and would then keep hitting it over and over. He holds the bat with the edge of his finger tips to maintain distance from the creature he is cirrently beating.
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The slug creature would go down easily. It's slimy form could barely protect itself as the bat hit it again and again. In the end it simply spit up a large amount of bloody coins before seeming to sink into the floor. All that would be left of it is a steaming pile of molten gold. Himenko would try to return the book but upon entering the closet She'd find no trace of him. Everything even related to him seemed to vanish, including the other books he had within the room. The school would go quiet for now. It seemed even the students were now gone though it was unclear if something happened to them or they simply left. Eventually police sirens could be heard outside slowly approaching the school. It might be wise to leave now.
The book remains with her then. Himeno remembers the janitor’s words. A library, a book, and the place’s inquisitive eye... She groans. Another mystery on top of that of the monster creator. At the sound of sirens, she slips out a nearby window and leaves the police to do their fruitless work. Goodbye, empty school, and good riddance too.
"Oh right, him. I didn't even see that thing. Well, even if I did, I wouldn't have been bothered to help kill it or take those bloody coins." {Yurick scoffs, quickly dismissing the principal as another monster when he meets his end. The only thing that could be saddening at all about this experience was the lack of a profit, and also a lack of fire throwing. Upon hearing the sirens, the boy decides to conjure up a fireball and burn through the window Himeno went through in order to pretend he accomplished something.} "Whoever's more social, tell that girl to make sure she brings the book if we ever coincidentally meet up again for some mediocre reward." {He says to mostly everyone with his back turned as he jumps out the unneccesary exit he created, levitating in the air before letting his feet hit the ground and running away from the police so that he doesn't have to be questioned nor talk to anyone else more than he has to now that it's time to depart from this dreary school environment.}
"I suppose we're finished then. Best to be gone.' Nanaka looks down at the former slug, before letting out a sigh. They weren't going to get paid, but at least the situation was resolved. She'd been in this kind of situation before, so she knew what to do. Remain in this form to make her escape, so she can change back to her casual wear and pretend it never happened.
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