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Decades passed as these three entities resonated, their combined presence impossible to ignore. Many contested for these entities near the very beginning of sentience. Agreements and conflicts led to new developments of these entities, and advanced the consciousness of cooperation and competition some call “societies.”

Civilizations grew in numbers, and so did their emphasis of their corresponding roles in the world. Each culminated lives differently from one another. Some were isolated, blissfully further away from the conflicts of the world than others. Some were outgoing, consistently seeking to make their presence known globally. The darker aspects of the three key elements of the growth of civilizations were numbered, yet powerful.

Where there were demons, there were angels. Where there were the greedy, there were the humble. And there were those who sought to tear apart the balance of the world, and those who sought to protect it.

Those who sought to live with these darker aspects inevitably found conflict with those who did not.

Vast and still mysterious in its origins, Sarastrea grew countlessly. And it continued to do so. On and on.

And so on forth.









The sun’s rays brilliantly shone down on the capital of Kora.

Bustling crowds moved in Riesling far more than ever. The Thirteenth Koran International Expo drew huge waves of excited outsiders, and it was hard not to be, really. It was like a gigantic fair, with hundreds of galleries and showcases of the history of not just Riesling, but many of the big continents such as Oasari and Kora itself were at the spotlight.

Outside the many modern buildings in Kora, there were wide displays of cultural, technological, and social achievements made by countries. Some were smaller, though occasionally they had a flash of magic or two. It was like a carnival, with souvenirs, foods, and even entertainment topping it all off.

Let it be known that the following days will be days of celebration, the spokesperson and colonel of Kora spoke at the opening of the expo. A celebration of the millennia we have culminated to reach where we are now. We welcome all not with open arms, but with unparalleled, genuine appreciation through our form of gratitude.



Prologue




Vermilla


Vermilla Flaxelle remained calm.

It was the third day since she had resigned from the Koran Secret Intelligence Service. Life was rather forgiving to her. She might have dropped her groceries on a puppy, but she made sure it wasn’t injured. She accidentally gave a salad with mushrooms to someone who had allergies to mushrooms as a gift, but nothing escalated from the itchiness that ensued.

She simply needed time to get used to things.

Carrying a paper bag full of souvenirs pressed against her chest, she carefully walked past several crowds. According to someone she knew of at the SIS, there were common incidents of thievery even in broad daylight. Letting her guard down was the last thing she should think of.

Nobody was going to take away the souvenirs she grabbed. They weren’t necessarily for herself, but rather, gifts for her hard-working friends. She didn’t find much enjoyment out of bobble-head cats and the like, but she certainly did not want to visit them empty-handed.

She continued to walk in silence.




Mark Noxus


Mark stretched his arms as he yawned.

Shaking his head, Mark Noxus took a bite out of his burger as he leaned against a short, but wide arcade building. Unbeknownst to him, he bit the top of the bun first, and continued from there. The burger obviously didn’t taste as good as it should’ve.




Ryuu Yamauchi


Sitting at a completely barren stall, an intimidating man who wore sunglasses sat with his arms crossed.

Kora was… a great place. Really, it was surprising for him to even say that considering that most people treated their home countries like it was the worst thing ever. But in Kora, he secured a pretty solid job and met some nice people. Of course, said nice people resulted in a measly number of three, and they were all men.

The Koran Expo, however, was a different story. If there was one thing he realized, it was the fact that nobody came close to his anime stall.

What’s the problem? He thought angrily as he grinded his teeth furiously against each other. It’s not like the other anime stalls I’ve seen didn’t have anybody close by! So why the hell is mine the only one so empty?!

With a face that quite easily drove away customers, he continued to ponder at his current lack of success. There had to be some kind of formula he was missing…
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Driving Park
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~ Carmen Calandra ~


Being the center of attention can be exhilarating or exhausting. For Carmen, it was currently both. Her booth, with its large fancy "Calandra Couture" logo, was drawing all kinds of attention. Between criticizing customers' fashion choices and setting them up with something she deemed more suitable from her clothing line, taking selfies with fans and formal pictures with celebrities whenever a photographer asked her to, hastily signing autographs on brochures, and socializing with whoever was lucky enough to catch her in a moment she wasn't already talking to someone, Carmen had her plate very full. Still, the expo had gone smoothly so far and on her breaks Carmen enjoyed walking around and taking in Riesling and all the the attractions that currently inhabited it. The Expo was always a fun event for the skylark, and this was her second year as a featured vendor. With her signature sunhat on she was very easy to spot in the crowd, and that's how she liked it.

~ Mizuki ~


A woman with extraordinary silver hair that sprouted both from her head and from her nine huge fox tails filtered into the Expo along with a long line of people. It was midday and she was just arriving; she couldn't help that she enjoyed the night and stayed up for most of it. Besides, the night to come was what she was really looking forward to. The Expo was legendary for having an epic night scene, as people from all corners of Sarastrea mingled and partied into the early hours of the morning.

But for now, Mizuki would have to wait, and hope that she didn't get bombarded with people taking pictures of her and asking her obnoxious questions. She elected to sit in the shade at one of the restaurants in the expo and slowly eat her afternoon breakfast.

~ Vikki Miller ~


Vikki sat on the balcony of her hotel room looking down at the Expo through a pair of high-powered binoculars. People-watching was one of the more useful things she could do when off work, and she just so happened to have a few days to herself during the Expo. So, rather than get herself lost and compromised in the throngs of people enjoying the Expo, she bought a high-rise hotel suite overlooking everything. Plus, it made business sense - if someone started something, she would be able to see it happen and be able to identify a potential target.




Meanwhile down below, a slender, extremely tall woman arrived at the entrance to the Expo. She walked around for a bit and then disappeared into a building. Nobody thought anything of it (apart from her height), but a few people turned to each other and mentioned how something didn't feel right.
Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by Nevix
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Edric D’Karst





Edric sat at a booth in what was quite possibly the most crowded diner he’d ever eaten at. It was a dive called Nora’s Cafe, and it was entirely unprepared for the massive crowd that came along with the Expo. It was a few blocks away from the bulk of the festivities, but it was still packed. Edric had been lucky enough to arrive early, and secured himself a booth. Cracked red leather seats, but damn fine chicken and waffles, if he said so himself. Not that he could really taste the chicken under all the pepper he’d sprinkled over it.

Granted, he’d finished his meal about an hour again, and had since been mercilessly taking advantage of the diner’s all-you-can-drink coffee to keep his seat. The workers were giving him the stink eye, but seeing as how he’d come to Riesling directly from a lengthy sojourn in the Palvaya Mountains, he wasn’t feeling quite ready to brave the crowds. There had been a month-and-a-half long stretch where Azamor was the only person he’d spoken to.

I like to think I make for a riveting conversational partner.

”Oh, shut up.” Edric said, laughing good-naturedly. Unfortunately, no one else in the diner could hear the other half of that conversation, and a family in the next booth over glanced at him nervously.




Aileen Deckard





Aileen sat behind her booth, a rickety wooden thing with a sign that read “The Role of Herbs and Alchemy in Modern Medicine.” It wasn’t exactly deserted, every few minutes a bored looking doctor would come and take notes while she lectured. When surrounded by high-tech, well-funded booths that showed off the bleeding edge of Eos medicine, her little ramshackle display was looked far from impressive.

She groaned and put her head down on the booth’s counter, idly drumming her fingers all the while.
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- Andromeda -

Andro moved fluidly and silently among the crowds of the expo. she wasn't even sure why she was there, it was partially boredom she was sure. she'd spent a good deal of time alone lately, just walking the halls of the library and when she had heard of the expo and had realized she had a day or two off she decided to go. she was at least glad that she didn't stand out too much, she was wearing a grey cloak of sorts that covered the snakes on her head and she still had on her ever-present veil. there were so many different kinds of people there that she only occassionally got strange looks and most often then because a snake would peek out or they would rustle beneath the thin fabric of the hood. She ignored the pointed glances of course, because she was used to them, she'd gotten them her whole life and even in her own library.

She was looking at booths. occasionally stopping at ones that seemed interesting. she had a small tote that she had added several works of fiction to, and a treatise on mechanical engineering because the man had insisted she take it. But nothing had really struck her fancy yet. So she kept wandering. She saw a couple people in the crowd she recognized, students or faculty from Athalia and felt absolutely no need to go say hello. She did see Ryuu's booth and couldn't help a small giggle. he looked like he might kill anyone who came near. In fact there were a couple people standing nearby who looked almost interested but were too intimidated by the large man to go near. Andro knew he didn't mean to come off that way, and that was part of the reason it was funny.
She considered going and saying hello but she had no interest in the things at his booth and wanted to see the rest of the booths. maybe later, if she had time.

The gorgon moved into the medical portion of the expo. she was mildly interested. Medicine had always been one of the topics she'd been interested in, even when her mother loomed over her in their library on the estate. However most of the booths were either beyond her knowledge or the people standing at them were acting far too superior for her liking. she got a couple pamphlets and was getting very peopled out when she saw a small booth standing all by itself. It was kinda run down by comparison to the bigger booths around it but it had a little sign saying “The Role of Herbs and Alchemy in Modern Medicine.”
That was interesting. she thought she might recognize the woman behind the counter, someone she went to school with likely but she couldn't remember her name. if they did know each other, the woman would likely recognize her as Andro cut a bit of an odd figure.
She approached the booth with a smile "Hello, I've always thought herbalism was interesting. but i know very little about it unfortunately, i've never had much chance to be the outdoors type" she gestured to the sign "I'd love to hear about it"
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Andromeda and Aileen





"Finally!" Aileen said, immediately sitting up ramrod-straight. "A woman after my own heart. What woudl you like to hear about fir-" She stopped, narrowing her eyes. "Hold on a second." She leaned back, away from the visitor. There was something about her. Something familiar. "Oh! It's Andromeda, right?" She held out a hand, as if to shake. "We went to school together."

Andro smiled and took her hand "I thought i might have recognized you, iIm terribly sorry though I can't seem to remember your name" she blushed a little. "I wasn't the most extroverted at school, so i didn't get to know as many people as i should have"

"Oh, uh, I'm Aileen." She smiled, letting go of Andro's hand and leafing around her booth for a pamphlet. Of course, they were right where she'd left them. She pulled one out and handed it to her. Pamphlets were supposed to be enticing to look at, concise, and informative. Aileen's pamphlets were only one of those things. She'd tried her hardest, but they ended up looking more tiny textbooks than a proper handout. "It's, er, not exactly light reading." She smiled, sheepishly, and scratched the back of her neck. "Oops."

"Aileen, that's a pretty name, I'll remember it" Andro said, then watched as the woman searched around for a minute before pulling out a thick pamphlet. she flipped it open and laughed at her comment about light reading "Oh don't worry, i'm not one for light reading anyway, i'm sure it's exceptionally informative, Thank you!" she flipped through it, scanning the pages insteda of actually reading it. "Oh this seems quite interesting! If you don't mind my asking, Aileen, how long have you been doing this? Herbology?"

"Oh, for a while." She counted on her fingers. "Nine, almost ten years? Yeah, nine years. My parents were doctors, and I wanted to do the whole healing thing, but, well, I also liked plants." She smiled. "Anyway, I think herbology has less practical use in big cities like this, but in the countryside, or anywhere without hospitals and pharmacies every other street, it's more useful." She started talking faster, clearly excited by the subject matter. "I mean, for one, in most places out of the cities, you can find a lot of common medicinal herbs just around. Not to mention, if you teach a paitient to identify the plants they need for long term treatment, they can forage themselves and it's typically much more affordable than a perscription." She paused. "Er, not that modern medicine doesn't have its place. There's a reason herbology is considered an outdated art by many doctors, but that's where herbology crosses over with alchemy." She stopped, realizing she'd gotten carried away. "Of course, that's a whole other topic, because alchemy as a discipline is a great deal broader than just medicine."

"Oh I bet, I've always thought things like these were interesting but as I said, i've never really had the chance to learn about them, i've only ever read about them" she said "That must have been exciting having doctors for parents, my parents were the exact opposite of interesting, if the exact opposite of interesting was traumatizing" she shook her head and smiled again "Anyway, i've always lived in cities so i've always had the benefit of modern medicine but you never know, things have gone wrong before, knowledge of herbology would be a good thing to have, especially since my... physical condition forces me to lead a slightly reclusive life"
Andro glanced around, she knew she should probably move on, but she had no where to go and Aileen seemed interesting enough. "If I may ask, where have you been since school?"

"Oh, here and there." She made a mental list and recited it. "Most everywhere in the Eastern Hemisphere. Spent a while in Eoslai, and a little bit of time in the Freelands, but, well, there's few enough plants in the Sarolai, and fewer usable herbs. I was in Oasari, and I've been here in Kora for the last year or so." She paused, then perked up, as though remembering something. "Oh, wait, do you remember Edric D'Karst? Tall-ish, weirdly punchable face, talked to a necklace? He traveled around with me for a year or so, but last I heard he was headed to Oasari to go, uh-" She stopped, not sure if she should mention Edric's condition. He'd never really been secretive about it, but it didn't seem like her place to say. "-soulsearching or something."

Andro blushed a little at the mention of Edric "Yes, I remember Edric" she went to run a hand through her snakes and pushed the hood back in the process. she heard a couple gasps of surprise. Gorgons were few and far between. she frowned a little but ignore the sounds "Good for him, I've considered going on that sort of trip myself but i'm woefully unprepared for something like that" she heard some whispering break out nearby and pulled her hood back up. "Did you like traveling? I traveled some when I was a child, I liked seeing new places"

"Oh, yeah I love-" She was interupped by the sound of someone clearing their throat. She stopped, and leaned over to see what was quite possibly the most tired, haggard, pissed-off intern she'd ever seen.

"Yeah, I need one of you pamphlets." He said, only very thinly masking his contempt. More like than not, some bigwig doctor was having run back and forth. She might have felt sorry for him, if he wasn't such a dick about it. "Like, uh, now." Aileen sighed, looking at Andro.

"We can talk later, yeah? Do you have my number?"

"Fucking hell." The intern muttered, quietly but audibly.

Andro was used to being snubbed but she really didn't like it so she would have glared at the intern if the man could have seen it "No, I don't but, if you write it down for me really quickly, I can get out of your way" she held out the pamphlet to her with a smile, deciding not to move even though the intern was standing right behind her. "It was really nice talking to you and i'll give this proper read as soon as I get the chance"

Aileen wrote down her number, her writing hasty and almost embarrassingly poor. She smiled, nodded, and then turned to the intern.

"So, you said you wanted a pamphlet?"

Andro waved at Aileen and stepped out of the way, deciding now might be a good time for some food, she'd been walking for quite a while at this point. "I'll text you later!" She called to the woman with a smile as she headed out towards the shops near the expo to get something to eat.
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Edric and Carmen





Edric was beginning to notice that this Expo had a lot of lines. It had taken him twenty minutes of standing behind other people before he'd even been able to get his table at the diner. And now that he'd left the diner and stumbled across a Calandra Couture booth, he was waiting in line yet again.Granted, this was less structured. Less of a line and more of a crowd, really. People who wanted to take pictures and get autographs and ask for advice or questions about the company. All he wanted to do was catch up with an old teacher of his.

"Woah, is that, like, hobo chic?" Some wire-thing bearded guy that couldn't have been taller than 5' 2" asked him. Edric looked down and cringed. Rough travel clothes, with threadbare spots. He supposed it looked well-enough put together, though.

"Uh. Totally." He smiled. "Fashionable pragmatism."

"Nice." The guy nodded, seemingly impressed, and then he turned away.

You're a master of deception.

You know it.

Meanwhile, at the front of the line...

"Nonono, you can't have that color dress with these color shoes! Can't you see how much these clash?? Hold on, let me go get you a more suitable pair."

The skylark whose presence had caused the line Edric was stuck in now turned her back to it to look through her inventory for a moment before quickly finding a pair of shoes she deemed suitable. As she turned around she quickly scanned the line and thought she might have seen someone she knew. Unsure but fairly confident, she yelled out "ANYONE WITH A SURNAME OF D'KARST COME TO THE FRONT OF THE LINE PLEASE" while handing the pair of shoes to the woman waiting for her. As the woman's face brightened at the sight of the footwear, Carmen returned her attention fully to her. "See what you think of those, they should match your dress beautifully." The woman began taking off her existing shoes while Carmen turned again to the line in front of her, assuming that if Edric was actually in the line he would follow her order. He was her student, after all.

"On it!" Edric said, almost instinctively. He stepped out of the line and briskly made his way toward the front. There was some grumbling, and Edric ignored it. Soon enough, he was in front of the skylark. "I keep forgetting that you're famous." He looked around, at the crowd the sign, the camera flashes.

How?

Because-

-You're an idiot? You finally realized it? I wasn't gonna tell ya.


"God, it's been, what, five years?" Edric said, shaking his head in disbelief. "It feels like five days. Or, maybe ten years. I can't decide."

Carmen smiled as Edric allowed himself to walk to the front of the line.

"Maybe. I haven't been counting," she replied. "In any case, it has been quite a long time."

While talking to him she was simultaneously handing the woman from earlier her bag with her new pair of shoes in it, and motioning for the next person to come up. It was an autograph request - simple enough to multitask, so she did.

"And you? What have you been up to all this time? I would quite like to know what everyone from the dear Academy has been up to, now that I think about it."

Some cameras flashed on Carmen as they had been doing with some regularity, but at this point some were also flashing on Edric. "Looks like you're famous now too," she said with a smirk.

"Uh." He smiled, awkwardly, at the cameras. His father would probably break a vein. Edric hadn't called him in ages, but Jon'd see in the tabloids that he'd had time to rub elbows with Carmen Calandra.

That'll be a fun phone call.

I'm looking forward to it already.


"I've been doing a lot of travelling. Much of it alone. I was in Oasari, recently, but I was all over Okarlai, and Kora intermittently. I was planning on headed west but then I heard about the Expo, couldn't help myself." He thought for a moment. "I'd imagine that Aileen Deckard is here, as well, but I can't speak for any of the others. Have you kept in touch with anyone?"

"Can't say that I have," Carmen replied. "I've been very busy, and I somehow neglected to get people's contact information while I was in Athalia. It just didn't seem necessary I suppose."

She thought for a moment. "I'm not sure I remember Aileen, but I didn't get to interact with the students not in my classes or those who were there when I was a student. Anyway...have you been in contact with any of the others? I'd love to know how some of them are doing. Maybe some of them will turn up here?"

"No, I haven't. I took off in a hurry, I'm afraid. I only knew about Aileen because we traveled together for a time." Edric said. "I'd say that's possible, the Expo attracts all kinds." He looked back at the line, and the cameras, and gulped. "Listen, I know you're busy, so I won't take too much more of your time. But, uh, if you happen to see anyone from the Academy, tell them to meet, uh..." He looked around until his eyes settled on a bar and grill at the edge of the street. He pointed to it. "That place looks good, yeah. What's that, 'Malibu Bar n' Grill?' Yeah, that place."

Carmen smiled. "I'll be sure to do that. Hopefully someone else shows up that we both know, hmm? I'll probably pop over there myself when I have a break." She looked at the long line waiting for her. "...which doesn't look like it will be any time soon," she said with a chuckle. "Nice catching up with you though, Edric. Hopefully it won't be five years until the next time, yeah?"

"Here's hoping." Edric said, smiling lopsidedly. "I'll catch you around. Can't be too hard." He turned and started to walk away. "I'll just follow the cameras."
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Mark Noxus

The people moved, altogether in innocent discord. The children laughed, or put on their most bored expressions to convince their parents to let them play at an arcade close by the fair. Some of the people appreciated what the fair offered, intrigued by what the many cultures gathered in a single place, though some seemed more concerned with business than their personal lives.

All of them were common sights to witness, but said sights in one place together was a bit more uncommon than one would think. A gathering of much of the world, yet so little of it at the same time.

Mark kind of liked it.

Stretching his arms, Mark yawned as he watched the scene before him. He tossed the remains of his burger as he stopped eating it top-down. It was his first time at the fair, and it got him in a pretty good mood. He remained still, blending in with the environment. He may have done a small portion of exploring, but he hadn't gotten the chance to know more about thoroughly developed civilizations aside from Kora. Oasari got him thinking he should pay it a visit sometime later.




Ryuu Yamauchi

Ryuu stayed mad.

Nobody cared or wanted to approach him anyway so it all worked out in the end. Sort of.

"REEEEEEEEE-"

It didn't, actually.

The otaku looked like he was going to bust a cap on his own stall at some point, but he refrained from doing so. If he did that, then what was the point of coming all the way here, right?

But not that it matters. These nerds can't appreciate the honesty of my stall!

The irony of him labeling literally anyone aside from himself as a nerd didn't occur to him.
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Vermilla Flaxelle

Taking a deep breath, Vermilla decided to grab some food.

She didn't think of what to eat when she went to the expo, but as time went on, she steadily remembered that she didn't have breakfast. Some people often asked her if she didn't like to eat, and she would almost feel offended, considering, she too, enjoyed food.

She never spoke up about that, though.

Looking around, she unconsciously curled several strands of her blonde hair as her gaze moved between several stalls. She stopped as an inviting scent locked her attention to a noodle stall.

This will do for now, she thought as she walked over to the stall, albeit somewhat hurriedly. Sitting down at one of the seats available, she froze as she glanced through the menu. A thoughtful look fell over her as she wondered what to eat.

The expo was far from a long event to her at the moment- but some food would seriously not hurt at this time.

"I would like the spicy... 'shoyu' ramen, please," she spoke carefully, and much to her relief, her words weren't left in the dark.

Vermilla waited for her food to show up. As she did, she occasionally glanced around, taking note of the other stalls surrounding her. Not all of them were food stalls- in fact, there were quite a handful of stalls that sold souvenirs and the like instead.




Mark Noxus

Mark rolled his neck as he leapt on spot, huffing and puffing. And he continued to do so, getting faster and faster with his... jumping.

In fact, he started getting unnaturally fast with what was presumably a warming exercise. After moving like a fast-forwarded video, he stopped abruptly and rolled his arms.

"Well, now I forgot what to do."

And he did for a moment. He then remembered he was here to meet someone. It wasn't anybody suspicious- in fact, he was here for an old friend. A friend much older than him, actually, but they had not only been partners at one point, but also rivals.

With that said, he was nowhere to be seen. So Mark decided to wait for any phone calls that could come at any moment, and went off ahead to tour around some of the stalls.

On his way, his eyes glimmered when he found a rather adorable-looking mascot keychain. Now that I think about it, my neighbor's kid got a new phone recently, he thought as he went over and took a good look at it.

A few moments later, he asked the stall owner, "'ello. How much for this Sanic keychain?"




Ryuu Yamauchi

Ryuu ran across fields of flowers. Around him, dozens of people followed him, their feet light in the glowing white fields. A soft wind brushed against their bodies as they ran, talking about how they-




-don't like anime, he thought, utterly dejected as he sighed in defeat.

Ryuu hated to admit it, but in a massively open and public expo like this, he was bound to be overshadowed by not only other stalls that weren't as embarrassing as his, but also by perhaps OTHER anime stalls. He definitely wasn't the only one who liked it, but perhaps it had to do with that "curse" that old, sniffy guy always talked about. Something about being unlucky in terms of appealing to others in the public.

Well, at least HE didn't smoke crack or randomly beat everything up in sight. Besides, he never really had a reason to fight people aside from when they wanted to cause mischief. Mischief involving guns, that is. In his store, of all places. Why would you try to rob an anime store, though? He thought, biting his lip in both anger and confusion as he shook his head. Just why?

Man, I'm starving.

Getting up, he kicked over his chair, scaring off some people around him as he wondered why nobody approached him. He soon started walking, completely ignoring the stall he had set up. It's not like anybody was gonna steal the ugly thing, anyway. On his way, he took out his wallet and made sure he had enough money for some cheap food- he had to eventually pay for that taxi, anyway.




Eris


The woman idly waited in the building, watching the minutes go by. She knew something was imminent, whether it was from her or not. Either way, chaos would be victorious. As long as she was free to roam as she pleased, she would ensure that was the case. After all, what other reason was there for her to exist?

However, the chaos was not due for another few minutes, and Eris was bored. Even a goddess of chaos succumbed to the cruel mistress that is boredom sometimes. So, to combat this, she decided to walk back out in the square. She knew she stuck out like a sore thumb because of her height and general aura, but she didn't care much. In her present environment she was at her most powerful...assuming things got violent, which was her goal. But for now, she walked and idly scanned the various attractions scattered about the square while wading through the moving sea of people.




- Andromeda -

the gorgon weaved her way through the crowd and out into the square. she wasn't entirely sure where a good restaraunt was around here. She also didn't want to ask anyone as she had yet to get over her near crippling fear of attention. so she looked around, trying to see where other people were going, trying to guage line-lengths of places she could see. everywhere looked very busy, which was to be expected, this was the world's fair. that didn't make her feel any better about having to deal with the lines.

she was looking towards a place that looked like it might be a good place when, as was her lot, she ran smack into someone. a very solid somone who did not move at all when the gorgon bounced off of them and dropped to her butt on the side-walk. she let out a tiny curse and looked up to apologize. "I'm terribly s..." she trailed off as she made eye-contact with the woman, made actual eye contact. Her veil must have fallen off because it was no longer obscuring her vision, which meant the woman in front of her was looking right into Andro's eyes, the same eyes that had killed people.

The gorgon's hand flew to her mouth but it only took her a second to realize the woman wasn't petrifying. "What...?"




Eris


Eris knew she was likely to bump into people in the square - it was an inevitability. She was prepared for that, but she was less prepared for someone to crash into her, fall over, try (and fail) to apologize, and look up at her very confused grey eyes that were most certainly abnormal. She tilted her head as the woman continued to stare. "May I help you?" she asked tersely, before turning and walking away without waiting for a response. She was ready to retire back into the building.




- Andromeda -

The gorgon stared in shock as the woman just walked away. What was she?! Andro had never actually had someone meet her eyes and not turn to stone. It occurred to her that Lucifer probably could have but she certainly never faced him herself so she doesn't know. Just how powerful was that woman she Andro's eyes did nothing?!

She heard gasps of shock coming from around her and her eyes snapped to see that at least 3 people had petrified around her and she instantly closed her eyes and reached into her bag where she knew she'd put her sunglasses and threw them on and jumped to her feet. People had given her a wide berth all of a sudden and she chose to ignore the statues facing her as she decided she had to tell someone. Whoever that woman was she was up to no good. But who the hell could she tell?

The people around her were getting angry so she choose a direction and started running, really hoping she found someone to help her before someone called the cops on her. The gorgon ducked back into the convention hall, she couldn’t just go to a police officer and tell them a woman’s walking around immune to her deadly stare. She needed to find someone she knew. Maybe go back and find Aileen? Or she saw Ryuu earlier, Where was his booth again?

As she pushed her way through the crowd she saw the large sign for Carmen’s booth and stilled for a second. Would Carmen help her? She was the first person she’d found that she knew. She looked around then hurried forward. She didn’t want to rush the line but this was important so she called out “Carmen!” She forced her way a little forward “Carmen! I need to talk to you!”

The other people in the line grumbled a bit as the gorgon tried to get to the front of the line. Carmen heard her and looked up from the pamphlet she was signing. She recognized Andromeda and chuckled a bit to herself before motioning with her free arm for Andro to come forward. "Lots of people need to talk to me apparently," she said when the gorgon reached her. "I must admit I enjoy it. But what brings you here? Oh, it's good to see you by the way," she said, sliding the pamphlet back to the waiting customer, taking another one, and looking down to sign it while talking.

Andro sighed in relief when she was motioned forward, apologizing profusely as she made it up to the counter. “Hello, thanks. I don’t know who to go to” she looked around “I don’t even know for sure what’s going on, but you gotta listen, something’s wrong, something’s very wrong” she would have tried to met the woman’s eye if she wasn’t still freaked by the fact there were a bunch of statues outside “I met someone’s eyes and they didn’t die! Do you know what that means?”

Carmen blinked at Andro. "Were they wearing sunglasses...???" She laughed at her own joke before looking down again. "Do you mean like...your actual eyes? As in they should have become a statue but they didn't? That would certainly be something, wouldn't it! You've gotta stop waving those around though, I think Kora has enough statues as it is." She chuckled again, entertaining herself as she continued signing various bits of paraphernalia. "What did they do when they didn't die? Were they astounded at the gift of not-death? I certainly would be."

”Yes as in my actual eyes! It was an accident!” She had to admit Carmen being so flippant was quickly getting on her nerves. “I don’t know what to do! No one should be able to do that!” She let out a frustrated sigh at Carmen’s last comment “I don’t think she even realized what happened, she just glared at me and walked away!” She looked around “What do I do? Who do I tell? Something has to be going on if some kind of immortal is walking around the world’s fair!” Her posture softened and her voice dropped slightly “What do I do?”

Carmen sighed. "Wwwwell," she said, drawing out the first part of the word, "you're right about one thing. If everything happened as you say it did, I would have to guess the person in question was some kind of magic apparition...or maybe a deity. I'd be more worried about the second one, but I don't really know how to tell. It's been too long since I had to know any of that, you know. Do you know how long it's been since I played my trumpet in anger?" She paused. "Well, you probably do actually, since it was in the Academy, naturally. ...oh dear, I've gone off topic again, haven't I? So anyway...I'm not sure there's much we can do. Tipping off security wouldn't accomplish anything because they'd be child's play for a being of that stature." She thought for a while, as she went through another round of signatures. "You know, Edric is around here. He'd probably love the opportunity to play detective, if I remember him well enough. Maybe he could find something out...I wonder if any other Athalians are around. Ah well...if this gets violent, we'll all end up fighting together anyway. You know how we work, dear." And with that, she looked back down to focus on her task at hand. But, while doing so, she eventually said "Say...you said it was a 'she', did you? What did she look like?"

Andro sighed softly and nodded as Carmen spoke, she didn’t have anymore way of telling who the woman had been then Carmen did right now. “Yeah you’re right, normal security won’t be able to do anything...” Though she suddenly stopped to blush when the woman brought up Edric. Andro had had quite the crush on him when they went to the academy together. Was he around? She glanced to the sides a little sheepishly before getting herself back under control “Uh yes, maybe Edric can help me, and I know we’ll fight together. We haven’t given up all the other times some unspeakable creature has attacked, no reason we would now”

Andro was almost startled when Carmen spoke again, asking her about the woman “Uh, she was tall, very tall, pale, red-brown hair...” She had to stop and think- was she remembering right? She felt like she was and it was a slightly odd description “Red eyes too. Well-proportioned, disdain for everything in her expression.” The gorgon looked up “Does that sound at all familiar to you?”

Carmen noticed the gorgon's reaction when she mentioned Edric and a small, devious grin briefly formed on her face. She filed the information she deduced from her observation away for use later and moved on to Andro's next point. "I must admit that description doesn't do anything for me", she replied. "I've met far too many people with disdain for everything in their expression, but the red eyes, height, and the small little detail that she didn't turn to stone make me think this someone is not your garden variety jaded individual." During this time Carmen had been fitting a customer with an outfit, and as they left she noticed she was temporarily without a line of people waiting their turn, so she took the opportunity to put up the "away on break; check back soon!" sign on the front of her booth and step out from it. "Well dearest Andro," she said as she turned to the gorgon, her attention fixated solely on Andro for the first time today, "why don't you and I go find your love interest and see if we can't do something about this little situation, hmm?" Without waiting for a response, Carmen dramatically turned with a flip of the hair and began walking through the square in search of Edric.




Edric


While Vermilla was being helped by a haggard-loking man in a too-big apron, a bored, younger man was speaking with Edric.

"Is that on the menu, sir?" The man said, yawning.

"Well, no, but-"

"Okay, I'm going to have to ask you to look at the menu."

"Alright."

"And pick something off of it."

"Okay, yes, I want noodles in broth with-"

"No, I mean, look at the menu, and pick something off of it."

"Well, it's not on the menu, but-"

"And there's the issue." The man said, clearly frustrated. Edric sighed.

"Alright, alright. What about the, uh, tonkotsu?"

"You want that spicy?"

"No thanks." Edric said, but he was almost positive the man raced back into the stall's kitchen before he heard him. He looked down and scratched the back of his neck, before realizing that he wasn't the only person waiting at the stall. He nodded at the woman, with a friendly smile, and was content to let that be the end of it. Azamor, who'd been blessedly silent for a few minutes, decided to spring into action. Edric didn't often keep his guard up against him, anymore, because it was rare that the demon ever attempted to seize control. He felt himself pushed out of the cockpit, so to speak, and was helpless as Azamor examined his reflection in the metal of a napkin holder. He slicked back his hair, gave himself some fingerguns, and turned on his heel to face Vermilla.

"So." He said, voice noticeably different than Edric's, to anyone that knew Edric. "You like spice, huh?" Edric cringed, inwardly, and was thankful that, in all the Expo's crowds, he'd never see this woman again. Probably. Maybe. Though he was technically out of a body at the moment, he swore he could fee sweat bead on his neck. He started fighting for control, but Azamor easily fought him off.




Vermilla glanced at the man next to her.

He didn't seem to be trying hard at being rude- his smile gave that away pretty easily. That didn't change the fact that he seemed extremely awkward for a first impression to her. It wasn't unrelatable, however- she sort of understood how it felt to try being natural with others. Especially strangers.

So rather than wonder why he acted stiffly, she instead nodded back. The man eventually asked her a question that came from left field.

Blinking in silence, she stared at the man who suddenly had a curiosity about whether she liked spice or not. Glancing at the menu, she turned back to Edric and nodded once more.

"I do, actually," she decided to answer honestly. "I haven't eaten it much, admittedly, but I've tried them several times recently."

Slightly tilting her head as she turned to face him more directly, she asked, "I apologize if I come off as insensitive, but may I ask who you are? I'm a bit... off with remembering names."

She doubted she would meet anyone at the expo later, but this person was the first one to speak to her in the entirety of the expo. A conversation at the food stall was still admittedly less lonely than eating alone.




"Well, I know a thing or two about spice." Azamor had plastered a stupid grin on Edric's face, and Edric sighed (inaudibly, of course). "They call me the Ed-meister, but you can call me-" Edric made one, last, desperate push to regain control of his body. To his surprise, he managed it. Anyone who'd been studying him while he was talking might've noticed that his eyes softened and widened, and most apparent, the way he started slouching again.

"-Edric. Call me Edric. Sorry about that." He shook his head, trying desperately to think of a way to undo the damage Azamor had done. Before he could come close to thinking of a solution, however, he felt himself yanked back within his head.

Shit.

"Alright, what's your name?" Azamor non-chalanty leaned against the noodle stall's counter, but it was lower than he anticipated, putting him at an almost 45 degree angle with the floor. It took a bit of upper body strength to keep himself propped up, but to stand up straight would be admitting defeat.




Edric was a bit odd, admittedly. At one moment, he seemed extremely confident with his words, but then he deflated rather quickly for whatever reason he had. Giving him an observant look, she stared at him as his confident attitude returned rather quickly.

Maybe he's bipolar? She thought. It seemed plausible, though something about his personality felt unnatural. He had yet to present himself as hostile, however.

"I'm Vermilla." she responded, taking a moment to put her attention back to the conversation. "Vermilla Flaxelle. I... come from a small family."

Glancing at the stall itself, she added in, "Aside from that, though, I'm not really sure what I'm doing here. I guess I'm just lost again."

Not stating her actual purpose of being at the Expo naturally was rather challenging, but she at least gave him a somewhat complete response. She had come to visit the Colonel and pay him her gratitude for supporting both her and her family during her service at the Intelligence Agency. After the expo, returning to her family and perhaps helping them with their restaurant business would be nice. Her circumstances had been odd up to this point of her life, but the complicated things were finally seeming to shut themselves at a pit nobody would really need to come across.

Living a normal life sounded boring, but it was a good start for someone like her.

Seeing how he didn't want her to call her Ed-meister, she resorted to "Edric" as she asked, "Do you come to these kinds of expos often?"




"Not as often as I'd like." Edric said, back in control for a moment. "I've been to smaller ones, all over the place, when I was passing through." He felt Aza rear back up, but he was ready this time, and managed to hold onto control.

You're no fun.

You're an asshole.

Oh, wow. We can both state facts?


He fumbled for a moment, searching for words to continue the conversation, but he was saved by what he could only assume was divine intervention.

"Hey, man. Your noodles are ready."

Edric almost sobbed in relief. Normally, he liked talking to people, but Azamor had a way of throwing him off-kilter. He turned to Vermilla and managed a goodbye.

"I'll, uh, see you around." Then he turned on his heel, snatched the ramen out of the cook's hands, and handed him a wad of bills. Then, he walked briskly away, shaking his head. 17 years, he'd lived with Azamor. The demon was hardly hostile (not anymore, anyway,) but there were certain things that he didn't think he'd ever get used to.




Vermilla blinked as she opened her mouth to say something, but the man had already run off.

...That was odd, she thought, staring at him as he walked away. Looking at her bowl, which had been served to her just a moment ago, she wondered if she had to do anything with his behavior.

She didn't really do anything though.

There were certainly odd people around, though odd didn't always mean terrible. She knew that quite well.

With that said, the food was pretty good.
Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by NaraK
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NaraK SPRINGALING

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A pitch white. A pitch black.

A thin line separated them in the infinitely wide void, their light and dark painting the old, worn structures.

A large door remained sealed, its enchanted stone weary, yet strong. And the bridge gave no reflection of the world around itself. Vast space greeted all areas outside of the open bridge. It was a road- a road not taken by those who did not have the essence of chaos within.

Both chaos, and order.

For chaos, without order, did not have importance. A state of chaos was only valuable when there was order to balance it. That was not to say that a world of pure chaos would necessarily be a bad thing, but the world preferred order. Its many denizens did, at least, and a good handful claimed chaos was a way to live against the orderly who would not watch over them.

But they were misguided. A little too much. Running one's mouth off about chaos was utterly- repulsively- distasteful if they only knew of what chaos brought. It was a concept simple in practice, but infinite in volume.

The road not taken stretched and stretched past the black-white world, and went through a torn gap between dimensions. And in this gap, colors of different hues trailed through every spot available aside from the bridge, remained white and black. The colors existed in a world of order and chaos, but it was a rare sight to see them in what was essentially a void world. A world far, far away from... "demons" and the like. Or "angels."

Ashes swirled past the void as an entity brushed past nothingness.

It heard the sounds of people.

The ashes emitted a dull black as they moved, slipping through the void. It followed the sounds.

The sounds of people.

It reverberated wildly in its head. The sound- the mere presence of them made its life flare into overdrive.

And as it reached the end of the void, the entity opened its eyes.







Though he wanted ramen, Ryuu ended up buying a sandwich instead.

Nobody came by to his place. Nobody! Not even a single person was interested in his anime stall, and that alone angered him. How on God’s green planet was it possible that literally everybody that passed by didn’t share his interests? He had a whole catalog and samples prepared for this crap.

Mark my words, he thought grumpily in his head, it’s only a matter of time before people swarm into my store like starving ants discovering a crumb of bread.

He knew that’d never happen.

Still, having at least a bit of recognition for his efforts would have been nice. A brief growl escaped him as he brushed past several people subconsciously.

As one of people bumped into him particularly hard, he roared, “Watch where you’re going!” The man who bumped into him fled apologetically.

Ryuu took a bite out of his sandwich. He bought the wrong sandwich, unfortunately, considering he didn’t enjoy ham, and the sandwich was literally packed with it.
“Dammit!”

Sighing, Ryuu looked up and took a deep breath, making sure that he didn’t lose his cool in the public. The last time he did that, something dumb happened that almost got him in trouble with his neighborhood’s police.

His day seriously couldn’t get any worse than this.

As he opened his eyes, Ryuu blinked, noticing something odd in the skies. The day would normally be full of sunshine if it weren’t for the clouds forming above at a fairly rapid pace.

The clouds were grey. Perhaps they were rain clouds?

I haven’t seen any cloud form up that quickly, though, Ryuu thought, disgruntled by the fact that he probably had to pack up his stuff in the rain. I better get going.

Tossing his unfinished sandwich in a nearby trash bin, he headed over to where he kicked his stall down.




Vermilla stared at the clouds as she left the ramen stall.

Why are they swirling up like that? She noticed quickly, squinting at the grey clouds forming above the Kora Electric Company’s skyscraper. The clouds hadn’t covered the whole city yet, though they seemed to grow in size unnaturally.

Unable to take her gaze off the clouds, she remained still, wondering what she should do. Contacting the colonel seemed a bit repetitive, as she had little doubts about him noticing the oddity in the skies as well. Also, she was no longer a part of Kora’s military.

A minute passed by, and soon, rain began to fall. It fell lightly at first, though it steadily grew harsher.

As an intimidating man with sunglasses shouted “Seriously?!” far away, she blinked, returning to reality as she realized she had no umbrella. The weather forecast had no mention of rain, after all. Before she moved, however, the rain stopped pouring on her as someone cast a red umbrella over her.

She turned, only to find a blond man with a cowboy hat by her side, with a blue umbrella cast over himself.

“Um,” she began, thinking of ways to decline the umbrella. But the man offered her something to cover herself from the rain- there was no harm in accepting it. “Thank you,” she finished calmly instead.

“Mhm,” the blond man nodded. “Pretty convenient I had this umbrella around. I carry two in the rain.”

“…Two? Why two?”

The man closed his crystal blue eyes as he smiled.

“Because sometimes,” he said as he opened his eyes, a weird, cheeky grin sliding into his face, “I wonder that if I do, a cat-shaped bus would come by.”

Vermilla raised an eyebrow, glancing to the side as she held onto the red umbrella. “And why would a cat-shaped bus come by?”

“Because I want it to.”

“Oh. I see.”

The two watched the clouds in silence. She had a feeling that this man, too, knew that the weather was odd. She had no idea as to who he was, though.

In their silence, the man suddenly leapt and stomped both of his feet on the ground. He remained still in an awkward, crouching position for a few seconds before standing normally like before. He mumbled something about the rain not stopping when he stomped.

Vermilla stared at the man weirdly. As polite as it was for him to offer an umbrella, so far, he made little to no sense in his actions or intentions.

He didn’t seem like a bad person, though.

Turning to the clouds, she muttered, “They said it would be sunny today.”

“Oh, ho, lady, today ain’t gonna be sunny no more,” the man responded quickly. Vermilla turned to him, noticing that he had a smile on him. Yet, the smile didn’t seem too optimistic of the weather. “In fact, I highly suggest we start moving.”

Tilting her head in confusion, she asked, “Do you know something about this weather?”

He didn’t answer her.

Though she wanted to hear his response, a barrage of lightning suddenly struck the tip of the skyscraper rapidly. She jumped as she looked up, and her eyes widened as the clouds grew darker.

And red.




A cry of fear prompted the abrupt end of the World Fair.

Several stalls were knocked over as people ran away from the direction of the lightning. Riesling had been known as one of the most peaceful cities in Kora, and as such, many were lost in trying to run for shelter. The city had gone dark quickly, and when several lamps turned on automatically in response to the lack of light, they shattered instantly.

Kora’s military was extremely quick to respond, however, as many of its soldiers began crowding at the popular intersections of the cities. Police formulaically lined themselves down the streets to get people to the closest storm shelters. Almost every one of them were armed.

“I want all of those shelters secured!” a certain Colonel shouted in his radio. “What’s the report on the paranormality level at the KEC?”

“Five! The whole area around the building’s gone red, sir!”

That doesn’t sound good, the Colonel thought grimly as a light reeking of bright red began glowing at the center of the clouds.

“Get the PSI barriers ready. I need as many men positioned around the skyscraper now! And get a visual on the paranormal source up there!”




At the top of the skyscraper, dust of red and black swirled into the world as the clouds opened, revealing a pale void for a brief moment before it closed. The dust circulated around the tip of the building as it seemingly observed the city as a whole.

Red lightning struck around the dust as it remained in place as the clouds grew redder. Beneath the ashes of red and black formed a physical entity, his body marked with runes glowing in red.

He had yet to vanish, and he had no plans in doing so at that very moment. He needed to be remembered. Duatos stood at the tip of the skyscraper, his torn, ruined flesh masking his soul as he observed the city in chaos.

No doubt would he, as he was, fall in danger if he stayed too long. He had yet to recover after centuries of silence.

The hollow, empty space in his head soon held two glowing orbs, each of them appearing behind his ripped eye sockets.

Letting out a deep screech, he thrust his hands in the air as raw, necromantic magic formed in his hands as it turned into a ball of crackling energy.

He then launched a large blast of energy that was sent directly beneath the skyscraper. In an instant, the streets began to explode in red thunder as the energy spread out throughout the streets as if a dozen fuses were lit. Soldiers positioned themselves and activated the PSI barriers, barely preventing some of the lightning from annihilating many of the civilians still evacuating. Some who had not made it, however, burst into ashes instantly. The culture of Sarastrea, including Kora, Oasari, Okarlai, and many other countries had been tossed aside.

Out of the ashes made of the fallen came mindless demons, resembling the shape of people. Their form was indefinite, though they formed claws that seemed shared resemblance to common predators. Glowing white eyes peeked open one by one as they wildly ran down the streets, claiming any lives the lightning had not taken already.

As some of the barriers shattered the moment the energy passed the soldiers, Duatos called upon the essence of the chaos beneath him. The essence flowed towards him from the demons that appeared, like streams of blue light that steadily grew red as they drew closer to him. He consumed the essence at the top of the skyscraper, feeling a bare fraction of his life return to him.

Knowing that remaining still will cause some to try attacking him, he vanished into a small fog of dust as it made its way down to the cities, shattering the windows it passed by. The streams of essence were still connected to him, indefinitely marking his position.




What the hell is that?

Ryuu’s eyes widened as thunder literally tore its way down the streets. Out of pure instinct, he brought out the plasma in his body as he created a glowing white barrier tinted with red. The lightning seemingly bounced off of the shield he made as it continued to make its way down the streets.

Okay, seriously, what’s going on?!

The screams of people made him lose his focus, but he eventually calmed half of his tensed nerves down and analyzed the situation.

Some… thing had appeared at the top of the skyscraper in the middle of a fair. And it suddenly brought havoc and tried to destroy the whole city in an instant.

If he were to be honest, he’d seen more bizarre things in comics. But comics and reality were different- even he knew that!

“You gotta be shitting me,” he muttered as he took out a lightsaber model from his hip. Plasma erupted from the handle as he formed his beam sword, glaring at several ashe-covered figures that approached his direction wildly.

The screaming all around him didn’t help.

“Aaaaaalright, Ryuu,” he said to himself, his eyes darting between what he now presumed as monsters. “Life happens, right? So it doesn’t really hurt to expect some freakish thing to pop out and start tearing apart one of the most perfectly normal cities after years of peace.

“It happens. It happens.”


No, it didn’t. And he knew that too well.

As one of the demons lunged towards him, Ryuu leaned away from a sharp claw swung diagonally for his neck. He twisted his body as he intensified his plasma blade, and with a mighty slash, cut the monster apart in one hit. He had seen and encountered something like this back when he was a student at Athalia. And he honestly thought his life would finally relax a little.

Another one of the monsters leapt towards where he was as Ryuu rolled away, his blade readied near him as he shouted, “This is such bullshit!” When the monster charged towards Ryuu again, bolts of plasma formed down his free, left hand as he blasted away the mindless thing away, sending it crashing through one of the nearby building’s windows.

Life was full of curveballs. Some just hit your face way too hard. The otaku steadily retreated as he cut down more of the demons that got close to him.




Her life had flashed before her eyes when she saw the red thunder.

Much to her surprise, however, she still stood. Opening her closed eyes, she found the blond man standing in front of her, his umbrella simply opened to the direction of where the lightning tearing through the streets had come from. Spinning the umbrella, he shook the umbrella a bit before tossing it aside.

“Well, that’s busted,” he said out loud, scratching the back of his head. "Guess that's another trip to Okarlai."

“What… What just- How did you-“

“Hold up, lady,” he interrupted, cracking his knuckles as he pointed at a nearby water fountain. “Looks like we got company.”

Monsters.

Demons.

She had seen monsters, but not demons. She had heard of them, but never approached them.

And here she was, standing before what she could only describe as something worse than both.

Their bodies flailing wildly as they charged towards her at a frightening speed, the demons roared in discourse, their razor teeth and eyes glinting with white. Some of them were tainted in red, and she could not even imagine what they had done to look like that.

Gulping, she closed her eyes and shot them open. Her blue eyes went scarlet red as long, cyan string formed in her hands. It had been a while since she had used her Hardlight, but the situation practically begged her to use it.

As one of them leapt sky high, the airborne demon in particular attempted to sever her in half. Before it reached her, however, she swung the string vertically upwards as a thin barrier formed, floating in the air.

The demon collided against it hard, and as it fell uncontrollably, she extended the Hardlight string and swung it diagonally forward, slicing apart the demon in half. As it died, it burst into ashes as its remains floated back to where the lightning had come from earlier.

Meanwhile, the blond man took out a whip and a machete-

Wait, where did he get that? Vermilla thought incredulously, only to find her incredulity grow when she saw him take on three of the monsters at once.

Ducking underneath one of the leaping monsters, Mark spun on one foot as he kicked the airborne monster on a fire extinguisher before thrusting his whip out. The very tip of the whip hit one of the approaching monsters harshly, throwing it off balance. The third demon lunged at an apparent opening Mark had left open, his back facing it.

Vermilla shouted, “Look out!-“

Suddenly jumping forward, Mark’s body followed the direction of the demon’s lunge as he flipped backwards. Machete in hand, he sliced open the demon’s head, leaving its vertically severed head dangling to its sides for a moment before the monster vanished. He then thrashed his whip at the demon he had tossed towards the fire extinguisher, smashing its head against the extinguisher yet again.

And he continued to send the demon’s head crashing against the extinguisher with his whip until the thing burst out water.

Oof!" Mark let out at a high pitch somewhat jokingly, as the monster faded. The first demon, which had been kicked away from him earlier, charged towards him, keeping its body low unlike previously where it had exposed its body in the air. A moment before it attempted to cut his throat with a claw, however, Mark lashed out his whip, causing it to trip forward.

Taking a step back, Mark winded his machete behind him. He then took two steps forward, swinging his body wildly before he slashed vertically, tearing apart the demon quickly.

The demons weren’t too strong. But there was a huge quantity of them.

“Lady, what’s your name?!” Mark suddenly shouted as he dusted his clothes, startling Vermilla. “You're pretty good!”

“Vermilla!” She spoke under the noises of chaos surrounding them. The two began running from the skyscraper’s direction.

“Name’s Mark Noxus!” Mark shouted. “Adventurer, explorer- you name it! And I think we're being attacked by some spooky stuff. I don’t mean to be rude, but this place looks like it’s gonna fall apart any minute now! Let's go!”

“I understand!”

The two made a run for it under the city in chaos. Most of the structures in the cities stood sturdily, though that mostly had to do with Duatos focusing primarily on wiping out the streets and regenerating himself steadily. Many of the soldiers began to open fire at both the demons and Duatos' ashes, which floated down the many corners of the city, keeping their primary goal to save any more civilians they can find.

@Animelover_princess@Driving Park@Nevix
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Vikki


Vikki had been watching the mayhem unfolding in the square below here in relative peace from her hotel room...until she noticed a swarm of demons bashing down the doors on the ground floor of her hotel. "Time to go!" she said to herself as she quickly gathered her weapons and headed for the door. Before she could even reach the door, however, a demon broke it down. "Oh, so we're going to play this way," she muttered, and shot the demon a few times with her Lugers until it went down. As she ran out the door, she pulled out one of her katanas.

It was time for a stair run.

As Vikki reached the top of the stairs she met two demons and jumped straight over them in a front flip, bringing her katana down clean through the middle of one of the demons' skulls. The other demon turned to give chase after she flew over it and landed on the stair landing, but Vikki was not interested and vaulted off the drop in the middle of the staircase. Once she had cleared the railing she sheathed her katana and produced two modified TEC-9 auto pistols, holding them facing 180 degrees from one another - one for each set of stairs on either side of her. As she fell she held the triggers and unloaded a dizzying number of rounds into her surroundings, taking out several handfuls of demons as she did so. When the clips emptied simultaneously she tossed the guns without care and prepared to land, tossing a rope on a banister near the bottom and using the trajectory it provided as she passed to bleed speed and gain a shallower angle of approach, allowing her to successfully roll out of the fall.

Once she had come to a stop she observed her surroundings. She was in the lobby - she had successfully made it to the ground. However, she was not out of the woods yet. As some of the corpses from her work on the stairs slumped into view, many more live demons approached her from every side. "Doable," she said as she assessed the situation. She wished she had her bullpup or some other automatic rifle on her, but her Lugers and katanas would suffice.

She began by dispatching several of the oncoming demons with her pistols, making an attempt to stay out of reach for as long as possible. Once that was no longer an option, she grabbed both of her katanas this time and got to work.

Carmen (and Mizuki)


Dark clouds began to rapidly form.

This made Carmen worried, but not for the same reasons it made everyone else worried.

"My merchandise! I can't let any of that get wet!" she exclaimed as she ran back to her booth. Fortunately she had sold nearly everything she brought so she only had to fill her purse, but that didn't make her any less exasperated about it. "The forecast was completely clear! Ugh...Koran weather is always so unreliable!!!" The skylark frantically packed everything of hers into her purse. "Thank goodness it all fit...I just hope none of it wrinkles...!" Sarastrea's queen of drama swiftly exited the square. However, she didn't make it very far before she heard screams. Her head snapped around and she beheld a scene of mayhem: everyone was running for their lives from the square while spiraling red clouds circled a skyscraper.

"Oh. Uh oh."

Then the red thunder came.

Up until this point Carmen had been thinking maybe she hadn't needed to bring her trumpet. Now she was very glad she had.

She placed the bell on the ground as quickly as possible and blew into it, erupting a spherical force field that enveloped her seconds before the thunder reached her. Fortunately it bounced off the shield and Carmen was safe...for about three seconds, at which point the demons began to show up. "Well," she said to herself, "a minute ago I remarked that it's been quite a long time since I played this trumpet in anger. I suppose it's time to see if I still can." She picked up the instrument, pointed the bell at the demons, and delivered three Kicks in rapid succession. They hit their targets in center mass, violently slamming the demons back and compressing their abdomens. They each slowly got up only to be met with a second volley that caught them in the head, ending them. A couple of demons reached Carmen, but were dispatched with excessive blunt force trauma via trumpet bell.

I guess some things never change, thought Carmen. People trying to destroy the world is apparently one of those things.

Nearby, the unmistakable sights and sounds of demons getting burnt to a crisp by a certain hot-tempered kitsune's fox-fire could be experienced.

Eris


Eris heard screams. She turned and saw people frantically running. She looked up and saw the red swirling clouds. "What's this?" she said to no one in particular.

She walked outside. People were running for their lives, and Eris ignored them. Military and police were trying to get her to run, and she ignored them too. She paced back and forth in the street, watching the clouds and the top of the skyscraper they seemed to be focused on. Then, the red thunder came, and Eris brushed it aside as those around her turned to ash.

Someone was causing industrial-grade chaos and Eris wanted to know who. Her turf was being impeded on...who could produce an attack like this? It was very distinctive and not at all like Eris' dark events.

Then Eris saw the demons and any doubt in her mind was removed.

"Duatos."

She saw throngs of demons begin to appear, chasing anyone still alive. Throngs that soon turned to her. The Goddess of Chaos grinned. "More," she beckoned. Ten, 20, 30 demons came into view and were headed straight for her as everyone else had fled. As the demons got close she stomped her left foot hard into the ground and it sheared apart, sending a massive, jagged wave through the ground in all directions. She was almost disappointed when none of the demon batch survived.

She looked up and easily found what she assumed to be Duatos descending from the skyscraper with a red halo. She continued to track the diety as it descended, not even looking down as she took out another batch of demons coming for her with another stamp of the foot. She was determined to deduce the diety's motives.
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Edric





How could we be so stupid?

Edric and Azamor thought as one, their temporarily-unified mind running on one track.

Our sword.

It had been foolish, they realized, not to have their sword on them. More than foolish, idiotic. It was difficult for them to discern which of their thoughts were Azamor's and which were Edric's, but it seemed as though those fragments of oneness that belonged to Azamor blamed Edric for not having the sword, and Edric's fragments were defensive. After all, it was an International Expo, not the open road. It seemed silly to carry around a sword.

Stupid.

It was a good thing that Azamor had convinced Edric to keep their dagger on them. There were demons in the dozens around them, but they ignored most of them, single-mindedly heading toward the rental locker where they were keeping Edric's sword. Those that got directly in their way were quickly felled with savage precision, mostly courtesy of Azamor's countless years of experience with all manner of weaponry.

Both would be more comfortable with a sword in their hands. Once they got the sword, they wouldn't need to maintain the Duality.

So they kept moving.
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- Andromeda -

Andro blushed when Carmen had called Edric 'her love interest' and stammered "he's not... we're... I... oh nevermind..." she hurried forward, looking through crowd. she didn't actually notice the clouds until rain started falling and Carmen turned to run back to her stall "I uh... I'm going ahead!" she called back before hurrying forward again. she glanced up, startling for a second at the color of the clouds. that wasn't good, that was far from good. and she was sure it had something to do with the woman she'd run into before.

the panicking of the crowd pushed her further away from the skyscraper, which wasn't what she wanted but she let herself move with the flow as she scanned the crowd. she thought she saw Ryuu off and considered going towards him until the lightning started striking. what could she do? she couldn't exactly fight the weather. she was sure someone who'd gone to Athalia could but it wasn't her. she had just gotten past the soldiers when the PSI barriers went up and she turned to look, eyes widening as the monsters and demons rose from the ashes. "Guess that's my cue" she muttered as her legs fused together and scales sprouted along her body. she threw her hood back and shot forward.

she leapt forward, crashing into the demons, clawing at them and wrapping her tail around one and crushing it. she wished she'd thought to bring her whip but she'd been going to an expo, why would she bring a weapon?! maybe there was something around here she could use. she could also see several other athalians, as well as the soldiers, going to town on them and she felt a shiver go up her spine but ignored it. 'Was Carmen alright?!' that thought suddenly sprung into her head. she'd been closer the Andro, had she had some way to protect herself? That urged the gorgon forward, knocking demons aside and crushing and clawing at them as she tried to work her way closer to where her friend had been.
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“We’re almost there!”

With the sea of lightning gone, Vermilla and Mark had managed to tear their way through the ashen demons that filled the cities. It terrified her, knowing that it was made of people who were unfortunate enough to get caught by the lightning. It also motivated her to try harder to survive in the midst of chaos.

“Over there! Get in NOW!” A Koran soldier yelled as one of the PSI barriers was brought down quickly for the two. Several of the men behind the barrier seemed to be equipping oddly designed firearms that seemed like they were intended to combat anything but humans.

ARK Soldiers, Vermilla recognized them instantly. They were much more heavily armored and carried around heavy weapons, whether it be rifles or great swords. She had only seen the Kora ARK Soldiers once when she had been stationed for surveillance duty in the city. Very rarely did they ever show up for combat.

But if word about them was true, they were much less in number, but far greater in power compared to the rest of Kora’s military.

As the two approached the shield’s vicinity, the sound of another wave of lightning approached from the distance.

“Another one?!” Vermilla seethed as she grit her teeth.

Both Vermilla and Mark let their feet kick harder against the ground. But while she headed towards the shield, she felt no presence next to her. Two of the ARK Soldiers took a step forward, ensuring that they’ll pull them in if the lightning suddenly sped up.

As she entered the barrier’s range, she whirled around, only to find Mark running towards where they had just come from. The two ARK Soldiers turned to each other in apparent confusion.

“What the- where are you going?!” Vermilla shouted, baffled at his sudden turn of direction. “That thunder is going to kill you!”

Without responding, Mark smiled as he glanced over his shoulder, forming a finger gun as he gave a careless salute to her direction, before making a turn around a corner.

Who is that guy? Vermilla wondered. Sure, she may have known his name, and she had seen his capability as a fighter…

But she had no idea as to who the guy actually was.




Plasma ripped through the ashen skins of demons as Ryuu swung wildly. His attacks were brazen and seemingly uncoordinated- but they were deliberately used in a way to provoke his enemies. It was a weakness he had overcome quite a while ago, but decided to use as an advantage once he understood how to coordinate his attacks better.

Athalia taught him well. But evidently, it did nothing to make him feel better about his current dilemma.

“Holy SHIT these guys come in swarms!” He growled. In a fit of rage, the sword’s plasma erupted magnificently as he slashed upwards at several demons that leapt to him, flaying their bodies as they disintegrated.

He had no idea where to go, though. And no doubt would that damn lightning come back again.

As soon as that thought came to mind, however, fate seemed to taunt him as a recently familiar sound came by. “You gotta be shitting me!” Ryuu shouted out loud as his eyes widened, red lightning sent towards his way once more.

He needed to make a run for it, but he had no idea as to where to go to. Deciding that thinking fast would help him, he started making a run for it.

As soon as he did, however, he felt something smash against the side of his waist.

Eh?

He did not turn around fast enough to see the blond man kicking him sky high.

"OW, what the helllLLLLLLLLLLLL AGHHHHHHWEHFSDIUFH-"

Ryuu flew like an angel.

And fell like a meteorite.

It was high and loud enough for practically anybody with a decent vision or sense of hearing to see or hear.

Mark Noxus grinned mischievously as he dusted his hands before leaping towards one of the buildings. As he propelled himself high in the air, he lashed out his whip and latched onto one of the light posts. He then swung towards the lightning’s direction, pulling on the whip to make sure it was just enough for him to prevent himself from grazing the lightning beneath him.




A pulse spiked within Duatos’ mind as he sensed the presence of an unknown demon.

Unfamiliar.

Unrecognizable.


Unknown.


It was not of his own creations, but one who existed far longer than the spawns in the city. One who had sentience- and power. It was clear that the power had been culminated for centuries, and he himself had yet to reclaim his divided strength. Not even a fraction of it.

This demon will not kill him. It can, but it cannot. He would not allow it. Retreat was an option, but timing it was crucial in squeezing the most out of taking advantage of the city under chaos. He had not taken as much as he wanted to… but it would come in due time, in different ways.

Death was not the only way to reclaim what was once his. But it was certainly an easy way.

His ashes floated towards the demon he sensed as the chunks of asphalt and concrete whizzed past him. And the ashes soon faded as his physical manifestation formed before the demon. Her power and appearance was unrecognizable to him.

He had yet to speak in Earth’s language. It was an unintelligible thing to him… but something that would eventually become a necessity. Instead, whispers of many voices- young, old, and forgotten- left his body, all of them speaking in unison in an ancient language directed towards the demon.

Duatos demands Eris to explain who she is.


@Animelover_princess@Nevix@Driving Park
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Vikki


To an onlooker, the scene in the hotel lobby would look like a gratuitous fight sequence from an action movie. Vikki lay waste to the demons that approached her from all sides with deft precision, but they kept coming. Eventually she thought that she had found a break, only to see a massive horde of demons approaching the building from all directions. The bounty hunter sighed.

"Time to go...again," she said, and swiftly exited the building by way of grappling hook. As she did she identified where most of the other competent fighters were located and began heading that way at speed. This was good news for her as she bought herself some time and would no longer have to fight all of the demons alone (as fun as it was). However, it was bad news for the Athalians fighting in the streets, because Vikki was heading right for them and bringing a massive horde of demons with her.

Things were about to get interesting.

Eris


Eris watched with beckoning eyes as Duatos' apparition approached her, clearly sensing her presence. The demon from another dimension reached her and transitioned to a physical form, demanding that Eris identified herself.

Eris almost laughed.

She replied to the demon in the same ancient language with which he spoke to her. "This world is my domain. It is I who should be asking you questions, Duatos." Her eyes glowed gold as clouds and rain cycloned around her. "Now, answer me:

Why have you come?"
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- Andromeda -

Andro couldn't see an end to the monsters and she had taken out only a small chunk of the horde "How many of them are there?!" she hissed as she once again wrapped her long tail around one and squeezed till it collapsed. one leapt at her and she twisted enough that it fell past her and she pounced, pinning it to the ground and pushing forward to sink her fangs into it's neck, hoping her venom would at least slow the creature. instead she got a mouthful of ash that seemed to burn her and she reeled back, coughing and gasping, a hand going to her throat.
Of course at that moment she saw the next waved of thunder coming towards her and she let out a pained hiss before throwing herself back up and shooting back towards the Psi barriers. she saw Ryuu go flying and stuttered in her movement for a second before going for him, that looked like it hurt.
"Ryuu!" She cried, her voice slightly hoarse as her throat still felt like it was burning, slithering as quickly as she could towards him, "Are you alright?!"
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Dexter





If Dexter was doing his math right, he'd gone about three years without getting tossed through a plate glass window in a bar. He could see, in his mind, a downcast worker changing the "days without incident" sign from about one-thousand-and-ninety-five to zero. It was an amusing image, far more amusing that what he was actually seeing.

Himself, laying in a pile of broken glass, with a demon leering at him from the ground-floor bar window it had just tossed him out of.

What a smug asshole.

He rose to his knees with a groan, feeling his back pop. He could already feel, in his pocket, his half-pack of cigarettes crushed beyond hope. His flask seemed alright, though, and so he took it out of his jacket pocket and took a drink. He'd like to have been able to get his glass from the bar, but the demon had not been so courteous as to allow him to gather his things before throwing him out of a window.

The thing saw that his only defense, apparently, was a flask. He could feel it sneering at him. It tensed, and so do he. Then, with savage speed, it leapt through the now-empty window frame at him. Dexter didn't even have to focus, the spell came so easily to him. There were plenty of mages who learned all kinds of magic, diversifying their abilities.

Not Dex. He knew one spell, and knew it well.

Instantly, there was a spear in his hand. The demon didn't even have time to be surprised, as it leapt directly onto the tip of the conjured spear. Dexter held the thing aloft for a moment, before slamming it into the ground, withdrawing his spear, and then plunging it back into the demon's throat before it could respond. It was dead, and for the moment, he was safe.

Then, he saw the psy barriers go up, and he was on the wrong side of them.

"Son of a bitch." He mumbled, looking around. Demons, tons of them. People, too, terrified people. He let the spear dissipate, but knew it would only be a matter of time before he had to conjure a different weapon. He sighed. The way he figured, the only way he was getting out of this one would be finding whoever in the hell was responsible for the demons, and dispatching them with the quickness.

He didn't know where such a dickhead would be located, but he figured that it was a pretty good idea to start headed in the general direction that the demons were coming from. He opened his flask and took one last drink, draining it.

"Here we go."
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Duatos

My

My


My


My

My domain?


Duatos twitched, interested. He sensed strength and potential compacted tightly within her- as if thin strings barely held onto a boulder that could cause a rocky avalanche. If he fought her, then he would lose, but she could not do anything if he turned away. Not at this moment- nobody can touch him as long as they knew nothing of him or his weaknesses. And she knew him, though he highly doubted anyone of this day and age would remember his past further from the few moments he had before he was sealed.

Sealed by a name unknown to him, yet he knew. A name he could not speak.

The voices of spoke in disorder, trying to talk over each other before they fell silent. And soon, Duatos spoke, his body almost lifeless as he did so, stating that the woman had no need to know what he was up to, or what he intended on doing.

The less people knew of him, the better. Especially so for demons.

Raising one of his arms, he breathed, the air around him decaying for a split moment before returning normal. His arm pulsed rapidly. He was near his limit, and he had gathered enough for the moment.

That didn't mean he didn't need to stop, though.

Steadily fading into ashes once more, Duatos turned away from Eris. He spoke once more, stating that he had no business with one who did not already know what he was here for. And it was impossible for anyone to really know what the big picture in his mind was exactly- the answer was only in his head for now.

But seeing there were other entities with power out in the open, he considered prioritizing gaining strength to perhaps eliminate some threats. That would take a long while... but certainly not too long.

As he faded into ashes completely, Duatos spoke, warning Eris to not cross his business if he did not to hers.

The ashes soon moved once more, turning one of the many corners in the city. It seemed clear that he knew his way, as he headed away from the barrier's directions. The further he went, the stronger the monsters that spawned in his path became. They were nowhere near as strong enough to reflect his old self's strength, but it would be enough to discourage anyone from chasing after a floating pile of ashes.

He would leave soon- very soon. But not just yet. He could get just a little more.

...Though, he sensed a very small presence approaching him, and it was much smaller than the demon that had threatened him.




Ryuu

"Ugh..."

Crashing straight into the ground would've been absolutely terrible, but thankfully, his jacket caught on a lamp post before he fell, which was... still freaking terrible. He just got kicked sky high by some random dude he didn't even get to see the face of, even if it did help him a bit. He did kinda land right in front of a barrier...

Smashing the ground with a fist, Ryuu grit his teeth. One could easily picture the fire seeping out of his eyes as he growled menacingly, "If I find the guy that kicked me that far I'm gonna punch him in the Infinity Sto-"

Before he continued, his eyes met a familiar person approaching him.

"...Huh?" He muttered as he brushed off some dust that covered his cheek. His eyes widened as he asked, "Andromeda?! Are you okay?- you look like crap!"

Not the best thing to say in the middle of a crazy situation, but she really did look terrible. She probably still looked better than him, though.

"Anyway, I'm alright! Let's get the hell outta here, the barriers should be safer than this."




Mark

A blond figure flew across the air, having launched himself into the air with his whip. As he put it away, he focused on holding onto a child he managed to snatch.

The kid had been flung into a building. While Mark escaped with Vermilla, he saw the rather peculiar event with his peripheral vision, witnessing a young boy being picked up by gust of wind- and crashing straight through a window. The boy was injured, but that was certainly less severe than turning into some ash-covered monster.

Landing right in front of a PSI barrier, Mark ran straight in and put the boy down. He huffed as he waved the kid off, wiping sweat from his forehead.

He wondered if he should go out again. The lightning waves were getting harder and harder to avoid, so whoever seemed to be responsible for the attack was either gonna leave soon or intensify the attack- but the military in Kora wasn't really incompetent in terms of weaponry and setting defenses, so he figured the former was going to happen.

He did remember seeing the lightning waves avoiding certain parts of the streets that had already been wiped out, though. Perhaps the attacker was getting tired?

Mark decided to leave the barrier again. Leaping out, he made his way towards one of the streets, launching himself high up yet again as he squinted.

Well... he heard some kinda music playing and a rather colorful fire contrasting with the demonic red lighting the streets. He decided to head to the fire's direction, considering it could be something dangerous.

Not that music wasn't dangerous at blaring loud volumes, but still.

Landing near what appeared to be a white-haired woman, Mark straightened himself up casually as he said,

"Hello there!"




Vermilla

Vermilla stayed near a group of people who had recently been evacuated, focusing on calming some of those who were panicking.

It wasn't a pretty sight, considering some of the people had lost their families in the sudden attack. Everything was just so... sudden.

In a flash, everything went to a literal hell.

People screamed.

And they mourned.

She didn't see it coming at all, really. The scared voices of the citizens echoed in her head, even as they continued to arise despite the military's presence.

It was strange. Chaos could be gradual, but also instant. And instant chaos was perhaps a rather terrifying concept to her. All order breaking due to a single attack threatening the lives of many in one city... She had seen similar things, but never at this large of a scale.

What made her nervous was what would come after this chaos. For now, she continued keeping close to the evacuated citizens.
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- Andromeda -

She let out a startled laugh at Ryuu's comment as she got close "Me?! I'm fine! You're the one that flew across the battlefield!" she stopped by his side for a moment to look him over "But remind me to never bite one of those things again my throat is still burning", she did, however, try to flatten her clothes out a little self-consciously as she was examining him.

She looked over at the barriers as he suggested they get moving "I'm with you on that, I do not intend to die today!" she twisted around to face the barrier and started hurrying towards it, making sure Ryuu was keeping up as she bolted behind the closest barrier and turned to see. there really wasn't much they could do was there? they couldn't get much closer because of the killer lightning, they were (mostly) mortals who had to duck back behind the barriers to survive.

"What are we gonna do?" she muttered, looking at the demons still littering the battlefield and the next wave of power rushing towards them.
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Edric





Edric had, thankfully, ended up on the right side of the Psi barriers when they went up. He and Azamor had ceased the Duality and he jogged the rest of the way toward the locker. The area was crowded with frightened trying to get their things, but Edric managed to get past them. When he approached the locker, however, his heart fell. It was a key-lock, and he'd totally forgotten where he'd put the key.

"Think we can break this one open, Aza?" He frowned as he examined it. The metal didn't look exceptionally thick, but the hinges seemed solid. Even with Azamor's possession-strength, he didn't know if he'd be able to rip it open.

Back left pocket.

"What?"

The key is in your back left pocket.

"Oh." He patted the pocket and, sure enough, there was the key. He sighed as he heard Azamor snicker. He opened the locker, and there was his satchel and his sword. He donned the satchel and belted the sword to his side. He was, he figured, as ready as he could be.

Seven minutes later, the soldiers guarding the barrier had other ideas.

"Hell no." Said a grizzled old sergeant. "Absolutely not. I can't allow a civilian to go get themselves killed in there. We have people trained for this sort of thing, let them handle it."

"Look, man, I'm not helpless."

"I'm sure you aren't, but unless you're a fully equipped crisis response team, I'm not letting you through."

"I studied at Athalia!" Edric blurt out, at the last moment.

"Did you now?" The soldier looked intrigued, but stomped on it immediately and went right back to grumpy. "That doesn't mean much, these days."

"Doesn't it?" Edric cocked an eyebrow. Something clicked. Maybe the soldier had some kind of respect for Athalia, maybe he just wanted Edric to stop bothering him.

"Are you a Koran citizen?"

"No sir."

"Alright, alright, fine." He sighed. "Only because I can't get in too much trouble if you aren't Koran." He turned around and spoke to some of the other soldiers. "Oh, and, uh, don't tell anyone about this. Anyone asks, you were on the other side when the barrier went up, alright."

"Gotcha."




It was ten minutes before he saw another non-demonic living person, that being an incredibly well-armed woman with dark hair. As he drew closer, he noticed she was running toward him. He had two thoughts in very quick succession.

What luck, the first person I see looks like an extremely competent fighter!

and

She's being chased by demons.

As they neared each other, Azamor had a thought of his own.

Holy fuck that's a lot of demons.

Edric drew his scimitar, and he wondered briefly if he should engage the demons behind her. Could the two of them even kill that many of the fiends?

Guess we'll find out.
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Ryuu

Truth be told, he didn't know.

When people told him what to do, he usually knew how to follow it. But he wasn't a leader, despite seeming like he could be one to some others. Really, him and his loud mouth were more suitable for fitting right with his just as loud fighting style.

What were they going to do?

Ryuu thought, though he absentmindedly focused on running straight into the barrier with Andromeda next to him. He took a deep breath.

There were many things they could do given their circumstances, but now was clearly not the time to play dumb- not when nobody knew what they were dealing with. Even the simplest of simpletons could notice that.

"Well, I don't know either, honestly," he admitted as he turned around to look at the barrier, "but I'd rather know when that stuff goes the hell away."




Mark

Clicking his tongue while saluting the woman in a carefree manner, Mark whipped a demon that approached him, disintegrating it rather easily. After smacking his whip at another demon, he swung the whip at a lamppost before landing on top of it. He squinted his eyes as he saw a cloud of ashes rise up a skyscraper.




Duatos

Sated.

It wasn't.

He wasn't.

Neither him nor his heart were sated. Nothing childish such as being "hungry for more," as that had faded quite a short moment ago, but after being withheld of his power, everything continued to feel off for him. Had it been long ago, he would be in control of every passing moment. Control was what he had.

He was control incarnate.

But his absence, and his loss of his own strength, made him further from his position. This magic... this... "harmony," referred to implications he would rather not think about. Harmony must come with discord, and he was both order and chaos.

For centuries he existed, and not all of them had been spent on spreading fear through victory. Never once had he been mortal, yet he remembered watching over mortals. It was an era lost within time- and within him. He was once a gatekeeper, one who stood between two grounds of morality. Watching proved to be unbearable without a sense of control, however, as humans proved to him.

The rest of what happened was history- one he had long forgotten, unfortunately. But fortunately, his short memories proved to be useful in the long run. There was almost nothing to mull over for him, after all.

But Duatos grew curious. Of what the world had to offer to him aside from control. How it had evolved, or where it would go.

Time can and will tell.

He felt his power beginning to grow restless for silence. He needed to leave.

Leaving. Retreating. A peculiar idea, yet one he must succumb to for now.

As his body began to fade into ashes yet again, Duatos remained wordless as his distance from the man grew.

When he returns, this city would not be the focus of his return. The vast deserts to the endless seas. The mystical ruins to the lively cities. From the rise of dawn to the morning star, he will focus on everything- to gain control over it.

And one day it will all crumble.


And thus, he slowly slid away before floating into the air, the visibility of his ashes fading.

And with the departure of order and chaos returned the normalcy of the world, as the clouds faded.




The skies went unfittingly blue, returning back to normal despite the damage dealt to the city.

As soldiers began to mobilize their forces to leave the barriers and look out for any more potential threats, the evacuated citizens remained contained within safety's reach. The monsters that had remained up until the skies had cleared had become harmless ashes, as if nothing about them could hurt anyone.

Them vanishing didn't do anything to lessen the impact of the sudden attack.

The attack itself had been relatively small scale, but massive in impact. There were still places in Kora that had yet to receive news of the attack on Riesling, and some who drove to visit Riesling were greeted by a confusing sight of the mobilized army.

The soldiers remained competent, however, never lowering their guard as they divided their forces to both watch over the evacuated citizens and analyze the shattered heart of Riesling. Everything had happened in a flash, after all- they weren't going to take their chances just yet.




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