Hidden 5 mos ago Post by BrokenPromise
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Peppin's House


Fritzi just rolled her eyes at Ashton's comment about flame, keeping up her smile. ”I didn't take you for one of those wealthy perverted types.” A gust of wind blew a mop out of the house and towards Ashton. He was able to catch it before it smacked into him. ”As for the history lesson you just requested, I can't go over everything with you. This house really needs to be cleaned, and I recommend you hit up a library if you're really curious.” She walked towards the front steps. ”But the short version is that we have a single emperor who's not even old enough to be considered a man. A dragon blessed this nation, and the gods make enemies of all their subjects.” she looked over her shoulder to wink at Ashton. ” Get cleaning. You do the downstairs, I'll get started upstairs.” As soon as she arrived at the front door, she kicked off her shoes and walked inside. ”If you need anything else, the shed might have some stuff you can use.”

Ashton had been told from the others that Fritzi was rather adamant about going up stairs, and it was impossible to stop her from doing so. What would Ashton do now?




Hero's district


Aer snorted. ”Just because I don't suspect you to be with the witch cult doesn't mean I'm going to believe every random thing that comes out of your mouth.” She made no attempt to look back at Flame. ”Let's just focus on getting you through this without going through a court room. You know far too little about your situation and there aren't enough clues to make sense of it.”

And they did it! They made it to Mr frosty pants again! But now we have to go through another wondrous collab interrogation with Alistair to see if they pick up any weird stuff with him.




Clinic


Quill turned to Chieko and blinked a few times. “Fascinating.”

Donovan continued to be useless buy just looking between the two. ”Chieko!”

“It's fine, Donovan.” Quill lifted her fingers to her chin. “She made a very specific call out too, didn't she? She thinks I'm going to do something with Hiro, and she thinks I'm looking for a clairvoyant. She even knows I'm an oni, despite looking exactly like a human.” She lowered her fingers. “That's an incredible amount of information for one person to possess.”

Donovan folded his arms. ”What's the meaning of this Quill?”

“I mean her words go beyond intuition. I can tell that Hiro is the most capable fighter here. More than that, he IS a capable fighter. The way he's positioned himself between me and everyone else, the way he keeps me in his sight at all times. He knew I was a threat coming in here.” Quill looked at the others. “Aerith has placed herself furthest away from me, and is probably the most frightened and weakest person here, and Chieko, well, anyone who's willing to be so direct obviously has a lot of confidence. She might even be the leader. But I'm unsure if all that moxey reflects her abilities or just her ego. And the other girl seems ignorant of what is going on.” She blinked. “But that doesn't make one a clairvoyant.” She looked at Chieko again. “A clairvoyant doesn't know what someone wants to happen, they know what's going to happen. It isn't enough to know what I want to do, you need to know what I'm going to do once things go south. When I panic or follow my own intuitions. It's predicting those sorts of things that makes one a clairvoyant.” A smile crept across Quill's lips. “So, do you think you can manage that? Will you take Hiro's place and follow me to the back of the clinic? You seem to know what I have planned, so it should be easy. Or are you going to recommend something else?”
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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Letter Bee
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Ashton Andrews

Ashton snorted at being called a pervert, although his family on Earth was well-off. Choosing to clean the room for a while, until Fritzi had gotten herself into a false sense of security, the boy weighed his options. The shed and continuing to clean this room were the most boring options, and although Ashton considered himself even-tempered and mature for his age, he still didn't want to be bored. And, despite his defense of Fritzi one reset ago, a defense that still stood, the boy was suspicious now. He didn't believe Fritzi was evil, but he was also sure that the 'Demihuman Liberation Front' weren't truly evil.

So he kept cleaning, using his new mastery of Yang Magic to improve his speed and focus, until the section of the room facing the stairs was clear of dust and cobwebs. Then, with a grin, Ashton decided on a novel use of his Yang Magic: lighten his steps by focusing it on his feet.

"Jiwald," he whispered, focusing on his feet and legs, pumping the energy of his magic into them. The feeling of drain came as a surprise; it seemed that the boy had less energy to spend on spells than he thought. But there was no time; Ashton knew instinctively that the longer he lingered, the less likely it was that he might confirm (or disprove) his defense of Fritz.

So he climed up the stairs, trying to be as silent as possible. If Fritzi was truly alone, he planned to go back down. If she was not... He planned to listen in.

Flame Brooks

Flame chuckled at Aer's skepticism, "Skepticism is a good option; I pick it a lot myself."

Good, another interview. He can do this, and just repeat what he had said earlier...
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Rune_Alchemist
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~Chieko Okawa~

Hero's District, Priestella
Death count: 1
Reset Count: 4



Part of her wondered if she had just royally fucked up, but what was said was said and she had dug her proverbial grave now. She could feel a mild sweat forming on her forehead as she realized she hadn't really planned this very well. What could she do? Well, she couldn't certainly stay quiet after that at least. That confidence Quill mentioned was quickly faltering.

"...uhm," Chieko resisted the urge to pull her scarf over her mouth as she decided on her course of action. A brief moment of hesitation. "Obviously, my clairvoyance is the real deal. You'd be a fool to think otherwise." To go or not to go? Should she? She didn't know what at all would happen if she went back there. She could try to bait quill into attacking. That would at least be a path traveled before, but after coming so far she was determined to win.

"So I'll go with you." Chieko cast a glance towards Aki and Aerith. She honestly needed to avoid fighting if she could. "...but instead of fighting like worthless animals we could instead, talk, otherwise you'll end up disappointed."

Damn, she should have worded that as though talking was already a certainty instead of assuming she was going to be hostile.
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Heroe's District




”Right, let’s get this over with” It was, at last, Alistair's turn to be interrogated. If everything went well, he and his companions would have all of the reinforcements they needed. But in order for that to happen. They needed to survive long enough for this interrogation to be over. Crunch pulled out a chair and sat in it, folding one leg over the other. ”I'm Captain Crunch. I oversee a fair portion of the king's naval fleet and am currently stationed here to make sure the waters remain bandit free.” She folded her arms. ”Aer and Wisp told me a little bit about what was going on, but I'd like to hear it from you now.”

Had the fact they were in a place far estranged from their own homeland not been made blatantly clear, Alistair would likely have thought this woman to be insulting him. But it would appear this woman's name was actually just a strange coincidence. That, or Quaker Oats had some explaining to do.

"A pleasure to meet you, Captain." Interrogations weren't exactly the ideal way to speak to another person, but for the moment, it was simply enjoyable to be able to speak without an immediate fear of being killed... again. Though for all Alistair knew, this could very well change. He decided to be a bit less rash in his dealings with this woman, at for as long as it benefited him.

He sat back in his chair. "I suppose it would be easiest to simply say that we were abducted by some strange individual, but that wouldn't explain everything, would it? It would be certainly be better to mention how different the land I hail from is, in just about every conceivable way. All it takes it a glance around to know that the place I appeared in was nowhere near the same as the one I had originally been in. Though more interesting was the fact that magic seems to exist, when it was considered nothing but fiction where I come from. So trust me when I say that spontaneously having the world go black and ending up in this pitch black void with some unfamiliar figure is not exactly a common occurrence in my home. All I can gather from this figure is that they wanted me to meet someone, with the implication of some sort of relationship starting. After that had more or less been made clear to me, I wound up in this city, completely out of place and confused."

She nodded. ”This strange individual, did you get a good look at them?”

"No," he replied. "I wasn't exaggerating when I said it was pitch black. Seeing my hand in front of my face would've been a commendable feat."

Crunch fret her brow. ”I see.” As soon as the woman stood up, she walked closer to Alistair. ”You aren't afraid of me correct?”

The only reaction Alistair gave to Crunch's action was a raised eyebrow, as if confused as to why she was even bothering. Almost dismissively, he sighed and claimed, "One such as myself is above fear, particularly from yourself."

He paused before adding, "The fault is not entirely your own though."

The captain walked closer to Alistair. The table was no longer between them, as she was standing just a few feet away now. ”You came here with some other people, correct?.” She held her chin and walked around Alistair's seat. ”Did you know any of them?”

At this point, even Alistair was a bit surprised he hadn't immediately been attacked. For some reason, lately he had been angering a bunch of people. He was glad to see she was a sensible human being. "None of them personally." he answered truthfully.

Crunch reaned over Alistair. It was hard to tell at first, but now that she was so close, he could see that she was sniffing. ”Hmmm...” She sniffed the air a bit more. ”Alright, the interrogation is over.” She stood upright and put her hands behind her back. ”You will both be given passports, which means you won't have to worry about the guards mistaking you for bandits. Were there any other questions that you had?”

Alistair stood up, taking very obvious notice to her uncomfortably close sniffing. "I suppose I should ask if you like what you see?" he asked rather casually, obviously mistaken it for some strange form of courting. Fuck, he didn't know how they did things.

She groaned. ”I do not, actually. You've lied to me once during the interrogation.” She the corners of her lips were curled into a frown. ”I wouldn't have thought much of it, but you have the faint smell of a cultist on you. Flame had no such smell on himself, which means there’s something off about you..” She paced behind Alistair. ”You wouldn't happen to know how that happened, would you? Is there a reason why you lied about seeing your abductor?”

Alistair clicked his tongue in annoyance, but otherwise remained calm. "A shame. Name aside, you are rather attractive yourself. But I digress." Alistair didn't seem to be taking the situation very seriously, as he appeared relaxed, likely in contrast to the others. "I can't exactly say much on that particular subject." he explained. Exactly what he could say regarding Talus was something he did not experiment much with before this point, so it would not be untrue to say he was hesitant on even indirectly speaking of him. Since she had caught him, however, he figured it better to at least try, lest he find himself in an unfavorable situation. Again.

His arms crossed, Alistair continued. "Aside from avoiding a nuisance, there really wasn't much of a reason. I am physically incapable of giving you the information you had requested, and even saying this much is something I wasn't sure of until this point. But it appears that worry was for not. I realize how that may make me look, but there simply were not ulterior motives behind the lie." he had turned to face her in this time, ensuring eye contact with the woman.

"But now you have me intrigued. I smell of a cultist? I can not say I understand what you mean by that." feeling somewhat self conscious of himself, he raised an arm to his nose and sniffed. The only thing he smelled was what you might normally expect a man to smell of after a bit of exercise in the form of not dying to a giant wolf and armed individuals earlier. Wasn't a very 'cultist-like' smell in his opinion. Wasn't exactly pleasant, either.

When Alistair was done sniffing himself, he noticed that Crunch was no longer looking at him. She was staring off into space with a finger on her smiling lips. ”It's not something normal people can smell. I'll tell you about it later.” She looked up in the air. ”But none of that was a lie, even when you said I was attractive.” She turned back towards Alistair. ”Since you're a legal visitor now, would you mind filling in for a dinner date?”

Alistair was certainly a bit caught off guard by the sudden change in mood that Crunch was displaying, for a moment his eyebrow found itself raising. He wondered if she was just overconfident in her ability to discern a lie from the truth of if somehow she was magically able to tell. The exact limitations of magic, were there any, were not known to him, so he could not be sure. He'd so little experience after all.

"I will hold you to that, then." he said. Alistair would love to have heard more about this cult right now, but given her proposal immediately after, maybe that would be a better time to speak of it? Assuming that the dinner date is real, with her, and not simply a euphemism for something unpleasant. Also that he didn’t reset before then. Which was likely, considering it was probably this would delay the reinforcements that the others needed.

Alistair realized completely just how selfish something like this would be. How dangerous it technically was, too. But there was things he wanted to know. And he could not say he did not like the implications of having this 'dinner date'. Maybe the others would be upset, knowing he was merely a man. A great man, but a man nevertheless, and even during all of this, men have needs. Wants. Though it should come as no real surprise. For at his very core, Alistair Archibald was a man who did anything to get what he desired.

"No," he said, looking directly at Crunch. "I don't think I'd mind it one bit."

And right now, he desired food.




”Seems your friend has other arrangements now that he's free.” Mono handed Flame a passport. ”Seems your story checked out, but only so long as you don't piss anyone off.” He waved his hand. ”Be on your way.”



Clinic


Quill took a deep breath. “Disappointed huh? If I'm the savage you make me out to be, can I really be disappointed by one more corpse?”

Hiro balled his hands into fists, but he didn't move from his position. ”I hope you know what you're doing. I have faith in it regardless.”

Chieko didn't have much time to respond before Quill took her hand and walked down the hall. It seemed like just a half an hour ago she was running away from Quill down these halls, an inferno chasing behind her. Now Chieko was walking with her hand-in-hand, though the mood was still tense. Quill's free hand was holding a flame that illuminated the path ahead. Blood stained sheets that trailed off into shadows. “Well, since we're not fighting, we can talk.” Her eyes shifted onto Chieko. “What would you like to discuss?”

Chieko was mostly silent as Quill led her down the corridors, trying to think of whatever it was she could say. Different things she could use to her advantage to make sure she got out of this.

"Mhm..." Ask how she knew about them? No, that would be a fool question to ask. She shouldn't ask many questions. Too many and it'd be obvious. She needed to make statements and certainties. Maybe start with an introduction? She just needed to act like she already knew many things, and this would go smoothly...right?

"...you should know that I am foreign to this place. I only know a little, what my clairvoyance has showed me."

“I hope it showed you the important bits then.” Quill took her eyes off of Chieko. “You won’t get a history lesson from me, if that’s what you’re hoping.”

Okay, good so far.

"It showed me the trouble with the Oni's and the humans." She replied with a growing nervousness. She was just working on what she had heard from Quill during her last run through. What the others had learned also helped slightly, but even still they were educated guesses more than anything. "...and I know you want a Clairvoyant for revenge."

Chieko had to resist the urge to hide her face in her scarf.

"Honestly, I have no desire to help those who skulk about in the shadows." Chieko sighed, her manner of speech defaulting to her normal nervousness. "But I am feeling generous and as a stranger in a strange land, I also find myself in need of help. So perhaps I could be persuaded."

Quill stopped. The gears were clearly turning. “Perhaps.” Her grip on Chieko got a bit tighter. “I feel like I need to remind you that we are going to test your ability very soon. But you've already made a mistake.” Quill turned her entire body towards Chieko. “I don't need a clairvoyant for revenge. That's something I get every time I put one of your kind in the ground. ” She chuckled. “But you have me curious now. Someone as powerful as yourself, one who can see an outcome to all things, what could I possibly offer you?”

Urf, that was a mess up wasn't it? She needed to choose her words carefully and it seemed like she had just done the opposite of that. She'd need to be more careful, but she was more curious as to this test of Quill's. It...probably involved something dangerous. Judging from their behavior and previous record, it was a high probability.

"Like I said. I am a stranger in a strange land. I don't own an ID...and aside from my clairvoyance I can't defend myself well. A situation any respectable hero-to-be needs to quickly rectify, obviously. No money either." Chieko frowned. "And I'd like my abilities to remain unknown. It tends to attract...problems."

The wild look in Quill's eyes faded, Like a fire being doused in water. “It makes you feel... Vulnerable?” Quill's grip on Chieko's wrist weakened. “What sort of problems could your powers cause you? Couldn't you just avoid them?”

"Use your head, you thick-brained fool." Chieko scoffed. How far could she push this? How much was she willing to believe Quill would be lenient? Quills grasp on her hand weakened. Should she make a run for it? Or should she continue on this path?

"Just because I can see the future a bit, doesn't mean I am free from being harmed if I am unable to stop it from happening. Clairvoyance doesn't help if there is no way to avoid being harmed, especially if I have to be in the middle of danger and have no skills or training otherwise."

Quill released Chieko's wrist. “You misunderstand.” She gripped the young woman's shoulders. The flame was hovering over Quills shoulder, illuminating the side of her face. “You said that your powers caused you problems. I wish to know specifics! Is this not the first time you've been hunted for your powers?” She raised an eyebrow. “Is having a thick brain an insult where you're from? Because if one has a thick brain here, they are most certainly not a fool.”

"Uhm, uhm-" Chieko blinked, a little stunned by the turn of events. That was unexpected. Not that she ever had a plan to begin with. "...S-sort of...?" She replied in a hesitant, quiet manner. Maybe that slip of the tongue would be good? Or was it bad? Quill seemed to think Clairvoyance was all powerful, and she most certainly neither of those. She needed to spin this in a way that was believable.

"...Once before." Chieko responded a bit more confidently. Not a lie, considering the situation. "What would you do, if you knew someone could know the future? Abuse the power for your own gain? Kill them so they couldn't be used against you?" Chieko gave Quill a smirk. "And uhm, yes, it's usually used for slow people and idiots too lazy to think."

“I guess that makes us both thick brained, since you already know what I’m doing with you.” Quill averted her eyes momentarily. “But the only thing I've been interested in gaining is revenge. Even just equaling the scales would be enough for me.” she raised her head. “But others, they might want that power for good. Not for a simple plan, but for all time. They'd need to befriend you, or even, force you for your cooperation. Force you to love them even.” Quill's intense gaze was returning, but her focus didn’t seem to be on Chieko herself. This was a deep hatred for something else.

"I am aware I am walking into the lions den." Chieko scoffed. "I probably won't live, but if I can help the others then I have no problem getting a little hurt or...dying..." Chieko's voice trailed off, wavering slightly. Shaking her head, Chieko pulled her scarf over her mouth. "And that's why I wouldn't want anyone to know. People are good actors and are rarely honest. Even doctors, apparently." Yes, she still wanted to smack Donovan.

"...mhm," Chieko frowned. This talking was getting annoying. Not much else she could say, either. If so far she couldn’t talk Quill down, then she doubted she could ever. "All I can ask is you let me go, and I will help you and your allies as long as there are a few conditions met. If you still want to go through with it, then fine, but If you do and I succeed...I never want to see you or your cohorts again."

“I'm still not sure if I can trust you, and I find your riddles irritating to sort out.” Quill's fingers tightened around Chieko's shoulders. “ But if you don't think you can survive, there's no reason to take this any further.” She sighed. “So name your conditions.”

Chieko blinked.

Huh? Did that work? That worked.

"...uhm, well..." She honestly expected to be dead right about now. Did she even have some conditions? She was just bullshitting. Completely. In fact about 90% of this conversation could be counted as such.

"...Don't get the others involved, for one. Hiro and Aerith have nothing to do with this. Two, I refuse to be a part of murder or any sort of underhanded operations such as this one. Three, as I said before I need Id's, money, and a place to stay. It would be easier to move around the city with those things." Honestly she still had reservations about this herself, but this was probably the best outcome. "...If you agree, then I will help whatever you want with my clairvoyance to the best of my abilities." This was just setting herself up for annoyances and bad times. She really didn't want to get involved with people like this, but if she could get everyone out of this endless loop then she would take one for the team.

“As long as you understand that there will be dire consequences if this is all a ruse, that should be easy to manage.” Quill ran her hands down Chieko's arms, which brought her face closer to the otaku. “Once the good doctor is done, you will come with me.” Quill stood up and snapped her fingers, and a cat came trotting out of the darkness. “We're going to leave soon. I can't recommend trying to break away from me but, well, you're the clairvoyant.”




Peppin's

It was a slow trek up the stairs. Ashton did not hear any second party, but he didn't hear Fritzi either. Stranger still was that the upstairs appeared to be quite clean. He hadn't spent that much time tidying things up downstairs, and it was hard to believe she was done already. Especially considering how accessorized the hallway was. There were several paintings, all in perfect condition. On a table there was a vase filled with flowers, and even the water inside showed no signs of being disturbed. It was a sharp contrast to the downstairs, which looked like it was in total ruins.

*Clunk*

It was a hard sound to place, something akin to a hard object being dropped on the floor. Ashton was able to navigate the hallway to the source of the sound, which was coming out of an open doorway. Since Ashton had come so far, there was no point in not taking a peak. And when he did, he could see a bedroom. The floor was littered with shoes, and Fritzi was standing among them. She was wearing black platform shoes, and was wearing a cloak that covered everything but her head. In the following moments though, she pulled up the hood and her flesh was shrouded in a black material. Fritzi turned towards a window and threw open the shudders. She looked like she was going to step out onto the roof, but the fox woman suddenly turned her head. Ashton could have stepped out of the doorway, but it was too late now.

”You shouldn't have come here.”
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((Collab post between @Letter Bee and @BrokenPromise))

Ashton tilted his head a little to the right, his eyes fixed on Fritzi’s cloaked form. He then said, as calmly as possible, “I came here to see if you needed help. And I don’t mean cleaning help either; I came here to give you my allegiance.”

A pause, “Don’t laugh at that, don’t scoff at that; I meant what I said. Oppression is oppression as long as you’re sapient, which Demi-Humans are. I know what you’re fighting for; better conditions and an end to human oppression. And I know what you expected to gain from Hiro, Aerith, and Chieko.”

Fritzi threw back her hood, and her skin became visible in a puff of black smoke. The cloak only seemed to hide the identity of it's wearer when the hood was up. ”Perverted, posh, and pretentious! Oh my...” For someone who had just been found out, Fritzi's mood wasn't down at all. ”Ashy, you may be young, but you know how it goes. I can't just accept anyone into my cloak and dagger fun club. You say you want to join, but do you really? Are you prepared to kill on command and fight beside people who hate you because of your round ears? ” Fritzi sighed. ”Lets take a step back before you dramatically offer to help me. Surely you must have questions right? You can't understand the full situation already.” She raised an eyebrow. ”Right? I know I do.”

Ashton let out a breath of relief, “I’m glad you’re sparing my life, at least for a while. So, what’s the full situation, then?”

Fully joining up with Fritzi carried risks, the boy knew that, and he was glad he didn’t have to take said risks for now. So he would indulge his curiosity and get more information to analyze…

The wolf girl raised her eyebrows. ”Ah, what I meant to say is that you don't seem too surprised to see that I'm with the demi-human bandits, and you're also aware that we suspect Hiro of being a clairvoyant.” Fritzi ran her hand through her hair. ”Despite knowing what might happen to him... Do you know everything?” She folded her arms with a huff. ”You don't seem too surprised to see that I'm the mastermind behind this whole thing.” She stroked her chin. ”Maybe you do know everything? I was expecting a lot more shock an awe when I was inevitably discovered. But I guess it must have been obvious to a clairvoyant like Hiro.” Fritzi chuckled.

Ashton nodded, then added, “And me; I have a lesser version of ‘The Gift’, but I prefer to. rely on my ability to analyze and deduct things instead of using my power as a crutch.” A faint purse of his lips, “To be honest, I actually defended you before Aerith; she viewed you as an… Antagonist before we received a vision about your motivations.”

Another pause. “There’s nothing I’d want more than for sapient beings to just get along; call me an idealist. There’s also the fact that oppressing others just causes the oppressors to rot inevitably. But you’re right that I have reservations about killing or fighting beside people who hate me.” Then the pursing of Ashton’s lips widened into a full smile. “But that doesn’t mean that I can’t offer other services to the cause. This is purely my deductive skills talking, not my precognition, but the immediate cause of your troubles is a corrupt city government, right? A corrupt city government that is acting on its prejudices even in a time of crisis…”

”Corruption huh?”The wolf girl lifted her hands up to her face and covered her mouth, but her smile was extending just a bit past her hands. ”You know what the funny thing is, Ashy?” She was still giggling. ”I have just as many human friends as I do demi-human ones. Maybe more! I even consider you guys friends, even if we've only known each other for the duration of a chance encounter.” Fritzi gave Ashton a sideways glance. ”We're oppressed, but that's to be expected. We just lost a decade long war. I hardly call that corruption. It's going to take a long time for that anger to subside..” Fritzi sighed. ”hmmm, that's not quite right either. The humans won, so they will heal faster. No one gained anything out of this war, but they can at least say they won it and trounce over their fallen enemies corpse. Their sacrifices had meaning. They were all heroes who contributed to a victory, however small.” Fritzi lowered her hands, she wasn't smiling anymore. ”The demi-humans do not have this luxury ” With a grin, the wolf girl placed her hands on her hips. ”All of my human friends look at me as an equal. Even my non-friends are quick to warm up to me before our first encounter is over. They are always happy and smiling. I can't say the same for my Demi-human friends. They've lost too much to this war to be happy. Donovan lost his wife when she was three months pregnant. A mercenary had their way with Quill and left her for dead in her own village.” Fritzi shook her head. ”Too much blood has been spilled. Donovan can smile all he likes, but deep down there's a sorrowful flame that can only be extinguished with blood. It burns in virtually every Demi-human in this city.” she giggled. ”I do find it amusing though, because I'm perhaps the only demi that doesn't feel this way. My parents weren't killed, I wasn't raped, my life is exactly the way it's always been.” When she blinked, her eyes became hard and stern. ”While I share in your desire for us to unite and hold hands, there's always going to be a wall between our races. Even if I don't share their pain, my side was selected at birth. I'm going to let them smile again.”

Ashton nodded, bowing slightly. “Walls are always there, even amongst Humans. Despite that, your cause is just. That said, acting as ‘bandits’ and attacking people, sowing bloodshed and disorder… Would that not just deepen the effects of The War? Would not repeating the trauma and bloodshed of the past, even with precognitives on your side, lead to greater ruin for all?”

Another purse of the lips, “Nevertheless, I have a plan. You may have noticed that a significant fraction of the authorities are more dedicated to hunting down this ‘Witch Cult’ than they are with keeping the status quo intact. Not that they aren’t doing the latter, but they have greater priorities. If the city government and/or a significant number of the human nobility can be framed for collaboration with the Witch Cult - Yes, I know Cultists can be detected by smell by some people; there is a way around that - then the Crown would have no choice but to allow the Demi-Humans to have a greater share of power in Priestella, because that’d be the new default.

“And, not to admit my own limits, but although I haven’t foreseen anything regarding the city government and the nobles, I do hope that some of them are those ‘Witch-cultists’ people keep mentioning.” Ashton then finished.

Fritzi looked down at her feet. Or more precisely, the shoes scattered about the floor. ”Ashy, as a man who loves other men, what's your favorite type of shoe? Do you prefer the thick leather of a working man's boot, or do you prefer something with a wooden heel to make you look higher? Maybe you're more of a sandal person?”

Ashton gave this some thought and said, “I find merits in all three kinds, but if pressed for a choice… A working man’s boot.”

Either Fritzi was going to let him join her organization or she was going to kick him with the boot he selected or throw said shoe at him. Either way, all he can do is wait; his natural patience had been increased by repeated deaths.

”Never change Ashy. Your ability to answer such a question with a stone face is quite funny.” She giggled and took a step backwards. ”I'm sorry, I just really like shoes. You can tell a lot about someone by what they wear. And you're not exactly a cobbler because...” With a sigh, Fritzi turned her back to Ashton. ”I'm not good with analogies, but that plan isn't going to work for me.” She looked over her shoulder. ”It was nice to talk to you, but I really need to join the others. I know you can't accept it, but delaying this war is a mistake. Both the humans and the demis need to unleash all of their pent up anger. It's the only way we're going to find peace. Or perhaps in letting things run their course...” She pulled her hood up ”I'm just being slothful.” Ashton wasn't sure what happened next. But she was gone in the blink of an eye.

Ashton sighed at that, carefully storing Fritzi’s words in his mind. He then goes downstairs to finish cleaning; it wouldn’t do to leave the job unfinished. But once he had finished cleaning, gotten his payment from the employer - explaining away Fritzi’s disappearance as well - he would go off to find Flame and Alistair and begin their next move.

Unless Fritzi had a connection to those ‘Witch-cultists’ as well, his plan was still viable and he was pursuing it.

Flame Brooks


All right, time to get reinforcements for the plan. And by that, Alistair’s getting reinforcements for the plan while Ashton thinks up said plan. But, that does not mean Flame isn’t going to be doing anything. He then says a small, “Thanks,” to Mono and goes out of the guardhouse with his brand new passport.

Then, he goes after where he had last sighted the ‘Warrior Monks’ @Zelosse, asking passerbys, “Hey, have you seen two people - one a woman - in Monkish garb? Yes, I am talking about a female monk, not a nun; those exist.”
Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Crusader Lord
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Crusader Lord A professional, anxiety-riddled, part-time worker

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Aerith Hastings


The Clinic

Noisy Crazy Bizarre Town Plan


Resets: 5

Deaths: 4





It wasn't like Aerith hadn't made her own thoughts in the background over the time she was listening to Quill and Chieko talk things out. But as soon as the two seemed done speaking, mentioning only that they needed Donovan to be done with something first, Aerith slipped slowly and quietly out of the way and deeper into the clinic with a timid shuffle. Though on the way over, she leaned over and whispered into Aki's ear, as if excusing herself. If Quill looked at her, an awkward, hesitant wave of "goodbye" would be made.

She had seemed a bit frightened and had shuffled, as if she was just going to hide in another room like a coward. So cowardly, so stupid, so...well, at least putting on the facade of a cowardly girl trying to hide in another room since her enemies were blocking the one known (to her) entrance/exit to this place. But she had a plan...even if it was a very stupid and simple one.

No, stupid would be smarter than this idea of hers. This was a desperately foolish plan to the core. She hadn't even given indication to Hiro about it, for fear of it being seen.

'Chieko, you idiot, you absolute idiot! Why..why did you...why did you do that for us!

She'd been an ass, that was true. Angry at Chieko for being immature and denouncing coming into a group talk without a second thought. Sure, she'd...she'd been a bit rough. Ok, pretty rough when it came down to it, and when Yuuki and Chieko had slammed her and Hiro and co it had been infuriating. As infuriating as all those damned resets!

Everyone had been angry then, it seemed, for various reasons. And it was all fair, if she was going to be honest with herself.

'Ok...there's gotta be some stuff lying around here i can use! Tools, instruments, something. I can't just let her-...i won't let her just die! I won't let her throw her life away like that. I...i can't let her.

But she was even now still worried about the girl named Chieko. She'd tried to pull her over to the group meeting for a great reason, because she wanted to help the stupid chunni of a girl live. She had watched her die, and violently, in front of her own eyes. She'd seen the fear in all their eyes after that first time. She, now more than Chieko, knew the pain of dying many times more over since then!

Sure she herself was hard, argumentative, and...and letting Chieko know how she felt even at her worst because she wanted her to live. Not suffer like herself and Hiro had done so many times over and over again it wore at her very sanity.

Chieko even had the admittedly adorable Aki, who cared for the goofy Japanese girl, a person from this world who seemed to be very affectionate to her. Affectionate to that kindness, even if awkward to Aerith's perception at times, that she seemed starved of somewhat. Aerith could see that kind of look, of someone who just didn't have things the best. As 'bad' as herself? She had no idea, probably worse if she had to guess, but-

This is so dumb, but i won't sit by and do nothing. We came arrived together in this new world, and as much as we've been bitching...ok, i've been bitching...we are going to survive this even if it kills me again!

-it was a death sentence with Quill. So with all this in mind, she had to do something. Her conscience wouldn't allow her to act otherwise.

That woman, that blade, that fire Aerith knew Hiro and herself were intimate with the use of by now, all of it was itself was dangerous to the core. She heard the woman's threats a minute ago as well, what she'd said to Chieko, what the other girl had said and done to try to save the other two of them who had hesitated to do a single thing. It was embarrassing, stupid, and ultimately suicidal since Chieko knew she was bold-face lying to a total murderer.

Yet Aerith couldn't help but feel that had been her plan to save the other two if she had been able to speak first.

Ironic, wasn't it?

But eventually, Aerith had finally shuffled into the nearest room she could find deeper into the clinic, looking about for anything to make use of. Donovan wouldn't help, Quill would kill Chieko, and Hiro would be killed if he made any moves at all perhaps. Anything at all to use would help, bone-saw or otherwise if she had to make do.

***


After finally entering the supposed patient room, Aerith felt a grin come to her face.

Instruments, bottles of what could be medicines, and a tub of water, sat all over a table along with as several candles for lighting. A room for surgery, perhaps? A room for storing tools and supplies? It was perfect, regardless. So many metal things...wait, metal! A stark contrast to the wooden walls of this place, and highly vulnerable to certain things.

All of this together gave Aerith an idea. An idea about as stupid as Chieko's, if not ultimately dumber than that! She had to uphold a reputation, after all, of making stupid decisions in the eyes of the other girl. Heh.

Aerith grabbed several smaller metal instruments, jamming them into the top of several of the melting candles. Sure, the fire burned her hands a little, but this was all according to keiaku for her. Aerith then took a couple of the other candles, and sat them against the wall. She then cracked open a couple of smaller bottles, sniffing them...alcohol. Perhaps for wounds, or numb patient pain for amputation? Didn't matter.

The dark-haired girl poured two small bottles of the alcohol all over the table and the nearby wall near the two candles. Before a moment too soon, the medicinal booze caught fire, one which would be spreading very quickly.

She then grabbed her tool-filled, very-melty hot candles on stands, two of them in total, and left the room quickly but very softly. She had to get to the entrance before the fire did, after all. It would be a bit as the place caught ablaze before they noticed, a short time window but plenty enough for her to do what she planned!

The moment Aerith would get around to the corner to the front area, she didn't even hesitate for her next action. She popped around the corner as swiftly as her athletics-trained body could muster, and hurled her scaling-hot candle-and-tool payloads at Quill with full force. At the same time, she screamed at Quill and the cat as loud as she could muster from her lungs.

Still, though, what had she actually whispered to Aki before going back?




@liferusher@Letter Bee@BrokenPromise@Rune_Alchemist


Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Zelosse
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Belrigger turned his nose up at Mie in what could only be considered an act of disapproval. A man of his status did not need nor want companionship from a worker, believing it would stain themselves more than anything.

Laying a heavy hand on her shoulder he guided the woman away from his personage with dignity for both of them. Above all else, Belrigger could be trusted never to use force on a lady.

“Leave us.” He whispered, moving forward to the now open end of the arena. Down below, Anyon and the 3rd ranked champion were taking their positions.

Clearing his throat, his voice rang loud across the vast cavern and drew all eyes. Mirt stood imperiously beside the other man like a statue.

“Patrons! A challenger comes as always looking to rob poor old Belrigger of his coin.” the crowd, most familiar with the showmanship, gave a jeer Anyons way. “Alas, my pride as the proprietor of these grounds demands the challenge be met with suitable ferocity.” to this the crowd cheered. “You know him well. I give you my sword bearer, Gaermin! Third of my roster!”
The roar of applause was deafening. All around them patrons were exploding with cheer as they banged tankards on tables and chairs as the name elicited a tremendous show of respect and recognition.

Waving them down until he could speak, Belrigger turned to the diminutive Anyon standing in the sandpit below and began to announce the challenger.

"Tsk~" Mie clicked her tongue. Well, it wouldn't be fun if this job was easy. The fox let herself be led away, showing no initial resistance to the denial. What she wasn't happy was though, that he seemed to think her a common worker. Now that, that wouldn't do at all. Walking back over to Belrigger as he introduced the fighter, Mie grabbed a loaf of bread from a nearby table. She had to make a scene here, and if her previous one wasn't quite enthralling enough, she just needed to do something a bit more audacious.

With a silent step, Mie approached Belrigger from behind, only to twirl around to his front just as he began speaking again, shoving the piece of bread in his mouth just as he opened it.

"Would you shut up already? Your voice sound like a drunk wolf trying to mate with a feline." She twirled around, hopping back up onto a nearby table before kicking him right in the face and likely sending him tumbling to the floor. "Let this little fox show you how to make a scene."

"Heyo everyone! I'd apologize for the interruption, but I think we can all agree that my voice is ten times better than that crotchety old man by the name of Belrigger." She laughed lightly, her voice carrying well across the arena despite her smaller size. "So no, I'm not sorry as you get to hear my ever so sultry tones. So lets try this again! You all know Gaermin! Big strong - and incredibly sexy man if I do say so myself, heh - he don't need much more of an introduction. So who has the balls, the audacity, the moxie to stand against one of the arena's best?"

A pause.

"Introducing, Anyon! Seriously what kind of name as that - fuck if I know - and what claims to fame she might have? No idea! She certainly isn't winning any beauty awards unlike yours truly. Any fighting accomplishments? Psssht, nah. The only thing this foreigner has to her name is the record of falling over and not being able to get up." Regardless of how the crowd was reacting, Mie continued. "And yet here she has the audacity to challenge the Arena's best! Boy this oldie has some nerve! Gotta give her credit for that at least, heh! We all know how this is gonna end folks!"

Coughing and sputtering, the arena Lord pounded at his chest with a heavy fist as the sudden gluten assault clogged his mouth. Belrigger was a strong man, stronger than most, with his own honed battle senses but this had been the height of disrespect from his own staff. Something he had never thought to anticipate. With a growl as Mie finished her rousing speech (much to the applause of the patrons), Belrigger at last dislodged the hefty slice of bread and spat the mouthful to the ground.
Rage filled his seething visage.

A roar and he charged, a sweeping grasp that swooped up the talkative fox in his arms as he brought her high above him to rest on his ample shoulders as he bellowed with anger turned to mirth, joyously heaving his chest in a laughter that took him fully under its spell.

“The fox has fangs! GIVE IT UP FOR ANYON!”

Hoisting the girl was effortless, her struggle would only result in a tightening of his herculean grip about her thighs. If the bloody woman wanted the spotlight and the attention of those snobs in the vip area so badly then she would have it.
Sweeping his hand, all eyes not focused on the womans skirt fell to the arena floor where both combatants had begun to circle.

The first swing was enough to draw all eyes to the spectacle, leaving Belrigger and his new friend to relative peace. Mirt had given his full attention to standing as tall as possible as they presided over the fight.

Belriggers whisper was filtered through gritted teeth as he spoke for Mies ears only. “Pull that stunt again and I’ll have YOU down in the pit. Or worse.” Craning his neck, Belriggers stare took in Elque with an alarming calm. “Maybe someone else should take your place.”

The next event would be interesting indeed.
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by FamishedPants
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FamishedPants Pitcher

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with Captain Crunch and Sandra Photos



Alistair was pretty much dragged into a pub without much time to prepare. Not that he had anything else to change into anyhow. ”I hope you don't mind, but it's kind of a double date.” Despite how excited Crush seemed just moments ago, she was back to her more stern, serious self. Though it was clear this was very much something she wanted to be doing. ”Now, I don't mind paying your way here. But we're dealing with people of a very high caliber. Sandra Photos heads the compass, which is a special military division. It's been very successful, and you'll soon see she's the no-nonsense sort. Charlotte Walter is a highly decorated war hero who never lost in battle. So just keep that in mind. It is a casual gathering though, so you don't have to be super up tight.” Crunch stroked her chin. ”What is your occupation anyway?”

If anything, Alistair seemed amused by the sudden change in demeanor Crunch exhibited. A strong-willed, beautiful woman who could enjoy herself is the initial impression Alistair had gotten from Crunch. And to him, those were all very desirable traits. Now if only he wasn't sharing their time together.

Considering his... less than perfect appearance due to events that had taken place prior, he certainly wished he had some extra time to tidy up. He did his best to brush dirt off of his coat as they entered the pub, but that was no substitute for a legitimate cleaning. His expression did betray his feelings about this, though paying close attention to what Crunch was saying, it soon returned to normal. "I do appreciate it." he told Crunch as she mentioned spotting him for this date. Being well financially was something Alistair was used to, given his family, but he imagined a Discover had little use here. As Crunch continued and then spoke of the people who would be joining them, Alistair nodded. "I see." it wasn't surprising that as a captain, Crunch would have friends or acquaintances that were of a higher standing in society. He had learned to loathe such people normally, but as they were military in nature, he felt they might not grind on him so much.

"Occupation?" he repeated, thinking to himself for a moment. He'd had a lot of smaller jobs over the years because he had a habit of quitting them once they became boring to him. But that's to be expected when the only incentive he had to even hold one was because he wanted to experience something interesting. "At the moment, I haven't found something I fancy enough to commit to".

”Well, let's hope they don't ask too many questions about your occupation then.” Crunch opened the door to the tavern. While Crunch spoke very highly of the people they were dining with, there was not much to say about the establishment. The place looked something akin to what could only be described as the fantasy version of a “cat cafe.” All of the serving staff were feline demi-humans, and there were a few cats walking around the joint as well. There was very little in the way of decoration. Aside from a few cat banners, there was little separating this from a regular tavern. ”I thought Sandra hated demi-humans. It's odd that they would choose to dine here.” Before long, they could hear a woman in the back raise her voice.

”I'm Just going to say it Lotte, this is a disaster!”

”Oh, that makes a bit more sense.” Crush and Alistair made a bee line for the back most tables, where the woman's voice continued to get louder. At the very back were the only other two humans in the joint. One appeared to be a knight that hadn't changed out of his armor, and the other was a fiery woman. who had taken the time to dress up for the occasion. She wore a red dress and accessorized herself with gilded jewelry. And an emerald pendant. ”Sorry to change plans again, but a stand in for my date showed up.”

Sandra eyed the two newly arrived. ”Must have been pretty short notice. You're late and not even dressed for the occasion! Am I the only one who pays attention to these things!?”

Crunch folded her arms. ”It is as you say, this was kind of a last minute thing. If you'd prefer, I can leave.”

Sandra grumbled through her lips. ”Sure, it's better than eating alone with this air head.” Charlotte didn't have a lot to say. His head was tipped back and he looked dead to the world. Had he been overworked? ”Take a seat.” Once Alistair and Crunch had a seat, Sandra scanned them with her eyes. ”Alright, so, who are you? What makes you so special?”

Alistair had witnessed many highs and lows in his lifetime already, and that included the establishments he had visited. If he said this tavern was the worst joint he'd been taken to for a date, he would certainly be lying. That said, it would not be wrong to say he was expecting something... a tad classier, given how important the people partaking in this date sounded. In the end, however, that was of little important, he figured, so he remained quiet on the subject.

As for the abundance of demi-humans, they intrigued Alistair, to be sure. It seemed they were something tolerated around here, not welcomed. Had Alistair been introduced to this world in a much less violent way, learning about these being might've been something he pursued. Alas...

"You friends, I presume?"

Crunch's response to the raised voice was entertaining. Rather than surprise, she seemed used to it. Were these people prone to outbursts? Hopefully they weren't insufferable like the kinds back home. The Archibald decided it best to follow Crunch and wait to see.

When they came upon the only other two humans in the establishment, Alistair remained quiet as they took a seat and allowed the others to interact. He listened quietly, until the girl in the red dress turned to him. "I am Alistair Archibald, a pleasure to meet you," he introduced himself rather politely. His expression was much more relaxed than it had ever been since coming to this world. Perhaps because this situation was closest to something he was familiar with. "As for what makes me special," he then turned to Crunch, his features now seemingly asking the woman if he should mention his predicament to these two.

Crunch nodded. Sandra seemed to notice this, if her eyebrows are anything to go by. ”Yes, Mr Archibald?” She folded her hands under her chin.

Turning back to Sandra, Alistair continued, "I've died countless times"

Alistair thought about how fun a conversation based around this curse of his might be. Though it required both the physical ability to speak about it, and the assumption that people wouldn't just call him crazy. Regretfully, neither of these things were possible right now, so that remained in his mind and nowhere else.

Instead, Archibald actually continued with, "While there's other things that make me 'special', I'm certain you may be intrigued to hear I'm a foreigner who comes from a land where the very existence of magic is considered naught but fiction, as it seems that it has become somewhat commonplace here."

Sandra narrowed her eyes. ”Are you...” Her words trailed off. The situation was already pretty awkward, so Sandra just staring at Alistair wasn't much cause for alarm. Then she pushed herself away from the table and stood up. ”Alright, while we wait to be served, maybe we could dance a bit. We're also swapping partners.”

Crunch raised her brow. ”You typically start with your own parter first though, right?”

”Are you telling me you don't want to dance with our legendary hero? ” She pointed at Lotte, who seemed to be drooling a bit now. ”Come on Alistair, stand up.” She extended her hand.

"...Alright."

Alistair took her hand, but it was clear he wasn't sure why she'd suddenly gotten the urge to dance. Something was off about this situation, and it was probably the fact that there wasn't music to dance to. And while normally Alistair would've simply declined due to the absurdity of this situation, he was unaccustomed to the culture of these people, and it may have been disrespectful to Sandra, and by extension, Crunch. He did manage to shoot Crunch a confused look.

”I want him back when... The song's over.” Crunch looked ahead at Lotte. ”Did you want to-” He slumped down in his seat until his head sunk below the table. Crunch was only able to sigh.

Sandra hummed a tune to herself while dancing around the “catopia.” The demis were already taking a lot of interest in the only humans in the joint, but this was really getting everyone's eyes on them. Alistair noticed that they were being danced towards the “inn” side of the tavern. As Sandra passed by the front counter, she dropped a few coins down without saying anything before dancing towards the rooms. ”You've danced before huh? ” Her smile was starting to fade. ”You're not great at it, but you haven't stepped on my toes yet.”

Being the center of attention was nothing new to Alistair, so he kept his focus mostly on the girl before him. He took notice of their direction, but for the time being, her exact intentions were unknown to him. The newfound pessimist in him told him to be on his guard. Yet, as it was supposed to be a date and dates were to be 'fun', he tried pushing negative thoughts to the back of his mind.

"I did take classes when I was younger, but it seems my edge has gone dull in that regard. Haven't had many opportunities to do so in recent years." he explained. As the dance went on, his movements seemed more fluid. "But I obviously can't say the same about you. Is this hobby of yours?" he asked.

Sandra blushed, if only slightly. ”We- Ah- Imea-” She cleared her throat. ”I've just had a lot of time to practice. Girls are suppose to be good at this sort of stuff.” After guiding Alistair into one of the rooms, she released his hands and shut the door behind herself. Sandra gave a nod before turning around to face Alistair.”So how many times has it happened now? This is the sixth attempt, isn't it?” She tapped her foot on the ground. ”Right, you normally can't talk to people about it. You'll kinda choke up, and if you force past it, it'll kill whoever you're talking to. But that won't happen to me.”

"I...err"

For once in his life, Alistair found himself at a loss for words. He'd expected either something really good or really bad to happen when he entered this room. But Sandra just hit him with something that may be either one. It took him a minute to regain his composure, and then Alistair finally spoke, and did so with a stern tone.

"...be very clear with me. What are you speaking about, exactly?" he demanded.

Sandra placed a hand on her chest. ”Do I really have to spell it out for you?” She folded her arms. ”You have a power, but you don't know it's name. And if you try to talk to other about it, you get nervous.” She somehow fret her brow even more. ”Does any of this sound familiar?” She squeezed her eyes shut. ”Does the name Lord Talus ring any bells?!”

"Talus..." he pushed the name out of his mouth successfully.

So she was someone related in some way to this incident of theirs. Speaking that name, it was impossible that she was referring to anything other than this curse that plagued him and the others. Surprising, to say the least. But what was her role in all of this, he wondered. "Yes, yes it does. The 'man' that brought me here was named Talus." he admitted, the feeling of the word quite foreign to his mouth.

He still wasn't sure if she was a friend or foe, so he kept his eyes on her. "How do you know all of this? Were you brought here as well?" he asked her. His tone was ripe with suspicion, though oddly enough it was much less harsh than before.

”I do have to be careful what I tell you. We don't have a lot of time, and it's probably safer for you if you don't know what I am. Things have been set up so that you remain ignorant for as long as possible.” She glanced off to the side before returning her eyes to Alistair. ”There were once nine witches of sin. A long time ago, the witch of envy killed all of her competition before she was sealed away. You probably heard a few people talking about witches. They were probably talking about the witches of sin.” Sandra groaned. ”There are also witch cults. They are lead by archbishops who can use the ancient magic of witches. Certain individuals can use these dark arts, but... You know what? Go to a library and get a book discussing authorities. We have more important things to cover.” She took a few steps towards Alistair. ”There is a witch cult call the high council. Unlike most other cults, they are obsessed with creating artificial witches of sin. It's a project as insane as creating your own gods so that you can worship them. Yet they succeeded.” Sandra took hold of her wrist. ”The artificial witches, They are watching you. All of you.” She growled. ”I wish I knew what his role in all of this was! But moving on, the world does not like the Witches. They are akin to demons, and Od Laguna is something of a god. I believe those concepts hold up in your old world, correct?” She was starting to speak faster. ”Some of you must be vanishing because of Od Laguna. Somehow she knows the witches want you here, but I don't know where she's sending you.”

Despite being hit with quite the infodump, Alistair did what he could to ensure everything she just said remained in his memory. There was quite a bit to take in, and he now had so many questions. But for now, it did not seem like they had the luxury of time. He would try to ask what he could. "Then would the people that have been attacking us be part of this 'High Council' you speak of? If that's true, and if their 'artificial witches' desire us for something, why have they been attacking us? What purpose could that possibly serve?"

”I don't really know what's killing you, so I don’t know. But if you've run into problems, Lord Talus likely set things up that way.” Sandra placed a hand on Alistair's cheek.”Maybe we can talk again in the future. But the new witches are watching us, so it's best we end things for now.” Sandra Took her hand off of Alistair and sharply drew her palm across his face. ”And maybe learn to keep your hands to yourself, ya filthy animal!” Sandra stormed out the door to the room. ”Men have NO shame, even foreigners!” A few seconds later, Crush walked into the room and looked at Alistair, who now had a big red hand print on the side of his face. Crunch just sighed and leaned up against the frame of the door.

Alistair normally wouldn't take kindly to being slapped when he hadn't done anything wrong, but if that was the price for information he was severely in need of, then he supposed he could let it slide. He raised his hand to his cheek and rubbed it as Crunch appeared at the doorway. He glanced up at her, giving her a strained smile.

"Don't suppose you enjoyed your dance as much as I did?"

Alistair Archibald wasn't one to place complete trust in a stranger's words, especially not when his life was being targeted by unknown threats. But it was hard to dismiss everything she said as nonsense. Normally, he would not be able to speak that being's name. And she even knew about their Back Because of Die skill/curse, or whatever they decided to name it. She was without a doubt connected, but it was equally possible she was with the people who wanted them dead. That said, she seemed to want to keep things to herself. And this made Alistair trust her words more than if she'd spilled everything out to him.

She could even be some sort of neutral party, for all he truly knew.

Suppose I'll learn more if we get a chance to actually speak once more. For now, if these witches really are keeping an eye on us, then it's best to play the fool and go back to the date. I'd kill to eat right now.
Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by BrokenPromise
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Fight Pit


From her “spot” in Belriggers filthy clutches, Mie did at least have an amazing view of all the spectators. It was almost a surprise that such a large audience could be housed in secret. How long had these games been going on? But there was someone who stood out among everyone else. While most of the patrons were seated, cheering for the fighter that they hoped would win, this woman was standing up, staring at Mie with her jaw agape. The woman was none other than Lady Vertti, and she was really dressed for the occasion. Shortly after being noticed, she walked away from her seat, occasionally passing glances in Mie's direction. It wouldn't be long before she vanished in the crowds.




Clinic


There were a few problems with throwing a super heated, metal laced projectile at someone who was a master of super heated, metal laced attacks. It wasn't that she could counter it, and it wasn't that such weapons are difficult and dangerous to use. In near total darkness, the weapon was about as subtle as a DJ. Quill didn't need heightened reflexes to spot the candle, or to react to it. She positioned herself in front of the projectile and took a swing at it with her molten sword. The Metal and fire was absorbed by the weapon, and both halves of the candle fell to the floor. Quill used her free hand to cover her mouth. “ What are you doing?! You could have killed her with that!” But her words fell on deaf ears. That, or Aerith was more intent on screaming. “Shut up already!” By this point, the adjacent room had caught fire. What the fuck!?

Chieko didn't have time to react to the total shit show plan of Aerith's before she was dragged through the drape-like wall opposing the fire. ”It's just me.” Hiro was holding Chieko in both arms as he ran for the exit. ”I guess this makes up for the peppin's house incidents huh?”

”What happened?! Quill, ya don started a fire in there!” Donovan may not have understood the situation, but he knew how to fix it. The giant ran past everyone to douse the fire with his water magic. ”Quill! I can't hear ya!” While Donovan ran deeper into the Clinic, everyone else ran out.

And then they were saved! They had broken the cycle and cheated death! Hiro sighed and lowered Chieko to the ground. ”We made it.”

”Did you now?” It was that black cloaked person. Aerith noticed them instantly. ”I'm elder sibling, the leader of the demihuman rebels in this sector. Though I doubt I needed to tell you all of that. I understand you have a clairvoyant among yourselves.” The looked at the clinic, which had a bit of smoke billowing out of it. ”... And if that's anything to go by, it looks like your powers are working.” they started to walk towards Hiro. ”Join me Hiro. You may not be a demi-human, but we can work something out for you. Otherwise, I'll have to take you in as a prisoner.”

Hiro looked to Aerith. ”What do you think? Can I take them?”

They tipped their head. ”Why are you asking her? Aren't you the claravoyant?”




Peppin's(?)


It suddenly dawned on Ashton that this was probably Fritzi's house, All the shoes, the apple motifs, he couldn't be sure, but he had a pretty good idea. Come to think of it, how was he going to get paid if she ran off? Even if this wasn't her house, he had no idea who to contact for payment. Was she going to come back?
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Letter Bee Filipino RPer

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((Collab Post between Letter Bee, BrokenPromise, and/or Seirei no Hai.))

Flame kept wandering around, quickly getting himself lost as the trail of those Warrior Monks faded away. Though he had a passport, it was clear that he didn’t know where he was and where the others were. And since Ashton had given his phone to Wisp, plus the fact that there were no cell sites, there was no way to contact them either.

As he kept walking at random, Flame somewhat hoped there would be a reset or that he’d encounter someone who can help him and his group… Flame's random exploring had taken him into the grocer's side of the golden quarter.

”Hmm.” Gris scratched his chin. ”I have everything necessary for tonight's preparations, but those mushrooms look good.” His hand moved down onto his hip. ”Even if we don't use them today, they would go well with tomorrow's breakfast!” He pulled a few coins out of his purse and put them before the stall owner. ”Keep the change, it's hard enough for demis to get along out here.” As soon as Gris was done, he took a step backwards and bumped into flame. He didn't say anything initially, but when the boy tried to walk away, Gris reached out and put a hand on his shoulder. ”Hold up.” He immediately checked his pockets. ”Alright, you're not a pickpocket.” Gris folded his arms. ”You should consider paying a bit more attention to where you're going, young man.”

Flame nodded, all the while knowing intuitively that this… Oni (?) was a good candidate for the ‘person who could help’. So the boy said, “I’m sorry, sir; I didn’t mean to look like a Vagrant - I do have a passport, by the way.”

He held out the passport Mono had given him just last hour. Then, taking a moment to take the measure of this man, this Demi-Human that had somehow managed to obtain wealth and perhaps noble status, Flame carefully measured his next words. “That said, I am looking for help; my group and I split apart some time ago, but did not think of how to get back in contact with one another. Some of us went to get passports - and succeeded - while others of us went to pursue dubious job offers. While I know that telling this to any noble of any kind is dubious, I am both desperate plus surprised that you’d give me the time of day after I so thoughtlessly bumped onto you.”

Flame’s right hand wandered to his pocket, where he had his own phone. “And yes, I do have something I can give in return.”

Gris raised an eyebrow. ”Dubious job offers? You seem like you're in alright clothes.” When Flame pulled out his phone, Gris's other brow went up. ”Now wait just a second! I can understand how a beggar got into some nice clothes, but when does anyone hand off a media to someone less fortunate?” He sounded more surprised than angry at the revelation.

Flame pursed his lips and said, “Perhaps because I am not a beggar yet? There are ways the high fall low just like the low can rise high.” The first sentence was slightly arch; cynical enough to intrigue but not to the point of provocation. The second was to demonstrate learning beyond what the poor of the city showed. “And as to how I am less fortunate, well, I lack the local money and money changers do not recognize the currency I and my group use due to… Logistics. It also does not help that said group decided to split up, as I said, and have no dependable means of meeting up again, except in death.”

That last part was technically true, considering the resets. “We’re also being hunted down by… Factions who got it in their heads that we have precognitive powers; and furthermore, we have not solved the mystery of why we were brought here in the first place.”

He looked at the Oni, made eye contact for a moment. “For all I know, I could be endangering myself by telling you this, but I am desperate.” Plus I can always rely on a reset.

Gris chuckled as Flame’s story came to an end. ”Relax kid, no reason to get so bent out of shape!” Gris patted Flame's shoulder as he walked by. ”I'll be honest, I don't really understand your situation. But I was exiled from my home so I understand the feeling.” He handed Flame one of the bags he was carting around with a mile. ”We'll find your friends. Just remember that it was a demi that helped you. Some day you'll need to repay that favor.” He continued to walk, expecting flame to keep up. It looked like he was carrying quite a few goods himself. It wouldn't be wrong to say he looked like a white Santa clause, only fit and muscular. If they got jobs, there are only so many places for them to work. We'll find them in no time.

Flame took the bag without complaint and accompanied Gris, feeling a twinge of wariness at how the Oni was so ready to help. But he understood the concept of equivalent exchange, and knew that he’d be able to repay the favor due to the guy in no time.

Despite being lost in thought, he kept up, before saying his next words, “I recall three friends going towards one Doctor Donovan’s clinic, while another one is helping another Demi-Human clean houses. Yet another went with me to get passports, but then went off because he had ‘other plans’. He might come back, though. And the worst part is that the rendezvous point we agreed to meet up again with is unsafe; that’s why I said that the only reliable way to meet them again is to die.”

Another technical truth.

”You're nervous because you're alone in an unfamiliar environment.” Gris eyed flame. ”Having said that, nobody likes a whiner. We'll find them if you can keep your head on your shoulders.” Gris didn't look like he was going to move any faster than he was currently going.

Flame smiled, “How else do you think I’ve survived for so long?”

Ashton Andrews


Ashton was caught off-guard by this latest realization, that the house was probably Fritzi’s. His first thought was to search the place for documents and stuff related to the ‘Demi-Human Liberation Front’, but he knew that it’d sacrifice needed time for him to get reinforcements, as he knew that even with magic, he wouldn’t be able to affect the outcome of any battle. So the best bet was to wait for a reset. But, considering the improving survival chances of the group, he couldn’t count on that either.

Then he realized: He can just kill Hiro himself, or ask him to die; the latter was more moral.

Going to the kitchen and ‘borrowing’ two paring knives (Fritzi was probably the type to keep her kitchenware in order), before going to the wardrobe to ‘borrow’ four silk handkerchiefs. Wrapping said hankies around the paring knives as makeshift sheaths, Ashton held their handles in a reverse grip; impractical in his world but not so much in a fantasy world with Anime physics.

Then, with another quick “Jiwald,” the boy zoomed towards Doctor Donovan’s clinic, ready to help.
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Aerith Hastings


Outside the Clinic

Noisy Crazy Bizarre Town Success?!


Resets: 5

Deaths: 4





Had Quill managed to defeat both projectiles? Aerith had not even the slightest clue, as she had thrown two at the flame-using demihuman murderer. She noticed at least one of them being cut out of the air, but at least it seemed the bamboozlingly stupid plan amazing foolishness of her actions was enough to cause what she had intended. A total clusterfuck in this part of the clinic, and utter confusion for the demihuman woman and Donovan. A mayhem scene where they could get out with the rest of the crowd of fleeing people with molestation (hopefully) by the point end of a blade.

That HAD been the plan at least, and though it had been miraculously (or otherwise) successful so far there seemed to be no end to these demihuman rebels.

In particular, a certain someone she and Ashton had seen before, someone she recognized on sight as the "leader" of these murderous rebels. She'd harbored suspicions about who it could be since the last "reset", but...well, if she played this up she could perhaps work something out. She had no idea what Ashton would want to do, either, much less the others in this instance. Frankly she almost thought another reset was inevitable this time around so far, but in a sense was glad it wasn't. At least, for now.

Yet the dark-haired girl felt she could at least place a guess on one person that wasn't here. Ashton. Based on the boy's intelligence, and his actions the last reset or few, she felt he could either work with this more...or potentially attempt to force a reset for real this time as he had wanted her and him to do last time. She had no idea for certain of this or her guess about this hooded figure potentially, no solid proof of anything but what little she knew, but so far that was all they all had to work off of. It was stupid, dumb, all of this, but when push came to shove...

"You couldn't take this one on if we tried another thousand times, i think, Hiro. Though she does have a good fashion sense, if i recall earlier right.

Though what you perceive as 'clairvoyance' is not exactly true in this situation, i think."


Aerith spoke, a confident smirk coming to her face and lacing her tone instead of the prior panic from the clinic, standing up straight from where she'd been leaned over on Hiro to stabilize her thoughts. The dark-haired girl was bluffing as she calmly approached and stood in front of the hooded figure, however, using the one and only guess she had among people she was suspicious of so far. An act, and if it was wrong it might get them killed perhaps.

Or at least just herself...she perhaps deserved it if anyone died in that fire. Perhaps even so in Chieko's eyes, for all she could wantonly guess on the spot. She had no time to properly think about this matter of the chunni's opinion, though, merely the most passing and hurried of rough ideas at this stage.

"What this is, my most sly and cute little fox with good fashion sense, a 'variation' on it at best, in reality a "curse" of sorts if i may explain it.

A better name for what we possess is 'a sight of some possible future out there', an erratic and silly thing that's hard to get right for any of the three of us. On very incredibly rare occasions, it can be correct. Not very useful to the rebellion at all, i'm afraid, which is very annoying since i do want to help you all."


It was...an attempt at best, a desperate bluff for survival. Albeit, it wasn't entirely wrong. They had experienced many possible futures, potentially, and that had led them to this point. This being noted, Aerith internally was terrified in her mind that this could rub things the wrong way. She almost felt the thoughts screaming at her to do something different, but thinking on her words in the previous reset and such she felt she had some idea, a 'work it out as i go along' kind of idea.

"I wish i could say more about what we can do, but frankly i don't want to put others in danger. The curse is a bitter thing, even saying how we got it could kill others.

Though whether you believe me or not, as i said i do want to help despite being human. Whether its helping cook some food, learning some magic to help out, or even warming your bed at night if you need...Fritzi."


That was her BS guess. Fritzi. She had suspected the fox for long enough to be part of all of this, albeit not the leader at all, and so this was a shot in the dark to confirm or maybe deny some suspicious name. If this guess was wrong she was going to be eating her words, more so than after what she had just done inside of the clinic.

But...in rteality she just didn't want to see them all die again. She'd lie, lust, sleep, glutton, kill, whatever to keep them alive right now. She was, in a simple word, desperate.

@BrokenPromise@Rune_Alchemist@Letter Bee
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~Chieko Okawa~

Hero's District, Priestella
Death count: 1
Reset Count: 4



The next few seconds were a blur to Chieko. Everything had been going well. She had managed to not get dead, and everyone else was likely safe. They just had to sit tight and not do anything. The next instant, there was a flaming candle. A shout from Quill, and fire. She was then lifted by Hiro in an obvious brazen attempt to save her...and then she was lowered on the ground as a cloaked person approached them, talking about the same things Quill had been saying, and in her previous try.

Chieko, was furious.

They had been concerned for her. She understood that. They wanted to save her. She was grateful, certainly! But damn it this could have just put them all in danger! She didn't want that! She had been prepared to take the reigns on this herself! Perhaps it was arrogant, prideful, selfish, whatever you wanted to call it but they didn't need to do this!

Chieko exhaled as Aerith finished talking.

"...you are all idiots." Chieko replied, standing up straight as she locked eyes with Hiro and Aerith. "Do you like getting in peoples ways? Or were you just trying to selfishly play hero? I get it, I really do, since It would be hypocritical to say I didn't do the same, but I had everything under control! Every time I do something logical you all just get in the way! I realize you were trying to help, but next time have a little faith in me, would you? I had already convinced Quill to leave you all alone and that I was the only clairvoyant." After her brief tirade Chieko sighed, frowning lightly as she looked over to the cloaked woman assumed to be Fritzi. Well, she'd have to go along with it too now since Aerith said it aloud.

"Unfortunately for you, your information was not entirely correct." Chieko was probably going to regret what she was going to say. "Aerith isn't entirely wrong, but this isn't the place to discuss our situation or our abilities unless you want prying ears to hear it." She looked back over to the clinic.

...

"Not that it matters now. Someone tried to start a fire, and Quill hasn't come out yet. I will look for her. Don't try and help."


Mie Yukima

Below Ground - The Arena floor



Heh, it had just the effect she wanted. After that stunt, she definitely would have some of their attention. Now all she had to do was wait, play the wallflower and then get backstage access. She was pleased with the outcome, too. As she was lifted, Mie made no attempt to struggle. She was fairly certain her calculations were correct. Too much of a fool to see a problem and too much of a coward to even do something about it.

Mie was completely unbothered being lifted up, being sat on belriggers shoulders. He was such a funny man, unable to actually tell how to properly intimidate someone. It was far more than just size and strength. If anything, she enjoyed the brief extra height. Getting extra information on the layout of the place was extremely useful in case things go bad. She wasn't even listening to what Belrigger said. No. From atop her seat, she saw someone she had never expected to find down here in this cesspool.

Lady Vertti.

For the briefest of moments, their eyes locked. Vertti knew. A subtle grin formed on Mie's lips, eyes focused on the wealthy socialite. Her Associate. Her client. Friend. Vertti knew. Of course she did. Why else did she conveniently disappear, leaving poor little adorable rabbit by himself, at the mercy of a mischievous, playful, cruel, apathetic fox? She knew the wolves were closing in. Her name had been written, and thus her fate had been sealed.

Fufufu, how unexpectedly fortuitous. How delightful. How pleasurable...how infuriating.

How did she know? Who told her? Who leaked the information? She shouldn't know. Two...three people knew at best. The writer, the blade, and the client. She'd have to...fix that leak later. The fox couldn't let the little butterfly escape. She could never get tired of this feeling.

"Yes yes, sorry sorry." Mie sighed, hopping down from Belriggers shoulders. Unfortunately for Anyon, Mirt, and Elque, she could no longer help them. "This little fox doesn't quite know her place yet, fufu. Apologies..." She cast a glance over to Elque. "...Sorry, kitten. But unfortunately I have a change of plans." It was a bit dirty and impromptu, but if Vertti knew, then this might be the very last time she saw her ever again, and she couldn't have that now could she? Such a shame she didn't have her mask at least. She'd have to improvise.

First she needed to cause a different sort of scene. Something that would distract almost everyone...and what would be a good way to distract a some drunk ruffians in an underground bar? A bar fight, obviously.

Sauntering off a ways from Belrigger, Mie casually walked past a group of people drinking their money and health away who were heatedly arguing over who to bet on. Perfect. Mie picked up a mug full of alcohol from another table...and with scary precision, tossed it at full strength right into the face of one of the arguing people while his head was momentarily turned. The resulting effect should be obvious. No one minded a serving girl. Besides, by the time they had even turned in the foxes' direction, she had already vanished in the crowd herself with uncanny skill.

She was not letting Vertti vanish.
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Fight Pit


Lady Vertti had a pretty good start. She was well above everyone else in the VIP area, and didn't have to cut past too many people. When Mie's expertly aimed bear mug collided with a drunk however, things became a bit more interesting. A fight broke out, and the only exit out of the place was starting to fill up with people. This slowed Vertti's progress to a crawl. She tried to find a way through, but it was impossible to get by because of how tightly packed together everyone was. There was no way through, and she panicked when she lost track of Mie.

"Huma!"

It had been said that Vertti hadn't practiced her magic in a long time due to an accident. However, she had no problem using her magic here in the underworld. She rode a growing ice floe over the conflict and attempted to land on the other side. But she over extended herself and the ice floe broke, dropping her a few feet onto the ground. She was relatively unscathed, but the heel on one of her shoes broke off. Vertti simply kicked them off of her feet and started to run down the tunnel leading outside. It was a straight shot, and there weren't any people in her way. However, she wasn't an Olympic runner, and would probably be in trouble if Mie had a quick way past that mob.




Clinic


Elder Sibling listened to the very end of Aerith's speech before saying anything, which they did with an air of calm. ”You're not my type.” They broke character with a chuckle. ”Not only that, but your ability is inferior when compared to Hiro's, isn't it? And with all of you before me, why would I settle for you when the very best is right here?”

”Damn it.” Hiro grit his teeth. ”Is this really it?”

Then all eyes turned to Chieko, who was pretty much tired of this shit. As soon as she started to walk towards the clinic, she found herself stumbling over something. When she looked to see what it was, she could see Quill had somehow made it outside, right in front of her legs, without Chieko knowing it.

”Quill!” Donovan called out. ”The fire's out, but I can't hear ya! Say somethin'!” Apparently, Donovan didn't know it either.

“Ugh.” Quill sat up. “The candles must have started to melt and knocked me out.” She turned to Chieko and started pointing at her. “Did you plan this? You were going to leave me to die in there after I decided to spare you! How dare you!”

”Not quite.” Elder Sibling appeared with Chiyo and dropped her beside Quill. ”She was actually prepared to go save you. Chieko seemed disappointed that her friends tried to save her.”

“She wha-” Quill turned to Chieko again, just as angry as before. “H-how dare you try to rescue me! It's humiliating enough to be tricked by a bunch of lowly humans! I wish Elder Sibling had let me burn!”

”Quill.”

The oni rolled onto one knee and bowed before her superior. “Elder Sibling, I am unsure the information you have on the clairvoyants is entirely accurate. Chieko was the one who came to the test, and while it never truly started, she did survive it. I have also not observed anything to lead me to believe Hiro has the superior ability.” Without lifting her head, she gestured towards Chieko. “I also believe she will genuinely help us. Even if Hiro has the strongest ability, he does not look like he will ever be made to willingly help us.”

”Interesting, thank you Quill.” Elder Sibling turned to Chieko. ”Sounds like she's singing your good graces, and I don't think I've ever heard her say anything positive about a human. But were you being sincere?” They looked at everyone else. ”We'll have to round up all of your other friends. I'd rather not have all these clairvoyants running around. But they will not be harmed if you join us, I assure you.”
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~Chieko Okawa~

Hero's District, Priestella
Death count: 1
Reset Count: 4



...Was this what they called a 'Tsundere'? Chieko had to ask herself as Quill's attitude shifted from angry at a likely betrayal, to one of embarrassment at the thought of having a human rescue her. So far, she seemed to fit the description. Amusing thoughts aside though, Chieko turned her attention back to the 'Elder Sister' and their current predicament. They would have to round up the others? Urgh, this was just getting ridiculously and stupidly complicated.

Well, time to act the part again.

"...Mhm." Chieko fixed the Elder Sibling with a serious expression. "Quill speaks the truth. The information you have on us our clairvoyance isn't entirely correct. As Aerith stated we do not see a single future, but possible ones based on the current circumstances at hand, but we're not in a good place to elaborate." Chieko sighed. Urhg, she was tired. She wanted to flop down on a bed and spend all day playing video games, watching anime, and doting on her little sister.

"I did say I would agree to help you on a few conditions, which Quill agreed too. One - you do not involve the others. Two, I at least need some money and a place to stay, and ID's would be useful for moving around without getting constantly harassed by the guards. Three, I refuse to take part in any murder plots or other underhanded operations such as the ones you've had planned for us. Stalking. Potential murder. Assault. Kidnapping. If those conditions are acceptable, then I see no reason as to why I can not help you...though from your statement it seems that my first condition may not be doable."


Mie Yukima

Below Ground - The Chase



Ah, how regrettable that she left her poisons and weapons elsewhere. She really hadn't expected to run into the butterfly like this. Something something about being prepared and all that. Oh well, she had long since stopped caring about that sort of thing. Besides...improvisation was always fun. She was however, surprised to see Vertti cast some magic. The reports had said she had long since stopped after an accident. She could understand doing everything one could to survive against a threat you had no real hope of living against. Admirable, really.

Just made her want to crush those pathetic hopes and her life all the more.

As one might expect of someone of Mie's questionable background and training, the fox already had a plan by the time the mob had started forming. Mie didn't have quite the magical arsenal to propel herself over the crowd in the same manner Vertti did. No, her magical talents lied elsewhere, but she had vastly superior physical ability. One that a simple merchant should never have.

Mie wove through the crowd, expertly weaving through the fighters in the bar and making about as much progress as Lady Vertti was. But it wasn't fast enough. Mie leaped onto a table, vaulting herself into the air over the crowd of fighters. With an acrobatic flip she gripped the head of someone beneath her as she used them as a vaulting point to launch herself the rest of the way over - almost succeeding. She slammed into one of the patrons. Lucky for him, his face got slammed right between her legs.

Unlucky for him, the impact sent them both right to the ground, probably knocking him out and breaking something in the process. Mie rolled with it, coming to a stop where Vertti had lost the shoes. She was heading towards the end of the tunnel, the ext of the underground. Holding out a hand as she ran behind Vertti, a wild grin formed on Mie's lips as she spoke a single word.

"Shamak."

If successful, darkness should have enveloped Vertti to the point of her being unable to sense her surroundings. Just the ground under her feet and her body. Should be just enough to slow her down.
Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Crusader Lord
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Aerith Hastings


With Chieko And The Others


Resets: 5

Deaths: 4





...Aerith felt something inside of her crack, loudly in her ears as if someone had stepped promptly upon a pane of straining glass. Her eyes seemed to go glassy, her face pale, and her movements seemed slower, more methodical...more forced even. She could barely look at Chieko walked off in her seeming huff, barely followed along at a distance as Chieko went along. All along the way, it was like the strength leaving her body mostly as if sapped by some means.

The other seems to go along with her too. She watched as Quill tried to recover, as Chieko tried to "clean up after Aerith's mess" as it would seem. She listened as the Elder Sibling spoke, once more about things, as Quill spoke about the situation and Chieko as well. About her being helpful, about Hiro having the strongest ability, about how they'd all be rounded up for Chieko (and perhaps Hiro's if she had to guess) value to these demihuman rebels. The raw praise given to that girl, that little Japanese girl, that chunni....that idiot she'd risked herself to attempt to save so they could get somewhere safer than this.

Do you like getting in peoples ways? Or were you just trying to selfishly play hero?


She...she was no hero. Aerith herself knew that. A girl from a shitty family, not in the best situation but not in the worst. Just a normal human, a member of the swim team. Someone who since arriving here felt like she was being thrown into a spiral of insanity.

So many deaths, and watching them happen in front of her eyes. 4 times, she'd counted. FOUR TIMES, she watched Hiro and herself and others die, adding one more time she'd been sat down to watch Hiro and Aer get impaled by weapons.

She had tried to organize this group of people, even...even just to share information. She'd stepped up and done her best so far, but Chieko, Yuuki, others just had to stomp on things. They just had to blame her and Hiro before for what had gone wrong, for all the resets, when even they had no idea how deep this rabbit hole had run. NONE OF THEM who had shrugged off listening before. They didn't want to listen until others died in front of them, and for what?

Utter Futility


But...haha, hahahahah! It was just like back home now, wasn't it?

We tried and tried and tried again. Mom and dad kept arguing, sometimes after drinking. Glass shattering, screams, the stains of blood they tried to wash out of the carpet and wave away. One minute angry and yelling at her or the others, and then going to the beach and acting as if it hadn't happened in the past.

Brothers who reveled in tricking people into hurting each other. In hurting her, and her other half-siblings. Getting strangers to get into fights, and pushing mom and dad's buttons to get them to go off sometimes on herself and the other kids. Framing her for stupid shit she'd get obliterated for verbally before being dealt a punishment.

A half-sister who thought touching her at night was ok. Someone who wanted to steal her clothes, made strange comments about "the smell of her hair" and acted like a freak. Yeah, a total freak, one who would blame her for stupid crap she did and claimed to love her deeply at the same time. Someone who attempted to manipulate her to get "time alone".

And the facade. The damned facades in public and around family, to get attention, to look normal, to make people think nothing was wrong. To make them think her siblings were angels...

It was no different than now, right?!

People arguing over ideas and tossing blame, posing as more than any of them were, dying over and over and watching horrors with you own eyes, a lack off coordination because people decided they did not want to listen to anything beyond their "little safe bubble", and now this...

...why would I settle for you when the very best is right here?


She just wanted to live. She just wanted Chieko, and Hiro, and Ashton, and even the others to live. Was that too much to ask for, to try to aim for, to try to acquire after so many tries so far? She wasn't even from this damned backwater world in a realm of the unknown!!!

....She was just another person kidnapped by this Talus fellow into a new world...and for what?

The Promise of meeting someone that loved her, whom she had been willing to give all to and said so herself.


It made the dark-haired girl crack a grin as she stood there listening to the others, though at the same time feel sick to her stomach.

It was so foolish. Talus, that dark bastard, probably was laughing in his seat with some popcorn. Yes, watching those who stole the heart of "his beloved" from him, grinning at every crack that showed in them. He probably was, she could feel it in her bones now...like a clarity of sorts being placed upon her akin to a mantle.

They weren't getting past this point. Not herself, not anyone like her, none of them.

It was those fools like Chieko, who would ignorantly sign their death warrant.

It was those like Hiro, who had false impressions of power placed upon them.

Anyone but herself. Anyone but little, pathetic, powerless Aerith whose life only mattered as a bargaining chip in the "protective custody" of rampaging rebels.

She even offered to help, any help at all, but was turned away like yesterday's news. Not even her efforts to draw attention to herself and off her comrades, or at least attempt to do something....mattered. She was no mind-reader, no clairvoyant, just someone who has suffered to get to this point.

I had everything under control! Every time I do something logical you all just get in the way!


That's all she did, really. Get in peoples' way, drag others along with her. Heh...just like with any friends she had back home, perhaps.

She was illogical. Yessir, she had the brains and logic of a dead clam. She couldn't make a good plan, couldn't lead anyone, couldn't panic over the life of someone she'd seen sign her own death warrant with profuse lies. Lies that would only sink them worse and worse into this hell, to the same reset point, or into the same trouble otherwise.

Was there nothing else but despair that awaited her at this stage? What else existed out there for her?

Did anyone put real value into her as more than this sideshow stuck in the tracks of fate? Hahaha!!!

Not only that, but your ability is inferior when compared to Hiro's, isn't it?


She was worthless to this world and the other one. Nothing she could do had value here, no amount of caution had done any good, no amount of words would do anything for her or the others. No amount of trying to save others, of attempting to not die, none of it mattered.

How could it have ever mattered? Even Irene and Vasilis only had a bit of time left, bought by now on the repeated dying and frustrations of people from another world....all in a process they couldn't talk about openly without hurting themselves.

Did nothing here matter? How desperately her soul grasped onto the concept, how desperately it sought a logical and sane route for all of this. These things. These people. How much it still clung to the value of a life, even now, even after all of this, even as she felt her mind backsliding down a slippery slope.

Aerith reached down as the others were content to talk amongst themselves, and grabbed up something she had just noticed. A lump of scalding was with a couple of tools in it, and how it burned her hand to grab it since Quill's heated blade had made it so. That blade which had taken her life so many times, which she had been seeking to prevent Chieko from falling into...heh, that girl really wanted to die, didn't she?

Not that it matters now. Someone tried to start a fire, and Quill hasn't come out yet. I will look for her.

Don't try and help.


Aerith gripped the hot wax and tools in her hand until it hurt, until she felt her skin and tissues underneath screaming at her with bloody and painful abandon. She then looked up at Chieko and the others, and stepped close enough to be seen by all there properly.

"...You know, what, Cheiko? I've died by that blade of Quill's a few times. With your bold-faced lies, our lies that we have any powers at all, i didn't want you to suffer as i and Hiro did before.

I didn't want you to know the added feeling of hot metal slicing open your stomach, of a poisoned dagger making mincemeeat of you insides as you can only watch yourself die in horror, of seeing others die in front of your eyes even more gruesomely and in detail than i saw you die in front of me the first time back in the poorer area of this city.


As Aerith spoke, several tears began to form in her eyes, and fall down her cheeks. But she did not stop speaking, merely continued clearly wording what she wanted to say despite everything. Some blood was trickling down her left hand, the one which gripped the hot wax and tools that even now were cooling as they torched her. A few drops by now were even falling onto the ground itself.

"I kinda wish i had your innocence, your straightforward will and innocence. Because what you do, what Hiro does, what the others do, that is all that has mattered all this time. Me? For even wanting to share information, to attempt to save you or anyone else here like Irene and Vasilis, it's all for nothing. I. Am. Nothing.

So i need to thank you for opening my eyes to that, for taking the side of a murderous bitch who probably has her own traumas, and for letting me see what my family back home and others here seem to have been trying to tell me.

You think Lord Talus is laughing at us, sitting back in a chair with some popcorn? Watching us die and reset over and over again? I don't care if it affects anyone hearing this right now, and you wouldn't care for any of it anywho. I'd just interrupt your 'daring plan' again, and everyone will just continue to blame me for what is going wrong all these times over.

So i'm sorry, to everyone. For ever caring. For ever trying. For ever...existing, here or otherwise."


With that, the dark haired girl cracked another grin as tears flowed down her face. She didn't even give others a chance to verbally respond, however, as she swiftly plunged the searing hot sharp tools into her own neck as hard and fast as she could at the same time as the last word left her lips. And she could continue to do it, over and over again, unless stopped otherwise or her body dropped dead without the strength to do it any more.

She couldn't take it right now. Not back home. Not during this reset here.

If "that" person who loved her existed in this world, she wanted them to save her. Stop her, please, make it feel a bit better. She wanted for someone to tell her that her life mattered, that it had purpose, that something, anything she did at all since coming here mattered.

But so far, all she'd heard was the echoes of despair, the pain of suffering, and the reassurance that she was of no value.

Dramatic? Perhaps. But...after all she'd been through, at this time she had no other thoughts.

@Rune_Alchemist@BrokenPromise@Letter Bee@Zelosse
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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Letter Bee
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Letter Bee Filipino RPer

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((Collab Post between BrokenPromise and Letter Bee.))

”Aerith! Stop it!.” Hiro attempted to to stop Aerith from killing herself, but he hadn’t reacted in time.. In such a state of passion, Aerith had fatally sliced her own neck open. The light in her eyes faded before she dropped to her knees and rolled over onto her side. There was no saving Aerith this time. Hiro’s fists shook in quiet anger.

DEATH COUNT : 31


”Damn it.” Hiro grit his teeth. ”Is this really it?”

”Oh, she really did it.” Elder Sibling lifted a hand to their chin. ”Perhaps I could have done something, but I’m not really in the business of saving humans.”

That was when Flame and Gris showed up on the scene. ”Chiyo!” Gris assumed a fighting stance. ”I don’t know what’s going on, but I don’t like the look of you, buddy.”

Quill stood up and turned to look at Gris “Relax, we’d do nothing to hurt her.” The oni crouched down beside her. “She’s on our side anyway.”

Flame looked at Gris, then Quill and Elder Sibling, before saying to the older Oni, “These guys are members of a ‘Demihuman Liberation Front’ who are trying to hunt us down thinking we have precognitive powers. They plan to either kill or enslave us, and, well, let’s just say that we’re willing to owe you a favor if you’d be willing to help us avoid such a fate.”

A sigh, “Let’s just say that though I am a scowling cynic, you don’t seem like someone who’d let racial hatreds get in the way of being owed a favor.”

Footsteps were heard as Ashton arrived at the scene, taking in how he had arrived too late and how Aerith was already dead. Drawing his ‘borrowed’ paring knives, the boy looked at Flame, and then Gris, his next words being:

“You’ve brought help? Good; if this needs to come to a fight, we’re going to need all the help we can get.” The boy breathed in the slightly smoked air and said to Fritzi, “Jiwald. Thank you for teaching me this, by the way.”

The silk handkerchiefs wrapped around the knives came off, and Ashton held them out in a reverse grip as new energy flooded his body. Flame looked at his boyfriend, seeing an invisible signal as he said to Gris, “We’ll be backing you up, by the way, unless you object.”

”Oh there's definitely going to be a fight.” Gris drew his sword. ”No one, and I mean no one drags my own into a mess like this.” He broke into a sprint. ”I'm coming for the lot of you!”

Not one to miss a beat, Hiro joined the fight as well. He wasn't experienced with these group fight situations, but he would wait for an opening. There was no point in everyone attacking Elder Sibling at the same time.

Flame sprinted just behind Gris’ left, before breaking off to place himself protectively in front of Chieko once more, putting himself between her and Quill… And then turning to the Chunni and saying, “You were just about to succeed, weren’t you? You would never have lost the rhetorical battle with the Female Oni by yourself.”

He faced said Female Oni, saying, “May you tell us what exactly happened? I think that your boss and your miniature assassin can handle the fighting for a few seconds while we try and establish how exactly my friend - Aerith - killed herself.”

Ashton, meanwhile, was to Gris’ right and hopefully Hiro’s left, feinting and weaving behind both combatants’ backs. He let Fritzi see him, trying to attract her attention, but did not try more than the most perfunctory of attacks lest he stab Gris by accident… Or Hiro before it was time to kill him.

Quill folded her arms. “She was feeling sorry for herself and was weak, That's all. We didn't do anything.”

”I'm glad you're making use of my teachings, Ashton.” Elder Sibling rolled their neck, causing it to crack loudly. ”My next lesson will teach you your place.” Elder sibling extended their fist outward and teleported in front of Gris. The action was unexpected by the older oni, who essentially ran his head directly into her fist. Once he was stumbling backwards, Elder sibling appeared behind Hiro, and kicked Ashton into the stumbling Gris. Hiro had just enough time to turn around and spot them. But Elder Sibling had already taken hold of Hiro's arm and flung him over their head. Hiro was still flying through the air when Elder Sibling appeared beside Flame and kicked him square in the ribs. He could feel his ribs crack before tumbling across the street like a runaway tire. ”Very well Chieko.” Elder Sibling bent over to pick her up. ”We will discuss your terms elsewhere. I believe we can come to an agreement.” With Chieko slung over one shoulder, Elder Sibling bent over the other one to pick up Chiyo. ”Let's regroup Quill. Do not harm any of them.” They looked to Aerith's body. ”Though nothing can be done if they choose to kill themselves.” and with that, Elder sibling vanished with Chieko and Chiyo.

”Don't you dare.” Hiro struggled to stand up. There was blood running down the side of his face, and it looked as if one of his arms had been broken. ”Don't you dare run away from me.”

Quill snorted and turned her back to Hiro. “As amusing as a fight between us would be, I have my orders.” She strode away from the others.

”Gah!” Hiro limped after Quill.

”How do you feel, boy?” Gris locked eyes with Ashton. ”I hope I softened your fall, because between getting hit by that kick and your head, I'm not sure I can move right now.” He gestured towards Hiro and Quill. ”Get up! I can't let them run off with Chiyo!”

Ashton nodded as he stood up, fear filling him as he knew what he was going to do; what he needed to do. But considering how Aerith had killed herself and how his next actions would be seen by the others, he had to ask: Would there even be a group after he did this? Would he not just shatter what semblance of unity they had after what he was going to do?

He walked towards Hiro, letting go of the knife in his right hand as he held it out to help him up. But once the boxer had taken it, Ashton would stab his chest with the blade in his left, saying only two words:

“I’m sorry.”
Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by BrokenPromise
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Fight Pit


Lady Vertti immediately fell prey to Mie's spell. But the loss of her vision and what was going on around her wouldn't stop her from pushing forward. It was a straight shot from here, and as long as she ran she could escape. It was a race to see if Vertti would make it outside before Mie could catch up to her. And it looked good for the aristocrat, but she forgot about the decorative steps leading outside and tripped.

It was a stone floor and Vertti fell hard. She stretched out her arms but kept her elbows bent. That was the proper way to take a fall, but it was still hard to know where the ground was. Vertti was prepared to get her feet under herself and start running again, but there was no time. She was running from a demi-human with superior agility and stamina. With a pounce, Mie landed on Vertti's back, pushing her to the floor again. The chase was over. The butterfly had gotten tangled up in a web, and was now at the mercy of its predator. Vertti looked over her shoulder at Mie, clearly still under the effect of the spell. "Why?" Her voice cracked a little bit. "Why do you want to kill me? The time you spent with Grisaia, was that a lie too?" Her eyes were starting to glaze over. "I refuse to believe this is just for money. That you're just some assassin who plays with our emotions for some thrill." Even if Mie wanted to tell her something, she wouldn't be able to hear it. All that mattered now was how Mie wanted to deal with Vertti. She didn't have her weapons on her, and Vertti wasn't carrying anything either. But there was also the matter of how she had learned of her true identity. Maybe she'd be worth keeping alive a bit longer. But her thoughts would be interrupted by a bad feeling. Mie needed to move fast, and so she hopped backward. The head of a spear stabbed through the air exactly where Mie's throat would have been just seconds ago. The person holding the spear was a cloaked figure who was just as small as Mie was. Despite her stature, she had an intense gaze that belonged to a hardened veteran.

"Pick on someone your own size." Aer fret her brow.

Vertti scrambled to her feet and rushed behind Aer. She had recovered from the spell by this point. "Thank you for saving me Miss... ?"

"We'll talk later. Right now you need to contact Grisaia and let him know you're okay. He's worried sick about you." She didn't take her eyes off of her target. "The guard is on their way here, so you should hurry up."

Vertti took a few steps away from the two dueling midgets fighters when she turned around one last time. "Mie, would killing me really make you that happy?"




Outside Clinic


Hiro was one of the strongest fighters in his own world. He was the julius caesar of boxing. But no matter how powerful the man, they can all be slain by having their trust betrayed. ”Why!?” Ashton would never be able to tell him. The weakened boxer was having difficulty moving about as it was, and this was a mortal blow.

DEATH COUNT : 32


Ashton felt sick doing that to one of his friends, but he wanted to bring Aerith back. Causing a reset was the only way to set this right. It was the only way to save her. Ashton closed his eyes and hoped that this sick feeling in his stomach would pass with the reset.

Which should be starting.

Any moment now.

“What. The. Actual. Fuck!” Quill stared wide-eyed at the boy holding the knife. After the shock wore off, she growled. “Why do we even bother trying to kill you bastards? If you don't kill yourselves, you just turn on each other!” Quill sprinted away.

It would happen soon. It had to. Though it didn't take this long last time.

”You monster!” Gris crawled towards Ashton. ”You were in on it the entire time! You killed one of your own friends just so that you could kidnap Chiyo!” He growled and crawled closer. ”I'll make you regret your entire life!”

Why wasn't a reset happening? That sick feeling in Ashton's stomach was getting worse.




? W H O ? W H O ? W H O ? W O H ? W O H ? W O H ? H O W ? H O W ? H O W ?


Chieko, Alistair, Ashton, and Flame would all suddenly find themselves in a very familiar landscape. One without any details, but seemed to extend out in all directions forever. But they knew that this was the first place where they had encountered Lord Talus. That was instantly familiar to all of them. They were all positioned exactly the way they were before getting transported here. Ashton was standing, Flame was laying on his side with a few cracked ribs, Chieko fell a few feet onto her stomach, and Alistair fell backwards out of a seat that was no longer there.

”She actually did it?” Sitting on top of an invisible obstacle was a smug woman with a flute. ”I guess we all wanted them out of that situation. So long as I don't take the blame for it, this is acceptable.”

A cute fairy fluttered into view. ”Figures you'd say something like that, Greed! But this is bad! This breaks the deal we had with Talus!”

The smug woman chuckled. ”I doubt there will be repercussions. For now, let's just enjoy their company.”

”Oh.” A life like doll floated up to Alistair. He noticed its body was covered in transparent hands. Every blink of her eyelid, or twitch of her finger was being manipulated by one of these hands. ”Hello, Alistair. I, really, like, how, you, achieve, your, goals. I, wish, I, could, work, that, hard, at, anything. But, I, lack, the, ambition, to, do, so.” Her hand was lifted up in the air and brushed against Alistair's face. ”So, smooth. Better, than, I, thought!”

A girl wearing nothing but bandages hoped into the space. ”S-sloth! Behave yourself! Y-you can't just run up and touch them! You need to respect boundaries!” Her eyes shifted around. ”C-can you? B-because I'm not! I'm loyal to Lin!”

The bandaged girl was startled by a hand being placed on her shoulder. The hand belonged to a tall, busty woman with a blindfold on. ”Relax, Lust. We don't know why they are here. So we might as well enjoy them as much as possible.” The woman approached Chieko and extended one of her hands. ”Chieko, right? None of us have names, so we're instead named after the sin we represent. I'm Gluttony, in case it wasn't obvious.” Gluttony ran a hand along the bottom of her own breasts. ”You don't have to fear us, we have nothing but love in our hearts for all of you.” She pulled Chieko to her feet and smiled. ”You're my favorite by the way. And this might be a little inappropriate to say, but you look and feel delicious.”

A loud sigh from a girl who just didn't give a shit caught everyone off guard. ”I still don't see what the point of this all was.” she waved her hand at everyone. ”Melancholy here, don't mind me at all. I'd rather not be a part of the fight that's going to break out once they realize there's not enough lovers for everyone.”

It was hard not to notice the thunderous appearance of A woman that was unapologetically punk. ”Fuck yes! Hiro baby's here! Time for pride to put the squeeze on that handsome bastard!” She looked around a bit. ”Wait a second, where the hell is Hiro?” She pointed at Ashton and Flame. ”The fuck are you guys doing here?!”

By this point, Sloth's hands were all over Alistair. ”We, think, she, is, the, reason, this, is, happening, because, that, is, sort, of, her, thing, you, know?”

”Whoa guys!” Lord Talus showed up, waving his hands around. ”Don't talk about her when she's not here! Plus I think not referring to her by name is really pissing off anyone here who doesn't know who she is! Also I'm Lord Talus, gotta work a name drop in there so that nobody forgets me during my first appearance.” All eyes were on the black man now. ”Hah! Alright girls but seriously, do you remember the rules we set up? I know there were a lot of them, but do you remember the first two?”

”Yes!” Lust put a finger to her lower lip. ”U-um, yes! We can only influence the game with our authorities once! And we can't use more than once per day.”

”Very good Lust! Very, very, good.” He started to pace around the foreigners, but it was clear he was talking to the other woman in the room. ”So, why is using a single authority dangerous? Aside from the strain it puts on the cultists trying to activate the spell?”

Gluttony released Chieko's hand and looked to Talus. ”When we use an authority, it's possible it won't arrive at the right time. Not only that, but it moves the checkpoint forward and changes who the sentinel is. If our authority doesn't fix the situation, our lovers could be stuck and unable to escape.”

”Gold star for Gluttony!” He turned to face her. ”Now you may be tempted to team up and do something special, or fix a blunder and use another authority to help everyone out. Now why is that a bad idea?”

This had all the girls thinking pretty hard, but Greed soon answered. ”I know why, it's simple.” The smug girl twirled her flute. ”The lovers don't know how the game works, so after enough deaths, they may discover they are the sentinel. If someone uses an authority, they won't know that the checkpoint has moved forward. They might get this idea in their head that they just have to kill themselves to return to the checkpoint. But of course, they aren't the sentinel anymore, and a late firing authority would move the checkpoint past their death.”

Pride's eyes widened.”Hiro was the Sentinel.” she stared at the floor for a long time, before finally looking at wrath. ”That ain't fuckin' funny!” She pointed at her. ”You love Chieko! You fuckin' did something!”

The Fairy flew backwards. ”H-how could I have done anything? My authority only heals people! I can't heal Chieko out of danger!”

”You teamed up with someone you flying piece of shit!

Enough! A mighty gust of wind blew over everyone. It was just strong enough to get everyone's attention and stop the bickering. ”I need to think of how to best resolve this situation.” Talus stroked his chin.

Greed pointed at Ashton and Flame. ”You're going to get rid of them first right?”

”I'll worry about that in a moment.” He glanced at Chieko and Alistair. ”But yes, here's all the people who wanted to see you. You two should be excited!”

Gluttony turned back to Chieko. ”Seems we have a moment to talk.” She exhaled slowly. ”I don't know what to ask, I've been watching you through your whole life.”

Sloth was plastered pretty much directly over Alistair. ”Is, this, too, much? Just, move, me, if, it's, too, much.”
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Rune_Alchemist
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Rune_Alchemist Horakhty!

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Mie Yukima

Below Ground - Tell me, what is happiness?



The spell hit, but Vertti kept running. Mie wasn't slowing down either however, and a noble with almost no athletic ability had no hope of simply outrunning a trained assassin. She would catch her soon enough - she was just delaying the inevitable, and as soon as she tripped her fate was sealed. She fell hard, and Mie took her chance. She slammed into Vertti's back, pining her to the cold, stone floor. Wings bound, its fate was presumably sealed.

"Why?" Mie chuckled, though she wouldn't be able to hear as long as the spell persisted. "You just answered your own question, my little butterfly." Normally, Mie would just slit throats and be done...but there was a bigger issue at hand here. Vertti was currently more valuable alive than dead. There was a hawk roaming the plains, thinking a little fox would be its meal? Or was it a bear laying in wait when the workers were all gone to fell a beehive? Those were questions Mie was going to need answered, whether Vertti wanted them to answer or not.

A subtle twitch of her ears made Mie leap backwards, a spear barely having missed her throat. Ah. The little adventurer that was looking for Vertti. How annoying. Couldn't she just have not done her job? So tiring. Perhaps she should have sabotaged her earlier. Well no matter...she was in quite the predicament, wasn't she?

"...Happy, my pretty little butterfly?" Mie was smiling, but there was no joy in her voice. "I don't think I've felt such a thing since I was a child...and quite frankly my dear, I no longer can bring myself to care about anything." A dry chuckle. Whatever she was speaking of, Vertti wouldn't know. Mie wasn't one to talk of her past so easily. Not because she was trying to make herself seem more tragic or as a victim. She'd be the first to admit she was a pathetic waste of air. Just like everyone else. Every other dishonest soul that claimed otherwise.

But now wasn't the time for a monologue. Mie turned her attention back to Aer, body tense and ready to respond with a shamak should her opponent attack. Concerning. The guard was on their way here.

"When I was given this job, for the first time in a while I hesitated. It's a shame really. I did so love our visits and playing with little Grisaia...and since I doubt you'd be willing to come along peacefully and tell me of the rat trying to fight a fox den," A toothy, predatory grin formed on Mie's face. "I suppose I am going to need to plan how to inform him of your death. Shamak"

Mie fired another spell towards Aer. Her skill with magic was by no means good, but she could at least do this much. She sprinted towards the adventurer, intent on first disarming her. She couldn't spend too much time on this.


~Chieko Okawa~

?????
Death count: 1
Reset Count: 4



...?

Chieko turned back to face Aerith. What was she going on about? Aerith certainly did like to talk, didn't she? Chieko was only half listening at this point. She was tired. Exhausted. Emotionally drained. She just wanted to flop down onto a bed and take a nice, long nap, so why was Aerith wasting their time with this - Wait, what? Nothing? She thought she was nothing? Family back home? Chieko blinked, unsure of how to respond to all of this as she finally began listening in full to Aerith's rant. She wasn't taking anyone's side, was she? She just wanted to...not get anyone else involved. She wasn't blaming Aerith for anything! If anything she and Hiro were the only ones she had trusted completely. After what happened the first time...how could she not? She was about to say as much as well.

It was then she noticed the tools in Aerith's hand. Her eyes widened, but she was far too slow.

"AERITH!"

Her legs felt weak. Her hand shakily reached out for the now dead girl as her body fell to the ground.

Why?

Why had it all gone so wrong again?

Why did she fail? All she tried to do was help...why...

Chieko's shoulders slumped. She stared at Aerith's lifeless body, tears quickly forming in her eyes. What could she have done? Her mouth got the better of her again, hand't it? She should have just not said anything. She should have just...faded into the background. Like always. Not be heard or seen. At least then, Aerith wouldn't have...wouldn't have...

Chieko couldn't register what was going on with the others. Her knees gave out, all she could do was cry. She was tired. She wanted to go home. She just wanted her bed. Her little sister. Her games. Her instant ramen and junk food. Were the others fighting? She couldn't tell. Some pathetic hero she was. She couldn't even protect her friends, let alone herself. Was someone talking to her? She couldn't tell.

She just.

Wanted this to all be over.

"A-ah?" She suddenly found herself being picked up, slung over the shoulders of the Elder Sibling. She was too tired to fight or to even do anything. She could hardly even see anything through the watery tears in her eyes, but she could see one thing as she was being carried away by the Elder Sibling.

Ashton stabbing Hiro.

"H-HIRO!"

The next instant, she felt herself fall, slamming into the ground on her stomach. She didn't move, she didn't want too. She just wanted to lay there. For the first few exchanges of conversation, she did just that. What could she have done differently? Why had they all done that? Why? The question Chieko had only one obvious answer too. But she couldn't lay here forever, could she? Chieko slowly pushed herself to her hands and knees, tears still flowing. Sloth? Was that someone's name? The next name dropped was Lust...and it was from a person that Chieko almost couldn't believe existed in the first place.

Chieko gazed up at the various figures from her position on the ground, mildly awestruck by their appearance. Just...who? Gods? Angels? Demons? Those were her first assumptions. There was something unsettling about them, but as the hand was held out by the one who soon introduced herself as Gluttony, Chieko took it weakly as she pulled herself to her feet.

"D-delicious...?" Chieko had no idea how to respond, other than to blush profusely. Inappropriate? Just a bit, but Chieko didn't entirely mind. Not at the moment at any rate. Her mind was still trying to process everything that just happened. Aerith...Hiro...she flashed a dead gaze towards Ashton as Lord Talus showed back up.

That was a wound that was never going to heal.

Chieko turned her attention back what Lord Talus was saying. Sentinels? Authorities? Checkpoints? A ton of valuable information was being dumped here. Gluttony released her hand, but Chieko couldn't help but to wish she didn't...and the Fairy? She 'Loved her'?

...This was a lot to take in at once.

But for the moment, things seemed to calm down. Chieko looked to the beauty in front of her, letting her words sink in more as her mind had a moment to catch up to the events. Game? Lovers? Delicious?

"D-Delicious?!" Chieko quickly used her jacket sleeve to wipe away her tears, trying to make herself look slightly more presentable. Was she being hit on? And she was pretty sure they said that 'wrath' loved her too. What should she do here? Or say? Honestly, she still wasn't feeling her best after all of that...but honestly? This Gluttony was the most welcoming thing she had seen since this whole mess started. And you know what? She just really needed a hug right now. She leaned forwards, silently burying her face right in Gluttony's chest, not thinking much of it. For the next few moments she just stood there, not thinking about anything as she slowly got her mind working back in proper order.

"...sorry. I'm really just...tired. And I don't really get what's going on right now."
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Tenma Tendo
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Tenma Tendo ISwallowPillsCalled BaselessConfidence / (GulpGulp)

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location: Golden Quarter, Clinic
tag(s): Gris @Seirei No Hai, and Donovan @BrokenPromise
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"...I think you lost her."

A naturally bored sounding tone came from the Earth Spirit as he followed lazily beside his contractor, who was busy greeting the people at vendors and the artisans that knew of him. Grisaia wasn't the type of person to call himself popular, or even social for the matter, but when you're connected to an aristocrat by last name, it got people's attention, whether it be for good or bad.
"I'm quite aware, Anubis, thank you." The blonde finally responded once the two were left to their own devices a few hours since leaving the estate.

Damn that sly fox. He should have known the second the other agreed to go out with him, it would just end with her throwing him for a loop. But for some reason he still decided to go with her... Well whatever, it didn't matter anymore. A least he got to spend some time outside without his mind completely on the Mistress. Hell, maybe even that was Mie's plan from the beginning. Or maybe that was giving the fox way too much credit.

"It'd be best if we head back to the estate. We did leave without much of a word to the others." Grisaia sighed as he shoved his hands into his pocket and took a sharp turn back once they came. "Of course, but maybe it would be better if I switched with Add?" Anubis pipped up as the brisk stride the both picked up at the thought heading back to the estate slowed to a careful stride, Grisaia looking down at the other with a slightly confused look.

"What's that suppose to mean?" "You know...Add's better at this stuff. Making you feel better I mean." While it was true that Adhara was the most emotionally responsive out of the three of them, hearing Anubis admit it was a bit weird for the rabbit to comprehend. He honestly felt fine, especially after clearing his head and talking to Aer earlier. So why bring it up again? Before he had a chance to say anything in return, crystal eyes met the smoky stream cutting through the sky up ahead, effectively ending the conversation before it could really start.

Whatever it was, that can't be good.

"Let's go."

---

It didn't take long to reach the source of the smoke, that being a clinic with a few ember remains here and there. It was a bit hard to tell what caused the fire due to the smoke, but his attention immediately landed on Gris.
"Milord Forye!" Grisaia called as he was down by his side in a matter of seconds, hand hovering over the other as his mind raced a mile a minute. "Anubis, go see if anyone needs help inside." Without looking up, the blonde gave his order, letting the Earth Spirit get to it before he called upon the female Spirit, checking his pocket watch in the process. It wouldn't be ideal to call on her now, but it seemed worth it at the moment.

As the veiled girl materialized next to Grisaia, she immediately began to cast water magic on the white haired Oni, glancing at Grisaia with a clearly confused look on her face.
"Mind filling me in?" She asked as her hands moved fluidly around the man on the ground. Also wanting to know the same, Grisaia looked back to Gris with narrowed eyes, expecting some sort of explanation.
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Letter Bee Filipino RPer

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Ashton Andrews and Flame Brooks

"You were trying to trigger a reset, right, Ashton?" Flame asked his boyfriend as the latter stared blankly at nothing, his face flat with shock. "Aerith had killed herself, Chieko was being abducted, and we all just lost against Fritzi and her group. Given the information you knew... You couldn't have done anything else."

Ashton slowly shook his head, refusing easy absolution. Tears were in his eyes as he said,"Flame, I killed Hiro. I stabbed him thinking that it'd trigger a reset. Repeat: I killed Hiro because fool that I was, I thought I'd had this game figured out and that all will be cleared the moment we get another reset!"

Flame put his hands on Ashton's shoulders, saying, "Ashton; I'm here with you. I won't pretend things will be all right, not right away. But you had no other choice and I will keep saying that until you believe it -"

Ashton grabbed his boyfriend's right wrist, saying, "Even if you're right, I may have ruined it for everyone. Here is what I infer from the chattering of the people around me."

A pause, as Ashton began deducting once more, "One, that these people and Lord Talus are behind our abduction and transportation into this world; they're not even trying to hide the fact that they're the people who 'love' us. Two, that this is part of a game, in which one of us is selected as a 'Sentinel', which, considering that Hiro was called one, is a term for the person who resets the timeline when killed."

Another pause, "Three, and this is a hidden rule, these... 'Embodiments of Sin' run things so that we can't easily just kill ourselves or each other to force a reset. Four, the two of us are abberations; un-desired playing pieces with an unknown patron or set of patrons. That makes us more vulnerable than the others. And Five, I don't think they and Lord Talus can erase Hiro's death or the consequences of it in Lugnica; including that Older Male Oni calling me a monster."

Flame breathed a sigh of relief as he said, "If you're able to deduct that much, then you can devise a way out of this mess. But as for me..."

He turned to Lord Talus and the other 'Embodiments of Sin' and said, "All right, you lot! I know you hate us or otherwise take exception to our presence, but we want to know if you guys can bring Hiro back! Or, for that matter, if killing him just returned him to Earth - Alive - without his memories. We are willing to pay any cost within the bounds of reason and morality to do such, and we know guys like you - Dark Powers - can do a lot of impossible things when paid with the suffering of others. So we offer to suffer, we offer blood, we might even offer one of our souls - Mine - if it'd bring Hiro Nishioka back!"
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