Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Flood
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Dire times abound for the group as they fight off a veritable horde of crustacean antagonists, many are content to sit back and watch as the Tower explorers desperately fought for their lives in the Deep. With only the blue haired Jester to be acting as their primary attacker, it almost seemed as if all was lost as the crabs drew closer and closer... until the piercing roar of the inferno dropped down onto them. Literally in this case.

"EAT SHIT LOBSTERS!" Would be the only warning the group gets to move as a falling comet crashes straight through the body of a crab approaching Akiko and into the water, kicking up a huge cloud of steam as the monster is grabbed by its leg and thrown into a crowd of its brethren. From the cloud emerges the fashionably late Ami, flaming sword thrust towards the swarm to release a massive pillar of flame to broil the bastards where they stood.

"Why didn't anyone wake me up huh!? Were you all too busy fucking to remember the strongest and most important person in your stupid party!?" Ami shouts as she hauls her sword to the left, taking the pillar of flame with it as it sweeps across three more soon to be meals, turning their shells into bowls as she boils their insides instantly.
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Sonnambula
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"It's ok, really."

While Riku gathered her thoughts Thomas took a moment to shake himself off, water sprinkling off of him and his clothing. If not just uncomfortable, the extra weight of water soaking through his clothes would probably prove difficult to handle, especially with his level of strength and stamina. He was only human after all, unlike some other people in the group- he had begun to learn.

He was taken aback by the princess' sudden vocal outburst, just staring at her in bewilderment for a moment as she rushed ahead into battle, before getting his ass in gear and catching up to her. That proved more difficult than expected though for the boy though, his companion was fast. Very fast, well, at least for him. Thomas could definitely feel a stich or two coming on and biting at his sides as he attempted to stay neck and neck with the princess, keeping a desperately firm grasp on his glaive lest it slip from his hand to the ground and slice off his leg in the process.

Though it was more than enough to focus on keeping up the pace, he turned to Riku as he spoke to him directly to introduce herself, trying his best not to give away any physical strain in his facial expression. And, though his expression didn't change much, there was a real sincerity, and an attempt to seem reassuring, in the look and nod he initially responded with. It was the first time he properly noticed the changes in the girl's appearance as well. A bushy but elegant tail ran swiftly behind her, swaying around while they ran together, was probably the most obvious difference from before. A pair of furry ears sat atop her head as well, and Thomas could've sworn he'd seen a small pair of fangs flashing out from between her lips as the princess had spoken to him. The change was a mystery to him, but something told him that somewhat domineering Serei from the night before had some hand in it.

"I'm... I'm Thomas. It's nice to meet you t-" Thomas was interrupted mid-introduction, a sudden flicker in the corner of his eye catching his attention. His vision, which before had been filled with movement both from his teammates and his adversaries, suddenly seemed to clear for no explainable reason. Well, no explainable reason other than the appearance of a distant figure in the place of what he was sure had once been one of those giant crabs.

Not bothering to finish his slightly incomplete introduction, Thomas quickly turned back to the girl running along beside him, aware that they were now approaching a few crabs of their own to deal with.

"Riku, did you see tha-?" Another interruption came, this time in the form of a late, and seemingly pretty pissed, Ami. Her fairly distracting presence made things more challenging for the boy as he tried to alert the wolf princess to the other new appearance, while the latecomer went on a small tirade as she made a barbecue of the monstrous crabs that had been just ahead of them.
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Lonewolf685
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Kanbaru Otoko


"I don't need you to tell me that!" Kanbaru shouted bitterly towards the cat girl trying to backseat drive a fight against what were now multiple enemy crabs. That Akiko seemed to be pushing the crustaceans back by their blood alone ensured she wasn't dead weight, but it didn't make the JSTR touched any happier. Wrenching her sword free she considered how to best to handle the coming crabs when an old friend crashed the party.

"Oh, I didn't think you'd come to the obvious water level, Ame's." Kanbaru chuckled with a note of fondness, the sight of a rampaging Dark Magical Girl, former or not, bringing a touch of levity to her embittered features. And with that pillar of flame came an even more efficient means of eradicating the crabs. Pulling up her own geyser of water she crossed the streams, crashing water and fire to produce a lethal explosion of steam. This easily fell under her control and she hurled twisting streams of steam into the oncoming crabs, flash boiling them as it poured through open maws and the most minute of gaps.

"Steamed crab, anyone~? It's the best way to enjoy surf and turf!"
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by TheWendil
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“What the hell is she doing.” Katie was half-tempted to put a hand to her head and sigh, or perhaps, throw them both to the open air above in dramatic exasperation. When she agreed to come to the next Floor accompanying Ami, this was not what she expected. She could still see it clearly now, the brief conversation she had with the self-acclaimed demon sometime after her roaming of the Dangeki’s bar. The girl was wafting power darker than before as if living negativity was leaking off her clothes. What happened in the short span they all saw Ami?

It was ultimately none of Katie’s concern but she found herself regretting making any sort of partnership with this reckless fuse of a cannon. All the same, she did take care of the crabs all too well. Pillars of flame scorching the Lagoon’s ceiling and the crabs stood little to no chance against Ami’s attack, especially when held in place by Akiko’s efforts. Those that weren’t burned alive were steamed just as well with Kanbaru’s power, causing more and more dead crabs to plop into the Lagoon pools and kick up waves of water everywhere.

And those that somehow survived the onslaught? Nature took its course as it always did. Their intent flashed away from the group and they scampered towards the dead and cooked shells of their brethren. Their shells boiled and soft by now from the flash flood flames and steam, the remaining crabs easily tore through their exteriors with mighty claws. Their mandibles feasted on their slain others in a hording display of hunger and feast and cannibalism. Typical sea creatures always turning on each other; such was the law of the food chain, let alone the Abyss.

It meant the group now had breathing time for once, the crabs entirely disinterested in their position now that they were feeding on each other. The smoldering steam continued to blanket the area however, covering everything and, more importantly, spreading so far as to come towards Runa and Nephy. Being near the shroud was hot enough to burn on contact no thanks to Ami and Kanbaru’s efforts. It wasn’t long before one of them was noticed anyway by the JSTR, the program turning Kanbaru’s head towards the nearest one even among the melting fog.

Of all this, Katie watched in her corner still sighing. She sighed both at Ami and the Ciel card blatantly pointing her in the group’s direction, lighting up when Akiko was in sight. Whatever was special about the bard was apparently enough to point Katie towards her. It was no doubt the Bastion card she possessed, of which all throughout the ordeal, remained silent and unwavering of Akiko’s commands to it.

Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by ShadowSunRisen
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There was not much of a fight for Riku to join. Ami's sudden reappearance and Kanbaru's power had made short work of the slimy crustaceans before Riku could reach them. She ended up sprinting nearly into Ami's fire. She skidded to a halt in the waters, taking a breath as she viewed the destruction from right up close. It was a stunning sight, a sign of Ami's passing.

"Oh not you again...already!?" Riku quickly began to doubt her own power in wake of Ami's, the rivalry flamed up once more. She had managed to gain some power with the Serei card but it felt like nothing in the wake of such power.

"Yeah, of course I saw that! It's Ami..." The princess was angry and upset, turning herself away to gather her feelings. She couldn't let herself be so sore over that defeat.

"Seems like it's all taken care of now. Let's regroup with the others, and see what's the plan on how to handle this level."

The princess would just have to prove herself later, she felt. However, she'd get a chance to test her mettle much sooner than she expected.

"Wait a second...I feel something is wrong." The princess peered over her shoulder, checking her sides. A dark chill ran up her spine, a bad sense crawling over her.

"Some other power is here. I don't know what it is. It's like, constantly blinking in and out. It's some sort of presence, like...a bad one. A demon of some sort!" Riku's voice rose as the details of the presence began to fill out.

"There's something more than just these crabs here, be on your guard."

----



Nephy watched intently as the group decimated the crabs, with a display of power that greatly intrigued her. She ran a claw over her lips and bit the end of a nail, grinning for herself. She hadn't felt power like this in so long, her mind racing with new possibilities. Sitting on the sidelines was no longer an option, and with Runa off on her own scheme the wolf decided it was time to act.

The white wolf would spring out from her perch out into the air, landing directly in front of Kanbaru, Ami and Akiko with a large splash of black water. Her madness tinged eyes would glance over them, then admiring the slain foes of the party.

The wolf rose upward and stretched out her arms, cracking her neck. She appeared casual and calm, glancing her dark and sunken eyes over the cast of adventurers before her. She had a sharp smile with fangs exposed proudly. A deep scent of blood and an aura of malice was a detail in her every movement. Long and wild gray hair hung out from her head, dirty and unkempt with split hairs everywhere. A thick scar traced over her right eye, perhaps a wound or perhaps self inflicted.

"Very impressive work here. Hmm. From some of you, at least." Nephy would cast some foul looks over to Riku and Thomas.

"Creatures like me have been locked in here in the Abyss for a very, very long time. We're all just scrambling to break free. There are no rules here, and everyone is out for themselves. If you want to survive here at all, you'll have to test your worth against me."

"Oh yeah. I'm Nephetos, by the way. You can just call me Nephy. I'd like to offer a challenge to you all. Fight me, and survive. Or, die and I eat your soul. Does that sound fun to you?"

A pale and sullen palm came to rest on the hilt of her sheathed sword, prepared to move at a moment's notice. She took in each of her prey, eyeing them up from head to toe with hungry eyes. She saw the energies beyond mere flesh and blood, the very spirits that animated their bodies. She would rip them out, ideally with her victims screaming and crying before her. The struggle of life and death battle was a thrill onto itself.

"I'm ready whenever you all are, don't be shy. I'll take you all on. I like to kill the weakest ones first and save the big strong ones for last."

The true denizens of the Abyss were finally waking up.


Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by KoL
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CLAIR

"Oh yeah, that's more like it!" Clair said as they seemed to get the upper hand on the fight against the giant crab pretty quickly. Akiko's magic combined with Kanbaru's and Clair's assault making quick work of the threat from the depths.

Nevertheless, things were never so simple in the Tower. It was obvious that wouldn't change here all of a sudden.

"Shoot! It seems like things are about to get krusty," she said as the clacking of the other crabs came closer and closer to their position. "We could really use a hand here," Clair added as the remainder of their group —Thomas, Riku, and Katie— gathered together just as the crustaceans wobbled closer.

"What the—!?"

Things only got more chaotic as Ami joined the fray with a bang and a boom, prompting a surprised reaction from Clair who was now climbing a crab's back, stirring it in the direction of the others like an alien weapon of war. All things considered, using the crabs against one another was easier than Clair expected as they were already prone to cannibalism, to begin with. All she had to do was give them a 'gentle' push. But, if it worked, it was fine, right?

CIEL

"Fwaa~ Did you call me?" A lyrical voice came from beside Katie as Ciel answered her summons. A summoner becoming a summon would be considered a cosmic irony by anyone else, but—given the carefree yawn she let out shortly after being called—it seemed like Ciel wasn't that fazed by it.

She came in right in time to see the new interloper reveal her presence before the group; issuing a rather vicious challenge.

Nevertheless, Ciel's attention was focused on Katie, staring at her summoner with puppy-like eyes. "Isn't it a bit too on the nose to ask me to show you the way while we are under the sea? That said, there certainly are a few interesting things to see here," the Stargazer said as she looked deeply at Akiko, Kanbaru, and finally, Clair with keen, knowing eyes.

"By the way, why don't you introduce yourself to us just like your... friend, I presume?" Ciel said to, seemingly no one in particular. However, it was clear that her words were aimed at a much more subtle presence creeping around the group right now.

Even the inhabitants of the Abyss, with their strange powers, wouldn't be able to escape the gaze of the stars.

Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Dreaming One
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The crabs continued their hunger driven attack until they found it would be safer and more nutritious to devour the remains of their less fortunate comrades. It was not a very amusing sight to see, to witness - after all it was not typical only for the nature of the Abyss, but it was so for the nature in general; with a thought in mind of course that the nature here in this dark and twisted place was more violent, more aggressive and somewhat mad too - if one could think of a nature as of a broken and collapsed mind. That sight was something Runa got used to for quite some time ago - so much time she - or anybody else in that matter - could not really count. The banality of this cannibalistic instinct to avoid danger and to satisfy hunger was outshadowed by something else, something quite more surprising to her - the performance of this adventuring party she witnessed.

Not everything she could see with her eyes as she moved through the lagoon, her presence in the area flickering and shifting everyone in a while - but she did not need eyes to feel the power put into every one of these slashes and strikes: the explosion of water and fire causing the area around the fight to be coated in the deadly steam, boiling the enemies alive, the strikes of flame and water, the strikes of sword and a scythe, the magical summons, the sight and intuition of these people were enough of actions to expose the glimpse of their power, the power Runa was quite amused of - to look at and feel with how the air tensed up, with how the energy floated over the lagoon for her skin to feel its floating electrifying touch, in several places at the same moment - similar to how she was herself. The waves of energy radiating from each one of these adventurers, the words they spoke while announcing them sensing the magical presence, all in all holding seemingly a limitless potential.
There were a few more things which attracted Runa’s attention, but she decided to concentrate on them later.

Both Riku and Ciel starting to be aware of her presence made Runa to smile in appreciation of the skill; all while Nephy stepped up to the party and announced her presence - white mad wolf ready to unsheathe her blades and attack the party. She too was filled with and driven by a hunger, but a hunger of a more existential and high origin. A hunger which would drive her to test these adventurer’s skill for sure, as well as to achieve a few more things.

Smiling with her lips, Runa started to flicker again, the shape of her presence twisting the reality around and making whatever sensation of a presence she would give to Ciel or Riku to end up in confusing motions; but that flickering motion would serve an additional purpose. She spoke words, her lips moved, but these words were never spoken, never heard by anyone, never witnessed, there were never really there; but they were to appear in Nephy's mind like if they were always there, as if they were told to her before, the words which were not heard by any ear, but shaped in Nephy’s mind like a not so distant memory.

And as these words were revealed to Nephy, Runa would step back again - in the lagoon and nowhere at the same time - waiting for Nephy to attack.
Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Sonnambula
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Even Thomas had to admit that he felt slightly disappointed. Now that the enemy had seemingly been dealt with now, the crabs that had survived that last fiery onslaught now rushing to feast on their fallen brethren, it felt a bit pointless having rushed all this way for nothing.

"What... what was that? Who?"

Gulping in deep breaths of air after that drawn out sprint, he only really half listened to Riku as she began to warn him of another presence in the area, only blurting out confused responses. In any case, by the time he felt in a fit state to pay all of his attention to her and what exactly she'd said, a more direct threat had already revealed itself.

A pale figure landed in front of the group, a short distance away from Thomas and Riku but right by Kanbaru, Ami and Akiko, three of the main participants in the short-lived previous battle. Along with strikingly pale skin and a scar drawn down along one eye, the woman in question possessed distinct wolf-like qualities: sharp claws and fangs that looked primed to tear and slice at flesh, as well as prominent lupine ears and an unkempt tail. What stuck out most to Thomas, though, was the glint of derangement in her eyes, matched with the most unnerving of smiles. The boy took a sharp, startled intake of breath as that look turned to him and Riku as well, a slight shiver going down his spine. He couldn't break his wide eyes from hers, not purely of fear but almost of curiosity. It's like he could almost see his own demise by her hand in those predatorial irises. That was until she looked away again, to address the whole of the group once more.

The mention of her name made Nephy seem slightly less animalistic, but did nothing to lessen her intimidation factor to Thomas, especially once the consumption of souls was thrown into the mix. What that entailed and what that might result in were things that he was much happier not knowing though, at least from a first-hand experience.

"Danger..." Was all the boy muttered to himself as Nephy prepared herself for the oncoming battle, a hand gripping the hilt of her sheathed blade while she gave a final confident threat. It was at that moment that he felt an electric tingle from the hilt of his own weapon; something that immediately caught his attention, violet eyes glancing down to the glaive. Except it wasn't a glaive. With a momentary flash of light, it had taken a completely new shape entirely. Thomas now gripped the hilt of a sword, or more specifically a scimitar. It was a completely different weapon, though from its colours and intricacies it was clear where its origins laid. A less hefty weapon, it felt lighter in the boy's hand, and for who looked to be a nimble opponent was probably more useful. Strangely, it was almost as if the weapon he possessed had a life of its own, adapting to the situation. Either way whatever he'd done, if anything at all, had been unconscious to him.

With the, for now, inexplicable event came a return in Thomas' sense of spirit. The same energy that had pushed him to slay the snake on the last floor pushed him once more. He narrowed his eyes to focus on a point on the arm Nephy was using to draw her sword with before making an unannounced sudden dash towards her, keeping himself low while he sprinted forward. Once he got close enough he made a sweeping slash upwards at that arm, a risky move to be sure though Thomas hardly concerned himself with that for now. Just like with the glaive though, the blade felt oddly natural for the young man to handle, something almost as curious as the weapon's existence itself.
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Lonewolf685
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Kanbaru Otoko


It was painful for Kanbaru to admit to herself, but as she clashed water with fire and saw death roll outwards and kill crabs with just a breath of super heated steam, she had no recourse but to admit she was jealous of Ami. She'd been a fine magical girl before, but she was well and truly a Demon by their standards. The highest aspiration of Dark Magical Girls and Ami had somehow clawed her way to it even after those powers were taken from them.

Sure, Kanbaru was plenty powerful now and was barely even scratching the surface for its uses, but it stung seeing that goal that she and Touka had strived for in the hands of another. Her sole consolation was that at least Ami knew how to use it; That being, indiscriminate wide scale destruction. It made heart swell to see the rapturous delight on her fire wreathed face as Ami scoured crabs from the mortal coil.

Together they were so good at it, the crabs decided to eat each other, but the Abyss was ready to offer new challenges right away, and Nephestos looked right up their alley. With the JSTR's hand turning her chin sharply away from Ami to take in the almost Lupine woman, it became apparent they had a serious threat on their hands.

So it was a surprise that Thomas was the one rushing in first to combat the unknown. Her opinion of the lad rose just as her own blade did, held at her side before she flickered forward in a dash of her own. Red eyes gleaming under the brim of her hat she swung the massive sword from Thomas' right, a heavy cleave to balance his precise strike to Nephy's sword arm. Maybe if the JSTR was feeling cooperative she'd drop an invisible chainsaw from above, but Kanbaru wasn't counting on the nun being helpful without more direct orders.
Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Gardevoiran
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"Hello, Ami. Didn't think you'd be showing up." Akiko dealt with an ounce of slight joy in her voice. Truth be told, it was likely better that the hothead was around. At least if it meant that the group was willing to stand more of a chance. Especially with the arrival of a new, yet uninviting, presence into the area. Of course, ignoring Riku and Thomas' arrival alongside, the new face of Nephetos and... interestingly, another unseen presence. It seemed like Nephy wasn't alone, and had someone playing along from the sidelines. Thankfully Akiko happened to have another set of eyes, Castle's own, trailing around and keeping an eye for the lurking soul she could sense.

She rose from the lake on a clasping set of krakenous tendrils, simply sitting and watching for the moment. "Everyone, watch your step around this place. Nephetos isn't the only threat we've got to worry about, and I'm not just talking about the cannibalistic crabs. I'll keep an eye out, just keep focus on the target." Her eyes narrowed onto Nephy, simply watching and observing through that same, callous stare, all the while her fingers simply tapped against each other as she sat.

[ You're planning something, aren't you. ]

"Indeed, though I lament wishing to try it for myself, Castle." She glanced over at her stand, simply observing it. "Speaking of which, is that still a fitting name? I figure you should have a say."

Castle lifted up its master into its arms from the kraken limbs emerging from below. [ It is fine, though certainly you could think of something greater for my abilities. ]

"Hmm, yes, I believe that can be arranged later. For now..." Akiko's hands flicked through her cards, choosing a single one from the pile and summoning it.

"You've requested our aid." Hellsword stood ominously behind Akiko, stretching from the sea below her. "We believe you desire for us to control the crabs and turn them on our side?"

She smiled. "Indeed. I remember somewhere that mycelia and crustaceans formed an interesting synergy." Hellsword did not respond, simply sinking into the lagoon behind the summoner. Akiko grinned with a sheer grim aura. She had a plan cooking, and she just needed to play it safe for now. "We're on the defensive right now, Castle. Let's give the swordsman some time to work..."
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Flood
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"If you think a little water is gonna douse my flames, then you've got another thing coming Kanbaru!" She roars as she sweeps through the horde of crustaceans, the two former Magical Girls falling in sync almost immediately as they combo their attacks to boil the crabs from the inside out. Despite the angry tone of voice, all it takes is one look at Ami's face and the smile plastered onto it to see just how much she enjoyed fighting alongside an old friend. It was almost enough to make her forget about the deal she made with her new partner, almost anyways.

The survivors would do as any wild animal would, abandoning the adventurers in favor of the pre cooked food that just so happened to be their brethren. It was just nature taking its course, Ami couldn't feel anything particular about it. Maybe a little bit of disgust, they were quite messy eaters. Any hypocrisy on her part was lost on her as she shrugged and sheathed her sword onto her back, turning towards Kanbaru and Katie with a grin. Just Kanbaru and Katie though, the presence of Riku and the others was almost entirely ignored outside of a vague understanding that they existed in her general vicinity. "Anyways, I was wondering if you wanted to split off from these losers and hang out with my new friend I beat up last night!" Blunt and to the point, as if Ami would ever care about hurting someone's feelings. Especially someone who was weaker then her.

Speaking of people who were weaker then her, some loser just came waltzing out of the shadows like an edgelord to challenge her to a fight to the death. Well, Ami thought of her as a loser, but she wasn't necessarily "weak" per se. The two animals understood each other's strength, and while the lion understood itself to be above the wolf, the wolf thought of itself as an equal to the lion. Now this was a conundrum, as Ami didn't think anyone was equal to her. Well, anyone except Kanbaru and maybe Katie. So for the wolf to think of herself as Ami's equal, well that was something she didn't like one bit...

But one of the weaklings would step up to accept the challenge for her. And then Kanabaru would follow. And then the talker would start talking, and Ami would ignore her. One might expect the hothead to go charging in to beat up the wolf with her fellow magical girl but... "Eh, 2 on 1 is one thing. But 3 on 1 is just boring..." The Ex-Magical Girl shrugs as she turns away from the wolf and walks towards Katie, curious as to what she thought of the whole situation. "Well I'm just about bored with the losers. Hopefully Kanbaru can find us later, anyways what's up with the..." Ami trails off as she motions towards Ciel, not entirely sure how to describe her feelings on the card at a glance. She looked boring, but the guys hanging out in the cards were rarely boring. Ami didn't know how she felt about that, but she didn't like things that weren't immediately obvious.
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by TheWendil
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Was her cover that seriously blown? Was she that plain to see among the Lagoon’s spiring rocks and low-tided waters? Or were the other travelers among the Tower just that perceptive? Whatever the case, everyone was starting to notice Katie, who specifically made sure she was supposed to be observing the group from afar. So much for that. Seeing that it couldn’t be helped at this point, especially when Ami was walking towards her general vicinity, it was about time she revealed herself. Not that anyone was paying too much attention.

No sooner were the crabs all taken care of did a new abyssal threat emerge, one lupine and clearly mad; be it madness from the Abyss or her own fragile sanity, Katie paid little heed to. “The least you can do is give me an answer not riddled in riddles,” she told Ciel flatly, acknowledging her subtle glances at three of the travelers but ignoring that for now. After all, she already knew of Kanbaru’s alignment and made a mental note to keep distance from the hunter.

Thankfully she was already engaging Nephy in combat alongside Thomas and Akiko’s scheming. What truly caught Katie’s attention however were Ciel’s next words and she sharply looked around them. If the Stargazer could detect something then it was only a matter of time that it would be revealed; nor was Ciel one to talk lightly of things lurking in such a disgusting place. It was then that Ami reached her conversation and suddenly ideas sprang forward.

“My Serei Card,” Katie explained to the demon regarding Ciel. “She makes for a good map when it comes to navigating this Tower. Nevermind that though. The others can go handle the werewolf but there’s something else in these waters.” Indeed, even Akiko was noticing Runa’s presence, faint and distorted as it was, as if being juggled between several places at once. “Focus on what you felt,” Katie told Ciel, still scanning the area herself.

“Originally I was going to say ditch them. I’d have liked to not make an entrance at all but that’s out the way. Now though, there’s something else nearby,” Katie told Ami. “Sounds powerful if Ciel’s accurate in her senses. What kind of creature would willingly hide itself if it was that strong? Might be a coward, or it might be clever. Either way, fancy going on a hunt? Smoke it out? Could make an interesting fight,” she continued to Ami.

Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by KoL
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CLAIR

"Go get'er guys!" Clair cheered from a distance, watching both Thomas and Kanbaru pile up on the literal rabid dog in front of them.

"Meanwhile, I'm gonna sit here and look for—Eww!" The thief said as she jumped from the crab's back, doing a flashy somersault when she noticed the fungal growths sprouting from her now-ruined lunch.

Clair looked at Akiko with a disgusted grin on her lips. "I was gonna take a bite of that, y'know. It isn't every day a girl can get an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet for free," she said with a totally straight face while munching on a bit of a crab leg she managed to save from the demonic spores.

Even if it looked like Clair wasn't taking things seriously, she kept an eye on everything going on around her. If anyone dared anything she had a trick or two up her sleeve to show'em.

CIEL

"When have I ever done that?" Ciel asked after being accused of giving out complicated advice by her summoner.

"Isn't that a little cold, after all, we've gone through?" Ciel sniffed, almost letting out a forceful tear as Katie dismissed her as a mere card when Ami approached them.

"Anyway, I didn't know you've made a new friend. She looks to be quite the fiery type, huh?" The Stargazer said to Katie before turning her attention to the coming Ami. "I'm Ciel, the Stargazer. It's nice to meet you," she said, flashing a charming smile.

"Searching my feelings, huh? It's not even that hard to say the truth," Ciel said as she put a hand to her chin. "Hmm... If I didn't know better, I'd say we are being stalked by the Superior—though that's probably not the name you would use for them, right?" She said, looking at Katie with knowing eyes, before turning her attention back to the mysterious interloper.

"It's not that different of a skill. Someone who's here and not here at the same time, but they don't have the same aura as the Superior."

"If you wish, I could certainly try to restrain them with some help. After all, even if their being isn't completely here, the soul can't be hidden forever," Ciel said as she yanked at the air, pulling at the up-until-now invisible chains connecting all those who were under the yoke of the Abyss.

Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by ShadowSunRisen
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ShadowSunRisen Final Prophet

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"Thomas, don't just rush after her! She's dangerous!"

Riku's words fell on deaf ears. Thomas brought forward his glaive and left her behind as he charged towards the wolf warrior. She had wanted to plan out an attack, but both Thomas and Kanbaru moved much too quickly for that. The princess is left behind, unsure of what to do.

"Uh! I'll...be here for support, yeah! I'm ready!" She'd call after the pair, taking up her arms and staying in the reserve in case something went wrong. Playing second fiddle is a new experience for her. She'd stare down at her feet and glance up to the ceiling, feeling very out of place.

Though truthfully she's happy to keep some distance from Kanbaru.

"...is there any crabs I can still help with?"

---



The amount of opponents bearing down on Nephy doesn't seem to phase the wolf in the slightest, she welcomed the challenge. Though of all her potential attackers, she least expected Thomas to be the first to reach her to strike. She too, felt some respect grow from the brazen charge, but it was just so foolish...

Seeing Kanbaru move fast like an arrow out of the corner of her eye, Nephy saw an opportunity in this double attack. The glaive turned sword met Nephy's enchanted katana, the weapons crossed and held in a lock, stopping Thomas's attack dead.

"Weak. I'm not sure why you thought you could just run up to me like that. Seems you have a lot to prove, dead weight."

With Kanbaru about to make contact, Nephy would grapple with Thomas to pull him forward, directly in Kanbaru's line of fire. The wolf stepped aside. Her obsidian blade pulsed with a purple energy, readying it's power. The wolf would slash forwards, the slash travelling across the lagoon waters, moving as quick as a bullet from a gun. The magical strike was set to strike Thomas right in the back, Nephy hoped it'd hit both him and the JSTR warrior and knock both out at once.

With her first opponents given proper trouble, she'd turn to face over to Ami and Akiko. A thin smile on her face, her eyes cold and eerily relaxed.

"I welcome the uneven fight. But if you really think it's so unfair, then sure. Let us even things out."

The hilt of her black blade would come to rest against her lips. She'd close her eyes and start to mutter a prayer like chant, imbuing the blade with her words of power, making it grow with an azure fire that began to burn up bottom up to the hilt. Nephy then stabbed violently into the ground beneath the waters, dragging her blade through the soil to cut deeply into the earth. She'd strike the sword back out of the water with a show of great strength. The spot where the dark blade struck began to glow brightly, the cut coming to life in a show of light as something began to stir beneath the waves...

From the crevice Nephy created, skeletal warriors broke out of the waters. The warriors were massive, larger than humans and brandishing giant weapons. Ragged old samurai armors from ancient battles with rusted but still very deadly weapons. One wielded a large naginata, twin blades on either side of a long staff. The other carried a giant axe, wielding it around madly in an attempt to cleave anything that stood in it's way.

"Old brothers in arms. Come to my aid. Cut apart that one over there, limb from limb. Make the living fear the dead once more."

At Nephy's command with a pointed finger right to Ami, both warriors came barreling her way the second they were free from the ground. The two would split up into flanks just as Thomas and Kanbaru had done earlier. They were beings who knew nothing but violence and death, and would strike out at the berserker in frenzied charges. With Ami presently occupied, that turned Nephy's attention to Akiko.

"Did you think you could sit this one out? You just made yourself a wonderful target. I hope your summoned toys are ready!" Nephy hissed with an urge to kill. She'd break into a mad stride, reaching great speeds with her sword held steady at her waist. She'd jump high into the air with powerful legs, aiming to land on the summoner and cut her apart in one single swing before she could activate her defenses.

Nephy's plan was to be shock and horror. Aim for vulnerable targets and keep moving to never be pinned down.
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Dreaming One
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Dreaming One

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Nephetos attacked.
Of course she would - the wolf fed upon the thrill of the fight and the line between life and death - her whole being and existence were this very line as it is, itself. Runa expected her to do so. Runa also expected for the party of adventurers to hold themselves up against the wolf's ruthless, violent attacks. Nephetos was an outstanding threat for them, but something was of a feeling in Runa’s mind to shape that these people who entered the Abyss were not some simple lost souls themselves. Runa’s lips curled into a light smile as one more proof to that feeling’s validity was given to her - as she felt and heard some of the attention directed at her presence. A summoned presence’s magicks were to crawl around the lagoon and underside of the reality, creeping over the flows of energies and senses and intuitions stretched and split over the so fragile and sensitive line of time - some poking motions to appear around Runa’s inner being, creeping over her flickering and fleeting, yet persistent existence.

Marvelous..”, she said under her breath as her words were to turn into a mist and shapes unnatural, her motions of presence and thoughts were to poke back, the touch of a cheeky nature to make Ciel’s chains to jingle a little, like if a Morse code speaking back to her rattled through the pulled chains underside of the realm of manifestations of many wills to shape. But that cheeky messaging would soon stop and wither - as it was time to enter the stage at long last. Nephetos fought like a nightmare appeared, dragging her power from the deepest pits of terror. Her motions were quick as she dashed and moved towards the target to be cut down first. She jumped her blade ready to strike down at the summoner.

A shadow would be cast upon the space between Nephetos and Akiko. A shadow of not ordinary nature, as due to there was no object to be present around to cast it down; neither there was a proper light source for the shadow to be put on that place. It also had shape, it had shade, it had weight and the weight it had was tense enough for the light around it to dim slightly and gently wither for a moment or two, or three. Shadow tensed and while the sword of the wolf warrior was to go down, aiming to cut through it, it met a resistance - a resistance of a nature firm and unmovable. A collision of metal screamed in a high pitched screeching as the devastating blow meant to hit Akiko was to be deflected and forced to follow the shape of the resistance down to the ground, across the shape of a shadow tensing up and forming up into a long pole. Shadow was to shift, tense more, and the hands were to appear holding the said pole, from hands shadows flickered into the arms, from arms it went to the body, legs, torso, head, pair of horns, long blue hair again contrasting with the watery dimness of the ground. Pole was to shape up in a spear - a spear of form and shade unstable and ever changing, colors swirling across its shape like the wielder of this weapon was to flicker in place, before the shadows finally were to disappear and Runa was to stand in presence stable.

She blocked the incoming attack of Nephetos and with a circling motion on place and her spear she gained a needed inertia for a strike back - even though her spear was too long for the proper counter attack aimed at Nephetos due to the limited space in between them, Runa could still use her hand - and she did, with a shape of her presence flickering again her palm was to strike back at the wolf, aiming to push her away with a powerful strike.
From aside one would see a shape of Runa’s hand to be as if cut into several frames, as if her hand had numerous copies following after the motion of the original, or if her presence was cut in a many several frames, barely following her actions.

Are you alright here?”, she calmly asked Akiko with a curled smile on her lips, looking over her shoulder and getting a better hold on her spear. Her attention quickly shifted to Katie, Ami and Ciel as Runa was to smile at them in the same calm manner: “I must apologize for arriving so late to meet you properly. I needed some t̸͎͝i̷̙̤̹͋̂m̵̨̥͗̌́ê̷̲͕̞͗ to properly f̷̖̖̭̂ǫ̴̃c̴͍̄u̶̓͗̚ͅs̴͍̟̼̊̾̃ my presence in here. I am quite thankful for your magicks, it helped me to pinpoint this m̷̎͜ò̸̲m̴͈̯̓̈́e̷̛͎ṇ̸̄͒t̷̟̩͉̓ ̸̙͆ and arrive here, a very right m̷̎͜ò̸̲m̴͈̯̓̈́e̷̛͎ṇ̸̄͒t̷̟̩͉̓ ̸̙͆ indeed to arrive.”, she continued. Her speech flickering and shifting at certain moments, like if several voices were to speak the same word in a very awkward loss of synchronization, some of these voices being somewhat late or too early to speak what she wanted to say.

Would be only honorable of me to offer you all some h̶̛̜̪̃̈́ę̷̯͊ḻ̴̹̲͐̕p̸͎̲̋͊̉ ̵̛̟̬̽̑ back, in regard of this case of i̴̙̓̂n̷̢̺̉̏̔h̶͉̫͋o̶̢̥̯͗̋̂s̷̩̽̌p̷̈̽͜͠i̴̧̇͠t̴̮̯͝á̵̟b̸͉͇̓͆̾ͅl̵̦̬͌̋e̴̫͉͖̽ ̸͈̞̬͌ welcome”, she said and lifted her spear pointed directly at Nephetos.
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Sonnambula
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Sonnambula Stealer of Girls

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He should've seen it coming, but Nephy's counter of Thomas' advance let the boy know first-hand just who he was dealing with. But that wasn't going to stop him, and there was no way he would let himself die just like that.

No sooner had Nephy taken a hold on him to thrust him into Kanbaru's oncoming attack, Thomas' free hand darted straight to his pocket. He swiftly drew out a card, one he hadn't made any use of yet, but one he'd inspected in his spare time after the events of the previous floor. With no time to spare, Thomas swiftly raised the card to his eyes, giving it an intense stare. He'd seen the others draw from the abilities of the Serei on the cards, almost like they were borrowing their attributes. If he'd managed to summon one before, he could manage that, right?

"Fuse!" The boy cried, a bright light instantly emanating from the card as something transferred from it to him. When the light cleared, a metal attachment appeared attached to his back and shoulders. And, similar to the girl on the card, from that attachment sprouted numerous wing-like mechanisms, jet black in colour with streams and emblems of orange on them. Though there was probably much more to be found and utilised with this form, Thomas already had what he needed. For the wings were, in fact, a jetpack. And if there was anything the boy needed at this moment, it was mobility.

As Nephy prepared her strike Thomas launched off the ground, the mechanism working to his will as it blasted him out of harm's way. And that was when he set his sights on Kanbaru.

"Kanbaru!" He called out the girl's name to catch her attention, time too short for him to warn her with anything more than that. Unlike with his weapons he didn't seem to have as natural an affinity with controlling the power that he'd borrowed, but his immediate handle on it was good enough so that, with one sweeping movement as Nephy's slash came barrelling towards Kanbaru, the boy grabbed onto his teammate's arm and lifted her straight up into the air. Well, lifted is a bit of a tame description to use. It was more a throw than anything, but still not too indiscriminate an action, just keeping her in the air long enough for the immediate danger to dissipate.

However flight wasn't all the mechanism offered, something Thomas would soon realise as Nephy turned her attention from one target to the next. Whether it was through his own will or just the accidental knock of a button, both options as likely as each other, in the seconds of reprieve that the violet eyed boy gave himself after his manoeuvre two beams of light streamed out from the jetpack, to his bewilderment, bolting straight in Nephy's general direction.

"What the hell..." Thomas muttered to himself as he lowered himself closer towards the ground, hovering with his blade at the ready just in case.



Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Gardevoiran
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Gardevoiran The Forbidden One

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"I'd like to see you try." Akiko's words were cold and calculating as Nephy got closer, Akiko's attention being momentarily distracted from the presence of the one she felt earlier rushing back and the presence of the two new massive skeletons on the field. For those who could see it, Castle had manifested to block the incoming hit, but something that Akiko wasn't expecting was that she didn't have to do that herself, instead the presence inserting itself between Neph and the cat. Akiko herself flew back a decent way, Castle manifesting to help stop her from a far distance, and then the presence appeared, a quick flashing of red eyes helping Akiko understand a little about this person.

"Yeah, I'm alright." Akiko responded calmly to Runa's sentiment, Castle staying manifested behind the cat as she stepped back to where she had just been. She drew her fans from nowhere before she started to fan herself casually. Given the girl's calm composure and the few seconds Akiko could see with her ability, she let Runa finish her statement before Akiko offered a smile from behind her fan. "Given your appearance and composure, I'm assuming you can see what may happen. Can't say I'm not envious, since all I can see is the past. Might have to ask for a lesson after all this, but for now...~" Akiko got into a fighting stance, smiling. "I'll help in self defense. This wolf did try an attack on my life after all."

Meanwhile...

Behind the combatants, though, the crabs rose back from the ground, each one adorned with a light blue cluster of mushrooms sprouting from their heads and along their crusty carapaces. They moved forward, almost like soldiers, with intent to no longer attack the newcomers of the Abyss but rather to protect. Some crabs stayed back to fight the others with unyielding presence, no longer bound by the limits of their brains wanting to act with restraint for their own bodies. Some moved forward to protect certain clusters of adventurers, each cluster having one crab to its utility, and the rest all sauntered forward towards Nephy to smite the beast.

Hellsword rose again from the watery lagoon, riding a cluster of algae that strung up from the waters. His eyes were settled on the two behemoths brought forth by Nephy, his voice carrying an energy as he spoke to them.

"Brothers in undeath, bound to servitude under one who could not understand, instead drive your attempts onto your summoner. Leave nothing for the maggots to feast on." If the skeletal warriors Nephetos summoned could feel, they'd have to strangle with a sudden and overpowering compulsion towards what could only be described as freedom and unrestraint at the necromancer's request, with only one desire. Instead of focusing their efforts onto a group of foes, they just needed to worry about one.

Whether that compulsion forced their wills, however, was in the air. At the very least, Hellsword hoped it would stagger them and give a chance for the crabs to move in and take their attention.

Regardless of anything, one couldn't deny that the bioluminescent glow of the mushrooms crabs around the battlefield made for a fantastic backdrop for this fight.
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Lonewolf685
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Lonewolf685 Inquisitive and Immortal

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Kanbaru Otoko


The wolf woman was feral. Savage and direct, ruled by her hunger and fleeting emotions to see Kanbaru and the rest killed on a whim. A hunger pang. Her eyes widened and face split, a euphoria gripping her as boy and purple slash moved to intercept her.

"Wonderful-" A flash of emerging Serei power and Thomas flight changed in direction, snatching her by the arm and hurling her skywards with only a single shout of her name for warning. Her heart thundered and heat blossomed across her cheeks as age old experience saw her twisting herself to an inverted state, looking down upon the chaos erupting everywhere. "Wonderful! Simply wonderful!"

The Corpse Collector card shattered and saw her garbed in her flowing cloak, the heat of excitement buried under a heavy respirator mask now furiously expelling puffs of heated air. She was soon straddling a wicked, beefy motorcycle colored a midnight black, it's light fixated upon Nephy before the engine roared and she raced headless of the laser barrage just beside her towards the melee again. Twinned pistols in hand and the weight of the JSTR against her back, she raced forwards for a clash of vehicular Gunkata against the samurai wolf with even the blood thirsty vehicle out to see Nephy trampled beneath it's treads. "Oh I love this floor!"
Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by ShadowSunRisen
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ShadowSunRisen Final Prophet

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________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Nephy was confident she'd blow away her feeble opponents in mere seconds than minutes. Her accomplice was going to be deeply disappointed when she had already finished off all these newcomers faster than the last batch. More bodies for the fodder, more souls for her war machine. All worth it in the end.

Instead, the wolf found herself forced away from Akiko by a new opponent, forced to land a ways away by the power of the parry. Her blade blade rung slightly after the fight, and she looked up to the newcomer with scorn. Akiko's new guardian would make things difficult, but not impossible.

Akiko's Hellsword began to overwhelm Nephy's summoned undead, causing them to stagger and yell as the souls contained in those rotted bodies screamed out in pain from the invasive power. Nephy immediately would speak words of power into her blade, murmuring ancient spells.

"You are in peril! Return to me!" The wolf shouted, and the undead warriors collapsed as their souls quickly returned to their home inside the black blade. Nephy winced from the pain of her family, feeling a dark rage come over her. She would not allow any necromancer to tamper with her undead kin.

Thomas and Kanbaru had recovered behind her, back onto the attack. Hellsword's summoned crabs were stomping forward as well for an all out offensive. The wolf can't help but smile.

"All this attention is flattering. Hold on a moment and let me compose myself." The samurai said with a smile, stretching out her arms as if to embrace her attackers. She'd fall backwards instead, splashing up black liquid as she disappeared into the mire, vanishing completely.

There was silence for a moment as the wolf appeared to have retreated. Perhaps entirely from the battle. That didn't seem right as something stirred in the lagoon below, rapidly approaching Kanbaru and her vehicle. Out from the depths the wolf would launch herself upward, behind Thomas and Kanbaru. In the time it took for them to readjust, Nephy had her moment to strike.

Focused on Thomas first, she'd swap out her black blade for a silver yumi, a handcrafted bow. Wielding three black arrows at once, she'd sling a volley at the boy's way to strike him out from the sky with those incredibly fast missiles. Her weapon would disappear in a black smoke, replaced with a long staff naginata blade from which the wolf rushed out to strike Kanbaru's wagon right in the wheels to disrupt it. Her next strike would be for the warrior herself.

"Back. Off!"

The staff met scythe as Riku's weapon poised the blade back, causing Nephy to recoil and snarl. She was getting sick of these interferences!

"I can't believe we're fighting together. But that's right! I'll come help you Kanbaru! Cuz we need to work as a te-"

The princess doesn't finish her sentence. With an angry yell Nephy swatted the princess away as if she were a bug, sending her flying across the floor with incredible speed across the lagoon. She would skip like a stone as she went airborne off on the other side of the lagoon, right in front of another travelling group.

"Out of my way, scum."

With the princess gone, she'd return to her opponents with her staff raised high. It glowed with dark powers, ready to skewer anyone and anything.

"I can hit you anywhere, at anytime and with such strength you can't even imagine it. Go run home now or pray to your gods, I will destroy every last one of you!"

This fight would end soon, one way or another.
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by TheWendil
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There was no use or point getting worked up about her card’s crocodile tears when Katie knew the fish was far too used to swimming in salt water. It made giving decisions off her conscience that much easier knowing this fact. “Less with the browsing into my friend list and more into looking around please,” she told Ciel, unsure if she should really call Ami her friend. They were more battle partners though as of recent history she wasn’t sure how much that was accurate.

In any case, what Ciel did have to report caught her interest near-immediately. “The Superior huh. You’re talking about a true Jester. If they feel familiar then….” Before she could really finish and before Ami could find their newcomer, the force revealed itself at last in the form of a shimmering demon, coming to Akiko’s aid just before Nephy struck her. Katie watched the exchange from their safe distance, at least now knowing who this presence was.

A potential ally…supposedly. “That won’t be needed anymore. Return back for later,” she told Ciel, more so to keep the Serei out of danger as a liability than anything else. Speaking of liabilities, it seemed one was sent straight towards her and Ami. Something was flying away from the battle, a person or object that flew with frightening speeds. Closer inspection revealed it to be the former to Katie and her feet left the ground before she knew.

A red blur streaked the air, feeling much softer than she thought as it landed straight in her arms and nearly sent the both of them crashing. But Katie kept her composure midair, arms wrapped under Riku’s legs and under her back to keep her propped like a bride before she landed back on solid ground. “A fall like that would have cracked your head,” she said bluntly and looked over at the battle with Nephy again. “That wolf has some strength to be throwing people like that.”

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