Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by KoL
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KoL Knight of Lorelei

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CLAIR

"Well, if that's how it's gonna be..." Clair said in a half-dejected voice as she noticed how her jokes had been ignored by pretty much everyone else. Sure they might be busy fighting to the death with a wolf spectre of the depths, but that was no excuse to leave her talking to the walls, right?

"I guess I'm gonna take a look at what's over there. Not that anyone will notice, of course," the blonde thief said as she walked to the other side of the cave, passing by Katie, Amy, and a strangely blurry presence on the way.

Clair'd been a solo thief for very long, so that didn't bother her half as much as she made it appear to. In fact, being alone had some benefits, like finding treasure where no one was paying attention to, such as the giant clams—bigger than she was tall—sticking from a wall nearby.

Certainly, they would have some kind of equally giant pearls inside of them would they not?

"Don't mind if I do," Clair said to herself as she pulled out her blade and began trying to pry one of the giant mollusks open.

CIEL

"That was just a simple trick. Let's say I have experience with that kind of thing," Ciel answered Runa's comment in a friendly manner, smiling all the way through.

"In fact, you remind me of—" Ciel was about to go into a spiel about her job when Katie interrupted her, making the Stargazer feel a little bit cheated.

"Fwa~ If you say so. I don't think you'll have to worry about anything with this one..." Ciel yawned a tired—or perhaps lazy—yawn as Katie dismissed her idea and sent her back to the card.

Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Dreaming One
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Dreaming One

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Runa’s forceful punch was to push Nephetos away enough to create some distance in between them, a distance enough for Runa to grab her spear properly and point it into the direction of white wolf. Which certainly only added to Nephetos’s mad rage spinning somewhere in her head past these eyes as Runa thought looking directly into them. Akiko speaking up behind made Runa to give the summoner a quick glance with a chuckle to follow, a light nod appearing afterwards:

You may say like that, ẗ̸̥̫́r̷̘͗ú̶͉̓̔ę̵̥̼̓͋͌ Like we all see things in a different light to be cast by the m̷̛̩̈̎ő̷͙͈͊̐ḿ̴̠̌e̴̲͋͝n̷͕̞͈̒̈́t̶̺̏̉s̷̞̦̓̃̐ taken away, so I may see things in lights to shed in the m̷̛̩̈̎ő̷͙͈͊̐ḿ̴̠̌e̴̲͋͝n̷͕̞͈̒̈́t̶̺̏̉s̷̞̦̓̃̐ added. Like of how an è̵̝͔y̸͙̞͋e̵̛̠̝̽̂̽ͅ focuses on images lingering before it.”.

Runa said, with a tilt on her head and a smirk was to be painted over her lips as she turned her eyes back to Nephetos, “A lesson might await for a later m̷̛̩̈̎ő̷͙͈͊̐ḿ̴̠̌e̴̲͋͝n̷t̶̺̏̉ while these eyes are met with eyes of a different… ǎ̵̫̬ș̷̇p̵̙̫̋̉ȋ̷͓r̶̞̭͋͛a̴̻̱͑t̷̯͋ḯ̷̻͖̎ò̵̯̚n̶̙̔̑,", Runa said with a tone calm and voice floating; her speech though continued to flicker and echo in deep reverb, same word layered over itself by a several voices with a deep endless void of alien silence to suspend in between, and so her spear would flicker in color as well.

Nephetos soon disappeared in the shadows, only to reappear behind other adventurers. Runa held her smirk on her lips, it remained almost as if frozen, still and motionless. Her eyes lightly glanced on Akiko again and she nodded once again.

Self defense is good. But you would also need to provide o̵̺̿͆͝f̸͍̏f̶̈͑̈͜e̶͙͌̈n̵̦͕͐̀̏ș̴̥̓̂͐e̴͇̞͐ here too if you are to assure your and your friends' breath happening on”, she said, right before Nephetos’s strike sent Riku flying aside by a forceful strike. The trajectory of her flight was met by Runa with a look rather unamused and unfazed. “Put everything you have, summoner, it’s not a.. moment to hold back. There is more than just your life being put in question. Abyss swallows even s̸̜͑̚o̷͈̾̇͠u̷̳͆̕ľ̵͖͍̞̏̀ś̷̪”", Runa said and with of little pause after that she dashed forward: Nephetos who was concentrated on attacking the group would give Runa an opening enough to support an attack coming on the wolf from the rest of adventurers from aside - a flickering dash left a trace of shadows sparking with blackness for a moment under her feet as she ran towards Nephetos and with of little moment to be spared she attacked with her spear. A motion of her arm would direct the spear in a piercing attack aimed at the white wolf - and the spear in the momentum itself was to flicker again and in that flicker to split apart and appear as dozens and dozen more spikes rushing towards the samurai’s head.
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Gardevoiran
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Gardevoiran The Forbidden One

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Souls? Well, that made things a little more interesting, though Castle still being around meant that if it was Akiko's soul being swallowed it's at least happening at a slow rate. Which... was interesting. That had some odd implication's she'd have to thumb through later. Still, she shook her head and refocused herself. "Trust me, when I mean self defense, it means I'm dropping my pacifism for just a little." Her eyes flashed red towards Nephetos. The wolf chose a rough day to play with this cat.

[ Is it time to advance? ] "Indeed. We're on."

She darted forward, taking advantage of the crabs to obscure her approach before she lunged forward towards Nephetos with aggression in her eyes, and for the first time it seemed like she had somehow approached with an intent to harm. What nobody but some gifted amongst the crowd could see, however, was a mighty slash from Castle streaming straight towards Nephetos that, to her and many others, would seem like an unseen force smashing into her when it hit.

"You're an interesting foe!" Akiko chided excitingly, gripping her Purple Relic to pull a blast of air from behind Nephy to allow her another brutal swing with Castle that seemed to be right on target. "Definitely unexpected for a sheep in wolf's clothing!"

She was about to go in for another blow before her eyes flashed red once more, instead resulting in her diving down below the surface of the water and dodging the incoming attacks. Why didn't she think of seeing a foe's attacks before when they practiced them?! That was an ingenious plan! Though for some reason the vision she saw was... oddly similar to this very fight. Huh. Noting for later. Regardless, as long as she played her cards right and kept being hard to hit, she could easily manage to dance toe-to-toe with Nephy.

Meanwhile...

"As expected." Hellsword scoffed, sinking down to the surface of the water and watching the crabs saunter towards the center of the arena, converging onto Nephetos and their summoner's position. He couldn't help but admire her handiwork. When Akiko was determined to do something, it seemed like she'd get it done in some way. Or maybe he was just being optimistic, and although that's rare, it was also possible.

With nary a word, Hellsword commanded the crabs nearest to Nephetos to dive under, which they did. It was likely in an effort to help keep Akiko safe with her dive, though he wasn't sure how well that'd work.

The crabs around the battlefield kept up their defense just fine. With them being unhinged, some managed to easily take down their encroaching forces, though others got a little overzealous and simply broke off their claw with a major swing. Thankfully, the spores leaked out, corrupting the other crabs in the process and making them go hazy as they started to mutate the same fungus. Hellsword couldn't help but laugh. Like it or not, his presence here was firmly established. Maybe that'd earn some points with Ira if she could see it.
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Lonewolf685
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Lonewolf685 Inquisitive and Immortal

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Kanbaru Otoko


"So she's a weapon's master, huh? Damn that's so coooooool!" Her words turned into a shriek of joy as a glowing strike was directed towards her 'valiant' steed, yet without input of her own the front wheel locked, tipping the seat forward for her to intercept the strike against the barrels of her heavy pistols as they crossed to catch the haft.

There wasn't a deadlock to be had, however, as Castle streaked in and struck the wolf woman with all it's impressive might, setting it's user up to bounce the wolf between vaccuums of absent air and the Stand's own fist. Exactly the sort of cruel domination the whale had come to expect from the most nefarious among their number, but just once, she'd let it slide as the motorcycle lurched, zipping over the juggled Nephy with a flip that left Kanbaru aiming straight downwards.

A blistering barrage of frosty projectiles whizzed by, cleanly missing both Stand and enemy alike as they struck the water below. Ice surged not just outwards but downwards, feet of water solidifying to deprive an escape beneath the murky depths. A gout of flame shot from her motorcycle and sent her to the ice, hands discarding the spent guns to take the handle bars.

"Hey mutt, you should take a ride on the wild side. My treat!" Dismounting it entirely, Kanbaru swung the vehicle as a bludgeon to crush the undead wolf against the merciless ice. "MOTO RUNNER!"
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by TheWendil
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“If you say so.” Katie’s response mirrored Ciel’s as the Serei was called off and returned back to her card. She wasn’t quite so sure about the fish’s analysis of Runa but if the Stargazer said there was no issue she couldn’t handle, Katie wouldn’t summon her just to burn fuel. There was no need for it when it was best to conserve after all. It was the opposite philosophy of Katie’s peers, each of which unleashed their bouts and went all out in their own ways. Perhaps, she supposed, it was because for once they faced a worthy enemy in the Tower.

She was almost surprised Ami didn’t go around swinging berserker’s pride but figured the demon saw Nephy inferior anyway. With the wolf being battered back, she couldn’t help but agree. Katie’s gaze was inevitably drawn from the battle to one occupant of it, noting the invisible force around Akiko firing off at the wolf. What caused the cat to finally take action? That wasn’t like her…was Runa responsible? Katie of course couldn’t know what was spoken between the two but her sight kept track of the horned demon and the bard, silent thoughts kept to herself.

These thoughts would fizzle away as only Clair brushed past her group, interested in some distorted clams growing on the cavern walls. The scent of Jester on her made Katie recoil but she knew the thief couldn’t do much in retaliation if it came to that. “What exactly are you doing,” she asked deadpan. No really, first she was eating the crabs and now here she was treasure hoarding and-at that moment, Katie was reminded of the warm weight in her arms.

….oh right, she was still carrying Riku. Before she could deposit the princess on stable ground, something new entered the air that made her pause. It was distinct and subtle, small enough that none of the actual battle junkies would notice. It was doubtful Thomas would have noticed either had the soft sound of music not filled his head. A familiar piano rang a new melody with the air progressively getting thicker.

“Run,” were Marianne’s words among the piano keys to Thomas alone. “It’s coming.” It was a creeping sensation that tingled up Thomas’ spine in a similar manner to Marianne’s fingers crawling up his skin. A similar aura was slowly forming over Runa like hidden fog intent on choking her beat by beat.

Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Sonnambula
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Sonnambula Stealer of Girls

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Thomas' time for respite and analysis was short, shorter than he'd hoped for. To return his volley of lasers at the pale wolf, three arrows came back his way. They were aimed precisely, and tore through the air as though hungry themselves for the boy's flesh. In a panicked and reflexive action Thomas raised his blade to cover what he could, but it wasn't quite enough to completely protect him.

One arrow that was headed straight for his chest was luckily halted by his raised sword, bouncing off against the blade and falling to the ground. Another whistled right past his face, grazing his cheek and almost taking off his ear as well, if it hadn't been for Thomas immediately jerking to the side from the pain as blood welled up from the cut. The final one luckily also missed its target, his abdomen, thanks to the boy's aforementioned jolt to the side. Instead it cut through his jacket, roughly just below his left elbow at the side, ripping through flesh and leaving a fairly deep gash before sailing away as well. At least it hadn't embedded itself in the boy's arm, but it still hurt like hell anyway. Especially for someone not especially used to this sort of thing yet.

With a contained cry of shock and pain Thomas dropped to the ground, the jetpack and everything else to do with Utena's card in his possession, whether he knew it or not, returning back to where they'd come from. Luckily it wasn't such a far drop to the ground, his scimitar clanging down next to him, but given what had just happened as well as the scale of the fight against Nephy and the strength of the abilities being used only increasing, Thomas knew before he'd even stood back up off the cold hard ground that he was done. At least for now.

His eyes widened though, as he clutched at the spot on his arm that the arrow had sliced, like a moment of realisation had suddenly hit him. Though it wasn't about the wound, no. It was the damage done to the jacket. The only thing he had to remind himself of home, of the family he'd had and had yet to have. Now, all of a sudden, Thomas' shock turned to rage. As though an attack on this seemingly arbitrary piece of clothing was an attack on his actual family. He let go of his arm, the boy's blood stained hand taking up his fallen blade instead. Now, as he looked to the battle raging on ahead, as he looked at Nephy, the prospect of joining back into the fray seemed more desirable. Almost appealing. But the Tower had other ideas, it seemed.

Something was changing. The violet-eyed boy's heartbeat acted almost like a metronome pulsating through his body, while within his mind was music. That sound, that delicate touch, it was unmistakable who it was, though the melody was unfamiliar. The air began to feel a lot heavier as the music went on and became clearer in his head, an ominous feeling filling the lagoon. By the time Marianne had begun to speak to him, Thomas was already sprinting over to Katie, spurred on by the tingling feeling along his back that felt like it was almost pushing him on. He'd noticed the girl sometime before while in the thick of it with Nephy, and given their interaction at the bar earlier it felt wisest to go to her first.

"Guys-!" Thomas turned his head to call out to Kanbaru and Akiko, still amidst their battle with the wild hound, but he stopped himself before he could say anything else. By the looks of things they weren't listening, nor were they going to stop just because he told them to; it was a waste of energy. Before he knew it, he had reached Katie anyway.

"Katie, something's coming! I don't know what, but we need to get out of here. I've tried to tell the others, but- wait, is she ok?" The boy burst out frantically, something which had, so far at least, been quite unorthodox for the young man. He spoke with concern as he noticed Riku in the other girl's arms, a bit surprised to see her there given he hadn't seen Nephy strike her; he'd been busy falling and whatnot. There was panic in his eyes as the music continued, panting while his fingers rubbing nervously against his pocket where he knew Marianne's card currently laid.

Hidden 3 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by ShadowSunRisen
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ShadowSunRisen Final Prophet

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______________________________________________________________________________________________

Before Nephy's new offensive could begin the wolf was under attack from all angles. First came Runa with her telegraphed spear strikes that were easily deflected and swatted away by parries from her katana. The wolf would give a simple counter attack in a well telegraphed overhead cleave that Runa saw coming in more ways than one.

"Annoying pest!" She'd bark at the ghostly engima before being interrupted by Akiko's new attack.

An unseen force indeed, but still left a faint enough physical presence for the wolf's natural instincts to feel the disturbances on the lagoon water. She'd jump high into the air to avoid the swing from the invisible force, just barely doing so. Her eyes are wide with alarm as her body reacted for her, the wolf having no idea what just happened...

Unbeknownst to the wolf she had just set herself up perfectly for Kanbaru's motorcade zipping through the air. Nephy was a sitting duck hanging in the and was quickly slapped across her body with the tire of a flaming motor vehicle.

"W-what is this!?" The imperiled wolf yelped as she's sent slamming into the ice wall by angry steel, breaking through the barrier and knocked out several feet by the force of the impact. An attack that could easily kill lesser beings. Nephy was sent rolling through the lagoon water, having to catch herself with a quick flip in the air. There was a tread mark streak across her cheek left from the hit. Her disheveled hair hung loosely from her face as she staggered back to her feet.

"The new ones can bite back..." She'd murmur to herself, new respect for her enemies. Her black sheathed katana began to glow with dark purple energy, rolling over the blade like the glint of light. She channeled her own life force into the twisted sword Nekuromata, humming with its master's power.

However, the fight was not to continue. Many of the gathered had already felt the strange presence, and Nephy would as well as her ears flicked in warning. This was getting too complicated, and she would need more time to deal with the likes of Kanbaru and Akiko. Her mission after all had been completed, the new flock were made of some interesting power. Some of them, at least. She would need more time to study and play with her food.

"Hmm. Seems the powers that be are stirring back to life here. We'll have to settle this for next time. We both still have much to learn about each other. For once, I am excited, there's so many interesting people here, even ones out of view..."

Still she wasn't just about to leave without giving a parting gift. That channeled energy would be violently expended as Nephy shot streaks of darkblade across the field. They would mobile sword slashes that would glide across the lagoon like a fast ghost, ripping to shreds anything caught in the path.

With her final attack, the wolf would vanish without a trace. The spot empty where she last was, disappeared back into the darkness of the Abyss, plotting her next encounter.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________



An airborne princess landed in Katie's arms, knocked out of breath and was fully convinced she was on a one way ticket back to the deathsphere again.

Instead she's in a strange girl's arms, admittedly kind of pretty. She gave a sheepish smile and a weak blush, unsure on how to properly respond at this moment.

"Hey, thanks for the save!" She'd beam at her rescuer, before being let down.

"Alright, now. Where am I and what is going on? Who do I need to hit with my scythe to be relevant again?"

She hoped she didn't miss all the fun.

Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Dreaming One
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Dreaming One

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The metal sung in high pitched shrieks of clinging and clashing as Runa directed her spear into the mad samurai and each of her flickering strikes was to be quickly and masterfully deflected with a series of katana slashes. Nephetos’s hand directing her blade moved against each of the incoming strikes coming from Runa, causing sparks to rise and lit up the space in between them both, sparks reflecting with white and bright yellow shades of fleeting light in the metal of their weapons and in their eyes, with some passion to linger in the air.

Her defense stance Nephetos was soon to redirect in the counter attack, as her sword rose high over Runa’s head and aimed to strike down on her - a blow which upon landing would’ve cut not only the girl herself, but the ground under her feet too; but the swift motion of a spear swinging over her head to again gain a diagonal position over Runa’s head and side, causing the vertical slash aimed on her to meet the metal of the spear and slide down past the demon’s shape - the katana cleave redirected into the ground again.
Thus giving others an opening to attack.

Keep your eyes p̸̜̮̅̿è̵̫͗ͅê̴̪̔l̴̰̿ḛ̴̜͑̎d̸̬̬̓͌”, Runa replied to Nephetos with the same smile she would always wear on her lips and then carefully dashed aside - her motions flickered again as she moved back, allowing the adventurers to strike at the samurai with what they had. For Runa it was a sight to behold as well; or a spectacle, or a demonstration. Watching Akiko provide her counterattack on the white wolf which would also create another opening - for Kanbaru to use her projectile on her. It made Runa to give a light chuckle amidst the fight as she recovered herself with her spear back in her hands properly in the attack position: “You did not lie when you s̴͔̪̃͝a̷͓̋ḯ̵̼ͅd̵̡̧̏̉ that you are capable of d̸̜̀r̴̛̩͙o̷̺̎p̸̧͙͒̚p̸̘̞͌͒ḯ̶̞̠͘n̶͉̏́g̴̢͙̕ your pacifism for just a little indeed.”, Runa said with some praise directed for Akiko - right before she was ready to get back into a fight.

A fight which would soon come to halt. Runa felt it among the first, an alien, yet all so familiar presence shaping up around the battlefield, and around some certain visitors in here - herself included. Right from that moment of the creeping coldness without a body to shiver through the air to appear she knew that Nephetos would be quick to part. And so she did - her body dissolving and disappearing without a trace in the thick cloud of darkness - leaving only an explosion of dark blades to dart around the battlefield - which Runa would evade by a few flickering motions, calmly stepping from side to side.

She will come back for m̴͙̒ơ̷͈̰̊r̶̈͜ě̷̳̩̈́. If you all are to survive the ș̵̫̒̍h̴͔̉ā̴͖p̵̮̼̆ē̵̢ of other... ḭ̵́n̸̤̂̉h̶͇̟̄͊a̷͈̪̔b̵̨̓͝i̴̥̕t̵̝͌̚ã̷͇n̷͎̲̄ť̵̩̚s̴̢̲̈́́ of this place.

Somewhere along the banks of the Lagoon's outer edges were the remainder of the group. Something was indeed wrong, the sensation Katie picked up on coming closer and closer until she felt the backs of her hairs stick up. Thomas' charge and warning was all but confirmation to the invisible factor. Were she naive, she might have thought it was through their efforts Nephy was driven off, but more than likely it was because of that newfound presence. "She's fine. As you can see," Katie answered Thomas in deadpan, already placing Riku down. "You can focus on going further into the cave before whatever it is approaches us. I suggest you ask that demon girl for directions-"

She was in front of Riku in a blur, smacking away the residual dark energies left behind by Nephy as a final parting gift. So quick was her movement the princess barely caught a glimpse of her blade as it already shimmered away and out of sight. Somewhere off to the distance was an echoing crash as Nephy's redirected attack was sent away. "The others can figure it out sooner or later. This isn't something we can fight..."

The presence of something other could be felt by everyone at this point and it turned the waters of the Lagoon colder and more frigid than they already were. Chunks of rocks fell off the tops of the stalagmites that dotted the Lagoon's backdrop, plummeting lile lobbed off heads into the waters. The crabs once under Hellsword's control fell where they stood, some teetering to their sides with undead limbs cycling in the air before at long last they grew still again. But most of all, a chill like no other crept up the spine of the biggest sinner, an edge of an invisible grip curling itself from the tip of Runa's tail, crawling up her back, all the way to the ends of her horns. It was as if two sturdy hands gently pressed onto each of her shoulders with nothing to show for this phenomenon in sight.

Yes. I had a feeling y̸̧͕̑̐o̸̥͐͝ù̴̞ would come sooner or later, attracted by such a d̸̪̥́̍ḭ̶͗ş̸̐̍p̵̯̈́l̸̬̒̕ḁ̵͚̅̀y̶͍͗̇”, Runa said to no one visibly around, no one certainly in specifics, her eyes directed at the rocky wall of the cave they were in and her shape flickered still. She felt it first, and she was all too familiar with that taste of its presence - a formless shape of coldness yet to manifest but already in touch with the reality she was struggling with. The grip of the cold was to clasp over her shoulders after rising up her tail and spine and apply slight pressure, a hold almost tender was it not so reeking of death.

My dear guests… These s̷̭͍͌͠p̴̪̘̆͒i̵͚͙͐͗r̶̟̗͋͠i̵̻̪̓̑t̴̰̺̄̈s̶̢̔̓ you can feel by the shivering touch of the cold on your skin are something that you may think of as a c̸̟͖̊ư̸̓͜r̶̲̲͊͠s̷̫̗̾e̷͉̓ taken form and will, haunting presence of a force filled with d̷͉͑̽ḙ̴̌a̴͓̽t̶̥͗h̸̖͈̆̈́... “, Runa said, her shape flickered again in a manner of her face splitting and twitching, as suddenly while she was still facing Akiko, Kanbaru and the place where Nephy was just a moment ago, the ghostly shade of hers was to be turned around, facing what was behind the demon’s back.

Ain’t that right, spirits? But even you have your ḻ̴̔í̴͔͕̉m̶̼̑͒í̵͔t̴͕̞̅̚s̵̞̏̏”, Runa’s ghostly shape said to whatever was behind her, while her actual shape facing Kanbaru and Kanbaru addressed them: “We have to move. Ṉ̸̑ỡ̸̹w̴̟̒́

Runa's warning wasn't to be taken lightly. Already the same encroaching chill on the first Runa spread to the true one like a plague. The area grew colder, cold enough for Katie to start seeing her breath, though she doubted Kanbaru would be affected by the decrease in temperature. "You better do what she says," she told Riku, Thomas, and Ami. She too was already turned away, moving deeper into the Abyss' inner-caveworks. The ghastly presence moved down Runa's throat from her lips, taking with it breath as it stole away her air and all capacity to breathe. Her saving grace was it was a slow process and not all of the presence was altogether here in complete fashion much like her. But soon. It was coming soon, and in time. The crab corpse's were already rotting away, large chunks of their shells deteriorating rapidly and caving in on themselves. The pressure deepened, as if pushing on Runa's chest....and Riku's as well.

Aren’t you a feral b̷͖̩̑̓e̷̙̿̆a̸̼̽̄ṡ̸̡̻̈́t̵̮̮̐ yearning for a life to claim?”, Runa said again with an absent and sterile tone, all while the devouring cold was to spread further around and across her present body, consuming over her tongue, her throat, slipping down into her.
How many times of a time in a lifetime..?

The coldness knew no words, it was just consuming everything, coating everything with itself as it was to paint over the air with people’s breaths to be exposed in how they exhaled, painting over the ground with the rot of crabs’s corpses which were left behind, over the rocky walls with the frosty touch, over skin exposed and not with the biting shivering pressure. Runa’s face was to remain unfazed with her lips still shaped in a smile, despite the growing pressure to form around her chest, deeply forcing itself over the demon’s heart.

M̸͉̌̑à̸̬n̵̺̅y̶̼̆ ̷̗̈t̷̫̉i̵̗̓͘m̷̥̉̌ë̷̲͝s̶̠͑ ̷̯̋̑ĩ̶̮̀t̷͈͆ ̴̢̘̒ẅ̶̫́͘a̶̳͚͆̚s̵͈̽”, she said and suddenly her presence produce a twitching flicker heavier than the others were before, her presence was to crumble on place, to leave an emptiness of a space where she just was a moment ago - only for her to appear again in a different place but still beside the pair who fought together with her: “Follow me.” Unlike other occasions, this time her wording was simple and direct enough.

She started to move onward. Her voice seemed to not to be impacted much by the fact she was running - and quite fast so, only she flickered each time she was to say something, and yet the tone was as still and calm as usual: “This coldness. Somewhat of a d̸̩̀o̶̩͌͛ȍ̸̥̽m̴̨͐ of this place. Claims everything as its own. First thing local inhabitants learn to do - is to avoid this presence. Or to be c̵͎̯͘ờ̵̧͖n̶̨͈̊̚s̸̻̕ü̵͙͓m̷̞̹͂ë̶̬́̄d̵̮͛ and ̴̥̫̈r̴̨̺̽̀o̵̧̲̍ṫ̷͖̲̾t̷̙̱͘ě̵͉̟͂d̶̳̈́ͅ ̵̻͘a̶͔̗̒ŵ̸̥a̵̦̎͝ỵ̵̉̃”. She guided the party onward, deeper into the cave lagoon was in, deeper through the rocky formations surrounded and shaped by the eons of the water coating over them, deeper into the area where the light was casted by Runa’s chaotic flickering and occasional spells one would to put, deeper into the Abyss.

***

In time, coldness remained behind. It never disappeared, not it was to be casted away, only distance grew in between and in so its presence. It was to come back sooner or later - it was something Runa was to tell, but it also was a thing obvious on its own. It was looming over, creeping up after, no matter what one would do.

In time they reached a landscape to expose before their eyes. Countless buildings ruined, broken, laying lifeless and empty scattered across the rocky formations to be seen - a city once was but now long gone. It had no clear geometry or a foundation, the placement of buildings was confusing, sometimes it was completely impossible - some were just collapsed, but some were turned upside down, the walls absent or grew into the rocky bases of the Abyss, buildings laying on top of each other, crumbled into each other. Scattered around like many pieces of various puzzles unfit to be together but forced so, cut and broken into shapes unfit to exist. And yet there they were. Real and exposed to an eye.

There was no place to live here. N̶͖̕ȇ̶̞v̷̲̝͑͗ḙ̵̡͑͘r̵̡̐ ̶̗̿̓w̶̘͂͗ͅë̶̼́̔͜r̸̰͛̄ȩ̷͗̌. Never was a town here, or a village. It was an empty barren wasteland. Then times before times ago, a land above the Abyss c̸̯͒͐r̵̺̈́͝a̸̮͝c̷̼̈k̶̞̑ͅe̵̢̓d̵̡͎́͐ and broke apart. Its pieces and fragments fell into here, c̸̮͕͒͌ö̸̬̊n̵̪̓̌s̸̤̩͑u̴̧͊̋m̵̱͆e̶͉͛͝d̵̘͂; and what once was a structure of things to be, now became a mere rubble. Though, what might be a ruin in one’s eye is to serve a place to live for others.”, Runa explained, also pointing out further into the distance, where the said pieces of buildings were assembled and put into place more properly, more fitting for one to live in and even resemble some actual space of being inhabited. One could even say it was made so with care and a sense of beauty where pieces of broken structure were put to compliment and fit the shapes of rock foundations.

We can rest there, for as long as there is some distance built between us and the c̵̺͐o̷̲͆͛ḻ̶͕̈́d̸̛̠̬͒n̷̝̔͠e̶̮͖̽͑s̸̰̳̔̍ș̵̓, I assure it is a place safe to be in. Might as well consider it a home for souls lost there, if you are to consider y̷̪͌͜ỏ̶̭u̴̗̐r̵̤̰͂̓s̷̯̀͊ë̶́͗ͅl̷͚̀̚f̸͙̓͊ ̶̟̯̐o̷͕̫̓͂n̷͇̆e̷͕͎͛͆.”, Runa said and guided the adventurers inside of a little fort constructed out of the broken pieces of the land long gone.
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Gardevoiran
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Akiko shook her hand clean from the prior engagement, feeling the presence nearby start to creep closer with an ever-growing cold. With Hellsword sinking down to approach his summoner, Akiko turned her attention to Runa. "I don't just stand by when something's trying to kill me. I like pacifism, but I'm not an absolute pacifist." Nephetos trying an attempt on the queen's life made it a valid time to drop the pacifism for a moment. She stretched her arms out as Hellsword landed beside her.

"The presence approaches. Will you be alright to escape."

"Yes, I should be fine. Fantastic work, Bonesword. If your services are ever needed-"

"You have but to ask." Hellsword shimmered in a flash of green light before disappearing, his card returning to its master's possession. A loyal knight and a dashing maiden, indeed. Maybe it wouldn't be too late to get a third to complete the set, barring Eleonor of course, buuut something about Eleonor made Akiko weary of summoning her.

Alas, the time to move was clear. The cold was starting to get harsher and Runa's speed indicated that the group had to move. Akiko chased after Runa, definitely still fast but not nearly enough. After a moment of looking at the other fleeing people non-native to this abyss, Akiko realized she had just put her Stand on display. Of course, nobody would be able to see it outside of Kanbaru to her knowledge, but they knew it was around now. Surely she could maybe play it off, but if she was to do that...

She leapt back onto Kanbaru's bike, assuming that the whale was also trying to get the hell away. Castle remained manifested behind her, but the cat sat on the back and held onto Kanbaru's waist. "Don't get comfortable, bluey, Lorelai's watching you." Akiko would provide cover for the two as they escaped, but she really hoped she didn't have to. The less people aware of her abilities, the better.

Regardless of the events in this time, eventually the group arrived at the ruined structure that Runa led them to.

"God, it's cold." It sucked that Akiko's stand wasn't able to heat her up, but she couldn't really say anything with how potent it was for everything else. Though... she wondered if she could do something interesting with her power as Runa explained the origin of this... broken land.

"I suppose maybe calling this place the Broken Basilica would be fitting?" She figured putting a name to this place was a good idea, so... she did. If she needed to be a poet in the future for a bluff, that was likely the best way to do it. A magical place like this was a solid start.

As the group entered the fort, Akiko stepped over to one of the corners and summoned Lorelai. "Figures if we're gonna be here, we may as well get comfortable." She just hoped that Lorelai wouldn't get any funny ideas with all these people around.

She also took a position herself, sitting down amidst the ground with her legs crossed as Castle manifested behind her. With her own eyes closed, Akiko focused Castle's sight onto one specific person in the group - Runa. Maybe a stretch, sure, but if Akiko focused her energy and tried to find a converging point of Runa's past... maybe she could understand how to see through both the past and the future?

Akiko herself sat in silence, but Castle spoke on her behalf. [ Hello, Lorelai. My user is trying to unlock new potential in her with my assistance. Would you be so kind as to assure her safety for this brief period? ]
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A lot happened that Ami didn't particularly care about, a few things happened that she did care about, honestly she just tuned out for a minute or two while that boring battle transpired behind her, more interested in her own nails than she was in any kind of fight with such uneven odds. Red landing in Katie's arms was amusing in its own way though, enough to get a giggle out of Ami as some kid ran up screaming about running and danger and blah blah blah. She was actually starting to get bored now, how did people find so much interest in their god damn nails? "Alright Katie, where are we going next? I'm following you since you seem to have the fish compass to lead you around, I go where you go, I fight what you fight, I also fight whatever I want to fight, and maybe go wherever I want to go. If I see anything interesting going on."

So far she hadn't. But here's hoping things change soon right!
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Funnily enough, Thomas didn't seem to mind the suddenly drop in temperature, at least not as much as the others. Perhaps it was because it numbed the pain coming from his arm, occasionally wiping around the wound with his hand as blood continued to flow from it. It wasn't a horrendous amount though, and the bleeding got less and less over time, but he felt light headed enough so that he wasn't very talkative at all during the venture through the caves of the Abyss, though it's not as if this was anything new.

Mind you, he was also distracted still by that melody playing in his head. He wasn't even sure if Marianne was still playing it or not, it just continued to play. On and on. It was almost maddening. The boy only looked up occasionally to Runa while she spoke, not always paying attention to what she was saying in particular, but there was definitely some curiosity felt as he observed the group's new tour guide.

He perked up a little bit upon arriving at this new area, Thomas' interests clearly taken by this new, yet dilapidated landscape. It was certainly something other than caves, at least. What was more interesting even was the not-so-dilapidated collection of buildings off in the distance, but there wasn't much time to admire or ponder them before he and the rest of the group were guided into the stitched-together fort by their mysterious new companion. If companion was the right word.

Speaking of companions though, now that he was in the fort, Thomas took a moment to pull his Marianne card from out of his pocket. Though the music in his head had long since faded at this point, whether it had always been her doing or not, the boy still wanted to know what was going on.

"What's going on? What was that, what's coming?" He muttered to the figure depicted on the card in a rather monotone, and almost slightly accusatory, voice. He didn't expect an answer, and even if he received one perhaps now wasn't the best time for a conversation with Marianne with all these people around, but he asked anyway, pausing for a moment after before putting the card back in his pocket.
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To anyone else who might've had eyes on her or anyone that could actually be defined as her 'self,' not a soul would be able to follow the series of events that had led her to this place. Though she had long since dropped the concern for when things like this.. happened; events like this always stuck itself deep beyond her control within. Perhaps it was this tower have an effect with her abilities, or perhaps her process after an eon of improvement still just left much to be desired. But, this wasn't something to be meant to last- merely a means to an end. One task in a thousand that needed to be completed before requiring perfection.



'Ah yes... this place. Peculiar.' Though not exactly as long since forgotten, the place she ended up was in its own right unmistakable. But other than the natural conditions, it held no concern of the expected capabilities.

Vi-vi emerged back into the world as sudden and trace-less as she left. Unfazed as ever and eyes back on the prowl. It mattered not how the conditions affected her, her body long since oblivious to any change in her surroundings. She knew her path forward and she had nothing in front to stop her. And so, she walked. There was no telling how, when, or where her previous fascination had been left to. *Clack-clack*. Heels marking her presence known as she marched on. There were no souls around upon her arrival to squeeze for clues. Her sword, summoned and dragging itself against the floor as the metal blade grinded away as she continued on. There was, without a doubt, a solution to all her concerns just beyond this next bend.

A predator never forgets its prey. Though obvious that there was something different about her, this was without a doubt the same girl that caused such a fascinating distraction and destruction moments ago, relatively speaking. Already blood pumping and the corner of her mouth smirking, Vi-vi had launched herself with a deathly crack against the ground she had just left. Slinging herself through the power of her strike straight for the red blur and her group of strangers. Vi-vi might not've known what exactly she had appeared in the middle of. But this was just fated luck that she wasn't going to let slip by.
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This wasn't how she expected things to go, but then again, she doubted anyone would have accounted for this. Still, no one ended up dying somehow and perhaps that was what really mattered. These thoughts were hidden and kept to Katie alone as she observed the Tower group. It was some time since they settled down in the strange Abyssal ruins that almost resembled as city long ago. She herself rested with her back to a jutted chunk of what used to be a wall, arms crossed and saying nothing as everyone went on with their business. Somehow she felt it was the start of a long night; did night even exist in the Abyss? She supposed they'd all find out in a darkness deeper than dreams.







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Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by Dreaming One
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A momentarily flicker into reality. That was all it was. Whatever this tower had an effect on her connection to this place. An interference she was unsure of its origin. As she had chosen the destination as to insert into the world, she was not quite in synced in time with the moment of the departure. Arriving at a point just before the rest of reality, the cat warrior would have never landed her assault. It was never registered in the first place as slowly as things were clicking back into order.



'Oh? Did I swing too soon? ... Well, let's try it again then!' The mysterious assailant happened to find herself not in the tunnel facing the group of three, but instead outside what was obvious some unique choice of shelter. She wouldn't know if she'd personally choose a place like this, but she knew better than to blindly walk straight into someone's home turf. No, instead there she stood. Just on the edge of her vision was the obvious signs of a large number of people taking refuge. More than just the three people, it was clear to see, and what an eventful night for them that it had to have been. So much was easy to tell, even from this distance.

Instead there she stood. Waiting to make sure the the world was right before she wasted more of her time waiting for, well, time to settle in for good. Vi-vi never understood things when it got like this; but though one of the strangest, fragilest occurrences yet, it wasn't too unrecognizable for her. Satisfied and growing board of the smell of stale cheesy grease bread and the whole atmosphere in general, Vi-vi pounded away at the ground in front of her with her club of a weapon. Letting the echos of her strike send forth into every nook and cranny of the camp. "Knock Knock~! I hate to arrive fashionably late, but I can't tell you how long I've been stuck in traffic. I hope you don't disappoint; even one would make me quite happy~."
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by ShadowSunRisen
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Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Lonewolf685
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Kanbaru Otoko


After stuffing herself with greesy pizza, there were only two courses for Kanbaru. Either she flops over and takes a heavy, dreamless nap while grabbing the nearest person to be her body pillow, or shew works off the ball of cheese in her stomach by stretching her legs. Given that Akiko was the nearest body to grab and Lorelai may genuinely try to kill her for smothering her summoner, the whale was finding the door a tempting option.

Then an unfamiliar voice echoed from outside and she jumped at the opportunity. Boots kicking off the floor she threw herself out the open doorway, curling herself into a roll and springing up with her sword forming across her back and one hand on the hilt. It took a moment to take in the interloper, her state of dress, her massive sword a bit shorter but fuller then her own, and the pair of perky ears on her head.

"Oooh, kitty barbarian!" Kanbaru brightened, rising from her combat roll with a bounce and waving her free hand animatedly inches before Vi-Vi's face. "Are you here for some leftover pizza or looking for a scrap? 'Cause let me tell you, I would love a good tussel to work off that food. So, business or pleasure, what's your choice, stranger~?"
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by TheWendil
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It wasn’t even five minutes of waking before Kanbaru’s bored state brought her to the new interloper. While she had probably long since earned that right, it made for an annoying jostling for the shared mind inside her. The JSTR felt nearly compelled to make a sawing cut run right through Vi-vi for being the source of Kanbaru’s head flopping harder under her hat. It also felt a desire to smack the whale across the back of her locks once again.

But it refrained from either of those for now when their surroundings had to be taken into account. Riku and Thomas were gone but no doubt not too far off, and their demonic guide had flitted away as well. It knew Runa would return though, unlike the missing Katie and Ami; the demon always returned when the forces of the Abyss creeped closer. It was that very scenario that had the virus almost sneering in imagery only Kanbaru could see because soon enough and just like before, the air grew denser, colder.

The very same phenomenon that made manifest before and gave Runa cause to flee returned, the thick fog having found their hiding spot at last. Much like before, all in its presence decayed to ruination. The great rock structures dissolved as if they were melting, aging with process and run rotted to the core while the ground patched itself with horrible mutation unnatural even to the Abyss. The very air, despite the thick fog, grew thinner as if the very oxygen was dying.

The JSTR prodded Kanbaru’s brain to take note of this as soon enough they’d be trapped and forced to find a new location. Runa’s appearance to lead them to such wouldn’t be unexpected either because the fog had long since caught up to her location with Riku and Thomas. Indeed, the JSTR waited curiously for the demonic blunette’s next move and word of advice.

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In her almost typical manner, Runa appeared as if out of nowhere, almost as if a spirit of the Abyss itself, seemingly materializing out of the vile air of the underwater prison - to appear beside the rather energetic Kanbaru and the newcomer to join the party. Twists and turns of the ruinous structure of the fort revealed not only the demon herself, but both Thomas and Riku to follow her through the passages and hallways of no actual sense: though both of them looked worn down, they were both alive. Leaving the Fable pair to take a short rest the demon stepped up to take some leftover of the food alien to her and take a bite, while observing over the newcomer; coming up to her she took a light bow, leaning her torso down and greeted her with a smile curled on her lips.

“Welcome. It is rather surprising to witness yet another traveller here, and more so one known to others. My name is Runa. Pleasure to meet you.”, Runa said, even though neither her voice nor her face expressed any tone of actual surprise or astonishment; her tone in fact remained as calm and neutral as ever and her eyes of two blue cold crystals gazed idly over the newcomer, looking her from head to toes. Seemed like if she was expecting the newcomer to appear in the end, but there was no clear indication towards any of that. After a moment of pause, Runa spoke again, feeling the familiar creeping shade of cold to touch over her skin: “I am afraid though that we would have to delay the proper introductions. The foul spirit has once again caught up on us. We have to move.”, the demon said simply, feeling and seeing both the degenerative effect of the presence of death pure and corrupting, the shade of the fog venomous towards the air itself it seemed as the structures around them all started to expose their fragile and ruinous nature and being.

Runa with taking no extra time, went past both the resting adventurers and the newcomer, aiming to reach the far deep end of one of the constructed hallways and with a spear summoned in the hand of hers to break through the seemily firm wood; breaking through it with ease and exposing the tunnel passage leading out of the fortification they were resting in.

“Unknown to be exposed into existence, such we will be safe from the pursuing presence of the spirit foul for some time. Yet we have no said time to spare and we should be in haste. After all, you all should not stay here for too long and I see no clear desire in your eyes to stay either way.”, she said and went past back to check up on adventurers again.

“A word of advice - do not try to predict this spirit’s motions and how they would to unravel in the future”, Runa said to Akiko as she stepped past by her, “The noise you saw once you were to look into me would be as dense for you to witness again, if you would attempt to do so with this spirit. Concentrate on fleeing at the moment”.

With that said, she stepped towards Thomas and Riku, to check up on them as well, “How is your wound, young knight? And how are your eyes? A moment of reflection of course you would like, but I am afraid we have to move now.”, blue eyes would then look at Riku: “Be sure to help him if he requires it. Follow me through the tunnel. The rest will catch up.”
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