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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by dioscuri
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dioscuri

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Mai hadn’t made it that far away from the warehouse when she heard footsteps behind her. Looking back behind her, she cursed when she saw a few officers chasing after her. They must’ve seen her leave the warehouse. Next time, she wasn’t going to linger as long as she did.

Knowing that her companions would need the authorities to be distracted, Mai weaved her way through the area. She led the police through various alleyways and other abandoned warehouses in the neighborhood. During the chase Mai would keep the police close, but not close enough for her to get caught. Occasionally, she would feint being tired only to escape when the officers got close to her.

After a while, Mai found herself on the rooftop of another warehouse, waiting for the officers to catch up to her. They were all climbing the fire escape to get up, but what they didn’t know was there was another, more dilapidated, one on the other side that Mai would use to escape once they were close enough.

Taking a sip from her flask, Mai looked in the direction of the other warehouse. From what she could tell, it seemed like the inferno had died down a bit, meaning that the fire department had arrived. She should probably take her leave as well then. If there were still hunters who have yet to have gotten away, tough luck. Mai had kept the police occupied for long enough.

As soon as she saw a hand grabbing the edge of the roof, Mai made her descent down the other fire escape. It creaked a little at her weight, but surprisingly held. Once she was back on solid ground, Mai kept to the shadows as she escaped industrial district, keeping to the shadows to avoid being detected again.
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by KoL
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KoL Knight of Lorelei

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With the chaos at the warehouse finally being taken care of, the Hunters naturally began to evacuate the premises using whatever means they were capable of. It was totally expected that they would come to the DHA's base seeking their payment, answers, or both. However, before any of them could arrive at the non-descript video rental shop somewhere in the alleys of Siracha's downtown who worked as the DHA's cover, the administrative branch was already there. And naturally so was Mako, the head of such branch.

The secretary had a bag containing the money to pay what the hunters who participated in tonight's hunt beside her as well as a stack of paperwork, including the hunting contracts. Right after getting this done, she pulled a phone and began typing a message.

Just as the hunters began to leave the building they would receive said message from Mako. The contents were short and simple:

Good work out there, everyone. The branch director wants to thank you for your work tonight.
You can collect your payment whenever you want.
However, before any of you arrive here, please stop Da Xia and eliminate the demon she picked up. You can leave the ghost alone, she's a harmless being, but it would be a major inconvenience if one of our own brought a hostile demon to our base.

Mako.


After sending the message Mako turned her attention back to a spreadsheet, this time calculating the deductions she would have to make to hunters' paycheck to pay for the damage they caused during their action. The DHA might operate on the edge of the everyday man's world but they were at least responsible enough to pay back for anything they destroy in their line of work.

Hidden 5 mos ago Post by The 42nd Gecko
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Da-Xia Chen
Expensive Noodle Shop



Da-Xia Chen rode off the scene with a much more leisurely pace than she had entered it. Still slightly on fire, but overall a more comfortable ride for her passengers. And while it was a cold night to be riding a motorcycle, fortunately they were a ghost, daemon, and Canadian.

"You lavish me with your praise! Da-Xia is my name. Would you grace me with yours?" Da-xia beamed under the attention, but her knightly demeanor took a bit of a hit, when, given both her hands were in use, she accepted the deserts by simply chomping down on one with her teeth after asking for their names.

"Mmmph." She tapped the rear of her lance against a storage compartment, popping it open fore Hanako to put the shattered gun away in.

"Oooh, you guys speak French? Neat! I'm not from one of the French speaking parts of Canada, but I've tried to learn it a few times. It uh, never went very well." Da-Xia spoke up after finishing her croissant.

Then came a fateful text, and a foul mood came over Da-Xia. Da-Xia texted back to the whole group. I can respect that you wish me not to return with a demon in tow, if you are unprepared to face a single demon at the heart of your strength. However! My code of honor cannot abide the execution of a demon who did not engage us in battle and surrendered peacably. If you seek me out, you shall face me in battle.

It seems the would-be knight had a very different interpretation of events than others.

Da-Xia spoke over her shoulder to the pair. "Hmph, it seems my fellows have been so unmanned by this night that a single demon unnerves them. Bah, I say! The only fear this night holds for me is a chilly nose. What say you to some hearty soup to add some warmth and substance to your deserts?" Da-Xia changed from her path back to the base to instead, find a noodle shop still plying its trade to ward away the cold of the snow. And what a noodle shop she chose. A fancy place where the average menu item was upwards of 3000 yen. "Choose what you like! It's my treat."
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Octo
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Hanako, who was having a grand old time riding along on Da-Xia's motorcycle, gingerly flicked the flaming rubble off the woman's back. She stored the pieces of the gun in Da-Xia's compartment (which she would want to snoop through later for fun) before closing it and returning her attention to the apparently Chinese Canadian who was operating in Japan.

"Ufufu~ it's deserved praise, my heroic knight. My name is Yamamoto Hanako, but you can call me Hanako. I'm still learning French, but my English is much better and my Japanese is fantastic. It's an absolute pleasure," said Hanako, examining the bike, the knight, and her fellow demon.

It was an odd group, to be sure, and it became even odder when the woman revealed that she seemed to know that either Hanako or Limen were monsters. Put simply, Hanako had scarcely met a hunter that seemed to have no interest in separating her ghostly head from her spectral body. Normally she'd think that maybe the DHA were finally learning that she couldn't be gotten rid of, but Da-Xia seemed to hold no malice for Limen as well.

Actual chivalry was a rarity.

Hanako smiled as she got off the bike in front of the noodle shop.

"Well I have neither warmth nor substance of my own, and I won't get any here. I only took up baking because otherwise my life would have been a complete waste. I can't eat anything, although..."

She slowly floated towards the knight with a wide grin on her face.

"If I can choose what I like, does that include you?" she asked, winking and doing a couple of rounds of finger guns, "obviously I won't take more than I need. I'm an innocent young maiden, after all. Either way, you and Limen can enjoy yourselves. I'd love to tag along regardless."

Even though Hanako had lived a long time, actual interactions were rare and she wanted to savor them. Humans she met were either terrified of her or they wanted to exorcise her, and demons she met were usually instinctual baby-eaters or they had an agenda that at no point involved chilling and watching Netflix.
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Kazemitsu
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Kazemitsu The Dragon

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Kaze made good time to get to the base. Whenever he encountered small fries he pretty much let his murderous aura fly, something the supernatural seemed to sense and tended to skedaddle. He did see a couple groups of hoodlums who tried to rob him. Or stop him because 'he's in their territory'. Who the hell tried to stop someone carrying a couple hundred pound block of concrete?! Needless to say the leaders of those groups who tried weren't going to be having kids. Dirty fighting at its finest.

When he dropped the block off he got curious. "Let me know what these pebbles are. I'm curious as hell." He said before filling out paperwork and collecting whatever pay was owed. Honestly he didn't do this for the money, that was just a bonus. When he left the building his phone buzzed, getting him to pull it out and raise an eyebrow. The motorcycle girl had picked up a demon? But why destroy it? It hadn't seen the base and it didn't seem to be trying to kill her. It also hadn't participated in the fight that he saw, that was purely yurei and a treant.

There was also the thought of...how would anyone even find her? Was she coming straight to base? Did she need to make a pit-stop somewhere? They didn't have gps trackers embedded in their butts! And searching the city was so not an option, especially since only the DHA headquarters and higher ups had his number. He had gotten tired of greenhorns texting and calling incessantly with questions. He wasn't a trainer damn it. So, he replied to the text. How are we supposed to find her? He texted back. Why not just call them in a group call? Bah.
Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by TheWendil
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Despite being the youngest of her peers, Da-Xia was able to show her prowess and potential as a Devil Hunter. For starters, taking on and then successfully defeating the Treant with little injury or burden was proof enough. The imbued creature exploded forth in a spray of spores and fungi upon the finishing blow and some lasting few words. Thankfully the majority of the Devil Hunters who arrived had long since departed. Even when Adam circled back to ask Beniha for help in moving Maurice, it was doubtful a hunter of her magnitude couldn’t protect the youth and herself in the Treant’s dying wake.

By now of course, the inferno was ebbing away thanks in part to the work of the authorities. Neither of them entered the building until the fire and smoke calmed down and by then the Treant’s spores and fungi had lost their toxic qualities. Perhaps the attack was intentional because no cop would find any trace of the black rocks that had stirred up such a commotion on this night. Instead, they’d find only the fungi, chalking it off to some teens going overboard with a drug stash. A very strange, very potent drug stash, but that was to be the story nonetheless. It wasn’t long before the authorities increased in number due to the ones pursuing Mai returning after a fruitless hunt.

For now, the mystery of the black rocks remained as such; a mystery. They didn’t react to Limen’s touch, acting as stable chunks that were placed into his backpack. Of course, the music wouldn’t cease, calling out to him, tugging and almost encouraging him to leave Hanako and Da-Xia towards the direction of Siracha City’s downtown hub. At some point the calling ceased for Hanako but it continued for the likes of Rufus, Ilse, and Shika, leading them all towards a happenstance bar. Ironically, it was incredibly close to Ilse’s own diner. However, the place seemed unmanned and empty by the time each of them were called there, assuming they followed the rocks’ heed. Curious indeed.

It was no more curious then the DHA’s Weaver knowing Da-Xia was carrying both a ghost and a possible threat with her on her way back to the base. It was no secret that the Weaver was something of a monster herself, being a Devil Feeder; but of which kind and breed, only select few knew. No doubt Mako found some amusement in keeping people guessing. Humor aside, her mass text had logical truth behind her words. Regardless of guilt, it would do no good if an operative brought home an unregistered and unclassified Youkai back to base. Such thinking was foolery on Da-Xia’s part.

Thankfully, Da-Xia seemed to have some common sense. Though she may have thought her text was a means of proud intimidation, it only affirmed she wouldn’t be coming to the base tonight. At least, that’s what her last sentence could be implied as. Not shortly after she sent her text to the group chat between Devil Hunters did another spring up, a response from Mako that served both as an answer to her and to Kazemitsu.

Fine enough. Your work tonight has been acknowledged so we’ll allow some leeway in your actions, operator Da-Xia. Seeing as you won’t be joining us tonight, come by to pick up your payment as soon as you are done interacting with the demon. We will not accept you bringing it to base however. All other operators, continue your way back to claim your rewards and await your new group assignments.

Mako.


Mako’s final words no doubt caused some curiosity to stir among the Devil Hunters but all things came in due time, including explanations. For now, a few other operators worked-to some struggle and avail-to haul up Kazemitsu’s chunk of concrete containing the precious black rocks. While that was happening, he and any other Devil Hunters who arrived would be motioned into the video-rental shop that served as the front of all operations. In truth, the building was only a façade for the secrets that lay deep underground by the specifically placed doors leading to the true Japanese Devil Hunter Branch.
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by OwO
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"Eugh. Fine."

Thankfully, most of the cops had been taken away by Mai's diversion. Beniha could easily slip away from the factory to help carry him. She had stayed behind to collect the pieces of his gun parts. Really, what a moron. Who'd just lose a gun in Japan? That'd be like pinning a massive red flag to the entire operation.

Though, a large issue remained: neither of them had a car. Well, it wasn't too much of an issue. She just had to carry the unconscious buffoon to the nearest 24 hour convenience store. They could then call a taxi and pretend that he was was just passed out drunk. At this time of night, absolutely wasted men in suits were a common enough sight. It'd at least buy them enough time to get the gravitational wonder to a hospital bed.

She picked up the old man and carried him on her back. Even if she was getting up there in years, she was still a trained devil hunter. This much weight was still easy to carry. When she finally reached the conbini, she placed the unconscious man somewhere where nobody'd see and stepped inside for a quick purchase. A large bottle of booze, a small notepad, a pen, and after a text message talking about Da Xia bringing a demon to the HQ, a pack of smokes.

Once outside, she called for a taxi and waited by the unconscious old man. She quickly splashed his coat and shirt with the booze before beginning to drink the rest of it. He didn't really look injured. It was mostly hidden by his hair, beard, and clothes. It made it easier; Beniha didn't have to heal his external wounds.

So now, she'd just have to wait for the taxi to come. Not really much for small-talk between the unconscious Maurice and Adam had he come with, she angrily wrote complaints about what went wrong with what happened. Whether the DHA actually took her informal complaints in writing to heart or just shredded it, she didn't care. She'd at least know that she let her annoyances be known.
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by SilverPaw
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Hoshio Kikuchi

Hoshio stayed at the warehouse as long as possible, getting rid of as many rocks as he could in the timeframe. The treant had been destroyed, some ignorant idiot had called the police – which surely wouldn’t have happened if some other idiots hadn’t set the whole building on fire – and his fellow hunters had all but evacuated. Before the other policemen were near enough to spot him, he took his leave as well.

He received the DHA’s message just when he’d settled into his car comfortably. Oh for… Apparently Da Xia had picked up some strays. Then she claimed they were alright for devils and probably wouldn’t bring them to base in any case. Mh, whatever. If one gets in, we can just dispose of it. Hoshio really was too tired to overthink the issue. Besides, he was severely disgruntled at the pay cut he could expect to his salary. Fuck, but he hated collective responsibility. Unfortunately, he was also too tired to try and argue futilely. He knew how the DHA operated in Japan, and not much could convince them to defy their set ways.

Even though he was one of the last ones to leave the warehouse, he was one of the first ones to arrive at the base. The advantage of owning a car and making no detours, he supposed. He parked at the video rental, slowly shuffled his way through, and went about picking up his pay. Which is where he discovered that he wasn’t too tired to bitch.

“I know you don’t care, but this is way too unfair. That building was already falling apart! Not to mention it was Da-Xia who first thought igniting some gasoline was a fun idea. Granted, she also took care of the treant so maybe it balances out. Oh, but if that exotic foreigner woman who can fly with flames despite being a Feeder shows up, you should definitely chew her up. Really, what did you expect sending a bunch of strangers without any foreplanning on a mission like this anyway? Oh, and thanks for the cash,” he rambled, finishing with a thanks upon receiving what he was there for.

When the transaction was completed, he dragged himself away, without even waiting for an answer. Hoshio stumbled his way to where he was supposed to go, and gleefully threw himself into the nearest sitting arrangement. Only after that did he disentangle the quiver and bow from his person, and unstrung the latter. It was time for a bit of a rest, both for him and the weapon. We better get some good free food and drinks outta this too, he thought grumpily as he settled himself and half-closed his eyes. No, strike that, he closed them fully. Maybe dozed a bit until there was something important going on.
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by dioscuri
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Once she finally slipped away from the police, Mai had every intention of going back to base and getting her reward. What she hadn’t expect was to get a text from Mako directing the operatives to track down Da Xia because the girl had picked up two Youkai on her way back. Holding back a sigh and wondering how this night had gone so awry, she made her way out of the train station to go track down the foreign hunter.

Fortunately, she hadn’t gone too far before more texts filtered in. Mai was glad to see that they didn’t have to find the hunter anymore, though part of her still wanted to so that she could give the girl a piece of her mind. Who just brazenly drives into a warehouse and sets it on fire as a way to deal with youkai? She recognized that the girl had dealt with the giant treant, but she also helped cause a lot of damage which, knowing how Mako worked, was coming out of all of their paychecks.

Whatever, she’ll just lodge a formal complaint to the DHA when she got back to base. It was there fault for calling everyone to the warehouse anyways and not planning anything beforehand. If they were going to have that many hunters show up all at once, they should have called a meeting, especially with the number of foreign operatives present as well. This whole mission was doomed from the start.

Going back to the platform, Mai patiently waited for her train. It didn’t take her long to reach the rental shop; Japanese trains were quite punctual in that way. She nodded to a few familiar faces while she waited to get paid and pulled out a notepad from her satchel. Mai began writing a scathing complaint about tonight, detailing everything that went wrong. She even noted how she had to keep the authorities occupied so they wouldn’t get even more involved.

After Mai put her paycheck in a secure place, she ripped the piece of paper with her complaint and handed it off. “Tonight was a shitshow. We should not be operating like this.” Knowing how the Japanese branch operated, Mai didn’t bother saying much else. They would figure it out or they would not; it was their prerogative. Instead, she made her way to the mess hall to order some food. All of the action tonight had left her starving.

Hidden 4 mos ago Post by The 42nd Gecko
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Da-Xia Chen
Expensive Noodle Shop



"Aaah.. Clever wordplay but I am afraid there is few problems." Da-xia paused thoughtfully at Hanako's request.

"Getting eaten is more of a second date sort of thing no? If I was to volunteer myself, I would want a chaperone that I trusted. Sadly, with me being a foreigner... Well, I do not have a lot of local friends right now." She finished before taking a sip of her soup.

"I suppose in summary, I am not opposed to the idea, but I am unable to offer at the moment. I see no reason to act aggressively towards you two out of blind hate and fear, but I do not yet trust you THAT much." Da-Xia sums up before returning her attention to her noodles.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by ERode
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ERode Aegis

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A taxi pulled up to the curb of a quiet road, and Shika stepped out. The driver gave them a dopey smile, before driving off. Shika did not pay, and the driver did not mind.

The music continued to tug at their mind as they strode down the streets, green eyes glancing over the pedestrians as they passed by. A lure as effective as this felt like a new plot by the DHA to hunt down demons, but if that was the case, would they really have set those black crystals to explode while their own people were present in the warehouse too? Curious thoughts looped backwards and forwards within their mind, but if this was a problem that Shika could guess the answer to, they wouldn’t have been standing here. One had school to attend, after all, and clubs to participate in.

They continued, striding with confidence into an empty bar that had nothing going for it except for an uncanny sculpture of an open hand. Strange place. Empty, with no black stones in sight. Shika let out a slow, drawn-out sigh, then stepped up to the sculpture, drew their hand back, and slapped it as hard as they could in the center of the palm.

It was a hi-five.

Not much of a hangout, really.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by samakama
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samakama はいどうもー / バーチャルニートサマカマです

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“I’m Limen. No surname.”

Seated at the very back, Limen couldn’t see what Da-Xia was typing. Using a mobile phone on a motorcycle was probably a traffic offence. Then again, so was riding without a helmet, and his barriers probably didn’t count. It wasn’t like he distrusted the hunter’s driving skills or anything, but…

All the same, he held on to Hanako a little tighter.



The Japanese economy’s growth had already slowed to a crawl when Limen had set off for the Moon, but the yen must have suffered from some terrible inflation in the past decades. These prices were absolutely mad! Main dishes started at four digits, and even the appetisers and drinks were still at a positively exploitative price. He had intended to pick a bowl of whatever was cheapest. Now it seemed that he would have to weigh which of Da-Xia’s purse and his stomach was of greater importance.

She was a kind lady. But she seemed ‘nice’ in both the modern and the archaic senses of the word — the sort who would give whatever salary she had left (after deductions for gratuitous collateral damage) to any pitiful-looking fellow on the street, even with rent due in a week. It was that rare moral simplicity, a pure code of ethics without discrimination or self-deception. No exceptions; an absolute personal rule of law. She reminded Limen of some devils who would never compromise on their tenets, even if it meant the end of their existences. Those devils had always felt like automatons or forces of nature more so than sapient beings. For a human, it was an uncommon but respectable way to live.

Maybe he was reading too much into things. Much like Hanako, and perhaps the vast majority of otherworldly creatures, Limen had not met such a friendly fellow among the Devil Hunters in many decades. Across all sorts of times and territories, this seemed like a constant policy among them: to shoot first and ask questions only if shooting didn’t work at first. And even then, such questioning sought but one ultimate answer — what methods were needed to kill this daemon?

Da-Xia was paying for his food. She was different from the rest.

“I’ll have a bowl of kake udon.” Nothing extravagant. It would still make for a hefty bill on its lonesome.

The restaurant’s service was good. Limen’s order arrived in no time, a piping hot bowl of thick noodles and broth with a simple seasoning of sliced scallions. Some would think it bare-bones, or as the critics and connoisseurs say nowadays, ‘minimalist’. Either way, it was hearty warmth in the heartless cold, and that was all he needed. He dug in. A full day’s worth of hunger was at once satisfied by the heat of the soup and the soft texture of the noodles. It was better than a kotatsu in winter.

Hanako was pointing finger guns at Da-Xia. Slurp. Wasn’t that a threatening gesture?

…apparently not. It would seem that it had taken on a playful meaning as of late. Too bad she’d been turned down.

“This body of mine’s perfectly edible too. I promise you, it’s one hundred per cent authentic human flesh and blood. Made it myself.” He extended a hand in offering. “I reckon I’m your senior, after all. Can’t have a kouhai like you starving.”

Now he’d laid his chopsticks to rest on the rim of his bowl, freeing up his other hand. There was this scene that had been on the screens in Akihabara, part of some sort of promotional video. He had seen it played a whole bunch of times; enough times to imitate it by heart. A cutesy head-tilt and a coquettish finger on his chin. It was body language totally unsuitable for what Limen was about to say. “Would you like plasma? Lymph? Or perhaps… C・S・F ?”

Well, that was embarrassing. The offer still stood, though.

“By the way. Da-Xia — earlier, in the warehouse, you said you heard the yuurei speak, right? I didn’t hear that, but I did hear some kind of strange music.” He looked over to the motorcycle where he had stashed his backpack, rocks included. “I thought taking some of those black rocks would stop it, but apparently not. I still hear the music even now.”

Limen pointed vaguely in the direction of the ‘happenstance’ bar. “It’s been pulling me towards someplace over that way. Either of you want to have a gander?”
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Octo
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Hanako's face got progressively more red (even though she had no blood) as Da-Xia began talking about dating for some reason and Limen practically begged her to eat him. She just wanted a little snack, and it was getting so... so lewd! She fidgeted in her seat with all the demure energy of a pure Japanese maiden.

"I mean yeah, I did ask her in a vaguely flirtatious manner, but no one has ever flirted back! That's not allowed! Who'd flirt with a ghost? GEEZ."

"W-what are we, newlyweds?" Hanako scolded Limen, "I'd be too embarrassed to eat you if you offer like that!"

Hanako sighed.

"Although... because I don't want to harm Humans, I generally only take a bit of blood. But if you're fine with anything, I've always wanted to try bone marrow. Eheehee... I wonder if I'd become a hone-onna?" Hanako joked.

"Anyways, Da-Xia, I'm not sure what sort of dates you've been on, or what kind of eating you're talking about... but I'd be happy to be a local friend. You know, I've existed in Japan for around 90 years now. It doesn't get much more local than me," she said proudly, "and I can assure you that I am 100% trustworthy! Look at this face. Can you even imagine me lying to you or doing something bad? Although counting me as a 'friend' doesn't preclude the possibility of a promotion to a 'friend with benefits'. Girl's gotta eat."

She turned back to Limen.

"Ah... actually, I heard that music too. Very old-timey. Definitely my style. I kinda wanted to check it out too at some point. I'm a bit of a... 'free spirit', so it's a bit interesting to be called to by those rocks and that music of late."
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Flood
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Flood Cyber-Phantasy Knight

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Gods Play Dice With The Universe
It's Your Turn Now
Carnage One
Let's Samba!


Where had Maria gone in the chaos, what had she done? It was a mystery that would persist through the ages, as there was no way such a freespirited young woman was gonna subject herself to some mundane bs like a mission report. That was for people who were boring, definitely not her. But she would go back to base on the orders of Mako, if not to see what shenanigans her subordinates had gotten into then at least to pick up her paycheck for the night.

Admittedly, she was super late. Not entirely her fault, finding her way around town was hard! These Japanese streets were so much tighter then Mexican streets, she considered it to be a reflection of how uptight they were. But I digress. After a quick look through the video store to see if there was anything interesting to rent, she didn't know how to read Japanese so there wasn't, she headed on down to HQ to collect her pay and maybe screw around with some of her juniors. Maybe even screw them, depends on how bored she was. Best place to find someone like that was definitely the mess hall, she could try some exotic Japanese cuisine and tease some cute kid who had gotten in over their head!

"Wow, and I thought that warehouse was a graveyard." Dead empty, aside from one lady eating by herself. Maria let out a loud exaggerated sigh as moved on over to her table, sitting down across from her and planting her face directly into the surface of the eating area. And then she would sigh again, this time even louder. And she would continue to do so until Mai either asked what was wrong or got up and left. She better not get up and leave, Maria hated being ignored.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by The 42nd Gecko
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Da-Xia Chen
Expensive Noodle Shop



"Ah? Just some blood would do? Apologies, I did not realize. Blood I have already shed has little use to me. I would happy to be your friend, though I hope you can understand if trust comes slow." Da-Xia herself had a few idle wounds about her from the battle with the treant. One did not simply ram into an angry demon tree on a motorcycle and come out completely unscathed.

"MmmMMMmmm-HAAAUUGHK" At the mention of the music luring the two in a direction, Da-Xia's eyes went wide and she inhaled sharply. Which was a dangerous thing to do while drinking the broth of one's noodles.

"I!" Da-Xia managed to get a single syllable out before resuming coughing. "would love" Her voice was as enthusiastic as she could make it, which with her current lack of air was a tiny wispy voice squeaking its way between the coughs. "to join you on this queeeeeeest!" She just barely got out the last syllable with significant effort before she resumed coughing.

After one last major fit, she seemed to finally get most of it out of her system, though her eyes were watering and she was still a little short of breath. "That is, I would gladly stand by your side in this venture. To investigate the unknown and make sure the dark corners of the world are safe for all is my duty as a knight. A siren's song that lures demons, I shiver to think of what vile force might plot to gather all devils to itself." She raised a strong fist at the center of the table. The fearless Da-Xia didn't seem to think anything of requesting backup or resting up first. Besides, it seemed the Japanese DHA Branch already had its own methods to surveil her at any time.

After pondering it for a few moments, she appended one last afterthought, tapping her lips with a finger.. "Unless it's just an advertisement for a devil bar. I suppose it could be that."

Da-Xia finished her own mean quickly, having been nearly done with her own prodigious speed. Presuming the other two were ready, Da-Xia would set off with the pair on her motorcycle again! To the local gas station. BUT THEN! They would head to the source of the mysterious music.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Lonewolf685
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Lonewolf685 Inquisitive and Immortal

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Rufus


Rufus could hardly finish one school girl before the incessant siren song of his latest acquisition grated one too many nerves. Licking his fingers of the mess her turned, taking in the mason jar tinged a light yellow from the fluids therein and saw the sliver of arm encrusted in singing rock. He could have sent it into a volcano but in spite of losing a hand to it, the rock was a delightful mystery for the bum to unravel. He looked at his hands, one chapped and scuffed while the other was pristine new flesh, an incongruity that brought a smirk to his lips. "A whole body for a hand? Hardly a fair trade, but have to be sporting."

If he didn't play by the rules, what was the point of playing at all? May as well leave the dimension. In the spirit of such he snagged up his Jarate and tucked it into his cloak. He closed his eyes, hunched over in his cardboard fort of connected boxes and let the song fill his mind.

"Destination set. Hmph, would have been convenient if not for the exploding bit." An effort of will and there was no floor beneath him, the skein of reality pinched together and the Demon now sat upon a rather dreary bar. Opening his eyes let him see the entire bar....because he'd come down on the wrong side and was staring into a wall length mirror. Rolling with it he hopped down, finding himself on the bartender's side and snatching up a pint glass that was shoved beneath the nearest tap.

"How do you folks do? Can I get you anything on the house? I ain't the house so it's no skin off my bones, Oh ho!" The demon chortled, eyes skimming across the small gathering, noting the continued trend of demon's looking like ageless youths...and a Demon Hunter. "Huh, strange to see a Hunter here. What, are you looking to become a Feeder and thought someone here would help?"

He didn't sound bothered by it, already sliding a drink towards the only designated driver in the room and moving to polish a glass with a rag he just happened to find.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Ozzoquen
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Adam had stayed with Beniha and Maurice's unconcious body - after all, he had been the one to request her assistance. Hands in the pockets of his overly long coat, he remained smiling as he leaned against a wall and waited for their cab. Beniha was a smart one, that. Never would he have thought to drench the man in alcohol to make it look like he had been drunk.

When the cab arrived, Adam was the one who hoisted Maurice in, being careful not to his the man's head on the car frame. In the best Japanese that he could muster, he directed the driver to take the three of them to the storefront that acted as a cover for their operations. "I can take him from here, mum," Adam stepped out of the cab, glancing towards the woman. "Thank you for your help, both here and the warehouse," bending, he dragged Maurice out, and waited for the cab to leave the premises before making his way with the unconcious man into the shop.

It didn't take him much longer to get to the infirmary, leaving the injured man there to get whatever treatment he needed.

The first thing Adam did once he left Maurice was go to his room. Stretching, he dropped off his jacket, before proceeding to the front to claim the money for the job.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by TheWendil
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It was to be expected there would be several complaints filed in over the course of the night. The disastrous procedure of the warehouse mission seemed near-destined to fail though surely there had to be some logic from the higher ups? Probably. Regardless, Mako didn’t say much word of it, not when she was looking half-dead, half-awake herself. Of course, that was her natural demeanor. She merely stood rigid under the reports and complaints, giving payments left and right to the Devil Hunters who each filed back to base one by one. Ironically, it was only Beniha’s written complaints that gave her pause for reaction, though the Weaver simply raised an eye at it. All would be explained, no doubt, in due time but for now it was cause to relax.

The DHA bases differed in quality via location, often treated both as a place to gather and accept missions as well as a temporary place of residence for traveling Devil Hunters. As such, the service was, usually, acceptable for the type of lives each hunter lived. As the Devil Hunters went about their own tasks in the underground base, a blurring gush of movement would snap about in the corners of their vision at breaking speeds. This was of course no small feat of surprise, not when the dashing blur would stop by each one to give them a paper slip.

First was Hoshio. Coming to a skidding stop and standing before the dozing man was the speed demon herself, one of the many Youkai employed by the DHA to act as potential contracts for Devil Feeders. Most people just called her Sonchiku for one reason or another. “Hey. Hey. Old man. Hey,” she said, poking at his arm to get Hoshio’s attention. “You’re having a meeting in a few minutes so get your food and butt off to meeting room number five. K, bye.”

And before anyone could ask to contract with her-for plenty have tried for such a fast demon-she was already gone in a running blur. Zipping around the floor, she’d give slips to Mai, Adam, Beniha, and finally Maria; who probably deposited the warehouse hostage to a safe corner of the road. Everywhere she went, dust was kicked up unfortunately. “Geez you lot ever heard of mingling? No wonder no Youkai wants to contract with you,” Sonchiku said with no regard for whoever heard.

Back in the darker parts of Siracha City, the happenstance bar that was once lonely became vacant no longer. The first to arrive was Shika, who was greeted with no reaction from the hand statue by her high-five. There wasn’t even a glimmer or glint of anything magical out of reaction but perhaps something was triggered after all. In just a few moments, Rufus himself appeared to greet her with his presence, appearing on the wrong side of the bar. One might have thought it was he who owned the place and called them there were it not for the music in their heads toning down.

It started with Shika, lowering in volume, but now it was more noticeable upon Rufus’ appearance. The music, almost sounding like muffled swing melodies, was soon drowned out by a soft applause coming from the couch. “Hey, not bad, not bad at all. That was a pretty funny joke there,” the newcomer said with a nod to Shika. Apparently, her high-five stunt was amusing enough for people to pop out of nowhere. The reclined girl looked up Rufus, the same cool smirk directed on him. “Why don’t you get us a few drinks Daddy-O. Something tells me we’ve got some cool cats swinging by dragging in a mouse.” She chuckled to herself, sensing Da-Xia’s party getting close to their establishment. The smell of a human was fresh in the frigid air.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by ERode
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Shika’s eyes widened at the sudden presence of a ghost, mere moments after they had slapped the hand. In the spirit of scientific curiousity, they slapped it again, and this time, applause sounded, an eyepatch-wearing devil announcing their presence from a couch. Despite not emitting any particular type of magical energy, this hand sculpture was filled with the awesome power of calling forth more devils, huh? The corpse-flower drew their hand back and, for good measure, slapped the hand sculpture three more times.

Seconds passed, then their eyes gazed towards the door.

And just like magic, except not any magic that Shika’s cells could feel, three more arrived. Another two devils of the strangely immaterial version, and…a human. In that instant between the opening of the door and the entrance of the human, the corpse-flower made a split second decision and remade their face. Straight, white hair became a dark brown, spreading downwards into bramble-like curls, while a soft, child-like face extended into one more angular, with deep-set red eyes. Their clothes wouldn’t fit if they changed their body too much, but Shika’s body had been average by design, capable of matching any head they deigned to use.

Flicking away a stray white hair off their shoulder like a piece of lint, they ascertained the lack of greenery in the room, rolled their eyes to get them accustomed to the new sockets they were in, and said, addressing the three new arrivals with her best customer service smile, “Welcome to Humaneaters Anonymous. Please slap the hand over there and turn off all electronics before entering. Though this is a safe space for us monsters to share advice on how to rein in our cravings, cannibals can join in as well. Can I have your name though, miss? It's a bit of a first, and I'd love to record this moment.”
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by dioscuri
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Mai was glad to find the mess hall empty when she arrived. There were days when she didn’t mind socializing with her fellow hunters, but tonight was definitely not one of them. She just wanted to eat and be on her merry way. As she waited for her food, Mai pulled out her flask again for a drink only to find it empty. She scowled at the flask as if it had wronged her in the most egregious way before slipping it back into her satchel.

Once her food was prepared, Mai took the tray over to one of the tables along the far wall of the cafeteria. If more people did come in, the distance should allow her to avoid all social interactions. Or at least that’s what she thought. Mai was in the middle of enjoying her katsu curry when someone’s loud voice announced their arrival to the mess hall. She glanced up from her meal, recognizing the newcomer as the girl with fire from the warehouse. Rolling her eyes, Mai went back to her food.

When she noticed the foreigner coming towards her table, the Japanese hunter cursed inwardly. The entire cafeteria was empty and she wanted to sit with her? Really? Mai did her best to ignore the sighing obnoxious woman as she tried to finish her meal in peace. Just as she was about to tell Maria to shut up and stop pestering her, Sonchiku came by and gave them both a slip. Quickly reading it, Mai was glad to have an excuse to get away from this annoying girl even if she hated meetings this late. Standing up, she went to return her dishes before going to the meeting room as requested.
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