Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Lonewolf685
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Rufus


The park was a radical shift from it's night-time splendor, it's many branches overhead no longer carrying the grim dread that both comforted and terrified the dregs of society as they cowered in shadows. Not that Rufus cowered, but for the sake of the human experience he had skulked her seeking a quiet hovel between roots to sleep upon undisturbed before digging out his junkyard sanctuary. "Mmm, places like this make me think I might have studied druidcraft. Though I think my presence would do more harm then good to Nature on just about every level..."

Chuckling wistfully to himself, Rufus quirked neck back as the voice of the Youkai in the form of an uncanny young boy had opted to follow him to the park. Obviously he held nothing of Limen's physical appearance against him, as even eldritch horrors can understand Hypocrisy without setting a tentacle upon the mortal realms, and his sounds of amusement deepened at the question offered to him.

"You know, I don't think it went all that well for those Dogs, so just call me Rufus. It's...a far better name then what I'd initially thought would fit this world. Guh, a millenia and a half ago, though, and I'd have made history books as the coolest wizard ever, but that ain't happening here." The portal youkai answered, only to lazily lead onwards into the brush and bushes with a bounce in his step, body swaying to keep his ragged cloak away from clasping branches as the buzzing of monstrous insects intensified with the distance closing between them and the singing rocks.

As expected there were Hunters here. Four by his count, with two of them being the recent guests of Humen Eaters Anonymous and the other being far more bloody minded hunters. Sidling up behind a tree he eyed the one sided slaughter of bugs by the more violent Devil Hunters, eying them for what they were and considering whether he should add fuel to this fire and slow them down or race to sneak ahead of them. Motioning for Limen to join them, he quietly asked, "You got anything to slow them down with? I'm thinking I either start portalling those bugs into their backs and try to get some cheap shots on them, or we just keep moving and hope they don't catch up in time."
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by The 42nd Gecko
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Da-Xia Chen
A Park



"Yes! That is point of the joke, motorcycle is not stealthy!" Da-Xia smiles and nods at Kaze, apparently quite pleased she had 'succeeded' at telling joke.

"Hmmm... How to get civilians away from the scene as fast as possible... Aha!" Da-Xia ponders for a moment, before apparently coming up with an idea. She gunned her engines and flung herself wildly at the nearest band of civilians, waving her lance.

"I am crazy foreigner on motorbike with lance! I am going to kill you all! MWAHAHAA!" Da-Xia proceeded to chase off the civilians from the scene, by pretending to ride them down with her motorcycle, encouraging them to flee with melodrama and near misses.

As she passed back and forth maintaining her perimeter, she was able to yell a few words of encouragement to the team as she passed nearby with her wild riding.

"Pretending to be bad guy is fun!"
"But do not worry, Da-Xia is only pretending."
"Though I understand if you doubt me, Da-Xia very good actor."
"Da-Xia played a moose once in a school play!"

Between her sporadic dialogue, only her engines, mad cackling, and the terrified screams of civilians could be heard. It probably wouldn't be that long until the police were called again.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Octo
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"Ah... what a positive reception," Hanako thought as she was summarily either ignored or glared at, "well, at least they didn't try exorcising me on sight. All-in-all a net positive. I was hoping at least one of them would pick up the Automata reference and run with it, but..."

An army of bug demons seemed to appear from the woods, and were on them in only a few moments of time. Not Hanako, though. She was certain they didn't find ghosts tasty or at all threatening, which was just fine with her because she preferred playing support anyways.

"Yaaay~ you slap those bugs, you big punchy guy, you," Hanako cheered as she erected small walls of kinetic force around the creatures' legs, tripping them up and making them more vulnerable and easy to hit. She flitted further towards the woods, and pointed towards an area deeper in.

"Hey, hey, I'm glad I could be on the receiving end of Mommy Beniha's famed glare of disgust, but the stones are over this way," she said, winking at her fellow agents, "and that's a really good job you're doing, Da-Xia. As a ghost that likes to scare people, you are terrifying the pee out of those Humans!"

She erected a few more rings of force between the bugs' claws and the next joint so that, even with their strength, they simply wouldn't have the leverage to make a strike without immense difficulty getting out of their binds. Dispatching their kind would be much faster with the ghost working interference. Whether or not she was even capable of doing anything on her own was up in the air, though if she was, she certainly didn't show it. She was playing with the DHA for now, but Hanako tended to keep a card or two up her sleeve. Better under-estimated than over.

"You can trust me for now, I promise! I wanna play demon hunter too!"
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by TheWendil
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“Well, well~” With each passing moment, by choice or chance, Shika gre to impress the Envoy. Selfies aside, the eye-patched girl watched from her portal as her distended arm was used as a model for a complete doppelganger in her image courtesy of Shika herself. It was nearly identical in appearance, though it lacked the Envoy’s voice and overall charm. While it smiled and waved when needed to, it didn’t do much aside from follow Shika around. “Overall, not bad. Color me amused~” the Envoy chuckled before Rufus’ portal dissipated at last.

Alone with her, her, and herself, Shika’s plan would yield itself into action. While the Envoy doppelganger moved off to do as it was told and collect the black rocks, the temple’s area was soon surrounded and filled with more of Shika’s spawn. Indeed, it wouldn’t be long before her plan would attract both the DHA’s attention and, in theory, whatever had left their scales laying around the holy shrine. Eventually there was movement, spurning the hunters to act, though Maria’s approach was no doubt something crasser and blunter than what Shika expected. At least the rocks were easy enough to spot, littering the place.

Over at the park, the antics of battle were underway as well. Drawn in by the black stones, the bug Youkai buzzed and swarmed where they could. Invisible to humans as most of all Youkai were, some were drawn in to feast upon the park’s residents though most were headed towards a direction that could only be assumed to be where the black stones were. If nothing else, it was supported by Hanako’s assistance, her directions aligning where the bugs were scampering to. Being attacked of course also sent some bugs to retaliate towards the hunters.

The efforts of Kaze and Beniha swiftly made short work of those few bugs who lashed out. Even Da-Xia was following to order, albeit in her own strange and unorthodox ways. With the bugs invisible to the humans, being yelled and chased at by a foreigner on a bike was enough to send them fleeing. Strange, but it accomplished her goal of clearing the area of bystanders. The air chittered and chattered harshly as the swarm of bugs continued making their way to the stones, acting as unintentional guides for the hunters and for Rufus and Limen.
Hidden 2 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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Company had come to them. It would have been foolish to expect otherwise, frankly. Limen followed suit, taking refuge behind the tree.

“I’m the one with barriers. Rufus, you ought to portal ahead and get Envoy’s rocks. I’ll stall.”

Admittedly, his barriers would spontaneously shatter themselves if a Devil Hunter so much as touched the wrong way. But that just meant he’d have to be creative — and Limen hadn’t survived the last century through luck alone.

The fastest hunter here would obviously be the one on the motorcycle. Well, putting aside Hanako — he wasn’t sure what the velocity of ectoplasm in air was, but it wasn’t like he would be able to stop her or most other youkai either way. This left Da-Xia to top his hit-list. At the speed she was going, a properly-placed barrier could probably bisect her and her ride cleanly. That was a little morbid, though, and perhaps Limen was feeling a bit sentimental today. He contented himself with going after the knight’s horse.

It took a few false starts to get the timing down. Eventually, however, Limen was able to position his barrier just right. This barrier consisted of a single thin, flat plane; but it was it’s placement and nature that made it effective — in front of the motorcycle’s front tyre, preventing any matter from passing through. Ideally, it would make use of Da-Xia’s own velocity to cut the tyre into ribbons, rendering the vehicle immobile with minimal lasting damage to it or its rider. Of course, there was still one caveat underpinning the whole plan. Was Da-Xia’s motorcycle enchanted? When she had taken the two demons to the noodle shop earlier, he hadn’t noticed any signs of that being the case. The answer would be clear soon.

Even if that didn’t work out, Limen still had a couple more ideas. Slowly, he began to assemble a geodesic dome around the battlefield, comprising dozens of smaller barriers, each only allowing light through one-way: out. Pitch-black on the inside but practically transparent to any outside observers, it would gradually cause the area to dim until every last photon was gone.

“Or until they start prodding it with their swords,” he sighed.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by SilverPaw
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Hoshio Kikuchi

When Hoshio grabbed his bow and quiver, Maria questioned his lack of effort at a disguise. He looked her up and down, and nodded once. “You do look appropriately tourist-y and nonthreatening,” he stated matter-of-factly. “However, the two of us don’t have to go so far; we can just pretend to be martial artists, ya know. Kyudo and Iaido aren’t so rare around here,” he shrugged. Of course, it was still a bit odd, but most people weren’t willing to question a ‘practice’ weapon too much. And for those who did, Hoshio did in fact have a membership card for the nearest archery.

Mai then showed that she’d been thinking ahead, and had got a charm that could detect devils. Should have thought of that myself, Hoshio smiled wryly. He didn’t show the slight embarrassment he felt, though.

“Oh, awesome, Mai. Thanks,” Hoshio nodded approvingly and in gratitude to his coworker. The aforementioned bell rung once, and the hunter immediately tensed, then forcefully relaxed. In that moment, however, he’d switched to work mode, and he was already gazing up at the shrine. “Let’s go,” he stated. Maria had not even waited for his order, and had just rushed ahead. This time, Hoshio did not mind so much.

Soon after, screams could be heard. “Dammit,” Hoshio swore, and hurried up the stairs. By the time he arrived at the temple, Maria was already swinging her blazing weapon and knocking zombified civilians around. “Good going, but try not to burn down the shrine!” he shouted, hoping he’d be heard.

Hoshio swiftly notched the first arrow, and started to rain missiles down upon the swarm of monsters and rocks. He did frown at the infected people; there was no way all of those had been up here for the devil to change. So, where’d the leader get them? Did it lead them there or had it brought them there otherwise? He didn’t know, but he’d take care of as many of the little guys, the rocks they carried, and the scattered rocks as he could.

He’d noted the scales – a snake devil’s shed skin – but it was dormant for now, so he left it alone. Hoshio did find this whole thing odd though. Again, it seemed like two or more types of devils might be working together, and he wasn’t sure how much of it was a coincidence. Either they’d all come on their own because of the rocks, or perhaps some had already chosen to organize to get the rocks together? The latter option would be especially dangerous for the DHA, so Hoshio made a mental note to alert the higher ups of the possibility of devils cooperating.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Lonewolf685
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Rufus


The group of Devil Hunters before them didn't strike him as the sort weak enough to be contained by a few hasty barriers, but Lumen seemed confident he could delay them, if nothing else, and at the end of the day that was all they needed to do. He wasn't a glutton liable to lose himself to a hunger induced bloodlust, so it wasn't like he needed the extra meat for his freezer from all those hunters.

"Alright, just don't get yourself killed while I'm rock picking. The others may get some dirty ideas about me if I leave my partner for dead on the first mission, and I don't need that kind of rep without actually earning it. It's really no fun being accused of a crime if they don't let you do it, just for funsies~"

He favored Limen with a raised thumb before falling through a portal at his feet and rising smoothly further ahead in the forest, locating the rocks by their siren song. Or perhaps it was more apt to think of it like a baby crying out for an adult? Children did have that uncanny ability to draw all sorts to their care, even lion's would rear a gazelle if the circumstances were right. Such flights of fancy amused Rufus as he stooped down, scooping up the first such rock littering the forest. "Hey there, little guy. Now, if you don't go blowing my hand off, I'll get you home real soon."

Looking about at the scattered singing rocks, he pocketed his first into his cloak and made to do the same to the rest.
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by dioscuri
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Mai nodded in welcome at Hoshio. She knew not everyone tended to carry charms around as they weren’t the most reliable, but she always had them on her just in case. Better safe the sorry in her eyes. When the bell only run once though, she frowned. Clearly something was amiss considering there were signs of more than one youkai around. However, she didn’t dwell on it for too long. There was enough to deal with in front of her. Any other youkai could wait their turn.

Following her leader closely, Mai unsheathed her sword and covered Hoshio’s blind spots. “Don’t burn up the seals either!” she added to his advice to Maria. The last thing they needed was to awaken whatever was sealed at this shrine in the first place.

At first, Mai was a little hesitant to attack the infected people. What if there was a way to save them? But when she saw how easily Maria was knocking them around, she thought something was odd. Like her fellow hunter, she also wondered where all these beings came from. As Mai was contemplating what was going on, one of the infected grabbed her from behind. Instinctively, she swung around and proceeded to cut their hand off. Feeling her sword hum like it always did when she killed a youkai gave Mai more confidence that whatever they were fighting wasn’t as human as they looked. She started to attack the zombies with more fervor, keeping an eye to see if Maria needed help as the girl seemed to be deadset on charging at the leader of this chaos.

After cutting down a few more infected, Mai noticed movement out of the corner of her eye. Since she didn’t immediately recognize it as one of her teammates, she turned in that direction to see the Envoy doppelganger collecting the black rocks. “Oi,” she called out. “What do you think you’re doing!?”
Hidden 2 mos ago 1 mo ago Post by The 42nd Gecko
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Da-Xia Chen
A Park



A wise man once said, "Something something, a thing that's moving stays moving unless something something" or something like that. Thus, while Da-Xia's motorcycle abruptly stopped (not being enchanted), Da-Xia was still moving forward. With only one hand on her bike, she didn't quite have the gripping strength to stop herself from flying forward off her bike.

And thus, for the second time in less than 24 hours, Da-Xia was embattled in fierce melee with a tree, though significantly less gracefully than last time. Her lance had flown free of her hand imbedding straight into its trunk, while the top half of her body had been stuck into a tangled set of branches and greenery. Her only visible part, her legs, kicked and struggled to no avail.

"Alas, foul fate has beset me! A tricksy demon must have ensorcelled my loyal steed! Can anyone- oh dear!" Da-Xia managed to plead for help for a few seconds, before the tree started to fall, dealt a mortal blow by Da-Xia's mighty lance. Creaking and cracking it broke and fell with a mighty thud, Da-Xia's legs shocked straight for the moment of impact before slumping. It seemed The Knight Errant was down for the count.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by OwO
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OwO what's this?

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With glowing blade, Beniha cleaved bug after bug that came after her. This wasn't some kind of simple feasting. That's what her instincts told her. No, their movement was too organized for something as simple as that. There had to be something here. Something they were looking for.

With the sudden flight of Da-Xia and encroaching darkness, her suspicions could only be confirmed. This was too big for a simple hunt. Thankfully, the survivors had already fled thanks to Da-Xia's... personality. They had some breathing room to figure out what was going on and stop it, at least.

"Change in plans. Kaze, we're following the bugs." She ordered him. With one final swing cleaving an insect in half, her blade split into the feathers that once constructed it. Violently, they spun around her in a burning feather tornado as she sprinted at where the bugs were moving. They'd brutally cut anything that got too close.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Kazemitsu
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Kaze was slightly amused by the insanity of Da-Xia, and the ghost girl was joking about her reception, but he could only concentrate on so many things at once. I need more limbs... He thought as he spun on his foot and turned a bug into a spattering of bloody chunks with a roundhouse kick. He had barely noticed the bugs were...lagging for lack of a better word because of the ghost messing with their movements. Nor was he paying attention to the cheers of the ghost. Squish bugs now, pay attention later.

The amount of these things were annoying him, and now it was starting to...get dark? What? Growling his shoulders darkened before another set of limbs erupted from his upper back, a pair of massive wings with thick limbs. At this point Beniha ordered him to follow the bugs that weren't gunning for them. She only got a grunt in response before the wings slammed into the ground and launched him forward with such force he smashed through another oncoming insect demon. He was going to need a shower.

He was clearly the slowest of the three Hunters even with the wings, their bulk showing he'd need some serious height to actually fly. Well he could move faster but that would require some destruction that would draw a lot of attention from helicopters, satellites, and such. Nevermind the fact the insectoid youkai kept swarming towards him. He didn't have an automatic defense like Beniha, he had to slow down and blast them with a punch, kick, or swipe from the wings. He wasn't ready to start breaking out his more deadly weapon.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Dreaming One
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Meanwhile. A knife was thrown at a tree and the shape of a person appeared beside it.

Meanwhile, one of the rocks was picked up by a hand rather delicate in a shape, and in a gesture careful and slow akin to the appearance. Fingers carefully plucked the rock from the ground, cautiously in holding it so the dirt of the ground still clinging to the surface of the rock would not get under the fingernails. Cleaning these is always such a pain.

A hand held the rock close to the pair of eyes. Eyes of a curious expression and a hunger hidden beneath. What an interesting tune this one rock was singing to her today. A tune quite sweet to her ear, even though this one might’ve met some troubles describing it in similar terms. To her ear though it was sweet, delicious even. It was a tune sweet enough for her to leave her usual routine and get here, in this park. And she always hated parks in the first place, and this one in particular. There was dirt, tree leaves, wild animals chirping and jumping and it is always disgustingly humid here. So bad for her skin.

But the song of the rock. Now this song was something else. Enough to make her forget of where she was standing. She tapped onto it like one would tap onto the cigarette to flick some ash off of it - in order to flick off some dirt off of it. She could not understand what was so peculiar about that thing. She looked at it, deeply and with high interest, studying the thing, puzzled by what it is and what purpose it served. it was somewhat mesmerizing still though, and it felt comfortable being beside these - for what reason she could not understand. But frankly she never was the type to chase the meaning of things. it was more preferable to her to just take what she wants and needs. Which were the same thing for her.

She finally put her gaze off of that rock and looked around. She could not see them on instant, but she heard the song of others to sing. There were more of these rocks. Much more.
How intriguing.”, she only said with a wide grin.

***

Haruka Ashikaga could not imagine that her day would lead her here.

It began with the usual routine of the morning gymnastics, stretching and straining her physical presence in this body. Body was important. By the body she was looked at and judged upon and human shape was the kind that demanded a very specific kind of care. Body required shower, body required care for skin, hair, nails, teeth. These were the parts humans took a lot of effort to attend and demons could not just simply change. At least it was not the case for her specifically. She could regenerate a limb, but not get rid of the stain on her teeth or get the nails in the right shape. Neither could she make her hair look perfectly how it should, of a proper length, of a needed color. It was annoying. But it was all important. Going through her apartment Haruka took her time providing such care. In a place humans would call home she was surrounded by mirrors: walls, floors and ceilings were all made of mirrors, except for the windows, though even they too played a part in the game of reflections, allowing the city outside them to become a part of her living place, of her mirror shapes, of her world. And it was all hers.

Then it was the time of meal. It was also very important, and she also took her time preparing it; never trusting humans in making it. It was a matter of specific cuisine, recipes which she did not feel sharing with anybody as she also considered it her own and one of her rather big achievements in this existence. A simple, yet wonderfully balanced meal - even though it was breakfast, she could not deny herself some meat, even in the morning. A very specific kind of meat it was, and it was not easy to get, but with her connections and resources nothing seemed impossible. Thankfully though, she still had some left from the party she was having last night. Not that her guests could argue about her taking the bite. She was careful enough though to not to stain the floors or her clothes with red spots.
They were also the pain to get rid of.

It was when she was enjoying her nutritious meat breakfast when she first heard the song. It was very precise, very specific, and nothing like she could think she ever heard and thus difficult to describe in words; and not that Haruka needed that anyway. It was not the first time she heard it as of late: the same precise sound - tingling and alluring - she heard yesterday, somewhen closer to the night; but it was here and now, today when she heard it and understood that it is close, closer than it was before. It was a matter of a short moment for her to realize that she needs it, she needs to hear more of that sound - because this sound resonates with her somewhat. She needs to hear it clearer. And there was only one way in doing so - finding the source.

She cancelled all today’s appointments, meetings, calls. She pushed it all onto the team of her secretaires. They got used to it. It was not the first time she’s done so. Frankly her business skills were good enough for people to look at such behaviour through their fingers.

***

Nasty creatures
Haruka commented looking at the sight of the bugs filling out the park. They appeared almost as out of nowhere and visibly seemed to be more hungry than anything else. The sounds of panicking screaming though filled her demonic heart with warmth - together with the song she was listening to, having a few rocks now resting in the palm of her hand; and in general made her indifferent towards the commotion.

What did pick her interest though - beside the casual amidst the chaos rock gathering - was indeed somebody else gathering the very same rocks. Something of utmost interest indeed. She slowly approached the man, who was putting the rocks into the pockets of his coat in a rather hasteful pace.

Do you gather them because they sing for you too?”, she asked the man, intrigued.
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Octo
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"Ooohhh, that's disappointing," Hanako thought, flinching, as Da-Xia crashed into a tree which then proceeded to topple on top of her. The other DHA members, however, seemed unperturbed as they sallied forth. She supposed that they knew best, though she found it a little funny how much their companion's predicament didn't concern them in the slightest.

To be fair, however, the bugs had mostly left the area and gone to gather those rocks so the woman would probably be safe under the tree. Probably. Hanako pouted a little as Beniha called out, and stomped her little feet in midair, frustrated.

"I told you the dumb rocks called out to demons and even pointed you in the right direction! If you'd just followed m- you have a demon radar and you're not even lis- it's like you don't even trust me!" Hanako nagged as she floated along with the Hunters. It was getting continually darker, which she supposed was some demon with darkness powers or something, but it didn't particularly bother her. Nor did the barrier that Limen constructed, because she was 100% a spiritual being. In fact, she had no actual idea what was happening. All she knew was that it was dark one second, bright the next, and for some reason her smartphone couldn't go with her.

After a few moments of internal debate, she decided to go on ahead without her device. The sacrifices she made for the Human race. She force-bubbled her phone inside the barrier and floated outside of it. Hanako started into the trees where, to her surprise, she managed to spot Limen hiding or something. She gave him a friendly wave.

"Hey, Lemmy. That's your new nickname I just decided, but we'll workshop it if you'd like. What are you doing here? Petrology Enthusiasm Day? It's really kicking into full gear."

As much as she wanted to be useful to the DHA, and she totally did, she felt that the actual Devil Hunters were probably better equipped to fight the higher-level Devils that were doubtless collecting rocks as they spoke. But maybe they'd have an easier time if she distracted Limen, which was about as much as she could probably do. Well, that and stay behind to make sure Da-Xia didn't get eaten.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by ERode
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Shika watched.

They did not cooperate.

Internally, the corpse-flower frowned, before shrugging, resigned. Oh well. If the Hunters were drunk, then they were fine with waiting until they were sober. Until then though? The show had to go on!

Arrows lanced through the sky, a meaningless barrage for a horde of infected humans. They screamed, horrified as piercing points drove deep into their flesh, their bones, their organs, leaving grisly exit wounds. Some survived still, gasping, twitching from the agony, while others were mercifully slain on impact; an arrow through the head perhaps. But no matter the trauma, the parasite-devil lurking in their bodies drove them forward, lurching with a swift but uneven gait towards the Devil Hunters.

Maria had the right idea though, and Mai followed through after her sword gave her some confidence. For the dead and the soon-to-be dead, dismemberment was a simple affair. Their bodies parted for flaked obsidian and tempered steel, arcs of blood brilliant against the moonlight that reflected from the snow. Could Mai’s sword read ambiguities, or was a convenient answer all that she needed? Regardless, Maria had set the example first; if there was a fallout, Maria could take the blame as well.

And of course, Maria would take all the glory too!

“Truly,” the vampire lady crooned, “A slayer of devils rather than a savior of man.” She drank from her glass of wine with irreverent disdain at the woman’s fiery approach, before her eyes burned with a predatorial light. “Well then, have at thee!”

With a flourish, the seven foot tall lady swung her wine glass in the Devil Hunter’s direction, and sanguine blood surged out, a veritable tidal wave of aristocratic excess. From behind Maria as well, the anguished cries and the crick-cracking of bone sounded as well, five of the parasiticized humans lunging at her in expense of their legs. Even puppets had value, after all. Far be it for one to assume that a mob was composed solely of weaklings.

Indeed, with both vanguards occupied, Hoshio found seven rushing for him as well, hurtling through snow and foliage at a frenzied pace. Perhaps in a zombie shooter, this scenario would simply be unfair. After all, speedy zombies were usually not so annoying tenacious either.
It was Mai’s encounter, however, that perhaps was the most curious.

As the Envoy turned in the direction of the voice, the eyepatched woman’s gaze widened, an animal fear seeping in. Not at the Hunter, but at what laid behind her. And then, like a rabbit, she bolted.

A feint or a genuine threat? How long did Mai have to decide?
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Lonewolf685
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Rufus


By ear alone Rufus could tell the forest was certainly lively today, and it brought him no end of amusement to distinguish it was the DHA cause the more widespread devastation. It was a crying shame about all the trees they were burning down amidst the cry of a rampant motorcycle, the police cordon that was inevitably going to section off this swathe of woodland was going to really hamper people's enjoyment of the walking path.

All those romantic walks between couples and stress relieving excursions of Japanese crumbling under the pressure of constant work in a cold, hard, unfeeling city would now go up in smoke for weeks. How such simple, short sighted actions could cascade outwards to bring forth misery never fail to bring a spring to Rufus' step even as he hobbled around, back bent steeply to pick out the singing fragments of rock. There was the echo of a tune wanting to work itself from his lips in response, but he swallowed it and offered them a cheery hum instead.

It rather dramatically rose in pitch as her found himself confronted by an unfamiliar demon that had his eyes crossing taking her in. His eyes lied to him, but then, all eyes lie and take in the world as an inverted picture the brain had to flip in real time. Such was the same for demons as it was humans when they chose the same foolish ocular orbs.

"I see a kindred spirit, though your tastes would appear to be far more refined then my own. A shame you deprive yourself the full experience, but I won't be getting into any fancy restaurants myself either." Rufus straightened his back, flicking back his hood to favor her with a rakish grin as he rolled a dirt laden stone in his palm. "Ah, but to answer your question, I collect them because they ask me to, as a child cries for an adult to help them when they have neither the hands to grasp or the mind to know the world around them. These stones are as seeds, waiting to bloom in fertile soil and birth with remarkable potential new life."

"I'm quite curious to see what comes of that potential, yet by the racket getting closer, I do not think those guys and gals at the DHA share my views. Nasty lot they are. Don't suppose you'd like to help me keep these rocks from their hands?" He said, turning towards the coming clamor of mortals and contractors, his hood pulled up once more to mask his face and his hand outstretched. A portal formed along the ground, passing over grass and root like a smear of reflective paint, yet it zipped about and swallowed the precious rocks without issue wherever his fingers directed to clear them from the coming conflict.
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Where once the park experienced mild and pleasant sunny weather, it soon became bubbled in a dome of darkness courtesy of Limen. With the addition of Da-Xia becoming decommissioned from any fighting, the barrier-making demon was proving to be a formidable force by himself to the DHA. How long it would last however, given his abilities and new distraction with Hanako, was anyone’s guess, but the ghost’s efforts, as unappreciated as they were, gave the rest of Da-Xia’s team a chance to formulate some plan. That plan boiled down to simply following the bugs.

Wreathed in her tornado of fire and feathers, Beniha was able to cut clean through the chittering bug Youkai that lined her path. Experienced as she was, she would find no delay in eventually reaching where the insects gathered, deep into the wooded section of the park. It was there Rufus and Haruka had their conversation before being interrupted by the shrill hisses and chitters of the bugs. The Youkai, mindless and reliant on instinct as they were, immediately noticed the black rock supply. Without warning, they shrilled and bombarded Rufus and Haruka with near-suicidal intent, the black rocks remaining neutral even as they were collected.

It was this hellish scene that Beniha would walk into. Kaze would also eventually find his way, though at a much slower pace both from his power and for the bugs finding more attraction towards him. When he arrived, he would find a good chunk of the swarm had followed him into the fray of the woods as well. Such vibrant chaos was to be expected of those who laid in the shadows and it was almost no different to what played out at the shrine as well.

It was there where Hoshio’s team were swiftly making work of Shika’s puppet-like creatures; more importantly, the barrage of arrows rained down by Hoshio did quick work in shattering the black stones. Unlike before, instead of detonating, they disintegrated completely upon brute force impact. The rocks gave off a screech only the demons could hear before, like sprouts, they dove underground and away from the hunters. Their next appearance wasn’t too far away, popping up like mushrooms before the doppleganger Envoy and Mai, all gathered in one place.

As Maria faced the ongoing tide of red swept her way courtesy of Shika, Mai was left to handle the “civilian” before her. Indeed, there was no indication the fake Envoy was anything but human, especially given her very real reaction. Even as she fled there was already a story forming to spin to Mai about how she was simply curious about the black stones. That was assuming the hunter could catch her because the force that spooked the double revealed itself.

A large, overbearing presence wrapped over Mai and pressed down like a crushing grip. However, if she checked her surroundings, she’d notice there were no Youkai in sight. This didn’t stop the force from tightening around her as if she were caught by a hand. Perhaps this new creature was invisible? Whatever it was, it may have also been responsible for the shed skin seen littering the holy shrine grounds just before the fighting broke out.
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Gods Play Dice With The Universe
It's Your Turn Now
Carnage One
Let's Samba!


"I prefer to think of myself as a kicker of ass!" Maria cried out as she skidded to a halt and crouched down, muscles tensing and flexing as raw adrenaline coursed through her veins. The world was in perfect clarity at times like these, nothing but Maria and whatever monster she was gonna kill to save the day. The shadow of blood eclipses her form and everything feels like it's in slow motion, not a single detail escapes her notice. In front was a perfect wall of red, approximately 1,000 gallons of blood if compared to the average wave of water at a beach. Behind her she could hear the cracking and breaking of bone, she could feel the slight displacement of air pushing into her back as five humanoids leapt at her. They were very likely dead, and even if they weren't dead they obviously wouldn't live for very long considering the condition they were all in. Maybe an exorcist could have saved them, but Maria had no interest in matters of the spirit or that of "God", she focused on what she could feel with her body.

Right now all she felt was the desire to maim.

Going forwards wasn't an option thanks to the wall of blood that threatened to consume her, Maria didn't particularly want to find out what would happen when she touched all that blood. Plus it would absolutely ruin her new clothes she definitely hadn't stolen. Going backwards was partially an option, but being put on the backfoot was never preferable when starting a dance, she wanted to be the one leading this samba~ Left and right were viable options to avoid the attack from the front but then one of the back zombies would catch her and she would have to waste time burning them off. That really only left one option, up and into the sky.

About 0.05 seconds have passed since Maria initially halted now, the ground cracks beneath her feet as all the stored force in her legs explodes into the ground and pushes her into the blue above. Her snake pendant burns red hot against her skin as flames rip out from her back, like a phoenix being born she propels herself above the wave of blood and lets it crash into the flailing zombies as she looks down on Shika from above. "Don't leave me frustrated okay~?" And then she dives down to cut some weeds.
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Mai wondered if the girl was a curious bystander or a devil. Her fashion choice was quite odd, eyepatch and all, but then again Mai couldn’t say much considering she looked like she just walked off of a samurai movie set and Maria looked like a strung-up groupie. Regardless, Mai approached the woman anyways. If she was an innocent, the hunter would help her to a safe location away from the infected humans and their dominatrix leader. If she wasn’t, then Mai would treat her like she treated all devils.

Unfortunately, the civilian fled before she could even come close. “Hey! Wait!” the hunter cried out. However, when she tried chasing after the eyepatched woman, Mai found herself trapped by an invisible force. Any attempt she made to get out of the invisible grip was fruitless; if anything, it felt as though the grip on her increased the more she struggled. Mai looked around to see if a new youkai had appeared when she wasn’t looking. When she didn’t see anyone new, the panic in her began to build. As a hunter, Mai’s weapon of choice was a sword. However, it was no help when she did not have anything to attack and since she wasn’t expecting something like this, Mai hadn’t brought anything to negate the oppressive presence. Even if she did, the hunter couldn’t reach her bag at the moment.

Doing her best to think critically whilst she was bound up, Mai surmised this wasn’t the work of the giant devil who seemed to be currently occupied with creating a wall of blood to stop Maria. And considering they haven’t shown any signs they had any unique powers, she doubted it was the infected humans either. So what else could it be? Then the hunter remembered the shed snakeskin scattered around the shrine and cursed. Since it had not been an immediate problem, Mai had ignored them. Now she wondered if whatever had left its epidermis around the shrine was finally making its presence known.
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A flash of flame, and a new star rose up to the sky, gloriously incandescent as the night itself was scoured away by the phoenix wings of the Devil Bringer. Snarling against the light, the vampire lady took a step back, her pale hand shading her from the blinding radiance. What beauty was there in firelight? It had neither the subtlety of the moon nor the arrogance of the sun! Naught but a mongrel imitation of both!

The tidal wave of blood crushed her pathetic peasants’ bones and flesh to bits as it surged through, but the spell had been driven by magic, not by physics. If the flaming wench had evaded it, that just meant that the archer behind her would have more than just swift zombies to contend with. Frothing and bubbling like bloody spit from a titan’s lips, the cursed wave crashed on without sympathy, rushing now for Hoshio.

Mai’s bind was also noted, and Shika briefly wished that they had gotten a gun for the fake-Envoy as well. Would have been a cool moment if the puppet had pulled out a Glock and went blap-blap-blap while that strange force restrained the swordswoman, but oh well. Fake-Envoy, after distance was made and pursuit did not continue, resumed the collection of the black rocks, saving what could be saved before Hoshio found an opening to begin bombarding the shrine once more.

Such incidents, important as they were, played second fiddle to the violent clash occurring within the 0.1 seconds that had elapsed.

With contempt still clear upon her visage, the vampire tossed her head back, allowing her hair to flow vibrantly in the flame-swept winds. She opened her arms up to her side, disdaining even the very effort of blocking or dodging Maria’s downwards cleave, and it was with that same expression that she was smashed in half. Obsidian edges and brute force ripped through the vampire’s body, but blood did not flow and her sneer did not change. In a burst of perfumed wind, the bisected body dispersed into a storm of rose petals around Maria.

The click-clack of heels sounded behind her.

“You truly believe that the likes of your kind are suited to dance with me? I’ve met jesters less disgraceful than you, child.”

The vampire lady raised a slender hand, and the flowing of the petals stopped mid-air, each petal glinting like shards of glass.

“ユダのデザート. [Judas’ Desserts].”

And as one, they shot towards Maria, intent on delivering the myriad cuts demise that the traitor of the Messiah truly deserved.
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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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“Oh no, I think she broke a vertebra or two.”

Da-Xia’s rather unfortunate fate was predictable. It still stung a bit to see, or would have, had Limen been stuck with a human’s uncontrolled empathy. He wondered briefly if Hanako still retained enough of her humanity to feel the pain, then thought back to how obvious the answer had been in her behaviour for the short day or two he’d known her. Was that supposed to be a nickname? Hm. Two could dance that tango.

“Hey-o, Hanakko. The other two Hunter fellows appear to be taking off. Without either of us, rather sadly —“ he glanced over to the half-dead motorcyclist. “— nor even their fallen comrade.”

A sigh and a shake of his head later, Limen hefted Da-Xia’s ragdolling body onto a rapidly-assembled contraption, proudly designed by yours truly. Axles, wheels, and a handle materialised and came together one by one, forming what was unmistakably some sort of elongated pushcart. He did recall hearing that immobilisation was key to the treatment of fractures, and that moving a car crash casualty willy-nilly could easily render them paraplegic for life or something along those lines…

Well, he’d already tossed Da-Xia less-than-gracefully onto his sled-stretcher. The most he could do at this point was strap her down tight for the ride.

“Join the dark side one day, Hana-nee. We’ve got apples and amaryllis, all libre and gratis. Simply put, Hanacchi: we’ve got all we need, all for free.” This was immensely silly. Rufus would probably have his head for letting the more dangerous of the hunters through. Did Limen care much at the moment? Enough to start jogging toward the rocks (with Da-Xia acting as the vanguard), but no faster. “Come, hostage; come, outhouse-haunting friend. Let’s catch up to the party, Han-Han of the Privy!”
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