Hidden 3 mos ago Post by PaulHaynek
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PaulHaynek The Roleplayer Nobody Likes

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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by PaulHaynek
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PaulHaynek The Roleplayer Nobody Likes

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Honoka's House


~ @The Irish Tree (EUL) ~

"None of you are my type. However, I wouldn't be against simply being 'friends'."
Eula 039

The bandits watched with rapt attention at Eula explaining the news of The Great Change accompanied with drawings etched onto bark. After her explanation, the vagabonds talked amongst themselves. There were disagreements, but they all agreed on one thing.

"That's okay, yokai. You're not our type either." One of the bandits replied. "You have no chest and you're lacking in hips and ass. Barely any sex appeal at all."

"But anyway, do you think she's telling the truth?" A bandit moved to the more important topic.

"I dunno, she sounded pretty sure. She even drew on the tree and all."

"You know, maybe that's why people have mostly been fleeing to Terauchi Temple for protection fron the Varjans." A bandit realized and pointed out. "I heard the place was full of yokai so I thought they were crazy for doing that but now..."

The bandits looked at each other as they all began to come to the same conclusion. "...You know, we could find pretty yokai there."

And that was the final nail in the coffin for these wayward Shizuyamans, the bandits quickly gathered their personal effects before taking off towards Terauchi Temple. Their tents and weapons and supplies were all left behind with Eula, including the sack of food stolen from Honoka. Or so the peasant woman says.


Taking the tied up sack back to Honoka's home, the young peasant woman beamed at the sight of Eula's return. "You're back! And you have the food!"

Honoka took the sack and the Automaton inside her house. Beside the unlit firepit, the peasant woman untied the ropes to the sack and opened it slightly to see the contents. Within the sack was the unmistakable sight of rice grains. "Rice! I don't remember the last time I've had rice!" She scooped up a handful to observe it more closely.

Her exclamation was strange, though, as it did not match her earlier statements of having this rice stolen from her recently. Honoka was too mesmerized at the food to have noticed this, too joyful at having staved away starvation for a while. "Thank you, yokai!"

And with that, Eula's job here was over. Although, she might have something to say about being deceived again.

Kozukata Cemetery


"He's right! I don't want to hurt any of you either!"
Lunatea Vern Farnsworth

"Seriously, you didn't get what they meant?!" Takeshi looked at Lunatea incredulously, seemingly making the mistake of taking his eyes off his enemy just to correct this misconception. "They're here to kill us both then blame you!"

A samurai swordsman thought Takeshi was distracted and decided to attack with a vertical swing, only for the young lord to step to the side and retaliate with a couple of slashes of his own. The samurai warrior was wounded but fortunately for him, Takeshi's assault was interrupted when an archer loosed an arrow which he was forced to evade. Another samurai stepped in to try his luck against the young lord. And he had plenty of luck as despite his attack being parried, Takeshi had to evade another arrow from the second archer which prevented a counterattack.

The exchange continued until a samurai managed to finally land a hit on Takeshi, a diagonal slash to the back. The young lord gritted his teeth from the pain, but pushed on to keep fighting. One slash was not enough to take down the heir to Shizuyama and if he did not die in Sanjo Beach, he was not dying here.

Still, maybe Lunatea should jump in and help. The samurai paid no attention to the seemingly harmless rabbit yokai.


~ @Restalaan (SKA), @AzureKnight (HIN & ATS) ~

"You seen other goblins before? When?"

"A long time ago. When I was way younger and Lord Hideo Oja was but a child." Yurine answered. "I was briefly contracted by The Order to drive away the Goblins from their villages near Order lands."

"We are yokai from various backgrounds who were contacted by a supporter of the Oja family and Shizuyama as a whole, sent her to aid Takeshi-san the the natives against the Varjan invaders and save as many lives as possible. There's not really much more to it than that."
Atsuha Hangai

"But me? I'm Skarsneek. I'm here to screw the Varjans over. But as to why Takeshi there changed? Let's just say their defense of the beach went poorly. He was the only survivor, heard your lord was captured but he might be dead already. And the Varjans are worse. Much worse than you think. They're attacking and conquering a nation of anti-mamono...so they can use this island to invade Zipangu as a whole. This ain't just your Island business anymore, it's the entire east we're talking about here."

"We couldn't care less what happens to the yokai-friendly parts of Zipangu." Yurine crossed her arms. "If what you say is true, then I wish Varjo would've just steered clear of us and invaded the other isles." After a sigh, she continued. "There's no point ruminating about what should've or shouldn't have happened..."

"Although, I am rather curious as to who supports Clan Oja and Shizuyama but sends yokai to help." Yurine wondered that herself. She knew no one who fit such a contradicting criteria. "It couldn't have been Clan Amanomiya. Then-- No, wait. It couldn't have been them... could it?"

"You see, my sister and I are not natural yokai. We, we actually were born humans just like you and Takeshi-san. However, one day, my sister died from an illness. She...is very dear to me and I simply could not accept that she had been taken from me. So, I did the unthinkable - I underwent a ritual that involved resurrection magic. After I perform the ceremony, my sister and I took the forms you see before you now as punishment for breaking taboo. Perhaps her fury is some form of karma for defying the laws of nature."
Atsuha Hangai

"Perhaps it is. Perhaps these spells are taboo for a reason, young lady." Yurine began to reprimand Atsuha, anger rising. "You sacrificed the sanctity of your humanity and deprived your sister of hers. Such an act could only be met with a swift death. And a swift death to the sister too, as a mercy." The old warrior declared. "Only by the grace of the young master do you live. So I shall be content with letting you suffer your fates."

"But once again, Lord Takeshi's kindness blesses you. He wants me to help you, and so I shall. You two owe him your lives twice over." Yurine finished. "...The potion I will make should relax the undead's body, but clearing her rampaging mind will be up to her." Thinking some more, she added. "I know a spell that can link minds. Someone can help her, but I think it will need someone with a stronger will than hers."

Terauchi Temple ---> Shizuyama Wilderness


"Let's get going whenever you're ready. I'll let you do the talking to any of your fellow locals and natives, as long as they ain't hostile. But if we get into a situation where we need to fight, I trust you'll follow my instructions, got it? My top priority here is to get you from here to there, in one piece preferbly, and I can't do that if you don't listen to me if or when it really counts, got it?"
Relica Rune Nox-Umbra

The monk clapped in awe at the showcase of Relica's aerial gadgetry. "Ohhh, such advanced technology! I now see that the tales of our travelers were not farfetched at all. I could certainly use a device like that." He said. "Of course, I am wise enough to know that using such machines will not be easy. One would need training and discipline, yes? Things that require time, time that we don't have."


Relica and the monk began their trip towards the illness-assailed survivor camp with the latter leading the way. Their walk through the dirt roads of Onrai was peaceful so far. "Were you at the battle of Sanjo Beach? No, I'm fairly sure you just arrived recently." The monk began. "I heard the first taskforce members took part there, and managed to save young lord Takeshi, giving hope back to our island. I look forward to your future achievements."

But upon entering a lightly forested part of the road, the monk pointed ahead. "Wait, I see something up ahead."

Ahead the duo and upon a fork on the path, was a group of armed figures wearing dark, bulky armor. They were clearly not Shizuyaman and they were accosting a couple of peasants whom they held at swordpoint. The monk led the Gremlin under some bushes so they would not be noticed as they observed the situation.

"Varjans." The monk told Relica. "Please, yokai. You have to do something before they kill the villagers."

Terauchi Temple

Emerging from their harrowing training session, the taskforce group slowly rejoined the inhabitants of Terauchi Temple. "You guys sure took a long time in there!" Ayu greeted the taskforce but upon getting a closer look, she saw the gloomy looks of some of the taskforce members as well as an asleep Alice carried by Shizuka. In general, the taskforce looked worn down. "Whoa, what happened to you? Weren't you guys supposed to be just training?"

Other than Ayu's concerns, the temple remained the same as ever. Refugees going about their daily lives. The other taskforce members who did not take part in the training appear to be away, likely on their own missions.

Suddenly, the warrior woman Kikyo arrived on a horse. "Hey, taskforce!" She called to them. "After Lord Takeshi left, I saw some of my men take off after him without telling me. I have a bad feeling about this so I intend to follow." She then pointed to Alice carried by Shizuka. "Someone wake that fool. She's the one who got painted with Takeshi's essence, right? I might need her to track him down."




*Finish 'Pre-Emptive Strike' to unlock next tale*



*Tale commencing*
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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Enkryption

Enkryption Enkoded For Your Safety

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The connection of human flesh and... sorta human flesh... and the congregation of bodies slowly overwrote the chill that kept the mushroom woman asleep, and she shifted in Shizuka's arm, before she awoke - suddenly, weaving out of his arms, and springing off his shoulders. Landing on the head of the horse that bore the rider who demanded her audience, Alice would point her weapon at her; said weapon transforming and eyeing her with a deathly glare.

"Thou art haughty to demand an audience with a sleeping queen, foolish, even," Alice says, "Speak thine name, before mine patience takes leave of me, and thine own throat with."

Despite cresting at nine-feet, Alice seemed to place no weight upon the horse - though, it was definitely discomforted. Kikyo would be able to behold the queen in her a la carte glory - a soft form betrayed by toned muscles that held her clearly-heavy bust high, pulled her abs together in a subtle four-pack, and Kikyo could confirm any future rumours, Alice would need more than a fig leaf downstairs.

"Speak, warrior! Thine silence begins to rile, 'lest thou'rt seeking to do battle with a barbarous queen of war!" Alice barked.

Alice... really seemed to wake up and immediately choose violence, if disturbed.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Restalaan


Member Seen 4 hrs ago


Skarsneek of the Red Hill

"It's totally them, I mean, ain't it obvious?" Skarsneek said with a shrug of both shoulders together.

He absolutely had no idea who she was talking about but whatever floats her boat.

"Hey now," He waved his hand to Yurine when she stated she'll leave them alive so they can suffer longer, giving a feigned hurt look. "I'm not that insufferable."

When Yurine said she can help out and explained the details, Skarsneek hummed with a furrowed brow before turning to Atsuha.

"Want me to go?" He said but didn't push the issue, this was after all ultimately Atsuha decision. He trusted her to make the decision, the only thing he can do is offer himself.


@PaulHaynek@The Irish Tree@Crowvette@Rezod92@Enkryption

Gringor of the Ironhide Tribe

Grunting as he tested his fingers and muscles by flexing it, it seems that there was no longer any damage left that could impede his performance.

When he turned to Io and stood over her, giving the latter an eyeful of his chest, Gringor nodded in appreciation for her work.

Quickly as that came, Gringor walked over to Kerry and past her before collecting back his axe. A quick inspection revealed that nothing major happened to it.

Indeed, this was what he was far more used to. A spear is too light, this was just right.

Flicking it around and resting it his shoulder as Shizuka explained his shortcoming, he huffed before commenting. "Fight the way you train."

For him, this wasn't just a duel, it was training. Nothing better than live fighting, and he already learned a lot.

Still, it wasn't enough. Gringor's face ticked at that, he needed to find some decent armor and get stronger.

With that and being dismissed, he took a quick glance at the disappearing spellwork that was beyond his knowledge and moved ahead. Seemed like not much time passed despite the fact that it felt much longer inside.

When Ayu came and asked about their training, Gringor responded curtly. "Good. Hard, worth fighting again."

During that interim, another presence made themself known as a woman warrior rode on a horse and let them known that their under-boss was missing.

That snapped him into place, Takeshi had a fight coming to him?

He had no time to waste, he'll miss it all then.

Not caring about the waking Alice, Gringor had his own way to find them.

Taking a sniff on the air for a moment before getting onto all four like a dog, Gringor took in the scent.

Sticky, murky, web. Spider lady.

Gringor trudged along, continuing this spectacle despite everyone looking him like a madman.

Decay, slight blood, acrid and murky too. Dead lady.

He moved to the road and continued on.

Paper, ink, herbs. Rabbit lady.

One caught his attention as he stopped for a moment in a growl and spat to the side.


Ignoring that, he finally caught the scent he wanted. Steel, blood, and mushrooms.


Seems like all five traveled together, makes it easier.

With that, he went straight from all fours into a light jog, his nose constantly on the lookout for any change.

Ayu would've been the only one to note that Gringor was headed the same path that Takeshi and the rest had left since she saw them leave.

It was up to Kikyo to follow or continue on with Alice.

Gringor was already on the prowl.
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Rezod92
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Rezod92 The Journeyman

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@PaulHaynek @Xaltwind

"Someone wake that fool. She's the one who got painted with Takeshi's essence, right? I might need her to track him down."

"Wow, could you say that a bit louder for the people in the back? Let the whole temple grounds hear you!", retorted Kerry, criticizing Kikyo as she retrieved her spears and slipped on her bracelets. "You know what will happen if people caught wind of that particular scandal, so how about you be a little more sub- wait, what's that?"

A shining glimmer from a corner of the temple caught Kerry's eye. Curious, she strode over to investigate. What she found gave her an alarming sense of familiarity. An entire section of the grounds had turned into a workstation, with various gadgets and mechanical parts decorating the area. It was completely out of place with the rest of the grounds. And standing in the center of all this machinery, was a workbench.

A very....very familiar workbench.

....No way....

There was a sign on top of the workbench. The was simple and to the point:

Do Not Touch!

That sign.....that handwriting....I recognize it!

Looking for one final confirmation, Kerry went over to one of the opened crates. Scanning it over, she would find a stamp that read:

Property of the Mechanized Battle Corps, subdivision of the Grelden Armed Forces


Soon, Kerry was running around the temple, asking various villagers and refugees the same question:

"Have you seen a furry-eared mamo-er, yokai around here recently? About half my height, carries a giant backpack with robotic arms and has the mouth and personality of someone who's never been to a party in their entire life?"

Eventually, the searching lead her to Ayu and she found out that a mamono fitting that description set out with a monk to a disease-ravaged camp. Upon hearing that the duo were heading for Onrai, Kerry took to the skies, a knowing smile on her lips.

With her speed and magic, she caught up in no time. However, upon arriving, she saw group of villagers being held up by...

Shit, Varjans., Kerry thought to herself as she now tried to think of a way to rescue the peasants. As she looked around, she noticed a man in traditional robes hiding behind a bush. That must have been the monk, which means the mamono beside was....

Kerry, once again, smiled.

Quickly diving down to not be noticed by the Varjans, she landed behind the pair, the buzzing of her wings alerting them to her presence.

"S'up, Rel? Fancy seeing you here in this backwater sinkhole.", Kerry announced herself, smirking as she called the gremlin by a nickname.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Hammerman
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Mentions: @PaulHaynek

Wait, that was their plan all along?!

Lunatea glared at the humans, her eyes filled with disbelief, her fists shaking in furious anger.

"How dare you?! You're trying to frame me for his death?! We're here to save you and this is how you repay us?!"

She had enough. They deserve what's coming to them!

She aimed her right middle and index fingers at the nearest samurai. Lightning crackled inside the air around her as she channeled her mana into her fingertips, her dress flipped upwards by the sheer power her magic panties were emitting

"Chain Lightning!"

Thunder burst forth from her fingers, striking the samurai on his chest, knocking him out in an instant. However, her spell didn't stop there. It leapt to the next samurai. And another. And another. Until five of them fell in one swoop.

"You youkai bitch!"

Now realizing the threat the monster girl possessed, some of the samurai switched their attention to her. One man dashed forward with his blade brandished, an attack she barely dodged. Another threw a knife at her, an attack she blocked by her wind magic.

Then, she noticed it at the corner of the eyes—a samurai landing a blow at the young master.

"Takeshi, gyahhh!"

It was the distraction that led to her receiving an arrow right on her back.

She blasted the archer using her wind magic before kneeling down, panting from the wound she just received.

Please, Lady Sylph! I need your blessing right now! Just like that time!

She remembered that one time she triggered a trap in a ruin and ended up fighting against five golems at once. She wouldn't have made it if not for her panties overcharging her strength. Sure, there were drawbacks associated with the magic but it’d be a far better alternative than dying here to these bunch of imbeciles.

Another samurai ran in, swinging his blade in a downwards direction. She reacted by rolling to the side, only for another samurai to use the opportunity to drive his blade down towards her head. She barely blocked it with a wind barrier.

Nonono, not like this!

They got her pinned! And Takeshi’s busy with his own opponents!

“It’s over for you, filthy youkai!”

Right before her wind barrier broke, she was saved.

Not by Takeshi or the others.

But by the explosion of mana caused by her magic panties.

“W-what? What foul sorcery is this?!” One of the samurai said after being knocked away by the explosion.

She stood up, her body enveloped in a harsh windy surge. It was as if she had a miniature tornado surrounding her. Her dress was slowly going away as every second the wind shredded more and more fabric off her body. Not to mention it flipping upwards violently, showing off her panties to everyone present.

It was one of the weaknesses of this “Overdrive” technique of hers. She would end up naked after she used it.

However, considering the power boost it gave…

It was all worth it.

She dashed forward, far faster than the samurai could react. She landed a roundhouse kick right at the man’s chest, sending him flying several feets away, knocking him out. Like a deadly blur, she moved instantly to the man beside him, landing her palm on his chest, stopping his heart as said palm was imbued with electricity.

She glanced at the remaining samurai, her expression as cold as ice.

Death. It was inevitable for them. Even if they tried to escape, she wouldn’t let them. With her inhuman speed, she would simply chase them down and end their lives one by one.

They thought of her as a monster. Now, they got one.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Nakushita
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Nakushita Number 1 Ranked Bucket Fighter

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It had been some time since Yuki had heard such commotion around the temple, she figured it must mean the others had come back from their training. During which time, Yuki had decided to get some much-needed relaxation and rest as she felt rearing to go once more. Though she figured she might as well go see what all the noise was about.

As where the most noise came from, often meant that there was the most fun to be had for her. With that in mind, she made her way to where all the noise was coming from. From what it sounded like, someone was saying something about painting and essence with what followed by someone else quickly responding. Which quite amused her and caught her interest, as whoever had said it, said it loud enough for her to hear it from where she was at. From the sounds of it, it sounded like Kerry who seemed to be as rambunctious as always.

“Hmmm, it seems everyone is back, and at just the right time as well, I may as well greet them before they all run off again to cause trouble” Yuki laughed to herself as she felt like having a little bit of fun herself after being away from the others for so long. Surely there would be something interesting going on that she could tag along with. Or at the very least some tasty drama that she can insert herself in the middle, it had been a while since she had such entertainment.

Once she made it too the grounds she took a good look around, seeing who she could spot in the immediate area. Deciding to see who she could find there, hoping to catch someone before they went off on another mission or adventure. Otherwise, she figured she might as well find another job or mission for herself. Though she knew she would much prefer tagging along with someone else if she had the choice. "Now, now lets see just what is happening around this place....we may need to stir up a little bit of fun..."
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Xaltwind
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Xaltwind Disgruntled Dragonfly

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@PaulHaynek, @Rezod92

The walk was fairly uneventful, until it wasn't. Once the duo had spotted the signs of trouble up ahead, further down the very same path they were travelling, measures were taken to immeidately get out of sight. Ducking off the road and into some shrubbery and other light vegetation, Relica used her goggles to take a closer look at what was up ahead, after all, it paid to investigate.

It seemed to be a random group of random Varjans, pestering a pair of locals. No big deal. They could easily just take a wide swing around and avoid any sort of trouble whatsoeve--

And then, of course, the monk said it. Of course he did. Why wouldn't he? She should've known he'd say it. Help them. An annoyed expression appeared on the gremlin's face as she looked to the side at her ward, raising her goggles up so she could and him could look at once another properly.

"Are you serious? Look, there really isn't much I can do. They've got those two yokels surrounded and flanked, even so all they'd need to do - provided they have any sort of brain - is take one or two of'em hostage as soon as I do anything. I'm a good shot, but not good enough to take down four mooks at the same time, baldie." Relica stated, feeling unwilling and unmotivated to get involved in this particular mess. "And before you say anything, no. I'm not letting you do something stupid like acting as a decoy or wha-have-you. I need to get you to that shrine or whatever, not them." She pointed at the general location of the Varjans and accosted Shizuyamen plebs. "If we had a bigger group or even just another person with us, then it'd be a different sto--"


What was that? Bees? No, there were no bees around here, the goggles hadn't picked up any sort of bugs when she was looking around before. Plus, judging from the sound, it was coming from abo--

As the gremlin looked up and around a bit, she suddenly became very aware of a dive-bombing hornet, coming straight at her and her charge. Rising up from her kneeling spot, she put herself between the monk and oncoming, unknown ... Threat? Hornets weres sneaky buggers after all, they'd swoop down, nab a human male and then buzz off into the sunset with their catch. Well, some of them at least. So she wasn't about to let this hussie steal her -- ohwaitaminutewhattheactualpumpernickel?!

The buzzy one had landed. And it spoke:

"S'up, Rel? Fancy seeing you here in this backwater sinkhole.",

A somewhat stunned Relica stared in disbelief at the person before her. Never in a hundred years had she even remotely imagined that she'd ever meet this one again. A rush of memories and... Complicated... feelings came rushing back to the little lady as she stood there, mouth half agape and eyes staring widely, before she finally shook her head and collected herself. Replying with a sigh.

"Curry?! You're here too? Jeez, like I didn't have enough on my plate..." The gremlin bemoaned, though not entirely sincerely. Also, the nickname she'd used was probably a mix of the hornet's name, and her skintone. "Look, it's great and all to see you again and we can totally braid each others hair and stuff later. For right now, we got a situation here. Some of those varjans are picking on a pair of locals, and this guy-" She gestured to the monk behind her with her thumb. "-wants me to go save'em. Of course, I wasn't planning to do so, until you showed up. Impeccable timing by the way, were you stalking us or something?" The gremlin said, raising a suspiscious eyebrow.

She turned around again, slid her goggles back down and began to take another look at the situation up a ways away form the trio. She was silent for a bit, before speaking up again.

"Alright, looks like this: Four varjans bullying two locals. Two of the baddies are using swords and board, one's got twin axes with one looking like a throwable and the last guy's lugging around a big mace... And for some reason, he's got skulls dangling from him like some kinda morbid trophies... Also, his armor is a bit more fancy than the rest, it got tassels. Heh, what a chump." She reported, snarkily. "There really isn't any good cover to move up to or hide behind on the way to them though.. Hmm.. And there's nothing for the locals to run to or hide behind if a scrap breaks out. I mean, we could just throw you at them and see what happens, but I'm still thinking they might try to use those sitting ducks as human shields if we try something..." The gremlin soldier mused, gently massaging her own chin, before raising her goggles and turning back to Kerry and the monk.

"Look, honestly, my main goal here is to get Mr. Monk to the place he needs to go. And that's not here. I could have Curry stay behind and watch you, baldie, but I'd rather not hand your protection off when I'm the one who agreed to take your job. We could have buzzy-buzz here go and try to sting the bad guys, but she's, y'nkow, only got one weapon that can only attack one person at a time. Finally, we could both go and pincer the Varjans, which would totally flatten'em, but that'd leave you unguarded, and if they've got some extra muscle hiding somewhere that I didn't see,.. Well, I'm not risking it. Fah... Curry, ideas here? I'd love to just walk away, but this one won't let me I'm sure." She finalized her view and stance on the situation at hand.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Rezod92
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Rezod92 The Journeyman

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@PaulHaynek @Xaltwind

Kerry almost gave their position away by nearly laughing out loud when Relica called her by that nickname. Ever practical and literal.

"Hey, I don't have just one weapon. I got two, in case you forgot. But you are right about this situation.", Kerry replied as she joined Relica and monk in hiding. "If I had to wager a guess, I'd say we're dealing with three Warriors and....the one with the tassels is either a Warrior with delusions of grandeur or an Elite who's been rather busy, though why would one be way out here and with such a rag-tag group? Either way, as you said, all it takes is for one of them to be smart and take a hostage, no matter what we do. However, if we had a third member...."
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by The Irish Tree
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The Irish Tree Fake Touhou Fan

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"...Ha...Mm...Nn...Nnnnn..." Liliana grumbled, having worked up the will to leave her flower at the training grounds and return, only to find a comfy flower to mope in cradled amongst a pile of weeds. She was still rather upset with how her training had ended, and that Shizuka's advice boiled down to: "Sure, you may be the literal worst fighter of the entire group training, but you're special! Just work on what you're good at!"

...What do you work on when you're good for nothing?

Moping a bit harder, Liliana was actually starting to physically lose color, going monochromatic as she tried to think of what she'd done...like, at all right. Her big snake thing only made Alice's situation worse, and her magic punchy rush didn't even dent Shizuka after she made big talk about only using magic to fight. Shizuka had told her to come at her with everything she had, and she hadn't used a single directly offensive magic spell. Curling up a bit more, her wings shriveled a bit as she realized she'd disrespected him, and everyone else by holding herself back like that. Maybe the task force would be better off without her-

"After Lord Takeshi left, I saw some of my men take off after him without telling me. I have a bad feeling about this so I intend to follow."



...Takeshi was in trouble!?

The fairy sprang back to life, eyes focused on Kikyo as she spoke to Alice and the others that had returned from training. Launching herself from the flower she was in, Liliana's wilted wings sprang back to life as she rocketed towards the conversation at hand, her TOTALLY NOBLE eavesdropping renewing her vigor as color returned to her form. Feeling bad for the horse that Alice was standing atop, she would channel her magic once more into herself, focusing harder as she remembered what Shizuka said in like...specifics, this time.

"Instead of comparing yourself to others, continue to use the principles you’ve learned in this training to shape your magic in a way that feels natural to you."

"Whimsy, can I pretty please with honey on top get Giant's Strength?" the fairy asked, at which the splinter-sword on her back considered it for a moment, and would cycle magic a grand total of two times, resulting in a cow suddenly appearing under Liliana, and a burst of healing magic to erupt from her that washed over the nothing around her. Returning to human size, Liliana would suddenly ride in on a cow next to Kikyo, her tiny arms looking no different, but having the strength of ten thousand men. Enough so that she would gently pick Alice up by her legs like a goal post, saying: "Your Highness, this is no time for axe pointing and horse standing! We have to save Takeshi!"

...The sight was ridiculous to behold, but...every knight needed a steed. Even if Liliana's was just a dairy cow.


This was certainly a day, thus far.

While the bandits were busy packing up and heading out to the temple, Eula was left...oddly baffled. This result was desirable, optimal even, so why did she have the burning urge to snap the tree beside her in half? She didn't think she was particularly vain but...

Shaking such thoughts from her head after a solid minute of thought, the automaton would gather up the abandoned supplies before she wasted too much processing power on imagining "ballistics" upgrades. She would return to her charge, and deposit the food...

And, depart without another word beyond a slight bow. She already knew that she'd been deceived yet again...but what point was there in exposing this woman? If she had the guilt to feel bad about robbing bandits, she wouldn't have lied to Eula to get their food in the first place. It wasn't likely that the bandits would return to this area for now, but...something was bugging Eula. Why was there a need for deception to begin with?

In Eula's mind, humans were proving far more complicated to understand than she'd anticipated. Good people, bad people...what was the defining characteristic? What was the discerning variable? Was all of her data worthless? Thus far, she'd only encountered rather decent farming folk before joining the task force, so the idea that there were Shizuyamans willing to deceive her and bandits that could rob others, even kill other humans...

It was a fundamental contradiction in her mind. returning to the temple, she would report that Honoka was now fine, having been given enough food to last for a few weeks, at least. With her task completed, Eula would begin considering what to do next while crouching beside a crate. Her mind would be occupied with humanity's nature, before a delicate mewling came from the right of her. Something soft brushed against her leg, as a young black cat nestled up against her. Showing no fear, this creature would rub around her leg before marching on its way.

That brief touch, that momentary warmth of life against her, was enough to make Eula smile. ...She was happy, in spite of being lied to. She didn't have to hurt anyone today.

"Well yeah, life's precious! That's why we were built to protect it, right? You and me, Eula! So long as you and I have power, we're as good as golden, or my name isn't - [STRING MISSING, ABORTING MEMORY READ]"

Her head hurt again, but...Eula wished she'd had those memories. Whoever her first friend was...they were still alive in her data banks. Her face, her voice...garbled, but there.

Rising to her feet, Eula would have the faintest of smiles on her usually frigid face, her slightly damaged arm being cradled by her intact one. She still had a lot of things worth protecting. Now, she was free to join others for more missions, or to just rest and repair her arm.
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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by AzureKnight
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AzureKnight Runic Traveler

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@PaulHaynek @The Irish Tree @Hammerman @Crowvette @Nakushita @Rezod92 @Enkryption

Terauchi Temple

Shizuka was still carrying the unconscious Alice with him as he exited the training grounds, he and the rest of the team present had emerged back onto the temple grounds. Taking in the natural air, Shizuka read the chi around him for a moment to note any changes since they had be gone. Along with Ayu, Yuki, the refugees and temple monks...and Kasseros, he immediately noticed the reading of a foreign signature. Someone new's been here. He said to himself. Of course, the utterly out of place tool bench setup to the side confirmed this as well...

More instances of outside technology the swordsman had no experience with. He could tell the chi over it belonged to a mamono, a species that wasn't native to this land. He supposed this was a good thing, they could use members with unique skillsets. Not to mention, Eula in particular could most definitely benefit from having someone like this around. He still felt bad about the last mission, in addition to how he treated monk who showed them the grave...

Ayu came up to them after a little bit, noticing the peculiar state the members were in. "The training went fine...sort of." He quickly replied. "The later part of it...let's just say that things started to get a little hectic. But, everything was put under control." He assured Ayu, who no doubt sensed the mamono chi that emanated from him. "I see that Takeshi-dono and some of the other team members have gone out." Before he could ponder further, Kikyo came riding up on a horse. Apparently her men acted on their own and made after the young lord. That sort of thing never spelled good news. She pointed at the sleeping Alice, demanding her aid in finding him. Well, she wasn't really sleeping anymore, having sprung to life at the woman's provocation. In an instant, Alice was standing on top of Kikyo's horse, with Carroll pointed at her. "You idiot! What are you doing?!" He exclaimed. He still hasn't had time to mentally settle after the training, so Shizuka wasn't really in the mood for anymore shenanigans. Gringor didn't help things, sniffing around like a dog to see where the others went. Kerry chose to ignore the scene entirely, spazzing out over the work bench setup. She acted as though she knew the maker of that workspace well, and immediately when off to find them.

Liliana was the next to enter the scene, having summoned yet another cow, and was riding it like a...horse? From the looks of it, She and an nonconsenting Alice had volunteered to ride to the young lord's rescue. With that, they rode off on the bovine into the distance. Gringor left in the same direction as well, still striding on all fours. He's right eye twitching, he simply didn't have the energy to process or question the scene. Only then did it occur to him that Alice was out in about while in the nude... Shizuka didn't actually nab her clothes when they exited the training ground.

He gave up, and simply trusted that they would be able to aid Takeshi should he need it. He honestly needed to take his mind off of recent events, perhaps going on another quest would put him back in his groove.

He decided to go after Kazenosuke the Dancing Blade, a ronin with a spinning blade that could deflect any attack and counter faster than the eye could see. Such an ally would be invaluable to the team, and Shizuka felt he had the perfect skillset to tackle the mission.

"Ayu, I'm heading off to find Kazenosuke. If anyone else wishes to join me, feel free to come along. I'm confident in my bladework, but other minds to bounce off of never hurt."

@PaulHaynek @The Irish Tree @Hammerman @Restalaan @Enkryption

Kozukata Cemetery

Atsuha looked at Yurine, who made her statement about the decision she had made. With a sober smile, Atsuha held a defeated expression on her face as she began to tear up. She placed a hand on Hinami's head, gently stroking it. "Perhaps...you are correct, Deathkeeper. There is no doubt that the only person who's benefitted from my selfish decision is me. I've cursed my sister to a path of self-loathing and feral hunger that she didn't ask for or deserve, and despite my supposed magical talents all I've been able to do is soothe her with pretty words and talismans that are as valuable as cheap medical gauze." While her eyes were covered by her ivory bangs, the stream of tears were visible for the world to see.

"But, if there's any form of empathetic equity in this wretched world, I would ask that it is only I that suffer for my decision. I don't see what form of meaning can be drawn from my sister knowing only suffering and dying before having a chance to find happiness, it may not have been my place but I didn't care. I saw fit that my sister deserved a second chance, and if given an opportunity I'd do it a thousand times over. I'd gladly suffer until time ends, but not her." Her hand no longer on Hinami, she was clenching it so hard blood began to sip from it. "Not her, she's gone through enough. She will be saved, and anything within your power you'll able to do, I will even give my own life if it can help!" The Jorougumo had broken down, eyes red with swelling and desperation.

"My sister isn't a monster, she is the kindest person who I know in this world. She's just a young woman who wants to be happy with other people. Please...save her..." It seemed Atsuha was pleading to the gods themselves, less so Yurine specifically.

It was pointed out that the others were taking long to gather the spider lilies than normal, and Skarsneek offered to go an check on them. "I won't leave my sister's side, I am grateful if you wish to go Skars-kun." She responded to her goblin betrothed.

She perked up a bit, at that point, sensing the chi of Alice, Liliana, and Gringor quickly closing in...

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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by PaulHaynek
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Kozukata Cemetery


Upon learning of the samurai's true intentions, Lunatea went ballistic. After being struck by an arrow and a near-death experience from a sword inches away from her face, the rabbit monster unleashed immense power upon the unwitting samurai. Driven with rage, she started slaughtering the assassins with her lightning and her speed.

Takeshi was witness to Lunatea's rampage. He had slain his opponent just in time for him to see the Wererabbit's clothes get shredded from her power. He paid no attention to her half-naked form, instead he was at awe at her power. Even though she was destroying traitors to Shizuyama, he could not help but be a little afraid. He supposed he should be glad that Lunatea was on his side... right?

Soon, all the samurai assassins were either dead or unconscious. Takeshi warily approached the super-powered rabbit yokai. "Miss Lunatea? Are you okay?" He told her, sheathing his sword even if that might not be a good idea. "Y-- I saw an arrow hit you earlier. Do you... want me to take a look at it?" Takeshi knew he needed to get back to the others, but hopefully with a calm Lunatea.


~ @Restalaan (SKA & GRI), @AzureKnight (HIN & ATS), @The Irish Tree (LIL), @Enkryption ~

"Err, are you two sure you're on the same page here?" Yurine asked of Skarsneek and Atsuha. "I have a feeling there's confusion in the words..."

But before anyone could respond, the fog in the cemetery began disappearing. "Something's going on..." Yurine picked up her axe and stood on alert. "I have some empty talismans and ink over there if you need them, spider." She told Atsuha of some magical resources nearby. "Helping your sister has to wait it seems."

When the mist fully dissipated, a group approached. They were not hostile, at least not technically. Gringor arrived along with a cow-riding Liliana apparently holding a... bare, unclothed Alice. Yurine winced at the sight of the arriving yokai and immediately pieced together who they were. "Friends of yours, I assume?" She then sighed. "What has happened to the island..."

"Yokai! Show yourselves!"

Two groups of Shizuyaman samurai appeared on the other, opposite side. It was a sizable group, containing at least a dozen swordsmen and spearmen. But there were three who stood out, these warriors wielded long blades with their chests exposed and wore only robes for their lower bodies. "Lady Yurine, forsake these blasted yokai and help us reclaim our land from all our enemies!" One of these warriors pleaded.

"Dragon Warriors. They're our answer against the magical attacks of yokai. Resistant to the magic silver too." Yurine warned the taskforce before replying. "These yokai are the guests of the young master. You dare go against Lord Oja's son?"

"You leave us no choice."

The Shizuyama samurai charged. The cemetery has turned into a battlefield. At least, anyone who dies need not travel far for their wake.

Shizuyama Wilderness


The monk was startled when Kerry suddenly arrived. He was pleasantly surprised that these two apparently knew each other, but was dismayed when the two yokai were running out of ideas on how to save the poor peasant couple.

As the two yokai talked amongst themselves, the monk noticed the situation developing. "Yokai, look!" He pointed.


~ @The Irish Tree (EUL) ~

Eula decided to leave Honoka without saying anything more.

The Automaton walked back to Terauchi Temple, the deception of the peasant woman and the complexities of humanity in general still weighing heavily on her mind. They even distracted her from noticing a scene unfolding before her until she was snapped back to reality by the loud voices.

"Where are you hiding the supplies?"

"We don't have any!"


"Please don't hurt us!"

Before Eula was a group of four dark-armored warriors. She finally encountered Varjans in her stay in Shizuyama. Three of them were of the Warrior kind while the last one looked Elite, holding a large two-handed mace. They were harassing a couple of peasant villagers, holding them at swordpoint. Althought, not for long when they noticed the Automaton. "Don't run or you'll regret it!" The villagers were ordered.

The four Varjans confronted Eula while the peasants cowered where they were. "Well, well, well, lookie here. We got a lost little girlie." The dark warriors drew their weapons, swords and shields and throwing axes. "Give us the location of a hidden camp, or house, or just any group of little Shizuyaman cretins, and we'll consider letting you live."

"...She doesn't look Shizuyaman." The Elite noticed.

This problem was rather simple and perhaps the simplicity was just what Eula needed, morbid as that may be.

Kazenosuke's House


~ @AzureKnight (SHI) ~

Shizuka followed the river per Takeshi's directions and soon found a humble peasant house nested in a depression in the forested land right beside the flowing river. The house was pretty unremarkable, but there were some simple fishing equipment laying about near the river. Although, what would catch Shizuka's eye immediately was the group of men in front of the house.

A group of three Varjans, two were the typical Varjan Warrior kind while the third was unique. His black hair was bared to reach his shoulder and only wore a snarling steel mask in place of a proper helmet. There was a fourth individual standing in front of the masked Varjan. He was a young adult with silver hair wearing simple, but unique, clothes of white and red. This was probably Kazenosuke.


"Come now, there are already Shizuyamans joining us. This does not need to be a Shizuyama versus Varjo thing." The Varjan said. "Yokai have already reached the island, you know? We should be together against them rather than each other, should we not?" After a few moments of silence, the Varjan continued. "Or maybe, you care little for those traditions. Maybe, you covet Lord--"

"Leave. Please." Kazenosuke stressed.

The Varjan snickered at the response. "I shall relay to my fellows not to cross you, so long as you do otherwise." He then turned to leave. "If you ever make up your mind, you know where to find me. Or Lord Serek'uar."

Kazenosuke was then left alone by the Varjan group. The warrior was deep in thought from the conversation with the Varjan, and could not sense Shizuka's presence hiding behind the trees.

Terauchi Temple

Kikyo almost drew her blade at Alice reacting aggressively, only for... everything else to happen.

After all was said and done, a stunned Kikyo could only watch as the taskforce split up to do their own things. Mostly going off to assist her with protecting Lord Takeshi. Well, that was what they were supposed to do but it seemed they went straight to the young lord himself. Kerry went off to search for another yokai while Shizuka gave up in reining in the taskforce and went to see Kazenosuke. Kikyo wished the azure swordsman luck, the Dancing Blade was not a very social person. "This whole taskforce is insane..."

Kikyo let out a heavy sigh. "...And what of you two?" She muttered to the remaining taskforce members, Io and Yuki. "I suggest you go after the swordsman, I've got a feeling he'll need help with Kazenosuke. Although, you are yokai so he might flip out. Then again, better he learn he'll be joining forces with yokai sooner rather than later." She advised the Lich and the Oni.

Just doing the act already made her sick in the stomach. She then spurred her horse towards the yokai on Takeshi's trail. Their speed exceeded her horse's, though.


*Finish 'Pre-Emptive Strike' to unlock next tale*



*Finish 'Pre-Emptive Strike' to unlock next tale*



Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Xaltwind
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Xaltwind Disgruntled Dragonfly

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@PaulHaynek, @Rezod92, @The Irish Tree

"I keep tellin' ya, Curry. Your butt ain't a weapon." Relica responded with a rolling of the eyes at Kerry's comment about her having not one, but two, weapons.

The situation didn't seem to be going anywhere though. For once, Kerry and herself agreed on the possible outcome. Back in the day, the gremlin had found the hornet to be a bit ... Optimistic... when it came to dealing with situations and tactics. That is to say, the choco-bug rarely ever thought beyond: Enemy there, go poke! Still, they couldn't just sit on their asses either. For one, that wouldn't get the monk to where he neeeded to be. Secondly, those varjans were gonna run out of patience, or get bored, with bullying the peasants sooner rather than later.

And then, like a mechanized angel that appeared from the great cogs in the sky, a divine messenger had appeared!

Or, well, something along those lines. A lot less heavenly choir and shafts of light forming a perfect spotlight on a single individual during the middle of the day, and more just a random appearance of someone who wasn't there previously. But hey, same thing, different names.

"Wha- What the what!? Oh, oh! Curry, go! Now! I'll back you up with the drones! Take out that axe-thrower first so they can't hurt the yokels if they run!" Relica chirped in a hasty fashion.

There was no time to think or consider. The Varjans attention had been drawn to the new arrival, and that was really all they needed - a distraction. All Kerry needed to do was to take down the one with the throwing weapon, and Relica would handle the two sword and board-goons.

And, as she'd said, she quickly pulled her goggles down over her eyes again and held up her left glove, opening a small compartment ontop of it. A set of buttons and small stick-like ... joysticks? could be seen inside. Soon after this unveiling, there were to distinct, electronic 'bzzt'-like noises coming form her back. Followed by a low whirring noise. In the blink of an eye, the two spherical shapes on either side of the top of her M.E.E.P sprung to life, detaching from the complex backpack and beginning to hover gingerly near their operator.

"I'll take down the shield-boys. let's go." Relica reaffirmed, no hesitation or patience to wait for compliance or protests. It was go time!

Her little gizmos swiveled in the air, then took off, towards the group of seven, a low humming noise as they zipped through the air like a pair of tiny drones. Which they were. Convenient! Relica's plan was fairly simple; She'd use the electric taser built into her drones to zap each of the sword and board varjans at (roughly) the same time, meanwhile, kerry would intercept and either take down, or distract, the only one with a ranged weapon. Hopefully the surprise attack would either allow the pestered peasants to pedal their paws out of the predicament, or, in the worst case, cause the varjans to focus all their attention on the hornet, drones and the newly arrived monster.

She felt a little guilty for using this new addition to the scene as a distraction, but it was all good. She'd apologize afterwards.

... If she remembered...

... And felt like it...
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Hammerman
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"Haa… haa… haa… haa…"

The moment the samurai were all dead, Lunatea reverted back to her old self. Her panties decided that there was no need for it to turbocharge her strength anymore. As such, it stopped pumping the monsterkin with mana, making her lose all the strength she possessed in an instant.

She panted, kneeling down on the ground, sweat covering her naked light brown skin from top to bottom. Now, it took all her strength just to keep herself from falling unconscious.

However, the moment she looked at Takeshi to answer his question, her vision blacked out.

She fell to the ground, her naked behind fully visible to the young lord.

Another negative of the technique—she would be unconscious after using it as her strength was completely spent.

It seemed the young lord would have to carry her back to the others.
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Rezod92
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Rezod92 The Journeyman

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@PaulHaynek @Xaltwind @The Irish Tree

"I keep tellin' ya, Curry. Your butt ain't a weapon."

"I was talkin' about my two spears, smartass, but I'm flattered that you've been staring.", quipped Kerry, quick as a whip. Still, the situation at hand had them in a bind, so unless a third party showed up, there was no way to safely help the locals-

And then a third party showed up.

Huh.....Neat. Odd timing, but neat.

"Wha- What the what!? Oh, oh! Curry, go! Now! I'll back you up with the drones! Take out that axe-thrower first so they can't hurt the yokels if they run!"

"Alright, alright! I'm going!", replied the hornet as she rushed out of the bush and swung around the side so that the Varjans wouldn't see her coming while they were distracted.

That Elite is the biggest threat, but once the goons are out of the picture, he shouldn't be that much of a hassle to deal with., she thought to herself, drawing out Dusk as she ran past the startled peasants and made a thrust at the axe-wielding Varjan.

"Surprise, assholes!"
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Crowvette
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Crowvette Lsot But Seeking

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Io at Terauchi Temple

@PaulHaynek @AzureKnight @Nakushita

Io was in deep thought as she emerged from her training grounds. The others talked amongst themselves, argued, and decided on what was next. Io found herself once again moving slower than any of the others. There was a massive investment in her brainpower in working out the next steps for the training grounds. She would need to provide a way to cease all fighting, fine-tune healing parameters, add in some contingencies for environmental power leeching... Perhaps Io was retreating into her own thoughts and delving into solving arcane riddles to ignore what had just transpired around her. It was a time-worn tradition of hers, formed even before she achieved undeath.

Io sighed to herself, opening her eyes after mulling over that offending thought. The truth was, she once again found herself erring towards inaction. This was just a training exercise, but it was clear that she could have worked more proactively. True, her spell repertoire was fairly taxed with creating the training grounds, but there were things she could have called to mind quickly enough, even if they lacked subtlety. What would happen when they ran into a Varjan as strong as Shizuka? If one human could achieve such a mastery of arms, it was only an eventuality that they encountered others.

"Hm. Shizuka needing help...?" It was as though Kikyo could read Io's thoughts, if only to say something so alarming so casually. Io pulled her hood up, her agility-enhancing scroll activating once more. She'd move quickly on this one - quickly for her frame of reference, at least, then she'd work on becoming fast to everyone else as well. "I'll move to watch over him."

She gave a small nod to Yuki, the only remaining task force member with her, tacitly signaling it was up to her if she wanted to follow. Io turned and made her way after Shizuka either way. As she took off, she quickly began running through spells in her mind.

'What will I need? At the very least something to hide with. Minor invisibility should work well enough for that. My scrolls can help Shizuka if it comes to a fight.' Her mind raced as she mentally prepared for what might ensue. 'He can deflect any attack?' Io lamented that she did not have several hours to create some projectile spells that would put that legend to the test. 'Let's suppose that is true for now, and instead prepare spells to hinder the enemy. Creating an opening for Shizuka may be more beneficial either way...' Her already well-worn robes received new scratches as she dashed through the Shizuyama forest paths, her mind spending more effort thinking than avoiding obstacles while running.

Io planned to cast a spell of minor invisibility once she neared close to her destination. It wouldn't be perfect, and it would fail the second she cast another spell, but that would be enough to see the situation and act accordingly... Possibly. She could only hope her status as undead may lead to her being harder to notice on top of the spell - but she didn't have nearly enough data to understand how strong these swordsmen's senses were. She also may have to work Yuki into her plan, too, if the fellow task force member joined her.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Nakushita
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Nakushita Number 1 Ranked Bucket Fighter

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Yuki had to consider the offer for a moment, as it did seem like a good opportunity to get to know Shizuka and Io as she had yet to work with either of them. Scratching the back of her head before clasping her hands behind her back as she made her decision. Deciding that it was a great idea to tag along with the other two task members Plus, it had the bonus of giving her something to do to keep her entertained. Besides Lady Kikyo had asked, so it seemed enough like a done deal to her. “Very well, I will follow Shizuka on this new mission, it will give me something to do, and also give me the chance to work with someone I’ve not had the pleasure of working with before in the task force” Yuki rubbed her chin for a moment taking a sideways glance towards the Lich who had quickly followed after Shizuka upon Lady Kikyo’s request.

Watching as Lady Kikyo also rode off rather quickly to follow Takeshi’s trail. “Everyone is just so full of energy today, guess that means I better get moving as well before Shizuka and Io get too far ahead, who knows what trouble they can stir up before I ever even get the chance to enjoy a little bit of fun myself” Yuki smiled as she begun on her way, following after Shizuka and Io now deciding to go on the hunt for the Ronin.

What’s the worst that can happen, sure he may not be fond of Yokai, but who could turn down them if they arrived as a group and under friendly terms. She did reckon that it could take some time to get the ronin to come to their side. Yuki figured she would be able to help Shizuka and Io out either way regardless as she knew she could help win the Ronin over, or at the very least give him a hard time if it came down to it.

Speeding things up now as she quickly pursued the two fellow task members wanting to catch up to them before too much happened. After all it wouldn’t be much fun if she showed up after everything had already been done just to have to come right back. It wouldn’t be worth the effort and use of her legs if she had to do a quick roundabout trip. "Hey, wait up, I'm coming along too, my legs aren't very long so I can only go so fast!" Calling after them in the hopes that they where still in hearing distance as she chased after.
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by AzureKnight
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AzureKnight Runic Traveler

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Kazenosuke, The Dancing Blade


Kazenosuke's House

Before making his, two members of the taskforce had went up to the swordsman - the Lich Io and the little Oni Yuki. Giving a hand gesture of appreciation toward Lady Kikyo, he turned to face his two mamono allies. "Io-san, I'd be grateful for your presence." He said, with a friendly smile. He then turned to Yuki, who had sprinted to catch up with the two. "Greetings. I believe your name is Yuki, yes? I don't think we've been formally introduced. My name is Kannnazuki Shizuka, the appointed captain of the taskforce. I certainly wouldn't mind having another ally on this quest. Hopefully nothing too extraneous happens during our excursion." While the swordsman was still smiling, he made a peculiar squint at the Oni girl. "I'm quite familiar with your kin, little miss, and am aware your your, "hobbies", we'll call them. While I do my part in respecting mamono nature, I also humbly request that you remain on your best behavior, Yuki-chan. Currently, due to recent circumstances, I'm not in much of a mood for shenanigans..." Shizuka's tone was still friendly, but it carried with it and underlining sternness. A foreboding of sorts, if you will.


Walking along the trail outlined by Lord Takeshi, it wasn't long before the trio had reached the part of the woods the fabled dancing blade made his home. Upon approaching, Shizuka sensed several chi signatures. Four of them in total. Three of them had a rough in violent air about them - Varjans. He was familiar with the general feel of their aura, it wasn't particularly pleasant. Of the three of them, one clearly stood out, upon closer inspection it was coming from the Man wearing what looked to be a dog muzzle... Judging by his chi, was someone of considerably skill. 'This could be troublesome.' He silently thought. The fourth signature belong to a native who wore garb similar to his own, standard for a ronin. That was obviously the man they were looking for, Kazenosuke. His chi was as calm as the gentle wind around them, yet as sharp as a deadly torrent. As expected of an arguable kensei; As Shizuka continued to monitor the situation, he say they appeared to be conversing with one another. "Io-san, Yuki-chan, less hang back for a moment.
He said, motioning for them to halt.

From what he caught of their conversation, it sounded like the masked Varjan were attempting to have Kazenosuke join them. "They must be doing that with the other locals..." It made sense, many of the locals have been utterly hostile to the taskforce since they arrived. One even stabbed him at the temple... Thankfully, it didn't seem that the other swordsman was willing to bite, and told them to leave. As they did, Kazenosuke stood there in silence. He didn't seem to notice them yet, not that they needed to hide anymore regardless. "You two, let's make ourselves known. Sometimes the best way to reach someone is directly. But, perhaps it'd be best if you two kept your distance. The locals still haven't taken to mamono yet." He informed them. Shizuka was also curious about this Lord Serek'uar that was briefly mentioned. Was he some sort of commander among the Varjans?

Walking out from the trees, Shizuka made himself known in front of the fellow vagrant. "Hail there. Apologies for appearing before you so suddenly, but I was attempting to look for you." He started. "My name is Kannazuki Shizuka, I am a ronin who was tasked by a benefactor of the Oja clan to assist in driving back the Varjan invaders. We've come to inform you that both Hideo-dono and his son Takeshi-dono are alive and well, and we've been assisting the latter for the past few days in gathering more allies for the cause. We were hoping you would lend your blade to our cause. Ah..." He paused for a moment, checking Kazenosuke's mood to confirm we they stood with him.

"Also, if you don't mind me asking, who were those men you were speaking with just now? In addition, Takeshi-dono was wondering why you didn't join the battle on Sanjo Beach days ago."

Yurine the Death Keeper

@PaulHaynek @The Irish Tree @Hammerman @Restalaan @Enkryption

Kozukata Cemetery

Seeing Yurine prep herself for battle, Atsuha quickly tried to diffuse the situation. "Yurine-san, wait! The three who are coming mean no harm!" Finally coming into view, Gringor, Liliana, and Alice had arrived to the cemetery. Although, one would find it a bit odd that Gringor has walking on all fours, sniffing the ground like a boar. 'Did he trek all the way here like that?" She thought. Perhaps even stranger was Liliana riding to the scene atop a...cow? She rode the cow like it was a stallion! Even more, Alice was completely naked. Liliana held her on her side like a rag doll, implying that the mad hatter may not have come her by her own choice. The sight...honestly raised Atsuha's spirits. The comical scene that played before them made her chuckle a bit, and having more allies show up was never a bad thing. "Yes, Yurine-san, indeed they are. We apologize for the intrusion, but the more the merrier they say, haha." She mused to the gravekeeper.

The brief moment of levity was cut short, however, as a threatening voice made itself known to the gathered allies. Two native warrior groups made their presence known to the taskforce. There had to be at least two dozen of them in all, three of them in particular demanding that Yurine abandon them and liberate the island on their own terms. "How did they happen upon us without me noticing them? I couldn't sense a thing..." She said. Yurine explained that the three fighters were known as Dragon warriors. They were trained to specifically deal with yokai, and were resistant to demon realm sliver and monster magic. If It had been just Yurine, Skarsneek and Atusha, they more than likely would've fallen here...

Yurine stepped up and defended the yokai, saying they were allies of Takeshi and reminding them of their place. This did little to sway, as expected, they brandished their blades to attack. "Curse it all!" Exclaimed Atsuha. Taking some of the materials that the death keeper provided, Atsuha shot a rope of web past the three dragon warriors. She ensnared a few of the grunt fighters behind them, the talismans attached to the rope draining their mana. If her plan was successful, she bludgeoned the dragon warriors with some of their allies.

In the midst of all the fighting, an eerie glowing gushed forth from behind the combatants. Hinami, now awakened, was standing in a slanted and unnatural pose with her arms hung to the side. Her claws were elongated and her sharp fangs were bared. The sigil that her sister placed on her head had glowed intensely before it shattered like glass, the pieces falling and dissipating barely before they hit the ground. With an inhuman wail, her aura caused dust to blow past everyone present. A look of sheer bewilderment took over Atsuha as she turned around. "Hina-" Her sentenced was cut short as Hinami had bit into one of the spearman from the crowd. She moved with such speed that most present couldn't perceive it.

"Chi..." She uttered in a disturbing voice. "Hunger...want...chi!!!" The warrior began to grow pale as she further sucked the lifeforce out of the man. After she was done feeding, she smacked the man to the side with great force, who was sent tumbling several times over. A swordsman attempted to slash at her head, only to have the blade be caught by the Jiangshi's teeth. With little effort, she bit the blade into bits, the sound of shattering metal reverberating across the field of graves. Before the fighter could react, Hinami threw herself at the man and sank her fangs into the side of his neck, claiming her next victim. She then moved to the next, and would continue to do so until she was stopped or absorb the lifeforce of everything around her. The taskforce would have to be careful on how to approach the feral Hinami, as it was doubtful that she could distinguish friend from foe. However, perhaps they could also use the chaos her rampage was causing to their advantage.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Restalaan


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Skarsneek of the Red Hill & Gringor of the Ironhide Tribe

"Don't worry about it, it happens." Skarsneek waved his hands to Yurine while he kept a straight look at Atsuha. "You know, when mom says she wants dad to pick up eggs, he brought back chicken legs instead."

Though when the mist receded, Skarsneek's eyebrow raised first before noting something was wrong. There's no wind and he can hear faint footsteps arriving, hands reaching for both clubs.

All attention went to the rapidly approaching pace before all good mood fled and a surge of annoyance when he saw who came, not at all welcomed in his opinion as he clicked his tongue.

"He's not a friend, and I'll sooner jump from a high cliff first than call him friend." Skarsneek corrected Yurine as he moved towards the high orc with annoyance, the latter rose from all fours and loomed over the former. "What're you doing here?"

"Heard there was a fight." Gringor resisted the urge to spit on the smaller goblin and replied through clenched teeth. "So I come."

"Of course, of course." Skarsneek rolled his eyes.

Both of them however snapped their attention to the sides as a new scent of metal, robes and multiple footsteps sound came.

Gringor nose flared and a broad smile came, Skarsneek eyes narrowed and twirled his clubs before snapping it into one quarterstaff.

"You want a fight, you get your damn fight!" He shouted, at first impression, towards the Dragon warriors. However, it was meant for the meathead next to him.

"Out of the way!" Gringor moved forward, axe in both hands and ready to draw first strike.

"The usual isn't going to work, you idiot!"

Gringor huffed as he raised his axe for an obvious downward blow towards one of the Dragon warriors, then at the last moment, he snapped himself backwards and switched his weapon for a downward strike instead towards the leg.

The impact itself provided an unexpected resistance for the Dragon Warior, as Gringor didn't struck them with the axe of his head but rather the thick wooden shaft of his axe. Making sure to follow up, he tugged his weapon backwards to off-balance them and thrust forward with the head of the axe.

Whatever the other Dragon Warrior did to intervene, they'll find themselves interrupted as a stray stone struck them mid-way. Skarsneek quarterstaff to the sides and a stone ornament missing the top half.

"That's one you owe me!"

While that happened as Skarsneek put himself in the middle to support either his wife or the big lug, a cold chill went down his spine as he felt something awaken behind. Half-turning quickly, he saw Hinami rising from the ground and the air around looked ominous.

A rush went past him, Skarsneek barely caught it and Gringor thought Shizuka had arrived before both witnessed Hinami take down an enemy brutally.

Hissing, Skarsneek realized what that taboo punishment meant. This was not typical undead behavior.

"Atsuha, I'll restrain Hinami, web us if necessary!" Skarsneek roared as he felt his gut wrench, ignoring the rivalry between him and the orc for now. "Orc, crush the rest! The others, do what you want!"

It wasn't a proper plan, slapdash and rushed but it was a plan nonetheless.

So with that, Skarsneek's movement changed as his very footstep was nearly imperceivable despite him moving at full speed.

He had no illusion that Hinami would be taken off-guard, his brain already moving and working out what she wanted. The basis of all living people, chi or spirit energy.

And what better source than a male monster, rapidly approaching from behind?

So if she turns swiftly for an attack, Skarsneek had already leapt upwards using his quarterstaff like an acrobat and swung it downwards to Hinami shoulder blades, not to destroy but to use her body as a spring board to continue his arc by landing behind her.

"Hey, sis. Want to play catch?" He smirked despite the rising fear pounding in his heart and split his staff into half again. He need to take this into the extreme close-quarter.

Gringor only grunted in the meantime as he focused on the Shizuyaman completely. The latter was completely battle-ready and the morning training fresh in his mind.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Enkryption

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It was by the grace of being absolutely the cutest thing alive that Liliana's shoulders were not freed of carrying the burden that was her empty head, as Alice was carted off towards a destination she'd no desire to embark towards. Silently fuming, she would bide her time, and just wait...

Upon arrival, she detached herself from the steer-turned-steed, and separated herself from Liliana. As she did, part of her attention was drawn to the old woman that drew an axe upon their arrival, and smirked in amusement. Alice liked her women with a fire in their belly and an axe in hand, however, before she could appreciate the old crone's offensive form, a Jurougumo rallied to their defense, and diffused the situation.


Alice sighed, as she hefted Carroll to her shoulder, and set to taking her leave. However, before she could commit, she would hear the sound of a commotion and the guttural cries of a woman - it was too young to be the old crone, and too human to be the Jurougumo, so it had to have been the Jiangshi.

And, it was.

It seemed, in the heat of the moment, she had snapped; under pressure; autonomic reflex; whatever the cause, she was attacking with reckless abandon in a way that only an Undead could. It was purely poetry in motion, as she ripped apart her foes in smooth succession - beautiful, like her namesake. Alice itched to do battle with such a beast, still of the mindset of the training, and --

"Atsuha, I'll restrain Hinami, web us if necessary! Orc, crush the rest! The others, do what you want!"

-- like that, the itch was soothed. Her desire to fight had evaporated like steam, as the Goblin resigned himself to the duel at hand.

Alice turned, and approached a distant tombstone - popping up on the square column, and wiggling her plush, bare bottom, as she got comfortable. Properly seated on her throne, Alice removed her hat, and withdrew one of the cups from the training zone; generating a bubble of water to fill it, and setting it on the flat of Carroll's blade to heat, as she sprinkled mushrooms in.

She seemed content to watch the battle from afar.

<Not interested in the fight,> Carroll asks, appearing behind Alice; draping over her shoulders like a satin blanket made Human; her left hand claws stroking gently across Alice's cheek to chin.

"I have no desire to fight so dishonorably. I will allow the Goblin his due or his death," Alice says, settled into the personality of Jane. "It doesn't especially matter to me. Besides, Gringor is here, as well. In matters of combat, it would disgust me to genuinely take on his aid."

<You seemed so well in hand during the training,> Carroll teased, bladed fingers walking toward Alice's chest; walking the curve of her right breast to the peaked summit. <To where did that camaraderie go?>

"To the fresh hell it was summoned from. Such a useless affair, that," Alice says, stirring her tea with her finger. "From the impulsive Kerry and her bee-brained schemes to the headstrong Gringor and his pea-brained tactics," she laments, "Liliana is simply a product of her nature and species, while Io truly a relic of a bygone era, pretending to be relevant. Useless, the lot of them in a true war with stakes."

<So mean. So cruel. Oh, how I missed this side of my sweet, sweet Alice,> Carroll cooed, her lips nipping at Alice's right ear. <If only we could be free again... unbound by the word given to that woman. Then, we could decimate the Varjans and claim their Kingdom for ourselves...>

Alice moaned softly, as Carroll's bladed fingers dug into to supple flesh, and crept to her nethers to polish as her hidden blade. "In due time, Carroll, in due time. All we need to do is play along, until the moment arises," she says. "In the meantime, we will just wait and watch..."

And, so, she would; content to sip her tea, while Carroll explored her body, slowly shifting from light petting to heavy petting, as the fights carried on, serving as fuel for her self-gratification.

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