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Hidden 10 mos ago Post by The World
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The World A Thoroughly Unlikable Person

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Nets flew, and the boy cut through them. Vitae began to slow with the dropping of his anger, and soon there was gas around him, making his head fuzzy and reducing Vitae to an inert state. Before he fell into darkness, the young boy was rescued, saved from whatever the opposing forces enemies were planning. And then the sky exploded.

By the time Nemo's eyes had readjusted, he found his feet entrenched in some sort of liquid. Alongside the liquid came a shock that woke him from his stupor incited by the gas. Then the shouting registered, the soldiers who rescued him trying to guide him. And... where were the enemies? Without targets, how would he be able to be of use? He decided to follow the soldiers who saved him, following along with their commands and instructions to the best of his ability, albeit in the most literal of interpretations of them.

Follow. Stay. Follow. Stay. Follow. And so he would.
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Hidden 10 mos ago Post by MagusDream
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MagusDream Fairy Light Magus

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Location: Lingayen Beach, Municipality of Lingayen, Lingayen Gulf
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The brilliant light that covered the whole area was enough to engulf the ground in blazes and raze the sand to cinders. The horrific scene was only visible after this cruel sunlight dissipated at last. If it wasn't for the barrier, they'd be dead on the spot.

BGM: Into the Dark Clouds (Fate/Grand Order: Cosmos in the Lostbelt)

When Regil opened his eyes, he saw the scene. The horror took his eyes completely, the scene was imprinted on his mind.

"Holy Mother Mary, what the..." One of Regina's soldiers commented.

"W-What the hell was that?!" Another one questioned.

"... Figures. The enemy brought its big guns. If we have ours, then they have some of their own too." Regina commented.

"It's one of those blasted Arm thingies those tech nerds at home kept speaking about. Fucking hell..." A third soldier complained.

(This... is this war? To just destroy the ground like it was nothing... and for what?) Regil thought, horrified.

"Specialist Meitner, how are we going to do this? Should we retreat and regroup?" The pilot asked.

*BGM ends*

"Retreat? Go do it yourself if you want." She answered.

"S-Specialist Meitner?" The pilot questioned her.

"So what if the enemy has one of these Noble Arms? So what if this was some possible new nuclear weapon these bastards made? If they're going to play the heavy guns, then so am I." Regina said.

Regina's Battle Theme: Old Fear

She unsheathed her dagger, her Noble Arm. Darkness started to envelop Regina, taking the form of a black cape. From it, blood-red eyes began to open and look at the field, unhinged, crazy, demented, and hungry. Two gigantic hands revealed themselves from the cape as if they were part of it. A strange laugh echoed among the field if only momentarily, sounding like a child giggling yet a monstrous intent could be felt from it.

"Cover me with your guns and make sure to defend Regil. The enemy might already know that his power's giving us the advantage, so that's why they decided to raze the ground to cinders." Regina ordered her soldiers.

"W-What are you going to do, Regina?" Regil asked.

"I'm stepping in. I'll wipe these Chinese smirks off just because some attack almost ended us all." She answered.

"An attack at that power and density could only mean that it's a Noble Arm at work! We don't know if it's safe to go in the frontlines right now-" Regil tried to suggest, but she cut him off.

"And since when all of this was safe, to begin with?" She retorted.

"Well, that's just because... I..." But he lost his words.

"... This is war, not a playground. If you don’t have the guts to spill blood, leave this place to those with the actual courage to do it. We don't need weaklings, we need soldiers. People who'll grab a weapon and are ready to defend their lives at all cost. We don't give a shit to ethics and morals if we want to live another day." Regina said, coldly.

Regil had to bite his tongue before answering her. This wasn't the same Regina he once knew. She changed. She saw the tragedy of war, blood being spilled, and lives being destroyed. Something he could only see and hear from afar. The soldiers questioned themselves why Regina would say that to her own brother, whom she called here in the first place, only to speak so dismissively to her own kindred. But this was a wake-up call. She wanted him to understand what he needed to do.

"Snipers, remember your orders and give me cover! Launchers, keep attacking the aerial units! Pilot, grab a gun and stand close to Regil! And you, brother..." Regina reminded them.

"..." He looked at her in utter silence.

"Wake up." She ordered him.

Regina ran towards the frontlines, with her snipers already covering her from afar. The launchers still shot at the aerial stragglers left behind. Regil could only look at his sister, as she left the area and was almost crossing the shield placed by Ari.

"Young Sir Regil!" The pilot called him.

"A-Ah, right... sorry. I need to check on something first." Regil said.

"Then let's fall back to the helicopter. It'll give you some time to think." The pilot answered.

"Alright then, let's go." Regil said, backing off towards the helicopter, being followed by the pilot.

Regil and the pilot went back to the helicopter, accompanied by the Queen. As for Regina, she ran without looking back a second time. There were no more second thoughts: she had to use her power. Otherwise, it would be game over. The Witch was already delighted to be unleashed, at last, ready to devour its enemies and its vessel at the same time.

"Those were some brave words back there, for someone who wouldn't give a second thought to sacrificing her allies to survive. Hey, how long are you going to keep secrets from your crew and your brother about what actually happened back on the day we met?" The Witch provoked her.

"Shut the hell up and just fight! I'm giving you what you want, so do your part of the deal already!" Regina retorted.

"Okaaay~! Let the bloodbath begin... AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!" The Witch laughed.
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Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by Aisede
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Aisede

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W-what?

Kaitlyn couldn't say how the battle had been going. She was trying not to think about- to not think about the look of shock on a young soldier's face as one of her bullets found its mark. She tried not to think about the wail of pain one of her comrades unleashed when a bullet shot clean through her shoulder. She tried not to think about the Arms Masters and their terrible powers, and she tried very hard not to think about how there was a child on the battlefield, barely able to form complete sentences, and yet expected to take a life.

What she did think about were the missing bodies.

"S-sir?" She'd called over the radio, uncertain what to report. It soon became obvious that she wasn't the only one witnessing this odd anomaly. The entire battlefield had been cleared out... But for what reason? The implications made her shiver.

That's when the second sun appeared.

Now, Kaitlyn had seen the... Princess, was it? Some foreign official with powers over fire. She wasn't too fond of that particular method of murder, and she wasn't about to condone the exvuritating pain it undoubtedly caused. This... This was something different.

Something worse.

Before the existential threat that was an A-rank superweapon appearing could sink in, something else gripped her.

She was dragged, screaming, into a void- and then spat back out.

She sat there for a moment, knelt in the strange black liquid...

Oh God.

Tears prickled at the edges of her eyes. The strike of the sunbeam hitting the shield... They can't fight this, can they? There's a whole armada out there, and they're throwing the sun at them!

Then a thought occured to her, and she bolted upright.

Hannie!

Quelling the rising panic within, she swiftly located the corporal, stalwartly ignoring the wrongness of the... Enigmatic mass underfoot.

"S-sir, permission to... I need to find somebody. Make sure they're alright."

Corporal Castro was scrambling to his feet with the rest of the squad, his wary gaze all but burning holes into the roiling pitch-black ooze bubbling around their feet. After a moment , he seemed to give a bodily shiver before directing his gaze Kaitlyn's way. "Somebody...?" His brow furrowed deeply, as his gaze flicked briefly towards the white hot light of flames washing over the Noble Arm Barrier above them and turning the sands of the beach into molten glass. The sight elicited another shiver from the Corporal. "We were almost out there in that..." He clucked his tongue, looking back down at the ooze-like shadow that buzzed with a static charge, flecks of green whirling within. "I suppose we have you to thank then."

A portion of the ooze shuddered, before forming into a golden reptilian eye the size of a full-grown man's foot. It seemed to squint happily at the squad that was regaining their bearings, before dissolving gruesomely back into the shadow's mass. Castro shuddered in return. "Right. This is still her we're talking about, after all..." His gaze and attention returned to Kaitlyn properly. "The middle of a battle isn't the time to be letting sentimentality drive you, but if you think it's that important... At least make an effort to locate them visually before prancing off. The last thing we need is any more disorganization than we already have."

Kaitlyn went pale the moment she saw the eye, but decided to just ignore it for now.

Kaitlyn couldn't be the only one disturbed by Noble Arms.

"T-thanks you, sir. A-and sorry, sir! It's just... It's the child, Hannie. I need to make sure she's okay."

She didn't wait for a response this time, instead turning her attention towards the rest of the rescued army. It seemed everybody - or just about everybody - was caught up in the ooze.

It took a moment. There were just so many bodies in the way, but eventually she spotted her through her binoculars, huddled on the ground. The sight elicited a pang of regret in the private.

Don't worry, I've got you.

"S-sir, um... n-nevermind."

She shook her head then, making sure her own team was fully accounted for- and that the one that got shot in the shoulder was being tended to- she picked her away across the field to the little girl, careful not to get in the way of any of the other soldiers.

"Hannie?"

She knelt next to the girl, uncertain what to do. What to say. This was war... What could she do?

Hannie opens her eyes to a squint at sound of her name.
“I don’t wanna be here!” she whines. “I wanna go home!”

"Shhh shhh," Kaitlyn scooped Hannie up in her arms, holding her close. The rest of the battlefield faded into white noise and rushing blurs as the world narrowed down to just the two of them.

I need to get her someplace safe, but where?

"We'll get you home, but you have to be brave for me. Can you do that, Hannie?"

Hannie doesn't voice a response, but she closes her eyes again and nods almost imperceptibly.

"Okay..."

She takes a breath.

The corporal is going to kill me for this, if the Chinese don't kill us first.

"Corporal, permission to recruit Hannie Cavalet into our unit... T-temparily, of course." The radio shook in her spare hand.

Corporal Castro's expression twisted in restrained displeasure, but perhaps not for the reasons that many others might assume. As Kaitlyn well knew. His disdain was hardly for the child, herself, but the idea of being directly responsible for treating her like a soldier. Even so...

He grimaced and glanced at the ebony ooze. "Personally," he gruffly stated, "I don't think she's in any shape to be fighting at all." His words next seemed to address the ooze. "I don't suppose... you could do your little trick again and get her out of the way of danger?"

The ooze-like shadow's bubbling seemed to still, before a bulge in the surface almost gooily expelled an all too familiar female form. Rising up with a flick of emerald hair, Qingshe's upper torso seemed to float within the mass, stable, as though her feet were standing on the bottom of a shallow body of water.

Despite the rather... liquid way she had manifested in their midst, she seemed completely dry... if glistening with an odd sheen in the light blazing overhead. Her slitted eyes flicked to the Corporal and then to Hannie, before she broke her silence with an odd twist of her lips and a half smile. "Ah~! Certainly, I could protect her body... However, it seems the mind is what is truly at stake in this moment." Pursing her lips with a little hum, the ooze seemed to... almost reluctantly draw away from the area around Kaitlyn, no longer looming so directly beneath her and her charge.

Castro's next words were grit out through clenched teeth. "That's nice and all, but that doesn't mean she'll be weighing my team down any less. I need all hands on deck! There's no time to be babysitting with death overhead!"

"I-I can still contribute to this fight!" Kaitlyn exclaimed, feeling her pulse rise. "I'll... I'll keep Hannie closeby, but out of direct danger. I still have a gun... And..." She swallowed. "I can still fight. Just... Let me protect Hannie, too."

She eye'd the strange lady that appeared dubiously, vaguely recalling her features from the Auditorium. She seemed friendly enough...

"Private Price... In this situation, even a single distraction could be death, and it would be grossly irresponsible of me to even consider allowing that." Castro said lowly, his expression darkening. "This battlefield is no place for a kid... We can't keep her. Don't make me back that with orders."

"Oh~, now now, Corporal~" The oddly muted liquid noise of Qingshe rising further from her half-sunken position sounded out, as the voluptuous woman rose in somewhat staggered -yet steady- movements, as if she were ascending a staircase. Her legs moved accordingly, as her path brought her to the edge of her shadow's mass and the space it had cleared around Kaitlyn and Hannie.

Glancing down, she seemed to pout for a moment, before taking a step off the mass. Even as she did so, she did not fully make a separation. Needle-thin tendrils of ebony trailed behind the hem of her dress, remaining in contact with her and the larger mass both, as she sidled up in front of Kaitlyn.

Her pace was languid and approach almost gentle -if with an almost unconscious salacious sway to it, as reptilian eyes -currently a soft green- drifted down to the huddled Hannie... before abruptly bleeding into a hungry gold and snapping to Kaitlyn. "Mmm~! Perhaps the girl will be a burden, yes..." Her ebony-clad left hand, the one free of false claws drifted forward over Hannie... before ignoring her entirely and moving up past the edge of Kaitlyn's vision.

Seemingly taking full opportunistic advantage of Kaitlyn's arms being full of crying child, those fingers brushed a few loose strands of hair from the adult soldier's face and tucked them behind her ear... before guiding them up a smidge further to delicately loop over the top of Kaitlyn's hairpin. Qingshe's fingers seemed to play across the ornament's surface for an intrusively long moment, as her golden gaze bored into Kaitlyn's own with a sly smile.

"But who knows? Your subordinate might surprise you~"

Kaitlyn wanted to argue. She wanted to shout, she wanted to cry, she wanted to rip something in half and then drown it in chocolate pudding.

She did none of those things, because she couldn't. Because she couldn't disobey her direct superior's orders.

She wished she were stronger. For Hannie, and for herself. She should be able to stand up to him for what she believed in, but...

She shivered, and not just because she was watching what she was only half-sure was human rise from the metaphorical depths.

She bit her lip as she eye'd the lady sternly. She didn't like the look in her eyes.

"... S-"

She hugged Hannie closer as the lady approached, feeling her pulse rise. Her breath subtly quicken...

She twitched as the lady's hand went... To her hair.

A look of intense unease spread across her face as she toyed with her hairpin, resisting the urge to slap the offending limb away. She wasn't sure she would survive such an offense.

"... U-um..."

She swallowed, feeling sick, and glanced down at the little bundle of trauma in her arms. Then back up to the lady.

"I..."

Spit it out, Kaitlyn. Confess you're a coward. A lowly pawn. Little private Price.

"I have to follower my orders. B-but... I can't leave Hannie without care."

Steeling her nerves, she narrowed her eyes on the lady with her best impression of somebody not about to have a heart attack.

"I can't keep her safe, but you can. I... I want you to keep her near, but out of harms way. Can you do that?"

Qingshe's hand retreated with a final feather-light brush, as her golden gaze seemed to brighten in something like understanding, flecks of blue warming the surface of her irises to a brief green hue. "Hah~?" She smiled knowingly, pearly teeth briefly flashing in the light. "So, that's how it is?"

Her piercing gaze stayed locked on Kaitlyn's form, briefly running across the length of her body with an intensity that seemed almost out of place. Finally, a smirk took dominance amongst her demeanor, as she folded her arms and cupped her chin with her right hand. "Humans..." Her tongue flicked across her lips. "...are so often capable of far more than they believe. Rather-" Her gaze sharpened. "Belief itself grants power. Determination to overcome... and evolve. Humans truly are malleable..."

Her expression softened, the air of intensity muting itself somewhat, as she almost seemed to look past Kaitlyn. "But if circumstances can't be helped, I suppose... Mmm." She hummed. "Yes, we all do what we must to see another day. All that lives ultimately does so for itself, leaving others behind. That is the necessary tragedy of evolution..."

Abruptly she giggled in a breathy, musical way and twisted her attention away from Kaitlyn to the girl in her arms. "But look at me, getting sentimental with a tangent at a time like this~!" Her eyes had mellowed to a green-blue hue, as the lilting, whimsical tone of her voice took on a steadier, matronly cadence. "I could take her, but dearie me! It might not stick too well with a precious little teleporter like this, as jumpy as she seems..."

Her next words were finally directed at the bundled child, spoken as softly as was practical to be heard over the distant roar of battle. "Hannie, dear? Are you physically well? Can you walk? I'm here to help with the injured. You may remember me from the transport... It's Qingshe, dear. Or Miss Lei if you wish. Your friend, Kaitlyn, here has asked me to take care of you. May I?"

Hannie glances up at Kaitlyn, then turns over to Qingshe. Everything in her face and body screams fear and distrust, but she's quick to nod yes.

Kaitlyn gives her a full-body squeeze, resting her chin on her head... Then, with great reluctance, she releases the child from her embrace.

"Thank you, Hannie. And thank you, Miss Lei," she said, addressing the tall lady for the latter part.

"Remember what I said. Be strong."

Giving her shoulder a squeeze, she stood up and deliberately took a step back from her, slipping on the mask of a soldier.

"I'll come find you when the battle is over. I promise."
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Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by SkyHresvelg
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SkyHresvelg Empress of Adrestia

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The appearance of the enemy's general equivalent of their army meant that fighting him wouldn't be as eay, but the others were focused on protecting the city. Luckily, the enemy planes were shot down by the Lotus Squadron which left fighting most of the soldiers on ground battles. She wasn't sure whether they had anyone to hold their own against an A ranked Noble Arms Master except that Noel could be one of the better matches against their power. "We'll have to do our efforts in protecting the city for now." Fuyuko speaks over to the ninja bodyguard before the fiery appearance of her Noble Arms rested in her hands.

With other groups of the Chinese infantry approaching off the sands of the beach towards the city, she used Zangetsu's fire to deal with the tanks. A wave of fire shoots out to attempt incinerating the infantry since the barrier was doing the protecting over their group. The city needed to be protected, Fuyuko swore on the honor of her forebearers from the past Emperors that Japan will protect this country from Chinese invasion.
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Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by Letter Bee
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Letter Bee Filipino RPer

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Chapter One, Desperation in Lingayen, Part Five

Lingayen Beach, Municipality of Lingayen, Lingayen Gulf

Callie's efforts met with success... at least initially. One after another, ammo went up in fireballs within segments of the ships of the Chinese fleet. It took a bit of adjusting and guesstimating early on, but her intuition generally held true. The beam of unbearable heat melted through steel like butter. Or, at least, it did.

Moments after the first explosion, Callie would find perhaps on a second glance that the ships she had targeted were no longer sinking or burning... nor in their original positions. In all but a flash, the Chinese fleet was being rapidly reorganized, huddled almost around one of the enemy aircraft carriers. Many ships were preemptively moved into several clusters of the enemy, no more than some 200 feet between each cluster. Suddenly, damaging the ships at all was a chore. It seemed that whenever a ship was targeted for destruction, it would suddenly undergo a rapid flickering effect, one that stopped any of them from having the beam burn through them again, the flicker seemingly making them whole again moments before they could go up in fireballs once more.

Meanwhile, the beam of flame did not let up for a single second, seemingly not the slightest bit concerned with being used against its intended purpose. It was wholly focused on crushing the empowered resistance before it, and the small portals within its center did little to nothing to lessen the impact of such a titanic attack.

So this is my counter; the Dragon of the Zodiac himself, Noel thought, thanking God that the Zodiac was a public team of Arms Masters just a few years ago. Well, it seems I lured him out. He answered Lotus Squadron's message through a still-functioning radio: "Lotus Squadron, search and destroy for a lone Noble Arms Master, male, walking alone carrying a fancy spear. Once you find him, unload everything you have - something with concussive force is preferable. Avoid the second sun he is projecting if possible; we don't know its full properties."

Sophist, meanwhile, yanked himself backward, flying away from the artificial sun, before saying to a small communicator, "This is similar, yet different, to an actual sun; a mix of occult power and actual astrophysics. However, the occult part means that its danger would lessen if we kill its wielder; actually, if we kill its wielder, I can use my gravity powers to wrench the second sun and throw it back at the Chinese Fleet, assuming it doesn't just fade into a wisp of hydrogen." He then mused, "Honestly, you guys should hope it does fade if its wielder dies..."

Noel snapped, "Sophist, make yourself useful and find any other Chinese A-Ranks running around; The Dragon has not come alone. The rest of you... Princess Fukuyo, your power is increased by nearby heat and fire; you're our frontline unit. Rin, support your liege. Regil, you're in reserve, but deploy your defensive 'Towers' at the very last moment. Lady Regina, you have full authority to organize Lucy and her fireteam, plus Nemo as Hannie is out of commission for now, into a reserve group for when the second A-Rank arrives."

Then to Callie, Nil, and Henri, Noel spoke, "Callie, I appreciate you redirecting part of the beam to the Chinese Fleet, but I request that take some time to look for one of our allies and volunteers; he's Belgian and has a Shield as his Noble Arm. Make contact with him and ask him if you can teleport him to a few dozen meters above the Second Sun, where he can then activate his 'Negation-oriented' Noble Arm and literally drop down on that monstrosity with, well, negation. Then he is to deactivate said negation so that we can save him. Is that okay? As for Nil, keep her safe; she's hard to talk to but I don't wish her ill."

All the while, the beam was still there, burning the barrier, which was now shuddering as though under apocalyptic strain as Ari, the one who was projecting it, was bending every bit of will to maintain the protective shell. Motes of light were already peeling off the barrier as one Lotus Squadron pilot sighted a figure just as Noel described walking towards the beach from the east...

@SkyHresvelg@The World@Chiro@Aisede@Renny@MagusDream@Lewascan2@Vergil@Sniblet@Silverstein@Conscripts@Gerlando@Senhara
Hidden 9 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by Sniblet
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with

Kaitlyn hasn't even left yet and Hannie already feels alone.

Eyes squinted against the glare of the unending flames, streaming with all flavors of distress, the girl looks up into the slitted eyes of her cartoonishly beautiful unwanted savior and waits, tense all over, for the ground to swallow her again.
It does not. Too much time passes while Qingshe merely smiles, almost to herself, before kneeling over and offering a clawed hand.

"We don't have to take that way out, Hannie dear," she purrs.
Hannie looks around at the edges of the straining Wall, seeing no traversable gaps in the flames. She looks back at Qingshe, her expression unchanged - maybe there's just no room for more anxiety.
"O... okay," she whimpers. She reaches out to Qingshe like she might bite her. In a way, she does - the serpent's hand almost swallows hers.

The first step is the hardest. Hannie looks like all she wants is to go back to the ground and curl up again, her free hand covering her head as if from a bombing, while her escort turns back to give Kaitlyn a grinning, casual wave goodbye.
"I promise to take excellent care of her~!" she calls over her shoulder, and then returns her attention to the destination ahead - the edge of the dome, towards the city and barracks where they became acquainted.
They walk slowly, neither of the two in a hurry to get anywhere. Qingshe hums a tune that Hannie doesn't seem to appreciate, and finishes the song shortly before they reach the border. Hannie's eyes are all but shut. The glare is very intense at this proximity.

Qingshe looks down at her charge once again.
"You don't mind the dark, do you, Hannie~?"
Hannie doesn't respond for a while, until she realizes Qingshe is genuinely waiting for her reply. She shakes her head no, accompanied by a weak murmur of "it's okay."

Outward, through the barrier and the blaze, extends that increasingly familiar bubbling green-flecked shadow which hasn't yet had the chance to feature in Hannie's nightmares. Then, in a flash of movement, the fire above it is wiped away - cut off from its source and dying rapidly in an inky-black tunnel.
Crossing the barrier and traversing the already comfortably cool tunnel is easier than the first step had been. The two spend the remainder of their walk unseen under cover, with Qingshe occasionally chirping simple questions, earning back simple, soft answers. Maybe she's getting somewhere with this girl?
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Hidden 9 mos ago Post by MagusDream
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MagusDream Fairy Light Magus

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Regina Meitner / Lucy Dolores

Collab post between @Senhara and @MagusDream

Interactions: Regina > Noel (@Letter Bee)


Regina changed her directions and ran to Lucy and her unit. She wasn’t fond of having to join a stranger, but as she said to herself before, she couldn’t just disobey Noel’s orders when he was ranked above her. Once she arrived, she presented herself.

"Specialist Regina Meitner, reporting in. I suppose that you must be Lucy Dolores." Regina said, looking directly at the woman with the metallic arm. "What is the current status of your unit?"

Lucy takes a moment to respond, checking her spare mags. At that time, Regina noticed that her shoulder is bleeding. Oddly enough, it doesn’t seem to be bothering her much, though the sting of the air would occasionally break through with a grimace on her face. “Lucy Dolores, we’re one injured… Five combat capable, including me.” Her hand travels to her rifle, hesitantly glancing to the side. “They probably are watching our formations, stay out of sightlines.”

One of the other soldiers scoffs, “You don’t have to tell me twice, I ain’t getting my head blown off by a magic boy. You the new commanding officer?”

"For the moment, according to Lieutenant Alonso’s orders, I am to lead your squad and aid you here on the frontlines. My squad is fighting inside the shield, currently attacking with RPGs and rifles to cover the ground and air, though that barrier will not last for long." Regina said, looking back at her soldiers.

"I can presume that metallic arm of yours is a Noble Arm. What exactly can it do? And are you able to operate it normally or do you have some sort of restrictions due to your injuries?" Regina asked.

“At least I get a few minutes to chow down on something.” One soldier mutters under his breath. Lucy looks toward Regina at the question of what it can do, but first, she should probably address the injury. “Don’t worry about it, Daedalus is missing a bit of power, but I’ll be fine. As for what Daedalus can do…” She looks to the Arm, clenching the metallic fist with a satisfying click and hiss from within it, looking back to the new commanding officer. “I can blow out eardrums, make you go blind, crush bones, rupture lungs, tear through someone with ease, pick them up and throw them into a tree, pull vehicles apart.” She says, mildly staring at Regina, watching her reactions. “Can also stop bullets, outright kill people at a range… Things like that. This is a weapon of war.” The other chatterbox soldier chuckles, “I was kinda scared when you just made that whole chunk of those fucks drop dead. That one tank also stopped movin too, I think you killed the crew. Let’s hope they don’t have a mind screwy guy. Last thing I want is you after me.”

“Dumbass, you could’ve also been incinerated by whoever did that fire beam if it weren’t for that barrier.” Another comments, to be retorted with “At least it would’ve been fast. Lucy there, she could take her sweet time if she wanted to, eugh.” He ended with a shiver, as the Arms Master huffs and sits, leaning with Daedalus against a wall.

The idle banter between her and the soldiers was something that Regina did ignore. She never believed in the benefit of such a thing, so it wasn’t something she appreciated herself. Though she didn’t show emotions of disgust, keeping her usual coldhearted facade, One could catch a glimpse that she wasn’t in the mood for the laughs and jokes, especially in a situation like this.

"Understood. So your Noble Arm is purely a destructive type gauntlet with enough power to blow up those tanks in half and tear through the enemy with ease if we follow what your soldiers just told me about your power." Regina commented.

She looked back at the battlefield. With the A-Ranks of the enemy approaching fast and already “presenting” themselves and their power, making a safe strategy to avoid casualties was close to impossible right now, without accounting for the other Noble Arms Masters. She grabbed her radio and communicated with her soldiers.

"This is Specialist Meitner. I want an assessment of the situation, stat. Over." Regina ordered

"We are damaging the enemy, but we don’t know if the shield protecting us will last another one of these attacks! Over!" One of her soldiers responded.

"How many ammunition do we still have left?!." Regina asked.

"We might still have enough for another wave, but we need to fall back to the helicopter and fetch said ammo, Specialist! Over!" Her soldier responded.

"Then fall back and recharge! I also want all of you to focus on the ground! Leave the air to the remaining aerial units!" Regina ordered.

"Understood, Specialist Meitner! Over!" Her soldier gave a final response and she plucked the radio back into her belt.

"Alright. Time is running against us. If your Noble Arm can cause that much havoc, we’re going on the offensive. I’ll have to use my Noble Arm as well and follow you. As for your soldiers, I need them shooting at the enemy, at least at the troopers. My squad is already attacking with RPGs, so I suppose we need another type of bullet to kill these bastards while Lieutenant Alonso can handle the enemy’s higher-ups." Regina spoke to Lucy.

She nods, looking back up at Regina. “Your turn. What can your Arm do?”

"My Noble Arm generates this dark cape around me. It also generates… these…" Regina answered Lucy, as the Witch revealed its arms from the cape. "I’m in control of a creature that exists through this dark cape around me. As for what it can do it attacks our foes, although only in close combat."

Lucy lets out a sigh, “Only in close combat… How powerful is the… Thing?” gesturing towards the arms at the end.

"Powerful enough to break a human like a twig and toss a tank away." Regina answered Lucy, remembering her own experience with the Witch on the field.

“So we both fit into a similar combat style.” She speaks, closing her eyes for a moment. “Combined effort not much would survive… Whoever started those fires must be close.” Eyes open. “We’d be most effective hunting the enemy Arm user down and slaughtering them.”

"That we can certainly agree. As it stands though, they’re still attacking us from the distance and not present on the battlefield" Regina agreed.

“The question now is, how do we get them close? I don’t know the enemy well.” Lucy then glances away, quickly looking back at her.

"Hmm… I hate to depend on him… but I digress. Let’s see if we can contact Lieutenant Alonso and see his input. I’d rather not rush ahead without a good view on the field." Regina answered Lucy, displeased with the idea herself.

She nods once more. “Fighting without the right knowledge leads to defeat. Get Alonso.”

Regina grabbed her radio and called upon Noel. "Lieutenant Alonso, respond immediately. We need information on the enemy’s Arms Masters and their current distance before either me or Lucy can move. Over." She spoke on the radio.
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Hidden 9 mos ago Post by Aisede
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Kaitlyn watched little Cavalet march off with a twist in her stomach.

Don't think. You have a job to do, think about that. Keeping everybody safe...

Looking down at the viscous fluid under her feet, a thought came to her.

"Sir, I'm going to try and gain some elevation and survey the battlefield. Maybe try and spot the A-rank manifesting that sun... W-with your permission?"

She thumbed the needle in her hair, desperately wishing she had the time to dig out some candy to suck on. Anything would be better than thinking about the literal star hanging over their heads. The star presently trying to kill them all. The star that is only being held back by a wall of ice that was rapidly losing integrity.

As Kaitlyn spoke those words, however, there was a low, sibilant noise, a whisper, as though her words had been received -though not intended- by some...thing all too eager to answer them. The ooze underfoot, before, tendrils began to form. No... Not tendrils. Ebony serpents...

Vipers.

Wriggling and then smoothing out into almost liquid movements, the vipers rose up as if like king cobras prepared to strike, their bodies swaying and dipping down back into the ooze as if it were a body of water and not unnervingly solid land. Emerald eyes glowed like technopunk highlights, bodies so black that even the light from above seemed to be drunk into their forms. Over her right shoulder, one pit viper-esce appendage(?) hissed up beside Kaitlyn's ear until in was a simple head turn to view it's slitted, almost considering gaze fully.

"Asssssk, and you ssssshhhalll rrecccciiievee~!" came a voice that had been present but a minute ago. Though it seemed to be distorted, and a moment's observation would determine why. For it was not just that "head" that had spoken, but all of the heads. Dozens of heads, even hundreds of serpent heads, as the crackling ebony ooze that had lain mostly dormant across the inner field of the light barrier came alive in a certain twisted sense. For every soldier, for every Arms Master and normal alike, there were now rising a chorus of sibilant whispers, offering aid, as though outstretching a devil's hand with a cunning smile.

True to their offer -and indeed proving her plan had an answer, a platform began to rise before Kaitlyn. It was a half-domed apparatus, with a thick, clear viewing window formed of AM-III glass, sufficient to repel -or at least waylay- bullets. The undomed portion of it faced only towards the city, indicating the protective aspects had been focused forward. The platform rose, and the back -covered by a cage-like guard door- opened, stairs extending, as more ooze climbed up the sides guardingly.

As if Kaitlyn was already put off by the presence of the black ooze, Miss Lei had to pull something like this.

Oh God.

Nervously kneeling to keep her balance, she glanced over the sides and-

- And immediately began performing some not-very-effective breathing exercises.

Kaitlyn had never been a fan of heights. She didn't have acrophobia, but she'd also never been this high up without guardrails and a solid, well-understood foundation.

Still... She had a job to do. She needed to protect her squad, and Hannie, and everyone else still alive on this battlefield.

So, unsteadily reaching for her binoculars, she took advantage of the... Shield... And began scouting the field for the source of the second sun.

Please don't break please don't break please don't break.

As Kaitlyn stepped within, the cage-like "doors" of the half-domed "pod" closed behind her, and the structure began to smoothly rise upward, like riding an elevator. Along the outside, a protective layer of ooze crawled and writhed over both the pod itself and the pillar it rose upon, the crackling ebony prepared to swallow into their depths any projectile or other perceived threat that would be launched towards them and their ward. Wherever Kaitlyn turned the gaze of her binoculars, the ooze would smoothly slide away so as to not hinder her gaze through the viewing glass, moving to protect her blind-spots in turn.
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Hidden 9 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by Nimbus
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Callie / Henri / Nil

@Nimbus / @Chiro / @Gerlando


“Sir!” ‘Course I’ll protect her, what kind of a fireteam leader do you think I am?

Such thoughts ran through the back of Callie’s mind. Its front was nearly full to the brim; Charter was a blur of motion to track multiple points on the battlefield at once, her eyes and mind only functioning by innate overclocking and years of practice. One particular sight, of course, was more worrying than the rest… “Enemy fleet under Arm effect, sir - looks like phasing or regen, possibly carrier-centred. Redirected attacks aren’t landing.”

With the realisation that sinking their warships was fruitless, new orders had come up; the group had to find and team up with a Belgian Arms Master with a negation ability. While his name was not given, command had already put them through the comms. Can’t just stop attacking, though - they’ll know something’s up. “Alright,” Callie said, glancing back at Nil, “plan’s changed, going now - target the bridge from above. Ready bombardment!”

“Right away,” Nil responded while creating more copies for the attack, trying to cover as many as possible under the foliage. The enemy carriers were hard to even see at this distance but wouldn’t be a problem if Caroline was going to create a portal.

Meanwhile, Henri was still checking the city for people trapped under the rubble.

“Sgt. Janssens to Search and Rescue base. Sector F3 Clear. Moving on foot to Sector F4”, he messaged and was about to continue his journey, when he got contacted through his comm. “Sgt. Janssens here.”

“Private Lidmann - hope you heard from command, Sergeant.” Still don’t like that I can’t use my actual rank… “If you can get a clear fall from high ground where I can see you, I’ll launch you at the target and catch you when you reach the apex.”

“Roger that, Private,” Henri replied. “Can you see sector F4 from where you are, or should I search for another spot?”

A twitch of Charter. “Sector F4, confirmed…” Callie’s eye caught something - a red-orange glint from… Oh, yeah, ha. That’s an Arm. “Have ‘ya! Get on top of something, Sergeant - ready when you are!”

She allowed herself a smirk. Through a tree’s branches. Damn, I’m good.

Now… Charter back to the ships. Aircraft carrier isolated; bridge identified. A glance to Nil and a hand raised. “Hold!” And focus.

Space bridged. At once, Nil’s staves were only a few dozen metres from the carrier’s command centre - and directly above them.

Fist clenched.

In an instant they flew into the portal and on top of the command tower, pushing air as they bolted to their target, leaving behind a mess of leaves and dirt that had been blown by the air.

Twenty or maybe a bit more were the first to hit, practically demolishing the upper superstructure that once was the carrier’s conning tower, soon after about a dozen followed, this time aimed at the deck and airplanes preparing to take-off.

From a top view the ship was now barely recognisable.

Henri didn’t witness much of it, focused as he was on reaching the roof of the tallest building he found. He caught some breath after reaching the top and then signalled again. “All right, I am in position,” He said, waving his arm “You should be able to see me waving. What’s the next step?”

Callie’s eye was on Charter even as she loosed the connection with Charter, relief suffusing her as the tug of draining energy dissipated. “Sighted. Get edgewise and ready to jump, Sergeant!” ‘Course, some things are more fun as a grunt… “I’ll portal underneath you - only unsheath when you’re through, then stop once that blasted sky orb’s gone!”

“Roger that.” Henri said in confirmation. Then he took a running position, ready to take the leap. Just in case, he pulled his pistol. “Ready to go!”

Another moment gone; Callie removed her eye from her Arm, seeking Nil. “Once more before we reposition - another barrage, pick your targets.” She let out a huff of breath, then shook herself. Focus, Caroline. Just one after another after another now. All of them need to be right. No time for tiredness.

Charter back to Henri - then to the artificial sun, still blazing in the sky, beam scorching the beach and turning sand to glass up to the barrier. Callie forced herself not to squint against the brightness, her mind already working to evaluate the geometry. Beam keeps strafing like that and… Opening in the pattern - there. “Now!”

Now the trickier part - she’d only know where to put the portal on Henri’s end after he jumped. Still, Callie drew the energy, readying herself to direct it. She could hardly stop now.

As he heard the signal, Henri ran toward the edge and jumped. He seriously hoped the teleporter knew what she was doing and he didn’t just end up a pancake.

Next thing Henri knew, he was falling up, or that’s the feeling he could express. He could feel the heat of the light blinding his eyes. Quickly, as planned, he activated Leonidas.

“Fighting in Shade!” he shouted, activating Leonidas’s negation bubble. The light and heat around him dissipated. It seemed the plan had worked.

Not that Callie was anything more than subliminally aware. Just got to give her a whole bunch of shots… You aren’t answering us that easily! “Ready!” She raised her fist again, looked through Charter, chose a new site - Behind them, hit them in the rear.

Portal opened. Fist closed.

Once again blue projectiles fell upon the Chinese fleet, destroying decks and conning towers of destroyers, cruisers and even hitting the central carrier again, just to ensure it properly looked like a rough patch of gravel, plus a spectacular flame on top.

This time, Callie allowed a smile - and not just for herself. “Nicely done!” Now, we move!

But Henri couldn’t celebrate just yet, because the gravity began to pull him again. Quickly he unsheathed Leonidas, hoping it wasn’t too late to be pulled back.

“Comeoncomeoncomeoncomeon!”

“Alright, getting clear. Dismiss Arm!” Long jump takes too much time - damn it, won’t be able to shake a lock if they have it. Well! Cursing under her breath, Callie instead focused her power towards her back-up: a secondary hill she’d identified when she first claimed this cover, a click away beneath the same minor ridge. The other end? Just behind Nil, where the underbrush wasn’t. Callie hoped that barrelling directly towards her would be a good enough indication.

It wasn’t.

The unsuspecting Nil stood confused for a second, slowly looking at Callie dashing out of the blue. Too slow, Callie decided it was faster to tackle Nil, pushing her off her feet and into the portal they were soon on the other side, one of them visibly dazed by the whole manoeuvre.

“Sorry!” Am I really - yes, I - no time for that! Sever flow, now where’s… Oh, God. Henri, as viewed through Charter, was falling. Not entirely slowly either. She could try directing the portal back to them up again, launch him to dissipate the momentum, but that act could easily give away their position…

The smart move would be to do so in midair.

Callie was not thinking about the smart move.

Another sudden change in vision, and Henri found himself back on the ground. The fall on it was painful, but at least Henri would be alive to feel it. He pulled deep breaths, as he looked around, trying to determine where he had been brought into. Some sort of bush, seemingly to break his fall… And beside it, two women - one in combat fatigues, the other fully covered with a dress popping from under the military uniform.

“Welcome to our little fireteam, Sergeant - sorry about the bumpy ride.”

“No problem,” Henri assured, as he rose up and dusted himself off. “Not the toughest I’ve faced so far, and probably in the future.”

Although Henri wasn’t really fond of Arms Masters, something even he admitted was hypocritical, at least this one had proven herself trustworthy.

“Onto the next step, I guess.”
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Hidden 9 mos ago Post by Letter Bee
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Chapter One, Desperation in Lingayen, Part Six

Lingayen Beach, Municipality of Lingayen, Lingayen Gulf

"The enemy Arms Master we know for sure is after us is Ren Huo - Or was it Huo Ren?" Noel responded to Regina punctually. "His Noble Arm is a Spear which allows him several Sun-themed powers - That means he's most likely the one projecting that Artificial Sun above us. Thankfully, Princess Fukuyo here is strengthened by fire and heat in general, meaning that she can counter him long enough for us to stab him in the back. As for the other Arms Masters... I don't have anything yet."

And indeed, the Princess could feel her Noble Arm being strengthened, and it was faster than it should be even in these circumstances. She might recall a memorandum from Japan's Military Intelligence that Ren Huo might have a secret weakness; that he seemed to empower every Arms Master who based their power on fire and heat whether he was willing to or not.

Those rumors were further confirmed once the Artificial Sun suddenly began fading, turning transparent until it vanished completely, leaving a clear sky. Noel's strategy, discussed with Callie and Nil, to use Henri to negate the magical construct had succeeded, with Henri's dive into the giant ball of fire, a dive where he had been able to activate his 'Anti-Magic', being the decisive factor in halting Ren Huo's onslaught and the near-loss of the defenders.

In the air, Lotus Squadron could see the man with the spear, Ren Huo himself, halt completely in his tracks, and Kaitlyn could see him as well, and if she requested Qingshe for a telescope or already had binoculars, she could have a closer view of the man who had caused so much havoc on his own.



"Fireteams one and two - All of you but Nemo can reach him with your powers!" Noel shouted, clearly remembering Regil, Lucy, and Fukuyo's abilities in particular. "Prepare to attack; fire at will when we get the enemy's position through the comms!" He then shifted topics, "Lotus Squadron, do you copy? If you've found Ren Huo, give us the coordinates of his position - We might have a chance to rub him out of this world!"

He then took the time to walk up to the smallest Arms Master (Nemo) and give the boy a cautious head pat, before saying to him, "You did well in the previous stage of the battle. Now, I presume you have more powers than what you've already shown? If so, while the others blast him, tell me all about them so we can use your Noble Arm better."

Then to Qingshe, Noel continued, "Can you relay a message to Private Pierce? Tell her she's amazingly good with kids; can she and you help me protect this one?" he gestured to Nemo, "We can't avoid all trauma, but we can use whatever support we can to get through it and even minimize what we get..."




Team Callie had succeeded with flying colors, giving the Main Group a chance to deal with the enemy who had cast the Artificial Sun. It was almost time for the real deal to set, and the sky was brightly lit with red as the area cooled. They could see from their position that the Chinese Fleet was holding back, making no moves to attack for thirty seconds - An eternity in a modern battlefield. Was this because although the ships had been reset yet again by the mysterious Arms Master who was frustrating their efforts, the crewfolk who had been killed on the vessels had not been so lucky?

Either way, this would be enough time for the Main Group to fire at Huo Ren, enough time to get off one or two blasts, but that wasn't their problem right now.

Because in the thirty seconds' pause, the earth was shaking, even though it was not being pounded with artillery. The Philippine marines that had been stationed on Team Callie's new hill were vanishing, many turning to the just-appeared team of Arms Masters for help before they were swallowed into the softening ground. Then, when the three members of the team were finally alone, yet given enough foreshadowing of their enemy's nature and capabilities to be afraid, to sense that they were being toyed with, the earth underneath them began to crack, with small chunks of the hill breaking loose and tumbling down towards the beach...

Just as the three of them saw Sophist flying towards them, lightening gravity in their area so that they were almost floating, "The person behind this must be nearby - I've lightened your gravity to allow you to escape, then we're going to find whoever is causing this once we find another vantage point!"

@SkyHresvelg@The World@Chiro@Aisede@MagusDream@Lewascan2@Vergil@Sniblet@Conscripts@Gerlando@Senhara
Hidden 9 mos ago Post by The World
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Nemo wasn't sure how to respond to Noel. He seemed to be the one in charge, but he also showed unnecessary worrying considering his position. He also didn't know how to react to having his head pat like that, so he simply stood there with a blank expression. Orders had been given to attack, but of course he wasn't included in that, not being able to do anything meaningful. And that lack of use was grating on him quickly before he was asked about his Noble Arm.

Can't fight. If I can't fight I can't be useful. I n- His thinking was cut off when Noel asked him about his weapon. It was close enough to an order, a reason to do something to be useful that it brightened his mood.

"Vitae responds to emotions. Known effects are anger, sadness, happiness, determination, and agony. Anger is an offensive state, Sadness is a defensive state. Happiness makes it easier to use, determination has a healing effect, and agony is an anti-capture use." Nemo explained succinctly. He didn't take his eyes off of Noel, the commanding officer that he was, at all since being addressed by him. He needed to be told what he could do to be helpful, now that there were no nearby opposing forces enemies.
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Hidden 9 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by SkyHresvelg
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Well, this was some trouble with Huo Ren they were all running to which frankly, her own powers being born from the sun goddess' blessing should be able to match the other guy's. With the buff being given by Regil and Huo Ren's own sun-based power, Zangetsu was being strengthened to make sure it would increase speed than before. Seeing the artificial sun fade until the sky appeared before them clearly, she nodded to Noel with her response. "If you wish it so, I will attempt to buy us time in order for our combined attacks to go through."

With the others being a little busy with other matters in the war to protect the Phillipines, she would rush forward to confront Huo Ren with Zangetsu manifesting in a burst of flame. "I shall be the one to challenge your might." The flames burst out violently as she aimed to attempt buying time for the others to coordinate in bringing the man down, using the strikes of her flaming katana to engage in close combat. He definitely had the very same power to control heat and fire, so the blessing of the sun goddess will turn the tides.
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Hidden 9 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by Aisede
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@Aisede/@Lewascan2

The moment that artificial sun disappeared, it felt like they had averted the end of the world. The day was saved, they won!

Only... That's not the case. All they did was neutralize an Arms Master- Hou Ren's - weapon, and she suspected that it could become a very real problem again if he wasn't dealt with quickly. Would he fall for the same trick twice?

Doubtful.

Using her binoculars, she quickly spotted the man responsible for so much stress.

He's... Just a man.

For some reason, she'd been expecting this Sauron-looking manifestation of fire and malice, but no, like all other Arms Masters, he was just a man with a spear. Kaitlyn was having trouble reconciling him with her own image, but ultimately decided it didn't matter what he looked like. He tried to kill her allies, he tried to kill her team, and he tried to kill Hannie.

Thinking on this, and failing to hear anyone respond to Noel in regards to coordinates, she relayed the coordinates herself over radar, keeping a watchful eye on events.

Noticing the earth start to break open like an egg- can't they get a break?- she was about to raise the alarm... But it would appear Sophist had them covered. Guess he isn't only good for getting in trouble.

"Miss Lei, can you do anything about shifting landscape?"

She suspected, since she seemed to 'coat the ground' that she may be able to do something... Hopefully. Maybe they can use that against them?

Within the pod, a snake head and neck peeled off of the wall in a small bubbling splatter, and golden eyes almost seemed to narrow contemplatively down at the ground and the mountains to the west. There was a quiet hissing rattle, before the head shook itself lightly. "Thisssss sssensssation is... Familiar. If thisss isss who I ssssussspecct, then our powerssss tend to... counter each-other in a way. Regardlessss," it chuffed, "My sssspeed outsstripsss her, but if ssshe hasss learned from the passst, then ssshe may be able to forcce me to lossse ground. And while I could perhapsss win with attrition... attrition is not time this city -nay, country- has. If thisss isss truly... Tian Fei, then ssshe isss an even greater threat than Huo Ren..."

There was a dark little sound that might have been a giggle. "Ssshe will collapssse thisss entire city into the wavesss out of ssspite if need be to achieve absssolute victory. A true lunatic. Due to the nature of my shadow, her control of the very earth itssself isss not something I can ssso easily counter, and even if the area above my ssshadow isss sssafe... in a manner of ssspeaking, ssshe can undermine the bassse."

To say Kaitlyn was unsettled by the idea of an NA that can level literal mountains was an understatement.

"What's the range of her Noble Arm? Maybe we can neutralize her before the threat escalates?"

The snake chuckled grimly. "They've never measured a limit... not one that could be sssafely tesssted anyway. Ssshe is less of a sssoldier... or even a weapon... and more of a natural disssassster, a monssster in the ssshape of a human that even the Chinessse must take care to keep pointed at anything but themssselvesss." Golden eyes glimmered with a difficult emotion to define. "Not only doesss ssshe attain awarenessss of all massss ssshe controls, ssshe hasss truly commendable precsssisssion in manipulating it on masssive ssscale. And throughout it all, not even her ssstamina ssseemsss to flag from works of absolute annihilation."

The hood of a cobra briefly flared from the snake's neck, before settling down with a low hiss and unnatural narrowing of slitted eyes. "The only graccce -if one were to call it that- isss that ssshe takesss time to work up to her maxxximum output. Thisss... isss merely the build-up stage... the gleeful intimidation point of her assssault... and it ssshall not lassst forever."

The snake's eyes glared at Huo Ren. "Yesss, he isss mossst cccertaily merely the dissstraction, a threat that cannot be ignored, while the true killing blow isss prepared."

So they're facing off against an enemy even the Chinese don't want to toy with, capable of feats of terrible destruction, and nobody knows what her range is.

Kaitlyn frowned.

"Would she have waited to launch her attack? Or was she simply biding her time?" Her frown deepened as she thought, diverting her attention away from Hou Ren and looking for anything that may be... Out of place.

"Does she require physical contact to utilize her powers?" If she does, then that would mean she's somewhere, here, on the beach. If not...

The serpent chuckled. "Asss sssomething of a sssadist, patienccce isss not sssomething ssshe isss prone to outssside necccessssity, but unfortunately for usss, right now appearsss to be one sssuch time. Indeed, ssshe is biding her time for her power to ssspread."

The snake's mouth twisted into the unnatural expression of a smirk at the question. "Physical contact? Yesss. Unfortunately..." The amusement tempered itself. "Asss far asss I am aware, 'physssical contact' for her isss defined only asss 'happensss to be on the sssame landmasss'. Ssshould ssshe be of the inclination, ssshe might never be found but for the exissstence of particularly fine ssscrying abilitiesss. Ssshe could very well be finding a good vantage point to conduct her devassstation... or ssshe could jussst asss well remain buried within an earthen hiding hole and indessscriminately dessstroy, sssecure in the knowledge that no alliesss remain to be harmed, sssave for thossse that could sssurvive it."

"That isss to sssay, even for me, finding her isss easssier sssaid than done..."

That was... Alarming news.

Shit

Pulling out her radio, she relayed, in summary, what the snake lady had just told her; Hou Ren was a distraction, and Tian was going to annihilate the entire city if somebody didn't dig her up.

Hopefully one of her allies has the skills neccesary to find her...

"Corporal, should we go assist the princess in keeping Hou Ren occupied? Even if he is a distraction, he is a legitimate and immidiate threat. We should give the Arms Masters as much time as they require to put him down."

Put him down? Is that really how I think of this? If human life?

She shivered as she realized what this war was doing her...

No, they're the enemy. And besides, we don't have to kill them. We can take them hostage...

Kaitlyn wasn't very confident in that possibility.
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Hidden 9 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by Conscripts
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"Roger." Cuong answered the order from Noel, ending the transmission before a grumble escaped his lips. "Alright, we heard him."

"An NA user with a fancy spear, I wonder who that could be." The Russian sitting behind the pilot gave a grinned remark. These NAs are the Chinese's wet dreams. There were no going anywhere in the military circles without hearing one of these guy's names. And given these people's tendencies to go showing off who they were and their accomplishment, Nikolay was fairly confident that they would be able to spot him fairly quickly. Chances are he'd freely give away his position very soon with his Noble Arms power, given that the battlefield had died down to the point of literally no sights of gunfire was found. His comrades, however, wasn't exactly thrilled.

"Spotting a tiny tiny pixel and then rocketing him blind?" One pilot complained. "Does the guy know we're like a thousand meters in the air?"

"I mean, I doubt little kids know that we track machines, not humans." Another responded. "We can descend low enough for visual identification. It's not too big of a deal"

"You sure? If he wears what he does in those posters, then it might be more difficult to verify." A female voice joined. Unlike the vast majority of those chuuni Noble Arms, this guy was at least somewhat practical with his outfit. The brown and black outfit made him blend in with the earth, and while it might not be difficult to find him on the ground, when he's simply a small dot from above, it would prove quite difficult.

"Not to mention his potential powers as well. Nope, I am NOT getting down there." The first pilot said. However, considering that they might want to spot the guy before he did any shenanigans to the ground Filipino troops, it seemed like that was just inevitable.

"Well we wanna get low anyway. There's no pleasantries around anymore, so might as well get the front row seat for the opera." Cuong, now the acting commander of Lotus, overrided the pilots' grumbling. "I will do the visual ID. You can standby at a safe distance."

"Sure." The pilots simply responded along the lines, complying without much resistance. Their skepticism temporarily suppressed by their confidence in their skills and adherence to their sense of duty. As the other SU-30s descended and levelled off, the one lone aircraft continued its descent, getting dangerously close to ground fire range, the roar of engine alerted anyone close to it.

"Lower. I still can't see shit." Nikolay demanded, but his co-pilot wouldn't go any further and levelled the plane off.

"I know you can, Nikolay." Cuong said. "Any lower than this and you're just asking for the daring devil."

"I mean the dude wants concussive force right? What better concussion than a supersonic jet flyby?" Nikolay reasoned dryly, but the tone was pretty clear. However, Cuong was not impressed.

"If that kid hears this, he'd think that's a good idea and tell us to do it for real." He said. "Enough screwing around, let's look for the guy."

It didn't take them long. Upon flying by the hills and into the beach area, the target was not that hard to spot. Tall, brown outfit, brandishing a spear. It's got to be him. Just in time for the update request from Noel.

"Well, he's right on the beach at sector D1, if you haven't spotted him already." The Vietnamese pilot responded, just as the earth began to roar and shake. Instead of turning towards Huo Ren position and attacking him as ordered, the jet simply perked up and flew away, rejoining their squadron in the air. Perhaps attacking that carrier over there might have been a better plan than this guy.
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Hidden 9 mos ago 7 mos ago Post by Sniblet
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Her little experience with the woman has taught her that she isn't alone even now, but Qingshe has - apparently - left Hannie at the barracks. She goes inside, trying not to let herself worry too much. Whatever the others are dealing with, they can handle it, she reassures herself - even as she feels that brief tremor in the ground under her - maybe that's from her team, after all. She doesn't know what they're all capable of.

It's all quiet here, empty. No voices, no other people. Her footsteps echo. What is she doing here, besides being safe?

Aching. Everywhere. She still doesn't know what Kirvella did, but evidently it was... exhausting, for a start. But also...
She looks out of the corner of her eye. That patch of singed and torn fabric in her coat. It doesn't hurt. If she doesn't look, if she doesn't touch, it might as well still be her own body.
-thing left of you but ice, child.

She shivers. She's not looking again. She knows it's there and that's too much. Never looking again.
Kirvella's never done that before.
She wants to go home. She wants to go home to mom and- and hide these from her. And not have Kirvella anymore. Just go back on everything. Can't she just go back to when she was too young to remember anything and she wasn't an Arms Master?
"-he's right on the beach at sector D1, if you haven't spotted him already," says her radio.
She dabs at her eyes. She could be anywhere else in the world right now.

Ah, anyway...
Her wandering has taken her to the elevated viewing area of the auditorium. Looking down, it's impossible to see it as a theater anymore. It looks like an evacuation shelter from an apocalypse movie, with the bunk beds unevenly set around, the sandbag piles, the abandoned vendors. Oh - she checks her pockets. She still has her candy. Some. She must've dropped most of it.

She sits down and looks over the silent scene of chaos past with just a few pieces of hard mint candy for company. She's never been so alone in such a broad space before.
So comfortable, on such a solid wooden chair.
Over the course of just a minute, her thoughts slow and disperse into mist. She folds her arms close, lets her head fall to the side and rest on her shoulder. She blinks once, again, slower, and then doesn't reopen her eyes.
It's almost like death, but with less movement.
Hannie has had enough.
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Hidden 9 mos ago Post by MagusDream
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MagusDream Fairy Light Magus

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Location: Lingayen Beach, Municipality of Lingayen, Lingayen Gulf
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"The enemy Arms Master we know for sure is after us is Ren Huo - Or was it Huo Ren?" Noel responded to Regina punctually. "His Noble Arm is a Spear which allows him several Sun-themed powers - That means he's most likely the one projecting that Artificial Sun above us. Thankfully, Princess Fukuyo here is strengthened by fire and heat in general, meaning that she can counter him long enough for us to stab him in the back. As for the other Arms Masters... I don't have anything yet."


Hearing Noel's rather "unprepared" response left a bad taste in Regina's mouth. She wasn't fond of working without a good basis for her enemy, even if surprises were supposed to happen during war. With the enemy's Arm Master approaching fast, everyone was starting to go on edge. Regina's squad, who had been just looking from afar were reunited with Regil at the helicopter, thinking about the next move they would make.

"Well, with this basic information, there's little we can actually work with. All that we know is that he's projecting the artificial Sun. And even if Princess Fuyuko can benefit from this situation, that doesn't mean we have his weak point identified." Regina spoke.

"Fireteams one and two - All of you but Nemo can reach him with your powers!" Noel shouted, clearly remembering Regil, Lucy, and Fukuyo's abilities in particular. "Prepare to attack; fire at will when we get the enemy's position through the comms!"


(So... the enemy's getting closer and closer...) Regil thought, looking at the sea in front of him.

"You're not thinking of attacking him directly, are you? We're gonna get bombarded without a chance to retaliate!" One of the soldiers questioned him.

"Of course not. That's suicidal. And we don't have all the time in the world, either. As Lieutenant Alonso said, the enemy's Arms Master isn't some joke. Once he gets to the comms' range of detection, this battle will get even more fierce than usual." Regil explained.

"If that's the case, shouldn't we just surrender and let them do whatever to us?! We're going to get killed anyway!" Another one questioned.

BGM: Friction by Mili

"No. I think I have an idea of how we can surround him with projectiles and keep him occupied. Even if his rank is right as an Arms Master, we can still overwhelm him with numbers." Regil said.

"How?! This Huo Ren guy just blasted everything! How do you plan on making it so that he's busy?" A third one asked.

Regil looked behind them. Despite the beach being a mess, the city was behind them. And empty. The buildings near the beach were all unoccupied since all the civilians in the vicinity had been dispatched to rescue shelters far away from Lingayen Beach. It was a good place for the soldiers to hide and attack.

"Here's the plan: we'll leave the front line to any Arm Master still capable to fight. We can't risk you all going on full commando against someone who's literally capable of burning you to cinders. Grab the sniper rifles and station yourselves inside the buildings. Once you are in position, you're going to shoot as many rounds as we have at our disposal." Regil explained his strategy.

"But young lord Regil, what about you? Are you planning to really go up front?" The pilot asked.

"I may not have my strongest long-range Piece at my disposal now, but I still have a backup that can remedy the situation. And if I call his attention as one of the distant assailants, he won't think about noticing you all hidden in the buildings." He answered.

"This is a strategy we're not used to. Normally we'd go full throttle on the enemy. That's how it works with Specialist Meitner." A fourth soldier told him.

"This is all so you can escape in case the plan goes wrong. I'm not going to jeopardize your lives when I know that you can't defeat him on your own. If it goes south to us, I want you to abandon this battle and run. Go wherever it takes for you to reach safety and warn the main army about the enemy's potential." Regil answered.

The soldiers were surprised. They were so used to Regina's almost suicidal stunts that seeing the exact opposite strategy was nothing short of news to them. They were, to Regil, a chance on getting a better view of what the enemy can do, so that other Arms Masters who haven't joined the operation can know what they're dealing with.

"... Alright, we'll follow your plan. Let's get armed and hiding, boys!" The pilot spoke. The soldiers nodded and went to grab the rifles inside the helicopter.

"Remember, in the first sign of loss, run away and don't look back. I don't want you to think about the consequences of abandoning us. Prioritize your survival before the victory." Regil warned them.

"We do hope it doesn't come to this, young lord Regil. And whatever you do, don't you die either." The pilot said, grabbing his rifle and running.

From the distance, Regina could see her soldiers running away to the buildings. She grabbed her radio and called Regil directly.

"What did you just order my soldiers to do, Regil?" Regina questioned him over the radio.

"It's a strategy I just came up with." He answered.

"And can you please explain why they are running away to empty buildings? They should be stationed here and ready for the enemy." Regina complained.

"It's certain death if they go right ahead at the Arm Master, Regina. I'm at least ensuring that they have a chance to escape." Regil spoke.

"... Regil, order them to return to the front this instant. That's an order." Regina ordered.

"No, I won't. This is imperative for a chance of us winning, or for raising the percentages of us getting a second chance in the future. Just trust me this once." Regil said.
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Hidden 8 mos ago 8 mos ago Post by Letter Bee
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Letter Bee Filipino RPer

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Chapter One, Desperation in Lingayen, Part Seven

Lingayen Beach, Municipality of Lingayen, Lingayen Gulf

Noel nodded at Nemo's response, saying, "Good; we might need you later on, then. In the meantime, query: Are you here as a volunteer, or as part of another nation's special forces or related group? And if the latter, can you share me any details you know? It might be useful to know who our allies are..."

The boy was already suspecting just what said allies were. Then he continued, "If you really want to help in the battle, ask for a longer-range weapon, perhaps a sniper rifle, if you know how to use one. But to be honest, I would prefer it if you tell me why you've been sent to fight and how you feel about it."

He's too young, even for an Arms Master. Much too young, Noel lamented.

He noticed that Lotus Squadron decided not to attack Ren Huo/Huo Ren, which was all for the best as Princess Fukuyo had begun attacking him, her charge kicking up sand from the beach while Lucy was charging up her own weapon for an assault. His next words were to Qingshe, "Get me a visual and sound feed of the fight -"

It was then that Kaitlyn and Team Carrie interrupted them all with even worse news: Apparently, the Chinese had an Arms Master who can control the rocks, soil and sand, and was ready to cause an earthquake/landslide which might bury the battlefield. For a second, Noel was overwhelmed, before forcing himself to say, "Sophist, how far and deep can you manipulate gravity? Can you use it as a sort of sonar to detect buried objects, assuming, of course, that 'Tian Fei' is buried underground?"

The other Arms Master answered quickly, "Nope, but I can just make large areas of earth super-heavy for a time and keep on doing it until I hit something! If Callie's Team can keep me safe, I can probably crush the enemy Arms Master in her own hole!"

Noel blinked before remarking, "So, whack-a-mole. I like it..."

-------

In the meantime, Huo Ren had taken up Princess Fukuyo's challenge and lashed out with a spray of superheated hydrogen from his left hand that would result in serious injury if they hit the Princess, but if they did not, the heat they gave off would empower her Noble Arm. But it was clear from his eyes that he had a plan.

His next move was to raise his spear, and a sudden flash of light blasted the battlefield, bright enough to temporarily blind even those who closed their eyes and didn't have specialized eye gear or protective powers; would this affect Lucy's 'charged' attack? And were Lotus Squadron away enough to avoid the effects of the bright light?

Either way, Huo Ren would move to cut at Fukuyo's shins with his spear's head, hoping to capture a precious scion of the Japanese Imperial House; his superiors and his troops wanted to do so for... historical revenge purposes.

@SkyHresvelg@The World@Chiro@Aisede@MagusDream@Lewascan2@Vergil@Sniblet@Conscripts@Gerlando@Senhara
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Hidden 8 mos ago 8 mos ago Post by Aisede
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While Kaitlyn waited for a response, she closely scrutinized the skirmish between the princess and the A-rank.

What is he-

Suddenly, the 'room' went dark. When she regained sight, she was met with an alarming sight.

Screw the Corporal, she needs help now.

"Miss Lei, I need a weapon that can hit him. Now."

Even as she spoke, the shadow was peeling away from the glass it had abruptly covered, which now seemed to feature a dark yet still transparent film, like looking through sunglasses. The golden eyes of the cobra swaying within the pod narrowed, flashing to a glowing green. A thrum could be felt throughout the pod, a buzz across skin from the mere proximity to the shadow, static electricity seeming to crackle and fizzle.

"Let usss hope you are a good ssshot~" Qingshe's voice murmured sibilantly from seemingly all around.

The shadow bubbled, dripped and thrummed, as it oozed into the internals of the pod through the open grates of the cage-like back door. As it began to pool around Kaitlyn's feet in a rather decidedly claustrophobic manner, a bulge began to rise before her in the shape of a familiar and simultaneously alien object. First a stock, then a trigger, then a barrel. Hoisted up by a strangely flexible tripod, an ebony black rifle of some shape formed, accented by a thrumming yellow-green glow that seemed to struggle to be contained. The static in the air seemed to intensify with the object's mere presence, its strange blocky barrel perhaps eliciting familiarity and confusion all at once. In terms of a theoretically handheld firearm, it was huge, just short of two meters in length, and its presence was hardly making the internals of the pod any less cramped.



A tube-like, alien magazine, more akin to the feed for a minigun trailed down from the back of the gun into the shadow like a twisted mechanical umbilical cord, crackling lines of emerald light illuminating its surface. With a hiss and bubble, the approximately meter and a half long barrel of the rifle was lurched forward through a fresh gap in the protective glass, a nook made solely to allow its firepower free. Perhaps as a side benefit, the extension of the main barrel outside the pod also once more made the internals moderately less cramped.

With an ominously radioactive crackling, the sight flared to life in the darkness in technopunk green with an orange, digitally-suspended crosshair, an electronically-powered view down the barrel magnified the distance with stunning quality, above and beyond what any standard soldier could most likely hope to ever see in their equipment.

"He knowsss he isss outnumbered. For even the Dragon's arroganccce only goesss ssso far~" the rattle of a viper rippled through the air. "Thisss is why he hasss blinded our forcccesss~! In the open, even he mussst respect the ssstrength of sssteel..." The wicked smile crept onto the cobra's face, as it wound around the barrel of the massive rifle, as if caressing a lover. "Well, if he isss ssso very cautious of gunsss..." Its eyes gleamed, as it glanced back at Kaitlyn. "Let usss give him one to fear mossst particularly~!"

To say Kaitlyn was unsettled by the appearance of the weapon- if it could even be called that- would be an understatement. The thing was downright indimidating, and being in such close proximity to something that looked like it was about five seconds away from giving her more cancer than Deadpool wasn't a very comforting thought either.

Despite this, she only took a second or two to grimace and regret life decisions before very carefully handling the machine and acquainting herself with the scope.

Her target was clear, the weapon was primed. Zeroing in on the arm wielding the weapon, she made sure her aim was true, then-

The shadow bulged within the pod, splattering, as two flickers whipped out from either side to take secure hold of the rifle with rather heavy-duty clamps. Despite how firm the act was, it managed to be inhumanly precise, barely jostling Kaitlyn's aim -if at all.

The soldier pulled the trigger, and the air within the pod almost seemed to still, before the rifle roared to life with a thrumming vibration that all but rippled through the girl's bones. The "umbilical cord" of the gun shivered, as the static electricity intensified, buzzing along skin and making unsecured hairs stand up on end. The light that seemed to spill from within the ebony rifle intensified, before a whump of displaced air and ringing bang blasted back into the pod's internals and roared out into open air through the grated back door. The recoil was... significant, to say the least, but the clamps that had been preemptively applied prevented the gun from rocketing back into Kaitlyn's all too comparatively vulnerable body.

With a thunderous gong, one might have sworn a molten bolt of lightning was hurled Huo Ren's way, as the Noble Arm-powered railgun cried for blood in the form of a magnetically repelled bolt of pure tungsten
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Hidden 8 mos ago Post by Senhara
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Senhara No Thoughts, Head Empty / (she/they)

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Lucy Dolores

Eyeless Cerberus



What Lucy did not expect was that flash. It ruined her plans, and her vision, for the moment. It'd come back, she knew that. What she didn't know is who she hit, being blinded like that caused her to panic release a Burst she was charging up, the drain hitting her like a sack of wet potatoes. Thankfully, it hit no one, but it sheared off a few trees and ripped all the branches off several others, the resulting boom and crack drawing attention to her area. This was a problem, if that enemy Arms Master looked her way... No, can't think about that now. She wouldn't stop trying, not while they still exist.

"Everyone alive?" She asked, to be met with pained grunts and a few noises of acknowledgement. Think, think. Time to think. She can't see, so she couldn't shoot the fucker. Think... If only Daedalus had eyes, wait. That's what she should do. Might not be the smartest idea but... She fumbles for her radio, shouldering against what she thinks is cover. "Ground troops, if you see or hear a chain move close, say the word 'gold' over comms, if you need help from a threat, say 'green'." A moving chain? One other soldier let out a confused mouth noise, as it would be described by Lucy. Soon after that, a series of three bladed chains erupt from Daedalus, one coiling around her immediate surroundings. The other two extend to their maximum length, fifty whole meters, covering a hundred combined. She tears off her helmet, then grabs one chain with her thumb and index, and the other with her middle and ring finger. Those two extended chains slowly snake across the battlefield. Thankfully, there's not many people shooting anymore, so it's a tad quieter now.

She hushes the thoughts in her head, listening to the surroundings and impacts from the chains hitting things. While she may not be able to see right now, or feel with Daedalus, she can listen and feel impacts on those chains with her hand. Can't keep em out forever, but she doesn't need forever, only a few moments until her vision comes back, letting those blinded chains try to find Huo Ren, even if he's not too close. If she can find him before he finds her... That'd be helpful. Yet another unexpected thing, a powerful thump coming from afar, plus the crack whizz of a round flying by. That couldn't have been an enemy, could it? She couldn't afford to find out, she's not dead after all. Only if she had some form of premonition, or extra sensory perception. That'd be useful, but Lucy is limited to a mortal, albeit magical, coil.
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Hidden 8 mos ago 8 mos ago Post by Creative Chaos
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The very first thing Nico noticed when he finally arrived on the beach was the spearman, Huo Ren. He wasn’t fully in the loop, but he understood that a Zodiac was not a good sign for most of the people nearby. The next thing he noticed was the beam of light that tore through the sky, racing right at the spearman with a roar like thunder. Nico figured that would be a good distraction, but worried that wouldn’t be enough to kill the A-Rank. And then he noticed the world around him: NA Masters, some regular soldiers, and the frantic state of the battle.

”That shot might be what I need, but I’ve got to get going.” He hesitated for only a moment before making his choice. He manifested his Noble Arm, knowing that he’d need all the strength he can get. Still, he was confident that he could make the distance before Huo could recover. Between the railgun and robed girl fighting the Zodiac, Nico may not be high on the priority list considering his fashionably late arrival.

”Here goes…something.” And with that, Nico would take off, feeling Helios Rod’s power flood his body, barely restraining it in order to avoid burning in the process. Still, it’s a sight to behold, as Nico streaked down the beach like a comet, the sand steaming with each stride he takes. As he thundered down the beach, he’d aim a massive fist right at the side of Huo Ren’s chin in an attempt to knock him off balance, praying silently that the swordswoman and apparent lightning cannon would be enough to give him the element of surprise.
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