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Current Keep calm and AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
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Country wide lockdowns are so boring. Thank the internet for minimal leisure.
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Worst part about being tall is being routinely kneecapped by aeroplane seats. Ugh.
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Does it have to be alive?
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Yer alive still?
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Bio

I run on GMT+1 Schedule.

And coffee.

Most Recent Posts

Sakura

@Ariamis@Card Captor

"...stupid rat..." The young magical girl grumbled as she stomped towards the party. "He told me this was a costume party." Sakura said as she stomped towards the warehouse from parking her motorbike. Her choice of attire... was kinda unconventional. She had heard things about this rave, but being the kind... of shady party it could mean it was gonna be a great thing or an awful thing. She decided thus to act as an scout for Emily. Even if she was a newcomer to the magical world, she was no stranger about the underworld.

Upon entering the grounds of the party, the hairs of her neck stood out. Stakeout is in place. Her gut feeling told her, honed not only from years of experience, but because her senses seemed more vivid these days. Upon advancing towards the entrance he found a couple of people she recognized. Sparky broad and Barrier bud.

"Oi, couple." Sakura said, with a broad gesture. "You seem a bit out of depth in this? Also, who set up the lookout? They're frigging amateurs... are those your friends?" Sakura blurted out without a care of the world.




Reaver


Thirsty...So damn...thirsty. The magical boy clutched his hastily ordered drink drink in a row and gulped it down. It was going to get busy. He checked his tools of trade. His carefully combed hair. His elegant three-piece. The mark was there, wasn't she? No sign of Chloe or the Ascendancy yet. It was good. Well, it was easy to spot. Other girls didn't glow neon blue nor crackled with electricity. Reaver coughed, as he stood in Cindy's way with a firmly executed curtsy.

"Please allow me to introduce myself. I am a man of wealth... and taste."

&

Reaver's

Random encounter

Operative Word: Random
@ERode


After the chain of disasters that rocked Penrose months prior, the urban exterior of the city had been the first to be abandoned, leaving naught but concrete husks devoid of people. An earthquake had struck soon after, demolishing much of the infrastructure. Even now, coated in snow and ice, the eastern boundary of Penrose was a desolate wasteland where even monsters did not roam. Rebar poked out like gravemarkers, furniture and affixtures too cumbersome to be brought along with evacuees rusted away in the elements. Few buildings still stood tall, but their pride meant nothing. In time they will collapse too, falling over and breaking apart. Eastern Penrose was no longer repairable. Now, only demolition was feasible.

And for one building, demolition was today.

A meteorite fell from the sky, piercing an apartment building before grinding into the ground. The shockwave hit seconds later, a roar of sound ripping through the building and shaking it to the core. Weeks of exposure and ruination had taken its toll; this final blow was too much, and fractures climbed up and down the cement structure, the entire building falling apart moments later. A plume of frost and dust rose up, juxtaposing the apartment’s downfall. For a long time, the rumbling of stone and snow resounded through the abandoned district.

Then, silence.

It was one of these nights for Reaver, as he walked around the street trying to scrape the last bits of grime from his hand. Patron deities were kind of picky with their offerings, and the Allfather was no exception. He had gotten used to blood and the screams of swines and lambs, only for him to realize Odin was sick of pork already.

But human sacrifices, as widespread as they were, definitely were not compatible with human society. Recently even slaughtering animals was frowned upon. Animal Rights? Pff yeah, more like weakling hipsters. It was then when he noticed the sudden collapse of an adjacent building, and secretly began to chant.

"Please, let it be meteoric iron." He wished. Some of the most gnarly weapon legends came from meteorites. And, thus, he went to check on the rubble, if only to keep his mind distracted from his patron's banter.

Even in the darkness, the meteorite glowed bright as Reaver approached, a soft silver hue emanating from the endpoint of the trench that its crash made. Half-buried by dirt and stone, the fallen star was of a most curious shape. Strange rivulets swirled around an oval form, almost like vines that had entangled something entirely. There was an electrifying hum still, the heat of impact having yet to fade, but before Reaver could properly investigate the meteorite, it split apart.

Like an egg, the meteorite split apart length-wise, a hiss of steam bursting out. In that misty shroud, an amethyst light glowed, the surest sign of magic, while a slender hand brushed away the shroud soon after, to reveal a woman with midnight-blue hair and an elegant saber. Sweat clung to her form, but her outfit, which appeared to be designed to expose about just as much as a bikini would, enabled ventilation in such cool weather; soon, her flushed skin returned to its alabaster tone.

The lady with a blue rose pinned over her breast looked around, as if ascertaining her surroundings. It took a couple seconds after for her to notice Reaver, and when she did, she had but one question, magenta eyes aglow with assured confidence: “Warrior of Darkness, what lands have I descended upon?”

Not meteoric Iron, but I am not complaining. Specially with that skimpy suit of hers clinging to a rather well developed body. Reaver thought to himself, spending quite a few seconds engraving this image into his mind before he took notice of the girl’s speech.

She’s into that kind of play too? Awesome The dark knight smirked, before addressing the girl. “Tis’ not but the dregs of human greed, ravaged by nature’s wrath. The Levant of Penrose, to be more precise.” He said. “Might I enquire why a lady of such poise and elegance was trying to emulate a falling star? It has been said that such activities might… impact in one’s appearance in a most undesirable manner.”

Amaryllis raised a brow, then smiled, stepping out of her meteoric shell. “Merely an inquiry upon my own capabilities as magus and swordswoman. With our city plummeting towards such dire straits in recent times, tis by necessity that I must further hone my talents, lest what I treasure be plunderer by ruffians aligned with falsehearted righteousness or craven malevolence. If I attain further scars from doing so, let it stand only as a testament of my knightly oaths.”

“I see. I wish you luck on that. “ The man known as Reaver pondered what to say. “They call me...Reaver. Warrior of the Allfather. At your service…” Reaver added, not wishing to break the character upon hearing the recklessness of this...minimalist knight broad. It was then when he winced.

“Really…” He raised an eyebrow. That ...spiteful bastard. He wanted some action being done. He rolled his eyes. “Actually… now that our paths have crossed, lady knight, my … patron wishes for me to engage in duel with you. Nothing...personal, but I must oblige. What say you?”

“Amaryllis Evenings, Knight of Rose,” the woman responded, tilting her head down in a curt bow. As rusted petals floated down like snow, she turned, her meteoric shell breaking into dust with a snap of her fingers. Some more adjustments at hand, huh?

Before she could depart, however, the man spoke up again, eliciting a small sigh from her.

“Looks like he leans more towards War than Wisdom, no?” Amaryllis chuckled to herself, and stepped out from the trench, her gold-trimmed boots clicking against the concrete. “If Odin will be satisfied with a small exchange, I’m willing to indulge such battlelust. In exchange...how about you share with me, on which side you stand for this upcoming conflict?”

"He is mad my piety with… offerings has been sparse. Probably… can't really read him half of the time" Reaver said. "As for sides… I guess I will fight for the banner my patron sees more just. There is no Allfather without All".

“Justice, hm?”

Her Sword sang as it swept through the air, humming with anticipation. Amaryllis stepped five paces away from Reaver, before turning to face him once more.

“Very well; draw your blade.”

“Fine… Awaken, my Blade.” He said, as he readied himself. This was going to be one of these days. His Gram replica shone with a dark sheen, as the ominous armor clanked.

A good, unified aesthetic, this Reaver had. Amaryllis drew in a breath.

A single snowflake floated down.

The world faded away.

It touched the tip of her Sword.

And she took one step to cover ten meters. Sliding in low, the Knight of Rose left a gust of wind in her wake, the Silverlight streaking forwards to thrust into Reaver’s solar plexus.

Of course, just as she took a step back, a bunch of barriers and reinforcement magic sprung up, as he assumed a defense stance. She seemed to be the speedy type, so instead of matching her strength head on pacing himself was probably a necessity.

Translucent walls shattered as Amaryllis’s sword ran through them, the piercing strike stopped only once Reaver’s armor and magic overlapped. It left a scratch in the armor, rather than breaking right through.

The swordsman retreated, disengaging. She had thought him to be the angsty angry type, but it looked like he was going to tank up after all. Been a while since she fought someone like that. The last one was...Shona, back at the stadium.

Huh. Never did have a conclusive duel with the Crystal Knight.

The scratch upon Reaver’s breastplate turned silver; with the disturbed crackling of roots seeping out of concrete, ivy-like chains spawned out of the mark Amaryllis left, attempting to bind the Warrior of Darkness and sunder his armor.

“Heh, that’s kinky..” Reaver smirked, before drawing once more his hands, and stabbing the ground, using a purifying effect upon his vicinity. Odin… was also a god of healing. As he did so, his right eye began to glow. “Why don’t you show me more?” He boasted. He knew she was strong, and Odin knew it probably. This was some sort of punishment… but Reaver was no coward.

The chains continued unabated by the purifying light; Amaryllis’s patron was merely a Lesser Force, and metal was merely metal. The chains continued to spawn and grow, lengthen and multiply, as if to mummify Reaver under layers of silver. The phantom pains that her patron communicated with seared her eardrums, but the Knight of Rose brushed it off. It was a duel, after all, not a fight. Unless Reaver was guilty of killing an orphanage or something of the sort, she had no particular need to murder him.

“You’ve given me no need to, warrior,” came Amaryllis’s reply. “Does your patron wish for you to fight, or for you to lose?”

“I figure it’s both.” Reaver added. “But I suppose i’m not out of all tricks, yet.” If the chains were indeed just metal,and not a curse… they could be cut. Reaver’s sword glowed ominously, and like the parent sword his blade had come from, it cleaved metal. Gram had indeed cloven an anvil and even a dragon’s scales. What kind of replica would Odin grant Reaver who could not do as much as cut metal, More so if it was silver, not iron.

Of course this meant Reaver had also cut himself and his armor too. But that was kind of a bonus. Delightful pain that sharpened his senses.”Gram is the name of this child, like the parent. Mere… junk won’t stop it.” He added, as he began to paint runes on the blade with his own blood.

“My chains are not mere ‘junk’,” Amaryllis replied, watching him brute-force his way through the bindings, “But my Sword is just a sword. Let us cross our blades, properly this time.”

With that, she reduced what remained of her chains to dust, resuming a stance that saw her sword arm fully extended, her free hand resting against her lower back. This time, the Knight of Rose waited for his own approach.

“Yeah, and I am the Queen of Penrose.” Reaver said, before adopting a fighting stance. He focused his mana on reinforcing both his blade and his armor, before lunging, the sword stretched for a wide cleave, directly aimed at the head.

“And I was so certain that title belonged to Cindy Ford,” Amaryllis replied, a smile flitting over her lips again. But that was all she could spare, before she stepped in to receive the spiked warrior’s blow. Slanting her own sword, she deflected the oncoming blow as she passed by Reaver. A burst of sound emanated from one of the blood-marked runes in that instant, thunder clapping at close-range.

But momentum was preserved, and the instinct remained. Swaying from the stunning blast, Amaryllis dropped low, passing by Reaver as her legs coiled. From behind, she thrust backward with her own Sword, aiming for the back of the warrior’s knee.

Reaver, surprisingly, did not dodge, and took the knee for lost. There simply wasn’t a better way to pave the difference in nimbleness and skill than resigning to take damage. Even the sound blast had not done much, she was that skilled. In that case, he just needed to drag her to a field he was more comfortable in. He was a warrior and a scrapper, unrefined, unrelentless and savage. So when the sword struck true, he activated both his regeneration and a healing spell, trying to ensnare the blade in a prison of his own flesh, as he brought down the elbow and the rest of his body upon the much more naked Sword Princess.

As Reaver drew his magic up, however, he felt a distinct blockage in the area of the wound, the flow of mana there ceasing. His regeneration, though slowed, still functioned as best as it could when trying to heal around a foreign object, but his healing spell scattered to bits. Amaryllis withdrew her Sword without incident, filling the gap with metal, and as Reaver dropped down with the People’s elbow, she rolled out of the way, retreating ten meters before springing to her feet like a tipsy drunk.

The amethyst crystal on her choker hummed with a soft light, but still, she stepped as if she were striding upon a tightrope.

“Continue?” was her question. “Odin’s not mad enough to desire a deathmatch, is he?”

Reaver stood up, and he said. “No, he’s not. He’s actually mildly amused I could last this long without suffering major injuries.” Reaver added as he looked at his own leg, and without a second thought, chopped the offending part, allowing it to heal and regenerate.” That’s what years of magical power do to a person, huh. I must get to that level.” Reaver finally admitted. Pride was a commodity he could not afford yet.

“Quite the patron you have there,” Amaryllis replied, only grimacing when Reaver dismembered himself. With a flick of her own wrist, slender chains wove itself upon his flesh, forming rudimentary stitches to keep everything together as his regeneration kicked in. “I’ve met my fair share of resilient individuals, but I confess that you’re the first to respond to a ‘curse’ through amputation.”

“Eh, he let me pick whatever I wanted. He’s reasonable, at least compared to others.” Reaver said as the pain and the throbbing the regeneration worked made him wince. “It’s all good. Blood keeps flowing… makes me… feel...alive.” He said, before quickly composing himself. He was craving for more… flesh and blood. That wasn’t good.

“Sometimes I feel like I’m some sort of Draugr.” He said, while examining the result of his healing and regeneration. He did not need the healing to make it functional, but a cadaveric-looking leg would beg more questions than answers. “So I guess you’ve been around quite a bit, care to tell me about the grand foes inside this… city?”

“An undead knight, fuelled by vengeance and voracity?” Amaryllis suggested. Her Sword flickered out, carving a seat into a cement wall. She sat down, crossing her legs and staking her saber into the ground beside her. “It’ll be a lie if I said I were a veteran within the confines of these citadels. Counting time that had been passed within that Lotus-Eater’s resort, I’ve only established myself in the boundaries of Penrose in the last four months; my contacts, as it were, remain limited.”

“Still,” she continued, brushing a rusted petal off her shoulder, “I’ve had the blessing of encountering an assortment of powerful individuals, at least. Hilaria, the Ancient. Mariette, of the Mirrored Plane. Heard of a Silhouette as well, but only in passing. Though diminished, Serenity’s origins render her as dangerous, no matter the circumstance. And Penny, of course, is a Machine God capable of going toe-to-toe with Greater Horrors.” A pause. “I suppose though, that any magical girl of note is a ‘grand’ foe. Much could be said of those magical girls who rise to fame, even in a city saturated by their kind.”

“Mmm.The tides of battle ebb and flow. Friends today could be foes tomorrow and viceversa. Getting a grasp of your surroundings and your own limits is.. Essential.” Reaver trailed off, his gaze resting on those legs of Amaryllis. Would she let them a little lick? He wondered. He was thirsty after the bout. He sheathed his own weapon, and then began his goodbye…

“I wish you to lick your legs...damnit! I mean good tidings.” He tried to correct himself quickly.

Amaryllis blinked, her expression blank.

“Yes. Good tidings to you too.”

“...but since the cat’s out… Can you stab me a couple of times more while I lick your legs? I need a little time off after how the day has gone.” Reaver added. If it works, it works.

Amaryllis stood up. Took her sword. And immediately ran the opposite direction.

She had fought her fair share of tentacles and orcs and other fleshy, slimy entities, but a pervert? That was a first. A first she had no intention on partaking in.

“...Does that count as victory if your opponent runs aways in disgust?” Reaver pondered.
Reaver

...makes new friends
@Ariamis


It always was a bit of a steep climb being the new guy in town. So many people, places, tidbits of information and not knowing where to go and where to step was bound to cause a few mishaps every now and then. However, if you add the pressure of a hit for your boss, the situation could get… hairy. In such cases, it was best to play nice and ask help from the seniors. The pride would come after the victory, and not before.

Reaver had given some thought about Scarpe;s words and binder. He had seen quite a lot of information, but that second hand report would not do any good on anything that was not wide strokes. He needed to be subtle. And he needed to keep up appearances, moreso with Chloe and her tendences on top.

Fellow Ebon Mint seniors could give him a lead, but it was always at a price. However, they were also people… and prices could change depending on the situation. In this case, he had done some work towards hedging the bets. A nice suit, a decent quality box of chocolates, and an invitation for a dinner at a fancy but not not quite expensive secluded place.

Now, it was up to her to heed his beckoning.

An unassuming woman with medium-length brown hair in a simple black dress soon arrived, and sat down at the table Reaver was sitting at. “Oh, you must be the person I was supposed to meet,” the woman spoke in a panicky tone of voice, as if she was unsure she had arrived in the right place. “I’m not the type to meet people like this over the internet, so forgive me if I act a bit unusual.”

Reaver raised an eyebrow. “Right, sure. Now if you’ll excuse me…” The man said, before quickly typing a message in the phone through the Mint app. The woman noticed him typing, but ignored it afterwards as she read the menu. “Hmm...I’ll take the chicken then. That seems like a fitting dish.”

“You do that, I am going home. I am afraid I am not the one you’re looking for. Safe night.” Reaver added, as he turned his back on her. Probably try someone else. There was still time.
“Oh, I see...” The woman looked disappointed, and with a frown wrote on her phone as Reaver left, looking like she was dumped. However, once Reaver had reached a secluded location outside, he would receive a message:

“>Office building rooftop, north-west”

Reaver shrugged, as he saw the message. New location. Fine. This much he could play, but not risk meeting with the wrong person. Discretion was part of the Mint’s trade, after all. So he began to briskly move towards the office rooftop.

The very moment Reaver’s feet met the concrete building, he felt a blade drawn close to his neck; Viper had caught him unaware. “You’re a real idiot, you know that?” The dark magical girl would state with a disgusted tone. “A restaurant meeting? Do you think we’re in a spy flick or something?” She lifted the blade off, only to kick him with enough force to send him flying against the wall of the stair entrance, followed by her stabbing her heel into his shoulder.
“You really are a rookie. I should kill you here right now for being an incompetent shit-for-brains.”

Reaver took a moment to get his bearings. “Well it was an assumption you’d be in that kind of play… but I guess… you’re another ilk of woman.” He raised an eyebrow. “I can see worse ways of dying… but then you’d have to shoulder my debt.” Reaver said, his neck turning to lick the wound- and heel.

“Hah, debt, huh?” She scoffed at Reaver’s remark, and removed her heel, her lips curled into an inquisitive look at the wet spot he left. “And I assumed you’d be another tough guy trying to impress me. But you seem like the fun type.” She whipped her twintails back, and put a hand to her hip. “So, you're just gonna stand there and stare? Or did you actually have a reason to call me? I’m gonna let you know the only reason I bothered to answer was because I was getting bored; my current job is progressing slowly.”

“Harsh… I am wounded. Really.” Reaver said, as the wound began to close with a nasty scar. “Well, not anymore.” He added. “I seek guidance from seniors… that’s about it. And I bring my respects to them. It’s… hard to be polite when things are so volatile, hm?” He said.

“Tell me about it. The geezer pulled lots of agents across the state just because some lantern heads happen to be desu vulting around here. He’s also got beef with a former Coin Broker who used to work Penrose, you know? Decided to make a run for it and everything. And before you ask,” she would say as she flicked her forefinger up Reaver’s nose, “I happen to know a lot, so let’s just keep it to that.” She then smirked. “I can’t teach you how you do your job; that’s something you gotta learn. It’s a swim or sink, or rather, kill or be killed world. I just happen to be the type who’d be inconvenienced by your death. You won’t be so lucky with others like Chloe.”
She gave an aside glance. “...Oops, I slipped,” she spoke, mimicking Reaver’s voice perfectly.

Reaver chuckled.”Ohhh, intrigue. That was a nice touch. Chloe is an amenable harsh mistress, and our interests coincide for the time being. A happy dog… is a loyal dog. Woof Woof.” Reaver added, mimicking the last words he sent to Scarpe the other day. “Chloe is Chloe. If she finds out, it’ll be bad, but it’s not the end of the world. Just gotta keep making myself useful, I guess.” Reaver shrugged. “As long as I don’t have the gall to cross Scarpe. That’s the real one to look out for, even more than -you-, my lady.”

"I don't need to," Viper stated confidently, and turned around; her tail snapped like a whip. "No matter how menacing the geezer may look, he can't lay a finger on me. He knows I'm one of his top agents, and as long as I keep that high score, I'm free from any BS." She looked back. "So you like bowing down to little girls, huh? You sick freak. I'd call the police, but then I'd have to give testimony. No thanks!"

“Hm.. I bow down to your success, my lady.” Reaver curtly said, smiling. “Truthfully I enjoy more than bowing, but that’s just me… simply… me. It’s my favorite pastime.” The boy nodded. “I do wonder… how would you like to kill time?”

She leaned against her tail, using it as a makeshift stool of sorts. “I dunno. Maybe mess with people.” She transformed into Reaver right before his eyes, matching every single detail including his smell. “Maybe I’ll pretend to be one of those Beacon folks and engage in some chaos. That would get them riled up. Then again, might be best not to piss off the raging fanatics. You got any ideas?”

“Well, let’s just say A wants a shot at B, and C wants a shot at D. However, B and D don’t see eye to eye.. So we make B and D fight for them, and claim the reward before A and C. What’s commonly called… a proxy war.” Reaver said. “That or you riding me with a crop.”

Viper giggled, an evil smile on her lips. “We’d first need to get some proper equipment, like a saddle and bridle. So for now, I’d rather hear more about this proxy situation. Let me guess; you got a hit, and you want to use Chloe’s hit to make it easier?”

“I definitely was not asked about a certain hit pertaining to a monster girl group by a certain gentleman.” Reaver said. “And Chloe definitely did not tell me about hers.”

Viper rolled her eyes. "Sure. So you want me to distract some cronies while you make your move?"

“There’s a bunch of details to smooth over… and I still have chocolates...”

Viper went over and nabbed the chocolates. “Very well then. I might even let you have a piece or two.”

And so the two concocted a scheme of their own, enjoying some sweets in the process.


With : Alexander and Sakura

@Card Captor@Ariamis


Some time after Sakura's newfound call... and before her first mission


It was a logical thing, really. Sakura was a grown person, who did not like to rely on others as soon as she could strike on her own. That other girl… Emily, had so far been an accommodating master with her desires, and had already given her a place to sleep and a few pointers. But diving head-first into this unknown and shady world, with a less than trustworthy handler, required extra effort.

And so, without telling the other girl, Sakura was engaging in secret training. Who knows, maybe she could so some solo hunts if this was successful. In order to do that, she needed a few things. Junk to break, and a place to be alone. The recently abandoned Salt Mine junkyard fit her purposes.

Here and there the old mine’s machinery stood tall, announcing the greatness of a past era that had been overrun by decay and waste. Lots of things were dumped here nowadays. Sakura did remember at one point that her old life cleaner’s liked to … put their sensible matters deep inside the mine, where they would never be found.

Thankfully undead didn’t exist yet. Or maybe it would be a good thing. They’d make good moving targets, the newly minted magical girl though. She had come here in a flash. The motorbike provided by the Puchuu was top-performance… if only the colour was not pink. That was the huge drawback.

Well, that and the whole frilly uniform and incantation. But those were worth the wait, as she could manipulate lightning. She did need to seriously learn to control it. Accidental discharges could lead to harming allies and she didn’t want to do that.

So she had set an improvised shooting gallery and a sparring dummy, where she could test the moves without being afraid of breaking things. They had been broken anyway. If something caught on fire, the salty earth would also help put it down.

“Hiya!” She snapped as she focused on releasing her lightning. The lightning hit home, in the wrong target, several meters behind herself.

She was aiming at the front.

“Your aiming could… use some work.” said the insufferable bastard that had condemned her to a life of fluffy clothes. The coy rat was making himself at home in a discarded sofa, smug and judgemental eyes upon her.

“Shut. Up. Or you are next.”

“With that aim? Unlikely.”

”You need to learn to whip those lightning bolts, that will improve your aim a lot.”

Suddenly, a green-haired girl dressed like an arabian dancer came crashing in from above, riding on top of a sleek yellow and white motorcycle; it had lightning bolts painted on it, and the front ornament of a metallic unicorn’s head, with a zigzagging horn. The wheels were shaped like cogs, and the display for the meters was shaped like a clock, the hands serving as handles for the vehicle.
She parked the bike next to Sakura’s pink one; she noticed it quickly.
”Oh wow, a pink bike! It’s sooo cute!”
She turned to wave at Sakura.
”You must be new in town, right? I’m Lily Lightning, but my friends call me Lily. Hi there!”

A boy riding on said motorcycle spoke up “It’s a good thing we have magical powers, or your driving would have killed us several times over. I mean; you just crashed through a roof! I shudder to imagine what your driving was like before you got magic. ” The boy turned to Sakura “Welcome to Penrose; leave your sanity outside the city limits, because it won’t help you here.

Sakura raised an eyebrow at the new presence. Well, at least this city was a bit more welcoming to magical girls than thugs. So far there had not been any major scuffles. Her eyes scanned Lily up and down, before letting a little scoff, arms folded. The mention of the pink cute bike set some switches in the ex-Yakuza’s mind, but surprisingly, remained composed. She was a cute girl, this Lily. But Emily filled the suit better.

“Hi Lily. Aren’t you a bit… er, young to be dressed like that? There’s barely anything to show, Sparkly-chan. Points for the bike, though.” She paused, narrowing her eyes. “No, scratch that… you are older than you seem, Sparkly-chan. But still, not much to flaunt with that dress.” She said.

Lily gave a pout at Alex’ commentary on her driving.
”Geez, you don’t have to bring it up in front of the new girl...”
She then blinked at Sakura’s question, and she looked down at herself. Then, as if a lightbulb was switched on in her brain, she smiled brightly.
”Oh, my magic keeps me warm, so no need to worry about that! Besides, this is the latest fashion, you know~” She added with a wink.
”Anyway, what’s your name?”

“They call me Sak…”

It was then when she was interrupted. “Magical Girl Sparky Heart” said the cozy, feline-like Puchuu. “We’re dealing with fellows here. Learn to use your alias.” He turned to the other two beings. “Apologies. My… employee seems to still be grasping with the basics. I am the one known as Umukamui.”

Lily’s eyes brightened up. ”Aww! What an adorable kitty! Can I pet you?”

It was then when Sakura eyed the boy, and letting a visible gasp, eyed Umukamui. Then the boy. Then herself. Then Umukamui.

“Explain that, rat.”

The Puchuu did not bat an eyelid. “It’s a magical boy.”

“I know that. Why is he a boy?” Sakura added, her teeth gritting.

“Sometimes… magical boys are born instead of girls. It can be a convoluted process, but it can be influenced to a degree…”

“Does that mean I could’ve kept my manly attributes?”

“Perhaps? But It would probably have impacted your overall performance. I need you in top shape for my requests.” The Puchuu added.

Sakura did not say a word, instead beaming a smile. “Okay! If you say so! Magical Girl Sparky Heart will become the best, and cutest girl there is.” She said, her words sweet and melodious.

“Glad you’re starting to… reason” The Puchuu added, not noticing how… clashing her behaviour was.

“Anyway, Lily-chan said a super awesome pointer, why not prove it? I will use a moving target!”

“Surely you do not mean…”

“It’s a good thing you’re immortal, Kamui-chan!” She said, with childish glee, before spinning around herself. “Sparky Heart! Justice! Breaker! Lance!” She added, before a massive column of lightning incinerated the poor animal-like creature. Lily gasped, her hands on her cheeks as she watched the cute creature be obliterated in an instant.
”Noo! Kitty!”

“Well, looks like it was on-target, this time!” She smiled and giggled, before her face suffered a tremendous shift and turned into a disgusting scowl as she spat to the ground. “Serves you right, you c*nt”.

Alexander’s eyes widened as he took in the new girl’s outburst, and what it implied “Oh...you poor thing.” His heart stung with a sensation that, while still new to him, he was able to identify as empathy “I...I can’t imagine how horrible it must be for you. Here;” He created a warhammer shaped barrier and held it out to her “I find mindless violence is wonderful for dealing with pent up rage. Take all the time you need, I understand.

Sakura eyed Alexander with a scowl of disgust at first, reeling at his expression of pity. "Cut it out, bud. That's creepy. But I like your 'tude, heh." She concluded as she hefted the hammer, only for her knees to fail at that precise moment and diving headfirst into the ground, strength failing her.

Lily meanwhile was in shock.
”Wait, was that...Your Patron? Because that means-”

It was then when a much charred Puuchu considered sitting atop her head as he shook off the burnt and the soot from the attack, causing Lily to sigh in relief. "Killing Blows usually deplete your magic." He paused. "You should use them wisely… Sparkly Heart."

"...hate...you" Sakura moaned.

Lily came over to Sakura, and gave her a comforting hug.
”There, there...I know this all must be very scary to you. But don’t worry; I can teach you how to use your Lightning magic!” She then stepped back and summoned her weapon; a magnificent bow with a bowstring made of a crackling arc of electricity.
She nocked an arrow, and aimed at the dummy.
”I usually shoot arrows of lightning,” she explained as she performed a triple shot, each arrow hitting the bullseye after the other.
”But I can also do this!” She lifted her bow up in the air, and yellow flashed as it changed into a staff, the top of it resembling an hourglass, only with sparks falling down instead of sand. She aimed the staff at the dummy, and with a whipping motion shot a lightning bolt, hitting it right in the center.
”See? You should try it like this! Why not give it a shot?” She asked, smiling brightly.

Sakura had little way or strength to fight the embrace, but did not find it very comforting. She clicked her mouth in annoyance as her body failed to move upon her command. Lily’s hug would be nice in a few years, but right now it was just… annoying. The archery contest and self demonstration did not help when she could barely move.

“Hey bud, tell your girl to … go slower.” She addressed Alexander. “...I’m running on empty here.”

Alexander spoke up with a sigh “Hey Lily; you do know that...they’re low on magic...right? I doubt-” he paused for a second, in thought “-Sakura isn’t in any condition for target practice.

Lily lowered her staff, looking embarrassed by how she didn’t consider Sakura’s current state.
”Oh, of course she isn't. Silly me, te hee~” She unsummoned her weapon and pat Sakura on the head.
”It’s very good for you to be so diligent. But remember to always keep a bit of magic in reserve. You never know when a meanie monster might show up!”

She patted her on the head. She. Patted. Her. On the head. Sakura’s teeth gritted, as she trembled so slightly and managed to get her poise back, standing up once more, while Umukamui scurried to a safe distance. The petite girl was once more standing tall, and glaring at Lily.

“I don’t need magic to beat a few schmucks upside down.” She added, as she began to walk towards a pile of rubble and eyed one of her targets. The wood was quickly reduced to splinters after her heel hit the target dead on following a rather skillful spinning kick. “For the record, I don’t need weapons. My own body is one.”

Alexander nodded “That’s a good attitude to have. Especially if your own magic doesn’t lend itself very well to kicking ass. It took me awhile to get to the point where I could reliably kick ass on my own.

Lily began to slowly realize that Sakura wasn’t a tsundere type of girl like she initially thought she’d be. For one, she seemed somehow revulsed by the headpat, which shocked her. And for another, her language and mannerisms seemed rough, even for a tomboy. She frowned a bit.
”Well, you don’t seem to have any trouble with fighting then, I’m glad~” She tried putting up a friendly face. At least Alexander seemed to share her enthusiasm.
”Alex here also loves to fight up close and personal. How about you two do a little sparring?” She approached Umukamui and, if allowed, would place the adorable Puchuu on her lap as she sat down to watch, petting the fluffy fur.
”Hello there, Umukamui. That’s such a cute name~” She spoke to the little Patron.
”I hope we can work together in the future.”

"Oho?" Sakura said, her eyes with a mischievous glint. "Why not? Maybe i will shake off this rust." The girl said, while beginning to do stretches. This body was way less stiff than her old one, probably a small consolation. She then took a martial arts stance and goaded Alexander.

Umukamui for the most part, allowed the liberties taken by Lily, but his expression did not change at all. "Working under me has advantages. I possess a wide resource network and experience. Please think about it, I would most welcome a girl like you should you switch patrons."

Lily scratched behind Umukamui's ear, a bit taken aback by the Puchuu's strangeness.
"Oh, sorry, I meant just teaming up. I'm happy with Ixion, thanks.” Her motorbike made an electronic-sounding whinny, and the head ornament turned to look at Umukamui, followed by a slow nod.
"He's not used to talking."

Alexander raised an eyebrow “Oh, we’re actually doing this? Alright, I’m game.” He began to stretch out a little “We going to use any rules, or is this just going to be a good old fashion street fight?

“What do you think, bud? That I’d be training in a junkyard if I played by the rules?” Sakura said, as she reaffirmed her stance.

Alexander shrugged “Eh, still had to make sure.” Then, boosting his body with magic, rushed at his opponent, fist ready to strike right at their stomach.

Sakura’s eyes gazed sharply at the attack. It was something she had seen, and yet something she had not ever seen. Something was forcefully making the punch having more speed and penetration that his body might have suggested.

Still for an advanced martial arts user, the punch was telegraphed to a degree, which allowed Sakura to jump up and forward, past Alexander’s head in a front flip. She followed with a sweeping kick, just because she could.

She had never felt so nimble, despite being magically depleted.

With his body being boosted, Alexander was able to react just in time. Stabbing a quickly formed sword shaped barrier into the ground. So when Sakura’s kick knocked him off his feet, he didn’t fall on his back, and was able to use his anchor to get back on his feet quickly. Turning around, he then formed a large flat barrier around one of his hands, and used it to swat at the still aerial opponent. Making sure to anchor himself to the ground with a few more barriers as he did so.

Sakura, upon perceiving the effects of several barriers applied, decided not to commit the attack further, and with a couple of backflips, put some distance between her and his opponent. This is fucking crazy. I got almost as much strength as my heyday and I’m just a nimble wee girl. But my agility has gone through the roof, I feel like I could juggle tigers on fire now. That slam midair hurt, though Sakura said to herself as she clutched her side and decided on the next move. Defensive opponents required a careful approach.

Alexander paused for a second after seeing Sakura clutch their side. This wasn’t a real fight after all, and was more some exercise then anything else. He wasn’t used to sparring, as pretty much every time he got into a fight, it was with something or someone who wanted him dead ‘In fact...’ He thought ‘The only other time I can think of was during that weird sport thing I did back during the vacation.

With a shrug, Alexander dismissed the barriers holding him to the ground and around his hand, and created a new one that was the size and shape of a large log of wood, and swung it at Sakura ‘If you want to keep your distance, I can oblige.

Sakura looked at the log, and rolled her eyes. It was strong, but an easy attack. She pulled even more back, doing a couple of backflips into a pile of junk. Let’s evade for now

After a few swing, Alexander gave up on the log ‘Too nimble, I’m going to need something harder to dodge.’ He dismissed the log, and made two more large square shaped barriers around his hands and tried that. Swiping with them one at a time to try and catch Sakura mid dodge.

Sakura just grinned at them. In trying to catch him with his barriers and swipe them into attack, he was making it harder to fall back into a defensive position. She just kicked a small toaster of the pile of Junk aimed at Alexander’s face, before crumbling her foothold into a tide of junk, going lower than the two barriers.

The lone toaster smacked Alexander in the face, but with his magic, he was able to pretty much ignore it. ‘There it is’ He thought upon seeing Sakura ducking benieth both of his barriers. Dismissing them both, he formed a quick forcefield around his body and dove into a tackle at the juck concealed pugilist.

Sakura just watched Alexander strengthen himself for a tackle and aim at her. It was powerful, but easy to read, her body spinning around and instead of being tackled, displacing the still powering Alexander deep down in the dirt. Grappling techniques were something she was taught too.

Gah!” Alexander grunted as his face hit the dirt “You...are incredibly annoying to hit.” He commented before getting back up. “Right, so...this might not be the best time to ask this; but when are we supposed to call this? The only other fight I’ve been in that didn’t pit me against someone or something that wanted me dead was a sporting event. So I’m not really sure how long this is supposed to go on for.

Sakura sighed, not pressing on the attack and allowing her opponent to speak. "Not for long. I give. Those barrier thingies of you are stupidly durable, and I might have overstretched myself without using any magic. Can't seem to penetrate enough to deal any serious blow. It's a great defense, that will keep you alive, bud." Sakura said. "Good fight, still you should get some proper, martial arts training. You telegraph your attacks too much." She added, running a hand through her hair.

Lily, who had done little else but cheer during the spar, finally spoke up.
"Great duel, you two! Great use of barriers, Alex! And nice footwork, Sakura!"
She was happy to see how much constructive criticism the two had, without falling into the usual compliments, so she decided to be the one to give them.

Alexander shrugged “I was an orphan who only managed to be combat capable not very long ago. When I started out, I couldn’t use my boosting magic and engage in melee combat, so I was stuck on support duty. so I think I’ve done pretty well for someone with zero formal training. Still need to pick up a real weapon” He pulled out his Rod “This dinky little thing is all I have right now, and the only way it can function as an actual weapon is if I make a weapon shaped barrier over it.

“Typical. Don’t you know staves and sticks make terrific weapons if you really know how to use them? Usually you see them in martial arts because they’re humble, concealable, and most people don’t see the threat in them until it’s too late. Pool sticks are actually great for bar brawls.” Sakura said. She’d not gone the extra mile otherwise, but the boy had said it was an orphan. “I will give you a few pointers, clearly your life hasn’t been easy. “ She added as she walked towards him. “Thingie, bud.” She asked for the rod, hand wriggling.

Alexander paused for a second ‘Can...can we even lend other people our weapons? For some reason, I never thought of that.’ He shook off his confusion and handed Sakura the ‘thingie’ “I get the distinct impression that you’ve got a lot of experience fighting.

Sakura took the device without much hesitation, and weighed it. After a few tentative swings, she nodded. “Okay, listen up. This is a small weapon. Which means you can conceal it in the sleeve.” Sakura added by putting the rod parallel to her wrist, and then in a single fluid motion, bringing the rod out while swinging her arm upwards like a whip. “This is how most experienced users of sticks and blades get the first blow, you literally whip it out at an opponent’s face. Moving on.” Sakura moved towards Alexander, and then began to slowly poke in fluid movements slightly the joints and parts of the face and neck. “You’d want to hit these spots, they’re either very sensitive, or you can cripple them with a sharp enough blow. If you aim at the wrists, you disarm people.” She then handed the rod back.

“Got it? Next is how to throw a mean punch, if you’re interested.” The seemingly little girl put a hand to her hip, awaiting.

I’m always up for learning how to do violence better.” Alexander replied “That being said; how do you know all this? I mean, You seem to have a much better grasp on melee combat then any other newbie I’ve met.

"Oh, well I suppose there's no harm in telling you." She moved closed and whispered into his ear."I was a 58 year old Yakuza, kid." She added, probably trying to avoid being pitied by the other lightning girl again. "Now show me your punching stance."

Alexander raised an eyebrow “Yakuza!? Geez, no wonder you actually know what you’re doing in a fight!” With that question answered, Alexander took his stance; one fist in front of his face, one in front of his stomach. It was his best attempt at mimicking a stance he had seen boxers use.

“Blabbermouth.” Sakura narrowed her eyes. “I whispered that for a reason, you know.” She said, before going to Alexander. “Well, not half bad for an amateur, but the mistakes are here.” She began to correct Alexander’s stance, all the way from the knees all the way to the shoulder. She pushed and pulled, until she got a good approximation of a stance.
“Now, don’t do this, like if you were about to throw something.” Sakura said, mimicking the excessive movement of an amateur punch. “Move it like this, like a whip, and turn your hip while doing so. Hummm…” She added while picking a plank.

“Try hitting this.”

Alexander took a breath, and lashed out at the piece of wood as Sakura had instructed, breaking the plank of wood “So...like that?

“Well, did you not feel your punch has extra force like that? Also, faster.” Sakura added.

A little bit” Alexander answered as he looked at his fist “It’s going to take a bit of getting used to though.

“Nobody aces it on the first go. Martial arts require perseverance, just to get the basics alone. But once you do, it’s reliable. Also consider using your barriers as boxing gloves. If you can’t do weapons, you can instead reinforce your fists. A normal person’s fists, given enough training, can smash bricks.” She elaborated. “Okay, I will teach you the basic low kick, and we’ll be set for now. High kicks are fancy, but you require a good grasp of your body’s proportions, else you’ll fall flat in your butt, kid.”

Sakura then moved and then put her hands on her hips. “Watch my hips. It all starts here.” She said, as she proceeded to do a fast low kick. “And that’s about it.”

Huh...fascinating. I didn’t realize that hip movement was so important” Alexander mused as he watched Sakura.

"Me neither!" Lily commented, having become so absorbed with the lessons Sakura gave that she was now holding Umukamui in her arms like a plushie.
"Thank you so much for teaching Alex! He is strong, but he can be a bit of a dummy when it comes to fighting, tee hee~"

"A sparring dummy, more likely." Sakura finished. "It's getting late… so if you excuse me and mr rat over there…" Sakura said, indicating that she was going to leave. Umukamui soon followed.

Alexander grumbled, but otherwise said nothing in response to their...comments about him

Lily stood up, and dashed to Sakura; the latter girl got a glimpse of how incredibly quick the green-haired girl could be.
"Wait, before you go...Do you have a phone? If not, I’ll just write out my number...And here!." She handed her a note with her number written on it.
”Let’s hang out again, okay? I’ll call ya!”


The figure walked softly, looking one last time at its peer. It was not the most... affluent sector of the neighbourhood, and what looked like a couple of students, could eventually get some problems. It wasn't a slum either, but the kind of worker-class neighbourhood one would see in many realistic dramas. Such was the De Vile's house, and such was their destination.

However, the most dangerous wasn't the place, but the house itself. A mechanical genius with a penchant for mayhem lived there, and threading uninvited could have dire consequences, but his expertise was needed. One of the figures, a rather androgynous boy in sharp clothing, eyed another one. Purple and Silver. They seemed so different, yet so alike. Celestine Lightbringer would not be able to contain his disgust upon finding this if it wasn't for his perfect body control.

"Let me knock on the door." said the elder, as he rapped the door in a peculiar place, with a peculiar rythm. Some sort of coded greeting.

The thin crackle of an electronic speaker coming to life could be heard as a tired, almost pained voice spoke out from a hidden speaker just under the duo's feet. To most, such noises would be easily missed but the two at the craftsman's door was nothing if not perceptive, so perceptive in fact they could hear the sound of gears move, and locks shift. The door swung open, and revealed a house that while not a mess, was definitely lived in. The smell of hot metals and oil wafted from the opening doorway, betraying exactly where the craftsman was, down in his basement working once again.

"Come in, but do warn your friend to not go about touching things, and that I'm currently working on some upgrades. If the doppelganger is squeamish, best he stays in the living room." Vile's voice speaks through the speaker, the intentional distortion giving it the sound of a cheap toy with a dying battery, both to disguise and disturb.

Luigi pressed a touch screen down in his workshop, relaxing his security systems if only enough to make sure that whoever his friend had brought with him wasn't going to trigger a trap and get stabbed by Luigi's myriad of traps he had added since the break in.

Celestine walked down alongside his-half brother, one step at a time, while Dmitry imitated him to perfection. Monkey see, monkey does. It was eerie to see it from a perspective not his own, to say the least. "Is mechanic guy okay? He looks like he needs vodka." Dmitry chimed in. Celestine rolled his eyes. Yes, he was not okay, but he didn't care about de Vile's personal life that much. Only that he could take requests.

"Hey Luigi." Celestine Lightbringer tilted his head, and taking the cue he was not all right, chose that as start of conversation. "You look like shit."
"That's rude, brother. He must need some vodka, da." Mit chimed in.

"Feel like shit, but I'm getting...better." Vile says, and as Celestine and Mit turned the corner to enter Vile's workshop, they could see him opened up, his chest split open. Where as most it would be a grizzly sight of flesh and organs, Luigi's insides were obscured by wiring, layers of pulsing plastic, tubing carrying different liquids and some pieces of arcane technology who's functions could only be guessed at.

"So, you finally cloned yourself, but with a...Huh. That accent reminds me of Bak. This some sort of test-tube baby cross between the two of you?" Vile asks, slotting in a few new bits of plating to the underside of what would be a normal man's ribcage. He laughs at his own joke, before his body closes up and he unhooks himself from his worktable. "Jokes aside, what's up my friend? Need something, or find something about those people we were looking into?"

"That looks painful, let me help." Mitya added, as he moved forward before Cel stopped him.

"He's used to it, don't worry." Celestine Lightbringer. "If only I could do that.... my mother had an affair with a Yekaterinan noble who loved her ballet. Dmitry... is the result. He is going to help me in a major hit... Something urgent came." Celestine said to the machine man. Dmitry eyed him, as he narrowed his eyes at Luigi.

"Y'know, lub, I don't think yous hafta to comment on me accent, lads " The Yekaterinan boy suddenly switched the accent like one switches a TV channel. "It's for me comfort."

"Same powers too. So let's get some hardware tools, yeah?" Celestine added, rolling his eyes. "I could use a few extra arms cause I have several ... targets this time."

"I meant no insult, but yes, what'd you like? Sending a message, in and out before they know? I've been working on increasing production. You said you need extra arms? Need help? You're helping me, I'd not mind cracking some skulls for a friend, scratch your back, you scratch mine." Vile says as he starts to pull out a variety of weapons, ranging from simple combat knives, to small swords, short swords, hand and a half swords, a war-fork, a few handguns ranging from stylish flintlocks to science fiction worthy sidearms, and finally some long arms.

"As for you, Dmitry, as a friend of Cel's, you're a friend of mine. If you need anything, don't be afraid to ask." Luigi adds, an uncharacteristically warm smile on Vile's face as he speaks. "From toasters to weapons of mass destruction, I can build just about anything. All I need are materials and the authorities to not come kicking my door down."

Dmitry smiled back. "Please, call me Mitya. Or Mit." He wandered. "And ... I don't know, I don't like causing wantom suffering, but if you could give us a decent weapon worth of a knight and armor, I'd be mostly pleased." The younger sibling added. "Just one thing, where's the kitchen? I can brew some coffee and tea snacks if you'd like."

Celestine on the other side, looked at Luigi. "Hmm, I guess I will have to accept that, although I'm not too fond of going sideways when I have more important matters. Fine I will help. Who do you want to enact retribution onto? " The elder sibling said, as he gazed the craftmanship of the goods. It would take the manpower of an entire factory commited to producing a single tool to actually surpass' Luigi's. They were ugly at parts, but terribly effective. Celestine picked a katana, as he grinned. "This will do as sidearm, but i might go ranged this time."

"Oh, so you wish to be a knight in shining armor, Sir Mitya? Allow me to ply my trade." Vile began as his eyes light up and he begins to try to pull out tailor's measuring tools, trying to size up Dmitry. "You have a favored kind of knight? I like Anzian knights myself, but my tastes are flavored by heritage. You share your brother's love for Jubanese flavored weaponry? I could make you both a matching set of katana, wakizashi, bows, and armor. A team able to send terror shooting through any target. Or maybe you prefer the Vityaz of Yekaterinan?" Luigi asks, seemingly delighted in creating an entire set of armor and weapons for someone. "As your brother is helping me, this will be free of charge, and that of course extends to you too Cel, you want a custom set of armor? I could make it able to shift with you..."

"Cel can shift?" Dmitry said, one eyebrow raised. Lightbringer shot a glare at Vile, no doubt for talking of something that he should not, before relenting.

"New power. Still experimenting on it." Lightbringer said. "Not many know." He sighed. "Function over form. Best tactical armor out there."
Dmitry was about to say his preference, but Cel put a finger on his lips. "Make it two -identical- sets."

"I was referring to your aliases....your...different personas you like to utilize...It seems I may of let on more than I should..." Vile mutters, before nodding. "Tactical...gotcha. I will make you both look like modern men of war, the faceless legions of the modern military complex...with a little twist. They will be identical sets. But I must add in a small amount a flair, otherwise it'll drive me bonkers...." Vile begins, as he presses a button on his arm, and two mannequins rise up from trap doors. He begins to layer cloth onto them, sewing needles protruding from tendrils that start to spill from Vile's robes. It was quickly apparent that the twist Vile was implying was that of a Purrsian Immortal, an ancient army of men who'd wear masks so they'd all look the same to cause havoc over trying to count them.

"So, who's the targets, and what message are we sending? Is the order of the day terror?" Vile asks as his mechanical appendages moved in a blur as he worked.

"Add a mask. Like the ones I wear." Celestine said, eyeing Dmitry. "Don't you want to be a masked justice man, Mit? It's the same thing." Celestine sighed. Luigi had his quirks, and it was not helping when dealing with the easily impressed Dmitry.

"If you say so." Dmitry said, and puffed up his cheeks, while pouting. Unlike his brother, he sometimes let the expressions reflect his state of emotion. "I wanted to be that Urturian knight kind of white knight, though." He added.

"Well, there are several...who my...ngh...sponsor wants me dead. A couple of idiotic magic users who are being a nuisance... and I think Vernon. You know, mafia's pretty boi. I bet you always wanted a good reason to crush some mafia skulls, well... now's the time!" Celestine smirked, as he crossed his arms.
"Do these witches have iron teeth and eat children?" Dmitry asked, taking a leaf out of Yek mythos.

"Err, witches?" Luigi asks, his work slowing down a bit as he seems a tad confused. "I mean, yea, Vernon I was going to break his teeth in during the meeting before you spoke up...and the others, the nuisance magic users, any info on them? Cult related, criminals fucking with the wrong rich guy, just gave you a hard time and need a plastic explosive suppository?" Luigi asks, as he builds in mask themed faceplates to the armor set's helmets.

"Also, as you obviously have your heart set on it Mitry, I'll build you a proper Urturian knight set, fit for a warrior of great standing.....I did come into some money, and I love to share..." Vile says, which was a blatant lie, but he enjoys free advertising from people wearing his equipment. Free advertisement and a good friend, all in one neat little package? What more could Luigi ask for?

"Yes, brother told me about a foul necromancer called Diana" Dmitry said, nonchalantly. It was then when Celestine forgot to breathe

"...The same Diana who is your brother's ex, my rival and friend, with the silver hair, thin body, and sassy attitude?" Luigi asks, raising an eyebrow. Luigi already knew it was indeed that Diana, but he wanted to gage reactions from both Cel and this Dmitry. "Because if so, I only have to ask why on earth someone would want her dead? She seems so insignificant in the grand scheme of things, unless you're working for that Ward fellow..."
Again, another lie, another ploy, to see how badly Dmitry could continue to screw the pooch in this conversation.

"I...I...what?" Dmitry blanched, as the realization dawned. "You didn't tell me this, Cel!" He spun around to meet Celestine face.

"I told you it was...delicate. Very much so." The eldest sibling said. "As much as I enjoyed that sass...she has to go." He frowned. "Orders."

"Orders from who!? You tricked me, Cel! You... I ...." Dmitry began to move, grabbing a sword and getting ready for combat..."I...I..."

"Put that down, idiot." Celestine. "Before...something happens."

"Indeed, Dmitry, put it down....the kitchen is up the stairs, to the left....go...make some tea. Your brother and I have things to discuss...If you two fight down here, you both lose." Luigi begins, as he tries to step over to Dmitry, and put a hand on their shoulder. He has no hostile intents, seemingly he only wanted to keep the two from hurting each other. "The oven works off of a remote control that's in the second drawer down beside it..."

"Tea? Tea? My brother is calling me to be an accomplice of murdering his ex girlfriend! I will not abide! I will..." Dmitry added as he went to swing at Cel. Except his body locked up all of a sudden, tears of rage welling and straining but not moving..."...will....will...mommy."

"Not good." Lightbringer rolled his eyes.

"Rend the fatebreakers..."Dmitry said, as he eerile stopped, and went upstairs after letting the sword clatter in the ground.

".....Who's your sponsor, now, Celestine, who is it?" Luigi asks, his happy mood thoroughly spoiled. One of Luigi's robotic tentacles picks the sword up from the ground and puts it back into the row of weaponry available. "I've been around the block to know what just happened, that's a tad fucked, hijacking him like that. Fate Breakers? How did Diana break fate, and why do you care?"

"It wasn't...me. Orders from above." Celestine added. "How much of you is yourself and how much is your power?" Celestine answered.

"Those...up above? Also, that's a complicated question, more for those like us than any others...I've given up a lot of myself to become a greater warrior, a greater war machine....but the god of war has never asked me for anything, never contacted me." Luigi says, his voice filled with confusion, and the faintest tinges of horror, and rage.

"How do you know you are still y...nngh..." Celestine added, before wincing. "The little tramp has cheated death, and thus she must be handed back over to her rightful place. Vernon has tampered with fate, and needs to be disposed. So do Cyan and Andras." He said, in a neutral, calmed down tone.

Luigi's eyes narrowed, but he felt completely out matched, out paced, a fish out of water. He takes in a deep breath and slowly reaches over, picking up the war-fork, the halfway point between a farm tool and a weapon of war. He then kneels, like a knight with their sword, and closes his eyes for a second. It looked like he was praying, for the first time in Luigi's memory, he was. Luigi was tired, stressed, hurt, and now he had two people in his house saying they were on a divinely contracted hit to kill another of his friends. If there was any time he needed divine guidance it would be now....

Of course, he just looks like he might just be trying to soak all this information in, as Celest knew just the sheer amount of stress the poor man was under. Maybe this finally snapped his iron spine, the last piece of straw to shatter his ability to stand.

"Luigi" Celestine cooed, kneeling before him, whispering on his ear. "We will make this simple. Diana is gone, this whole affair is solved, and we're both free to help you. Don't you think your father is more important than Diana? Or would you rather risk everything for someone who doesn't know whether to call you a friend or an enemy?" It was then when Dmitry arrived from the kitchen, having prepared a full afternoon tea, sandwiches and pastries included, and was now elegantly leading it with a tray. The fragance it emitted... well, it was difficult to believe Luigi's tea could smell like that, but those were the capable hands of a Yekaterinan servant.

Luigi didn't look up as he heard Celestine speak, but he winced like someone had twisted a knife in his side. His eyes slowly opened, before Mitya, Luigi and Celestine would have a surprise, as a plate from the ceiling of Luigi's workshop came crashing down onto his head, the thick metal plate landing and bouncing off, a thin plume of dust in the air. A thin line of blood came cresting down into one of Luigi's eyes, and his forge flared to life. The heat, the dust, the blood, it was all so familiar to him. It sent him back to before he had changed himself, given up so much to become a warrior, a smith, a creator and destroyer. To under a pile of rubble, the air thick with powdered debris, bleeding, praying, it was the last time Luigi felt such an immense crushing weight.

But this time, it was different, so very different. He could hear his father screaming, Diana screaming, Cel, Mitya, Vernon, and even voices he didn't know. Standing above the pile of those begging for their lives, a shapeless thing holding up a curled fist that threatened to bring the end of those at its mercy. Luigi began to force himself to his feet, in both this hijacked flash back and in reality, struggling as if the weight of the world was upon him.

But this time, it was different, he was no longer the scared child powerless to stop what was happening around him. As he rose to his feet the tension in the air was almost physical before it snapped like a twig under the treads of a tank.
"Whatever scum sucking, boot heel licking, celestial maggot is threatening my friends, I give you this one chance. Either you relent, and cease this puppetry, or you find me at the gates of light to stain the clouds with your shredded remains. My father would not stand for me giving into such a pathetic god, one who'd need to meddle directly to get what they want,if you even are a god. " Luigi says, a threat, a promise, an ultimatum made to the heavens.

Either this creature retreated in fear, or the flames of war would burn through the celestial sphere like a wild fire.

"I am going to take that as you don't know yet." Celestine said, without any changes in his demeanour, and without any care for Luigi's potentially blasphemous outburst, he took a sip of the tea. "That would be amusing to watch. Either you succeed in doing so, however unlikely as it is, and make chaos and change in the dynamics up there or you get strangled by your own hubris. It is funny though. Who is really talking, the frustrated Luigi or the fustrated scion of War, who not finding the Ancient Enemy strong enough, directs his rage to the heavens?"

"A little bit of both. The last time I was faced with such odds, it was when I was crushed, trapped under rubble, hearing those who I cared about dying. Not again, never again. I will not sit by while my friends are in danger...Not Celest, not Diana...none of them. I faltered at the arena, I will not here." Luigi threatens, looking down through Celestine. ".....So, what is it parasite? Are you gonna slither off to some dark corner and brood, or am I going to have to smoke you out?"

"Manners, mr De Vile" It was now Dmitry who talked.

"What is it about what?" Celestine shrugged. "I don't find anything of use in your words."

"Ok, let me put it simply. Fuck off parasite god or I'm going to ram my fist through your stomach, and break your god damned spine." Luigi says, as his tentacles flare out, shredding his robes and leaving him looking like something out of a horror movie, wires and flesh meshed together.

"Barking is one thing, but the moment you try to get in the way, there will be...consequences." Celestine said... as the corners of his eyes began to bleed.

Dmitry, looking at the mess, sighed. "So you would die here and now. That's sad. I mean, regardless of who comes on top everyone loses."

".....I haven't lived in years....except for today." Luigi says, before He attempts to bring the prongs of the war-fork down onto Celestine's head, aiming to incapacitate, rather than kill. He knew today, he either pulled victory from the jaws of defeat, or he'd have a real interesting story to tell in hell.

One way or another, things just got interesting.

It was Dmitry the one that moved, the delicate tea tray making an awful clanging sound as it stopped the war fork. His brother was not immobile, either as he drew the sword pointed at Luigi. "You are brave. Hm. Maybe there is a solution."

"Speak quickly, fight faster." Luigi said, as tendrils swept over the weapons that had been laid out, turning Vile into a walking swiss army knife of death, swords, knives, guns, and more all wrapped up in coils of technological tentacles. A stun baton launched from the mass, aiming to strike Dmitry in center mass, trying to force him backwards.

It was a flick of the wrist, and Celestine's Laplace demon went into action. With so many weapons, chaos and destruction around, the amount of steps that could be chained was high. Weapons misfiring all over directly at luigi, those who did not activated a set of traps under the machine man's feet , the shrapnel tangling Luigi's extra limbs, and as a further insult, the baton bonking him in the face.

What was worrisome is that Dmitry's eyes had begun to bleed too.

"One chance to challenge fate, being who you are. Accept or not.'

The chaos of gunfire, traps, flames, blades, and more created a thick coating of powder smoke, burnt oil and more. However, as the smog began to vanish, Luigi's hulking form burst forwards, mangled but undeterred. One of Vile's arms was hanging by wires and tubes, and that side of his body was covered in shrapnel. It seemed he was holding most of the firearms on the left side of him, and that side had taken extreme damage. "Challenge fate? Isn't that what I'm doing now?" He asks, swinging a balled fist like one might a club towards Celestine. It was only as a blade jutted from Luigi's wrist in an attempt to catch Celest off guard did it make sense, the intent to send a shallow slash across the front of him.

Celestine smirked, dodging it but allowing himself to be cut... only for the cut to bubble and begin to close."No you're making yourself a fool." Celestine added, as a second burst of shrapnel and chaos hit Luigi's back, this time coming from Dmitri's hand. "We both have that skill."

"Hmph, seems the whole non-lethal route isn't going to work, is it?" Luigi asked aloud, but halted his assault, stumbling forwards as he struck in the back. "...Well, come on. I'm waiting...How do you propose I challenge fate?" Luigi asks, as he began to prepare a nasty surprise.

"Trial by champion. 2 on 2. If your champions win, then he will cross this offence. If we win, their lives and your power are forfeit. Attacking us again will null it void." Celestine said, as he eyed Dmitry and both stood down.

"......You don't listen very well, do you? I will not sit idly by while my friends are in danger, and I will not drag them into a fight I can't win myself....Especially if it means they'd die, but I would live."
"..Good bye Celestine....Dmitry...It was nice to meet you. If reincarnation is a thing, I do hope we meet again..." Luigi begins, as three red lights peek through his broken mass of tendrils.
Three Grenades made with high explosives, each the size of a large balled fist began to prime themselves, ready to detonate. Luigi grinned as within the moment, his house and those neighboring it would be reduced to a mound of rubble. He wouldn't survive the blast, but that didn't matter. No, what mattered was this...he'd buy time. For Diana, for everyone the maggot god wanted dead, and maybe even for his father if he was lucky.

"Not again...never again..."

Celestine's eyes went wide, recognizing the trademark activation of Luigi's explosive. His Laplace could... but his body moved in another direction, jumping in the direction of Dmitry to save him from the explosion. He had always been ready for the worst. But not... Dmitri. He hated him so much, and yet, he reminded of his past self. Delusions, plans, everything was burned to ash, and the one only thing he could think of was... that hateful brother of his. He grabbed one of Luigi's prototypes, a force field, and slapped into Dmitry, protecting him from the blast... only for it to fail.

"Spiteful...bast..." Celestine cursed to his death, fully knowing that this was the punishment his god exacted on him for his misgivings and misuses.

As the bright flash of light emerged from the tendrils, Celestine could see Luigi grinning and waving, before like that he was gone, thrown across the room and embedded into a wall. To those outside of the building, it was like a pillar of fire had erupted, shattering car windows, blowing out ear drums, collapsing in the two homes near by, which were luckily empty at the moment. After a few moment, the iron titan pushed himself from the rubble. His arms were blown off, his legs heavily damaged, intense amounts of shrapnel piercing through his chest.

Blood and oil stained the ground as he trudged onto the street, coughing and hacking up bits of metal and flesh. He stumbles forwards, wondering if he would indeed make it out of this alive. Just as his thoughts drifted towards his future, the god of fate would try to have the last laugh. Cel's katana flew towards Luigi's neck, intending a lethal decapitation. However, the scion of war had not come this far to die, and the God of War did not tolerate sore losers. The blade slammed into Luigi's reinforced neck, cut in but stopped just shy of severing anything important. Luigi stumbled for a few moments, and began to cry as he works his way towards the hospital.

"....You were right, Mit...no one wins...." Luigi whines, in intense agony as he shuffled his broken body away from the blast zone, hoping to dodge the police.
Reaver

Somewhere that people don't look


The day after Reaver had met with Chloe, he would hear the ring of an old phone coming from one of the side alleys he passed by. Upon entering the alley to investigate, he would see that there was a door opened at the end of the alley; the sign said “Moody Blues Cafe”, and from the inside jazzy music could be heard, and cigar smoke floated out like a black, foggy trail. When Reaver entered, he found himself in a monochrome world: the cafe was in black and white, as if he was walking inside an old photograph. The cafe resembled the type used in the 1920’s, where big bands played on a stage, and cigarettes were found between the fingers of every hand. But now, only ghosts lingered, phantasms who laughed and conversed meaningless murmurs, the cacophony and livelihood of the place a mere illusion.

What was most striking was the darkness that pervaded the corners of the room, shifting and moving as if alive, only kept away by candlelight on the tables, and a single spotlight on the otherworldly musicians.
“So you finally found your way to the Big Strawberry eh, peguci?” Reaver heard a familiar voice, and turned to see the shadow of a tall, british man in a pinstripe suit extend on the floor from a candlelight. The shadow then physically lifted itself up from the floor, resembling the leaning move Michael Jackson made in “Smooth Criminal,” only he stood up completely, towering over the Ebon agent. It was Al Scarpe, and he didn’t look pleased. “And first thing you do is find some pretty heels to step on you.”

Reaver raised an eyebrow, eyeing the tall Al Scarpe. He sighed, drawing a hand through his well-kept hair. He was dressed sharply, with a three piece suit. He thought he would fit the atmosphere. Sometimes you had to meet the bosses. Even if it was a ghastly place.

“Mr Scarpe, Business sometimes intersects with pleasure. That lovely dark orchid is definitely a morsel on the eye. What lacks in size, she has in technique.” Reaver said, cordially as he bowed slightly to the tall man. “But I find this intrusion… on my life peculiarly poignant.”

“Hah, you still know how to speak like a wretched snake, Reaver,” Al responded, and held two fingers to the side. With a tiny burst of black flame, a lit cigar appeared between them. “There is a time...” He paused to smoke, puffing out a black cloud of smoke right in Reaver’s face. “...And place for getting kicks, and getting kicked, capische? We are now living the big times.” He turned towards the bar, and with a snap of his fingers a ghostly bartender began mixing a couple of sophisticated drinks. “But first, we drink. It has been some time since I last saw you, peguci. You might want to learn what has happened here, si?”

A new spotlight shone on the wall facing away from the bar, resembling an old-fashioned projector screen. Live video of various events began playing on it.
“‘Penrose was left to dust, and monsters took a clip to the place. So Beacon called in Ascendancy; you may have heard of them before. They are ruining the family business, shutting down banks and forcing us to lam. But now, there will be war between cops and zips. And that is why I called you here.” The drinks were now ready, and Al made one of the drinks slide through the air to Reaver before he took his own. “But, first, I have a job for you.”

Reaver took a deep inhale of the smoke. When would he get his own cigars? He wondered, they looked kinda nasty, but manly and definitely dapper. He eyed Scarpe as he awaited the drinks. “Io capisco, signore Scarpe.” He then began seeing the images, and could not help a smile draw on his face. More like a smile, it was the kind of grin a hungry wolf did before prey. “Odin will be pleased.” He said before taking a sip. “Chloe not so much, although that pretty broad insists on plundering a Beacon cardinal. Oops, that was supposed to be the big plan. I am such a loudmouth.” He added. Al Scarpe rolled his eyes. “Even if it’s family, it was a buried job. I’ll make sure to punish her for the slip.”

“Does it involve blood?” Reaver asked. “My deity’s being… kind of unreasonable these days. Sure he was accommodating at first with… my image change, but now it’s all Snake poison on the eyes while being trapped in Hel. He say he’s sick of pig. Can you imagine? Sick of tasty pork!” He babbled before eyeing the mafioso once more.

“You’ll have your fill, when the streets run red,” Al responded, and took a swig of his glass. “When the day of the party is at hand, there will be great chaos. You are to take the opportunity and perform lupara bianca on...Who was it...” He pulled out what looked like a black binder tucked in his suit, and opened it. “Ah, yes...Cindy Ford. The capone of the underground zips.” He took another puff of his cigar, and it now came out as an ashen, gray cloud.
“But for now, you will go back to Chloe, play little dog for her, and report what she eats alone; making crank, collecting cugines, everything. She thinks she can run an outfit, but she has yet to realize; the Mint always collects their debts.”

“I suppose you don’t mind er, the pretty beacon thing going missing? Part of the cover of course.” Reaver said, although he probably had much more mundane intentions. Like getting stepped on. “Mm, hiding it is often more difficult than performing the deed, but alright.” He tilted his head.

“Understood signore Scarpe. I gotta say, I really like the style of this joint. Very classy… and dark. I sincerely hope you don’t have to try and collect mine in such a way. I’d hate to actually consecrate every single person of the Mint to Odin.” Reaver added. “It won’t be personal though. Just… business.”

For a moment, Al simply looked at Reaver, as if to see if Reaver would add anything else. “You might be a masochistic bastard, but you get the job done. And those who work, they get to eat.” He now manifested another cigar, lit it, and flicked it like a coin to Reaver. “Here, for not getting on my nerves. Your little barks amuse me.” However, the moment Reaver took a smoke from it, he realized the cigar itself was made from slips of paper advertising the services of various dominatrices and other masochistic interests, just as the cigar began burning from the far end:
Reaver had to choose between taking the smoke or putting the flame out before the cigar turned to ash.

Reaver cracked a smirk after being had in such a way. It was really creative and amusing, so he took the cigar, and opening his mouth… quenched the flame on his tongue, a sound of flesh charred and burning being heard.

“Woof, Woof.” He added, his grin wide.
Uh, from my experiences in ranked stuff, S usually means it's effin' deadly. .-.


You know that. I know that.

Sakura's been 2 days as a magical girl and knows next to nothing about gaming jargon.
Sakura would like to join the Knight quest. S is for starters I think? That or Emily convinces her to do another sort of quest -cough gobs cough-
If there is no Puchuu team who can help, I will take it.
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