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5 yrs ago
Current Why am I bothering to update the status anyway? No one's gonna care
5 yrs ago
"Remember to look at the stars not down at your feet." Inspired me ever since. Rest in peace Professor Hawking
6 yrs ago
I don't know why, but the boredom is killing me slowly
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Alright, I moved David over to the festival.

@Jumbus It's a rather overly-elaborate transition to just say hi to Rowan, but I hope you don't mind me doing that lol. We can always do something else if she's not interested.
David Liang

"He is, I'm glad to learn that he is doing well." David gave a warm smile and a nod to Enrique's fatherly, or grandfatherly, jokes. He hoped to see Will again at some point. Maybe he could ask if they could meet up for the festival or something, but David continued his work for now, not wanting to be distracted. As the work proceeded, the laptop disassembled then reassembled with new parts, that thought was forgotten as a new visitor came into the bakery. He did not immediately recognize the man, but Enrique quickly reminded him. It was Tom Springer, and with him came with some emotional baggage, something something about a woman, likely his wife?

"R-Right,'s umm...I'll keep in mind." He laughed nervously, finding it really difficult to properly respond to the weird grumble. He did not want to offend Audrey's father, but he obviously did not share the ideal, and also it took quite a bit to actually process the word play, and when he did, it had diluted in his already tired brain for the day that he could barely give off an empty indecipherable sigh. The boy silent admired the elder Enrique, who was really keeping himself composed. This must not be the first time this happens.

Thankfully, Tom had nothing else to do with him and just left after getting his things. It was then that he saw the sunlight gleaming off the ground. It had gotten late, the festival was about to begin. He quickly wrapped up his work and returned the laptop to Mr Enrique. "There, the motherboard has been replaced, all your stuff should still be there." Quite a bad issue if he was being honest, but for that, the Mencia owner was grateful. The cupcake was a fresh cupcake, chocolate too, something he did order more than often. "Thank you very much Mr Enrique. Enjoy the festival as well!" He left the bakery with a big smile on his face.

Since the computer shop already closed for the day, David went back to his home to put away the tool. The house was still empty by the time he arrived; his father must've already left for the festival. He set the tool down on the table in the middle of the room, knowing he'd be picking it up later anyway - a trick so that he'd never forget anything is to just lay it out where he could not miss. In the middle of the room was a picture of Wong and David at the airport. It was before they left the country to come here. David reminiscently glanced at his younger-self. His face was rounder, his eyes were brighter, but he wore the same kind of shirt he is wearing at the present day. It felt...weird, but relieved. The kid that were eager but anxious of what's to come back then...he wished he could have told him what he had found in the journey.

And his dad too...

"Pa, hope you're enjoying yourself." David whispered into the picture, before taking his leave. He could change to something else, but he was in a hurry and his work attire kinda works for the less warm night.

"Hey, it's David!" He heard his name called. It was a couple of kids from up the streets, whom too were from immigrant families. It was relatively easy to get along because of that. "Wanna join us?"

"Sure, what are you guys doing?" David agreed without hesitation, looking at what one of them was holding. It seemed to be a soccer ball, but it's also a lot smaller and seemed to be made of thin bamboo layers wrapped into a sphere. It gave a rather...exotic feel to it.

"Come, you'll get it eventually." The one holding the ball had David by the arms and pulled him into the group. The others fanned out in a circle, then the one with the ball tossed it over to another, who caught the ball with his foot then kicked it over to another person in the circle, who'd deflect it to another, then another, then another, all the while the ball never touched the ground. Until the group felt like they had demonstrated enough, who'd kick it over to David.

Caught a bit off-guard, David tried imitating them, but the ball hit his foot at the wrong angle and it fell onto the ground instead. He shied a bit from the group at his mistake, but they didn't seem to care, just a laugh off before continuing.

"This feels familiar." He remarked after seeing it several more times. This is just like that game he always played with the school kids during break back then! Ah the memories. The next time the ball was sent his way, David tried remembering how he used to do it. Then his legs just moved on its own.

"Yeah! You got it!" The group cheered as David made a perfect pass with his ankle-side of his foot. A few more circulations before the ball bounced back to him, in which he caught, tossed backward with his foot before swinging the same foot over to his backside, intercepting and delivering the ball gracefully over his head to another player, earning him an awe from the group. A big grin appeared on David's face as well. He still got it!

The seemingly fun little 'unofficial game' soon drew a small crowd of curious onlookers. David continued his theatrical physical performance, looking excited and juxtaposing the seemingly serious impression one might have had earlier from him. It was only when he missed the pass that he was finally brought back to Earth. The ball rolled over to the crowd, and in particular to the feet of someone he knew.

"Hey Rowan!" He noticed her among the crowds. "How are you doing? Do you want to join us?"

@Jumbus@Fading Memory
Steffen Gravinir

More undeads fell, not few were as forgiving as the Knight Captain's clean and elegant swordplay. The Ingvarr felt little satisfaction as he smashed the joints of one of the last undeads who were willing to put up a fight for their wretched masters who forcefully disturbed their spirits, before brutally stomped on their skull, the bones cracked like corns to fire, the amethyst fire raging extinguished for good. They felt no pain, but the livings would feel no pleasure hearing this was the final end to their ancestors. But only this would guarantee their eternal rests.

However, the path forward was still not yet clear. Something within his sixth sense immediately stabbed at his heart the moment that gleaming light sliced through the darkness, perhaps just as fast as the Knight Captain's, but unlike her, he was too far away to act. Thankfully, it was the Knight Captain, and she managed to slip from danger by a hair's breadth. Twice.

Suspicions fired off the more this new enemy made himself known to him and his fellow knights. The titanic structure of a man, the large clunky axe, glowing mythical luminescence, the long beard, and most importantly the fancy armor. The hellish beast decoration were not just for intimidation. They looked unfamiliar to Thalnese inhabitants, but these patterns were more common sights for the northerners, especially for those familiar with Barukstaed.

A land older than time, harder than a serpent scale, untamed and hellish cold...

Fanilly wanted the new enemy to be at least kept occupied, as it was pretty instinctive that neutralizing this armoured hulk of an enemy was not going to be easy. As the man took a step forward, the Ingvarr too stepped a foot in front of the Knight Captain, his action conveyed just as much as his unspoken words of volunteers. He would take this fight. For the mission, but also for his curiosity. He wanted to confirm what he likely already knew.

Steffen stopped right outside of the axe strike range of his enemy, the only part of his body close enough would be his right foot, which he put down without a sound. Glaring straight at the steelclad conspirator for a brief second, the foot that seemed indecisive one moment earlier immediately dug into the stone. Within an eye-blink, Steffen was deep in his strike range, his war hammer already on a downward swing right towards him. However, his opponent read his palm, as both weapons slammed into one another with mighty reverberance, creating a lock. A titanic force against an unbowing mountain.

Steffen pushed his strength forward down, seemingly gaining the upper hand, but quickly realized his mistake. His opponent was trying to slide the hammer into an uncomfortable position before retaliating with his own immense strength. Thus, the Ingvarr very swiftly broke the lock on his own terms and quickly moved away from any counter attacks.

"This feels familiar..." Steffen mumbled. This strength...he'd be here for a while.

"I'd need a helping hand, to be certain." He turned to his knights. He could probably go neck in neck with him in a duel, but this is not supposed to be a duel. There is no honor to be had here, nor is there any that Steffen wanted. He wanted this person neutralized, the hostage rescued and the tomb cleansed. Nothing more. "Oh, and Captain, take these." He took out the vials from Sir Fleuri's and tossed it to Fanilly. "Knock them dead...again."

@VitaVitaAR@HereComesTheSnow@ERode@Crimson Paladin
@Teyao I figured they'd be casual/study friends. David would appreciate his friend-to-all personality, and is willing to share his more outlander knowledge with him.
Steffen Gravinir

Steffen quietly admired the mausoleum that Sir Fleuri showed him. It was not as grand as the best he had seen, but more of the rich history that laid the foundation to these structures. Mausoleums may be just as common as seeing grass for the residents of Thaln, but in the land the Ingvarr knight had come from, the dead would be cremated instead. The most prestigious would return to the earth on a boat with all their precious possession, symbolizing their return to the Grand Raegenhere. Some others would get cremated on a pyre and their ashes scattered from mountaintops. Most often is the case for the latter, due to costs and/or urgency. There were virtually no threats of necromancy because there were no bodies to work with. Their spirits belong to the great god Weda rather than some sacrilegious renegades. But it is their way of honoring the dead, and as an outlander, Steffen had no intention of disrespecting that. Besides, they were unique, dynamic, symbolic and made for interesting stories, and he was all for that. The chilly moist that accompanied these sort of places didn't unsettle Steffen much. After all, death shouldn't be something creepy, but more of proof of their existence, and even to the valorous fallen they would belong to the warm paradise of the sun if they were to belong to the Reon's. Given the description of his ancestors, he had the feeling they belonged there.

The weapons that Fleuri retrieved also were of great importance, as he requested its return. The history were as worthy of reading as any, but given their importance not just for the prestige of the Jodeau house, but also for the mausoleum's sake, Steffen was a little hesitant on taking on it. Steffen was known for breaking weapons, and yes these were magical weapons, but that didn't mean it wouldn't break. He had asked the Rose's blacksmith for a tougher weapon that isn't his family spear, but he hadn't gotten around to it yet. He would take several vials of holy water, and would carry both weapons back to the Knight Captain, but only would take on the weapon if no one else wanted it.

The stench was obviously different compared to the Jodeau's mausoleum. The tombs are being desecrated, and the smell of rotten flesh removed what remained of who it used to be. The war hammer was drawn way before the first undead fell, but he was not the first to charge in. Aside from the hotheaded Fleuri, it seemed to be coherence in battle plan, and for him, he had the mass and brute, he were to bear the brunt as Dame Serenity commanded.

Steffen nodded silently and quickly moved to the front with his shield and war hammer before the wind bolt by Dame Cecilia was fired. He felt his heartbeat getting louder, but at the same time slower. Any miscellaneous sounds around him began to fade out, as if the wind that carried it was sucked into the magical arrow.

'Feels just like yesterday...'

Everything seemed to fall instinctively to him. The moment that arrow hit the ground, Steffen rushed forward. He skipped any undeads that were incapacitated and on the ground as a result of the arrow, letting his fellow knights to take on the easy prey. Those who were still standing, in particular one with a shield and sword raised to meet the Ingvarr's towering approach, were his to take. He picked up the pace for the last few strides before planting one foot firmly on the ground, raising the other's knee as high as his shoulders, before delivering a vicious front kick into its shield, sending it flying, leaving a visible dent on the shield. Another undead charged at him with an axe, but both his hands were raised in response. One left hand with a shield block, and one right hand swung overhead to send the war hammer directly into the visible skull. He had no swords to cut off their heads with, but their bones are no longer the great warriors and nobles that embodied them: weak and crushable.

@ERode@Crimson Paladin@VitaVitaAR@Rune_Alchemist
David Liang

The lure of the bakery was hard to resist. It was many times different from the contemporaries elsewhere that he knew of. Homely, warm and inviting. Just like the man standing in front of David, whom showed nothing but friendliness to him. David still hadn't forgotten the time he gave him free extra pastries just because he was new in town. He couldn't help but let out a smile as he stepped into the bakery.

"I am doing good, thank you Mr Enrique. How about you?" Instinctively he gave a slight bow as he neared the bakery owner. "I'd love to, but computers can be frustrating. I don't want you to be more of that than you already are. Don't worry, it is my last commission of the day, then I will go join the festival." David raised a thumbs-up in response, a little awkwardly but his enthusiasm was there.

When Enrique brought out the laptop as arranged, David wasted no time to unpack his tool, the replacement parts and got to work. He already corresponded with the man earlier back and forth, so he already knew what the problem was already. It just took a bit to figure out the tabs, as he hadn't opened many of these machines physically, and they were pretty tight. But he filled the silence by chatting with Enrique.

"Where is William today? I have not seen him in a while."
@Fading Memory
Alright I posted. Sorry if I intrude on the bakery there.
David Liang

David's morning was rather boring. He was no person to laze around inside for too long, but rather he was lazing around in the Armstrong Computer Shop. Now that the final exam period had ended, he could spend time more consistently to help out the Armstrongs with their day-to-day woes with machinery. But unlike the constant demand of food or drinks, computing service was not always so. Sometimes, things just work, and for David, that meant less work to do. He yearned to be out and about, hanging out and catching up with those in class, but he had one client he would need to take care of. Enrique Mencia from the bakery. He reportedly had a non-functional laptop, but he had a lot of work to do for the festival preparation, so he postponed it until now, so David couldn't really go anywhere until this one was finished. Luckily, it was almost time.

"Mr. Nicolas." David called out to the person inside a storage room, his supervisor of sort. Nick was more friendly and casual than that, but considering the boy who didn't know his way around the language that well, he was fine with being a little formal. He poked his head out of the door to hear what David had to say. "Is there the toolbox in there?"

"Oh, yes." He disappeared back in for a brief second before coming back out with the box he required, knowing why he was asking for it. "Enrique right?" Nick asked, to which David nodded. "Awesome! Tell him I said hi."

"I will, don't worry." David gave a smile. "Oh, and if you don't mind. Can I take my day off after this one?"

Nick looked up and leaned his head slightly before nodding. "No problem, I think we can handle the workload for the rest of today. Go and have fun ok?"

"Thank you. You too, the festival's starting soon." David bowed, and looked to his father who was immersed in his own work in his own corner. "See you dad." He said before heading off with the kit and a little piece of paper as he headed off to the Mencia Bakery.

The village was bustling with exciting activities. Everyone was busy but many had a smile to spare as David strolled along the street with his stuff. They knew he was part of the Computer Shop, some of them he had helped before, so he was no strangers. He would love to join them to help out or just to hang out, but he continued onto his destination nonetheless.

"Hi. Mr Enrique?" The door to the bakery opened slowly, as the boy poked his head in. "It's David."

Steffen Gravinir

As silly as it looks, the Ingvarr simply just let Lein lad to latch onto and sit on his shoulders freely. Well, it's not exactly the first time some people ask to ride on his shoulders and hold onto his horns, but it's a little different when it's a grown knight holding onto the top of him. "Please don't pull it so much." He noticed as the Hundi was settling in. It was ticklish and sensitive, but it was only for a moment as Lein sat straight up, so he held back on saying anything else. The Hundi was kinda right with why he's obsessed with horn size, but for the wrong reason though.

But at least at the moment, they were both able to listen closely on the interrogation of the assassin. It seemed that the co-conspirators of this whole attempt was in the traitor's mausoleum, a thing that for some reason still existed, with skeleton soldiers. Though if this was supposed to be an assassination, why use skeleton soldiers and barricade in that place? Given that the plot was supposed to succeed, what was the necromancers and undeads role in this? A coup to takeover? It could be; the Cazt's faction doesn't exactly hold a lot of power as the livings, so using the dead is probably their only shot. And a mausoleum is quite an easy place to hide them. Normally, he'd be skeptical to why they would even use the undead for their insane plan, especially considering they could easily fail like they just did, but it made some sense here. Did they even expect to fail, that's also a question.

Steffen watched as his fellow knights decided to pick either to follow the Knight-Captain to the mausoleum or guard the princesses in case any of those conspirators had any funny ideas. The Ingvarr instinctively felt more comfortable in the castle guarding the princesses. Keeping watch on things was what he always do. He did this a couple times albeit never with the royals. Most of the time, it was peaceful, nothing too much to get worked up on. He was certain that his more senior knights would know how to handle these skeletons well.

After Sir Renar volunteered for guard duty and departed for the armory, Steffen felt like it was time for him to declare that too. "I'd like to volunteer for guard duty as well Captain. The safety of the crown comes first-" He said before being interrupted by a hand patting his arm. It was the knight that gave him the order just earlier when he arrived.

"Sir Steffen, no need, I will perform guard duty of her highness." He said, taking the Ingvarr back a little. "It's been a while since you fought, I'm sure a strong hand will not be unnecessary."

It had been a while. Actually longer than a while in fact. Having been stuck in that corner of the Candaeln does make time feel a little meandering. Despite the seeming incompetence of the knights when it came to paperwork, and that it often fell on him to take care of, his actual responsibility and the main reason why he was here in the first place, rather than somewhere else in this chaotic fragile world, was to preserve peace, if that meant to fight for it. He wouldn't want to be rusty when accompanying that task, would he?

"Very well then." He bowed slightly and carefully, with Lein still on his shoulders, taking care not to rock the Hundi too much, before trailing behind the other knights to the armory. On the way, the bored Lein blurted out the question. The Ingvarr glanced up both at the Hundi resting on his head and for his own thoughts too. Between Sir Fionn and Sir Gerard? Hmm...

"Hard to say, they're nice people..." He leaned his head slightly, looking at the two from behind. "If Sir Fionn's happy, I would say him. Though he might give me extra for a treat or something, and it gives me a bit of guilt taking it." Usually he wouldn't mind doing that sometimes, but he likely would use it to buy flowers from the town to decorate the Candaeln garden.

"I can't say I know them too well though. How about you? I heard you were with them for the raid on the bandits." Steffen asked, as they neared the armory. "You seem to trust them enough about your weapon choices." He seemed comfortable enough to bark vague requests at the others. Even Steffen wouldn't be like that who his favorite smither.

Once they arrived at the armory, the Ingvarr stopped by the door and patted the Hundi's leg slightly, if he wasn't obviously aware that the door was a bit too tall for both of them, and also it's time for him to change out of this ballroom outfit that he didn't get to use at all. Having little time to set out before the conspirators were potentially alerted to the failed assassination, Steffen didn't get to bring his armor nor his specially forged spear, not that he would want to use such a weapon in a mausoleum anyway. He'd have to contend with gambeson, shoulder plate armor, elbow armor and leather gauntlets and boots. As for weapons, given that he was facing the undead, he'd prefer to go with the war hammer strapped to his side and a small metal shield, a hidden dagger on his belt, though he tended to use them more as tools than weapons. It seemed a little lacking, but it was quite light and nimble.

The Ingvarr was just finished when he heard Sir Fleuri mentioned about the graveyard trip. Anti-undead equipment? He had heard something about magic being used against the undead, but to him, bashing them was the easiest option, so he was at least curious. And Fleuri might need a little hand. "I can go with you. It'll help make it faster, if it is any bulky."

@PigeonOfAstora@Crimson Paladin@VitaVitaAR

Being a squadron officially affiliated with the Vietnamese Air Force meant that they did not fall under the category of 'volunteer fighters' and received orders from the Vietnamese instead of the Philippine's Armed Forces, but knowing that they were in Lingayen meant that these brass often communicated between one another, so it's not like they were just acting on their own. But unlike the volunteers, they didn't get to have a break. They headed north to the new Chinese landing sites to help the barely functional air defences there to deal with any bombing attempts by the Chinese Air Force. However, it looked like the PLA went all out with their attack on Lingayen, and promptly lost their precious A-ranks there, thus their attacks on the northern provinces were much more sheepish.

"The activities of the Chinese Air Force appeared to have diminished greatly since our sortie the previous night. It should be easily handled by the local air defences." The captain, who had been grounded the last couple of days waiting for repairs, said to a room full of pilots in their dull green flight uniform.

"Looks like we scarred them for life." One pilot gave an amused smirk.

"Feels like they're restructuring how they actually conduct their sorties, because otherwise they'd just be food." Thu said, crossing her arms. "I doubt they'd have issues resupplying planes from the mainland."

"Our presence is a pretty effective deterrence." Tuan signed off his projector as it powered down. "In any case, we will have some breathing room for probably a couple of days."

Everybody's ears perked up at that.

"Oh? Can we chill now?" The Russian-blooded pilot said.

Tuan sighed amusingly before returning Nikolay's question, and likely what everybody had on their mind. "Yeah, good work."

"Alright!" The room burst into celebration, for finally they had been able to enjoy the fruits of their hard labour for the last couple of days.

"Make sure to rest up well and don't celebrate too hard. I don't want to hear this ace squadron being brought out by some cafe bar in an alleyway at 10 PM." The captain reminded, glancing at Nikolay, whom in turn smirked proudly.

"Oh yeah, Thu, Van, you both got your fifth kills today right?" Cuong asked, who's been sitting calmly in his chair for the entirety of the debriefing.

"Seventh. But yeah we're all aces now." Thu replied, and her co-pilot simply nodded along.

"Oh awesome." Nikolay stepped up and put a hand on his co-pilot's shoulder as he looked over to the two ladies. "Wanna head into the city for some celebratory meal?"

"Oh, if you're going to the city, carry sidearms with you." The captain overheard the discussion. "The locals would probably welcome you with open arms, but there might be some dumb pigs who think we're Chinese. I heard they're looting and beating up Chinese-lookalikes."

The individuals in the room glanced at one another at that, but ultimately shrugged, once they were reminded of how stupid people could be in a crowd. They had first-hand experience with that as well, but hopefully they would not have to deal with that.

Down the streets of Lingayen, it was rather bustling with activities, though it was in no way festive. In fact a common sight some of the pilots who decided to venture into the city saw would be soldiers, mostly Filipinos, but they did notice some weird uniforms here and there, probably belonging to those volunteers that helped at the Lingayen initial battle. To the citizens, they'd notice a couple of dull green combat uniforms strolling down the road, looking around the local businesses and going windows shopping. Unless in closer inspections, people who were unaware would assume they were in the Philippine Armed Forces, and would likely ignore them for the better.
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