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Nico waited a minute to follow Indra, manifesting his Noble Arm. It always felt the same when he used his blade at night. Like time slowing a bit, or a camera snapping into focus. Really, it was all of that and a bit more. He wrinkled his nose at the sudden strong smell of spent powder and the ocean breeze. God, gun smoke’s not the most pleasant smell to wake up to. Still, not awful to bear. On to more important things. He took a quick look around the seafront, trying to make out anything that might be coming where he’s headed. After taking the time to adjust to Sunsetter, he walked through Callie’s portal and onto the dock of the enemy corvette, thanking his lucky stars for him already having his sea legs.

He listened to Myron’s info feed while following the trail of carnage the strike team left behind, sprinting to catch up with them. Alright then, bird man and ghostly bastard. Might be an issue, especially if the greaser’s hype is anywhere near accurate. Still, shouldn’t be that much of a problem till it becomes one. It took a bit of backtracking, but he made it to the closed door of the captain’s quarters. However, he hesitated at feeling something from the ship. Wait, why the hell does the ship got a person’s presence? Ghosts aren’t quite real, but Arms Masters…God only knows what the PLA’s got in their back pocket. Weirder and weirder shit. May as well give this a shot. Nico tested the door, and it was what he expected: locked. He took a couple well placed slices at the door, cutting a hole big enough for him to step through and hear the crackle of electricity coming from the equipment. Nico didn’t bother with any fanfare or a look around. He simply tossed Helios Rod through the equipment, letting the superheated blade work its magic before dissipating and recalling it back to his hand.

Audience Hall, Sison Auditorium, Municipality of Lingayen - 10/11/2022, 6:20 UTC+8

"Diligence, you say~?" She grinned in anticipation. "What else did he tell you? The Seven Virtues seem oh so loathe to step down from their clandestine little high tower to walk amongst us mere mortals, and the more we know about their inner workings, the better to pick their pesky interferences apart~." She sniffed. "Mou~, again with that 'Alan Turing' nonsense cropping up? Honestly, why can't that pest mind his own business? We're fighting a war here; his plots can wait."

Now, the Snake’s interest was a bit of…not good news, but definitely not bad either. As much as she set off warning bells in Nico’s head, having someone like Qingshe willing to give him some help against a bunch of men trying to play god was an incredible opportunity. It definitely gave him an excuse to at least try getting a read on her, and hopefully figure out what the deal was with the apparently not dead Turing, if not for his own curiosity, then Cavalet’s safety. But it was a thing that he could deal with a little later. For now, he shifted his focus to Noel again, and the next few things threw him for a bit of a loop.

First there was the greaser looking kid, a prat by the name of Myron. Nico wasn’t getting the best first impression of him, but then Noel started to get into a bit of the new face’s history, and warning bells began going off for the Greek volunteer. Children was already passing the line, but an out and out terrorist? It rubbed him all the wrong ways, and Myron seemed to fashion himself as some kind of charismatic soldier, which didn’t make Nico see him any better. Then, another, more friendly looking face walked in, a Second Lieutenant Larsdottir. She seemed much more relaxed and casually confident than Myron, which was a slight bit more reassuring for him. He gave a short wave to her, still fiddling with the diamond in his hand.

It was an odd procession, but what else was new? After the series of introductions given and questions answered, Nico tried to get back to relaxing in his seat, registering the orders he was given. He made a mental note to talk to Private Liddman, Qingshe and Dorn after the meeting about potential strategies and how best to utilize their Noble Arms in tandem. Or maybe just get some breakfast and a good stretch before the upcoming battle. Perhaps even just talking with his comrades-in-arms and the newcomers, as a way to get to know more about them. Then Noel kept on talking, and his calmness rapidly began to be burned away by rage. Who the blood soaked hell does this boy think he is?! It wasn’t just the matter of Noel believing that he would even consider listening to a suicidal order like going with Seven Virtues, but the fact that his next order was to request them all to trust a serial killer with their lives. Nico exercised as much restraint as he could to pull back his anger, but he managed it in an effort to keep himself from doing something stupid. Qingshe had been a bit polite about it, Private Price seemed to at least share his frustration, and Cavalet just looked lost, but it was the same result. Everyone voiced their dissent about the shift in the plan, but for the first time in a long time, Nico felt that his own pride was wounded.

There was a less than small part of Nico that wanted to fight Noel and Myron. But he was smart enough to know how stupid that really was. Instead, he got up and walked onto the edge of the podium. His native Greek accent was a bit more pronounced than normal, a result of him being a bit too angry to be more polite in his tone. ”A few things that I think should be made clear before I get anything done. First, I would kill or die before following a bunch of twats like Seven Virtues, so I wouldn’t obey such an order, First Lieutenant Alonso. Second, the…magical scientist wants Cavalet too. I feel like that should be a priority. Third, no way in fuck am I trusting him.“ He jabbed a thumb at Myron. “At least, not till he earns that privilege. And last, you said twelve hours. We deserve at least that much before going out to risk our lives, Lieutenant.” Nico wasn’t one to mince words, or even bother with being polite. Still, he tried his best to not be too hostile towards Noel. Despite his station, the lieutenant was still just a kid in over his head. Nico stepped off the podium and went to the closest seat, keeping his head down.

Nico was almost too energetic to be of service during the meeting, and far too hungry. Perhaps midnight training was a bit much, especially considering he didn’t get as much sleep as he would prefer after the fact. While he could easily function on 3 hours of rest, it was in no way ideal. Godspeed Dance took a lot out of him, and the long hours of rigorous swordplay and close quarters practice in the days after his encounter with Diligence were slowly beginning to show. Nico’s large hands were wrapped in bandages, and even those were charred at the ends. He hadn’t quite had time to grab anything to eat, so he had munched on a couple pieces of jerky from a rations box on the way which, while not filling, kept his stomach from growling during the important proceedings and debrief.

At first, Nico was content with just relaxing through the meeting, but decided to keep an ear listening and an eye out in case anything piqued his curiosity, or his anxiety. And there was already something that set him on edge. Or rather, someone. Bloody prick, but can’t blame her. There was always something about Qingshe that unnerved him, and it wasn’t helping his anxiety any. Still, Nico pushed down his unease and listened to the First Lieutenant give the debrief. It was the general explanation of what the next mission was, and the general theater of battle. A reef was less than ideal for him, but it was also likely a night battle, which meant his swordplay would be at its best.

Nico fiddled with a rather well-cut diamond in a bandaged hand, smirking a bit at some of the snark Noel was letting seep into his debrief. It definitely made it a bit more bearable to sit through than if it was all business. He clenched a bit at the name of Ren Huo, but relaxed at hearing that his brother was helping them out. His power would be a great asset for the team, especially considering their lack of defensive options. When the First Lieutenant finished his presentation and opened the floor to questions, he sighed and stood up.

”Volunteer Nico Makri. A question about the mission. And a few concerns of my own.” Nico’s accent is thin but noticeable. He raised a loosely closed bandaged hand, sticking out a finger. ”This first one is a rather important one for me. What time exactly is the mission taking place? My Noble Arm is rather time sensitive. While I believe that I’d be of service no matter what time it is, the time does play a role in what capacity I’m able to aid the task force.” He opened his other hand, letting his saber appear in his grasp, the familiar surge of heat going through his body. He took a coin out of his pocket and tossed it a bit into the air a few times, smiling a bit.

This trick never stops being fun to do. After a few tosses, he tossed the coin much higher than before, flicking it as it came back down. The miniature explosion caused by his pyrokinesis practically shot the coin into the ceiling. He shook his hand a bit, wincing at the recoil. ”During the day, I become more physically powerful and faster, and I become more precise and durable at night. So I’d prefer to be aware of what I should prepare for.

He took a deep breath and sighed. Now or never, Nico. He readjusted the burnt bandages on his hands giving them a little tug to tighten them, dismissing his blade. ”Now for my concern. One of the pricks from Seven Virtues came after me. A blondie by the name of Diligence. He asked me to be the leader of their organization, and said that Alan Turing was after me and Hannie. Obviously, I refused his offer, but I worry that he will try to force me to join. Turing is another matter in himself, but I don’t know if he’s as immediate of a threat as those Seven Virtues pricks are likely to be.” He sat back down, cracking a couple of knuckles passively. This was all a lot more than he thought he would be doing in the field of battle, but it hadn’t deterred him quite yet. If anything, it only solidified his resolve to fight for his own sake, as well as those who weren’t able to on their own.

He relaxed a bit as he thought about new things to do with the time he had. Perhaps get some actual breakfast, sleep a bit, train, or even get a good sparring session in before things got started. Nico’s mind was racing for something to do or something to happen, and he was good at masking that excitement. But all the same, a small smile was plastered on his face, despite his stress. What a day this is going to be.

After cleaning and sheathing his remaining blade, Vier wrenched his shoulder into place, stumbling from the shock to his nerves. He turned to the axe wielder, swaying a bit. This could’ve been so much worse. I don’t doubt it for a second. If I had dueled him, I’d be dead. His fellow Roses were the only reason he was still standing. And internally, he was forever grateful for the help he had received.

The red haired man didn’t bother to check the damage, he knew what the result would be. His heart finally began to slow down, as he watched their opponent clutch his wounds. Vier knew it was over, but he heard the man, Alfrid, begin speaking. Vier wasn’t really one for honor, but he respected a man’s right to speak his last words. Despite himself, he smirked slightly at the words of praise, and moved a bit closer.

”My name is Vier Alma. It was a challenging time fighting against you.” Vier simply left Flueri and Alfrid to their own devices, and went to retrieve his other blade, wincing at the movement of his shoulder. Definitely something that he would need to give a more thorough look at, in case he had somehow cracked the joint or set it back improperly in his haste. He knew he needed both hands to hold his own, especially without his longsword and armor.

Steffen’s concern was mostly warranted in Vier’s eyes, but it was a lesser issue compared to the fact that their compatriots still hadn’t come back from below. Whatever was happening down there had to be of great importance, considering there were five of them down there. Okay, this is definitely a very dangerous situation. So no fooling around, Alma. While Steffen went down to the lower levels, Vier quickly checked his twin blades for any nicks and folds in their edges, or stress lines in the middle. Nothing too worrying in the present moment, but enough for him to run reinforcement magic through them before he went down.

As he walked down, he saw a…rather confusing scene. First, there were an alarming amount of undead, which was a problem that seemed to be dwindling away. Then, there was the necromancer and a hostage behind a magical barrier: definitely a top priority. Then Vier noticed a woman pointing lightning at Steffen from the far end of the room, which was surprisingly not the scariest thing in the chamber. That honor went to what seemed like the corpse of Erich Cazt, the Demonbreaker. Fanilly and Gerard seemed to have a good handle on the situation, so he tore his eyes away and attempted to slowly sneak around to the necromancer amidst the chaos, layering sharpening magic on top of the reinforcement magic as a way to try breaking the barrier on his own.

But there was no need. The witch did the work for them, and shattered the necromancer’s barrier with a bolt of lightning. An unexpected development, but not at all unwelcome. Vier heard their captain give Lady Cecilia an order, and decided to capitalize on his own sudden arrival, waiting for an opportunity to surprise the necromancer with a strike from both blades if Cecilia didn’t do it for him.
Can I hop in this? Love the concept.

Vier was sent rolling across the ground by the Barukstaedian’s explosive axe, losing his sword and most of the feeling in his preferred hand. The good news was that he was mostly ambidextrous thanks to practice, but without his shield or a defending hand, it wasn’t going to make much of a difference. He propped himself up onto his knees, then pushed to his feet, whirling his remaining blade.

Okay, that was a bit of a bad move. Who am I kidding, I’m monoplegic. That was an amateur mistake. Time to think, Alma.

He took in everyone and everything that had occurred in the last few minutes, building up a general idea of what the Barukstaedian was capable of. That axe would most likely kill Steffen if it hit him in the head, and Fleuri would be right in the line of a second attack if the Ingvarr decided to move. The giant man was also smart, and more durable than any of the knights. But the axe seemed to be his ace in the hole, and his lack of real speed was obvious. Throwing the Barukstaedian off balance seemed to be what worked best.

Vier forced himself to focus past the pain in his right arm, folding it behind his back. After a few moments of concentration, he imbued sharpening magic on his blade and ran at the Barukstaedian to take a stab at his neck. He used his forward momentum to make the thrust that much more precise, twisting his body to keep his frame small. Regardless of his speed, that axe was always a threat to keep note of.

”Gods, the smell of this place is enough to make the dead walk away.” Vier actively resisted the urge to gag at the smell of rot and decay, but his general discomfort with being around the rotting dead was obvious. It dredged up memories he’d rather not have to deal with in the middle of a fight, so he repressed them for the time being. It was unhealthy, but it was also the best he could do in the moment. For now, he assessed the situation.

Between getting tossed like an old toy, and having to hit zombies until they decided to get back to being dead, Vier was not having a good time with the battle. To be frank, Vier wanted to just beat on the giant until it stopped moving, but he took a shallow breath and calmed himself down. Magic took focus, and using it in combination with swordplay made that even more important. Alright, this is an absolute behemoth of a man. His armor is runic, so I can’t just batter him until it gives. I’ll stick with the more reliable method: cutting the tendons.

He noticed the armored man swing his runic axe at Fleuri and moved up to deflect the strike with his right sword, imbuing it with reinforcement magic to make sure it doesn’t shatter on impact. He would use some of the inevitable recoil to make a quick swing at the armored man’s dominant wrist, heating up the blade of his left sword to make the stab easier, and in case of leather padding underneath the runic armor.
Vier had a few options as he just finished cleaning the undead gunk and viscera off his twin swords. It was an odd habit, but his father taught him that a dirty blade was as bad as a dull one. He stopped for a moment to wait for more threats or new orders as the other Roses killed got rid of the other undead.

Then the bright silver light appeared, Vier wiping his eyes afterwards to adjust. He watched as the axe streaked by, taking a step then jumping back as it exploded. ”What now?” The exasperation in his voice was obvious as he watched the rune-clad knight come forth. Vier tossed his now-dirty rag away, slowly twirling his blades to get his blood and mana flowing, them now glowing a soft red and blue.

”Well. Any ideas?” Vier moved into a defensive stance, knowing there was no conceivable way he could outmuscle the giant. So, he waited for it to make a move, moving in for a counterattack when the man began to swing the axe. He would aim to slice into the giant man’s wrist to keep it from causing further damage.
Can I hop in on this?
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