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@AlternateMan Yes?


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As the others emerged from the rabbit hole, Rhys stood sentry scanning the forest for anything that may have tried to sneak up on them. He wasn't sure whether to be pleased or displeased when his preliminary searches came up with nothing. They were either truly alone, which the boy doubted. Or he'd not looked quite hard enough.

Nevertheless, he followed the group as Jill took the lead... and proceeded to lead them directly into the awaiting hands of the Black Rabbit's minions. The hellish and nigh demonic laughter surrounding him as each effeminate voice spoke. He grabbed onto a nearby tree branch as one of the voices wailed loud enough to nearly blow him away. Rhys's grip on his bow tightened as he noticed the humanoid shades making their way towards the group of humans. He was about to pull back on the string just as Dorm Mouse arrived to break the tension.

I can surely say that I've never been quite this relieved to see a mouse before.

He watched as the girl marched towards the silhouettes, comically oversized butcher knife in hand. For a moment he considered just how absurd it was that she'd had this weapon all along before Rhys remembered just where he was. In Wonderland sense and nonsense were the exact same thing.

Shaking himself from the momentary stupor, he offered a nod of appreciation to their saviour before taking off like the rest of the party.

Their relief however would be short lived as primal shadows promptly surrounded them. A myriad of strange and nearly alien looking creatures manifesting from the abyssal sludge that had blocked their path moments prior. Rhys wasted no time in drawing his bow and loosing an arrow in the direction of one of the shadowy primates... only for the arrow to have no effect whatsoever, harmlessly passing through the beasts form.

Why isn't it working!?

He internally exclaimed as he heard Adam voice a similar sentiment. Evidently they were all missing a piece of the puzzle, none of them had "awakened" yet as Jill had put it. How though, were they to awaken? He knew that Peter had instructed them how to use their Chronovokers, and yet it still seemed impossible! Was this it? Is this how he would die? Alone, and forgotten by all? Fallen into a coma to never wake again? Would he meet the same fates as the two boys before him?

No...No,no,no... The boy thought to himself, mind locked on that self-destructive train of thought. Panic threatening to take hold of his entire phyche. As he teeters on the edge of breaking Rhys watches Alice as she pulls out her own Chronovoker and unleashed a power he thought impossible. Light dancing all around her as she summoned what looked like a girl with a wolf coiled around her. Like nothing the apparition tore through their assailants and even Alice herself managed to slay a few of the beasts. Is that the potential they all held? The true reason they were brought to Wonderland? All around him the others began utilizing very similar powers, in mere moments a lion-headed man, a monk, and an almost demonic looking entity had joined their ranks. Could he truly hold such potential within?

"Hast thou made peace with oblivion?" a voice commanding inquired in his mind.

"Are ye content to hide and cower whilst others stand against darkness incarnate? Is thine burning resolve extinguished?"

M-My resolve? Rhys thought as he remembered the foul deeds of the Queen of Wonderland. The white hot flames of righteous fury stoked once more.

"Wilt thou stand by as the wicked subject the innocent to pain and suffering so that they may fulfill their nefarious ends? Even now I know what it is you desire most, proclaim it boy and let us forge our contract."

What he desired even now... his hatred for the tyrant fueling his anger,the pity he felt for the children brought to this nightmarish dreamscape. He could sum up what it is that he wanted with one word.

"Justice..." Rhys said, his fury permeating his normally reserved tone.

"It seems there is fight left in thine soul after all. So be it. Feed the flame of thine resolve, let it become a beacon of hope for the innocent, and the funeral pyre upon which the damned shall burn! Call upon mine strength and rise O avenger of the wronged!"

Wordlessly Rhys withdrew the Chronovoker from his pocket and opened the golden lid. Light coalesced in its center, and the clock face manifested itself on the ground, hands slowly spinning in opposing directions. Focusing on the Queen, the object of his hatred and the unjust fates of the two souls that had been lost on their way. He felt the flame grow and grow and grow and threaten to overwhelm him as the clocks hands spun faster and faster. The voice's words resonating within him, as the light and spinning came to its climax.

"PERSONA!" Rhys roared uncharacteristically as anger boiled over, and he shut the watches lid. The hands of the clock simultaneously stopped on 8 o'clock, as white hot flames began to burn all around him. The ivory inferno growing larger and stronger as it encompassed even him, completely obscuring Rhys from view. A pair of large heavenly wings extended outwards from the blaze and mightily beat once, casting the flaming form away from Rhys.

He turned and saw the being before him, a tall winged angelic figure roughly 9 feet tall, donning smoke grey metallic armor with ornate silver trim and hooded alabaster robes. Where one would expect a face the being had only darkness that was occupied by two sole motes of white flame, the same sort that currently raged around the angel. In his right hand lay a sword made of dark grey steel, in his left a spark of divine light.

"I am thou, Thou art I. From the sea of thy soul I cometh. I am Akrasiel, Arbiter of Heaven!" The angel proclaimed as he rose. In his presence Rhys felt, no he knew that he would be fine. The angel held his blade to heaven and announced once more. "This blade is thine will, thine resolve made manifest. By its edge shall the foul and wretched be slain, whilst the innocent shall find refuge under its steel. Now, shall we dispatch these demons?"

Rhys slowly rose to his feet, being knocked to the ground when the angel beat its colossal wings. For once, the usually stoic boy had a grin plastered across his face. In that instant, he'd forgotten his poised demeanor, for all that mattered was their survival."Very well... SMITE THEM, AKRASIEL!"

"SO SHALL IT BE DONE!" The angel bellowed as he brought his free hand over the blade and it began to glow with the same white energy that currently raged all around it. The sword glowing as if it were a beacon in the darkness. Without so much as another word,the angel swung the blade and a wave of light coursed off of it and rocketed towards one of the masked slimes. The pitiful creature had but moments before the intense light utterly eradicated its form. One of the primates sought to sneak in a strike on the seemingly vulnerable boy, but Rhys was quicker and sent an arrow straight through its skull as the corpse turned into naught but smoke. Rhys's face was alight with righteous fury, he refused to let these demons snuff out lives any longer.

"What are you all waiting for? Cast away your doubts and use the Chronovoker! He yelled towards those who had yet to awaken.

No response? Perhaps it's not the talkative sort... I guess I did just kind of threaten it though... Ryuu thought to himself as he turned away from the slimes and paced back to his former position.

Starngely enough, one of their number seemed to know the green slime he'd so brazenly antagonized. It seemed that the pixie was not finished toying with the group as it had taken up a position upon Ash's back, something that elicited a glare from Ryuu but nothing more. Ardur, or whatever the sprite's name was seemed to be more than happy in assisting the cabal of lizards in their plot to extinguish Crispy. Despite his own internal doubts of the winged trickster's intent, allies were allies in a place such as this.

Besides, with four of them, the pixie would not stand a chance should he choose to betray. Let's hope it doesn't need to come to that.

Rain's warning caught the attention of Ryuu and he too saw what the other lizard had noticed. At least two silhouettes with one being drastically larger than the other were on approach, the sight of the large one bringing a sense of tension to the green scaled reptile. He could feel every muscle he possessed grow yet tenser as the Goblins continued their dreaded advance towards their gathering. He didn't know why, but Ryuu found it very difficult to so much as move in this situation. Was this it? The end of his second chance at life? Panic threatened to tear through him and reduce him to base instinct, fight and flight impulses raging against one another for dominance. Then Ash's voice broke through the chaos, restoring the fear-paralyzed Lizard to his senses.

She wanted him to help Rain in distracting the Greenskins long enough so that the slimes could make a hasty retreat. It was true that they were much slower, likely make for easier prey. Where as the lizards had an advantage in speed and their small, concealable frames. If he were to get the attention of some of the hunting party, there was a chance they could all make it out! Taking a deep breath, Ryuu looked to his scaled brethren and spoke.

" Alright then... I'll get their attention. I'm trusting that i won't be alone in this though. Once we've shook the Gobs I'll start looking for you two. See you then I guess."

Quickly, he skulked his way to the edge of the gathering, and found a spot that provided him with decent cover thanks to a nearby rock. From this angle he could see the Goblins getting ever closer, and Ryuu knew he needed to grab their attention quickly. Steeling his courage and calming his nerves he prepared to strike. Filling his gullet with venom once more he launched the caustic blob towards one of the smaller greenskins, even if he'd miss they'd be sure to notice that! Channeling whatever primal territorial instincts he could manage, Ryuu leapt from his hiding place and hissed as loudly as he could possibly manage at the group of hunters. Giving them a chance to realize what had just attempted to attack them, before running as fast as his scaly legs could carry him away from the rest of the gathered monsters.

@Zeroth@Rune_Alchemist@Old Amsterdam@ReusableSword@Kazemitsu@Guy0fV4lor@Renny@Lucius Cypher

"I'm not an idiot,I know that it would be suicide to try and attack them now. All we have to do is wait for the Gobs to calm do- What the?!". Ryuu jumped back in surprise as a crystal fell mere inches away from him, instinctually baring fangs and looking around for the punk who thought they were funny. Quickly, his gaze settled on the pixie hovering above the lizards gathering, Oh of course it's a pixie's doing... He thought to himself as he internally groaned. Pixies have been known as pranksters basically as long as the fantasy genre has existed, it would be no surprise to Ryuu if the little winged creature was responsible for suddenly dropping crystals on anyone he chose.

Ash however, seemed less than annoyed. In fact, it seemed like she was attempting to reason with the diminutive joker. Ryuu believed that he knew what her aim was... If they were going to follow through on his idea of Goblin hunting, having someone to help patch their wounds could be quite useful... so long as the pixie didn't try to pull anything that is.

"Just so you know, if you tried that shit with any other lizards you'd likely be receiving an unwanted venom shower right now. Lucky for you though, we're not as... base as some of our kin. Come, stay a little while." Ryuu said as he gazed at the pixie.

Breaking eye contact and looking back to the other lizards, Ryuu got a look at the results of the pixie's mischief. He was pretty sure that the crystal wasn't purple when it dropped, and curiously enough it was... humming? Utterly confused, Ryuu looked to Ash for any kind of explanation.

Well then, it seemed that the pixie had given them quite the boon unintentionally. With the power of this fell crystal they could strip Crispy of what made him dangerous in the first place. "Precisely what I was thinking Rain. Without his fire I doubt he'll pose much of a threat to us. Of course I'm in! I suggested this in the first place didn't I? Though we should wait and think this through a touch more. Remember the Gobs are fuming right now. We'll get skinned if we rush this." Ryuu warned.

Out of the corner of his crimson eye, Ryuu noticed what looked like a blob of green approaching them. He preemptively turned to advance upon the interloper and bared his fangs, until he realized that the slime had spoke. With haste he dropped the aggressive demeanor and responded. "My apologies, I thought you were going to try and sneak up on us."

@Zeroth@Rune_Alchemist@Old Amsterdam@Tatsu@ReusableSword@Guy0fV4lor

Ah, so that's why she's gone and barfed venom all over the floor. Ryuu thought to himself as he watched the caustic goop do its work on the stony floor. Ryuu listened intently as the others spoke, bringing himself closer to the pool of acid as they conversed. The idea of a lizard with Alchemy skills was... odd at the very least, but then again so was the idea of them all somehow being able to speak, and that clearly didn't stop them. Even so, Ryuu decided he'd assist the onyx scaled lizard, at worst she'd be leading him on a wild goose chase. If she wasn't trying to fool him, this could be a golden opportunity for Ryuu to make an early ally of one of his own kin. Besides, these were the only other creatures he'd seen so far that could speak. There were the Goblins, but they were far from what Ryuu would call intelligent. Besides, he was fairly certain that they would much rather try to kill and eat him rather than reason with the reptile in the first place.

"Alright then, I'll bite. mainly because I want to see where this ends." he said as he gestured a claw to the sizzling venom.

Without further ado, Ryuu stepped in front of the pool of mixed venoms from the ebony lizard, and the blue scaled one, the latter having revealed it's name as Rain in the process. He allowed his scaly, reptilian maw to be flooded by the same toxins he used to bring down prey countless times in the previous week before expelling it all on top of the same spot the others had drenched.

"Since we're working together now, I might as well introduce myself. My name is Ryuu, pleasure to meet you all, my scaly brothers and sisters."

As he examined the other three lizards and the caustic pool, Ryuu remembered the Goblin's bonfire from earlier. With the stunt that Rain had pulled, the Gobs would likely be on high alert looking for scaly sniper. He'd do well to avoid them, unless perhaps this new reptilian council of theirs would like to work together again...

If he was physically capable of such a feat, Ryuu would have donned a devilish grin as he looked first to the camp, then back to his scaly fellows.

"I know it's really sudden of me to say this, but would any of you lovely lizards like to go... Goblin hunting? I know for a fact that one of us has already lit their proverbial fire, and if we split up, we're likely to get killed as they search... But with the four of us working together that screeching pint-sized pyromaniac shouldn't stand a chance! Well, what do you say?" Ryuu asked as he awkwardly gestured towards the group with a claw.

Note to self: don't try to gesture with this body

@Zeroth@Rune_Alchemist@Old Amsterdam@Tatsu

Kill, Eat, Sleep, Repeat.

For the last week of his new life that was all that had mattered. Animalistic savagery dominated his existence. No, it defined his existence. Thought was an alien concept, and desire was king to the little lizard. If hunger called, he would hunt and devour any creature he could sink his fangs into. When darkness came, he would sleep. There was no question, no reason save for survival. Days passed as he feasted and grew, until finally something clicked within the reptile's tiny skull.

He had a life before this one.

Like a flood, memories and a sense of identity surged into the reptile. He was Ryuu Takahashi, a Japanese student and amateur author. He was human.

Or rather, he was.

That was right, The Demon King's offer of rebirth to the dying boy. He recalled that the man spoke of reincarnation into a world of fantasy. Something straight out of a manga, or perhaps a game. Too absurd to be true, and yet here he was, transformed into a flesh and blood lizard. But why? Was I simply lucky? Ryuu pondered upon the situation as he darted towards a poor insect that had gotten too close before using his fangs to full effect. Food for thought, I suppose. He silently thanked whatever power allowed his wit to be preserved through the transformation as he set to consuming the unfortunate bug.

No longer content with following his previous instinct based routine, Ryuu swiftly set about exploring the cave he'd unconsciously inhabited for the past week. Skulking near the bonfire he bore witness to a wisp antagonizing a number of the goblins, a choice Ryuu questioned the wisdom of as he tilted his reptilian head. The screeching of one goblin in particular captured the small lizard's attention as he watched him conjure up a ball of fire... and get drenched in venom seconds later. He recognized the attack as likely being the handiwork of one of his brethren, as he'd both seen and utilized a similar ability before. A flash of blue passed by the corner of his vision, and Ryuu just barely recognized it as another fanged lizard. Another strange occurrence... was that the perpetrator of the attack on that annoying goblin who called himself Crispy? Curiosity overtook reason as he decided to follow the blue scaled bomber.

Moments later Ryuu found himself upon a gathering of lizards, four of them including himself. Though they all looked admittedly... distinct. One had ebony coloured scales along with some purple scales running down it's back, whilst another had a completely blue and lithe body. Ryuu eyed the other lizards cautiously, until one of them did something that made his reptilian jaw drop.

They spoke.

The lizards in front of him conversed as if they were human beings. This revelation begged the question, if they could speak, could he? Ryuu had not truly given any thought to the idea, what with thought only becoming a concept to him mere hours ago. Though if he could speak in this form... did that mean that they were like him? No... that was just wishful thinking at it's finest, he'd not let himself fall prey to a false hope because of some coincidence. Despite his internal debate over the situation, Ryuu stepped forward and spoke to the onyx lizard. "Don't mean to just be an echo but I'll admit it, I'm pretty curious to know what you've got going on here too. Need any assistance?" He said before looking to the blue scaled one. "Oh by the way, nice shot earlier. That annoying goblin is practically fuming mad right now. You should have seen the look on his face!" Ryuu said as he silently approved of his own pun.

@Zeroth@Rune_Alchemist@Tatsu@Old Amsterdam


...And here he is. Took a smidge longer than anticipated to get together though lol.

Alright enough lurking, I'll throw my hat into this ring. Planning on rocking a Fanged Lizard, might have it up as soon as tonight.

Fueled by excitement and determination, the boy took his first steps into the stony labyrinth. With his courage reforged by the Winter Maiden, Noctis's advance was nigh unstoppable. The strangely warm air of the dungeon now seemed enticing where once it exuded an aura of menace. Priscilla at his side, Noctis took the lead as he followed the incandescent white orbs embedded in the ceiling, their glow painting a path to his very own adventure. One that he'd gladly undertake to prove his worth. The journey went smoothly for a time, until suddenly his companion notified him that there were monsters nearby.

"Monsters nearby? Where!?" the boy said in a semi-hushed tone as he slightly hurried his pace. No sooner did he turn the corner and was suddenly faced with a trio of creatures. A pair of greenskins, goblins more than likely as well as a kobold who seemed to have noticed his presence. Not ten minutes in and I've already clumsily given myself away... Idiot! Though ecstatic, Noctis was no fool, he knew just how pivotal such an advantage could be in the dungeon, one that he'd just squandered in his haste.

"So much for having the element of surprise..." Noctis said to himself as he drew his daggers and rushed to engage the leading kobold. Even if they are just mooks, three one one won't end well for me! I've got to isolate them somehow... Swiftly, he switched his leading hand to a reverse grip before raking the blade across the miniature monster's chest and attempting to plunge the dagger into its neck. His next move was a strong thrust of his off-hand dagger into the gnashing beast's torso. Ideally he'd be able to quickly dispatch the first challenger and get himself into a better position to deal with the other two short greenskins that were about to assail him.


Most adventurers feel like this when they started out? Even her?

Noctis thought to himself as he and Priscilla advanced upon the spire. As they advanced, the boy took note of other level one adventurers standing outside the dungeon. A short glance at them revealed that the same sort of apprehension and ecstatic excitement was common to them all. Yet still, Noctis could not manage to bury his doubts. The dungeon was a very real threat, and could easily annihilate him if he was careless. Did the anxiety he felt mark him as a coward? He'd not even so much as entered the tower and already he felt doubts preparing to prey on his psyche as muscles involuntarily tensed.

Do I even stand a chance?!

Shaking himself from the self destructive train of thought he'd embarked upon, the werewolf removed one of the iron daggers from its place at his side and looked it over in his hand. A razor sharp blade that would define the bounds between survival and cataclysmic failure once he crossed the threshold. Gazing upon the weapon reminded him of the preparations he'd taken care to make for today. When he went to purchase equipment he'd made certain to pick up a hooded cloak in addition to the armor and weapons he'd doubtlessly need. It took a bit of silver tongued haggling to get his hands on it, but in his eyes it was just as essential as the blade that lay in his palm. The cloak's sole purpose was to hide his identity once in the dungeon, though he doubted that anyone would waste their time attempting to recognize him, it was better that nobody saw who he was at all.

Noctis turned his focus back to Priscilla as she spoke once more, her words striking a chord and resonating with him. The legendary Winter Maiden had confidence that he'd do just fine in the dungeon? An adventurer he'd idolized had faith in trash like him? It was unbelievable, inconceivable even! Yet she had said it herself. He looked up to Priscilla, managing to finally meet her gaze as a genuine smile broke out across his face. "You know what... Yeah! You're right, I'll be just fine, I'm sure of it!" He proclaimed as his doubts faded. Within the werewolf a fire was lit, one that burned with determination. He took a deep breath as the tension was consumed by his own willpower, while he sheathed the dagger he'd been idly looking at moments ago. Noctis looked to the tower which seemed far less intimidating now, before looking back to Priscilla. "Alright then... Let's do this!" He said as he threw the hood over his head and strode towards the tower and into the dungeon. This was it, this was his trial to prove that he belonged.

And he would conquer it.

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