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Oh, yes, right, sorry for taking your time away!”, Aurora awkwardly smiled and scratched the back of her head in a clumsy attempt to apologize after realizing that in fact instead of talking at this current moment of time they should instead be ready for the next race - and that included Aurora herself.

She looked over her bolide - damages brought to Spike were not crucial to put it out of commission, but Skull Rider’s mines and other obstacles on the first track brought some damages to the machine that needed to be fixed as soon as possible in order to perform in the next race. Though, that aside, the cheerful android was quite happy with how her bolide performed in this race. The engine worked stunningly fitting for the race course, but on the other hand, it made Aurora to ponder over other possible ways to put it into use - she felt that the future race tracks might prove the bolide’s main gimmick too limited.

But it was no time to think about it right now. Making a mental note to think about it later, when the bigger break is to to be had after the first day of the races, Aurora climbed up Spike once again and giving one more wave to Lidia she took off to settle down for the fixes she needed to apply to her machine.

See ya all again on the traaaaack-!”, she yelled to every single person indulged in the race a she drove past them - that included Rema and Clauida of course, no matter how they felt about the energetic android.

The metal sung in high pitched shrieks of clinging and clashing as Runa directed her spear into the mad samurai and each of her flickering strikes was to be quickly and masterfully deflected with a series of katana slashes. Nephetos’s hand directing her blade moved against each of the incoming strikes coming from Runa, causing sparks to rise and lit up the space in between them both, sparks reflecting with white and bright yellow shades of fleeting light in the metal of their weapons and in their eyes, with some passion to linger in the air.

Her defense stance Nephetos was soon to redirect in the counter attack, as her sword rose high over Runa’s head and aimed to strike down on her - a blow which upon landing would’ve cut not only the girl herself, but the ground under her feet too; but the swift motion of a spear swinging over her head to again gain a diagonal position over Runa’s head and side, causing the vertical slash aimed on her to meet the metal of the spear and slide down past the demon’s shape - the katana cleave redirected into the ground again.
Thus giving others an opening to attack.

Keep your eyes p̸̜̮̅̿è̵̫͗ͅê̴̪̔l̴̰̿ḛ̴̜͑̎d̸̬̬̓͌”, Runa replied to Nephetos with the same smile she would always wear on her lips and then carefully dashed aside - her motions flickered again as she moved back, allowing the adventurers to strike at the samurai with what they had. For Runa it was a sight to behold as well; or a spectacle, or a demonstration. Watching Akiko provide her counterattack on the white wolf which would also create another opening - for Kanbaru to use her projectile on her. It made Runa to give a light chuckle amidst the fight as she recovered herself with her spear back in her hands properly in the attack position: “You did not lie when you s̴͔̪̃͝a̷͓̋ḯ̵̼ͅd̵̡̧̏̉ that you are capable of d̸̜̀r̴̛̩͙o̷̺̎p̸̧͙͒̚p̸̘̞͌͒ḯ̶̞̠͘n̶͉̏́g̴̢͙̕ your pacifism for just a little indeed.”, Runa said with some praise directed for Akiko - right before she was ready to get back into a fight.

A fight which would soon come to halt. Runa felt it among the first, an alien, yet all so familiar presence shaping up around the battlefield, and around some certain visitors in here - herself included. Right from that moment of the creeping coldness without a body to shiver through the air to appear she knew that Nephetos would be quick to part. And so she did - her body dissolving and disappearing without a trace in the thick cloud of darkness - leaving only an explosion of dark blades to dart around the battlefield - which Runa would evade by a few flickering motions, calmly stepping from side to side.

She will come back for m̴͙̒ơ̷͈̰̊r̶̈͜ě̷̳̩̈́. If you all are to survive the ș̵̫̒̍h̴͔̉ā̴͖p̵̮̼̆ē̵̢ of other... ḭ̵́n̸̤̂̉h̶͇̟̄͊a̷͈̪̔b̵̨̓͝i̴̥̕t̵̝͌̚ã̷͇n̷͎̲̄ť̵̩̚s̴̢̲̈́́ of this place.

Somewhere along the banks of the Lagoon's outer edges were the remainder of the group. Something was indeed wrong, the sensation Katie picked up on coming closer and closer until she felt the backs of her hairs stick up. Thomas' charge and warning was all but confirmation to the invisible factor. Were she naive, she might have thought it was through their efforts Nephy was driven off, but more than likely it was because of that newfound presence. "She's fine. As you can see," Katie answered Thomas in deadpan, already placing Riku down. "You can focus on going further into the cave before whatever it is approaches us. I suggest you ask that demon girl for directions-"

She was in front of Riku in a blur, smacking away the residual dark energies left behind by Nephy as a final parting gift. So quick was her movement the princess barely caught a glimpse of her blade as it already shimmered away and out of sight. Somewhere off to the distance was an echoing crash as Nephy's redirected attack was sent away. "The others can figure it out sooner or later. This isn't something we can fight..."

The presence of something other could be felt by everyone at this point and it turned the waters of the Lagoon colder and more frigid than they already were. Chunks of rocks fell off the tops of the stalagmites that dotted the Lagoon's backdrop, plummeting lile lobbed off heads into the waters. The crabs once under Hellsword's control fell where they stood, some teetering to their sides with undead limbs cycling in the air before at long last they grew still again. But most of all, a chill like no other crept up the spine of the biggest sinner, an edge of an invisible grip curling itself from the tip of Runa's tail, crawling up her back, all the way to the ends of her horns. It was as if two sturdy hands gently pressed onto each of her shoulders with nothing to show for this phenomenon in sight.

Yes. I had a feeling y̸̧͕̑̐o̸̥͐͝ù̴̞ would come sooner or later, attracted by such a d̸̪̥́̍ḭ̶͗ş̸̐̍p̵̯̈́l̸̬̒̕ḁ̵͚̅̀y̶͍͗̇”, Runa said to no one visibly around, no one certainly in specifics, her eyes directed at the rocky wall of the cave they were in and her shape flickered still. She felt it first, and she was all too familiar with that taste of its presence - a formless shape of coldness yet to manifest but already in touch with the reality she was struggling with. The grip of the cold was to clasp over her shoulders after rising up her tail and spine and apply slight pressure, a hold almost tender was it not so reeking of death.

My dear guests… These s̷̭͍͌͠p̴̪̘̆͒i̵͚͙͐͗r̶̟̗͋͠i̵̻̪̓̑t̴̰̺̄̈s̶̢̔̓ you can feel by the shivering touch of the cold on your skin are something that you may think of as a c̸̟͖̊ư̸̓͜r̶̲̲͊͠s̷̫̗̾e̷͉̓ taken form and will, haunting presence of a force filled with d̷͉͑̽ḙ̴̌a̴͓̽t̶̥͗h̸̖͈̆̈́... “, Runa said, her shape flickered again in a manner of her face splitting and twitching, as suddenly while she was still facing Akiko, Kanbaru and the place where Nephy was just a moment ago, the ghostly shade of hers was to be turned around, facing what was behind the demon’s back.

Ain’t that right, spirits? But even you have your ḻ̴̔í̴͔͕̉m̶̼̑͒í̵͔t̴͕̞̅̚s̵̞̏̏”, Runa’s ghostly shape said to whatever was behind her, while her actual shape facing Kanbaru and Kanbaru addressed them: “We have to move. Ṉ̸̑ỡ̸̹w̴̟̒́

Runa's warning wasn't to be taken lightly. Already the same encroaching chill on the first Runa spread to the true one like a plague. The area grew colder, cold enough for Katie to start seeing her breath, though she doubted Kanbaru would be affected by the decrease in temperature. "You better do what she says," she told Riku, Thomas, and Ami. She too was already turned away, moving deeper into the Abyss' inner-caveworks. The ghastly presence moved down Runa's throat from her lips, taking with it breath as it stole away her air and all capacity to breathe. Her saving grace was it was a slow process and not all of the presence was altogether here in complete fashion much like her. But soon. It was coming soon, and in time. The crab corpse's were already rotting away, large chunks of their shells deteriorating rapidly and caving in on themselves. The pressure deepened, as if pushing on Runa's chest....and Riku's as well.

Aren’t you a feral b̷͖̩̑̓e̷̙̿̆a̸̼̽̄ṡ̸̡̻̈́t̵̮̮̐ yearning for a life to claim?”, Runa said again with an absent and sterile tone, all while the devouring cold was to spread further around and across her present body, consuming over her tongue, her throat, slipping down into her.
How many times of a time in a lifetime..?

The coldness knew no words, it was just consuming everything, coating everything with itself as it was to paint over the air with people’s breaths to be exposed in how they exhaled, painting over the ground with the rot of crabs’s corpses which were left behind, over the rocky walls with the frosty touch, over skin exposed and not with the biting shivering pressure. Runa’s face was to remain unfazed with her lips still shaped in a smile, despite the growing pressure to form around her chest, deeply forcing itself over the demon’s heart.

M̸͉̌̑à̸̬n̵̺̅y̶̼̆ ̷̗̈t̷̫̉i̵̗̓͘m̷̥̉̌ë̷̲͝s̶̠͑ ̷̯̋̑ĩ̶̮̀t̷͈͆ ̴̢̘̒ẅ̶̫́͘a̶̳͚͆̚s̵͈̽”, she said and suddenly her presence produce a twitching flicker heavier than the others were before, her presence was to crumble on place, to leave an emptiness of a space where she just was a moment ago - only for her to appear again in a different place but still beside the pair who fought together with her: “Follow me.” Unlike other occasions, this time her wording was simple and direct enough.

She started to move onward. Her voice seemed to not to be impacted much by the fact she was running - and quite fast so, only she flickered each time she was to say something, and yet the tone was as still and calm as usual: “This coldness. Somewhat of a d̸̩̀o̶̩͌͛ȍ̸̥̽m̴̨͐ of this place. Claims everything as its own. First thing local inhabitants learn to do - is to avoid this presence. Or to be c̵͎̯͘ờ̵̧͖n̶̨͈̊̚s̸̻̕ü̵͙͓m̷̞̹͂ë̶̬́̄d̵̮͛ and ̴̥̫̈r̴̨̺̽̀o̵̧̲̍ṫ̷͖̲̾t̷̙̱͘ě̵͉̟͂d̶̳̈́ͅ ̵̻͘a̶͔̗̒ŵ̸̥a̵̦̎͝ỵ̵̉̃”. She guided the party onward, deeper into the cave lagoon was in, deeper through the rocky formations surrounded and shaped by the eons of the water coating over them, deeper into the area where the light was casted by Runa’s chaotic flickering and occasional spells one would to put, deeper into the Abyss.

***

In time, coldness remained behind. It never disappeared, not it was to be casted away, only distance grew in between and in so its presence. It was to come back sooner or later - it was something Runa was to tell, but it also was a thing obvious on its own. It was looming over, creeping up after, no matter what one would do.

In time they reached a landscape to expose before their eyes. Countless buildings ruined, broken, laying lifeless and empty scattered across the rocky formations to be seen - a city once was but now long gone. It had no clear geometry or a foundation, the placement of buildings was confusing, sometimes it was completely impossible - some were just collapsed, but some were turned upside down, the walls absent or grew into the rocky bases of the Abyss, buildings laying on top of each other, crumbled into each other. Scattered around like many pieces of various puzzles unfit to be together but forced so, cut and broken into shapes unfit to exist. And yet there they were. Real and exposed to an eye.

There was no place to live here. N̶͖̕ȇ̶̞v̷̲̝͑͗ḙ̵̡͑͘r̵̡̐ ̶̗̿̓w̶̘͂͗ͅë̶̼́̔͜r̸̰͛̄ȩ̷͗̌. Never was a town here, or a village. It was an empty barren wasteland. Then times before times ago, a land above the Abyss c̸̯͒͐r̵̺̈́͝a̸̮͝c̷̼̈k̶̞̑ͅe̵̢̓d̵̡͎́͐ and broke apart. Its pieces and fragments fell into here, c̸̮͕͒͌ö̸̬̊n̵̪̓̌s̸̤̩͑u̴̧͊̋m̵̱͆e̶͉͛͝d̵̘͂; and what once was a structure of things to be, now became a mere rubble. Though, what might be a ruin in one’s eye is to serve a place to live for others.”, Runa explained, also pointing out further into the distance, where the said pieces of buildings were assembled and put into place more properly, more fitting for one to live in and even resemble some actual space of being inhabited. One could even say it was made so with care and a sense of beauty where pieces of broken structure were put to compliment and fit the shapes of rock foundations.

We can rest there, for as long as there is some distance built between us and the c̵̺͐o̷̲͆͛ḻ̶͕̈́d̸̛̠̬͒n̷̝̔͠e̶̮͖̽͑s̸̰̳̔̍ș̵̓, I assure it is a place safe to be in. Might as well consider it a home for souls lost there, if you are to consider y̷̪͌͜ỏ̶̭u̴̗̐r̵̤̰͂̓s̷̯̀͊ë̶́͗ͅl̷͚̀̚f̸͙̓͊ ̶̟̯̐o̷͕̫̓͂n̷͇̆e̷͕͎͛͆.”, Runa said and guided the adventurers inside of a little fort constructed out of the broken pieces of the land long gone.

Aurora made a few jumps on top of her car, all while drone mounted cameras surrounded her to make a good clear angle to capture a momentum of her joyful energy as she almost got into a dance on top of her bolide cheerfully yelping into the skies and the mass of sound shaped by all the crowd’s voices. After a moment of unexpected celebration caused by an unexpected victory, she finally jumped down on the ground and gave a pat on her bolide.

You earn a new upgrade here, buddy~”, she said to her machine - the thing of course did not respond to her anyhow, minus the somewhat echoing sound of patted metal, all while her foot tapped on the ground and her hands moved in a cheering motion. “I wonder what else to put in your engine over there.. ah, well, we can decide later! Oh..?”, she continued talking to her machine, the tone of her voice giggly and ready to blow up from the impossible to hold all that energy within her; up until she suddenly was approached by a different racer. Lidya, a cyan haired racer, approached her with a hand proposed for a handshake and Aurora with a big smile gladly responded with both of her hands clasping on Lidya’s hand, starting to shake it energetically.

Oh, hey there! You were on that flyer bolide, yea? It looks so damn great of a machine, so technologically advanced, can’t imagine where you got one!”, Aurora spoke further, her voice as cheerful and she kept on shaking Lidya’s hand even though obviously there was no need for to anymore, “And thank you very much! To be honest… I did not realize that I won until I hit the brakes here!”, Aurora said with a light scratch on her head - for which she finally released Lidya’s hand from her handshaking hold. “I don't even understand what I did even, but hey, it was a lot of fun!”, Aurora said with a beaming smile to rise on her lips, an expression which would then change into a light confusement - as she was to hear first, and then to see as she turned around the little show Rema put on. Without her realizing probably too.

Sheesh, what’s with her. This is not the finale even. It is just the first race”, Aurora said both to Lydia and herself, somewhat confused by such behaviour: “She needs some chill. Though… I am certainly not the one to speak about chilling. Oh, I know, she needs to have a more optimistic attitude to things! That would help!... Oh, sweet, three points!”, she concluded with another cheer - not to herself, but to the energizing situation she found herself in most of all.

Runa’s forceful punch was to push Nephetos away enough to create some distance in between them, a distance enough for Runa to grab her spear properly and point it into the direction of white wolf. Which certainly only added to Nephetos’s mad rage spinning somewhere in her head past these eyes as Runa thought looking directly into them. Akiko speaking up behind made Runa to give the summoner a quick glance with a chuckle to follow, a light nod appearing afterwards:

You may say like that, ẗ̸̥̫́r̷̘͗ú̶͉̓̔ę̵̥̼̓͋͌ Like we all see things in a different light to be cast by the m̷̛̩̈̎ő̷͙͈͊̐ḿ̴̠̌e̴̲͋͝n̷͕̞͈̒̈́t̶̺̏̉s̷̞̦̓̃̐ taken away, so I may see things in lights to shed in the m̷̛̩̈̎ő̷͙͈͊̐ḿ̴̠̌e̴̲͋͝n̷͕̞͈̒̈́t̶̺̏̉s̷̞̦̓̃̐ added. Like of how an è̵̝͔y̸͙̞͋e̵̛̠̝̽̂̽ͅ focuses on images lingering before it.”.

Runa said, with a tilt on her head and a smirk was to be painted over her lips as she turned her eyes back to Nephetos, “A lesson might await for a later m̷̛̩̈̎ő̷͙͈͊̐ḿ̴̠̌e̴̲͋͝n̷t̶̺̏̉ while these eyes are met with eyes of a different… ǎ̵̫̬ș̷̇p̵̙̫̋̉ȋ̷͓r̶̞̭͋͛a̴̻̱͑t̷̯͋ḯ̷̻͖̎ò̵̯̚n̶̙̔̑,", Runa said with a tone calm and voice floating; her speech though continued to flicker and echo in deep reverb, same word layered over itself by a several voices with a deep endless void of alien silence to suspend in between, and so her spear would flicker in color as well.

Nephetos soon disappeared in the shadows, only to reappear behind other adventurers. Runa held her smirk on her lips, it remained almost as if frozen, still and motionless. Her eyes lightly glanced on Akiko again and she nodded once again.

Self defense is good. But you would also need to provide o̵̺̿͆͝f̸͍̏f̶̈͑̈͜e̶͙͌̈n̵̦͕͐̀̏ș̴̥̓̂͐e̴͇̞͐ here too if you are to assure your and your friends' breath happening on”, she said, right before Nephetos’s strike sent Riku flying aside by a forceful strike. The trajectory of her flight was met by Runa with a look rather unamused and unfazed. “Put everything you have, summoner, it’s not a.. moment to hold back. There is more than just your life being put in question. Abyss swallows even s̸̜͑̚o̷͈̾̇͠u̷̳͆̕ľ̵͖͍̞̏̀ś̷̪”", Runa said and with of little pause after that she dashed forward: Nephetos who was concentrated on attacking the group would give Runa an opening enough to support an attack coming on the wolf from the rest of adventurers from aside - a flickering dash left a trace of shadows sparking with blackness for a moment under her feet as she ran towards Nephetos and with of little moment to be spared she attacked with her spear. A motion of her arm would direct the spear in a piercing attack aimed at the white wolf - and the spear in the momentum itself was to flicker again and in that flicker to split apart and appear as dozens and dozen more spikes rushing towards the samurai’s head.

The speed was overwhelming, it was cutting through her face like razor blades, but to Aurora it was her who was cutting through the air, she was the speed incarnate, one together with the absolute she was trying to achieve all the time during every race. One with her bolide, one with the ground, one with the speed that cancelled all sense of time and space - there were no coordinates, there was only absoluteness of movement. Absoluteness of speed, which defied everything but its own manifestation. It was a moment of bliss when the Spike reached past the upper point of that loop and absoluteness of speed became more than absoluteness of the law of gravity and the spike started to drive down, down more, the gravity was no more defied but became one with the speed, consumed by it - and in that synthesis the speed of her bolide was only to grow, more and more.
She stopped to think.

Speed defied thinking too. There was no need for it anyway. She was the existence absolute, any thoughts would only be just a side effect of that condition; and the side effects were something she wanted to push away now; no, there was only the movement to be, objects became only reflections of their shapes as they were to swish past her, her and her bolide.
There was no end to it. She just kept on driving. The contest itself became irrelevant - one would say it was the very same mistake she made in her first race, and every race after it. But it mattered little to her. Her victory existed elsewhere.
It was that speed. It was becoming one with it.

Something was off though. She was fast, very fast. But she was not fast enough to be that far from the rest of her racers. She knew it - it was not a thought, more of a gut feeling, if an android could have one at least. More of a play of perception, when something of an expectation was not to come - but should have. Only then the sound reached her ears and mind slowly waking up from that slumber of bliss. The sound of cheer. And applauds.
She blinked.

Wait. I won?”, she asked herself and did not ever recognize these words. She blinked again and shook her head to her surprise and confusion as she looked around herself and saw nobody. She was way past the finish line. In fact she was way past the finish line, long away from the rest of the racers. With a great hesitation she hit the brakes to make a stop and finally looked around properly, blinking and not understanding what just happened.
I won..?

A slow realization slowly crept up into her mind.
I woooooooooooooooooooooooon~!”, she yelped and started to jump on top of her racing bolide.
Thomas’s response confused Abigail even more and it was painted all over her face - it was the face of a child who was surrounded and scolded by parents for some mistake or a misdeed - but the child was not entirely sure what they did wrong, and what even happened in the first place. Thomas, barely holding down shi temper to not to shout back at Abigail, left her in some sort of a stupor with a dumbfounded expression shaped on her face and eyes staring back in an inability to find a proper reply. She simply did not know what to say and how; this man standing before her was indeed just a mere man, but a man holding a mass of power as everybody knew; and funnily enough she was pinned down by that trick Abigail pulled; ironically enough she could not even process and acknowledge what she managed to accomplish this day. A politician never was to be born in her.
For better or worse.

Ah..”, she tried to speak up once again, raising her hand as if trying to make the mayor to stop, but similarly to a moment ago Thomas simply did not allow her to - it seemed he already has decided everything, everyone’s positions, agendas and actions and set himself to solve the occured problem as fast as possible; preferably instantly. With a paycheck.

Thomas pulled out a checkbook out of his pocket and was quickly to fill it in - a motion very quick and made almost automatically, almost with no thought to be caught behind it; Abigail again tried to compose something to say, simply to not to make herself look so lost in this situation, but a check was quickly shoved into her hand as if almost to take this position from her. After all, she did ask for a donation and that motion kickstarted a rain of thoughts overwhelming her mind, causing spiral of doubts on what did she do, how did she do it, and what to do now.
What did she manage to achieve?

A girl steps onto the balcony to observe the ruckus and her father amidst it. Here she was. So close and so far at the same time. Abigail’s actual goal, the girl she was tasked to save - Marie. Abigail looked up to observe her - a really pretty young girl, delicate and almost ethereal in appearance, with gentle soft features, accentuated by the expression of amusement and boredom mixed together on her face. Abigail did not even notice the bickering between the girl and her father at first, stuck in her own thoughts over the stillness of this moment.
They both looked absent looking at each other, each of them deep in their thoughts.
Amusing come to think of it, considering both of them were screamed at by Thomas.

Soon enough the man started to take his leave and the girl disappeared into the depth of her room as well. Suddenly Abigail was free from the yoke of her confusion and the world became clear once again. There was little action to take, but the most important one. Abigail looked at Thomas slowly moving away from her sight and it was clear that this stubborn man would not listen to her any longer, not after what she pulled. Abigail pulled the watch she was given to see the time she had on her hand; but even without looking at the clock’s arms it was clear to her there was not much - she wasted too much time with this and given the girl was still in the villa, Montag did not manage to reach her yet. The stunt she pulled to give the man a clear opening could also work against them in the long perspective.
No matter.

She only waited for Thomas to get away from him to see her anymore - the aftermath of her actions still lingered in the air and it vibrated and people present still confused themselves by what just happened, so the Mayor had to attend them and waste his time with them, probably much to his annoyance. Even some more time was won for Abigail to act. She looked around, observing the place she was pulled in by the Mayor: a back yard of the villa, isolated and secluded away from prying eyes, not to be seen by anybody - ironically enough by pulling her here for a private talk Thomas only made her job easier. Just in front of her there was a back entrance, open and ready to be used and nobody around as Thomas himself has left the area. That entrance was probably already used by Montag before.

"I 'ope ye're around, Montah'. Tis's time we get the girl out already..", she mumbled under her breath as she carefully opened the back door to the villa and sneaked inside. It was an opening in itself for the priest as she stepped inside the building, making use of that confusion and looking around the place for the stairs, trying to avoid all the attention on her persona, but sparing no more time to waste - they wasted enough already. Unlike Montag's, her appearance would of course attract some attention given she was to appear amidst the room for the staff, but she made sure to be hasty and stubborn enough - looking around around for the sign of staircase and Montag both.
"I sure em hope ye're not in a trouble.."

Nephetos attacked.
Of course she would - the wolf fed upon the thrill of the fight and the line between life and death - her whole being and existence were this very line as it is, itself. Runa expected her to do so. Runa also expected for the party of adventurers to hold themselves up against the wolf's ruthless, violent attacks. Nephetos was an outstanding threat for them, but something was of a feeling in Runa’s mind to shape that these people who entered the Abyss were not some simple lost souls themselves. Runa’s lips curled into a light smile as one more proof to that feeling’s validity was given to her - as she felt and heard some of the attention directed at her presence. A summoned presence’s magicks were to crawl around the lagoon and underside of the reality, creeping over the flows of energies and senses and intuitions stretched and split over the so fragile and sensitive line of time - some poking motions to appear around Runa’s inner being, creeping over her flickering and fleeting, yet persistent existence.

Marvelous..”, she said under her breath as her words were to turn into a mist and shapes unnatural, her motions of presence and thoughts were to poke back, the touch of a cheeky nature to make Ciel’s chains to jingle a little, like if a Morse code speaking back to her rattled through the pulled chains underside of the realm of manifestations of many wills to shape. But that cheeky messaging would soon stop and wither - as it was time to enter the stage at long last. Nephetos fought like a nightmare appeared, dragging her power from the deepest pits of terror. Her motions were quick as she dashed and moved towards the target to be cut down first. She jumped her blade ready to strike down at the summoner.

A shadow would be cast upon the space between Nephetos and Akiko. A shadow of not ordinary nature, as due to there was no object to be present around to cast it down; neither there was a proper light source for the shadow to be put on that place. It also had shape, it had shade, it had weight and the weight it had was tense enough for the light around it to dim slightly and gently wither for a moment or two, or three. Shadow tensed and while the sword of the wolf warrior was to go down, aiming to cut through it, it met a resistance - a resistance of a nature firm and unmovable. A collision of metal screamed in a high pitched screeching as the devastating blow meant to hit Akiko was to be deflected and forced to follow the shape of the resistance down to the ground, across the shape of a shadow tensing up and forming up into a long pole. Shadow was to shift, tense more, and the hands were to appear holding the said pole, from hands shadows flickered into the arms, from arms it went to the body, legs, torso, head, pair of horns, long blue hair again contrasting with the watery dimness of the ground. Pole was to shape up in a spear - a spear of form and shade unstable and ever changing, colors swirling across its shape like the wielder of this weapon was to flicker in place, before the shadows finally were to disappear and Runa was to stand in presence stable.

She blocked the incoming attack of Nephetos and with a circling motion on place and her spear she gained a needed inertia for a strike back - even though her spear was too long for the proper counter attack aimed at Nephetos due to the limited space in between them, Runa could still use her hand - and she did, with a shape of her presence flickering again her palm was to strike back at the wolf, aiming to push her away with a powerful strike.
From aside one would see a shape of Runa’s hand to be as if cut into several frames, as if her hand had numerous copies following after the motion of the original, or if her presence was cut in a many several frames, barely following her actions.

Are you alright here?”, she calmly asked Akiko with a curled smile on her lips, looking over her shoulder and getting a better hold on her spear. Her attention quickly shifted to Katie, Ami and Ciel as Runa was to smile at them in the same calm manner: “I must apologize for arriving so late to meet you properly. I needed some t̸͎͝i̷̙̤̹͋̂m̵̨̥͗̌́ê̷̲͕̞͗ to properly f̷̖̖̭̂ǫ̴̃c̴͍̄u̶̓͗̚ͅs̴͍̟̼̊̾̃ my presence in here. I am quite thankful for your magicks, it helped me to pinpoint this m̷̎͜ò̸̲m̴͈̯̓̈́e̷̛͎ṇ̸̄͒t̷̟̩͉̓ ̸̙͆ and arrive here, a very right m̷̎͜ò̸̲m̴͈̯̓̈́e̷̛͎ṇ̸̄͒t̷̟̩͉̓ ̸̙͆ indeed to arrive.”, she continued. Her speech flickering and shifting at certain moments, like if several voices were to speak the same word in a very awkward loss of synchronization, some of these voices being somewhat late or too early to speak what she wanted to say.

Would be only honorable of me to offer you all some h̶̛̜̪̃̈́ę̷̯͊ḻ̴̹̲͐̕p̸͎̲̋͊̉ ̵̛̟̬̽̑ back, in regard of this case of i̴̙̓̂n̷̢̺̉̏̔h̶͉̫͋o̶̢̥̯͗̋̂s̷̩̽̌p̷̈̽͜͠i̴̧̇͠t̴̮̯͝á̵̟b̸͉͇̓͆̾ͅl̵̦̬͌̋e̴̫͉͖̽ ̸͈̞̬͌ welcome”, she said and lifted her spear pointed directly at Nephetos.

The crabs continued their hunger driven attack until they found it would be safer and more nutritious to devour the remains of their less fortunate comrades. It was not a very amusing sight to see, to witness - after all it was not typical only for the nature of the Abyss, but it was so for the nature in general; with a thought in mind of course that the nature here in this dark and twisted place was more violent, more aggressive and somewhat mad too - if one could think of a nature as of a broken and collapsed mind. That sight was something Runa got used to for quite some time ago - so much time she - or anybody else in that matter - could not really count. The banality of this cannibalistic instinct to avoid danger and to satisfy hunger was outshadowed by something else, something quite more surprising to her - the performance of this adventuring party she witnessed.

Not everything she could see with her eyes as she moved through the lagoon, her presence in the area flickering and shifting everyone in a while - but she did not need eyes to feel the power put into every one of these slashes and strikes: the explosion of water and fire causing the area around the fight to be coated in the deadly steam, boiling the enemies alive, the strikes of flame and water, the strikes of sword and a scythe, the magical summons, the sight and intuition of these people were enough of actions to expose the glimpse of their power, the power Runa was quite amused of - to look at and feel with how the air tensed up, with how the energy floated over the lagoon for her skin to feel its floating electrifying touch, in several places at the same moment - similar to how she was herself. The waves of energy radiating from each one of these adventurers, the words they spoke while announcing them sensing the magical presence, all in all holding seemingly a limitless potential.
There were a few more things which attracted Runa’s attention, but she decided to concentrate on them later.

Both Riku and Ciel starting to be aware of her presence made Runa to smile in appreciation of the skill; all while Nephy stepped up to the party and announced her presence - white mad wolf ready to unsheathe her blades and attack the party. She too was filled with and driven by a hunger, but a hunger of a more existential and high origin. A hunger which would drive her to test these adventurer’s skill for sure, as well as to achieve a few more things.

Smiling with her lips, Runa started to flicker again, the shape of her presence twisting the reality around and making whatever sensation of a presence she would give to Ciel or Riku to end up in confusing motions; but that flickering motion would serve an additional purpose. She spoke words, her lips moved, but these words were never spoken, never heard by anyone, never witnessed, there were never really there; but they were to appear in Nephy's mind like if they were always there, as if they were told to her before, the words which were not heard by any ear, but shaped in Nephy’s mind like a not so distant memory.

And as these words were revealed to Nephy, Runa would step back again - in the lagoon and nowhere at the same time - waiting for Nephy to attack.

The boost given to Aurora’s inertia engine by the explosion of the mines launched at her and shot by the Skullrider was enough for her to compensate for the loss of speed and control over the road. Aurora’s attention though quickly shifted from her rivals to the perspective of tackling the first actual obstacle the road itself was to present to her. The spinning and twisting road would soon emerge before her in a harsh rise - angle of which was to impose danger, sense of impossibility, and in so fear. And fear gave birth to thrill.

This is only to play in my favor!”, Aurora yelped, almost completely forgetting about her opponents at the moment, given all of them were to have their focus mostly on the race leader at the moment. For Aurora though, the perspective of tackling, throwing herself against the road obstacle, to defy gravity itself with pure speed and inertia was her main goal now, was her main focus. The road soothed and narrowed before her eyes lining up before her. She saw with the corner of her eye how the Skullrider pulled a daring trick to shorten the distance and gain more gap between him and the rest of the racers: Aurora did not even think about repeating it.

Why would she, when pulling the whole loop would give her an actual advantage? She took a firm grip on the Spike with her hands and legs, clinging herself to the vehicle and then pressed the boost; fueling her ride with the remaining of the collected inertia to gain even more speed, more boost to the speed to ride up that loop.

At a single moment, when Spike reached the top point of the loop and Aurora herself was put upside down compared to the ground, she would feel gravity disappear completely. This single second of the sensation, when speed canceled out another physical force made her andriod heart to burn brighter than ever.

GEROOOONIIIIMOOOOOOOOO~!!!”, a loud yell, reaching almost shrieking tones she would force out of herself as Spike made it past the top of the loop and start to ride back. Speed boost added with the Spike driving down now pulled back by the gravity as well, the inertia of speed and the shape of the road.. would only fuel her engine with more inertia power, for more speed boost, for more road thrill. Speed enough not only to catch up, but also to make use of the road broken before her - a few cracks of the road shaping up a trampoline good enough.
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