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Ascot, Andras, and Cyan


TAGS: @Letter Bee @Crowvette @CavnderOHeart

Cyan appeared in a room even darker than the one he left, but it was definitely more cozy. After his eyes adjusted to the sunset light straining through the closed window shades, he saw he was in what appeared to be a living room of some sort. On the floor was a thick, comfortable carpet, and against the wall with the double window was a couch. A couple other comfortable-looking armchairs were also in the room. On two walls opposite of each other were bookshelves, the contents of which were quite varied in size and thickness. In the middle of the room was a large table with some sort of equally-large, comfortably-lined box. Cyan hadn't a clue what that could be.

Being too tired to really care about much other than sleeping at this point, but still thinking clearly enough to realize that he was probably trespassing, he decided to curl up in the corner next to the couch rather than sleep on the couch itself. Would make it less likely he'd be spotted. Luckily, the carpet was more than worthy of sleeping upon. He then pulled his fluffy tail over himself as a makeshift blanket and fell into a deep sleep, thoroughly exhausted.

He suddenly awoke to the chorus of The Final Countdown by Europe, and knocked his head against the hard plaster wall.

His first thought was, 'Ow!' followed by, 'Crap, I'm trespassing and now my phone is going to wake them up!' He rubbed his head as he attempted to fumble his ringing phone out of his back pocket while lying down. Finally managing it, he held it over to his face and noticed the clock in the corner.

1:43 AM

'Who on earth would be calling me at this time at night?' he thought, and swiped across. Unknown caller ID. This could only mean one thing.

'Wrong number,' he thought, a bit irritated, and hung up.




William Ascot thanked Vernon with a smile and a "Thank You; make sure he only shoots at the wheels of that half-demon's transportation and does not kill anyone," but frowned when he mentioned Cyan. "To be honest, I was going to call him now to help boost mine and Andras' luck so that we pull the right cards. As for a love triangle, only if he's willing. Emphasis on willing."

Andras blinked. 'Shoots at the wheels? Love triangle? H-Have these amazing things been happening all around me without me being aware of it?' She studied the two boys with a renewed perspective, but decided to keep her speculation to herself.

And with that, Ascot searched for the fox-boy's phone number on the White Pages, the privately-owned database of cellphone numbers. Once he was done, he would send a text message: Hey, Cyan, it's me, William Ascot, the St. Laurel's Student who frequents the library a lot. I need your help; am willing to pay $1000 out of my private savings; been saving it up since I was eight. Text me back if you're willing.

No answer.

Ascot decided to call Cyan through voice instead this time. No answer again. He attempted one more time and finally got through.
"Hello, Mr. Bridget?! It's me, William Ascot! A fellow St. Laurel's student! And I'm willing to pay $1,000 dollars out of my private savings for your help!" he said over the phone, a note of desperation in his voice.




After hanging up, Cyan stood up. He was still drowsy of course, but after getting some rest he realized the importance of not being found in somebody else's house. He unlocked the one of the two doors that lead outside, and his phone started playing music again.

'Well they must be trying to reach me if they're ringing me a second time,' he thought, slightly embarressed by the idea that he just hung up on someone.

Pulling his phone out of his pocket, he tapped the answer call button and held it up to his ear.
"He-"
"Hello, Mr. Bridget?! It's me, William Ascot! A fellow St. Laurel's student! And I'm willing to pay $1,000 dollars out of my private savings for your help!" the voice on the other side almost seemed to shout in the quiet.

"One thousa- Hold on," Cyan whispered and glanced behind him to the other door, afraid someone would come through. Satisfied that nobody was coming yet, he left whatever building he ended up in, locking the door again before closing it.

"Alright, what is this about?" he asked in a hushed, and rather confused, voice.

The answer was short, with a low, fast, nervous tone. "I need two things. One is a boost to luck for me and another person, Andras - you may know her as Alexandria Sova. Another is a boost to my health; my life force. Two coin-flips for 500 dollars each, right?"

Cyan didn't know anyone named Andras or Alexandria Sova. He didn't even think he knew this William, though he did recognize the name.

"Um, well, what's this for? Like, I could try to do those things, but if I know what it's for maybe there's a better way to do it," he asked, slightly puzzled. Nobody had really asked him to coin-flip for them as a service before. He then added, "And it's not really two coin-flips, it could be like three to five or something, with several bad things."

"What's this about coin flips? Five hundred dollars?! William, who exactly are you speaking to?" Andras felt a bead of sweat roll down her temple. 'These negotiations are getting rather expensive... William sure is something else. Shootings, love triangles... Luck and health boosts... Maybe I should meet him outside of the library more often!'

William Ascot explained to Cyan as best as he could: "There is an 'enemy' student, Vittorio Twinveil, who only hates Alto because he thinks that the latter is somehow to blame for the death of his parents, who were gardeners at St. Laurels', and his four best friends, who were St. Laurel's students. This was two years ago, and their real killer was a Demon who was seeking out Alto. Now, I was told that resurrecting the parents and best friends is impossible...and that's normally true. But my friend, Andras/Alexandra Sova, has a power that can get around various cosmic laws. But this power requires drawing random spells from a magical source of power, and of those random spells, reliable resurrection requires magic that takes away half your life force and physical health. So I need both a luck and health boost. So please, help me."

"As for why you should aid me in aiding a Mephisto's student, well, let's just say that his story is tragic. Or if you don't care about tragedies, well, resurrecting four St. Laurel's students and getting Vittorio to defect will improve the school's position greatly. So yeah, again, please help me."
And with that, Ascot waited.

Most of the stuff William said went in one ear and out the other for Cyan. It seemed like they might have been in over their heads, but they seemed pretty adamant about their objective. Something that did catch his attention was their mentioning of this Andras being able to get around cosmic law with randomly drawn spells.
'That sounds a lot like my power... I haven't heard of anyone else having a power like this before,' he thought, curious.

"If Andras or Alexandra is the one using her random power, only she would need luck, right? Or do you need luck for something else?" Cyan asked after William finished his spoken essay.

The response was, "True, very true. So one luck boost for Andras, one Health boost for me. Also, I will be taking on every bad result on myself; it's unfair to ask you to take on any side-effects alone. Will you be all right with that?"

The side effects were mainly what the boy had been worried about, so he thought that would be a deal he'd want. However, for some reason, he felt a bit guilty at the idea of being paid to just flip a coin and potentially really hurt someone else. It didn't feel right to have other people take the consequences of his power.

He was silent for a moment, thinking it over.
"Are you sure?"

William felt fear for the first time in this quest, a cold feeling in his chest. Nevertheless, he answered, "Yes. I was the one who demanded this of you, after all. Plus, I heard the story of how you got your tail; it isn't right to allow something similar to happen to you."

Cyan was taken aback by the mention of his tail. What? Who did William hear the story from? He put the question aside, though. That wasn't really important right now.

"In that case, do you have any suggestions for tail flips? The worse the 'side effect', the better the heads flip would be. It also helps to make the flips similar, like good luck against bad luck," he said, feeling a pit in his stomach. This wasn't right. Maybe they didn't understand what the coin flip could entail? That would explain their willingness, and if so, then it would definitely be wrong to make them take the consequences.

Ascot was impatient now, "We're wasting time. The flipside of the luck boost would be my worst enemy," this was Galbrek, even though he didn't know his name, "...getting a full dossier about me and my powers and countermeasures against said powers, effective tomorrow. The flipside of the health boost, for me, would be getting wings. And not the functional kind, either; I think wings that actually allow flight would be a cheat."

The impatience and forcefulness in William's voice took Cyan by surprise. All of this stuff was important! If he didn't know these things, he wouldn't know what to flip and his power wouldn't work.
"Um, and, when would you like the boosts to begin? And for how long?" he meekly ventured another couple questions, afraid they'd jump down his throat again. It was important to know though, he didn't want to mess this up.

The reply was softer, "Two hours each; that ought to be enough time for the plan. And the boosts can begin now."
Cyan nodded, even though that didn't really communicate anything during a phone call, and held out his fist. An ordinary copper and nickle quarter appeared on his thumb, ready to be flipped.


COIN-FLIPS
Andras Luck vs. Galbrek Info - FAILURE!
Ascot Health vs. Ascot Wings - SUCCESS!

SCOREBOARD
Heads: 2 - Tails: 3

Sitting on an escalator in the Mall of America. I had to walk through the largest mall in the US with the seat of my shorts almost completely shredded. Luckily they were double-layered, so only the outside layer was ripped through. I doubt anyone would consider that in any way fashionable.

Since it's April 1st, have you ever fallen for an April Fools' joke, and if so, what was the most outlandish thing you've fallen for?
Just thought I'd ask but are you guys still accepting for this?


Join us! We St. Lauries made cupcakes :D
I'm sorry, but I'm gonna have to bow out of this. Hope you guys get enough people though!
I think I like the sixth picture most for Alto, but I also kinda like picture four. Regarding Clara, I really like picture five.
Cyan

TAGS: @6slyboy6@Crowvette@Bartimaeus@Inertia@Dezuel

After the smoke from Cassius's explosion cleared, all that remained was a thick black fog that remained only a little while longer before it, too, dispersed. It was over quickly, but it had been enough to get Cyan's adrenaline going. Now that the chance came for him to calm down, he finally noticed how uncomfortable being completely drenched was. The air within this abandoned building had already felt unnaturally cool, but that and the water together was enough to cause the boy to shiver.

"... Katherine? Tails?"

Cyan had been temporarily distracted by his own predicament, being barely conscious from self-imposed fatigue wasn't helping much either, so he hadn't remembered to return to visibility after the battle. Nor had he been paying attention to what others were saying until Andreim spoke his name, or rather his unfortunate nickname, and brought him somewhat back to focus.

After walking out from his hiding place, a dripping wet and dust-covered foxboy reappeared in front of the stairs.
"I'm here," he said, raising his hand slightly. He tried hiding his weariness, as people would often make fun of him whenever he failed a coin-flip. However, his drooping tail that dragged along the floor kind of gave everything away. As usual.

In all honesty, Cyan kind of wanted to go back. He was cold, wet, and tired, and it's not like he was helping much anyway. Alto made a mistake choosing him to go on this mission. The others were perfectly capable of finding the missing students on their own. Andriem only spoke aloud what the boy was thinking when he said, "Hm... and try to not get in the way, Tails."

That didn't make it feel any better to hear, though, and Cyan reacted.
"Gee, thanks for the vote of confidence. Guess I'd better leave, then," he said sarcastically, tossing a dark gray coin towards the ceiling. 'Heads, I'm back at Mrs. Winter's, tails, I'm somewhere else in Rhea,' he thought, before catching the coin out of the air and vanishing.



Even he had to admit it was rather immature of him. Cyan would almost definitely regret it later, having to deal with fixing broken trust and listening to whatever scolding they'd put him through. However, he was pretty far past too tired to care. He just wanted to find someplace warm and take a nap. He'd deal with everything else later.


The Arcane Ascension series by Andrew Rowe, it's so good! Book two is coming out this year and I'm getting it as soon as it hits the shelves, I'm so hyped! The tl;dr is that it's about a world where the gods created towers at various points about the map with traps, puzzles, and enemies within. People can enter the tower and if they escape, they're blessed with a mark that grants magical power, with different marks giving different magical abilities. However, after they've gotten their mark they can go in again to attempt getting further up the tower for other rewards. It goes really in-depth about the magic system and life in a society with that type of magic, and I love it so much. I don't want to go into too much detail since I don't want to spoil it for you, but if you're even remotely interested in magic systems and/or tabletop RPG inspired fantasy, I highly recommend checking it out.

I can't say I have much experience with bad fantasy novels. As crazy as this might sound, I think Harry Potter might be my least favorite of the ones I can remember reading. There are so many books out there that I'd like to read that I just don't bother with any that might be considered poor. Harry Potter of course got a lot of hype around it so I finally got around to checking it out a few years ago and I wasn't really a fan of the writing style. It was very Roald Dahl, which I can respect as he was a famous author and an inspiration to many, but his stories weren't grounded enough for my tastes.

-

On the topic of fantasy, what is your favorite fantasy species and why? It can be from books, movies, games, doesn't matter, just give an explanation to what they are perhaps for those of us who might not be familiar with the material. It doesn't have to be a species you'd want to be yourself, just a species that you felt was well thought out and designed.
ANSWER: That's a really tough question, since while I have plenty of memories from before I was five, I have no sense of when they happened in correlation to each other. Using some logic, however, I might potentially get it down to a few memories.

For example, I remember the time I slid head-first down an elephant slide in a church nursery during a Thanksgiving dinner, and a pin I was wearing ripped down the front of my chest (I still have the scar, it's almost three inches long). However, I also remember being given the pin before going to the dinner, so while much less in significance, being given the pin was an earlier memory.

Another is a nightmare I had about a giant fish that could swim up waterfalls. However, I remember waking up in a hammock, and I know that me and my siblings slept on mats on the floor before we had bunk-hammocks. Therefor, I know that my incredibly simplistic and probably insignificant memory of standing in a room wall-to-wall in my many siblings' mats is older.

While I have no real way to tell whether the pin incident happened before or after standing in the room of mats, my guess is that the mats is my earlier memory.

QUESTION: If you could create a completely new biome for earth, what would you make and why? For the sake of this thought experiment, imagine that the laws of physics changed to make said biome possible, however the change doesn't impact anything else.
Cyan

TAGS: @6slyboy6@Crowvette@Bartimaeus@Inertia@Dezuel

"Come, Cyan. We're done here. Every room is clear." Samoth's voice came from behind Cyan causing him to blink, slightly startled.
"Oh, okay. Coming." He replied over his shoulder, then glanced back down at the picture frame he was holding. After another moment's thought, he took the faded photo out of the frame and stuck it into his pocket before leaving the room and following Samoth back to the lobby staircase.

When they returned, Cassius and Katherine were already relaxing with their backs against the wall.
"Woah, you guys are fast. And I thought we did good time," Cyan laughed and waved as he approached, "I'm guessing you didn't find anyone? We didn't either." The boy walked over and plopped down next to Cassius. Just as he sat, a nearby door suddenly smashed open and swung on its hinges. Scared of potential danger, Cyan immediately leapt back to his feet to find that it was just Liselotte and Andriem finishing up their section.

"I take it all went smoothly?" Andriem asked the group after smirking at the fox-tailed boy for whatever reason.
"We didn't find anyone," Cyan repeated his earlier statement in an attempt to be polite to the other boy, but his tail's irregular movements spelled out his suspicion of them.
"I guess since everyone's here, we're ready to move on?" he asked, backing towards the rail of the staircase in order to start heading up when confirmed. That was when he heard scratching and thumping sounds coming down the stairs. "Um, guys?"

Cyan started backing away from the staircase, with his eyes on alert and his tail stiff up against his right leg. That's when he spotted a large black beast with a sleek form and burning red eyes charging down the steps straight at him, and the boy vanished from sight.


Samoth and Cyan


As Samoth neared the threshold of the room in which he had just dispatched the two beings, he heard a clatter of metal, accompanied by breaking glass.
He hurriedly stepped into the dusty hall, immediately looking to his left, towards the rest of the rooms in their section. He didn't see Cyan, nor any open doors. But what he did see was a ghostly being standing in the hall. Briefly, it seemed like it was looking for something, and started heading towards the middle of the hall.
"Cyan! Where did you go?" He called, in a hushed tone. The creatures on these grounds weren't very much of a threat, but if they got swarmed, it could be a problem.

The ghost turned its ugly gaze towards him, giving up its old target for a new one. It started moving towards Samoth, armed with the broken lamp. However, it didn't get far before its side buckled inward and it was forced to the side of the hall. It glanced back in surprise, only to get its head thrust back as it took a strike to the forehead. A deep, quiet growl came from somewhere within its throat. It was mad. Not knowing what was attacking it, but knowing where the attacks were coming from, it swung the pole in a sideways arc. However, the pole was stopped mid-swing, and the ghost took another punch to the gut. Deciding the best course of action was to flee, it dropped the lampost and floated backward through the wall, disappearing from sight.

"Here." Cyan said, breathing heavily. He appeared back into view as he turned to face Samoth. "I can punch ghosts, but it they still hold together pretty well. I was hoping it would be like punching pillows, but it's more like punching taffy I think."

Samoth watched as the ghost was seemingly pummeled by nothing.
"Next time, tell me when you're gonna do something like that. Thought one of em had got you for a second...but good job."
It made him feel slightly more relaxed to know he could at least turn his back to Cyan for a second, without him getting hurt by one of these gheists. He nodded, seemingly to himself, and turned his attention towards the next door.

One of them almost did get me for a second,' Cyan thought, but was too busy trying to calm his breathing and adrenaline to say aloud. While the younger boy took a quick rest, Samoth stepped towards the room missing a doorknob, putting his hand on the aged wood and pushing it open. It looked empty. But so had the last one, when those two things rushed him from the dark.
This room, however, was more lit. He stuck his head past the door checking behind it. Nothing. He focused his mind, searching the room thoroughly for anything that might be hiding under the bed, or behind the curtains. Nothing in this room.

He retreated from the room, moving to the one across the hall. He threw the door open, and stepped into the old room. His heavy boot caught on the rug, and he fell to the floor, instinctively putting up his arms to protect his face. "Oof!" he coughed. He heard the ruffling of movement in the room, and scrambled to his feet. Three sleeping imps did the same.

Samoth summoned an invisible hand axe to his aide, while simultaneously sending a psychic bolt at the closest Imp. Being as they were quite small, and pretty fragile, it knocked down the imp, and it lay still. The other two approaching him quicky, one with a nicked dagger and the other with a switchblade, Samoth stepped furher into the room, throwing the axe with force at the closest one. It crumpled from the pain as its ally reached within Samoth's reach.
Flailing to stab him with the knife, the Imp was met by a palm to the forehead, as the human's limbs were much longer. It then felt a swift chop strike the wrist of the knife-hand, and then was thrown and forcefully punched against the wall.

Samoth collected the bodies, silencing the one that was still conscious, and threw them in a nearby closet. He turned to the hall, and stepped out of the room.

In the mean time, Cyan had skipped a few doors ahead, and so, luckily for Samoth, had not seen his blunder. Staying close to the wall, he checked the knob. Locked of course.
'It's a good thing the wood is so old, otherwise getting into these rooms could be a real pain,' he thought, and used his elbow to crunch a small hole above the latch. After peaking in to check if the coast was clear, he reach his arm through the hole and unlocked the door from the inside, and opened it. A quick look around the small, grungy apartment proved it to be empty of any ghosts or imps, but he did find a picture frame on the dresser. It was quite faded, but Cyan could make out a middleaged woman and an older man standing in a forest of very large trees. They were wearing backpacks, and the man was holding his walking stick high in the air with one hand like he was cheering.

'If this photo is still here, then whoever lived here probably didn't move out. I wonder what happened.' The student thought, holding the picture and looking at it. He hoped they weren't one of the ghosts that stayed here now, but it did bring up the question. What did happen to this apartment building, and more importantly, what happened to the people inside?


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