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//Day 0 | Location: Nameless Forest - Clearing


Not expecting Ayana to be so stubbornly suicidal, Tsubaki could only watch as the willful girl broke out of her grasp and immediately ran towards the burning bus. For a moment she chewed the inside of her mouth, gauging the chances of catching her before it was too late, but…Damnit, if she was going to risk it, then it was on her to do so! The short-haired girl took another glance towards Ayana before turning away and running for the others.

Ayana now, was definitely alone.

Gasoline fumes struck her head-on as she approached the bus, the oily stench mixed with that of roasting meat and boiling blood. Already, she could feel her face drying up before the blaze. It wasn’t an inferno, but that didn’t make it any less daunting for her to dive into, if Ayana had any sense of self-preservation to begin with. She did not. Whether fearless or foolish, whether courageous or outrageous, she braced herself for the heat as best as she could and jumped right in.

The foam of the seats had become fuel for the fire, and the shattered windows became vents that funneled more oxygen in. She could scarcely breathe, could scarcely see! Through teary eyes, she stumbled about, barely making out the silhouette of Yuudai, splayed upon the ground. Dead? Unconscious? She couldn’t tell, but there were crazier things that drew what sparse attention she had to spare.

There was Shun, that motorheaded nerd who always skipped swimming classes during PE, swinging with a punch that should have done nothing, and yet!

The flames themselves rippled at the impact of the strike, Shun’s fist rising skywards as it collided with the wolfbear’s jaw and sent it flying. The mountain of muscle slammed against the ceiling of the bus, leaving an indent of its own form in the smoke-stained surface, shards of teeth shattering from the impact. But it wasn’t enough yet, and as it landed, it charged for Shun, both of its frontal limbs slamming against her own arms. Whatever had happened to her, she had grown stronger as a result, but that was only enough to give her a chance at fighting back.

And so, in the inferno the beast and the bike-nerd struggled, fur singing and skin blistering, each of them trying to gouge out the others’ flesh. With a damaged jaw, the wolfbear could no longer bite, but that didn’t stop it from slamming its forehead against Shun’s own, forcing her back with its superior mass and reach.

Something else needed to happen in order to change the tides. Something that only Ayana could do.

Would she save Yuudai and get him out? Or would she help Shun, and push the beast back?

Above them, the ceiling creaked. It would collapse soon.


“What?!” Maki’s cry sounded even as Masato ran for the scattered tools. “Idiot, just r-”

For all the experience that they all had, after all, it was unlikely that as Japanese middle schoolers, they would have really watched any clips of bull riding on Youtube. If they had, perhaps Masato would have known: when it came to riding on animals that really, really, really wanted you to fly off, records were measured in seconds. Measured in seconds, for fully grown adults who had professional experience and a proper sadly.

All the student council president heard, as he hurled a hammer towards Kogen, was a short cry, followed by a heavy thump some distance away.

And then it was just him and the beast, and he had committed too much to run away now.

“Dumbass. You’ve long gone over the edge. Stop pretending like you can climb back out.”

A flicker of a memory, and then he was charging, every heart beat thunderous, every movement slowed to a crawl. It was familiar. It was the cusp of an unforgettable moment. Like when he threw a fist for the first time, watched someone’s flesh contort beneath his knuckles. Like when he threw a ball for the first time, watched it spin and then sink beneath the wooden bat. Claws, rippling through the air. His body, tearing at itself to drop even a millisecond faster.

And then he hit the dirt. Scrambled in the grass. Grasped hind legs of the wolfbear with such force he almost felt as if he was grasping its very bones. And in return, he could feel the dull scraping of its hooked claws against his back, could feel cloth shredding alongside flesh and skin. Could only dully register that it didn’t hurt as much as he thought it would have.

And he could only hope that Kogen didn’t run away.

Kogen didn’t.

What choice did the One-Eyed Demon have, after all?

Two girls were basically dead, and his friend was sacrificing his very body to hold down the monster before him. What choice did he have, except to perform? Two hands on the handle, cocked back like he was going to strike a homerun! And with all the might in his body, Kogen swung!

Hammer struck jaw, and it was the jaw that won.

The laws of motion played out after, the shock of his own strike hitting his hands with such force that it shot up all the way into his skull. Kogen couldn’t even feel his hands now, fingers spasming, forearms trembling. What the hell was this? Why didn’t that work?!

Time continued on, irrespective of his scrambled thoughts.

He was in close combat, after all. And though Masato did his best to prevent the wolfbear from moving, it didn’t need to move if a softer snack was so willing to rush up to it. Hooked claws wrapped around the delusional boy, slamming him down into the ground and upon his own friend, before the wolfbear’s jaws opened up, saliva spilling out as its two-pronged tongue flicked over its serrated teeth.

Only now, staring into the maw of death, lungs squeezed of air, the futility of his delusions opening up to swallow him whole, did Kogen understand.

It was as anime had always taught him.

Only heroes could destroy monsters. Mobs only existed to fulfill a statistical tragedy.


It fell apart so quickly, the moment mortality was realized.

Daisuke had seen his mother disembowel fish before, slicing open their belly to scrape out their organs. It had been so clean back then and she had done it so quick, the water running all the while to wash away the scraps.

This…this wasn’t that.

Duncan’s intestines were hanging out of his chest, ropes that stank of blood and bile. Hiroshi’s trivia flickered through the captain’s mind, about how a human’s intestines could stretch the length of a bus, but it was the memory of his mother that forced his next hand. After disembowelment came the beheading.


Springing off from his own position, the golden-haired youth shoulder-slammed Duncan just as those hooked claws whistled inches away from his neck. The two of them tumbled together some distance away, but with the disappearance of the biggest boys around, the tables had turned. Kunio sensed the danger immediately, kicking his twin brother away as the wolfbear kicked out. Sasuke rolled away aw the beast’s weight shifted, realizing that it was impossible to take on a beast so thickly muscled in a contest of attrition and strength. Yuki, one step too late, could only afford a short scream before the monster’s jaws clamped over his right shoulder and flung him away. He skipped off the grassy field thrice before landing in a heap.

And like that, there was nothing holding the wolfbear back now. Splinters from the burning branch fell off its head, Asahi’s rage entirely impotent. But despite that impotence, it still drew the monster’s attention.

He had been the first to start waving that branch.

He was now the last who was still standing, his branch now the length of his fist.

And thus, surrounded by classmates injured and dying, classmates in no shape now to even entertain the idea of trying to take on this beast again, this beast that proved impervious to all their efforts once more, the decision presented itself once more.

Would he run, or would he fight?

Blood dripped down his hands, drop by drop. Hotter than his heart, hotter than his head.

That blood was his own.

That blood was fuel.
I'd go for two actions then, ye. Might as well spread the love here. Hard to use my full action set anyhow.
So that's like, one action from Yasu, ya? Short post either way.

They fell with speed, Yasu driving her sword into the Trapeze's body during their swift descent, before allowing the force of the impact to jolt her off its gelatinous form and tear an even greater gash into it. She didn't have time to spend on finishing it of though, not when their suitably dramatic entrance drew the attention of the ringleader itself. The lion-headed man stalked towards her, and she smiled in return, the kaleidoscope of scenarios and appearances splintering in her vision.

There were ringleaders far larger, far strong, far scarier, and far prettier than the one she saw right now. And prodigious size alone did not dissuade the sharpened blade.

Thus, she advanced, dropping low as she dashed for the beast, stagnant air given life in the wake of her swift movements. Emma's shadows and Cam's shapeshifting covered all the performers, so it was up to her to take on the leader. Anticipating the necessity of evasion, the odd-eyed girl adopted serpentine movements as she neared, before finally dropping into a slide as her blade flashed and aimed to slice into the groin of the monstrosity as she slipped between its legs.

A bit unkind? Sure! But in the legendary words of a famed Cleaner: "It's nuts or nothing!"

Her disappointment was immeasurable and her day was ruined.

The second ghost seemed to have done it, and the toad itself proved to not have been so tough after all, rotting away from its face at the behest of the reaper-like monstrosity that speedo-boy had pulled out of the aether. Really then, it must have simply been the case that Maive was lacking. So Verity didn't even bother to stop her from falling a second time. She survived one spine-cracking hit. She wouldn't die from a nap.

Instead, she turned towards Daniel, motioning towards the sheer nothingness that was there. No frog, thus no food. No frog, but also no Sofia. Made sense. If the rot-blast hit the face, the rot-blast would hit the arm hanging from the face too. So, as for the fate of top twenty sciences track...

"So you hit Sofia with that too?"
Aighto, so how do Crests work? Like, do they have Crest-detectors? Do Crested folk instinctively know if someone else has a Crest? Do you have to invoke a Crest in order to use it, or is it like a bundle of passives?
Maybe not so done, but the gist of it is there.

Yasu was personally going to drop down with the Trapeze lad, with the intent of stabbing it on the way down so that when it hit the stage, it'd like, crack open like a walnut or something. Just didn't write the stabbing cause I didn't know if it would actually drop or not.

Anyhow, will post later on this week, to let others do hijinks first.
That's a fun gif in your signature. Welcome.
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