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Saffron listened intently when someone called out her name, her eyes narrowing as she considered the options presented. It chafed at her pride to listen to a complete newbie, but she was also smart enough to know that she wasn't all that smart, it was usually the captain who came up with the big raid strategies. "I don't know if blinding it would work, we don't even know what it does that kills us so fast when we do get blinded by the drones. If one of us could hide from the flashbang and see what exactly its attack is then maybe we could use it against it, but that's gonna have to wait for the next time it spawns, we need more manpower." She licked her lips as she cranked up her fire rate when the target was marked, grimacing as no progress was made. The boss was still standing strong at 74 percent of it's health, and it looked like it was about to send out another wave of drones.

"But getting him to strike himself is worth a shot right now. All units focus on drones, I'm drawing aggro!" It made the most sense in the end, she had the most health and was the highest level in the raid, she had the best chance of surviving a direct strike from the boss should this plan not work. As everyone moved to focus on the second wave of drones, Saffron pulled the pin from a grenade and let loose, creating a fire field around the boss while focusing all her firepower onto it. The Champion's gaze turned to her with little fanfare, he simply pointed his sword at her and whispered one word.

"Scatter."


"You first jerk!" She sprinted for him as fast as she could, only just managing to get in his face just as she was target confirmed. The boss and deputy were engulfed in a stream of blinding blue light, each drone stopping and turning towards their master as the attack finished. What was left was a barely standing Saffron and a slightly scuffed Champion, his sword raised high into the air in an attempt to block his own attack. The ground around the two was cracked and shifted like a earthquake had hit just the area around them, the ground the two stood on staying pristine despite the massive orbital strike.

"...hm. I suppose I was a bit thirsty after all that hard work. Thank you for that."


It was only thanks to Pestilent Emerald's shield that Saffron survived the next attack, a simple auto attack that dropped her into the double digits of hp as the Champion cleaved across her chest. "I'm retreating, draw aggro again!" She nearly tripped over some of the virtual rocks as she ran back into cover, all the drones converging on the Champion as everyone began to open fire on it to protect their raid leader. "Ok, I think that did something. I'll need to look at the vod later, but I think we've moved it into a new phase. Good work newbie." Standing at 65 percent of it's hp now, the drones swirled around the boss in an attempt to block as much fire as possible, turning the fight into a shooting gallery as players tried to hit the gaps in between drones. Meanwhile the drones were definitely firing back now, a veritable storm of blue lasers erupting from the tornado of drones.
Consider me interested, I'll try and have a character up later today.



Fuyuki City - 1994

@Grey@GreenGoat@King Cosmos


Waver simply nodded at William's terrible joke with a shaky smile. "Y-yeah, I've never heard that one before... ahaha." When Rider landed and gave his report, for a brief moment Waver tensed up. It was when he mentioned golems, it was only for a moment, a blink and you miss it kind of thing. Waver certainly calmed down when William asserted their need for a Saber to accompany them to the Church. And so the plan of action was decided, Rider would assault the platoon on his own while Saber would act as a guard to the two of them on their route to the Church.

Rider's assault on the platoon did not go unnoticed, their faceless gaze drawn immediately to the sky as he drew near. Shields were drawn from their backs, raised to the sky in a perfect defensive formation to block to hail of arrows from the sky. Some perished from the winds, but their bodies shielded the rest and quickly disappeared into the crowd without a trace once the initial attack ended. Thus began the return volley. Shields lowered all at once, revealing dozens of archers with bows drawn and pointed directly at Rider. A wordless screech erupted from each of their 'mouths' in unison, a noise reminiscent of p̬̟̪̜̫͌͘a̦i͊̂ͤ͏ņ̞̣͚̩̠̜͍̆̎. The arrows were released like a storm, a wall of steel flying towards Rider rapidly to try and bring him down so they could overwhelm him with sheer numbers.

Meanwhile with Saber and William, Waver simply lead them through the streets as quickly as possible, jumping at every little sound made by the eerily quiet city. "I haven't been here for all that long honestly, but it never used to be this quiet. Even at night, there was always some sort of noise. Crickets, two people talking in their homes, the quiet rumble of a car as it drove by. This quiet... it just feels wrong." Waver seemed... angry as he looked ahead. His posture was stiff and his fists clenched tightly as he looked straight ahead with anger blazing in his eyes. The awkward silence was deafening.

Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, this silence was interrupted by the clattering of a trash can as a faceless soldier came from around a corner, it's blank 'face' turning towards the group as it began to drool black mud. It didn't hesitate one bit as it sprinted towards the group, a spear materializing in hand as it ran directly for Waver. His eyes widened with fear as he backed up, trying to move behind Saber as quickly as possible. It spoke volumes of how much he feared these things, despite his training as a Mage, he made no attempt whatsoever to defend himself. He simply hid.
I suppose I'm here too.





It was an immediately noticeable shift. In the first moment she had been relaxed, confused about her surroundings, trying to understand what exactly was going on in the situation around her. Then her muscles tensed, her eyes widened, blood vessels began pumping faster as she turned towards Lancer. Her teeth bared like a mad dog, rage filled her eyes as she looked upon the one who skewered her. The one who impaled her upon the holy spear, the one who would not acknowledge their only heir. She swung her sword downwards at the rising spear, sending it directly into the ground with no chance of resistance. Her eyes burned into his, spittle flying out of her mouth as she screamed at her foe, stepping forward and shattering the ground beneath her. Through the veil of madness, she saw only one foe, only one person worthy of her l͏̧̟͓͠ͅo͔̠͠v҉͉̼͇̮͈̹͎ͅe̗̖̹̳hate.

"A̴͇̭͍̣͕͚̩͓̼̪̘̩̥̟̻̼̻R̷͔̯̙̼̠̻͔̫̀͘T̵̴͈̘͎͎͖̥͉̙͖̼̪̱̬͈̦̲̟͜ͅH̶̡͙̺͔̞̦͚̞̥̦̩̱̝͠ͅU̸̱͉͈̞̻̲̮̻̪̙̥̘̖̜͍U̡̮͎̝̜̝͓̻̦̜̣͎̤͚̕U̵̴͉͓̗̭̬̱͘Ù̵͇̟̮̤̩͕̠̗͔̠͍̱̟̦̬̮́͞U̢͏̮̝͚̥̠̙̱͈̝͚ͅU̸̖̼̰̣̖͚̳̕͝͠U̢͙̥̘̯̫̼̝̟̪̣̻͘͝U͏͏̰̟̼̜U̡҉̛͈͙̩̪͕̘̗͉͇̮ͅU̶̳̗̪̥̬͚͔̱̘̱͜͢R̺̝̠̯͜͝!̴̨̥̟̹̹͇͍͕̫̻̝͚ͅ"


The world shook around them as she burst forwards, her arm rearing back as she prepared to annihilate the one who would deny her birthright. The Director screamed in the background, but it was simply drowned out by the sheer noise that threatened to crush them all underneath it's weight. There was only a moment to react, his options were fight or flight. Perhaps Archer could intervene, but he hadn't shown his face in a few minutes, so it was unknown if he was even still around. Caster was too far away, it was all she could do to just protect Rosalyn from the deadly spray of concrete shrapnel that rocketed towards them. All Lancer could rely on, was himself.
In Tower of Fable 12 days ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay

"Ah, allow me to introduce myself fair Mystery Lady who is no longer a mystery!" Rose bowed with a flourish, one arm on her chest and the other behind her back as she straightened herself out. "I am Rose Fortis, the greatest pirate this land has ever and will ever know!" It was then that Bella's words fully registered to Rose, a light blush dusting her cheeks as the card slid out of her sleeve and into her hand. "I would never steal from a beautiful lady such as oneself! I was merely borrowing it. It's like you said, one can never be too prepared in a strange new world." And what a world it was, filled with magic, giant doggos, goth generals, the list goes on and on. "These cards are quite the resource really. I was wondering what this one did, if you would mind explaining? You were the owner of said card after all."

"And I'm Kanbaru Otoko, the wondrous water mage of good fortunes. And I suppose now, the more sensible member of this partnership." Kanbaru sent the pirate an aggrieved look, one that the sticky fingered thief would know was more for getting caught then for trying to swipe what she saw was a Serei card. Raising a hand to pinch the bridge of her nose she pantomimed shame in the hope it would temper any reprisal from the noble looking lady. "You really must forgive us. It's a strange land to us and Rose here is awfully exciteable, though I do share her interest in that rather ornate card of yours, if you would be so kind as to elaborate."

"It's not nice to steal dear, and even crueler to compliment the one you stole from." Despite her words, Bella regarded the two girls with a cool expression, taking in introductions and excuses in the same manner. "Ah, but youth is always so filled with excitement, aren't you? Though it's funny to call them a resource when you don't have one yourself~" Bella said, looking directly at Rose. "It is a nice card though. I hear it contains a powerful warrior from this world so it must be fate you "borrowed" it from me. Or maybe it was choice or chance~ From what I heard, that warrior resting in your hands has powerful control of the natural world, if you catch my drift. It's only natural I'd be drawn to a handsome fellow like that."

Her words were brushed off with little regard, mere pleasantries being exchanged between the dashing pirate and the beautiful noble. "A powerful warrior you say? Perhaps I should summon this warrior and see what his capabilities are..." It made sense, to begin gathering a crew since Akiko had effectively gone MIA. Yet something told her... something told her that this warrior might not be as cooperative as Akiko's card was. Further questioning would be needed. "Out of curiousity, if I decide to summon this warrior and we find ourselves not getting along. Would I be able to like, unsummon him so I can just use him as a transformation?"

"Hmm? Oh sure you can unsummon it. And if you can't, well, I've still got my own card to use against him." Kanbaru said with a shrug, dismissing any concern as she pulled the Henry card from her sleeve. She had a vague notion of what he could do and what he'd offer her should she consume him, so Kanbaru felt secure in her safety over whatever warrior this world spawned. Then again, maybe that was Henry's greed slipping through. "Though do we really want to do this on a busy street? I couldn't hold my arm out straight without smacking someone here."

It was cute, almost charming to see the girls answer their own questions by themselves. It was almost like Bella wasn't even needed and indeed, she would have left them to it were it not for the obvious notion lingering. "Still, all the same, you did take my card without asking and without permission. That's still a very unkind thing to do." Bella pouted, resting a finger on her cheek as she watched the two naughty girls. "Though, I guess it's not really stealing if I was trying to give it away in the first place. It's just my luck to come across a pirate and a sales pitcher. Surely if you want the card indefinitely, you have something to trade me in return~?"



"Are you perhaps, asking for me~?"Rose held a hand up to cover her mouth in a demure fashion, eyes narrowed as she stared at the not Mystery Lady. "Alas, I could not chain myself down, no matter how beautiful the maiden! Tis the curse of one who seeks the horizon!" Another change in dramatic pose, the back of her hand held to her forehead and a faux forlorn look on her face as she stared into the sky. "But perhaps, I could offer you..." A twirl of her hand, some sleight of hand, and a rose was offered to Bella, formed of pure magic. "A rose, almost as beautiful as you. Almost." Follow up with a wink, and perfect.

The bluenette scoffed at the pirate's theatrics before stomping her heel down. A tactly placed patch of ice shattered under heel like a pane of glass, lending a grandiose air as she raised her hand in offering to the noble. A trickle of water curled from within her sleeve, winding around her arm till it formed a stalk of thin ice shining radiantly in the midday sun. Blooming into a rose of her own she stepped in close, just an inch beyond Rose's own offering to the noble. "No, she requires a rose to surpass all conventions of beauty. Take mine as well, and grasp a treasure whose beauty will never melt before the sun, much like your own!"

Bella didn't last a full minute without laughing at the absurdity of all this. It was bare enough both girls had come to the exact same conclusion in mind with the exact same set up and execution too. Though for all their efforts, it didn't make much of a difference. A few seconds later and Bella was holding her arms over her stomach, catching her breath from the public display. "Wow. I haven't had that much fun in a while. Yeah, no, you two can keep the card. I'm much happier getting this as a story to tell the others, ahaha!" By now some people were indeed looking at the trio as if they had each sprouted three heads. It was a sign Bella's time was up and she breathed an easy sigh.

"Ah, but sure, I'll take these as souveniers. You girls are like, what, a few years my junior? Thanks but no thanks~" Bella idly plucked the two roses from each of their hands, idly stepping away with a twirl. "Oh man, I know exactly who to tell this to. And I got it from two cute girls too. I'm so gonna rub that in his face!" Bella mused to herself, casting a final glance at the two adventurers. "Oh, by the way. I know you heard it already but I'm supposed to tell you again. 'Beware the man who speaks in masks'....yeah, kind of creepy, right?" Displaying a magic of her own kind, Bella tucked away the roses into her chest before dancing away into the group. If the two bothered to look closely from her parting, all that was left of her, proof of any indication she was there at all, was a fresh tulip planted among the walkway.

Not that the villagers cared, though most did try to walk around it since "magic" was involved.

A few moments of silence passed as both girls tried to comprehend just what had happened over the past minute. In the end, Rose simply shrugged as she tucked away the card into her cleavage. "That was fun. We should do that more often honestly, really adds some variety to the mysterious strangers."

"I know, right? She didn't even try to kill us. Real big improvement." Kanbaru said with a smirk, trying to ignore the many wary looks they got for their performance.

Rose chuckled as they began to walk off in a random direction. "Haha, yeah... But in all seriousness though, I lost Akiko."

"I lost everyone. Kinda sorta accidently broke into someone's house and got konked out. So, any idea what were doing here?" The bluenette shrugged, folding her hands behind her head as she followed along. It wasn't like she could leave a lost pirate all on her own, or they'd wind up hearing about her stealing an airship or some such.

"No clue. I was just gonna go looking for some treasure, probably stumble onto whatever it is we're supposed to find. I get the feeling that the world is just like that ya know? Not like it's gonna keep us here for months until we find just the right path. Unless it does."It was a worthwile question to consider, just how smart was the world that they resided in? Everything in here was data right, meaning someone had to have programmed it all. "I'm thinking of all this like a video game right? Someone made this world, meaning someone made the quest too. They probably want us to find the quest, so any good game designer would nudge the player onto the right path. I figure we'll get our hint soon enough. Who knows, maybe someone will fall out of the sky and give us the quest."

It was at that exact moment that a young boy fell from the sky, landing directly in front of them.

The ground cracked and splintered under his weight as he rolled to Akiko and Rose's feet, unconscious and battered from some unknown battle. A small groan escaped his lips, even as his wounds began to knit themselves shut before their very eyes.

".....Rose, can you ask for a mountain of gold and a bag of holding to fall out of the sky? I want to see if you're on a hot streak." The bluenette adventurer remarked, blinking away the surprise that came from a boy falling from the sky to lay at her feet. A song was working its way through the back of her head. She crouched down, noting his regenerative powers with a whistle of appreciation, her finger prodding his soft cheek to no response. "But hey, you wished us up an adventure. Nice one, Rose."

Rose blinked lightly in surprise, looking at the sky, then looking towards her hands. "Well who knows, maybe a functioning airship and several hot butlers onboard will drop out of the sky as well." She looked expectantly at the sky, waiting for her airship and harem, only to be disappointed. "Well it was worth a shot. Hey wait a minute..." She prodded the boy's ribs with her boot lightly, another groan escaping his lips as she looked at the card she had just received. "This is the guy. I just got his card!" She exclaimed, completely ignoring the panic of the civilians all around as they scrambled about. Well, not completely. "Anyways, I think we've just about overstayed our welcome here! We should probably get going before the police show up, especially since this time I don't think they'll just let me go!" She quickly bent over and picked up the lad, getting him into a sort of backpack style carry as she looked around for a clear path. "Ok Kanbaru, my loyal 2nd in command! I think they're called lieutenants on ships. 2nd mate? Gah, pick a direction for adventure!"

"Heh, well I can't say I don't like the sound of it." The water mage shrugged, letting Rose volunteer herself for the carrying of the pretty boy. Picking a street that looked the least packed, cutting up to the north with distant mountains to be seen, Kanbaru led the way at a speedy trot. "Careful not to drop him too much. He doesn't look to bruise but we'll need our meal ticket feeling real grateful when we start digging for clues from his noggin!"





Berserker continued to stare at Lancer, yet strangely she stopped just as Caster drew her first rune. Her gaze was still half lidded, the light in her eyes dull as she slowly turned away from Lancer and towards Caster. Her gaze was not necessarily focused directly on the pair thanks to her rune of avoidance, it was more like Berserker was staring at the general area they were in, but somehow the Berserker clearly felt something coming from the Magus as she began her initial "attack".

The winds coalesced around Berserker quickly, giving her little to no warning as a pillar of ice bloomed around the knight and froze her completely still. It should have been a simple attack for any Servant to dodge, yet she barely even reacted when the initial winds brushed across her skin. She had only begun to move when the ice first began to appear, a pointless endeavor as she was already caught by the spell.

Lancers follow up was met with no resistance whatsoever, from neither the ice nor Berserker's flesh as he cleanly stabbed into the frozen Servant. Blood stained the ice around her as well as Lancer's blade, Berserker's only reaction within the ice being a minor twitch as she registered the pain. A few seconds passed like this, with Berserker stuck in the ice and Lancer at her back raring for a fight. Yet nothing happened.

Then the ice shook once. Then it shook again. Once more, the ice beginning to turn red as it slowly began to melt and boil. Then all at once the pillar exploded as Berserker flexed free of her bindings, blood pouring freely from her wounds as an crimson aura surrounded her entire body.

"Whoa! We just got a bunch of info out of nowhere, all her Paramaters just went insane! Endurance is B, Mana is B, Luck is D, Agility is A, Strength is... no way. Her Strength is A++!" Yuna leaned towards the camera, her face filling up the screen as she stared at the stats in front of her. "For her to have a Strength that high, she would have to be absolutely inhuman! That's... so cool!"

Regardless of how cool it was, the fact of the matter remained that Berserker was standing completely still, visibly trying to process just what had happened over the past five seconds. Her free hand reached up to her wild blonde mane and scratched at her scalp, aggravating the wounds on her back from the impossibly sharp blade of the Boneless Man. She turned around and came face to face with Lancer, her eyes widening in surprise and a grunt of shock escaping her lips as she took a step back. There was no aggression in her stance by any means, she was actually completely wide open for another attack if Lancer so chose. It was abundantly clear that while Berserker was clearly a complete monster in terms of raw power, she completely lacked the capacity to actually defend herself and fight.







"Your spirit shines bright. Yet by the light of the azure star, all is extinguished."


A shining blue light filled the streets as the creature raised his blade, the air above it tearing apart and spilling forth otherworldly energies through the battlefield. The players scrambled for what cover they could find, those who remained in the open being instantly killed by the deluge of raw unadulterated power. Almost half of the players on the battlefield lay dead, their digital bodies laying on the floor while the real people screamed and cursed about the unfairness of it all. Yet this was what they lived for in the end, this was the type of game HGO was. Cruel, unforgiving of mistakes, a single misstep leading to death. The players would throw themselves at this challenge again and again, learning from every mistake, optimizing every shot, coming together to claim the rewards this Beast would relinquish upon defeat. They would defeat this challenge, just as they had so many in the past.

But it would not be today.


Those who remained emerged from cover quickly, their cooldowns having reset and their guns reloaded, they began the opening salvo on the boss with renewed fury and zeal. The Champion stood tall at 73 percent of it's HP remaining, yet one could be fooled into thinking it had just spawned if you looked at it's physical appearance. Not even a scratch on it's pale skin and it's armor was unmarred, the Champion stood tall as it lowered its blade. It's single visible eye narrowed as it stood still, a recovery period as it recharged from using a Desperation Attack.

"Take this you Unival *******!!!" While the game's profanity filter automatically kicked in, the rage present on Saffron Star's face was more than enough to let everyone around her know she was pissed, especially since her entire squad save her had been completely wiped. The barrel of her Gatling Laser spun rapidly as she prepared to fire, taking direct aim at Champion as she pulled the trigger and braced herself for the recoil of her high level weapon. The Gatling Laser required an extremely high Strength to equip, but it was widely considered to be one of the best weapons in the game right now due to it's high rate of fire and immense ammo per clip, the only negative aspect of the weapon being its long "reload" time as the user swapped overheated batteries.

"You still stand. I applaud you, truly I do. But even the most resilient of pests is still nothing more. Than a pest."


And the Champion was back in action, slowly walking towards the current target of it's aggro as it swept it's blade through the air around it, spawning dozens of black and white drones to eliminate those who still stood. From what everyone had gathered so far, the drones needed to be eliminated in equal numbers, otherwise they would explode and inflict a status effect on everyone within the battlefield, the white ones had blinded everyone for five whole seconds and caused a mass wipe as the Champion did something to kill a dozen people at the same time.

"Squads 1 through 4, focus on the black drones! 5 through 8, focus on white! 9 and 10, keep the Champion's aggro spread, don't let his aggro get too high on anyone person!" The last time it got so focused on someone resulted in a beam of azure energy piercing the sky and instantly killing them. Then they exploded in a similar burst of azure light, knocking their entire squad into low health.

Their strategy wasn't the worst by any means, it was a tried and true method to gauge the bosses that had come before. But the Champion was fundamentally different in some way, by this point in a raid the boss should be at 50 percent and entering a second phase. There was a trick to this boss, something they just weren't getting. Some mechanic that they hadn't figured out, something they would need to change if they were going to take this boss down.
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