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House By The River

NO PLACE LIKE HOME



The villager said nothing more to the taskforce, even after their parting words with him. He simply broke down crying in front of the bonfire where his family was lost.

The taskforce, meanwhile, made their way back to their homebase with their newest Varjan prisoner still unconscious and would not wake up in the immediate future.



Sawmill

THE HEADMAN

~ @Hammerman, @AzureKnight (ATS & HIN) ~


"My sister and I will handle these cretins! Luna-chan, please save Sorae-san!!"
Atsuha Hangai


Atsuha's flurry of sakura blossoms immediately took down two of the Wako bandits. Meanwhile, the remaining brigands were taken by surprise by the sudden summoning of Hinami's club weapon. This momentary hesitation was all that the Jiangshi needed to close the distance and hit one of the bandits right in the face with the club. The last bandit scrambled for a counterattack, but his movements could not keep up with Hinami's and received a painful heel to his head for his trouble.

Meanwhile, Lunatea dashed for the bandit about to execute Sorae. With a spinning kick backed by the strength of a yokai, the Wako was knocked away and out cold. Sorae was then carried out of the battle by the Wererabbit and was administered some quick, magical first aid. The retreat was not needed, though, as the fight was over with that bandit's defeat.

"...I saw someone peeking at us from that small shack over there..." The paralyzed Sorae mentioned to the yokai. "And quit with the healing magic, rabbit. I'm not gonna die to some paralyzing poison. I'm a Tokinomiya." She scolded Lunatea, simultaenously with a boast.

The person in the shack was a villager woman. She was plain, unremarkable and young. Not that pretty either, especially compared to the yokai. She cowered at the corner of the shack, and will begin crying at whoever would approach her. "Please! Don't hurt me! I don't know anything!"



Shizuyama Wilderness

THE HEAVENLY STRIKE

~ @Restalaan (GRI) ~


The student warriors watched patiently as Gringor broke through the Varjans surrounding him with an unfortunate Varjan as a bludgeon. The remaining Varjans pulled back, signalling to their Shizuyaman allies that it was their turn on the rampaging High Orc again.

But Gringor took the initiative, he charged at the student warrior seemingly recklessly. He had drawn plans and considered the options he would take regarding the student's actions--

*SLASH*

He was stopped by the technique, but not from the student he was charging, but from another student to Gringor's side. Fortunately, it was still not enough to break skin--

*SLASH*

Then another came, from yet another different student. This time, Gringor felt blood dripping from his body.

*SLASH*

Then another.

*SLASH*

Then another.

With Gringor heavily wounded, the student warrior in front of him now made his move. Confident that whatever scheme the male High Orc had created, it was impossible to put it into action now. The Shizuyaman disappeared... and Gringor felt another powerful slash at his body. One that forced him to go down into the dirt.

The male High Orc witnessed the student warriors calm down, assume relaxed stances. The Varjans, meanwhile, approached him like vultures upon a dead prey. Their weapons bared, ready to finish the job.

Still, Gringor was not of a relatively weak race of monsters. He had strength still, but perhaps it was wiser to use that for an escape.



Shizuyama Wilderness



(Currently in collab)



Homestead

HONEY TRAP

~ @AzureKnight (SHI), @The Irish Tree (EUL) ~


"Bandits of Shizuyama, you have been accused of ransacking, looting, murdering, destruction of property, and general misconduct. Turn yourselves in peacefully or I will be forced to use maximum force!"
Eula


The barrage of energy bullets from Eula hit virtually none of the bandit Swordsmen looting the homestead, who took cover in the debris while the bolts rained down around them. Still, the sudden and quite flashy assault did scare the wits out of the thugs.

The Swordsmen panicked and screamed and sobbed, immediately attempting to run to the wilderness, and probably back to their hideouts, once the barrage was over. They stumbled from their covers, a couple of them abandoning their swords and not one of them even sparing a glance at their attacker. The battle was over before it even began. Eula's distraction proving more effective as an intimidation tactic.

"Guys! Don't leave me behind! Guys!" One Swordsman bandit lagged behind, the one with the glass sword. He did not abandon the weapon, likely too valuable to simply leave behind. Unfortunately, it seemed to be also heavy which meant he was easy pickings for the duo.



Terauchi Temple




While Io and Liliana conversed, other members of the taskforce arrived from their mission. Namely, Kerry, Skarsneek, Yuki and Samael. And with them was an out-cold Varjan Warlock.

The arriving party was quickly greeted by Ayu. "Welcome back! And it looks like you've brought a friend." She remarked sarcastically about the unconscious Kalaj. "We'll put them with the other prisoners. I admit, their lips are pretty sealed so far so I only have them helping out the temple with odd jobs. But once Lady Kyouko gets here, I'm sure she has some idea on how to get some info from them."

"Judging from these results, I assume things went pretty well?"








~~ TAKESHI'S JOURNEY ~~






~~ TAKAMORI TALES ~~




~~ SORAE TALES ~~


~~ TALES OF SHIZUYAMA ~~








~~ LEGENDARY TALES ~~
Hey guys! I thought I could get the update done in time but I simply can't. Too much stuff needs to be done and my birthday's around the corner.

Sorry for the delays.
@Enkryption

Sure, I'm game. Just send your post in a PM and we'll go from there. I admit, I haven't gone over Alice's move list yet but I assure you I'll get to that pronto.
Update out! Random bear attack!

I'll also add more tales soon, and probably polish the post too. They're looking too short for my liking.
House By The River

NO PLACE LIKE HOME



The sharp kick from Kerry knocked Kalaj out cold. His incessant laughter instantly gone. He was then dragged to the river by Skarsneek. As he was unconscious, he was unaware that his life dangled on a thread, on a river that might be his ultimate tomb. His fate will have to be decided without his input. At least, the male Goblin need not struggle to keep him from escaping.

"...He's right, you know?" The villager started. "I should've stayed and fought. For my family, and for my home. I am a coward." He turned around and approached the bonfire where his family was put into. It seemed he no longer cared if Kalaj lived or not, leaving the taskforce alone on how to deal with the unconscious Warlock. Falling to his knees, he stared hard at the fire. "...Thank you, yokai. I know you failed but... you came to help. That matters."

Fishing his pockets, the villager took out a small scroll and tossed it absentmindedly at Yuki. "I am privy to the location of a sacred artifact of Shizuyama. That map will lead you to its location... but I heard it is locked by a complex mechanism. You will have to ask for its legend if you want a clue on how to unlock it."

"Now then, can you all leave me alone? I need time for myself."

The taskforce's mission here was over. They can either go home, or go somewhere else if they so wish.



Sawmill

THE HEADMAN

~ @Hammerman, @AzureKnight (ATS & HIN) ~


The fighting continued, Sorae and the taskforce gaining ground with seemingly little effort. Some of the bandits began to flee, knowing that they had not the ability to stand not only against yokai, but a renowned warrior of the Tokinomiya Clan as well.

Soon, only the Wako bandits remained. There were about five of them still fighting but Sorae, ignoring Atsuha's warnings, overextended in her rampage and one of them managed to shoot a point-blank poisoned bolt into her lower limb. The Tokinomiya warrior pulled out the bolt, but soon found herself unable to move a muscle. The five Wako bandits were about to descend upon Sorae when one of them stopped. "You idiots! Don't turn your backs on the yokai! Go after them! I'll take care of the Tokinomiya woman!"

The four Wako thugs went after the Hangai sisters and Lunatea, shooting their arm crossbows at the yokai while charging with their battle sickles. Meanwhile, the last Wako bandit loaded his crossbow and aimed it at the immobilized Sorae.



Shizuyama Wilderness

THE HEAVENLY STRIKE

~ @Restalaan (GRI) ~


With one powerful swing, Gringor repulsed the Varjan Brigands and sent them to the ground. He then charged at the student warrior who had landed a hit on him, but the Shizuyaman did not fall for the male High Orc's bait. Instead, the student warrior deftly rolled away from Gringor's attack.

More Varjans came at Gringor, while the student warriors hung back. A Varjan Warrior charged recklessly at the male High Orc with his axe. An attack easily defended from, but then Gringor felt a nasty slash upon his body again... and a student warrior suddenly appeared on his side. The slash still did not draw blood, but it allowed the Varjan Warrior to tackle the monster to the ground.

More Varjan Warriors surrounded the fallen Gringor, who then received numerous kicks from armored boots. Meanwhile, the Shizuyaman warriors continued to stay back. These were patient men.



Shizuyama Wilderness



"...I'm sorry that all that happened to you. Perhaps I could brew you some of this island's finest tea, though." Takeshi offered his sympathies as they rode. "Although, I am a bit confused. Who's Carroll? Your axe weapon?" He guessed, correctly.

But before their conversation could continue, the duo reached a large wooden hut on the edge of a forest. The abode was still standing, but debris littered its vicinity "Here we are, but it looks like the place is ransacked and abandoned." Takeshi released a deep sigh and disembarked his horse to take a closer look. "Still, we should take a look inside. Maybe there's still something left that we can use."

Upon joining the young lord, Alice and Takeshi entered the potions hut to find it had indeed been ransacked... Or at least, simply messed up. "Look, mana potions." The Oja pointed at several bottles of concentrated spirit energy scattered on the soil floor. Some were broken and empty, but most were still strangely intact. "These may be common, but they are still valuable. Why... were these left behind? In fact, I see other potions still sitting on their shelves..."

The strange situation had Takeshi wondering, imagining what could have happened for a seemingly-looted potions shop to be still filled with loot. The answer soon came crashing through a wall.

*ROAR*

Takeshi was flung away when a large, black bear burst forth from a wall. The bear then bit into the fallen Oja's foot and toyed him around a bit before flinging him away again, sending him through a wall and to the outside.

The angry bear then turned its bloodthirsty gaze unto the Mad Hatter, charging at her not shortly after.



Homestead

HONEY TRAP

~ @AzureKnight (SHI), @The Irish Tree (EUL) ~


Joining forces, Eula and Shizuka made their way to the devastated home of the villager woman. It was close to sunset when they reached their destination.

Their travels took them to a ruined homestead by the side of a cliff with a shallow river nearby, a burnt cart to the side while miscellaneous items lie scattered on the ground. A small group of four bandit Swordsmen occupied this desolate home. It appeared they were the ones who attacked this abode and were now busy looting it clean. These were no Varjans, but they were just as wicked.

The Swordsmen have not seen either Shizuka or Eula coming, too busy in their spoils. However, the duo did spot one of the Swordsmen holding his blade sheatheless. A blade made of pure glass.



Terauchi Temple




(Still letting y'all continue~)








~~ TAKESHI'S JOURNEY ~~






~~ TAKAMORI TALES ~~




~~ SORAE TALES ~~


~~ TALES OF SHIZUYAMA ~~




~~ LEGENDARY TALES ~~
Hey guys! Update's gonna be delayed a bit due to my excessive shopping and moving. Sorry!
Late announcement but the Interwebz got restored so update. Yippee!

---

@Enkryption
No problem~! Unfortunately, I can't make a mini-update for you since I'm real busy this week. :(

@The Irish Tree
*there's an image with 1/4 of a traffic light*

Anyway, if Eula consumes an object that's not, like, immediately obvious as to what it is, I'll provide the explanation. Like, if she eats the armor of a Varjan Immortal. You can also just tell me when you want a specific explanation for something Eula is going to eat.

@Crowvette
I've added the 2nd image of Io in her sheet. Let me know if it's broken or something.

House By The River

NO PLACE LIKE HOME



As Skarsneek and Kerry fought the bulk of the Varjans, Yuki and Samael had infiltrated the occupied house and had to tangle with some archer Footmen inside. The Oni and her companion were victorious, but they found no sign of the family taken hostage. They emerged from the home and told Skarsneek and Kerry the news.

The male Goblin feared the worst, and began searching the unusually large bonfire. He found naught but ash, but they could be from the wood. Just then, the man arrived to the scene. "Yokai! You've beaten them! But... where's my wife and son?"

"...hehe...hahaha..."

The cold laugh came from the now-conscious Kalaj. "...hahaha-- argh!" He tried to get up, but that only caused his body immense pain. The Scarce legionnaire realized he was stuck on the ground, but he continued laughing. "Your... *cough* your family... in there, in the flames." Kalaj revealed. "Burned them as an honor. They stood and fought to the death, both your teenage son and your wife. Sure, they were cornered, but you... you ran away... YOU LEFT THEM TO DIE! AHAHAHAHA!"

"YOU MONSTER!"

The villager took an axe and brought it down on Kalaj... only for the legionnaire's thick armor to completely block the attack. "Hahahaha!" He swung again. Blocked. "You're... pathetic! A weakling!" Another swing. Blocked once more. "You have monsters fighting for you! How can you call yourself a man? Ahahaha!"

The man kept swinging the axe, but he was simply too weak to even dent Kalaj's armor. The sight was pathetic, in all honesty. The taskforce was watching a man fail to kill an immobilized person.



Unknown Sawmill

THE HEADMAN

~ @Hammerman, @AzureKnight (ATS & HIN) ~


This sawmill was always going see battle in the wake of the Varjan invasion, but one would probably have not foreseen Shizuyaman bandits duking it out with yokai here.

While the yokai taskforce took their enemies down non-lethally, Sorae was not yokai. She would rather die than become one, but such thoughts did not occupy her mind at the moment. Right now, she was lost in her rage. Slicing and dicing through the untrained thugs foolish enough to stand in her way. Fortunately, only a few came her way. Some were swiped away by the purple flames of Atsuha, others fell to the ground from Hinami's shuriken and there were bandits carried by conjured winds and spun in the air by Lunatea.

But there were still some fighting force left, the remaining Wako bandits that Sorae pointed earlier had joined the fray. A couple of them shot their arm-mounted crossbows at Sorae, only for the yokai to witness something extraordinary. The last Tokinomiya retracted and stood on one leg, like a crane bird. The bolts then passed through her harmlessly, as if she was an illusion or apparition.

Unfortunately, Hinami was behind her so she was hit by the bolts instead. Fortunately, her sister had cast a protective spell on her so the bolts bounced harmlessly from the Jiangshi. Of course, one cannot miss the purple coating on the bolt's heads...



Shizuyama Wilderness

THE HEAVENLY STRIKE

~ @Restalaan (GRI) ~


"BRING OUT YOUR STRONGEST, GRINGOR IRONHIDE IS HERE!"
Gringor Ironhide


The Varjans were about to attack but the sword student Gringor pointed at brought up his hand to stop them. The standoff was accepted.

The sword student, alone, confronted the male High Orc, standing right in front of the latter barely a meter away. His hands were on his blade's sheathe and hilt. The rest of the camp waited to see who would strike first, and who would win.

Gringor and the sword student stared at each other for a few intense--

*WOOSH*

The sword student suddenly disappeared in a blink of an eye, and the male High Orc felt a powerful slash on his body. His monstrous physiology protected him, but the attack still hurt.

Behind Gringor was the sword student, who nodded at his allies. The prompt to attack the High Orc in earnest, starting with four zealous Brigands with swords.



Terauchi Temple


~ @AzureKnight (SHI) ~


"Everything you've done will follow you to the afterlife anyway. Live and repent, Kasseros Telmar. To continue to live through disgrace, ridicule, hate, fear, shattered dreams, and even a broken heart. That is what it means to be human. It may surprise you that many mamono understand this viewpoint as well."
Shizuka Kannazuki


"Lotta words just to say 'I'm too much of a chicken to kill anymore'. You've gone soft, swordsman!" Kasseros replied as Shizuka walked away. "You call me a coward, yet you walk away?! Afraid to take a life? Hah! Don't make me laugh! And who are you to speak for humans when you dilly-dally with monsters?! Have you nothing to say to that?! Come back here! We're not finished!"

---




(I'll let you three continue. Don't forget that any tales can be undertake anytime.)

------


~ @The Irish Tree (EUL) ~


Eula arrived in Otomo Village in the island of Akamagaseki at daybreak. The rising sun illuminated the small armada of ships docked on the port, with humans and monsters loading the vessels with supplies and armaments, while also arming themselves. One would think Lady Kyouko was preparing an invasion force if they did not know that all this was to counter an actual invasion force.

Lady Kyouko quickly greeted the Automaton and took the latter to her estate atop a low hill. It was then explained to Eula that the Varjans have surrounded the island of Shizuyama and while puncturing the blockade would be trivial to her forces, making landfall while the ports were occupied would be quite difficult and may result in more casualties than Lady Kyouko would like.

Thus, Eula will have to be teleported to the island, to the taskforce's base in Terauchi Temple, with instructions to help the taskforce and the Oja Clan as best she could. Leading the Automaton to the middle of a magic circle, Lady Kyouko and a hooded, but clearly powerful, individual combined their mana to cast a teleport spell upon the Automaton. The circle glowed and crackled with magic and soon, Eula's sight was consumed by white...

---

When the white resided, Eula found herself in a chamber that was clearly Zipanguese in design. It seemed to be a shrine of some sort based from the statues and candles in one side of the chamber. A sliding door into the chamber opened and in came a silver-haired woman. "Hello! Welcome to Shizuyama! I assume you are here as part of Lady Kyouko's taskforce?" The woman approached Eula and happily shook her hands.

"Oh my, an Automaton? I must say, I haven't met one before in my life. Anyway, I'm Ayu and while most of the taskforce and Lord Takeshi Oja are out in their missions, some of them are here. You should go meet them."








~~ TAKESHI'S JOURNEY ~~






~~ TAKAMORI TALES ~~




~~ SORAE TALES ~~


~~ TALES OF SHIZUYAMA ~~






~~ LEGENDARY TALES ~~
Hey guys! My internet's down so the update's probably gonna be delayed a bit. Sorry about that.

Anyway, @Nakushita's coming back so yay!
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