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I scoff as I add my fifteenth comma to a sentence; I do not remember the last time I used a period, nor do I want to - my only focus is on my work, and the ghost of Oscar Wilde there in the corner, looking disdainfully upon the inferior peasants who keep their sentence structure at a reasonable length; a mocking titter escaping his lips every so often as he, too, realizes that no man will ever aspire to the heights of intellect that I am nearing - no, they will wallow in the slums of proper punctuation like dogs - stupid, filthy dogs - while I ascend to another plane, one where I shall write rambling, endless musings with the very gods themselves.

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Oooh, scary. Max clicked his tongue as Varis started his tirade, keeping his expression deliberately unimpressed. He spent more time weighing his options then he did actually comprehending what Cinnamon was babbling about; he could apologize like a cowed dog, but that would make it look like Varis had intimidated him into shape. On the other hand, he could keep talking now that he had less to lose. No, this game was annoying, but he had overstepped, and this round was Eris' victory. He might as well take his loss gracefully. The mage turned to Eris and put up his best scolded puppy look - he was mostly copying Aaron for reference - and bowed his head a bit.

"Apologies, it won't happen again." Max said curtly, trying to sound as sincere as possible without overplaying. He doubted Eris would believe him and he didn't really care whether the leech did or not, he just needed to put on a convincing show for the count. Besides, it wasn't a lie per se; he had no intention of letting Eris prod him like that again, though it would've been better if the leech had scolded him personally so Varis wouldn't get to feel like he'd won something there. He could've risked outright rolling his eyes, but that would've made it obvious he was just paying Eris lip service.

He followed behind Eris as the vampire made for the apothecary, keeping his posture even more sunken than usual in a continuation of his kicked dog charade. The shop was about as underwhelming as he expected, mostly weird plants and gross looking bottles. Max hoped the selection of wands wasn't all this place had to offer; he'd sooner figure out a way to turn his shoe into a focus before he started waving around a stick like a jackass to do magic.

Eris pinching his cheek like an excited grandma once they were inside was barely a surprise at this point, given how touchy the vampire had been earlier, but the infantilizing was a bit new. Still not surprising, but new. Max supposed this was his punishment. Admittedly, it was tempting to play the role of an incompetent child just to waste Eris' time, but he was probably more eager to leave than the leech was.

"Be nice to the employee, okay? They're here to help you,"

The employee wasn't the one Eris needed to worry about him not being nice to. Although Eris was technically still doing him a favor here, so there was no real need to call him a patronizing moron over a bit of pretend doting. Wasn't like Max had a reputation to uphold to some tool that worked at a glorified pharmacy.

"I was thinking jewelry or something," He muttered to the poor attendant that Eris roped into helping him as he walked over toward the focus displays, "Don't need anything fancy, just a metal anklet or something would work. The more subtle, the better. Make it two, if you have 'em." Max was definitely getting two. Fuck Eris. Not that this petty financial attack would likely do anything to the actor's no doubt substantial funds, it was the principle that counted.


@Hero@Achronum


"Of course pets are allowed, why else do you think they allow mages to dorm with vampires?"

Maybe he should get into divination, he saw that one coming a mile away. Stunning play, Eric. He wasn't even going to dignify that with a response, it would be giving Eris too much credit. At least Varis summed up Max's opinion on the dog rather succinctly in his place. Eris called the thing a 'gift', though, so that implied it wouldn't be sticking around too long.

"Before I forget, Wells here could probably use an idea for a focus. Why don't you and Josette show him what you use?

Max didn't know whether to consider that gesture thoughtful or patronizing. At least it superficially came off as helpful, even though Max was confident he didn't need the advice. He had a few ideas in mind already and, while the collar stud was an interesting idea, he was still confident in his own decisions. At worst, he had some backup plans in mind. Focus redundancy wouldn't interfere with his magic, would it? Max gave - what the hell was his name? Anteater? - a polite wave as he got back in the car. More than the mage would've usually done, but that was essentially his new coworker, and it would be better in the long run if he remained cordial. He didn't know enough about the guy to hate him yet, though Max suspected he was a complete tool like the Retriever.

"You know, I bet you'd prefer a focus that isn't so easy taken. That said, pretty sure a Prince Albert would do nicely. We could get matching ones, too!"

Max had no idea what a 'Prince Albert' was, but judging from the context, he assumed it was a piercing of some kind. And judging by the fact that Eris was being... Eris, he could only assume it was somewhere dirty. The mage was almost tempted to agree just so he'd have a nice piece of metal handy to rip the vampire's junk off with, though he doubted Eris would actually follow through. They were almost free of Varis, so it would be a waste for him to bite down on Eris' bait either way, but he supposed a little nip or two wouldn't hurt.

"I think I'll pass, I'd hate for you to scar up your award-winning body on my behalf. Whatever will your fans think?" His voice was flat and dripping with sardonicism, "Just a bracelet or something will work fine. Maybe two, it's your money." An anklet would probably be more secure, but it offered less room for brandishing it threateningly. Maybe one of each. He'd have to see what he could weasel out of the leech's bank account.


@Hero@Achronum
Does Amun work for a patron? If so I’m grabbing him.


Max kept near the door as the group entered the tattoo parlor. Seemed like Count Cinnamon was already microchipping his new dog. While Max personally found the practice immediately abhorrent, he couldn't think of a more deserving victim, so he kept his disgusted sneering to a minimum.

The mage followed Eris outside the shop, assuming the long-awaited delivery had finally arrived. Seemed a bit extraneous to give the deliveryman his own driver, though judging by Eris' expression, this was someone he knew. Probably one of his assistants that he was babbling about earlier.

"Wells, this is Antigone Aëdon, my agent and manager."

Wells, god. He'd have to come up with a better name than 'Eric' if this kept up.

"Yeah, yeah, nice to meet you too." It was halfway genuine. The more staff Eris had doting on him, the less work Max would have to do. If he was lucky Eris would spend all his time bugging Antagonism and Max would just get to blend into the background. Probably for the best given the fame surrounding the leech; throwing a chair at some paparazzi clown waving a camera in his face and asking about Eris would be more trouble than it was worth.

He was less enthusiastic about the little white rodent that crawled out of the bag. This was what Eris was so concerned about? A dog? He could already hear it barking all night- err, day, whenever the hell he was supposed to be sleeping. The name was just icing on the cake; he'd have to do a distracting double-take every time Eris called the oversized squirrel from across the dorm.

"Do they even let pets in the dorms?" Max questioned simply. He held back most of what he actually wanted to say given Varis was still lingering. No sense in dropping the act now when he was almost rid of the vampire's oversight.


@Hero@Achronum


Max lazily followed after the trio, paying little regard to the grumbled complaints of the people who were on the bus behind him. What were they mad about? He was certain they'd all be good little brownnosers around a self-important celebrity and a noble in any other scenario, but apparently letting them off a bus unmolested was too much of a sacrifice.

The town was rather underwhelming, and he was beginning to doubt the pitiful stores that were present would have what he wanted to begin with. One would think such a place would cater to mages more effectively, though there was an apothecary; perhaps appearances were deceiving. With Eris' funds at his disposal he could probably just order something better online anyway, but his priority was acquiring a focus in a timely manner rather than something trivial like fashion appeal. Maybe he could ask around while the leeches were distracted with their deliveries.

The mage turned back as the vampires were inspecting Aaron like a prime cut of meat - and to them, he probably was - and wrinkled his nose distastefully. Granted, he was happy the attention wasn't directed at him; he'd been manhandled enough for one day, but was the Retriever's ear really such a big deal? Max didn't even see what they were looking at. It was an ear. It looked like an ear. Idiots.

Nonethless, he waited patiently for them to finish gawking, pointedly turning away to stare off apathetically at the passing strangers. He was so excited after leaving spell theory that he was afraid he was behind on his glaring quota for the day, and lingering paparazzi would more than suffice in making up for it. Plus, he was sure once Cinnamon finished branding his new pet with whatever mark of ownership he had in mind, Eris would be without a chaperone and prone to stroking his ego again. It would be wise on Max's part to dissuade any fans from further contact.


@Hero@Obscene Symphony@Achronum



Zachary was a bit overwhelmed by the splendor of the campus. In theory, of course, he expected no less from Cresia's premier institute of magical instruction, but the reality of the place - and the knowledge that it would be his veritable playground during his stay - was far more than he'd actually envisioned. So much more that he really had no idea where to start, though he suspected that would be swiftly corrected once classes formally started. One of the few benefits to having such a limited magical arsenal beyond the basics was he couldn't really go wrong when choosing what to study first.

The recommendation about securing a dorm room seemed most prudent; he didn't want to wait until everyone else had chosen and get stuck with a bad room, although he wasn't quite sure what a 'bad room' would entail. Something on one of the higher floors would be ideal to let Sirocco have a perch - there was no way he was keeping an owl in a cramped dorm room - but he didn't want to have to traverse multiple sets of stairs every time he wanted to leave his room either.

Zach wandered off toward the dorms after the students were dismissed from the tour. Admittedly, he was a bit eager to check on his luggage, despite such paranoia being mostly unfounded. He weaved through other students that seemed to have the same idea, pausing when he came up behind that boy he was talking to earlier. Richard looked... a bit dejected, maybe? Or that could've just been how he walked. The blindfolded boy assumed it was the latter; Zach could sympathize with the feeling of having an opportunity you were looking forward to fail to live up to your expectations, but he couldn't fathom what one would find disappointing about this place.

"Hello again," Zach greeted jovially as he fell into step beside Richard. Friends were useful, in learning and in general. Wow, that sounded overly pragmatic to the point of callousness. He was becoming his father. Fun. "Heading to the dorms? I think it's kinda weird they didn't just assign us rooms."


@Lord of Evil
Tentatively interested


“Certainly would be nice if the winnings were real!”

Aaaand his interest was gone, just like that. Unless Aaron was lying about it not being real money. He shouldn't have bothered asking, these games stop being fun too soon. It might be momentarily entertaining to guess at someone's intentions, but in the long run it was far more satisfying for everyone to just say what they meant. Either he guesses right and gets momentary satisfaction from being, well, right, or he guesses wrong and he's at a disadvantage in any future dealings with that person, which likely involve more guessing. So tiresome.

“Do you follow anything? Like races or fights? You might not see magical combat in your future, but I bet you’d enjoy the TCL.”

TCL? What sport was that again? It was the one where mages bombarded the crap out of each other, right? The Retriever was talking about magical combat, it would have to be.

"That's the... magic fight one, right? Never watched it. Sounds like a waste of time." Max half-lied. For the most part, it sounded like flashy spectacle, but it could be useful in witnessing what one's affinity is theoretically capable of doing. Metal didn't sound too complicated to make combative use of, though. Make something sharp and throw it at the other guy, repeat until dead, easy. That just sounded like a matter of practice.

He vaguely noted Eris droning on about his assistants - no doubt people he'd have to interact with in the future; what a pain - and the prospect of selling him off like old furniture. Max wasn't sure if he should consider that a blessing or a curse; a vamprie was a vampire, and being offloaded as useless would probably afford him a degree of solitude, but an Astorio could very well use him for target practice when they were bored or something. No use dwelling on it, Eris was likely trying to rile him up. He had to know damn well Max was listening in.

Max stood up abruptly and shifted out into the aisle when the bus reached their stop in town, essentially trying to block off anyone trying to pass him as he waited for the two vampires ahead of him to disembark before following. No way was he going to sit here and let passing fangirls waste his time by begging Eris for autographs or selfies or whatever fatuous crap starstruck women (and apparently the occasional man, judging by his earlier observations) did when they met a celebrity.


@Hero@Obscene Symphony@Achronum


He was going to die here.

That was the only thought that dominated Mitsuo's mind throughout the rest of the demonstrations and subsequent campus introduction. As if the walking explosion waiting to happen that went before him wasn't bad enough, there was some foreign girl that was even worse! Was that real lava? Was everyone just supposed to die anytime she tried to activate her quirk? She couldn't even control when it came out either, she just... erupted whenever she got ticked off! And that werewolf kid might not've been as flashy, but he was just as bad. He was trying to fight a teacher for no reason. A teacher!

Mitsuo barely heard the principal's speech, focusing instead on the crippling horror that was steadily building in his chest. Did that magic depression guy forget to turn his quirk off? No, he was genuinely grappling with the thought that he was likely to end up as lonely here as everywhere else. So much for an optimistic new start. Maybe if he presented himself to the crowd outside as 'one of the good ones' he wouldn't be immediately lynched. He could definitely see where some of their grievances were coming from, given the motley crew of danger he was surrounded by.

Fortunately, Death Glare's list of regulations actually caught his attention before he could finish revising the first draft of Uncle Mitsu's Cabin. Structure and rules were... comforting, at least if he ignored that bit about birth control. He didn't want to dwell on the fact that this was a high school and such matters actually needed to be addressed. His classmates might outwardly appear as chaos incarnate, but coming here meant they likely had a desire to keep their destructive powers in line. At this point, Mitsuo was just falling prey to the same thought patterns as the protestors. He needed to keep in mind that, apparently, not everyone with a quirk was as blessed as he was. These were people, not monsters. Even that minotaur-looking guy.

His room was darker than he expected. Were windows a safety hazard or something? He tried the lightswitch - didn't work, must've been a construction oversight. He'd have to go tell one of the teachers now, great. At least the desk lamps seemed to be working, though they weren't very helpful. Mitsuo raised a hand, letting his palm heat up enough to bathe the room in a soft blue light, but not enough to actively prime an explosive. Shigeki-sensei had said they could use their quirk for everyday tasks, this should be acceptable.

"Oh, h-hi," He stammered out as he noticed his roommate was already present, "I didn't think anyone else was in here." The creepy guy with the depression quirk? Not his first choice to be staying with, but... no, on second thought, everyone here was a little off, this was probably one of the better rooming arrangements. "D'you already tell the teachers the light was busted?"

The other boy looked like he was sleeping, but Mitsuo wasn't really sure. Seemed a bit early in the day for a nap, unless - what was his name? Daigo? Daizo? - hadn't gotten much sleep last night. Then again, he was doing the same weird faceplant thing during his demonstration too, so Mitsuo assumed the guy might just be really eccentric. A cursory inspection revealed the room did, in fact, have a window, but that it was just covered by curtains. So Daizo was trying to sleep? He could sympathize, he guessed, but he had things to unpack, and he wasn't doing that in the dark.

Mitsuo let the light dissipate from his hand as he moved to open the curtains and let in some light. He paid little mind to the succulent on the windowsill as he went back to his suitcase. He didn't bring much, just some clothes and other essentials, which he diligently started putting away in the provided dresser.


@Zelosse
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