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9 mos ago
Gahh, transcribing an interview took way too friggin long, and I knew it wasn't gonna be quick. I knew there was a reason for preferring quantitative data...
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2 yrs ago
Going to a hated event might build my fortitude or something, but the though of seeing those f*rs' faces...Yeah, no thanks.
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2 yrs ago
Why do I have a cold again when I've had one just last month?
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2 yrs ago
How about Shiki?

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Jandar Varan
Cliff staircase, Askavi

Jandar blinked, stopping mid-step on the staircase at the odd scene before him. Fatima was running in his direction, Xandar swooped down (Faeril still in hands), shielded Fatima and grabbed her, now carrying away both the Queen and the Black Widow. A short moment later, the Blood Opal Warlord Prince crashed into the cliff, apparently injured from the fight with the two ally Eyriens, and landed not far above Jandar. Just as soon, an arrow followed, though it lodged itself into the man’s shield. Jandar glanced up, seeing the faraway woman archer who’d helped him. Summoning his sabre, the Warlord waved at the female above, gesturing he could deal with it.

Jandar approached the fallen Eyrien, wrapped his sabre in a red-tinge layer of power, and swung down. Unfortunately, the man’s shield did not break entirely, but only cracked. Keeping the power from his Red jewel still flowing into his weapon, Jandar set the sabre’s tip into the crack, and pushed, utilizing all his muscles to do so. The Opal Warlord Prince’s shield was finally broken, exposing the Eyrien. A quick slash at the man’s neck, and he was dead. Jandar rolled his shoulders, vanished the sabre, and put his left hand at his wounded side again, feeling the extent of the damage.

With a huff, the Warlord pushed the fallen Eyrien to the side of the staircase, so he didn’t block the whole path. Then, thinking of Fatima’s urgency to get there and presumably get Jassen’s body, Jandar descended down the stairs. The fight was over now, it seemed, all enemies having either been slain or chased away. However, if there was even one survivor…Well, perhaps Faeril would deem to clarify the situation. Several minutes later, the Kaeleeran reached Jassen, bent down, and carefully set his corpse across his shoulders, taking the proper caution not to aggravate his injured side. Finally, he began his ascent, though he was rather slowed down due to the additional weight. Regardless, he eventually reached his previous spot, took a moment of rest, gazing at the recently slain Eyrien curiously, then prepared himself to move the rest of the way up with a bracing inhale.
@Haruharara Yeah, I was already considering doing so since discovering the breath techniques don't lead to manipulating some sort of supernatural force (which I kinda assumed). Will do some changes to the moves.
Amisaki Kyou

WTL: 16
SAN: 90



Kyou gasped quietly at the author’s diary entries, but very carefully and purposefully focused his mind on the pertinent information. The…person…mentioned other survivors, the fact that this place was called the Land of Shadows, and a barricade. There was also the stuff about ‘them’ and how the parking lot they were in was a safe zone. Not so safe with that psycho running around, Kyou thought uncharitably, though even considering being confronted with someone or something that actively desired to harm them was- No, no, never mind that, Kyou, we just have to focus on getting out and, and see what’s around, maybe find out if there are other sane people around. With a shaky inhale, Kyou focused on his breathing and centered his mind.

A minute passed, and, having gathered his courage (or perhaps it was desperation), Kyou spoke up. “P-President, please put that diary back? We- I think we should probably get away from here,” he whispered, cautious now that he knew an insane person might be lurking nearby. “Let’s try not to attract that person’s attention, though,” he continued speaking in an undertone. “You can lead us, right, president?” he asked plaintively, gaze darting around fearfully. The five of them were really so noticeable, if he thought about them. For one, they were near the author’s home, and for another, they hadn’t been quiet up until now, and their mobile phones radiated like a beacon in the otherwise dark parking lot.

Kyou bit his lip, his heart starting to beat loudly yet again, and frantically gestured to the others, indicating to be mindful of their presence. He wasn’t sure his flailing was getting the point across, so he added: “Light and sound. Dangerous,” in a quiet mutter. His own phone was still in his left hand, kept pointed down and to the side. Kyou inched closer to Kiyoko, hoping she would assent to leading them out of there. He clutched his bag close to his body with his right arm, stuffing his palm into his jacket’s pocket to clamp onto his stress-ball for reassurance. “President,” he whispered quietly, but with urgency. However, he did not feel comfortable with actually ordering her around, so he kept his quiet after that, though he kept looking around, barely keeping the discomfort at bay.
@Haruharara Oh, I see. The anime led me to believe it was closely related to manipulating the actual elements (since they show water, fire, and lightning), but I suppose that isn't the case.

EDIT: Edited things a bit. Hopefully now it's a bit better.


Edit: v.2
Asteria



After clambering up onto the mound, Asteria observed the monolithic structure. It was obviously an altar. She found it odd that it was on top of the structure rather than inside, but that was an architectural choice probably chosen by the cultural difference of the humans inhabiting this world. Unfortunately, she couldn’t make sense of the symbols, lines, swirls, and circles etched onto the overlapping plates of the altar. Were they religious, functional or magical in nature? Curiously, she put a single careful claw onto the smallest plate, infused her touch with a minor outflow of Mana, and began tracing the various shapes, following each one to the next pattern and the next plate all the way to the largest plate and the last of its etchings. She was considering memorizing the shapes or perhaps taking the time to trace them onto her piece of leather later on as she did so. They were a curious clue, and may perhaps be useful if she managed to decipher them.

When she was done inspecting the altar, Asteria looked around. To the west, she could still see the village they’d come from, if only barely, though the mountains loomed in the distance in all their ominous glory. To the east, the road spread into another plane, until it finally reached a great lake. As expected, its banks were populated. However, that was something they could deal with in exchange for a steady source of water. Besides, there was also a river flowing south from the lake as well, so there was certainly no need to stick too close to an actual town if they didn’t want to.

Asteria then made her way down by the way of a simple jump, rolling as she landed, and just when she was recovering from the impact, Ed alerted her to danger. “Huh? What do you mean? I didn’t stand on the altar, though I did touch it…Did you see something?” She looked around, but saw no impeding doom nearby. Concerned, she edged her way cautiously towards the entrance of the building, sneaking a peak around and inside of it. She happened to glance at the plaque, and though the writing was a bit strange at first, something shifted, and she was able to read it. Barrow, Lords of Viska, war for Viska, Five Lords…

Having read the message, she quickly scurried back to Ed. “I don’t think we disturbed anything…but just in case, we could perhaps make an offering?” She didn’t suggest that out of a strong religious belief, however, seeing how magic existed in this world, being cursed and attacked by the undead because of a sacrilegious act was no longer within the realm of the fantastical. Though she’d attempted reassuring Ed, remembering his utter terror of the undead, she glanced around, trying to sense anything out of place. She briefly activated her Mana Sense, hoping it might warn her if danger was truly approaching.

Jandar Varan
Cliff staircase, Askavi

Jandar drove the Opal Prince to the staircase, the corners of his lips twitching up in a minor smirk as he sensed opportunity. But of course, the male simply flew off. Jandar cursed under his breath, vanished his sabre and shield, and raced back up the stairs, turned to the flying target, braced his feat, summoned his bow and quiver-full of arrows, positioned his body, and took a shot. He barely hit, not enough to slow down the Eyrien. The only upside was that some unknown archer had taken a shot at the Opal Prince almost simultaneously, and hit them as well – unfortunately, with as much success as Jandar had. Jandar growled, and swiftly readied and released another shot…and his arrow glanced off the Eyrien’s psychic shield. Well. He wasn’t stupid and he’d reacted fairly quickly, but then again, the Warlord supposed getting shot at was very hard to miss. Still…did he shield simply as a precaution or because he didn’t trust his flying skill? Or was it because he didn’t want to split his attention? Regardless, it was pointless for Jandar to attempt to shoot down the Opal Prince again; the Eyrien had flown rather far at this point and was shielded to boot.

With a sigh, Jandar vanished the bow, quiver, and arrows, leaving himself with only the knife that remained sheathed at his back. The rest of the opponents were otherwise occupied, and if need be, he could still summon whichever weapon he needed. He lay his left arm on his side, stemming the bleeding gash just below his ribs. Taking a moment to observe the goings on, the Warlord realized there currently was no enemy he could engage easily, as they were all flying. There were also more unknown allies (except Xandar, who Jandar was glad to see had taken Faeril with him) who had all arrived some time after the three of Faeril’s Eyriens. Jandar squinted in the direction one of the unknown allies had come running from (the male was a Dea Al Mon, if his peripheral gaze hadn’t betrayed him, which was rather curious, but not of immediate import), and saw Fatima accompanied by a woman. Fatima could probably recognize Jassen’s corpse from where she was standing. Oh, Mother Darkness, what do I do in a situation such as this?

Jandar hadn’t liked the drunk. He had been impressed the old male had attempted help rescue Faeril, but with how easily he had gone down, he certainly couldn’t truthfully say he had fought the good fight. He had gone down fighting, though whether that would reassure Fatima or not was questionable. Jandar did not know the Queen well enough to guess how she might react. However, he felt that he needed to be there for her. Bracing himself for the inevitability of having to offer comfort, Jandar made his way to his Lady.
Amisaki Kyou

WTL: 16
SAN: 91



Kyou had just barely calmed down from the unexpected earthquake onset, when the Chuunibyou that the whole school at least knew of dove and rolled right next to him. She put a palm over his left hand, and smiled up at him. Kyou jerked his whole body away from her, completely bewildered by her familiarity to a stranger. “W-What?” he stuttered out, but she just giggled at him and said something about how he ought to thank her later. Kyou would have said more, but then the world stopped making sense, the whole reality as they knew it shifting into something incomprehensible.

One moment, they were comfortably on the floor, the next, everything tilted, and they were collectively sliding down to what had been a wall before. Kyou shrieked, scrabbling at the floor-now-wall, attempting to slow his descent as he best could, but his fall was inevitable. He managed to land in a roll that thankfully didn’t dislocate, sprain, or break anything, though it did leave him heavily bruised. The fingers on his left hand were all bloody and scraped up from having clawed at the wooden floor/wall. He’d disentangled his right hand from his pocket only just before he landed, so even though it'd helped him roll safely to the floor, it wasn't as damaged as his left one. His bag fell close to him, and Kyou carefully put it over a shoulder, gaze darting left and right fearfully, mind racing to catch up to the events. He was panting too fast, and as a reminder to himself to restrict and regulate his breathing, Kyou put his face-mask on with trembling fingers.

There was another shift, and Kyou stumbled, though he jumped over the door on Masahiro’s cue, avoiding squishing the two first years and falling out into who-knows-what. He could only tremble wide-eyed, however, as he saw a speaker crashing against a female student. A male student attempted rescuing her, but they were just both sent careening into towards the door – and the first years. The door opened, and the first two years fell through. Kyou screamed. When he next opened his eyes – his lids now sticky from tears, his cheeks wet, and his nose running – he saw the janitor had managed to hold onto the male student and the boy was still holding onto the girl. Kyou shivered, averted his gaze, and hugged himself tightly, clutching the school bag to him. How could something like this have happened?!

Kyou was unable to contemplate anything else, his mounting panic ending in a flash of white, his mind going blank. He was knocked unconscious.

***

The next time his eyes opened, all Kyou saw were…cars? One blink later, everything went black, and he just stared into the darkness for a moment, not yet quite grasping what was going on. He wiped at his face, removing the dry tear-tracks, but left the face-mask on for the moment, despite the insides being slightly icky from his snot. Kyou shivered in remembrance of the cause of his previous crying. Then Osaki, the student council president, blinded him with her phone light, and revealed that he was no there alone. Oh, thank God. Even if I’m crazy or something, at least I’m not by myself…and the President! So reliable… Reassured by her presence, Kyou first patted his right pocket, finding his stress-ball undisturbed, which loosened the tight knot of anxiety gripping him just a tad more. He was able to breathe calmly now, so removed the face-mask and stored it back in his bag, then rifled through it for his phone. Kyou found it, and was able to turn it on, however besides the blinding light, there was nothing on the screen. He fiddled with the device some more, but all Kyou figured out was that it couldn’t be turned back off, and its single remaining use was as a flashlight, all its other functions inaccessible. There was even no battery display.

With his visibility restored, Kyou looked from face to face, trying to place the students he was with as he best could. There was, of course, the President; there was no one in the school that could claim to not know of her. There was a first year he was unfamiliar with, though he felt like he’d at least seen him around…And the remaining two were third years. First was Amano Ayane, whom he knew of because she was the one rumored to have stopped the transfer student Minamoto’s win streak in the kendo club. The second one was Tsuchihana Ren, one of the many people that hung around Hase Saki, his only friend – who unfortunately was not there. Kyou could only hope she was still alive, elsewhere. As for their own location, the surroundings indicated they were in some sort of an underground parking lot, apparently abandoned.

With the agreement that they wouldn’t stray too far from each other, and could use their mobile phones' lights to seek out each other, Kyou joined the search for…something; anything. If they could only find a clue! He stood up on shaky legs, and made his way to the nearest car. He was focusing intently on his task, because the alternative was thinking about…everything else. His breath quickened as his traitorous mind strayed to the first two years’ fall, the whole unusual situation he found himself in, the possibility that he’d been driven insane…He shoved a hand into the pocket, squeezing the stress-ball as if his life depended on it. Oh, give it a rest Kyou, if you can think…you can act. Besides, as long as I’m not by myself… He shuddered, and began inspecting the car. It was wrecked, and none of the doors could be opened. Nor could be its trunk or hood. Kyou glanced around to check that at least one phone light besides his own could be seen before moving to the next one. The door of this one could be opened, but the insides contained nothing of use.

His fruitless search was finally over when the first year called out to them, and Kyou gladly made his way over. There was an ambulance, in much better shape than most of the cars Kyou had seen. While the front doors were locked, the back one was ajar. Kyou stood at a distance, gazing at the ominous opening suspiciously. No other car he’d seen had its doors simply opened. So what was the deal with this one? The only way to find out would be to open it, but…he was rather reluctant to do so. What if there was a corpse? It was an old, abandoned ambulance, so it was possible…right? But wouldn’t that smell badly enough that they could tell? That was it what they said in all those movies after all…Shaking off the paranoia and reminding himself that their search had gone alright so far, Kyou took a single step closer, then stopped. “Let’s just be careful,” he suggested, his voice trembling lightly. While urging caution was a half-decent advice, Kyou certainly wasn't helping the situation much given how he just stood there and watched, the phone held in his left hand hanging uselessly by his side.
Asteria



Two successive levels in the middle of traveling? How odd…usually this kind of a thing happened almost as soon as the fighting was over, right? Oh, well…For now…2 points to Smash, 1 point to First Aid, and…7 points to Minor Heal. Having only one healing herb left and with and unknown supply of the materials for the medicinal and/or antivenin salve – especially given they were traveling towards a forest – investing in a way of mending injuries swiftly was something Asteria couldn’t pass up on any longer. She sighed in discontent, frustrated that they were more-or-less on the run, without water or shelter, and food being sketchy as well.

Nonetheless, she trudged on with her companions without verbal complain, taking note of the surroundings. They were approaching hilly areas – actually, as Asteria realized at one point, they’d been gradually ascending for a while as well – and a high rocky slope near the forest had smoke rising from behind it. However, the humans who must have travelled the same path a few days ago, had apparently avoided that particular hill. Perhaps it was a group of goblins had gathered around that particular campfire? If so, they were better not approaching carelessly – or at all.

After passing the human travelers’ little camping spot, they began descending once again. The distinctive damp scent of a nearby water source grew stronger, which along with no enemy encounters since their departure were just one of the rare things making this whole situation barely tolerable, was encouraging. “Yes, there must be water nearby. Somewhere,” she stated with surprisingly emboldening determination.

Soon, they reached an obviously artificial structure, though it blended rather well into the natural surroundings what with its earthen, grassy covering. It had a structure up its top, constructed from several large stones. Was this thing some sort of primitive mausoleum? However, its open entryway faced the road, which was strange indeed…Worse off, the sun was beginning to set. Would this ominous structure have to serve as their temporary resting spot? Asteria did not like the idea, and Ed seemed to share her reluctance.

“With all that we’ve faced, there very well may be skeletons and zombies and who knows what else in there,” she growled, though a part of her questioned whether they were truly correct that this thing might represent such a danger. It was relatively close to a man-made road, after all, so perhaps it was safe for humans? But not necessarily safe for ‘monsters’, I suppose… Asteria unshouldered her items, carefully setting them to the ground. “I’m climbing up to check the surroundings. You two, stay on the lookout.”

With that said, Asteria approached the rectangular structure, appraising it. She’d managed to climb a tree, so something like this that looked to have more footholds shouldn’t be as difficult. So, she crouched down, bunched up her muscles, and sprung up, aiming to attach her clawed paws to either the top of the mound or as close to it as she could get. If she managed to scramble up the rectangular structure, she would survey the odd monolith construct arranged on top of it. After looking around and scenting the air for the hints of water, she’d attempt scaling the monoliths as well.

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