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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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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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How about Shiki?


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Asteria barely muffled the snort as Ed flexed his scrawny bipedal form, and quickly glanced at the passing goblin duo to check whether they had noticed anything. They hadn’t, and the group outside was preoccupied with their own tasks. As she stared towards the cave’s exit, she felt a disturbing sensation of being called from the direction of the dungeon core that rose her hackles. Whatever it was, she didn’t care for it. “Now’s the chance!” she urged quietly, and sneaked out with near-silent footsteps, her pace as swift as she could afford it without risking discovery. Assuming Ed and Mother Rat were following, she made a wide berth around the goblin group, heading southwards alongside the forest line until the cave entrance was out of her sight, ears perked for any signs of danger, gaze flicking left and right for any sights of interest on the way.

She stopped once the goblin group was well out of immediate range of contact, peering around. Asteria peered at the surroundings, but being so near the ground didn’t tell her much beyond the fact that she seemed to be heading in the direction of a grassy clearing, and that the cave they had left was only a part of the hilly, possibly mountainous northern landscape. If she wanted a better idea of the surroundings, she’d need a higher vantage point. She looked up and up the nearest tree. Well, better get started. This might even be a good way to train. She rose up on her hind feet, hugged the tree with her front paws, and wrapped her tail around it for good measure, then pulled herself up. She then dug her hind claws into the tree trunk, moved a paw forwards, inserted her front claws into the tree as best as she could, did the same with the other paw, slid her tail up, and moved her hind limbs and claws once again. Every push and pull on the way up strained every single muscle, but she aimed to make it to the nearest tree branch at the very least. If she did, she’d rest there, look around to ascertain her safety, then move up again, to the next branch. If her attempt at scaling the tree was wholly successful, she’d eventually get to the top (or to the top most branch that was still able to support her weight), and get a good look around.

Location: Ares Colloseum
Interactions: Lyra Woods @Filthy Mudblood,
Ariana Mossos@Dirty Pretty Lies
Mentions: Marcy @Write

Ian was one of the first people at the Ares Colosseum, not because he’d known beforehand that was where they were supposed to go, but because he had the advantage of being able to store his luggage in one of the shadows near the housing buildings – he directed a short but firm thought to Hades that his stuff better not get lost in the netherworld, as had once happened to the clothes on his back on an embarrassingly memorable occasion – and then zipped himself from shade to shade, the sensation not at all disorienting any longer though he technically lacked a three-dimensional form while doing so.

He re-emerged at one of the stone benches near the back with nary a wrinkle present, though his hair was rather windswept. He rummaged his travel jacket’s inner pockets for the comb that he stored there alongside other necessities, such as his wallet, a pen, pencil, sketchbook, hanky, his phone, and a pair of sunglasses, which were the retro round black-tinted kind. Yes, yes, incredibly pretentious, so sue him for enjoying nice things. At the very least he had been sensible enough to change the formal shirt he’d worn underneath for one of his mother’s concerts she’d managed to arrange as a farewell gift for a simple white T-shirt. His hair combed, the wind gleefully ruining his efforts, Ian promptly sat down on the bench and waited for whatever business they’d been called for to commence. His fingers itched oh-so-terribly for him to rake through his hair, but instead of giving into the urge or simply ripping his hair out and screaming for the world to hear that, sod it all to bloody damnation, he was shaving his head...instead, he steepled his fingertips calmly onto a leg he crossed over the other knee.

Instead of resolving his dilemma or acting out on his frustrations, Ian chose to spend the time by leafing through his sketchbook, and adding a detail here-or-there, and began a surprisingly floral concept on a new page. Much to his consternation, he also deepened the teeth-indents on his pencil. Ah, if mother saw this. Even Marcy might scold me. Oh, speaking of the devil. A truly pleased smile stretched his lips as Ian tracked his sister’s and her companion’s path, simply observing. He did not stand up, deciding then and there they could have their yearly sibling reunion after the Headmaster and Headmistress had completed whatever speech they had prepared. He twirled the pencil between the fingers of his right hand as he listened, making the occasional notation, which consisted solely of the words “new challenges” (?), and experiment.

He dutifully marked down the called names and even went so far as to add an extremely speedy sketch of each person called, not including himself, of course. The fact that he’d be practically next-doors from his sisters was, of course, the matter which excited him the most about this whole ordeal. He sent Marcy an exuberant grin, but she was already mid-conversation and surrounded by her usual company, so he was doubtful that she noticed at all. Nevertheless, things were as they should be. He was truly considering finally approaching to catch up with Marcy, but going by all the hugs, hair-ruffling, and the general commotion surrounding her group, there were no doubts in Ian’s mind that later was still the more prudent decision. Just the thought of potentially being on the receiving end of all that touchy-feeliness from unrelated persons was cause enough for a full-body shudder. Besides, they're sure to be in the mid of another party-planning session.

There was also the matter of his roommate, one Lyra Woods. He ripped his gaze away from the familiar figure of Marcy, and searched for the blonde whose name he’d memorized alongside the others. Ian straightened his shoulders, put away the sketchbook and pencil, smoothed away any and all wrinkles and swept off the imaginary lint, lifted his chin ever-so-slightly, and approached his new roommate, mostly disregarding the fact Woods had already engaged the black-haired Mossos female in conversation. Thus, he was opportune enough to catch all the blonde’s complaints to her friend. Oh, so she knows of me? He almost tutted at her misconceptions, but those could be corrected shortly. Apparently making a good impression on her will take at least double the effort I’d had initially considered. Hmm. So much for a peaceful year… That was not to say Ian was dissuaded, oh no, not at all. He strode to his target with purpose, his typical soft smile present as usual, his stare fixed on Lyra. “I believe we have not yet properly met, miss?” he drawled slightly, but not-at-all accusingly, feeling comfortable enough to stretch out his arm for a greeting. The miss was too much, a traitor thought rustled across his mind, but he decidedly did not wince. He gave a curt nod to Mossos, keeping his greeting and gaze on her for a polite 5 seconds, then returned to his greeting of Lyra. “My name is Ian Rivers, and I most certainly cannot possess people, rest assured,” it was probably prudent he didn’t mention he could make spirits possess him or potentially other people as well, however. He even ensured to glance back to Ariana to include her, oh, he was so on a roll right now!

That was when, his right arm still sticking out awaiting a handshake, Ian took a moment to look between the pair to get a look on what some of the others were doing. He was especially interested what the Hadmaster’s and Headmistress’s reactions might be. Were they already observing their experiment? Or were the students now under additional surveillance? Perhaps half-a-minute later, his gaze once again found Woods in front of him, and he locked his gaze with hers, raising both brows shortly in a Well, what now? prompt.

“Crispy? The goblin Jason and some others had some sort of a meeting with? I still know nothing about that, but I doubt it’s relevant now…” Asteria trailed off in thought, considering the possibility that whomever fought him could be another Reincarnator. Even if she was certain that they were, however, making contact was not necessarily advisable, especially given that the trio of Dire rats were outnumbered.

Just as she was about to agree to sneak out of the cave, Mother Rat practically tackled her, circling and sniffing at her. A hint of some scent apparently offended her, but only for a short while. Surely it’s not because of the undead…is it? Giving none of her concerns away, Asteria returned the other’s greeting, nuzzling at the Mother briefly. “Hey, hey, I’m alright,” she reassured. Then, she peeked back towards the entrance, narrowing her gaze to asses the situation. Only to find a pair of goblins approaching. It was too late to sneak by! The goblin duo was speaking of helping Crispy and possibly opposing the new female goblin Boss, and they were getting closer and closer to discovering them. Not wanting to chance anything, Asteria backed away silently, nudging Mother Rat and Ed into doing the same, taking special care that the other female Dire rat wouldn’t attack and give them away.

She slowly and cautiously led them back a bit into the cave, then whispered to Ed. “Let them pass. When they’re gone, let’s make a break for it, either out the main entrance or that side tunnel by it, the one Jason and others partially dug out.” She kept an eye on the goblin duo as well as the now somewhat more distant entrance. Worst case scenario, now that they were farther from the larger group of goblins, they could take out the duo without causing much of a commotion. She also relayed this thought of hers “If we have to take them out, quick and silent is the way to go,” the mutter was barely audible even to her own ears, so the preoccupied goblin duo would hopefully not hear it.


Asteria was glad Ardur and Danny were willing to try and help with the mess, she really was, but the problem was, the warring slimes weren’t interested in listening, exactly as she’d feared might happen. Asura used the slime’s advantages to spread out in a multi-directional blade attack, and soon after Jason had been pierced, Mother Slime finally made her contribution in a doubtlessly painful flattening jump. Really shouldn’t have made an enemy of her, was one the many fleeting thoughts she had. Cautiously, the dire rat slunk into the shadows, observing from a bit of a distance. If there were an opportunity to do something meaningful…But there wasn’t any.

Asura raged against being controlled and restricted in any way, and as much as Asteria detested it, he was completely right. (Though his attitude was so very grating. It almost pissed her off, and caused her to do something stupid. Almost.) They were in another world, with different laws, and most likely, as monsters, they weren’t beholden by any. As the water spirit had suggested, no-one would care what happened between beings such as them. In fact, if any native humans would see them, they’d probably just want to get rid of them as the pests they’d be seen as. Man’s the worst of all animals when separated from laws and justice, wasn’t it? A good thing I always found Machiavelli more sensible…though, really, the one with the advantage of force is Asura...Not Jason, the suiciding necromantic maniac. Jason’s suicide spell didn’t seem to do much besides kill him, Danny and Asura were soon after bickering over the piece of green source crystals as common mutts might over a piece of meat, and Ardur was preoccupied with…praying? Yes, very efficient that, act after he’s dead already, she almost scoffed loudly, but was perfectly aware she was the last person to criticize Ardur for a lack of action.

But the opportunity was perfect to unobtrusively slink away, and that’s exactly Asteria did. She made a bit of a looping path towards the lakeside and chamber-core, warily checking for followers or any other potential danger. Once she was out of sight of the trio she’d left behind, however, she sped towards the core-chamber. She stopped at the lakeside, taking note of any changes. The sword and the water spirit had apparently submerged once again, and she wondered if they were making any sort of progress towards destroying the core. Carefully, she made her way to where the dungeon core was, checking around the chamber for signs of…anything, really. Had Jason believed he could resurrect here? There were still a few of herbs left over in his garden, and a small nook that was hiding two of those flame crystals that could be used as bombs, and another altered mana crystal. Carefully, she nestled the three crystals amongst the herbs she’d already stashed under her vine-belt, making certain they were tightly fastened, and separate from each other. Her vest was getting a bit bulky, but it would do for now. Besides the ominous dungeon core itself, there wasn’t much for Asteria to do in Jason’s tunnels, so she high-tailed her way out of the cave.

Her way to the entrance was uninterrupted, if somewhat slowed down by carrying the additional weight, and the care she took not to be ambushed by anything potentially dangerous. Asteria also found Mother Rat’s incredibly thoughtful trail mark, and noticed the smell led out of the cave. Just as she was about to exit, Ed and Mother Rat appeared, apparently back from wherever they had been “Oh, hey,” she greeted, slightly winded. “Ed, you evolved?” She observed his new bipedal form, and came to a decision. “Good, you can hold onto these better than I then.” Thus, she handed her items to him one by one, careful not to drop or damage any. “DO NOT drop the crystals, two of them are those flame-variant bomb-esque items."

"Now, let me tell you all that happened,”
she began recounting the story in hushed whispers while warily keeping an eye on the happenings outside of the cave, summarizing the recent events as best as she could, adding opinions and comments as was appropriate. “So, we best avoid Asura and co. Jason is dead, unless there actually is a way to resurrect. There are still undead in the cave, I don’t know how many, or whether they're aggressive or not. By the way, do you know anything about the goblins out there?” she asked, suddenly changing the topic entirely as she pointed at the group outside.

I'll adjust whatever happens to need adjusting.
I suppose I'll stake cautious interest for a son of Hades.

Monsters and innocents, is it? Asteria felt like sighing or opposing, but didn’t deem the effort worth what would certainly be a non-result; the water spirit was obviously prejudiced. “I see. I believe he has mentioned such an influence, and as far as I know, is actively resisting it. Nonetheless, seeing as our priorities are currently so differing, parting ways seems the better decision. I may or may not return. Take care.” Asteria left the lake-side, on the way to return to the cave’s entrance. She didn’t get far, however, as she soon came upon something that seemed like a trail, and warily sniffing at it revealed Asura’s scent. Asteria then sped towards wherever the red slime had gone, focusing on her sight so she’d see her goal sooner.

Moments of running later, she was met with another chaotic mess; Jason and Asura still fighting, Danny and Ardur flying above and observing, some zombies on Jason’s side mixed in the fight, and Mother Slime in the vicinity of Ardur, healthier than Asteria would have expected. “Ardur! You healed Mother Slime? That’s good. But if you’re here to help Asura, I’m rather certain he intends to kill Jason. Jason is similarly on a warpath. Say, if you really care so much for saving lives, how about we try to resolve this conflict non-lethally? And Danny, I imagine you have no desire to see former humans give in to our violent instincts given what had happened to us right after we arrived to this world,” she addressed them, referring to a conflict between Mei and Lorek from ways back that the wisp would surely remember.

She didn’t particularly care if the slimes heard – if they thought her suggestion reasonable, then all the better, and if not, they were too involved with themselves to properly care what the spectators might do. Whatever they did, they would have to act fast; the fight was still in full swing, and neither of the combatants cared for anything besides satisfying their destructive desires.

However, as she watched, there seemed to be a momentary lull in the fight, as Asura had just thrown the rat at Jason an was observing the situation while Jason was quickly disposing of the zombie dire-rat. Thus, Asteria went ahead with the first phase of the “plan” – distraction. “ASURA! Mother slime is now healthy and safe, do you really want to endanger her again?! AND JASON, the FUCK have you been thinking recently? Listen, I know it ain’t fair that people hate zombies, but do you really want to just kill all the haters? I thought you were better than this!” Actually, she hadn’t, but if it got him to listen, then all the better.


Asteria quickly blinked in surprise several times at the magnificent sword that appeared. She’d come here to try and find help, but of course the water spirit had its own ideas, and had apparently been active even before she’d contacted it. “I hope you understand that I will need a summarization of the risks and consequences of your proposed action before I can even consider agreeing to it. Otherwise, I am afraid I will have to decline until I have more information,” she stated, though privately wondered why the spirit was asking for her permission, of all things. Since she had not managed to gain much information on the water spirit from her dream, Asteria attempted to analyze it once again.

She was starting to get antsy to return to Jason and help in his fight; though she didn’t agree with all his actions, and didn’t particularly desire to fight Asura, as manic as he was turning out to be, she was still technically on Jason’s side. Wary as she was of sharing any further information with the water spirit, Asteria nonetheless explained the current situation to it, in hopes that it might be more inclined to cooperate than it had been in her dream. “You see, as it so happens, a fellow Reincarnator of mine made some sort of contact with this cave dungeon’s core, and I am concerned destroying the core might harm or disadvantage him. He is currently in a conflict with yet another reincarnated human, and I dare say they are intent on destroying each other. At the very least, I ask that you withhold altering the dungeon until I prevent any unnecessary deaths. Then, if he’s still alive by that point, I will bring the current core’s master to speak with you.”

While waiting for the water spirit to make any kind of remark, Asteria gathered all the nearby healing herbs (but not more than 5), and stuffed them beneath the vine belt she still had wrapped around her body. If she really was soon heading into such a dangerous conflict, she’d need a bit of insurance. I can’t believe we managed to turn to infighting so soon after practically exterminating the cave…Figures. Sure as hell wish I knew more about the core too. This fancy sword might have just made things worse.

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