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1 mo ago
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I can't triforce

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Do y'all mind if I move things forward?
@Crimson Flame If accepted I wouldn't see why he'd say no, though he may ask to use the Poffin case since he likes to make food for Caelan, lol.

Character looks good to me, feel free to put it in the characters tab
We're waiting on @Fandom Princess and/or @Crimson Flame I think

or we could just move on without them and let them catch up later... damn, I'm bad at keeping up momentum
"Oh don't be like that, I'm a fan! A fan!" He said, moving to the front of the heavily muscled contestant, blocking his way forward.
Their eyes met and Duke adopted a hurt look, dripping with sarcasm.
"I just wanted to have a chat with you, one former loser to another." He said, smiling. "I'm here to help, not make money off you."

The lanky teen took a sip of his drink before making his pitch.
"You clearly know of me, but you might not know that I've seen more of Midnight than anyone here, besides the bartender. And I'll give to you straight, your side of the bracket is full of tough customers. Real hard hitting talent out there tonight."
Duke's smile morphed into a sly grin as he slid to the other side of the beefy student, putting a 'reassuring' hand on his shoulder.
"Now, I know someone as strong as you prooooobably doesn't need help from little old me, but I could run some... interference for you. You know, just to even the odds a little. I mean, I don't think you need it. But..."
He shot a pointed look at the broken table across the room.
"We both know how it feels to be on the other end, don't we?"

Before the other teen could reply, Duke slapped him on the shoulder.
"Think it over, ok?" Duke said, smiling innocently. "I'll be cheering for you."
He quickly backed up into the crowd, swiftly disappearing into the throng.

If anyone had been curious as to why Duke was often slighted as a rat, here was a clear example - flitting back and forth with danger, snatching the cheese, and scampering away at the first sign of danger. There were some in the crowd who knew of him, of his activities, and his habits in Midnight. Normal onlookers probably wouldn't know what to think, but the veterans knew. Were they disgusted by the rat's scurryings? Or were they disappointed that he got to the dark horse first? Everyone wanted to be there for the birth of a new legend, after all, and some wanted to be a bigger part of it. However, the rat in question hadn't been thinking about this.

Duke didn't have all the clues, and he was no detective. But he had good instincts, and something stank. It was as if he would smell the brimstone at any moment, and all he would need to do was turn around and see the devil on their shoulder. He had pretended to play that role, just to see what kind of reaction would spring. He had not expected to detect a hint of guilt, or something like it. It warranted further investigation.

The rat flitted through the crowd, scurrying with a clear destination in mind. Duke was heading to where the other student had fallen. If he remembered correctly, both of the participants had some kind of relationship, so they would probably know something. He could only hope that someone else hadn't gotten to them before he did.

The fabled dark horse had appeared, and it was certainly shocking, though the surprisng thing wasn't his strength. The truly surprising thing was that Duke was familiar with this particular dark horse. Duke was confident that he knew anyone who was anyone in the Midnight tournament; he had lived and breathed the tournament in his first couple of years at Mephisto's. He'd been in so deep that he saw it in his dreams too. Even now, when that passion had cooled off somewhat, he had kept track of the big name players and upcoming talent alike. It wasn't just a hobby, it was his professional obligation.

Duke didn't know the 2 fighting just now very well. After all, he didn't pay attention to every single wannabe superstar that stepped into the ring. But had seen them fight before, enough to where he had been sure of who they were - C listers with poor prospects. The one who had lost the fight occassionally put out a good performance, but not enough to really punch above his weight. And his opponent had been even weaker, consistently producing disappointing results. That was the impression he had of them from the admittedly few matches they had participated in. But the result of the bout was plain for all to see.

If he turned to look, Duke was sure that his gambling corner was filled with sullen looks and dashed hopes. The ones who had bet on the downed contestant had probably considered him a safe bet, before he had been thrown through the table. But Duke didn't look. He had bigger fish to fry, and there was certainly something fishy about this. If there was one thing he knew, it was that you couldn't get something from nothing. Power had a price, a source. He needed to find out what it was. With that in mind, Duke joined the ground and quietly approached the victor, catching up quickly and launching a sudden ambush.
"Hey man, that was great stuff!" He said suddenly, draping a friendly arm over his shoulders.
He put an unopened can of soda in the victor's hand before producing one of his own. Who knew where he'd gotten it from.
"Have a drink, on me. For a... hard earned victory." He smiled.

It had already been an eventful night, though whether that was in spite of or because of the surrounding circumstances, Duke wasn't sure. It hadn't started out very promising - 8 of the contestants for the day had already been put out of commission before the tournament had even started, cutting the night's entertainment potential neatly in half. Was he supposed to be sour that the night's betting would be cut short? Perhaps he should be glad that none of his favourites had been among the unlucky 8, forced to fold before the cards were dealt.

He leaned back in his chair, sipping his drink in a shady corner of the Midnight bar. Non-alcoholic, of course. No matter how much money he had, Duke couldn't afford to be drunk before the matches started - it might skew his judgement. He didn't attend the tournaments as much these days - he had exams to worry about, and his somewhat bleak future prospects to mull over. But the appearance of a dark horse had been an event he couldn't miss. The gambler's spirit in him, he supposed.

Several students around him guffawed as the sound of flesh striking flesh peaked over the music. Not inside the ring as usual, but outside, by the DJ table. The second impromptu fight had broken out tonight, and being the quick thinker he was, he had quickly set up the bets. It had been even odds in the end, showing that the participants in his game weren't quite as in the know as he was. He was familiar with Mina, the Great fool Bull of Kiburi, given her attendance in previous tournaments over the years. He did not know the other participant very well, but given the nature of the duel, he had little doubt that she would win. And he was right, though she looked a little worse for wear at the end. Duke drained his drink and slammed the cup down on the table.
"Alright, time to pay up, losers." He said, grinning devilishly.

The winners of the bet mirrored his smile, while the losers begrudgingly opened their wallets. Crumpled bills were deposited on the table's surface. Duke quickly swept them up and divided the winnings, splitting them to their new owners. The smiling winners pocketed the cash without even looking. He was sloppy when it came to schoolwork, but when it came to gambling, there was no one they trusted better. As things returned to normalcy near the dance floor, Duke got out of his seat.
"Looks like it's time for the matches. The rest of you losers can feel free to drink here while I collect my box seats." He said sarcastically.
With some jeers and taunts from the group, he made his way out of the tables. Most of the group stayed to watch from their good vantage point, but some followed. They enjoyed being in the splash zone, just like him. He shot a glance at a bookish 2nd year with a jar full of money and a bulky 3rd year student nearby. They were in charge of handling the bets while he was out, they both owed him something and stood to gain a good chunk of cash from this.

As they made their way into the crowd, Duke couldn't help but reflect on his motley crew. If push came to shove he couldn't say that anyone in the group was a "friend" to him, but he had built a certain amount of faith in them, and they respected him in turn. He didn't want to let down their faith. Duke would be an adult soon, and he should take responsibility for the result of his actions.
So you'll take responsibility for betting pools, but not for that? A part of him said, but he ignored it.
The devil was always on his shoulder. It was in his head, in his heart, in his blood. There wasn't anything he could do about it now. He would have to live with it until he died, and maybe even longer.

Shrugging his shoulders, the boy put his hands into his pockets and disappeared into the crowd.

Alright, have a look and tell me what you think. Couldn't really find a good picture, though.

I got a character I might want to try for this, is there still room for me?
It was plain for all to see that Sean was quite happy, the wide smile on his face was practically identical to the one his Wooper wore as it hung around his friends' own pokemon. It had been quite some time since he had been together with all of his friends, given that some of them lived quite far away. With the arrival of Chance, the group finally felt complete.

"Sure, I'll come with you all." He said in reply to Shin.
He wasn't really sure if they could catch all the pokemon, and truth be told, he didn't really care. After all, what really mattered was friendship, right?
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