"Darkness is where the Heart is."
Caprice spoke softly when she leaned forward to perform her trick as Cait let her, not wanting to harm in case those ears weren't just for show. "Such delightfully large ears can get awfully messy, no?" Caprice smirked as she performed the classic 'quarter in the ear' trick, only this time, pulling forth a light blue glazed and yellow sprinkled donut that matched Cait's hair and eyes. "One for you and one for me!" She pulled a second donut out from behind the first, this time with a black glaze and red sprinkles, before offering the donut that matched Cait.
As she was proclaimed leader and "named" the group, Hannah could not help some surprise creep into her eyes. Fortunately for her, that's what Caprice's mask was for. No matter.
"Actually, we'll take the second. The Crimson Pact. It sounds delightfully romantic, with the castles and moonlight. I wouldn't want you to get in trouble, and besides.." Caprice's tone hovered over the Crimson Pact, savoring the words for a moment, before she scooted herself off her chair. Her cane mysteriously missing, she posed for an officious statement, with her left hand over her heart. But her right hand was palming back a single card between her fingers. "As a Magician of Honor and Integrity, I despise cheating in all it's forms." However, despite her proclamation, each time the card was face up to the onlookers, it was a new card. First, Queen of Clubs, but it was Cait. Second, Queen of Diamonds, but it was Lin. Third, Queen of Hearts, but it was Rosea. Finally, Queen of Spades, but it was Sherry. Caprice herself was absent from the gallery.
“Neat tricks, ‘magician'.“ Lin scoffed at the sleight of hand being displayed by her new “leader”. “But I hope you can cast real spells. We’re not headed to any birthday parties here.” Removing herself from the bar, Lin stepped towards the bounty board to get a better look at the options before them. “Still, I have to agree with you on where we should go. You girls can go sightseeing all you want but like I said, I’m here for treasure. If I have to cut the profits four ways fine, but I’m not doing it with the scraps left behind by another group.”
"Well, this place got crowded faster than a subway during the rush hour," Sherry said before letting out a hearty laugh while scratching the back of her head. "Hi there, I'm Sherry. I can't say that I'm here for fame or fortune, but I certainly would like to find some cool places to visit so I'll be looking forward to working with ya'll," she said, introducing herself in a cheerful tone.
After her self-introduction, Sherry moved to the mission board and took a look at the quest the others were proposing before nodding silently. "Yep, it looks alright. If that's what you guys wanna do, I'm fine with it. So, how about we get going while the idea is fresh?" she asked, looking at the others, especially their appointed leader.
"Certainly, let us depart. Caprice, by the way." Caprice turned the card in her hands sideways to be invisible before flicking it away as she introduced herself.
As one by one each member of the newly appointed White Masks introduced themselves, the front door of the Dangeki Cafe would grow brighter around its hinges. Similar to Black Pentacle's own experience, a single step through the door would take them forward into a new world, a new floor within the Tower. "Good luck you all~" was Cait's parting words, licking her fingers idly of some residue pastry frosting before the world around them changed and shifted. At once, the air was immediately colder and the sky, if there even was one, was a translucent darkness held lit by only a singular object; a moon as red as freshly spilt blood.
It was a blessing the Tower didn't have a cruel sense of irony-yet-because the place the White Masks had been dumped into was a small village. Judging by the decor and overall atmosphere of the place, it was easy enough to deduce the location lived up to the expectations and implications of its quest line. Indeed, the Crimson World held many wonders, vastly strange and unique from their ordinary lives in Miso City. And as they stood there, probably gawking, the reminder that this was all very much real and prevelant would come in the form of a shaking, feral roar that resounded around their spots in the graves.
The roar gave Caprice pause, as she took a defensive half-step backwards, before letting out a slight tisk at her own slip. "It seems we are unwelcome guests, no? Perhaps we should seek out whatever manor or castle appears to be the most prominent. If there are any misunderstandings, speaking to the ones in charge might clear them up, and if we will simply face battle, then the quicker we get to our objective, the fresher we'll be for it."
Turning to the nearest building, Caprice whipped out her candycane once more, tapping it on the ground. A framework of candy canes began building the framework of a stair up to the roof of the structure. Then, a second tap and "planks" of some other sort of hard candy fell into place. Walking up to the roof, she looked around for any particularly impressive buildings that might indicate great wealth and power.
The roaring that shook the land did not stop. If anything, the bellows seemed to get louder and more ravenous but they were already brought to the highest pitch. That was because whatever was causing them came from the White Masks' surroundings. The ground around them shuddered and trembled as the gravestones turned in their rooted keeps. It was difficult to make out before but now it was all too clear; in place of where a name and words should have been, there was only a carved mouth filled with rows of teeth. So great were the number that it was hard to imagine how these things ate, especially with how much was sticking out their maws. Slowly, they hobbled towards the group of adventurers, dirt trailing behind them as the gravestones moved like teeth in the earth. Some of them, those closest to Caprice, were already starting to bite and gnaw on her candy cane stairway, making the structure dip and bend.
"Woah, things got grave all of a sudden," Sherry joked after being startled by the ravenous headstones. "I don't know where we are but I don't think that this has anything to do with us being unwelcome here," she added, following their leader but not before having to hop over the graves that devoured their way out.
“Whoa! I guess we're getting right into it then." Lin said as the group was suddenly swarmed by living tombstones. Though her basic instincts told her to run, something inside her urged her to fight. It was perplexing. She had no weapons or abilities to her knowledge, yet no matter how much her mind screamed for her to run, her feet stayed still on the ground. Her emotions spinning between fight or flight, while the others took action. Finally, she decided to give into the aggressive feelings.
With a scan of the impending hoard, Lin found the closest headstone and charged forward. As the distance closed, she planted her left foot in the ground and brought the right back then launched forward towards the animated grave marker. The second her kick made contact the slab of stone was reduced to a shower of pebbles.
"Holy shit I hit like a truck!" Lin exclaimed under her breath as she lowered her foot back and assumed a classic martial arts stance. "Alright then. Come get some you stoney bastards!"