Status

Recent Statuses

5 mos ago
Current Gonna dress as the whole Conservative Party. If that thing doesn't fucking count as "undead" at this point, I don't know what does.
6 likes
12 mos ago
"I know this." "You do?" "Hentai!"
4 likes
2 yrs ago
Somebody, please, kill me before I have to see the RPG Status Bar turn into an argument over Feminism. I don't think the Guild can handle anymore issues at present, let alone Feminism.
9 likes
2 yrs ago
When people get angry and defensive over a comment seemingly fired at the sky, you gotta stop to wonder if they're pissed cause they think it's false or if they're pissed cause it's true ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
5 likes
2 yrs ago
Playing Alien Isolation for the first time. NOW I REMEMBER WHY I HATE HORROR GAMES!
6 likes

Bio

I resonate with this sexual icon.

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Combat NPCs












All the necessary and obfuscated information on The Boss's sheet has already been sent to Ari, as per our agreement regarding it.






















Combat NPCs













&



~ Retconned Into Somewhere Or Another ~


A light thud reverberated through the interior of the Earth Bastion, carried through the metal of its construction - the sound of something intentionally quiet landing atop its hull. In the night air, the infiltrators hair and fur danced against a light ocean breeze, the bells that had been formed as part of her swimsuit held firm in her left hand to prevent unwanted noise.

It would be the first time Thalia had properly engaged with Penny Asimov for months - in her mind, their last encounter at Cindy's meetings barely counted. There was a sense of nervousness in her, but furthermore, an underlying, sickening sense of apprehension. The Boss of The Penrose Independent had made her stance painfully clear, enough for even The Vixen to recognise it. There was a good chance that her issues began the moment she fled from Penny's lair those months ago. In some ways, it felt like crawling back to an old flame for forgiveness, and she hated herself for thinking so.

She took another step forward, scanning the top of the Earth Bastion for an opening or hatch. Approaching Penny during the day would have been a smarter, more acceptable way to have gone about things, but in some perverted twist of confidence, Thalia felt more comfortable sneaking her way in, than making the choice to approach her inland. Her ears and tails were low, keeping her form obscured against the moonlight in case anyone on the island chose to look towards the ship. And onwards she pressed.

It wouldn’t take long for Thalia to notice something had gone wrong with her plan, in fact it hardly lasted more than a few steps into the Earth Bastion. For as she crept further into the ship it’s massive engine would start up and the darkened corridors of the ships internal network would light up.

For far above in the ships command deck, still riddled with blankets and pillows, Penny had awoken. She had woken up initially due to the light reverb of the intruders first landing. Paranoia about this place keeping her rest light. Internally she had cursed about not affixing the cloaking artifacts, as at this distance she knew nothing about who it was that landed upon her ship.

Once Thalia had entered however, Penny melded into the Earth Bastion more completely till she was effectively everything and everywhere in relation to her battleship. The lights in the corridors and the starting of the engine reflex due to seeing who it was that had come skulking about in the night.

“Thalia” Penny’s voice echoed out near the fox girl “What are you doing here?” her voice would ask thought there was notable tension in it. At the same time one of the walls ahead of Thalia began to twist and distort and Penny stepped through seamlessly not long after, though her feet never fully detached from the floor and her entire stance was tense and ready for anything.

In the back of Thalia’s mind, the sudden spurring of the Earth Bastion had been enough to suggest that her attempt at stealth had been thwarted. She didn’t care - in a small sense, she was impressed. It had come to her attention that Penny had somehow come to be in possession of the ship, but to see and experience it up close was another thing entirely, though technology had never been her strongest of suits.

Penny’s voice, though, resounding out around her from no source in particular, through her steps off entirely. Thalia had heard similar tones a number of times before; memorised them, even. Fear, distress, anxiety, distrust - she had become well acquainted with the words in which those emotions took refuge, and as the wall before her warped into the form of Penny, she took an instinctual, hesitant step back.

”Me? - I-I’m, not really doing anything, just, y’know, a-admiring the ship, it’s pretty cool and all, and,” Thalia retreated by another step, ears lower, avoiding eye contact, ”...I shouldn’t have come, I’m sorry. She said I had to, and she’s right, but… it’s fine~! I’ll just, uh… h-head out over here, I guess.”

Penny’s readied stance rapidly deteriorated as Thalia slowly backed off, as did her anxiety. In it;s place was something easier to read but harder to deal with “Really?” She couldn’t help but ask as she crossed her arms and shifted her weight onto her back foot “You decided to sneak into the Earth Bastion, my ship, practically my second Lair, just to look around and now you want to leave?” Penny said calmly, though the anger in her eyes told a different story.

“Fine then” she would say after a moment of tense silence, the corridors moving in response to Penny’s words. The way that Thalia had come from was rapidly changing into a simple straight hall leading out of the Earth Bastion, all the various doorways and turns being smoothed over. “If you want to run away. Again. There you go. I won’t try and stop you this time.” She’d say once she was sure that Thalia had seen the change. “But don’t expect us to still be friends next time we meet if you do”

”Second Lair… it’s nicer than the warehouse,” Thalia replied. Her head turned, and her gaze caught the shifting hallway. She was being deadlocked into a decision - stay, or retreat further. The claustrophobia of the situation was beginning to close in on The Vixen, she could feel it, until her hands clenched into fists to stop them shaking. Without looking at Penny, she stepped backwards up to the hallway wall, and slid down to the floor.

”Did you get some board games like I asked?” As she looked towards Penny, she wrapped her hands around her knees. Along with the joke, Thalia smiled. But the smile was one part of a complex expression, betraying facets of emotions utterly alien to the faces she once wore. More pained, more lonely, more sad, and more manifold - more scared than even the night she ran away.

Silently Penny released the breath she had been holding. She’d been afraid that Thalia would run but she needed the other girl to know that it was the last chance. Needed her to understand that if she ran it was over. She was thankful that it turned out well, but next came the hard part.

Audibly, and visibly Penny took a calming breath placing most of her anger off to the side, she wasn’t calm, but she was measured in her actions. “No” She would respond, her tone weary, as this conversation had the possibility of being exceptionally painful for the mechanical girl. “There hadn’t been much of a point after you ran” She would explain moving to sit across the hallway from her unexpected guest. The hallway expanding as she did, opening up so that both girls had a bit of space to themselves.

“You should see the warehouse now though, spent the last week cleaning up. You’d hardly recognize the place” Penny would add with a smile that didn’t reach her eyes as lurking just beneath the surface was all the hurt and confusion she’d yet to deal with, alongside all the anger. Yet if there was one thing that Penny knew it was that if you pushed too hard things broke.

”Haven’t had much time to play games recently, either,” were Thalia’s only words as Penny wandered over across from her. Somewhere in the back of her mind she had seen things going wrong. Being attacked, being exiled - a layer of distrust permeated her like a miasma, no doubt The Vixen’s influence. Moments passed in between Penny’s smile, Thalia clawing at something to say lest the conversation die within moments of beginning.

”Hope you’ve stopped storing your clothes in boxes if it’s cleaned up,” was all Thalia could come up with. With caution, she matched Penny’s smile halfheartedly, eyes trained to the floor away from the girl. Her words were quieter, and dissonant, and superseded with a layer of fear, afraid to voice something that would contract the hallway once more and force her back to the cold ocean breeze. A dull thud resonated through the hall as she leant her head back against the wall, tilted up to gain view of the ceiling, ”Wouldn’t want another girl to stumble onto your little collection, huh? I remember your face from back then, imagine it with one of your closer friends~”

Contrasting Thalia’s skittishness Penny was nearly motionless, her gaze never leaving Thalia as they spoke. Her legs and back were visibly merged with the titanic ship and throughout it part of her attention was diverted into the running of the Earth Bastion to ‘keep her hands busy’ as it were. She would be patient.

“Nope, still got them in boxes” Penny would reply evenly from her spot. There were dozens of things Penny wanted to ask, or more likely scream, the fox girl across from her, but she could see the fear that was near to overwhelming her. “Moved where the boxes are though” She would continue “No one I wouldn't want to see them will be finding them” With all of her clothes being stored in her room at Chloe’s apartment, it was an easy statement to make.

“I’ve got to ask though” Penny would start after a moment of silence, her voice still even but once again weary “Why?” The core of the issue really. The one thing Penny couldn’t understand “Why did you run?” She’d ask plainly keeping all but minor hints of her pain from leaking through. She’d wait a few beats “Or why seek me out now? If the first is too much right now” She desperately wanted her first question to be answered, yet she knew she would be fine not knowing. She’d grown past it, for the most part, thus she also offered a, hopefully, easier path if Thalia needed it.

Thalia hesitated. She couldn’t answer to Penny why she ran; the reason why felt as though it would insult her more than appease her. The indecision was easy to read upon her face, as she grit her teeth and directed her gaze further away. The surroundings remained silent as she thought, blinking back tears and digging her nails into her arms, retreating further into the ball she had formed of herself.

”Eden said to me - talk to Penny, or kill yourself,” she finally said, burying her face into her knees. Her ears fell flat against the top of her hair, and Thalia closed up, blocking line of sight from Penny to her face, and vice versa, ”Turns out suicide is a lot harder when there’s something in your head that wants to live, more than it wants to kill. I-I… didn’t know what else to do after that.”

There would be a moment of silence after that admission. One in which Penny’s heart silently shattered. The look of hurt and sorrow that spread across her face going unnoticed by Thalia due to burying her face. ‘I... suppose that… says everything really’ Penny thought as she grappled with that truth. That talking to her was ranked as a worse situation than killing one’s self.

For a second, Penny slipped away. Seeking refuge within the cold, emotionless, grip of the Engine. Within that second it contemplated tens of millions of ways to terminate Thalia and which would be the most effective.

Two separate things stopped it from initiating the attempt.

“Well” Penny would say her voice and face unchanged from the last time she spoke, and her momentary loss of humanity going unremarked. “Here we are.” The look in her eyes had changed though now completely closed off to Thalia. Not hateful or wrathful, or sorrowful. Just flat indifference. She would continue the conversation. Because she had no way of knowing how that stupid dolphin would react if she went about trying to kill Thalia. And even if Dan did nothing, Thalia wasn’t worth waking up Chloe.

That could come later.

“Mind if I ask who Eden is?”

”The head of that newspaper, the PI. Told me her name was Eden Campbell,” Thalia answered, quietly. She hadn’t noticed any changes in Penny - keeping her face hidden. And as she continued to speak, thinking of the past, she began to cry, ”Sh-she said I was an animal, and she’s right. I-I ran away from you, ‘cause every time that’s happened before, people died. Sometimes they were people I knew and… were my friends. You’re the last person I’d ever want to hurt, but everything I ever do hurts people. So that’s what you do with an animal you can’t control, right..? You put it down.”

“That’s…” Penny would trail off, uncertainty showing through her tightly guarded facade as she processed this latest bit of information. It was at odds with what a lot of what she had been assuming for most of this time and she wanted to believe that things weren’t as bad as she had thought.

But it was difficult, due to having been potentially burned by Thalia already, as well as the situations with Veronica and Alicia, and Penny wasn’t sure if she could handle it again if Thalia was lying to her now. Regardless of her Oath to Beacon.

Yet it was feeling Thalia’s tears hit the floor that tipped the balance. “Thalia” Penny would say softly her gaze critical of the fox girl across from her constantly seeking any hint of deception. “Do you…” she’d pause for a moment trying to determine the softest way to ask “Do you remember what happens when you Redline? Or is it all just blacked out?” She’d ask just as softly, because the answer to that had the potential to change things. Not everything, some damage was too deep to go back to how it had been, but hopefully enough things.

”I remembered the feeling,” Thalia said - distant, uncertain, and trembling. Pulling on the memory of that feeling, the blackened depths with which she associated her Monstrous Metamorphosis and The Vixen, was hard on her. It was something Thalia attempted to forget at all costs, every time it occurred, and though there were no lies in her account, within her voice was a gradually increasing note of anxiety, building with every second it remained in her head, ”I-I think I subconsciously lock away the memories, but I couldn’t get rid of that feeling, like my mind and body were collapsing in on themselves. That I was falling, and being crushed at the same time. I… I had to pick up the pieces and figure out what I’d done whenever I found the bodies. I let you see me like that, and when I woke up I wasn’t in the alley, and a-all I could think about was that feeling, and I, I didn’t know what else to do…”

Penny let her head drop back to the wall behind her, letting out a sigh as she did. “It’s always the smallest things” She would murmur to herself. She wanted to be mad, wanted to be angry, as in the end Veronica had been right. Thalia and Penny had put different weights to how they felt about each other, but the metallic girl couldn’t find it in her to blame Thalia for that, for not trusting Penny as much as Penny had trusted her.

Instead she was just sad at the loss. It was too late to go back. Too much had happened, for the both of them but they could pick up the pieces that still remained and try and start a new. “You carried me away.” Penny would say after a time “I had gotten injured and it looked worse the it was, you Redlined and rather than stay and fight any of the Beacon members that had shown you carried me back to the warehouse” she would explain her gaze distant for the first time in the conversation.

“I had assumed” she let out a weak chuckle at that, remembering an old adage about such “Assumed that you’re transformation was more like mine. I remember everything about my changes, you see, in perfect detail. Everything. Every single thought and reasoning, every bit of physical feedback. Burned into my memory forever more.”

“So I thought we would be able to talk about it when you woke up” Penny’s voice would crack due to the painful memories, but she would just let out a long breath before continuing onwards “But you just panicked and ran, and I had no idea why. I tried to call you for hours afterwards. I waited for you to come back. But you never answered and never came back.” There was no reproval in her tone as she explained things, just an echo of her loss and hurt.

”I shouldn’t have run… i-it’s been so hard,” she sniffled, finally raising her head from her knees to wipe away the tears, a faint, sorrowful smile on her lips at Penny’s account. They too were clearly not lies - Thalia’s eyes were bloodshot red, cheeks flushed, smile unstable and obscured. Her tears were a far cry from the girl she had shown to Penny those months ago, but though exaggerated, they were that much closer to her own truth, paired with her uncharacteristically cagey body language, and pained tone. Her own head fell back against the metal wall behind her, to gaze up at the ceiling, ”When I realised that I’d run away from you, I lost it again. The transformation tried to get me far away, but I-I got caught up in a cycle for most of the day. M-my phone was already gone when I took control back… Lothreen tried to talk me down, but I blamed her for it all and she vanished.”

”From there I’ve got… whole days and weeks missing,” she continued, leaning forward from the wall to nestle her chin into the crack between her knees. Thalia’s gaze half fell onto Penny, not really look at her, but into, through, and beyond her, to something completely other. Her furrowed brow and concentrated until the stare crossed the line between observing her former friend, and trying desperately to visualise something that she had no recollection of, ”I guess the transformation, or something like it… uh… took on a mind of its own? Eden called it ‘The Vixen’, so I suppose they got to know each other. It’s been… fighting me. Winning, u-up until recently. It… doesn’t want to talk to you…”

Penny wasn’t bothered by the intense gaze, too decentralised and too exhausted at the moment for it to really register. “Not surprising, that it’s developed its own self.” She’d say “Or that Lothreen disappeared. They are us minus human plus something else and the Gods have always been fickle.” To say nothing about how Penny herself could track the slow development of the Engine with each time she Redlined.

“You could use a Red coin” She would offer up after a moment of thinking “Or a White. Either of them should be able to help long term” Already her mind was at work for a way to help Thalia. “Short term it depends on if you’re still triggering due to stress and such, but I might have something that can help with that”

Shortly after saying that a small section of the wall would open up near Thalia and a small tray would slide out holding a moderately sized, pale white, oval stone. “It’s a Meditation stone.” She would explain “Focusing on the stone while holding it helps you recenter.”

Removing one of her hands from around her knees, Thalia reached across to the tray, and brought the stone close. For a moment, she sat simply looking at it, running it across her hand, feeling its surface. Since the destruction of Purification Artifacts, she hadn’t used anything of similar nature. Holding something of that calibre brought about a vague sense of nostalgia.

”What are… red and white coins?” she asked, glancing up from the stone cupped in her palm to look back at Penny, ”I haven’t really been able to keep up with stuff recently. I got some bits from The PI, but after that went through… I still don’t know what happened at the graveyard, either. Kinda feels like Penrose has left me behind a bit, ha…”

“Graveyard was the scene of a battle due to a horror nearly being summoned.” Penny would explain broadly “Beacon and anyone who made it there went up against a Monster boy and Monster girl siblings and their brainwashed minions.” She would rub her shoulder in phantom recollection at her own encounter at the graveyard. “We came very close to an apocalypse from what I hear.” She would add with a shrug before moving on.

“The Red and White, on the other hand, are a couple of new Coins that have started to circulate. Red Coins reshuffle your magic, and from what I’ve seen and heard the changes can be very drastic. One of my friends who used one went from being one girl with a water spec into twins with reinforcement and psychic.”

“White Coins are from Beacon and are powerful purifying agents. They break any prior Patron bonds that you might be suffering under and shift them to Beacon itself and come with an upgraded Spark that actively rejects corruptive agents. They are a hell of a trip to use, but not a bad one.”

”Hm…” Thalia uttered, quietly, nodding along to Penny’s explanations and recounts. She took a moment to think. Stone in hand, she didn’t attempt to meditate on it, nor seriously look inwards to herself. She merely thought, for a short amount of time, about the past, and herself, and her Patron, and Eden. And everything that had led up to the past months. By the time Penny had stopped talking, the quietness clung to the space for a brief while longer, as Thalia sat and stared towards the floor.

”I… uh…” she began again, abruptly, after several beats of silence. Her gaze slowly drifted from the floor, away from inside herself and back out towards Penny. Where she had gripped the stone until her knuckles ran white, Thalia loosened her clutch, so that the built up tension could be released, ”...I-I still haven’t said it yet. That I’m sorry for leaving you. Doesn’t… really make up for anything, o-or mean anything right now… What if I just upped and ran away again tomorrow, right? - haha… ha… um… I-I’d be willing, to trying out one of those coins, but I dunno how The Vixen’d react. A-and, before any of that, I just... want you to know I’m sorry.”

Penny didn’t seem bothered by the stretch of silence, content to simply let it reign freely. Still he reaction to Thalia’s words was, if anything, a curious almost non-reaction at first. Her gaze remain locked onto Thalia, as it had been for most of their conversation, but it seemed more distant after hearing what was said, more like she was just staring into space rather than observing.

Slowly her gaze would return to the here and now. When it had returned she would speak.“I believe you and I accept the apology in the spirit that you are giving it” Penny had not yet forgiven Thalia however, and a small part of her wondered if she ever truly would. “If you truly want to try one of the Coins talk to Cindy.” She would go onto say “She’s got a stockpile of Red’s, I believe. That would be the quickest way to get one. Once we get out of here I should be able to get a White coin for you if you need one. It’ll take a day or two however.”

”Can’t believe doing this was this easy.” Thalia said, accompanied by a quiet, light laugh. Her position on the floor shifted a bit, no longing withdrawing entirely into herself as it did so, ”I don’t know what else to say… not sure where to go from here. If you can get a coin, I’ll try it. She won’t like it, though.”

Pushing off from beneath, Thalia slid up the wall behind her, taking to her feet.
”Do you, uh, want this back?” she asked, holding out the meditation stone still clutched in her grasp, ”You probably don’t want me staying on the ship after all, with the whole… ‘losing control’ and ‘lack of trust’ bits, ha.”

Penny just gave a tired smile as her friend stood up, glad that she was feeling better, even if she wasn’t quite sure if she herself was better or worse off just yet. “You can hold on to it” Penny would say gesturing at the stone as she moved to stand as well. “I don’t need it right now. In fact, I bought it because of situations like this” She would say chuckling at the timing of it all. “I’m opening up my lair, and some of the surrounding builds as a sanctuary slash homeless shelter. There are a lot of girls out there that don’t have anywhere to turn to. I’m planning on changing that.” She would explain with quiet conviction.

“So, while your unfortunately right, I can’t say I’m fully comfortable with you staying on the ship” Both for the reason’s Thalia had offered, much more the latter than the former, but also that Penny wasn’t sure how Chloe would react to Thalia. “You’re always welcomed at the warehouse.” She would say honestly, before pausing as something occurred to her “You’ll likely end up there anyway. Cindy offered to help out with the project.”

”Okay, yeah… Thanks,” she replied, with a smile far less pained than before. Being right about their current standings was a harsher reality check than expected, but Thalia had anticipated it since they began talking. The hardest part to come to terms with, was that their previous friendship could never be restored. She had expected that too, though. All that remained was to pick up the pieces, ”Did you ever change your number? I-I’ve got some money at my… uh, current lair. If I get a new phone, could we talk some more?”

“It’s still the same” Penny would confirm, her smile becoming less tired and more relaxed and hopeful “Feel free to give me a call. Anytime” she would add before stepping closer to give Thalia a small hug. She moved slowly, giving the other girl time to back away if she wanted. “You’re still my friend Thalia” Penny would say softly “We’ll get through this”

Wordlessly, Thalia stepped forward, and accepted the embrace. For who knew how many months she had been without affectionate touch, without compassion, and without empathy from another. The last time had been Penny, just hours before she ran. For all the strength she had attempted to muster to deal with the mess she had made, still Thalia felt closer to tears than ever before, in the embrace of the closest friend she had ever known. She didn’t want Penny to see her cry again.

”Well, then,” she said, pulling away from the hug, and quickly turning her back, to keep the tears in her eyes hidden from view, ”I-I’ll see you later~! Kitsune Operative First Class, returning to base!”

And then, she took off, out of the Earth Bastion, and into the night of the resort island.

~


Penny would keep track of Thalia until the foxgirl was out of sight before letting out a silent sigh as her form would break apart and meld back into the Earth Bastion, as back in the command tower her eyes would open. The truth of the matter was that Penny had never left her nest of blankets, or at least her true body had never left. Gently she pulled the still slumbering Chloe closer to her as she resettled into the mass of blankets and pillows.

She would be spending the rest of her night reviewing the conversation that she had just gone through, alongside her normal introspection about how she felt. All together she felt that it had ended well, and had high hopes about the future.



Spirit Pillar Estate




"It's not anything serious you don't think, right?" Kanami asked. She was a small girl, constantly obscured by a grey and black cloak much too big for her stature. Sat on the engawa, wrapped into herself, watching the rain and one of her only friends dance in the courtyard, she seemed to vanish into the thing, with only tufts of white hair and a set of vibrant blue eyes peeking from under its feather-styled hood.

The number of children who numbered among the Demon Slayer Corps had disturbed Kankuro for longer than he could remember, but he respected Kanami's tenacity. Her drive. And, in some ways above all, her skill. Strength wise she was ill fitted for wielding a sword, but over the course of their training together he had time and time again watched her use her speed, size, and silence to her advantage. Her title as First Hummingbird was in every way earned, he believed. Finding himself on the receiving end of her blades in his imagination was a concept he could nought but dread.

"She said 'Old Man'. When isn't it bad news with 'im?" he retorted, punctuated with a wide swing of his spear. He followed with a flourish to act as a feint, then twisted into a thrust, which transitioned quickly into a spin around his waist, and close quarters, shallow cut to the legs. With the Spirit Pillar gone, he had nothing more to do than continue training, until either she returned, or a Crow arrived to give him an order. For the past two weeks, he had been off duty, in order to hone his Breath Style with the Spirit Pillar. The lack of ongoing operations was starting to bore him, though he shunned the thought, "You're worried, I get it. She'll be back soon."

Through the wind, the rain, and the focus of imaginary combat, he barely noticed the sound of a Crow, high above their heads, battered by the ongoing storm. Kanami's head turned to the sound, with speed enough to draw Kankuro's own attention. Though she looked less than imposing, he dexterity and speed in a single moment beyond superseded his own - she was stood and the cloak was parted, arm outstretched into the baleful rain. The hood was down, leaving her shoulder length, grey-white hair to flutter against the sieging winds and the spiral designs of her attire. Even through the blanket of water, the Crow could recognise the action, and dived into the courtyard to grip onto Kanami's arm, and be allowed into the dry expanse of the engawa. Attached to its leg, in a small, wooden housing to prevent water exposure, was a message.



The Spirit Pillar Estate had over the years developed its own cipher. Written in Latin English, and comprised of over half a dozen variables, the Spirit Pillar herself rarely used it. Despite teaching the key to all those under her, she believed it took much too long to decode, as well as trusted her scouts not to be so careless as to misplace the messages and orders they were sent. Kankuro had a clear view of the message over Kanami's shoulder, who was already deep in thought, shifting each letter mentally. Compared to her, his grasp on the cipher was basic at best, but he could tell that only a small amount of effort had gone into complicating the decryption. The Spirit Pillar wanted it to be read quickly, but only by the people meant to read it. She most likely wanted it burned soon after. After two minutes, it was already decoded, and laid bare for Kankuro.

"Guess I'll take... Ichigo, Shou, Nana, and Hinako. Get Mayuri on alert, will you?" Kankuro instructed, as he turned and ran through the sodden courtyard, towards the living quarters for the other scouts. Over his shoulder, he could see Kanami nod, raise her hood to cover even more of her head than before, and enter into the section of the estate behind her.



River Pillar Estate, @Sho Minazuki




By the time the Storm Tsuguko had arrived, seven scouts of the Spirit Pillar had already taken up residence in the former River Pillar's Estate. Two were stood at the entrance to the building proper - two extras from the initial unit of five, which Kankuro picked up along the journey to act as guards. Three were inside, including Kankuro himself, inspecting and carefully rooting through every corner and inch of the estate for any evidence that could explain the River Pillar's actions, or convict him of the treason he had been accused of. And around the complex, out of view of the front entrance with the numerous, free roaming Kasugai Crow's that called the River Pillar's Estate their home, two further scouts were attaching messages to a number of the birds, and sending them away. Almost every aspect of their dress was normal, comprised exclusively of the black, standard issue uniform of the Demon Slayer Corps. On their faces, however, they wore white, featureless wooden masks.

The moment Kuuto approached one of the guards, the other ducked into the building. The remaining scout simply stood and listened to the Storm Tsuguko's words, left hand on the scabbard of his blade, not threateningly but on alert. After a couple more moments, the initial scout exited the building, flanked by what was obviously the leader of the investigation party, if only for the chequered grey and black haori over his shoulders. Instead of a sword at his side, he took his steps with a spear, tapping it with every pace like a walking stick.

"I appreciate the offer, Kirizanto Kuuto-san. I'm The First Wolf to Fushigi-sensei. But you're not gonna be able to see anything yet. Standard operating procedure - only the Spirit Pillar can give you permission to enter, and nothing is allowed to the grounds." his words were slightly muffled by the mask, but his tone was clear. And though not in an offensive stance, his body language was clear as well. Regardless that this man was the Tsuguko of the Storm Pillar - Kankuro was the closest thing Yuu had to a Tsuguko. He was prepared to enforce the rules if necessary, but his words maintained that these were orders, and that the Storm Pillar, though senior, did not supersede the Spirit Pillar in rank. With luck, Kuuto would understand, "Fushigi-sensei will be passing through here on her way to the estate to check our progress. She'll give you permission then."


[ Liverpool, England ]
[ January 25th, 01:00AM ]




Fourteen struggled to restrain a small, blossoming smile at her Handler's over-dramatised actions. Even amid a mission, surrounded by hostile forces and moments away from entering into potentially deadly combat, the semblance of jovial attitude in his movements and approach established a well appreciated reprieve. Unable to choose the missions she was sent on, and chained to the mantle of assassin regardless of her own wishes, it was a relished paradigm shift. If not for the dozens of armed men and women about the compound, she may have even laughed. Though difficult, the smile was all she could allow.

For a ways she followed along his path as he motioned her to follow, but towards the end of their journey, she began to hang back. As he counted down, she opted for the high ground; the stacks of crates and aluminium had served as substantial cover, but their verticality was another strength. Two of Fourteen's greatest assets were her genetically enhanced agility, and lithe form - despite the precarious nature of the tower, and the potential sound hazards it posed, she made short work of the climb, and finished perched over behind a ledge someways over three quarters up, keeping the structure between herself and the enemies visual range, in time for her Father to begin his impromptu sermon. She heard their bodies hit the ground, and prepared her own assault.

At the start of the gunfire, Fourteen began to shift her weight, forcing the precarious stack of cargo to readjust to its new load. Then she pulled herself up into a jump, leaping to another ledge a couple feet above, further weakening its stability, until she began to feel the shift. Stacking crate upon crate of illegal goods into multiple metre tall towards was unbearably unsafe. And something Fourteen fully intended to take advantage of, as the pillar split partway up its length, and began to fall, in the general direction of the mercenaries firing upon her Father.

The element of surprise on her side, and her body mostly obscured from enemy view as the tower collapsed, she reached into the waistline of her shorts, and withdrew the pistol she had recovered from earlier. Outgunned or otherwise, Fourteen had the upper-hand - compared to her, these people were just civilians armed with guns, about to be crushed by a monolith of munitions and drugs; easy pickings for her handgun and training, as her ride careened into the ground, scattering the contents and splintered wood across the floor of the compound. On instinct she entered into a roll, sweeping to the side of the impact to avoid the worst of it, and onto the body of a felled mercenary. With a deft movement, Fourteen scooped up the soldier's discarded automatic weapon, and settled it into a usable grip before ducking behind cover once more. Pistol on the floor at her side, she took to opening fire upon the other groups, hoping at least for some modicum of backup before making a proper push on the objective.


[ Liverpool, England ]
[ January 25th, 01:00AM ]




The lack of chance to consume her kills grated on Fourteen as she walked side by side with her Handler. Regardless of their mission, objective, or whatever else he wanted to call it, he had been right in consideration of her attitude to those she killed - she hated being wasteful. Not because she wished to prolong her losing control - although she enjoyed the chance to extend it to four weeks as opposed to two, it was something she could cope with. It was because Fourteen didn't like killing in the first place. But on top of that, deaths in vain were the worst imaginable. If she had to kill, eating would always be her port of call.

Social anxiety, therefore, was a misrepresentation on his part of her personality. It wasn't that she was bashful. Fourteen simply attempted to distance herself from the act of killing as best she could, retreating into herself whenever possible on their outings. Despite the frustration that had begun to build, at her her Handler for forcing her to kill those people in vain, she took some comfort in his voice, and his presence, always at her side. The dissonance wasn't as lonely with him around, and in some capacity she was grateful, all the walk to the docks.

"That would be nice," Fourteen replied, as she cleared and reloaded one of the handguns looted from the bodies previous. She eyed the veritable compound, counting the different men and women she saw by the nuances in their attire, weapons, and other subtle, yet distinguishing features. If there were any killings missions that she could abide by, without emotionally removing herself from the scene, it was those like these. Assassination jobs or there-about's, executing those that weighed upon the scales of evil, and perpetrated sin across their lands. Even if Fourteen wasn't allowed to consume them, their deaths would not be in vain, "If you take point I'll make them all look at me. And if he runs, I'll find him."

But why him, Father?"
she asked, hanging back for a second before beginning her assault, "He causes trouble, which makes England weaker, right..? More men like him makes it easier for The Church to do things here, so why do they want him dead when he helps, even if he isn't meaning to? Just because he's bad? I want to kill him because he's bad, but I'm confused..."



Spirit Pillar Estate, @Zoey White




The Spirit Pillar Estate scarcely diminished in the presence of rain. The torrent fell upon the mountain, and its garden of trees, and the compound forcefully laid at its base, and for all the world’s trouble and confusion in the midst of a storm, the Estate thrived within it. The men and women of the Corps whose job it was to investigate Demons, they relished in the cover of the heavens, which cloaked and guided their passage to safety. And for those that remained within the bastion of the Spirit Pillar’s Estate, they gave their thanks not to be lost in its downpour, and with their blessing of equal fortune ploughed onwards into their assignments.

Of the dozen Demon Slayers residing within the Estate, only one stood out in the rain: Kankuro, First Wolf of the Spirit Pillar’s scouts. Among the two divisions of Demon Slayers, Wolf and Hummingbird, he could easily be considered him as the strongest in sheer combat prowess. In the center of the courtyard he stood, clutching the Nichirin Magari Yari his master had requested be specially made - a constant, torrent of water pummelling him from above, drenching further his already sodden black buttoned attire of the Corps.

Overlooking him, in the safety of the Estate’s engawa, were two further members of the Corps. Some-ways off to the side, forced to watch and wait for the opportunity to spar with the Wolf, was Hanako Akira, more than obviously unhappy with the conditions and the wait. And nearby, watching the display intently, was the Spirit Pillar herself, Fushigi Yuu, sat cross legged on the wooden floor of the porch - her signature blue, close cut haori fluttering in the wind in rhythm with the black ribbon tied across the sheath of her nearby katana.

”Sixth Form: Ripcurrent,” Kankuro muttered, as his stance shifted with the fall of the rain. In such a storm, his movements had become that much harder to read - his footwork was deft, and abnormally fast, dancing through the pounding rain, barely disturbing the passage of the droplets which cloaked him in a blur of movement. For less than a second, he was in one location, and almost immediately he was gone, culminating after a half dozen repetitions in a killing strike. For the past weeks he and Yuu had been perfecting the technique. The faint traces of a smile on her lips implied that that day was fast approaching.

”That’s good, really fucking good,” Yuu called out, standing from the engawa with a gentle round of applause for her Wolf. Her gaze fell to Akira, prepared to begin the match, at the moment of the sound of squawking. With rapid speed her peripheral vision whipped to the origin of the sound - a drenched, miserable crow, struggling through the wind and rain to the courtyard. The guards surely failed to recognise its flight among the torrent. Spite marring her face, Yuu stepped to the edge of the porch, leaning a bare, tattooed left arm out into the cold for the crow to land upon.

”Son of a…” the disdain on her face was painfully obvious as she read the message, similar to most of her negative emotions, which she wore like badges of honour, ”Kankuro, let Kanami know the old man’s summoned me. And, put the guards on alert, I guess. Akira-chan, you’re coming with me, no questions.”



Storm Pillar Estate




The journey from Estate to Estate was an extensive one, but most so for those residing in the Spirit Pillar’s Estate. Its seclusion from most of civilisation, a protective measure in place since three generations of Spirit Pillars prior, forced an arduous journey, painful enough by carriage, to the nearest city. Multiple hours of travel by dirt and mud roads, followed by multiple more by train, it was one Yuu had endured a dozen or more times, but one she could never bring herself to be used to.

The Estate over which the old man presided had, for as long as she had attended, rubbed her the wrong way. Three stories worth of architecture, and for all of it she had scarcely seen even the full layout of the first floor. Sending the Hummingbirds in would be a fool’s errand, Yuu understood that. His part of the Corps had been named the Executioner Squadron for a reason, and both sending her men on suicide missions and making enemies were far from in her schedule. Still, the unknowns that lurked within the upper floors of his Estate tugged from within her an unreasonable disdain - the Storm Pillar himself was one of the few she disliked to a lesser degree, but his insistence on secrecy where secrecy was unnecessary brewed a deep seated hatred.

”Right, you’re out here, Akira-chan. Adults only,” Yuu called back to her student, watching the other tag-alongs near the entrance from the corner of her eye. She turned back, arms crossed, to look at the girl. Where Yuu had at one time worn simply her haori, and casual wear for the day that barely covered her arms or torso, she had transitioned to the standard Demon Slayer Corps, black buttoned, full body uniform, drenched to the last thread. Over the top, though, remained her trademark haori as the Spirit Pillar. For a moment she stood, gauging Akira’s attitude, before turning to head in, ”Play nice, don’t make a fucking fool of yourself.”

Entering into the chamber, filled with her fellow Pillars, Yuu was almost consistently the last to arrive. Her judging eyes fell onto each, not searching or considering anything in particular, but merely looking at them, severely, in turn. Yuu disliked them all, on some level. The reasons for each differed, but her years as a Pillar had given birth to a number of poor opinions regarding them - and no doubt, vice versa. They were, however, her colleagues. She could not forget, nor undermine that. She did not have to like them to work with them.

”I’ll have my Hummingbirds change course and help your lot, then. Not really happy about dropping everything to find this asshole, but if we want subtle, I don’t exactly have a sodding choice,” Yuu announced to the other Pillars, once the Storm Pillar finished his tirade. On a certain level, she didn’t care that the River Pillar had defected. He held the title of Pillar, what Demons remained that could take control of him that wouldn’t outright kill him at the first opportunity? So his defection had to have been legitimate, ”But what kind of example do you really expect to set? Demons are going extinct, so all that’s left for us to do is follow suit - capturing and having him Seppuku is just gonna affirm to anyone who wants to defect that we’re the ones in the wrong. If you’re going to kill him anyway, might as well make him a symbol for why the Corps is still fucking necessary.”
@Sync So, since Haru didn't know how exactly to respond to the changes, I thought I'd take the opportunity to jump in and help out.

Frankly, your entire "Dance of the Thousand Blossoms" needs to be reworked from the ground up. The issues that it has are plentiful, so I'll go through them one at a time for you, starting with the most glaring:

"Ironically it differs from the traditional technique which is an abundant presence of oxygen. However, this form allows the user to inhale a great source of oxygen and utilise such as a compound that will be placed heavily on the user's body, allowing to unlock speeds beyond normal means, even for a demon slayer. Their breath becomes a physical manifestation, and it births the sensible taste of frost unto the world. Their images blur in their trek, and it almost seems as if their vision is an illusion. Speed above speed, this is a style of overpowering your opponent through movements and not strength."


Consider a number of facts: This is a derivative style from the Breath of Water, not the slowest, but definitely not the fastest Breath Style. It is also not a derivative of the Breath of Thunder, the fastest of the five main techniques. So your Dance here is a tertiary technique off from the Breath of the Sun, but also not drawn from the fastest of the main five - and you're trying to posit that it can reach "Speed above speed..."? Not just unlikely, effectively impossible - even the Dance of the Fire God has trouble with speed compared to Zenitsu's Thunderclap and Flash.

Another issue is in its forms themselves:

"It is said to have been passed down from the master's of water and evolved to its elemental counterpart, frost."


Why? Just why? In what world do Cherry Blossoms relate to ice and frost? Reading through your Forms, there is a much more heavy emphasis on the frost aspect of its creation than the cherry blossom aspect. Half the forms relate to cold or freezing, including the Fourth Form, which supposedly "...render the target to the mercy of frost." Just what is the point of this? Why the insistence on frost as an aspect of a Breath Style that has literally no correlation besides the two being originally derived of the same Style.

Thirdly there's this whole thing in your base description, which seems to be trying to posit this Style as some special kind of thing, going on about how it is difficult to understand. Sure, keep the whole anaerobic thing. But that doesn't make it any more special than any other kind of Breath Style. Ditch all the waffle bullshit about "...the sensible taste of frost..." and just write a description that establishes how the Breath Style works in comparison to others. Your Style would be vastly better if you cut the frost shit, and this notion of going faster than everyone else, and stuck to one thing - the cherry blossoms from which the Dance derives its name sake.

My suggestion would be to completely rewrite it, with a focus on the illusion of speed. Like cherry blossoms dancing in the wind, the Dance of the Thousand Blossoms could be a style, based in anaerobics, which tricks the opponent into believing that the user is faster than they actually are, relying on causing the enemy to make a mistake before entering into a fatal strike. Not only would it be an interesting Style to see in practice, but it actually fits the theme of the Breath Style.

Another thing, cut the precognition. If it were described as a skill born of experience to better react to an opponents moves, I wouldn't bring this up, but since it's written almost like he has some kind of intuitive sixth sense, it kind of needs to be addressed.


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