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  1. 4 likes
    Shout out to @Tormented for paying for this site which doesn't do much of anything for him. Given a certain other site is being filled with bots I'm even more appreciative than before. Even if not many people are around it's still nice to have this place.
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    Plot: In this world, all of the negative emotions humans harbor leak out into reality as Cursed Energy. When enough Cursed Energy accumulates, something repulsive is born. For millennia, humanity has tried to explain supernatural phenomena with ghosts, spirits, gods, and devils. In reality, that shadow you see in the corner of your eye is probably a Cursed Spirit. For just as long as Cursed Spirits have haunted the earth, a certain sect of society has sought to destroy them. Jujutsu Sorcerers, humans able to use Cursed Energy to their own benefit. Predominately an Eastern profession, their methods have been used by others throughout the centuries. You might know them as Exorcists, Witches, or Shamans. Their missions are all the same: Destroy Cursed Spirits. However, the West has always been disorganized in their efforts, compared to the beacon of Curse Eradication known as Jujutsu High in Japan. The United States has initiated steps to begin training young Jujutsu Sorcerers in their hopes to destroy the threats to the country that seem to be popping up more and more everyday. This facility, located in Erie, Pennsylvania, You are one of the chosen few recruits of the Jujutsu Justice Association. Give Your All for Family and Friend Give Your All for Countrymen and Country. Give Your All for the JJA. Give Your All. Rules: Application Skeleton: Database:
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    Carmen was still flailing around. She stammered a few times through a couple different beginnings of sentences before she finally managed, “B-b-but it’s still only ‘yet!’ Who knows what could happen? Maybe you stick a broken one on me and it catches fire or something!” Brian took another step forward. “Well, if it catches fire, there's a water cooler over there,” he said. “I’ll even say a prayer so it’s holy water or whatever. Put the seal on, Carmen.” Her eyes were still as big as dinner plates, but Carmen relented. “Well, okay…” she said. “But let me put one on myself. You’re looking sorta…” She seemed to realize she was about to say something impolite and wisely decided not to say anything. It was something Brian could ignore. He relaxed a bit -- though only a bit -- went back to the box of seals, lifted the whole thing up, and carried it back to Carmen. “Take your pick,” he said. Carmen hesitated again. She reached into the box, then took her hand back out as though she was somehow choosing for her life instead of picking one out of identical pieces of paper. She went back and forth a few times like this, eyes darting back and forth before she finally snatched up a seal and stuck it to her arm, bracing with her eyes closed like either she or the seal was going to explode. No explosions came. Not in the physical sense, anyway. But Brian had had enough of this. He grabbed a seal himself. “Grow up, Carmen,” he said. “God, you were fine handling these things yesterday. I even felt okay letting you take care of yourself for half the night. It’s the same fucking box. They didn’t suddenly become a different sort of magic bullshit.” But before Brian could slap the seal on Carmen’s forehead, her eyes snapped back open. “Ahh!” she screamed. “Assault! Assault!” She ran through one of the doors and came back in through the other one again, still running. Brian walked after her, but Carmen grabbed the garbage can and started throwing garbage at him. When she ran out of garbage, she threw the whole can at him too, though it was a weak throw that barely even reached him. “Hey, Carmen,” Brian said, “did you ever see the movie They Live? John Carpenter? Nineteen Eighty-Eight? It’s known for two things. Thing the first: the phrase ‘I’m here to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and I’m all out of bubble gum.’ Rowdy Roddy Piper came up with that line. Absolute legend. Thing the second: In the middle of the movie, Roddy and Keith David get into a ten-minute fight over whether or not Keith is going to put on some magic sunglasses. It’s stupid, both people know it’s stupid, but they fight on anyway. I’m going to stick this seal on your forehead, Carmen, and so help me Christ, I don’t think you're going to be able to stop me.” Carmen waffled, looking like she was going to say something, but Brian stayed firm, and when it looked like she realized that, her face went entirely expressionless, and she lunged at him. “Fucking knew it,” Brian said even though he didn’t. He dug in his heels, grabbed Carmen’s wrists, and pushed back.
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    Jacklyn, pouting as she had attempted to reverse the conversation with a childish "no you" style of question, found herself more interested as the professor had explained just what her profession had actually entailed. The girl cleared her throat as she bashfully said, "well, I guess a professor is pretty cool then." As Jacklyn was about to ask something, curiosity coming over her, she had stopped as Anneliese's comment had caused a similar dumbfounded expression to cross her face as she let out a, "huh?" Staring at Anneliese, getting ready to say something, the girl looked back over to Anima as she kept conversing with the professor. Composing herself once their conversation had ended, and her curiosity now in focus the girl asked, "does a professor go out and explore to find out about stuff about pokemon?" The woman's gaze flicked downward for a moment. Then she responded. "Suppose some do." "And you raise pokemon too, so...does that mean professors are also trainers?" She groaned. "I guess someone could say that..." "So...does that mean..." Jacklyn trailed off, pondering what she had heard until she realized the evidence could only point towards one conclusion. Stepping closer, she looked up directly into the professor's face with starry eyes and an incredibly joyous expression. "A professor is like a professional adventurer!?" A look of horror crossed her face as she took a step back. "How did you come to that conclusion?" she asked. Jacklyn, seemingly ignoring the ladies horror, said, "oh man, that sounds so awesome. Rus, why didn't you tell me you had such a cool mom!" The Lepash let out an embarrassed sigh as the girl went off. Then, realizing what the woman had said though still ignoring her expression about it, Jacklyn said, "well, you go explore places. You train and battle with pokemon. You get to see all sorts of cool stuff and pokemon too. So that's basically an adventurer!" "I..." she looked over towards Anneliese as if asking for help. Only to find the girl looking wide-eyed and nodding along with Jacklyn. She sighed. "Are all kids so...imaginative these days? It's too early for this sort of thing..." "Hm, I thought we were already well into the morning." Jacklyn looked up to the sky before saying, "oh, we should probably get to exploring more though." Smiling she said, "thanks for teaching me about a cool job that's out there Professor, oh and thanks a lot for raising Rus too! I still don't really know what you meant by "what's being his trainer" or something, but I'll do my best to figure it out!" "Yeah...you do that..." at first she seemed she was just going to close the door then she paused. "Oh what the heck, here." She then handed Jacklyn what looked like a bell. The girl looked curiously at the bell, moving it around a bit in her hand. "Oooh, thanks...what is it?" As she asked, the professor then instructed her to look at the "item dex" portion of her pokedex. Bringing it out the girl used it on the bell to find that it was something called a "Soothe Bell" that supposedly amplified feelings of friendship and fostered bonds between trainers and their pokemon. "Whoa, so something like this exists huh?" The girl put it in her pocket before saying, "thanks a lot professor! I'll be sure to put it on Rus next time we rest...or maybe Cherry would like it? Hmmm...well, I'm sure it'll look cute on either of them, so thanks again! See you again sometime!" Though she had no idea when that would be. As she began to walk off to meet back up with Anima, Jacklyn said, "man, she was really cool...oh! Right, Anneliese. About what you said," remembering the thing that had halted her train of thought not minutes ago. "Outcasts don't have to be just witches or lumberjacks, anyone could be an outcast no matter what they do or look like." The girl frowned for a moment as she looked off back to the house and muttered, "like even a professional adventurer..." Clearing her throat she said, "so there's nothing wrong or weird about a person being an outcast. Got it?"
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    With this weeks Arena tickets I've finished another nearly completely off-focus/4* Special +10, being Say'ri. Now to wait for Amatsu to be refined 'cause HP based Distant Counter kinda sucks.
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    "Uh, right, sir." The girl nodded to the priest as he made his exiting remark, only to let out a large sigh of relief once he had actually left. The girl was glad that she managed to keep the whole, "friends with a ghost" thing under wraps as well as the fact that she didn't have to pay for any damages caused in here. The girl looked over to Anna, who herself seemed to have been staring off into space the whole time her conversation with the priest was going on. Following her gaze more she found that she was staring in the direction of the cemetery. With her new found ghostly acquaintance being missing the girl couldn't help but wonder aloud, "so uh, did she go back there?" "Probably. She doesn't like being around when father is here." "Makes sense," the girl flatly agreed. She wouldn't want to be around someone she thought was going to kill her too. Lana didn't have anything more to say about that, though, so silence fell. And still looking to her recent friend she couldn't help but ask about the priest's closing note. "So like, does your dad not want you being an adventurer or something?" She looked at Lana for a while. "Maybe?" came her reply. "I never asked." "That so?" She expected as much, or at the very least she should have and wasn't the least bit surprised by the response. Not wanting to upset the person who was putting a roof over her head, though, Lana further asked, "do you think what I told you about the dungeon was dangerous?" "How could they be?" Anna said. "Words do not hurt." Lana stood silent for a moment unsure how to respond to the girl before shrugging. "That's true." She went silent again, unsure what else to say. She didn't really know what to talk about with the girl, in fact she didn't really know what to talk to people about in general that wasn't work or dungeoning. There was always complaining, which her friends back in her home village had done a plenty, but she didn't really think Anna was the type of person to really get complaints. Nor did she think that's what Anna's father was talking about in the first place. She was also getting very tired and having Farrah around was the only thing that caused her to forget it in the first place. "Well, I guess if there's anything you want to talk about, dungeon or not, we can chat about it. But, I think I'm gonna go to bed. I've had a long day and...ugh, I need to go buy some stuff tomorrow too. So, night Anna...and Farrah too, if you're like here and I can't see you or something." And with that, Lana made her way off to bed.
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    In any other situation, Anima might have felt bad… No, that wasn’t correct. In any other situation, Anima would have felt bad; she would have felt like Jacklyn had overstepped her boundaries, or that Anneliese had gone a bit too far, even if it was only driven by ignorance. Yes, in any other situation, on any other day, Anima would have liked to think that she would have scolded Anneliese, or tried to apologize for her; but perhaps today, and the day before it, had simply just been so weird that her morals were slipping. She didn’t go so far as to chide, harass, or continue the bullying, of course. It wasn’t as if she desperately wanted to point out that the old woman in front of them could certainly have filled the outcast role on her own, and that she didn’t need to stick to any labels; or that she very well could have been some sort of wicked witch, given her personality. She certainly hadn’t already thought of several other insults hidden behind flattery as well, given how wise the professor must have been in her myriad fields, given that wisdom does come with age. No, no, instead, she simply sighed, rubbed awkwardly at her neck, and… Spoke up, suddenly feeling somewhat bad for letting the girls loose so easily. “Er… Well, regardless,” Anima tried to push past the naive-insult that Anneliese had accidentally stumbled into, as she spoke; neither apologizing for it either. “If you put together the PokeDex information for this region, um…” she trailed off, closing her eyes. She needed to move the conversation along before they got bogged down-- And so, she made for the first question which came to mind. “...I have an interest in ghost-type Pokémon,” she explained, squeezing Confi tightly, as if to punctuate the comment with one of Confi’s disgruntled chirrups. “Do you… know of any that may be able to be found, or seen nearby?” she’d ask, tilting her head idly to the side as she spoke. "Hm?" The professor looked over to Anima, then down at Confi. "Ahh..." Suddenly she walked away from the door. There's noises inside of ruffling paper and things being knocked over. Then she walked out, winced at the sun again, and pushed a stack of papers at Anima. "There's some notes there." "Thank you," Anima smiled; as happy to have gotten answers, as she was to have, hopefully, defused the situation. "I'll... Er..." she trailed off, glancing blankly at the other two for a moment. "I can't speak for the others, but, I'll get out of your hair now-- Thank you again," she gave a slight bow as she took the papers, and began to back away from the house. She only paused to look back up, as she heard a slight rustling. “Here,” the professor called out, before nonchalantly tossing a Dusk-Ball her way; which Anima lost no time in catching in the same mess of jumbled items she held both Confi and the papers in. “Thank you…!” she gave another, more sincere bow this time, before briefly wondering if the others would follow... And resolving that, ultimately, they surely would eventually as she retreated towards the center of the town. It was only once she found a suitable spot, that she plopped Confi down onto the ground, and put the Dusk-Ball with the rest of her trainer-stuffs in her backpack, before finally rifling through the papers with… More interest than she would have liked to admit; though, she had to be careful given the fact that many of these papers felt… Old, as if they had been printed out, or written on ages ago. Still, for the most part, they were… Actually what she expected from the professor, in contrast to the rest of the woman. “...I see…” she trailed off, reading them very closely as she began to wiggle slightly from side to side. “...It’s theorized that their knack for scaring people comes mostly as a defense mechanism,” she read the words with a slight nod. “Though others instead have seemed to come to enjoy it, it is rarely ever done out of malice, but rather as a way to cement themselves as being,” she continued. “Ooh, now this is interesting…” she cocked her head to the side, trailing under the words as she spoke. “For further research, I’ve listed some locations that may be of interest due to ghost-sightings…” she trailed off, taking note of the locations… And then continuing to read on to the next page. “Are Ghost Types truly the Dead Returning to Us, or are they Species of Ethereal Beings That Simply Resemble What We Imagine the Dead to Be? Or, How I Stopped Worrying, and Learned to Love the Ghost Type…” she trailed off. “...What a terrible essay name. I have to read this now…” she trailed off; deciding it was interesting enough that she wouldn’t even question why, along with a flurry of actual research notes, answers, and information, she had been handed several printed-scientific papers on the matter of ghost-types as well.
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    As Fen had greeted her guest, Melissa had made her exit, prompting a smile and wave from Fen as the girl left to take care of her own business. Once Kelsey had let herself in, Fen followed and pondered about the options that were being presented to her. Though she was now aware of the arena from her experience a few days back, she hadn't actually seen people fight in it yet and couldn't help what kind of other individuals were gathered here to fight for what she assumed was sport. She was also curious about what sports they had in this world though part of her could imagine that what Kelsey had in mind was likely some kind of martial arts sport. She also couldn't help but feel sorry for whoever this Adonis person might have been. While all of these were interesting to her, her interest was truly piqued however at the final, more unfamiliar option to her. "What's an aquarium?" she asked curiously. Kelsey laughed a bit. "That caught your attention huh, guess I called it." Then explained, "It's a place you go to look at fish and stuff like that. You sorta...walk around and look into glass tanks filled with them swimming around." "Ooooh....interesting" The girl had known that sometimes restaurants kept seafood in tanks of water and then prepared them at their freshest. She hadn't heard any of them be called an "aquarium" before nor were they ever to the scale of what Kelsey was talking about. But perhaps this was just something unique to this world too. "Do you eat them?" "What?" Bahahaha!" Kelsey burst out into laughter, doubling over in the process, and took some time to recover. "Oh my god..." She took a breath and steadied herself. "Sorry sorry. But, no, not at all. I'm pretty sure that'd get you thrown out real fast." "Hmmm, I see," the girl said, a small frown on her face. She hadn't cared about Kelsey's laughter really, and instead was more upset that she wouldn't be able to partake in more of the unique seafood she had found around here. Then after a moment more she smiled. "Well, that's a shame, but I have been curious about all of the different kind of animals here - I've seen a lot of strange, even if familiar looking stuff these past few days. So, that sounds like a great place to go." "Yeah you'll probably see a lot of strange things here. Heck I still see stuff I never saw before." She poked Fen's forehead. "There's one right here after all." As her forehead was poked, Fen couldn't help but feel like something similar was said to her a few days prior. Shaking off the feeling she smiled saying, "well maybe we'll see more by the end of the day!" Excitedly the girl waited for Kelsey's lead before following her to the aquarium.
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    Hug Nebby Fight Turtonator (as long as I don't hit the spikes, I don't explode) Catch Vigoroth (Leftover) Blacephalon, Misdreavus, Froslass
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    Quinn had to agree with Billy. “You can tell us all about the regional goings-on in just a moment. I am rather curious and I am sure Cassiopeia is too,” e said. “But we should get this egg to its rightful owner first. Do you have a way to alert your brother so that we do not all collapse in a Sing-induced stupor?” Billy waved his hand. “Ah, don't worry. From that distance it won't put you to sleep right away, so just go on ahead and give him a tap.” “Very well,” Quinn said. She checked on zir Drifloon who was still flitting around, hovering over Quinn’s shoulder. “Let us still get you back in your ball for now just to be safe, Cassiopeia. I do not want to take more Pokémedicine from these nice people than we already have.” When Cassiopeia protested, Quinn added, “Do not worry, we can find you a nice sunbeam later. It is a beautiful day out; they should be easy to find.” Once that was sorted, they went back outside to the scene of Jigglypuff desperately trying to calm a Magmortar. Bobby was nearby, both trying to keep things under control and trying to not pay attention, which would have been a comical scene if the circumstances were not so serious. Quinn did as they were told, giving Bobby a light tap on the shoulder and showing him the egg still cradled against Quinn’s chest. Bobby grunted, stood up, and clapped his hands together a few times. The Jigglypuff surrounding the Magmortar scattered at the signal, which allowed the distraught Pokémon to finally stand up from its sedation. Some part of Quinn was worried about the morning’s events playing out again. For example, what if fae and Nathaniel had apprehended the wrong thief, and had reclaimed the wrong egg? Indeed, as the Magmortar saw Quinn approach, she raised one of her hand cannons. Magmortar were generally only five Starly tall, but that still towered over Quinn, and she could see a glow down the barrel. The rest of Quinn, though, was undeterred. Xe held the egg out in front of her and simply asked, “Is this yours?” The Magmortar’s entire demeanor changed as soon as it saw the egg. She lowered her cannon claw, accepted the egg gently, and sat down. Quinn saw tears running down her face. “Oh,” Quinn said. unsure of what kind of tears these were. He thought about physically comforting the Magmortar, hugging them or just petting her on the head, but did not want to cause more distress than had already been caused. They settled for words: “It is a terrible thing, being kidnapped,” Quinn said. “I hope this brings you peace.” They gave the Magmortar another moment, walking backwards for a few steps before turning around to head back inside… …only to be swept up in a hug from the Magmortar the second it turned around. “Oh!” Quinn said, a different “oh” than the one before. “Okay, a hug after all, then.” Of course, Quinn’s position was not great for reciprocation, so ey settled for simply holding the Magmortar’s hand/cannon/claw-things until Bobby came over and convinced the Magmortar to let Quinn go. The hug was warm, though, in more ways than one. Billy was still there just inside the daycare. “The goings-on, then,” Quinn said. “We will keep an eye out for Team Phoenix. But if the champion is missing, how can Pokémon challenges be completed? I would hate for my and Nathaniel’s journey to be cut off so soon.”
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    Sibyl's grin grew wider as she managed to take another chunk out of her opponent. "Yeah yeah yeah, looking pretty small now aren't ya, hahaha," the girl laughed to herself only to be silence as water started falling down on her. "The hell?" With this abrupt sprinkler induced rain, the girl paused for a moment. Looking down at the ooze it seemed to be absorbing the water, growing back in size once more. With a face full of wet hair now the girl's expression dropped further as she said, "hey hey, what's the big deal here!?" Annoyed that all the work she had done to tearing this thing to pieces had been going to waste, she started to scowl and look around. Something had caused this sudden rain fall and she intended to find out what that was and give it the thrashing of a life time. As the girl continued to look around every which way for her perpetrator her eyes finally rested on a figure outlined by the rain. She had heard noises coming from behind her this whole time though she had opted to ignore them entirely up to this point. Whatever it was she figured she could just deal with it once the fight was over. But, without any proof, she was certain that whoever this invisible man was they were what was behind the sudden squall. Her eyes narrowed as a fourth arm grew out of her side, and with an unnervingly calm voice uttered, "oh. I see." The girl broke off into a sprint towards the invisible figure, the calm that was previously on her face replaced entirely with ferocity. As the slime reached out to grab her legs, trying to keep from reaching the man, Sibyl shouted, "I'll get back to you!" and jumped over the arms. With one of her shadowed fists the girl had very easily punched the invisible man, he himself not seeming to put up much resistance. "If you want to get involved in the fight so bad then I'll be glad to welcome to you to it!" The demonic villain then grabbed what she believed to be his head, lifting him up and smashing him back into the ground over and over again, a few curses being muttered from the figure as he was manhandled. Letting go of the man as the slime monster made its way back to her she said, "oh right, you!" Sibyl's expression was haphazardly shifting between enraged and gleeful as she stomped on the man's head, hearing a crunch of glass beneath her shadowed covered feet. "Then I'll just tear you both apart!" The slime used its massive bulk to try and envelope the girl as soon as it got close enough, however Sibyl seemed fine to engage it in a test of strength with this creature. The two arms that had been mouths beforehand slowly started to bulk up and lose any semblance of shape, becoming just blobs of darkness at the end of her arms. Smashing them against the creature's body, pushing it back, the girl then morphed the two other arms coming from her waist into mantis blades beginning to slash repeatedly and tear the slime out one chunk at a time. The girl's eyes then focused on something, a black basketball sized sphere darting about inside the slime. "What do we have here?" The orb was, however, out of her reach. To make matters worse she could feel the slime beginning to try and toss her to the ground once more. However, rather than back off the girl continued to press forward. Turning her mantis blades back to claws, the girl dug her hands into the slime. Rather than just be tossed again she decided she would try its own move against it. As the girl was lifted in the air, with her claws well dug into its body, the slime tore itself in half as the tossed it over her head and onto the ground, smashing the slime there. Getting back on her feet Sibyl, now flanked on both sides by two slime halves, let out a low and feral growl. Eyeing the orb in the bottom half of the slime she said, "let's see how much longer you can play this game of keep away."
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    I'm setting myself a reminder to reply to this later. I've now seen it and I acknowledge it. Once I have the time, I'll do you a proper response that is unlike my usual lazy/busy ways. Sorry for making you wait.
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    With her warning having been issued to Keres and the elves, Ryia saw that the one approaching the elves was not stopping any time soon. The two of them were barely able to handle the one they were dealing with as was, and she felt getting into a coordinated two versus three with two vastly stronger enemies would be much worse then simply splitting them off. As a result, seeing that the wolf was charging towards Pan, Ryia decided to meet the challenge head on once again. As she started she called out, "Ackrin, help those two," to which the earth spirt merely nodded and turned to face them. Ryia kept moving towards the wolf, knowing that if she just stood still like normal it was likely to pounce or grapple her which would put her in an unfavorable position. She would lose in a straight up clash, still, and so decided to test the waters instead. Bringing up her shield, the girl moved to bash away whatever attack it was going to send however the wolf had the faster reactions moving away and getting struck only in the shoulder by her failed parry. Ryia twisted away from the lycan, now close enough to reach for her face, and swung her mace only for it to end up in the outstretched creature's hand. Ryia knew that this werewolf was stronger than her and felt that getting into a contest of pure strength would result in her defeat. As such, the girl quickly stepped back and drew her long sword, only for the Lycan to toss her mace into the woods behind it. The girl frowned, having some attachment to the weapon and feeling annoyed at it just being casually tossed by the werewolf, but would worry about it later. Stepping quickly in the girl swung her sword at the lycan's shoulder, the blade digging into its flesh only for the opponent to quickly swipe and pierce through her armor with its claw into her shoulder in retaliation. The girl attempted to step away to not be in grapple range, grimacing as she felt the pain radiating through her arm, but the lycan had another idea as it continued to put the pressure on her and advance. Thinking quickly to her fight against the previous Lycan the girl slid her foot back again, conjuring once more and earth wall to propel the Lycan into the air. The werewolf hadn't noticed what was happening until it was already in the air, perched on top of her magical construct with unsteady footing, but looked down and poised to dive off towards her. Taking advantage of the situation, Ryia quickly backed away from the wall so as to not be pounced on however was not fully retreating. Once the Lycan had descended, Ryia quickly charged the lycan to take it unaware. The lycan for its part was surprised as suddenly, regaining its footing after landing, it found a blade in its neck. The Earth Chosen continued to press her strength against the sword to keep it lodged in their and, after a howl of pain, the Lycan lunged forward to bite down on her. Bringing up her shield, Ryia stopped the Lycan from chomping down on her, struggling as she pushed back against the creature's mouth. As she continued to press the blade deeper, the Lycan had no sense to retreat and realized in this contest time was not on its side. Grabbing the girl's side trying to push down on her, the girl could feel its strength and weight trying to overwhelm her as she continued to push back. Though her loss seemed inevitable at this point, she suddenly felt a gust of wind push against her pushing her blade deeper into the creature's neck. As the blood continued to flow and the wound grew, Ryia could feel the Lycan was losing strength and decided to keep up the pressure. Mustering up all the strength she could, the girl parried away the head she was forcing back with her shield. While the lycan was tossed off balance, it sent a wild claw out, striking into her armor once more and piercing her side. Wincing in pain once more, feeling the strong claw tear part of her flesh the girl let out a shout before pulling her blade back and swinging once more, digging deep enough into the lycan's neck that the creature toppled over, dead and bleeding. Panting from the wounds she was accumulating as well as how much effort it took to defeat just one of these, Ryia caught her breath before looking to where to go next. Ackrin, meanwhile, continued to stay his vigil. Waiting for a moment that a distraction would aid the two elves, to shoot rocks at the lycan to provide such a distraction.
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    Melissa hadn’t been sure what she’d been expecting when she walked into one of the temples. Well, that wasn’t entirely true. She’d wanted something familiar, and she knew why she wanted that. She just didn’t want to have wanted that. She didn’t want to impose her own views on whatever other people worshipped. If someone asked her, that was fine, and she’d explain if she felt confident enough (Melissa still remembered Salvo and Natasha asking to compare notes, for example). That was fine. But she wanted to see what was, without judgment, and disappointed herself when she was surprised to see the temple be used as a place of public transport. They didn’t even try to hide it. If you wanted to go to another of Prana’s many levels, a temple was apparently one way to do it. But Melissa didn’t want to teleport, at least not yet, so she simply stood in the hallway, paralyzed by indecision. There were countless doors on either side of her, and another large room at the end. There was no getting around it. She was going to have to talk to someone eventually. She walked up to one of the acolytes going around the hallway and asked, “I’m looking for the temple. Sorry, I’m new. I just wanted to see what it was like.” She was quick to add, “Like, a sanctuary space or something,” and very nearly apologized again. Thankfully, the acolyte was understanding, or at least tolerant. “This is the temple,” they said, and they gestured to the doors. “If you wish to worship, you need simply cross the threshold.” Melissa followed where the acolyte was pointing. “This one?” she said, going to the nearest door. “Of course.” They followed, placing a hand on the center of the door and sliding it open, though they did not cross the threshold themselves. Past the door was another hallway leading to another door, but this one had a handle on it for Melissa to slide open herself. That door opened with little effort, and she finally found herself in some sort of annex. This was where all the pews she’d been expecting were, arranged in a square surrounding a pillar of flame that went from the floor to the ceiling. Melissa took a moment near the entrance to take it all in before she sat down in one of the pews. “Is this it?” Melissa thought. If every door led to a room like this, Great Dragon worship seemed to be a solitary experience. And there was no guidance, either. Was there a liturgy that changed with the season? Was she supposed to pray? She wanted to do something, so she picked a hymn from the several she had memorized and began to sing. Theme: Poor Wayfaring Stranger Remembering eight minutes (including the organ interludes, which Melissa tried to replicate by humming) of hymnal music was a little tricky, especially once she got past the verses everyone sang and into the ones that she and nobody else seemed to think were the point of the song (she had opinions!). Closing her eyes helped, keeping her focus inwards and helping her imagine that there really was a small hymnal book in her hands guiding her along, while also keeping the fire from burning onto her retinas. But Melissa still found herself getting distracted every so often by a persistent hum that seemed to buzz throughout and within her entire body. It made her feel warm in a way she didn’t expect even while sitting close to the fire -- the warmth seemed to be coming from within her body. It was pure religious fervor that kept Melissa from stopping the hymn to check herself for any abnormalities. That went away when she finished, though. Her eyes snapped open to see nothing had changed save the fire was more intense than before. When Melissa stood up from the pew, the buzz dissipated almost entirely. Standing up and the brighter fire had a tertiary effect that she was now able to see an acolyte in a corner of a room. Melissa yelped when she noticed and felt her cheeks flush even after that. She hadn’t realized she had an audience. And yet, in the quiet that followed, Melissa’s curiosity got the better of her again, and she walked up to the acolyte. “Is there anything else in a worship session? Canon literature readings, sacraments, um, other people?” They looked at Melissa, then at the flame, then back at her. “There is nothing written. There is no need, for each soul here is born with the Great Dragon in them and so all know Them,” they said. “Okay, that makes sense,” Melissa said. Finally, something familiar! She had her own scripture to quote back:Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. John 14:17 (KJV)“What is it you seek from the Great Dragon?” the acolyte asked. Perhaps we can assist?” When she’d set off on her journey this morning, she’d felt pretty confident, and it seemed like every step of the way since then had eroded that confidence a little. Melissa found herself shrinking back. “I don’t know,” she said. “A week ago, a young girl asked if something I did was from The Great Dragon. I asked Mauvache about it but her answer was kind of brief. I like to learn about religions other than my own, so I sought out here. I don't expect someone to proselytize at me out of the blue like this, especially without a chance of conversion, but, um…” She trailed off. She wasn't quite sure where that sentence was going. “Maybe it's blasphemous and I apologize if it is, but is there anything I can do for them?” The response was vague, almost predictably so. “All the Great Dragon asks for is to leave the world better than you came into it and always keep them in your heart. They watch over us, They protect us, They accept our love.” “I see,” Melissa said. She thanked the acolyte with a nod and returned to her pew to pour over things in her head. It probably hadn’t been a lot of information, but it felt like a lot. In a moment, she would probably go and see what else the temple had to offer, but for now, she was content accepting everything and pondering the flame.
  18. 1 like
    It was suicide. No matter how Avis looked at the events unfolding before her, she had no plan for this. She had no concept of the rest of the group, but Nyx stood out, radiant in her darkness. She was capable of so much that even Avis would have trouble handling her... How did Nyx get here? Why was she not still down there? Did this lot of zealots free her? Last she had known, Nyx was not an issue. And if Nyx was here, did that mean... Thump. Thump. thum... Avis snapped back to reality as Tsurumi's shuriken unfolded into Sita's moonlight. While it failed to completely scatter the darkness, it did cause the shadows to falter a bit. And there it was. Rushing over at the first chance she found, without using her own abilities, she stumbled behind Sita, panting for effect. "Keep it up! I don't think we have a chance of winning against these... assailants. We don't know enough about the rest, so our best bet is to push through the darkness and run. Do you think that's something you can do!?" "Copy that," May nodded, turning her arms as if commanding the clay golem before her on puppet strings only she could see. On her command, the golem pressed its full weight against the wall of solid darkness behind the team, stopping its advance. "And once we're inside? Any suggestions?" "An indoor location would be more easily fortified if they pursue us," Austin proposed, fishing into his suit and procuring a pistol from within. With not a moment's hesitation, and free of such distractions as cheesy one-liners or asking about MIRROR's plans, he immediately took aim at Aki and fired three shots. Only for the woman among MIRROR's twins to raise her hands, creating a sheet of black metal between the back line and Austin that effortlessly deflected the bullets. "Damn." "Our best bet... is to back up the bursts of light. If she... Nyx... gets her darkness on you... you are likely done for. I can't do much, but I can inform and direct you as best I can! Just work on getting there!"
  19. 1 like
    With excitement in her step, Jacklyn made her way over to the house that seemed just so out of place. Striding with confidence in her step, Jacklyn had made it to the door of the, as she believed it to be, hermit's house before knocking. There was no response. The adventurous girl had thought of several reasons this might be. For one, the house itself could just be abandoned, which would only further add to the mysterious out of placeness it had to it. Secondarily it could just be that her knocking didn't have enough spirit behind it and so the person that was in there didn't hear them. After all, they could be busy doing whatever it was hermits did or maybe even asleep, in which case of course just knocking once wouldn't be enough to get their attention. So she knocked again. Harder. She waited once more, pausing to see if the hermit would answer her knocks this time. The girl was getting ready to go for a third round when the door finally did open. With an older looking woman who said something about food, as she asked Jacklyn who she was the girl gave a big smile. "We're- " before Jacklyn could finish her statement Anima had answered for the group. While it was certainly true that they were "new trainers" Jacklyn couldn't help but feel that there was a lack of passion and zest in that, as opposed to of course proudly proclaiming they were adventures. This disappointment in her teammate's word choice didn't last very long as instead it was replaced with excitement at the discovery of who this woman actually was. "You're the professor!?" Jacklyn didn't seem bothered by either the professor or Anima's attitude towards one another, before stepping up excitedly. "As if I would complain, I couldn't ask for a better partner then Rus. Isn't that ri- oh, right." The girl pulled out her pokeball before sending out the Lepash. "Isn't that right Rus?" The Lepash had no context for what the girl was asking and was inclined to disagree with her immediately before seeing that the professor was there. The typically proud pokemon looked both embarrassed about the situation it was in and apologetic about his trainer's exuberance. The professor's eyes moved down to the Pokemon. She crouched down and lifted Rus up. Examining him all over before looking at Jacklyn. "He's stressed." "Eh? Really?" The girl looked in disbelief as she said, "well adventures can be stressful, I've heard about it, but we're only just started! Besides we already won our first battle and even got a new teammate. Oh! Are you jealous Rus?" The Lepash turned towards the girl, clearly annoyed with her, and let loose a small puff of smoke into her face. Coughing, waving her hand to get the smoke out of her face, the girl locked eyes with the pokemon. "Why you..." Looking back to the professor she said, "was he always like this?" "I can't say I've ever gotten that kind of treatment." She says, holding Rus and idly petting between his ears. "Sometimes with some of the other Pokemon...Perhaps he thinks of you as a Pokemon." She stared at Jacklyn. "You aren't, are you?" Rus seems a bit embarrassed to be pet but also doesn't do anything to stop it. Jacklyn looked confused by the statement saying, "no? I mean, I have this cool bunny decal on my hat. But I'm definitely a human and definitely his trainer." "Hm." She sighed and set Rus down. As she straightens back up she let let out a groan of discomfort. "Well what does that even mean, 'his trainer', do you think?" "That he's my...pokemon? Adventuring buddy?" The girl seemed confused by the question. She frowned and looked down at Rus and spoke directly to him. "You might have to be less subtle with this one." Rus let out a resigned sigh but nodded at the professor's words. Jacklyn, meanwhile was only more confused at the subject though couldn't help but feel like she was being insulted. With another pout she retorted, "well, uh, what's a 'professor' then?"
  20. 1 like
    “Mmfm mrfumemer!!” Sita flinched upon hearing the voice come from her pocket, but only for a moment before she was able to both put two and two together, and consider that someone small enough to fit inside her pocket wouldn't have been much of a threat in the current situation. At first she'd figured Tsurumi would just hop out of the pocket whenever, but now she had to wonder if the other girl was incapable of that. But that kind of question could be asked later. For now, Sita reached into her pocket and pulled out the little piece of paper that was Tsurumi. "You can talk like that?" Sita asked, setting Paper Tsurumi down next to her. "You've got all sorts of tricks up your sleeve!" “Of course I can! I wouldn’t be much good otherwise!” Tsurumi flapped her paper wings rapidly, fluttering up to nestle in Sita's hair, just above her ear. "Keep me close, and we can throw off their count on how many of us there are. We're in the thick of it this time, we can't afford to slip up," she whispered. "Don't have to tell me twice." Sita reached behind her back to grab her bow... and in so doing, realized that in the rush the twins had thrown upon her, she left it back inside. With a shrug and sigh of mild annoyance, the girl got up to her feet for a better posture, and held out her hand. Above her palm, the night's moonlight gathered around in one spot, becoming a small sphere of condensed light about the size of a tennis ball. In a manner not at all unlike a pitch aimed at a target on the wall, Sita put her arm back - with a distinct upward angle this time, to account for her targets being beneath her - then lobbed the ball straight down into the fray. "How's your pitching hand?" she asked, glancing over in Paper Tsurumi's direction. Tsurumi could practically feel the sweat drip from her forehead, wherever it may be represented in her current form, remembering her embarrassing showing at the carnival game minutes before her and Sita’s fateful meeting. “I’ll admit, it could be better. But I have an idea.” One of the two wings that made up the majority of Tsurumi’s diminutive form unfolded back into an arm as she hopped down to rest back on Tsurumi’s shoulder. Taking hold of one of the shining spheres Sita created, she manipulated it quickly within her fingers until it was in the shape of a flatted ninja star, still glowing like the moon, small enough to fit within her palm. “Here’s how I see things,” Tsurumi whispered, her voice suddenly much more serious than usual. “We have five enemies. Two are already engaging with our forces, and appear to be a head-on attacker, and a support caster. We have to trust our units on the ground to handle them, otherwise we will get too mixed up in the chaos.” Tsurumi’s remaining wing unfolded slightly to reveal a single silver eye peeking from within, a rare sight from one whose eyes are usually concealed. The eye’s gaze was stone cold as it focused down on the one called Shouhi Aki. “Their team can be expected to be more coordinated than our own, since this is our first real fight all together. This means our only shot is to disrupt the chain of command, and take out their leader!” With a sharp motion, Tsurumi let loose the light-paper shuriken. It took a wide arcing path as it cut through the air, curving around the square to come at the one called Aki from an unexpected direction. When it reached a distance of only a few meters from its target, it unfolded back into the orb of moonlight that Sita had created it as, hoping to maximize damage to the enemy leader.
  21. 1 like
    Of all the things Anima wanted to do, go up to a stranger’s house - one who was, as Anneliese had put it - an outcast’s house, and knock to see if anyone was home… Was among the last things she wanted to do. Of course, there were worse things that could happen, but… This early in the day, and she wasn’t feeling it. It felt as if her heart would burst from her chest at any moment, even as she held Confi close to herself. Every knock Jacklyn made only served to make it worse. And she knocked not once, but twice. And the door, worst of all… Opened, and someone was on the other side. “We’re, um… New trainers,” Anima admitted, trying-- No, praying, that she could answer before Jacklyn so as to head off any statements of grandeur. “Sorry to bother you, Miss, but, we were new in town, and…” she trailed off, trying to think of a good answer. Of course, there was… No good answer to give. They were just here, and looking for something to do. Hardly a compelling argument or reason to be here. But… Anima was hardly the best liar. “...To be honest, I’m not entirely sure why we’re here. I think… We’re, um, looking for something to do?” she explained, though her voice made it out to be more like a question than anything else, as she cocked her head to the left. “Sorry again, for bothering you without a good reason.” The woman groaned and rubbed the bridge of her nose. "This isn't a tourist spot..." she looked at the trio for a few tense moments. "You're not here to complain about the starter choices are you? There wasn't anything wrong with how I raised them. If they're disobedient, that's on you." "N... No Ma'am," Anima shook her head, swallowing uncomfortably. "I, er... I brought my own," she explained, squeezing Confi slightly; and in return, getting something akin to a squeak from the Pokémon. "But... If you raised them... Does that make you, a, er..." she trailed off, doing anything she could not to make eye-contact. "Professor, here?" The woman blinked. Her eyelids moving so slowly that it took some time to realize it was even a blink. Then she sighed. "Dang, walked into that one...Yes, that's me. The, ugh, 'renowned' Professor Cedar. Nice to, ah whatever." she mumbled the last, giving up her attempt at courtesy. “I, um…” Anima trailed off, staring at her with a bit of a wince in her eyes. Whatever she had expected from the professor… This wasn’t it. And while she couldn’t particularly blame the woman, considering they had just barged up to her house and knocked on the door… “I'll... get out of your hair then, ma’am,” she muttered, glancing idly at the other two, and… As much as she knew it was wrong to wish ill on others, hoping they’d bother the woman more.
  22. 1 like
    honestly the best previews are the ones that don't give you information
  23. 1 like
    Ziun’s head throbbed with pain. He had been hit before, sure, but this was a new sort of sensation. As he started to come to, he felt the area around him jolt up…was he…in a carriage? It seemed so, and a very VERY fancy one too. Red colored sheets covering the windows, long cushioned seats, several feet between him and the other side…which the little girl was, a bird cage with…a…fish…and water, and a sword in a…stone? He blinked a few times, wondering if he really did wake up or was still in the land of dreams. Well, he would be enjoying this more...if he wasn't bound...lovely. "Finally awake are you? I didn't think I hit you that hard, not much of an explorer huh?" "Now now. You just don't know your strength sister." "Does it matter? He's up ain't he? Let's get to it." "Come on brother, can't you see the pathe-....poor thing is still out of sorts? So, about what you said about 'offering your life'...." "W-Well..." Ziun finally spoke up, once he finally got his bearings and wasn't as groggy when he first awoke. "Am I to assume you represent the Apati family, my dear?" he asked, as calmly as he could (despite basically being abducted). "Considering your appearance and voice don't quite match up now, that and the fish in the cage..." The bard motioned with his head to the cage and the fact that the water was still there in one piece. "Top it off with a talking sword...which most of this doesn't just happen. Now if I'm speaking nonsense, I suppose I'll make due and assume I may still be dreaming after seeing this." "Maybe you are dreaming, you were out for a while after all." The girl said. "We wouldn't presume to 'represent' the family, as it were." the fish said. "But yes, we are members." "A pleasure to meet you, in that case...albeit, perhaps would be a bit more of a pleasure if I wasn't currently in this predicament." Ziun shrugged, namely referring to the fact he was bound. "Nevertheless, you answered my question...so I'll respond in kind. I would say it was nothing but a slip of the tongue with my words, but perhaps..." he paused, before sitting upright and letting out a sigh. "...due to me not having anything but my own life to offer, why wouldn't I attempt to bargain with it? For some, this could be construed as madness. I myself know not why I said it when I did, but nevertheless...I uttered those words and therefore, made my bed. If I could not be a hindrance to my allies while delving further for the Spark, to be of service and help to them instead of cowering like a scared child in the face of watching a...friend...perish in the line of adventure...then I suppose...I would gladly submit and work for the Apati family." "I told you he talks a lot." The girl said to the sword. "Yeah I didn't quite get all that." "Simple, he's saying he wants to do work for us." The fish answered. "And he doesn't even know who we are yet." The woman said with a derisive laugh. "Hey, who even are you?" The sword asked. "...I'm sitting right here, you don't have to talk like I'm not here..." he muttered, before clearing his throat to avoid that. "Apologies. My name is Ziun Castir of Cheron, Bard of the College of Glamour, at your service." "Oh a schoolboy, cute." The girl said. "Why I think I know of the place, it's a quaint instutition." Said the fish. "Ugh." Grunted the sword. "Oh, right, you can call us Cerberus." The girl said, and giggled. "Cerberus...?" Ziun lulled that name around in his mind some, nodding. "That sounds familiar, or at least it rings a small bell, more or less...I believe my peers at Steelhorn used it as a term rather than a name, however." "Nonetheless that is what you can call us." The fish said. "Anywho, so you want to work right? And I recall you said you don't have much in the way of outstanding skills to mention yes?" "Aside from illusions and conjuration, though unfortunately I pale in comparison to such as the likes of Zion." Ziun lamented, but nodded. "Aside from that, I am but a humble bard." "Humble, bah." The sword said, clearly not liking the word choice. "Well we can have you play some music, perhaps spice it up with some fire and spikes..." the girl said. "Sister, did you not bring him here for a reason?" The fish prompted. "Yes, yes, I know I was just thinking of other ideas." The girl leaned forward, elbows on her knees and chin on her hands. "How far have you gotten in the Dungeon? Do you think those....companions of yours intend to try and go all the way?" "Fifteen. However, I only joined with my companions for five floors." Ziun explained. "So before I joined them, it was ten." "Ah, it's a start as they say." The fish said. "Well, do you think that they have what it takes to go all the way? Or are they gonna just give it up on their own?" the girl asked. "With these three, I am as sure as the sun sets and rises the next day, that they'll go all the way." Ziun smirked confidently with this. "They're a most impressive and formidable group." "Hm." "Hm." "Heh." The three practically said in unison, before the little girl spoke once more. "Then that makes it simple. There's an easy thing you can do for us to earn some money. All you have to do. Is sabotage them." She laughed and then, as if expecting a certain reaction, continued "you don't have to get them killed or anything just make it a bit harder on them, enough that they decide it's not worth it." Ziun gave a blank stare at them, as if in...disbelief. "I'm sorry...please, I must be mishearing, Cerberus. Could you repeat what you said?" "Do I have to?" She asked, sounding suddenly childish again. "It's simple really." The fish answered. "Use whatever tricks you can to make their next expedition to the dungeon hard. Hard enough they decide to stop going through it. That's all." Ziun was silent, almost deathly silent. His gaze seemed to go from the trio known as Cerberus to the floor in contemplation. The opportunity was here, he could have the coin to get what he needed to assist his companions through the dungeon...but...it was at the cost of them not being able to progress. He had to sabotage them, which at this point, he would've been better off without doing this...on the count of his last five floors with them. He thought hard on this, his eyes darting slightly around as his gaze remained fixated on the floor of the carriage. Finally...the bard spoke with a sigh. "...I must apologize...but, I don't believe I'm the man for this kind of job." Ziun confessed, seeming slightly dejected. "In truth, I sought the Apati out to be able to assist my fellows in their dive through the dungeon. If I was to simply sabotage them...well, quite frankly I would've done so without trying to fix anything. That is to say, with the last five floors, I proved to be nothing but a hindrance. I sought a way to help them, not to be a hindrance once more." His gaze returned to Cerberus. "I apologize that this may not be the answer you hoped for, but I cannot do that." "Well that's stupid." The sword said. "A very unwise decision indeed." The bird replied. "And here I thought you were willing to do anything. Why did you bother trying to find work if you're not willing to do what it takes? Who would want to hire someone like that?" The girl said, sounding annoyed. "We have plenty of grunts if that's all you intended to be." Ziun sighed but simply shrugged. "I was, but not to the point of practically screwing up the reason I was seeking you out in the first place. I was doing it, not for my sake, but for theirs. I lost one...compatriot, ally, friend, whatever you wish to call her because of my..." he paused, shaking his head. "...because of my incompetence. So I am truly sorry, but I cannot do that. But perhaps you'll indulge me in another question. Why are you opposed to this group going further through the dungeon?" "Ew." "Ew." "Ew." The three groaned. Then the girl answered. "Why wouldn't we want to stop anyone else reaching the Spark? That's pretty simple stuff." "Apparently not to someone such as myself." Ziun said plainly. "Quite frankly, I figured most of the families, from what I was told, mind you, were hiring people to get the Spark...and yet, you wish to keep those from reaching it. It's a strange situation for sure." "Less people in the Dungeon means less competition." The fish said with a chuckle. "Even I know that." The sword said. "But I suppose you are just a musician." The girl snickered. "So why don't you just...hire someone to get there before the others?" Ziun inquired. "As you said, I am just a musician, but even I can understand that if you want it...you would hire someone to get it, right?" "Well that would be stupid." They all said at once. "At least, it would be right now." Said the sword. "Without competition we can simply take our time." The fish said. "So impatient." The girl said, shaking her head. "You really don't know what you're getting yourself into. Trust me, you should take this deal. It'll be a lot better for you and your...." she snorted. "...friends." "At least WE aren't trying to kill ya." The sword said. "Now now, brother, don't say anything about the other families. You wouldn't want to be rude." said the fish. "Well, in any case, guess we have no use for you right now, do we?" asked the girl. "It appears so..." Ziun sighed yet again. "Seems we are truly at an impasse and it's a shame. Part of me was truly wanting to learn from the great Zion Apati, but alas, it seemed to be too good to be true." "Ah, he's not so great really, but I guess he would seem like that to you huh." The girl said. "Well, I suppose you should be on your way." Said the fish. Then one of the carriage doors opened up. If Ziun looked he'd see the carriage was still moving. Even still the sword said "Go on then." "I take it you won't at least unbind me?" Ziun looked out through the door, seeing it still moving. This would be the way this day would be for him, wouldn't it? "Part of me is assuming you won't at this point." "Of course not, we're not even sitting in front of you." The girl said with a laugh. "Maybe if you had taken the offer." "I figured as much." Ziun sighed, before doing his best to stand up and keep his balance as he made his way towards the carriage door. "Very well, Cerberus...twas a delight meeting you, until it wasn't, but I shan't hold that against you. Do give Zion my regards." he said, trying his best not to mentally kick himself for not taking this offer, but he wasn't going to ruin the other's chances like that. With nothing else to say, he walked out the carriage door. "See you later, schoolboy!" The girl said and began to laugh more. "You might not see us though." was the last thing he heard before stepping out and tumbling onto the ground. He bounced a few times before coming to a stop. As he rolled slowly to a stop, after bouncing a few times, he found himself back on the ground to where he looked up at the sky. His face, while he did have a smile on his face with talking to Cerberus...it was now gone. Ziun just laid there...partially not caring if he was a road block or anything (considering he was still bound), but he laid there...feeling defeated. He felt stupid on multiple levels. Stupid on how he thought this would work. Stupid on almost selling his soul to the proverbial devil(s) just to do it. And stupid how he ALMOST agreed to sell his allies out and sabotage them just to "help" them. If there was a low point...this was it...and any lower, well, Ziun probably would be descending there too. "...back to square one..." he muttered to himself, sighing slightly. "...how the hell am I supposed to help them now...?"
  24. 1 like
    Yesterday: hApPeNs Mom: Are you okay? What happened? Me: Nothing. My brain: You wouldn't understand, she was Selen Tatsuki of Nijisanji EN wave 2 OBSYDIA.
  25. 1 like
    Managed to get my final merge for Ascended Idunn off the Rearmed/Ascended Banner and with the update, and not really having any other +10 plans, could immediately +10 NY!Female Kana.
  26. 1 like
    As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!” -Mark 13:1 (NIV)Melissa kept as much attention as she could as Aduain described a situation that would be impossible to contain in the margins of any paper he wrote it down on, but her mind was elsewhere. She’d already had breakfast and wasn’t hungry for more, so she had to turn down Fen’s offer of cooking, but she still chewed on her thoughts as if that would help her make a decision. Trevor had asked what they were all doing today, and while Fen already had plans, Melissa… didn’t. On some level, she had the same wants as Fen. Prana was their ward, to be sure, but it was still an enigma to her, and having someone tour everyone around was probably the best bet. Kelsey was certainly one of the better options for that, the overlap in “those we know” and “those fit to give a tour” was not large in Melissa’s mind. Rei was an option, but that girl had largely exchanged phone numbers with Melissa out of obligation. Texting her too soon would come off as needy, wouldn’t it? Plus, after spending so much time meeting so many new people, Melissa kind of just wanted to be alone. She just wanted to wander, and while she recognized her situation as a celebrity guardian and a host left her little in the way of physical or mental privacy, it was something she wanted to work towards just as well as everything else she was training and developing. Of course, she had been focusing on those aspects of herself because her spiritual life had been forcibly put on hold. What was she going to do, go to some dragon temple as a proxy? Well… It wasn’t the worst idea, and she was curious. To be clear, it was an academic sort of curiosity -- Melissa was very confident in her faith even in adverse times such as these. She wasn’t about to convert to some otherworldly religion on a whim. In the worst case, she could learn what needed improving when she inevitably did start proselytizing, and at best it could serve as one of those universal quiet places of prayer and reflection that peppered public areas back on Ambrosia. Maybe the dragon god was a less jealous sort than her capital G one. Melissa realized that if she was going to go pray somewhere she should probably look the part. She mumbled some excuse about thanking everyone for the company at breakfast or something, checked on Bartleby again, and slipped back upstairs to change into her Sunday best nun getup. She packed what supplies she had into a bag -- Duel- Yu-Gi-Oh! deck in case the Spike Brothers waylaid her, the church program she’d been clutching when Mauvache brought her here… did she need a water bottle? That was something to consider for later. Fen was greeting Kelsey at the door when Melissa came back down, and Melissa nodded her greetings to the both of them. “I’ll see you around,” she said. “I think I have everyone’s numbers if we need to get in touch.”
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