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  1. 11 likes
    @Members @VIP - Just an FYI we've removed the necro bumping rule from the site (please let me know if there are still remnants anywhere!) We no longer feel the rule is necessary across the site, spam rules will still apply though.
  2. 10 likes
    NCM (nearly) a Year On I think I speak for everyone in saying that it’s certainly been an interesting year, from what feels like unending down time to what now feels like a new lease of life, communities are born and bred by people alone and you can’t force something to stick together when the cracks have already shown, and I think we’ve showcased that now more than ever, you’ll just continue to stick things back together as best you can in hopes that it will remain but, sometimes in life you need to move on and build something new up and that’s OK, nothing lasts forever but everything worthwhile only lasts for a period of time, and whenever this comes to an end I can only hope it inspires someone to pick up the mantle where it left off. That got a little… philosophical didn’t it? My fault, apologies, I just wanted to open a document and write down my thoughts and feelings with you all – bare bones you know how that stuff goes anyhow I think it’s important to reflect on how we’re doing and where we can go from here. So, how are we doing? That’s a great question and thanks for asking Torm! Fundamentally the site is stable, and activity is at an appropriate level, people are posting, RPs are… RPing? I guess you do roleplay in a roleplay so… ANYWAY things are good! There are some sections that have very little to no activity and I guess that’s something for me and the staff team to figure out together. I imagine it’ll be along the lines of consolidating “deader” sections together and making posts simpler to post but we’ll work on that. In fact, at the time of writing this we are roughly averaging 20 registrations per month, which are healthy numbers! It’s also probably a little more but I’m terrible at Math so… 20 sounds like a good enough number. There has been some considerable content committed to the site by many of our great users. I won’t go through all of them because honestly, I’ll be here all day and I think a couple of the staff team have ideas on events of their own accord for celebrating good content but stuff like .:Alive:. by Dad in the creative writing section, the NeoCardMaker Holy Grail War by Yui (whilst young, is a very creative take on the forum game genre) and RPs like Fire Emblem Curse of the Goddess which is so intrinsically Fire Emblem it’s great. So where can we go from here? Well personally I think I need to take on the leadership role a bit more, I just need to understand where the line is drawn with that and the like as we have a nice status quo going on and rocking the boat too much might cause us to get water on board when it isn’t necessary but I have ideas and thoughts for the site that I think will be healthy for the place. I would like to see a member of staff or two added to team at some point to help develop certain areas of the site, and perhaps cultivate new life and ideas into parts of the site but again it’s all about balance and that’s down to me to find that middle of the line, so please bear with me and provide criticism as and where it’s needed. I’ve yet to explore these ideas with Yemachu but getting the card maker more built into the site rather than relying on GitHub might allow for us to provide a better user experience for those of us who use the card maker on the regular, of course again I’m just vocalizing my internal thoughts so don’t take this as a “IT’S HAPPENING” (Yui please insert the appropriate gif in a reply thank you). It also seems the site is still struggling to send activation emails to gmail accounts… It’s something for me to look at as we are potentially missing out on active users, I’d rather publicly state this is an issue than it not be forgotten about (although I have mentioned it in the past). As for you guys? Keep doing what you’re doing. Maybe revive showcase for me I don’t have anything negative to say about the lot of you really, you’re all cute – except Cow, he’s a cow I mean they ain’t that cute maybe calves but like they don’t last very long in that state. So, thank you, for making this place what it is, and I wish you a fantastic Christmas, here’s to 2020 (we all legally have perfect vision now) ? @Members @VIP
  3. 9 likes
    Music So, it's been a while since we've really had a big statement put out or anything. We're almost at 2 years of NCM, and that's incredible! For a splinter community, that really stands out. All because people chose to take a chance and break away from simple numbers and the past itself. A sense of community that is more one of togetherness than obligation. I'm proud of us. Our little community. Sure, it's a quiet little corner of the internet, but it's far from dead. I'd almost go so far as to say that it's just right. Not too big, not too small, not too soft, not too hard. I just... really wanted to take the time, as a member of the staff and the community at large, to thank all of you. I know not everything is perfect. People have fights. Petty feelings can get in the way and blind us. Life gets in the way. People say things they don't mean. People don't say things that they mean to. Even so, there is a sense of community. Grudges don't seem to hold for long. Workarounds are found. Careless words are fixed, and overthought words eventually find their way to where they need to go. Our little home away from home isn't perfect, but it's a damn sight better than what it could have become if we hadn't had stood together. It's so different from what I remember, in general. I feel like I'm an old person looking at the forums and servers, even among people I actually talk to. So much history. So much time. But here you all are. People have come. People have gone. But the community is still here. And while I feel like a fossil, I still look forward to seeing you "younguns" a lot. So, thank you, NCM. For nothing other than being yourselves. Your kindness, your creativity, your intelligence, your humor, all of it. This quiet community means the absolute world to me. I can't speak for the team, in and of itself, but I can at least let you know how much all of you matter to me. And, as an absolutely personal note, I just want to say... if anyone is suffering. If anyone needs a shoulder to cry on. If anyone just needs to express something they don't feel safe to other places... I'm here. I'll listen. I'll give you my Discord if you want it. After all, life isn't easy. 2020 showed us that, if absolutely nothing else. But that doesn't mean you have to be alone. I see you. I'm with you. I'm sure a couple of you know who you are, and I hope you take this to heart... Yet I also hope anyone else who needs this right now sees it as well, and takes it as an opportunity. I love this place. And I love you guys. Thanks for two years, and I hope the third is great, too.
  4. 9 likes
    U.A. High. It had been a long time coming but Yasha was ready. He'd worked hard to get here, and now he had the privilege of attending Japan's most prestigious hero school. He adjusted his tie and collar, slapped his faceplate where cheeks would be on a regular head, and cleared his throat-- a sound like a stalling lawnmower-- as he approached. "Let's see here, are you--" "Yasha Yokuna, present SIR!" He said, standing rather stiffly at-attention. "I'm honored to be here-- and prepared to do my best!" "I... see. So, why is it that you want to be a hero?" Yasha grinned in response, showing off his teeth. Despite being abnormally sharp, they were also the only part of his head that looked even marginally human. The whole engine-block for a head thing wasn't going to earn him any points for beauty, that was for sure. "Because being a hero is hard work, and I LOVE HARD WORK!" His throat made a revving sound as his voice went up, and he covered his mouth with his hand. "Ah, sorry. I got excited there." "I never really got your type, kid. But go ahead and head on in. You'll probably make more sense to Ruby Heart." "THANK YOU, MISTER GLORY SIR!" The door to the classroom slid open and the sound of engines revving filled the air as Yasha entered, waving a pair of screaming chainsaw blades over his head. "HELP! MY HANDS ARE CHAINSA-HA-HAAAAWS!" He broke into laughter on the word 'chainsaws' and doubled over, the tools shrinking away. He straightened up and smiled, showing off his fanged grin, and waved his, now regular hands. "Nah, I'm fine-- 's just my Quirk. Hi!"
  5. 8 likes
    I think I might actually have a shot at getting my work published. This is crazy!
  6. 8 likes
    Inu wasn't happy. The field trip sucked, and while he was thankful it ended early, it seemed it didn't end for good reasons. The exact reason why, he actually didn't know though, he was hoping he'd find out in school today. Grumbling to himself, he popped a sunflower seed into his mouth as he walked into the classroom, hoping that it would distract him from a need to smoke. He walked in, scanning the room, looking to see if anything looked off or if people had some sort of gossip going on. Nothing really stuck at to him at the moment, and it was pissing him off. Did no one know what was going on? He sat down in his seat, sighing as slumped down. As if to signal that today wasn't going to get much better, it seemed a substitute teacher was here today. "So uh… I'm not Epicenter. You guys know that. I'm aaah… I'm the Destructive Hero - Dreadbolt. I'm a friend of Glory's, he asked me to sub for a bit while some of the staff is investigating some shi- errr, while the staff is investigating some bad stuff that happened yesterday…" Inu's eyes narrowed at that. So something did happen. He waited for some sort of explanation of what exactly the bad thing was, but instead, Dreadbolt moved on. "Fuck, why did I agree to this… Tomoaki you son of a bitch…"Quickly bringing himself to attention, he straightened his back and turned to address the class once again, "A-anyway, I'm sorry to inform you all that uhhh… Kikuchi Emi has dropped out of UA, for personal reasons. But there is good news, too! She will be replaced by the next runner-up in the entrance exam! Hoshinoooooo Rika!" With an unhealthy dose of melodrama, Dreadbolt pointed toward the classroom door with both hands… standing perfectly still in perfect silence for several seconds, before slouching in disappointment, "Is it too much to ask students to be punctual??? Can't I get one damn break???" "Don't worry about cussing, we're not kindergartners, we can taking some goddamn cussing without sullying our ears," Inu stated. "We'll probably hear worse out on the field," The new girl then went and made a fool of herself in front of everyone, but Inu wasn't going to hold that against her. At least she wasn't some joker that didn't take this whole thing seriously. Sun looked at the new girl with a sense of curiosity. She had a familiar look to her... well, kinda. It was more like she reminded him of lizards from back home. Now he was feeling nostalgic. But the poor girl seemed really scared, and that made Sun upset. He'd have to find some way to cheer her up... but, it seemed he wasn't alone in that endeavor. "Hi. I'm Hideyo," the happy sun man said happily. "And I think your quirk is the coolest thing I've seen. Ever!" "Aw, geez, I dunno about that really. Uh... I think if it was the coolest thing ever, I would've gotten in without having to get a little lucky." The chameleon laughed gently, her other hand rubbing at the back of her neck as she glanced up at the ceiling. "It's not, like... Terrible, at least! My dad had it bad, he didn't get any of the stuff mine can do. He was pretty nervous when I was born." She then began to look around the room. her eyes soon falling on the monkey king, who smiled at her. "Hello, I am Sun!" He greeted as he waved. "I like your quirk! It reminds me of home!" He hoped that despite his large size, she wouldn't be scared of him. "If you ever feel scared, just come find me! I'll protect you! You and Takehiko!" Before he could say anything else, the wolfman in the back raised his voice. "So... you gonna tell us what the fuck happened back at the beach?" Inu demanded at the sub. "Or are you really going to try to sweep some situation that was apparently so dangerous we had to leave right away, despite having three Pro Heroes there, under the rug?" Sun leaned over to Rika, whispering loudly. "Don't make the dog man angry. He looks very pettable, but he lights on fire, and fire is bad," "Shut the fuck up, monkey man," Inu snapped, causing Sun's eyes to narrow. That seemed like a direct challenge, and as king, he wasn't one to turn down challenges. However, it could have just been made in the heat of the moment, something that happened a lot back home. He'd wait for a second challenge from Inu before he showed him exactly why he was king of his home.
  7. 8 likes
    NEO is the best, most-well designed, efficient, responsive, and aesthetically pleasing yugioh card maker on the planet. In all seriousness, though... this has become a nice alternative hub for most active members of the community, and I commend your willingness and dedication to maintaining it as our beloved and reliable admin.
  8. 8 likes
    neocardmaker.com is still the best, most-well designed, efficient, responsive, and aesthetically pleasing yugioh card maker on the planet.
  9. 8 likes
    No longer unemployed, bois! Just got a job offer for designing custom pools. I'm so happy!
  10. 8 likes
    Yeah I cheated and gave u two Yeah yours is pretty sick so hard to beat tbh but here There abouts although I've seen @BGMキャノンs moustache and that thing is pretty stylish. I'm going to cheat and give you Fate stuff because hey, cheating is fine in moderation Finding art with just Kazooie is actually harder than I anticipated but this feels appropriate.
  11. 7 likes
    I hope you all like this (especially Dae) as I have poured countless painful hours into making this as perfect as the real Dae is.
  12. 7 likes
    I am non-binary. I am not he. I am not she. I am they. I am not Josh. I am not Black. I am Blake. It took me a long time to get to this point, but I want people to know how scary being different is, and how hard it is to just... say something like this. Cause someone out there could have poor designs. Or just be a dick. So fuck the haters. Thanks for a community where I can be me, NCM.
  13. 7 likes
    Well friends, I'm officially a homeowner.
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    Figured I'd post the cardless images I've drawn so far just in case anyone wants to use them for cards of their own. Canyon Battleguard Sword Slasher Mass-Production Model Malice Doll of Despair Gemini Metal Elf Identity Theft! Hopping Vampires Toon Swordmistress this one of Hungry Burger and the Bistro Butcher I don't actually have a card in mind for, but feel free to use it for something. The Snake Hairstyles Dark Scorpion Motivator Time Lizard I'll try to remember to add any more images here as I go along
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    A fic or series of mini-fics set in the Neo community based on superhero comics/cinema. The characters are the members, each having their own superpower (or not, depending on what they want.) This used to be in Misc, but I decided to make an official interest check thread in the writing section for more credibility. Thoughts? Opinions? Suggestions? Let me know.
  17. 6 likes
    Hey, Tormey. Why haven't you given a public statement on the coronavirus? What're you doing to ensure the health and safety of the community? Where're the hand sanitzers in the threads?!
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    Good morning/afternoon/evening all, Im happy to announce Yemachu accepted a position of administrator for the site! He'll be focusing on development of the card maker within the site itself please keep all site requests and support queries in mine and the other members of staffs direction (unless of course it relates to the card maker) I think I speak for everyone in saying that the work Yemachu has done for this community and the last up until this point has been nothing more then incredible. We look forward to working with him moving forward. Please use this thread for any questions you might have for Yemachu. @Members @VIP @Yemachu
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    Time Lizard | LIGHT | Reptile/Effect ATK 500 | DEF 400 You can tribute 1 Reptile monster you control: Toss a coin and call it. If you call it right, Special Summon 1 Reptile or Dinosaur monster from your hand or GY. If you call it wrong, take damage equal to the ATK of the tributed monster. A quickie I drew up because of a pun. Juggled a few different effect ideas so I hope the one I went with wouldn't be overpowered, but I'm always open to suggestions.
  21. 5 likes
    So, I wanted to build off of the depression entry. To a degree, at least. I want to talk about abuse. And I'll start with personal experience. You can skip to the second divider, if you don't wish to read this section. --- My dad was abusive. He never got to hit me, beyond a belt on my rear, thanks to my mom... but he was extremely emotionally abusive. He looked for any and all opportunities to belittle me or scold me, and then took them out on my mother instead if she objected, only to redouble on me. To make sure I wasn't an embarrassment to him. That I never even considered crossing him. He was the MAN of the house. What he said went. His wife was to be a stay-at-home mother who cooked and cleaned. His son was to be a clone of him who would exist only to make him look better. The Bible "said" he was to be the head of the household and in charge. So, of course, having a woman who didn't simply bow to him bothered him. Having a child be a child was unacceptable. Even my cousins were given similar treatment, especially before I was born. Like attempting to beat my older cousin with a brush for touching his bag when he had just returned from a trip. Where he cheated on my mother. But that's another story. Or how about instilling his young child with fear so great that a 6 year old was scared of burning in hell for not being perfect? Scared that the rapture would take place and leave them behind? My mother's parents as well. There's a laundry list that's come from my mother and her siblings about their childhoods, but the present is more pressing. Treating everyone around them like slaves. Gma pitting every single family member against each other, if given a chance. Resenting anyone that doesn't follow the plan she's set up. My gpa hit my mother recently for disagreeing with him. He threatened to call the cops on me if I ever disagreed with him. Told me we never made a deal for me to drive, and that I was a lying thief. Threatened to shoot us for not serving a meal he wanted, and gma only replied "you'd shoot me!?". Trying to kick us out, with nowhere to go, because mom was too sick to prepare a meal for their very able-bodied selves. All the while, these people play the victim. They're just suffering because of everyone else. My dad is a martyr, a God-fearing man who goes to church every week and beyond. He's a father figure to some people. An upstanding deacon. Any grievances that could be expressed could only be done so by a member of the church, as opposed to an outsider who KNOWS him. And he has sooo many illnesses, needs so many surgeries, and so on. Gparents are even worse for the latter. Trying to call social services because we weren't being proper caretakers, when they were more than able-bodied and we never agreed. Gma has been faking a cough almost my entire life, as she's admitted. Uses any appointment as a guilt to get people to spend money on her. And so many more fake things, always something to guilt someone into spending money and rendering service, all while playing up how cruel everyone is to them... when they both left their own parents to rot as they got into old age. Even before then. But they're owed it, because they were 'good' parents. Kids are for taking care of them, after all! --- ... and that's just people I, unfortunately, share blood with. But why do I bring up all this anecdotal evidence, when I'm doing what is normally philosophical or purely stream of consciousness? Well... that's because of the relationship that abusers tend to have to abuse's after effects, as I see it. As I experience it. I am so, so scared of calling myself an abuse victim. I never thought of myself as one for most of my life, just assuming that... everyone went through those things. And, even after that, I still just assumed I had to push on. It was just a hurdle. Just a scar that would one day shine. I wasn't a victim. Victims were people that the world hated, shunned, ignored. People that used it as a crutch. Sure, there were exceptions that I had met, but... by and large, people like my abusers portrayed themselves entirely as victims, never taking any accountability for their actions. Turning around anything they did to me back on to me as a source. Yet here I am. The moment I hear hushed voices, I go still and try to hear if they're going to be about me, if I fucked up, if they hate me. Loud noises cause me to shut down. I am oftentimes scared to even leave my room, to the point that I earned the nickname "Bernie-Bear" from Mel's friends for just how shy and bad I was with people. Which, coincidentally... was the moment that me being a victim of abuse began to set in. And I tried so hard to look away from it! I was strong! I had to be strong! I just had some hang ups, that's all! There was no way I was a victim! It is so, so, so hard to call myself a victim. I think it is for most people, really. I don't want to be like those in my life who I was abused by. I don't want to be perceived like them. I don't want to be pitied or looked at like I'm weak. If I'm weak, then I've failed. I'm letting them control me. I'm letting my abusers control my present, as they did my past. That's letting them win... BUT THAT'S WRONG! That isn't true at all! It is not wrong to hurt! It is not wrong to have been hurt by people who DON'T have power over you, much less those that do! You are not weak for being abused! You do NOT deserve that abuse! And those people that fake? Those people that use it to chase clout? Fuck them! They're more likely than not abusers themselves, and you shouldn't worry about them! You shouldn't have to be inhibited about your pain, you shouldn't have to shove it down so that you don't "let them win"! Shoving it down IS how they win, because you leave the trauma inside to fester and bubble, allowing it to consume you whole! You have a right to be angry! You have a right to be sad! You have a right to FEEL! ... It's okay to be a victim. You didn't make the choice to be one. There's nothing wrong with acknowledging what happened to you, be it sexual, physical, emotional, or any combination thereof. People can be monstrous. I do struggle with admitting to myself that I'm an abuse victim. I almost cried talking to my mother tonight, because we both are so close to being able to say and accept how we've been abused, but the people we know are so fake and wicked that we fear association with their behaviors. It's admitting that you aren't fully in control to admit to being abused, and it takes a LOT of courage to do so. So, to abuse victims... You are stronger than you think. That abuse isn't who you are. You did not deserve it. Cruel people inflicted it on you for a multitude of reasons, but none of them were your fault. It was not a result of your choices, but the result of others taking your choice away from you. This world has so much potential for love. So many people truly wishing to help heal a broken heart, soul, spirit. Sure, there are more abusers out there... But I sincerely hope that anyone this applies to finds someone they can truly depend on. Someone who will not treat them as you may have become accustomed to being treated. I see you. I hurt for you. I'm here for you. And, if given the chance, I will open my heart and love you. Stay determined, everyone.
  22. 5 likes
    Made about a week ago for the sake of having something of the season in time xD I had no idea how to go about the background once I had the character made, so I kept adding violets, purples, blues, vaguely resembling a cave-like pattern and after enough time I grabbed a pen and have what you see here.... I think the green is a bit too light and lime-y but that's what you get when you YOLO it and hope it ends up well hahaha....
  23. 5 likes
    "Ah what's the matter Dog Breath. Someone need a scratch behind the ear?" At this point, Inu growled, baring his teeth at the cat. "Go get high off some catnip, Cat Bitch," he snapped. Before it could go any further though, the teacher went off, ignoring Inu completely as he began to talk about everything else. "Fuckin' bastard's ignoring me...," Inu growled under his breath, but deciding to let it drop for now. He'd just grill Epicenter when she came back. She didn't look like she could keep a secret. However, before he could even fully calm down... "And finally, Kagarashi Hideyo, Konpaku Rei, Sogin Hakaro, and Sasaki Inu, you will all be against the number 5 hero, your history teacher Ruby Heart!" "Wait, Sasaki? Is there any chance you know the pro hero Howl?" "Fuck," Inu muttered as he gritted his teeth. "Yeah, I know the indecisive bitch. What a-fuckin'-bout it?" He took a handful of sunflower seeds and chomped on them with an angry crunching sound, just as Spidey O'Bitch came up to him. After their pleasant little exchange, the hellhound found himself standing in a corner of the room, chew on sunflower seeds as he watched two of his teammates at each other throats. Maybe they'd injure each other and Inu could transfer to a new group. That wasn't how it worked, and he knew it. With a sigh, he walked over, plopping his butt on the desk's top next to Hideyo. "So... you think we should stop them from fighting, or just wait it out?" He asked, chewing on yet another sunflower seed. Sun was ecstatic. He made a new friend in RIka, and Takehiko was trying to be friends with Rika to! Now he had two friends! There was only one problem though. "Sun Sun, Kaenbyou Tsubasa, Ohara Ben, and the new student Hoshino Rika, you will all be up against your JET teacher, Xionglauhu!" So Takehiko was on a different team, meaning Sun couldn't defend them. He had just had to believe in the guy. It wasn't like this was life or death anyways, so he should be fine, right? Sun wasn't convinced, but he couldn't let the others know that. For now, his team had gathered to make a plan. Sun could make plans, very good plans in fact! He bet his friends would be blown away with his great plans! "Ah... Does the sheet say anything about whether we're expected to actually win? With a numbers advantage, I get the idea of us holding up at least a bit, but... Winning seems like a long shot any way I look at it." Rika asked. Sun blinked as he looked at her. Why wouldn't they be expected to win? That was the law of the jungle, win or lose, kill or be killed. It was the same here... except without the killing. Most people weren't animals, they'd stop before that. "Hey Tsubasa, Sun...and you said your name is Rika, right?" The man with the many spiders approached them, causing Sun to subconsciously scratch himself. "Ahem...sorry I didn't probably make a good impression when you walked in. I'm Benjamin O'Hara, but I usually go by Ben. Nice to meet you. So...I guess it's going to be us four as a team." "A team huh?" the mini jaguar girl suddenly spoke up, "well, then alternate winning or otherwise, you have nothing to work about Iroko. After all, you've got three people with you, and most importantly I'm here with you. So, as long as those things are true, we're definitely a sure win." Smiling more excitedly she said, "and besides, haven't you always wanted to fight a bear?" "I dunno what a bear is, but it sounds fun," Sun admitted. "Nothing... To worry about? I dunno, I think we've got plenty to worry about. We don't know what our actual task is gonna be, aside from trying to overpower someone with more practice and experience than us. ...Fight a bear? I can't say it really ever crossed my mind. Generally you're supposed to, like... Play dead against them, right? Maybe we can do that against the bear then. I'd say we should come up with a plan, but... What can we plan for when we don't know the specifics? Hopefully we can get some actual time before the exam to plot a bit." "Oh, oh, do not worry!" Sun said excitedly. "I, Sun, have a great plan!" He cleared his throat before he started to explain. "So, we're gonna have you all stand behind me so I can protect you all, and then, I'm going to throw a rock at the bear!" He paused, waiting for a response, before adding as an afterthought. "It's going to be a very big rock,"
  24. 5 likes
    As he stepped onto the bus, Yasha was confident he had everything he needed. He was a bit over-packed, even for the beach-- a beach umbrella, a tarp/blanket, a couple gallons of water in a cooler bag, enough sunscreen to give the sun cancer, spare batteries for his phone-- but he was comfortable with carrying all of it, as long as it meant he could do what he came here to do. "Oi, oi, oi. You coming, O'Hara?" He stopped in the doorway to look back at the lagging American on his phone. "Hm? ...o-oh...uh...were we just supposed to enter the bus? I thought...jeez...gotta remember I'm not in America anymore. Uh, yeah I'm coming..." The two ended up sitting together on the bus, and Yasha was practically vibrating the seat-- which was notable since, at this proximity, it nearly drowned out the engine of the bus. Benjamin noticed Yasha's general noises and shrugged some. "I take it you're excited for the beach, huh Yasha?" Yasha looked up. "Oh, uh." He cleared his throat. "No, not really. Saltwater gums up my tool hands, I'm at a greater risk of heatstroke than most, and of course there's... sand..." He shuddered, then shifted back to his usual cheerful tone. "Pretty much everything about the beach is a horrible experience for me!" He smiled toothily. "Yikes..." Benjamin shook his head slightly. "Annnnd you're still okay with going? Despite the threats and risks that it brings you?" Yasha nodded emphatically. "Oh, totally. It's all worth it." "Uh-huh...alright, I'll bite...why is it worth it to you?" Yasha's expression, to the extend he had one, became suddenly serious. He glanced around, as though there were someone listening, though of course, nobody was. "Alright, don't tell anybody, but..." He leaned in and whispered. "I really just came to see the girls in their swimsuits. Think about it: Seigi, Konpaku, Ukemei-- all of them. In swimsuits." Yasha's faceplate was already red, and he had no skin above the neck so of course he couldn't blush, but there was an actual puff of steam from roughly where his nostrils would be as he straightened back up. Benjamin was surprised by this sudden turn of events as Yasha confided this information to him. The general thought of it, actually caused him to blush some. He looked around, before putting a hand on the chair, having a spider crawl out from his hand to sit on the chair, just as a lookout. "...that's why you were gung-ho about this? ...also do we need to even add Rei into this category?" Benjamin whispered back to Yasha. No going back with this conversation. Yasha nodded and huffed again, producing more little puffs of steam and folding his arms. "Even a cold girl like Konpaku can look good in a swimsuit, O'Hara. Heck, even a plain-looking girl like Sanada looks good in a swimsuit. It's science." Benjamin was still silent for a bit, before raising an eyebrow. "...uh, isn't Ren a guy...?" Yasha's eye twitched. "Not again..." he wheezed.
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    Yay I got my first reputation point!
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    This is the NCM drawing resources, here you can learn to draw, see videos, programs, and etc that could help you. request drawings, learn to draw, get told how to draw, get critique, and etc. Only hand drawn things(from any program) are allowed, so no copy + pasting anything, but you can edit them however you like(warp them, put them in layers, overlay them, blur them, whatever you feel like doing), just not transplanting stuff from the internet. Some graphics programs you could use: Also, link your mobile phone to your PC to draw with it, if you feel like it. Use Chrome Remote Desktop or Teamviewer. A few throwaway tips of mine: Videos: A few of my drawings: Have fun!
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    pre-test jitters It was barely sunrise when Shoshiki arrived at the testing grounds. He would have left sooner, but decided that walking alone in the dark would be a bit too much for him. It wasn't a big deal, his hotel was only a few blocks away, but Shoshiki decided to play it on the safe side. He was simply being reasonable, nothing more. As far as he could tell, only one girl had arrived before him. She looked distracted, yet determined. Shoshiki figured she was probably friendly enough, but decided not to risk it. Who knows what kind of person could be here, she could have a quirk even grislier than his own. And so Shoshiki Kojin stood almost completely still at the edge of the waiting area, as the rest of the hopefuls arrived. It wasn't long before the gates opened, allowing Shoshiki and the rest of the applicants to make their way in. It seemed the testing ground had both a forest and a cityscape, two environments Shoshiki could only hope he would be able to use to his advantage. As a man in some kind of antique-styled armor explained the test, Shoshiki couldn't help but be distracted by the rest of the entrants, "To get this far…” was that a giant beetle? Did beetles eat meat? One of this size was probably very hungry... “forest type area, and a city type area…” a guy with blue hair and headphones was watching the samurai explain, but looked like he would rather be literally anywhere else... “your objectives will all be the same.” With this, Shoshiki perked up. He should probably pay attention to this part. “In each area are a limited amount of badges that resemble the U.A. logo. To complete the practical, one must obtain five badges and return to the gate before sundown. It doesn't matter how you get your badges. Just so long as you're here, you'll be permitted to attend U.A." Using wording like that is going to make people think we are supposed to fight over these. "So if I beat the snot out of some dude with three badges, and take 'em, I get in?" The question came from an angry-looking, muscular girl, who seemed to be about as tall as Shoshiki himself. Despite her apparent confusion over how many badges she needed, her strategy concerned Shoshiki. He had never really fought before, let alone with someone who had been training their quirk for that purpose for what could be ten years. He felt a terrible sinking feeling inside him as the people surrounding him changed from unknown entities to threats. “...our very BEST!" A loud screech interrupted his thoughts, as Shoshiki quickly pivoted to find its source. As best as he could tell, she had some kind of bat quirk. Wait. Wouldn't that make her a vampire? Was she going to murder Shoshiki and drink his blood as sustenance? The samurai/teacher hybrid had said that they weren't supposed to kill each other, but this was a vampire, do the rules even matter at this point? Even as the vampire was scolded by another scary girl with red hair, Shoshiki still found himself feeling like prey. Even if not literally, everyone around him was determined to get into this school, and Shoshiki standing in their way wasn't going to make them change their minds. He could feel the threads of nerve tissue moving just beneath his skin, his flight or flight response coming on in full force. Should he team up with someone so as to have strength in numbers should they be attacked? Or would that just put him at risk of being betrayed once they had found a total of five badges? As the rest of the would-be students were beginning to socialize, Shoshiki was overcome with fear. Even as he could feel himself shaking from head to toe, he forced himself to take a few deep breaths, before making his way to the least terrifying person he could see, a small girl with silver hair. He reached up to tap her shoulder, but hesitated before he could. She might have acid skin or something, I should be more careful. Averting his vision, he awkwardly scratched at the back of his neck, speaking in such a subdued tone that he was hardly audible, "So, if people are planning to take the badges by force, it might be a better bet to stick together... I don't know you, but, you seemed a bit more pleasant and a bit less violent than the others I see here..."
  30. 5 likes
    Getting up in the morning had hardly been a problem for Yuuka. She had merely figured what time would be the best to wake up to get through her morning routine and set an alarm for then. Having gotten up just when she should, the girl had made her way to school, and arrived with some time to spare before their exam had actually begun. As such, it did her good to see that there were those even more ready and on time then her, and so she simply smiled brightly and contentedly, awaiting their exam time to start. Standing around, the girl simply looked and studied the two instructors before her, head to toe while listening to the directions they provided. "Oh, this might be some trouble," the girl merely muttered to herself. While she had her own concerns as to how to approach this test, to her great pleasure it had seemed that there were a large majority of other heroes to be that did not. Though there was some to be desired she glanced from student to student as they talked to each other, stretching herself out as she was instructed to do so all the while. Two girls who definitely had the confidence and physicality to be a hero, though definitely lack in the tact of one. One girl who - Yuuka winced - definitely had the energy levels of one. A boy, Shiba Yuudai, who seemed to have proper manners. And then there were two other girls in particular that managed to catch her attention. Both being full of spirit and a certain righteous quality that set them apart from the others so far. The girl merely smiled in glee, wondering just what the test had in store for them, while also looking forward to seeing more of her classmates. Turning her attention to the blonde haired girl, she merely raised her own fist into the air with a smile on her face echoing, "<justice>" in a much more subdued tone than the girl's, but still in English all the same.
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    A while back I made a custom archetype named "Abystella" (stars of the abyss) consisting on marine life with patterns of glowing yellow stars. Here's the art I drew for it: Whale Narwal Jellyfish Squid Mantaray Sea Dragon/Sea Horse Isopod Marlin Fisher Nautilus Sea Serpent Mermaid Art for Spells or Traps
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    "Alright gang, this has been Maya-chan! I've gotta get going. As you all know, Digimon World Online is coming out today and you know who is getting in at launch. I reaaaaaally wish I could I could stream it with you guys but you know how it goes. Game uses your real life appearance and that'd be trouble for me. But who knows, maybe we'll play with each other and not even realize it, that could be so fun! Let me know on my socials what you're planning to do with the game. I'll be talking about my experiences with it in upcoming streams just wont have much footage. Guess I'll have to come up with something. Maybe I can get Doki-kun to stream with me and we'll play the digimon card game while we talk about it! Oh there's so many things to do. You all know my stream times, if not it's down in the description along with my socials. Follow soon for exclusive signed merch, offer ends in two weeks! Keep it real and keep shining!" Click. Stream ended. "Uggggghhhhh" Came a moan as the face behind hit Vtuber Maya-Chan slumped back into her chair and planted her face down on her desk in front of her. Jeanne Sakamoto had just gotten done streaming for three hours and her day was only really just beginning. A thought crossed her mind why she was still doing this but the thought of disappointing so many fans seemed like more trouble than it was worth. She could see the social media threads over Maya-Chan leaving drama and the shit she'd have to go through the Vtuber company. Oh right them. A contract seemed like a pretty good reason to keep doing something too now that she thought about it. Before moping too much longer, Jeanne looked up from her den of depression to a clock to see she still had a scant few minutes before the DWO launch. "Well Jeane, you came this far. Might as well not be late." the woman muttered with a huff as she hauled the box of goods needed to play the game onto her desk. Opening it, deciphering instructions and assembling was easier than she had anticipated but still more complicated than any game had a right to be, at least in her opinion. She was tired enough that if she could have put off logging in for a day or two she would have. But she knew she wouldn't last a half hour of not showing up without Shion blowing her up in every conceivable method of communication. "I can't wait for this super awesome game." She said with as little life as she could muster. "Gonna be the greatest thing ever-" she was cut off the by digitizing process. 'Logging in.....User.......Maya.......DIGILIZING NOW' Never had Jeanne put much thought into what having her body deconstructed and turned into data would feel like. She figured it was just all overblown VR type stuff. But this was something else. But then all at once she was herself again just somewhere completely new. Somewhere that looked beautiful really. For a fake place in a game anyway. She was almost in awe until she was surrounded by other people all eagerly logging in for the first time. The starry-eyed masses quickly made her gut twist and turn. It wasn't like this was even the best graphics she'd ever seen in a game. Like sure she was actually in it but there were probably missing pixels or something. The girl's focus was on the CEO of the game company, Kazuki Iwakiri, who welcomed them all to Asuka City. Jeanne took the opportunity to move away from the congested spawn point to take in the bright eyed corporate speak. A game changing the course of history. Like that had ever happened. Still, at least the man wasn't going to take all day to get to what everyone actually wanted. A device, primarily white with dark purple accents, along with a soot black egg appeared before Jeanne as so many similar pairs of objects did for every other player at Iwakiri's word. Without warning the egg began hatching, revealing a bizarre looking black ball of something with yellow eyes. A Botamon it was, which Jeanne would know if she bothered to look it up in the game's information. She definitely didn't already know all about it. Having to lug this thing around was going to be troublesome but it was almost cute enough to justify it. But the CEO wasn't done handing out presents as the creatures all began their first evolution on the spot. Gone was the ball of black fur and in it's place a ball of gray fur with long ears. "Wait... is mine broken? How come mine didn't get arms or legs?" Jeanne voiced to no one in particular. This didn't seem to deter the creature though, who propped itself upright as much as a spherical creature could and puffed its non-existent chest. "I'm Pagumon! It's an honor to meet so soon Jeanne." Pagumon said, doing what looked like its best attempt at a bow. "So soon? Oh yeah didn't sign up all that lo- wait what?! Ah shit, I shoulda known they sold my data. Never use real names even when they ask for them, stupid!" She vented as Pagumon looked on concerned. "Please don't be upset. I've been waiting eagerly to meet you. This should be a happy time." the digimon offered, its ears drooping. "Aw c'mon Fido, dont start with that. I'm not mad at you, you didn't do anything." Jeanne responded, softening some. But Pagumon seemed peturbed. "Fido? I'm Pagumon." it asserted in confusion. "Yeah well you're like my dog now right, it's a nickname." the human offered in explanation. "You were given an opportunity when signing up to nickname me, you should have done so there. I am Pagumon and that's that." the furball stated. "You don't gotta be uptight about it." Jeanne said, clearly annoyed her new parter was such a stickler about these kinds of things. But there was no two ways about it. Jeanne kept calling Pagumon Fido and Pagumon continued to deny that was its name and demanded she address it properly if she wanted a reply. Still, Pagumon seemed overjoyed to be with Jeanne at all. As for Jeanne well, Pagumon was cute so it was lucky. The two left, Pagumon in Jeanne's arms as they talked some more. Jeanne explained she was looking for a friend and Pagumon suggested heading back to the spawn area as most players wouldn't have dispersed from there yet. A solid idea and one which the girl accepted. Now it was just a matter of looking for Shion. In a sea of faces. No problem there. Actually it ws a lot easier than anticipated as something caught the girl's eye. A raincloud, a tiny one at that, isolated entirely to the space just above a single player's head. That alone required a good laugh but no sooner did the woman look to see the poor soul with their own storm cloud than did Jeanne see her own best friend, Shion. That was too much, the girl burst out laughing as she approached. "Wow I really missed out on not pre-ordering huh?" she managed to get out when she stopped laughing enough to actually speak. Shion knew that laugh. It had a distinct vibe of "wow, this sucks, and you probably suck for getting so into it." She'd recognize it anywhere, and while she'd normally turn and greet its owner with a smile, she was already in a bit of a sour mood. And so, sour expression fully intact, Shion turned, and greeted Jeanne back with a "Oh, shut it. This was the most not-terrible pre-order bonus; how was I supposed to know the damn thing would be bugged?" "Wow, here I thought you were just trying to ruin the vibe for everyone on purpose. Was gonna be offended." Jeanne fired right back. At this point Pagumon interjected. "You shouldn't be rude to your friend!" it said very earnestly which only got another chuckle out of Jeanne. "We got every flavor of buzzkill here what'd I even sign in for?" "To be a better buzzkill than them, obviously," Shion answered. "And maybe to try and find game-breaking exploits so you can kill the devs' good moods too. The CEO didn't seem all that happy that his collector's edition bonuses were bugged when I met him. All I could get to make up for it was some bits, though." Jeanne could only give a typical whistle to fake being impressed. "CEO talking to nobodies huh? What an in touch and down to earth old guy. Be sure to threaten to refund if your... bonus here doesn't get fixed soon." Jeanne spoke, uncertain if she could call the endless raincloud a bonus with a straight face. "I'll make sure to do that. Give the devs a week, and if I'm still getting rained on, threaten a refund. 11,000 yen for a bugged poncho I need to wear." Shion finished that thought with one of the driest, most sarcastic "Woohoo"s one would likely hear. "Oh, loosely related, do you want to hit up the shops before we check out what this game's got to offer? I've got a nice chunk of bits, and I'd like to pick up some extra..." Shion pointed up at the raincloud hovering over her. "Equipment." Jeanne feigned shock this time as she reeled backward dramatically placing a hand across her chest. "Is it my birthday?" she teased. "Well far be it from me to deny charity in any mmo. And I'm not even being told to change my password to something specific must really be my lucky day. We'll get you fixed right up Miss Sunshine." Jeanne added to rub salt in the wound. "Miss Sunshine, haha," Shion sighed, leaving an obviously fake laugh behind as she got up, and opened her map. A map which, to her great relief, was rather well-made. Everything was clear, labeled, zoom functions worked properly, it was by all means a very nice map. It was surprising how easy it was to botch a map system in these kinds of games, really. After confirming the location of the nearest clothing store, Shion pointed in its general direction, said "That way," and started in that direction, gesturing for Pomumon and Jeanne to follow. She could feel the funny looks being sent her way. She didn't mind that, mostly. The ones she did mind were the ones from players with what she recognized as being other collector's pre-order bonuses. If she didn't know any better, she could have sworn one of them off-handedly commented how glad they were they didn't pick the poncho. "For all the odds and ends in this thing's settings - it came with its own settings window, by the way - you'd think they would have checked that it can be switched off," Shion sighed. Jeanne for her part had been taking in the sights but more especially the people giving Shion funny looks. It was all she could do to not start laughing about the whole affair again. "Well for all his happy vibes and bravado for us noobs you know that CEO guy has to be overworking his team to be doing well... this." Jeanne said while motioning with her arms to a vague nothing. "This turning people into data stuff's kinda wild. Dunno if I'd be impressed or worried for the employees health if there weren't some bugs here and there." She paused, an off-handed comment about a way better pre-order bonus getting a snicker from her. "But hey, there's some positives to it all. Like how I'll never lose you in a crowd, or how I'll always have a conversation starter with everyone we meet 'cuz I can always just be like 'yeah that's me and my localized weather anomaly if you look closely you can see the rain is actually just the tears of all the disappointed pre-orderers". All said, I see this as an absolute win... you know, long as you aren't hugging me or anything." Jeanne added with a playful look of disgust. She did not intend to get wet simply be proximity to her best friend simply because said best friend wouldn't remove a cosmetic she didn't have to keep on. But then again Shion asserted she did have to keep it on and who was Jeanne to argue that? A foolish question really, Jeanne was never going to let it go. "Well, at least one of us is having a good time with this. And that's exactly what I'm doing here." Ah yes. Here. The clothing shop. The way Shion heard it, back when MMOs were not run through VR, the shop was generally just an NPC that you talked to, the list of items appeared, you traded in currency, and that was it. What a bore that sounded like, as if the shopkeep just had magical pockets containing their entire stock! Fortunately, those days were gone, and the shops of a VR MMO were at least a little more immersive. You could interact with the shelves or boxes, or in this case the racks of clothing. You could pull an item out from the lists - organized lists based on what you were interacting with - and examine it before buying, or even try it on in the case of clothes and other equipment. Then, once you were ready to buy, you could just hit the purchase button, trade in your currency, and your better MMO shopping experience was concluded. Immersive, intuitive, ingenious. "Say, since we're here and all, do us both a favor. Check around the place and try to pick up something for yourself." Pointing up above her head again, Shion added "Buy as if you were dealing with this instead of me. My treat. I'm gonna check the footwear and see about replacing my soaked shoes with something waterproof." "My whatever do you mean? I can only see the smiling faces of my friends. I don't see glitches." Jeanne teased as she left to look into wet weather gear. As she perused lists of items, Pagumon couldn't help but speak up having been a largely silent listener in the conversation between the two girls. "Are you two really friends?" it asked with an honesty and earnestness that might have made the woman choke had she been drinking something. Or staring up into her own personal raincloud. Crazy what not having one of those would do. "That's a silly question." Jeanne asserted. Having a piece of data analyze her relationships seemed like a waste of time. What did robots and algorithms know about any of this? "But you seem to always be bothering each other." Pagumon added, its ears drooping again. "It's a girl thing, kinda hard to understand I know but it is what it is. If you wanna think we're friends that works fine. It is the easiest way to put things." Jeanne remarked coldly as she settled on a matching pair of umbrellas, each wildly plastered with the logo for DWO and several of the posterchild digimon. "My god, they're hideous. Perfect." She said with an evil smirk. The redundancy of needing an umbrella while in a raincoat was going to drive Shion up a wall and Jeanne only wished she had a camera for it. "Let's go find our friends." Jeanne said to Pagumon who agreed happily.
  33. 4 likes
    i made this quick video to answer this question
  34. 4 likes
    Only 8 Days in, ladies and gentlemen...
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    I had already given a like to this in the morning but I gotta say I am extra grateful to this little speech as one of the only beacons of positivity after all the events that have transpired today online. Thought it'd be good to let this thought out. To be honest back in the mod thread of the other site I let myself get annoyed by Horu's randomness and as a result I ended up venting out a private matter for a user that was just... there, with no votes or influences or much else to do with anything. An ad hominem that Dae was right to call out on along with all the hell breaking loose over there. Contributing to all that ruckus is something I still regret, and this time around I'd rather not go back in the gutter again. I don't even care I didn't win anymore, as I think I stopped deserving to the moment I did what I did anyways. Coming back to this thread relaxes me a bit so I'm using it as a sort of confessionary while I'm at it. It reminds me that there is this spot of the internet we have here, and although I wish it had the same traffic as the other place, it is still a space to be thankful for. It makes the issues and drama on the other side look smaller, and for members that came from YCM to make themselves a place over here, NCM should be "it" right? As much as I think YCMaker is pretty questionable to say the least, we should be able to look at things from a distance and with a more calm and collected approach. After all, Neo is home now, not YCM, isn't it? Now, I say this as somebody that has kept lurking on both sides and is dragged most to where my art buddies hang out (which has been like 90% YCM and discord this year) so I don't believe I deserve to include myself in this, but I do really wholeheartedly wish this place flourished a lot more and I could convince my friends to come here... Sorry for the aimless ranting, and let's hope we have a brighter year ahead of us....
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    The two brothers listened, unsure what to do. The creator of the world itself was offering them a wish. What could they wish for? Power beyond imagining? No, that felt wrong. They made it this far on their own strength, they could continue to grow even stronger. Overwhelming riches? No, they didn't want money. At the end of the day, Denku at the very least knew what he wanted. Taking a step forward, Denku made himself know. "Can you heal my heart disease?" the older brother asked. "I mean, it might be possible Xerenas already healed it, but I don't know for sure, and I rather not risk passing up a chance to be rid of this damned disease forever," Arceus looked at him and nodded to Denku's utter relief. It seemed he didn't have to worry anymore about it. The older brother turned to the younger brother, tilting his head and waiting to see what Kazo would wish for. The Gabite didn't say anything at first, his mind whirling with ideas. In the end though, he really only wanted one thing, a single wish that could never be granted... he wanted to have a race with Latios. But Latios was gone now, and the dead wouldn't rise again. Nothing else really came into his head. "I... I guess I'll pass on that wish," Kazo said sheepishly with a shrug. "Everyone else made the wish I would, and... the only thing left can't be granted," He smiled though. "But, just seeing the world go on and seeing it become better is reward enough for me," Was Kazo an idiot for passing this once in a lifetime opportunity? Probably. The Years Pass By After saving the world, the two brothers did many more things, perhaps not worthy of legend, but grueling to them nevertheless. The two of them joined Randy in wrestling, becoming a popular tag team for several years. They had grueling training and hellish fights, but it was exciting to them, and they were together. After five years however, the two retired, and they went their separate ways. Denku, using his savings he gained from his winnings, had moved back to Juyu and opened an orphanage, where he took in many kids and helped them find new homes. Meanwhile, Kazo went to train even more, to become stronger, to become faster, to become better than he ever was before, and eventually, became a Disciple of Ideals himself. Ten years later Denku took a large sip of his drink to hide the smirk on his face. He was now a Tyranitar, with a big and sturdy body that was nearly a mountain, yet every kid in the orphanage was climbing all over Kazo, who desperately just wanted to get a drink of the hot chocolate Denku's wife gave him. While Denku hit a major growth spurt and his hair changed to a healthier shade of green, these changes seemed minuscule compared to how Kazo changed. The now Garchomp was even taller than he was before, and unlike his old scrawny self, the Garchomp had some muscle on him. The most drastic change on him however, was that his hair had partially turned white, apparently due to a mistake during his training under Zekrom. The kids seemed to think it was cool though, so Kazo didn't care too much. "Uncle Kazo, tell us another story!" a Joltik clinging to the dragon's arm begged. "Yeah, yeah! Come on, tell us!" A Totodile on his shoulder added. "It's been a whooooooooole month!" "Hey, hey, I'm runnin' outta stories here, you know?" Kazo joked. "I don't go around doing amazing things 24/7," "The most amazing thing you could do right now is get a girlfriend," Denku teased, not even reacting to the dirty look Kazo shot him. "Uncle Kaz doesn't have time for things like that!" The Totodile claimed. "He's too busy being a super hero!" "Oh, but what if Kazo had a partner to help him with the superhero-ing?" Denku asked. "Maybe someone like... I dunno, Latias?" "I should have never told you about that kiss," Kazo groaned. "That happened a long time ago... and... well... you know, I don't... well, I don't...," "Kaz," Denku sighed before looking at him. "You need to stop beating yourself up. Latios's death wasn't---," "Wasn't my fault, I know, I know, that's what everyone tells me," Kazo muttered. The two kids, sensing their uncle's discomfort, let go of his arms and wandered into a different room. With a sigh, Kazo picked up his cup of hot chocolate and took a sip. "Look... I just... it probably wouldn't work anyways, okay? Legend and all," Denku nodded as he took another drink, a thoughtful look on his face. "... Zygarde," He said simply as Kazo took another sip, causing the dragon to spittake, a bright blush on his face. "I JUST SAID THAT LEGENDS AND----," "You should of wished for some courage with women back when we saved Arceus," Denku interrupted with a smirked, causing Kazo to scowl. "Nope, nope, nope. I can't, I just can't, I'm out," Kazo said as he stood up. "Later kids!" Kazo yelled into the house. "Uncle Kazo's heading out!" Grabbing the tip of an invisible hat, he moonwalked away, heading out the door and heading outside. Kazo sighed to himself as he ran, the world just a blur around him as he moved. After all his training, he could run much faster and for much longer, letting him travel across the continent in a record breaking time. His current plan right now was to check in with Weynon first and figure out the rest of his week from there. He was coming up to the city of Oasis when he decided to slow down. He wasn't expecting to see Mac here or anything, but he could check in on her folks for her for the next time they met. As he slowed down however, he noticed a band of bandits attacking what looked like a group of two or three families. "Well... that won't do," Kazo thought as thunder rumbled in the distance. He walked forward with purpose, cracking his knuckles as he approached one of the bandits, grabbing the man's head and tossing him to the side as easily as one would throw away garbage. The taunting and jeering the bandits were doing to intimidate the families died down as everyone realized what had happened, all eyes landing on the Disciple of Zekrom. "Oy, who the hell are you?" One of the bandits snapped, causing Kazo to smirk. "I get called a lotta things, but right now, I'm feeling like... I'm the storm that's approaching," Kazo felt pretty good about that one, especially as thunder rumbled just as he finished his sentence. Even Zekrom would have to think that was badass, right? Each bandit began to move towards Kaz, but faster than they could blink, they felt Kazo's fist bury into their guts, causing them all to fall to the ground in less than a second. "Heh, not even using any attacks. You wanna just leave now or make me use a Draco Meteor?" The bandits were quick to run. Cowards. Still, that made it much easier. With a smile, he turned to the families. "Oasis isn't much farther, a ten minute walk at best! Safe travels!" Before he could run off however, someone called out to him. "Wait!" Turning, Kazo could see it was a small Bagon that had called out, barely looking over eight years old. "Do... do you think that I could grow up to be a hero like you?" Hero. He hadn't been called that in awhile. It brought back some good memories of some old friends though. "A hero, huh?" Kazo asked as he rubbed his chin playfully. He turned around, showing his back to the kid before looking over his shoulder. "Well, can you keep up with me?" The Bagon, to their credit, didn't back down, in fact, it seemed a fire was lit inside of them. "I'll keep up with you! In fact, I'll surpass you!" They answered with the confidence of a Helioptile from days long past. "Good answer," Was all Kazo said before he ran off, the dragon rushing to his next adventure. The Guardian and the Hero FIN
  37. 4 likes
    After Mac finished speaking, a small Litleo scurried forward. "You always beat me to the punch," he complained, but his jovial tone took the bite away from his words. Turning to look up at Arceus, the smile slid from his face as he remembered her earlier statement. His chest had tightened upon seeing the blue-haired girl get her mother to live, but that was just saving an existing life. Once they were dead... "I understand," Ari said solemnly in a continuation of what the legendary had said earlier. "To bring back the dead would be going against the Circle of Life. I was taught that much at home." His father, especially, as the God of Life's Disciple, had made sure that stuck, but it didn't make the fact any less painful. The mere memory was enough to bring on a wave of emotion that he could only hold back with some difficulty. Regaining his composure--because he was a prince, and that was what princes did--the Litleo blinked, straightening his shoulders. "What I wish for is..." before, he would've wished to be strong enough to make everybody proud of him, and he still wanted that, but he didn't think it right to get that through a wish. In the end, he was only as strong as he made himself. "That everybody in Pride Rock may live in peace," his words grew uncharacteristically formal as he drew himself up with rare dignity. "That the divide that stands between lion and non-lion goes away. But I don't think that's something you can wish for either." He smiled sadly. "That kind of result can only be brought about by gijinka working together to achieve it. At least, that's what I believe." His smile brightened, and he was the normal Ari again. "So in the end, I guess I wish for nothing. I guess I just came here and wasted your time, huh?" But as he walked back, he paused, turning around. "Oh wait! I did think of something! If you could repair the damage done to Pride Rock, that'd be great. Mom said they're still trying to repair it." His smile widened. "So I guess I do have a wish, after all." -- No bringing back the dead, then? I expected as much, but still... If Easter had a choice, that would have been his wish. To bring back the Eevee child...but perhaps it was for the best this way. They had been dead for years, after all. He was glad that Dora got her wish granted, though. He had been worried about how she would react once her mother died. At least Brooke is here and would've been there for her. And me too. Denku as well, perhaps. The Sylveon hung back till most of the others had been granted their wishes. Because he didn't know what he wanted. That was the problem. To be granted a wish...it felt so cheap. He had always done things through his own power, if one left aside the fact that most of his moves relied on the power of the cosmos, so technically... And I'm stalling. I honestly...don't know. Eventually, he knew he had to do something, so he stepped forward. "My wish...I don't know," he said plainly. "I still don't know where I'm going, or what I'm going to do." This was the most honest he had been in a long time. "But I don't think I want to just waste a wish either." He tilted his head, thinking. That Litleo had a nice idea. Repairing his home. For a second, he thought about asking that for Deku, but, remembering the proud tilt to the heads of the town survivors, he changed his mind. No, rebuilding is the work of ordinary gijinka. We take pride in producing results with our own power. Which meant that was out. So then something that would aid his goals? But he didn't even know what those were anymore. For the longest time, he had wanted to grow stronger, no, to be the strongest. But now that didn't seem to matter anymore. Protection, that's what mattered. But he still wasn't good enough for that yet either. If he wanted to be able to protect others, he had to train further. These last battles had shown him that much. So perhaps, going off of that, he didn't need to amend his initial goals that much. He had to become stronger so he could protect others. In which case, he could continue on the path he had set himself on all those years ago. "I think I know what I want now. I thought that I had been wrong before, in wanting to gain strength, but I wasn't. I just wanted it for the wrong reasons." He smiled gratefully at Dora, Brooke, and Denku, who had helped him to reconcile himself with that notion. And that last conversation with Nine had been enlightening as well. "So I will be stronger, but that's not my wish. Instead," his blue eyes lit up with mischief. "My wish is that you set aside some time in the future for a match. One of the best ways to grow stronger is to fight strong opponents, and I can think of no one stronger than you." He winked. Afterward, the Sylveon swaggered back to his place, grinning like the Delcatty that got the cream. Until he realized what he could've wished for, and his face turned as long as a Rapidash. Damn, I could've wished for a year's supply of sweets, or even better...limitless sweets! It was too late now though. Oh well. Getting to fight Arceus was a once-in-a-lifetime chance. He could get sweets anytime, so he had to just stay strong. No matter how tempting they sounded. -- Keanu knew right away what he wanted to wish for, and he didn't waste any time when he came up for his turn. "I want help," he said flatly. "Help to bring us," he nodded at Randy, Marie, and Nani, "back to our home, and help to fight off the Beasts that took it from us." He looked back up at Arceus. "Maybe it's too big a wish for one gijinka to make, but that's what I want. Other than that...well, I can't think of any other kind of wish." Maybe a girlfriend? But no, that wasn't really a priority. Though, speaking of wahine... "Actually, I thought of something. I'd like it if you could repair the damage done to Kalia's mind, though I don't know if you can..." But if the god could repair physical damage, then couldn't she repair emotional or mental damage as well? "I know it's probably hard to forgive her for joining in with the Godslayers, but I don't think she was in her right mind." Keanu turned to the other Alolans. "Kalia...you've heard of her, right? She was quite famous back on Alola. Well, she managed to arrive in Adarid as well, but unlike us, she was alone... And so she decided to follow that evil Houndoom, believing it was the only way to go back to Alola. I wasn't able to convince her otherwise, but I can't just leave her alone either. She's an Alolan, like us. It feels wrong to leave her like this." Had it been him who had washed up on Adarid alone, he was sure he would've turned out similarly. And so, he couldn't really blame the Sandslash for what she had done, even though she had almost killed him. Yes. They were going to go home to Alola. All of them. Nobody would be left behind. Epilogues ==== Ariel: The Wise ==== "Hey, um...Jabari?" Ari approached the Zebstrika nervously, hands clasped together. "I, uh, need your help with something. I know it's probably not right for me to ask you of this, after everything we've done to your people, but..." he took a deep breath, and then looked the former Godslayer in the eye. "I don't think I can do this without you." -- "Your Highness! I've been looking everywhere for you!" Zago panted. "I had thought the worst, but I'm glad that isn't the case." "Yeah, I'm glad to be back too, Zago," the Litleo smiled before his expression turned serious. He turned to the Zebstrika behind him with a nod. "Because there's a lot to be done." -- "They won't approve, you know," his mother said, eyes sad as she watched her son go through paperwork. He was far too young to be tackling such a serious issue. "I know they won't. But I don't care. They won't approve because it takes away their privilege," Ariel, formerly known as Ari, snorted. "Well, we all saw where that lead us. If you tell somebody he's not as good as somebody else because he wasn't born a lion, well, you're just lying to them. And I know this much: lying is bad. Because of that lie, my uncle got my father killed, and himself as well. The God of Life almost died too." He shook his head. "Jabari's working hard on his end. I have to uphold my end as well." "I understand," the queen smiled. "I'm proud of you, Ariel." "I know. Thanks, Mom." -- "We did it," Ariel turned to Jabari with tears in his eyes. "We did it." He held up the stone slate, admiring the writing on it as he turned it this way and that. "It's set in stone now. This is the new law of the jungle." "They're waiting for you," Jabari nodded. The scarred warrior's countenance had changed; the ice had thawed from his blue eyes and his stance had relaxed. To the side, his younger sister Dalia stood, staring proudly at the two who had just made history. "No..." Ariel shook his head. "They're waiting for us. All of us. I couldn't have done this without you, Jabari." He smiled sadly. "I know this cannot make up for years of oppression, but I'd like to think it's a step in the right direction." "You did what I couldn't do before...for Dalia," the Zebstrika said. "You're a true hero." "I don't know about that. I think if anybody here is the hero, it's you," Ariel said honestly as he turned to the former Godslayer. "Your suffering pushed you into the abyss, but you crawled your way back out of that, protecting me and the other children from that Lucario. Not just anybody could do that." "Yeah, accept it, big brother. You're a hero, and not just to me anymore, but to everybody." "Me, a hero?" Jabari looked disbelieving for a second, face turning serious as he mulled it over. Eventually, he nodded, mouth quirking into a small, genuine smile. "I think...I can start believing that now." -- The Pyroar stood at the tip of the rock that gave Pride Rock its name. Next to him stood Jabari, and to the side, Zago, Dalia, and his mother the former Queen Leah. On the ground below stood a multitude of gijinka. Lions rubbed shoulders with zebras, and giraffes stood at attention next to hyenas. While there were still some who kept to their own kind, they were the minority and not the majority. The lion's chest swelled up in pride at the sight. "Thank you, everybody, for being here," he smiled. "This day is an auspicious one. Not just for me as king but for you all as well. Today marks the first year anniversary since we implemented the Gijinka Rights Act. As you all know, this act marked a change in our history. A change for the better. Before, we were divided, but now, we are one. Lions do not stand above zebras, and hyenas are no longer considered outcast." He paused as the crowd cheered below him. "When this Act was first made, many of you were skeptical. Many of you thought that it couldn't be done, that centuries of hatred and prejudice could not be wiped out overnight. And you were right," his expression turned sober. "This is not the work of a single year, but a lifetime...no, many lifetimes. When this day has passed, the fanfare has died, and you return to your homes, you must keep what you have heard here in mind. Because equality is not made in glamorous speeches, but in the actions that we make each and every day." "When I was younger, I never dreamed that I would set my mind to this issue. For me, it wasn't an issue because it was normal. Well, that 'normal' is no longer normal. I say this: the new normal is equality!" another cheer. "And though I never dreamed that I would do this as king, now that it has been done, I couldn't be prouder. I say here and now, I cannot think of anything nobler, or more important, than what we all worked together to achieve one year past. What has been achieved is bigger than what a mere king could do. Because it is through all of your efforts that this has been made possible." As the crowd cheered once more, he smiled. "And though this day is equally small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things, I believe it should be celebrated. Because this day was when things started to move in a new direction for this land. Henceforth, this day shall be known as the Day of Equality." The people cheered, and the Pyroar's smile widened when he noticed a couple of familiar faces in particular among the crowd. They came. I'm so glad that they're here to see this. I wonder if Dad is watching from above as well? I can't help but think that he'd be proud of me, and what I've done here. And to think it had all started when he ran away from home. Though that choice had brought its share of sorrows, he couldn't bring himself to regret it, or the friends and family he made along the way. ==== Easter: The Guardian ==== "It's good to see you again, Dora. Sorry, Brooke couldn't be here. She's busy getting her shop set up right now. I'm here on her behalf though!" "Easter! Did you bring any candy? No, wait, I should get YOU candy!" "I brought some, you little scamp," Easter pinched her cheek--ignoring the nearby guard's look of shock--before bringing out a wrapped candy and presenting it to the Quagsire to take. "This is a Rare Candy. It's supposed to be super tasty and help you grow big and strong." "Yay! But we already saved the world do I need to get even stronger?" "Well, there's nothing wrong with being strong. And I heard it tastes pretty good too!" "Then I'll take it! Hey, hey, do you want to meet my mama?" "I think I've already met her, but sure," the fairy type replied with some amusement. When he saw the queen, he almost didn't recognize her, so different was she than the bedridden woman from before. Now, the woman appeared the very picture of health, with a regal bearing befitting her status as she smiled down at the Sylveon. "Easter! It's been a while. Thank you for coming to visit Dora. She's been a little lonely." Easter smiled back, the smile widening when he heard the Quagsire's confused sounds in the background. "I'm always happy to see Dora. And I'm pleased to see you're doing well, too." "Yes, I have much to be thankful to Arceus for. And to Dora, for thinking of me. I couldn't ask for a better daughter." "And she couldn't ask for a better mother," the Sylveon replied, tone slightly wistful. -- "Do you think...this is a good idea?" Morgan asked the gijinka next to her. Her big brother, who had, for her sake, decided to visit their parents in Northshore. "No, I think it's a terrible one," Easter replied flatly. "But I said I'd visit, and I'm not one to break my promises." He stared at the front door of the house he had grown up in as he shifted from foot to foot. "Oh, look, Lewis dear, the prodigal son has returned," a Flareon sniffed. Though she had aged much since the last time he had seen her, Easter knew her right away. There was no mistaking that disdainful expression. "Son? I have no son, Catherine," the Espeon at her side replied. "Just a disgrace for a daughter." The Eevee shrunk beneath his gaze. "Stop that," Easter snapped, moving forward. "You should be ashamed of yourselves. I don't care what you think about me, but Morgan loves you both and works hard for your sake. Can't you two see that?" "All I see is a disgraceful girl who chooses to associate with riffraff and ruffians. Not to mention," the man stared at Easter's clothes in disgust, "homosexuals." "Just because somebody dresses like this, doesn't mean they're homosexual," the Sylveon snapped. "I happen to be so, yes, but that has nothing to do with my fashion choices." "Regardless, you're not welcome here in Northshore. Leave, before I call the militia on you!" Easter stared at the man in disbelief. "It's been years, and you won't change your mind? At all?" "Of course not! It's obvious you haven't changed one bit since you left!" his mother cut in fiercely. The Sylveon shook his head. "No, you're the ones who haven't changed." He sighed. "I did expect this, though." He turned around, looking back. "All right, I'll go. But you should listen to what I said before about Morgan." "Get out of here. Now." The Espeon glared at the fairy type. "Come now, Morgan, let's get you inside. I cannot believe you. I knew we should've stopped you from associating with those Alolan savages from before. Ever since you met them, you've become so willful." The Eevee stared up at her mother for a few long seconds before shaking her head. "No." "I beg your pardon?" "No, I'm not going inside. I've had enough." Her lip wobbled. "I love Northshore, and the people here, but I want to explore the world too! I know that there's so much more beyond this town, and I want to see it! I'll come back when I'm done, though. Promise!" "You don't know what you're saying!" "She knows exactly what she's saying," Easter corrected. "So it's your fault!" Lewis snapped, whipping around. "I should've known you'd have put her up to this!" "No, this decision was all Morgan's. And it's your own fault for not realizing what your own daughter wants." Easter turned away from the pair, unable to bear looking at them any longer. "Come on, Morgan. Let's go." -- "You're sure of this then?" Easter asked, gazing at his newly-evolved kid sister. "Yeah," Morgan nodded. "I'm sure. I've grown stronger traveling with you and helping you fight legendaries--even if I usually get knocked out right away--but I can't rely on you forever. I want to strike out on my own. Maybe see if I can find Marie! You'd like her, she's super cool and awesome and--!" "I'm sure I would," the Sylveon interrupted. "Do you want me to accompany you until you find her then?" The Flareon beamed up at him. "Nah, that's fine. I told ya, I've gotta grow stronger by myself. And you don't have time to be getting off track anyway. Don't you have that delivery to make for Brooke?" "Ah, you're right," Easter frowned. "And I don't think she'd be too happy if it were late either." "See? Don't worry about me. You've got enough to worry about on your end." The Flareon nudged his shoulder. "Go on then. I'll see you sometime, big bro!" "Fine, fine, take care of yourself, all right?" -- Easter stared at the children running down the streets of the newly rebuilt Deku. Barefoot, and in ragged clothes that barely covered their skeletal frames, they looked as if one good gust would blow them right over. "Kinda sad, huh?" Brooke said, walking up behind him. "You'd think it's Thundurus's fault, but Deku's always been this way. A lot of kids get thrown out 'cause nobody wants 'em." She sighed. "It's not the worst. They'll band together, join a good gang if they're lucky. That's really the only way they'll survive around here." The Sylveon didn't reply for a long time. He couldn't help but see the faces of the children he knew superimposed over theirs. Dora, Fawkes, Morgan...if they had been forced to live like that... "The only way, huh...?" he clenched his fists. "I don't want to believe that. These children deserve better than that." -- Easter stared out at the waves from the crow's nest. Being back on the S.S. Showdown again with the old crew, even if just for a reunion, felt bittersweet. "I heard you turned down becoming a Disciple." A familiar voice called out from behind. Easter twitched, turning to the gijinka he had once thought of as his one and only. "News gets around." "Of course. It's not every day a gijinka completes the Chaser challenge, and then turns around and denies an offer like that. Why'd you do it?" "Because, I don't want to be the strongest anymore, John," the Sylveon said softly. "I have a different goal now. I want to protect others. And I think I found out how I'm going to do that." -- There it was. Easter stared at the finished building with pride. It had taken a lot of effort and money, but it was finally complete. The first orphanage of Deku, and perhaps Adarid as a whole. With this, those kids wouldn't have to grow up on the streets. They could hopefully live normal lives with people who cared about them. "Thanks for helping with this, Brooke," Easter said, turning to the Emboar beside him. "I don't think I'd have gotten this thing built and funded without you." Brooke wouldn't hear of it. "If anything I should be thanking you. The least I can do for those kids is throw some poke at someone who actually wants to HELP them." She gave him a friendly nudge. "I wish I'd had someone like you around when I was growing up. Kids shouldn't have to raise themselves." The Sylveon chuckled bashfully. "Ahh, well, I'm glad to help. I know this won't solve all their problems, and I can't help all the kids of the world, but, I want to help those I can." It didn't matter that he wasn't related to them. The blood of the covenant was thicker than the water of the womb, after all. He had seen that firsthand with his own parents. Hopefully, he could do better with these kids than his parents had with him. -- "Hey, ya 'aven't paid yer taxes. There's a fee t'own a buildin' in this area, see?" a thuggish-looking Arbok sneered at a young Teddiursa gijinka standing outside the orphanage. The child backed up, his eyes tearing at the corners, but he found he couldn't go any further, since the rest of the kids that had snuck out to play were huddled behind him. "Yeah, yeah, what bro said," a Weezing gijinka agreed as he flexed his muscles. "An' if ya can't pay, well, ya can just work the debt off!" "Or they can go back to what they were doing, and you can go back to what you were doing before you so rudely threatened my young charges," a soft, feminine-sounding voice said. The thugs turned toward the sound. The Weezing sneered. "Oh yeah? An' yer gonna make us? Yer nuthin' more than a--wow!" his eyes almost bugged out of his head when he saw who had spoken. "Woman, whaddaya say to leavin' this dump an' comin' with me an' my bro here?" The speaker, a pretty Sylveon, smiled at him. "Sorry, but I'm not interested. Unless, of course," she cracked her knuckles, "that outing involves my fist meeting your gut. Then I'll gladly agree," her smile turned even more angelic. As the two paled, she continued speaking. "Think of it this way. You're lucky Brooke wasn't the one that caught you two, or you'd be even worse off. Then again, I'd like to think I'm pretty merciless as well," she giggled. "By the way, I'm a boy. Idiots," the last word dripped with contempt. He turned back toward the children, a gentler smile on his face. "Go inside and wash up for dinner now, kids. This won't take long at all." -- "When I grow up, I want to be a princess like Cousin Dora!" "When I grow up, I want to run a shop like Auntie Brooke!" "Well, when I grow up, I want to beat up bad guys while wearing a dress like Papa does!" "Copycat!" "No, you are!" "No, you!" "All right, settle down, everybody. You're all copycats," Easter snickered. "No, we aren't!" "Get him!" "Papa, I'll show you how strong I can be!" The Sylveon chuckled as the kids stopped their squabbling, working together to dogpile him. His path had taken many turns, some he had never expected, but he didn't regret a single bit of it. He had finally found it--a purpose in life. His reason to live. ==== Keanu: The Wave ==== Keanu stared out across the ocean from his position on the banks of Northshore, singing softly to himself. "Somewhere, beyond the sea, somewhere waitin' for me...Alola stands on golden sands, and watches the ships...that go sailin'." "Are you thinking of home?" a familiar voice caused him to turn, the song cut off. Standing there was Lunala, expression wistful. The Raichu was certain his expression matched hers. "Ae," he affirmed. "I can't help but miss it, after all. I know Arceus said she'd help, but..." "It's normal to doubt, and normal to hope," the legendary replied. "I too, worry that we might not be able to return." "Well, if we do return, then home will be a sight for sore eyes, that's for sure." He had grown fond of Adarid, even with its strange culture of fighting, but it wasn't home. Home was where the heart was, and his still lay in Alola. -- "There it is," Keanu whispered to himself from his position on the bow of the boat. "Home." His eyes began to water, but he blinked away the tears before they could form. It wouldn't do for the others to think he'd gone soft or something. Not when he'd already proven to be one of the weakest of them all. Passing out not just once, but twice in that battle against the Godslayers did not do good things for his rep. "I didn't think I'd get to see it again," he said, turning to the others on the boat. "Alola, in all its glory." It looked almost like a cloudbank resting atop the waves, but Keanu knew that was no cloud, but an island, and one of many. But just because he could see it, didn't mean he could return there. Not permanently, anyway. They had to first fight to reclaim the land from the Beasts that had taken over. His expression turned pained. I have to be ready to fight and face the Beasts that killed my family. Honestly, he wasn't sure he could do it, but it was too late for second thoughts now. -- The fighting was harsh. Keanu dove out of the way of a blast of energy, turning and firing back with a Thunderbolt. Panting for breath, he ducked behind a crumbled building. This is hard. Harder even than the Godslayer fights. At least then I only had to fight one enemy at a time. And I had others with me. He had gotten separated in the melee. A rookie mistake, but nobody ever said Keanu was skilled at fighting. He was no Randy, that was for sure. And there's another attack. Great. His position revealed, the Raichu jumped, using his psychic powers as extra leverage, and narrowly avoiding getting toasted in the process. He leaped onto a wave, toward the Beast that had just attacked him. Thankfully, he managed to hit, and he jumped down, kicking off of his opponent in the process. Just then, he froze, a prickle of fear running through him. What did I miss? A flash of light at the corner of his eyes caused him to turn, seeing a beam headed straight toward him. It was too close to avoid and too powerful to survive without major injuries. And then a storm of Swift stars arrived, redirecting the attack so it sailed past him instead. "This is not the first time I have had to save you," a blue-haired Sandslash hummed with some amusement as she landed at his side. "And it won't be the last time either," Keanu quipped. "Indeed," the woman nodded, holding her hand up as long claws grew out from it. "Shall we?" her face twisted into one of aggressive glee as she let out a manic laugh. "Those fools will rue the day they thought to challenge our might!" "Er...ae. Exactly," the Raichu agreed with less enthusiasm. "I'd really hoped Arceus would be able to cure you entirely, but I guess that was expecting too much," he muttered under his breath. "What was that?" the former Godslayer asked, distracted. "Nothing." "Good. Now let's tear these Beasts apart!" she giggled, the sound giving Keanu chicken skin. And not the pleasant kind either. How was it his luck that every single wahine he met since fleeing Alola was frigging terrifying? Even Marie had gotten scarier than when he last saw her. "Ae. Let's. Go, team." Once again, he couldn't help but thank Arceus, both literally and figuratively, that Kalia was on their side this time. -- "Guess my good looks are ruined," Keanu said as he glanced down at the bloody wound on his chest. "Won't be able to go around shirtless anymore. Minamina nō hoʻi. Too bad." He popped a Sitrus Berry in his mouth, ignoring the throbbing from his injury. He had grown used to that by now. At least his fighting skills had improved. Though there was no way they wouldn't, with the amount of fighting he had had to do. It was a nonstop battle for the most part once they reached Alola. And then, when they grew tired, they retreated back to Northshore. It was a pattern that the electric type had long adjusted to. Gone was the handsome youth with a lazy smile. In his place stood a man and warrior, body crisscrossed with scars and hair cropped close to his head. He'd had no choice but to cut it like that after it had caught on fire from one of the Beasts' attacks. His eyes were piercing and oftentimes glowing an unearthly blue through the usage of his psychic powers. But this was the choice he had made back then, that day when the four of them first fought the Lucario. To stand and fight, choosing to risk injury and death over safety and running away. For the longest time, he couldn't understand why his family had decided to give up their lives as they had, but now, he could. He had learned that some things, such as ohana, were worth more than one's own life. "Mom, Dad, Kai, I hope you're proud of me," he muttered. "One day, we'll win Alola back. And when that happens, I'll mark a gravestone for you all. I don't think I'll be able to find your bones, sadly, but I can at least hope you all made it to the other side safely." Keanu blinked, sending a Thunderbolt to the side where a Beast had been attempting to sneak up on him. Sighing, he backflipped to avoid an attack, touching down with one arm, balancing precariously for a second before flipping back to land adroitly on the ground. "Break time's over," he said as he summoned a large wave of water with practiced skill. "Time to fight again." And he would keep fighting. Again and again, as many times as it took to take back his homeland. The Raichu's expression softened as he turned to where the others were. The only reason he had made it this far was because of them. His ohana. Without them, he'd probably have given up. But because they were here, he could take heart and keep going. Ae. I chose to ride this wave, and I'll keep on riding it till the end.
  38. 4 likes
    (full resolution) Not my best, but just thought I'd share. A discord chat was doing a fantasy-based contest and this was my entry. Figured I'd pay homage to my favorite scene from Lord of the Rings. Feedback is appreciated!
  39. 4 likes
    "AAAAAAAAAA--" Yasha's voice echoed down the road ahead of and behind him as he came flying out of an alleyway. Making a hairpin turn and sprinting through the mock city streets, followed by his own swarm of security robots, he came TEARING down the road towards Kio and Rei, screaming at the top of his lungs and pistoning his arms like his life depended on it. "--AAAAAAAAAA" And then he was gone, as swiftly and chaotically as he had come, still running at breakneck speed for the gate they came in from, making loud and distressed engine noises the whole way down.
  40. 4 likes
    "You're a third-rate gamer with a fourth-rate device!"
  41. 4 likes
    As of today, I am officially free of all credit card debt!
  42. 4 likes
    Card maker update: Longer effects should now suffer less from large jumps in font size. The font size is now decremented in smaller steps to try make it fit. As a result it might find a slightly larger font size that still fits. As the steps are made using absolute value, relatively large jumps in font size can still occur. But at that point I'd argue that your effect gets too long.
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    OOC It was the day of the Entrance Exams. Normally, student's for a school would be nervous, but there was a certain buzz about the air. Soon enough, they'd be lining up before the massive pillars out front, waiting for the doors to let them in. In a room, with a sign outside of the door labeled "Principal, there sat a rather grayed man in a chair. His breathing was deep, like he was almost in a trance. Outside the door, someone suddenly stood. It was like someone had crawled in from the early Edo period, through his opened window. "It's not like you to be nervous...Principal. As a matter of fact, I thought you were nerveless." He said with a rather smug tone. "I just don't know if these kids know what they've signed up for. And I don't necessarily have a degree in teaching youngsters." He said with a sigh. "I'm sure it won't be all bad. These kids are the next wave of official licensed heroes right? We have to teach them what we've learned thus far." "I suppose you're right. Well...let's go greet them shall we?" Misu Yoshino stood outside the pillars of the newly built school, grinding her teeth as she waited for the doors to open so she could take this shitty test. She was tired, and her hair was a mess, but at least her stomach was full of food. No way in hell was she missing breakfast for this thing. As she left for the exam, she couldn't help but look back and see her entire family with tears of joy running down their cheeks. Even her little sister, and dad...was this all it took to make them happy. "I guess it's fine...if it's for them..." She grumbled to herself. There weren't as many kids as she expected, but that was to be expected. Quirks were rare enough as it was, but people who actually fit the criteria for this school must've shaved down the numbers tenfold. She towered above them all, as was to be expected, besides one insect like guy. She could fight them all off, probably. With a loud creaking, the doors to the school swung open fiercely. An old man and a samurai of sorts walked out of the doorway to meet the crowd of examinees. A loud roar could be heard coming from the old looking man. "Welcome, Hero Hopefuls! The Entrance Exam will start soon, so kindly follow us." With a groan, Misu did as she was told, as would all the other teenagers. They would be lead through the entirety of the school, before taking an entrance through the back. A large gated fence sat in front of their face. Over the top of it one could see large trees, and even larger buildings. The man clad in samurai armor began to speak next. "To get this far, you must have already passed the written test. Today will be the day of the practical. Beyond this gate lies a forest type area, and a city type area. You are free to roam wherever you please, and do as much damage as possible, but your objectives will all be the same. In each area are a limited amount of badges that resemble the U.A. logo. To complete the practical, one must obtain 5 badges and return to the gate before sundown." He then looked to the teens with a sharp look. "It doesn't matter how you get your badges. Just so long as you're here, you'll be permitted to attend U.A." "So if I beat the snot out of some dude with 3 badges, and take 'em, I get in?" Misu asked, with a perked eyebrow. "It doesn't matter how you get them. Any which way is fair game. Although, if you kill anyone on practical grounds, you will be immediately disqualified and placed under arrest." The Samurai responded. "Now, we'll give you some time to stretch, and think of any strategy, before the main event. Heroes don't normally get prep time, but that's a lesson you'll surely learn in time." The older gentleman chimed in. The samurai nudged him with an elbow, before scoffing. "Not too bad, chief." Her question might have been too provocative for this type of deal, but she was sure of her abilities. She did as was instructed, and started to stretch her legs and arms properly. This was going to be a cake walk.
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    After several painstaking months, I've finally had the balls to open up about my severe depression. My doctor immediately approved me for an antidepressant and I'm scheduled to see a therapist. I honestly was too embarrassed to admit that to a doctor. But I got tired of the multiple breakdowns and sleepless nights. I didn't think it would be this easy. It was difficult not to cry while I was talking about it but I'm glad that I took this step.
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    As the Houndoom had managed to beat down the Drifblim, he was still on guard as the balloon had sprung back up. It was then that the balloon gijinka sped forward as lighting up as it did. Seeing this, Nine figured it was going in for the kill, and thus took a step backwards as he fired off a dark pulse to hit against the oncoming explosion. While he managed to knock the Drifblim away before the attack finished, he still grit his teeth as part of the explosion caught him. Feeling a bit ragged, but still ready to go, Nine went to go approach the remaining unattended ghosts when a sight for sore eyes caught his. Seeing the serene and beautiful figure of the legend appear before them all out of their cocoon Nine couldn't help but whistle at the girl. "Well, I'll be," seeing Shaymin in the flesh, Nine paused for a moment as she began to speak, only to see that the ghosts for whatever reason were intent on killing her. Knowing that now these wannabe godslayers weren't going to stop in their assault, Nine continued forward towards the Shedinjas and Cofagrigus. "Hey now didn't you hear. The lady wants us to fight off her turf, and you wouldn't be so cruel to upset her right?" The Cofagrigus's body slowly turned toward him. "You're...annoying." The voice had sounded as if coming from within the man's coffin like shell. Nine continued making his way forward with a smile on his face saying, "I've been called worse. So is that a no?" "You have one chance to leave. Take it now." Cofagrigus replied. Without breaking his stride, Nine will gesture to the Drifblim and say, "the offer's the same for you." Without anymore warning, in yet another attempt to blindside them Nine fired another dark pulse at the Chandelure. As he did though, the world around him seemed to start moving in slow motion. Not as if he was slower or anything, but rather space itself was fighting against him and his attack to make them slower. As it did, the Cofagrigus's shell opened up revealing a pair of shadowy hands that grabbed at the ground before the man launched himself forward at great speeds, intercepting the pulse. As he did so, Nine felt a sharp pain ring through his head as he felt the technique he just used leave him. Laughing and echoing from inside his own shell, the Cofagrigus gloated, "I tried to warn you." Grimacing at this new development, Nine simply muttered, "how troublesome." However, he had gotten the Cofagrigus out of the way of his other targets, and thus attempted to bolt for the Shedinjas. Unfortunately, quite like before he felt himself not moving at quite the speeds he was used to and was instead intercepted by a much faster shadow ball. Looking to his opponent, Nine muttered again, "so that's how it is." Beginning to walk slowly towards his opponent, Nine goaded him saying, "well come on big boy, show me what else you got." As he taunted him, the Cofagrigus opened his shell up releasing an icy mist and as it enveloped Nine he felt all the empowering of his aura that he had done leave him. This was then followed by the man launching himself at Nine, to which the Houndoom could only grin about. "Well, good thing I picked up a thing or two from your friend." As the man slammed into him, Nine grappled onto the coffin man, igniting his palms as he did so and blasting him with fire as directly into his body as possible. The Cofagrigus did not seem pleased by this, letting out an echoing shout as he was hit only to have a shadowy arm grasp at Nine. "It doesn't matter. I won't let you protect the girl." At that moment, both the Cofagrigus and Nine let out a sharp cry of pain. The coffin's grip had weakened on him, though Nine himself had started to feel a sharp throbbing pain resonate throughout his whole body, feeling as if someone had just stabbed him in the chest with a large nail. Gasping at this pain, his eyes going wide, Nine simply said, "well, good thing I'm not the only one then." Igniting his hand again, Nine sent a flamethrower upwards and away from the grass and flowers as he uppercutted the ghost in front of him. With his already weakened grip losing all strength, the Cofagrigus simply toppled over onto the ground. Nine's brief moment of victory was cut short, however, as yet another sharp pain rang throughout his body and the Houndoom couldn't keep himself standing much longer. Falling to the ground on his hands and knees, gasping for air, he gave a pained smile towards Shaymin. "Sorry...m'lady, about the heat." Then, looking to the Chandelure he said, "want to take a shot now? It's free." As Randy and Heatran started to talk to one another, Marie couldn't help but feel like the advice that Randy was getting wasn't exactly universally applicable. Feeling like he might take the wrong lessons away from this encounter, the girl felt like she would need to talk about it later with him, but for now turned her attention back to the legend. Seeing him standing there, looking down at the town, Marie felt her question for him pop into her head yet again. Looking at him, she said, "so um, Heatran. Do you like, ever get lonely up here?" "Lonely?" He turned to look at the girl. "I don't get lonely!" Briefly taken aback by his sudden loud tone Marie backed up a bit, and looked confused as she figured what he was saying didn't really make sense. "But...all you do is sit here by yourself, right?" "I said I don't get lonely!" He shouted back. Now thinking he was just being a rude child, Marie folded her arms and pouted as she looked away from him. "Well fine! See if I care!" "Well good, I don't want you to care!" "Well good, I don't want to care! Hmph!" "Then don't! What are you doing still here anyway?" "I don't know! What are you still doing?" "I can't leave, idiot!" "Well," Marie's voice faltered for a bit as he said this. Feeling a bit sad for the volcanic legend, Marie couldn't help try to think of a solution for Heatran's problem. "Well fine! Then if you can't leave, then I'll just get strong enough to beat you any time so you can leave whenever! Mr. Not Loney!" Of course, she was still annoyed with him. "I doubt you could beat me without your friends around...not that you beat me this time." "I could beat all the bullies in Trailsau no sweat! And I'll get Big Sister Moltres to make me way stronger than you! Then I'll beat you no sweat! I'll be so strong I'll cool the volcano myself!" "Ahahaha, Moltres? That pipsqueak? Good joke, little girl." "Hey, she's a super awesome bird! And once I tell her that I need to get strong, I'm sure she'll help me get better than you ever will be! So look forward to it! Or don't!" "Next time I won't be so easy on you." "Well next time, you'll wish you had that option! So there!" As she finished her shouting match with Heatran she turned to Keanu and Randy saying, "come on, we have a volcano to get off of."
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    With the group beginning to move out, Leon saw the two riders move to the side. Despite how roughed out they had come from time to time, Leon felt a bit more comfortable with them their, knowing that they would help keep whatever pincer attack these bandits had in mind at bay. Aiding them in trying to draw attention away from them as well, Leon moved through the center, also providing cover for Yue as a result. Edda, meanwhile, grumbled a bit at Raynor's comment, but with her grip tightly on her sword she began to move forward. The enemy, meanwhile, began to move forward as well. With a lance in hand, the first of the lancers charged the wyvern rider, stabbing at her. The thick hide of Cormag proved too much for the lance to do, well, anything as it bounced off his hide with a "tink" noise. The lancer looked at his weapon saying, "ah man that's not co- ow!" Being interrupted as the steel axe of Rona was struck against the man stomach and caused him to bleed quite a lot from the attack. Staggered but not downed, the man stood ready to run to someone different to fight, as his partner came up with a sword in hand. Striking at the wyvern rider, who had been focused on the lancer, he slashed once, nicking Cormag, and then again forming a small cut on Rona herself. Meanwhile, on the north side, Raynor had charged forward only to be met with similar resistance. However, the lancer that had charged at him was not able to fully close the distance, and so his axe wielding companion did the work instead. Providing a strong slash across both Raynor and Gojira, he too was met with a swift counter as the lance pierced the man's non axe swinging arm. With that out of the way, the rest of the bandits started to converge save for the ones in the back. As they hung back, one sword wielding one looked to his boss saying, "hey boss. Why aren't we moving up with the rest?" "Because...uh...a good boss leads from the back. Yeah. So, being the good boss that I am, I'm just going to wait here. And lead you all to victory and see how easy these guys will be to slaughter." The fighter looked a bit shifty eyed and nervous as he looked through his cart to see how the fight was going. "Oh. I see." The mercenary seemed content, only to then look back to the boss. "Hey Boss. Um, we've got an issue." "Another one!?" "Well...two more." The boss looked more stunned. "There's uh, people who aren't us also coming towards us. From the south there's a guy with red hair who looks like he'd fuck me wife, but I can't tell if he'd do it because he's angry or just because he could. One of those kinds Boss." Confused, the boss still gestured for him to go on, with the mercenary saying, "well, from the north there's a guy...girl? There's a person on a hippocampus coming towards us." "A what?!" "A hippocampus, you know, the horses with wings and- oh, my bad. Pegasus. My mistake boss." Groaning, the boss lamented that this was perhaps the worst day to deviate from his usual strategy. He was simply affirmed that all the legends were true in that traps never worked for bandits. Meanwhile, drawing out her blade, Edda was not feeling keen to just sit back and let the others do the work for her. Charging forward herself, the girl slashed at the mercenary who had seemed completely taken off guard by her sudden charge. Granted, he didn't seem to be all that bothered by it, as she had far less weight in her swing then the other Jouran Falcons.
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    I've had these in a notebook for over a year now. They are meant for my card-making schemes since I actually really dislike having to go with written cards when something occurs to me, or recycling older drawings over and over xD The Pentel Brush Pen has beautifully black ink but out of my brush pens it's the hardest one to control so sorry my little dragons, I used you to help me be closer to finish it up ^^" Hatching work by a micron though. The shading by pen is part of my old style that I wanted to practice after so long. I'm gonna have to get used to it again. Lance Trident Hammer Flail Sword Last one The last one was supposed to be a shield formed by the crossing wings but I couldn't figure it out. It also has a little drill on the tail but other than that it's the most normal-looking one so I'm making it the leader of the group xD
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    It wasn’t long before Lesnar’s mental spotlight started shining on other people in the crowd. His headphones were off for a little while in order to hear what seemed to be the headmaster announce the objective, but after that he felt no need to listen any further. However, he just happened to hear the tall girl say her piece, prompting him to immediately drown the rest of it out to avoid getting any more irritated than he was already. At that point he was back in his soundless bliss. “...do our VERY BEST!!!” Lesnar winced. Considering he was wearing noise-cancelling headphones, he still managed to hear that voice. Immediately, nearly causing whiplash, he turned his head in its direction to see that it came from this… bat girl? It was then that he realized how fortunate he was to have had his headphones on in the first place, as a voice like that - assuming her bat-like qualities made it supersonic - would’ve sent him into a ringing fit. Still, he pondered on her further. She looked cute, which conflicted him. To be attracted to a bat… preposterous. Despite all he was exposed to from cultural media before coming to Japan, he had to draw the line at a fucking BAT GIRL. Regardless, his inner conflict was interrupted by a sudden forceful impact on his back. “Gakh!” he interjected as his headphones fell off his ears to hang around his neck, causing the mingling chatter of the crowd to ring through him. "Hey, you got something you wanna say don't ya?” the perpetrator spoke right into his ears as he felt her arm resting on his shoulders, “Why not let it out? There's no point in trying to be a hero without a little VIGOR ya know? If either of you think you can take anything from me you're welcome to try! But if you think I'm gonna let you get away with seriously injuring anyone else either you've got another thing coming. If you can't manage to get badges without breaking people that's pretty weak I'd say." Lesnar sulked, not caring for the attention this girl was giving him. "Ain't that right?" she nudged him, presumably with a wink. Lesnar finally turned to look at her, realizing how little she was wearing… and how sweaty she was. The sight left him stunned for a second before he realized she was waiting for an answer. “U-uh… yeah, sure...” he said shyly, his eyes looking to the side as his hand rubbed against the back of his neck, which made him realize how warm it still was from her arm, “...hey, uh, you realize how hot you are right?” His words slipped out with genuine concern for this girl's health, but he shortly realized what he just said, “...wait, uh, no, that’s not what I mean, I-I… I meant… literally, your body… I-I mean, your skin… uh, o-oh jeez…” his stumbling words and humiliated gestures were accompanied by a cracking voice, which did not help the fact that everyone was probably now looking at him because of this girl.
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    With the end of YCM's Year of Stars, we find ourselves on a new forum... and at the beginning of the Year of Rebirth! Hopefully, we can begin events in the near future, so that we can celebrate our new home! PM me with your ideas, and we can see what we can do! And never you fear, we have one lined up already!
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