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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.
  14. 6 likes
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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
  16. 6 likes
    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?!
  18. 6 likes
    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..."
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    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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    Hunger. Pain. Hunger is pain. Pain bad. Pain bad. Pain is hunger. Pain... hunger, pain pain pain--!!! Karna woke up with a gasp, sweat dripping down his face. Where was he? He didn't remember where he was or how he got there. That was never a good sign. He looked over his body. No wounds, no signs of any obvious damage. The most unusual thing was that he was full, but that didn't mean much. Looking around, he was in a rundown room, presumably inside of an apartment. It seemed he was back in one of his home bases. That was good, at least he wasn't stranded on the top of a building again. His attention was drawn to his small, broken table. On top of the dilapidated furniture was some food, probably enough for the whole day. The delicious looking food, something most people in his situation would considered a gift from the gods themselves, only filled Karna's stomach with despair. There was no doubt about it. That food was not there yesterday. That food was not his. An incident happened. Running over to the dry board (that was also stolen, from where, he had no idea), Karna quickly erased away the large 13 on the board, scribbling in a big 0 in its place. The transformations weren't following a pattern he could discern. It was probably just emotion based. Still, just seeing the number get bigger made him feel better. Even if his good feelings went away as soon as he had to scribble in that 0. He sat at the table, nibbling away at the food. He always felt guilty, but he had to eat. Still, he could only hope that whoever he stole from could forgive him. When he had his fill, the boy threw on his tattered jacket, walking outside. The sunlight caused him to squint. Seeing as his last memory was at dusk, at least a night had passed. Now he had to retrace his steps, and hope he could figure out what exactly happen last night. He quietly walked through the streets of District 13, keeping his head low. He made sure to stay out of people's sights, out of their attention. He soon figured out he was on the Southern Border of the 13th District, right next to District 1. That worked out perfectly, as information traveled fast in District 1. However, he wasn't even in the district for long before he realized something horrible had happened. The capital building was gone! All around was a trail of destruction, one carving its way into the distance. The damage was immeasurable, the path of destruction was wide. Karna stared at it, only one thought came to his mind. "Did... D-Did I do that?" He muttered fearfully. His stomach felt like it would expel all its contents. He knew he was dangerous, he knew that he needed to stay away from others, but this. This was destruction on a scale even his own paranoia wasn't ready for. He needed to know what happened. And so he followed the path of destruction. All the way up to District 11, the path snaked. Karna could see homes ruined, businesses destroyed, lives in shambles. He could could only feel the guilt of it all crushing him, like the entire weight of the world was on his shoulders. The path suddenly turned, headed back down towards District 6. As he walked for hours, taking in all the destruction around him, his steps felt heavier and heavier. Freedom was a gift he didn't deserve. Not after all this. After what felt like an eternity, he found the end of the path. The capital building, transformed into some sort of... mech, laid in ruins. It crushed everything around it, including Karna's own conscious. What had he done? What did they have to do to stop him? It was terrifying. Laying low wasn't on the table any more. Something like this would make him hunted for the rest of his life. He looked down at his hands. They didn't stop shaking. His life, it wasn't much. It wasn't worth trading for all these people. All these lives he ruined. It hit him suddenly. A buzzing in his skull, the itching of his skin. A Fount was near. The buzzing, the itching, it was more intense than anything he felt before. There must have been so many Founts here. He looked over, his eyes focusing on a bar. The roof of it was torn off... something a Fount could easily do. How many where there? Where they all after him now? What should he even do in this situation? He decided to inch closer to the bar, looking in through one of the broken windows. There were so many people gathered there. Were they all Founts? His eyes scanned the room. Oh. Oh shit. That was Sei. This had to be about him. There was no way she just came here for some sort of social interaction. It had to be about what he did. There was nothing else it could be. So what did he do? They weren't the police. They couldn't arrest him. Turning himself in wouldn't actually do anything. But at the same time, turning himself in to actual cops? There was no guarantee the monster within wouldn't break free to preserve itself. And far more people would get hurt. He made his choice. He opened the door slowly, his steps shaky. It felt as if even a stiff breeze would topple him. "I... I surrender..." He managed to get out, his voice barely a whisper. It felt as if vomit threatened to escape with every word that he spoke. His hands refused to stop shaking, his guilt refused to leave. "I-I'm sorry..." he could feel tears going down his face. How many people were gone? How many lives were destroyed? He was a monster. But he made the right choice, in the end.
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    The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die Alright, Nil said. Now, let me tell you what happens next. These things you have told me, your hopes for the future, both immediate and far-reaching, are not going to come to pass because you merely said them aloud. I would not grant you that even if I could. What you are asking for, above all else, is a better world than this one, and those do not come cheap. I will grant you the time to do so. I will grant you this as well: The words spoken here, are yours and yours alone until your death. It would not be fair for me to simply let someone else end the world in your stead, and you are correct in that I would like to be entertained. But also remember that we are still opposed. I grant you these things and nothing more. Nil’s form started to fade away; each passing word turned her more and more transparent. She spoke with the same even tone she had through her entire conversation with the watchdogs, though now, perhaps, there was a hint of wry amusement. It’s easy to defy me when I’m right in front of you, when there’s someone here explaining the stakes. It will be interesting to see how long it lasts out there facing the rest of the world. I am not alleviating the work required of you at all. If anything, knowledge of me surely only piles on more difficulty. After all, I only need you to slip up once. I only need one single moment of weakness. If anyone can avoid it, I suppose it would be you two, but even so, you had best stick together. Her last words before she disappeared entirely were, I’m leaving you the fire. Take good care of it. And indeed, while the form she had taken had disappeared, the flickering lighthouse flame remained, as did the lighthouse, the island, and the rest of the world. The sounds of life returned to the island. There were crickets chirping in the grasses below. Even with their small size and distance, they were still present against the towering lighthouse mirrors and the crackle of the bonfire, carried by the breeze to those who needed to hear it. Carried, too, was Captain Helmsley’s voice. “Oi! You alright up there? Had a bit of a scare with all the shaking and I think the ship’s a little banged up, but we can make do if you have something that needs doing!” After a moment’s pause, he added, “Take your time, though! Whatever you need!” The sun peeked over the eastern horizon, and the rest of the morning started to blot out the night, ushering forth a new day. As Kitt and Olive looked out to the west, though, to the edge of the world where Naviim met the sky, they could still, for the moment, see an innumerable number of stars. THE END OOC
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    RIP Kazuki Takahashi, an actual legend
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    25 years later, I've finally completed Crash 1.
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    My latest piece in soft pastel, this time using splatters of white paint for the stars. Feedback is appreciated! ^^
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    Moments Before the Duel "Team Wilding is making their first appearance today, led by their captain, Action Duelist Honey Froswald! Some of you in the audience may recognize her as the younger sister of Major League Champion Elliot Dritte! Cam she live up!?” “Her opponent is Daichi Raimu from Team Genesis! Not much is known about them, but perhaps we’ll learn some today! Can he measure up to the sister of a champion!?” Daichi looked at himself in the mirror of the locker room, as he just finished changing into his outfit, looking at the hat he'd be wearing. "Win or lose..." he smiled before nodding, putting the hat on. "It's showtime!" The Duel The lights in the arena cut off for a moment, until a series of spotlights started coming on one by one, moving in quite the rhythmic fashion...finally something cut through the hushed tones of the crowds. “Ladies and gentlemen!! If you would please turn your attention this way to the center field and you’ll see our illustrious challenger...miss Honey!” the voice boomed as the spotlights pointed at the Duelist on the field. But all but one suddenly left the Duelist in a swift fashion. “...and who comes to take the stage to meet this challenger? Why...none other than I...” The remaining spotlights converged on one fixed location and suddenly an explosion of purple smoke erupted in where the spotlights stood...and once it settled… “Ladies and gentlemen, the Moonlit Magician has arrived.” Daichi smirked, bowing slightly and facing towards the opponent, the lights immediately coming back on afterwards. “I’m Honey Froswald! I don’t have any special epithet, but I want to give everyone an entertaining experience, all the same!” “3… 2… 1… Duel!” LET THE SHOW BEGIN!!! Action Field - Grand Adventure...he was cool with this. It was something he'd spent some time on before, so he was in his element somewhat. "If you don’t mind, I believe I’ll take the first move.” Daichi drew his five cards and looked at them, nodding slowly. “I shall set the Pendulum Scale, using my Dragonpit and Dragonpulse Magicians!” Soon two magicians appeared at either side of Daichi before rising into the air above him, being surrounded by a pillar of light. “The scales of 1 and 8, meaning monsters Level 2 through 7 are fair game!” Taking another look at his hand, he nodded. “And now, I’ll use this moment to do just that! Using Dragonpit and Dragonpulse...time for the real show to begin!” Daichi watched as now a dowsing pendulum appeared between the two magicians and slowly began to sway back and forth. “Metronomic Pendulum, swing and sway to mesmerize the audience! Give way for the magicians to take the stage! PENDULUM SUMMON!!! Now, put your hands together!!!” Soon one light came from where the Pendulum swayed and in quite the light show and flair, one magician exploded in a bright colorful array of light and descended near Daichi. "Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the star of my performance: Oafdragon Magician!" Daichi proudly introduced as the magician took a slight bow. "Alas, it's the first turn and I cannot attack. So instead, I’ll set one card face down and relinquish my t-...” he said, simply placing one card face down just as he said, preparing to pass his turn...however, Honey didn’t seem to let him just yet. “Not so fast! I activate the effect of my Ursarctic Micbilis from my hand! By tributing another Level 7 or higher monster from my hand or field during either player’s Main Phases, I can Special Summon it! I tribute Ursarctic Mictanus! I then activate its effect! It allows me to summon another Ursarctic monster from my hand! Come down, Megapolar! When this one is summoned, I can destroy one spell or trap… and I choose your set card!” Ursarctic...that was something he wasn't expecting exactly. “Well well, now that is an impressive start from you!” he said with a smile, immediately flipping his face-down up: Pendulum Area. It did indeed shatter in front of him, but in quite the beautiful display. “I suppose my bait of Pendulum Area worked. Well, if that’s the case...then I shall now relinquish my turn...provided you have no other interruptions. Now go on, let’s see what we can do to entertain the masses!” “Then you’ll love what comes next! I use Megabilis as a tuner, with Polari as the non-Tuner…” She motioned to them as their forms became green rings for Megabilis, and a single black star for Polari, “to summon...Ursarctic Grand Chariot! When it’s summoned, it destroys two cards you control… So I’ll destroy Dragonpit and Dragonpulse!” The massive mech reared the scythe back as Honey hopped onto the mech’s shoulder before shooting forward, swinging the mech through the pendulums set as scales and shattering them, leaving Daichi with just one card in hand and Oafdragon. “Taking out Dragonpulse and Dragonpit...an impressive thing to do as of now...” Daichi nodded, before moving quickly towards an Action Card...however...he didn't get it whatsoever. Honey seemed to beat him to the punch as she was practically launched by Grand Chariot to grab it. “Now, Grand Chariot! Destroy Oafdragon!” As Daichi recovered from missing the grab, he shielded himself with his cape, only for his monster to be destroyed! His life fell to 3400 from the battle damage, as Honey walked back up beside her ace, panting. The crowd cheered for the display it saw, only a bit louder than Daichi earlier. “I’ll set one, then it’s your turn. Let’s see you beat that!” Surprisingly, Daichi was applauding Honey right now, the sounds of him clapping could be heard. “Impressive display...truly! But, we magicians don’t go down as easily...not when we still have so much to display and dazzle our audiences with! I draw!!” he said, drawing his next card. “From my hand, I activate Amazing Pendulum! Seeing as I no longer have any cards in my Pendulum Zone, I can add two Magician Pendulum Monsters with different names from my Extra Deck to my hand. I’m selecting Dragonpulse and Dragonpit!” Quickly removing the two cards from his Extra Deck, Daichi added them to his hand before swiftly placing them on his Duel Disk. “Time for a repeat performance, you two! Dragonpulse and Dragonpit now set my Pendulum Scale! Once more, metronomic pendulum! Swing and sway! Pendulum Summon! From the Extra Deck and from my hand!!” Two lights appeared from the swaying Pendulum as two monsters appeared in a kneeling position. “Oafdragon Magician returns and joining him is Rapid-Fire Magician in Defense Mode!” “In response, I activate the Micpolar in my hand!” She revealed the polar bear card, Mictanus in grave popping out to be moved to banish, “Summoning it in defense! And when I do, it searches for another Megapola!” As the polar bear mech surfed onto the field, Honey’s set card also rose up, shining as it activated. Her LP fell to 3300 as the name Ursarctic Quint Charge became clear. “Then I activate the first effect of Quint Charge! I add Megabilis back from Grave to hand, only to tribute it immediately for Megapolar!” The humanoid polar bear mech from earlier appeared once more, brandishing its hammer! It took aim at Dragonpit Magician, pulling the hammer back for a swing, and…! “Heh, truly trying to silence my performance with that. However, not this time!” Daichi ran off, giving a whistle to Oafdragon and Rapid-Fire to quickly follow him. He then found what he needed...an Action Card just hanging near one of the little ship fins. Running off the side, he held his hand out and immediately Oafdragon Magician caught it, flying him over towards it. In an instant, the ivory magician grabbed the card and added it to his hand. Once they were back on the ship, he immediately played it. “Action Card - Starry Night! This turn, all face-up Spells and Traps cannot be destroyed.” Once he played it, a shimmering set of stars seemed to shoot across where Dragonpulse Magician remained, protecting it from Megapola. “A valiant effort, but I believe that’s as much as you’ll be able to do there...and now, since I activated a Spell...to be accurate, a Normal Spell in the form of an Action Card, Rapid-Fire Magician’s skill activates.” The magician holding two scepters moved slightly for a moment, having various amounts of colored fiery orbs floating around him and the scepters. “Whenever I activate a Normal Spell, with him, I can inflict 400 points of damage to my opponent! Now, do your thing, Rapid-Fire!!” Rapid-Fire Magician nodded and began to wave the scepters in his hands, the fiery orbs dancing around him before being launched towards Honey, colliding and taking the damage out. Honey: 3300 -> 2900 LP “And with that, I shall end my turn!” Daichi declared with a nod. “Ahh, so that’s your strategy. I was wondering, but that’s pretty neat. Guess I have to take that out first!” Honey grinned as she drew for turn, looking over the board. “I Special Summon the Megatanus I drew from my hand, banishing Megabilis from grave for it!” As she placed the card on the disk, a black mech, not unlike Grand Chariot, appeared, though it stood not much taller than Micpolar and brandished a bow. It took aim at Rapid-Fire Magician, pulling the string back… and letting its arrow shoot true, flipping the monster to face-down defense! “When it enters, we’ll turn that burn off for now! On to battle! Megatanus, destroy the set Rapid-Fire Magician!” With a slight grit of his teeth, Daichi watched as Rapid-Fire Magician was attacked and destroyed by Megatanus. Luckily he didn't lose Life Points from that attack, but even still, that was an impressive move. He looked around for a moment, before finding another Action Card nearby. “Bingo!” he said, rushing towards the card. “Next up, Megapolar is going to destroy Oafdragon! Arctic Crusher!” “I don’t think so!” Daichi shouted, playing the Action Card he just picked up. “Action Card - Debris Shield! This prevents the destruction of one monster I control only once!” Soon a small shield of falling debris appeared before Oafdragon Magician and protected him from the incoming attack of Megapola. Or so he thought... “Useless! I activate Action Spell - Eclipse Event! During this battle phase, all action spells have their effects negated! Finish it off, Megapolar!” "W-What?! That's a trick I wasn't expecting!" he exclaimed, basically watching the shield of falling debris immediately vanish from in front of Oafdragon Magician. Daichi slightly gritted his teeth again, before attempting to outrun the incoming attack. Unfortunately, this put him at a huge disadvantage...now that he couldn't use any Action Cards during the Battle Phase. The attack struck true and it blew Daichi back quite a bit in the process. “Now, finish it off, Micpolar, Grand Chariot!” The two mechs mobilized at her command, Honey riding the synchro straight toward Daichi! The polar bear rammed him, then Grand Chariot’s scythe grazed him, knocking him down, and ending the duel. The area filled with the sound of clapping, and a bit of cheers. Nothing like a fully packed stadium, but enough to give Honey a little bit of warmth. As Daichi’s LP fell to 0, the area had lights appear around Honey as she rode Grand Chariot, showcasing her as the winner. The screens that showed their duel showcased such as well, while she stepped down to the ground, the duel fading away. Walking over to Daichi, she extended her hand and smiled softly. “Sorry if that was a bit… brutal. I actually thought you were really entertaining, good game!” The ivory magician simply was dusting himself off before extending his hand in response, a wide smile on his face. "Alas, my first Duel was one setting in loss...but, against someone like you, who was able to entertain and showcase to the audience in such a manner, I happily accept it. A truly entertaining game, miss Honey." Daichi smiled before holding her hand up high, practically doing a curtain call bow with her. "Ladies and gentlemen! Let's hear it for your victor in this Duel: Honey Froswald!" To this the audience began to cheer about this and once it was time for Daichi to take his leave, he exited the Duel field and made it to the locker room in order to change...taking the hat off, he simply looked at it. The smile on his face showed he had a fun time, to show that he enjoyed such an amazing Action Duel...but what laid underneath that smile? Was it...a bit of frustration? Sadness? No one but Daichi would know the answer to this.
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    Ok sooo umm... This is something I have wanted to try out for a long time but it's definitely not my style or strength at all... Even knowing my limitations it still surprises me that I've been working 4 hours on it and now I have to wake up in like 2 more to go to work xD The hair was a nightmare and I swear I wasn't trying to do a duckface or anything, I wanted to make one of those cute angry anime expressions.
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    It appeared the commotion had indeed attracted attention, though thankfully most of it was in the form of people she’d already seen, with both Fen and the fish person bounding up from behind, the latter significantly more energetic than the former to the point that he very nearly knocked Melissa off her feet as he skittered up, his “heads up!” coming just moments too late for her to react in any way other than just accepting the inevitable. Fen, for her part, immediately ran up afterwards. “Are you guys okay?” she said. Physically she was as fine as she could be after having been run into by a fish person. The Spike Brothers, for all their bluster, hadn’t made things worse on that front. Actually, even mentally she was mostly okay, which surprised her. Her fearful adrenaline had been put towards something useful -- moving forwards towards wherever they had been called -- and some of what was left felt like it had dissipated along with the ophan, like one had caused the other. Or maybe it was that there was no longer a tangible threat; there was that too. But at the same time, that lingering “not knowing where she was” feeling was still a stressor, especially when there were three other people apparently following her. That the Spike Brothers could come back, that was a stressor also. And the existence of a demon somewhere in the city. And… So the answer was no, not really, not that she could say that out loud. Melissa opted for “I’m alright,” instead, and tried to push the focus of the conversation somewhere else. She turned to the fish person and knelt down to help him back to his feet. “Sorry, I should have been paying more attention.” “No, that was all me,” he said. “Fins weren’t really made for sidewalks. Just glad we were able to catch up after you two disappeared.” “Well, we got into a bit of a spikey situation,” Melissa said, “Um, but there’s safety in numbers, right? Do you know if anyone else is coming too?” It was Fen who answered that one, looking back in the direction they came from and saying, “Ah well, um, I don't think so? They seemed pretty wrapped up in… well, they didn't seem wrapped up anymore because of the other new guy who told us to move but. Ah, well, I think we're all that’s going. For now. Hopefully.” Melissa bit her lip. “Well, I’m sure they’ll catch up. I don’t really want to wait around here any longer.” The addition of a “new guy” was weird to Melissa. Obviously, if someone had put the pull feeling in everyone it stood to reason that they had the capacity to watch them too, but that didn’t mean knowing she was probably still being watched wasn’t an uncomfortable feeling. Hopefully, there was an answer for that too.How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, -Psalm 13:2-3 (NIV)Oh. Oh. When Melissa had gone looking for answers, she had kind of been hoping that the answers would still match up with some version of the worldview she already had. Like, yeah, the fish and the shifter were anomalous to any of that, but that was what revisions were for, and the fact that they existed -- that they were physical things that she had touched -- meant that they weren’t about to be ignored. But on other matters, on things like, say, location, she had been hoping that she’d just been launched outside Ambrosia somehow. Sure, that would have meant a whole dome-wide coverup as to the state of the exterior world, but that was easier to swallow than this. Others were taking it a bit easier. One of the wizards, seemingly not bothered at all, introduced himself as Trevor and immediately started pressing on the exact nature of the monsters they were supposed to be fighting. Admittedly, Melissa didn’t quite follow everything that was said in that exchange, but the mention again of fighting back the darkness did lead her to focus back on one specific word that was mentioned. “Warriors,” Mauvache said she wanted. That only prompted the immediate follow-up question. “Okay, but if you were searching for warriors, why me? Why am I here?” But Mauvache just smiled and said, “I found exactly what I was searching for, do not worry about that, young Melissa.” Which didn’t even answer anything, but the tone had just enough authority to cause Melissa to reflexively shrink back. What did that even mean, anyway? There wasn’t some intrinsic quality to her that nobody else possessed. And if it was a collection of qualities, like Mauvache was looking (for some reason) for the intersection of shy, God-fearing, and high-school-aged, that was not just her, especially not in all possible universes. The only part of her that stood out had happened in the last week (or last week for her, maybe time worked differently here), which, one: that was still just Duel Monsters and solved by doing Duel Monsters things, two: despite everyone claiming otherwise, it was not just her, and three: even ignoring those, from what she understood after the fact, the problem could have been solved by anyone with a computer science degree. Perhaps she knew all that she was getting when she did the summoning, the voice(s) chimed in. And, okay, but the angels thing was an accident, right? It felt like it had so many factors that all had to work out just right. She had to have one of six special Duel Monsters cards on her person, she had to linger in that formless void for long enough for the voices to realize what was going on and formulate a plan, the plan had to actually work, something the voices hadn’t seemed so sure of at the time… Or maybe that was the point and it wasn’t an accident. After all, if she found a pocket watch lying on the ground, intricate and unique in design, with so many moving parts that she dared not describe what any individual gear did, wouldn’t she assume there was a watchmaker responsible? That the gears didn’t just fall into place by chance? But that would mean… “What the fuck did you do to me?”
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    This was quite the exciting circumstance he had been put in. Usually when he was blindfolded, he was also chained to a bed, with a little pressure on top of his body. Wax was optional, of course. However, in this instance, he was calmly listening to his favorite genre of music, Alternative Jazz. The flow of instruments, and competitive solos, really got his foot tapping against the floor of the helicopter. Honestly, even with this music soothing him, his nerves were still on the fritz. Being chosen for this once in a lifetime opportunity as a lowly Professor...was he even worthy of a spot here? After what felt like an eternity, his blindfold was taken off, and he placed the headphones around his neck. Sitting across from him was another man with fiery hair. "Alright, 'ere's de deal," The man said as he flipped a golden ring into the air. Maita desperately went to grab at it, but he failed as it ultimately landed in his lap. "Dis 'ere is a ring dat was owned by de great Iresh 'ero, Cu Chulainn. Wit any loehck, dat's who'll you'll get. We'd 'ave gahtten you de earrengs dat were used last time to soehmmahn 'im, but dat twet Bazzet lost dem, alahng wit 'er life. Be sure naht to lose dese, we'd like to soehmmahn 'im in ahther holy grail wars," He shrugged as he leaned back. "We dahn't know what class you'll get, I guess hope fahr Lancer," Maita prided himself on being fluent in English, but this accent was a bit much for him to ascertain. However, there was one clean word he could make out of the last bit. He held the ring in the air between the two, and looked through it and at the man. "Right! Lancer! Yeah!" He smiled. "Are there any drinks on this flight, by the way? I could use something to calm me down." Before long, the helicopter had landed. As they disembarked from the vehicle, they were greeted with the site of snow, and an old man. Maita stood amongst all the others, holding a wine glass in one hand, and the entire bottle in the other. "Welcome everyone, to Chaldea! Today marks the day where we take our first steps to protect the Human Order. Are you ready to take that journey with us?" Maita was about to respond with vigor, before the man abruptly turned, and strutted towards the building. With a pout, he took a sip from his wine glass. Without so much as looking back, the man continued on. "Now, we do have uniforms for you all, however, there is something I'm sure you all would rather do first," He said as he traveled down the white halls. "After all, one of the most exciting parts of saving the world is meeting the hero you'll do it with, right? From this moment on, your very lives will change. If any of you have any second thoughts, now is the time to back down," He paused, before he looked to a girl in particular. "Except you Aino, you have to stay." So she was something special, is that right? Maita looked over to the girl, with a inquisitive gaze. He had already thought long and hard about taking part in this, so when the man opened the doors to their next room, Maita had no qualms pushing through to follow him. Sitting in a chair was a fairly handsome gentleman with long white hair. "Director, I assume it's time?" he asked, his voice tinged with a German accent. "Indeed it is, Albert!" The man answered, standing to walk by the scientist. "Why don't you explain to our new members what exactly how they'll summon their Servants?" With a nod, the white haired man approached the other and gave a polite bow. "Greetings everyone, my name is Albert Einstein, but you can call me Albert, if you wish," He greeted, as he turned to the window. "That room is our Summoning Chamber, and in it lies perhaps our most valuable artifact. It's a table of Arthurian fame, the Round Table, a place where heroes gather. Using it and your catalysts, we will call your servants into the world. Now, we have to do this one at a time, so what you'll do is walk into the room, and place your catalyst on the table. Then, you place your hand on the edges on the able, and let your magic flow into the the table, and then... call out! Be it a chant, a cry for help, or just a command, if you lay all your convictions into your words and reach out, a hero will answer you!" "Radical..." Maita stared at the ancient artifact that they possessed. In the world of Magic, this place no doubt had holy significance. But this was an artifact that even historians would love to have their hands on, and here he was, standing in front of it. His magic was going to pour into it. "RADICAL!" He shouted again, almost spilling his drink as he put both hands in the air. Before addressing Aino again, their host spoke once more. "And there you have it! Your destiny now awaits for you! Who will step up first?" Even with some alcohol in his system, Maita was still nervous. He waited for the first to approach, which didn't take long at all. Aozaki Souta was the first to summon a Caster, Dr. John H. Watson, famous second fiddle to the great detective Sherlock Holmes. Aino Koskinen was second, as she summoned the Saber, Masamune, famed swordsman of the east. The third, a large man of African descent, entered the chamber and closed the doors behind him. Playing on the safe side a bit, but Maita didn't blame him. He walked out with a servant, both of them with smiles on their face. Genevieve Mireille came next, summoning Raoul d'Argery, the assassin. These were all impressive figures of history, and they were to be fighting alongside their summoners?! This was insane. With his nerves calmed down just a bit after seeing everyone go about the ritual so seamlessly, Maita stepped up to bat. "Maita Masahiko, at your service!" He bowed towards the others. "I look forward to saving the world with all of you!" He put himself upright, before turning around and waltzing into the chamber. Looking upon the actual Round Table was dumbfounding, as he placed his wine bottle on the ground in front of it. With a nervous hand, he placed the ring on the table, and then his hand on the outer edge. Putting his magic into the legendary artifact, Maita thought of how to go about with this summoning...he had to put himself into it...but how? Suddenly he began to beatbox, as the words busted out of him in sync with the rhythm. "Maita on the mic now, yo yo yo! Listen up servant, to this nasty flow~. We gotta save the men, the women, the children~! Show yourself now, cause this is only the beginnin'~!" When Maita finished his chant, the table lit up, the area around him suddenly went dark, while also producing hundreds of tiny lights, as if it was a clear night with the stars shining above. The lights gathered to a single point before releasing a burst of energy, revealing the form of his servant. It was a young child, one that couldn’t be any older than seven years old, with wild purple hair barely tamed in a ponytail, and a green spear obviously made for an adult in his hand. He had a wolfish grin on his face as he looked up to Maita, obviously trying to look cool despite the fact he barely made it past the man’s waist. “It’s nice to meetcha, Master!” The boy said with a grin. His smile faltered slightly as he spoke his next words. “Sadly, due to a curse on me, I can’t tell you my name. You can call me Lancer until the time you learn my name,” He smiled widely again. “Let’s do our best!” Maita was positively thrilled, as he ruffled up the small child's hair. "Well look at that! Ain't you a cool little dude with that huge spear!" Maita picked up the child, which proved to be difficult factoring in the weight of that giant lance the boy clung onto. Somehow he managed, and hiked him over his head and onto his shoulders, as both of them walked out of the room together. "Looks like I won out this time, huh!? Lancer's pretty righteous!"
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    Brooke Adoles: The Merchant “A wish…? All I want is to go home, but… could you build me a new shop in Deku?” -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Running a shop was tiresome work; running a shop in a city in the process of rebuilding itself, even more so than normal. Brooke enjoyed it though. She had always been a hard-worker. The first few months she worked flew by rapidly, keeping her schedule so busy that she had no time to even stop and think of her friends, scattered to wind across Adarid as they were. No time to feel sorry for herself when nearly every waking moment was taken up by negotiations and contracts. She officially opened for business after six months. The city was beginning to resemble itself for the very first time since Thundurus had thrown his tantrum--customers both new and old attended the opening of the shop. She had expanded her wares greatly with the knowledge and contacts she made across Adarid, most notably Merm (with the ulterior motive that Dora was the city’s official ambassador when negotiating with her), and it didn’t take very long for money to begin to pour in. She had done well for herself before, but after another year of being open, she was truly able to say she was wealthy. Most of that wealth went directly back into the community. Funding schools for the children, meals for the homeless, pretty much any way that she could give back to the city that had built her. The largest of her accomplishments, however, was the orphanage. It had been Easter’s idea. Build a place for children without parents; somewhere that adults could keep an eye on them. She had been so blind to the harsh realities of Deku that she had never even considered it. She instantly set about making the idea reality; Easter promised to run the place and look after the children, but Brooke managed all the logistics. She bought the plot of land right next to her shop; she hired contractors to construct the building, and put the word out onto the street that there would soon be a place for children under the age of eighteen to be able to be looked after; she spared no expense or luxury. Three more years passed, then five more years, and eventually Brooke stopped keeping track. Her shop kept her as busy as ever, and Easter made sure her work was cut out for her helping with the orphanage, not that she ever minded in the slightest. Sometimes, Dora came to help them with the youngest children, and Brooke couldn’t believe how old she was getting. It seemed as if the destruction of Deku was only just a week ago when she closed her eyes. She could see little Dora flailing around, playing with Fawkes while she cooked dinner in the snow fortress with Easter. But when she opened her eyes, reality set in. Dora was an adult, entertaining a room full of innocent children that once upon a time would have been hardened by the mean streets of Deku, and the last she had heard Fawkes was part of the city guard in Mioter now. She was almost nostalgic for those times on the road with those two little brats. Brooke Adoles had yearned for travel, but looking back, what she had really wanted was a family to call her own. And in the most roundabout way possible she had found one in a goofy little Wooper, a sly young Zorua, and a headstrong Sylveon. And she wouldn’t trade it for the world.
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    Let it be on the record that I have officially bought both a house and a car during a pandemic.
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    As Kio walked to school, he traced the route he had been taking and ingrained it into his mind. This would probably be the same route he would take everyday from now on, and it was quite the easy trip. U.A. wasn't too far from home, but it was just far enough for him to get a brief amount of exercise before getting to class. He looked to the clear blue sky as a symbol that this was going to be a great start to his future career as a hero! Just the thought of being called that word excited him to no end! Who were his classmates going to be, what were they going to be like?! And most importantly, what were their quirks?! He smiled to himself, as he continued his brisk jog thinking of the possibilities the classroom would contain. Today was his first step to becoming the best! As he rounded the corner, he could see gate of U.A., clear as day. As he approached, he saw a familiar face. Standing on the steps before the school was none other than the Pro Hero, Glory! He was a relatively low-profile hero, but Kio wasn't the type to forget any sort of name, let alone that of an extremely capable hero. Instead of climbing the ranks to top hero, he was now the president of the school! Lucky him, he'd always wanted to meet the guy. But now, it was a bit intimidating standing in his mere presence. Kio was all for the challenge! That's what life was all about, baby! As he walked up to his new principal, he managed to get out a few words. "Principal Glory?" He managed to get out, without stuttering. The man, with a stack of sheets in his hand, proceeded to ransack through them in a quick attempt to find his supposed file. It didn't take much time at all, either! He really was a pro! "Somehow. And you're... Akagi?" "Akagi Kio. It's great to be here. But you, uh...Aren't you a bit too young to be a Principal?" He said, with a little hint of sass at the end. "Aren't you a little young to be asking questions like that? The people on the school board figured I would be best for the job a few years back. After all, I went here along with a few other names you are more likely to recognize." It made total sense to him, but he still wasn't sure why Glory would take up the job anyway. He tried to decide if he wanted to prod a little more, but it probably wasn't the time or place to do so. He wanted to give Glory a whole interview, but sadly schooling was in the way. "Probably. I never forget a name once I hear it!" He said, beaming a smile the principal's way. "Although, those can't be the only qualifications to run this place, right?" He knew the answer of course, but you didn't really get the chance to jeer pro's in the flesh. "Well, after the place got attacked so many times, they figured they would put the strongest person they could find right at the center. But now it's my turn to ask a question. It's one I'm asking everyone. Why do you want to be a hero, Akagi Kio?" "Strongest, huh? So number 77 gets title of strongest now?" Kio laughed, before clearing his throat. His reason was simple, after all. And it was his dream ever since he had become bored of sports. "I just want to challenge myself! I want to see what the real heroes deal with, and overcome all obstacles that come my way!" He stretched his palm, opening and closing his hand. "I just want to prove to myself and everyone else that my Quirk is strong." "You don't seem particularly interested in helping anyone." The question almost smacked him across the face. He never really thought about saving others...just testing himself. But that was all wrapped up in the title of being a hero, right? He'd hopefully learn that lesson here anyways! But for now, it was time to bs an answer. "Well that's all apart of the challenge, right? It would be too easy if I didn't have to help anyone." "This generation never seems to want to relax, does it? Go on and head inside. I'm sure you remember your way to class from the tour a few weeks ago." "Never forget!" Kio saluted Glory, before walking straight past him. After he was out of earshot, he let out a sigh of relief, picking up his head with a huge grin. "Man, I should have gotten his autograph! I'll remember for next time!" His class was close by, as he made his way in a hurry. He hoped he would be the first one, so he might be able to see all the others enter after him in an attempt to gauge how interesting they were. However, when he slid the door open, he realized that he was behind the curve by a small margin. He snapped his fingers in a small fit of annoyance, but smiled shortly afterward. There were snacks out on the front desk, as he glided over to them and promptly picked one up. He took an obnoxiously large bite out of it, before giving off a sound of delight. "Mmmm-mm! Scrumptious! Whoever made these is definitely gonna have to show me after class today!" He walked over to a vacant desk in the middle row on the left by the windows, and placed his backpack on the top. "I'm Akagi Kio, but you can just call me Kio! Pleasure to meet you early birds!"
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    Opening Act "Dad! I need your help!" Hideyo said as he snatched a perfectly buttered piece of toast from the kitchen table and bit into it. He was also, at the same time as he tried to balance his breakfast, slipping into his uniform pants. Kenji Hideyo was downing his morning orange juice, propped against the kitchen counter. He wiped his mouth and greeted his son. "And good morning to you too, young man," he said sternly. "Sorry," Hideyo apologized profusely. "Good morning, father!" Hideyo said excitedly, mouthful of toast. "No talking with your mouthful! Straighten that shirt! Comb your hair!" Kenji barked. "Yes sir!" Hideyo replied happily. He spun around in a blaze of starlight and suddenly, the boy was dressed with the utmost care and pristine. "Better," Kenji smiled. "What did you need help with?" Hideyo took a pen and pad out from his backpack and sat it on the kitchen table. "I need an opening joke for the day. I've got to make a good first impression!" Suddenly, Kenji's eyes were wide with pride. "You truly are my son. Come, boy! We will drum up an excellent joke. But we must also work on your delivery. Quickly, before your mother catches us!" "Yes sir!" Hideyo said excitedly as he and his father huddled over the pen and pad. Nailed It! It was a lovely day, and Hideyo's first official day of school. Head held high, he approached the school gates with excitement in his step. There came a starting point in every young star's life. This was Hideyo's. As he proudly marched to the front gate with his chest puffed out, a tall, slightly older than him, gentleman stood out, combing through a thick stack of papers that was likely full of the names of first year students. Hideyo, being the bright, forward boy that he was, approached with vigor and stood at attention before the brown haired man. "Kagarashi Hideyo, first year student, at your orders sir!" he joked, excitedly. He was happy to land his first joke successfully, despite there being no physical way for him to tell if it was good or not. Nonetheless, he was extremely satisfied and brimming with pride. "Well, looks like I don't need to ask. You seem awfully excited. You performed well in the entrance exam, a lot of staff have their eye on you." With a grin, Hideyo replied, "Thank you, sir! I'll do my best to live up to your expectations of me!" "I should hope so. What inspired you to become a hero, Kagarashi?" Hideyo paused, placing a thumb to his chin. It was time to give an honest, serious reply. "I'd have to say it was my parents. I've seen the way that people with and without quirks work together. They can have a true, harmonious and happy life if they strive toward the common good. I want to help ensure that future, and make it bright!" "That's a good ideal to strive toward. I know many, both quirked and quirkless, hold disdain toward the other, but that can be overcome, the future is a bright one. Go ahead and head to class." "Thank you, sir!" Hideyo took his smile and his pride and entered into the school of his dreams. He headed straight to his assigned classroom, looking forward to meeting his classmates. Starlight When he arrived, still brimming from ear to ear, Hideyo promptly took the center most seat in the classroom, where he could be observed, be attentive, not be too obstructing to his fellow classmates, and answer questions from fellow students and his instructor. After gently placing down his backpack, he introduced himself. "Good morning, classmates! My name is Kagarashi Hideyo! I look forward to working and learning with y--oh! I smell treats!" He commented, his nose suddenly distracted as he caught a whiff of Monaka. He approached the teacher's desk and promptly devoured one. He observed the delicate flavors of the jam and the perfect compliment of the wafers that sandwiched it. "Delicious!" he complimented. "I look forward to working and learning with you all!" He returned to his seat where he sat with his arms folded over one another and waited for further instruction. Smile and all.
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    “So, Ms. Joanna, if I may call you that… do you have any other exciting news or plans in store for tonight? It seems the event is about to begin, but I don’t mind meeting after. The name’s April Soleil, and I’ll be at The Valentine after this, if you want to… discuss an article with me.” Joey's eyebrow raised for a moment. Was this broad trying to compete with the Joester? As if. His eyes locked onto the reporter, before all hell broke loose. The lights cut out for only a moment, but when they did the display before them was gone. To make matters worse, there were now chandeliers falling all over the place. Joey sighed, before he opened his mouth to let...it loose. That's when he heard Ms. Joestar's voice clear as day. “『CD SPACE』!” Joey's eyes were lead to Joanna, an angel appearing from behind them to smash the chandeliers to bits. Joey was cut up by some crystal shards in the process, but looking to that reporter from earlier, it seemed he had gotten off pretty lucky. The girl had a huge chunk of chandelier sitting in her damn rib cage. Sadly, Joey was pretty desensitized to violence like this...it wasn't his first time seeing blood seeping out of some poor soul. However, the chandelier part was pretty new. He didn't even get to enjoy the view before he could hear gunshots ring in the air. "『21 GUNS』" Seemed like all the crazies were coming out today. Joey had seen stand users before, but he never engaged them for lack of a reason to. But now it seemed his life was being threatened. "Put your hands where I can see them!" The man said. "Any sudden movements, and I'll make mince meat out of you!" Guns spread throughout holes in a wall fired off in the air above the crowd. Joey had done many a bank robbery in his heyday, but stealing the corpse of a saint? Come on man you could do better. Who's gonna wanna display that at home? "Do I make myself clear? Especially you." His eyes lead towards Ms. Joestar. "Make me." The girl charged the man brazenly. She had guts, he'd give her that, but he expected nothing less of a stand user. "Everyone get down or get the hell out of here!" In the midst of the chaos, Joey started to slink away towards the back of the room, keeping his head down the whole sluggish way. "『HYBRID THEORY』!" he whispered, as a small, phantom arm appeared from his shoulder, and moved it's fingers towards all of Joey's cuts. The fingers pinched both sides of the cuts, fusing the individual skin cells back together. He wasn't necessarily prepared for a Stand brawl, but he still had his trusty Colt in his pocket. Now the real question was whether or not he had to chase the thief down, or help Ms. Joestar out. Looking back at her situation, he nodded to himself and figured she had the situation under control. He definitely wasn't going to chicken out in this situation! He'd fight that 『21 GUNS』freak...if he had more firepower. Instead he made off towards where the thief was heading.
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    Elsie had spent the night dreaming of clear skies and gentle breezes. Because that was what happened when you had a raven familiar. If it wasn’t a dream with ominous and foreboding portents of the future, it was a dream about flying. Corbin, of course, had the same dream, and if Elsie rotated her little subconscious point of view a little to the left, she could even see him soaring alongside her. When the wake-up alarm went off, of course, everything came crashing back. Not literally, of course -- they always managed to wake up just before impact -- but they simultaneously snapped awake. Elsie even lifted herself straight out of bed and Corbin nearly fluttered right off of his perch. Still, Corbin at least managed to be chipper. “Good morning, Elsie! You want to, uh, you want to come down from there?” “Guh,” Elsie said. What was good about mornings? Corbin- sure, ravens weren’t traditionally creatures of the night, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t too. They called the witching hour the witching hour for a reason, after all, and that wasn’t because the sun was in the sky when it happened. Still, she complied, lowering herself back down into her bed before sitting up and, you know, actually opening up her eyes. “Good morning, Corbin.” Elsie’s waking-up process post-those initial moments was a little more involved than that, though it had much less that was worth recounting. That was the thing about routines -- the point of them was that they weren’t special. Corbin went through the process of preening himself while Elsie washed up and that was all that really needed to be said about that. The most involved moment was when they argued just how much she needed that little extra glamour. “You’re fine,” Corbin said. “I mean, obviously I’m fine, Corbin. That’s not the problem,” Elsie said. “But Jekyll said, ‘Jaegers’. As in plural. A plurality of jaegers. And if we’re meeting new people today, I need something that inspires that little extra awe, you know?” Could ravens roll their eyes? Elsie wasn’t sure if they actually could, but occasionally out of the corner of her eye, she’d spot something from Corbin that looked not unlike an eye roll and then was one of those times. “Do you think they were recruited like us? Or were they ‘recruited’?” Elsie mimed the extra quotes while cycling through potential options, finally settling on one that made her look just like herself, only, you know, better. A classic choice, if she did say so herself, and a good first impression. “There was a rigorous application process, I’m sure. With only one or two flashes of violence,” Corbin said. “Mm. Well, nobody we can’t handle,” Elsie said. “Not like we can’t handle just about anybody. Shoulder or broom handle?” “Shoulder today, I think.” Elsie offered her shoulder to her familiar and Corbin hopped right up her arm to perch right next to her face. She did a little twirl and a pose in the mirror, then nodded, confirming for the final time that everything was just so, and, with broomstick in hand, finally headed off. Inwardly, Elsie hoped Jekyll was serving breakfast at this announcement meeting, or at the very least, she didn’t want to show up at the kitchen later and find out somebody had poached all the rolls. When Elsie reached the conference room door, she paused, not quite sure what to do. Or rather, she knew she had to cross the threshold, but she wasn't quite sure how to do it. How she should do it. She pondered aloud, “I was thinking some smoke leaking through the bottom crack and then the door creaks open to our silhouette and I say-” Corbin quickly cut her off. “If I remember correctly, the last time you tried pyro we both agreed to never do pyro for our introduction again. And yes -- I see that look -- smoke still counts as pyro.” Elsie pouted, though even she knew it wasn't a serious pout. “Alright, classic plan B then, huh?” “Or you could open the door like a normal -” But Corbin's protests came too late. She conjured up a little extra wind for dramatic effect and aimed her heel right beneath the doorknob… ...whereupon she bounced right off and collapsed in a heap, the door still stubbornly closed. “I think it’s a pull door, actually,” Corbin said. “It’d be hazardous otherwise, right? Plus, I mean, the hinges are on this side.” Elsie so wished that she could smite her own familiar. She wondered if she’d also feel the pain or if he’d just broadcast his feelings to her of being in eternal torment. It would certainly be a step up from either two steps away from busting a gut laughing or a simple smug superiority. She settled for a “Hmph,” and readied herself for another go, this time throwing back the door and using the wind to carry it into the wall with as loud a BANG! as she could manage. “Tremble, mortals! You are in the presence of an avatar of Hecate herself. Gaze in awe at her majesty! She, one-hundred-and-eighth -” Elsie opened her eyes to an almost empty room. “Oh,” she said. Then, to Corbin, she said, “Do you think maybe you could tell me next time? You know I work better with a better audience. There’s barely enough people here to call it a crowd.” Ravens couldn't shrug either, but Elsie was pretty sure she felt the essence of one coming from her shoulder. “You seemed pretty into it, and I didn't want to spoil your fun.” Elsie suddenly realized that they’d probably heard her first attempt as well. She felt a blush on her cheeks but soldiered on anyway, even if soldiering on meant hurriedly walking over to a chair and sitting down. Corbin, for his part, hopped down off her shoulder and onto the table. Elsie manged an, “It’s nice to meet you all,” and that was that.
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    It had been a long day finding local fruits to spice up their strange drinks with, but that was likely for the best. After all, it got them out of town — away from those strange animals — and let Peaches stretch her wings; they had gotten ever-so-cramped while her rider was setting up the stand. But they had already been away from their wooden stand for a bit, and with afternoon closing in on evening, they needed to get back. After all, some humans might have returned to the town while they were gone. As they got closer and closer, the wyvern did a small shake as Citron cheered something she couldn’t quite understand, the rider’s hands rubbing against the scales at the base of the wyvern’s neck. Peaches always enjoyed that, and she also knew what it meant: landing soon. Combined with the smell of lemons and oranges, it wasn’t hard for the reptile to tell that their stand was below. Shuddering a bit, she quickly took a dive towards the stands, particularly towards the one that smelled the best. After all, wasn't that their stand? Peaches swept downwards in a dive, against the apparent protests of her rider, Citron's strength failing as she pulled against the scales she had used to steer. She must have gotten lost again, since she was steering her away from the stand, the wyvern concluded. But that was okay, she was going to make her rider proud. Air quality was nice, winds wouldn’t interfere with her landing... She readied her talon-like hind-claws as they approached the stand, landing with ease. Or, well,she should have made a routine landing, but as her claws dug into the wood, the wyvern was quick to realize that... Something wasn't right. It cracked under the weight of the wyvern, and crumbled as they fell through. Uh-oh. The next thing Peaches could tell, she was trapped beneath the rubble of that fake-stand. She hated those, fake-stands, always setting themselves up near her landing-spot. To make matters worse, Citron had fallen asleep on impact, as per normal when so-called fake-stands were involved, the lazy bum. Not even the animals were around, causing the wyvern to let out a low rumble. As much as the wyvern shuddered at the thought of encountering those furry creatures again, especially with her wings pinned under wood-containers and fake-supplies, and Citron having fallen asleep, she’d have liked the help. Letting out a quiet roar of pain, the wyvern struggled against the wooden weights, laying her head upon the ground, and in Citron’s lap. Nudging the rider, she tried to wake the rider up from her immediate slumber. It didn’t really work. Letting out another pained roar, the wyvern struggled beneath the rubble yet again, only to cut her roar off - as much as she could - as she heard talking. And footsteps. Humans. Now, as the wyvern had recently learned, there were two ways this could go: the humans might help her. Or, the humans… Might be scared of her and ignore her, forcing her to wait on Citron to actually wake up. The latter of the two, being the experience she’s gone through the most. In fact, it’s the experience she’d gone through every time they messed up a landing anywhere that wasn’t their home, their den. Even if it was a big, open, spacious den, it was a nice den. It was a den where strange humans and men didn’t approach them. As the humans came into view, about eight… No, eight, one of them simply had a shadow, had come into view. The lizard let out a low growl, especially as one of them, caked in blood as he was, approached her. A low rumble escaped her throat as she fought against the rubble in vain, trying her best to escape and get into a position in front of Citron. She failed at this, of course, as the damned fake-stall held her down. It came to a head as she growled incessantly, eyes locked onto Edrick as he… Lifted the rubble, ever so slightly, allowing her to right herself.
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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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