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  • Title: "Ain't no thing like me, cept me"


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  1. The moment Override, A.V.D. and Minos exited the casino, Override took to the skies. "I'm going on ahead, I'll give you directions after I get a direction for everything." he said, before blasting off upward. "Director, this is Override. We've officially left the casino, I'm having P.I.X.E.L. send you the information we gathered from there." the Tech Hero flew quickly in the direction of the Battle Labs, noticing the blip on his radar. "Care to inform me on what's going on at present?" "Roy and two of the Fates are setting up a perimeter, making sure we cut off all the escape routes before we send in a larger strike team." "Alright, that takes care of one situation...but what about..." Override stopped mid-air, looking at the beast on the horizon. "...that's a big guy... I'm going to go on a limb and say that's Caesar's doing?" Director Sekelsky sighed. "I don't have time for this, Override. I'm trying to save the world right now. Yes, that's fucking Project Rubicon." "Look, I get that, but I've already had to deal with the fact I went on a wild goose chase to the casino where Legion and Tidebinder was...only to realize that was basically a wasted effort." Override replied a bit irritated, but sighed. "Give me one second..." The armored hero put himself on mute as he looked in the direction of the Battle Labs and then in the direction of the beast known as Project Rubicon. Both were situations that needed addressing as soon as possible...if not sooner. He sighed slowly. "P.I.X.E.L., I need you to run some data for me...some calculations..." "Finding out the probabilities and odds between the two, sir?" "...yeah..." "At once." the Scottish voice simply said, before going silent as various calculations and numbers started scrolling through Override's HUD. It was a few moments before the A.I.'s voice returned. "Data has been processed. The success rate between both finding Caesar at Battle Labs and fighting against Rubicon both sit at an approximate 65%." He paused, as the next set of data started scrolling on the HUD. "That said, the casualty rate for each is drastically different. Rubicon's casualty rate is approximately at a 87%, unfortunately." "Damnit..." he cursed, weighing his options. "The bigger threat, literally and figuratively, is Rubicon. The damage that thing will do and the casualties it'll make are high...but at the same time..." His eyes drug towards the direction of Battle Labs. "He's the mastermind behind Project Rubicon...which means if anything...he might be able to know how to exactly stop it." "In theory." Override nodded, before resuming the connection. "...alright. I'll be rendezvousing over at Battle Labs to join in the hunt for Caesar. If necessary, I can divert A.V.D. and Minos to assist with the evacuation and dealing with Rubicon."
  2. "ANYWAYS! Welcome to the Jujutsu Justice Society! A Special Ops team designed specifically for eradicating high level Cursed Spirit threats across the country! My name is Bradley Williams! First Grade Jujutsu Sorcerer! Formal Job Designation: Chief Sorcerer Manager! That means I'm in charge of you little rapscallions! Pretty righteous, huh!? Now, if you read in your 'Welcome to the JJA' pamphlet, you will have read that Cursed Spirit activity has skyrocketed in the past few years here in the United States. Recession...wars...and general well being of the populace are all possible reasons. All that Cursed Energy has been swirling around like a hurricane since the 20th century. The government has turned a blind eye to most of it during the years, but now it's really flying off the rails. People are disappearing and dying mysteriously on the daily. The general population doesn't know that a majority of these are due to Cursed Spirit attacks. But that's why we're here! The first official organization of it's kind to save the public! Off the book, and off the hook!" It was pretty explanatory stuff. Virgil heard most of this from Jane during his initial training with her in honing his Cursed Energy and Technique. Nevertheless, Virgil remained attentive to Bradley Williams' opening speech. Eventually, as expected, they were going to test them now. And of course, it was combat oriented. However, instead of taking the full group on to one exam room, they split them up. Three going with the co-chief, and the remaining four (in which he was a part of) was following Bradley. "Welcome to Exam Room A. This is where you'll be graded as a Jujutsu Sorcerer. It will be a trial by combat. Any and all cursed techniques and items are allowed. You have to last at least 20 minutes fighting me. Anyone who survives passes this exam, and will be labeled a Grade 2 Sorcerer. Anyone who can land a blow on me will be labeled a Grade 1 Sorcerer. And the first one who can incapacitate me will be labeled a Special Grade sorcerer. All others in that scenario will be labeled Grade 1. Good luck with that though." "So just hit you? Guess that's something..." he muttered to himself, crossing his arms for a moment. Only downside? His Technique wasn't exactly...combat oriented to an extent. Not like others. His Demon Eyes simply was another tool he had at his disposal to lock onto a target at which he would let the powers in his Cursed Tools, Lock and Key, be utilized. It was a checks and balances kind of situation between his Technique and tool. But regardless, he watched Bradley almost immediately thrash the loud one...apparently named Garrett, who was knocked back. This would be interesting for sure. "I guess I'll try next." Virgil stepped up, giving a two fingered salute to Bradley. "Virgil Elliot, pleasure to meet ya. Now I do wanna ask..." The young man slowly unholstered Lock and flipped the chamber of the revolver out, looking at the ammunition. "...do I need to swap these bad boys out for rubber bullets? Don't wanna just shoot a live round at ya. Just bad manners." Bradley returned to the salute with a smile. "It wouldn't be fun if you weren't using the real deal brah!" Bradley traced a circle around his chest. "Aim for the center of mass!” "Iffin' you say so." Virgil chuckled, putting the chamber back and immediately spinning it before unholstering Key. "Like I mentioned, Virgil Elliot from Arizona. Now I may not be like hot-shot over there and brawl with you up close..." he motioned towards Garrett. "...but I reckon I can still work with this." His eyes were directed at Bradley, locking on to him as it were. "I do hope you won't be makin' this easy." Virgil then immediately pulled the trigger on Lock and then followed up with Key about a few seconds afterwards. The bullet seemed to go heat seeking to an extent. Now where the bullet from Lock would land was anyone's guess. "And I hope you don't bore me, dude!" Bradley threw up a Shaka sign, everyone in the room feeling his cursed energy rise. In a flash, a large manta ray-like entity appeared around Bradley, cloaking him tightly with its fins. The bullets were blocked and deflected by the manta ray, which wasn't too thrilling for the gunslinger. He clicked his tongue slightly, trying his best to assess the situation, his gaze never once leaving Bradley. So he can summon a manta ray...that's going to be harder to negotiate...however... Virgil thought about the moment he struck at Garrett, which showed that Bradley here was definitely a close combat fighter, plus the manta, which probably would potentially act as a distance attack...aside from the obvious shield. He had a plan turning in his mind, but he just needed to implement it. "Hmmm, well that doesn't bode well...still, that's interesting regardless." Virgil said, immediately firing two more shots from Lock, then another few seconds later, he fired another two shots from Key. "Unfortunately, I reckon my Cursed Technique isn't going to be too much help, not against a manta.” "Giving up so soon?" With his manta ray still enveloping him, Bradley launched himself forward to close the distance between the two. The bullets landed again, as the manta made some noises in pain. In an instant Bradley had made it into Virgil's space, practically nose to nose. "What did I say about boring me?" He groaned before trying to land the same kick he had on Garret earlier. He immediately took the bait...perfect. "Well, it's easier to do this when you get close..." Virgil flashed a small grin, pulling the trigger on Lock and shooting a bullet right into Bradley's leg. After that, the kick was delivered and he was practically sent back just like Garrett before him. Bradley sighed looking at the bullet in his leg. "Well darn it." "L-Looks that's a pass for me, I reckon..." Virgil chuckled, holstering both of his revolvers. "...let's just say...you're lucky you only got hit by Lock..."
  3. The last two days proved…almost fruitless in Ziun's endeavors. He looked in his small satchel, only two healing potions and nothing more. He could only afford the two, which in itself was just showing how things were worsening. He had thought of an idea of potentially bottling up conjured acid in bottles and bringing it, but this proved to be a fruitless, as it never lasted long. But this was par for the course. He attempted to reach out to the Apati family, seeing if Zion could help. Unfortunately…he only met Cerberus, who was a stark contrast to the head of the family. With each step he took, moments of that conversation continued to play over in his mind. The biggest part being: they wanted him to sabotage his allies in their quest to keep moving through the dungeon. What was even worse? …I almost agreed to it…willing to give even my own life for it… he thought, grimacing at the sheer thought of it. He had allies, comrades that now he was willing to do whatever he could to help out. Was it Robin's untimely passing that helped him to this point? It was probably a definitive yes. But never before would he had risked everything to help anyone…let alone offer his own life. He did ruminate a bit more, thinking back on the stark contrasts between Zion and Cerberus… Are they all like that? Zion, when I met him, didn't seem to be anything similar. Perhaps it's only that collective of individuals there and not the head? he thought, though he was still uncertain. Then his mind reeled to the big question: what the hell did Chris do to get the Kalo family on his tail? Ziun was planning to ask him that immediately, but unfortunately as he approached the entrance to the dungeon, he found not Chris…but Lana. He'd have to pull the young man aside at a later point, perhaps. “Good morrow, Lana.” Ziun said, strumming a bit on his lute as if on cue. “I see that you're the early bird on this one. Prepared to delve within the labyrinthian depths of the Dungeon once more?”
  4. The plan was executed perfectly, almost flawlessly. The Water Wall did the trick, and yet...now Gene was looking at a Drengr breaking through the Water Wall with a halberd. Now the halberd was swinging down directly at the young hero. This wasn't what he was hoping for...but he was at least prepared for it in the grand scheme of it all. "O-Okay...take this!" he said, calling Aqua Star to his hand and immediately using his Weapon Art - Quick Strike. With a quick upward slash, Gene knocked the halberd upward and immediately immediately moved forward and slashed at the Drengr's legs. Unfortunately, due to the fact that the Drengr was armored practically all over, it did next to no damage...correction, it did some reduced damage. That was still a win in his book. ...would prefer more damage being done, but beggars can't be choosers. He had another action in mind: the horizontal slash along the neck. If he could get a clean swing on that...this could all be over. Unfortunately, the Drengr was a tad smarter than Gene had anticipated and it simply moved back and parried the horizontal slash with it's halberd. Once it did that, the creature was preparing a slash right at the Exalted's torso. "N-No you don't!" Gene immediately had his Dragon Sign glow yet again as another Water Wall was summoned, blocking the torso strike. The young hero crouched slightly and in a quick movement of speed, maneuvered around the Water Wall and slashed at the Drengr's arms to drop the halberd. Once again, the arms were like the legs...armored...it was nothing but reduced damage. However, the halberd was dropped from the creature's hands. Victory! ...or so it seemed. Despite it's arm being mildly injured, it reached for a sword and went in for another attack. He raised his sword upward to block and parry the strike...it wasn't very...elegant in execution but the attack was blocked nonetheless. Once it was done, Gene pushed back and used his Quick Strike again, this time at the chest. The disengage worked and combined with his speed, Gene was able to cut through the armor on it's chest. This was the opportunity Gene was looking for right now...he shouted a bit and immediately dealt the fatal thrust into the Drengr's chest. One less Drengr... With a slight huff, Gene wiped his brow, giving Marshall a thumbs up before slowly advancing towards the door they were looking at prior. Slowly, he opened the door... The door led to a small hall that led to another door that led outside onto a raised platform with a staircase on either end. It was curious for sure, but Gene kept looking around. There were buildings and a road around, and while he couldn't see very far because of the buildings, Gene could still see a massive structure in presumably the center. "Huh...that's...interesting..." he muttered, before backing away slowly and looking in Marshall's direction. "H-Hey...you may want to take a look at this..."
  5. Something was wrong…very wrong. It was a situation where Override was a bit surprised to see the room they found themselves in. What was worse, they found the culprit behind the water: Tidebinder. It made sense on why the water was acting the way it was…it was because of her. That wasn't the part he was having an issue with though… No, the issue was… “Well, don’t you all look cute. It takes quite a bit of determination to get in here. I’d invite you to sit, but I don’t think your stay will be very long.” “I agree. We just need to beat you, and then what, a few more mooks before we get to Caesar?” “What makes you believe Caesar is here?” “We- there was a device to trace Legion’s tracking power…Legion’s always been with Caesar.” “Well, he isn’t now, is he?” The Tech Hero looked in the direction of Legion, and yet…there was no Caesar. The rotund menace was nowhere to be found. He began to grit his teeth under his helmet, starting to turn back towards Tidebinder. Override, still on guard, slowly lowered his arms for a moment. "So if Caesar isn't here, the logical explanation is that you pulled a bait-and-switch. To our knowledge, Legion is always at Caesar's side, so naturally we'd be inclined to assume he'd be with him. Just let me know if I did in fact deduce that correctly, my dear.” Override felt the remaining ice and water on his arm tighten up. He was glad he was wearing the helmet, because his face contorted slightly in pain. "I don't think you're in a position to be calling anyone 'my dear,'" Tidebinder said. "But to answer your question, I don't know anything about a 'bait-and-switch.'" Minos said, "We had two capes trying to track Caesar down using their powers, and they gave us two different locations. You were trying to trick us into choosing the wrong one!" Tidebinder gained a little smirk. "Oh, is that what this is about? All I know is Legion got left behind in my care when Caesar headed off to finalize Project Rubicon. I imagine the server room is useful for a broadcast power like his. Caesar is smarter than you give him credit for, but I don't think it's a trick.” "Finalize it?" Override asked, before remembering the tightening on his arm. He pointed at it as he looked at Tidebinder. "...if you could please release the grip on my arm, I'd be greatly appreciative. But in any case, if Caesar left his secondary lapdog...no offense, Legion...here with you, what are you even doing here instead of assisting with whatever Rubicon is?” "I would call Hellhound the lapdog, or at least I would have until this morning." Tidebinder said. She did not, in fact, release her hold on Override's arm. "But I told you what I'm doing here. I'm watching over Legion. Surely not everyone has to be with Caesar to raid Battle Labs. Gibbons is the largest gang in Scarlet City, I don't think we'd all even fit in there.” "...I suppose it was a bit much to ask for the grip to be release, fair play." Override shrugged. "I digress. What does watching over Legion here serve for you and for that matter, your boss?” That question seemed to catch Tidebinder off-guard. She cocked her head to the side and her smirk disappeared, replaced with something a little more quizzical. "It's... my job? I'm doing it because Caesar asked me to?" Minos chimed in again. "Yeah, but why Legion and why here?" "Just trying something new," Legion croaked, only now looking up from his laptop. "Wanted to see how good of a broadcast beacon I can make this place. Could be useful." "He does talk..." A.V.D. mumbled. "If we somehow get out of this, at least I get to be a hero on the wiki.” "Then...what was the point of us coming in here?" Override looked in the direction of Legion. "A broadcast beacon as of this moment is the least threatening thing we have going for us. Unless you're trying to do something specific with it." He made sure his movements weren't threatening like, moving over towards Legion. "What are you using it for, if I may ask.” It didn't look like Legion was going to respond, but Tidebinder still snapped in. "Don't describe to the tech hero how the tech thing works," she said. "As for why, I assumed it was to cause mayhem like you heroes always do. And look! You've succeeded." "Point of order:" Minos said. "I'm not a hero. And A.V.D.'s a renegade too so just the one hero, actually. I do like causing mayhem, though." A.V.D. shuddered. "I don't actually, um..." Tidebinder waved him off. "Regardless, now that you've caused a suitable amount, I'm going to repeat my request from earlier: You will be escorted off of the premises or you will be forcibly removed from them." The ceiling above everyone creaked and a bit of water dripped through the hole Minos had made. About this time, before Override could do much of anything else, he had a transmission come through. It was from the Director of all people. “They found Caesar at Battle Labs, but they're having trou-...” the rest was unintelligible static. They were too far down to really get a good signal. He began to grit his teeth again, looking more at Legion's direction. The guy wasn't lying. Using what's around him, Legion was indeed sending and receiving information. There was absolutely no doubt about it. Probably was hooked up to an antenna somewhere to do it, but he digressed. The Tech Hero went silent for a few moments, after receiving the transmission. He looked at Legion, before turning back towards Tidebinder. He pointed at his arm, before speaking. "If you could let go of my arm with the grip there, we'll kindly take our leave without the need of your escort." he turned to look at Minos and A.V.D. "Somethings going on at Battle Labs.”
  6. The bard exhaled slowly, taking a moment to compose himself and prepare for the conjurations. After a few moments, he began to slowly conjure out a few things. He started small, taking aim at a broken down set of abandoned boxes and slung his hands towards it...it immediately being struck by a bit of acid. After that, he struck it with a small flurry of ice strikes. It was like riding a horse...he truly never forgot how to do it. "Thank you, my goddess..." he muttered softly to himself, before turning and noticing a trio of cloaked figures coming his direction. "Greetings. We're members of the Kalo family and can't help but notice you seem to be using Conjuration magic. But I don't recognize you. I take it you're not from here? Perhaps you're here to explore the dungeon? I hope you're not here to cause some sort of disturbance, we're in the middle of some inspections you see." Ziun looked at the trio of cloaked figures, before clearing his throat and bowing slightly. "Apologies. I did not mean to cause any alarm here, sir. However in your inspections and assumptions, you did guess correct. I am practicing a bit of my Conjuration magic, trying to get back in tune with it. I am also not from this fine city you have here. Ziun Castir, a humble bard from Cheron, as well as explorer of the Dungeon. A pleasure to make your acquaintances." "Ah, I see. Well that's no problem as long as you keep to yourself...What is it?" He turned towards one of the two who told him something and he nodded. Looking back at Ziun he said, "You haven't happened to meet any...unsavory characters also exploring the Dungeon have you?" "Hmm? Unsavory?" Ziun repeated, putting a hand to his chin slightly. "Would you be referring to the undead and the skeletons that may have attacked myself and my allies whilst in the Dungeon? If not those..." he paused, before nodding. "...there was a hulking beast there with a group of, and the best I can describe them as were cultists." "No, no not monsters." he said, waving his hand. "I mean people. Thieves and cutthroats and the like." "Hmmm then aside from the cultists, as I mentioned, I did not see any thieves or cutthroats of that ilk." Ziun shook his head. The trio looked at each other and then back at Ziun. "Listen, there's someone going into the Dungeon recently who is very dangerous. He's already stolen something from members of our family and attacked others. We need to find them and get the item back. It's incredibly dangerous if left in hands of those who don't know how it works." "I see..." Ziun nodded, rubbing his chin slightly. "Do you happen to have a descriptor of this individual? If not a descriptor of him, perhaps the item he stole from you? It might make it easy to identify if we run into them." The trio began to explain and describe the 'villain' in question. A young man with a height of 5'8"...tidy but unkept short blonde looking hair... ...wait a minute... he thought, listening more and more to the way they described this thief...and he mentally facepalmed. ...oh no...no no no no...don't mention he's carrying a sw-... Apparently they mentioned the exact weapon and Ziun cursed internally. ...son of a satyr...what in the hell did you get involved in Chris?!?! He tapped his finger to his chin once he realized what it was. He did his best to keep calm and not let them know that he technically knew the culprit. "I see, I see...fret not, I'll keep my eyes peeled for such a thief." "Are you sure? After all from what we've found he began exploring the Dungeon recently so you might have noticed them and not even realized." "You may have a point. I may have bumped around a few people that fit that description, but I can't be 100% certain of it..." Ziun sighed, rubbing the back of his head. Again they glanced at each other. "Well, if you do come to the head family's mansion. We will give them your name and description so they know who to be...on the lookout for." "Of course, happy to help." he gave a firm nod. "I do wish you happy hunting for this criminal all the same." "Keep your eyes open, they've been shown to not be above violence to take what they want. Wouldn't want you to get caught unawares." Once they finally left, Ziun turned and was five minutes away from take his hat and immediately start tearing it to pieces. This was NOT what he wanted to hear or needed to hear from anyone at this point. The Apati family wanted him to sabotage everyone in the Dungeon. And NOW the Kalo family was simply looking for Chris because he apparently was wanted for whatever crimes that they were accusing him of. Does anyone else in this party have anything else with these families?! he thought, shaking his head slightly. ...seems like me and our fearless leader need to have a talk...a very insightful talk.
  7. Erie, Pennsylvania...it was a quaint little place, a city on Lake Erie...it's obvious namesake. Of course, he never really saw many peninsula's back in Arizona, but it was a nice view for sure nevertheless. The beaches, the trails, the bay air...it was a definite change of scenery from what he was used to for sure. But even all this new view, Virgil Elliot was here on business: to join the JJA after being recruited. He had a shot for sure to try and rid the world of Curses. A once in a life time shot. It was the early morning and Virgil was about to leave the hotel premise to catch a bus at least to get to where he needed to go. However, as he walked outside, he was greeted by a familiar older woman who was taking a long hit from her cigarette. "Came to see me off, I reckon?" he asked. "If the boot fits." the older woman gave a small smirk, finishing off her cigarette and putting the butt out on her boot. "More like making sure you remember everything I taught you, Elliot. And I'm not just talkin' about your powers and the training I put you through. I'm talkin' bout the weapons I tossed you." She moved closer towards Virgil, got to his eye level as she hunched slightly. Her glasses tilted downwards some as she stared down the young man. "You best maintain Lock & Key and keep their upkeep. If you don't, don't come crying to me to fix ya another pair." Virgil gave the woman a sharp stare, before smirking. "Wouldn't dream of it. You know I can't see myself without my favorite pair. I'll keep their upkeep and treat em like they were my own family." he chuckled some. "...will you at least make sure my parents are taken care of while I'm gone, Jane ma'am?" "Oh darling, I already am making sure they're taken care of." the woman, Jane by name, gave a smile before standing upright. "If any other Curses or Curse Users come in to try and get to em, I'll make it my personal business to take care of them. Anything for my star pupil." She then turned around before tossing something to Virgil, which caused the man to fumble and catch something: a set of keys. "It's in the garage. The red one you liked. Happy hunting, Virgil Elliot." "Thank ya Jane...for everything." Virgil simply said, spinning the keys in his hand some. BGM Driving through the twists and turns of the directions that the JJA gave him to the facility, Virgil felt the breeze against him as the parting gift he was presented with was DEFINITELY something he was excited about. Through the wooded areas, the scenery was definitely different for sure. But at the same time, there was a different feeling to have everything going by at a fast speed. That wasn't the only thing racing, unfortunately...as his mind was sort of racing slightly. His mind had too many things going on...would his family be alright while he was gone? Would Jane be able to handle all this by herself? ...would Jess be alright with how things happened for him now? He forcefully shook his head, knocking himself out of the stupor, his grip growing tighter on the motorcycle's handles. ...focus, Elliot...you can't just keep that going on. The what ifs aren't going to help right now. You need to focus on the moment and how you can make things better. he thought, accelerating a bit more. It wasn't long before Virgil found the location he was told about...and his first thought was... ...why did they design this to look like some sort of community college in the middle of no-where? he shook his head slightly after parking the motorcycle. Once he grabbed his bag and hoisted it over his shoulder, Virgil left the motorcycle in the parking spot and made his way into the building...apparently he was bringing up the rear...seeing about four other individuals in the room. He simply gave a two-fingered salute and a small smirk. "Howdy. I'm not late, I hope."
  8. He sat there for what felt like an eternity, just pondering the situation. Trevor could tell there was something there, something he could help with, but he was at a point where he couldn't break to it. He felt like a failure for the moment, but then again, he didn't have any magic that could easily be utilized to make the situation better. And for all intents and purposes, that was what he was good at. But even still...there had to be som-...wait were those loud thumping noises from outside the door? Trevor whipped around to look towards the door and saw...what seemed to be...a Minotaur. ...a Minotaur? ...interesting...very interesting... he thought, watching the hulking being approached him. "Heard a stranger was hanging around here, scared off a couple people and all, take it that's you?" "Scaring people off? No sir, I can't say that's me." Trevor said simply, looking at the beastman before him. "I do apologize if I actually wasn't supposed to be in here, I was in here talking to the receptionist, Benjamin, a few moments ago. I meant no harm." He cleared his throat, finally getting his bearings back together. "Trevor Masters, apprentice to Balthazar Blake, sorcerer of the 777th degree. I'm one of Mauvache's champions, well...one of the newer batch anyway." "One of....Gwaaaaaaahahahahaha!" The minotaur suddenly began to laugh. Then he clapped a hand on Trevor's shoulder a couple times, painfully, before shaking his large head. "Well that would explain it. You lot sure do like to just show up unexpectedly don't you?" "S-So it would seem..." Trevor tried his best to push through it, though he wouldn't lie...it was painful. "I-In any case, I can assure you I haven't scared off anyone presently around here...mister...?" "Mister? Gwaaaaaahahahaha!" He laughed again. "Name's Tegur m'boy! One of me waitresses scurried back to the bar saying some stranger was lurking you see." "A pleasure, Tegur." Trevor nodded, before rubbing his chin slightly. "A waitress, you say? Curious. Aside from Benjamin, I haven't seen anyone else enter or leave this breakroom...but then again, perhaps I was too engrossed in my own thoughts and ruminations to notice. If that did indeed, happen to be the case, I must apologize." "Poor girl probably didn't even get past the door. You'd think she would learn to be fine with strangers by now. Ah, well, glad to know there was no problem." He patted Trevor's shoulder again. "But you shouldn't linger around too much you know, if you've got nowhere to go I'd recommend getting a drink, gwaaaaahahahaha!" "I would definitely take a recommendation on that." Trevor chuckled, before moving out of the breakroom. However, after he past the door's threshold, he held up a finger. "A curious question from you, Tegur. The receptionist, Benjamin...what's his story? I got bits and pieces here and there, but nothing concrete. I was hoping to help the rabbit out." "Well I don't like to talk bout other folks but that kid? He's a good lad, always comes on time and does his job. Friendly too. Though I guess been a couple months since he's stopped for a chat now that you mention it." "So this is a strange change..." Trevor nodded slowly. "...truly a curious situation indeed. I know he mentioned he was trying to provide for his family, namely his old folks. Not only that, it seems he hasn't been taking care of himself in the long run...running himself through the wringer." "Mm, strange, lad always had so much energy. Don't think I noticed him working more than normal...Well, who knows this old man might just be forgetting things, not the sharpest bolt in the crossbow these days, gwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahaha!" "And he did freak out...thinking I was requesting a payment, saying he already paid this month." Trevor nodded again, tapping his chin. "There's more to this, I reckon." The minotaur grunted. "I see..." He grew quiet then nodded. "Well, can't say I know what that's about. Be careful not to spook the lad too much or ye'll just do the opposite of what ye want." "Would you happen to have any suggestions on how to proceed, Tegur?" Trevor inquired, raising an eyebrow slightly. "Ah, like I said I'm not much o' a thinker. I'm just a bartender these days, people talk about their problems but don't usually hafta get them to open up m'self." "I see, I see..." he sighed. That's about the time it really hit him, maybe there WAS something he could do more than magic: believe. So many adventures before his arrival here back in the Ever...so many times he saw the power of the heart and how strong it was. They had their unique and abilities...they help build strong bonds, etch memories from the past in...they were great tools for all. He had to understand the rabbit's heart if anything...that was fair to be certain. "Perhaps you are right. Maybe he'll open up in his own time..." Trevor sighed slightly, before giving Tegur a thumbs up. "Thank you for the assistance there. As for the recommendation on getting a drink, I'll happily take that, maybe offer an invitation to our rabbit friend as well." "I'll warn my waitress, gwaaaaahahahaha!" Trevor heard the laugh long after Tegur left the room. He did notice the signs about apparently Tegur's bar, which was on the second floor of the Arena. With a nod, he decided to go out to Benjamin and simply offer the rabbit an invitation to accompany him up there sometime. Perhaps there, he would be able to understand the heart of the rabbit man.
  9. The start of Ziun's day was...rough, to say the least. He did eventually get free of his bindings after his meeting with the Apati, though it wasn't without it's embarrassment, as one would come to expect. It was quite the spectacle and did quite embarrass the young bard in the grand scheme of it all, but nevertheless he found himself back at the Drooling Dragon tavern, to do his now normal routine of performing as entertainment for the tavern patrons...hoping to score a bit extra coin...all the while, he kept hoping and trying to figure out what he would end up doing to better help his allies as they delved further into the dungeon. Unfortunately, when he got himself freshened up from the night prior, he double checked his coin count from the night...and to his dismay, he didn't have enough. No extra potions of health just in case, nor a possibility of getting any sort of enchanted items. He cursed to himself, but he didn't have anyone to blame but himself and his own skills. Ziun left his room and moved downstairs to enjoy a bit of food before he planned to meet the others as promised. However, what he needed to do was do a bit more practicing and freshening up on his conjuration magic. He hated the fact that he had neglected it in favor for the blade, but alas, the choice was made before and he had to move forward for this. He did ask a few tavern patrons about a good location to practice and train...and of course, he was thinking about the training grounds, but he was definitely told otherwise. One patron even suggested the docks, since no one was really down there much. Another basically echoed this sentiment...which sounded good. "You gentlemen have my thanks." Ziun nodded with a smile. "I truly appreciate the assistance." After getting pointed in the right direction, the bard made his way down in the direction of the docks. Ziun had to admit, it was a bit of a nostalgic feeling to return back to his conjuration side of magic, even though he forewent it in favor of the blade. It was like something he had lost was returning back to him...and it felt like it was completing him in the grand scheme of it all. But these were laments and thoughts he could have later. He entered the docks area and stood there, breathing the salty sea air for a moment or two. "Now, time for a bit of practice." he muttered, exhaling slowly. "I shouldn't have forgotten everything about how to do this, surely."
  10. Once again, Trevor found himself in a rather...strange predicament, the very same one he found himself in the day before. Alone in the abode with Bartleby, but honestly, not for very long. He figured today would be a good day to go visit someone: Benjamin, the receptionist at the Arena. A strange thing to do, in the grand scheme of it all, but once he bid Bartleby farewell, he left and headed to the Arena. "A curious question for you, Masters. What pray tell are we doing visiting the receptionist?" Trevor looked at his floating grimoire, before sighing slightly. "A...bit of an observation, actually." he started, the two headed off. "Our rabbit man had a bit of a tired look on his face when we first arrived here, if you happen to recall." He paused in his stride, sliding his hands into his pockets. "...I want to try and help our receptionist out and find out what's going on with him." The Cabanomicon spoke not another word...er...write out another word, but the two continued onward in silence. Once they arrived at the Arena, Trevor would notice that it seemed it was open and busy today. Seemed like there was a fight scheduled for today, but sadly, unlike other such fancy arenas, this one didn't have any screens to view the combatants to know who was fighting. Nevertheless, the young sorcerer noted the long line of people at, of course, the receptionist counter apparently buying tickets with Benjamin there selling tickets. Trevor found it best to just wait in the back and wait for the line to go down, then he'd make his move. Once a certain time hit, the bunny declared that ticket sales had ended. Of course, some people who didn't make it grumble but they ended up leaving regardless. The bunny then did something behind the desk and a red screen with text "Closed until end of match" appeared in front of the desk. Taking this as his cue, Trevor simply knock on the desk lightly and waved. "Good morrow, Benjamin. How goes it?" "Sorry, we aren't selling tickets at this moment." Benjamin replied automatically. "Oh that's fine, I wasn't here for ticket buying." Trevor chuckled, before pondering. "...at least not today anyway." "Oh okay. Merchandise can be bought online. The food courts and bar is in the floor ahead. Sign ups for Arena Contestants must go through an interview process. If you have a meeting scheduled please state your name and reason for meeting." "You seem to have that down to a science with that whole spiel." Trevor chuckled, waving his hand dismissively. "In any case, I figure I stop by and check on you, actually. If I recall the last time we spoke and saw each other, you looked...for lack of a better term, like something the cat dragged in. Bags under the eyes, just to name an example." "I'm sorry I don't understand..." He then looked panicked. "I-I already paid this month!" "Benjamin...buddy, I'm not asking for money." he tapped on the desk again, doing his best to really observe the rabbit man. "Just trying to help you out is all. Honestly seems like you haven't had a break in a while." He stared for a while, not comprehending, then said, "Oh! You're um. That guy. S-sorry I, um, thought you were someone else haha....and well actually it's just about time to take my break!" "Excellent..." Trevor nodded, before clearing his throat. "So you wanna talk about...that...?" he asked, referring to what the rabbit man just had happen. "Either that or maybe why you look like something that Morgan would work with? Ya know...dead lookin with those tired eyes?" "Oh dear, do I? Sorry I'll work on that. I don't like to have caffeine, my mom always said that I get jittery ahaha...." He paused. "Er, I should head to the break room. But it's employees only so...." "Would it technically be alright for me to accompany, considering I'm one under Mauvache's employ too?" Trevor asked. "Or would that be a no?" "Um. I don't....I don't know...I-If you insist, but it's not really anything special." The break room was simply that, complete with a bunch of tables and vending machines along one wall that had all sorts of things including full packaged and cooked meals. "Looks like Mauvache keeps her employees in good hands with everything like this." Trevor chuckled, moving to a table. "So, what seems to be the issue with you, my friend?" "Issue? There's no issue....did I make a mistake that I don't remember?" "I meant the insomnia there." Trevor said, waving a finger in the air. "Noticed it when we first arrived. Quite frankly, with everything else going on, didn't have a moment to properly look into the matter. But I have time now, thankfully." "Insomnia? Ahaha no no I guess I'm a little tired but I'm okay I'm just glad I have a job." "Uh huh..." he said, staring intently at Benjamin, trying to study him. "And you thought I was someone wanting money, when I clearly don't look like any loan shark at all...and once again, you look like the living dead...so why don't you just tell me what's up?" "Nothing is up why do you keep saying that you're being so weird right now, ahahaha." Trevor stared more at Benjamin, squinting his eyes slightly. "Uh-huh..." he said, not really believing the rabbit. The more he looked the more nervous Benjamin seemed to be getting. He began to fiddle with a nametag on his shirt. "Is...um, is that all you wanted then? I appreciate the concern but everything is A-Okay here." Trevor kept staring, noticing the nervousness that Benjamin was displaying. "You know...I've already been taught this lesson, one I'm still working on figuring out..." his mind reeled back to his training fight in the system with Morgan against Grigoriy. "...you need to rely on others, your team and friends, to help you. You can't just do things on your own. Take it from this sorcerer...trust me." He smiled weakly. "Y-yeah, that's true. Well that's what I'm working for you know, to help my family and all. Old folks getting, well, old." "Have you been taking proper care of yourself afterwards?" Trevor raised an eyebrow slightly. He could honestly get behind Benjamin's reasoning at this point, family was important for sure. But if he answered anything else here bu-... "Oh don't worry if I don't 'take care' of myself I'm sure someone will, ahaha..haha." it seemed he had made a joke somewhere in there to himself that he didn't actually find very funny. His eyes slightly narrowed for a split moment. He cursed internally, it was making sense now. With Benjamin saying he was helping his family with his parents getting old... it all made sense. And for a moment, the sorcerer was both sad and upset at the same time. "No." Trevor said sternly, shaking his head slightly. "Let me tell you this, my mentor and master told me the importance of rest. While hard work is important, don't mistake me, rest is even more important. For example, if you work out your muscles and don't give them time to rest and heal, you'll only damage yourself in the long run. What do you think will happen if you continue to go down this path of working yourself to death? Your folks most likely won't have anyone to take care of them should anything happen to you." "Ahaha, yeah, wouldn't...wouldn't want to damage myself would I. That sure would be bad....anyway, break's just about over I should get going." Trevor nodded before thinking of something. "Tell you what...provided that our top-hatted boss is alright with it, how about I help you out? Just to lessen your work load in order for you not to kill yourself in the process." "Less work? No, no no no no not at all, no way, I can't have that!" He got up suddenly and went for the door. "A-anyway break's over time to get back to it." Trevor just let the rabbit man rush past him, simply rubbing the bridge between his nose. "The poor man is overworking himself...that there is for sure. All this for his folks...and for what?" he muttered, most likely loud enough for Benjamin to hear...or not to hear, that was up to the rabbit's ears. "...perhaps casting Curaga might help? No...I believe I did that once before. It didn't seem to work then." The sorcerer just sat there in the break room, contemplating and collecting his thoughts. If Benjamin wasn't careful, he would most likely work himself to death...and that couldn't happen.
  11. Basically on cue after he said stuff (and a bit more than that as well), Sabrina went in before the rest of the party. It seemed like a rookie mistake in the grand scheme, considering the fact that the number one rule of any game with a party: Never split up the party. And yet, Sabrina took that one rule and threw it out the window. So much for the dragon blooded warrior being a team player...then again, what was he doing any different? He had been pretty distant lately after that last fight against the Guardians, least in his mind. “...Sabrina’s gone, I’m going to go look for her. ...I’m going left,” "N-No telling where she went...but..." Gene sighed, nodding slightly. "May as well see if we can find some clues on the left path..." ...maybe get some actual puzzle solving going. His decision was made as Gene followed after Marshall down the left path. Like Marshall in front of him, he scaled up the pile of rubble as best he could just to see a dimly lit hallway...a poorly lit one at that. It stretched in both ways as the previous floors had, though there was a clear lack of floor. Eventually though she would hear armored footsteps from further down the hall and it's winding castle walls, though it was difficult to make out how many there actually were. Even still, Gene had the mind of a puzzle solver in this moment. He knew there had to be something within these halls in regards to a secret or something. And he was determined to find it! He got within the hall and started to slowly run his hands along the walls. Here and there he would press on it to try and find out if there was a hidden secret within the walls. Nothing. ...okay...no secrets in the walls...damn. Let's try the next thing. Gene proceeded to move towards the collapsed floor, to see if he could find anything within the pile of rubble. Unfortunately, once again, he came up empty. ...o-okay...this is starting to really upset me... he slightly grumbled silently to himself. He figured the only thing left to do was to move forward. And that was the last thing he wanted to do. With a slow, drawn out sigh, Gene moved past Marshall in a cautious manner and proceeded forward. Walking around the bend, Gene saw them: a patrol of three armored Drengr, all carrying weapons. He let a slight gulp after seeing these creatures walking around on patrol, though they were walking on the opposite direction of him...which was a plus. Though on the right, he saw a door, though it was a bit further down. Damnit...and it's past the Drengr...just my luck. Gene thought, slightly defeated at this point. He decided to just play it safe and go back cautiously and quietly back to Marshall and just relay all the information to her. Maybe she could assist with a better plan of attack.
  12. “So it’s a floor and change below the restaurant? I wonder if people know that when they decide to eat there…” “I mean, it kinda makes sense. If they’re using water as their main fire suppressant because Caesar’s got that woman on staff, like, you still want a different suppressant if the restaurant’s got a fryer. I don’t think even Caesar could convince a health inspector otherwise.” "I wouldn't put it past the rotund psycho at this point..." Override sighed, his suit finishing the expulsion of the water from his suit. "Regardless...we should be able to work with that at least..." “And the control room’s probably got a lot of tech. You don’t want water leaking through the floor into that. She can’t be here all the time to keep it out if something goes wrong.” Override was silent, as he turned towards A.V.D., waiting for a moment. Things started turning in his head, about the time he realized what was meant, Minos seemed to come to the same conclusion. “Oh, so it’s like a blind spot! She’s in the Control Room, but she can’t let too much water get in there. We could probably just make a hole in the kitchen floor then, right? Go down through there?” “You know where the kitchen is?” “Duh! My superpower-Cassie-says-isn’t-a-superpower, remember? Also, there were signs for the restaurant when we came in. Anyway, yeah, if you’re real anxious, I could probably close up the floor when we’re done with it too,” "...that's...a fair point. I think I must've missed those signs specifically, considering I came through the roof." he said, prepping himself. But at least now they had a plan, though it wasn't too much of a great plan, but it was something. “I don’t want to get into all that water on the floor, though. I guess we’re running across the machines, then? I’ll try to conjure up some handrails in case we lose balance because that doesn’t look safe either…” “Good idea! Well, we’ve got a goal and a plan to achieve it. What else are we waiting for?” Override gave Minos a nod, beginning to rise into the air again. "At this point, nothing. Though I am going to say this..." he noted the display on his H.U.D., seeing the layout of the kitchen he had gotten. The restaurant area was a series of tables circled around a lavish buffet line. There were a couple of mercenaries/mooks/whatever they were standing guard near the kitchen doors, one by the buffet, and three tables also have someone nearby for a total of six hostiles. The tech hero already started flying off in the direction of the restaurant. "Okay, we have about six hostiles in the restaurant area. One by the buffet, a couple standing guard by the kitchen doors and three tables have someone near them. Do either of you have a proper plan to take care of this? I'm open to suggestions." A.V.D. looked back behind himself and saw a rush of water flowing out of the casino pit and giving chase. "I don't know if we have the time to make a plan..." he said. "No, it's okay!" Minos said. "That's just one or two each. Dibs on the buffet line one!" "Guns blazing then, alright." Override nodded, before hearing some stuff behind him. He glanced backwards and saw that the very slot machines they were starting to run on, the ones behind start sparking even further and explode behind the last person running along. "Shit...that's not good at all. Kick it into high gear, people!" The moment he got to the restaurant doors, Override burst through and aimed at the two nearest ones, the ones by the tables...and he fired two pulse bolts at them. One connected with a mook and they were knocked down. The other, dove behind a table. "The table isn't going to save you, buddy." he said, immediately firing another bolt at the table, blasting a hole in the table. And yet, the hole was sealed up by a freeze ray. "...charming." He took aim at another thing in the room...a chandelier above the table in question. Override fired another bolt at the chandelier, having it crash down onto the table...or the plan was that... The mook fired the freeze ray up at the falling chandelier which froze into a platform for the chandelier to crash into instead. The tech hero immediately noticed something, in where the mook was giving a thumbs up to the camera in the corner of the room. "So they're keeping tabs on them from the cameras, eh? Clever girl." Override took this opportunity to immediately fire bolts at the cameras. "Time to blind you lot. No more freebies." "Sir...sir!" "In a minute, P.I.X.E.L." "But sir! Incom-..." Override heard the alert too late as he was struck in the left arm by the freeze ray, which knocked him for a loop for a moment. He got careless, which caused him to curse under his breath and helmet. "P.I.X.E.L., get the suit to attempt to pull power to go into a defrost." he said, before immediately firing another bolt at the mook with the ray, knocking him out. He landed for a moment, before checking on the others...Minos had managed to deal with the two by the kitchen door in addition to the one she called dibs on and A.V.D. had left the one remaining one shivering in the fetal position. Plan well executed. "O-Okay...good work...now...while I get my suit to at least deal with the frozen side... Minos! You're up." he pointed in the direction of the room, towards the kitchen. "If you don't mind." Minos gave a little salute. "You got it!" she said. "One and a half floors down we go!" She marched through the swing doors into the massive casino kitchen, where she picked out a spot, punched into the floor, and widened and deepened the hole until the first basement could easily be seen. It seemed like a standard office hallway underneath. She hopped down and repeated the process with the basement floor. The hole she created there did not reveal any details about the control room, though. It was pitch black below. It took a second but Minos decided to climb back up to the kitchen. "It's a bit of a jump, and I'm gonna guess she's not alone down there 'cuz that's gotta be a power," she said. "Fantastic..." Override sighed, the suit finally able to heat up enough to defrost the left side. "Then we should get down there and see what we got." Once he was fully defrosted, he immediately followed after Minos.
  13. Ziun’s head throbbed with pain. He had been hit before, sure, but this was a new sort of sensation. As he started to come to, he felt the area around him jolt up…was he…in a carriage? It seemed so, and a very VERY fancy one too. Red colored sheets covering the windows, long cushioned seats, several feet between him and the other side…which the little girl was, a bird cage with…a…fish…and water, and a sword in a…stone? He blinked a few times, wondering if he really did wake up or was still in the land of dreams. Well, he would be enjoying this more...if he wasn't bound...lovely. "Finally awake are you? I didn't think I hit you that hard, not much of an explorer huh?" "Now now. You just don't know your strength sister." "Does it matter? He's up ain't he? Let's get to it." "Come on brother, can't you see the pathe-....poor thing is still out of sorts? So, about what you said about 'offering your life'...." "W-Well..." Ziun finally spoke up, once he finally got his bearings and wasn't as groggy when he first awoke. "Am I to assume you represent the Apati family, my dear?" he asked, as calmly as he could (despite basically being abducted). "Considering your appearance and voice don't quite match up now, that and the fish in the cage..." The bard motioned with his head to the cage and the fact that the water was still there in one piece. "Top it off with a talking sword...which most of this doesn't just happen. Now if I'm speaking nonsense, I suppose I'll make due and assume I may still be dreaming after seeing this." "Maybe you are dreaming, you were out for a while after all." The girl said. "We wouldn't presume to 'represent' the family, as it were." the fish said. "But yes, we are members." "A pleasure to meet you, in that case...albeit, perhaps would be a bit more of a pleasure if I wasn't currently in this predicament." Ziun shrugged, namely referring to the fact he was bound. "Nevertheless, you answered my question...so I'll respond in kind. I would say it was nothing but a slip of the tongue with my words, but perhaps..." he paused, before sitting upright and letting out a sigh. "...due to me not having anything but my own life to offer, why wouldn't I attempt to bargain with it? For some, this could be construed as madness. I myself know not why I said it when I did, but nevertheless...I uttered those words and therefore, made my bed. If I could not be a hindrance to my allies while delving further for the Spark, to be of service and help to them instead of cowering like a scared child in the face of watching a...friend...perish in the line of adventure...then I suppose...I would gladly submit and work for the Apati family." "I told you he talks a lot." The girl said to the sword. "Yeah I didn't quite get all that." "Simple, he's saying he wants to do work for us." The fish answered. "And he doesn't even know who we are yet." The woman said with a derisive laugh. "Hey, who even are you?" The sword asked. "...I'm sitting right here, you don't have to talk like I'm not here..." he muttered, before clearing his throat to avoid that. "Apologies. My name is Ziun Castir of Cheron, Bard of the College of Glamour, at your service." "Oh a schoolboy, cute." The girl said. "Why I think I know of the place, it's a quaint instutition." Said the fish. "Ugh." Grunted the sword. "Oh, right, you can call us Cerberus." The girl said, and giggled. "Cerberus...?" Ziun lulled that name around in his mind some, nodding. "That sounds familiar, or at least it rings a small bell, more or less...I believe my peers at Steelhorn used it as a term rather than a name, however." "Nonetheless that is what you can call us." The fish said. "Anywho, so you want to work right? And I recall you said you don't have much in the way of outstanding skills to mention yes?" "Aside from illusions and conjuration, though unfortunately I pale in comparison to such as the likes of Zion." Ziun lamented, but nodded. "Aside from that, I am but a humble bard." "Humble, bah." The sword said, clearly not liking the word choice. "Well we can have you play some music, perhaps spice it up with some fire and spikes..." the girl said. "Sister, did you not bring him here for a reason?" The fish prompted. "Yes, yes, I know I was just thinking of other ideas." The girl leaned forward, elbows on her knees and chin on her hands. "How far have you gotten in the Dungeon? Do you think those....companions of yours intend to try and go all the way?" "Fifteen. However, I only joined with my companions for five floors." Ziun explained. "So before I joined them, it was ten." "Ah, it's a start as they say." The fish said. "Well, do you think that they have what it takes to go all the way? Or are they gonna just give it up on their own?" the girl asked. "With these three, I am as sure as the sun sets and rises the next day, that they'll go all the way." Ziun smirked confidently with this. "They're a most impressive and formidable group." "Hm." "Hm." "Heh." The three practically said in unison, before the little girl spoke once more. "Then that makes it simple. There's an easy thing you can do for us to earn some money. All you have to do. Is sabotage them." She laughed and then, as if expecting a certain reaction, continued "you don't have to get them killed or anything just make it a bit harder on them, enough that they decide it's not worth it." Ziun gave a blank stare at them, as if in...disbelief. "I'm sorry...please, I must be mishearing, Cerberus. Could you repeat what you said?" "Do I have to?" She asked, sounding suddenly childish again. "It's simple really." The fish answered. "Use whatever tricks you can to make their next expedition to the dungeon hard. Hard enough they decide to stop going through it. That's all." Ziun was silent, almost deathly silent. His gaze seemed to go from the trio known as Cerberus to the floor in contemplation. The opportunity was here, he could have the coin to get what he needed to assist his companions through the dungeon...but...it was at the cost of them not being able to progress. He had to sabotage them, which at this point, he would've been better off without doing this...on the count of his last five floors with them. He thought hard on this, his eyes darting slightly around as his gaze remained fixated on the floor of the carriage. Finally...the bard spoke with a sigh. "...I must apologize...but, I don't believe I'm the man for this kind of job." Ziun confessed, seeming slightly dejected. "In truth, I sought the Apati out to be able to assist my fellows in their dive through the dungeon. If I was to simply sabotage them...well, quite frankly I would've done so without trying to fix anything. That is to say, with the last five floors, I proved to be nothing but a hindrance. I sought a way to help them, not to be a hindrance once more." His gaze returned to Cerberus. "I apologize that this may not be the answer you hoped for, but I cannot do that." "Well that's stupid." The sword said. "A very unwise decision indeed." The bird replied. "And here I thought you were willing to do anything. Why did you bother trying to find work if you're not willing to do what it takes? Who would want to hire someone like that?" The girl said, sounding annoyed. "We have plenty of grunts if that's all you intended to be." Ziun sighed but simply shrugged. "I was, but not to the point of practically screwing up the reason I was seeking you out in the first place. I was doing it, not for my sake, but for theirs. I lost one...compatriot, ally, friend, whatever you wish to call her because of my..." he paused, shaking his head. "...because of my incompetence. So I am truly sorry, but I cannot do that. But perhaps you'll indulge me in another question. Why are you opposed to this group going further through the dungeon?" "Ew." "Ew." "Ew." The three groaned. Then the girl answered. "Why wouldn't we want to stop anyone else reaching the Spark? That's pretty simple stuff." "Apparently not to someone such as myself." Ziun said plainly. "Quite frankly, I figured most of the families, from what I was told, mind you, were hiring people to get the Spark...and yet, you wish to keep those from reaching it. It's a strange situation for sure." "Less people in the Dungeon means less competition." The fish said with a chuckle. "Even I know that." The sword said. "But I suppose you are just a musician." The girl snickered. "So why don't you just...hire someone to get there before the others?" Ziun inquired. "As you said, I am just a musician, but even I can understand that if you want it...you would hire someone to get it, right?" "Well that would be stupid." They all said at once. "At least, it would be right now." Said the sword. "Without competition we can simply take our time." The fish said. "So impatient." The girl said, shaking her head. "You really don't know what you're getting yourself into. Trust me, you should take this deal. It'll be a lot better for you and your...." she snorted. "...friends." "At least WE aren't trying to kill ya." The sword said. "Now now, brother, don't say anything about the other families. You wouldn't want to be rude." said the fish. "Well, in any case, guess we have no use for you right now, do we?" asked the girl. "It appears so..." Ziun sighed yet again. "Seems we are truly at an impasse and it's a shame. Part of me was truly wanting to learn from the great Zion Apati, but alas, it seemed to be too good to be true." "Ah, he's not so great really, but I guess he would seem like that to you huh." The girl said. "Well, I suppose you should be on your way." Said the fish. Then one of the carriage doors opened up. If Ziun looked he'd see the carriage was still moving. Even still the sword said "Go on then." "I take it you won't at least unbind me?" Ziun looked out through the door, seeing it still moving. This would be the way this day would be for him, wouldn't it? "Part of me is assuming you won't at this point." "Of course not, we're not even sitting in front of you." The girl said with a laugh. "Maybe if you had taken the offer." "I figured as much." Ziun sighed, before doing his best to stand up and keep his balance as he made his way towards the carriage door. "Very well, Cerberus...twas a delight meeting you, until it wasn't, but I shan't hold that against you. Do give Zion my regards." he said, trying his best not to mentally kick himself for not taking this offer, but he wasn't going to ruin the other's chances like that. With nothing else to say, he walked out the carriage door. "See you later, schoolboy!" The girl said and began to laugh more. "You might not see us though." was the last thing he heard before stepping out and tumbling onto the ground. He bounced a few times before coming to a stop. As he rolled slowly to a stop, after bouncing a few times, he found himself back on the ground to where he looked up at the sky. His face, while he did have a smile on his face with talking to Cerberus...it was now gone. Ziun just laid there...partially not caring if he was a road block or anything (considering he was still bound), but he laid there...feeling defeated. He felt stupid on multiple levels. Stupid on how he thought this would work. Stupid on almost selling his soul to the proverbial devil(s) just to do it. And stupid how he ALMOST agreed to sell his allies out and sabotage them just to "help" them. If there was a low point...this was it...and any lower, well, Ziun probably would be descending there too. "...back to square one..." he muttered to himself, sighing slightly. "...how the hell am I supposed to help them now...?"
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