Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by TheDemonHound
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TheDemonHound Hell’s Minion

Member Seen 4 days ago

Little Red Riding Hooded Mercenary

Location: Sweet Canyon Train Station
Level: 1
Exp: 0/20 -> 2/10
Word Count: 824


What should have been a calm and peaceful night in what looked like it should be the happiest desert in the world was interrupted by the sounds of metal on metal as combat ensued along the train tracks. A lone girl, if she could even be called a girl anymore, wearing a red hooded cloak was facing off against several small robots that made the mistake of picking a fight with an extremely dangerous mercenary. This girl was not a regular human after all, at least she isn’t anymore. This was the Little Red Riding Hooded Mercenary. A dangerous Abnormality who was transformed from an ordinary human to a violent and threatening creature with a taste for bloodshed. As one of the robots swung in an attempt to attack her she jumped backwards out of the way and charged the robot down after she landed. It took her more effort than normal to cut through that thing, seems blade attacks aren’t the most useful at cutting metal, but she managed to get the job done. Another also tried to land an attack but she quickly shoved it to the ground and started kicking its head in until it stopped moving. That left one more foolish creature. She rushed that one down too and placed a gun to its head. Being a robot though she didn’t get any reaction out of it before she blew a hole through its head. And thus her walk could continue once more.

As much as she abhorred this sugary land it was at the very least calming. Red wasn’t much a fan of anything like this anymore. Maybe back when she was a child this place would appeal to her but now? Now it was nothing more than a bright, happy looking annoyance. And if she learned anything from some of the things in that facility it’s that bright and happy just meant even more potential danger. She had honestly lost track of how long she had been walking before she finally came upon a train station. She had been hired after all to figure out what happened to this trade route, why it had stopped operating. These robots seemed like a very likely culprit but she was gonna find the town it was connected first before she drew any conclusions.

It was at this train station that the peaceful night was interrupted once again. Red could hear the commotion through the tunnel before it had even gotten close enough for her to see. The sounds of explosions, a vehicle, and just other general combat noises indicated a pretty large scale battle. Or perhaps an attempted escape? She quickly found herself a hiding spot a little ways away as she watched people eventually emerge. And wow what a group it was! An assorted group of masked teenagers, a weird cat… thing? There was a round fluffball of a creature, a robot, some mostly normal looking humans and then a few things that she could only liken to Abnormalities rather than giving an apt description of them. Of course it’s not like she was shocked. Everything in this world was wild beyond belief but very few things compare to the weirdness and sheer terror of the things you can find in the Backstreets. Or the facility. Hell, just about anywhere in her world had a weird thing or another if you looked hard enough.

She stayed and watched the group for a little to see if she could discern their intentions. None of them seemed particularly ill-willed. At least no more than some of the creatures she had encountered thus far. Was it even worth revealing herself to the group? On one hand perhaps they could finally answer some of her questions. She still wasn’t sure how exactly she ended up in this strange world and these people seemed just as out of place as her. On the other hand she preferred working alone. And what if these people already know about her or recognize her as something inhuman and dangerous? After weighing the pros and cons Red sighed and finally came out of her hiding place a small distance from the group and started to approach. While she was slightly concerned that her mask and hood would make it look like some evil monster was approaching them, she’d rather scare them with that then show her maimed face. She kept her hands on her weapons while her single eye flitted amongst all of them in case they tried to go straight into combat.

“So uh, you all seem very out of place here too. Does anyone know where ‘here’ even is? I’ve been stuck here for who knows how long and I haven’t gotten any clear answers yet.” Red’s speech was very awkward and plain. It was a little obvious that she wasn’t used to talking to people like that, she normally resorted to stabbing first and asking later.
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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Archmage MC
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Archmage MC

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Queen Sectonia


Level 6 Sectonia (holding 2 level up) - (3/60) +2 - Level up!

Dessert desert
Word Count: 1139


The drones were endless in the air, and with Sectonia being the groups only major source of AA, their numbers still swarmed even though she thinned them out. Her light ring on the large sand shark thing chasing the group did some damage, but it wasn't enough to take it down. Everyone below meanwhile was still making their way to the sugary wonderland ahead, still getting swarmed with the bots below but making steady progress. Having to deal with the majority of the AA herself, Sectonia was the last of the group to make it over the precipice, needing to rapidly blink to get past the intensifying swarms that assaulted her person.

A bit battered, but feeling better by the moment thanks to her new magical item, Sectonia observed the same thing that everyone else was seeing; a vast wonderland made out of baked goods, sweets, candies, and all sorts of things an insect lady would absolutely adore. Having run there, much of the group was a bit weary of eating the food, especially considering some of the creatures here while they looked sweet, were actually quite dangerous. Almost as if this area was the same as a deep jungle, but made out of a more clearly open area, with how aggressive some of the wildlife looked. Even then, while some creatures looked quite... amalglamic... others looked fairly clean and proper.

One of these creatures Midna seemed to show some concern over above all others, a small thing made out of air fluffed cream with strawberries as hairclips. And unlike some of the other wildlife here, it seemed most of the area's wildlife ignored these puffs of cream, showing the same weariness as Midna. Could this thing really be that powerful for how small it was? Either way, it did know how to keep itself looking proper even if 'cute' wasn't exactly the same as 'beautiful', they were still close. As the others decided what they were going to do, Sectonia summoned a single green Antillion, commanding it to try to make friendly relations to one of the small cream creatures. After all, she wasn't going to risk her own neck right away when she had minions to do it for her in case this thing was incredibly deceptive in appearance.

The Alcremie, just freely wandering through the candy landscape seemingly with no care in the world, didn't really react much when the Antillion approached it. While the cream pokemon kept its eye on the Antillion much like a predator would its pray, it didn't show any signs of aggression as the antillion approached peacefully, as ordered by Sectonia. The Alcremie wasn't the fastest thing out there, but it didn't need to be when things approached it. Still, seeing as this non candy creature wasn't either weary nor aggressive towards it, the Alcremie stood there and watched what the antillion did. Once the antillion got close enough to the alcremie, it kneeled down and extended one of its hands to see what the pokemon would do, and after a few moments, the cream pokemon waddled up to the antillion wearily. All this happening while the others were looking around, trying to figure out where to scout with Midna offering to scout a bit ahead.

"Hm... Some of these creatures don't seem all that hostile." Sectonia said, pointing out how the Alcremie was just string at her kneeling antillion, not making any hostile motions or anything nor trying to attack it. Seeing as they had been staring at each other for a bit, Sectonia ordered her antillion to gently bring the creature to her. The Alcremie only stared deadpan at the Antillion when it went to pick it up, giving it the look of "If you try anything, I'll end you.". No doubt this area wasn't nearly as sweet as it looked.

Following the queen's order, the Antillion brought the Alcremie to Sectonia. Sectonia looked at the creature with curious eyes, while the Alcremie did the same. Both also gave the impression they'd destroy the other if either side tried anything, leading to a tense atmosphere. "Hm. As I thought, you look quite nice, especially compared to the other creatures around here. You have some elegance to you." Sectonia said, looking at the cream 'mon. The mon in return looked at her still weary, but not as deadpan at this remark. "Can you talk?" Sectonia asked, noticing the higher intelligence this creature seemed to show compared to your basic wildlife. The Alcremie could only say its namesake in return, either its whole name, or the phonetic parts of its name. This made Sectonia remember that a few of the people in other teams had things like this. They were called Pokemon and spoke in the same manner. They were also quite powerful, even if they were small. They were also, from what she was told, easy to make friends with, although friendship to Sectonia probably didn't mean the same thing as it did for others.

"So you can understand me, but can't speak anything but your name. Curious. Well, no matter. Seeing as you live here, would you care to guide me and my escort here through this area? In return, 'we' can protect you and if you'd like to see what exists beyond this candy scape, 'we' can help with that." Sectonia using the royal version of 'we', which seemed to go over the Alcremie's head. The 'mon looked at the group before it, turning around to see everyone before giving Sectonia a look of "I'm not afraid of things here. But sure, that is fine." before offering out its little hand to shake. The queen gave the 'mon one of her fingers to shake, as they had quite the size difference between the two. "Very good. I am Queen Sectonia. Let us see what perils this.... interesting land holds." Sectonia said, concluding their deal, looking at the deserts in the distance with a bit of lust, but managing to keep herself in check.

Midna was going towards the person who was calling for help with a few of the group skeptical thinking it was a trap. This area did still exist after all while being an area that many, many creatures would devour in an instant, so things here had to either be incredibly dangerous, deceptive, or outright strong to live here. So the queen kept an eye on the twilight princess as she moved along.

Her attention was ripped away though as a newcomer approached the group, looking 'normal' and not made of candy. However that made this person look very shady being so out of place, and her demur didn't help matters much. Sectonia said, watching this newcomer. "Not exactly. Its a dessert desert. Thats the best I can gather."

Blazermate


Level 8 Blazermate - (59/80) +1

Night on the Town > The Docks
Words: under 750


Blazermate did surprise Ms. Fortune with catching up with her, but this didn't bother the cat lady for too long. In fact she looked happy having a partner to follow her around the city. Seeing that she did have a guest, Ms. Fortune decided to look at what was going on inside the arena that lay before herself and Blazermate, offering the Medabot the choice to join her in watching the match. Blazermate obliged, and the two entered the colossieum. Inside Blazermte wasn't sure what she was going to expect, but she wasn't expecting a floating water bubble where various aquatic people were going to fight! "I am so glad we don't have meda arenas like this, otherwise I don't think I'd be as useful. There aren't that many aquatic medabots though, so even if we did I doubt they'd be as popular." Blazermate said as the two watched the spectacle.

==========================================

The next day arrived with a blast of light from the Dead Zone, the thing they had been warned of having gone off at this point. "So glad that's over with. Wonder if there are any spirits left." Blazermate said, curious as to what was left of the dead zone after the massive blast. With Ms fortune in toe, the two of them made their way to the meeting spot with everyone else. There were tons of shipgirls all lined up, ready for the assault, alongside other ships, one of which had Bowser's face on it. "Well we know which one is his." Blazermate said, pointing at Bowser's ship with her thumb. Blazermate then went to assist a few of the other ship girls before approaching the koopa family and the group, as it definitely looked like they were preparing for quite a fight.

Seeing as there was a bit of a gathering in an area, Blazermate approached that, waiting for whatever was going on to happen. inside this group however, she saw a new person alongside Sakura, someone who Blazermate had very little interaction with and who looked like they were from Japan as well and the others. This new person however looked like they were making some of the shipgirls a bit uneasy, so Blazermate waited to see what was going to happen with all of this before she did anything else. Geralt definitely looked concerned, which didn't help matters much at all.
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Dawnrider
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Dawnrider Demigod

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Level: 7 (2 -> 12 -> 14/70)
Location: Edge of the Blue - Limsa Lominscuttle Town - The Bismarck - The Drowning Wench -> Limsa Harbor
Word Count: 802 (+2 EXP)

Hat: Ice -> Standard


‘Day 3 (I think?)...

So… a LOT happened today… or days??? (I *knew* I should’ve done this before I left!) Too much to fit in one entry anyway. I guess I’ll just have to leave this one blank. Sorry, (again) future me!’


Hat Kid’s diary read thusly, as jotted down on the vacant back of a menu she absconded with from one of the two eateries she had been to that evening. Certainly, a great deal had taken place for the Seekers over the course of a single day, or what at least seemed like one for those who might have lost track of time throughout it. Many of the meatier story beats, it seemed, took place in the child’s absence, as she found out by sitting in on the dinner table discussion. One element of the already interesting story of Red Team’s escapades through the Dead Zone stood out to her; Linkle’s disappearance.

A somber mood fell over the table for those who knew her, insofar as they were able to get to over the course of three days. Hat Kid was little exception in that regard, as she couldn’t honestly say she had grown close with anyone during her time awake in this World. Linkle just happened to be among those she directly interacted the most with, which still amounted to little more than sharing a stale cookie and rescuing a monk pilot who didn’t need it. Beyond that, there wasn’t much else; nothing besides a shared cause on which to form a kinship. Not that it ever stopped her before.

That was just it. Hers was less a feeling of loss (though still felt in some part) than a reminder of its possibility. She had to ask herself again, what was she doing here? With all these other people? Who were they, really? Did she really care to know? Did she have to? What was to stop her from going back to doing things the way she used to and always had--on her own? Would she--or they--ultimately prefer that she did, or miss her if she left? After all, she had her own task to complete that none of them knew about, and loathe as she was to entertain the idea, they might be glad for it by the time they need to reach Space. To that end, she couldn’t shake the sense that she would be more useful elsewhere, doing what she did best: reclaiming what was hers! Though, the one, and perhaps most important question remained… Was she okay with that?

Her waking thoughts echoed clamors of the past. They “didn’t need a hero”; they had enough of them already. But then, she remembered it was her who inspired, through her actions, those outcries to begin with. That happened because she was there to make it happen, whether she meant to or not. They only got to say that because she gave them the courage and a chance to. They may not have needed, or wanted, a hero, but they had one. And in the end, they were glad to have had one. How would that have changed if she had turned away?

These dwellings kept her awake for no longer than was reasonable to allow them to. That, and the Dead Zone explosion did wonders giving her something else to think about, making her especially glad to have not been there herself, whilst also reminding her of what they were up against with Galeem, waking momentarily for seemingly the first time since the day it all ended. The view of it from nightlit Limsa, though, happened to be particularly spectacular. She sat for a moment to admire the scene from the balcony of the room she had been afforded before eventually heading back in, setting her hat atop the nightstand, as per her routine, and bedding down for the night. She would wake tomorrow with renewed determination to give this ‘crusader’ thing another try.




Hat Kid made her way to the harbor the following morning to rejoin her group amidst the naval assembly. The inclusion of children within their ranks didn’t particularly bother her, for why would it. She was there, after all, despite her doubts about being the night before. Her mind lay forward, in the direction of the Bottomless Sea past Peach and the Captains, where her Hat pointed her, toward what lay in store for them. She stood to attention saluting the present authorities, unprompted, before and during the speeches, and following them, took her place aboard one of their two ships--whichever had more vacancies, or better suited her strengths. It occurred to her rather late into this phase of their adventure that she still had next to no clue what it entailed, or how she would best serve their efforts there...
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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Rockin Strings
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Rockin Strings Mechanically intelligent, musically inclined.

Member Seen 6 hrs ago



Yoshitsune slid to a stop inside the cave as the Molduga got stuck. With a laugh, he began raising his swords again, wanting to take it down while it was trapped. Before he could, however, Midna punched it with a shadow fist and began leaving with the rest of the group. He knew he couldn’t finish it on his own very quickly and opted to follow everyone else as he sheathed his blades. At a slow roll, he stayed near the back of the pack, a bit disappointed the Molduga would get away.

As they exited the cave, Yoshitsune took in the land of sweets. With a look of confusion, he eyed everything wearily, his hands resting on his katana handles. When they were told not to eat, he got even more confused. “What kinds of sweets are these? We have nothing like this back home. Though, considering how the teenagers are reacting, I would guess it’s a time difference and not a location difference.” Once everyone began pointing out the different creatures, he took note of them, not really knowing anything about the sweets past his time.

Poppi had done a quick scout, revealing that someone needed assistance nearby. Yoshitsune was right behind Midna to find this potential ally, though had chosen to walk instead of roll as he wanted to remain somewhat quiet in this curious land.

Just as they were leaving, someone else approached, startling the samurai. Drawing his blades, he spun to see the intruder and, upon noticing they looked nothing like the rest of the landscape, tilted his head. “What is your name?” he asked, keeping a defensive stance as he stepped a bit closer to the apparent girl in a red hood. “Where are you from?”

He almost hoped she’d attack just so he could fight something after denying himself the Molduga. His eyes never left her hood as he slowly stepped closer, his swords still held in an X in front of his torso.

He glanced over at Sectonia, Midna, and Primrose, who all appeared to be mobile in some way, before returning his eyes to the newcomer. “Can we get that summoned creature with the information back here?” he asked, not remembering who had it.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Lugubrious
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Lugubrious Makes the big edits

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Tora & Poppi

Level 8 Tora (66/80) and Level 8 Poppi (39/80)
Location: Sandswept Sky - Sweet Canyon
Primrose's @Yankee, Fox's @Dawnrider, Sectonia's @Archmage MC Midna's @DracoLunaris, Yoshitsune's @Rockin Strings, Red’s @TheDemonHound
Word Count: 827


“Meeeeeeh…” With a groan Tora hauled himself to his feet, his muscles too shot by the sudden, rattling burst of exertion on top of everything else to do much more than move him around. Poppi lent him a hand, of course, for which he was incalculably grateful despite being too busy wheezing to thank her. He got to his feet on the less-than-perfect gingerbread flooring of the rail station in time to see Midna zip off on her own, putting her strengthened legs to work running rather than floating, although she slipped and slid a little on the icing and cakey ground. She went so fast that Tora’s eyes could scarcely keep up, as much as he wanted them to. After she disappeared he turned back toward the group. “Tora...not want to go,” the Nopon straight-up admitted, making no bones about another fight being the last thing he wanted right now.

“Poppi ether low,” his artificial blade diagnosed. “Could also investigate, but risk likely too high for Masterpon allowance.”

Tora snorted as if it were even a question. “Course not, meh! Tora, Poppi, and friend Mona just pull off amazing stunt. Only natural others take turn now that we pooped.”

The pride on Mona’s face took a quizzical turn. “...You know, leaving out certain words can sometimes give the wrong impression. Why do you talk like that, anyway? You clearly know how to talk right.”

“Pssh!” Tora blustered, dismissing the cat with indignation. “Meh, meh! Mona not know first thing about Nopon culture.”

When Poppi leaned down for a conspiratory whisper, however, Mona listened intensely. “They do it to seem cute,” she told him. “Their cuteness only way they get away with anything.”

Mona’s eyes went as wide as saucers. “That makes SO much sense! Maybe I should try?”

Brows narrowed, Tora waddled closer, trying to hear what the two were saying. “Hey, what you two muttering about? Tora want in!”

Poppi straightened up, her expression innocent. “Mona mention trying. Didn’t Tora want try dessert?”

Her Masterpon’s eyes sparkled as he bounced in anticipation, his energy suddenly restored. “Oh, yes! But let’s find bit that nobody step on!”

Before he could find a suitable portion of the landscape to chow down on, however, Tora found himself stymied by Primrose. She suggested that everyone ought to follow Midna, in the same selfless manner with which Rex would often jump to others’ aid, and Joker concurred. “This is a high-traffic area,” he explained. “Does us no good to stay here. If we earn some local help, we’ll be able to rest easier.”

Tora moaned, but he complied. If nothing else, he could stand around in a fight with his shield up while the others took action. As the group gathered to move out, however, a stranger made her presence known. Her sudden arrival out of the darkness put everyone on guard, but they held their ground without attacking--their numbers gave them little to fear, and despite her ferocious appearance this newcomer wasn’t attacking either. Tora in particular jumped in surprise, realizing that she’d been hiding mere feet from the cookie bugs he’d been staring at longingly. “Meh-meh?!”

But since she addressed the group in a casual, non-confrontational manner, Skull showed little in the way of trepidation. After Sectonia revealed how little they knew, he jumped in to help. “Sorry dude, we just got here. But it’s probably called ‘Dessert World’ or ‘Cake Land’ or something, right?”

Yoshitsune, however, reacted aggressively. The newcomer kept her weapons close at hand, but the swordsman drew his, advancing as if happy to get into another fight already. Tora gawked, wondering what his problem was. If someone didn’t want trouble, it wasn’t just foolhardy to seek it, but plain rude. Besides, you never knew when some rando possessed surprising strength, and Tora had the bumps to prove it. “Wait, hold on one second!”

Perhaps interpreting his words as an order, Poppi laid her hand on and took hold of Yoshitsune’s shoulder. “Fighting should be last resort, not opening tactic!” she told him, her voice resolute and her expression stern. “Poppi bet friends didn’t come out swinging when you showed up in ruins.”

Joker stepped in front of the older man, putting out his arm to stave Yoshitsune off. “Sorry about my associate. He’s new,” he explained. “We were just going to investigate a local disturbance. If you have no bad intentions you’re free to come with us, and see if there’s any answers to be had.” He could think of a couple other well-armed girls in masks he would have preferred to see, but he still saw something of a commonality in this stranger, and extended his invitation without hesitation. The other Thieves, of course, would know to be on guard. If anything went south, Joker resolved to deal with her personally. “Let’s go.” Skull took point again with a reluctant Tora shuffling beside him, and they made their way through the candied vale.




Midna’s run took her up a winding flan path through sugar-frosted woods that gave her a good look at the bizarre realm she found herself in. The direction of the voice took her past lollipop patches, tall shrubs of candy straws, and trees of mint chocolate bark bearing gumdrop fruit. There seemed to be no end to the confectionary bugsnax, but there were also plenty of flans hopping around. However fantastic the scenery, however, she kept up a good pace until she emerged from the treeline to see a moonlit town of wonders.



Before her stood a village of cream, cookie, fruit, swirled fudge, and -for once- a straightforward answer. In the center of the village towered a licorice streetlamp, and from its top dangled a cage with a fairy inside. Her extravagant blonde hair, reptile hide hat, and uncommon figure marked her as an unusual fairy, but her wings and diminutive height left little doubt. Upon seeing Midna she seized the bars of her cage and rattled them. “Oh, thank goodness! Please, get me out of here!”

It was a task easier said than done, however. Also in the village center milled two towering machines, goliath bipeds taller than most of the buildings and sporting arms each almost as big as themselves. At the disturbance they paused in their lumbering circuit and looked Midna’s way. Even provided that her party followed in her footsteps, she’d left them in the dust with her speed.

Ms Fortune

Level 3 Nadia (6/30)
Location: Limsa Lominscuttle Town – The Drowning Wench
Blazermate's @Archmage MC, Bowser's @DracoLunaris, Ace Cadet's @Yankee, Hat Kid's @Dawnrider, Frog's @Dark Cloud
Word Count: 2808


Before yesterday evening Nadia only knew Blazermate and Bowser, but even a couple of hours with the rest had already gone a long way toward making the others feel like friends, and now there were even more. She remembered some mention of even more allies elsewhere, but didn’t register Sakura as anything more than one of the many shipgirls until the street fighter spoke up like she was part of the team. Nadia smiled when she saw a pair of cat ears sticking up from Sakura’s dark hair, and a matching tail trailing behind her among her rigging. While the chances of her being a Feral like her seemed awfully slim, she couldn’t help but feel an instant connection with her fellow cat.

When the Cadet appeared shortly after, greeting her with a pun of his own, Nadia’s heart practically soared. “I’m ready!” she announced, returning his chummy shoulder bash. Crossing her arms, she leaned against him for a moment before he moved on. “In fact, I’m ‘feline’ purr-etty darn good! Wha-bam, two fur one! You shouldn’t encourage me.” She chuckled, more amused at her own absurdity rather than her puns being funny. The matter of Sakura jumping from the ship she left for the others to wonder about, since how was that strange for someone who could zoom across the water? Instead she focused on Link, who her keen eyes spotted soaring in on an awesome-looking glider before he made his way over to the group. Apparently not one for idle chatter, he observed the airship bias present among the Seekers before volunteering his own melee-oriented skills aboard Shippy. So that’s what it’s called, Nadia thought, looking again at the living vessel. Suddenly it seemed a lot less scary. As much as Nadia wanted to ride aboard a flying ship herself, Link had a good point. “Makes sense,” she said aloud, mostly to herself. “Guess I’ll go on Shippy then, since I’m a close-range fighter too.” That said, she shared his curiosity as to what exactly an Abyssal was, and listened for a response to his question.

Their reply came as yet another ally appeared from the floating ship, although her emergence seemed to spark a reaction in a few of the other heroes. With no context she could only watch, bemused, as Rika presented herself and moseyed over to the Jackdaw to confront Merlwyb.

Crewhands sprinted back and forth across the deck of the Jackdaw, making ready for the ship’s imminent departure. Merlwyb remained on the prow, no small amount of pride on her face as she watched her Navy deploy. Any worry that this ceaseless struggle had ground down the resolve of her ships troubled her no longer. A brutal day lay ahead of them, about which the Admiral maintained no delusions. An assault on the strongholds of the ruthless Midway and Harbor Princesses would require sacrifice, and that wasn’t even the worst of it. In heavy whispers she had made plans with her Commanders for what to do should their lurking fears be realized. The ships who lost friends and sisters surely realized the situation as well as her, yet they sailed forth anyway. For victory today meant a brighter tomorrow.

The Armor Division with their bulbous bundles of netting were just setting out, and the Jackdaw’s mooring fully undone, when an unfamiliar voice hailed her. Merlwyb looked to see a remarkably pale girl with spiky dark blue hair and a single horn in an outfit known by many of the city youths for its style, albeit modified. Several of the newcomer heroes hurried behind this stranger as she approached, declaring that she was once part of the Abyssal Fleet. The brazen announcement turned a number of eyes her way, some incredulous and some hostile, including those of ships yet to cast off. Merlwyb looked ‘Rika’ up and down again, noting the heroes that comfortably accompanied her.

“You’re the defector then, hmm?” The Admiral’s voice was severe, but not unreasonable. “I have never known an Abyssal with its own will, nor one that employed this sort of subterfuge. I have many questions, but you’ve caught me at a precarious time, which is surely no coincidence.” Her eyes bored holes into Geralt, Kamek, and Bowser. “We’ll deal with this later. For now, we’ll just keep an eye on you.”

”Ah- Well then” Kamek said, rather taken aback by how the encounter had gone

”See, told you you were worrying too much about all this!” Bowser yelled at him. The king really hadn't gotten what the fuss was about, and for once he’d been right.

”I. Well. I Mean. there’s still-” He stuttered, still floored by the situation

“Excuse me, ma’am!” A shipgirl with long pink hair approached. “I volunteer to join and monitor the Seekers during this raid!”

Merlwyb nodded immediately. “Very well, Ranger. Just make sure you don’t put those upgrades to waste.”

With a salute, the newcomer joined the Blue Team. “Hey there! Recognize me? It’s Ranger! I got retrofitted last night after giving my reports. Don’t I look amazing?” She put one hand on her hip and winked, posing proudly. “Stuffy third-rate carrier no more!” Giggling to herself, she relaxed. “Guess I have you guys to thank. By the way, I mentioned that you guys got help from a former enemy, so this wouldn’t be a surprise!”

”Well that explains it,” Kamek said, relieved that the world was making sense again.

Rika meanwhile had other priorities, telling Ranger that ”You do look amazing, and I really like your hat! I had a hat before but I can’t get them to stay on after I got this spirit upgrade. Bella got a hat too, and this pretty blue dress. She still has the same tail and stuff that she doesn't like and wants to deal with using a spirit like I did,” she cruiser babbled excitedly, before adding “She’ll be so happy to hear we’re all cool.”

The punkish Abyssal’s infectious enthusiasm distracted Ranger for a moment. “Wow, that’s great! First your own names, now your own styles? You’ll be living it up with everyone before you know it!” Suppressing her smile, she cleared her throat to get serious again. Still, if I were you guys I’d stay on board the ships. In the heat of battle the girls won’t be able to tell friend from foe, even if the Admiral’s decision fully disseminates.”

She glanced over as another ship approached, this one wielding a huge, elaborate fan. She bowed to the heroes before saying, “Good morning. My name is Chao Ho, and I’m supposed to join you as well. Admiral’s orders. By the way, Commander Heinrich will be taking care of you. When she calls, please heed her words.”

By the that went down, increasing the size of the Seeker’s team yet again, it was undeniably time to leave. The harbor sported only a couple remaining contingents of ships, and the Jackdaw cut from the piers toward the open ocean. Peach wanted to know what exactly happened yesterday as much as Link did, but it would have to wait. Having finished his own preparations, Brineybeard rang the final bell. “Aaaaaaaall aboaaaaaaaaard!”

“Talk on the way,” the princess told the group. She beckoned to Link and Nadia as she made for Shippy. “I’ll join you two. Chao, was it?” The fan-wielding ship nodded. “Since Ranger is minding the Atomos, will you come with us? Mister Frog, Hatty, Blazermate, you as well?” It being less a question and more a request, Chao acquiesced graciously, leaving the others to follow suit. Peach glanced at the somewhat dubious modifications to Junior’s airship, thinking over the idea of child soldiers once again. Junior was Bowser’s responsibility, and Hatty could take care of herself, but did that make her feel any better about them risking their lives? Not at all. “Stay safe you guys!”

Nadia waved at the Cadet as she followed Peach over. “Hey, wanna come with us? If there’s gonna be sea monsters, we need an expert monster hunter on deck!” Nimbly she double jumped over Shippy’s railing and landed on board. The others arrived as Brineybeard bustled up the staircase toward the aft and took hold of the ship’s wheel.

“Avast me hearties, away we go!”

With an agreeable rumble the living vessel pulled away, turned faster than any boat had a right to, and cruised after the Jackdaw. Nadia ran toward Shippy’s prow, where the salty wind whipped at her hair, ears, and accidentally stolen bathrobe. Her normal attire beneath the robe allowed her to feel the cool spray on her skin along with the morning sun, and despite the battle ahead, in all her life Nadia couldn’t remember feeling more alive. “Woohoo! Let’s kick some ass!”




As the fleet swept across the ocean blue, the cheers of well-wishing civilians gathered to see them off faded into the backdrop, followed shortly by the multitudinous waving of their arms. Even Limsa Lominscuttle Town itself vanished as the fleet rounded a coastline promontory. Nadia spotted a handful of figures atop its rocky heights, having traveled as far away from the city as this to bid farewell to their protectors, and perhaps even catch a glimpse of the coming battle. The enormous force moved quickly, with the Jackdaw and Shippy managing to avoid holding the shipgirls back thanks to a few modern upgrades to the former and the unique physiology of the latter.

Never did the fleet stray too far from the coast, using the contours of the land and nearby islands to avoid being seen too soon from across the open ocean. As they traveled north Nadia watched the land breeze by, from tropical groves to beauteous bays. Further inland it looked like the picturesque scenery gave way to a misty, shadowed swamp, but the feral preferred keeping her attention on the pristine beaches, towering palms, and glittering inlets. Her eager eyes found a number of curiosities, like an enormous beached creature, a derelict ship nestled snugly in a cove, staring horrors beneath the waves, and ponderous sea beasts drifting through the shallows.

When the fleet encountered the first Abyssal patrol, the encounter lasted all of a few seconds, utterly annihilating the monsters before they could so much as fight back, let alone get away. The Armor Division dutifully gathered up the spirits in their nets, destroying them afterward to procure additional ammunition, weapons and armor plating. Along with the various trinkets and doodads they were delivered to one of the supply rafts as they were pulled along, where an attendant appraised the items to determine and then approve their usage. Steamrolling through the patrols gradually increased in frequency as the fleet neared their goal, and while a few of the frontrunners took wounds and needed to be cycled out, progress was good. So formidable was the Navy’s force that even a whale and its accompanying swarm of mantas gave them a wide berth.

On the way, Nadia happened to remember what she picked up in the harbor, and called an impromptu meeting with the other Seekers. “Hey, did you hear the gossip?” She asked. “If what I heard was true, there was a murder last night. One of the shipgirls was killed in town. No witnesses or anything. It was clean. Too clean to be an Abyssal that slipped past the guards.” For once her face was totally serious. “I didn’t see Sephiroth either this morning or last night. Did any of you? He could have just decided to leave, but…” She shivered, and not because of the seaspray or ocean breeze. “The way he just killed on the spot..and that was before he fused with that crazy stalker.”

Peach looked grave, but said nothing. Without proof she couldn’t say anything for certain, but she hadn’t seen Sephiroth either, and she hadn’t slept easy last night. It had been Bowser rather than she who brought him in, but being able to point fingers elsewhere didn’t make her feel any better--not when an innocent defender of the town might have died at the swordsman’s hand.

After more than an hour of travel, Chao Hu’s radio buzzed with the signal that Nadia had learned signified a Commander-level message, and she jogged over from the railing to listen. Peach appeared from below deck as well, just in time to catch the start of the announcement. “Okay, newbies!” came a strident, gung-ho voice. “I’m Heinrich! I’ve been told to make sure you guys don’t get blown out of the water during the battle, so listen up! In a couple minutes we’ll reach the tip of this cape, where the Abyssals have a lookout. We’re gonna blast it to stop an early alarm, but the moment we pass the tip, we’re in Black Bay, and the fight’s on. Our objective is the other side, where Kwolok Harbor’s sittin’ pretty across from Midway Island. Two tough nuts to crack, and the Abyssals have the whole place locked up tighter’n a drum, so tryin’ to push through ‘til we’ve cracked ‘em both is suicide. You should get across the bay. There’s a big river leadin’ inland that loops all the way around through the Luma Pools to the coast on the other side. Once you make it out, it’s straight on to the Bottomless Sea. Sound like a plan?”

For her part Nadia had some trouble visualizing the whole thing, so she kept quiet until she could see for herself. True to Heinrich’s word, she soon spotted a lonesome tower rose from the trees. Commander George’s majestic voice sang through the radio, “Artillery Division ready! ...Fire!” A tremendous noise rang out as a whole host of shipgirls opened fire with their cannons, turning the tower and the land around it for several hundred feet into a maelstrom of dust, scrap, and wood chips. The burning building sagged downward and collapsed. A moment later, the head of the fleet rounded the end of the cape. Nadia waited with bated breath as the whole of the Navy gradually advanced, until the view finally opened up and she too could see Black Bay in all its glory.

The feral strained to take it all in at once. Almost the entire shoreline of the bay featured some sort of development, thoroughly colonized by the Abyssal Fleet as its prized staging ground. She searched the northern shore for an inlet and found one, albeit blocked by some sort of fortified bridge. Even on the cove she could see a few towering trees with enormous, vibrant pink fronds, turning into a canopy as the river proceeded inland. That must be our goal.



It was a much nicer sight than what lay in wait for the Navy. On the other side of the bay lay a pitch-black port of spires and steel that could only be Kwolok Harbor, and across from it rested a looming island of dark stone where the anchors of sunken ships dangled like titanic trophies.



Naturally, the bay was swimming with Abyssals. Nadia had no idea what they did when they weren’t fighting -maybe they didn’t do anything- but when a piercing alarm resounded from both Midway and the Harbor the hordes of monsters roused themselves to action. In reply the Navy started fanning out. As her hair rose Nadia took a deep breath. “Whew. Okay, this is where the fun begins.” Shells, bullets, missiles, and torpedoes began to fly. Above the firestorm seaplanes filled the air. As the Abyssals started pummeling the shipgirls with weapons fire and their melee units closed in, the Navy’s forces scattered. Almost none wielded close combat weapons of their own, and couldn’t contend with their enemies’ vicious melee strength or angles of attack, so they countered with their own mobility. That left Shippy and the Jackdaw in a unique position of vulnerability.

As the battle began Commander Heinrich pulled up alongside Shippy, riding a fearsome mechanical shark outfitted with canons and with fiery eyes that gleamed almost as brightly as Heinrich’s own. “Here we go! Once we’ve thinned ‘em out, we’ll push you Seekers through!”

Nadia leaned over the railing, waving down. “Sure thing. Love your shirt by the way!”

For a moment Heinrich was confused, until she noticed the feral’s similar taste in fashion and grinned. “Hah, likewise! Let’s give ‘em hell!” She surged forward, followed by a contingent of Iron Blood shipgirls, into the thick of combat.

“You ‘eard ‘er, lads ‘n lassies!” Brineybeard thundered. He stomped down from the steering wheel, sea dogs at his feet and a pink squid clutched in his hand like a rifle, and whistled. From the ocean rose a squid with an inkwell, and a crane extended from Shippy’s rigging holding a living barrel Up ahead, Heinrich’s squad sank a pack of Abyssals, but another slipped through the ships’ blockade to attack Shippy. In reply the vessel spat out a cannonball, clobbering one monster in the face, and the dangling barrel crushed another, but even as the destroyers started shooting the hull a handful of He-class cruisers leaped onto the deck.

Western Coast – La Noscea Swamp

@Zavazggg


Wisely Sephiroth elected to keep a safe distance from the marshland’s vile, overgrown waters and inhabitants, instead ascending to move among the trees. Having not seen the Navy in action, after all, she possessed no firsthand knowledge that her new rigging would have allowed her to skirt along the swamp’s dubious surface. She made her way forward while maintaining as great a distance from the buzzing haze as she could. Inevitably, however, the scarcity of trees springing in belts rather than groves from the mire drove her steadily northward. As the mists pooled below the branches of increasingly tall and feeble trees, and the whir of insect wings become more than a murmur, and great clumps of hanging moss wavered like ghosts in the gloom, the dark skyline seemed to tinge with red.

All too soon, a branch broke beneath Sephiroth’s foot and she dropped from the safety of the swamp’s choking canopy. An odachi plunged into a nearby tree for support would find little resistance, instead carving straight through soft, unwell wood with an accompanying fetor of decay. Her natural agility permitted her a safe landing, albeit one in damp, sticky underbrush, but a nearby clearing allowed her a quick exit from the marshland slime. There she found the decrepit, slime-crusted masonry of neglected ruins, scattered around a pitifully leaning fountain that reeked with a sickly sweet smell. Skulls piled in its upper basin, and fresh, crimson ichor pooled inside. On one side of the fountain she found a mound of putrilage--an insectoid corpse the size of a sheep, alive with hideous maggots. Strips of a red fleshy webbing were strung between the body, nearby bushes, the fountain, and the ground.

Then the whine intensified once again, and through the trees floated three of the mosquitoes. Behind them, like a houndmaster after his beasts, trotted a shrunken servant in dingy attire, a certificate clutched in one hand. Gibbering mockingly, it extended its finger, and the great mosquitoes flew in to attack.
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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by ZAVAZggg
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ZAVAZggg

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Level: 3 (3/30)
Word Count: 681
Location: Western Coast - La Noscea
EXP: +1




Sephiroth didn't waste her time on curses as she landed in the brackish water below, using that moment to survey her surroundings instead, which didn't exactly offer the prettiest of sights. She'd seen such sights during her service under Shinra in the Wutai War, however, and thus wasn't all that disgusted or taken aback. Sephiroth was made much more alert when the intense whine of oncoming mosquitoes rose up from somewhere behind her. Turning around to examine the situation through narrowed eyes, she watched as the shrunken servant stretched out its decrepit hand, bidding three of the bloodsuckers charge in to attack her. Recognizing the fact that she didn't have enough time to fall back to the ruins, and thereby gain an advantage terrain wise, Sephiroth stood her ground instead. It took her a bit, as she had been too preoccupied with fleeing thus far, to notice that her ability to judge just how far away the trio of insects were had become significantly worse. Because of this, and the fact that they had taken to the air, she decided not to chance things with a series of ranged attacks or even her shadowy mines. Accuracy would most likely be piss poor in any case, and thus a potentially dangerous waste of her time, while the mines obviously relied on her very bad capability to properly perceive distance or depth.

Thus she drew her blade. If a melee battle it was to be, then a melee battle she would make it. Her rigging was likely to make that an issue, of course, though she was certain it would be one she could more than manage. Assuming a defensive stance, Sephiroth readied herself as the bugs drew closer, before suddenly taking a swipe at the first one that swooped her way. Catching it head-on, she sliced the first member of the buzzing trio clean in half, her sword then finishing its arc to nick the left side of the mosquito off to her right. Since the third was left entirely unharmed by her brazen offensive maneuver, she stepped back and quickly tucked into a guard, Masamune held downwards and at an angle directly in front of her face. A good decision as it turned out, for the insect dove at her with its needle-like proboscis, an attack that would have run right through her heart had she not successfully deflected it. Sensing opportunity, Sephiroth promptly followed this with an upwards slash. Running her blade against the bug's bloated underbelly, the former SOLDIER split it clean in half, sending crimson warmth spewing everywhere as it careened into the murky waters below. Flourishing her sword to flick it clean, Sephiroth took note of where the last bug was as it attempted to shakily float its way back towards her, before charging up Flare and sending the churning ball of fire hurtling right for it.

As the night exploded with heat, sound, and light, Sephiroth smirked, flicking a stray strand of silver hair from her face as the area's natural silence fell once again. Her attention was now focused solely on the creature that had sent the bugs to accost her. Although she felt a wave of disgust slowly start to well up within her at the sight of the miserable looking thing, Sephiroth decided she would play this smart rather than charging in blindly, both metaphorically and literally in this case. As if that were even a valid or effective option given the state of the liquid muck currently swirling around her legs. No, rather she summoned up an orb of darkness and shadow before promptly condensing it. From here she cast it to the ground a few feet away in the shape of a mine. Just far enough to ensure she was not caught in the ensuing blast, while the shrunken servant was, should he or she or it have the misfortune of stepping on it. With that done she cockily assumed a completely unguarded stance, beckoning the beast come and face what would undoubtedly be its swift demise with her free hand.

@Lugubrious
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by DracoLunaris
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DracoLunaris Multiverse tourist

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The Koopa Troop

(and Rika)
wordcount: 1,981 (+3)
Bowser: Level 9 EXP: ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (33/90)
Bowser Jr: Level 7 EXP: /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (26/80)
Kamek: Level 7 EXP: ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (94/70)
Location: Edge of the Blue – Seaward Bay


The Atomos took to the skies, the long range courier ship turned battle wagon cruising at a casual, for it, speed above the massed fleet of ship-girls. It had been something to behold when coming in to dock, but to see them all in motion was a wonder to behold. Still, there was only so long you could look at the vast array of colorful and creatively designed ladies till you got over the initial amazement. Fortunately there were other sights to behold, so many that Jr had to sometimes see people back who were crowding his pilot’s chair too much.

Along with plenty of gorgeous coastal scenery and the odd man made curiosity, all sorts of marvelous creatures could be seen as they sailed across the waves, though most understandably gave them feet a wide berth. The Abyssals who ran into the fleet did not have that luxury, and they were either too simpleminded to run at the first sign of trouble or too slow to escape the fastest navy ships if they did. From their slightly elevated position, the airship was flying low to avoid acting as a giant, “we are here” beacon to their enemies, those onboard got a perfect view of this slaughter, something Rika had to stop watching after the third time. Even if they weren't really awake, alive and thinking like she was, because a lot of that had effectively been pushed into her by the friendheart, it was still hard to shrug off that the more human among them could have very easily been her had things gone even slightly differently.

The weird sea monsters and annihilation of abyssals got a bit samey after a while too, at which point Kamek decided to check in with a Moogle to get a status report on the other team and the mercenaries. It was good to know that the yellow team where still in one piece and making progress towards their goal, that fox had assigned a team to double check that the deadzone’s boss was indeed dead and to learn about Midna’s discovery involving the fusion of 10 weak spirits, though they all generally agreed it wasn’t the most versatile of capabilities.

”I guess we could use it for a bit to do something specific and then have peach undo it. Oh, or I could change Tyrant into something stronger for a bit. Keep the training I’ve given him but turn him into a shark or something, like what that princess did” Jr suggested. The still part gunboat pig shifted a little in his lap at the sound of its name, but otherwise did not comprehend the possibility of being further shape shifted by his owner.

What was unexpected news was that the person in control of the robots back in the kart scrapheap around peach’s castle was: ”Eggman?” ”Eggman?”

”My apologies, but who is this ‘Eggman’ again?” Kamek asked

”Oh he’s this robot building badguy. You know when me and jr do the Olympics with Mario and Sonic and stuff? Well Sonic is Eggman’s Mario. There was this whole thing where me and him and Sonic and Mario where we got sucked into a games console last time round. It was weird, but I think I know the guy pretty well as a result.”

”Yeah it was weird. Like you show up expecting to just leave some fuzzy animal people in the dust while winning a bunch of meddles, and then instead end up with this whole sports based quest thing going on instead. Ended up having to work with Luigi, this fox called Tails and Eggman’s, like, great great great grandson or something to help get pappa and the rest out of the console,” Jr added

”Yeah just one of those things. Bit like that thing with the cursed tennis racket. Anyway. Long story short. Guy’s got that whole, ‘I’m so smart look at me’ thing going on but otherwise decent badguy. They can probably go talk some sense into him,” Bowser said, before addressing the moogle who’d been giving them the update ”hey, you, fuzzball, go tell them to go talk to Eggman”

“Who should go, kupo?” the moogle asked

”Ugh, I don’t know just send whoever around or something, just get them to go talk some sense into him and it’ll all work out”




“Talk some sense into him?” Hollythorn was incredulous that they were also of a mind that they could just talk to the murderous robot builder “What is with you humans?!”

“Bowser’s a Koopa actually,” Princess Daisy helpful pointed out, before explaining further that “he's like a big dragon turtle”

“... isn't that the guy who you said kept invading your kingdom and who you also go play sports with all the time?”

“Peach's kingdom, not mine, but otherwise yeah that’s the big guy” she confirmed

The goblin stared up at the ginger haired princess with a mix of astonishment and horror, before declaring “Your world is insane”

“Hey!”

“Besides. That guy’s army’s could be here any minute now! This has come in way too late”

“If it's speed you need” came a shout from Eddie Riggs “Then the old druid plow’s got you covered!”

The roadie had been helping set up defenses for the coming invasion, augmenting his multitude of muscles and technical expertise with a vehicle he had summoned via guitar solo called the Deuce, which had been demoted from awesome killer ride to tow truck as it hauled scrap in from the scrapheap to help build what was growing into a rather sprawling set of defensive ramparts and barricades guarding the approach to Peach’s castle.

“Wait. So how fast does that thing go?” She asked, having gotten used to it being sued as a hauler

“Oh she can burn up the miles no problem” the roadie told her “you want to get out there and launch a preemptive strike on this egghead? Then the Deuce is the vehicle for the job, no question”

“Now you’re are talking my language human” The goblin told him with a grin

“Eh, only half but.. ah that doesn't matter” Eddie replied, not going into the specifics of his ancestry.

“Wow. hey. No. No one is going to do any striking. I say we talk, and the orders back me up” daisy insisted

“She’s got you there” Vandham, who’d come to check on things and find people who’d be willing to do the sortie agreed.

“This guy is a dangerous, murderous egomaniac. You didn't hear him talking, I did. He is coming for us and we have to take him down or he’s just going to keep throwing robots at us over and over and over”

“He’s also Gleaming,” the slang had made its way back via report “so he’s not in his right mind right now. If we just explain what’s going on we can talk some sense into him and bring him onboard. Guy like that, bet he’d be a real help”

“He. Needs. To. Pay” the goblin retorted

“Wow wow wow. Ladies" Eddie inserted himself between the two former friends who would have been butting heads if there hadn't been such a height difference between them “There’s a solution you aren't seeing here. We go and beat the sense into him”

There was a long pause, and then both Hollthorn’s and Daisy’s features softened “Yeah I can work with that” “agreed”

“Then let’s ride!” Eddie announced

“Hang on hang on. You still need a fourth member of your party.” Vandham reminded them as the trio turned to head for their ride.

“Oh. Right.” Daisy replied before calling out “Hey Luigi!“ prompting a “ohhhh, mama mia” from the plumber who had been slowly edging his way away from the entire conversation and had been moments away from being in the clear.

The team was assembled, and ready to go face down the doctor and his armies of robots.




Back in the Blue, the purple team was about to face down an army of their own.

The Atomos crew got their update from Ranger’s radio: They were going to have to run a gauntlet, but weren't necessarily going to have to help them take on the two local abyssal princesses themselves. Unless, of course, they sortied out to face them. They did still have an army to go through however. Onboard the airship the troop nodded to each other. They had a plan in place already. Now that was the time to pull out all the stops, punch though as hard as possible both so they had to spend as little time as possible in the firing line and as a little thank you for their help to the ship girls.

Holding back would really just be rude. It also wasn't the troops style.

Bowser shoved open the back door and then, with a leap, landed on the roof of the bridge and took a seat. Below him, Kamek brandished his wand while opposite him Mimi did the same with her stick tail.

”Boil and bubble,
here comes trouble,
watch out frightful ocean princesses,
To our king's power, you’ll become witnesses!”


The mage intoned, accompanied by many a “mi, mimi kyu kyus” in the same rhythm as Mimi copycatted the mage’s spell.

As they banked around the bend the king grew. And grew. And grew, till he straddled the bridge of the ship and slipped his feet into the straps on either side specifically placed to hold a supersized someone there.

”GAHAHAHAHAHA! BEHOLD, THE KING OF AWESOME'S COME TO SHOW YOU WHAT TRUE POWER LOOKS LIKE!” The King roared out in boast, wasting valuable seconds at the start of the battle with villainous gloating, before drawing in breath. As he did, the tentacruel beaks of his back took independent aim and screamed out a supersonic cry, the grand but tight beams of sound that they swept across the masses of Abyssals, bringing confusion and disarray to their ranks.

Then, as the shipgirls proved themselves to be the worst line-holders ever (though the navy’s lack of melee combatants did make avoiding friendly fire a lot easier however) and the abyssals pushed right past them he unleashed a mega fireball at the incoming troops . The slow shot cleanly missed the cruisers that ended up boarded Shippy, but vessels behind them had to deal with the super heard giant fireball as it hit the ocean and exploding in a wave of steam as the ball of fire struck the surface and then just kept on going, borrowing down into the ocean till it hit the seabed below. Or rather, phasing through it and disappearing down to who knew where.

The King wasn't close to done with just one mega fireball as fire breath, acid, supersonic blasts, torrents of Razor Shoal infused water and yet more fireballs bombarded any parts of the enemy fleet that weren't close to friendlies, showering chaos and destruction upon anything and everything that couldn't get out of the way.

There were a few problems with all this of course.

One. Bowser was ultimately doing nothing about the immediate threats to the party as he instead wreaked havoc on more distant foes.

Two. The chaotic air brawl between micro seaplanes was a swarm of foes and friends that bower couldn't safely intervene with without doing equal or likely more damage to their allies as he did to the abyssal air force, leaving them free to bully him like he was king kong on the empire state building.

Three, the extra weight of the king made their ship less maneuverable and also made it dip down towards the water where it too became at risk of boarding.

Four. It attracted attention like nobody's business.

Finally, it tied up basically all the troop’s resources in one titanic show of power. A titan of arrogance and hubris the purple team had best hope not topple down on top of them.
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Lugubrious
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Lugubrious Makes the big edits

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Search Mission - "The Main Man"

Starring the excellent @Gentlemanvaultboy as Din, @Archmage MC as Junkrat, @Zoey Boey as Roadhog, and yours truly as Mym


“Oi, quit jostlin’ me around!”

Din bristled. “You and your friend are getting a little cozy, don’t you think?” she told Junkrat, her voice suitably pointed.

“It’s damned impossible to get comfortable!” the demolitionist complained. He reached down and slapped the dragon’s red scales. “Hey! You oughta get some chairs installed! A saddle maybe!”

Affronted by the idea, Mym gave a sharp jerk, forcing all three passengers to hold on for their dear lives. “The NERVE!” she roared, her indignity absolute. “I’m not a horse! And this isn’t something I’m going to keep going! If not for my darling’s insistence, I would have never let someone else ride me. And now that it seems to have opened the floodgates so that every scoundrel can pile on, I wish I never conceded to begin with!”

Din raised her voice above the dry wind. “Junkrat, no need to be rude. I get it, we’re all on edge, but there’s no need to rile one another up!”

Groaning, Junkrat leaned his head back, his eyes faced listlessly upward. “Oh come on, we’ve been searchin’ for hours! If this Mario bloke’s not on home turf, he’s probably halfway ‘cross the bloody continent. Anyone can wear a red hat.”

“Well, this is the lead we have, so we’re following it,” Mym huffed. “If you want to look somewhere else, by all means, jump right off!”

The long, long fall to the arid ground below occluded that possibility, so the four were stuck with one another. They maintained an uneasy -and uncomfortable- silence until the dragon’s keen eyes spotted their destination ahead. “Look, it’s…”

“There it is!” Junkrat exclaimed, his expression one of surprise, as he leaned forward off Mym’s neck with a finger extended. “I found it! Set ‘er down, Mym!” The dragon sighed, bucked just enough to hurl Junkrat backward into his portly companion, and began to descend. In front of her lay a great, four-cornered dome of hexagonal glass and rusted metal, surrounded by oil pumpjacks and parking lots. Behind it lay a veritable mountain of sandstone, topped with a metal skull of megalithic proportions that impressed the dragon no small amount. Mym landed a safe distance away and morphed into her human form without warning, allowing her passengers to hit the ground for themselves.

“Okay,” she began, flipping her hair. “We’re looking for a short man with a red hat in blue overalls, with a mustache, right?”

Din nodded. ”Right.” She said, dusting herself off and readjusting the feather in her hair as she stood up. ”Mr. Cid said he heard of someone like that making waves in some sort of derby here. We’ll slip in, find him, and convince him to come with us.”

Junkrat pounded his scrawny fists, prompting Roadhog to do the same. “Roight! Just leave the convincin’ to us, heheh!” The pair withered under Mym’s draconic glare, then fell in behind her as she lead the way down the road to the arena, avoiding her big red tail as it swung back and forth.

Din followed along behind them, much more cautiously than the trio. Unlike them she had been through the Badlands before, and had seen exactly the sort of character that lurked these roads. Then again, Junkrat and Roadhog also seemed like the sort of characters that lurked these roads so maybe they should actually be the ones taking the lead here.



Junkrat squinted up at the stadium as he made his way towards it. He bumped Roadhog on the shoulder. “Rusty and dusty. Reminds you of home, eh?” He said. Roadhog only grunted. “Lemme get a closer look!” He said. Limp-running forward he produced a home-made landmine from his pouch. Once he was clear of the group he tossed it down and jumped on it, prompting a startled yelp from the trailing Din. Detonating the bomb underneath his feet he sailed forward. Landing against the stadium he caught himself on one of the rusted panels. Breathless, he giggled, before squishing his face against the glass and getting a peek inside. Roadhog could only sigh at his partner’s overeagerness.

Within, beyond the sparsely-populated spectators’ stands, he beheld a fascinating display. Full-sized cars raced back and forth across the arena’s dirt floor, engaged in a frenetic game of what appeared to be supersized football. Flames streamed from their exhaust pipes as the vehicles raced around after the enormous ball, striking it back and forth between the two goals. As Junkrat watched, he was amazed to see the cars leaping off the ground, flipping through the air, and riding on the walls, pulling off a non-stop series of daredevil stunts all to try and score.

Mym crossed her arms, looking up in annoyance. “We’re supposed to be laying low! If we make a scene we could attract unwanted attention!” After brushing a strand of burgundy hair from her face, she allowed her eyebrows to unfurrow. “...What do you see?”

Junkrat’s jaw had dropped and he took a moment to respond. “...A bloody good time, that’s what!” He shouted back. “It’s some kinda road rage madhouse! It’s football soaked in irradiated gasoline and then set on fire! Forget layin’ low! There’s no way anyone could tear their eyes away from this!” He said, thunking his forehead back against the thick glass. One of the cars came particularly close on the wall and he leaned back with a laugh.

“Oh. That sounds exciting!” For all the ire that the singed man managed to provoke from her, he painted a fun picture, albeit one with many unfamiliar words. And if he remained there until the team left, plastered like a bird on a window, so much the better. “Ahem. Alright then, as long as you stay right there, watch all you like! We’ve got a carpenter to find.” So saying, the lady dragon waltzed inside.

Roadhog followed her inside, trailing slightly. As the others went, he hesitated, taking a few steps back. Shaking his head, he casually reached out and tossed his hook upward. It wrapped around Junkrat’s narrow waist and yanked him down off the perch. “Oi!” He cried out indignantly. Roadhog set him down and Junkrat ‘dusted himself off’, though the gesture was entirely symbolic. “...I’ll get a better view inside, anyway. Thanks, mate.” Junkrat said.

”How do you do that without hurting yourself?” Din asked Junkrat, catching up to the two of them.

“Well, love.” He began. “It’s all in the wrist.” He replied unhelpfully, mimicking the motion of him throwing out one of his landmines.

Din followed the motions of the man's hand dubiously. “Right… magic.” She decided, mostly to have an explanation she could be content with.

The facility, if it could be called that, lay primarily on one side of the glass-enclosed arena, allowing there to be no chance of the sport endangering audience members. The stories and stories of bleaches reached higher than the dome itself. In addition there appeared to be veritable bazaar on ground level, with all the outhouses and food carts a sporting fan might need to the afternoon or two. That meant a lot of ground to cover, and even with the place far from packed, the task was an intimidating one. Mym groaned, her tail wrung restlessly. “Ohh, this will take simply forever. My poor darling will be all alone, wasting away in isolation…” She pictured Euden sitting in a corner somewhere in Alcamoth’s superstructure, patiently awaiting her return in forlorn silence. Quite unable to stand the thought, Mym shook her head and took off sprinting through the bazaar. “Darliiiiiiiiiiing!” she called. “Daaaaaaaaaaaaarling, where aaaaaaaaaare youuuuuu? I’m here for youuuuuu!”

Din entered just as Mym sprinted off, shouting loud enough for everyone in the stadium to hear. “Mym, wait!” She called out to her, running to the corridor and watching the dragon’s form getting smaller and smaller as she ran ahead. She put her hands on her hips and sighed. “Whatever happened to keeping a low profile?” None of the words Junkrat had used to describe what was happening in there had sounded very good, especially the ones Din hadn’t understood. Who knew who was in here enjoying a show like that?

“Daaaaarllliiiiing!” Junkrat called out. “Daaarliiiing!” He cupped his hands around his mouth, hollering. Roadhog, while being one for a brawl, did agree that being quiet here would be much better, and easier, for everyone involved. It was a lot easier to hook someone who was unaware after all before they ate a face full of scrap. With that in mind, as Junkrat took a breath to let out a third ‘darling’ yell, Roadhog bopped him on the head, signaling for him to be quiet for a bit as they approached the inside of the dome.

“Ow!” Junkrat rubbed the back of his head. “...We’re looking for Mario, aren’t we?” He mused. “Why’s she sayin’ ‘darling’? Tell you what, mate, not sure that Mym is all there in the head.” He circled his finger at his temple. Roadhog could only shrug, not knowing the girl that long. Junkrat, looking over the glorious mayhem partaking in the middle of the arena, began to think. He was renowned for his strategic genius, after all.

“Well, we know this Mario bloke is a goodie two shoes, right? Maybe we just need someone for him to save!” He rushed up to Din as she followed behind Mym. “Oi! Oi Din! You think you’d make a good damsel in distress?” He asked.

Din thought back to her nasty encounter with General Onox and scowled. “Unfortunately I make a great damsel in distress.” The more she thought about what Junkrat was getting at, though, the more she had to admit the idea had a certain shine to it so long as they were abandoning subtlety altogether. It certainly appealed to her inner performer. “A beautiful girl being threatened by two rough customers? It’s classic. We’d have to get everyone's attention off the game though. Something colorful and loud.” She looked over Junkrat’s shoulder towards Mym. “Adding a threatening dragon to the cast might do the trick.”

Junkrat grinned, turning over his shoulder. “Heheh! Just what I was thinkin’! Not that I couldn’t be a great damsel in distress myself. I’ve just been typecast. Just a poor, misunderstood soul, ya see?” He said with a laugh.

With that he turned, laid down another landmine and exploded away. He soared over the colorful bazaar and past the titanic steel support structures that kept the stands to his right stable.

Sailing towards Mym with a maniacal laugh, Junkrat landed roughly in front of her, stumbling to a stop. He whirled around, facing the dragon lady. She appeared to be in the middle of an energetic conversation with a burly spectator with a mustache. “Of course my dar...I mean Mario is here, you ridiculous man!” She was saying. “I got word he was making a name for himself in this place!”

“I meant he’s not in the audience,” Abobo insisted, looking irate.

“We’re gonna pretend to kidnap Din, Mym! Dinmym? Mym! Quit yellin’!” Junkrat waved his arms frantically.

“We’re gonna appeal to Mario’s instincts, yeah? Threatening dragon, two evil henchmen, and a beautiful girl! It’s perfect! Now, get in there, start flyin’ around and bein’ a scary dragon!” He said, pointing to the domed arena to their left. “I’ll pretend to tie up Din and then make our demands.” He added.

Mym switched targets in an instant, although she looked confused, “But how can I be both the threatening dragon and the beautiful girl at the same time? Mighty though I am, I cannot be in two places at once!”

Abobo threw his hands up in resignation and swaggered away, so Mym gave due consideration to the madman’s plan, quickly realizing her mistake. She thought about it for a couple long seconds and announced her conclusion, yellow eyes glowing with anticipation. “That would be the fastest way! And I can’t for the life of me think of any downsides.” She pressed herself against the glass. “Hold on, my prince. I’ll be back you soon...” A frown crossed her face as she looked either way. “Hmm...but how do I get in…?” One answer, at least, she could reach on her own. Even if the glass could withstand the weight of the rocket cars, it would be nothing to the Flamewyrm. But she hesitated to just start wrecking stuff, it being -to her knowledge of human civilization- socially unacceptable.

While Junkrat was explaining the plan to Mym, Din rolled her shoulders, clasped her hands behind her, and turned her back to Roadhog. “Okay, chain me up. Make it look real, we have to sell this.” Roadhog wasn’t too sure about this plan, after all Junkrat’s plans tended to backfire.

Roadhog loomed behind Din. When she turned to face him he produced a smaller bit of spare chain and held it out towards her for her to put her hands in. “This is not a good plan.” He said simply, shaking his head but still clearly willing to go along with the plan until it inevitably backfired.

“Why do you say that?” Din asked as she slipped her hands through the chains and the big man wrapped them.

“H-how do you get in?” Junkrat asked with a laugh. “How do you get in!?” He repeated. In one he held a grenade launcher, in the other, a high explosive.

“It’s not like we’re committing a real crime.” Din continued as she tested how hard it was to get out.

“GET DOWN,” he shouted to everyone in the bazaar. “GET DOWN, GET DOWN, EVERYONE GET DOWN! HAHAHAHA!” He yelled, announcing his intentions as clearly as he could. Once he was in range he fired his grenades from his homemade launcher. He fired them at the ground, bouncing them towards the dome. That way they rolled to a stop and gathered at the base of the glass. The entire weapon seemed held together with duct tape, glue, and a manic desire for destruction. The bombs detonated, causing the thick glass to crack. Closing the gap he tossed yet another landmine. He jumped onto it and detonated it. The glass was blown inwards and Junkrat was sent spiralling through the air, over Mym’s head and back towards Din and Roadhog. There was a hole large enough for Mym’s human form to get through, and certainly large enough for her dragon form to force its way through. Blowing stuff up never got old. Through it all Mym could only watch, astonished at her comrade’s audacity.

He landed in one of the stands, causing it to come crashing down Ignoring the fury of the merchant he scrambled awkwardly towards Din.

“Quick! This way!” He was planning on staging the crime on a ten foot high steel beam. It was connected to the structures of the stand above. It was about thirty feet away from the metal and glass wall of the stadium, and quite close to the hole he had just made. It was an elevated position clear of too many people. His smile faded as he saw the look on Din’s face. “Huh? What happened?” He looked between her and Roadhog. “He didn’t tell you one of his jokes, did he?”

Din’s eyes were flickering between him and the hole he’d blown in the stadium, absolutely gobsmacked. “You..you...savage! You brute! What did you do?! This is a real crime, you know?” She started struggling against her bonds, but they were surprisingly tight. “Just wait till I...Just you...You get me out of these chains right now, you maniac!”

Junkrat didn’t respond, looking confused. Then his face lit up, having made a realisation. “Ooohhh, I get it! Heheh! You’re already in character! Great. Damn, you’re good! Pick ‘er up, Roadhog!”

Huffing, Roadhog gently lifted Din up and placed her over his shoulder. Classic captured princess pose. No way Mario could resist. Realizing that it was way too late to back down now, Mym ran into the arena and transformed in a burst of flame, revealing her fearsome true form. Junkrat led Roadhog and Din back to his planned spot. It had been eight seconds, so he could produce another landmine. He used it to both announce his presence again and launch him up to his elevated spot. Roadhog was left awkwardly holding Din, so he set her down into the dirt. She wasn’t actually a hostage.

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the Badlands,” Junkrat began soaring in the air and waving to the crowd. He landed on the steel beam, now elevated. “If I may have your attention, please! I have taken this damsel hostage! If I don’t get what I want within the hour, I’ll blow her and this whole place sky high! Gahahaha!” He fired several short fused grenades into the air, causing more explosions high above. “A-and that dragon will eat people, too!” He added hastily, improvising. Mym helpfully released a stream of fire into the air. He looked down and winked at Din.

“He’s crazy!” She shrieked, kicking her feet in dirt.

“What do I want!? Well...I want…” he paused for a moment, thinking. “I...want...my toilet’s clogged! Yeah, my toilet’s clogged! I need the finest plumber in the land, or else! And, also 200 real big gold coins! Hahahahaha!” He laughed evilly. It seemed like he had a lot of practice doing this sort of thing.

His laughing came to a stop. “Um…’ello?” He quickly realised not many, if any, people were paying attention to him at all. The dragon he briefly mentioned was doing a majority of the work.

For the moment all attention lay on Mym, and that began with the cars themselves. Being an area easily surmisable as the bad part of town without there being a town, this region harbored more than its fair share of people who weren’t going to take this lying down. Angry onlookers banged on the glass, but with no way to get in save Junkrat’s own hole, they couldn’t do much. The players, however, could. The full-size vehicles swarmed the dragon’s way, boosting toward her on rocket thrusters. Mym eyed them warily. “Come not closer, ingrates!” she boomed, her fearsome maw aflame. Yet still the cars came.

The first leaped at her, flipping end over end. Overcoming her instinct to swat it out of the air, she ducked out of the way, and kept her eyes not on her assailant but those yet to come. Two more zoomed at her, one jumping to strike her body and the other trying to ram her legs from the ground. As gingerly as she could manage, Mym brushed the jumper away with a wing, then swept the cruiser aside with her tail. In the heat of the moment her tail still hit hard enough to dent the vehicle’s entire left side and send it skidding across the dust for a few hundred feet. Wincing, Mym turned her eyes to a car doing donuts. “What in the…? Oof!” With a comically loud doink the football struck her in the head. It didn’t hurt -like, at all- but it was still humiliating. Mym would have reddened if she could get any redder, but in the end she simply growled. “Oh, you’re in for it now!”

She took to the air, unleashing a stream of brilliant flame. “Grand X-Muspelhem!” resounded across the arena as she scorched two great lines in the earth, setting most of the already-parched ground ablaze. The cars fled in panic, their attempts at fighting Mym totally disorganized, except for one.

A unique sports car, conspicuously styled in blue and red and emblazoned with a familiar emblem, slid to a stop in front of hole in the glass. Cameras obligingly focused in, projecting the image of the vehicle onto various enormous displays for the audience to see. The door popped up, and out stepped Mario himself, his features solemn, and his eyes red. “Stop-a this! I’m-a the one you want!” He held up a clenched fist, preparing to jump. “But I’m not-a gonna let you get away with this!”

Junkrat grinned unsettlingly as he attracted the attention of their target. Yep. He was all Galeem’d up alright! Looks like there was no talking their way outta this one. Oh well!

Before Mario could enter through the gap and jump up at him, Junkrat tossed a comically large bear trap forward. It landed in the entryway of the hole in the glass. There was some clearance, but the bear trap was surrounded by broken glass and he couldn’t jump too high, lest he poke his eye out.

“There he is! We got ‘em!” He said excitedly to Roadhog and Din without breaking eye contact with Mario.

“MARIO! You’re a man of my own heart, partaking in such wonderful mayhem! So, are you gonna unclog my toilet, or what?” He asked with a giggle. He enjoyed not really having to care too much about money in this hostage situation. They were only here for Mario. If Mario made a break to get over the gap, Junkrat would blast him with his grenades.

Roadhog reached down and grabbed the chain around Din’s hands. He was preparing to break them, releasing Din. However, he was waiting for Mario to have to get through Junkrat’s trap. If he revealed Din wasn’t actually their hostage, Mario might just retreat and find a better position, since it was clearly a trap just for him.

“You’d better still be with us.” He rumbled.

‘Quiet’ wasn’t exactly the word for it, but it was low enough so only Din could hear it. The idea of Din abandoning their quest just because of some broken glass was clearly one that didn’t appeal to the massive junker very much. He hefted his scrapgun in the direction of the hole, preparing for Mario to enter.

Din had stopped her struggling as soon as the image of their target had appeared on the big screens, her attention fully arrested by his sunset red eyes. Roadhog's admonishment brought her back to the moment. Now that he had actually been drawn out, what was there to do? ”Don’t worry.” She whispered solemnly back as she started to fake struggle against the chains, a rhythmic and enticing sort of wriggle of the shoulders and hips that could be mistaken for an Invigorating Dance. ”I know better than anyone it takes tough love to cure someone of what he’s got.” Suddenly, her tone shifted gears entirely as her eyes filled with fear. “HELLLLP. HELLLLL~P! Oh somebody save me!”

Whatever misgivings Mario might have harbored about the dubious situation faded when he heard Din’s desperate cries. “Don’t-a worry, I’m-a coming!” He charged toward the stands, kicking up dust in his wake. Once in range he jumped once, twice, and then thrice, the third leap sending him flying up toward where the Junkers held their captive.

Back in the stadium, Mym was forced to swat aside another car as it nearly smashed into her face. Even taking to the air wasn’t foolproof, as the annoying contraptions would ride up onto the walls and boost off for more height. Despite her awesome demonstration of power, these drivers just wouldn’t pack it in! It dawned on Mym after a moment that she’d triggered Galeem’s curse on them, preventing retreat. “Horrid carriages!” she complained, lifting a leg to avoid being rammed and then pinning the offending vehicle beneath her claw with her strength. Her talons piercing the hood found something hard, and with a yank she ripped out a complicated machine. She stared at it for a moment, baffled, then tossed it away, glad at least that the car she took it from didn’t seem to be able to move anymore. Immediately another vehicle smashed into her enormous tail, damaging her scales and nearly crushing its front in the process. Mym growled. “My temper won’t hold forever, you know! I’m not so easily trifled with!”

Junkrat was trying to maintain the high ground, but Mario could jump really high. That was a problem. Right over his beartrap. Junkrat quickly got the impression that a basic trap like that probably wasn’t gonna work. As Mario leapt his way up to his advantageous position, Junkrat tried to fire some grenades. However shooting at airborne targets with arcing projectiles was actually pretty difficult.

Squeezing Din’s chains, Roadhog freed the dancer from her bonds, allowing her to move free. ”Remember, don’t hurt him too much. Hold him down and I’ll free him.” She said as she began to dance away toward the hole in the glass. Roadhog took a heavy step forward and fired a ball of scrap. With a klunk, the ball arced forward and then exploded in mid air, sending shrapnel forward in a lethal cone. Like some kind of anti-air gun only with more tetanus.

The nasty projectile took Mario by surprise, but to his credit he shielded his face with his arms and took the shrapnel like a champ. Nevertheless the shot messed with his aerial momentum, and his leap fell short of the Junkers’ perch. Rather than fall back down, however, he grit his teeth and pumped his fist into the air. With a springing noise he boosted himself upward; when his hand struck the steel bar ten rapid impacts popped out as many coins before the metal shattered.

“Mym!” Din shouted through the hole as she approached, whipping out her Rod of Seasons. “Mym. It worked. He’s here. Get out of there before somebody gets hurt.” She gripped the rod, pointing it inside the area and channeled the power of spring through it. Green life began to spring up from the arena floor, large twisting thickets of brambles growing wherever Din pointed the rod. She ran them back and forth across the arena floor and walls, trying to impede the cars from getting at the dragon. “Through here. I’ll close it up once you’re out.”

The dancer’s voice reached Mym loud and clear despite all the ambient hubbub, and the dragon nodded. “Alright!” Pausing just long enough to smash another vehicle into the dirt with a colossal whack of her tail, she stomped over and transformed. Mym reappeared in her human form only a couple dozen feet from the hole, but her new legs covered distance a lot slower than her dragon ones, and two more of the rocket cars were cruising in.

Din redirected her efforts to one of the cars closing in of Mym, focusing spring in the ground in front of the oncoming vehicle. Vines sprang up out of the floor, lashing grabbing vines that snaked their way around the wheels to hold it in place. The other was far closer, so instead of trying to stop it she pointed the rod at Mym herself. Vines sprung up from under her feet, lifting her up above the other one just as it was about to plow into her. The foliage did the trick, slowing down one car to a standstill and getting her friend out of the way of the other. A moment later the car blew through the plants holding the surprised lady up, after which it zoomed up the nearby wall as Mym landed in a heap. “Oof!” She scrambled to her feet, red at the indignity of it, and pulled a creeper from her hair. “Oh, goodness…well, thank you, dear! Um, I mean, Din!” If only her darling had been the one to gallantly save her instead...

The roar of an engine from behind made both women look toward the captured car. It rocketed free from captivity with the aid of its rear thrusters, cruising in for the kill. Anger creased Mym’s features, and this time she felt like venting it. “Don’t you…” She held out her hand, and in a whirl of flame appeared a magnificent crimson lance, and hurled it with righteous strength. “DARE!” The makeshift javelin pierced the vehicle’s windshield, narrowly missing the driver, before the car veered off in panic. With it out of the way, both Mym and Din could get a good look at the blazing devastation that had befallen the stadium. Mym exhaled heartily and jogged over past her comrade toward the hole, as though she’d just been enjoying a light exercise. “Whew! Good thing we’re not committing real crimes~!”

”Yeahhhhhh…” Din said, tapping the Rod of Seasons on the ground in front of the hole. A thick woody tree grew up into the gap, sealing the hole and hopefully keeping the cars and their drivers within until she could figure out the best way to deal with them. She set the Rod on her shoulder and threw out her hand, Charm Equinox appearing in it. Hopefully the boys had finished securing Mario by now.

Meanwhile Roadhog, seeing the plumber’s last ditch effort to get onto the metal beams, decided to give the plumber a ‘hand’. Maneuvering himself a bit so that Junkrat’s trap was between him and Mario, Roadhog, with Din no longer tangled in his chains, tossed out his hook to catch the mid air plumber and reel him to the awaiting hog. The plumber, after getting hooked, wouldn’t reach Roadhog but instead got stuck in Junkrat’s bear trap, the hook leaving a cut where it scraped past Mario as it was retrieved by Roadhog.

“Good job there partner!” Junkrat said, giving Roadhog a thumbs up and squealing with delight that his next grenade wasn’t going to miss. And well, the grenade didn’t really miss, in fact, it hit its target extremely well. The only problem being that Mario wasn’t going to let Junkrat hit him with an explosive and as the grenade fired from the clearly telegraphed and excited junkrat arced its way towards the plumber, Mario pulled out his cape and forced the grenade to go back towards Junkrat at speed. What Mario didn’t expect was for the grenade to hit Junkrat square in the junk and bounce off, causing the deformed man to kneel over in pain as the grenade bounced and rolled to a stop midway between the two.

Mario sucked in his breath through his teeth, feeling just a little bit of phantom pain himself. “Oof…” He could only spare so much pity for his enemy, however, given the metal maw still biting into his leg. With a strong heave he pulled free, shattering the trap in the process. In the moment he’d forgotten about the other Junker, deceptively stealthy despite his size, who could still do something.

At the same time, however, the audience had reached its boiling point. “They’re tryin’ to kill Mario!” someone yelled, horrified and enraged. From the stands rushed a burly blue crocodile and a loopy-looking bandicoot, followed a moment later by a huge man with guns crashing down from the second story. Though he appeared to be wielding two light machine guns, the last man also appeared a little drunk, and hardly stuck the landing.

Roadhog narrowed his eyes underneath his mask at the encroaching horde of ‘heroic’ interlopers. Mario had fended off Junkrat’s assault but Roadhog was able to fight. If this Mario guy died instantly to a few blasts of scrap, then he wasn’t worth the effort anyway. Levelling his gun he fired high impact meatshots into the plumber. The faster they knocked him out and “convinced” him to join their team, the better. Mario took one load in the back and whirled around, cape at the ready. The next spray flew back Roadhog’s way, but Mario didn’t time the next quite as well. With a grunt he took off running, throwing fireballs at the masked mercenary before sliding into cover behind a hot dog stand

Meanwhile, Junkrat, regretting every decision in his life up until the point, managed to stand back on two feet. He glanced around at the encroaching heroes. “Bleehh!” He made an ugly, derisive noise and threw out a concussion mine. It landed right at the dual wielding man’s feet. Smiling a little in anticipation, he pushed the big red button on his detonator. Hopefully it would send the man flying far, far away, where he wouldn’t be able to bother them.

The well-placed mine scattered the whole incoming group, sending them off in three different directions. With a bellow of protest the Gunzerker flopped back into the bleachers, ending up upside-down. The marsupial, yelling comically, soared through the open front of the hot dog stand. Only the Kremling landed on his feet and barreled Junkrat’s way with reptilian strength. Mario, meanwhile, tried to help pull a dazed Crash free so he could help.

Din looked upon this chaos and her lower lip started to tremble. “Mym, help Junkrat if he needs it.” She said, spreading her wings and launching herself into the air. The spectators who had gotten involved all seemed fairly dangerous in their own way, but none of the others had guns. She glided over to where the stricken man had been thrown, dropping nimble out of the air on the seat above him. Turning quickly, she jammed the keyblade towards him and pressed it against his chest. Over his heart. Light began radiating from that point as Din began to feel her strength flowing out her to purge the light Galeem had planted in this man's heart. This was normal, that was what The Master had told her. She’d asked him before they left on the chance that Mario had fallen back under the sway of Galeem’s power. It was partially the whole reason she had come.

As she attended to the gunman, Mym helped out in her own way. She ran at the Kremling and raised her right arm, shrouded in flame. In the flickering blaze a semblance of her dragon form’s arm manifested, and she struck the crocodile with enormous claws that blazed a shockingly hot pink even in the afternoon sun. He sailed away, on fire, and Mym hustled over in time to see Mario rescue Crash. The two platformers stood together against the Junkers and the dragon as Din’s technique came to an end, rendering the Gunzerker a non-threat. Yet even as he slid blearily down, free of Galeem’s touch, a new threat arose to face the fatigued dancer. A tough-looking woman with a spear and a tailed girl with a huge shield were header her way, the former yelling as she ran. Din jumped over the free man, thankful that there was at least one person that wouldn't be following them. She didn’t even beat her wings, just spread them and gilded downward toward where her allies were squaring off with their target.

”We need to leave! Grab him and run.” She said as she touched down next to Roadhog. She leveled her rod at the heroes and channeled the power of summer through it. The area around them became hazy as dry heat built up around them, and the blazing light of the midday sun focused on that area to a blinding degree.

Roadhog nodded. Junkrat reloaded and began firing grenade after grenade into the growing ensemble of heroes. He also tossed out an additional bear trap. He was making the pathway after them as hazardous as possible. Carpet bombing it with rolling, grinning grenades that exploded unpredictably.

Roadhog held his hook out by the chain, spun it around a few times and threw it at Mario. Right as a few grenades exploded, timing it so people were off balance. It surged forward, wrapping once again wrapping around the unfortunate Italian. He yanked Mario across the grenades, blasted him in the face, struck him with a claw, and then tossed Mario high into the air. He lobbed Mario towards Mym. “Mym! Take him! I’m ready to go Whole Hog!” He bellowed.

“Uh, okay! We’re going!’ Mym didn’t know what Whole Hog meant, and she wasn’t going to stick around to find out. She shapeshifted to her dragon form once again, grabbed Mario in one hand, and then Din in the other, who she deposited in her back.

Roadhog stomped the ground, steadying himself. Reaching into his pouch, he produced massive open topped, funnel-like modification. He slammed it into the top of his scrap gun. Grabbing a crank wheel with his right hand, he let loose a gatling-gun like volley of projectile fire. Laughing deeply, he took a few more steps forward. The damage on the volume of fire was low, but the knockback was immense. Anyone caught in his crosshairs would be sent spiralling backwards, up and away from the retreating mercenaries.

With a wild whoop Junkrat leaped for Mym, landing and clinging to her leg as she took off. She got up to speed without a hitch thanks to Roadhog’s covering fire, then made a second pass to pluck the rotund Australian from the ground. A moment later and the motley crew was away, robbing a bewildered and wounded Mario from his adoring and enraged fans.

Mym let Roadhog clamber up onto her back again, then craned her neck around to take a final look at the receding stadium. Even with the lasting flames of Grand X-Muspelheim dying down, the place was a whirlwind of chaos. “Hmm...it looks like we didn’t quite keep a low profile.” Her draconic face developed a fang-toothed smile. “Still, that was fun! I’ll have so much to tell my darling when we get back...but all the same, I simply must have my next adventure at his side. And no more rides!” she added, still disgruntled.

“Not without a saddle, at least,” Junkrat complained. “Mario over ‘ere is about to fall off. Who’s gonna do the friend thing? I’m not doin’ it.”

Mym seethed as quietly as she could. “I’m busy!”

“Let me.” Din said, awkwardly angling the keyblade from where she sat to lay it on the plumbers chest. It was rather difficult, as the girl had begun shaking as soon as the adrenaline began to wear off. This was the sort of stressful situation that had dissuaded her from adventuring in the first place. Nevertheless, she was eventually able to hold it steady enough for the keys magic to do its work.

Weary from both a day of sportsmanship and the fighting, Mario lapsed into half-consciousness with the aid of a heart set at ease. Mym sighed a great sigh and soared across the arid land, fixed on the green fields of the Land of Adventure ahead, and the floating city beyond where her own rest -and prince- awaited.

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Zoey Boey ~I'm Stone Free, do what I please~

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Kasugano Sakura

Level 4: 27/40
Location: On the Atomos over Black Bay.
Word Count: 1,054
Points Gained: 2
New EXP Balance--- Level 4: 29/40


Sakura tensed up a little bit as Rika boldly strode out into broad daylight. But, it worked out. The Admiral was nice, and had already been told of Rika's existence. Sakura breathed a sigh of relief.

"You know...people are nice." Sakura concluded. It seemed like Geralt had expected something worse to happen.

"So far I'm like, 3 for 3 when it comes to trusting people to do the nice thing. Even that Master of Masters lady helped out in the fight. I wonder where she is now?" Sakura looked around for her but if she was there, there's no way her mysterious figure could spotted so easily. She thought back to Mym the Dragon, right after she stopped being Galeemified. Everyone was scared, but then the dragon was nice, and so everyone else turned nice, too. Then she thought again about Geralt, and figured the majority of the people he had met in his life had been very not nice. It was complicated, she guessed.

Sakura smiled and waved at Ranger. "Thanks for the save! Nice outfit! But...man. Where I'm from, there's no way any navy would let you dress like that." She said that last part a little quieter.

Suddenly, Cadet and Link, caught onto her about her comment. Cadet noticed her different appearance and quickly put something together. Sakura nodded sadly. "Yeah, I did absorb a spirit. I'm gonna give it back, though. I-" She was cut off. Things were happening right now. "We'll talk later." She sighed. She began to jog int othe Atomos interior proper, waving as she went.

"See you, guys! Bye bye!" She waved. The door closed and they were away. Bowser, Kamek, Junior, Geralt, Rika, Bella, Ranger, and her, Sakura.

"Boy. Remember when it was just the four of us?" She gestured to Kamek, Junior, and Geralt. "The ship must have felt so empty." She smiled, sitting down, thinking of her new friends. Of the fun she had last night with Rika, Junior, and even Bowser. As well as her talk with Geralt. Bella, the sweet person that Sakura managed to save, and Ranger, who was just straight up heroic.

"I'm uh, I'm glad I met all you guys. Even if we're far away from home." She said.

Sakura watched the sight down below, wincing and turning away. She shared the same thoughts as Rika did. It hurt to watch. There was some solace to be found in that it was only the lost potential of a life, not the life itself. Still. It was hard to watch. Seeing the Abyssals in their original form reminded Sakura of how mean the Water Princess was, before she turned into Bella. If Sakura didn't have the ability to Friend Heart, what other option would there have been? Sakura decided she would focus on defending her friends. And if she did have to fight, try to fight the Abyssals that didn't look like they could talk or think for themselves at all. The ones that looked like bone robots. But did that make it okay to kill? Just because they looked different? What if she gave a Friend Heart to them, too?

Sakura wore these troubling thoughts on her face. She was biting on her lower lip and holding her own hand, sweating a little. It's too difficult. Sakura didn't know if she could do it.

"Man. I've been on high alert for like, two months. After this I hope we get to take a few days off. I miss sleeping in." Sakura laughed nervously. She turned and looked out the window. At the beautiful cape of the Black Bay. The ship girls were truly a force to be reckoned with.

They weren't the only ones, though. The battle quickly went underway right before her eyes. The ship girls lacked the close combat skills that Sakura did. She couldn't really help much from up here. Much to her own shame, Sakura was a little relieved that she wasn't down there. Sakura rose to her feet and slapped the sides of her head, steeling herself.

(Come on, hero mode. Hero mode! We're heroes! We have to save Limsa and stop the bad guys so we can blow up Galeem and save the universe! Get it together, Sakura!) She hopped up and down.

Bowser and Kamek were making their place. It was certainly spectacular. Bowser got really big and ontop of the bridge. The entire ship was painted with his face now, and now he himself was decorating it

"The King of Awesome, huh?" Sakura raised a skeptical eyebrow. His display of power was indeed awesome, though. He was destroying the enemies back lines. Shippy, however, was directly in trouble. If the people on Shippy could break through, they wouldn't meet much more resistance thanks to Bowser. But right now any ranged attack on the enemies boarding Shippy would probably lead to Shipp themself getting hurt.

The ship was also lowered into range of the water. Sakura gulped. "Um...well, okay, I guess. Here we go." Sakura stepped outside of the bridge and onto the outside of the Atomos. Her hair
and clothes began to be whipped up all around. Her longer sleeves were a little in the way now, so she rolled them up to her elbows. Her bandana was flung out to the side. She probably cut quite the dramatic figure. She was on a flat part of the Atomos, infront of her was a railing, and to her side was a path away up to the rooftop of the Atomos where King Bowser was. The water was closer now, but they were still a little above the action. It was chaos down there. Every combatant was extremely mobile. It looked like something out of National Geographic. Bees vs Wasps.

Sakura took a stance and began firing where Bowser was shooting. "Hadoken! Hadoken!" Her familiar cry rang out. This time she also fired some of her cannons in her rigging, aiming for the enemies around Shippy. Basically just saturating fire.

As she did, she began shouting over the wind, turning her face a little. "I'll follow your lead, Ranger, if we do end up needing to go down there. If any of 'em try to get onto the Atomos, that'll be their mistake, because then I'll just kick 'em in the face. Hadoken!" She imagined Bella, Rika, Ranger and herself would make quite the formidable squad of ship girls were they to be on the water. But the Atomos and Shippy were on their own mission. They pushing through and forward to a secondary objective.

They were, after all, Seekers. That was what they were called now. Sakura found confidence in that title. (I'm a Seeker. Cool.) Sakura gathered up another bright blue ball of energy and let it loose in tandem with a cannon shot.
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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Gentlemanvaultboy
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Gentlemanvaultboy

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Link


Word Count: 2245

Level 4 - (24/40) + 3

Location: The Edge of Blue ~ Limsa Lomiscuttel Port ---> Cute Girls Doing Naval Warfare






Sakura unfortunately didn't have time to share the harrowing tale of warfare and rescue out over the water, as it was time to roll out across the waves. The party split up, with the Scouting Gang + Koopa King taking their places aboard their now comfortable airship and the rest answering Captain Brineybeard's call and stepping up the gangplank onto his living ship. Along with them came their Admiral appointed minder, Chao Hu. Maybe the admiral just wanted some assurance that they weren't going to...well, no, the whole plan was for them to ditch the battle so it couldn't be that. Did she think they were going to turn on them in the middle of the fight? What was one girl going to do in that case? Did she want someone she trusted to lay eyes on whatever horror they would be facing later, or was the shipgirl going to jump off the back of the ship when it came time for them to pull away from the fighting and join her sisters? He decided to put those questions out of his mind, at least until he saw what she did when that time came.

As the anchor was weighed and Shippy pulled away from the dock Link threw himself at the mast and scrambled up to the top, pulling himself up onto the lip of the crows nest. Holding on to the mast with one hand to keep him steady, he stood atop it and pulled up the Shiekah Slate. He noticed with some surprise that another rune had reactivated itself some time last night, a note he stored away for later, before hitting the photo rune and raising the slate up to his eyes.

The sight of the Limsa grand fleet setting out across the water was something else, and from his vantage point he could capture a good chuck of it. Inaudible under the cheers of the towns hopeful citizens and the breaking of waves there was a snap. A third memory was catalogued in the slate.




Link spent the majority of the trip up there in the crows nest enjoying the scenery, the salty wind that blew past his face, and taking photos of the local wildlife. There wasn't a stretch of water that went by where his interest wasn't piqued, either from something semi-hidden in the depths or resting on the shore. If he were going at his own pace he would have investigated them all, but with no time and no map to mark them on he had to just let mysteries like that beached ship go unprobed, probably forever. The thought wounded his adventures spirit.

He could be a sailor, he thought. He had a ton of experience with rafts and what was a ship if not a raft that doubled as a house? He bet he could get Bolson to build him a ship, and if not just have him build two houses in the style of Lurelin Village and then stick them together. They didn't have to go out into the ocean, they could stay by the coast like this. Leisurely sailing along, surviving on fish, mooring up on exotic beaches, and taking in whatever was over the next horizon. Not a care in the world, just him and...

He sighed sadly, his heart pulling him away from the scenery. He'd have to find her again first of course, but after that? Sailing. Once he didn't have to be a hero anymore he'd try his hand at sailing.




It was after the Navy's first contact with the enemy that Link's position on Shippy radically changed. He hadn't be able to catch the first encounter, looking out over the ocean and using the zoom function to spot the aftermath of the short fight. After that all notion of enjoying the scenery was forgotten as he shifted gears from passenger to lookout. The slate rested under his hand on the railing of the nest so he could have the greatest field of view possible to spot where the sea began to churn and battle was joined, and he would bring it quickly up to zoom in wherever violence erupted. As he did he tried to learn as much about the Abyssal's way of fighting as he could, noting the flashes of their cannons and the small flying objects that they sent at one another, but he could never make out much. Between the distance, the monsters ducking in and out of the waves as they pleased, and the shipgirls bombing his photos as effectivity as they did the enemy, he couldn't even get one good picture of an Abyssal.

Instead he settled for calling down a play by play of each encounter to anyone that wanted to listen.

"Three black fish have got one of the short girls isolated from the rest. They just popped up right in the middle of the group and went for the weakest looking one." He called out, watching for the umpteenth time today leaping shapes with gnashing teeth pursue a girl as she skated back. "She's shooting, shooting, she got one but the others got her by the leg. I think her mates are gonna reach her it time thoug-HYAAA!" He screamed, leaning in and staring intently. "Noting to worry about." he called down after a moment, impressed. "The shark woman just got both of them. Bit them right in half while they were on her, I can see the heads dissolving." He put the slate down and whistled. "That woman is a terror."

It was while he was watching the girls squamates carrying their injured friend to the backlines that he heard Ms. Fortune calling a team meeting, so he climbed out of the nest and slid down the mast to join her. What she had to say wasn't very heartening. A shipgirl had been murdered last night, and Ms. Fortune apparently had a number one suspect. Link struggled to place a face to the name Sephiroth, but cottoned on pretty quickly when she talked about him fusing with a crazy stalker. Come to think of it, Link hadn't seen that guy since he slinked away from the group last night. "Was that guy was with us?" Link asked. "When he took off last night I assumed he was a local recruit, like Glenn." He said, motioning to Frog. "I haven't seen him since then." He glanced over at Chou who hadn't deigned to join a team meeting. Questions flared up again. Was that what she was monitoring, trying to see if they were guilty by as association?

He shook his head. There was no reason to air that sort of suspicion on the verge of a battle they would be fighting side by side with her in. Besides, they had nothing to hide so it didn't really matter.




It could also be, of course, that Chou had one of those talk-boxes and that with her around they could more easily stay in contact with the rest of the fleet. The first time she had gotten a message through that thing he had suddenly felt very boneheaded for imagining this girl Yigaing out on them.

Link wandered over to have a listen. The words came from their escort for this battle, informing them that they were about to destroy an enemy lookout. It was easy to spot even from the deck, a cozy looking wooden tower that was about halfway between a Moblin tower and and a Shiekah tower in terms of craftmanship. He was watching through the slate when the girls had aimed, fired, and obliterated the thing and everything around it in a hail of steel and fire. He lowered the Slate and looked out to the tip of the cape, grimly reminding himself that the enemy that had been besting that was waiting just beyond. He scurried back up the mast. It was the most advantageous firing position in case he had to put an arrow into something coming just under the water.

They rounded the tip into the bay proper. Their goal was rights there, but Goddess preserve them there was a whole lot of monsters in their way. Luckily for them as battle was joined and explosions began to resound across the waters surface their escort pulled up beside them, and to his delight the voice they'd heard on the other end of the radio was the shark woman he'd been watching rip apart Abyssals for the entire voyage. As she charged into the approaching enemy Shippy entered battle mode her captains command, spitting cannonballs at the enemy as even the creatures of the deep arose to aide their passage.

Bowser also entered the battle in grand style, growing to be seated on top of their airships and raining down six different flavors of devastation wherever he didn't see friendlies. Link thought back to Smash, and how he'd consoled himself by saying his glider would have been an unfair advantage if they had let him use it anyway. He wondered how sour the grapes the Koopa King abstained from for the sake of the tournament tasted?

Despite their best efforts, though, the enemy still got through. In the water monsters started Blasting at Shippy, Prompting Link to try and return fire from his perch. He tagged one with an arrow right in its white, fleshy bits, prompting it to zoom to another position only to run right into range of Shippy's barrel, scoring the ship another kill. His attention refocused when Shippy was boarded, the abyssal leaping of of the water to give Link his first real good look at the creatures they were facing. How to describe these things? They were a head? No, they had a head. The big mouth was their body, a giant hunk to metal integrated into their flash. Their eye...was that an eye? No, it was just a part of them that had opened up. Why was the metal hunk that replaced one arm attached to the other arm. They didn't seem to be anything. They looked...they looked...

Familiar.

The looked like Ganon. Unfinished. Something that shouldn't be able to live. Just flesh and machinery molded together into a semblance of form that kept going out of sheer malice alone. What kind of foul sorcery was going on in the depths of this ocean to create monsters like this?

He still took a moment to take a picture before pulling out his bow and sending three arrows plunging right into the skin of the one underneath the crows nest, right into the shoulder of that dangerous arm. That thing had a cannon on it. It tried to scream with its non-mouth, arm going limp to its side as it looked up at him. Something detached from its back and zoomed up toward him. Link rocked back as one of those small fying things that now filled the air shot past him, teeth shining in the sun as it tried to ram his head off. He stowed the bow and jumped over the side of the crows nest, the Fork flashing into his hands as he dived, prongs pointed down. "HYAAAA!" He screamed as he broke his fall by landing on the Abyssal, plunging the spear into the meat of the things white neck before kicking off its face and arm and landing on the deck. It tried to swing that cannon at him in a clumsy flopping motion, but Link sidestepped before pulling back the spear and taking a moment to charge up. There was a brief flash as he lunged forward, stabbing the spear forward over and over into the things body before delivering another devastating blow to the neck. With a last twist of the fork it went limp, slumping off the spear and dissolving into ash on the ground.

Link looked around for the next one but as he did it became apparent to him that these enemies, despite their fearsome appearance, didn't seem to have the easiest time getting around out of the water. They moved in a series of flops, like seals would. Elephant seals, it turned out. As Link was thinking about his mobility advantage one of those deceptively fast flops carried one of the Abyssals straight across the deck at him. He switched equipment again, just getting his shield up in time for the blow to knock him across the deck. He hit the railing and looked up to see the monster aiming its cannons his way but before it could fire a foot stamped down on its arm and the shot went wild, slamming into the rail beside him.

If looks could kill the scowl Cia was giving the He-Class as she ground her heel into the flesh of its elbow would have ended the entire war right then and there. "How dare you?" She spat at it, twisting her hip and sending a dark wave of magic rolling over it and any other poor abyssal that happened to be nearby. The magic sent the monster flopping out from under her in the opposite direction, tumbing head over mouth across the deck. The sorceress turned to face Link, all hints of anger replaced with a smug satisfaction. She grinned, narrowed her eyes slightly, then dissolved into darkness and disappeared.

Link leaped back to his feet, bringing out his sword and trying to ignore the ominous feeling he had gotten when the Striker had looked his way. No that he wasn't grateful, he just didn't remember calling out to her. Another thing to put on the back burner. Worry that they're all out to get you later, fight now!
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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Gentlemanvaultboy
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Gentlemanvaultboy

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Alchemy


The Previous Day


Linkle

Merge Rate: 30%


Level 9 - (3/90) - 3


Word Count: 5820


Location: Frozen Highlands - Snowdin


With @Lugubrious



Linkle gladly took the door Albedo offered, stepping inside the cozy stone building and letting the heat flow into her again. She gave a look around the shelves, stacked with books. They didn’t have a librarby back home, and she had never seen so many books bef-

LIZALFO!!!!!

Her hand instantly went to her crossbow, bound and ready to draw it, before she had realized that that hadn’t been one of her thoughts. That lizard behind the desk didn’t even look anything like a Lizafo. Plus he was reading a book and not trying to eat her face. Luckily they didn’t look up as she pulled her hand away from her bow and followed Albedo to his table.

So eager... the voice trailed off as the alchemist started. First of all, and most importantly, he confirmed he knew something about The Stranger but unfortunately didn’t know a way of putting him down for good. The revelation deflated the girl a little, but not nearly so much as the man outright telling her that she was dead. The bit about her going through the motions of breathing stung especially. “If it helps make sense of it, I haven't been dead for very long.” She said sadly. The way he had noticed the weirdness of the world, though, brought her right back up. Especially when he revealed that the state of his eyes was the result of nothing but his own hard work. She could believe that. Ryu had done more or less the same thing.

She unconsciously reached up to touch her rabbit ears when he started talking about everything in the world being made to be remade, but when he dumped his bag of dust on the table she wasn’t sure what it was until he called it the most basic form of complex life. She graciously accepted the flower he created from it wide eyed, mind abuzz with questions about the implications.

“Yes. Oh man, yes. Thats...that’s body dust. Right?” She asked, still not quite sure she believed it. They had always been so focused on the spirits, she had never paid any heed to the ash that was left behind. “That’s what things turn into when they,” she suddenly clasped a hand over her mouth, nearly eating the flower as she realized she had begun to get loud in her excitement, then continued in a more librarby tone of voice. “When they die?”

“Yes,” Albedo confirmed in succinct fashion. His even voice did not threaten the encouraged quiet, but he seemed at least a little happy that the Skullgirl was excited. “That ash came from a sproutling. In my world it would be said to be Dendro-aspected, much like this flower. It’s from my world as well. So far transmuting things with similar properties has been more successful, and I can’t create life I’m not familiar with.” Despite how the subject obviously interested him, he cut short his explanation. “Still, a useful art, and one with intriguing implications.” He set to work gathering the remainder of the dust back into the pouch, not eager to waste any. “Moreso if not for fusion, of course.”

“So you already know about spirits, then?” Linkle askes, before popping up and pulling the bottle with the direwolves floating around in it out of her pouch. She set it on the table between them. “You probably figured this out already, but I’ve already done it a few times.” She bobbed her head from side to side, letting the rabbit ears bounce around. “The ice powers aren't mine either. How much do you know about how it works?”

After watching his new acquaintance’s ears for a moment, Albedo replied, “Well, I have carried out a number of experiments. I do not have all the details yet. My hypothesis is that these spirits, as you call them, are concentrated clusters of information that give dust distinct behavior and form, and that life is the binder. If life is removed, the spirit can no longer hold the body together and collapses into an orb, while the rest of the body reverts to ash. Of course, the spirit can still modify living bodies according to its specifications. At least, that is what I’ve concluded.” He rested his head, looking a little disappointed. “Unfortunately my experiments have been limited. Once I observed fusion’s tendency to alter personality, as well as its permanence, I have only experimented on what monsters and animals attempt to kill me outright. It’s been slow going.” After fiddling with his sleeve, he raised his arm to show a painful-looking bite mark, mostly scabbed over.

Linkle winced. “That sounds right from what I’ve seen.” she replied. “I think I can help fill in the gaps though.” She reached over, opened the bottle, and shook one of the wolf spirits into her hand. “This is how it was explained to me, and I’ve done this every which way and it’s held true. You take the spirit and put it up here,” she took the wolf between two fingers and held it up to her temple. “It gives you skills from the spirit. I did this with this heroic rabbit, and it taught me how to shoot better and jump off people and I think it made me quicker. So if I did this with the wolf it would make me better at eating peoples goats or smelling things.” She moved it down to her chest. “You do this and it gives you the spirits powers. This is where I got the ice stuff. So I guess it would give me sharp teeth or make me really muscly. Probably both. But you’re right about the personality stuff. After I did that with the ice lady whenever I got really mad it made me go all weird and cold. I didn’t even notice at first, it’s hard to tell when it’s a part of you.”

“You can crush it.” Linkle did so, closing her hand over the spirit and squeezing until it popped before opening it to let whatever came out fall onto the table. “That’ll give you something related to it. Actually, I’m not sure why that happens. One time a friend of mine crushed a really ugly fish monster spirit and it gave him a funny fish hat. If they’re just information where does the item come from?”

After a moment of examination Albedo took hold of the wolf cap laid before him. He turned it over in his hands, feeling the texture of the fur. Only ashes remained when Linkle took this creature’s life, but here was a piece of equipment that could only be crafted from the wolf’s own hide and fur. “A good question. If a spirit is raw potential, a coalescence of everything that made something what it is, crushing it robs it of its transformative power. I cannot explain it yet, but in the same way that there is an underlying law in how the traits of parents are passed on to offspring, maybe there is a law that decides what a spirit’s potential resolves to when it becomes matter.”

He put the cap back down and crossed his arms. “In my world, adventurers can engage with certain large creatures or mystical sub-realms called Domains. Beating them gives the winner a selection of rewards. The rewards aren’t the same each time, but they’re always related to the enemy or Domain at hand. Figuring out what rewards will appear from what activity, then selling that information to adventurers, is even something of a profession. The sum of all the possible rewards from an activity is referred to as a ‘pool’. What rewards ‘drop’ from the pool appears to be up to chance. My working hypothesis is that spirit items work similarly, but given that potentially infinite worlds are intermixed here, many with their own versions of things like wolves, the ‘pool’ is unimaginably large.” His expression turned into one of mild self-reproach. “I’ll admit my curiosity has found a boundless source of diversion just in finding and trying to catalogue the various drops from even a single species. So far I have been unsuccessful.”

Linkle bandied about the ideas in her head, picking up the wolf hat as she tried to understand them. “So, it’s like the spirit still tries to be a wolf. It gets its new form from the pool, but the pool is more like an ocean?” She hoped she was following this. Still, this talk about pools and domains drew her attention momentarily to her lootbox. “Do you have any paper money?” She said, reaching down and picking up the box that she had placed next to her chair. She placed it on the table between them. “I think these might work the same way. I’ve seen someone put paper money in these and a bunch of random stuff popped out. Do you think that draws from the pool too?”

“Perhaps…” Having never seen this sort of chest before, Albedo stood up to examine it. “Er, perhaps it draws from the pool, I mean. I don’t have any paper notes. That said, it doesn’t seem like this thing is associated with a spirit, in which case it may be completely random.” He found no way to open it, with the only potential point of entry being a singular slot on one side. That, he reasoned, must be what the paper money Linkle mentioned was for. “How strange. It’s almost as if we’d be paying the box to open, but what does the box need money for? Does someone collect it?”

“That’s a good question.” Linkle said, looking at the box in a new light. Who exactly did you pay to open one of these. Leave it to someone smart to dig up a new mystery.

Despite his questions he lost interest, instead gravitating toward the spirits. He took one in hand and held it up, peering at the image within. “Personifying these may cause you some distress,” he suggested. “Without a vessel or the spark of life, they have no mind or will of their own. Just a prescription of behaviors the body should follow. Their patterns are like water flowing downhill, or the turn of seasons.“

“I can’t help it.” Linkle replied. “At least for the ones that were people once. I feel like I should be taking them with me, you know?” The mention of personifying did steer her mind back to the conversation at hand. “Anyway, there’s got to be some kind of will left in there because of the last thing you can do with spirits. If you talk to that wolf you’ve got there you can sort of coax it out, and if you manage that...well, here, let me show you.”

She turned to her side of the table, eager to show this off. “Imani, come on out.”

The sniper appeared beside her in her customary plume of white smoke, crossbow resting on her shoulder and her one good eye scanning the environment for threats. Only when she was satisfied that, unlike the last few times, no one here wanted Linkle dead did she even begin to relax.

“This is Imani and she’s called a Striker.” Linkle said as Imani waved one hand to the alchemist in a dispassionate hello before vanishing once again. “Oh man, already?” Linkle said, disappointed. “She can’t stay out for very long. Usually it’s just enough to get an attack off before poof, back inside me.”

Linkle sat back. “That’s all I know about spirits, personally. I hope it helped you out a little with your research.” She said hopefully. “If anyone would know more it would be The Master of Masters, he’s got a better handle on this stuff than I do, but he’s all the way back in Alchamoth.”

A few seconds passed while Albedo made notes in his book. “It’s something to think about. If death is not the end of one’s existence, well...it’s a comforting thought, isn’t it? I would certainly be interested in meeting this master of yours, particularly if the place you mentioned has anything to do with alchemy. Although if the name were more than coincidence I expect you would have told me sooner.” He leaned back again without closing his book or putting away his pencil. “I’ve already researched spirits a great deal. They still offer much mystery, but I was hoping that you might be able to shed some light on other facets of this world. He pointed at his eyes. “My condition, for instance. If you lack it, there must be some sort of cure. How things came to be this way, if you know. Or how its resolution could be achieved.”

“Right, that was the next thing I was going to get to!” Linkle said, embarrassed that she had let it sit for this long and also not making a connection between Alchemy and Alchamoth. “I don’t know how you’ve been doing it. My friend Ryu, he managed to reach a point a lot like yours, but I think he did it with discipline and martial arts training. I got cured like this though.” Linkle brought her hands up to her chest, but hesitated at the last moment. Softly, under her breath, she uttered a short prayer. “Oh goddesses, please still let me be able to do this.” Then she tapped her chest and pulled away.

Her face lit up with delighted half-surprise when she pulled a pink floating Friend Heart out of her chest. Relief radiated off of her. She had been scared that it could be some kind of evil black heart now. “This is it.” She said, holding it up. “This will wipe out the last of that Light element that’s inside you when it touches you. After that I think you’ll be able to understand the rest of the story more clearly.” She looked away a little queasily before deciding to tell him. “But it’s my turn to be as straightforward as I can. When I use one of these on someone usually they’re hurt first. I’ve seen it bounce right off people that are in too good a shape. So if that bite on your arm doesn't cut it we would have to go out back so I can hit you before we try again.” She hoped it didn’t come to that as she, probably more gently than necessary, pushed the heart across the table and touched it to Albedo’s chest.

Albedo watched the heart with fascination. He wanted it, or rather the freedom from overbearing light it promised to provide, but he considered the stipulation his new acquaintance mentioned. When the heart touched him, it popped with no visible change. “The bite is an old wound,” the alchemist told her. “Either one of us will need to hurt me, or we’ll need to find some monsters. I could use a little more dust. Regardless, we’ll need to go outside.” He glanced at the reptilian librarian, who’d been trying to read despite the newcomers but clearly having a hard time of it, distracted by their magics and conversation.

“Yeah, let’s go find a monster.” Linkle said, standing up. The prospect of getting injured taking down a dangerous beast appealed to her much more than assaulting the Alchemist until the heart took, and if she could help him get more dust in the process all the better. She looked over the items on the table and decided they were probably safe to leave here. “Do you have a way to heal yourself?” She asked him.

Albedo pocketed his notebook as he stood. His corgi, having dozed off during the conversation, jumped to his feet, and the alchemist lifted him off the table to put him on the floor. “In a way. Some of the food served in this town has healing power, much like specially-cooking cuisine did in mine. Although, my appetite is rather small, so if I’m to have anything I’d prefer something sweet that stimulates the mind. Ah, but that’s neither here nor there. I’m much more eager to see you in action as well. You mentioned the ability to manipulate ice earlier, which in mind world required a Cryo Vision, so the comparison will be an interesting one. Meanwhile, this new aspect I’ve terming ‘Mortuo’ is totally unfamiliar.” He exhaled through his nose in something close to a laugh. “Forgive me, I’ve a tendency to let my mind wander. Let’s go. Whichever way we travel I’m sure we’ll find something that wants us dead. Or...more dead, perhaps.”

“That’s okay.” Linkle said, walking up to join him by the door. “I like listening to smart people talk.”

He stepped outside, holding the door open for Linkle. A rotund Shiverian passed by, who inclined his head in greeting. “Good evening! Found another friend at last, eh Albedo?”

The alchemist’s breath misted as he exhaled in something close to a sigh. He glanced at Linkle and rolled his eyes as if to say get a load of this guy. “Something like that.”

“Yeah, something like that.” Linkle replied as she stepped out, waving at the bundled up creature as it passed with a big smile before giving a similar sign to Albedo’s as it made its way up the street. That well meaning tone of it’s was annoyingly nostalgic, like a criticism from an old beloved relative creeping into your head long after they were gone. She tilted her head toward Albedo sympathetically. “I used to get a lot of comments like that back home.“ She said, before bending over and continuing in a voice as shrivelled as a raisen. “‘Oh dearie Linkle, a young lady can’t just have cuccos for company. Come along to our house for dinner tonight, our Noko’s back from Castle Town and I’m sure he’d love to see you again.’” She straightened her back with a short giggle before going to retrieve her sled from where it was parked. “I hardly ever had time. Supper time and wolfos hunting time started around the same time.”

As Linkle went to get her sled Albedo dusted off his corgi with a few broad strokes, who had planted himself right into a drift of snow by the librarby door. “Ordinary people do tend to occupy themselves with uninteresting things.” Her mimicry elicited no laughter from him, but he didn’t look annoyed, either. Instead he gazed down to the east end of Snowdin, opposite from where his new companion came in and the ice fields in general. “If there are no objections, let’s head that way.” He rubbed the corgi’s head and then shooed him inside, knowing that the hunt was no place for such a small, gentle creature. “Would you look after him?” he asked the librarian before closing the door. Faced with the cold once more, he adjusted his jacket and prepared to set off.

“Not uninteresting.” Linkle replied, a little defensively. “Just more ordinary than fighting monsters.” And less fun. That thought slipped her notice as she pulled up beside Albeto. ”No objections here. Anything would feel like a breath of fresh air after fighting that guy.” At least other monsters had the decency to die when you killed them. She lifted the sled a little. “Hop on?” She offered.

Albedo raised an eyebrow, wondering if she planned to pull it. Then he remembered her cryo abilities, and concluded that she planned to locomote using them. Although the sled struck him as a little rickety, he climbed aboard. “My thanks.”

He was wrong. Linkle ducked underneath the bar, put her hands on, and set off in a brisk jog over the snow in the direction Albedo had indicated. The boy froze in embarassment, staring at the sky, and hoped that neither the Shiverian from earlier nor any of his friends happened to be looking on. At the very least, he was out of Snowdin and away from prying eyes in only a few moments.

Linkle and the sled made tracks eastward, putting the warm lights of Snowdin behind them. The discoloration of the cloud-covered sky suggested it would be night before long, but Albedo didn’t expect that their trip would be a long one. After a few minutes of travel the pair reached the edge of another snow-laden pine forest, although Albedo also noticed the long-bare deciduous trees whose thin, wispy branches wept with glistening tears of ice.



“Ah.” No sign of life stirred in the frigid underbrush, but Albedo recognized the area, and hopped off the sled with purpose. “We’re near a camp. Just a moment and I’ll draw them out.” He brought another flower to life and stood atop it to be lifted into the air. Once its ascent came to a halt at a good height, he cupped his hands and shouted, “Unclean vermin of the winter woods! I’m here to finish what I started. Come and die!” Although not possessed of a particularly strong voice, he sent his proclamation echoing across the landscape. Still, it lasted only a moment before the silence of a nigh-untouched wilderness settled back in, and there appeared to be no response.

For a time the seconds ticked by uneventfully, allowing him to return to the ground without needing to rush, but sure enough the tramp of heavy feet sounded out from the treeline before long. A moment later, a hairless, bucktoothed beast the size of a rhinoceros shoved its way from the vegetation, its bloodshot eyes staring evilly at the human intruders. Atop it rode a rider of rodential aspect, wielding a chain-bound javelin with a leer even more baleful than its mount’s. That was a baddie if Linkle had ever seen one. It had a human skull mounted on it for goodness sake. Further rummaging of the surrounding plants revealed two more monsters looking for a fight, a headless yeti with a maw in its belly and a crystalline satyr wielding what looked like an arcane cannon. Albedo tilted his head, mildly curious. “I was expecting more rats. Their leader, perhaps?” The creature kept quiet, trying to look as menacing as it could. Linkle thought it managed to pull it off on the strength of that cannon, but it couldn't pull off the near effortless bloodthirsty menace of the other two. The alchemist shrugged and held out his hand. A sword manifested from yellow light in his palm. “Well, I hope at least you can do me some harm, and that your spirits are worth something. Or my time will have been wasted.”

Linkle walked up beside him, pulling out her crossbows and motioning them toward herself. “Yeah, come and get us.” She taunted, coiled and ready to spring into action once the monsters launched their assault.

The creatures obliged. Raising its cannon, the satyr let loose a chunk of blue crystal at the pair that forced them to move out of the way. At the same time, its larger companions charged. Spurred on by some sort of personal vendetta against Albedo, the rider attempted to bulldoze him with its brutish mount. The alchemist out of the beast’s way, narrowly avoiding its vicious tusks, and raised his hand. Before the ringleader could get off another shot, another Solar Isotoma sprouted a short distance in front of it and bloomed with a burst of golden power that knocked it back. Albedo sprinted toward the magic gunner while the rampaging ratbeast made its wide turn to come back around. When its next blast came he blocked it head-on, taking some damage but not enough to divert him from his target. Sapphire readied another crystal shot even as Albedo drew near, convinced that its enemy wouldn’t shy away from a point-blank blast. When the alchemist’s foot touched the flower he created, however, he was boosted into the air right over Sapphire’s shard. He raised his blade for a plunging attack, out of the way of which the beast nimbly dodged forward, but rather than commit Albedo simply dropped to the ground. He turned on a dime to lash out with a punishing slice against Sapphire as it rose, drawing blood in the vicinity of the Solar Isotoma. In reply the flower surged with Geo energy. The wave plowing into Sapphire gave Albedo the chance he needed to summon a third flower.

Sapphire ground its teeth, seething with rage, and returned the favor with a summoned crystal right next to Albedo. He found his movements suddenly hindered, and could not dodge the animal as it launched itself toward him. He tumbled backward and came to a stop on his stomach, where he raised his head in time to see Sapphire get out of the way of the ratrider and thunder his way. “Still not enough…” With a sharp intake of breath he jumped to his feet for an evasive slash, only for the monster to thrash its head and slam a horn across his back. “Hrk!” He plowed into the snow shoulder-first and felt pain shoot through his spine and arm. Nevertheless he used the embedded point of his sword to rise, then raised it to swat aside the rider’s javelin. With a chitter and a smirk the rider reeled its weapon in and turned its mount around, sensing that the hunt was at its end. Sapphire approached as well, cannon at the ready. Albedo’s heavy breath misted in the air as he strafed to the side, refining his position.

The yeti, meanwhile, ran at the Skullgirl with its burly arms swinging. Linkle’s first instinct was to try and stick close to Albedo, but she overrode it as she dodged back farther from the Yeti’s whirling claws of death. After all, he would have a much harder time talking a few bumps if she were there making sure he didn’t. So she led the Yeti a little father off so that it at least wouldn't get in his way. The Yetil took a great loping leap like a gorilla, slamming its arms into the spot she had been just moments prior with enough force to cause the crystalline ice coating the trees to rain down on them. Neither paid it any mind as the monster dug its claws further into the earth and ripped out a chunk of rock and ice. It hurled it at the girl who dashed forward and slid under it, spinning up and firing a hail of bolts that peppered its skin. “You aren't even the first one to try that trick on me today.” She said, but the Yeti couldn't seem to understand her anyway. It charged through the bolts, taking them in its broad shoulders and the fleshy hump where its neck should have been. The tackle caught the skullgirl in the ribs, the Yeti lifting up as it moved and tossing her into the branches of one of the nearby trees. Linkle held her stomach as she steadied herself among the branches, but surprisingly didn't seem to be that much worse for the wear. “You’re not as strong as he was either.” Seemingly to prove her wrong the monster ran up to the base of the tree and wrapped its arms around it, the wide mouth on its chest gnashing at the base until half of it lay in chips at its feet. Then it pulled, ripping the rest of the tree and the skullgirl with it off its foundation. Linkle held on for dear life as the monsters began shaking the tree back and forth, flinging the ice that had stubbornly clung to its branches off in all directions.

Linkle braced herself, wrapping her legs around the trunk to keep from being thrown out. If it wasn’t trying to kill her she had to admit she would find this incredibly fun. She tried to aim down at the monster, but with the forces throwing her forward and back she couldn't get a good angle. She reverted to tried and true indiscriminate bombardment, and explosions began to resound around the yeti as bomb arrows landed around it. Thinking quickly it reared back with the tree and swung for the earth, looking to shatter the entire top. Mid-swing, however, it caught a bomb to the face. Linkle was sliding down the incline created as the tree swung, fast enough to plant a boot right in the monsters non-face as it lost its grip and the tree began to fall. She bounced backward off it, spinning in midair and launching one, two, three more bomb arrows into it before bringing down a flaming ax kick right between its shoulders. She felt something give, heard a crack, and then a wail from the monsters chest mouth as it stumbled back.

There! It was vulnerable! Linkle rushed forward as soon as her feet touched ground, firing at that spot. The bolts sunk in much more readily than before, knocking the creature even more off balance than it already was. Taking the opportunity, Linkle crossed her bows across her chest as the whole of the weapons blazed red. She launched forward, spinning into a flaming high kick that left a blacked strip of singed fur up across the Yetis entire body even as it launched her high in the air above it. She aimed down at it, firing off two bomb arrows that looked more like two streaks of pure fire. They slammed into the weakened point of the Yeti’s hump and detonated, finally sending the thing sprawling to the earth where it began to dissolve into ash.

The explosions from the Skullgirl’s bombs, and the high-flying theatrics that followed, brought about a pause in the other battle--and the chance that Albedo needed. He dashed once more to the side, a golden mote aglow in his free hand, until his enemies were in a line. Then all at once he unleashed a wave of earth power, rising up from the ground like enormous flower petals in a fan before him. Sapphire and the beast stumbled, throwing off the ratrider’s aim, and from the Solar Isotomas around them rose motes of concentrated Geo energy like shrapnel mines. Another series of detonations rang out through the chilly air as rock fragments pierced Albedo’s enemies. They wounded Sapphire severely and sent the ratbeast into an agonized stampede that forced the ratrider to hold on for dear life. That endeavor came to a swift end when Albedo leapt from a brand new flower in a full-body tackle that tore his foe from its saddle. All his weight drove the point of the sword clean through the rider and into the snow beneath. It shuddered, and died.

With a heavy exhale, Albedo staggered to his feet and watched the ratbeast crash off through the trees. “It won’t live long,” he stated, his voice flat. “Not with the venom of Festering Desire in its veins, the very poison that felled a dragon.” He maintained a firm grip on his sword, however, and shambled over to where Sapphire lay. With its body intact it remained alive, but for how long with those wounds Albedo couldn’t guess. “This one is done as well. If it keeps clinging to life, it will be for minutes rather than hours.” He glanced at Linkle, cognizant that she had a job to do.

Linkle landed gracefully and impressed. She hadn’t expected him to handle the two of them all on his own, especially taking down the rat monster with such physicality. She wished she had been able to catch more than the end of the fight, she was more interested in what Abedo could do with his alchemy powers. Of course, she also wished that it had been enough to end the monsters outright instead of crippling one like this. “First things first.” She said, popping out a friend heart and tossing it to Albedo. The mote cleansed him in just a moment’s time, and undid most of his wounds to boot to the alchemist’s surprise. “Huh. Have they always done that?” She asked herself, scratching her head, before turning back to the task at hand.

The goat monster reminded Linkle of the wolf that had attacked her early. Clearly beaten, should have run, didn’t because of Galeem. No, not even that. At least the dire wolf had been able to fight back. This was more like the man with the spirits and the monster kart from when they had crossed the desert. She had stopped mid attack then, unable to continue until at least the man was back on his feet. Agoston had dropped out of the sky before he had the chance, and she remembered being so mad at him for not giving the man a fighting chance. She hated beating an opponent while it was down.

Maybe it was because the creature was so clearly in pain, but now she found it much easier to point her crossbow at it and end that suffering with one clean bolt to the head. It was surprising, and not at all pleasant.

With a final gasp the satyr turned to ash. Its spirit shrugged off the dissolving body and floated a short distance above the ground, above the disturbed snow. That made three total, leaving out that of the ratbeast which Albedo doubted would be worth the effort to retrieve. Even the collection of the ash seemed less attractive when it was mixed with the snow. Still, the alchemist collected a handful into an empty pouch, allowed his eyes to linger on the Skullgirl a moment, and then looked away. Despite her sunny demeanor, his new friend did not shy away from taking a life when necessary. Then again, neither did he, and he wouldn’t even call his own company pleasant. “Let’s...get going. I let them toss me in the snow too much.” His voice was apologetic.

Albedo’s voice roused Linkle from her position, looking down on her crossbow with an experion of shaken confusion. “Huh?” She said, looking up at him. Snow? What did… ”Oh, right!” She said, looking around. “This is still cold. Sorry. Let me just…” She ran around the area, scooping the spirits and a few handfuls of dusty snow into one of her pouches before running to the sled and dragging it over to him. “Here, get out of the snow.” She said.

Although he would rather not be pulled around again, Albedo came to a pragmatic decision. Pride wouldn’t do him any good if organs began to fail. “...Very well.” He climbed aboard again. “In town, there’s a bar that’s always empty called Survive. The man who runs it can make medicine and restorative food.” Shivering, he crossed his arms and hunched over.

“Right. Survive.” Linkle said, getting back into position and bolting across the snow as fast as she could in the direction of Snowdin, following Albedo’s directions whenever she started to veer off course.
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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Dark Cloud
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Dark Cloud When the spaghetti is done just right.

Member Seen 16 days ago

Frog

Location: The Edge of the Blue → Black Bay
Level: 3
Word Count: Less than 750 words.




Initially it wasn't a very pleasant voyage for the amphibious swordsman as he admittedly had very little experience aboard seafaring vessels, especially ones that were technologically beyond his comprehension. However it was of little importance once the stunning vistas and picturesque islets came into view, proving to be a much more pleasant distraction for Glenn.

* * *


Everything was a blur to him after they received their commands from Heinrich, as the swordsman immediately went from sightseeing to preparing for combat with his orders in mind. As the odd creatures boarded their ship a scuffle ensued that lasted shortly with Link nearly getting blown off the deck, luckily his shield and that woman saved him. It was a disturbing thought he pushed back into his psyche as he swung his blade with both hands cleaving any Abyssal that neared him while fighting his way towards the port of Shippy's deck to get himself into position so his path towards the bay would be clear.

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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by TheDemonHound
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TheDemonHound Hell’s Minion

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Little Red Riding Hooded Mercenary

Location: Sweet Canyon
Level 1 (2/10) -> (3/10)
Word Count: 480
@Lugubrious@Rockin Strings@Archmage MC


Red was honestly surprised that the group started responding to her as well as they did. There was the samurai looking guy who reacted very defensively but that’s what she was expecting. As he kept approaching her she thought he was just about ready to attack and she started pulling her gun out to fire first. After all you never know what’s hostile and what’s not, it’s easier to fire first and ask questions later. Fortunately for him one of those masked kids and the robotic girl intervened just as she started raising her weapons. So they really weren’t hostile yet? They probably wouldn’t be unless she attacked them first, but that doesn’t mean she was willing to let down her guard. After all if they found out what she was they might not be so friendly.

That made her realize something, none of these people had heard of her before. She assumed that those kids were wearing some kind of fancy E.G.O. suits but if they didn’t recognize her as an abnormality then perhaps they had nothing to do with the corporation. That was at least a bit of help for her. “Fine, I’ll travel with you for now. I did get hired to figure out what happened to this trade route after all. And I always complete my mission.” She took Joker’s hand and shook it, albeit reluctantly. She wasn’t ecstatic to be involved with a group like this but this was probably the best option to figure out what’s going on. “My name isn’t important, don’t even really remember it after all this time anyway. They called me the Little Red Riding Hooded Mercenary where I’m from, but that’s long as hell so just call me Red. By the way, if any of you have seen a real bastard of a wolf you let me know. If that thing made it to this world too I’ll make sure his stay isn’t pleasant.”

For now she was travelling with this crew. She made sure to keep an eye on that samurai who threatened her earlier. The only other samurai thing she’s seen was that armor back in the facility. It never caused any problems for her but she’s seen its handiwork and it’s not something you wanna trifle with. Then that furball and his robot girl also had a bit of her attention, mostly because even in abnormalities she never saw something that looked like Tora. But Poppi however, she’s seen plenty of robots with blood on their hands. Everyone else was mostly on par for what she was used to though. She stood closer to Sectonia than anyone else in the group, purely because she reminded Red pretty heavily of some abnormalities she had seen. “Well this is an absolute mess, but at least it beats the monotony of that facility.” She said out loud, mostly to herself.
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by DracoLunaris
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DracoLunaris Multiverse tourist

Member Seen 1 hr ago


wordcount: 651 (+1)
Midna: level 3 EXP: //////////////////////////////////////// (11/40)
Location: Sandswept Sky - Sweet Canyon


Midna’s slippers papped against the ground in rapid fire as they carried her through the woods, broken occasionally when the princess reached the top of a slope and the princess took advantage of her new sliding power to scoot down it for extra speed, then using a slam of her shadow hand into the ground behind her to rapidly push herself back to her feet. While part of this was for efficiency and getting to the distressed person as fast as possible, some of it was to keep ahead of the other so they didn't see her getting used to being so slippery on the ground.

Two close encounters with trees later and a bit more experience in handling like she was on running on ice later and the princess skidded out from the candy woods and found herself faced with a town. Not just any town, no in this land of sweets it was, of course, built to be tantalizingly edible. Midna supposed that if everything else was made of food, you kind of had to build your home out of it, but it still didn't seem like the best building material. If you tried to heat your home you’d just melt it and-

The princess’s analysis of the viability of living like this was cut short when she noticed the actual occupants of the town and they, in turn, noticed her.

The first was an unwilling guest and the source of the distressed calling: a fairy, or so Midna assumed based on her wings. Possibly a rather powerful one, if the rules of Hyrule applied elsewhere. Then again, she was stuck in a cage, so perhaps not.

Her captors were also hard to miss. Two titanic robots, who had been patrolling the town square and guarding the caged fairy, paused their wandering when the woman started shouting and turned to look at her. Just. Looked at her. Which was odd considering they where designed like the other robots who had been very aggressive. Maybe, Midna thought, it was because they just didn't want to leave their posts to come attack her. The princess stared back at them for a few moments, then glanced over her shoulder and realized that she’d left her allies in the dust. If they were coming at all. Taking on those titans was something she thought she could do if she had too, but she also really didn't want to find herself sliding right into the path of one of their human sized fists if she could avoid it.

She could simply wait of course, the fairy was distressed but not actively in danger locked up like that, but that level of inaction didn't sit right with her after she’d put the effort in to hurry over here quickly as she had. Still charging right in to fight them wasn't the be all and end all of what she could do in this situation either, so instead she decided to take a sneakier approach.

Without a word she stepped back into the shade of the candy forest and then vanished from sight, leaving behind a few rapidly decaying square motes of twilight magic. She reappeared in the shadow of a chocolate straw chimney on one of the houses on the far side of the square, putting her behind the robots that had been looking at her, and then sliding down the back of the roof so she was completely out of sight of them even if they turned around. From there she’d make a quick scout of the town to make sure there weren't any surprises hiding in all the houses, like, say, lots of little bots lying in ambush, and then wait to see if a ‘distraction’ was going to show up or not before she made a her move.

If they were a no show, then, well, she could always make her own.
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Lugubrious
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Lugubrious Makes the big edits

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Tora & Poppi

Level 8 Tora (68/80) and Level 8 Poppi (41/80)
Location: Sandswept Sky - Sweet Canyon
Primrose's @Yankee, Fox's @Dawnrider, Sectonia's @Archmage MC Midna's @DracoLunaris, Yoshitsune's @Rockin Strings, Red’s @TheDemonHound
Word Count: 976


For a good moment it looked as though the stranger would arise to the occasion that Yoshitsune presented, but Poppi’s quick intervention and Joker’s rationality prevented the outbreak of another fight. Tora gave a relieved sigh as Red agreed to accompany the group. As it turned out, she came in order to investigate some sort of trade dispute. The average Nopon might find such a subject of great interest, but though as shrewd with money as any, Tora cared less about shipments right now and more about sugar.

As the group followed in Midna’s tracks, alternating between footsteps and the large furrows she left behind while sliding downhill, Joker’s curiosity drove him to address the newcomer in their midst. “As it turns out, we’re also on a mission, heading north through the desert. To that end I’d be interested in who hired you, if you don’t mind saying. Any information about the road ahead is welcome.”

A moment later, the party’s trip through the sugar-coated woods came to a sudden and unexpected halt as something exploded beneath Skull’s unwary boot. With a yelp the boy disappeared in a geyser of brilliant orange-gold sap, but rather than splatter all over the goop coalesced. In the span of a moment it hardened into a bulbous amber crystal, trapping the Phantom Thief inside. “No, Ryuji!” Panther yelled, sprinting to the front of the group. The others surrounded the inexplicable prison as she beat her fist against it. To her surprise one blow was enough to spread a small web of cracks from the impact point. “Huh? It’s really...weak?”

“Let’s break him out!” Tora sang.

“Yeah! Hang on, Ryu...uh, Skull.” Despite her mask Panther reddened, realizing that she’d both gotten embarrassingly worried and let slip her friend’s real name for what quickly turned out to be a momentary inconvenience. Everyone got a chance to chip in and chip away at the slab of amber, and in no time at all its captive was free.

Skull wiped his forehead, breathing heavily. “Phew! Thought I was a goner for a sec. What the hell was that crap?”

Tentatively, Poppi scraped at the icing grass with her foot, pausing to note with displeasure that the stuff stuck to her chassis. A furtive glance at her Masterpon’s overalls confirmed that, thanks to his tiny legs, they would need serious cleaning later. After a couple passes Poppi uncovered a tree root beneath the icing, tough to see in the dark, and poking out from its nutty chocolate bark was a nodule leaking viscous ichor. “Although Poppi’s botany database inadequate for proper classification, it seem like stepping on roots cause discharge of tree sap that quickly hardens.”

“So Poppi think it natural? Tora did wonder why someone set such easy trap, meh.”

Poppi tapped her finger against her chin, thoughtful. “Well, it break easy with friends, but if alone trap could totally immobilize.”

As he pulled his leg free, Skull couldn’t help but shiver at the possibility. “Man, if that happened I prolly woulda died of thirst. Thanks, dudes!” He threw the group a grateful smile.

Panther promptly punched his shoulder. “Watch where you step next time, jerk! I just about had a heart attack!”

The news only made Skull’s face more jocular. “For real? You oughta get that checked out!”

“Let’s keep going. Whoever it is is waiting,” Joker spoke up, trying to get the group focused. He set off at a brisk pace, keeping his eyes on the ground, and Tora ran to catch up. Not wanting to get trapped in amber, no matter how easily the others could free him, the Nopon tried to watch out for traps but found it difficult given his body type.

He sighed and reached imploringly to Poppi. “Meh, meh. Can...can Poppi give Tora lift? It already hard wading through mucky icing, and-” With ease his companion picked him up, holding him like a stuffed bear in her arms. As much as he hated being carried, there was nobody better to do it than Poppi, who towered above him in Qt Pi form. And as her smile could attest, at least she liked it. With her watchful optics on the ground the pair made progress alongside the rest of the group through the candyland, following Midna’s trail. Taking in the scenery on the way only made Tora hungrier and hungrier, until finally he unfurled a wing to scoop up an Instabug. He watched it squirm for a moment, having second thoughts along with his misgivings. In the end, his stomach won out. “Sorry, Mr. bug. If not want to be eaten, should not be shaped like food.” With only a slight tug he pulled the creature in half and stuffed it -macaron, donut holes, cupcake, and all- into his mouth. His face filled with delight. “Mmm, that amazing!” he exclaimed, wiggling his arms and legs.

Poppi rolled her eyes. “Poppi hoped it would taste like normal bug.”

Laughing, Tora turned to scan the earth for more. “Sorry disappoint Poppi, but it just as good as real dessert! Tora could eat five, or ten, or twe-MEH?!”

When Poppi followed his horrified stare, she slid to a standstill. Tora slowly lifted his right arm, which for all the world looked to have turned into a chain of connected donut holes with a macaron hand and pocky thumb. “D-donut hand! Donut hand! MEEEEEEEH” he blubbered, flailing his limbs so much that Poppi toppled over, splattering both into the icing.

Given the problem that needed solving up ahead, and how late they were reaching it already, the team couldn’t afford to sort this new matter out if there was no immediate danger. Grimacing, Joker said, “Well...that sucks. Uh, Mona, see if you can heal...whatever happened. We can’t waste any more time.” He turned and ran ahead, Skull and Panther on his tail.




When Midna disappeared, the metal giants resumed their lumbering patrol, and the Twilight Princess could explore the town without fear. Of course, to say that the fairy looked let down seemed like a massive understatement--she just about looked close to tears. Still, Midna had free reign at the moment to plan her next move, and began by peering into the various houses.

From the moment she first peeked through an open window she was greeted by the first of many surprises, although not in the form of enemies. In the first house she discovered a armored ne'er-do-well trapped in a smooth, translucent orange crystal, in the next a blue-coated raccoon, a young girl with strange arms in the one after that, and then a formal entity. There were also assorted animals that looked as though they belonged, like a rabbit, a tiger, and something vaguely describable as a kangaroo. Each and every one somehow trapped, frozen in their prisons of solid sugar. It took a good deal of observation to find the common denominator. Though composed entirely of edible sweets the buildings appeared to follow more or less standard sensibilities, yet ill-fitting chocolate tree roots snaked through them all. The captives all appeared to be touching the roots, suggesting that to do so would be to become encased as well.

As Midna figured this out, she became aware of a new noise outside, albeit one that she recognized. A look skyward revealed the arrival of Necronomicon on the search for her allies across the dessert landscape, and she appeared to have zeroed in on the confectionary town as a likely spot. The Goliath robots took notice of her too, their red eyes fixed unflinchingly on the craft as it drew closer.

Ms Fortune

Level 3 Nadia (8/30)
Location: Limsa Lominscuttle Town – The Black Bay
Blazermate's @Archmage MC, Bowser's @DracoLunaris, Ace Cadet's @Yankee, Hat Kid's @Dawnrider, Frog's @Dark Cloud
Word Count: 1123


Flames burst across the water, the sky screamed with miniature planes, and Shippy rocked from the impacts of torpedo, missile, and cannon fire, but when a quartet of Abyssals threw themselves onto the deck Nadia was ready. She, Link, and Frog leaped into action, with Peach setting them off with a boomshot blast like a starter pistol to soften their foes up. After the spray of burning force came Link’s arrows to sink into one monster in quick succession. The hero himself followed a moment later, his weight driving the twin points of his bident as deep into the Abyssal’s flesh as its design would allow. To Nadia’s other side Frog cut into another with his blade, opening a handful of deep cuts before he took a shot from its arm cannon to the gut and staggered back. The rest Nadia didn’t see, as she had business to attend to for herself.

As her own Abyssal fired she went low, running on all fours, and reached her prey in no more than a moment. She popped her noggin off as she rose and struck the monster’s own in a headbutt that threw off both its aim and what little stability it had mustered. It reeled as its shot went wide, and Nadia pounced for round two. “Ears-pierced!” She lashed out and, rather like Link did with his fork, stabbed into its head with her rigid ears. Her body quickly dodged back out of the way of the monster’s flailing, leaving her head stuck there for a closer inspection. So little of this thing looked to be organic that she couldn’t discern a weak point at first, but as she noticed the tubes, graftings, and other points of connection between metal and flesh she began to get an idea. As the enraged Abyssal floundered her body grabbed hold of the rubbery tube and ripped straight through with her claws. The tube burst open with a spray of odorous gas, and through the haze her body lunged, tail in hand, to mount the monster’s back, sink her claws in and hack through its neck. It took a few swings, but in the end only a couple seconds passed before its head fell from its shoulders.

“One down. Millions to go, probably.” Not pausing to celebrate her little victory, Nadia retrieved her own and took stock of the situation. A couple reinforcements that appeared were just now meeting their ends at the hands of Peach and Chao. While the princess relied on her shotgun, the shipgirl moved with deadly grace, flourishing her enormous fan to release missiles that she directed toward her foes with acrobatic flip-kicks. Nadia flinched as a nearby section of the railing exploded in a shower of flame and splinters, and threw up her arms to protect her face. A handful of the fragments stuck in her bathrobe, and the one that didn’t she pulled out of her cheek with a pained grunt. “Owww!”

A bigger Abyssal climbed aboard through the hole, one mostly humanoid except for the jaw that composed most of its head, and she bared her teeth at it. Both paused as a heavy impact shook Shippy, making the vessel groan in pain. Toward the prow, Brineybeard was roaring, “Me poor ship’s gettin’ eaten alive! She’s too easy a target, we need urgent repairs!” The monster looked his way.

Nadia’s scowl deepened. She couldn’t do that, but she could kill this thing. At once she and Chao moved to deal with it. As the Abyssal grabbed hold of the railing with her massive mitts to dull her cannons’ recoil, Chao interposed herself in the way and flourished her fan like a shield. The Abyssal accepted the challenge and let loose. Chao stood firm under the barrage, blocking as much damage as she could while Nadia leaped over her. She yowled and released a burst of blood from her ankles that hurtled her forward in a headlong dive. Nadia struck the Abyssal’s chest claws-first, sinking them up to the knuckle, and the impact tore both the monster and the railing it clutched from the ship. It smashed into the Abyssal waiting in the water to jump up behind it and crushed its domed head, which gave Nadia a reason to smile before she planted her legs and kicked off.

As she climbed the side of the ship to get back on, another enemy opened fire. Most of the rounds shot through the wood around her, but one hit her left shoulder blade and the other the side of her left calf. Grinding her teeth to avoid yelling in pain, she hauled herself back onto the ship. “Guh! Bad idea, bad idea…” She glanced down to see the Abyssal that wounded her, and a few of its closest friends, get ripped to pieces by Heinrich’s cannons.

Though wounded herself, Chao helped her up onto deck. “The enemy is out there. If you can’t stay mobile you have to stay safe,” she cautioned before raising her voice to address the others. “We have to sustain the ship! They’re more focused on it than us, and if it goes down, so do all of you.”

Sure enough, the enemy was mounting a vicious attack on anything with less than stellar mobility. Only a few seemed to care about actually boarding Shippy, with most more than happy to just shoot and bite her. She was already taking on water, and in her belly a few unwelcome guests stirred. Of course, the Abyssals were just as happy to blast the Atomos. Its shoddily applied armor plating wilted under the combined firepower of many Abyssals. Ranger's seaplanes did what they could, Sakura's hadokens fried a few foes, and Bella annihilated high-value targets with the railgun shot from her tail, but it was not enough. Bowser rose to defend it, growing to great size to treat the entire battlefield to a braggadocious bellow. A moment later his supersonic wave rolled out to great effect, sowing enough confusion among the enemies to mitigate the onslaught facing Shippy and the Atomos despite the Navy’s best attempts.

Fire, water, sound, and acid surged from the empowered Koopa King, dealing huge amounts of damage to the Abyssals and a few unlucky shipgirls as well. The beacon of activity drew every Abyssal eye, and they approached from more angles than Bowser could deal with, some even rising from beneath the water itself. Bullets and missiles hammered the airship’s underside, with a few intrepid monsters even leaped from cresting wave to attack directly, but Bowser’s spectacle reached even further than that.

The top of the fortress on Midway Island began to stir. Eyes opened wide as plumage ruffled and limbs extended, turning an indeterminable shape into a gigantic and very angry bird. It screeched, making Nadia go rigid from across the battlefield, and took to the skies headed straight for its fellow behemoth.

Western Coast – La Noscea Swamp

@Zavazggg


With a sneer at Sephiroth’s magic mine, the loathsome castellan clapped his hands. From the gloom appeared three more Sycophant mosquitoes, buzzing the intruder’s way. Rather than try to impale her, however, the gruesome insects intensified the whir of their verminous wings to a fever pitch, creating mind-numbing soundwaves that washed over their foe. Over the cacophony of agitation the gatekeeper’s sniveling voice reached her. “Ignoble harlot, to enter our domain yet reject our advances! That tender flesh will feed us one way or another!”

Against a battle-hardened warrior the provocation itself would reasonably have no effect, but something sinister lurked behind the gatekeeper’s slight, lending a dark power to his words. The enraging slight urged Sephiroth to move forward, problematic not just because of the Sycophants but also her own mine, and stress crept over her mind. So too did the lesser bugs impart stress, their pervasive song beating through Sephiroth’s ears and into her brain.

Sephiroth’s stress: 37


Sephiroth grit her teeth in frustration as the shrieking whine steadily increased, her head feeling like it was being pierced by a million flaming needles at once. Despite this, she was still able to retain enough awareness of her environment to be mindful of the mine she’d placed mere seconds earlier, and managed to stop no more than a few feet away. Shifting to a more aggressive stance, as she realized a cautious approach would only make matters worse, Sephiroth quickly sidestepped the mine to charge in close to the castellan. Upon getting within what she felt was a reasonably decent range, she allowed the guns on her rigging to open fire, while simultaneously charging up Megaflare.

If this creature survived the initial volley of shots, it would most certainly fall to what was about to follow, or so she thought anyway.

The usage of naval armaments on land without water to push back against the vessel (or in this cast, for a shipgirl to slide across) immediately threw Sephiroth a ways backward from the recoil, but the discharge did far worse to the gatekeeper. Her barrage just about pulverized the stunted thing, sending him careening through the air and into a tree in a bloody, mangled mess with a reprehensible splotch. He slid down the trunk, leaving a viscous streak. Around the spot their master disappeared from the Sycophants wheeled wildly, their noise muffled by the ringing in Sephiroth's ears. The mosquitoes quickly turned to fly her way, but even more shell-shocked by the sudden explosion than she, they moved too sluggishly to evade an opportune strike.

Seizing the moment, Sephiroth let Megaflare fly free, its bluish flame streaking ethereally through the moon-pierced darkness to hit the spot where the castellen had fallen. Watching it go, she did her best to halt her backwards movement in order to avoid both landing on the mine--which was still somewhere to her rear--and becoming submerged in the murky depths.

The shadows filled with the glow of azure flame as the blast went off, devouring the Sycophants in an instant. When its light died down only three fading spirits remained, nestled amid the ashes, and Sephiroth found no further opposition. Yet as she composed herself, she quickly realized that she wasn't alone yet. Somehow, the mutilated gatekeeper lay alive among the gnarled roots of the tree now coated in his malodorous blood, choking for breath. On a clump of grass by his side lay a bloodied paper, signed and sealed with formal care.

Sephiroth kept her blade held at the ready, just in case, as she took a moment to compose herself. Only after the majority of the attacking Sycophants whine had faded from both her ears and her skull did she approach, her guard almost wary. Upon seeing the castellen was injured to the point that he could do no more however, Sephiroth moved to inspect the paper instead, though not before quickly running her blade across his throat to ensure he was no longer a threat.

The gatekeeper gurgled and died, soon reduced to ashes. After undoing the royal seal, Sephiroth discerned the parchment to be a letter of invitation in a delicate script. It spoke of an evening of diverting games and entertainment courtesy of an esteemed Baron, along with victuals and vintages of the highest quantity the generous Viscount could supply, and even an extravagant dance at which the alluring Countess herself would appear. And most curiously of all, the name of the addressee was none other than Sephiroth's own.

In the distance, above the ambient drone of the swamp's winged legions, and in the direction of the mist that glowed crimson in the night, Sephiroth could hear for the first time the faintest suggestions of conversation and laughter

Sephiroth’s eyes narrowed into slits as she stared deeply into the north, a duo of emotions sparking deep within her, each suggesting she proceed to destroy these creatures for their slight. The former SOLDIER knew that these were not her emotions per se, yet she found the idea all too tempting regardless. Plus, if all these creatures were so weak, she could easily see herself walking into quite the source of power. Before she went anywhere however, Sephiroth had to decide the fates of the spirits her attackers left behind. Not finding the idea of additional fusions pleasant at the moment, she gave into her spite and attempted to destroy them instead.

Her flashing blade cleft the unworthy spirits asunder, but from the splintering, multicolored light they gave out new objects were made manifest. In front of her lay a handful of gold, a ridiculous collar, and a tincture of red liquid



Looking over the assembled items briefly, Sephiroth decided to simply carry them with her, as she still wasn’t willing to chance any negative effects at this point in time. Stuffing the items in the nearest pockets available, she slid her blade back into its sheath and set out to the north.
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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Archmage MC
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Archmage MC

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Blazermate


Level 8 Blazermate - (61/80) +2

The Great Sea
Words: 754


Blazermate had never really gone far out to sea. Sure her home was an island and there was the occasional flight to other countries for medabattles, but she had never really been on the ocean. It was kind of relaxing... if she didn't have to go towards a large scale fight. Their journey there wasn't too eventful, with Blazermate taking the same ship as Ms Fortune. Before they departed while the others were chatting, Blazermate listened, getting an idea of her new team mates as she healed everyone to build medaforce for the battle ahead. Sakura reminded her of a naieve meta battler with their head in the clouds unaware of some of the wrongs that people could do to you if you knew you had a rare medal. Seeing as she was busy talking to the others, Blazermate decided to chat with Geralt.

"Hiya Geralt. Whats going on?" Blazermate said, trying to start a conversation. With how grizzled Geralt looked, Blazermate was sure he wasn't much of a talker. but he seemed nice enough, and while the two haven't seen the same kind of battles, they were battle hardened enough even before coming to this realm of light from the looks of it. Blazermate listened to Geralt before asking her next question. "Hm. how do you think this'll end? Sakura made friends with one of the 'enemies' apparently, so do you think once we beat the guardian both sides will be friends or still locked in what seems to be an endless war?"

Later as Blazermate was aboard Shippy she heard talk about murders in the town when Blazermate and Ms Fortune were traveling it came up, with Sephiroth being the culprate. "Well, yeah, hes not here. But he isn't galeem'd, so he should be a good guy right?" Blazermate said scratching her head. he hadn't been really all that hostile when they met him, although Bowser's emotional state at the time did turn him hostile, that was just an effect of galeem. "Well whatever, we've got a fight! Make sure you all go in overhealed!"

Once they got into the thick of the action, things went form 0 to 100 real fast. Well, in Bowser's case it did. Did the guy have to turn into a giant every time he fought? And on an airship non the less? Still, with Bowser causing an insane amount of damage to the abyssal fleet before them. However Blazermate's sensors went off when Shippy was being attacked, with Ms. Fortune and Link barely keeping the abyssals off. What Blazermate didn't expect was to see the health of the ship as if it was a living thing. Granted she was a bit busy blocking the attacks of abyssals with her shield, making sure they didn't bother Link and Ms Fortune as she healed them, her shield retaliating by biting the abyssals arm and infecting them with the poison of undeath. Being infected, ocne they were struck down by Link or Ms Fortune, they would rise again as a zombie under the command of Blazermate and turning on its former allied abyssals.

"You guys could use a hand! I've got one made out of a demon! Just make sure to beat what I bite." Blazermate said, holding her shield aloft as she tried to figure out where to attach her healing beam to Shippy to heal her as Brimybeard called out that she needed massive repairs. it didn't take long for Blazermate to figure out that she could just attach the beam anywhere, starting to heal the ship. "I wont lie, this is weird healing a ship." Blazermate said, using her shield to bite into her zombie abyssal to mutate it further, turning it into one heck of an abomination, way worse than what it was before. Due to healing everyone on the way, Blazermate already started this fight with full Medaforce, and asked Brinybeard. "Hey, while I heal your ship, can she do anything cool?" Blazermate asked. Seeing his ship starting to slowly patch itself up thanks to Blazermate's medibeam, Brinybeard relaxed a little and put his hands together. "O course lass! Shippy, get ready!" Brinybeard said.

Blazermate had no idea what was going to happen, and with a large bird coming out of the island making a beeline for the group, blazermate hoped it was something good. "OK shippy, whatever your going to do, do it when you feel super powerful! Ready?" And with that said, Blazermate gave Shippy a dose of Krtizkrieg. And man, was she in for a show.

Queen Sectonia


Level 6 Sectonia (holding 2 level up) - (4/60) +1 - Level up!

Dessert desert
Word Count: 512


Sectonia was a bit weary of this 'mercenary' following so close to her, with her new 'friend' along for the right, riding in one of her hands. This fluffy creature was incredibly light, as if its body WAS made of only frosting. This made Sectonia not as reluctant to carry her new Alcremie as she would've been. Still, she didn't like the stink eye this mercenary was giving her, saying. "I can give you a picture of my regal stature later as payment if your so interested."

As they continued down the path, one of the phantom theives stepped in a place where they shouldn't have, unleashing a geyser of orange soda which quickly crystallized around him. One of the other phantom theives in a panic, started to attack the crystal and gave it a crack fairly easily. Seeing this as a good time to try something, Sectonia said. "I'd like to se why your so feared. Could you show your power and break this one out of his crystal prison?" Putting its hand to its chest, or rather her chest, the Alcremie asked to be brought closer to the crystal via body language, and as Sectonia did so, the Alcremie kissed the crystal. with a use of Draining Kiss, the alcremie left a sizable crack, draining the structural integrity of the crystal to make it easier for others to break.

Sectonia was impressed with this attack. Apparently this thing was indeed some kind of mimic, luring in others before draining them. Although if this was the case then why didn't it do the same to her antillion? They might be Sectonia's minions, but they were also fairly strong in their own right. Perhaps the fact that Sectonia and her minions showed no hostile intentions at the time? Or did this thing just want to follow someone really strong? food for thought later.

With Skull freed from his prison and a bit of a comedy routine between him and his friend panther, the group continued on. Tora, unable to contain his hunger, while riding in Poppi's arms, decided to try to eat one of the candy bugs. What happened next... Sectonia was glad she didn't try the same thing as Tora's hand turned into some kind of doughnut abomination soon after he proclaimed how delicious that bug was. Sectonia's Alcremie looked at Tora with narrow eyes, with Sectonia facepalming, secretly thankful he took this bullet. Wether it was an affliciton or a spirit merge Sectonia didn't know, neither did the phantom theives, but they were hopeful it would be resolved soon. "Just don't eat your own hand. Although I'm sure our Doctor friend here would love to make you a new one." Sectonia said ominously to Tora.

After a few more paths they found themselves in an eerily quiet village, well, quiet besides the two giant galeem controlled robots glaring at them with malice in their eyes. "Looks like there will be a fight up ahead." Sectonia said, getting ready to fight the bots as they drew closer.
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Zoey Boey
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Zoey Boey ~I'm Stone Free, do what I please~

Member Seen 2 hrs ago


Kasugano Sakura

Level 4: 29/40
Location: On the Atomos over Black Bay
Word Count: 665
Points Gained:
New EXP Balance--- Level 4: 30/40


"Geez, Bowser! Careful!" Sakura chastised.

Sakura began to sweat nervously for her friends down below. Especially Shippy. She was connecting with some, but she didn't feel effective. Even from here she had to lead her shots and the ones around Shippy were too risky to shoot. "Shippy's hurt!" She called out. She didn't want to miss a fireball or cannon shot and blow a hole in Shippy's deck. Back home she could destroy a car with hadokens, let alone something made out of wood. (Wood? Shippy's made out of wood, right?)

"And- oh, my God! They're being torn apart down there!" Sakura shouted in horror, putting both hands on the railing and leaning forward as a huge gout of blood was sprayed across the deck. It looked as if Sakura was going to jump over the edge once again.

Her eyes narrowed after a moment. "W-wait, no! Nevermind! She's doing that on purpose. Sorry!" Sakura cringed, and retook her grounded stance.

Suddenly, she found they weren't doing much better. The Abyssals took offense to Bowser's display and their attention was on the Atomos. Thanks to her stance, jolting her around was going to be difficult, but she could feel the Atomos rock from the impact.

"Uh oh." Sakura watched over the railing as the Abyssals came up from below and began striking at the underbelly of the Atomos. She'd been trying to defend the Atomos, but at the end of the day Bowser could just shrink and they could fly away. Shippy was trapped, alive, and being hurt.

Sakura closed her eyes and took a breathe. (Focus! Your Ki is stronger and more refined than ever! Use it!) As she focused, there was a brief moment of swirling, black, inky energy. The moment passed and Sakura opened her eyes, seeing the situation a little more clearly.

"Hadoken!" This time she fired directly for the Abyssals on and surrounding Shippy. She gauged the distance between Atomos and Shippy perfectly. A variable timed Hadoken, sped up to travel as fast as she could make it, which was a little over one hundred miles per houre. And if it missed, it was timed so that it would fizzle out in the brief amount of space between the top of an Abyssals body and Shippy herself.

"I got it!" She shouted triumphantly as her fireball collided with one of the inhuman creatures trying to devour Shippy.

Sakura joined Nadia, going rigid in a similar way at the exact same time, as she heard the screech tear it's way through the sky. Her ears and tail went straight, standing on end. Sakura peaked over the top of the Atomos and saw the massive bird.

"UH OH!" She shouted. "It's a big bird!" She pointed out the obvious with her index finger and the alarmed expression on her face.

"What are we gonna do!? Can you stop it with your burp attack!?" Sakura hopped up onto the roof of the Atomos with Bowser. Then, she jumped back down to the railing where she was just was, looking down at Shippy. Then she jumped back ontop of the roof. It was the acrobatic equivalent of frantically running around in a circle.

"Oh, man! I don't know where to stand!" She admitted with a whine. Once again slapping the sides of her head, she lowered herself down to the railed off balcony like section and began firing her expertly timed fireballs down at the enemies eating away at Shippy's hull. Something about a living ship getting eaten alive really didn't sit well with her. If she could help prevent it, she would. Hopefully Bowser would redirect his fire if the bird got too close. And, well, she was fast enough to get anywhere on the Atomos in a matter of moments. She just needed to stop being so impulsive she tried to be everywhere at once.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by DracoLunaris
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DracoLunaris Multiverse tourist

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wordcount: 1,071 (+2)
Midna: level 3 EXP: //////////////////////////////////////// (13/40)
Location: Sandswept Sky - Sweet Canyon


Midna went from house to house, sticking to, or in, the shadows and floating with her feet off the ground to avoid making any noise. While her sneakiness turned out to be unnecessary, other than when she avoided being spotted by the giants again, the fact that she never touched the ground prevented her from stepping on any sugar spraying root before she’d realized they were the threat. It would have been very embarrassing to end up being frozen like the figures she found in the town and having to be saved along with them and the fairy. She was not that kind of princess!

Midna's causal analysis that the town’s delectable construction wasn't the best idea had turned out to actually be relevant, as it had stood no chance against the invading root system. Once she’d figured out that it was said roots were the cause she had to also assume that they’d come through rather quickly, catching several people all at once and causing the rest to flee instead of trying to save their neighbors. That or the town had been abandoned before they started growing and it had simply caught a series travelers looking for shelter.

Possibly a mix of both, she concluded eventually, splitting the chocolate animals from the scattered gang of strange individuals (who had something of a propensity for nice hats in common) into two separate sets of victims, namely former residents and unlucky travelers respectively. It was interesting that they were all still alive, at least if the rules of the world of light were still applying. Whether she would be able to get them out of their delicious prisons without reducing them to spirits would the clincher. Maybe Tora could put his appetite to use and lick them free Midna mused with a combination of amusement and feeling a bit sick at the thought of someone eating that much sugar.

Her scouting completed, she reviewed the situation. While she hadn't found any threats to her own well being, she had found a complication to the captive fairy situation, namely that there was a clear risk of collateral damage should she fight the giants in the town. A brief mental image of one of those massive metal arms smashing into a house and pulping an adorable chocolate rabbit was enough to make her reject the idea of simply performing an ambush on the titans here and now.

She could try to free them, but that was delicate work and there was no guarantee the people were safe (even the rabbits might be secret voracious murder machines, the roots having reinforced Midna's idea that you couldn't trust anything in this place) and/or that they wouldn’t make noise that would give away her, and their, position. She’d also seen the state she’d left the fairy in while stalking the streets (and also got a better look at her in general, seeing that she was indeed wearing some kind of Lizalfos hide for a hat. The princess had mixed feelings on that particular fashion statement it had to be said), and felt rather guilty about having crushed her hopes when she’d vanished without a word or gesture of acknowledgement. It hadn't been her intention, she mainly hadn’t wanted to give anything away to the robots in case they were smarter than they looked, and it was supposed to be only temporary, but still. She’d looked in an awful state, and the princess wasn't anything close to heartless.

So. Save the fairy and keep the frozen people safe. That was the goal. While Midna was mulling over her options of how to achieve this inside the shadow of a building looking out on the town square a convenient extra playing piece entered the board, and not one she’d been expecting. Rather than the rest of the foot sloggers catching up with her (she’d be in the middle of executing her rescue attempt by the time they did), it was Necronomicon who arrived at the town first, gradually closing in and causing the bot’s gazes to fix firmly up and at her.

It was a perfect opportunity. Quick as she could, the princess moved around behind the guards while quickly putting the thoughts she’d been having into an actionable plan. She’d use a combination of soundlessly floating and sneaking through the shadows (and under the pale moon there were plenty deep ones to be found) to approach the licorice lamppost from behind the way the bots were looking. Then she’d sneak up to the cage, pressing a finger to her lips if/when the fairy saw her approach to try and keep her from giving her away.

Then, once she got there, she’d try to remove the lock on the cage (if there was one) using purple dragon fire on a finger to cut through the weakest part (while princesses needed to know many things, lockpicking was not one of them. A gap in her education that was a clear detriment in this specific situation). Then, with the lock removed and the cage opened, she and the fairy could fly away to safety while the robots were still busy staring at their UFO sighting.

In the more likely event that she was detected, Midna would thrust both palms towards the bots head’s, blasting them with a sand attack while she used her shadow hand to grab either the fairy herself or the cage (if she couldn't/had not gotten it open). With the rescuee secured in her grasp she would summon her Vibrava, scaled as large as it could go and fire it past her away from both the titans and out of the center of town. Grabbing its tail she and the fairy would be pulled clear of the square in the few moments she could maintain the up scaled Vibrava in the world of light.

They’d drop down onto a roof of a building (one she knew was empty) when the bug returned to the twilight realm and then switch to riding a regular sized wolfos (the better rested one), which would then sprint out of town down the closest main road, outpacing the bots attempts to catch her while also luring them away from the frozen townspeople.

That was the plan anyway. Time for it to make contact with the enemy. After taking a careful breath, the princess moved out into the square and set it into motion.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Yankee
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Yankee God of Typos

Member Seen 19 hrs ago


Word Count: 1206 (+2 exp)
Level: 7 - Total EXP: 4/70
Location: Edge of the Blue

The harbor was still buzzing even with most of the navy at sea already, and the last of the people gathered prepared to take off. Brineybeard rang the last call bell, sadly cutting the reunion with the half of the Atomos' crew short. Oh well - while the Cadet would have loved to hear Sakura's tale about the sortie from yesterday, he supposed that after today's assignment it wouldn't really matter... because they'd win, and wouldn't have to worry about any undying army of ships, or dark untraversable seas.

The Cadet stood up straight, stretching his arms as he did so. It was time to depart. He caught sight of Nadia waving to him and he turned to her, finding himself chuffed a moment later at her comment. They would need an Ace like him on Shippy, especially if the Atomos already had a Witcher. The Cadet grinned at Ms. Fortune and nodded, hopping down from the airship and jogging over to Shippy to catch up. It was the same crew that had stayed at the tavern last night, all friendly and comfortable with each other - the Shippy had a good crew indeed.

The hunter boarded just as the living vessel pulled away from shore. For some, the mission had a serious and solemn feel - those going to defend their homes and avenge their comrades. For others, it felt like the start of a fresh adventure. Ace Cadet was firmly in the second category, and he mirrored Nadia's enthusiasm. "Hellblade yeah! It's go time!"

During the trip out to sea, some of the crew split up as best they could aboard the relatively small ship. The Cadet never went far himself, glued to the railing as he spent his time looking out across the water, into the colorful beaches nearby, or staring into the water below to try and spot anything interesting. There were some strange creatures he would have liked to get a hold of, but there was no time to stop and see the sights. The only time the Cadet left the ship's edge was when all of them gathered at the center of the deck to talk about a... murder?

"First I've heard of it," the Cadet said. He hadn't exactly been keeping an ear out for that kind of thing when he'd arrived at the harbor. "Sephiroth, huh? ...oh, wait, the guy with the longsword?" The redhead was a little later to catch on, but he put two and two together. He nodded along with Link's comment, having also assumed that the man was a random good samaritan. If that wasn't the case... had he joined the battle not because he was just a good guy caught up in it, but simply because he saw a powerful person and wanted to obtain that power? ...nah, no way, right?

"When we get back to Limsa we can find him and ask," the Cadet suggested with a shrug. Then he turned to Frog with a curious expression. "Glenn, huh?" he asked, having had no qualms about just calling the amphibian man "Frog" before he wondered which name was preferred.

It was little while longer before a communication came through. The fan-wielding ship girl stood close so that they could all hear the plan: fight their way through the bay and make it to an inland river, then ride it straight through until they reached their destination. It was as good a plan as any, no complaints from the ace hunter. The Cadet pulled Gough's Greatbow from his back as soon as the communication ended. He drummed his fingers along the grip, excited to use the huge wooden weapon for the first time. When their ship turned into the bay he obliged himself, pulling the drawstring back as far as it would go and letting the over-sized arrows he'd commissioned fly.

It felt good, the bow was sturdy and strong, yet supple. The Cadet fired two, three more arrows out and continued at that pace. The smaller abyssals exploded into ash with just one shot, but the bigger ones needed a couple more. With as many enemies swarming as there were, he didn't have the luxury of taking careful aim at each one after all. When an arrow hit their armor instead of their exposed flesh it left a great dent, making an opening for follow up shots to pierce through - or served as enough of a distraction for the squid or seadogs to finish the monster off.

The sea churned with battle. Water splashed up and everywhere, and wind and heat blew through the area as well, generated from the Atomos and the combined efforts of Sakura's flame-looking power and Bowser's actual flames. Just as the king stated, it was pretty awesome. Cadet focused on picking off the abyssals that were getting too close, sending their spirits into the sea for the recovery team to collect. The number of them was overwhelming, and he couldn't stop all of them. The enemies that did get onto the ship he trusted his companions to deal with, and they did so as quickly as possible. One stray little abyssal crept it's way towards the hunter, but BB squealed loudly to alert it's master, who turned and stuck an arrow into the thing's head.

"There's so many of them!" That was pretty obvious for every single person in the bay, but the Cadet said it anyway, continuing to pick off abyssals one by one with his bow. He'd traded defenses with Sakura - while she fired hadoukens at the monsters attacking Shippy, from his better vantage point Cadet took aim at those pelting the bottom of the Atomos. For every one that turned to ash, it seemed another was close behind. Something rocked the boat even harder, and the Cadet looked over the side to see a few enemies eating their way into Shippy's hold. "Dalamadamnit," Cadet cursed to himself. That was not good.

Then, a screech rang through the air, followed shortly by a massive bird taking wing. Now that was a monster - and oh, the Cadet wanted a piece of it. It's great bulk and beautiful plumage were easy to see even from a distance. As much as he wanted to stay atop the deck and engage the bird as soon as it got close enough, there were more pressing matters that needed attention. The mission came first, and it would be mission failed if the creatures below deck ate through the ship's hull and sank them.

"I'm going below deck!" Cadet called out, tearing his eyes from the bird and settling them on the remaining pieces of Shippy's railings. He fired the slinger at it, and once the hook took a firm hold on the railing he vaulted over it himself, swinging over the water then back towards the ship and into the hole the abyssal's had torn through before Blazermate's healing patched it up. The bow was far less suited to a ship's interior, but the Cadet rolled with it - literally, as he landed inside and rolled with the bow in hand, springing up with three arrows held tight in his grip and already nocked, the triple volley launched at the abyssals inside a moment later.
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ZAVAZggg

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Level: 3 (6/30)
Word Count: 1,179
Location: Western Coast - La Noscea
EXP: +2




Sephiroth let out an annoyed grunt as she trudged through the surrounding muck, as the deeper she went the more mosquitoes emerged. Smaller ones, thankfully, but still very bothersome nonetheless. While she could reasonably ignore their bites for the first few minutes of her trek, around the halfway point what exposed flesh there was had become progressively more inflamed, its surface pocked by bump after irritated bump. And as if that weren't already bad enough, her hair had become soggy and damp, the clumped ends trailing out behind her even as they stuck to the side of her boots. All in all she was a mess, and probably would have walked right on out of this mire were it not for the influences of both Cia and Scharnhorst bouncing around in her head, pushing her onwards in the name of power, aggression, and revenge.

A little while later, and Sephiroth found herself met with a sight that gave her momentary pause. It was a small, ramshackle hut sitting in the center of a small patch of muddy ground, one that was smack dab in the middle of her path. Curious, itchy, and for begrudgingly accepting her need for a brief rest, the former SOLDIER approached. Laying a hand against the waterlogged door, she carefully pushed it open and stepped inside. The interior was cluttered and damp, and the air carried a musty scent. From the ceiling their hung various hides and what Sephiroth could only assume to be charms fashioned from the bones of local wildlife, which she took great pains to avoid, though some still got caught up in her hair as she went. It was while she was busy attempting to disentangle one of these bone charms that Sephiroth finally realized she wasn't alone. No more than three feet to her left stood a figure much taller than her, and cloaked in shadows to boot, who pressed the thin yet sharp point of a blade against the side of her neck.

'How the hell did they-'

But her thought was cut short as the figure, a man judging from the tone, began to speak.

"I didn't think anyone would find me out here. Guess I was wrong."

There was a pause.

"Who are you, and why are you here?"

Sephiroth quickly weighed the benefits of leaping away from the man's blade so that she could spin around and draw her sword for an attack, her muscles tensing somewhat in the process, but the slightest increase of pressure on her captors part made her reconsider that idea.

"I wouldn't try it kid. Floor's bad enough as it is, and the last thing I need is another mess to clean. Now, you going to stand there all night or..."

"Sephiroth," she answered bluntly. "And I could ask you the same. Why's a man as observant as you living in the middle of a swamp?"

The man let out a low chuckle.

"Let's just say that the powers that be don't look too kindly on my chosen profession," he said, the pressure with which he pressed the blade against her throat lessening slightly. "Things end up getting... misplaced when I'm around."

Sephiroth's eyes narrowed.

"So you're a thief."

"I prefer the term 'keeper,' but yes, more or less."

The man seemed to move, though Sephiroth couldn't quite tell due to the severe lack of light and her own poor vision. At any rate, the blade was no longer being pressed against her neck, so she finished untangling the bone charm from her hair as a light sparked to life from across the room, its source a caged lantern resting atop a dingy wooden table that had looked as though it'd seen more than its fair share of rot. Next to it sat a chair, and sitting in the chair there was a man covered from head-to-toe in black, his face partially obscured by a deep hood. What she could see however, looked worn and tired, as though its owner had seen many sleepless nights over the course of his life, and would undoubtedly see many more. What interested her the most though was his eye and the scar that ran across it, as the man's right pupil emitted a faint amber glow, one that she could see even while standing on the opposite side of the cramped room. Both of these told her that it was, in all likelihood, not his real eye but some manner of artificial replacement. What events must have unfolded for such a thing to come to pass, however, she didn't want to waste time even trying to guess, as the most likely answer was that he lost the original in some accident, fight, or other equally violent occurrence.

"Well, I've told you my secret," the man said, his gaze locking with hers. "Now it's your turn. What's are you doing out here?"

"Drifting."

"So far from home? I don't usually see members of the navy this far inland."

A low growl rose within Sephiroth's throat, while her hand began to inch its way to the hilt of her sword.

"But that's none of my business I suppose."

Though he fell silent, the slightest hint of a smirk that emerged soon after let Sephiroth know the man was fully aware of her bullshit. But if he wasn't going to press the matter further, then neither would she.

"I just need a place to rest and then I'll be on my way."

The man shrugged.

"Floor's free."


To call the current mood tense would be an understatement. While she had managed to get some rest over the short period of time she'd been here, Sephiroth had spent practically all of it staring at the hooded man sitting across from her, neither one apparently trusting the other enough to fully avert their gazes. Thus had the last few minutes been spent in awkward silence, albeit one that was swiftly broken by the rustling of fabric and clanging of rigging as Sephiroth finally got to her feet.

"Leaving so soon?"

Sephiroth paused to look back at him as she laid her hand against the door.

"I have places to be."

He nodded slowly before fishing around in the folds of his cloak. Pulling his hand free, he tossed her what seemed to be a vial of salve or ointment.

"The bugs are hell around here."

Examining it briefly, Sephiroth tucked it away in one of her pockets and left. Though as she traipsed back into the swamp, she couldn't help but recall the key-shaped mark that had graced the back of the man's left hand. That aside, Sephiroth had made good deal of progress after resuming her journey to the north, eventually coming face-to-face with a large stone wall and an iron-wrought gate, on the other side of which lay a rather lavish looking estate. Something she certainly didn't expect to see in the middle of a swamp, especially given the nature of the invitation that had brought her here, yet here she was.

Eager for vengeance and blood.

@Lugubrious
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