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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Rockin Strings
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Rockin Strings Mechanically intelligent, musically inclined.

Member Seen 3 days ago

Minamoto Yoshitsune
Level 2 [12/20]
Sandswept Sky-Sweet Canyon-Parnasse to Hollow Heights
@Lugubrious@Dr Lovecraft@Dawnrider@DracoLunaris@Archmage MC@Yankee@TheDemonHound@Dark Cloud

Having had a semi-restful sleep, Yoshitsune awoke with a yawn and a stretch. Upon noticing where he was and remembering what had happened the previous night, he looked at the lone Katana in his lap. He sighed as he stood, walking as to not disturb anyone who was still asleep.

Once towards the center of town, he noticed there were others already awake and milling about or making breakfast. He ate enough to be able to last until lunch, not wanting to eat too much, then proceeded to finish off with a Kurama herb, just to be on the safe side. It didn’t taste good but he felt more refreshed afterward.

When Primrose introduced the new kid that was apparently joining the party, Yoshitsune welcomed him in his native tongue, ”Welcome, young Overlord. I am glad for your strength.”

It was then he noticed the raccoon with Fox. Resting a hand on his sword, he glared at him. “Are you going to attack a-” He stopped mid-sentence, noticing his eyes had changed. “No longer Gleaming,” he sighed. “I take it you’re looking for your friends or family as well?”

Before Sly had a chance to reply, a palanquin approached carrying a rather oversized princess. She was dealt with quickly by others so Yoshitsune didn’t need to get involved.

Soon after that, they were led to a train, something Yoshitsune had never heard of before, and were told to climb aboard. A little cautious of the machine after the previous ones tried to kill him, he chose to hold on to the back of the train and let his wheels roll freely.

He got bored quickly riding the way he was, not to mention his sore thighs, but was instantly put into high alert as he heard they were heading into a storm. With all his strength, he held on tight, getting somewhat afraid when his wheels were pulled off the track. He lost his grip, however, and was barely able to catch Poppi’s leg to prevent himself from flying off.

Holding on for dear life, the samurai was relieved when the updraft seemed to be slowed by time. This gave him the chance to get back down to the tracks and slide under the bridge. With his balance and the wind being strong enough to basically reverse gravity for him on the underside, Yoshitsune ran with his wheels locked, bouncing lightly with each step on the wood. He got as far as he could, which was still slightly behind the train, before having to jump back to the top, using his Kamui to get a better chance at gripping onto the train and not Poppi.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by ZAVAZggg
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ZAVAZggg Sok Il-Seong

Member Seen 10 hrs ago

Level: 3 (9/30)
Word Count: 311
Location: Edge of the Blue - Creature Beach
EXP: +1

Not wanting to deal with any more of this world's primitives, Sephiroth elected to head towards the temple instead. At least there she could find some quiet place to ponder her next move, not to mention mend her ruined clothes, as her wounds appeared to have healed following her consumption of the blood. Setting off, her energy higher than it had ever been before, she made good time even with her torn up rigging. Seeming to skip across the landscape at high speed. At length however, she finally arrived, striding forward as though she owned the place, although this was muted somewhat. The encounters she'd had over the course of the previous days finally drilling some sense of caution into her brain.

Coming to a halt just outside the temple's entrance, she moved over to one of the watery pools bubbling around the path she was on. Hopping the short four or three foot tall stone divider that separated her from the liquid, she unsheathed her blade and knelt at the water's edge. Submerging it, she began to wash the grime and blood free, staining the pool a feculent brownish-red in the process. After about a minute or so of scrubbing and picking though, she was done. Rising to her full height Sephiroth flicked the blade clean, sending droplets arcing through the air to stain the ground, before returning it to its sheath in a single well-practiced motion. Traversing the wall once more, the former SOLDIER carried on her way, boots clacking loudly against the pavement as she went. Coming to what appeared to be the main entrance, Sephiroth pushed open either door and stepped inside, being met with an unexpected yet not entirely unappreciated gust of cold air as she crossed the threshold. Now inside, she began an immediate search of her surroundings, eyes peeled for potential sources of danger.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Zoey Boey
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Zoey Boey ~I'm Stone Free, do what I please~

Member Seen 40 min ago

Level 4: 33/40
Location: Next to Shippy --> On Shippy. @Lugubrious @ArchMage MC @DracoLunaris
Word Count: 1,294
Points Gained: 3
New EXP Balance--- Level 4: 36/40

Sakura looked over her shoulder as the hero named Link gave her a command. "O-okay!" Kamek was going to do some crazy magic. The Street Fighter defended Shippy, smashing and bashing more Abyssals around with precise combinations. Strike strike shunpukyaku, strike shunpukyaku STRIKE!

As formidable as she was, she was off her game. Nerves were getting to her. There was a tightness in her stomach and when her hands weren't clenched, they were shaking.

Nonetheless, Kamek’s fireball got off. It connected! Sakura watched with wide eyes. The Harbor Demon wasn't happy about it. She locked onto Shippy and Sakura gasped, afraid. It fired and only just missed Shippy, the impact rocking the boat.

Sakura felt that she could pull off a Critical Art. Her heart was pumping hot blood throughout her body. Kamek had gone up to the front of the ship and launched a big ball of damage. Why couldn't she do the same? That way they could damage both of the Harbor Demon's arms.

"Here I go! Watch out everyone!" Sakura clambered on top of the deck of the shrunk Shippy and dashed to the bow, Kamek and his clones scattering out of the way as she rushed over. Alerted by her declaration, Nadia skated over to help boost her up. "I'm gonna shoot a fireball at that big lady!" She announced, pointing at her across the way.

Blazermate was upgrading her zombie abyssals while Sakura was proclaiming something about launching a fireball, confused Blazermate said. ”Are your fireballs stronger than Bowsers?” While Blazermate was preparing her zombies,the Engineer started to make another gun and dispenser as the previous ones had fallen into the drink after the cannon shell from the harbor demon landed right next to shippy.

"N-no, I don’t think so." Sakura answered, looking across the water. "But this is my Critical Art! I learned it from Ryu-san himself, so it’s gonna be good!" She reassured herself.

With no reason to doubt her, Nadia hastened to deliver a well-aimed punt to end a little scrap with an ornery Destroyer. She veered to the side to clear the way for her ally’s cannonade and shouted up to her. “Good to go. Knock ‘em dead! “

Sakura took a grounded stance, her body turning perpendicular to the distant Demon, one foot forward and the other back. She pulled her hands back and grasped the air around where her fireball would appear. Her inner energy would become external in a way so very few could do.

"Power and Skill! Shinku..." She began, blue flames beginning to lick up her fingers.

“Wait, no, hold on!” Sakura slapped the sides of her head. ”Sā!” She shouted from her diaphragm. She pumped her fists and the flames became permanent. There was a burst of cherry blossoms that faded quickly, a manifestation of her willpower. She activated her V-Trigger I to increase the power, range, and damage of her fireballs. Her hands were flaming.

“A-all right, this is it, for real this time! Watch out!” She lined up the shot. This would be the longest ranged fireball of her life, but she was confident she could make it. “You got this you got this you got this!” She whispered under her breath as she began to generate the Shinku Hadoken once more.

Blazermate, having needed to keep her healing beam on Shippy as she upgraded her abyssal zombies, saw that Sakura was charging for something. She told her zombies to push out a bit and protect Shippy by dealing with the abyssals below, most of them now looking like things you’d see in body horror shows with bones and spikes and all sorts of weird things sticking out of them. Hopefully this would alleviate the damage Shippy was taking as she put her healing beam onto Sakura and hit her with a dose of Kritz.

Sakura reacted immediately, flinching from the Kritz. ”W-wuh! Woah! This is…!” Her hands and gloves were bursting with power! She glanced over her shoulder at Blazermate and figured this must have been some kind of power up.

Sakura retook her stance and began charging her Shinku Hadoken. All this power- it- hurt! Fortunately she was being healed. But her body was not trained enough to handle this much Ki.

”Shinku...Nekketsu!” Hot-blood. The fire turned from blue to bright pink. Sakura was breathless, her hands were shaking! Electricity crawled across her fingers like lightning had struck a volcano. The orb shivered in mid air as it grew in size and luminescence.

“HADO KEEEEN!” She dragged the fireball through the air like it weighed a thousand pounds and then released it. It exploded outward and Sakura held the pose, her extended arms and palms channeling the energy. It streaked over the heads of the combatants and barreled to the Harbor Demon at blistering speeds. Sakura exhaled and fell to one knee.

“W-woah..!” She watched her fireball travel away from her. Blazermate was pretty impressed with the large fireball that Sakura had fired out. Big bowser spit out fireballs like crazy, but this one felt like it had a lot of punch behind it, even without the kritz!

The outrageous spectacle careened downrage, its baleful overabundance of power practically mutilating the air it crackled through. A mere moment after Sakura released it the wild force of the Shinku Nekketsu Hadoken collided with the defensive arm of the Harbor Demon, eliciting both a skull-rattling blast and an ear-piercing howl. Chunks of hardened flesh like shattered marble burst outward across a wide area, and the Harbor Demon was thrown back against her own weapons platform. That sudden, unexpected impact jolted the pitch-black engine of destruction, diverting its aim by just a few milimeters--little more than a hair. And yet that insignificant distance meant that her withering repartee did not kill a handful of Seekers outright.

Instead, Shippy’s rearmost fourth disappeared. It was more or less vaporized in an instant, although the resultant cloud owed its constitution to metal shreds and splinters rather than water. A guttural groan resounded from the living vessel as her entire length twisted in pain. Most of the cabin and the quarterdeck were obliterated; of Brineybeard there was no trace. Though self-guiding to an extent Shippy was transfixed by her trauma, and without someone in control began to drift. Across the Harbor Demon struggled to stay afloat, clutching at her weapons platform for support with brutalized hands.

Blazermate, at seeing the Harbor demon fire, raised her shield and got low. Thankfully due to Sakura’s supercharged fireball, the shot changed angle slightly. Blazermate was unsure if the shot would’ve hit them or not, but it really damaged shippy. ”” That was close!” Blazermate said, getting her beam back on shippy as the kritz ended. There were reasons she medabattled and wasn’t a war medabot! If only there wasn’t so much water!

Sakura was sitting on the deck, staring at the missing rear quarter of the boat, eyes wide. They’d been hit, but...”Mr. B-Brineybeard...is he..?”

Blazermate had to do a bit of a double take at the mention of the sea captain, how could she forget about him? Looking around, Blazermate looked for him, however Blazermate couldn’t find anything on her scanner regarding the bloke. It made sense why she never got a warning or anything, he had just gotten completely obliterated. And she’d better keep shippy up, otherwise more bad things could happen!

Sakura was in shock. There was a ringing in her ears and she hadn’t got up from her spot on the deck. Her V-Trigger sputtered to an early end. Hyperventilating, Sakura got to her feet. "Brineybeard-san!" She called out, voice strained. Running over to the back of the ship her eyes frantically searched the water for any sign of the pirate captain.
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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Dark Cloud
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Dark Cloud When the spaghetti is done just right.

Member Online

Level/Experience: 3 (10/30 EXP)
Location: Edge of the Blue - Black Bay
Word Count: Less than 750 Words (+1 EXP)
@Yankee as Ace Cadet, @Archmage MC as Blazermate and @Zoey Boey as Sakura

Glenn was thrown against a railing when another explosion rocked the deck, luckily he held fast on the rail but the wind had been knocked from his lungs at the impact of his body meeting with the sturdy railing from which he hung cloying for air as it escaped his open mouth.

It took a moment to steady his breathing as he heaved up some blood and bile onboard Shippy's deck, yet he regained enough composure to shakily raise himself from the pool of seawater and blood to look askance in order to ascertain how the others had fared after the vessel had been struck.

It appeared that at a glance everyone seemed to be alright, however their good captain seemed to have disappeared much to the distress it caused for the girl with flowery speech that ironically didn't make any sense to him. Blazermate was most likely also worried for the salty sea dog, but whatever became of the captain was not currently important in their situation yet in the back of his mind Glenn prayed for the man's safety.

"Lo we mustn't tarry here any longer," raising his voice as he stood, Glenn propped himself against the side of the deck for support "Our friend spake unto us to flee, where'er he is it is naught likely thy afterlife." the swordsman weakly made his way towards the healer whose nature still befuddled him, Glenn waved her to come closer "Good lady lend me thy aid, I require some help." then upon getting closer the swordsman lowered his voice momentarily and spoke to Blazermate in a hushed tone for barely a few seconds.

"Dost thou have a way of locating him?" he asked quietly looking sideways to the obviously distraught looking Sakura "Hither we must go, to the bay and beyond." stepping back he spoke up for them all to hear in an attempt to rally their faltering morale.

It wasn't that he didn't care of what fate had befallen the captain, but the swordsman was more worried that their grief and disbelief may cost them their lives and if so they may never be able to ascertain the man's whereabouts.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Gentlemanvaultboy

Word Count: 585

Level 4 - (36/40) + 1

Location: The Edge of Blue - The Chaotic Sea

The ball wasn't launched soon enough to prevent the Harbor Demon's giant gun from firing, but luckily enough the first shot had just been to gauge her aim. Another shot would have undoubtedly blown the admirals flagship out of the water but the ball of magic that shattered fragments off her arm redirected her attention to them. This was made apparent when he next giant handful of Abyssal's fell all around them like rain. Link took a deep breath and dived again, taking aim at the disoriented monsters and firing again to try and clean them up before they reoriented themselves. He even managed to get a few of them.

Then came the surge. A push and pull much like when Shippy had expelled them earlier. From under he saw the ship rock violently back and forth as he was sucked underneath it along with the water rushing to fill the space left by what could only be the giant Abyssal's gauging shot. He pushed himself forward, propelling himself in the direction he was being pulled and shooting upward to survey the damage.

He surfaced in time to see Sakura jumping up onto the ship itself, but that was about all he could see from where he was in the water until he spotted another glow cascading off the deck. Was that the old koopa again? No, it was different. In a moment another attack was launched from the little ship, a bright beam of light moving so fast he could barely see it. The beam, though, was answered in kind. To his horror he heard the rattling boom and saw the entire back half of the ship get obliterated in a spray of debris. What was left twisted like a wounded animal, a full body groan of pains sending ripples out across the water around it.

His mind was gripped with immediate panic, but he forced it down and thought. Had that hit anyone? Was everyone okay? Was the ship going to sink? No, no, he could already see the rear half stitching itself back together. That was proof enough that Blazermate at least was still kicking. Could they get hit like that again? Looking at the Harbor Demon he didn't think so. The way she was slumped she would have to devote herself to fending off the Navy. He didn't think she would be able to concentrate enough to send any more shots at either them or the Admiral. That was good at least, because the ship wasn't moving forward anymore. That shot had taken off the entire area where the wheel was, and Shippy was now drifting. That meant there was so one in control. That meant...

No, he forced that thought down as well. Save that for later. Right now Shippy had to get moving.

He zoomed around to the front of the ship, pulling out the potion the Cadet had given him and gazing up at the ship. The pain the ship was in was visible across both its faces, but which face were you supposed to put the potion in? "Hey." He called up, shaking his head as he unequipped the helmet. "Hey, look at me. Don't give up yet, you're almost there. Catch!" He threw the potion up the girl on the headboard, hoping that if she couldn't catch in her arms the big mouth could at least stick out its tongue to get it. "You only have to endure it a little longer. Drink that, it'll help."

Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Gentlemanvaultboy
The Disappointing Truth

The Previous Night - Snowdin - Survive Bar

Feat. Linkle (8/90) 30% and @Lugubrious

Albedo’s relief was practically palpable as Linkle escaped her slump with renewed confidence. Most days he didn’t know what to make of people, let alone say to them to life their spirits, but somehow he’d chosen the right words for the job. Her resolve allowed her to reconsider the path of resurrection with renewed clarity, which also spelled out that she had been asking for her own sake, rather than that of a lost comrade. The alchemist had assumed that the procedure would be for someone already gone, which made more sense than dying on the hope of coming back anew. The realization surprised Albedo a little, but it wasn’t much of a leap in logic to conclude that she only considered that route out of momentary desperation. As long as she didn’t lose her grasp on herself, it seemed, she wouldn’t actually consider such a risky plan.

It was getting to be late in the evening, and even after receiving the rejuvenation of a Friend Heart Albedo felt his body longing for rest, but more important matters were at hand. The Skullgirl offered to shed some priceless light on the vital subject he’d spent so much time on, and he wasn’t about to tell her to save it for the morning. First, she asked him a question, and when he strove to remember an answer he found it easier to recall the past than ever before. It was though a fog on his mind had been lifted, or perhaps a radiance so bright that it had forced him to look away.

“The last thing...I was in Mondstadt, the City of Freedom. It was the Windblume Festival. That morning, the Honorary Knight collected the ingredients by which I could restore an ancient flower to life for the sake of my assistant, Sucrose. She was happy for hours, well into the afternoon. We were running some experiments, but she seemed embarrassed by something, and kept making things explode. I attempted to console her, but she told me there was something she wanted to ask me. We went out of the city toward Windrise. Before we got there...the sky was filled with light, and everything disappeared.”

His brows narrowed as he remembered the look of abject fear on his poor assistant’s sweet face--the way she turned and held him, so tight he felt like he would choke. Then everything went away. Albedo couldn’t help but glance at the door, thinking that if she was out there, she would need his help.

Linkle nodded along, deliberately choking back an “awwww” at his situation just before Galeem had intervened. She could add breaking that up to the pile of grievances she had with the Lord of Light. “If it makes you feel better, there are plenty of places like Snowdin she could have ended up.” She said sympathetically, following his gaze to the door.

“But, that light you saw? That’s what brought us all here, and it’s not just something that happened like rain or fire. It’s an enemy.” She said solemnly. “You can see it if you go out there and look up. It’s the sun. Galeem, the Lord of Light. It took all of us, mixed us all up into this world, and put a bunch of light into each of us so we wouldn't realize it was there. That’s the stuff you’ve been noticing in everybody. It’s actually amazing you were able to figure out something was wrong.”

Although Albedo didn’t appear too comforted by his new friend’s assurances and compliments, he refocused himself on the present to think about what she said. “That does explain a lot of things, not the least of which is that I may have gotten far closer to understanding things than I realized.” His mind raced back over all his accumulated findings, his theories, his hypotheses, his conclusions. “In my own world, and assumedly most of them, the answer to the eternal question of creation is the deepest and most primorial secret. Yet in this World of Light things seem far less enigmatic. Dust, the matter of creation, and spirits, the essence of character. In my own way, I suppose I’ve followed in the footsteps of Galeem.” He stood and walked to the window of the bar and peered outside, searching for the entity Linkle mentioned. When he found it, he peered at it with his arms crossed. “Hm. Has it done anything since you’ve been aware of it?”

“No.” Linkle said, following him to the window. “Well, maybe? I’ve had a couple of weird dreams that felt like they weren't mine, kind of like how I can tell the Skull Heart’s voice apart from my thoughts. They were trying to make me give up and accept the world as it is, and I think if I had the light would have gotten back inside me. It happened to a friend of mine. But as far as actually moving or attacking? Never.”

She thought for a bit. “We have been harassed by this hand, though. It shows up whenever we get too close to a Guardian. Like a glove, like mine, but all white and it talks! I think it might speak for Galeem. When it tells people with Light inside them what to do they have to do it, they don’t have any choice. It makes people fight us.” She looked down, sadly. “Imani was one of them.” Suddenly, she looked back up as a thought occurred. “It didn’t show up for the Stranger though. Maybe he’s too wild to risk being around?”

The alchemist thought for a moment. “I see. The Stranger I can’t speak for, but he certainly seems unhappy with his current situation. He was willing to let me carry out several experiments to see if I could ‘make him feel’, even, which is oddly self-destructive behavior. As for Galeem…” He turned away from the window, frowning. “It’s almost disappointing. Discovery is a wonderful feeling, but finding that a subject has nothing else to offer afterward is a cruelty. The realization that the ocean you stared into with wonderment is only so deep…”

“I guess. So far it just seems like your typical bad guy to me. Grab what you want, set up a bunch of stuff to keep the hero from getting at you, then sit back in your dark castle all day.” Linkle said, turning from the passive ball of light in the sky. “I’m sorry the truth turned out to be such a cliche, but at least that means the way to fix everything is simple.”

Back in his seat, Albedo raised his eyebrows. "Oh? There's a way to fix everything?"

“Yeah.” Linkle said. “There always is, right? You beat all the minions, break through all the defenses, and take out the bad guy. That’s what me and my friends have been doing since we got freed. Did you see that barrier around Galeem? Every layer of that barrier is connected to a Guardian somewhere down here. That freak that wants to feel something? He’s one of them, that’s why he came after me. If we beat all of them we’ll be able to fight Galeem, and when we beat Galeem everything should go back to normal again. Everyone gets to go home.”

After a few quiet moments of contemplation Albedo gave an all-encompassing nod. "Then we have busy days ahead of us. I'll need to rest well tonight."

Her ears perked up when he said we, and her smile spread across her face. “Yeah! Though…” She wasn’t all that sleepy, but that was normal for her. She hadn’t really had a plan for what to do tomorrow, but it was definitely late enough that she probably couldn't do much now. “I guess the most important things are finding out more about the Stranger, trying to get in contact with my friends, and meeting the guy in a black cloak that shows up at Grillby’s sometimes. Those guys are involved in this somehow. That seems like stuff we can handle in the morning.”

Albedo stood and placed some money down for the bartender, enough to cover the bentos of both guests. He drained the last of his water and prepared to leave. “Very good. I’ll show you to the little motel I’ve been staying at. Not the nicest or the roomiest, but since it never has more than one or two permanent guests, it’s as clean and as cozy as one could ask for.” He waved to Mr. Kashiwagi and held open the door for Linkle.

Linkle gave the man a wave as well as she exited. “You know, this is the first time I’ll have slept in a bed since I got free.” She said as she followed the boy down the snowy street. He was right, they had a busy day tomorrow. Worries like the Skull Heart and the Stranger still loomed in the back of her mind, but for the night at least they would be held at bay.
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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Yankee
Avatar of Yankee

Yankee God of Typos

Member Seen 17 hrs ago

Word Count: 1232 (+2 exp)
Level: 7 - Total EXP: 14/70
Location: Edge of the Blue: Black Bay

With the way the demon cried out in pain, it seemed safe to say that Kamek's spell was a success. "Nice one!" Even though it recovered quickly and tossed a bunch of abyssals their way, it had still been pretty satisfying to watch. Just as before, the Cadet pulled back the drawstring of his bow and shot down as many airborne enemies as he could, though due to the sheer number many splashed onto the deck and into the water around them. The ladies were doing a fine job keeping those that landed on the ship at bay, and they were even joined by another lady returning. Princess Peach had made it back safely, and with her she'd brought a bunch of fallen navy spirits - some that were apparently familiar. Using them... it might be awkward, but it also might end up being necessary. Ace Cadet started to thank Peach for her gambit that ended up paying off when the princess spoke up about them being the demon's new target.

Moments later the shot was fired, the force of it shoving waves at Shippy so hard it felt like the entire boat was going to flip over. The Cadet reached out to steady the princess and himself, making sure neither of them were sent flying. He saw Nadia fall from the deck, but a flash of light shone from where she fell and he figured she must have fused with the spirit of the girl she'd been lamenting over. Once the ship was more or less righted again he poked his head over the side to make sure Ms. Fortune was really alright, and thankfully it seemed she was.

Man, they really needed to get out of the bay.

Across the water the demon was taking aim at them again while one of their own raced to beat her to the punch and strike with an attack of her own. The Cadet dutifully gave Sakura a wide berth as she made her way to the bow. "Go for it Sakura!" he encouraged, and while she did her thing the Cadet refocused on the smaller abyssals that never seemed to stop swarming around them. If they could just clear a path for a moment, get a good burst of speed maybe they could make a break away.

There was a loud booming sound, swiftly followed by an incredible crack. The ship shook again and the Cadet snapped his head up, following the path that Sakura's impressive fireball traveled. At the end of it there was the harbor demon, alive but suffering. Her cannon was smoking, and Shippy... the Cadet turned, seeing that the rear of the ship was completely gone, what little was left of it scattered to pieces in the water. If that cannon ever hit them dead on, they'd... well, they'd be dead.

Maybe one of them already was. Sakura ran over the wounded, ripped area in search of their vessel's captain. Brineybeard had been right there, and now he was gone. Was it possible he'd survived somehow? Ace Cadet hadn't heard the tell-tale yowl of felynes on their raft, but... maybe the captain was thrown earlier when the missed shot almost capsized them.

"He... he might still be fine," the Cadet said, struggling to believe his own words. "Frog is right though, we have to get out of the area fast."

Of course that was easier said than done. With Shippy in the state she was in, he didn't know how long it would take to heal her. The Cadet's attention moved from the wrecked part of the boat back towards the demon. It seemed to be on it's last legs, but if that cannon was still operational... if she tried to take them down with her, a last ditch act of vengeance...

"I'm gonna go make sure that thing is down for the count." He had to, because if there was even a chance she could still fire at them then that had to be prevented. "It's weak thanks to you guys doing the hard part, I'll finish it off and make sure that cannon is gone for good." Cadet returned to Peach's side carefully taking a spirit from her. He looked a little skeptical, a little hesitant. As someone who much preferred items and equipment for increasing his strength, the thought of fusing was a strange one. However, he realized that for what he had in mind this would be the best way to reach the harbor demon - and so he pressed the spirit into his chest.

With the battle still raging, there wasn't much opportunity for a thorough inspection of his new look. That was alright, the Cadet knew he'd gotten everything he really needed. The rigging at his waist extended out slightly as he briefly tested the motion of his new 'limbs.' Watching Sakura, now Nadia, and many of the Navy members themselves the hunter felt he had a pretty good grasp on how they worked. He could definitely move over water now too, he could feel it. More than the physical changes though, the Cadet could feel the burning spirit of Jamaica in his core, crying out with the need to fight the monstrous evil that had claimed so many of her compatriot's lives so far. That intense urge pushed him into action immediately.

Ace Cadet vaulted over the side of their vessel, landing on the water's surface with a splash. "I'll meet you all at the river! I'm gonna bring that thing to justice!" he said aloud, pointing out his prey. Then he was off. With the speed-enhancing effects of the haste rain still active he sped over the ocean's surface towards the harbor demon. His rigging was extended, and with it he fired from the miniature cannons at any small fry in his way, the blades on the ends finishing them off as he passed them by.

Having weapons like the rigging attached to him made it much easier to protect himself while we swapped his hand held equipment. While we would have loved to test the dragon piercer against the metal of the giant abyssal, the wind up alone made that a dangerous gamble. Instead, a decisive weapon for an all out attack was needed. Away went the bow, and the longsword was brought to bear. As the Cadet skated over the water getting closer, he draw the sword while a deep maroon energy swirled around his body. Was using the Devouring Demon technique risky? Quite so, but hey - it was all in the name. His attack power would go up and his health would steadily decrease, but he was confident that if nothing else, he could survive. Besides his health focused armor skills, his heart felt clear and ready to take action. Maybe Jamaica was cheering him on, imbuing the blade with her righteous wrath.

Ace Cadet zipped by a few Navy girls and more abyssals, the guns on his rigging still flashing to keep the enemies at bay. He had to zig and zag a few times to avoid attack from below water, and he'd been grazed more than once in his charge, but it was way too late to stop now. When he was upon the Harbor Demon he glared up at it - and let loose, the Nightsky Ripper looking to bite into the flesh of her torso and rend it.

Word Count: 448 (+1 exp)
Level: 4 - Total EXP: 5/40
Location: Sandswept Sky

𝙱𝙿 ●●●●
Perhaps needless to say, Primrose preferred an uneventful ride to one fraught with danger. Although the first part of their journey across the tracks had been nice and boring, sooner or later it figured that something would come up. Nothing was ever easy when the very universe conspired against you - or the creator of the world you found yourself in, anyway.

When the howl of wind first reached her ears, Primrose thought it was just another strong gust racing against the train. Then there was a strange crackling sound from nearby, and a voice sounded through it. It sounded like that person that led them to the train, and he was warning them all of an oncoming sand storm. Primrose looked ahead, and sure enough the storm was already close enough - or large enough - to see. The dancer had been enjoying the ride atop the kiwi car, but now it was time to get inside of it. She didn't want to even attempt to try and keep her grip on something out there in the storm's full force.

She slid to the edge of the car, looking down to the windows on it's sides. None were open, would she have to break one? Quickly she peered over the other adjacent side, finding an opening. The roar of wind was getting very loud, and her hair and clothing was getting tussled. Wasting no time Primrose dropped from the roof of the passenger car, maneuvering her body in through the window Midna had opened earlier.

She huffed a sigh of relief, but then immediately turned back to the window and stuck her head out of it. The storm was bearing down on them, it was practically already here, but - "If you are not yet safe try making your way to the passenger car!"

Primrose's call was a little too late for a few of them, but she could still just barely hear their fearful shouting from the back of the train. It sounded like they hadn't been flung off completely or else their screams would have grown faint and been swallowed up by the storm. Primrose herself ducked as the train charged right into the storm, holding onto the seats attached to the wall. Even inside the car the wind was intense, blowing open a few of the other windows and rattling those that remained closed. Eventually she did stop hearing the yelling from the back of the train and a pit began to form in her stomach. With luck they'd still be there, holding on somewhere, and not lost in the deep ravine. A head count would definitely be needed once they were out of the torrent of sand.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by MULTI_MEDIA_MAN


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Geralt of Rivia

Limsa Lominscuttle Town- The Black Bay

Lvl 6 (71/60) -> Lvl 6 (72/60)

Word Count: 724 words

The fight continued. Abyssals and Shipgirls fought, killed, and died in number, though the former tended to suffer more numerous casualties than the latter, even if those individual casualties were less devastating. From above the battlefield, Geralt got a good look as the Atomos performed a strafing run on Shippy, wiping out Abyssals left and right. Those aboard Shippy were holding their own, with Blazermate's horde of undead doing some seriously heavy lifting yet again.

And the Harbor Demon was shooting. Its first shot missed the Jackdaw by a good few hundred feet, but with power like that, even that distance was far too close for comfort.

He could see that Peach had returned as well, delivering Spirits to the fighters aboard the living vessel and hopefully turning the tide of the fight. Perhaps under different circumstances he'd consider taking one for himself, but especially now that option was impossible. They needed every moment of time, and safely boarding Shippy would waste far too much for what it might get him.

With that being said, however, Geralt found himself in the odd position of being unable to actively influence the battle much without risking his new Roach. It seemed to be somewhat less sturdy than its size would imply, but then again it actually did just seem to be a really big bird and not some kind of hybrid or special monster variety. Flighted birds were not known for their sturdy constitutions, what with the whole hollow bones thing.

Regardless, any move he made would have to be carefully planned and executed lest he risk being blown out of the sky by that monster's guns.

Kamek's massive fireball prompted Geralt to order the Helmaroc King closer, given that it was now distracted by the damage it was suffering. Sure, it was also wildly firing into the air, but there was no order to it, and the Witcher took advantage of that to get a closer look at the Demon's construction. It looked like a number of those cannons had some serious vertical limitations, especially the big one. He very well might be able to take advantage of that and drop some bombs on its head from above.

And oh no it was shooting at Shippy time to do something. Carefully using his legs to keep a hold for a moment, Geralt fished out a grapeshot bomb and held it between two fingers as he regained his hold on Roach, at the same time commanding it to steady out for a smoother flight. He'd have to get the timing down, preferably when it was preoccupied on aiming to fire at him. It felt almost like using his comrades as bait, but if he screwed this up it could be a bit before he got another good shot at it.

When the second shot rang out, this one nearly sending the living vessel overboard, Geralt's flight path was ready. He grabbed a second bomb, not sure if something that size would even be stunned by one. Powerful as they were, he'd seen higher wyverns and powerful fiends practically shrug his bombs off. Carefully holding the devices in his hand, legs keeping him secure, Axii still binding the Helmaroc King to his will, he approached at a slight dive.

Sakura's own massive fireball flew in, and moments later Geralt's own hearing was deafened by the roar of the Harbor Demon's cannons. He lost Axii, the Helmaroc King squawked in fury, and he nearly lost his grip, compensating with the hand that was now free grabbing at feathers while his other threw the bombs directly at his target's face. "UP, dammit, up!" Geralt yelled, still reeling from the sound and unable to focus enough to refocus on another Axii Sign just yet. "Get us out of here or we're both dead!"

He didn't see what had happened to Shippy, or presumably Brineybeard. He had no idea the Cadet was coming hot on the Harbor Demon. All Geralt knew at that moment was that if they didn't get out of there, he'd never find Ciri again. He'd never see Yen, or that stupid unicorn she refused to part with. And that was just not acceptable. "GO!" He screamed, trying to recreate the movements he'd done with his sword to control the bird by forcefully but nonviolently pulling on feathers.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by DracoLunaris
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DracoLunaris Multiverse tourist

Member Seen 4 hrs ago

The Koopa Troop

wordcount: 1,362 (+3)
Bowser: Level 9 EXP: ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (45/90)
Bowser Jr: Level 7 EXP: /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (37/70)
Kamek: Level 7 EXP: /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (35/70)
Location: Edge of the Blue – Seaward Bay

”Haha take that!” Kamek cheered as his mega-spell hit home, before his expression quickly turned to alarm as he realise that the main thing he’d done is mark them as a priority target again ”Oh no”

The Harbor Demon scooped up a pile of Abyssals and hurled them right at the ship, undoing the work they’d done to clear the area as monsters rained down upon them. A shoal of the fish/torpedo shaped destroyers rained down on the bow of the ship among the Kameks as they all stumbled to their feet. One smashed down and struck a red clone like an artillery shell, dissipating it an instant, while another landed close to Kamek and then tried to lunge at him.

He stumbled backwards, trying to bring his wand to bare but knowing even as he did so that he was being too slow, only for a boxing glove to jackhammer into the destroyer, punting it away into the water.

”Young Ma-” he began to cry out in relief and alarm as the destroyers focused on his savior, only to realize that it was, once again, one of his doppelgangers. The two remaining shadow Juniors started laying into the the swarm, one of the two being mauled to death in the process, but giving the Kamek's precious moments to recover and aid them with spell blasts, only for them all to be scattered as the Demon’s titanic cannon shot just barely missed them, the impact rocking the boat and causing Kamek to stumble.

He rose just as the last destroyer was handled, only to have to move out of the way as Sakura took up position at the bow and, inspired by his energy ball, followed up with her own fireball, empowered by Blazermate’s Kritz. While Kamek’s shot had put them in danger, hers saved them from it, although just barely.

The massive glowing fireball hammered home, shattering the Demon’s guard and throwing off her aim by just an inch, enough to prevent them from being obliterated by her second shot but not enough to make her miss entirely. The cannon shell smashed through the green protective barrier protecting Shippy and annihilated the helm in an instant, taking the captain with it.

Though the Ace thought they might be fine, maybe, they were all still stunned and had to be roused by their grief and shellshock by Frog. As the heroes rushed to and fro to try and help the old mage hauled himself to his feet for a third time.

”I’m getting too old for this” he complained as he supported himself with his broom. Having spent so much magic and physical energy in the battle already he was unable to do more with his magic than continue to hold his various minions together. Their ranks were thinned. Two reds, the green and a shadow Junior here, two toadies above, where all that remained.

They would have to do.

Peach had returned at some point during the carnage with spirits of fallen navy ships. One of these the Ace grabbed, declaring his intention to charge the Harbor Demon. Alone. Madness, but then what could they do? Another shot like that and they’d be done for.

”Go! Protect the Ace, make sure he is free to strike true and that he returns to us alive!” He ordered his 4 remaining minions.

They obeyed without questions, forming up as an escort. The green boosted the shadow junior with speed, letting it keep up with the ace, hovering beside him, covering his back and body blocking shots coming for him. When they made it to the shadow clone moved to attack the Demon’s arms with a pair of circular saws, acting mainly as a distraction so the Ace could target her more vulnerable body. The green had also empowered the ace’s weapon before he got out of range, purple spell runes forming along the side of Nightsky Rippe’s blade, and a green glow alighting along its edge, signaling increased power to its blows and sharpness to its bite.

The reds followed after, pelting any pursuers or flankers with fire. In the end, however, both they and the green were left in the Ace’s dust and at the mercy of the open battlefield.

While this was all going down the Atomos completed its circle, bringing its front facing kid crewed ballista to bear on the Demon as her second shot struck home. They’d tried to help when the ship had been pelted, but the fire team onboard couldn't risk shooting the things on the ship without worrying about hitting the living ship or its passengers.

Which made the shot itself doubly heart wrenching. Because there wasn't anything they could do to strike back. Not sanely anyway. Charging in deep enough to get into range would get their own ship ripped apart. Jr yelled as much when Bowser demanded they do so.

”We’d never make it there in one piece Dad!”

”We have to do something!” the king demanded, shouting over the sound of Rika wordlessly screaming as she unloaded fire at the Demon for killing Brinybeard, reservations about killing her own forgotten when it came to this specific abyssal. Despite her rage her shots fell short, splashing into the water before they reached her target. Beside her Mimikyu was having more luck, her electroballs adoring being shot at this stationary target, their speed differential based attack power being boosted as high as it could go as they buzzed forth.

Then they saw the telltale flash of fusion, once, then twice, before the Ace suddenly jumped into the after and started sailing towards the Demon with Kamek’s minions in tow.

“He’s going! We should go too!” Rika shouted

”We cant! I just said” jr repeated himself

“Then I’ll do it myself- wow”

”Oh no you don’t. You’ll just get shot by the navy!” Bowser told her, grabbing her by one of her arms before she could jump off the ship Sakrua style.

“I can't just stand here and do nothing! She needs to die!” Rika insisted

”You need to live. I won't let a minion die pointlessly” Bowser told her

”Are there more spirits?” Jr shouted from the cockpit as the pair struggled


”Where’d they get those from?” jr clarified

As one both Bower and Rika moved to the edge and glanced down at Shippy.

“There, Peach has them” Rika said, pointing down at the princes and her three remaining spirits.

”Perfect! I’ll jump down there and-” Bowser began before Rika insisted “We’ll go down”

Bowser looked at her, nodded, and then unceremoniously grabbed her by the waist and hauled her into a well practiced princess kidnapping carry, which is to say held over the shoulder like a sack of potatoes “Hey wait”

”Stay safe Junior! Going down!” the king announced, before jumping into the empty air. The pair plummeted, but, before they hit ocean or deck like a cannonball, Bowser summoned up Carrie the Trowlon and used the floating minion to rapidly slow their fall, coming to a stop right next to shippy.

”Friendly coming onboard” he wanted the crew as he deposited Rika on deck, but neglected to come aboard himself to avoid bogging down and overcrowding the now much smaller ship.

“Oof. Hi everyone” Rikia said as she stabilized herself “please don't shoot me I’m going to make myself look even less Abyssaly just to make sure there’s no mistakes and then I am going to kill that whoreson of a demon!”

”Spirits. Quick. Don't want to go swimming! Also language!” Bowser told her, conscious of the brief amount of time his hovering platform could stick around.

“Right! Sorry” she said, moving swiftly over to the princess and then looked over the spirits on offer and quickly concluded that Bower would definitely want the one that was biggest and had the most guns, grabbing Trento and tossing it to him, before grabbing Mikuma for herself. They both had horns and she had a weapon in her hands, she thought, so maybe that would mix best with what she had already,

In quick succession the pair took their choice of spirit and pressed it to their chests.
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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Lugubrious
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Lugubrious Makes the big edits

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Tora & Poppi

Level 8 Tora (75/80) and Level 8 Poppi (48/80)
Location: Sandswept Sky - Hollow Heights
Primrose's @Yankee, Fox's @Dawnrider, Sectonia's @Archmage MC Midna's @DracoLunaris, Yoshitsune's @Rockin Strings, Red’s @TheDemonHound, Laharl’s @Dark Cloud
Word Count: 951

In the utter chaos of motion and sound the heroes clung as tight as they could to whatever safety they could get their hands on, be it the worryingly shaky train car interior or a desperate handhold on the outside. Poppi didn’t want to consider what might have happened if she had been in either of her other forms, which both featured their rockets on the feet rather than the back, when Yoshitsune grabbed hold of her leg for dear life. Although she could have held him for a while, he ended up crawling down beneath the train itself. Unable to see him, she could only hope he knew what he was doing. Bit by bit, she and Tora caught glimpses of the others holed up or hunkered down, especially inside the confines of the train car. It looked pretty cramped in there, but being squashed sounded a lot better than hurtling out into an unknown abyss thanks to this hellish cyclone.

The wind buffeted her relentlessly, preventing her from getting a full headcount, so she focused instead on holding on. Her grip was unyielding, but the metal she held onto was starting to buckle from the stress. If she were to try to adjust her grip she could very well sail away, but doing nothing meant tearing loose sooner or later. Tora couldn’t hear her right now, nor she him, so she tried to guess what he would suggest in this situation. Her Masterpon’s familiarity with his work meant that he maintained every option available to him in his mind, so when push came to shove he had a lot at his disposal. What trick would he pull out of their shared arsenal…? After a few moments of thinking, Poppi engaged her Ice Core and promptly froze her hand to the train car. A layer of ice a few inches thick formed around the handhold to ensure that she wouldn’t be going anywhere any time soon. If things weren’t so dire she might have congratulated herself, but for now she needed to stay vigilant and steadfast. This upswell couldn’t last much longer.

After what felt like hours, the train finally pushed through the far end of the storm, leaving behind the nightmare realm of windy emptiness. The train traveled to a safe distance before slowing to a stop. Poppi wrenched free of her ice to fly herself and Tora down to solid ground, where her Masterpon could catch his breath alongside everyone else. Even Gnorbu, evidently an upswell veteran, looked shaken. “That...was worse than usual,” he panted, trying to tame his wind-tousled mane.

Nearby, a thoroughly discombobulated Necronomicon spat out Morgana before lodging herself in the sand. The cat teetered toward the rest of the group, where he reunited with Skull and Panther. “Ugh...we...we didn’t lose anyone, right?” He shook his head and looked around. “...Joker? Joker?!”

“Here.” Looking way worse for wear, Joker staggered over from the back of the train in his Phantom Thief attire. He held up his hand to reveal his grappling hook, torn just above the winch. “Got sucked out of the honeypot along with Blue and Scout. Managed to hook myself on and climb up before the hook broke.” Both his voice and his eyes were grave. “The others weren’t as lucky.”

Tora’s face fell. He’s been so happy to be alive he didn’t think about anyone but himself and Poppi. “No way…”

The news only got worse from there. As they looked around nobody could avoid making conjectures about who they weren’t seeing, and Poppi finally completed her headcount. “Also missing Heavy and Medic…”

Braum did not suppress his sob. “My comrades...of everyone from Lakeside, how could only I remain…?”

A look of utter horror had possessed Gnorbu. “W-w-what? You’re telling me that four people got blown away!?”

“No, no, no!” Tora piped up with as much confidence as he could scrape up. As all eyes fell on him he kept a brave face. “Scout have grapple gun too, and Medic fly now, meh. No way they fall to death. Plus, wind blowing up, so they probably just get flung out of awful storm in other direction.”

Poppi nodded vigorously, doing her part to try and encourage everyone. “That good point! Poppi sure that we see them again later!” She and Tora both kept quiet about the chance that the lost getting flung into the endless metal supports beneath the surface, or getting swirled around forever, or any of the other sobering possibilities.

“So, does that mean we oughta go look for ‘em?” Skull asked.

Joker turned back to take in the miles and miles of desert surrounding Hollow Heights in every direction. “That could take a very long time, even assuming they did make it out.” Though he had more on his mind, including a recommended option, he stopped himself from saying anything else. That let the question hang in the air for everyone: what were they going to do? Were they going to spend time searching for the lost? For how long? The desert heat beat down on their backs, and Al Mamoon was still a shimmering blur in the distance. Tora kept quiet as he thought. He knew that a hero would never leave a friend behind, but were those that were gone his friends? Could they even look inside Hollow Heights, or in the seemingly infinite girder-ridden space below the desert? Was the mission more important? Tora felt terrible about the notion of leaving allies behind, especially considering how he’d feel if the shoe were on the other foot. But what could they really do? Questions swirled around the heroes as hard and as fast as the desert storm.

Ms Fortune

Level 3 Nadia (21/30)
Location: Black Bay
Blazermate's @Archmage MC, Bowser's @DracoLunaris, Ace Cadet's @Yankee, Hat Kid's @Dawnrider, Sakura's @Zoey Boey, Frog's @Dark Cloud
Word Count: 1823

Nadia didn’t so much see as feel the destruction that befell Shippy, when a shockwave of raw force peppered by shattered remnants of wood and metal bulled into her, and out of pure instinct she threw herself into a headlong dive away from the danger. Rather than slide beneath the surface she smacked into it, partially repelled by whatever it was that kept her float, and lay there against its chill for a brief moment before she scrambled to pick herself up. She was afraid to see what became of the living vessel, but she looked nevertheless, and found to her relief that only the rearmost portion of it was missing. She spotted Frog, Blazermate, Sakura, and the others, all rattled by the near-death experience but still alive. Only when the street fighter called out a familiar name, unknown suffix notwithstanding, did Nadia realize someone was gone. As Sakura searched from above the feral guided herself over the waves to the stern, but she found no trace of the former pirate either. Not even his spirit.

Another tragic loss burned Nadia’s guts, but Frog was right; she and her friends couldn’t afford to spend time grieving with their lives still on the line. Whether stunned by the underwater pressure wave or fallen back to avoid friendly fire, the Abyssals had relented for a moment, but now the remainder of those hurled at Shippy by the Harbor Princess circled the drifting vessel like vultures. She watched Peach run for the edge of the deck, calling, “It’s time to go! Until the ship’s operational, we have to push, or we’re sitting ducks!” The others recovered from their shell-shock to jump into action. Blazermate basted Shippy with her medibeam, reconstructing the stern bit by bit. Nadia noticed with a start that the boat’s healing was outdoing incoming damage. About time, jeez! While Peach and Nadia headed for the back, Link swerved around Shippy’s front in order to toss some extra healing up to the figurehead. He managed to focus her enough to reach out for his thrown potion, then gulp it down.

A small section of the lower stern regenerated all at once, and the new shipgirls put their backs against it. Together they started unloading into the water directly behind Shippy, using the recoil to push the faltering vessel through the water. The method to their madness revealed itself when their fusillade not only took care of opportunistic Abyssals but also got Shippy moving toward the inlet in the bay shore. Still, they had only been at it for a moment before the Cadet, sporting a flashy new hairdo, hopped down onto the water full of burning passion. He announced his intention to put down the monstrous threat once and for all and then sped off into the ongoing battle, straight for where the Harbor Demon struggled to collect herself. Nadia released her hold on Shippy.

“What are you doing?” Peach shouted as she strained against the keel. “Shippy’s not...ready yet!”

Nadia leaned forward and skated away, yelling, “I can’t let him face her alone!” If Peach replied, she was already too far away to hear it. With a few of Kamek’s minions in tow as additional support, she made a beeline for the fighting. When the battle of Black Bay began, the Abyssals had fanned out to occupy about eighty percent of the available space, but the Navy had turned the tides to leave them with only the twenty percent closest to the twin strongholds. Of course, that meant that the fighting here was both the thickest and the most desperate, and it took all of Nadia’s concentration to navigate through the raging firefight across roiling waves with a pounding heart. An emerging Abyssal nearly caught her off guard, but before it could sink its teeth in a railgun shot from the Atomos disintegrated it, and Nadia threw Bella a thumbs-up.She kept her eyes focused on Cadet’s bright scarlet hair as her guide as she ducked under cannon fire and leaped over breaching monsters, all the way to the mouth of Kwolok Harbor.

Before the two reached it, something flew in from above. Nadia gasped as she recognized the Helmaroc King from earlier, dismissed as the Atomos team’s problem during the troubles earlier and promptly forgotten. Now it careened toward the Harbor Demon with Geralt on its back. “Yes!” she breathed, glad for more help. Nadia dodged around an Abyssal that looked like a pile of turrets and looked up again just in time to see the Witcher hurl some bombs down at the giant woman, although he seemed to be having problems of his own. No matter how many feathers he tugged, the bird couldn’t seem to right itself. His explosives struck the Harbor Demon’s head with enough force to stagger her and break her horn, and a moment later the floundering Helmaroc slammed into the great disk atop her weapons platform.

“Geralt!” Nadia cried, but she couldn’t see what became of him. However, the bird’s impact span the cannons out of whack, and the incoming heroes couldn’t throw away the chance given to them. They moved in. A big Abyssal came at the Cadet from either side, their pincer attack snapping shut just shy but effectively blocking Nadia’s way. With a sharp inhale she jumped into the air and let loose jets of blood to dash right over. She almost fumbled the landing, but managed to recover in a spray of seawater. “Hah!” She was doing it--they were doing it!

Just ahead loomed the Harbor Demon, even more terrifyingly huge in person, but with her mutilated arms occupied with defense against the Junior clone and continued bombardment from the Navy, she was wide open. The Cadet must have thought the same thing, and raced in for the kill, but Nadia noticed that the weapons platform behind their foe didn’t seem much worse for wear. As the crane arms came around, Nadia realized that her friend didn’t see them, and willed herself forward as fast as she could. In a fountain of blood and cannon fire she launched into the air, and from the flying feral shot a web of muscle fibers. Before the crane hooks could gut Cadet like a fish Nadia flew past one and then the other, snaring them in her muscles. With a quick yank she brought them together in a knot, then came to a stop hanging from the tangle a few feet above the water’s surface. Behind her the surprised Abyssal stared downward, defenseless. If the Cadet planned to bury that longsword in the huge woman’s vitals, he’d need to get a little higher.

“Here! I’ll boost you!” Nadia yelled. Her impromptu platform gave the Monster Hunter just the elevation he needed. Though the Harbor Demon had some armor around her neck and midriff, it left her chest wide open, and in the moment afforded him the Cadet fearlessly plunged his dark blade straight down the middle. The Abyssal shrieked and thrashed, but her riotous strength bled away through the fatal wound, and began to turn to ash. Even the gigantic weapons platform behind her buckled and broke down, a part of her to the end. Nadia dropped as the cranes dissolved, splashing down on the ocean’s surface. On the water nearby floated the demon’s spirit, her visage encapsulated within, but the feral left the prize for the Cadet and focused on retracting her muscles instead.

All around Kwolok Harbor, the Abyssals had fallen into a confused lull, and the Navy wasted no time exterminating them. Their malaise was a lucky turn for Geralt, who had been thrown into the water after his bird crashed down. One shipgirl recognized him and pulled him from the water before offering him a piggyback ride back to Shippy, evidently quite confident in her strength. As her chest heaved Nadia watched Heinrich cruise in, a wide smile on her face despite the bloody wound on her cheek. “Now that’s what I like to see! I knew the Admiral made the right call, I…!”

“NOOOOOO!” She was cut off by a shriek of frightful rancor and a burst of water. From below the water burst a pure white globe, a few dozen feet in diameter. A web of black cracks spread across its surface, and it broke open to reveal the Midway Princess, eyes alight with wrath. Though not as big as the Harbor Demon she would have still towered above the average man at eight or nine feet tall, and she brandished runways like dual claymores. “You killed my sister! I’ll slaughter you!” she screamed.

“You may try!” Heinrich wiped blood from her cheek and grinned. She looked at Nadia and the Cadet. “Alright, you’ve done enough, so scram! Leave this one to me...” Her shark opened wide to let loose a mechanical screech, then surged forward to face the Midway Princess head-on. Nadia fled as gunfire and bombers filled the air.

Back on the ship, Bowser and an unfamiliar girl had arrived to take two more spirits off Peach’s hands. She gave them alongside an entreaty to help her push the ship toward the shore, at least until Blazermate finished her repairs.

With or without their help Peach put all her strength into her mission, and by the time Shippy had been healed enough to go under her own power, the vessel was already clear of the fighting. A few minutes later, Shippy had made it to the blockaded inlet. Compared to what the heroes had just been through, this level of opposition did not impress. It was essentially just a bridge over the river’s mouth with some black iron reinforcement, a few Abyssals in attendance, and some trident-wielding sahagin as backup. The armaments aboard both the Atomos and a repaired Shippy were more than enough to blow open a path, and after a quick scuffle Blue Team was headed upriver.

With the takedown of the Harbor Demon accomplished, Nadia reached Shippy shortly after the vessel cleared the beach and climbed aboard, more for rest than out of necessity. Her new rigging folded up into a helpfully compact form on both hips, and she flopped down on the ship’s bow. For a while she just lay there on her back, trying to quell the chaos that had taken hold of her as she stared up at a clear blue sky. Around the ship lay pristine beauty, a world of vivid pink plants awash in blue light. It was such a brutal contrast to the nightmare of smoke, teeth, and death that she only just escaped that she just about suffered from whiplash. So fresh were the scars on her mind that she doubted that they would ever leave her, but even if she couldn’t be at peace, she could be still. She could feel the pulse of the forest, and take in its wonderful air. She was still alive.

Edge of the Blue - Luma Pools


Elliot’s sudden outburst grabbed the attention of the orangutan as he sat atop his branch, who peered down at the human with a quizzical look. He glanced between the man surrounded by peels and the half-bunch of bananas still in his grasp, connecting the two at his own pace. The intelligence with which he associated the unhappy man with his food, not to mention the fact that he wore clothes, hinted that the orangutan had more brains than Elliot gave him credit for. After a few moments, the ape began to descend.

He moved without urgency, but clambered between branches with ease thanks to his long arms. The trip ended up taking almost awkwardly long, but it didn’t seem to bother him. Once he reached the ground, the thoroughly harmless orangutan hauled himself over to Elliot, split his banana bunch in half, and handed the disgruntled vacationer the fruits he assumed he wanted. For some reason it seemed there existed a kinship between ape and man. With his lips construed in a way that might have been a smile the easygoing orangutan went over to Elliot’s cozy patch of sun and laid down, legs crossed. There was plenty of space for the funny-looking brothers to enjoy themselves together.

Luckily, neither the shouting nor the ensuing cultural exchange disturbed the Ukazeer and her buoyant offspring, who remained at ease on the far side of the lake.

Snowdin – Survive Bar


In one corner of Snowdin lay Eastern Motel, its somewhat shabby appearance helped a lot by the snow that so permeated the area. With his corgi under one arm Albedo led the way there, crunching through the darkness one last time for the night. The receptionists behind the counter, a pair of portly monsters in thick-rimmed glasses, did not bat an eye at the alchemist when he entered but looked up in alarm when the Skullgirl followed him inside. “Whoa, whoa, hey there a minute, Mr. Albedo,” the green one said in a nasally voice. “Who’s this? Friend of yours? I’m getting a bad feeling.”

“Yeah!” the other one agreed, nodding emphatically. “A really bad feeling!”

Albedo tilted his head. “Oh? What makes you say that, Clark?”

Clark twiddled his thumbs. “Uh…well, it’s just a feeling. We’ve been through so many misadventures...”

“So, so many…”

“We just know when something bad’s about to happen. This awful, sinking feeling.” He shuddered. “Like when you’re on a rollercoaster and about to drop.”

“Oh, I hated that coaster…”

Albedo shook his head. “Sounds like paranoia. How many bad things have happened to you two since you arrived in this town.”

“Uh…” the two creatures said together, looking between one another and scratching their heads in unison.

“And besides, this young lady saved my life today. She’s as trustworthy as they come. Just look at that smile.” He glanced toward Linkle, seeking her cooperation, although his face also said sorry about these guys.

After a moment, the receptionists sighed. “Oh...alright,” Clark conceded, bowing his head. “Sorry miss, I guess we’re just a little nervous about anything new. We can put you in the room next door to your friend here.” He slid some keys across the counter, then held his palm up. “That’ll be forty dollars.”

“Four tens!” Stanley piped up again. “Count ‘em!”

Albedo raised his hand. “Just add it to my total. I’ll get some more food for you tomorrow.”

“Ooh, I can’t wait!” Clark practically salivated. “Good night then, you two!”

Albedo inclined his head toward Linkle in a polite bow. “Sweet dreams.” He led the way to the rooms, and disappeared inside his own. Linkle had been allotted a modest accommodation all her own, fully kitted out with all the modern facilities that someone from a medieval era could ever realize they wanted.

Come morning, a look through the windows of Eastern Motel gave a good view of the light snowfall over Snowdin Town. Grateful that it wasn’t heavy enough to present a major impedance to the day’s activities, whatever they might be, Albedo looked away from the window and down at the corgi sitting beside him. The couch in the motel lobby was both wide and comfortable, and its location by the fireplace made it sought-after by man and dog alike. He scratched behind the dog’s ears and waited.

When Linkle arrived, he inclined his head again, just as he did the night before. “Good morning.” He took a sip from the mug of steamy dark liquid held in his right hand. “This is called coffee,” he explained. “Like certain kinds of tea it can make you feel more energized, although even more so than that. Evidently it comes from ground beans rather than leaves. It does taste awful, but cream and sugar can help.” He motioned toward a little station on the receptionists’ counter, where Stanley was brewing himself a fresh cup even as the alchemist spoke. There were little paper packets labeled ‘SUGAR’ in all capitales, and tiny plastic containers with lids that could be peeled off. “I hope you rested well,” Albedo said.

Edge of the Blue - Atlantis Temple


“Welcome!” A voice sounded out as soon as Sephiroth stepped inside the pleasantly cool building. A look to the left revealed none other than a snail with a mustache on a stool behind the counter. “A new face I see!” he observed. “We’re oh-so-happy to have you visit the beautiful Temple of Atlantis, where our motto is ‘Water you waiting for?’! Hohoho! Here is your complimentary stamp card.” He pushed a sheet of paper over the counter toward Sephiroth. “Allow me to explain. We have a variety of rides and minigames available for your enjoyment. You can fill in your stamp card by trying out each one, and by achieving good times or high scores! Afterward, just visit our Redemption Center over there…” he pointed to an opposite counter, where a lady snail gave a polite wave. “To receive your rewards. For each row of stamps you earn while here you’ll be eligible for a Gold Prize, and if you fill in your whole Stamp Card our fabulous Platinum Prize will be yours!” He clapped his hands together wistfully, as if the Platinum Prize were his very own coveted dream. His stalk eyes quickly took in Sephiroth’s appearance, including how filthy she was. “Oh, if you forgot your swimsuit, we have a small boutique past the Redemption Center where you can borrow one, but if you earn a Gold Prize you can exchange it to keep the suit. There are showers, too. Anyway, Atlantis Team hopes you will enjoy your time and cherish the memories you make here today!”

After that barrage of information, Sephiroth could get a good look at the interior of the place, and there was quite the variety across several floors. There appeared to be pools with diving boards, a lazy river, various slides including some rather extreme ones, a lily pad obstacle course, climbing walls connecting the floors, tiny boats with water guns by a shooting gallery, and much more. The whole place was lavishly decorated to resemble the edifice of some ancient seabed civilization, with glinting tile and myriad shells most everywhere she looked. There were also a number of guests of all shapes and sizes, some of whom were definitely not human, and the swordswoman’s keen eye spotted what appeared to be a security/lifeguard force of armored fish here and there, their equipment not immediately apparent.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Rockin Strings
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Rockin Strings Mechanically intelligent, musically inclined.

Member Seen 3 days ago

Minamoto Yoshitsune
Level 2 [13/20]
Sandswept Sky-Sweet Canyon-Hollow Heights
@Lugubrious@Dr Lovecraft@Dawnrider@DracoLunaris@Archmage MC@Yankee@TheDemonHound@Dark Cloud

Once outside of the storm, Yoshitsune took his place on the tracks behind the train again. They slowed to a stop, taking a head-count to see who was missing.

“Split up,” Yoshitsune said, jumping up to the back of the train. “Three teams. First team, all fliers, search the bottom of the crevasse. Second team, our fastest runners, to search the edge of the storm for clues that they were thrown out in a different direction. Third team, everyone else, head to the milk palace.”

With his idea put out, he began looking at everyone.

“I suggest Sectonia, Midna, Necronomicon, Poppi, for team 1. For team 2, Red, new boy, Fox, racoon. I would join but wheels are not good in sand and I can help defend the train with Tora, Primrose and the others as team 3.”

Strategically, to him, it seemed like a balanced idea. “Stay in teams and we won’t lose anyone else.” he said, leaping down to the center of the group. “We don’t want to lose them forever. It is the way of the samurai to never leave an ally behind, whether you like them or not.”

Looking around at everyone, he tried to take in how they were feeling as a group. “We will find them,” he said loudly, “for I have faith in our team and everyone in it.”

Moving to Tora, he kneeled beside him. “I know you don’t like being separated from Poppi but this is to find our teammates. She can fly. If you were riding her, she’d be restricted by how she could fly.”
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Zoey Boey
Avatar of Zoey Boey

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

Member Seen 40 min ago

Level 4: 36/40
Location: On Shippy.
Word Count: 720
Points Gained: 1
New EXP Balance--- Level 4: 37/40

He wasn't here. Sakura put a hand up to her head. (He's dead. He's dead! Oh, God!)

"Shippy, I'm sorry!" Sakura said aloud, but she doubted the ship could hear her. Tears were streaming down her face but she tried to wipe them away so she could focus. There were too many dead people. It wasn't fair.

Sakura began to fire Hadokens over the side of the ship, blasting any remaining Abyssals away from them so they could escape. She also helped push Shippy in the water. Thus she didn't see what exactly happened with the Harbor Demon, but she could gather from the Midway Princesses mournful screams. Guilt yanked Sakura's heartstrings. If only she had gone to help...could the Harbor Demon have been saved? Like Bella?

(Probably. Almost certainly.) Sakura thought bitterly. She climbed ontop of the ship with the others and soon, they were away.

"Geralt-san! You're okay!" The tearful street fighter hugged the Witcher. Soon, they were clear of the fighting. There was another brief scuffle, but it wasn't much. Their part in the battle was over.

A few minutes later, Sakura was sitting on the deck of Shippy. She had her knees clutched against her chest and she was crying, trying to come to terms with what she had just experienced. That tightness in her gut hadn't left her, but her hands had stopped shaking.

"Rika...I'm so sorry. That must have been awful for you." She said to the ex-Abyssal who had descended down with Bowser to help.

"That was all so terrible." Sakura mourned. She was never one to keep her feelings hidden. "This must be the kind of thing that gives people nightmares. Just... death and near-death experiences. Losing friends and loved ones. Lives torn apart on both sides. And why wouldn't it? All the killing and bloodshed and no way to stop it." She grimaced and covered her eyes with the palm of her gloved hand.

"Killing for peace seems so ironic. A real...bitter pill to swallow. I don't think I ever will. I don't think I want too. Even the Harbor Demon had family. I just wish we could have saved her, too." She put her forehead against her knees and thought about all the people that were lost.

"And now...Mr. Brineybeard. Does Shippy know? Can someone tell her? Someone that knows her a little better than I do?" She inhaled a shakey breath. "There's too much loss to even fathom. I knew it would be bad, but now I've experienced it. It's different."

She wiped her eyes. "I hope you guys don't mind if I try coming up with some wisdom. It's not good to keep feelings bottled up inside. Some people I know do it a lot, and it hurts them. Have you guys ever heard the phrase, 'no pain, no gain?'" She asked. Everything, it seemed, came back to her favorite hobby.

"Well, it's a phrase for excercise. Basically, if your muscles aren't hurting, then you won't get stronger. No pain, no gain. I think the same thing applies to the heart, too." She put a hand on her chest. "If you stop trying because you're afraid of getting hurt, you'll never get stronger." She didn't bother to wipe away her tears. "Without sadness, there is no joy. If you stop trying to feel sadness, eventually you won't be able to feel joy, either." She shrugged, sniffing.

Sakura closed her eyes and leaned back against the railing, exhaling. Finally, she wiped away her eyes so she could see better. Sakura felt better, too. Now that she had voiced herself and her emotions, she could concentrate on the task ahead. Healing was important, physical or mental. Perhaps the spiritual side of the martial arts she had practiced her entire life had prepared her for this kind of thing better than she expected. The tightness in her stomach was gone. Thankfully, she didn't feel empty. She just felt tired, sad. There was relief, too. In the end, they had won. They had made progress in saving the world. She raised her eyes and took in the strange, alien scenery. Purples and blues, lush foliage. The animals here could ignore the sound of distant warfare.

She smiled, a small, genuine little qurk of her lips. "It's beautiful here."
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Potemking
Avatar of Potemking


Member Seen 2 hrs ago

LOCATION: Edge Of The Blue - Luma Pools
MENTIONS: Everyone aboard Shippy, probably!

Elliot became momentarily wary of the fact that Lanky was descending towards him, taking a few precautionary steps back (While thankfully avoiding banana peels this time) and keeping a hand at his hip, uncertain if he'd need to quickdraw on the orange fella. Not that he wanted to shoot the monkey, but there was no clear indication of his intentions, or if he truly understood. He proved to lack style or grace, as he took a long time making his way down, though he couldn't blame the orange lad as he was pretty high up there. As the kong landed however, Elliot found himself pleasantly surprised-- Or perhaps the correct description was stunned, as the orangutan shared his bundle of bananas. The ape's strange smile being met with the man blinking, barely managing words. "Uh, wow-- Thank you." His tone marked his mixture of confusion and genuine thankfulness, his head slowly turning to watch Lanky lounge in the sun and continue his snacking.

Well, bananas would perish before too long, so they weren't ideal for keeping around for the egg. So the man figured he could at least eat a few! He followed the kong's example and sat down, sitting in a similarly cross-legged manner that the monkey did, so he could tuck the egg safely in the little nest his legs made. He unpeeled a banana, starting to snack with his now orange kindred, a small pang of guilt in his chest from the experience but at least they could enjoy a meal together. 'You really never know what you're going to see around here, are you?' He thinks to himself, smiling softly until he opened that big mouth usually meant for sass to instead finish off his first banana. Overall, things were working out pretty well! His vacation was enjoyable, he'd found some interesting loot, and there was a boat coming downriver--

Wait, what?

Elliot perked up, using the classic tactic of squinting your eyes to apparently try and see farther. A boat! Why was a boat coming through here? Were they friendly? They were coming from the direction of those sounds from before, had they made them? Or... Ended them? His gaze shot between the boat that he was now realizing had a face, and the other boat he was already familiar with that was swimming with it's innertube child. Two living boat-things in one day. That had to be good luck, right? Putting the dots together from the fact the boat momma had been pissed just by him sitting at the edge of the water, he couldn't imagine how mad it'd get if it saw a boat-- A living one at that-- getting too close. And then there was those outcroppings shooting out that extremely hot water. For all he knew, these folks already knew about all of this. But just in case, he figured he could perhaps stop a bad situation from starting if he warned them anyways.

Hopping up to his feet, egg in one arm, the man waved at his new funny-faced friend with his free hand. "Take it easy, buddy!" He said with enthusiasm, unsure if he'd be there when he got back. The man ran off, heading up the side of the river at a fast pace to try and get the attention of these boat-folks before they ended up hurt. As he got closer, the boat being alive was much more clear and in general the vessel wasn't the largest, but it was honestly kind of terrifying. He was almost wanting to go warn the other living ship-thing instead, but he could see as he got closer that there were some individuals aboard, not picking out anyone in particular as he began hopping up and down, waving his free hand and attempting to call out to the crew.

"Hello?!" He shouted towards the group, muttering a "Please don't eat me." as he took notice of the ship having huge human teeth. Oh, god. He suddenly felt like he was either doing a good deed with this warning, or doing them a service by being a snack for that crazy thing. "There's a pre-- Predicca-- Prebdictoment... A problem, up ahead!" He warned after a moment of struggle, hopefully having their attention before explaining: "There's this, boat thing? That's alive, and has a kid up at the lake. And it becomes very angry very easily!" He actually had to stop hopping and start following the boat along, trying to finish his warning. "Also there's these, uh, outcroppings in the lake that shoot really really hot water! If you just keep an eye out for the crystals in the water you can probably avoid those, though!"

Hopefully for their sake, or perhaps for the sake of the mother and child at the lake, they'd heed his words and be cautious. He was just trying to help, though knew a few people in his life that had an absolute disregard for warnings. A certain high-speed daredevil came to mind...
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by ZAVAZggg
Avatar of ZAVAZggg

ZAVAZggg Sok Il-Seong

Member Seen 10 hrs ago

Level: 3 (10/30)
Word Count: 486
Location: Edge of the Blue - Atlantis Temple
EXP: +1

Not wanting to bother with any more combat for the day, the former SOLDIER took the card from the talking snail with a deadpan stare. Glancing down at the presently blank slip, she decided to give some of these rides and minigames the snail had mentioned a try, although Sephiroth herself couldn't say why exactly, as it was never her really her thing back on Gaia. Hell, even before the revelation that she was the chosen one destined to rid the planet of the blight that was humanity just as the Cetra of old had wanted, she hadn't ever been one to waste time playing games. So maybe this sudden shift in attitude towards them was a result of one of the other personalities she'd absorbed. In any case it didn't really bother her, as she didn't have much else to do at the moment, well aside from getting a fresh change of clothes and maybe a shower that is. So, leaving the annoyingly chipper receptionist behind, she made her way to the temple's boutique to look for this swimsuit he'd mentioned. Finding it within a matter of seconds she stepped inside and got the suit, before making her way to a secluded locker room in which she could put it on, dispelling her Masamune in the process so it couldn't get in the way. It was a simple thing, a cherry one-piece with yellow stripes, but not much else besides that. There was still one major obstacle left however, that being her damaged rigging, which was much harder to work the clothes she was wearing around. A few minutes of struggle later, however, and her coat and undergarments had finally come free when she realized the damn thing strapped to her back could actually detach.

Once it had been discarded, changing out of her current attire had been a trivial affair. At least it was, until she remembered she was presently coated in layers of dried mud, swamp water, and monster viscera. Letting out a frustrated sigh, Sephiroth made her way over to the showers, which were a tad larger than she originally thought, although definitely not as large as the facilities she had access to back at Shinra. Shitty as they were, they knew which of their assets were best, and so worked to keep them in their good graces. That meant having free use of the best facilities the company had to offer, and while these weren't nearly as good, they would most certainly do. Following a solid five minutes worth of vigorous scrubbing, lathering, and rinsing, Sephiroth was finally grime free. Toweling herself off as she stepped out of the room, she slipped back into her suit before hooking her rigging back on. From there she moved back into the main hall, making sure to take her stamp card with her, as she planned on visiting the boat based shooting gallery first.
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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Gentlemanvaultboy
Hyrule Warriors

Word Count: 4,171

Level 4 - (37/40) + 3

Level 9 - (8/90) + 3


Location: The Edge of Blue ~ Luma Pools

"There! That's the way!" Link called up, patting the side of the ship like it was his favorite horse as she took the potion and gulped it down. Link glanced back to see the effects, a load of Shippy springing back into existence all at once. At the rear He saw two shipgirls put their back against her and start to push her back on course, it only taking him a moment to recognize The Princess and Ms. Fortune despite their new powers. They had the back covered, so Link flexed his good hand and swam forward to grab onto the ship's prow and put whatever was propelling him through the surf into full gear. "Just a little further. Look, you can see it right? Little river, right there. That's safety. We're going to be fine. You're going to be fine."

He could just barely with his face up out of the waves, make out the river that they had been fighting all day to reach. If he could see that so could she. What he couldn't see was very many Abyssal's left. The battle lines must have been pushed far enough forward to leave only the stragglers for them to deal with, and in the face of those stragglers he laid his free arm across the front of the ship and fired without mercy at any that were foolish enough to attack from the front. He heard most of the conversation behind him not that the sound of battle was growing distant, Bowser crashing down, the Cadet leaping at the chance to avenge them on the monster that had fired at their ship, Ms. Fortune zooming off after him. He wished he could go with them, but someone had to stay and protect the ship. Besides, looking like he did, that was asking for friendly fire.

Eventually they didn't need to guide her anymore. The enemy fell away behind them, the Healing of Blazermate's beams finally fully outstripped the damage she was taking, and Link was able to let go. He didn't move from his spot though, keeping one eye underwater just in case more came from underwater. The last of the resistance they faced was practically a joke, a handful of Abyssals and fish monsters the Navy had hardly even taken notice of. He opened fire along with everyone else, but this battle had at least one casualty. One of his armored fists, armor worn down under the constant assault of the sea monsters and gun barrels beginning to warp from fire, exploded off his arm in a cloud of blue shards. He winced, his broken fingers exposed and no longer set by the patting within the glove, but the battle was over soon after. As Shippy passed the mouth of the river and started sailing up it and Link gave her one last thumbs up before diving down and making sure to collect the remains.

Afterward he jumped up out of the water like a dolphin, caching the railing of the chip with his good hand and gingerly cradling the spirits he'd collected in the crook of his arm. He let them spill across the deck as he pulled himself up, put his feet on the deck, and was instantly hit with the worst vertigo he had ever experienced in his life. He flopped back downward, hitting the deck like a sack of potatoes and ending up back flat against the railing as he surveyed the damage. To his great relief most of them seemed to be around. The Witcher, the fighting girl, Glenn, Blazermate. Cadet would probably be back any time now. Still, it wasn't all of them. Just one look at the Princess was enough to tell him what had happened to Chou, but that didn't sting nearly as hard as the absence of their Captain. He had feared it from the moment he had seen the chunk of Shippy that had evaporated, and had been trying to ignore it to focus on getting the rest of them out, but Sakura's grief confirmed it for him.

It was like being stabbed, a twisted and wretched feeling that started in his gut and spiraled out across his entire body. It flowed easily, as though running along cracks that had already been etched into his soul. Cracks etched by trauma so heartfelt that even if the vent had been largely forgotten the damage remained. In that moment he felt like everything that they had fought for today had been for nothing as he was lost in the infinitely large gulf separating "most" from "all." He heard Sakura try and pull some good out of it, some wisdom she could use to better herself, but it did nothing to abate the feeling of profound loss.

Then, like his mind tossing him a life preserver, he remembered meowing.

As he sat there, head down, the dark thoughts that had begun clouding his mind suddenly fell away. "He might not be dead." He said suddenly, lifting his head. His face shone with desperate hope. "This isn't going to make much sense, but does anybody remember hearing cats? Seeing cats?"

He tried to stand again, didn't manage it, and toppled forward onto his hands and knees. "I was killed by a dragon yesterday, and I woke up in a cart in Lumbridge. Me, the Euden Kid, and a machine. Hauled there from a floating island. By cats!"

Of course even if he was alive thanks to a recurrence of cat miracles that still left the problem of Shippy. No one really knew her. There didn't seem to be hardly anyone to know until...Hylia, it was hard to tell time when you were fighting like that...around an hour ago?

This thought was interrupted when he heard a voice calling from the shore. He couldn't see the guy from where he was, but apparently there was some kind of...another living boat thing up ahead? Some kind of new Abyssal. He flopped backwards, pulled himself up on the railing, and used that as a way to make his way to the front of the ship. "Shippy." He called out over the raining as he reached it, looking down at the figurehead. "Can you stop for a while? Take a breather until we're sure what's ahead. You've earned it."


Merge Rate: 30%

Location: The Previous Night - Snowdin

Linkle pondered the motel as they approached it, dragging her sled along behind her. The building was pretty big, too big to be someone's house. So this was like a...

The question was answered when they walked into the main office. So, a motel was what people from Modern Times called an inn. She took a step back when she saw the two fat monsters behind the desk, looking almost as startled for a moment at their appearance as they did at hers, but relaxed as soon as the two started talking. Even if these two were monsters by the sound of it they wouldn't be very dangerous ones, but they were very good at making her feel self conscious.

Albedo tried smoothing things over. She smiled awkwardly when he said so, maybe a little too wide. "I could probably find a place to lie down outside." She said. "I'm used to it. I don't think I'd freeze or anything."

That matter was settled soon enough, with the two getting over their bad feelings and sliding a pair of cards over to them. As he added the cost of her stay to his own tab Linkle became acutely aware that she was racking up another debt, but didn't say anything except a good night to the pair of them as she followed Albedo out the door. They crunched snow as they past by the rows of darkened windows and doorways, past of pair of glowing boxy machines that gave off a light hum, and finally to a pair of doors.

Albedo inclined his head to her, and offered her sweet dreams. "Hopefully. Nighty night." She said, then he entered his room and Linkle was left alone in front of her own door. She slid her card inside the slot above the handle just like she had seen him do, heard a high pitched beep, and pushed the door open. The room in front of her was dark, a shaft of light from the open door only showing the corner of what looked like a bed. Making sure to kick the snow off her boots on the doorframe she made her way inside. There had to be a light in here somewhere, right? Some kind of button or switch she could push? She started running her hand up and down along the inside wall as she moved forward. She found a square that was fastened securely to the wall, nothing happening when she tried twisting it. She banged her ankle on what felt like a small table and found a little box that displayed some glowing numbers. She pawed at that a little, pressing all the buttons she could feel, but only succeeded in triggering some kind of screeching alarm that was torture on her ears! She fumbled with it, clumsily trying to press all the buttons she had before, and thankfully the hateful thing stopped wailing long enough for her to put it down. She looked toward the door, expecting something to happen, but nothing appeared. She kept moving, crawling over what was definitely a bed and bumping her head on...something? A bell? She crawled under it, using what felt like the headboard for guidance, until she felt something on the wall. Switches! She turned one, and suddenly the room was flooded with light from the bell things she had felt earlier.

Linkle collapsed back onto the bed. "Da da da daaaaaaaa!" she sang, almost sighing the last of the jingle out before sitting up again and pointing an triumphant finger at the room in general. "I solved your light puzzle."

It was the first real view of the room she had gotten. Just looking at it felt strange. It was like the complete opposite of Mr. Kashiwagi's place. Survive had been a pub, but at the same time it had felt like someone was living there. Here? Even though it was a bedroom, even though you were clearly meant to live here, it didn't feel like anyone was supposed to be living here. Even the inn's back in Hyrule, she had heard, had a certain homeliness to them. It had a black screen sticking off the wall, a little cooler box like Kashiwagi's tucked away into the corner, a painting of what looked like the Dead Zone when it was still alive, but no spirit at all.

At least the bed was comfortable, she thought as she sat up on the edge of it and bounced up and down on it a few times. Springy. She bounced a few more times, a little harder. Very springy. She tore off her boots, leaving them and her bows in a crumpled heap by the side of the bed, and stood up. She felt herself sink in, then with a delighted giggle she began to jump. Very, very springy she decided as she bounced up and down on the bed. Springier than any bed she had ever laid in. She reached up and easily brushed the ceiling with her hand, then spotted the other bed in the room and did what anyone with even a semi-functional inner child is tempted to do when they're staying in a hotel room. She leaped, flipped over once, and belly flopped onto the other bed. She bounced one more time before settling. She hadn't realized how much she had missed having a bed. What she had told Albedo earlier wasn't exactly true. It wasn't just that she hadn't slept in a bed since she had gotten free, she hadn't slept in a bed since she had left home. From the moment she had set out it had been goodbye blankets and big feather pillows for her. She rolled over, laughing like she was a decade younger.

She saw that the door was still open.

She should probably close that before anyone saw her acting stupid.

Jumping up she went out, gathered her things from the sled, and parked it next to the door. As reliable as she knew it was nobody was going to be stealing something that was made of sticks and looked like it was held together by hope. Door shut and locked, loot crate and spirits safely inside and thrown onto the bed, Linkle pondered what to do next. The problem was that, despite the events of the day, she still wasn't particularly drowsy and just being alone in a room brought that into sharp relief. Idly she picked up one of the black things covered in buttons off the little side table and started fiddling with that. The television suddenly switched on, but unfortunately it was a rerun. She shut it off and didn't touch the remote again.

There was a door she hadn't explored near the back of the room. She walked over and opened that one. Still dark, but the light from the room helped her find the switches for this one quickly. There was a hum as the room's single light flared to life.

The bathroom reminded her of the one in Peach's castle. Even though peaches was definitely nicer her heart still did a triple backflip when she saw there was a shower in this room. As she stepped inside toward it she caught her reflection in the mirror and instantly turned away. Then, after a pregnant moment, she sighed and turned back. She walked over to the sink and leaned over it to give herself a good examination. She didn't look any better than she had in the ice, and whenever she leaned in too close the light of her eyes reflected back and made it so she couldn't see anything. She would have to keep in mind that, for now, she looked really creepy and try to find a way to mitigate her more monstrous look. She didn't want to give people like Clark a fright, after all. That's not what heroing was about!

She pulled down her hood, letting her rabbit ears pop on up like two cheery dandelions. She flopped them from side to side. Well, that would be a start. No one looked threatening with rabbit ears on. Her hair was also in kind of rough shape. It was tangled, dirty, and still had bits of gunk in it from the monsters that had shown up when they'd first gone to the dead zone. It needed a good scrubbing or else she was going to have to cut it off. She couldn't do that. It wasn't just her hair anymore, it was Blue's too.

It was simple to figure out the controls for the shower, and only a little harder to figure out how to get out of her suit. She had never had a reason to take the thing off before, but after some pawing she found the zipper. She hadn't realized how damp most of her now outer clothes were before she started taking them off, so those she laid on the thing along the wall that was radiating heat to dry off before she stepped into the warm stream of water and let all the tensions of the day just wash away.

After giving herself and her hair a thorough scrub, scrub, scrub to make doubly sure there was no blood, bone dust, or residual green gunk anywhere on her body she set the plug, let the tub fill up, and just soaked in the warmth until she was nice, pruney, and tired. The water had sucked all that excess energy she had built up right out of her. She walked out of the bathroom ready for bed, but frowned when she saw she still had a little business to attend to.

The spirits of the wolves still floated in the bottle on the bed nearest the door. She looked down at the pile of clothes she wasn't wearing to sleep in her arms, the pouches sitting prominently on the top, and crossed the room to set them down beside the bottle. She snapped the pouches open and pulled out the spirits she had collected today. She had to use these before they faded away. She dug into the pouches, pulling out the spirits from the now muddy dust they laid in. One by one she took all the spirits in her possession and crushed each between her fingers.

Linkle examined every item before putting it down on the bed. The berries were prickly to the point where she didn't think you could just eat them. The pretty gemstone, that could be the solution to her financial woes, she laid down carefully beside them. One of the wolves spirits, oddly enough, a small pair of dried leaves with a bloodstain running across them. She turned those over, struggling to find some meaning in it. Before today she might have dismissed it as just trash, but Albedo's talk about the "pool" dissuaded her. If he was right than everything you got from a spirit was a prize. It had value. Maybe it was some kind of medicinal herb or a charm?

The gun was a far more substantial prize. It was a crude thing, not at all like Michael's clean and deadly weapon, looking as though it had been scrounged together from parts of different guns and, much like her sled, held together by hope. On instinct, the guidance of the spirit stirring inside her head, she turned it over and checked the magazine. Counting her shots. She could also tell there was something more to it, like the bounce effect she had gotten on the rabbit gun, but couldn't quite tell what it was. She flipped it back over and braced it against her shoulder, aiming at the TV to let the thing know she meant business just it case it got any funny ideas in the middle of the night. One thing she was sure of, carrying this thing around wasn't going to make her look any less threatening.

As though to mitigate that the last spirit gave her a frankly adorable hat. With its rounded, stuffed up ears and button eyes it was even able to make a wolf cute. She pulled it only her head, where it fit snugly. This would be pretty warm. So, not exactly for her right now. She pulled it off, setting it beside its more realistic cousin. It would look great on one of the little kids though, Junior or Hatty...

A bead of loneliness coalesced in her heart at that thought. She sat down on the bed, busied herself with gathering the dust that spilled out of her pouches into her spirit bottle, but the activity wasn't enough to shake off the feeling. She hadn't known them for very long at all, any of them. She had know people in her village for far longer than she had the eclectic collection of personalities that made up Bowser's army, but she had nevertheless hardly spared the other villagers a thought. She worried about them in the general sense, but being away from them didn't hurt like this.

Up to this point she had been fairly rare breed in the word of light. She had been largely free of connections. She didn't have anyone she desperately needed to see. Tora had his friend Rex, Bowser had been missing his son and dad, it had nearly killed Mina to have to fight Junpei, and even Din had been holding out for her hero. Those were just off the top of her head, too. Who else was motivated to travel in this world mostly to recover the people dear to them? She could only imagine it was most of them.

She had never looked out into this world with the sort of pain Albedo had shown when he thought of Sucrose. Not until now at least. Just being alone here also brought that into sharp relief.

With that thought fresh in her mind and crawled into the bed farthest from the door, pulling the covers snug to her body and burying her head in the pillow. Thankfully the sleep she drifted of into was the dreamless rest of the dead.

"Morning!" Linkle replied cheerfully to Albedo as she stepped into the office. Her hood was down, her ears bouncing as she walked, and behind her her hair swung pendulously from side to side in a single long braid like the two she had in front of her natural ears. It had taken some time and a couple of restarts, but the result wouldn't get quite so dirty quite so easily and she would be able to keep her hood down without the stuff flying everywhere.

She was about to give him something, but he immediately launched into an explanation about coffee. "Ha ha! I finally know something that you do." She said playfully as he finished. "They have this stuff in Castle Town cafes. At least, that's what I've heard." She had never actually tried the stuff before, but she was always open to trying new things. She waited behind the motel manager, arms behind her back, as the new batch was brewed.

As she collected the liquid in a little ceramic cup and gave it curious sniff the boy asked if she had slept well. "A lot better than I have in a while." She replied, taking a sip. It was really warm, which she was finding more and more to be an important factor of the things she liked, but despite that her face scrunched up. That was the most bitter thing she had ever tasted. She immediately set to work with the sugar and cream, pouring them both in to see if that helped. "At least until the screaming box woke me up. That scared me half to...well, more like almost fully to death I guess." She took another sip. Oh, that was much better! So much so she pocketed a few of the sugar packets in case she had to sweeten up something else. "How about you?"

Downing the rest of her the coffee, she laid her mug down and made her way over to the couch and sat down next to the the dog. After fiddling with her pouches for a moment she pulled out the bottle of dust and handed it across the dog to him. "Here you go. It's what I managed to get yesterday. And speaking of yesterday."

She held up the other thing she had gotten out, the faintly glowing blue gemstone. "Pretty, isn't it? Do you think this is enough to get you a new coat? If we wind up having to go far out again I don't want you ending up shivering like that, it scared me. Soooo, first things first I thought we'd head to the shop and see what they have. Don't worry, I already found a good hat."

"Then," She said, leaning back and rubbing her hand along to puppy's back while thinking. "Grilby's, for a couple of reasons. First, I want to see if my mysterious man in black has shown up yet. And, when our wildman friend showed up yesterday, nobody seemed surprised when he landed on the roof. How often does he show up in town?"
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by DracoLunaris
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DracoLunaris Multiverse tourist

Member Seen 4 hrs ago

The Koopa Troop

wordcount: 1,535 (+3)
Bowser: Level 9 EXP: ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (48/90)
Bowser Jr: Level 7 EXP: /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (40/70)
Kamek: Level 7 EXP: /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (38/70)
Location: Edge of the Blue – Seaward Bay

Twin flashes of light lit up the bay for a final time as Rika and Bowser transformed and both, functionally, became a massive pile of guns. Rika gained a set of robot arms with mounted turrets on the joints and axe blades at the ends. It also mucked around with her outfit some more, and, somewhat important, completely de-abysallised one of the arms, converting her rapid fire gun gauntlet into one armed with an an assault rifle styled after the Brachydios’ head and, as a result, lacking the horrible human teeth the other one still had.

She pulled back her arm, cocking the new assault rifle and primed the new cannons before turning to face the harbor Demon.

Right in time for the giant monster to be cleaved in half by Ace Cadet, leaving her in the lurch. What was she supposed to do with her anger now?

”Oh hey, they got her. NICE JOB TROOPS!” Bowser yelled encouragingly over at them, right before Carrie’s timer ran down and he got dumped down onto the water, down from which some nondescript exclamations of how cool water walking was came.

”Oh thank the stars that’s over Kamek added had slumped down to rest. The last of his energy expended and went along with his various shadow clones and minions, who all fell to help ensure the final blow could be struck. Unfortunately the troop had forgotten about the Midway princess after her bomber swarm had been handled, but now she returned with vengeful fury.

It was very much time to leave.

There was the slight issue that Shippy was currently a. Distraught and b. was currently lacking any way of moving herself, due to her stern having been vaporized, so even if she had had the willpower to move they weren't going anywhere, necessitating the indigent task of getting out and pushing.

Peach requested as much from Bowser and Rika.

”Sure,” Bowser replied with a distinct lack of the usual grumpiness he exhibited when asked to do things, scooting around to the back of the craft on his new slim boots. ”Here, let me” he offered before pressing a shoulder, and two unfurled turrets, to the back of the ship and beginning to push her forwards with all his might.

“Here to help” Rika echoed, before doing much the same on the other side of peach, one gauntlet and the flats of her new hull-blades being used to shove them forwards. Together with Sakura and the princess they all pushed the living boat towards the inlet that had been their goal this entire time, something that had been hard to remember in all the chaos. The only real disturbance during the trip there was when Bowser’s mini turrets went off for the first time, the quadrants of micro turrets automatically aiming and lighting up in-order pepper a few abyssal fighters that had gotten close with their miniature shells, which spooked the living daylights out of him and Rika before they realized what was happening.

The inlet itself was guarded by a few meager defenses that paled in comparison to what they’d had to deal with to get there, though Kamek noted that the fact that they, again, had some distinctly non-abyssal allies as a mild cause for concern. Especially the fact that the kappa creatures could probably follow them onto land if they went there. Not that these specific baddies were much of an issue. While the mage was out of it and a lot of the team were on pushing duty the Atomos had fared far better than Shippy after it had charged the big bird, and so swooped down and ahead to spare the vessel any more pain while its remaining passengers pelted them with firepower.

With that final obstacle cleared, and with Shippy’s motor back up and running thanks to the infinitely useful Blazermate they were finally free of the warzone, though the sound of it still haunted them from afar for some time as they sailed up into a comparative paradise.

The Atomos flew low and next to the now much smaller Shippy, letting people get onboard to find somewhere to rest where they wouldn’t overburden her. While Bowser and Kamek went back aboard to reunite with Junior, Rika ended up staying on Shippy with Sakura. The woman said the battle must have been awful for Rika, but the former Abyssal felt it had hit her friend harder than her as she sat down next to her, decoupling her gauntlets and laid them to one side while the new Azure Navy parts neatly folded out of the way so she could be close without being a nuisance.

“I’ve been in those battles before. Its all I knew till I met you... but it hits different now that I know-” her voice hitched for a moment and then she forced herself to continue “-that I know that no one’s coming back from that”

Not the Azure girls she’d killed before she knew what it meant, nor the ones who’d died minutes ago and especially not the one that was now a part of her. Not the Abyssals that could have been like her or Bella.

Not Brinybeard. She’d only kind of known him for a few hours, and yet it still hurt. She’d never lost anything before.

“But I’ve been asking myself if he’d still been alive if I hadn’t held back. If I’d been willing to hurt the ones who were developed enough that they could be like me, maybe he. Maybe.” she couldn't finish the sentence, too emotionally drained by the entire ordeal to really try and process complicated topics like that.

So instead she leaned lightly against Sakura to just kind of be there for/with her. It was the best she could think of. No one had ever taught her how to comfort people, let alone work on her own issues. As a result Sakura working though her own trauma out loud helped. A lot.

As did the view. Maybe she’d seen it before she’d been her, everything from back then was getting hazy as she became more and more her own woman, but even if she had this was the first time she really saw the alien woods for what they were.

The serene quiet beauty of it all could almost let a person forget about what they had just been through, pretend it had all been a nightmare, if only for a little while. So Rika did just that. No thoughts. No words. Just… taking it all in for real this time. She missed the talk of cats as a result.

Her zoned out trance was rudely interrupted by someone yelling helpful if vague warnings at the group. The horned ship girl poked her head over the railing to see what all the fuss was about and found a bearded man clad in bright yellow shouting warnings about... Another living boat? With a kid. Also hot water crystals. She didn't get it.

”UUURG. WHAT’S ALL THE YELLING ABOUT?” came a groggy roaring complaint from the Atomos. The shoving of the ship had taken a bit more out of the king than he had expected due to his modifications and, as he had experienced a grand total of 0 trauma from the whole ordeal, had seemingly decided to take a nap from which he had just been woken.

There was a pause during which someone filled the King was filled in on what had been yelled

”JOY” was his response to the descriptions of the threats up ahead. After a few moments the king appeared on the back of the ship and called out ”Ok. You. wait there,” he told the figure before more generally telling everyone that ”We are going to stop and get some actual rest before we deal with anymore… anything. Ok?” and finally telling Jr ”Set us down son, and then take a load off you’ve done more than enough”

There was some weak instance that he could keep going, but ultimately Jr had been at the wheel while they all recovered and he (along with Shippy, Rika guiltily realized as Link had the same idea as the King) needed some time to recover as well.

After a few moments the airship hoovered over to the bank of the river, found a flat stable looking spot and set down among the pink grass, giving its pilot a chance to take a nap and its passengers a chance to either get a brief bit of shore leave or to greet/interrogate the man in yellow.

Bowser stomped off the ship, an odd sight for sure to the human. The now thinner and lankier turtle dragon, who was wearing clothes again consisting of knee high black boots, a long army jacket and gloves (a getup which had a distinct lack of trousers/pants), stepped out of the ship’s hold and went to see if the stranger in yellow had followed his instruction or if he had run off.

”Hey. King Bowser. Who are you, and what's this about a living ship?” he asked as he approached casually, the king assuming, perhaps foolishly, that the things being in a lake, something they were not in yet, meant whatever it was would politely stay where it was and thus this whole situation was not urgent.

wordcount: 535 (+1)
Midna: level 4 EXP: //////////////////////////////////////// (30/40)
Location: Sandswept Sky - Sweet Canyon - Parnasse

Midna had thought the Flygon’s storm had been bad, but this? This was on a whole other level. From the safety of her shadowy hiding spot Midna was forced to watch in horror as the others where relentlessly buffeted by the storm that she’d underestimate as it tried to rip them out of the train and hurl them into the pit, unable to step out and help because if she did she’d appear in mid air, and her small and light form would be easily tossed to the winds.

She really wished she could control sand and not just her own realm’s right now but she convinced herself that they’d be fine. She never saw anyone in trouble, though it was impossible to see much of anything, and so sat tight rather than put herself, and potentially the others if they were forced to try and save her, at risk.

Eventually, after what seemed like an age, it was over. The train escaped the storm and eventually came to a stop, at which point the princess sheepishly rejoined the team, visibly unmarred by the sand. She felt guilty enough about that, but when it turned out that four of them had been lost (and wasn’t humorously tragic that it might be the wind of all things that had dealt their party it’s first blow) the survivor's guilt really hit home.

Tora suggested several ways that they might have survived, which all had varying degrees of wishful thinking. If they were alive, there was the question of whether they had the time to spare. Their quest itself wasn’t time sensitive, as far as they knew, but their time out here, under the relentless sun, certainly was.

For their resident samurai, there was no question. He quickly laid out a plan to search for them, though she had to note that he was in the group that wouldn't be trekking through the desert and risking the sand storms again.

Minda shook her head and mentally dumped that line of thought. Now was not the time for petty things like that. It was time for action. His reason as to why he wasn’t suited to do the exploring did make sense and she owed those lost to the storm the help she hadn't been able to give during it. Indeed, to an extent she owed the Heavy and the Medic her life. She wasn't leaving them behind.

”I’ll do it,” she said, not so subtly making Minamoto’s plan one based on volunteering rather than something he was implicitly ordering them to do by her choice of words ”but we need to make sure that anyone who goes out won't just become another victim to the storm or the desert. So if you're not 100% sure that you’ll be safe out there, you shouldn't be going”

”If we’re going to stay out here for a while looking, we’ll need supplies. Do we have anything left food and water wise?” she asked the Thieves ”and how possible would it be to get some from the city and bring then back here? Time frame and cost wise?” she asked Gnorbu who was the only one who knew anything about the city in question
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Potemking
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Member Seen 2 hrs ago

LOCATION: Edge Of The Blue - Luma Pools
MENTIONS: Bowser(& Rika, extremely briefly) @DracoLunaris

Elliot blinked in response to a girl peeking over the railing at him, and probably would have said more to try and make the situation more clear, but it couldn't be that easy. He swore his heart stopped momentarily as he heard a loud complaint from... Above? His gaze went higher, realizing there wasn't one ship here, but two! And this second one was in the air! If he wasn't frozen in fear from the loud grumbling complaint he just heard, he might've gushed about the flying ship and how it'd feel to sail in the sky! But, no. Now wasn't the time for something like that.

He spotted someone on the ship, not getting a great sight of the guy as he was all the way up there, while Elliot was on the ground. He was told to wait, and would. If that was because he was being polite or because he was still scared wasn't for anyone but him to truly know. "S-Sure!" He replied back, his feet were practically rooted anyways, so he might as well just wait for the guy.

'Wow, look at it go!' He thought to himself, a small smile managing to creep onto his face momentarily as he saw the ship begin to maneuver in the air. This smile quickly faded as he realized that they weren't just flying around, they were landing. And they were landing very very close to his location. This was mildly concerning to say the least, and the man wasn't exactly sure if staying put like he was told was as good of an idea anymore. He held the egg close, trying to dispel some discomfort as he hoped this was a friendly encounter.

He finally got a better view at the man that spoke a few moments ago, as he stomped off the flying ship. He looked like some sort of admiral, or other person of authority with his getup. Too bad he forgot the pants, though. Really jarring with clothes everywhere else, but considering he was some sort of strange... Turtle-lizard? The man in yellow wasn't about to make remarks. He was the odd one out here, and didn't come to purposefully or accidentally start picking fights. His body became a bit less tense as the clothed turtle-guy spoke.

His tone was casual, as was his approach after stomping off the boat. This would have kept the man calm, had it not been for the title in front of Bowser's name. 'A KING? What the hell did I just walk into?' He thought, before attempting to explain the situation in a less alerting manner.

"Mirage." He introduces himself quickly, putting on the game name. Much easier to ham it up under that persona, if necessary. He took a deep breath, preparing himself to give a calm but slightly long-winded explanation. "Well, it's not a full-fledged boat like that one," He gestures towards Shippy, wincing again at those teeth and noticing it seemed to be slowing down? "I think it's just an animal? It was eating fish, and feeding what I guess was it's kid. I was just glancing at it from the shore, and it gave me a pretty nasty look. Just wasn't sure if it'd get protective if it saw your ships getting too close and thought I'd say something to keep people out of harm's way." Mirage figured neither party had to get hurt in this situation, though he had no idea what sort of intentions these folks had. "-- Also saw a big gush of scalding water blast out of the lake, so I figured your folks on the water might want to avoid getting that splashed all over them. Just, uh, wanted to give some caution to fellow travelers!"

Fellow travelers? Well, he didn't exactly know what they were doing out here. Maybe it was a good idea to ask? Or a bad one, didn't you get executed for questioning Kings? Not like he came out with guards, so he seemed like a pretty personal guy. Maybe it'd work out. "Ah, maybe it's bad to assume your reason for being here Bow--" Pausing at his almost slip up, he corrected himself very quickly. "King Bowser! I'm sure you've got good reasons." He couldn't actually bring himself to straight-up ask, which just lead to him awkwardly beating around the bush. He mentally lectured himself, a little embarrassed. 'Great job, Witt. Make yourself look like a moron in front of a King!'
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Dawnrider
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Dawnrider Demigod

Member Seen 3 hrs ago

Level: 7 (17 -> 19/70)
Location: Edge of the Blue - Black Bay -> Luma Pools
Word Count: 1039 (+2 EXP)

Hat: Skull Cap -> Default -> Terry’s Cap -> Default

By a waypoint that only she could see, Hat Kid could confirm to herself that they were just within the final stretch or so of reaching their target destination. All they had to do was make it past the thicker of the Black Fleet. No problem! With Shippy’s suddenly improved condition and slightly improved situation, at which Hat Kid got a better look when Jr. brought the Atomos back around to her and crew, their odds of success began to appear more promising. The expectation of her to thread ballista fire between their allies in Shippy’s defense was unspokenly apparent, and though she wasn’t entirely sure of her ability to manage that, she was keen to give it her best try.

She recalled one of the bonus challenges tacked on to one of Snatcher’s contracts, stipulating that she take out scattered Mafia without harming any one of the frankly ridiculous number of birds that swarmed her along the way. How many times had she failed and died doing that? How many more times during other contracts? When did she ever die at all? Why was she suddenly remembering this as such a bad time?!

Her head began to rapidly fill, or perhaps refill itself with an extensive series of unpleasant, difficult, optional endeavors under her former employer and all the bad experiences that went with them, filling out a leftover blank space in her that she didn’t know had been there since re-awakening from Gleaming. She had to wonder then if these memories were in fact real, or if they were merely discouraging, debilitating falsehoods incubated within her mind while it slept, waiting for some ‘reminder’ to bring them forth? Either way, it made her stop what she was doing to clutch her temple and squeeze her eyes shut as if it physically pained her to remember any of this. Maybe it did. Now made for a poor time to think about it, as she quickly realized when, in the lapse of her attention, she allowed an errant Abyssal to dolphin jump aboard right at her, causing her to reflexively bail out of the gunner’s seat to spare herself its bite. It continued mindlessly flopping and gnashing her way until she batted its jaw aside with her umbrella, jabbed it with the point, and with her Power cap now equipped, blew it away--Spirit and all--with a shotgun blast of heatless fire, injecting her retaliatory attack with an atypical shot of anger and frustration involuntarily voiced with contact.

With her focus pulled back, she took back to the gunner’s (with now a bite taken out of it) and went right back to what she was doing before, painting her excited smile back on as if nothing happened. It quickly fell again with the appearance of the Harbor Demon to make things more difficult for them again, and to remind her just how little she could do here as she was. The child racked her brain for ideas the way she racked rounds through the artillery battery she sat at, mentally probing her skillset, personal arsenal and inventory for anything at all that she could use against it. Fortunately, the Ace Cadet beat her and everyone else to it… after Kamek and Sakura. After the latter two disabled the Demon from afar with their most powerful attacks, the team’s resident giant monster slayer did what she was thus far hesitant/unwilling to do by taking on a Spirit to hit the water and rushing the Demon down to face her head-on, and with her summary demise, Hat Kid was reminded of the reason for being part of a team: so others could could do the harder work for her teamwork!

Though the naval battle still wasn’t over, thankfully their part in it was finished, and with scant resistance left between them and the shore, both crews made their retreat for the inlet where they would find rest and reprieve from war… those who would have it anyway. Some, namely Sakura, took their experiences ashore with them, seemingly unable to let go of her freshly-induced trauma. It turned out a lot had happened on Shippy (and everywhere else) while Hat Kid wasn’t looking, between the death of so many now ‘Spiritized’ Azure ship-girls and the apparent loss of Brineybeard. Yet, even more tragic was just how little this singular war in this one particular region of the world mattered in the grand scheme overall; that it was all just a small part of the ever greater war against the Lord of Light, and that so many who died today may not have even been aware of that.

Of course, she neglected to remind the despondent Street Fight of that, or that she still carried the Spirit of one of the Navy’s dead sisters within her, or of anything else at all. Similarly, she opted out of any attempt at consoling her or anyone else, considering it to be out of her depth. Moreover, she wasn’t exactly at peace herself.

After the Atomos got clear enough of the action for her to comfortably dismount the main ballista, Hat Kid had spent the remainder of their unmolested trip inland gazing blankly, solemnly, forlornly at the celestial tyrant cradled in the sky above the distant center of the world before disembarking to take a short rest that their Highness had so graciously allowed them. She more needed to rest her mind than body, but she wouldn’t waste this chance to do both, sprawling out on her back under the shade of a palm tree with the rim of her top hat to pull over her eyes as a sun blinder. If nothing else, this at least gave her time to sit still long enough to check her Badge for any stray Time Pieces on the island. She was almost hoping she wouldn’t get any hits this time, for she already had make-up work for Inkwell Isle to attend to later. Should she be wrong, happen to find one anywhere nearby, in what proved thus far to be the most difficult place to reach, and end up being unable to retrieve it for some reason, she would rather not have to come back for it later.
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Yankee
Avatar of Yankee

Yankee God of Typos

Member Seen 17 hrs ago

Word Count: 956 (+2 exp)
Level: 7 - Total EXP: 16/70
Location: Edge of the Blue

The monster hunter was honed in on the demon, nearly oblivious to everything around him. Nearly. He recognized that at some point during his dash he'd been joined by a couple of Kamek's kin as they enchanted his weapon, and that there was a very daring Witcher riding a giant bird coming in from the sky to pelt the demon with explosives. The Cadet was grateful to both of them, but none more than Nadia who'd decided to follow him into the thick of it. Although just a piece of him, Jamaica's righteous spirit was driving him to focus only on defeating the enemy at hand, and so combined with his natural affinity for rushing towards the biggest, baddest enemies he could find the Cadet all but ignored any obstacles that weren't abyssals. With Nadia's help his path was more or less clear, and he felt a distinct satisfaction when his blade connected with the Harbor Demon. He fell to the ocean once she started disappearing, flicking the sword once or twice before slipping it back into it's sheathe with a showy click. He felt the urge to declare that the evil had been vanquished or that justice had prevailed, but what he said instead was: "Quest clear."

Of course, there were still plenty of enemies left, so in the grand scheme of things it wasn't quite clear just yet. That being said, there was a sense of accomplishment when the Cadet scooped the demon's spirit up and skated over to Nadia, giving the woman a wide smile before Heinrich sailed towards them. The Cadet shared his smile with her as well before she was interrupted by the other larger abyssal. His hand went again to the hilt of his longsword, but Heinrich waved them off. Ace Cadet looked back towards Shippy to see the team's progress, spotting them nearly at the river's mouth already. He hesitated, battling Jamaica's hunger to deliver more justice in the form of swift defeat to the princess. Ultimately he nodded at Heinrich and followed after Geralt, the man's ride, and Nadia - a few seconds behind them.

When they reunited with rest of the team, the Cadet hung back and skated along the water behind Shippy while the others boarded. The water inland was about a million times more peaceful than that of the sea behind them, so the hunter peered straight down into the river's surface to inspect his new appearance. As far he could tell most of the changes were to his armor itself, meanwhile it seemed he'd gotten a deep tan and a new haircut. Or reverse haircut. He let out a puff of breath, blowing his new bangs out of his face.

The superficial inspection wasn't the only reason he'd decided not to board immediately. There was also the... awkwardness. He could hear Sakura mourning, and the sad sounds Shippy herself was making. Brineybeard... he hadn't seen any sign of the man on his way back from confronting the demon. The Cadet remembered how cool he'd thought it would be to go into battle on a living ship and how he'd helped Peach convince the captain to lend a hand, and now the captain was gone. It was painful. But the Cadet wasn't one to shirk responsibility, so he did end up climbing up Shippy's side and back onto the deck eventually. When he did, he found himself nodding along to Sakura's impromptu speech about no pain, no gain. The girl was surprisingly wise for someone her age. It didn't really feel right to respond to her after that, especially with Rika already there comforting her, so instead the Cadet found his way to the bow where Ms. Fortune was laying.

"Thanks for the assist," he said to her quietly, "are you alright?" She looked as tuckered out as the rest of them, or maybe even more so.

After the brief chat with her, the Cadet took to leaning over the side of the ship and getting a good look at their surroundings. Now that the coast was clear, BB peeked it's head out from the Cadet's bag as well. Then Link brought up the possibility that Brineybeard had been rescued by cats, a thought the Cadet himself had had while they were still at sea.

"The felynes," he replied, as though what Link was saying made complete and total sense to him - because it did. "They carry wounded hunters back from the field before they..." before they die, but to avoid any sort of curse or prophecy the Cadet caught himself before he said the word. "Well, you know. They've got rafts they use for water rescues but I didn't see them this time." This far out at sea, he wasn't sure if they could make it. He wasn't even sure how they found the group in the black dragon's lair or why they were working for free either, but he was immensely glad they were around. If there was anyway that a friend-at-arms could be saved, the felynes would figure out a way to do it. "They're pretty quick though, so it's not impossible!" Without any evidence, optimism was really all they had at this point.

As Shippy slowly came to a stop, there was a voice yelling at them from the shore. The Cadet and his minion looked over the railing at the man, who was telling them about another living ship-like creature ahead. Huh. A local? Interest piqued, the hunter looked ahead to see if he could spot the mentioned lake or creature... or scalding streams of water apparently. "We should probably go check it out if we have to go that way to make it to the other side of the island."

Word Count: 624 (+1 exp)
Level: 4 - Total EXP: 6/40
Location: Sandswept Sky

𝙱𝙿 ●●●●
The storm was brutal, but like all things it eventually came to an end. Even when the train reached the outer edge of the cyclone and the winds started to die down, Primrose didn't release her white-knuckled grip on the seat. The seat itself had been rattling something fierce like the rest of them, but thankfully it held to the train floor as tightly as Primrose held on to it. When the wind died completely, Primrose began to relax her shoulders very slowly. Only when the Gnorbu brought the train to a complete halt did Primrose let go. Spending only a moment to take a breathe after feeling like she'd been holding her breath for hours, before standing as fluidly as possible. Like many of the others she left the train, glad to be on relatively solid ground.

The dancer's eyes flitted between the party as they came together, everyone doing their own head count. A lot of them had chosen to sit on top pf the train cars just as Primrose had initially, something that ended up being extremely dangerous. The members that Primrose weren't seeing... it seemed like they were flung off with the wind. Joker confirmed that with Blue Poison and Scout, so it wasn't a far leap in logic to assume the same could be said for the Heavy and Medic. Losing only one of their members would have been rough, but four? That was a heavy blow. Primrose looked back out over the canyon they'd crossed, wrapping her arms around her chest. If they fell into the canyon, no matter how strong they were, they probably didn't survive.

Not everyone shared that thought though. She listened to Tora, Poppi, and Yoshitsune list the reasons they thought the others could have survived, the later even laying out a plan to search for them. Personally, Primrose thought it was futile. Not only were the chances of finding them slim, but that would split the party up significantly. If it was a little earlier into their adventure, Primrose might not have spoken up. However, a day and several hundred miles later, she sighed and voiced her thoughts.

"Do you think splitting up is wise?" she asked, tilting her head slightly. "We'll be isolated from each other... even the two search teams. I'm not sure if there is a way for those going on to Al Mamoon to communicate with the rest of you either."

If something happened, the search teams could stay in contact - but what about those remaining on the train? If things went wrong and their comrades needed help, they would be miles away and oblivious. The search parties would also be stuck out there until the train came back for them. There were plenty of ways things could get very bad for them, very quickly. Plus if the four missing members had survived, they knew where the rest of the team was heading and they could try and make their own way there, or wait by the tracks for the train to pass again and get a ride back to Parnasse. Staying to search for them just didn't seem like the best idea to Primrose, but then again she wasn't the leader nor did she want to be. Midna had already volunteered, so if others decided to join her that would be their choice.

Primrose gave the Twilight Princess a funny look at her comment about becoming a victim of the desert, but otherwise the dancer said no more. In Yoshitsune's plan she'd be relegated to staying on the train, which was what she preferred anyway. Instead of boarding immediately she decided to stay outside and see what decision each of the Yellow Team members came to.
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Tora & Poppi

Level 8 Tora (77/80) and Level 8 Poppi (50/80)
Location: Sandswept Sky - Hollow Heights
Primrose's @Yankee, Fox's @Dawnrider, Sectonia's @Archmage MC Midna's @DracoLunaris, Yoshitsune's @Rockin Strings, Red’s @TheDemonHound, Laharl’s @Dark Cloud
Word Count: 1093

Tora’s inner battle with questions of risk, duty, and logistics left him taken by surprise when Yoshitsune stepped forward. At the drop of a hat the swordsman not only made the choice to begin the search for the entire team but started barking out orders for how to do so. For a moment the Nopon was taken aback by his audacity, seeing as the man was a newcomer to this group that already had two leaders. He could only assume that this Yoshitsune was a man of extremely rigid principles and, considering how he nearly picked a fight with Red last night, pronounced rashness. But when the man tried to take charge of Poppi, however, and separate her from Tora to throw her into extreme danger, he lost the benefit of the doubt.

The Nopon’s brows furrowed as sputtered with rare anger, flapping his wings as he tried to collect his thoughts. “Meh, meh, meh! Not going happen!” Still not done, Yoshitsune announced that the storm couldn’t possibly claim anyone else as long as they were with other people, as well as his faith in the team--a team he met yesterday afternoon and shared only a couple scrapes with. Him kneeling down to condescend to Tora only served to salt the wound, and it certainly helped Tora find his voice.

He brushed Yoshitsune away with his wing and waddled back a step, full of indignance. “Meh!? H-how nincompoopypon have faith in team if not know first thing about it, and how boss Tora and Poppi around?”

Before he could say anything else Midna volunteered herself to go along with the plan. Although Tora didn’t disagree with the spirit of the search, since like samurai apparently heroes didn’t leave anyone behind, but it was the execution that concerned him. The Twilight Princess at least gave a thought to the would-be rescuers’ safety, but it seemed like she underestimated the danger at hand. Midna going made even less sense than Poppi, and he wasn’t going to wait any longer to explain why.

He cut in without letting anyone answer Midna’s concerns about supplies. “Hold on, we can’t go in there! Did friends not feel sheer force of awful wind?” he asked, addressing the group at large. “Poppi fastest flier here, and she barely manage keep up with train long enough to grab. Fight tornado take immense power. Right, Poppi?”

Though a little embarrassed to be called out, the artificial blade gave her report. “It take Poppi full burn on jet thrusters to not be blown away, even for just few seconds fighting wind. Poppi ether so drained that try again for longer very inadvisable.”

Tora nodded with vigor. “Plus, Tora still lightheaded from air pressure! Anyone who go back in both blow away and pass out. And did friends not see underground? If blown wrong way, slam into metal supports or thrown into abyss. It death sentence if go back in!” He scrunched down his brows in as fiercely resolute a way as he could, looking for support among his teammates. He found enough in the faces of Primrose and the Thieves. “And Tora not let Poppi die!”

In the momentary but uncomfortable silence that followed Joker cleared his throat and replied to Midna. “We have some supplies left, mostly water. The food won’t be good for much longer.” A serious expression swept across the assembled heroes. “I’m sorry, but after getting clobbered by it I can tell you that Necronomicon Isn't strong enough to face that wind. This storm’s like a localized natural disaster. Bigger than any tornado I’ve ever seen.”

“We had to stop this far from it just to not be sucked back in,” Mona added, having put two and two together regarding the distance that Gnorbu put between the train and the twister before stopping.

“I’m not sending anyone in there,” Joker declared with finality. “It’s too dangerous. We can’t throw lives away over every time we lose someone, or there won’t be anyone left to save the world.” Though the rest of the Thieves looked just as grim as he, cheesy line be damned, none stepped away from his side.

Gnorby raised a leg for attention. “Uh, in terms of supplies...well, I know we Parnassians owe you guys a lot, but the cityfolk aren’t just going to shell out for free, and we don’t have any money. Whatever I get from selling treats in Al Mamoon goes directly to buying goods to bring back.” He looked mightily unhappy, both by what happened and the conflict within Yellow Team. “But uh, maybe we’ll find someone who’ll help in exchange for a favor? Or, you know, as charity?”

Mona did not look too confident. “Well, we can try. Gnorbu has to come back this way anyway, so he can bring anything we manage to get for you guys, if you’re dead set on searching.” The cat considered the communication problem brought up by Primrose. “Oh, Necro can radio fox if needed.”

“As for time, well, I can’t guess when we’ll be back, since there’s no guarantee anyone will help out for free in the first place,” Gnorbu said, his long face apologetic. Behind him, Ruki remained quietly somber. With Joker in the lead the Phantom Thieves moved in the neopets’ direction, solidifying their intentions, and after a moment’s delay Tora cast his vote by joining them.

Poppi followed him, but paused to bow to the others, her face sorrowful. “Poppi sorry. Not want to leave anyone behind, even strangers, but we only barely survive in there. Poppi not want die.”

Though he looked crushed, Braum did not move from his spot in either direction. “I know those four awhile. We fight together, die together. Not always as comrades, and since fighting was all we did, we were not truly friends. But my heart aches when I think they are gone for good.” He raised his shield and pounded his fist against his chest. “If team stays, I will search for them. If team goes, I will remember them.”

Tora looked between the others, trying to hold firm despite the doubts plaguing him. He’d never had to make a stand like this before, not against enemies, but allies. Under Rex’s leadership he’d never really been faced with a quandary like this. He hoped that nobody would hate him for it. Maybe the others would think he was selfish, and they wouldn’t be entirely wrong, but he was going to hold tight to what he held dear. About that, the rotund inventor would not compromise.

Luma Pools

Mr. L’s @ModeGone

Though L was a man of never-ending confidence, it was only a matter of time until he found some of it misplaced. His ceaseless wanderings in the wilds and untenable hooliganism within society had eventually brought him to a beauteous forest of tall trees, hanging walls, thorny brambles, floating bubbles, underwater currents, and swinging vines. In short, it represented a paradise for platform enthusiasts, obstacle coursers, and jumpers of all kinds. Still, the Green Thunder remained unimpressed until his trip happened to bring him within spectating distance of an oddly radiant creature at work. The little guy sprinted, jumped, double jumped, wall jumped, bounced, swung, and otherwise navigated the strange wood’s challenges with uncanny grace and finesse. To a fellow of fiery bravado, there was no question; this long-eared critter thought it was a better jumper than he. After that revelation there was nothing to do but set off in pursuit, following after the glowy interloper, and set the record straight.

As it turned out, the Luma Pools didn’t make the going easy. For such a wondrous place, it offered a fair bit of difficulty thanks to both the vertical and underwater mastery it demanded. And wherever Mr. L went, just when he thought he might catch his breath, some crab or river troll or other creature would show up to give him a tough time. Falling behind poked at the masked man’s pride, driving him faster and faster, until finally an unlucky clump of slick moss sent him spiraling from the canopy of a pink-topped palm and into the mad current of a rushing river below.

What followed was a chaos of bubbling, swirling water that washed him further and further downhill. The torrent came to an abrupt end in a waterfall that deposited him without ceremony into a large river, but he soon found it to be just the first of many. L went down waterfall after waterfall until finally he shot out into open space over a glistening lake. He got only a moment to orient himself, and take in the odd craft at rest toward one side of the lake, before he plunged in.

Ms Fortune

Level 3 Nadia (24/30)
Location: Luma Pools
Blazermate's @Archmage MC, Bowser's @DracoLunaris, Ace Cadet's @Yankee, Hat Kid's @Dawnrider, Sakura's @Zoey Boey, Frog's @Dark Cloud, Mirage’s @Potemking, Mr. L’s @ModeGone
Word Count: 1707

A heavy atmosphere lay over Shippy as the captainless vessel made her way upriver. On the bow Nadia was content to sprawl in silence and let the stress trying to curdle her insides slowly drift away, but she could hardly fault poor Sakura for letting her feelings -and her tears- run freely. Though tough and clearly capable, she seemed young and inexperienced, practically a normal person compared to the likes of Nadia. An innocent soul, untouched by the pain of death. After all, even with the sort of desensitization that came from watching one’s family butchered before being carved up herself, Nadia was in pretty bad shape after the naval battle’s sheer physical and mental bombardment. She could only imagine how bad someone like Sakura might feel; then again, given the tearful misery that possessed the girl, Nadia didn’t have to.

Before dealing with that, however, the Cadet appeared. She opened her eyes to find him standing over her. Although she’d noticed and indeed used it early, she only got a good like at his new ‘do now, and snickered despite the murkiness that swirled around her. “You’re welcome. Like your cut, by the way. You were great out there. And...yeah.” She took a deep breath, as steady as she could manage. “My first actual like battle-battle, but not the worst crap I’ve been through.” She let her eyes slide shut again. “Took a loooot of hits though. The more damage I take, the weaker my healing gets. If it bottoms out...I dunno what’ll happen. Hopefully I never find out.”

She sighed again, sat up, and slid back into a sitting position against the prow. After undoing a couple latches she allowed her rigging to clatter to the deck and put her arm on the railing. For a few moments she just looked between the others, trying to get an overall frame of reference. Link looked different thanks to an absorption she hadn’t fully noticed until now, and she made herself avert her eyes from his exposed midriff and weirdly bigger hands. The punkish girl she now knew to be Rika faced both the sting of loss and guilt alongside Sakura. Sakura herself had tried to put a spin on the group’s awful experience. No pain, no gain. It was a way of coping, of making sense of the cruelty and chaos, but that didn’t mean she was incorrect. You couldn’t get something for nothing, and contention bred strength. Nadia’s eyebrows narrowed. Did that mean she was strong…?

The feral lifted her free hand, her eyes on the separation point in her forearm. No pain, no gain. The street fighter didn’t know how right she was. It had taken nothing less than the torment and agony of body and soul alike to take away her tears and make her something powerful. Was what she gained worth all that she went through--what her loved ones went through? Not one bit. For a time she would have given up just about anything to bring them back, including wish on the Skull Heart, but in the end she decided -its trickery taken into account- that undoing what made her who she was today would be wrong. That what was done, was done. Yet still she longed for what she lost, and not just the people she cared for.

Nadia took a deep breath of the clear, sumptuous air, and rose. She sat herself down on Sakura’s unoccupied side as she leaned back. “You’re a good kid,” she told Sakura in a low, confidential tone, as if she wasn’t only a few years older. She glanced at Rika. “You too. Um...well, I’m not much good at sayin’ important stuff. My uh, ‘purr-spective’ is a little warped, heh.” Her uneasy smile faded. “Too much pain. Things don’t hurt me like they used to. I guess that’s, uh, why it’s tough for me to take things seriously. I’m just saying, yeah, tough times will make you stronger, but as you keep movin’ forward, take care you don’t go numb like me.” She placed a hand on Sakura’s shoulder and squeezed. “Hold tight that precious heart.” After that she couldn’t think of anything else to stay, so she was still, and enjoyed the tranquility of nature with the others.

She did rouse herself when Link mentioned cats, but she could only shrug in reply. Although she herself meowed as some of her effort noises, she doubted the hero was referring to her, and if she saw any other felines during that battle she would have remembered. Plus, if any kitties had been on board, they probably would have been sent flying hundreds of feet over the ocean by the wave of force when the Harbor Demon’s shell slammed through Shippy’s hindquarters. It wasn’t a pleasant thought, and Nadia put it out of her mind.

How long it was before her relaxation petered out Nadia couldn’t quite say, but she found herself almost nodding off by the time an unfamiliar voice shouted from outside the boat. The feral turned around and poked up from behind the railing, pointy ears first, to see a man with an elaborate suit and quite the hairdo hailing Shippy. Her eyebrow raised when she noticed an egg of all things couched in one arm. He puzzled her for a moment with incoherence before he realized that he was stumbling over his words, at which she couldn’t help but smile. His voice, appearance and manner combined to create an air of disarming, even charming harmlessness, but the heavy-duty revolver at his hip dispelled at least part of that illusion.

She gave a cheery wave despite his warning, energetic enough to swish her longer hair around and bounce her ears side to side. If by ‘very angry living boat’ he meant an Abyssal, as well he might given her new acquaintance with that blasted species, her team could deal with it. The most dangerous Abyssals didn’t actually look like boats after all, though come to think of it very few actually did. Curious, she scooted back to Shippy’s prow to scope out the lake coming up ahead for both threats the stranger mentioned.

The man himself Nadia left for others to attend to, since the Atomos seemed to be descending among the Luma Pools’ extravagant pink fronds to land on the riverbank. At Link’s urging Shippy slowed down enough to pull up alongside the landed aircraft at the lake’s threshold. The figurehead did not look happy, and in fact seemed to be making a Herculean effort to keep herself together, so much so that there could be little doubt as to her awareness of Brineybeard’s fate.

After a couple moments of searching Nadia spotted the creature in the lake, and one glance was enough to tell her it wasn’t an Abyssal. It looked like an elaborate longboat complete with rows of oars, but that snake head on the front turned out to be more than just decoration. As for outcrops of crystals, she couldn’t see anything beneath the sparkling, almost luminescent water. As nice as it looked, she felt a keen urge to set foot on solid ground, and made for the edge of the boat. A running start gave her the clearance she needed to soar all the way to the shore, and as always the cat landed on her feet. It took her a moment to get adjusted to standing on land again, after which she promptly sank to her knees. “Ohhh...man, I am never, ever doing naval warfare again. I’d rather just fur-get the whole thing, nyeheheh.”

She rose as the stranger got closer and was greeted with an eyeful of Bowser. Judging from his expression, he had not been prepared at all for the bizarre assortment of people he now faced. To be fair, they were an odd bunch; she counted two well-equipped men, a boy with big hands, two cats with cannons (although Nadia had ditched hers for now), a biker boat princess, three vastly different turtles, a child, a horned girl, and- an Abyssal!? Startled by the sight Nadia jerked back, which made Bella jump as well, and the Water Princess only managed to avoid falling over thanks to the monstrous tail trailing behind her. The almost comical sight, plus the realization that the wobbly-legged woman was using an umbrella to walk and that her eyes were not red, turned Nadia’s apprehension into remorse immediately. “Whoops, sorry about that! First time seeing you. My nerves are still a little...”

Bella gave an embarrassed but radiant smile as the feral trailed off. “Oh, not at all! I would be surprised if something like that didn’t happen.” Leaning on her makeshift cane, she offered Nadia a hand to shake. “Je m'appelle Bella...that is to say, my name is Bella. Pleased to meet you.”

With a toothy grin Nadia accepted the shake. “Nadia Fortune! That’s a super cute dress, by the way.”

“Merci, Miss Fortune!” Bella beamed, oblivious to the wordplay at work. “I had a hat too, but I lost it during the fight, sadly.”

Nadia looked confused, baffled as to why Bella might need mercy. Maybe she thought she was being flattered too much? That couldn’t be it. For a born killing machine she was quite the looker, and though not nearly as big as the Harbor Demon or even Midway Princess, she was no slouch in the size department. “Uh huh…”

Conversation nearby turned her attention to the tail end of Mirage’s conversation with Bowser, and with a polite bow of her head Bella hobbled toward the water’s edge. For someone with a gun at hand this guy certainly seemed nervous around Bowser. Stick around the big goof for long and that’ll clear up fast, she thought with a smile.

At that moment, something shot out from the top waterfall that fed the nearby lake. Attracted by the motion, Nadia looked over, but got only a fleeting glimpse of green and black before whoever it was splashed down. Not too far away the Ukazeer veered toward the disturbance, both curious and cautious of any potential threat. Putting her oars in motion, the serpent cruised over toward where Mr. L’s wild ride had come to an end.

Snowdin – Eastern Motel


Although as taciturn as ever when it came to showing his feelings, it was difficult for Albedo to disguise being pleased that Linkle seemed to be in good spirits. He made no immediate remark upon learning of her familiarity with coffee, since he anticipated her saying more, but he did wonder why. Perhaps his guess that their worlds possessed similar levels of development had been a little premature. It did fascinate him that so many disparate worlds seemed to have so very much in common, but he couldn’t afford to ponder creation in real worlds, unlike here in the World of Light. Rather than go off on a tangent he merely nodded his approval when his new friend said she slept well.

“I’m glad. You look well.” In the light of day she didn’t command nearly the same menace she did in the dark. Her eyes, vivid but not glowing, could be mistaken for naturally red, and without the contrast of night her paleness did not call a specter to mind. Clean hair in a neat braid and a fresh face did wonders for her appearance as well. All in all, the rime-coated, battle-worn apparition he’d encountered the night before had been replaced by quite the agreeable young lady. He exhaled through the nose in what might have been a slight laugh when Linkle made visible her distaste for black coffee, then related her first experience with an automatic alarm. “I slept well also,” he told her. “It took me a long time to adjust to this place myself. My first night I never found the switches, and ended up synthesizing Lamp Grass for light. But if you can deal with the various quirks there’s a lot of convenience to be had.”

He crossed his legs and kept talking as Linkle finished her coffee. “The drink has certainly come in handy for me. If possible I’ll take some beans when I go, although perhaps it won’t catch on in Mondstadt. That city, the City of Freedom, is where I lived, and is fond of wine practically to excess.”

Albedo accepted her gift of dust, and eyed the gemstone she presented. “This should indeed fetch a decent price,” he observed after taking it into his hands. He rubbed it, then held it against his head. “I sense some form of magic contained within. Not especially remarkable, but still there. Although I’d be interested to see what it can do, a magic stone won’t do me much good if I freeze to death, so I’ll see if I can find a buyer. Thank you.” He glanced at Linkle, his eyes apologetic, as the happy corgi leaned into her hand adoringly. “I would not want to scare you any more.”

The two got up in preparation for departure. “There’s a good store at the end of the street. The owner’s a bit eccentric, but I’m sure he’ll recognize the value in your find.” Once again he held open the door for her. A moment later the two blondes were out in the light snowfall, just enough to tickle Linkle’s rabbit ears. “That man comes around every now and then,” Albedo explained. “I think I mentioned our arrangement where he would let me try things, which was ongoing for a while. But eventually he grew bored of me, just as he did with the rest. He’s a brute, arrogant and none too sharp, but at least he leaves whatever he’s not interested in alone. Most likely, he somehow picked up on your presence and followed here to see if you could do anything to him.”

As he walked, Albedo produced his sketchbook, which featured an impromptu bookmark. “I found the list of everything I tried on him. Many attempts, zero successes. It’s as if his body simply rejects anything that would do it harm, like an extremely zealous immune system. That’s not to say his power is physical, though. In fact, it being a blessing of some kind is extremely likely. He has some sort of essence that’s extremely different from the ice magic he also possesses, which I couldn’t discreetly identify before he tired of me. Some experience so far with practitioners of both conventional and faith-based magic has led me to conjecture that -this is it on the left- that this unknown essence is divine in nature.”

A moment later, the pair entered the shop, a rather conventional medieval affair of wood in the cozy, snowed-in town. Albedo approached the counter and rang the bell. Barely had his hand touched the device before an absolute beast of a man, sporting a vest over an orange shirt and a tiny green hat, shuffled into view and stood in front of the counter.

“Welcome!” he resounded, gesturing broadly to his wares. “Lamp oil, rope, bombs? You want it? It’s yours, my friends!” From a vest pocket he produced a glinting red crystal and held it up, pinched between two fingers, as he leaned forward. “As long as you have enough rubees!” He leaned back and clasped his hands together, a froglike grin upon his face.

Albedo reached down to pull out Linkle’s gift. “Well, I don’t have rubees exactly, but…”

“Not enough rubees!?” The man looked affronted, and threw his hand to the side in an unabashedly dramatic display. “I’m sorry, mister, I can’t GIVE credit.” He leaned in again, even closer this time, his smiling countenance only mildly terrifying. With one sausage-like finger he pointed for the door. “Come back when you’re a little…” he pursed his lips. “MMMMM...richer!”

When Albedo held up the blue materia, its mild glow illuminated his veiled annoyance perfectly. “And what about this, Morshu?”

“Ohhhhh?” The shopkeeper peered at the crystal. “Well now, I won’t know until I appraise it, will I? Give it here, my boy.” Albedo passed him the gem, and he went around the counter to fetch a magnifying glass. After only a few moments he set both items down. “A fine stone, yes indeed, I think I can offer…”

“It has magical properties too!” Linkle piped up.

With an eyebrow raised the shopkeeper looked her way. “Oh? And what might those be?”

Since Albedo didn’t know, it was up to Linkle to do the best she could. “It glows in the dark.”

“In that case, I’ll give you three hundred and not a rubee more!” After a moment Morshu dropped a sack of money on the counter and extended his hand. “Take it or leave it!” Without a word Albedo took it. With relish Morshu pocketed the gem and clapped his hands together. “Pleasure doing business! Please feel free to look around my wares.”

The alchemist skedaddled over to the apparel section, its selection mostly limited to light armors, but it presented two coats as immediate options. One was a yellow monstrosity, spongy to the touch, with a spiky hood. The other was a sleeker tan trench coat with built-in belts. Albedo stood between them and turned to Linkle. “What do you think?”

Edge of the Blue - Atlantis Temple


With no idea what she’d gotten herself into, Sephiroth began to face unforeseen consequences the moment she stepped from the lavatory. Out onto the scene of a well-populated tourist destination stepped a woman of uncommon beauty, her physique sublime, her skin without flaw, and her lilac-streaked white hair -though treated by neither a full bottle of shampoo nor conditioner- full and lustrous all the way down to the backs of her knees. The repercussions of a handsome man fusing with two lovely women, it seemed, had caught up with her. Though she wanted nothing more at the moment than to fill out her stamp card and earn fabulous prizes, heads turned no matter where she went, and stunned stares followed her all the way to the shooting game.

There, at least, she could focus on her mission. Sephiroth’s stamp card featured four spaces color-coded red. One for just participating, one for reaching the end within three minutes, one for achieving a certain amount of points, and one for shooting the hidden Sand Dollar. Looking out over the attraction she found an entire section of pool decorated with toys to resemble a stony coast fraught with pirate installations. The ships themselves appeared to be pedal-powered paddle boats, with a cannon mounted on the front. As far as she could glean from the instructions board right before the starting line, the aim of the game was to get to the end while taking down pirate octopuses atop their docks or little ships to rack up points, all the while avoiding enemy fire. If her boat got hit enough it would sink itself, forcing her to swim out of the pool.

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