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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Ponn
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Connie, Gaia, Mayra, Amanda, and MDP were just heading out to build sandcastles, when they were presented with invitations to a Christmas party, handed out by none other than Mariette.

“G-Gosh!” Connie exclaimed, surprised by the portal girl’s sudden appearance. “A-A Christmas p-party? T-That s-sounds l-like it c-could be r-really f-fun!”

“Wowie zowie~! You’re, like, totally wotally right, Connie Wonnie~! (giggle!)” MDP agreed. “It’ll be, like, super duper funsie wunsie~! (giggle!) And, like, Magical Dream Princess can invite her other wother friends too~! Karen Waren and Katie Watie don’t live in Penrose Wenrose, but, like, maybe waybe that cutie wutie with the metal wetal armsie warmsies will wanna come~!”

“I… Do not think inviting her would be wise,” Gaia cautioned hesitantly. “I know that fighting is prohibited here, but we still do not want to create any undo tension.”

“Awww… But, like, Magical Dream Princess thought she seemed really friendly wendly…” the childish magical girl pouted. Then her face brightened as an idea occurred to her. “Like, what if Magical Dream Princess promised womised to make her behavey wavey~?” she asked hopefully. “Would Gaia Waia be okie dokie with her coming thensie~?”

Gaia was honestly caught off guard by how plaintive and innocent MDP sounded. She still had trouble believing that this girl was actually Violet Covington, the refined heiress. Forced to smile at the strangeness of it all, the verdant magical girl slowly shook her head. “I suppose if you promise to keep her from causing any trouble…” she reluctantly conceded. “Who knows, perhaps your… unique way of doing things will allow you to succeed in creating an atmosphere of peaceful coexistence where others have failed.”

“Like, Magical Dream Princess will do her bestie westiest~! (giggle!)” the cheerful magical girl said, while giving Gaia a playful salute.

“A-And, like, m-maybe we c-can invite E-Emily, and Faith, a-and Hildebell! Oh! A-And Ronin and M-Miss Sakura, too!” Connie added excitedly, overjoyed at the thought of having so many of her friends gathered together. It would be just like the movie night, only better! At least, she hoped it would…

Those happy thoughts were swiftly dissolved a moment later, when Dan announced that someplace called the Penrose Sanctuary was under attack, and needed immediate help. The Dolphin proceeded to create a portal, and several of the gathered magical girls wasted no time in running through it. Connie herself was very conflicted about what to do. On the one hand, she had just escaped from a rather harrowing situation and had little desire to head into another battle. On the other hand, and despite her fearfulness, she didn’t want to simply stand by while people were in danger, not if she could potentially do something about it. Looking at their own little group, Mayra seemed content to remain at the beach and let Mariette handle things by herself, but Amanda told them that she’d be heading to the Sanctuary, along with the rest of her allies.

“Golly wolly~!” MDP exclaimed. “Like, Magical Dream Princess is, like, totally wotally gonna taggy waggy along with you, Pastel-chan~! We can stop those meanie weanies together wether~! (giggle!)”

“W-We’ll g-go t-too!” Connie found herself saying, although her body was shaking like a leaf.

“Connie…” Gaia sighed, while casting a worried look at her friend.

“Like, it makes Magical Dream Princess sooo super duper happy wappy that Connie Wonnie wants to helpy welpy,” MDP said as she placed her hands on the timid girl’s shoulders and gave her a really big smile. “But, like, she thinks you should stay heresie and have funsie wunsie with Gaia Waia and Mayra Wayra~! You’ve been through sooo much awful wawful stuffy wuffy already, Connie Wonnie, so, like, pretty please let Pastel-chan, Magical Dream Princess, and everybodywody elsey welsey handle wandle this thingie wingie, okie dokie~?”

“B-But…” Connie started to protest, before Gaia calmly began stroking her hair.

“It’s okay, little sister,” the verdant magical girl said softly. “I know your heart longs to help others, and that is one of the things I love most about you, but you have done more than enough. There is no need to fight every battle. Let us trust in our friends to deal with this problem, and use this time of refreshment they have so generously given us to strengthen ourselves for whatever challenges the future may hold.”

“O-Okay…” Connie conceded after a moment. “J-Just… B-Be s-safe, a-all right?” she added, looking at MDP and Amanda, her eyes filled with concern.

“Like, don’t worry about us, Connie Wonnie~!” MDP told her with a wink. “No meanie weanies in the universe could ever wever stop two super duper dreamy weamy BFFs fighting together for wuv and justice~! (giggle!)”

After striking a cute pose, the whimsical magical girl twirled around and skipped through the portal with Amanda, completely unconcerned by any of the dangers that awaited beyond.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by AtomicNut
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AtomicNut Insanity Monger

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& Sakura


“I had a terrible dream, Yui.” The wizened old man said, as he kept trimming the bonsai with care. “It was weird… You know those morning shows Aoi liked…” He said, pondering as he caressed his facial hair.

Yui had always been her confidant, so it was okay to show a bit of softness here and then.

“I was one of those characters that did magical barf beams and shit. It was super pink.”

Yui let out a snort, and reeled with laughter, as she eyed the old man.

“Don’t be so silly, love.” The gentle caress of her seemed to soothe the embarrassment as she drew closer. “That’s not a bad nightmare to be in.” She chided. “I bet you were super cute.”

She drew even closer, as her lips closed on Sakura’s. How long since had he felt like this? It was like a dream coming true.

Actually, no. It was just a dream.

Sakura opened an eye, alarmed. She was still in her form of a young girl, bandaged like the world's cutest mummy, and kissing someone else.

“You again!?” Sakura screamed as she shoved one of the Aurelio clones out of the way. “How come you appear when I’m reminiscing about Yui-- owowowowow!” It was then when Sakura realized how badly damaged she was, and slumped back to her bed. If the wounds did not kill her, the embarrassment would.

Sally giggled on the bed next to hers, also wrapped in bandages, though not as heavily as Sakura was. “Oh, Sakura, you’re awake! And I see you've taken a liking to Aurelio's clones. That's so cute.” She was turned towards her, an arm supporting her head in a casual manner. She then noticed how she was in pain. “Looks like you got really hurt out there. How did it go?”

The shoved clone let out an annoyed sigh as he was forced back into his seat. The real Aurelio, who was sitting next to Sally, simply chuckled at his clone's turn of luck. “Not sure who Yui is” The original would start “But it might have something to do with me being an Empath” The clone would continue on.

“Some people just react to some magics stronger than others” Another Clone would pipe in as it walked by, and looking around they could spot at least another half dozen copies of Aurelio in the area helping out where they could. “Not inherently a bad thing.” The original would chime in again “Especially since Love is the first emotion that keeps being drawn out.”

Sakura tossed a withering glare at the real perp who had been creating these ninja clones all over. The tiny girl crumpled her sheets, fighting the stinging sensation to get a better position to talk. "Says you. Yui is...well, was… my wife. And for some reason I keep seeing her whenever I'm almost dead." Sakura ventured forth. "And I bet that answers how did it go, oppai shooter-chan, I don't fucking know. All I know is that I put my all into the attack and it connected."

Sally sat up and gave a bright smile. “Sounds like you’ve had quite a fight. It’s a shame I had to retreat early from there, but I’m also glad we survived with zero deaths, looking by how all of you got back. Aurelio, do you know what happened there? Did we get Mariette?”

Aurelio would run a hand through his hair before answering “I know I’ve got most of the information floating around but I’ve not called back all my stage assistants yet so not one hundred on everything” He would lean back in his chair and look toward the ceiling as he explained what he could “Mariette got away. For whatever reason Dan showed up with an escape route, Alicai might know more about that she was closer to that area. Justine got jumped on, but I’m not sure if she was taken out either. Your attack left her at least unconscious, but last I saw she was also taken through the portal to Dan’s beach I would guess.” He would explain gesturing towards Sakura. “Jenna had poured a potion of some kind on Justine before, some of Mariette’s allies grabbed Justine and fled. Last I saw Jeena also was through the portal, but I’m not sure how or why. Was busy keeping Leena stable.”

“Sonia, got evac’d a different way, taken away by some dark knight looking guy that Justine had summoned. Same one that hit you with that spear.” He would add, before going quiet to mull over what else he could talk about before shrugging. Nothing else that seemed relevant, plus he wanted to keep that tiny samurai’s goal quiet for the moment. Lots of hard feelings flowing around at the moment after all.

“Oh” He would say, snapping his fingers “That pocket dimension also collapsed! Leena’s void spell destabilized it shortly after you, Kimble, and Hyun all got pulled out. So at least partial victory since Mariett lost that base of operations.” He would add pointing at Sally

“That’s all I know about the assault.” He would say with another shrug. “Glad to hear that none of us ended up dying though. Was really worried about some of the girls that Justine forced along with us.”

"Fuck. Cunt deserved more." Sakura said, her gaze at Aurelio's. "She drank my teammate dead. Silver baka got on my nerves but she did spacey shit and was not a bad girl." She paused. "That and that jerk. He revels on it, the sick fuck." She folded her arm as if on reflex to touch over the place she had been stabbed.

She then paused. "Also who is that Dan dickwad? Sounds like an idiot."

Aurelio grimaced at Sakura’s declarations, partly due to the vulgarity but mostly due to learning that it hadn’t been a completely bloodless operation. “I’m sorry to hear you lost a teammate” He would console wondering if one of his clones had seen it and he just wasn’t aware he knew already. “You might have seen him before that hydra showed up. He was the inflatable dolphin.” He would go on to answer “He’s a Patron, a lesser force I think, a fair amount of the magicals here in Penrose kinda got abducted by him a few months back.”

"But it wasn't all bad!" Sally interjected. "Dan's place provided plenty of R&R, not to mention some great drinks. It was like winning a tropical vacation in a lottery! But he did need an intervention before he let us leave; hopefully he's learned by now not to be so escapist." She stretched her arm and then stood up from her bed. "Anyway, I think I'm gonna go grab a li'l bite. See you later!"

"What." Sakura said in a deadpan expression, eyes trying to process what she had just heard. Hydrangeas were poisonous, but they were just a flower. How come Beacon could not beat a flower??Sakura's disbelief was made patent as she rolled her eyes at apparently the magical version of an inflatable Hugh Hefner.

Of course, there were more pressing matters. Like staring at Sally's rear side as soon as she stood up, unabashedly. Her blatant staring would be swiftly interrupted, however, by a top hat a size too large dropping onto her head, courtesy of Aurelio.

"Dick" She then eyed Aurelio as she discarded the hat.

"So what now? I am not going to apologize for teaching a titty leech not to bite teammates."

“Not sure really” The now hatless magician would reply with a shrug. “There are a lot of people who need to recover, and Mariette is in the wind again so likely just normal Beacon stuff, or normal magical stuff on your end. Alicia might have some idea of what’s the next move but it might be a while until anything comes of that.”

"Hmm. Yeah that could be it. Think I'm going to see that Alicia gal." She said. Block guy was really getting on her nerves. Whoever that Alicia was, she sounded kinda alright. At least much better looking. Had she met her before?

So, Sakura tried to spring back into action out of the bed, however her small body was far too injured to respond properly, so she ended catching her foot with the bedsheet, sending her face first against the floor, ass up in the air.

Or she would have; had both Aurelio and hatless Aurelio not nearly jump out of their chairs to make sure she didn’t face plant onto the vinyl flooring.

"Fuck." She muttered.

“Easy there” He would say as they carefully set her down. Not on the bed, as neither of them assumed she would be willing to sit still, regardless of what the doctor ordered. “Alicia is off with Rachel at the moment so not sure she’s open to talk just yet.” He would add after making sure that Sakura could stand on her own, though he would linger nearby just in case.

“But I can send a clone to find out and we can go get some food from the cafeteria in the meantime if you want”

"Just buzz off, Killjoy". Sakura said, trying to get a semblance of dignity. It was not that easy, that with being a pink haired girl still bandaged in some cutesy underwear and pajamas… all of them pink. She then tried to take a couple of strides, but failed to do so, falling on her butt.

“Aurelio” He would introduce himself “Though I doubt you’ll stick with my actual name” He would add as one of his clones came over and threw an arm over his shoulder before vanishing in a small puff of smoke. “And leaving you on your own doesn’t seem like a good idea.” He would extend a hand to help Sakura up “Especially if I want to stay on Heather’s good side.”

Sakura let a piercing glare at Aurelio and pondered for a brief second to just snub him, but she really felt weak at the moment, so she grabbed his hand to hoist herself up, wincing at the phantom pain still coursing through her body. "Whatever, Oreo lion." She averted her gaze as she did so, trying to hide her awkwardness. The perp mentioned food. "Food sounds good. I need a bottle of sake too." She added. "But I'm not acting all cutesy for it. Not into guys."

Aurelio would let out a soft chuckle at being called ‘Oreo lion’, that had the potential of becoming a personal favorite way of mangling his stage name. “Not sure if we have sake in stock” he would say, letting Sakura assume she had been successful in hiding her awkwardness. It was a doomed endeavour due to his specialization, but people often forgot about that. “Plenty of food though”

“And hey that just means there’s more guys for me” He would add on with a charming grin. He would put a hand on Sakura’s shoulder as he started leading the way to the Cafeteria. partly to help Sakura balance, but mostly to sooth the aches with a touch of magic.

“Never got your name by the way.” which was a lie, but still a good place to get conversation flowing potentially.

Sakura gave Aurelio a somewhat puzzled expression when he mentioned his actual tastes, before shaking her head in denial. Yes, apparently some people swung both ways. Would he even make a pass on people that looked like her? She began to harbour suspicion as she witnessed, partly aghast at how he was invading her personal space.

Well, she could probably fall on her face if she kinda slapped his hand so she let herself endure. “Sakura. Don’t ever call me otherwise, even if that rat bastard tells you I’m Mahou Shoujo Sparkly heart.” You never knew, with the rat bastard. And this guy seemed to get an info on everything.

She really needed that sake, though.

“Ouch” Aurelio would commiserate with a chuckle “Take it you’re with a solo Puchuu then?” He would ask as they were the ones who seemed to like to try and sell the whole Mahou Shojo image to people.

“Yes. But for reasons he’s throwing the lot with you guys.” Sakura added. “Can’t know what half of the time that fucker is thinking. Seedy bastard.”

“That’s some puchuu sadly” Aurleio would say with a half shrug as they rounded a corner and entered the Cafeteria. It looked a lot like a school lunchroom. large open space with long tables dominating most of the floor with sections of smaller round tables scattered about as well.

There were a few lines where one could pick up a tray before getting a small, but varied selection of food based on the line one entered. It was mainly in the food being offered where things skewed away from the school lunchroom aesthetic. The food here wasn’t low grade school food but rather high quality meals of various types. “Ooh, seems to be our lucky day” Aurelio would say gesturing towards one of the lines “As it seems we have Japanese as an option today. If you’re going to get Sake I’d assume that would be where”

“...Feh.” Sakura said. “Might give it a try.” She went to ask about the sake and the food at the counter. It seemed palatable, but no upright Beacon member would sell alcohol to a magical 9 year old, so Sakura understandably got really angry, did a glare at the people, and asked for whatever grub they had at hand, before stomping off and sit down to eat.

Aurelio was not far behind Sakura, both due to help sooth any ruffled feathers and having gotten some ramen for his chosen meal. It was much more apparent that Aurleio was a people person here in the cafeteria as plenty of people would call greetings to the guy and he would reply with a greeting of his own.

Shortly however they would find a place to sit at one of the round tables that dotted the place. “So” Aurelio would say after they got seated “How long have you been a part of the community here?”

“I’m recent.” Sakura grunted, as she focused on her meal. Why did she have to put up with this Oreo guy? I wondered if she could have someone sexier, like Rachel or Alicia? Those sounded good.

Aurelio let out a soft sigh before digging into his own meal. He wasn’t blind to Sakura’s annoyance and discontentment with him being her escort around Beacon HQ, nor did it seem like she was willing to meet him halfway at the moment in trying to become friends. It was sad, but not terribly surprising. Besides could be due to her lingering wounds.

Still if it was privacy they were expecting, they were both in for a surprise.

“Really Aurelio? Taking patients out of the infirmary now?” A young, but stern, voice would say from the side. One which would make the boy in question flinch.

“N-not at all Heather” He would reassure the voice as he turned towards the new arrival. “Sakura here just wanted to get some food, and she wasn’t willing sit around waiting for it”

The new arrival was a young girl with medium length pink hair, some of which was pulled up into a side ponytail. She had soft pink eyes and her outfit was a mix of a school girls outfit and a nurse’s. Mostly white, with pink accents and the occasion bit of Navy.

Heather let out a humph as she turned an unimpressed eye at Sakura. “You should take better care of yourself. Most people don’t stand back up when hit with a Killing blow.” She would say as she set down her chicken and fried rice bowl. “You might have been lucky this time but that is no excuse to leave while you’re still healing.”

"I will lie down when I'm dead, nurse-chan." Sakura bluntly said as she scarfed down her food. "Besides, I am not part of the popo club. Just a temp, if you understand. Bitch totally deserved being decked in the face. Nobody fucks around with comrades even if they are stupid broads."

Heather didn't react at all to the minor tirade. Instead she simply leaned over and prodded Sakura hard on the arm, the same arm that she had channeled her killing blow through.

"Part of the club or not. bitch deserving of it or not. You should treat the time and effort of the people who started your heart back up with a bit more care than this." She would say sharply, eyes narrowing slightly.

Sakura made her effort to stay composed, even though the pain was nearing unbearable levels. “You’re not getting a kiss in the cheek and a thank you nurse-chan in a singsong voice.” She hissed. “Or were you hoping you’d get a reward to be buddy buddies? I am an ally, but nowhere says I have to be your friend.”

Heather just scoffed and returned to her food. "Yes because being friends with masochistic, short man syndrome suffering newbie is at the top of my priorities" She replied dryly, before taking a bite of her food and chewing thoughtfully.

"If you're that determined to piss away all my work. There is a quicker method for getting out of here" She would go on to say, a pink and white assault rifle materializing on the table between them in a poof of stars and hearts.

Aurelio, for his part, simply paled at the sight of the gun. For as much as he would have liked to be elsewhere he was still kinda stuck being Sakura's escort.

Sakura just sighed. Being put at gunpoint had once been a staple of his life as gangster. Some things never changed. Maybe she was capable, maybe she was just putting on airs but she gave the nurse a tired expression. “Don’t bring guns on the dining table. It 's bad manners. Only the worst crooks do that.” She added. “It’s souring my food. I’ll consider myself berated, and let’s not waste more time on this. I don’t think keeping patients at gunpoint is something a nurse-chan should do.”

"I see you don't like my med-kit" Heather would say with a hint of amusement. Not bothering to dismiss the weapon just yet. "And keeping some of these people at gunpoint is the only way to make sure they stay rested" She gave a very pointed look at Aurelio with that statement. Who flinched a bit at being called out.

"Besides, I doubt most crooks have guns that can shoot healing bullets" She gave Sakura another look before shrugging. "But if you're willing to to pay respect to the work me and my people did at last" The gun would vanish in another cloud of hearts and stars.

“If I had one of those in my past life, my best friend would have been alive.” Sakura commented on the absurdity of a healing gun. “Or maybe not. It was tough shit.” She added. “Don’t blame the Oreo guy, nurse-chan. He seems the type who can’t stop giving help even if it’s not really asked for.” Sakura said as she kept scarfing down. “Also, yeah respect, whatever.”

“Oreo guy?” Heather would say looking at Aurelio in amusement, who simply smirked at the nickname. “Sally’s going to love that one.” she would say shaking her head as she went back to eating herself.

Something in her mind clicked. This kind of post battle lull made her senses spring up. “I wonder how swiss-knife-chan is doing these days.”

“Swiss-knife-chan?” Aurelio would ask, a touch bemused.

"Yep, was it Penis? Or Penny." Sakura said.

“Penny” They both would reply.

“And last I heard she was doing fine. Settling in after her… Would you call it upgrades?” Heather would say turning toward Aurelio.

“Sounds fair to me” The boy in question would say scratching his head “She felt more in control, but a lot more on edge as well.” He would shrug a bit “She tends to avoid me though, so hard to say.”

"Go figure." Sakura said, rolling her eyes as she finished her meal. "Upgrades huh, can she wash clothes now? Whatever…" She added, not entirely understanding what the perp was up to. "Thanks for the meal." She said as she got up, wobbling ever so slightly and began to hobble towards the clinic once more. She had to come to the realization she was stuck with these pushy people for the time being.

“She’s back to being more human.” Heather would correct “A new look, and from what her training room scores have to say an upgrade to her hardware as well.”

“I’ll pass along your curiosity next chance I get if you want” Aulreio would offer as he stood up with Sakura, taking his ramen with him as he did, and following along. Notably not crowding her as he did on the way to the Cafeteria. “And how did you meet her if you don’t mind me asking?”

“Blew up a fucking monster turd and saved a girl who had her face eaten together. Should’ve been sent here. Kinda the fourth most disgusting thing I saw in my entire life.” She said as she stumbled her way out.

“Oh you and Penny were the ones who helped Sarah?” He would ask, his mood sobering slightly remembering the state the girl was in “Thank you for that”

“Slightly worried about what would rank higher than that, if it was only forth”

“Don’t ask, and I won’t tell, Oreo.” She said as she hobbled back to her bed.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by twave
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Rachel @Ariamis | Alicia @flamelord | Aurelio @Shifter_Master


After talking with Maura and learning a bit more about Justine’s condition, Jenna appeared where the others had at Beacon HQ. The Christmas invitation in hand she had it duplicate so she could pass it out as she stepped forward. Since she was tipped off that Alicia was in a bad mood about the operation, or at least she assumed as much, then she would try and find her or Rachel. A quick scan told her that Rachel was a bit away probably handling something else and Alicia being in the infirmary. As a healer that made the decision easy and she went to help her friend. She would probably need her help anyway when talking to Rachel.

When she finally spotted Alicia she ran over to assist. Eventually she would attend to the others as well. ”Alicia, are you alright?”

Making her way over to the infirmary with Leena and FanFan, there was not much in the way of conversation. Alicia wasn’t in the mood, and she didn’t want to exacerbate her injury by getting too worked up either. She needed to relax, that was all.

Once in the infirmity, and after finding that she had just missed Sakura and Aurelio leave, she sat down on one of the beds so her wounds could be looked at. But she was still somewhat dismissive, insisting that they tend to more injured members of the team first. She could survive with this. So she was still there when Jenna entered. Her gaze sharpened as Jenna ran over, and she quickly grabbed Jenna’s hand before the girl could do any healing. ”You’ve got a lot of nerve,” she challenged, all but growling with pent up emotions. ’Where’s Janet? We’re going to talk with both of you.”

Being stopped and addressed as such threw Jenna off for a few seconds. Looking stunned she could only guess what was going on. "Y-yes ma'am." She trailed off. Too many around to overhear. Instead she switched over to mental communication. Janet is working an opportunity to get to Mariette.

Pulling her hand back slowly she continued speaking where she left off. "Janet should be back before long. Is it... alright if I heal you?" While the twins always knew they were on thin ice, she hadn't expected Alicia to turn on her like this. Following Janet though it was possible they'd deviated further than she'd thought. Cindy was proving to be a cumbersome factor on top of their usual antics.

Alicia’s gaze narrowed as Jenna revealed what Janet was ostensibly up to. While she wanted to believe her, the truth of the matter was that right now she lacked the necessary trust to just take her word for it. Not after what Jenna had done.

”I would prefer not,” Alicia admitted as she shook her head. Though she had released Jenna, she sat back on the bed and kept somewhat aloof. While she was sure that the healing would have happened, her mood prevented her from accepting the offer. Really, the sooner Rachel got here so they could resolve this, the better.

"Very well. I do have some important information to tell you and Rachel though. I'll go check on the others." The girl moved over to the next space where FanFan and Leena were to tend to them.

The two Ascendancy girls were chatting when Jenna arrived, and stared at her when she talked with Alicia and roused her anger. "So she's the girl…" Leena muttered with a raspy voice, having taken off her mask: the others could see she was pale, with sickly black blotches on her arms and legs as a result of Su's curse. FanFan fared better with the bruises on her, but she didn't seem much happier with Jenna's arrival. "Hush, no need to talk, Leena. This will all be sorted soon, so you just relax." Leena grumbled, but complied.

"Jenna Howell!" Rachel's unmistakable voice could be heard from the entrance to the infirmary. She stomped in, her glasses flashing menacingly as she now stood before the Beacon twin with a judgemental scowl, before she pointed at her. "You are hereby under arrest on suspicion of colluding with the Crimson Cradle and Mariette, and treachery against the Beacon order!"

After a moment of deja vu from the looks she was getting followed by Rachel calling her out, Jenna stopped. There were a lot of ways she could react to this. Probably could get away even if she really wanted. None of those options would clear her or her sister though. Stepping out into the open she summoned her spear and gun long enough to toss them on the ground away from her. ”You misunderstand the circumstances, Inquisitor.“ She allowed the guard to apprehend her.

Silence endured, at least until the arrival of Rachel. Alicia had not been tended to yet, but that did not stop her from rising to her feet and stepping over to Rachel. A mixture of emotions was splashed across her face, from anger at what had happened, to sadness at what she had to do. But there was no other choice now.

She watched as the guards went to apprehend Jenna, and in turn the Twin made her case. ”The circumstances seemed pretty clear to me,” she observed. But they would get to that debate soon enough.

Jenna took a glance around and spotted a clone. She wasn't really sure which two she'd clued in on what she was trying to accomplish with the Cradle. "I did inform another Beacon member of what I was doing. There are two Aurelio's clones that should be able to vouch for my intentions." She said turning her head back to face Rachel and Alicia. Was she ever glad she had thought to include them. It may not fix everything, but at least it wouldn't be her word alone against theirs.

“Save your words for the court room,” Rachel replied, and had Amalia place the magic-sealing cuffs on Jenna. “But first, you shall be taken to containment until the trial is ready.” She glanced at Alicia. “Once you have recovered enough strength, you shall serve as prosecution, Paladin Seraph.”
And so Amalia grabbed Jenna by the shoulder in a forceful manner, and shoved her to the containment area, where a cell waited for her. She locked the door, and took guard next to it.

”Understood,” Alicia agreed succinctly. Jenna’s protests were ignored, for she did not want to consider that Aurelio also was in on whatever treasonous activity the Twins had gotten up to. While she had not intended for herself to be prosecutor, it was a duty she would carry out with firm resolve.

Probably, anyway.

She watched as Jenna was escorted out of the room, then returned to her initial seat. Soon this would all be over, and then she could plan how she was going to salvage this mess. If that was even possible at this point.
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Ariamis
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Ariamis MonMon

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Dan was glad to see how many had agreed to lend a hand of assistance to Dina, and bowed his head many times as girls rushed through the portal, one after another. “Thank you! Please be careful!” He waved after them, and sighed once things calmed down again. Now with about two fifths of the total population of girls left and with concern over Dina’s wellbeing on his mind, Dan sat down on one of the sofas with less energy than before. “Well, you girls can go have fun now, but call me if you need anything.” An oversized newspaper appeared, with most of the pages dedicated to comics, and his fins humorously extended to hold it by its sides, hiding his body as he now read it in very uncharacteristic silence.


Lily could sense the feelings of barely suppressed rage and anger that welled within Alex. She could tell he was tired, yet he did not refuse her hand when she took him along. At first, she didn’t think of it with the crisis as a priority to her. But as they rode down the tunnel, she had a thought. “Hey, Alex…” She spoke up.
”After we have saved these people...Let’s just chill, ok? Just me and you, and maybe some anim-I mean, something you’d want to watch?” She corrected herself, followed by a nod at his mention of the chaotic mess from before. Her eyes dipped down, and with wide eyes noticed strange pools of magical liquid. She heard the sounds of fighting at an upper level.
”I hope so too...But it’s starting to look like one.”

She then called out for Dina, hoping the catgirl would hear them. In return, she only heard Mariette’s voice faintly echoing from multiple directions, mentioning portals. While she did sigh from relief knowing she was at the scene, she didn’t like the fact she didn’t hear Dina’s response yet.

”Oh, I hope she’s all right...” She mumbled, and continued driving to the other layers of the underground city, continuing to call out for her. That was when she happened upon what looked like a metal container; it stuck out as having been made from overlapping sheets of what looked like iron. And from the box emerged a small doll-like monster girl. Lily called out at the doll.

”Hey, what’s going on here? Where’s Dina?”



At the Sanctuary’s second level, a battle raged between a terrible monster and an assortment of both magical and monster girls, as well as a mysterious coven of witches. In the midst of it all, portals appeared, Mariette’s voice guiding Sanctuary’s residents away from the battlezone and into safety. Some were wary of the enchanted passages, but most decided to take the chance and leave, soon followed by even the hardiest of skeptics. As a result, Mariette successfully evacuated nearly all of the endangered locals.





Helga gasped as Su forcibly removed the bandages she had placed on her, and shook her head, causing her hair drills to sway. “No Su, we can’t! You still need to recover from your wounds!” But it was too late, as Su gave her argument for helping an ally of Penrose, and she groaned as she followed her through the portal.
“This time I won’t let you hurt yourself like that, Su!”



Helga and Su passed through the portal, back in their battle gear, and ready for a new fight. The toothy girl squinted as she heard fighting sounds with her enhanced hearing, and started running.
“I’ll take point, while you give support, Su,” she told her girlfriend, and then began to run, her claws readied behind her as she ran ninja-style...And activated an explosive rune that detonated right under her foot with a flash of light and a loud explosion, causing her to hit her back against the tunnel wall from the impact. Reaver had arrived just after Lily and Alex had passed off, giving him time to set up traps before the rest had arrived there.

“Urghhh...” She groaned, stabbing her claws into the tunnel wall to lift herself up in dizziness; her enhanced hearing left her weak to an auditory attack at that moment, causing her to turn momentarily deaf and stunned. That was when Su and the Cradle agents, who had just joined them, noticed someone in the darkness of the tunnel; though his face was obscured by an illusory rune, they could tell from the black spiky armor that he might be a Sanctuary resident, or the source of their plight. MDP then arrived, unaware of what had happened, and oblivious of the shadowy person as she took in her new environment.



The door to the containment cell was opened, and Jenna was escorted to the Hall of Divine Judgement. Unlike before, there was no water cooler next to the door; it seems the Ascendancy deemed it better placed farther down the corridor. Unlike the strange mix of futuristic and fantastic that Beacon had for it’s interior design, the Ascendancy was more practical, and had turned it into an inquisition; a long hall with a single podium flanked by seats on either side, and a court at the end where the Ascendancy’s officers had taken their seats. Much like with Alicia’s trial, Ishtar served as judge in the highest seat, with Rachel sitting next to her. Alicia had now taken the place of the prosecution.
“We now start the trial for Jenna Howell,” Rachel announced. “By law, you are permitted to a defense attorney. If you cannot name one, the court will assign one for you.”

Despite the circumstances Jenna had sat quietly and waited until she was brought before the court. Presented the choice of one to provide her defense Jenna considered it for a moment. Aurelio was the most obvious choice on first pass. He was however important to her case and placing him in that position could be more risky. This was the Ascendancy after all. "I would like to be represented by Shamrock Sally." She said after some consideration. The two weren't all that close, but Sally should at least know Jenna and her sister's character enough to at least understand some of their thinking.

The crowd murmured softly as Jenna presented her answer, to which Rachel nodded. “Very well. Sally Shamrock, do you accept the position?” Sally stood up from the audience with a surprised look. “Oh, me? Uh, sure! I’ve never been a defense attorney, but I’m sure it’ll work out.” She casually walked over to Jenna’s side, and Ishtar softly hit her mallet to quieten the hall. Then Rachel spoke again. “Jenna Howell, you are accused of colluding with the Crimson Cradle and Mariette Pedersen, and conspiring against the Beacon. How do you plead?”

”Not guilty.” She said simply and calmly.

Rachel nodded again, and glanced over at Elora, who transcribed every word spoken during the proceedings on her laptop. “The prosecution may now make their case.”

It was strange, being back in this courtroom. Alicia looked around at the gathered crowd, trying to be comfortable in her position. Once she had been down there, standing over the pit that held the downfall of negative judgment. And now she was up here, carrying out that judgment. It was to be expected from her rise in status of course, but for the first time there was still something strange about it.

She stood by, nodding silently as Rachel began the trial, and Jenna chose her defense. Alicia shot a sympathetic look to Sally as she was selected, certainly not wishing any ill will upon her. She’d done what she could to help after all.

Well, this was it. The big moment. Alicia took a breath to steel herself as she glanced over at Rachel, before her gaze fell upon the defendant. “I call on Jenna Howell,” she began. ”Can you tell the court what you did after arriving in Mariette’s pocket dimension at the call for reinforcements?”

”Of course.” She would start. ”Upon arriving I found the Void World active. As instructed by Elora I went to assist Aurelio as his Final Act seemed to be the most hindered by the nullification. The boy transferred his magic to his cane in order for Justine’s bane to be delivered by physical contact. The cane was then entrusted to me to strike the vampire down. I copied the power of another girl on the battlefield in order to gain access to other specializations. This allowed me to close the distance to Justine. The attack would have been clean, but another monster girl got in the way. Regardless the magic severely injured the target and brought her down to a manageable level.” There was a brief pause.

”I and several other girls worked to take down Justine. Most of them had been fighting on Mariette’s side as I later learned. As we had encountered defeated foes seeming to come back from the dead, be retrieved by their patrons, or otherwise taken to be used by evil forces I poured a potion over the remains to purify the body and sever Justine’s connection to Father. I then attempted to return to HQ with her when Silhouette arrived. Then and there I was outnumbered by members of the Crimson Cradle. We could have fought them, however with the Void World gone my Third Eye could see that the dimension was not going to hold up long. Rather than risk all of our lives over a corpse that no longer had corrupted energies I made the decision to negotiate. I go with them to see Justine’s fate and they keep her body. The terms could perhaps have been better, but there was no way to be sure how much time was left before the dimension’s inevitable collapse. It seemed sufficient enough to know she was gone in the moment. I made sure two of the Aurelio clones were aware of the whole conversation so they could report it in. I couldn’t be sure the Cradle wouldn’t turn on me and no one would know where I’d gone or who was responsible. I was also aware that hiding my intentions, purposely or not, could very well result in me standing here before you.” She looked up at those accusing her, but not directly at any one of them with any harshness. Thus far she hadn’t told any lies and she spoke as though she was sure of herself. There was still a little more to the tale to tell though.

”I digress. Having come to an agreement I left with the Cradle members as you know. Unsurprisingly they were wary of me and I found that they’d placed Justine in some location where I could no longer continue to observe her. I left them under somewhat amicable terms that once things settled we could discuss me seeing Justine. Not an ideal situation I am aware and I intend to pursue our late enemy. I returned back here to HQ. I do not return with nothing but empty words though... “ Reaching into her sleeve she revealed and presented a pure white feather. ”This was retrieved from Justine. It bares her essence and the markings of a newly purified magical girl. Whatever her fate the terror Justine once posed is at an end.”

While thus far it seemed as though Jenna was telling the truth, Alicia squinted as she watched Jenna nonetheless. It could have all been reasonable. But at the same time she could not help but feel as if there was more that was being omitted. She had to push on for the sake of the truth. ”Assuming the Cradle does not simply corrupt her again, of course,” Alicia observed. Justine was stuck in their custody after all, who knew what they could do to her now that there were no prying eyes to watch them. And despite her previous interactions with Veronica, they had spent a lot of time defending bad guys recently….

But for now it was time to pluck the next thread. ”When I talked with you before, you expressed a reluctance to take part in the operation against Mariette. Can you tell the court your feelings towards Justine von Visceral?”

“O-Objection!” Sally suddenly stood up from her seat. “The defendant’s feelings are irrelevant to the situation-”

“Objection voided,” Ishtar calmly interrupted the hasty girl with a soft clap of her mallet. “Please answer the question.”

Sally sat down, the bow on her head drooping like sad rabbit ears. “V-Very well then.”

Jenna nodded. "I've no love for the Visceral's or any of Father's followers. They corrupted my sister. Her death was some time coming. If she still lives in a purified state I will abide by my Vow and do my best to support her in the light." By her tone it wasn't hard to tell that she wasn't as enthused by the chance of a purified Justine. Not that it wasn’t something she and her sister hadn’t thought about from the very moment that they gained the knowledge of how to purify others. A reformed Justine would be more helpful than a dead one.

Alicia was silent as Sally made her objection, before they moved on to Jenna’s response. It matched what Alicia had expected, which was a good thing. It played along into her narrative pretty well. ”Thank you for confirming that. After arriving in Mariette’s pocket dimension, how long did it take to realize that Mariette herself had not yet been defeated? And do you remember us discussing the operation before it happened?”

”I did not fully know Mariette’s status until the Void World came down. Since I was told of Aurelio’s spell before entering I assumed that was the opening. I could not keep my usual sense of everything that was occurring with our communication and my magical senses being suppressed. So yes, I do recall we had planned to go after Justine once Mariette was dealt with. I don’t believe we ever discussed specifics though.” Her words were true enough. She probably could have made a greater effort to confirm if Mariette was defeated prior to going after Justine. That very well could have been her blinded by vengeance.

”We did not discuss specifics because you had indicated you did not wish to be involved,” Alicia pointed out. Clearly that had been a mistake.

She turned to the jury then, her arm sweeping out as she gestured down to Jenna. “So, you admit that Justine ‘had her death coming’. You admit that although the situation on the ground was different from what you had expected, you nonetheless persisted in striking down Justine and allowing the Cradle to take her to a secret location of their choosing, whether she is alive or not. Meanwhile Mariette was able to escape, and after the opposition we faced just to get to that point you deprived us of one of the foremost assets we had against her.”

That said, there was still one element left to pursue. So she returned to Jenna a last time. ”Before I finish, there is one last thing. You said you ‘intend to pursue our late enemy’. May I ask where Janet is right now?”

Jenna had something to say about depriving an asset, but she would save that for later. Before directly answering the question though she would address one thing. ”For clarification, ‘late enemy’ refers to Justine. As to Janet’s whereabouts I would like to request communicating that information telepathically to the court as it is sensitive.” Normally things would be fine to speak out loud. She could not be sure anyone not part of the proceedings might not let something out or perhaps it could be listened in by some manner.

Rachel seemed to react, but before she could speak, Ishtar nodded. "Very well. Your telepathic message to the prosecutor shall be left confidential." She glanced at a certain Ascendancy girl, who in turn nodded and closed her eyes, before she hit her mallet. "Please proceed."

Seeing Rachel’s reaction, Jenna raised a hand briefly. ”I do not intend to exclude you or the Cardinal, Inquisitor. I would not want to call into question the prosecution’s integrity.” If no objections were given she would proceed and include Ishtar, Rachel, and Alicia.

I would simply say this out loud, but until we have more I would rather keep this knowledge from spreading beyond a few. If Janet is still out of contact then most likely she has captured and cleansed one of Mariette’s allies, the slime girl known as Eli. It was not by design, but by going with the Cradle I was able to place a suggestion that should lead Mariette to Janet to do the same.”

Tilting her head slightly, Alicia listened as Jenna conveyed the message telepathically into her mind. Her gaze narrowed, her frown deepened, and a deep breath escaped as she took in what was said. She couldn’t even really use this as evidence, due to the confidential nature of it. But it was hard not to guess what her feelings were.

Her head fell as she spoke, voice subdued but still barely audible to those nearby who did not have the benefit of Sound spec. ”After everything, you still don’t trust me.”

She snapped back to some semblance of attention, and nodded to Rachel. “The prosecution rests its case.”

Rachel subtly grimaced, but quickly composed herself once the message was received, while Ishtar only blinked. “Very well then. The defense attorney may now make their case.”

Sally stood up, now looking confident again. “I would like to call forth The Great Aurelio as a witness.” Murmurs spread softly through the courtroom as the magician took his place in the witness stand. Sally then approached him. “So, um, first...” Sally hastily went through her hastily scribbled notes. “You were at the mission Jenna was assigned to, correct? Could you recount to us what you saw there?”

At first glance Aurelio looked as he always did, but it wasn’t hard to see that he was exhausted. His smile was strained and he was slouched as he walked to the witness stand. And when he sat down he visibly winced at being the focus of everyone’s attention. “That’s correct,” he would answer before taking a steadying breath.

“It-” He ran a hand over his face “My apologies” A cloud of smoke enveloped Aurelio for a moment. And when it vanished it was clear that he had detransformed.

“I only recently got all of my clones back so I’m rather exhausted.” Kyle would explain running a hand through his hair.

“My recounting would start before the mission was underway, at the staging ground. Everyone assigned to the mission arrived together, there we were met by Justine and her retinue. Which consisted of at least a dozen or so magical girls most of which I feel were pressed into service unwillingly, as well as another half dozen magicals that she claimed to be associates of hers. Lastly her personal servant Sonia.”

“From there we split into two groups. A frontal assault group and an infiltration group. I was assigned to the assault group, as was Justine and the majority of the other magicals that had been gathered. Our goal was to storm the mansion within Mariette’s dimension, both to draw attention away from the infiltration group and to try and force our way inside.”

He took a deep breath as he recalled the violent affair that seemed like it had happened both so long ago and only just moments ago. “It turned sour fast.” He shook his head, before going on to explain the frantic mess that was the frontal assault. The land mines, the enemies in the snow, the worm like monsters, Justine’s utter disregard for anyone other than herself. The devastating ambush at the front of the house that nearly wiped them out completely.

“At that point I was unbalanced and close to a breakdown due to all the negative emotions in the air. I called in a request to move forward one of the plans in place, as otherwise I wasn’t going to be able to stick around long enough to be of any use when it was time for it. But when I tried to put it into motion again everything went sideways. Again.”

He would go on to explain Leena’s Void World, and the mess of a confrontation that was both the Infiltration team and the assault team meeting up as Mariette and the rest of the Defenders of the house appeared to try and take down Justine. And Reaver’s appearance.

“Within the Nullification I wasn’t able to do much, I’m focused around supporting others with my magic. So with not a lot of options I charged my cane with as much Love as I could and passed it off to Jenna, before rushing to save one of our allies who had taken a spear to the chest.”

He would conclude with the Null field dropping and the mad scramble to get everyone out before the dimension fell apart with them still in it. Mentioning Dan’s portal being guarded by a Hydra, as well as the cradle members taking Justine’s body away and Jenna following after. Only touching upon the potion and projected conversation lightly since this was just a recap at the moment.

The court nodded intermittently in silence as Aurelio exposited of their journey to Mariette’s hideout. Sally scribbled what she could with little success. “Thank you, Aurelio, you may now leave.” She turned to the judge and jury. “As you have heard, my client’s testimony is corrobobated by a trustworthy witness. Corroborated, I mean,” she quickly added. “The defense, uh, rests their case.”

For a moment, frantic whispering filled the sanctified hall, as Beacon girls both old and new tried to make sense of the chaos that had been unveiled from the mission. Finally, Ishtar softly hit her mallet. “This is a complicated case, but the answer is clear. Jenna Howell, for the crimes of colluding with the Crimson Cradle and Mariette Pedersen, and conspiring against the Beacon, I declare you...Not guilty. Your intentions of serving Beacon’s cause is without question, and you have provided evidence of purifying Justine.” But before Jenna could celebrate, Ishtar interrupted her. “However, your methods are unorthodox, and your hastiness and lack of self-control are a cause for concern. I do not know how the local Beacon chapter has handled the training of their recruits, but it seems there may be some improvement to be made. Thus, I sentence you and Janet Howell to 40 hours of discipline training, with at least 2 hours but no more than 8 hours spent every day starting tomorrow. The training program will utilize the Beacon Recruit Basic Training options. This training is to be modified as per the level of proficiency perceived by Alicia Hayden, who will oversee the first day of training to ensure it has been started properly. You may perform this training outside of the local Beacon HQ, but only under supervision from a Beacon officer of higher rank. This training may not be interrupted or denied by anyone, no matter their rank. Any duties you may have are to be delayed until this training is complete, after which you will report to your supervising officer who will assess the results.” Rachel bit her lip at the last sentence, displeased with the verdict, but she only looked away.
“Court is dismissed,” she announced with one final hit of her mallet.

Taking a deep breath, Alicia bowed her head as the verdict was given. It was not the result she wanted, but she would accept it nonetheless. ”Alright. As you decree, Cardinal.” It seemed everything was in Janet’s hands now.

Nodding respectfully, Jenna looked over to Alicia for a bit before eventually making her way over. "Maybe this is for the best. Could help us get back on track. Uhm..." She paused for a bit before speaking again. "I can tell you're angry with me. I don't want our friendship to be stressed because of our antics. I would like the chance to work things out if we could." Her expression was remorseful, even though she wasn't entirely sure what she'd done for such a response. She looked down at the floor as she wrung her hands a bit.

Alicia shifted as Jenna approached, and she regarded the girl with a cautious gaze. As much as there was the desire to make up, there were other parts of herself too charged to simply forgive and forget that quickly. Not with how personal it had become. ”We’ll see. And let's hope your scheme works out the way you want it to.” With that she turned and began making her way out of the courtroom. There were other things she needed to do now that the trial was over, and she would not permit herself to dawdle for too long.

Everyone began filtering out of the court room. Not really having any other reason to stay, Jenna exited as well and went to assist with any other injured that may be left.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Card Captor
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Card Captor The passing through Kamen Rider

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“Hey, Alex…” Lily suddenly spoke up.
”After we have saved these people...Let’s just chill, ok? Just me and you, and maybe some anim-I mean, something you’d want to watch?”

What Alexander wanted to do after this was find Mariette and talk to her, but he didn't have it in him to say no to Lily, especially with her like this. Besides, he couldn't deny that taking some time to just chill sounded really good after the mess that today had been "That...that actually sounds kind of nice." He let himself relax just a little while Lily called out to Dina, with only Mariette's echoing voice as any kind of response 'It almost feels like she's mocking us' Alexander grimly noted. But this came to an end when the two of them came across a strange metal crate, and the magical girl who came out of it

”Hey, what’s going on here? Where’s Dina?”

Lily, unsurprisingly, wasn't suspicions at all. To Alexander however, this whole thing screamed 'trap'. So he stayed silent, while getting ready to throw up a barrier between them and her if the strange girl became hostile 'But seriously, what's with the box?'
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Majoras End
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Majoras End Oyasumi~

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Walpurgis Night and Crimson Cradle

"Eh, too lazy to do a proper header~"
- Maribel


Once the trio had landed in the second level, Lauren's Third Eye flared to life in an instant. "T-The hell?!" She cursed, seeing all the different spells being used. "Illusion, time, reinforcements- Psychic? Nonono, Darkness? Ugh!!" The witch of Order groaned, unfurling her bladed fan. "I think the culprits are still here!! Sooner we deal with this freakshow, the sooner I can kick their asses!" She called over to the other two, swiftly providing back-up to the magical girls affected by the mint agents' spells. However it seemed most of them had decided to evacuate.

And for a good reason. The witches stepped aside for Penny to intervene, almost unphased. "Such power..." Lauren uttered.

Maribel looked to the now sealed off exit, then to the cybernetic queen. "Hm~" She hummed with a smile, and relayed a quick psychic message to her. "Weaken the creature enough and I'll step in to seal it!" The nightmare witch said, summoning a few nightmares of her own; as a means of distracting the monster or otherwise, then rushed in to attack with her parasol. Lauren would follow behind, to guide them through the spells.

"..." Rowena on the other hand seemingly watched on the side, axe in hand. Any chunks of earth that passed her, she would use her own stone magic to sharpen. Though the monster wasn't her concern. She trusted her sisters to handle it. A few seeds appeared in her free hand, and she buried them in the ground below her. "Find them." Rowena quietly told the seeds, vines spreading out in search of the culprits, all with the intention of snaring them.
"God, what a mess..."

Eliza grimaced at the condition of the Sanctuary. Why couldn't they have returned sooner? There wasn't anything concidered a threat in sight, but the residents were in a full-blown panic. Then there was the sludge. Ew.

"Someone's rigged the upper floors with flashbangs. See if you can find a way around, Evelyn and North should be on the other side." Maura explained through both the magicoms and her mental link. Should be easy for Eliza to shadow-step across, and Amanda had her pocket dimention to hop through. Though Valerie would have to find another way.

"Do you mean that someone?" The android spoke up, looking over to the armored figure in the shadows. She squinted her eyes. Black spiky armor? It couldn't have been that Reaver guy, not this early...right? She could've atleast got some upgrades before trying to fight him again.

"A bit too obvious, isn't it. If you plan on confrontation, stay alert, I'll keep you updated on what's happening."

"What IS happening?"

Maura moved through the shadows to the second level of the Sanctuary. "Looks like someone's unleased a monster in the lower levels. The entryway to the top floor's been sealed and Penny's dealing with it so- Oh." At that point did she notice the other witches. Her sisters. "Oh no, why are they here?" she internally groaned. Yet it seemed weird only three of them were present. Where are the others?

"Who's here?"

"If you plan on fighting the monster, three of my old coven are there providing back-up for Miss Asimov. I can't let them know I'm here, who knows how they'll react!" There was a ting of worry in her voice.

Eliza clicked her tongue. "Don't worry, Maura. We'll be careful."

While Eliza stayed near the other cradle agents, Amanda stuck by MDP, and Valerie went off to follow the armored figure.
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“Ta daaa~!” MDP cheered as she and Amanda arrived at the Sanctuary. “Pastel-chan and Magical Dream Princess are here to, like, totally wotally save the day~! (giggle!)”

Taking a moment to get her bearings, the hyperactive magical girl noticed that there didn’t seem to be much happening at the moment. There were a lot of friends here, but, as far as she could tell, no enemies had presented themselves. So much for her flashy entrance and cute pose…

“Sooo, like, what exactly wactly is going on heresie~?” she asked no one in particular. “Magical Dream Princess doesn’t see any meanie weanies to fight… And, like, yucky wucky!” MDP pouted, scowling as she caught sight of the slime Oros had brought back from the Overcity. “There’s, like, this icky wicky slimy wimy stuffy wuffy all over! Oh~! Like, Magical Dream Princess knows~! (giggle!)” she added, brightening up to her usual cheerful demeanor once more. “She can helpy welpy by cleaning this nasty wasty stuffy wuffy aaaaall up~! (giggle!)”

With that, she raised her glittering wand and conjured her Dream Barrier. In a flash, the area surrounding the whimsical magical girl was transformed into an equally whimsical dreamscape, filled with fluffy clouds, rainbows, shooting stars, floating hearts… and ice cream. LOTS of ice cream…

“Like, come on, Pastel-chan~! (giggle!)” MDP called to her friend as she conjured a large silver spoon and began shoveling the ice cream into her mouth. “Magical Dream Princess can’t finish this super duper yummy wummy ice cream all by herselfy welfy~! (giggle!)”
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by BrokenPromise
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BrokenPromise Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

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“Grim dark cyborg epiphany, or noble light horror epiphany?”

— Aighorost


”Interesting.”

The avatar from earlier had reformed itself just outside the Beacon branch building (herein’ the BBB) inside it’s own slice of the multiverse. As something that had yet to be born and experience other realities, it struggled to understand what had happened.

The avatar was somewhat at odds with Beacon. By extension, Oros was also at odds with them. Even barring their own concerns, Oros seemed to have a personal vendetta against the holy order of magical girls. By this very logic itself, it didn’t make any sense to have a structure like this just lying around. Oros even captured Beacon girls and sent them here. Why would they keep around a teleporter, even damaged, that could possibly be used by the enemy? Oros had briefly joined up with Beacon and likely knew what such a device was capable of. The unborn child racked its brain, but it could only come to one conclusion.

But that didn’t really matter right now. While there was little they could do about the past, they could at least prevent Penny from abusing such an exploit in the future.

With nary a thought, a pillar of flesh and plant descended from the heavens. It slammed into the earth like the fist of an angry god. Everything inside the BBB had been pushed half a mile under the earth’s surface. Everything had been crushed under a tendril that could have been as large as the earth itself. When the pillar was removed, all that remained was a deep crater, with a pool of acid eating away at whatever remained of the former structure.

Now it was time to get to work.




N O T H I N G T O L O S E


@DarkwolfX37

Nuncio nodded. ”Well, I don’t need much convincin’.” He squinted his eyes. ”Though if ya related to the Mint- well, never mind. Ya would have helped take down Penny.” He pulled out his phone and started to dial some numbers. ”I’ll see about gettin’ them here. If ya get me ya number, I’ll let ya know when we’re all together. Convincin’ Sammy to do anythin’ is always hard.”



V A L O R


Once the cradle agents were on their way, Viridian turned to Maura.

”Seems my roll here is fulfilled for now.” She stepped onto Maura’s shadow. ”It won’t do to have the new cradle mother without our power. I might be out of sight, but hopefully you’ll keep me in mind, ya hear?” And with that, she sunk into Maura’s shadow.

With Viridian’s Psychic magic, she was able to sync up her mind with Maura’s. The two were practically one now, with Maura able to call upon the cradle’s magic at will. Maura had finished her transition into Cradle’s new leader, and could feel her new power surge inside of herself.




S E R V I T U D E




”Helga!” Su flew over to her side. ”This area is very dangerous! Someone has placed traps!” After making the all-too-obvious facts known to everyone, she looked back at Helga. ”Helga, I’m not going anywhere. I’m too drained and hurt to fight on the front lines. I’m just here to lend everyone my senses. No need to rush ahead.” She smiled at her eager partner before looking towards the box. Su took a few steps closer, but kept her distance. She kneeled and wrapped her arms around her legs. ”Hello? Is there anyone in there?” She waited to see if there was a response. Su did her best to ignore the presence of the icecream, but with so much of it around, it was practically chilling the air.

Vermilion and Trixy on the other hand, were more interested in the dark hallway. Trixy had to use her scope to get any kind of visibility down the dark tunnel. Veronica had little difficulty seeing the stranger.

Veronica didn’t need magic sight to know something was off. She could smell bullshit like this a mile away. ”Since when do innocent denizens of a city walk around with cloaking magic? It’s not like magical boys in spikey armor are a common sight around these parts either.” Veronica told her agents telepathically. She was appalled such a clown was able to kill Cindy. Though perhaps if she could be killed so easily, she didn’t deserve to live anyway. ”Of course the Mint is behind this. Stand back everyone, I’m clearing out the barriers.”

In preparation for what Veronica was going to do, Trixy dropped a handful of acorns on the ground to sprout a half wall to take cover behind. She didn’t mess around either, the wall had to be at least two feet thick, and was rooted in place. Afterwards, she ducked behind her barrier.

The barrier hadn't even finished forming before two flair guns appeared in each of her hands. Veronica dove over the barrier and rushed to Valerie positron before firing with both flair guns. Normally two red-hot flairs wouldn’t do much, but several propane cylinders tumbled out of the darkness around the barriers. If someone couldn’t make out the shape, then perhaps the sound of a hissing propane leak would tip them off. But there would be little time to react before the narrow tunnel was filled with fire and shrapnel. Veronica was able to protect herself and Valerie from most of it. The blinding light from the traps nor the rolling explosion could cast light behind her cape, which she brought in front of herself just as the explosion happened. The shrapnel punched holes in her uniform, but the shards were ultimately captured in a portal to the cradle which manifested itself between Veronica’s cape and Valerie’s body. The cape was not long enough to cover their feet or shins however. The shrapnel did little to harm Veronica's legs, which were resilient to most forms of harm. The small bits of shrapnel were being pushed out of her legs as her regeneration started to work on her injuries.

”Let’s move agents, we have a scheme to foil.” Veronica cast her cape back, leaving the two relatively unscathed. ”Maura, do you think the coven will attack me? I would like to try talking to them if you think it won’t give away your presence.”

Trixy peeked over the edge of the barrier and surveyed for any potential threats. ”Sam, do you see anything with your special eyes?” She could really go for some ice cream right now, it was a shame they were on a mission.
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Things shifted rapidly, as happened so often in Penrose. First was the sudden influx of magical girls from some outside source. This in itself was not an immediate problem, aside from the increased risk of them being detected. It was just more food for the monster to feast on as it moved along the second floor of the facility.

The return of Penny was another wrinkle. “What the hell is she doing here?” Alma hissed. Whatever that crazy girl had done earlier clearly had not stalled Penny for as long as they might like. If she was back, then the initial plan to undercut her leadership by solving the crisis in her absence was clearly not going to work. Again. Well, it wasn’t like they could pull the monster out now. They’d just improvise.

Where hostages might have been an option, it was quickly dashed by Mariette and her effective use of portals to evacuate those who could not reach an exit. The monster reared back as Penny unleashed a spread of gauss shots, punching holes right through the monster and giving Shane the time he needed to get out along with the others. Still, it did not do as much damage as it might have, given the lack of apparent internal organs for her to target.

Moments later the trio of witches appeared on the scene, creating their own monster to join in the fray and getting in close with melee combat. Tendrils lashed out, seeking to grab Lauren and drain her magic like it had the girls before her. For how much it could target the Witch, more effort was devoted to Penny as it surged and sought to grapple with its attacker. The damage from her initial burst reformed, though the beast was lesser for it.

That was when the other nightmare creature joined in, stabbing and crashing against the monster. For a few brief moments there was a frenzy of action as the three fought, until suddenly a shriek filled the air. The monster that had intruded in the Sanctuary began to thrash and writhe as its skin bubbled and sizzled. It dramatically slumped, and was wiped out by the other nightmare monster that had been created by the trio of witches.

On the whole it was very anticlimactic. And there was a reason for that.

In the shadows, the Mint group watched as the monster was ‘dispatched’ courtesy of the killswitch they had put in the beast when they first found the creature down there in the sewers. In an ideal world they would have done the deed themselves, but that was not possible. So they had done the next best thing and given the official defeat to the newcomers. It would deny the prestige of the victory to Penny, and raise some questions about the power of the new arrivals.

“Looks like we’ve been noticed,” Seppa growled, already cracking her knuckles and itching for a fight. Those thoughts had not been particularly hidden, to say nothing of Penny herself. Which was unfortunate. She would have liked to have had that matchup. Perhaps another time, on a more fitting battlefield.
Alma nodded. “Varjo, get us out of here.”

Giving off a cute pout, Varjo waved her hand, wrapping them in Darkness and shifting them out of the depths of the Sanctuary. They did not travel too far, not yet anyway. There was one last matter to attend to.

As they left though, they would leave one parting gift. Twin spells directed at Penny, tinted with Illusion and Psychic magic. The first would twist the air, illusions carefully crafted to alter the appearance of the coven witches to any who would look. No longer human, instead they would appear as nightmare monsters, twisted abominations eager to rip and tear like the previously dispatched for and the new monster that had been summoned to fight it. It likely would not last once they had left the area, but it didn't have to.

The latter would push her to defend the Sanctuary. An insidious voice winding through her subconscious and pushing her thoughts in a specific direction that met their ends. 'Attack. Destroy. Eliminate All potential threats.' All of this simply by playing off her robot instincts and exaggerating the threat she was faced with. Which would, at least in theory, keep the ShineSpark from kicking their butts by merely enhancing what was already there. It was no different than how Aurelio used his emotion magic, though the Mint agents didn't know that.

Seppa reached out to communicate with Reaver again. ’It’s too hot there now. Get somewhere dark, we’ll pull you out’. As much as she wouldn’t have minded Reaver getting himself pointlessly killed for breaking her stuff, the boss still wanted him alive. They had gone to all that trouble of capturing Viva after all.

Hopefully he didn’t keep them waiting too long.

@Majoras End@AtomicNut@Shifter_Master@twave
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Reaver's stern and resolute mood vanished quickly though as the sheer number and power of the people who were entering the Sanctuary right now proved to be much more than his shoddy, hapzard measures could even hope to stop. Huh, is it just me or there's more people than in the Rave? He thought bitterly as he clenched his teeth, and sheathed his weapon.

If they wanted to be so nosy about it, he would show them how it did truly feel.

By the time Cradle was tailing Reaver, he had become truly livid, and his bubbling anger had gone all the way to cold blooded pure sheer spite. First things first. He took measures against gaining intel from reading his mind, via a small reinforcement barrier over his brainstem that would detonate should a mind reading attempt was done, with the effect of jumbling his thoughts and killing him instantly if such a thing happened. He also kept his monstrous transformation at bay as a second countermeasure for that.

It was then when the chime of his comrades reached him, as the direness of the situation increased, with sweet pain from shrapnel coursing through his face and limbs. Too Risky. Half of Cradle and possibly Veronica tailing me. Make it a two step retrieval to avoid hitchhikers. He concentrated to answer back, as he still kept moving forward to avoid being encroached.

With his sword sheathed, and weapons secured, his two hands began to work, using blood from his wounds, drawing a large Rune of Darkness. The effect was pretty straightforward, just to fulfill the extraction condition. Once he saw the rune at work, he'd proceed to do the very last blow he could think.

He punched a short message on his phone. "Sanctuary. Monster Rampage. Penny. Mariette. Cradle." He typed in as fast as he could, before sending it to Beacon of all people, and crushing his mobile device, as he hopefully teleported away.
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Oros might have left Sanctuary, but she had no intention of staying away.

She was determined not to leave as a failure. Now more than ever, Oros needed to make sure her plan came to completion. It was a shame she had been purified, because she could have rode the teleport to their next destination. But she wasn't even aware it was happening. So she should probably just tune that out of her mind. Regardless, Oros knew it was going to be difficult. Due to the collabs she had appeared in for during the time skip, it could prove a little awkward to try to enter the sanctuary right now. Paradoxes were not cool, especially when preventing them was as easy as walking away from a fiesta. Not that Oros even knew a fiesta was going on. Well, beyond the Mint being present. But she had faith that her writer would guide her to victory. Maybe.

"Alright." She rubbed her hands together. "We're gunna do this like a teenage boy looking at porn on his dad's computer: Incognito!"

As soon as Oros lowered her claw into the ground, she froze. There was a strange sensation all over her body. Actually, no. The fact that she was feeling anything at all was strange. She could feel the cold air on her skin, her claw being pushed against her wrist from the impact, the sensation of her jacket hugging her shoulders. She wasn't numb anymore.

Oros was shaken from her thoughts when the sanctuary trembled. The vibrations ran straight up her claws into her body. Time was a-wastin'. She started digging.

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Despite hearing Lily calling out for Dina, the doll girl had no idea who she was or why she was looking for Dina. She narrowed her eyes before taking a step back. The nails she'd sent out returned to her. "I don't know who you are. You're staying here and I'm leaving or I'll drop this building on you." A couple bolts unscrewed themselves and clattered to the ground to prove her point. She hopped up on the crate she'd made as metallic legs sprouted from the box and it began climbing up the wall to bypass any of the barriers that might still be around.

Eliza arrived as she was ascending. That at least made her feel a little better but she didn't feel safe with all these strangers running around. "Eliza!" She stopped moving. She glanced back and forth for a moment trying to decide what to say. After a few seconds she finally resolved something. "Are they with you?" She pointed down to Lily and Alex.
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Well, they managed to fell the monster. Somehow.

"Aww..." Maribel pouted. So much for a new pet, she thought, but at least it was dealt with easily. Too easily. Her, Lauren, and their summoned creature bounded back to their third. Something didn't seem right.

"Odd. It looks like the culprits fled, but I still feel traces of illusion and psychic magic. But how...?" Lauren noticed, her third eye dimming down slightly. They then turned to address Penny.

"Are you alright, dear?" Maribel asked.

Penny didn't reply, and at first it didn't seem like she even acknowledged the witches being there in the first place. She simply wrenched her lance like appendage from the corpse of their slain foe. And only once it was freed was it that she turned her head to face these new arrivals.

She gazed at them in an almost blank manner, her face was empty of emotion. But her eyes, for all the rest of her being smooth and controlled, her eyes blazed with seething hate and venomous anger. The crimson glow they emanated flaring slightly really was the only warning they got.

Wordlessly Penny lunged at the one closest to her, the tricone drill roaring to life as she sought to tear the witches head off with it.

in the same movement she leveled her lance arm towards the creature they had summoned and with a short burst of static the lower part of her arm was fired off trailing a length of chain as she sought to harpoon her one time ally.

Lastly, and most damningly, every scrap of metal in the Sanctuary tugged in Penny's direction. The Engine was fully online and would not be denied.

Once they realized what Penny intended to do, they only had a short interval of time to act. Lauren applied barriers to herself and her sisters (and anyone else near them that wasn't a threat) before summoning a current of water to hold off every bit of metal nearing them.

The creature they didn't have to worry about. It could be resummoned later on, albeit somewhat different. But then there was the matter of the witches themselves. Regardless of who was targeted first, Rowena would silently step in to block Penny's tricone drill with her axe. If it didn't snap her weapon in two immediately, wooden roots growing from the handle would grab a hold of the arm, and she would attempt to suplex the rogue machination.

"Now, now, is that how you greet a new guest~?" Maribel asked the EoD, her tone suddenly laced with displeasure.

"I don't think she's in the right mindset for that, Mari! Something's egging her- egging it on!!" Lauren warned her, focused on keeping her spells up.

The haft of Rowena’s ax wouldn’t snap on impact, though it was a near thing, the grinding nature of Penny’s new hand quickly tore through the remainder of it and any roots that spread from that point would find themselves cleared away by the teeth of the chainsaw that wrapped around her right arm. Her strike would glance off the protective barrier, but that hardly even slowed her down as she near instantly followed up with a back hand to the same spot seeking to simply overwhelm the magical defense through brute force.

In addition to her hammer blows the two right side spider limbs would also lash out, one aiming to strike Rowena’s face and the other to strike her knee.

Amidst this attack Penny’s gaze would snap towards Lauren for a moment, her brow furrowing ever so slightly, and with an inhumanly deft touch she whipped the length of chain between her and her left arm lodged in the floor to try and loop around Lauren’s neck. The links in the chain suddenly became covered in serrated spines just before Penny pulled the loop tight.

Her remaining two spider limbs tracked the last of the three witches, waiting for them to react, and the instant that she moved towards Penny they would lash at center mass seeking to inflict harm however they could.

The immediate danger above seemingly dealt with the rubble that had closed off this space shifted as Shane slid down to back Penny up. He'd identified that the monster from earlier was dispatched. Now the mechanical girl had set her sights on these newcomers. Only seeing them briefly before her hadn't seen them do anything to anyone. Gut reaction was that they were a threat, Penny was attacking them after all. It wasn't that his PoF had necessarily indicated to him though. "Penny looks to already be working on it, but I'm going to have to ask you to leave." The rubble below him began to shift as he was ready to act.

"?!" Rowena clicked her tongue when her axe snapped in two, being forced to throw her weapon aside at the moment. Her barrier did well to defend from Penny's strikes, but it wouldn't hold out forever. Not to mention this didn't stop her from getting staggered. The strike at her knee caused Rowena to collapse with a grunt, but she quickly shot the grown vines from earlier at the cyborg to restrain her away.

Lauren wasn't so lucky. Before she could intervene, Penny had looped the chain around her neck, causing the emerald-haired witch to gag. The spikes scraped at her own barrier, taunting her to focus more on reinforcing herself over defending the other two. "Do something, goddamnit!!" She called out to the idle witch, clawing at the chain.

The aforementioned Maribel on the other hand, refused to act. Atleast, not yet. Even she could tell their unintended foe was not one to be trifled with. She pondered, what was causing such uncalled for behavior? Lauren had mentioned something about traces of psychic magic.

Wait a minute...

Before Maribel could act, a third party had entered, just as ready to attack them as Penny.

"Oh for god's sake man, we're not the threat here, SHE is! Something's provoked her somehow, and it ain't our doing!!" Lauren barked at Shane, cutting through the chain on her neck with a sharp current of water. They were just trying to defend themselves! They wanted to help with the monster, and this is how they're thanked?!

Rowena nodded almost violently, appearing scared over their situation, but their third...

Maribel chuckled.



"Blind justice? Or an attempt to play 'hero'?" Violet eyes slowly turned to look at Shane, yet she wasn't smiling. "I must say, this is one hell of a way to roll out the red carpet. Though I will admit, the monster was our only target. We never intended to play with the locals." The corner of her mouth quirked up with another chuckle. "Though if you really wish to fight...so be it."

Maribel casted a hand out, conjuring up a nightmare barrier around the battlefield. Even if it seemed like she was going all out, she had an idea. But first she had to explain to Shane her intentions.

"I've- Er, we've to believe your friend here's under the effects of a psychic spell. I can't tell what kind, but I can try and calm her down regardless. But I also can't risk her hurting my sisters. Are you with us, or against us?" She told him through a quick mental link. Didn't seem to have any ill will to the boy.

Eyes darting from Penny to the group he didn't have a hard way to confirm what was being said was 100% the case. Penny's EoD was not a good sign. It was a thing monster girls suffered that made them difficult if not impossible to reason with. After a few moments he shifted the ground under him to deflect some of Penny's attacks. "Get to the end of the hall, I can defend from there." There wasn't much down there as a dead end, but it was still a work in progress that the boy could use to tunnel.

Rowena was successful in stalling Penny the vines rapidly entangling her giving the witch time to get out from under the enraged Queen. Just in time as well, as in a burst of lightning Penny reduced the vines to little more than cinders. Her next strikes were diverted by Shane’s alteration of the battle field however, it caused her kick to go wide and her spider limbs diverted from lashing out at the witches to moving to stabilize Penny so that she wouldn’t fall due to the unexpected betrayal.

Yet once again the reprieve was short lived. Penny half spun in place, lashing out at Shane with the length of still spiked and serrated chain. Obviously treating him as much of a threat as the witches now.

In the same instant Penny pushed off the floor with her spider limbs before inverting in mid-air and landing on the ceiling as if it was the floor, yet it was hardly a moment before she launching off, flying towards Lauren spinning into an ax kick aimed at the witch’s head, a cocoon of lightning wreathed around her leg sparking to life as she neared.

Maribel's grin returned when Shane decided to help them. "Glad to work with you, dear~!"

Rowena and Lauren took the opportunity to regroup with the other two, the latter having to form a barrier around Shane before Penny attacked him as well. Though it seemed to only turn the cyborg's attention back to her. Lauren was ready to counter attack with light magic when another nightmare creature honed in on Penny, with the intent of knocking her down. If not, it would hopefully stall her enough for the witch of order to escape.

More nightmares then turned their sights on the Engine of Destruction, commanded by Maribel like a conductor to an orchestra. She was trying to tire Penny out by providing her opponents.

"Are you sure you want to be controlled like this? By forces that only wish to do harm?" She tried to get through to her. To reassure her. "We don't want to hurt you. The threat is gone, can't you tell?? Everything's okay, but you need to calm down. Please..."

The strike against him blocked, Shane jumped between Penny and the witches. For what it was worth he would try and lend his PoF to calm the monster girl down. "You need to stop Penny. They were here to help." Some of the rubble moved in behind him to bar the path to the others. He was ready to use it to push them back if need be as well. This whole fiasco was making a mess of the Sanctuary and what it stood for.

The first summoned nightmare was able to intercept Penny but it did little more than absorb the blow for Lauren as the electrified ax kick split it in half, but along with the other monsters summoned to mob Penny it was enough for the apparent primary target of Penny's ire to retreat from the front line.

From there the creatures that swarmed her were mowed through with ruthless efficiency, as Penny weaved around them landing devastating blows seemingly at her whim while her gravitic barrier and holographic armor invalidated any strikes that were lucky enough to land. And rather than slowing down it seemed as if she was slowly speeding up. Hitting harder and more precisely the longer the fight went on.

And oddly enough each strike Penny landed seemed to splatter water everywhere slowly covering the floor in it.

Her rampage would bring her ever closer to the witches, and when Shane planted himself between Penny and them, she did not show him much mercy. A low sweep along with one of her spider limbs lashing to drag him to the floor before an ax kick slamming into his ribs. Notable in the fact that while painful, it wasn’t Penny’s full force. She wasn’t trying to kill him, just incapacitate.

Maribel would connect with Penny and before she could really speak, she would be assaulted by a deluge of thoughts as Penny’s inhumanity was plainly obvious in the speed of her thoughts. Penny was keeping track of each witch individually along with Shane. A short tally of what types of magic she had witnessed from them, and the assumption that Shane was the one being controlled by Maribel. But the overwhelming thoughts that seemed to spur her anger was the heartache and pain she was facing.

This was her home, defiled, and defaced. For reasons she wasn’t sure of, but knew was very much intentional.

And hidden under all of that was the lingering trace of someone else’s presence, the psychic equivalent of poured gasoline on the bonfire that was Penny’s mental state. In addition to She could see that something was going on that made it so that Penny did not see the witches as humans. Rather she saw them as more advanced nightmare creatures, thus yet more things that were destroying her home.

Suddenly The witch’s connection was violently severed as the ShineSpark surged to life. Just in time to see Penny throwing one of the nightmare spawn at Maribel, before once again launching herself at the witches. No longer targeting Lauren as her first priority, now it was Maribel herself.

The nightmare witch flinched before her connection was even severed. In honesty, she felt guilty being forced to fight Penny, after what she gathered. But there was no time to dawdle, she had her sights set on her. She caught the spawn with one hand, and readied her parasol for another counter attack. "Lauren! The illusion magic's affecting US!"

"Oh now you can tell?!" Lauren grunted. Since Penny turned her attention away from her, it seemed like the right time to do something. While Maribel had her turn to distract, she rushed over to remove the curse on both ends, propelling herself with water.

Crushed under foot from the strike, a stunned Shane lay on the floor for a moment. He wasn't as durable as he used to be. His outfit and regen allowed him to recover fast enough to stay awake. He spotted Lauren making a move. Illusion? He didn't quite make out what was said and he didn't have all of the context. Really though that didn't matter a whole lot at the moment. Penny was not acting herself and had attacked him a couple times now. It seemed like if anyone tried to get in the way that she would attack them. He was suddenly getting a feeling of deja vu.

Tensing up the rest of the rubble moved to block more of Penny's strikes, which was more than just batting a few chunks of concrete or earth out of the way as he was pulling more material from the hole he'd made evacuating others earlier. It would also get her off of him and he rolled out of view behind the material. "Queens need to come off my list of leaders." He coughed somewhat sarcastically. This was the second one to go off the deep end and strike him for trying to help.

Midair Penny poised her left arm for a strike, and as she did so the chain could be seen retracting but rather then simply tucking into her arm and vanishing it seems that she had reconnected the two lengths of chain at some point so rather than a flat surface she was ready to strike with the tip of a vicious spike. One that she lent all of her weight into as she sought to crash straight through the parasol that Maribel readied in defense.

The stones Shane had arranged to defend would flow out of the way at the last moment as well, something he could tell was from another Stone user. At the same time they would notice a red sheen flickering across Penny.

Lauren would notice as she rushed closer that Penny seemed to be leaking water, and that all the water she had conjured was pooling closer as she neared.

A cyborg? Leaking water? The stone defenses moving without either Shane or Rowena's interference? It didn't take her third eye to realize what that meant.

"I'm fighting with a goddamn mimic!?" Lauren screeched, but shook her head to refocus. She could put an end to the fight if the other three could stall for a bit longer...

Maribel had to draw her parasol back against the weight of the EoD, and Rowena had to step back in to help push the cybernetic queen away. Their defense could only take so much before it wears out.

This kind of magic certainly weren't ones that Shane had ever seen Penny use. The mechanical girl had a way of constantly changing and adding things each time they met though. Using Stone magic was nothing to sneeze at though. When you really wanted to start moving the earth you better be ready to exert your mana. He would rather try and not tear the place apart though. Having more mana to spend he opposed the movement of the stones and tried to collapse them around Penny to hold her back.

"Everyone else is out Penny! Mariette evacuated them and Paree has brought in reinforcements. You're being manipulated just like Cindy." The boy didn't stay back like the others. He didn't know what the cyborg was planning but he didn't intend to let her use it on the witches. Maybe nothing would happen, but he would try and tackle the girl. "We need to find everyone and leave."

Taking control of the stone back from Penny was an easy affair for Shane. Her grip on the stone was nearly identical to his, but she lacked the same mystical strength so overpowering her was simple. It didn't stop her from simply rendering them to dust when he tried to contain her with them however.

And at first it seemed like his attempt to leap onto Penny was going to be met with a forceful reintroduction to the floor if the two spider limbs that had lashed out at him were any indication, but just before they slapped him out of the air they instead grabbed him and more or less strapped him to Penny's back.

'Wh̴a͠t̡ ͠do҉ they loǫk̶ ͡l͝ik̸e̡? Shane would hear Penny's voice suddenly cut into his thoughts, the sudden telepathic connection rough and parts of Penny's underlying feelings were bleeding through.

Penny kept fighting, but there was a notable change to it. she wasn't trying to batter though the witches' defenses anymore, she was simply trying to keep them occupied as she rained down blows.

"They're just magical girls. I saw them come in and they ignored everyone else. White dress, blonde hair, has a parasol. Green hair, blue vest, has like a crown on her head... He would quickly explain the three. Getting a dose of how Penny felt was a little distracting, but he'd had worse dumped into his brain.

While it looked like Shane was distracting Penny, Lauren got close enough stealthily to remove both the psychic influence on the latter, then the illusion affecting her and her sisters. Safe to say, they looked a bit worn out.

Stealth failed the instant that Lauren's magic touched Penny who turned and lashed out at her instantly. But for the first time in this conflict she canceled her own attack. At the moment just before impact Penny came to a complete standstill. Her crimson eyes bored into Lauren's examining the witch as if she had seen her for the first time.

As one moment turned into two, so long as no one else continued the fight Penny would at last disengage. Carefully turning to look at the other two witches as she did so. Another moment longer and her limbs would return to normal hands and the holo-armor would fade away.

"Woul̷d͠ ̴an̕ ͏apolog̕y͢ be s͘u͢f̢f̡ic͘i͘e̴n̢t?͏" She would ask, her voice cracking and distorting as the water stopped leaking from her and dried.

Now that she was finally calm, the witches could relax. Lauren undid the defenses around everyone and unsummoned the water left over. Maribel's nightmare barrier dissipated as well. "Heheh, no need for apologies, dear~ Though I do need to repair my parasol..." The nightmare witch reassured Penny.

"Y'gave us one hell of a welcome, but I gotta say, you're impressive. Hang on." Lauren reached out again to continue healing the cyborg, both physically and mentally. "The same bastards that unleashed the monster were causing you to attack us too. That's why we kept on the defensive side." She explained. Though even I couldn't tell why at first. A spell that carefully crafted is dangerous."

Meanwhile Rowena went to fix her axe, ever the quiet one.

With the fighting stopped, Shane grabbed the arms holding onto him and jerked them off of him. Back on his own feet he adjusted his coat. "I can't leave you people alone for a minute before..." He cut himself off before completing the thought. "Remind me never to take the title of king. I'm pretty sure it's cursed." He was very clearly frustrated and stepped away but didn't leave, you know, in case things started going crazy again. He crossed his arms and waited.

"҉C̵ircưm͘st͡a̶nce̴, not̡ the ̸spel͠l"̸ Penny would correct "̕J́ust́ r͡e̵tu͡r̢n͠eḑ f̵r҉o͠m a ̧Hor̴ro͜r's͜ ͡re͡al̡m w̨h͡ère̶ ̶I coul͞d ̢fee͠l͟ thi͟s attac̛k͟ ̸t̛aking pl͝ace̷"̡ She would explain as Snoopy floated down from where he was hiding. He would let out a low beep before displaying an image of Aighorost. then added how Penny saw the witches right next to it.

She would turn towards Shane as she let the witches examine the images "I a̷gr̷e͝e. I̴t ͝is w͟hy ̶I͘ ̸t̕ook ̸it́ ͡up mysel̡f. Tha̸nk ̶you ҉a̶ņd͟ ̕my̨ áp͡ol̷og͏ìes̀"̷ She would nod her head in Shane's direction, the second display of emotion she had given so far. "͘D͞o yóu ̸know͘ w̡h͡èr̸e D́ina i͜s̵ l͢oc͠at̕ed͏?" She would ask "̸I͢f M͜ar̨i̡e̷t̀t́e w̴as c͠ąpab͘l̴e͝ ̢òf͜ ͢as̴sįsting̸ ̶t̡h̢ę ̀Rège͜nt ͝s̷h͟ould h͡a̛ve͢ re͡t̴u̴r̶n̵ed ͜as we̵l͟l̀"͡

"Not sure. I think she was fighting someone above. Haven't heard from her after that. I'd go and look but I have to keep an eye on you." He said dryly. He didn't know what Penny was referring to with the Regent.

The trio of lesser forces looked between the two images, then grimaced in unison. "Eugh, no wonder. But the only one closest to a horror here is Maribel," Lauren motioned a hand to the blonde. "I'm Lauren," Then to herself. "And the quiet one's Rowena." Then to the aforementioned, who politely waved.

"Hm~? Why don't we go check together then~?" Maribel suggested to Shane, ready to portal everyone to the first floor.

Penny would hold up a hand for a moment as she closed her eyes and seemed to take in a deep breath before letting it out slowly. As she did her natural color slowly bleed back in. Red replaced with gold, gray returned to white and so on.

"Probably Oros" She would reply to Shane. It would make sense considering what she knew of the crazed girl. "And lets go"

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J o n a l d



"Last online: 5 months ago. But at least I have a face now."

— Jonald


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Lily’s expression quickly changed from friendly to tense when the doll openly threatened her with violence, and she summoned her magical bow Ramuh, taking a combat stance as she took note of the girl’s Metal magic. She didn’t know whether the doll girl was one of the local residents in the Sanctuary or an assailant, but regardless, she wouldn’t let herself be intimidated.
“I’m Lily Lightning, defender of justice and punisher of evil!” She announced in a stern tone, and summoned a lightning arrow, nocking it.
“And if you don’t let me pass and help these people, you’re going to regret it!”
However, before things escalated, Eliza arrived.
“Eliza?”
Lily recognized her from the last time they met as well as by the doll calling her by name, and she let the lightning arrow’s electricity flow back into her palm. That was when the place shook, as sounds of a great battle raged above.
“We don’t have time for this! Come on!”
She attempted following the doll girl by running up the wall, but the slimy surface proved too slippery to climb, causing her to fall. However, using her great dexterity, she oriented herself with a flip, and made a recovery landing.
“Dammit! Take this!”
Frustrated, she shot at the barriers with her lightning arrows and bolts.





Helga winced as Su came to her side, and nodded with a grimace. “Should have figured...Ugh, I was careless again.” With her help, she stood back up to her feet and advanced further into the Sanctuary through another tunnel. They soon arrived at what looked like a residential area, the floor covered with a strange, magically reactive slime. They saw how Magical Dream Princess was working her magic nearby, transforming the foul environment into a pastel-colored wonderland, purifying the area in the process. Helga’s eyes widened as she was honestly impressed. “Huh...That girl may be a few apples short of a bushel, but she can get work done.” In the distance, they saw an unnaturally made metal box, as well as Lily, who had approached a doll-like girl. They soon caught up with them, only for the toothy girl to sneer when the doll girl fled the scene. “So all the action’s past this wall? Fine, let me rip and tear it apart!”

It took a moment, but with everyone working together, they broke down the obstacle, allowing them to pass through. However, the fighting seemed to have already ended, as they now found a group of people: Shane, Penny, as well as a trio of witches. Lily managed to catch the very last snippet of their dialogue where Penny mentioned going somewhere.
“Penny! Shane! I’ll help too!!” She yelled between bouts of heavy breathing as she pressed her palms on her knees. Helga on the other hand groaned. “So can someone tell us what the hell is going on? We saw some weird gunk on our way here, and I think that’s not a part of the local decor.”



Meanwhile, at the Beacon’s front desk, where Delphi was currently working at, she received a strange message. “Sanctuary….Monster Rampage...Penny, Mariette, Cradle?!” She immediately checked the message’s data, but the tracer device couldn’t track the broken mobile phone. She knew who to turn to in this case as she activated her communicator. “Technical Chief, come in. We have just received an anonymous message. Patching it in.” The voice soon responded. “Confirmed. Beginning BTS scan...Transmission network identified.” Elora spoke, typing away fast as a holographic map of Penrose pinged with a radar-like circle. For a moment, she simply looked at the map.

“...Interesting.”
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Alexander sighed when Lily's attempt to run up a wall failed. "Give me a second" Walking up to her, Alexander but his hand on her back an focused. Normally, when he boosted someone it was at range. But with direct contact, he didn't have to deal with any magical 'static' (for lack of a better term) in the air getting in the way. This let him super charge Lily (pun very much intended)

“So all the action’s past this wall? Fine, let me rip and tear it apart!”

Alexander turned his head to see a few familiar faces; Sue and Stomach-Shanker. "Well there's plenty of wall to go around. Go nuts

It didn't take long at all for their combined firepower to break through, and on the other side they found even more familiar faces.

“Penny! Shane! I’ll help too!!” Lily managed to gasp out

Hearing her so strained, Alexander but his hand on her back again, but this time let healing magic flow into her "Give me a second to straighten you out. I swear; you'll run yourself ragged if no one is there to stop you. Haven't you ever heard of pacing yourself?" He then turned to Shane and Penny (but kept healing Lily) "But yeah, any information you have would be great. All we know is that this place is under attack, and that apparently slime(?) is somehow involved. We're pretty much working blind here"
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Seppa all but rolled her eyes as Reaver warned of the potential threat he might bring with him. At least he wasn't insisting on some pointless fight that would only serve to get himself killed. So he had lived up to her very low expectations at last. Relax, tough guy. We've got it under control,' she told him before waving to Varjo. She cast the spell, wrapping him in shadows before teleporting him to near the group of Mint aligned magical girls.

Of course, it looked like Seppa had also mentioned what he had said to the others. Varjo waved to him as she turned on her feet, still grinning eagerly. "Come on, let the Cradle come. We'll send them running back to their mommy for their nap times," she gloated with a toothy grin. She did not fear a fight with them.

Ilmarinen nodded along, though less enthusiastic than his companion. "Al would probably not object to us fighting Veronica's pawns. We need a better idea of what she's built anyways."

While they debated the merits of fighting the Crimson Cradle posse, Seppa had been keeping an eye on the ongoing battle using her Psychic powers. As such, she was aware of when it resolved, and the general opinions of those involved. "Looks like things are wrapping up in there. They managed to talk penny down. If there's a grudge, I'm not feeling it," she informed Alma.

"Tch," Alma grumbled. Her teeth clicked together as her tail agitatedly swished in frustration. "People in this city are way too forgiving." They could do all the manipulation and mind games that they wanted, but when the heavy hitters were so willing to make up it made things very difficult.

Well, they had done what they could. Alma calmed herself before looking to her companions. "We should get out of here before they come looking for us. There's no point in lingering now." They would depart, and then plan their next move. She turned and began leading the way in the opposite direction from the Sanctuary, out into the city beyond. This particular act had concluded, but the play was far from over.

@AtomicNut




The trial had concluded at last. Leaving the courtroom, Alicia's shoulders sagged fro9m the weight of it all. She was tired from the fighting, the lost adrenaline that now pulled her down. She continued to feel the sting of her wounds, though that was perhaps more mental than physical by this point. Then there was the emotional weight, which continued to tug at her mind even now.

She knew that she should not harbor regrets over the trial. She had presented her case as best she could, drawn n the facts as she knew them. Perhaps she had been wrong to think the Twins were in league with the Cradle. But all the same, it had looked pretty incriminating from her angle. Ultimately the trial had ended against her favor. Now she just needed to move past that and follow the verdict of the Cardinal.

For all that she wanted to do that, it was easier said than done. She continually found herself shocked and dismayed by the local girls who had rallied to defend Mariette. She just couldn't understand how they had been so fooled. Not only that, but as the one in control of this mission she found herself continually replaying events in her head as she made her way down the halls of headquarters. What could she have done better? Continued inside the mansion through the ambush? Blasted their way to the roof? Over and over, again and again.

Honestly, if the Twins plan was the one that ultimately ended up working, she wasn't sure how well she would take it. Whatever said plan was. Denied a final confrontation, denied that resolution, and humiliated by the clandestine actions of her own subordinates, it was a galling thought.

God, she was going to need to do something to destress later.

For now she arrived at her office. Swinging open the door, she stepped into the welcoming atmosphere and moved over to her desk. Writing a report would distract her from the more annoying emotional issues, so that was what she would do. All she could do now was wait and see how things resolved themselves. She could no longer impact how Mariette's story resolved. She just needed to be ready for whatever came next.
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"Tch." Reaver clicked his mouth, upon hearing the forgiving nature of people. "Looks like my dance with Cradle will have to wait." Upon hearing the news of people not descending into chaos further as initially intended. There was no use in crying over spilt milk, indeed. But he allowed himself a bit of a smirk.

"Will they make friends with Beacon too, I wonder?" He added. "This was a real conundrum of a fight, so as a good witness, I had to tell them... pity that my phone got destroyed in the process, now they'll have to shoot first and ask questions later." The knight added, before addressing the trio on a peculiar subject. He had not told about this earlier as his major concern was to carry out the mission.

"Where's Viva?"
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As Maura watched her sisters fight, she almost didn't notice Viridian stepping beside her. Her then worried expression changed as she listened to the other girl, and watched her leave as quick as she arrived. She flinched as the newfound magic made it's way within her. Getting a new feel for the power, she connected the rest of her girls' minds with the magicoms.

Then there was Veronica's request to speak with the witches. "They should be unaware of who you guys are, so it should be okay to talk with them." Maura told her, watching as the rest of the back-up met up with Penny and Shane.

”Understood.” Veronica tucked her arms behind her back and walked towards the witches. Val was free to do as she wished, and she saw no reason to involve the other cradle agents in this. It was probably best if it was just herself and the coven speaking anyway.

”New faces. It’s odd how many show up around Penrose, given it’s dire situation. Regardless, it looks like you’re on our side.” She looked at each of the witches individually before placing a hand on her chest. ”They call me Carnelian Cinders in the north.” Veronica wasn’t lying. Carnelian Cinders was her alias in the north. She couldn’t risk telling a complete lie to these witches, as one or more of them might have the ability to detect it. Fortunately many years of black ops taught her to lie as easily as she could breath. Even her mannerisms could change on command to fit her new persona. But that was hardly needed here. ”I’d like to know who you are, if you don’t mind. You don’t seem like the sort who came to sanctuary for protection.”

The three turned to face Veronica with mixed expressions. "Cinders, huh? I feel like I heard of you before."

”It’s not my true name of course. Carnelian gemstones can be red and black in color. Same with cinders, which can be red or yellow when heated, but are gray or black when burnt up. I just named myself after my colors, so I’m afraid any relation to someone you've heard of is purely coincidental.”

Lauren noted, not detecting any lies so far. "Regardless, it'd take too long to introduce ourselves to everyone so I'll only say this once. My name is Lauren Corvus, the Witch of Order."

Maribel then walked up next to Lauren, holding a hand out for Veronica to shake. "Maribel Whitley, Witch of Nightmares. A pleasure to make your acquaintance~ Veronica shook her hand lightly before stepping back again.

"..." Rowena lightly waved with a polite smile.

"And that's Rowena Beck, the Witch of Life. She doesn't talk much." With introductions out of the way, Lauren was able to explain why they arrived. "We felt a surge of nightmare magic from this area and came to investigate. At first I though it was Maribel's work, but the fact that we haven't heard of any others with nightmare magic for years..." Her brows furrowed for a second. "We originally planned to grab the monster and go, but it got defeated too easily. A killswitch, I suspect. Same people who set it off tried to turn; Penny, was it? Against us." She appeared unamused. "We did manage to calm her down though, so things should be fine now."

Veronica nodded. ”Well, it is a pleasure to meet with you all. You must be truly powerful if you could contend with Penny. Stronger still if you could tell the monster had a built in kill switch.”

Lauren shrugged. "It's the only assumption I have. Seemed fishy for something like that to die so easily, but my third eye doesn't lie."

”You getting all this, Maura? Should I tell them what I know about the nightmares affecting the businessmen in the area?”

"Loud and clear, V. Maribel might be interested in that kind of info." Maura replied.

”…But it is interesting that you should bring up nightmares, because there have been reports of wealthy businessmen falling ill after having horrible dreams.” Veronica looked at the witch of nightmares. ”I have not looked into the matter myself. Is there a reason why you want to investigate?”

Maribel's eyes lit up. "Really now?" For once, she genuinely smiled. "Well, it's as Lauren says! We haven't heard of any other nightmare magic users in years! Although, I may have to help cease the businessmen's nightmares. But this just shows I'm not the only one!" She actually seemed excited.

”You did, I was more inquiring if you just wanted to meet who was causing the nightmares, join them, slay them… well you get it. Specifics.”

"Oh heavens no! I'd never kill a possible apprentice. I only want to get to know them~" Maribel chuckled.

”Understood.” The cradle agent placed a hand on her hip. ”Speaking of nightmares, there was a girl using dream magic. She was right behind us. I think she was eating ice cream?”

At the mention of a dream magic user, she suddenly froze. "Dream magic, you say...?" the nightmare witch looked to the hole leading to the first floor, almost hesitant. "...Could it really be?"

"Maribel's partner, the past Witch of Dreams, got killed a long time ago." Lauren explained once more. "By one of our own, no less! We've been trying to look for both her and the next incarnation with no luck. Eventually, our coven broke off from each other, for one reason or another. Us three just happened to stick together despite that.

Maura frowned from her shadow as she listened, regretful.

It was possible Veronica had said too much. But her main goal was to ensure they left so that they couldn’t bother Maura anymore. They didn’t seem like bad people. Powerful perhaps, to a disturbing degree even. But surely there was nothing wrong with leading them to what they wanted. At least, so long as it wasn’t Maura.

”Yes, they were right behind me. I don’t see why they should have moved.” Veronica looked back at the slain blob. ”Well, you’d better get going. She’s a whimsical sort, so who knows what she’s going to do next?” Veronica forced a smile.

"Right- Right then. Might as well say hello~" Maribel gave Veronica a crooked smile, before going back to the first floor.

Lauren stretched in place. "Well, I'm gonna go clean up the rest of that sludge we ran into, then make myself scarce. Nice meeting you, Carnelian." She followed the former. That left Rowena.

"....Hey." Rowena spoke up. "If you know what happened to my sister, to Maura, let me know. Please." She frowned. "...I can't let them hurt her, I just want to know if she's okay."

Veronica blinked, just once. Someone as skilled at lying as herself never slipped up, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t be caught off guard. It hadn’t dawned on her, but Rowena did look a bit like Maura. They wore dark clothes, had dark hair, but her brown eyes were far less jarring than Maura’s crimson orbs. But that simple blink was as much of her composure as she would lose.

”A sister, you say?” Veronica tightened her arms behind her back. ”Yes, that name is familiar to me. She was safe, unlike so many others. Should I encounter her in the future though, I will be sure to let her know you are looking for her.” She bowed her head.

Rowena sighed in relief. "Th-Thank you. I won't bother you further then." She bowed back with a smile, and walked away to join the other two.

Veronica continued to walk forward towards Penny and the others, only to turn around and make sure all the witches had vacated the area. Once she was content there was no one watching, she lifted her fingers to the side of her head.

”Is there something you’d like to tell me, Maura?”

Maura was silent for a moment.

"Do you remember what I told you, how I managed to break my oath three different ways?"

”I do, and I wanted to know more.”

She hesitantly started to explain. "After they caught wind that I kept a soul from dying, I was forced to argue against them." She took a moment to breathe. "...It all went wrong. I didn't mean to kill her...I didn't..."

”I anticipated it was something like that. You were vague on the details, but I didn't want to press.” She closed her eyes and sighed. ”As you likely know, Rowena seemed like she was genuinely concerned about you. But I didn’t tell her anything because I wasn’t sure if she was trying to get me to let down my guard.” When veronica opened her eyes, she looked all around herself. Too many places to hide. ”There is still danger present, If you still feel like talking about this later, I would be willing to listen.”

Maura chuckled. "You don't have to worry about her. Rowena's the most harmless one out of the three. But yeah, we can continue this when things die down."

”Affirmative.”
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H i l a r i a



"I can't help but lend my power to those in need~"

— Hilaria



Perhaps any actual instruction would have helped before sending them into the portal. Hilaria understood that it was an emergency, but honestly, she had no clue who she was supposed to be siding with, aside from the group she entered with, and even then they might even have their own agendas. Alliances were always so fragile.

Hilaria had always spotted the measures put into place by Reaver, although she wasn't able to properly discern who he was by the time he fled. A retreating, harmless figure didn't interest her anyway. Aside from that, any shrapnel Veronica's trick produced wouldn't have even scratched her armor, so Trixy's protection was unnecessary. But once that was over, she lowered her scutum to the floor and rested an arm on it as she thought about what to do now.

While she was under the impression there would be people to save, she didn't see any presently. Maybe she needed to head further in? It would not do to keep potential victims waiting for their savior, and any further delay woul--



A terrible incident, yes!

Tragedy unfolding, yes!

Potential despair, yes!


It appeared as though someone was actually in dire need of assistance! Hilaria was compelled by her mental mutation to protect, serve, and assist where she could, so it was up to her to provide this poor, poor girl the girlpower needed to get through this crisis! "Oh, you poor young thing~!" she exclaimed, withdrawing her weapons and shield. A delicate touch was needed for such a delicate matter. Hilaria looked the victim of impending despair in the eyes to assuage her fears. "Worry not~! Hilaria won't let you do this alone~!" Magical Dream Princess could easily tell that the knight was genuine in her claim. Perhaps more genuine than anything she had ever witnessed before. Maybe even too genuine. Actually, it might've been a threat.

Anyway, retrieving the emergency spoon she apparently had for such important occasions, Hilaria began helping MDP.
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