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Rising to the Peak; Eternal Flower
Topic Started: May 20 2017, 09:33 AM (466 Views)
Hayate
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Nepgear's Wife
The story had surely reached the ears of many.

The summit of Mount Kaneshima had been taken over by some foreign entity. A single flower had pierced far beyond normal growth. In a matter of weeks, it grew its own size many, many times. The peaceful summit- still recovering from the recent eruption- had become a bed for a single, large tree. Its roots scattered through the summit, breaking past the ashen bed and even circling around the very center of the summit. While it hadn't gotten to a size needed to be visible from the city, one partway up could definitely see its hulking mass.

Rumours spoke of a grand corruption, as if the entire summit had fallen to this corrupted flower. Its pitch-black bark and beautiful golden leaves hid a terrifying entity. Those that broke into its paradise on top of the mountain reported violence from both flora and fauna. Supposedly, those that approach the tree were attacked by both raging animals and the tree's own rampant roots, yet only those that drew too close to the resting giant suffered this faith.

...This story changed; only but a day ago.

While the peak had fallen from paradise, there were no signs of this chaos spreading beyond the summit. Right as day had broken, a single girl aimed to scale the mountain. A heart-crushed youth sought privacy at the heights of Kaneshima's mountain, but she never returned.

A blood-curling scream broke the twilit skies. As dawn made way for sunrise, a single cry echoed past the mountain. It had been a day, and she had not been found, and no evidence of her arrival bar ripped white fabric remained.

...Whatever remained of her was found beneath that fallen sanctuary. The corruption was starting to grow. It was trying to escape the bounds of the summit it had been locked in. While its massive trunk grew no further, the roots were starting to spread. They broke up and down through the volcanic remnants that coated the summit. While it had yet to grow past its sanctuary, in that single day, its roots had started to sneak closer and closer to its escape. The animals, too, had grown more hostile. They no longer simply defended the tree. They would attack anyone that strayed from the mountain's trail, or even dared walk towards the summit.

The mountain was growing dangerous- a single, possible casualty had already occurred. Could anyone stop it from growing worse?

...Or would it simply grow without bounds?

The mountain's trail waited, for anyone that dared challenge it.
Edited by Hayate, May 20 2017, 09:35 AM.
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GrimRPer
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Didn't take long for the rumors to reach a certain Private Eye. Seiten has been looking for a reason to check at the mountain, and perhaps this was it. But was too soon to confirm, right? Thus, she awaited, following her normal schedule, between school and her office, pretending to not care but keeping her senses peeled to any new information, audio or visual...

That was until that day: Someone went missing. The girl could wait no longer, as one confirmed victim would very likely lead to fools taking into venturing towards the flower, resulting in more victims. And that was when she found herself preparing to head there.

"Let's see if I got all I need packed: Phone, Map, Water Bottles, Energy Bars, Alcohol, Matches... I hope I don't need to use these... First-Aid Kit, Portable First-Aid Kit concealed under the jacket, spare clothes, and lastly my Dragon Gauntlets... I guess this should do it.", zipping up a camping backpack, Seiten left her office and headed towards the mountain, partially hoping someone would come with her.
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Fin
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On the other side of the city, someone else amongst many had heard of the rumor.

Another private investigator, though still a self-proclaimed one at the moment.

On the other hand, Seth Ryouga has no real intention to solve the mystery for the sake of the people's safety.

It just sounded like a very good chance to get his name known as the genius detective who solved the mystery of the girl lost on the mountain peak.

That being said...

"...I did not think this through," The guy muttered to himself, in a dilemma as he stared up the tall mountain and the very long trail he had to follow, while bringing with him nothing to prepare for a long hike.
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Matoi
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Matoi's wife
"Urban myths and ru-u-mors, uurban myths and ru-u-mors, in-vest-i-gate, in-vest-i-ga-tor, Vi-Vi-O, In-vest-i-ga-io!"

A.. song.

One could call that a song, if they were tone deaf, or.. really into children's programming. Then again, judging from the girl walking by, at her own pace, one could only assume she wasn't particularly trying. Her outfit wasn't exactly made for hiking either.. not to mention she lacked a backpack, or proper shoes, or.. anything like that.

No, all she had was her maiden heart, her phone, and.. an oversized track-suit jacket hanging from her torso, like a poncho.

"Guu.. she could've at least come with instead of giving me her jacket. I know it's cold, but it's not like Einhart has to train every day.. hee.. but that's okay, I can just punish her when I get back!"

Vivio giggled to herself, as she made her way up the trail.

Lately, Vivio had gotten completely smitten with investigating.. any kind of rumor, really. It was fun, exploring a new place, looking up new things. And today was no different, as she caught the rumor about the missing girl. It's not like she was good at investigating these things or anything.. at most, she managed to figure out how to work the haunted vending machine!

But it was still fun to participate.

"Mmn! Well, it's not like I had anything else to do.. h.. hee.."

She stopped. Ahead was someone else. A man she.. sort of recognized? She was sure she'd seen him before. That tired, stare, old.. he was older than her, she was sure of that.

"Hey, ojisan! Are you lost or something?"

Vivio bounced up, scurrying up behind Seth and giving him a pat on the back!

"The city is that way, not this way! Unless.. you're planning on going up there too? Hey, wanna come with? Don't worry, it's the younger generation's duty to lead the elderly!"

Vivio giggled, grinning, practically not giving poor Seth a chance, as she pulled him with.
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KAHO
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What's in a name anyways?
The subtle pop sounded over his ears, followed soon by the characteristic inertia that came from spatial realization. Even after all this time, the grate still served to draw a a frown to his face. Conversely, his thoughts could not help but be impressed; even after all this time, he would still encounter genuine curiosities.

But here, at this now and then, Xiuya found himself surrounded by wood work and song.

The song. Different, but here, it was clearer than he had ever heard it before. Words flowed from his mind and embedded themselves into his head. Recount, he spoke thus:

A song, with just its made up dance.Posted Image

"A song, with just its prayer for blood."

A private investigator? Nay, Xiuya was neither payed or pleaded to take this mountain road. A good samaritan then, to locate the damsel at who had so foolishly stumbled into the bramble patch? No, he cared not for fools or victims, save for the tune that they carried within them.

And it was this sole tune that urged his feet forward. Thus, it can be said that his reason for seeking the summit were entirely selfish, driven by a siren's song rather than any altruistic reasoning. There was no greater truth to be found here, only satisfaction. Honestly, he would have it no other way.

Pulling his jacket close to himself he set off on his way. No preparation needed, save for whatever he normally carried for such an outing. Cellphone, a napkin, his wallet; he had no intention to make this an overnight affair.

All he needed was-

Ring, ring.

A bike. Apparently, it belonged to a rather distinguished wizardess, from an esteemed family, but on inspection, Xiuya could not piece anything arcane about it. In fact, he could've sworn he saw the exact same model at a department store. Well, regardless, it was borrowed property, so he should be careful with it.

With a gruff, the bespectacled young man slung himself over the seat, and promptly began pedaling. Being a person of sense, he was not going to hike from the foot of the mountain to wherever it was that the rumored flower laid its roots. Granted, the mountainous trail hardly made for smooth sailing, but he was not here for a leisurely stroll.

In hindsight, maybe riding the Crab would've been a better idea, particularly if the rumors regarding highly aggressive fauna and flora are to be believed. Or would that have been too ostentatious? Leonard had recommended that he take with him a vial of the hydra's poison, but Xiuya had learned to be skeptical of mages. If worse comes to wores, he would have to rely on Prea.

Xiuya bit his lip in annoyance, venting as he pedaled his way up the trail.

Along the way, he passed numerous others, all making their way summit ward. No doubt all too drawn by the words and screams of the missing girl, rather than her song. Well, logically, it would probably be best that the summit was going to become a hot spot today of all days. At least there would be someone nearby to help if things take a turn for the worse.
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bonniecanuck
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It had been a rather spur of the moment decision, but here she was, ready to go ahead.

Unlike the others, Edie was not a private eye in any way and wasn't up to their investigative abilities - her focus was history, not criminology or forensics. But it wouldn't hurt to try to get a sense of what was happening on the mountain. Until the disaster, she had considered it to be one of her favourite places on the island to the point where it was practically a weekend getaway lodge for her to go hiking, running or riding at her pleasure. To hear of the anomalies happening had been foreboding for her, to say the least.

So it was that she found herself at the base of the mountain, unable to bear the burden of the facts before her. She had come fully kitted - she wore her running clothes and brought her running pack along. In it she carried a large soft flask with its straw connected and dangling by her side, allowing her to hydrate as she needed. She had also brought her phone and first aid kit, both of which were attached to her pack.

There was one thing she normally wouldn't have brought along. Slung across her back was her naginata, secure in the bag in which she normally kept it. It would be highly unusual and conspicuous out there, but these were highly unusual circumstances. In the eventuality that the rumours about facing aggression with possibly harmful, if not lethal circumstances were true, this was her best bet at keeping herself safe. She hated having to bring it, but swore to herself that she would not use it at all unless her life was in a clear and present danger, which she hoped wouldn't be the case.

"Well, I guess that's everything," Edie said to herself as she took a long drag on the tube. She just hoped that her life insurance was up to date.
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Flambe

"My, what a motley crew~ This should definitely be a fun trip!"

Clear was all smiles as he held onto the straps of his backpack to ease the strain on his shoulders. It was rather heavy with emergency supplies, though it was more for the benefit of the others. He wasn't at all worried about his own health! Considering that they were heading to the heart of a most dangerous territory, his fearlessness seemed more foolish than anything.

Then again, it wasn't like he was alone in his oddly misplaced confidence. Most of the others seemed unruffled by the trials that awaited them. Sure, Clear figured they were trying to look for that missing girl like he was, but it was really weird when it seemed like only one person had doubts about their own safety. Was everybody else some kind of veteran?

Well, that cheerful girl in the tracksuit didn't seem like a battle hardened warrior, but he would leave it up to their first encounter to reveal the truth. It was said that answers were always uncovered at the border between life and death, and he would wait for that time to tear away all lies!

Hmm. It would be a little irresponsible, wouldn't it? After all, he was trying to save lives here. Letting somebody nearly die just to satisfy his own curiousity was a terrible thing, right? The boy stopped for a second, his blank smile staying on his face as his head swung left and right like a pendulum. What answer would he come up with?

Hmm. Hmmm. Yes, that was right. It would be pretty irresponsible and terrible of him to do that. So, maybe he'd just settle for asking and leave it at that. With a simple shrug, he slid in next to Vivio and prepared his question.

"Yaha-" His laugh was cut off by her suddennly running off. What? That was a first! He remained standing, looking blankly at the energetic girl moving up to that suited fellow. Sure, he couldn't get the answer he wanted, but a question he never asked was given a proper reply.

"Oh, my. 7 points to the butler, but he needs more nourishment...." The boy mused as he stared at Seth from behind.
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Hayate
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Nepgear's Wife
Six had gathered at the mountain’s foot.

Three girls and three boys.

The trail forward laid open. The many differing paths became as one. Even if they had all originated from separate ways, at a certain point, everything intertwined.

And that was where it started.

The one on the bike was the first to be targeted. A mild whirring came from the ground underneath. Were the biker to look down, he would see a single, brown tendril raise from the ground. The ground audibly cracked as it erupted, and it would instantly worm itself into the spokes of his bike. The moment his wheels made a full rotation, it would clang against the frame of his bike. It rang loudly, as if metal had struck metal. It rang abnormally, as it echoed upon itself. But more importantly, the fragile balance he had could very well be disrupted. If he didn’t manage to recollect himself, the alchemist would quickly be reduced to a rudimentary projectile.

No doubt an attack, but more playful than one would describe. There was no doubt of its danger, but the moment the bike came to a stop, there would be no escalation. Not yet. Whether he maintained his balance or he lost it, the mountains would quickly return to normal. The tendril retreated, and the ground became as if the tendril never rose. His bike would, thankfully, be free of damage. The only sign that anything had happened was that the bicycle’s chain would become unhinged.

...Next, was the dragon. It was impossible to see. It was as a bullet propelled by a high-powered rifle. But she’d definitely notice it. The winds passing by her cheek. The sounds of a fast projectile ringing past her ear. The feeling as it would singe past her face- and lest she move an inch, the tiniest sliver of her hair would trail down towards the ground- cut by whatever invincible force just reared past her. As if a metal blade sheared past her ear, only saved by the sheer inaccuracy of who- or whatever had struck.

What a drastic shift in tone. Only seconds after that bothersome prank, one other could feel what seemed like an attempt on her life. Could one even stop it?

If they so wished. If they truly feared, they could still run away. They could still retreat. The many paths away from the mountain were still behind them. If they feared, or valued not the investigation, they could still leave.

...If it wanted to prevent people from reaching the peak of the mountain, it would definitely allow them to leave, right?

The mountain would grow silent. Just for a few moments. Even the echoes of the winds and skittering of animals would fade. The only thing the students would be able to hear is themselves, and each other. An eerie silence. One unnatural in this world. No matter the distance between the six, they would hear one another. Even mild whispers would be carried all too far.

...And as such, the sudden rustling of leaves would echo further than it otherwise, ever would.

It came from deeper into the mountains. Hidden besides a tree, hidden between sprouted grass.

A single girl stood. A young teen. Her height was lacking, and her body almost echoed of anorexia. Her mid-length white hair reached just about down to her shoulders. Her skin had whitened, just like her hair. Her dark uniform, whose only bright, white spots were on the middle and the sides of her shoulders, definitely

The girl spoke.

But even the silence wouldn’t carry her words further.

Her eyes seemed tired.

...They seemed afraid, but so tired.

Once more, her lips mouthed words-

And then a loud bang interrupted the silence. Something became nothing. From the leaves, where the girl stood, an insane projectile would echo out-

This one towards the girl wearing the naginata to her back. Once more, it could barely be processed.

...but this time, the attack was far more shallow.

Even if it hit, it would barely be able to pierce by her clothes. It would feel as if a bee stung her. Far unlike the overwhelming power that roared past Seiten’s cheek.

As the echoes past, as the leaves stopped rustling, she was no longer there.

...But… a path was.

It was as if that tree had never been there.

As if the road had always lead to that direction.
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GrimRPer
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"Seems the rumors really brought people... This doesn't look good...", Seiten mumbled a small discomfort from knowing more people would be involved, as she knew it would mean more potential victims or more assistance... "What a noise...", scratching the back of her head, she prepared to take the first step in.

"!"

Her feet stop. The dragon girl focused her senses on something that made her feel uneasy, unable to pinpoint the source. The mountain was striking back, before they even took a step in. A shot rang past her, she only heard and felt a sting as if something brushed against her ear. "Snipers.", Seiten mumbled, standing her ground in defiance, eyes trying to pinpoint the source to no avail.

The attack wouldn't stop, and so wouldn't she. As the next shot came, all Seiten said was "Let's go.", and took the first few steps into the cursed path, senses sharpened to the case any threat came... And if it came from underneath... Her own vines were ready to grow, coiled around her ankle.
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Fin
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...Ojisan?

A quick turn revealed a girl, seemingly quite a bit younger.

"...Lost? Wait, I'm not-" Though he was interrupted, both by himself wondering why he even responded to her in the first place, and the girl scurrying to actually drag him away from the mountain trail. "Hey- now, wait just a goddarn second-!"

An attempt thwarted, he just picked the girl up from the scruff of her neck. "Okay, first of all, I meant to be here," A matter of a fact, stated simply to get things out of the way. "Secondly, I'm only twenty!" That one however, annoyed him.

Just as the annoyance would be redirected to someone else, though quick to turn to surprise. "...Clear?" The oddly perverted boy who hung around Jonny a lot. Though it was more surprising to even see him here in the first place. "Aren't you supposed to be-"

A slight commotion a bit further along the path. With peaked curiosity and putting all current thoughts on the backburner, he dropped the girl and briskly continued forward.

A biker, whom had gotten ahead before they did, had his progress stopped by an accident. Presumably.

Now what's funny is it was yet another familiar face. "...Small world," A small mutter of surprise, more to himself than the others. "Yo," He addressed the mage, a simple greeting sufficed to acknowledge presence.

Intertwining is still in motion.

A presence came from within the forest of the mountainside. One separate from the hikers, investigators, ne'er-do-wells, and curious minds.

A lost soul. Unknown, and alone.

It struck with such ferocity that no one could miss, yet affecting none but one behind them.

It seemed like a warning. A demand, to leave. Yet, at the same time, a new path opened, inviting them further up to the peak of the mountain.

There is a choice to be made.

Seth's was to move forward.
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Matoi
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Matoi's wife
Vivio heard none of what Seth said. It didn't matter to her anyway! He was older than her, which.. made him old! And that wouldn't stop her from dragging him along so happily, pulling them both up along the trail with the others ahead of them.

She wasn't quite expecting so many people to be out here, but.. then again, it's not like rumors like these are uncommon. Maybe they're reporters, investigators or thrillseekers just like Vivio!

Whatever their reason was, the more the blonde wanted to catch up, maybe.. form a group with everyone else there!

Something that the forest itself seemed to deny them.

Along the trail, the ground seemed to burst out, a tendril shooting out and aiming at the boy on the bike. Something which seemed to pass after only a few moments, with the ground still intact, as if the event itself never occured.

Vivio just.. stopped up. Her hands released the grip on the senior citizen she had been pulling along and her hands eased out to the side.. as her own instincts, her memories started to take over.

Her experiences over the last year had gotten her more.. in-tune with Olivie. The experience from her ancestor had started to stick with her body.. and whenever danger occurred, even the slightest, her magic reacted, as that bright, multi-colored pool of energy started flowing out from her jacket, her arms and underneath, wrapping itself around her like a veil.

"A.. are you okay over there? You're not hurt or anything?"

Vivio called out, moving ahead, almost spriting as her steps took her closer and closer, moving up next to him.. wheter he was knocked out or standing straight.

Of course, the rest still happened. The shots that threatened them and the.. appearance of that girl in the bushes. She didn't look familiar.. well, to some extent. The way she appeared, her white appearance, almost like a ghost, reminded Vivio of horror stories, as she took a step back.

And before she could react to it, ask it, approach it, a shot fired out from her.. and afterwards, a path opened up.

Was it inviting them in? Maybe it was a ghost? Something horrific might have happened and maybe they're stumbling onto something bigger than they thought. Her feet moved forward and towards that trail, as she turned to the rest.

"I.. I think it's inviting us in.. w-whatever that was.. does.. does anyone else wanna come along? Besides the senior citizen? Humm.. hum.."

Vivio shuffled, moving herself in along the new path, her mana pushing itself back for a few moments, but still.. visible, to the point where she kept her guard up.

Regardless of who came along or not, she'd still politely turn with a smile, at least greeting them. If they were moving in a group, she figured they should at least give them their names, as she twirled her sidepony with her arm and grinned to the others.

"I'm Vivio! Just figured I'd let you know my name.. hum.. humm.. so, yeah!"
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KAHO
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What's in a name anyways?
It happened suddenly; a jolt traveled from the spoke to axle to pedal, before collapsing into his leg. Xiuya was barely able to utter a grunt before the bike was taken from him, bucking him over the handlebars. The sound of the contact wrung in his ear, a warning of the pain that was to come. Xiuya curled into himself, rolling over his shoulder as he came to the ground.

Xiuya cursed under his breath, evicting the dust and dirt using him as refuge.

"Thanks for your concern, but I am fine," the strawberry haired young man brushed Vivio. The action caused him to flinch, reflexively gripping his shoulder. Though, aside from the forming bruise, he was no worse for wear. However, despite the myriad of colors that seemed to ooze from her form, Xiuya's gaze remained fixed on the "senior" behind her.

Posted Image
"It is. Too small, Seth," Xiuya shook his head. "Though, I can't say that I am surprised to see you here. In that vein, I assume that that Antistia girl is here as well. How has graduation treated you two?" The young man's eyes were near beads, dwarfed by a mixture of contempt and darkness. Despite his tone, however, the young man seemed disinterested in pursuing their quarrel now as he turned his eyes to scan the treeline.

As if directed, all their eyes fell upon the specter. She seemed to be uttering some silent verse, heralding a splintering crack. Xiuya flinched once more, bringing a hand too slow to cover his ears.

The victim then? Dead? Xiuya could not say with any certainty, only form baseless conjecture. Regardless, standing around was not going to accomplish anything.

"I don't have any problems with collaborating." After all, they were all probably here for the same reason. His eyes rolled once more to Seth.

"My name is Xie Xiuya. Pleasure to make your acquaintance." The young man would remain attentive in case anyone else wished to join the party as well as introduce themselves. Aside from one person, the foreigner was acquainted with none of the present company. But that one connection was more than strained and less than ambivalent.

"Don't get in my way, Seth."
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bonniecanuck
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Salt of the Earth
It all happened so quickly, before the loud bang reverberated through the sky and Edie crumpled as it - whatever it was - hit her. The suddenness of it had caught her off guard as she instinctively yelped and bent down, putting her hand where it had hit. Taking it off, she found that to her relief it hadn't penetrated her body. It may well have been meant to draw her attention, perhaps to warn, but it surely wasn't to hurt or kill her.

Still...that didn't bode well for what would happen down the newly-opened path, did it?

She picked herself up and joined the pack. "I suppose we're all in it together now. I'm Edie. Pleased to meet you all." This was a bit of a sudden and abrupt introduction given that she knew none of the others besides Seiten, but given the circumstances it would be better to keep things short so that they didn't get caught up and surprised by whatever came next.

She gingerly made her way down the path, undeterred. She kept an eye out for anything else that might come their way, but so far it didn't seem like there would be. She turned around to make sure everybody was alright, and as she did she made sure to remember their names and faces, since it would at least help to make them work a bit better as a group.
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Flambe

Clear's musings were interrupted by Seth's sudden interjection. The moment the boy heard the butler's voice, his eyes widened in surprise. Oh, dear! Did he not recognize his old acquaintance merely from the sight of his rear? By Nepgear, he truly must have been slipping. This must be what it was like to go soft and complacent. He would have to train himself back to specifications once this was done. In the meantime, he had a butler to talk to.

"Mr. Ryouga! How do you do? It appears like you moved to Kaneshima, just like I did." He smiled, almost curtseying as he finished his greeting.

Of course, there wasn't much time for him to speak. The moment the last word left his mouth, a new interruption caught everybody's attention. What was this? This mystery was intensifying with every step! It was a simple little diversion, an unassuming figure that followed two almost threatening manifestations.

Then again, the girl wasn't much of a threat compared to a sniper, especially one so skilled. It almost reminded Clear of an old friend of his, really. And knowing that, he would've fled if he had the impulse that came with fear. Unfortunately, he was lacking in such sense. Let the bullets rain down! Walking alongside the others, he glanced in the general direction the shots came from before shrugging.

"Say, when do you think that fellow will try to shoot us directly? I'd like to avoid being a pack mule for the wounded."
Edited by Flambe, Jun 1 2017, 11:31 PM.
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Hayate
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Nepgear's Wife
Ah

They stayed calm.

The lightest reins of fear and panic scattered through their hearts, but only for the faintest of moments. It hadn’t even managed to reach all of them. They simply walked on, mostly undisturbed by the events that had transpired.

Their deterrence was only slight. Even though they had the chance to retreat, they choose not to.

Ring

A light noise echoed to the sky as they dragged themselves past the spot the apparition had been. One could even feel it. As if the consistency of air had somehow grown thicker. Those in the back could even see it. At the first one stepped forward, the air rippled as water.

But it definitely didn’t feel different.

”...so, why are you here?”

A voice echoed through the leaves. Unfamiliar to most, but it might spark a tinge of familiarity in the blonde girl and the graduated male. It was feminine, soft, and void of aggression.

”Are you running away from something? Like the girl that took this trail yesterday?”

If they turned around, they would see the path out had faded. There was no path out. The road that they had taken here had scattered and transformed into a deep cliffside. In front of them, a single flower would bloom. Petals alternated golden and black, with a deep lilac eye.

”Are you curious?”

The flower rose itself from the ground. The petals followed, closing around that purple center. Moments later, they once again spread- and a brunette formed from the middle. Clothed in nothing but a bright white sundress. Her blue eyes locked onto one person in particular. Her tiny body shifted about, letting herself slide out of the flower as she stepped forward.

“I especially didn’t think -you- would come here, Seth! I thought you were the kind of cool guy that didn’t care for this sort of thing!”

That body, that voice, those eyes. They definitely belonged to a student Seth used to know. Even if he only knew her vaguely, before an accident occurred that had left her resting and hair bleached white. What was her name, again?

If he remembered her. If he recalled her, just a little, he would know what her ability was. What her ability used to be, when she still looked like this. Even if she, herself, wasn’t the most famous girl, everyone that knew her knew about her power.

If she touched him, he would-

Even if Seth reared back, she would follow him, as if no distance could be made. Her fingers would reach forward to gently touch onto his face-

But nothing would happen.

Would Seth not interrupt her, her eyes would drag towards the royal descendant that held her hair in a side-ponytail.

”...Queen, should you really go anywhere without your King? Aren’t you scared, not having her arms at the ready?”

A light shuffling would scattered on Vivio’s skin. Something was slowly crawling up her back. Scratching at her. Ah, and a familiar pain was starting to rise through her veins… as if she had desperately overused her power. As if she had desperately fought to the best of her ability. As if an olden curse was injecting into her veins-

---

Vivio and Seth had been separated from the rest of the group.

It had happened in an instant.

The moment that flower bloomed, they were gone. No girl came out. The only thing that happened was that those two seemed to have popped out of existence. They disappeared, to wherever that young girl was.

”There! Seth can’t get in your way anymore, Xiuya!”

A ‘clap’ echoed through the mountains. The ‘girl’ was proud of herself. Her voice was eager and excitement

”And, mm… hey, that healer girl’s gone, too! Just like that- pow! You don’t have to worry about any injuries if everyone just dies, right, Clear? Doesn’t that make you smile, you freaky little spider?”

A giggle scattered through the air.

”You, stay away from me, though, dragon-girl. You make me pretty uncomfortable. Your power… ick! That’s a problem!”

Another one of those snaps happened. Another feeling scattered past her cheek. Once more, mere inches away from her face. Mere centimeters away from turning a mere scare into something far more horrifying.

”And… hmm… Edie? Mmm, you don’t bother me at all! You like travelling, don’t you? Just walk forward and don’t look back- you’ll find the two girls that got lost here!”

The path bloomed open. Would it really let just Edie through...?
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GrimRPer
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"We just got attacked and threatened by something and you guys exchanging names?", a brief snicker escaped Seiten's lips, as she smirked when she remembered someone was quite upset about their age being questioned somehow, "Twenty, cute... I'm Seiten no Seiryuu, 53 years old."

Whether she was serious or joking, it was up to what they believed, if they could trust the girl's smirk. "Anybody needing a patching, just let me know, I've got a First Aid kit with me (two actually), and can help with-", a faint sound alerted her, making her once again shift her focus from the investigation team they assembled to the forest ahead.

But didn't take long for her to find the source coming from a flower, which she soon faced, observing the figure that sprouted forth tease them. But in a blink, two of them were amiss now. "Seth and Vivio... Two right off the bat, this is gonna suck...", Seiten gave a low groan and went moved closer to Clear, staying alert.

The tease was soon sent her way. Tilting her head to the side upon having a hunch of the attack coming her way, she further created distance between the mysterious projectile and her face.

"My goodness, you had to blurt it out... Yes, I'm a HALF dragon, but don't think lightly of me. I have come to investigate the missing person and examine the flower. We could do it the nice way, which would mean cooperating with me and letting me make progress... Or, dunno, we could do it the hard way, which could involve turning up the heat...", she no longer hid her nature, letting antlers, ear fins and tail showing from under the skirt.

Looking at Edie, when the girl was offered free pass to proceed, Seiten shook her head, but in truth was preparing herself to follow in Edie's shadow, giving a light gesture with the head for Clear and Xiuya to focus on Edie.
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bonniecanuck
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Salt of the Earth
"E...Einhart-sensei!" cried Edie as she looked down a very familiar face while struggling to keep her composure, watching two of the others disappear in an instant. Was she really the girl who had disappeared in the mountain? Is she alright? Is she aware of what she's doing?

No, that last probably wasn't exactly true. In all likelihood it seemed that Einhart too had been corrupted by the flower just like the flora and fauna all around, and it was projecting its anger, hatred and malice with the martial arts master as an avatar. But if so, that was most troubling to Edie given that she had taken lessons under her fellow classmate's tutelage, and while she had learned much she knew that her skills were still nothing compared to the much more experienced and specialised fighter's. There was no use fighting.

No, don't give up now. Stay strong. The last thing you want to do now is give up, lest it mean that nobody goes home and things get worse.

Recovering her fortitude, she spoke to the girl facing her. "I don't know what happened to you or the other two, sensei, but please, whatever happens, can you assure the safety of everybody? Please, promise me this. I will follow the path in exchange. Me, and only me." She looked at the other four, and with a grim but steely determination in her eyes, waved at them to indicate that they should not try to follow her at all. "Please. Do it for me. As your friend."
Edited by bonniecanuck, Jun 5 2017, 09:45 PM.
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Matoi
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Matoi's wife
Vivio's eyes trailed along at the events unfolding, keeping quiet and to the back. It.. started gnawing at her, of course. That look, the hair, the appearance of that young girl.. but to Vivio, while familiar, it wouldn't quite connect. It was nothing short of a rumor and story she had read about a while ago, heard about from friends.

That girl seemed so focused though. Not just on Vivio, but on Seth. Vivio did recognize him from the earlier school, but.. well, it's not like she knew him either.

So in short.. there was nothing to say yet.

Of course, until she aimed those words at her. It was like an attack, a stab at her, trying to send shock and fear through her heart, just like she had before. Just the words alone bothered her, it dug in much deeper than she had expected.

And that feeling..

The feeling of overusing her power. It burned cold. Her veins, her arms, her legs, her core was starting to freeze, as if she had fought for days and nights.

"A.. ahahaa.. I.. mhh.. I know.. Einhart told me that going would be stupid but.. heehee.. I didn't expect some murder mystery novel to write itself here or anything.."

She shuddered, hard, as if her body was stuck in the midst of a snowstorm. She hadn't realized both she and Seth had been separated from the others, as her lips formed into a light grin.

And her hand, which had been clenching around her waist.. moved up slowly.. and quickly struck against her own head, right in her side, as hard as she could muster with her own body.

"AAAAH!! So annoying, annoying.. I've fought for longer than.. t-this.. a.. aha, it happened again."

Vivio giggled.

Her energy started pooling out, way more, much more than before, a circle forming around her which trailed along the ground, spinning, moving and quickly forming a mass right underneath her..

The mass, full of color.. seemed to be taking shape, legs.. arms.. lifting the blonde up into a bridal carry, it's two limbs, although loose in it's state, keeping her firm in it's grip, as the head formed.. and sprouted out two wings.. or..

If one took a step back and looked at it from top to bottom.. it seemed to be forming the shape and look of her beloved king, a shadow of Einhart, glowing in all seven colors Vivio's mana was known to shine.

"Ha.. w-who cares about.. getting exhausted like that! Olivie had to remind me but.. Einhart is always with me! The King is always here, even if you can't see her!"

Vivio smiled, although.. exhausted, her body burning with that sickening cold. Doing this, with what was happening to her body and heart.. it exhausted her. But keeping the form like this.. well, it reassured her. It made her happy. Einhart was always with her. Even if this form broke, her beloved was always there.

"S.. so.. now that I've answered you, answer me! Who are you? Are you the one who got lost or.. are you someone else entirely? I'm sure we can just.. talk this out!"
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Fin
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S-Rank in H
Does he know them?

Familiarity. It was faint, but present, triggered from the start by the apparition and the voice.

He never knew her to be this lively before, though. At least, well. Not 'normally'.

Separation, from a six to two and four. Though he noticed it only well after it had happened.

The surroundings had changed. There was no way out, and their destination is here in front of them.

He felt no need to be alarmed, however. No instinctual trigger to raise his guard, or to step back out of her way.

There is nothing to be feared from something, someone familiar, after all. "What, you're saying it's not cool to have a curious mind?" He chuckled, taking the gentle hand on his face with his own.

The hand of nightmare.

"...Go on, answer her," The young man let go of the girl's hand, taking steps towards Vivio just to give the girl a pat on the head. "It would be cheating if I just say your name. ...Not to mention I myself want to know why you are here,"
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KAHO
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What's in a name anyways?
A voice, belonging to what he could only describe as ambiguously young. He could understand the words, but they felt both foreign and hovering. Detached, as if they didn't address him at all. Oddly, he found amusement in that; it truly was a song. In relation to him, it was a nice tune, but the words may as well have been gibberish.

Maybe Seiten was right; he should hold his name in higher regard.

Then, something peculiar happened. Their wanton group of six was excised into a meager two. The two that were no longer with them was, of course, the infinite trouble magnet Seth Ryouga and that spunky shining girl who had introduced herself as. . . Vivid? No, it was Vivio. Well, Xiuya supposed that some singularities are naturally predisposed to chaos. At least, as the voice stated, he wouldn't have to worry about the man's thoughts.

Multiple cracks sounded through the woods, and then before them bloomed a flower. Needless to say, this attracted Xiuya's attention. The dull rhythm hummed at the base of his neck, slowly drumming up his skull. Well, at least the disembodied voice gave him the names of his other companions.

Regardless of the veiled threat from the voice though, Xiuya remained unmoving and resolute. Seeing no other apparition to direct his attention, he turned his eyes to the flower, maintaining a line of sight to its core.

"Eddie, right?" Xiuya responded as the girl addressed her phantom. "I appreciate your concern for the well-being of your fellow man. Sincerely, honestly, I do. It is quite touching; I'm certain that you are an exemplary example of a person." However, despite his praise, Xiuya's expression was not at all amused.

"But I am not some bargaining chip for you to play as you like," Xiuya scoffed. "I apologize, but what gave you the audacity to speak on my behalf?"

Turning to the others, the bespectacled man gauged their reactions, before staring down the path that had opened up beyond the flower. Did this voice and flower's influence crept into the surrounding forest? Or did they step into something more sinister? The word Reality Marble echoed in his mind, and he briefly considered waking Prea. But, well, aside from warning shots, the phantom flower has yet to show blatant aggression.

"Since you can talk, I guess you can understand dialogue," Xiuya addressed his surroundings. Unlike Eddie, he could see nothing aside from the flower, the path beyond it and the forests around them. Regardless, "something" was definitively here; he may as well try to communicate.

"You asked what we are doing here." Xiuya readjusted his glasses, his gaze falling back onto the flower as he had no other direction for his voice. "I cannot answer for the others, but something called me here." Xiuya shrugged. "It may have been you or it may not have been, it does not matter. What concerns me is that I am here now." He grinned awkwardly, as if he found his own response funny.

"I apologize, but I guess we could say yes, it was my curiosity that brought me here." In fact, Xiuya's reason for being present was the most unsubstantiated of any of them here. A person who required little more than whims for action. That, or he's lying through his shit-eating grin.

"Well, I've answered your question, so how about you answer one of mine?" Fair is only fair, it would be interesting to see whether this voice held things akin to morals or fairness.

"Thanks for dealing with Seth, but what did you do to him and Vivio?" Xiuya was not expecting an up front answer, but with this. . . thing's seemingly whimsical nature, being up front would probably be best. At least, even if he was given no answer, Xiuya would have more information into just what may be going on. And what it may want.
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