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[Lost Glory] Uncaged; Closed
Topic Started: Mar 8 2018, 07:07 AM (941 Views)
Nickle
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The Original Ni-san
The world has ever represented by dichotomy. Black and White. Light and Dark. Existing since time immemorial. For those who stood in the light, the light was good. It revealed, it showed and it allowed discovery, expansion and warmth. It in fact allowed great life. The dark too offered life, but in smaller, insignificant quantities. In comparison, it could have been seen by some as a hinderance, to others as an evil that required exterminating. You looked into that which the light shone upon and all was laid clear and bare. To look into the dark, you saw nothing, nothing but endless abyss. Nothing but despair as you look upon the unknown.

Yet, there are those who looked at the darkness unblinking. Who ventured deeper into it, to stare it down and to rid themselves of the fear of the abyss, so show there was nothing to fear. In the darkness they would come to stand unafraid. It was only then that, perhaps unfortunately, some of these few learned a truth that had been long hidden in the dark. Light would shine down bright for all to see, but it is known that in the dark, one’s eyes open wider.

They see things in a new perspective. What they then do with this perspective determines the nature of Light and Dark. Black and White. Good and Evil.

And for some, who venture into this abyss to stand unafraid, they merely become victims.

-----------------------------------

The weekend! A time with much promise for adventure, freedom and play time! With so many attractions, where was one to go and what to do? Many arguments could be made for what was best, but for one Hinata Seika, there was only one option, one that she had been meaning to indulge her curiosity for a while.

A day amongst nature in her new home!

Hinata had been planning the excursion for some time and while technically she was going alone, she would not be alone. She had headed off to Mount Kaneshima in the early morning, kitted out with a backpack that held food, water, flashlight, her cellphone and some warmer clothing in case it got cold or rained later in the day. For the most part, none of this was in fact needed and Hinata had almost the entirety of the day roaming around the outskirts of the mountain and then venturing into the forested area of Mount Kaneshima.

Hinata loved nature in all its forms. She would find herself admiring interesting formations of plants and trees, stopping to listen to bird song and look at small wild life that ran around. Strangely enough wild life had never been afraid of her. She had a calming stillness to her that made her seem like not much of a theat.

The girl’s very nature even now stood as a testament to how serene she could be, considering that day in and day out it held deep within it the spirit of a warrior who could make the very night time sky seem bright. Still, like most days now, Artorias seemed to slumber peacefully inside of Hinata, no longer plaguing the girl nightmares or horrendous visions. It seemed her acceptance of him to reside within her soul was the final step needed for a harmony to be met between the two of them. While Hinata still wore his silver pendant and ring, the very things that allowed Artorias to continue to ‘possess’ her, it no longer felt like a daunting curse hanging over her head.

A pair of brown hiking boots crunched through the undergrowth of the forest as Hinata started making her way back towards where she had entered the mountain forest. It was starting to get late and while the idea of sleeping out in the forest was tempting, her last excursion doing such a thing unplanned left her with some additional baggage, namely being possessed by a shadow knight.

Hinata couldn’t blame Artorias though. He was technically calling out for help and although she did not completely understand why her soul was such a sanctuary for him, she was glad that a person as little and insignificant as her could be of assistance to such an imposing figure. Odd how the world works out like that.

Twilight itself was now at its zenith.

Hinata flipped her ponytail back as she scratched her neck, with one hand as she started to climb over a series of logs that were in her path with surprising agility. However as she planted her foot on one of the logs to use a step, the wood gave way underneath her and Hinata tumble backwards onto her backside.

“Aya! Tch! Owowowowow,” She moaned with annoyance, “Stupid wood…” She tucked her legs in and came to rest on her haunches, about to stand up and walk another way when she noticed some kind of inky black substance was on her cargo pants. Hinata wiped it off, but found that wasn’t really much or goo, but rather something…warm. She picked it up off the ground and looked at it. It seemed to change shape in her hand and almost flicker like and odd black flame.

Hinata did not know what to make of it. She’d come to learn Kaneshima was a magical place, maybe this was some sort of magical artifact!? She grinned, happy with her discovery and put it in her backpack. It was some weird goo flame that did not burn or seem to hurt. Surely that was a worthwhile find, even if it was by accident!

Hinata made her way off now, starting to jog and skip happily. Partly due to her little discovery, but also because the light was starting to fade.

Close by, some dark, heavy force was watching her. Several pairs of eyes were fixated on her, watching her like a hawk. It smelled something about the girl, something very much like and wanted to consume. The thing in the log had been table scraps, but the girl was a feast!

Posted Image

Hinata heard crashing noises coming from behind her, heavy, loud and quickly approaching. She looked over her shoulder at the beast that was bearing down on her. It looked like a wolf but was easily the size of a bear, if not bigger! She let out a scream and started running, quite literally for her life as the thing charged at her.

Hinata dodged around trees and through tickets of bushes, sliding through undergrowth, trying to impede the monster, but only marginal effect. The entire time, she was screaming, screaming with sheer terror, “PLEASE! HELP ME! HEEEEELP!”

The beast was faster and stronger still than she thought possible, closing the gap between itself and Hinata, before taking a giant leap towards the girl.

-----------------------------------



The roar tore through the forest and mountain, reaching a great distance. Flocks of birds who had been getting ready to rest for the evening soared upwards out of the treeline. Alongside the roar was a wave of something else. Invisible, soundless, but carrying a weight that most people would be able to register. Something that sent a very real chill down your spine. For those who were more attuned to magic, they’d sense that this chill was emanating from a very dark, very strong force.

It was awake and it was angry.
Edited by Nickle, Mar 8 2018, 07:15 AM.
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bonniecanuck
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Bonnie Bushi
Edie huffed as she reached a clearing in the forest. Despite the energy that she had spent ascending the mountain, she still had a lot in her to keep going. Spring had arrived, and with the temperature outside perfect for running, she couldn't resist following the same track up.

This time, she had taken a slightly different routing into the forest. She still wanted to explore new trails while getting her exercise in, and see if perhaps there was an ideal one for her to take in order to train for marathons and other events and competitions. It was certainly in her to do such a thing. She was adventurous and curious by nature, and any chance she got she would go off the beaten track in search of something better. Not that it stopped her from coming back to the other trails, but she liked having the diversity in her workout in order to keep her body aware and careful of its situation.

But it was getting dark nonetheless, and she fully recognised that the forest did house things that would definitely harm people if they saw fit. So it wasn't her plan to linger here any longer. She would be more or less out of it soon, anyway. So here she was taking a sip from her water bottle just to refresh herself a little before taking the route out.

Yet, as she replaced the bottle back into the backpack pocket by her breast, she heard a scream. Then another scream and a cry for help. And then a tremendous roar that scattered the birds and deer from where it emanated.

Was it something to be worried about? But what about the person who needed help? Her heart raced. Then in her mind she realised...that voice...that roar...they all sounded so familiar.

All of a sudden she lost it. She blindly ran towards where the noise had come from, charging like a young mustang into the forest. Once the realisation had struck her, she had set aside any thought of danger or risk. All that was on her mind was one name.

Hinata...!
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Chizu
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Knight Radiant
Rei had been reading.

Not light reading, and not even the heavier magical texts that he had been reading the first time he met Hibiki. Rei had come out into the forest that day to find a quiet place to settle down and look through the grimoire. After summoning Shiva a few months ago, many of the grimoire's pages seemed more accessible than they had before. He still couldn't understand them, but each time he looked through the book, he felt as though he was drawing close to a breakthrough. To several breakthroughs.

He didn't like what had to occur to make that happen, but he wasn't going to waste this opportunity. For those who had suffered, for those who might suffer still.

Kaneshima Forest was one of those places where the spirit world felt closer to the surface, where magic seemed writ into the air. He'd settled down to read there, hoping that the change in scenery might shake something loose, might reveal to him something that wouldn't otherwise be obvious in the quiet of his dorm room.

But although it was peaceful and otherworldly in the forest, although he could feel the power in the stillness that surrounded him, the book remained stubbornly opaque. He was just about to pack up and leave when he heard the roar, when the very air changed.

Rei froze in place, a frisson of energy running through him. His eyes widened. He knew the sound of that roar, the feel of that power. He'd never forget it. And if that being was in danger, out here, then...

Hinata...

Rei quickly swept his hand over the open grimoire, the entire book beginning to glow with a faint green light. The light coalesced, settling into the form of a small fairy that hovered just over his book. She looked around at her surroundings, blinking, before turning towards him.

"Sylph," Rei said. He let his impression of the situation, of Artorias's power, feed into his will, the connection between him and his summon. "Find Hinata."

Sylph pushed off of the grimoire's open pages and flew off in a gust of wind, zipping through the trees towards the sound. Rei didn't waste a breath, but started running as well, making his way towards that sound and that source of power.
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KAHO
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What's in a name anyways?
Another hollow night; ceaseless wanderings idle on and on, eventually drawing full circle. It mattered not as daylight grew old and shriveled, it mattered not as cerulean drapes gave way to indigo. It mattered not to a thing which wandered, a formless foul flitting from glove to clove. After all, a force without either reaction or observation can be said to have never been.

A bestial cry, at once it invoked pain, anguish and vindication. At once, it was both a curse and a prayer. A wish, filled to overflow with desire. It desired, no, begged for a cradle; it cried for a grail!

Heavy footfalls sounded where there were none. Where before was nothing, empty eyes swelled, pathetic imitations of the swell above. It all drew forward, carried on by mindless intention and harrowed fervor. Each step made it more, the black smoke drawing forth form, melded by things such as fairytales, fables and fancies. The mask drew inward, and in their place barred teeth.

It drew breath, not out of any necessity but out of vanity. Limbering forward, its obscene appendages plunged into the ground, ripping and tearing as it threw itself forward. Closer and closer, a silhouette scrambled through the darkness. Louder and louder, each action further cementing its presence and being.

The underbrushbgave way, validating the interloper's presence. Elastic arms clutched the ground, before catapulting the rest of its form with reckless abandon into the air. Further and further, closer and closer.

It did not know the source of the cry, only what it was. It knew not of its twisted name or harrowed core, only what could be invoked.

But that was enough to drive it plunging through the darkness.

A cry! A plea!

A wish, a wish, a wish!

Posted Image
The sound of gnashing teeth, Diezel lunged, its lithe monstrous frame a shadow in moonlight, all the while cackling to itself.

"Kakakakakaka!"

Like a maniac banshee, the beast was a cannonball, crashing its way through flora and dirt.

Ah, perhaps a midnight mantle does better befit a beast.
Edited by KAHO, Mar 8 2018, 03:25 PM.
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HiroTsukasa
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Sorcerer Seizing Sorcerer
It wasn't his usual style, but even so, Hiroyuki found himself out for a jog through the Kaneshima Forest. It had been a favored spot of one Tommy Mizushima and just so the locale's charm had rubbed off on the Blood Mage as well. It was equally unlike him to consider training in any serious matter, but then hadn't things changed? Since he had asked Tommy to teach him how to fight in earnest, it became clear that a certain level of minimum effort was going to be required. And wasn't it all for a noble end goal? The strength to protect his friends and loved ones? There was still time enough for idols and arcades, or so that was the balance Hiroyuki was trying to strive towards.

"Huh!?" Hiroyuki spoke aloud to himself as he skidded to a halt all of a sudden. Something... strange... was going on. It was like a weight was suddenly bearing down upon him. For all his dismissal, his skill with the basics of magical concepts was sharp enough. It was a kind of power. It felt overwhelming and evil. It was definitely both not a typical occurrence for the forest and not a sign of anything good about to go down.

"You can't let this go," Hiroyuki mused as he turned in the direction of the power he was sensing. Raising one hand, he clenched a fist and narrowed his eyes as he pondered the situation. Did he really need any more trouble in his life right now? No, not in particular. But he also knew that deep down he could never forgive himself if he walked away and later learned somebody had been in danger or got hurt. Or, perhaps, even worse. His heart sank a little as the image rolled over in his mind. How many more deaths might rest upon his actions?

"Dammit," he concluded with a twinge of frustration as he broke out into an all-out run in the direction of the power surge. He couldn't let it go. He had a responsibility to act. This was his conclusion. He had made a promise, not to have any more regrets. And so Hiroyuki rushed on while cupping his hands around his mouth while beginning to shout, "HEY! Anybody there!? You okay!?"

At best he'd hopefully let anyone in trouble know they weren't alone. At worst, he was just making himself a target. But Hiroyuki was used to getting thrashed around. To some degree, his powers depended on it. Better him than somebody else. Little did he know the true extent of the situation...
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Legacy
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I lurk because I care
"And this is... Ashitaba...?" Mirth muttered to herself, looking thoughtfully between a small book held in her slender, pale fingers and a vibrant green bush before her. Kampo For Beginners read the title, Mirth's latest niche obsession. Pharmaceuticals had always been a passion of hers starting with her condition and evolving as she began her unusual extracurricular activities, so this seemed like a natural next step.

She gripped a curvy, purple leaf between two fingers, rubbing it gently as she considered it seriously. A smile pressed its way across her face as the thought came to her. "Shiso. For..." Must've been an incomplete thought. Pain could be so distracting. Mirth flipped the pages of her pocket guide, searching for the information on her mind, but as luck would have it fate had something else in store.

The sounds of crashing trees, screams in the distance. Not too far away though from what she could tell. Knowing this place, it was likely something much more interesting than her present endeavor. Most likely very dangerous and completely absurd. Mirth snapped her book shut, a fanged smile appearing on her face. She took a moment to lace up her $700 hiking boots and slunk into the treeline. No doubt she'd fine someone there in pain.

A welcome distraction.
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Lawman
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Keep Calm and Cheeki Breeki
"Hmph, boring day," Andromeda thought as she left the Duelling Circle somewhat disappointed - having come in the late afternoon awaiting any potential challenger that might meet her among the standing stones, but finding none on this particular day. And as twilight began to set in, the Amazon decided it was time to call it a day and head back to civilisation, making her way back by retracing her steps in a brisk jog.

At least, until the Amazon heard a bestial roar, followed by the frightened screams of a girl. Someone's in trouble? Though it was strange - Andromeda practically considered this particular stretch of the woods akin to a second home to her by this point, and she'd never heard a noise quite like that roar - whatever made the sound seemed like a pretty ferocious beast, but to the best of knowledge there weren't supposed to be any dangerous wildlife in this area!

Still, she wasn't about to simply ignore someone who is in trouble - and that scream sounded like it came from... downhill? Andromeda looked down the slope - a steep incline - towards the direction from which the scream came, before nodding and proceeding to descend the slope at a rapid pace by simply sliding down the incline like skiing minus the snow, her living armour engaging whenever she encountered an obstacle; crashing through shrubs and snapping low-hanging branches on impact.

Meanwhile, a rustling noise of undergrowth being disturbed accompanied by snapping of branches and twigs echoed through the wood, as Andromeda took the shortest possible route to investigate the general direction from which the beast's roars and the girl's screams came.
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Kazerou
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It was starting to get darker, Kazerou had been wandering the forests of Kaneshima for the sheer sake of it. He had nothing better to do and his investment was a fair while away from completion, but it was also good to be roaming around in nature. For even demon blooded individuals such as himself had a connection to nature in some form or another. If there was anyone he had to thank for that tidbit of knowledge it was Akiko, a friend that the Link Joker incident had claimed as a victim, by no means was she dead she just separated herself from the world. Nature...soothing and welcoming but also harsh and ill tempered, a good idea was to respect it and get out of it's way if it was angered.

He placed a hand on one of the trees and closed his eyes a moment, it was as if he could feel the entire island through the trees roots. This was probably his imagination though as he couldn't possible connect with nature in such a way so quickly. But then he heard it...someone calling for help and then the spine chilling roar, the common sense of a Kamen Rider wasn't one to say run away, but to run forwards. He quickly traversed the forest seeing many animals flee in the wake of this roar and leaping over a gap he held the SpiriDriver to his waist, the belt extending from it, wrapping around him and clinging to him.

He continued to run toward the cry for help and as he got closer and closer to where he thought the roar had come from he caught sight of a wolf like creature running in the same direction as he was, quickly pulling out his keys and lifting the right side of his driver to reveal 3 slots he placed two in, one in the top, one in the center and turned them and heard the driver call out -LOCK IIIIIIN- the driver played a Jazz sounding tune, the wolf creature stopped and turned to him only to find Kazerou lunging at it and sending a kick to it's head which stunned it for a moment to allow Kazerou to place his hand on the driver and speak "Henshin". Pressing the right side of the driver down caused it to shout out again, this time announcing that he wasn't just going to be easy prey for the beast.

-YEAH, Key Change!! Turtle, Humming Bird!!!- was all the beast could hear before he was encased in his rider form, void of color but soon two large holographic keys appeared stabbing into the keyholes on his body and turning before vanishing and light emitted from those glass patterns bringing color to his form and the driver would announce this riders form because of course all rider gears had a need to hype the user up somehow.

-Spirit Knight! UNLOCKED-

With that he ran at the beast again and instead of tackling it head on he moved to weave past it and run towards his location, he had more important things than a stray at this stage, someone was in danger and he had to get there as soon as he could.
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Fin
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B-Rank in H
The roar echoed across the mountain. The noise loud enough to drift out to the edge of the forest. Birds flew alarmed, and the leaves rustled.

It had been a fine windless day.

A peculiarity that was not missed by a certain digital fairy accompanying a small teenage girl, while they were on a path of the more rural settlement on the island. A fair bit of distance away from the main city area, with the excuse of needing natural background material and coming back with irritated everywhere while cursing death to mosquitoes.

Even though it's hardly anywhere near summer.

"...Nee, Saki," The fairy, no smaller than the teenage girl's hand, floated to a halt in midair, glancing up the deep forest that covered the mountainside beside them. "Did you hear something?"

The small teenage girl, scratching her cheek and bum in irritation, turned around to the fairy with a death glare. "...Like what, something died?" She answered sarcastically.

The fairy didn't reply back, let alone reprimand the girl for her tactless answer. That alone made her feel a bit conscious at being so rude. "...Oi," She called out to the fairy, who seemed quite fixated on the forest by the mountainside. For whatever reason. "...Oi, Maya! What the hell, you're giving me the creep!"

She held back from hitting the Maya, the small fairy, but at that point, the teenage girl was forced accept that something was bothering the fairy. "...You're supposed to be a computer, don't go around having bad premonitions or something,"

Finally the fairy responded, turning to the girl with blinking eyes. "...Aaah... ahaha~! Y-yeah, you're right Saki. That was probably... nothing," Maya gave a laugh and scratched the back of her head as she immediately floated ahead of the road, bringing up nothing else on the matter.

...What the hell. Even Saki could tell that was very forced. So much so, even Saki couldn't help but look up the mountain.

She couldn't fake it. To her from out here, as an outsider, nothing felt different. Whatever might be happening on the other side, wouldn't have mattered to herself at all. She could go on with her life for the rest of the day and the day after, with no care of what had happened last evening.

...Seriously, a computer shouldn't be having these kinds of 'bad feelings'. "...Oi, Maya," Saki called out for the fairy again, with her poofing into view almost immediately next to her with a "Yes?"

"...I mean, if you want to check out what you think felt wrong..." The teenage girl said, almost sheepishly as she pointed back over her shoulder to the forest edge behind her. "Not that I think there's anything... just..." She fidgeted a little with some hesitation. "...Just take some pictures I can use as references or something. And come back before eight,"

The little fairy was a tad bit dumbfounded when she heard that, but nodded with a small grin. "Mkay! Before night, right!" Before eight, but before Saki could really correct her on that, Maya had already zoomed off and quickly disappeared between the trees no thanks to how small she was.

...Leaving Saki pretty much by herself in the middle of civilization, safe and sound and away from the dangers lurking in the darkness. She pulled out her phone as she resumed walking back to the main city area, writing up a mail to be sent to Maya.

Mail me whatever's going on, won't you?

Send.

...Oh, damn, reception is really bad around this part of the island.
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Nickle
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The Original Ni-san


Though converging from different directions, those heading toward the source of the roar would be met with the same strange phenomena. A rush of creatures big and small were heading away in all directions. They all had the same destination in mind. Do not be here. As the various parties drew closer, they would find an odd dark mist or smoke in the air. It was odorless for the most part, not really at all impeding vision, but it was coupled with the same feeling of presence. A heavy aura that carried a weight was drenched in darkness.

Sylph and Maya would be the first to arrive on the scene, their small bodies and abilities to fly allowing them to traverse the distance faster than anyone on foot. To those screaming out to see if the girl they had heard was alright, they would receive no response, but they two would stumble upon a clearing. A very abruptly made clearing at that. The large circle was littered with tree trunks. The trees that had once been attached to these trunks had been torn off by an immense force and now lay splintered and broken, either on the ground or up against other trees that were only just able to support the weight of the broken trees.

Slowly one they would all gather to see the same sight, some naturally sooner than others based on their foot speed. They would spot each other, but their gazes would soon all be drawn to the huge shape around which they would come to gather.

The wolf like creature that Kazerou encountered was unfortunately not the beast that had set its sights upon Hinata. The beast that had attacked Hinata was lying dead and, in no small way, broken beyond recognition. It’s body lay pummeled, smashed, slashed and stabbed. It had been a beast oozing and coated with darkness, but it had no reckoning of the force that it would awaken in its attack.

The ground around the beast was blackened, by some strange dark substance. While the beast lay dead on the floor, what stood over it was even more horrifying. A large knight, easily over 3 meters/10 feet, stood in the clearing. The armour that adorned the knight was tarnished, stained black and grey, where it once may have gleamed like silver. A tattered blue cloak was draped around the knights shoulders and a tarnished silver ponytail trailed out of the top of its helmet. The helm was open, but a shroud of darkness completely concealed whatever face may have been inside the helm.

The knight, while already stained black by who knew what, was additionally covered in the black blood and substances that had made up the wolf beast. A gigantic sword, even large by the standards of the knight, was impaled into the remains of the beast. Black steam or smoke seemed to be rising from the knight and it looked like it was breathing heavily. Was the knight wounded? Was it a roar of pain.

Partially. It was indeed a roar of pain, but not from anything the black wolf beast had caused. This was a pain that had long been buried and now set loose. The form looked placid and sluggish, despite the destruction and aura all around it. A small voice could be heard in the clearly, disembodied. The voice of a girl.

“No…don't, you need to stop…please no…”

The voice would go unheeded as the knight’s head then snapped to look in a one direction with unnatural, marionette like speed. A mad cackling was drawing closer at a fast pace. As Diezel cam crashing through the tree line, Artorias’ body began to shake and vibrate.

In an instant, the roar was unleashed again and Artorias was charging at a blistering pace towards Diezel, charging more like a beast then a man, abyssal darkness streaking out behind him as he ran. The great sword came down in a surprisingly fast overhanded swing, considering it was being wielded in on hand, while the other hand, coated in some abyssal substance made to follow up and grab a hold of Diezel's throat.

“THE ABYSS! THE ABYSS IS EVERYWHERE! IT SHALL BE CLEANSED! I WILL CLEANSE EVERYTHING!”
Edited by Nickle, Mar 13 2018, 07:25 AM.
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Legacy
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I lurk because I care
Well that's... interesting. Mirth watched on from a reasonably safe distance, hidden behind a grand, old yakusugi which, upon seeing the destruction wrought in the clearing, seemed less safe than she'd originally thought. With any luck, the battle wouldn't make it out this far and she could simply observe the carnage for her own sake. It paid to know about things like this far more than it did to get caught up in them. If the time came, she'd make a move if it was necessary. For now, she watched Kaneshima's wannabe heroes begin showing up in force.

It was quite the mixed bag and she couldn't help wondering what they were all capable of. With any luck, they wouldn't easily flush her out. In all honesty she could care less if any of them died for some misguided idealism, but she valued her life. She valued the real truth.

And from the looks it, that giant armored rytíř was about to inflict some harsh truths on the first one to show up.

Actually...

All that screaming about cleansing the abyss made her nervous. She slipped a little further behind her wood-and-moss hiding place to make herself feel a little safer. If that thing sensed darkness somehow, it was best to keep her distance. Given her status as a living, breathing portal to hell itself, she'd make an easy, squishy target. The foolish die for foolish reasons, let the heroes have their martyrdom.
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KAHO
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What's in a name anyways?
A meadow in the forest, a clearing from the woods, but as Diezel came forth, what it had witness was not that one term tranquil. Standing up, the beast surveyed the scene with fish eyes.

Black gore.

A rumble emanated from somewhere in its throat.

Oily dredges strewn haphazardly, as if a tar filled hurricane tore through the area. Diezel smelled the source before it could see it: the brutalized corpse on some hairy canine lay the center, a veritable pool of muck oozing from the many lacerations across it. The culprit, the giant suit of armor standing above its prey. Naturally, Diesel's bead-like eyes honed onto the figure. Reeling itself onto its hind legs, the beast flared its mane.

They had saw one another. As if scripted, what happens next was set at that point.

The crooked knight uttered words, words which Diezel knew not but words which it could glimpse a meaning. It knew not what was an abyss, but it could feel it, like worms festering throughout the clearing. Eating the grass, mucking the dirt and twisting the form. Diezel could see that it also hung off the knight.

A wish. . . A wish!

It wished to fight- to contend. To hunt and to predate. It wished to partake in the communion known as consumption.

"AaAaAa. . ." Diezel answered knight's roar with a low drone. A buzz, somewhere between static reception and a disturbed hive.

The knight charged, a writhing mass of blade, steel and darkness. As the massive claymore came smashing down, Diezel twisted and bent, it's limbs stretching and weaving like an alien contortionist. Like a marionette pulled on lax string, Diezel folded over, the blade cleaving naught but dirt. However, whatever instincts drove Diezel was unable to register the gauntlet that came for it's neck.

The dark hand gripped tightly, washed with the Abyss.

Diezel stared blankly, as steel fingers sought to wrung it's neck. However, if the knight sought bone, it would find none. If it sought to collapse an air way, it would find none.

If it sought its humanity, it would find none.

Like itself, it was nothing more than a suit, a container of what was, is and can be.

And thus explained Diezel's empty gaze, as it brought up both its hands. Long, extended and now twisting upon itself, sculpted to a pointed tip. Curving, they looped behind the Knight, brandishing wicked hooks in the moonlight. Opening it's mouth, the beast gave off an insensate gurgle, before bringing both arms downwards in an attempt to gouge into the Knight's back.

"AaAaAa- Anxiously. . . Fearfully."
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Chizu
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Knight Radiant
Sylph drew up short as soon as she buzzed into the clearing, the faerie's eyes widening as she beheld the scene in front of her. She didn't act, not immediately, because there was no sign of Hinata. Instead, she remained there, frozen, as Rei eventually caught up to her, bursting out into the clearing beside her.

The summoner was out of breath, but Rei couldn't bring himself to care about that as he straightened up and looked around. He studied the destruction, eyes wide, breathing hard with his hand still on his grimoire. The creature, bent and broken on the ground, the taint that covered the earth and filled the air. The sight of the knight standing on the blackened earth, his power so much stronger than the power that had tested him half a year ago.

There was no sign of Hinata. Rei drew in a breath and found his voice.

"Artorias, what have you done?" he asked, raising his voice. "Where is Hinata-san?"

The knight didn't answer him. Instead, he heard Hinata's voice, rising up around them and sending a shiver through him, and Artorias charged forward, attacking another creature that had burst out through the treeline.

This was bad, Rei thought. Very bad. If Artorias had assumed full control of Hinata, then he'd lost all sense of reason. And he was fighting them all, with a body that was still hers. Linked intrinsically to her. He resisted the urge to stop the fight, knowing that Artorias was strong enough to hold them off for a time, and knowing also that if he were not distracted, there was no way he would have enough time to help Hinata. Instead, he raised his grimoire, calling up his power into it.

Colors flared along the grimoire's writing, an icy blue instead of Sylph's green. Frost spread on the ground in a circle around him as Rei focused his will and power.

"Shiva! he called.

Shiva

Shiva appeared in the air in front of him, and Rei sent her off towards Artorias with a gesture and a thought of command--keep the knight busy, but don't kill him. She went to work with deadly grace, summoning a spear of ice out of the air and hurling it at Artorias as Rei moved towards the only member of this motley crew he recognized.

Andromeda.

"Andromeda-san," Rei said, drawing up next to the Amazon. Sylph came with him, hovering over his shoulder in case he needed her. "That being is possessing a student, a classmate of mine named Seika Hinata. We need to find a way to subdue him without harming her."

Easier said than done. From the looks of things, Artorias wasn't one to be subdued.
Edited by Chizu, Mar 15 2018, 09:52 AM.
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Lawman
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Keep Calm and Cheeki Breeki
Louder the rustling of undergrowth and cracking of twigs would grow as Andromeda drew near, before the Amazon skidded to a halt at the base of the slope just in time to be approached by Rei, the blonde warrior giving the teen a nod of to acknowledge his and Sylph’s presence. ”Right… I’ll see what I can do,” Andromeda remarked as he glanced over at the towering, armour-clad figure just in time to witness it engage another lumbering, golem-like creature with a vaguely humanoid shape as Rei explained the situation.

So… did that Hinata girl just turn into that knight creature after being possessed? But from what the summoner said, there was a chance that any damages inflicted upon Artorias might transfer over to Hinata’s body, so inflicting lethal damage was out of the question. Which means… as Diezel raised its arms, shaping them into hooks with the intent of stabbing Artorias in his back while being grappled, the first thing she’d have to do is prevent Diezel from hurting him!

”So that’s how it's gotta be,” Andromeda remarked as she transformed into her armoured form, before launching herself right into the fray by charging towards Artorias from a side flank before tackling the knight creature from the waist before Diezel could land its strike in hopes of separating the two humanoids; and should she succeed in her tackle the two armoured combatants would roll across the dirt a few times before Andromeda flipped back onto her feet as she tried to position herself between Artorias and Diezel.

”Sorry to crash the party, but I regret to inform you that as long as I’m standing I’m not letting either of you take a shot at each other,” the bronze warrior announced, with a brassy ring to her voice as she summoned her star blade into her right hand, pointing her green sword of solid light first at Diezel as she spoke, then at Artorias, before lowering her weapon but maintaining a steely, resolute stare as she locked eyes with them, her gaze shifting slowly back and forth between the two. The intended message was clear - if either one of them were to fight the other, they’d have to get past the Amazon first!

”So, what's it gonna be, gentlemen? Shall we lay down our arms and parley, or do you want a piece of me?”
Edited by Lawman, Mar 15 2018, 02:47 PM.
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HiroTsukasa
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Sorcerer Seizing Sorcerer
Hiroyuki skidded to a halt as he reached the source of all the chaos. He couldn't be sure, but it felt like half the campus all happened to be out in the woods tonight. A battle was already underway and to the best of his reckoning, it seemed like there were two monsters tussling with one another. He knew best of all, however, to not judge on appearances so it was an easy assumption to assume one was at least on their side.

"Andromeda-san," he mumbled to himself quietly taking note of the Amazon. He was stuck wondering what to do. This sort of situation was definitely out of his league. In reality, this wasn't particularly true but Hiroyuki's incidents tended to feel a lot smaller in scale just due to the number of people running around. This was something much larger.

Still, it seemed as though Andromeda was already trying to get control over the situation. To Hiroyuki, it felt like the best course of action was simply to support that effort. For the time being, the Blood Mage held back on the periphery of the action. He would simply watch and wait, hoping that the conflict didn't escalate further. Despite thinking that, he still knew it was best to be ready for the worst.

Fumbling in one of his pockets, Hiroyuki produced some spell paper and slowly began inscribing a sigil upon it in preparation.
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Kazerou
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His fight was one that was rather easy, the wolf creature he encountered was a whelp at best. But rather than killing it he just saw a wild animal, hearing the crushing of bones and flesh coming from the direction of the shout though...was easily enough to scare the creature away. This gave Kazerou the chance to run towards it, his booster firing off to assist him with his mobility and it was certainly enough to ensure his arrival to see the knight, Artorias of the Abyss. He perched on one of the many branches watching those gathering, Kazerou wasn't going to take any chances and in his right hand was the Eagle key. Keeping his hand near the driver just in case he had to make a quick decision and start swinging.

He heard the girls voice and he tilted the section of the driver up and placed the key into the driver. Turning it and slamming the driver back into place and pulling a spear from the keyhole that appeared and just continued staring at those gathered, he really wasn't sure if he was even needed here but he sat on the branch and watched. If any of them tried to take a shot or swing at him they were welcome to try. He didn't say anything but his attention was stuck on Artorias, he wasn't sure why there was a giant knight in the forest but then again he knew by now not to question things.

His own silence was starting to annoy him though so he finally called out, the rider form causing his voice to sound ethereal. "I'm afraid I didn't exactly get the memo about what was going on here...but I trust that someones going to tell me regardless". He rested the spear on his shoulder and simply watched those present.
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bonniecanuck
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Bonnie Bushi
Edie struggled up the mountain towards the source of the noise, which was difficult due to the intense wind that threatened to loose her footing, and the stampedes of panicked animals running away. But she was determined to keep going as hard and fast as she could. She bypassed the trails to run through brush and fields, determined to find Hinata and save her.

But as she reached the clearing and saw the full scale of the situation for herself, she was petrified as a chill ran down her spine. The scene was reminiscent of an eerily foreboding scene from her trip to Kyoto in the summer. Artorias, the knight whose spirit guarded Hinata, had gone loose.

She knew immediately that she couldn't take the knight head on. She was far too weak, and however much he may have recognised her from her previous sojourns with Hinata together, it wouldn't be safe to even try to acknowledge him. Not in this sort of berserk state.

Her eyes quickly scanned the sight around her, and she watched as a small blue figure streaked past her to confront Artorias. She immediately knew who it was. She traced the source, and made for the undergrowth from where the summon originated. And as she began to pick up a sprint, she found herself right in front of the armour-clad Andromeda leaping upwards. Instinctively she ducked, tumbling and rolling down in order to land safely.

"Rei," she said quietly. "Fancy seeing you here. I guess Artorias finally lost it, huh? God, I can't imagine what poor Hinata's feeling." Being completely unarmoured and lacking any weapons, it wouldn't be safe for her to approach at all, however much she desperately wanted to save Hinata.
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Fin
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B-Rank in H
"...Awawa... why are there so many people here...?"

Considering the time and location, there's no way that wouldn't be the first thing that came to Maya's mind when she saw more than just a couple of people making their presence here.

What are the odds, really.

Not that Maya really knew anyone here to begin with. Which would have been awkward for the fairy, if it wasn't for the berserking knight of darkness.

That was... Artoria.

Following that train of thought, Maya immediately looked around for "Hinata? Hinata-chii~?" The fairy called out in her megaphone-enhanced voice. "E-excuse me!" She wanted information, feeling annoyingly out of the loop, so she flew right up to another small fairy nearby in the group. "I'm sorry, are you Hinata's friend? What happened to her? What is that ghost knight? What's going on?"

...So much for being awkward, Maya did not have any such reservation at all, even towards relative strangers. ...Classmates, at least.
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Nickle
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The Original Ni-san
Artorias was confused for a moment, confused by Diezel's lack of vital points or places the knight knew would be fatal. This momentary confusion would go poorly for the knight as Artorias let out a scream of agony as Diezel's hooked claws carved into his body. However what happened next was unexpected. What Diezel clawed into that had not been the armour that Artorias wore, was not quite flesh, but rather a form of inky darkness that took on the same feel of flesh. If there was blood, it ran black and muddy, spilling out from where the claws had damaged this odd flesh and not scraped along armour.

Stranger still, where this darkness was clawed and raked at beneath the broken armour, caused something else to not spill out, but to shoot out like a cloud of large spores into the air. Large orbs of soft glowing yellow light. The orbs varied in size, some being the size of an apple, while others were more akin to a grape. All perfectly rounded. They started to float down at varying speeds, not dictated by either their size at all.

Still gripping Diezel's neck, Artorias' gauntlet had grown tighter out of reflex from the pain, clenching instead of opening. Artorias started to channel abyssal darkness through his hand to burn at whatever part of Diezel he was still holding on to, but roared in a different pain as one of the larger spheres struck his shoulder fast on its descent before bouncing off and towards the ground.

The shoulder that had been struck had been coated in a black gunk, but since the sphere having struck it, the gunk seemed to melt away. What was leftover was armor that was tarnished, but not coated in the dark sludge. Yes underneath there seemed to be an abyss residing within the armor to those who observed carefully enough, but it had nothing to do with the sludge that coated the rest of Artorias.

Artorias roared and a surge of abyssal energy pulsed all around him, as he attempted to throw Diezel off of him and towards the tree line to try and garner some space. This was to be interrupted as Andromeda came charging into him and tackling him away from Diezel. The sudden charge had caused Artorias to lose his grip not only on Diezel, but on his sword. He went rolled backwards, his sword skipping along the ground and coming to land nearby him.

A low growl, full of anger, started to emanate from the knight as he picked himself up reclaimed his weapon, hoisting it up onto his shoulder. Artorias looked around madly, two azure lights now glowing beneath the shadow of this helmet as he started to take note of just how many others were in the clearing. He fixed his glowing eyes on Andromeda who set her terms and was squared off to do combat and then on Rei as he shouted Hinata's name, roaring in his direction as he summoned Shiva. Clearly, he was unresponsive to reason or talk at the moment. Completely feral in mindset, if not in actions.

As Shiva threw the spear of ice towards Artorias, he raised his sword and slashed back towards her. In part, it was the sword that tore through the spear, but the swing also carried an additional attack, as a black, crescent shaped projectile was fired through the spear and in the direction of Shiva and Rei if she did not block the attack. Following up on the swing, Artorias twisted unnaturally fast into Andromeda's direction, aiming to slam his sword down upon her, a torrent of abyssal darkness following the sword and exploded around whatever it struck, be it Andromeda herself or the ground if she managed to dodge.

The little glowing orbs had rolled around the clearing, some close to where Artorias currently was and others towards the edges of the clearing. Two seemed to have rolled close to Mirth, a large one the size of a baseball and a smaller one the size of a marble. If she was to examine them, she would see that inside...someone, or rather the shape of someone holding their legs close to them in a fetal position. It looked like a girl.

From atop his perch in the branches, Kazerou would see that the orbs that had been released from Artorias' body, while scattered everywhere, that some in more dangerous positions for anyone to be in given how Artorias was swinging that blade of his. The person closest to any of them was Mirth, but a few had fallen closer to the vicinity of Hiroyuki, Edie, Rei and Maya. Some of the smaller orbs seemed to almost be rolling towards one another, as if trying to join together. Although the rate at which their were accomplishing this would be akin to that of a snail for the smaller orbs and a tortoise in the case of the larger orbs.

If one raised one of the orbs to their ear, they would hear a very, almost inaudible humming coming from them. It sounded like a female's voice humming, but whatever tune was indiscernible.

-----------------------

Deep within the void that now consumed her, Hinata pulled her legs close to her chest. Only the faintest of lights barely illuminating her. The light was flicking frequently, struggling to stay as bright as it could. She dared not move, as already everything around her, though it could not be seen, was slithering and searching blindly for something.

Hinata could feel them. Snakes or tendrils, slithering cold along her back, but avoid the light in front of her, never letting its light shine on them. She hummed quietly to herself, the noise acting as a way to remind herself that she was still here.

She was still here.
Edited by Nickle, Mar 26 2018, 05:54 AM.
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Legacy
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I lurk because I care
Mirth smirked to herself, a sort of self-praise for her intuition in this case. Getting involved with this chaos would surely have meant certain death for her. For now, she remained a wild card, someone who could sense weakness and opportunity and had the willingness and aptitude to take advantage of it when it appeared.

And it did.

An explosion of matter scattered across the woods from the giant's wound sending colorful orbs of varying sizes flying in all directions. Mirth observed with some interest the few that had ended up near her hiding place and with some manner of care, she made her way toward them. They glowed with an otherworldly light, emanating a sensation not unlike heat, but somehow different. Purity, if she had to put words to it. Mirth gripped the smaller of the two, a touch unsettled by the strange sight within, but at the same she felt... relieved.

No, not simply relieved. It was something entirely foreign to the girl born of, by, and for pain. It was a sensation she had sought for as long as she could remember. Like a blind man seeing colors for the first time, Mirth felt the nerves in her body go quiet.

"Impossible..." She murmured, utterly awestruck.

Something else then caught her eye. Something writhing and black, some formless thing flailing madly in the shade of a nearby tree. A literal piece of darkness. A part of that mad knight that had been torn away. The marble between her fingers glowed brightly in response, and Mirth moved closer, guided by the inaudible voice it offered. Holding one object up to the other, she was amazed at the effect. The pure light from the marble seemed to melt the abyssal ooze into a fizzling, black mist. As the darkness faded, Mirth took one last look at the strange girl inside the orb.

Perhaps it would've been smarter to take both orbs and run, but that sort of thing was totally unsatisfactory to her.

She didn't know who this girl was, but she was determined to find out. And for once, she felt like she had the strength to follow through. Mirth slid the smaller orb into here pocket and placed the larger one under her arm. Smirking deviously to herself, she began to sneak closer. The wildcard moved silently around the trees, awaiting her next opportunity.
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