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Another sudden onset of hurricane winds hit the flying pair like a sonic boom. Being in the air, they were lucky enough to roll with the hit rather then absorb the impact. But even then, the blow was enough to cause the engine to stall and send them flying wildly off course. The absolute excess of power used in the attack was a mixed blessing. While the air blast hit hard enough to knock the wind out of the witch, it also sent them flying with enough air time for Constanze to regain control of the broom before they crashed into the earth. With gloved hand firmly at the controls, the German engineer re-kick started the engine and realigned their flight path. The engine revved with renewed vigor as it made a speedy return to the battle. Through goggle lenses, the engineer kept a steely stare. On her shoulder, the mouse and small robot clung for dear life as their small forms fluttered in the wind.
The pair's reproach had to make a sudden detour as the encroaching attack forced emergency evasive maneuvers. The Raid Boss unleashed a Macross magic missile massacre just for them. While Constanze did not have the effortless skill of Amanda when it came to flying, she did know how to push a machine to its limits. If Urizen thought numbers alone would do her in, he never met a gamer who put in their hours into Gradius.
But numbers weren't the only trick this attack had going for it. As the broom turned and twisted in all sorts of flight maneuvers (Do a barrel roll!), the pink magical bullets trailed along in perfect unison. Homing. With a tight lock on too. Constanze had to push the speed gauge to the limit just to stay ahead. The engineer had prepared for this eventuality however. With a press of a button countless flares launched out of the broom, taking obvious inspiration from the angel wing pattern modern aircrafts use. However, the mouse on her shoulder took to vigorously shaking Constanze's head back and forth to let her know the defensive measures failed.
"They are still coming! Do something Constanze! Dosomethingdosomethingdosomething!"
Seemed practical solutions didn't always solve magical problems. These were witch seeking missiles. Constanze let out an annoyed grunt as she ran the numbers and considered their options, a task made all the harder by the constant pestering of her passenger. After a moment, a gloved hand garbed the mouse and placed her on top of the payload of an RPG launcher pointed at Urizen. The surprise caused Akko to shut up a moment as she looked back at Constanze in confusion. But at once the Japanese witch understood. Constanze held a salute with her free hand. While she was as stoned face as ever, there was an air of trust in her eyes, and something almost of a smirk on her lips. While the engineer couldn't speak, Akko got the message loud and clear. Constanze was trusting the rest to her. The mouse, after a small return salute, turned around and clung the rocket.
With that the rocket fired off, passenger in toe. The two of them wouldn't be able to escape the witch seeking bullets. But at least they should follow the witch size witch rather then escaping mouse. For a once, Constanze was the bigger target. It was not a moment too soon either as the bullets finally over took the flying motorized broom. While Constanze used her flying skills to mitigate the damage and erected her magical barrier to protect her person, the results were still the same. The engine would catch fire from damage and leave a smoke trail as the air craft whistled like a falling WW 2 fighter as it crashed into the surrounding country side.
The rocket screamed as it trailed across the sky toward the Boss monster, or maybe that was the witch turned mouse clinging on to the explosive. Before it could make impact the mouse let go, briefly turning into a tweety bird to slow her descent before hitting the ground running in her original form. Whether the rocket hit or not, Akko was ready to follow up with her own attack.
Akko charged straight for Urizen, eyes wide open. She couldn't afford to close them this time. As she ran, the wand in her hand transformed into a bow. In a single motion, the witch seemed to materialize an arrow and cock it into the string. With bow drawn, she pointed the arrow at her target. It wasn't the most imposing looking weapon, but even a layman would be able to feel the incredible amount of magical energy being focused into that single arrow. Under different circumstances, the Claiomh Solais could deface the surface of the moon with scars visible from Earth. In the hands of a student like Akko, it would have to settle with putting a hole through a demon.
The Shiny Rod wasn't a weapon. Nor was magic! Even as she readied her attack, Akko didn't lose sight of this. The meaning behind these magical words echoed in her head. Strive for your ideal place. She didn't come here to slay monsters. Defeating Urizen, or even Nyarlathotep for that matter, was not her ultimate goal. She strode the path she always followed. The path to where her dream could be a reality. No, not just her dream, all their dreams! What she wanted laid beyond these monsters. They were nothing more then obstacles in their path. So if they intend to stand in the way, then she would just open the path through them.
Akko got into a power slide right before releasing the magical arrow toward her target. If it was not able to deal a decisive blow to Urizen, hopefully having such a powerful attack come from such an unexpected source from right in front of him was enough of a distraction to turn his attention from the Demon, the Angel, and the Fool. Whatever the case, it was obvious to all that the attack was everything the little witch had. While she wasn't exactly a power house in the first place, what little magical talent the girl did have had been exhausted in that attack. For all intents and purposes, for the time being she was nothing more then a normal high school girl before a powerful demon. She didn't think of an exit strategy if things didn't work out. Doing something reckless, and then needing to be rescued because she didn't think things through, isn't that how it always goes. Though it seemed there would be no Diana to save her this time.
Edited by ImmortalNeet on Feb 10th 2021 at 9:59:56 AM
Trevor & Sypha, Temen-ni-gru
Trevor quickly grabbed Sypha and ran to take cover on the sides facing the outside of the tower. Thinking quickly, Trevor jammed one end of the Vampire Killer into the wall and held on to it and Sypha for dear life. Sypha, for her part, continued to use her Blue Splash to try to destroy any chunks that tried to hit other allies. She knew that if Trevor let go, they both would likely fall to their deaths.
Morrigan, Sparda Estate
At this point, even Morrigan was taking a beating from the flurry of attacks. She wanted to get Minako, Helel, and herself closer to fight the Urizen, but he was too focused on them, not only flinging her and the others away from them, but also focusing on attacking them with greatswords and bullets, as well as some spell that would slow the three of them down. She needed a distraction if she was going to get Minako and Helel close enough. The first was the successful destruction of the Urizen's Achilles tendon. The second...
Akko came through for them when they all needed her most. It took everything she had got, but it gave Morrigan a chance. She flew as close to the Urizen as she could, dropped Minako nearby, and attempted to shove the Urizen onto his back, using her skill at martial arts to make a targeted strike to do so. Even if this wasn't one on one like Morrigan might want, this was an enjoyable fight. However, all fights had to end, one way or another. She just hoped Minako and her angel would follow through.
The explosion was enough to throw even Ozen's fat ass off the tower's edge, tumbling face forward into the stormy skies below...but this wouldn't be her end! With the strength of hundreds, she slams her feet into the pillar. Enough force is put behind this titanic kick to embed herself into its side like a climbing pick. Then, she jams her feet at an angle to turn her body upward, and grasps the pillar to fully climb up.
Her next move, once she had gotten back upward, was the classic 'throw caution to the wind and spend it all on one blow' that always seemed popular across any universe. Ozen's battered armor is carelessly tossed aside, lightening her but leaving her much less protected...and she takes a running jump.
Ozen's goal: leap high enough to punch Artemis in the face, and then punch Artemis in the face really hard.
It was a slight change out the of his peripheral vision, but in a fight and with his current focus, it was enough. Alfred's gaze twitched downwards just long enough for him to catch sight of the darkness that covered the ground under the rubble he was currently standing on. His body began to move even before he had completed the thought, his arm swinging out as he channeled his ability to launch the spool of thick cable at his waist at anything it could wrap around outside of the circle, even as he leapt into the air.
The metal cable wrapped itself around a solid support, held in place by his magnekinesis as the ground disappeared where he'd just been. Another twist of his power saw the cable reeling in, dragging him out of the way of the possible fall. A sudden dark, hand-shaped object curled up underneath him, prompting him to kick off it in case it was dangerous.As he hit the ground just past the hole and fell into an awkward roll, he caught sight of an ally providing the hand. His rifles clattering to the ground for the moment as his lost his concentration.
The sudden rush of air displaced by a massive fist, coming up from where he had been just moments before, snapped Alfred back to focus. Rolling to his feet, he snatched up one of his rifles in hand as the others were gathered by his power and began to quickly take stock of the situation. Things were rapidly escalating, and realizing staying in one place was foolish now the young soldier headed for a different position.
He took running shots at Urizen, aiming for the demon's legs and knees in particular, heading for more cover. It seemed he was out of time though, as another laser began to sweep towards him. And with nothing to stand on, he was forced to jump it as best he could, barely clearing it before hitting the ground. Just in time to see another one, coming from the other direction.
Holding tight to his rifle, Alfred used his power to pull it into the air, giving him leverage to get to his feet faster. Still holding tight, he leapt into the air as the laser closed in rapidly, barely avoiding a no doubt fatal injury even as it sent burning pain up his leg from how close he came to it. Singeing his pants and skin. Still he got to his feet, favouring his uninjured leg as she kept on firing.
"Mono!" Tatsu shouted as he watched his friend get yanked up into the air, his legs kicking about as he clung to it desperately for a moment. "Let go!"
With a gasp the androgyne did so, his hands and cables unwrapping from around it as he reached a few metres in the air. He plummeted, and the young captain swiftly put away his sword to catch his friend out of the air. Stumbling a little bit at the sudden weight as Mono clung to him.
The white-haired teen couldn't help but flush lightly as he was held by Tatsu, even as the rest of him began to spiral into negative thoughts. He'd failed to be helpful once again. He was distracted from the thoughts when, instead of what he expected, the other boy kept hold of him and began to run. The wind whipping past them from the pace. A quick look about made the reason clear, as Mono spotted a number of glowing orbs that were quickly pursuing them, attempting to fire other glowing orbs at them.
"I've got him!" At the same time as he began to move, Tatsu called out to Ozen as she stood herself between them and the strange eyes. A serious expression on his face, he realized she aimed to use herself as a shield. "Don't worry about us!"
Of course, that was right when the ear-piercing, mind-numbing shriek filled the air. The sudden sonic assault wasn't at all what Tatsu had expected, nor something he had experienced before, and the sudden knife-like pain through his head caught him by surprise. He stumbled, a small thing that normally wouldn't have done more than slow him for a moment, if he hadn't already been handling the weight of his friend. He went down with a grunt, and a shout of surprise from Mono, landing on his shoulder and skidding a bit.
And then the powerful strike hit. Silence turned to deafening chaos as it went off, filling the air with light and a powerful shockwave. Picking the two small teens up and into the air with ease, making them cry out as they tumbled and were swiftly carried towards the edge. Acting fast, and with no small amount of desperation, Tatsu spun as best he could and drew his blade. Using his enhanced strength, he jammed it into a passing crack in the stone as best he could in an attempt to halt their flight. But it was only a blade, and with no further help it wouldn't be long before it gave way and they went plummeting.
Sayaka’s estimated safe distance wasn’t safe enough, as evidenced by her aerial trajectory onto hard ground with an "Ooof!" The few moments she needed to reorient herself upright were all that were afforded to her as the impending wave of ground spikes rolled towards her and the companions she barely had time to register in her mind were there.
A teenage Japanese girl, even a Magical one, didn’t have much chance of picking up adult men and carrying them out of danger, so the best she could do was get herself to safety by summoning a series of Conductor’s Platforms to step-ladder her way out in order to get above the spikes. If Josuke or Spider-Man had enough reaction time to see her and needed a quick way out as well, the platforms would linger for a couple seconds before disappearing if they were unoccupied.
Once Sayaka got enough altitude she would hold up on her platform for the moment, using one glowing hand to hold the platform in existence while the other held a cutlass. Up in the air she would be rather easy to spot — the best she could do was look at the now-pissed-off Urizen, trying to find the first opening she could to dive in and distract him using her speed to keep out of his clutches so as to get the heavier hitters a chance to catch their breath and group.
That set, unbeknownst to the blue-haired Magical Girl, would include Mami, rolling to a stop while cradling the glass jar containing her soul. The dead tree had proven too much of an attractor to Urizen’s attention, and the hurled body slamming into its base had caused it to come crashing down to the ground. Through labored breaths, she looked down and examined the jar for any cracks — thankfully there were none she could see — before she got back up onto her knees and looked back out, again trying to find some visual cover to watch the developing battle. It did not sit well that she was relegating herself to spectator while everyone else was fighting, but her situation was as fragile as her glass phylactery. Mami was getting more and more of her range of motions back with each passing moment as her soul began to figure out how to control her body, now fairly confident she could at least jog without tripping over her own limbs, but the fighting style she normally used was still a bridge too far. If only she could get that back this instant! Yet she couldn’t, so long as she was carrying such a large weakness in her own hands.
Right now, her only advantage against this enemy is the fact that Urizen didn’t seem to consider her anywhere near a threat to bother directly attacking, which meant the element of surprise. She could perhaps use that surprise to launch a Tiro Finale, but it would only be good once. She needed an opening, but would it ever come? And what might that even look like?
Her answer came sooner than she expected, in the form of a small blue dot streaking towards Urizen's face that her eyes managed to spy. "Miki-san..." She was still alive, but what was she doing heading back into the fight again? Did she have a plan?
Mami's eyes scanned the battlefield as fast as they could, each time settling upon several others also closing in for the kill. Seemed like this was the final strike she had been waiting for. She set her Soul Jar down upright in the bushes, then took as many steps to the side as she could for a safety margin before taking a deep breath and jumping as high as she could in her new circumstances. Reaching about halfway towards her normal limit, Mami shut her eyes and willed her ribbons into forming the largest magic firearm she could muster. All that she could will in her state, all that she could muster through the persistent feelings of "otherness" that had through permeated her ever since her soul had been reclaimed, ever since she discovered what being a Magical Girl truly meant to be, something monstrous, something inhuman...
No. No, even if Mami Tomoe was no longer human, she would still fight. Because she still had others to depend on, and others that depended on her right now.
A couple moments were needed for the complex and ornate hand-cannon to form, if said hand were the size of Madoka Kaname's house. Mami opened her eyes once more, the top railing lining up right on the largest eyes on Urizen’s chest.
That would do.
Homura had just secured the ocarina within her Time Shield when Artemis’ shriek struck, forcing her to crouch and wince until she could disable the nerves within her ears to cut off the sound. From behind her perch, Homura and now Kyubey looked up at the giant pink sphere of energy Artemis had formed and then dropped at not-quite-full-power onto the circular arena.
Whatever it was, it definitely wasn't good.
With only moments to take cover, both Homura and Kyubey dove behind the column towards the center of the platform, as that was the closest thing that they could have gotten to before the front of the blast wave reached them. Homura even grasped the corner of the column. Unfortunately, even at less than full power the column base proved to be of insufficient strength to stand up to the aborted attack from Artemis, its sheer power causing the column base to crack and break off from the platform, carrying both of them away. Homura’s body bounced along the floor a couple of times, tumbling her the whole way to completely throw off her orientation so that it was basically by luck that her left hand managed to grab on to something, anything, to stop moving. That “something” happened to be the edge of the tower itself, the muscles and tendons in her arm the rest of her body jerking and straining as she absolutely refused to let go. Not now. Not after everything.
Kyubey, however, did not have that kind of luck. With his significantly lighter body mass, he sailed fairly well clear of the edge and began a one-way trip to the ground floor. Homura, for her part, was rather too focused on hanging on herself to offer any assistance.
Homura roll 1d20…7
Kyubey roll 1d20…4
Edited by megarockman on Feb 26th 2021 at 10:17:33 AM
Josuke - Sparda Estate
"Oh, screw you!" Josuke shouted angrily at the smug demon before he felt something very hot under his feet. He quickly acted by leaping over the pillar of sorching flame, but that resulted in him being sent away by the demon king's powerful punch. Luckily, Crazy Diamond was quick enough to grab one of the platforms made by Sayoko before he hits the wall. "Thanks for the save!"
Yukako did stretch her hair as far as possible and covered her ears with Love Deluxe, but even that was barely enough to hang on to the bird-demon-Lady thing. Eventually, after seeing that a lot of people were shooting at Artemis, the teenage girl decided this was a bad idea and let herself fall while using her hair as a cushion.
As for Okuyasu, he decided to stay on guard and wait for the demonically twisted Lady's next move.
Helel hovered above Urizen as Minako landed in a crouch nearby. Seeing as the magical girl and mahou shoujo were both aiming for the eyes on his torso, the SEES' Leader immediately narrowed her focus to one very specific target: the enemy's skull.
"Morning Star!" she commanded once again, the same lightshow and bolt of pure destruction falling once more, this time directly onto the giant's head.
Although her Persona was blown off the edge of the tower, Aigis' heavy robotic weight kept her in place as she knelt down to minimize the surface area that any high-force winds or shrapnel could hit. Of course, her manifested psyche could fly, so it didn't actually fall once it hit the open air. As Palladion righted itself, the mechanical maiden tracked her disarrayed allies carefully. Swiftly floating back to the battlefield, the spirit bobbed downward to grasp Homura's midsection as she clung to the edge, lifted her up, and gently deposited her onto the platform.
Meanwhile, Aigis had charged up shots of her beam cannon and began repeatedly firing at Artemis' wing-joints on the side where she had been successful before, aiming to permanently sever the creature's ability to go airborne.
"You seem to have a habit of dangerously hanging on ledges, Homura-san," she commented to the Magical Girl in between blasts, once she registered that the Mitakihara representative was safe.
Edited by darksidevoid on Feb 27th 2021 at 1:53:05 PM
Homura resisted for a moment when she felt outside forces acting upon her until she registered that it was lifting her up and back onto the platform on her own two feet. The quip from the robotic girl was enough to fill in the remaining holes of the explanation. "Danger is a fact of life for a Magical Girl," she replied, giving no facial indication that she was particularly grateful for the rescue. Though there was also no indication that she was particularly angry or indignant about it, either — her statement was one of fact more than anything else. Her next words were just as direct: "Where is the boy?"
Celes clung onto Link for dear life. Maybe Link wasn't as green as a fighter as he looked, and he made a good shield. He'd probably make it out of this alive.
When Artemis lowered herself to the ground, Celes edged out from behind Link, and drew her sword. She was exhausted, and she was half-deaf, and she could feel the mana leaving her body, but she wasn't going to show her fear. Celes was confident that whatever Artemis tried to pull next, everyone would have a plan to push through and revert her back to her true form.
At the end of the day, Leo was just a flesh and blood man with the finest training and armaments. He met his match in Urizen, and now he was reaching his limits. He stumbled over the first laser Urizen summoned, and—He got sloppy. He didn't see that second laser coming. The best armor forged in the Imperial workshops didn't provide much protection against magic spells. Leo fell to his knees.
...No, now wasn't the time for it. If Urizen was going to finish Leo, he'd have to fight harder for it.
Leo rose back up on his feet, and his fist clenched on the hilt of his crystal sword. The flourishes he made with his blade were too fast for the human eye to see—All anyone would be able to see in the end was Leo directing a ray of pure energy and noise directly towards Urizen.
Edited by TailsDoll on Mar 1st 2021 at 5:49:33 AM
"If you are referring to Link-san, he is over there," Aigis answered, pointing with her free hand to the Goron-sized Hero of Time, who had been sheltering behind the doubtlessly cracked or shattered ice pillar, "He appears to have the ability to transform into various creatures using masks."
"If you are referring to Tatsu-san or Mono-san, they are over there, and if you are referring to Okuyasu-san, he is over there," she continued, pointing to each.
Homura followed Aigis' pointing first to the transformed Link. Masks, huh? Interesting. She became momentarily confused when Aigis continued to point out all the other male children present, until realizing her syntax hadn't been as tight as it should have been. At least the robot seemed to have less malevolent intentions than the other being she knew who used strict interpretation.
Homura reached into her Time Shield and pulled out another one of those sci-fi laser blasters she had scavenged from several days ago. "I'm going to Link — make sure she doesn't interfere," she left as...something stronger than a suggestion but not quite up to the level of a dictatorial order to Aigis. Homura’s tone had defaulted to her normal this-is-how-it-will-be-no-questions, her focus on finishing this off overriding whatever social skills and other niceties she might have developed recently. The blaster in her hand was out and pointed at Artemis as she made her way towards the transformed Link.
Reisen wasn't completely surprised to see the demon simply taking her shots like that. When you are in the zone, especially in the middle of a spellcard, it was easy not to realize how much damage you are taking until you feel the threshold hit. She considered changing up tactics for a moment before deciding to stay the course. Nothing to do but keep on firing until Artemis' attack breaks. Luckily thanks to some help from the robot and some magician, it did.
The attack fell from the demon's grasp. Even after interrupting the attack before it could fully charge, it still retained so much energy. Not that that was a problem. Reisen leisurely floated backwards a safe distance and merely watched the impressive explosion with a smug look. It didn't matter how much power you put into an attack if you can't hit your target with it. After all that, it seemed Artemis was finally all out of fight. All there was to do is have the kid do his thing and this fight was in the bag.
The smug victorious look disappeared however when she saw almost half the humans go off the sides of the tower. She looked on dumbfounded a moment before remembering.
"Oh right...these humans can't fly..."
In Gensokyo even humans tended to master that ability. No, even on Battleworld! There was the ghost cosmonaut, cyborg guy, fake bunny girl with no pants, the witches in Luna Nova! Did these humans really have an excuse for not knowing how to fly!?
She began rubbing her temples. She was exhausted and in pain. Not getting any sleep the night before was really starting to wear on her. Everything she had to endure in the city and this fight. Plus everything still waiting for them on this quest to kill an eldritch god. Then even after that she still had more work to do before she could finally rest.
And these humans had the audacity to go trying to die like that!? Who do they think has to pick up the slack if they die!? Its not even her fight!? Its supposed to be humanity fighting against Nyarlathotep! She is just helping! So if they think she was going to let them skip out on their responsibilities just because they were falling to their death, they have another thing coming!
Despite not being a priority target, Reisen darted after that creepy albino cat thingy. It was the only one not to catch their fall. Besides, cute fluffy rodents have to stick with one another. While Kyubey was at the mercy of gravity, Reisen was not. With her quick flying, she would get ahead of the thing. If Kyubey was capable making any expression other then that dumb cat face, it might have shown relief to see it was saved. And if it was capable of any other expression, it might have turned to horror when it realized that Reisen was pulling her leg back and preparing for a field goal. When he arrived, Reisen followed through with a full arc kick to send the weasel back to the tower top. Thankfully the Spellcard system kept Kyubey from experiencing any lasting injuries, but he would still feel it.
With the rat saved, Reisen made a quick return toward the tower. As she passed by, she yelled at the vampire hunter and witch duo.
"Do you guys have time to be hanging around!? Save your friend!"
But she didn't have much time to chat. She was making her way to Tatsu and Mono. For a moment, Reisen considered simply blasting them back up the tower. It would make things so much easier on her. One of her arms was burned up for crying out loud! But she suppose she should cut back on the friendly fire, even if it was non-lethal. Wouldn't want a repeat of that incident in the city with that soldier with a stick up his butt. Besides, these kids look scrawny and light enough.
Flying up to Tatsu and Mono was the bunny girl. With a monotone delivery that expressed exasperation more then concern, she held out a hand.
"One at a time. I am not carrying you both at the same time."
For his part, Spider-Man was blown across the way by the maelstrom winds Urizen sent out to blow away his opposition, and impacted a bit of manor rubble that was still standing with a pained "GUH-HUUUUH!" Slowly, he peeled off the bit of wall and flopped to the ground face-first, coincidentally right next to Maki.
"H-Hey there, Maki," he wheezed as he shakily pushed up into a sitting position, "How's it going?"
And just like that, the battle turned back towards its natural end: the mortal worms scrambling to avoid the inevitable as the demon king stood unchallenged, conducting their demise. Those flies on their broomstick fell to the onslaught pursuing them, with nothing but a poorly-aimed rocket to serve as their counterattack. The human in the green uniform fell for the trap aimed behind him, and the one with magnetic abilities hardly fared better. The Stand User soared through the air out of sight and out of mind, as did the brightly-colored web-slinger. In the heat of this chaos, Urizen forgot the twinge of fear he'd felt a minute before; these rats had harmed him beyond what he thought possible, but it had taken everything they had just to get this far. All they could do now was dodge, retreat, and die.
Though speaking of that colorful web-slinger, Spider-Man narrowly missed the patch of load-bearing wall that served as a certain saboteur's cover, instead flopping onto some rubble in a way that made even Maki wince at the impact. Fortunately, the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man seemed like he'd dealt with much worse, which both eased the Contractor's concern and kept Spidey on the pedestal Quill had put him on. When the web-slinger raised his jarringly casual question, Maki was pouring a cup of what looked like steaming hot water out of a thermos.
"I'm doing a lot better than most of us." The Contractor stated, though Spider-Man could spot the hint of frustration in the kid's mismatched eyes.
As a bizarre act of self-punishment, Maki swigged the steaming hot beverage and did his best not to cough it back out. He somehow managed, and with that piece of his contract paid he could afford to wait a little longer before paying off the rest. Though if the web-slinger were to ask why he'd purposefully burned his mouth and throat like that, Maki would brush the question aside and say that he'd explain it later.
If we survive. amended his Contractor rationale, though the boy kept that part to himself.
Daring to peek out of cover, Maki watched as the short witch on the broomstick fell down to Earth, shooting a rocket towards the demon king as an ill-fated Hail Mary. Though as the rocket missed its mark, Maki's attention was drawn towards the mouse-turned-bird-turned-witch sprinting towards Urizen like he was a ribbon at the finish line.
"That idiot!" Maki growled through gritted teeth. "She's going to get herself killed!"
Sure enough, Maki wasn't the only one who noticed Akko's suicide run: for one heart-stopping moment, the young witch found herself caught in Urizen's sight. There was no way he didn't see her sprinting at him. There was no way he didn't notice the bow in her hand. There was no way he didn't hear her begin reciting a spell.
He just didn't care.
Of all the pathetic opponents on this battlefield, Urizen had determined the children in witch uniforms to be the weakest of them all—his frail human side notwithstanding. From the very start of the fight they had acted like two mosquitoes buzzing around but rarely daring to bite, and between the two of them the taller one was undoubtedly the most incompetent. This was not the first time Akko Kagari had charged straight at him, but it was the first time she had done so without acting like a child on a playground. Under normal circumstances, Urizen would not even think of humoring an assault from such an inexcusably weak human, but these were not normal circumstances—that angel had proven to be a viable threat, and thanks to some under-handed tactics Urizen doubted he could move without losing his balance. Akko Kagari would meet her maker soon enough, but right now the demon king had bigger fish to fry.
...which made the warm glow emerging from Urizen's peripheral all the more puzzling. The angel was straight ahead, and caught in the demon king's trump card no less. Could the creature strike from afar, and from a completely different angle? No, one fatal look at this light brought Urizen face to face with the last person he expected to deal a mortal blow:
The shot was bright, but thin—as a shot from an arrow ought to be. Those witnessing the strike could be forgiven for not seeing the blow land, though it would be much harder to miss what came next: after a moment of shock, Urizen's senses caught up to the damage dealt, forcing the demon king to clutch the open wound in his gut with a trembling hand. Though as the demon king made the swift decision to cauterize the wound with his own hellfire, he came to the horrifying realization that there was more than one wound to mend. The Shiny Arc had never intended on stopping against the might of a true Son of Sparda...it had landed exactly where its wielder had wished it to fly:
Blood drained freely from the wound in Urizen's back, but only witnesses with an angle on the battle could see where the arrow had finally struck—off on the cloudy horizon, a web of cracks had formed in the sky itself, as if the heavens were a glass ceiling that the Shiny Arc had revealed for all to see. The cracks deepened, loosened, and bit by bit shards of the sky tore apart and fell to the ground, dissolving into the harmless illusion they had always been. What laid beyond that false sky was nothing; the pure uncompromising void that Nyarlathotep called his domain.
Yet despite the mortal blow, Urizen remined standing. He refused to fall to that joke of an opponent, no matter how much he'd struggle against the incoming attacks. Despite recognizing that Morrigan sought to provide a suitable distraction for the angel to close the distance, the demon king could do nothing but dedicate the lion's share of his waning power into keeping the succubus at bay. He knew this was a trap, but the full power of a fellow demon was a force too strong for Urizen to ignore. His heels dug into the dirt behind him as he stood his ground against Morrigan.
It was then that yet another threat in his peripheral caught the demon king's attention, this one belonging to a human he had never seen before crouched beside the fallen tree. Even she had known this attack was going to be risky, and the few moments she needed to charge the massive musket was all the time Urizen needed to deal with her for good. Freeing up one hand in his impromptu pushing match against Morrigan, the demon king cast a spell that would summon a sweeping laser beam behind Mami, eliminating her and the threat that giant gun posed to his life.
...yet before the spell was complete, another attack struck Urizen first—this time coming in the form of searing energy and sound, with the half-standing General Leo as its source. Another punishing blow, but one that the demon king could bear; after all, he had endured far worse pain from his brother D—
Leo's attack may not have finished the job, but it almost certainly saved Mami's life, and had given the Magical Girl the seconds she needed to aim her ultimate attack and fire it through the demon king's chest. Yet another clean-through shot, this time punching through one of Urizen's lungs and striking the illusion near its base. The cracks erupting from the musket shot crept up towards the "sky's" ceiling, revealing that the Sparda Estate was encased in some kind of dome that was now falling to pieces bit by bit.
With three devastating attacks coming one after another, the demon king's strength was reaching its limit. The malicious aura that had surrounded him to this point dispersed, signaling that the power-boosting Devil Trigger had been completely spent. Morrigan's efforts were gaining her more and more ground, and by the time the inevitable blow arrived and the succubus would be forced to retreat (lest she fall to the same holy strike), the demon king could barely stand.
In the moments before Hellel delivered the final blow, Urizen craned his remaining eyes up towards his heavenly opponent. After all of his sacrifice, after all of his torment, after all the blood and sweat he'd given to gain the power he now possessed...how was all of that still not enough? A being of Hellel's strength should be nothing compared to his own; just a candleflame buried by the dark. And yet here he was, on his last legs, without even the strength to brace himself.
He stopped. There was no point in asking; not only because it would wound his pride to seek answers from the enemy, but because he had realized the truth for himself. The thought that crossed his mind in that moment of fear had been more true than he could ever realize. And so slowly, as the divine being approached, Urizen turned his eyes towards the Fool as she gave the command.
The angels and demons were not the strongest opponents here—the humans were.
A blinding light engulfed Urizen...only this time he uttered no screams. No wrathful cry of a monster gritting through the pain. No promise of revenge a hundred times worse than the pain he felt now. Just pure and unsettling silence until the pillar of light dispersed, and the demon king fell onto his back; defeated, but still showing signs of life.
It was over.
The aftermath of Artemis' failed attack had left almost everyone on the battlefield in disarray, Artemis included. Still licking her wounds from having an entire wing seared completely off her body, the demon was not prepared to go straight back into the fray.
...unfortunately, the fray decided to come to her, in the form of Ozen leaping into the air to deliver an agonizing punch to Artemis' head. It wasn't the most clever plan ever executed—Artemis even had her counter prepared as the finger-like appendages on her skull opened up—but the creature's exhaustion and Ozen's new agility tipped things too far in the Unmovable Lord's favor. The punch struck Artemis in the jaw, and slammed her into the ground. Those who wanted to take Lady back alive would watch for a few uninterrupted moments before the creature unleashed a fourth blood-curdling screech to rid herself of nearby opponents, and return to the air in a clumsy, lopsided pattern.
Among the viewers was an observant little fairy who had taken the massive blast as an opportunity to fly out of range; too bad she and Reisen were the only ones afforded that luxury. But as the dust settled and Ozen delivered the counterstrike, Tatl noticed their opponent do something she'd done more than once now. At first the fairy had guessed that having the top half of Artemis' head fold out was some kind of gross horror feature; this Nyarlabablopatop guy had shaped Lady into this monster, so it made some sense to make her look as nightmare-inducing as possible. Really drive home that the Lady her friends knew and love was 100% gone. But Artemis had to have seen Ozen coming in for a hit, so why take the time to do that creepy party trick? Why not just fly out of the way?
When Tatl thought back to the first move Artemis had made, the pieces came into place.
She knew how they could win.
Hei stayed in cover behind the rock creature longer than Celes did, if only because his brain was being a little too angry at him for not dealing with that dislocated shoulder yet. Once he double-checked that the monster was only shivering from the cold and not from any clear injuries, the Black Reaper thanked it for the save and fell back to the edge of the tower. Just as Reisen heaved an androgynous Thundercore human over to safety, Hei was there to help Tatsu back to his feet with his good arm.
"You two alright?" he asked the Magonians, evidently ignoring the arm hanging lifelessly beside him.
Once Sell S and the masked man left, Link gratefully removed the Goron Mask to stop all that darn shivering; unfortunately he did have a sniffle or two left over. The flash of light that accompanied his transformation would help confirm Aigis' statement to Homura: the kid had magic masks that let him transform. When the Magical Girl rushed over to Link and returned the Ocarina of Time, the little hero went through some big emotional shifts in quick succession: from gratitude, to confusion, to realization, to sudden terror, and hesitantly back to gratitude. He hadn't realized how SO CLOSE the team had just been to not being able to save the Lady!
Though before Link could take the sacred instrument back, his eyes went wide as he watched a certain cat-ferret-thing soar over the tower's edge and come in for a crash landing! Having seemingly forgotten the ocarina, Link ran like a receiver towards where he expected Kyubey to land. Having miscalculated just a little bit, the little hero jumped backwards to catch the poor creature, and fell on his back to shield Kyubey from harm. One moment of silent checking to see that the cat-ferret-thing was alright, then Link smiled and set Kyubey down with a gentle pat on the head.
That was a close one!
Artemis' problems didn't end with a brief retreat; she couldn't fly as easily with only five wings, which meant that trying to dive bomb the enemies off the tower would be riskier than usual. She was out of projectiles, her most powerful attack took too much time and energy, and she no longer had any diversions to draw attention away from herself. That said, the last weapon in her arsenal had proven to be quite effective; if she combined it with some brute force, she could knock the hostiles off the tower one by one. The only real threat was that beam cannon. Speaking of which, it seemed that Aigis was ready for the next round.
Inspiration struck before the beams were fully charged, and if Artemis had the ability to smile, she likely would've.
Time for another trick.
Artemis did her best to maneuver with five wings as she would've done with six, swimming through the air in order to avoid the deadly beams. She tried her best to use the pillars surrounding the tower as cover from the Persona user's attacks, but in the end she knew this wasn't a foe she could out-dodge forever.
In fact, she was counting on it.
Not soon after Aigis' brand of bullet hell began, one of the blasts struck true and seared through part of Artemis' middle-right wing, forcing her to stop using that wing altogether. With only one small wing to steer her to the right, Artemis' flight pattern went into chaos, and she fell to the ground near the edge of the tower. Apparently wounded beyond repair, the creature struggled to move her newly wounded wing, to no avail. She tried to use her left side to fly, but that did little more than spin her on the ground. In an almost pitiful sign of defeat, Artemis opened her human-esque mouth and let out a weak cry.
Assuming that the others were ready to restrain the creature and that Ozen was stopped before she could deal with the monster HER way, Artemis would put up a believable struggle, but seemed resigned to her fate. How could she fly without all her wings? How could she escape whatever fate awaited her against the onslaught of such ferocious opponents? What would become of poor, poor, Artemis now? With all of these enemies closing in, all she could do was wait for the inevitable...and open up the top of her skull bit by bit.
"SHE CAN ONLY SCREECH WHEN HER HEAD'S OPEN!" Tatl yelled to anyone aiming to pin the monster down. "BIND HER HEAD SHUT FIRST!"
With the cat suddenly out of the bag, Artemis renewed her efforts to escape tenfold. Unfortunately, while her newly-wounded wing wasn't as useless as she'd feigned it to be, the fact remained that it had been hit, and hit harder than the creature would've liked. It honestly might not be enough to get her airborne again!
...but if that was the case, then who cares?! These idiots came here to rescue that weak-minded "Lady" they kept blabbering on about so much—all she had to do was get to the edge of the tower and fall, and that'd be the end of it! No more Artemis means no more Lady! Her master's wishes would be fulfilled, and these fools would be left to drown in their own failure!
Yet it was amidst the struggle for her freedom that—in some way shape or form—the appendages on Artemis' head were bound together, and her wings kept her grounded to the floor. When she managed to crane her head to see anything but the floor, one of the figures standing in front of her was a boy clad in green, holding a lavender-colored instrument in his hands.
Link looked down at the struggling creature, and gave her a small smile in greeting. Holding the Ocarina of Time to his lips, he focused on the notes he wished to play, and the magic that lay in its music:
Three-quarter time, slow, and from the heart. A bittersweet melody dedicated to mending unseen wounds while recognizing the past and present pain.
The Song of Healing.
Minako slumped forward as her reserves of mental energy dried up and left her feeling very foggy and worn out, but caught herself with her free hand before she hit the ground. Thankfully, that last series of hits on the enemy seemed to finally do the trick, and he wasn't moving anymore. His continued breathing might have betrayed the fact that he was still alive, but she was in no state to process that at the moment. He was down for the count and wasn't attacking, and that was what mattered.
Stuffing her Evoker back into her SDU, Minako brought up her menu and flicked around until she found what she was looking for: the top-shelf mana potions Mitsuru had bought from the enterprising alchemist witch a couple days prior. If they were so strong that they needed to be diluted to make normal potions, just a little bit would do. She uncorked the one she had pulled out and took a moderately small sip. The haze around her mind instantly lifted and she perked up, holding up the vial and looking at its deep azure contents admiringly.
As she re-corked the potion, however, The Fool remembered one other magic-affiliated person who could probably use a pick-me-up! That last attack seemed like it had taken a lot out of Akko. She stepped over to the young witch, beaming. "Hey, Akko! That last attack of yours was really awesome! Shiny Arc, was it? Super-cool! You seem pretty wiped, though! Here, take a little sip of this - but not too much, okay? It's really strong!" Saying that, she offered the mostly-full vial of mana potion to the other girl.
And so, with the battle over, silence overcame the field, and if one pretended that the darkness above them was the night's sky rather then the manifestation of pure darkness, it might actually look pretty peaceful. If you ignored the giant demon lying on the ground, that is. As everyone took a moment to gather themselves after the end of the fight, V started to slowly make his way toward them from where he'd been in the back of the group, coming to a stop next to where Nero, who was giving V a concerned look, was standing
"Most impressive." He said, and anyone who was paying attention might notice that he was moving a lot slower then he'd been before, and putting a lot more pressure on the cane of his as he practically leaned on it. "I'd even dare to say that-"
He suddenly stopped talking and broke into a long coughing fit, his cane slipping from his hand. Before he fell to the floor, however, Nero grabbed him and caught his cane mid fall.
"You look like you're about to drop dead." Nero said as he examined V's body. "Where'd he get you?"
V just shakes his head "No. This is not a physical injury. I-"
He breaks into more coughs, and you all can actually see his skin start to fracture, as if he was a statue that was about to break.
"My time is almost out. I must remerge with my demonic power, or else I will crumble to dust."
He looks around at all the members of the group.
"The rest of you had best prepare yourselves, heal what wounds you can, and ready your weapons. For I am sure that our main target is not far, and if he was able to break my demonic half so completely as to make him into his guard dog, he will no doubt prove to be a far bigger challenge then this was."
The thing that had once been Lady started squirming underneath the binds it was held under as the Song of Healing started. The struggle became more intense after a few seconds, and it started screaming. Said screams were not the loud, ear shattering wail it had been giving off throughout the fight, but actual screams that, as best as you all could probably tell, were screams of pure, intense pain. And yet, as it screamed, it started to glow with an intense light, and you'd all have enough warning that it'd probably be a good idea to shield your eyes before she was consumed by said light, engulfing the rooftop in it
When it vanished, you'd all see Lady in the place of the demon, albeit a heavily injured one. That said, anyone who looked closely could probably figure out that these wounds were not indirectly caused by the group, not the least of which being because she wasen't missing arms or legs after the demon's wings had been blasted apart. These wounds, rather, seemed to be a result of extended torture, as you'd all see plenty of cuts, heavy looking bruses, some whip marks on her back if you'd happened to flip her over, and a number of burn marks. About the only thing she didn't have was broken bones, so far as you all could tell. Then you all can hear a voice.
"You all lived. Color me surprised."
As you hear it, suddenly you all can see a small swirl of darkness appear next to Lady, before, in its place, you can see what is plainly her shadow, fully armed with all of Lady's usual weapons, including her missile launcher, looking at you all, arms crossed and facial expression suggesting she'd give about as many shits shooting you as she would breathing.
"But, maybe that's for the best. It'd hardly be an accomplishment to kill someone with foul, evil demonic powers, hardly what I spent most of my life building a reputation for. Far more satisfying to kill your foe with fire and lead."
Once the wind stopped blowing, Trevor swung and threw Sypha up onto safe ground. Sypha followed this up by pulling Trevor up. Once Tatl told everyone about binding Artemis' head to keep her from screeching, Sypha bolted over to Artemis, used her own cloak to try to keep Artemis' head bound shut, and held on for dear life. When Sypha saw Link from the angle that both she and Artemis were at, she nodded. Sypha let the Song of Healing watch over Artemis and her, feeling like they had saved Lady.
Once Sypha opened her eyes again, Lady was there. In fact, two Ladies were there. There was the real one who looked like she had been dragged through Hell, and then there was the Shadow.
She did as much as she could to keep the Urizen occupied while the others struck their blows. Being so close meant she had to do all she could just to only be grazed by General Leo's and Mami's blows, but even she knew she had to escape to a safer distance before Helel struck lest even she die to its holy power. However, when she saw the Urizen look towards Minako, Morrigan smiled. He finally knew. He knew what she knew. He knew what made humans so interesting to her. That made the fight completely worth it.
Morrigan simply relaxed on the floor, not really in any state to continue fighting thanks to getting grazed by both General Leo and Mami, but they had won against him. She looked toward where Akko was and saw that Minako was now tending to her.
"I'm... alive," Morrigan said to the others, making sure they knew they didn't need to worry about her. She'll heal.
Dracula, Castle Keep, Castlevania
"He has joined up with a number of goody-goodies including Belmont, a particular thorn in my own side," Dracula explained. "As well as various groups of other... heroes."
"Link has also reincarnated multiple times, using my right hand man's own words, 'has the stench of time travel all over him,'" Dracula explained to Majora. "Death does not like time travelers."
"There are far too many heroes on this planet for either of our own good," Dracula concluded to Majora. "What this place needs is more villains like us."
Sparda Estate: Ask Your Doctor if Fusing With Your Bloodthirsty Demon Half is Right For You
As the demon king fell still, a weight lifted from Maki's shoulders; a strange feeling, since he hadn't realized how tense he'd become just by hiding behind cover. Since most of the fighters seemed to be regrouping, the Contractor decided to pay the rest of his price, leave his shelter, and rushed over towards the others.
He heard the darkly-dressed man's praise, but didn't feel inclined to accept it. Maki played a supporting role for this fight—the credit should go to people like Sayaka, Mr. Parker, Akko, and the redhead girl. Not that he had a reason to share his thoughts; it'd just sound like he was beating himself up, and that was just partly the case. His Contractor brain had spelled out the cold truth, and that cold truth kept him physically unharmed in what was a very tough battle. That was worth a bruised pride.
Of course, it seemed unlikely anyone would be able to thank the moody man before he nearly collapsed right in front of them! The news of his "time running out" was more than confirmed by his sudden case of leprosy, and even though it seemed like they'd seen the last of this monster, the dying man's mission sent a loud WARNING! alarm through the Contractor's mind.
"Are you sure that's a good idea?"
The words were out before Maki could stop them. Taken at face value, it was a cold-hearted and deeply insulting thing to say; after all, how was objecting to what seemed like the only option to save a man's life any different than suggesting death was the better option? The saboteur realized this, and as he turned to the eyes fixed on him (or those that would soon be fixed on him after proposing V should just let himself die), he retreated a half step before finding his courage.
"You called that thing a monster in the truest sense of the word, and now you want to go back to sharing a body with it? I don't think it's crazy to doubt you'll stay in control once you've merged with your Shadow, or...whatever that thing's supposed to be. Just look at you two: he fought over a dozen of us single-handed, while you've needed a cane just to walk across a room. Am I wrong to guess which one of you makes the rules?"
The more Maki spoke, the more he turned his attention away from the dying man, as if he was trying to coax the other warriors onto his plausible yet very unsettling theories.
"Mr. Son of Sparda, I don't know you. Everything I know about you came from your own mouth, but when you say something like 'up until yesterday I only cared about power,' that doesn't give me a lot of hope things will be okay if you become whole again. And if there's a good chance that you're going to bring—" Maki pointed towards the defeated demon king, "that thing back to its feet, then...th-then..."
Then we should let sleeping dogs lie. Said the cold rational Contractor in Maki's head, but the boy's courage ran out before he could repeat it.
Edited by TheodoreHastings on Mar 8th 2021 at 12:08:31 PM
Between the compiling of all the successive attacks of such massive power, Sayaka ended up having to play dodgeball to make sure she wasn't caught up in them, eventually getting her feet back on the ground to avoid the show in the air. Most of her focus was on that, with the remainder split between a lingering sense of disappointment that she didn't get to do more to taking the big guy down and surprise at hearing her senpai's voice call out her signature attack. Mami-san was here? Since when? As soon as she saw that giant fall and others were moving in to make sure he wasn't going to get back up, she turned and sped towards the bushes where she thought she heard it from. "Mami-san? Mami-san, where are you?"
"Miki-san…" She sounded exhausted.
"Mami-san!" Sayaka zipped towards the elder Magical Girl's voice, seeing her leaning against the dead tree. "That was a nice Tiro Finale! I didn't know you were here, is everything—" Sayaka's voice abruptly died when she saw that the latter was holding a large glass jar in her hands, itself holding what looked like a small yellow star. Her next words held none of the enthusiasm that she had for seeing her fellow Magical Girl again. "Mami-san, what's…why do you have a...jar?"
"Miki-san…" Mami greeted Sayaka with a relieved smile, which made her tired eyes contrast even more. She looked back down at the jar in her hands. "We...really have to give everything for this, don't we?"
Sayaka's eyes snapped from the jar to Mami's face. She couldn't have found out the secret, could she? Right?
Then why does she seem less physically tired and more…tired tired?
...she knows, doesn't she? That's why she phrased it like that.
"You...found out about the Soul Gem thing?"
A small hitch in Mami's breathing. "And what Witches really are. My...darker self told us. And it was enough to...for me to give in. If it wasn't for Link-kun..." Her eyes went back to the yellowish wisps shining within the jar, staring at it and slowly through it to the other side.
...Shit. "I...I'm sorry. I wanted to tell you, but the transfer student said that we shouldn't say anything until...no!" Sayaka threw down the sword in her hand, the blade clattering on the ground. Her voice raised in frustration and anger, not making any attempt to keep a lid on it. "No, I should have told you before we left that room! Or just last night! To hell with that bitch — it wasn't right to keep you in the dark! You had a right to know. At least that way you wouldn't have been blindsided and would have been prepared for all that, and then maybe you wouldn't have-"
"Sayaka Miki, that's enough!" That was a tone of voice Mami had never used on her before, stopping Sayaka's rant dead. She looked up to see her elder look at her with a pained yet stern look, the kind of look she only saw once before against Homura when both girls had dug their heels in. Mami needed a couple moments to bring herself back down to a level where she could speak at a normal volume but still firm tone: "Now you listen to me. We do not have time for this tantrum, not when we still have an evil to defeat once and for all. Akemi-san and I will have a discussion about these revelations, but I need you to focus on helping us all finish this fight. Once Nyarly is defeated, we can go home and...sort this out. All right?" Well, it started firm at least, but Mami's voice gradually lost its edge as whatever indignation she had at the start seemed to be replaced by the more familiar softened tone of the sweet senpai. Maybe if you had rolled better than a 5...
Nonetheless, Sayaka needed several moments to digest Mami's words before nodding slowly. "OK. I'm...sorry for losing it."
"I understand, Miki-san. I'm sorry for raising my voice — I did not want to see you spiral out, especially now."
"Are you...going to be OK? Trying to fight with...that?" Sayaka motioned to the cumbersome jar.
"Well, I've managed to still do a Tiro Finale. I can still fight."
"Yeah, that's true." At this point the conversation seemed to have played itself out, so the two of them turned to look around and see what everyone else's status was, and if perhaps there might be someone with spare mana-cleansing potion, since Homura had the bottle previously allotted to Mitakihara.
Homura and Kyubey had made their way to the vicinity of the yin-yang Ladies, the former showing little visible emotion from the prior fight and the latter showing no emotion at all from the prior flight. "So long as the enemy dies, what does it matter whether they fall by magic or machine gun?" Nonetheless, the lingering gaze Homura held upon the various armaments the Shadow Lady was showing off would make the rather meager state of her own personal armory come towards the forefront of the Magical Girl's mind.
<It would depend on what aftereffects there might be,> Kyubey added. He turned to face the Shadow. <Nonetheless, what do you intend to do now?>
"Yes." Homura's own gaze also moved from the weapons to the Shadow's face. "Are you going to join us in taking down the one who did this to you?" She made her play for recruitment — revenge can be a strong motivation, after all.
Edited by megarockman on Mar 7th 2021 at 11:49:36 AM
A flicker of confusion crossed Delfi's face at that question, not having expected such a strange and mundane route for the conversation to go down. Still, she recovered quickly enough and smoothed her face over before allowing the other woman to see her thinking it over for a moment. Reading her intent behind the strange question, or the general feeling she got from the small tells given, the girl realized that she was just grasping at straws.
Still, putting much thought into the people she used to be friends wasn't something she really wanted to do, just bringing back old memories and the fresh betrayal from them. "They were... nice. All of them besides me were boys, so I didn't join in their games very often, since they involved beating each other up with sticks. But... we all used to talk about travelling together once we got older, flying and journeying all over the world."
Despite her attempt to keep herself neutral, saying it out loud had more of an effect on Delfi than she expected. A pang in her chest and a sour taste in the back of her throat making themselves known as her face flickered for a moment, anger and sadness seeping through her walls.
Morrigan, Sparta Estate Mirage
"Forgive him," Morrigan looked towards Maki before glancing at Nero. "It takes a lot of power to split a soul like this, and even more to keep them separate once both halves are in the same realm."
She sounded like she was speaking from personal experience.
"A soul can't stay divided like this," Morrigan stated bluntly as if talking about a fact. "Otherwise, one, and only one, of two halves will fade."
She didn't feel the need to say it is the weaker half of the soul that fades, even if it was kinda obvious here.
"And it's clear which of the two halves are fading," Morrigan glanced at V and then at the Urizen. "It's better for the two to merge into one soul again than to let the demon half continue to exist without its human half."
Edited by GameGuruGG on Mar 8th 2021 at 11:21:43 AM
Temen-ni-gru: Lonk Plaes Song of Heeling
Despite the Song of Healing, the Demon Lady screamed in pain. Link took a half rest in the magic melody's score to open his eyes and check on Artemis, his eyebrows arching to show his concern.
This wasn't how the Song of Healing was supposed to work. It was meant to be a warm blanket to ease the pain, not a iron brand to triple the agony. Why was she screaming? Was he doing something wrong?!
Ever the observant one, Tatl spotted her partner's hesitation, and ordered him to continue playing the song, no matter what happened. She wasn't certain why this monster was putting up such a fight, but she could make a guess or two: if this Nyabobasto-whatever guy knew about everyone who ran into this place, then it wasn't crazy to assume he'd know about the kid and the Song of Healing. Music magic was a fickle thing, and any interruptions to the score would mean the kid would have to start all over again. Maybe this creature had been given a head's up that they were trying to save Lady, not kill her. Interrupting the spell that would reverse the process would probably buy it a few moments to come up with an escape plan.
...maybe even an escape plan that involved a one-way trip to the base of the tower.
Fortunately, the kid listened to his fairy, and continued to play the bittersweet melody no matter how much this screaming jabbed at his Redead trauma. He had to keep playing, otherwise the Lady might be done for! And when the tower burst into light, the little hero was grateful to have his eyes shut, swaying back and forth as he put his heart and soul into those final ascending notes.
When the world came back into view, there was not one, but two Ladies who had been rescued! Still, Link couldn't help but pout a bit when he scoured the floor and found no new mask to add to his collection. Being able to shoot tons of little Beamos lasers would've been super cool!
While Kyubey and Homura dealt with the (scary) Lady, the little hero broke into a silent panic when he realized just how hurt the (sleepy) Lady was. Did they do all of that?! They didn't mean to! Promise! Oh boy, oh boy oh boy oh boy she's going to be SO MAD when she wakes up! Should he start writing out an apology message now?! What if he misspelled a lot of words and that made her even more mad?! GAH! The scary Lady just looked at him!
Spurred by his sudden manic terror, the little hero rushed over to Sell S and tugged frantically on her sleeve to grab her attention. Once she looked at the panicking child beside her, Link pulled out the light pen Mirajane had given him and wrote a single-word message in the air:
"Wrong word, genius." Tatl sighed at her partner's frantic message. "That's the 'heel' you find on the back of your foot. You mean 'H-E-A-L,' the same way you spell it in 'Song of Healing'—and I don't think she needs you to tell her that Lady needs a potion or two. So calm down, you look like you're about to wet yourself. The fight's over, take a breather!"
Link wanted to relax, but that screaming was still ringing in his ears. Maybe if he found something to distract himself, he could get his heart rate down to a manageable level.
...or maybe find a way to expel this frantic energy in more positive ways, since it was at this point that Link caught sight of a certain Vampire Hunter, and he just had to tell him how so super AWESOME he'd been during that battle! So before Trevor could join Sypha beside the (sleepy and/or scary) Lady, he'd find a certain starry-eyed Hylian looking up at him and frantically writing a message in the air:
At some point in his run-on sentence of praise, it seemed that the little hero got overwhelmed by his own excitement. He stopped writing, and started jumping up and down while grinning and giggling like a maniac. When you don't feel comfortable talking, there are only so many ways you can express the ancient art of geeking out!
After a few moments though (and perhaps at the insistence of Trevor that the boy should take a few deep breaths), Link calmed down to scrawl a great big message in the air:
Castlevania, Castle Keep: Did Somebody Say 'League of Villains?!'
Skipping over the fact that Count's right-hand man evidently had the COOLEST name ever, the revelation that Majora's enemy had the fabric of time on his side was...interesting. The kind of 'interesting' that rumbled in your belly like you'd eaten a dozen butterflies. The kind of 'interesting' that spreads on your skin like poison ivy, and no matter how much you scratch at it you can never relieve that itch. The kind of 'interesting' that floods your brain with a single thought and infects every memory with its influence.
"So you're saying that in the three days I've known the brat, he's been running around the kingdom in some kind of...loop? Stomping around my playground, breaking my toys, ruining my fun, and in the end he'd just have to start all over again?"
The Count didn't need to see Majora's mouth to guess what would come next:
"He...he he...hehehe, hehehehehe hehehehehehehe Hahahe HAHAHAHEHA HAHAHAHAHEHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHEHEHEHA HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! That's HILARIOUS! Oh, if only I could see how many times he's tried! Three days to stop the end of the world, my best work looming over his head the whole time...that kid must love to hurt himself! He's so sick in the head! If it weren't for the fact his plan was WORKING I'd be in stitches just thinking about it!"
With some ol'-fashioned schadenfreude lightening its mood, Majora listened to Dracula's suggestion with heightened interest. The mask shifted its mid-air position to "lie" on its belly, feet kicking above it and resting its chin on its palms the way a child might lie while listening to a story or watching TV up close.
"Oh? And do you have a plan to get more villains like us, Mister? I'm sure there's lots of rotten mortals crawling around this rock. Thinking about making a special club?"
Meeting Room: Gotcha
The Section Chief's microexpressions didn't waver much until Delfi had finished speaking; perhaps Misaki had elected to avoid making any decisions until this last, strange question was answered...and judging by that sorrowful expression that lingered on the Thundercore woman's face, Delfi had answered it honestly.
With little warning apart from the obvious motions, Misaki took out her cell phone and began to send a text message.
"I'm just letting my associate outside know that we're almost done here." the Section Chief explained, though Delfi probably didn't need her abilities to guess that Misaki had made some sort of decision based on that last answer. Perhaps if Delfi's superhuman sight was sharp enough, the Thundercore woman might just make out one of the words in that text message as they reflected off of Misaki's glasses:
"Seems no matter what world you come from, boys love to rough house." Misaki sighed with a small smile; microexpressions suggested a lowered guard, as if she was encouraging Delfi to talk more casually. "Hard to say if they ever outgrow it completely, either. If it's not hitting each other with sticks, it's using their height or weight or position to push each other around—not entirely sure why most men would say it's all in good fun. I had to learn a few posturing tactics to get where I am, just as a necessary means speak their language."
The Section Chief turned her head a bit as she leaned back in her chair: a small confession, judging by the posture and microexpressions.
"I...may have had to practice my stone-cold stare in the mirror."
A buzz rang from her phone, and Misaki was swift to look at the reply. Once again, if Delfi's eyes were sharp enough, she'd be able to see the woman with the shaved head's response:
By the time Misaki had put her phone away, her microexpressions would've warned Delfi of what was coming...
"From what you've told me, I can think of a few groups who might consider taking you in. They don't have any states of their own, so you can rest easy about being...used, in that way you mentioned. They're good people as well, and some options are even around your age. That said..."
Misaki crossed her arms and legs as she stared Delfi down like the barrel of a gun.
Here it comes.
"What you've told me isn't the full truth, is it? The names of every isolated group is written outside their door: 'Dante and Devil May Cry,' 'Minako Arisato and the SEES,' 'Joker and the Phantom Thieves,' and if you came to this planet alone like you said then your name would be on one of those doors. You'd have at least a room of your own; the Cure is many questionable things, but he at least provides a shelter to those he leaves homeless. But there is no door for someone named Delfi, which leads me to conclude one of two possibilities: either you've been using a fake name, or you came to Battleworld with a group of your own. Judging by our talk, I'm leaning towards the latter."
The Section Chief took a lengthy pause, as if to practice a bit of expression-reading of her own. Though in that silence, it would be difficult for Delfi to detect signs of anger at the deception...apart from perhaps a shade of frustration, for having spent quite a bit of time walking around the lies. Indeed, the stare Misaki started her accusation with didn't stay after stating her deductions. Eyebrows raised to relieve a sense of sternness, shoulders fell to rest to display she was at ease, even the hint of a smile that seemed to claim "I'm not the enemy, here."
"I want to help you—full stop. If you came here with another group and don't want to talk about your falling out, then I won't pry—all I ask is for their name. It'd be awkward if I wound up trying to introduce you to the people you wanted to avoid, wouldn't you agree?"
That last point almost sounded like a joke.
Edited by TheodoreHastings on Mar 11th 2021 at 7:03:54 AM
For a moment there was a lot of uncertainty. Shiny Arc proved not enough. But Akko wasn't alone. The others were all right there with attacks of their own and ready to win the day. When the holy light dispersed and the demon finally fell, Akko slumped to the ground and let out a sigh of relief. The rest was for but a moment though as the girl soon sprang right back up as energetic as ever.
"YATAA! HAHAHA! WE DID IT! YAY!"
It was a sight anyone from the Nightclub would recognize, though this time it had the benefit of not being premature. She was busy waving her arms widely in the air when Minako came up to her. The SEES leader would get as far as complimenting the Shiny Arc attack before Akko just had to interject.
"It really is isn't it!?"
She leaned forward with a big smile and all the energy of a fan girl talking about her obsession.
"You should have seen when Shiny Chariot would use it! She looked so cool, brave, beautiful, magical, majestic! I think I still need to work on my posing a bit to really capture the proper flair. But then its not like I can compete with Shiny Chariot."
She probably would have gone on fan girling if she didn't realize the other girl was offering her a drink to refresh her self.
"Oh wow! Thanks!"
Akko took the potion. But it seemed she didn't quite hear the warning as she instantly began taking big gulps to quench her thirst. She had been running around a lot and forgot to back a water bottle. From the wide eye look that formed on her face, it seemed she instantly realized her mistake. Turning her head, she spit out the liquid in a burst.
"cough cough What is that stuff!? cough cough"
It was hard to tell if the girl even retained any of the potion she drank as she held her tongue out to dry. The look on her face said she wasn't a fan of the taste.
Over at the broom crash site, the little engineer sat up. Her face was covered in soot, but otherwise seemed no worse for wear. Giving her self a moment to let the world stop spinning and to stop seeing stars, Constanze took a look around to take note of the situation. Seemed they won. The German, stoned face as ever, gave a thumbs up of approval. That was all the celebration the others would get from her as she took notice of the wreak around her. Putting on her her goggle, she got to work with out a word.
Luckily Stanbot was happy to celebrate enough for the both of them. The foot high robot got to its feet and initiated its boogie down protocol. As the little robot bust a move, it played out some totally not copyrighted victory fanfare from some RPG. It probably would have kept of dancing if it didn't notice the others gather together. Seemed it was time to divvy up the loot! The tiny legs of the robot began running to make sure that Constanze got her fair share.
The others may not have even noticed Stanbots approach, looking more like a toy in its bipedal form◊. It slowed its approached and heard V talk. That was some heavy information to just drop on them and expect them to just accept. It rubbed the bottom of its face plate as it processed the new information. As the little boy made his arguments, the little robot nodded along.
"Kid has a point."
It was a high pitched heavily robotic voice that not all there may be familiar with. It wasn't like Constanze's gun really needed to talk all that much.
"Plus the whole thing is rather sus. You didn't think it was important to bring any of this up until now? Until just moment ago, we were trying to kill that other half of yours. The fact that it is still breathing is oversight on our part, it wasn't the intended outcome. So if the angel hit just alittle harder, seems you would be out of luck, and you would have no one to blame but yourself."
When the succubus brought up her rebuttal, the small robot folded its little arms. Despite having a featureless faceplate, it was looking rather smug. Especially for what was basically an x-box with legs.
One could just imagine that it would be pushing up its glasses all condescending like if it had them.
"While perhaps true in your world, we are not in your world. Battleworld has countless systems interacting with one another. Its all really impressive really. Finding solutions from systems from other dimensions to problems deemed impossible in yours is not only probable, but has already been proven possible and viable procedure."
The little robot motioned toward the blonde holding a jar talking to another blue haired girl. Living proof of the last time someone gave them a lecture on what was and wasn't possible and proved completely wrong.
"The fact that he did not take proper precautions before finding himself in this state doesn't help convince that he would be the most capable candidate for holding this demon in check. Between the kids well thought out precautions or this guy who's only accomplishment is his ability to be kicked in the face taking in that demon, I got to say the kid's suggestion is the only logical one."
After getting all that icky taste from her mouth, Akko had joined the others on the discussion. Her cheeks were puffed up and red from frustration. She can't believe Stanbot! For its part, the little robot kept its arms folded, as if unwilling to budge on its point simply because its creators acquaintance was mad it. The little robot spoke out a question. While directed at the witch, was meant for anyone there.
"Can you vouch for his character?"
"Yes! He was with us in that creepy nightclub where he...he...hmm..."
There was a look of sudden confusion followed a period of silence before settling into a deep contemplative state, complete with eyes closed and resting her chin on her fingers. What DID he do!? She knew he was there...GAH! It didn't even matter! This wasn't about what type of guy V was!? This was the type of people they were! Whatever logic they wanted to present, there was a simple reason why they were not going to let that happen!
"We aren't going to let anyone die!"
While disappointing, she could expect this kind of behavior Stanbot. Its always trying to chime in with things like "that's a dumb idea" and "that not physically possible" and "your dumb idea didn't work because its not physically possible". But Maki too!? She turned her gaze to him. It wasn't an accusatory look. She simply wanted to understand. Then a soft smile formed on her lips.
"I know its scary, and I can't even say for sure what will happen. But..."
A look of determination shone in her eyes. A far cry from the broken hearted girl who came to this manor. It was the same look she gave Maki's shadow.
"We can save everyone. We don't need to sacrifice anyone's happiness, because we are strong enough to protect everyone's smiles."
Nero's face suddenly became filled with rage as he looked directly at the boy
"Hey, you can take that idea and shove it!"
V shook his head and weakly said "Nero."
"No one's going to kill him just because you're afraid of some freak demon thing that this freak demon made out of him!"
"And if anyone has a problem with that, you're going to have to go through me before-"
V's free hand suddenly shot up, grabbing Nero's shoulder as hard as he was able. "Enough, Nero."
"I appreciate your support, but this is not your battle to fight. Relent."
He turns to look at the group at large
"I will not pretend, or lie to you. I was not a good person. I was obsessed with power, pursuing it to the exclusion of anything else. I even cast away my own brother, my only living kin. But even then, I had standards. I did not just go running around killing defensless humans, such actions I considered beneath me. One does not gain power by killing the weak. Once I appeared here, when I was approached by Nyarlathotep, my plan from the outset was to betray him and take his power. I foolishly underestimated his strength, and paid the price. I have no intension of returning to the same path, once I am whole again. But I understand you have doubts. I will not blame you for fearing of what I could do. So, should you wish for me to fade away, I will accept your decision."
He then turns to look directly at Maki
"But I will say this. This "Battleworld" was created so that some mad demon lord can gain amusement as the strongest champions and nations clash with one another, and as such, there are a great number of people of great power here. Should you plan to simply preemptivly kill anything with enough power to cause havoc, chaos, and ruin, then you will, in the end, find yourself very alone, boy."
Shadow Lady turned and scoffed at Homura.
"I have no greater desire then to watch that thing die, screaming, begging for mercy he'll never receive. He forcibly merged me and my pathatic human form together to turn us into that damned demon form you all just fought. But it's not possible for me to fight him. I am a being of the shadows, and here, he has total command over the shadows. He could obliterate me with a thought, if he so wished. No, I'm afraid the only real thing I can do is-"
Shadow Lady ends up getting cut off as, from the steps leading down into the rest of the tower, Dante appears, walking up them, looking slightly out of breath
"They really need to install an express elevator in this damn thing. Managed to catch myself on one of the balconies, you woulden't believe how many steps I had to run up! So....."
He takes a moment to take in the scene before him
"Look, I'm gonna be honest, I'm not ready for two Ladies, I can't afford double payments on my debt!"
Shadow Lady just sighs, and then, suddenly, she quick draws a pistol and fires it directly at Dante's head. Apparently he was expecting this, because while his head does roll back a bit, you can quickly see that there's no blood spatter, and then he spits out the bullet that he caught between his teeth.
"Well, hello to you too, evil Lady. This takes me back to the day we first met."
She's glaring at Dante like he's her worst enemy right now
"Damn half demon scum. Why couldn't you just die in a fucking ditch like a good little demon? No one thinks you're funny, no one wants your lazy ass around. You're the whole fucking reason that she turned away from me in the first place, and became the pathatic little shit that she is now!"
Sparda Estate: RIP Teams RWBY and JNPR
Of all creatures to come to his aid, a tiny robot was probably the last ally Maki expected to find. To be honest, he wasn't entirely sure if he'd even seen the Stanbot before now. But wherever the little thing came from (and it seemed that Akko at least knew it), the Contractor was grateful to have something someone on his side who could speak better than he could. The boy wasn't about to use fancy words like "oversight" or "viable procedure" anytime soon.
Maki met Akko's gaze head-on, two rubies against a ruby/emerald pair. While the witch-in-training's smile eased the tension in his shoulders, the straight-faced declaration that everyone can be saved had an unexpected effect on the boy. A recent memory came to mind as a counterpoint, and just like that he was back in the replica of Beacon's dorms, listening to a friend as she relayed some tough to swallow news:
"Her power is time travel. She can go back and fix mistakes. But with you..."
Nora had bitten her lip, as if harming herself in some small way was penance for crushing a child's delusions.
"You die, Maki. Every time she went back and did things differently, you die for her. For Amber. And it got to the point where Amber stopped caring whether you lived or died."
At the height of her power, Maki knew that Amber was nearly untouchable. She knew just where to be, just what to do, and just what to say in order to get what she wanted—and despite everything that happened in the past three days Maki still believed that Amber's goals before Battleworld were good. The problem was that whatever she was looking to do couldn't be done without sacrifice, even for the girl with all the answers. So having managed to crawl his way out of his own bleak destiny, Akko's words weren't just naïve. To Maki, those words were insulting.
And speaking of those who couldn't be saved...
"You heard what my Shadow said, Akko: my friends are gone. Nora Valkyrie, Blake Belladonna, Lie Ren, Ruby Rose, Yang Xiao Long, Jaune Arc, Pyrrha Nikos, and Weiss Schnee—who saved them?"
The Contractor's hands clenched into fists as he permitted himself (perhaps unwisely) to fan that burning feeling underneath his skin. "Nora didn't believe that doing the right thing was a number's game, but that doesn't mean she'd pretend there weren't any sacrifices. Not everyone can be saved. Not everyone can be happy. Not everyone can win. So you should either stay quiet, or stop talking like a little kid!"
His temper flaring to life, Maki turned his anger off of an undeserving victim and onto the man in question. Even though he wanted to interrupt the Son of Sparda a dozen times, the calm advice of his Contractor mind told him to wait; after all, shouting over the man wouldn't win anyone over to his side.
Still, by the time V gently turned the question to Maki's ethics, the boy's face had crimsoned to a point where steam might spew from his ears.
"The only thing I'd agree with is that you were a bad person—but you're still a bad person if you think that anything you just said is okay! Who cares if you were picky about who you killed? You still killed them! You talk as if these 'worthy opponents' live in a bubble and don't do any good for those 'defenseless humans' you didn't care about! If you thought Spider-Man was a worthy opponent, do you think nothing important would happen if he died?! He protects a city of millions from everything between street thugs and supervillains—if he's gone, who's going to protect New York?! But that's not a question you ever asked yourself, is it? It was all about 'power, power, power' up until yesterday for whatever reason, just like you said.
"But I don't think you're a still bad person for that—I think you're still a bad person because you think that anybody with power will someday be a threat to you. You talk as if there isn't anybody who can be powerful and choose not to fight every 'worthy opponent' they find. That's not just a lonely way of thinking, it's...it's stupid! Only an evil person would think that would be the only option!"
Spurred by his own rage, Maki's fists trembled beside him as the droplets in his eyes evaporated before they could think to fall.
"Nora could break your legs and joke about it. Ren could stab you through the back and you'd never hear him coming. Ruby could fly through the air faster than you could track, and then cut your eyes open with just a swing of her scythe. But just because they could do it doesn't mean they would, and thinking that I'd be moved just because there's all kinds of powerful people on this planet says more about how you view strength than it does about how I do!
"You might've been powerful, Son of Sparda, but you didn't know the first thing about strength. And you still don't know! Team RWBY and Team JNPR did, so don't you dare pretend that there's more people like you than there are people like them!"
That contrast between being powerful and being strong sounded like borrowed words. V, Nero, and Mami might've recalled the goldilocked Huntress who had spoken them the day before...if the name-dropping wasn't a clear-enough hint that this kid was a good friend of the Huntsmen and Huntresses.
His temper finally waning after some nostril-flaring breaths, Maki stared the dying man down ...almost daring him to speak another word.
Edited by TheodoreHastings on Mar 17th 2021 at 11:21:56 AM
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