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"I'm telling you sir, I think a slow introduction to the hidden world is much better then the methods we've employed up to now!" a transiently beautiful woman pleaded in a voice that could drive a person to tears following quickly behind a man who seemed to be her exact opposite.
"We do this each year, and my answer is the same. This has the highest chance of success," the man who spoke paused in his gait, a beautifully ornate walking stick tapping the ground. The man appeared the very definition of gnarled, a bent back and ruined body covered by a suit, but that did nothing to hide the fact that almost half of his face was terribly scarred, one eye fused shut from whatever trauma he had underwent. "Regardless, we pull our punches and horrible things can happen. Or do you not remember the fact we lost an entire class last year?"
That seemed to steal the reply out of the womans mouth as she cast a downward glance. "Can you at least give them time to interact beforehand? We are already stealing away their childhood, a few more minutes of that isn't so much to ask is it?"
The man pursed his lips and shook his head. "I will make my way to the auditorium in a leisurely fashion, with my leg as twisted as it is moving to fast hurts anyway."
The woman smiled and the room seemed to light up. "And they say you are without a heart, Hades."
Solomon Academy was considered one of the best schools in the entire country, having been started years ago by a wealthy businessmen intent on creating a school which brought together brilliant minds at a young age in order to ensure the future was bright for all people. In accordance with this wish the academy handed out hundreds of scholarships each year to people of all walks of life and gave them every opportunity to achieve possible.
However from this pool of hundreds only a small number received scholarships specifically for the advanced courses, usually only at maximum ten a year were selected seemingly at random from the pools of hundreds, given exclusive lessons by the best of the best and all who graduated went on to do amazing things. Through the students also whispered about the fact the classes were all smaller then those who went in, leading to thoughts that the course work was so grueling it made people leave a one shot ticket to the future from sheer stress.
These individuals were met by staff the moment they entered the Academy grounds, with people taking their belongings to the dorms while they would be brought to an orientation specifically for their class. The staff members weren't particularly strange, except in the fact that the moment the students were lead to a large ornate assembly hall they wouldn't be able to remember a thing about the persons features. It wouldn't seem all to strange, after all they might not have been paying to much attention or simply were cowed by the sheer majesty of the building.
The most eye catching piece in the room were the ornate pillars that connected to the roof, each carved with pictures of various people doing battle with all manner of monsters, each seemingly a master craft without a single flaw. A number of chairs sat before the raised stage, through off to the side was a small table of assorted snacks and a note that 'students could mingle until facility arrived'.
Juliana entered the room with a long sigh, taking a seat in the back row. The...ah, visitation from last week was still fresh in her mind, and it left a sour taste in her mouth. She glared at the ornate pillars, mostly because there was nothing else in the room to glare at without upsetting people.
This is why I'm here, she thought, a scowl crossing her face. Not because I'm in any way talented, but because surprise! The gods are real and your deadbeat dad was one all along! How's that make you feel? She sighed again and slumped into her chair, crossing her arms. Not very good, Dad.
Her fingers absently tapped the small mirror strung around her neck. She'd admit, the reconciliation gift was nice (being able to use Video Google Earth? Yes, please!) but it didn't make up for the fact that her dad—Tezcatlipoca, apparently—basically seduced her mom, got her pregnant, and then left. Seriously, that was shit she'd expect from Zeus, not the Aztecs' trickster god.
Oh, yeah, did she mention her dad was an Aztec god? Someone who subsided on blood for power? Yeah, that was nice.
Juliana sighed for the third time. Maybe she should talk to someone, get her mind off what had happened recently.
A tall young woman leaned against the wall in the corner next to the door. She stood out of sight, blending in with the darkness so that all could be seen was her outfit. She wore a pair of baggy cackis and a loose tanktop that she was lifting up about every minute, almost as though she couldn't quite make it comfortable. She peered out of the dark, her sharp yellow eyes piercing through and observing her surroundings with keen interest.
Well, mostly keen. She was generally curious about everything and anything. And the plate of snacks left out like a lure was oh so tempting. She'd probably have scampered on over and had herself a few tasty morsels in a heartbeat.
If it wasn't for the fact that she really didn't want to be here.
But whatever. For now, she was content with watching anyone else who wandered in and keeping her distance. And besides.
They just might be fun.
Edited by kkhohoho on May 28th 2020 at 6:41:26 AM
Shea couldn't help but look exclusively up as they entered the extravagant room. The paintings were exquisite; depicting glorious battles and terrifying beasts being slain in a manner that screamed ‘legendary’. With lips parted, they flicked their golden eyes from image to image—only to swallow from sudden nervousness and look downwards again, the scope beginning to overwhelm them.
A young, snowy white cat mewed at their feet, and they absentmindedly stroked them with the tip of their tail. The numerous other cats apparently wanted pettings too, and so with a sigh Shea moved to sit down against one of the pillars and fuss over his numerous creatures. Their tail wound around their waist like a belt, though the two telltale lumps of extra animalistic ears atop their head remained obvious even despite their thick mop of hair. They whispered to their pets in a soft, lilting tone—a hint of an accent audible despite their mumbling and incoherent speech.
They'd all but growled at the ones at the door, fearing they'd take their pets away. If they would've or not, they didn't know—they'd simply dumped their menial belongings with them on the floor and scampered past them; cradling their beloved pets the whole while. They'd leave them in their room later. For now, they had to deal with all...
One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight.
Oh, and the one that was lazily sprawled out over their lap. Twelve.
Shea sighed under their breath, giving the one who'd taken up residence in their lap a good scratch behind the ears before gathering the rest around them. They then looked up, studying the others. Warily, almost. They were still worried their cats would be taken away.
They eyed the one partially hidden in shadow the most. Gold eyes locked with yellow, the former anxious yet neutral. This aspect of familiarity didn't assure Shea any. If anything it told them they were just as weird as them.
Katarina carefully observed the young man.. woman... whatever they were sitting down and petting their... cat. Or rather cats. A lot of cats.
One would think she'd welcome her fellow brethren. After all, they weren't that different beneath the surface. Despite their more animalistic nature, she couldn't help but feel some sense of kindred with them.
Yes all it did was remind her of what she didn't want to be.
She tried not to look, but she couldn't help but stare at their owner. They mostly seemed human. Unlike her. And yet, there were just a few things that were off.
The tail for one thing.
But at least they could still pass for human. At least they could waltz around in the park or the fields and not have someone say 'HERE KITTY KITTY!'
God (should she have said Bast? That would have been technically correct, she supposed), she hated herself.
Edited by kkhohoho on May 28th 2020 at 6:54:04 AM
Jirou ran a hand through his hair, fingers moving around the swell of his horns with years of practiced ease, though the twin protrusions were hidden from sight thanks to his magical disguise. A slight pang of uneasiness bloomed in his chest as he looked around at the crowd of unfamiliar strangers gathering in the auditorium. No matter how happy he had been to get accepted into a new school and escape the rumors from his old one, it didn't change the fact that he was still uneasy being thrust into a new group that he'd have to deal with for the remainder of his academic career, and all its social complexities.
"Sometimes I still wish there was an easy way that didn't involve beating people up with my bat...or eating them. I love Grandfather and all but he sometimes forgets we're not in the Edo period." The young Oni groaned to himself, shifting the backpack and long carry bag storing his bat on his back and moved through the crowd towards the seats. He picked an empty spot near the back row that was close to the shaded pillars and crossed his arms as he waited for the ceremony to begin. Out of boredom and curiosity, Jirou kept an eye out for anything interesting happening nearby. Like the stranger surrounded by at least a dozen cats.
Jirou's fingers twitched, and he had to will himself not to dash over towards the tempting pile of felines. The last thing he wanted was to scare them off and make a fool of himself on his first day. Still, he couldn't resist shifting closer to them.
Edited by svenorzokarkoff on May 28th 2020 at 4:55:21 AM
Wow. This was... a room. It was almost too ornate. It didn't seem like it should be real, let alone part of a school. Would she really be able to fit in here?
Rebecca nervously rubbed at a patch of dirt on her arm as she found her way to a seat. She wasn't really sure when it had gotten there. She'd definitely taken a shower right before she left this morning, and she'd come straight here, but somehow she was already distinctly grimy. So much for her first impression.
She sighed, but swore to herself that she'd definitely make friends this time. To that end, she slid into the back row of seats, taking a seat next to one of the only people who was already sitting down.
"Um, hi. I'm Rebecca."
A burly young man entered the room with stern confidence. He was easily both the tallest and most muscular person there, his physique emphasized by his sleeveless shirt. His fashion sense could best be described as 'military chic' - fatigues, boots, and even a dog tag hanging from his neck, bearing the symbol for 'male'.
His tag had come in the package from his dad. Aaron had looked it up, apparently the circle-and-arrow that meant 'male' was actually the symbol for Mars - both the planet, and the Roman name for his dad - and was supposed to signify a shield and spear. Aaron had worn it around his neck every day since. It reminded him of what he strove for.
Aaron found his way instinctively to the snack table upon entering. He nabbed himself a granola bar, taking a chomp out of it before leaning against the table, scratching at the stubble he could never seem. Only then did he seem to notice the cats.
Striding over, he knelt down, and offered his free hand to one of the cats to sniff. Like with dogs, he remembered, you let the animal come to you, and only pet it if it touched your hand first. Granted, the cat probably couldn't hurt him at all, but still. No need to be rude.
"Didn't know we were allowed to have pets." Aaron said, noting the tiny... girl(?) who they seemed to crowd around. "If I'da know that I would've gotten, like, a German Shepard or something. Though I'm guessing you're a cat person, huh? More of a dog guy, myself."
He gave a small smile at the cats. "No offense, little kitties."
Juliana's eyes widened when she noticed the boy...girl...the person surrounded by cats. Adorable, fluffy cats. She was about to get up and go over to the cats—hopefully, none of them would be her dad in disguise again—when someone sat down next to her.
"Oh," she said, somewhat surprised. "Um. Hello." She resisted the urge to inform the girl that she had dirt all over her arms. "I'm Juliana. Juliana Derra. I'm..." She thought for a moment, then decided not to. "Never mind."
She looked back at one of the cats. "C'mere," she whispered. And the cat heard her, walking over from where the androgynous person was to rub up against her leg. Juliana couldn't help but smile. "Cute, aren't they?"
“You can come pet them if you're wanting to.”
Despite their quietness, Shea's most prominent quirk of speech had to be their noticeable Irish lilt. They flicked their eyes up at Jirou a moment, just enough to let him know they were talking to him before their gaze fell astray once more. If their appearance wasn't confusing enough, their voice held qualities of both sexes—it was next to impossible to tell without asking if they were male or female.
Still, they'd noticed Jirou's slight shuffle closer. They were attentive like that. With a gentle nudge and a doting smile they sent a small black kitten towards Jirou, their eyes crinkling in obvious joy as they watched the infant feline waddle up towards the oni and mew at him with its big green eyes. Shea looked at the tiny cat a moment, before closing the gap between them and Jirou even more—enough for them to extent their small, delicate hand in an offer for a handshake.
“I'm called Shea. What's your name, then?”
The petting of another one of their animals seemed to outright snap their head around like a sixth sense, but they relaxed when they saw that the other person was friendly. They smiled shyly at Aaron and gave a short wave, eyes narrowing just a fraction at the mention of a dog before returning to their previous softness again.
“I like cats. These ones keep followin' me everywhere. Can't get rid of them. Not that I'd want to...”
The way another one of their cats straight up walked away from them made them curious, though perhaps the girl who'd done so had an affinity towards them. Shea merely gave Juliana a curious stare before retuning their attention to the white cat in their lap. It seemed to be their favourite one, by the doting look they were giving it.
Edited by Enirboreh on May 28th 2020 at 1:15:09 PM
Edited by CenturyEye on May 28th 2020 at 5:27:48 AM
Cats… that was a lot of cats. How hadn't she noticed the cats until now? Rebecca idly scratched the cat that had come over behind the ear.
"Yeah. I'm more of a rodent person, myself, but I don't think there's anyone who could look at a kitten and not find it cute."
She smiled. This was going better than she expected.
"Do you know why we got the advanced scholarship? I'm not a straight-A student or anything. Hell, I didn't even apply to this school."
"Ah." Juliana's lip tightened. "Oh, I know exactly why I'm here." She let out a sigh. "You're going to think I'm crazy, but..." She breathed in sharply through her nose. "I'm a demigod."
Before Rebecca could point out how dumb that sounded, Juliana threw her hands up in the air. "My dad just appeared on the day I got my acceptance letter and told me everything. Seriously! 'Hi, Juliana, I'm actually the Aztec god Tezcatlipoca. Now that you know, will you forgive me for leaving your family behind?' Yeah, I know it sounds dumb, but it's what happened!" She sighed, slumping back into her chair. "You must think I've lost it already."
Aaron scooped up the cat, once he'd determined it was friendly, cradling it with one arm as he ran his fingers through the fur on its back.
He turned and nodded at the sweater girl who also came to play with the cats. She didn't say anything, so he didn't say anything back. He could respect a strong, silent type.
Then he overheard another girl, talking about being a demigod. As she finished speaking, he spoke up. "She's not crazy. Honestly, I thought we were all here for that. 'Cause I'm a demigod too. Son of Ares, or Mars, whatever you wanna call him. Greek War God. Total badass."
Aaron frowned, still petting the cat. "Though I guess that is kinda hard to believe, now that I say it out loud. Eh, I can prove it later. I'm super strong, so I can like, bend metal and shit. Just need to find a lead pipe or something."
So she wasn't the only bastard Godchild here, huh? She had to say, she knew how they felt. Of course, at least Juliana's godly progenitor had bothered to show themselves. Hers never even showed her face. Not that she needed to.
Chances were, she saw it every time she looked in the mirror.
The others seemed.... adequate. A military buff. A girl who'd obviously never taken a bath. And another who must have had some really bad plastic surgery. They all seemed fun enough to play with.
But none of them was enough to bring her out. Not as long as she was fit for the petting zoo.
For now, she'd keep her distance. Until there was enough incentive to come out of her corner.
Or until they came to her.
Edited by kkhohoho on May 28th 2020 at 8:02:18 AM
Jirou blinked as a small black kitten moved up to him and gave an adorable mew that made him feel warm inside. "Hey there. Aren't you a brave little one." He rumbled softly, reaching down to carefully pet the kitten's head briefly before an approaching presence made him look up at the owner(?) of all the cats. "The name's Jirou. A pleasure." He cracked a small grin and shook her outstretched hand. If the kitten didn't wander off, he'd try to lift it up onto his lap.
One of the girls in the gathering group- Juliana as she called herself- mentioned being born from a god, which immediately snagged his attention, followed by an identical claim from a male who gave off the impression of a warrior. "That's quite the claim to make in the open like that." He told her, while discreetly casting a simple spell that could sense supernatural energies around him. To his surprise, Jirou found several sources in front of him, along with the warrior by the snack table and another by his side. There was also one more presence off by wall nearby.
"Though I admit that I was surprised to get an offer myself. My grades are good, but not the the point where I'd be picked for a scholarship." The disguised Oni admitted, deciding to keep what he learned to himself for now.
Edited by svenorzokarkoff on May 28th 2020 at 6:36:45 AM
Demigod... her initial thought was that Juliana wasn't all there, but another of her new classmates immediately jumped to the girl's defense and claimed that he was one too. Somehow two unrelated people spouting the same ridiculous story gave it a hint of credibility.
Or they could know each other and have set this up as a prank.
Either way, it set Rebecca's brain in motion. Why would someone like her get an advanced scholarship here, unless... no, no she knew she was weird, but she wasn't that weird, was she? Not weird enough to be... half-human. Then again...
"I... I don't know if I can believe you just like that... but... my mother died before I ever got a chance to know her... if I'm a demigod, that means she's actually alive, right? I.. I wish I could believe that."
Juliana pursed her lips. "Then your mom was courteous enough to give you and your dad closure, huh? Wish my dad was like that. He just seduced Mom, got her pregnant, and left." She sighed, picking up the small cat and setting it on her lap. "And then he comes back fifteen years later, thinking everything will be sunshine and rainbows! That's not how it works, Dad! That's not how anything...works...?"
Her voice trailed off as she spotted something in the shadows. Something tall and humanoid, with the head of a...cat.
And a tail. And fur. And...
...oh gods, it was an anthropomorphic cat.
Juliana swallowed hard, then approached the anthropomorphic cat, still carrying the small cat in her arms. "Um...hi...?"
She'd been noticed.
She knew she shouldn't have taken that bag off her head.
Scrambling, she threw it back on, hoping that somehow it would work. "Uh, hello! I'm, uh, not actually here! I mean, I am here, but I'm not here, which doesn't make a lick of sense and you're not buying this, are you?"
Her tail sagging, she ripped off the bag and crumbled it with her furry fist, letting it drop to the ground. "Fine. I'm a fucking cat. Happy?"
She almost thought about running straight out of there, but that would just make things worse. At least these people weren't exactly ordinary. She didn't want to think what would happen if she started running around the whole campus without anything to give her some cover.
Maybe she should have worn that hoodie after all. At least she'd already have dropped dead from heat exhaustion.
God she hated her life.
Shea had pretty much blanked on the whole demigod talk, mostly because it was so frankly absurd to them that they had nothing to add to it. It was so out of left field and bizarre, they didn't even know what to think. They couldn't exactly deny it, though. They fell into a state of deep contemplation, staring into nothing as they–
...was that a giant cat?
A talking giant–
Shea got up. Slowly and cautiously, they moved over. Their movements were lithe, light, and borderline inhuman. They looked like they were lighter than air, and approached Katarina like a curious animal would. They didn't stop until their diminutive form was near to her, unaware of their cats following them—looking up at the bipedal cat-person from beneath their long eyelashes.
And promptly poked them in the side.
“...Are you... real?”
Jirou turned towards the hidded figure that Juliana had spotted with a look of casual curiosity, wondering why they kept themselves distanced from the crowd all this time. His questions were soon answered by the revelation that said figure was a literal catgirl: Fur, ears, tail, the works. She’s quite the brave one to forego a disguise...or maybe she doesn’t know how to yet? Jirou wondered as he stood up and moved a little closer to the catgirl.
“Would it surprise you if I said I’ve seen stranger?” He hummed, flashing a wry grin that showed off his sharp teeth. “Then again, I don’t think Yokai are common in the States. Don’t worry, you’ll find no judgement from me.” Jiro assured her and let his disguise momentarily flicker, offering the Group a glimpse of his red skin and horns.
Edited by svenorzokarkoff on May 29th 2020 at 3:55:58 AM
"No, I mean like-" Aaron began to explain, only to realize that sweater girl was messing with him. He looked down at her, blankly a moment, before matching her gaze with a smirk. "I'd love to arm wrestle, but I wouldn't wanna hurt you."
He offered a hand. "Aaron Mitchells. So, which god are you the kid... of..."
Aaron trailed off as the catgirl emerged. Then the other buff-looking guy revealed he was some kind of demon, briefly showing off red skin and horns. Which was cool, but Aaron was mostly transfixed by Katarina.
"You're pretty hot." Aaron said aloud, still staring at Katarina. "...is that weird that I find you hot? I mean, it'd be hotter if you were part-dog, but still. There's something about the fur that's doin' it for me."
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