Imaginary Vision - The Pale Cloud Above and The Diamond Realm
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[Perhaps out of curiosity, clumsiness or a general desire to survive, you have taken the path of the "Safe Escape" at different spaces, and at different times. Despite this detail, they have all managed to get here at the same time. This realm, and different plane of existence entirely, is completely white with a light blue shade to it, with hints to a darker blue. The walls are made from a shining diamond, to a crazy extent. As they head inside, they feel a sense of inner peace. Of course this only lasts a moment, as they are reminded of the situation at hand.]
You've arrived, I see.
[A man in white robes, long hair and a large staff awaits them.]
Primarina, Spell Punk, "Ene", Quintus.
[The room itself had nothing but one door at the wall to the front.]
Quintus was unsure of where he was and who the others with him were, besides Ene of course but the old man before him was more of a pressing concern. He kept his voice calm but to the point, no longer having the nergy to get worked up.
"I've met so many odd figures today. Who're you? Are you one of Louis acquaintances?
I guess another question would be where we are exactly?"
The Spell Punk in its quick haste to chase and stop Prima would only find itself lost in another strange realm unlike those of previous nature which boggles his curiosity from his other thoughts and to this one.
“Another strange dimensional pocket it seems it with much more calming presents I sense out.”
The Spell Punk would see the old man as well as two other not familiarized faces and greet them both not sensing really any hospitality but rather wishes get to the point and learn more.
“Ah greeting others face it seems the spirits brought us here together intentionally or not. I must agree and inquire the nature of what we are doing here let alone where is here. Many question to ask I feel and such little time so i’m gracious to start talking now.”
It took a moment for Prima to adjust to the alien nature of this place. It was definitely another world, with its unique structure and peaceful aura. Even so, the peace sadly couldn’t last. She bowed to the man that greeted the group.
“I would ask how you know our names, but it seems to be common among beings like yourself. What is this place, sir? It came to mind as a ‘safe escape,’ yet I know nothing outside of that.”
Ene marvels at the design of the place before turning to the person who called her name. Around her she recognizes Quintus, but the other two people look pretty weird and are not really familiar to her. She assumes everyone is on the same page though since no fighting has broke out.
Do you happen to be another angel mister?
She asks the man since it seems to be the logical conclusion.
Relax, there is time for every single question.
[The old man was talking in a calm tone, as a way to help them relax somewhat given the extreme situation in which they were all in.]
I do not know this Louis, and I am not an angel.
This place is the Kongoshinkai, Vajradhatu, or "Diamond Realm", if you will. And I am but a man who lives here, a guide to those who end up here; my name is En no Ozuno.
[The man simply gestures at himself as he says his name.]
It's certainly a pleasure to meet you all, of so many different moral stances and even alliances.
I do not know the nature of this "Safe Escape" you speak of, but whatever it was and whoever casted it, it was certainly nothing but a gate into this world.
This place, the Diamond Realm, is a plane that is part of Tokyo and the world at large, a series of halls and different points connection to the vast web of times.
On more simpler terms, time does not exist in this world, as everything and all has happened, is happening and will happen. But these halls cannot be patrolled freely, it is fate itself that dictated where and when the people who come here will end up.
As such, I am to remain here. And if you have been brought here, then it must mean you are to reach somewhere through the path that shall be created for each one.
Or perhaps, just like me, it is your destiny to remain here and guide those with a destination.
[He would move to the side and use his giant staff to point at the door behind him.]
You can always return to this room; not matter how far you are.
You may also end up in groups or perhaps you shall depart alone.
Whatever the case, I would recommend you begin your journey if you do not need any more answers.
“I have many questions, but I suppose all the answers are up to fate, as is the nature of this place. I am not sure of my destiny here, but I will go forth and reach for a favorable one. Thank you, En.”
Prima bowed once more, then took a few steps towards the door. She paused to see if anyone was following her. If not, she’d wait. Going alone wasn’t the best plan for her.
Quintus would tense up at the mention of angel. That already seemed suspicious but he thought not to press it yet, not here. It seemed that fighting in a place like this might be unfavorable and moreso he didn't want to jump to conclusions.
"Alright, more to do then. Guess I better focus myself then. No time to be moping around."
Quintus would step forward and enter the door without waiting for anyone to come along.
"I'll choose my fate for myself even if I have to carve it out of God's corpse."
Thanks for the info but I don't really want to stay here forever. There are still people who need me somewhere else!
Ene quickly makes her way to the door, but stops as she notices Prima waiting around.
Aren't you going in?
She signals to the door once she utters her question.
“Ah, yes, sorry... Ene, right? I was just seeing if anyone else was leaving right away. Shall we go follow the... rather bitter gentleman?”
As she spoke, she opened the door and stepped out.
The Spell Punk would attentively take in the knowledge this man has granted on them. It would try to juggle it since while these concepts aren't something so shocking but it still leaves the small being with many more questions. Before it can really chatter away all the other were on their way out without him.
"Much thanks but it seems we are already in a rush to all leave, i'll consider such a offer to return though I must fancy a special place like this."
It would move to catch up with he rest more so annoyed that that all the others would decide to dip so quickly but at this rate it was getting use to everyone being in a haste.
Ene says as Prima leaves and she follows right after them.
I wish you all the best of lucks.
[Regardless of who was following who, they would end up a long, boring looking hall that is in no way different from the room they were all in before. The important part to note about this situation is that they were all separated. Despite using the same the exact door, Quin would find himself in the same series of halls that stretch out into the horizon; the one difference being that Quintus' walls had a crimson shade to it. The door behind him was nowhere to be seen.]
[Punk's would be of a green shade.]
[Ene and Prima's would be of a light blue shade.]
[With no way to go but forward, who knew for how long they would have to walk. The light that the walls create would pulsate slowly and calmly, giving the impression that the realm in the which they are in may not entirely be physical, but created from pure spiritual energy.]
“Where did everyone go...? I was sure we took the same door. But that might be the nature of this place. Perhaps Spell and Quintus are together, and it appears you and I are a pair here.”
Hopefully the others weren’t alone, but for now, Prima had only Ene for company. She began to walk down the hall. The journey had no known end, but the hall was peaceful enough for Prima to not mind. She even began humming a melody somewhere in their walk, although it didn’t match any songs Ene knew.
Quintus would stare onwards. The red light of the hall would be odd but not completely uncomfortable. He couldn't see much else to do but move forward in this place. He wasn't even bothered at all at being alone.
"With or without anyone behind me it's all the same. I had a feeling we'd be seprated anyway. Places like this don't usually favor groups."
Spell Punk would stare at the many endless halls and would notice that none of the people it was with were present. It would assume that everyone has went off some way on their own path and grumble a bit not particularly liking this scenario. Regardless it ventured forward down the endless halls and would pay close attention for anything off or a weird fork in the path.
I'm sure the two of them are fine. Spell Punk seems pretty strong and I know Quintus can handle himself. Just hope they don't destroy the place before we get out~
Ene replies as she follows alongside Prima. She doesn't recognize what Prima is humming, but she is still able to skip along to the rhythm. Prima's humming even reminds her of an old idol friend she used to have. That was way back then though.
[As they walk forward, the hall does not reveal anything else. There is no end in sight. The footstep sounds become double at times. The humming for the girls gets a reply from beyond. For Quintus and Punk, even their breathing gets a response.]
[The hall has not changed.]
Ene’s words were comforting, although the monotony of the hall still made her mind wander. At least, until she realized there was some kind of echo in the distance. Curiosity won over her, and she began to sing as she walked, just to see if it would echo back as they journeyed.
The song matched the melody she’d been humming. It was gentle and slow, and its lyrics were related to the sea. It was a song she’d remembered from back home. It felt nostalgic and calming for her here.
Ene suspiciously looks around after the sound echoes but doesn't see anything too strange. So she resumes listening to Prima's musical gifts while following behind.
Quintus would just continue forward without stopping. The place was unsettling but he had just been through worse. He didn't see anything else to do but move forward.
"Getting a response to my breathing? What is this?"
The Spell Punk would feel such an odd presence among it, not the spirit kind that speak to him but something else instead. It looked around but as expected nothing.
"Quite a weird calling, personally I don't agree in such form of communication I like my spirits just fine."
Curious about the nature of this place rather then immediately moving forward it would slowly move back and see how this response responds to it.
[As Primarina and Ene keep advancing, and the first girl's song becomes clearer, so does the voice at the other end of the hall. They were multiple in fact, sounding young and happy. Perhaps Ene could not tell, but Primarina certainly could; they were the faint, faraway voices of a dozen Popplio. The walls have not changed, and the end cannot be seen.]
[The walls would not change for Quintus. The light becomes clearer in the diamonds and some light footsteps could be heard somewhere down the hall. Voices would whisper for a second before another, quite clear, would speak as if it was right by his side.]
What is this? Is this... a dream?
Where could this be?
No, it cannot be a dream. That is still following me.
[Punk would turn around and try to move back, however, regardless of how long he had been walking, the way back never seemed to end. The door he had uses seemed to be miles and miles away; it was never there.]
Unsure of what to do?
Who are your true companions?
[A voice would call out to him, he could hear someone's footsteps on top of him.]
Was this an illusion? Prima couldn’t tell, but happiness bubbled up inside her anyway. If she closed her eyes, she could almost be fooled into thinking she was home. Still, she kept her eyes on the hall ahead as she moved into the last couple of verses of her song. Whatever was ahead, she could not tell, but this place seemed to resonate with everything she did.
...Hopefully Ene would still understand the song, even with the popplios’ language layering her own.
The Spell Punk would wander backwards regardless and look up at whatever walked above it. It was unsure how to answer these questions nor does it fully comprehend the weird notions going about in here.
"This is much more eye opening then the times in the library, these callings and auras I feel are unlike the old roots of mystic arts I've come to know...what is this place? Its something more than what the man seems to say."
(edited by Spell_Punk)
Quintus would seem to sigh as he walked on. The voice responding to him was odd, he wasn't sure what to make of it.
"Who is this? And what do you mean by following? What or who is following you?"
Where do you think the noises are coming from?
Ene asks Prima as she stares down the hall with a curious glint in her eye. The mimicking was odd enough but the addition of a few copycats was beginning to make her nervous. If they were lucky it would be nothing to fear. If they were unlucky then they could be surrounded in seconds or attacked by some sort of siren. Ene hangs back a bit as she thinks more on the source of the noise.
[As they walk closer and closer to the origin of the singing, it also becomes clearer. The sound of waves that were at first distant become rather close to them. A faint light can be seen at the end of the hall; the sounds of Wingulls and a couple of Pelippers make it clear they are nearing some kind of beach.]
[Punk would keep walking back but there was no end to it; the door was gone, and he was essentially trapped in a seemingly infinite hall. He would look up at the footsteps that were becoming ever clearer, but would find that in the blink of an eye, the ceiling of the diamond walls had disappeared completely.]
This place is time and space, and nothing at all.
Time is a human made concept and so is space.
Therefore, this realm is a void.
Who are your true companions?
[Quintus, on the other hand, decided to deal with a disembodied voice of his own.]
It's not who is "this" but who is "that" which follows "you".
Maybe you are to look back and meet a monster, perhaps you can look ahead and meet a savior.
What lies here, is nothing but an animal.
Where are you going?
The route of a revolutionary, or the route of a god of destruction?
“It sounds like... a beach? But I am not sure if this is an illusion or not. It sounds like a beach from my homeland - a beach unlike any in Japan. Nevertheless, we have little choice but to move forward.”
Prima sped up her walk as the light at the end became more visible. Whatever was ahead, she’d have to be prepared. It was too early to tell if it would be dangerous or not.
The Spell Punk would squint at the disappearance but chalk it to another weird trait of this space. It would just respond to this voice and the knowledge it gave with a more gracious tone.
"How fascinating I've heard whispers of such void like spaces such practices I've not been familiar with at all. How expansive is this void then?"
The Spell Punk would aimlessly keep moving back to see for itself. It doesn't really answer the voices question almost glossing over it cause Spell Punks are never to have companions.
So does that mean the beach up ahead is dangerous?
Ene could do with a day at the beach but what Prima says isn't exactly reassuring. She begins to skip to keep up the pace with Prime and maintain a pleasant mood.
Quintus would continue walking forward. He wasn't about to look back, especially not with the voices warnings.
"Does it matter? I'm not going to know where I'm going until I get there. That's just how life is. I'd rather be a revolutionary, nobody should be trusted with the power of a god and those with such power should know better and throw it away.
Power like that isn't worth it."
He'd begin to pick up his pace, trying to walk faster, trying to reach the end faster. He had a feeling that the end he's looking for wouldn't be so easy to reach.
[Prima and Ene would eventually reach the light at the end of the tunnel, and the thing the would see was...a beach. Nothing but a vast, silent and warm beach under the hot summer sun. Next to the coast, a small group of Popplio would be playing together; some in the water, and some others in the sand. A lone Primarina would be watching over the children. And close by, a group of young men and women were all spending their time together. They were all very colorful and of differing personalities. They didn't seem to mind the small Pokémon at all or the fact that there were Pokémon all around. One had a red shirt, another a pink dress, then comes one in an orange swimsuit, followed by a pair wearing who respectively had a purple hoodie and the other a green shirt. The small kid had light blue eyes, and a rather unfocused one with a white and black t-shirt.]
[The footsteps stop, and Punk would slowly notice that the hall was slowly going downwards. Rather than the forward steps he was taking, he could feel himself somewhat lower. The green tint would also darken slowly, but surely.]
I see. So you do not have true companions.
But perhaps you could find them, perhaps there is no need to be trapped by the notions of your equals.
The void is as massive as your fate, and your heart.
That which extends to infinity means the greatest of potentials. That which has no shape can choose its own identity.
Why are you here?
[Quintus would move forward but there was still no end in sight. The walls around him would palpitate irregularly. One beat, and after three minutes five consecutive beats. Then nothing, and one final beat. Similar to Abaddon, the walls would have light lines of red energy cursing through them and way past Quintus' gaze towards the end of the tunnel he could not yet see. He could feel some heavy footsteps from behind him, closing in.]
Do you want such power? I would imagine your aspirations are quite high.
But would you relinquish your humanity as well?
Normally, those who battle monsters become one themselves.
No... they become far worse, they may even surpass the gods, the become the highest of predators.
A human or a beast.
Which will you be? A mere human cannot ever hope to succeed after all.
You saw what happened to every single one.
“So it is... perhaps my song brought us here. Ah, I should probably tell you about this place. It’s one of the islands of Alola, a tropical region known for its beauty. Do not worry, those creatures are not demons. They’re Pokémon, like my normal form is. See there, that’s a Primarina like me...”
Prima identified any creature nearby for Ene if the younger girl took interest, even the Wingulls circling above. The familiar scenery relaxed the seal-turned-human. The tension in her body had faded, replaced with calm grace as she walked across the glittering sands. Since the humans here were the most notable visitors - and the only ones Ene could understand - Prima greeted them with a bow once she got closer.
“Hello there. Pleasant weather, is it not?”
Quintus would begin running, shouting back even more urgently than before as he desperatly tried to reach the end of the path.
"Then I'll be more than a mere human. I won't become a god but a tool to smite even the gods. That's been my goal from the start. To use everything I can for that purpose yet...
Even then I refuse to betray that cause, to become that which I want to be rid of. I won't become the highest predator but merely an equalizer to topple the food chain."
He could barely even keep up with his own thoughts now. He felt his heart racing as his desperation to reach the end of the path grew.
The Spell punk would descend with little hesitation almost more curious then hesitant. It would converse some more with the spirit since there was literally nothing to do.
"I am here by the spirits and nature of fate itself moving me to such a spot and being an amendment for some of my peoples actions. While this space has great power that i'm gracious for your offering there are reasons why such beings like me should not have such possession."
Those words would trigger some distant thoughts ones of varying positive and negative feels. It would just brush them aside and still just keep moving downwards thinking what else the words could entail though.
Ene prepares herself for a possible fight once she sees the old seals on the beach, but relaxes once Prima fills her in on what the creatures are. Seeing as Prima had not done anything bad she assumes that Prima is trustworthy enough. Though Ene is left with a few questions in mind as she takes in the sea breeze.
How is that pokemon over there similar to you?
Ene walks with Prima and points at the Primarina as they pass by. Then she finally notices the people they approach after being distracted by the sea and is stunned. The different colored articles of clothing they have on sharply remind her of some friends in a previous life and she carefully brings her eyes up on the guy with the red shirt. She half expects to see a familiar half and is half prepared for abject disappointment.
(edited by Ene)
[Ene would recognize the entire group, it was the entirety of the Mekakushi Dan. And almost like they couldn't see them, they would not reply. Not immediately at least. They would appear to rudely ignore Prima's attempt of small talk until Ene's voice came to the one in red's ears. He would turn around and look at both girls with his brown, tired eyes and lazy smile.]
Well the weather is just fine, nice to meet you
But... where have you been, Ene?
I was wondering why you weren't showing up anymore, and it's been a long time.
[One of the Popplio would slowly approach Prima, although nervously. The rest of their siblings were all hidden behind a rock.]
[Punk would descend further and further down the road of increasingly darkening green, that would soon become absolute black, next to colorless. The hall was a mere meters away from becoming a hole going straight down.]
But there is nothing to offer, but something you may want.
Something you may need.
If you are to choose between the void of darkness, and the blinding sun, which would you prefer?
What you possess is exactly what you don't have and will acquire.
If you are to choose between infinite wisdom, or infinite power, and you had to relinquish one of those.
Which will it be?
[For him, the walls seem to stop completely. The freeze, turn into diamonds, and so his feet would start to shine, they would start to feel heavy.]
[Quintus would run and run but nothing would ever be there at the end of the road, because there was simply not an end to it. The red lines would still be quicker than him, and the footsteps, quite heavy and with the recurrent sound of armor, become louder. There is something unseen chasing after him, something that has begun to pick up the pace.]
Have you ever thought that you are indeed a tool? That you always were that regardless?
That a god always had you in their thumb and that they may even be the one coercing you into killing them all.
Still, knowing that you, a weakling, a human could never possibly do it.
Because you have a limited time to do it; because your body can only go on for so long after getting hit for hours and not eating for mere days.
Someone like you can never balance anything, because you're just human.
What will you do when two demons try to consume your flesh?
What will you when you have to confront other humans?
[Whatever was behind him, was quickly closing in. "That" would make Quintus realize the air would become heavier and slightly harder to breath.]
The Spell punk would slowly trudge along the floor the wight being unusual for a floating creature of its nature.
"Usually infinite wisdom is better possession of power itself but as I said our kind has been denied of both for many reasons. Is such gifts proper to bestow? My voices say no but you may differ I feel, regardless that is just my wishful thoughts."
Though each step the Spell Punk would not stop till it steps into the hole to presumably fall over. It just felt normal or even fun to it without much afterthought for this weird realm.
"I guess you could say that I am one, but... it's easier to show once we're back home."
Prima winked at Ene, then listened to the boy's belated reply. Odd... perhaps this was another feature of the Diamond Realm. Prima's musings about this group were pushed aside when she noticed the tiny blue seal approach. She smiled and crouched down.
"Well hello there, little one."
She'd gently speak to it, although in the language of Pokémon rather than what she'd been using with the humans. It was unusual for a human like her to be speaking like this, but it would make communication easier.
Then hopefully we make it back soon.
Ene replies to Prima but when she hears what the guy says she quiets. Carefully moving back a few paces she hesitantly asks the guy a question.
Are you really Shintaro?
She already went through tricks like this before and wasnt holding much hope that this time around was any different. She wasnt a fool this time. One of her hands slips into her cloak prepared for anything this illusion could bring.
Quintus knew he couldn't keep going forever. This tunnel seemed to never end. The voice, could he deny what it said? He wasn't sure what to think of such an existence.
Despite it all though, he kept trying to push forward, feeling that if he looked back then whatever was chasing him would truly get what it wanted.
What am I supposed to do besides what I need to, to survive?
I'll fight as hard as I can and if I die in the process...then my will just wasn't strong enough.
Until then though, I'll do what I have to, I won't let anyone's ideals stand in the way of my own.
I'll do all that because I am nothing more than a mere human right now but I won't remain a mere human forever."
[Spell Punk would fall back into a room similar to the one he first arrived at. Diamond walls, a soft, shining floor of white, and no signs of darkness whatsoever, not even his own shadow. Right under his feet, a single glove would be awaiting. If he were to look at it, information would be sent directly into his mind.]
"Chiloé's Warlock Gauntlet: This piece of equipment allows anyone to concentrate their innate magic and make it double its power without any drawbacks. Only those who seek balance, to stand aside or simply to reject both desires and norms may use it."
[Besides this, the room is completely empty, but it's interesting to note one of the diamond walls seems to have ripples going around it, almost like calm waters reacting to drops.]
[The small Popplio would jump in surprise as the human is somehow capable of communicating in the same way they do. The other smaller ones slowly try to approach her, and the Primarina would look towards the group and Prima herself. She was smiling, aware there was nothing to fear.]
"Miss how do you talk like us? Where did you learn how to do it? Are you... a legendary Pokémon!?"
[Their small eyes had lighten up and their cheeks were getting red. But on Ene's side, the boy with a red jacket would raise an eyebrow and make a confused expression. Taking a step or two to get closer, he would speak again.]
Of course it's me, why else would I be here?
Unless... no, this doesn't seem like the Heat Haze.
But it doesn't feel like the usual either... could be a dream.
I haven't seen you in like five days, where have you been?
[As Quintus keeps running, "That" would be running by his side. In fact, this humanoid silhouette with circular, soul-piercing white eyes was running on the wall to his right, bending its neck in an unnatural way as it keeps the pursue. The voice had been coming from it, and the diamond walls would crack with each time its hands and feet would contact them.]
So you wish to become like me, I understand.
But can you walk the walk, I'm certain you have the potential.
Indeed, you must survive.
Survive so you can see the end, and perhaps you will acquire a power so incredible, nothing will ever compare to you.
But before then, you would do well to not let yourself be blinded by light or drown in darkness.
[The road ahead was almost over, Quintus was able to see a heavy closed door, but one that was not locked. The silhouette to his right however, was preparing itself to jump at him.]
“I guess you could say that I’ve learned how to from one. I couldn’t hope to hold the same title as the celestial beasts or the island guardians.”
This explanation would suffice, as it was mostly the truth. Prima kept her welcoming smile to ease the childrens’ nerves. Their guardian seemed fine with this, so she had little to fear.
“How are you all today?”
The Spell Punk would look at the Gauntlet and store it right in its robes, given the description it sounds like a nice item to collect not sure if its safe in its hand but it shall keep it safe.
"Now then where have you whisk me to now...If this place is infinite then am I to be constantly whisked away?"
The Spell Punk would observe the ripples in the diamond wall. Seeing how it shows no concern for itself and was mildly curious with nothing else to do it would poke at the wall to see what was up with the strange occurrence.
The Shintaro I know was a trashy neet so this whole situation is weird ...
Ene leaves off with that not quite knowing how to continue. A part of her wants to accept that the person in front of her is really Shintaro but she has been bitten too many times with that belief. When he comes closer she can't help her instinctual reaction to back away further. Only making her feel more broken by previous events. Wrapping her arms around her body she desperately asks Shinatro.
Where were we the last time you say saw me and what was happening?
Quintus wasn't sure if he could make it in time. The odd thing chasing him was about to strike now that the door out was fianlly in sight.
He'd try to pick up his pace a bit, trying to reach the door and get through it. He'd almost insticntually begin casting magic, trying to keep the thing chasing him at bay.
"To become like you, maybe. I'm the one who will decide how I end up though. Garutera!"
Quintus would attempt to summon forth a small dust storm to push himself forward while trying to force the figure back as he made his way to the door.
[Punk would approach the diamond wall with ripples and poke it, but nothing would happen, except for a human going right through it at high speeds and crashing into him.]
[Quintus' Garutera would stop the silhouette from jumping at him, and at the same time it would give him the boost he needed to get to the door.]
Yes, that's right! YOU REALLY ARE WORTHY!
I'll be waiting for you, see you at the center point of it all!
[However, the door would not really be a door, but an illusion. He would go right through it and crash against one person, Spell Punk. At the very least, he was now safe, and he would be able to realize the room was back to its usual diamond wall, white floor and peaceful self. Nearby, Quintus may be able to find a rather small necklace. It had a small magatama made out of ruby. If he were to look at it, then information would be sent directly into his mind.]
"Ragnarok Magatama: It's imbued with a strange energy, but its exact use remains unknown. It is said that only a being with a will that can challenge that of the world may unlock its true potential."
[The entire group of Popplio would finally approach Prima and they would all look up to her. The first one is the first one to talk.]
"We're having fun, miss. Our mom brought us here to play its far from the ghost-types!"
"They are big jerks" [Another one says.] "Especially that Ghastly!"
[The shyest of the group would slowly approach Prima and speak softly so the others don't hear.]
"We came because they all lost to a single ghastly and mom wanted to make them feel better."
[Shintaro would look at Ene with confusion.]
I was waiting for you to tell me that. Last thing I knew was that you went out with Momo and after telling her to follow a weird guy in white you just vanished.
So what happened?
Did you get lost in an obscure forum or something?
[The young man would sigh.]
Honestly, I don't get it, I went to sleep, and I see this super creepy guy with a hat and no mouth...
He said something about needing me for a minute or two…
And then I woke up in this beach with mirages of everyone, and then you showed up.
Quintus would have fallen over from crashing into someone. He'd slowly get back up, shook up from whatever happened back there but beginning to calm down.
He'd first notice the odd necklace, picking it up. It seemed important but he wasn't sure for what exactly.
Oh, wait. That's right, he crashed into someone.
"Hey, you alright? Didn't mean to come out so fast but I was being chased.
Hey, aren't you from the beginning?"
The Spell Punk would get up and brush itself off from the crash. It didn’t really bug him but it had to make sure the cloak was still fine. It would address the man it crashed into with a apologetic tone.
“Terribly sorry I must not tamper with the strange phenomenon of this place. But I am indeed the one from before a Spell Punk if you will. And I remember seeing you at the start as well, I take it you had your own weird run ins?”
It would stare back at the wall again a bit disturbed by what just happened and the mention of being chased did draws his attention to see if something way coming this way.
I don't really know.
Ene never did find out how she ended up in this world filled with humans, demons, creatures, and so many other things. The first memory she had here was of being in her shop and it never fleshed out any more then that. Though how she got here sort of fell out of her mind once she found herself in dangerous situations over and over again. Now she didn't really have any explanation to offer Shintato and had no idea where Momo even was.
A ton of stuff went by and how I got here sort of faded from my mind. If that makes sense ...
Actually it does so don't question me neeto.
She didn't mean to snap back at Shintaro, but something about him always brought out her ire and trickery. Especially now that she was really herself rather then either Ene or Takene. Gazing at the other figures of the Mekakushi Dan she really has to ask.
So if you are real then the others over there are fake? How can you be sure you are real then baka?
Prima chuckled. It reminded her of the antics she’d be dragged into as a child.
“Well, it must be more fun here, then. Dhelmise and Gastly don’t like sunny places like this.”
As much fun as it was to talk to these children, Prima reminded herself that she had a mission here.
“Have you seen anything odd lately? I’ve been looking for any unusual things to help with the professor’s research.”
[In the room that both Punk and Quintus were sharing, nothing of interest would happen at first. Although Quintus was being chased, the passage of seconds revealed that such a being was not behind him any longer, or them, for that matter. Regardless, the wall in front of them would feature even more ripples than before, creating a faint image.]
[Shintaro would point with his thumb back at the group of playing teenagers.]
I tried talking to them and then touched them. They're all some kind of hologram, but I can still feel myself.
I can kinda feel myself waking up already.
Oh, right, that man wanted me to say something a lot, like...
"Make sure you come back alive."
[He would shrug right after.]
Dunno what this dream is all about but... but I guess it's true.
Somehow the world feels different, like it's missing an important piece in its fabric.
It's like I realized this after meeting that man, but as if I always knew.
[His image would flicker in place. On the other side, but close-by, the Primarina would approach Prima herself, getting in the way of the disappointed children.]
"There is indeed something. Recently, a strange trainer that covers his mouth and has a strange kind of feel to him just keeps releasing overly aggressive ghost-types and sinister-types."
[Taking advantage of the fact that she was taller than her children, Primarina would grimace.]
"He defeats trainer after trainer, and whenever we run into him he asks me specifically where the person with the hat and a cat is, along with the old man with a lighter."
"Please tell this to any powerful trainer the professor can send, he keeps targeting our species. Saying he will only leave if 'his precious Primarina' does make it back."
The descriptions matched the two other veterans of Melbourne’s little “quests”: Tatsuya and Raidou. But what could that man want with them? And as for this Primarina... well, that man was on the right track in his targets, but sadly wasn’t searching for the right form. Prima bowed to the seal.
“I will. If I may ask, where did you last see this trainer? It would be wise for us to locate him as soon as possible, for everyone’s sake.”
Realizing that Ene couldn’t understand their conversation, she gave the girl a quick explanation.
“There’s a strange man looking for me. He’s searching Tatsuya and Raidou, too. Whoever he is, he’s rather dangerous.”
Wait! Shinatro don't go please!
Ene begs as she hurriedly grabs his hand to keep him there. At this point her doubt has faded and she had unwittingly slipped into considering this Shintaro her actual friend. Despite traces of suspicion she was willing to risk being tracked again instead of loosing Shinatro due to paranoia. When she sees him flicker her heart drops and tears almost begin to form on the corners of her eyes.
Take me with you!
I want to go back and be with you, Konoha ....
Her voices dies before she can mention the others as raw emotion rises to her throat. She almost feels like she is choking with something overpowering within. Deep withing her feelings of need she barely notices what Prima tells her or cares.
The Spell Punk would squint at the wall with intensity to try and make out the image forming in it. It was hesitant on whenever or not it should try tapping on the wall again but instead just questions Quintus on if he can make it out at all.
"Not too alarm you too much but something is defiantly forming in that wall right from where you came from...don't suppose you can make it out any better than I? Or if we should be on guard at all?"
Quintus would be distracted by the necklace still. He wondered what potential it truly held, the Ragnarok Magatama. He'd try to wear it if he could and if not he'd simply slide it into his pocket for now.
With the necklace settled for the moment he'd focus on the ripple in the wall.
"Great, more to deal with. Hopefully it'll just be some kind of image but if not you should get ready to fight or run."
[Ene tries to hang on to him but he's not corporeal, although he used to be. His body disappears but not so his voice.]
I don't know in what kind of trouble you got yourself or your new friends into but...
And I'm being serious here...
[His image disappears, and so do the mirages of her friends. They would instead be replaced by a square opening back into the Diamond Realm. From this position, she would be able to see the backs of Quintus and Punk looking into a wall with ripples. Besides this, on the sand and right in front of her, a photograph still not revealed would be waiting. Perhaps moving it a bit would help reveal it.]
[Primarina would think it over for a couple of seconds.]
"He was heading off to the Ruins of Conflict, saying something strange about absorbing the guardian deities and... 'having fun with this world too'. I have no idea what he meant."
[She would then draw a few numbers on the sand for her to see.]
"He would also always say this..."
[It reads "2022".]
[Quintus would put on the Ragnarok Magatama and feel a strange affinity to it, but also a kind of sensation similar to what Louis Cyphre would make him feel, with some hints of demonic energy. Still, he cannot figure exactly what it does. Punk on the other hand would get closer to the wall and distinguish two vague human figures. He can barely make anything out of it, but it seems like it's two young people running on the streets.]
“That is where Tapu Koko is said to dwell... thank you. I will keep this in mind.”
Prima bowed again and repeated the number in her mind. With a destination set, she turned to face Ene.
“We should hurry to the Ruins of Conflict and-“
The blue-haired woman hesitated. Ene was obviously distraught from whatever that mirage of her friend had said. Prima got down on one knee and put a hand on the girl’s shoulder.
“Nevermind. I know not of what you’ve been through, but if you need a moment, say so. And... it seems you have a new path ahead of you. I have some business here, but if you wish to follow that path when you’re ready, I cannot stop you.”
"Well it certainly isn't a threat but rather...It looks like two people running on paved streets. It's quite difficult to distinguish the wall itself isn't doing any favours. Maybe you should have a look but I don't recommend touching the wall for your own safety."
It would gesture for Quintus to have a gander with it but still just sit and ponder over what was beyond the wall. It could try again where was the harm in it? It was only one person crashing out surely its luck wasn't that poor against him. He would reach out his hand and just try to brush against the wall lightly.
"Scratch that maybe its not the worst idea to give it a touch. Maybe it will do something to make this clearer I presume?"
Ene falls to her knees after Shintaro fully disappears. Tears drip from her eyes as a wave of hopelessness comes crashing down. Trapped in her own thoughts she doesn't notice the diamond realm but she can make out what Prima tells her.
Just go ahead.
She mumbles and then noticing the photograph in front of her. She lethargically picks it up and motions it in the air.
Quintus wasn't sure what else there was to do here even. It seemed as though the wall was the only thing around anyway so there was little point in not observing it more closely. He'd walk up to it, trying to make out whatever he could of it.
"I guess. Although I am worried this might just lead us to more shadows coming to life and attacking us. Guess it beats being food for demons though."
[As Ene's photo reveals, more than a few shapes appear. It was a group photo taken at a time unknown and impossible to tell if it was even real, but it was two sides. On one side, it was a group photo of the entirety of the Mekakushi Dan extending their hands at the camera. The only person missing was Ene. The other side of the picture were familiar yet not necessarily close people. The group included Shinji, Kalib, Emerson, Takeno, Quintus, Kotori, Homura, Kazuya, Gamma, and Jackman. They are all also extending their hands at the camera, except for Gamma and Jackman, who simply make a peace sign with both eyes closed, and Kazuya, who stands in the middle in a completely neutral position, as in one hand is reaching out, and the other has a blur, like his fingers were moving before the picture was taken. The Mekakushi Dan side says "Come Back ! !", and the back side says "Earn It !". Looking at it, Ene somehow receives information regarding it.]
[Mumler's Photograph: The photograph has a strange but powerful energy surrounding it. It cannot be used on its own. It is said that only those who understand the light's true essence can discover its purpose.]
[If Prima decided to head towards the Ruins of Conflict, she would find nothing too strange or amazing, besides the fact that the place is an exact copy, if not the real, Melemele Island. The road towards the bridge would have nothing uncommon, just people seemingly unaware of her being around. However, the way back into the Diamond Realm is still open for both people at the beach.]
[Quintus would approach the wall and he would see a rather simple image, although not very easy to make out. A man without features would talk to a small mic on top of a bizarre desk full of buttons and different screen with tons of numbers. In front of him would be something close to a small window that stands beside him and a deep hole with a large, elongated rocket. Through the same wall, En no Ozuno would appear unannounced.]
So, you've completed your trials, though I can never guess why it is that visitors end up scattered in random places inside here.
Tell me, did you find out anything about your fate?
Prima had given the younger girl a bow before leaving for the ruins. She knew Ene would be safe with the way back right at the beach. Those she passed didn’t even look at her despite her attire.
“Another feature of this illusion... if it is one. But I cannot allow that man to cause more chaos.”
Her goal was set. She began to walk across the bridge, although kept an eye out for any danger. High places like this made her uneasy.
Ene can't help but smile at the photograph as tears continue to blurry her vision. She holds it against her chest for a while. Taking deep breaths in and out to calm. Then she finally stands up and pockets the photo in one of the interior areas of the cloak. She doesn't know what she has to earn but at least it's a clue on how to get back.
Okay let's do this!
Speaking to no one in particular she follows after Prima with newfound bounce in her step.
The Spell Punk would continue to poke at the wall still largely confused with what its looking at. It tried to circulate some ideas in its heads but nothing really sparks an idea. It would turn to Quintus and try asking him on if there is anything else to say or do.
"I'm largely confused with what to do next. Don't suppose you know what to do with these weird images I don't recall ever seeing it in my life and all I can do is...Keep on poking this rippling wall."
It would continue to do such just lost at the moment.
Quintus wouldn't be sure what to make of what was before him. The image was simple but its meaning was unclear. He'd reply to the spell punk but rather plainly.
"No idea. As far as I know all we're doing is sticking around here until things cool down back on Earth."
Quintus would be startled suddenly by the familiar voice though before turning to try and look at them.
"Didn't I already say before. I'm the one who decides my own fate. Regardless of what it might be doesn't matter. I'll figure out how to twist it until it's the outcome I desire.
Guess that almost makes me sound like some kind of villain though."
Not necessarily, all humans have such capacity, even the demons and angels.
It is the deities that are truly bound by fate.
[This time around, Punk's poking would bring no fruits, the images he would see would be rather quick and more like a constantly changing perspective. The pair that was seen running out in the streets had now made its way inside of a two floor building with some very tall walls, blood stains paint a grim reminder.]
It is however a sad occurrence, what is about to happen.
If there were any humans that are bound by a terrible fate, then it must be those in Tokyo.
[A bit of the wall Punk is poking would extend itself for a moment.]
---------- O ----------
[Prima and Ene would find crossing the bridge a rather difficult task, for it was weak, and moving a lot. They could tell that just one more person stepping in would make the thing break and send them both into the abyss down below, and onto their untimely deaths. Beyond the forest, a large temple could be vaguely seen. But more importantly, and at the end of the next bridge, right after their most recent blink, a man in a suit, hat and rather messy hair would be waiting. His awfully dark eyes and lack of mouth would quickly reveal him to be Melbourne.]
Yes, indeed, Primarina and the remnants of Takane Enomoto, Ene.
What brings you here?
Inheritors of the Light, allies of Law?
Primarina’s venture across the bridge was slow, but thankfully uneventful besides the worrying creaks. However, that concern was now second to the man in front of her. She took another step forward and gripped the sides of the bridge harder.
“There you are, Mr. Melbourne. I suspected the man the other Primarina mentioned was you. This Diamond Realm we entered through a mysterious portal - or at least I did - because it presented a possible way to alter the fate of the world’s calamity. But as for why I am in front of you right now, that is to stop your meddling in my world, illusion or not.”
Ene took her time following behind Prima. Fully aware that a drop could kill she was not really up for speeding things. It is when they arrive at Melbourne that she can once again breathe in peace. However, what Melbourne calls her easily bothers her sensibilities and she can't help frowning in obvious discontent.
I just entered a shiny portal so I don't really know why I am here.
Ene then leaves Prima to do most of the talking. Since Prima seems to know what she was doing in this place.
The Spell Punk would watch and listen to the voice as well as the vision before it. It would nod in agreement I’ve the sentiment of the fate of these people.
“Yes while it seems some have capacity to control this fate there are also those quite unlucky, I wouldn’t have wished for such a scenario to be layered on them like that but I guess that’s how it is since you can’t write it up again...but what else to learn?”
When it’s poking caused the wall to extend it would cause the Punk to shuffle back and move again caught of guard by the weird nature of the wall in a alert state once again.
“I do believe I touched something again and it’s gonna do something. Something I may really dislike at that!”
Quintus would consider what had been said but wasn't sure what to make of it. He had already been pondering such a thing for a while.
"Yes, a fate forced unto them by God. That almost seems a bit ironic in some ways. The god who is no doubt a prisoner of fate itself casting judgment on humanity who is free to choose their own fates."
He'd look over to Spell Punk as well. It seemed something else might be coming but he'd rather wait and see. It may prove to be nothing after all and there was no reason to get too worked up yet.
Then perhaps you should not speak, Takane.
You can die, you must die, you will die. Data; it can be eliminated quicker than with anything else that lives. A cockroach lasts more.
[Melbourne, without gravity, with no air resistance, he places one foot on the bridge as he slowly walks towards them. The bridge does not react to him, he lacks a shadow. However, the way his body reacts is as if the bridge did feel him. His feet, as he slowly walks forwards, moves at the less than half the speed a human could normally do, with such control, he could even be a machine.]
[He speaks without a mouth, once more, joyful.]
The way into the Diamond Realm was opened by me.
As I don't want the players, much less the Survivors, to die after such impressive displays of skill and courage. The "Safe Escapes" have been provided in such a way anyone can use them, any player that is.
For one to ignore them, is to accept death.
Furthemore...anyone who comes here cannot go back until further notice.
Anyone who didn't come... they shall die.
Thus include the names Tot, Penny, Rowan, Raidou and Tatsuya.
[Melbourne, from the wood, moves upside down as he still walks forward.]
But perhaps they have a chance still.
If only someone had made it back and had given the Resistance the tip on the new bunker.
Ene, I must say, your clumsiness may have caused the deaths of hundreds.
[Was he chuckling? Where his mouth should be dropped melted off skin.]
But how do you plan to stop me.
Do tell, Primarina.
It is not in the player's capacity to control the developer.
---------- O ----------
[En no Ozuno would nod.]
Indeed, God is a slave to many things, and his role is that but one. As the leader of the faith that feeds him, as a ruthless monarch, as someone who shall never truly disappear.
For human minds and hearts have brought the demons and gods to life, God, the greatest of them all, will always comeback.
To die and to be reborn, such is the nature of this world of our; reincarnation.
[After a while, the extended area of the wall would go back to normal, or as normal as a wall with ripples was.]
I have been meaning to ask but, what is that amulet you have there.
Both of you, did this Realm provide them?
[Ozuno pointed at both the Gauntlet and Magatama. The look on his face showed how... confused he was at the entire situation, as if that had never happened before.]
Prima closed her eyes. The meaning of Melbourne’s words almost made her wonder if the bridge will collapse under their weight. The man was like a Persian - graceful, calm, but full of cunning behind its soft exterior. He was despair-inducing, even. She composed herself and bowed.
“I apologize, I did not mean to lose my temper there, though it is a struggle to keep it in check now. I doubt I can stop you with just us two in our weakened states, but I do remember you saying something about leaving if I make it back, hmm? So I just need to find my way out of this place, whenever that may be.”
There was restrained frustration in her voice, but she kept a straight face.
“I have confidence in Tatsuya and Raidou, and I doubt the others will perish easily either... although those thoughts might be idealistic. Still, I suppose I must thank you for providing this opportunity. But I have one question.”
She remembered the symbols sketched on the sand.
“What is the significance of ‘2022’?”
Ene shouts at Melbourne after everything he has said. Her face is paled with the possible horrors she may have unintentionally caused, but her anger burns with the callousness of the monster in front. Before she goes for herself she wants to take Melbourne with her. Wipe that judgment off his face. Break a piece of him in. Destroy his speech. Before he even dares to call her data again. Tears burn at the corners of her almost glowing cyan eyes as she directs her fury at Melbourne.
All you do is mess around with people and use them constantly! I haven't even see you do much for yourself instead hiding in dark places like some psycho! If I'm less than a cockroach then you are worse off as some parasite that thinks highly of himself!
I'd like to see you try and help anyone instead of relying on others to fight for you! So yeah screw you parasitic animal!
Ene pants after yelling all of that across the chasm.
The Spell Punk would note how the room shifted back to normal. Seems like square one all over again. Though En no Ozuni brought up an interesting point to consider. The Spell Punk would pull out its gauntlet and raise it before its self.
“You mean this item? Well why yes it comes from this very realm and spot, an unusual trinket that i’m not well versed on at all. Though I guess it does merit some look into it...”
It would slip it onto its own hand and get a feel for it but wasn’t really one for these kinds of things, it was rather unusual and bothered oddly enough but still partially content with just wearing it.
Quintus would look down at the pendant. A smirk would cross his face for a moment, as if merely owning the pendant he was wearing was a pleasant thought.
"Yeah, guess you could call it a gift from this place. I like to think of it as a sign that I passed whatever trial was thrown at me. Point is, whatever it is, it belongs to me now."
Help someone? Why indeed I do that, certainly, all the time.
Kazuya Yasuo, he came to me long ago. Ashamed, like a failure, the weight of his sins pushing him down into the ground. The life he led in the visions you are to experience, and the events that happened while in that city you all share.
Ene... you had been in his mind back then, almost the greatest of his most recent guilts and burdens.
I offered a solution to him: The chance to save a version of his own world, the one you got to see replaying itself.
All he had to do was to lead his friends into possible death, which...worked well, indeed, it did, I would say.
And then, I can take something in return were they successful.
[Melbourne goes back the way he had used to go forward, as if rewinding himself back to the end of the bridge. In that brief instant, both girls could see quite well what he meant. Perhaps Ene wasn't familiar but Prima certainly was. It was a group of teenagers facing off Thor. A way younger Tatsuya and Raidou with Prima, followed by a girl with a white coat and long brown hair, another with a gray coat and glasses, another with a red leather jacket, and finally a 15 year old Kazuya.]
But this is not such a world, but memories with added events that never happened.
My imagination places you into such visions.
The next one is such, the year 2022, 30 years after what will happen in the next...
[He would mockingly look at his wrist, no actual watch being there, only for his skin to form into one; a watch right under his skin.]
25 minutes or so, at least for the ones still down in hell, as they would call it.
Want to see them?
[He would draw a circle with his fingers, but nothing had happened just yet.]
--------- O ----------
[Punk would feel a sudden surge in power after putting the Gauntlet on, anything magic related had the capacity to become twice as powerful as long as he concentrates his spirit into it. On the other hand, Quintus would yet again feel the same exact thing he felt when meeting Louise Cyphre as he looks at the Magatama.]
That is... new, indeed.
I am familiar with weaponry or even special items being delivered to visitors, but these in particular feel alien.
Somehow, the aura the give off is not similar to anything else in this world, very much like you two, or the other two women who came into this realm.
[The ripples of the wall would start to become a tad more frantic.]
“So this is not a world... but an illusion? Or are we in some realm of your own creation?”
The explanation only confuses Prima even more. It’s hard to wrap her head around, just like the man in front of her. The image he showed the two was one she remembered all too well. Almost without realizing it, she adjusted the hairclip nearly hidden by her helmet.
“But I must ask you, what is your goal this time? And... I suppose I would regret refusing your offer.”
She didn’t know what Melbourne would show, but curiosity got the better of her. And the future of 2022...
“Ene, what do you make of this? We may witness the future years after whatever the ICBM is in less than an hour, is what I guess.”
We should take his offer. It's not like we have much choice anyway in this place ...
Ene mumbles this out and hastily wiped her potential tears. She doesn't know how to feel after having her anger be ignored so easily. As fear seeps into her bones since Melbourne has basically told them that they are in a world of his own creation. Another heat haze, but this time with a god that is unable to feel human. She had no idea how Prim could accept this all so easily when the new info made her fear. Unconsciously she took a few steps back.
The Spell Punk would jolt up in the surge of power not anticipating such a feeling and would faulter a bit to the floor.
“By the... Whatever this artifact is it’s nothin i’ve study it’s feels so powerful, like something crafted and lost by our old ancestor.”
The Punk would direct his attention to Ozuno and ramble off the many questions in his head.
“Yes this all quite mystic and mysterious in the very grains but perhaps there is something that you do know about this place. Between the walls and the artifacts my mind is coming to a confusing crawl. And what about those two women you mentioned?”
Quintus would just stand by idly. He wasn't too sure what else there was to say but he would take note of the odd ripples. He wondered if something was about to happen but there wasn't much point in thinking too hard on it. For now he would just listen along to the conversation.
I am taking back what I was promised, to have fun, entertainment.
You should expect to my meet my partner in crime soon, too.
The "trigger", if you will.
But before we meet in the end...
This world is very much real, a copy, but not an illusion; it is a vision.
You all are my imagination; this imagination is mine.
Truly, the Amala Network is infinite.
[The circle Melbourne was drawing would become easier to see, and so the world around the girls would melt. The bridge would fail, and both would fall for minutes, closer to 10, or she they would feel. After, they would simply "wake up" inside the same room Punk and Quintus were in. This, in the blink of an eye.]
Ah, there they are.
I meant these two, Punk.
I was wondering if they had gotten lost or if a demon had struck them down.
[Soon after, the rippled wall would get far more violent.]
And... that is very much not normal.
Whatever is it that is causing it, it's not from this realm.
[En no Ozuno would say in a rather worried voice. The wall would then be filled with static. The wall would have this white noise and then, Melbourne would appear on it. The background behind him was a very decayed but very well decorated set for some kind of gameshow, giant screen on the back included. Indeed, the wall had turned into a TV screen. With a microphone on his hand, he would look far more human than ever before. But, his extremely weird appearance would remain.]
And welcome to your favorite show, the "Imaginary Vision" or "Will they/Won't they".
I'm your host, Lester Philip Melbourne, and I'm happy to present you the new contestants!
[The images themselves would feel like it was all tapped with a VHS, the date itself on top would read "11/13/1992 19:37:000000", static, unmoving. Melbourne would gesture to his back as the static bodies of Tatsuya, Rowan, Raidou, Tot and Penny wait there. All five are smiling and clapping at the same time as the audience, to the which the camera moves over to. Everyone sitting in the small place is but all too familiar people and creatures to them, for everyone watching now was their families, their friends, their loved ones alive and gone, even the people they had only seen once while walking from one place to another. All sitting there, all clapping and smiling with vacant eyes.]
What do you say?
[Melbourne extends his hand at the camera and his hands gets through it and the wall. As his image was quite massive, his hand, too, is as big as it should be considering. Lights from inside the Diamond Realm appear on top of everyone but Ozuno. Melbourne remains, as if he had be paused.]
You are participants, too.
[His voice says, coming from all over the walls, and not the screen.]
Quintus was disturbed by what he saw. His own family just as he remembered them, all his friends who were now dead, everything was on display. He wanted to lash out but was unsure of even how to do so, so instead he used his words.
"Just what kind of sick joke is this? Is this a game to you or something?!?"
He already knew the answer but felt as though he needed to do something in this situation. He'd move up to the wall and attempt to put his hands on it to see what would happen.
"Stop hiding behind this wall already! Whatever you are...I..."
Quintus wasn't even sure what he was going to do. He didn't actually know much about Malbourne, just that they were toying with him and whatever power they held wasn't normal.
The Spell Punk was taken aback by the imagery and some familiar faces that it would rather like to forget, almost as much as this game show asthetic its ggiven witness to.
"Why this space keeps getting more bizzarw and ominous by the second.A gameshow how ominous and unpleasent indeed..."
The Spell Punk would study their host and the scenes before him though rather frazzeled by this all perhaps it just needs to ask and learn whats happening here with a bit of fancy tounge.
"Yes this is all very detailed what you put up but truth be told I don't get why you did any of this whoever you are mind dumping the exposition you make yourself quite the menacing figure I do say."
“A ‘game show’ you say...?”
Prima was unfamiliar with the term Spell Punk used, but whatever it was, Melbourne was playing a game they’d have to go along with. The audience was slightly disturbing, but she dismissed her concerns once she remembered the man’s illusionary abilities. She folded her arms and stared at the massive Melbourne.
“I am afraid I am not familiar with this one, so do you mind explaining the rules?”
Ene remains quiet and leaves the reactions to everyone else. After her previous outburst she knew it was futile to really react. Seeing her long gone family and friends stirred up her heightened emotions. Which she snuffed out since Melbourne wouldn't even give the satisfaction of paying attention to them. She steps back and watches the screen with a steely gaze.
What, will you stop me.
Make me suffer, no.
[Although Quintus tried to go through the wall, it was pointless, as all he could feel was a completely solid wall with nothing weird on it besides a strange static. From it, the faces of everyone he knew would emerge, and speak at the same time.]
"Why are YOU alive?"
[After this, the heads would elongate themselves and bite him on every single are of his body hard enough to make him feel pain but not enough to actually hurt him. The way they do this is by stretching their jaws towards him. Their eyes stay in the same place and the skin moves so much it's on the verge of ripping itself apart, and yet it doesn't happen. After getting a hold of him, they stretch even more and pushing to the other side of the room. Once this is done, the jaws retreat to their skull and the faces of everyone he knew had changed. For their previously smiling faces were now a melted mess after simply touching the young man. Then, they disappear into Melbourne's hand.]
No exposition required, for this game is rather simple.
[The hand retreats and the camera zooms into the faces of the five copies, all smiling. Melbourne would walk up to them with a simple smile.]
Will they/Won't they is a game about gambling. You simply cast your votes on how likely it is that they will, or that they won't.
Once the time comes, you are to vote a simple "Yes" or "No", and something incredible will happen.
There is a time limit though~
Let's see it!
[The corner on the screen that had displayed the current date and time would be replaced with a small, cinematic screen displaying static. It would soon expand itself and replace Melbourne's image into what seemed like a movie. The cinematic display would feature a very attractive but serious looking woman of age 17, her long and brown hair went well with her long white robe similar to the one some of them were wearing. Under it, she had some lightweight military gear and even a SMG ready to shoot. By her side was a young man that was a bit shorter than her. 15 years old, his hair was of the same brown as his senior but still long for a man. His green jacket and grey pants made it obvious who it was. Checking the computer on his wrist and returning his handgun to its holster, he would look back at the building with the American flag in the middle of it. His eyes were full of fear and a quiet determination.]
???: "We're almost there. Now that Gouto is done for, Thorman should force a retreat."
Kazuya: "Yes, or at least get them help us eliminate the demons."
[At the front gate, there were two guards that would check their IDs first of all. After which they would be allowed entry. The teenage Kazuya would look back at the girl who was leading the way.]
Kazuya: "Will it be okay, Yuuka... ?"
Yuuka: "Of course it will, Gouto was the only one truly malicious."
[She would stop and place her hands on his shoulder, after which he would blush and look away.]
Yuuka: "Keep calm, Kazuya. When this is over, we can go somewhere nice. Like Mount Fuji or spend the day in Inokashira."
Kazuya: "Yeah... I'll do my best. T-Then we can rest..."
[As the scene played out, even music would be playing in the background, a calm melody clearly inspired by "Don't Dream It's Over". The two don't say another word before Yuuka turns around and keeps walking. The still blushing Kazuya would look at his COMP and nod silently with one hand placed over it.]
Kazuya: "... and Mom, too."
[The scene would be suddenly replaced by the images of Penny crawling over wooden floor. Tot carrying a black armor. Tatsuya and Rowan desperately fighting and quickly getting overrun. Raidou and other Resistance members battling weakened demons. The image would return to the corner and Melbourne would show up again, pointing at Penny.]
Will they... ?
Won't they... ?
Prima, despite the situation, smiled a little at the sight of the two teenagers. This was probably what would have happened in the normal timeline. She shooj her head and focused again. Melbourne was trying to intimidate them. Truthfully, she was struggling to keep a level head. She let out a sigh and began to analyze the images. She would have to choose carefully. Knowing Melbourne, this was no ordinary game show.
Prima wanted to cling to optimism, and she tried to reach for it. The little girl that served as Melbourne’s first contestant had been with the girl holding the armor. The two were currently nowhere near each other, but would the latter come back...? She opened her mouth to speak, then hesitated.
“I... given my current knowledge, will vote no.”
She bowed her head. That was her vote for Penny.
(edited by PrimPrim)
Quintus would be shaken up by what just happened. What those faces told him...they were right but he had to try and ignore it. They were just Melbourne's attempt to mess with him, he knew that.
He'd try to regain his balance before speaking under his breath.
"Damn that freaky bastard...no choice but to play his game...but what kind of game even is this..."
Quintus would focus on Melbourne's rules and realize immediately that they made no sense.
"Will they or won't they what? You gave us the rules but didn't even explain what we're meant to guess. It's gambling though, right? So then...we're not meant to know what we're guessing...In that case, I'll go with 'Yes' since it seems to just be 50/50 anyway."
Spell Punk squinted at the images before it, not like they really made any sense to itself. Truth be told it was rather lost at whatever it was being shown.
“Quite a poor description of your own game dear host? Well I ain’t a knowledgeable individual on whatever is happening here but...”
It would tilt its head yet make no lead way in making a deductive answer. It was at this point just a random for the Punk so it just gave it bluntly.
“I’ll go with a No. I got a weird hunch I suppose.”
Ene withholds her vote after hearing what Quintus has to say. She knew firsthand that creatures like Melbourne could be deceptive and she didn't want to play into his hands.
I'd like to know what the will they and won't they actually mean before I say anything.
Is it possible to pass a vote?
Why yes, it is, indeed, possible to pass the vote!
But remember all!
The end isn't the important part, so make sure you vote~!
With that said...
[The image of Penny would appear on the screen at the center of the stage. The camera would get closer and so would Melbourne. The votes would appear on the screen with a very cute font; "No/Yes/No/"; and the final vote would quickly shift between a "Yes" and a "No". Slowing down, it settles on "No". Melbourne would chuckle and while still looking at his viewers, he would tap randomly on the screen. He would touch Penny's right arm; that one that was crawling on the floor. Her arm would then slowly vibrate before the bones from the inside would splinter and pierce the skin and flesh. Leaving a puddle of blood, the image disappears and so the camera would zoom out.]
It would say that she just "Won't". Who knows what will happen anymore?
But the next one to consider is...!
[A sudden drumroll would show itself. Then, a light would be cast on the smiling Tot.]
Tot Pop! Also known as Jessica Praise.
So... "Will they" or "Won't they?"
[The screen would turn on again and it would show Tot walking through a small forest with both eyes closed while carrying a set of black armor and a sword. The angle was weird, from up top. The sound of heavy breathing would also come from said recording. Certainly, it was not a camera, but something else.]
And hurry up, because time is running out~
[The "Time limit" screen would go back to Yuuka and Kazuya slowly walking around a building of white walls and red carpet. Paintings would be scattered across and soldiers would stand without reacting to anything at all. Yuuka would turn back to Kazuya.]
Yuuka: "This is... strange. The place is way more silent than the other day, and the soldier all look..."
Kazuya: "Like they are not even here. Do you think some demon caused this?"
Yuuka: "Could be, but it must be an awfully powerful one to do something like this."
[Both would stand even closer. Yuuka would prepare her SMG and Kazuya would put on the Scouter on his head and press a few keys on his COMP. After that, a small vortex would appear behind him, revealing a very cheerful Jack Frost. Making a quick spin and about to announce his appearance, both teenagers would shush him.]
J.Frost: "Hee, sorry."
[Jack would rub the back of his head before quietly following the pair as they go up the stairs. After this set of images, Melbourne would appear again with his index finger lifted. The camera would show Tot smiling without moving, and him, on the left side, making noise.]
Tic, tic, tic, tic...
[Refusing to say "toc", the index fingers moves in a circle, mimicking the movements of a clock. The rest of the hand does not move, just the one finger as it breaks itself constantly.]
Prima winced at the gruesome sight. It took a few seconds of deep breathing to calm herself. She was suddenly aware of her own heart’s pounding. Focus. He’s getting to me and it’s working, but what can someone like me do?
“It seems he is being... vague on purpose. Shall we try splitting the vote and see what happens...? I’m voting yes whether we decide to do so or not.”
It reminds her of a game her siblings once played. She’d kept losing over and over until she realized the truth of the betting game they’d done with that poor Shellder.
”Right side up I win, upside down you lose!”
Melbourne brought those words, full of childish and devious confidence, to mind.
Ene feels ill and has to look away as Melbourne presents Penny. She only looks back at the screen once Melbourne is done speaking, but the ill feeling rests in her stomach. She knows she could just not vote again. However, if her vote would actually help someone then giving up her vote again would be awful. Wait but what if playing into Melbourne's game is worse. But what about Penny and the arm and ...
Ene clutches her head and mutters something nonsensical. Her thoughts keep spiraling back and forth making her feel the weight of actually choosing. Though her own rising anxiety is making it impossible to come to anything. She remains quiet without giving a vote.
Quintus would just sigh at this point. It seemed there votes were having a direct effect although it was still hard to tell exactly what those effects were. He'd look over to Prima with a desolate look. It wasn't a pleasant sight to watch as a young girl's arm was torn apart from the inside.
"Well, that plan won't work unless everyone votes so I'm just gonna go with Yes too. Kinda want to see what happens if we all vote yes since that last time no was the majority.
Apart from that, you so sure its a good idea to mess with Melbourne's game like that? No offence but that goes a little beyond just reckless. This guy plays by his own rules and as much as it pisses me off we don't have much of a choice but to go along with those rules for now.
For all we know, an even vote could just mean he chooses whatever he considers the most entertaining."
The Spell punk wound wince at the arm and following pool of blood. Its cluelessness seems to have gotten her poor arm torn to shreds which never holds well for anyone. It knew it had to be much more careful with what it picked yet it had nothing to go off of.
“It would be better to learn what each option does and be decisive on it so I may as well follow in suit and say Yes. Though I get the feeling no matter the option that whatever is picked will lead to harsh events. Like playing with blind luck itself.
The Spell Punk would groan in annoyance it was not to its liking at all to play blindly with suck stakes but it’s better then trying to resist or think some way around this, makes its head melt to mush and it becomes indecisive.
The winner is indeed the "Yes" option.
"They will", I shall say...
[The screen would display three "Yes", and the final one, quite possibly Ene's, would shift between a "Yes" and a "No", ending in "Yes". Melbourne would chuckle as he caresses Tot's cheek. The image on the screen would turn again to that of the strange figure stalking Tot in the woods. The camera would shake even more, and jumping down, all that could be seen was the long, rugged hands and fingers excitedly approaching the girl from behind with a somewhat clear, depraved intent. In the blink of an eye, the camera is dangerously close to her neck, and the breath of the creature is visible. The perspective allows the same disgusting hands to make their way to her legs and between her thighs, only for them to burn away violently, and for the camera to shatter.]
My, my, do I wonder what was going to happen had you vermin said "No".
Could we have even shown it?
... I, indeed, wonder.
[He lets go of Tot and the light cast on her would disappear. The camera focuses on him only as presses a small ear piece that most likely was never there a second ago.]
No, it would seem we can't really broadcast sexual content, not at this hour, in this channel...
But we CAN if you join our nice community of needy demons and monsters who understand the most basic of human needs and instincts!
Just head over to "www . refuse to vote again and you'll be the one getting used . com", and you'll see everything that is in store for you.
I am a man of my word, Takane Enomoto.
[Melbourne would become stoic right after a single line goes down the screen, the VHS was known to do it at times. The camera zooms out, and so Tatsuya, the old man, would appear smiling as the lights point at him.]
You know how it works, people.
"Will they" or "Won't they"?
[The image would be double this time around. They would see, on the left, how a member of the resistance is violently destroyed by the Oni's weapon; how the wall of ice is quickly being shattered; how five Oni are closing in on the remaining pair of adults, and how Raiho is safe and with a clear way to escape. On the right however, it's Yuuka and Kazuya in front of a big and wooden door.]
Yuuka: "It's coming from here. I... somehow didn't feel it when we came last time, and yet, the strong presense is in here."
Kazuya: "Maybe it took Thorman. It's possible it's even posing as him now."
[Yuuka would nod at the idea.]
Yuuka: "Whatever happens, focus. There is no doubt we'll have to fight yet again."
[The teenager would yet again summon a new demon to add to the ones that were already following him: Jack Frost and Pyro Jack. The demon he would call upon was the ever so smug Pixie. After this, the three Fairy demons would brace themselves and stay put. Kazuya turned to the girl besides him, who so fiercely looked at the doorknob in front of them. His expression was still tense but it somewhat relaxed as he gazed at her. She would then turn to him and their eyes would meet in silence. The tension rising, even Pixie was getting a bit sick of it.]
Yuuka: "...what is it?"
[He would then close his eyes and place a hand on the doorknob, just like the girl.]
Kazuya: "...It can wait, let's finish this."
Yuuka: "Yeah, let's."
[Both would push the doors and head inside as the demons await for the signal. Melbourne would appear between both images playing out.]
Don't make them wait.
You have been warned.
It would be sickening to Quintus to some degree wtaching what was almost to be. It seemed their vote did have a direct impact but he was unsure if Yes or No actually has much releveance as to wether it was good or bad. Yes seemed to have a more positive outcome but he knew better than to assume that...still.
"Alright, I'll keep doing what I've been doing. You all can vote for whatever you want. I'm just gonna vote Yes again. I'm sure you saw that coming though right, Melbourne?"
It upset him to some degree to see Tatsuya on the screen like that. He could fill a bit of rage building up but he knew he needed to just let it go.
"Better not die here yet. We're not done yet..."
Watching those hands nearly claim Tot reminds Ene of previous experimentation done to her. She is unwittingly tossed to that time and her limbs shake of their own will. As her head feels light than air and her body less substantial. Breathing becomes difficult too coming in short gasps. The silent pulse of her own heart beat in her ears almost makes her miss what Melbourne says ... almost.
Ene grinds out before having to sit. The world isn't looking too stable for her right now and she struggles to get a reign on her emotions before things really get intense. She is only able to raise a finger in response to Melbourne as her panic gets to her.
Prima felt another chill run along her body. To imply such a thing... it made her sick. Had her mind been less focused, she would have tried to shoot the man right then and there. Was there no limit to what Melbourne could and would do?
“I... I vote yes as well. It seems voting ‘no’ stops whatever action the contestant intends to make.”
It was a shaky conclusion, but she only had two results to go off of. Her answer over with, Prima dropped to one knee beside Ene and gently grabbed the girl’s hand with her own two.
“Ene. Breathe. I know you’re scared, but we’re here for each other. Just try to calm down.”
She spoke quietly as she attempted to reassure the girl. She made sure her grip on the hand was firm - both to anchor the girl emotionally, and to keep Melbourne from dragging her away should her refusal to vote annoy him further.
And the winner is...!
[Melbourne would say this in a very low voice, as if he had been trying to imitate something else. Two "Yes" fight against a single indecisive "Yes/No" with the face of Ene in pixel form. The majority then does indeed beat the boss in a comical manner and at the same time, Ene feels a sudden blow to her face. Something invisible had punched her and whatever that was, it left right away. Melbourne would place both hands and his "nose" against the "glass" that separates them from him.]
What did I say, Takane?
I hope you understand you are playing by my rules, and you WILL play.
If you refuse to do it next time, I am taking it upon myself that your brain shall choose something.
[His tone was calm and his voice strange, and as he stops talking, the "Yes" option is the one that wins in the end, and so, they are able to see what is about to happen to Tatsuya. As the screen at the center of the stage shows, the sudden smoke screen that Tatsuya and Raiho had created is gone at the snap of Melbourne's fingers. And so, the Oni quickly notice the pair. One would grab on to Tatsuya's leg and throw it against a nearby wall, making it crack and certainly making the man pass out. At the same time, they grab on to the Resistance Man who is screaming for dear life. The demons laugh as they pin him up against one of the tall defenses the humans had placed previously. Then, with their giant, both blunt and sharp weapons, they begin to skin him alive. Soon the blades aren't enough, so they use their hands and nails to rip it out. Once it's over, they force one of their muramasa into the ground, using the blade to pike the rest of the skinless body of the man who still remains alive.]
It would indeed appear that these Oni are into modern art.
I remember such human, Vlad the Impaler, who did the same things but on his own.
Some say he became a demon while keeping his human form.
I shall say, perhaps he learned from the Abyss.
Maybe his taste had an involvement in its creation?
[Melbourne would chuckle as the screen this time shows Rowan. En no Ozuno, who had been silent the entire time, would speak.]
"Hey, I know that kid, I saw him at the grocery store one day."
[Although he spoke, it wasn't his voice, but Melbourne's. Regardless, the man in the wall would wait for the group to cast their vote. Rowan didn't seem to be doing much at the moment, he seemed pretty beat, but safe nonetheless.]
C'mon and play~
"Will they" or...?
[He and the audience would say "Won't they".]
Prima forced herself to look away, but still saw just enough to know what was happening. She covered her mouth with her left hand and her whole body shook. Bile threatened to rise up out of her throat. She closed her eyes and gripped Ene’s hand harder with her other hand.
“My vote is... yes...”
What did the context matter? The result was random anyway.
Ene lurches with the blow to her face and hesitantly brings her head up again. Refusing to look at Melbourne she wipes a few pained tears from her face. While holding Prim's hand tighter to feel some support in this situation.
I vote yes.
She simply mimics what Prima said and then falls silent. Not bothering to glance at the screen anymore.
Quintus just would seem...disappointed, as if the results didn't match his expectations. Though, it would be hard to tell if it was because he thought Yes would yield a good result or if he just expected more from Tatsuya.
"What a let down? You gonna let something like that do you in?"
He'd focus on whatever the subject of the next question was. He wasn't too sure who the man was but they seemed oddly familiar.
He'd also take a moment to acknowledge the others votes.
"Seems like everyone gets it now. It's like I've been saying from the beginning. Our answers don't matter. This is all just an excuse for Melbourne to do as they please.
That being said, I'll be voting Yes as usual."
The Spell Punk would flinch and look away. The constant painful images were perhaps getting to it and it was starting to wear at it in the most displeasurable ways. It would fiddle a bit with its own fingers before giving its response though fully knowing it will be as hollow as it comes.
“If were all in the same page then i’ll say yes as well lets just keep going it since the results seems to all be similar.”
It would resume to stay quiet wishing to find some logic or comprehend how this little game plays but it would feel like nothing does it’s just like springing traps and being the front row audience to it. It would grit in disgust from these ideas floating in its head.
What is that atmosphere?
Indeed, you all seem to be falling into despair.
Or perhaps, you are bored.
Or maybe, you desire to go back home.
Or you would indeed rather die in their place.
But we can't have that, everyone must play until their narrative usage is all done. After that, they are allowed to die, and MUST be deleted.
[It was a revolution, as any attempts at keeping any "No" in place was avoided by having tons of "Yes" over run it. The massive "Yes" that holds a katana and points to the screen would reveal Rowan once again with a transition that would fill the screen with demonic "Yes" creatures. He was checking the area, which was surrounded by the corpses of dead demons that went through the Vanguard first. Some would twitch, but in the end, nothing at all would happen.]
It would seem, indeed, that the demons didn't come back to haunt the poor men.
For whatever dies, stays dead.
Good call, good call!
[He would applaud and so would the audience. Finally, the light would be cast upon Raidou, and so the image of him and the truck that would come to pick them up would appear. It would zoom under the vehicle for a second and a single "tic-toc" would fill the area, as well as the mirage of cartoony looking bomb attached.]
Now, we had one person suffering greatly, another still suffering and other two pretty much safe.
According to the rules, you need another person completely safe to gain a prize!
Such prize is for each one of you to ask a single question that will get an honest answer, no tricks at all!
[He would say cheerfully as the time limit screen appears once more. This time around, it is quite simple and easy to understand. The would be able to see a hammer-wielding demon with a golden horned helmet and bright blue eyes. It looked more like a three-meter human being. A Jack Frost and Pyro Jack would attack with barrages of ice and fire to keep it distracted, being able to take the strikes without much issue. He then is hit with a great blast of force sent by a Pixie, which would make him look away the very second Kazuya ran at him and slashed his legs with a katana, exactly the same they had seen the revolutionary "Yes" use. All of them seemed tired, but those expressions would disappear as a magical light surrounds them, a Media sent in by Yuuka. The demon, angry, would bring his hammer down and surround the area with lightning.]
I do wonder why we are not using numbers.
That is indeed very strange and weird.
What do you think, Primarina?
[Melbourne would say as the camera goes back to him and Raidou.]
Prima lets out a sigh when she realizes their choice didn’t harm the unlucky contestant which she now recognized as Rowan. Only Raidou was left. Despite how close the “prize” was, she wasn’t excited. She examined the screen, wondering what Melbourne’s question meant, before everything fell into place.
“I assume you asked me because I’m the only one aware of the events that will follow. Once Kazuya and Yuuka defeat Thor, that demon will activate whatever the ICBMs are and, judging by what I know of our Kazuya, leave the city in ruins. So, our limit is when everything is inevitably destroyed. Is that correct, Melbourne? But as usual, I shall vote ‘yes’ and hope for the best.”
She feels tired for some reason, but she’s still angry enough to speak clearly and firmly.
Ene breathes a sigh of relief upon listening to the outcome, but she still does not look at the screen. Instead relying on the others reactions and words for social cues as to what is happening. Mimicking Prima once again she casts her vote.
I choose yes.
The Spell Punk would tried to listen on Prima’s explanation in both fascination but tempered with confusion. Though the words of a city in ruins maybe says it should not poke to much into that and just play along.
“The bright minds say yes so I shall follow in suit and say yes.”
If this could spare another victim from these grim demises then that would be splendid but fate is not something the Spell Punk has in spares so it just hopes that they all get lucky off what he can only assume are the most blind picks of all.
Mostly right, Primarina, indeed.
But the ICBMs are already on their way, you will see. Once Thor is beaten, only one minute is left until they blow it all away.
That said, you'll see it happen in a few, so look forward to that, my contestants!
[And so, a drumroll would fill the area in expectation of the final result. As "Yes" had won once again, the image would go back to under the truck that everyone had gotten on. The transparent figure they had seen before would turn into a timed bomb with a countdown that started at 30. The seconds would pass as it would seem that they had chosen poorly. People would get on the vehicle, and their voiced would muffle the tic toc of the bomb. 5, the last person would get in it; 4, one man would tell a joke; 3, everyone would find some happiness in that; 2, Raidou look out the truck; 1, Rowan attempts to talk to the Devil Summoner.]
[The bomb does indeed go off, but it does nothing. In fact, it would seem that the device never existed because no one ever knew it exploded, and nothing was affected by it. Indeed, an illusion. The copied participants would all melt in a rather graphic manner that seems extremely fake. Indeed, they were mere copies. The camera would focus solely on Melbourne, who had returned to his usual mouthless appearance. The set has its audience disappear and all that remains is Melbourne in front of a black background.]
Now, your reward.
I had, indeed, much fun. But a game won is a game won, therefore you may ask three questions at most, and none if you have no imagination.
But this is your chance, your only chance. For the time is...
You shall see.
[Indeed, Yuuka and Kazuya, along his demons, defeat Thor. As the demon falls to his knees and even as he weakly drop his hammer, he speaks with weak sparks surrounding him.]
Thor: "...To think I would be defeated by mere humans...but, it is too late. I have already brought my hammer down. Within moments, nuclear warhead-tipped ICBMs will strike Tokyo!"
[Yuuka and Kazuya had lowered their guard, and as the young teenager returned his demons back into storage, but once Thor's words hit them, their heart sank, and their faces darkened.]
Yuuka: "That's a lie..."
[Thor would chuckle weakly as his body is surrounded by light.]
Thor: "Tokyo and the demons will soon be no more... Glory to God and his Thousand Year Kingdom!!"
[Thor would disappear from the room in a ray of light as he keeps his weak chuckle, which resonates across the vast empty spaces of the ruined office. The pair of teenagers quickly rush out the doors and back the way they came from as the rest of Americans quickly panic. The had their sense back but were very aware of what was about to happen. The 15 year old Kazuya and the 17 year old Yuuka had nothing but absolute horror plastered across their faces, in addition to a deep sense of defeat the woman had to shoulder as the leader of the resistance.]
Now you know, so come on.
[The camera would go back to Melbourne who simply waits.]
Prima closed her eyes when the bomb hit zero. However, when Melbourne mentioned the prize, she realized it had just been a terrible prank. She glared at Melbourne and loosened her vice grip on Ene’s hand - didn’t want to accidentally hurt her more.
“Three questions, so we should use them wisely. I do not wish to ask what we will definitely see for ourselves or already know, so...”
She mulled over the thousands of questions in her mind until one finally escaped her lips.
“Who among our allies, if any, will be alive if or when we reach that year of 2022 you are so fixated on? I don’t want to search for something that is not there in the first place.”
(edited by PrimPrim)
Quintus would smile. He wasn't about to pass this opportunity up.
"Alright, though we barely did anything to deserve a reward I'm not about to pass this up. I'll be blunt about what I desire.
How can I destroy the being known as YHVH? I'm not interested in some half-assed answer either. I want to know specifically where to get the power to put an end to them."
The Spell Punk would let out a gasp of relief that their choice wasn't another complete disaster but fixated and recomposed itself in the face of Melbourne.
"It looks like fate is favouring us. I'll take that in bountiful blessed be the spirits at work!"
It would think on the "prize" that Melbourne just offered and stopped to think for a moment. It then brushed aside such greedy or cunning thought brewing in its head remember its own stance on such matters.
"While such a "prize" as you put it calls for such powerful knowledge i'll refrain from asking, one of you can ask another instead, I much dislike dabbling in such eye open predictions and knowledge its done me and my people quite bad so I know to be wary."
Ene let's out a sigh of relief when the bomb does nothing. Not wanting this chance to slip by she asks what has been on her mind the entire time.
Do our actions in any of this really matter or are we just being guided along by you?
Do indeed as you please, Punk.
I cannot force you into anything, simply coerce you. However, if it is your will to refute knowledge and even its temptation, I shall say that it is indeed most interesting and indeed very respectable.
Your kind of one I have not come into contact.
That will change.
[That said, Melbourne would turn to the others who had decided to make questions, and how delightful were they. He without a mouth would smile and his void eyes would have a bit of a spark. First, he would look at Quintus.]
Simply becomes as powerful as you can, Quintus. That is all there is to it, for even a normal man or woman can face off against the one that calls himself God. Despite him wanting an objective best outcome for humanity, he seems to not align with most human's desires, even when both want to achieve an utopia. Indeed, the faces of Law are but many.
However, and to answer your question more thoroughly.
YHVH is a being that exists through an external medium that is separate from that of regular demons, for he exists as long as people believe in such being. He is extremely powerful, yes. But his most terrible capacity is that coming back again and again, no matter how many times he is killed.
In absolute honesty, his existence is directly linked to that, to humanity and its reliance on deities and supernatural creatures to fulfill their desires.
If you indeed desire to kill him, the methods are infinite as long as you simply overpower Him.
If you indeed desire to eliminate him, then you must force all of humanity to stop believing in Him. But, is that really possible?
Then again, it may not be your destiny to defeat Him. We shall see, Quintus.
[He would say as he looked at the Ragnarok Magatama the entire time, rather than at Quintus himself. After this, he would turn to Primarina.]
Do not worry, there shall be next to no one to find once this is over. Soon, you will all be returned to your own world and be able to live happily ever after until you are called again and knowing that over 7 million people lost their lives in a single day. That indeed said, those who remain safe are you, Quintus, Punk and Ene. Tot and Penny are, too, safe.
They are indeed coming into this world thanks to an ancient protector spirit who failed at protecting the city.
Raidou and Rowan are escaping, but Tatsuya, he won't make it. He will be reduced to ashes in a few moments.
[Melbourne would then turn to Ene with a glare that would only last a fraction of a second. Afterwards, he would extend both arms to his side.]
Why indeed yes, yes, they do matter. For all living beings possess some semblance of freedom, they get to choose and change things around them as long as they have the power to decide upon certain events.
That said, and in accordance with the rules, you may also give up such power, just like you did to play this game. Truth of the matter is, that everything all of you did will have a consequence in the future if it indeed did not have it already. You Ene, you could’ve made the Resistance escape far simpler thanks to the bunker, but your clumsiness indirectly led to the intended fate of them all: death and simply escaping the city. Had it not been for Raidou most would’ve died.
Finally, the game you lot played; it was indeed a test. Had none of you gave any vote, then it would’ve stopped right away, however, you allowed yourselves to give up any will and decided to go on even without knowing what was happening, and even AFTER seeing what could happen. It was indeed all random. Will they? Won’t they? It was never a question; it was an illusion of choice.
Ene was the only one who indeed got it by not playing along, and then the rest of you only obeyed my words. Truly, it is human nature, which is indeed entertaining to watch.
[After the questions have been answered, both Tot and Penny would appear on the ground behind them. Soon after, Melbourne would open his melting cavity of a mouth and show his teeth; he was smiling, happy. He would adjust his hat and leave the screen to replace it with Yuuka and Kazuya running inside the Embassy once more. "Let's finish this" he would say before the entire scene played out in silence, with nothing but the voices of the two teenagers.]
Kazuya: "There has to be a bunker somewhere, anything we can use!!! Whatever it is!!!"
Yuuka: "Y-Yes but...!!"
[As opposed to before, Kazuya was now the one running in the lead and going past all the American soldiers and diplomats. All had been taken by despair. Although both teenagers had their faced distorted by fear, Kazuya's eyes were filled with frustration, and Yuuka's filled with sadness.]
Kazuya: "But nothing, we're getting out alive!!!"
[The desperation in his voice would certainly sound off to anyone who knew him personally. After looking around quickly, he would find a small hidden passage that lead to a dark, unknown place in the form of an underground corridor. The door wouldn't budge at first, and so he tried to kick it down; it wouldn't work. Desperate, he would hit it with the rest of his body and even use his sword, the Meito Kotatsu, previously owned by Gotou, to cut it down. But it was no use. The young man would then grab the girl's hand and tried to make a run for it and back to the Embassy's entrance. "They had an underground passage there, so there is still he chance" was his thought process. Yuuka however, looked hesitant somehow. Something was in her mind but was unable to put it into words. She would look at the back of her friend, the one she knew would be with for the rest of her life.]
Yuuka: "At this rate, both of us are going to die!"
[Finally through the door and going down the stairways, the teenager would remain quiet and keep dragging her forward through the underground tunnel in the hopes of finding anything that will help them survive. Kazuya remains silent.]
Yuuka: "At the very least, I should get you out so you don't...!"
Kazuya: "Shut up, we'll make it!!"
[At the end of the tunnel, a sudden light would be waiting for them, right above the last few steps that lead outside and into the night. Taking a few steps forward, Yuuka would forcefully free herself from Kazuya's grip, which had gotten strong enough that it would rip the white robe the girl had been wearing, the side of it which was covering her right arm. He would stop right there and look at the piece of clothing in confusion.]
Yuuka: "There's no time..."
[He would say before turning his head back at her, his eyes getting watery the moment he came to realize what was happening. As the tunnel began the shake with almost no control, it was Yuuka's magic that which had taken his attention fully. At the same time, Kazuya was surrounded by a white light.]
Yuuka: "...Farewell, Kazuya..."
[He jumped the stairs he had gone up in a futile attempt to reach out to her as he yelled out her name, but right before his hand touched her, she was gone. She, too, tried to reach out to him. Soon enough, the girl would be left all alone as the area around her shook even more violently than before, and a horrible howling surrounded the entire place. She would fall to her knees and press her hands against her chest, sobbing with no control, perhaps calling out to anyone, someone to be with her. Though her lips moved, as hard as she begged for her father, her friends, and even Kazuya to please help her, it was no use; the roar of the ICBM was far too strong. Eventually, the tunnel collapsed on her. The group would then see the rest of the city being obliterated by the nuclear weapons. The building collapse, the fire destroys it all, and the only thing to remain as proof that Tokyo once stood tall, was the pale cloud above. Somewhere in the Diamond Realm, a young man's screams of agony could be heard before even his voice was lost.]
Congratulations for surviving.
[Would be the last thing Melbourne said before simply going away. En no Ozuno would wake up from his apparent stasis and look back at the group.]
Ozuno: "Did you all find out what you were looking for? Perhaps it is already time you go back into the world. I must go find a boy who just got here. Perhaps he was also with you all?"
Prima found herself unable to say a word no matter how much emotions Melbourne's words stirred. This was all a game to him. It had been from the start. It wasn't his fault the disaster happened, but to have all that power and not care, and even chide someone for a mistake they never knew they made like that...
When Melbourne finally vanished, the gun she had just raised was pointed at empty air. With him gone, her anger crashed to the ground along with her weapon. Falling tears blurred the diamond room. Tatsuya was dead and many more. They'd done some work to help, but this was how it was meant to be. How this world was meant to go. She'd been in denial but now it was staring her in the face.
After a while - maybe a minute, maybe more, she didn't care - she finally let go of Ene's hand to wipe her tears away and picked up her gun again. Prima stood up and nodded to En no Ozuno.
"You... can say that. I think we're done here. Kazu- er, that boy wasn't with us. But take care of him, please."
Quintus would just stare forward for a moment. He needed a moment to process everything.
The method to kill YHVH...Tatsuya's death...
He already knew there was no stopping the bombs but he didn't believe that would be enough to put out that man's fire.
He was filled with disappointment, anger, and grief but also there was another feeling stirring inside. That feeling would start out small but gradually overtake him completely.
His frown would turn to a smile as he held back his tears. He felt free, like nothing more could hold him back anymore.
"I see...so that's how it is. No reason to hold anything back anymore then."
He wanted to laugh, like this was all just some sick joke but he wouldn't delude himself anymore. He looked over to Ozuno, the blue of his eyes nos surrounded by a red glow.
"Yeah, I found what I was looking for now. Perhaps I didn't know it but I've received something truly special through all of this.
I think it is about time for me to leave. Say hello to Kazuya for me not that he knows who I am yet."
Tot watches the little show silently, letting the moment pass. It was never fun to watch people die, but she didn’t want to let it bother her. Especially looking around the room. At first glance it seemed like her, Penny, and Punk were in the best shape. Followed by the guy who looked kinda pale.
So Tot starts by getting closer to Prima and Ene, getting between them and putting an arm around each of their shoulders
“Hey now, looks like the gang’s back together huh?”
Like normal her tone is cheery and carefree, a contrast with the somber tone of the room
“Whaddya say I treat you girls? We ought to celebrate our mission success!”
The sudden weight on her shoulders surprises Prima, but it's... comforting. She gives Tot a small smile.
"Well I... perhaps we should wait till... nevermind. It would be rude of me to refuse."
It still feels like something is stabbing her chest from the inside, but at the same time, Tot's cheerful words remind her that it's over for now. She doesn't know where to go from here, or what to tell Raidou and Rowan, or how she could possibly go through Melbourne's machinations again...
But she's not alone, and she's safe. They'd survived, despite everything.
Yeah lets go treat ourselves. Some of us deserve it ...
Ene mechanically says this as tears slowly crawl down her face. She could try to wipe them away with one sleeved arm, but her body feels too numb for it. So she just frowns and observes everyone else. She knew from the start that maybe she messed up or did something bad. To gather such hatred from someone she has barely even met. Though now she knew that she had every right to be hated. She tries to be good for once only to yet again lead people to a fatal demise. Truly she had to be cursed or evil at heart.
Actually I'll just stay here and mind my own business. K so go on without me. Treat yourselves~
She forces a jovial tone and holds it long enough until she can sit down in some dark corner by herself.
Penny woke up tired, rubbing her eyes with one arm while holding her bear in the other. She watched the little show that befolded quietly, moreso focused on how she should be as of now instead of the people that are dying on screen. Then again, now that she has been...repaired, the girl actually felt bad.
"...Penny's still confused."
She went up to a random person nearby, that person being Tot, and tugged on her shirt. All the while her bear stares at all these people trying to actually remember who they were since Penny probably was struggling a bit with it.
"Miss, are we finally leaving?"
“See, It wasn’t that hard was it?”
Though Prima wasn’t really cheered up yet, Tot didn’t really expect more than a chance to hang out with them a bit, so she’d give Primarina a big smile and pat them on the back a bit.
Unlike her other target who seemed to be resisting. Tot would wipe away one of Ene’s nearest tears herself, still holding on to the other girl
“Come on now, just gotta convince Penny to come along too and we can have a real girl’s night out. Gotta be better than sulking in your room dontcha think?”
Soon enough Tot feels a tug. Right on schedule it seemed, Tot would nod to the kid
“Glad to see ya made it kid. Just gotta get the grumpy little miss to come along with us and we’ll be home free!”
(edited by Tot_Pop)
While the girl would usually just be happy for the sake of being happy, now seeing how the one Tot was talking about was feeling down made Penny herself want to cheer her up...like she ever could. But uh, there can be attempts. Penny gives Tot a nod and pretends she knows what's going on.
"I can come too? Yay! Ok, Penny's on it. And Mr. Bear's coming with me too."
She looked over to Ene and gave the girl a smile, but her eyes had a flash of empathy instead of being void like they usually were. The fact that the girl didn't speak to herself in first person in a while was a bit suspicious, but most likely not important.
"C'mon, miss. We did it! Penny doesn't know what we did, but we did it!"
Raidou's eyes snapped open as the scenery around him shifted in the blink of an eye. The faces of the men who helped him, the feeling of dread that shrouded the atmosphere, the shady man in the hat, all of it rushed into his mind as he realized what had happened. Tatsuya's clear absence among everyone else was...also there. Raidou clenched his fist, and slammed it into the reflective ground. He'd felt this sensation before, this particular air that managed to feel both fresh and stale at the same time. He knew where he was; The Diamond Realm.
Damnit! No, no, send me back, damn you!
He had failed in saving Ryuko, he had failed in surviving with Tatsuya, and now the responsibility of helping his men cope had been robbed from him too. All Raidou could truly think about was rage. At his own inability, at his situation, and at so much more. Gouto didn't even have anything to say to console Raidou this time, the man speaking was a rarity itself, better to let him vent here and now.
(edited by Raidou Kuzunoha)
The Spell Puni would be most quite as it process what was told to it and felt a bit threaten by Melbourne’s words but that was just it. It would turn its attention to Ozuno first to address him.
“I did not find much but it seems I learned mismatched fragments just not enough. Regardless it seems that i’m done here I rather not tamper with any more knowledge or power beyond my scope.”
It would look at the others gathered here and just give them all space to do as they please. It needed some itself it was rather perplexed with this whole experience and needed a moment to collect its thoughts in silence.
En no Ozuno: "Indeed, there is something strange with the boy that just arrived. Whatever it is that you all mean with your words, the exit is right behind me. For now, I depart. I wish you all the best."
[Indeed, a door would appear behind En no Ozuno and it would open itself, giving way into a white light that makes it impossible to see through. The man would instead take the way to his left and simply walk right through the door that may have always been there, in search for the young Kazuya.]
En no Ozuno: "Could this be fate? Or perhaps..."
[The man would mutter to himself. If anyone were to cross the white light, they would find themselves in the exact positions they were in right before being taken back to 1992. In fact, mere seconds had passed back in their world. They would also find that everything they had gotten would disappear, including their equipment and the return of the full power they normally possess. The only exception to the rule of not keeping anything, would be Raidou and Prima with the Murakumo and Tundra Seal respectively. For a quick moment, they would even see the image of Tatsuya standing right there where he used to, only for him to suddenly drop on the floor and vanish into the air. As expected, Melbourne was there too.]
You survived; did you enjoy this game? I'm certain that a look into Kazuya's past was educational.
You should know that such state is the real destiny of the world, or it was, before something made it change at some point, creating all sorts of conclusions at once.
Indeed, a great intro.
Do not worry though, those who got special items shall get them permanently... at the end.
The Warlock's Gauntlet, the Ragnarok Magatama, Mumler's Photography and the Espada shall return once you do so as well.
[The mouthless man would cross his arms and just sit there motionlessly with both eyes closed, quite pleased.]
How would you rate this experience?
Prima bid farewell to where En no Ozuno had been and crossed the light into the present day. She had never been so relieved to be in this place. What she was about to say fell victim to silence as she stared at where Tatsuya's image had been. Only she and Raidou were left of the original trio, and... she had never seen Raidou break down like that. He'd always been stoic yet fierce even under pressure. She couldn't blame him, though. Half of them weren't much better right now.
She finally turns to address Melbourne.
"How I would rate it? Let me see... How would a human say it..."
Prima smiled and bowed to the man.
"Tell the Devil I said hello when you return home, Mr. Melbourne. Now, Tot, where will we be going...?"
She looked around for the girl. If she wasn't out soon, then the blue-haired woman would wait after taking a few steps away from the "gentleman" who had started the whole adventure.
Wiping the tears from his cheeks, Rowan faces Melbourne and stares him dead in the eyes.
"My guess is no one's ever loved you before."
An oppressive heat wave builds up in Rowan's soul, strong enough to melt the very land itself. The energy contained in his body begins to raise to nuclear levels, emitting a heat impossible for an ordinary human to live through. After continuing like this for a few minutes, the energy spike nearby wanes as Rowan drops to his knees.
"Why.... why do I, of all people, have to live?"
Ene crosses the light in a hurry and it is only when she sees different scenery that she seems to focus again. Though her current state of mind is a while other story. A mix of wanting to get this over with and wanting to stay in one place and sob. Though she feared that she had cried enough already to induce a headache.
"10 out of 10 would never want to do again."
Is all she mutters in reponse to Melbourne.
Raidou walked through the light almost as-if he were a zombie. His eyes almost gave the impression that he had died somewhere within that other time. It was only upon hearing Melbourne's words and seeing Tatsuya for just that brief moment before he faded away that he'd snap out of it. The man he'd endlessly respected as his senior and equal was just...gone. He didn't even leave behind a corpse. Raidou's temper quickly rose, but he kept his anger in check this time and allowed the always even-tempered Gouto to speak.
"What, you're taking a survey now? You seem quite pleased with yourself, for sure; I'd wager you're the only one here who's so happy right now. Mysteries such as yours are what we live for, so bring on your next trial whenever you want. We'll take you on."
Raidou nodded. The experience was hellish, but he still had something to do there. Revenge; for Ryoko and Tatsuya alike. He was more motivated than ever. After Gouto's statement, Raidou put a gentle hand on Rowan's shoulder.
You living is a sign that Tatsuya isn't gone for nothing. He chose you, my friend. He gave you Espada and the chance to survive, don't put it to waste. Don't let his memory fade away, please.
With that Raidou stood, and threw his long cloak behind him as he turned away from the group with a look of grim determination evident on his face.
I'll never let his flame go out.
Spell Punk would cross through the blinding light a bit painful for the eyes but it manages and makes it through. It needed some time to readjust quite some time but it recomposes and listens in on Melbourne's words and gives a dry response.
"A experience I most certainly and neither do the wander spirits near me wish to experience, quite familiar yet all the more awful."
It would turn away and needed some time to just slowly think and whisper to itself now whatever nonsense was still circulating in its head.
"Oh, hey, wait up!"
Tot runs out after Ene and Primarina, as she crosses through the light her outfit changes back to her usual striped shirt marked with a leather ribbon. This time she'd give the other girls some space, looking back at Melbourne their host.
"Overall I'd give it about a 6 out of ten. Not having my guitar was actually a pretty cool exercise. Could've used less demons though."
With her guitar back, Tot'd toss it up in the air a bit before easily catching it just to make sure she's all back to normal. After which she'd at least look to her friends, Prim and Penny if she heads out.
"I found a pretty cool sushi place down the road a bit if you wanna check it out. Shouldn't be too busy this time of day and we probably won't get too many weird looks either."
"I'm not gonna stay, y'know."
The girl said as she heads out the light, her gear (mainly just the jacket and the helmet) disappearing so that her regular white dress could be shown to all. Looking back at her host, she merely counts a random number on her fingers and holds them up. It shows to be one.
"Hmmm...this many. Wasn't too excited. Couldn't make more things go boom like I wanted to."
Penny follows Tot, running up to her as she holds her teddy bear in delight...which also stares at her with it's blue button eyes as soon as she mentions how they won't "get too many weird looks". Penny crossed her arms and huffed, playfully at least.
"Penny doesn't wanna put Mr. Bugbear away...but either way, Penny wants to go too!"
It shall come, it shall come indeed
[Melbourne would say before leaving a notebook on top of the chair he was sitting on. After this, he would simply disappear from sight, like he was never there to begin with. The last thing that would remain is the notebook with its front labeled "The Pale Cloud Above".]
=== END ===