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Kichijouji: [A Learning Experience at Inokashira]
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[Kazuya had put some kind of announcement online for this. His students were currently getting something of a break; they had been fighting hard after all. In fact, he was even considering training them properly in the way of Demon Summoning. It wasn't hard, he had given them some tips, hidden at least, about how to negotiate with them. Either way, he would accept anyone here. The announcement itself called for anyone who wanted to understand the ways of battle, understand themselves better through it, and to learn about the world as a whole, because this one was just one weird thing after another.] "I wonder who will show up..." [He would keep looking at his COMP as he waited, just lying on the grass. He was in front of this kind of abandoned shrine that gave off a strange feel to it, and on its entrance, there was this big TV screen without a single plug even.] "I'll know if they really are in for it. If they do seem ready fast enough, I suppose I can take them inside the TV World for a change." [He just had that feeling, at least.]
{The girl stares blankly at her phone, scrolling through a multitude of apps in the span of 5 seconds, as if she were skimming at the speed of light. During this time, she immediately thinks of her friend, but instead of going to her messages when finding nothing interesting, she stumbles upon the announcement online.} "Oh boy, an announcement from my mentor. I wonder what it will be." {Shihiro says, packing her things inside a backpack and texting her friends goodbye, leaving a sticky note on her door before locking it and leaving her place. If she felt adventurous, she might have even gone through the window, but that probably takes too much effort. Shihiro advances towards the shrine with a slow trek, not even bothering to look where she's going as she seems very busy on her phone.} {Overhearing Kazuya speak about a TV World piques her interest, and she walks in carelessly to make her presence known, setting her bag down outside and looking at the man with a blank stare, speaking relatively confused as she tilts her head to the side.} "What is a TV World? Is that a store?"
Another girl peeks from around the edge of one of the park's trees, uncertain as to if she should go or even why she was here. After all, she'd promised, several times, not to get involved. Yet at the same time it doesn't sit right with them either. For now, Sen decides to wait, watching from the edge of sight
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"Shihiro? I thought I told you you were supposed to take a rest." [He would sigh. It's not like he wasn't expecting one of the people he teaches not to show up, after all he did write it in a very specific way.] "The TV World is tied to the Collective Unconsious we all humans share. I'm not sure if I've mentioned a Persona before, but anyone with one can access it...well, and those who don't have it but wander into it can potentially get one." [He would stand up and crack his own neck. Under the light, his calm, grey eyes and preference over the color green and grey was all too obvious.] "You know this already, but I'm looking to teach others again. But this time... I may actually focus on those crazy enough to gain a Persona and fight shadows. Those seem more common than demons after all."
"Really now? Think they're ready?" A young man somewhere in his twenties would step up to the shrine, a sheathed katana at his side and an outfit reminiscent of a school uniform. He'd look at Kazuya with a bit of aprehension. "What this about using the TV world? You could have at least called me first if you're going to try something like that."
*Briar walks into the area with a yawn, looking half asleep. Mare had told her coming to this place would be a good idea. A fun challenge. She knew he just wanted to have some fun, but she really just hoped this place would be a nice place to get some sleep. Seeing as the place in question was a field, she started to get her hopes up.* 'ello... 'm not asleep... *Inside her head, the demon possessing her would sigh, inaudible to all but his host.* Mare: Smooth as usual.
"Rest? Aw, don't worry about it, I sleep with my eyes open. It's fine." {Half a lie, she's consistently spent half a week on her phone all night. Kazuya really doesn't need to know about that though. It's not like the girl doesn't sleep. She gets to look at the alarm clock all night whenever her body does shut down.} "Oh, so it's like one of the easier ways to get a Persona? Yea, you did mention one of them before. Even took a photo of it back in Leblanc." {She swipes all her previous fifty apps away in a matter of milliseconds and goes to her photos, showing off the picture that she took of Kazuya as he summoned his persona inside. It was only for a period of time before the girl couldn't help herself but to go back to looking at the phone screen.} "Hearing about this TV World really makes me want to waltz in there myself and see what's cooking up in that place. What would someone like me even get? It's kind of cool to think about, you know?"
Sen's ears perk up at the mention of demons.. "It shouldn't be a surprise they've heard of them." The girl scolds herself. This was supposed to be normal. Or the new normal. The girl emerges from her hiding spot among the trees, only to second-guess herself when more people arrive. There seemed to be a fair crowd gathered anyways. They would probably be filled. Or was that simply an excuse too?
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"Yu? I was thinking more about fighting shadows rather than forcing them to get a Persona." [Kazuya would be surprised to see Yu of all people there, almost like the TV World just called for him. He would rub the back of his while laughing.] "B-Besides! Demons are not as common, that's all. I just... I wanted to try out this extension to the style I created. By calling out to people with at least some experience or interest in the weird shenanigans we face." [He had hoped his awkward explanation would work. At least to some degree.] "Anyways, if any of their personal shadow appears, we're leaving. I'm not letting anyone deal with it just out of nowhere, it's too dangerous and personal." [He would then notice the black haired girl trying to approach only to turn back. He... knew right away, at least.] "Heeeeey! You behind the trees! You don't need to be scared if you wanna join here!" [Truth is, he was just trying to be nice.]
Having been called out, Sen has no choice but to at least step forward. It was a strange situation for her and she'd hate to be the center of attention at a time like this. Still, the girl keeps a straight face, taking a deep breath before introducing herself "Um.. Hi.. I saw your ad.. Earlier. I'm Sen Megumiba, daughter of Seishiro Megumiba, a public prosecutor." The girl somewhat awkwardly tugs at her right sleeve as she continues "Anyways, I saw your ad and was.. I thought I could at least watch, if nothing else. If you don't mind that is." Sen quickly adds that last part, glancing around at the others gathered here. Most of them seemed to be friends already, so there was no need to ruin whatever they had going anyways.
Yu would sigh in relief not really knowing what else to say to that. "Then I guess I'll just stay out of the way. If things get too hectic though I can lend a hand. I'll be around, don't really have much else to do today."
*Briar waves at the girl in black lazily.* 'ello. 'm still not... sleeping... Mare: Shouldn't you tell 'em you're actual name? Be polite or whateva 'm also Briar. Mare: That's... good enough I guess. Leave me... 'lone. 'm trying...
{Shihiro nods to herself, texting on her phone at many miles per hour in order to keep notes engraved in her memory that she may or may not forget to read and trash later. When met with Yu, something in her tells the girl to put the phone away, as she stared at the new arrival with dull eyes and a friendly smile.} "Oh hey, thanks for seeing over us...Yu Narukami, right? I've heard of you before." {Speaking of writing down notes, she takes note of Sen, who seemed a bit nervous. As if this was not a normal environment for the girl. Shihiro would almost try to talk to her, if not for her perking up the slightest bit when Kazuya mentions fighting demons. The girl blitzes to the bag she came with outside, and arrives back with an axe and a crossbow.} "I usually fight demons, but it could probably feel exciting if I whack them myself. Though, what's a personal shadow?...is that like, food for thought? Or our shadows on the ground."
"Nice to meet you Briar." Sen looks over at Briar with some concern. She hadn't expected so little reaction, but it was also nice for her skulking not to be brought up, so Sen silently thanks whatever god there might be. It wouldn't be long until Shihiro runs out, prompting a cautious remark "She sure seems... Eager..." Sen's expression softens a little as she considers why exactly she came here in the first place.
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"If you saw the ad, then you're at the right place. It's okay if you want to watch only, but if you do have any weird ability, you should be ready for anything." [He would smile at Sen, calmly. There was no reason to believe anyone would be dumb enough to come to such a place without at least a single bit of preparation for it all. He would point at himself.] "My name is Kazuya Yasuo, and I'm 23. I teach the Seven Heavens in One style of sword fighting around Kichijouji. This girl is Shihiro, a student of mine, and the man there is Yu Narukami, a friend of mine, and a bigger expert of what we plan to do here." [He would then smile at Briar and even bow.] "It's nice to meet you both." [Kazuya would clear his throat, and then look at Yu, almost as if he had done that out of some small sense of nervousness. After all, Yu was the actual Shadow expert, meanwhile he was an expert when it came to demons.] "A Personal Shadow... I guess is the best way to describe something we all have. Our beings is made up of many parts, and that which we cannot bring ourselves to accept... that is our Shadow. Within the TV World, your own Shadow may manifest itself and try to kill you, wanting to be accepted by you. Failing to do that will only make them aggressive and try to attack you." [He would cross his arms thinking what else to add.] "I've fought my own and gotten a Persona as a result, but I think I may be missing details... what do you think, Yu? You've dealt with tons of these. I'm sure I'm missing something."
Persona? Shadow? *Briar tilts her head in confusion* Mare: Don't worry 'bout that. Ya don't need one of those things. Ya got me. Oh. OK. *Briar nods sleepily, seemingly accempting the explanation given.*
"Yep, Shihiro is me. Tamashi Shihiro at least. Now that I think about it, my friends always tell me to use the codename "Shujinko" but I already said my full name out loud so I think I'm in the clear." {The girl says, listening and nodding her head to every statement that Kazuya makes. Learning is always fun when not in school, and even though this is kind of school, it's still fun either way. She was about to take the information for what it is until her mind catches what slipped past her before.} "Wait, Kazuya you teach the Seven Heavens in One swordfighting style?...Wow, I might not need this axe anymore. I even copped this from...nevermind, I don't actually remember." {Shihiro looks at the axe, rotating it from left to right, and noticing a shiny gleam as she stared at herself in the reflection. She whistled, she put it off to the side and looked up to Yu as if she expected something. Kazuya did ask him whether he missed anything, and extra details are always nice.}
Yu would ponder for a second but at the end of the day he would come up short. It wasn't as if he had much to add that couldn't already have been observed by meeting one. "Not that I can think of. Shadows that come directly from people are as dangerous as they come. I never really had to face one of my own but I remember fighting all my friends. Each battle was pretty intense. Though it is worth mentioning that if you can't come to accept your shadow beating them down enough will still at least drive them away. Oh and, don't go getting overconfident because we've explained it. It's very likely that if you listen to them long enough your guaranteed to disagree with them at some point. Nobody knows how to make you more angry than you."
"Oh? I don't think I've heard of that style before. Did you make it yourself?" Sen raises an eyebrow as she asks. It would be good to know about some fighting styles, just in case, and this didn't seem like something she'd get much of online. That and a master was offering lessons so it was worth asking at least. Though it is somewhat confusing for his student to know nothing about it, Sen decides not to push the issue, instead, she waits for Yu to finish speaking to add. "So you could say they're giving you a trial? Or something like that. I suppose it makes sense that something like a Persona that wouldn't come free.." The girl nervously tugs at her right sleeve again as she looks between her elders
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"I was always more experienced when fighting with sword, but back then... I did have to use plenty of weapons to get around. Nunchaku, Knives, Daggers, Lances, Chainsaws, Pistols, Shotguns, Miniguns... even a Rail gun, but I don't think this timeline ever developed that one..." [He would laugh while scratching his right cheek.] "I can in theory teach you anything, but sword is my specialty, the Kuzunoha clan and many demons taught me a lot about it. And... wait, did you NOT know the name of the style, how did you miss that...?" [Kazuya would then nod at Yu as a sign of gratitude before turning to Sen again.] "Yes, this style is one I developed on my own based on my experience. It's mainly centered around fighting other people with a sword, but specially to fend of demons of all types. You could say this one has many different disciplines to it, because brute strength alone is not enough." [He would turn his back to the group as he faced the TV screen.] "Shadows, although similar, tend to be a bit more feral, and you can't exactly strike up a conversation with them from the get-go. Even so, they are not as dangerous as real demons, as they are more predictable. This is the perfect place to train and test others. That is.... if you are ready for it." [He would turn back to face them all, except Yu.] "In this world, as there are benevolent gods and malicious demons on the outside, many of them too live deep within our soul. You could argue they are one and the same in essence; as human as us all. What I'm saying is... to choose to take this path, it means to never be able to look back and give up, but to always push onwards in the name of what you believe in. No matter what happens and... without any regrets." [He seemed to be waiting on their reply before anything.]
This description of Shadows actually somewhat reminded Sen of something else... Unfortunately that wasn't likely to help now, so the girl simply looks up to Kazuya. Right.. To always push onwards in the name of what you believe in. That was the only reason to fight after all. Though the girl doesn't have any weapons on her, she seems more confident as she nods to their mentor "Right, I can't just close my eyes and look away. I want to be able to uphold my justice." Its as if a bit of a weight is lifted off her shoulders. Though it doesn't solve any of their practical problems, it was enough to get Sen to stop doubting herself. Still... If they were going to do this. The girl scratches the back of her head before mentioning "Um... While I do have a little experience with demons, I don't... Really think it'll help here.. Do you have anything I can use to not be dead weight, at the very least?"
{Shihiro's dreary eyes would go from half closed and relaxed to fully open with each weapon Kazuya listed that he had experience with. When she looks at her axe, she starts to put her hand up to her chin before nodding and rested on her axe, butt part first as the sharp part meets the ground. Hopefully the abandoned shrine does not mind this as she sets the crossbow down on the ground as well.} "Well, I must've spaced out for a split-second when you mentioned it, but I know about it now. Since you call it "Seven Heavens in One", I bet that means I could use a heavier sword that I should probably use with both hands. It's still one sword, after all." {The girl says, now picking up her crossbow and slinging the axe over her shoulder, hopefully to successfully relay the message that she probably would not wield the heavy sword with both hands. Wherever she would get her hands on a sword like that anyway she probably will not use it as intended. Shihiro stares at the TV screen before staring blankly back at the group, pointing the sharp point of her axe at the TV and smiling as she speaks.} "So this TV World is obviously entered by TV. Wonder that means I can Blue's Clues my way in and immediately see these shadows you speak of. If they're not one for talking, that's fine I guess. Weapons are funner than words, and I assume that these aren't much for negotiation unless they want to turn into demons I can use." {When Shihiro hears of Sen wanting to come with them, she smirks, and it almost felt truly genuine. If only her eyes didn't always seem like dim husks that only serve as negligible windows to the girl's soul. She takes her phone out and whispers to Kazuya as she shows him the phone screen where she hovers over one of her demons.} "She reminds me a bit of me, that's always nice. Think we should spare her one of our demons to protect her or weapons? If it's weapons, I got nothing lol. I have spare Swords of Kusanagis that are very susceptible to breaking and are only ornament swords used to power level my demon's level."
Mare: That's true. We real demons are far better than a bunch of walking emotions. Fascinating. Let's just... *Briar lets out a small yawn.* ... Do whatever. 'm ready. Mare: Oh You sound ready. To sleep that is. It's what I'm best at. I enjoy it. Mare: Whateva ya say, Briar. You keep dreamin and I'll keep usin ya to stay strong. I'll defend ya from whatever is in there in return, of course. *Briar nodded, looking ready to fall asleep.*
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[Kazuya would smile at Sen's own resolve. Of course, his own words were loaded in many different emotions; what he meant was a bit more extreme, but his timeline, as opposed to this one, had to deal with things these kids will hopefully never have to see. He was about to speak, but Shihiro does bring up a few options. He would think this over, while he had training swords, he could NOT give her a demon, they were too strong.] "Actually, I do have a few things stored up... you'll just have to give me a second with this." [He wasn't lying, but he realized he left all the important weaponry back at his own place, and it would take too long to go there. Even so, there was one last thing he could do. He would look through his COMP quickly and immediately summon a demon. This one was like a short young man belonging to royalty, that with his red clothes and even a crown. Even so, he had butterfly wings. The demon Oberon would appear.] Oberon: "What is this about, Master? Are we not in battle?" "No, I just need your rapier for the moment. If that's okay with you." [Oberon would look confused for a moment until he pointed at the black haired girl. He would then to face Shihiro and immediately understand. He would close both eyes and smile slightly, his expression barely changing as he offers Sen his rapier, still in its scabbard.] Oberon: "Make sure you do not leave any scratch, miss. I shall be keeping a close eye." [As that happens, Kazuya would walk over to the screen, pushing his hand right through, creating ripples on the screen, like it had turned into water.] Kazuya: "When you're ready just walk into this, I'll keep the gate open."
Sen's eyes widen in surprise, having never seen a demon summoning take place, and honestly having assumed it would be a lot... Trickier, than that. But she also knew enough that she shouldn't be surprised at this point. Its just something she's having to get used to. Sen nods to Oberon as she accepts the weapon "Know that I'll guard it as if it were my very life." which in a way it was, at least it was the only way she'd be remotely useful this first time delving into the television. Sen already had some idea of what it would be like, but it still takes her a moment to gather her courage. "Well, here goes nothing..." and finally step inside.
"Thanks Kazuya. I forgot we could do that with our demons." {The girl gazes at Oberon feeling slightly curious. Simply seeing him out and about makes her want to summon her own. Yet she shakes her head and ignores it for now, just holding the axe closer to her as she looks at the TV screen just waiting for her to jump in. As she speaks, she taps on the ground with her boot.} "Hooray, we've readied up. Come on boys, where are we dropping?" {After being enthusiastic, she gestures for anyone else to come follow, well if there were any. Even if there were or not, she laughs a little, not changing her expression at all, and jumps in after Sen.} "Wait for me, shadows. I need some exp."
*Rubbing her eyes sleepily, Brair follows the others in. She starts falling asleep as she falls in. In her head, Mare laughs* Mare: Eh hee hee. This is gonna be fun
A little girl with golden brown hair climbed at the top of a tree just within eyesight of the group of supernatural fighters. As she did, a briliant ray of sunlight shoots across the park, blinding anyone who looked at it without protection and causing light damage to their skin, enough for them to feel it and hot enough to make them sweat. She giggles, sitting on a tree branch facing the party. "Hey!" Her gentle voice bellows through the air, directed towards Kazuya. Suddenly, she fades from sight with the light still present, intensifying at the party's vicinity. She then reappears right in front of the TV, taking a step towards it. "Are you guys playing some sort of game? Can I play too?" She giggles cheerfully at Kazuya.
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"Playing...? Wha-? .....*sigh* I'm going ahead, you of all people should be able to move around this thing with ease. I'll stay near them, some join whenever. See you, Yu!" [He would jump in immediately as the last person moves into the TV. So then, the TV World of Tokyo becomes their new surrounding area. There was no fog to see, but a single metal platform with a black and white bullseye painted on it. From here, they could overlook a pale cityscape with exaggerated shapes. A bizarro Tokyo would await them the moment they decided to enter the elevator. It had no color, and barely any shadows, like it was completely illuminated at the moment.] "This is the TV World. Its shape changes and how big it is, I don't know. However, the biggest factor of change is it picking someone with a particularly powerful shadow. Once it does that, new areas are created, born from the heart of the individual." [He would cross his arms and look down at the city.] "Yu told me one of his friends had this castle "dungeon" of sorts, and her shadow was dressed as this... over the top princess looking for her prince charming." [He would laugh before walking towards the elevator that would lower them into the unknown. He wasn't exactly sure how this world would behave today. They may be able to notice the previously blank buildings would turn darker, and even the skyline would turn into some kind of black and reddish pattern.]
The TV world was entirely different from anything she'd seen before, and seemed... Eerier, in a way. The girl shivers as she looks around it, only to have Kazuya catch her attention once more. "It just keeps expanding then, an infinite maze linking people together." Sen keeps Oberon's rapier close to her as she follows Kazuya into the elevator. Though she understands the older person's attempt at levity, Sen's somewhat distracted, steeling herself for the monsters that are still to come and whispering to herself. "This is nothing. You can handle this Sen."
*Briar takes a few steps forwards, looking around. Her eyes are closed and her soft breathing could make someone mistaken her for asleep. However, from her actions, she would seem to be even more awake then when she was on the outside world. Unbeknown to the others, Briar had fallen asleep mid journey. Her body was now being pupeteered by the Demon Mare. * Briar/Mare: So this is da shadow realm, huh? Expected to be... I dunno? Bleaker? *Briar/Mare looks over their shoulder at Kazuya .* So then. What the game plan?
The sun loli rushes headlong into the portal along with Kazuya. Once in the unfamiliar world, she approaches Kazuya in the elevator and grabs his right arm, gently pulling it towards her. "My name's Asami, by the way." She then takes in her surroundings, being awe-struck at the warped skyline. "This place looks really cool... it's like some kind of fantasy world!"
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"Plan's to go down and find some weak shadows so you kids can have your fun. I will be watching closely what you do and make sure you don't get in too much danger. Oh, and my name is Kazuya Yasuo, little miss. Don't run off too far away from the group, no matter what. As it is a fantasy world, it's bound to have a few monsters." [He would press the button that would take them to the very bottom. The doors would close, and so the elevator would slowly move down.] "If it makes you feel better Sen, you should think about your friends and those important to you right before fighting. It helps you stay determined." [As the elevator descends, the previously void area under the initial platform would gain a few cells, and upside down corridors with shadowy figures walking them, failing to conform to the laws of gravity. Some would seem to be in pain as they held their head, trying to stop it from continuing their unnatural shaking. The extreme light would dim with the sky fully becoming a pattern or red and black stripes moving from one end of the world to the other one. The descent would become eternal, until it finally ends. They reach an ample, industrial corridor with steam pipes running through the walls at random. Unable to see the sky, at best, they can see a pair of floating figures in the distance.] "I think that's it, those are shadow. They don't look strong but... don't lower your guard. Sen, as long as it's weak, you'll fight alone before anyone else." [Kazuya would smile at her, trusting she can handle it. At this time, only one floating figure would remain there, now slowly approaching them without realizing they were there. It was this floating spherical creature with massive lips and teeth, having their massive tongue hanging to the side. It was also covered in black and pink stripes. A Slipping Hablerie.] "You'll be fine, anything happens... Oberon and I will get in the way before you realize something went wrong."
{Shihiro peeks out before rushing to follow Kazuya, almost dragging the axe across the ground. Though this was all practically new territory for her, the girl seems to treat this environment as normal and looks back at Kazuya.} "This will probably be a great place to swing an axe around. I kind of wish I knew magic." {To pass the time, she takes out the phone she know she's going to have to pocket later on and scrolls through to her hearts content.} "Say, Kazuya, have you ever had any opportunities to learn magic? I wonder how beneficial it could be."
“Right, keep an eye on my goal but don’t let it distract me from the enemy ahead. Got it.” Sen crosses her arms, carelessly repeating advice she’d been told dozens of times before. The girl calmly steps forward out of the elevator, focusing on the shadow. It was strange, but if nothing else she could approach it professionally, taking a few calm steps forward, always remaining on her toes to more easily change direction “Understood. I’ll eliminate this one in a flash.” When Sen compares it to her own experience, the shadow doesn’t seem that scary, so the girl calmly steps towards the shadow, before making a sudden lungs to pierce into its mouth. In a fight, the girl returns to her usual calm, hoping to take the opportunity to switch directions and gain a little distance after striking her foe.
Asami opens her mouth for a second, holding a finger to her chin before moving her mouth again. "Ah, so I can call you Kazzie, too?" She smiles. Hearing Shihiro's comments, she then raises her hand excitedly. "Ooh, ooh, i can do magic! I'm really powerful, too!" She then stares in amazement upon Sen's display of skill as she battles the shadow. "Woah... can I go next? Please!"
*Briar/Mare stays at the back of the group.* Good plan. I'll hang here until you give us the go ahead though. Hate to step on anyones toes. *The Girl/Demon hybrid chuckles as if making a bad joke. Maybe they did and you just didn't get it.*
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"I tried to learn offensive magic, even supportive, but for whatever reason, my body could not conjure it up. Adepts would tell me I could probably use Dyne level skills, but it seemed like my body just... refused. But you can use it to enhance your physical attacks. It helps me strike harder and faster while also having different effects." [He would smirk at Shihiro.] "If you get good enough, Yoshiko and I will teach you a few unique skills." [The Slipping Hablerie would be easily pierced by the sudden attack, not expecting nor noticing a single human up until now. The strike was effective, but the Shadow was still alive, it wanted to attack, but it would take a moment to find Sen again, who had taken the opportunity to gain some distance. Kazuya would notice that she obviously knew how to fight, he wouldn't need to interfere. The Shadow would finally focus on the girl and would make a strange noise before rushing at her, attacking her with its tongue. Although it would hurt, it would barely be strong enough to make her lose her stance. Kazuya would turn to Asami.] "I don't mind nickname, but what do you mean 'too'? Do you know another Kazuya? Oh! And of course, as soon as Sen is finished, next shadow we meet will be all yours." [He would offer the girl a thumbs up and cheery smile. He could feel this one wasn't normal, but even so, he needed to be cautious. He wanted to avoid anyone getting seriously hurt. He would then continue the gesture towards the demon hybrid.] “If so, then you guys can go ahead right after Asami here does, and Shihiro will go last because they took too long sto say anything.”
"I have no doubts that you can't Miss." {Shihiro looked back at Asami, almost smiling, but she managed to keep her face blank. She looks around, seeing Kaz. And also Asami. And also Briar. Not moving. The girl has to sigh out, a hint of emotion showing in her eyes before she takes her time readying her weapons.} "Wow, we're lazy. Hold on, I'm coming." {The girl walks out the elevator, immediately throwing out her axe to let it fly through the air spinning around. Meanwhile, the girl blankly looks at the shadow Sen tries to face, using her crossbow to take 3 shots at the thing, walking slowly towards it as she held her free arm out.} "Don't worry, you were doing great." {Shihiro grips the handle of her axe, her dull eyes having a glimmer of distaste as she swings her arm downwards, bringing down the axe with powerful force. Her swing sends the axe down after it built momentum, the impact made from her attempts to crush the shadow picking up dust from off the ground as if a small explosion was made in front of where she was.}
"Oh, uh..." She scratches her cheek. "Actually, his name is Kazuo. He's another friend of mine." She gazes at Shihiro, silently disapproving at her failure to follow instruction.
{Regardless of what happened to the shadow, Shihiro assumes it doesn't exist within her radius anymore as she coughs, covering her own mouth. She takes out her earbuds before looking back at Kazuya.} "What's happening again?"
Sen brings up her sword to guard, but it wouldn’t prove to be particularly effective against..... Licking? The manner of attack alone was enough to startle her, but as the girl steps back to regain her balance she makes a quick swipe at the creature, aiming to slash the rapier’s tip across the monster’s tongue. Her fight is interrupted by three bolts flying towards the creature, which Sen takes care to get away from “Hey, weren’t you listening? We were supposed to take turns.” Sen scolds the other girl, whose significantly stronger attack seemed likely to finish the shadow. It wasn’t so much the kill stealing that bothered her as it was the blatant disregard for their mentor’s orders. They were the expert here after all, if anyone could set the rules it’s Kazuya.
*Briar/Mare rolls their eyes.* Man, talk about impatient. Remember what I said about not stepping on peoples toes? *They smirk.* Well, whatever. What's done is done and all that. Now to see what the consequences are.
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"Kazuo, huh. That's a good name, I know my mom liked that one a lot, in fact she insisted that when I-" [Sen's follow up attack would be just as effective, making the distracted Shadow become weaker, right about to be defeated without a single chance to attack. At this time, Shihiro began her attack. Indeed, the Shadow was defeated, but most of the damage had been done by Sen. Once defeated, the Shadow would become mist, and then the mist would turn into nothing. Kazuya would notice what happened, would sigh and walk up to Shihiro. He would close his left hand in a fist and would lightly hit her on the head. He would then forcefully take her Axe and let the handle rest on his shoulder, keeping the dangerous part pointed to the back.] "I SAID Sen would do this alone, Shihiro. You're going to wait till everyone has their chance and then I'll think about you getting your own. Fighting Shadows is not about being flashy but about survival. You get things over with before they can capitalize on your flaws." [He would easily left the Axe and would use the handle to hit the girl on the head yet again.] "And you were too full of openings, even an Ukobach would've killed you. You still need to learn a lot." [His expression was more stern as he scolds Shihiro, but goes back to the calm one as he turns to Sen.] "You did great, I don't know what to say besides your style works great. if anything, you only need to grow stronger and quicker. I noticed you kept your guard up and kept your distance. Great job! All you need is more tools!" [He gave the girl a thumbs up as a new pair of shadows approaches, this time, it actually seemed like it was only one? He wasn't sure, but this one was two humanoids dressed in robes with blue masks and metal antenna piercing their necks, hands and feet, keeping the pair together, the shadow called Trance Twins. It was approaching quickly from behind.] "Briar, now's your time to shine. Go for it!"
“Thank you... Sir.. I’m glad I could live up to your expectations.” With the shadow defeated, Sen’s back to something she’s not entirely sure of. Taking compliments. The girl briefly glares at Shihiro, but their teacher had already punished them so it wasn’t worth holding a grudge over. Instead the girl takes a deep breath and steps back to let Briar go. “I aim to improve further in the future.”
"h-" {Was all the girl could get out before Shihiro was about to open her mouth, but then she gets hit in the head. Of course, this is enough to make her eyes start to become swirly. She tried to shake it off and speak again.} "b-" {Again, only another letter could be uttered by the girl as she gets hit in the head once more. Only this time her short hair now has strands noticeably messier as she looks blankly past Kazuya. Shihiro wouldn't even notice this as she speaks like an amnesiac for a second.} "Wait a minute...who am I again?" {She frantically reaches inside of her pockets in hopes of finding a remnant of what she could be before she really notices her phone. The girl doesn't even have to look at the screen opening up with her background picture of her smiling before her own was smile turns upside down. She texts and taps on her phone before pouting at how disappointed she is with herself, putting her wireless earbuds in her pockets and sighing.} "You know what, I don't want to remember who I am anymore..."
Alright. I'm game. *Briar/Mare steps up, rolling her shoulders. Then she places a hand on the ground. They smirk as shadowy, thorned creep down their arm.* Night, you lesser fiends. *The thorns stab into the ground. After a moment for travel, the ground beneath the twin shadows would split open as the thorns reammerge. If the attack went off as planned, the twin shadows would get impaled with a trio of shadowy, thorned vines, suspending them in the air if it didn't destroy them out right.*
Asami sits down, criss-cross applesauce, patiently observing the new shadow to see what kind of attack the next combatant would unleash on it. After waiting a few seconds, she pouts slightly. "Ok, I can wait I guess..."
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"Sen, relax. You don't have to call me sir either, I'm not that old, you know?" [He laughs as he pats her in the back.] "Just call me... Kazuya, Kaz, Mister Yasuo, whatever you like, I don't really mind." [Briar and Mare would quickly get to attack the Shadow that was already rushing at them, although it was not prepared at all for what was about to come. The pair's attack would be a bit too effective. Being a critical hit, the enemy would merely turn into mist at the mere contact of the thorns and then go back to nothing. The ground would be crushed from the attack and the cracks seemed to be expanding all over the walls. Luckily it stops before the damage expands to the rest of the area. It would've been real unfortunate if the entire area collapsed.] "You two are on another level. Hahaha...! I don't think I have much else to give you, perhaps maybe having to look for stronger shadows, but we'll see if there is any around here." [He would turn around, making sure the damage at the area wasn't too much already. He would begin walking down the path and towards the better illuminated area. If they followed him, they would find themselves under a red and black sky with tall and irregular buildings look down on them. Most had no windows, and those that had it were shattered. Beyond that, it almost felt like they had left some kind of underground floor and into some strange version of the Shibuya Crossing, taking to two different paths, one to the left, and the other to the right.] "I feel it in me, the left one... doesn't make me feel anything in particular, but the one to the right, it feels like a somewhat strong signature of sorts. Can't believe I'm going to say it, but a Tactical Support Persona-user like Em would've helped a lot here... we'll go where you guys prefer. Nothing I can't help you with, whatever you pick."
Heh. Thanks. I try. *Briar/Mare smirk. As they takes their arm from the ground, the vines retract, though remain visible on their arm, like ivy on a wall. They stretch.* So. What's next on da agenda? Just huntin down these Shadow guys. I'll follow the group. We don't do well when it comes to leadership, after all. *Inside their head, Briar groans.* Briar: I feel like your taking a jab at me, Mare *Mare chuckles lightly.* So then. Lead the way. Anyone, really.
Asami sticks close to Kazuya, eyeing up the surroundings. "Uh, I think I can take on the stronger of the two. That is, if you'll yet me." She then goes to Kazuya's right side, clinging on to his arm as she trembles slightly.
OOC: my apologies, it seems I fell asleep again. I hope you weren't waiting for me. Sen stumbles forward a bit, not expecting the personal contact, but the girl is soon able to regain her balance "Right then Kazuya... sir." It simply didn't feel right to refer to her teacher so casually, even if they're requesting, so Sen does the best she can and follows along down the darker road. When Kazuya asks their opinion she thinks for a moment before adding "If its stronger than all the others doesn't that mean it might be a personal shadow? If we're trying to avoid those then the other direction should be safer. Still, I'll follow along whatever we decide" Sen gives her own vote as the group waits to come to a consensus. Unfortunately that consensus seemed aimed against her, but there's nothing to be done about that.
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[Kazuya would take both ideas into consideration. In the end, he had a feeling Asami would be able to take on whatever that was, and if she couldn't then he would if escape was not a possibility. With that in mind, even if it was someone’s specific Shadow, he could either fight or help them all escape. At the very least, everything was going just fine for now. He would turn to Oberon for a moment before deciding to just take the right street.] "Whatever happens I can protect you all, but I'm certain it's not anything too bad, furthermore, a personal Shadow should only appear if you have something weighting in your chest. This world has the tendency to pick on person at a time and then manifest such a being. Persona users are not affected by this and neither are children though." [The way this world worked, by his experience and what the others told him seemed to be simple enough, but even so, he had to be careful. There's no telling what any of the younger ones had within them. Hopefully nothing too intense. As they walk, the buildings above would slowly and join together, hiding the sky from them and making some kind of improvised and large tunnel. It should be dark, but there are no shadows, and nothing was too hard to see. No shadows... that is, up until the moment they spot a large armored horse with a knight on top of it. Looking like a pair out of a fantasy tale, the large knight with a purple mask with move its lance from one side to another, idly waiting for something. This was an Avenger Knight.] "There it is, it doesn't seem like it has seen us yet, so we've got an advantage there. I can't tell which resistances it has or its weak points, so you may have to figure that one out on your own Asami. Are you ready to go?" [He would look at the girl, hoping she wasn't too scared.]
{The girl merely assumed her input wasn't needed as she follows along with the group, listening to music as she does so. When met with the Avenger Knight, she sits back and shuffles in her pockets again.} "Oh hey, I don't think I've ever seen that one before. This thing looks really cool." {Shihiro takes a picture of it with her phone and scrolls through her Dx2 app in order to find out if she had known this from her world. But the closest thing that she could find that is remotely similar to Avenger Knight is Berith or Eligor.}
Asami loosens up, glaring at the knight with determination. "Right! Just to demonstrate my magic ability, i'll use one of my basic attacks. Oh, and..." Asami takes out her phone, navigating to the camera app and handing it to Kazuya. Were he to look at it, he would notice that the power would never fall below 100%. He may also notice the solar panel on the back. "Would you mind recording me? This is my first dungeon, after all." Assuming Kazuya takes the phone, Asami faces the shadow once more, holding her palm out to it. An orange flame ignited from the girl's hand and a solar prominence rapidly burst forth from it, engulfing the enemy in deadly hot plasma and radiation which could, in small parts, be felt by anyone else present. Minor atmospheric damage might occur as well, but only upon coming in the immediate area surrounding the prominence would you have cause for concern, passing out from heat stroke at minimum.
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[Kazuya would immediately notice the modifications to it. He considered it genius, if this girl could radiate this energy then a charger was obsolete no matter what. Back in his world, they couldn't exactly depend on solar energy, considering the skies were almost always covered by clouds. Regardless, he would indeed record her, because it wasn't like he had any objections. Then would come Asami's magical attack. The heat she was creating would quickly make the Shadow wince in pain, making it become aggressive at whatever it was that had just attacked it. Some parts of its armor and some of the cloth the horse had on it was burnt badly. It seemed like this Avenger Knight in particular had a weakness towards heat and fire as a whole, and even then it didn't seem to be capable of resisting any type of damage well.] "If this is a basic ability then it's clear you have enough power on your own to take on Shadows of a higher level... even so, it doesn't seem like it was enough. Be careful!" [The Shadow still had plenty of fight. Even though it was weak to a certain type of move, it wasn't like it could feel fear. As such, it would rush ahead towards Asami with its lance full of a weird substance. Using this Poison Skewer, it would actually make impact with the girl's left thigh and pierce with the tip of the weapon, lacking the strength to even reach near any bone, if there was any to begin with. Luckily however, she would not feel any Poison going through her body.]
The attack would be more painful than damaging due to Asami's childlike mindset, causing her to react how a normal kid would to a scraped knee. She lightly cries and jumps back, taking her weight off the leg that was struck. While wincing, she takes a great leap towards the knight and pulls her left arm back, a powerful orange flame devouring her fist. While still mid-air, she thrusts her left fist down on the knight's chest, the force not altogether too potent but upon colliding would result in a powerful explosion centered at the point of impact and only spreading towards the enemy, coupled with the fire of the initial strike would inflict fatal damage to the chest area. The girl would also have no trouble landing.
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[Avenger Knight's shape would quickly become glitchy and irregular as soon as Asami lands her attack, going right through the chest and incinerating whatever was left of it. At first, the Shadow seemed like it was still ready to keep fighting, but the horse would give out completely and so the knight would too. As the enemy cannot keep going, its shape becomes black and mist, and then quickly go back into nothing. Indeed, Asami had won quite easily Kazuya would stop the recording as soon as the girl proves to be victorious. Walking closer to her, he would offer the device back] "That was great! Your magic was incredible and so is your mobility, my only advice is to always be on your feet and to focus on staying on the move. I have no idea how much punishment your body may be able to take, but without proper healing, your best bet is to always attack hard from the distance." [He would smile and pat the girl on the head before turning to face the rest of the group; Oberon seemed interested in them all, watching with his cold but noble eyes everything they did, especially Sen, being the one carrying his weapon of choice.] "You guys are doing great, I had the feeling you would do just fine with your powers, the only one worrying me right about now is Sen." [He would curiously focus his gaze on her.] "You don't have any powers or magic, do you? I know you don't have a Persona, but is all you have right now is some experience and Oberon's rapier?" [The tunnel behind him would keep extending itself and move upwards and into another floor entirely, the which they could not make up from here.] "There are multiple Shadows in that direction, if you all decide to move forward. If you all agree then I we should try some teamwork. The best number a party could have is four people. This is because Shadows generally center around different types of resistances and attacks, so variety in moves is the best. Some may absorb Asami's flames and others may reflect any physical strike back at you like it was nothing, but at the same time be extremely vulnerable to Shihiro's crossbow."
"Oh hey, thanks for mentioning me. I sure hope that this team comp will be alright." {Shihiro would scroll through her phone, whistling to herself before she takes out her crossbow. She looks at it for a second before using her finger and counting everyone here. The girl would almost count Kazuya as part of the lineup until she remembers he is the mentor figure and probably will not participate.} "Two backline and two frontline people. But at the same time, it's not like we all can't fight up close. If anything the only one that can't attack at a distance is Sen. Maybe she should try to score for every kill if she can, since that is how it works in those Fire Emblem games like...Heroes." {She would try to think that there was anything else, whether it was other titles in the series or if she could try to state more about the current lineup she gets to be stuck with. But nothing comes to mind, so she shakes her head and looks up to Kazuya, glancing behind him in hopes that her axe could be handed to her. Shihiro holds back from reaching for it herself, but she simply looks at her phone and gives Kazuya a bunch of side-eyed looks.} "I won't be using demons for this little session today. But, can I buff the party? I mainly use Fenrir for this reason after all."
"That's...." Sen holds the rapier closer to her as she looks away, thinking of what to say. They only really needed to think of what would be relevant if they're going deeper in, so the girl takes a deep breathe before giving her reply "Nothing applicable here sir. Its a bit of a long story but what little experience I have can't just be used anywhere." There wasn't a point in lying, but also no reason to go into the full story here. Though her heart feels heavy, there wasn't anything she can do about it. "If we... Actually do this, I'm afraid I won't be of much help..."
Asami's writer cringes at the thought of Shihiro's writer projecting his own personal interests onto his character as if they were a poorly made self-insert. Asami, however, simply looks at Kazuya curiously. "P-punishment? No, i'm not into that at all." She serenely embraces the headpat, closing her eyes and smiling. She then faces the older man and looks up at him, looking somewhat exhausted. Although, an astute observer may detect a hint of insincerity "Gee, all this walking is really tiring. Kazzie, can you please carry me?"
Man, ain't you lot a bunch a downers and fools? Eh heh heh. *Briar/Mare smirks.* Well, if we're doin this, I calll a space at the back. I prefer dark places and don't like stepping on peoples toes, so ranged attacks suit me perfect. That being said, I don't usually woork with others, but this could be interesting so I'll make an exception.
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[Kazuya would approach Shihiro and give her back her Axe.] "Next time you disobey a direct order I'll force you to practice extra hard. You'll be fighting Shiki-Ouji too." [This said, he would approach Sen. Trying to be nice, he would put a single hand on her shoulder, attempting to reassure her.] "I understand your position. Back when I started to fight demons around your age, I barely had anything but a knife, maybe a sword and a gun to defend myself as Tokyo was being invaded. Because you lack the other's unique powers, you will need to fight smart. You have what it takes, no matter what." [After smiling to her, he would move towards Asami.] "No, I won't carry you. Your injury is not bad at all, and even if it was, we can heal almost anything quite easily. If you are going to follow this path, you’ll have to learn what it means to drag your feet." [His piece said, he would finalize by talking to the pair of Briar and Mare.] "You have great powers but make sure you don't hurt others as you go ahead and destroy your opponents. You all organize as you see fit, I won't do anything but help if things get a bit too complicated" [As they move deeper within the TV World, they eventually reach a small empty arena, like what used to be a park once but has since been burned to the ground. A large area of dirt is the proof that there was one a body of water there. Lurking in the same area, five different Shadows would be expecting them. The first two would be the Lying Hablerie, similar to the previous type they encountered, but with black and white stripes rather than pink and black. Next up is one giant red beetle, a Burning Beetle, wearing a crown. Next up is a Magical Magus, a humanoid being with a giant pair of hands covering its main body. Finally, merely a raven holding a lantern with its talons and a mask on its body, a Black Raven.] "If you need my assistance, don't doubt asking for it. But consider you will all have to work together to pass this one, but I believe you can do so."
"Noted, Mister." {Was all she decided to say, taking the axe with glee as she lazily solutes to her superior. Though the girl was very tempted to call her sensei a boomer, this would have to wait, as she decides to survery the area, spinning her axe a little to get herself ready. Her dull eyes scour the enemies laid out in front of them and she side-eyes her adversaries.} "That thing is responsible for me slipping up. I hate it." {She points her axe at the Lying Hablerie, her glare would show a tinge of emotion were it not locked behind a deadpan expression. But after pointing it at everything else, she actually decides to stop on the Black Raven, noting how the lantern holding avian can fly. That would be annoying for her axe, but since she's in a team, Shihiro glances at her 3 mates before speaking out again.} "But I don't think that thing isn't important anymore." {Immediately, the girl dashes out at the shadows, not at all afraid to head out to the battlefield herself. She jumps up, not even bothering to try and ditch holding the crossbow as she only uses one hand to wield the axe. With only an apathetic gaze at the Raven, she does not hold back in attempting to strike at it.} "I love trying." {With a very epic voice line delivered in the most bored and sarcastic way possible, Shihiro uses this time to smash her axe at her foes. However, she doesn't try to send a direct hit at any of the shadows, only deciding to do something similar to an attack by cutting at the air before using her momentum to hit the ground beneath them. The technique was vaguely similar to an assault dive, crashing into the ground in order to draw their attention and pick up the debris to try to fling it in between herself and the Raven while also striking at it's lantern, if it helped in anyway.}
That's why I don't work well with others, Kazzie. Their bodies just get in the way. Briar: Play nice, Mare. Or I won't feed you. Mean. I guess hold back if the situation requires it. *Briar/Mare pouts. They channel dark energy into an orb in their hand, crackling with electricity. He casts the orb into the sky. It expands, turning into a nightmarish face made of black clouds before sending black lightning down one of the Lying Hablerie, the clouds dissipating after the attack.* I guess I can hold back just a little. Play nice for the kids.
Asami begins to silently cry upon being told no, facing away from Kazuya and pouting. As a few tears would stream down her cheek, she would not immediately notice the enemy.
"Umm.. Thank you.. Sir..." Its a bit awkward to be receiving such nice words, yet it also feels like some sort of consolation prize. Like they're just pitying her. Hve probably been humoring Sen the entire time. When the group comes across the group of Shadows, Sen takes a deep breath, trying to read the situation. The girl gives Shihiro plenty of room, aiming to use her companions' loud, aggressive attacks as a distraction to slip around the side and make a quick thrust at the Magical Magus before taking a few steps back to be out of their immediate range.
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[Kazuya would sigh and cover his face as Shihiro goes in with her attack. However, as one should be able to note, the Black Raven would simply fly higher up, completely evading the attack like it was nothing. Not only did it take time to set up, it was also loud. Catching its attention was the immediate mistake. Soon after comes Briar and Mare's attack, actually hitting the Lying Hablerie's weak point, that one being electricity; the Shadow would quickly fall onto the ground, unable to attack for the time being, vulnerable to attacks. Asami would indeed cry, and Kazuya would notice, but he would focus more on the battle ahead, it was far more important. Sen herself would focus on the Magical Magus that was, as of now, distracted by Shihiro and the pair of demon hybrids. Her thrusting attack would leave a small hole through the Shadow, who would now focus on her as it thinks what to do.] "They are ready to fight so keep your guard up!" [One of the Lying Hablerie's would waste time standing up, meanwhile the other would focus its "gaze" on the demon hybrid pair, wanting to get some revenge. However, it had a moment of short brilliance or just outright stupidity, as it decided to cast Dia on its hurt comrade. Not even fazed by anything, the massive Burning Beetle would prepare itself to Bash Shihiro with the full force of its hard body. Then comes the Magical Magus, focus on taking on Sen. It would cast a small red orb that would then be launched at Sen full speed, becoming a small explosion of fire as it makes contact, a simple Agi. Finally, the Black Raven would almost laugh at the relatively slow attack Shihiro had used. It has the intention to attack, but Burning Beetle seemed better prepared for it, and as such, it would shower the bigger Shadow with red magic, raising its attacking power with Tarukaja.]
{Shihiro's head stays down as she follows her axe, smirking to herself as she looks at the rubble she brought up, as well as the rabble that it has now caused what with every shadow focusing it's attention on the battle she started.} "About what I expected from someone not prepared for big brain strats." {The girl wastes no time in looking up, immediately noticing the Burning Beetle rushing towards her. Shihiro picks the blade of her axe back up from the floor, now readying herself as she smashes her axe down on the ground once again, not trying to counter the Beetle rushing towards her, instead picking up more dust and debris up like she did before.} {With the momentum gained from her swing aimed at nothing, she tilts her axe downwards, and propels herself higher into the sky in a manner similar to a long javelin jump. The girl uses her airtime as an excuse to give the flying Black Raven an awkward smile before shooting 3 quick bolts at it with her crossbow.}
"Right, I'll be careful!" Sen understood Kazuya's concern, but needed to remain focused, so she only gives a short reply. Coordinating with two total strangers would be impossible, so Sen focuses on the shadow in front of her. The girl dodges to her left but is ultimately too slow to evade the agi. Though she attempts to block it a thin blade doesn't serve as much shield from the blaze, leaving her uniform faintly scorched. "Spellcaster then, alright." Since the Magus seemed to prefer attacking at a range, this time when Sen lunges forward to strike it she decides to remain in close, looking to circle around the shadow and make its casting attempts more difficult
Asami simply frowns, wiping the tears from her eyes and turning to face the group of enemies, her face still red. Rather than directly attack, she simply holds her palm up in the air in front of her. Suddenly, a gentle spring breeze washes over the party, soaking their skin and clothes with divine air which would grant them the effect of Makarakarn but awesome.
*Briar/Mare chuckle as they see the Shadow they downed rise up from the ground.* Briar: You made them mad Aw, Boo hoo. Guess I have ta cheer 'em up. Briar: They're being mean. They don't deserve it. Just do what you do best. That was the idea, yes. *One of the thorned vines growing along Briar/Mare's left arm would extend, becoming a whip. After a few practise lashes against the ground in front of them, they would cast the whip outwards, causing it to grind along the ground before striking up at the Lying Hablerie that they knocked down a turn previously in hopes to finish them off.*
(edited by Briar_Rose)
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[Shihiro's weird maneuver would work at the very least. Indeed, most if not all flying enemies have the tendency to be weak to ranged attacks, and as such, the Black Raven would fall to the ground hard with the three bows, not enough to kill it but enough to cripple it quickly. The Magical Magus was not quick enough to follow Sen around, and so it is dealt yet another strike to its body, which, the Shadows didn't like at all, seemingly preparing itself for a bigger attack. Soon after this, Asami casts a shield for the entire party, that would protect them from any magical attack that comes their way, as long as it is not Almighty. Finally, the duo of Briar and Mare would unleash their whip on the damaged Lying Hablerie, turning it into nothing the moment the attack impacts, leaving but only one Lying Hablerie left, and four Shadows in total.] "Nice job Briar and Mare, and Shihiro stop showing off and finish them off as quickly as possible!!" [His piece said, the Shadows would get on with their attacks. First the remaining Lying Hablerie would feel scared by the pair's overwhelming power, and would actually ditch the battle, knowing it would be unable to do anything at all, leaving but three Shadows total. As Shihiro falls; as that is how gravity works; the Burning Beetle would prepare itself, ready to strike at the girl once again. Aided by the Black Raven's Tarukaja, it would impact Shihiro quickly with greater strength than before, hard enough to push her back a few feet. Luckily, it didn't happen to be a critical. The Magical Magus, annoyed at Sen by her constant attacks, would charge up a larger mass of fire magic in order to shoot an Agilao. Releasing the spell, it would prove to be ineffective, as the girl was being protected by Asami's "Makarakarn but awesome", shooting the Agilao back at it. Lucky for the Shadow, it seems to completely nullify Fire attacks. Finally, the Black Raven would waste time getting up, having to put effort into lifting itself up due to Shihiro's previous attack.]
Y'know, I don't think I ever introduced myself. Briar: That's not important. The other ones running. Psh. Seriously? If ya gonna pretend to be a demon, ya might as well fight like one. Runnin is just embarassing. And as for the other three... *Briar/Mare look over at the rest of the group, fighting hard against the remainder of the shadows. Both Briar in their head and Mare controlling their body sigh.* Ugh. Just eat up already. Stop playing with your food. Briar: Aren't you going to help? Hmm. Nah. They got this. As I said, I don't like steppin on other peoples toes. I'm sure they know what they're doing. Briar: If you say so. *Instead of attacking, Briar/Mare decides to shore up their defences in case of an oncoming attack from their enemies, covering themselves in a near invisible, misty shadow that serves to increase their defence by one stage.*
(edited by Briar_Rose)
"Thanks for covering me!" With the Magus's attack deflected, Sen takes the opportunity to aim her next strike directly at the crack in the forehead of the shadow's mask, hoping to pierce through its head to finish the creature "Everyone still doing alright?" Sen's a bit too busy with hers to actually check in on the others, so she just makes a verbal callout instead.
"k." {Was all she says to Kazuya, glancing back at the beetle as she plants her feet into the floor and taking a defensive stance. Shihiro puts her axe and her crossbow in front of her hoping to decrease her damage taken, but it only seems to serve to take a hit to her stamina as her body gets pushed back by the force the beetle puts on her.} "Sure." {Only a single word was given to Sen's inquiry, her legs wanting to at least crouch down for a rest, but she still sees the Black Raven alive. Shihiro sighs before glaring at the beetle sprinting forwards now that she realizes what Kazuya told her to do. She intentionally runs past the beetle, readying her axe. The girl spins once, effectively making her body do a 360 degree motion before swiping sideways with her axe, aiming to strike it down with a strong attack.}
Asami would rub her eyes briefly and then face Sen, responding to her "Uh, I-i'm fine, really!" She then holds her hand out, her corona becoming intensely bright to the enemy and radiating an extreme heat which would cause severe fire damage to all enemies, an attack of which only the effect on the enemy could be observed
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[The pair for the which I think I only knew one name out of two (oops) decides to keep some distance and up their own defenses. Up next is Sen, who decides to go through the Magical Magus' head. As she pierces right through, the mask the Shadow wears cracks as well, quickly turning the shadow into nothing, leaving but two more enemies to consider. The comes Shihiro, rushing past the Burning Beetle and choosing to finish off the weak Black Raven, almost entirely cutting it in half before it disappears, defeated. All that's left in the end is the Burning Beetle, which, ironically, does not resist Fire damage in any way, making it so the severe level attack outright banishes the creature in the blink of an eye. All Shadows being defeated, Kazuya would make a sigh of relief and speak up.] "I got nothing to say, you all did well! Shihiro, your need to stop it with the unnecessarily stylish moves. It may work on Shadows but most demons would look at you, scoff and then kill you the second an opening shows up. Asami, you were...acting according to you age, so I won't be too harsh, but you also need to look forward when enemies approach, especially if others depend on you." [He would walk ahead, making sure no other Shadow was waiting. This world keeps extending in many direction with countless other weaker and stronger beings all around.] "Sen, despite your lack of fire power you moved around that Shadow with smart moves, so I really can't say much other than... you're doing great! And Briar, you too, I really can't add much, in fact I fear all could ever really offer is advice on how to take down certain demons in a few moves." [He chuckles, before looking at everyone again. He would then start walking back the way they came from, beckoning them to follow him.] "I think we're done; I don't sense anything nearby so let's head out."
"So guys, we did it guys. We've reached a quarter of- I'm not finishing that sentence." {She claps for herself and for the others that she decided to participate in the skirmish with. As the battle comes to a close, she immeidately drops her weapons in favor of her phone, scrolling to look at every random notification that had popped up while she wasn't checking it. When listening to Kazuya give advice, Shihiro types it down in her notes app before looking back at him, smiling and shooting a finger gun his way.} "You gotta admit man, still kind of cool right? I dunno, when researching weapons I find all the stylish techniques before all the useful ones. Maybe I should hang out with you more to discuss it. Speaking of..." {Shihiro would look at the weapons she dropped on the ground, putting a hand under her chin to contemplate about how she'd be in the future keeping them. However, she just kicks it on the ground, sending it away from her before sweeping her bangs off to the side, texting on her phone as she follows Kazuya back to the beginning.} "I'll get new ones next time I come by. Your style IS the Seven Heavens in One swordfighting style or something of the sort, so you can expect me to bring one sword next time."
Heh. Thanks. But it ain't like fakes like that were ever really a threat. Though, I guess that's why you asked ta train here, am I right? *Briar/Mare shrugged.* Well, it's whatever. On to the next one, right bss man?
"Right.. Thank you sir." Sen was relieved to find the battle was over, yet it didn't seem to clear away the feeling of dread. As if something was watching her. Yet the world almost seemed empty, for now, so it couldn't have meant anything. Sen pauses for a moment, letting the others get ahead of her before following back with the group.
Asami follows silently along by Kazuya's side, trying to hold his hand. She blushed slightly, looking ahead of her.
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"I don't know what is so cool about putting yourself in extra danger. By the way, and you should know this already, the 'sword fighting' part of it is just the official term. Sword fighting is only the first of the seven." [Kazuya didn't want to say much more about the style in front of anyone else, so he just assumed Shihiro would be able to put 2 and 2 together on her own. He would nod at Briar/Mare.] "That's right, Shadows in general are easier to battle than Demons in my experience, but that doesn't make them any less dangerous. The difference is important when it comes to training those without magical powers, since many of the strategies to fighting Shadows can be translated with some ease. It's a perfect steppingstone towards the more... complex beings." [He would allow Asami to hold his hand he doesn't exactly mind as he leads them back to the elevator and up towards the initial platform. No Shadow appears in front of them anymore and the world remains as it did the moment they stepped in, distorted, unable to go back to its white canvas form. He would lead them to the center of the bullseye like pattern, and in the blink of an eye, they would find themselves back at Inokashira Park, in front of the screen and next to the abandoned shrine.] "Now that that's done for, what did you think? Like I said before, I teach an unique style of fighting that doesn't rely on spells of any kind to work and instead gives you the tools to stand up on your own, even if you have no talents, and are perfectly average. Truth is that humans possess the potential to surpass any deity and demon naturally etched within their bodies and spirit. Anyone can do this. What I look to do is... to unlock said inner potential by pushing your very limits." [He rubs the back of his head and chuckles.] "No disrespect if you aren't human, though. Best way to say this is that my timeline only has humans, Demons as a collective and deities, both of which can go either way... not much else to consider but survival."
"Well...Sensei...I think you already know the answer to this one." {Shihiro paused in her words, almost as if she struggled to get the word out considering this might have been the first time she would remember using the formality. Still looking at her phone, the girl whistled, walking over to him and proceeding to stand next to him, looking up and away from her phone and back at his with a gaze that makes it seem like she was slightly high. It was always how she looked, so it's not out of left field to her for the most part.} "I would've loved to take up that punishment you warned me about now, but I threw my weapons away, so. Lol." {She breathed in before putting her phone away, now looking at everyone else alongside the master she stuck herself with. When speaking, instead of nonchalant, she actually had a genuine weight to her words. Might have been very light, but still there nonetheless.} "If anyone wants more insight about this experience, I'd say this deserves a 5/5 rating. As someone who grew up very differently; with no real life or death experiences and apocalyptic tragedies happening in my world and all that; it's eye-opening at least. My discipline might not be there since this man is the closest I've had to any kind of parent, but it's cool to learn about new things since I never tried to do any of that myself." {The girl goes back to her phone, tapping and texting at lightspeed like she always does, being heavily invested in the cellular device like it was still her only lifesource. She was at least glad she didn't bring it out during the fight, but she does comment out loud before going back to playing on it.} "Wait, I did get hit on the head...twice. 4.9/5."
*Briar/Mare nods at Kazuya's remark.* I think I getcha. The low level ones make good fodder for teaching the kindergarten class how to deal with some big, monsterous baddies. As long as they don't run into one of those godlike forces, then I suppose it makes a decent training ground. *As the group returns to the shrine, Briar/Mare stretches. The vines around their arms retract and vanish and with them, Mare returns into Briar's mind, giving the sleeping girl her body back. She yawns and sleepily opens her eyes, rubbing them.* Mare: Ah. Just what I needed to wake up the ole muscle memory. Tell the boss man I say thanks, would ya, Briar? *Briar sleepily nods before mumbling.* ...ays thanks. Had fun. Good stuff.
"Pushing your limits huh? I suppose that is the natural way to improve." Sen looks at her hands as she repeats Kazuya's words. It was something simple, but if it worked for them then maybe... But that was no matter now. Now that they're out, Sen extends the rapier back out towards Kazuya "This was yours, right? Or rather Oberon's.. I don't think I'll need it anymore."
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"Uh... thank you, Shihiro." [He would feel immediately embarrassed by her words, being called something close to a parent was an experience. At the very least, he was always only doing his best to help, so this was just another way, right? Regardless, he would try to clear away his embarrassment by clearing his throat, fully regaining his composure. Oberon would approach Sen and take his rapier yet again, quietly making sure it had not a single scratch on it. There was some black on it of course, created by the previous fire attack, but he would pull out a handkerchief and polish it, making it seem like new yet again.] Oberon: "I cannot blame you for this one. It does not seem like you were wearing appropriate armor to merely tank such attack. If we are to meet again, make sure to have access to your own weaponry. Tis a dangerous world after all." [Oberon would bow at the group as he disappears, being "returned" by Kazuya through his COMP. Kazuya would sit by the entrance to the abandoned shrine and close his eyes, trying to sleep. No one was there and the day was still calm.] "Think of what I said, I have a Dojo outside of Tokyo, so it's pretty far away. However..." [He would point at the shrine behind him.] "This is the entrance, and only a permanent student can ever reach it. It helps there are still rumors about an accursed "cathedral of shadows" invoking demons from hell into this world. It keeps most people away and anyone that does come can't ever figure out the trick." [He would open both eyes and remember.] "Which reminds me... I should teach it to Shihiro, since she's pretty much set by now..."
Asami would sit on the nearby grass, sighing with relief. "Well, that was fun. Still pretty bright out, too, huh?" Whether it was by her divine radiance or the own sun's natural light, the park would still appear to be in broad daylight. "Speaking of which... Horus!" The large, majestic and divine bird would come forth from the light, laying beside Asami and raising its wings. Horus: "CAWWW! SKREEE! BIRDS NOISES!" The bird then clears its throat and then settles down, nuzzling Asami. Horus: "Sorry about, it's just been awhile is all." Asami awkwardly scratches her left cheek while she smiles and closes her eyes momentarily. Asami: "That's alright. I got a little sidetracked, is all. You hungry?" Horus nods, prompting Asami to procure some birdseed from her pockets which she holds out for her bird companion to grab out of her hand with its beak. Horus: "You have my sincerest gratitude, young mistress." Asami: "Don't mention it..." She sighs, turning to Kazuya and shooting an inquisitive look. Asami: "By the way, Kazzie, what are 'demons'?"
"Sorry about that, I wasn't thinking." Sen looks down, somewhat ashamed of herself for having forgotten such a simple promise. Still, there was nothing for it at this point. The girl tries not to let it bother her, but with this experience over with she was good to go. The girl looks up at Horus's approach, a little surprised, but it was far from the strangest thing Asami had done today, so the girl tries to ignore that as well. Rather, it was the question that interested her, in part providing Sen a perfect opportunity to pose her own, Sen crossing her arms as she looks between Kazuya and Shihiro, the two who seemed to know the mest "I'd also like to know what you know about demons. You seem very familiar with the subject."
{Hoping that Kazuya can fill in the info with Asami, Shihiro simply scoots her way over to Sen, her feet almost gliding even though the flooring wouldn't normally allow it.} "I don't know much about "Kazzie's" world except for the fact that demons caused the situation he preservered through, but in my world: they're like monsters. Almost pets. Train them to fight and all that, they do the work for us. We sit back and do practically nothing like we're Pokemon Trainers." {She flashes her phone screen for Sen to see the brightness all the way up, the light emenating from the phone so hard that it almost seemed like a nuke was about to go off inside the phone. When Shihiro looks at it again, not caring about the fact that she was looking directly at light that damages her eyes, she simply turns the brightness down for Sen to clearly see the demon she has on her phone, that of Horus.} "Yes, that bird is also a demon in my world. No, I don't have it in any of my parties so I can't show it to you...yes it's cute, you get used to calling those cute when you have to look at them a million times during skirmishes for experience grinds if you're poor and don't buy your way to victory...God. Wow. Our world is boring, they're kind of lucky." {The girl glances over to Kazuya and Asami as she has an internal flashback that looked almost similar to PTSD were it not for the fact that her eyes never changed from being blank and bored.}
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[He would casually point at Horus, although he wasn't sure if it was the same kind that lives within the Abyss.] "That. That's a demon. Some prefer being called deities but whether you are a god of fertility, the underworld, or even the sun... you are a demon, or an evil spirit." [He would take a deep breath as he puts the ideas in order within his own mind.] "As there are beings we record through mythology, religion and even urban legends... those images stay within our mind. Whether these ideas came to us first, or we created them from watching the real thing pass by, the truth is that Demons are all of them. Every devil, every type of angel, any and all legendary beasts from all points in history from every culture, within their realm, they are made real." [He would stand up and walk up to TV screen yet again, placing his hand on the corner of it.] "We call this realm the Abyss, although Mister Nakajima called it Atziluth, those siding with God call it Demon World, Makai within national occult texts. I think the term 'Expanse' is more popular these days, more so than my time's 'Abyss'. Anyways, demonkind in almost its entirety has been identified, and most have been grouped in different races. Tyrant, Fiend, Vile, Tenma, Avian... to name a few." [He would put once more a single hand through the TV screen.] "Now this is the important part and why learning how to deal with demons is important: This realm is one only but deeply connected to all reality, and it completely disregards the passage of time. What this means is... that any timeline and universe is in danger the moment a gateway is opened; these ruptures on space-time are usually permanent... that's what happened to my Tokyo back in 1992 when I was 15. Demons began invading and their sudden appearance took many lives, including my mother, Tokyo itself was pure chaos and then was bombarded with nuclear weapons and in the following years the entire world fell in a global conflict using demons as weapons. She saved me and then 30 years passed. When I came back during 2022 the entire world was in ruin. Everyone was gone, most humans had been killed." [Kazuya would stop speaking, and softly gasps with both eyes open wider than before. He would remain static for a moment before retracting his hand from the TV and would then rub his left arm. His breathing had gotten heavier, but he would force himself to go back to his senses.] "......The Abyss... and demons, are all born from humans. Just like Shadows are to individuals, demons are that to the entire human race as a collective. Demons are unhinged humans, in a way. They are for the most part sapient creatures or at least sentient, with some wishing nothing but our extermination while treating us as food, while others are happy to cooperate with us and live by our side. It's... a mistake to think of demons as monsters or animals. In a way... they are also part of humanity. What I teach is a way to deal with demons; if you can negotiate, you must, but if you cannot and words will do nothing anymore, you must be strong enough to fight, and skilled enough to kill them in one move."
Sen narrows her eyes at Shihiro, she knows better by now than to just call it out as stupid, but at the same time that sounds really stupid. Fortunately Sen doesn't have to make a remark as Shihiro seemed to have come to a similar conclusion on her own. So.. That one's out. Sen watches Kazuya intently, her eyes widen a little as the older person seems to have some sort of attack after sticking his hand through the TV, its a little worrying, especially if he had only done it as a demonstration for her. Sen moves forward to express her worry "Nevermind the demons, are you alright Kazuya?" Though of course Sen had been paying attention to Kazuya's explanation. It too was a lot different from the ones she knew, but there wasn't much of a sample size there. Still, he seemed very knowledgeable on the subject, so it makes sense how Kazuya would be seen as a veteran Actually the way he phrased it makes her wonder about Apollo and Asami... But she can't really say that in front of them. So as not to risk offense.
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[Kazuya would laugh her worry away before patting Sen on the head with a carefree smile.] "Relax, this is just a... thing that happens to me from time to time, I just kind of get distracted and lost in thought, nothing too serious though!" [He would let her be.] "I just want to be sure since Shihiro asked me on her own a while ago but, do you also want to be my student? It's fine if you don't! I'm sure school alone is a lot of work too."
(edited by Kazuya)
Horus glares suspiciously at Kazuya upon being called a demon, waiting for him to finish his tangent before speaking up. Horus: "So, you use 'demon' as a sort of umbrella term? I mean, it's cool and all, but maybe you could use a less... vile sounding term when describing that sort of being. I, for one, have no wish to be associated with what one would naturally think of when they hear the word. No, i'm too refined for that." Asami: "I'm not sure I understood all that, it was a lot." Asami would anxiously stand, excitedly interjecting at Kazuya's offer to Sen. Asami: "Ooh, could I be your student too? Please!"
*Briar turns away from Horus.* Big bird, you're to bright. Mare: Heh. Not in the wit territory though And you're too loud. Accept your a demon and move on with your bird life. *Briar rubs her eyes before yawning* Whazzat about teachers? Are we talking about school? I don't like school. I try sleeping there but I get in trouble for it. It's a bad place.
(edited by Briar_Rose)
"Cut that out." Sen steps back with a huff after being patted on the head. She didn't want to be seen as a child, yet it was inevitable, in a way. Once she's safe again Sen nervously tugs on her right sleeve. It might have been nice to try learning this way, but ultimately it was far too late for that. "I appreciate the offer but I am afraid I will have to decline." Sen gives a forlorn look to her right before letting out a sigh and beginning to head off "Still, thank you for everything you've taught me so far."
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[Kazuya would momentarily gaze at the Horus with his calm expression, but his eye would have this weird feel to it, like he wanted to laugh but would force himself not to. It was clear, it was because Horus was already proving what all so-called deities do upon being called demons. He would turn to Asami.] "I don't think I can take you, miss. I train mostly normal humans and at the youngest I take 15-year-olds which... you don’t look like. If you ever visit though, since I already know you have other ways of reaching places faraway, I can teach you about demons." [He would quickly gesture towards Shihiro.] "She's going to learn more than just fighting, there a plethora of subjects that are also theory and pure knowledge." [He would focus on Sen afterwards, as she declines and starts to go her own way. He smiles and nod.] "That's fine, if you ever feel like learning more about demons, almost any occult book will do the trick. Be careful on your way back!"
*Briar yawns again before turning away from Kazuya.* Well, I'm gonna go find a better place to sleep. Night. *She gives the group a lazy wave with the back of her hand before stumbling off to find a tree somewhere else in the park to sleep under.*
Horus would shrug, ignoring the duo talking about him while casually walking towards Kaz, politely raising a claw. Horus: "So, Mr. 'Kazzie', know any hot demon chicks? Preferably otakus but not Love Live fans." Asami would sigh and look at the ground, feeling dejected. While not for a lack of her usually cheery mood, she would seem more solemn at present. Rather than face anyone in particular, she would gaze onto the fields of grass ahead, reminiscing. Asami: "I see."
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[Kazuya would remain in silence for a few moments indeed.] "What would make you think I would know about sexually attractive demons. I don't fine a single one to be that." [He was genuinely confused about the question.]
"People call the Oni demon their "daddy" in my world. I'm not about to delve deeper into that subject though." {The girl interjects out of nowhere as she taps on her phone, sighing as she dismisses the notification telling her about her phone battery being on 20% percentage.} "Which reminds me, my phone needs charging. Bye Kazuya, I'm bringing a sword next time." {Shihiro grabs her bag from near the doorway of the abandoned shrine, and proceeds to wave at the two before putting her earbuds in and not looking where she's going as she plays on her phone more, leaving the scene officially.}
"Understood. I'll keep that in mind." Is all the girl has to say before hurrying on her way home. If this experience had shown Sen anything, it was that she was done hesitating. It was clear that she needed to be able to do something, as was the path towards it. Now all that was left was to take the action itself. On her way home, Sen receives a phone call. It wasn't unusual of course, save for the caller. Sen leaves them waiting for a few minutes, the caller apparently determined enough to hold on, or maybe they simply didn't have anything better to do. Either way, Sen moves urgently, back to the safety of her home before picking it up. Pheles: "Oh you really do care Sen. I was starting to think you were ignoring me." Sen: "Just get to the point already. You and Mephis only ever call for one reason." Pheles, the dark-clothed and unpredictable demon twin who Sen found herself unfortunately linked to. The demon simply giggles from the other side of the line Pheles: "You finally found the method you were looking for right? So what're you gonna do?" Sen: "Were you watching me?" Pheles: "hehehehe. Oh darling I see SO many things." Sen: "Well it doesn't really matter. I can't go there without help anyways and I seriously doubt any of the..." Sen is interrupted by the sound of roaring laughter on the other side of the phone. This is why she so despised having to work with Pheles. At least her sister could hold a conversation without constantly going off the rails and interruptions. By the time the other demon has calmed down, they take a more sinister, condescending tone. Pheles: "I wouldn't worry about that. Just return to the shrine at midnight tomorrow. Consider it a favor." Sen: "I'm not..." but the demon doesn't give her a chance to argue, cutting the call off and leaving Sen to her own thoughts. Even before speaking to Kazuya today she knew demons weren't to be trusted, but on the other hand it seemed like the most reliable option...

Horus sighs Horus: "An experienced hunter should know the mating habits of their prey. You want to keep the population at a certain level, after all. That's why we need government mandated gfs." He then stretches his wings and yawns, turning towards Asami. Asami then goes on her phone, sending the video of her epic first battle to Kazuo. She then sends two more seperate texts reading "epic first dungeon!!!! ????" and "What do you think of my fighting style?"
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"What does mating habits have to do with demons being sexually attractive to a human or not? Besides demons for the most part don't reproduce like we do. What are you even saying?" [Kazuya was even more confused at Horus making stuff up. He would sigh and silently decide to walk into the shrine, and would soon after completely disappear from the area.]

By virtue of being the last person there, I don't have to spend effort on an exit post.
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