A Tale of Seven Children//Endless Hourglass

A Tale of Seven Children//Endless Hourglass

The time has come for Satan's return to glory, and the only things that stand in his way are an organisation devoted to stopping Demons, and his own Children.

1,609 readers have visited this universe since zody created it.

Introduction

The introduction and many other aspects to this roleplay are being redone, but I wanted to get this page up quickly so I could get it started asap!
For now, if you have any questions, please send me a PM!

For a generally accurate vision into the universe, please go to this page!




A Tale of Seven Children//ENDLESS HOURGLASS





Image


12/12/2012.
Sunset.
Vatican City / Rome.


The sunset shone through the open blinds of one of the windows that lined the sides of the second-story passageway. The deep navy blue curtains that were held back by a thick golden cord allowed just the right amount of light into the hall, so that the figures pacing it's length would be capable of seeing their surroundings. A group of cloaked figures traversed the Hall, approaching the nearing room with an obvious haste, their urgent footsteps bordering on a speedy pace, and the tension that they felt was catching. The first of the figures had neared the end of the Hallway, and signalled to the Guards in front of the door. The two guardians bowed slightly, and then pulled open the double-doors, which allowed a bright and certainly unnatural light to shine through. The group entered the room, and the door was shut, and locked, behind them. Unknown to them, a few meters away from the hall, crouched on the edge of a pillar and partially cloaked in the encroaching darkness were a pair of glowing, icy blue eyes. A mouth appeared, showcasing a grin that would've extended beyond the cheekbones of any mortal man. The teeth were mostly straight and human-like, but the canines were far too long, and they seemed to be growing even longer every second, glinting dangerously in the last rays of the sunlight.

"Yes, my Lord. They have arrived under the protection of the sun, but their shield is already falling, and soon, so shall they. At least, he shall, as is your bidding, Sir." The being seemed to speak to nobody in particular, eyes glued to the barely noticeable gaps in the curtains that blocked their view into the hallway they peered into. At least, the curtains would've stopped them if their eyes were that of any other being.
The mouth and eyes disappeared and the sound of many ravens crowing, and many wings flapping, filled the darkening sky around them. A small bird-like creature flew toward a window on the side of the building, as innocuous as could be.




12/12/2012.
Sunset.
Vatican City / Rome.
Inner Sanctum.


A clenched fist slammed down onto the table, sending a shockwave through the wood and causing a few of the items to fall off and smash onto the floor, sending glass and other sharp objects spraying across the ground. The long, blonde hair of the agitated male to whom the fist belonged was in dismay, as if he had recently been attacked, or at least frightened out of his wits.
The man beside him, however, was calm and collected. His adoptive father stood still and stalwart as his son continued his not-quite-but-almost tantrum. By this point Sir Arthur was well aware of the Pope's disagreement with his plans to set up a defensive perimeter around the Holy Vatican City. However, his information came from a reliable source- yet the Pope still had a point. "What would the people think?" was a common thought amongst people in his position.
Unfortunately, it was also the very same common thought in the minds of men and women who'd been far too eager to throw their lives away. The light of God may reach far and wide, may protect those within it, but..

"I demand that we follow through with the plan! Who knows what may happen if we wait?! The Devil may be raising his army already, and a portal to Gehenna- Erebus, Purgatory, whatever it is you wish to call it, may be opening as we speak! The Demon spoke as if the fight was already beginning!"

With a soft noise that was something between a sigh of exhaustion and annoyance, the man before them turned to face them. His face was line with wrinkles, especially around the eyes. Arthur had known him for years at this point, worked alongside him for even longer. Both of them were tired old men, and Angel was an angry young man. Lifting the cup of tea up to his lips and taking a long sip as he seemed to contemplate his words, the Pope took his time before replying to the insubordinate young Exorcist.

"Hush, Angel. Anger and chaos are precisely what our enemies wish for us to be lost within. We must be patient, and wait until the time is right. When we know our opponent's weaknesses, then we may attack. If the Devil truly is waging war upon our world, then we will retaliate in kind when we're sure we are not being manipulated by some minor Demon."

The young man raised his head, blue eyes sparkling with anger. He blinked hard a few times and growled in the back of his throat, finally bowing his head in submission and muttering an apology under his breath. The men were located far underneath the actual Vatican City ground level, completely and utterly secured from almost any assault from enemies. Deep beneath the world in an emergency meeting chamber that not many people were aware even existed. It was a secure compound that was accessed via a hidden elevator in the room they'd just moments before arrived in through the hallway. It would be impossible to find, hidden behind security both man-made and.. not.
Nobody would be able to enter.

At least, that was what they thought, until the door flew open and a flock of crows exploded into the room, carrying the bodies of the dead guards and mutilated corpses of the common populace the beast had tore itself through on its way through the building. A gasp arose from the majority of people in the room along some screams and shouts of alarm, but Arthur barely noticed them.
He was focused on the humanoid figure in the midst of the flock of crows, a low growl emanating from deep in his throat. Several soldiers rushed at the creature, unloading the entire clip of their armaments into the being with absolutely no effect. It simply levitated there in the midst of the storm of ravens without even so much as a blink.
Until it suddenly cocked its head to the side and several crows and ravens shot out and tore into the men, ripping out their unprotected eyes and slitting their throats with their vicious beaks. More soldiers began firing wildly at the violent fowls, but still it was undisturbed.
Until Arthur lobbed a grenade right at the demon before him, watching as it broke apart midair and a bright, blinding glow filled the room. The birds converged in front of the being, coating it and protecting it from the resulting incendiary explosion. The crows dropped to the floor, burning and dead as the creature flexed the massive, dripping talons on its hands. Arthur had already drawn his sword and positioned himself in front of the two men behind him- his son and his Pope.

The figure's piercing blue eyes bore straight into Arthur's soul, and the talons that the figure possessed, along with the maniacal grin and the pointed teeth all caused the alarm bells in his head to go off faster than they ever had before.
Except for one unfortunate night a few years ago.

Without hesitation Arthur shot forward with speed no mere man could ever hope to muster. Shooting through the room like a bullet, Arthur narrowly missed his target as the Demon vanished into his flock of birds. His blade slammed into the wall and went through before he tore it out and tossed it across the room like a boomerang. The blade whirled past the Pope and Arthur's son, managing to spear the Demon in the chest as it was in the middle of reforming. It let out a hellish shriek, staggering back as the birds around it began to fly unsteadily and scream with the voices of terrified children. It clawed at the sword buried to the hilt in its chest, raising its eyes to lock gazes with the man who was making his way across the room towards it.
It had been a short skirmish, but a skirmish it had been. Angel stood in shock as his father marched over to the Demon and grabbed the hilt of his sword, chanting something to himself under his breath. The Demon screamed again, its pitch-black body shuddering as smoke began to burn from the hole within its torso. It sank to its knees, gripping the blade and then reaching up to grab Arthur's hands tightly, trying to pull away but failing miserably.

And suddenly Arthur was standing in the middle of the room, sword still in its sheath. Angel was behind him, shaking off the illusion and pulling himself off of the floor as quickly as he could. He staggered a little and Arthur caught him, turning around to look at the carnage that decorated the rest of the room.
He should've expected it. He should've known.

Everyone in the room but them was dead and mutilated, torn apart as soon as it put Arthur and Angel under its spell.
Just like last time.
His gaze shifted over to the body of the Pope, barely recognisable and barely even able to be considered a body anymore. It was charred a dark black, the result of severe electrocution. The man had stood no chance.
His cross was still clutched in his hand, melted into his blackened skin from the heat and power of the electricity that fried him alive. His clothes were still softly smouldering after being put out by the men that'd rushed into the room to check up on them.

Step, step, step.

"I take it that wasn't a tourist on a vacation."
He turned to look down at the woman beside him, young and fair of skin with eyes that glimmered like rubies set ablaze and hair that was as yellow as the finest golden rays of the sun. He knew that by the lack of reactions of those around him that she was making herself known to him and him alone. A sombre nod was his only response as she kept her distance from the bodies out of respect. For a moment Arthur thought she might start eating people, but the Vampire had too much of a grip on herself for that.

"If that's the case, Arthur, then may I suggest we finally do what I've been asking to do this whole time?"
With a soft sigh, Arthur turned to his son who was still wide eyed in shock. The Pope had just been assassinated in front of him, after all. Arthur, though, was far too used to this and that was the thought that nagged at the back of his mind as he spoke.

"I want perimeters put up around the entire city. We'll begin construction of the proper facility immediately. Notify all of our agents that the proof of Satan's imminent war has come. We have no time to lose." He wasted no moments in exiting the room and stepping into the elevator. Angel stayed beside him the entire time. He didn't even stop to know if any of the men had responded to his order.
After a minute of time Arthur spent wishing the elevator would open, the duo were marching along the bloodstained corridor through which they were certain the thing had broken in. Glass was covering the ground like traps made to rip their feet open, and speaking of being ripped open..
Arthur ignored the corpses that littered the building as the alarm went off in the distance. The pounding of boots filled his ears as he made his way out and, on the side that was occupied by Angel, reality shimmered for a moment and then, beside him, the same young woman walked.

"Principal Illusion, please inform our important staff of an immediate change of plans. Angel and I will be taking the reins from here on out."

"Of course, Arthur. Congratulations on your long awaited promotion."
She vanished before he could reprimand her for her crude and distasteful joke, but he was cut off as he saw several members of the Council rushing towards him with speed fuelled by their horror.

Angel, however, was busy in his own mind. He thought he'd seen that Demon somewhere before, and he'd finally figured it out.
His entire personal squad was slaughtered and he was sent rushing back home to tell the others.
The thing's words- the very same words that sent him running to try and save the Pope- rang clear in his ears. Its raspy, almost whispering voice made him shiver as he heard it once more, like it was being slithered into his ears and the thing was right beside him.

"My task here is complete. Your survival is only so you may serve as a messenger. Tell your beloved allies that my Master is rising, and his Children will soon join him."




Current Day.
Approx. 12 O' Clock / Noon.
'Warriors of the Divine Light' Central Headquarters.
Vatican City / Rome.


The man sat in the chair, staring down at the document in his hand for the longest time. The Exorcist never thought to mention it, but Arthur had always taken an unnaturally long time to read documents. Maybe it was because of his missing eye? It didn't stop him from being unstoppable with a sword, but..
Immediately being shocked back to reality as if Arthur could hear his thoughts, the man floundered for a moment to regain his composure as the Archknight placed the report down onto the desk in front of him. With a quick nod from Arthur, the Exorcist saluted and made his exit from the room. In more than a little of a rush, admittedly. Arthur was intimidating to almost anyone- except the very next person he ran into. Making her way down the hallway and humming just a little too loudly to herself was the blonde-haired, crimson-eyed Principal of their Academy. He'd grown used to her presence over the years; an eccentric young girl who was wise far beyond her years. He was sure she was far to young to work here, but nobody seemed to ever question-

He lost track of his thoughts as she passed him and gave him a polite wave. He returned the gesture, pausing for a moment. As she moved on, so did he, and he couldn't for the life of him remember what he'd just been thinking about.
Ah well.
If it really mattered, he'd remember it eventually.

Back in the room, Arthur looked up to see the door open and nobody step inside.
Moments later, however, he heard the familiar whispered voice of his companion in his ear, close enough to bite him if she wanted.
It was a consistent worry of his.

"M'lord Archknight," she spoke, the faintest trace of teasing sarcasm in her almost velvet voice, "it seems that information source we found was very good indeed. Our troops are ready to round up our new little friends at any time."
Arthur rubbed his brow and nodded. "Then do so. Wasting time could lead to any number of disasters. I trust you can do what you need to. Godspeed."

"Godspeed? Please."

His conversational partner vanished into the shadows with the faintest ghost of a smile. Her red eyes were the last thing to vanish as she evaporated into nothingness. The Archknight wasn't very fond of the times when she refused to use the door- he was certain she'd been listening in to his last conversation, too. He slowly stood from his chair, closing his eyes.
He opened his eyes, a grim expression adorning his features as he touched the axe that sat at his side for a brief moment of comfort. He walked over to the table in the middle of the room, looking over the map upon it. Red pins were placed, one in every country, bar the tiniest.
"The tears in space itself that link us to Hell." His gaze shifted, and he touched the seven black pins on the map in turn, grabbing them and placing them over in one single place- right in the middle of Vatican City, Rome. He finished pinning the black ones to the map, then turned away to look out of the open window beside his distastefully ornate chair. He could see troops training down below, practising a common drill with their instructors. He moved over to the window and placed a hand on the windowsill, staring out at the horizon with an expression most people would see as 'distant'. Arthur, however, much as he was loathe to admit it, was worried. Very worried.

His eyes closed once more and he held out his hand, a familiar blade hidden inside an ivory white sheath materialising in his grip. His eyes opened once more, a soft blue glow appearing in them as his expression set into a stony, determined and grim semi-glare.

"So it finally begins, then."




- The Premise -


Spread across the world are seven individuals with, generally, no connection whatsoever, except one- the blood of the Devil, Satan himself, runs through their veins. These people are any age, any race, from any walk of life, but that one crimson thread connects them together.
On the date that became known as the '12th Day', the entire world was shaken by an event that resulted in an entire shift in how reality was perceived- several portals high up in the sky suddenly tore their way through the veil dividing the Human world and the World of Monsters, and suddenly Humanity was facing a brand new threat that seemed to come quite literally from their very nightmares.

While many Non-Human races integrated into the newly fused world as best they could, the veil seemed to be irreparably shattered and, with it, the signal to those beings with malicious intent in mind was clear;
"Wreak havoc and unleash Hell."
And so those who felt so inclined did just that.
Out of all of the races that Humanity was concerned about, one race in particular stuck out and was particularly fear and reviled; Demons.

While Non-Humans and Demons had plagued the world since the beginning of time, they'd never been so openly in Humanity's face since the Age of the Gods long ago, and even then it wasn't so..
Volatile.
Monsters pulled straight from myth and nightmares and horror were suddenly filling the Earth and its lands and seas and skies.
However, Magick, too, became somewhat of a mainstream. Once kept only to secretive societies that worked behind the scenes in both worlds, Magick was now quite common- but it took skill to use, and thus another divide formed; Humans and Mages. With organisations like the Mirage Orchestra coming into the spotlight for their sheer abilities to shape reality, or the Horrendum Sanctaris for the horrible things that came from their inner sanctums, the 'normal' world was in shock for the longest time and that stuck; "Mages aren't human anymore" was a common thing to hear when attending anti-Mage rallies.

Funny, then, that only Mages were protecting 'normal' Humans from being eaten alive.

There was, however, one faction nobody expected to begin to act, and not many even knew they'd sprung into action.
The Angels, knowing that if Satan had his way the entire world would become a barren battlefield, began to assist those who'd fight against the Demons.
Yet an Angel has never really been seen, only spoken of and heard. Hmm..

Through the information provided by a 'reliable source' the Warriors of Divine Light (WDL) were able to locate the Seven Children with relative ease and, with the new leader of their organisation giving them the go ahead, the WDL proceeded to relocate the Children they'd found to the brand new 'refurnished' Vatican City in Rome. No longer was it just a beautiful Holy city; now it was a beautiful Holy city and the perfect place to train the people they so badly needed; Exorcists.
Spearheaded by the new Archknight named Arthur and with the Rome Academy being overseen by an abnormally young Principal named Illusion, the WDL quickly became the forefront of Anti-Demon technology and combat.
This is where the story begins.

With every Child under their roof, the WDL intends to turn what would be the world's future destroyers into the world's future saviours. If they're willing of course.
The WDL acted on the information provided to them only when the time was right, however; each Child was only relocated after an experience with something unnatural. A traumatic experience at the hands of a Non-Human or, in some cases, even a Demon itself. Only then was the alarm tripped and the Child whisked away to (relative) safety to be trained and strengthened.
In order to keep the timeline neat, all first posts will be on the same day when the Principal calls the Children to a lecture hall for a small chat. Flashbacks of how they were relocated to Rome are fine.




- The People -


Not every character is a Child; there's only Seven of them after all.
Demons, Non-Humans, regular Humans and even some.. other races are allowed but all require my approval. Below is a character list and soon after that I'll upload a character sheet to use as a base model.

- The Seven Children 7/7 -

+ Jonathan Black, played by Zody.
+ Ashley Clade, played by Tanman.
+ Rick Brackwall, played by Zalgo.
+ Vesper Himemiya, played by Pandora's Melancholy.
+ Sibyl Faivre, played by Phantom's Sword.
+ Caius Grady, played by Secret Maiden.
+ [RESERVED]

- Demonkind 3/∞ -
+ 'Illusion', played by Zody.
+ Miseri, played by Zalgo.
+ [RESERVED]
+

- Non-Humans 3/∞ -
+ Candice Hallows, played by Tanman.
+ The Plague Doctor, played by Zalgo.
+ [RESERVED]
+

- Humans 4/∞ -
+ Kane O'Reilly, played by Tanman.
+ [RESERVED]
+ [RESERVED]
+ [RESERVED]
+

- Other 1/∞ -
+ [RESERVED]
+




- The Character Sheet -


Code: Select all

[u][b]I. Physical and Mental Profiles[/b][/u]

[b]I. Physical Profile.[/b]

[center][b]- Name -[/b][/center]

+ (Self explanatory, honestly.)

[center][b]- Titles -[/b][/center]

+ (Any nicknames or titles the character has?)

[center][b]- Physical Age -[/b][/center]

+ (The age your character appears outwardly.)

[center][b]- True Age -[/b][/center]

+ (The true age your character is, or at least a close approximation of their age.)

[center][b]- Gender -[/b][/center]

+ (Self explanatory, although someone without gender isn't quite that uncommon in the world of Non-Humans.)

[center][b]- Race -[/b][/center]

+ (Demons, Humans, etc; Children should put Half-Demon here.)

[center][b]- Subspecies -[/b][/center]

+ (If you're a Demon or a Non-Human, what type or Demon or Non-Human are you? Children and Humans put N/A or something. Maybe Nationality?)

[center][b]- Description -[/b][/center]

+ (A brief or not so brief description of your character. It can be as detailed of basic as you'd like it to be.)

[center][b]- Any differences from your provided image/s -[/b][/center]

+ (Faceclaims are great, but it's hard to find the perfect face sometimes- if there's anything your chosen faceclaim is missing, this is where to put it. This is optional, but I think it's a nice thing to include.)

[b]II. Mental Profile.[/b]

[center][b]- Personality -[/b][/center]

+ (Who is your character? How do they act? How do they express their emotions? Y'know how this works~)

[center][b]- Likes -[/b][/center]

+ (Self explanatory, detail is up to you.)

[center][b]- Dislikes -[/b][/center]

+ (Same as Likes.)

[center][b]- Fears -[/b][/center]

+ (Same as Dislikes.)

[center][b]- Hobbies -[/b][/center]

+ (Same as Fears.)

[center][b]- Secrets? -[/b][/center]

+ (Feel free to not put anything here, but anything particularly story-shaking should be run by me first! After all, secrets are meant to be secrets..~)

[center][b]- Outlook on life -[/b][/center]

+ (A brief little writing prompt to really get into the mindset of your character. Plus, it's just fun.)

[center][b]- Affiliation -[/b][/center]

+ (Which organisation does your character work for? If they don't work for anyone, put N/A. If they work for themselves, put exactly that.)

[center][b]- Moral Alignment -[/b][/center]

+ (This is a rather odd one; if you're unfamiliar, please go to the link at the bottom of this sheet as pasting it here will just straight up paste the link.)

[b]III. Statistics.[/b]

[b]- Willpower -[/b]

+ (Willpower is a stat that determines precisely how 'determined' a person is. It affects their ability to cast Magicks of any kind as it dictates their ability to shape Reality to their will. To put it simply, it's a measure of how confident and capable a person is in regards to forcing changes in Reality. This is required for Magick Users of any type.
On top of this, a Mage's Willpower dictates how resilient they are to Mind Control, Illusions, and the like. A Mage with higher Willpower will also have stronger Spells.)

[b]- Faith -[/b]

+ (Faith isn't faith in a deity, it's faith in oneself- "I know that when I cast this spell it will work." The secondary Magick-related stat, it's not quite as important as Willpower but is still an integral part of Magick use. You can't cast Magick if you don't believe in it, after all. Having high Faith means that no matter what happens, you'll be able to cast Magick. The best Mages have high Willpower and Faith.)

[b]- Mana Capacity -[/b]

+ (The amount of Mana flowing in the body of an individual. This is also a very important stat as a Mage can't cast Spells without Mana. Having more Mana reserves means more Spells, means more chances of surviving a battle with another Mage or monster. Arguably this is the most important Magick stat as even the strongest Mage is useless without any Mana, not to mention the cost of running yourself completely dry could easily be certain death. I'll explain that in the story.)

[B]- Magickal Proficiency -[/b]

+ (A Mage's general ability to utilise Magick. While other stats are 'innate' stats, this is a Stat that's raised through a Mage's training and research. With that in mind, one could have a very high Proficiency but still lack the Willpower to use certain Spells and vice versa. This stat is compared to their enemy to give a rough indicator of who'll come out on top in a fight as it rounds up all of the factors into one neat little bundle.)

[B]- Physical Competence -[/B]

+ (A secondary stat to most Mages, especially those who focus on Physical and Enhancement Magicks, this stat is pretty self explanatory. An average of how fit the character is and how capable they are.)

(The baseline for all of the stats is 'D', which is the 'average non-magick using human'. The scale looks like this;
E > D > C > B > A > S > SS > SSS > X > EX with each stat being roughly double the strength of the last. So X is twice the level of SSS which is twice the level of SS etc etc.
EX is an exception in that the stats in this category are 'unable to be measured'. While that doesn't mean the stat's power is infinite, it does mean that said stat is excessively high- the levels of God and above, even. No human could ever hope to reach EX, let alone EX.
Or could they?

Speaking of stats, the + and ++ should be mentioned here too. + is a stat which is above the halfway mark between the stat and the one higher than it. ++ is a stat that is almost the stat above it but not quite there, thus not reaching the mark. For example someone with an A++ Physical Competence is just barely off of hitting S rank.)

[u][b]II. Innate Abilities.[/b][/u]

[center][b]- Active Abilities -[/b][/center]

+ (Innate Abilities are those specific to your character and your character alone aside from a few exceptions such as Power Mimicry, Power Theft, Doppelgangers, etc. These are abilities that are coded into their DNA, that they're born with. Nobody else can learn these aside from the exceptions mentioned prior.

Active Abilities are those that are activated to affect surroundings. For example, a type of Fire Magick special to your character and your character alone. You can have as many as you'd like, but don't overdo it unless their power level is somewhat proportionate.)

[center][b]- Passive Abilities -[/b][/center]

+ (Passive Abilities are Innate Abilities that are always active- that make up the core of your character's being. An example would be if they're able to gain knowledge from eating people. Same as above in regards to limits.)

[center][b]- Boundary -[/b][/center]

+ (A Boundary is a forbidden type of Magick exclusive only to those with S (or above) Willpower, A (or above) Faith, SS (or above) Mana Capacity and SS (or above) Magickal Proficiency. It's the 'ultimate Magick' that'll be covered in universe. Please put Yes or No until then.)

[u][b]III. Acquired Magick.[/b][/u]

[center][b]I. Active Magick.[/b][/center]

+ (Acquired Magick is Magick that anyone can learn. This includes Spells your character has learned, has crafted, and are available to anyone that wants to learn them and has the required stats to. Things like fireballs or water shields go here. There's no limit to this except how much you wanna put in, honestly.)

[center][b]II. Passive Magick.[/b][/center]

+ (Same as with the above, except these are mostly Buffs and the like; an example would be 'Fire Aura' which is cast but then becomes somewhat of a passive effect while it lasts.)

[u][b]IV. Acquired Skills.[/b][/u]

[center][b]- Acquired Skills -[/b][/center]

+ (Skills are unrelated to Magecraft, and are things you'd commonly find in even regular people. For example, a type of Martial Arts is a Skill the character has acquired, and thus would go here. Once again, no limits- especially since the people here are probably quite talented. An example would be Mechanic A+ which allows them to repair and upgrade vehicles and the like.)

[u][b]V. Familiars.[/b][/u]

+ (Familiars are those bound to your character. You can go into as much or as little detail as you like with them.)

[u][b]VI. Equipment.[/b][/u]

[center][b]- Weaponry -[/b][/center]

+ (What weapons does your character possess, even if they're not always on their person?)

[center][b]- Vehicles and Constructs -[/b][/center]

+ (Got any sweet rides or autonomous android butlers?)

[center][b]- Miscellaneous -[/b][/center]

+ (Any equipment that doesn't fall into the two prior categories goes here.)

[u][b]VII. Biography.[/b][/u]

+ (It's ya boi Edgy Backstory here to be the Main Character ecks dee)

[u][b]VIII. Miscellaneous.[/b][/u]

+ (Any information that isn't included in the above sections you want to include?)



This is the site for the Alignment!


Toggle Rules

Rules
1. I want dedicated, detailed and cooperative players for this story. If you're going to vanish, let us know beforehand.
2. This roleplay does have a general storyline in mind, however it's fairly flexible. There IS an endgame, so please keep that in mind. Also, it's a secret~
3. Follow the general site rules. Blood and gore are okay, but if it's gonna go too far down that road or the, uh, intimacy road, take it to PMs or.. something.
4. No godmodding or being a Mary-Sue/ Gary-Stu. That's annoying and I will shut you down. No bunnying, either. Thanks~
5. Swearing is allowed, just not in tedious amounts, so no "fuck" after every second word.
6. Have fun, don't be an idiot and just enjoy the roleplay!
7. I can add new rules if I wish to or see reason to do so.
8. Please run any new 'NPC' characters past me via PM so that I may give them a spot in the 'Notable NPCs' Sheet, please. Also, try not to make them stupidly overpowered, unless it's for very far down the track.
9. If you have any plans you want to have go down, shoot me a PM and I'll let you know if it can be run.
10. This is a reboot of an old roleplay, so I'll be moving a lot of data over from there.
11. If you read this, put 'baka baka' at the very, very bottom of your character page.
12. Have fun and enjoy this game- I'm super excited to get this going again, so I'm super excited to be playing with you all!


The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 6 authors

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Sibyl Faivre Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall

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#, as written by zody
One week prior to the Fifth Child's awakening.

Arthur Evangelion sat on the edge of his bed and casually pushed the cup to his lips, swallowing the water inside it along with the tablets inside before clearing his throat once he was sure they were down and finishing the rest of the glass. Pushing himself off of his bed and placing the glass on the desk beside it he walked over and stepped into his bathroom. Staring at himself in the mirror he noticed yet another grey hair had decided to spring up at his hairline. Grumbling to himself he reached up and adjusted the eyepatch on his face before stepping back and running his hands through his hair to slick it back.

It had been a long time. Being the Archknight, leader of the entirety of the WDL, had its stresses.
Those stresses were slowly growing. He peered out of his bathroom and out into his bedroom before quickly making his way out there.
A rather large crow perched on his windowsill, a rolled up letter clutched tightly in its beak. He made his way over to it and opened his palm, the bird carefully depositing the letter into his waiting hand before giving him a nod and taking off once more.
With a soft sigh, Arthur unrolled the parchment. It was tied with a red string with the familiar Sanzu leaf tied under it against the parchment. The man read the odd letter through, a small knot building in his stomach.

"We're always watching.
Hope you're doing well.
I'll be keeping an eye out.

Regards,
M.S. R."


Indeed, the stresses on the entire WDL had just grown by quite the large margin.
Arthur reached up to run a hand through his hair and groan again.
He was getting too old for this.






Elsewhere in the WDL's compound one Eine Minerva sat at her desk filling out the paperwork that had slowly been building up ever since a new recruit had decided to use Fire Magick on what he'd assumed was a stray cat but turned out to be a peaceful Nekomata that had rather quickly turned not quite so peaceful.

Sighing to herself with a tinge of more than a little annoyance in her voice, she placed her pen down as she finally finished the arduous task. Working over in Rome was much different from working over in her home in Germany. For one, nobody here actually spoke German aside from a few people.
Secondly, almost everyone spoke Italian which she was still learning.
Which meant people could talk trash behind Eine's back.. mostly.

Reaching up to scratch her face under her bandages, Eine reached over to grab a glass of water and took a quick sip before placing it down and sliding the report she'd been filling out to the side. She rather quickly stood up, tucked her chair in, and was about to leave her office when a nurse knocked on the door. With the slightest narrowing of her eyes Eine cleared her throat and bid the person to enter.

Her subordinate, Valencia Nightshade, stepped into the room with another pile of files clutched in her arms.
"I'm sorry, Doctor Minerva, but there was another fight today.."
Eine let out a long, annoyed sigh.
"Who?"
"All the information is in the document on top. We gave them the proper treatment and assigned them both detention and psychological evaluations but we still need your signature for it to be approved."
"The rest of those files?" Eine gestured for Valencia to come over and put them down on her desk as the Doctor pulled her chair back out and took her seat yet again. Valencia did as she was told, putting the file down on the desk and rubbing her arms.
"Just some files on some people of interest that the Archknight has asked you to look over. No more hard work, luckily." Valencia smiled down at the sitting woman who nodded quickly. "Luckily."
"Um, Doctor, could I perhaps take tomorrow night off?"
Eine looked up with a raised brow and Valencia withered a little, clasping her hands together and looking down.
"May I ask why?"
"I, ah, have a date.."
Doctor Minerva studied Valencia's face with a small smile before giving her a nod. "Enjoy your date, Valencia. I will take over your graveyard shift."
Valencia let out a short squeal and jumped in excitement before catching herself and clearing her throat awkwardly. Eine's smile widened ever so slightly.
"Thank you, Doctor Minerva. I'll see you tomorrow!"
"Have a good night, Val."
"You too, Doctor!"

The girl rushed from the room and slipped out the door and Eine heard another voice begin to speak. Val and the other person gossiped as they moved away down the halls and Eine shook her head.
"Ah, people are so funny these days." Looking down at the forms she had to sign, she quickly got those out of the way and slid them over to the side before staring down at the documents before her. All of them were folders, all of them were quite large. Flipping the one on top open she made a noise as she plucked a letter from the top and quickly skimmed through it.

"Doctor,

These files are quite important and as the Chief Medical Officer of our fine establishment I feel you should be apprised of the new developments and changes coming to our lovely little pocket of Eden.
Do not divulge the contents of these folders to a single soul or you're like to lose yours. I don't enjoy threatening you but the sheer importance of secrecy in regards to this event requires it.
You will be assigned to their care personally.
Be good.

- The Principal."


Doctor Minerva raised an eyebrow and took a quick glance over the first folder.
'Rick Brackwall'.
Then the second.
'Jonathan Black'.
The third, fourth, fifth and sixth were all the same. People she'd never seen nor heard of and suddenly they were of grave importance. Scanning Rick's file more closely, however, revealed something that sent a shiver down her spine. She quickly scanned through the others and sat back in her chair, taking a deep breath.

"So this was what you meant, then, Devi LeRouge." Her voice returned to the language much more natural to her and she swallowed thickly. Nothing good could come of this.

In each and every folder under the 'Race' section was something Eine had hoped to never see.
"Child of the Devil.."






Five days prior to the Fifth Child's awakening.

Reclining in the chair in the small closet that Asmodeus had converted into a special room in the back of her general store, she stared up at the ceiling before casting her gaze over to the box sitting beside her feet up on her desk. It'd been one hell of a trip (hah) getting up here in one piece and having that tiny vampire on her side meant Asmodeus was in a great position!
For one, what kind of Exorcist would pass out the good she was selling, right? On top of that, nobody hunting her sweet ass down would be able to actually get to her sweet ass or any other portion of her body as long as that barrier stood.
And the barrier would stand forever, apparently.

She was in a great starting position. Every single card was on the table and they were all in her favour. She had money, she had info, she had protection and even more importantly just nearby was..
Glancing at the door to her small room, she felt a grin break out on her face as she reached down and tenderly felt her stomach, wincing as she did so.
Everyone in Hell knew what was happening. Illusion hadn't personally been back to Hell in around twentyish years and thus things had changed around. A new Demon God was on the rise, more and more turf wars were breaking out, and Asmodeus had decided this was the time for her own return.

Shifting her gaze from the door and over to the wall beside it at the picture of a certain man with a massive dagger placed between his eyes Asmodeus made a face and slipped her boots off of the table to stand up. Devi LeRouge, the Devil and Satan himself, was going to pay. Everyone that had participated in the betrayal of the now dead Demon Gods was going to suffer.
Asmodeus' eyes narrowed as she walked over to the picture and gripped the hilt of the knife buried deep into the wall and Devi's face.

"I'll make sure you taste the irony of your own family stabbing you in the back just like my siblings did, brother."
And that's the main reason as to why Azzy was here in the first place.
She was here to help Devi's very own smol children rip his heart out and, from her sources, she knew precisely who to go for first. It's why she'd bothered shacking up in such an anti-demon place.
Well, aside from the massive, impenetrable barrier that protected her from whatever the hell it was that was so keen on taking more chomps out of her very being.

Leaning over and clicking her fingers, Asmodeus turned the radio on in her store and couldn't help but smile at her good fortunes. Booting the door to her smaller room open and skidding out into the actual store itself, she smacked the door shut with her rear and danced her way through the store, singing along as she did so.
I Will Survive was one of her personal favourites.

Dancing and taking stock at the same time was a nice little stress reliever for the girl, her pointy Demon ears would catch the rather loud noise of her store's front door opening- several bells and chimes were rigged to make rather beautiful music- if you can consider random noise to be music- whenever the door was actually opened. Not to mention the motion sensors that made a little device in her pocket vibrate whenever the door was opened. I mean, how else would she know if anyone tried to break in when she was in the back room having some private singing time?

Once again Asmodeus skidded to a stop and adjusted a small dagger on one of the shelves, turning on her heel to push a box of cereal back away from the edge of its own shelf. The worst thing in the world was getting Demonic cereal in your hair, trust her, she knew.
Humming to herself as she glanced around her store- a mishmash of different items from food to weapons to Mana potions stacked against the wall behind her counter, it was an inventory like something out of some sort of video game.
And if this was a video game then she sure as hell was the best merchant in it. Nodding to herself in satisfaction as the song faded out and one of the many songs from that fancy new musical about America's founding fathers came on, Asmodeus grinned.

"Well, I suppose it's about showtime, am I right ladies and gents?" she spoke to nobody, leaning against the counter of her shop and nodding in satisfaction.
The door to the place opened into a large room that extended to the person's right and was full of shelves with every type of thing they could imagine. Straight down a rather clear path from the door was Azzy's 'Special Services' room marked with a fun sign she'd made all by herself.
'No Knocks, No Service' was the slogan of the little room and, frankly, she was proud that not a single soul who hadn't had the common decency to knock was given service.

All the way at the right end of the shop was the counter behind which Asmodeus would spend most of her time.. if she didn't really prefer to be in the back room. Behind the counter at the opposite side of the gap she used to get back and forth from behind it was another door that lead to yet another small room that Azzy had converted into a tiny bedroom of sorts. It was a grand departure to what she was used to but hey, whatever works, right?

Asmodeus' shop was quite out of the way and that's how she'd gotten such a bargain on her little residence. Not many people came by this older, more decrepit portion of the good old Commercial district so Azzy had a great amount of freedom on her hands.
Which was great because she was a relatively notorious Demon God who needed to lay low.
Plus, if she really wanted a ton of clients, she'd put up a sign.
Which she did.
She also sent out flyers to several people including her main client (she hoped) by the name of Rick Brackwall.
She'd been loathe to give so much information freely but Illusion had pulled the 'you owe me' card and Asmodeus had obliged.
Thus the files had been collected, collated and taken to some nurse for some reason. Asmodeus kept duplicated, obviously, what good information broken wouldn't? However, it still made her uncomfortable.

She didn't even get any souls out of the whole ordeal.

Asmodeus frowned.

Well, regardless of that she could easily make up for it. With her frown turning into a grin she heard the doorbells open and someone step inside. With a beaming smile sure to dazzle anyone who gazed upon her pretty face she set upon her first customer like some sort of fusion between a predatory bird and a businesswoman.
"Welcome to the one and only Azzy's Bizarre Bazaar! How may I help you today?"

Needless to say, Asmodeus made quite the profit by the time the starstruck Exorcist had left.
"This is a good start, yeah, this is a great start."
Azzy smiled to herself as she counted her cash.






Two days prior to the Fifth Child's awakening.

Jonathan Black was tired.
All day he'd been working in the cafe and all day the customers had been more and more 'UGHHHHHHHHHHH'.
Seriously, he wasn't even kidding. One guy had asked for his latte remade twice, a woman and her family had claimed the chicken parmigiana wasn't 'parmigiana-y enough' and a kid had decided the best place to spit on his kid brother was in the middle of the lobby.
And the kid brother then promptly threw up all over the floor and turned into a living car alarm that Jojo swore could almost shatter the glass in the cafe's windows if he really wanted to.

It didn't help the place was understaffed today and Jojo was currently carrying 500,000,000 orders to the tables like he was trying to do his best impersonation of the Flash except he was a waiter and not a superhero.
Except, unfortunately, it was understaffed.
It didn't help that the chef was currently coked out of his mind and making a bunch of really wacky orders that Jojo refused to serve out of terror of even touching them.
He cooked burnt eggs and called it 'Crispy Bacon and Eggs' for one and that was a no-no and probably a health hazard. He kept raving on about something called 'fond' but Jojo was frankly not very 'fond' of whatever 'fond' was.
He was also pretty sure it had nothing to do with burning eggs until they were like some sort of pitch black mutant cardboard.

Sliding a pair of plates onto a table and giving the couple as warm a smile as he could, Jojo practically skated his way back to the kitchen and looked up at the clock.
His shift was almost over and, damnit, he was glad.
He sincerely hoped that the chef wasn't going to explode anything in the kitchen.

He needed a better job with less health hazards.

As soon as twelve hit he was out. That's how he'd always done it- "Hey can I work here until twelve and then do uni stuff the rest of the day?"
"Sure thing, dude, just don't kill anyone."
"I.. I wasn't considering it, honestly. Kinda worried you mentioned it."
"No need to worry, friend, it's only happened twice."
"Oh."

Midday hit a little while after Jojo's little expositional flashback and he practically leaped out of the doors of his workplace and jammed his earphones in. Pulling his phone out of his pocket, he swiped it to unlock it and tapped a couple times before tapping rapidly a couple more times.

'Yo Lily it's ya boi Jojo
I think my chef is gonna bomb himself tbh
How's work at an actual job going?
Help

JJ.
'

With a few more taps and a small smile Jojo strode down the street and messaged another one of his friends;

'Yo I'm free, we still good for Saturday night or not?
I'm keen to bring pizza if you guys want. Just text me your orders and I'll rock up with the food.

Dat Boi.
'

Shoving his phone into his pocket after putting on some appropriately weeby tunes, Jojo hummed along to the lyrics as he moved down the street. It wasn't surprising that he was so chipper this time of week- when he got home he'd have a brand new episode of-

Reality stuttered and Jojo paused in place, eyebrows immediately furrowing in concern as he reached up to rub his eyes and blink. By the time he was done.. the world was moving as per usual. Shrugging it off as tiredness, Jojo kept his pace down the street.
He couldn't shake the feeling of being watched, however. He couldn't see anyone that seemed too out of place, though, but he caught a flash of a cute girl with vibrant green eyes eyeing him up as he walked past her. Neither of them stopped but Jojo couldn't help but smile as he realised she was totally checking him out.
Nice!

It was a shame he didn't stop but by now she was probably lost in the crowd and, well, whoops.
All he'd have to do is catch the subway to the station closer to his house and he'd be fine. No creepy people could walk into his house and spy on him, could they?
No, they couldn't.
Besides, Jojo was well versed in anime fighting techniques and fung koo.
Just don't ask him to actually show them off.
Please.

Slide down the railing of the stairs that nobody seemed to actually use, buy a ticket, slide down an escalator, arrive on the platform, spend approximately five minutes awkwardly sandwiched between a really muscular dude wearing a wife-beater who hadn't worn deodorant in twenty years and was covered in sweat like he'd just exited a pool and refused to dry off and a much smaller girl who gave him a venomous look every time he even slightly bumped into her like he was a man with lizards for eyes and FINALLY JOJO WAS FREE AND WHOO BOY DID HE ENJOY IT.

He practically pirouetted out of the subway and into the fresh air- well, kinda fresh air- of the streets and began his trek to his lovely two-bedroom apartment shared with an equally lovely friend of his by the name of one Lilyanne Vermouth.
Or, as Jojo liked to call her, Lily.
Just Lily. No puns included. I promise.

And soon enough ya boi Jonathan Black was at home, sliding his keycard across the front door and stepping inside to hear it slam shut behind him. Up to level 8, out the door, down the hall..

He paused, looking over at the door next to his. Those guys had been on vacation for a long time..
Ah well, maybe they'd decided to leave permanently. Surely there'd be another resident soon. He only knew those guys since they'd helped him move in- they were pretty cool dudes from what Jojo gathered of them.
Unlocking the door with the small key he always used, Jojo slid inside and immediately heard a certain little doggo scrambling along the floorboards towards him. Jojo pulled his earphones out and grinned as the one and only Iggy Iggerton skidded into view and over to him.

Needless to say, Jojo gave the good little doggo some ample pets before going on with his chores.
And by chores I mean 'play video games until Lily reminds him to do actual work before deciding to hog his Gamestation 5 for the rest of the day'.

And so it was that Jojo spent the rest of his day until Lilyanne (would've) got home.
He still had that awful feeling of being watched, though.. Oh well, paranoia was a thing, and Jojo wasn't a stranger to it.

Eventually, his phone lit up and he scooted over to grab it and check the brand spankin' new message that sat at the top of his notification list.

"Work is work you dork, please don't
get blown up by your boss, otherwise
I'll have to deal with the utterly crippling
loneliness with you gone sniffle sniffle

Go grab McWonald's or something for dinner, buddy, I'll be home later tonight
Night shift, someone had a 'family emergency' :C "

Well, that was fun.

"I'm glad your work is going better than mine.
At least there's no possibility of being exploded into 100000000000000 pieces.

Please don't hog the console when you get home again thanks.
"

With Lily out for the night Jojo had no other plans, so he spent the next few hours playing the same game he always played- Bright Hearts: Prepare to Love Edition.
He was partial to all of the games in the Bright Hearts series. The spin off, Loveborne, was his particular favourite among them.
If he really had to choose, that is. Bright Hearts II: Scholar of the First Kiss wasn't half bad either, the DLC was fun. Very Old Angry Dragon was a bit of a pain, though. The DLC of Bright Hearts III was pretty good, he thought the final boss of the second DLC, Slav Knight Gorl, was a nice sendoff for the series as a whole.
He'd rant about the series for hours to anyone who asked.
Lily had asked, once, and he was sure she'd regretted it. Poor girl probably had an earache afterwards.

Jojo had spent the rest of his day gaming though. His day was free, thank the Lord above, and that was a rare blessing for him.
Luckily a certain someone didn't hog his games.

And so it was that, after finally deciding that it was a great time to go and get something to silence the apparently endless growling of his definitely-not-starved stomach, Jojo had decided to go to the nearby McDonald's to grab dinner. He briefly wondered how Lily was doing, but figured she'd probably tell him all about it the day after.

The air was a little chilly as Jojo marched down the street. The light nearest their apartment block was busted and had been for about a week now. It was weird that nobody had come to fix it, but whatever. He shoved his hands into his pockets as he reached a road, looked both ways, and jogged across quickly before settling back into a brisk walk.

He still, after all this time, couldn't shake the feeling that he was being watched.
Laughing to himself softly, he kept up his walk until he was where he wanted to be; good old McDolan's.
Gotta avoid copyright, after all.

He stepped inside, finding it awfully empty despite it not being particularly late at night where he was. He sidled up to the counter with a small smirk on his face.
The cashier, looking rather blankly at him, took his order and within a little while he was pushing out of the door, bags gripped tightly in his hand. A woman was making her way down the road rather quickly, catching his sight, and he stepped aside to hold the door open for her as she slid into the McDolan's past him.

She was taller than him, with blonde hair that was tied in a ponytail but still reached her lower back. Her eyes were hidden behind a pair of sunglasses which he only found odd a couple minutes later when he was already marching back home.
"My apologies. Please have a nice night, sir."

"You too."
Jojo watched as she slipped past him and into the restaurant, the person behind the counter perking up at her appearance. Jojo blinked and moved through the doorway, letting the door shut behind him as he made his way back home with bag of food in hand.
A chicken burger and a Half Half Pounder.
Lily would probably be salty, though. He stared down at the bags in his hand and realised he'd ordered for her out of habit despite the fact that she wouldn't be there to partake in the most holy of feasts. With an oddly renewed vigour and a small smile, he practically powerwalked his way back to the apartment, humming a familiar song to himself as he did.

His mother used to hum the song to him whenever he was scared.

He found himself pausing in his tracks, staring up at the sky above him at the stars he could barely see.
He'd never admit it, but he did miss her.
Well.. if..

He was snapped out of his thoughts as something loud crashed nearby and he jumped out of his skin, whirling around to catch sight of..
Nothing. Nothing was there aside from a bin that'd fallen over.
Letting out a tense sigh and then a not-so-tense chuckle, Jojo went on his way.

And that's how Jojo found himself staring at a rather cute girl staring angrily at the door to their apartment building.
She hadn't noticed him yet, he didn't think, so he watched for a little bit as she pulled out her phone and dialled a number.
"Can you come pick me up or something? Yeah, yeah, I got locked out of my apartment again. Darren said he'd let me in but he probably fell asleep. I'm so mad, I've been standing here for, like, fifteen minutes."

Well, Jojo was pretty sure she wasn't putting on a show just for him considering she hadn't even noticed him yet. Her back was turned now and he smiled to himself ever so slightly.
He cleared his throat and the girl jumped in place, reaching up to put a hand over her heart and give him a look.
"I, um, couldn't help but notice you were, uh, a bit stuck." He fished into his pocket and pulled out his own card with a grin. "I can let you in if you'd like?"

The girl's features relaxed and she smiled, nodding to him.
"No, nevermind, I'm gonna go. A person that lives here's letting me in. Have a good night, sis."
She waited a moment and pulled her phone away from her ear, tapping it quickly and stuffing it in her pocket.
"Sorry to be such a bother."
"No, no, it's fine! I know how you feel. My housemate ignores the doorbell sometimes because she's too wrapped up in her games. I'm, uh, not much better sometimes, though." He flashed her a grin and stepped inside, swiping the card and hearing the soft affirmative beep of the door unlocking. Pulling it open, he stepped aside for the second time in the last half hour to let a cute girl through a door.
Was there a convention on or something?

The girl gave him a smile and a nod, her emerald eyes sparkling in the light of the entryway. Her skin was slightly tanned and her eyes were quite pretty. Her blonde hair fell to her shoulders and across her right eye a little.
Definitely a cutie.
She did seem a little familiar, though, but he couldn't remember where he'd seen her before. Maybe she worked somewhere nearby? Ah well.

She moved past him into the building and he followed behind her, making sure the door was locked as he did. She'd already made her way over to the elevator and pressed it, waving him over just in time for the doors to open and for the duo to step inside. Jojo reached over and pressed the button for his floor.
"Hey, that's convenient. We're on the same floor."
"Really? Nice."
She was standing quite close to him and she gave him a small smile.
"Thanks for letting me in."
"Oh, it's no problem, don't worry. Like I said, I know how you feel, hahah."
The elevator doors opened and he extended his hand for her to go first, which she did with a smile and a quick bow, before he followed just in time to avoid being crunched between the doors. They walked down the hallway together in companionable silence before Jojo stopped just outside his door.
"Well, this is me. Hopefully you have a better night after this, miss."
A faint blush spread across her cheeks as she looked down the hallway and chuckled softly.
"Actually, um, could I stay with you for a little bit? I just live next door but my brother Darren works the night shift so he'll wake up in a few hours. I'm so, so sorry to bother you but I, um.. I kinda need to use the bathroom."

"Oh, sure thing!" Jojo nodded and unlocked the apartment door, pushing it open and stepping inside. She'd caught him off-guard but he wasn't going to leave the poor girl out here to suffer or embarrass herself. He'd feel guilty for at least the next year.

"Iggy-wiggy, I'm home!"

No response.
He blinked, confused, and stepped inside the apartment. The girl followed him quietly, looking around the place.
"Nice place."
"Thank you." Jojo replied, moving through the house and checking it. Iggy wouldn't have been asleep by now, would he? If he was, the door opening didn't seem to wake him up.. Which Jojo figured was good, either he really needed the rest or he was being a lazy little dork.
Still, it was a little unsettling, if he was honest. Usually Iggy would always be up and about even at this hour.

He dropped the McDolan's bag down on the couch and looked around for a bit before pointing down the hall to the bathroom to let the girl know where it was.
"Sorry, bathroom's just down there."
The girl hurried down the hallway and vanished almost immediately.

Jojo spent the next couple of minutes striding around the room, chewing on his definitely non-brand name burger. He wasn't uncomfortable, so to say, but he didn't want to sit down and relax with a random girl in his house. It just felt.. weird.
Not to mention he swore he still felt someone watching him.

Noise outside caught Jojo's attention and pulled his thoughts towards it as he heard a pair of voices coming down the hallway.
The neighbours!
Well, since the girl was in the toilet currently, he thought he should let the guys next door know that their sister had arrived, whichever one of them was her brother. Making his way over to the door he paused as he went for the handle, hovering just above the cool metal and narrowing his eyes.

Wasn't Darren supposed to be working the night shift? He could've lied to his sister, but..
He gripped the doorknob and pulled it open, looking outside and catching the two just before they went inside.
"Hey, yo, dudes, do either of you have a sister you're expecting?"
Both of them paused and shook their heads.
"Nah dude, sorry. But yo, did you happen to let your girlfriend in earlier?"
Jojo paused.
"Girlfriend?"
One of the guys laughed. "Yeah, cute chick with super green eyes?"
".. I don't have a girlfriend."
"Ah, bummer, maybe you should though. She seemed pretty intent on getting inside your house and maybe your pants." the other joked.
"Neither of you are named Darren, are you?"

At that moment Jojo realised that they probably noticed something was wrong.
Just like he did. The expression on his face probably tipped them off.
"Should I, like, call the police?" one of them whispered. Jojo nodded silently.
"Fuck dude, you let her in?" the second guy whispered as the first pulled out his phone.
"She said she was your sister..!" Jojo retorted, frankly starting to freak out.

"I'll go stall her, you guys go hide alright? If she tries to get in, say no, obviously."
The two men closed their door almost as soon as he finished his sentence.

Well, fuck, this was bad.
Lily not being here was a good thing after all. It explained the feeling of being watched he'd had for the past few days, and.. he finally remembered where he saw her before- on the way home, the girl he'd caught sight of for a moment on his way home.
... She'd actually been stalking him.
Oh shit.
Jojo took a deep breath and stepped back into his apartment, swallowing thickly as he called out and took a few steps inside, leaving the door open behind him just in case.
"Uh, miss?"

No response.
He realised he hadn't even heard the toilet flush.

The hair on the back of his neck pricked up as he moved through the house, pulling out his phone and texting Lily once again.

"dont come home
danger
might die
ily fam but u better eat the maccas i swear
"

Send. Again.

Jojo jammed his phone in his pocket and, taking a deep breath, moved through the apartment. He checked the kitchen first, making sure no knives were taken- none were- and grabbing one for himself just in case.
After that he tiptoed his way to the bathroom, pausing for a moment before knocking on the door loudly.

"Ah, miss, are you okay in there?"
No response.
"... Miss?"

He slowly pushed the door open, knife in front of him.
The bathroom was empty.
Jojo paused, feeling a cold wave of terror flood through him. He turned around, moving out of the bathroom and back into the apartment when-

She was standing in front of the apartment door, licking her fingers almost idly before she caught sight of him. There wasn't much of it, but Jojo could see blood speckled on her chin and the shirt she wore. Her fingers, he immediately noticed after, were coated in the stuff where she hadn't licked it.
"The window. I just climbed into theirs and had a quick snack. I didn't want the police coming, you know."

Jojo took a step back, swallowing thickly.
"A.. snack? What?"
"Uuuuh.. I ate them? They're food? Like what you have in that bag?" She gestured to the bag sitting on the couch where he'd left it earlier.
"They're.. people! Like you! How did you eat them?!"
"People like me? Oh, honey, please."

She let out a low, mocking chuckle as she swept her hair out of her face.
Jojo let out a shocked curse as he stepped back, lowering his knife slowly as two-four-six more eyes opened around the first two.
Eight eyes.
She gave him a wife grin, happily baring all of her needle-like teeth. She blinked, her eyelids closing in sideways before her two main eyes straight up fell out of her sockets and onto the floor, rolling around like eyeball ping-pong balls as she closed her eyes again and, suddenly, two completely different eyes stared back at him. The whites were pitch black and her pupils were a rusty crimson red as they focused in on him. She licked her lips, smiling once more and letting Jojo see her fangs once again.

Her body shook violently and she doubled over, gripping herself as the back of her shirt exploded violently, four furry segmented legs reaching out. Three of them reached down to touch the floor but one reached up to touch the roof, they were so, so long.. like the legs of a huntsman spider.

A huntsman spider.

A spider.

"Oh FUCK me."
She slowly stood back up and Jojo dropped his knife, stepping back and biting his lip fearfully. Her felt himself starting to choke on his fear as he backed up, tearing up a little as his terror slowly, slowly, took over his mind.
"You're a spider."
"Yes, I am."
"Why?"
"What?"
"What the fuck?"
"Are you done?"
"Kinda."
He turned on his heel and bolted through the apartment to the bathroom and slammed the door behind him, hurriedly locking it and clambering over to the window she climbed out of earlier. He was halfway out of it before he heard the door behind him slam loudly, shaking on its hinges as she beat on it with.. whatever she was beating on it with.
The thought of those hairy legs made Jojo quiver as he reached out, grabbing a pipe that ran down the side of the building before hearing the door behind him outright explode. Something gripped his ankle and yanked him back inside, tossing him across the bathroom and into the wall nearby. The tiles cracked as he hit them hard and almost fell over, but a clawed hand reached out and grabbed him by the throat, lifting him off of the ground and choking him.

His knife fell to the floor, just out of reach.

"Nothing personal, kid, but you need to die. You're going to end the world just by existing. Now, I know, it's not fair because you don't even know, but.. I have family. I have friends. I have people I love that will die if you keep breathing.
Plus.. killing you nets me one hell of a paycheck."
She leaned in, opening her mouth wide as Jojo saw a pair of fangs push past her needle teeth, fangs exactly like those of a spider. He shuddered in her grip, reaching up to grab her face and try to push her away, but she was far too strong. Her strength was just as inhuman as she was, and one of her legs jammed itself into his shoulder painfully like a spiny spear, dislocating it and piercing through it as he screamed in pain. She twisted it, making him flail and writhe in her grip as she got closer and closer and-

Jojo let out a choked shriek as her human hand slid over his mouth, her fangs sinking deep into his neck. He could feel the venom flowing into his veins as he struggled and fought back, tears welling up in his eyes as she slowly began to suck the life out of him.
His right arm dangled uselessly at his side as he tried to fight back again her but failed.

"You can do this, son, I believe in you."
An unfamiliar voice echoed in his mind as his thoughts turned to the guys in the other apartment.
They were killed and for why? Because this thing wanted him dead? They had lives, jobs, futures! They had no right to be killed by this, by this monster!
And what about Lily?!
A thrill of heat shot through Jojo's body as his unfocused eyes focused again, burning with rage and determination.
If Lily came back and this thing was still here..
She'd die.

Hell.
Fucking.
No.

Jojo lashed out with his right arm and smacked the sink, reaching up to the mirror cabinet and yanking it open. He reached inside and rummaged around for a moment before he was suddenly yanked away and slammed into the ground, the spider girl pulling her fangs away and glaring at him murderously.
"Stop struggling or I'll make it as painful as possible."
"Good.. luck..!"
"Wh-"

Jojo, his left arm clutching the razor he used to shave, swung across her vulnerable face with the makeshift weapon.
She immediately shot back, yanking herself away from him with a loud, agonised screech as she reached up and clawed at her face. Jojo threw himself across the room, dropping the razor and grabbing his dropped knife before darting past the girl, who started flailing wildly with her legs. One of them smacked against his side with enough force to toss him into the opposite wall of the hallway, but he forced himself to recover and sprinted out of his apartment as fast as he could, yanking the door shut behind him as the screaming stopped. He dashed to the elevator, hammering the button in a panic.
"You CUT OUT MY EYE, YOU FUCKING PRICK!"
Jojo would've loved to toss a witty reply her way, but he was far too busy on the edge of a panic attack to do much more than almost break the elevator button. A spider! Why was she a spider?! What the fuck was even happening anymore?!
He heard her shout out his name and he pressed himself against the elevator doors, praying to any God that would listen to please, PLEASE, open the elevator RIGHT NOW.

The elevator doors opened.

Jojo practically threw himself inside as, with a roar from his attacker, he heard the front door of his apartment explode as she ripped through it like a bullet through paper. He practically punched the Shut Door button and the doors closed just in time as one of her spider legs jammed through it, followed by one of her arms. She reached around, grabbing at him and eventually grabbing the collar of his shirt, yanking him towards her.
Jojo sliced her inner forearm with the knife, making her scream another curse and retreat, yanking both of her limbs from the elevator doors.

They slammed shut and Jojo pressed the ground floor button, breathing a sigh of relief to himself as he pulled out his phone and tried Lily's number.
Voicemail.

Good enough.

"Lily, Lily, don't come home. Please, for the sake of FUCKING GOD, do NOT come home. There's a- a fucking- some bitch just turned into a FUCKING spider and- I- just stay away, go somewhere else, please don't- don't come home, love you, bye, tell Iggy I'm sorry, please!"
It was only at this moment, speaking Iggy's name, that Jojo remembered that he hadn't seen the doggo since he got home.
Internally, Jojo cursed, but there was nothing he could do now. The only thing he could do is hope she didn't murder their dog and lead her far, far away until the cops came.
If they came.
"Call the police as soon as you get this, the neighbours got like, fucking, eaten or something, I don't know, I gotta-"
The elevator rocked violently and Jojo realised, with sheer dread filling his body, that she hadn't decided to chase him down the stairs.
"She cut the fucking-"

The elevator was in freefall before he even finished his sentence, Jojo screaming for his life as he grabbed the metal railing on the side of the elevator as tightly as he could, dropping his phone in the process. The elevator flew, dropping like a boulder through the empty shaft and Jojo clenched his eyes shut so tightly that it almost hurt.
"This is it. I'm done. It's over."

But the voicemail hadn't sent.
If Dawn didn't get it..
Swearing loudly, Jojo leaped over and grabbed the phone, the screeching of metal on metal as the elevator fell making it impossible to say anything else.
Which really was the worst.

He ended the voicemail as he always did and hoped to the same God that helped him before that it went through.
He would've checked if, a few moments into the thought, the elevator hadn't slammed into the basement floor with enough force to completely wind him and leave him laying there, groaning in agony, with several shattered ribs. There was no dust in the elevator, which made sense considering this wasn't a movie or a game.
Maybe.
He coughed hard, wincing harder as his chest exploded with pain. Slowly, he dragged himself forward and grabbed his phone, stuffing it into his pocket and staggering to his feet. His entire body ached worse than he'd ever felt, but somehow he was able to keep moving. He reached over and pressed the Open Door button on the elevator and it did.
Kinda.
It only opened halfway, but that was enough for the exhausted, bruised and broken man to force himself through the gap and stagger, almost unconscious, out into the garage below the apartment. He clutched his numb right arm in his hand and kneeled down, taking a deep breath before reaching up and jamming his dislocated shoulder back into place. Yet another scream ripped itself from the poor man's throat and he doubled over, tears welling up in his eyes from the pain. He sniffled hard, getting to his feet and hurriedly wiping his eyes clear of the stuff. He blinked a few times, taking a deep few breaths before slowly making his way through the garage. It'd be locked at this time of night, but Jojo had a buzzer to open it.
He also had his car keys still in his pocket.
Lucky, lucky bastard.

Staggering over to his car as fast as he possibly could, Jojo unlocked it and slid inside, keying the engine and starting it up. Luckily for him, there was no trouble like in the movies. He backed out of his parking spot and stopped in time to hear loud banging noises from the elevator shaft. He pressed the button to open the garage door and looked over just in time to watch the spider woman, barely visible, drop down into the elevator. Her eye locked on him, filled with rage and hunger, as she gripped the elevator doors with both hands and began to push them open.
They started to move far too easily.

Jojo floored the accelerator and his car shot forward, the garage door opening just in time to let him zoom out onto the street. He spent a lot of time driving, so if there was one thing he was good at..
He shot down the street, making sure to avoid going over the speed limit. He wasn't scared of a ticket, but he was sure as hell terrified of getting pulled over and having the spider bitch catch up to him. He swallowed hard, looking in his rear view mirror just in time to see her explode onto the road, using her four spider legs to chase after him like she was the villain in the second movie of an appropriately titled superhero movie series.
She couldn't catch him, however, and they both knew it. Jojo's car was fast even if he was following the law, and she couldn't risk being seen by anyone else, he figured. If that was allowed then she would've killed him in the street.
She was an assassin, and assassins attacked from the shadows.
Although.. she wasn't very good at her job, which made him wonder if she really was an assassin.

Jojo's mind was on something else, though.
Where the hell does one go when being hunted by a spider person out for blood? The police would think he's crazy and she'd wait until he was alone in a cell to kill him- though he couldn't even be sure that she wouldn't just go and kill all of the people there.. He couldn't go anywhere he knew, either, or he'd put people in danger.
More people, his mind reminded him.
He grit his teeth and pulled onto a main road. As he did so he became aware that the spider girl was no longer following him on the road.
He wasn't stupid enough to think she gave up, though, that's something that'd get him killed for sure.

Well.. time for a roadtrip, it seemed.






Jojo sat at the wheel of his car, staring out in front of him blankly.

Traffic was horrible.
He'd been driving for.. hours. Far too long. His phone had gone flat as well.
He was completely alone and completely exhausted. The venom was kicking in and he started to wonder exactly what it was that he'd been injected with in the first place.

Either way, it was slowly killing him. He realised he took the wrong route a bit too late. The only real way to go now was out to Long Island.
He preferred it, though. He'd rather drive around Long Island until he ran out of fuel instead of driving into the middle of nowhere on the mainland and dying somewhere in the desert or whatever.
Besides, there was an airport.
He could hide there until a plane was due to depart and sneak on board.
He was gonna have to do that back in London in any case, and if he got arrested, well, good. He'd be safe.
The drive was a thinking trip for him though, really.
Who was the person hunting him, even? Why? What did she mean when she said him breathing would kill the people she loved?
Was she being forced to do this? Was someone..
No, she mentioned a paycheck.
She was choosing to do this, then, but still believed his existence was going to destroy her life?
With a frustrated groan Jojo slammed his head into his steering wheel but immediately jumped when his car horn went off. He gave himself a wry smile and reached up, running a hand through his hair and closing his eyes.

He couldn't keep running, though. The spider girl might just go back to his apartment and wait.
Then Lily would show up.
And she'd die.
And Iggy would die.
And everyone else there would die.
The police would die.
And when Jojo finally went home, hoping everything was over, he would also die.

He really only had one option. There was a construction site not too far from where he was. He'd seen the telltale signs and seen the cranes from afar. They weren't working at the moment as far as he knew.
As far as he hoped. He reached over and grabbed the bottle of water he always kept in his car, taking a long, heavy swig from it and driving as soon as he could.

He had to stop this.

He pulled up across from the construction site and got out of his car, locking it behind him and looking around. It was quiet, the lights were all off, and Jojo mentally prepared itself. He could still feel himself being watched and he turned just in time to see a figure leap from the top of a building across the street and into the building being constructed, several limbs splayed out around her. He licked his lips nervously, his heart beating harder and faster as he thought of her slowly stealthing through the structure and grabbing him from behind-
He took a deep, relaxing breath and headed into the structure as well.
There was only one option, he had to stop this.

He took a few steps into the structure and pressed himself against one of the support beams, looking around in the dark to see if there was anything at all he could use to his advantage.
A few blocks of wood, a couple of hammers, and a pipe. Nothing much, really. His knife was still in his left hand but he'd much rather use something with a little bit more distance.

Something more like a sword.
He always attended Kendo practice, after all, like some sort of sword worshipping nutcase. It kept him fit, it kept him focused. It was fun, too.
Apparently it was also a lifesaver. He was by no means the best, but he could duel someone fine.
Except he'd never duelled a spider woman who could outrange him and also probably stab him to death without him even noticing. He moved as quietly as he could over to the pile of stuff, placing the knife down quietly and grabbing the pipe he noticed before.
But..
A web shot out and hit the knife, keeping it stuck to the pile of wooden planks. Jojo shot backwards and raised the pipe, breathing hard.
The little light the nearby street afforded him let him see the girl, legs extended, moving towards him. She grinned and, for a moment in the light, he saw her teeth once more.
"Unlucky. My body's impossible to injure with blunt objects, especially by a human. My legs are all armour plated, you dumbass, so you should've kept your shitty little kitchen utensil!"

Well, shit.
"Well, shit."

Jojo gripped his pipe tighter, though. If her legs were armoured then he'd just have to smack her non-spider parts.
Which wouldn't be hard as long as she didn't block him.
With a smug smirk she lashed out, slamming her leg into the pipe as he barely blocked with it. The girl seemed more than a little surprised as she yanked her leg back, sizing him up.
"Ah.. you're gonna fight? Thought you were just gonna keep running until you dropped dead, honestly. Nothing you can do, though, you're not strong enough to kill me yet, haha, sucks to be you!"

Jojo cursed under his breath, his vision swimming as he almost, almost, stumbled forward. He caught himself however, gripping the pipe in both hands and licking his lips. He watched her move towards him before she suddenly struck again, aiming for his left leg. He, once again, blocked it with the loud sound of armour hitting metal. She went with another leg, aiming for his injured shoulder. He blocked it and stepped forward, taking ground against her. With confusion in her eyes she stepped back, keeping distance.

He had to get in close.
They both knew that.
She had to keep him at range as much as possible and Jojo had to remove the range.
It was a fatal game of tug of war that they had to play.

Jojo, however, had questions.
"Why?"
"What?"
"Why are you doing this?"
The spider girl raised an eyebrow incredulously. "You're asking the person about to murder you why they're doing this?"
"You said that me breathing would kill the people you loved. What does that even mean?"
She paused, giving him a concerned look that took him completely off guard.
"You don't know?"
"Don't know what?"
"Uhhh... You're a Child of the Devil?"
"What? No I'm not. I don't even know my dad!"
"Yes you are! I'm not falling for your tricks, you bastard, I know what you Demons are like!"
She whipped forward with two legs, one smacking hard into the pole Jojo was using and the other hammering into the side of his lower leg, knocking him off balance and shattering the bone. Jojo swore and dropped to one knee as the leg swung again and slammed into his side, bruising his organs and knocking him across the building. He skidded to a stop on the dirty floor, groaning to himself and pulling himself up.

Demons?
Child of the Devil?
...
Jojo finally understood. He finally got it.

This was an anime.
This was 100% an anime.
It had to be.
Which meant that, as the protagonist, he couldn't die.
Unless he wasn't the protagonist.
In which case he was definitely screwed.

Getting back to his feet he barely managed to lift his pipe in time to block another smack from her legs. The things were easily double his size, so her reach on his was immense. He turned to her, tired and broken, and coughed a little.
It stung like a bitch.
She reached her maximum range and stopped, legs at the ready. Jojo himself stood ready to defend, narrowing his eyes at the woman. She narrowed her eyes in return before pausing as if she heard something in the distance.
Jojo raised his eyebrows.

A momentary lapse in concentration.
The smallest of distractions.
Her leg shot out and hammered him across the face just before he blocked it, whipping his head around and sending him flying across the building and into one of the support pillars. Jojo barely pulled himself off of it before she swung again and he ducked just in time for her leg to smash through the column and miss him by an inch. He sprinted forward and jumped instinctively, her other leg lashing out to trip him but missing. He spun as he landed, smacking another of her legs away as she struck again. He blocked again and again, narrowly managing to avoid being savaged by the things as they came at him, trying to impale and smack him again and again and again. Duck, dodge, block, duck, dodge, block. From above him, from his lower right, from right in front of him. The onslaught was unstoppable, Jojo barely able to keep up with what eventually seemed like a whirlwind of jabs and smacks and whipping tendrils of spear-tipped spider legs. His body was working in overdrive to keep himself going, all of his weight on his right leg so his shattered left wouldn't make him fall over.
But he couldn't last for long.

"Just walk away, please, I promise I'm not gonna hurt anyone!" he shouted over the sound of the limbs whipping the air around him.
"That's exactly what you would say, Demonspawn!" she retorted, quite obviously assured of her eventual, but inevitable, victory.
"I'm not even a Demon!"
"Bullshit!"
Jojo reeled once more as she suddenly lunged at him, shooting across the building with speed he never thought imaginable for anything but a bullet. She slammed into him, covering her body with her legs and becoming some sort of spider cannonball that tossed him once again off of his feet. She shot after him, unwrapping her legs with blinding speed. They slammed into him, cracking even more ribs and the bones they hit, crushing him through one of the support pillars. He tumbled to the ground, coughing and grunting as he did, before coming to a stop and rolling to his feet. His balance was gone, his vision was swimming once more, and he hacked up blood all over the ground beneath him. His entire body ached, like it frankly should've, but a single thought came to him.

"Why am I still breathing?"
He shouldn't be alive. He should've died when she sank her fangs into his throat in the apartment. She was right about one thing, and he couldn't deny it; he wasn't a normal human by any means. Slowly staggering to his feet, Jojo turned just in time to feel the girl grab him by the throat once more and yank him off of his feet. She stared up at him, expressionless, and opened her mouth. Her fangs slid out again, dripping with venom and ready to finish what she started. There were no words exchanged between them.
Jojo realised she looked awfully tired.

But if this was an anime, Jojo, reckoned, he almost certainly had some sort of ability hidden away. If his body was suddenly changing, something had to have been kicking in.
If she said he was a Demon, said that he was a Child of literally Satan himself, then he sure as hell wasn't going to die here. He gripped his pipe tightly and lashed out, booting her in the stomach and making her recoil. As she did, he brought his pipe up and into her arm. Her bone shattered and she let go with a scream, pulling back.
He only had one second.

Something boiled inside of him, his body charging up with.. something.
His eyes flashed for a moment and time seemed to slow down around him, the spider girl slowly retreating while taking a wild shot with her leg. Jojo narrowed his eyes and pushed himself forward, gripping his makeshift sword in both hands and charging forward. The world around him seemed slow but he wasn't slow at all, easily evading her attack and watching her eyes grow wide in what was apparently slow motion. His grip on the pipe tightened and the metal cracked between his fingers as he shot forward and took aim.

Her legs were too slow, however, and Jojo smacked her chest with the bat. Her human torso curled around it as her mouth and eyes widened, a few tears flying past Jojo's head as her fangs began to recede into her mouth. He felt the pipe impact into her body in the blue-tinged world he was in and, following through with his attack, he tossed her as hard and as far as he could like he was suddenly a baseball star.
The girl shot through the air slowly, eyes going unfocused as- suddenly- time went back to normal and she vanished, slapping through one, two, three support pillars before slamming hard into the ground and rolling almost to the other side of the building. Jojo looked down in amazement, jaw almost on the floor, before he shook his head and ran over to the crumpled woman. He needed to take advantage of the little time he had!
He skidded to a stop as he watched her on the floor, trying to pull herself up and failing until, slowly but surely, she managed to get to her feet. Jojo, however, ended up joining her. His entire body was suddenly throbbing with a pain he'd never felt before- a pain that threatened to toss him into unconsciousness if he moved even a muscle. Agony burned through every inch of his form as his muscles twitched out of control, and he dropped the pipe and almost dropped his face into the ground beside it. His legs had given out already, and he could taste blood at the back of his throat.

"D-Damnit.. This isn't the type of.. getting my insides messed up.. I'm a fa-" she choked in the middle of her sentence, throwing up blood all over the floor and stumbling backwards. She gripped her stomach, hissing and panting and choking as Jojo approached and fell. She looked over at him with a wide grin, tears pouring down her face, and she opened her arms wide.
"Well, come on then, satankid, fuck me up like your daddy would want. Go on and destroy our planet, I won't care if I'm dead."
Jojo paused, watching her for the longest time.
She was dead set on him being a monster.
"Come on! Fuck me up! Crush my skull with your little fuckin' murder stick! Spiders are meant to be exterminated, am I right?!"
She laughed at him, but Jojo wasn't worried anymore. Tears had soaked her face and messed up her makeup. Her right eye wasn't even opening anymore, clenched shut in pain. Her fangs were gone and her teeth were back to normal.
She just looked like an upset cosplayer, now.

Both of them were utterly exhausted to the point that, despite her grandstanding, neither of them could kill the other even if they wanted to.
But something had changed in those few moments.

"I'm so sorry."

Jojo slowly dragged himself to his feet, grunting with the sudden sheer increase in exertion it took him to simply stand up. He looked over at his discarded pipe.. and walked away, even turning his back on the woman who stood there, dumbfounded, before shouting at him again. If she wanted to kill him, she could, but he had a hunch that his hit had done a bit more than just wind her.
"What? You're gonna leave and go ruin everyone's lives another day?! Kill me, you prick! Kill! Me!"
Jojo didn't respond.
For this entire time he'd thought of her as a monster trying to kill him, but the moment he'd scored that hit and seen her tears, he was dragged back to the first time they'd met.
When she was a person.
Behind the spider legs and the fangs and the creepy eyes, that spider girl was still a spider girl.
Besides, Jojo wasn't a Demon. He wasn't going to kill her, nor was he going to kill her or her family. He never intended on becoming a murderer and tonight was no different.
Both of them thought the other was a monster, and both of them weren't monsters.

He kept walking and didn't stop until he left the building. Whatever he'd done to her had seriously fucked her up. Maybe all of her organs were where he hit? Maybe her human body was ultra sensitive? Who knows?
He turned around to look over his shoulder as she staggered against one of the remaining pillars of the structure and vomited up another stomach-full of blood before she shot out of the place, leaping away into the night like some sort of ninja with no sense of balance.

Jojo didn't make it back to his car.

He dropped to his knees at the edge of the building and began to slowly fade into unconsciousness. He reached out and dug his nails into the dirt road, pulling himself forward with the little strength his body still had.
He swore he heard the sound of cars pulling in, of several people shouting orders, of his body being lifted up and draped over something they used to carry him.
He swore he saw blonde hair and crimson eyes peering down at him in worry.
He swore someone wished him a good sleep.

He was gone, far gone, in the land of dreams. His bruised and broken body was silently loaded into a truck and, as the team of cleanup experts began their grim task, the truck he was in gained one last passenger and suddenly it was gone.
Teleported across the world, in fact, to a little place called Rome.






The next morning, one day before the Fifth Child's awakening..

While Jonathan certainly wasn't the final Child, he was the most recent Child to be brought to the WDL.
And with that in mind, a certain blonde lolita Vampire was busy doing her rounds.

First up was the first of what seemed to be many coming to their fine establishment, and someone she'd consider a fine member of said fine establishment.

A small knocking sound was audible against the door to the housing of one Rick Brackwall, albeit if he were to answer it, he'd find nothing but an envelope on the floor. Of course, the one who left this expected him to use his ability to read it without even opening it, so they'd just left it on the floor. Inside the letter would be a note, typed out on a computer, addressed to him;

"Rick,

We need to speak later tonight. It's important.
"

Aside from that, a small piece of chocolate cake had been left beside it, complete with a little ribbon atop the meal, and another note.
"A reward, for energy."






Another note was slipped under another door of another important person.
A rather simple one, however.
"Hello there, Ms Himemiya-sama. A recent arrival to our lovely pocket of Eden may catch your attention. However, please don't wake our dear friend Jonathan up prematurely. Dr. Minerva will be mighty upset if you do, I'm sure.
By the way, you may wish to hurry if the name 'Jonathan Black' rings a bell for you.
Have a good day.
"

Yet again, a piece of chocolate cake was left behind, sans bow and note, however. Instead, there was a flower-shaped candy on top.






And yet another letter was left behind at another door, though this one was..

"Please stop being late to class. I notice.
You might give your new arrival a bad first impression.
We've got another one.
Enjoy the cake, it definitely isn't poisoned.
"

And yet again, more cake was left behind.. but this slice was smaller by a fair amount. Huh.. It seemed like a little jab towards the girl living beyond the door, though it's not like the one delivering it disliked her, it's just..
Well, tough love, as they say.






And finally, one last piece of cake for one last person.
Outside of the residence of one Sibyl Faivre sat a rather quaint box in which sat a letter and a slice of cake, more in line with the slices that were given to Rick and Vesper.

"Dearest oh dearest Sibyl, we have a new arrival to the academy today. Please don't bother trying to wake him or we'll have to spank you. You're free to go and stare at him while he sleeps, but waking him up with result in a rather angry Dr. Minerva.
Please don't try to shoot her, either. She's very valuable to us.
"

The cake had a heart on it, this time.






The day of the Fifth Child's awakening.

WIP cuz I'm tired and I wanna sleep and refresh before continuing.

Feel free to post for the days in the timeline provided in the above posts.
whooo time to SLEEP

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Eine Minerva Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall

0.00 INK

#, as written by Zalgo
Birds were singing, flowers were blooming, the sun shined in through the window above his bed.

And the infirmary held new guests.



Rick Brackwall

With a yawn Rick rose from his sheets, the bed crinkling as he moved. The top of his bed was covered with blank white paper sheets which he slept upon. While most would find this uncomfortable and noisy he found the layer of paper over his bed to provide excellent comfort. It conformed to his body, the crinkling was of little note to him and he got to wake up to the smell of a new book. He certainly found paper had worked itself into his life in many ways both large and small.

He began his morning with a shower before dressing up in his standard issue uniform and preparing himself breakfast. His meal was a buttery salmon fillet with a side of toast and a refreshing mint tea. After eating he checked his phone to look up the latest news from the WDL's main board. While he often bemoaned the use of technology supplanting good old fashioned paperwork it did save him a bit of time as this way he didn't have to go down to the offices first to find out where else he was needed.

Navigating his way past the piles of papers that filled his apartment, piles which were stacked taller than he could see past and were so numerous that they only allowed for single person-width passageways between them, he made his way over to the door.

_
After leaving his apartment he made his way down over the bridge and on towards the infirmary. Since the morning was young the sounds of folks about the base were still low as many people were yet to finish their morning routines. Rick had made sure to get up early since he was expecting this arrival.

A shame this latest sibling should be arriving to our medical center as opposed to our greeting center. The thought crossed his mind as he approached the infirmary.

Rick entered the infirmary's front double doors. The place held all the hallmarks of a medical recovery facility, from the scent of disinfecting cleaning fluid in the air to the sounds of ailment. He approached the front desk where a nurse sat.

"Hello. I wish to see the patient that arrived four hours ago."

"Ah, hello Rick. You'll find him under Eine's care up in room 7C."

With a nod and a "Thank you." Rick proceeded over to the elevator where he proceeded up to their floor. Walking with a strong stride, not one of pride but of a focus to business, he eventually made his way up to the patient's room.

_
Inside the room, a very focused nurse was sat with her fingers pressed firmly against her temples.
Of all the things to have happened, this could possibly be the worst. She only hoped that none of the other children had to suffer these injuries on their way to their new home.
It would make an awful impression.
It did, however, mean that Eine was able to familiarize herself with her new charges.
And do what she did best.

She reached out and pressed both hands against the unconscious Jojo's temples. Looking over the clipboard in her hand once last time, she let out a loud, annoyed hiss and closed her eyes, focusing on the boy's body as she activated her powers.
"Shattered right shoulder with a puncture wound that exits the other side,
torn tendons in both arms,
two puncture wounds in his throat, barely missing his jugular vein,
a fractured left tibia and outright broken right fibula,
severe bruising and swelling on his left side and left side of his back,
minor internal organ damage- slightly healed via his own regenerative abilities kicking in to respond to the trauma..
a total of eight cracked ribs,
a minor concussion,
a small jaw dislocation,
minor impact damage to his spine and back, bruising around his right ankle,
several lacerations around his entire body, ranging from small and shallow to small but deep..
severe envenomation via injection through the neck, Tsuchigumo venom, treated upon arrival with possibility of relapse..
Mein Gott, someone certainly tried their best to kill you, didn't they, little Jonathan?"

_
"Indeed. For one so inexperienced he fared quite well, all things considered." Rick added, stepping into the room after he had made his presence known. He had caught her recap of his wounds as he was right at the door when she recited them. Rick gave a short nod to Eine before stepping aside to the corner of the room. "I do apologize for dropping in. I shall keep from distracting you any further."

With that said he looked over the body of the young man over from his side of the room as he waited for Eine to proceed with the mending, his arms behind him as he stood with almost military formality.

_
Eine turned, unsurprised, and gave Rick a small smile.
"Please, Rick, your presence is always welcome."
She sat for a while, marking down all of Jojo's injuries on the clipboard in her hand with remarkable speed.
Somehow her handwriting was very clear, something not many doctors could attest to.
"He did very well, indeed. He seems to be the frontline guard type. A Templar in his future with us, perhaps? He singlehandedly fought off a rather dangerous Youkai while also fighting off the venom coursing through his veins for several hours at least. It seems having that gives one quite a potent bonus."

Standing up, Eine reached over and brushed Jojo's hair from his face with a small smile. She shifted herself, reaching over and clamping both of her hands against his temples once more as tightly as she could while remaining gentle.
A final check to make sure nothing was missed.
And, indeed, nothing had been missed.

Eine's closed eyes narrowed a little but she began chanting under her breath, a soft and steady melody that made the skin beneath her palms glow ever so softly.
"Please forgive this trespass, but it is for your own good."
Dropping back into her chanting, the green glow began to shoot through Jojo's exposed torso. His body was covered by a sheet from the waist down, but he was mostly exposed otherwise.
Rick, due to this, would be able to watch as the green glow spread through his body to the injuries he'd sustained, pausing there and growing brighter. Large clumps of green under Jojo's skin began to glow brighter.
There was a crack as the glow in his left leg suddenly vanished, sparkling brightly before fading out. Jojo's broken leg and the bruising around it had been fully healed.
In a realm of her own, Eine slowly, one by one, healed Jojo's wounds. She even healed a scar on his chin where he'd cut himself shaving to be nice.
Several minutes passed before all of the green glow on Jojo's body vanished and Eine slowly sat back, reaching over to the bedside table and grabbing a small cup of water, taking a sip.
Putting it down and swallowing, she turned to Rick with a small smile.
"Now, Rick, how may I assist you?"

_
Rick watched with due interest as she performed her healing arts. Her skill and ability were both quite the treat to witness no matter how often they required. Indeed, They were required often. He had been fortunate in only occasionally requiring her services. One's first demon hunts were rarely ever clean kills, a standard which held true for even Rick himself.

"I had come to check on the condition of our new arrival here. It seems we were slow to the punch in retrieving him given the injuries he sustained." He briefly looked down at Jojo's unconscious form before looking back to meet Eine's own eye.

"In any case is there a possible estimate as to how long before he awakens? I wish to greet him and bring him up to speed at the earliest opportunity, especially given the circumstances of his arrival."

_
Eine reached up to stroke her bandaged chin, casting her gaze over to Jojo for a moment before looking back to Rick.
"Physically, he'll be fine to awaken any time after half an hour from now. Mentally, he may require at least another six hours rest. He's been through a lot, after all. If you'd like I can alert you as soon as he awakens? It wouldn't be much trouble at all."

_
"That would be ideal. Given the time projected I'll attend to another matter for now. I should be available long before he emerges from his rest if all goes accordingly." Rick walked over, seemingly scanning his body with a look of some concentration.

Such potential... All tucked away inside an unassuming body.

Returning from his thoughts he turned back to face Eine. "I suspect we'll be expecting more arrivals. With any luck they should be retrieved significantly less maimed than this one. I will be free until otherwise noted by my superiors as this situation takes precedent over my other duties."

_
Eine gave him a quick nod and a small smile.
"I do hope you enjoy meeting your new, ah, friends. I too, hope they will be arriving with less injuries. While I am confident in my ability to heal them, I am sure they would much appreciate not having to be healed in the first place."
The German accent was much easier to handle now, having become used to speaking English instead of her native German.
"As for you, Rick, how are things? I do hope you have been taking good care of yourself lately. Miss Illusion tells me you are working on a super secret project that even she is not informed of."
There was a coy smile on her face now as she reached for the cup of water again.
It really was true that the Principal had an odd way of knowing things.
She was also a chatterbox, which wasn't the best trait, but it was Illusion so it was forgivable.
At least by some people.

_
Rick had always found her accent easier to navigate given his background. Despite that due to his long years in service to the WDL his accent was more Italian than German by now however.

"I do have some side projects underway. Testing the results of my studies is an endeavor without end as there will always be need for more understanding. As for anything else I cannot confirm nor deny what she may or may not be referring to." Rick paused to allow her a moment to drink her water.

"How fairs your work lately? Have we been improving on our mission casualty to success ratio as of late?"

_
Eine smiled.
"Now that Medics are officially allowed to attend the battlefront due to the extra training on Defensive Magick, our casualty rate has dropped quite well. However, there are still those instances where death cannot be avoided. Those instances, I expect, will be handed over to you and your new, erm, soldiers." She paused on that last word.
Soldiers.
None of them asked for this, did they? Did they sin in past lives so badly that these lives were tainted before they were even born?
Surely not even the worst sinner deserved what these poor children were going to suffer through.
Especially if..

"Rick, I would like a personal favour. How is your knowledge on the Despair War?"

_
Rick's expression did not change from his usual calm and collected self but his smile did fade to a neutral line of a more serious nature. In truth he was vaguely taken aback by her sudden interest in his knowledge of the war.

"I have studied the Despair War to a thorough degree. What is it that you require?" His tone inflection was a subtle change towards a note of curious concern. He knew Eine well and would happily carry out most requests issued by her but it was rare of her to ask.

_
"If you happen to come across any Demons coloured blue and black, please notify me immediately."
Her soft tone was gone, replaced by harsh and cold words that came through tight lips.
Her gaze cast down towards the floor as she slowly stood up, adjusting the collar of her lab coat before looking Rick dead in the eyes.
"If there are any remaining, the coming times would be a chance for them to become prominent once again. I pray that you make sure that none of your companions fall to that particular darkness. We were given a warning, and our time is almost up. Please exercise caution, Rick. You missed the war, but the aftermath may still claim you yet. Abyss Demons, if anything, are cunning and remorseless."

_
Rick nodded, taking the seriousness of her request to heart.

"I shall bring any indication of such demons to your attention in immediate measure. Be they the real deal or simply shadow demons of a similar appearance I'll show no less than full diligence in keeping yourself as well as both Arthur and Illusion apprised of their sightings."

He stepped up to Eine, still only just within arms reach.

"There is few matters I regard more seriously than the due date we were issued. The fact that my siblings are showing only highlights the gravity of this upcoming situation. Make no mistake, I am looking into this to find out just why this is all coinciding as it is and by who's hands it's being set into motion by."

With one glance at the clock his expression switched back to a mildly friendlier one, his smile returned.

"Alas, I do enjoy speaking with you but I must be off to a meeting while our friend here is still in recovery."

He began towards the door, his hand on the knob as he looked back to Eine.

"If no more people show up with critical injuries don't forget to unwind. Such opportunities might be scarcer in the future."

_
Eine let a soft chuckle escape her lips.
"Trust me, Rick, I know. Make sure to follow your own advice, however. Even a hero needs a break sometimes."
She gave him a quick wave and nod as he left, settling back down into her seat to finish off the information on the clipboard before getting back to her usual workday.
Eine's reaction to Rick's mention of the potential puppetmaster only surfaced after his departure, a long, tired sigh dragging itself out of her throat as she leaned back in her chair and closed her eyes, her hand darting up to her forehead.
"Lord please don't let this turn into another Despair War."



Last Night.


A soft knock on the door of one of the WDL's premier Exorcists and winner of the 'Most Conveniently Placed Child of the Devil' award was the very quick indicator that a visitor had arrived at his own little slice of Eden.
Well, maybe not Eden, but something like that.

Illusion was usually the type to ignore doorbells and knocking considering she could quite easily transport herself to any inch of the compound's three sections with ease but in this case she felt a bit of respect for one Rick Brackwall's privacy was an important part of their good relationship.
It wasn't easy to convince someone in his situation that not all Demons were bloodthirsty, murderous monsters.
Illusion had tried her best however.

Standing at the entrance to the doorway she reached up and idly tucked an annoying bit of hair back into place with a pout upon her face.
Patience wasn't one of her virtues, however.

_
Rick sat as his desk, leaned over a small rectangle of card paper. While writing was never necessary in most circumstances given he could just fake the motions and have the words appear under his pen in this case it was strictly necessary as the process required a physical medium to complete the enchantment. His focus on the etching of arcane symbols was as keen as a surgeon's operation. There was a knock at the door.

He sighed. He was three quarters of the way through with what was both a difficult and delicate process. He hadn't written a spell this small before, the smallest prior was about the size of an envelope. He couldn't be so rude as to ignore a guest at his doorstep however and so against his first inclination he released hold of his pen, the tool remaining upright in the exact position he was holding it when the knocking began, and stood up from his both finely carved and thoughtfully padded chair. Walking from his desk he navigated the towering stacks of papers which formed a veritable maze across the area of his entire apartment all the way over to his door.

Standing proper, still dressed in his finely pressed WDL uniform for the evening, he took a quick peak at the door's peephole to confirm it wasn't the wrong demon waiting on the other side for him before opening the door.

"Hello Illusion. To what do I owe the honor of this visit?" He answered the door, a voice strong yet airy. He was ever polite with a cool level tone to his voice. While it might not of been readily clear there was a pleasant undertone to his words as he was usually quite happy to see her. Though often strange she supported him throughout the hard times such training has brought him over the years. A veritable kindness he was keen to repay someday.

_
Illusion looked up at the man before her- something she'd found more than a little funny. She'd watched him grow from slightly taller than her to a height that made her the perfect level for him to lean on.
She certainly hoped he wouldn't do so, however.
The undertone of his voice didn't go unnoticed, however, and Illusion's already wide smile grew into a wider grin.
"Ricky! I'm sorry to bother you in such a busy time, but I do come on business. May I come in?"
Of course she wasn't hindered by any 'vampiric laws' that prevented her from walking in but she was a respectful and courteous person nonetheless. She wouldn't make her move until Rick had invited it.
She slowly levitated up so that she was on better height terms with him, she didn't want to strain his neck after all. It's one of the most important parts of the human anatomy after all.

_
Rick nodded, smiling pleasantly as he stepped aside to allow her passage inside. "Of course. I'd be remiss to put lesser matters before a visit from yourself." Of course she wasn't the only one who took precedence over his work. They were few but each equally important both to him and in the scope of things as he saw it, either by the station they held or by the knowledge which they dealt with.

_
Illusion casually floated past Rick, a small smile on her features as she looked through the room and made sure not to knock over any of the many stacks of paper that were nearby.
Nearby meaning everywhere.

She floated a little further into the apartment before turning midair and giving him a formal bow.
"We've found more of you. Arthur and I have agreed that you should be informed so you may prepare for their arrival which could, ah, really be any time from now. I wouldn't exactly rush them, but.. well, you know how it is with Demons casually sliding into their lives and deciding to eat their neighbors and all that nonsense."
She gave Rick a moment to process the information and interject. He was a curious man and she knew that he'd have at least some questions. It was her job as a Principal to make sure any queries were answered.
It also helped that she actually enjoyed her time with Rick unlike the time she spent with a certain other Exorcist's mood swings.

_
After all this time of complete silence from the world at large after his arrival the sudden news of the discovery of new sons and daughters of the devil left him a bit stunned. It only showed in a slight raise of the brow as he took a moment to consider her meaning.

With a small gesture, not unlike the turning of a page in a book, the door gently closed behind them. The face of the door from the interior wore a veritable mesh of scrolls which were hung from the door by thin strips of clear tape. These scrolls were primed to harmlessly incapacitate mundane intruders and trap more supernatural entities. It was a likely needless measure given the WDL's wards and general security but for Rick nothing was ever a guarantee. It was better to have a defense that never saw use than to lack a defense when it counted.

With the room closed off to the possible roaming listener he felt it appropriate to continue the discussion. "I see. I appreciate the forewarning. I also suspect you know that I'll have a number of questions regarding them." He leaned back on seemingly nothing, letting the scrolls he kept under his suit support him as a wall would. Awaiting Illusion's response he placed the tips of his fingers together, bridging his fingers against each other in a small arch for the time being.

_
Illusion gave Rick a small smile.
"Six, including yourself. We even have files on them courtesy of an, uh, a new acquaintance of mine. That's also what allowed us to bypass our lovely little Demon sensors if you're curious about that. I'd recommend going out and seeking her out when you have the time, she might be able to offer you a rather nice deal." Illusion's eyes sparkled with amusement.
"If you're so curious.. I can have the files with you by tomorrow morning if you'd like to peruse them yourself. It'd be much better for you to read those than for me to spend time going into each and every detail of their life and, yes, trust me, I have them under surveillance as we speak." Illusion looked to the side as one of her portals appeared- a tiny, fingertip-sized portion of reality itself cracking and peeling away like shards of a mirror and, behind it, there was two people standing inside of a busy fast food restaurant. "Any other questions I haven't thought up? I'd rather not grab them before we need to, however, so kidnapping them is out of the question completely."

_
Rick closed his eyes and listened close as she relayed the details to questions she had apparently already thought up. Yet another one of those times where her reasoning as to these convenient coincidences left something to be desired. Though the thought of using mental magic to intrude brought a vile feeling to his gut it had passed his mind more than once the possibility of looking inside to see where she pulls these insights from.

Rather than be distracted by a reoccurring concern he decided to turn his mind back to graver matters. Having spent so many years as the only one of the seven to have been found he had mixed feelings towards the idea of finding the others. On one hand it would accelerate Arthur's plan of turning the seven into a weapon against the forces of hell and subsequently allow them to help these poor souls learn to appreciate the peace that order brings. On the other hand it was prophesied that with the coming of the seven children the apocalypse would begin. While helping his new siblings was a task of great importance he had hoped that unlike him the other six would never be discovered and thus be allowed to disappear from the earth without any cause for turmoil. The risk that their souls might be intrinsically tied to hell where they'd become tools of the devil was present but so was the risk that they'd all be gathered in one place, setting terrible machinations into motion.

As it stood the latter seemed to be the most likely to occur now that they were found. It was simply a matter of time.
"There is no need to show our hand. Let them enjoy their lives free of the strife hell is bound to offer." A firm statement. His hands slipped past each other, elegantly snaking one arm over the other as he crossed them. He opened his eyes to look directly into Illusions own scarlet irides.

"It is imperative we are ready to act should hell's own find any one of those five." He broke eye contact, looking aside while taking his right hand and giving a quick circular spin gesture as a means of dismissing any potential intensity from his serious as it was far from necessary given the present company. "Naturally I'd like to see the files on my half-siblings as soon as possible so I can get ahead on preparations. Also, given how resourceful your acquaintance is a meeting with her would be of great interest as well."

Letting his left arm drop to his side he took his right arm and set it across his chest, closing his eyes and issuing Illusion a standing bow. "Though one such as I orders not one of your esteem. It is but the suggestions and requests of your humble exorcist."

_
Illusion chuckled softly under her breath. "Trust me when I say that once Hell enters their lives it won't be pretty. After all, it's always nice to go for a trip to Greed and watch people get melted alive in molten gold." Illusion cocked her head to the side slightly. "Well, Ricky, you know how quick I can be." Slipping her hand into a small portal beside her as the prior one 'repaired' itself Rick would feel a quick tap on his shoulder from behind before Illusion pulled her hand free and the portal shut itself on both ends. "I might personally be involved in the act of snapping up all of your new brothers and sisters. A kind of safety net if you will. You'll be able to see the files soon, although if you head over to meet our new mutual acquaintance you'll find the source of those files ready and willing to give them to you to peruse.. and perhaps another deal might be headed your way. A particularly special one."

The smile that split Illusion's features made no attempt to hide the amusement.
"Feel free to request as you will, Rick. You're very dear to both Arthur and myself and your station has only increased considering the, ah, coming events. I've no real clue what the Devil plans for you and your new siblings but I'll be trying my best to avert the Apocalypse alongside everyone else here. That includes ensuring the safety of you and everyone else here."
Illusion paused for a moment, reaching in to yet another portal and pulling forth a very familiar sword. It was a lovely thing, Excalibur, and it seemed to radiate its very own light as Illusion brandished it.
Well, she didn't brandish it, she sat it on her lap, still in its sheath, and watched it for a few moments.
"I believe we can avoid the end of the world. If we can prevent someone like that Demon God then I'm sure we can stop Devi." Her eyes flicked up to match Rick's own.

_
Rick met her own eyes in return.

"There is little doubt we'll succeed." He then turned and proceeded towards the windows in front of his desk. Beyond the lovely silhouettes of roman architecture the moon hung high up in the night sky. It was as luminescent as it was round, currently at it's fullest for this one night of the month. He gazed up at the moonlight, his mind left to wonder of matters well out of his control.

"The question remains: Is time with us... or against us?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya

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A rlamma'm a'r cooah oac raro shoarr shoaom ranno rra'lloms ciyoc a marlsa...'

Image
Echoing with melancholic certainty, it chains those who heard it. Ring around the Rosie... Accompanied by a scent both distant and nostalgic. Pocket full of posies... Only the darkness filled the area and yet it felt warm. Ashes. Ashes... A song is continued to be sung like a playful lullaby. We all fall down... And that voice belonged to the lone girl with a head crowned of spilled snow. She sat effortlessly within the black while donned in an elaborate white dress. Its skirt formed a blooming flower beneath her. Her appearance a stark contrast to her surrounding but her amethyst eyes were perfect. It was that of a corpse.

Ring around the Rosie... The girl, resembling a doll meant to be adored, raised her head as if directed by a puppeteer. What do you suppose we can do to fight the darkness in which we drown? Those dead eyes looked above with certain emptiness when flowers shimmering like a rainbow fell in a trickle. And yet, in that stillness, her petal-like lips only revealed her song, like a music box whose key had been turned. Not a sigh of admiration or surprise touched her demeanor. One would wonder if she is alive or just a perfectly crafted puppet that imitates the living. It was truly a reflection of nothing.

Romafaauaa' as ho sa a'r oarr. Sorrashoss as oa rmaoc...'

ImageThe girl raised her arms without a wasted movement, without emotion like a mannequin. She was moved by the will of another as her hands formed a cup to catch those rainbow flowers. Yet, it seemed that possibility does not earn any response from her. She exists to serve as a cog to move matters along, a mere afterthought. As if true to that embodiment, she remained untouched as the flowers that touched her palms and triggered a transition which should startle anyone. In an instant, the endless darkness altered into a whiteness that is blinding in its brightness.

Those intriguing flowers also changed its form. They are now a red stream flowing endlessly like that of a waterfall. Its scent reminds one of iron and rot as it surrounded her like a blanket. Ring around the Rosie... Despite the steady flow, the crimson water never stained her white dress. It was an oddity that she did not pay mind to. This evil thing, it knows me... The vermillion pooled beneath her, painting the white ground with the hue of dark rubies. It was a field made of liquid life. Lost ghosts surround me... And, it happened, her eyes flickered. I can't fall down...

Boiya'c as oa aumooahoafaro saurl a'r cosnoaam...'

"I can't fall down..." It escaped those petal-like lips but not as a song. This time it was a breathless plea from a girl with silver-white hair laying on a bed. She appears so delicate she laid there. Her eyes were closed. She was also unmoving as if frozen in place. But, the even rise of her chest indicated that she breathes. She was merely sleeping but not in peace. The ever slight crease between her brows indicated a possibility of a dream. Perhaps, she was seeing a scene that resonated with her in a disturbing manner. This expression certainly alerted her metal companion.

This mechanical object circled around her bed as its thread-like limbs allowed it to roll like that of a wheel. It continued to act like that for a good while before it stopped and its face, which serves as a screen, showed a worried expression resembling that of an emoji. This would be seen as surprising since a machine is able to express an emotion or even awareness in regards to the well-being of its owner. One might say it is sentient but one would debate that it was all due to a prototype program installed within. It was a program that is made to imitate a human. In the end, its actions are simply done in binary and complex algorithm computations, nothing personal.

ImageRegardless, it effectively anticipated its owner's imminent awakening. It placed itself upon the nightstand and connected to the room's electronics without much trouble. The curtains were parted as the sun's light streamed inside without obstruction. Everything inside was illuminated which revealed a rather impressive bedroom which even could be described fitting for a princess. Then again, it makes sense when one considers the owner of the room. She is not an average type of girl.

In any case, the odd machine seemed satisfied in what it has done to the room. However, it did not turn on the alarm since it has chosen not to wake its owner in a loud way. It seemed concerned that the sound might further crease its owner's brows in discomfort. So, it considered to gently bumped into her hand. But before it could be done, its attention was taken away by a new object entering the room. With its thread-like appendages, it moved towards it. There it saw a piece of paper near the door and a cake. It stopped before these two objects and appeared to be processing. After a minute, its thread-like limb moved towards the cake and eventually it touched, easily penetrating the cake.

Image"Do you want to eat it, Vie?" Soft and kind, the question was asked by the girl who had finally awakened. The machine now called Vie turned around to face her and then showed a question mark as its face. The query of its owner must not make sense. It is a machine and cannot eat. Bypassing the erroneous question, it flashed a message on its screen. "Good morning, Vesper."

Vesper offered a small smile. "Good morning, Vie..." After that, she looked at the pierced cake with a flower candy and the note. "What did you find?" She nonchalantly picked the note and flower candy. With a sleepy curiosity, she read the note and her amethyst eyes widened by each passing word. Her hand holding the paper trembled due to what, it is something she only knows.

"Jo..nathan.. Black..." It was spoken like a wish while Vie searched the name through the net for information. It then that Vesper left the room without much thought of her current appearance. She was still in her nightgown and her hair uncombed as she made her way to the infirmary. Her face far different from the one in the dream because she was clearly expressing anxiety.

Tho hoaas a'r fara'a'c shoarr rooac a' cosmauaa'...'

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caius Grady

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Image
Image"O, mne deystvitel'no povezlo stolknut'sya s vami, dorogoy Vitaliy." Eyes crinkled in pleasure and a tone filled with delight reverberated into this chilly rainy night. The one being greeted, Vitali, though did not share that same pleasure of seeing this person who is unbothered being drenched by the rain. He was instead trembling, shaking, in unprecedented fear. "You--Y--Ou You shou-ldn't be here! Ho-w-H-How? Wh-eRe are they!?" That is because this person was most likely sent, no, absolutely sent to kill him.

A sound of gunshot penetrated through the sound of pouring rain. "Vy dolzhny khotya by govorit' na svoyem rodnom yazyke, dorogoy drug." Vitali definitely wet himself. He would not deny that as he fell on his butt because he could not stand anymore. His fear was overwhelming and even in this rain, he was sweating. even with the rain pouring down. The bullet grazed his cheek as blood seeped out of that cut. "Yesli vy govorite ob etikh gangsterakh so znachkom, oni tam." He looked at the direction which he was pointed to and saw a pile mangled bodies being feasted by a pack of hungry dogs. His eyes widened in horror.

Vitali instantly looked back at the person holding him at gunpoint. "Proshu tebya, Caius! YA ischeznu! YA ne budu svidetel'stvovat'! Eto oshibka! Oni zastavili menya! Prosto day mne zhit'! Pozhaluysta, Caius!" He begged towards the man now known as Caius who was still smiling in all of those interactions. At this point, Vitali appeared to be worshipping a god hoping to earn its favor one last time. "Okay." This time it was spoken in Caius' mother tongue, English. "But, I need to hurt you to make it believable for the Pakhan. You know him, proof and everything."

Vitali's tear-streaked and even snot-filled face slowly lightened upon hearing Caius' words. He was going to live. It seemed that his bond with Caius did have meaning. "I--I Understand! As long as I am alive!" After, Vitali said that another gunshot echoed but what was heard next is a bubbling sound. "Oops. I was aiming for the shoulder." It was followed by playful laughter. Vitali fell to the muddy ground while holding to his bleeding throat. His eyes white from shock and inevitability. "Sorry. You know how I am Vitali. I am not that good with a gun."

Caius walked towards Vitali's fallen body and then lowered himself to the ground. "But really, who knew you are that naive?" His lips were contoured with a smile but his golden eyes now revealed behind his crinkled lids held a cold irritation. "We're not a daycare. Oh, that's right, Pakhan has a message. poka poka pesik." What followed was an expression befitting of his infamous alias, the Mad Hatter. His head grabbed Vitali's throat and crushed and mangled it. Vitali died but, Caius continued on like a child playing with clay.

"Boss, you have a meeting." Caius stopped with his playing and stood from his crouched position. "Ah... Right. Feed him to the dogs. Then, eat the dogs. We need to recycle and all. Fight climate change right?" He smiled with his usual carefree one with his hand still clearly stained by blood and flesh. "Da, nachal'nik." He handed the gun to a nearby subordinate and then took out a handkerchief as he wiped his hands. It wouldn't be appropriate for him to look too clean when meeting someone who is the paragon of justice, so to say. "Now, we must thank the Général d'armée for good police work."

Caius entered his car and soon left the scene which he was told to clean up. He did not hold any grudges towards Vitali for betraying the so-called brotherhood. Everyone just wants to survive in the way they best know how. The guy was just stupid to think the steps in ensuring life. Agreeing with a deal to testify, witness protection is garbage. Now, Vitali finds himself dead and his family skewered lovingly by Caius. That's right the press would have a field day about it tomorrow.

After a while, the rain finally cleared up as Caius looked out the window. "Boss, we have arrived." He exited the car and saw the full moon hanging above. "La lune du chasseur..." Then, there was a howl in the distance. His eyes narrowed but his carefree smile never wavered. "It seems Paris still has some surprises left.". He then entered the reserved bar that would soon turn into a perfect example of a bloodbath.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Sibyl Faivre Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall

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#, as written by Tanman
Ashley “Ash” “Soot” Clade
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2 Months Prior to the Fifth Child’s Awakening.

“What am I even doing…?” Ash mumbled to herself, sipping from the can of drink she’d purchased, swirling it a little to check that there was still some more liquid inside before sculling the rest. The tall, cool, beauty dropped the can to her feet before crushing it, stopping to stare at the crumpled mess a moment before kicking it away across the dirt road, frustration creeping up on her. Standing beside her bike on a dirt road, the only real scenery of note was the dilapidated bus stop and vending machine that had initially drawn her attention. Sadly, the map on the shelter wall she’d been hoping to utilise was far too vandalised to be of much use. All around, tall grass blew steadily in the wind, with no echoes of civilisation anywhere else in sight. She’d chosen here for one specific reason, and quite simply, she knew no-one could sneak up on her in a place this open.

It was all still so surreal. One moment, she’d taken a trip out of town to cool her head, the next; a bunch of suits had surrounded her and began spouting nonsense about demons, devil-children and some holy faction. Personally, she thought they were some wack job cultists with a few screws loose, and had no intention of going with them. Though that still didn’t explain why she’d left her home, driven off into the night, and now found herself in the middle of nowhere contemplating how she was going to get herself a proper meal. Did she believe in the crazy stuff they said? No. At least… Not all of it. The magic one of those weirdos had demonstrated was certainly enough of an eye opener that there were things in this world she didn’t understand. Then there were the things they said about her… And her family.

“If you’re not a threat to them, then those that are coming for you will be.”

Ash frowned a bit at the memory, recalling the look in their eyes, the tenseness they were trying to hide. Despite outnumbering her six to one, she knew fear when she saw it. They were scared of her, and with their hands ever so subtly ready to draw their weapons should she do anything… Too sudden. It made her feel incredibly uncomfortable. Just what did they see in her? Sighing again, she wiped the sweat from her brow, walking back over to her bike to get on the move once more, when she heard it. Low at first, but steadily getting closer. Shifting slightly to get a look over the horizon, she saw the faint glint of light reflecting off a vehicle. Squinting, she slowly began to recognise the features. It was them. Ugh, she thought she’d have made more distance between them by now. She’d told them she’d think about it and give them an answer later. She never actually expected them to find her again after that.

Climbing back onto her bike, she prepared to take off in the opposite direction, pulling on her helmet. What she saw when she looked up again stopped her in her tracks. From the opposite direction was another identical vehicle, cutting off the only other route out of the area unless she wanted to go cross country. Swearing under her mask, Ash resigned herself to meeting these weirdos again, though she didn’t remove her helmet in case she needed to make a quick exit. Flicking up her visor as the goons came to a stop in front of her, the suit in the first vehicle got out, giving her a somewhat calm wave.

“Ashley Clade? You’re certainly not making this easy for us. I told you to wait for our next contact.” He chuckled slightly, a tall, broad shouldered man with black glasses and reddish brown hair. He looked like a stereotypical FBI agent, maybe a bodyguard, though Ash refrained from such comments, instead shrugging. “What can I say? I’m not good with instructions.” Slowly, she attempted to start moving forward to drive around the hummer by mounting the gutter. He didn’t move to stop her, but only spoke as she got next to him.

“So, I take it that’s a no to our proposal then?” He asked, rhetorically, but quickly continued as he saw that Ash hadn’t stopped. “Though tell me, what’s your plan little lady? You got somewhere to stay? Money? A Job? Not only that, but we know you’re already being targeted by some unsavoury groups.” He turned to watch Ash’s back, and smiled again as she stopped, glancing back over her shoulder. “None of your business bub, unlike you losers, I’m perfectly competent to survive on my own.” Ash went to kick her bike up to the next gear, but the voice stopped her once more as he took a different tactic.

“Jean wasn’t it? Your youngest sister? It’d be a shame if something happened to her…” The man trailed off, and Ash turned to face him immediately, teeth gritted as she caught every bit of the sinister undertone in his voice. “Just what are you saying?” She practically spat, hands clenched tighter to the handlebars of her bike. The man simply shrugged, shaking his head. “Nothing like what you’re thinking. I’m merely thinking for your family. We wouldn’t do anything to them, but the demons certainly would to get to you. Of course, if you were to come along with us, we’d be able to organise some formal protection for your folks. Without that, well, I suppose there’s no telling what could happen to them…” He trailed off again as he began climbing back into the hummer. Ashley swore under her breath.

“Bastard… So that’s how you’re going to play it, huh?” Tearing off her helmet, she bore hatred through her stare at the man, who stopped partway through closing the door. “You make it sound like it’s a bad deal. You’ll be provided accommodation, training for your abilities, and the chance to help the whole world if you want to. Better than wandering around aimlessly.” He slammed the door, leaning out of the window. Ashley growled a bit in detest, but knew he was at least partly right. Riding up to the window, he gestured his hand out to shake. Ashley didn’t take it. “My name’s Harken. So, we got ourselves a deal?” The man asked, leaving his hand floating between them.

“I agree to this, and you promise to protect my family?” She asked as the man nodded. Ash continued. “Then I just have to do some training or something?” He nodded again, smiling. “Think of it like school.” He added, causing Ash to involuntarily groan. She hated school. It brought up nothing but bad memories, and a reminder of how different she was. Besides, how could anyone learn in an environment like that? You were better off doing than listening. Despite the side track in her mind, when she came back to reality that hand was still sitting there in front of her. Begrudgingly, she shook it. “Fine. I don’t like it, but I’ll play your stupid game… For now. So, what’s next?” Harken withdrew his hand, beginning to wind up the window. “Ditch the bike and get in.” Harken was suddenly caught by surprise as Ash’s hand obstructed the window, keeping it open. “Uh-uh, my baby comes with me, or you can kiss my ass goodbye.” Folding her arms in front of her, Harken took a moment to look to his partner, before back at Ash.

“Fine then. Just keep close behind us and we’ll take you to the WDL grounds.” With that, he closed the hummer, Ash left staring at her own reflection in the impermeable blackness. She looked tired, annoyed, a piercing stare to her blue eyes… But nothing that should have threatened these guys. In the window, there was nothing but a black shadow of herself. Certainly no demon. As the first Hummer turned to head down the road, the second came up behind her, a pair of rapid honks from behind her indicating that the ‘WDL’ wanted her to pick up the pace. “Yeah yeah, I’m going.” Snapping the visor shut, Ash revved her engine and began driving away. Despite being in the middle of nowhere, she knew that she was heading the opposite direction of home. If only she’d known then what she was getting herself into.


The crash had come out of nowhere. The explosion sent Ash tumbling to the road in what would have been a lethal landing if not for the good fortune that her bike swerved at the last moment, giving her a few rough rolls across the ground rather than a shattered skull. In front of her, the Hummer seemed to do a full frontal flip before slamming into the nearby rocks, the screech of splintered metal and shattered glass filling the air as the windshield shattered and the bonnet crushed into the occupants. Behind her, the second Hummer slid to a stop as the remaining four exorcists clambered out of the vehicle to secure the scene, quickly moving to help Ash to her feet, while two of them went to investigate the wreckage.

“My my, that was beautiful! Not as charming as seeing a painting of blood, but even I must admit, absolute destruction has its appeal!” The voice drew everyone’s immediate attention as a figure climbed atop the smoking wreckage of the crashed Hummer, clapping his hands in amusement. He looked to be a young fellow, with long white hair to the small of his back, and clad in some punk ensemble of torn red jeans, chained belt and tight black vest with fur collar. Skipping off the end of the hummer as he dropped to the ground, the WDL weren’t any sort of fools. The two agents opened fire, shredding some bullets into the man as he fell to a knee, gritting his teeth a little. Despite that, a smirk crossed his face as blood started seeping from his wounds, before breaking into full blown laughter

“Heheheheh-AhahahahaHA! I always have trouble getting started, so I really must thank you two.” Slowly, the man began to change as the blood flowed from his wounds, reshaping and moving as if it was alive, coating up his body and flowing around his hands into a seamless second skin. The white of his eyes changed completely bloodshot, and even his hair shimmered and grew crimson like liquid death. Standing, he didn’t give the agents another chance to fire as he crossed his arms over in front of him, slashes of blood flying through the air and cutting into them like deadly blades.

Horrified, Ash was paralysed with shock and fear as she watched the scene with the other two agents, the demon turning to face them as he held a hand over his right eye, clutching his head as he licked his lips. “I can smell it you know. Taste it, even. This bloodhound couldn’t mistake it anywhere. Your potent demon blood. I’ll make it a part of me as I watch the life drain from your face!” The menace and maniacal look in his eyes showed that he wasn’t kidding, and in a flash, he was there, shoving the agents aside like ragdolls as he grabbed Ash by the neck, lifting her from the ground as she thrashed about. “The sound of your heart beating so fast, it drives me wild! I can’t decide if I want to drink from there or your neck!”

“Hands off her you demon!” Charging at the monster, the male of the two WDL agents closed the gap, though was quickly and easily knocked aside by the blood lord. Turning back to the prey in his grip, he hadn’t noticed the small grenade that had been dropped at his feet until the explosion sent him and Ash flying through the air. Hitting the ground hard, Ash bounced a couple of times on the rough road as she cried out in pain, ending up face-down amongst a pile of debris. The taste of blood in her mouth was sickening, but it brought her back to her senses. Her vision was swimming, her head was spinning, but it was the metallic taste that reminded her just where she was, and the danger before her. Pushing off the asphalt, she coughed a couple of times to clear her throat of the mess, holding her head. Around her, embers floated in the breeze, remnants of the destruction that had been wrought by their attacker, the overturned Hummer nearby completely crushed across the front, the occupants inside likely having met a gruesome demise as splinters of metal pierced through the unrecognizable remains of their bodies. Harken had been driving that car.

Ash didn’t have time to feel sickened or remorse as she was hauled to her feet by her arm, dragged away from the scene of the battle as the female of the suits grabbed her. She was shouting instructions that she couldn’t quite hear past the ringing in her ears. Shaking her head to try and clear the cobwebs in her mind, she caught sight of their attacker once more as he held aloft the ‘hero’ from before by the top of his head, laughing maniacally as he squeezed, shattering his skull in a spray of blood. Ash stared, transfixed and horrified as their assailant turned to face them, the blood that splattered out from dead WDL member suddenly congealing and forming together into a large mass above him before the sphere underwent a body wide tremor, snapping into the shape of a scarlet spear. Catching it in his hand, the crimson warrior stalked towards the two with murderous intent, a wicked smile across his face. Ash had been sceptical the whole drive with the WDL, but there was no question now. This was a demon. Forcefully shoved away from the approaching evil, Ash finally focused enough to hear what the last of her escorts was saying to her.

"Run!"

Somehow, her feet managed to find a way to work as she scrambled away, not looking back to see what would happen to the woman that so bravely decided to stand against that monster. She didn’t know where she was going, but she had to get away. She hadn’t signed up for this. She hadn’t wanted this. She hadn’t wanted any of this! The bloodcurdling scream behind her abruptly stopped, sending shivers down Ash’s spine. But she didn’t stop. Breathing ragged, heart pounding; she knew she hadn’t escaped him yet. She remembered what he said. He could sense the blood pumping through her veins. Still, there was no way she could escape him. There was nowhere to go, and she was injured. There was no way she could get away. She was going to die.

A roar filled the air near her, though it wasn’t human or bestial in nature. It was a machine. Ash jumped back, startled as her motorcycle slid to a stop in front of her - with no rider. Her personal Ninja and escape ticket had just arrived. She wasn't sure how in the hell her motorbike had gotten to her, but she wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth. Straddling the seat, she revved the engine twice, looking over her route. Gunning it and filling the air with the smell of burning rubber, she shot off, leaving the nightmarish scene behind her. Reaching a crossroad, she leaned to the right for the turn, only to find her bike veer and fly to the left, bewildered as she went down this other road, her eyes went wide as before her, a golden and shimmering wall seemed to form. As she approached it at rapid pace, the cloudy and sparkling mist spread, forming an open portal leading somewhere Ash had never seen before. She didn’t get time to contemplate the scenery as they tumbled through, screeching to a stop before softly tapping against a wall.

Panting, shaking and exhausted, Ash fell against her motorbike, trying to make sense of everything that happened. Her knuckles were white from hanging on so tightly, and there was the unstoppable trembling throughout her body. It wouldn’t be long before she was rushed by WDL members, infirmary staff and more. At some point, she realised she was given a sedative, and after that, the rest was a haze as she drifted off to unconsciousness…


In the time following that incident, slowly, Ash began to acclimatise to her new life at the WDL. After the initial whirlwind of medical treatment, questioning and being confined to her ward, Ashley was eventually informed about where she was. It turned out she was in Rome (If she needed any further indication of supernatural forces, travelling across the globe in a split second probably counted) and the WDL or Warriors of Divine Light; whatever they called themselves, they apparently ran this place as some sort of training academy for exorcists. At least, that’s what they seemed to call them. She thought exorcism only applied to ghosts, but apparently it was a catch all term for demons too. She’d thought about asking why exorcists were letting a half-demon like her live, but decided better of it. It’s not like she was complaining about being allowed to live. Not that she was entirely on board with the idea that she had devil blood in her at all. It didn’t make sense. But then again, neither did anything that had happened in the past 24 hours.

Regardless, it seemed that the WDL intended for Ash to become an exorcist. Well, that wasn’t entirely right. They intended for her to be a student exorcist. Which meant classes. And studying. It meant school. Ash almost preferred the idea of fending off demons by herself back home. At the very least, she didn’t have to start immediately. The doctors wanted to be sure she was fine and were running the odd tests as they kept her in the ward. At the same time, preparations were made for her to acquire her own, personal dorm room on campus. When she was finally discharged, Ash had to admit, the accommodation didn’t entirely suck. A bit too white and gaudy for her taste, but she’d be able to redecorate over time. If she planned on staying that long. She didn’t have much to her person, and her motorbike was kept at a nearby garage, so she’d have to make do with the provided furnishings. It was going to be weird looking after herself though – She’d lived at home all her life, and had avoided the chores of cooking and cleaning for as long as she could. It wouldn’t be that hard… Right?


It had been a couple of months since her arrival, and life had changed a lot for Ash. She’d initially met up with her ‘siblings’ a couple of times, but not for anything major. Just introductions and pleasantries for down the road. To be honest, she hadn’t really paid much attention to them; only vaguely recalling their names and appearances. Unlike them, she was in something of a remedial class cramming in knowledge around basic demonology, WDL history, the works. The material was sort of interesting, at least the demon stuff; but it was still written tests, books, slideshows… God, were they trying to kill her with boredom? It kept her pretty busy with all the classes, but at least there was no uniform. Plus she got something of a wage, and was free to explore the little surrounding town and purchase what she wanted. Slowly but steadily she was furnishing her property, and even though it was hard, she was surviving living in her dorm room on her own. Even if it was a bit of a dishevelled mess... And the fridge was filled with microwave and other quick fix meals… Heck, studying was taking like, all of her energy to stay awake, she didn’t have time to cook or clean or any of that dumb stuff!

Well… What study she did do, that is. Despite her claims to the contrary that she was doing fine in class, Ash rarely turned up on time, rarely stayed for the whole lesson, and rarely scored over 60% on any given test. She was a truant and a delinquent, which was something of a novelty at the WDL considering most people that were getting involved in such things were voluntary zealots. It wasn’t like they could suspend her or expel her either, so at the moment, there hadn’t been any real repercussions other than disapproving looks and the occasional stern words. About the only time Ash had a positive retention rate was when something cool was involved, like firearms training or any of the hands-on physical classes. Still, that didn’t translate to success on the written material, so Ash found herself wallowing in repeat lessons and a slovenly lifestyle.

At least… She probably would have, but a certain someone wasn’t content to let her be the dunce of the academy. Ash wasn’t entirely sure what to make of Rick. He was weirdly friendly, overly polite, and quite frankly, needed to learn to loosen up. Though she’d been initially hostile towards her ‘sibling’, he’d earned a begrudging respect through his sheer perseverance and unwavering fortitude in dealing with her. Though he wasn’t much for socialising, and he came off a bit stilted and forced; Ash had to admit he knew his stuff, and was probably better at teaching it then those lectures she’d attended. At first, she’d simply planned to con him out of some free food when he came by to coach her; but it seemed she was the one that was tricked into giving him a chance. Now it was almost a regular thing that he’d visit her throughout the week to ask her questions about the material and then reinforcing the things that Ash hadn’t listened to or hadn’t attended. Still, it was working. She was at least passing now. Slowly but steadily, she could start reciting different demons, their weaknesses, and even a bit of the WDL’s previous leaders and historic achievements.

Still, Rick wasn’t always there to keep an eye on Ash. And she wasn’t a good student. With a long yawn and a rolling stretch, Ash got herself out of bed, wading through the sea of clothes she had previously dumped on the floor in order to reach the bathroom. Lazily showering and preparing for the day, Ash picked out the cleanest of her clothes to wear before wandering out to the hall, meandering to the kitchen and making a sloppy brunch while watching television, eating at the bench from a bar stool. Glancing around the room, since the show wasn’t particularly interesting, Ash came to notice the plate with a slice of cake left at her front door. Blinking a bit in surprise, she moved up, picking it up to have a look and spotting that it also had a letter neatly sitting behind it. Picking both up, Ash made her way back to the fridge, setting the chocolate cake inside before opening up the letter to read the content. Her face immediately settled into something of annoyance, tossing the paper into the trash.

That weird principal vampire had a strange sense of humour. She looked like a little girl, acted like one, and other than clearly having demonic powers, Ash had no idea how she qualified or retained her position. Regardless, that weird semi-threat complaint wasn’t going to do much. Ash was doing the closest approximation to her best, and she’d get to class when it suited her. Still, a new kid, huh? She knew about that other girl… Sibyl was it? She was new, so was this another one of the apparent demon children? Well, she’d meet and speak with them at some point, probably. If it was anything like her or Sibyl’s introduction to the place they’d have a chance for a formal meeting. For now, she had class to get to. And not because the note told her to – she was late already. Slipping on her jacket at the door, Ash began hiking to class, hands in pockets as she took a leisurely stroll.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sibyl Faivre

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~

Always one to swim in her own world, the last few days were quite the blur to her. Recollections never were her strong suit, a byproduct of perpetually being 'out of it'. Her last memory was behind bars, being shipped out like cargo and taken to a not-so-bad cell, at least relatively. She was a spectator, that constant white noise making up her every thought. They talked about her..but never to her. So she didn't really have much of a reason to complain, her smile was ever present, though almost ghastly in a way. An expression satisfied with the prospect of being dragged by the limb through life, but sorely dripping with ignorance.

She was content as a piece, tales of heroics are reserved for the fireplace.

~

From first glance, Sibyl didn't seem like an early riser, or anything worthwhile for that matter. She was still a soldier, her eternal clock skewed heavily resulting in her operating at an alarming low hours of sleep. Still, her energy was unmatched despite this, her mere words seemed to drain the people around her.

Her morning routine always was quick, with a surprising amount of discipline. Most would think that she would shy away from simple self-care once free from the terrorist organization, but the ways seemed to be hammered in enough to become muscle memory. The room was definitely nicer than anything see has ever gotten for that matter. A quick dabble in the washroom to brush her teeth, tie up her hair and wash her face before checking herself in the mirror for the remaining time.

After changing into a track suit, a white base color accompanied by pink lining, she glanced into her larger full body mirror instead. Her eyes narrowed onto the ear ornaments that clasped around her head. While not the most stylish (WHERE IS THE PINK?), the functionality was undeniable. She didn't know all the nerd stuff pertaining to the device, but she wore it anyways with little to no qualms. Pressing the only button on the ear-cup, she felt the ever-prevalent ringing
come to a halt.

She giggled to herself before leaving out the door, Sibyl had a few hours to spare before she had to go to class. Something she surprisingly excelled at. While a lost cause to teach when learning about something that doesn't interest her, she thought of all these classes relating to monsters and magic as 'fun'. She always was the type of girl to remember seemingly mundane details about television shows and cartoons, with the thought that learning this will make her a better hero further encouraging her studies. It was an odd twist of fate, truly.

Everyone around her were just so amazing. The head master was admittedly small, but was so mature and gave her a lot of attention, which was nice! There also was that one blonde teacher that Sibyl really enjoyed. She was just soooooo cool and wore sunglasses and she sounded super bad-ass. They've only interacted like twice, but she felt that they had a good thing going, maybe. She didn't try to cut Sibyl off, so that's good.

The other children also were pretty cool. Rick was nice to her, despite being kind of pale. He had like a super bad-ass gentleman vibe and Sibyl probably would've fell in love if it wasn't for him being kind of a twig. Vesper was like kind of the most beautiful person ever, they've never really interacted, but the few times she did catch a glimpse, she definitely swooned at least 17 and a half times.

Then there was Candace, Sibyl..personal project if you can call it that. She heard that she was new to the WDL just like her, and had this like..cold and cool persona. The everlasting scowl should've been a red-flag, but Sibyl saw it as a green-light instead. If they ever come face to face, Sibyl will isolate her and force her to become friends with her.

Carefully avoiding the stairs, she ran a few laps on her floor before coming back to her own premises to grab her things for class. Noticing the gift from the Principle, she gasped ecstatically before taking the cake with her..not bothering to read the note. Sibyl grabbed her backpack and hummed her way to class, an odd image of a spunky pink haired girl carrying a full sized piece of chocolate cake through an excessively large school grounds.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Eine Minerva Character Portrait: Kane O'Reilly Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Candice Hallows

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#, as written by Tanman
Candice Hallows
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With a long sigh and whistle across her tongue, Candice Hallows sank back into her chair, taking a brief moment to lift her sunglasses and rub her eyes. After ensuring that her glasses were back into place, she opened her eyes once more to stare at the ceiling, watching the rotating ceiling fan for a few moments in silence before turning back to the papers. Illusion’s ability to acquire important information on the children was pivotal, but Candice wasn’t entirely sure if she timed it so poorly intentionally or if she was just unlucky. Having been assigned as the one of the children’s caretakers in addition to her standard duties, Ms. Hallows certainly had her hands full. Already, she’d had to delegate far more tasks than she would have liked, particularly when it came to the curriculum and education of their newest arrivals.

She’d heard tell that adjustment wasn’t going smoothly for Ashley; and as of yet, she hadn’t managed to catch Sibyl up enough to have both in the same remedial class. With the arrival of Jonathan and potentially the other children soon, it presented an opportunity to have them learn together, and perhaps develop important bonds with one another for the future. Certainly it would be more efficient at the very least, and as much as Candice liked her one on one sessions with the children, she was in desperate need of some more space in her schedule. Thankfully, she had reliable colleagues for the most part. Mori had been a blessing investigating Sibyl’s hearing difficulties; and although one of her charges, Rick was proving to be ever the reliable helper. Given his age and experience, he’d no doubt make a fine leader for the group once they were settled.

“Even so, to think that Johnathan survived such an incident…” Candice muttered to herself, flipping through the pages of the report. It seemed that they’d been too slow to act in retrieving him; and as a result, this incident was even worse than the one prior to Ashley’s arrival. At least then the child had been intact despite the losses. If it wasn’t for the miraculous talents of Dr. Minerva, the situation could already have escalated out of control, but as it stood, Johnathan was in safe hands now. Still, hopefully this incident wouldn’t have a lasting impact on his psyche. If he became unstable as a result of his incident, it could take months or even years before he’d be prepared to fight for the WDL in any capacity… Stopping to sip her tea, Candice sighed once again. “Not that it’s exactly fair to expect that of them. This isn’t a choice they get to make. Cursed by birth…” Subconsciously, Candice felt her hands tighten. She knew all too well the burden one’s lineage could hold.

No sooner had she reached for a pen to write out the plan going forward was there a knock at the door. Pivoting in her seat, Candice called for him to enter, her son, Kane, opening the door and poking his head through. “You’re still up Mom? Did you even sleep…?”

“You needn’t be concerned with my affairs Kane. You need to focus on your studies. I know you have class this morning.” There was a faint sternness to her voice, but a warmth too, as a smile flickered across her face. Candice couldn’t help but have a soft spot for the boy, and he’d matured so much in the past few months at the WDL.

“I know. I’m going. But if I don’t look after you, you certainly won’t. You’ll run yourself ragged if you keep working yourself to death.” Remaining at the door frame, Kane looked about the room, noting the uneaten dinner, now cold on her side table, as well as the pile of papers and files on her desk. Looking back to his mother sceptically, he continued. “I don’t suppose you’ll take today off to catch up on some rest?”

Stretching, Candice laughed, giving a shake of her head as she turned back to her paper. “No rest for the wicked, but thanks for your concern. I’m fine, really. I’m pretty in tune with my body, so I’ll be fine for today. Enjoy class sweetie, and make yourself dinner tonight. I might not be back in time to join you.” Beginning to write out her notes in earnest, Candice didn’t really hear Kane’s response as he left. She didn’t particularly like missing out on quality time with him, but she didn’t really have a choice given how suddenly this has all happened. Finalising her notes for Bailey and the other staff to accommodate her absence, Candice planned to drop it off to the faculty before making her way to the infirmary. Hopefully Mori wouldn’t mind looking after the ‘recruits’ one more day while she made arrangements with Eine and the others for Johnathan’s transport and accommodation.



Walking with high purpose, Candice almost collided with young Rick as he left Dr. Minerva’s office, and although she was quite pressed for time, she did make a point of stopping to comment. “Punctual as always Rick. At this rate you’ll have my position before long.” Stopping just outside Johnathan’s room, Candice turned towards him fully. “Thank you though. I appreciate all your assistance with our new recruits. I intend to be more involved in all of your studies from this moment, but it can’t be understated that you’ve been a wonder in getting them adjusted and accommodated to life here. I’ve already submitted the paperwork to organise Johnathan’s room on his recovery, but if you could keep abreast of the deliveries for the furnishings I’d appreciate it given you’ll be sharing the same apartment building.”

Taking on board Rick’s feedback, Candice stopped at hearing a certain comment, knocking before entering Eine’s office with her approval. “I imagine you’ve seen to his physical recovery.” Candice stated as she entered to take a seat, looking over Jonathan’s form for a moment before glancing back to Eine. “That’s another one we weren’t able to protect. We might need to push forward our efforts to bring the remaining children here.” Sighing again, Candice adjusted her seating as she met the Doctor’s gaze. “…The wheel of fate is turning… I hope this foreboding feeling is nothing more than uncertainty. For their sake.” Pausing to let Eine say her piece, Candice would further discuss any rehabilitation JoJo would need, as well as getting the latest bio-data in order to prepare any personalised curriculum he would need. They all needed to be prepared as soon as possible. Clearly, their enemies weren't intending to wait for them.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eine Minerva Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Candice Hallows

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#, as written by Zalgo
Rick Brackwall

First Illusion and now Eine. Plus with Jojo having arrived so closely to the arrival of Sybil and Ash the shadow of this closing date of the apocalypse looms further overhead with each given day. I can only wonder-

“Punctual as always Rick. At this rate you’ll have my position before long.”

Rick was stirred from his silent ponderings as Candice greeted him just barely out of Eine's office.

"Ah, hello Candice. Come to see the new arrival too I see. You do flatter but if you ask me you're ultimately irreplaceable."
He stated with a short nod of acknowledgement, standing with his hands folded behind his back in a stance which spoke of professional informality.

"The lifeblood of any institution is it's recruits after all. While I stand by my efforts to set an example for younger agents to work towards I am no veteran in the field of education. I dare say there are few here who have put in as many hours on duty
as you."

“Thank you though. I appreciate all your assistance with our new recruits. I intend to be more involved in all of your studies from this moment, but it can’t be understated that you’ve been a wonder in getting them adjusted and accommodated to life here. I’ve already submitted the paperwork to organize Johnathan’s room on his recovery, but if you could keep abreast of the deliveries for the furnishings I’d appreciate it given you’ll be sharing the same apartment building.”

"As a matter of fact I was just on that particular task. I'll be reviewing the paperwork to confirm what the shipments are bringing in and facilitating their transfer to his new lodging if needed."

After he had responded she continued on past into Eine's room. He too needed to be somewhere and that somewhere is where he went.



After guaranteeing Jonathan's personal belongings were accounted for and in the process of being moved, a task which took an undisclosed amount of time...


He returned to the Infirmary having straightened out that matter. Returning up to Eine's office he gently knocked upon the door. Aside from never barging into anywhere out of respect for people's privacy at work and at home he didn't want to walk in if she was privately discussing matters with any of the staff or other such guests.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eine Minerva Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Candice Hallows

0.00 INK


Image
tabbingVesper ran through the hallways without regard to the people that she had passed by. All that mattered to her was to confirm if that boy she had met long ago was indeed the same one mentioned in that note. he did not notice the people's gazes of surprise and disbelief as she ran past them. Her head was full of thoughts about the past that imprinted so strongly on her soul. The memories flooded her senses like an unforgiving wave which gave her a tunnel vision. Soon enough, she reached her destination. Forgoing with proper manners, she opened the door in a hurry as she made her entrance to the infirmary. The prim and proper Himemiya Princess was nowhere to be seen at all. Her face expressed her desperation. Her breathing was quick and ragged. She was still in her nightdress and her hair uncombed as it fell around her. She was clearly a mess.

tabbingIt did not matter at all. Vesper's purple eyes landed on the unconscious boy lying on the bed. Her face shifted into varying degrees of expressions. There was disbelief, relief, happiness, sadness, and concern. These myriad of emotions were uncommon to see on her at any given time. So, it was natural that the people who knew her were startled at the current her but that was not a concern at all. Her entire attention was focused on Jonathan as she approached him ever slowly as if she feared that if her actions were too fast, he will vanish into thin air. That is why it is not surprising that she did not notice the presence of another inside the infirmary.

Image

tabbing"Oniisama..." Vesper's voice started as a faint whisper. She reached out to touch Jonathan as her fingers gently brushed his hair. "It really is you Oniisama..." Her voice finally gained strength as she finally touched his cheek. "I am so glad..." It was at that point her knees buckled as she fell. It was probably due to the tension finally being released from her body but she managed to stay by his bedside. Her face now leveled with his. "Oniisama, it's all right now." She caressed his cheek with care. "This time...I'll protect you."Her emotions finally settling down made her senses returned to her. That is when she noticed that she was not alone. Her head swiveled like a chair to see... "Dr. Minerva..."

tabbingVesper recalled what she did and her cheeks faintly flushed pink. She had been acting disgracefully before the doctor. She has also been rude. She got to her feet and quickly bowed her head before Dr. Minerva. "My apologies. There is no excuse for my rudeness." She kept her head lowered. It was truly embarrassing. She was unable to contain her emotions from spilling out. "But, I do hope that you forgive me just this one time..." She glanced at Jonathan. "I just wanted to know..." She finally raised her head and looked at Dr. Minerva with worry. From all of her actions, it can be seen that Jonathan Black is important to her. "What happened to him?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Eine Minerva Character Portrait: Sibyl Faivre Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Candice Hallows

0.00 INK

#, as written by zody
The Good Doctor.


Almost immediately after Rick had left, the good Doctor's eyes were glued to the files that practically spilled from the folder they sat in. Jonathan's wounds had been mostly tended to, of course, but that didn't mean he was safe. He needed to be more than strong if he was going to keep moving on.
While being a half-Demon certainly had its horrible downsides, and the Doctor imagined that Holy Water would leave an even more horrible mark, the regeneration afforded to Jonathan by the Devil's blood in his veins had made her job far too easy. In fact, considering his condition upon arrival into her care, the regeneration was likely the only reason he was waking up today at all.

The good Doctor, however, wasn't so buried in her thoughts as to be deaf to the world around her. Candice's voice reached her long before the teacher had finished her chat with Rick and reached the door to Jonathan's room, though even then, the Doctor was still leafing through the folder in her hands.
What bothered her was the nature of Jonathan's wounds. The soldiers who'd managed to pick Jonathan up hadn't quite managed to get a clear sight of the being that had assaulted the boy. Whatever it was, however, they were certain that it was injured. Certainly, it could've been a Tsuchigumo considering the venom in his system, but it was just as likely another Demon taking a Tsuchigumo's form, or purposefully attempting to hide its tracks.
It was remarkable, then, that he had both managed to survive and nearly fatally injure a monster in the span of a day. His powers must be quite dangerous, then.
She bit her lip softly before sitting upright, realising that she'd left poor Candice standing at her door for longer than was probably acceptable.

"Come in."

The reply to the knock was quick and to the point as the Doctor closed the folder and placed it on the table beside her patient's bed. She leaned over him, listening to Candice's footsteps as she entered and then spoke.
"I imagine you've seen to his physical recovery.” She heard the teacher take a seat in one of the other chairs in the room, though the Doctor took a few moments to respond. With closed eyes, she was quite still, running a hand across Jonathan's torso to make sure that she hadn't missed anything. With a satisfied nod to herself, she sat back in her seat and finally cast her gaze over to Candice.
An admirably reliable woman, though they didn't interact too much. They did, however, have much in common.

She met Candice's gaze, hidden behind her sunglasses, and listened to the teacher's words.
"That's another one we weren't able to protect. We might need to push forward our efforts to bring the remaining Children here." The sigh that followed gave the Doctor all of the information that she needed. Candice's shuffling in her seat only confirmed it. Uncomfortable was certainly a word that could apply to this entire situation; the possibility of the end of the world, the Devil himself rising from Hell once more, this time with a grudge.. Or something even worse.
And at the center of it was a group of people with barely any idea exactly what was going on. For a moment, the Doctor's face might've betrayed her stifled rage, but she was quick to keep her features stoic, as a professional should.
"... The wheel of fate is turning... I hope this foreboding feeling is nothing more than uncertainty. For their sake."
She certainly hoped that Candice was right, however..

"Indeed," the Doctor glanced over to Jonathan once more, narrowing her brows ever so slightly. "Though, that being said, if we were to simply kidnap them without warning, without them knowing, then why would they ever believe us? They wouldn't, nor would they open up to us, or begin to learn about their powers."
She paused once again, reaching up to gently caress the bandage that covered her face.
"As horrible as it is to condemn these innocent people to trauma, suffering and fear, it is a necessary evil. Ex malo bonum."
Turning to stare out the window of the infirmary room, the Doctor took a few moments to begin speaking.
"I have personally never been particularly eager in regards to the concept of 'fate' or 'destiny'. It always seems like such things are forced on innocent people, and those people are then dragged through the mud because of the 'whim of fate' or some excuse like that. I believe that humanity should forge their own path, and that our lives should remain in our own hands."
For a single moment, her grip on the arms of the chair tightened, cracking the wood ever so slightly. She felt her lips curling back in a snarl, but caught herself and took a deep, deep breath instead, calming herself and returning to her usual stoic demeanour. She scolded herself internally before taking a moment to turn back to Candice, staring into the woman's eyes once more. She placed her hands in her lap, one atop the other, and gave a faint smile.

It was ironic that someone with such feelings was eager to worship a God.

"With that out of the way.. What can I do for you, Candice?"

When Candice asked for information, the Doctor eagerly gave it, along with a copy of Jonathan's file as per usual for anyone that Illusion added to the 'List of Children'. When all was said and done, and Candice had gone on her way, the Doctor was left alone to leaf through her folder once more.

She lazily dropped it back onto her lap and leaned back in her chair, closing her eyes again.
She knew precisely what Candice had meant.
She, too, hoped it was just the teacher's gut.











The Vampire.


Illusion was, for once, actually doing her job.
Wow.

The little girl was sitting in an adult-sized chair that was obviously far too large for her, her feet were nowhere near the ground. Despite that, she was very busy typing away at a laptop, a pair of glasses sitting on her pale face. With furrowed brows, Illusion was currents typing an email to organise a meeting a day from now. With the recent interest in the sudden recruiting of a bunch of random people, the questions about the knowledge of the time and location of the attacks, the questions about why, if the information was there, the attacks weren't prevented, and the new vendor with pink eyes residing in their compound..

The other members of the Council were antsy and annoyed to say the least. Illusion was going to silence them for the time being with some flimsy excuse she'd think up as she was-

Got it.
A small smile sat upon her face as she sat there, typing a little faster this time.

But a name was required.
A name..

She leaned back, cracking her knuckles and wiggling her fingers, staring blankly into space for a few moments before continuing.
Anti-Antichrist sounded pretty fun, but she doubted it'd be accepted.

A small smile crept across her face as she leaned in, continued typing, then paused and deleted something. The email was pretty basic, and she doubted she'd escape the day without having to go and start up a meeting, or having to attend a meeting that someone else started up. Regardless of that, she was pretty intent on this new name. It was simple, but still catchy.

She sat back once again, taking her glasses off of her face and handing them to another Illusion, who held them and looked over her work with a small smile, speaking the words she'd written in the email out loud to herself.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it's with great honour and excitement that I finally unveil to you the secretive program that both our Archknight Sir Evangelion and myself have been working on; the Seven Children of God.
The smirk on her face was full of amusement and maybe a little antagonism.


Send.











The Good Doctor.


After Candice had left, the good Doctor had been busy keeping an eye on Jonathan. She'd noticed that he was more than a little frenzied, even in his sleep, and despite the fixing she'd given his body, she was still well aware that his sleep was likely full of horrors that she didn't even know. Yet.
She'd ask him about the experience later on, but as for now, she'd be giving him plenty of rest.
She was studying the monitor beside his bed that he was linked up to when the door practically exploded open and a certain young girl charged into the room with an energy that the Doctor hadn't even seen from half of the people in this compound. She shot over to the bed, blind to anything but the man in it, and practically joined him under the blankets.
Needless to say, the Doctor was immediately taking advantage of her temporary invisibility to jot down the change in Vesper's behaviour and some of the things the girl was saying.
Perhaps they had a past together? Oniisama was something that Vesper seemed to be calling the boy, though the Doctor would have to either ask or Google it later on. She wasn't very good with languages other than German, Italian and.. another.

When Vesper finally realised that she and the bedridden 'Oniisama' weren't alone, her cheeks immediately flushed and she bowed as if she'd committed some sort of gross wrong. Clicking the lid back onto her pen and placing it in one of her pockets, the Doctor waved a hand. "Don't worry about it, Miss Himemiya. It's good to see you in a good mood."
The Doctor made her way back over to the bed, leaning over it and peering down at Jojo beneath her.

"But, I do hope that you forgive me just this one time..." The Doctor smiled softly, nodding.
"I just wanted to know..." To say that Jonathan Black was important to her was an understatement. It seemed like there was something a bit deeper than friendship between them. Her questioning despite her usual demeanour only reinforced the notion.
"What happened to him?"

The Doctor wished she could give a definitive answer, but alas, she wasn't Jonathan, nor did she feel inclined to poke around in his dreams or memories.
"He was attacked by what is very likely to be a Tsuchigumo. He barely managed to escape with his life, but he did. He also took it upon himself to get somewhere remote in order to try and avoid collateral damage. He's quite the hero, and he fought the Tsuchigumo off, to boot.
His body was burnt out from the battle, not to mention the serious injuries to his body, and the fact that he almost had his throat bitten out.. I've written a list of his injuries down on a piece of paper if you're particularly interested.
"

The Doctor shook her head, looking back over to Vesper with a faint smile.

"Your presence here is appreciated. If you know him, I'll allow you to stay for as long as you like. Consider it medical leave."






The 'Hero'.


To say that Jonathan's dreams were horrific would be an understatement. Every single bit of his mind was writhing and scuttling around, grabbing at him and making his heart pound. The giant spider monster leapt at him once more and he barely manage to claw out of the way. His body was sluggish, like he was running through jelly, and that thing was gaining on him. It jabbed at him with one of its legs and it pierced his side and he fell, tossing and turning in the air, through the pitch black void that dragged him deeper and deeper into his nightmares.
Something gentle brushed against his cheek and the momentum stopped.

"Oniisama, it's all right now."

He shot up in his bed in the infirmary, panting like he'd just rushed his way through three marathons without a single drop of water. He was covered in sweat, drenched in it, and he was nauseous to his stomach. He practically vaulted over the side of his bed, catching sight of the bucket, held by a woman he'd never seen before but was suddenly very, very happy to be seeing. He grabbed the bucket and threw up right into it, his entire body shuddering and quivering with the fleeting terror of his nightmares, and the reality that might as well have been a nightmare itself.
He took a few moments to catch his breath, choking on the taste of his bile before finally managing to calm himself properly.. or at least as close to properly as his poor self could manage. At any moment, he felt like he was going to pass out. His entire body felt sore, and his legs felt weak.

Until someone seized him by the shoulders, at least, and pulled him back over to the bed.
"You're safe now, Jonathan."
He thrashed in their grip, images of that horrible, horrible spider woman burning in his head. He flailed and kicked, screaming and shouting before finally, after a few moments, he began to calm down. The arms around his waist held him gently, and he began to breath again. He didn't even know he'd been holding his breath.

He was breathing hard, barely able to hold himself together, and with the help of the person holding him, he climbed up into the bed and slithered under the blankets. Unbeknownst to him, the Doctor had moved over to place a gentle hand on Vesper's shoulder. "He's had a rough night, Miss Himemiya."
It took a few moments for Jonathan to pull himself together enough to then exit the sheets, and when he did, he certainly didn't expect to see what he saw. Standing before him were two people; the first was the person whose voice he'd already heard. She was a tall woman wearing a pair of glasses, with dull pink hair falling down her back and a warm smile on her face.
She was clad in a pristine white suit, upon which she was wearing a pristine white lab coat. Her hands were covered in pristine white gloves, and her appearance would've screamed 'SCIENTIST OR MAYBE DOCTOR' if it weren't also for the armband around her bicep, clinging to her coat, and emblazoned with a bright red cross- the obvious sign for a medical professional.

However.. Jonathan's eyes were drawn to the other woman in the room, and his breath caught in his throat for a moment. Those purple eyes, that hair, the lovely skin..
Memories sprung forth from the back of his mind of his younger days, before the idiocy in London, and back to a time when..

Completely unaware of how horrible he looked, he sat there for a few moments, silent and with a jaw that was practically in his lap.
"I... Is that.. Vesper?"
His voice cracked a little as he spoke her name.
Surely it couldn't be, right? There was no way..

"Oniisama, it's all right now."
The words and the voice resurfaced in his mind and he gulped, suddenly aware of how absolutely exhausted he felt. His throat was dry, his body ached in places he never knew that his body could ache..
His hand shot up to his neck and grasped it, feeling the lack of any real hole there. He let out a long, relieved breath and his body relaxed a little.
Speaking of his body, he opened his eyes and glanced down at himself. He was practically covered in bandages, some of them bloody, some of them seemingly brand new. They covered the majority of his body, and his face had a few bandaids on it as well.

He felt like an anime character.
Though, with that being said.. Now he was waiting for the two people before him to respond to him.






The Good Doctor.


"My apologies, Vesper. Your reunion has to be put on hold for a few moments, I fear." The Doctor made her way over and grabbed a seat, pushing it over to the side of the bed that Vesper was standing on before returning to her own side of the bed and taking a seat. Jonathan visibly stiffened up at the change in her tone, but she flashed him a quick smile in order to soothe his concerns. Having seated herself, she picked up the clipboard that she'd been scribbling things down on, along with the folder full of pages stuff to the brim with information.

"My name is Doctor Eine Minerva. You may call me Doctor, Minerva, or Eine, whichever you'd prefer. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to ask you some questions. These may cause you to become uncomfortable, but we need answers in order to make sure that our version of events is correct."
The boy glanced over at her, then back over to Vesper before nodding his head and licking his lips. He was obviously nervous, and he had every right to be. Before she began, though, she leaned forward and placed a hand on one of his own, giving him that familiar warm smile once more.
"You really are safe here, Jonathan. If that monster comes for you, we'll be here to stop it. That being said, I'm happy to answer any questions you may have after I'm done with my inter.. questioning."
It was hard not to think of this as her interrogating an innocent young man, but procedure dictated this to be her duty, and on top of that, they needed to know more about the incident.

"Now, Jonathan, if you could recount the events of the night to me, please do. If it begins to feel like too much, or you want to stop, please do. Your health is my priority. Despite having to do this, I don't intend on harming you in order to do it." Her voice had lost a little of the warmth it had held as she reverted back to the viewpoint with which she was most familiar.
Cold, analytical, necessary in order to complete her task.
She had stopped crying over her patients years ago.

Jonathan took a deep breath, nodding to give his assent, and began to speak.
"Well, I woke up and, um, went to work like usual.."






The Good Doctor.


The story matched far too well. The corpses of his housemates, the destruction of property, the fleeing spider monster. All of it lined up with the narrative that they'd put down on paper. The Doctor uncrossed and then crossed her legs again, placing the folder down on the table beside her, along with the clipboard, and adjusted the glasses on her face. For a moment, she hesitated.
"Jonathan, may I call you Jojo?"

The boy, looking more than a little pale now, nodded quietly. He'd been brave to talk about what had happened so openly. It reminded her of the other Children's little chats with her, though none of those had been in a hospital bed..
Nor so quickly after they'd woken up from being unconscious. She took a moment to harden her heart once again before crossing her arms.

"Now, it's time for me to tell you some things." She paused for a moment, nodded to herself, then continued.
"The being that attacked you is called a Tsuchigumo. We believe that, as it wasn't a Demon and therefore wouldn't be aware of your.. circumstances.. the attack was orchestrated by a third party. Think of it like this; how convenient is it that an arachnophobe comes face to face with an arachnid Youkai for their first encounter with the supernatural? Especially since a Tsuchigumo would generally only be found in Japan, to find one so far abroad is more than a little suspicious. On top of that, if this were a random attack, the Tsuchigumo would not go after someone specifically as it did with you. The icing on the cake is that the attacker also knew enough information to call you out on being what you are."

"Am I really, um, Demonspawn?"
The Doctor paused. There was something in his eyes, something she was familiar with. That look of 'please don't be true'.
She wished she was able to deny it, but that would only cause more problems.
"Truth be told, Jonathan, with us in the WDL are several of you, and none of you are particularly chaotic, only chaotically peculiar." The warm smile on her face returned as she spoke, and he deflated a little. Not in a good way, but at least he wasn't freaking out again.

With a sigh, the boy rubbed his bandaged forearms and licked his lips nervously again. The Doctor leaned back, closing her eyes and speaking.
"The Warriors of Divine Light are an organisation hidden from society, dedicated to the protection of innocent people and the prevention of horrific events of the supernatural kind. We're based in Rome, where we now are, and our hope for finding the group of Devil's Children is to stop them from going berserk, and change them into heroes instead of the villains that they are supposedly destined to be." She sat up properly again, adjusting her glasses on her face, and gave the two people before her a smile.

"That being said.. Is there anything you'd like to do before your brother returns? He's going to take good care of you, but perhaps some sleep is in order to keep yourself going, Jojo?"
The boy hadn't spoken in a while, still processing what he'd been told. His fists clenched a little and he nodded to himself, biting his lip. He cast his gaze over to Vesper, then back over to the Doctor.

"How do I start?"











The Vampire.


Post placeholder. Ooooohhhh~
This won't bother our posts.











The Good Doctor.


Jonathan had decided to get some more sleep while he could. Bidding Vesper and the Doctor goodnight as he once again dozed off.
It took a good few hours, but eventually Rick returned. The Doctor looked up from the desk in her office and pushed her chair out, closing her laptop and pushing her chair back in before making her way over to the door. She opened it, nodded to Rick, and continued out into the hallway. She locked the door behind her and motioned for Rick to follow her back to room 7C, where Jonathan and, assumedly, Vesper were located.

"How has your day been, Rick? Did anything happen while you were seeing your brother's things to his room?"
The question was as genuine as ever, though the Doctor did pull out the glasses from her breast pocket as they walked and slid them on, obscuring her visage once more behind the 'normal' face.

Their pace was interrupted, however, by a voice from behind them.
Turning to check behind her, the Doctor caught sight of the familiar grin of her Principal.
"Auditorium C. It should be empty. Please bring the lovebirds in room 7C with you." With a cheeky grin, the Principal flopped backwards into a portal and vanished through it as it closed up. The Doctor turned to Rick, sighing softly and giving him a small smile.

"Shall we?"











The Vampire.


However much Illusion had been incredibly eager to pop up behind literally everyone in that same fashion, she was well aware how conspicuous that would be, and instead sent everyone involved a message on their WDL issued mobile phones. Those involved being Rick, Eine, Ash, Sibyl and Vesper. A small message, an easy message, the same one she'd delivered to the Doctor and Rick personally.

"Auditorium C asap. Should be empty. Being late will result in a Lusy Launch."











Post placeholder. Won't bother our posts.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Eine Minerva Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall

0.00 INK

#, as written by Zalgo
Rick Brackwall

"How has your day been, Rick? Did anything happen while you were seeing your brother's things to his room?"

Walking along, arms folded behind him, he simply shook his head.

"Nothing beyond the ordinary. Well, as ordinary as circumstances permit. There is still ongoing investigation into what among his possessions was destroyed by the Tsuchigumo. There appears to be little overall damage to his belongings from what was reported." Rick briefly gestured with a short wave of his right hand, bringing his arm across horizontally and ending with a short shrug.

"I went ahead and aligned our documentation with what we've collected so that nothing of his that we have so far is misfiled as destroyed or missing. There is little I can do for what's still pending confirmation until it's collected or verified as destroyed."

As luck would have it they were already right in front of the door where Jonathan and Vesper awaited.

"Allow me." He gave the door a short light couple of raps before opening. Stepping through he stood aside and held the door open for Eine, allowing her to pass through before gently shutting the door behind them. Turning from the door he took a look back at those remaining in the room, one in specific being Jonathan Black.

"Greetings. I am Rick Brackwall. Dr. Minerva and I have come to inform you that we three are required at Auditorium C. I understand you must be curious as to who we are and why you're here. While I cannot ascertain you'll learn all that in the auditorium I can answer what questions you may have on the way. As for now however I bid thee..."

He wore the calm and collected expression of formality as he addressed him. Rick crossed his right hand across his chest and gave a reasonably pronounced bow as he continued.

"Welcome to the WDL Headquarters."

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Fullscreen Chat » Create Topic » A Tale of Seven Children//Endless Hourglass: Out of Character

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Re: A Tale of Seven Children//Endless Hourglass

Is that a sneaky Vit I see coming to join us?! :D

Re: A Tale of Seven Children//Endless Hourglass

@Galatea

I'll add your reservation to the list! With that said, we now have all Seven Children taken. Whoo~!
I'm happy that you like the concept!

Re: A Tale of Seven Children//Endless Hourglass

Hi there! I love this concept! May I reserve a child character?

Re: A Tale of Seven Children//Endless Hourglass

Here to confirm that I am throwing down the crew. Welcome aboard everybody.

Re: A Tale of Seven Children//Endless Hourglass

@Phantom's Sword

We'd be happy to have you tag along for the ride!
I've actually made this roleplay a couple of times now, so I've gotten pretty attached haha~
I'll write it down that a Child slot's been reserved for ya!

Re: A Tale of Seven Children//Endless Hourglass

Wowsers, this is so cool! I saw the first one and had a hard time reading all of its juicy goodness due to having to scroll so much. Could I try for a child?

Re: A Tale of Seven Children//Endless Hourglass

I guess I'll throw up here that I'm in as per usual. A primary reservation for a child, rehashing Ash for another generation.

A Tale of Seven Children//Endless Hourglass

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