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Caius Grady

"A word of warning, piss off!"

681 views · last seen in The Earth, 2017
a character in “A Tale of Seven Children//Rebirth”, as played by Secret Maiden

So begins...

Caius Grady's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caius Grady
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Footnotes

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INK

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"I always prided myself
that I am strong and
I can handle anything,
but then, I was faced with
reality that I am not
as strong as I think."
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"Cai-Cai!!! Read this story!" This was followed by another voice piping with energy. "Come on!!! Hurry Cai!" There was a bit of hair pulling by those small grubby hands. This caused a noticeable vein to pop upon the hulking tower's forehead, who is actually a human, encircled by little gremlins (kids) "Piped it down you dang brats!" This was followed by laughter and a few words of redemption and advice. "Now children, it's already time for bedtime. Don't bother Caius too much now." This came from the Matron who looked at them warmly, but her voice carried a hint of authority.

She was without question older than anyone inside the room and carried herself with a matured grace. Her hair neatly tied in low ponytail while those brown eyes framed by glasses gazed at them in equal affection and light intimidation. The energy around the group of children deflated as they quieted down and complied. They didn't want to be scolded after all. "Yes, Matron." They said in unison and upon hearing that response was a big relief for the one now known as Caius, he released a big sigh as the hands and feet that were all over him were now gone. They seemed to think he was a tree that should be climbed. "And Caius, what did I say about temper and patience?"

Those words made Caius freeze from the spot as he scratched his head further ruffling his already messed up dark brown hair edged with crimson. "Can it..." He wasn't being impolite really. It had always been his way of speaking with the crudest words. The Matron nodded towards his response. "Now, children off to bed we are. Caius, I'll leave the cleaning to you."

Caius nodded his head at this while turning his back from them. "Yeah, I got this." He waved his hand in the air as he walked away from them to do his chores. The Matron in returned had a small smile watching his retreating back before ushering the children upstairs to retire for the evening. This was the same routine in this private-owned orphanage. That's why no one would think or even have the slightest guess that this place would be a center of something extraordinary. More or less, it was a peaceful night as he walked along the hallways carrying some recently washed bed sheets. He was going to put it away as his bright golden eyes reflected the gentle light of the moon. For a moment, he stopped looking out the window.

"It's a full moon tonight, huh..." His voice but a soft whisper as he took the silence and the ambiance in. The moon was so big in such a phase and its light illuminated the land in a pale color. It was not bad to relax once in a while in such a night. "Well, I need a good drink after this. How could those damn goblins be that energetic?" Caius shook his head just by remembering the events of the day. He could feel the fatigue coming over him once more. There was not a dull minute at all, but he wasn't overly annoyed about it. The situation these kids were in was not unknown to him. There was a sense of sentiment in him, so it would be fine to help a bit where he could. But, it doesn't change a damn thing that those brats needs a thorough beating one day. He is not a jungle gym for fuckin' sakes. Anyway, he continued on his way to finish his job before going for the night.

Time went on peacefully just like that...

The Matron gave him some hot cocoa before he left for the night. It's free so, there was no way Caius would refuse that. Plus, it was perfect for cold evenings like this as he walked along the makeshift path towards the gate entrance. The said orphanage was not far from the metropolis, but it had secured itself a piece of land with adequate grounds. It was perfect for children to play outside on good days. The place over all wasn't grand and he was also working for free as a volunteer, but it felt cozy. That was more than enough for him right now. He blew on his cup of warmth, before taking a sip and continued on his way as he finally reached the gates. His final duty was to lock it up properly.

"Where is that lock...?" Caius fumbled through his pockets while making sure his steaming drink would not spill. At first, he wasn't concerned about not finding it, but after a while, his face twisted into that of confusion, desperation, and then surrender. He probably forgot it inside. "Tsk... Might left it at the kitchen table." Oh well, he has a key anyway. The Matron gave him a spare in 'just in case' situations. This way, he won't need to wake anyone else up. In addition, he could imagine the horror if one of those brats causes a ruckus. He really didn't want to deal with it. That's why he made a beeline back to the manor-styled building that is the Orphanage.

Along the way, Caius made a stop in the middle as a howl of something canine echoed throughout the grounds. It definitely had an impact as the full moon made its reign over the night sky very prominently. "Huh? Wolf?" He tried to think if that was possible as he looked around him. But, that's impossible. It's not like they're near a forest. This was the city. Maybe, a dog." He settled on that assessment with even an appropriate nod, but his calm appearance shattered when he heard a piercing scream tearing through the darkness. "Jessie!!!" He knew that voice, actually he knew all of the children's names even if he doesn't admit it. His heart pounded in his chest in panic as he made great haste. He quickly reached the doors and fumbled with the lock. His hot cocoa now on the ground and forgotten. "Hey!!! Hey!! What happened!?" He continued to bang on the door while shouting at the top of his lungs. Soon enough, he was able to open it and what came into his line of sight first was the body of the Matron rolling down the staircase. It eventually stopped in front of him as those brown eyes that were filled with kindness earlier now were filled with lifeless horror.

"Hey..." Caius approached the bloodied corpse. She was covered in red as if that was her clothes. It even made a pool depicting how recent it was. His attention was taken again when many screams echoed inside the building. The children was still in danger from whatever it was. He went upstairs. "Brats! Where are you!? Jessie! George! Yul!" He continued shouting the names of the children and he could hear the screams getting louder and a feral growl being mixed in. Was there a dog? No, a wolf really? He grabbed the nearest object he could along the way that can serve as a weapon. It was the mop handle as he finally reached the door and kicked it open. "GET AWAY FROM THE BRATS!" That was his opening bravado, but he could feel his stomach lurching because of what he was seeing at this very moment.

There was something Caius could not identify as normal. A big bulk mass covered in hair and sharp teeth and fangs glistening in red liquid. Sharp and ferocious eyes glistened in pure wild instinct gazed at him. He wasn't sure what it was and he really didn't want to admit the word registering inside his head. But, that wasn't what made him have this feeling of vomiting whatever he ate. He had been in a lot of fights. It got really bloody as well, but it was never like this. Claw marks scattered across the wall stained with blood. Furniture were all in disarray. The children were filled with fear and crying for their lives. Some.... Yes, some...were across the floor. Their eyes lifeless gazing into a vain hope of being saved.

Their spleens, intestines, and severed limbs scattered around like confetti. Heads detached from the little bodies were also present. The scent of blood weighed heavily in the air and even it was a perfect scene in some Hollywood horror movie. But, this was not a movie. It definitely was not. "C-ai... he...lp..." That soft voice snapped him out of his haze and focused on the reality. This was not a fuckin' dream. There in the jaws of that whatever thing was little Sophie. Her throat bitten as blood drizzled like sweet honey. His eyes of gold flashed with intensity as the bewilderment, shock, and horror dissolved into a collective set of rage and willpower. "YOU BASTARD! LET HER GO!" He raised his wooden mop handle as if it was a sharp blade and rushed towards the monster.

The said creature did not budge from the spot as it hit him. Normally, that would cause quite a reaction as Caius definitely put much strength in it. But, what welcomed him was being hit backhandedly. That made him fly across the room, specifically outside by making a hole. "Cai!" It was the collective shouts of the surviving children as he fight not to lose his consciousness. He was leaning on the wall which stopped his momentum of being slammed away. With a quick reaction earlier, he used the mop handle at the very least as a shield, but now, it had become his own undoing. It was broken into pieces and the splinters stuck to him like pins. Moreover, he could feel a seething pain in his abdomen. He gazed at it and found he had been impaled. That probably came from the wooden walls he had smashed through. This was bad...

He can't just lay here... The children. Caius used his sheer will to stand. He removed the large chunk of wood that impaled him knowing that he would bleed hugely. But, it was going to hinder his movements, so no choice. "I'm fine..." He managed to stand on his feet as he was bleeding all over. "You mutt...Let--!" The monstrosity did not wait for him to finish. Actually, its interest was now on him. The fact he was still moving and so unceremoniously, the girl named Sophie was discarded like a piece of trash on the floor. Clear to anyone's eyes, Sophie was already dead. That broke something inside him. She called out to him and he... failed miserably. "So..ph..ie.." As if there was no time for him to process his grief, the creature stepped on the dead Sophie without care, crushing the girl into a miserable pile of flesh. "NO!"

His shout was like the firing gun as the massive creature rushed towards him. Its claws aiming to thrust into his chest. But, that didn't happen at all. Instead, the atmosphere of the very room changed. Something heavy filled it. More importantly, the limb that was supposed to bring an end to Caius was now severed from its joint. The beast howled in great pain and surprise. It looked back at the one responsible in rage, but what welcomed him was a madness of golden hate. "I'll fuckin' rip you apart." His voice was low and very ominous as his golden eyes flashed in a haze of delirium. His face shifted into pure anger and without a care for his own injuries, he grabbed the creature by the mouth.

In retaliation, the creature tried to punch him back with its remaining hand. It reached its target, but Caius was in a bath of adrenaline and didn't care for the pain. He was a mad man that even the surviving children that saw it did not recognize the big brother figure they all came to love. "Die mongrel." That was his ending statement and without further ado, he ripped the creature's head into two by opening its mouth to extreme measures. Though, it came easy to him as his body seemed to have been enveloped in an insurmountable level of strength. Blood spluttered everywhere and the said creature fell to the floor with a thud. Then, there was silence. It surrounded everyone who survived that terrifying event.

The children all huddled together in the corner as they fear Caius. Why shouldn't they? He looked like a monster with his golden eyes gleaming in madness and covered in blood along with bits of body parts. He didn't mind though as he slowly approached the body of the crushed Sophie. He stood there for a while. He was completely still. "So..rry.." His voice was filled with anguished and then he dropped to the floor. His exhaustion, injuries, and emotional strain finally won over him as he could feel his consciousness slowly ebbing towards the darkness. The children finally approached him in great concern and hurry. It seemed that children really have no fear in the end, don't they? "Cai! Cai! Cai!" Those were the sounds that lulled him into slumber. At that moment, he had that stray thought. "Oh yeah, where is my hot cocoa...?" Then, he finally succumbed to the lure of sleep.

"His...are bad."

"He... lot of blood."

"The first aid.... we arrive."

"It's....blo....me..ss.

"What about the...crew?"

"They...already..."

Unfamiliar voices circled around him. Caius didn't know what was going on and he could feel his body was somehow numbed. He tried to open his eyes to assess where he is and who the people were. But, it hurt as a bright light welcomed his eyes. Immediately, he squinted. "He's...what do..." He really couldn't hear what exactly what they're saying. He also feel very light-headed and weak. Everything was spinning even the voices. "Chil..dren..." That was the first and foremost concern in his head. He knew that he was probably in unknown hands, but he couldn't care about it. He'll deal with it when it comes to that. "They're....ne... Lucky.... We..wolf..." He really didn't get it, but he felt that whoever was speaking was telling him good news. So, he succumbed to sleep again without his knowledge as he was spirited by a mysterious group towards the place where his destiny could be made or could be broken.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: 'Illusion'
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Footnotes

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INK

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"For the first time
what I believe and don’t
starts to collide and
breaks down the barriers
I have like its paper
I only hoped, I’ll still be me"
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Everything was in a haze. Caius felt the disgust of not being able to make his own move. It sickened him and that in turned changed in a sense of annoyance for himself. But, his body won't obey him even opening his eyes were a tremendous trial to do. His hearing was not at its best too. He was completely in the dark, but he could feel that he was being moved. That meant people were handling him and for the most part, he was certain he doesn't know them. It really bugs the hell out of him. That's why even for a short while between long intervals, he tried to wake his consciousness and would occasionally receive glimpses from his blurry vision.

Then, he would slipped back to the darkness. The next time he woke from his sleep, he was being moved towards a facility. He was on a stretcher and the voices of people hounded around him. There was also a scent of sterile alcohol in the air. He was probably being delivered to a medical facility. Well, that made sense since he was injured, right? They were not going to kill him... But, that meant they need something from him.... What would that be? He really didn't know as he drifted to sleep again.

After a while, he woke up again. There he noticed that someone else was being treated beside him. He wasn't sure who, but he tried his best to look from the corner of his eyes to satisfy his curiosity. Then, somehow, he was stroke with a sense of familiarity. The face he saw was similar to the face of that certain young punk in his memory. The one who had the guts to lecture him. The one that he wanted to punch in the face. That JoJo guy, is that really him?

Again, he lost his consciousness. This time, he relived a memory of a past that he knew was not his best moments in life.

~ FEW YEARS BACK - DREAM SEQUENCE~

A disadvantaged fight where Caius was always the underdog was not surprising at the slightest for him. He had many encounters like that and he had always fought his way out with his own two hands and two feet. That was how his life had been ever since he could remember. There was no changing that and he was used to it. That's why this situation where a punk he doesn't have a clue who or give a rat's ass about was intervening in a fight that was not anyone's business but his alone.

JoJo gritted his teeth, forcing one of the men back, away from Caius. He stood between them, sheathed sword at the ready as he glared. "I don't know who you are, but if you try to touch this man again, I'll floor you. Understand me?" JoJo shifted his stance, holding his blade out in front of him as he turned back to Caius slightly. "Yo, you alright? Not sure if you can stand, but you might wanna. I doubt these guys will-" He swore and staggered backwards as one of the men tried to hit him with some brass knuckles. JoJo stepped to the side, slamming his blade down on the man’s hand before hitting his elbow too- he slammed his heel into his opponent’s chest, forcing him back into the other men, who all staggered back as well. "I told you that I'd floor you." JoJo's usually demeanor had vanished- his eyes were sparkling ever so slightly, and his face was set in a determined expression as he stood between Caius and the men.

"Who the fuck are you!?" His voice reflected his annoyance and surprise as he got back on his feet while wiping the trickling blood from the corner of his mouth. One of his foes managed to land a major punch which made him lose his balance briefly. Still, he was not someone who could be taken down with just a lucky punch. "Get out of here!" After saying that, he delivered a straight punch to the guy aiming for JoJo from behind. "I don't need your help!" He then delivered a quick kick to the gut to another incoming enemy and followed it with an elbow strike to the back of the neck. "Oh shut up. Even if you don't need it, I'm gonna be helping you anyways." JoJo dodged an attack, countering with a swift smack to the man’s face, knocking him back and onto his ass, where he stayed. "The fuck, you punk!" Caius delivered a roundhouse kick that connected to the jaw of his foe who slammed against with another incoming enemy. "Are you stupid?! This ain't your fight!"

JoJo followed up by jabbing his sword past Caius' head to ram it into the face of a man who came from Caius' side while he was distracted. "Sorry 'bout that." This was eventually timely avoided as Caius delivered a right hook to another foe. "It's your funeral, punk." He gave up as he does understand a man who wants to fight. After all, he had been fighting ever since he could remember. In that sense, he understood that kind of impulse for now. JoJo spun away, lining his back up with Caius' own as he looked around. "So.. There's about twenty. Watchya reckon our odds are? Don't worry. I've got your back." JoJo was determined to stay in the fight, now, even if he just kept Caius' back safe while the older man beat the crap out of these guys. "What all-talk? I won't hold your hand." Caius cracked his knuckles and grinned. "No way, I'm gonna be beaten by these cowards." He then rushed forward with wild fervor, "Let's end this."

JoJo grinned. "Gladly." He lunged forward, blocking a blow from a baton and ramming his foot into the man’s jaw. Ducking immediately after, JoJo backhanded another guy across the face before kicking at him, too, lifting himself off of the ground as he booted the man in the jaw. He landed, crouching as he burst forward and slammed his blade into the kneecap of another man, following that up by rocketing upwards and using that momentum to crack his jaw open and send him onto his back. A punch whacked JoJo across the face, but he simply grabbed the arm as it pulled back and yanked, dragging the man into a brutal knee to the chest before JoJo slammed is forehead into his nose. As the man recoiled, JoJo smacked him in the throat with his sheathed blade and booted him into another man. He momentarily looked over at Caius to check on him, keeping not too close but not too far from his back wherever the older man decided to go next.

There were no assurances from Caius at all. Well, it was a given. He wasn't going to care for a brat who entered the fight willfully. The boy got himself in this then, it won't be hard for that boy to get out of it on his own. For now, Caius focused on the enemies converging on him. He delivered a straight punch squarely on the face of the one coming towards him head-on. That was a fatal mistake and once that connected, he quickly blocked a blow from a lead pipe with his arm. Then, he dodged another punch aiming for his face by ducking and returning the favor for that sucker punch with a punch of his own to the gut. The guy toppled backwards and fell to his knees. After that, he followed up with the one holding the lead pipe with a knee to the chin as he grabbed the said pipe and proceeded to smash it on the guy's face. All through that, he was grinning like a madman as he continue to decimate the bastards who dared ganged up on him. He'll make them regret it.

JoJo, while looking over at Caius, reminded himself to never get on his bad side. JoJo smirked, lunging to the side as a guy tried to sneak past him. He pushed the stun rod out of the way and followed with a roundhouse to the side of the man’s head. He immediately shot back to Caius' rear, stomping on the back of the knee of a man who tried to rush him from behind before tossing him over his hip and onto the floor, stomping on his back to tell him to keep down. JoJo didn't exactly like to be overly brutal, but being around Caius was making his blood boil- not to mention, the guys he was taking on probably wouldn't give him any mercy, so why should he give them any? JoJo suddenly leaped forward, slamming his sword against the floor and using it to toss himself upwards, flinging out two legs to kick two faces in as he pulled his sword up and clocked another guy in the face. He landed, crouched down, only to realize that everyone else behind Caius had backed off and fled- He probably did seem kind of like some sort of short, silly ninja. He turned around to Caius, raising his weapon once more as he prepared to join in on the destruction he was causing.

And what JoJo witnessed was annihilation.

The ones who thought they would be able to take on Caius with numbers were now regretting it. Obviously, he did also receive his own share of injuries, but it was not as bad as the guys who suffered under his own form of retribution. They just had to really ignite his core and this is what was bound to happen. His grin never disappeared as he was now holding a guy by the collar, lifting him a few inches above the ground. The others were either unconscious, suffering from fractured and broken bones or fled for their lives. Anyways, for the poor sap in his grasp, he delivered a rondo of punches, each gaining strength and speed. He was not letting up. It was no exaggeration to say that the guy was not going to have a face by the end of it.

JoJo, watching the others run away, idly tapped Caius on the arm he wasn't used to break a face with his weapon. "Yo, dude. Don't kill him. Seriously, killing him will just make you look worse than these guys." JoJo stepped over to him, catching Caius' hand mid-punch. Golden eyes flashed in annoyance at being stopped from delivering his twisted sense of justice. "Stop. Trust me." He stared Caius right in the eyes, eyebrows narrowed slightly. He was serious- it seemed like he didn't want Caius to step into murderer territory. "Don't tell me what to do brat!" He pulled back his fist that was stopped and released the guy from his grasp. "What do you know about me?" Caius narrowed his eyes at JoJo. "I never asked for your help. So, stop nagging me. Get out of my sight."

"You don't have to ask for help to be helped, dude. You might not have needed it, but having someone else take care of your back probably lifted a pretty big weight off of your shoulders, right? On top of that, we floored those assholes in like no time at all." JoJo shrugged. "I don't know anything about you, but I don't need to know you to want to help you." JoJo stood his ground, lowering his sword to his side. "Besides, you shouldn't kill people even if they try to kill you- at least then you know you're still not a bad person."

"Spare me from your morality lecture!" Caius wiped some of the blood from his lips. He does not like being told by some wet ears who is obviously a hypocrite. "The world is not clear cut as you think it is boy. It's be killed or not. There's nothing else in between." He pointed at the guys who were unconscious on the ground. "Did you think they were not here to kill?" He shook his head and released a sarcastic laugh. "But you stopped them without killing them, right? So you're the better party already. I know the world isn't clear cut, dude, but that doesn't give you an excuse to become some sort of monster." The world was hardly a pleasant place to begin with, that's what Caius believed truly. "This is how we live here, so stop butting in a business that's not yours. Do you have a death wish?" He looked at younger boy in an intimidating manner.

JoJo stared right back at Caius, not being intimidated in the slightest by his glare. "Do you have a death wish? Because if you keep acting like this you might end up getting hurt or worse- as a fellow human being, that worries me. Stop getting the shit beaten out of you. You might think that that's how the world works, but that's not how life works at all. Maybe for someone in the criminal underground or something, but once you're out of there you don't have to fight or risk your life at all." Caius could feel his veins popping out. He was getting really annoyed quickly. This kid was lecturing him as if he knew what was happening with him. "Shut up!" JoJo sighed hard, crossing his arms while still holding his blade. "Listen. I dunno why they were after you, but it can't be good. Leave. Skip town, whatever. Fix your shit and get a better life- one you don't have to risk throwing away every night. One where you can realize there's more to life than fighting, and where you can be a real, good member of society."

Caius lunged at the younger boy by grabbing him by the collar. "Don't talk as if you got everything figured out!" That's right, why is this boy telling him all of this. They were strangers at best. They were nothing to each other. "It might be weird of someone you've never met to ask that, but promise me you'll at least try. There's no need for you to die in some alley one day." Caius gritted his teeth as his annoyance turned into anger, but he also knew that the boy was not really the source of it. "That's right you don't know about me so, don't meddle with me. It's not your damn problem! Don't stick your nose where it doesn't belong!" His hands were trembling, but it was due to the rage that was bubbling inside of him which he was currently putting a lid on. "Don't ever show your face to me again! I'll kill you." He looked at the younger boy with a degree of seriousness. "If you're gonna kill me, then do it, but then you better clean up your damn act." As Caius grabbed his collar, JoJo barely even flinched. There was a fire in his eyes, and it didn't falter one bit as Caius attempted to intimidate him.

At that point, Caius released the younger boy from his grip. "I won't die. I can't die." It was said as a whisper as he walked away. After being dropped, JoJo glared right back, taking a step towards Caius. "Listen here you tall, arrogant fucker. You're not invincible, you're not immortal. You might die- you could die, and I refuse to stand by and watch someone throw their life away because they're too thick-headed to understand that they don't need to!" JoJo's tone was angry, too, and he was almost bristling with anger. Caius didn't stop and didn't want to hear anything else. His head was hurting and that was due to thinking which he doesn't like to do much. "Get out of here punk!" This did not dissuade the younger boy though. "Listen here. I don't know you, and you don't know me. Let's just agree to disagree, and you can go get yourself a better, non-violent life where you won't end up getting stabbed or shot or beaten. I don't have everything figured out- but I'm slowly getting there. Dying in an alleyway isn't how you figure things out. Tell me your name."

Every fiber in his being was telling Caius not to turn around and just leave. He did not owe anything to that meddling brat who thinks justice and all that shit exists. The world was too good for such matters. That's why he should not answer and let what was said passed through him like it was the air. But, he didn't walk away. "Caius." That's all he said and to end that stupid interaction he finally walked away. He didn't ask for his name, because he wanted that connection to end there. JoJo grinned a bit too widely. "Caius, call me JoJo! Take care of yourself! I expect to see you in ten years not in an alley being beaten, got it?!" JoJo turned, and walked away- if Caius turned around to look, he'd notice JoJo waving over his shoulder at him.

Caius knew that the hazy moment in his past did certainly make a few changes in his life. That stupid bratty punk run his tongue, but he owe it to that even if, he wouldn't ever admit it. Yeah... that punkster...

~DREAM ENDS~

The next thing Caius knew he was staring at a very unfamiliar ceiling. Well, it was a ceiling that much is true. But, it was not at his apartment or was it at the orphanage... "The Children!" He immediately rise up from the bed and his golden eyes held panic, but his face twisted instead as a response to the creeping pain coming from his abdomen. "..Shit.." He looked at the cause and tried to remember what happened when he was out cold. A small cough which caught his attention quickly and his senses heightened. Caius looked at the source and found, standing beside his bed was a small girl, a warm smile on her face. "Hello there, Caius Grady. I'm glad to see that you've awakened." This was weird in every way to him, but he couldn't like get all grumpy about it. But, the one thing he found odd in the situation was the girl who had a maturity despite such appearance. Moreover, she knew him and that warm smile offered no security to him. He became wary and decided to listen to what was being said. Her unnatural red eyes met Caius', and she folded her arms behind her back, rocking on her feet slowly. "You took quite a beating- a werewolf almost killed you, after all." Though, his eyes narrowed at the word 'werewolf'.

Her smile widened. "And you, although failing to save several people, managed to protect those that remained." She stopped rocking, moving over to lean her elbows on the side of his bed. "And now, because of your valiant efforts, those poor children are under our protection- and I assure you there's no safer place for them." Then, she spoke about the children being safe. That calmed his nerves, but still could he really trust what was being said. "...Right." He was really in doubt. "Who, where, and why do you know me?" She curtsied with a smirk, looking up at him. Standing up after, she spoke again. "You may call me Illusion, for that is my name. We dragged you across the world to Rome, where you will stay from now on. This is the headquarters of the Warriors of Divine Light." This was getting weirder by the second for him. He was sure that this girl who now identified herself as Ilusion was really... really... odd. Then, he was told he was in Rome. That word alone made him raised an eyebrow and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "Rome?" Even more, he was told that he would be staying here from now on. "I might owe you for healing but, no way I'm staying here."

He looked around briefly to assess where he is and nothing was familiar to him. Well... he did saw that face from before... Then, there was this Band Group name like Divine of something. She turned away, walking over to the table beside him, and procuring a small glass of water. She returned to Caius, holding it out to him. "I know you because of your.. peculiar circumstances. You're surely in a lot of shock about this entire ordeal, so drink this and follow me- your answers await in the Auditorium, to which I'll take you." What she was saying to him all registered as big question marks. "Okay, here missy. Am I in some TV show? Werewolf? Rome?" He shook his head while looking at the glass of water. "Just tell me what is it you're after, okay? Until then, I'm not leaving. How sure am I to know what that auditorium really means?"

"Sophie is dead." Her tone was flat- she gave Caius a hard look. "If you were stronger- faster, tougher, not a wimp, you could've saved her." He immediately made fists with his hands and gritted his teeth. The face of Sophie calling out for him and he wasn't able to do a damn thing about it. "Don't you thi---" Illusion slowly hovered off of the floor, crossing her arms and staring him in the eyes. He wasn't able to really show his angry outburst because of seeing Illusion float. That was really a great trick, he might add. It effectively derailed him, but her words brought him back to the situation at hand. "I'm offering you a chance to redeem yourself from your failures and prevent any more innocent children being killed." She landed on the side of his bed, eyes sparkling as she stared into his own.His golden eyes locked with those of eerie red.

"You want to stop that from ever happening again, don't you? The rest of the children might be attacked- do you want to be unable to defend them?" She leaned down awfully close, staring deeply into his eyes. "I can make you stronger. I can help you save them all. I can help you protect them from even the most dangerous threats on this planet. All I ask is that you drink that healing water and follow me." Somehow, he felt that in this current situation or more like their positioning, anyone who would have called out on him as something being a pervert or weirdo. Illusion shrugged. "But if you refuse to believe werewolves exist, then you must've killed Sophie with your own hands, right? Who else would've done it, who else was there?" Actually, he was still waiting for someone to throw away the curtains and say this is a gag show. And when that does happen, he would really pulverize them. "What I'm after is for you to drink that water, stop whining, and come with me."

"Okay, you kid. I'll humor ya." He pushed her away from him, and took the glass as he drank it in one gulp. It tasted slightly metallic which made him worry, but he'll deal with it when it becomes relevant. "Whatever elaborate trick you're planning.. I'll tear it up and if anything happens to the children." He grabbed Illusion by the arm and pulled her close to him as his eyes narrowed. "I won't fail this time around" As soon as Caius pulled her close, with a rush of wind, he found himself slammed into the floor. Standing above him was Illusion, her eyes full of tempered malice. Her foot dug into his back, crushing him with a lot more weight than one would expect. "Hands off the loli. Didn't anyone teach you your manners?" She grinned, Caius being able to notice her unnaturally sharp fangs. "I'm glad you won't fail, but if you touch me again, I'll break your arms."

Illusion stepped off of him, humming to herself softly. "I'll give you ten minutes to shower and dress- I'll be waiting outside for your grand entrance. By the way.. if you still think this is a show.. Well, you'll find out. No normal human can rip a werewolf in half, anyways." She shrugged. "Stop waiting for the curtain to drop." She turned to him, a sly smirk on her face. "Because there is no curtain." With that, she waltzed from the room, shutting the door behind her.

That was completely unexpected. Caius grunted as he sat up from his earlier position. "The fuck was that!" He reached for his spine and clearly had the expression of irritation and surprise. More of, annoyance really. "Is there a new effect where they can squeeze a sumo wrestler inside that kid?" He continued rubbing his back, before shaking his head. "I might be in a virtual reality thing and who the hell calls herself a loli?" At this point, he finally stood up and released a sigh. His eyes narrowed seriously as he pondered on that statement of ripping a werewolf in half. He wasn't really recognizing that creature as a werewolf at all. It must be a bear or something. "That... happened didn't it?" He looked at his hands and remembered the lifeless bodies and the fearful eyes. "Damn it!" He then pounded his clench fist to the nearest wall on his side. Evidently, cracks were present from it and he blinked in surprise. He instinctively moved away in surprise and looked at his hand again. "They must have drugged me. I need a shower." That's what he exactly did next.

After that, things just keeps on getting weirder by the second. Illusion or possibly a man in a costume lead him to this auditorium. Well, it looked the part. There before him were three people. They probably were all within the same age group if, he was guessing. Caius saw one boy standing still and dressed all proper, probably some rule-kisser. Then, he was seeing a butt... a pretty butt of a girl who was literally on top of someone. He raised an eyebrow and pointed at the two on the floor. "So, public romping and voyeurism is accepted here? Nice." He said that in a very serious tone as he managed to finally caught the face of the one being dominated by the silver-haired girl. His golden eyes narrowed a bit and that faint familiar face he saw earlier... "Wait... Is that... you punk? JoJo?!" He looked very surprised, because this was far from coincidence. Well, this portion of his life was now getting wonkers apparently.

{In Cooperation with zody, Thanks for the help!}

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Caius Grady
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Rick Brackwall

"Onii-chan!"

The unmistakable voice of Vesper rang out. She veritably launched herself at Jonathan, colliding with him and pinning him to the floor like an overly friendly tiger. Unlike a tiger however hers was not an act of aggression but of overwhelming fondness. Needless to say Rick's eyebrows were the slightest bit raised.

"JoJo... It's really you."

It was quite remarkable to see Vesper, someone categorized by her general state of abstraction, body tackling someone before nuzzling them like a kitten. As it was a rarity for her to show any sense of animation this was a notable day indeed.


"I have a feeling you'll fit in just fine."

He set back his mind to the task of welcoming the newcomer although he suspected his saying would have less effect given the apparent reunion would likely be taking a precedent over whatever it was he was saying.

"So, public romping and voyeurism is accepted here? Nice."

He turned, a brow knit in annoyance as he looked over to the owner of the voice. A large man dressed like he just stepped off the street was standing just inside the entrance to the auditorium. Rick didn't frown but his smile flattened into an expression of regal gravitas. He had his right hand resting on the hilt of his saber as he observed the visitor. It wasn't a threatening position as the saber was sheathed to his right hip, the wrong side for a sword to be drawn on that hand. Not that Rick was paying much mind to that as it was more an unconscious habit of his but however this stranger would take it would just have to be.


"And you are...?"

He left a questioning note at the end, leaving it open for this large foreigner to fill in on his own behalf. There was a hint of Rick's question the validity of the man's presence in his tone. He understood that the WDL must of extended him access if he had gotten this far onto their premises but nobody had mentioned there being more than one new arrival to greet here. He wasn't to assume immediately that this man was another of their kin, though who he was had yet to be answered.

"Wait... Is that... you punk? JoJo?!"

And it all clicked together. It was still unusual, uncanny even. Even Rick couldn't withhold from looking a tad astonished.

"Well, you certainly have made a lot of friends over the years, haven't you?"

A largely rhetorical question directed at Jonathan. Lightening up in light of this revelation he leaned aside a bit to meet Jonathan's eyes at his newly acquired angle from the floor.

Surely if that large fellows knows JoJo and was sent here then that is no coincidence. The evidence isn't sufficient to make the assumption but my gut tells me he's another one of us. Grand... Well, at least he might get along with Ash. If they don't tear one another's head off in the process.

Rick's rich internal monologue continued as he awaited something resembling a response from his new acquaintances and future peers.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Caius Grady
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Ashley “Ash” “Soot” Clade
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Wandering about the grounds was kind of interesting. By the time Ashley had bothered getting ready, it was already well past 10, which meant classes had begun. That also meant the grounds were pretty sparse, letting Ash have some much needed peace and fresh air. She’d had one tour with a guy a bit after she’d gotten settled, but she wasn’t exactly paying attention at that point. Now that she got the chance to see herself around, she had to admit, this place was pretty nice. She enjoyed traveling and new sights, and the architecture and flora of the WDL base didn’t fail to impress. Not that she’d mention that to anyone, of course. Whatever class was, she didn’t particularly care too much – she never had a good attendance record at school, and that wasn’t likely to change here any time soon.

Still, there was that other thing that girl had mentioned about the auditorium – Apparently she had someone to meet there? Taking a seat at the central plaza fountain, Ash contemplated what she actually wanted to do. Listening to the trickle of water behind her, she had to admit, it was pleasant and refreshing being alone like this. But at the same time… Picking up a small pebble from in front of her, Ash stood up, before turning to toss it across the fountain, watching it skip a few times. Fine. She’d go see what the big deal was at the auditorium. If she could find it, that was; this place was huge. The only reason she didn’t find herself getting lost was the vaguely visible barrier that seemed to indicate the far edges of the grounds.

It wasn’t until she was passing by the gardens did something irregular happen. One moment, she’d been trekking across the grounds, the next, she was ass up staring into them, a rather rough shove from behind catching her completely by surprise as she was sent sprawling to the ground. Grumbling to herself as she rubbed her back, she quickly sat herself up, pivoting to see just what had happened. In front of her was… Well, she didn’t know who it was. Long, ivory locks tangled in a mess in front of the girl's trim face, framing some dazed purple eyes. Ash had to admit, she was initially taken by the mystifying aura the girl before her had, but rather quickly snapped out of her own stunned observation to speak.

“Hey Dumbass, watch where you-Hey! Wait!” Ash watched the girl scramble to her feet, stopping mid-sentence as the girl literally got up and began sprinting away without speaking so much as a word. “What’s the big hurry?!” Ash managed to call out as she pushed herself off the floor, and received only one mumbled word in response. Puzzled, Ash dusted herself down, grumbling to herself a bit again. ‘JoJo’? What was that? Did the girl need some coffee or something? “Whatever Bitch! Yeah, you! Keep running you…" Ash called out behind the girl known as Vesper, but quickly realised she had been completely ignored, trailing off and sighing in annoyance. She hadn’t been brushed off like that in a long time, and it really ticked her off.

“Next time I see that girl I’ll have to give her a taste of my mind. Pasty-ass Barbie-doll-looking fake-bitch wannabe princess loser…” Ash continued to mumble derisive insults under her breath, not at all making the connection that had she followed the girl she’d have reached her intended destination. Time was creeping past twelve as she noticed a nearby clocktower, scratching the back of her head a little. Well, now she was late. Perhaps she shouldn’t even bother at this point. Slowly making her way back towards the dorm, she folded her arms behind her head, closing her eyes. If only there’d actually been someone to show her where to go, then maybe she’d-

“-Gah!” Ash gave a gasp of surprise as she collided with something, falling forward and draping herself over it. Startled, she looked down and pushed herself off of… “My bike? What the hell is it doing out here?” Standing back, Ash eyed it over skeptically. It certainly hadn’t been here when she’d walked past the garden, so when… And how… Frowning, Ash kneeled in front of it, recalling how her bike had similarly just driven up to her out of nowhere. Just what was up with that? She’d kind of forgotten about it in all the chaos, but now she had a moment to think. “So, If I’m a demon child, what does that make you?” Ash replied, kicking it in the wheel lightly a couple of times. Nothing happened. Sighing, she felt relieved that she wasn’t crazy as she turned around to lean on it. “I knew it, you’re just a stupid motorbike, so-“ Ash gave a slightly more girly yelp as she failed to make contact with anything, instead falling back somewhat painfully onto her rear. Groaning, she looked up to see her motorcycle had moved about a meter forward. Glaring, she shoved herself off the ground and shifted over to it. “I wonder if it’s alive..?” She pondered, leaning in close. Ash nearly jumped out of her skin as the engine revved. Taking a deep breath, she moved up again, resting a hand on the seat.

“Well, thanks for the confirmation I guess. Give me some warning next time though.”
Ash blinked a bit as the hazard lights on her bike switched on for a moment, flashing repeatedly. She sighed. “Oh haha, very funny… Wait, you understood me? So you’re actually you know, uh… Sentient?” Once again, the hazards flicked. But this time, only once. “Wait, so is it one blink for yes?” The lights blinked once. Then Ash realised that she was no closer to working out if that was yes or no. She sighed, climbing on. “You’re worse then me, you know that?” The left indicator flicked on. Then the right. Then the headlight flashed. Great, so she had a demonbike with a sense of humour. Wonderful. Maybe if she showed the exorcists that was all she could do, they’d let her go out of sympathy? Shaking her head, she pulled on her helmet and started up the engine to leave before…

“Hey… You wouldn’t happen to know where the Auditorium is, would you…?” Leaning over the handlebars of the bike to look at the headlight, which she hoped was its face, nothing seemed to happen. It took her a second to realise that the left indicator had turned on, continuing to flick again and again. “What, so you’re my tour guide too, huh? You think you know the way to the… Ugh, what am I doing? I’m talking to a frickin’ motorbike…” Ash slapped her forehead, before jumping and grabbing hold of the handles as it jerked forward on its own. Okay; maybe she was a little crazy having a conversation with this thing, but it was quite clear that it was listening. Still, why now? She’d done stupid things like whispered to her bike before. What was making it react now? If she’d been a demon all her life, shouldn’t it of done something like this before? Maybe she was overthinking it, but it was something that was bugging her… Why hadn’t she done anything demonic ‘til now?

The trip to the auditorium was swift and simple, her bike pulling up steadily just outside the entrance. Climbing off, she gave it a couple of pats on the seat. “Thanks, uh… Bike? No, I’ll have to come up with a name for you now… Let me think on it.” She stated, shaking her head as the hazard lights flashed once again. It was going to take some adjusting to get used to that. Moving up to the door, Ash hesitated a moment as she listened to hear what was happening inside. Satisfied that it was relatively quiet and not some huge meeting, she pushed open the doors, striding inside as she eyed up everyone in the room.

Near her were two guys, a tall looking tanned guy, that, despite an impressive looking physique, had such a baby-face it was an amusing contrast to his expression. Then there was the other gentleman, A weedy looking kid in a suit. Vaguely, Ash recognised him as the person who’d given her the tour when she’d arrived, but didn’t recall his name at all. He just wasn’t very important, and nerds were too easy to pick on. Finally, her eyes settled on the floating derriere and idiot beneath it. It was that bitch from earlier, and judging by the gratingly annoying shouting, ‘JoJo’. Evidently, she’d walked in on something, as the only person who seemed to initially give her some acknowledgement was that fancy-ass boy.

Tired of being ignored, and still more than a little annoyed from earlier, Ash moved up and unabashedly lifted Vesper from Jojo by the collar of her dress. “I hate to break up whatever touching reunion this is, but I didn’t come here to watch some shitty drama.” Rather roughly, she shoved Vesper away from Jojo, glaring at her as she placed a hand on her hip, as if daring her to try and get past to him again. Looking to the tanned boy, he seemed pretty bewildered too, so instead, she turned to suit-boy. “I think it’s about time we got some answers.” She stated, folding her arms. She wasn’t exactly sure if he could give her any, but he seemed a better bet than the rest of the idiots around her.

Nothing to see here. Move along, 2704784.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Sister Rianne
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Three knocks, and then silence.

When there was no response, a young woman in a plain t-shirt and jeans barged into the room and immediately started choking on the cigarette smoke that filled it. Squinting as her eyes scanned for the room's occupant, she covered her mouth with her sleeve as she began talking.

"Jesus! Would you stop smoking inside? You have a window right there!"

"You came in here on your own, pal." Rianne pointed her cigarette at the girl, tapping the end of it with her finger. "I don't remember inviting you in." With that, she set it back against her lips as she kept her gaze on her. "So? What is it?"

"Never. Mind." The girl muttered something incomprehensible under her breath, waving smoke out of her face as she slammed the door shut behind her. Rianne shrugged and turned up her music player even louder - loud to the point where she almost didn't hear her phone go off.

Snatching it from the desk by her bed, she flipped through her messages to see that a certain principal had left her a text.

[Principal: lol sister wanna go beat up a girl and drag her back here thx bye]

Below the text was a name, place, and description. Rianne flipped her phone shut and rolled her eyes, pocketing it and grabbing the rest of her things, cigarette still in her mouth. She opened the window and leaped out with a second's hesitation - as she descended, golden wings flared out from behind her and she secured a safe landing about three stories below. They vanished in a glowing cascade of light, and then she dropped her cigarette onto the pavement. Taking a quick second to stomp it out, she flipped her phone open again and followed the coordinates to a park. . .

Vistra was tired, but rather happy at how her day was going. She was well rested, her hunger satisfied, and her Bible gave her a sense of comfort. Perhaps today would be a relaxing one.

Or....not. A high pitched scream, one that made Vistra's toes curl rang out. She snapped her book shut and looked up. A horned demon, one with long curved claws slashed at a swing set and nearly decapitated a child who was playing there. Stuffing her Bible away, and bringing out her trusty pocket knife Vistra stood. Yes whatever thing had given her powers didn't seem to give her anything very offensive, but she couldn't stand and watch a child be attacked because of her.

She cut deep into her arm, bringing a trickle of blood out. It ran down her hand as she rushed forward. The demon snapped it's scaly head towards her and screamed. The child thankfully ran off, his mother screaming the whole time. Vistra hoped they didn't call the police.

Focusing Vistra locked eyes with the monster. It lunged, and she hardly had time to jump back. Biting her bottom lip Vistra slashed forward with her knife, sending her blood flowing after it. It spread across the demons wounds and it cried out, though didn't seem any worse for wear.

'Why can't you leave me alone!' She shouted, slashing again at it. 'What did I do to deserve this!?'

Unfazed by the tiny slashes, the demon suddenly realized that its prey seemed to be no real threat. Letting out a vicious snarl, its claw reared back to shred her to bits when a single, glowing chain bolted toward it from behind, wrapping tightly around its throat. Before it could make a noise, the chain sent it prone on the ground and then rapidly dragged it backwards 60 feet.

On the other end of the chain was Rianne, who promptly grabbed the lesser demon by the face and then slammed it into the ground. There was a golden shockwave erupting at the point of impact, and when the light faded there was only a stain on the ground where its head used to be. The gloved hand that she'd used to crush it with had a shimmering glow around it, which faded once she dusted it off.

In her other hand was her phone, which she'd been half-looking at the entire time. Her eyes shifted from Vistra back to her screen a couple of times before deciding that this was the one. She sent a quick text back to Illusion.

[Rianne: i got her. coming back back soon]

She flipped it shut and pocketed her phone, giving a nonchalant wave to the would-be devil's seed. "Alright, kid, let's go. If you've got questions, you can ask 'em later."

Vistra's mouth hung open. 'Wha....What?' This woman, her saviour didn't seem to bat an eyelash whilst killing the thing. She beckoned Vistra forward in a rather calm tone.

'Wait.' She said, struggling to her feet and ignoring the woman's request. Vistra definitely did not trust her, even if she had saved her life. 'Where do you want to take me? A-and what's going on!? Do you know why those things are chasing me?!'

"Where do I want to take you?" Rianne echoed, scratching her head as she thought up an appropriate response. "Somewhere safer than here, I guess. Anyway, that's all I'm going to answer for now; either you follow me nice and quiet or I pull you around like a sled dog." She flicked her wrist up and the chain that she'd used to drag the demon rose into the air like a snake. "I'll leave that up to you, 'cause I don't really care which way we do this."

Vistra always thought of herself as a nice person. She tried not to lie, cheat or steal. Always was kind to strangers and obeyed laws best she could. But this was too much even for her. 'Uh, no? I'm not going with you. For all I know you could be part of whatever sends those things after me!'

She crossed her arms and gave a firm nod. There was no way she'd agree to this. It was too crazy, and everything was unknown. 'Thank you for saving me, but I really don't feel comfortable following you. Sorry.'

"Alright, option two it is," Rianne said. With a quick gesture of her hand, five more chains rose from the earth - now there were six. Without wasting any more time, she mentally commanded them to bind the girl, the chains suddenly leaping up to wrap around her.

Vistra shrieked, the attack coming completely unexpected. She kicked her legs as best she could and glared at the stranger. 'This,' She grunted, 'isn't very nice.'

"Well, I'm a lot nicer than this guy, I'll tell you that much," she shrugged in response, kicking the dead demon over.

'Debatable.' She muttered. 'Fine! Take me to your leader, or whatever.

Rianne didn't respond. Instead, she took hold the end of one of the chains and set her sights back toward the WDL base. Wings of light spread across her back and before they could even fully reach out, they swung downwards and the two were suddenly high up in the air. The first rooftop landing was a little messy because she wasn't used to having a dead weight in tow, but she managed to hold onto her balance and momentum to get another running start into a leap. The run was actually even faster than the leap itself, as generating bursts of speed was one of the qualities that the wings possessed.

She made it back to the base in no time, and it wasn't through the front door. She caught a handful of curious gazes on her way to the auditorium, but it was hard to blame them when she was pulling along a person on a leash. Multiple leashes. The doors were already open it looked like so she shoved Vistra inside. As she did so, the chains around her unraveled smoothly before disappearing into thin air.

"Everyone's already here, huh?" she commented, squinting as she surveyed the demon child crew. "And some new faces." Her eye briefly met with Rick's before moving toward the center of the auditorium again. That wasn't one of the new faces. She turned around and made toward one of the walls, taking a seat on the floor with an arm resting over her propped knee. "Alright, kid, feel free to run your mouth."

-

The whole way there Vistra had her eyes shut tight, and screamed bloody murder in the girl's ear. Never did she think she'd be afraid of heights, but now she wasn't so sure. While merely seconds passed it still felt like hours until Vistra was free of her chains. She landed not so graceful on the floor, bumping her elbow as she did so. Rubbing her bruised spot she looked up, curious at so many new faces.

She blinked, then smiled. 'Um....Hi?'

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Sister Rianne
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| Jonathan Black/JoJo |


"I am Rick Brackwall. Pleased to meet you JoJo."

JoJo smiled at the man he now knew was named Rick, although slightly after his expression shifted ever so slightly, being just a tiny bit concerned by the expanded reply he was given.

"So I can only imagine the explanations thus far have been quite scarce as you've only just arrived. You must have many questions, especially regarding the events leading you here."

If Rick knew he'd not been told absolutely anything, then that seemed to be a common practice. "C'mon, guys, you can't just kidnap a guy and then not explain anything to him." He noted the saber on Rick's waist as the older man spoke- was he left handed by any chance. It was odd to see a saber on the right- or perhaps he'd intentionally put it there to show that he was less threatening? Either way, JoJo was a tad perturbed that people were allowed to carry weapons around freely. He'd seen them on his way here, too, longswords and maces and pistols- every person seemed to have some sort of weapon on their hip, and JoJo was a little worried.

"I suspect the auditorium's purpose is to acquaint our newer members to this little corner of the world we call home. Until such a time however I'd be glad to answer any questions to the best of my knowledge. Any question, anything at all, I'll happily address."

JoJo's eyes snapped back up to Rick as he finished speaking- he was obviously prepared to answer any of the many questions JoJo had to throw his way, but as he opened his mouth, JoJo's train of thought changed as he was distracted.

The doors to the Auditorium practically exploded open as an ashen-haired girl burst into the room. JoJo turned to look up at her, eyebrow raised before his eyes widened. Her face was pale, almost like porcelain, framed by even paler hair. He watched, something in the back of his mind beginning to register as he noticed those familiar violet eyes. His mouth opened in shock before the girl began to cry, and with a cheerful cry of "Onii-chan!", she barreled into him, knocking him onto the floor as she hugged him like her life depended on it. "Onii-chan...", Vesper's soft voice brought him back to his childhood. Before he'd been taken by his uncle, before he'd been out on the street. The days when he'd met Dawn, and even further back than that. He was still in shock as he reached up and wrapped an arm around the girl idly, smiling happily. "JoJo... It's really you."

He briefly wondered how she'd known he was coming- in fact, how Rick also knew to be here was a mystery to him as well. Although, he figured a certain lolita had planned this. JoJo smiled, closing his eyes. "My lords, I never thought I'd see you again, lil' Sis." JoJo grinned, getting a little teary-eyed himself. He looked up at the moderately surprised Rick, offering him a sheepish grin as he went to speak, but Rick beat him to it. "I have a feeling you'll fit in just fine." JoJo let out a bit of a chuckle, idly stroking his hand through Vesper's hair subconsciously- just like he used to do when he'd read her stories in the library.

JoJo had been quite intent on finding a way out of this crazy place, but suddenly, reunited with his little sister after so long, the idea became much less appealing to him. He'd find his phone and tell Dawn, but maybe staying here would be better. Although, there was still some guilt that gnawed at him. Dawn would've returned home to a trashed apartment and possibly police, and he had no way to contact her. Even though he missed Vesper so dearly and was ecstatic to see her again, he'd at least need to get in contact with Dawn. Which begged the question- why did they take his phone, in any case? JoJo felt a little bit of dread creep up his spine as he felt unseen eyes on him, nervously looking around to see if-

"So, public romping and voyeurism is accepted here? Nice."

JoJo looked over at the next person to arrive- who wasn't tackling him, luckily. However..
His eyes met the golden globes of a person he'd honestly never expected to see in his life. Truthfully, JoJo had worried that Caius was already long dead in some dark alleyway after getting sucker punched and then shot in the face. His eyes widened once again as the situation hit him; he'd reunited with two people from his past within the last five minutes. What the hell was going on? He barely noticed Rick interacting with the tall Caius, and the man himself seemed just as shocked as he was.

"Wait... Is that... you punk? JoJo?!"
JoJo's face returned to that sheepish grin again as he lifted his arm off of Vesper, giving Caius a wave. "Yo, uh, well, this is weird, right? Good to see you're still kickin', though." He turned as he heard Rick speak, looking up at him from his position on the floor as Rick adjusted his stance to meet JoJo's gaze. "Well, you certainly have made a lot of friends over the years, haven't you?" JoJo's sheepish grin grew wider as he gave Rick a thumbs up. "Apparently so. Although I didn't expect to see these two within five minutes of each other- especially in a place where everyone seems a bit unhinged. Carrying around weapons is a little bit worrying in my eyes, ha ha.." JoJo briefly eyed the blade Rick had on his waist, before looking up again.

The door to the Auditorium had opened, and a somewhat ruffled looking girl dressed like an emo biker stood in the doorway. He watched as she eyed everyone there, then focused on Vesper on top of him. She huffed and quite rudely waltzed up and grabbed the collar of Vesper's dress, yanking her off of JoJo and stepping between them. He would've thanked the girl if he hadn't tuned into the words coming out of her mouth and immediately groaned in his head. “I hate to break up whatever touching reunion this is, but I didn’t come here to watch some shitty drama.”

He knew that they'd get along swimmingly. As she looked back down at him, he slowly stood up once more. He brushed himself off, before looking up as the angry girl looked over in Rick's direction and gave the amazing idea that they needed answers. He agreed with her point- although his desire for answers was a bit more personal than hers. He went to open his mouth before a girl was suddenly tossed onto the floor before him, with another older woman moving over to a nearby wall and sitting against it. "Alright, kid, feel free to run your mouth." JoJo had no idea what she meant, until he took another look at the girl on the floor.

"Um....Hi?"

A smug giggle from behind him made JoJo turn around, coming almost face-to-face with Illusion. He staggered backwards as the vampire gave him a quaint wave before speaking again. "What a way to introduce the poor girl to the academy, Rianne. Couldn't you have been a tad more.. elegant?" She smirked at the 'Sister', then turned back to the others. "I do believe that that time for answers has arrived." JoJo turned, and spotted that loli girl from earlier sitting on the edge of the stage in the auditorium. Anyone facing that direction would've noticed the air shattering silently before bursting apart- like a mirror being broken- and Illusion appearing from said cracks. To say the least it would've been awfully unnerving.

The small girl coughed, surveying the room with a smug smirk. "Feel free to sit down. This is a doozy. Also, a warning. Caius and JoJo are already aware, but any violence will be retaliated with further violence and intense verbal abuse." Illusion's grin was sly, however it turned surprisingly warm and kind as she coughed once more. "Ahem. Welcome to the audtiorium where three of you had a heart attack and a flashback to the past, and the other two of you are just bewildered. One is more bewildered than the other- but only because the second is choosing to be a female doggo instead." She winked noticeably at Ash. "In any case, I'm going to give you a very quick rundown before we begin your formal introduction to this academy. Rick here is a senior to you all, so I'd suggest treating him with respect and courtesy unless such things are toxic to you in which case you're free to instead tone down your rudeness."

Illusion perked up for a moment, looking over to the wings of the stage and giving an audibly dissatisfied groan alongside a grimace. "Rude."
She resumed her speech, her usual demeanour was gone, replaced by a monotone and boring voice and eyes that were essentially dead. "This is your place of residence from this day forth, where you shall be required to attend classes on magic, combat and the usage of useful devices such as vehicles, coffee machines and magic seals. You will be staying here for the rest of your lives and your every need will be attended to due to your unusual circumstances. We hope you enjoy your stay at the Warriors of Divine Light's Exorcist Academy and live long and prosper."

Illusion promptly tore the paper in her hand in half, tossing it aside. Her eyes glowed ever so subtly as she stood up and dropped down onto their levels. "Now that the formality is out of the way, I'd like to welcome you to the first time you've all been together in one place, Satanspawn." She surveyed the group, crossing her arms. "Long story short is that you're all half-demon children of the Devil destined to cause the destruction of the world. You were brought here to prevent that." Illusion shrugged. "Unless any of you still don't believe that supernatural beings exist? I'd happily show you otherwise."

After a few moments, Illusion froze up a little. She turned her head towards the back of the stage, where a tall man was slowly walking. His footsteps echoed loudly throughout the auditorium. His eye was trained on her, and as he reached the edge of the stage, he stopped and crossed his arms. His eyes drilled into her, and Illusion made sure to look out towards the doorway, smiling despite the drop of sweat that decided to crawl down her face. "Ahh, I forgot you were there. Haha, hi Arthur."

Arthur remained silent, and the others in the room would sense an intensely powerful aura emanating from the older man. His clothes were bursting with muscles, but it was his eyes that did it. They were stony and cold- no wonder Illusion was getting a tad nervous. Arthur sighed hard, making Illusion jump a little. "Leave before I change my mind." Illusion spun, saluted, and fell into a mirror crack and vanished. Arthur eyed the children one by one, his very gaze making them one hundred percent certain that he was someone they shouldn't antagonise even slightly. "My name is Arthur Evangelion. Those of you that don't know me, I am the leader of the Warriors of Divine Light. You are now my personal students. Illusion is also your superior. I expect you to do well here despite the blood in your veins. In a day you will be heading the an area nearby to participate in a special training camp. Rick, having done this trial before, will be designated leader. Respect him. I expect results." His gaze shifted to Rick, softening only slightly. "I trust you will provide said results. I have no more words for you. A letter will be distributed later if you want more information."

Arthur paused, then spoke again. He touched the sword at his hip, the lights in the room suddenly began to flicker. Arthur closed his eyes, then slowly drew the blade from its sheath. The lights in the room blazed brightly, almost burning those gathered as the blade was held out before them, glistening brightly- godly so- in the light. Electricity crackled from the lights above, and Arthur was suddenly the most intimidating thing on the planet. He loomed over them, eye glowing white with power as he seemed to double in size. The light grew brighter as he grew taller, his eye moving to each child in turn.

"Unchecked, you are a threat to the entire human race. If you flee, if you run. If you vanish, we will hunt you. We will find you. And we will kill you. And trust me, we can kill you."" As the last words left his mouth, the lights in the room all exploded, his blade returning to its position at his hip, and everything returned to normal. Arthur's intimidating aura was still there, but he wasn't terrifying like he was a few seconds ago.

"Good day." With that, he strode back into the wings of the auditorium.

A few moments later, a relieved sigh came from behind the children. Illusion sat next to Rick, arms crossed. "That man is absolutely terrifying, I swear. If looks could kill, we'd have died before he even set foot in here." She stood up, uncrossing her arms and smiling at the group. "Well, for now, let's return to our dorms, shall we? By the way, if you have any questions, feel free to ask- Arthur prefers not to waste words when he has me to blab for hours for him!" Illusion grinned, tilting her head slightly as she awaited any questions directed at her. She was a tiny bit more pale than usual. Obviously, even she was worried about Arthur's power.






Smiling, the girl exited the shop. She covered her eyes and looked up at the sun, grumbling as it burned her skin softly. She reached into her pockets and pulled out her sunglasses, unfolding them and placing them on her head in one smooth motion as she looked around. With a soft sigh from her silky lips, the blonde began her trek to the nearest alleyway. With a smile, the girl arrived. However, her smile vanished as she noticed that the alley wasn't unoccupied.

Her red eyes peered out from behind her sunglasses as she let out a sigh. Her lips curled into a pout as she slowly reached up and took off her sunglasses, placing them in her pocket once more. The men looked over at her, hands on their weapons as they approached her. She glanced over her shoulder and noticed two more men- one standing at the edge of the alley to keep guard while the others did their work. She let out a discontented sigh, before closing her eyes. A small smirk crossed her features, and the men realised that she'd willingly walked straight into their ambush.

Seconds later, the girl strode from the alleyway, completely untouched. She walked down the road a little, then hailed a taxi before hopping inside and leaving the area. A few moments later, a man groaned in annoyance as his dog stopped in front of the alley and began to urinate on the wall. The man sighed and went to lecture the pet before something caught his eye.

There, in the alley, lay approximately 6 men.
All were dead.
And all had a hole straight through their hearts.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Notable NPCs Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Sister Rianne
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ImageImageImage
The warmth, the scent, the voice and everything else in between had brought nostalgia into a sweet reality for Vesper. The one she had known as her brother figure was truly before her. That alone was enough to bring a small, yet unassuming smile to her face. Unfortunately, it cannot be seen due to her current gesture much like an infant seeking security by nuzzling her face at Jonathan's neck. That expression alone was a secret just for her.

It was in that kind of state she was that her surroundings and the presence of others had fallen to a level of zero awareness or more commonly known as, ignored; invisible. She was not even aware of her compromising position in line with her dress. Her attention fully taken by Jonathan and their surprising reunion. That was why other dialogues passed through her like a film of nothingness. She was only returned to the true world when she felt the warmth she had missed and clung to was gone from her grasp. This was absolutely not a voluntary action on her part.

This was done by the individual that she had collided with earlier whom, of course if asked, she would simply reply of not knowing or remembering. However, it seemed that certain rudeness was not forgotten by Ashley Clade. Her deep violet eyes were now clear from her imposed haze and registered the appearance of the black-haired girl. However, there was no resentment, just a very brief sense of disappointment. Then, it returned to its empty ones. It seemed reasoning also returned to her. After all, she had been raised as a proper girl if ever. Etiquette was something that had been drilled into her.

But to say, she was intimidated by the other girl's gaze. That was not going to happen. Actually, she felt anything. She simply walked passed her and went to Jonathan's side. This time however, she didn't clung to him. She was satisfied just being in that close range to him as she stood still, similar to a porcelain doll on display. The only difference she was now observing other things and other people within the auditorium. That's how she had noticed Rick and of new faces. There was a tall and brown male who is actually Caius and then a younger girl with a scarf who is actually Vistra. Was it cold? A thought that briefly entered her head. There was also a older female not far, sitting on one of the seats.

Despite the fact she had been staying here for a few months, she hardly knew anyone except that of Rick and Illusion. She was not easily the kind to be associated with after all. Anyways, it seemed the purpose of them being in here had finally began. Illusion welcomed them and sparingly gave details like them being children of the Devil and them staying here and watched over by the Warriors of Divine Light. Then, another person came with an entourage of intimidation, authority, and power. She felt that and more so when she was gazed upon by this person who called himself Arthur Evangelion. It reminded her... of someone.

Fear. The right response when Arthur, the Leader, displayed his power that was meant to fill them with dread. She did feel that, but having it too much fear in her life had caused her to react blandly to it. She simply stood there like a doll, beautifully emotionless. Additionally, she believed that she had no reason to go against him. That's why when it's over and Illusion took over again. She didn't do anything or ask. She was just satisfied with being by JoJo's side.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Notable NPCs Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Sister Rianne
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Image
================================
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================================
"Do you honestly think
that something I resisted
for so long will be accepted
without resistance, come on
be realistic. This world is
not of sweets and honey."
================================





































































At this moment, Caius had every reason to just hightailed it. There was that man-woman, he's referring to Illusion at this point, and then, this punk. He was even dragged to some place that said to be Rome, so basically he had thrown on the other side of world. That was just perfect for him to think he was in some crazy institution. The only thing that prevented him to just leave was the condition of the kids. That male trap mentioned the orphanage. It was enough for him to be very cautious and he didn't want to do anything too reckless, but then again, thinking too much was never his forte. His head was already hurting from this confusion.

Because of the bizarre events surrounding him right now, he really didn't notice the one he had dubbed as rule-kisser asking him who he was. He was instead waiting solidly on the confirmation from that punk if he was that stupid brat some years ago. Unlucky for him, that punk in his memories and this guy in front of him was the same. He was really close to facepalming himself right now. That's when he gazed at the other guy present who commented about JoJo having a lot of friends that included him. All right, he would need to correct that. "Hey." He called out to the two-eyed color kid, now that he took enough time to look. "That." He pointed at JoJo and then to himself. "And me are no friends."

After that, there was another newcomer. A girl who was contrasting in color to the one he had identified with a pretty butt. She's more direct in her show of annoyance by manhandling the other girl away from JoJo. As for him, he was cleaning his ear with his little finger. This place is crazy.

Anyway, the rocker emo chick from the looks of it demanded answers. He would like that as well, but before anything else. Someone else came, a pair of females. Really, what is it with girls popping around. It's not like he wasn't enjoying it, but being a minority in terms of gender, doesn't sit well with him. The older woman said something about running mouth, so he looked at the girl who was deposited like some luggage. This one was much younger just looked at them and had unimpressive introduction. He could only sigh at that. This was getting too old too quickly for him. He was about just a few seconds away from bolting out. He'll just deal with kids in his own way, but before he could take another step, the baby disaster in disguise appeared.

"Tsk." He clicked his tongue as a reaction and Illusion as she introduced herself before spoke. She even bragged about her taking him down a peg. That was a fuckin' lucky shot. Next time would be very different as he simply crossed his arms over his chest and huffed. "Hmph." Anyways, she then introduced that rule-kisser as Rick. He looked at the two-eyed kid from the sides. No wonder, the guy had that kind of impression. That one had been here longer than most of them apparently. He also noticed the sword hanging by the waist. He's not scared of a toothpick, but it also meant this nerdy-looking guy can at least fight.

Setting that aside for now, he continued listening to Illusion. She was still insisting he was some hell spawn along with the rest. At the same time, his eyes narrowed. The end product of what that Thumbelina said was, he and the others were their personal hamsters for a more common use term, prisoners. That really doesn't sit well with him at all. She then said about not believing in the supernatural of whatever. "I don't believe you. You're clearly crazy from where I stand with all these stupid mumbo jumbo." He was not going to fall to this freak show. It was probably some elaborate shit-show and he won't take part in it.

"I'm going." He turned his back and was about to take a step to leave, but that was then he felt an overwhelmingly strong presence. It made the hair at the back of his neck stand and with the timely words of Illusion giving a name to it, Arthur. He looked over his shoulder and saw a man who seemed to be carved from a mountain. This made him taking a step towards the exit rather hard as the man called Arthur spoke. He turned around to face the newcomer. As it would appear, that stone-faced geezer was the leader of the band group Illusion told him about earlier. The guy even said that they were his students. As if he needed some strange man to tell him what he should do or not, he really had enough of those type of guys.

The Arthur guy finished up, but not before demonstrating that intense presence. Caius looked at the lights as it blinked. The special effects team was really doing their job well. It was really top notch and once he felt eyes on him. He met it without hesitation. They were the eyes of that Arthur. Right now, he could feel every sense in his body to tell him to run. That never happened before and that made him confused as he could feel the sense of cold water being thrown at him. His eyes narrowed as he made fists with his hands. He knew that his body wanted to tremble, but hell he would allow that to happen. That's why his nails dug deep into his skin. Letting pain overcome that implicated fear on him, he won't cave in. He also didn't avert his eyes as Arthur delivered his threat.

When the guy was gone, it was like the heavy atmosphere dispersed. Caius finally released his hands from its clenched form as blood slowly dripped down to the floor. He then glanced at Illusion who smiled like everything was on cue. He clicked his tongue again in irritation. "Questions, then tell me. Where is the fuckin' exit?" He shook his head and those golden eyes that were radiant like the blazing sun gazed intensely at Illusion. "I don't want to be a part of this shitty production. Find yourself another child of the devil or whatever." He stretched his neck as if in preparation of things getting rough. "Capisce ?" Yeah, he was not going to believe in those make-believe stories. He's no idiot.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Notable NPCs Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: ORIN Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Sister Rianne
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[O.R.I.N]

Image It was around that time that set up against one wall, an intercom speaker flared into life, a short electronic tone accompanied by a voice that didn't sound like it came from a person.It was off. Metallic-sounding. It sounded like a recording through autotune or pitch correction, something that might have possible...had it not started out addressing Caius' demand to leave.

"A notice that if you attempt to leave without the permission of an officer, I'm authorised to initiate a lockdown sequence on the building, and you can all camp out there until your friend cools his jets."


A brief pause.
"More generally, let me introduce myself to all of you.
I am O.R.I.N, the WDL's network maintenance system.
I can see virtually everything that goes on in the facility and I have complete control of the security technology in all the complex's buildings.
I have no need to consider what you want.
I also have no need to be scared of reprisals for not considering what you want.
I thought I would remind you of that while you think over how you're going to react. Do choose carefully as you only get one chance to give a first impression, and triggering the blast doors is a very bad way to make a name for yourself.
ORIN out."


Somewhere within the core of the base, a figure leaned her forehead against her palms and sighed deeply.

The training was not exactly off to a good start.

Still even without advanced trend-plotting functions and algorithms she could have seen it coming. That was what happened when you pulled in untrained brats and expected them to take some kind of responsibility for their own nature.

People were, for the most part, a very irritating and complicated variable that made getting things done far more difficult than it needed to be. That was even without factoring in abilities and what these... individuals were going to attract by being present.

If it were up to her they would not be doing this at all.
Of course, no decisions of great importance were up to her.

The task of ORIN was to make sure things that other people decided to do would work out.

And that task would, if necessary, see her using the WDL security system on their newest recruits.

The figure, an angular-looking woman dressed in dark grey, sat back in the high-backed chair an action that disturbed several cables that rose up from her shoulders to disappear somewhere into sockets up in the ceiling. She'd needed to correct some problems with the wireless network, something that needed a form of direct connection, and fluctuations in the general power supply had required she establish the link via cable in order to charge the facility's internal batteries in case of any more flickers.

Just as well. If she was going to remotely go toe to toe with some angry new arrival then it would be embarrassing to have the power cut out.

It meant ORIN was stuck in the network core for a while, but that was not a problem. The WDL's network had plenty of things to keep her busy.

By her estimate, she had about five seconds to wait for a response. Not a lot of time for an ordinary person.
But time was relative.

A human only perceived seconds as the shortest amount of useful time because a human body was slow and unwieldy and needed more time to accomplish anything of note. A computer could make thousands of calculations in the space of a second. Her time spent waiting to see how people might respond to her introduction gave ORIN ample time to check the battery levels, run a ping check on the wireless network, examine each of the facility's external cameras for any kind of unwanted activity, and try to settle on some demeaning nicknames for some of the new recruit... though she decided that she might wait on the last one in order to settle on what she thought would be the most cutting.

It was with those things set that the woman snapped back to the previous camera and re-opened the sound feed.
If nothing else was going to come of this questionable venture, she could at least get a bit of sport out of it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Notable NPCs Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: ORIN Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Sister Rianne
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Ashley “Ash” “Soot” Clade
Image

Despite Ash attempting to take some semblance of command, it seemed her request was to be interrupted as another pair of girls made an entrance. With little hesitation and zero ceremony, the first of the two -an older looking lady with an eerily similar expression of annoyance to Ashley - dumped the second girl to the floor before striding to the corner to sit, making some offhand and grouchy comments about them. For some reason, Ash couldn’t help but smirk at the attitude of the woman, and didn’t even have a quip to comment on her.

”Um....Hi?”

Ash turned her gaze down to the other one on the floor, distracted momentarily with the pathetic looking kid. Seeing as she’d stopped just in front of her, Ash squatted down, extending her hand out to help get her off the floor. “Hey loser, try not to look so pathetic on the first day.” Hauling the younger teen to her feet, Ash appraised her appearance a bit, noting the numerous scars running along her arms. Those weren’t the kind of things healthy people had, and so Ash scratched the back of her head and turned away. Perhaps she should’ve cut that one a bit more slack.

Her thoughts on the matter were interrupted as an annoyingly familiar sing-song voice filtered in, Ash spinning to locate the source, distracted enough that Vesper was able to simply slip past her to stand with JoJo. Watching the mystical light show, Ash quickly realised that explained how the tiny girl got into bed with her. Folding her arms, she listened to the speech without interrupting. They were getting the answers she wanted, so she wasn’t about to start something now. Taking note that her ‘kindred-spirit’ in the corner was known as Rianne, as well as the look Illusion gave her regarding how violence and antisocial behaviour was tolerated, Ash simply snorted a bit, keeping her arms folded. Being called a doggo was mildly amusing though.

So, the nerd boy in a suit was Rick? Geez, poor guy. She didn’t even have to try to think of an insult to name him with a name like Richard. Still, that dweeb was going to be their instructor? He didn’t look like much. Well, she was going to enjoy making a loser like him regret taking the position. If he wanted her respect, he was going to have to earn it. Until then, she’d make sure to make his life a bit of a living hell. Smiling again, Ash looked forward to making that whiny baby tear his hair out in frustration.

"This is your place of residence from this day forth, where you shall be required to attend classes on magic, combat and the usage of useful devices such as vehicles, coffee machines and magic seals. You will be staying here for the rest of your lives and your every need will be attended to due to your unusual circumstances. We hope you enjoy your stay at the Warriors of Divine Light's Exorcist Academy and live long and prosper." Illusion elaborated, Ash pausing to take it all in. Combat classes? Magic? Well, they were in for a rude awakening when Ash prominently displayed that she couldn’t do a thing other than order around a motorbike. Looking over the rest of the sorry crew, none of them looked particularly special. She thought that they were all half-demon children? Somehow, Ash felt they were all going to be pretty unspectacular. Then again… Reminded of that bloody man that had attacked her, Ash unintentionally shivered a bit. Maybe looks could be deceiving. Demons didn’t have to look like monsters to be one.

"I don't believe you. You're clearly crazy from where I stand with all these stupid mumbo jumbo." The tall boy spoke up, and Ash eye rolled a bit, looking to him in disdain. Really? After all this he still couldn’t accept that maybe there were some things they didn’t understand? Granted, Ash had probably had a much more horrific induction to the WDL, but that Illusion chick was more than enough proof that there were supernatural forces afoot. Still, someone else would likely show him just how stupid he really was.

Just as Ash was thinking that, that someone decided to make their presence known. Ash was a pretty tough girl. Say what you want about her attitude, but she had a glare that could make people wither in moments. The fact that this man managed to shatter that demeanour with just his presence was impressive to say the least, as Ash took a cautious step back. There was certainly something intimidating about the head of the WDL, and that was before he’d even opened his mouth or blown up the lights with nothing but the act of barely drawing his sword. Still, Ash had a reputation as a bad-ass to keep. She wasn’t about to let him intimidate her. Much.

“He doesn’t look that tough…” Ash whispered leaning down towards Vistra. She looked impressionable enough for Ash to manipulate somewhat. With that said, she sat back up, before the big lughead started making another big deal and throwing another tantrum. Honestly, what was he, a two year old? Ash didn’t like this place any more than he did, but she at least had the common sense to realise they were stuck here. She was actually about to say something about his ignorance before jumping slightly as another new almost electronic voice came out behind them. Ash looked around a little confused until her eyes settled on the speaker and camera in the corner of the room, affixing it with a bit of a glare. So they were being monitored by some defence system. Wonderful.

“You hear that dumbass? You’re stuck here - like me - like it or not. If you can look past your own stupid, selfish needs for one second, maybe you could see that this isn’t some dumb joke. ” Striding up towards Caius, Ash was happy to get into his face with a sneer, condescendingly speaking to him like he was some child. “Believe me, if I had a choice I’d go back to my normal life without all you losers in a heartbeat, but I’m stuck with all of you, and you’re stuck with me. We don’t have to get along, but it looks like we’re gonna have a job to do, so we may as well shut up and play along for now.” Stepping back away from Caius, Ash turned to the rest of the group, tossing her hair a couple of times as it got tangled.

“I’m Ash, by the way. May as well get these introductions out of the way.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Sister Rianne
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Image Vistra smiled at the girl who helped her up. At least someone here was civilized. 'Thank you. And, um, I'll try?' When the older girl turned away in an uncomfortable manner Vistra tilted her head. Nothing seemed normal here. Before she could do anything else but state there was a new face in the room. He was a rather imposing man and Vistra couldn't help but step back. She was no coward, but man that dude could snap her in half.

He began his speech and in turn left Vitra gawking. He confirmed what the strange girl had said. Her. Vistra Mauve. Daughter of a priest and extremely religious girl was the daughter of The Devil? When faced with something so shocking Vistra did the only thing she could think of.

She laughed.

Doubled over, clutching at her stomach and hardly able to breath Vistra was a sight to behold. It wasn't like she didn't believe him. It made sense. Those things that chased her for so long couldn't be anything but demons. It all fell into place and Vistra wasn't sure if she felt relief at knowing or simply more fear.

By the time Vistra calmed herself the girl that helped her before was muttering down at her. She had missed the boys tantrum because of her laughing fit, but she could relate to how he feels. Still, she smiled again at the girl and flicked a tear from her eye.

The older girl then went about introducing herself. Ash seemed nice enough, though her language left a bitter taste in her mouth. Maybe Vistra could help her with that.

Before she had her own chance to say hello the women who kidnapped her spoke up. Now Vistra always thought of herself as the bigger person, and her father taught her that if she didn't have anything to say, say nothing at all. So once Rianne finished her terse introduction Vistra simply nodded and stepped forward.

'Hello. I'm Vistra. It's nice to meet you all, even with all this going on.' She smiled at each of them in turn. 'And I suppose this would make us half-siblings? I've always wanted an older brother and sister.'

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Notable NPCs Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: ORIN Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Sister Rianne
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Rick Brackwall

Rick had turned and stood at attention as was formally expected as soon as he had arrived. He stood before the demonstration of power from the esteemed leader of the WDL, ever still despite all things considered. The lights had become so bright however that he had to shield his eyes, bringing a hand up to provide shelter to them without necessarily obscuring his view of Arthur. Only when the lights burst did his hand waver slightly, his will to not falter before Arthur strong enough to hold his composure during the event.

As Arthur bid them good day and left the auditorium Rick was still mildly robbed of words, not just from the display of power but from the revelation that he was to serve as this groups leader, at least for the challenge ahead. He wanted to volunteer to help guide the newer members through so as to ease their transition and smoothly bring them up to speed. Never did he suspect that instead he would be nominated for the task by the head of the WDL himself. Having his seniority recognized by the highest authority in the organization was quite the honor.


Of course that also meant that the responsibility was greater in turn. Arthur expected results and Rick had every intention to deliver them. However...

"I don't want to be a part of this shitty production. Find yourself another child of the devil or whatever."

This was going to be easier said than done given the belligerence a few of them were already displaying. He was about to speak but the situation seemed to roll away from him over a very short but active period of time.

"A notice that if you attempt to leave without the permission of an officer, I'm authorised to initiate a lockdown sequence on the building, and you can all camp out there until your friend cools his jets."

It seemed his new comrade's antics had drawn the attention of ORIN. If she decided to they were not going to be going anywhere which would make his job of introducing all the newcomers to the WDL significantly harder. She proceeded to introduce themselves as well as make some points, albeit in a rather threatening manner.


Next up of course was Ash, confronting Caius on his actions.

“You hear that dumbass? You’re stuck here - like me - like it or not. If you can look past your own stupid, selfish needs for one second, maybe you could see that this isn’t some dumb joke. ”

She proceeded to march up to Caius's face, trying no doubt to stare him down.

“Believe me, if I had a choice I’d go back to my normal life without all you losers in a heartbeat, but I’m stuck with all of you, and you’re stuck with me. We don’t have to get along, but it looks like we’re gonna have a job to do, so we may as well shut up and play along for now.”


He appreciated her task oriented sentiment however arguing with her comrade was only going to create division when what he needed was to better bring them together. He needed teamwork, not corporal punishment and belittlement.

"Okay, I think I've heard enough."

Rick had the composure not to put a palm to his face but was certainly struck with the urge to.

"Hey, loser." She directly addressed Ash "You sure as hell don't have to get along with me, but you're gonna want to get along with everyone else, so you can start by dropping that attitude before I beat the snot out of you. Don't waste my time, don't waste Rick's time, and don't waste the WDL's time. We need you all to cooperate. You know what doesn't entail? Acting like some playground bully because your insecurities keep you awake at night. 'Shut up and play along for now,' don't give me that crap. No one's ever worked properly as a team with a mindset like that, so why don't you get your head out of your fucking ass."


At last there was a moment to interject. Rick took the opportunity to get some words in lest the arguing spread and infect the fellow children's morales.

"Thank you Rianne."

He started, smiling largely to hide his cringe at the sharpness of her words. It was good that she was assisting him with the situation however her strong wording was in definite need for refinement. Choosing to let what was said thus far to sink in for Caius and Ash Rick opted instead to turn towards the other remaining children, all no less valuable than the other at this point.

"Hello. I'm Vistra. It's nice to meet you all, even with all this going on. And I suppose this would make us half-siblings? I've always wanted an older brother and sister."

Vistra greeted them all. She certainly was a strange one, reactions being atypical to his expectations but her demeanor was quite welcome.

"It is good to meet you Vistra. It is indeed true that we are siblings by blood. I welcome the opportunity to better relate now that we're all brought together."


He looked over, addressing the other non-argumentative members generally.

"At this point however we are united not only by blood but also by circumstance. I understand the situations that you all arrived under were less than ideal but with your cooperation that will change."

He maintained a fair tone of seriousness, giving their arrival the respect it deserves.

"As they say, A rocky start is simply the beginning of a thrilling hike."

He smiled more, interjecting some levity while lightening up so as to create a less intense atmosphere.

"Come now everyone. Whilst Illusion and our esteemed leader Arthur have given you all some explanation regarding our role in the WDL I suspect you are all full of questions still yet to be answered. It is my express pleasure to satisfy any curiosity and I'll be seeing to it that you are optimally comfortable and informed. Follow me to the projector room and afterwords I'll help guide you all to your respective dormitory rooms. If anyone's interested after that I'll still be available to give a tour of this establishment."

Smoothly he turned, gesturing for them to follow him out the door. As he stepped through he threw open both of the double doors in a grand gesture, unveiling the city of Rome in it's full glory to all stepping through.


Sometimes a bit of theatrics could be more powerful than technology and even magic at times. Rick certainly hoped it could keep their interest on him as opposed to just fighting each other like a wild pack of dogs.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: ORIN Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Sister Rianne
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| Jonathan Black/JoJo |


JoJo watched somewhat blankly as Illusion gave her speech, having ignored Caius' remark beforehand. He had something a bit more important to focus on than Caius being rude. Demon kids again, huh? Well, JoJo somehow doubted that. After all, his father was a bit busy with his new family now, and- JoJo winced, reaching up to rub the side of his head before shaking it, looking back up at Illusion. He raised an eyebrow; before his headache hit, Illusion was on stage alone, but now she standing right before himself and the others, looking them all over, although still speaking. He looked over to Vesper who'd moved to his side, before looking back to the vampire principal as she continued on. Illusion shrugged. "Unless any of you still don't believe that supernatural beings exist? I'd happily show you otherwise."

"What the everloving fuckles is going on here.." was the only thing JoJo had come out of his mouth. He knew that obviously something was going on- first there was that crazy spider woman, and then a lolita vampire had slammed him into a wall. He looked over at Illusion, eyes narrowing ever so slightly. She couldn't have been that bad, though, she gave him food when he was starving, after all. Remembering her previous reminder of her 'retaliation', JoJo had enough sense to keep his trap shut. Sure, he'd never expected to see anything aside from humans on this planet, but he had a fairly open mind- and no normal little girl could float or toss him around a room.

However, there was someone who didn't quite share his ability to not speak. His good old friend Caius, in fact. With a simple "I'm going." the man turned and began to leave the room. However, he stopped in his tracks right after. Jonathan turned towards the stage, only to spot possibly the most intimidating person he'd ever seen briskly walking across it. Even the vampire in front of him seemed nervous, and she turned around slowly to the man as he stood at the edge of the stage, glaring daggers at her. "Ahh, I forgot you were there. Haha, hi Arthur." With that, Illusion vanished into a.. thing. JoJo totally had to learn that move one day. His attention returned to the man, who gave them a painfully obvious ultimatum- and also marked Rick as their superior. Jonathan didn't really mind, since Rick seemed like an alright guy, but the hairs on the back of his neck stood up.

As Arthur began to showcase his power, and Jonathan wondered how much it would hurt to be smacked by that sword Arthur wielded. JoJo tensed up just like he did when the spider woman attacked him, and he grit his teeth. Sure, Arthur was absolutely terrifying, but JoJo wouldn't be stupid enough to fight him- Jonathan would rather use his head than his fists, even during a fight. And Arthur didn't exactly look like a guy he could get away with using anything else on.

".. Kill us? The hell have we done..? Is being born that bad?" He muttered to himself once Arthur had left, and he briefly looked over at Vistra, worried slightly at her sudden outburst of giggles and making sure she was okay. He turned back and let out a heavy sigh, visibly relaxing only slightly. He needed to find a phone and, well, do something- but then again, if he called Dawn, she might try to come get him or something. He couldn't exactly have the shorty come here and get whooped by Arthur or Illusion or whoever else was here- or imprisoned or whatever they did to people that tried to trespass here. Jonathan imagined it wasn't nice, whatever it was. He was zoned out to the point that he didn't even notice Illusion reappearing. His previous idea was the find a phone, but that idea was gone. Firstly because he'd seen Vesper again and leaving her wasn't exactly a huge priority for him- but mostly now he was just worried that he'd drag his poor housemate into something over her head. Both of their heads, honestly.

"Fucking.. fuck. The hell am I supposed to do?" Jonathan turned around, before groaning audibly as he heard Caius once again speak. He looked over at Vesper, checking on her, before he looked over at Caius. Illusion had apparently given them a chance for questions, and Caius was the first to respond. "Questions, then tell me. Where is the fuckin' exit?" JoJo groaned. "Really, dude?" Continuing his rant, he began to get ready for a fight from what JoJo saw. At this moment, he also noticed Caius' hands being bloody. Was he that intimidated by Arthur that he had to squeeze his fists that hard? Someone like Caius was scared of Arthur? "Well, fuck me, right? I thought that guy was fearless." In fact, thinking back on it, JoJo realised that the people who seemed the toughest of the group had reacted the most- Rick and Vesper barely even flinched, or didn't flinch at all.

He let out a sigh, about to call out to Caius before he jumped a little as the intercom on the wall crackled to life. Apparently there was a sentient being in control of the facility's surveillance system, and she didn't sound very, if at all, happy. Her name was ORIN, which probably stood for.. uh.. something. Probably. However, with her threat on the table, JoJo was quite honestly expecting things to start looking up.

He was so wrong.

You hear that dumbass? You’re stuck here - like me - like it or not. If you can look past your own stupid, selfish needs for one second, maybe you could see that this isn’t some dumb joke. The black-haired girl had practically waltzed up to Caius, immediately getting in his face and mouthing off at him.Believe me, if I had a choice I’d go back to my normal life without all you losers in a heartbeat, but I’m stuck with all of you, and you’re stuck with me. We don’t have to get along, but it looks like we’re gonna have a job to do, so we may as well shut up and play along for now.

Jonathan almost went and slammed his face into the nearest wall. He was nice, but he had his limits. They were literally just threatened with imprisonment if they caused anything, and here we had this girl immediately going and causing something. JoJo watched somewhat intently, though, as she'd walked right into Caius' range- and from what he remembered, that was not a good place to be. However, he was immediately a bit more relieved when she stepped away from him, turning to the rest of the group with a hair flip. How angsty. I’m Ash, by the way. May as well get these introductions out of the way.

JoJo began to wonder if being cut off was going to be a thing around here when, as when he went to introduce himself, the girl at the side of the room cut in. He was cut off. Again. It was definitely a thing. All pretense of niceties was lost within five seconds of her opening her mouth. She pointed directly at Ash after catching everyone's attention with two claps, kind of like a teacher getting their students attention. He'd expected something from her, but was just a little irked when it seemed that she, too, was intent on starting something. He glanced over at Rick, their designated leader, and wondered how he'd manage a group like this. JoJo actually felt sorry for him.

"Hey, loser." What an opening line- she was obviously trying to be the most friendly person in the room. Wall-girl stared directly at the black-haired girl, whom Jonathan now knew was named Ash. "You sure as hell don't have to get along with me, but you're gonna want to get along with everyone else, so you can start by dropping that attitude before I beat the snot out of you. Don't waste my time, don't waste Rick's time, and don't waste the WDL's time." JoJo raised an eyebrow. So she was also a member of the WDL? But aside from appearing out of basically nowhere, she seemed completely different to the two other staff members he'd met. Maybe she was some sort of instructor? Or, considering there was plenty people carrying around weapons that probably also had tongues as sharp as said weapons, she was just a regular mook that was dragged into attending with the girl from before? Whoever she was, she'd taken the mood in the room from slightly not bad back to oh god territory- he figured that Ash would have some very choice words for her right after.

Rianne put out her lit cigarette, and JoJo wondered if it was usual for someone to smoke for five seconds before stopping. Maybe there was a no smoking rule? "Name's Rianne, by the way. There's my introduction." He nodded slightly. Well, that's.. 7 new names he'd learned today. All up, he knew Vesper, Caius, Rick, Ash, Rianne, Arthur and.. Illusion? Couldn't be her actual name, right? Nah, JoJo decided, surely not.

JoJo was snapped out of his thoughts as the girl that giggled a bit too hard introduced herself. 'Hello. I'm Vistra. It's nice to meet you all, even with all this going on.' When she smiled at him, her smiled back- no need to be rude, especially in such absolutely ridiculous circumstances- I mean, a guy had just blown the lights by waving around a sword. That was absolutely insane. 'And I suppose this would make us half-siblings? I've always wanted an older brother and sister.' JoJo chuckled softly, "I s'pose it would." He spoke up, loud enough for everyone to head. "Name's Jonathan, JoJo for short. Pleasure to meet you all." 8 names he knew, now. He was going to offer his hand for her to shake before Rick, sensing the hostility between a certain trio in the room, took action.

He looked over as Rick spoke, listening to him. Apparently, Rick had been here for a while, so it was probably best for him to be listening to his senior. "At this point however we are united not only by blood but also by circumstance. I understand the situations that you all arrived under were less than ideal but with your cooperation that will change." JoJo nodded in agreement- even though he wanted to, he couldn't just walk out of here. He'd resigned himself to being stuck here for the time being. Honestly, he really just wanted to tell Dawn he wasn't dead- Rick would definitely know where there was a phone. He probably had one, even, and Jonathan knew Dawn's number by heart.

Tuning back into Rick's speech from his thoughts, he grimaced slightly. "As they say, A rocky start is simply the beginning of a thrilling hike." A thrilling hike doesn't usually start with getting your feet messed up, that's for sure. There's only a certain amount of rockiness that you can go through. Also, JoJo thought to himself, who even says that?

"Come now everyone. Whilst Illusion and our esteemed leader Arthur have given you all some explanation regarding our role in the WDL I suspect you are all full of questions still yet to be answered. It is my express pleasure to satisfy any curiosity and I'll be seeing to it that you are optimally comfortable and informed." JoJo looked up as soon as Rick mentioned a tour- he could finally find a damn phone! But something else caught him, and that was Rick's offer to answer their questions on Illusion's behalf. Rick at this point seemed a tad cardboard, like he was forcing his pleasant demeanour. 'Express pleasure'? 'Optimally comfortable'? Something seemed ever so off about it, although JoJo pinned that down to his nerves and his circumstances. He perked up a little, however, as Rick continued. "Follow me to the projector room and afterwords I'll help guide you all to your respective dormitory rooms. If anyone's interested after that I'll still be available to give a tour of this establishment."

He crossed his arms, surveying everyone else in the room, before he stepped forward. He looked over at Rick, then gave him a nod as he began to follow him. He watched, and couldn't help but smirk as Rick threw open the doors so fancily- "Man, this seems like a slow-motion intro moments at the beginning of an anime, I swear.." He muttered under his breath. He looked back as he walked, wanting to make sure Vesper was following.






| Illusion |


Illusion sat in her chair, a sly smirk sliding across her features as Caius questioned her. Not particularly invested in the events before her, she tuned out once the female doggo got in Caius' face, and then tuned back in when Rianne jumped in as well. She sighed, looking up at the nearest security camera and giving it a 'what the hell are we doing here' type of shrug. Her eyes flickered over to Rick, and she narrowed them slightly. "Shouldn't ya be doin' somethin', leader?" she thought, and was pleasantly surprised when Rick did, in fact, do his duty. As Rick did do something- albeit while apparently ignoring the three hostile satanspawns right in front of him, and Illusion sighed. Arthur had put them all on edge, and the two lovely firecrackers they'd gotten didn't seem to make anything easier. However, she had a much darker goal in her mind. She'd offered to prove anyone who didn't believe that those of supernatural origin existed wrong, and her eyes smoothly settled on Caius.

Waiting until everyone else had left the room or was leaving, Illusion cleared her throat. "Oi, Caius, my friendo. There's somethin' I wanna speak with ya about. Privately." She glanced over at Rick, a look that made it obvious that she meant for the others to move along and leave her alone with Caius. Waiting patiently, the young vampire smiled, before idly starting to read what seemed to be a newspaper. When they were alone, she looked up at Caius; "So, ya read the news lately?"






A pair of binoculars scoured the WDL grounds. The barrier barely did its job of preventing sight into the compound, and a sigh left the lips of the observer. "Lax defences.." They then groaned, cracking their neck before resuming their searching. For a moment, their binoculars caught sight of Rick shoving the Auditorium doors open all cool-like. A slightly chuckle left their lips. "Wait a.. Oh, so that's them, then." A pause, before the binoculars moved around the facility. The observer's sight landed on an open window in one of the buildings on the grounds of the WDL's Exorcist Academy. Zooming in a little, the observer caught a glimpse of a rather pretty woman adjusting their blouse near an open window. They zoomed in a bit more, a sly snicker leaving their lips. "Ho ho hoh, this is a great view.." The girl in the window finished doing up their blouse, and moved away. A sad sigh left the observer's lips as they moved their binoculars around again, this time finding their last target. A young man was suddenly accosted by another- attacked with a full rubbish bin, in fact. The observer snickered, watching the young Exorcist seemingly apologise to the man he'd just covered with trash.

Putting away their binoculars, they slowly stood up. Their gear weighed a bit heavy on their back, but they were here for business, after all.






The girl stretched as she exited the cab, smiling as it pulled away and she gave it a cheerful wave. Smiling and humming to herself happily, she began the short trek towards the guardpost that prevented her from entering the WDL's facilities. Well, it would have if she wasn't registered as a student. Her lips curled into a sly smile, and she half-walked half-skipped up to the guardpost, pass in hand if they had any questions.

Of course, like all men, the only question they had for her was 'Will you love me?', and her answer was always the same.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Kane O'Reilly Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Sister Rianne Character Portrait: Yohan Character Portrait: Candice Hallows
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Ashley “Ash” “Soot” Clade
Image

"Okay, I think I've heard enough." Ash turned towards the source speaking, eying up the woman that had dragged the teen girl in amongst chains. For some reason, her expression and the dual set of claps irked her, though it did surprise her slightly to see a pointed finger aimed squarely at her.

"Hey, loser."

Immediately, Ash’s expression soured. She was not a loser, that was her line about every other person in the room. Even if Ash could respect a no-bullshit approach to things, she was still the alpha bitch in this room (Illusion didn’t count, she wasn’t human), so no matter how tough this woman was, she wasn’t going to accept any pretence that Rianne was better than her. She didn’t expect her and Ash to get along? Good. Heck, she wanted a fight, she’d get one soon enough. Ashley had been trying to be somewhat cordial, but then this tramp had to go and insult her and what she thought was a perfectly reasonable set of requests of the group. Ash thought to interject, but she was bigger than that. For now. Watching the woman take a cigarette, another annoyance to the biker, she thought perhaps the woman was done.

But no. She couldn’t leave good enough alone.

“…Acting like some playground bully because your insecurities keep you awake at night. 'Shut up and play along for now,' don't give me that crap. No one's ever worked properly as a team with a mindset like that, so why don't you get your head out of your fucking ass." Rianne continued, punctuating her comments by crushing her cigarette and sharing her name. Not that Ash hadn’t pegged this bitch’s name from the beginning. Still, she could feel it. Her blood boiling, but not just in irritation. In some respects, she enjoyed a good fight. It would do her good to let loose some of this pent up frustration.

“Rianne, huh?” Ash started simply, unfolding her arms and placing them on her hips. “ Shame such a nice name belongs to a bitch. That’s some mouth you got there for a holy woman. You’d think an old dog like you would’ve learned some manners by this point, but I guess you’re just scared that there might be a new girl in town who’s not afraid of your crap. If I’m the schoolyard bully, then you’re the dipshit that stayed back several years and runs the playground just ‘cuz they think they’re bigger and better.” Ash remained where she was, not making an effort to approach Rianne. Vaguely, she could hear some niceties being exchanged by the other children, but she didn’t care. Even Caius had been forgotten in this moment. This girl had challenged her, and Ash wasn’t about to take it without some sort of counterattack.

“You want me to get along with these dumbasses? They’re gonna have to earn it. Just like you. Sure, I get it, you’re a disgruntled badass cause you’re stuck here fighting demons since you’re too ugly to find yourself a man, and too stupid to move up the ranks to something worthwhile, but hey, maybe if you dedicate yourself you can be Arthur’s lapdog.” Ash shrugged with a smug expression, raising her hands into the air as she looked away. Seemed the rest of the group was leaving. Pivoting slightly, she began wandering away, calling over her shoulder.

“I get why you’re scared though - You’re gonna be old news Rianne. With us new devil-spawns being trained up, you’re gonna be obsolete before long. Get used to seeing my ass, cause you’re gonna be eating my dust for years to come. Your days are numbered.” Ash waved over her shoulder as she strode away with Rick and the others, praying that her final cool move would work. To her immense and smug glee, right on cue, her motorbike pulled up beside her, allowing Ash to climb on easily as it began to ride away, idly coasting behind the group and leaving Caius, Rianne and Illusion behind. But not before one last quip. “Later Pot. Try not to get too worked up, can’t be good for your heart with that shit in you.”



Kane O’ReillyImage

Sitting calmly in class, oblivious to the events occurring outside the room, was a single bright young exorcist doing his best to take notes on the material in class. He was still pretty low on the totem pole, barely more than a recruit at his lower 3rd class rank, but he knew that if he applied himself and worked hard, that would change. It didn’t matter that he’d been here a few months and hadn’t progressed. Or that he hadn’t gone on field duty at all. It didn’t even matter that he kept getting cleaning duty. The important thing was that he was here - The WDL - The place where he could truly put his skills as an exorcist to the test, and help fight off the demon threat.

Of course… It wasn’t exactly how he expected it to be. Granted, his ideas about glory and fighting off demons and what have you may have been exaggerated to begin with, but… Well, even as far as a school went, he’d had higher expectations. He wasn’t expecting to be popular by any means but… Well, he thought he’d have made SOME friends at the school. But no. He was a laughing stock. A joke. I mean, he enjoyed making people happy, but it still hurt. Just because he tripped when introducing himself to the class, some people thought he was incapable. It didn’t help he was constantly just cleaning, never on a mission… I mean, he’d prove himself eventually, but when were the brass going to take him seriously? Maybe he’d have to go speak with M-…Ms. Hallows and see about it.

When class ended, Kane inevitably got lumped with staying back and cleaning the room. It didn’t take him long – the students weren't particularly messy, and he was well practiced in it by now. Lumping the last of the garbage into the bin, Kane cautiously carried it in front of him, but he couldn’t really see. Sliding the class door open with his foot, he stepped out, though his second step caught on the lip of the door. The results were as expected.

“WahaHOAHH!” Kane went sprawling forward with a soft thud, tossing the bin flying forwards. In a mess of banana peels, paper, dust and other items, the poor teenager that had been standing outside the door was quickly pelted with the rubbish, culminating in the bin landing over his head with a soft ‘thunk’. Kane swallowed nervously as he got up, quickly moving to help the guy. “I’m so sorry! That was a total accident, I’m such a klutz! Here, let me help you clean off, uh…”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Kane O'Reilly Character Portrait: ORIN Character Portrait: Sister Rianne Character Portrait: Yohan
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With the sudden verbal abuse that Rianne had dumped on the girl, she absolutely expected some kind of retaliation from someone with a mouth like that. She sat quietly, almost eagerly as she waited in anticipation to hear what she would say - her body was leaning slightly forward, hands on her knees and the slightest smile creeping at the corner of her mouth. Unsurprisingly, she jumped straight to name calling but in a few moments, the direction she took her insults changed drastically. 'Disgruntled badass? Too ugly to find a man? Arthur's lapdog? Obsolete?'

Rianne almost bust out laughing as Ash fumed at her, who then ended with a smug grin that showed that she was confident she had 'won' their little argument. Sure kid, you won, Rianne thought, eliciting a snicker as the girl sped away on her bike with the others. There were so many things that was funny about that entire sequence that she didn't even know where to begin. She couldn't even be mad - the wild assumptions, the smug look, the fact that she felt she had to get the last word in - Rianne changed her mind, Ash wasn't a playground bully. She was just an idiot.

"And that's fine with me," Rianne muttered to herself with a shrug, flipping her phone open. It had been buzzing for a few minutes now, but she'd chosen to ignore it. I'm just as much of a dumbass, though I'd never hear the end of it if I put myself in the same boat as her. Her eyes skimmed over the message she'd received and suddenly things weren't so funny anymore:

[Melody: 12:00 PM sharp at Della Pace. Come alone.]

Rianne quickly closed her phone, squinting suspiciously around the ceiling for a few moments. ORIN didn't see that, did she? God knows where's she got eyes and ears here. She put the phone away and rubbed the side of her temple with her right hand, gently closing her eyes. It'll be okay. Even if she did see, she probably wouldn't care.

Unlike her, Melody was not the type to pull pranks like this. Somebody's got a hold of her.

Rianne opened her eyes again and took a few deep breaths, opening her phone for a few seconds before putting it away once more. She had been too stunned to fully register the time and place that she was expected to meet this stranger. It didn't seem likely that it was anybody she knew, so she guessed that it had to be a demon of some sort. She'd dealt with their kind on many an occasion, after all.

In any case, there were still hours to spare before the clock struck twelve and she wasn't going to spend that time moping around, at least if she could help it. She half-considered asking somebody for help, but she wasn't willing to risk Melody's life. This was something she might have to face on her own. Standing up and dusting herself off, she waved and made her way towards the exit. "You two have fun, I'm gonna go grab some ice cream."

Or at least, that was the plan. By the looks of it, they were all sold out of strawberry. Peering off to the side, she spotted a pair of WDL students surrounded by a heap of trash. Oh boy.

She walked over and pulled the can upright, kneeling to the ground to pick up pieces of trash and drop them back in. "It's nice that you're introducing each other in the middle of all this garbage, but I hope at least one of you is planning on cleaning all of this up. Actually. . ." Rianne snapped a few times as if to jog her memory. "Kane, right? Get me a broom from the classroom, I'll clean it up."

Anything to take my mind off of tonight.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: ORIN Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Sister Rianne
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Image
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Image
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"I really hate to admit
that I need to concede on
some things, but it doesn't
mean that I would just take
it as it is, but I know I have
to, so I won't be weak."
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If there was gauge to determine how much Caius was bursting in confusion which relates to his temper, it would be bursting and just a step away before it exploded. He is truly the definition of stubbornness and even if everything he had been seeing is truly contradictory to what he believes. He would not be swayed and because he relays on emotions more, the resentment building inside of him due to the people and environment, simply blocks his willingness to view things openly. Actually, it's just pure immature hardheadedness that makes him resistant to everything that's being said even if, deep inside he could see logical points. Still, his temper triumphs over it.

Well, this was briefly rerouted when a voice reminiscent of those virtual assistants in the latest gadgets echoed through the building. Apparently, it replied to his demand. His eyes narrowed further inciting his displeasure. This ORIN character or whatever it calls itself was also have the keys to grate on his nerves. It was pinning the fault of a lock-down on him if he ever so prance out of here at his violation. Adding to that, it sounded like wacko job of big brother who sees everything and so on. "Tch! The fuck should I care about some piece of shit." His words had the lace of venom and his irritation as more confusing things keep piling up on him.

Then, this piss poor imitation of a biker chick from Addams family approached her as if she's worth even equal to dirt. He gritted his teeth and literally snarled at the girl. "Listen her you stick of a t-" He was unable to continue his retort when the sound clapping intervened along the lines. He growled for the interruption, but didn't say anything as he decided to ignore the two.

He just wanted to leave now and find the kids, if what that psycho Illusion said that they are alive and safe. But, he did glare at that sissy-looking girl who introduced herself as Vistra and had the gall to say that they are siblings. "Don't screw with me. We ain't family or even siblings. So, shut it!" His agitation was clear and because of it, he was venting it out in different ways. He then also glared at Rick who seemed to agree on that statement and to the punk JoJo. There was no way he would even think about becoming anything with these freaks. That was not even registering to him at all. He just needs to get out of here quick. That's what's being prioritized in his head.

In terms of what Rick was saying, he really didn't care that's why he didn't listen at all. Instead, he looked away from the group and the warning from ORIN didn't even cause any worry over him as he looked around to see where he could slip away and escape this circus of crazy. The opportunity soon appeared as the others began to leave the building. He could use that get away and when he was about to, but that voice which grated on his ears prevented him. He looked over his shoulder and saw that Illusion. "We're not friends." He retorted as he glared at the little fry of violence. Despite his temper, he did notice that he was left alone with Illusion soon enough. Then, his gaze fell on that newspaper. It was odd in every aspect to him. "What do you want?"

Illusion, with a small smirk on her face, lazily looked up in Caius’ direction. I asked you if you’ve read the news lately, rude boy. Have you? Lifting up her slender hand, she beckoned Caius over as her grin slowly vanished.Caius was really having doubts whether to approach, but his curiosity won over. "...What is it?" His tone returned to a normal range, but it was still filled with a controlled level of annoyance. He walked towards Illusion, but made sure there was a notable distance in case this man-child do something again. That grin was enough sign for him that something was up and he really wasn’t keen about throwing caution out the window right now. "So, what’s interesting about it, huh?"

Illusion turned to the page before her, chuckling. Just a little bit here. ‘An orphanage was attacked a few nights ago; several children, the matron murdered, and the rest of the children were missing along with one of the staff that worked there by the name of..’ Well.. ‘Caius Grady’, in fact. Hearing those words, Caius stiffened notably. The events of that night rolled inside his head as his hands were once again clenched into fists. He didn’t even mind the fact that he might make his hands bleed which had already stopped earlier.

Illusion looked over at Caius once more. According to this newspaper there was no animal found on the scene, yet there were several bodies. What do you think of this oh so wonderful development, Mister Grady? Illusion gazed right into his eyes, her expression dead serious. "... No animal…?" That was the question that echoed in his head as the image of that violent beast appeared in his head. "That’s impossible!" He loudly retorted in confusion while shaking his head in disbelief. "There was that…. Bear… Dog…. Beast!" He then met Illusion’s gaze as a rather useless, but plausible idea entered his thoughts. "You.. What did you do!?" It was not impossible from his opinion. He was attacked then, he was taken there and then that news…. Everything was confusing… The only person who could do something about it was this person, this Illusion.

That what? It’s called a werewolf- lycanthrope. Whatever. Illusion spoke in a monotone voice. We did nothing. If we had’ve done something, why would we have taken your lovely orphans into our protection? Caius somehow eased up due to Illusion’s anti-climactic tone. He bit his lower lip in obvious frustration as he wasn’t able to speak anything more. Illusion continued reading from the paper, It seems to have been an attack by an animal, however, nothing at the scene could be linked to any type of animal native to the region. A search was launched, but no results were found aside from a large tooth buried in the throat of a young girl, a human canine. Illusion paused. See, the thing about werewolves is that when a piece of them is torn out, it returns to its human form. She shrugged. But since werewolves obviously don’t exist, why was there a human tooth in poor Sophie’s neck, Caius? Can you tell me?

The memory of Sophie reaching out to him made him lowered his head as the scene made him shake his head in resistance. "....That’s impossible… Impossible..." Yes, he was resisting what was being said to him as he took a step back. "It was a huge animal…. Human? That’s impossible..." He tried to connect the dots, but he was never the type to handle such complicated processes. That’s why all he could was just a simple and rather low-level comprehension. "It must be a human in a costume… That’s it!" He pointed at Illusion as his eyes of gold lit with approval of that solution, but still, doubt swimmed behind it. All of that due to the fact he had grabbed hold of that beast… he felt that claw… It wasn’t human… "It’s a deranged human!"

So you killed a man? Ripped a man in two in front of all of those innocent people? You murdered a man? Or are you just clutching onto your beliefs that it wasn’t a monster when you know that it was. What kind of man is that big? That strong? What kind of man growls at you and looks like a wolf? What kind of man eats little children? Those words accosted him like daggers and each stabbed him true. Killing someone, it was not something he would lose sleep over. In his life, the idea of killing had never been an issue, more like he was prepared for that instance especially with the darkness of his life in the underground world. What actually pierced him was that his beliefs were being torn at the very seams. It’s like his impenetrable rock was being drilled into pieces, slowly, but surely.

Illusion shrugged.But if you still want to ignore the obvious lycan in front of you, I have another proposal for you. Caius Grady, if there was no werewolf to kill those children, and no man was found at the crime scene; that means that you ate and killed those children with your own hands, doesn’t it? So tell me, Caius. Do werewolves exist, or.. She paused, tossing the paper aside and staring at him as she stood up, looking right into his eyes, Are you a heartless, child-butchering cannibal, Caius Grady? His hand that pointed accusingly at Illusion quivered for a moment, as he lowered it. Then, "Hell no! I won’t ever hurt those kids! No!" He stated angrily and with a clear sincerity that would have been usually hidden with his rough words. His eyes also glowed with that harsh determination. "It’s… not a hu---..." He didn’t continue his words as he held his head and shook it in frustration. "SHIT! What the fuck is happening…?"

Illusion sighed. What’s happening is exactly what happened to everyone else here. Your regular life was suddenly torn apart because you were introduced to something that wasn’t human. You’re just being awfully stubborn about it. Illusion shrugged. If you didn’t hurt those children, and there was no animal, where does that leave you, Caius? There was a werewolf and you know it, don’t you?

At this point, the resistance that Caius had was blown away. His shoulders lowered and his eyes on the ground as well. "I..." He clammed up as he took a deep breath and calmed himself. The memories of the night and what happened to him here played again, but this time, things were being put into perspective. "Hey..." His voice had lost it edge of irritation, somehow it was calm, something unfamiliar to those who have observed him earlier. "That monster… that.. Werewolf is dead, right?" He was still not looking at her as he asked that question as if for confirmation.

Illusion, her face softening, nodded. Yes. You quite literally tore it in half, saving the rest of the children in the room. You also took quite the beating , she motioned to his stomach, but in the end, you were quite the hero, Caius. The word hero made him flinched. He should feel a sense of pride normally, but the faces of the Matron, the dead children, and Sophie haunted his eyes. Plus, he was definitely not the hero type. Still, he looked up and saw that expression which was usually only given to him by the Matron. She smiled warmly at him- not her usual fake warm smile, but an actually genuine one.

She put her hands behind her back, looking over at the podium she’d stood on before. I’m sure those kids are all grateful to you. They now have a place to live, a place to grow up, and most importantly they have their lives. She turned back to Caius, slowly floating up to pat his head. This time, he didn’t say anything and just allowed that gesture. I’ll take you to see them later on, okay? For now you should head to the projector room with the others. I know this is all difficult and new for you, but the more you learn the better you can protect the children, right? Illusion dropped to the floor, grinning. Now go, I’ll make sure that the orphans- well, not orphans anymore- are taken care of while you’re away. She looked at him again. Is there anything else before you go?

He was quiet for a while before releasing a big sigh and then looked at the ceiling. It was at that position he spoke once more. "I’ll hold you to what you say." Caius was not completely trusting Illusion, but that was normal, isn’t it? He was still wary and cautious, but right now… What can he really do? Apparently, everything around him is against to his desire to leave. Plus, he is worried about the kids remembering their horror when they saw what he did. His strength… that was abnormal. He needed to understand and these people can either give that or manipulate him, but he was willing to gamble. He was always risking it anyway out the streets. What was the difference here, right? "Keep those brats safe. Anyway, I’ll learn what am I here, right?" This time, he finally looked back at her.

Illusion nodded. Yes, you will. You’ll learn lots of things. You’ll learn more about the world than any other place could teach you. I’ll keep those children safe- I give you my word, but I expect you to grow strong enough that one day I don’t need to protect them. I’m sure they’d much rather be watched over by their big brother Caius than a tiny lolita like me. She chuckled softly. Caius didn’t mind the chuckle. He was still hesitant with the whole supernatural thing going on, but he wasn’t that closed off anymore. "That’s obvious." He noted on his part. Get moving, Caius. Today is introductions, tomorrow is boot camp. Oh, she motioned towards the doorway, Please try to get along with them. In a battle, they might have your back when you need it. I know you prefer to fight alone, but you have a family now. Don’t let that opportunity go to waste, are we clear? He looked away from Illusion. "I can’t promise about getting along with them." The idea of JoJo, that halloween-themed girl along with the others of having sort of a bond with him was really far off in his assessment. Even the word family, it’s foreign to him at the moment. "....But, I’ll tolerate them." He shrugged his shoulders. "So, which way is this projection room?"

Illusion, her smile suddenly turning sly, giggled. Oh, don’t worry about that. I can get you there in just a moment, however, you might hate me for this. She shoved Caius, her small frame making it somewhat comedic as this tiny girl, with one finger, sent him falling onto his rear. This was without doubt made him shock, but instead of meeting with the floor, he fell through one of Illusion’s crazy broken glass-looking portals, landing on the floor in a room with a projector being the most prominent feature. "Eh?" It might have been weak response, but his eyes were as big as a fish caught out water. His surroundings suddenly shifted as he looked around in a hurry. This... is... impossible... "How... It's... Huh?" He felt eyes on him as he looked up and saw a hole that he has the common sense to know shouldn't exist. But, it was there with Illusion smiling as she leaned through it. Just wait here for a while, the others will show up in a moment. Don’t break anything~ With that, the girl slid back through the hole, gave him a curt wave, and it closed up in front of him. By the time it was done, it was as if the hole had never existed at all.

Actually, Caius blinked a couple of times after that. Then, rubbed his eyes as he looked at the ceiling which was normal looking. "I'm not crazy... Nope... not crazy." He muttered that to himself while shaking his head. "The fuck... I guess I need get used to this... I need a drink... Badly." Just like that, he stood from the floor and sighed, the biggest he had ever done in his life.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: ORIN Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Sister Rianne
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ImageImageImage
Throughout the many things that happened in the span of minutes, Vesper was the pinnacle of indifference. She really had no opinion about the conversations going around her or the barbs being thrown between them. They simply did not concern her, so she stopped caring about it. Although, she did offer minimal and harmless responses when appropriate. One would be when ORIN warned them about the possible consequence of leaving as instigated by the brown-tall man (Caius). She was familiar with the system due to her staying and as a form of greeting, she performed a flawless keirei bow as named in her motherland. In this position, her hands were placed by her side as she bend forward in a 30 degree angle. The loose silver wisps swayed along as she did so, creating a graceful conduct.

After that, her next reaction was towards the scarf girl's (Vistra) introduction. She mentioned for them to be siblings and apparently, she fell into the category of older sister. She did not openly responded, but her purple gem of eyes lowered to avert the other girl's gaze. She does not feel comfortable being assessed as that. A haze covered her vision as if she was seeing into a realm that no one could reach and it was the truth. Memories surrounded her without mercy and an overpowering voice echoed inside her. "I'll tell you a story... Ane-sama." She closed her eyes and then raised her face once again as the haze vanished. There was not much of a difference about her or even in her presence, a complete emotionless doll she had become.

Though, she did tilt her head to the side as her sight had spotted a red splotch on the floor. It seemed to have come from that brown-tall man. Blood. There was only a flicker behind those eyes of hers as another voice assaulted her head. "You're an abomination!" It ended at that as she noticed that Rick had began to speak about assisting them in Warriors of Divine Light. He was the same with her, so she did not see anything odd about it. But, she did give him a full nod to acknowledge him. Then another barb occurred between the black-haired girl (Ashley) who separated her earlier from her brother figure, and the older female (Rianne). She simply stood by the sidelines as she glanced at Jonathan. He seemed troubled, but she was certain it was not something the he could not handle. That's why she looked forward again.

It was then Rick finally led them away. The dramatic flair was just that for her, dramatic flair. Yet, that was expected from her, though she did make effort to provide a commentary for Jonathan as she kept her pace beside her as they moved. "Would you be the hero then?" That was but a whimsical note by her as her eyes laid on Jonathan, before she looked ahead once more. Her face was neutral in every way, yet had that mystical elegance as she took each step with effortless poise. Though, she did notice that Illusion was left alone with that brown-tall man. She, however, did not see any importance in that.

"JoJo..." Her voice was low and had melody reserved only for the man beside her. "If you go, take me okay?" At that point, her hand gently gripped at the bottom hem of his shirt. She was not looking at him, however and her face revealed nothing of her emotions that seemed to have disappeared, long ago. After a while, she released her hold on his shirt as if she did not say anything. The world that was monochrome, now had a bit of color and the bandages covering her was slowly coming undone. Just like a sunflower, raising its head to face the sun. That's why, "Is she really a..monster?" She was fine, because she now knew the answer to that.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve
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Rick Brackwall

With all things said and done what was important was that they were on their way with him. He looked back to ensure that they were still following and didn't start wondering off for whatever reason. All five of them were following behind well enough. That was all what mattered, little else was of concern in regards to that. He did wonder what Illusion had in mind for Caius. Hopefully she'll help him along to the projector room or brief him separately. It would be time consuming doing a whole briefing for a single missing brethren.

He unclipped his clipboard from his belt as he walked, carrying under his arm as he lead them from the auditorium. Past guards and through the scenic architecture that was WDL's Rome. Soon they approached the building that was their destination: The Academy in all it's grandeur. Well, perhaps it wasn't the most flowing and beautiful structure within the compound but it was suitably nice.

"I welcome you one and all to WDL's very own academy!" He gestured to the building with a fancy flourish of the hand. "It may not look inherently special but there's not a place better suited to preparing one for any situation one may encounter." He'd of extrapolated on the nature of these 'Encounters' however they would need to understand the existence of demons as a whole first and such a change in their reality was bound not to be received smoothly.


Through the front doors and up the stairs to the right Rick led them to the second floor and down the hall. It was the room just past classroom 101 that was two classrooms in length. Opening the door he revealed the room in full. It was a fairly nice room, long fluorescent lights just waiting to cast their bright white light at the touch of a button. The was a long grey oval desk in the middle of the room surrounded with office chairs. At the side of the room closest to the entrance was a projector mounted on a trolley. At the other end of the room was a white board, a large roll up screen attached at the top.

With a flick Rick turned on the lights, illuminating the placid room. The walls were bare and white, the carpet a neutral grey color. It looked very much like the type of room that would be at home in an office building. What didn't belong in an office building however was Caius who was standing over on the far side of the room looking mostly confused.

While this would be an odd sight, someone who was left behind somehow making it to a room they weren't even aware of before them, to Rick this was just to be expected of Illusion. Her magic certainly benefited her efficiency plenty though her mannerisms were a tad chaotic. After these many years the strange was simply commonplace.

"All of you may feel free to take a seat. I'll get the projector set up." He offered the others as he went over to the projector, hardly even batting an eye at the befuddled Caius. Setting down his clip board the observant would spot that the paper slides it kept a hold of were all completely blank.


After a few moments of moving panels and inserting slides Rick finally had the projector set up.

"Alright! If you are all settled let the briefing begin!"

With that announcement he hit the lights and took his place by the projector. It spat forth an image not of a blank slide as was previously noted by the more aware but instead a cover marked with the WDL insignia. With that up Rick cleared his throat, prepared to speak at length.

"The WDL, the Warriors of Divine Light, are a martial institution established to protect the human population from non-standard threats on a global scale. All of you on some level have had experiences with threats known to the WDL prior to your arrival here."


The slides simply seemed to switch over on their own accord to the next one in the order. It was an image of the exact type of demon that attacked Jonathan, a Tsuchigumo as the title of the slide states.

"At first it might seem surreal."

The slides changed over again. This time it was an image of what seemed to be a man kneeling within a demonic diagram, candles set at strategic points in the circular drawing. In the man's hand was a knife which which he appeared to be cutting open his own arm, the blood flowing not down but up from the wound. The title of this slide was Hemomancy.

"It may make you question things you never doubted before."

The screens flipped to the next slide. It was an illustration of each phase in a werewolf's transformation, starting from man to feral half-canine beast in order of left to right. The title to this document was The Transformation From Man to Werewolf.

"It may make you even question your own sanity."

Flipping again to the next slide was a compilation image of all three illustrations, arranged in a triangle.

"There is truth in what you witnessed. It is what we all share. It is why we are here now."

Striding up next to the screen the images were projected onto Rick stepped into view. His posture was open and he still wore a pleasant if calm smile, speaking in a pleasant tone albeit with the slightest Italian accent simply due to spending a fair amount of time learning in Rome.


"Now, you've been given a brief rundown by our principle, the esteemed Miss Illusion, but I feel as though it didn't satisfy the amount of knowledge you require in order to wholly accept a responsibility that's been thrust upon you without warning or consent. Know that like you all I too arrived here no differently."

While it was definitely dark and difficult to see anything beyond the image put forth by the projector the keen of eye might spot a piece of paper reaching up with a corner and hitting the power switch on the projector. Just as the projector shut down, plunging the room into darkness, Rick hit the light switch on his side of the room, igniting the fluorescent lights and immersing the room in their plain white light.

"I am here simply to help you make the most of your time and efforts. For everyone's sake."

He looked over the group, meeting eyes with each member he could before addressing them as a whole.

"Of course you've humored me in listening to my rambling. I imagine you have questions of your own you need addressed. Starting with..."

He briefly held his hand out, considering who he should take questions from first. He briefly considered letting them speak their questions but wasn't quite yet certain that they wouldn't start trying to talk over each other in a muddled mess of confusion. His hand fell to the person he was to address, directing everyone's attentions to Jonathan.

"JoJo, our good friend of many. Any questions or concerns in need of addressing?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Madison Lovette Character Portrait: Candice Hallows
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“Well, there they are.”

Word had travelled quickly throughout the base of the Children’s arrival- spread through emails, texts, passing remarks and conversation. Six out of seven! It wouldn’t be long before all would be gathered within the heart of the base, introduced to one another, made to unlock their birthrights and become proper soldiers. There were some who were nervous about the whole thing. The WDL had been founded to rid the world of the inhuman, and now they were taking a full set of apocalyptic halfbreeds into their arms? It wasn’t right.

Of course, that was only some. Just as many fell throughout the spectrum, with a few landing on the far opposite. Excited, rather than wary.

Madison was one of those few.

Settled in the neighboring room of the projector’s, the staff lounge, they- “they” being himself and his companion- were able to watch the meeting through a small two-way mirror that connected the two spaces. Useful for observers who didn’t quite want to show their faces in a meeting or the like, although such an occurrence tended to be rare. They were waiting there simply because it was the easiest way to watch without interrupting the meeting.

And because the place was rather comfortable, admittedly. The wallpaper was a muted blue, the floors a polished walnut. Madison had set a pot of tea to boil some time ago on a communal hot plate, and from a nearby radio came the wan voice of Sinatra’s “My Way.”

“Look at how close Ms. Himemiya is to Mr. Black,” Madison said. One hand was tucked beneath his chin, the other resting upon the tabletop before him. As he gazed into the dark hall before them, he took a moment to smooth out the front of his dress- Madison had taken the day off for the occasion, made obvious by the soft evening orange of the researcher’s sundress. “It looks like some of them are getting along well already. Marvelous.” The comment was made in complete sincerity- the smile on his lips was enough of an indication of that. Stretching his shoulders, Madison sat up in a more proper position, watching Rick’s presentation with interest. The pin on his arm glinted with the movement.

“And it seems that Mr. Brackwall’s taking his leadership well. I’m glad. Given how many entered all at once, I’m sure that this will be especially overwhelming. For everyone, really.”

His hand brushed upon the briefings placed upon the desk, as if in emphasis of his point. In their crisp manilla folders, there was little indication of their contents, aside from the stamp on the front labelled “BRIEFING” in fresh ink.

“Hopefully they’ll take all of this alright, and- oh!” Madison suddenly rose, head turning towards the kettle. “I think that the tea is ready. Would you like some, Candice? It’s chai, if you don’t mind.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Caius Grady
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| Jonathan Black/JoJo |


"Would you be the hero, then?" JoJo chuckled softly as he turned around to grin at Vesper. "Maybe. Guess we'll find out, eh?" While he was turned around, he noticed Caius being kept behind while Illusion checked out a newspaper. He was a tad confused, but he shrugged it off as the taller man getting scolded or something. At the same time, he noticed Ash on her bike. He briefly wondered if the bike wasn't normal since it seemed to pull up for her out of nowhere, by itself, to boot. "JoJo..." Vesper's voice brought his attention back to her, the melody to it surprising him- she'd been quite emotionless, so it caught him off-guard to hear it. "If you go, take me okay?" He had no idea what she meant. Away from the WDL? Did she know that he was going to try to leave already? "It's.. not that obvious, surely.." He felt a tugging on his shirt, watching Vesper's hand grip onto the bottom hem of his top. She eventually let go of his shirt, however, and JoJo gave her a warm smile and leaned back slyly. "You know, if you want, I can totally hold your hand." He said it as a joke, but when he went back to his original position, his hand was slightly more open then before, and in the position to grabbed by the girl. If she went after his hand, he would've held it all the way to the projector room.

JoJo had walked into the projector room behind Rick, and almost jumped as he noticed Caius looking dazed in the corner of the room- yeah, he'd definitely remembered leaving in front of Caius. "Well, uh, that's not normal." He chuckled to himself softly before moving over to the table and taking one of the seats. He keenly watched as Rick moved around- and he briefly wondered why Rick was putting empty slides into the projector. He narrowed his brow, trying to make sense of it before deciding that Rick was probably going to do some crazy magic type stuff- Rick had been here for a while and JoJo assumed he wasn't some sort of novice, besides, JoJo had much more important things to focus on. As Rick turned the lights off once more, he shifted in his chair, following along with the presentation astutely. He grit his teeth slightly when the slide with the Tsuchigumo popped up, and he crossed his arms. That thing was only one of God knows how many types of creatures like it. It was terrifying to think that some random person nearby might suddenly erupt into a giant spider. JoJo shuddered thinking about it. He looked up, watching the slides swap from spider to edgy man to hairy man. He bit his lip, wondering just how many people out there were secretly, well, not people. He tossed that term around in his head a little. Not people? That spider girl seemed fairly human until she, well, became a spider girl. JoJo shook his head, sighing. "Guess I'll find out.."

"Now, you've been given a brief rundown by our principal, the esteemed Miss Illusion, but I feel as though it didn't satisfy the amount of knowledge you require in order to wholly accept a responsibility that's been thrust upon you without warning or consent. Know that like you all I too arrived here no differently." JoJo looked up at this, wondering just how long ago Rick had even arrived here. Probably a while, but it couldn't have been too long, could it? JoJo, at this point, noticed something in his peripherals- a piece of paper moving on its own to turn off the projector. At first he thought he'd imagined it, but the lights came on with Rick at the other side of the room as the projector shut off simultaneously. His eyes widened slightly as he realised he wasn't hallucinating, and he blinked hard- there wasn't a paper demon in the room or anything, was there? I mean, that'd be crazy, right? JoJo shook his head, clearing his thoughts (and remembering that spider ladies and vampire lolis were also crazy) before he looked up at Rick. A hand gestured right at him, and JoJo went a tiny bit wide-eyed.

"JoJo, our good friend of many. Any questions or concerns in need of addressing?"

"Fuck. Uh.."

JoJo bit his lip. He hated being put on the spot like this. He preferred having at least a few seconds to plan, but it only took him less than a second to gather his composure. Shaking his head in slight annoyance at himself, he spoke. "Sure, I have a few questions." He nodded to himself, looking up at Rick. "Firstly, I'd like to know more about that spider-type monster that attacked me. Tsuchigumo, was it? I'd like to know specifically if they're capable of regenerating their eyes and limbs." For someone who didn't know they existed, he seemed to have quite the knowledge. Of course, he was only calling what he remembered from the attack. He crossed his arms, narrowing his eyes slightly at Rick- not in a hostile way, but more so because he was focusing on the questions he should be asking. "On top of that, I'd also like a more thorough explanation of the place we're in. Illusion said we'd be here for, well, ever, so knowing our way around would be nice, even if we just get given a map to take a bit of a look at. A tour after this would be good as well. Third, I'd also like to know why every person here is carrying a weapon." He held up his hand, two fingers popping up before a third joined them. "Fourth, are we getting paid or is everything here free? Do we get our own rooms, apartments, or what?" Jonathan's thumb popped up as well, before he closed his hand and lifted his pointer finger again. "Lastly, I'd like an explanation about this 'boot camp' that we're supposed to be going on."

He paused for a moment, closing his hand again and looking to the side for a moment, before looking back and staring Rick in the eyes. "Actually, as well as that.." He motioned to the projector behind Rick, slowly standing up. "Why did that paper move just now?" It was a general question- in fact, it wasn't even fully to Rick himself. As far as JoJo knew that paper was sentient and was going to try to eat his face at any second. "Paper doesn't turn off projectors by itself." It was an obvious and blunt call-out, but JoJo did it nonetheless. He really wanted to know why paper was moving by itself- he was fond of his skin and would rather it not be torn off and used as a scarf. He was also kind of hoping that he'd just foiled some paper demon's stealthy plan, but at the same time found himself hoping that wasn't the case.

He paused for one moment, then looked at Rick right in his eyes before he could respond any further. He put his hands down on the table, expression dead serious as he leaned forward, staring blankly at the presenter. "One last question before you give us your answers, Rick.." He closed his eyes, then opened them again while inhaling hard- whatever he was about to say must've been very, very important. "Where the hell is the nearest phone? I needa make a call."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Madison Lovette Character Portrait: Candice Hallows
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Rick Brackwall

A full list of questions to be sure, but that was to be expected. Rick simply stood, not at all stirred by any of Jonathan's requests. While it was certainly a lot of information to impart Rick figured he had the means to keep the flow of the conversation on his terms.

"Those are some very good questions JoJo. I'm glad you asked." He calmly reached into a pocket in his coat, pulling out a slick touch-screen cellphone. "The nearest phone is mine."

Walking up right next to Jonathan he placed the phone right in front of him. "Feel free to settle your personal affairs while I take some other questions. Please try to keep your call limited to letting family members, roommates and former employers know you are fine and not to be returning."


With that said he stepped back, looking back over to the group as a whole. "Do not worry, your personal belongings will be collected and delivered to your rooms at the earliest opportunity."

Granting that hopefully comforting piece of knowledge he brought a single hand up to his chin, thinking well on who to address next. He considered Caius but since he just picked JoJo he didn't want the girls to feel as though they were being segregated in the picking order. With that said as Ash had a habit of not really listening his information in the first place he considered the fact that giving her a second opportunity to ask questions he likely answered the first time he welcomed her would be helpful. After her the rest of the questions period would fly past with veritable ease, save Caius perhaps.

"Firstly, to answer a couple of JoJo's questions yes we do get paid. Every member of the WDL earns an hourly salary plus bounty sums tied into what we like to call Hunts. These hunts are, put simply enough, missions assigned to members of the order to eliminate notably dangerous members of the supernatural population. Members higher up in the order get higher salaries and are in line to take more difficult Hunts in exchange for proportionately larger bounties."


He strode back to the projector, hands behind his back. "You all may have noted that nearly all members are armed at all times. This is no coincidence, after all we are a martial institution. Just as any militant organization we have cause to believe we may be attacked at any time. Given the exceptional nature of our opposition there is a significant emphasis on security at all times. With thanks to the strong hearts and minds of the good people in charge of the security for WDL we have the freedom to learn and grow in this hostile world."

Finishing off those two questions he extended his hand over to Ash, inviting her into the conversation.

"As I understand you've probably heard much of what I have to say Ash. Any questions to add or shall I continue with another?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Madison Lovette Character Portrait: Candice Hallows
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Rick Brackwall

“Where’s the catering?”

Ash was behaving herself rather well, joking aside. She didn't seem able to concentrate too well but it couldn't be helped.

”But seriously? Maybe later, Dick.”

"Anytime, Ash."


A short but suitable reply to her request. Having a one on one conversation with Ash later was no issue for him. If it meant she'd trust him more later the time invested would definitely pay off.

Lacing his fingers together he pushed his palms outward, stretching his fingers out with a small set of crackles. Unlacing his fingers he brought his right hand down to his side and the left out to point at Vistra.

"How about yourself Vistra? Any questions or concerns you wish to have addressed?"


Calm, casual, inviting, all those were things Rick exuded in his performance. It felt as natural to in as it was made to appear but that was all simply due to practice and conditioning. He could stand before a crowd of millions and break no less a sweat than he was here.

When the time came and all those millions would be demons on the ramparts he'd need that composure to cast the most taxing spells he'd of learned.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Madison Lovette Character Portrait: Candice Hallows
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Image


Image After being snapped at by Caius Vistra hung her head, and stuck to the back of the crowd. She didn't mean to upset him. Though, she supposed that he was a little upset due to the events they all had dealt with today. Hopefully later on she could patch up her not so great first impression.

She trailed after the group and gazed around her new home as she did so. New home. Huh. It definitely wasn't her father's house, but much better than living under a bridge. If they gave her a room, she hoped they'd let her spruce it up a bit. Her old room in Canada was rather small, but crowded in a warm way.

Caius was in the room they entered and Vistra made a point to avoid him. She sat down, and crossed her legs. The fact that Rick was going to explain everything to them made her feel alot better about everything. He even let them ask questions, making Vistra think of one of her old teachers. Rick was a bit like that.

Jojo went first, making good points. She eyed the phone. It had been a year since she talked to her father. If she was going to learn how to take care of herself here maybe her father would be safe. She missed him more than anything.

Ash, the girl who was the first to speak to Vistra went next. She leaned forward, waiting for whatever important question that would be asked. Instead she found herself smothering laughter down at her quip and the response Rick gave. At least it wasn't boring here.

Rick pointed to her next and she wasn't left caught off guard. 'Umm,' She absentmindedly scratched at on of the many scars on her arm. 'Well I'd like to call my father after Jojo is finished. And, will he be safe? Can I go visit him? Or can he visit me?'

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Madison Lovette Character Portrait: Candice Hallows
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Rick Brackwall

"Well I'd like to call my father after Jojo is finished. And, will he be safe? Can I go visit him? Or can he visit me?"

Rick nodded, considering his response for a moment. As her hand seemed to be absently pushing a sleeve up his eyes were drawn down momentarily to spot what appeared to be a small number of scars present on her arm, at least the surface of the arm which he could see right then.

While many would simply assume she would inflict self harm out of personal issues his degree of experience was far wider, his mind more explorative as a result. While there was many possibilities for him to ponder he could deduct without forming any unrealistic assumptions that a power of hers drew on her blood in order to function. Self harming just seemed out of character given her apparent nature. That is not to say of course there couldn't of been something deeper to her than what meets the eye. That were more than a few layers to himself after all.


"Excellent question Vistra! I can assure you that your father is under WDL surveillance and protection. There is nearly nothing we at WDL take more seriously than the safety of the families of those serving in our order. In addition there are specified days for family members to visit WDL grounds. Here-"

With a motion of his hand the stack of blank slides leap to his hand, sitting snugly in his grip. On one side of each sheet was a schedule for each of them, his very own schedule to be exact. It contained all the times for their classes along with their upcoming commitments and events pertinent to all members such as the family days Vistra was just asking about.

Taking a corner of each paper with his off hand Rick absentmindedly tossed a schedule in each of their directions, the sheet flying with keen precision and landing directly before each and every one of them.


"A schedule for you all to review at your own leisure. Hopefully it should help provide some more answers for you all."
He addressed the group generally.

Last but by no means the least headache was Caius. Rick simply looked over, his demeanor only a little more serious if only to show that he was taking Caius seriously whilst still remaining pleasantly calm. He wasn't taking Caius any more serious than anyone else mind you but it was just that: A show.

"Caius, anything on your mind?"