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Rick Brackwall

"I do what I do for the good of Mankind, whatever that might entail."

0 · 579 views · located in Earth

a character in “A Tale of Seven Children//Endless Hourglass”, as played by Zalgo

Description

Image


I. Physical and Mental Profiles

I. Physical Profile.

- Name -


+ Rick Brackwall.

- Physical Age -


+ 22.

- True Age -


+ 24.

- Gender -


+ Male.

- Race -


+ Half-Demon.

- Subspecies -


+ German.

- Description -


+ Standing at five foot ten inches Rick weighs about sixty eight kilograms with snow white hair and a rather small thin frame. His right eye is a cold icy blue while the left one is stained a reddish brown. He likes to leave his hair loose generally but he will comb it back during meetings and other high profile attendances.

At school or on the job he'll wear the standard uniform provided for the WDL. For social outings he'll wear fine black suits, dressing expensively albeit with little in the way of jewelry or other such tokens of wealth. He likes to look professional without necessarily showing off any degree of wealth since it's all provided for him. He sees little need to visibly demonstrate the WDL's wealth in the form of watches and the like.

In casual company he'll dress down, wearing a cool colored t-shirt of some variety and some grey cargo pants. He likes having many pockets which they are good for. Most of his shirts have pockets since he likes having at least one pen and one pencil on him at all times.

A couple of additional notes is that, firstly, he typically carries his saber with him to most areas where such an item is permitted. Secondly, he has a scar over his left eye. He doesn't like to talk about it.

II. Mental Profile.

- Personality -


+ On the surface he is a rather friendly albeit reserved fellow. He conducts himself politely and tries to make good with those around him. If others have problems he will seek to help them however he can should they desire the assistance. Regularly he is fairly busy as he likes to study, filling his head with knowledge pertinent to demons and the trials ahead so that he may be better prepared. Rare is it that he's doing something other than reading with his free time.

Beneath his facade he works tirelessly towards the goal of the Warriors of Divine Light, that being to destroy demons. He pretend to be friendly and aloof largely as a defense mechanism. He cannot allow himself to grow close to anyone as at any moment their lives may end violently. He cannot afford to care about others until he finds the strength to right what's wrong with the world. On the other hand he cannot be cold to his allies and risk alienating them should he need their assistance. He maintains relationships largely out of job necessity rather than an actual desire to have company.

At his core he has suffered a great deal. He is bent for revenge against the one who wronged him and everything around him is an asset, a means to an end. That is not to say he holds no empathy for those around him but he has a bone to pick with one particular demon and all other demons have fallen on his bad side as a result. Still, he'd rather build bridges as opposed to burning them so as long as someone doesn't do something so foolhardy as to try and bar him from his mark he can still work with them.

Given his background he is utterly driven to grow in power so he will never be at anyone else's mercy. There is not a thing he feels stronger about than this.

- Likes -


+ Writing: Fairly natural for him given his powers.
+ Drawing: Another paper based art form he practices.
+ Paper: Anything made of paper is good for him.
+ Cool Colors: He prefers darker shades and cool colors such as blue, purple and black.
+ Creativity: The mind is a beautiful thing that is meant to be expressed, not squandered.
+ Politeness: There's no good reason not to show a modicum of decorum.
+ Fancy Words: All the better to express ones idea's more vividly with.
+ Dependability: A dependable person is a valuable asset.
+ Chaos: Discord leaves opportunity for the weak to succeed where success would ordinarily be impossible.
+ Winter: Freshly fallen snow is marvelously scenic. Truly inspiring.

- Dislikes -


+ Fire: A natural weakness of his.
+ Water: Another natural weakness of his.
+ Computers: He's naturally prejudiced against digitization as it makes him feel outdated.
+ Summer: Between the oppressive heat and the people walking about in scant clothing there's little about summer he welcomes.
+ Demons: They've caused him a great deal of suffering. He's spent most of his life training to kill them. No doubt about him disliking them.
+ Arrogance: A quality often found in demons. He detests it wherever it may be though.
+ Incompetence: A chain is only as good as it's weakest link and he loathes to hinge his plans on the capability of these "Weak Links".
+ Blood: It's both red and water based. Also there are some bad memories tied to the sight of blood. He prefers to avoid the stuff when he can.

- Fears -


+ Losing someone close to him. A fear he's well accustomed to, he is quite reluctant to let anyone become close to him for this reason.
+ Alzheimers. When one depends on his mind as much as him it can be frightening to imagine gradually losing it all.
+ Mental Magic. He both fears and hates this type of magic above all. Any who try to manipulate his mind or emotions for their own ends will earn a very special ire. Full on Mind Control will earn the user his eternal enmity should he ever regain his mental freedom.

- Hobbies -


+ As he is much too busy preparing for the future he really only has time to spare keeping up appearances. One thing he does unrelated to gathering power is that he likes to patron the arts, sparing money for artists he enjoys so they can continue expressing their creativity and enriching culture in general.

- Secrets? -


+ He doesn't speak much about his past. The WDL would probably have more information regarding his history.

- Outlook on life -


+ "I serve humanity first and foremost, no matter what that may entail."

- Affiliation -


+ WDL.

- Moral Alignment -


+ Neutral Good.

III. Statistics.

- Willpower -

+ A.

- Faith -

+ B++.

- Mana Capacity -

+ B+.

- Magickal Proficiency -

+ B.

- Physical Competence -

+ C++.

II. Innate Abilities.

- Active Abilities -


+ None currently.

- Passive Abilities -


+ Paper Form.

While he can assume this form to call this an active ability of his is a bit of a misnomer. It would be more accurate to call this ability "Human Form" since this is simply the process of him reverting to his true self. Upon assuming this form he becomes a completely flat sheet of paper, not unlike a cutout from a poster. His very image becomes a stylized drawing of him self, far more cartoony than his human form. Hard inked lines, striking colors, large eyes, highly expressive expressions and modestly fluid animation. He's the very image of a living drawing though his motion can become somewhat sketchy.

While he can assume any likeness he chooses in this form his default state is his last appearance upon the moment of transformation. Any injuries he sustains in his human form will be depicted on his drawing. They won't hinder him since what's printed on the paper doesn't hinder the paper itself. Upon returning to his human form any injuries he sustained prior to his transform will return as well. If the damages made to his paper body aren't repaired before he turns back into his human form though he'll retain these injuries as well, effecting him as though he sustained such injuries in his human form. Anything he can do with paper normally he can do with himself be it changing his shape, growing it, shrinking it or connecting pieces of it to other pieces of paper. While he can use his manipulation of paper to change his body upon transformation he'll resume his human form since it draws from a preset image of him taken upon reverting to his true form, his paper form.

+ Paper Mastery.

The heart and soul of Rick's very being. On top of being made of paper he possesses a spiritual connection to all paper. He can move and alter all paper however he sees fit. The only thing he cannot do is make paper something that it is not. That is to say he cannot make paper possess the qualities of materials that aren't paper.

In addition he can only exert force over a single sheet of paper up to the limit of his willpower. This force is not divided by the number of papers he is controlling at once but applied at full to each individual sheet.

With this he is connected to all paper. He can inherently feel paper like it was another limb of his, detached but connected all the same. The closer he gets to paper the stronger this feeling becomes and the more refined his control over the paper becomes.

Much like his own body he can even imbue paper with magic. He can infuse them with mana and install spells in them that can trigger however he wishes. In order to imbue paper with magic he must touch it directly. Furthermore he can summon forth any paper he has imbued with his magic from anywhere. He can do this with other articles of paper too but the chance of error grows the further his targeted paper is from him. It also takes effort for him to summon paper that he hasn't invested his mana in and that effort also grows the further his desired paper for summoning is.

Lastly he can learn anything that was printed on paper simply by touching the paper. Anything that is stored in paper that he touches directly can also be stored in his memory. The more information he tries to store in his brain however the more stress it endures. So long as the original information remains on paper he can recall that information instantly whenever he wishes. If the paper with the information is destroyed however he must remember the knowledge he gained the natural way. This aspect of Paper Mastery is always on by default but he can purposefully suppress his ability to store information upon touching paper should he desire not to.

+ Voodoo Paper Doll Syndrome.

While in his natural form, that is to say his Paper Form, any living being that touches paper that he is inhabiting will suddenly and without any visible effect have a red X emblazoned somewhere upon their body. If he is aware as to what is touching his body Rick can consciously control both the size of this X and where it is placed on the subject's body. If he is not then by default the X will appear directly in the middle of their back and be roughly the size of a human fingernail. If the subject is smaller than a fingernail then the X will be the size of it's smallest body part.

So long as this X remains on the subject any damage taken by Rick will be divided in half, the remaining damage taken instead by the X marked subject. If two subjects are marked with Xs Rick instead only takes a third of the damage dealt, the two marked subjects each taking a third of the damage as well. The amount of damage suffered by Rick can be shared by up to ninety nine subjects, all of them suffering a minimum of one percent of the damage dealt. The red X applied to the subject works like a red X drawn on by a red permanent marker. It will wear off over time but cannot be washed off. There are only two non-magical means of removing the red X quickly. One is by removing the section of skin it is applied to. The other mean of removing the red X is with lemon juice. No other juice will suffice.

- Boundary -


+ Not yet.

III. Acquired Magick.

I. Active Magick.



Ice Magic.

+ Ice Javelins {B} (Instant).

"In air cold lances form.
Water turned crystalline spears.
Ice Javelins."

The caster conjures forth four spears of ice, hard sharpened icicles which over over the casters head. They wait above their caster until a target location is designated. When given a target they shoot forth like bullets to pierce through the designated location. The javelins do not track individuals, simply traveling to the designated position in space in as direct a path as possible until they've passed through it or are destroyed. Once they pass the designated location gravity and momentum take over, carrying them along like any other fast moving object.

+ Freezing Spray {B} (Instant).

"Howling frost flows forth.
Like arctic water through silk.
Freezing Spray."

The caster extends their palm and sends forth a shower of freezing energy. This chilling magical force comes out in a cone, intangibly passing through all materials and chilling them to their respective freezing points. For most objects this spell will pass through unabated, freezing all along it's course. Any being or object with Mana Capacity C or higher will block this energy from passing through. It will instead flow around the surface of said being or object, freezing along the surface wherever it touches. This spell's mana cost is proportionate to it's coverage multiplied by the ranked strength of the spell.

+ Titanic Crash {B} (Instant).

"Well beneath the snow.
Ice grinds like tectonic plates.
Titanic Crash."

The caster raises up an iceberg beneath their own feet which they then ride forth, crushing all in their path until they reach their designated location. After reaching said location the iceberg continues on until it's momentum has run dry.

+ Hail Storm {B} (Channeled).

"From the Stratosphere.
Cruel ice strikes down from above.
Hail Storm."

The caster conjures forth a large icy blue arcane circle which hovers in the air, facing whichever direction the caster chooses. For the duration this spell is channeled baseball sized chunks of hail shoot out from the arcane circle in a non-stop volley. The hail doesn't target anything in particular, simply flying out in the direction the circle is facing and letting momentum take it's course. The hail is spat out from random spots in the circle, creating a random storm of rapidly moving balls of ice which pelt anything in their path. Once set the direction the circle faces cannot change. The only way a caster can change the direction of the circle is to end the spell and recast it in the direction of their choosing. The diameter of the circle from which the hail is shot from is determined by the rank strength of the spell. The amount of hail fired is determined by the size of the arcane circle.

+ Ice Rink {B} (Instant).

"With glittering sheen.
The lake's face is hard yet smooth.
Ice Rink."

The caster creates a large flat pane of ice which covers the ground over a designated area. The ice is quite hard yet very slippery. All beings who are standing upon the ground that is being covered will find their feet and any other appendages touching the ground covered in ice, effectively frozen to the floor as the ice forms over and around it.

+ Blizzard {B} (Instant).

"Down does the snow fall.
Clouding skies and eyes alike.
Blizzard."

Upon casting this spell the wind picks up and the weather begins to change. Slowly over the course of an hour a blizzard will form. After the first hour the blizzard will reach it's full potential for however long the caster designates upon casting. After the initial casting the caster does not need to maintain the spell, it will run it's course accordingly. The blizzard can cover up to a several mile radius but can be reduced in size by the caster upon it's initial casting. A smaller blizzard does mean less snow making it less effective overall however.

+ Frost Insignias {B} (Instant).

"Summoned forth sigils.
Imbue my attacks with frost.
Frost Insignias."

This spell summons three floating light blue sigils around the caster. The next three attacks made by the caster are imbued with an intangible freezing energy which will ripple out through the struck object or being, freezing all that it touches. The energy can only travel up to a certain distance before it dissipates. The attacks can range from melee attacks to ranged projectiles and even spell projectiles. Just like with Freezing Spray Frost Insignia's freezing effect only travels through objects or beings with Mana Capacity below C. Otherwise it simply travels along the surface, freezing whatever it touches upon the subject struck.

+ Frost Burst Insignias {B} (Instant).

"Summoned forth sigils.
Imbue my attacks with frost.
Frost Burst Insignias."

This spell functions identically to Frost Insignias however instead of spreading freezing energy throughout the subject struck it instead casts freezing energy all throughout a spherical blast radius around the point of impact. This spell works for all manner of attacks however it is ideal for projectile attacks due to the fact that melee attacks carry the risk of standing inside the blast radius and recieving the effects of the spell as well.


Wind Magic.

+ Updraft {B} (Instant).

"Winds pull to the sky.
Up to the clouds just to fall.
Updraft."

The caster creates a sudden powerful flow of air within a targeted location. All objects and beings under a certain weight who aren't firmly attached to the ground are sucked up by the powerful gust of wind and dragged high up among the clouds by the flow. After a predesignated period of time the spell ends and gravity takes it's course.

+ Tengu Toppler {B} (Instant).

"Down to the green earth.
They fall from heaven's good grace.
Tengu Toppler."

This spell creates a powerful downward surge of air in the sky, bringing all sky-bound beings and objects within a certain limit caught in it's motion straight to the ground. A particularly effective spell against flying targets.

+ Blast Back {B} (Instant).

"In sudden impact.
Fierce winds erupt from my palm.
Blast Back."

This spell creates a sudden burst of pressure that erupts from the caster's outstretch palm, knocking back all beings and objects within a limit inside a short distance in front of the caster. Once cast the caster can choose to either use this spell immediately or hold onto it. If the caster holds onto the spell they must keep their fist tightly closed and cannot cast a separate spell until they release this one.

+ Gust Grenade {B} (Instant).

"Churning with turmoil.
The winds crave to be unleashed.
Gust Grenade."

The caster forms a ball of tightly compact wind in their palm. The longer the caster holds onto the ball the more potent it becomes however it also becomes more volatile. Upon releasing the ball it flies forth from the caster's hand, traveling until it impacts a surface or after a certain amount of time. Upon impact the ball will explode with powerful concussive winds, scattering all beings and objects within it's limits away from the center of the explosion.

+ Wind Tunnel {B} (Channeled).

"Roiling restless air.
Throw away the unworthy.
Wind Tunnel."

Upon casting this spell the winds will flow horizontally along the ground in a single direction of the caster's choosing. All beings and objects that cannot withstand the strength of the winds are blown back, tumbling away to the edge of the spell's effect. For as long as the caster maintains this spell the winds will continue to push anything within the area of the spell in the chosen direction. The width and length of the spell as well as it's strength are proportionate to the spell's rank. The width and length can be sacrificed for greater wind strength however, making for a smaller but more potent stream of wind.

+ Airless Reprisal {B} (Channeled).

"Thankless of air's gift.
Let us see how the strong choke.
Airless Reprisal."

This spell sucks away all air from an area, even from the lungs of all beings inside it. The spell forbids any air from returning to the area of the spell for as long as the caster maintains it. Once the caster ends the spell or their concentration is broken air rushes back in to fill the void.

+ Swallow Stab {B} (Instant).

"High up the swallow.
Swoops and swiftly strikes it's prey.
Swallow Stab."

Upon casting this spell the caster makes a stabbing motion with their fingertips. The air the proceeds to focus all it's force into a miniscule point and shoots forth into the object or being the fingers are pointed at.

+ Wind Wall {B} (Instant).

"Kingdom of the sky.
Protect us with your justice.
Wind Wall."

This spell conjures a horizontal line wherein winds fiercely pick up, blowing back all manner of things. This spell is different from Wind Tunnel in that it covers less area and is much wider as opposed to Wind Tunnel which is far longer. Smaller things like bullets or humans are launched back while far heavier things may pass through albeit with great difficulty.

+ Cloudfall {B} (Instant).

"Mists crawl from the shore.
Lost from their home in the sky.
Cloudfall."

This spell spontaneously creates a thick deluge of white mist that quickly fills a large area of the caster's choosing. The mists are so thick that beings with normal sight can barely even see their own hands, let alone the rest of the area. After a given duration the mists will behave as normal mist does, either blowing away with the wind or eventually settling into condensation.

+ Wrath of Oz {B} (Ritual).

"Emerald winds churn.
The twisting tower rampages.
Wrath of Oz."

With this spell the caster can unleash a devastating tornado that tears apart the land in a twisting maelstrom of wind. It takes an hour to cast this spell and if the caster's concentration is interrupted during the casting the winds gathered by the spell disperse.

+ Wind Insignias {B} (Instant).

"Summoned forth sigils.
Imbue my attacks with wind.
Wind Insignias."

This spell creates three floating ghostly white sigils around the caster. The next three attacks made by the caster are aided by the wind, pushed along with concentrated gusts to accelerate the attack. While this is still handy for melee attacks this spell is especially effective for both regular and spell projectiles. With projectiles not only do the winds offer no resistance, allowing the projectile to travel without any deceleration but it also carries the projectile much further than normal and even allows the caster to designate a target for the projectile to home in on. The winds will gently curve the path of the projectile without slowing it so that it may guide the projectile to it's designated target, even if the target tries to move out of it's way. This applies even to spells that do not ordinarily home in on targets.

+ Wind Burst Insignias {B} (Instant).

"Summoned forth sigils.
Imbue my attacks with wind.
Wind Burst Insignias."

This spell functions similarly to Wind Insignias however instead of guiding the caster's attack along this spell creates a powerful implosion upon the point of impact. All objects and beings caught within the area of the implosion are pulled in by it with great force. Like any Burst Insignias spell this spell poses great risk to those who use it for melee attacks.


Earth Magic.

+ Rock Launcher {B} (Instant).

"Unseen hands hold strong.
Cast forth your stern punishment.
Rock Launcher."

This spell lifts up the largest nearby boulder and launches it in the direction of the caster's choosing. If no boulders are nearby the spell will pull one out of the earth.

+ Fang Pillar {B} (Instant).

"Maw of the mountain.
A long tooth of stone rises.
Fang Pillar."

This spell creates a large stone spike which juts forth from the ground, piercing through what lay above it.

+ Grinding Wheel {B} (Instant).

"Man's inspiration.
Let it crush our enemies.
Grinding Wheel."

This spell raises a massive stone wheel from the ground. Once free from the earth it is then propelled forward, rolling along and crushing all in it's path until it either hits something it cannot roll over or reaches the end of it's path. The wheel cannot deviate from it's path. Once it reaches the end of it's path momentum will take over and it will continue to roll until the momentum is spent or it falls over.

+ Entomb {B} (Instant).

"We bury the dead.
The earth reclaims what it bore.
Entomb."

When cast the caster chooses a target and that target, provided it is small enough to fit within the perimeter of the spell, is encased in a stone box and buried alive. Initially four stone walls will surround the target should it fit after which a stone roof will emerge from the dirt and slide atop the four stone walls. The stone sides all fuse together then they proceed to sink into the dirt. Should the target still be within the stone tomb when it begins to sink they too will sink into the dirt, passing through like like the tomb itself until they are deep beneath the earth where the spell ends and the target is left trapped inside a stone box far below. The dirt fills in behind the tomb as it sinks, leaving the ground a bare square of dirt with no signs of the tomb left behind.

+ Earth to Mud {B} (Instant).

"The earth sees much change.
Stubbornness is an anchor.
Earth to mud."

This spell turns a large amount of dirt into mud, leaving beings and objects that were upon said dirt sinking into it. Spell does not work on stone, only dirt.

+ Earthquake {B} (Charge).

"It splits asunder.
No work's beyond the earth's might.
Earthquake."

Upon casting this spell the ground shakes until the caster releases the spell in full, splitting the ground and creating a chasm. The shaking begins light and grows more intense the longer the caster holds the spell. Additionally the longer the caster holds onto this spell the bigger a chasm they create. This spell reaches it's maximum effect after an hour of charging, unleashing a truly massive split in the earth.

+ Worm Hole {B} (Instant).

"It digs constantly.
Always leaving more tunnels.
Worm Hole."

This spell creates a long cylindrical tunnel, essentially destroying all dirt and stone in the direction of the caster's choosing. This spell does not support the stability of any tunnel formed so caution is advised.

+ Mason's Rite {B} (Instant).

"They master the stone.
Yet the stone is their master.
Mason's Rite."

This spell creates a large stone cube which rises from the ground. The caster can slowly move the stone around freely for the duration of the spell. Once the spell expires the cube remains, sitting idly as stone cubes do.

+ Wall of Stone {B} (Instant).

"We build many walls.
The earth is what keeps us safe.
Wall of Stone."

This spell raises a rectangle of stone from the earth that is fairly tall, very wide and decently thick at the location of the caster's choosing. The stone is partially submerged in the dirt so it is quite difficult to push over.

+ Warden's Salt {D++} (Instant)

"I shall make it known.
We are the salt of this earth.
Warden's Salt."

Conjures a pile of salt.

+ Earth Insignias {B} (Instant).

"Summoned forth sigils.
Imbue my attacks with earth.
Earth Insignias."

This spell creates three floating earthy brown sigils around the caster. The next three attacks made by the caster are enhanced with the power of the earth, granting them tremendous weight behind each attack. While the foes may feel the full force of an earth attack's massive weight the caster will feel no such bulk, completely unencumbered by the weight given. For melee attacks there's little drawback but for projectiles while they may maintain momentum better their drop rate will be twice as quick.

+ Earth Burst Insignias {B} (Instant).

"Summoned forth sigils.
Imbue my attacks with earth.
Earth Burst Insignias."

This spell functions similarly to Earth Insignias however instead of increasing the attack's weight this spell creates a spiked shell of stone around the weapon or projectile which explodes upon contact, sending fragments ripping through the air and whatever else they hit.


Water Magic.

+ Cannon Current {B} (Instant).

"Mouths to lakes below.
Erupt with fervent waters.
Cannon Current."

This spell shoots a geyser of water in a forceful yet narrow burst from the caster's outstretched palm in the direction of the caster's choosing. The current holds together in a cylindrical path until it reaches it's maximum distance. The mana cost of this spell is proportionate to the length of the spray multiplied by the rank strength of the spell.

+ Merfolk's Grasp {B} (Instant).

"People of the deep.
Their slick hand's grip sends shivers.
Merfolk's Grasp."

When cast the nearest pool of water will begin to manifest watery hands that will grasp at the chosen target. Should the being or object targeted be floating in a deep enough pool the hands will drag the target down into the water, pulling the target to the bottom for the remainder of the spell's duration. If the targeted being or object be in a pool that's not sufficiently deep enough or if said target is sufficiently immovable the hands will only succeed in making the target wetter.

+ Purest Liquid {C+} (Instant).

"Our sweet ambrosia.
It shall go untainted now.
Purest Liquid."

This spell purifies up to a certain amount of liquid, removing all impurities and non-magical contaminants as well as magical contaminants of rank C+ or lower. This spell takes into mind what the caster considers to be imperfections within a given liquid and what are intended features of the substance, thus leaving the qualities of the liquid intact whilst purging all other imperfections.

+ Conjure Puddle {C} (Instant).

This spell conjures a fairly large puddle at the location of the caster's choosing.


Lightning Magic.

+ Chain Lightning {B} (Instant).

"Leaping bolts of wrath.
There is no escaping it.
Chain Lightning."

This spell fires a bolt of lightning which strikes it's target then jumps up to five additional times between the targets designated by the caster. If there is a solid obstacle in the way of one of the targets the caster can simply designate a nearby object as a target so long at it's reasonably conductive, allowing the bolt to jump to the conductive object and then to the desired target. If an object is held by a being and that object is one of the designated targets the lightning will strike the object but will not electrify the holder as it's electricity is kept in the object before leaping out. If a target of chain lightning is not close enough to any other designated targets the bolt ceases to jump and ends it's course there. The lightning can jump back to the same target multiple times. If there's only one being the caster wants to target the caster can designate a nearby object allowing the bolt to jump to the designated being a total of three times.

+ Skyborn Bolt {B} (Instant).

"From heavens above.
To the wicked soul below.
Skyborn Bolt."

The caster conjures a bolt of lightning which descends from the sky and strikes the target. If the target is under something then the lightning will strike the first surface between it and it's target instead.

+ Lightning Insignias {B} (Instant).

"Summoned forth sigils.
Imbue my attacks with lightning.
Lightning Insignias."

This spell creates three floating bright yellow sigils around the caster. The next three attacks made by the caster are charged with electricity, releasing a potent charge into the first surface struck. This applies to melee attacks, ranged projectiles and even spell projectiles.

+ Lightning Burst Insignias {B} (Instant).

"Summoned forth sigils.
Imbue my attacks with lightning.
Lightning Burst Insignias."

This spell functions similarly to Lightning Insignias except instead of discharging electricity into the first surface struck the next three attacks made by the caster will expel electricity all around it in a modestly large spherical radius. Like other Burst Insignia spells this spell is quite dangerous to the caster when used on melee attacks.


Fire Magic.

+ Heat Wave {B} (Instant).

"Born without the flame.
The heat sears but consumes naught.
Heat Wave."

This spell emits a wave of heat that travels in a cone away from the caster in the direction of their choosing. The heat is intense enough to inflict second to third degree burns and can melt ice in mere moments. The mana cost of the spell is the area covered by the cone multiplied by the rank strength of the spell.

+ Flame Vanish {B} (Instant).

"As the flame cowers.
Slowly fingers snuff the wick.
Flame Vanish."

Upon casting this spell destroys up to a certain amount of fire. Does not effect fire born of magic rank B+ or higher.

+ Flash Fire {C} (Instant).

"Spontaneously.
Fire erupts out of nowhere.
Flash Fire."

This spell causes a large fire to quickly erupt in the location of the caster's choosing. The fire started by this spell is the size of a bonfire however it only lasts briefly and without materials to burn as fuel for the flame it will vanish just as quickly as it appeared.


Holy Magic.

+ Blessed Waters {B} (Instant).

Upon casting a certain amount of water is transformed into holy water.


Illusion Magic.

+ Hollow Reflections {B} (Instant).

"You see four of me.
But there is only one me.
Hollow Reflections."

By casting this spell the caster creates up to three illusory reflections of their self. These reflections can duplicate the caster's exact actions but the caster is able to choose to control their behavior directly. Controlling an illusion's behavior requires some focus from the caster to manually manipulate them. The illusions only imitate the visual and audio qualities of the caster, acting insubstantial to the remaining senses.


Space Magic.

+ Teleportation {B} (Instant).

"My destination.
It lies not between the ends.
Teleportation."

Upon casting this spell the caster is immediately ripped from their physical location in space and relocated to the designated position with the center of the earth serving as their point of reference. At this stage the caster can only teleport to locations within sight unless they are magically marked by the caster. The spell can send the caster to any magically marked location within ten miles of them. As a safety measure weaved into the casting of the spell if the target location is too small for the caster to fit within or is otherwise occupied by another object or being the spell will instead move the chosen destination to a clear space nearest to the caster's chosen exit point. Usable only in Paper Form for safety reasons.

+ Door to Door {B} (Instant).

"To travel across.
One must open the pathway.
Door to door."

This spell creates a portal between the caster and their destination. The destination of the exit must be visible to the caster in order to open the portals. They last briefly and disappear as soon as the caster passes through them.


Exorcism.

+ Spirit Cage {B} (Ritual).

This is the spell for the binding circle which allows the caster to imprison a ghost within it's confines upon casting. The ghost must be within the perimeter of the circle upon casting in order to be contained. The circle cannot contain ghosts with a Willpower Rank of B+ or higher.

+ Demon Cage {B} (Ritual).

This is the spell for the binding circle which allows the caster to imprison a demon within it's confines upon casting. The demon must be within the perimeter of the circle upon casting in order to be contained. The circle cannot contain demons with a Willpower Rank of B+ or higher.

+ Excise Intruder {B} (Ritual).

This ritual is designed to purge a ghost or demon from a body it is possessing. It can be an exhausting process where the caster battles their willpower against that of the demon/ghost. It can sometimes last up to days before a demon or ghost is driven from their host.


Miscellaneous.

+ Auric Flare {B} (Instant).

"Shining yet unseen.
My incandescent message.
Auric Flare.

The spell creates no visible effect to the naked eye but to those who can see auras it produces a magical aura that shines with an intensity fierce enough to hurt the eyes of those who look upon it. For all it's brightness it lasts a fairly short amount of time. As they say, the candle that burns twice as bright lives half as long.

+ Analyze Magic {B} (Instant).

This spell allows the caster to learn all the properties of any spell that is rank B or lower. Only works on a single spell of the caster's choice per cast. Also, this spell cannot identify spells stronger than B+ rank. Among the properties learned about any one spell the process of casting it is not included since it is not a property of the spell itself but rather a technique designed to shape and issue the spell forth into reality.

+ Thundering Flash {B} (Instant).

The caster designates a location and creates a blinding flash of light with a resounding sonic boom, blinding and deafening all beings in range that are susceptible to such effects. The effects are less intense the further one is away from the point of eruption. Shutting one's eyes or turning away can avoid the blinding effect while plugging one's ears with a sufficient plug will negate the deafening effect.

+ Cleanse {D} (Instant).

This spell cleanses all non-magical dirt, stains and other such detritus from the body, apparel and equipment of one being. It also cleanses all magical varieties of filth from a being that are up to rank strength D or lower.


II. Passive Magick.


Ice Magic.

+ Gelid Stasis {B} (Buff).

"The blood starts to slow.
Each pulse slower than the next.
Gelid Stasis."

This spell drastically cools down a being's body without crystallizing the cell, slowing them down without causing any tissue damage. Slowing down the biological processes affords beings who have suffered wounds that would ordinarily kill them an extension on their dwindling life span. Blood flow slows to a crawl meaning on top of bleeding out slower this also means poisons and other toxins carried through the blood stream take longer to reach vital areas of the body. The rate of cellular necrosis decelerates and as the blood slows the required amount of oxygen intake shrinks. This does come with the side effect of greatly reduced body functions for most beings so it is not recommended for times when activity is needed. That is not to say that movement is impossible while under the effects of the spell, just greatly weakened.

+ Arctic Comfort {B} (Ward).

"To embrace the cold.
I empty myself of warmth.
Arctic Comfort."

Allows the caster to resist the effects of extreme cold with fair ease. Provides a mild alleviation against the effects of cold born of magic.

+ Aura of Cold {B} (Buff).

"It goes unperceived.
A grove of chilling essence.
Aura of Cold."

Provides the caster with a chilling aura that drastically cools the environment around them. This spell enhances any and all Ice magic cast within the aura's perimeter.

+ Ice Proficiency {C} (Constant).

As a result of Rick's depth of knowledge regarding this field he can eschew the more complex casting requirements for less complex spells of this field. Given his proficiency rank he can cast C rank spells without need for verbal components, he can cast D rank spells with neither sound nor gestures necessary and can freely manipulate the element at will at an E rank level.


Wind Magic.

+ Faerie Dust {B} (Buff).

"In our weightless dreams.
We take off to Neverland.
Faerie Dust."

Conjures forth a handful of ephemeral dust which, when sprinkled on a sentient being, grants them the ability to fly for a limited duration of time. Those granted flight simply need to will themselves to go in the chosen direction they want to fly. The dust disappears after a short period of time. The speed of the flight is dictated by the rank of the spell.

+ Paper Tussle {D} (Buff).

A spell Rick developed for himself. This spell creates a reactive wind which quickly buffets him with soft gusts born from the air displacement created by attacks. While in his human form this spell does little more than ruffle his clothes but in paper form these gusts can blow him askew from the attack, allowing him to reflexively dodge incoming attacks even if he doesn't see them coming. This spell is ideal against melee attacks but will work against projectiles too, even bullets. Energy attacks that don't create major motion in the air and other non-physical attacks won't create sufficient air displacement to trigger this spell's defense. Since the effects of this spell are fairly mild for most regular beings this spell is fairly cheap to maintain, only meeting the requisites of a basic D rank spell.

+ Wind Proficiency {D++} (Constant).

As a result of Rick's depth of knowledge regarding this field he can eschew the more complex casting requirements for less complex spells of this field. Given his proficiency rank he can cast D++ rank spells without need for verbal components, he can cast E++ rank spells with neither sound nor gestures necessary.


Earth Magic.

+ Tremor Sense {B} (Buff).

"With every footstep.
A signal to guide my way.
Tremor Sense."

With this spell the caster is granted an enhanced sensitivity to the tremors in surfaces they are touching. Not only can they feel tremors they couldn't feel before but they can also pin point which direction the tremors are coming based on their directional intensity.

+ Reinforce {B} (Buff).

"To this metal tool.
Receive the spine of the earth.
Reinforce."

This spell grants enhanced durability to the metal object of the caster's choice. The size of the object and the amount of durability granted is determined by the spell's rank strength.

+ Earth Proficiency {D} (Constant).

As a result of Rick's depth of knowledge regarding this field he can eschew the more complex casting requirements for less complex spells of this field. Given his proficiency rank he can cast D rank spells without need for verbal components, he can cast E rank spells with neither sound nor gestures necessary.


Water Magic.

+ Water Ward {B} (Ward).

"It is my armor.
Shielding me against water.
Water Ward."

This ward protects against water and water magic. Like most wards this spell can be placed on a being or set to cover a chosen location. When placed on a being the ward covers a spherical perimeter covering a radius starting from the direct center of their entirety all the way out to their longest appendage (Or body if lacking appendages). As per any ward spell this ward will shield against the specified fields but at the cost of mana. Once the mana invested in this spell's casting is depleted the spell breaks and is no longer functional, requiring a new ward to be cast for continued defense.


Fire Magic.

+ Fire Ward {B} (Ward).

"It is my armor.
Shielding me against the fire.
Fire Ward."

This ward protects against fire and fire magic. Like most wards this spell can be placed on a being or set to cover a chosen location. When placed on a being the ward covers a spherical perimeter covering a radius starting from the direct center of their entirety all the way out to their longest appendage (Or body if lacking appendages). As per any ward spell this ward will shield against the specified fields but at the cost of mana. Once the mana invested in this spell's casting is depleted the spell breaks and is no longer functional, requiring a new ward to be cast for continued defense.


Illusion Magic.

Invisibility {B} (Buff).

"Like a polished lens.
Their eyes peer through with great ease.
Invisibility."

With this spell the caster can remove their image, concealing them from the sense of sight. They are not however concealed from any of the remaining four senses.

+ Sound of Silence {B} (Buff).

"Down in the forest.
A fallen tree goes unheard.
Sound of Silence."

This spell removes all sound from one being or object for the duration of the spell. When used on a being this includes all equipment on them that can be qualified as "Equipped".


Mental Magic.

+ Mind Ward {B} (Ward).

"It is my armor.
Shielding my mind against it.
Mind Ward."

This ward protects against mind-effecting spells, mind-effecting features of magic from other spells and from mental effects caused by innate abilities. Like most wards this spell can be placed on a being or set to cover a chosen location. When placed on a being the ward covers a spherical perimeter covering a radius starting from the direct center of their entirety all the way out to their longest appendage (Or body if lacking appendages). As per any ward spell this ward will shield against the specified fields but at the cost of mana. Once the mana invested in this spell's casting is depleted the spell breaks and is no longer functional, requiring a new ward to be cast for continued defense.


Exorcism.

+ Possession Ward {B} (Ward).

"It is my armor.
Shielding me from possession.
Possession Ward."

This ward shields those within it's perimeter against foreign entities from attempting to hijack their body through a spiritual invasion. Like most wards this spell can be placed on a being or set to cover a chosen location. When placed on a being the ward covers a spherical perimeter covering a radius starting from the direct center of their entirety all the way out to their longest appendage (Or body if lacking appendages). As per any ward spell this ward will shield against the specified fields but at the cost of mana. Once the mana invested in this spell's casting is depleted the spell breaks and is no longer functional, requiring a new ward to be cast for continued defense.

+ Demon Ward {B} (Ward).

"It is my armor.
Shielding me from the demons.
Demon Ward."

This ward bars all demons that are outside it's perimeter upon casting from entering it. Additionally this spell protects all within it's area of effect from demonic spells and demon magic based innate abilities. Like most wards this spell can be placed on a being or set to cover a chosen location. When placed on a being the ward covers a spherical perimeter covering a radius starting from the direct center of their entirety all the way out to their longest appendage (Or body if lacking appendages). As per any ward spell this ward will shield against the specified fields but at the cost of mana. Once the mana invested in this spell's casting is depleted the spell breaks and is no longer functional, requiring a new ward to be cast for continued defense.


Miscellaneous.

+ Auric Sight {B} (Buff).

"My eyes gaze beyond.
I stand witness to the truth.
Auric Sight."

Upon casting this spell the caster gains the ability to see auras for a duration of time. Auras offer insight into the nature of things in a number of ways. All different types of magic offer a unique aura which applies to all that field's respective spells. The type of spell can be determined by the properties of a spell. A buff will offer a steady glow centralized on the subject while an instant spell's aura will flicker like a flame in the wind. All species have an aura that's unique to them, humans possessing a dull grey aura. These auras also mingle with the emotions of the being. While a human's aura may be dull grey, for example, it may possess a blue inner sphere to represent an underlying tone of sadness. These are the basic notes on auras but there are a fair number of complexities to them that require training to properly identify.

+ Detect Magic {B} (Buff).

This spell allows the caster to see all magic that is not concealed with a masking spell that is more powerful than Detect Magic B. Mana cost is proportionate to the duration of the buff multiplied by the desired ranked strength of the spell.

+ Arcanist's Eye {B} (Summon).

"Phantasmal vision.
Let me see past my limits.
Arcanist's Eye."

The caster summons an intangible, invisible flying eye which sees for them for the duration of the summon. For as long as the eye is present the caster's sight will be moved into the eye, losing their ability to see directly in exchange for the ability to see through this eye. While active the caster can directly control the motion of the eye with their will. This eye does not count as the caster's eyes for the purposes of sight effecting magic. Bright flashes and other similar sensory overloads still apply however. The speed of the eye is dictated by the rank of the spell. Despite being invisible the eye does possess a magical aura since it is a spell.

+ Magick Shield {B} (Ward).

This Spell is also a fundamental Spell given to any and all Mages expected to go up against those with higher physical capabilities than themselves. The Magick Shield is constantly active around the user, a subconscious barrier used to prevent serious injuries that would otherwise be inflicted. The general purpose of the Magick Shield is that it was created to help Mages survive being thrown through buildings, attempt to prevent injury from their own Magick being used in close quarters, and also to provide a degree of resistance against other damage. The Magick Shield, however, is created to deal with Magickal Beings- an Oni's punch will be absorbed by the Shield, of course, but a round from a rifle will still go straight through. The Shield is powered by the Mage's subconscious, lessening impacts with large objects, powerful blows, and making it possible for a sufficiently powerful Mage to shrug off even flames with it active. They also prevent Magicks being activated inside the body of a Mage, preventing the instant death of many Mages.

Sheer Willpower and Faith cannot destroy a Magick Shield, only enough firepower or the right type of attacks. Magick Shields are very thin, so anything capable of piercing them will do so. Bullets, spears, knives, thrusting attacks and the like will all penetrate the Shields unless the Mage has sufficient power to block the blow, making it bounce off as any other attack would. However, the Mana cost will grow quite high upon doing so and it requires the Mage's reflexive action to block anything particularly fast. As a result, piercing weapons seem to be the greatest advantage against those who use Magick, alongside guns with rapid fire capabilities.


IV. Acquired Skills.

- Acquired Skills -


+ Fencing {Skilled}: "Saber to be precise."

+ Polyglotism {Skilled}: "I've studied a wide variety of languages. I've had many opportunities to practice them too."

+ Driving {Trainee}: "I do drive here and there."

+ Meditation {Skilled}: "With so much to learn sometimes a little emptiness is healthy for the mind."

+ Concentration {Master}: "There is no distraction that can sunder my focus."

+ Dodging {Skilled}: "The best defense is to never get hit to begin with."

+ Art {Master}: "My work with paper has given me a keen eye for the finer details of the artistic field."

+ Multitasking {Skilled}: "I find there's never a point in life where there's less than two issues demanding my attention at once."

+ Kung Fu {Adept}: "Mantis style to be precise."

+ Observation {Skilled}: "Keen senses and a keen mind are a potent combination."

+ Sleight of Hand {Skilled}: "This may sound corny but pick a card, any card."

+ Precision {Skilled}: "Fencing would imply I have a fair degree of precision already but I suppose the honed quality itself deserves it's own special mention."

+ Cooking {Trainee}: "I may never astound my company with my culinary skills however it is sufficiently refined for a simple yet elegant life style."

+ Study {Master}: "I've spent at least half of my years of training in the library. I know my way around them."

+ Geometry {Skilled}: "The scientific understanding of space is rich indeed."

+ Astronomy {Adept}: "Though a science understanding the stars can also yield further mystical understanding."

+ Supernatural Lore {Skilled}: "I've had many a lesson on the world kept hidden from most."

+ Swimming {Trainee}: "I'm no olympian but I can tread water decently."

+ Firearms {Trainee}: "I've done basic practice with all varieties of firearms. I care little for them but they serve their function well."

VI. Equipment.

- Weaponry -


+ His swiss saber, a fairly basic blade with a weak enchantment to protect against rusting. The handle has a secret compartment which houses enchanted scrolls within.

+ A vast variety of scrolls and cards enchanted with spells.

- Vehicles and Constructs -


+ (Undeclared.)

- Miscellaneous -


+ A magnifying glass enchanted to allow the user to see auras through it.
+ A paper magnifying glass with a translucent paper lense also enchanted to allow the user to see auras through it. A backup just in case a naughty demon decides to steal his main one.
+ A satellite phone designed to make calls nearly anywhere in the world so long as magic isn't tampering with the signal.
+ Paper is hidden throughout his outfit.

VII. Biography.

December 26, 2003.
Subject: Rick Brackwall.
Birth Date: December 31, 1991.

Incident Report: "When they found him he had been sitting at the kitchen table. A gun was sitting on the table top. The rest of his family was found dead. It appeared to be a multiple suicide. His left eye was bleeding profusely. It was later discovered to be a knife wound.

As the event had tripped the radar agents had been dispatched to locate the child, observe the situation and act from there. They determined it best to extract the child and take him back to headquarters. We had him taken to get his eye healed. They did their best but some staining and scarring remained."


VIII. Miscellaneous.

+ Rick's Theme.

Baka Baka no desu yo. - Now with extra block puzzle solving action!

So begins...

Rick Brackwall's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Sibyl Faivre Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait:
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#, as written by zody
One week prior to the Fifth Child's awakening.

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

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

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

Regards,
M.S. R."


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






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

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

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

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

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

"Doctor,

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

- The Principal."


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

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

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






Five days prior to the Fifth Child's awakening.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Asmodeus frowned.

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

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






Two days prior to the Fifth Child's awakening.

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

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

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

He needed a better job with less health hazards.

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

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

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

JJ.
'

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

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

Dat Boi.
'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well, that was fun.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Iggy-wiggy, I'm home!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Send. Again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A huntsman spider.

A spider.

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

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

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

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

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

Hell.
Fucking.
No.

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

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

The elevator doors opened.

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

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

Good enough.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well.. time for a roadtrip, it seemed.






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

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

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

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

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

He had to stop this.

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

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

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

Well, shit.
"Well, shit."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"I'm so sorry."

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

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

Jojo didn't make it back to his car.

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

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






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

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

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

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

"Rick,

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

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






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

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






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

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

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






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

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

The cake had a heart on it, this time.






The day of the Fifth Child's awakening.

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Eine Minerva Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Zalgo
Birds were singing, flowers were blooming, the sun shined in through the window above his bed.

And the infirmary held new guests.



Rick Brackwall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Last Night.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

_
Rick met her own eyes in return.

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sibyl Faivre Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Tanman
Ashley “Ash” “Soot” Clade
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2 Months Prior to the Fifth Child’s Awakening.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

"Run!"

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

Setting

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Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Candice Hallows Character Portrait: Eine Minerva Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Zalgo
Rick Brackwall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

Image

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Sibyl Faivre Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade
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#, as written by zody
The Good Doctor.


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

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

"Come in."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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











The Vampire.


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

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

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

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

But a name was required.
A name..

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

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

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


Send.











The Good Doctor.


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

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

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

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

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

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






The 'Hero'.


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

"Oniisama, it's all right now."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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






The Good Doctor.


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

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

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

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






The Good Doctor.


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

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

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

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

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

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

"How do I start?"











The Vampire.


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The Good Doctor.


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

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

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

"Shall we?"











The Vampire.


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

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











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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Eine Minerva Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Zalgo
Rick Brackwall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Welcome to the WDL Headquarters."