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Eine Minerva

"Ich bin das Licht aus Gott" WIP.

0 · 1,099 views · located in The Earth, 2017

a character in “A Tale of Seven Children//Rebirth”, as played by zody

Description

Image


"Stay with me. I'll protect you."






~ Physical Profile ~


- Name -
    "My name is Eine Rose Minerva."
    + Eine Minerva.
- Physical Age -
    "Hm? Did you need something?"
    + Mid to late twenties.
- True Age -
    "Hm?"
    + Mid to late twenties.
- Gender -
    "Ah, erm, ich bin eine Frau.."
    + Female.
- Race -
    "I'm a human."
    + Human.
- Subspecies -
    "Urm, hm?"
    + N/A.
- Description -
    "Mmm.. Do I.. have to answer that?"
    + Eine Rose Minerva stands at roughly above average height. Her pale skin is barely touched by the sun due to her time indoors, bleached white from the artificial light of computers and machines. Her white hair is tinged with a tad of reddish purple, flowing down to her thighs in thick locks and ending in a pure purple colour. Her hair frames her face, covering her ears and also covering the right side of her face somewhat. Bandages are visible covering most of the right side of her face, although the bandages don't touch her mouth or nose, mostly located over her eye.

    In fact, those bandages cover the entirety of right arm, right leg and torso. She never takes them off, and constantly adjusts them to keep her right side hidden. Her form is usually covered in a white suit, complete with white gloves and shoes. Around her neck is a white scarf, and around her left arm are her two armbands- one signifying her Paladin status and the other being an armband given to all WDL medical staff.

    Eine's violet eye constantly gazes kindly at those it comes across, and she always has a polite, kind smile on her lips. Eine has quite the intimidating presence due to her powers, and even suppressed it's still noticeably worrying.

    Eine also speaks with a fairly noticeable German accent, and sometimes drops back into German speech. Expect lots of 'Das', 'und' and 'gut'.
    "Das ist.. nicht gut.."

- Any differences from your provided image/s -
    + Eine doesn't wear that outfit, always found in her white suit- she has multiples, of course.






Image


"Let me help you."

~ Psychological Profile ~


- Personality -
    ""Ja, das ist gut? .. Nein? Ah.. Verdammt.."
    +

- Likes -
    ""
    +
- Dislikes -
    ""
    +
- Strengths -
    ""
    +
- Fears -
    ""
    +
- Hobbies -
    ""
    +
- Secrets -
    ""
    +
- Outlook on Life -
    ""
    +

- Affiliation -
    "I am a proud... member of ze Warriors of Divine Light."
    + The Warriors of Divine Light.

- Moral Alignment -
    "Leibe ist der Weg."
    + Lawful Good.






~ Combat Profile ~


Image


"The bloodshed.. must stop."

- Major Abilities -
    "Quote."
    + Licht aus Gott (Light of God) - A power given to Eine and Eine alone, making her capable of giving and ending life as she pleases. Her main healing skill.

    "Quote."
    + Rosenkranz des Himmels (Rosary of Heaven) - The power of Heaven constricts those chosen by Eine.

    "Quote."
    + Schadenfreude (Malicious Joy) - Power from their pain.

    "Quote."

- Minor Abilities -
    "Quote."
    + Blühende Seele (Blooming Soul) - A booster for a single person, giving them strength 10 times their current and, for a few moments, giving them an endless supply of stamina and strength. Used on demons, it causes them to explode violently.

    "Quote."
    + Befreiung Feld (Liberation Field) - A field that increases the power of those inside, while also regenerating their bodies, minds and spirits. It also removes any debuffs.

    "Quote."
    + Heftiges Licht (Violent Light) - Light that can sear all; holy, unholy or those in-between.

    "Quote."

- Special Ability -
    "Quote."
    + Ende der Welt (End of the World) - Power enough to destroy the world.

    "Quote."

- Equipment -
    ""
    +

- Minor Skills -
    ""
    +






~ Faction Profile ~


Image


"Ran out of ammo.. Hm."

- Faction -
    "I am loyal to any cause that.. prevents darkness."
    + Currently the Warriors of Divine Light.
- Rank -
    "I'll help you out with anything, okay?"
    + Paladin (Also Chief Medical Officer with her Medic Armband on her arm below her Paladin Armband.)
- Class -
    "I prefer to, um, avoid combat, actually."
    + Defensive Magic.
- Title/s -
    "Ah, I don't have any formal titles."
    + Reverse Angel.
    + Germany's Guiding Light of Hope.
    + The WDL's Premier Nurse.
    + 'Most Likely to have a Huge Secret 2016' winner.
- Loyalty Level -
    "My loyalty is to the light."
    + 9/10.






~ Miscellaneous ~


Image


"May God be with you."

- Biography/History -
    "Please, don't ask."
    +
- Other -
    ""
    +

- Character Themes//Name -
+ "" - [url]Name[/url], by Artist.[/list]

""



""

So begins...

Eine Minerva's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Eine Minerva
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

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#, as written by zody
-| ? |-
-| Jonathan Black |-Image


Jojo stepped out of the building, humming to himself softly. The staff had been nice enough, taking his confusion in stride as he'd helped the poor, confused Jojo out. His wallet was fairly full now, and he'd been lucky enough to find an atm that let him withdraw dollars in the exchange. Taking a few steps, he paused for a moment a little down the street. He spun around, coming face-to-air with Illusion. He looked down, raising an eyebrow. She held out a letter, grinning widely. "Lusy forgot to mention this, but we issue standard cards to our staff that acts as a credit card- all funds given per month and per hunt are automatically put onto this card, so be careful with it. You lose it, you're broke~" A playful smirk sat on her porcelain face, and Jojo reached over to grab the envelope. Illusion pulled it back, smirking, and giving Jojo a wink. "Buy Lusy dinner, first~" Jojo's eyebrow went up, and the vampire floated up in front of him and flicked his nose. "Lusy's just messing around, onii-chan." Her grin was sly, and Jojo took the envelope from her and she floated a bit around him. "Y'know, for someone who got in a brawl with a Tsuchigumo, you got out pretty good. You're alive, for one. Lusy thinks it'd be bad for you to get any more spider scares, though." Jojo narrowed his eyes, starting to walk. His assumption was right- she hovered beside him as he walked. "Anyway, now that you've got your cash settled, you're going shopping, right? Dinner preparations?" She grinned. Jojo had a bad feeling about what she was leading up to.

"So you're sharing your apartment with Dawn."

"I called it."


Illusion shrugged. "She came outta nowhere, y'know? So for now she'll be sharing your apartment. I'd suggest taking your little sister elsewhere. Or not. Up to you, but.." She grinned awfully wide. "Nevermind, your choice. Anyways, Lusy'll leave you alone now. Although.." She pushed her hand into a portal and withdrew it, pulling out a small yet thick, leatherbound book. It was locked with an odd contraption, a mix of key lock, combination lock and some other lock with a sharp pin in the middle of it. She offered it to Jojo, who took it. "You went through my stuff?"

Illusion laughed, sitting cross-legged midair and rolling her eyes. "Um, nooooo~ Lusy swears she didn't. Lusy doesn't swear she didn't catch the book when someone else dropped it while lookin' through your stuff- that person most definitely was not Lusy, mind chu!." Giving the floating vampire a somewhat stern look, only to be met with her trademark cheshire grin in return, Jojo sighed and smiled. "Thank you. Is everything else in my room, though? No more.. missing objects?" Illusion shook her head, spinning midair to sit upside down- defying gravity seemed to be her forte at this point. "Nuh uh. Everything's in your room. We have.. friends.. who move the.. thingies."

She waved her hand dismissively, her grin changing into the slightest of smiles. "Remember, it's my job to take care of you guys, so if you need anything," she pointed her hands at him, giving him fingerguns and an upside-down wink, "let Mama Lusy know, mhm mhm?" Jojo put his hand on his hip, nodding. "Thank you, Illusion. I'll keep that in mind. Oh, and, uh, thank you for the food earlier." Illusion shook her head. "Nono no no. Lusy. Call me Lusy!" She pouted, rotating midair so she was sitting the right way up again. "L-u-s-y. I'm too cute not to have a nickname, you baka, onii-chan. O-n-i-i-c-h-a-n~ Vesper is so cute when she speaks Japanese, right? Lusy was surprised that she even had emotions!"

Jojo laughed. "She's really got that kuudere reputation going on, huh? It's nice to see her again. It's been years, after all. I learned a bit of Japanese from her way back when, but it's been a long while, so I'm super rusty with it." Illusion put her hand in her palm, giving him a look. "Dun'chya think it's weird that you know two of these peoples, though?" Jojo nodded. "Definitely. But it's a good excuse to see them again, anyway. And the others seem like pretty alright people. I think I'll enjoy my time here, honestly. Although, if Dawn is staying, will Iggy be coming along too, I wonder?" Illusion raised an eyebrow. "Another harem member, huh?" Jojo blinked and gave her a look. "Huh?" The loli vampire just giggled and waved her hand again. "It's a joke, Jojojo, but pets are allowed. Might wanna inform your roommate of that."

Jojo nodded, before pausing. "Wait, aren't you in a meeting right now?" Illusion grinned and clicked her fingers, another copy of her popping into existence out of literal thin air. Jojo blinked, shaking his head and pouting. "Holy shitballs.. How do you even do that? More importantly, can I do that?" Illusion just shrugged. "Lusy's an amazing multitasker and no~" Jojo gave a disappointed click of the tongue, before coughing softly. "Well, it's been nice chatting, but I should probably go hunt down a supermarket before it gets dark. Gotta get some dinner, then I gotta hunt down Vesper.. Plus I also need to set up some stuff before I decide to sleep." Illusion shrugged, doing a flip midair before grinning. "I'm getting a few weird looks because I'm spacing out just a little in the meeting. So, so boring, y'know? No? Good. Don't do meetings, kid. Anyways, Lusy says take care, so take care~!" With that, her copy vanished before she herself floated downwards, dropping into the ground and vanishing into the cement path before vanishing completely. Jojo stood there for a moment, confused about what he'd just seen. Did she.. really just sink into the ground? Jesus Christ that's weird and cool at once.






Jojo lay on his bed, eyes closed. He hadn't specified anything about the meeting with Vesper- and later meant, well, any time. At least where he came from. A pang of hurt hit him in the chest- 'catch up later' was something.. He shook his head, exhaling hard. He'd originally intended on having Vesper over for dinner, but he hadn't been able to find her. Admittedly, he hadn't looked very hard. The more time he spent alone, the more he felt the need to just sit back and.. think things over. He'd already text Dawn to let her know that she was apparently sharing his room, so he could sit back and relaxed, think about everything, and then probably sleep.

"Okay.. let's order this.. First thing's first, I got attacked by a creepy spider lady who thought I was basically the Devil incarnate- and she was right, apparently. I could've died there, but instead I almost killed her?" He paused his inner monologue, biting his lip slightly. He hoped she'd gotten away safely- sure, she tried to kill him, but it was just a misunderstanding. Not to mention that she'd eventually given up and let him survive. He had no doubts in his mind that she could've killed him when she had the chance, but for some reason she chose to escape.

It might've been wishful thinking, but he hoped she actually held back on killing him for more of a reason than just 'kill him and die versus let him live and kill him later'. Illusion had brought up a valid point about there possibly being more, or another visit from the last spider lady he'd met.

Secondly, he'd met both Vesper and Caius again in the same day- in the span of less than ten minutes, no less, and they were all tied together by this 'Devil's Blood' deal. What did that even mean? What did that entail? He knew that he wasn't human- he'd proven that when he somehow managed to fight off the spider lady. On top of that, he was now across the entire country in a place where the supernatural was commonplace and apparently magic was an everyday thing-

Magic.

Resurrection magic.

Jojo's eyes opened and he shot up from his laying down position, immediately rocketing off of his bed and blasting out of his room. It'd been so long, far too long, but if he looked, it was possible, surely. The door to his apartment slammed loudly as he practically sprinted down the hall. The elevators were in use, so he took the stairs instead, leaping down them at the risk of tripping and hurting himself. It was a few hours since lunch was over, now, the sun starting to vanish below the horizon. An expression of determination was etched onto Jojo's face, the thought of his younger self and the bogus ritual spurring him on. If he ran into any of the other Seven or Dawn, he'd slow down only a little and give them an acknowledging nod before rushing off again.






Jojo'd been jogging for about 10 minutes when he found the library. It was still open, apparently being open 24/7. He leaped up the steps, taking three at a time before slowing down as he walked into the library. He looked around it, biting his lip. The library was divided into two sections- 'human' and 'supernatural'. Jojo browsed the human section for a few moments before realising that was the 'regular' portion of the library. Almost jogging, his hurried pace was probably quite noticeable. He made his way over to the 'supernatural' section, looking at the aisles for anything related to 'necromancy' or 'resurrection'- anything to do with spirits would do, actually.

He'd been in there for easily 10 minutes, frantically browsing every shelf he saw for something, anything, related to what he sought. His eyes darted from book to book, and he bit his lip. Sure, what happened happened a long, long time ago, but he wanted to see. Wanted to make sure..
His activities had undoubtedly not gone unnoticed by other residents in the library, and Jojo was far too absorbed in his search to really notice anyone calling to him. His attention completely absorbed by his anxious searching, he scanned bookshelf after bookshelf.

Rick had been sitting at a table, one hand on a book regarding the topic of necromancy, particularly the binding of souls. Having learned of several methods he might go about trapping the souls of the freshly departed he had stood and was on his way out when he noticed JoJo slip into an isle of bookshelves. It piqued his curiosity since it was an isle he had procured some of his reading material from, not to mention JoJo did not seem calm in his mannerisms.

Following up behind him he could see the man pouring over the spines of various books. Sidling almost silent he approached JoJo from behind, casting a glance over the titles he was going over.

"I'd say given your vivacious searching you are looking for a title on a particular subject, no?"

Jojo jumped. The sound of a voice signalled that someone had found him at least a little suspicious, and while he didn't particularly mind conversation, he didn't really want to waste any time when he had books to find. He whirled around, an excuse on his tongue before he realised it was Rick, in fact, who had spoken. A sheepish grin sliding across his face, Jojo reached up and scratched the back of his head. "Ah.. Yeah. A thought just hit me so I kinda, uh, ran over here to see if there was anything on the.. subject.. here." As he spoke to Rick, he looked to the side, reading the names on the spines of the books on the other shelf- he could chat, but he really needed to see if there was anything relevant to his search. Inwardly, he wondered. Sure, Rick seemed like a hardworking, studious person, but how silly was it that they'd met out of chance? For a moment, Jojo wondered if every one of the Seven had some sort of psychic link that drew them together- it'd explain how he'd met both Caius and Vesper, and how he seemed to keep running into people.

He grinned a little wider, turning to Rick. "What're you doing here, anyways? Working, I assume?" His sheepish grin shrank a little, turning into a small, warm smile. Rick was his sibling after all, so being warm and courteous was a given. However, Jojo did have one bone to pick with him, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do it.

"Your paper. I still want an explanation." His smile was still sincere, but his eyes were narrowed slightly. He wanted answers.

Rick listened with care as JoJo spoke, moving through questions at a steady pace.

"Firstly I'm here reading up on spectral restraint and confinement." He answered frankly, making a fine effort of making a dubious topic sound unnecessarily arcane.

"To answer your second question..."

With a gesture of his hand several of the books JoJo had been looking over lifted from the shelf, suspended before Rick as he looked over the titles. Necromantic spells and rituals, forms of spirit conjuration. The mystery to Jojo's visit was starting to lift, albeit not with haste.

"The power I wield is the very same which you used to slay the Tsuchigumo."

Moving one finger forward after another Rick set each of the five books he removed back upon the shelf they once rested upon.

"What binds us together is also what makes us different. My affinity is paper. You will discover yours tomorrow."

With that he calmly folded his hands behind his back, his face cool but with the slight hints of a pleasant smile.

"I can see you are looking to deal with the dead. Might I ask who?"

He could only refrain so much from keeping his question from sounding accusatory, even with his intent being entirely benign.

Jojo stared in wonder at the magical floating books. He blinked, narrowing his eyes as they casually floated in front of his eyes. "Whoa.. Paper, huh?" He would've commented further, but by the time he'd actually spoken the books were already back in place. He shook his head, fixing Rick with a look. "I didn't slay anything. She decided to run away, although.." his worried look wasn't at all subtle, giving away his emotions freely. "I did hurt her pretty bad, so.. I guess she might have died later on. But it's not like I meant to kill her, y'know? Self defence and.. sudden superstrength?" He hadn't exactly figured out what had happened that night himself, and he let out a hard sigh.

Rick's next question caught his breath in his throat. Being asked about communing with the dead so openly wasn't exactly on his agenda, and Jojo swallowed before replying. He hadn't considered how Necromancy was viewed here at all, so perhaps openly searching wasnt' the greatest idea he'd had. Too late now, in any case. "I, uh.." Still, Rick's question had hit a mark he'd much rather have been left alone.

He half considered ignoring the question altogether, but.. Rick seemed alright enough, and they were family now, after all. Taking a breath to steady himself, he reached over to grab one of the books Rick had levitated and put back. "When I was younger a good friend of mine, uh, passed away. I got really into magic- well, fake magic- and tried to find something to bring him back. It was so unfair, y'know? He was, like.. still a kid and he.." Jojo paused, idly opening the book and scanning through it. His warm smile had disappeared, replaced with a surprisingly melancholy look for someone who, until that moment, seemed like a rather happy and bubbly person.

"Cancer took him way too early, so my younger self tried to bring him back." There was a slight hollowness to his words, a result of his realisation- he could've done it if he'd had the right spell or tools. "But.. I don't want to bring him back, no, just.. I wanted to know if it was possible. He's been gone for years. I wouldn't bring him back just out of my own selfishness, and I doubt he'd recognise me, regardless." His curiosity sated, Jojo placed the book back on the shelf. He turned back to Rick, the smile reappearing on his face, alhough his eyes betrayed his hidden sadness.

"Anyways, souls? That's a pretty interesting topic to be researching. Can I ask why?" His polite, happy tone had returned, and he faced Rick fully. It seemed his momentary sadness has outright vanished.

Rick was not deaf to his concerns. Ultimately he was happy that Jojo was taking the topic with good consideration since pulling up the souls of the dead was not to be taken lightly. As he finished talking Jojo changed the topic back towards him, something becoming an apparent defense mechanism of his.

"Not a topic far off from your own interests to be sure. I'm researching the means of confining spectral entities so as to prevent them from escaping and continuing to harm the living."

As of yet he had not lied but the whole truth was not a toothless subject to approach quite yet.

"For demons death is not so much an end as it is an inconvenience. Their forms can be destroyed and they simply return as their soul need not inhabit the physical form they control in this plane of existence. We have means of drawing the soul out but without a method of keeping them from returning to hell they simply replenish their forces whilst cutting away at the fine men and women you see about here along with any number of bystanders. With their safety at mind containing our spectral foes is a necessity in the long term."

Jojo nodded. "Makes sense. It's a stupidly uphill battle if your enemies just keep returning time after time. Hopefully the whole soul-catching thing becomes prevalent so we can go without many losses. Although.. I figured the WDL must've had some way to outright kill demons. They wouldn't be very worried of Exorcists if that wasn't the case.. Illusion seemed awfully scared of Arthur, but if it just means she gets sent back to Hell, I don't see why she would be." He shrugged, chuckling softly. Probably just reading into things too much, but you'd assume the WDL being the, well, only Exorcist organisation as far as I know of would've developed some sort of anti-Demon weapons."

Giving Rick a look, Jojo nodded. "Well, let me know if you figure out anything cool. I figure it'd be useful knowledge for our, um, assignments? Attacks? Missions? Not sure what they're called, but I assume that we're gonna be dragged into 'em, since.. y'know." Speaking openly about their blood was probably not the best idea in a library- who knows who could hear them?

"Well, now that I've gotten the knowledge I was looking for, I should probably head back to my apartment. And I promised Sis that I'd catch up with her, too, so I should hunt her down." He gave Rick a grin, before pausing. "So, uh, Boot Camp- what're we expecting, exactly? You've gone before, I assume, so do they change it every time, or..?" The sadness from before had vanished completely, and Jojo had settled back into his usual friendly, cheerful, informal demeanour.

As opposed to Jojo's informal demeanor Rick wasn't entirely able to drop his air of formality. Still, his pleasant smile helped to keep his occasionaly military posture and measured motions from coming across as too awkward.

"One thing I'd suggest in preparation is to acquire some holy water, though take care not to get any on yourself... It'd be wasteful"

Much like Jojo he took care not to speak directly of the subject that is their demonic heritage. He infused his last word with a certain emphasis which implied a rather negative result.

"As for Boot Camp it is changed each time so students cannot learn the trials that await them. There are certain factors that remain as a constant such as the matter that it is going to be primarily outdoors. I'd invest in some decent boots before then if I were you."

Rick began to walk, beckoning Jojo to follow him.

"I was on my way back to the dormatories myself. Let's talk for the while since our destinations are coterminous."

Jojo nodded. "Holy water seems like a good idea for sure." He took Rick's warning and made a mental note- if Holy water hurt Demons, it probably hurt them too, so he'd have to be extra careful with it. For one, it'd burn the shit outta him, and secondly he somehow doubted his skin burning away would go unnoticed by anyone nearby. He nodded to himself, affirming his thoughts, before looking back at Rick. "I.. see. So basically a glorified camping trip slash survival test or something? I'll go around tomorrow and see if there's any place I can grab a pair- although I noticed my wardrobe had some uniforms in there already. Are those mandatory for the trip or..?" As Rick moved, Jojo followed. He walked alongside Rick, listening as he spoke. "You use a fair few big words, y'know? It gives your studious nature away a bit. I enjoy reading, myself, but not enough to call myself a scholar or anything." His tone was joking and light, and he kept an even stride with Rick.

"So how long have you been here, if that's not too much to ask? You seem super knowledgeable about, well, everything, so I'd say a fair amount of time." He looked up at the now black sky, the street they walked down lit by rather bright street lamps. "Did you get dragged here after something decided to attack-" He paused for a moment. "Let me know if I'm pushing too far, yeah? I don't wanna cross a line. He gave Rick a courteous smile and changed the subject. If Rick wanted to answer his question, he would, but Jojo wouldn't foce him to. "I really just remember getting chased by this crazy spider lady, then getting tossed in the back of a jeep and waking up in the infirmary this morning. I'm honestly still a little out of it, haha." He chuckled to himself, reaching down with his left hand into his gloved right hand and scratching under it. If Rick looked closely, he'd noticed a bit of black under the glove.

"I just wanna know my new family, y'know? Seems nice to get to know everyone since we'll be here for, uh, forever?"

They made good time in returning from the library, speaking as they walked. "That is fair. I've been quite curious about my recently discovered siblings myself."

Passing under street lights Rick could gleam the hint of something under the glove, possibly a tattoo.

"All I can really say is that few join the WDL without learning of demons first hand. Given the requisites for our sibling's detection there's not one among us who hasn't come here in pleasant circumstances."

Rick sounded more serious as opposed to his earlier manner. It was evident that it was a topic without levity for him.

"I've been here for eleven years. Trained and taught under Arthur, with Candice filling in the gaps. Before long you should get to know them. They are good people, as are many who put their lives on the line in this order."

Rather than let the seriousness of the topic weigh the conversation down he decided to lean it towards more positive aspects, let Jojo appreciate what good the WDL offered.

"Our tasks aren't solely centered around combat either. Any means of helping to prevent demons from hurting the populations of humanity is a valuable, be it through combat, research, healing the wounded or even through diplomacy with the non-demonic entities we share this world with."

He took in a deep breath of the crisp fresh air, a cool breeze flowing past.

"Generally uniforms are required for most formal WDL business. You should have some measure of leeway since you are new recruits so bringing along some non-standard gear won't be too harshly measured, though they will go through your pack prior to leaving. Mainly it's a precaution, keeping recruits from bringing unprescribed weapons and phones. As they say, one bad apple ruins the bunch."

As they walked on they were soon approaching the front door to their dormatories.

Jojo nodded to himself. "So Rick's been here for eleven whole years.. No wonder he's so knowledgeable. And Arthur giving him the leader position makes sense, now. Although.. I wonder what it's like to be trained by the guy? I know he mentioned training us, but his training regime is pretty strict, I imagine. Hopefully it gives me enough time to slack off.. Hah, as if."

Jojo listened in as Rick continued. He briefly wondered who Candice was, but didn't bring it up. Nodding in response to Rick's explaination, he paused. "Non-Demonic Entities..?" Jojo figured everything not human was a Demon, but apparently he was wrong. Although, when he thought about it, why would that spider lady have attacked him for being the Devil if she was a part of his own forces? Inwardly, Jojo nodded to himself. It made sense, now. The world was full of supernatural things, and Jojo had be, erm, 'lucky' enough to get dragged into it. Briefly he wondered if that had anything to do with the mark on his hand, or his mother's sudden..-

Jojo paused, gasping in pain as he reached up and grasped his head, doubling over a little and clenching the fist that wasn't holding his head tightly. He needed to stop.
Stop thinking.
Stop. Thinking.

A few moments later, Jojo let out a long, heavy sigh and straightened up. He looked over at Rick, a small smile on his face, before he spoke. "Migraines. Someone totally put a seal on my memories." It was meant as a joke, but his delivery was off, so it came out only half-joking. He'd heard what Rick had said before his head exploded, and replied, albeit a bit late. "Makes sense that they'd be pretty strict. I imagine the supervision out there isn't exactly the best, so they'd need to be careful.. Although if we have magical powers, weapons, uh, don't seem too useful, y'know? I guess they just don't want any newbies waving around sharp objects around, heh."

Only shortly after Rick spoke he heard Jojo suddenly in the throes of pain. As he keeled forward in pain, clutching his head, Rick's first instinct was to reach for his phone to call for medical assistance. Before his hand could reach his phone however a thought reoccured to him. The mark on his hand. With the possibility of Jojo's pain being magical in origin Rick instead pulled out his new magnifying glass. It was finally time to take this enchanted item for a field test.

However there was nothing. He could see Jojo however there was no aura present around him. Rick pulled away from the glass tool a moment, a confused look on his face. "Hm? I could of sworn this thing was operating earlier." He turned and lifted the magnifying glass in front of the building to see if he could pick up anything. He spotted numerous human aura's, gentle in their emotional color spectrums. In one particular area there were a number of auras closely lumped together, some of them not human in origin.

"It does work... Then what? Could it be-" Before he could continue he heard Jojo speak up behind him. As it was made apparent after Rick turned on his heels to face him Jojo was now fine, having recovered from his sudden pain. Rick reassumed his mask of general friendly professionalism however a hint of confusion still remained.

"... Yes. We do recieve live weapons for training out in Boot Camp but I can suspect they don't want their recruits injuring each other outside of supervision."

Still keeping a bit of an eye on Jojo he opened the front door, stepping through and holding it open for Jojo since he was right behind him.

Jojo raised an eyebrow at Rick, yet said nothing until he was inside. He swore under his breath, reaching up to touch his nose and pulling his finger away. His fingertip was coated in blood, and he swore again. "Jesus Christ, I must be super stressed." He turned to Rick, a sheepish grin on his face.

"Never had a nosebleed before. Uh, anyways, I should probably get this cleaned up.. We'll catch up tomorrow, yeah? I figure we're all supposed to meet here to go to Boot Camp or something." He shrugged, before a bit of blood dripped onto his shirt. "Shit, I got no tissues. I'll catch you later, yeah? Have a good night!" He turned on his heel and jogged over to the elevator, hammering the button a few times.

It was starting to be rather concerning, Jojo's state. Rick could extrapolate that the bleeding might be in connection to some form of magic plighting Jojo but with his aura mysteriously hidden there was little way to identify it. He strolled over beside Jojo as the elevator started to descend. He wanted to inquire about his incident but given his increasingly erratic behaviour Rick deemed a lighter handed approach to be better suiting this situation. He simply produced a blank sheet of paper, one of the few he had remaining in his clip board out of the many notes and pictures he had saved of both Asmodeus and now Jojo, and offered it to him.

"Here. It's not ideal but it's a fair deal more disposable than your shirt."

Jojo gave Rick a thankful smile, taking the paper and immediately turning away and wiping his nose with it. After a few moments he turned back and gave Rick a smile. "Thanks, and sorry. It's a bit embarrassing just casually starting to bleed everywhere, ha." The bleeding seemed to have stopped, but Jojo narrowed his eyes. A migraine, then nosebleed, both occurring when he tried to think-

He mentally stopped himself. He'd already bled enough for that one night. For every night in his life, actually. When the elevator doors openeed, Jojo let Rick move inside first, then followed. He pressed the for the 7th floor and the doors shut. With a groan he cracked his neck, closing his eyes. "What a day, though. Waking up in the infirmary because of last night's spider lady special, then spendng my entire day meeting a family I never even knew I had. Reuniting with two people I haven't seen in years and then suddenly getting a nosebleed. Great time. I'll be leaving a 1 star on Yelp for sure." He grinned, silently hoping Rick got his joke. If there was a time for Rick to ask questions, it'd be now for sure.

Rick ushered a light chuckle at Jojo's summation. "Yes..." He responded in turn. Despite the humour to it there was a fair amount to his summation which was a fair amount of Rick's concern.

"It has been a noteworthy day. I do not prescribe to the frame of thought that coincidences happen simply by happenstance however. In this world of magic and mystery I find most unlikely events are the result of synchronous actions occuring unseen before the naked eye."


Rick looked directly over to Jojo, a mild show of concern as he continued.

"If something is happening and you do not understand it it is highly likely that there is someone that can. Never be afraid to ask people when you lack answers. It could save your life some day."

Sound advice for anyone really. Given the scenario however he hoped Jojo would not see harm in his warning as opposed to taking it as pressure from him to open up more. Just as he finished they reached the floor, the doors sliding open to reveal the hallway beyond.

Jojo nodded, stepping through the elevator doors and giving Rick a small smile. "No point dying when information is right there to be given, right? I'll ask if I ever need anything. No reason to really seclude myself, honestly." He bowed to Rick at the waist a little. "Thanks for chatting with me. It was good. I should probably be going now, though. Got a lot to do before the night is over, haha." He reached over and gave Rick a firm pat on the shoulder and a warm grin. "Have a good night, Rick. Don't stay up too late, yeah?"

With that, he moved to his room and opened the door, giving Rick a nod as he vanished inside and the door locked.

"I shall not. Same to you of course, and good night." He bid Jojo farewell before he disappeared behind his door. Rick himself continued on to his room. His night was not over but he knew not to leave himself exhausted for tomorrow.






Jojo had spent at least 10 minutes cleaning himself up. He glared at himself in the mirror, wiping at the bloody stain below his nose with the wet tissue. With a loud sigh, he tossed the paper into the bin across the room, fist pumping when he got it in. Giving himself one more look in the mirror, Jojo's eyes narrowed.

In one day, he'd met Vesper again, recovered from being attacked by a spider lady, found the weird book that he'd been keeping in his junk box his entire life, and suddenly started getting nosebleeds out of nowhere. Leaving the bathroom, Jojo reached up and rubbed the back of his neck. He felt a little faint, but he figured that was just a side effect of suddenly having your nose shoot out blood. He looked down, noticing the bloodstain on his shirt, and grumbling. Of course he had to get some on his shirt now of all times..

Five minutes later Jojo had changed into a different shirt. A long sleeved, button-up shirt. It was much fancier than what he was wearing before, and it still managed to go with his jeans and shoes. He figured he'd wear white, but he didn't want to stain another shirt, so he chose a dark grey- not quite black, but still fairly dark.

He closed the door to his apartment behind him, pausing for a moment to make sure he locked the door this time. The sky was completely black by now, the sun having set a while ago, maybe half an hour or so? It was going down when he entered the library, and was already down almost fully when he'd left. Moving down the hall, he looked at the names on the walls. He hoped everyone was doing okay. He wasn't the only fish out of water here, so he was a little concerned. Actually, he hadn't seen anyone since lunch aside from Rick.

He knocked on Vesper's door gently, waiting for her to answer it. Admittedly, he should've probably told her he was coming, but.. well, he couldn't really find her when he looked, and he needed to go buy food for dinner. A short walk and maybe a snack while they caught up couldn't hurt, so he figured he'd save dinner for a little later.

Looking up from the book she was reading, Vesper pondered for a moment whether to answer it or to ignore it. She was actually at a good part within the world of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Her face had a notable crease in her deliberation, but her manners won in the end as she placed a rather odd-looking stick of silver as a bookmark and closed it. She then stood from her chair after putting the book at the nearby table.

Her eyes momentarily glance at the wall clock as if asserting that it was rather uncommon for her to have a visitor at this time. Well, actually she was already done with her evening preparations and was now donned in a rather elegant nightdress. Her hair was lightly bound as she positioned its trail over her shoulder and with that appearance, she answered the knock not minding how she would be viewed in her current attire. In the first place, she had been the kind to never bother about such trivial matters.Thus, it was nothing to her as the door to her room opened.

And as if lightning struck, she stood there with her eyes blinking a few times. "...JoJo?" Her head tilted a bit to the side, before she caught herself once more. "Ah, Good evening." Straightening herself, she delivered a graceful half-bow.

Jojo's eyes widened as the door opened and Vesper appeared, dressing in nothing but a nightgown. His cheeks reddened slightly and he turned away, coughing a bit. "Oh, um, heya.." He paused for a moment, turning back to her and throwing caution to the winds. He stepped forward, wrapping Vesper in a tight hug for a few moments before stepping back, and giving her a grin. "I was, uh, gonna see if you wanted to go for a walk and get something to snack on, but you look like you're ready for bed." He chuckled softly, hooking his thumbs into his pockets and looking to the side a little.

The last he remembered Vesper, she was this absolutely adorable little girl- the type whose cheeks you just really wanted to pinch. And now, looking at her, he felt.. strange. She'd grown up for sure, and Jojo caught his grin widening just a little before he coughed again. "Sorry, sorry, it's just surprising to see you in a nightdress." He paused, trying to navigate the waters without making it awkward. He thought about it for a while, and then just mentally gave up and spoke. "You grew up into a beautiful woman, Sis. I figured that'd be the case, but actually seeing you.. well, it's good to see you again." Despite complimenting her in that sentence, the warm smile on his face let Vesper know that he really was happy to see her again, and not just peppering her with sweet words.

"Um, so.. I know I mentioned later and all but.. is this a bad time? I probably should've asked first, but.. I might not have made it obvious, but I've been super keen to catch up with you. Um.. I don't really know where to go from here, though, since you're already ready for bed." His smile turned into a somewhat goofy grin as he stood in front of her. He'd wanted a chance to chat with her, but it seemed like he might've missed that chance..

It was in all a haze for Vesper from the moment Jonathan embraced her. The warmth that she held on in a past time pulled her into a dream. Then somehow, she felt something inside of her resisting to what exactly? She cannot say or even affirm to know it, but the words being uttered by him were like bubbles. He said she was beautiful. There was a prick of a poisonous needle present deep in her consciousness, but none of that showed. Then, he said that he was glad to see her. The needle-like pain dissipated and she could feel that her lips wanted to move.

What was happening with her? It seemed she was in a twisted loop and there was no end in sight. These emotions as they are called play with her as he spoke out of consideration for her desire to sleep due to her current choice of clothes. That goofy smile of his made her feel really fuzzy and without much control, her hand reached out him. This time, it did not stop as it landed on his chest which was followed by another. Then soon enough, she closed the gap between their bodies and her face buried on his chest. "Don't go. Please. Don't go."

Jojo's eyes widened as Vesper touched his chest, and they widened further as she pressed her face into his chest as well. He stood there for a few moments before, with his goofy grin returning, he wrapped her in another tight hug. He sighed softly, putting his chin on top of her head gently as he held her. His voice dropped down to a whisper as he spoke. "I won't, Vesper. I promise that I won't leave you again, okay?" His grip on her tightened a little and he inhaled hard as he clutched her close. Even after all this time, he still felt terrible about leaving. If he could go back in time and stop what had happened-

He stopped himself. He almost thought about that thing again, and by now he knew that that was why he'd gotten his sudden nosebleed earlier. He might've made a joke to Rick about a seal on his memories earlier, but as far as he knew he was actually right. But why now? Why now when he'd thought about it for years? Had her final words to him before she.. left.. recorded on his phone, yet he hadn't gotten nosebleeds then. He couldn't remember his mother at all, yet somehow she still haunted him even this far down the track.

Banishing the thoughts in his head lest he risk bleeding all over his sister, Jojo pulled away slightly. Not far, but enough so that he could look down at Vesper. He smiled lightly, idly stroking her back as she hugged him. "Hey.. Did you wanna go grab a bite to eat..? I know it's late, but.. I'd like to buy you some dinner and chat." His smile grew slightly, not into his usual grin, but a wider, warmer smile.

Promise... That word indeed have a lot of varying meanings for Vesper, but she locked it away. The warmth was more important to her right now. It made her wonder if she was that cold to seek this heat when before, she was never concerned about it. Nevermind, she just wanted to stay this way even for a bit and when he asked her to accompany him, she looked up at him. Those amethyst-colored eyes glittered and her lips freely displayed that innocent smile. "Yes. It would be my pleasure."

Reluctant as it is, she pulled away. It seemed her current attire was not fit for a dinner this night. But, she did not want to waste time. The solution, she reached for a trench coat that was hanging at the rack by her door and then wore a simple lace sandals. There should be no issue if her dress is not seen. She once more presented herself to Jonathan, once more catching herself from her rather unbecoming self. "My apologies for my actions. Should we go?" With that said, the door behind her was closed and locked until she returned.

Jojo raised an eyebrow as she simply shrugged on a trenchcoat and sandals. "You're gonna be alright in that?" He was a little worried about something happening, but he wouldn't say anything more. It was obvious Vesper was intent on leaving immediately, something that brought a grin to his face. He'd missed her so, so much, and it was nice to know that she'd missed him too.

When the question about her choice of clothes was asked in worry, she looked at them again. She wore a black full-length trench coat which reached up to her feet, making it look like a gown that hugged her form perfectly while her white lace sandals add a hint of curiosity underneath the coat when she walks. Generally speaking, she definitely looked like a noble lady of London which was not really a surprise to begin with. After all, her clothes had always been catered to fashion and to the exquisite taste of the rich. Well, it was a gift from her father, all of her clothes were.

"It is fine." She answered simply as she followed him and was glad to be with him. But, it was not easily translated as she remained quiet.

Walking beside her to the elevators, Jojo tapped his pockets. Phone, some tissues, wallet in his back pocket, he was set. The elevator doors opened, and he stepped to the side slightly, letting Vesper go in first before moving in after her and pressing the ground floor button. He turned to her, looking her up and down with a smile. She'd gotten almost as tall as he had, which was weird for him. He remembered her being quite a bit shorter than he was, although she was a few years his junior.

He reached out and paused for a moment; he automatically went to ruffle her hair, but that meant he had to raise his arm. Plus he didn't exactly want to mess up her hair when it looked so good, especially just before they went out. Instead, he put his hand on her shoulder and squeezed softly. It wasn't anything big, but there was affection in that touch, and after a moment he dropped his arm back to his side. "When I was running around earlier I spotted a nice ramen shop. I haven't had ramen for years.. wanna go there? I'll pay, of course." Jojo had every intention of using the funds on his card- although he'd totally by saving up to order stuff later on.

She was kept inside of her once more and was only brought back to the world with his touch and words of ramen. "Ramen?" The said food brought the hymns of a history that weaved between the two of them as she nodded in agreement. "Yes, I would like that." She stood beside him and observed him for a while. "You look good."

Jojo raised an eyebrow at her comment. "I do? Ah, I don't really notice much. I actually put this shirt on because I got blood on my last one. Got a nosebleed a little while ago." He smiled at her, bowing his head slightly. "Thank you, Vesper, you look good too." As the elevator doors opened, he once again let her go first and followed. He wasn't a fancy nor upper-class person by any means, but he knew basic manners were essential to, well, everything.

"So, how've you been? I've noticed you've gotten awfully quiet since we last met." Gazing at her, there was a bit of pain in his eyes, and he reached over and hooked his arm through hers. "Um, actually.. While I'm on this topic.." They'd almost reached the exit from the dormitory building before he stopped, unhooking his arm from her and turning to face her. There was an expression on his face- one Vesper had probably only seen once before when he left her- and he looked down. "I'm sorry." The words were barely audible, and Jojo's entire frame seemed to go stiff. "I.. should've stayed. I should've not let my uncle break my phone or stop me from contacting people. I.. should've done a lot of things that I couldn't.."

He paused for a while, then looked up at her and grabbed her hands tightly with his own. His eyes was a little wet, and he gave her a sad smile. "But now I won't be dragged away again. Now I won't leave you unless.. I won't leave you unless I die." There was a seriousness to his words, a promise not only to Vesper but also to himself. His eyes, although wet, were set in determination. He'd never forgiven himself for having to leave her when she needed him, and he never would, but at least now he could try and make things right.

She looked at their hands, as he held onto hers. His feelings were filtering through it. He had gone through a lot whether she was there or she was not. That was something she knew without a doubt. There was a moment of silence before, she lifted her eyes and met his. "There is nothing to apologize for." She raised her hands which made his as well and half-way, her lips touched his knuckles like a fluttering drop of rain. "We have our own trials. We must get through on our own." She then raised her head while tiptoeing in order to at least level her head with his.

Her face had indeed lost its capacity to express her emotions so freely. It was indeed a definition of a pristine expression carved in porcelain. But, her eyes held that emptiness. Then again, there was a sparkle filled with sincerity. "It is impossible to come out of it unchanged. But, I never once blamed you for not being there." She then closed the gap by pressing her forehead against his, but instead of that, she was only able to make their noses to touch by their tips. There was still a relative difference of height after all. "This time, let us not let go of each other, Onii-chan." Her voice delivered that sweet serenity and that endearing tone as a smile once again was present on her lips.

Then, she pulled back regaining her proper stand. Her smile becoming a dream. "That is why do not die, because I will do too." Somehow, there was something eerie in those words, but whether she meant something about it or a simple deliveration of her honest desire. That was left up to the wind.

His smile widening, Jojo hooked his arm in hers once more and began leading her out of the building. He had so much to ask her, to talk about.. He wouldn't let this chance go to waste. Going silent for a little while, he looked over at her, before speaking again. "Say, Vesper, what's your relationship with Rick? Sorry if I'm being awfully blunt, but I'm curious." There as nothing in his voice but curiosity, and was seemed to be happiness? If Vesper had indeed found love, he was happy for her.

He ignored the voice in the back of his head reminding him that he was a failure.

"Rick?" She looked at Jonathan as her head was in a state of wonder. The facts were being pieced together before she answered. "He is my senior and much like you and the others. He welcomed me when I came here." Her arm linked with his was a nice gesture as she pushed a bit closer to him, for the warmth she wanted was with him. "He was tolerant of me. I feel safe with him."

Jojo nodded, smiling. "I noticed you holding his arm earlier. I, uh, kind of assumed you two were, erm.. intimate." A sly grin formed on his face as he lead her to the Ramen bar, his arm hooked around hers the entire way. Every now and then he looked over at her, his smile growing for a few moments before he looked back. He didn't at all mind how close she was, and after so long of not being able to cuddle with anyone, he wasn't in a position to deny her.

She blinked her eyes as she heard the word intimate. The definition of the word echoed inside her head and she stopped on her tracks as she assessed the proper meaning being relayed to her. There was a slight crease on her forehead, but only for a moment. It then made her lower her head as to hide her face from his eyes. Her free hand reached for the collar of her coat and gripped on it. "We are not like that." Her voice did not reflect a strong vindication, though it held a deep tone of resistance. "He... He is Rick." There was not much of a difference from her seemingly known indifference, but if one looks at her ears. They were like blooming madly in crimson.

"I only did that, because I did not want to intervene between you and Dawn." She was still not lifting her head, but the crimson color was reaching her neck now which was peeking through the collar and her hair. "She is important to you. I know my place." Her voice returned to its placid tone as she began to cut off the colors brandishing itselves inside of her. "Is it fine for me to have you right now?" Still, she was not looking at him, but the red is receding to a pink hue.

Jojo paused for a moment- he'd stopped when she had, and he reached out and touched her shoulders. He gripped them firmly, looking at her. "Oi. Listen here, Vesper." His tone was awfully serious, and he gave her a stern look. "You're important to me too, you know. Dawn and I are just friends. I owe her because she got me off of the streets- that's all. Don't talk about 'knowing your place' when you've got it wrong, okay? Jeez.." He paused, letting out a sigh. "And yes, you're allowed to have me right now. Dawn doesn't own me, y'know? You're free to spend time with me whenever you want unless I already have plans, okay?" A small smirk spread across his face. "Also, your ears turn red when you blush, just an fyi, Sis."

The carnation bloom of her skin darkened once more. This time, she raised her head and without a word, her hands moved to cover his face. "Do not look! It is shameful!" There was the tint of panic in her voice as she scrambled to make sure he would not see her face that was now the epitome of a blooming spider lily. "You are not allowed to see me like this." She then quickly turned to only have him see her back with a synchronize gesture of removing her hands from his face. Now, this time it was over hers.

Jojo grinned widely. A laugh left his lips, and he took a few moments to let it out. Considering he'd almost been murdered last night, laughing was good. He stopped eventually, though, wiping his eyes and reaching over to put a hand on Vesper's shoulder. He squeezed tighlty, then pulled her into a tight hug. There was a huge, happy grin on his face. "It's good to see your adorable self again, Sis, I've missed you so much." He let go of her a few moments later, eyes shining a little. Seeing her lose her composure was possibly the greatest thing ever- although he was worried she'd decide to tackle him again. Hooking his arm in hers again, he dragged her along a little, humming softly as he looked away- he'd give her enough time to lose her blush before he interacted with her again, he wasn't mean.

His embrace managed to settle down her emotions that were throwing her to the depths of confusion. His words were also effective to make her focus solely on that and it did not take too long for the red tint to subside, revealing once more her skin white as the snow. When she had regained control of herself, she removed her hands from her face as he took her arm once more. Straightening herself, she returned to her placid outlook. Then, she glanced at him and saw he was looking away. Much have indeed changed, but much have stayed the same. His words. His laughter. They still give that resonating warmth, so comfortable. "We can be together as much as you want." She squeezed his arm in a gentle manner. "So, we can make up for the lost time." For now, she can only think of this, right? Let herself immerse in this, until, the next chapter begins.

Jojo smiled, turning to face Vesper. "Not on fire anymore?" He joked, pulling her a tiny bit closer with a grin. "It's been.. four years, now? Too long, in any case." He gave her a goofy grin and kept moving, slowly making his way down the streets with her until they arrived at the street he remembered the Ramen bar being on.

"Oh, Sis, how's Hiro? I only met him a few times, but he seemed pretty nice. He doing okay?" He'd only met Vesper's father.. twice? Back then, Jojo thought of him as this super fancy, super cool figure who seemed to have everything set up- ironically how Jojo figured his dad should've been. He respected the man, considering he was a.. a.. It took Jojo a few moments to remember that he'd completely forgotten what Vesper's father was in regards to employment. He slapped himself mentally, and chuckled softly.

"Father is well." It was her simple answer to the query. The memory that flashed within her head composed the last time they have seen each other. Her Father's eyes were filled with that horror while her form was reflected in it. "He sends me things like my clothes." She touched her coat and then looked back at him. "He still tries to be there as well." Her fingers then reached for his cheek, gently tapping it. "You two are similar."

Jojo never met the other members of her family, and he got this.. weird feeling about them. He never pried, and he figured if Vesper wanted to mention them, she would. Shaking his head slightly, he turned his head a little and awaited her reply. He stopped eventually, however, outside the Ramen bar.

"This place is safe. That is what Father said when they took me." Vesper's words held that monochromatic tone and her calm appearance were rather unnerving and both enviable as she looked at the Ramen bar briefly before looking back at Jonathan. "It is warm now as well. Shall we eat?"

Jojo nodded in response, smiling. "I missed dinner last night, so I'm extra hungry tonight." He pushed the door open, smiling as he let Vesper move inside first. Briefly he wondered what Hiro had meant by safe. He probably meant from Demons, and Jojo hmph'd to himself in affirmation.

It was a somewhat small establishment, the room beyond, with one corner being devoted to a kitchen and both walls lined with chairs and tables. Touching Vesper's arm again, Jojo made his way over to a table for two in the corner, a little out of sight of everyone else, but not terribly hidden. He had a few reasons for doing but- the most prevalent being his newfound need for secrecy. In a place full of religious fanatics who spend their days killing demons, he sure as hell wasn't going to let himself be found out, especially with Vesper with him.
The lighting was warm, and on the table was a bunch of menus. Smiling, he grabbed two, taking one for himself and sliding the other one over to Vesper. "Don't worry about the prices, yeah? I got my card earlier, so apparently that has a fair amount of funds on it. Illusion gave me a quick brief about it." He smiled over at her, before looking down to his menu,

It had been a while since she entered an establishment like this one. Accurately, it has been a while since she even ate ramen. She had always been mechanically fed as indicated in a menu suited for the palate of the upper echelons. But, she only wanted simple meals shared with simple people. Somehow, wishes of the simplest origins are the hardest to obtain. In any case, she followed after Jonathan not minding the gazes set on them from the other present patrons. Well, she had been used to it and as per reaction of some, there were whisperings about the 'White Doll' as what those who have unsavory feelings for her would call her. Such were the nature of humans as well, they will without doubt seek the black to prove their worth.

Alas, she was getting off-hand here and only returned to the present situation when a menu was given to her. She took it and then looked at Jonathan who would be paying for the food. That is right, she only need to fill her senses of her companion's presence. "Thank you. It is good to hear Ms. Illusion had explained it.If you require anything or information about this place, I can offer what little I know." It was only proper for her to say that. After all, she had been here longer than the others except for Rick. She opened the menu and began to see what she would have for dinner. Although, she had a light meal earlier. It was not a terrible for her to eat again. "I would like to have a Tottemo Yasai Ramen and water." Then, she closed her menu and placed it down on the table.

Jojo hmmm'd to himself as he looked over the menu, reading through it and nodding to himself. Eventually, he looked up as a waitress moved over to them. Giving her a polite smile, he spoke. "Evening. I'd like to get just the regular beef ramen with.. udon noodles, please. Can I also grab a pot of tea?" The girl nodded, asking what type of tea he'd like. Pausing for a moment, Jojo considered it. "Green tea, thank you. Could I also grab the Tottemo Yasai Ramen and a water, please?" He looked over at Vesper, smiling still, and, taking their order, the waitress moved away. Putting his menu to the side, Jojo leaned his elbows on the table, putting his chin in his hands. He was silent, staring at Vesper for a while with the warm smile on his face. He wasn't lost in though, as his eyes didn't glaze over, and he stared at her. His smile grew just a tiny bit.

Vesper met his eyes and was not bothered by his stare. Though, she was curious as to why he was not speaking. Is it because, there was nothing else to talk about? She contemplated on that and remembered that in the past, it had always been Jonathan who took the lead into anything. She followed after him, though she remembered causing a bit of woes due to her recklessness. There was nothing to fret about it in her opinion, but it was unsightly for her to act like that as she had been told countless of times. She must be prim and proper, perhaps that is why she stopped moving. Speaking of which, maybe there was something wrong, "Excuse me, but is there something on my face?" She asked towards him.

Jojo cracked an even bigger grin, chuckle to himself. "About time..~ I was almost worried you weren't going to fall for my trick." The edges of his mouth turned up a bit more than they were, and he continued. "And yes, you do have something on your face, Vespy." He reached over and gentle tapped the tip of her nose, grinning. "It's called a nose~". Leaning back in his chair, it was obvious he was enjoying his time with her. A soft chuckle left his mouth, and he exhaled. "By the way.. you don't need to be super formal with me, y'know? I told you this back in school, but you totally forgot, huh?" He looked her in the eyes, smiling. "Hey, you can let your guard down around me, just like old times." His words were kind, and there was a genuine feeling to them. He clasped his hands together, looking around the restaurant slowly. "Not much traffic here, but it seems like a nice place to come every now and then- hopefully the food is good." He paused. "I want to apologise in advance for my horrible table manners." He gave Vesper a sheepish grin.

Instinctively, she touched her nose after he tapped it and looked back at him after recalling those lost days. "Yes, that you did." Then, she looked around the establishment for a bit to concur with his description of it. "I believe they prefer the Capelli D'angelo or at this time the bar establishments for liquor." In regards to the food, she recalled that an fellow trainee once brought her a ramen from here as a gift. She was not sure why that was. But, she did gain insight about something. "It tastes like home." She then looked back at him and shook her head lightly. "I am used to it. So, there is no need for apologies. But, truly, I am glad to see you are doing well."

"Well, I have this really bad itch in my side that I've been trying to ignore this entire trip, actually, but other than that I'm doing well, yep~" He narrowed his eyes as he looked down at his side. "Right where that spider lady hit me, actually. Probably just a graze or something." He chuckled softly, looking back up at Vesper. "I remember the first time you convinced me to eat Ramen, and I ended up spilling it everywhere, even on myself.." A warm laugh left Jojo's lungs, and he leaned on his elbow a bit more heavily. "So how long have you been here, Vespy? People seem to know you, so it must be a bit of a while, yeah?"

"An itch? You should consult the doctor if it continues." She was concerned, however, she also knew that he was aware of his own limitations. That is why a reminder would be enough. "Jorōgumo is a dangerous creature. So, be wary." Then, the conversation lightened as memories were put forward." "Yes, but I believe it is an honor to eat it messily and you earned the praise of the chef for a wonderful slurping." Her face remained stoic, but her eyes held a small light akin to her own form of gentle remembrance. "It would be my sixth month here.next week. Though if longest, it would be Rick."

Jojo nodded. "Yeah, I was chatting to Rick earlier. He's.. been here for a while." He paused. "Jorogumo? Is that what the spider people are called? I swear Rick called it a Tsuchigumo, though, but.. eh, spiders are spiders." He shuddered visibly. "Six months next week, huh..?" Jojo tried to remember where he was six weeks ago, but something made him pause. Rick mentioned earlier that he doubted that any of the Seven had arrived without some sort of interaction with Demons..

He was concerned. Vesper seemed fine now, but six months ago.. Jojo's hands subconsciously balled into fists, and he let out a hard sigh. "Sorry, Vespy." he muttered under his breath, looking down a little. A few moments later, though, food arrived- both his ramen and Vesper's own were piping hot, and Jojo happily licked his lips. Eagerly grabbing the chopsticks given alongside the meal, he snapped them and picked them up, going to grab some of the noodles.

He dropped the chopsticks. He'd spent so long not using them that he'd completely forgotten how. Picking them up again, Jojo, now a little red faced, leaning down so his embarrassment was a little more difficult to see. It took him a few tries to grab anything, and he eagerly stuffed everything into his mouth before chowing down and swallowing. He looked over at Vesper, he cheeks reddening further, and he gave her a sheepish smile and look away awkwardly.

"Yes, indeed. There are variations of the spider kin. Jorōgumo are known for the ability to turn into beautiful women to attract prey while Tsuchigumo mostly appear much like giants with the faces of an Oni or other beasts. But..." Vesper stopped there as she noticed the discomfort that Jonathan had about the topic. It would better to not continue about it. Then, he apologized once more. It made her wonder what for exactly, but she could assume it had a connection about her being here almost for six months. Did he feel responsible? "Do not apologize too much. It is no one's fault."

Then, the food arrived and flawlessly as she had always been. She picked her chopsticks with her inherent grace. "Itadakimasu." She spoke as she prayed before eating her portion. Although, there was a bit of clutter coming from Jonathan. He seemed to have forgotten how to use it, but that was fine. Somehow, there was a fitting word for this display of his. "You look adorable." That was the word is it not? After saying that, she continued her meal as such.

Jojo almost choked on his ramen as Vesper called him adorable. He wasn't expecting it at all, and instead of replying, he stuffed his mouth full of ramen as fast as possible. His red cheeks stayed red, getting redder, even.






A while later, Jojo put down his cup of tea and smile, letting out a contented 'ah~' and sitting back in his seat, closing his eyes. Opening them a little while later, he looked over at Vesper. "Was it good? I completely forgot how to use chopsticks, so it took me a little while to get back into things." He paused for a moment, looking away as he blushed again. "Buuut.. you totally noticed that, so I don't need to tell you again." He chuckled softly, his usual warm, somewhat goofy smile being directed at Vesper. "Shall we go? I'll pay, then come back okay?" After waiting for her reply, he left the table for a moment and, eventually, came back with a receipt. "Ready?" He held out his hand for Vesper to take.

The meal was good. No, it was quite nice. It had been a very long time since she felt that heartful peace. After putting down her chopsticks properly, she closed her hands together in a prayer. "Gochisousama deshita." Once that was done, she looked at Jonathan and gave a nod of satisfaction. "Yes.Thank you for the dinner." She tilted her head to the side much like a curious child. It was not known to her as to why he would blush about something that was adorable. Well, she didn't linger on that and gave a nod as he stated that he would pay now.

When it was done, he returned and held out his hand to her. She looked at it for a good while before taking it. "Yes. Let us." She stood from her seat and followed him.

The walk back to the dormitories was nice, and Jojo smiled as he hooked his arm with Vesper's again. Pulling her close, he chuckled. "Dinner was nice. It was nice to spend time with you again, Vespy." He chuckled softly. "And getting to see you turn into a blushing mess was an added bonus~" He poked her cheek slyly, grinning. "Still, though, it's really good to see you again.. But I think you know how I feel in that regard."

"Please forget my blushing episode." She held her cheek with her free hand. It was certainly a shameful sight to have. Then, she settled herself once more as Jonathan stated again that he was glad to see her. "It is the same for me. I am very glad to meet you again." Her words were relayed flawlessly, but underlying it, if one would be very mindful, there was a tinge of melancholy. Though, nothing else would represent that on her outwardly.

Continuing to walk, Jojo retreated into comfortable silence. It was probably.. 8ish by now? He'd gone over to Vesper's just after sundown- he briefly wondered if she spent a lot of time in her room and that's why she was already going to bed. He hummed to himself softly, a tune that Vesper would recognise as a tune he'd hummed to her before- the 'Calm Song' he called it, taught to him by his mother, with the obvious pitch differences that came from their opposite genders. Jojo's mind was elsewhere, however, purposefully avoiding that subject out of fear of bleeding everywhere.

She closed her eyes for a moment as the tune enveloped her in a haze of once was. This was the melody of a song that he told her was taught by his mother. It was soothing which was perfect for its name, the Calm Song. "That is a nice tune as always." She noted as she raised her head to look at the sky which lacked the glittering dust of stars. The moon was only the source of light this evening. "It is a starless night."

Jojo looked up as well, staring at the empty sky. He hummed a little louder, reaching the end of the song and stopping before replying. "Yeah.. All we have to rely on is the moon. The moon is so pretty, though, so that's fine with me." He chuckled softly. "I prefer the moon to the sun, actually. You can look at the moon and see its beauty, for one." He paused, turning back into the street that the dormitory building was on. "But the sun gives us life, and even though it's so bright, it's also beautiful- just.. a beauty you can't really appreciate, which is sad." He sighed softly, lifting up his right hand. The glove at a little loosely, showing off a bit of something black underneath. He quickly stuffed his hand into his pocket, mumbling something to himself.

She listened to every word coming from him. It was the words she had heard many times among various scenarios. This make it ache a bit, yes, just a little bit. But of course, it did not show on her face at all. "People tend to appreciate beauty when it fades." She also noticed his slight apprehension about his gloved hand, but she did not say anything about it. After all, if he did not see the meaning to tell her, then, it is fine for her not to speak about it. "Nights like this are omens whether good or bad. It depends on the outcome." She instead continued the conversation at that point and also ended it.

"I'm glad I learned the Calm Song off by heart. It always makes me feel good, and helps me relax." He purposefully avoided mention of his mother, as per usual, and smiled slightly. It hadn't taken them long at all to get back. It always seemed to be the case with trips- the way there was always double the way back. Jojo thought about that for a moment, trying to get some obscure, sagacious meaning out of it. In the end he just gave up and figured it was literal, and it was. In no time at all, they stood in the foyer, in front of the elevators.

He turned to Vesper, smiling. "Thanks for having dinner with me, Vespy. I know it wasn't something super fancy but.. I've never really been a fancy pants, have I?" He smiled his warm smile at her yet again, the grin having not once fell from his face or vanished into less than a small smile during their entire outing.

Vesper looked at him with that beautiful smile. She gave a small nod, before speaking forth. "It is the same with me. I truly had a wonderful time." There was a brief silence from her part before she placed her hands upon his cheeks, effectively cupping them. "This time. Make it count. Onii-chan." She tiptoed and gave him a fleeting forehead kiss, before gracefully pulling away. "Good night. I pray for good dreams for you to have tonight." She delivered a half-bow with that straight and elegant posture. "I would see you tomorrow. Until then, please excuse me." Then, she turned her back on him and walked away. Her destination however was not elevators, but somewhere else. While the meaning behind her words were something only for her to know.

Jojo watched Vesper leave, eyebrow raised. "This time..?" He figured she meant this time they'd run into each other again, but he got this.. strange feeling. He brushed it off, watching her vanish, before stepping into the elevator. As the doors closed, he narrowed his eyes.

He felt.. weird.






-| LORD OF ILLUSIONS |-
-| 'Illusion' |-Image


By the time the meeting had ended, the sun had long since vanished under the horizon. Groaning softly, Illusion stretched in her chair. The others had already left, and she closed her eyes for a moment. Only Arthur remained in the meeting room, the door shutting behind the last person to leave. Illusion stayed dead still, her eyes shut. "It's too late to cook now, Arty." A long, hard sigh left the man as Illusion spoke. A dry chuckle followed. "Yes. Of course your mind is on food." Illusion giggled to herself, smiling. "Eye closed." Arthur kept his eye shut- he'd be killed if he didn't. Or, well, that was the threat, anyway.

"How are they?"
A soft sigh left Illusion's lips. "Well. They're getting along well. Jonathan and Vesper are out at dinner as we speak." Arthur made a noise, nodding to himself in satisfaction. "And Boot Camp preparations?" Illusion chuckled to herself softly, crossing her legs in her seat. "Some poor fool got stuck doing Hallows' work for her, I'd say. With our.. special guest.. in town she couldn't help but ditch her duties." Arthur nodded once again, chuckling softly. "Not much gets by you, does it?"

The fact that Illusion's voice and way of speaking changed did not escape Arthur. It meant only one thing, and one thing only.

Standing up from her chair, Illusion towered over it. Her curvaceous, lithe figure stood, and she idly checked her crimson nails before smiling. "Of course not. Asmodeus, nor Miss Lucalia, are not the only beings present skilled in information gathering." Taking a few steps, she rolled her eyes- just because her body changed didn't mean her clothing did. "So tight.." And it was true- her body caused her clothing to strain considerably around her.. assets. Clothing meant for a flat, thin child was near impossible to wear as an adult for her. "And the.. tag-along?" Arthur's tone was harsh, and Illusion answered with a soft, sensuous voice, yet the venomous edge in her tone was unmistakable. "She has been.. dealt with accordingly."

Arthur sighed. "It couldn't have been avoided?" Illusion crossed her arms, watching her top practically burst and smirking. "No. She had to be taken care of. Too much of a.. risk." Arthur couldn't help but feel like Illusion could've avoided it, and she'd simply chosen not to. Sighing, he stood up. Something sharp was at his throat in less than a second. "Uh, uh, uh. Naughty little boy. Sit." Arthur sat back in his chair, sighing hard. "There's more?"

Illusion smiled, looking up at the camera in the corner of the room. "Two demons. One has left the facility, the other is imprisoned just as Angela said." Arthur narrowed his brow.
"Angel."
"Angela D'Brightass, yes."
'"Do you have no respect for the man?"
He felt Illusion lean down, her lips brushing against his earlobe.
"None."

"I want you to leave Brenhin alone."
Arthur raised an eyebrow. "So you're the reason he was able to enter the compound, then? Why he somehow managed to evade ORIN's sight until he was already here?" Illusion nodded, making an affirmative sound.
"He'll be useful to us, I believe. I have reason to believe he has something planned for our new arrivals- how convenient that he arrives the same day they all do, no? Besides, it'll be fun to drop some holy water on him every now and then, as I'm sure you'll agree."
"Wanton torture is not my style, and I doubt Madison would approve."
"Well.. what Maddie doesn't know won't hurt him. We've given him enough kindnesses letting him.. avoid detection."
"Having his parents as the two most senior authorities in the organisation must be very handy indeed."

A soft chuckle.

Two claps broke through the silence, and Arthur opened his eye. Illusion's smaller, lolita form stood before him, a sly smirk on her face. "Why do you always keep that form hidden?" Illusion rolled her eyes. "Well, for one I prefer this form, and secondly.. Actually, no reason, really. I can push myself to any age, after all." With a soft smirk, Illusion spun in place. "Taa daa~ Look, Arty, Lusy can spins!" Arthur slowly stood from his chair, letting out a sigh. "Shall I call Madison for dinner?" Illusion hovered off of the floor slightly, smirking. "Iunno, do ya wanna call 'im up or nahs? Actually.. Don't."

"I don't want to reveal anything too prematurely, Arty farty, so I expect silence from you, mhm mhm~" She nodded to herself, closing her eyes and crossing her arms. She smirked softly, carelessly raising her hand to block the blade to swung at her neck. The sword, effortlessly caught, was then quite easily yanked from Arthur's hand and sent flying across the room. Illusion showed no effort in doing her little disarming trick. Opening her eyes, she noticed Arthur nodding. "Still as difficult as ever." Illusion rolled her eyes, giggling. "You might've killed me, Arthur." Arthur chuckled. "Not likely." Sighing and letting her shoulders slump, Illusion turned to him as he strode across the room and retrieved his blade.

"I have no doubts in my mind that you'll be able to fend off anyone who tries to use this sword against you." Illusion rolled her eyes, chuckling. "Please, Arthur, you don't need to test my reflexes. If you have worries, act on them." Arthur shook his head. "I have faith. And I refuse to take up arms against one of my own." Illusion scoffed, and Arthur sheathed Excalibur. "I'm going to go grab some dinner, Arthur. I'll be accompanying the Seven to boot camp tomorrow morning, so I need to wake them early." Arthur, nodding, moved over to the room behind the council's meeting room, pushing the door open slightly.

"Arthur."
"I know."
"Don't be surprised."


Before stepping into the room, Arthur turned to Illusion and went to speak.
She was already gone.






-| FRANKENSTEIN'S MONSTER |-
-| Frank N. Stein |-Image


Sitting at the desk, Frankenstein looked over the photo in his hand, a dark expression on his face. His memories of that day were some of the darkest he had.

They'd carted him in on a stretcher in the middle of the night, eyes closed and body drenched in sweat and blood. He could barely see or hear what was going on despite the people screaming around him, his senses taken away almost to the point of being nonexistent. Taken by that thing. Upon analyzing him, they'd found out something absolutely terrifying- something even a monster like Frank couldn't exactly handle.

Frank grit his teeth, slamming his fist down on the table. Despite generally being an aloof person, those memories drew out a rage inside of him unlike any other. Yet he couldn't stop his thoughts as much as he tried.

He'd figured it would happen, but the other one had left in a hurry, saying nothing to no one. Usually they were capable of keeping their cool, but that night their enemy had crossed a line- so long after the conflict had ended, they'd crossed a line.

The infirmary was filled with another body only a few hours later, after he'd rescued the would-be avenger from their own death- the thing they'd fought was.. a monster, no, not even that. It destroyed the two of them with absolutely no remorse or control. It was a miracle they'd survived, but even so.. Frank had to wonder if it had let them survive.

Frankie put the photo down, leaning back in his chair and closing his eyes. 20 years was finally up. It would all be fixed, now. It would all be done. All he had to do..

Frank rocketed out of his chair, giving the picture one last look. He never let it show, but those four were a family to him. Comrades, companions, even, Frank thought, friends.. except maybe that one. Electricity crackled around him as his anger flared, arcing out around the room as he bowed his head and grit his teeth. Flexed fingers almost becoming claws, Frank took a deep breath and calmed himself. The electricity abated, and he sighed softly. Anger wouldn't do him any good, now, and he needed to do good.

20 years and something even more important were on his shoulders. He nodded, restoring his resolution as he repeated it just as he had many times before.

"Forgive me, Boss."

Frankenstein grabbed the photo and put it into his pocket, leaving the room.
The body of the owner lay in their bed, faint static electricity arcing between their gaping, screaming lips.






-| ? |-
-| Jonathan Black |-Image


Jojo collaped onto the couch, groaning loudly. He layed down and closed his eyes, putting his hands on his chest as he let out a long sigh. What a day.. First of all he'd met-

He paused. "This is, like, the tenth time I started listing all of the shit that's gone down today.." He chuckled to himself softly, before opening his eyes again as a thought hit him. "Yo, Dawn, you wanna go grab a snack?" He called from the lounge, then went silent. Briefly he wondered where Vesper had wandered off to after they'd come back. Her words echoed through his head, and he couldn't help but get a bad feeling in his gut. This time. Make it count. Onii-chan.

Whatever she meant by that, it escaped him. In fact, looking back at a lot of the things he'd written off as just little quirky things she said, his bad feeling got even more intense. After just a few moments of thinking, he was actually seriously worried about her. He figured it was just his nerves and his guilt mixing, but something just.. didn't sit right with him. His brow furrowed in frustration as he tried to figure out what and couldn't. Finally, with a loud, frustrated sigh, he tossed his hands up in anger and gave up. "It doesn't matter.. I'll protect her no matter what. I promised her I'd never leave, and I sure as hell won't let anyone hurt her. I won't forgive myself again if I do that.."

Jojo slowly sat up, pulling the glove off of his right hand. It felt good to free it, but he was ashamed of the dark mark that ruined his skin. Pitch black and almost burnt looking, the mark sat as an ugly reminder of.. something. Whenever he'd looked at it, it made him feel uneasy. Worried. Sometimes outright sick.

Rick's reaction to his earlier headache worried him- Rick must've seen something in the magnifying glass. Jojo pausing, reconsidering his words. "If it worked, then.. A magnifying glass lets you see things, so maybe there's something he.. didn't see with me?" Jojo was more than a little worried about everything going on. The bad feeling in his gut didn't abate, and he felt himself getting a little nauseous.

He decided to put his mind on something else, grabbing the leatherbound book Illusion had handed to him earlier and eyeing it. Of all the things for the creepy lolita vampire to personally hand to him, it had to be the silly book. The three locks all looked at him, taunting him, and he'd only a little while ago realised why his attempts to open the book with force were unsuccessful- it was sealed with some sort of magic. And, from what he could tell, it was strong. Holding the book in his hand, her turned it over.

Something caught his eye, however, and he raised his right hand. He pushed his fingers together, watching the black marks combine into one mass of darkness, and a drop of sweat fell down his face.

He'd somehow never noticed that the mark on his hand was the same as the marking on the back of the book. It was like a haze was lifting from his memories, somehow, and he briefly wondered why he'd never noticed it before. Something felt.. off.

As it turned out, by the time that Dawn had arrived, practically all dorms had been taken, with the only remaining set being closed off for renovations. It wasn't much of a surprise- after all, her appearance at the WDL had been a bit...unexpected, to say the least. It also wasn't too much of a surprise that she ended up being assigned to live at Jojo's apartment until another room opened up. They had been roommates before this, after all.

She had situated herself in the apartment's office, and was pleased to find that some of her own belongings had been transferred over as well. Her computer, her bed, a few knick-knacks that she had collected over the years- all there. There were a few things that would have to be replaced, but they were nothing that Dawn was overly concerned about. Especially following her recent expedition to the WDL's gate to pick up a very important package.

Said package was now lying on the floor of her room, gnawing on a duck-flavored dog bone that Dawn had picked up an hour ago. Iggy had been somewhat tense upon his arrival, having traveled halfway across the world and brought into a brand new environment in nearly the same day. He had spent a few minutes sniffing about the place, poking his nose into as many cupboards and crannies and corners as possible, whimpering with his tail tucked between his legs. After a few tummy-rubs and treats, however, Iggy had calmed down- although he would still jump a bit at any sound that was too loud or sudden.

Dawn was currently sitting on the floor beside Iggy, scratching at a spot just behind his ear and reading something on her phone before Jojo called over. Closing whatever window she had been in, she stood, giving Iggy a fond pat on the head on her way up. "That's fine," she called back. "I can go pick something up from McDonalds right now. Would you want anything?" She had taken her purse from whatever chair she had tossed it on, and was rifling through it when she heard a loud, almost angry sigh from the other room, and some mumbling that she couldn't quite pick out. Frowning, Dawn entered the living room, walking over and sitting down in a seat opposite Jojo's. Iggy, seeing that all the activity was elsewhere, followed on her heels. A thin trail of drool puddled behind him.

"Are you okay, Jojo?" Dawn asked. She gave Iggy an absentminded scratch beneath the chin as he settled beside her, but her focus was largely on her roommate. "You seem stressed. Did something happen while you were out?" Her eyes found the marking upon Jojo's hand for a few seconds before looking away, refocusing back onto his face. Given how often he kept it hidden, it was clear that he didn't enjoy having it seen.

As soon as Dawn looked at the mark, Jojo stuffed his hand into his pocket. He cursed himself for being so damn careless, and looked away. "Just.. got a bad feeling is all, Got a nosebleed for the first time ever, so I'm, uh, a little on edge." He turned to her and gave her a smile, then slowly pulled his hand out of his pocket. He reached over to Dawn, offering his hand for her to touch. "Touch it. Trust me."

As soon as her fingers touched it, they became as cold as ice, and even turned a little pale. As soon as he noticed it, Jojo yanked his hand away, nodding. "And that's why I keep my glove on. No clue what it is or what it does, but.. it's.. not normal. I've kept it hidden until now but, uh, well.. we're not in normal land anymore so I don't see a reason to keep it hidden.. Heh." He watched her face closely as she touched it, and afterwards, settling into a little silence.

"A nosebleed?" From what she could see, there was no sign of a bruise or the like- it must have been spontaneous, then. "You, um, want any vaseline? I read somewhere that putting some inside your nose can keep it from getting irritated, so it might help." The air wasn't particularly dry here, but that was the only thing that Dawn could think of that could have caused something so sudden. The nosebleed issue was soon pushed to the side, however, as Jojo pulled his hand into the open and offered it to her. Offered the mark, really.

Without much though, Dawn reached forward, laying a few fingers upon the skin there. She blinked in surprise, and after a few seconds of contact Jojo jerked back. Another blink, glancing down at her now-reddened fingers, before she looked up again and smiled. "Well. Out of everything that's happened today, I, um, think this is one of the least weirdest, honestly." She rubbed her fingertips, coaxing some warmth back into them. "How long have you had it? If you, um, don't mind me asking, of course."

Jojo shrugged to himself. "As long as I can remember, actually.. I figure it must've happened during my childhood. If I can find my mum I can-" He paused in his tracks, eyes widening as he waited for something to happen. "Huh.. I guess I must've been wrong.." He waited a few moments, leaning back and closing his eyes before he sat up and sighed. "I'll come with you to McDonald's if you want. I've got my card now so I can pay, but also I need some fresh air- I.. feel a bit sick, honestly."

Dawn's brow rose, quirking in silent question. She offered no comment, however, instead standing and adjusting her purse. The strap had begun to dig uncomfortably into her shoulder. "I think the closest one is a few blocks away, if you're alright with walking that much right now. I can pay." It felt a big wrong to make Jojo pay when he seemed so...drained. It was worrying. "Would you want a coffee or anything when we're there?"

Jojo shook his head. "No, no, I'm paying. I got a ton of cash on my card so it's fine." He slowly stood up, cracking his neck and groaning. There were slight bags under his eyes. Sitting at home and thinking about things had caused the reality of his situation to hit him like a truck- everything he'd ever known was getting tossed upside down and from now on he was.. being trained in combat? Magic? What the hell, even? Jojo really just wanted to sit down and, well, live his normal life.

Except he was the damn Child of fucking Satan. He'd been fine with everything until now, but, like, really, what the fuck? A perfectly normal life, with perfectly normal people- Jojo paused. Didn't that sound.. weird? Sure, he had that mark on his hand and that book, but.. How did he know that half his friends weren't secretly fucking fairies? He had nothing against fairies, but, like..

He was tired. He'd barely gotten any sleep last night due to travel time and on top of that he'd been doing stuff all day- he was tired. And that begged the question.. What about Dawn? She must've been tired too, although he figured she'd probably slept on the plane here. Shaking his head and dismissing the questions, he groaned and stretched his arms. "I think I'll have about.. ten coffees? Twenty, maybe." He gave Dawn a tired grin, moving over and petting her head. He moved away quickly, moving to the door to the apartment. "We should go now, though. It's, like, almost 9 o'clock and we probably have to get up early tomorrow."

"Alright," Dawn said, although there was an obvious amount of hesitance in doing so. "I'll pay next time, though. So you don't have to spend that much too often." Evidently, she seemed to be forgetting that a McDonalds wasn't the most lavish place to eat at, or at the very least seemed to be disregarding it. She sighed, running a hand through her hair and smiling. It was a bit weary, but still genuine in its intent.

"I, uh, I think I'll be having that, too. Coffee for dinner, and maybe more for breakfast- I have the feeling that we'll end up needing it." Dawn gave a faint chuckle, then did her best to look affronted as Jojo reached over to pat her on the head- an effort that was rendered somewhat ineffective by the half-smile that managed to crack through as she followed him to the door. On her way, however, she stooped, placing both hands on Iggy's neck and ruffling the fur lining it. Couldn't go anywhere without saying anything to her baby, after all.

"Are you going to be a good boy for us while we're gone?" She asked, staring the collie right in the eyes. "Are you gonna be a good Iggy Wiggy? Are you?" Dawn scratched more vigorously, craning her face away from Iggy's as he started trying to lap his tongue across her cheek. "Who's the bestest boy in the whole world? It's you! It's the Biggle Iggle Wiggle boy!" She devolved into nonsensical baby talk for a minute or so before standing, brushing some of the fur from her coat, and casually turning on her feel to face Jojo. "Okay, let's go." With that, she stepped out into the hall, waiting for Jojo to join her before going on.

Jojo stood there, a small smile on his face. He had a habit of zoning out whenever Dawn started babytalking Iggy. A blank yet pleasant smile adorned his face until Dawn eventually turned to him. "Yes. Let's." The blank smile didn't fade as he shuffled sideways- he was going to be like this for a while, a little.. thing he did. Overplaying stuff was something he enjoyed, honestly.

"I wish that they weren't sending us out right away," Dawn said, walking in stride with her roommate. "I mean. Magic was supposed to be Disneyland and Tolkien, and, um, all that. Not...you know. Life." She shook her head. "Would've liked a few days to kind of...get settled, I guess? I don't know." Dawn wiped at her lips, glancing up at a particularly interesting shape that the dried paint formed above them.

"And Rowling." Jojo nodded, moving to the elevators and pressing the button. "Yeah. It'd be nice to, um.. y'know.. settle in intead of suddenly getting weapons shoved into our hands." He paused. "Hat?" It was dark outside, so Jojo was wondering why the hat was still affixed to Dawn's head. Before he could say anything else, though, the elevator door opened and, letting Dawn go first, he stepped inside. "Heh. It's almost like we're finishing up the introduction and jumping right in to chapter one, right?" He chuckled to himself, crossing his arms. "Second anime reference I've made today.. I must be the protagonist for sure." There was a joking tone to his words despite his tired appearance, and he grinned at Dawn. "You're definitely a minor background character. Yup. 100%" His joking tone was still there, of course, just a little jab at his housemate.

Dawn shrugged. "Well," she began. "Maybe it'll be like...camping? Just with, um. More guns." She wasn't being serious, of course- with a name like "Boot Camp", it seemed as if they were going to be thrown into military training right away. To what extent, however, she wasn't quite sure. As they stepped into the elevator, Dawn's fingers moved to the brim of her hat, pulling it down to its usual angle.

"Oh. I, um. Forgot it was there, actually." She laughed, rubbing sheepishly at her shoulder. "I'll take it off once we get back. It's not as bad as wearing sunglasses out right now, at least." Dawn had known someone like that while at her university- her old university, now. She had been somewhat impressed by how well he was able to navigate at night, with only half of the lamps working. Less so when she was partnered with the man and discovered the reason he wore sunglasses was because, as it turned out, he was high as a kite in nearly all of his classes.

The elevator pinged quietly, descending smoothly down the building. It seemed as if most recruits were asleep or elsewhere, as the travel hadn't faced interruption so far. "It seems like it," Dawn admitted. "I mean, there's been a few twists already. With...well. Everything, really. And you definitely have the whole 'protagonist hair' thing." She briefly considered trying to pat Jojo's own hair as retribution, but decided against it, seeing as she would have to reach a bit to actually get there herself. Dawn gave a somewhat unamused look at the "background character" comment, before sighing and shaking her head.

"You might be right there, Jojo," she said, gravely. "Black hair, and no special eye color or anything- I was doomed to be a side character from the start." Then Dawn lightened, giving Jojo a playful nudge. "At least I know how to shoot. Should spare me for a few chapters until I, um, 'pass my wisdom down'. Or something." While not as well acquainted with anime as Jonathan was, she had been sat down in front of enough shows by this point that she had some grasp of a few reoccurring tropes.

Jojo grinned. "Protagonist hair? Jeez, next you'll be saying that I'll be surrounded by fifty attractive girls who all want to date me." Jojo paused, his grin turning into a sly smirk as he chuckled softly. "Dawn Memoli, one episode of appearance before her untimely demise. One of those tearjerker scenes where I'm holding your cold, lifeless body and going 'oh nooooooo!'" He poked her shoulder with a grin. "You've got more skills then me, so maybe you're, like, the mentor or something." Jojo paused, looking at her. "Dawn, you have that hair oh my God. Dawn, the tropes- the memes-" He grabbed her shoulders, a mock look of terror spreading across his face. "The memes, Dawn! The memes are real!"

Dawn was definitely used to his.. goofiness.. by now. He let go of her, smirking as he pet her head again. "Lucky for us we're not in an anime. I don't have to deal with protagonist angst and an army of waifus-to-be, and you don't die because of a hairstyle despite being completely capable of surviving longer." Jojo turned to the mirror behind them, glaring slightly. "Protagonist.. fuck, I really do. Damnit." With a smirk, he turned back around and struck a pose with his hands on his hips. "I, Jonathan Black, will not rest until the forces of evil perish!" As the last words left his mouth, he cocked his hips and flung a hand into the air, pointing to the skies. "I will survive, hey, hey!" Jojo's choked on his own breath and burst into laughter. "Jesus fucking Christ I almost sang in the elevator." He paused.

He was humming the song under his breath and slightly tapping his foot, still in his pose.

"I guess that just makes me sad backstory fuel, then," Dawn mused. "Hopefully my death will end up a little interesting, at least. Maybe I'll get to fight off a wave of sea monsters by myself so I can give everyone time to escape. Give a, uh, witty one-liner before I'm taken out." She smiled apologetically over in the other's direction, rolling her sleeves into neat cuffs at the wrist. "Sorry, Jojo. Guess I won't be teaching you that special gun technique anytime soon. I, um, kind of like being alive." At Jojo's sudden grabbing, surprise flashed across her face- replaced with a steady realization as Dawn lifted her plait for inspection.

"Oh. I have the, um. What was it called? The 'Doomed Mom Hairstyle'?" She laughed, letting the braid fall back against her chest. "Well. As long as I don't have a kid anytime soon, I'll be fine, I think. Unless everyone with this hair ends up, uh, dead." An air of exaggerated shock fell upon her, and she grinned over at Jojo. "I would've thought that an army of, uh...waifus? I would've thought that you'd like the idea of an army of those." Dawn's eyes were light with mischief, at Jonathan's dramatic, she let out a rather unseemly snort and pressed her face into her palm. "Okay, settle down there, Jojo," she smiled. "You haven't even found any weapons of friendship and strength yet. And that's usually the first step to taking down the evil emperor-king, isn't it?"

Jojo seemed much happier than he had been in the apartment. That was good. Even if it also involved spontaneous bursts into song during elevator rides, it was still a good thing.

"Dawn, I have some bad news.. That hairstyle is for everyone. I recommend a haircut, but as long as you avoid all of the flags you should be fine.. I think." The elevator door opened and he quickly returned to his normal stance, cheeks reddening slightly as he rushed past the girl standing there. As soon as he was behind her, he turned to Dawn and mouthed 'OH MY GOD' before turning away and laughing. Waiting for her to also leave the elevator, he grinned. "But Dawn, the harem protagonist is really in a bad situation, y'know? So many girls and by society's standards he can only choose one- so I personally like to imagine that-" He paused. "Okay so like, there's this one anime, right, and the protag is legitimately a rock- but like there's just teensy little hints, and I like to think in my headcanon that he's actually a super genius and is just avoiding everything because he knows how silly it is and he doesn't want to upset anyone. Makes sense, right?"

"Fun theory. Probably not true, though, sadly. Rocks get more attention than me, awww yisss." He paused, looking around the room for a moment, searching for something. He quickly went back to his usual demeanour, though, resuming his march to McNotDonald's. "Evil Emperor-King, psh. We're totally gonna be fighting God like in, um, Knifearella. Also, your totally snorted before. Not gonna get away with that, Dawn. You can't fool me." The smile on Jojo's face was warm as ever, however, as he walked beside Dawn.

In response to Jojo's warning, Dawn sighed loudly, lifting her plait again and giving it a wistful stare. "It took me a year to grow all this out. Would I be spared if I just put it up in a ponytail for the rest of my life, or would the curse stick?" At the sound of the doors sliding open, she dropped her hair, folding her hands against her skirt and giving the woman a polite nod as she strode out to follow Jojo. The "professional" expression didn't last long, however, and Dawn had to clasp her hand against her mouth to stifle her own laughter.

"Well," she said, once she had composed herself, "I can't blame him. Some of the girls in those shows are very...determined, honestly. Especially in the ones where they start trying to kill everyone after they're turned down. For a bunch of skinny teenagers, they tend to end up being really skilled in tossing chainsaws around." Of course, as far as anime character strength went, it wasn't uncommon to the odd nine-going-on-ten year old casually taking down a giant with a sword as twice as large as they were, so Dawn supposed it wasn't too overly large of a sin if the teenage girls managed to put pro-lifters to shame on a regular basis. She cracked her knuckles, letting the sound echo nicely around them.

"I think it's sort of the reverse of trophy wives. They find someone attractive and not all too bright, so they try to have them as a sort of 'low-maintenance' boyfriend while they take over the world or become class president or, you know. Although, since there's usually, um, five other girls going after the same person, that doesn't make much sense, either." She paused.

"Which God?" Dawn asked. "The ones that have five pairs of wings and look like supermodels? And I don't know what you're talking about, Jojo." At that, her face went perfectly stoic- except for the corners of her mouth, which were twitching slightly. "You're probably just hearing things."

Another quirk. She wasn't making too much of an effort to hide it.

"No, no, there was a snort. Like a really loud one- super loud, shook the entire elevator, actually." He grinned at her widely. "And, well, I hope we don't have to fight a supermodel God- I'd be distracted the whole fight. Although maybe my protagonist powers would help us save the day anyway~" He listened to Dawn crack her knuckles loudly, narrowing his eyes. "Was that, like, a secret superhero signal or something? Are you secretly BatDawn?"

Jojo gave a shrug. "And I've got no real idea how harems work, legit. And, well, you were right earlier, it'd be sweet as having a group of girls all vying for my affections and all, but, like, the stress of not breaking any hearts would probably kill me." He smirked. "Dawn Memoli, harem girl?" He waggled his eyebrows, then cracked up. "I'm worried about all the Yaoi shippers, honestly.."

"If I could snort loud enough to shake an elevator, I would've tried going for a world record by now," Dawn replied. "It would be my claim to fame. Put it on my resume, maybe." She laughed. "If we're going by anime rules, you'll end up redeeming God by making her...him? You'll redeem them by making them fall helplessly in love with you and helping them see the good in the world again. Something like that." At Jojo's question, she smiled, raising her hands palm-up.

"You caught me. 'BatDawn, fighter of unnaturally strong teenagers, defender of justice. Catcher of arthritis.' That's what they called me in my heyday." She rubbed her knuckles, letting them fall to her sides.

"I guess it's like you said. It's a good thing that we're not living in an anime. I would love to have the weapons from a couple of those, but I don't think that all the, ah, talking animals and giant robots are worth it." She smiled, and, still smiling, gave her reply to Jojo's next comment.

"No."

Then her face straightened out to its usual expression, and she plucked at a string that had come loose from her sweater cuff.

"Well, I'm sorry to tell you this, Jojo. But if you breathed in the direction of any other man in the past twenty four hours, then you'd probably already be paired with them. Sorry."

"BatDawn, jesus christ. Do you stand on the tops of buildings being super broody and talking about your parental issues when I'm asleep, by any chance? Also! How the hell are giant robots ever a bad thing?!" He paused. "Except, um, in that one anime.. Neon... That one. Copyright. Whew, almost screwed us up, there." He chuckled softly, before turning to Dawn with an expression of mock insult, his eyes wide and watering.

If this were an anime, he'd totally have those big circles of water near his eyes. His lip trembled and he brought his hands up to his chin, clasping them together as he spoke, his voice shaking in an over the top way. "B-B-B-But D-Dawn-c-chan... Aishiteru yo..!" He sniffed super loudly, then cringed. "Ow, fuck, that actually hurt, jesus christ, nose, why, no, ow, fuck." Lifting up his hand to rub his nose, he chuckled. "I think I share an infirmary with Caius for a while, too, so the fangirls.. damnit."

Dawn chuckled. "Why do you think I spend so much time awake at night?" She asked mischeviously. "And, um. Considering that giant robots usually end up levelling cities, I think that they, um. Cause a bit more harm than good." The 'copyright' remark had her raising a brow, but then Jojo was putting on his best 'kicked puppy' look. And "shy anime girl" impression, apparently. Dawn gave another snort, although his wincing prompted her to start pawing through her purse and toss something over at him. A tiny bottle of nasal spray.

"I'd rather you didn't end up popping a blood vessel there," she said. "We've, um, referenced enough anime cliches already." Dawn turned to look over at Jojo again, curious. "Caius? Was he the one who didn't go on the tour?"

Jojo caught the bottle and immediately sprayed right up his nose.
He sneezed.
"Fuck."
Giving Dawn a grin, he handed the bottle back to her and spoke. "I have no idea how to use that but it said nasal spray so I think I did the thing." He looked up, opening the door to the McDonald's they were conveniently at, and let Dawn go first before he did. "Giant robots would be so fun, though! Like legit! Just firing giant lasers and stuff would be awesome." He gave Dawn a sly smirk. "Snorty McUm~"

Jojo moved over to the counter with ungodly speed- nothing kept a hungry Jonathan Black from food. Nothing. "And yeah, that's him." He figured mentioning names was not a good idea now that they were in a public place.. with a surprisingly large amount of people, too. Standing in line, the girl in front of them turned around and grinned. Her black hair had several colourful streaks in it, and she was wearing a tank top with a hoodie tied around her waist. Cargo pants and some sneakers, along with what seemed to be some goggles around her neck and two leather yet fingerless gloves were her only accessories. She briefly looked them up and down, then turned away again.

Jojo raised an eyebrow, then shrugged and turned to Dawn. "What're you getting, anyways?"

"That you did," Dawn replied. She took the spray back with one hand, and with the other, fished out a small alcohol wipe and deftly cleaned the top before putting it back. The wipe disappeared inside the maw of a nearby wastebin as she stepped inside, basking in the aroma of salt and grease. Given that they were in the Vatican itself, perhaps it would have been more fitting to go find somewhere new to eat. Try something more local. However, they would have plenty of time while there to do just that, and Dawn was in the mood for something quick and generally unhealthy.

She followed Jojo over to the counter, taking her time so she didn't accidentally bump into anything, and talking on the way. "I'm guessing that you'd also want to punch Godzilla, too?" Dawn responded to Jojo's smirk with a frown, although there wasn't much offense taken. "It's a tic," she said. She didn't prod further on the topic of Caius and the tour, aware that the middle of a fast food restaurant wasn't quite the place to be discussing the day's events. The McDonalds was fairly empty, given the time, but not isolated. One of their fellow patrons, the girl standing in line, glanced at them for a bit. Smiling before turning back around.
They were certainly not unobserved, either.

Dawn eyed the woman's back for a moment before casting her gaze up to the overhead menu. "I, um, think I'll get a quarter pounder. With cheese. What about you?"

Jojo grinned. "I'd totally K.O Godzilla with an uppercut to the face and you know it." His grin didn't drop one bit as she frowned at him. "Um, a tic, um, it's kinda, um, cute, um, though, um um~" He gave her an over the top wink on top of his grin. Jojo didn't mention the girl, but he noticed that she'd gone up to order while they stood behind her. "I think I'll get an, uh.. Hmm.. Uh, Dawn, decide for me. I have no clue and I'm lazy and I trust your judgement." His grin settled down into a small smile, but Dawn knew he was thinking of something.

"I wonder.."

"Well, if I, um, ever get the keys to a giant robot, remind me to let you take it out for a spin." Dawn gave a little roll of her eyes at Jojo's teasing, lightly smacking his arm as she continued to examine the list of burgers and ice creams and other junk foods. She was smiling, though.
"You could try what I'm getting," she suggested. "The quarter pounder. As long as you don't dislike onions, then...is everything okay? You look like you're thinking hard about something." Dawn had turned completely away from the menu after the first or second scroll-through, attention almost entirely back on Jojo- the remainder was on the cashier and the woman, so that she would know when it was their turn instead of standing around, chatting obliviously.

Jojo grinned. "Just recalling something I spoke to someone earlier about, is all." She'd outright turned around to them and given them a grin.. what the hell was that about? He shook his head and gave Dawn a wide grin. "Ow, Dawn, you broke my arm. How could you?" He let his arm go limp, grinning widely. "Oooh, if this were an anime, this would totally be some super subtle foreshadowing. Well, until I mentioned it, anyway. Shit... aki mushrooms." He shook his arm a little, then crossed them. "Quarter Pounder.. wait, shouldn't we be avoiding the brand names? Like.. Half-Half Pounder? McDolan's? Big Mook? McRooster? Fillet o' Salmon?" He smirked, turning to the counter. "Wait, we're ordering separately, ha, you almost got me, Dawn. You sneaky, sneaky sneaker snooker snake, you."

"I was thinking about, um, the, um, um, okay, I'll, um, stop." His smirk widened. "I was thinking about the, uh, stuff I learned earlier today. Y'know." He gestured with his crossed arms, and paused for a moment. The girl had grabbed her food and walked past him, a small smirk on her face as she touched his shoulder ever so slightly. Jojo felt.. something odd. He had no clue what it was, but it felt..

Dawn took a moment to scan Jojo's face, before giving a wry grin. "Well, I did shake the elevator, apparently. Maybe I ate a, um, meteor shard at the restaurant and got superpowers. Don't know my strength anymore." She stretched her arms above her head, working out some of the stiffness before lowering them again. A genuinely confused look came across her face at Jojo's insistence on avoiding 'brand names', and she was about to comment before Jojo spoke again. Dawn shrugged, smiled. "It was worth a shot."

Unsurprisingly, he brought up her "um"ing one last time before giving a proper explanation as to what was on his mind. "It's been...a lot, hasn't it?" Dawn remarked. From where she was standing, she noted that the woman had wrapped up her order by this point, and was heading out the door with her meal. Nothing conspicuous, really- if it wasn't for the fact that, after brushing her way past Jojo, he seemed to...lock up, staring off into nothing. Dawn frowned, facing him, watching as the woman left from the corner of her eye. "Jojo?" She asked. "Are you okay, Jojo?"

Dawn took a step forward- towards Jojo? The woman?- when the distinctly bored tone of the cashier called out. "Ma'am? Would you like to order now?" She paused, then turned on her heel. The dead, soulless eyes of the teenager at the counter stared back at her. Dawn laughed sheepishly, running a hand through her hair. "Oh, sorry about that, sir." She gave out both hers and Jojo's orders, drawing the appropriate amount of money from her wallet and handing it over without much thought. Her attention was elsewhere.

Once that was through, Dawn turned, placing a hand on Jojo's shoulder and giving it a gentle shake. "Hey, are you alright?"

The woman was out of sight.

Jojo narrowed his eyes, not phased out anymore but instead deep in thought. He didn't respond immediately, instead nodding to himself. When he did answer, he looked up and turned around, looking for the girl. "That was.. a weird feeling. I'm not sure what it was at all. I might have to go for another walk sometime and hunt her down." He decided to keep what he'd heard secret for now, instead looking over at Dawn and giving her a small smile. "I'm just a little tired still, y'know?"

Dawn's brows furrowed in concern. "Okay," she said, although she seemed to be taking the explanation with a grain of salt. Her eyes cast back towards the entrance, then back to Jojo. "Hey, um, do you know who that girl was? She seemed like she knew you."

Given the lack of activity in the food joint, the meals came surprisingly fast- within the span of a few minutes, the teenager with the "someone please put me out of my misery" face had returned to the counter, placing a neatly rolled paper bag and pair of coffees down and pushing them over. "Order is ready, ma'am," he droned. "Have a good night." Perking up, Dawn smiled politely at the boy, thanking him and grabbing their meals. The bag was tucked into the crook of her arm, allowing her to hold both coffees without much trouble as she turned to Jojo.

"Oh, and I, um, ordered dinner while you were spacing out. Hope you don't mind."

She seemed mildly pleased with herself.

Jojo nodded. "It was weird, that's for sure.. And no, I've never met her before. It's just.. weird." He grinned, then gave Dawn a blank stare. "Dawn, I will cut you." Despite that, he gave her a grin. "But what if I secretly wanted you to buy it for me while I was distracted so I can spend no money guilt-free?" He gave her an over the top anime villain chuckle, before reaching over and taking his coffee from her. "I might've let you get away with paying, but I won't let you carry my stuff. Gimme foods."

"We gonna eat here or back at the apartment?"

"Hm." While the odds had been slim as it was, given Jojo's bewilderment at the woman's knowing grin, that confirmed it. Neither of them knew who she was. However, the stranger seemed to know them well enough. Pursing her lips for a second, Dawn smiled, taking a sip from her coffee. "Well. Maybe she was checking you out." An attempt to lighten the mood somewhat. Jojo's suggestion had her raising a brow, amused by the thought. "Then I'm, uh, sorry to tell you that all of your, um, devious plotting was a bit...unnecessary. Would've paid anyway, after all." She handed the untouched coffee over to Jojo willingly, taking another hearty swig from her own.

"I think we should eat here. So we both have some caffeine in us before heading back."

Jojo nodded, grinning. "Sure thing." Leading Dawn over to a table in the restaurant, Jojo sat down and took a swig of coffee. "I am pretty attractive. Must be my protagonist charms shining through, eh?" He chuckled to himself softly, leaning his elbows on the table and taking another sip of his coffee. "I, uh, burnt my tongue. Ow."

"I'm a super evil genius, Dawn, all my devious, devilish, evil, dark, mischievous, villainous, another villainous adjective here plotting will never be stopped." He put his coffee down, leaning back and cracking his back, letting out a groan before sitting back normally. "Half-Half Pounders, huh?" Reaching over to the bag, Jojo quickly stole one of the burgers and opened up the packaging, sinking his teeth into it greedily. "Ish good fud, McDolansh. Tashty." Jojo was comfortable enough around Dawn to eat with his mouthful, and the girl seated across from him was, by now, a master of deciphering his muffled words for sure.

"Very suave," Dawn said. She drew a burger and packet of fries from the bag and took a seat at the table, unwrapping her meal as she went. Instead of immediately digging in, however, she flipped the bun over, and methodically piled the fries atop the cheese inside. By the time she had finished, the burger had grown several inches taller, looking lopsided even after she pressed the top back down and took a bite. It was, as Jojo had put it, quite "tashty". Dawn took her time in chewing, nodding her assent before washing it down with more coffee.

"Sorry, Jojo. If you're a 'super evil genius', then I don't think I can lend you any giant fighting robots in good conscience." Another bite, another swig. It was good that they had chosen to go here instead of elsewhere; Dawn doubted that they would be eating many meals like this at Boot Camp, after all. It was a pleasant send-off of sorts.

Jojo simply chuckled. "Oh no, I've given my evil plans away! Whatever shall I dooo?" Smiling widely, Jojo got into his burger, practically devouring it before moving on to his fries.






Nothing particularly special happened during their meal, aside from Jojo looking just a little.. sick. He didn't say anything to Dawn, but it was obvious that something ailing him.

Around halfway there, Jojo collapsed. His face was red, and his body was cold. His breathing came in short breaths, and he bit his lip as he sunk down to one knee. He was struggling to stay conscious, and that was obvious, but the situation worsened when he hit the floor with a thud, some blood trickling from his nose.

He was alive, but.. barely.

While the rest of their dinner passed without much event, it didn't take long for Dawn to notice that there was something wrong with Jojo. Of course, with him being...well, himself, he didn't mention it, but she had known him long enough to have some indications of when he was under the weather.

Even then, however, she wasn't expecting for him to collapse on their walk back to base.

Seeing him fall from the corner of her eye, Dawn immediately darted forward to catch him, although he had already made contact with the cement beneath him by the time she reached him. A thin stream of blood had begun to slip down his upper lip. Eyes wide, Dawn pulled him into a sitting position, fingers brushing the side of his neck for a pulse. "Jojo?"

There was one, yes, but considerably faint. "Jojo, can you hear me?" It was an unnecessary question; even with a brief look-over, she could see that he was completely out of it. She hissed under her breath, then glanced over her shoulder- there was no one around. Turning back, Dawn wrapped her arm around Jojo, hefting him up with little effort. The other reached for his hand, pulling it around her shoulders and holding it there. To the standpoint of an observer, it would appear that he had merely been leaning on her for some time, while also allowing her to support Jojo's weight with her own. Grim, Dawn began a quickened walk back to the base and the infirmary within.

Upon arrival, she would appear properly winded by the effort.

A lady sat at the desk in the entrance of the infirmary, humming to herself softly as she looked through a book. Adjusting her glasses, she looked up and blinked. Her eyes, landing on Dawn, then on Jojo, widened as she rocketed out of her chair. Rushing over to the pair with immense speed, the look of worry on her face was immense. Wordlessly, she carted the collapsed Jojo into the next room, immediately laying him down on a bed and leaning down.

Within a few seconds her hand was on his head, and she narrowed her eyes. "Not a fever, his temperature isn't high.." She reached down, tracing down Jojo's shirt's side, causing it to rip open at her touch. Tracing down his side again, she reached a mark on his body.

Huge. Swollen. Bruised. It looked like someone had stabbed him and twisted the knife, then wrenched it out. The lady nodded to herself, steadying her gloved hands and quickly swiping across the injury, and causing it to open up. "Yes, it's as I thought.." The skin around her finger moved outwards as she reached into the hole in Jojo's side and plucked something from it.

A long, yet incredibly thin hair was in her fingers. Turning to Dawn, she smiled. "A hair from a Tsuchigumo, carries a very potent venom that's injected into the bloodstream. It doesn't take action immediately, but.. it can kill a man in a few days. It's a slow one." The hair exploded in her fingers, turning into literally nothingness before she turned back to Jojo. She moved her hands again, his wound closing up before she placed her entire palm over the wound.

Pulling back a few moments later, all that was left was a small mark on his side. "Unfortunately, it killed some of the cells in his skin. I can't heal those.. But he'll be fine. In fact, giving him.." She reached into her jacket and pulled out a small flask, pulling Jojo's mouth open a little unceremoniously and dropping a few, well, drops of the liquid into his mouth.

"He'll be fine enough to get back to his apartment in a little while. You can stay, or you can leave, it's your choice." She turned to Dawn, and held her hands behind her back, bowing respectfully.

A hint of surprise flitted through Dawn's eyes as she stepped into the infirmary, although it did not last long- replaced by a steady focus as she passed Jojo over to the woman, and followed her into neighboring room. She stood close by as the nurse examined her newest patient, giving her diagnosis, and watched. Even as the skin split and the woman drew a hair from the wound, it was at the thread that Dawn frowned, and not the ease in which the nurse pried flesh apart. She was there for a reason, after all, and Dawn had little intention of interrupting her work.

"It's good that it's out now, then," she said. "A scar is better than any permanent damage, I think." Dawn smiled, face softening now that there was no imminent danger. "I hope you don't mind if I stay for a while longer? I wouldn't want to get in the way of anything while I'm here." She gave a short bow in response to the nurse's, and briefly reached for her hat before lowering her hands and folding them politely against her skirt.

Eine nodded and smiled at Dawn, motioning to the door to the room. "It's not at all a problem if you stay. I'm sure he'd much rather you be here when he wakes up in any case. If you'd like, I could go get some nice chamomile tea for us, und we can have a chat while we wait?" Eine looked Dawn up and down, nodding to herself, and awaiting the girl's reply. Before that, however, she leaned in close to Dawn's ear with a smirk. "I know."

Taking a step back, Eine nodded. "I know how scary it can be to see someone you care about in pain."

Dawn's own smile grew. "That would be nice. Thank you." She gave little outward response to Eine's whisper, eyes flashing with...something, but still retaining the gentleness in her expression. "I'm just glad to hear that he'll be alright."

Eine nodded, grabbing Dawn's hand and leading her from the room with a smile.






A concerned look shot over Eine's face, and she stood from her chair at the table. Marching into the room, she noticed Jojo stirring slightly. Narrowing her eyes, she moved over to him, placing her hand on his head. "Interesting.." Reaching into her jacket pocket, she pulled out a tissue and wiped the blood from his nose. "Hm.. It seems that the Tsuchigumo's poison has almost worn off completely, however.. His nosebleeds aren't a typical sign of the poisoning- in fact-" She paused, her eyes narrowing. "... I see."

She turned around to Dawn, giving her an odd look. "Somebody has used some sort of mental block on him. I can't remove it myself, but.. it seems to be causing his nosebleeds. I hypothesize that it's linked to certain memories he's started trying to access."

Seeing Eine rising and making her way to the other room, Dawn moved to follow, swiping her hat from its place on the table and bringing it home. Despite the barb's removal, the bleeding had returned- something which Eine was quick to explain. A mental block. Dawn pressed her lips together, frowning as she looked over at Jojo. "That's...well. Is there anything that we could do to lessen the symptoms, at least? Until he can, um, get past it." While the faint seemed to have resulted from the venom flowing through his veins, there was still the matter of Jojo losing blood every time he tried to break past the wall in his mind.

Eine shook her head. "I'm not sure. We could theoretically.. no, in his current state, that could hurt him." Eine sighed, turning to Dawn and causing the bloody tissue in her hand to explode into nothingness. "Besides, he'd have to be asleep for us to do anything, and he's waking up. Plus I doubt he'd let a random lady he's never met get another person to mess around with his head." Eine chuckled.

"I'd suggest helping him walk home. If he collapses again, give me a call. Here." She handed Dawn a small business card, smiling. 'Eine Minerva, Chief Nurse' was printed on the card along with her mobile and her WDL email.

Jojo groaned, opening his eyes slowly. "What.." Eine rushed over to him, grabbing his hand and smiling. "]Shhh, shhh, it's okay. You're fine. I removed the barb and the poison from your system." Jojo blinked, looking around the room before grumbling. "... This is where I woke up this morning.." Despite his state, he already had a small grin on his face. "Did the McDolan's give me diabetes or something? I feel like I've been run over.. twice.." He slowly sat up, cringing slightly, and letting out a groan. "Ah, shit, Boot Camp tomorrow, too.." He looked up, then looked over to Dawn. "Heya, Dawn.. sorry for the scare. I guess I got messed up more than I expected to." He grinned.

Eine gave him a nod. "Ja, ze- there was a poison barb from a Tsuchigumo embedded in your side. It spread the poison through your body, which eventually caused you to collapse." Eine's smile was warm and kind, and she held Jojo's hand in both of hers. Jojo blinked, finding himself just a little flustered. "Ah, um, thank you, Miss..?" Eine let go of his hand, taking a step back and bowing. "Eine. Ich bin Frau Eine Minerva." Jojo nodded.. "Miss.. Eine Minerva. Got it." He gave her a smile. "Thanks for the help, Miss. I might've died if you hadn't gotten the barb out." Eine chuckled softly. "Please, please, don't thank me. I'm simply doing my job. You, however, need to go back home- erm, to your apartment, zhat- that is- and get some rest."

In a few minutes, Jojo was back on his feet. He was a little unsteady, and Eine constantly fawned and worried over him. "Boot Kampf zhis und Boot Kampf zhat, mein Gott, it's just so rude of zhem- them- to be making a small Junge like yourself go after such an experience!" Obviously Eine was not happy with Boot Camp happening so fast. She paused for a moment, cheeks flushing red. "I, erm, tend to revert back into German sometimes. Apologies."

"That's probably true," Dawn admitted. She took the card, scanned it for a moment, then tucked it safely into her pocket. "Thank you, Eine. I really do appreciate what you've done for us." She paused, as if she wanted to say more, but then Jojo was stirring, returning to conciousness. Hearing his grumbling, Dawn approached his cot, a relieved smile spreading across her face. "Hey, Jojo. It's, um. Nice to see you back with the living again." Her brow rose. "You don't have to apologize." She said. "I mean, you didn't pass out on your own back there. It's not your fault."

Eine had done an excellent job of healing her patient. Within the span of minutes, Jojo was walking, as healthy as he had been earlier that day. Well. Almost, Dawn amended. He was still stumbling, but that was to be expected. She stationed herself close by in case he fell over, but her assistance proved unnecessary so far. "It seems like they're, um, very eager to get us out already," Dawn noted. "Considering that they're sending us off the day after we here." She smiled, shrugging as Eine excused herself. "It's fine. Not a big deal or anything. My dad used to do the same thing."






Eine had seen them off, giving Jojo a card with her number and email and making him promise to take breaks often, especially if he began to feel ill. "The poison is not completely gone, so be careful, ja?" Jojo had promised to be careful, and within about ten minutes her was stepping into his apartment, collapsing on the couch and groaning loudly.

"Ow.."

Minutes within them stepping into the apartment, a certain border collie had burst out of Dawn's room, claws scratching against the hardwood floor in an effort to stop himself as he skidded into the opposite wall and crashed against it. Iggy, however, was not fazed, and after taking a moment to shake himself off, immediately launched himself into the living room, hopping about and barking his head off. He stood on his hind quarters, front paws pressed against Dawn's stomach until she gave him the customary head pats and "good boys" (for that he was. Iggy had resisted all temptations to drink from the magic water bowl and pull a new soft thing under the bed for proper inspection), then padded over to Jojo and began to sniff his hand expectantly, nudging it a bit. Iggy's owner, on the other hand, settled herself on a nearby armchair, removing her hat and placing it on her knees for the time being.

"Are you okay?" Dawn asked. "Well. I mean. Are you feeling better?" Given that Jojo had just recovered from an emergency poison removal, she highly doubted that he was completely peachy at the moment.

Jojo was silent as he reached over and scratched Iggy's head. He didn't reply for a while, eyes closed on the lounge. However, eventually he spoke up.

"... I could go for some McDolan's."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Eine Minerva
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By the time of the meeting, Helena turned up a little worse for wear. She'd spent a sleepless night watching for the return of the monster, and was feeling more than a little sore from her tumble out of the tree. It'd taken a while to try and get the grass stains and dust off of her dinosaur sweater, which was by then bearing a few darker patches from her dabbing it with water from the sink, and several loose fibres from catching twigs on the descent.

She'd turned up however. Mostly because after a night contemplating it she couldn't see any other way out of the situation other than to do as there people said, lest she provoke the wrath of the creature. It was still horribly surreal, but the grim reality that no-one was going to save her from this had set it in earnest, and Helena concluded she was going to have to put her nervous breakdown on hold and do what they said if she wanted to see next week.

So she arrived at the auditorium looking scruffy, tired, and a bit unhappy. Also with a now stitched-up stuffed rabbit protruding from her sweater pocket. She wasn't really sure she wanted to leave him lying around and give more ammunition to the thing. It wasn't like the situation could get a lot weirder.

There were a number of people she recognised, and at least one she didn't, though the previous events hadn't really left her much in the mood for catching up, so she simply came and stood, fidgeting with a loose thread on her sweater. Fulfil the minimum criteria. That was all she needed to do.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli
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Come morning, Vesper was already awake and doing her morning chore such as being inside the greenhouse where the flora appeared to have a vibrancy around her presence. Though, it was at a deeper level than normal. That would probably be in connection with her evening interaction to a person from her rose-colored history. She was even humming a melody that carried a tinge of bittersweet gentleness. It added a precious element of admiration and an ethereal imagery as her ash white locks were pulled into perfectly boho-styled side braiding, giving her hair a voluminous mess yet meticulous in design. It also matched her rather unique and fashionable dress once more accentuating her beauty and upbringing.

She appeared perfect among the blooming flowers and lush greenery, though her current attire would not be fitting for the manual labor she was doing at present, but it was not a concern. This activity pleased her and that was the only thing that mattered in her horizon. Well, there were also the replay of the warm scenario that was blanketed by the starless sky. Jonathan apologized for his absence, but that was inevitable and worked on both ends. She was not by his side as well. Should she apologize as well? That is right... she had almost set it aside... almost. Her hand that was hovering above a red snapdragon flower where a butterfly began to linger around it trembled.

"I know my place." She pulled back her hand and those abyss-like mauve eyes glistened with hollow ire as she turned her back from the said flower and the butterfly that seemingly unable to flutter away from the lure of red. In any case, she refocused her attention to the other plants, tending to them in an almost automated gesture. Once done, she went towards the nearby porcelain garden bench and eased herself there as she took in her hand the book she brought earlier. She opened where the bookmark was placed last night and continued her reading of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, not allowing her thoughts to wander listlessly when she must be an anchor above all.

Just like that, she passed her time in a blank peace. The only moment it was shattered was when a sound emanating from her pocket. She looked at her pocket, before closing once more her book but not without marking where she stopped with a bookmark. Setting it aside, she took out the object from her pocket which was her phone. There was a message stating simply to be in the auditorium at noon. If it was before, she would have not move from her position and continued her reading. However, it was not like that anymore for her. She returned the phone inside her pocket and in her hand the unfinished book she carried. Standing from her seat, she was about to walk when a cold sensation wrapped around her arm like a shackle. "Ziry jāhor dōrī mōris. Tepagon bē." She looked, but there was none.

She touched her arm held perhaps in a hallucination. "I cannot." She then went to the auditorium. Arriving just a bit after noon, there she saw Rick, Helena, Illusion, Eine, Jonathan, and Dawn. She entered without anything misplaced about her. Stoic, yet silently soft in her presence as she delivered her polite courtesy. "Good afternoon. Ms. Illusion. Dr. Minerva." She delivered a bow with the usual eloquent poise. "Good afternoon. Rick. Helena. Jonathan. Dawn." For this, she casually gave a nod, a friendly gesture she had been told, before standing again on her own in silence like a doll, without showing the whirlpool inside.


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley
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#, as written by Tanman
Ashley “Ash” “Soot” Clade
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Ash usually wasn’t the kind to be early to anything. Today was no exception. It was a real shame, since she’d really tried to make sure she was at least on time. Somehow it seemed that time just got away from her, what with going into town on her motorbike, only to find it mysteriously missing when she returned. Damn thing needed to learn to stay put. Regardless, she got her business in town completed, ordering a variety of items to improve the functionality of her room back at the WDL. Now however, she needed to deal with the arguably more important issue of attending boot camp. Right after she caught her breath.

Panting slightly from exertion, and already more than a little sweaty from her half-run turned jog turned walk, Ashley made her way over to the auditorium to join the others. Doing her best to compose herself just outside the door, once she managed to look like she hadn’t completely exhausted herself, she pushed open the doors, stepping through. She was only a little late. Hopefully a tardy display on the first day wouldn’t get her into too much trouble. Besides, she was here at least. And by the looks of things, wasn’t last. In her book, that meant she was early, since they couldn’t exactly start without the entire group.

“Afternoon.” She stated by way of greeting, looking to Rick, JoJo, Dawn, Helena, and Vesper, then over to what looked to be the nurse she vaguely remembered from her arrival, along with Illusion. She didn’t see any reason to apologise for her lateness, and certainly wouldn’t bring it up if they didn’t. Instead, she simply moved to take a seat and await the arrival of the other two members of their group. Well, after a moment, she decided at the very least she'd make a token gesture of sociability as she looked to the supplies and other materials off to the side. "Were we supposed to bring stuff?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall
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"The world works in a way
it doesn't give a damn on
how you feel, all it cares about
that it moves and so, I learned
to keep it inside even if I do explode
it's just me moving on eventually."
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Caius had always believed that these kind of waking ups would be far behind him now, the deer-caught in the headlights type of moment. But, life dealt him another a-hole card. This would be the second time where the first one was in the infirmary with the midget reincarnation of Looney tunes (Illusion). He was still wrapping his head around that and about what happened in that orphanage the other day. It was still fresh and poking at it just made it rawer than ever. He highly doubted that he would ever get over it as he covered his face with his hand, trying not to make his brains blow up from all the complicated shit going on his life.

Anyways, he should try to grasp his situation right now instead of what had already happened. He removed his hand from his face and had this confused expression. How did he return to his room, exactly...? Was he that drunk not to remember? If so, he should have a major drill-hammer orchestra raging inside his head now. But, there was just silence, he could almost hear the cuckoo birds chirping as if saying nothing was inside his head to begin with, as if he doesn't know that already. Well, the absence of that meant he was not drowning in alcohol. He was sober. Did someone take him back? That won't be out of place really, knowing his promiscuous side.

He looked to his side if a body was beside him. Well, there was only him, so that's good. A one-night stand is a good way of releasing frustrations, but he really doesn't like a complicated start-up so early in the game and knowing the people staying here, it's more of a hassle. He then looked around at the rather empty-looking space which would now be his living quarters for how long? No idea, anyways, he sat up from his bed. It seemed he was alone, he held his head with one hand while sweeping his hair back a bit as he tried to recall what happened at his alcoholic venture.

He's sure that he stayed in that bar until closing time. There were flashes of him being asked by the barkeep to leave and come back again since they're off now. Then, the noisy background of the bar which had been livened up as the evening deepens. He also remembered a lot of wine bottles and various shot glasses on his table. Then, he was talking...? That was the end of his memory lane from the patches he could remember. It was odd because it was like, his memory had been cut-off. Wait... Cut-off...?

He quickly checked his body and was relieved to know that all of his body parts and organs appeared to be all accounted for. His wallet, thinner than before, was also still with him and nothing seems to be missing. He was also still in his clothes from last night. Still, he was unsettled. There was a big chunk of his memory that was completely a blank. He scratched the back of his head because nothing was really coming up. It's like his memory had been tampered with and segments were deleted. "As if that was possible..." He muttered under his breath and even with the unbelievable things that can't be simplified by the common man's logic which had been presented to him. He was still able to deny it as a whole.

"It'll come back to me eventually if it's important." That's the conclusion he made and it was his nature not to think deeply of things. For now, he sniffed himself and without doubt, he smelled of cigarettes and booze combined. He's used to it, but having a shower won't be bad to start his day. Is it still morning? Ah, he doesn't care about it anymore. He stood up and stretched his muscles for good measure. Then, he began to undress himself piece by piece. One would think he was doing a strip show, but that's just how he is and he was also alone. He felt sweaty and sticky, a cold shower would be good for him.

Taking a towel, he entered the bathroom and enjoyed the icy touch of the water tracing down every part of his skin. It was a sensation that he welcomed and certainly roused him from his sleepy daze. When, he was done, he exited the bathroom with only a towel wrapped around his waist. His physique was impressive and his tan skin was still glistening from the water droplets and his dragon tattoo can be clearly seen. His brown with reddish tips of hair was damped, but ultimately, he was quite easy on the eyes, giving out that sexy and exotic sight. That was also something he's aware of it and he uses it to his advantage especially during the hay days. After all, one should use every arsenal that is available to survive and he did just that. But right now, it was different, probably, he has no idea. He really didn't like thinking too much.

For now, he should change into some clothes and so, he started rummaging through that one box that held everything of his earthly possessions. He took out his jersey jacket, a shirt, pants, and a rubber shoes to be worn by him, after a while, he was done and was now casually lounging around. The schedule given to him yesterday was forgotten and was set aside on a nearby table top, out of his interest. Instead, he was picking through his things, wondering what he should keep inside and bring out. Oh... His eyes brightened a bit. He totally forgot about it, his phone. He took it out and apparently, it has a dead battery now. "Totally forgotten about that." He took out his charger and plugged it in. After that, he continued looking through his things, not entirely concerned about whatever else besides him has plans for. He found his brass knuckles and believed it should be useful in bashing some faces he is sick of.

His attention was taken when his phone turned back on and made consistent notification sounds. He took hold of his phone and found he had a lot of messages and mixed calls. They were useless ones from useless people in his book. Though, there was an unknown number present with a very short message. "Auditorium. 12:00." But, he was not that dense to not know it came from this place's management or even from that abnormality of a dwarf. "I should just skip it." He mentioned to himself, but then he recalled all the shit that happened yesterday. "This is such a hassle. Tsk." He clicked his tongue in annoyance as he scratched his head once more as a show of frustrating annoyance. He lazily complied with the message by not answering.

It was probably early to go and he was a bit hungry and should eat something as he opened some of his canned foods. Some sardines to fill his stomach. Just like that, he took his sweet time of eating and relaxing with some instant coffee on hand. Then, he proceeded to have his dessert with some of his smokes. He went towards the nearest window and opened it as he puffed one letting the smell sooth him. It was in that zen when he remembered that he has no idea what time is it really. All he had were estimations and all that. He took out his phone and had another shit moment. It was 12:15 PM... He finished his smoke and quickly left his room. Well, whatever it was about, if he was needed or something, that midget would have done something about it. So, it was not something important, probably. If he was left behind, that was good. He wasn't in the mood for anything and just wanted some time alone, to adjust to everything. He is still picking up the pieces even if he didn't appear to be doing that. Though, showing at the auditorium would be good enough for him to say that he did try, albeit late. He eventually reached the auditorium and peeked inside first to see if anyone was still there. If none, he could just go back to his room. He was actually hoping, they left him behind, but when did things ever happen in the way he liked it to be?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley
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Shortly after getting back to the infirmary, Dawn had retired to her room, door left cracked open so Iggy could come and go as he pleased. For all the surprises and...hurdles that had come so suddenly, it hadn’t taken long for the little dorm to feel rather cozy. She had her dog, a few posters and pictures hung up on the walls, and her (well, Jojo’s, technically) games. Given more time, perhaps it would feel more like home than not. Until they got back from Boot Camp, there was no way to tell for sure.

Her morning was fairly uneventful, in the face of all that had happened yesterday. Shower. Have a quick ham and cheese sandwich for breakfast, then take Iggy out for a walk outside the main base’s building. Dawn had a lot to think about, and the peace of the early day allowed her to do just that.

Well, “peaceful” in the sense that Iggy would constantly stop to sniff at a patch of flowers or tree or building, but the spaces between allowed for a fair bit of reflection.

By the time that the text was sent out, Dawn had arrived back at the apartment, idly going through an assortment of documents and files on her computer. Mostly tax items, really. A handful of notes from university, alongside a few reports and assignments that would never be turned in. She was wondering what had happened to Dawn Memoli in the outside world- was she still enrolled at her college? Had she been erased from the public eye entirely?- when her phone purred against the rich mahogany of the desk. Clicking her way back to her desktop, Dawn grabbed her phone and went through it. A summons.

She entered the auditorium a minute or two after twelve, hair neatly plaited, hat cocked at such an angle to prevent imaginary sunlight from hitting her eyes. Upon seeing that she wasn’t alone, Dawn smiled, giving a short half-wave to those gathered. “Hello, everyone. And, um, good afternoon to you all, too.” The look of worry on Eine’s face did not escape her, and Dawn tipped her head at her in a quiet, separate greeting before moving over to Helena.

“Hey, are you doing alright?” She asked, softly. Given that Helena had apparently been drugged and kidnapped the day before, it was safe to assume that she was, in fact, not alright, but the girl looked ragged. Ash’s question had Dawn frowning a little as she caught sight of the luggage- were they? There had been nothing regarding it in the text. “I don’t think so,” she said. There was an edge of uncertainty in her voice that was hard to miss, however.

After a few more minutes had passed, the sound of the auditorium door opening again caught her attention. Curious, Dawn glanced over, and caught sight of a man peering in from around it. She faintly recalled him from the day before- Caius- and turned away after giving an acknowledging nod in his direction.

It seemed as if only a few Children were pleased to be at the WDL.

Not overly surprising, given the circumstances.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall
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#, as written by zody
-| ? |-
-| Jonathan Black |-Image


Jojo hit the wall hard, his vision already failing him. He'd barely escaped, the monsters behind him continuing to wreak havoc and destroy the entire town. He looked down at his blood-soaked hands and clothes, panting hard. He heard the voice in his ear begging for him to run- to the place he'd be safe- to the.. extraction point? He couldn't hear them. They were so.. quiet?

He slowly dragged himself to his feet. He couldn't sleep here, nor could he stop. He had to keep moving no matter what, until he found the place he had to be. Up ahead was an abandoned factory, unused for at least ten years, so that's where he'd decided to go. He took a few more steps before falling to his knees, coughing hard. A thick, black, bitter substance splattered to the ground before him.
That wasn't blood, at least.

Standing up, his ears were ringing, and he felt himself swaying no matter how hard he tried to right himself. His vision blurred and cleared, swimming and not swimming. He felt sick- like he was poisoned.
Poisoned..
The voice in his ear was silent, now, replaced by a painful metallic screaming, and even that he could barely hear. The last thing he'd heard from them was.. something about communications being something.. being jammed..? Gritting his teeth and looking up, he saw it. The factory was cold and rusted before him. He wouldn't infect anyone here. He staggered through the gate, breath catching in his throat as he slammed into the door and fell through it.

His vision was.. gone. Not quite, but he could barely keep his eyes open, and even if he did, the world was spinning and swirling around him. His entire body was drenched with sweat, and he could feel more black liquid dripping from his mouth. He groaned, reaching out to drag himself into the factory. The hot sunlight was replaced with cool shade, and he breathed out hard.
The alarms behind him were still going loud, as were the sounds of destruction and chaos- explosion and, Jojo swore, the sound of a building collapsing to the ground.

Slowly dragging himself forward, he staggered onto his knees and almost fell, hacking up another glob of the black stuff and recoiling from it, shuddering hard at the disgusting taste. He shuffled over to something near him. A wall? Or a big metal box.. something.. and he leaned against it. He propped himself up against the cool metal, shutting his eyes and feeling the steel against his back. He could feel himself breathing, but the sound was far away. Something didn't sit right with him.. He wasn't affected despite being hit by the.. whatever it was.. bomb? It exploded and destroyed an entire block, coating it in black mist that eventually dissipated, leaving only corpses, debris and.. things.. behind. He was only infected a little while after the bomb hit instead of instantly, like it was.. delayed for him somehow.

He clenched his hand, seeming to float away from his body. He couldn't let himself turn into one of them. He couldn't let anyone else get infected.. from him, at least. He held out his hand, panting softly as he raised his blade. He opened his eye, barely able to see as he steadied it and aimed for his heart. He swallowed, wincing a little. His mouth was completely dry.
He took a deep breath and shut his eyes for the last time. He needed to do it. He couldn't hesitate. He couldn't become a monster.
He rammed the sword towards his chest.

The sword flew across the room, slamming through the wall across from him. Jojo looked up, opening his eyes. He could vaguely make out a figure standing before him, extending a hand. He couldn't see anything, and he could barely hear them.

"I can save you, but I won't save your friends. All you have to do is take my hand."

Jojo couldn't see anything anymore, his body beginning to slump forward as he lost consciousness.
The last thing he did before he blacked out was grab the hand.
The last thing he heard was a laugh.






Jojo awoke with a start. His entire body was covered in a cold sweat, and he swallowed hard, eyes wide. His throat was dry, and he felt a little dizzy. He sat up slowly, reaching up to rub his head. "What.. the fuck. More crazy dreams, huh?" Jojo had been having extra weird dreams lately, although he figured it was the whole 'Child of the Devil' thing, maybe. He wasn't too sure, but he figured that his body had done.. something. After all, he'd batted a spider lady across the face hard enough to..

Jojo closed his eyes and threw himself back down, reaching up to put his hands over his face. He'd been in a perpetual state of shock yesterday. Everything that happened.. what the hell was going on? Sure, he could put on a smile and nod, but.. When he really put his mind to it, something was seriously wrong. He couldn't deny it since he'd been attacked by some sort of.. spider demon girl.. No, Non-Human was the correct term, apparently. Jojo made a noise, moving his hands from his face and opening his eyes to stare up at the ceiling. He felt something tug at his chest, and he sighed hard. When he was younger, his mother would always pop up and talk him through his nightmares, tell him what they really were- your brain processing data from the previous day and converting it into an abstract dream. A pang of pain hit him as he lay there.

He missed his mother.

Slowly he sat up, swinging his legs over the side of the bed and sitting there for a little while. He figured a shower would do him good, so that's what he did. Standing up and stretching, his muscles rippled slightly as he let out a grunt. There was a lot of stress in his shoulders, so maybe a quick morning run would do the trick instead. He moved over to his box of stuff, and listened to the sound of the shower running. He hadn't noticed it before, but he nodded to himself. Dawn usually showered first, and Jojo decided to take a short jog around the residential district. Spraying on some deodorant and tossing on a shirt and shorts, Jojo left the apartment in a bit of a hurry. A jog, a shower, then a breakfast were all on his mind as he left.

Also on his mind was everything that was going on.

He'd left the apartment fairly quietly, and his jog took him around the majority of the residential district, and he gave a nod to a cute blonde girl with the nicest pink eyes he'd ever seen on his way around as she opened up what seemed to be a store. He'd have to pop up there later and check it out.
In the meantime, he was focused more on keeping in shape and in his routine.
He didn't want to be dragged into something like this and be sloppy or get lazy, especially if his life was on the line.






Eventually he'd gone back to the apartment, Dawn having apparently vanished somewhere after her shower. With that confirmed by knocks on both her office-turned-room and the bathroom, Jojo decided to shower.
The warm water cascaded down and around him, drenching him in the cleansing warmth a nice, hot shower had always afforded him. Sighing, he ran a hand through his hair and closed his eyes, letting the water hit his face directly. The pain in his side had vanished pretty quickly after his 'surgery', and even the little scar that was left was barely noticeable anymore. He felt infinitely better, dropping his head and letting the water drench his hair. Protagonist hair, apparently. He figured he'd better start acting the part then, maybe a particularly genre savvy and meta protagonist like Nep- He paused his thoughts, opening his eyes and turning the hot water up before turning around, letting his back get some of the warmth of the shower water. He let out a soft sigh, closing his eyes again.
The steam was filling the room up pretty quickly and making it hard to see, and the water was hot now- enough to make his skin red and sting just a little, but he got used to it fairly quickly. He loved having stupidly hot showers. Always made him feel.. renewed, somehow.
The shower he'd had yesterday had cleaned him a little, but he still felt.. dirty.
Because he hadn't cleaned the blood of that spider girl off properly until now.

A little while later, Jojo had gotten out of the shower and gotten dried, ready and dressed. His stomach rumbled as he pulled on his glove, covering up the stupid black mark on the back of his hand with a disapproving look. He'd given it a looking over during his shower, and had no clue what it meant. He'd have to stop by the library later on and check it out.

"... After this Boot Camp thing, then."

Breakfast was a plate of bacon and eggs, with a coffee on the side. Quick, simple, easy. Delicious, too. Jojo had gone and brought a fair bit of groceries the day before, so he was prepared for making something for himself. He almost made two servings, but Dawn was still out, it seemed. After that was video games. Jojo set to work with a surprising amount of gusto, setting up his [BRAND] console and diving into the game he'd been playing through before he'd been, uh, assaulted and kidnapped. He wasted his time away, anxiously awaiting the call for Boot Camp or whatever was going to happen.

It was 11 am when he got the text. 'Auditorium. 12:00.'

Time passed quickly, the clock hitting 11:45, and Jojo switched his console off. Making sure he was ready, Jojo left the apartment, locking the door and pocketing the keys. A little while later, he reached the Auditorium, just behind Rick. Everyone there was someone he knew, and he replied to any greetings tossed his way with a warm smile and a wave of the hand. He felt anxious.
Very anxious.
Boot Camp wasn't exactly the most inviting name, after all.
He didn't intend on asking questions. Not yet.
He'd wait and listen for now.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall
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#, as written by zody
-| LORD OF ILLUSIONS |-
-| 'Illusion' |-Image


Illusion waited for everyone to arrive, bar the obvious exception. As Ash asked her question, Lusy shook her head. "No, no, all supplies and the like for Boot Camp are provided by the WDL and the present staff." She paused, then went quiet fully again. Closing her eyes, she furrowed her brows. ".. There." In the back of her mind, Illusion knew that some of the group would grow agitated by being forced to wait. Hopefully, that anger would also be directed towards Caius- a small lesson he'd need to learn unless he wanted to die. Illusion sighed heavily, crossing her arms and leaning back, sitting on a rip in reality she happily opened. Behind her, the dark mirror dimension was visible.

Waiting in silence until Caius finally peeked into the auditorium, Illusion reached behind her into the portal and grabbed Caius from behind, having opened a second behind him as he stood there. She stood up, dragging him through it and quite roughly tossing him to the ground in the middle of group. Closing the portal after she'd finished using it, she opened her eyes and looked down at Caius, raw anger easily visible in her blazing crimson orbs. "Do not waste our time again or there will be consequences. You're a part of the Seven, now, whether you like it or not. If you refuse to cooperate, Arthur has already given you your warning."

Sighing and brushing down her dress, Lusy turned to the others. "Alrighty! Now that we're all present and the other staff might find out your dirty little secret and kill you all because they might overhear our conversation," she looked at Caius, "because someone was late," she turned back to the others, "we'll have to make this quick. This auditorium is booked for a lecture in about 5 minutes."

Floating midair and now ignoring Caius entirely, she smiled sweetly. "Boot Camp has several uses. For your special cases, it'll give you an insight into your powers- some of you already know some of them. Several of you having already used your abilities- Rick is the greatest example of this among you all, his powers almost fully developed. Almost. However, while you have some skills, your true abilities are still dormant. That's what Boot Camp is for- to unlock and then refine them. We'll also be teaching you how to use your abilities, alongside practical combat training for you to use alongside said abilities. The last portion of Boot Camp is a week-long survival exercise in a forest where you'll be graded on teamwork, survival skills, and generally be tested to your limits." She turned to Rick. "Don't think your prior experience means anything. This Boot Camp is special, something you haven't seen before, Rick. I suggest you all be on guard."

Nodding to herself, she smiled again. "The other staff will be giving you a much more in-depth introduction, but I'd like to remind you all that you're regular recruits at this Boot Camp despite the circumstances, and you'll be treated as such." She smiled at Caius far too sweetly. "They'll be quite mean to you if you provoke them, so please don't be too rude." Cracking her neck and wincing, the small girl motioned to the woman beside her. "Head Nurse Eine Minerva will also be accompanying you for medical assistance if need be." Eine nodded as Illusion spoke, bowing in greeting to everyone present.

"Now, if you would kindly follow me so you can learn how to become superpowered cool people, we should leave quickly. We'll be heading to the nearby garage to procure a nice vehicle for everyone to share." She quickly strode past everyone to the doorway of the auditorium, humming to herself as she tossed open the doors. A man stood there, shocked, and she smiled warmly at him. "Good afternoon and congratulations on your child, Mister Friedman." He stood stock still, swallowing. "How did you..? Thank you, Miss Illusion." Lusy was already past him, humming to herself as she strode down the road. She expected the others to follow. There would be more information for them upon arrival to the camp.

She made sure to go the long way. She had expectations, after all, and a certain Demon Lord had best not disappoint.
Jojo quietly followed her, his interest having been piqued when she'd mentioned powers. Thoughts about that night filled his head, and he nodded once to himself before following her- just after Eine. The Nurse followed almost immediately after Illusion, turning to Jojo with a worried look on her face. He gave her a grin, and she nodded before focusing on not losing the small vampire before her. The bags of supplies fell into portals as Illusion left.






Around halfway into the walk, Lusy paused, watching as Angel and several other men transported a prisoner to the garage. She remembered that Arthur and Angel had met up earlier on in the morning to discuss moving the prisoner to a more secure location for interrogation. He was cuffed with the usual anti-magick transportation gear, of course, which was enough of a precaution for the idiot Angel to consider it safe to transport him.

Illusion narrowed her eyes, watching as the exorcist looked at her, giving her a hateful glare, before turning back to his men and motioning to continue on. Illusion paused, holding out her hand for those near her to stop behind her. Eine paused, a look of confusion on her face. Jojo slowed to a halt beside them, looking over and recognising Angel from the day before. The hair on the back of his neck pricked up.

Illusion's hand was on the umbrella at her side- not at all a good sign of things to come.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall
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#, as written by claw
Warning: The follow contains gore that some may find unsettling, read onwards at your own discretion.


And now, sit. The boy twisted around, eyes darting to every corner of the room as he tried to locate the voice that had echoed around the place. It took him a moment to realise that his scanning for its source was fruitless, for it hadn't come booming through his ear, it had reverberated through his very being, crashing against his mind and soul as though it were a winter storm trying to breach the fortress of his mind.
"No." A noise similar to amusement seemed to bounce through his mind, a cruel and mocking sound that seemed to belittle him in just in making of the noise itself.
"Brave little creature, you fail to realise the depth of your position now." The boy twisted around, trying to escape the voice dripping with malice in his mind.

He froze suddenly, staring at the far wall. Where before there had been empty air there now sat two burning points of fire and light, hate and domination. He tried to turn aside to avoid looking at the horrific image only for the flaming orbs to follow him, no matter where he looked, Brenhins eyes were fixed behind his eyes and before them. "You see, little one, I own you now. You cannot defy me, not forever. Now, sit." There was a pull at the edges of his mind, a compulsion that screamed at him for fighting it. The edges of his vision turned a sickly orange even as the orbs of burning fire melted away from his vision. He gritted his teeth, fighting against the desire of his legs to crumble out from under him, all he had to do was focus, focus and resist and the voice couldn't command him, the drive couldn't force him to do what he did not wish.

This silent battle continued timelessly, with the boy standing fixed in one spot, teeth gritted and eyes tensed at having to focus so very hard against the Demon in his mind. And yet he could feel that Brenhin was almost mocking him, not even trying to force him to obey, as though he were trying to give him a sense of false hope that he could actually win. The boy pushed those thoughts aside as he tried to focus on very much not sitting down, even though the mocking presence continued to push against him.

The battle of wills was broken all of a sudden by the sound of the door being unlocked and the tramping of thick boots as men poured into the room, armed with far too many weapons than was necessary to contain a simple boy. They pushed the startled boy up against the wall and forcefully turned him around, pinning his arms behind his back before the cold touch of metal locked around his wrists, weighing them down with what must only be handcuffs. "Comply with their wishes, my messenger, do not resist and this shall all be over swiftly. Things are moving apace and you shall soon be free to go about your business."

He was certainly in no position to argue against the wishes of the Demon Lord this time, though true he could perhaps try to run, or kick out against the guards as they pulled him backwards and forced him out of the small cell that had housed him, what good would it do? He was surrounded on all sides by men armed with automatic weapons that would tear him apart in an instant. If he ran they could kill him without even moving, if he fought then one of them would shoot him in the back, his only thought of solace being that his death could mean the destruction of the Demon sitting inside him. But even then, he couldn't be sure that would be the way of things, for all he knew the Demon would escape unnoticed and nobody would suspect a thing. As much as it boiled in his gut to have to so much as carry this Demon even a single step let allow carry out its wishes he knew that his being free to hunt the Demon after this little message of his was sent.

As they crossed into the open courtyard, blinking against the morning sun, his eyes darted across the floor, his mind coming up with all the possible ways he was going to have to escape. They didn't looking good, too much open ground for him to try to cross and to be shot down on. And then his eyes landed on a small group of people, no more than nine of them, watching him. And he could feel a sense of elation coming from Brenhin inside of him. There was a joy and a hate in there both, and it scared him more than he cared to admit.

"Halt, it is time." Those dark eyes glowered once more from behind the boys vision, the searing pain returned to compel him to obey the Demon Lords command.
"I can't just stop, they'll kill me" He winced internally, his foot catching on the floor, causing him to stumble. One foot crashed into the other as he tried to stop himself falling flat on his face with his hands bound behind his back. But it was this lapse in concentration that finally cast down the walls of his will power that had up until now kept Brenhin at bay.

Now, so suddenly having his mind twisted away from putting up the mental walls needed to protect himself from the Demons corrupting influence he could feel the icy claws of dominion latch onto the confines of his mind and against his own violation his whole body stiffened. It felt as though he were constantly falling, there was a sense of disconnect from his body as though everything was rising and falling all at once. His gut squirmed painfully as it warped in all directions. His throat clenched tightly and drily as it burned in his neck. He felt as though he were about to be sick and shit himself both at the same time. All this pain and discomfort combined together and he was sure that it was Brenhins doing to make him feel this in all it's terribleness.

"What are you doing?"
"Why, conveying my message of course. I must commend you on being both courier and parchment." That disconnect grew suddenly so much worse. He could feel the wind against his face, feel the chill in the air, feel the pain in his gut as it burned at him, could feel his eyes start to scream at him as they dried but could not blink. He couldn't even twitch, his whole body rejected him, though he could still feel it. It was as though he were a passenger within a puppet, there was no sense of control any more. He could feel his body though could not command it and horribly it dawned on him that this was entirely what Brenhin wanted him to feel.

A laugh began to grow within the boys chest, a lazy smile twisted across his lips as his eyes stared blindly forwards. The guards around him looked at him, obvious concern spreading across their features as they tightened their grips on their personal weapons. The chuckle grew as it spilled from his lips, pouring out across the courtyard in it's growing madness. And then he could feel as much as hear a voice that was somewhere between his own and the Demons own bassy tones echo from his throat.
"Pathetic, weak, frail things. Strange how Humanity has grown so tall and yet remained so weak. So easily twisted by your betters. Hmmm, yes, twisted... Allow me to demonstrate how twisted we can make you."

He could feel the Demons puppeteer fingers grasp hold of his body, shaking the looseness out of his limbs suddenly. He shoulders tensed and there was the feeling of his arms straightening behind his back and lifting, raising towards the sky. Inevitably they met the resistance of his bodies natural limitations... And kept going. Discomfort instantly gave way to horrible pain as Brenhin twisted his arms higher than they shoulder ever go, his shoulder blades began to squeal as they grated against each other. And he could feel it all, every single iota of agony as his bones pushed together, felt his skin and muscle tear, feel the warm blood dripping down his armpits as his flesh pull itself apart.

There was a sudden and harsh crack and pop then ended the screeching of bone against bone and projected his arms forwards. His shoulders were now entirely twisted around the wrong way, the bone jutting out of the bleeding cavities at his joints. As the bone popped and tore itself apart as his joints were spun around in a way that no Human could ever endure the pain allowed him some sense of control of his body once more. He pitched forwards, crashing down onto his knees as a blood curdling scream tore from his lips. The tears of pain that had been welling in his eyes falling from his face to splatter through the crimson blood that pattered on the floor. He was only given the briefest of respites, as though the Demon that had so totally consumed control of his body was savouring his agony like some fine wine. It was to be taken in small, carefully controlled mouthfuls, not chugged down like cheap booze.

Apparently deciding it was time for another sensual sip of this delicate wine of human suffering, the boy could feel the Demon lifting his arms which should be entirely unable to even twitch in their ruination. The pain only grew as his bound hands stretched out and began to revolve inwards towards his chest, then arced upwards, bringing his elbows crashing together. He silently pleaded within his iron cage of pain locked away within the confines of his mind, that Brenhin would stop here. He had conveyed his message, he didn't need to go any further. But the Demon wasn't even listening, other than to enjoy his screams of agony as they bled forth from his lips.

Against the flex of the boys joints the arms twisted once more. The pain he had felt ripping his shoulders around felt only more concentrated now as his elbows loudly popped, the cartilage being the first thing to break as it visibly snapped through his tendons. Then with a sloppy crack his elbows shattered in a sputter of bone and blood and marrow as they tore open to allow his ruined arms to continue to twist around. There was hardly enough blood in his arms now for them to bleed as heavily as they had before, the scarlet puddle around his knees spreading as blood pooled around him in growing rivets and flows. And yet despite the damage done the arms continued to twist, hands hanging limply and loosely from within their locked containers. Something had to give, the already damaged shoulders that continued to rip and tear noisily as the brutally torn flesh constricted against itself or the steal cuffs that bound the boys wrists.

It was hardly surprisingly then that the boys right shoulder was the first to go, ripping free with a sickening noise that sprayed droplets of blood across the ground as the meaty appendage slammed into the ground. The boy continued to scream in the blinding pain, not being allowed even a single respite from it as his left arm continued to rotate until it too tore itself from his body. Blood poured down his sides, his shirt already taken more than the fabric could ever hope to drink up. The pain certainly didn't subside now that his limbs had been torn from their sockets, rather now he had simply less to focus on. Rather than two burning brands of white hot iron he simple had two discs of indescribable agony.

If he had thought such things brought his pain to an end though he was sadly mistaken. Blood suddenly stopped flowing from his empty shoulders and instead a thin black mist began to pour from his veins instead. But rather than drift off into the open sky as mist should it began to coalesce into two thin tendrils that twisted around, lacing through his shirt and tearing the blood soaked cloth off him. His chest was made bare as the tendrils slithered down his back, the Mark glowing brightly for all to see. As the tendrils made contact with his skin of his back from the third rib down the flesh began to peel as though it were a carrot under a knife blade. Blood seeped down his back as the skin rolled along under the touch of the gruesome black tendrils. They halted just above the boys hips and like some feeding squid they raised and then stabbed into the boys back.

They dug deep into his body, he could feel it against even the pain in his shoulders and the agony of his back as the flesh had been parted, pouring blood into the open air. He could feel the muscle of his hips being pushed apart from the inside, feel the tendrils drilling into the bone itself. There was a sound not unlike that of an ancient oak falling to the ground and the pain stretched across his hips, down his legs and back up again over and over and over until with a horrible wrench both legs were torn from their housing, spraying blood in every direction as the limbs were cast into the air, flying far apart. The boy would have pitched forward on his screaming face had the tendrils not planted themselves into the ground, forcing the bleeding, ruined torso to remain rooted to the spot.

Were the boy able to house any form of coherent thought he would no doubt beg for it to end, crying out in desperation for any kind of mercy that the cruel Demon Lord would give him. And in response all he would get back would be the mocking laughter of one so drunk on his own power over someone he could never let it go. Instead though the boy was caught writing in the prison of his own mind as he screamed and bellowed and mentally tore at himself to try and find some form of escape in the content of his own mind. There was none to be found now, not from Brenhin, not for him.

His bare chest began to hiss and bubble as though it were being subjected to an intense heat. The fleshy bubbles grew not just in size but in number as they spread across his bare torso, as they burst small pockets of the thick black smoke drifted out of them and raised upwards, slicing the skin of his jaw and cheek as they passed and halted around his skull before becoming small needles and plunging themselves into the boys flesh, protruding out as they twisted in different directions. From inside his own chest a mass of shadows pushed the now exposed ribs outwards slightly, the bones cracking and splintering against the sudden force. As more of his flesh bubbled and melted away more of his bloody ribs were exposed and the force pushed out again, this time though there was nothing to restrain the damaged bone and like a bomb exploding they shattered outwards, sending shards scattering across the stone floor. His ribs didn't explode outwards alone however as his now only partially covered gut was torn open too spitting his intestines out across from him in a gruesome rope of blood and gore and ruined human that splattered loudly as bile seeped from the perforated organs, now long past use.

In the gaping space where once organs sat so tightly and neatly now there was only blood and sinew and pain. The boys stomach had been split open by a shard of bone and acid hissed away at his exposed flesh. His lungs were perforated like a sponge and black smoke poured out of them as they hissed in the open air. His heart still beat an irregular pattern though it had turned a corrupted sickly black, the flesh of the bloody organ cracking like a charred ham as it beat it's unsteady rhythm. The boy the inexpiable agony in steady waves as his screams fell silent, his throat bloody where his vocal cords had finally ripped, the force of his tortured screams silencing them forever. He realised then, though he should have died a dozen times over that the Demon was keeping him alive, sustaining him to endure every iota of pain. Every drop of blood was another syllable in his horrible twisted messages. He was the message, not as a human, but as a torn and twisted pile of meat that had ultimately reduced itself to nothing more than a mess of flesh that could not even hope to sustain itself. And there was nothing anyone could do to stop it, Brenhin was too great, too powerful, too much for anyone to hope to crush. His ruined body was testament to that horrific message, nobody could ever defeat the Demon that could be lurking within any of them. Humanity was doomed, they were all doomed, everything was going to end in smoke and ash and the Demon would preside over the blasted remains until time ran dry.

His thoughts of the apocalypse were drowned out by some fresh hell as a gagging, clogging feeling began to run it's way up his ruined throat as though a horde of frogs were attempting to crawl up his gullet. Those that were brave enough or horrified enough to still be able to look at the ruined creature would see the bulges of some unknown entity as it pushed itself upwards. Then as it reached the boys adams apple it emerged. Rocketing from between his lips was a vast pillar of shadow, so sudden was the force of it's emergence as the five foot long appendage burst from the confines of his throat that the already agape jaw was thrown open so sharply that it all but ripped from his face. The boys cheeks tore apart like tender pork and there was as sharp popping sound as his jaw followed suit, hanging limply and loosely from under where the head had been snapped backwards. The boys eyes were locked in abject terror as fingers spread from the arm like the sprouting of some grim flower in the spring. An elbow joint snapped into existence on the black pillar and like a striking scorpion to moved at speed belying its size, the hand grasping tightly onto the upper portions of his remaining skull.

There was a twisted sound of bone cracking inwards under the strength of the black fingers under suddenly, as though it were a vaulting platform the unseen creature used the small, broken head to pull itself up and in a single gory flash what remained of the boys broken form exploded in a mess of ruined flesh and shattered bone and stringy sinew that splattered itself all around. The boys head was obliterated, finally ending the unimaginable torture once and for all as the Demon Lord emerged once more. The Demon, who's body was made of nothing but thick smoke so dense it seemed as strong as blackened steel rose tall into the air, billowing up to a great height that towered over the buildings. His arms stretched out and twisted as he almost flexed, seemingly proud of his horrific execution. His head twisted down to look at the Seven on the ground below him, well aware the stench that accompanied his form would be choking them, the smell of burning tar and rotting flesh was bad enough alone, let alone without the entrance he had caused.

Though no other fire coursed through his shadowy form, his eyes lit up in a deep orange blaze for just a moment as he beheld the gathered Seven. A twisted grin split across his dark face as he raised higher, long, thin, batlike wings stretched out from his back and pulled him even higher into the air.
"So easily broken. So easily manipulated. So easily terrified. You creatures are hardly worth the effort to control. But allow this most humble of demonstrations tell you of one simple thing. No matter where you run, no matter where you hide, no matter how deep the hole you creatures dig yourselves into, nor how many soldiers separate you and I, I shall find you. You shall never know my coming, little creatures, for who can you truly trust in this world? Who even in this organisation who have so kindly taken you in against your will can you truly trust? Who can you know is free from...." The gigantic Demon Lord twisted forwards, his horrific face of shadow and darkness coming close to the ground and only intensifying the stench. "Deceit?" A deep, grating laugh echoed throughout the colossal form of the shadowy Demon Lord before his form suddenly lost all consistency and the smoke exploded outwards, spilling into the street before drifting into the sky and dissipating into the air. Were it not for the lingering stench and the ruined mess of the boy on the stones it would appear Brenhin had never even been there.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall
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#, as written by Zalgo
Rick Brackwall

He waited as the remainder of the others arrived, most arriving only shortly after him. Caius of course was laggard and it visibly irritated Illusion given how she dropped him in on his back through a portal. Afterwords she segued nicely into the meat of the explanation, giving them a short briefing on the tasks they'll be set with.

"Don't think your prior experience means anything. This Boot Camp is special, something you haven't seen before, Rick. I suggest you all be on guard."

"I await the subversion in expectation with anticipation." He answered simply, giving a short nod before she continued on.


After that she wrapped up her explanation and they proceeded on forward, Illusion bidding the man coming in congratulations. She always did have a means of knowing things about people. Rick was not naive enough to not believe she had a means of prying into someone's business, albeit discreetly as it had yet to run against his mental barrier. All he knew was that lying to her was not an option. Luckily he was always a rather honest man, never truly lying in an outright sense. Just because he almost never lied though didn't mean he was obliged to share information unnecessarily.

As they went outside he spotted Angel along with four other guards escorting a prisoner down the street. He was about to bid Angel a friendly hello when suddenly the scene took a turn for the grisly.

Before long the prisoner's limbs were twisting about, typical results from a demonic possession. The event continued, the displays of self mutilation growing ever greater in gratuity until eventually there was little left of the prisoner save the upper torso and head. Meanwhile the guards who were supposedly keeping watch of the patient had backed from the scene, not acting upon it evidently. Angel himself had been standing aside, his hand clutching Loria the sword he kept at his side at all times. Illusion herself seemed rather unimpressed by the whole event. For the seven he couldn't confirm quite yet.


Rick himself remained composed throughout the event. He was tempted to identify the demon using his new magnifying glass however he was reluctant to show his hand and the fact there was a demon there was not the question he needed answered. What he needed to know here was why the demon chose to do this and what purpose the demonstration showed.

As it started attempting to crawl forth from the tortured victim's lips Rick swiftly gestured an arcane spell.

"Wind barrier." He quietly uttered towards the end of his motions. On queue the winds started to pick up, suddenly quite animated as they begun to swirl about the seven, Illusion and Eine. In addition clean air was being created at Rick's own position, creating a gentle draft against those around him as the clean air diffused into the forming dome of winds cycling around them. Rick's focus of study was more oriented towards offensive magics but most all casters had at least a rudimentary understanding of protection magics.


Thanks to the barrier the demon's stench was repelled, leaving the nine of them watching in relative comfort as the entity spoke. Hoisting himself up in an attempt at intimidation the demon spoke to them, no doubt trying to sow dissent among them before dissipating into smoke. All the while Rick held a fairly good poker face however slight hints showed through that he wasn't all too impressed. As the demon made his monologue he recorded the sigil imprinted on the dead guy's flesh into his clipboard as well as some bullet points regarding the entity himself.

After the demon had left Rick waited a couple seconds to see if the strange smoke had left. Once it could be confirmed to have dissipated he lowered the barrier, turning to Illusion.

"I figure this wasn't part of the Boot Camp experience you had planned. You said this would be something I haven't
seen before..." Rick walked over to the meaty remains of the prisoner, looking down at the discarded skull resting before
his boots.

"... This is all fairly standard for a demon."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall
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ImageImageImage
They soon arrived, others were late, but it was to be expected. They are indeed labeled as demonic in origin, yet they had lived as ordinary humans. The redeeming trait of humanity is adaptability, but there are variations. Some are quick, some are slow. Everything around them does not fall into a sense of normality, just not yet. All of them have issues needed to be faced eventually and their pace is not of anyone's making. In any case, she remained still and silent in her place. Even with Illusion's demonstration towards Caius, she did not say or even grant it any expression. This reaction was also extended towards to the brief introduction of what they are to do with 'Boot Camp'.

Once that was done. They were lead to their destination and like many journeys, a stop is inevitable. Theirs was in the form of a male who had been mutilated to death by a demon. This kind of scenery was to be expected when it comes to hell-spawns. There are many depictions of such transgressions on books and even paintings. The imagination of the human mind is rather bountiful when it comes to the twisted, macabre, and cruelty. It does make her wonder if humans were actually another kind of monster. Then again, even the divine can be violent if required. That is why darkness is not to be feared even with all the symbolism it held.

And just like so, Vesper's face did not change. It was pristine and statuesque in its presentation, a porcelain doll beauty gifted with grace and apathy. Her eyes of velvet were lifeless in its gaze and she did not even flinch or trembled with the entire visuals. She did not even appear to be alarmed at all either from the brutality, stench, or the demon. Through it all, even with the demon's words that aimed to cause discord among and within, she does not have any feelings to provide. In any case, Rick had provided protection with his magic. It was then she took the moment to glimpse at the others.

There was a notion for her hand to reach out and offer a brief repose. But, she took hold of it as a mantra echoed inside her head. "All is none." That quelled whatever tinge that yearned her to bring respite. The sheen which held her eyes for a second soon vanished into the air. She removed her attention from the others and gazed at the enthralling gift left by the demon before them. It reminded her how kind that demon is as she focused her sights on Rick who noted such activity is common. Then, she looked at the escort of the sacrificial meat, a man with wheat-colored hair, whether this was known or not, it is a responsibility that befalls him. She could also imagine ORIN's sense of displeasure. After all, their confidence of having a safe haven had been crushed earlier.

Then again, it is not her place to criticize. "Ms. Illusion." Her voice soft as it had always been as she called out to the smaller female. "Shall we continue on?" The calmness she exuded was archaic in its elegance, not a blemish of fear or discomfort cracked though her skin. "Time must not be wasted as you say." There was no force, but a gentle suggestion in her tone. "With all due respect to your instruction." She was not bothered whether they stay longer or if they would be required to do something, like to clean up. However, the others do not share the same sentiment. Even if they had resolved a mask of rock, the inside is a lure of vulnerability. The others were thrown into the pits of blood. "This should be enough for now, Ms. Illusion." The rarest instance, she spoke of her thoughts.


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall
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Image
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"I'll tell you a secret,
it's something that grants life
and grants death, whatever side
you choose, there shall always be one
truth which you must abide at all cost,
if not then, you are a no one."
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It seemed that everyone was still present. Disappointing. "Tsk." If it was remorse or shame, they were nonexistent because, he really wanted to be left behind. But, he was chained to the word known as attachment. That was the only viable thing that was keeping him collected as much as possible and his strong response of rejection. All of it, a means of self-defense ingrained inside his consciousness. He was still overlapping it with the reality that he was used to, like a child harshly clinging to a broken piece of glass even if he bleeds to death, but apparently, he would die of shock first instead of blood loss.

That's because the very moment he felt the goosebumps, someone grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and pulled him into that fleeting black hole that would churn one's stomach, making him rather dizzy before he met his seemingly constant companion, the floor. This kind of scenario was a repeat that he really didn't need to guess who was responsible. It was his sheer annoyance that he managed to ignore the haziness of his head and meet those crimson eyes glaring at him. There was a voice inside his head, to step back, but, his irritation of how he was handled, was far superior. "You should have left then. Tsk." He met that glare with his own of gold. Then, scoffed as he stood and crossed his arm in front of his chest.

The tirade of the midget about him being late was old news to Caius. He had never been early or on time with anything in his life. So, why should he be mindful of it now? His time had always been on his own, that's why as if as an act of rebellion, he turned deaf to whatever that man-child was spouting about. So, in the end, he missed everything that was said, because instead he drowned the sounds by repeating a chant inside his head. "Booze. Cigarettes. Booze. Cigarettes." It was highly effective as he was left in the black. The only time, he was taken to this reality is when he noticed the others leaving the auditorium. It seemed they were done, if that was so, he would like to have another drink.

With those thoughts, he hanged at the back and was about to take the turn towards the dormitories, but wondered why the others were going in a different direction. Weren't they dismissed? Are they supposed to go somewhere? They were not looking and he could easily slip away. The temptation was great and he wanted to do it, but the midget would make such a fuss again. And clearly, he doesn't want to be touched by that filthy man-child again. It was disgusting and so with a heavy sigh, he changed his direction and followed grudgingly the others who were quite a distance with him.

It wasn't something noteworthy as he soon caught up with them, but he wondered why they were stopping in the middle of the path. And because he was someone who clearly was not able to read the mood, or more like didn't made an effort to do so, he called their attention with, "Oi!" As he walked towards the group almost closing the gap between them and him, He could also see someone in front of the group. A man? Then, as if on cue, splat... He felt something soft and wet touching his face, moreover, it felt to be a lot. This made him stop as he reached to touch his cheek as some viscous liquid was also there. He had a hunch, because of the coppery scent, he had been familiar with in volumes, but to see, is to believe.

His finger touched it as he took a look and saw it... "Blood...?" There were even some fragments attached to it. He felt everything inside of him froze as his eyes widened and as if to confirm looked at the man he had seen earlier become a perfect example of a class-B horror movie. There was also some creature he could compare to those dungeon bosses in games. He had always thought them to look cool, but that was naive isn't it? Because, without the protection of glass, he felt his body trembled and steadily shook like a tree in face of storm of black smoke.

The scene before him imbricate with a bloody moonlit night and the corpses of detached red cloaked limbs accompanied by the relentless plea for help. Then those eyes of burning orange vanished into those hungry gaze of that beast. That made him lurched as he covered his mouth and nose as the stench enveloped his senses. He barely managed to keep himself standing as the voices grew louder in his head and the something incessant was clawing inside of his throat.

"C-ai... he...lp..."

"Why? Why? Didn't you help?"

The demons in his head were having a field day as they assaulted him. He fell to his knees this time as he held his head and continuously shook it. "Just stop... I... I did all.. I can. I'm--" His words were like a broken symphony as his eyes of gold gazed upon the ground as if it can provide a sanctuary for him, an answer. "It's not... not..." He continued to speak in a broken language and the tough ego that he was earlier crumbled into a puddle of blood.

"You abandoned us, Cai."

"No, I didn't!" He shouted in resistance and the grip he has on his head tightened. Then, the scent of brimstone enveloped him in a paranoia of the unknown and a voice that brought sweet promises. "Do you want power?" This voice was a stranger, but it carried a definitive weight in his psyche. The tremors of his body seemed to subside a bit. "I ask, do you want power?" He raised his head a bit as if to look, allowing those gold orbs to peek from his bangs. "Do you hear me?" There was a hand in front of him, it was not a girl's as it was large and strong-looking. But, it was covered in blood.

His eyes widened in horror as searing heat suddenly surrounded him. It was like he was in the middle of an infernal blaze. He felt that his skin was being scorched apart. "Grab it or die." He didn't want to die. He doesn't want to as he hold on to it and the scene shown to him change. The hand was not there anymore but, in turn, it was his that were bathed in blood. He shouldn't be affected by it. He had lived through a life of decadence, his hands were never clean anyway, but why did it struck him so, because of the voices that surrounded him in intensity.

"Are you powerful?"

"But, you couldn't save us."

"You're nothing."

"Why did you kill us?"

That wasn't true... Not at all. He shook his head in denial. The voice became entities, like ghosts that slowly closed onto him as, if choking him of his lifeline. "I didn't kill you! It wasn't my fault!" He then in retaliation swung around his arm as if removing the presence around him in a wild dance. "Are you really sure?" He raised his head in defiance, but what meet him were the same gold eyes just like his, the same face, just a lot younger. His rage dwindled in confusion and surprise. "Who are you...?" The child that is him gazed with such disappointment. "Don't be stupid." The child closed the gap between them as those small hands held his face. "You ate them up, even that dragon. You are a…"

The next word was whispered like a ghostly wind and like a bullet to the brain, images of seething fire, gasping breaths, delirious pleas, and a bloodied dragon on flesh, flooded his mind and the plunge, wracked him with heavy trembles and the clawing grew stronger. "Just stop it!" In the mixture of confusion and delusions, his hand raised into a fist as it collided with the ground, making it shake like he did as stones and dirt flew around him. Displaying, his strength of inhumane capacity once more, and once it settled.

What was left, was a considerable sized crater, and his golden eyes still in a haze and his face with bloody small hand prints on both cheeks, fitted for a child. "It's a lie..." He muttered under his breath.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall
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#, as written by zody
-| ? |-
-| Jonathan Black |-Image


Jojo had known something was up, the mood in the area being ominous and tinged with.. something. He paused behind the two in front of him, watching as the man staggered toward them. His eyes narrowed, and he saw the expression on the man's face. He took a preemptive step back.
"Oh no."
Splat.
Jojo spun in place, grabbing the two people closest to him- Ash and Helena- and forcibly turning them around to look away from the sight. He probably hadn't reacted fast enough to stop them seeing at least a little, but at least they'd be able to look away from the main course. "Don't." He turned back to Illusion, worry in his voice. "Miss Illusion, can-" He was cut off as he took in the sight before him. Jojo's hand flew to his mouth and covered it as the man began to twist and contort, Jojo's eyes beginning to widen as he took an unsteady step backwards and looked behind him for a moment before turning back. He felt something splattering against his face and chest, but he didn't put two and two together yet. All he knew was that as he'd turned back to look, something had smacked him in the face. He couldn't look away as the man was literally ripped apart, torn to pieces in front of the group. Whatever had hit him was in the back of his mind when there was something like that in front of him. He looked at Illusion and Eine, wishing they would help, but Illusion looked back at him and shook her head. Jojo looked over at Eine, who simply stood there with a stiff form, darkness in her eyes. He took yet another step backwards, his head starting to feel light.
He knew he was going to start heaving.

Blood, flesh, bone and organs splattered across the ground. The man was literally ripped apart. Jojo gagged visibly, doubling over slightly and keeping his grip on his mouth even tighter than before. His body shook as he tried to fight back the urge to empty the contents of his stomach. He looked up again, and took another step back.
Blood splattered across his face and arm, and he immediately spun around and began heaving hard. Dropping to his knees, he covered his mouth once again as he started retching. It took him a little while, but he eventually stopped himself. Breathing hard, he'd barely managed to avoid actually coating the ground with his breakfast.
"Guess.. that's why we need to fight demons.. heh.."

It was in this position that he was able to clearly notice Caius' own freak out. He couldn't hear the man very well because of the fairly loud wind, but Jojo knew a tortured tone when he heard it. Whatever was going on with Caius, it wasn't good. He swallowed hard, keeping his eyes on Caius before slowly standing up again. Waiting until he was sure everything had ended, Jojo slowly moved over to him. His head was still light, and he felt nauseous, but his concern for Caius overrode that feeling. Stepping down over to the taller man, Jojo spoke. "You.. You okay, dude? Lemme know if you need anything, yeah?" Jojo's voice trembled and he felt a bit weak, but obviously Caius was dealing with a lot more than just a random person he'd never met exploding. He looked tortured, tormented.
Jojo couldn't have that.

He reached out, placing a hand on Caius' shoulder as he crouched in front of him, slightly to his right. He didn't offer any more words, but he figured Caius knew that he was there if he needed him. He turned back around, looking over everyone else. " Is everyone okay?! Anyone need any water? I can run to grab some if you need it!" There was worry in his voice, and he tried to speak loud enough for everyone to hear. He'd almost thrown up at the scene, so he somehow doubted he was the only one that had that urge. "What the hell was that..? If that's regular for a demon like Rick said.." A look of resolution came over Jojo's face as he slowly stood up. "Miss Illusion, actually, can you grab some bottles of water from your portals for us, please? It might not be necessary, but.. it'll be something at least." He didn't mention how Rick and Vesper both seemed unaffected. It was.. he paused for a moment. Just what had those two seen to make them so.. stoic about this? A little bit of anger coursed through him, but he stifled it quickly. He'd talk to Illusion about exactly what they'd made Vesper suffer through later on. Right now he needed to make sure everyone was okay, and make getting angry wouldn't help with that.

He let out a long breath. Half of his face was coated in blood, and there was a huge patch of the stuff on his shirt. He paused for a moment, blinking before reaching up and wiping his face. He'd assumed it was sweat from having to fight so hard against his vomiting, but..

Jojo went pale as he noticed his hand coated in the blood he'd just wiped off his face. Looking down, he saw that his shirt was coated in the stuff. Thick, crimson blood stained his white shirt. He swallowed audibly, he seemed to go even paler. He went to speak, but couldn't. He hadn't noticed until just now exactly what it was that had hit him. He'd been too busy trying not to throw up, and then his concern for Caius had put the thoughts in the back of his mind. He was probably hit just before Rick tossed up the air barrier, which made perfect sense to him. He'd turned Ash and Helena around just in time, it seemed.

Jojo silently turned around to face away from the group, swallowing a third time. He crouched down, quickly yanking off his shirt and using it to wipe the blood from his face. He then quite happily tossed it onto the floor, standing up once again. He exhaled hard, shuddering as he turned to the others. "Uh.. permission to go grab another shirt?" He seemed to be fairly fine, but his pupils were a bit dilated and he was shivering a little. Not too much, but enough.

Inside his mind, he was piecing together everything that had happened. A demon had literally just burst from a man in front of them, torturing them to death and enjoying it. Jojo looked over everyone in the group, and he clenched his bloody fist. "That.. can't be allowed to happen."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley
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Image"Oh...yeah...fine." Helena mumbled, a few moments after she realised that Dawn was asking her a question. It wasn't exactly convincing. She wasn't certain why she'd even said it. She certainly didn't feel okay. However any attempt to try and explain why she was upset...either kind of went without saying, or was something that she had to keep to herself at all costs. So she offered up the most socially acceptable response and went with it.
"Just k-kinda tired."

She hadn't totally hidden the shake in her voice.

Helena followed along with the group as they started walking, her eyes downcast and generally making little effort to pay attention to what was going on. That was until the group of people crossed their path. The young woman hadn't been paying sufficient attention to the halt, an nearly walked right into the back of Jojo who's been a little way ahead.

Something was...off...wrong. She couldn't quite put her finger on it.

While on some level, Helena was pretty sure that there was something not right, the moment one of the men's arms began twisting themselves out of their sockets was something she couldn't expect-

Helena was stood in a dark expanse. She could see nothing at all within it, and yet she was somehow certain the darkness spread in front of her a great distance.

She began to walk forwards, compelled by some unseen force. In her peripheral vision, Helena could pick up the fuzzed edges of buildings and walls in the gloom, all devoid of light and life.

It seemed she was walking for hours when she began to become aware of colour, somewhere in the distance. A red light far on the horizon. A last, something other than this oppressive darkness!

And then, without warning, Helena was elsewhere. Looking through a small gap out into some...indistinct room... as if she were somehow trapped in the space between walls. Through the small crack she could make out..a man in a well-pressed suit, adjusting his tie.

Somewhere else again. A dark room. And a blade..a scythe in greenish gold, the feeble light reflecting a strange hue off its edge.

Back in the dark street. Helena found herself stood below the red object, that towered over her and bathed the patch of ground in crimson light. A cross? From here it seemed to be a cross. As she watched however, the light that issued from it was dimming. Dark mist was crawling around the cross's base and snaking its way up to the top, consuming whatever light it did once give out. Helena, unsettled, began to back away from the corrupted thing, preferring to some degree the passive darkness of the lifeless city over whatever was devouring this object.

She turned away and jogged back into the shadow. It was..less oppressive than before. Less threatening. Now that she was used to it.

Crack!

An arc of electricity burst across the air over her head, spreading out and disappearing, searing white against the fuzzy black.

Crack!

Another blinding fork of light.

Then...a splatter. A repulsive feeling of warmth across one side of her body and around her feet. In the illumination cast from the bolts of energy, she could see the blood pooling around her feet, sliding down her face-



Sunlight.

She was outside the WDL base.

Why wouldn't she be?

In the few moments it took Helena to get here bearings one again, she gradually realised that she was facing the opposite way to where she had been before. When had that happened? Why had that happened?

Her concerns about that were diminished however when the girl became aware of something else. The warm, liquid sensation of something sliding down her face...had not gone away. Reaching up gingerly she felt for it, something thicker than water and warmer than anything had the right to be...and pulled away to find blood spattering her cheek and hair.

"Oh god!" Helena yelped in horror and alarm, swinging round to be met with the carnage of the courtyard where the man had been stood seemingly moments before. The memories came flooding back of the man snapping his own shoulders out.
"OH GOD!"

If she'd actually eaten anything in the past thirty-six hours, she might've joined Jojo in throwing up.


She hadn't much idea what had happened, but Helena was already pretty certain that it was considerably more than she could handle. The fact that Rick, whom she took to be the leader of this group, was utterly unconcerned with this carnage, and citing it as 'fairly standard' pretty much made Helena's stomach drop through the floor. More than a few people there seemed...totally unfazed by this. And..if anything that was more acutely disturbing than the pieces of corpse littering the area.

"This is...insane!"
she exclaimed, as she swung round for something to try and get the spattering of blood out of her hair.
"I don't know about the rest of you, but I wasn't even good at being a NORMAL PERSON! You can't just expect us to handle this! It's not fair! "

Tears stung at the corner of her vision but the sheer horrifying absurdity of it all expressed itself in anger over despair.

"Someone just died! Doesn't that even bother people!? I don't want you to turn me into someone who isn't horrified by that! I don't ever want to be like that!"

----

Meanwhile, the intercom over the yard crackled suddenly into life and the rather familiar noise of the defence system gave voice.

"Would you like me to say 'I told you so' now, Angel? Or would you like that communicated to you through official channels?" ORIN asked.

Down in her control room ORIN sat sideways across the chair, legs hooked over one arm and cup of coffee sat between her hands.

She was pretty certain she should be worried about some demon killing a prisoner in the middle of the compound, regardless of what Illusion thought on the matter..

But Angel being humiliated made it hard not to take some satisfaction out of it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall
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#, as written by Tanman
Ashley “Ash” “Soot” Clade
Image

With a simple nod acknowledging that Ash had done what she needed simply by reaching the auditorium, she proceed to fold her arms behind her head to wait. The following spectacle with Caius was mildly amusing, as well as a good reminder to her that prudence was the wiser choice when it came to this place. As much as she hated authority, she could stomach it where the alternative would result in worse humiliation like that boy had received. Unlike him, she wasn’t stupid.

Next came the briefest of lectures into what boot camp was going to entail, though it was still somewhat vague what that consisted of specifically. Maybe if they’d had more time she could’ve asked questions and found out a bit more, but she’d have to simply settle on the fact that she’d be learning her special abilities (Whatever they were), how to fight, and apparently participating in some reality show-esque survival game. All in all, she actually couldn’t complain too much. It was better than traditional schooling by a long shot, and she’d been in enough scraps to know the joy of punching some smug fellow in the face. If combat training required sparring, there was more than a few of her fellow demon-kin that she’d gladly take the opportunity to introduce to the floor. Camping wasn’t an issue for her either. In fact, she liked it a little rough.

"Now, if you would kindly follow me so you can learn how to become superpowered cool people, we should leave quickly. We'll be heading to the nearby garage to procure a nice vehicle for everyone to share." Illusion gestured for them to follow her, and Ash resisted the urge to raise her hand to interject. Following slightly behind the group, she figured she’d raise the fact that she’d make her own way using her bike at the garage, particularly given the arrival of Mister Friedman. She did however, turn back to the supply bags. ”Shouldn’t we carry these-?” Ash stopped herself as the bags seemingly dropped through the floor, the portals taking them closing as quickly as they arrived. ”…Never mind.” She mumbled, jogging a little to catch the rest of the group and follow after them.

The walk to the garage was going relatively peacefully, that Ash almost felt inclined to make conversation. In fact, she was about to when they suddenly came to a stop. Illusion first, then by herd mentality, the rest of the group. Leaning slightly to the side and moving up from the rear of the group, Ashley looked to see what appeared to be a bunch of the WDL goons, including that big wig from the other day, escorting some prisoner. He looked normal enough, but looks could be deceiving. She briefly wondered what sort of thing he’d done for such treatment, but didn’t care enough to find out. As far as sideshows went, this wasn’t very amusing.

”Uh, hello? Can we get moving again?” Ash asked, but her question was cut off by an ear-splitting crack, and the sudden feeling of movement as she was forced by another to turn away. So visceral was the feeling that filled her being that it made her visibly flinch. She knew that whatever going on behind her was bad. She could see it in the expressions of the people she’d turned to face. The sounds. Smells. Everything. All the warning signs were there that she should take her good fortune and not look behind her. But she wasn’t a wimp. She was tough. She could handle whatever it was. ”The hell JoJo! Get off me you do-” Ash hesitated as she slightly pushed him away, freezing in place as the blood caked across him registered through the slimy sensation on her hand. She wasn’t nearly as soiled as the boy, nor had she really felt it through her thick waterproof clothes, but it was still there. Slowly, her eyes traced the mess back to its source. She’d seen messed up things before, but never this close. Never this real. It was horrifying, and seemingly never ending. Transfixed on it like a train wreck or a car crash, her mind and body started to get through the shock and start shrieking alarm bells in her head. She took a step back, then inched further away. Barely, she managed to contain her own reflux as she covered her mouth and swallowed it back down. The taste left a knew sensation of disgust through her senses.

It was some sick joke. Some twisted prank by Illusion to throw them out of whack. It had to be. And yet, the blood on her hand from touching JoJo confirmed otherwise. She felt a little weak in the legs as they refused to work, the display of their insignificance and reminder of their mortality a world-shaking experience. As the winds gathered around them from what Ashley recognised to be one of Rick’s spells, it gave the black haired biker a chance to pay attention to the declarations of the demon that rose from the carnage in front of them. As the smoke billowed and the soldiers that had been escorting the prisoner scrambled to safety, Ashley was suddenly very happy to have a nerd like Rick helping them, but she didn’t get to dwell on that feeling long.

The message from the demon was clear. That were to fear him, and what he had planned for them. Ash didn’t really need it stated to her so plainly, as her body already felt that dread all over. The only solace she could take was that for whatever power this monster had; it clearly was not unstoppable. If it was, why didn’t it just murder them where they stood? No, this was just a vow on their heads. It didn’t actually mean anything, other than reinforcing the idea that there were many out there who wanted them dead. All the more reason for them to hurry up with this boot camp and learn some magic mumbo-jumbo to protect themselves from such dangers. Rational as those thoughts were, Ashley couldn’t keep her focus on them. Not with the corpse in front of them. Not with the memories that kept flashing through her mind to remind her of what happened, desperately trying to make sense of it and help her process it.

Around her, the reactions of the group varied. Breakdowns, indifference, mischievous smiles and even JoJo’s ever present practicality. Ash barely registered her own shock as her mouth remained agape, taking it all in. Slowly however, feeling returned to her numbed senses. Her brain began to catch up to the present. Vesper and Rick responded with casual indifference, like this was expected or normal. Ash 100% agreed with Helena’s reaction to that, though she didn’t voice it. That was insane. The fact they could just… Ignore that! Were they so desensitized to that gore and violence that they didn’t react at all? Even with training, Ashley didn’t believe she’d ever be able to handle something like that. She hoped she would never need to again.

Nearby, Caius was having his own personal freakout, though JoJo seemed to be on top of that one. His issues sounded a lot different to what her and Helena were feeling, so Ash instead focused on supporting the only other person who seemed to have a similar reaction to her. ”I’m with... Uh…” The pressure of the situation and the intensity of it all seemed to freeze up her brain, Ash unable to recall Helena’s name at the moment. ”…With the squirt. This is nuts! If you expect us to just accept this sorta thing, you’re even crazier than I thought!” Ash tried to sound tough and forceful, but she couldn’t stop the shaking in her legs. Her body was quivering in a flight or fight state still, and the adrenalin refused to stop. It was definitely putting her on edge in dealing with all of them, her words particularly directed to Rick, Vesper, Illusion and Eine.

”I was maybe okay with this bullshit before all this but this is… It’s just…” Still trembling, JoJo was the first to speak, probably not hearing this side of the conversation as he inappropriately began spouting some nonsense about water bottles. Probably his way of coping, but Ashley wasn’t putting up with any of that crap right now. Too many emotions were running high at this point, and she had to lash out. ”Oh shut the hell up JoJo! Stop acting like some bigshot prick! I’m sick and tired of your freakin’ mediating bullcrap! Just have a goddamn honest reaction for once and shit your pants like the runt and I!” Storming up towards him, Ash had to stop herself from giving him a rough shove, once again noting the blood soaked across him. ”Tch…” Rapidly spinning back around to Rick and the other, she remembered her beef with them, voicing it aloud. "What the hell is wrong with everyone here?!" With a frustrated yell, Ash finally stopped long enough to regain a little composure, catching her breath. She wanted to just get away from this situation more than anything else, but there was no running away at this point. She had to deal, at least to some extent. ”Screw this shit…” She swore under her breath, kicking some debris across the ground. “Why’d this crap have to happen to me…?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall
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Dawn returned Hel’s response with a sympathetic smile. “It’s, um. It’s been a lot, huh?” “A lot” was an incredible understatement, really. Especially given what she had told them of how, exactly, she came to enter the WDL. There was little that Dawn could say to the near-stranger in support, however, aside from an earnest “Hang in there,” as the meeting progressed.

Caius’ arrival didn’t seem to go unnoticed by their Principal, either- moments after he had glanced into the auditorium, he was whisked into one of Illusion’s portals and thrown onto the ground before them. Illusion took a moment to chew the man out before addressing the rest of the Seven, giving a brief rundown of what, exactly, Boot Camp would entail. Survival. Cooperation. Caution, most of all. Evidently, the WDL weren’t overly welcoming when it came to anything that wasn’t fully human- with the exception of Illusion, it seemed. Their fellow trainees were, in a way, could be considered as much as a threat to the Seven as whatever “Boot Camp” had in store for them.

Recruits in a supernatural hunting organization. All of them- even her, as strange as the thought was. The little procession began a journey to the garage, Illusion congratulating a man on a child that he seemingly hadn’t even mentioned before on the way. In the back of her head, Dawn began to worry that they were heading right this instant. She still needed to ask if there would be someone available to take care of Iggy for her- the last thing that she wanted was for her poor boy to be left by himself for a whole week. Dawn was preparing to ask one of the higher in staff when they came to an abrupt halt. Surprised, she looked over the shoulders of the others to see a batch of WDL officers, apparently transporting a prisoner, and then-

Snap.

The prisoner’s arm was twisting, popping and cracking under the weight of some invisible force. Bone was not meant to bend like that. Limbs were not supposed to yank themselves free from a body, thrown carelessly on the floor like trash. Dawn’s eyes widened in horror, hand clasping tight against her mouth and nose. The man was being torn apart by the seam, but she didn’t look away- staring at the scene, the mutilation, as if it were impossible for her to avert her gaze. She took a few steps back as the rest of his limbs were twisted loose, free hand gripping tight into the side of her skirt.

Slick warmth pattered gently against the front of her shirt. There were shouts around her, retching...pounding? But her focus was on the massive towering shape that bloomed from the...bits left of the prisoner. Dawn pressed her palm tighter against her face. The demon’s message was clear- he could reach them all easily if he so desired. And yet, after delivering it, he simply disappeared, leaving them to process just what, exactly, had happened.

He wanted to intimidate them. That was his purpose, and it seemed to have succeeded...for the most part. The staff didn’t seem all too bothered, except Eine, whose face had darkened as soon as the whole thing had begun. Oddly enough, the veterans among the Seven were almost completely unfazed. Apparently, demonic torture happened often in this line of work. The aloof nature of their company was quickly picked up by some of Dawn’s fellow newcomers- Helena screaming at the WDL members, Ash joining in quickly after, shoving Jojo for his attempt at stabilizing the whole mess. Understandable, in all the chaos of the moment, but it prompted Dawn to say something in defense of her friend. “He was just trying to help.” Her face was pale and drawn, and she spoke somewhat weakly, trying to look everywhere but where the prisoner...was. The last of the newcomers, Caius, was still lying on the floor, looking completely haunted.

Dawn, finally managing to tear herself fully away from the remains of the prisoner,had begun to hastily wipe at herself in an attempt to clear the blood away. It came from her skin easily enough with a few swipes (although there were a few patches that had already begun to dry, and now refused to do anything but smear), but there was nothing to do about the worst of the spill, which had landed on the front of her clothes. Unlike Jojo, there was no way for her to remove it without completely throwing modesty out the window, so on it stayed, Dawn’s hands left hovering above it in a helpless sort of gesture.

“Water,” she swallowed, craning her head away from the coppery scent. “Water would be...really great. I think.” Dawn didn’t comment further on their circumstances, or the fact that the veterans were unsettlingly at ease with the carnage. Perhaps it was a matter of distraction, perhaps something else. She stared down at her bloodied hands, looking ill.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall
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#, as written by zody
-| LORD OF ILLUSIONS |-
-| 'Illusion' |-Image


Illusion idly pulled her phone from her pocket as she typed out a message. Brenhin's threats washed over her body and mind- he was essentially powerless against her, and she knew it. As the smoke demon finished up his speech, Lusy slid her phone back into her pocket and waited. Giving him a cute smile and wave as he vanished, Lusy turned around to see the carnage before her. Blood soaked the front of her shirt, staining her nearly completely. She'd gotten quite drenched, although she simply reached up and wiped her face clean with a cloth. She licked her lips, making a disgusted face as she turned away quickly and spat into the handkerchief she'd used to wipe her face, before spinning back around. "Gross blood.. tastes disgusting.." Letting out a soft sigh, Lusy dropped away into a portal, reappearing from it moments later blood-free. Idly cracking her neck as everyone nearby had their tantrums, she sighed loudly. Tensions were high, emotions were flaring.. She felt something deep inside of her frame stirring before she immediately snuffed it out, burying and then destroying it.

At ORIN's interruption, Lusy had to hold back a snicker. "Ah, yes, truly a shame that our most prodigious of Exorcists under Arthur himself has been oh so badly humiliated. Truly such a shame." She saw Angel stiffen. Angel himself was bursting with rage- his target had been able to escape before he drew his blade.
Hatred flew through his veins as Illusion taunted him, her voice echoing throughout the area. His blade rocketed from the sheath and crackled with violent electricity as he shot across the clearing so fast it seemed that he'd teleported. His face was contorted with pure hatred as he sliced at the vampire in front of him. A small smile slid across Lusy's lips as she caught the blade in her hand, her grip covering Angel's own. She stepped in to him, speaking softly. "Not in front of the new recruits, Angel. You might make them dislike us even more if you keep acting so.. uncouth." Angel glared daggers at the vampire before stepping back and looking everyone present over. Sheathing his blade, he returned his gaze to Illusion, fists clenched. His entire body was tensed. "Just because you're a part of the WDL doesn't mean I won't kill you one day, demon. Consider that a promise I intend to keep- for yourself and the rest of your damned hellspawns." He hurriedly rushed off, almost sprinting after his cowardly men. Lusy's grin dropped as she noticed Eine staring at her, and she turned to the others.

"Everyone, calm down, please." Angel certainly didn't help the situation..
She extended her hand, focusing for a moment before reaching into a portal and yanking out a large bag of water bottles. She tossed one to Jojo, who immediately began dousing himself in it, letting the blood wash off a bit instead of letting it dry. He took a few gulps, washing the taste of bile from his mouth. Finishing, he sighed hard, looking over at Ash. "Water to wash down the taste of me almost throwing up, and also to wash the blood off my clothes.. kinda.. Figured you guys might like to get some too." He ignored her remark about 'shitting his pants'. He was too focused right now, and he knew if he started to actually think about what he'd just seen, he'd probably spend the next week being unable to eat or sleep- he already figured he'd stay away from meat for a long while. He was still shaking a little with dilated pupils, a sign that despite his practicality, he was fighting hard to stop himself losing it. He had to take a deep breath to keep himself calm. Losing himself now would be bad. Someone had to keep their cool- someone who still had emotions, that is.
Don't look at the body.

Illusion sighed loudly, raising her hand and clicking to get the attention of everyone present. "I am a vampire. I've been alive for thousands of years- I've seen innumerable atrocities, endless violence.. Something like this is regular to me. I'm a demon from Hell, so if I were to be disgusted by violence would make my entire existence difficult. It's not nice, but.. it's true." She motioned over to Eine, who stood stock still. Her white suit was untouched, and somehow still pristine. "Eine here is a veteran of a secret war where billions of people were slaughtered, including her own friends and family. She took an oath to never allow that to happen again. Both of us did." Eine nodded, turning to Illusion. "I made a promise that zhe bloodiest conflict in history shall never be repeated, ja, as did many people, Principal Illusion included." Illusion moved to point over at Rick, then to Vesper. "And these two have had enough trauma in their lives to see this and become unflinching." She dropped her hands, sighing hard. "We're not going to turn you into unfeeling soldiers. These people have merely been through so much that they don't fear this any more."

Levitating off the ground slightly, Illusion crossed her arms. "We're not asking you to become heartless. We're asking you to help stop this kind of thing from ever happening. To protect innocent people from being hurt by.. that. Imagine someone you love and cherish being hurt by that demon. Is that what you want? We're here to give you the power to create miracles and save the world. You may all be what you are, but we're here to get you to use that potential for good. We're here to make the best of a terrible situation. We, I, know none of you asked for this. You were all content with your lives, but.. I'm here to help you become strong, powerful- able to protect those you care about and more. That's the purpose of the Warriors of Divine Light- to protect humanity from things they can't defend themselves from. That's what I want you to take from this experience. Not that you're stuck here in a world full of monsters, but that with our help, my help, you'll be able to protect the world- your families and friends and loved ones- from monsters like that smoke demon." Her tone was hopeful, even a little pleading. It was obvious she had high hopes for the Seven, and wanted them to succeed and prosper- and be able to save themselves from whatever lay around the corner for themselves and their loved ones.

Dropping to the ground, Illusion brushed her dress off. "You're in a position where you have the strength to save the world. I'm simply asking you to help us do that. You're all so much stronger than you could ever imagine, so please, so everyone's sake, please let us make you strong enough to save the world- emotions and all intact."

She paused, then spoke again. "Please help us save the world. We need you." She bowed at the waist, staying like that for a few moments before standing up again. She let her gaze pass over everyone present before turning away and raising a clean handkerchief to her face. Her own losses still plagued her, despite her ability to hide them.
Her body suddenly changed, and Lusy was standing, smiling, before them.
Her face shimmered a little as she spoke. "Sorry for the shameful display, but I have to put this illusion up for a couple moments. Some scars run quite deep, I hope you understand." Eine's own face had darkened even further, and her eye was closed. Her gaze was far away, and she reached up and idly touched the bandage covering her face with a clenched jaw.

So many scars for so many people still hurt.

The illusion vanished after a little while, and Illusion turned back to those present, a pained smile on her face. "Well, what an event.. Hopefully we all understand why we're here, now, and.. I want to remind you all that I'm here to help you in any way I can. No matter the hour, or the place, I'm here to help and guide you." She spun on her heel, floating off the ground slightly as she began to move away the way they'd come. "We'll be taking the long way back past the dormitories so you can grab a change of clothes." She left almost right away, pausing momentarily to pat Caius' head softly before floating on. Eine was quick to follow, head bowed slightly. Her memories plagued her- a storm-filled night mixed with lightning and chaos.

And black flames that scorched the very earth on which they stood, burning, twisting, devouring everything in their path.
Eine shuddered as her dark thoughts consumed her.

Jojo stood there for a little bit, crouching down to pick up his shirt. He stayed crouched for a while, reaching up to put his face in his hands and mutter under his breath. "Fuck me.."
He stood a few moments after, tossing his wet shirt over his shoulder as he followed Illusion back to the dorms. He hoped that he could have a bit of time in his room to have his own personal freak out.
He hoped Dawn wouldn't ask if he was okay.

The vampire floated slightly ahead of the others.
Brenhin had fallen into her trap perfectly, and Angel had been made a fool of as an added bonus.
The day was going very, very well.

However..
She wished those tears had been fake.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall
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When everything is said and done, there was nothing else but the eerie silence of devouring thoughts. Vesper understood it all. It is why she did not speak or even move from her position. It was because this stillness was necessary for all to gather what they could even if it was by pieces. Her amethyst eyes reflected a void that encompassed a mysterious meaning as she looked at the others and then lastly on Jonathan who went back to the dormitories. The blood will just keep on flowing. "It had always been since that day."

In any case, she assessed her state of clothing first. There were no blood splatters on her as she was fortunately placed in a position avoiding its trajectory. She remained pristine in appearance and the barrier that Rick made was enough to put a halt on any other lingering red taint and smoke. The result, there was no need for her to change, but that would not be the same with the others. With that thought, she finally moved and walked towards where the most senior of them seven is. "Rick." Her voice held only a gentle sentimentality. "Let us go. You have to lead." This time, her tone carried a bit of weight, but still subtle. "There is nothing else here for now." The meaning of those words can be interpreted in various ways, but it should be enough for Rick to grasp her point.

Afterwards, she left Rick's side and went towards the tall brown man who was still kneeling on the ground with a crater near him. She then stopped before him. There was a notable moment of quietude as she was like an emotionless doll on display. She was currently contemplating what should be done by her without removing her limit of, 'My Place' In the end, she reached out her hand to the man. Illusion had patted his head from she had observed and Jonathan did what he could to provide comfort. They were passing kindness at a glance, but there was more to that. That is why she took out a handkerchief and began to wipe away the bloody hand prints on the tall brown man's face, lowering herself to the ground as well.

"You do not have to accept. You do not have to conform." Her voice carried through the wind like a resonating lullaby. It was not only meant for the man before her, but also for the others. "You need not to be bound. It is fine to act, feel, and speak what you will." When, she was done wiping the blood on his face. Her hands slowly cradled his head and pulled it towards her bosom, like a mother comforting her child. "Grip on to your sanity and conviction. Do not settle with what it is." Her eyes reflected the image of the tall brown man, yet her words were not solely meant for him. "Rebel to your heart's content."

Just like so, she gently placed her chin on top of the tall brown man's head. The notion of perhaps getting dirty did not bother her. Everyone's emotions and beliefs all were distorted. That was understandable. The world they knew when they were young had been twisted into a level that was even beyond their imagination. They even had their own troubles that they conceal deep in the cage of their hearts and mind. Then to be asked to be tolerable, to be powerful, to be a monster, to save the world. Is that not too much for them who had only a desire to live their lives as peacefully as it could be, as normally as they could? Would they really be a prisoner of a fate attached to them through blood? At the very least, they should not lose themselves in the bloodbath. So, to this man in her arms as well, for now. "Sweet dreams, Ai.", as it was whispered as a soothing breeze.


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall
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By the time boot camp came Vistra has been quiet for a while. Almost like she was absent from everything going on. It all just rushed at her at once. She was the Child of The Devil. The demons that had been chasing her for a year were indeed real, and very very dangerous. Her father would even be able to vist her soon. She had no doubt he'd attempt to move closer to her, maybe get a job here.

Vistra wondered if the WDL had a church anywhere inside it.

Then she wondered how awkward it would be to step into a church for the first time after learning her parentage. Whilst she knew she was still loved by God, since loving was kinda his whole point, would it change anything? She sincerely hoped not.

By the time Vistra snapped back into reality Caius has joined them. He was a few minutes late but Vistra didn't blame him. Things had been happening so fast here.

Boot camp, she decided, would be fun. She'd enjoy it, look forward to it, and learn all she could. Maybe she'd even grow closer to these people. They were half siblings after all. It wouldn't be so bad. Jojo seemed nice and he obviously cared about his friends. Ashley reminded her of every cool older sister from old sitcoms. Vesper was quiet, but sometimes Vistra liked the quiet. Rick could probably teach her a lot. Helena hadn't shown much of her personality yet but she handled all this well. Caius.....

Caius was trying. She thinks if he let's her get close they could have a good relationships and balance eachother out.

Her thoughts to her new siblings were cut of by a commotion ahead. A man, a boy really, stumbled by their group. With the way he was moving Vistra assumed best case this was a bad hangover and worst case this kid had a concussion. Never one to let a stranger stay in pain Vistra moved to the front of the group, arm outstretched towards the boy.

'Hey, are you oka-' A sickening splat and the crunch of bones stopped Vistra dead in her tracks. She was covered in something sticky and warm. Very slowly she looked down to see a red stain dripping from her clothes. At first she wondered if it was hers. It made the most sence to her. Vistra bled. That was her whole thing. There was no way this kid just.... exploded in front of her. People didn't just blow up.

No. She'd look up, see the boy perfectly intact and then she'd apologize for bleeding everywhere.

She raised her head ever so slightly. He'd be fine. He'd be fine. He'd be-

Red.

There was so much red.

It coated everything around the mound that had been the boy. The metallic smell was so strong that even Vistra felt the need to cough. Red had always been Vistra's favorite color but now she was thinking of changing it. Maybe a nice calming blue.

Caius it seemed was deeply effected by it all. It made Vistra's stomach drop to see someone that strong brake down. With the way he was muttering to himself she assumed it wasn't just a fear of blood.

Caught so off guard Vistra couldn't do much but stare slackjawed at the bloody pulp. Thankfully none had gotten into her mouth.

Illusion stepped forward, looking much more somber than Vistra thought possible for her. Every word had Vistra attention. She nodded along mutely, until Illusion dropped a bomb she didn't care to hear.

'Imagine someone you love and cherish being hurt by that demon. Is that what you want?'

Before she could stop it the mental image of her father acting like that poor boy, stumbling, hurting, and then popping like a balloon was too much. Her stomach lurched and she turned on her heels. The delicious meal she had early couldn't stay after imagining that. She spent a good few seconds vomiting and missed all the rest of Illusions speech.

Shuddering she finally straightend up to see Illusion run off. Jojo soon followed suite. There was silence for a moment, broken by Vesper herself. The girl sounded remarkable calm and moved to comfort Caius. Normally Vistra would join her but at the moment she wasn't sure she could take a step. She was thankful Vesper acted as she did.

At last she turned to Rick. He had to know what to do now. 'Rick...uh...' She was at a loss. What could she say to make it better? 'I'm....sorry. About vomiting.'

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall
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#, as written by Tanman
Ashley “Ash” “Soot” Clade
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Ash made some space for herself away from the others, ignoring the comments that JoJo and the others made in favour of some solitude to really sit through and process what had happened. She ignored the blonde idiot that seemed responsible for bringing the exploding man to them as well. Although she had a few choice words to say to him, she wasn't in the mood right now. It was totally insane. Panicking wasn’t helping, but she wasn’t nearly as collected as the others. Well, with the exception of Caius. Funny, as they’d probably been the two talking the most shit prior to this moment. Ash didn’t smoke, but she sure as hell felt she could use one now. It was times like this where she’d spend some time alone again, riding her bike or shooting some hoops. Neither of those were an option. She'd just have to learn to deal with it.

As an awkward silence fell over everyone for a moment before their guide finally saw fit to speak, the parasol wielding vampire providing a ‘logical’ explanation of why everyone was so damn calm. Honestly, Ash didn’t really care why they could just stand there unflinching. It was still unnerving, even if it was explained so bluntly. In fact, she didn’t know what she wanted from them anymore, or how she could be comforted at this point. She really just wanted to go home, but that idea seemed further and further away by the moment. Even if she could go back, would it be the same after seeing all this? Would she be able to put everything she’d seen here behind her? She doubted that. The memories of this moment would probably be brought up in trauma counselling for years to come.

As Ash turned to look back over the group, Illusion moved on to talking about what this situation should really highlight for them, about what it was that they could do moving forward. Loathe as she was to admit it, it did resonate somewhat with her own views. What they’d witnessed was horrific. It terrified her to the core. She wouldn’t wish for anyone else to see something like that, let alone experience a fate like that man had. She couldn’t do anything to stop that though, not at this stage. Apparently though, she could make a difference. Given time, she could become more powerful and maybe help put a stop to demons like that. Maybe it was naïve to think that she’d be that capable, but somewhere deep inside of her, she knew that if it was possible, she had an obligation to see it through.

Stopping and watching Illusion finish her pep-talk, as well as the reactions of the rest of the group, Ash was a little surprised by the bow and seemingly genuine plead of the vampire. It wasn’t typical of what she’d seen of her thus far, and as such, made a bit more of an impression on her. Not that she’d comment on that notion. Sighing inwardly, she could feel her body winding down a fair bit, now filled with a dreading sense of weight rather than the tenseness from before. The whole situation had begun to feel pretty heavy, but slowing it down and talking serious did seem to have helped her calm down from her irrational state. She didn’t think it was an overreaction on her part, but she probably owed some people an apology. Not that she’d be giving one. Instead, she decided to try and lighten the atmosphere a little with an offhand comment towards Illusion.

“Bit melodramatic, don’t you think?” Placing a hand on her hip as she regarded the demon, she slowly began to take point and lead the way towards the dorm. Vesper seemed occupied with Caius, Rick with Vistra, and the others still seemed to be just dealing with what happened. Someone needed to start making a motion, and it seemed that person would be her. Moving forward helped put what happened behind her. Despite that however, Ashley couldn’t suppress the feeling that the worst was yet to come.