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Sister Rianne

"I can't save your sorry hide every time, you know."

0 · 1,395 views · located in The Earth, 2017

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

Description

Image~ Physical Profile ~

Name: Rianne Lanawel
Age: 32
Gender: Female
Race: Human
Description: Rianne seems to pick out a different outfit each day, most of it long and baggy. She wears gloves with all of them.

~ Psychological Profile ~

Personality: First and foremost, Rianne is the type of person without any manners. She has little care for what people think and even less care to try to please them. Most people that meet her get the impression that she’s the shy and quiet type, but a few minutes in her presence reveals that to be extremely wrong. She’s about as bold as you can get, and while she can be very rude, ultimately she does want the best for those around her.

And this is no secret, but she’s kind of an idiot.

Likes:
+All food
+Smoking and drinking
+Loud concerts
+Hoarding useless junk
+Picking on people
+Practical jokes

Dislikes:
-Wasting things
-Indecisiveness
-Really hot/cold weather
-Loners
-People who can’t take a joke
-People who mumble



Strengths: Rianne is adept at adapting to different social situations to get what she wants, although her bull-headedness sometimes gets in the way of that.

Fears: Needles.

Hobbies: In her spare time, she enjoys playing games, watching movies, basketball, and playing tabletop games with her friends.

Secrets: Rianne is a bit of a kleptomaniac, though she claims that it’s an impulse that can’t be helped.

Outlook on Life: Do whatever you want, really. Just make sure it won’t come back to bite you in the ass, though.

Affiliation: Warriors of Divine Light

Moral Alignment: Chaotic Good



~ Combat Profile ~

ImageMajor Abilities:

+Wings of Faith: Rianne summons a pair of brilliant wings behind her, allowing her to create bursts of speed or make leaps over great distances rather than true flight. The wings are quite resilient and can work as a makeshift shield for up to two people, including herself.

She can swipe her wings in any direction to unleash a barrage of golden feathers that pierces through her enemies. If they strike a demon, the feathers burst into light, disorienting them and scorching their bodies with radiant energy.

+Chains of the Warden: A swarm of ethereal chains rise from the earth, seeking out targets of Rianne’s choosing. Anything that is bound by these chains cannot phase, teleport, turn invisible, or change forms. Along with being physically restrained, of course.

The chains can also be used as weapons, lashing out like powerful metal whips against her foes. If they strike or bind a summoned entity, the chains release a pulse of energy that banishes it back to whence it came.

+Storm Shield: Rianne summons a holy barrier that is resistant to physical damage and the first type of energy that hits it - the more the shield is exposed to that same energy type, the stronger it becomes. Any other magic or elements that assault the barrier are able to wear it down with enough pressure. Substantial physical power will also shatter the barrier.

This can be cast as a mobile barrier around a single target (Medium-Energy), as a temporal ring of energy (Low-Energy), or as an object such as a wall or dome (High-Energy). If it’s a large object, she can move the barrier around in short increments, otherwise small barriers can usually be carried like shields.

Minor Abilities:

-Purification: Rianne generates a brilliant sphere of light that passively heals injuries and dispels harmful magic near it. She can command the light to pulsate, dispersing magical darkness and temporarily blinding her foes.

-Imbue: Rianne reinforces an object with divine energy. Imbued objects have significantly greater durability and kinetic impact. If sufficient force is exerted in an attack, a shockwave of light erupts outwards, able to knock away foes or pulverize them into the ground depending on the direction of the strike.

-Valor: Rianne creates an aura around her that grants nearby allies improved resistance against physical strikes and the power to remain standing after receiving blows that would normally blow them away or knock them out.

Special Ability:
>Blessing of the High Priestess: By channeling her energy, Rianne can temporarily grant a nearby ally one additional minor ability.

Equipment:

[Weapon: War Staff] This silvered staff is surprisingly dangerous at close range, able to deliver blunt force with its flat side or slash through foes with the bladed wings adorning the head. Because it is an item attuned to holy magic, she can cast any spell with at least the reach of her staff rather than her hand.

[Weapon: Handgun] It’s emblazoned with the insignia of the WDL to make it look more official, but otherwise it’s only slightly more effective against demons. She’s not a great shot with this thing, so it’s mostly for emergencies.

[Armor: Priestess Robes] These robes offers only slight protection from physical attacks, but they have a natural resistance against many magical effects.

[Holy Items] Vials of holy water, cases of purifying salt, packs of incense, a holy bible, and a spray can for painting sealing circles. She usually wears a pair of silver cross earrings when on duty as well.

[Other] Rianne usually has her wallet, phone, and house keys in her bag. She also keeps a whistle and some first-aid on her person.

Minor Skills:

[Veteran] Rianne isn’t immune to fear or exhaustion, but she’s made it a habit to maintain her composure and keep a sharp eye out for trouble.

[Aikido] While she is certainly no brawler, she can knock aggressive fighters flat on their backs even if they’re well trained if they aren’t careful.

[Driving] She's amazing behind the wheel, though her recklessness tends to make people second-guess her abilities.

[Acting and Singing] She always was a theater kid at heart.

[Ukulele] For some reason she knows how to play one?



~ Faction Profile ~


Faction: Warriors of Divine Light
Rank: Lower 1st Class
Class: Priestess
Title: ‘Sister’
Loyalty Level: 7 | Rianne is reasonably devoted, but she’s been learning to keep an open mind.

~ Miscellaneous ~

Biography: Rianne was always something of an adventurer and a troublemaker. She was a bully on the elementary school playground, a club leader in middle school, and a dropout in high school. She barely scraped by with a GED, deciding that she had far better things to do with her time, like drinking profusely and hanging out with awful people.

In the middle of a little joyride with her friends one night, she ran into something particularly unpleasant - a throng of lesser demons tearing apart a soon-to-be corpse. She'd known about them vaguely, but this was her first real run-in with them. Ignoring the shrill screams and pleas of her friends, she inhaled sharply and floored the gas with her gaze dead-set on the creatures before her, steering expertly to pulverize two of them before they could move out of the way. It was a very instinctive and short-sighted move, of course - as she tried to back up, the remaining demons were able to latch onto the car and break its windows, tearing the doors from their hinges with a metal shriek that matched their own.

Rianne could only save herself in this situation. She clambered through the broken front windshield, scarring herself in various places as she dove through the shattered glass. WDL members dropped in quickly and secured the location, but by the time the demons had been killed, so had her friends. The presence of the two dead demons piqued curiosity among one of the senior members and Rianne was questioned afterwards after being taken into their custody.

Now, it's been about seven years since they've taken her under their wing and Rianne has placed herself neatly in their ranks of their 1st class members, if just barely. That night haunts her to this day and the only thing that brings her solace is to make the world a safer place by driving out the things that turned her life upside down in just a few minutes.

Other: baka BAKA

So begins...

Sister Rianne's Story

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Um....Hi?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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






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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Black Character Portrait: 'Illusion' Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Vesper Himemiya Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Caius Grady Character Portrait: Sister Rianne Character Portrait: Vistra Mauve Character Portrait: Notable NPCs
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"Do you honestly think
that something I resisted
for so long will be accepted
without resistance, come on
be realistic. This world is
not of sweets and honey."
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At this moment, Caius had every reason to just hightailed it. There was that man-woman, he's referring to Illusion at this point, and then, this punk. He was even dragged to some place that said to be Rome, so basically he had thrown on the other side of world. That was just perfect for him to think he was in some crazy institution. The only thing that prevented him to just leave was the condition of the kids. That male trap mentioned the orphanage. It was enough for him to be very cautious and he didn't want to do anything too reckless, but then again, thinking too much was never his forte. His head was already hurting from this confusion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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


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


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

The training was not exactly off to a good start.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

”Um....Hi?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ashley 'Ash/Soot' Clade Character Portrait: Rick Brackwall Character Portrait: Sister Rianne
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"Okay, I think I've heard enough."

Rianne lightly clapped her hands together twice and then pointed toward the tall, black-haired girl.

"Hey, loser." Her gaze fixed squarely on Ash, she went on after a pause, "You sure as hell don't have to get along with me, but you're gonna want to get along with everyone else, so you can start by dropping that attitude before I beat the snot out of you. Don't waste my time, don't waste Rick's time, and don't waste the WDL's time."

That said, she opened up a pack of cigarettes and wedged one between her lips, taking a moment to light it in front of the other demon children. Exhaling a cloud of smoke, she continued, "We need you all to cooperate. You know what doesn't entail? Acting like some playground bully because you're insecurities keep you awake at night. 'Shut up and play along for now,' don't give me that crap." Rianne stretched her neck side-to-side a few times, eliciting some very noisy cracks. "No one's ever worked properly as a team with a mindset like that, so why don't you get your head out of your fucking ass."

She crushed the burning end of the cigarette into her glove.

"Name's Rianne, by the way. There's my introduction."

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

She laughed.

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

"Thank you Rianne."

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Setting

Characters Present

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He was so wrong.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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






| Illusion |


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

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






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

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






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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

"Hey, loser."

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

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

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

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

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

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



Kane O’ReillyImage

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anything to take my mind off of tonight.

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Character Portrait: Sister Rianne Character Portrait: Kane O'Reilly Character Portrait: Yohan
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#, as written by Tanman
Kane O’ReillyImage

Kane hurriedly lifted the bin from the other boy, tossing it to the floor as he was more concerned with helping the young man then cleaning up the situation. At first, the clumsy exorcist froze, seeing the somewhat unamused expression on the boy, as well as his near unresponsive demeanour. Kane was worried he was about to get an intense scolding. Then… "I'm trash." The boy spoke, barely moving. Then, he slowly cocked his head to look at Kane, forcing a small smile as he slowly began to animate more, brushing off the larger bits of garbage from his hair and shawl. Kane’s mouth was slightly agape as he watched, stunned a bit by how calm the reaction had been.

"Eh, call me Yohan." The boy added as he finished cleaning up the most egregious of the trash from his person. There were a few stains across his clothes, but nothing too serious, thankfully. Kane simply nodded, extending his hand to shake. He hadn’t met the boy before, and there was no armband, so he had to be a new recruit. Must have been a pretty poor start to his day. “Kane. Nice to meet you, Yohan. I just wish it wasn’t under such stinky circumstances.” Laughing a little at his own joke, Kane straightened up a bit as Yohan started blaming himself in addition to Kane. Which wasn’t really at all true, Kane knew he was at fault for this. “No, no, it’s my bad. If I can’t even do something as simple as this effectively, they’ll never let me out on the field.” Scratching the back of his head, perhaps relaxing a bit more than he should have considering what had happened, at least the way Yohan was approaching this seemed to have kept him pretty calm and jovial.

Stopping slightly as he heard approaching steps, Kane took a step back in surprise as he noticed who was approaching. “S-sister Rianne?!” Kane squeaked, his voice breaking slightly as he called out in greeting to her, making it quite clear how nervous he was. She approached swiftly, casually flipping the bin over and beginning to redeposit the rubbish inside in the typical cool fashion that he’d come to expect from her. "It's nice that you're introducing each other in the middle of all this garbage, but I hope at least one of you is planning on cleaning all of this up. Actually. . ." She looked up with those cool eyes of hers, snapping her fingers as she stared at the blonde haired exorcist. "Kane, right? Get me a broom from the classroom, I'll clean it up."

Kane couldn’t help a soft sigh of amazement. “Y-you know my name Ma’am? I’m honoured that someone of your calibre recognises me!” Kane’s overjoyed expression said it all, eyes alight and sparkling with admiration and awe. Sure, Rianne was at the bottom of 1st Class, but that was still 1st class, and made her one of the most impressive exorcists he’d ever had the pleasure of seeing work. Sure, she was intimidating, but that didn’t matter to him. Shaking his head to snap out of his idolisation, Kane quickly stood bolt upright, giving a small salute. “No, you can’t ma’am! You’re far too important a member of the WDL to be wasting your time on cleaning duty! This mess is mine and mine alone, I’ll do it all by myself! It’s my sworn duty!” Kane didn’t realise he was shouting until part way through, confidently bringing his fist to pound once on his chest. He was perhaps a little uptight, but this was a top exorcist he was talking to, he had to show respect. For a moment though, his face fell as the gravity of his own words reached him.

Wasting time on cleaning duty. Is that what he was doing..? …No. This was just another step towards greatness. When he was at a level like Sister Rianne, he’d never have to do cleaning duty again. Unless he wanted to help out, of course. Still, he needed to progress on from cleaning duty if he was to get anywhere. Steeling himself, Kane decided that there was no better time than the present. “Sister! Please, I have a request of you!” Bowing down, Kane hesitated for her response before continuing, looking up and bringing his hands up in front of him in what he hoped was a look of determination. “Please, take me with you on your next mission! I promise, I’m prepared and dedicated for anything. I’m ready for the field ma’am, I just need a chance! I may not look like much, but I believe I can be a formidable exorcist. I have skills in-“ Kane would continue like that until interrupted, losing himself in his speech. He had a tendency to do that sometimes.

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Character Portrait: Sister Rianne Character Portrait: Kane O'Reilly Character Portrait: Yohan
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Well, at least things were going well so far by the look of things. Yohan could practically feel the kindness oozing from this guy and thought it was a nice change of pace. Oh, this kid is too nice for my own good, a voice in his head responded viciously. No wonder this kid was put in here, it's going to drown me like those horrifying kids shows I used to watch! He ignored the voice as he reached out and took Kane's hand in return, Kane huh? He'd remember that, but something hit him in the funny bone when Kane made his joke. He did his best to stop himself from bursting out into laughter. Well, it was nice to know he had gotten on this guy's good side.

Of course he could see coming that this guy would try to push it on himself, he had just done the same after all. Well, he would of made a snarky comment and kept this going for a good while, had it not been for the arrival of one of the sisters. Kane called her Sister Rianne, Yohan tried to remember if he heard of her or not. Nothing really came at the moment, he'd probably have to look into it later. It was kind of fun to see this Rianne volunteer to help pick up the garbage, only for Kane to step in and tell her how she was too important to be doing such lowly duties. This made Yohan reflect a little on himself before hearing Kane make a request to join her on the next mission.

Oh, this probably brings back so many memories for you, the voice in his head returned to comment. Of course for you it was because you were younger, but you have to admit, it's kind of like seeing into a mirror. Yohan found it hard to deny this, he remembered a lot of people he used to look up to. Oh, right, nearly forgot. Sorry, won't bring it up again. For now, Yohan had no choice but to look away from that point, he had no time to be worrying about that when he was within these walls. Because of him going into his thoughts, he finally noticed Kane starting to ramble on and on. This caused Yohan to grin, this guy was certainly interesting in his book, and normally he would of found people like this strange, but he had to remember he had known a lot of strange people for years now.

"Um, I don't mind helping clean up. Sorry for just standing around like a goofball, but you know, when life gives you a bin of trash, you never know what you're gonna get." Yohan gave a silly smile after he said this, of course he did it on purpose, why wouldn't he? He never had much opportunity to do so before, and he wasn't going to waste such a good chance to let loose on new people. Of course, this could be good or bad depending on how you viewed it, but he had good intentions with it. Dropping down on to one knee, if neither of them went to stop him, he would begin picking up trash and start putting it into the bin that had not long ago sat comfortably over his head.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Character Portrait: Sister Rianne Character Portrait: Kane O'Reilly Character Portrait: Yohan
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Interestingly, both of the recruits offered to clean up. They seemed pretty eager to play their role at the academy so she figured she'd let them do as they pleased. "Nobody's ever too important to neglect basic things like cleaning, that kind of mindset is for rich folk. Which, you know, I'm not." Rising to her feet, Rianne dusted her gloves off and nodded approvingly at the two of them. "Alright, I'll leave the both of you two it, then." She'd been preparing to part ways, but Kane had something to add before she turned around. A lot of things, actually, and it was starting to get a little irksome.

"Hold it." Rianne held up an open palm to silence the young man. She didn't mind that he was excited to fight alongside his peers, but that attitude was definitely going to get him killed. "That's not for me to decide. There's a reason why we don't take most assignments on a volunteer basis - rookies looking to prove themselves by tagging along on missions out of their league usually ends with a body count; theirs, or their superiors."

With that said, she did begin walking slow circles around Kane, looking him up and down, trying to see if she remembered anything about this particular recruit. If he showed some promise, then maybe. . . nah, that didn't seem likely. "Now, apprenticeships are another matter entirely, but I'm not the most qualified person for that. Besides, I'm not looking to take anybody. At least. . . at least not for a few days."

Rianne scratched the back of her head and let out a sigh. Not the greatest timing in the world, but that should be enough to dissuade him from getting ahead of himself. Her job as a priestess is to watch out for people, and adding one more to the list isn't going to make things easier - not to mention someone that was bound to be a liability on the field. Heck, even keeping herself alive is enough work as it is.

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

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

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

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

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

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Character Portrait: Sister Rianne Character Portrait: Kane O'Reilly Character Portrait: Yohan
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#, as written by zody
A short laugh from a little bit away would've caught the group of Kane, Yohan and Rianne's attention. Another Exorcist, sword at his hip, stood a little further away. A derisive smirk lined his features, and he quite nonchalantly strode up to Rianne and scoffed at her. "You? An apprentice? I understand that you're a woman and all, but surely you can't be that thick, can you?" The man crossed his arms, shaking his head in disappointment. "Please, a First Class scoundrel like you, 'Sister' Rhiannon, isn't worth being tutored by. I'm sure that idiot," he motioned towards Kane, "could learn more mopping floors than from someone with mop-hair like yourself." He looked her up and down then, satisfied, turned to Kane. "And you yourself should give up on becoming an Exorcist. You're way too soft. Of course, a lowly idiot like yourself is bound to be that type of person, am I right?" The Exorcist let out a hearty laugh, his white cloak hiding all of his outfit aside from the blade being visible under it. He turned to Yohan, and his face became stoic. "And you're not even worth more than this sentence."

He turned back to Rianne, putting his hand on his hip as his grin returned. His cloak fell open a little as he put his hand on his hip. "Do you have any objections to my advice for the two of you?" Hanging around visible his bicep was a black Armband with a white WDL insignia and a gold pin attached to it. He stood there, tapping his foot slightly as if he had somewhere better to be.

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Character Portrait: Sister Rianne Character Portrait: Kane O'Reilly Character Portrait: Yohan
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#, as written by Tanman
Kane O’ReillyImage

Oh my, Sister Rianne was even more humble than he’d expected given the rumours. Such a practical and down to earth attitude, no wonder she was so well respected! What she said was true – It wasn’t common for fledgling exorcists to go on missions other than what was pre-assigned by the staff and squad leaders, and Kane chastised himself for not recognising that fact for himself. But then… Kane watched her doing circles around him, and intuitively lifted his arms and such to let her examine him more closely. Once she was apparently satisfied to some degree, she spoke again. "Now, apprenticeships are another matter entirely, but I'm not the most qualified person for that…”

Kane’s heart skipped a beat, and he immediately stopped hearing her as he tried to process what had been said. She was speaking about taking on an apprentice. Him. An apprentice. Of Sister Rianne no less! Clearly, he’d done something to impress her if she was bending the situation to try and accommodate him! Pulling his arms in beside him as a double fist pump, Kane gave a cheer of elation. “YES! I did it!” Fate was clearly smiling on him now. If it wasn’t for Yohan and the trash incident, he’d have never got this chance. He'd have to thank the recruit when he got a moment. Cleaning duty WAS the first step towards greatness. Grinning to himself, he was about to speak further with Rianne about it when another, snide voice rang out.

"You? An apprentice? I understand that you're a woman and all, but surely you can't be that thick, can you?" Kane blinked a bit in confusion, turning towards the new speaker. His eyes narrowed a bit firmly, immediately disliking the tone and words of the person in front of him. “Hey, you can’t speak to Si-“ Kane was cut off by the very person he was attempting to defend, who likely felt he was ill-suited to the task.

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Character Portrait: Sister Rianne Character Portrait: Kane O'Reilly
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Rianne went from very concerned to very confused in a matter of seconds, staring at Kane's sudden victory cheer in bewilderment. She wasn't sure what kind of ideas had floated into that little head of his, but clearly he had misinterpreted something she had said to him. Just as Rianne was getting ready to correct whatever nonsense she had just gotten herself into, out of the corner of her eye she spotted a certain someone coming their way, and with a sense of purpose by the look on his face. This day just keeps getting better and better.

Kane was the first to respond, but she interjected with her own words before he could finish his sentence - she wasn't about to let himself get involved in what could be a rather. . . unpleasant situation. This tool in front of her may be pompous, but that confidence wasn't coming from thin air. "Wow, who shit in your coffee this morning?" Rianne replied with a raised brow after he was done blabbing, barely even glancing in the newcomer's direction. "Anyway, if you're done talking about abslutely nothing, would you kindly go waste someone else's time? Because even this guy-" She pointed at Kane offhandedly. "-is being more useful than you right now."

She slightly held back on the verbal lashings for now, but made her attitude toward him clear regardless. As much as she loved to exchange insults, she hated dropping to the same level as people like him. That said, she was quite fuming on in the inside though she didn't show it - even she understood that it was often difficult to find higher ground over someone with a more prestigious status. You never know how things could turn out with the volatile types.