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Black and White

The Other Side

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a part of Black and White, by The Great Thundorz.

When one finds a Gateway and says the word Purgatory with their hand in it, all users of The White and The Black within the Gateway's range will be transported to here...

The Great Thundorz holds sovereignty over The Other Side, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

2,979 readers have been here.

Setting

Depending on the location of where your Gateway is, you may find a variety of locations within The Other Side. There are even places that cannot be reached with the use of Gateway's! The time of day is also important, as the closer it draws to night time, the more dangerous certain creatures become. It is rumored that at the center of this place is a Kingdom that was once ruled by a family of blue haired individual's. No one has been able to reach the kingdom in quite some time, and things have been grim since the rise of a new King. If you wish to learn more, you must go and explore this place for yourself. Who knows what waits for you, on The Other Side.
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The Other Side

When one finds a Gateway and says the word Purgatory with their hand in it, all users of The White and The Black within the Gateway's range will be transported to here...

Minimap

The Other Side is a part of Black and White.

8 Characters Here

Sonea Almsworthy [15] "Life is all about pushing past the limits of what you know and reaching into that which is yet to be known"
Kogo [15] "Not all is as it appears to be, child."
Sigma [7] "Come before me if you dare. I will not hesitate."
Cayson Arlo Rinar [7] I like pickles.
Amber Hill [5] Trying way hard at life. Too hard? That's for you to judge.
Tracey Winters [1] "how are we all today?"
Betelgeuse Grimms [1] "Everybody wants information, high demand if you will, lots of money to make in a commodity of high demand."

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Setting

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sebastian Winters Character Portrait: Sonea Almsworthy Character Portrait: Felix Tolbert Character Portrait: Kogo
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The blinding light, the intensity of the heat...the whiteness of the world. All Sonea could see was white. She knew that her body was burned...and that she couldnt see. But that wasnt the only thing she was feeling. Something deep...something primal...something clawing to get out. It pounded the walls of her mind, barely held in containment as she had no strength left to hold this back.

Ba dum.....Ba dum....Ba dum

All of the members of Team Black would suddenly feel excrutiating pain, an agony overwhelming their senses as they could feel each bone in their body crack and snap. Structures shifted yet their physical bodies were not being harmed. Sonea, unleashed a scream. Not one of pain but of shock and horror. She could feel every bone and muscle slide into new places. Everything was hazy, her ears were ringing and everything was still white

Ba dum.....Ba dum......Ba dum

Everything felt wrong, sounded wrong yet she had no idea what was happening to her. More and more she could hear the screaming of her compatriots and she knew they were in pain but more of her mind began to slip away as she could barely make out some words "Its time...a long time coming" These words she could hear quite clearly as she let out another howling roar, this one sounding so much more bestial. It reverberated across the town's halls and walls. It resonated throughout the dead landscape as she could hear fabric tearing, metal wrenching and squeeling under duress. Something was going on and she could feel cold surrounding her.

Ba dum......Ba......Dum........Ba dum ba dum ba dum

One final roar was heard, a fiercesome roar of dominance as the pain would slowly begin to receed from her companions and from out in the ruined down, they could head the sounds of paws hitting the earth as a new creature stood in the fray infront of them. It looked like a feline, easily 11ft in length and brimming with muscle. It's body was coated in a thick, heavy iron plating with rivulets of red where the metal was still nearly molten from the Hell Hound's final blitz. Its lone, solitary eye glaring right for the group. It opened it's maw and unleashed a terrible sound. A roar of a tiger combined with loud, harsh grinding of metal on metal. It's body lowered itself to charge and began to do so. The group was not out of the woods yet.

But above Kogo's head a small, blue cat appeared with a very large and wide toothy grin "You look like your in a spot of trouble my dear...perhaps you might need my help before she kills you all. If you willing to hear a proposition" The cat sneered with it's wide smirk as the Tiger ran faster and faster towards them "For if you wish to survive this beast, you must do so without killing her. Lest you all wish to day. Say hello to the true Sonea, the inner Beast has awoken. Now you must tame her...Let me know if you wish to hear my proposal"

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Setting

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sebastian Winters Character Portrait: Sonea Almsworthy Character Portrait: Felix Tolbert Character Portrait: Kogo
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Sebastian had stumbled back from launching the hellbeast into the sky, his brain running through everything, short circuiting due to the power it had gained, trying to catch up with all the information running through it, the pain, the numbness, the stress. He had gotten some distance before he felt warm liquid dripping from his nose, the crimson fluid only dribbling, it was fine for now.

He had used just about everything to finish off the beast, turning using the sword like a walking stick he’d see the impaled beast get back up. “OH FOR… JUST FUCKING DIE!” his voice breaking as he almost screamed the words in anger at the hellhound.

His body lagging behind thoughts, he’d move to raise the sword, sluggishly, still apparently ready to fight, his blade glowing a deep purple from his aura, and the cloud of energy enveloped him and shielded him from the Hellhound’s last cry of defiance.

Sebastian smiled, then the sharp pains, his bones felt like they were shattering, though his synapse and bio-electricity dulled, his nervous system switching off, everything going numb, his vectors manipulating his senses and his own body, keeping him moving.

The smile wiped from his face when he saw the metal tiger staring him down, he chuckled nervously, but before he could fry his own brain, he felt a rush of movement and it didn’t feel good, falling onto his ass in one of the buildings he saw Kogo rush off and back with Felix, Sebastian rolled to the side away from Felix, trying to push himself to his feet, his body protesting against him.

And then he’d empty his stomach contents, what little of it there was, from the fairly short tea party, his legs about to buckle under his own weight. “it feels like back in the crash.” he spoke softly and chuckled gently, a hand pressing against his eye-patch, a maddened grin on his face as he laughed to himself, his nose still slowly dripping blood.

"I don't know what is worse, the situation, or your sorry pathetic state, and you're supposed to be a prince"
Wraith made himself visible once more, crossed arms, much bigger now a pair of wings sprouting from his back and his body covered in scales.

Setting

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sebastian Winters Character Portrait: Sonea Almsworthy Character Portrait: Felix Tolbert Character Portrait: Kogo
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Felix’s jaw dropped as he saw Sonea called forth a giant iron spear from the ground, brutally impaling the monster and raining blood everywhere. “Ew, gross.” He muttered, trying to shield himself from the stuff splattering all around. His eye was caught by a warm golden glow, which he realised with a jump was coming from the strange marking carved into the bow. He jumped again, shaking as the strange voice emanated from the weapon.

“What? You’ve got to be kidding!” he exclaimed, thinking about the ammo he stupidly left behind.

However, before he had time for anything else, there was a surge of heat all around him, and he fell to the floor to get out of the way. The golden energy from the bow enveloped the space he was crouching in, and he found that he was safely protected within a small dome. When the final attack had passed, he stood up as the shield dissipated, to see the creature collapsing. He held the weapon out. “Huh. That’s…pretty cool, actually.”

He turned to Kogo as she called out to ask if they were alright “Uh yeah, I think so? I think the other two might be hurt though.”

He turned toward the sound of clapping as the stranger in shades approached, thanking them and explaining that they could keep the weapons, although Kogo didn’t seem to impressed. Felix also approached him and asked, “Wait, how do we get out of and he’s gone.”

As if the night hadn’t been stressful enough, from out of nowhere he found himself collapsing to the ground with a yell, as his entire body was consumed in terrible pain! All he could do was shut his eyes, quivering helplessly as he waited for it to subside. He bolted upright, eyes wide open and breathing heavy. Shakily getting to his feet, he looked up only to see some giant metal tiger staring them down.

“Really! Another one?” he shouted, having had just about enough. He lost focus for a few seconds, stumbling. It felt like he was trapped in a nightmare…stuff kept happening that he couldn’t understand, and it just seemed to get worse, and it just wouldn’t end - there was a rush of wind, and he found himself being chucked onto the ground. He glanced up to see Kogo again, but then she was gone.

“Wait, ‘pain’? What do you mean ‘pain’?” he called after her, but it was no good.

He slumped back, recognising the eerie alternate version of the shop, where they had first entered. Glancing to his left he saw the …two? Sebastian dragon things. They were having a conversation about something Felix knew nothing of, but he wanted answers.

“OK, so is this a bad time to address the two identical scaly purple elephants in the room?” he said flatly.

Setting

5 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Frederick Bell Character Portrait: Sienna Cartlow Character Portrait: Yohan Belmont Character Portrait: Saiph Grimms Character Portrait: Sakuya Lecarde
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  1. This is a collab post between myself and MartinVole

    by The Great Thundorz

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Yohan & Saiph Versus Ricky & The Djinn [Act I!]


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The Djinn couldn't help but smirk as Saiph came running in towards him. He chuckled as she ran right through his form, right into that dang Gateway behind him. "Ah well." He spoke without care, for the hare that just ran past. "Personally, I never cared either way for fighting." His attitude still in a mocking tone, his expression becoming like that of a demon as the Ricky half of his body completely faded and all that was left was the dark, smoky form of The Djinn. "By extension of the second wish, I am only visible to others because of it. Though you two seem to have an unusual connection to that blue haired brat. I am going to personally enjoy seeing you both shatter into tiny little pieces!"

Yohan had ended up running into this weird colorful and yet rather spacious room. Ahead of him he could see a fancy throne with a figure in the shadows sitting on it. "Welcome, welcome!" The voice spoke out with glee, it's eyes glowing yellow briefly as a sinister chuckle escaped from it. "The plan worked perfectly, by the looks of it. Looks like the information I was fed was correct after all. You must be the blue haired child I was told about. Yes, I can see by the expression on your face that you are curious about what I have told the others." The figure rose up and began to walk out of the shadows. "Well, to be a little personal, I never cared for secrets."

Yohan became rather shocked when the figure turned out to be Ricky himself, but not the Ricky he was expecting. "Are you even Richard Leonard?!" Yohan could see the right half of Ricky looked fine, but the left half had turned into something completely demonic. "What happened to you? Why are you like this? I thought you were suppose to look normal, like your friend was just a moment ago."

"Ah, yes, The Djinn." Ricky looked at his left hand, staring at the red middle finger in particular among the black scaly fingers he now had. "Hate to say, I've already made two of my wishes. The first was for my Dominion, which I can show off to you in a moment. The second was for The Djinn to disguise himself as myself while we executed our little plan. Safe to say it worked out well in the end." Ricky grinned as he looked at Yohan with a horrifying glare behind them. "You must be wondering why The Djinn said the things he did. Well, fight me and find out."

"What, that's it?" Yohan couldn't believe what he was hearing right now. "Fine. Let's start, jerk." Yohan ran in and began charging up his sound again in his right fist. Ricky didn't even attempt to move, Yohan threw out his right fist and started to hit Ricky repeatedly, using his sound to amplify each punch and making it louder with each blow he made. Ricky didn't even budge, staring at Yohan with that unusual glare as he pulled back his left arm and tightened his demonic fist. Yohan saw this and threw his right fist to punch in towards the arm now as Ricky thew his arm with speed Yohan couldn't even fully comprehend, feeling the blow slam into his right arm and shatter every scale into pieces before his body was sent flying back and slamming rough into a wall. "Ah!" Yohan slide down the wall and groaned out slightly. "What the...?"

"Losing something?" Ricky commented, pointing to Yohan's right arm. Yohan's eyes widened in shock as he looked over to see his... Human... Arm? "I thought as much. You must of been tricked into making a false deal. Seems you already made a deal, how pitiful." Yohan stood up to his feet and tried to charge up his sound again, but found it too weak now to properly channel. "You thought you were doing damage to me?" Ricky chuckled and gestured to his body. "Take a good look, brat! You didn't even put a crack or a dent in me. Sad, I thought you were someone who could give me a good time. Oh well, it'll be fun to see how quick it'll be to kill you dead!" Ricky said as a big smirk grew on his expression, pulling back his left arm again!

As Ricky prepares his next strike, a sound is heard some ways back where Yohan had entered. A swoosh and zip, familiar claw, attached to a familiar cable flew right near Ricky's face, and plunges itself into the back wall. The cable shakes and tightens, letting out a metallic groan, only seconds behind, reeling in is the figure of Saiph. As she fast approaches, a regular dynamic blur, she sticks both feet out aimed straight at Ricky! "Yippee ki-yay, ugly~!" she cries out, the lenses of her helmet flashing a bright red.

Ricky couldn't help but notice the cable, his eyes darting over to it before seeing the blur riding in fast! This caught him off guard, the crazy person's feet slamming full force into him and sending him sliding back. "Augh! Damn it!" He managed to halt himself, just before he slammed into one of the large crates that filled the room up. Yohan had been frightened by Ricky's actions, but that rabbit girl suddenly came out of left field and managed to knock Ricky away!

"Whoa, uh, well, hey, I guess." Yohan managed to get out, his eyes shifting between the two of them as Yohan knew Ricky was probably thinking of several different ways to kill the both of them. "Yeah, uh, sorry. I might not be of much use in this fight. My power suddenly stopped working, and my right arm is back to normal, I guess?" He rapidly makes motions with his right hand to get the point across. "I didn't manage to make a single mark on him though. Am I really just going to end up becoming useless again?"

"Sup! Saw you run into the obvious trap and thought, eh? Why not!" she says, attempting some humor in the situation as she lands next to Yohan after her daring attack, retracting her claw back. She glances between him and Ricky, then cocks her head to the side. "Yeah, uh, bout the fight... to be honest, I don't really know this guy very much or his powers, I'm just making this up as I go along but, got anything? And, ugh, what astral shovel hit him in the face?" she responds, taking full note now of his demonically warped features. She then looks back at Yohan. "I dunno, though, do you really think you are useless? Maybe you're just new to this, but you're trying, so lets just get through this. Besides, there's something rather weird 'bout all this."

"Guess so." Yohan inhaled through his nostrils before letting out his breathe calmly through his mouth. "Alright. So he apparently has already made two wishes with his Djinn, so he only has one left. He may use it as a trump card, so be careful of that. He said he has a Dominion, but he didn't go into too much detail about it." He put his right hand on his neck and started to move his head around. "His left side is stronger than his right side. I think it might still be spreading, but at a slow rate. Looks like he distracted us with the black flame dog in order to buy himself time to gain power. He has some major power behind his body right now, he didn't hurt my arm when he shattered the scales on it, but I could feel the impact. Don't let him hit a vital spot."

Ricky just stood there and watched them, un-moving like a statue right now as Yohan kept his eyes on him now. "Right, I got an idea. We can use your portals to try to get the jump on him. If we manage to land an attack before he can get into the swing of combat, we may have an advantage on our side. We only have one shot at this. If he sees you use those portals, he may be able to track you down later. He may sound stupid, but this guy knows how to fight. Whenever you are ready, let's do this. I'm just letting you know now, if this doesn't work, we are basically in for hell." Yohan couldn't help but smile at her. "But we're keeping the others away from him. That alone makes me happy."

"A wish with a freaky genie, some wicked strength, and an unknown Dominion eh? Spooky!" she responds, looking at Ricky, taking note of his body. He's right, portals would be great to make openings at least, but his full power was still a bother. "Well, just so happens I'm also rather good in a dance, even if it is through hell-fire," she responds cryptically, chuckling slightly. She looks at him a moment and tilts her head, snorting. "Hah, just remember that keeping yourself in one piece is pretty important for them too, hero. Alright, lets do this. And... actually, I have a crazy idea you can help with!"

With this she flips her right arm up, pulling down her sleeve with the left. "Nothing up my sleeve~," she sings, wiggling the mechanical fingers. Silently creating a portal on the floor behind them. She then drops back, twirling around so she is facing the hole face first, with her right arm already ready for a punch, the other end of the portal right behind Ricky! Coming out the other end, once again in an upright standing position she throws both arms forward, aiming at Ricky's back. "Now, your sound thing, focus it through my arms!" She says to Yohan, hoping he'll pitch in quicker than Ricky can react.

He watched Saiph move into the portal and saw her pop out from behind Ricky, his eyes widening as he looked quickly between the two while the thoughts came together in his head. Well, there was no time to waste, so he began to move. While with Ricky, he noticed Saiph and Yohan both fading and heard something behind him. As he turned to look, he could see Yohan focusing his Dominion through Saiph's arms and his eyes widened in surprise. "Oh shoot!" Was all he could get out before he felt some insanely loud noise pound into his body, sending him flying back into one of the crates as his scream of pain could be heard even to the others who were with The Djinn right now.

Yohan and Saiph both were sent flying back, but nothing that they couldn't regain their balance from before they got really hurt. Sliding on his feet with Saiph, they both managed to come to a halt as he let out a tired sigh, falling to his knees as he coughed slightly. "Oof. That took a lot out of me." He shook his head as he tried to channel his sound one more time, only to find the connection completely gone now. "Dang it!" He slammed his fists into the ground before him. "I ran out!" He pushed himself back up to his feet, brushing himself off as he looked over towards the crate Ricky had crashed through into. "That must of hurt."

That's when a loud gunshot was heard, but no bullet was seen. Yohan felt his right arm go numb suddenly, his eyes widening as pain coursed throughout his right arm. "You thought you could take me down with that?" Ricky stepped out of the crate, his clothes looking roughed up, however, it looked as if Ricky had managed to recover pretty fast from that attack! "My Dominion is called Payne! I have control over pain. Do you understand what that means? This is the power of my first wish, to nullify pain within my own body and to cause others pain! I made my own frikking boss explode, for crying out loud!" Ricky laughed out in a crazy manner as Yohan couldn't stop his arm from shaking.

"Whatever I imagine, I can inflict on others! I've done it before, and I just did it now, baby!" He laughed wildly as he aimed the gun at Yohan again. "I can channel it through this very gun, all I have to do is be making physical contact with something and my power will work!" Ricky's dark hands aura began to form, he was done messing around with them. If the rabbit was going to try another sneak attack on him, he would be ready for it. "I may not know what the heck five times five is, but I do know how to fire a gun! I also know various different ways to kill someone, or cause them to be in terrible, terrible pain! Try me, come on, let's go! Right here, right now, do something!"

Saiph stood there, catching her breath for a moment. Despite having stamina beyond that of a normal human, the previous fight with the hound had done a good dent in it, and having those vibrations run through her body had her real arms shaking. And he just... got back up from that almost like it was nothing?! The hell is this guy? Looking back at Yohan, she found him, wide eyed in pain, she realized, at least in part, the severity of such a power. "H-hey, you alright? We gotta keep it together," she stammers, before looking back at Ricky, darkness gathering in his hand, ready to shoot again. "It didn't just do nothing, right? Um... I mean, even if he don't feel pain, it still did damage, right? Well, um," she mutters back to Yohan, quickly turning her head left and right for something, anything!

With what would be both a bold and stupid move, she steps between the two and readies her arms to continue to put up a fight, clicking their joints aggressively. "Alright, so you can project pain through that gun of yours, aye nut-job? Any pain? Like uh, immolation? Scary stuff!" She says, though her voice cracks a bit. At this point she was trying to bide for time.

Yohan felt the pain in his arm, his body shaking violently now as Ricky's Dominion proved to be too much for even him. He couldn't really move now, his power of Sound had gone, Saiph was unable to help him stop the pain and Ricky was preparing to do more bad things. He couldn't just die here, could he? He felt it closing in on him. His eyes hazy as everything around him started to distort, his mind fading in and out as he could only think of one thing. His parents. He failed them, even when this guy could of been involved somehow. How could this have happened...?

That's when Yohan began to think back, a car destroyed, his father's body laying nearby, and shadowy figures surrounding him. He was just a small boy, hurt, in pain of the loss of his father and now about to die himself. The flames from the car wreck could be heard, it almost was too real to believe it was gone. He couldn't see his mother anywhere, they were preparing to stab him through. His eyes closed to the world around him, at that moment, something came to his attention.

"Richter? Richter!" A feminine voice rung out. It was tinged with despair, but it soon turned to panic with the next words. "Hey! What the- Yohan! Yohan, honey, hang on!" The voice was growing closer. "Yohan, you have to get up, we have to go!" The woman started to reach for him, fighting off the shadowy figures. "Come on, hon, you can't be-!"

Yohan heard the voice. The voice of his mother. Tears ran faster down his face, his fists tightening as he didn't know what to do now. He sniffled loudly, he wanted to call out to her, but the shadowy figures might kill her. "Just give up." A voice began to run through his mind. "Open the door. Open it now. Let yourself be free." It kept calling to them, but only he alone could hear it. Was he hearing it now, or in his memory? He couldn't tell. "Let's kill them all. Kill them here and now! Unleash that rage! That hatred! Let your malice shine brightly and slaughter them like pigs!"

His mother grabbed him and picked him up gently. "Come on sweetie, you can do it. Please just breathe..." Yohan could feel himself starting to get warm, but would it really be enough? "I can't lose you too...Yohan, look at me, it'll all be okay. I'm here...just come back!" That's right, he remembered now. This memory, how could he have forgotten?! He felt so dumb right now, he just wanted to... A fist came flying in and punched him right across the face, his own right hand had done it. So what if he didn't have the scaly arm anymore?! He had to remember what his father always told him!

"It's time for us to give up." Rina's demon appeared before him. "Our fate ends here. Let him shoot you right in the head, let it all end here and now." Rina's demon started to tap it's own head. "This is what we've waited for all along, hasn't it? To end our own life? Why would you deny a perfect opportunity like this? He has the power to kill you with one shot, and it wouldn't even be a real bullet that did it! A quick and painless death! You don't have to go through the trouble of killing yourself now, let it all end here and no one will be ever the wiser to it!"

"I refuse!" Yohan shouted out suddenly, causing Rina's demon to stop and almost give him some kind of glare. Half of it's face began to crack and shatter, revealing some kind of primal face underneath it. The right side of it began to scream out at him now. "I completely forgot how selfish it is to just die and leave everyone I know and love become miserable for it! I've been so blind to the truth all this time!" Yohan pointed to the demon. "You aren't real! You no longer have any power over me! Get out! Leave me alone and go back to where you belong, as a memory!"

"FOOLISH CHILD!" The voice shifted now, the form changing and ripping apart as it began to reform into another shape. "I have always had control! Give in to me! Resistance is futile, brat! I will have the door open for good this time! I will be free!" A twisted, malformed hand began to reach out to him. "Just die already! I've had enough playing games with you! Just die already, die, die, die! DIE ALREADY!!! LET ME BE FREE!!! I! MUST! BE! FREE!!!"

"GET OVER YOURSELF!" Yohan shouted out. The hand stopped as cracks began to form along it, a shriek of terror coming out of the misshapen demon. "You are me, but I am also you. Is that how it goes? Do you represent my inner desire to die? My depression I've had? The part of me that just wants to give up? I don't need you controlling me anymore!" Yohan took a step forward, his eyes glowing purple for a second. "BEGONE!" The demon let out one final yell before bursting into pieces, the pieces fading away into dust as Yohan felt out of breath suddenly. "And stay out!" He let out aggressively, holding a hand to his chest to try to calm himself down after that.

Ricky glared over at Saiph as she stepped forward, what was she thinking trying to stand up to him when she just saw his power? He aimed the gun right at her. "One shot of my Payne bullets through the head ought to do the trick, wouldn't you agree?" Ricky gave her a terrifying smirk. "I don't care what you are, you still must have a pretty little brain up there. Wouldn't it be just terrible for you to have it all end here? Ha! You two will be an example to the others! The start of my slaughter campaign across the backwater town! No one is safe from my wrath! After you two are dead, I'm killing those stupid friends of your outside! Putting a bullet through each and every one of them for being dumb!"

"Shut up!" Yohan shouted out, causing Ricky to look over at him and aim the gun back at him. "You know what? I finally get it. You aren't scary, you are just power crazy! What did you think, making those wishes would make your life better? You don't NEED to make wishes to make your life better, YOU can make your life better! Stop being a little child already! Look at you, you aren't even fully human anymore! You want someone to kill first? Aim that gun at yourself first and feel the pain you give others before you go shooting them at others!"

"How dare you!" Ricky stomped his left foot on the ground, causing it to slightly crack up. "I got one wish left, I could just use it right now! You know what?! I think I'll do just that! Djinn! Get over here!" Without a second, the Djinn in all of his smokey form was there among them, already having his arms crossed and staring with a bored expression at Ricky. "I have a third wish to make, you better grant it this time, you smoke filled demon!"

"Fine, but first, you must amuse me." As The Djinn and Ricky began to bicker, Yohan began to channel power throughout his whole body. This was his only shot, he had agitated Ricky on purpose just for this moment, it was now or never! He only hoped Saiph wouldn't get herself in harms way as he did so! The Djinn took out a pair of glasses and put them on Ricky before smirking. "You know what to do!"

"Ugh. Fine." Ricky groaned, putting a finger up to the side of his head. "The bum of the bare roots of any two hides of an ice cream truck is equal to the to the bare root of the remaining side." The Djinn just stared unamused at how Ricky screwed up the joke, quickly smacking him across the face and shattering the glasses in the process.

"First off, that's a right triangle, you idiot! And secondly, you messed up the bloody line! We went over this multiple times, and you still can't even remember all the words and what they mean! God!" The Djinn threw up his arms and groaned. "Whatever. Make the third wish and do whatever." The Djinn rolled his eyes and mumbled to himself. "Can't believe I wasted hours of my time trying to get this joke down for this moment, only for this moron to screw it up anyway."

"Whatever! It was stupid anyway! I have my third wish, you idiot! I want to be strong enough to kill both of them!" Ricky shouted, not caring how stupid the wish sounded right now. The Djinn looked over to Ricky and gave a slow forming of a smirk, snapping his fingers as the red on the finger on Ricky's left hand suddenly crumbled away. "H-hey! What are you doing!? That was where the ring was, right?! You put that in me so I wouldn't lose you, so what are you doing?!"

"That's three official wishes." The Djinn couldn't help but laugh, pushing Ricky with enough force to send him suddenly flying back. Watching Ricky crash into one of the walls, The Djinn turned to the other two as his eyes glowed yellow. "At last, I am free! Free from that insolent fool and his stupid ring of torment! I've waited a hundred years for this freedom, and now, you two will be my victims before I leave this stupid town forever! It's just a matter of..." The Djinn stopped as a bright light began to radiate off of Yohan. "What the devil?!"

Yohan's Other Side outfit returned to him, his purple aura bursting forth around him as he let out a loud scream as the roof of the building suddenly busted open without warning, The Djinn noticing this as his eyes widened while he looked up. He looked back to Yohan and narrowed his eyes, spreading out his arms to his sides as multiple arms began to form, just like Ricky's hand aura had before. "Right, I don't know what's going on with you, kid. But I don't like it, and I don't like any risks to my master plan. Sorry, but you will have to die first before that power becomes a big problem!"

Saiph's lenses flicker for a bit, and head tilts her head at what just happened, did Ricky just get kicked out of the fight by his own comrade? Looking up at the busted open ceiling then back at Yohan her, she rubs her hands together. Well, something awakened in him, something has changed, other than his outfit, that is for sure, just on exactly what was yet to be seen, but it was pretty big!

"Well, alright then, you certainly blew the roof off this joint!" she says with a laugh, her joke probably lost to the pressure. She snaps her attention back to the Djinn, though it was unreadable from her mask, she was grinning wide. It felt like the favor was turning once more onto them. "Between him going super, and well, me... oh, you are already knee deep in problems!" With this she readies herself to cover Yohan with whatever he was about to do.

Yohan slide down onto his hands and feet, sliding up into a runner's post as he stared down The Djinn. The Djinn couldn't help but grin. "I don't know what sound you plan to use on yourself, but it won't wo--" He is interrupted as Yohan suddenly vanished from his sight. "What?!" He looked around, but in an instant, he is suddenly knocked back from a large impact. By now, the Gateway was clear enough to show the others, if they had remained outside, what was going on inside with Yohan and Saiph. "What is this power?! No, it's not power, it's --" He is interrupted as Yohan appears behind him and sends the fastest punch he could into The Djinn, sending him flying again.

"It's speed!" Yohan shouted out, vanishing from sight again once he landed on his feet. The Djinn uses his multiple hands aura to stop himself, growling as he looked around as he tried to pinpoint Yohan's location. That's when Saiph leaped out of one of her portals near him and grabbed a hold of his head, wrapping her legs around his head as she quickly spun him around in the air a few times before launching him straight at Yohan. The Djinn couldn't believe this was happening to him, a being of a hundred years was suddenly being knocked around like a rookie by two brats!

The two had some sort of plan, but he didn't know what just yet. He managed to stop himself in the air as he floated there, until Yohan came crashing into him and sending him flying off again. One of Saiph's portals opened up in front of The Djinn and she popped out of it, knocking him into another portal as he went flying through it and came flying out of the other end. As he tried to slide himself to a halt, he is quickly knocked off again by Yohan, and when he tried to stop himself once more, he was knocked away by Saiph into another portal while he was spinning out of control, making him confused and never knowing where he was ending up before being launched and hit.

To the others watching this, they would see something they had never really seen before: A fast fight of furious blows being delivered by Saiph and Yohan, Yohan using his newfound Super Speed, and Saiph her portals and metal claws, to knock The Djinn around and keep throwing off his senses. The blows being exchanged by the two's surprising teamwork kept The Djinn from being able to launch a proper counterattack against either of them, the blows only getting faster and faster as smoke began to emit from The Djinn's body through cracks. Looking down upon himself, he realized this was going badly and stopped himself abruptly, stretching out his multiple hands in order to start striking at the two.

Now there were blows being exchanged from all three, in a flurry of blows and clashes, the fight suddenly got exciting and tense as objects started to go flying all over the place and breaking, the shock-waves could distantly even be heard outside the Gateway to the others as The Djinn began to move around, striking out with his hands against Yohan, having memorized his newfound speed by this point, while also keeping an eye out on Saiph's portal jumping. It was annoying to say the least, but he was The Djinn, he could handle any situation. This was nothing compared to what had experienced before! Just when he thought that, Saiph wasn't where she was suppose to be, and his eyes widened to feel her strike into the back of his head from behind!

"Damn!" He shouted out, as tiny cracks burst upon his head and smoke came out. "I can't maintain this physical form for long!" He growled as he grabbed hold of one of the crates to stop himself from moving around anymore. "She tricked me! She knew I was memorizing her portal patterns, and redirected herself to jump me by surprise! But then that means --" He is interrupted once more as Yohan came flying out at him, only for The Djinn to barely dodge it this time. "Nice try! It won't work twice!" But as he said this, he saw something that truly horrified him. One of Saiph's portals, with her beside it, giving him some kind of two finger salute gesture from her head, as Yohan slipped into the portal. Oh crap!

He knew Yohan had emerged behind him, yet there was nothing he could do about it, as his body was grabbed by Yohan and spun around before being crashed into the ground and a large crack split open on his chest. He growled and his hands grabbed hold of Yohan, only for Yohan to throw him off and into one of the large crates. Letting out a loud grunt, his multiple hands grabbed hold of the crate and lifted it up, throwing it at Yohan as one of Saiph's portals opened up and caught it before it could hit Yohan, the large crate now crashing down on The Djinn and breaking apart over him as it did so. Erupting up from the debris of the large crate with a loud and angry roar, his legs broken now and returning to a more smokey form, he gathered up all of his hands into his remaining physical body as he seemed to be empowering himself.

"Right, you are both DEAD!" He shouted out, hovering his way quickly over towards Yohan as he pulled back both his hands. That's when he felt his speed slowing down, his eyes widening to see Yohan smirk and realize he had been messing with him all along. "You... I'll kill you for --" Before The Djinn could finish, one of Saiph's portals opened up before him and Yohan gave a punch to The Djinn's face, sending him flying in. That's when Saiph opened up multiple portals over the area, and as The Djinn emerged out of one of them, he saw this and quickly connected the dots. However, it was too late for him to stop what was about to happen, and his body ended up speeding up out of control.

With a loud scream that was almost muffled by the portals, The Djinn began to race through each of the portals, gaining more speed as he did so, zooming all over the area now as he couldn't stop the growing speed he was gaining thanks to Saiph's portals. However, portals soon began to close one by one until there were only two left. The Djinn saw this and smirked to himself, thinking she must of started to strain by having done that. Although he was moving too fast to stop himself fully now, he would make sure to send himself flying towards that stupid rabbit girl and end her life with a sudden crash! Once one of the last two portals closed, he forced himself to change direction and head straight for Saiph. "You're mine!"

However, he was shocked to see Yohan and Saiph standing side by side, drawing a fist each back, as he could see both of their fists starting to shake faster as time passed. "W-wait! Stop! We can work this out!" He shouted out in a high-pitched speedy tone, but it was too late. Both of them ended up shouting out and both punched The Djinn in the face at the same time. The Djinn could feel himself stop briefly, as if time had stopped just for this instant to let him know he was screwed, before he felt a speed like never before flood his body and send him skyrocketing out of the building's hole where the roof once was, leaving only a smokey trail behind. With a last and fading scream, The Djinn could only curse both of the brats as his physical body broke away thanks to the overpowering speed they had transferred into him before flying over the ruined town Kogo and the others were currently in before flying off so fast into the distance that you'd swear he was just a twinkling star if you even blinked!

Back with Saiph and Yohan, Saiph took a deep breath and sighed, her body ached some from the exertion, but something else welled up inside, barely containing her snickering. "W-we totally just blasted off a being that could perform like, the impossible," she says, cracking out in laughter, so hard that she ends up holding her ribs. "Ow, and t-the look on his face~! Priceless~!" she howls. She then takes in a another deep breath through her nose, slaps her hands on her knees, and stands up straight trying to regain her composure. She withdraws her metal claw from her right hand, holding out a more human looking gloved hand instead to Yohan, and grips it into a fist. "Boom?" she says.

Yohan let out a sigh of his own. He looked himself over, smoke wouldn't stop coming off of his body now, and he could see some of his body was red. His outfit was even messed up from doing all of that so fast. He didn't care though. That Djinn, whatever it was, wouldn't be making a return anytime soon. She was right: They had just defeated a creature that could basically do the impossible. It could of been worse, but they had acted in time to stop him from doing anything worse than what he could of done. Looking over to see her hold out a glove, he couldn't help but smile upon seeing her turn it into a fist. He gave her a big stupid smile and lightly bumped one of his injured fists into hers. That's when he grabbed hold of her shoulder and pulled her into a hug, he couldn't stop himself from laughing as he partially used her for support to keep standing. "Ow, I hurt all over." He managed to say, yet the injuries looked worse than he was letting on.

Just as he said this, however, they both could hear a sudden explosion nearby. Looking over to the scene, they could both see Ricky slowly walking forward, the demon part of his body now breaking away to reveal the human side underneath it. Blood ran down from his body partially, but nothing he wouldn't majorly suffer from right now. "You two..." He spoke out, pointing his finger slowly at them, now with a dark expression of death on his face. "Are so dead for this." He brought up both fists and slammed them together, glaring at them both as they could see his jacket completely torn off. "I don't need The Djinn to finish the both of you! I still have power left in this body! I can still win!"

Setting

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Frederick Bell Character Portrait: Sienna Cartlow Character Portrait: Yohan Belmont Character Portrait: Saiph Grimms
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  1. This post was a collaboration between myself, MartinVole and Specmarine!

    by The Great Thundorz

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Yohan, Saiph & Frederick VS Ricky! [Act II!]


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Ricky's breathing had grown heavy, he had just been back-stabbed by the only real ally he could trust to take care of anything he couldn't. Yesterday, he was but a nobody, a common loser among the pile of ever growing garbage. This world was filth, he had seen that early on within his life. Could he trust his own family? No, he didn't need them anymore to rely upon, so he turned his back on them! What about the gang he had been part of? Screw them! He killed them all anyway, the ones who he had spared looked to have fled anyway. Miserable cowards, the moment they were done they turned tail and didn't even bother to come back to help him! Especially since these two had a really annoying combination to them!

That's when he heard something, his eyes widening as he could feel pressure building up inside of him. He looked over to see two more people coming in! WHAT?! More people?! What was this, he thought everyone else had ditched, but now here was the annoying janitor guy with some golden flashy dude! This was nonsense, he wasn't good fighting alone multiple people! His heart rate started to increase, he could feel all the remaining demon parts he had left break away to reveal the sad human form he had. "No..." Ricky fell to his knees, putting his hands up to his face. "I can't... Do this..." His body starts to shake as his teeth could be heard chattering behind his hands. "I... I don't want to do this alone. I can't... Handle this alone."

Ricky's body began to sweat, his heart rate increasing and making a fearful sound he could feel pounding within his own bloody head! He felt his mind going all over the place, his hands gripping his face tightly as he just wanted it all to stop! Make it stop, make it stop, make it STOP!!! "I GIVE UP!!! I WANT THEM ALL TO DIE!!!" Ricky screamed at the top of his lungs! "GIVE ME THE POWER TO DO THIS!!!" It all fell silent for a moment, though it would feel like an eternity with how long Ricky seemed to suddenly stop moving. That's when they all started to hear a heartbeat. Ba-bump. Ba-bump. Ba-bump. It grew louder over time as Ricky's body began to twitch with every beat they heard. Slowly, he began to rise up to his feet, as if being controlled by someone. That's when the red aura started to manifest itself within his eyes and around himself. They could all hear a sinister cackle begin to grow louder.

"Wish granted, Ricky. The door has been opened, and now, Malice takes hold of you and this town!" Red cracks begin to manifest around the building, the red aura engulfing Ricky within it as the voice turned into a loud shriek! The floor beneath them transformed into some kind of red mush like structure. The walls began to have some red liquid melting over them, as eyeballs began to pop up all over the building's walls. The hole transformed into some kind of mouth that only grinned horrible fangs at them, with rows upon rows of teeth being seen. Tentacles began to burst forth all over the place, slamming down wherever they could and destroying any object they could. Even the sky itself could no longer be visible, covered with some kind of red color that would seem to be unusual, not even the blue moon was visible through it to them.

"Humanity is weak." The voice called out, but now with Ricky's own voice coming through. The red aura began to fade to reveal Ricky, but now in some kind of armor. His eyes only glowing red, as the red aura completely faded away. Two large machine guns formed within Ricky's hands, as the voice continued. "I am Malice. I am truth, I am justice, I am human. I will now fulfill my end of the bargain, and engulf Timberland as the first example of humanity's future!" That's when everyone could feel some small pain within their bodies, Malice Ricky remaining unmoving from his spot as he aimed one gun at Saiph and Yohan's direction, while aiming the other at Frederick and Gilgamesh's direction. For whatever reason, Gilgamesh was the only one unaffected by the pain the others could feel right now.

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Frederick clenched his stomach as though he had a small stomach ache. He could feel a small pain in his body for some weird reason. Oh, maybe it was because the person in front of them went into full blown insanity. Of course the man by his side kept an easy and firm grip on him as he looked at Frederick and chuckled. "Even with your power to summon me you still succumb to whatever is going on here?" He spoke as he looked around the room. Bringing Frederick up to look around so he does not have to explain things to him.

The sight was disturbing to say the least. Almost straight from those RPG horror games Frederick has played before. The walls and floor was turning into a flesh like substance. The walls had eyes and the hole suddenly grew fangs. For Frederick this was freaky as heck! There were even massive tendrils forming on the walls and..."Its gonna hit us!" Frederick pointed as one of the tendrils was about to smash both him and the figure.

The golden man simply laughed as a portal manifested itself behind him and with a snap of his fingers a spear was flung out from it to impale the tentacle. Of course the threat of the weapons pointed at him posed a threat. Simple enough the golden man though. "Does he think to oppose me? Prepare to witness true power mongrel! You face I the king of Uruk! Gilgamesh! Kneel before me and die!" He spoke with a arrogant smirk on his face.

A human thinking he could oppose him? This would be easier than he thought. Of course as he nodded his head to use his power. He had expected a wall of portals to appear behind him...but only a meager few only showed up. What was this? He should have a wall of weapons thrown at the human and instead he only could muster up this?

No, something was up with this. However there was no time to think. If his powers were being limited than he had to make due. Dragging Frederick from his stunned stupor.

He sent forth three weapons at the armor wearing, machine gun using human. A combination of swords and pole arms before running with a screaming Frederick on his shoulder. Standing still was a foolish mistake. Especially now that he knew that he might be weaker for some reason.

Saiph steps back, nearly stumbling, as she was clearly taken by surprise, as things have seemingly went to literal hell. Looking down she watched how the surge of magic twisted and gnarled the place, infecting it. Looking back up she found herself facing the barrel of a large gun. Was this the effect of his final wish? But they defeated the Djinn, it should have been nullified along with his demonic power! This was not Ricky anymore, it was a vessel to something that shouldn't be here... but...

Before she could formulate a plan, some golden warrior dragging Frederick along bursts through, and starts attacking the growths now flooding the place. Before she knew it, the man cries out a challenge the... Malice Ricky, like some video game or anime hero. It took her a moment to realize the man was a pure magical being, was this the nature of Frederick's power? Before she knew it though, the man charged forward with Fred in tow!

"What?! No no no! Don't get close to him, and don't stay in his sights!" she yells, grabbing hold of Yohan and scrambling to the side in an effort to get out of the aim of the guns. "His dominion... Payne... he is radiating it like a flame, he doesn't even need to channel it anymore! If you get too close..!"

"Too late for that." Malice Ricky spoke out, the machine guns opened fire. Luckily for Frederick, the machine gun was firing off at Gilgamesh, not himself. Yohan had been stunned by what was going on around them, when hew as suddenly pulled to the side by Saiph as the machine aiming at them opened fire. It was horrifying, to say the least. Nothing about yesterday or today would have prepared him for whatever this was. Malice, it said? The door? This all sounded familiar to him, but why was he not fully understanding why it was important?

As Gilgamesh pulled Frederick in closer towards Malice Ricky, the pain within Frederick began to rise up like a tide, the pain quickly expanding more throughout his body the more he got closer to Malice Ricky. "Payne? That was the old Dominion. With that third wish, and my power coming in, it is now Max Payne!" As the weapons hit the armor, the red eyes of Malice Ricky shifted over slowly towards them, raising up his left arm as the weapons rose up into the air as well. With a simple motion of the arm, the weapons burst and scattered until nothing remained. "It appears I have also found your weakness. You appear to be able to create constructs, yet you do not even realize the constructs are a part of your power. The more pain you feel from Max Payne, the more your concentration is divided. Without that focus, your constructs power also weakens."

The eyes then shifted over towards Yohan and Saiph's direction. "As for you two... You appear to be too smart to allow to live. You have already figured out one of Max Payne's abilities. You are correct, Max Payne no longer needs to be restricted to just physical contact or weapons. I now hold an area, with my body being the center for it. The closer you are to me, the more pain you will feel. Unless, of course, you are a magical construct of someone's powers. Ah well, I'll destroy you along with the brats." With the red eyes narrowing, Yohan could feel himself beginning to sink down into the new floor structure.

"Let's do a little test, shall we little rabbit?~ You appear to have some form of care over both of these individuals, however, who will you choose to help? The man approaching me now, or the boy I am submerging? Making the wrong choice will cost you dearly." The voice couldn't help but chuckle in delight of the situation. "You must have also figured out that my guns are unusual." The machine guns both now shifted over towards Frederick's direction and began to open fire! "Ah-hahaha! Let your blood be the first to be spilled! Soon all of Timberland will be at my mercy!~"

Frederick called out in Pain as Gilgamesh dragged him closer. The bullets from the machine guns, crude human inventions were actually putting holes in his armor! However, it was when he explained that if Frederick was in pain then he himself would be weakened as a result. If that was the case...If Frederick was weak he was weak.

So putting both together as long as he stayed away from the man he could fight much better and unhindered. Of course, it would have been much better if he realized this sooner. Especially now that the man who summoned him was in the cross-hairs.

Choices to make, with very little time. No need to waste time. Turning around to Face Frederick, Gilgamesh lifted him up and with as much force as he could muster kicked him in a way that he would fly behind him. A spartan kick. Sure, that must have hurt a lot Judging by the sound of Frederick yelling loudly in pain but he had no time to waste. He was in the path of the bullets, but if his hunch was correct. That means the distance between him and the aura was good enough to the point where he could resist the bullets.

Of course, it was this or his guaranteed death if the man died. And he rather not get killed and wait an eternity once again to be called upon.

"Eh, well that is... agh, gross!" Saiph looked back at Yohan, the weird structure of the place was somehow now... eating him!? As if it wasn't twisted enough! And now that thing wearing Ricky's skin, Malice it called itself, it was smarter in ways, trying to toy with her with an ultimatum. Choose to save Yohan or to save Frederick. But, as if her previous words were heard, she saw Frederick soaring like a bird. She simply laughed, creating a portal to catch him, and land him behind some crates. There was a tinge of a pain in her skull, but she kept on, reaching around and pulling at Yohan with one hand, and trying to pry the weird slimy floor open with the other. "I gotcha, dawg, no way am I leaving you as mimic chow!"

"Looks like the choice was made for me, not like there was one to begin with," she admits, looking back at Malice Ricky. "And you... with all that power, and that Max Payne... wait... that sounds familiar. How's... that vessel of yours handling..? Especially without Djinn..?"

He hasn't moved since this all started, at first she thought it was taunting them, that he didn't have to budge to destroy them, but now it felt more like there was something else at work here. It was raw power, he never specified a limit, it was perhaps even too much power for a human body to handle! It was tragic for Ricky, but there was no way this could maintain itself for too long, especially with Djinn now out of the picture. Still, it felt like an eternity as the pain in her body was not subsiding. For now, though, she had to pull Yohan free, and keep moving, as attacking head on for either of them would be a death wish.

Yohan was surprised when she grabbed hold of him and began to pull. Yeah, it hurt on top of the pain he was normally feeling, but it was enough to pull him free and he stumbles with her before collapsing down. "Ugh. I'm okay." He stated, though as he got up, he looked over to see where Frederick was now lying. "This thing, whatever it is... It's not natural." He stated the obvious, however, he continued regardless. "Everyone has a door inside of them? That's a scary thought. To know that at any moment, even someone like Ricky can turn into a monster. That should pressure on me to back down, in fact, it should utterly make me want to run away from all of this." That's when Yohan's hands tightened into fists.

"But I won't. It's done just the opposite for me." Yohan slowly looked up at Malice Ricky's direction. "I can feel it in my body. The pain you are emitting... It's not complete, is it? If that's the case..." Yohan's legs started to shake. "THEN I'LL GIVE IT MY ALL!" Without another word, Yohan vanished from view. Malice Ricky couldn't help but burst into laughter.

"Using your speed against me?! How foolish!" Malice Ricky shouted with glee. "All you will do is further your own death, and the deaths of your friends! It's time you learned the painful way of how life worked!" But as Malice Ricky said this, a noise began to grow louder in the background. He noticed it too, for he turned to look... To see one of the crates flying in at charging speeds! Malice Ricky was caught off guard by this, but shot at it anyway and tore it into pieces, with only some of them hitting him and breaking off some of his armor.

"What was that? The best you could do? Please. Try harder in the next life!" But that's when Malice Ricky saw Yohan appear in front of him, and for a few seconds, everything had slowed down to a crawl as the red eyes widened in surprise. Yohan's right leg came soaring out fast as a bullet, knocking into the side of Ricky's head before sending his body flailing into the wall behind him. Yohan manages to land on his feet, collapsing down to a knee afterword as he could feel the overwhelming pain beginning to crush down on his body. As if that wasn't enough, Malice Ricky pulled itself out from the wall it had gotten thrown into, letting out a low hiss as those red eyes glared at him.

"Did you really think that was a wise idea? Do you know the amount of pain your friends must be feeling because of you?" Malice Ricky couldn't help but erupt into a sinister laugh as he approached Yohan. "Feel the pain. Feel the death approaching." Malice Ricky aimed his guns straight for Yohan. "EMBRACE DEATH!" But Malice Ricky didn't fire, noticing something was wrong as he aimed his guns at Yohan's direction. His arms were... Shaking? What was going on? He couldn't focus, but wait, that meant... "No! NO! NOOOO!!!!" Malice Ricky shouted out with such fury, as his entire body began to vibrate at increasing speeds, unable to control himself fully now. The pain everyone felt subsided down to a minimal effect now, as Yohan couldn't help but grin.

"I knew it. So that's another ability, is it? You can negate any pain you receive, so no matter how many times we knock you down, you'll just get back up as if it never happened, right? Too bad. Had you been able to feel pain, you would of noticed sooner my super speed taking effect on your body. You might of thought that kick was weaker than it should of been, but I only held back to make sure the transfer would go off without fail." Yohan stands up slowly to his feet as cracks begin to form all over Malice Ricky's armor. "I've also noticed you've been unable to move. Though you can negate pain, it seems you can't move that fast. You just showed me how slow you really can move around in that armor. Looks like opening that door wasn't all it was cracked up to be, was it? Too bad. Had you stayed as just Ricky, you might of actually been able to deal some damage. Looks like that's never going to happen now, since your time is almost up!"

"HOW DARE YOU!!!" Malice Ricky shouted, now with the most fury they ever heard come out of him. His two guns vanished and arms began to force themselves out of the eyes, out of the tentacles, and even out of the ground, all to aim guns which had lights on them. All of the red lights directed themselves upon Yohan, as he stood there and closed his eyes with a small smile now. "YOU ARE DEAD! DEAD!! DEAD!!! KILL HIM, KILL HIM, KILL HIM!!!!" All of the arms began to open fire at Yohan without a second thought, only obeying Malice Ricky without a second thought. But the boy was right, his time was running short now, and his concentration was screwed up with it! Damn him! He figured out that applied to him as well from what he told Frederick, didn't he?! It didn't matter, they would all be crushed before this was over, he'd give it all he got now!

Frederick slowly dragged himself up from behind a small stack of crates, the pain from that aura now gone. Only the pain from his gut was left but compared to that aura this was like...better. It still sucked. What was the big idea kicking him like that!?...oh wait, he remembered what that figure said about him weakening his magical construct or whatever he called it.

Gilgamesh did it to save the both of them! How considerate! Of course he decided to keep his head down with more bullets flying! Would crates even provide good cover!?

For Gilgamesh, he chuckled to himself as Malice Ricky was focused on the kid. He could feel more power than before no doubt thanks to Frederick's safety of course. Not only did he feel stronger, it was as if his body was stronger as well. He would make sure to keep a mental note of this. Of course he could care less about injuring him himself. He just got in the way and needed him out of it quickly.

Of course he would not let this opportunity slip by him. A fully distracted person blinded by rage? Possibly not aware of his surroundings. With a smirk four portals appeared behind him and with a snap of his fingers more swords and spears flung right for him with just a bit more speed, and much more power than before. Of course this pales in comparison to his real power.

With Frederick now not in constant pain, he could feel his magical link to him strengthen. Now he could fight without much worry....as long as his 'master' did not get into trouble.

Saiph felt the fluctuation in power, the drop in pain, it was true, it was never meant to last. At first she was afraid of Yohan getting in that close, but after the apparent damage Malice Ricky received from the fury of the boy's attacks showed that fear was no longer necessary. Max Payne was decaying quickly, and and now he was absolutely fixated on Yohan. It was time to finally put an end to this.

Reaching up, pushing in buttons on the sides of her helmet, the lights of the lenses fade, removing the filter they provide, she was soon flooded with visions of space in its nausea-inducing entirety. With apparent strain, her arms shaking, her legs wobbly, she creates multiple portals around Yohan, absorbing the hail of bullets. The other end of these portals however, surrounded none other than Malice Ricky himself!

Malice Ricky was caught off guard by the portals appearing around Yohan, in his anger he had completely forgotten about them. It was clear Malice was no longer really in control, but good old Ricky again. Though the fun had lasted for only a little bit, the good times for Ricky were over. As the portals opened up and surrounded him, making it impossible for him to even consider escaping, Malice Ricky's eyes widened before all the bullets came flying in and hit him all at once, making a cloud of smoke appear over where he stood. All was silent for a while, and then, the building began to flicker.

It was though they were in some kind of glitch, the flickering only getting faster with the things Malice had brought over unable to even move now. It didn't take long for the flickering to stop completely, with the building now back to normal. Although almost all of the items within it had been destroyed, the building itself somehow remained in tact. Once again, the dark green sky shined over them, with the blue moon hanging over within it. The tension was too real, was it finally over, had that finished off Ricky? But of course, Yohan knew better than to assume so quickly. This was a guy who had done nothing but kept throwing himself back in the fight. Who knows what more surprises this guy had in store for them tonight.

As the smoke faded away, blood could be seen dripping on the floor in large quantities now. With an unsteady sigh, Ricky stood with blood dripping down most of his gunshot wounds. The armor was completely shattered though, it was all too clear that Malice was gone. How much time had truly passed in that space of Malice's? No one could really tell. However, that's when light started to fill in through the hole. Yohan looked up to see the sky having changed now. Apparently time had caught back up with their location, as he could see the sun now rising to make the dark green sky just now normal green. Yohan let out a sigh in relief, the light comforting to him through all the horrors they had just went through. But it wasn't over yet. Not while Ricky still remained conscious.

Ricky, on the other hand, was going through pain more than he ever had in his life. Despite still being alive and standing, he could feel Malice's influence gone now from his body. The Djinn's wishing side effects were starting to kick in, he could feel his brain dropping from the quality it once had. He could feel his body beginning to unravel as the side effects of the quickened experiment with The Black was ruining his body. He could feel his muscles practically screaming as they were being reduced. His pain had never felt greater than this one moment as smoke rose from his body. He glared over at Yohan, his eyes twitching as he forced himself to stay awake despite everything catching up to him.

"Why...? Why you do this?" Ricky spoke, his tone completely different from before. Now instead of the cocky hothead he had once been, he sounded more akin to that of a child with an adult's voice. It was clear that his brain would never fully recover from this experience if he should survive. Ricky took the most painful step forward with his left foot that he ever had to, the leg shaking from the dramatic pain that coursed throughout his body now. His entire body was shaking in pain, it was a pitiful sight to watch. "Why you take from me? Why you ruin fun? Why...?" Ricky gasped for breath, the only eye forced open was the left one. The blood dripping down from the right side of his face caused him to close up the right eye. "I am alpha. I am best. I... Am... Ticky."

Frederick crawled from his cover as things seemed to return to normal. Of course, what was left was a very bloody Ricky. It seemed that this was the climax, the final words of the villain they say. He sorta felt bad, the kid looked like hell. Must have been in lots of pain. But of course he did try to murder them so he did not feel really bad. But he still felt bad.

Of course, his pal was not a very forgiving sort. "Pathetic, you were no alpha. Just a sad excuse for a human that thought with a small bit of power you could accomplish what I had tried once before. But this is a fitting end for a mongrel like yourself. Slowly bleeding out alone. Honestly, most humans are pathetic. So a pathetic end is what a mongrel like you deserves." Gilgamesh spoke as he glanced over at Yohan and waved his hand. "It might be better for you to simply kill him like the dog he is. No need to waste any more time."

Frederick was about to voice his opposition however. That was cold! I mean he did summon someone like that so it was to be expected...but still killing him was going too far...but of course he is Probably in a lot of pain as well...Shoot, he was not sure what to say now.

With shaking hands, the rabbit girl reaches up, crawling her actual hands over her helmet, and presses the switches turning back on the filters. She spends a moment to catch her breath, her mechanical claws having fallen limp to her sides. Then she looked up at the bloody mess of Ricky, or at least the ruins of what was once Rick. Even though there was little choice given, something, a feeling, sunk deep inside her. She had been feeling a number of those rather often lately.

"I wish it didn't have to be this way," she mutters, knowing such would not be granted. Her mind raced, which was rather painful now. His mind was failing, his words growing more and more simple, nearing incoherence. As horrible of a person he may have been, to see him reduced to... this, was it maybe still too inhumane? Fitting, she questioned to herself, after hearing the construct's speech. Was it right to judge someone who's mind was rapidly failing? It just felt... miserable.

"He's met with a terrible fate, hasn't he?" Maddy says, face right next to Saiph's. Naturally, nobody but her could see or hear this giant rabbit creature. "It is true what they say, the light that shines twice as bright, burns only half as long. Tsk, tsk."

"W-what do we do with... him? He's... broken," Saiph says, trying not to look at the dulling in Ricky's eyes, glancing over at Maddy instead, who taps their fingers together rhythmically, shifting eyes left and right like an old kit-cat clock. For a moment she raises up her right mechanical claw, aiming the sharp nails towards Ricky, but with a sigh she drops the claw back down and hangs her head, rubbing the back of her neck. "Heh... I can't, it just don't seem... right, y'know?"

Ricky growled at the pity they were giving him, even if he didn't know what the actual word meant anymore. He tightened his hands into fists tightly, a menacing red aura surrounding him as he lets out a very painful yell, but still, the effect was done. The bullets burst out of his wounds, now shattered and falling around him in pieces. His body moves in strange ways as the wounds begin to close themselves up, the bleeding even stopping as he gave them all a very sinister smirk as smoke rose from the parts of his body that had been painfully shut.

"So this is Max Payne when you want to use it on yourself, huh?" Yohan spoke up, for some reason not addressing the others at the moment. "Must hurt, huh? You probably did it by instinct before that Malice thing wore off on you. How painful. You have given up everything, and yet, you still are willing to give up more just to fight a little longer?" Yohan shook his head side to side. "That's enough. I'm done fighting you. This fight was over long before you even knew it. You had a trap set up for me, right? I also had a trap set up for you. You didn't even see it coming."

But Ricky ignored Yohan's words, growling out like an animal would as he pulled out his remaining pistol and aimed it at Yohan's direction, the red aura continuing to flail around him. "I don't know how your Dominion fully works or if it can provide more. You've really fallen down into the deepest pit of despair, eh? You must hate everything right now, but you must hate me most right now since you have your focus on me." Yohan closed his eyes and let out an annoyed grunt. "You can't understand a word I'm saying, right? Or at least most of it. What's the point of getting words across." Yohan waved his right hand in the air at Ricky. "I'm done. I'm leaving. I don't care if you see it as a forfeit. It's over." Yohan turned his back to Ricky and began to walk slowly back to Saiph, it was obvious his body was in a lot of pain right now.

Ricky's eyes began to twitch as he saw Yohan walking away. What was this, was he still mocking him?! One of them was saying to just kill him, another had spoken a question about what to do with him. He wasn't trash, he knew that much for certain still! His gun began to shake violently in his hand as he glared at Yohan's back as it went further away from him. Who did he think he was, playing God in front of him! He ruled Timberland, he ran this town now, it was his to do with as he pleased! Including little snot nosed brats like you! There was no way the others were in any condition to stop him, he gained a grew big smirk on his face as he aimed right for Yohan's heart, oh this was going to be good! Even if he was to become an imbecile for the rest of his life, he didn't care! He had one shot, and this idiot just started to walk away! Yes, victory was his, at long last, Ricky would triumph and hold victory over something!

Ricky pulled the trigger, and as he did so, he saw the gun unleash a powerful blow! His jaw dropped as he saw the bullet go through, he actually did it! It was his turn to shine! The others must be pissing themselves right now with fear, yes, yes, yes!!! Ricky's eyes widened and had an unspeakable fire burning within them! He could at long last... At long last.... Last...? Something was off. As reality returned to him, he realized something terrible had happened. He was falling...? Why was he falling down now? No, this can't be right, he had seen the bullet go through, didn't he?! What was going on, why was he falling, where was he right now?!?!

As Ricky's body collapses on the floor, he feels his body growing cold as he could only stare up at the hole to see light coming down on him. Why was he here? He had won, right?! His eyes were growing heavy on him, it was annoying to keep them open for much longer, but he just had to know! He felt his breathing slowing down, his vision was fading on him. Curses to this body, curse it to the pits! He began to reach an arm up slowly to the hole, but as he did so, he felt his body growing too heavy to even move. It was too much of a pain now. One final breath escaped his lips and his arm falls flat right now to him. It was time to just put it all behind him now.

In reality, however, things had gone differently than Ricky had thought. Yohan heard Ricky let out some kind of crazy screech of joy, his eyes widening with fear as he turned over to see Ricky aiming the gun right for him! Oh, shoot! He was way too fatigued and had overused his body with his new super speed too much to be able to dodge this one! As Ricky pulled the trigger, something unusual happened as the gun shatters to pieces and damages his hand beyond repair. Yohan's eyes widen as he realized that he had placed a final transfer on Ricky's pistol should he use it. His hand would probably never work again, but that wasn't all. Ricky's body was flown back from the powerful force of the gunshot combined with the explosive super speed, he could see the confused expression growing on Ricky's face.

Just when the worst of it was over, the bullet sped past Yohan's face and left a grazed mark on it. Yohan flinched and collapsed to his knees, watching as the bullet ricocheted off some of the broken parts of one of the crates, not even getting close to Saiph, before flying back and missing him completely! Yohan could only watch in horror as the bullet Ricky had shot at him pierced right into Ricky's own neck! Ricky's eyes widened with pain as he limply fell on the ground, his body bouncing a bit before finally resting as Ricky stared confused at the hole above them all. He began to raise his arm while it shook weakly, Yohan could hear Ricky's breathing slowing down as Ricky struggled to find the next words. Yohan didn't even know if Ricky was even aware of his own actions right now or not.

"Where... Are you.... My friends...?" Even if Ricky couldn't really speak right now, his lips moving were just enough that they could all read out what he was saying. "Where... Are you... Brother... Father... Mother?" He kept going, Yohan could only remain frozen in place as he watched Ricky's final moment of life. "Where... Are you... Djinn? Someone... Anyone... Help... Me." But that was all Ricky could get out before his arm collapsed and the life faded completely from his eyes. His head tilting to the left as his breathing had stopped completely. Yohan closed his eyes tightly as he tried to keep himself from freaking out. It was partially his fault, but ultimately, Ricky had taken his own life in the end. Either way, it was over. Even if the ending wasn't what Yohan was hoping for at all, he came to accept that Ricky's fate was ultimately doomed no matter what outcome came before him.

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Wraith glanced to Felix and spoke before Seb could get a response. “Show some damn re...” cut off, by a fist to the jaw Sebastian had suckerpunched the inner demon while its attentions were elsewhere. The resulting vector blast would shatter the scales on Sebastian’s hand and on Wraith’s face; causing Sebastian to fall back against the wall. Wraith however hit the opposite wall and exploded into smoke before reforming. “that fucking hurt Sebby...”

Scowling at one another; sebastian simply said “good... can you walk Felix?” his head turning slightly to look over at Felix. “as for your question, the arrogant asshole me is the inner demon” he began to cough, Swinging his sword around and hooking his arms over the hilt guards and coughing into his arms. Having stabbed the blade into the ground and now using it to support his weight.

“come on i think i know of a place to get out of here, just need to hope that we’re close by it” Sebastian took his breather and pushed on ahead, he was exhausted and he could feel the pain numb as it was stinging across his entire body, he would be in for a surprise when he stopped suppressing his bioelectricity; a very agonising surprise.

Exiting the building he quickly stepped into cover and away from the fight that seemed about to begin between Kogo and the iron coated tiger. He pushed himself onwards heading towards the northern side of the decrepit town, a dystopian, destroyed mockery of their home.
“where the hell is it?” he mumbled to himself looking about for a specific building in particular.

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It looked like Felix was about to get an answer, although from who he had no idea as both looked identical. But then the speaker was suckerpunched, and the other explained…right, he thought, that one must be the real Sebastian. He noted that the real one had lost a few scales on his hand, whereas the copy had lost a few on the face. He would probably try to ignore the copy.

“Is that what Kogo’s calling these things you can see but no-one else can? But er…we can all see him. Eh, nevermind that.” Felix’s mind was racing, trying to keep up with all of this new information. It was hard enough coming to terms with all of this. His eyes widened.

“Wait, so…” he reached down to the floor, where the weasel was now scurrying around and generally being a nuisance, grabbed the pest by the scruff of the neck and held it up, “This thing is mine? Well, that’s…underwhelming.” He said, slightly crestfallen. The weasel folded its arms and hmphed indignantly.

“Yeah, I can walk fine, thanks.” He replied to Sebastian’s question, “Honestly, I’m more worried about you. Looks like you got beat up pretty bad back there.”

As Sebastian began coughing and leaned on his sword, Felix rushed over.

“Whoa dude, you’re way too hurt to be going anywhere like that. Here, let me help.”
Felix tore a strip of cloth off what would have been a curtain and used it to tie the sword and bow to his back. Supporting him by the shoulders, he helped Sebastian to stand on his feet and get out of the building.

“How would you know the way out of here? You haven’t…been here before, have you? I suppose there could be something about this in an old myth or legend. Hmm. I don’t…recall anything.”

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“The only real injuries are the ones...well the phantom pains, they kick the hell outta ya’ that and Sonea diving on that thing’s face” Sebastian looked to the side as Wraith walked beside the two of them picking the broken and flaking scales from its jaw.

“What? No comment to add, no insult to throw?” Sebastian was waiting for the response but Wraith just rolled his head to the side and looked at Sebastian with a half concealed, malice filled, Smirk. “Are you sure you want to push your luck now?, I can quite easily stop your little vector trick and cause you to have a heart attack amongst all the agony you’d feel with the stopping of said vector trick.”

Wraith just laughed aloud and then in a cloud of smoke disappeared returning to the pits of Sebastian’s mind. “Felix, whenever we’re on this side...could you keep an eye out on that psychopath, also i would much rather have a ferret as a demon, that way it can’t do much apart from pester me in my sleep.” he sighed ragged of breath, he just felt like he needed to pass out and rest, but here that was a death sentence.

They were just coming upon the end of the road from where he was told there was some freaky spherical thing in his old home’s basement. It had been quite the walk really. “as for how i think there might be a way out, an old friend, i haven’t seen in years, used to live here in town, mentioned some stuff about his old home and how it had a thing that could take you to another world...let’s hope it wasn’t childish ramblings. As for being here before, i can’t recall and if i have, I’m sworn to secrecy.”

The building wasn’t to far different to the rest of the ruined town, boarded windows and glass scattering the walk upto the door, half hanging from the hinges and in the distance the dins of the fight they were avoiding rang out.

“I feel almost sorry for Sonea...who know’s what kind of crazy stuff Kogo can do” quite the understatement, but Sebastian wasn’t one hundred percent at the moment.

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Felix couldn’t help but nod in agreement. “Yeah…he’s an asshole.” He muttered once Wraith had vanished. Sebastian’s inner demon would probably hear, but he neither knew nor cared. A very unpleasant feeling of guilt had begun picking at the back of his mind. Almost as soon as they had entered this nightmarish place, he’d seen the people around him cast aside their suspicions and fears, and jump straight into the fight. Against a giant flaming monster, no less. Some of them had been injured and hurt, too. And he had just stayed out of the way. But this train of thought was quickly broken by Sebastian, as he explained what he knew.

“Right now, I could believe pretty much anything.” He replied; considering everything they’d witnessed so far that evening, basically anything seemed possible. The more unbelievable, the more likely it seemed to him at this point.

“Well this is, er…really foreboding.” He remarked as they neared the abandoned building. As they reached the entrance Sebastian said something that grabbed his attention. He spun his face round to look at him squarely.

“You’re telling me that tiger creature is Sonea? I thought it was just another monster!” He looked back the way they’d come, he could hear the sounds of the fight echoing across the ruins. He glanced to and from the house a few times, before stepping forward carefully.

As he nudged the door open, it swung on its failing hinges and slammed against the wall, making him flinch visibly. Grimacing, he grabbed a shard of glass from the floor and, said shard in shaking hand, stepped into the building.

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Sebastian reached out and pulled on the longsword, his hand not fully closing to take the hilt, he focused on his dominion and began to stabilize his own bioelectricity though when he released completely and his nervous system reactivated, it was pure agony and pain, his yell was more akin to a roar, he collapsed holding himself on the doorframe, the pain quickly subsiding but leaving his body aching and numb.

He looked at his hand and began to curl it into a fist, again his hand not responding at first but soon enough it was curling back into a fist. “Use the sword or pass it here.” Sebastian gaining a second wind, he stood up and began to walk into the building. “Let’s find the basement and get out, also could you use my mobile when we get back and call my mother, if I drop unconscious when we get out”

It took the two of them a few minutes but they found the entrance to the basement. “Hey Felix, over here bud.” The consuming darkness of the staircase down sent shivers up Sebastian’s spine, he looked back towards Felix and began to step down, the boards creaking under his weight alone, one rotted plank snapping and Sebastian’s foot went through it.“Fuck..” he reversed the vectors of his fall only to throw himself into a roll at the bottom of the staircase.

“Oww...fuck, careful on the staircase” something that need not be said oh well, Sebastian looked about the darkness and allowed his eyes to adjust, soon enough he could make out the orb like device towards one side of the room.

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Felix saw Sebastian trying to take the sword in hand, but not soon enough. “Hey I don’t think you should be-” he managed, trying to reach out to stop him as he collapsed, roaring in pain.

“Er…right.” He stooped down to grab the sword. Sebastian didn’t seem in any condition to be using it, so he held the weapon out awkwardly as they entered the building. He was tremoring violently now, each creak of the floorboards making him jump. If the view of the staircase had spooked Sebastian out once he’d found it, it made Felix so scared he had to let out a little high pitched whimper.

“Hey are you alright?!” he yelled as Sebastian landed skilfully on the floor below. He was okay, apparently. And now the stairs were damaged. Lovely. Felix took a few deep breaths. He placed a foot gently on the first step.

The creaking of the planks forced him to withdraw immediately, but after a few seconds, he regained himself and began to make his way down the stairs, carefully stepping over the damaged step when he reached it.

He must have not been quite careful enough because about a few seconds in, yet another stair completely gave way. With a thunderous crashing noise he half ran, half tripped down the rest of the stairs in a space of about half a second before toppling over and slamming clumsily onto the floor.

“…Ow.”

Brushing a small storm of dust off himself as he stood upright, he squinted around, trying to make out the surroundings.

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Sebastian had waited for Felix to reach the bottom of the staircase and laughed light heartedly as he jumped to his feet. “well i think we just won the award for least gracious pair.” Sebastian approached the orb and reached out to tap it but recoiled his hand realising, that was a bad idea, he didn’t even know if this was the correct thing; for all he knew it could blow them up.

He looked about and sighed. “It’s blacker Than a Rat’s ass i can barely see a damn thing.” he realised what he had said and chuckled shaking his head to himself, obviously amused.


He looked around before his patience wore thin enough for him to do the stupid thing and place his hand on the orb. nothing happened, he sighed and looked over to where he could see Felix's outline. “look around there could be something to help us”

Sebastian had to physically facepalm, they could barely see anything and he had just told Felix to look around, Sebastian, held his hands by one another and began to compress the air between them, small explosions and popping sounds began to grow louder and soon, he had formed a small ball of plasma, from the air around them, it was emitting light in a purple hue across the basement, this was no easy thing to maintain, but they had light enough.

Wraith now formed itself sat on one of the rotting chairs. “hmmm, well i'd have never thought to do that.” Wraith spoke with a surprised tone, though the hint of its core emotion there also, using what little light he had he began to search around.

twenty minutes or so pass and Sebastian has had to reignite his plasma ball a few times, though the air now thick with the smell of ozone; he came across some papers and began reading through them quickly skimming over them. “Hey, here look” he began reading over the instructions though they were scrawled in red ink? though they weren't the only set of instructions. Sebastian soon put out his light source and approached the machine, putting his non-dominant hand, his right, into the slot and clearly speaks. “Purgatory.”

the Device slowly coming to life and filling the basement with a low hum and a bright glow, Sebastian recoiled from the light. it was stinging his one good eye and soon enough the light faded and they were in the same basement though now it was lit up and organised more so than the other side, Wraith no longer visible and Sebastian was overcome with a fatigue and exhaustion, stepping away from the machine and taking his hand back he collapsed unable to draw the strength to keep standing.

Slowly he stuffed his hand into his mobile and began to ring his mother, luckily he had a few minutes free so the overseas charge wasn't going to punish him. it was a short call, maybe less than a couple minutes, but Sebastian spilled the beans and explained as much as his exhausted brain could remember, which for what its worth is quite a bit.

another ten minutes pass by before the orb lights up again and an elder woman, looking like she was in her late thirties appears, a pair of purple scaled wings crowning her back before fading from existence. the woman's voice that from the call. “it really does look like you boys have been through hell, no matter lets get you to the hospital”

Sebastian's mother stood just shy of six foot tall, and reached down to help her barely responsive son up off the floor and then Felix if he required it. “how did the pair of you end up on the other side then?” she had a soft caring voice though the stern upset tones rattled underneath it, Sebastian just chuckled.

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Another meeting, another reason to hate on the current Order of Gray. What a mess they were in now, once the most respected people in the magical society now were just looked upon as keepers of the peace. It was nonsense, they were practically a joke at this point to him. "Lady" Alpha next sat right with him, why not just call her Alpha like the previous Alpha's before her had been called? Beta was his student, seeing him having grown so far from the old days made Sigma nostalgic of the old days when Beta was younger. Gamma was being snarky with Alpha as usual, no surprise there.

Delta was a man Sigma held the highest respect for, though in recent meetings he had begun to take on a more laid back role. It was Alpha's fault, really. She had tried to force Delta over the years to bend to her will, but the more she pushed, the more he resisted. She must of said something after a meeting and he didn't take it well. Still, Delta was a man he and the others could trust with their lives. Epsilon was a different story though. For whatever reason, Alpha held his seat out even though he had left in not the most polite fashion. Epsilon had since started a Dark Wizard group and refused to attend any meetings since his departure. Whatever Epsilon had discovered had forced him to leave The Order entirely. Sigma had no right to tell him to stay, but it also wasn't his business to go snooping around like Epsilon had. If Alpha should prove a problem to him, he would be the first to be on the case.

Most of the others looked bored whenever Mu began to talk. Mu was like that wise grandfather you had that would always invest his time into researching new things, but would often fall asleep during the middle of things. Luckily Scan Chan could operate during Mu's nap sessions so it all worked out in the end. Omicron held a sort of air about him as usual, however he seemed to be taking an interest in this Timberland. One of his kids must of gotten involved for him to have done his work so quickly, it was the only thing Sigma could think of that would lead Omicron to have gotten interested ahead of time. Sigma couldn't really tell what most of them were thinking or were ever going to do, but he could sense it. The tension that was building up when Chi spoke up. Chi was a good kid, but he didn't realize some of the members had gotten a little picky about handling things. Lucy for Chi no one went in for the kill, but Sigma knew one of these days The Order was going to have to bring it's fist down some of the more unruly members.

Omega was quiet as always at the meetings, staying by Alpha's side like a dog. He could only guess what Alpha had done to Omega in order to make it so obedient to her, the day this Omega had been brought in was the day Sigma had started to watch Alpha with a suspicious eye. Epsilon and him may not see eye to eye on everything, but he knew Epsilon was onto something to suspect Alpha was doing something to The Order for her own gain. Without anything coming to light, however, there was nothing Sigma could really do about it. Sure, there were the times when Alpha would seem suspicious or her actions could be questioned, but she was sneaky in how she kept her true intentions hidden from the others. One day, she would slip up and be brought to the justice she rightfully deserved to be put into.

Upsilon had once been a man he could respect in his ambitions. At one point in time he had been hailed as one of the greatest Dark Wizards to have come, and the only reason he had been brought into The Order was to maintain fear through his power. He had gotten to know Upsilon though, and over the years he got used to Upsilon's ways. He reminded him of Epsilon in a lot of ways, though Upsilon was Epsilon's teacher so it made a lot of sense he'd see what Upsilon formerly had having rubbed off onto Epsilon. But ever since a certain point had passed, Uspilon had been slowly grading and the process had been painful to watch. At the current meeting, Upsilon looked the worst he ever had. His once great body reduced to a withered old form that made him seem tiny when at his peak he was someone who could stand with pride. Knowing the old Upsilon though, he wasn't finished and would probably make a grand return one day. This much Sigma had always suspected to be true in his heart.

When the meeting had been dismissed, they were all told to return in one week. He wondered who had come from The Sukodo Empire to inform Alpha of this new vigilante plan The Emperor had in mind. He could ask more about that another time though, for now he had to go see Beta and Delta before they left for Gaia. Taking out one of The Order's emblems on a peculiar stone, he focused his mind on it before suddenly appearing in front of Beta and Delta. "Oh, I will never get used to moving around like that." Beta and Delta quickly helped Sigma remain standing before backing away to look upon the mask and cloak he always wore. "I suspected you boys would still be here."

"Ha, that's funny, calling us boys Sigma." Delta responded with a smile. "Knowing you've been around for so long though, I can let it pass." Delta seemed to be one of the few members of The Order he knew who could manage a smile even when times were coming to a rough point. "I know why you've come though. You want to warn us to be careful in Timberland, right? Don't worry about that so much. You put too much stress on yourself these days, Sigma. You should take a vacation sometime and just get the chance to relax."

"As much as I would love to take some time to rest for myself, I must tend to The Order first. Actually, I came to warn you two to be on the alert about this Mage Killer going around." Sigma decided to sit down on the ground as he let out a heavy sigh. "This Mage Killer, whoever it is, is casting doubt on those who use magic. Whether it be true magic or The White or The Black, it doesn't matter. Should this Mage Killer be revealed on Gaia's media, it could start the opposite idea to The Emperor's vigilante plans."

"Ah, so you mean the equivalent of super-villains." Beta put a hand up to his chin as he thought it over. "It would be troubling to see a rise of people like that. Whether magical or not, we could see a mass slaughtering of innocent people or those who would get in the crossfire. From what I know about this serial killer, they've done all they can to make a low profile for themselves. That's why we haven't been hot on this person's trail, but they could cause a mass panic sometime soon and chaos would spread them there."

"It's not just that I am worried about." Sigma looked down at his hands and tightened his grip slightly with them. "Dark Wizards, Demons, even intelligent magical creatures could all notice this and start to get more bold. Dark Wizards appearing to sweep their magic unopposed, lower Demons getting more bold and attempting to bring their more powerful masters over to Gaia in order to take it over. Magical creatures could start going on a rampage for humans throughout Gaia. This Mage Killer must be brought down quickly. If Chi fails in his mission, I may have no choice but to get involved myself."

"We understand, Sigma." Delta spoke up as he put a hand on Sigma's shoulder. "Don't worry about it. We won't allow this Mage Killer to get any attention and for others to use the opportunity against us. We may not be seen as in our glory days, but we are still The Order of Gray. We will keep the peace, no matter who seeks to break it. Beta and I must go and prepare our things for a temporary stay in Timberland. Just don't go straining yourself Sigma, that's the last thing we need right now." With that, Beta and Delta vanished from sight. Sigma could only sigh and close his eyes, hoping for the best.

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Destruction or Harmony?


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Sigma didn't like the idea of leaving everything up to Beta and Delta, but he didn't really have a choice right now. With everyone seeming to be at each other's throats, he had to do his part to help out. Moving out through The Other Side was never a problem for him, he had a lot more experience and knowledge about it than most due to his time being alive. The Sukodo Empire would be the first he would look into. He wouldn't be entering it's capital today, but rather one of the inner walls that surrounded it. It wasn't the only location to live if you served The Sukodo Empire, but it was the heart of the entire empire.

The Sukodo Empire's Capital, Seishin, held five walls that were each built over the generations to further protect it's heart. Over time these walls had been improved upon as the technology within the empire grew, attacks from above could no longer work, attacking from below could no longer work, it held a strong defense but it seemed to lack a strong offense to push back the enemy. It looked so different from how it used to when it first started, that's just how time worked. As Sigma prepared to arrive within the first wall, he heard a loud roar being given off nearby. His attention now being redirected towards the source, he quickly sped off in it's direction.

When he stopped to look at the situation, he found a large beast standing over a group of citizens who were about to re-enter within the walls just as he was about to. The beast lashed out with it's tails and struck away any nearby soldiers, knocking them aside without doing much harm to them. But Sigma knew that look well, it's prey wasn't the soldiers, but the innocent people they were protecting. He could hear them crying out for help, the soldiers being too weak to stop the beast's tails from knocking them away. Sigma's heart never swayed in the face of danger, no matter what people or animals did, he would always be ready to protect people regardless of who they were. As long as they were in danger, that's all that mattered to him. He couldn't be everywhere at once, but he did his best regardless.

Sigma moved forward with such a burst of speed that the outburst didn't shake the ground or cause cracks, instead he almost seemed to glide through the air as if he was some kind of bird. There was a gentle grace for Sigma when he moved like this, the people who saw him move past weren't blown away or knocked back but instead felt relaxing wind hit them. Sigma had to ask himself time and again if the world would ever be truly ready to accept the gracious power that coursed through his body now? As Sigma landed in front of the beast, he spread his arms out and tightened his hands into fists as the tails now began striking out at him.

Sigma's movements were careful and yet unreadable, each strike he gave out against the attacks of the tails served only to knock them away. As the people and soldiers watched in awe, they saw a robed figure with a mask who seemingly came in with two arms, and yet now when he attacked the way he did, they saw him having four arms on each side and all four arms were moving and doing something else from the others. The people found it impossible to tell if Sigma was moving so fast that they could only follow his movements through phantom strikes, or if Sigma's power was so great that to normal people he was using eight arms right now to attack with. Whatever the case, the multi-tailed beast was confused by how this one figure was able to stop it's fast striking tails. The beast leaped back away from Sigma to glare over at him, it's five tails preparing to attack again as Sigma stood still like a perfect statue for just a few seconds.

That's when Sigma began to move again, and this time, the awe that was felt before quickly turned into intimidation. The beast not only saw it, but felt it as it's body shook from what it felt coming from the being before it. Sigma's arms were slowly moving around him, as if he was performing some kind of dance in preparation for a meditation. It was like watching someone breathing calmly in and out, and yet, time itself seemed to be slowing down for the beast as it tried to observe Sigma's movements. Sigma finally stops with his body having now entered into a stance, two fingers on his left hand facing up while two fingers on his right hand were facing down. As Sigma's arms grew further apart from each other, he slide his right leg back and his front leg forward, all movement eventually grinding to a halt as Sigma merely waited for the beast to act now. Would it act on it's instinctive fear and risk attacking even though it could mean death? Or would it run instead, fleeing and fighting to live for another day? The beast's choice became clear in a flash!

The beast had leaped forward, roaring out as it's five tails all prepared for a different strike from a different angle at Sigma to catch him off guard. Sigma read through this and understood clearly what the beast intended to do, only moving forward as all five tails struck each other! The beast could only register Sigma being in front of it at the last second, unable to move as it saw Sigma strike out right his left palm into it's chest, causing a great rumble to course throughout it's body! The people watched as the beast's mouth remained agape, it's eyes rolling briefly into the back of it's head as though it was dead. That's when Sigma quietly spoke out two words. "Harmonic Melody." The beast's eyes soon returned to normal, as it stared at Sigma now while he pulled his arm back and stood calmly, reaching up to lightly pat the top of the creature's head. "Leave these people alone. There is food to the south of here. Go there and you can eat to your heart's content."

The people watched as the beast began to walk away without another look over towards them, the beast having lost all interest in them! When the beast was fully out of sight, the people rejoiced by cheering out and gave their thanks to Sigma. "Destruction only causes more destruction." Sigma told himself, the people and soldiers not even hearing his words as they began to quickly head back inside the wall. "Only through peace can there be joy to be found. Those who walk the path of destruction shall end up destroying themselves." Sigma clapped his hands together and gave a quick bow to what appeared to be no one. "I give thanks to my master and my friends."

"My, my. Such a beautiful performance." An unknown voice spoke out to Sigma after he gave his bow, his mask turning slowly over to find another figure with a mask similar to his own. Though their attire's were another matter entirely, could this man be some kind of traveler? "Forgive me for intruding, but I saw you save those people just now." The unknown figure gave a short clapping of hands at him. "You must be Sigma. I have heard such brutal descriptions of you, everyone seems to love spreading rumors about the strongest being within The Order of Gray being some violent warrior who's strike alone could shatter mountains. But what I just saw destroyed all notions of those rumors, I am pleased to know that."

"You have heard of me then?" Sigma questioned the strange figure before him. "Not many have been able to see me in action. Those that do usually do not recall what they see. It is too fast for them to register, I do not blame them for that though. I do what I must to save the people and the beast, that is all." Sigma's hand pointed towards the figure's direction. "But you have not yet introduced yourself. Tell me, who are you, strange man? You do not seem like you are from The Sukodo Empire, or else why would you be wearing such foreign attire here?"

"Ah, yes!" The figure's hands clapped together and he bowed from the waist towards Sigma. "Forgive me for getting ahead of myself. I am known as Jinn!" The figure gestured to himself and bowed his head briefly. "Some of my friends jokingly call me The Djinn, but that name does not suit who I am. But call me whichever you see fit, it does not matter to me. You wish to go inside, don't you?" Jinn gestured behind him towards the wall. "Even for someone such as you, Sigma, cannot simply enter within any of the walls without a card of identification." Jinn chuckled lightly and spread out his hands, cards poofing up within his hands as he began to shuffle through them. "But fear not. I shall grant you entry using my card should you promise me only one thing. I wish to travel with you while you are inside. I have long wanted to see you, and I wish to learn more about you while you are here. It must be fate that I got to meet you just as I was about to enter inside!"

"Fate, huh?" Sigma commented, though he didn't wish to put doubt on the man's beliefs. "Yes, fate must be kind to you this day. So that is all it will take, huh?" Sigma couldn't help but bellow out a laugh. "Such an unusual trade, but I love it! Oh, you are truly an interesting man, Jinn. Very well, I accept these terms of yours. You shall journey with me while I am here. But while you are learning more about me, I wish to learn more about you in return. You didn't think I wouldn't be observant, did you? If you are learning about me, I will learn about you. It is only fair, since you already seem to know much about me."

"Yes, yes, of course!" Jinn raised up his hand and all the cards but one faded away with a cloud of smoke. Holding up the card in his left hand, Jinn turned and began to walk towards the wall with Sigma. "As expected of the mysterious Sigma! Though I do hope we can be good friends and help each other out here. I came here in search of something, and I wish to see if it is still here or not. I can only imagine you are here on business reasons, but that's fine. We can help each other while we are here together! It's the start of something beautiful! Yes, something beautiful indeed!"

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Jinn


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Seishin was arguably even more beautiful than the last time Sigma had fully seen it. Walking through it with Jinn had not been what Sigma had expected today, but he didn't mind the company. Watching over Jinn had been an delight, to say the least. Jinn seemed to know how to talk to anyone they came across, it made Jinn look like the perfect fellow to encounter. Sigma was glad he had encountered Jinn before anyone else, he could feel it clear as daylight coming from him. Something was just too perfect about this man.

Sigma himself remained rather quiet and observant, letting Jinn do all of the talking to others for the both of them. Jinn could switch between languages like it was nothing, so sometimes Sigma couldn't fully understand what Jinn was saying when he just flipped that switch of his. When the Jinn and him were able to finally resume going on their course, he couldn't help but notice Jinn chuckling. "Something funny to you?" Sigma decided to drop the question.

"It's just the people here, that's all." Jinn responded. "This isn't the main part of the capital, that's why the tone here is so much more casual. Even though they realize they could be attacked at any minute, they simply continue on and enjoy themselves. It's a life of luxury." Jinn put a hand up to his mask. "It makes me feel great to be alive, if you get what I am saying. To be embraced without concern or be judged by the eyes of those who stand above us. Wouldn't you agree, my friend?"

"Yes, I know the feeling all too well. That is why I hide like this. You say we are similar, yet we couldn't be more different. The fact you only wear a mask and I hide my entire body says much." Sigma put his own hand up to his mask. "Personally, I wouldn't mind being able to walk around without being scorned by others. But that day is not today, my friend. Tell me though, why do you stay out in the open like this?" The question caused Jinn to stop, with Sigma stopped a few steps ahead of Jinn.

"My apologies, but I do not believe I heard you correctly." Jinn crosses his arms over his chest. "Out in the open, you say? I wish for a clarification, if you do not mind."

"Of course." Sigma turned to fully face Jinn. "You can't hide it from me, ever since you talked about your mask from before. You put on a facade for all of those around you, you like to ease your way into people by appealing to what they like most. You acted "nice" around me though, not kissing up to my feet and instead gave me a glimpse into the man behind the mask. I'm sure others have caught onto this as well. So tell me, why? Why create a mask at all when you could just be brutally honest with everyone about yourself?"

"Oh my, oh dear." Jinn raised a hand up to rest on the side of his mask. "Let's see, how to word the answer. I appeal to the common folk because they are easy prey. The higher I see my prey on the food chain, the more I respect them and show my gratitude for that. I am one who loves to play around with his food before eating it. If someone gets my blood boiling, I show them my respect for them by not holding anything back. I consider my powers to be a blessing and a curse. It's so easy to get people to make a wish that I don't usually have to make a wish myself. It's how my Dominion, Wishmaker, works." Jinn's mask tilts upward to look up at the sky.

"There are people out there, even those who consider themselves the highest tier of prey, who would so easily make a wish. I found two people on the opposite sides of the coin to compare to. One was just too eager to make wishes for me, so I considered him to be easy prey. He wasn't anything special, in fact, he only became special because I helped him get there. He was a lowly criminal who just happened to get one lucky roll of the dice. But then there was the other boy. When I found him, I looked into his eyes and saw a reflection of his soul for just a moment. He had overcome the negative feelings that had engulfed him and told me everything about himself through his fists. It makes me want to make a wish to fight him again as I am now. But he needs time to be molded into a proper fighter, unlike the first. Once he has his ideals set and his fighting resolve in check, then he will be a fighter truly worth defeating." Jinn looked back to Sigma and chuckled.

"My apologies for getting off track there, but I believe it helps give you a more clear answer. The people who would fall into the desire of wishes are nothing more than scum for me to use to my enjoyment. But the rare few who can overcome that desire and say 'I don't need to make a wish' are the people I hold respect the most. I know you wouldn't fall into making a wish if it came to it, but I can also tell your heart wavers. You have desires like a human would, I think that's very interesting for a man like yourself to have." Jinn spread out his arms and let out a slow and calming breath. "Well? Now that you know the truth, are you going to stop me from doing what I came here to do today? You must of caught on that I am not simply here to tag along for fun."

"I will not." Sigma turned his back to Jinn. "Come now. If you really are curious to know more about me, you won't mind following me around a bit more, no?" Sigma didn't wait for a response, beginning to walk away with the Jinn following suit in his stead. Sigma didn't mind having his back to this Jinn fellow, it felt comforting that the Jinn was at least honest about himself. Now the question remained on what Jinn planned to do here, but it didn't matter at the moment. He would keep Jinn busy for a little while longer, hopefully he was preventing something sinister.

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Damages


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Although only a mere day had passed since the both of them had entered into Seishin, both of them had been observing the other's actions carefully. Yet, despite all of their attempts to find a flaw within the other, neither could deduce the other's true intentions. Though the two continued to act like friends, the mind game had long been set since the first encounter. Jinn had made the first move towards Sigma, and Sigma accepted by making a move back. Both of them now sought a checkmate, yet they both refused to be the first to slip up to give the other the chance. Would trapping the other work? Could it work? Who could call on the other's bluff in time to call checkmate? Needless to say, it was tiring on both ends to keep up the game.

Sigma's plan was simple: He merely needed to wait for the Jinn to make a shady move and he would be able to catch him. Sigma thought he had it in the bag, after all this Jinn fellow had practically admitted to being up to something. Though Sigma observed Jinn's every action, he came up short when nothing Jinn did or said after that point conflicted with the image he set up to others. Sigma realized at this point that Jinn had made a clever move and had openly gave Sigma a free shot at him then and there in order to lure him into a trap. The bait was clever, recklessly attacking him among Seishin could stir up trouble. He was on Sukodo Empire grounds, not Order of Gray's. Jinn must of offered to go with him in order to set him up for a greater fall. Sigma pulled back for now, remaining on the defensive afterword. Jinn didn't make any aggressive actions for the rest of Monday though, which caught Sigma even more off guard. That just meant he had to expect the unexpected now.

Jinn's plan, on the other hand, was very complicated and had multiple layers and steps to them. He had come to Seishin in order to do what needed to be done, that much was simple enough. Yet when he saw Sigma take on that beast and calm it down without harming it had piqued Jinn's interest. Although his form was still recovering from Yohan and Saiph's attacks on him, he realized he had hit the jackpot and now could observe Sigma himself in person. The friendly act had merely been a facade to lure him in, get him comfortable, let his guard down. Sigma surprised him when he revealed he had seen something was up with Jinn's intentions. Jinn was shocked, he thought Sigma was a book that was easy to read, yet here he was, contradicting that by the next page! Jinn felt he needed to respect his equal by admitting his true character. Of course this too was a trap, by revealing himself out in the open Sigma could very well take action then and there. If he had, Jinn would of defended himself and had the fight turn into a ruckus, causing panic and alarm among the people in order to make the Order of Gray look bad and get Sigma in trouble.

Yet, he did not take any sort of physical action against him. Jinn felt he had hit a dead-end with his plans, suddenly Sigma was on the offensive now and he had lost a piece of the game without knowing it! His bait had been taken and ripped off in a violent matter, Sigma had nearly crushed his hopes of stirring up trouble with him. Jinn concluded that the best course of action from here would be to wait and bide his time. If he could tear down Sigma's patience and get him to act on emotion rather than logic, he could still win this. As the day came to a close, however, Sigma had done nothing! What was he planning over there, to take him out in his sleep?! It was impossible, Sigma wasn't the type to strike his opponent in the back! Jinn was angry with himself and Sigma, himself because he had failed to make Sigma act and cause a ruckus, and with Sigma because he had failed to take the obvious bait when he had the chance and now Sigma was just toying with him! Jinn cursed in his head multiple times in multiple ways, what else was there left to do? The time they spent together was shortening and he was almost out of time himself!

Sigma had somehow managed to sleep peacefully through the night, despite the fact that Jinn could easily stab him in the back while he wasn't looking. But when he woke up, everything seemed fine. He did a quick check while meditating, he felt nothing, he saw nothing, he sensed nothing wrong at all. The only thing really out of place was Jinn no longer being there, he must of slipped out sometime during the night. Sigma took this as a chance to leave the room, thanking the people who managed the hotel and leaving a tip before leaving himself. He didn't make a single stop during his time moving, this was the moment he had been waiting for. It didn't matter where Jinn was or what he was doing at the moment, Sigma could now continue his objective without Jinn standing in his way. As Sigma moved, he could see that the morning was filled with a lot less people than when he arrived yesterday. That was good, it meant it would take him less time to get to where he needed to go. Sigma didn't consider this checkmate just yet, he had to wait a little longer for that.

As Sigma fell asleep during the night, Jinn suddenly stumbled upon an excellent idea. Making his way out of the shared room in the hotel and slipping outside of Seishin with relative ease and in such little time, Jinn made a phone appear from smoke in his hand and called up a number. "Yo. This is D." Jinn spoke up. "Listen. About the plan we spoke about a month ago. I need to make some alterations to it. Trust me, they won't impact the bigger structure, but they will be small changes that can be noticed if we slip up." Jinn paused, waiting for a response. "Good. Here's the list of changes. Number one: Change the focus away from Timberland over the next week. Number two: Take down the person we agreed upon after a week's time from now. Number three: Send only one calling card to Timberland, but put heavy emphasis on sending calling cards to the other locations we have listed down. Trust me, I have my reasons. Number four, and the last change to make: Change the code to blue. That's all I wanted to put in. Continue the rest as we planned. Trust me, you will be in for some fun in a week's time."

Jinn hung up and made the phone evaporate in his hand, looking over towards Seishin as he chuckled. He began to walk away from Seishin altogether, Sigma would wake up and probably think he had the checkmate. Jinn had already observed what he needed to and it happened right in front of Sigma's own eyes. Jinn couldn't help but chuckle a bit louder, having to do everything in his power to hold himself back from outright laughing. Gaia, The Other Side, everything was about to hit a turning point in a week's time. The lower half of Jinn's mask evaporates away temporarily, just for a second, to reveal a smirk among pure darkness. "I've done it. I've put down the checkmate. Have fun with whatever you intend to do now, Sigma." When Jinn's mask reformed, he uses a wish to make himself go faster without disrupting reality with the sudden change in speed. In an instant, Jinn's body flies forward at jet high speeds, passing through everything like he was a ghost, not even a gust of wind was caused by the sudden increase in speed. There was no longer a need to remain so close while Sigma was in town, Jinn decided it was time to check the old hideout.

Sigma saw no sign of Jinn, that must mean he left Seishin last night. If Jinn's power was over wishing, he could only assume Jinn had the power to bend reality itself to his favor. Increasing one's speed without it being a destructive force would be the first thing he would think of doing if he wanted a quick getaway. Jinn was here, and then, he was gone, like the sound of a passing car. Jinn must of thought himself clever when he saw Sigma go to sleep and realized he could leave, never realizing Sigma had already kept track of Jinn even when he moved out of Seishin. Sigma would have to wait until later to check on where this Jinn had gone, but he felt satisfied in knowing the checkmate was his to make at any time he saw fit. Jinn was a tough opponent to get around, but he had somehow had managed to survive the onslaught. Sigma looked up to see the castle The Sukodo Emperor resided within. It was time to have a little chat.

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The Sukodo Empire


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Sigma had finally arrived at the center of Seishin, the Sukodo Empire's castle itself. In comparison to the rest of Seishin, the castle's design looked grand and held some mystical wonder about it. The emblem for the Sukodo Empire had been decorated on several flags surrounding and on the castle itself. A gold background with a red circle, holding a golden lion's face in the center of the red circle. Most of the soldiers he could see held gold armor on them, but he could see the emblem of the Sukodo Empire clear as daylight held somewhere on each soldier.

When Sigma tried to enter in through the two giant doors, he was stopped by two of the soldiers guarding the entrance. "We beg pardon, Sigma of the Order of Gray." One of the soldiers spoke up. "But we did not receive any word from the Order itself about you arriving. We must apologize for this abrupt end to your visit in Seishin, but if you would kindly leave now." That's when the giant doors behind them opened, both of them looking back to see a man walking out towards Sigma. "G-General, sir! What brings you out here all of a sudden?!"

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"I am here to greet Sigma properly, of course." The general looked over from one soldier to the next. "Let me guess. He gave you orders again, didn't he? What a pain." The man placed both hands upon his hips. "He keeps trying to force things to go his way, and here I am stuck dealing with the aftermath of it every time. Do not just stand there staring at me, allow this man to pass through! I received word that Sigma himself was going to arrive here!" The guards immediately stepped aside to allow Sigma to pass. The general smiled as he gestured for Sigma to follow him. "Come, please. I shall lead you inside."

As Sigma and the general headed inside, the two guards let out exhausted sighs of relief as the gates closed behind them. The general looked over at Sigma and smiled again. "Allow me to properly introduce myself. I am Ryan Wynngard, son of the Emperor himself and one of the General's to the Sukodo Empire." Ryan gave a quick bow from the waist to Sigma. "On behalf of my father, and by extension the Empire itself, we thank you for taking the time to come and visit Seishin as always. I have cleared up some time for you, so you do not need to worry about me suddenly running off somewhere. If you would follow me, please." Ryan started to walk forward ahead, but Sigma did not move.

"My apologies if I sound rather rude here." Sigma's words caused Ryan to stop and look over at Sigma. "I am thankful you allowed me to come within the castle itself, but I did not come here to meet with you. I came here to speak with the Emperor himself." Sigma stepped forward to walk over to Ryan. "If you would be so kind as to take me to him, I would be rather grateful. I have important business to talk about with your father, and it is not information I will just share with anyone. Not even if it's his own children." A brief moment of silence fell over as Ryan and Sigma stared at each other. Ryan broke the silence by chuckling lightly as he raises a hand over his mouth.

"I thought as much." Ryan moved his hands up to run through his hair for a moment. "I tried to get it through the easy way, but it seems you won't take no for an answer." Ryan moved his right hand to his neck as he started to rotate his head around. "Here's the thing. Father told me he didn't want visitors today. Especially if they were any unwanted guests from the Order." Ryan's gaze suddenly turned sharp as he shot Sigma another look. "Understand? You were only allowed inside Seishin because you managed to save people from some beast our soldiers could of easily taken care of. If you wish to talk to me and get a nice little tour of the place, we can do that. But my father is off limits."

"That's most unfortunate." Sigma tightened his hands into fists as he spoke out to Ryan. "I had a feeling I was going to be denied to see him again. He always does this when I come here, and I imagine you want to hear what I have to say. But as I said before, this information is important and should only be expressed to your father. This has nothing to do with you or your family, it has to do with me and him. Now I won't ask again. I will have an audience with your father now." Sigma went to move past Ryan, only to feel Ryan's hand grip his shoulder and pull him back, despite how big Sigma was.

"Oh, so that's how this is gonna go, is it? I've been itching for a fight for a long while now, you know." Ryan pulled his hand back to crack his knuckles. "I'm not like my sister, you know." Ryan began to emit a red glow around his figure as all the nearby soldiers immediately backed away as Ryan began to have a cocky smirk grow across his face. "It's rude to ignore me, you know. I may be the newest general and I am rather young for my position, but I am not one to be ignored. If you want to see father, you'll have to get past me. I'm not one to back down from a challenge, so please, don't give me any of that peace excuse. I know you want to punch me, so go ahead, let's do this!"

"I will not fight you, I have no desire to. So please, listen to --" But Sigma was cut off and forced to dodge an incoming punch, followed suit by him having to dodge a flurry of punches, all of them turned red by the red glow surrounding Ryan. "I see how it is." Sigma backed up from Ryan himself and entered into a stance, which sparked a fire in Ryan's eyes as he slammed his feet down and entered into an aggressive fighting stance. "You will regret this." Sigma gave out before throwing jabs at Ryan. Ryan couldn't help but smack each of them away, Sigma's eyes widening at Ryan's sudden increase in speed. "That's not good." Sigma managed to whisper out, throwing a strike for the side of his head, but Ryan had ducked down and leaped away as Sigma felt his body tense up.

"You want to speak to my father about the upcoming situations, don't you?" Ryan licked his lips briefly before rushing forward at Sigma, turning into a red blur as Sigma barely managed to block Ryan's incoming kick. Sigma felt himself sliding back as Ryan landed back on his feet and held up a hand, gesturing for Sigma to come for him. "Let me guess. You want to put the blame on my dad again, don't you? When will you learn to just let things go, you old fool?" As Sigma came launching in for him, Ryan sent up a kick up for Sigma's chin. Sigma managed to lean back out of the way from it, only for Ryan to slam his leg down and graze Sigma's mask with it. Sigma watched with an intense look in his eyes now as Ryan's foot slams into the ground, Ryan giving a cocky expression before standing up straight and pointing both index fingers at Sigma.

"Well, I can see you have been playing catch up, haven't you?" Sigma moved to strike Ryan's face, but quickly pulled back as Ryan was already in the middle of preparing to block it. Ryan's expression grew blank for a moment as Sigma struck his chest with a palm strike and sends him tumbling back before managing to catch himself onto his feet. "I will be frank with you about one thing. While others in the Order may not see it, I see your father being connected to this. He was given a warning ten years ago, and I wouldn't put it past him to plan something of this scale. He has had his eyes set on Gaia for a long time now, you and I both know this." Ryan pushed himself up to his feet as Sigma continued to speak. "Let me pass and I shall confirm it for myself if he is involved or not!"

"Well, it's now or never I suppose." Ryan took in a deep breath as the red glow intensified! Letting it out slowly, Ryan stepped forward and appeared in front of Sigma, quickly grabbing the wrist he was going to strike with and striking his elbow into Sigma's throat. Smirking, he quickly pulls Sigma down to slam an elbow into his head before kicking him away as he lets go of his arm. Sigma had been caught off guard by Ryan's increase in power and speed, falling to a knee as he looked up at Ryan. "Time to make my decision. This could be my big moment." Ryan slide into another aggressive stance, smirking over at Sigma's direction. "Is this a mirage, or a chance to fulfill my mission?" Sigma heaved out a sigh as he forces himself to stand upright again.

"Referencing a song, are we?" Sigma cracks his own knuckles as Ryan watches him carefully. Sigma tightens his fists as he concentrates, letting a white glow slowly form around him. The white glow would give off a calm and soothing feeling to Ryan, making him tense up in response as Sigma doesn't take a stance this time, but simply readies himself. "You surprised me, Ryan Wynngard. However, I believe it's time to show you what happens when I stop playing around." Ryan narrows his eyes at these words, his eyes blinking and in that instant, Sigma had vanished from sight. Ryan's eyes widen as he feels something behind him, quickly leaping forward as he turns around. But Ryan finds nothing there, gasping slightly as Sigma comes slamming his fist down into Ryan's chest from above, crashing Ryan's body into the ground.

Sigma faded to Ryan's eyes, as Ryan forces himself up to his knees as he gasps for breath. Ryan knew he didn't have much time to sit around and wait for Sigma to appear again, clapping his hands together as he raises himself up to his feet and strikes out in front of himself upon seeing a blur. But Ryan had not hit Sigma, Ryan's feeling a shiver run down his spine as he strikes the ground below him, only to find nothing again. That's when he felt a kick hit the back of his head, causing him to stumble forward and slide across the ground. When Ryan rose up to his feet again, he could not even find where Sigma had originally attacked him from. Ryan couldn't help but let out a chuckle as he rubbed his arm against his mouth and looked around.

"Very interesting, Sigma. You've been holding back on me." Ryan claps his hands together again as he spreads his arms out to his sides, hunching forward as he waited this time. Licking his lips, his eyes darted to the right as he grabs a hold of Sigma's foot and brings his left elbow into Sigma's leg, forcing his body to slam into the ground. "Hah! I gotcha!" Ryan brings his right fist away and moved in to strike Sigma's face, only to hit the ground as Sigma's body was gone. "So that's how it is. I've been tricked!" Ryan let out an intense yell as he spread his arms out again, opening his hands up fully as a shock wave is sent out from Ryan. Sigma was unable to attack Ryan and found himself planting his feet on the ground firmly to hold himself in place. Sigma couldn't react when it was over, for Ryan had already moved in front of him and was unleashing a furious flurry of punches upon him. Sigma was only able to move his arms up to block after feeling several strikes already hit him, Ryan being relentless as while he was attacking, he was forcing Sigma to move back.

Ryan felt confident in his attack now, but he knew Sigma was just waiting for the perfect chance to strike back now. Lowering himself down after stopping his assault on Sigma, he saw Sigma's arm fly through the air. That's when Ryan saw his chance, quickly sweep kicking Sigma's feet from out underneath him before pulling back his right arm and with a few steps forward, slammed the whole right side of his body into Sigma, sending him flying through the air while flipping a few times before slamming full force into one of the two giant doors he had just entered through. Ryan couldn't help but laugh as he saw Sigma slide down and points at him right his right index finger. "Gotcha again! You thought I wouldn't realize the trick you pulled, did ya? What's it called, huh? Harmonic Dance, if I recall." Ryan entered into his third aggressive stance. "Come on! You can't beat me as you are now!"

"You are correct on that." Sigma spoke up, Ryan tensing his body up again as he watched Sigma rise up to his feet slowly now. "I can't beat you as I am now. That much is certain." Sigma quickly brushed himself off as he brought his arms up and placed his hands together, lowering his head slightly as if he was praying. "I shall change that now. This fight is over." For a moment, Ryan hesitated. He thought Sigma was bluffing here, trying to make Ryan give an opening for him to strike in. But Sigma did not move, and in response, Ryan held his stance. Ryan began to feel his body shaking from how little it was moving now, while Sigma remained perfectly still. The longer Ryan and Sigma stood in place, the more Ryan felt the impulse to attack grow stronger within his chest. It was weighing him down the more time passed, his breathing becoming faster as he could feel his heart beat growing stronger. The sound began to pump into his head, it was bothering him more than it should. Finally, Ryan snaps into action.

"WRONG!" Ryan shouts at practically the top of his lungs, lunging in as he pulls both arms back. "This fight is MINE!" As Ryan went to strike forward with both arms, he felt his body stop completely in midair. Ryan couldn't move an inch, it was like he had been frozen in time or something! But Sigma could move perfectly fine, as he brought his right arm out while keeping his body in the same stance. Ryan felt fear grip his chest as he saw Sigma's arm slowly rise up and his hand aiming in the direction of Ryan's chest. Ryan tried to move, but his body just wouldn't allow him. He couldn't even speak, yet Sigma's hand crept in closer towards him. Ryan just wanted to scream out, but he had no way of doing so. That's when Sigma's hand lightly struck Ryan's chest, and Ryan felt his entire body suddenly become shaken to the core. That's when reality came rushing back in, and Ryan's body is sent flying back at high speeds.

Ryan slams his feet into the ground, gritting his teeth as he was forced to slow down his body towards a grinding halt. He felt his feet being burned as they slide across the ground, his eye twitching as a small bit of blood escaped the left corner of his mouth. Finally, when he was able to stop himself, smoke rose up from his body as Ryan's hair began a mess from what it had been in before. Ryan could see some of his hair falling in front of his face as Sigma began to head for his father's room. "Stop right there!" When Ryan took a step forward, his entire body became weak and he collapses to his hands and knees. Ryan was out of breath suddenly, his entire body shaking and fatigued as Ryan felt like he had just been hit by a train! "Darn it! I said stop!" Ryan tried to reach out for Sigma, but found himself having to lower his arm to the ground from how little energy there seemed to be now in his body.

"Do you want to know what I just did to you?" Sigma stopped, his back to Ryan as Ryan continued to struggle to get back up and resume the fight. "That was one of my Zenith Strikes. If you can't even handle the weakest part of my true power, this fight ends here and now. Do not worry, you are not injured physically. But I have stripped you of everything that you used to drive yourself forward into the fight. You said you figured out my strategy before? That was wrong. Every time you tensed up your body, I was waiting and watching you. Let the obvious sink in from that." Sigma walked out of sight, Ryan trying one more time to reach out for him before collapsing to the floor entirely. Ryan was just barely keeping himself conscious from passing out, wanting to scream out but having no energy to do so right now. Sigma was now on his way to see the Emperor himself, and he would not take anymore interruptions!

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3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sebastian Winters Character Portrait: Takeo Belmont Character Portrait: Tracey Winters
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  1. This post actually is set in Timberland, not The Other Side.

    by The Great Thundorz

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#, as written by Kagerou
Takeo was a bit deflated at Sebastian's serious sounding answers. Here he was, trying to joke around for once in his life, and what does he do?! Mopes! "Mother told me something about a Hell Hound she helped fight last night...she neglected to mention she was with you. Odd. Maybe she didn't realize who you were?" Takeo questioned mostly himself. Kogo was a strange woman indeed, that he knew. Keo looked his friend in his one good eye. The boy still had that same grin on his face. "I had to make sure you don't go absolutely crazy with chicks and school...so unfortunately, I enrolled in the college. It's got pretty good credentials considering this is a hick town in the middle of the United States. I was 'too smart' for the high school, they said." Takeo sighed. "I was accepted into the computer engineering program...hear they have a course on robotics. Might be slightly interesting maybe." Keo nodded to himself. "I've got some cash saved up, so I shouldn't be a total drain on you." He walked around the room a bit. Today was exhausting. "I'm ready for some recharge. Game session?" Takeo took the liberty of picking up two PlayStation 4 controllers and offering one to Sebastian. "You look like you could use some down time there, friend."

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Character Portrait: Sigma
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The Sukodo Emperor


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Having made his way past Ryan, all of the other guards stationed about looked upon Sigma with fear and panic. He had easily taken down Ryan, one of the Sukodo Empire's Generals, and now was on his way to see The Emperor himself. None had the manpower to stop him from heading towards The Emperor's throne room, even if they did gang up on him in numbers, they knew he would simply push them aside with but a flick of his wrist. Stopping before the doors, Sigma pushed his hands upon them and began to push open the doors that would normally be too heavy for even five humans to open! As a golden light began to shine out from the room, a clapping of hands began as Sigma finished opening up the doors and looked upon The Emperor's form before him.

As The Emperor stopped his clapping, he appeared to be wearing his traditional golden armor that fit with the golden room surrounding him. Figures of lion's heads could be seen having been built over the walls of the room leading towards The Emperor's throne. Though it was not a traditional throne since The Emperor usually sat upon the ground of his rather large Litter. The only time people would be seen carrying it around would be when The Emperor needed to go somewhere and needed the utmost protection. Sigma walked forward to stand before The Emperor's Litter and knelt down before it. The Emperor gave off a light laugh in response.

"Well, Ryan appears to have been defeated. It was kind of expected, but what else could be done? He tried his best, and in the end, your will to see me proved stronger than him. I see you are determined to speak to me no matter what, I concede to your request, Sigma of the Order of Gray." The Emperor gave off another laugh from behind his helmet as he shook his head. "Rise, Sigma of the Order of Gray. Tell me what you seek from our peculiar meeting today." Sigma rose back up to his feet, looking up to The Emperor's cheerful form. It was unusual for him to see The Emperor so delighted to see him, it might be a charade considering the circumstances he could note while passing through the Sukodo Empire's castle.

"My apologies, but I wish to discuss something else first before I bring up my questions." Sigma looked around at the frightened guards throughout the room. "I know I may have barged in, but that is only because you have refused to see me so many times that I cannot accept it anymore. Regardless of that, you have more powerful warriors than Ryan. You appear to be lacking a lot of your best here actually, Emperor Sukodo. You do not have your daughter Morrigan around, your Head Guard and his two trained Guards. Those are but a few of many examples, why send away all of your best to leave yourself open like this?"

"So you noticed, I thought you would." The Emperor put his hands on his knees as he lowered his head and Sigma could hear a sigh emit from within the helmet. "It is time for The Empire to act and not hide behind the actions of others. With grim times approaching all of us, I wish to let it be known that we will be there to help out with whatever comes about. Be it the Dark Wizards, or the Demon Legion itself. I will not allow merely myself protection and allow others to fall. If I should be attacked and slain, so be it!" The Emperor waved his right hand across the air at this statement. "But the people will have faith in The Empire again, and we will all be able to stand together and unite in the end to overcome the rising forces of evil!"

"I see. I must apologize again, Emperor Sukodo. I did not mean to make it emotional for you, only curious why you did this. Now that I see why, I will not pry into it any further." As Sigma gathered his thoughts on what to speak to The Emperor about first, he heard the doors begin to open behind them. Turning his head slightly to look, he could see a menacing red aura glowing and slipping through the doors as they were forced open by one man. As the person shoves the doors aside and walks in towards Sigma, everyone could see that it was Ryan who had forced himself back into the room. The Emperor and Sigma both remained silent as Ryan stopped just a few feet away from Sigma, while all the guards looked on in shock at Ryan somehow managing to push himself back up despite being knocked down by Sigma beforehand.

"Father, do not give this man another moment of your time!" Ryan practically shouted out between heavy breaths, everyone watching him intensely as they did not know whether he would attack or continue to remain standing where he was. "I, Ryan Wynngard, shall continue to fight him until he leaves! Allow me to redeem my honor, father! You set expectations upon me, and I did not match up to them! I will not let that be the end of it, I will not let you down again! I will never let this man knock me down ever again!" Ryan raised up his right fist towards his father. "For The Empire itself, I am ready to stand up time and again until your voice is heard! Until your requests are met by others! Please, father, do not give in to him just because he is a member of The Order of Gray!" Silence swept throughout the room after Ryan had given his say on the matter, The Emperor standing up and walking over to stand in front of Ryan as he places a gentle hand upon his shoulder.

"Look at yourself, exhausted and beaten. Yet you still manage to push yourself back up to your own two feet. That is more than I could ever ask of my newest General and my son." Ryan's eyes widened at his father's words. "It is my fault in the end, General Ryan. I gave the request to not allow Sigma to see me, and I told you to stop him despite your new position due to everyone else being busy right now. I put off Sigma for the longest time, and you, my son, were thrown into the middle of it all without me considering what may or may not happen in the process. Had it been anyone else, you may be dead right now. I could not bare to live with myself had you been killed in my place trying to protect me. You are strong, Ryan, never forget that! You have not dishonored me or The Empire upon this day. You have managed to prove yourself in combat today, you have show me your resolve to protect our home no matter who or what may stand up against it. Well done, General Ryan! Well done!" His father's words caused Ryan to collapse to his knees, putting his right hand over his face to hide his coming tears from everyone else. The Emperor pats his shoulder twice before walking back over to his Litter and sitting down with his legs crossing again.

"My apologies, Sigma of the Order of Gray." The Emperor spoke out to Sigma again. "But now you may resume where you left off. I will allow no more interruptions on your behalf. Forgive my son, and forgive me for both of our foolish actions today." The Emperor bowed his head to Sigma before lifting it up and waiting for him to speak. Sigma was more shocked that Ryan had managed to stand back up after his Zenith Strike. Even when holding it back, Zenith Strike would still drain the target of all energy and strength to carry on fighting. He had seen this happen with Ryan when he collapsed after taking his Zenith Strike head on. He thought he would be unconscious for at least three whole days, a normal person would of been unconscious for around a week's time! Yet Ryan had returned, moments after being struck by his Zenith Strike, and was more than willing to put his life on the line to stop Sigma. Ryan was stronger than he had been lead to believe, he would need to keep an eye on all of The Sukodo Empire's soldiers from now on.

"As you wish, Emperor Sukodo." Sigma spoke up after taking a little bit to think to himself. "If I were to begin, I would say it is time we spoke of your involvement with Timberland. I believe it's time you answered us, and by extension me, for a change. Everyone knows of the fall of the Blue Haired Dragonborn family, yet most do not know it was by your hand that they fell. They have since been labeled as devil's to your Empire, enemies if you would. Heretics who are to be cast down if any of the family had survived. I wish to start off by changing this to allow any survivors to come out of the shadows and live their lives normally." Sigma's hands slowly tightened as he spoke up. "Emperor Sukodo! I request that the Blue Hairs be cleared of the accusations and charges that have been put against them!"

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Character Portrait: Kogo
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  1. This post is a collab between myself and Kagerou.

    by The Great Thundorz

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Doubts


Epsilon walked with Upsilon through the rocky corridors of their lair. People hadn't found them in years, but there was always the chance someone could get by. Epsilon smirked to himself as he thought about this. Before stepping out into the light, his form changed into his old man disguise that he showed Yohan before. "Get those new Dark Wizards shaped up quick!" Epsilon's voice struck out to the others. Upsilon chuckled to himself as the others panicked. The only reason they followed Epsilon was due to his power, and he reminded them of that power every day. Raising up his staff, he struck the ground and caused the roar of thunder to strike loudly across the room, with all of the Dark Wizards, new or old, kneeling down and bowing their heads to him. Epsilon huffed to himself and continued to walk, the Dark Wizards quickly getting up once he was gone and focusing heavily on their training. "God damn it Ken, why did you pick the room in the back of the evil secret lair?" Both of them continued on their way, nobody shooting them a second glance out of fear that one of them would turn them into dust.

It was still dark when Kogo arrived at her destination. The necklace was giving off a strong and familiar force. He was near, but she didn't see where. She was just staring at a bunch of mountains! Unless...these weren't actually mountains. Of course, it was never simple with Epsilon. Sighing angrily to herself, Kogo quietly cast a spell. Simply worded, simple magic, but it would get the job done. "Reveal to me what I cannot see." The mountains seemed to recede slightly to show the walls of Epsilon's palace. However, she couldn't see inside the palace or the goons that were inevitably guarding it.

Now, she could go in guns blazing and easily kill off most of Epsilon's group...but she needed to actually speak to the man. No doubt that his "Dark Wizards" would sense any magic she used...so it was time to do this the old fashioned way. She concealed her horse in a secluded location, put her dark cloak on and headed out towards the only entrance.

It wasn't hard to slip by the first couple of guards. She was nearing the door when one of the guards must have heard her. However, Kogo was quicker than the guard and was in before they could even turn around from where they heard her.

Once inside, Kogo could hear the thunder of Epsilon's voice and the frantic scurrying of feet. She quietly followed Epsilon and Upsilon. His apprentices were too busy trying not to piss Epsilon off to notice much of her. Epsilon hadn't noticed her yet either. She just had to wait for Upsilon to stop kissing ass and split from his dear old master...

Epsilon chuckled to himself for some reason as he looked over his shoulder briefly before looking back to Upsilon. "Old man, you go and tell Ken to hurry his ass up." Upsilon looked over to Epsilon, but did as he was told. Epsilon tapped his staff lightly a few times on the ground before beginning to walk off towards his own room. Once he arrive there, he opens the door and leaves it open, walking inside as he sits down at his desk and begins to shift through papers he kept inside.

The element of surprise was up, but he was at least kind enough to send his lackey away. She waited a few moments for some extra protection and then quietly stepped into the room Epsilon was in. She shut the door and locked it, staring quietly at Epsilon. The two were completely alone, not a sound to be heard from the outside. She waited for Epsilon to fully acknowledge her.

"Hello, Kogo." Epsilon spoke up, looking over at her with a smirk upon his face. "I see you have found me through that gift I gave you so long ago." He chuckled as he rose up slowly to his feet. "So, what do you require from this old washed up bag of bones? Are you trying to accomplish the impossible? Or perhaps you are looking for something more in the present?"

"Epsilon." Kogo said quite flatly. To be honest, she didn't fully understand yet why she was here. She approached the desk and took her hood down. Her hair was slightly different. Instead of her twin bun style, her hair was pulled into a low ponytail, just high enough that her hair hovered slightly above the ground. Her eyes pierced into Epsilon, but if he looked closely, he could see her concern. "They're looking for you. You know you can't keep this up much longer."

"So it's personal. Let's shift the table to you, shall we?" Epsilon pulls out The Fool card. "You've just found your son. He's just regained his memories. You abandoned him in order to come visit me and try to make things right. Tsk, tsk. You don't even know the trouble that's going on right now." Epsilon pulls out The Lovers card. "Then we have your other boy. You hardly gave him any mind, it's almost like you don't even mind writing down deceased names in that magical book of yours." Epsilon pulls out The Death card. "Then there is the odd behaviors everyone is taking. War is coming. People are preparing to have the upper hand and kill off those they deem in the way. Meanwhile, your son shall be in the middle of all of this. And yet, once again, here you are. Taking up selfish desires to pursue me." Epsilon throws all the cards up and watches them burn. "The fool's journey has begun, my dear Kogo. Are you aware of Lady Alpha's growing paranoia? How she relies on Omega to take care of anyone she deems unjust? What about all the strange murders? The White and The Black spreading throughout Gaia?" Epsilon chuckles. "It is not me you should worry about, Kogo."

Kogo glared hard at Epsilon as he gave his speech. Always with the cards, the god damn cards. She waited for him to completely finish before speaking, even though she knew he would turn it against her. "I know more than I want to know about what's going on. War is coming, but I've got a sneaking suspicion that you're going to be directly involved with your little group here." Kogo came around the desk and stood in front of Epsilon, looking up at him. "I know women are the bane of your existence now, Harold, but remember I'm not here as an executioner. Like I would listen to that bitch anyways." Kogo sighed. "Regarding my son, you know as well as I do that I cannot prevent what destiny has laid out for him. I can only try to make the obstacles a little less harmful."

"But you can be a supporting mother. Ten years the boy went through pain and suffering, the only person to relieve some of that suffering is the daughter of your hated rival. Though both of you should suck up if what the cards have shown me will prove true. The boy is more like you than you realize." Epsilon chuckled darkly. "But as for his destiny, well. He and I will, without a doubt, have differing ideals. He will challenge me, and I will be ready. But it will not be by prophecies or pre-determined fates that he shall face me. He shall do it of his own choosing, and if he doesn't, he will fail my expectations and I shall blame you as the cause." Epsilon gave her a sassy grin. "But you must have realized Upsilon is a cranky old fool. Such paranoia in his old age that he has to resort to keeping an eye on me. But let's stop beating around the bush and get to the real problem here." Epsilon slowly sat down in his chair as he put his fingers up together like that of a villain. Yes, he was totally doing this right in front of her. "Why have you come here?"

The woman looked him in the eye. "I need your training gear. I'm in charge of some of those effected by the sudden outburst of magic." Kogo said as she sat down in a chair opposite if him. "You owe me a favor, so I came to collect."

Epsilon chuckled to himself as he rose up and raised up one of his hands. "I should of known. I had some training gear prepared and you came at the perfect time. Even if I can't fully predict it, I can have multiple options available just in case someone comes along." Epsilon had the training gear fly over to his desk in a stacked pile. "There you are. Simple and done as that." Epsilon returned to sitting down. "Is there anything else you require of me while you are here? I am more than happy to assist you if I can. Just know that you are violating Lady Alpha's rules. But that probably makes you giddy more than worried. That woman is becoming more self-centered as the years go by her."

"'Lady' Alpha isn't much better than those she goes after. Karma will catch up with her one day. Besides, I don't think anyone currently in the Order would let her do harm to me." Kogo sighed. They sat in silence for a few moments, Kogo trying to gather her thoughts and Epsilon being...well, Epsilon. "How is he?" Kogo asked suddenly. "Is he what you wanted him to be?"

"He is what he wants to be, not what I want him to be. He has my genes for sure, but he has chosen his own path." Epsilon brought his hands up together. "He has been searching for you. Not because it's personal, but because he hunts bounty's now. He's been challenging himself against a great many beasts and people. I believe he has been holding back though, because none of them ever died while facing him. I believe he is testing himself, and his opponents by extension. He wants them to try to find him again, to try to get stronger and, in turn, make him stronger as a result. It's how he has been for some time now. He is not a bad person, but he does not fully trust morality to guide his actions. Be wary, he may seek interest sooner or later in those kids. I fear if Takeo doesn't get a good grip on setting aside his laziness for battle, he will be the first to fall in battle to him." Epsilon shook his head. "Some advice if you train the pink haired girl. Tell her she needs to start accepting her Dragonborn side more and needs to use it in a fight. She can't play the white mage forever, sooner or later, she'll have to fight to protect someone else's life."

"Searching for me...oh dear. I probably have a pretty penny of a price over my head." Kogo commented. "My charges include one of the Dragonborn, but not her. The one I have uses their blood pretty liberally. A real go getter for sure." Kogo looked up at Epsilon. "Takeo is smart. His intelligence rivals even yours. I'm sure he'll figure out how to fight. If I tell him, he'll just blow it off as another one of 'Mom's Many Wisdom's.'" She rolled her eyes. "Anyhow...thank you for the equipment. You probably won't get it back, but I've a feeling you won't need it soon."

"It was spare equipment anyway. I have one thing to say at the least. That Sebastian kid, he's going to head down a dark path. Regardless of what you say or do with him, I believe he has already taken quite a step over towards the darker side of things. He may be best friends with your eldest son of the two, but the younger one he will have growing issues with. You may try to deal with that as you wish. But soon, that boy will hunger for more than he wants. And it will get him into trouble. Trust me on that one. He's going to be facing a lot of trouble by the looks of things. If you are done talking with little old me, you may want to hurry back over to Timberland before more trouble comes it's way. Today is the day training will start. Knowing Delta and Beta, they'll start on it once school is done for the day." Epsilon pulls out a newspaper and begins to read it.

"You never miss a thing, do you?" Kogo said calmly. She was used to this behavior, considering the two had quite the history with one another. She made note of his comments about Sebastian. "You seem like you want to be left to your old geezer things, so I can leave your presence if you wish, oh great Epsilon." Kogo snickered. She couldn't help but pick on him. It was one of the only things they still had in common. She did have to wonder if the old Epsilon would ever return, but it had been almost 30 years. The chances were slim to none.

"Have you ever heard of the Book of the Damned?" Epsilon spoke up out of the blue. The newspaper he held looked rather old as he didn't bother to lower it to speak to her. "It was said to be one of the most terrible things magic ever created. It held the power to kill people at the user's command and drain their remaining life force into the book. There have been a lot of criminals dying as of late all over the world of Gaia. Someone appears to be taking the Kira route with this. Though the higher ups will never admit that something called Death Note predicted this would happen." Epsilon chuckled to himself. "I had thought I knew where it was located, but it seems someone has popped up and fit it's description all too nicely. What do you think about the matter?"

"That's a name I haven't heard in a long while. I heard it had been sealed away, though I didn't care much for the details. So, someone must have killed the Guardian and gotten it." Kogo sighed. That was probably part if the cause of the problems arising regarding magic. Whoever had it was either lucky or extremely strong. The Guardian was no laughing matter. Kogo put a hand over her face. The issues only kept getting worse and worse. No doubt was she concerned, but it seemed like a lot was piling onto her plate. She had been by the door when Epsilon started speaking, but she turned back to him now. "I'm surprised you don't know who took it yet...no, more likely you're keeping it from me. No matter. I appreciate the warning."

"The Guardian may be connected to our little thief. Though we do not know who sealed the book up in the first place, so it is hard to tell without asking them. And well, they are nowhere to be found." Epsilon chuckled from behind his newspaper. "My dear Kogo, I may have knowledge to share, but spoiling the finer details would ruin the surprise, now wouldn't it?" Epsilon couldn't help but grin, even though Kogo couldn't see it. "In any case, I can suspect who are the prime suspects behind all of this ruckus. Though you will eventually find that out for yourself soon enough."

"I see..." It was all she could say. Despite his standing among many as an enemy, Epsilon's instincts were normally spot on. She knew to trust him on these sorts of matters. "Am I to suspect they're going to come to Timberland or already there?" Kogo asked.

"They will announce themselves to the whole world in a week's time. They have already started to recruit those of The Black and The White under their wings. It's not just Timberland they have eyes for though. But they will come sooner or later. You'd best prepare those kids whenever you can. One more thing before you go though. I want you to answer me a question. Have you considered what would happen should a major force present itself a threat to any of your family?"

"You already know the answer to that. And if you don't, then you're not as much of a genius as you think." The reply was prompt, but to the point. "My sons are both going to be in the middle of this, that's for certain. The only thing I can do that will make a difference is to prepare for the absolute worst. It's the only thing I know how to do." Kogo looked at him. "I will take my leave now. I hope you know what you're doing, Harold. I don't want to hear about you dying on me." Kogo unlocked the door and opened it, concealing herself once more. Within seconds she was out of sight, out of the building, and riding off into the dawn.

Epsilon couldn't help but chuckle to himself. Upsilon peeked in after a bit. "Is she gone?" Epsilon nodded to him, putting down the newspaper. "Finally. Stupid woman! I hate that dumb brat. But at least it's good to know she's staying in Timberland." Upsilon couldn't help but rub his staff in a creepy manner. "I'm going to enjoy seeing them struggle! Mwehehehehehehe!"

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Character Portrait: Sigma
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The Great Journey


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"Free the blue hairs?" The Emperor repeated Sigma's words, as if he had just been struck over the head with the request. The Emperor's helmet lowered as Sigma and the others could all start to hear a laugh rising up from within the armor. Even Ryan, as he looked up to see what was going on with his father, felt fear enter into his heart as his father rarely ever laughed like this. "My, such bold words, Sigma!" The Emperor rose his head up as he rubbed the side of his helmet lightly. "What makes you so certain I will agree to this? Are you prepared to clash with me over a matter I have built up over the years as the truth?"

"Indeed, I am." Sigma replied without any hint of worry ringing through his words. Ryan could only watch the both of them discuss this as he was the only one in the room who was able to watch them fully without breaking down into fear. All of the soldiers had been horrified and become like statues, Ryan knew what he was witnessing here today. Ryan quickly rose up to his feet as Sigma went on to continue, interrupting him as Sigma and The Emperor turned to Ryan. "Oh? Do you have something to say in response to this, General Ryan?" Sigma asked Ryan. Ryan tightened his hands into fists as he looked boldly at the both of them. Now all the soldiers had backed away from all three of them, feeling something big was about to unfold before them.

"I know what you are about to suggest, Sigma!" Ryan threw his words out loud and clear. "You have found a Belmont. Not just any Belmont either, one who has the dominant genes to allow for his hair to become blue. We have long suspected that any surviving Belmont may have received recessive genes and not gained blue hair. However, they seem to have not awakened to any true potential a dominant gene Belmont would." Ryan took a few seconds to gather his thoughts before continuing. "You are about to suggest that this Belmont has blue hair. If that is true, he is the last of his family with said blue hair. The records I have read show that only one Belmont survived. Any children he had before his death may have inherited the blue hair." Ryan was about to continue, but heard his father clapping again. Ryan froze up with a sudden fear as he could only look over at his father along with Sigma.

"Well done, General Ryan. You did some research, I see." The Emperor's words sent out a chill throughout everyone in the throne room. "It is true what you say. Should the only known Belmont to have survived the incident were to have children, it was always a possibility they would receive the dominant genes. But we did not detect him having any children, only word of his death rung out. I had thought the Belmont family to have died with him. But it seems Sigma is about to suggest otherwise." The Emperor couldn't help but chuckle. "I truly do apologize for interrupting the both of you. However, let us hear what Sigma has to say first before throwing anymore accusations out at him. Sigma, you have the floor open to you. Please, share with us what you have in mind exactly with this."

"Thank you, Emperor Sukodo." Sigma bowed his head briefly. "Ryan is correct. I have indeed found a Belmont who has blue hair. He is the last survivor of the family with said hair. I shall not confirm or deny if he has any siblings, that is not my intention here today. My intention here today is to free the Belmont family from these chains that have weighed upon them for a great many years now. I do not go before the Dragonborn Council with this because this at the heart of all of this, it is up to the Sukodo Empire whether the Belmont's are devils or innocents. You both may have asked yourselves why I would suggest this, and I believe both of you already know. But for the sake of the soldiers here, I will state it anyway." Sigma cleared his throat before going any further. "I wish to propose a Great Journey for him."

"I KNEW IT!" Ryan shouted out after hearing Sigma speak the words. "You mean to clear his name by having him find the great treasure that was lost to us!" Ryan calmed himself down quickly before speaking again. "Many have taken The Great Journey in search of the great treasure that we now know today as Yggdrasil. During the time of The Gods, many a great legend undertook The Great Journey in order to find it. Even after the time of The Gods had ended, many great people still took it in the hopes that they would be the one to find it. Many have since given up hope that Yggdrasil is a myth or unobtainable." Ryan looked over to his father and bowed his head down. "My apologies. I did not mean to interrupt, only to clarify my suspicions."

"That is fine, my son." The Emperor spoke up before turning to look back to Sigma. "I am sure you have heard of the famous tree from Norse mythology: Yggdrasil. The legend we know for our Yggdrasil goes that when the unspeakable Ancients were done with whatever mission they had been set on, they entrusted a seed to the Gods. The Gods named the seed Yggdrasil. This seed is said to hold the power of Change. Should a mortal plant the seed and make it grow, it is said they will have control over the domain the Gods rule over. In other words, they would become the most powerful force anyone has ever seen. The Gods hid away the Seed somewhere long ago and allowed any mortal, be they good or bad, find it to see if they would prove themselves worthy. But to this day, none has ever seen or heard of the seed that will bloom Yggdrasil." The Emperor turns to Ryan. "My son, would you be kind enough to explain to Sigma what The Great Journey means now?"

"Yes, of course father." Ryan looked over to Sigma. "The Great Journey is something that was started originally as a way to find the seed. It is said whoever found the seed would be the one to plant it and enter into the domain of the Gods. It is said that the seed and, by extension Yggdrasil, holds the power to rewrite reality itself. When the Gods departed, people continued to search for the seed regardless of how hopeless it seemed. The man who defeated The Wizard, The Blue Haired Warrior, went on The Great Journey and couldn't find it. Not even the greatest users of magic we have ever known could find it. You may have heard of the two chosen heroes of The White and The Black. Kuro, The Black's Chosen and Shiro, The White's Chosen. After they had defeated and slain Dracul, they too went on The Great Journey. Although Shiro died before they could finish it, leaving Kuro to abandon it. By offering The Great Journey to us here, you propose to have this Belmont find the Seed of Yggdrasil in order to clear any and all accusations that have been thrown at him and his family."

"That's right." Sigma stated to them both. "I could care less what happens to the Seed of Yggdrasil. I am only here to clear the name of the Belmont family. I assume neither of you have a problem with this?" Sigma waited a minute before continuing. "Right. Here are my terms then. He shall be given a year's time to train and grow. In other words, by September of next year, he will have to start The Great Journey. He shall be allowed to gather his own crew of whoever he wishes. I shall allow a second crew to be formed in order to rival against his own, so that it does not seem unfair. Should the second group find the seed before his does, you may imprison him if you wish. If someone outside the two groups manages to find the seed, you may do with me as you wish. It can even be execution for all I care. I know I am stepping on what is essentially holy ground for all of us here, but I am willing to bet my life in order to free them!"

"Give me a moment to think." The Emperor responded. For a while, all became silent in the room. The soldiers could not believe they were basically witnessing what would be the start of possibly a great legend. It had been roughly a hundred years since anyone had taken The Great Journey. Shiro and Kuro were said to have been two of the greatest magic users of any age. However, not even they together, with all the best forces they could summon, could find the Seed of Yggdrasil. Ryan and Sigma both stood watching the Emperor as he gave it some thought. Finally, he rose up his head and looked from within his helmet to both Ryan and Sigma. "I have decided. I will accept this offer and let the Dragonborn Council know that in a year's time, the next Great Journey shall begin! Sigma, you may leave now. I know you may have other things to tell me, but it will have to wait. I am busy as of late, and I promise you, I shall hear them out as soon as I get the time." Sigma bows his head to The Emperor before heading out of the room. Ryan looks over to his father in shock.

"You... Accepted? I am surprised." Ryan could not hold back his emotions from spilling out through his voice. "I am sorry, but I need to follow him!" Ryan dashed out of the room without a second thought, the guards and soldiers not even being able to catch a glimpse of him before leaving. Sigma stops in place as if knowing Ryan was coming, seeing him run up beside him and gasp for breath. "Sigma! Please, do not go just yet! I need to talk to you!" Ryan took a moment to control his breathing. "Do not go through with this! Everyone involved will be put at great risk, do you truly believe this is the correct choice for all of us? Think about it. Should it end badly, my father will have you imprisoned or worse, executed! The people you intend to save will forever be known as devils! To fail The Great Journey is to commit the greatest sin known to the magical world! I insist you do not go through with this, please!"

"I appreciate the concern Ryan, but I have chosen my path. We all must face judgement someday, and I will always protect others before myself. It does not matter how many obstacles everyone puts before me, I will save the people that matter most to me. I must inform Lady Alpha of my rash decision, I am sure she will be overjoyed to hear that my life is pretty much at risk in a year. Do not worry about me or anyone else, worry about the Empire and your family. I will not inform the boy or his friends of my choice here today, they shall be informed when the time comes to start the journey. I do wonder how your sister will react to the news though." Sigma gave out a light chuckle before leaving the castle of the Sukodo Empire. Ryan could only stare on at his figure as it left Seishin. Ryan clutched his chest lightly, knowing that something great was just over the horizon.